Week in review – science and policy edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

A new mechanism for warm-season precipitation response to global warming [link]

Ocean heat content variability in an ensemble of twentieth century ocean reanalyses [link]

Understanding drivers of past & future along the northeast US Coast [link]  

Assessing the climate-scale variability of atmospheric rivers affecting western North America [link]

More evidence for feedbacks between solid earth and surface carbon cycles and climate, mediated by volcanism [link]

Input-driven vs turnover-driven controls of simulated changes in soil carbon due to land-use change [link]

The role of climate variability in extreme floods in Europe [link]

Cosmic rays, aerosols, clouds, and climate: Recent findings from the CLOUD experiment [link]

Statistical procedure helps fix multimodel ensemble biases in forecasting precip amounts. [link]  

New paper on Southern Ocean upwelling [link

NOAA’s NCEI announces an updated dataset of sea surface temperatures: [link]

NOAA says Says Natural Wetlands, Tropical Ag Responsible For Methane Increases, Not Oil & Gas [link]

Skillful multi-year predictability of US drought/wildfire [link]

Statistical link between external climate forcings and modes of ocean variability [link]

The Competitive Advantage of Crops Over Weeds at Elevated CO2 Concentrations [link]

N Hemisphere Winter Warming and Summer Monsoon Reduction after Volcanic Eruptions over Last Millennium [link]

Solar Activity Linked To Periodic Climate Change During The Holocene [link]

Uncertainty information in climate data records from Earth observation [link]

Might it be possible to predict summer Arctic shipping route availability? [link

Large-Scale Forcing of Amundsen Sea Low and its Influence on Sea Ice and West Antarctic Temperature [link]

The ocean warming that’s undercutting West Antarctic ice shelves may be caused by winds thousands of miles away [link]

Carbon storage in the mid-depth Atlantic during millennial-scale climate events [link]

Coastal waves drive Antarctic ocean warming [link]

Relative Contributions of Atmospheric Energy Transport & Sea Ice Loss to Recent Warm Arctic Winter [link

Satellite snafu masked try sea level rise for decades [link]

ECMWF Copernicus releases new version of its reanalysis [link

Record cold July in Greenland [link]

Changes in extreme temperature events over the Hindu Kush Himalaya during 1961–2015 [link]

Abrupt regime shifts in the North Atlantic atmospheric circulation over the last deglaciation [link]

Weather station data shows one billion chinese are living through a 20 year cooling trend. [link]

Climate and energy policy

When it comes to climate, look for vulnerabilities in policy, not science [link]

Paris accord: fact or fiction? Nature article says Paris fosters “paper promises” over real action. [link]

Robert Stavins: reflections on environmental economics [link]

Matt Ridley: Britain’s Energy Policy Keeps Picking Losers [link

Uncertainty, Decision Science, and Policy Making: A Manifesto for a research agenda [link]

China establishes one of the largest geoengineering research programs. [link]

New paper on energy modelling and energy access in Africa: [link]

Report: Advanced Nuclear Energy Could Power America’s Future [link]

Inconvenient: Rebound is likely around 50% The more energy you save, the more you’ll use [link]

Planet has just 5% chance of reaching Paris climate goal, study says [link]

For US to reach 90% renewables, need to **double** size of transmission grid.  [link]

New expert meeting report on stabilization scenarios, incl. a brief discussion on ‘feasibility’ [link]

Will Climate Change Cause Conflict in the Arctic? Searching for Answers in the Past. [link]

The IPCC has good news about climate change, but we don’t listen [link

Importance of defining “pre-industrial” for keeping to the Paris Agreement limits [link

Roger Pielke Jr:  Climate Politics as Manichean Paranoia  [link]

To meet 2C or 1.5C, we’ll need to remove CO2 from the air. Good  overview on different options [link]

Resilience for the most vulnerable: Managing disasters to better protect the world’s poorest [link]

“A 100% renewables target confuses means with ends” [link]

Renewable energy sources are facing scrutiny, even within ranks of green activists [link]

Beyond counting climate consensus [link]

About science and scientists

The ever expanding definition of climate denial [link]

The fact illusion: Objective truth is elusive in (climate) science.  Very good read [link]

Mark Jacobsen lawyers up to defend his 100% renewables research against critics [link]

Who’s afraid of Open Data: Scientists’ objections to data sharing don’t stand up to scrutiny. [link]

Interview with Wally Broecker on the worst case scenario for planet earth [link]

Great study of how deliberative rules and facilitators help like-minded groups overcome groupthink.  [link]

A very insightful study on the politicization of regulatory science, application to Air Quality Standards [link]

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

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

  2. Re: 2C or 1.5C
    The problem with future climate scenarios based on Transient Climate Response to Cumulative Emissions

  3. Patrick Brown’s article “Objective truth is elusive in (climate) science” touches on an interesting oddity, but overlooks a more important one.

    He compares people’s perception of the severity of human-caused climate change versus their perception of economic <benefits of green energy policies.

    More interesting is people’s perception of the severity of human-caused climate change versus their perception of relative economic competitiveness of green energy sources.

    The same people often tell me good news — electric cars will soon become mainstream, that solar is rapidly becoming cheaper as cells and batteries improve, and solar is already at grid parity in much of the world (e.g.,areas with some combo of good sunlight and high cost of other sources). Then they’ll say that climate doom is certain (e.g., RCP8.5, with coal the dominant fuel in the late 21st century) — unless we take massive policy action soon!

    Asking if those two things are contradictory produces puzzled looks. It’s yet another demonstration that propaganda works.

    • It is not contradictory. It is summed up as bad consequences are avoidable.

      • I agree in a way. Problems justify policies, so the empty quadrants make little sense. One is problem without policy and the other is policy without problem.

      • That graph is demonstrated on the new thread about 100% renewables being possible in Texas. The exact same people who don’t believe warming is a threat also don’t believe a lot in renewable energy as a major future source. These should be completely independent lines of thought, but no. The only thing they have in common is that neither is good for fossil fuels. Next they’ll say they don’t like electric cars. It is very predictable once you see the common factor.

      • @Jim D
        “The exact same people who don’t believe warming is a threat also don’t believe a lot in renewable energy as a major future source. These should be completely independent lines of thought, but no.”

        No, they are not independent. As a matter of fact all pro-CAGW are also pro intermittent renewables.
        Those who believe that intermittent renewables can replace 100% of the fossil-fuel or nuclear baseload power stations use the same fake physics assumptions like those who believe that the global average temperature of a spherical planet could make any sense. They have bogus arguments in favor of a 100% intermittent renewables power generation (not only electricity!) and they use the same/similar bogus arguments in favor of CAGW.

      • It is a different set of experts who identify the problem (the scientists) and who identify the solution (industry). The ones who are anti both don’t have experts in either.

    • russellseitz

      Prpoaganda is a bipartisan affliction- one cause of this anomalous perceptual division is reading blogs that censor scientists, like Breitbart and the Fabius Maximus website, to the exclusion of the scientific literature.


  4. Solar Activity Linked To Periodic Climate Change During The Holocene [link]

    A momentous occasion. The Bray cycle naming for the ~ 2400 year periodicity in climate and solar activity has made its first appearance in a scientific article. It is a tribute to the scientific influence of Judith Curry’s blog.

    The article is additional evidence from a Western European speleothem proxy on the climate importance of solar variability during the Holocene. All the major solar periodicities appear also as changes in element traces content in a stalagmite, that are interpreted as due to changes in water residence time linked to changes in water availability.

    The article is still under review. Hopefully it will be accepted.

    • Nice article, really nice graph. I also liked the picture of the stagmite lined up with the spectral.

    • It is also a tribute to the author of the nature unbound series.
      It is a matter of time that another topic from the series will be acknowledged, i.e. obliquity as primary cause for the glacial cycle, making the 100 kyr problem obsolete.

  5. ‘Turning the Sahel green’
    I am to understand that the ending of drought conditions would be ‘disruptive’ to the population since they are adopted to drought.
    Apparently, drought causes war in the Levant, but the ending of drought will cause war in the Maghreb.

  6. In the fifth article down from the top, carbon cycle, vulcanism, reduced sea level, are they suggesting that seabed vulcanoes are ejecting CO2 into the atmosphere causing warming into an interglacial.

    I find it difficult to pinpoint their point.

  7. David Wojick

    So now we have “an ensemble of … reanalyses.”
    What next? Whack-a-data?.

  8. Expanding denial definition. Warmunists now eating their own at the Breakthrough Institute. The least apostacy… Reminds me of ISIS, another radical religious cult.

  9. 
    Apparently, there was a cold spell ~8200 years ago…

  10. Struggling to explain

    The Swiss online Baseler Zeitung (BAZ) here reports: “In Greenland July this year has been the coldest ever. That has left climate catastrophists struggling to explain it.”

    Citing the Danish Meteorological Institute, the BAZ comments that the -33°C reading earlier this month was “the coldest July temperature ever recorded in the northern hemisphere“, smashing the previous record of 30.7°C.

    • I don’t know why they are struggling:


      The Little Ice Age_ by Brian Fagan

      “Although the causes of the Little Ice Age are not completely understood, much of it had to do with the actions of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), a “seesaw” of atmospheric pressure between a persistent high over the Azores and an equally prevalent low over Iceland. Using charts and maps, Fagan showed how the NAO governs the position and strength of the North Atlantic storm track and thus Europe’s rainfall. The NAO index shows the constant shifts in the oscillation between these two areas, with a high NAO index indicating low pressure around Iceland and high pressure in the Azores, a condition producing westerly winds, powerful storms, more summer rains, mild winters, and dry conditions in southern Europe. A low NAO index signaled high pressure around Iceland, low pressure in the Azores, weaker westerlies, much colder winters, with cold air flowing from the north and east. The exact reasons for the shifts in the NAO result from a complex interaction between sea-surface temperatures, the Gulf Stream, distribution of sea ice, and solar energy output. Additionally, several massive volcanic eruptions had an effect on the climate of the time, notably Soufriere on Saint Vincent in the Caribbean in 1812, Mayon in the Philippines in 1814, and the titanic Tambora eruption in Indonesia in 1815 (the latter with one hundred times the ash output of Mount Saint Helens).”

    • In addition to Kobashi finding a slightly cooling trend (2005-2015), Robson, et al 2016, noted that since 2005 a large volume of the upper North Atlantic Ocean has cooled significantly, and is “…not consistent with the hypothesis that anthropogenic greenhouse aerosols directly drive Atlantic temperatures.”
      Add in above average SMB for Greenland for 2017, it makes one wonder what’s a guy to do.

    • Anyone:
      Greenland Mass Balance (MS)
      SMB is confusing. I want to count everything to know if the Greenland ice sheet is gaining mass and what months? Call this Mass Balance. GRACE outght to be able to do this, right? I ask because it’s been suggested that some are misinterpreting the DMI data.

      • SMB is the water equivalent of the Greenland Ice Sheet. There are many issues with the interpretation of the DMI graphs and numbers and the implied impact on SLR. First, the calving of glaciers on the coasts can be a product of different dynamics than monthly and yearly changes in SMB. Second, NASA and others have found evidence of geothermal activities underthe Ice Sheet in North, South, Northeast and North Central regions which affect SMB and glaciers. Third, the geology with mountains on the periphery raises questions about how quickly the Ice Sheet could drain to the sea. Fourth, studies have raised questions about supraglacial meltwater’s ability to get to the sea. Fifth, soot, algae and other darkening agents on the Ice is believed to be affecting surface melt rates. Sixth, there is plenty of evidence that SMB loss in recent years is not

        One study considered uncertainty about Greenland SMB and contribution
        to SLR extremely high.

      • And finally, some have questioned the calculations involved with glacial isostatic adjustments to GRACE measurements of SMB. Others believe the problem is insignificant. But differences in regional geology still create another source of uncertainty in SMB.

        Just like every other climate change issue there are layers and layers of questions and complexities that are never raised by the unthinking MSM.

      • I went around and around but in answer to your question, the misinterpretation issue in essence is whether increases in SMB necessarily reduces contributions to SLR because the coastal glaciers could still be calving and melting and draining into the sea. Whichever direction SMB is going, there are still significant questions about how much water is adding to SLR and exactly what percentage of that is natural variability.

  11. In the same vein as the link to removing CO2 from the air a World Economic Forum article entitled “This smart ‘tree’ has the environmental benefits of a small forest” describes a “forest in a box” that copes with numerous pollutants, including CO2. The link is:


  12. In articles and papers such as the ones covering coastal waves affecting Antarctic ocean warming, why is there no mention of the probability that similar dynamics existed in the past. To establish a baseline, it would be nice to know if the same mechanism existed during the MWP or any other warm period.

    It’s also interesting that possible effects from geothermal activities around West Antarctica are seldom mentioned. It’s as if they don’t exist.

  13. The Sahel study focuses on a couple of models to the exclusion of many other models that show something entirely different. A high impact headline and a narrative – and not something useful or interesting. Indeed the entire list of links appears equally useless and uninteresting. Wally Broecker going to the dark side, fake news from Shellenberger about PV pollution, long term prognostication based on transient phenomenon, applying Jevons to energy efficiency, yet another article on failing to meet a 2 degree target, etc. It all seems profoundly mad – with no suggestion of a rational policy response. It is a tedium of climate scientists – and an infestation of their tunnel visioned followers. It is motivated reasoning up the wazoo.

    Oddly the article on ‘negative emissions’ missed the 4 pour mille initiative.

    The Sahel has seen natural extremes over millennia – including a mid-Holocene transition from wet to dry conditions. A key response is much better water management.


    These are relatively cheap and not only provide water but modify environments across large areas by retaining water in the landscape. This encourages vegetation growth – and as a consequence CO2 uptake that feedbacks into increased soil water holding capacity.

    There are ways forward that integrate development and environment – but these don’t seem to figure figure highly on climate blogs.

    • Robert I. Ellison: “There are ways forward that integrate development and environment – but these don’t seem to figure figure highly on climate blogs.”

      Satisfying the requirements for effectiveness probably entails failing to satisfy interestingness. And so let us hope as much as possible escapes the attention of climate blogs.

    • Sand dams seem to be a good idea, using local resources and enhancing local business to adapt to local natural variability. Imagine all the good things that could have been done locally for all the money that is being wasted because of United Nations scare mongering about CO2 emissions.

    • David Springer

      Robert I thought of you when I read this:


      US federal employees being directed to use terms I associate with you.

      “The primary cause of human-driven climate change is also targeted, with the term “reduce greenhouse gases” blacklisted in favor of “build soil organic matter, increase nutrient use efficiency”. Meanwhile, “sequester carbon” is ruled out and replaced by “build soil organic matter”.”

      For what it’s worth kudos for being an early and relentless proponent of soil conservation. What I know of it I owe to you.

      • Soil conservation was pioneered in the US in the 1930’s. If all you know about it is what I say – it may be time for some self directed study.

        Carbon sequestration in soils has major benefits in addition to offsetting anthropogenic emissions from fossil fuel combustion, land use conversion, soil cultivation, continuous grazing and cement manufacturing. Restoring soil carbon stores increases agronomic productivity and enhances global food security. Increasing the soil organic content enhances water holding capacity and creates a more drought tolerant agriculture – with less downstream flooding. There is a critical level of soil carbon that is essential to maximising the effectiveness of water and nutrient inputs. Global food security, especially for countries with fragile soils and harsh climate such as in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, cannot be achieved without improving soil quality through an increase in soil organic content. Wildlife flourishes on restored grazing land helping to halt biodiversity loss. Reversing soil carbon loss is a new green revolution where conventional agriculture is hitting a productivity barrier with exhausted soils and increasingly expensive inputs.

        Increased agricultural productivity, increased downstream processing and access to markets build local economies and global wealth. Economic growth provides resources for solving problems – conserving and restoring ecosystems, better sanitation and safer water, better health and education, updating the diesel fleet and other productive assets to emit less black carbon and reduce the health and environmental impacts, developing better and cheaper ways of producing electricity, replacing cooking with wood and dung with better ways of preparing food thus avoiding respiratory disease and again reducing black carbon emissions. A global program of agricultural soils restoration is the foundation for balancing the human ecology. Many countries have committed to increasing soil carbon by 0.4% per year. As a global objective and given the highest priority it is a solution to critical problems of biodiversity loss, development, food security and resilience to drought and flood.


        I suppose I am relentless – I have been working in management of
        water and nutrient cycling for decades. But it is not about me – there are many millions of people globally working on improving soil management. A new term is negative emission technologies – it doesn’t matter what it is called.

      • David Springer

        When receiving a compliment it’s customary in the United States to say “Thank you”. Is it not that way in your culture?

      • That was a victory lap lol

  14. Robert I. Ellison’s words “A high impact headline and a narrative – and not something useful or interesting” would, I think, apply equally to the CLOUD article. Has anyone else read the whole CLOUD article? To me, it contains a remarkable amount of waffle, with useless and uninteresting links, no hard information, and nothing to support the headline

    • What is important about the CLOUD experiment is that they have not found evidence that supports Svensmark’s hypothesis. To me that’s another nail in the coffin. A hypothesis unsupported by evidence isn’t worth much.

      The hypothesis is ill-conceived. Cosmic rays on Earth mainly follow changes in the geomagnetic field of the Earth, that explain about 80% of the change in cosmic radiation, while climate doesn’t follow changes in the geomagnetic field, so it is evident that cosmic rays cannot be a significant factor in climate. A different result from the CLOUD experiment would have surprised me enormously.

      The upper curve is the one that gives the change in cosmic radiation reaching the Earth. Observe that for most of the Holocene except the last 1000 years has been going down. According to Svensmark’s hypothesis that should have caused warming. The opposite has been actually observed.

  15. The center of gravity of a body of water with waves is higher than with no waves. I wonder if that complication shows up in sea level measurement.

  16. 
    How much further into the realm of the esoteric can climate science go?

  17. I particularly liked Patrick Brown’s article “The fact illusion: Objective truth is elusive in (climate) science.”

    His description of “Vatican Science” is exactly the science being promulgated by the so called “learned societies” with their faux consensus diatribes.

  18. “We find robust statistical evidence that Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation (AMO) has intrinsic positive correlation with solar activity in all datasets employed.”

    The AMO shifted to its warm phase around 1995, solar has declined since then, so I make that a negative correlation.

  19. “the Sahel — could turn greener if the planet warms more than 2 degrees Celsius and triggers more frequent heavy rainfall, scientists said on Wednesday.”

    A fundamental logic failure. A warm AMO phase drives a wetter Sahel, with the warm AMO phase being driven by increased negative NAO. While rising GHG forcing should increase positive NAO.

  20. “Further analysis of the response of rainfall to the North Atlantic Oscillation shows that drought seems more in line with the positive indicators of high intensity, demonstrating greater strengthening of the pressure in Azores and weakening of the Icelandic Low pressure. Under these conditions, the depressions are pushed towards northern latitudes, which promotes the establishment of a dry and mild weather on the periphery of the Mediterranean basin and North African regions.

    When the signal fades or becomes negative, the pressure associated with the Azores high is lower compared to the normal value and, at the same time, the Icelandic Low is barely formed. According to this mode of traffic, the depressions corridor withdraws further south and thus affects the Mediterranean regions of the south shore which will be wetter.

    This return of rainfall over central Maghreb, should it be confirmed, could mean the end of several decades of recurrent droughts and announce a durable return to “the normal.” This assumption is supported by emphasizing the impact of different world climate oscillations (North Atlantic Oscillation; El Niño Southern Oscillation) for all the continents and particularly for the African continent [27, 48]. Do these facts announce a new climate phase which marks a break from past drastic conditions? Such question is difficult to answer today, but climate data and information concerning the hydraulics and agriculture of Maghreb confirm a completely unique situation in this vast area of North Africa.” https://www.hindawi.com/archive/2016/7230450/

    “We note that low solar activity does not guarantee cold conditions in any specific European winter as additional variability is introduced by other factors. The 360-year Central England Temperature record for December–February shows that the coldest winters in the UK occurred at low solar activity, but, for example, 1685/6, near the centre of the Maunder minimum, was the 5th warmest winter in the entire record32. This highlights the fact that solar variability acts only to bias the intrinsic year-to-year variability, which remains substantial for this region33.”

    While we may anticipate lower solar activity this century – it is not clear that the declines thus far are all that substantial.

    In general we may also expect lower solar activity to lead to a more negative NAO and thus to more rain in northern Africa – it is merely a bias and not causality. Nor can we infer anything about root causes of rainfall changes from statistical relationships between rainfall and ocean and atmospheric indices. They seem more likely to be simply co-variant in a hugely complex. global spanning system. These statistical relationships are used by hydrologists in an effort to evolve decadal predictions and have no meaning beyond that.

    There is – btw – a better correlation between accumulated NAO and AMO. It is the beginning of an explanation of how the biasing works.


    The solar decline suggests a more negative NAO and ultimately a cooler Atlantic. So both more and less Sahel rainfall? I am inclined to think that there are other factors in play. Or perhaps it is simply a lag in the system.

    “The link between eastern Sahel rainfall and ENSO has been widely highlighted in the literature. For example, Osman and Shamseldin (2002) analyzed a 49-year record of rainfall from 12 weather stations in central (Sahelian) and South (Equatorial) Sudan. Their results showed that the driest years coincided with a warm ENSO. The study also indicated that the ENSO signal is stronger on the Sahelian rainfall compared to the equatorial one. The same signal is also found in the annual flow of the river Nile. Eltahir (1996) showed that 25% of the variability in the amount of water in the Nile River could be explained by ENSO. Because the Blue Nile mainly originates from Ethiopia, Eltahir’s result indicates that the rainfall over the Ethiopian highlands is also sensitive to ENSO.” https://www.scisnack.com/2014/11/13/the-effect-of-enso-on-sahelian-sudan-rainfall/

    ENSO seems likely to shift – abruptly – to a cooler state this century. I might note that there are ideas under construction here – so I won’t mind if Ulric disagrees.

    • “a better correlation between accumulated NAO and AMO”

      The NAO does accumulate. Increased negative NAO drives a warm North Atlantic (AMO), increasing Sahel rainfall. Negative NAO has actually increased since the mid 1990’s.

      “ENSO seems likely to shift – abruptly – to a cooler state this century.”

      That would imply increased positive NAO, which would cool the AMO. And if you think about it, there were multi-year La Nina conditions in the 1970’s and 1980’s when the Sahel was the driest. Unlike the AMO, ENSO cannot account for the multi-decadal shifts in Sahel rainfall. Also, stronger ~monthly NAO anomalies during the short rains or the long rains could easily override any ENSO influence at event scales.

      • Acculation simply means a running total. If the running total trends negative – it biases the system to a cooler Atlantic.

        I certainly do not accept your science free narratives Ulric. You really should read the literature.

      • That’s a physics free narrative, the NAO does not suffer hysteresis. If it’s negative, it’s negative, regardless of any running total to the contrary. And negative NAO does not drive a cold North Atlantic, neither does it lag the AMO by 2 years.

      • Forget the last bit about the 2 year lag, I misread the graph key.

  21. I’m skeptical of the satellite calibration error showing faster sea-level rise. Not long ago I was in a comment thread at Ars Technica (who of course banned me) and pointed out Munk’s Enigma, which is that sea-level increases weren’t showing up in extremely accurate observations of the Earth’s day length. If the sea level was rising, mass would be transferred from Greenland and the poles to the equator, slowing our spin. Astronomers measure the day length with incredible accuracy, so much so that they can see the effects of polar winds.

    In 2015 the enigma was resolved for the period 1900-1990, using a better model of the Earth’s interior.

    But no papers on the subject since then, or really between 2002 and 2015. If the Earth’s day-length data corroborated the sea-level hysteria, I’d expect to see hundreds of papers propounding the finding.

    Instead, I see this nice graph of day length through 2015, which I would take to indicate that sea-level rise actually slowed since 2000, though I’ve not done any serious analysis on it.

  22. I ran across this:

    “Intellectuals now expect to be the most highly valued people in a society, those with the most prestige and power, those with the greatest rewards. Intellectuals feel entitled to this. But, by and large, a capitalist society does not honor its intellectuals. Ludwig von Mises explains the special resentment of intellectuals, in contrast to workers, by saying they mix socially with successful capitalists and so have them as a salient comparison group and are humiliated by their lesser status.”


    I tried to relate the piece to climate change. With consensus messaging, people aren’t listening to wordsmith intellectuals. The Koch Brothers might as well laugh at it for all the harm it’s done to them. With Trump’s election, why didn’t the people listen to the wordsmith intellectuals and why are they still upset and fixated on him? I can admit the climate skeptics and lukewarmers are disorganized but they are generally for capitalism and not wordsmith intellectuals which helps. With any climate change messaging, are the usual people (Schmidt, Mann and others) effective at that? Are they capitalists? Can they see what people will gladly buy? Al Gore, wordsmith intellectual. Disowned and not liked by skeptics. Wordsmith Democrat politicians talking about climate change. Not liked by Trump voters. We could get affordable cleaner energy but it will be from those that think like capitalists. While the message we often hear is a pitched battle against corporations, especially those successfully delivering cheap reliable energy.

    • It’s a peculiarly American phenomenon. I think it has to do with money and “special” interests in politics and in the media where climate science has been partisanized. Blame the swamp. Pruitt is a swamp creature that got into power which is a recipe for suppressing inconvenient science. Lamar Smith is a puppet of that system. If you look at other countries, science prevails regarding climate change policies, but in the US it is sidelined.

      • Jim D:
        I’ll agree it is an American phenomenon. We’re one of the most capitalist and redneck countries. Clinton’s deplorables remark came from an intellectual that felt entitled (not as a woman). Rednecks can see a refinery, get hired and make good wages. They don’t want to be told the refinery should close. The refinery is part of a corporation and is currently profitable and productive.

      • Those refinery owners also have hooks into the political system making the Republicans answer to them rather than to the inconvenient science or care anything about pollution caused by their industries. It’s a symbiotic existence aimed at their own profit-making. Capitalism is fine except where it distorts the electoral system through pouring money into politics. In other countries, elected officials answer to the voters rather than the biggest donors, but what we have here is a corrupt mess that the founding fathers would not approve of.

      • Talking of the founding fathers, I would agree with these thoughts.

      • “The intersection of money and politics often starts right at the top. In a well-publicized example, the Clintons sold Lincoln bedroom sleepovers starting at $100,000 a night. They also conducted 98 White House gatherings where $50,000 bought you three danish and a cup of coffee.

        It’s impossible to remove money from politics, especially since it enjoys constitutional protection affirmed by the Supreme Court. Without voluntary limits, the price of a political office will continue to rise. Politics is about power, and money buys power. The reality is that the money has to come from somewhere and most efforts to control it haven’t work, haven’t been enforced or have been overturned by the Supreme Court.”

        Read more: Money And Politics http://www.investopedia.com/articles/economics/12/money-and-politics.asp#ixzz4p2mB1To1

        I’m not even American and I can see through Jimmy’s bias. The reality is that money – both soft and hard – flows to both parties looking for a sympathetic hearing. Nor is Jimmy’s idea of climate science all that compelling. And the policy and economics is of course pure insanity. He is just going to repeat himself endlessly expecting a different outcome.

      • Does the Australian PM sell sleepovers? Why not? It has the perception of corruption. Does Trump sell sleep overs at his hotels? Same thing. This is why presidents should not be doing business. Trump is just doubling down on this.
        Many Americans have not put two and two together on why they are the only industrialized country outside the Paris agreement. It’s a straight line through money for elections to congressional committees, lobbyists, corporate influence over the public interest, and they don’t see it going on. It’s no mystery.

      • Our recent election found Clinton about as guilty as the Republicans:
        Trump won with less money. Traditional money is lost its influence. (It may be fine going forward.)
        I was in favor of the free speech rulings in the United States. Restricting how money can spent is just one more way of saying, your money is kind of your money, but see this list where it’s not.

      • If money is speech, more money is more speech and the poor don’t get heard when it comes to policies. The system that leads to this concentration of wealth and power is plain wrong and not a true democracy.

      • Turnbull is worth about $133 million. Kevin Rudd’s wife is worth about the same. They are expected to set up Chinese walls between the business and government roles. Not the same for Trump?

      • “Many Americans have not put two and two together on why they are the only industrialized country outside the Paris agreement. ”

        To Trump’s credit, and I am not a Trump fan, he couldn’t see what could we would gain by continuing in Paris. The U.S. would pay the rest of the world to achieve their green power plans, while China gets a pass for continuing to build coal plants and increase their own emissions. The only way to justify Paris is as an exercise in altruism, and we can’t afford that any more.

        I actually liked Obama but his climate policies were completely nuts. He had no authority to sign the Paris Agreement nor was there a reasonable expectation that we could abide by it. If Trump was serious about what he said about our future approach to energy policy and emissions reduction, then I think he’s on the right track. But who knows, future energy policy might threaten his real estate empire, in which case the “policy” (or any policy, for that matter) is toast.

      • Trump wants to increase coal and Canadian gunk, and won’t help renewables that are the fastest growing industry, and wants to remove fuel efficiency targets and methane monitoring. The wrong direction, but what else did we expect? Talks about nuts. China is actually going to be doing more than Trump to change its direction.

      • Jim D:
        Good news. There’s a story this week about how methane leaks from production aren’t that bad.

      • The other good news was that the Senate killed Trump’s attempt anyway.

      • @Jim D
        ” If you look at other countries, science prevails regarding climate change policies, but in the US it is sidelined.”

        Which countries? Europe? Not a single country has a rational, knowledgeable, science-oriented politician in charge of environment and energy. Germany doesn’t, France doesn’t, UK doesn’t, Italy doesn’t… it’s all “let’s save the planet closing down the dangerous nuclear and install PV and wind turbines all over the place”… irrational fear mongering, attributing to GHG each and every problem.
        There’s no science behind, only ideology.

      • The politicians actually listen to the scientists, which is a key difference.

      • Curious George

        I do not believe that capitalists elected Trump. He got elected by the working class. The welfare class votes for Democrats, who promise the safety net – paid for by the working class. The Democratic strategy should be to include the number of welfare voters and to reduce the number of working voters.

      • It splits more along educated/uneducated than any of your made up classes. Anyway, I think the Republican strategy of throwing as many people off healthcare as they can may work against them because that includes low-paid workers just above the poverty line who benefit from the Medicaid expansion.

    • “It’ll have to be like the Fed, but to manage carbon. That would mean we’d all have to give up a lot of our sovereignty, but I think that’s the only way it would happen. It couldn’t be the U.N., because the U.N. doesn’t have the power. They’d have to be able to penalize, they’d probably have to have an army, because cheating would be very, very lucrative…

      I’d say it’s one chance in a thousand. I mean, we may get to that. Maybe China will get so powerful that it can start to dictate. That’s what we need. Our democracy is shot, I think. It just doesn’t work.” Wally Broecker

      Wally’s science is better than most – he is still a hedgehog with one big idea. But their energy policies and economics are utterly insane.

  23. from warm season precipitation paper: The results generally support a new hypothesis for future warm-season precipitation: each rainstorm removes ≥7% more moisture from the air per 1 K local warming, and surface evaporation and moisture advection take slightly longer than currently to replenish the depleted moisture before the next storm forms,

    No word on changes in energy transport. From that, it would seem that energy transport has to increase.

  24. The ever expanding definition of climate denial [link]

    The fact illusion: Objective truth is elusive in (climate) science. Very good read [link]

    Mark Jacobsen lawyers up to defend his 100% renewables research against critics [link]

    Elements of the debate are demoralizing.

    • This tweet by Michael Shellenberger is the best concise summary I’ve ever seen of Mark Jacobson’s work:

      Michael Mann’s cases have raised the specter of courts determining science. While they’re only about whether he’s been defamed by editorial blog posts, if Jacobson goes through with his suit, the courts may actually be deciding on which of two opposing scientific papers is valid.

  25. Come on guys, Judith’s eye nearly wore out with all the catching it did last week and your comments amount to just a little more than the items that her eye caught. Before you move on to Bray whatever, couldn’t you put a little more effort into this thread?

    In the meantime, Trump Rules! New stock index highs nearly every day. Jobs being created by the ton. Unemployment 16 year low. Foxcon investing $BILLION$ in USA. Business and consumer confidence soaring. Frustrated Obama EPA left loon clowns resigning in droves. ISIS is finally being eradicated. Only a few dusty survivors among the dusty corpses. U.S. coal exports up 60%. Oil rig count doubles. Little pointy left loons heads exploding Russia, Russia, Russia. Putin just said the Pope is a witless ungodly commie. The old geezer is actually not intelligent enough to be a commie. He is a witless ungodly Peronista, but Vlady is close enough. Just a few things that caught my eye last week.

  26. I saw Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Sequel today. Only some skeptical voices at the beginning, also not much on the mechanics of climate change or future climate, more on impacts over the past few years. A lot on Paris and how he personally helped sway India’s plans from coal towards solar energy, but I suspect that is a bit along the lines of how he invented the internet, because clearly it was done for drama. Anyway I liked it.

    • Of course you did.

      Which makes Gore smarter than you. He gets your money and you get your preconceived beliefs confirmed.

      • You would have gone if they had more skeptics, but they only had Inhofe saying inane stuff at the beginning, and some of Trump’s pronouncements, maybe something with Pruitt and/or Perry, so you would have been disappointed.

      • Your are always referring to scientists and how your image of skeptics haven’t a clue about science. Yet you reference Al Gore, who is far closer to be a carnival barker than a scientist. His first movie was garbage from a scientific perspective, but boy did it fit the narrative that we have to do something NOW and the more drastic, the better. Funny thing is life is still humming along as usual, even though Big Al said the planet would be toast by now. Perhaps that is why the sequel is tanking at the box office.

        I will say that I used to believe Gore wasn’t all that bright. But I realized he doesn’t care what people think of him. Since he’s been laughing all the way to the bank for years now.

      • Gore in this movie said that people criticized him for saying the WTC site in NY would flood, and yet it did many years earlier than he was talking about, with Sandy. He keeps up to date with the science, and no it wasn’t perfect this time either. I spotted a place where he misrepresented some results in the words he chose. Politicians are more imprecise than scientists so you take what you get. Skeptics need to go to this movie to keep him straight, otherwise he gets away with it again, right?

  27. Also this news.

    • “One government scientist who worked on the report, Katharine Hayhoe, a professor of political science ”

      A “political scientist” is not a scientist. Political science has basically nothing to do with science, at least not physical sciences as in “climate dynamics” etc… at most it is “science” as in sociology, or psychology using statistics to extract any useful conclusions from aggregate data.

      Cherchez l’erreur!

      Not to mention… NYT???? A CAGW partisan newspaper?… c’mon!

      • Professor Hayhoe is a climate scientist. I believe she works for Texas Tech University, where I used watch Wes Welker play football and feel sad that the NFL would never give him a shot because he was only 5’8″.

      • +1

      • +1 was for Robertok06

      • Curious George

        Professor Hayhoe demonstrates that the climate science is the most democratic science. Anybody, ANYBODY, can be a climate scientist.

      • Actually anyone can be a scientist. It’s a thought process anyone can use in any language. It’s not about ‘truth’. Science manipulates technology to alter reality.
        I learned this by watching Rick & Morty.

      • You should check her credentials before you post.

        She has a PhD in Atmospheric Science from the University of Illinois.

      • JCH

        Welker was a helluva player. Matt Millen of the Lions , if he had had any brains, would have drafted him. But he didn’t and the Lions were the doormat of their division. Wes was 5 times All Pro and spent 6 productive seasons with the Pats.

      • bd

        What, we’re supposed to be impressed? Do you know the last time the Illini won a football National Championship was in 1951?

      • You are changing the subject cerescokid.

        I heard this guy named Dick, was a helluva player, was from there.

        It’s a little known fact that the University of Illinois is better at science than football.

      • Indeed he was. I remember him running Altee Taylor of the Lions 15 yards out of bounds into the stands in Tiger Stadium. Probably didn’t get a penalty given how long ago that was.

      • “You should check her credentials before you post.

        She has a PhD in Atmospheric Science from the University of Illinois.”

        You are right!… in fact my comment was mainly about the poorly done job of the NYT, which has become a cheerleader of the greenwash propaganda machine.

    • The headline is deceptive. Should read:
      “Obama Government Report Finds It’s Worse Than We Thought! Bwahahhahhahhahahah!”

  28. I’ve cut and pasted this article from the BBC to day, as those of you outside of the UK wont be able to get it. For those of you that can the link is http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-40669449

    ‘Dodgy’ greenhouse gas data threatens Paris accord

    By Matt McGrath
    BBC Environment correspondent

    Potent, climate-warming gases are being emitted into the atmosphere but are not being recorded in official inventories, a BBC investigation has found.

    Air monitors in Switzerland have detected large quantities of one gas coming from a location in Italy.

    However, the Italian submission to the UN records just a tiny amount of the substance being emitted.

    Levels of some emissions from India and China are so uncertain that experts say their records are plus or minus 100%.

    These flaws posed a bigger threat to the Paris climate agreement than US President Donald Trump’s intention to withdraw, researchers told BBC Radio 4’s Counting Carbon programme.

    Bottom-up records

    Among the key provisions of the Paris climate deal, signed by 195 countries in December 2015, is the requirement that every country, rich or poor, has to submit an inventory of its greenhouse-gas emissions every two years.

    Under UN rules, most countries produce “bottom-up” records, based on how many car journeys are made or how much energy is used for heating homes and offices.
    But air-sampling programmes that record actual levels of gases, such as those run by the UK and Switzerland, sometimes reveal errors and omissions.

    In 2011, Swiss scientists first published their data on levels of a gas called HFC-23 coming from a location in northern Italy.

    Between 2008 and 2010, they had recorded samples of the chemical, produced in the refrigeration and air conditioning industries, which is 14,800 times more warming to the atmosphere than CO2.

    Now the scientists, at the Jungfraujoch Swiss air monitoring station, have told the BBC the gas is still going into the atmosphere.

    “Our estimate for this location in Italy is about 60-80 tonnes of this substance being emitted every year. Then we can compare this with the Italian emission inventory, and that is quite interesting because the official inventory says below 10 tonnes or in the region of two to three tonnes,” said Dr Stefan Reimann, from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology.

    “They actually say it is happening, but they don’t think it is happening as much as we see.

    “Just to put it into perspective, this greenhouse gas is thousands of times stronger than CO2.

    “So, that would be like an Italian town of 80,000 inhabitants not emitting any CO2.”

    The Italian environment agency told the BBC its inventory was correct and complied with UN regulations and it did not accept the Swiss figures.

    Another rare warming gas, carbon tetrachloride, once popular as a refrigerant and a solvent but very damaging to the ozone layer, has been banned in Europe since 2002.
    But Dr Reimann told Counting Carbon: “We still see 10,000-20,000 tonnes coming out of China every year.”

    “That is something that shouldn’t be there.

    “There is actually no Chinese inventory for these gases, as they are banned and industry shouldn’t be releasing them anymore.”

    China’s approach to reporting its overall output of warming gases to the UN is also subject to constant and significant revisions.

    Its last submission ran to about 30 pages – the UK’s, by contrast, runs to several hundred.

    Back in 2007, China simply refused to accept, in official documents, that it had become the largest emitter of CO2.

    “I was working in China in 2007,” said Dr Angel Hsu, from Yale University.

    “I would include a citation and statistics that made this claim of China’s position as the number one emitter – these were just stricken out, and I was told the Chinese government doesn’t yet recognise this particular statistic so we are not going to include it.”

    A report in 2015 suggested one error in China’s statistics amounted to 10% of global emissions in 2013.

    The BBC investigation also discovered vast uncertainties in carbon emissions inventories, particularly in developing countries.

    Methane, the second most abundant greenhouse gas after CO2, is produced by microbe activity in marshlands, in rice cultivation, from landfill, from agriculture and in the production of fossil fuels.

    Global levels have been rising in recent years, and scientists are unsure why.

    For a country such as India, home to 15% of the world’s livestock, methane is a very important gas in their inventory – but the amount produced is subject to a high degree of uncertainty.
    “What they note is that methane emissions are about 50% uncertain for categories like ruminants, so what this means is that the emissions they submit could be plus or minus 50% of what’s been submitted,” said Dr Anita Ganesan, from the University of Bristol, who has overseen air monitoring research in the country.

    “For nitrous oxide, that’s 100%.”

    There are similar uncertainties with methane emissions in Russia, of between 30-40%, according to scientists who work there.

    “What we’re worried about is what the planet experiences, never mind what the statistics are,” said Prof Euan Nisbet, from Royal Holloway, University of London.

    “In the air, we see methane going up. The warming impact from that methane is enough to derail Paris.”

    The rules covering how countries report their emissions are currently being negotiated.

    But Prof Glen Peters, from the Centre for International Climate Research, in Oslo, said: “The core part of Paris [is] the global stock-takes which are going to happen every five years, and after the stock-takes countries are meant to raise their ambition, but if you can’t track progress sufficiently, which is the whole point of these stock-takes, you basically can’t do anything.

    “So, without good data as a basis, Paris essentially collapses. It just becomes a talkfest without much progress.”

  29. David Wojick

    Re the brief discussion above, the NYT leaked the final version of the USGCRP “Climate Science Special Report” (CSSR) as a way to keep the Trumpers from suppressing it. Smooth move on the green side.

    The PDF is 673 pages! It is just as bad as I expected from the rogue USGCRP and have written about. Maybe this will finally get Trump’s attention. His agencies are still pushing Obama’s climate agenda. Mind you all 13 USGCRP science agencies have to sign off on the report, including Pruitt’s EPA. The skeptics need to give them good reasons not to.

    Fun fight to follow?

    Beyond that, the CSSR is the perfect vehicle for a Red Team exercise. The CSSR treats every speculative climate impact study as reporting an established fact.

  30. Late addition here – but relevant to the mass balance / carbon cycling debate @bartemis @engelbeen @etal –

    Ocean-Air Carbon Dioxide Chemistry Experiment
    Absorption of CO2 Variability Puzzles Scientists

    “The oceans have absorbed about 40 percent of the manmade carbon dioxide (CO2), and mankind doesn’t seem likely to make fewer demands anytime soon. Just how much CO2 can be forced into the ocean is a question that arose when scientists noticed that despite ever-increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the oceans inhaled it at different rates over the years. UCSB’s Tim Devries may have found out why.

    “The geoscientist and his colleagues, Mark Holzer of the University of New South Wales in Sydney and François Primeau of UC Irvine, took apart data since the 1980s, and some pre-industrial estimates from 1765, to look at the problem from the other end of the telescope. Given the carbon cycle since the 1980s, what was the pattern of change in certain tracer elements, they asked, namely temperature, salinity, two chlorofluorocarbons (CFC 11 and 12), and carbon-14. Their paper, “Recent increase in oceanic carbon uptake driven by weaker upper-ocean overturning,” appeared in the February 9 issue of Nature.

    They limited their query to the upper 1,000 meters of water, but expanded it to include all the oceans of the world. What they discovered was that the total carbon exchange depended on whether more came up out of the water than went down into it. The deeper parts of the ocean are rich with ancient carbon from limestone, rocks, dead creatures, and so on. With cold temperatures and windy conditions, as prevailed in the 1990s as compared to the 1980s, CO2 emerged to such an extent that it overwhelmed the amount being absorbed into surface waters. The rolling layers of water also took anthropogenic CO2 deeper into the ocean. The reverse has happened through 2014, with warmer conditions and less overturning circulation in the upper ocean.

    In some areas, the circulation rate varied by 50 percent from one decade to the next, though the pattern did not hold throughout the world. Some areas of the Northern Hemisphere oceans had fairly equal rates of carbon exchange through the ‘80s and ‘90s, the researchers found, and upwelling in the tropics in the 2000s belied the strength of the trade winds.

    The model does not separate natural variations from anthropogenic forcing, they noted, but shows a trend toward future circulation weakening. “One thing seems clear,” Devries told The Independent. “Changes in ocean circulation can have a big impact on how much CO2 the oceans absorb, and we need to better understand how these changes will affect oceanic CO2 uptake in the future.”
    … more…

  31. I don’t want to be too harsh on Katharine, especially after she started her tweet to the BBC with “Good Golly “. What’s not to like. A little unscientist-like, but we’re not all perfect.

    And it’s not as bad as a scientist using “Wow” in a press release about a decade long trend that shouldn’t have any significance given the possibility of counter trends perhaps hundreds of years long.

    Such is the life of a climate scientist.

  32. Curry got only one mention here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/08/07/climate/document-Draft-of-the-Climate-Science-Special-Report.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fclimate&action=click&contentCollection=climate&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=sectionfront
    Willhistory book hundreds of years from now will give her more frequent mention as an example of those who delayed humanity responding in time to avoid the worst effects of anthropogenic climate change?

    • She will always be with us. History is written by the winners so it’s up to them if she is a hero or villain. I would not be surprised if less than 1% of the digital data of the early internet manages to be archived in a machine readable format. And even if it is will there still be the hardware to read it?
      Digital Amnesia (2014)
      “Our memory is dissipating. Hard drives only last five years, a webpage is forever changing and there’s no machine left that can read 15-year old floppy disks. Digital data is vulnerable. Yet entire libraries are shredded and lost to budget cuts, because we assume everything can be found online. But is that really true? For the first time in history, we have the technological means to save our entire past, yet it seems to be going up in smoke. Will we suffer from collective amnesia? This VPRO Backlight documentary tracks down the amnesiac zeitgeist starting at the Royal Tropical Institute, whose world-famous 250-year old library was lost to budget cuts…”

      • Jack

        For my reseach I am fortunate in having access to several notable Printed libraries and archives including that for Dartmoor and the Met office which includes records on vellum

        It would be my observation that only a tiny fraction of the written information has been digitised in the first place.

        If it has not been digitised it does not exist to desk based Internet researchers. That is unfortunate as, for example, claims of extreme weather in he modern era being unprecedented can be seen to be untrue when looking back through the archives.

        So it looks like technology will fail on two counts, not recording the information in the first place and then what has been digitised not being retrievable.


      • It’s all good information and I appreciate your efforts. You should triple backup everything and keep one copy offsite.

  33. Early-season storms one indicator of active Atlantic hurricane season ahead
    Above-normal season likely with 14 to 19 named storms

    Today NOAA issued the scheduled update for its 2017 hurricane season outlook. Forecasters are now predicting a higher likelihood of an above-normal season, and they increased the predicted number of named storms and major hurricanes. The season has the potential to be extremely active, and could be the most active since 2010.


  34. “Recently Harwatt and a team of scientists from Oregon State University, Bard College, and Loma Linda University calculated just what would happen if every American made one dietary change: substituting beans for beef. They found that if everyone were willing and able to do that—hypothetically—the U.S. could still come close to meeting its 2020 greenhouse-gas emission goals, pledged by President Barack Obama in 2009.”


    Beans, one half of the rice and beans diet. What brought the United States to defeat in Viet Nam? Their soldiers with a rifle and a back pack of rice and beans. What do college students on a budget eat? Rice and beans.

    • If it’s a choice between beef or beans what about the neurotic obsession we have with millions of useless pets?
      “Cat and dog food are responsible for releasing as much as 64 million tons of greenhouse gases a year into the atmosphere, which is roughly the same produced by driving 13 million cars, new research states.

      There are over 163 million dogs and cats in the United States, and they all love to eat. The Verge reports that cats and dogs in the country alone eat about 19% as many calories as Americans, which is equivalent to the consumption of 62 million people. Much of that pet food is made up of meat, and meat production is a primary contributor to climate change, meaning pets leave a rather heavy carbon footprint on the environment.”

      • David Springer

        Dogs, like people, are scavenging carnivores and don’t require meat in their diet. Cats are obligate carnivores and require animal protein in their diet. That said cats don’t need protein from warm blooded animals or even vertebrates. Invertebrate protein from insects and worms works for them just as well.

        “Useless” is subjective. What useful purpose do humans serve? I’d rather be rid of people in China than dogs in the US to be quite frank.

    • David Springer

      What brought the United States to defeat in Vietnam was lack of political will to win and nothing else. A full scale invasion of North Vietnam would have quickly ended the war in the 1960’s.

  35. Joe Romm versus Tucker Carlson was interesting tonight on Fox News. Completely talking past each other.

    • As Kuhn pointed out 50 years ago, talking past is characteristic of scientific paradigms in collision. I did my Ph.D these on how this works. It is due to the complexity of the arguments, which is built into the meaning of the words.

      For example, warmers and skeptics mean two very different things by “uncertainty.” As Kuhn said, they are speaking different scientific languages. The meaning of words is based on our beliefs about what those words refer to. Warmers and skeptics have very different beliefs.

      (My spell checker keeps wanting to replace warmers with earners. Much accidental truth there. Big bucks in scary science.)

      • Scientists have a particular meaning of uncertainty that the “skeptics” take to mean they don’t know anything. Romm’s argument with Carlson was more because of Nye’s comment that Carlson took to mean he wanted all deniers dead. He wouldn’t let that go throughout the interview.

      • Uncertainty means that there is a lack of certainly – something Jimmy dear has yet to come to terms with. Mind you – it seems a common affliction.

      • Jim D: Scientists have a particular meaning of uncertainty that the “skeptics” take to mean they don’t know anything.

        You made that up.

      • They say that most likely all of the warming is from GHGs, which is their statement of uncertainty. How do skeptics interpret that? They seem to say therefore likely not most. It doesn’t add up.

      • Warmers mean what is the sensitivity and how bad will it be? Skeptics mean is there any sensitivity at all in the real system? Skeptics question what warmers assume, making the languages different.

      • Jim D says “They say that most likely all of the warming is from GHGs, which is their statement of uncertainty. How do skeptics interpret that? They seem to say therefore likely not most. It doesn’t add up.”

        The only “they” here is warmers, which you seem to be equating with all scientists, which is silly but common on the warmer side. Skeptics do not interpret that, they disagree with it.

        You really do not understand, do you? This is where the talking past comes from. You simply cannot comprehend the skeptical paradigm.

        That was Kuhn’s point. The lack of understanding is so fundamental that it occurs at the level of language. A fascinating issue that has largely been ignored, in favor of superficial analyses. Both the nature of science and the nature of language are involved. This is why I chose it for my Ph.D. research. (In fact my conclusions were so threatening that my Committee refused to consider them. We worked around them.)

        The fact is that the words we use have the meanings they do because we are trying to say what is true. Thus language is theory-laden, to use the technical term. When our beliefs are false, so is our language. It goes that deep.

        The words may be right but their meanings may be wrong. That is, the stuff we are talking about may be there but our beliefs about it may be wrong and this error infects the language.

      • We have to agree to speak the same language if we are going to communicate at all. If one thinks uncertainty means something other than how scientists us that term, you are not bringing anything useful to the conversation.

        Uncertainty means the plus or minus, or the range where you can be certain the true value of a measurement lies.

        Making the assumption that you can never know the true value of the thing you are measuring.

      • DW, I think that many skeptics don’t know what the scientists mean by uncertainty. They need to be better on the uptake, otherwise they just confuse each other on blogs, and the scientists won’t listen to them.

      • Jim D: DW, I think that many skeptics don’t know what the scientists mean by uncertainty.

        Some specific examples, quoted exactly, would be helpful.

      • I gave an example above. Very likely most and most likely all in the IPCC statement are completely misinterpreted to mean likely less than half. Just no.

      • Mathew,

        Making stuff up is typical Jim D. When called on it he just changes the subject.

      • Right Bob, uncertainty only applies to measurements. As in we are certain we understand how the climate system works, but are just a bit uncertain about the numbers.

  36. Earth’s temperature appears to be about 288K degrees +/- 0.5 degrees. Once upon a time in greenhouse effect theory that was normal :)


    • A fine piece of alarmist junk, especially the part about surface anomalies being uniform over great distances. Sounds like homogenization ho!

      In any case I offer this alternative view:

      • The correlation of anomalies over long distance has been a known scientific fact for 30 years.

        And it puts the convenience sampling argument straight to bed.

        Because if you wanted a truly random set of measurements to construct a global temperature, and picked a sufficient number of random locations, there will always be a measurement station close enough to the random picked location for the measurement to be valid.

      • David Wojick

        On the contrary, Bob, the number of stations is extremely small compared to the surface area of the Earth and most of the Earth has none (starting with the oceans, where for most of the record we do not even have air temperatures, much less fixed stations). If you picked 1000 points on the Earth’s surface at random you would be very lucky to find one that had a station within 100 miles of it. Or even 1000 miles.

        Conversely, the fraction of stations that have another station within 100 miles of it is very large. As convenience samples go this one is extreme.

        Given that no two non-adjacent stations have the same year to year pattern there can be no such correlation. Can you show us just two stations — within 1000 miles of one another and at least 100 miles apart — with identical year by year anomalies over the last 50 years? How about just the last 20 years? I doubt it. I would be surprised if there are two stations over 25 miles apart with identical year to year patterns.

      • They are saying climate change correlates over large distances which is different from saying weather correlates in that way. When you look at long-term trends, the maps are basically smooth.

  37. Did anyone else find the interview with Wally Broecker to be somewhat bizarre?

    For example:
    “If we leave the CO2 in the air, it’s probably going to melt the Greenland ice sheet and probably Antarctica on a timescale of probably a thousand years. Of course once you get that ice in the ocean you’re never going to get it back on the continent, so it’s a net loss forever, or for a really long time.”

    How did the ice originally get up onto the continent? Was it always there since forever? Clearly not.

      • Real is knowing how much snow falls on Greenland and Antarctica every year. Getting real would be learning this.

      • Getting real is acknowledging who Broecker is and that in his heyday his understanding earth’s geologic history was pretty vast and comprehensive. He is now an elderly man. Seems very sharp and still very active. Co-authored a paper on Greenland not long ago.

      • It takes millions of years to form to the depth of Greenland and Antarctica and only a thousand or so to be completely removed by us.

    • David Wojick

      We would get it back when the next ice age occurs. That rules out forever and makes a really long time pretty short. But maybe he thinks that ice ages cannot occur at present CO2 levels, which some claim. Would that that were true.

  38. Will a trade fight with Asia sabotage the U.S. solar industry?
    Tariffs on solar panels. Domestic production of them is not doing so well. A tariff would slow solar’s growth.

  39. Impending decline of Western nuclear power and related political influence

    “An essay from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has expounded some matters which have come to the fore this year, especially in USA. While established nuclear power programs in Western countries stagnate or flounder, the Chinese and Russian nuclear industries “appear immune to and poised to capitalise on the problems that have beset Western firms”. Both countries are well advanced with ambitious plans to export their nuclear power technology around the world, and to do so in ways which consolidate trade and political advantage at a high level.

    The Russian and Chinese companies involved are state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which puts them at a competitive advantage. “The US nuclear industry is a strategic industry, but Westinghouse and GE are privately owned companies, not SOEs,” and “The polarised political culture in Washington will prevent other, constructive partial solutions, such as the imposition of a carbon tax that would make nuclear power more cost competitive with other sources of energy.”

    Furthermore, China and Russia also have “strategic trade penetration”. Both Beijing and Moscow have signed memoranda of understanding and other bilateral agreements with potential customer countries. These will provide them “access to strategic decision-making in these countries concerning technology, energy, and foreign policy for decades to come”.

    The governments of China and Russia are also committed to their nuclear power technology, the essay continues. “Countries that import nuclear power plants commit to managing this technology over a project life cycle of a hundred years. They will be less inclined to buy turnkey wares from partners that do not inspire confidence that they will be using nuclear power for more than one or two decades.” During the last 20 years, while China and Russia built dozens of reactors at home, leading Western vendors virtually stopped constructing new units. “Western firms’ long-term loss of domestic expertise and political support will negatively ripple across their entire supply chain, and both the economics and the safety of installations operating in these countries may in coming years be threatened.”

    Commenting on this essay (by Mark Hibbs) – Does the US Nuclear Industry have a Future? the US Nuclear Energy Institute, said: “The US nuclear industry has been competing not just against foreign companies but also against their governments – which seek the unique strategic benefits of a nuclear energy supplier. For our nation, much more is at stake than billions in US nuclear exports and tens of thousands of American jobs.”
    WNN 15/8/17.:
    Source: WNA Weekly Digest, http://mailchi.mp/world-nuclear-news/wna-weekly-digest-11-18-august-2017?e=a3b55276e6

  40. The release of a re-analysis from ECMWF is a good opportunity to address some of Curry’s misleading claims regarding ECMWF’s previous re-analysis, ERA-I.

    In 2014, the ECMWF team released a paper on ERA-I:
    “Estimating low-frequency variability and trends in atmospheric temperature using ERA-Interim”, figure 23 on page 348 and section 10.2.2 on page 351:

    This paper explained that:
    1) ERA-I under-estimates lower tropospheric warming
    2) ERA-I has tropical tropospheric amplification (i.e. the “hot spot”), with greater warming in the upper tropical troposphere than near the tropical surface.

    In 2015, Curry defends the idea that there is no evidence of the hot spot. She did not mention the hot spot in ERA-I:

    In 2016, Curry promulgated Roy Spencer’s attacks on an RSS paper dealing with mid-tropsopheric warming trends:

    The RSS paper fixed issues with RSS’ homogenization, increasing RSS’ mid-tropospheric warming trend. This resulted in a more significant hot spot in the RSS data, consistent with UW, NOAA/STAR, UMD, ERA-I, etc., but not with the lack of a hot spot in Spencer’s UAH analysis:

    UW, NOAA/STAR, old RSS, and UAH; “Removing diurnal cycle contamination in satellite-derived tropospheric temperatures: understanding tropical tropospheric trend discrepancies”, table 4:
    UW, NOAA/STAR, new RSS, and UAH; “Comparing tropospheric warming in climate models and satellite data”, table 9:
    UMD; “Temperature trends at the surface and in the troposphere”, figures 8 and 10:

    Curry does not mention the hot spot in ERA-I and RSS.

    In 2016, Curry lauds the ERA-I analysis, after it was used in a paper in which she was cited as well:

    Curry emphasizes how ERA-I’s lower tropospheric warming trends matches the warming trend from RSS and UAH. Curry again does not mention ERA-I under-estimate lower tropospheric warming, nor does she mention the hot spot in ERA-I.

    In 2017, the ECMWF team again notes that ERA-I under-estimates middle and lower tropospheric warming:
    “A reassessment of temperature variations and trends from global reanalyses and monthly surface climatological datasets”, section 9

    In 2017, RSS fixes issues with RSS’ homogenization, increasing RSS’ lower tropospheric warming trend. This new RSS trend is a somewhat better match for the weather balloon data that is the new (and smaller) UAH trend:
    “A satellite-derived lower tropospheric atmospheric temperature dataset using an optimized adjustment for diurnal effects”, figuree 10, 11, and 12:

    RSS lower tropospheric warming trend is now greater ERA-I’s under-estimated trend. Curry does not laud this improvement on the part of RSS (as far as I know).