Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

An overview of studies of observed climate change in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region [link]

Study: sea level rise acceleration still uncertain, we won’t have statistical certainty until 2020-2030 [link]

Four Studies Find ‘No Observable Sea-Level Effect’ From Man-Made Global Warming [link]

Sea level rising faster now than in the 1990’s [link]

Against the odds: Calif. rebound frm deep in just 2 yrs is rarity in historical record.  [link]

Newly identified climate pattern may have caused California’s drought [link]

Uncertainties in Future Projections of Summer Droughts and Heat Waves over United States [link]

A New High-Resolution Sea Surface Temperature Blended Analysis [link]

Predictability of Week 3-4 Average Temperature and Precipitation over the Continental US [link]

Characteristics of southern California atmospheric rivers [link]

Cloud feedback mechanisms and their representation in global climate models [link]

The Antarctic Circumpolar Wave: Its Presence and Interdecadal Changes during the last 142 years [link]

Ocean Heat Content low-frequency variability: atmospheric forcing versus oceanic chaos [link]

Arctic waters absorb vast amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere — PNAS [link]

A comparative analysis of surface temperature retrievals from orbiting MSU/AMSU instruments [link]

Optimum air temperature for tropical forest photosynthesis: implications for climate warming [link]

Long-term fate of tropical forests may not be so dire [link]

Nature: local temperature response to land cover and management change driven by non-radiative processes [link]

Sea ice trends in climate models only accurate in runs with biased global warming [link]

Amplified Arctic warming and mid-latitude weather: new perspectives on emerging connections [link]

Observational evidence of a long term increase in precipitation due to urbanization effects [link]

Why is there so much carbon dioxide in rivers? [link]

If climate models have trouble w/internal low freq variability, their use in attribution studies is limited. 

Snowball Earth: asynchronous coupling of sea-glacier flow with a global climate model [link]

Basinwide response of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation to interannual wind forcing [link]

Interdecadal change between the Arctic Oscillation and East Asian climate during 1900–2015 winters [link]

On the causes of mass extinctions [link]

Multi-model precipitation responses to removal of U.S. sulfur dioxide emissions [link]

The 20th century featured longer wet spells & shorter dry spells compared with preceding 450 years. [link]

Variability, reduced amplitude seasons in late 20th C. tied to large-scale atmospheric forcing. [link]

Arctic Oscillation & Arctic Dipole influence wintertime Arctic surface radiation & sea ice [link]

Reconstructions of the 1900–2015 Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance [link]

Stratospheric temperature trends from AIRS and AMSU-A (2003-2012) [link]

Planetary waves, extreme weather, climate change [link]

China’s Climate-Change Scientists Find Links to Solar Winds [link]

China Cooled Nearly 0.2°C During Global Warming Hiatus [link]

The subtle origins of surface-warming hiatuses [link]

“The Impact of the AMO on Multidecadal ENSO Variability” [link]

Recent progress in understanding Atlantic decadal climate variability [link]

A new view of weather and climate models? New paper on stochastic modelling techniques. 

activity exerted greater effect than PDO on Southwest of past 120 years. [link]

Watching the planet breathe: Studying Earth’s carbon cycle from space. [link]

An interesting new approach for attribution of climate change.Pairwise-Rotated EOFs of Global SST [link] (ENSO, PDO, AMO, and global warming)

Striking Seasonality in the Secular Warming of the Northern Continents: Structure and Mechanisms [link]

North American extreme temperature events and related large scale meteorological patterns [link]

Evolutionary methodology produces more accurate long-term weather forecasts [link]

Are opposite trends in Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice linked? [link]

Social science and policy

1.5°C has triple the carbon price & doubled the mitigation cost compared to 2°C, optimal cost-benefit gives 2.5°C

Untapped potential of energy efficiency – op-ed by IEA Noé van Hulst, Ambassador of The Netherlands

Climate-conflict link debunked [link]

Roger Pielke Jr’s Newsletter on Climate and Energy Issues:  Paris, Trump and the climate wars [link]

U.S. spy agencies wimp out on science of climate change, but still say it’s a security threat [link]

New book by Paul Hawken:  ‘Drawdown’, which ranks climate solutions for their efficacy [link]

How to make decisions when making decisions is really tough – strategies for individuals, companies, governments.

Cost of energy efficiency subsidy far higher than benefit, major new study by MIT-U-Chicago-UC-Berkeley finds. [link

About science

Preface from Sophie Lewis’ excellent new book A Changing Climate for Science [link]

Daryl Bem proved ESP is real. Which means science is broken.[link]

Nature: Beware the anti-science label. Presenting science as battle for truth against ignorance is unhelpful exaggeration. [link]

Is the media now giving scientists lessons in research integrity? [link]

Yes, we must listen to experts, but which ones? [link]


“The treatment of divergent viewpoints is an inherent challenge for [scientific] assessments” [link

How Science Can Help Us Disagree. A dose of humility helps [link]

Potemkin universities [link]

Nature: integrity starts with the help of research groups [link]

Science is immensely important, but it has a hubris problem [link]

What a modern day witch hunt looks like.  A bunch of academics are spreading false information about one of their own [link]

Ethics of claiming a faulty 97% consensus [link]

Fibonacci and his magic numbers [link]

National Academies Releases Sweeping Review of Research Misconduct and ‘Detrimental’ Practices

A meaty article about the philosophy of information: Why Information Matters [link]

223 responses to “Week in review – science edition

  1. Potemkin Universities. Fitting title to a trenchant article. Explains why I stopped giving to my alma mater three years ago. They hired Orsekes.

  2. “Newly identified climate pattern may have caused California’s drought”

    That’s more social sciences than earth sciences. Say for example that every Friday night I mug someone to pay for my habit.

    Once I have established a pattern of mugging someone every Friday night, I am no longer responsible for my actions. The pattern is responsible.

  3. Regarding “Potemkin Universities,” it should be stated that the American Research Universities and its smaller counterparts mimic the French Higher Ed system where the best and brightest graduate from the “L’Ecole Polytehnicque,” get jobs immediately and end up running the country. By contrast, the graduates of “La Universite” take ten years to graduate while sitting on the nearest river bank drinking wine and reading Sartre, can’t get a job and end up disillusioned with life. Translation: in the US university system, schools of science, business, engineering and Agriculture represent the equivalent of “L’Ecole Polytehnicque,” whereas college of Liberal Arts represent “La Universite.” Hanson, in his article on ‘Potemkin Universities’ nailed it.

    George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGS and Professor Emeritus Geology University o Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign

  4. RE: the modern day witch hunt. It seems insane that it is supported within acedemia to squelch and ban perspectives that you disagree with. Challenging “incorrect” perspectives and/or their supporting “evidence” is far more educational. If you are not comparing differing perspectives and analyzing them – you are basically just memorizing dogma. Certainly education, at least at the higher levels, should be more than rote memory and consensus. I would think it would be advantageous to be in a field with challenging and competing perspectives and understandings, otherwise what value can you add?

    • Curious George

      “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.” That helps to create an environment for a witch hunt. Professor Judith Curry got fed up with the environment and realized that she did not have to teach. Congratulations.

      • Pamela Gray

        I am a teacher. And I have done research. At least my ideals and ethics have a chance to survive and be applied as a teacher. Not so much in my earlier career as a researcher.

    • RE: the modern day witch hunt.
      It’s more like the Chinese Cultural Revolution than Salem.
      However, both the Cultural Revolution and Salem make more sense.

    • Amen. It is what happens when ‘something’ becomes a ‘religion’. Forego the logic as it gets awkward and hold fast to the dogma.

    • I don’t think most folks involved are considering the damage they are doing and the fundamental purpose of education, otherwise the witch hunts wouldn’t occur. I found this a very challenging and depressing read, in the sense of ‘how could things ever get this bad?’. Yet I guess the fact that some in the field can see the problem means the capacity for recovery is there. Such fights are essentially about identity, and the constant morphing of terms reveals attempts to own territories and exclude others. This is a characteristic of domains where the links to reality have become way too tenuous to dampen down emotive responses and identity fights, a very bad sign for the branches of academia involved.

      • Curious George

        Read Parkinson’s Laws. University employees are now mostly second-rate people. They will only hire other second- or third-rate people; hiring someone capable might cause them to lose their jobs. It is not a new phenomenon; Richard Feynman famously described them as pompous fools.

    • Tuvel’s mistake was to attempt to publish something approximating a rational argument. She would have been better off submitting something like this:

    • What I find ironic about the witch hunt article is it covers an issue that probably doesn’t make the top 100 list of most people, and appears to be explanatory (which is useful when an issue gets little traction) and supportive. Yet it and the author get savaged.

      Same logic as the “antifascist” assh@les protesting FCC on Net Neutrality and claiming they want a free and open internet, yet calling for Drudge to be banned.

      • Good observation. I’m struggling for the right word for what to call the mindset, but in any case whatever you call it, it seems expansive in demanding immediate conformance across issues big and small, on major and minor points.

      • planning,

        How about pampered progressive a$$hats?

        Though seriously, making fun or ridiculing them is a waste of time. They seem inured to that. What find ironic is that a group who self labels as anti fascist, and as social justice warriors, employs fascist tactics and would melt in a New York minute if faced by people who have actually been to war.

        They don’t get the significance of dismissing those of us who “cling to our guns and our religion”.

  5. Comments would be appreciated on the conclusion to Jon Rappoport’s blog on logic:

    We must convince ourselves of the absolute necessity of adherence to truth before we can convince world leaders to take down the international web of deceit that now engulfs society.


    Corrections, criticisms or comments on this conclusion would be appreciated.

  6. Dear all,
    A book that all scientists must read. The similarities between the propagandist approach to Climate Change and the ex-Soviet Union way to impose decisions to the people based in bad and manipulated “science” is amazing and disturbing.
    The Gulag way of treating the “Deniers” is also a frightening look to a possible future ruled by fanatics.

  7. Stalin and the Scientists: A History of Triumph and Tragedy, 1905-1953
    by Simon Ings . ISBN: 978-0802125989

  8. A new view of weather and climate models? New paper on stochastic modelling techniques.

    Wow! that may take a while to absorb. And it’s freely downloadable.

  9. 3-wave and 5-wave patters both exist for various intensities of pole-to-equator temperature gradients. What does this say about the theories of changes due to gradient induced jet stream changes? Are such changes really relevant when wave patterns vary naturally anyway?

  10. 1.5°C has triple the carbon price & doubled the mitigation cost compared to 2°C, optimal cost-benefit gives 2.5°C http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016EF000492/epdf

    Another freely downloadable paper.

    About GDP risk:

    Regard-ing GDP losses (Figure 3b), up to 16.1% of the losses during the current century for the2.0 °C target case are eliminated in the Full-Abate model compared with the DICE-Stylemodel. The effects are even more remarkable for the 1.5 °C target; up to 53.4% of thecarbon price in the Full-Abate assessment can be eliminated compared with that in theDICE-Style assessment, and the GDP loss is decreased to approximately half of that inthe DICE-Style assessment in the near term.

    It does assume a sensitivity to CO2, along with other assumptions. I think the main interest is that they treat potential GDP losses seriously. Surely not the last word.

    • Matthew,

      I think the main interest is that they treat potential GDP losses seriously.

      So do others. But the most important issue of all is that they all use damage functions that have very little evidence to support them.

      The most complex of the commonly used and cited IAMs is Richard Tol’s FUND. It has the ability to disaggregate the GDP gains and losses attributed to global warming by impact sector (e.g. agriculture, health, sea-level rise, energy, etc) and by 16 regions of the world. Tol (2013) Figure 3 shows GDP% change for 9 impact sectors versus time and versus temperature change for 1900 to 2100. What is really interesting is that, excluding energy use, all impact sectors total to increased GDP up to about 4 C increase in GMST.

      But the energy projection warrants investigation. From 1900 to 2000 the energy line shows increased GDP with global warming. However, from 200 to 2100 it turns sharply negative. That is, where there is empirical data global warming gives decreased energy consumption (increased GDP). When empirical date ends and model projections takes over – i.e. from 2000 to 2100 – projected global warming gives projected higher energy consumption (reduced GDP).

      See Figure 3 here:
      Tol (2013): The economic impact of climate change in the 20th and 21st centuries https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-012-0613-3#page-1

      Tol (2011) (free working paper): The economic impact of climate change in the 20th and 21st centuries http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/climate_change.pdf

      • Peter Lang: But the most important issue of all is that they all use damage functions that have very little evidence to support them.

        Maybe someone can improve on this. My point about potential GDP losses was essentially address the claim on another thread that consideration of such losses was essentially empty [my words — actual expressions varied]. I don’t think that 3C per doubling is especially credible either, but I was interested in the analysis style.

        What is the economic penalty for ignoring flood control and irrigation? Has that been estimated?

      • Matthew,

        I am not clear what you mean by this:

        My point about potential GDP losses was essentially address the claim on another thread that consideration of such losses was essentially empty [my words — actual expressions varied]. I don’t think that 3C per doubling is especially credible either, but I was interested in the analysis style.

        I don’t recall reading the discussion on previous threads that you are referring to.
        I agree with you that I don’t believe they should be using ECS=3C as their central best estimate. They should also us 2C and 1.7 C.
        By analysis style are you referring to presenting results and GDP%? From what I’ve seen, most if not all the IAM’s have been presenting the data this way for decades.

        What is the economic penalty for ignoring flood control and irrigation? Has that been estimated?

        Yes. Did you look at Figure 3 in Tol 2011 linked above?
        FUND has damage functions and presents the results by many different impact sectors. See FUND home here: http://www.fund-model.org/ Go to “Versions” and read the documentation for FUND3.9

      • Peter Lang: I don’t recall reading the discussion on previous threads that you are referring to.

        Probably just as well that you missed them.

        Thank you for the links to Tol’s papers.

    • Unfortunately they fail to document fossil fuel resource volumes, their cost increase over time, and their competitiveness versus other energy sources (my observation is that substitution takes place gradually even in the absence of carbon taxes and renewables subsidies).

      Their optimum case assumes a carbon tax is used to create a tilted playing field in favor of rebewables. They aren’t explicit about pricing asumptions, nor do they discuss technology fine tuning which may improve renewable and nuclear ability to replace fossil fuels.

      The inability to step out of the “DICE forest” built in by Nordhaus et al into the model makes most of these efforts a bit useless. The model needs a much sturdier module so it can handle gradual fossil fuel depletion over the next 80 years, and the resulting price increases. The potential, gradual, cost reduction in renewables and nuclear needs to be handled as a variable study parameter, because the only way they really can replace fossil fuels is by becoming truly competitive.

      I’ve been repeating this type of comment for four years, hopefully somebody will eventually understand these integrated models need a serious overhaul, and change the model.

  11. Another freely downloadable paper:

    Optimum air temperature for tropical forest photosynthesis: implications for climate warming

    In conclusion, we quantified ecosystem ToptE for
    tropical forests, which ranges from 23.7 to 28.1 °C.
    Moreover, we found that tropical forests with higher
    growth temperatures tend to have higher ToptE,
    suggesting the acclimation potential for many tropical

    Most forests have lower temperature than ToptE.

    Does not explore whether ToptE depends on CO2 concentration.

  12. Today the reading assignment is substantial!

    Thanks for the many links.

  13. Adding to the various California drought links and recent circumstances pointing to good luck at avoiding for the time being the sort of drought conditions that have been commonplace throughout the region’s history is the following;

    A drought from 850 to 1150 drained the alpine Fallen Leaf Lake, leaving it barren enough for tall trees to grow,.. Then the water returned, and the trees were preserved. An 800-year-old pine branch, recently salvaged from the lake, still smells pungently of sap.

    Ancestral forests can also be found in recently exposed shorelines of eastern Sierra lakes and creeks… dozens of ancient cottonwoods and Jeffrey pines [were found] rooted in place. Dating revealed that they grew when two severe and long-lasting droughts—from 900 to 1100, and 1200 to 1350—lowered the water level in the lake, then died when a return to a wetter climate filled the lake and drowned them.

    Looking to the future, iIstead of building a bullet train to nowhere, California might be better off spending its citizens’ taxes on desalinization technology.

    • Roger Knights

      “California might be better off spending its citizens’ taxes on desalinization technology.”

      How about California buying up Australia’s desal plants and having them shipped over?

      • Ouch… sounds like endless government boondoggles — I guess best left to private industry and in the meantime, consider towing in a few icebergs for the next drought.

  14. Regarding: Emission pathways to achieve 2.0 and 1.5 °C climate targets http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016EF000492/epdf

    What is the basis for the damage functions used to estimate damages of GHG emissions? What are the key assumptions for estimating benefits and damages of global warming?

    The Introduction begins:

    Industrial CO2 emissions, which result from fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes, are treated as the only dynamic control variable for climate mitigation in DICE-2013R because CO2 is the predominant contributor to the warming of the Earth

    Is CO2 the predominant contributor to warming the Earth? What about the Sun? What about the locations of the tectonic plates, ocean gateways and, therefore, ocean currents?

    Other statements:

    Here, the climate sensitivity was set to the best-guess level of 3.0 °C

    We used a relatively high carbon price here to reflect the cost of mitigation

    • The analysis does not investigate the validity of the damage functions.

    • The analysis does not investigate whether global warming without GHG emissions abatement would be net harmful or net beneficial.

    • Participation rate – not mentioned

    • Discount rate – not given

    • Total cost of mitigation?

    • Cost if no mitigation?

    Why carbon pricing will not succeed https://anglejournal.com/article/2015-11-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed/ explains some significant issues with DICE-2013R and the significance of participation rate.

  15. I have a new, short piece that might be of interest:

    The claimed global and regional temperatures are all based on a very limited convenience sample. Statical science is clear that convenience samples are completely unreliable, or “virtually worthless” as one source puts it. But the climate models are all tuned to these questionable numbers. We may be valiantly trying to explain warming that simply does not exist. I have not seen this fundamental question widely discussed. What a mess!

    • You’ve been talking about for as long as I’ve been reading your comments on the Internet. When I used to measure turbine performance, temperatures had to be measured against a reference temperature. When I started we used ice baths for the reference temperatures and later used electronic reference temperatures. Reference temperatures are required to assure the levels of precision and accuracy required for measuring performance against contractual promises. Not so much for future doom I guess.

    • DW, nice article. You are correct to a large degree but not beyond, IMO.
      A lot of stats assumes normal distributions that aren’t, in reality always there in nature. Normal distributions are expected, for example, by the CLT and BLUE theorems and require random samples. Works for urns of black and white marbles (old probability/intro stats teaching device). Economic records and temperature records are classic examples where autocorrelation messes up the ‘normally distributed error’ math so degree of freedom corrections like Bonferoni ( and other tricks) have to be applied.
      Bayesian statistics does not require pure random sampling, no matter the underlying probability distribution. It requires ‘informed’ priors to calculate posteriors. Those are ‘best information’, not ‘random’ information, and often do not even involve a PDF. Just a yes/no initial ‘informed guess’. This comment is just simplifying the now century old debate between probabalistic ‘Fisherites’ and learning ‘Bayesians’. A quibble from a Ph.D level econometrician steeped in stats but admittedly now rusty.

      Tony Heller recently produced a Youtube video on his blog making a related purely visual point. For much of Africa there are no convenience samples at all, yet the statistical models produce warming. A nice complement to your mostly excellent post. Worth a grok and possible dissemination by CFACT.

      • “You are correct to a large degree but not beyond, IMO.”

        And yet that large degree remains the principle evidence for all the concern. ;-)

    • Turns out a not true Guardian fake news piece. Spring melt with a little rain. Nothing to do with permafrost. And froze once inside the entrance.

  16. Dr. Curry

    National Academies Releases Sweeping Review of Research Misconduct and ‘Detrimental’ Practices [link]

    “The report emphasizes that, rather than simply attributing all instances of misconduct and DRPs to the actions of “bad apples,” it is important to understand the role played by “structural” features of the scientific research enterprise.”

    In part, you launched into the blogging scene precisely because of bad behavior on the part of climate science luminaries with the unauthorized release of emails now known as Climategate Nov 2009. Rightly you identified them as, paraphrasing: bad apples.

    Regarding structural shortcomings, Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address, pointing out the dangers of the military industrial complex as well as the Federal Government as the overwhelming funding agency for research clairvoyantly spoke to the dangers that Government will direct or suppress research efforts based upon a political agenda.

    We have seen the dangers of the Federal Government as research primary funder with the Obama Administration, mainly by executive orders guiding EPA, NOAA, NASA and many other agencies into a one policy agenda of demonizing human emissions of CO2 when dealing with such complex issues as weather, climate and energy.

    The above article does not address these most intractable issues. The only way I can see to restructure, in the present structure of research funding, is a set aside of 15% of research dollars in the many categories of research endeavors. Funding to innovative, even contra establishment investigators more along the lines of your “Red team v Blue team” construct I am suggesting. Even odd ball and off the wall thinkers may need to be tolerated in order to provide insight into issues that have fallen into the rut of “main stream.”

    We need to restart a conversation with and amongst scientists regarding science, and, at least for the time being, relegate advocacy to their only proper locations which are not in academia nor government research centers.

    • RiH, good comments. In addition to R/B set asides, the quantity of funsing should be reduced, and the quality standards to get it increased. And the university career incentives structures need to be rethought toward quality not quantity. Several recent examples of recent poor quality over at WUWT: fishtanks, marine wetlands, urban trees. Systemic problems need systemic solutions. These are usually multiple and mutually reinforcing.

      • Good point Rud. Universities now shape their behavior to attract funding. If the funding model changes, so will they. Human frailty, the need to survive and thrive, whatever …

  17. I think the Bem ESP issue is relevant and important. Evidently many feel he used rigorous “scientific” methods to show ESP/psi effects.

    A key question is “who is qualified to dispute his findings?” My understanding is that others have failed to replicate which currently puts his findings In doubt, But imagine if the study of such phenomenon were a “coherent” organized specific field of study. What if practioners and the public thought these specialists knew best and scientists from other fields could not challenge them? Why would someone enter that field if they doubted its importance? Wouldn’t all practioners benefit the more potential for psi was shown? Wouldn’t you expect the profession to favor study methods, findings, results to bolster its major reason for existence and funding?

    • I agree that this Bem/ESP is an important issue. In my opinion it highlights the serious problem of reproducibility in science, specially in social and medical sciences. I think that it arises from engaging in hypothesis-driven science instead of evidence-driven science, and then it reaches epidemic proportions in disciplines were science is not being built over previous results, so the autocorrecting feature of science does not work. In social sciences, practitioners just propose hypotheses and devise methods to support them, so they are ridden with biases, and bad practices. Then other researchers just make other hypotheses so nobody has to reproduce previous results. Something similar happens with experimental medicine. They just want new drugs and treatments to work, and trials are almost never redone.
      When one practices evidence-driven science, and lets the evidence guide one to the hypothesis, then one frees oneself from most biases. If the results are then required by other researchers to advance their work, then multiple independent checks will soon be made and the science behind is soon confirmed or corrected.

      • Something similar happens with experimental medicine. They just want new drugs and treatments to work, and trials are almost never redone.

        Good thing the current administration wants to reduce red tape and to speed up the drug approval process.

      • Peter Lang


        I like this bit:

        When one practices evidence-driven science, and lets the evidence guide one to the hypothesis, then one frees oneself from most biases.

        The evidence I have provided in numerous previous comments leads me to suggest this hypothesis:

        2C to 3C global warming would be beneficial for the world overall – beneficial for life for human well-being and the global economy

        True or false? Evidence?

  18. Why is anyone producing these papers or anyone reading them when ‘The science is settled”?

    There must be a lot of additional coding going on in the climate model world to incorporate these new papers.

    Are there any modelers reading this blog who can comment on how new information such as in these papers (and, no doubt, many more) is blended into the GCMs?

    • Curious George

      New information is incorporated into models at a glacial pace. In 2012 I reported to NCAR that their atmosphere model did not use a correct value for a latent heat of water vaporization – that means, how much energy a water evaporating from the ocean transfers. They did not correct it for two years, I am no longer following up. https://judithcurry.com/2013/06/28/open-thread-weekend-23/#comment-338257

    • Steven Mosher

      “Why is anyone producing these papers or anyone reading them when ‘The science is settled”?”

      Because no scientist ever claimed that all of the science is settled.
      Just read the IPCC… many things unsettled.

      Here is what is settled:

      A) C02 is a GHG
      B) Humans are adding c02 to the atmosphere
      C) That will, all things be equal, lead to a warmer world, not a colder world.

      What is not settled..

      1. How much warming?
      2. What can/should we do about that.

      • This is pretty much my spiel (not inconsistent with Trump or Pruitt either). This is characterized as denier arguments.

      • Also not settled is what things are not equal. 1 & 2 do not follow from A, B & C. Thinking they do is the popular fallacy. Things not being equal it need not warm.

      • That will, all things be equal, lead to a warmer world, not a colder world.

        True only of a test-tube world without oceans, not the real one! There, by no means are “all things equal;” In fact, annual average temperatures are largely incoherent with changes in CO2 concentrations.

      • Also, at very low frequencies where there IS significant coherence in the real world, CO2 lags T. That’s what leaves the CO2-control-knob hypothesis bereft of empirical verification.

      • I look forward to seeing your and many other ‘climate scientists’ widely publicized destruction of every utterance of the likes of Gore and DeCaprio whenever they spruke the ‘settled science’ meme.

        Unfortunately, the general public do not hear about the unsettled aspects of IPCC reports, only the disaster scenarios/projections/etc.

      • Curious George

        I agree with Steven, but I dislike the weasel words in point C: all things be equal. Everything be equal except temperature?

      • Regarding
        “1. How much warming?”
        Science (AR5) says most likely all of it. Skeptics say that is hardly possible. This is the crux of the difference.

      • Science does not say that all 2th century warming was anthropogenic. There are quite clearly alternate views to the IPCC – viewsthat appear to me to be much sounder.

        “… such as the accelerated observed 1910–1940 warming that has been attributed to an unverifiable increase in solar irradiance (4, 7, 19, 20), appear to instead be due to natural variability. The same is true for the observed mid-40s to mid-70s cooling, previously attributed to enhanced sulfate aerosol activity (4, 6, 7, 12). Finally, a fraction of the post-1970s warming also appears to be attributable to natural variability.” http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.full

        The world is agreed on what not to do about it – taxes and caps.

      • For the period 1951-2010 they say “The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.” Solar irradiance has decreased in this period, so this is why that one can be ruled out as helping the warming.

      • The skeptical view, as far as I can tell, is that there is a far larger force causing the warming than emitted greenhouse gases, but they haven’t figured out what it is yet.

      • … all 20th century warming…

        And merely parroting the IPCC yet again means SFA.

      • I also gave you the skeptical view for balance. You’re welcome.

      • I gave the peer reviewed version.

      • The post-70’s warming was canceled by the pre-70’s cooling effect. The IPCC has natural variability as a wash in the 60 years since 1950, as, it appears, does your reference.

      • “This combination of the synchronization of these dynamical modes in the climate, followed immediately afterward by significant increase in the fraction of strong trends (coupling) without exception marked shifts in the 20th century climate state. These shifts were accompanied by breaks in the global mean temperature trend with respect to time, presumably associated with either discontinuities in the global radiative budget due to the global reorganization of clouds and water vapor or dramatic changes in the uptake of heat by the deep ocean.” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008GL037022/full

        ERBS and ISCCP suggest it is clouds – as does COADS observations in the Pacific.

        But none of it elicits even a moments doubt with you and I am heartily bored with it.

      • The system varies over millennia.

      • Exactly.The Milankovitch multi-millennial trend is supposed to still be downwards,

      • I just read the names and give up Jim.

        The oceans cooled from 1998 to 2008 and warmed again since. It says that there was a negative energy imbalance to 2008.

        It is the solar cycle.

        But mostly changes in reflected and emitted energy. Up is warming by convention.

        So what does the data say to you. No don’t tell me – I really don’t want to know.

      • Orbital changes are smooth enough – but the response is non-linear in a chaotic system.

      • But again you have said this about a 1000 times and it means SFA.

      • Steven Mosher

        “This is pretty much my spiel (not inconsistent with Trump or Pruitt either). This is characterized as denier arguments.”

        Its is characterized as Denier arguments because you and others REFUSE to consistently and forcefully defend what we do know.

        In other words, you allow by your silence, other views to persist and distract us from the real questions. Youre rather like “moderates” who refuse to call out or isolate your “extremists” to use a metaphor thats sure to upset some.

        This includes, encouraging, promoting or even staying silent on
        views such as

        1. The temperature record is a fraud or hoax
        2. Salby
        3. Views that C02 must have small effect
        4. Cyclomania

        When You’ll speak out and condemn the bombs and that goddard and Morano and others bring to the discussion, we might see some improvements

      • Steve:

        >>Its is characterized as Denier arguments because you and others REFUSE to consistently and forcefully defend what we do know.

        So you can throw out or delegitimize a perfectly reasonable argument (we’ll assume this, as it’s also your own) based on the behavior of the proposer?? Wouldn’t that make science merely about identity, and not about evidence based argument?

        >>This includes, encouraging, promoting or even staying silent on views such as
        >>1. The temperature record is a fraud or hoax
        >>2. Salby
        >>3. Views that C02 must have small effect
        >>4. Cyclomania

        Salby and Goddard et al and many or perhaps all of the cyclomaniacs may or may not be spouting nonsense, but assuming just for the sake of argument that they are, I imagine this would be very hard to formally prove beyond doubt in most cases. Can you in all cases, or even most? If not, they cannot be condemned. And anyhow not expressing condemnation of such arguments is not a refusal to defend what we know; defending what we know is defending the spiel above, including what is not settled, an argument you apparently think is okay to throw out if it is expressed by a perceived skeptic.

        Views that ACO2 *must* have a small effect are just as invalid as views that ACO2 *must* have a large effect, the point about significant uncertainty is that no-one knows for sure. But why do you expect that folks occupying any position have a duty to invest effort in opposing / calling out anyone and everyone perceived by someone else to be on their ‘side’, or anywhere else, who make what seem to be more dubious or fringe or even bonkers claims? There are very many indeed, this would be much more than a lifetime’s task. Do you do that? If there’s any ‘duty’, shouldn’t this be to start with the most widely held and most influential *wrong* view? Hence maximum corrective impact. Especially if it can more simply be shown as wrong without ad-infinitum appeals to interpretations of uncertain evidence from polarized experts.

        Virtually the entire Western authority matrix from presidents and prime ministers on downwards have trumpeted the *certainty* of imminent climate catastrophe for many years (in the US, up until the recent Trump administration), and in the most emotive and critically urgent manner – some samples at link below. This narrative is what drives main policy, and it is wrong. Your own argument says this is wrong. Mainstream science (e.g. IPCC technical papers) says it is wrong, and skeptic science says it is wrong. So this conclusion doesn’t in the main straddle the polarization. Or using social data one can show the narrative to be a cultural one, not an evidence based one, so likewise cannot be anything but wrong.

        If there’s any duty to call out errors, shouldn’t the main duty be to call out the error of main influence? What effect do Salby and the cyclomaniacs have on main policy compared to the leadership of the Western world (and other leaders beyond)? I suspect diddly squat. Promoting the uncertainty monster opposes the most influential wrong view (averaged over say 25 years, most influential by a very large margin indeed). It is clear from the narrative samples below that the authority of science is frequently invoked to underwrite this wrong narrative. If we are going to expect duty, shouldn’t we expect the many mainstream scientists to be flocking to correct this, by far the most influential error?


      • Probably worse: So you can throw out or delegitimize a perfectly reasonable argument (we’ll assume this, as it’s also your own) based on the *perceived* behavior of the proposer??

      • Steve writes-
        1. “Just read the IPCC… many things unsettled.”
        Imo, it is dishonest to imply that the IPCC’s reports are not highly biased to the conclusion that increased levels of CO2 are probably harmful for the climate.

        2. “Its is characterized as Denier arguments because you and others REFUSE to consistently and forcefully defend what we do know.Imo you miss a significant difference.”
        That is factually incorrect statement. It also tries to put an unreasonable burden on Judith to repetitively play science cop.

      • RIE, they use more up-to-date data, satellite and OHC and show an imbalance of 0.5-1 W/m2 that is consistent between them in the long-term balance. Of course, it is predictable you won’t like this even if they are using CERES, like you keep quoting, because it doesn’t give the result you want. That is what cognitive dissonance looks like – complete dismissal of a paper based only on the bottom line rather than any critique of methods.

      • To paraphrase myself above, the skeptical argument is that there is indeed a lot of warming and something much more powerful than the increase in greenhouse gases is causing most of it, just they haven’t pinpointed what this mysterious forcing could be yet and why it is only acting now as the greenhouse gases are increasing.

      • I doubt that they have used later data given the publication delay – and the data tells a much more interesting story.


        It is absurd to ignore – inter alia – toa radiative variability. But they keep doing it.

      • David Springer

        With an as yet undetermined appendage Mossher wrote to Curry:

        In other words, you allow by your silence, other views to persist and distract us from the real questions. Youre rather like “moderates” who refuse to call out or isolate your “extremists” to use a metaphor thats sure to upset some.

        This includes, encouraging, promoting or even staying silent on
        views such as

        1. The temperature record is a fraud or hoax
        2. Salby
        3. Views that C02 must have small effect
        4. Cyclomania

        Cranks and their writings abound on the internet. Some are crankier than others. What yardstick do you propose be used to measure whether any particular thoughts, hypotheses, or memes rise to the level where credentialed experts in the field should use their limited time to speak against them?

        I suggest anything that finds no support among credentialed experts in the field, has no support in peer reviewed literature, and is wholly contained to what I term “blog science” needn’t be distinguished by real experts wasting time with it.

        Further what leads you to believe that blog science will be detrimentally effected by real scientists disputing it? It seems to me that acknowledging it only serves to lend it credibility and exposure.

        Just as an aside on your enumerated ideas that deserve enthusiastic public defamation by experts is the absolute nature of them. Some elements of the temperature record are indeed fraudulent. “Mike’s nature trick” comes to mind. It’s a matter of degree (pun intended) that fraud exists not whether it does or doesn’t exist at all. Your other items suffer from the same sweeping black & white generalizations when in fact they are all nuanced in levels of gray.

      • David Springer

        With an as yet undetermined appendage Mossher wrote to Curry:

        In other words, you allow by your silence, other views to persist and distract us from the real questions. Youre rather like “moderates” who refuse to call out or isolate your “extremists” to use a metaphor thats sure to upset some.

        This includes, encouraging, promoting or even staying silent on
        views such as

        1. The temperature record is a fraud or hoax
        2. Salby
        3. Views that C02 must have small effect
        4. Cyclomania

        Cranks and their writings abound on the internet. Some are crankier than others. What yardstick do you propose be used to measure whether any particular thoughts, hypotheses, or memes rise to the level where credentialed experts in the field should use their limited time to speak against them?

        I suggest anything that finds no support among credentialed experts in the field, has no support in peer reviewed literature, and is wholly contained to what I term “blog science” needn’t be distinguished by real experts wasting time with it.

        Further what leads you to believe that blog science will be detrimentally effected by real scientists disputing it? It seems to me that acknowledging it only serves to lend it credibility and exposure.

        Just as an aside on your enumerated ideas that deserve enthusiastic public defamation by experts is the absolute nature of them. Some elements of the temperature record are indeed fraudulent. “Mike’s nature trick” comes to mind. It’s a matter of degree (pun intended) that fraud exists not whether it does or doesn’t exist at all. Your other items suffer from the same sweeping black & white generalizations when in fact they are all nuanced in levels of gray.

      • Stv M0sh,

        Why does everyone but Dr. Curry have the right of free speech? Freedom of speech is not just about the ability to speak freely, but also includes not being compelled to speak.

      • Mosher
        The critical issue is:

        “1. The temperature record is a fraud or hoax”

        The temperature increase of 2016 over 2015 is about 0.01 * C

        Given the estimates in the Arctic and adjustments to the base line records how accurate is the data global temperature estimate for each year. Is it +- 0.1 *C order of magnitude.

        How much confidence can the CAGW team claim the hottest year ever.

        How can one parse the warming from the little ice age and the 8,000 year warming from the depths of the last ice age between man and natural temperature increase.


      • Jim D, the skeptic argument includes possibility of mostly anthropogenic causes, as well as the possibility of lower influence. The alarmist argument includes only one of the above. Thats the problem here.

        Also it’s probably not a good idea to speak for skeptics. Cuz your a little off…

      • smokinfrog, put a probability on it. The skeptics are saying unlikely mostly anthropogenic despite not knowing what other forcing could do this. Why would it be unlikely if you have no other inkling of an idea to suggest as an alternative. Remember it has to be a forcing, not internal variation, because the imbalance is positive, but I think many skeptics are unaware of this observational constraint on their alternatives.

      • Jim D:

        “…they haven’t pinpointed what this mysterious forcing could be yet and why it is only acting now as the greenhouse gases are increasing.”

        You expected the GMST to keep falling?

        Natural variability on longer time scales:

        Quite a number of hockey sticks on longer time scales.

        It’s the climate having an equilibrium that it can vary from and then return to. If there is an equilibrium, the return to it requires what energy source? If volcanoes can cause a deviation from the equilibrium, what new source of energy is required to return to it?

      • Ragnaar, thanks to all the GHGs added, that equilibrium has shifted somewhat above the current temperature. The energy budget is not balanced until the earth can a find a way to emit more radiation, which is achieved by warming towards the new equilibrium.

      • D) Things are never equal

      • Jim D, skeptics are all over the map on the mostly anthro/mostly natural question. They are a lot more homogeneous on the uncertainty question, which is a much more scientifically tenable position than the alarmists given the sample size of direct observations available. Do you really think we could predict natural climate out 30-60 years sans human contributions?

      • While I do get the thrust of many of you criticisms of folks about poor construct of their arguments, this is what the majority of people here agree with. So if we are all in agreement with the basic points you just laid out, why the argumentative tone you so often take?

      • Steven, until you can respond to Andy west’s take down, I recommend you get your rest. I for one am losing my opinion of you being a comment or worth paying attention to

      • Peter Lang


        What is not settled..

        1. How much warming?
        2. What can/should we do about that.

        As usual, you miss (or intentionally dodge) asking the important question – i.e. does GW matter? If GW does occur, will it be beneficial or harmful? If so, how beneficial or harmful?

        You “ask what should we do about it?” before asking “doe’s anything need to be done about it?”

        Why do you leap to a conclusion that something needs to be done about it? It appears your leap to a conclusion is like a faith – faith in an ideological belief, not science, not evidence, not objective analysis.

      • smokinfrog, make the choice between 700 ppm and rising in 2100 or less than 500 ppm and stable. These give vastly different outcomes at that time, and I think even some skeptics may realize that the last time we had 700 ppm was prior to when Antarctica or anywhere had any ice, so that is on the road to a new world with fast-rising sea levels, while stabilizing below 500 ppm is not perfect but much more manageable, because Antarctica can survive that, even if not Greenland.

      • Jim D:
        In the Marcott above plot, what mysterious force lowered the temperature from about 8000 BC to about 1850?

        Marcott shows a decline while the above shows an increase. Whatever was lowering the equilibrium could not be completely offset by CO2.

        Let’s have two equilibriums. Yours and the next ice age equilibrium. That is the no man equilibrium. I am not saying there’s anything wrong with your equilibrium. A whole lot of science supports it. The planet has shown it can drag the temperature down and hold it there. Maybe CO2 can obliterate the ice age equilibrium.

      • Ragnaar, you ask what caused the cooling in the last 8000 years. I don’t know where you stand on Milankovitch, but that has a widely accepted, even consensus, explanation in terms of the precession that now favors northern ice more than it did 8000 years ago. This leads to an albedo effect, and cooling at a rate that could be as much as 0.1 C per thousand years. However now the rate of the CO2 effect is more like 0.1 C per decade in the warming direction, so now it is what dominates. The rise of CO2 in your graph would be worth about 0.2-0.3 C in 10000 years, so it appears it would be dominated by the Milankovitch cooling at 0.1 C per 1000 years.

      • Steven Mosher: What is not settled..

        1. How much warming?
        2. What can/should we do about that.

        I think you should renumber 2 as 3 and add:

        2. What are the consequences on the Earth surface? Biology, coastal cities, etc.

        I am glad to see you assert that some important details are not settled. That has been a “denier” position.

      • Steven Mosher: Its is characterized as Denier arguments because you and others REFUSE to consistently and forcefully defend what we do know.

        I think that is a false statement. They are called “Denier” arguments even when Judith Curry and others consistently and forcefully defend what we do know.

      • Jim D, I don’t think we’re talking about the same climate system which tends to be chaotic and nonlinear locally and globally on decadal thru millenial timescales. Try to imagine your response to me without propaganda words like ‘stable’ and ‘stabilized’. Furthermore see level has been rising since before the industrial age. It’s extremely dubious to think it will suddenly stop if we just reduce emissions.

      • Marshall and Clark:
        “…Our simulations suggest that a substantial fraction (60% to 80%) of the ice sheet was frozen to the bed for the first 75 kyr of the glacial cycle, thus strongly limiting basal flow. Subsequent doubling of the area of warm-based ice in response to ice sheet thickening and expansion and to the reduction in downward advection of cold ice may have enabled broad increases in geologically- and hydrologically-mediated fast ice flow during the last deglaciation.
        Increased dynamical activity of the ice sheet would lead to net thinning of the ice sheet interior and the transport of large amounts of ice into regions of intense ablation both south of the ice sheet and at the marine margins (via calving). This has the potential to provide a strong positive feedback on deglaciation.
        The timescale of basal temperature evolution is of the same order as the 100-kyr glacial cycle, suggesting that the establishment of warm-based ice over a large enough area of the ice sheet bed may have influenced the timing of deglaciation. Our results thus reinforce the notion that at a mature point in their life cycle, 100-kyr ice sheets become independent of orbital forcing and affect their own demise through internal feedbacks.”
        – Science of Doom

        To sum it up, it ice builds up and then collapses. Speculations exist as to why this warms? Paleo shows fast demise of ice and a slow build up. If we were to first deprive the Midwest of water and put it into glaciers in Minnesota. A collapse would release water and perhaps green things and form lakes (some of them next to the glacier) capable of capturing sunlight. The Red River flows North into Canada, and parts of Minnesota are still recovering from rebound I suppose. So it could be a situation of ice over expanding South, causing its demise. If I were a glacier and someone put the Great Lakes under me, what would happen? In Minnesota we have some rivers flowing North and some South. The glaciers did cross into the South but not that far. It may have had something to do with the North/South land gradient containing a critical threshold. Not that Minnesota was some linchpin. All around the global something like this could have happened near the Southern edge of the glaciers.

  19. Dr. Curry
    I nominate “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct” as the best scientific paper of the year

    Commentaries by the authors

  20. Have windmills become the West’s minarets, part of a secular-socialist faith where modern-day witchdoctors call the faithful to pray for deliverance from capitalism?

  21. Pingback: Merenpinnan satelliittimittauksista uusia tuloksia | Roskasaitti

  22. “The Impact of the AMO on Multidecadal ENSO Variability”

    Or the reverse. Strong warm AMO pulses can be seen following El Nino episodes, through 1998, 2010, and 2016, and peaking late summer-autumn.

  23. “Recent Progress in Understanding and Predicting Atlantic Decadal Climate Variability”

    Well yes the models do say that rising greenhouse gases will increase positive NAO:
    but a warm AMO is driven by increased negative NAO, as observed since the mid 1990’s:

  24. “Are opposite trends in Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice linked?”

    Yes, by declining solar wind strength since the mid 1990’s. This also offers an explanation for the marginal AMO-Arctic cooling through 2013-2014.

  25. We are just about 225 comments to go to hit 850,000.

  26. Thanks curryja, some great reading in there.

  27. Woo Hoo, It has been interesting and fun.

    Thanks curryja for the energy you put into the blog and the denizens who expand it.

    A fantastic job of education and modeling a scientific controversy mechanism of elucidating the issues.

  28. The Atlantic Multi-decadal Variation (previously known as the AMO) – drives rainfall variation in the Sahel and other places. We should expect Nile River flows to reflect Atlantic variability and for both to share the Hurst phenomenon characteristics of chaotic regimes – persistence and shifts.

    These aspects of global ocean and atmospheric circulation change water vapour, atmospheric temperature and clouds thus changing the energy budget at the top of the atmosphere. We have only a snapshot of these secular variations in the global energy budget – but it is reasonable to assume variation at all scales.

    “The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.” https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10712-012-9175-1

    ERBE and ISCCP data says that most warming late last century was from changes in the energy budget at TOA. But beyond that speculation relies on extrapolating links between the behaviour over millennia of climate nodes – perhaps ENSV especially in a negative correlation of sea surface temperature and cloud. This is very probably a major source of climate variability.

  29. “How science can help us disagree. A dose of humility helps.” As does clear perception. The author quotes approvingly: “Take Trudeau, for instance. Like Obama, he seems open to compromise and negotiation, which characterize intellectual humility. But both of these leaders have been criticized for being weak for these very same traits.” Obama was so open to compromise and negotiation that he regularly bypassed the House and Senate in order to implement decisions which would not have gained H/S support. Trudeau also seems to read from a pre-set, unchallengeable, playbook.

    I’m not knocking humility, but it needs to be accompanied by clear thinking and lack of bias.

    • It’s basically both sides of the mouth hypocritical fascist pablum to evaluate one as being open to compromise and negotiation but yet criticize it in the next breath. Compromise for fascists is like taking two steps back, or laying down too many potentially distracting forks in the road, instead of a direct path that leads to a centrally planned global society. It’s much better tactically to make people believe they’re not being maneuvered by coercion, that it’s instead ones own imbued foresight to recognize they are guided by studied people of humility who care for the will of the people and who only ask citizens to be introspective, to be guided by their own spiritual center and to expect others (mostly) to also think for the good of us all (me). And if others don’t think this way, naturally, they must be forced to one way or the other to comply. Nonconformists are obviously the enemy. The greatest tyrannical leaders were masters of manipulation who utilized these tactics until ultimately they didn’t have to play the game any longer.

  30. A claim is being made that wind power is now possible without subsidies. Is this true or is there a catch ?

    • Several catches. See guest post here a while ago, ‘True cost of wind’, for details. We ran several experiments here in US. Wind subsidies lapsed several times. Wind investment promptly dropped to zero each time. So greens got Congress to reinstate them.

  31. Same question on other link – same answer but with a needed comma.

    It’s a paywall site. I am sure there are some places and situations in the world where this is true today and there are some places where it can not be true for the foreseeable future.

    Key questions: What is the potential wind power in that region (what speeds over what time periods)? What is the cost of other resources? What are the characteristics of the other resources? How much of the total power can come from wind? How is the power treated in the market, is it given privilege relative to what it provides? (for example is it able to lean on other resources for essential reliability services.)

    I think a key point is that when new technologies become competitive – they will do so in niche locations first and gradually spread to more broader applications as the technology improves. Wind and solar should start in areas where they have good performance and other costs are high and then as they develop span out. What we see is that they are starting where politicians set subsidies. (Germany should not have been the nation to develop solar.) Maybe one day wind will see good economics in Pennsylvania – but looking at the potential map of wind capability it will happen in Kansas well before that time. http://apps2.eere.energy.gov/wind/windexchange/wind_maps.asp

  32. From the article:

    It’s time for academics to take back control of research journals

    The evolution into a highly-profitable industry was never planned. Academics must make the case for lower-cost journals


  33. From the article:

    The survey of more than 8,000 people in eight countries – the United States, China, India, Britain, Australia, Brazil, South Africa and Germany – found that 84 percent of people now consider climate change a “global catastrophic risk”.


  34. Study: sea level rise acceleration still uncertain, we won’t have statistical certainty until 2020-2030 [link]

    Our reconstructed GMSL trend of 1.1 ± 0.3 mm⋅y−1 (1σ) before 1990 falls below previous estimates, whereas our estimate of 3.1 ± 1.4 mm⋅y−1 from 1993 to 2012 is consistent with independent estimates from satellite altimetry, leading to overall acceleration larger than previously suggested. …

    So Hay et al is bolstered.

    • nobodysknowledge

      Interesting reading. Thank you for the references JCH. And science is not settled yet. From the abstract:
      ” However, considerable debate remains as to whether the rate of sea level rise is currently increasing and, if so, by how much.”

    • No. JCH, did you read your cited paper Dangendorf et.al (2017)? If so you should have seen their fig.1B:

      There you can see ( the black line is the result of the study) that the SLR-rate before 1990 was indeed smaler. Anyway: the rate in the 30s/40s ( with no AGW) was almost as big as post 1990. There is a great internal variability imprint and we are far away from certainty.

  35. Why does my wastewater get dumped into the Mississippi?
    Old model, many small sewer plants, some by rivers, some by lakes. Next model, a few big sewer plants, some older ones remain, usually in rurul areas. Are there problems that will be economically solved?

  36. Just 70 comments to go for 850,000. Who will make that comment?

  37. “It all began with the end of coal, a radical policy objective that pre-dates the 2003 election of Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government.

    Green economics was in the air during the former Conservative governments of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves. In 2002, an all-party Select Committee on Alternative Fuels recommended that the government “mandate the closure of all remaining coal or oil-fired generating stations by 2015.”

    At the time, coal accounted for slightly more than 20 per cent of Ontario’s electricity supply. Renewables such as wind and solar, the report said, should be phased in to take the place of coal. The motivation seemed sound: Coal caused unhealthy smog and unwanted carbon emissions; wind and solar are clean and green.”
    Hasn’t worked out so well.

  38. Speaking of Science and research, Part II of the “…military complex” speech by president Eisenhower (1961) – warns also of government funded research. You tube has the (16:41 minute) speech; at about 9:30 of the video begins the research part termed “the scientific elite” – a portion below:

    “”Akin to and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

    In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists, in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.

    For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.


  39. David Springer

    Link to Pielke’s article is wrong. It’s this one, right?


  40. David Springer

    Trump got Merkel’s panties in a bunch at G7 by refusing to say US would be part of Paris Climate Accord. He promised an answer in a week.

    Committing the US to what for all intents and purposes is an international treaty is not something POTUS can do unilaterally. He can say no by not requesting senate ratification. Only the senate itself can say yes by ratifying it. Obama’s promise at the Paris convention was empty.
    e US must approve. POTUS can negotiate terms but SOTUS must approve entering into any binding agreement. Sort of like POTUS crafts a budget but congress has to approve it. Separation of powers.

    Trump is probably wanting a week to give an answer so he has time to see what kind of horse trading he can do with Democrats using the Paris accord as a bargaining chip.

    • I really hope Trump withdraws USA from Paris Agreement. I see it as really important, not just for slowing the damage being done to the global economy by UN climate policies, but, more importantly, as the start to removing the damage the Leftsts and Marxists have been doing to the OECD economies and world development for decades.

    • David

      Here is the joint communique issued by the g7


      It covers a lot of ground but there is a small section on climate at 32 . The clause immediately after is perhaps more interesting though as it seems that the principle of assisting developing countries with climate change costs has been accepted by all present.

      My guess is that Trump realised he was on very hostile ground last week in Europe and wanted time to consider his position back on home ground.

      However, as far as I can see he has conceded a very large point about the principle of helping those supposedly affected by climate change by agreeing to clause 33. I don’t know what your reading of this is?


      • Peter Lang


        as far as I can see he has conceded a very large point about the principle of helping those supposedly affected by climate change by agreeing to clause 33.

        I haven’t read the political joint communique issued by the g7, but I sure hope Trump has the guts to stand up to this lot of gullibles. I hope he will proceed to get the cost-benefit data on the total expenditure commitments and the realistic, objective assessment of the benefits (i.e. none!!!).

        I do not see any persuasive evidence that GHG emissions will be net damaging – in fact it seems to me the weight of valid evidence is more likely to shows any global warming that does occur will do more good than harm.

      • The Trump budget request includes zero money for this.

      • climatereason: “However, as far as I can see he has conceded a very large point about the principle of helping those supposedly affected by climate change by agreeing to clause 33.”

        Possibly part of a Trump tit-for-tat with China, which has lined up strongly behind developing nations demanding that developed nations honour their $100+ billion/year Paris Agreement climate aid commitment. China intends to be the ‘international partner’ in a sizeable share of those $100 billion/year development projects.

      • David Springer

        TonyB 33 is a single short sentence.

        33. In this context, we all agree on the importance of supporting developing countries.

        No other item except 39, looking forward to meeting in Canada next year, is near that brief. The “context” of 33 is energy and climate not just climate alone. Agreeing that it’s important to to support developing countries with energy and climate is so broad it has no real meaning for specific policies. In regard to specific policies 32 was quite clear the US at this time is not in support of the Paris climate accord.

        As I said before the president of the United States does not have the authority to enter into international agreements of this nature. POTUS can craft the language but until it is ratified by the Senate it is not binding and furthermore POTUS can’t spend US treasury money without approval by the house of representatives.

        The strongest point of all was made by David Wojick above where he points out that POTUS’ FY18 budget has no request for funding of foreign climate aid in it. You can take it as established fact there won’t be any of that in 2018. At the earliest POTUS can ask congress to approve the agreement and request funding for it in 2019.

    • Comment at Jo Nova discussion re Trump and possible
      withdrawal from Paris Agreement.

      Art. – May 28, 2017 at 4:46 pm ·
      ‘President-elect Donald Trump has said he will cancel American
      involvement in the Paris Agreement on climate change.
      Commentators have pointed out that, under the treaty’s rules,
      Trump would need to wait three years from the date on which it
      came into force, November 4, 2016, to officially notify the
      United Nations of U.S. cancellation. Even then, the withdrawal
      will not take effect until one year later.

      However, there is a faster, more effective way for the U.S. to exit
      the Paris Agreement.

      The above guidelines are indeed within the Paris Agreement —
      but UN climate agreements are actually based on the UN
      Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC).

      The FCCC was signed by President George H. W. Bush and
      other world leaders at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in
      1992. Per the FCCC, signatory countries are given the option
      of quitting provided they wait three years from the date on
      which the Convention came into force, March 21, 1994, with t
      he withdrawal to take effect one year later.

      So the U.S. could exit the FCCC one year after officially notifying
      the UN, which it can do at any time.

      Most importantly, exiting the FCCC would remove the U.S. from
      the Paris Agreement as well. Read the crucially important phrase
      from Article 25 of the FCCC:

      Any Party that withdraws from the Convention shall be considered
      as also having withdrawn from any protocol to which it is a Party.’


      • Peter Lang

        Hmmm. That’s a pretty big step for new US president to take. I doubt he’ll do that. But I hope he withdraws from the Paris Agreement. From my POV this is the second most important thing to achieve next to stopping N Korea’s nuclear missile program.

        I hope some of the rational, objective, honest, informed lawyer CE denizens drop in and inform us on this.

        Even better if Judith could get one of the to write a post on the legal options available for US to get out of Paris Agreement.

      • David Springer

        Jo Nova is wrong about how US government works. This article from “The Hill” has it right.


        This Earth Day, President Obama will sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, which seeks to limit greenhouse gas emissions and funnel aid to developing nations. Amid the pageantry and celebration, a crucial fact will be downplayed: Obama’s signature is good for a maximum of nine months.

        President Obama is signing the Paris Accord, but The United States is not. To bind the country, the Agreement must be ratified as a treaty by two thirds of the Senate.

        The Administration argues that the Accord is not a treaty but rather an executive agreement between President Obama and other nations. Even so, the President cannot bind the country with an executive agreement; he can only bind his administration.

        Thus, the Paris Agreement is either an unratified treaty—in which case it has no effect—or it is an agreement only with the Obama Administration—in which case it is only valid for the nine months until his administration ends. Either way, the agreement is ineffective come January.

      • David Springer

        The Paris Accord, while within the UNFCCC “framework”, requires separate US Senate ratification. The Kyoto Protocol was a similar situation also under the UNFCCC framework but the US famously never ratified Kyoto either.

        US Presidents simply don’t have the constitutional authority to sign binding international agreements that commit future presidents to abide by them. US separation of powers requires consent from the legislative branch for these executive agreements to become binding.

      • I think the Hill article is wrong about the role of Presidential agreements in international custom and law. These agreements, which may be numerous, do not simply become null when Admins change, any more than executive orders do. They need to actually be rescinded.

      • David Springer

        David with all due respect the author of the Hill article I cited is a credentialed, practicing expert in constitutional law.

        Correct me if I’m wrong but neither you nor Jo Nova are similarly qualified so I’m going with the actual expert rather than blog amateurs.


        Joel Stonedale is an attorney with the Center for the American Future at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

        Before joining the Foundation, Joel clerked for the Honorable Jerry E. Smith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and was a litigation associate at McKool Smith.

        Joel graduated with honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics. He received a B.A. in the Plan II Honors Program and a B.S. in biology from the University of Texas at Austin, where was named a Distinguished Scholar and graduated with highest honors. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and is admitted to practice before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as well as the United States District Courts for the Northern, Western and Eastern Districts of Texas.

      • David Wojick

        I am indeed no expert, David, but I have been studying this for about six months and have listened to and read a number of experts on it. Presidential agreements play a fairly large role in international relations and they do not automatically nullify when the President changes.

        Note that the Constitution per se does not address this issue. As I understand it, it is largely a matter of custom but there may also be some international law involved (which also does not depend on the Constitution).

      • David Springer

        Feel free to cite an expert opinion that differs from mine. I’m just going to go ahead an ignore personal readings from bloggers who aren’t qualified experts in US law and that includes Jo Nova and David Wojick neither of whom are attorneys who practice before US federal appeals and district courts. The author I cited does practice US law at district and appellate levels.

        That said everyone is willfully ignoring the incontestable fact that the Paris Accord is the successor to the expired Kyoto Protocol. Both are under the larger UN FNCCC. The Kyoto Protocol required ratification by the Senate and no one argued that it didn’t. Trump can end it immediately by saying it’s a treaty just like its predecessor and therefore needs ratification by the Senate before it enters into force. The consensus is that, like its Kyoto predecessor, it will never win approval by the Senate and thus never become a legal obligation.

        So there. We’ll find out soon enough how Trump handles it. I suspect that he’s got little choice with the force of 22 conservative senators including majority leader McConnell and popular guys like Cruz and Rubio wanting him to ditch it plus 10 state attorney generals including mammoth energy state Texas, his head of EPA and Energy, several advisors including Bannon and Gingrich… the writing appears to be on the wall. He simply wants a week to get negotiate some concessions from McConnell before he pulls the plug on it. Smart.

    • Presidential agreements are quite common in international cases, so that is what Paris is at this point, not a treaty. But the standard “leave or stay” story is completely wrong, because the Trump people are clear that the Obama targets are unacceptable. So the options are leave it or lower the target. The latter arguably damages the Paris Agrement more than leaving. It makes the targets the political wish of the day.

      • Peter Lang


        What does “this” refer to in your sentence (quote from your other comment):

        The Trump budget request includes zero money for this.


        Are you saying no budget to expend on Paris Agreements commitments or no budget for Budget Office to check the costs and benefits of funding Obama’s commitments?

      • It refers to climate aid to developing countries, in reply to Tony’s point about the G7 communique. Sorry for the ambiguity.

      • The interesting question is what happens if the US simply submits a lower target? If it is rejected are we in or out, or in admin limbo? Lots of fun there.

      • David Springer

        Three unnamed sources close to the president say he’s already decided to pull out of the Paris Accord. He can do so with the stroke of a pen just like Obama entered it with the stroke of a pen. No nation on the planet has met UNFCCC or Kyoto Protocol obligations in any case so I’m not sure what difference it makes. The only real concern among others appears to be that the US send tens of billions overseas to “developing” nations to help them with climate problems where those problems don’t actually exist. It’s nothing more than payoffs for global special interests.

      • David Springer


        Good article outlining Trump’s options for how to pull out of Paris Accord. I personally favor option 2: declare it a treaty and hand it over to the senate for ratification where there is zero chance of that happening. Same fate as Kyoto in other words.

      • David Springer


        22 GOP senators want US to pull out of Paris climate accord

        Michael Biesecker, Associated Press
        Updated 9:50 am, Thursday, May 25, 2017

  41. I did it! Mine was comment 850,000.

  42. Re the Paris Agreement, here AP Seth gives us the standard arguments from the standard alarmists using the standard (no good) computer models:

    For once he admits that the plume coming from the pictured power plant stack is just steam, not smoke. Is steam the next green target?

    • Pathetic. Here’s 8 times better photo:

      53 years old, reliable, baseload power station, supplying 25% of Victoria, Australia, electricity (until it was shut down in March, thanks to the loony Left governments response to anti-coal activists).

    • It’s water vapor of which IPCC states does not a concern within the Carbon Cycle. So that’s That!

  43. This dog out-did Kenji Watts. She’s on 7 “science” journals. From the article:

    AN ASSOCIATE EDITOR FOR THE Global Journal of Addiction & Rehabilitation Medicine, Olivia Doll, lists some very unusual research interests, such as “avian propinquity to canines in metropolitan suburbs” and “the benefits of abdominal massage for medium-sized canines.” That’s probably because Olivia Doll is a Staffordshire terrier named Ollie who enjoys chasing birds and getting belly rubs. In all her spare time, Ollie also has sat on the editorial boards of not one, but seven, medical journals.


  44. Two white women accused of cultural appropriation shut down their Oregon burrito shop
    “The story dropped like a bomb, with online critics immediately accusing the women of “stealing” recipes from Mexico and charging them with cultural appropriation.”
    They stole their culture?

  45. This paper is remarkable:
    “Cloud feedback mechanisms and their representation in global climate models”, Paulo Ceppi, Florent Brient, Mark D. Zelinka, Dennis L. Hartmann)

    In the Abstract and Introduction they start with a conclusion:
    “As the atmosphere warms under greenhouse gas forcing, global climate models (GCMs) predict that clouds will change, resulting in a radiative feedback by clouds.[4, 5] While this cloud feedback is positive in most GCMs and hence acts to amplify global warming, GCMs diverge substantially on its magnitude.”

    And then bring in some real data that shows a huge negative effect of clouds:
    “The radiative impact of clouds is measured as the cloud-radiative effect (CRE), the difference between clear-sky and all-sky radiative flux at the top of atmosphere. Clouds reflect solar radiation (negative SW CRE, global-mean effect of −45 W m−2) and reduce outgoing terrestrial radiation (positive LW CRE, 27 W m−2), with an overall cooling effect estimated at −18 W m−2 ”

    And then spend the remainder of the ‘review’ describing how all the other minor components with substantial uncertainties overcome the large net negative cooling of clouds.

    At least they admit at the end that:
    “Accurately representing clouds and their radiative effects in global models remains a formidable challenge, however, and GCM spread in cloud feedback has not decreased substantially in recent decades. ”
    But had to get in that bow to the models that they say are agreeing with each other more, although still very wrong.

    • Good analysis. I call what they are doing paradigm protection (drawing on Kuhn of course). Serious problems are simply hand-waved away.

    • It is possible for clouds to have a net negative effect, yet a positive feedback, if you think about it, so what is the problem?

  46. The price of oil won’t be going up anytime soon. More oil on line from California, now that they have an ample water supply. From the article:

    The 2016 OPEC forecast predicted that lower prices would devastate the U.S. fracking boom by driving domestic production back to about 7.5 million barrels a day and keeping it there for the next five years, allowing OPEC to drive the price of oil back to about $90 a barrel.

    But U.S. frackers cut their costs of drilling by 40 percent as the distance for horizontal drilling increased from 1.1 mile in 2008 to a 29.1 miles in April. Average fracking well break-even costs have declined from $70 a barrel in 2014 to around $40 today, ad are expected to fall to $25 a barrel by 2019.

    To prevent the current $50-per-barrel price of oil from collapsing again, OPEC extended its 1.8 million barres-per day production cut for another nine months on May 25.


    • If you count oil as simply petroleum, not convential or shale or etc, peak oil in the US hasn’t yet occurred. From the article above:

      “The U.S. Energy Information Agency’s May 9 forecast predicts that the United States will set an all-time annual production record of 9.96 million barrels a day in 2018. “

  47. With Pruit in charge, who can doubt that the country’s in the very best of hands? Especially the area around Tulsa:


  48. Interesting piece here: “‘Teaching the controversy’ is the best way to defend science, as long as teachers understand the science”
    Mind you he seems to assume that teaching controversies like GMOs and climate change will make them go away, which is a serious misunderstanding. These are genuine science & policy debates, especially climate change.

    By coincidence I just started a crowdsourcing project to facilitate teaching the climate debate. See https://www.gofundme.com/climate-change-debate-education for details. (Crowdsourcing was suggested here last week by our own Tony B. So I am trying it out.)

  49. Reports say that Trump will announce an exit from the Paris Agreement at 3 pm EDT, just about an hour from now. Any bets on the exit mechanism he chooses? Prepare for a flood of pundits in any case.

    A good day to be a skeptic.

    • He made a very well reasoned argument for the decision to exit. His speech pointed out that we have become the world’s economic patsy and dupe. Now he needs stay on message and reinforce plans for a better deal for the US.

    • David Springer

      Long story short he called it a non-binding agreement and that the US would cease all implementation of it immediately. Can’t get any simpler.

      Everyone knew it was non-binding. Without Senate approval it couldn’t be anything else.

      • It will be interesting to see if the climate activists cause the same sort of trouble on the streets as did the political activists immediately after trumps election


      • David Springer

        No one cares what they do. Acting out just turns more people against them.

      • non binding agreements have a funny way of being binding when presidents can bypass congress and issue exec orders. Congress has not challenged them yet, even when clearly beyond written bounds of constitution. Non binding agreements tied up the nation when O was president. Now we shall see.

        Great development to allow make america great again.

      • David Springer

        Executive orders can be undone by a president. Anything Obama did by executive order Trump can rescind so if that needs to happen it’s just a bit of paperwork.

        Paris Accord is Kaput in the US.

    • David Springer

      Stock market reacted and set a new record high before he finished talking.

  50. For those who missed it this article by Ross McKitrick is worth reading:
    When scientists tried to rebut an @Dilbert_Daily cartoon and ended up acting it out instead
    Dilbert 1, Scientists 0. https://www.cato.org/blog/dilbert-1-scientists-0

  51. Climatariate and EU leaders are going berzerk. China sees a great opportunity.

    I sure hope Trump can now get the US Administration to unbiasedly evaluate the true costs and benefits of climate policies and no climate policies. I suspect GHG emissions are beneficial, not damaging. That needs to be shown by competent, unbiased analyses – this is not a field climate scientists can make much contribution to – other than quantify ALL biophysical impacts of global warming.

    • Unfortunately Trump’s economic arguments implicitly endorse AGW. For example, he wants China and India to do more to cut emissions. He refers to them as polluters, thus certifying CO2 emissions as pollution.

      This does very little to help skepticism. Of course it is very difficult for a politician to directly question the science because the activist scientists then pile on. The Trumpers are at least sending the message that climate change is not the great threat that greens claim. But they are doing little to confront the bogus scientific arguments.

      So it is up to us skeptics to keep up the fight against green advocacy science. To that end I am continuing my efforts to get the real climate science debate taught in school, by collecting and publishing teaching materials.

      • Peter Lang

        Hi David, It;s hard to know how to separate what he understands from what he has to say in order to achieve his big-picture agenda.

        I really want the Administration to start a thorough, rigorous objective process, to estimate:

        1. the total cost of all ‘climate policies’ that would be needed to achieve the stated 2C objective (i.e. the reduction in global GDP over the 21st Century)

        2. The total benefit (or economic loss) of reducing GHG emissions (if achieved).

      • What you are calling for cannot be done, Peter. Both of your numbered issues are characterized by extreme disagreements among experts and no objective process can resolve these. The most that an objective process can do is to elucidate the disagreements. This would be helpful because some people on all sides claim falsely that there is no serious scientific disagreement. But what you keep calling for is impossible, so perhaps you should stop calling for it, lest you add to the confusion.

      • Peter Lang

        David Wojick,

        I disagree with you on this. You are being far too strident asking to stop doing objective analysis of costs and benefits and instead just trust in religious – ideological advocacy, because this is what you are actually saying.

        The problem is that, for the past 30 years, the focus of climate scientists has been on temperatures, ECS, and GCM’s climate projectiions; there has been negligible focus on quantifying biophysical impacts and thence economic impacts of global warming.

        “The reputable Copenhagen Consensus Centre has calculated that the Paris accords will reduce world temperatures by 0.17C by 2100, and over the next 25 years the world will spend $2.5 trillion in renewables subsidies to reduce temperatures by an almost immeasurable amount.”
        Source: Dough Hurst: Letter to the Australian, 3 June 2017

        We really need the focus changed to improving the damage functions, the economic analyses, and Treasuries’ to focus on the cost and benefits of policies like Kyoto, Copenhagen Paris. Etc. Cost benefit analyses of policies most certainly can be done. It is not being done because we’ve been driven to the Left by alarmist advocacy.

  52. Prof Nir Shaviv – Where the IPCC has Gone Wrong
    What happens when you make the solar impact stronger and the CO2 impact less? Same GCMs with these changes.

  53. “Even at our current level of knowledge, many see great potential for storing carbon in soil. Lal of Ohio State says that restoring soils of degraded and desertified ecosystems has the potential to store in world soils an additional 1 billion to 3 billion tons of carbon annually, equivalent to roughly 3.5 billion to 11 billion tons of CO2 emissions. (Annual CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning are roughly 32 billion tons.)” http://e360.yale.edu/features/soil_as_carbon_storehouse_new_weapon_in_climate_fight

    Commercializing cheap and abundant 21st century energy sources is one key – and one that offers unlimited scope for economic development. But there are other – and multiple – approaches that offer not just carbon mitigation but tremendous social, economic and environmental benefits.

    e.g. http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/post-2015-consensus

    Short sighted waffle would have us question on the basis of ignorance the climatic, hydrological and biological risks of changing the composition of the atmosphere. If an impossible is demanded before even the innovative and high value strategies proceed – we let the future happens to us. Fortunately – there are much smarter ways forward.

  54. Western Climate Alarmists won’t admit they are wrong
    By Clive James

    Excellent article (Judith gets a mention). It begins:

    When you tell people once too often that the missing extra heat is hiding in the ocean, they will switch over to watch Game of Thrones, where the dialogue is less ridiculous and all the threats come true. The proponents of man-made climate catastrophe asked us for so many leaps of faith that they were bound to run out of credibility in the end.

    Now that they finally seem to be doing so, it could be a good time for those of us who have never been convinced by all those urgent warnings to start warning each other that we might be making a comparably senseless tactical error if we expect the elastic cause of the catastrophists, and all of its exponents, to go away in a hurry.

    • “Although it has failed to produce its intended impact nevertheless the Kyoto Protocol has performed an important role. That role has been allegorical. Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values. Nor is that to be seen as a defect. Of course choices between competing values are not made by relying upon scientific knowledge alone. What is wrong is to pretend that they are.” http://www.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/units/mackinder/pdf/mackinder_Wrong%20Trousers.pdf

      Notwithstanding Clive James’ superlative skills in story telling – the problem with both deniers and alarmists is the false binary assumptions both sides make. One is right and the other wrong. It is all story telling and mostly twaddle.

      • What false binary assumptions are you claiiming exist? I see a real scientific debate between skeptics and warmers, a very detailed debate in fact, especially here at CE.

      • Robert I Ellison: the problem with both deniers and alarmists is the false binary assumptions both sides make.

        Can you provide a bunch of examples of false binary assumptions that deniers and alarmists make?

  55. Russia’s BN1200 is probably the worlds leading Gen IV design and probably 30 years from being commercial viable (or never, like most other early prototypes and demonstrators).

    Russian milestone for large new fast reactor

    OKBM Afrikantov has announced completion of design work on Russia’s BN-1200 fast reactor. Rosatom has described it as “the first commercial fast neutron reactor” and is expected to commit to building it once the fuel is proven. It is a “Generation IV design with natural security” – an element of the Proryv (Breakthrough) Project, with closed fuel cycle. The BN-1200 will produce 1220 MWe gross, has a 60-year design life, simplified refuelling, burn-up of up to 120 GWd/t with positive breeding ratio, and use oxide or nitride fuels. Initial units are planned for Beloyarsk and South Urals nuclear power plants – at Beloyarsk alongside the BN-800 which is essentially a test-bed for it. Multiple units are envisaged thereafter.

  56. Did you notice the stock market rising sharply after President Trump announced he would pull out of the Paris Climate Accord and – according to CNN – destroy the entire planet? Markets are irrational, but still, it’s hard to reconcile a decision to destroy civilization with a rise in investor confidence. What should I make of the fact so many citizens say global warming is an existential danger while the people who have money are (apparently) betting against it? How does that make sense? –Scott Adams, 2 June 2017

    Source Benny Peiser, GWPF Newsletter

    • Major businesses are opposed and placed an ad in the NYT where they spell out why.

      • This is what the Paris agreement does according to the ad:
        “Creating Jobs, Markets and Growth”

        I suppose governments can do that, create jobs and growth. So when there are problems in these areas, government can fix it. One less thing to worry about.

        What Markets? Is it the market for cheap, reliable and dispatchable electricity? That market exists today. It doesn’t need to be created. The market that needs to be created is the one for non-dispatchable power. And in may places, we’ve already done that by controlling prices.

      • It is because modernization of the energy and fuel system to be better for the planet creates new opportunities and markets. Status quo is not an option.

      • jimd

        I think Trump missed the opportunity to mitigate withdrawal from Paris-which is irrelevant in ‘solving’ climate change- by promising instead to instigate an Apollo style international research programme to find better, cheaper and more reliable renewables and battery technology (or vastly improving fossil fuels) That is something other countries and industry in America could have got behind.

        I think that much of the world currently views Trump as passing up leadership, whereas he could have strengthened Americas position by creating whole new industries they could have dominated in.


      • That would be pragmatic, but completely opposite to anything Trump has signalled. Nope, he just wants the coal miners back to work. They are important voters in some key states, and that is about as far as he looks on this issue. A bit myopic, but there it is. Typical Trump, for ya.

      • “Creating Jobs, Markets and Growth”
        Why can’t we do all this without the Paris agreement?

      • Trump will. It’s called coal, which is somewhat counter to Paris but dear to his heart, it seems.

      • Jimd

        I am not in favour of Paris as it was the very essence of virtue signalling and would not have achieved anything like the expectations for it.

        However I think total withdrawal may have repercussions from a variety of countries and also from inside the US.

        I think people can get behind a project such as i described and a budget of 100 billion a year for 5 Years, shared internationally, would reap big dividends for those involved and might actually mean we end up with renewables that are useful. Who knows what sort of things might have come about including the elusive fusion, tidal technology etc as well as dealing with the Achilles heel of modern renewables, storage.

        It would also mean that America kept its leadership which has been drifting anyway for the last five or six years and this withdrawal has the potential to accelerate it


      • Paris has several things besides promises, and a collective target that need to be organized. One is helping poor developing nations with clean energy, and another is getting China and India on board with the goal of bending down global emissions. Trump has no respect for renewable energy despite that employing ten times as many as the declining coal industry, and being fast-growing. If he has any sense, he will stay out of the way of that growth, and US emissions will continue to decline while its industries around renewables and clean cars will remain competitive globally. His single-minded aim to bring back coal is a non-starter, and he just doesn’t know it yet.

      • richardswarthout


        I think Trump was primarily directing his message to Amsrican businesses; “We will not let Paris strangle you” The stock market has since skyrocketed.

        One of my exasperations since the announcement has been the incessant declarations about the 97% consensus. It is so wrong, yet too many believe it.



      • How about something along the lines of small modular nuclear?

  57. Jim D:
    We could compare all the coal power generated to the number of people employed doing that and make a ratio.
    Then we could take all the wind and solar power generated divided by the people employed doing that.
    I think more than a jobs program we want cheap electricity. All those people employed goes into the cost of electricity.

  58. Coal adds a lot of jobs in transport and mining that wind and solar don’t need. Plus I think a lot of miners would prefer a good outdoors renewables job in population centers to their having to live out in the boonies and work in unsafe sunless conditions. It’s going to be hard for Trump to get those people out of their well earned retirements unless he cuts off their benefits.

    • There were 1.2 million coal miners in the UK a century ago and only 2000 now.

      It is a terrible job, although it bred very close knit communities.

      America currently has some 70000 coal miners. If alternative worthwhile jobs are found for them it is difficult to believe they would want to continue in their jobs or there would be any enthusiasm by young people to start mining


      • Hillary didn’t do too well when she promised government money to retrain them because the soundbite was that she said miners would lose their jobs, and that is all that was quoted.

      • richardswarthout

        A survey of job satisfaction, comparing jobs of different types, would be informative. My guess is that mining would beat out work on auto assembly lines.

        More bad news out of England. I pray for you.


  59. Judith

    surely the most important climate news in a year is the Trump withdrawal from Paris. Are we going to have the opportunity to discuss it?


  60. “Many scientists say that regenerative agricultural practices can turn back the carbon clock, reducing atmospheric CO2 while also boosting soil productivity and increasing resilience to floods and drought. Such regenerative techniques include planting fields year-round in crops or other cover, and agroforestry that combines crops, trees, and animal husbandry.”

    The numbers according to the article:
    “…restoring soils of degraded and desertified ecosystems has the potential to store in world soils an additional 1 billion to 3 billion tons of carbon annually, equivalent to roughly 3.5 billion to 11 billion tons of CO2 emissions. (Annual CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning are roughly 32 billion tons.)”

    10% to 33% of annual fossil fuel emissions. I would compare this to what we get from total wind and solar that is about 1% of global energy production.

    Restoring soil carbon seems to make more sense.

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