Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Freshening of the Labrador Sea as a trigger for Little Ice Age development [link]

Twentieth-century Trends in the Annual Cycle of Temperature across the Northern Hemisphere [link]

New evidence that leads to wavy storm tracks w/enhancd intense central US summers [link]
Was the extreme Northern Hemisphere greening in 2015 predictable? [link]
New estimate of the current rate of sea level rise from a sea level budget approach [link]
The global engine that could.  New paper finds global warming reduces intense storms & extreme weather
Observed modes of sea surface temperature variability in the South Pacific region [link]
A primer on the “Polar Vortex”. 
Good overview article on whether Arctic ice loss is/will affecting mid-lat jet
New spatiotemporal reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere summer temperatures back to 750 CE [link
Explaining Unexpected Twists in the Sun’s Magnetic Field [link]
Global warming of 1°C increases cardiovascular mortality by 150000 additional deaths globally per year [link]
Long-term radiosonde temperature biases in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere [link]
High-end sea level rise probabilistic projection including rapid Antarctic ice sheet mass loss [link]
A tipping point in refreezing accelerates mass loss of Greenland’s glaciers and ice caps [link]
How the deep, cold currents of the Labrador Sea affect climate [link]
Coralline algae elevate pH at the site of calcification under ocean acidification [link]
Mongolia’s nomad herders facing winter disaster as temperatures plunge [link]
“Climate seesaw at the end of last glacial phase” finds “regional warming in Europe caused COOLING &snow in E Asia [link]
Policy and social sciences
Climate Services Are Not Enough: We Also Need Services To Explain Information Not Related to Climate [link]
CO2 emissions are not really “decoupling” from economic growth [link]
Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems [link
Why is there so much difference between carbon budget estimates? [link]
About science
Interesting look into industry influence on public university science [link]
Academic freedom and authority are fundamentally about responsibilities and public scholars must navigate with care. [link]
Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions. the book 
What Happens When an Archaeologist Challenges Mainstream Scientific Thinking? [link]
Why we believe obvious untruths [link]

132 responses to “Week in review – science edition

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

  2. As someone with a background in epidemiology these studies linking climate change to health conditions drive me bonkers. Kudos to the authors of “Cold- and heat-related mortality: a cautionary note on current damage functions with net benefits from climate change” for pointing out some of the biases and confounders involved in such projections which other people ignored but a rap the knuckles for not noting something as simple as a breakthrough in treatment or prevention changes everything so that this kind of study is probably utterly worthless even though they did get rid of some of the bias and confounders in previous work. I found only slightly more useful than Obama, a smoker, claiming his daughter’s asthma was caused by climate change.

    • I’m trying to remember, when the CargoCultist were repeatedly make this simplistic claim that warming will save lives because winter deaths would go down, you were saying what?

  3. Related to changes going on in the Greenland vicinity is this.
    “Hundreds Of Icebergs Have Clogged Shipping Routes In The North Atlantic”

    • Positive trends in ice bergs calving from glaciers indicate glacier growth. When a glacier shrinks, it recedes from the coast and stops creating ice bergs. But as your story states, it is primarily the wind.

      • It is an indicator of glacier acceleration, not growth. Acceleration is a loss process.

      • Jim

        You say ice bergs are an indicator of glacier acceleration. Quite right.

        This shows Original footage from 1922 British Pathe news reel Full titles read: “To Prevent Repetition Titanic Disaster – Ice “Patrol” now finds & warns all vessels of location of Icebergs brought down by abnormal heat from Greenland Coast.


        I wrote about this abnormal heat from 1910 to 1950 in my article. There are hundreds of links to scientific expeditions and research of the period in it. Lots of information about icebergs as they ‘accelerated due to the abnormal heat


      • Expect more and more often now, for obvious reasons. This is one of those things that show up in statistics over longer periods.

      • Jimd

        We had the same observation of lots of icebergs in the 1820 to 1855 period which I again wrote about in an article.

        Lots of icebergs in the first few decades of the 1700’s as noted by the Hudson bay co.

        The Russians recorded lots in the first few decades of the 1500’s


      • Now it is five times the historical average number since 1900. Interesting to see where it goes next. This is one of those signs of tipping points.

      • Jim

        Here are the figures


        Where do you get five times from?

        Also bear in mind the ice patrol only started around 1922. Up to then there was no serious coordinated counting of icebergs.

      • The article I linked said over 400 icebergs and the average for this time of year is only over 80.

      • What do you think glacial acceleration is if not increased growth? Glaciers are not precarious delicately balanced chunks of ice sitting on valley floors to be loosened and cascade downhill by a little melting in some sort of avalanche. The are not held back by the friction of the ground they scour to be loosened by melting. They accelerate from the weight of INCREASED precipitation at the glacier head, otherwise known as GROWTH.

        It is a receding glacier that stops calving.

      • You can do a Google search of glacial acceleration to find out more, but it is due to melting that they accelerate. Not a good sign.

      • Jim

        You have to average it over a century not just some selected years otherwise that is like confusing weather for climate


      • Steven Mosher

        “Also bear in mind the ice patrol only started around 1922. Up to then there was no serious coordinated counting of icebergs.

        Huh. you need to do more searching.

        There are records going back even further. Now, IF you liked the story those records told, then you would like those records.

        If the story those records told was a story you didnt like, then you would find a way to attack those records. any form of attack would suffice, because you can ALWAYS attack data.

      • climatereason, that’s what I mean. You need longer periods to get climate trends for extreme events. However, these alarming events do become less surprising, and almost expected, under climate change. They have to be prepared for bearing in mind that their frequency will increase, and to assume they won’t be different from the 20th century is plain wrong.

      • An increase in calving glaciers at the level of creating icebergs is caused by glacier growth at the head and nothing else. Glaciers do not melt from the top.

        I did the google search you requested and found advocacy articles, speculation, and proposed studies. There were studies of melt ponds increasing melting and ice mass loss WHICH FLOWS AS WATER, not icebergs. Seriously, just think about it. Lots of people speculate how the melt water from surface ponds could lubricate the base, but it’s just advocacy research as far as I could see.

      • Looks like you are reading the latest science about what causes acceleration and dismissing it out of hand, based on your own seat-of-the-pants feeling. I can’t help you.

      • Charles, you are wasting your time. Even when Jim D is plainly wrong he will assert that he is right.

  4. Challenge to main stream thinking. A fascinating story about how difficult it was for hard evidence challenging the Clovis first paradigm to become accepted. Clear analogs to CAGW.

  5. As usual the Hockey Schtick misreads the conclusions of the heat engine paper. What they say is
    “The paper adds to many others demonstrating that a warmer climate is a more benign climate with fewer extreme weather events, opposite the claims of climate alarmists.”
    What the paper says at the end is actually
    “This suggests that in a future climate, the global atmospheric circulation might comprise highly energetic storms due to explosive latent heat release, but in such a case, the constraint on work output identified here will result in fewer numbers of such events.”
    That is, as is said often of the coming climate change, the consequence is extreme events get even more extreme though fewer when the hydrological cycle slows down as predicted. This paper is not saying any different. Depends what you mean by “benign”. The paper does not use that word, but does use “explosive”.

    • I do not agree that the hydrological cycle will slow down.

      • How about that extreme events get more extreme in a warmer world?

      • Actually, correction, it may not slow down, but it becomes less efficient if evaporation doesn’t grow at the same rate as precipitable water, which leads to more floods and droughts.

      • jimd

        prove it.

        the evidence appears to show that the most extreme events occurred during the intermittent little Ice age. Surely that makes sense as there is a greater temperature difference between poles and equator and therefore greater energy to create extreme events.

        We are currently in a rather benign period of climate


      • We have not had a long enough record with climate change to show a statistically significant increase yet, except in a few local areas, but with several more degrees the signal in extreme events will be as obvious as the signal in temperature already is. These go together, but extreme events follow. Remember when they say “benign” they mean more “explosive”.

      • “It is a new way to look at and explain what people have observed,” said Liming Li, assistant professor of physics at the University of Houston and corresponding author of the paper. “We found that the efficiency of Earth’s global atmosphere as a heat engine is increasing during the past four decades in response to climate change.”
        In this case, increased efficiency isn’t a good thing. It suggests more potential energy is being converted to kinetic energy—energy that is driving atmospheric movement – resulting in a greater potential for destructive storms in regions where the conversion takes place. …

        Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-analyses-energy-explanation-climate.html#jCp

      • Thanks for this link, i hadn’t spotted it previously

      • Steven Mosher

        I do not agree with your disagreement that the hydrological cycle will slow down.

        arguing by asserting is fun… Its a game everyone can play !!

      • Trends were particularly pronounced in the southern hemisphere and over parts of Asia. Most of the warming is 30N-60N, so perhaps the trend is due to not so global not so warming?

      • I believe an explosive event due to latent heat release is called a thunderstorm. The tropics have really good ones, often daily.

      • JCH/curryja

        re: “Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-analyses-energy-explanation-climate.html#jCp

        The first line of the article reads: –

        “Researchers know that more, and more dangerous, storms have begun to occur as the climate warms.”

        But the most recent summary update from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (~3 weeks ago) under the heading “An Overview of Current Research Results: Has Global Warming Affected Hurricane or Tropical Cyclone Activity?” concludes: –

        “It is premature to conclude that human activities–and particularly
        greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming–have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity. That said, human activities may have already caused changes that are not yet detectable due to the small magnitude of the changes or observational limitations, or are not yet confidently modeled (e.g., aerosol effects on regional climate).”

        Furthermore, GFDL state elsewhere under the heading: “Historical Changes in Atlantic Hurricane and Tropical Storms: How well do we know the historical cyclone record?”

        “Existing records of past Atlantic tropical storm numbers (1878 to present) in fact do show a pronounced upward trend, correlated with rising SSTs (see Figs. 1 and 9 of Vecchi and Knutson 2008). However, the density of reporting ship traffic over the Atlantic was relatively sparse during the early decades of this record, such that if storms from the modern era (post 1965) had hypothetically occurred during those earlier decades, a substantial number would likely not have been directly observed by the ship-based “observing network of opportunity.” We find that, after adjusting for such an estimated number of missing storms, there is a small nominally positive upward trend in tropical storm occurrence from 1878-2006. But statistical tests reveal that this trend is so small, relative to the variability in the series, that it is not significantly distinguishable from zero (Figure 2). Thus the historical tropical storm count record does not provide compelling evidence for a greenhouse warming induced long-term increase.”

        So do researchers know there have been more and more dangerous storms due to climate warming, as Phys.Org boldly claims, or do they not know, as GFDL seem to be saying?

    • Paulius is one of the best researchers on topics of atmospheric thermodynamics

    • Jim–Observational evidence shows that is true only in your fears not reality

    • How about that extreme events get more extreme in a warmer world?

      If Arctic Amplification is a result of AGW, meridional temperature gradients will decrease. That means the kinetic energy of the jet stream decreases. So, if extreme events means severe thunderstorms, or intense mid latitude cyclones, then no, just the opposite would occur – these extreme events become less extreme in a warmer world. That’s certainly the case for seasonal variation – severe thunderstorms and intense mid-latitude cyclones diminish as summer wears on.

      The physics don’t support: “extreme events get more extreme in a warmer world”

      And, interestingly, the physics may also be contrary to even “extreme temperatures get more extreme in a warmer world”. That is so because of three factors:

      1. Arctic Amplification means destructive interference to the seasonal signal ( it increases the latent heat of freezing into the atmosphere in winter while taking roughly the same amount of latent heat of melting in summers ). This damps the amplitude of extreme temperatures, especially in the Arctic, but for the NH as a whole.

      2. The reduced gradient requires less exchange between pole and tropics to achieve equilibrium between the two. Reduced exchange reduces temperature variability.

      3. To the extent that a water vapor feedback occurs, the heat capacity of a given unit of air ( sensible and latent heat ) increases. That increases the efficiency of heat exchange, so the rate at which extreme variances of temperature are moderated by a given amount of mixing increases.

      • Arctic amplification only means faster sea-level rises and faster melting that threatens the strength of the AMOC (see Labrador Sea item). That can enhance the meridional gradient in the Atlantic and give more storms and cooler conditions in Europe.
        Warmer conditions also mean the air holds more water, so heavier rain extremes will become more common, and that doesn’t require a strong meridional gradient to happen. Meanwhile stationary conditions leading to droughts or long wet periods in the summer and long cold or snowy spells in the winter also would increase in frequency with a weaker meridional gradient. Not good news.

      • That (Hansen’s story) is bit more speculative, but if so, probably contradicts the Varvus paper above ( which I haven’t tried to plow through yet), so a nice bit unsettled science.

      • It is not that speculative because meltwater pulses already happened a couple of times since the last Ice Age.

      • It is not that speculative because meltwater pulses already happened a couple of times since the last Ice Age.

        The meltwater pulses were for periods of transition when summer time solar radiation increases over the ice sheets were much larger than even a doubling of CO2 would be.

        And those were from the Laurentide Ice sheet, not from Greenland, so, yeah, you’re imagining lots of things that don’t have an observed example.

        Further, when the speculation about this started, it was used as a story to explain the Younger Dryas: meltwater shutdown the atlantic merdional overturn. There is another story about the Younger Dryas, that it was induced by orographic, not by oceanic change. What happened was this:
        The Ice Sheet of North America ( up to 3km thick), while it accumulated in a cold period, at the same time prevented Arctic air masses from penetrating southward:

        As summer time solar radiance increased, the NA ice decreased, opening a passage between the Cordillerian and Laurentide sheets. Through this passage way, Arctic Air masses could pass south over North America ( and cool the Atlantic basin which influenced Europe ):

        Since Mountains are the most prominent determinant of circulation, particularly of the dense Arctic air masses which are often less than 1km deep, this makes a lot more sense to me.


      • TE, it seems you have decided that a meltwater pulse and an AMOC shutdown have zero probability despite the way the Greenland melt rate is steadily and measurably increasing, as can be seen from the sea-level rise rate item above. Physics, and history, suggest all that freshwater being dumped into the North Atlantic will have an effect on deep-water formation and consequently the Gulf Stream, if that has not already started, but sure, you can dismiss that as impossible even with the current Arctic warming rate.

      • TE, it seems you have decided that a meltwater pulse and an AMOC shutdown have zero probability despite the way the Greenland melt rate is steadily and measurably increasing, as can be seen from the sea-level rise rate item above.

        SLR is from thermal expansion and ground water extraction.
        Greenland’s ice mass hasn’t bean measured very long, but measurements indicate recent all time high:

        And of course, that’s consistent – the ice core data indicates that the higher the temperatures, the greater the ice accumulation rates.

        So, no, the above story doesn’t seem plausible, and contradicted by observations.

      • TE – You seem to be confusing Surface Mass Balance with Greenland ice sheet mass? See this explanation from the original source of your graphs:


        For an ice sheet that neither grows or shrinks, there is at all points averaged over the year a balance between

        the amount of snow that falls and is compressed to ice
        the amount of snow and ice that melts or evaporates (sublimates) and
        the amount of ice that flows away due to the ice motion

        The two first contributions make up the surface mass balance. For the ice sheet as a whole, there is a balance between the surface mass balance and the amount of ice that calves into the ocean as icebergs.

      • Sure, the ice accumulates, spreads, ablates, and melts at lower levels.

        But the GRIP data indicate a positive correlation – the higher the temperature, the greater the accumulation rate. And the meltwater pulses ( which invoked Greenland ice to begin with ) occurred from the continental ice sheets, not, evidently Greenland’s ice, even though summer time solar radiation was much higher over Greenland, not just for decades, but for millenia over the Holocene Climatic Optimum.

        Global warming is real, but it’s far too easy for people to imagine all kinds of disasters. These things aren’t readily testable. But if they don’t have precedent either seasonally or through events such as the HCO, they are suspect.

      • And, of course, there’s a good reason Greenland wasn’t a major source.
        That is, the mountains tend hold Greenland’s ice in place:

      • TE
        Great graphic of Greenland contours. It will take a long time to melt in lots of .001 *C warmest ever years.

        Activists so depend on wild claims and then naive public not paying attention.

      • The first graphic of Greenland’s topography I encountered was in the RealClimate replies (SIDD) – probably ten years ago. Oh those alarmists…

      • This study will help to understand the climate change in a broader perspective. The statistical analyses of the Lorenz energy cycle provide an important constraint on the climate change: the efficiency of Earth’s atmosphere as a heat engine increased in response to the climate change (for example, global warming). Recently, there have been discussions of the efficiency of Earth’s global atmosphere considered as a thermodynamic heat engine, in which the hydrological cycle was discovered to play an important role28,30. Our analyses suggest that the dissipation of kinetic energies related to the atmospheric circulation also significantly contributes to the temporal variations of the efficiency of atmospheric heat engine. Climate change triggers intensified eddy and storm activities45–49,59, which appear as increased eddy energies. …

      • TE – Here’s a graph of “Greenland’s ice mass”. You will no doubt have noted that it doesn’t “indicate [a] recent all time high”?


        You will also no doubt have noted that there are some significant gaps in “the mountains [that] tend hold Greenland’s ice in place”?

      • Yes, that is interesting though brief data. There’s evidence that the decade before GRACE incurred an increase in Greenland mass:

        I think that if you are seriously considering that Greenland’s ice will be lost, and soon, you need to rectify that idea with why Greenland’s ice was not lost for the millenia, not just decades, of much more intense summer solar radiation during the Holocene Climatic Optimum.

        Also the fact of the large ice accumulation rates in central Greenland:
        World War II Planes Found in Greenland In Ice 260 Feet Deep

        And the fact that the GRIP data indicate an increase in accumulation with increasing temperature.

        Now, Manabe said at one point that he was worried the idea of surface meltwater seeping in to sheath ice. One doesn’t have to invoke surface water to describe basal lakes, though – witness Antarctic under ice lakes. Accumulated geothermal energy can always create basal meltwater. But again, if this were such an effective process, why didn’t this destroy Greenland’s ice during the HCO?

    • Jim D: “This suggests that in a future climate, the global atmospheric circulation might comprise highly energetic storms due to explosive latent heat release, but in such a case, the constraint on work output identified here will result in fewer numbers of such events.”

      Total energy dissipation by storms will not increase; if there are some more energetic storms than now, they will be offset by reductions in the frequency, intensity, or duration of other storms.

      • One idea is that the frequency may reduce, but the storms at the tail of the distribution get worse because more energy is available to them by the time they can form even if they take longer to form.

      • Jim D: One idea is that the frequency may reduce,

        There is no reason to expect an increase in either frequency, intensity, or duration of cyclonic storms. There is reason to believe that total annual heat transfer through storms will remain approximately constant ( or decease due to diminished efficiency.) Hockey Schtick quoted accurately. If there is any unusually intense storm, it must be offset by decreased frequency, intensity, or duration in the other storms.

        Storms are powered by the difference in temperature between surface and atmosphere, not the total energy in either.

      • No, the point is that in a warmer climate there is more energy available to storms, especially latent heat. Think of every storm being that much stronger, and the unprecedented end of the spectrum expands.

      • No, the point is that in a warmer climate there is more energy available to storms, especially latent heat. Think of every storm being that much stronger, and the unprecedented end of the spectrum expands.

        Manabe and Wetherald, 1979:

        “The general warming and the increase of moisture content of air, which results from a CO2 increase, contributes to the large reduction of the merdional temperature gradient in the lower model troposphere because of 1) poleward retreat of highly reflective snow cover and 2) large increase in the poleward transport of latent heat. The reduction of the merdional temperature gradient appears to reduce not only the eddy kinetic energy, but also the variance of temperature in the model troposphere.”

        Now, to be sure, that’s an old model. Point 1. above, may be subject to error or model assumptions. I plotted NASA GISS 4xCO2 over Manabe’s:

        The GISS model doesn’t indicate the poleward retreat of highly reflective snow cover. The GISS model does indicate changes in cloudiness, but given the unpredictability of the GCM, those are probably suspect also.

        Never the less, point 2 above follow from water vapor feedback. If there is water vapor feedback, gradients, kinetic energy, and temperature variability all decrease. If there is not water vapor feedback, the general temperature increase is small.

      • Jim D: No, the point is that in a warmer climate there is more energy available to storms, especially latent heat. Think of every storm being that much stronger, and the unprecedented end of the spectrum expands.

        You are denying the principle thrust of the Laliberte et al paper ( That would be perfectly acceptable, were you to cite scientific research.) However, you appear not to realize that you are doing so.

        The summary of the Laliberte piece, written by HockeySchtick following the lead of Pauluis, is not misleading: the emphasis is on reduced efficiency, and consequent reduced total energy transfer via cyclonic storms. Overall, the distributions of intensity, duration, and frequency of cyclonic storms should be shifted to the left. In the unlikely event of a storm with energy transfer exceeding previous extremes, that would have to be accompanied by reductions elsewhere.

      • A shift away from mid-latitude cyclonic storms, if such occurs, is a shift towards more stationary conditions that lead to droughts, floods, polar vortex, etc. It is not a win situation. Plus the shift towards more warmth and moisture in neighboring waters makes severe convection and hurricanes that much more potent. Again not a win.

      • Jim D: Plus the shift towards more warmth and moisture in neighboring waters makes severe convection and hurricanes that much more potent.

        So you disagree with Laliberte et al.

      • How would you test the correctness of Laliberte? I am not sure he is doing more than applying a simple model to a complex system. Is it a useful model? I have no way to tell.

      • Jim D: I have no way to tell.

        Of course it is fine to disagree. People here posit and point out conflicts between some claims, and evidence, and other claims, and evidence — every day. You don’t seem to understand that you disagree with Laliberte et al.

      • Recently, there have been discussions of the efficiency of Earth’s global atmosphere considered as a thermodynamic heat engine, in which the hydrological cycle was discovered to play an important role28,30. Our analyses suggest that the dissipation of kinetic energies related to the atmospheric circulation also significantly contributes to the temporal variations of the efficiency of atmospheric heat engine.

        30. Laliberte ́, F. et al. Constrained work output of the moist atmospheric heat engine in a warming climate. Science 347, 540–543 (2015).

        Have you looked at it?

      • JCH: Have you looked at it?

        Yes. As I wrote elsewhere, I provided a link to it when it was first published, and subsequently bought a book that they cited: Thermal Physics of the Atmosphere by Maarten H. P. Ambaum. I recommend them both to anyone interested in this topic.

  6. Thank you JC. I read the article about Cinq-Mars. Every time I read about one of those types of controversies, there have been many in the past and there will continue to be more such problems in the future, I’m always astounded by the way scientists react to new knowledge. But then, I have to remind myself that scientists are people too, with big egos.

    Never the less, abuabusive behavior should nnever be accepted or allowed. Scientific skepticism should always be acceptable, along with a wait and see attitude if you find the results less than convincing. In the case of Cinq-Mars, his science seemed sound, and should have spurred a flurry of additional research to confirm or falsify his results.

    Unfortunately, mainstream scientists don’t like paradigm shifting results. It’s embarrassing to them that they didn’t make the discovery. Acceptance of the new paradigm means that the mainstream has to make room in the spotlight for an unknown scientist. This means that the spotlight shifts away from them, and that means that the mainstream thought that they were so instrumental in and dedicated to for many years if not decades may be pushed aside. That comes with the risk of being marginalized themselves, a very scary thought for them.

    • Allan (@Allan48933312)

      I’m a sceptic, unscientific, and therefore ignorant of the specifics.

      However, I’m watching a growing trend of abuse and gloating from sceptics towards alarmists which is disconcerting and counter-productive.

      No one has won anything because of Trump or anyone else. The questions are still to be answered. Sceptics are no more correct than alarmists right now.

      The least sceptics can do is treat alarmists with the dignity not afforded themselves over the last decade or so.

      Everyone on the planet has a dog in this fight, few bother with it, but of those of us that show concern, the least we can do is demonstrate some mutual respect.

      It might be the sceptics turn now. I hope we can accomplish that, as a starting point.

      • In reply to your concern, it is very strange to me to ovserve that adhrents to the current dogma are afraid of the very same tactics that they use against the skeptics. The adherents to the prevailing dogma expect respect while giving none themselves. Demonstrate respect for the skeptics and a respectful dialog can ensue. It’s up to the entrenched establishment to show open mindedness with the capacity to entertain other trains of thought so that the truth can be properly researched. Without mutual respect, only dogma prevails, at least until it is over turned through overwhelming evidence of falsity (which happens in many big scientific controversies).

        It is important for all to be respectful and humble. Excessive hubris must be avoided in the endeavor to find the truth.

      • @Allan (@Allan48933312)

        I doubt the entrenched adherents to the climate change dogma are even aware they are rude, condescending, bullying or anything else for that matter.

        All the more reason for sceptics to remain calm and not engage in petty mud slinging.

    • Allan,

      Unfortunately, mainstream scientists don’t like paradigm shifting results.

      I don’t believe a distinction can be made between mainstream and non-mainstream scientists.

      Jacques Cinq-Mars was mainstream until he got the report from the radiocarbon laboratory on the dates of the material he had unearthed at the Blue caves. It is not the scientist or the hypothesis that challenges the paradigm but the evidence. From Galileo to Wegener the story has repeated thousands of times. Evidence is found that contradicts the accepted paradigm, but so much work, time and careers have been spent building the paradigm that there is logical resistance to throw all that away just because some evidence doesn’t fit. And to be fair plenty of times the challenging evidence tuns out to be incorrect, misinterpreted, or just an artifact and the maverick researcher is forgotten.

      We have to avoid simplistic generalizations. Science is a human endeavour and subject to human conditionings. The cautionary tale is always the same. Strict application of the scientific method and adherence to evidence over explanation is the best approach to scientific progress. An example of the problems faced comes every time a strong explanation supported by weak evidence is confronted to a weak explanation supported by stronger evidence. The CO2 hypothesis is an example of the first, while the solar-climate hypothesis is an example of the second. One of the articles in the list above, provides strong evidence for solar forcing for the de Vries 208 year cycle:
      “New spatiotemporal reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere summer temperatures back to 750 CE”
      However most scientists reject the role of solar variability forcing as important because the current explanation for how it happens is weak. This is a clear example when we should stick to the evidence and consider solar variability an important effector of climate change, even if we cannot convincingly explain how. Wegener could not explain how continents have moved (tectonic theory came decades later), but he provided plenty of evidence that they have done so. Same with Galileo, as Newton’s Principia was still 70 years away. Darwin could not explain how variations were generated and maintained through generations without dilution for natural selection to act. If the evidence cannot be proved wrong it should always be accepted at face value.

  7. “Coralline algae elevate pH at the site of calcification under ocean acidification ”

    Not news. I’ve written about coral’s ability to control the water pH for some years now. It can change the pH by a full pH unit in six hours …


  8. Re, A primer on the “Polar Vortex”. [link], modeling the amount of heat that is transferred from the depths of the oceans to the emptiness of space by the natural power of swirling vortices is just a simple matter of parameterization, right?

  9. “We have not had a long enough record with climate change to show a statistically significant increase”

    But it seems we have had a long enough record to show a statistical increase in in everything that proves human induced climate change is real, and that CO2 is the culprit.

    • Hotscot

      Hurricanes? Extreme weather events?


      • Tonyb
        You, of all people, should know the dangers of challenging faith.

        With respect from one who has been cast upon the waves.

    • HotScot, yes, attribution of the record temperatures to record forcing levels does lead to that conclusion. Seasonal temperatures have shifted by about a standard deviation in most land areas since 1950. This shifts the extremes likewise.

      • It has been 67 years since 1950.
        Please identify a weather event since 1950 that is more extreme than those that occurred in the 67 years prior.
        Or 967.
        Perhaps Tonyb will be willing to critique your list.

      • This is where Hansen’s definition of 3-sigma extreme events for mean summer temperature comes in handy. Those were rare in 1950, but the shift by a standard deviation makes them about 10 times more likely now with a steadily growing likelihood in the future. Examples are the Texas drought of 2011, Russian fires of 2010 and the European heatwave of 2003.

      • JImd

        Russia? I wrote about that in 2011

        ‘These accounts from Russia contradict the popular notion of a shiveringly cold country and have obvious parallels with the fires of 2010.

        “1831: Summer was unbearably hot, and as a consequence of numerous fires in the forests, there was a constant haze of smoke in the air, through which the sun appeared a red hot ball; the smell of burning was so strong, that it was difficult to breathe.

        The years of 1839-1841 were known as the “hungry years.” In the spring of 1840, the spring sowings of corn disappeared in many places. From midway through April until the end of August not a drop of rain fell. From the beginning of summer the fields were covered with a dirty grey film of dust. All the plants wilted, dying from the heat and lack of water. It was extraordinarily hot and close, even though the sun, being covered in haze, shone very weakly through the haze of smoke.

        1868: the weather was murderous. It rained once during the summer. There was a drought. The sun, like a red hot cinder, glowed through the clouds of smoke from the peat bogs. .”



      • tonyb, the point is that these turn from once per century events into once per decade. It’s the frequency that changes.

      • Steven Mosher

        “1868: the weather was murderous. It rained once during the summer. There was a drought. The sun, like a red hot cinder, glowed through the clouds of smoke from the peat bogs. .”

        was that Murderous +- 2?

        Surely this report has all the validity of temperature measurements of water prior to 1950… with you know, an actual thermometer

      • Steven Mosher

        Jim D. Focusing on extremes is really not going to get you anywhere.

        What we Know.

        C02 is a GHG
        It warms the planet.
        The question is how much.

        What is Less known, is how and where this warming will occur and what effect it will have on extremes.

        Evidence about the less well known ( more or less exteremes) is really NOT going to change what we know. We know more C02 will lead to a warmer planet. Should it turn out that some extremes INcrease and some extremes DEcrese, would not change the fundamental facts about c02 and the fundamental question. How much warming?

        In short you are trying to convince skeptics with the LESS WELL KNOWN, when they already REJECT the More well known.

        Now, You and I could discuss extremes and disagree. We would never suggest that our disagreement challenged the core science. Because it doesnt.

        I call this strategy “run for the ice” I saw people do it back in 2007.
        When skeptics doubted our MOST SECURE evidence ( physics and the temperature record ) People thought they could improve the argument by pointing at the Ice… usually arctic ice because it fit well with the story.
        In any case, what we learn is that abouut half of the ice loss is natural and the other half human caused. In short, appealing to the ice WORKS if you already accept the better evidence, if you already accept physics and the temperature record. BUT, if a skeptic rejects the best evidence, no appeals to secondary evidence will convince them. 10 years later this still holds.

        Most them will die before they accept the best evidence. It could warm at .2C per decade for 30 more years and they would find a way to doubt.
        That’s because, doubt is their goal. For science doubt is a METHOD to the goal of better understanding.

      • My view is that the damage comes more from the extremes, not so much by the advancing of the mean. It is important to point out that unprecedented events are where the costs are accrued, either in having to build for them or having to repair or abandon areas after them. Also the probabilities at the tail of the distribution easily change from once per century to once per decade with just a shift of one standard deviation in the case of a normal distribution. This applies to temperature, rainfall, or sea-level. It’s the tail that has the sting.

      • I agree that its all about the extreme events

      • An analogy is that it is not the rising tide that gets you, it’s the storms on top of them.

      • Steven Mosher


        yes tails sting. However, I’ve seen no evidence of the cost of tails versus the cost of SLR. for example.

        Be that as it may. The other thing about tails is that We already have a history of tails that we are un prepared for. As I am found of saying we dont even prepare for the past. We don’t prepare for the weather of our grandfathers.

        Tails, I would hazard, can and probably should be handled by adaptation and building more resilient societies.

        We already dont prepare well enough for flood and drought. So, it would make sense to increase our safety factors first. This is largely a guessing game and trade off decision. Here is the important differnce between mitigation and adaptation. When you prepare for Extremes, you are Putting the cost where the risk is.
        Live in California? Have a drought risk? well guess what, california has to adapt. That Puts the Cost where the risk is. Rich Liberal living in malibu between land slides to east and Storms to the west? Adapt.
        Dont make those of us who live on mountain tops away from flood risk Pay for your decision with higher taxes on carbon. Align the Actual Risk with the cost. Folks might reconsider their risky behavior.

        my favorite example:


        He looked at the risk. added a safety factor based on … guess work really and a subjective evaluation of the value of his city and tradition. He prepared accordingly. Not too much science.. not too little science and in the end, a moral choice. What is my town worth? How do I want to be remembered? All squishy decisions.. not a technocratic decision.
        An existential one.

      • Steven, this is where we might agree. Don’t look at the 20th century for your likelihoods of extremes when planning. Allow for climate change to shift the tails. This is why the new business of climate services are now needed where it used to be just an actuarial task based on past statistics. Most pragmatic planners have already realized that the risks are shifting and will shift, and the only question is how much more and how quickly.

      • Ulric Lyons

        Steven writes:
        “In any case, what we learn is that abouut half of the ice loss is natural and the other half human caused.”

        13 out of 15 circulation models predict that rising CO2 will increase positive NAO/AO. But AMO and Arctic warming since the mid 1990’s is solely negative NAO/AO driven, so it is fully irrational to attribute any sea ice decline to human causes.

      • On the topic of the importance of extreme events because they have the greatest potential human impact, I’ve been trying to get good quality information on the frequency and duration of droughts.

        I would be interested in views on the apparent disagreement between the UK Met Office and the IPCC (in October 2011, at least) as highlighted in the report “Migration and Global Environmental Change” by Richard Betts and Doug McNeall for the UK Government.

        The relevant paragraph from the ‘Discussion and Conclusions” section of the report reads: –

        “Changes in climate extremes including drought have been observed over recent decades. Globally, soil-moisture drought decreased slightly since the 1950s, in contrast with the IPCC assessment (Trenberth et al., 2007) of a likely increase in drought as defined by PDSI.”

  10. In the review article on “How the deep, cold currents of the Labrador Sea affect climate,” there’s a stunning contradiction:

    The evidence presented by the authors suggests that these long-term fluctuations are caused by quasi-decadal changes in the wind field rather than by buoyancy-driven convection events. Even centennial AMOC changes of up to 30%, suggested by some climate models, may be difficult to detect in light of the reported large and prolonged transport fluctuations.

    Clearly, it’s wind-driven surface transports–not thermohaline effects–that are the drivers of climate variations, in accordance with well-established dynamic principles. In other words, the surface climate is the primogenitor of the deep, cold currents. Alas, “climate science” stands this relationship on it’s head.

  11. Liked the analysis of 100% renewables study. Confirms what anyone in the electric generation industry already know – that such studies are not worth the paper they are written on.

  12. Ulric Lyons

    Little Ice Age development:
    “Consequently, SPG circulation switched to a weaker mode and reduced convection in the Labrador Sea, decreasing its contribution to the North Atlantic deep water formation and, thus, reducing the amount of heat transported to high latitudes.”

    This solar minimum we have a warm AMO, the late 1800’s solar minimum had a warm AMO, which is what the increased negative North Atlantic Oscillation through solar minima does, it increases the heat transport to the North Atlantic and Arctic.

    • Ulric,

      Thornalley et al., 2009 found out that subsurface water salinity and temperature increased in a marine core South of Iceland at times of decreased NADW formation during the Holocene, which goes against current paradigm on AMOC functioning. Their finding is confirmed by data by Girardeau et al., 2010 that found that water temperature off Norway had increased at those same times indicating a higher inflow of Atlantic waters, and by data by Matthews et al., 2005 that reconstructed winter precipitations over Norway coastal glaciers and found increase winter precipitations simultaneously indicating warmer, not colder waters.

      Thornalley hypothesis (interpreted in part by me) is that at times of reduced NADW formation, coincident with freshwater increases and increased drift ice advection, NAO conditions turn persistently negative weakening the Westerlies and reducing the contribution from subpolar gyre fresher and colder waters to the NAC. This acts as a negative feedback that increases temperature and salinity in the NAC from subtropical gyre waters higher contribution. The result is that NADW is reduced but doesn’t shut down as feared and modeled. Evidence supports that the strength of AMOC has changed, but has never shut down.

      Obviously those times coincide with times of reduced solar activity by clusters of grand solar minima, like in the LIA, but that will be ignored by most researchers as it does not fit their understanding of climate forcings.

      • “Evidence supports that the strength of AMOC has changed, but has never shut down”

        It is the Gulf Stream that does not shut down, in fact it appears to speed up marginally during low MOC events. I would imagine that is because there is less resistance for the Gulf Stream to spill into the North Atlantic and Arctic ocean than there would be for it overturning instead. As far as I can see the whole mechanism behaves as an amplified negative feedback. With weaker indirect solar episodes directly causing an increase in negative NAO/AO events, which then drive the low MOC events, forcing warmer AMO and Arctic ocean anomalies.
        Good examples of such negative NAO/AO events occurred e.g. both ends of 2010, mid 2012, March 2013;

  13. Regional Influences on Reconstructed Global Mean Sea Level

    … It is demonstrated that the North Atlantic region has a disproportionate influence on reconstructed GMSL rate fluctuations prior to the 1950s, notably accounting for a rate minimum in the 1920s and contributing to a rate maximum in the 1950s. North Atlantic coastal sea level fluctuations related to wind-driven ocean volume redistribution likely contribute to these estimated GMSL rate inflections. The findings support previous claims that multidecadal rate changes in GMSL reconstructions are likely related to the geographic distribution of tide gauge stations within a sparse global network.


  14. David L. Hagen

    Why Energy Economy Models Produce Overly Optimistic Indications Gail Tverberg, OurFiniteWorld.com
    Presentation PDF

    Producers and consumers of energy products are both important
    Energy prices can be too high for consumers
    Energy prices can be too low for producers . . .
    Debt is promise of future energy and what it makes possible . . .
    Growing efficiency should help, but technology reaches diminishing returns . . .
    Physics problem: Our economy is a dissipative structure . . .
    Energy flows are essential to the operation of dissipative structures . . .
    Ability to run the economy on solar electricity is a similar myth . . .
    A major need is to keep the wages of non-elite workers high enough
    Equivalent to keeping return on human labor high enough . . .

    Ugo Bardi, Editor of new EROEI journal “BERQ,” says:

    a system will collapse . . .much earlier because of factors correlated to the control system that we call “the economy”. It is a behavior
    typical of complex adaptive systems that are never understandable
    in terms of mere energy return considerations.
    Complex systems always kick back. (February 26, 2017)


    Catastrophism is popular, but not necessarily right. Debunking the “Hill’s Group” analysis of the future of the oil industry . . .
    Well, let me cite a post by Nate Hagens:
    “In the last 10 years the global credit market has grown at 12% per year allowing GDP growth of only 3.5% and increasing global crude oil production less than 1% annually. We’re so used to running on various treadmills that the landscape doesn’t look all too scary. But since 2008, despite energies fundamental role in economic growth, it is access to credit that is supporting our economies, in a surreal, permanent, Faustian bargain sort of way.”

    (PS As an engineer/inventor, I do NOT yet see why solar is necessarily unsustainable. There appear ways to solve the EROI and storage issues.)

    • Solar is unsustainable because people different from me will hire crews of illegals to go around stealing solar panels in the middle of the night, which they will then resell to rich homeowners (installation included), and even to home owners in Mexico and Central America.

      It’s just a great business model, perhaps better than Amazon.

    • David L. Hagen

      “As an engineer/inventor, I do NOT yet see why solar is necessarily unsustainable. There appear ways to solve the EROI and storage issues.”

      Solar is not unsustainable in particular practical applications, and as an engineer you should only be interested in practical applications. Engineers tend to be solution-oriented – you give them a problem, and they engineer the optimum solution. Part of the engineering is proving the feasibility of the solution – can it be built at the projected cost in the projected time, and deliver the projected capability with the projected reliability? This has to consider the system as a whole, and external systems if there are any dependencies.

      An engineering approach that tends not to work is when the problem is large, very complex, imprecisely defined, has a lot unknowns and where the solution is broadly dictated in advance. For example: –

      “The problem is sustaining economic growth while reducing global CO2 to zero over the next few decades, and the solution is solar: go build it!”

      If engineers are given a task that is functionally prescriptive you tend to end up with something that works. If they are given a task that is technically prescriptive, despite it not having been built yet, you tend to end up with something that doesn’t work.

      • David L. Hagen

        André Friedli Thanks. And as an inventor, I am not limited to conventional technologies. Nor to current political correctness. E.g., Strategically important is to: “Provide sustainable energy, food, and water to last for 1000 years sufficient to enable people in developing economies to provide for their families.” If higher CO2 is beneficial, why demonize it?

    • I do NOT yet see why solar is necessarily unsustainable.

      Solar is not a solution at latitudes higher than 40°N. Of course we can all hope for a miraculous solution to our problems.


  15. ‘Was the extreme Northern Hemisphere greening in 2015 predictable?
    We show that the 2015 anomaly can be predicted with the very strong state of the PDO in 2015.”

    What a funny title and follow up.
    Was, as in the past, means automatically it was not predictable because nobody predicted it. If they had they title would be quite different.
    Can, as in we are now able to in the present is all very well for future events. For things that happened the year before they should be saying we can postdict the past. It can never be predictable after it has happened.

    • Steven Mosher


      Simple example. What I had for lunch today was totally predictable.
      Its the same thing I have for lunch every day. IF you had watched me, before you would have been able to predict it. The fact that you didnt watch, doesnt make it unpredictable.

      Predictable: Given information X, you can or could have predicted Y
      Given that Steve Always has a “Y” for lunch you could
      have predicted todays lunch.
      Unpredictable: Given information X, there no way to reliably predict Y,
      whether you actually try to or not.

      Predict the winning lottery tommorrow.
      Predict what I will have for lunch tommorrow. Predictable IF you had access to or I told you the facts you need to know.

      There are many things that are predictable that we never bother to predict.

      Nobody is predicting my weight tommorrow. Tommorow comes. Then I tell you what my weight was the week before. yup, my weight is predictable, even IF you never bothered to predict it.

      I know what you’ll say, and predict it is wrong. go ahead try.

    • Do you always have such astonishing difficulty in understanding? They’re trying to figure out how a means to predict anomalous greening in the future, of which 2015 was an example that they think could have been predicted using their method… but they stuck the AMO in which means they have probably mucked it up.

      • You really have a big thing about the AMO I’ve noticed. The AMO, and PDO, are a simplification, rather like you. Ocean circulation being dissipative and chaotic has many pattern oscillations over a fratal range of timescales from decade to millennium. These oscillations are not uniformly monotonic like an AGW preacher of doom. They shift and change like smoke or flames 🔥.

        Dobzhansky told us that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. Now of course we also know that nothing in climate makes sense except in the light of CO2. But this brings us to a strange thing. Here we are talking about greening of the biosphere in recent years and we’re NOT mentioning CO2? How can this be? Is it naive or old fashioned or counter-revolutionary to consider that CO2 has anything to do with photosynthesis?

        I guess there are now two alternative versions of photosynthesis, one for skeptics and one for warmists.

        Skeptics photosynthesis: CO2 diffuses into plants 🌱 where free protons from sunlight powered water splitting chemically reduce CO2 into saccharides.

        Warmists photosynthesis: Splitting water by sunlight warms the plant which in turn warms the climate, amplifying the CO2 in the atmosphere and the warming itself. Runaway warming and mass extinction follow. Meanwhile, carbon atoms spontaneously appear out of nothing within the plants, where they are reduced to saccharides. Steve Mosher says “too funny”.

        In short, if the planet 🌎 is greening it’s because of rising CO2, not temperature. Plant greenness is from the green protein rubisco which eats CO2 and likes it.

      • Except that when it gets too hot, Rubisco stops eating CO2, starts eating O2 and shuts down photosynthesis.

      • Actually, I believe as temp goes up, plants make fewer mistakes and the O2 flip happens less, but… it’s just all so simple. CO2 is like pixie dust. Sprinkle it in the arctic circle… Shazam! It gets greener. It’s going to be beautiful. Let’s make coral great again!

      • The corals will be fine, just after the WAIS collapses and puts them in deeper colder water.

      • Plus, the companies that mold things out of colorful silicon could always mold up entire underwater coral gardens for tourists, who, according to the Townsville news, are flocking in droves to see the beautiful bleached corals of the Great White Barrier Reef…

      • The corals will be fine, just after the WAIS collapses and puts them in deeper colder water.

        No, because coral depend on a photosynthesizing symbiosis, deeper water causes a lack of sunlight and kills coral.

        And because of exposure, too shallow water also kills coral.

        That should tell you something – coral are always dying off for one reason or another. That’s why we get the nice white beaches:

        But they are, at the same time, thriving, because they re-establish where things are just right, just as they have for 500 million years.

        Focusing on temperature is pretty good example of confirmation bias.
        Consider all the causes of death of coral and some of the confirmation bias recedes.

        BTW, two of the death factors correlate pretty well with temperature and lead it: low water levels, and too intense sunlight.

        When water levels are low, the temperatures rise because there’s less water absorbing the same amount of sunshine.

        When sunshine is more intense, temperatures rise because because of increased thermal energy.

      • Does anybody know how much sea level changed over the Great Barrier Reef in 2015-2016? The anomaly map I’m looking at shows some of it to have positive anomalies before and during the bleaching events. Sea level in the Western Pacific drops in an El Niño, but it’s not a uniform drop.

      • You don’t get the sandy beaches because corals are always dying, living coral secrete calcium carbonate, as they build reefs.

        Just because there are lots of things that kill coral, doesn’t mean that increased seawater temperatures are not the leading cause.

        It ain’t the sun ******

  16. Ulric Lyons

    Article on whether Arctic ice loss is/will affecting mid-lat jet:

    Very good accounts of the gross ambiguities and contradictions in the model results. And the statement that ‘it would be nearly impossible to distinguish a forced signal from the background variability’ with 30 years of data, because of the scale of natural large inter-annual jet stream shifts, only serves to reinforce their sole said certainty, the mid-lat influence on the Arctic, rather than an Arctic influence on the mid-lat.

    While the mid-lat weather event examples given:
    “the frigid temperatures over North America in the winter of 2013/2014, the
    cold and snowy winters of 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 over Europe and North America, and bouts of extreme summer weather have all been linked to Arctic sea ice loss over the past decade”
    I claim were all due to short term solar influences on atmospheric circulation patterns, they were well captured in my long range solar based forecasts. I don’t regard such variability as ‘internal’. These short term events occur irrespective of global climatic and/or Arctic conditions.

  17. “Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems”

    I thoroughly recommend Euan Mearns blog “Energy Matters”, which frequently debunks the claims made by the sponsors/operators/promoters of real-life flagship RE schemes (the “100% Renewables” El Hierro island project in the Spanish Canaries being a prime example).

    Energy Matters link: http://euanmearns.com/

  18. Steven Mosher

    “Long-term radiosonde temperature biases in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere”

    This should be fun. Sonde data, used to check satellite “data”, is a dog’s breakfast. Hopefully the gps bits will improve the taste.

    The nice thing is the data is 2006-2014 spanning the oddity we see in the satellite records…

  19. Why we believe obvious untruths [link]

    Basically a Nadtsi propaganda piece.

  20. Why we believe obvious untruths [link]

    Although there is some truth to this article. We CAN’T know much without trusting the lore of our culture and others.
    And when that foundation is shown to be a pinnacle of lies, well….
    On the other hand NYT wants to reaffirm the state propaganda machine (that they represent), the one propped up by 6 mega-corportions, whose board members also sit on the boards of many other mega corporations, included those of the military complex, who are routinely handed stories by the CIA (numerous books detailing this) represent the truth, whereas any other sort of journalism represents lies.

    Getting sick of our propaganda state.

  21. @JimD “…the storms at the tail of the distribution get worse because more energy is available to them…”

    Heat energy is only “available” if there is a temperature difference. This is basic thermodynamics that a lot of people seem to forget when discussing climate change. If the poles warm more than the tropics the temperature differential is decreased and there is less energy available to drive the heat engine, not more, even if everything is hotter.

    The same applies to tropical storms. I don’t care how many references you can find saying that tropical storms are caused by “warm surface waters”, that is not thermodynamically possible. The relevant factor *must* be the temperature difference between the sea surface and something else. If the sea and atmosphere warm together that won’t drive more, or more intense, storms. (And there are storms on Neptune at -214C).

  22. The Asia-Europe seesaw paper showed a link to another paper on a near-total Greenland ice melt during the Holocene:


    It contains this quote:

    The study is based on perhaps earth’s rarest geologic sample: the only bit of bedrock yet retrieved from the ice sheet’s base, more than two decades ago. The authors say that chemical isotopes in it indicate that the surface was exposed to open sky for at least 280,000 years over the last 1.4 million years. The reason would have been natural, probably tied to cyclic natural climate changes that have caused ice ages to wax and wane. The scientists say that in the most conservative interpretation, there might have been only one ice-free period that ended 1.1 million years ago. But, more likely, they say, the ice vanished multiple times for shorter periods closer to the present.

    The word “natural” struck me as odd.
    How would a glacial and climatic change 10^5 – 10^6 years ago, NOT be natural? What else could it have been? Supernatural?

    What was the writer thinking when he/she wrote the wors “natural”? Why is it necessary to question whether a process happening a few hundred thousand years ago on Greenland, also happened within the history of the universe? This logic and semantic seems nothing utterly bizzare.

    If humans are involved in a process, why would that make it not natural? Are humans not part of the universe?

    • Correction – the one or more total Greenland melts occurred some time during the Pleistocene, not (necessarily) the Holocene.