Week in review

by Judith Curry

A few things that have caught my eye these past weeks.

In a somewhat futile attempt at information management, I’m doing some ‘house cleaning’ of my online files, so that I have a fresh start for the new year.  New Year’s resolution is not to let more than two weeks pass between reviews!

Best wishes to all for the New Year!  I’ll try to put together a ‘looking forward’ post for tomorrow.

Climate science

Nonlinear response of mid-latitude weather to the changing Arctic  [link]

A multivariate estimate of the cold season atmospheric response to North Pacific SST variability [link]

Cooling in northern Asia–defying global trend–now linked to longer-lasting weak spells in

Greenland’s ice is melting, but it might not raise sea levels as quickly as some models have suggested. Why? The word of the day is “moulin.” [link]

Climate connection: unraveling the surprising ecology of dust [link]

A long view of global wildfire. [link] We find that global biomass burning declined from AD 1 to ∼1750, before rising sharply between 1750 and 1870. Global burning then declined abruptly after 1870.

News from ECMWF: Shaping the future of supercomputing in numerical weather prediction [link]

Contribution of deformation to sea-ice mass balance: a case study from an N-ICE2015 storm. The fastest and most efficient process of gaining sea ice volume is through the mechanical redistribution of mass as a consequence of deformation events. [link]

7 New (2017) Papers predict forthcoming solar minima [link

12 New Papers: Regions in North Atlantic, Pacific, And Southern Oceans Are Cooling As Glaciers Thicken, Gain Mass [link]

The Maunder minimum & the Little Ice Age: an update from recent reconstructions & climate simulations [link]

Snow cover and vegetation-induced decrease in global albedo from 2002 to 2016 [link]

New science paper shows that the diurnal cycle is incorrectly represented in models leading to uncertainty in projections [link]

Ocean surface temperature variability:  Large model-data differences at decadal and longer periods [link]

Impact of Volcanic Eruptions on Decadal to Centennial Fluctuations of Arctic Sea Ice Extent during the Last Millennium and on Initiation of the Little Ice Age

Geothermal heat flux and its influence on ocean abyssal circulation [link]

Mechanisms of interannual- to decadal-scale winter Labrador Sea ice variability [link]

New Paper: Humans Caused Central U.S. To Cool By -0.35°C Since The 1940s As Crop Yields Soared [link]

Jakarta’s subsidence crisis. [link] Subsidence there is orders of magnitude faster than sea-level rise.

Special issue of Advances in Atmospheric Sciences presents new research towards a predictive understanding of climate change and its linkage with Eurasian mid-latitude weather [link]

Samwell Tarly  has released his long-awaited paper on the climate system of the Game of Thrones world in “The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of King’s Landing.” [link]

“Observational evidence of European summer weather patterns predictable from spring” – [link]

Scientists stunned by massive snowfall increases among Alaska’s highest peaks [link]

Autumn Cooling of Western East Antarctica Linked to the Tropical Pacific [link]

Svensmark in Nature:  Increased ionization supports growth of aerosols into cloud condensation nuclei [link]

Documenting 120 years history of 350 Greenlandic glaciers.  Changes in peripheral glaciers linked to NAO [link]

25 Papers: Natural Forcing Explains Why The Globe’s Oceans Have Been Recently Warming AND Cooling [link]

Sunspot Number Second Differences as a Precursor of the Following 11-year Sunspot Cycle [link]

Time of observation adjustments to daily station precipitation may introduce undesired statistical issues [link]

A twisted path to equation-free prediction for complex dynamical systems [link]

Decrease of tropical cyclone genesis frequency in the western North Pacific since 1960s [link]

This is really interesting. Science Under the Ice [link]

Now in NatureClimate – The far reach of ice-shelf thinning in Antarctica [link]

2017 paper on Arctic ice variability over the past 10 thousand years. Polar bears lived through all of these natural variations and it seems unlikely are much affected by recent man made ones. [link]

A reminder that natural climate change can have substantial impacts. How climate change and disease helped the fall of Rome [link]

5 New Papers: Climate And Weather Events Become LESS Erratic And Severe During Warming Periods [link]

Better land management could get us over 1/3 of the way to a 2 degree climate target.[link]

Tamsin Edwards:  How soon will the ice apocalypse come? [link]

Bi-decadal solar influence on climate, mediated by near tropopause ozone [link]

Read this compilation of some of the forefront ideas in western boundary current research and the influence on carbon [link]

Volcano and ship tracks indicate excessive aerosol-induced cloud water increases in climate model [link]

EXTREMELY INTERESTING. Causal feedbacks in climate change [link]

New Antarctic temperature reconstruction  shows consistently higher values in first millennium. Nothing unusual in recent values. [link]

Oceans may produce twice as much organic carbon material as usually measured: re-examining a critical part of the global carbon cycle [link]

The melting Antarctic ice stream that is currently adding most to sea-level rise may be more resilient to change than previously recognised. [link]

20 years ago ECMWF started using the 4D-Var data assimilation technique. Find out how it works and why this was such an important step.[link

Examining our eyes in the sky. A recent paper in Reviews of Geophysics explored the challenges of validating data collected from Earth observation satellites. [link]

Social science & policy

“The forests of North Carolina, Louisiana, and Mississippi — as well as those in Europe — are being destroyed to sustain a European fantasy about renewable energy.” Fred Pearce on biomass [link]

Virtually every scenario for staying below 2°C now relies on a technology that barely exists. [link]

What is so wicked about wicked problems? [link]

Rethinking policy ‘impact’: four models of research-policy relations [link]

Richard Tol: Economic impacts of climate change. Climate change will reduce the economic burden of cold winters, but this benefit will soon be dominated by other, negative impacts of climate change. [link]

Andrea Saltelli:  What is wrong with evidence-based policy making and how can it be improved?[link]

Ross McKitrick:  the case for a review of the science behind the Endangerment Finding begins with what the EPA Inspector General found in 2011.

Best overview yet of why CO2 buildup in humanity’s isn’t solvable by pricing emissions or other drivers of clean-energy shift – & what’s happening with CO2 *removal* technologies. Huge issues there imagining gigaton/year scale. [link]

Inequality in nature and society:  similarity between inequality in nature and society – chance alone drive 1% of the individuals to control 50% of the resources – mechanism: random fluctuations in gains/losses (stocks, weather, etc) blow up to create extreme inequality

Before Warming A Bit, Antarctica Underwent 1,900 Years Of Cooling

Rival Framings: A Framework for Discovering How Problem Formulation Uncertainties Shape Risk Management Tradeoffs… [link]


About science & scientists

Why do intellectuals seem so disproportionately attracted to “progressive” political views and government-centric means of remedying social ills?

Suffering for the love of birds.  A scientist’s battle to save birds — and now her career. [link]

In celebration of Freeman Dyson’s 94th birthday — Infinite in All Directions

134 responses to “Week in review

  1. Happy New Year Judith! Thanks for your efforts putting this great blog together. Keep reading, my friends.

  2. “From 1910- 1949 (pre-agricultural development, pre-DEV) to 1970-2009 (full agricultural development, full-DEV), the central United States experienced large-scale increases in rainfall of up to 35% and decreases in surface air temperature of up to 1°C during the boreal summer months of July and August … which conflicts with expectations from climate change projections for the end of the 21st century (i.e., warming and decreasing rainfall) (Melillo et al., 2014).”

    • (i.e., warming and decreasing rainfall) (Melillo et al., 2014).”

      Warmer times bring warm and thawed lakes and oceans and promote more rain and snow.

      Colder times bring cold and frozen lakes and oceans and promote less rain and snow.

      Current record snowfall came from warmer thawed lakes and oceans.

      Ice on land rebuilds in warm times and it gets cold as the ice advances.
      Ice on land depletes in cold times and it gets warm as the ice retreats.

  3. Happy New Year everyone.

    It is very clear from the opening credits that the world of Game of Thrones is concave, existing on the inside of a Dyson Sphere with an artificial sun providing light and heat. The sunsets and sunrises in various episodes are metaphorical. The long seasons result for the extended orbit around it’s primary star. Reduced gravity at higher elevations is why dragons can fly.

  4. The Richard Tol Link is to the wrong page.

    But with some expectation of a more negative NAM – with a slightly cooling sun this century – and stormier and colder northern winter climes. It could be that winter is coming.

  5. In some branches of human endeavour when the ‘science’ cannot explain certain phenomenon instead admitting to the human ‘fallibility’, self appointed arbitrators of scientific truths resort to a standard dodge as ‘pseudo-science’ , ‘nonsense’, etc.
    On this graph we can see that the North Hemisphere’s temperature data (CRUTemp4) has two prominent periodicities ascending well above the noise level:
    – 9 years, most likely associated with the AMO 9 years decadal periodicity
    – 21.8 years, most likely associated with solar magnetic cycle (2 x sunspot cycle) periodicity.
    Unless it can be shown that the 21.8 periodicity has some other external source or alternatively some kind of an internal oscillation time constant, than it should be, within the reason, accepted to be a reflection of the solar activity effect on the NH’s temperature natural variability.

    On that consensus defying note, Happy New Year to all.

  6. Overland and Francis etc need to realise that on Saturn, the polar regions are only about 10°C cooler than the mid latitudes because of powerful poleward heat transport mechanisms, while on Venus, high levels of climate forcing create such strong polar vortexes that the polar regions are hundreds of degrees colder than the mean. Arctic Amplification is negative not positive. It’s normal for the AMO and Arctic to warm during a solar minimum, because low solar increases the negative NAO that drives a warm AMO.

  7. A terrific reading list for sub-zero nights.

  8. High net individual wealth provides depth and liquidity to nodes in the global market. Much of it exists in businesses run for a profit by focusing on efficient and sustainable production. Thus development and jobs.


    Economics is a complex and dynamic system – but there are simple rules at the heart of chaotic systems. Classic liberal economic theory advises – inter alia – targets for inflation to limit the scope for bulls and bears – greed and fear – in markets. One rule is that all economic bubbles burst.

    e.g. https://watertechbyrie.com/2016/03/11/all-bubbles-burst-laws-of-economics-for-the-new-millennium/

  9. Odd, the book excerpt on how climate affected the Roman Empire suggests cooling (And disease) weakened the Empire making it vulnerable to barbaric invasions but does not connect the dots that says the mass migrations of these Germanic tribes was caused by the same cooling.

    The excerpt also makes the obligatory assertion of unprecedented modern climate change without contrasting the relative direction of the changes in temperature affecting the civilizations, contending by inference that warming is every bit as bad as cooling.

    And while acknowledging these LIAs makes no allowance that current warming could be a recovery from civilization destroying climate conditions. A wilfull blindness.

  10. The Scheffer paper on inequality assumes a zero-sum game. In real life, the Bezoses, Zuckerbergs and Waltons in creating wealth for themselves create thirty times or more wealth for the community.

  11. McKitrick on EPA endangerment. Very interesting. Did not know the IG had flagged the process as improper on multiple grounds. Legally very significant as Pruitt sorts the way forward.

    • I remember reading about this at the time, but had forgotten about it as it occurred early in last president’s term. It seems to me that this needs remedied to place any subsequent regulation on sound legal ground. I am not an expert but isn’t this by itself grounds to challenge any subsequent regulation?

    • The EPA model was juiced up with co2 and ch4 concentrations similar or higher than rcp8.5. The problem I see is that today’s EPA is likely to be very cornucopian and intellectually dishonest, therefore they’ll be unable to criticize an emissions pathway which assumes fossil fuel resources are eternal.

  12. I enjoyed the link to the excerpts on the Romans. I have written about it several times over the years as the climate waxed and waned, as did sea levels and glaciers, throughout its 2000 year history and we have good records to show the warm and cold periods.

    Here is an excerpt from one of my articles which includes an account of icebergs hitting the walls of Constantinople

    “An understanding of the importance of temperatures -and the climate they were a product of- goes back to the ancient Greeks who recognised the expansion of air by heat over two thousand years ago. The earliest writings concerning those phenomena were from the works of Philo of Byzantium (2nd Century B.C.) and Heron of Alexandria, each of whom constructed a crude ‘thermo scope.’

    Aristotle subsequently postulated his four qualities, the hot, the cold, the moist, and the dry, and his ideas were adopted by Galen (A.D. 130-200), who was the first man to describe the heat and cold by a number about fifteen hundred years ago.

    The rise of Rome coincided with the warm Roman optimum. We are fortunate that we have available the climate references from not only the Western Roman empire, but those of the Byzantine empire (the Eastern Roman empire after the collapse of Rome) approx 380-1453 AD.

    Collectively, the Egyptian, Roman and Byzantine empires can provide records of some 4000 years of climate change. Geographically this covers a large part of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Knowledge of the Vikings enables us to extend that geographic range far to the North. Studies from elsewhere in the world-including the Southern Hemisphere-provide tantalising glimpses of climate change elsewhere.

    Some of the Roman climate references are fascinating. This observation from a series of cold winters -after many warm ones- around the 8th century in Byzantium (centred around Modern day Turkey)

    “Theophanes’ account recalls how, as a child, the author (or his source’s author) went out on the ice with thirty other children and played on it and that some of his pets and other animals died. It was possible to walk all over the Bosporus around Constantinople and even cross to Asia on the ice. One huge iceberg crushed the wharf at the Acropolis, close to the tip of Constantinople’s peninsula, and another extremely large one hit the city wall, shaking it and the houses on the other side, before breaking into three large pieces; it was higher than the city walls. The terrified Constantinopolitans wondered what it could possibly portend.”

    It would be remiss not to connect the Roman warm optimum and the series of savage winters recorded above that afflicted Constantinople, with the great medieval warming of Greenland and the age of the Vikings several hundred years later. This enables us to contemplate the astonishing notion of Romans and Vikings from respective warm periods co-existing in the same era, as Vikings guarded the capital of the Eastern Roman empire.


    Constantinople was guarded by an elite mercenary squad of Russianized Vikings (who apparently were fond of the Mediterranean climate) named the Varangian Guard. According to a wonderful entry in this History of Warfare blog, (and we pick this story up in medias res)

    In early 989 AD a Viking fleet arrived with the promised 6000 Norseman. A few weeks later they crossed the straits of the Golden Horn under the cover of darkness and took up positions a few hundred yards from the rebel camp. At first light they attacked, while a squadron of imperial flame-throwers sprayed the shore with Greek fire. Phocas’s men awoke to the terrifying sight of the Varangians swinging their swords and battleaxes. The result was a massacre. Basil with the aid of the Varangians soon crushed the rebellion entirely.”


    • About 1/3 the way down this web page, there is a C14 chart. The text states that the MWP lagged the C14 record. I am curious if the historical, anecdotal evidence agrees with his assessment? Do you know? Also, do the other cold/warm periods in the C14 record agree with the historical, anecdotal evidence?

      TIA and Happy New Year!


    • Tony:
      With regards to the MWP being og global extent (or not), what do you think of this……


      From here …

      • TB
        No-one knows for sure what the temperatures were at that time over large swathes of the map.
        Every hot bit is an area with proven proxy data.
        Almost every are with coolness showing is dat free.
        Proof is Australia, no real proxies, Gerghis tried and failed to back up Mann.
        The Southern Oceans and central Pacific and Atlantic have no layers of temperature indicative proxy lying around. Virtually none at all.
        Hence Mann’s assemblage is a combination of proven hot proxies and his tree rings which were not raised hence they squeezed all the coldness into areas which could not be proven.
        Take the average temp of the whole globe for any area he quotes at any historical time and it will match exactly the Mann temperature reconstruction.
        Is that a QED?

      • Tony – I wasn’t questioning the coverage of the MWP. I was wondering if the timing of it corresponded with the C14 chart.


      • The article I linked claims the MWP LAGGED the C14 peak per the chart linked here.

      • jim

        here is my recent article on the intermittent little ice age


        figure 1 shows the CET temperature back to 1538 (1538 to 1650 my reconstruction)

        As you can see from figures 6, 7, 8 and 9 I have put these figures against solar etc.

        If anyone wants to put figure 1 on top of the c14 chart it would be interesting. I am not at a computer that will let me do this.


      • Tony Banton
        Just like everybody has his hustle, everybody has his map

      • Does it still count as global if it occurs in different centuries in different hemispheres like that?

      • Everything counts. Even when the southern oceans have no reliable data as shown by Tony Banton’s map. There are so many uncertainties and there should be massive error bars for it all. That’s the way climate science is done, dontcha know? Like I said, everybody has their hustle. The current Warm Period has its own cooling regions. It’s absurd to pretend it doesn’t.

      • Jimd

        The modern warm era is not global either. One third of the earth has been cooling against the general trend, some stations for many Years. CET for example has been on a gentle downward trend for some 17 years or so.


        Muller of BEST confirmed this widespread cooling to me as well some Years ago and Mosh used to regularly pop up here to put caveats on the cooling.

        I think the mwp and roman period were similar, in as much a significant portion of the earth was warmimg but not necessarily continually, whilst other areas were cooling or static


      • ceresco, “everything counts”, not really global in the true climate sense, but near enough for the skeptics, I suppose. Lack of rigor is an issue I would point to here, but it is good enough for blogs, I suppose. Carry on.

      • climatereason, global is defined by an area-weighted mean, and the current warming is a true global warming. When you area-weight the various MWPs in different centuries, you don’t really get anything left. From a recent reconstruction paper on the topic.
        “At multi-decadal to centennial scales, temperature variability shows distinctly different regional patterns, with more similarity within each hemisphere than between them. There were no globally synchronous multi-decadal warm or cold intervals that define a worldwide Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age, but all reconstructions show generally cold conditions between AD 1580 and 1880, punctuated in some regions by warm decades during the eighteenth century.”

      • Mann’s paper was good enough to support the other side. The same Mann who 30 years ago predicted that Manhattan would be underwater by now. How did that work out? You cited one study. Big deal. If I wasn’t watching a bunch of bowl games I would do the same.

      • Jim

        The problem with your argument is that you miss the nuances by using an average. An average sea level rise or average temperature by itself does not mean anything when the reality is that in some places sea levels and temperaturrs are falling.

        The reality is that the undoubted warming we see in many places is counterbalanced to a lesser extent by the cooling we can observe in other places. Surely studies should examine why the latter condition is occurring as true global warming can not occurr if some paces are not demonstrating warming.


      • ceresco, 30 years ago Mann would have still been a Ph.D. student and I am surprised if he even had any quotes back then, especially any you would take as expert opinion. Also the paper I quoted is from 2014, and I am not sure any skeptics up to date on the papers have maintained the MWP meme since that.

      • climatereason, for the global energy balance, it is the mean and its variation that depends on the global energy balance. It is a critical parameter in quantifying climate change. There is always variability both in space and time added on top of this global trend, but the global trend is the focus. For example the land is warming at twice the global mean, and the Arctic even faster. These are important too, but the mean is the driver.

      • Jim D, you’re correct. It was Jim Hansen who purportedly said that. I get those bald headed guys confused. I also shouldn’t get Jim Hansen confused with Kirby Hanson who led a NOAA study that said in 1989 there had been no significant warming in the US for nearly 100 years. That was reported in the January 25, 1989 NYT. I’m sure in a few decades all of that will vanish and all involved will deny it ever existed.

      • Yes, GISTEMP has that too.The global average was 0.5 C at that time. A lot more warming since, of course.

      • Here’s my best shot using another CET image by you:


      • jim

        That’s interesting. There is no doubt that the maunder closely relates to the temperatures. The decline from the medieval warm period occurred from around 1200 AD. The sporer is a poor fit. The first half of the 16 th century was quite warm but then went into a sharp decline as depicted by Bruegel.

        Glaciers are slower to react to temperature change. Look at figure 7 from my study here


        It would be interesting to see if there is a close fit with that glacier graphic and your graphic


      • Oops! Let me try that one again!

      • Highlights

        We examine climate variability since the 1950s in the Antarctic Peninsula region.

        This region is often cited among those with the fastest warming rates on Earth.

        A re-assessment of climate data shows a cooling trend initiated around 1998/1999.

        This recent cooling has already impacted the cryosphere in the northern AP.

        Observed changes on glacial mass balances, snow cover and permafrost state

        Olivia 2017 ANTARTIC PENINSULA

      • jim

        glaciers of course don’t respond instantly to temperature change and there would be periods when they might be doing the opposite of the general trend . So the glaciers should be taken as a decades long indicator whereas CET is much quicker. I think the Maunder looks interesting. The Sporer is not shown on CET, but I indicate only the very later part of it, not the lead indicator a century earlier

        What do you think?


      • jim

        actually the glacier one-bearing in mind its imprecision- captures the peaks and troughs of the various minimums and maximums quite well and also the slide into and out of the change of climate.

        As I say, there were warm periods during the cold ones and cold periods during the warm ones, so it is a general cause and effect that is the issue, as well as any lag time.


      • Hi Tony – I have a good source for C14 from 800 to 2000

      • Jim2

        Is the good source different to the one on which you superimposed glaciers and cet?


    • “Work by dendro-chronologists and ice-core experts points to an enormous spasm of volcanic activity in the 530s and 540s CE, unlike anything else in the past few thousand years. This violent sequence of eruptions triggered what is now called the ‘Late Antique Little Ice Age’, when much colder temperatures endured for at least 150 years.”

      The Western Empire fell during the Early Antique Little Ice Age. Large volcanic eruptions do not drive solar minima! and they apparently tend to warm higher latitude winters.

    • And further to Sony’s story of Byzantine icebergs, the colder climate caused the natural barriers that had previously protected the Western Empire to freeze over allowing the less technologically adept tribes to walk into Roman territory. Prior to the Rhine freezing over immigration had been regulated by a riverine navy based on the southern shores. Once the Rhine froze these relatively unfortified bases were quickly overrun.

    • There does appear to be a good lagged eyeball match C14 to glaciers. But I haven’t yet found the provenance of the C14 chart. I assume it’s from ice cores, but don’t know which. Even a record as long as CET looks short compared to some of the proxies.

      We really don’t have enough temperature data to matter at this point.

      • Jim

        Long ago I actually researched the glacier data back to around Roman times and even beyond. I only use the last 1000 years as it is easier to tie historical events to it.

        How far back does C14 go? If it does go back 2000 years and you can confirm it is of good provenance I will dig the extended glacier data out.

        I have no opinion either way as to whether there is a match with C14. The CET match to Sporer is poor, to Maunder it is good, but if there is a lag we would need CET data going back at least another 100 years to see if there is any sporer effect.


    • Another study showing not all Warming is uniform. Maybe similar to that during MWP.

      Alter et al 2017

      “Both land-use changes and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have significantly modified regional climate over the last century. In the central United States, for example, observational data indicate that rainfall increased, surface air temperature decreased, and surface humidity increased during the summer over the course of the 20th century concurrently with increases in both agricultural production and global GHG emissions.”

    • I made a little progress on the C14 – it is on a wiki anyway. It appears to be gathered from plant material. I’ll try to find more about it, if not a better source.

    • Hi Tony – I have a good source for C14 from 800 to 2000

  13. ‘Papers predict forthcoming solar minima’

    Morner 2015 has it completely backwards. The North Atlantic (AMO) is warm in this solar minimum, as it also was in the late 1800’s Gleissberg solar minimum. The AMO will be cold again in the mid 2040’s because of stronger solar, like the mid 1970’s.

    • This is my latest analysis of multi-millennial patterns of solar minima as regards the next few centuries of solar activity:

      From visual analysis of the Greenland GISP2 ice core temperature proxy, I have identified a repeating pattern of cold and warm events with a periodicity of just under 3500 years. This should be due to the long term distribution of minor and of major solar minima. My initial estimate for the period was at 3470 years, derived from 0.75 of the 4627 years grand synodic period of all four gas giants. Though the ordering of solar cycles and of solar minima I have established is intrinsic to the quadrupole phase relationships and orbital progressions of Earth, Venus, Jupiter, and Uranus. These four planets have a very fine harmony that resolves the Earth-Venus and Jupiter-Uranus synodic periods out of phase at 345.32 years, then in phase at 3453.2 years, covering 32 solar minima intervals.

      The error of phase coherence between the two synodic periods at 3453.2 years can be calculated by dividing 2160 Earth-Venus synodic periods by the Earth-Jupiter synodic period:
      583.921935 x 2160 = 1261271.38 days
      1261271.38 / 398.88404 = 3162.00011, about 1 hour error.

      The first phase coherent harmony between the two synodic periods is primarily at 110.3 years, but has a slow drift, giving rise to an occasional shorter period to maintain parity. This progression dictates the occurrence of regular solar minima, otherwise known as the Gleissberg-Centennial cycle of solar minima.
      In the current and recent epochs, the half period of 3453.2 yrs is disordered due to the non-circularity of the orbital paths, though in some epochs the pattern of solar minima will repeat at half of this period at 1726.6 years. This confirms my discrete mapping of individual solar minima, that the next two solar minima from the late 2090’s, and from 2200 AD, are good analogues of the protracted solar minima of 1350 to 1200 BC that drove the decline and collapse of most civilisations during that period.

      • To be precise, there is a minor disparity in the Jupiter-Uranus synodic periods at 1261271 days, but not enough to make any difference to the next two solar minima being definitive astronomical analogues of those 3453.2 years previously.

      • The agreement between Ea-Ve synodic periods and Jupiter is very fine at 1261271 days, but ~3 days out with respect to Uranus over that period. This would mean that the 3453.2 yr return can only be repeated a limited number of times before making a shorter step to start a new series, rather like Saros cycles. Though I am satisfied that the 3453.2 year analogue is ideal for the current epoch, it agrees with my discrete mapping of solar minima to the year.

  14. From Michael Shellenberger:

    Consider what France’s president said when he went back on his promise to phase-out nuclear.
    “What did the Germans do when they shut all their nuclear in one go?” President Macron asked earlier this month. “They developed renewables, but they also reopened coal. They worsened their CO2 footprint. It wasn’t good for the planet. So I won’t do that.”

    Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-macron-nuclear/nuclear-renewables-to-help-french-co2-reduction-goals-macron-says-idUSKBN1EB0TZ

  15. Judith, the link does not go to Tol’s paper:

    “Richard Tol: Economic impacts of climate change. Climate change will reduce the economic burden of cold winters, but this benefit will soon be dominated by other, negative impacts of climate change. [link]”. I have not found the intended paper. Could you, or someone else, please provide the correct link.

  16. “Andrea Saltelli:  What is wrong with evidence-based policy making and how can it be improved?”

    “…the neglect of other relevant world views of legitimate stakeholders.”

    The idea of stakeholders is a liberal plot. But they forgot their own playbook. Who is a skeptic? Stakeholders. Households. Oil companies and utilities.

    We will have wind and solar, and fossil fuels are our enemy. That doesn’t sound like stakeholders. The battle is set up between home solar and utilities where good deals are replaced by less good deals and costs are pushed onto those that should pay for them. Which is to try to say it’s developed into a battle of us versus them.

    “The use of mathematical modelling and indicators conveys a spurious impression of precision, prediction and control.”

    We are right because we have math and physics plus peer reviewed papers. That means you are wrong. You aren’t even a stakeholder, you’re just wrong and you’re lucky we haven’t thought up more ways to make you pay for all the bad things you do like all those denialist things you say. And you are so wrong we have over 100 peer reviewed papers studying what’s wrong with you. Yes I know we pushed this stakeholder thing in the past, but you are beyond redemption.

  17. Judith,

    At the top of this thread you say you are ‘house cleaning’ so “that I have a fresh start for the new year.” You also say:

    New Year’s resolution is not to let more than two weeks pass between reviews!

    Can I suggest another:

    Delete all comments that contain pejorative remarks and/or ad hominem falacies – i.e. the whole comment, not just snip the remark.

    Give regular offenders two warnings, then put them on moderation if they do not comply.

    Deleting whole comments that contain pejorative remarks and/or ad hominem falacies should quickly train most denizens to clean up their act and engage in civil and rational discussion from then on. This should greatly improve the tone of discussion on CE and attract back those who are able to make substantial contributions to the discussions.

    A flow chart to help you determine if you are having a rational discussion:

    • That sounds like a lot of work.

      • Judith would know who the usual suspects are and could check their comments.

      • Jeff,

        Another thought might be to set up a permanent thread equivalent to “Denizens” called “Pejorative and ad hominem comments“. Invite readers of CE to post on that thread a quote of the remark(s) and a link to the comment. Judith can then look at them and make a decision what to do with bot the comment and the commenter.

      • ” Delete all comments that contain pejorative remarks and/or ad hominem fallacies – i.e. the whole comment, not just snip the remark.
        Give regular offenders two warnings, then put them on moderation if they do not comply.”

        Almost persuaded but believe in free speech being given a very long rein.
        Smart, snide, pejorative, ad hominem or rude.
        Very hard to put the grey lines into these areas.
        I would suffer a little bit but on the other hand some of the things said in the heat of the moment I would love to have expunged later on.
        Time consuming is a problem, unless Judith has active moderators I do not think it is fair that she should have to do the work.
        Perhaps a thumbs up or down or an asterisk from regular trustworthy contributors say 3 asterisks and the comment is reviewed or deleted, not just from anyone.
        On the other hand I recall Steven giving me both barrels and the kitchen sink here when I upset him. I was admonished but happy to see it in print as it showed a lot of things about both of us and where our belief values clashed and I was quite happy about the gist of my argument and his conduct.
        So no, I don’t think every such comment should be scrapped.

    • “This is not the claim. That is another of your frequent misrepresentations, disingenuous claims and another demonstration of your intellectual dishonesty.” Lang in response to –


      It is a habitual response on the part of Peter Lang – and is prompted invariability with disagreement over any of his incompetent rants. No doubt he would see incompetent rant as deeply pejorative – but nothing else sums it up so nicely.

      Beta Blocker injected much needed realities into the discussion – on the improbability of the 10% nuclear claim – with the inevitable result. If you don’t agree you are failing to engage in rational discussion according to something he found on a website.

      The problem with these sort of people is the lack of self awareness. Comments such as the one above are not regarded by the perpetrators as pejorative but as value free fact. Such as we have seen with the word denier.

      • Can this egotistical, bitter old man do no better than continual trolling? It seems his primary method of arguing is derision, personal attacks, ad hominem and pejorative remarks, strawman arguments, avoiding the question or issue and changing the subject. All are signs of intellectual dishonesty.

        Robert I. Ellison believes it is “completely bonkers” to expect him to agree to participate in rational discussion. It seems he does not want to agree to that because it would prevent his standard modus operandi (see his comment here, and my reply to it below )

        Can this bitter old man do no better than continual trolling? It seems his only method of arguing is derision, personal attacks, ad hominem and pejorative remarks, strawman arguments and changing the subject. All are clear signs of his intellectual dishonesty https://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/ .

        Being prepared to engage in a rational discussion means being prepared to answer “Yes” to these three questions and abide by the four rules (excerpt from the flow chart here: http://twentytwowords.com/a-flowchart-to-help-you-determine-if-youre-having-a-rational-discussion/) :

        Q1. Can you envision anything that will change your mind on this topic?

        Q2. If one of your arguments is shown to be faulty will you stop using that argument (with everyone)?

        Q3. Are you prepared to abide by the basic principles of reason in discussing this topic

        I will talk to you about this topic providing the following are rules are obeyed:

        1. Do not introduce new arguments while another argument has yet to be resolved

        2. Do not move to another argument if it is shown that a fact you relied upon is inaccurate

        3. Provide evidence for your position or arguments

        4. Do not argue that you do not need evidence”

        It appears, you are not prepared to agree to answer the three questions or agree to obey the four rules.


        Robert I. Ellison replied:
        … this is completely bonkers” https://judithcurry.com/2017/12/21/forgone-benefits-of-disruption-to-nuclear-power-since-late-1960s/#comment-863646

      • Here are some examples of Robert Ellison’s ad hominem and pejorative remarks in comments on this recent post I authored: “Forgone benefits of disruption to nuclear power since late-1960’s https://judithcurry.com/2017/12/21/forgone-benefits-of-disruption-to-nuclear-power-since-late-1960s/

        Robert I. Ellison | December 24, 2017 at 2:45 am |
        Wow – dubious source? https://www.iarc.fr/
        This level of – let’s face it – ignorance is pathetic.

        Robert I. Ellison | December 24, 2017 at 2:41 am |
        I have gathered that you know so little about anything of any relevance that pig ignorance best describes it.

        Robert I. Ellison | December 22, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Reply
        Peter is in the business of selling white elephants to a resistant market using pie in the sky costs and unbelievable disavowal of safety concerns. This particular horse is dead – to mix metaphors – and there is nothing to be gained in flogging it.

        Robert I. Ellison | December 23, 2017 at 4:47 am | Reply
        Bu then these things things seem quite often to escape Peter.

        Robert I. Ellison | December 24, 2017 at 12:08 am |
        How many times do I have to say these things? I find Peter to be an inflexible, dogmatic and pedantic – but draw the line at his repeatedly whining about Lovering, Yip and Nordhaus OCC

        Robert I. Ellison | December 29, 2017 at 12:04 am |
        The root cause is Peter’s inability to cope with informed debate.

        Robert I. Ellison | December 29, 2017 at 1:15 am |
        The evidence provided in the quote is Peter’s signature response.

        Robert I. Ellison | December 29, 2017 at 2:11 am | Reply
        “Could the costs of nuclear power have been 10% of what they are if not for the disruption?”
        This is apparently not ‘the claim’ of the post. Thank God – it seems total BS.

      • I answered the questions – but it was defined as an inability to rationally respond in accordance with Peter Lang’s rules. A quite absurd set of rules gleamed from some obscure internet source. The latter is totally bonkers.

      • “RIE,
        Stop advertising your ignorance by quoting long extracts from dubious sources, selectively. You do not know enough about the topic to contribute meaningfully here.

        Let’s have some context. Intellectual honesty demands it.

      • You did not answer the questions. You dodged them, as usual.

        I responded to your claim you answered them here:

        No. You have not answered the questions. Your answers do not address the two questions. Your answers are making assertions about what you believe are the causes. This is not what the questions are about. Try to answer the questions.

        The question was framed in point 1 here

        The three main areas where there appears to be disagreement are:
        1. The results in my paper which show that the OCC of nuclear power in the six countries with pre-disruption learning rates would be around 10% of current costs if the pre-reversal learning rates had continued and the deployment rates were the same as the historical actual; and 2% to 10% (excluding India) if both the pre-1976 deployment rates and the pre-reversal learning rates had continued.

        You dodged this and preferred to respond to point 3 instead. How convenient. How dishonest. And you refuse to agree to participate in rational debate. How convenient.

        You avoided the question; Sign 4 of the 10 sighs of intellectual dishonesty

        4. Avoiding/Ignoring the question or “ . . . and let’s not forget about . . .” Anybody who refuses to admit that their argument is weak in an area and, worse still, avoids answering difficult questions in that area is being intellectually dishonest. If they don’t ignore the question, these people are easily recognised from their efforts to change the subject.

      • The claim was that costs of nuclear could be 10% of current costs. Although Peter later said that wasn’t the claim.

        The cause of decreasing costs in the early period is largely the result of increasing reactor size.

        The cause of later cost increases is largely price escalation as a result of inflation.

        By comparison with Korea and China – it may be possible to reduce construction periods and regulatory delays. But not remotely enough for a 90% cost decrease. Then he ascribes all cost increases to nuclear activists without even the flimsiest rationale. It is a hugely incompetent essay.

        But then he refuses to discuss these points on the basis of some nonsense about rational discussion found on a blog. It is an arbitrary limitation on open discourse built on accusations of irrationality and dishonesty.

  18. The link for, “The Maunder minimum & the Little Ice Age: an update from recent reconstructions & climate simulations,” finds that a, “reduction in total solar irradiance likely contributed to the LIA at a level comparable to changing land use,” but otherwise, should not be looked as a causative event when looking at the period of, The Maunder minimum. The study apparently suggests that solar forcing is limited to total solar irradiance but, solar activity is solely not limited to radiative changes. In any event, I think most thoughtful people realize that, rather than CO2 as the monocausal explanation for global warming — which so happens to serve the interests of Leftists who demand hegemony over the American economy — climate change is, primarily driven by changes in the orbit of the earth.

  19. Judith, JCH and some others are asking elsewhere for a discussion on clouds. SOD put up an article a little while ago on climate sensitivity.
    Could we have a new old discussion on this subject?
    It is running repeats I know but is an area where some are claiming more certainty when others are going strongly the other way.
    Perhaps Roy could be cajoled onto a dissertation?
    Or Science of Doom?
    who said this was not right
    “Catastrophic predictions depend on accelerated forcings due to water vapour feedback. This water vapour feedback is simply written into climate models as parameters. It is not derived from any kind simulation of first principles in the General Circulation Model runs (GCMs)”
    Arguments against cloud effects [someone else’s]
    ” First, more water vapor does not automatically mean more clouds. That is not even particularly plausible if the increase in water vapor is due to increased temperature with constant RH.
    Second, the effect of more clouds need not be more cooling. Clouds not only reflect short wave radiation, they absorb long wave radiation and contribute to the greenhouse effect. The relative importance of the cooling and warming effects depends on things like cloud location, density, and altitude.
    Third, changes in clouds are most certainly taken into account in the models. Badly, I suspect, but definitely not ignored. If a model give high climate sensitivity, it is due to clouds.”

    I found my money quote courtesy of Victor Venema.
    “Clearing clouds of uncertainty” by Mark Zelinka et al Nature Climate change
    “Averaged globally and annually clouds cause -18 Watts/m2 of cooling compared to a cloud free earth.”
    The net planetary cooling of clouds is 5 times the warming of a doubling of CO2. Mind you clouds have a lot of GHG warming associated with them as well

    • I’ve always laughed that the CO2 forcing was abut 1% of total “back radiation.” In any real science, that is called noise.

      • Any real scientist will measure the signal to noise ratio. I will laugh at anyone who thinks a signal to noise ratio greater than 300 is not achievable.

      • 1% of any quantity in a massive multi-quantity climate cause/effect is risible.

      • No, what you are talking about is risible. You are being not funny.

        Try science.

        Maybe you should learn something about it before laughing at it.

        That would be wise.

  20. Evolving Understanding of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Physics and Ambiguity in Probabilistic Sea-Level Projections

    Plain Language Summary Recent ice-sheet modeling papers have introduced new physical mechanisms — specifically the hydrofracturing of ice shelves and the collapse of ice cliffs — that can rapidly increase ice-sheet mass loss from a marine-based ice-sheet, as exists in much of Antarctica. This paper links new Antarctic model results into a sea-level rise projection framework to examine their influence on global and regional sea-level rise projections and their associated uncertainties, the potential impact of projected sea-level rise on areas currently occupied by human populations, and the implications of these projections for the ability to constrain future changes from present observations. Under a high greenhouse gas emission future, these new physical processes increase median projected 21st century GMSL rise from ∼80 to ∼150 cm. Revised median RSL projections for a high-emissions future would, without protective measures, by 2100 submerge land currently home to more than 153 million people. The use of a physical model indicates that emissions matter more for 21st century sea-level change than previous projections showed. Moreover, there is little correlation between the contribution of Antarctic to sea-level rise by 2050 and its contribution in 2100 and beyond, so current sea-level observations cannot exclude future extreme outcomes.

  21. EXTREMELY INTERESTING. Causal feedbacks in climate change [link]

    Methodology examples Detecting Causality in Complex Ecosystems.

    You’ll find a Download URL there.

    Contains this interesting statement:

    Summary. Despite the fundamental problems raised in Berkeley’s 1710 A Treatise on Principles of Human Knowledge (1), correlation remains the analytical standard of modern science.


    1. G. Berkeley, A Treatise on Principles of Human Knowledge (1710).

    I think it should say, ” . . . correlation, that does not use statistical ‘model’ equations, . . . .” That is, correlation between data and predictions, for which the predictions are independent of the data.

    Some recent investigations: Data-based prediction and causality inference of nonlinear dynamics

    All based on Theorems by Takens.

  22. It is refreshing to have statements such as “we don’t know if human activity made (Antarctic Ice Shelves melting) more likely.” , and the mechanisms of Circumpolar Deep Water “are complex and poorly understood “. Both statements were in the Tamsin Edwards article and an accompanying link. In reading the other Antarctica and associated waters links and studies above, there were many uncertainties and unknowns readily admitted by the authors. As is common if one bothers to read them. It’s when the studies are represented by the MSM and certain advocates that that facts get a little wobbly.

    The study covering impacts of geothermal activity under the sea floor is very interesting and opens up all sorts of scenarios for further research. We know how much oceanic circulation affects global climate. What is not known are all the dynamics driving those numerous and interrelated circulations. This paper points out how little is understood and how much more research is needed in this area. I don’t remember seeing a paper focused on the effects of geothermal activity on the circulation of the ocean waters. All sorts of possibilities come to mind, including impacts on the ice shelves of Antarctica.

    The discussion about discovery of new elements of topographical conditions under the Pine Island Glacier and how it has changed thinking in modeling the glacier’s movement is similar to a recent paper about Greenland’s topography affecting those glaciers. Besides the effect of topography on Greenland’s meltwater contribution to SLR are the moulins discussed in another link above. An earlier study about moulins cautioned that without this process considered, contributions to SLR would be overestimated.

    • I have one complaint about these papers covering the Antarctica ice shelves and glaciers and the waters melting them from below, The complaint applies generally to all such papers about the ocean’s effect on the ice shelves and glaciers. They speak of warm waters impacting the ice and occasionally warmer waters, but they don’t say how much warmer. There is no baseline. There is no analysis of what the water temperature was, say in 1850, or any other period. They don’t say how much of an increase in temperature has occurred over any period. There is no context within which to place the current melting rate. How do the current water temperatures and ice melting rates compare to any periods over the last 1000 years?

      A linked paper discusses how Ice loss has accelerated since the early 1990s. So? Does that prove anything? What was the loss 100 or 500 or 1000 years ago? Such papers don’t further the cause nor does it advance understanding of the long term dynamics and how this period is any different from those of the past.

  23. The link to the article on the rise and fall of Rome has this jewel:

    Rome emerged as the greatest setback in the history of human civilisation.

    Explanations for a phenomenon of this magnitude abound: in 1984, the German classicist Alexander Demandt catalogued more than 200 hypotheses…

    There is of course the obliging if not obligatory homage to climate change but if anyone is looking for a single monocausal explanation for the rise and fall of the Roman Empire the article leads to believe it may have been… globalization, giving rise to the rise and fall of… pandemics.

  24. It’s a perfect example of physically modelling oceans. Realistic submarine terrain. An input of 101mW/m2 geothermal flux keeping oceans below the thermocline 0.4 degrees C warmer.

    Greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere and slow the rate of ocean cooling.
    The rate of instantaneous – or nearly so – increase in atmospheric forcing is very small – at some 1E-9W/m2.

    Unidirectional geothermal heat flux may be insignificant – and it may have implications for ocean heat under AGW. If instead of slowly warming oceans – AGW slows heat loss to the atmosphere.

    It would mean that the planet is very much quicker to respond to – or even drive changes – than heat in the pipeline theorists suppose.

  25. Geoff Sherrington

    The Saltelli paper about evidence based on observation and post-normal science is hard going because of long buzz words. It should not have been needed.
    Many of its topics would not arise if people told the truth. Post-normal advocates seem to favour science by people who tell fibs as if they were normal conduct.
    Science is so much more enjoyable when one does not have to wonder who is truthful, what salient evidence is unstated, whether there is a ferryman to be paid. If I was 20 again, I doubt I would choose a life of science. It has become too corrupted, particularly by climate researchers. Geoff.

  26. I finally wrote up my satellite data analysis, which I have been mentioning in blog comments for many years:

    No CO2 warming for the last 40 years?


    It begins like this:

    “It is very cold here in the Eastern US and the President is joking about the lack of global warming. More interesting by far is the fact that there appears to have been no CO2 induced warming in the last 40 years, which is as far back as the satellite measurements go.

    That this incredible fact has gone unnoticed is due mostly to the scientific community’s fixation on the warming shown by the surface temperature statistical models. But as explained here, these complex computer models are completely unreliable.

    Also, the satellite measurements do show some global warming, which people have mistakenly assumed somehow supports the hypothesis of human caused, CO2 induced warming. Careful inspection shows that this assumption is false. There is in fact no evidence of CO2 warming in the entire satellite record.

    To see this one must look at the satellite record in detail. To understand this, bear in mind that science is all about the specific details of an observation. These details can overthrow grand theories that are widely accepted.”

  27. Human activity has caused a significant long-term cooling trend (-0.35°C between the 1940s and 2009) and higher rainfall totals via the mechanism of “agricultural intensification” – a photosynthesis-associated increase in the air’s water vapor or humidity levels due to an explosive (400%) increase in crop production and yield since the 1940s.

    “Agricultural intensification” is a process that extends to the the global ecosystem, and points to the fact that CO2 greening globally is an important negative feedback against any radiative warming.

    • Well of course we all bow before the authoritity of your primary school red paint 🎨. It must be a great feeling – to change climate history with the stroke of a paintbrush!

      But you’re right of course – what has befallen the American homeland is nothing less than an environmental and climate catastrophe (Paul Ehrlich was right):

      “Over the last century, the world has experienced unprecedented growth in cropland area and productivity (Ramankutty & Foley, 1999; Pielke et al., 2011). As part of this expansive agricultural development, the Corn Belt of the central United States – one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world (Guanter et al., 2014; Mueller et al., 2016) – experienced major increases in both corn and soybean production. For example, from 1950 to 2010, the amount of corn harvested annually in the Corn Belt increased by 400%, from 2 billion to 10 billion bushels (NASS, 2016).”

    • I believe that study is about cooling in the months of July and August.

      Red paint – read Roy Spencer.

  28. RE DUST: Very little time to respond so simply raise the hypothesis you may already know better re dust and interglacials. Prof Clive Best produced the linked time series from multiple peer reviewed papers, without carefully modfying a selection of disconnected parts to produce the whole, in the style of Piltdown Mann et al, as part of showing the interglacial warming effect – that appears to be triggered by 100Ka MIlankovitch eccentricity extremes for the last Million years , and the 41Ka Tilt/Obliquity variation before that.

    The point is that after whatever heat impulse occurs, the albedo of the ice is now reduced by the dust from dead trees and other temperate vegetation, killed by the change to tundra and permafrost by the ice, and warming occurs more rapidly as a direct consequence of the accumulated dust on the ice cap. Of course this IS a real positive feedback, the more it melts the warmer the planet gets. I have a paper coming on what the actual Milankovitch trigger might be ….. just can’t hatch it.

    • Interesting short summary. Thank you.

      I have a paper coming on what the actual Milankovitch trigger might be ….. just can’t hatch it.

      Strain a bit harder :) I look forward to the hatchling.

      It is also worth keeping in mind the longer term perspective, that is:

      1. According to Scotese (2016) Earth is currently in about the severest cold house phase it has experienced since multi-cell life began, about 650 MA ago

      2. The average global temperature during the past 540 Ma was about 7C warmer than now. Life thrived during most of that time. Arguably, the average temperature (i.e. 7C warmer than now) over that time was the optimum temperature for life on earth, (when life thrived best)

      3. The current cycle of ice ages last occurred during the Carboniferous-Permian glacial period, about 300 Ma ago. It lasted about 50 Ma.

      4. Earth is likely to remain in it’s current glacial period for tens of millions of years.

      Is there a valid basis for the fear mongering about global warming?

      Source: Figure 15 https://www.academia.edu/12082909/Some_thoughts_on_Global_Climate_Change_The_Transition_from_Icehouse_to_Hothouse

      • No sustained correlation between temp and CO2 on the facts. Any variation from CO2, real or imaginary, is tiny within natural variation of total IR back radiation of 340w/m^2, CO2 effects decay oartithmically with conecentartion, so 20-40 same as 200-400ppm. Change is so slow humans can easilly adapt, and will not see significant change in a lifetime. The next change is cleary the end of the Indian Summer of this interglacia as we descend several degrees and 100 metres of sea level down into the next ice age.

        No valid basis for the fear mongering about global warming, unless it’s to excuse politicians using it as an excuse to channel Billions pa to renewable obbyists for making the supposed cause of CO2 and actual supply worse in every way by law?

      • No valid basis for the fear mongering about global warming, unless it’s to excuse politicians using it as an excuse to channel Billions pa to renewable lobbyists for making the supposed cause of CO2 and actual supply worse in every way by law?

        Actually, it’s $ trillions, not $ billions. Lomborg reported in 2015 and again recently that the world is spending $1-$2 trillion per year on climate change policies.

        The Climate Change Business Journal reported in 2015:

        Interest in climate change is becoming an increasingly powerful economic driver, so much so that some see it as an industry in itself whose growth is driven in large part by policymaking.

        The $1.5 trillion global “climate change industry” grew at between 17 and 24 percent annually from 2005-2008, slowing to between 4 and 6 percent following the recession with the exception of 2011’s inexplicable 15 percent growth, according to Climate Change Business Journal.


      • You will enjoy my costing of Wind plus batteries for the UK. I refer to your work on solar PV plus pumped storage. It’s been WIP for ages, Answer is at least £1.2Trillion every 4 years in batteries alone, enough to build 180GW of 60 year life nuclear generation with outage and backup. Also David MacKay’s last public words that powering the UK with renewables was “an appalling delusion”. Didn’t stop government racketeers from passing this climate change protection racket into law for a fast and fraudulent buck, though.

      • Brianrlcatt,

        Thank you. You didn’t include a link to your costing of Wind plus batteries in UK.

        Did you read the excellent report on cost of a reliable UK electricity system with deep decarbonisation? It is linked in my report CE post here: https://judithcurry.com/2016/01/19/is-nuclear-the-cheapest-way-to-decarbonize-electricity/

        A recent report by the Energy Research Partnership (ERP), ‘Managing Flexibility Whilst Decarbonising the GB Electricity System’ compares the total system costs of decarbonizing the electricity system in Great Britain for various proportions of seventeen technologies. The analysis considers and does sensitivity analyses on important inputs and constraints that are seldom included in analyses intended for informing policy analysts about policy for a whole electricity system. The ERP report has policy-relevance for other electricity systems and the methodology should be broadly applicable.


      • That’s because I am finalising it. I just sent Bernard Ingham a clip with the key figures while diting draft nnn. My scoping approach was similar to your, but for UK environment. I will leave mine as is or it will never be done. I can send you a copy but my ropbox stopped supporting my old Mac. You can mail me at brian.catt@deconfused.com, this is a my facts on energy dmain and not yet active. I cost the batteries required for an all renewable fossil free grid politicians still promote as ideal. The true cost of renewable, not the cost of their enrgy alone. As you di for Solar PV and pumped storage, which you can also stick when the sun don’t shine. https://www.dropbox.com/s/tyk9hnjoh41y70q/Sun%20Don%27t%20Shine.jpg?dl=0

      • I took a quick look at the ERP report. It fails to quantify simple realities as you or I have done, or David MacKay made plain. And it alocates a value/cost to CO2, which we know is a wholly random and unsupportable cost which is likely not even real, as the 1.6W/m^2 of AGW are hardly significant in the 340W/m^2 of natural greenhouse effect from water vapour, and is known to be both uncorrelated with global temperature and rapidly dimishing in effect with concentration, logarithmically,. My work deals in real costs, as does yours. David MacKay already did all this complex modelling with the Global Calculator. BTW Best

      • Hi Brian,

        Thank you for the links and email address. i am up to my neck in my own analysis at the moment so will leave looking at your analysis for now – probably until you publish it.

        My analysis you referred to was intentionally very simple, ‘back of an envelope’, for the purposes of explaining to those unfamiliar with estimating system costs about what is needed to do proper cost analyses of the full system implications of solar power (and implicitly wind also).

        Regarding the ERP analysis of the UK system the estimated the cost per tonne to reach targets. They did not use economic estimates of SCC or of carbon prices. Thye did use some arbitrary figures for shwing what the cost impact on the UK electrciity system would be to reach the proposed UK targets. For example they say:

        There were no constraints on meeting carbon targets but a carbon price was set at £70/t for most runs described here, except for some sensitivities run at £100/t.

      • Woops, sorry, I sent my reply before I’ds finished it. I wanted to add that I estimated the cost per tonne CO2 reduction using figures read from the figures in the ERP report for the total additional system cost and the amount of CO2 avoided with the the different technologies. My results are here: https://judithcurry.com/2016/01/19/is-nuclear-the-cheapest-way-to-decarbonize-electricity/#comment-760150 . I said:

        I’ve estimated the CO2 abatement cost of the 14 generator technologies and also for the mix of CCS, wind and nuclear Andy mentioned in his comment: https://judithcurry.com/2016/01/19/is-nuclear-the-cheapest-way-to-decarbonize-electricity/#comment-759905 – i.e. 30 GW gas-CCS, 24 GW wind and remainder nuclear to achieve the 50 g/kWh target. I assumed a 1:1 mix of onshore and offshore wind. I interpreted from Figure 11 the nuclear capacity required to be 10 GW. Below are my calculations of the CO2 abatement cost for the 14 generator technologies and the mix Andy mentioned.

        Generator Technology; CO2 emissions (Mt); Total System Cost (£B/year); Abatement Cost (£/t CO2)
        Nuclear 10 30 74
        Hydro 11 21 14
        CHP 68 20 11
        Close old coal 80 23 51
        Offshore Wind 102 28 158
        Onshore wind 112 23 85
        Marine 118 33 341
        Solar PV 144 21 133
        Coal-CCS 147 28 750
        Gas-CCS 150 24 556
        Biomass 153 21 333
        Pump Storage 155 25 1500
        OCGT 162 19 0
        Close old nuclear 198 22 N/A
        Nuc, CCS, Wind 15 13 90

        If I’ve done this correctly, the CO2 abatement cost with all nuclear is £74/t CO2 whereas with the mix Andy mentioned is £90/t CO2. Once again, the ERP results show the all nuclear option is the least cost way to decarbonise the GB electricity system (if my understanding and calculations are correct).

      • Agree the conclusion. You appeared to miss battereis as the alternative to renewable intermittency and inadeqaucy. My paper puts that at around 20 times greater cost per KWh, a similar effect on cost/Tonne CO2 as your work on Slar PV plus pumped storage which is £1500 vs. £74/t CO2. The assumption is one weeks supply’s worth at 6.4TWh with no wind or solar, from the cheaper than Musk OIl Deep discharge lead acid batteries. That’s what the 30 page paper describes.

      • PS We tried to stop an enrgy from waste plant in green belt here. They are building an incinerator, which they call a gasifier, and now propose greenhouses alongside as no body needed or wanted the waste heat they claimed would make the ting qualfy as “energy recovery” – as the housing around was build years ago and has gas central heating already, thanks. So they now plan greenhouses heated by the waste heat from the steam turbine. So I have renamed in TfW.

        Tomatoes from waste.

        PPS Yes, the gasifier doesn’t produce Syngas to drive an engine as that model doesn’t work, they burn all the input in one chamber as a stratified burn and claim its syngas in the middle so enitled to 2 ROCs not 1, but realy its waste and air in and CO2 and H2) out, so its a gasinerator really, etc. , Whatever can be twisted for a subsidy, will. Why don’t we just dump the world’s garbage in the Middle of Australia, down all those open cast mines where no one wants to live except sociopaths? And all the other wilderness open cast mines? It will all go back to Stardust, longer term, when the big incinerator in the sky runs out of Hydgrogen, then helium, then carbon, etc.

  29. “In order for 2017-18 to be classed as a La Niña year, thresholds need to be exceeded for at least three months. Most climate models surveyed by the Bureau suggest this event is likely to last through the southern summer, and decay in the early southern autumn of 2018.”


    Beyond 3 months ENSO models are as reliable as a random walk. What is emerging in science are far more fundamental mechanisms. What we are looking for is an external forcing that trigger responses in the Earth system. It is not forcing as generally understood but a stochastic, Lorenz trigger in a resonant system.

    “There were several centennial-scale fluctuations in the climate and oceanography of the North Atlantic region over the past 1,000 years, including a period of relative cooling from about AD 1450 to 1850 known as the Little Ice Age1. These variations may be linked to changes in solar irradiance, amplified through feedbacks including the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation2. Changes in the return limb of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation are reflected in water properties at the base of the mixed layer south of Iceland. Here we reconstruct thermocline temperature and salinity in this region from AD 818 to 1780 using paired δ18O and Mg/Ca ratio measurements of foraminifer shells from a subdecadally resolved marine sediment core. The reconstructed centennial-scale variations in hydrography correlate with variability in total solar irradiance. We find a similar correlation in a simulation of climate over the past 1,000 years. We infer that the hydrographic changes probably reflect variability in the strength of the subpolar gyre associated with changes in atmospheric circulation. Specifically, in the simulation, low solar irradiance promotes the development of frequent and persistent atmospheric blocking events, in which a quasi-stationary high-pressure system in the eastern North Atlantic modifies the flow of the westerly winds. We conclude that this process could have contributed to the consecutive cold winters documented in Europe during the Little Ice Age.” https://www.nature.com/articles/ngeo2094

    Blocking events associated with low solar activity modulate wind and sub-polar gyre circulation in all the world’s oceans. In the Allantic this is causing a decline in AMOC. In the Pacific it causes increased upwelling – the origin of the PDO and ENSO – and coherent changes in low level marine stratocumulus. For which there are both physics – in Rayleigh–Bénard convection –
    and observations. Observations from satellites show that this was the major source of late 20th century warming.

    At the current low point in the solar cycle – the blocking events are likely to be more frequent. As is being seen currently. What you need to keep an eye on is the Southern Annular Mode – otherwise known as the AAO.


    This is very changeable – but more negative values seem likely to persist (in conditions of low solar activity) and La Nina conditions intensify over the Austral summer. Austral autumn commonly sees ENSO drifting. Whether La Nina re-emerges later in the year depends on blocking patterns in the southern hemisphere and upwelling on the eastern Pacific margin.

    In the much longer term – it portends cooler planetary conditions and that is funny.

    • Blocking events associated with low solar activity modulate wind and sub-polar gyre circulation in all the world’s oceans. In the Allantic this is causing a decline in AMOC.

      The causation I would have thought is in the opposite direction – AMOC influencing atmospheric weather. Dog wagging tail rather than the reverse.

      • Thinking can get you into trouble.


        “During the time of the 26◦ N array observations there has been a predominantly negative NAO (Fig. 7). Associated with the negative NAO is a tripole SST pattern with cooler mid-latitudes and warm subtropics. Cunningham et al. (2013) suggested that the AMOC has a role in setting
        sub-surface temperature anomalies, which have been linked to re-emerging SST patterns and subsequent anomalies in the
        NAO (Taws et al., 2011).” https://www.ocean-sci.net/10/29/2014/os-10-29-2014.pdf

        “The impact of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) on the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) and large-scale climate is assessed using simulations with three different climate models. Perturbation experiments are conducted in which a pattern of anomalous heat flux corresponding to the NAO is added to the model ocean. Differences between the perturbation experiments and a control illustrate how the model ocean and climate system respond to the NAO. A positive phase of the NAO strengthens the AMOC by extracting heat from the subpolar gyre, thereby increasing deep-water formation, horizontal density gradients, and the AMOC.” http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0396.1

        Pick one – but understand the implications of the (N)AO and gyre circulation.

      • That’s all well and good – one could also point to the strong correlation between the AMO and the Barents Sea upper 100m temperatures, shown by Levitus et al 2009:


        So which correlation is causative? is it your AMO correlation with meteorological parameters of the NAO? Or is it my one with Barents sea temperature indicating the strength of gulf stream warm water transport into the Arctic?

        FWIW I think it’s mine – that the AMO is simply an oscillation in the strength of the AMOC which oscillates by its own nonlinear dymanic (salinity-downwelling feedback constrained by Greenland ice melt). Ocean current changes are slower and longer term than atmospheric meteorological processes. So SSTs and gradients thereof are I believe more likely to be causative of the NAO. Although of course the reality could be a compromise and mutual causation in a self-organising nonlinear system.

      • But low solar activity is associated with blocking patterns in both hemispheres and in the Atlantic and Pacific – providing a Lorenz forcing for dynamic climate variability. AMOC responding to solar variability over very long periods has explanatory power for northern Eurasian climate variability.

      • Yes I accept that the AMO / AMOC could well be nonlinear oscillators periodically forced by solar variability.

    • The dominant thing is ACO2; a series of short, itty bitty La Niña events means warmth, threshold or no threshold:


      Almost no shot at 2018 not being a top-5 year.

  30. Pingback: Pienten ilmastomallivirheiden kimara | Roskasaitti

  31. EXTREMELY INTERESTING. Causal feedbacks in climate change [link]

    Yes I’d call causation backward in time pretty interesting. Apparently “dynamical system theory” allows the effect to come before the cause.

    So another skeptical objection shot down in flames 🔥 – the heretical data showing that CO2 followed temperature in ice core and sediment records – before it even lifted off the ground.

    If they can invent time-travel to defend CAGW, it should be a piece of cake 🍰 to make big batteries to store all that wind and solar electricity.

  32. Re: “EXTREMELY INTERESTING. Causal feedbacks in climate change”

    Yes, the paper illustrates what climate scientists have been saying for awhile now: even in cases where CO2 does not cause the initial warming, feedback from CO2 and other factors (such as ice melt) amplify the initial warming. So CO2 causes the subsequent warming, without needing to cause the initial warming. That accounts for CO2-temperature lags, when they occur.

    Folks have been using this paper to make that point for awhile now. For example:


    The IPCC has made that point as well, as have other sources. For instance:

    “Positive feedback between global warming and atmospheric CO2 concentration inferred from past climate change”
    “Global climate evolution during the last deglaciation”

    And for layman, potholer54 has a pretty good series of Youtube videos on this subject. For instance:

    “25 – Climate Change — The “800-year lag” unravelled”
    “Monckton Bunkum Part 3 – Correlations and Himalayan glaciers” from 00:00 to 10:00
    “27 — The evidence for climate change WITHOUT computer models or the IPCC” from 05:40 to 10:00
    “6 dumbest ideas politicians have about science” from 12:04 to 15:35

    Unfortunately, a number of your followers live under the illusion that this paper unsettled mainstream climate science, instead of the paper confirming what mainstream scientists have been saying for years:


    • Oceans are huge carbonated drinks. CO2 vapor pressure in the atmosphere is a function of ocean temperature. This is simple physics. Earth knows how to use CO2 to grow things, more CO2 is being put to good use. If CO2, or anything, causes warming, oceans will thaw a little more and more snowfall will counter the warming.

  33. Aeam of scientists presented surprising data on Tuesday suggesting that even as the state of Alaska has warmed up extremely rapidly in recent years, snowfall in the iconic Denali National Park has increased dramatically during the era of human-driven global warming.

    The snowfall on the highest peaks will always be more when oceans are more thawed. That is how it works. It snows more in cold places when oceans are warmer and more thawed and less when oceans are colder and more frozen. This is not surprising data. Lake effect snow and ocean effect snow come from thawed water. The snowfall increased because of natural global warming that was driven by the ice extent decrease as we came out of the little ice age.

  34. Aeam should have been A team

  35. My latest education piece:

    Here is the intro:
    “There are a growing number of books out that explain why people are skeptical of climate change alarmism. Many of these are getting good ratings and reader reviews on Amazon. Below is a list of 16 that are relatively recent and have ratings of at least 4 out of 5 possible stars. All data is from Amazon, as of the time of this writing. Some of these books are well read friends, but some I had never heard of until I went looking.”

    I am looking for more books like this for my Climate Change Debate Education website (in progress). Suggestions are most welcome.
    Give til it hurts alarmism