Week in review – science and policy edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Ancient warm period things at bigger than expected sea level rise.  I think they might be drawing the wrong conclusion here? [link]


“Periods of Greater Atlantic Hurricane Activity Linked to Weaker U.S. Landfalls”  [link] …

A rather strange special issue on climate uncertainty by Lewandowsky, Oreskes, etc. [link]  …

New paper finds fossil fuels in the ground are insufficient to raise CO2 level higher than 610ppm. [link] …

The sea isn’t actually ‘level’: Why rising oceans will hit some cities more than others [link]

The irony of the Anthropocene: “Despite humans’ pervasive influence on the planet, our actual control over natural systems remains limited.” [link]

AGU:  How darkness and dust killed the dinosaurs [link]

Nature: Climate science must sharpen its view. Climate science needs to define its next frontiers [link]

New paper finds sea level in Israel was 1m higher than present during the last interglacial ~200K years ago [link]

The global distribution and dynamics of surface soil moisture [link] …

AGU: “This may come as a surprise, but 90% of cow methane comes from their front ends.” [link]

An Ice Shelf Is Cracking In Antarctica, But Not For The Reason You Think [link]

The 1953 floods, #climatechange science & public policy in UK. [link]

The hermit who inadvertently shaped climate-change science [link]

Cold Comfort: A History of Firewood, Ice Storms, and Hypothermia in Canada [link]

Cliff Mass: Make U.S. Numerical Weather Prediction Great Again [link] …

New study in PNAS shows heat absorbed from short-lived methane raises sea level for centuries [link]

New outlooks suggest the next #solarcycle could be as weak as the current one–the least active in more than 100 yrs [link]

New paper finds the warmest periods past 800 years in Scotland were in 1300’s, 1500’s, and 1730’s, NOT 20th century [link]

NatureClimate – Review: IPCC reasons for concern regarding climate change risks [link]

Social sciences and policy

Trump administration: Is climate ambiguity the new denial? [link]

When social scientists try to hide politically inconvenient facts, they cause larger problems later. [link] …

David Rose: Growing crops to make “green” biomethane gas is an environmental scandal costing taxpayers £216m a year [link]

.@BarackObama wrote this month’s Policy Forum in @sciencemagazine. [link]

Lomborg:  Geoengineering Climate Change [link]

Impact of political and economic barriers for concentrating solar power in Sub-Saharan Africa [link]

Aid in reverse: how poor countries develop rich countries [link]

Decentralize Everything: How To Avoid the Technocratic Nightmare [link] …

The difference between persuasion and manipulation [link]

Seattle kills bikeshare program. One problem: lots of bikes at bottom-of-hill stations, not at top. Go figure. [link]

The Trump effect: geoengineering research “once verboten in the climate science community” now included in plan [link]

About science and scientists

Twenty Dogmas That Keep College Students From Learning How to Think [link]

Journalism under attack: the hazards of uncovering evidence of scientific distortion that upsets activists [link]

Bias, ignorance and reality in climate science. Refusal to own up to the distortions of climate science is a costly mistake [link]

A Heated Debate: Are Climate Scientists Being Forced to Toe the Line?  About Lennart Bengtsson. [link]

Scientists have a word for studying the post-truth world:  agnotology [link]

Barack Obama has been immortalized by scientists: Antarctic Station Obama [link]

Who gets to be an intellectual?  Article about David Gerlenter, candidate for Trump’s Science advisor [link]

How statistics lost their power – and why we should fear what comes next [link]

Read this Classic Review of Uncertainty in Data Visualisation [link]

Article about Will Happer, apparently under consideration for a position in the Trump administration [link]

How can we get the public to trust scientists in an age of false certainty? [link]

The great potential of citizen science: restoring the role of tacit knowledge and amateur discovery. [link]

Kevin Folta: People love farmers & scientists, but they don’t trust farming & science [link]

Physicians fail to diagnose accurately through biases & premature closure of the decision-making process. [link]

BBC:Really interesting interview of Tamsin Edwards on sci comm, uncertainty & philosophy of science [link]

Is logical thinking a way to discover or to debate? Answers from philosophy and mathematics define human knowledge: [link]


180 responses to “Week in review – science and policy edition

  1. Pingback: Week in review – science and policy edition – Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. The article on CMEs (Coronal Mass Ejections) seems to try to avoid admitting that solar activity in general has huge effects on us, such as on Earth’s climate.

  3. As of now https://www.whitehouse.gov/energy/climate-change is gone.

  4. Greenland and Antarctica Ice Sheet Mass Changes and Effects on Global Sea Level

    … with mass loss in the GRACE period 2002–2015 amounting to 265 ± 25 GT/year for Greenland (including peripheral ice caps), and 95 ± 50 GT/year for Antarctica, corresponding to 0.72 and 0.26 mm/year average global sea level change. …

    • “Let’s be clear, sea-level rise is a very serious concern for Miami-Dade County and all of South Florida,” Mayor Carlos Gimenez told the crowd Wednesday morning at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center during his annual State of the County address. “It’s not a theory. It’s a fact. We live it every day.”

      • A more accurate statement would have been
        “Let’s be clear, the subsidence below our feet because of the geophysical nature of the aquifer and groundwater abstraction and loading from these monster hotels is a very serious concern.”
        Fixed it for Ya.

      • Increasing flooding hazard in coastal communities due to rising sea level: Case study of Miami Beach, Florida


        • Flooding frequency in Miami Beach increased significantly since 2006, mostly due to high tide events.
        • The average rate of sea level rise in Southeast Florida increased from 3 ± 2 mm/yr prior to 2006 to 9 ± 4 mm/yr after 2006.
        • Increasing sea level in the Miami area correlates with weakening of the entire Gulf Stream system (decrease in kinetic energy).
        • Engineering solutions to SLR should rely on regional sea level rise rate projections and not only on the commonly used global SLR projections.

        Corresponding author – Shimon Wdowinski, among his research specialties? Subsidence. Email him and educate him about subsidence.

      • Meanwhile a short distance away Key West is 2.37 mm/yr. Both impacted by decadal variability. One has flooding, the other doesn’t. Subsidence.

  5. UK anerobic disgesters. Another green fantasy bungled completely.

  6. The item “Is logical thinking a way to discover or to debate? Answers from philosophy and mathematics define human knowledge” by Novaes
    is not especially useful. But it gives me a hook to point to the fundamental logical structure that I discovered many years ago, which I named the issue tree.
    See https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2013/07/10/the-issue-tree-structure-of-expressed-thought/.

    However, Novaes’s point about the historic role of debate in logic and discovery is interesting, especially given the rise of the blogospheric arena of debate. Debate is the new media and the issue tree is all about the structure of debate.

  7. “Periods of Greater Atlantic Hurricane Activity Linked to Weaker U.S. Landfalls”

    I attempted to understand this article.
    I consider it “climatesplaining”.

    “climatesplaining” – when climate scientists explain why something that they predicted would happen because of climate change didn’t happen because of climate change

  8. “Periods of Greater Atlantic Hurricane Activity Linked to Weaker U.S. Landfalls”

    I attempted to understand this article.
    I consider it “climatesplaining”.

    “climatesplaining” – when climate scientists explain why something that they predicted would happen because of climate change didn’t happen because of climate change

  9. Cliff Mass on NWP. A powerful indictment of NWS and NOAA. Trump should redirect inherently wasted climate model resources (computable resolution forces parameterization requiring tuning injecting the attribution problem) to fix this stat, and put Cliff in charge of oversight. He certainly demonstrates a good grasp of the issues: obsolete computers, obsolete code, obsolete bureaucracy. Another national embarrassment caused by newly obsolete climate change priorities.

    • Steven Mosher

      You can’t predict the weather.
      And the data assimilated comes from corrupt noaa sources..

      • Mosher,

        Your beliefs are irrelevant because evidence showing GHG emissions will do more harm than good is lacking. Life thrived when the planet was much warmer then now. For around 60% of the past 540 Ma, the planet has been at least 5 C warmer then now m(up to 14 C warmer). For 75% of the past 540 Ma there were no ice sheets at the poles.

        If GMST increases by 3C, the average temperature of the tropics increases by about only 1 C (i.e. a 0.3% increase). That’s not a serious threat. The average temp of the poles would increase from -36C to -7C, a 29 C increase which would be hugely beneficial. Mid latitudes would experience temperature increases mostly at night and in winter giving longer growing season.

        None of this suggests warming, if it does happen, is a threat to life, to human civilisation or to the global economy.

        What we should be striving for is faster economic growth. A wealthier world will have less poverty, greater resilience, better able to manage all risks. We should be striving for a richer world, not economically damaging ideologies and policies, such as climate change ideology and climate policies.

    • And our local friends are CRAY computer are ready to provide the hardware.

      Yep, and of course Steve jumps in and says they can’t do what they are doing, while what they need to at least equal the other weather groups os more computing power, and I would think there will be some systems currently being wasted on climate can be repurposed for weather..

  10. I’m encouraged by “New paper finds fossil fuels in the ground are insufficient to raise CO2 level higher than 610ppm”. I estimated 630 ppm a few years ago, and i havent seen anything to make me change my mind.

    I have an acquaintance who tracks oil production in minute detail, and the word is that crude and condensate are oscillating from month to month, but the yearly averages for crude oil and condensate look fairly flat for 2015-16-17. The only basin with tight rocks suitable for drilling and fracturing a large amount of wells, at current prices, is the Permian in Texas. As prices go up (and they will), there will be more activity, but the USA won’t reach self sufficiency. There’s a critical need for the Trump administration to give the go ahead to Keystone XL and thus cut off Venezuelan extra heavy blends from the USA market.

    • If it all runs out that quickly (which I question), we need to be 100% non-fossil by the end of the century because with any emission growth rate at all we reach that level well before 2100.

      • Jim D, run out is a completely wrong frame of reference. Peak oil was never about running out. It was always about next years production being less than this year, when the world expected more as has always been to now the case. The rate at which inevitable supply decline starting ~2023-25 happens matters greatly to the world economy and to fuel prices. At least get on the page, if not the paragraph. Good grief.

      • Whether it runs out or just gets too expensive to use past 610 ppm, it leads to the same conclusion. Switch away before that point is reached.

      • Jimd
        Don’t you think you are being hypocritical here?

        You have always cited some fantastically unrealistic figure of something like 1500ppm as the basis of your concern for the likely amount of warming. Our good friend max estimated no more than 700ppm. The amount of possible warming has always been limited.

        Now you are citing fossil fuel scarcity,not its plentifulness, as the reason to move to other forms of energy.

        Which narrative did you intend to use in the future?too little or too much?


      • Tonyb,
        There’s just a paradox here. If this paper (from last April) saying 610 ppm is the limit is correct, on our present exponential trajectory, we’ll reach that in 50 years. Something’s gotta give. I doubt the paper, but if it’s right, then yes, we do have an urgent problem of energy replacement.

      • Nick Stokes,

        The paper assumes ECS= 3C. What if it is 1.65C as Nic Lewis, most recent (well constrained) estimate?

        And, the temperature will not warm at the rate projected using ECS.

        And there is no paleo evidence I am aware of that shows there is an urgent problem, or perhaps a serious threat at all. Life thrived atmuch warmer temperatures than the unusually cold temperatures the planet has been at for the past 10 milion years or so. Did you see this and following comments: https://judithcurry.com/2016/11/25/week-in-review-science-and-policy-edition-3/#comment-826494

      • Peter Lang,
        The paper is written by business school guys, not climate scientists. They assess recoverable fuel, not CS. The paper is here. Their key proposition is:

        “Based on the sources described above, we conclude that a very
        likely pathway for the total production of all fossil fuel resources in future is to keep increasing in next two decades to reach a maximum at 12.40 Gtoe/yr, and then to decline. “

        Pretty peaky.

      • Nick Stokes, I read the paper, clearly. Estimating recoverable fossil fuels and projecting fossil fuel supply is not a subject climate scientists have any expertise in.

      • Nick
        That figure of 600 or thereabouts is one that max and others derived after very careful calculations.

        Max was an engineer and well used to energy calculations. We also had exchanges with a number of people in the energy business.the estimate was based on realistically recoverable energy based on a higher price than the 120 dollars a barrel that appertained at the time. It also assumes we would try to burn everything and that Europe would turn to fracking, which seems unlikely to any extent.

        So we have 50 to 100 years to switch to something else ,which was already happening.

        It reminds me of the concerns at the turn of the 20th century that because of all the horses at the time, that by the beginning of the next century London’s streets would be covered to a depth of six feet in horse manure.

        However, even at the time this was considered unlikely as the combustion engine was rapidly gaining ascendancy. The energy equiivalent of that manure change happened decades ago and It would be quote wrong to merely extrapolate current fossil fuel usage into the medium future.

        The amount of fossil fuels we will realistically burn will have little material impact on temperatures,,even assuming the theory and laboratory physics turn out to be true.

        I think there are far more important things to concern ourselves with than a possible future rise in temperatures which we have experienced before in the Holocene.

        Cyber hacking and cyber terrorism are but two of the dozens of more pressing problems than rising co2

      • Peter Lang (and Tony),
        I’m noting that the main point of this paper is not about climate, though they talk about it. It is about fuel limits. And the response is surprising. Normally it goes like this.

        The climate concerned say, we should limit the amount of fossil fuel we burn, because of the climate. Think of the chiildren. We should urgently seek alternatives. The response is pooh-pooh, think of the Africans, etc.

        But this paper says, we don’t have much fuel to burn anyway. Peak in about 20 years. We should urgently seek alternatives.

        And the response here seems to be, see, we told you so. Take that, climate concerned. There was nothing to worry about.

      • The energy problem is a political problem. Hopefully, the Trump administration will fast-track small, modular, nuclear reactors. These can be installed near existing power lines, saving time and money. And they don’t need a “smart grid” to operate efficiently, again saving time and money.

        It’s looking like Trump is favoring coal and those plants don’t take long to build.

        Problem? What problem?

      • Nick

        Some of us have been consistent about likely peak CO2 being much lower than feared for some years now


        In this 2011 article likely realistic levels were calculated, its effects on temperatures calculated and a dozen climate scientists asked what they believed temperature could be reduced by against a number of missions scenarios.

        It was evident peak CO2 was likely to be way below the wild estimates given, that correspondng temperature increases would be very limited and even the harshest reductions in emissions would have virtually no effect.

        Bearing in mind the horse manure on London streets tale, it is evident that fossil fuel use is also going to decline for a variety of reasons.

        We are very unlikely to exceed temperatures already seen during the Holocene..

        If we are going to concern ourselves about anything the west should worry as to how cyber hacking and cyber terrorism could quickly bring down our civilisation.


      • Did they consider that CO2 causes the biosphere to grow and that as the biosphere grows it consumes more CO2?

      • Yes, the land sink is almost as important as the ocean sink. This is why only half of emissions stay in the atmosphere. Deforestation has the opposite effect, of course, so that is the concern there.

      • In the history of the world there has never been a case where a good or mineral has ‘run out’ and likely there will never be such a case.

        Very few people get gold dental fillings despite gold being readily available at your local jewelry store.

        Few people heat their homes with wood despite the urban availability of wood at their local furniture store. Burning furniture is a very expensive way to heat your home and having wood transported from a far away forest is also quite expensive.

        The correct case is how much of a good can be brought to market at a price less then a substitute product.

        Hence, the price of energy delivered by fossil fuels is constrained by the price of a substitute good or service.

        At the beginning of modern ‘Climate Alarmism’ coal mine productivity had been steadily increasing for a century with no end in sight and the delivered market price of coal had been declining.

        One could easily extend those projections out and end up with coal being very nearly free and an unlimited amount of it being consumed.

        Since 2002 coal mine productivity has stopped increasing and ‘distance from markets’ has steadily increased. Mine mouth prices might support moderate ‘climate alarm-ism’ but delivered prices do not.

        Transporting a ton of $10/ton coal from Gillette,Wyoming(coal capital of the world) to China adds $40-$50 to the delivered price.

      • Julian Simon has demonstrated that human ingenuity (because it increases exponentially) virtually always outpaces resource scarcity. He has been proven correct again and again. It is very likely he will be proven correct with respect to either oil production, oil creation by genetically modified bacteria or some other scientific advance.


      • Yes, the next step is renewables plus storage, possibly biofuels or synthetic fuels, and safe nuclear. I have confidence in this switchover happening in a few decades.

      • Nick Stokes: You say “The paper is written by business school guys, not climate scientists.” Some of the co-authors are at business schools, but Mikael Höök is senior lecturer at the Department of Earth Sciences, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development at Uppsala university. I’m not sure how anyone can call him a “business school guy”. I guess you were just using alternative facts.

      • The numbers aren’t all that different from the numbers here! But I am assuming that as I can not access the article.


        If climate sensitivity is 1.65 like Lewis and Curry, then there must be some natural warming source which we haven’t yet found, since we are already close to 1.65 and not quite at 2x preindustrial CO2, then it’s plausible we won’t exceed an increase of 2C.

        We need to find that natural warming source.

      • We need to find that natural warming source.

        It’s stored heat in the oceans, and it shows up as a northern hemisphere warming when it moves north of the equator during its natural decadal cycle (I think you’ve heard of them before :) ), and the reason there isn’t an equal drop in the southern hemisphere is the large asymmetry in land mass distribution, and water reacts to an equal energy change a lot different that air does.
        Min temps follow the dew point, clear sky cooling is regulated by rel humidity during the night, slowing the cooling rate once rel humidity rises over about 70%.
        Co2 has very very little effect, as the cooling rate is temperature regulated by water, not co2.
        Just follow my name to my page for more.

      • Nope, the oceans are warming, can’t be that.

      • Nope, the oceans are warming, can’t be that.

        I’m not sure if this reply was to me or not, but even if the oceans are actually accumulating energy (I don’t think they are well measured), it doesn’t change how warm water evaporated mostly in tropical oceans regulate land surface temps.

        That’s why for the first part of this week Ohio was 50F in January, because tropical air was coming up the east coast.

      • Evaporation… LWR downward slamming into LWR upward in the ocean skin layer… that’s where evaporation takes place.

    • Repost,

      Eyeballing from Figure 2, for RCP6, I interpret total emissions from fossil fuels this century would be about 1,100 GtC. This is less than 20% of the 6,000 GtC of fossil fuels William Nordhaus uses as his estimate of the total fossil fuels available to be burnt (eventually).

      This is a large difference. Who is correct?

      • Nordhaus didn’t estimate fossil fuel resources. Reading through the literature it’s easy to note those running the Global Climate Models have no idea (and barely consider) the emissions pathways. The Integrated Asset Modelers have a teensy bit of interest in the subject, but they lack the expertise, can’t digest the information and eventually get tied to faulty asumptions.

        Nick: it’s important to separate the fossil fuels into groups. My estimates use “oil”, “heavy oil”, “natural gas liquids”, “natural gas”, “coal”. I’ve been considering dividing coal into two subfamilies, but the data is hard to get (I’m retired from the oil and gas business, so I got better access to that data).

        The current outlook is for oil to barely grow or stay in an oscillating plateau, then start a gradual decline. Natural gas liquids should increase because there’s significant natural gas reserves, and gas should not plateau unti say 2050. I suspect coal will grow slowly but it will never reach the incredibly high levels used in the IPCC RCP8.5.

        It’s evident a transition will happen (as long as we don’t crash the world with wars and conflicts). But the global warming issue won’t necessarily be the main driver. And some of the policies advocated by the “warmists” are insane. For example they block natural gas pipelines in the NE USA, and that region continues to burn fuel oil for home heating. So this global warming mania leads to more pollution, more co2 emissions, and the use of petroleum products which in 75 years will become precious inputs for plastics and selective liquid fuel needs.

      • Nordhaus didn’t estimate fossil fuel resources.

        Yes he did!

        One major change has been to introduce long-run fossil-fuel availability constraints. In the new model, total resources of economically available fossil fuels are limited to 6,000 billion metric tons of carbon equivalent (approximately 900 years at current consumption rates). This constraint generates Hotelling rents that in the long run rise to drive consumption to the backstop technology.

        A Question of Balance [p57] http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf

        Total resources of fossil fuels = 6,000 Gt (g)

        (g) Nordhaus and Yohe, “Future Paths of Energy and Carbon Dioxide Emissions,” NRC, 1982.

        Accompanying Notes and Documentation on Development of DICE-2007 Model: [p58] http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/Accom_Notes_100507.pdf

      • Feernando,

        Reading through the literature it’s easy to note those running the Global Climate Models have no idea (and barely consider) the emissions pathways. The Integrated Asset Modelers have a teensy bit of interest in the subject, but they lack the expertise, can’t digest the information and eventually get tied to faulty asumptions.

        They clearly have a hell of a lot more knowledge than you do.

      • Peter, when it comes to oil and gas resources/reserves estimates I’m a super intelligent rhino and Nordhaus is a bacterium. I realize you lack the judgement to figure out this is the case because you simply can’t discern how oil and gas resources are reclassified as reserves and get produced. Nor do you understand the physical and economic moves involved in getting those molecules into Tony the Tiger’s tank.

        The (eventually) is a fairly meaningless statement when we consider the pathway shows emissions over a period of time, and the critical window is now-2100 (even the rather imaginary RCP8.5 shows declining oil and gas production by 2100).

        Let’s remember I hammer at this subject because it’s a really critical Achylles heel in the whole Warmist edifice. It also happens to be the Achylles heel in the edifice of the dingbat who advises Trump in this area (uses an undefined, but gigantic, USA resource base nobody in their right mind would dream of, must be somebody from North Dakota, they tend to be into inflated figures).

      • Fernandoleanme,

        Peter, when it comes to oil and gas resources/reserves estimates I’m a super intelligent rhino and Nordhaus is a bacterium.

        Sorry, Fernando, by not first admitting you were wrong with your statement – “Nordhaus didn’t estimate fossil fuel resources” -, you demonstrated you are intellectually dishonest.

        The fact you didn’t know that and you disparaging comments about the IAM modellers also shows you have not read the literature. You make claims about yourself displaying a totally unwarranted arrogance. I dispise intellectual dishonesty.

      • Peter, I guess you don’t have the foggiest idea of what it takes to estimate that figure. Nordhaus simply lacks the resources, the data, and the education to do it. That’s easy to see because the number is insane. Which is easy to see because they were asked to develop cases to meet specified forcings. In other words (and I know these seems to escape you), those models were crammed and twisted until they yielded the required answers.

      • fernandoleanme,

        The point is you said he did not do the estimate. he did. You were wrong. You did not acknowledge you were wrong. You are now trying to dodge around that. That is a sign of intellectual dishonesty. Therefore, i would not trust you from now on.

        If you know what you are talking about please provide a link to the correct figure that is widely accepted and also show where Nordhau’s figure has been corrected and accepted by the researchers involved in the IAMs. The 6000 GtC figure has remained as as the figure used in DICE for abound 30 years. Many updates have been made to DICE, but this figure has not changed.

        I am not interested in what you think because is don’t accept you have a clue. If you do know of an accepted correction for it and can show me where it has been debated in the literature concerning the IAMs and why Nordhaus has not made the changes, please point to the debate and provide links.

      • fernandoleanme,

        I’d add that your comments are an example of ad hominen fallacy. All you have to say is abuse and denigration of Nordhaus (one of the most widely published and reputable climate economists with over 35 years in the field) and IAM modellers, and your own opinion about how good you are. Well, all it’s done is reinforce for me that you are a self-opinionated clown with nothing to offer that one should rely on.

      • My wife and I have been oil and gas investors/people since 1983. I do not know who is correct, but the trend since the beginning has always been there was always more than they were letting on in one type of disclosure and less than they were letting on in another type of disclosure.

  11. Nature: Climate science must sharpen its view. Climate science needs to define its next frontiers [link]

    Agree! The focus needs to be on collecting, analysing and debating the evidence to define and calibrate impact functions by sector and region and similarly for damage functions.

    One important area of research would be to collect the paleo evidence of the mass of carbon tied up in the biosphere through the past 500 Ma and plot this versus temperature (preferably by latitude).

    • I suspect that won’t do you much good unless you also have an estimate of the CO2 converted into carbonate rocks, coal, kerogen, and hydrocarbons. That requires a volumetric estimate every million years. And I don’t think we have it pinned that accurately.

      • I think you may not have understood my point. I am interested in the mass of C tied up in the biosphere at different time in the past, and different temperatures, as an indicator of how productive biomass is a different temperatures. My conclusions (supported by statement in AR4) is there is more Carbon tied up in biomass at higher temperatures and the area of continental aridity is less. these suggest to me that there is no significant threat to humanity or to life on Earth from even 5 C warming. But much more research is needed to quantify this. See the fourth comment down from here: https://judithcurry.com/2016/11/25/week-in-review-science-and-policy-edition-3/#comment-826494

      • Correction: I meant “biosphere” not “biomass”

      • Got it, you wish to consider the biosphere subset of the carbon cycle, and to calibrate it you want to look back over a 500 million time span. (Right?). But over that time period there has been a huge amount of CO2 turned into rock, and huge deposits of coal, oil and gas sequestered a bunch of co2 as well. This throws a bit of a kink in your data. Maybe you meant 500 thousand years?

      • fernandoleanme,

        Wrong. You completely misunderstand. I suspect you did not bother to refer to the link I gave you,did you?

      • I looked it over. I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how your comments are related. Better drop the subject.

    • In that publication, “How the anthropogenic carbon is processed in the climate system has crucial and poorly understood components both in the short and the long term.” Current anthropogenic carbon production of 10Gt in an environment that produces 200Gt, ie 5% of annual carbon production being anthropogenic as noted in the Gaia paper earlier this week and on the spreadsheets at http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/index.htm shown in splits etc, is itself clearly poorly understood. CO2 concentration increases in the atmosphere monitored in Hawaii and Tasmania show the 280-400ppm and the increase is attributed to human industry and landuse.
      All terminology refers to levels as “pre-industrial” and that provides an unstated assumption that the difference is due to “industrialisation”
      The preponderance of biosphere emissions are not provided an attribution, it seems, and the point is raised by:

      aaron | January 22, 2017 at 12:48 pm |
      Did they consider that CO2 causes the biosphere to grow and that as the biosphere grows it consumes more CO2?

      Part of that in both consumption of of CO2 and the production of it by life is illustrated by
      Rapid plankton growth in ocean seen as sign of carbon dioxide loading http://hub.jhu.edu/2015/11/26/rapid-plankton-growth-could-signal-climate-change/

      Australia’s “Red Centre” is green after the rains at the end of El Nino, and other palces are also abundant with life. Cold water upwelled in neutral and La Nina brings top the suface for warming a nice amont of issolved CO2.

      So before going all over the place, and becoming confusing, I would like there to be published like anthro CO2 profuction, the annual outgassing and boilogical production of CO2. This would allow us to see the total emissions, and consider what contribution is made by human activity, and consider what emissions are retained and what are utilised.


    • From the responses to my comment here https://judithcurry.com/2017/01/21/week-in-review-science-and-policy-edition-5/#comment-835183 I now realise I did not provide sufficient background for readers to understand the reason for this paragraph; i.e.:

      One important area of research would be to collect the paleo evidence of the mass of carbon tied up in the biosphere through the past 500 Ma and plot this versus temperature (preferably by latitude).

      The reasoning is that we need to know if GW (whatever the cause) will do more harm or more good, be dangerous, or be catastrophic.

      This chart shows that GMST was 5C to 13C warmer than present for most (i.e. around 60%) of the past 542 Ma.

      More on this here: https://judithcurry.com/2016/11/25/week-in-review-science-and-policy-edition-3/#comment-826495

      And I understand paleo evidence shows that life thrived through much warmer times than now (e.g. 5-10C warmer than 2016 GMST).

      I suggest we need the evidence quantified to prove or disprove whether or not life thrived more in warmer times. One way to do this would be to quantify how much carbon was tied up in the biosphere when GMST was at different temperatures. I argue, climate scientists, geologists and palaeontologists should have been studying this for the past 30 years. Perhaps they have. Can anyone provide a link to such evidence??

      These statements from IPCC AR4 WG1 show something like this has been done before:

      Lower continental aridity during the Mid-Pliocene


      There is evidence that terrestrial carbon storage was reduced during the LGM compared to today.

      Mass balance calculations based on 13C measurements on shells of benthic foraminifera yield a reduction in the terrestrial biosphere carbon inventory (soil and living vegetation) of about 300 to 700 GtC (Shackleton, 1977; Bird et al., 1994) compared to the pre-industrial inventory of about 3,000 GtC. Estimates of terrestrial carbon storage based on ecosystem reconstructions suggest an even larger difference (e.g., Crowley, 1995). Simulations with carbon cycle models yield a reduction in global terrestrial carbon stocks of 600 to 1,000 GtC at the LGM compared to pre-industrial time (Francois et al., 1998; Beerling, 1999; Francois et al., 1999; Kaplan et al., 2002; Liu et al., 2002; Kaplan et al., 2003; Joos et al., 2004).


  12. Climate projections calculated in this paper indicate that the future atmospheric CO2 concentration will not exceed 610 ppm in this century; and that the increase in global surface temperature will be lower than 2.6 °C compared to pre-industrial level even if there is a significant increase in the production of non-conventional fossil fuels. Our results indicate therefore that the IPCC’s climate projections overestimate the upper-bound of climate change.



    • Eyeballing from Figure 2, for RCP6, I estimate total emissions from fossil fuels this century would be about 1100 GtC. This is less than 20% of the 6000 GtC William Nordhaus estimates is available to be burnt.

      This is a large difference. Who is correct?

  13. Dr. Judith, thanks as always for an interesting post. This one is missing its link.

    Read this Classic Review of Uncertainty in Data Visualisation [link]

    The link is


    and it is a very nice piece of work.


    • Geoff Sherrington

      Thank you, Willis, indeed nice,
      Visualisation of uncertainty and uncertainty of visualisation.
      I was reading this sleepless, febrile at 4am when I saw some words that asked me to create an example. At that moment I had covered a shoulder with a sheet, so I used that act.
      The purpose of the sheet move was to eventually provide info on whether or when I should later remove, keep, or thicken it, presumably to force a comfort level. Possibly, the need for the sheet was driven by a body change related to temperature. If it was, was it that I sensed a temperature, a change in temperature, or an acceleration of temperature? Variables like mass and momentum occurred, skip to Heisenberg 1927 and be firmly in the realm of uncertainty. But maybe my sheet response was not to temperature, but to skin evaporation/moisture – again, its value, its change, its acceleration, back to Heisenberg.
      Big question, if uncertainty is to be applied to a problem, how is one sure that the proper players are present? Was in temperature or was it evaporation, was it more, do we know them, are they linear in behavior, do they interact at first or second or more order, how do we measure errors in each and correctly propagate the errors mathematically through this now-complicated thought chain?
      Traditionally, scientists have mostly started with the main object of their study, assumed it not to be free of uncertainty, then by various ways have assigned an uncertainty. Then add in that from a few more variables that seem in play. Start from the centre, work outwards with increasing uncertainty until you reckon not much more can go wrong. State your uncertainty in any of several traditional ways and go have a beer.
      We have seen for some time that to work from the centre outwards typically understates actual uncertainty. Think laterally, can one calculate uncertainty from the outside inwards? First assume the uncertainty is so great that the effect you study is illusory, in your mind and not real world. But you have seen in many times in many places, so it is real. Narrow your uncertainty. Gather as many relevant past examples as you can and study their variability. Tabulate as many possible exogenous variables as you can, give each an uncertainty and propagate those errors, combining them towards the centre. Do you get sense or nonsense?
      I do not know. Fell asleep before the answer and cannot revive it today. But, is there any meat in the thought that we should look more at the methods of starting from the outside and working inwards?
      Clearly, much is at stake with huge $$$ decisions coming from customary estimation of uncertainty, as in many climate studies, that the passage of time shows that policies were made on estimates that were expensively wrong. Do we need better ways, what are they?

  14. Aid in reverse: how poor countries develop rich countries [link]

    Once again the Guardian discovers the real world:


    How to stop the above? Look at the U.S. box. I don’t see that they are doing anything wrong. Ship X of product and get paid X. I don’t know why they just don’t bill the importer directly though? It might be part of the importers terms.

    Now we audit the importer. We go directly to the U.S. exporter to get the invoices. We compare them to the importer’s invoices. They are caught. If the exporter does not co-operate with the audit of the importer, then what? If the importer can not prove the invoices from a second source, where are they, I mean what happens to them? The middle man at the top of the triangle has fraudulent information and is assumed to be a terrible source as well.

    The law could say, importers must enter into audit disclosure agreements with who they buy from and require them to post a bond to help make sure they do.

    The crime is committed by someone in India. Is a U.S. Corporation the exporter and importer too? If so, and if it is an S & P 500 company it will be audited annually. And all the invoices, fakes and real are available. And the scam would be figured out 99 times out of 100. Just the diagram itself without dollar values tells the auditors to triple the teams size and points them to where to look.

    What am I missing? Are we trying to get the money out of India? I am not seeing it.

  15. “New outlooks suggest the next #solarcycle could be as weak as the current one–the least active in more than 100 yrs”

    The new centennial low is more active than the previous, as it has happened for the last three centennial lows, as we approach the millennial high.

    The lower than average solar activity is likely to contribute to a continuation of the pause.


  16. “Research for the Copenhagen Consensus, the think tank I direct, has shown that spending just $9 billion on 1,900 seawater-spraying boats could prevent all of the global warming set to occur this century. It would generate benefits – from preventing the entire temperature increase – worth about $20 trillion. That is the equivalent of doing about $2,000 worth of good with every dollar spent.”

    Let’s do it. It seems safe to me. Maybe the Koch Brothers will pay for it. What if it worked? There’d be nothing left. It would be over. We saved humanity. Scale it back. For $900 million you’d get 190 boats. It would be Epic. We could experiment with in the ENSO region. It’s safe. You could build these cloud makers on the California coast and save that state. On sunny summer days, fire them up and less A/C use.

    • Good idea Ragnar. A simple experiment for $1 trillion – i.e. less than the annual cost of the “climate industry”.

      However, in reality, it’s already over. The CAGW alarmists are now the Flat-Earthers, denying reality and avoiding the relevant faxcts. Just watch the antics of those like Jim D and Mosher, dodging and weaving and trying to defend their ideological beliefs.

    • The atmosphere responds to whatever happens. If you try to cool the earth with water spraying boats, the atmosphere will respond and counter your actions. Listen to Bill Grey 1:10 into this presentation.
      Bill Grey’s comments were well said by one who does understand a lot of this stuff. That is why I did talk to him. His estimate of warming due to doubling of CO2 were realistically very low. It is sad that he is gone. He said he will be pushing up daisies before this gets resolved, he was right. I hope that is not true for all of the rest of us.

      Bill Grey talks at 1:10, near the end.

      Don’t waste our tax money on your mostly useless water spraying boats.

  17. “Nature article about Will Happer, apparently under consideration for a position in the Trump administration.” The link takes you to another page ” Column: World View.”
    The article link is here http://www.nature.com/news/rumours-swirl-about-trump-s-science-adviser-pick-1.21336.
    “Climate sceptic William Happer and ardent critic of academia David Gelernter have met with the president…Happer, an emeritus professor at Princeton, is no stranger to government: he directed energy research at the US Department of Energy from 1991 to 1993 and is a long-time member of JASON, a US defence advisory group. He is also a well-known critic of mainstream climate science and as such, a frequent target of environmental activists … (Nature editorializes) …. his views on climate change are outside the mainstream, (but) colleagues say that Happer is a solid physicist who has excelled at previous posts … He cares deeply about the country, and he is a very principled person.”

  18. Regime Change

    Eastern Pacific Jan 19, 1999:


    Eastern Pacific Jan19, 2017:


    To understand the impact of decadal variability in the Pacific on global and regional climate, one only needs
    to look at the last 16 years. In the late 1990s the tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs) transitioned to a La Niña-like cool phase, reversing the El Niño-like conditions that had persisted since the late 1970s.

    The pause fooled a lot of really smart people; the skeptic frolic is over. We getting hot really fast… just catching up:

    These results suggest that sea surface temperature pattern-induced low cloud anomalies could have contributed to the period of reduced warming between 1998 and 2013, and offer a physical explanation of why climate sensitivities estimated from recently observed trends are probably biased low.

  19. From “The sea isn’t actually ‘level’
    “The ocean is continually adjusting itself so that its surface – the sea level – feels the same gravitational pull everywhere (called an equipotential surface).”
    Elsewhere someone [Carrick?] put up a view of the earth as an oblate spheroid. It looked quite unusual.
    It is not smooth like a billiard bal,l it is quite misshapen.
    What intrigued me was why we did not have areas of land a 100 kilometers or more in height at the lumpy bits.
    Still puzzled. Is the quote right or does the sea creep up the bulgy bits of the world?
    I would have thought the gravity at sea level varies from place to place dependent on the underlying density hence the quote the same gravitational pull everywhere is wrong.
    Bu the concept of water creeping up hills due to sideways drag is intriguing.

    • Actually the Earth is smoother than a typical billiard ball. The total surface variation less than 16 miles with a diameter of 8000 miles. That is very smooth. Also, both the oceans and the atmosphere are very thin films. These facts are often overlooked because we are so tiny.

      • “Also, both the oceans and the atmosphere are very thin films.”
        Thanks for pointing that out.
        “The total surface radius variation less than 16 miles with a diameter of 8000 miles.”
        I think a billiard ball would be much better than that, 1 in 500.
        21.38 km difference still gives a 10.5 K rise at the equator, why is the ocean not very deep at the poles and a lot more shallow at the equator?

      • The animation is of gravity anomalies.

  20. “Aid in reverse”:
    As far as I understand this this is just a social justice propaganda piece.
    Aside from that it is testimony of the unfortunate institutional setup there.
    Net capital export is equal to a corresponding trade surplus (otherwise there wouldn’t be any capital to export since those countries can’t make dollars).
    Total dollar inflow will be much higher.
    This is just about the risk premium for doing business there and corruption.
    Clean up the legal institutions and governance in those countries and this will be much reduced. Stopping those illegal outflows may only reduce investment and hamper development under current conditions. Too risky there without the illegal bonus.

    • An insightful analysis. Thanks. I worry about policies in many developing countries that attempt to grow by trade surplus. Oftentimes, it seems these countries are using their scarce resources to produce goods for developed countries and then selling the goods at a discount through activities such as currency manipulation–kind of a Robin Hood in reverse (taking from the poor and giving to the rich).

      • what is a developing country supposed to do to get enough foreign currency to be able to buy newer infrastructure?

        Yes, it is possible for them to bootstrap everything, but that is an extremely slow process.

        Until you have the infrastructure and education in place to be able to sell labor over the Internet, you are very limited in what you can sell, you basically have the tourist industry or selling raw materials.

        As you develop industry, you are still very unlikely to be cheaper at producing something that the more modern factories in the developed world. You will probably start off by acquiring production equipment that’s considered obsolete in the more developed countries. It’s obsolete because it can’t compete head-to-head with the newer equipment

        The low labor costs may give you a (temporary) slight edge here, but in practice, you are more likely to be trying to produce for the local market than being able to compete with china.

        But, as the old saying goes, it takes money to make money. the people with money are able to invest in the equipment, shipping, and training of local workers, and as such, they are entitled to the profits from taking the risk. This means that the rich get richer. Eventually, the infrastructure and education can get to the point where a middle class can develop and it becomes much easier for people to get started, but it takes time to get there.

        I am not saying that there isn’t corruption. There is FAR too much corruption in most cultures, and it acts as a brake on progress. The Magana Carta was a revolutionary document in that it was the start of the formalization of the idea that the laws apply to everyone. If a culture actually acts this way, they make FAR more progress than ones that don’t

  21. Entertainingly and excruciatingly ironic post by Keith Kloor complaining of Greenpeace attacks on his name.
    So sad that the correct conclusion is not drawn: that ad hominem attacks – in support of whatever – are indicative only of a desire to win. Not of any type of scientific fact, certainty or even reasonable likelihood of veracity.

    • I wish Keith would apply the same clear-eyed analysis to Climate Change. He’s been on the verge a couple of times.

      • As Scott Adams – Dilbert guy – said: there’s too much at risk commercially to not believe in Climate Change. I’d guess that goes multiples for a journalist.

      • Ticketstopper – true enough. Look at Andy Revkin. He’s been threading the needle, or trying to, for years. He’s a skeptic deep down, but if one is to make a career out of CC that’s not going to work, with a couple of salient exceptions.

  22. The link does not work

    New paper finds sea level in Israel was 1m higher than present during the last interglacial ~200K years ago [link]

  23. An Ice Shelf Is Cracking In Antarctica, But Not For The Reason You Think [link]

    The ice in the NH and in the SH flows and reflects and melts and cools their respective hemispheres. This is part of the natural cycle. When earth is warmer, the sea ice thaws and the ice shelves break off. That allows the oceans to lap right up near the shores and massive ocean effect snowfall rebuilds the land ice. When the land ice volume and weight are sufficient, the flow rate increases and the ice shelves grow and sea ice forms and cuts off the ocean effect snowfall from reaching land. Then the ice on land flows and depletes until the flow rate becomes less than the melt and break-off rate. That happened during the little ice age and that caused warming since then. We are now in another warm period and the ice will now be replenished. This warming was normal, natural and necessary. This is how ice cycles work. Warm and Cold periods must alternate, there is no stable equilibrium in between. When temperature is in between, it is always a time of advancing or retreating ice. Study the ice core data for Greenland and Antarctic. Ice accumulation is always highest in warmest times and ice accumulation is always lowest in coldest times. Conventional Alarmist Theory and much Skeptic Theory builds ice after something causes cold. Earth builds ice the most during the warmest times when oceans are more thawed. This is Occam Razor Simple, look at actual ice core data.

    • “This is how ice cycles work. Warm and Cold periods must alternate, there is no stable equilibrium in between. When temperature is in between, it is always a time of advancing or retreating ice.”

      I am not disagreeing with you. What if there was an equilibrium? That was constantly being overshot by the climate. The equilibrium would be the strange attractor. The climate would orbit the attractor alternating between warm and cool. On the glacial/interglacial scale the orbit would be elliptical. Like a comet’s. As glacials last longer.

      Wandering down another road, The Earth is closest to the Sun on about January 4. A water planet is suggested to store heat in its oceans during the closest approach to the Sun and release some of it slowly thereafter. The Southern oceans would arguably warm each year and store some of that. Seems good for capturing energy. The NH might not do so well with that if the closest approach was during July with so much more land when compared to the SH. All things being equal, a water planet would do better with more elliptical orbits.

      • it snows more when it is warmest, it snows less when it is coldest, this happens when earth is closest to the sun and when earth is not closest to the sun.
        If you are not disagreeing with me, then you are agreeing with me.

        What if there was an equilibrium? That was constantly being overshot by the climate. The equilibrium would be the strange attractor. The climate would orbit the attractor alternating between warm and cool.

        Clearly there is not any kind of equilibrium. There is a stable well bounded cycle.

      • Popesclimatetheory:

        I think there’s an average temperature going back say 400,000 years. Through a number of long cycles. This average could be thought of as the value of the strange attractor assuming no changes during this time frame. One can make an equation where most values converge on the equilibrium as they spiral into that or one where they orbit the same point that the equilibrium sits at. Like Lorenz did. The Earth orbits the Sun. Its average position is what? I’d say pretty close to the Sun or in it, though I may be torturing the definition of average. What is the equilibrium position of the Earth? We could say there is none. Or there is one and the Earth will not reach for a more than a billion years because of the vector arrow that all stable orbiting bodies have, its forward speed. There is this place the Earth is trying to get to but one of its vector arrows prevent that. This place is our Sun.

      • There are cycles, there is no equilibrium temperature! There are regular well bounded cycles, the cycle bounds have changed, but there were always bounded cycles.

      • We have water and ice. It snows more in warm times and builds the ice too much and then it gets cold. It snows less in cold times and the ice depletes too much and it gets warm. This does not achieve an equilibrium, it achieves a well bounded cycle. Look at the ice core data for Antarctic and Greenland. Cooling it turned on when needed and turned off when not needed. Just like the cooling in your house. The Air Conditioner turns on when the temperature exceeds the thermostat set point. The earth thermostat set point is the temperature that polar sea ice thaws. When it is warmer that, the ocean effect snowfall is turned on. When it is colder than that, the ocean effect snowfall is turned off.

    • When earth gets too warm, polar oceans thaw and increases ocean effect snowfall on land and it snows more until earth gets cold.

      When earth gets too cold, polar oceans freeze and ocean effect snowfall on land decreases and it snows less until earth gets warm.

      It is really is this Occam Razor Simple

  24. Most debate centres on how the new political order threatens scientific knowledge and research funding, or downgrades climate-change policy.

    That is why we did elect Trump, to downgrade climate-change policy. That was also a goal of Brexit. The world will soon be on a better path.

  25. The Trump Admin has issued a freeze on new or pending regulations. Here is the text of the order: http://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000159-be8f-da97-a9dd-becf15ae0001

    Mind you this is not new, in fact it has become standard transition practice. But it gets good attention. What is really needed is to reform OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (which I helped set up many years ago). OIRA is supposed to block bad regulations but they have slowly become ineffective rubber stampers.

  26. I did some research on David Gerlenter. He seems to have suffered a slanderous attack by the Washington Post but to be a very interesting person with a good critique of the University establishment in the US.

    • “I did some research on David Gerlenter.”
      Not much. His name is actually David Gelernter. It’s typical here that we get a link to a right wing magazine, but no actual link to the Washington Post (no link there either). Consequently, no one gets his name right. The same mis-spelling carries through the echo chamber.

    • Hmmm. “seems to have suffered a slanderous attack…”

      Which was the slanderous part, when they described how he finds Jewsish academics responsible for all that ails society?


    • I just cut and pasted the name from Judith’s post. You are aware that Google will correct spelling errors when you do a search. What was the most enlightening was reading the top reviews on Amazon of his book. They were very complete. I also read another article about his very wide ranging intellectual interests.

    • For anyone interested in the intellectual product that would qualify him for the position.


    • “I just cut and pasted the name from Judith’s post”
      Exactly. I’m sure she just copied from American Interest. That’s the echo chamber effect. There is no link to the original WashPost, from here or AI. So no-one gets to see what they actually said about DG, let alone how Gelernter is spelt.

      I am sensitized to the spelling because I once sat an exam involving Linda, his parallel computing system.

      • Nick ==> You can have the National Review link or the semi-attack article in Nature. Or try Time Magazine, which labels him “the Arch-Genius, David Gelernter”.

        Even my ten-year old granddaughter knows how to use Google, all by herself.

      • “knows how to use Google”
        So do I. And I knew plenty about Gelernter anyway. The point is that no-one else in this chain seems to have used it. They just passed on the same alt-facts with the same alt-spelling.

        The article was, I gather, supposed to be about the terrible things the WP was saying about him. But there is no way provided to find out what they were, from the source. No-one seems interested in that. Only in how mean the WP is being to him.

      • Nick ==> Had you gone to the link at American Interest, and read carefully, they link to Yuval Levin’s piece, Fiercely Ridiculous, which includes a link to the original WashPo article by Sarah Kaplan.

        One just has to be interested enough to do one’s own part in the learning process. In this case, read the linked piece, if one wants more than that, follow the additional links offered.

      • Kip,
        Yes, the echo chamber is a high Q resonator, but not totally enclosed. But again, the alt-spelling is a good guide to how far alt-facts can go without contacting the outside world.

      • Nick, The WashPost link also came up in Google near the top and I saw it. It seemed to be a transparent smear job like so many we see in the American media. In case you don’t follow these things, the media is almost the least respected group in America coming just above lawyers. That is a well deserved lack of respect. In the 1930’s, the press was Conservative and hated Roosevelt. It was called “yellow journalism.” Some however were also ardent apologists for Stalin such as Jimmy Durante. Now they have become establishment shills for political correctness and open advocates for Democrats. Ironically, Gelernter’s critique of the University establishment is equally applicable to the establishment press.

    • It’s interesting that he’s a Unabomber bomb survivor… badly injured. D. Gelernter… from what I can find, has not published science in quite awhile. Is that right? If so, perhaps makes him a bit of a one-hit wonder.

      • JCH,
        The bomb was a long time ago, and I don’t know how much long term effect it had but he was badly hurt. ; He has certainly written plenty since. In 1989 when I was studying this stuff, Linda was all the rage, and computer academics were getting theses written on implementation. It was very elegant, but architectures went for clusters etc which favored simpler protocols like MPI. Since then his writings seem more meta, and less on actual coordination etc. In a way, Linda probably lives on somewhere in the cloud.

  27. This entry on the list “Cold Comfort: A History of Firewood, Ice Storms, and Hypothermia in Canada” is from January 2014 — missing the date at the top will cause confusion when reading. It is interesting nonetheless.

    • John Carpenter

      The Lennart Bengtsson link is also old. The article is dated May 2014. Not sure why it made the cut.

  28. Pingback: Is there a climate equilibrium, a strange attractor? | Accountable Chaos

  29. New paper finds the warmest periods past 800 years in Scotland were in 1300’s, 1500’s, and 1730’s, NOT 20th century [link]

    And yet, the AGW alarmists last three years in a row were the warmest temperatures on record in Alaska. Something is rotten in Denmark. The real question is, who funds weather channel to broadcast global warming propaganda?

    What are the details of the adjustments to the surface temperature record that have somehow reduced recorded temperatures from the 1930s and 40s, and thereby enabled continued claims of “warmest year ever” when raw temperature data show warmer years 70 and 80 years ago?  Suddenly, the usual hand-waving (“the science is settled”) is not going to be good enough any more.  What now? ~Francis Menton

    • So tree rings are popular again? What was not mentioned here was their caveat:
      “Within the context of reconstruction uncertainty, recent summertime warming is not significantly more pronounced than past reconstructed warm periods (e.g. around 1300 and 1500). The reliability of these earlier periods should, however, be viewed with caution.”

      • In fact, the extreme cold (and warm) years observed in NCAIRN appear more related to internal forcing of the summer North Atlantic Oscillation. (ibid.)

      • Nick

        You may remember my reconstruction of CET from a few years ago


        Scotland is likely to generally follow the climate of the rest of Britain. See figure 11 when this warmth in the 1530 period can be clearly seen. Also see my conclusions towards the end of the paper especially numbers 5and 8.

        The warmth in the 1730 decade is well documented by many people including Phil Jones whereby it was the warmest decade until the 1990 decade.

        I am currently researching the 13 and 14th century and confirm there were periods of extreme warmth. Ruined habitation and tree lines at elevations higher than to day can be seen to this day in various parts of the UK


    • And yet, the AGW alarmists last three years in a row were the warmest temperatures on record in Alaska.

      The alarmists only use data from the instrumented thermometer era, the last 130 years. By that standard, they may be right, or close enough.

      They ignore the data from the past ten thousand years that had many warmer times than now.

  30. Ancient warm period things at bigger than expected sea level rise. I think they might be drawing the wrong conclusion here? [link]

    The caption under the picture at the start of this article:

    A woman is battered by a wave as he walks along the seafront in New Brighton, northern England Thomson Reuters

    Does anyone read what they write?

    Ancient warm periods had larger sea level rises, the modern ten thousand year warm periods don’t do that anymore. The new normal is the new normal. Get used to the new normal, that is what we will deal with in the future.

  31. From the article:

    A Skeptic’s View on Climate Models


    • Earth’s carbon cycle is more than sufficient to convince any ardent skeptic of that irrefutable fact. The planet is warming and humans are the primary drivers.

      Climate changes in natural cycles and we do not cause them. We did not cause the Roman Warm Period, we did not cause the Medieval Warm Period and this modern warm period was caused by ice extent retreats that are exactly the same as past warm periods.

      Warming from our carbon cycle will do nothing or it will cause faster warming that will thaw polar oceans sooner that will promote snowfall that will limit the upper bound of temperature, like it always does.

  32. From the article:

    The Fine Art of Sniffing Out Crappy Science


  33. Looking 3 to 5 years out instead of 30 to 50, weather forecasters base projections for temperature and precipitation on a reference period based on the conditions as they prevailed over the previous three complete decades. So, going forward we’re looking back to the 1981 through 2010. It makes sense as our most accurate estimate of what we can expect tomorrow is what happened today and it just gets worse beyond that. What we expect from the sun going forward makes forecasting even more problematical. Even so, based on minimal sunspot numbers falling to lows ahead, I am predicting record snows in Jan/Feb 2020.

    • You’re being such an alarmist. Mountains of human beings die from the cold. Why are you scaring everybody?

      • People who don’t believe won’t be alarmed and anyone else has time to adapt– e.g., stock up on rag wool socks.

      • “Mountains of human beings die from the cold”
        Of course, that’s correlation, not causation ( “Mountains of human beings die during the cold, which may or may not be from the cold” ).

        But there are causal factors for why this may be so.
        1. Respiratory and digestive viruses tend to flourish in cold and die in heat. That’s why you get disease distributions such as this:
        ( The ‘flu’ shortened from the Italian ‘influenza de freddo’ -> “influence of the cold” )

        2. Human immune response to cold leads to increased vulnerability to non-infectious causes of death, including heart disease and cancer.

        There is a reason people retire to Florida and Arizona when they get old.

      • And there a reason the elderly in Minnesota outlive them.

      • The coldest state in the contiguous United States is Minnesota… according to Ragnaar. They live even longer in Canada, which might be even colder that the contiguous United States.

      • <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6228a1.htm?s_cid=mm6228a1_whttp://#fig1"HLE ( Healthy Life Expectancy at age 65 ) looks pretty good for Arizona and Florida also:

        Probably a good indicator that lifestyle choices are more important than climate. And we know that since climate/weather deaths don’t even make the top lists as a cause of mortality.

        So people worry about climate change which doesn’t matter, and don’t worry about what they smoke/drink/eat/do or who they sleep with does matter.

      • Too funny. Maybe a veterinarian will come by and explain it.

      • Surely the quality of the housing and its insulation properties will be a major reason for dying by cold. In Britain, until recent decades, insulation standards were often poor and there was a high mortality of the elderly living in sub standard homes or through not being able to afford adequate heat, as our energy costs have become extremely high . Canadian insulation standards have always been good I would suspect. I can not comment on individual American states.

        Improving insulation and reducing energy costs is a win win situation


      • the elderly in Minnesota outlive them? What’s your logic: the elderly outlive the less elderly? In any event, Hawaii takes top honors with a life expectancy of 81.3 years.” Even the non-elderly!

      • Wanna live? Those who cannot fit into Hawaii, should race to Minnesota. If it’s full, head for the warmth of the Dakotas. All you need is a teepee.

      • The cold may be coming to you so enjoy global warming while it lasts

      • Or maybe life expectancy doesn’t have all that much to do with Climate in a nation with access to modern home climate control. In which case, there may be some other contributing factors that are more important.


      • The thing is, global warming is not likely to reduce winter death rates. In fact, in a state like Minnesota, global warming might cause more winter deaths.

        How is Hawaii more like Minnesota than other balmier states?

      • “The thing is, global warming is not likely to reduce winter death rates. In fact, in a state like Minnesota, global warming might cause more winter deaths.”

        Because it makes a good scare story? or did you have any actual evidence for that claim that you just forgot to mention?

        I’m pretty sure the indoor thermostats in Minnesota are set to about the same as they are in Arkansas, and people spend only 7% of their time outdoors ( probably a lot closer to 0% in extreme winter or extreme summer ) so probably outdoor temperature is not all that significant.

        And people die more from things other than infectious disease than they used to:

        Never the less, more people die in winter and fewer people die in summer and I suspect that still occurs in MN as well as all mid-latitudes.

      • @JCH
        “Too funny. Maybe a veterinarian will come by and explain it.”

        This one explains it very well, based on tens of millions of deaths, over many countries/continents:

        “Cold weather kills 20 times as many people as hot weather, according to an international study analyzing over 74 million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries.”


        Clearly, “a bit warmer” would save lives, tons of them, with respect to “a bit colder”… and so I understand the sticker I’ve seen on a pickup truck some time back…. “Canadians for Global Warming”… :-)

      • An outstanding feature of the climatic regime of Hawaii is the small annual temperature range. In downtown Honolulu the warmest month is August, with an average temperature of about 78° F the coldest, February, around 72° F – the range between the coldest and warmest months averages only 6° F. At Hilo the range is 5.0° F and at Lihue, 8.0° F. It seems likely that the range does not exceed 9° F at any location in Hawaii below and elevation of 5,000 feet. While annual temperature ranges are almost as small as this in a narrow zone bordering the coast of California, throughout virtually all the remainder of the United States they are very much larger.

        So you’re in International Falls. It’s 10 degrees F above zero. Tomorrow it’s going to be 20 degrees F below zero. How is this like Hawaii?

    • Based on history, I am predicting the future will have record warm years and record snow and cold years. What has happened before will happen again.

  34. When I see studies like the AGU extreme space weather one, I can’t help think what a waste of money. Seems like some Sci-Fi computer game for people with PhD’s.

    • timg56
      Seems like President Trump is ending lots of the Sci Fi computer games. Starting at EPA but likely throughout the administrations.

    • I’m waiting to see what effect Trump eventually has on wind and solar. It should be interesting.

      • “I’m waiting to see what effect Trump eventually has on wind and solar. It should be interesting.”

        I bet that those two technologies won’t be affected in the short run… behind them there are laws passed by Congress often with bi-partisan support… and lots of special interests in some states (the windy ones, especially).
        Problem is, they are marginal, as technologies… just look at the EIA data… and only their expansion at a scale beyond imagination would make a dent into the “killer” CO2 concentration, especially for PV.

  35. http://bit.ly/ClimateChangeUM
    Good blog post in regards to climate change, also good book with a chapter full of new weather discoveries and many many more new science discoveries.

  36. From the article:

    This National Park Is Defying Donald Trump With Climate Change Facts


  37. Trump’s favored method, after a few days of observing him, seems to be to summons the major corporation CEOs and tell them what do, while threatening to beat them down with customized taxes if they don’t. Government in action. The corporations thought they had free choice. Not so much in this new regime. Micromanagement by gubmint, more like. CEOs, meet the new boss.

    • The union reps were apparently quite happy that Trump is commandeering the industries to work more for them instead of for just profits. He is kind of right-wing nationalist and left-wing socialist at the same time, maybe a National Socialist, even.

    • Trump is a believer in the “invisible hand,” the unobservible market force that drives supply in the free market. Only he differs from the traditional definition of that term in that he thinks it should mean his small hand pushing government to tell businesses to do what he thinks they should do.

      It’s funny (and sad and pathetic) to watch all the putative libertarians and “limited government” “anti-statists” line up to support his as authauritaism.

      • The invisible hand only works if the paying field is level and the markets are truly free. Since that is not the case in the real world (regulations, tariffs, and massive wage differences among other things), the invisible hand doesn’t work perfectly.

        I don’t agree with everything Trump does by any means, but calling what he is doing ‘micromanaging’ the companies is drastically overstating things.

        In the long run (tens to hundreds of years), wages are going to end up evening out around the world (with variations due to local regulations/taxes), but in the short term they vary drastically, so a company with a short-term vision problem (which unfortunately is most of them today) can get short-term profit increases by moving production to parts of the world that have lower labor costs and ship the raw materials and finished products around the world as well. (as a side-note, the environmentalists should be in love with Trump as he is pushing to NOT ship so many products such large distances :-)

        Trump isn’t out to prevent companies from building factories around the world, he is just objecting to shutting down a factory in the US to build a replacement elsewhere and import the resulting products into the US to replace those that would have been build in the now shutdown factory. (and similar things with hiring remote IT workers to replace US based ones)

      • David –

        ==> I don’t agree with everything Trump does by any means, but calling what he is doing ‘micromanaging’ the companies is drastically overstating things. ==>

        Who did that? He seems to be on a road to comprehensively select and determine winners and loser in the economy by virtue of government interference.

        I think it is reasonable to have different perspectives on whether government involvement in the economy is categorically good or bad, or to what extent it might be good or bad depending on circumstance.

        I also think it is amusing to watch the double standards that people apply to evaluating the related costs and benefits.

        It is interesting that one of the few prominent politicians and pundits who displayed a consistency in that regard w/r/t Trump was Palin.

        ==> so a company with a short-term vision problem (which unfortunately is most of them today) can get short-term profit increases by moving production to parts of the world that have lower labor costs and ship the raw materials and finished products around the world as well. ==>

        I agree, in a general sense, that short-term thinking is a significant problem in the business sector, and a problem that has been growing over the last couple of decades. But rather than focus on surface-level fixes, such as through policies such as border taxes, I think it would net better return to focus on the underlying mechanism whereby company executives employ strategies of financial engineering, stock buy-backs, etc. to reap short term stock gains to line their pockets and those of their cronies. As a more specific example, the efforts to get companies to repatriate overseas cash by reducing corporate tax will likely not have the effect of increasing long-term thinking in our economy if those execs just turn right around and use that money in stock buy-back schemes. It will not increase wages or the number of good paying jobs if the money is plowed into more low-paying jobs in the service sector or into further automating the manufacturing sector.

        ==> Trump isn’t out to prevent companies from building factories around the world, he is just objecting to shutting down a factory in the US to build a replacement elsewhere and import the resulting products into the US to replace those that would have been build in the now shutdown factory. (and similar things with hiring remote IT workers to replace US based ones) ==>

        I find it interesting to see people who are willing to suspend their skepticism to explain why Trump is or isn’t doing what is his and isn’t doing. How do you know his motivations? Certainly, I can theorize about many different rationales to explain his policy initiative than the ones you offer, and I would suspect that if it were any politician who didn’t share as many ideological beliefs with you as Trump does, you would be more skeptical about the potential gaps between their proffered justifications and the justifications you deem likely.

      • Usually Republicans don’t like government interference in the free market as a principle they stand by. We’ll see how much of this they can take because it does limit the ways they can make profits when they can’t use cheaper labor. Maybe they can contract foreign-owned companies in other countries to supply them as a workaround.

      • > I find it interesting to see people who are willing to suspend their skepticism to explain why Trump is or isn’t doing what is his and isn’t doing. How do you know his motivations?

        how do all the people who claim that he is the next Hitler or Stalin and is out to take total control of all companies know his motivations?

        Why is your guess as to his motivations any better than mine?

        I may be wrong, but his actions so far match up with the motivations I am guessing far better than with the “trump is evil” motivations ascribed to him.

      • David –

        I didn’t presume to speculate on his motivations

      • J

        How do you know the ideology of the millions of voters who support him. Most of them don’t care about political theory. They just want to clowns in DC of both parties to DO something. Anything.

        Nothing that he does fits into tidy little boxes as we are used to guided by the right or left dichotomy
        Look at his history. It is branding and results and marketing. I don’t agree with some things he is doing but he doesn’t just sit there looking and sounding like a pretty boy.

      • Usually Republicans…

        Trump was a D just a few years ago.
        He won largely on the basis of support from the working poor and union workers in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

        Everything’s turned upside down.
        Rs, or at least Trump’s Rs are now are protectionist and labour.
        Ds now hate the poor and labor unions.

        Ds-> anti Keystone XL.
        Socialist Canadian Trudeau-> pro Keystone XL.

        Politics is always irrational posturing around the margins, but the issue locations of the posturings have moved.

      • I wish I were a “successful businessman” like Trump who could consult with the most intelligent cabinet in the history of the country – because then I might be able to understand how having American consumers pay an import tax = “Mexico paying for the beautiful wall.”

      • The wall payment is another sign he is making things up as he goes along. Now he says import tariffs will pay for the wall. After the outcry about US consumers footing the bill, he will say he really meant something else. This is how his policies go. They drift from one outcry to another. But he does seem to hear the outcries at least from the twitterzone that he inhabits. I am fairly sure that is where his healthcare-for-all plea is coming from. If you want him to listen, just launch a twitter campaign.

  38. Hmmm- AGW equates to a worsening climate?

    Is anyone aware of an analysis which established the key climate metrics for different regions of the USA/world? I recently moved back to Tucson AZ and was surprised how much greener it is today than 10 years ago.

    • Increasing CO2 concentrations are beneficial for the biosphere.

      Life thrived in warmer times in the past (60% of the past 542 Ma was more than 5C warmer than now).

      I interpret Richard Tol’s Figure 3 here http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/climate_change.pdf shows that, ignoring the hypothesised energy costs, global warming would be net beneficial to 4C or more. Sea level rise, severe storms, etc. are negligible costs (in perspective to global GDP).

      I doubt the energy costs.