Hothouse Earth

by Judith Curry

We need to raise the bar on how we think about the possible worst case scenario for climate change.

The news and twitterati are abuzz with the idea of ‘Hothouse Earth’, based on a new paper published in PNAS [link]:

Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene

Will Steffen, Johan Rockström, Katherine Richardson, Timothy M. Lenton, Carl Folke, Diana Liverman, Colin P. Summerhayes, Anthony D. Barnosky, Sarah E. Cornell, Michel Crucifix, Jonathan F. Donges,
Ingo Fetzer, Steven J. Lade, Marten Scheffer, Ricarda Winkelmann, and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a “Hothouse Earth” pathway even as human emissions are reduced. Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene. We examine the evidence that such a threshold might exist and where it might be. If the threshold is crossed, the resulting trajectory would likely cause serious disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies. Col lective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state. Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values.

If you download the paper, be sure to download the Supplementary Information, which contains most of the ‘meat.’

Media coverage

The article has engendered much alarm in the media, typified by the Guardian:  Domino-effect of climate events could move Earth into Hothouse state. “We could end up delivering the Paris agreement and keep to 2C of warming, but then face an ugly surprise if the system starts to slip away,”

Apparently there was some concern about ‘over egging the pudding’, with the following more optimistic articles: Terrified by hothouse Earth?  Don’t despair, do something

There is actually one very good article on this, by Chelsea Harvey at E&E News:

The possibility of these kinds of climate thresholds has already been explored in numerous studies and reports in recent years. In many cases, experts largely agree that these thresholds likely exist — but at exactly what point they’ll be crossed remains highly uncertain. This new paper adds an element of urgency to the issue by suggesting that even 2 C of warming could be enough to send the whole Earth system over the edge.

Another recent study, published in June in Nature Geoscience, took a look at the past few million years of Earth’s climate history to explore the consequences that similar levels of warming have had on the planet before.

“The good news is that warming on the scale of that envisioned by the Paris climate agreements did not appear to trigger runaway feedbacks to a hothouse” during some of these warm periods, Alan Mix, a climate expert at Oregon State University.

“The paper’s supposition that we are close to a tipping point toward a hothouse world will motivate a lot of research to figure out if this is true, and if so, just where those triggers may lie, and at what level of CO2 they would occur,” he said.

My favorite article is from the Onion: Climate Researchers Warn Only Hope For Humanity Now Lies In Possibility They Are Making All Of This Up

Insights from the Twitosphere

Much discussion on twitter, a good thread by sea level rise expert Bob Kopp:

 

What’s the worst case scenario?

I have frequently written on the need to articulate the worst case scenario:

The falsification approach expounded by Betz  is probably the best framework for addressing this.  However such a ‘worst case’ scenario is formulated, it should be subjected to attempts to falsify the scenario based on our back ground knowledge.

There are two overall approaches that could be followed:

  1. Considering the possibility of outcome, based on background knowledge of past climates and what caused them
  2. Consideration of the various links in the causal chain reasoning that produced the outcome

For both, more rigorous articulation of the Steffen et al. scenario is needed.  Note, this scenario is completely independent of climate models.

At the heart of this issue is a point raised by coauthor Rockström in the Guardian article:

Rockström says there are huge gaps in data and knowledge about how one process might amplify another. Contrary to the Gaia theory, which suggests the Earth has a self-righting tendency, he says the feedbacks could push the planet to a more extreme state.

Another key point:  this paper does not adhere to the linear CO2 control knob theory, where you dial up or dial down the temperature based on CO2 concentrations.  This paper considers more of a nonlinear, tipping point approach.

Policy relevance

The apparent point of this paper is to spur ‘action’ on changing the world to prevent this hypothetical consequence ~ 1000 years in the future:  decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values.

A paper about climate outcomes on a millennial time scale would seem to be completely irrelevant to any conceivable policy.  Even if our understanding of all of these climate processes were certain (reality check: we are dealing with deep uncertainty with regards to future climate outcomes), geologic and solar wild cards will almost certainly come into play to produce climate surprises.

This paper attempts to spur ‘climate action’ by arguing that the dangerous thresholds of 1.5C, 2.0C articulated by the UNFCCC may be insufficient to prevent this climate domino effect.  Well, assuming you believe the climate model projections, there is pretty much no hope for staying below these dangerous thresholds.  If you believe  Nic Lewis’ estimates of climate sensitivity, then these targets are in reach.  If you believe that the large-scale ocean circulations are dominating climate variability on decadal to millennial time scales, then what we do with respect to CO2 emissions won’t make much difference.

And at the end of the day, we still don’t understand abrupt climate change.

The rational reaction to such deep uncertainty in future climate outcomes is arguably increased resilience and ‘flexibly responsible planetary stewardship.’

A more useful time horizon for policy making is 30 years (~2050) and the end of the 21st century.  Speculations about possible scenarios in ~1000 years are not useful for policy making in a prescriptive sense in context of the precautionary principle (see Is Climate change a ruin problem?)

JC reflections

If the paper wasn’t so heavy on the policy prescriptions, it would be a much more credible contribution.

The contribution of the paper was relatively dismissed by several climate scientists on twitter, saying that there was no new science here.  This is correct in the sense of no new observations or number crunching.  Rather the paper is more in the tradition of a philosophy of science paper, which provides some higher order reflections on evidence.

I actually find such integrative, reflective papers to be of great value to spur critical thinking and analysis.  Yes, technical contributions to the literature are important.  But the biggest deficiency in climate science is how we reason and link evidence about the complex climate system (see my 2011 article Reasoning about climate uncertainty).  Philosophy of science can be a big help here (see my paper Climate uncertainty and risk).

For almost a decade, I have been arguing that we need to articulate the possible worst case scenario for climate change.  Such an articulation would take climate science beyond the restrictions of climate models to understand how the climate system works in terms of interacting feedbacks and also abrupt climate change.  We need to bring more discipline (and creativity) to this interesting and important endeavor.

The Steffen et al. paper concludes with:

Our initial analysis here needs to be underpinned by more in- depth, quantitative Earth System analysis and modeling studies to address three critical questions.

(i) Is humanity at risk for pushing the system across a planetary threshold and irreversibly down a Hothouse Earth pathway?

(ii) What other pathways might be pos- sible in the complex stability landscape of the Earth System, and what risks might they entail?

(iii) What planetary stewardship strategies are required to maintain the Earth System in a manageable Stabilized Earth state?

369 responses to “Hothouse Earth

  1. Pingback: Who Pushed the Alarmist Domino – Scientists or the Media? | Climate Scepticism

  2. @curryja wants to fiddle while the house burns: “For almost a decade, I have been arguing that we need to articulate the possible worst case scenario for climate change. Such an articulation would take climate science beyond the restrictions of climate models to understand how the climate system works in terms of interacting feedbacks and also abrupt climate change. We need to bring more discipline (and creativity) to this interesting and important endeavor.”

    • Right. . . Lets just make stuff up instead. Or just rely on the Onion.

      • This Steffen et al paper makes me sick. I can’t even read the rubbish. All you have to do in order to know that they are seriously mistaken is to take a look at the earlier relatives of the Holocene. There’s no need to make stuff up.

      • There’s a reason scientists trust the super majority of scientists in the relevant field. We understand that there is complexity in what they do, but also understand that they have been right about the warming and the reasons, so why not be forwarded about where we are heading?

        The past few decades are littered with failed predictions of cooling. Even now we see some pretty strange “it’s going to be this year… I promise.”

        Or we could rely on non-science sites, much worse than the Onion because they pawn themselves off as science.

      • The Informed Consumer

        Scott Koontz

        Whoa! ………….. “There’s a reason scientists trust the super majority of scientists in the relevant field.”

        Why? because no one has yet produced a credible, empirical study which demonstrates that CO2 causes global warming? Never mind that man’s minuscule contribution causes it. There should be dozens, if not hundreds of studies from the last 40 years on which to base the future of mankind, but there’s none.

        “The past few decades are littered with failed predictions of cooling.”

        Don’t dare try to turn the tables on the failed predictions dreamed up by climate alarmists like no Arctic sea ice by 2013, cities drowned long before now by rising sea levels, failed crops, deaths from excessive heat whilst winter kills more people than summer ever did etc. The wild predictions made by the loony climate change faithful by far outweigh any claims made by sceptics.

        Climb back into your box.

      • No idea why ‘Informed consumer’ popped up.

        It’s HotScot. I hope it corrects itself.

      • @ScottKoontz

        “They have been right about the warming”

        No, they haven’t. Climate models have consistently overestimated the warming.

        https://judithcurry.com/2018/07/03/the-hansen-forecasts-30-years-later/

      • Love how the temps huddle around scenario B.

        https://judithcurry.com/2018/07/03/the-hansen-forecasts-30-years-later/

        Looks like warming to the rational world.

      • Informed, I just looked again. Seems earth is still warming, and CO2 is still the largest forcing.

        Oh well. You have another year of pretending we will be cooling any day now. Lots of old failed predictions of cooling, and many of them running full force from the people who think less solar irrational will take over. Any day now. Soon. Coming. Can’t be CO2.

      • Scott Koontz | August 8, 2018 at 6:01 pm |
        “Informed, I just looked again. Seems earth is still warming, and CO2 is still the largest forcing.“

        “It’s true that water vapor is the largest contributor to the Earth’s greenhouse effect. On average, it probably accounts for about 60% of the warming effect.”
        Or Zeke Hausfather
        “”Water vapor and clouds account for 66 to 85 percent of the greenhouse effect, compared to a range of 9 to 26 percent for CO2.”

        Still fiddling the books Scott in such a childish way.
        Without the greenhouse effect forcing from water vapour the earth would be much colder. Water vapour is the predominant GHG and responsible for the largest forcing. It is the largest contributor.
        CO2 is simply not the largest forcing.

      • Koontzie is the lightest weight of trolls (but, a heavy weight in terms of entertainment value… ☺️)

      • “Without the greenhouse effect forcing from water vapour ”

        Wow. Lightweight indeed. Did you forget to look up forcing? You Gish Galloped to greenhouse gas, and completely forgot the topic.

        Or did you think that we were pumping water vapor into the air and it wasn’t raining?

        Why is there more water vapor? The answer will surprise you, obviously.

      • “Why is there more water vapor? The answer will surprise you, obviously.”

        IS there more water vapor? Not clearly so:

      • “You Gish Galloped to greenhouse gas,”
        Not at all.
        Scott Koontz | August 8, 2018 at 6:01 pm |
        “ Seems earth is still warming, and CO2 is still the largest forcing.”
        CO2 forcing is the very model of a GHG , and a very small part of the actual earth GHG forcing.
        You know that and still you push your ideology in place of science.
        Childish, isn’t it?

      • Nice TPW/TLT graph. This is again Julia Slingo and Tim Palmer’s little model schematic. The point there is the accumulation of imprecision in solution trajectories from imprecisely known initial states. Sounds obvious when it is put like that. The schematic is conceptually over a decade.

        Here is one at a monthly scale.

        30 solutions evolving over time and relying on persistence to model a system characterized by change at many scales. A 97% chance of an ENSO neutral state from model predictions and a 1000% chance of climate surprises at scales of moments to ages. Hot or cold and when remain inscrutable problems for science.

        What to do about greenhouse gas emissions in the context of public welfare and other human, aspirational goals is a simpler problem. Soil and ecosystem enrichment and technological innovation.

    • At times like this it is always advisable to keep foremost in you mind a quote from H.L. Mencken – “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and hence clamorous to be led to safety by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” and after you chew on that for a bit recall that Mencken also correctly observed that. “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it.”

    • We need to bring more discipline (and creativity) to this interesting and important endeavor.”

      We have consensus, that is the most extreme discipline there is, we need less of that. There is plenty of creativity, it is ignored because of the extreme discipline. No one is allowed to publish anything that disagrees with the consensus.

    • Hothouse earth once referred to the warmth of the Mesozoic and Age of dinosaurs when subtropical vegetation adorned Antarctica. The deep ocean was 10 to 15C warmer than today. In contrast to today, when upwelling brings cool deep water to the surface, upwelling brought much warmer waters to the surface and maintained a hothouse. Those days are now gone as evidenced by the oscillating glacial- interglacial periods. Without tremendous tectonic changes in continental configurations there will be NO

      As discussed in the Antarctic Refrigeration effect,

      http://landscapesandcycles.net/antarctic-refrigeration-effect.html

      outside of the tropics the earth radiates more heat than it absorbs. Warm polar temperatures have been overwhelmingly dependent on the transport of tropical heat to the poles.

      However when Antarctica disconnected from all other continents and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) evolved, it blocked that poleward flow and the transport of warm tropical waters was inhibited so that Antarctic sea ice began to form. The resulting sea ice brine rejection began transporting cold water to depth that cooled the oceans’ deep water.

      Due to the ACC’s blockage of tropical heat, Antarctica began forming perennial ice caps about 35 million years ago. The paper’s suggestion that Antarctica’s ice cap could soon melt is complete fantasy with no scientific support.

      With no blockage of intruding warm waters in the Arctic, perennial ice caps did not form over Greenland until about 2.5 million years ago. Greenland’s eventual formation of a perennial ice correlates when oceans shifted to upwelling cold waters that cooled the atmosphere enough to allow perennial Greenland glaciers. Clearly, given the 32 million year lag time between Antarctic and Arctic ice cap formation, attributing a global greenhouse effect is totally inconsistent as a causal explanation.

      This paper suggesting the Anthropocene is on the verge of inciting another Hothouse is just more fear mongering speculation attempting to demonize CO2 while ignoring all the physics that controlled how the earth evolved from a Hothouse 60 million years ago into the current Ice House today.

      Good science once demanded that all confounding factors must be addressed when presenting a hypothesis. However in the era of politicized science, one now only needs to blame CO2 in order to get published, such as this paper and the recent Stanford publication in Nature Climate Change blaming more suicides on rising CO2 caused warming.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Jim,
        Good science STILL demands that confounding factors be considered in a rational analysis. But this paper isn’t about science. Like much of what passes for “climate science”, the paper is mostly about politics, and specifically, green politics of the left. Politics makes no demands about considering confounding factors, or even about factual analysis; it is instead an effort to advance one’s personal values, goals, and morals via public policy. The effect of politics on climate science is both obvious and obviously bad for the quality of ‘the science’.

      • Exactly for all of it. I see it daily. Those that don’t are too close to see the forest for the trees.

    • Geoff Sherrington

      Uncle,
      You might benefit from a study of how past scare cycles have risen to their peaks of credibility, then crashed, as they have.
      All that presently remains with global warming is for some of the key players to have a moment of revelation, then cross the floor.
      This has happened with past scares. See it in meticulous detail in the Edith Efron book, ‘The Apocalyptics’, if you can take in 800 pages of paperback. It deals with the 1970-80s wrong scare that man-made chemicals will produce an epidemic of human cancers in the USA.
      As a template, the book is a remarkable match to the global warming scare. Geoff

  3. “Terrified by hothouse Earth? Don’t despair, do something”

    “The apparent point of this paper is to spur ‘action’ on changing the world to prevent this hypothetical consequence ~ 1000 years in the future: decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values.”

    “(iii) What planetary stewardship strategies are required to maintain the Earth System in a manageable Stabilized Earth state?”

    * * *

    So what should we do (or not do) to keep CO2 from turning us into Venus? Here’s the best video solution I’ve seen lately:

  4. Concerning question # (iii) i believe the answer critically depends on whether
    we will be able to develop the warp drive in time and manage to get advice from Vulcan. No other way to have planetary stewardship strategies from my vantage point. Not to speak of a qualified steward.

    • A civilisation is a thermodynamic instability in the wild. To put up a control and stabilise it you need another civilisation doing the controlling which to be able to do this must be of an eternal character and thus itself being controlled and so on ….

  5. The numerology is mind boggling… my impression is that social/ecological justice issues are top policy priorities, not trying to engineer the climate. The
    “ignoramus-in-chief” saying that they don’t have enough water in California to control the wildfires… that’s what the real problem is, not the natural (or even possibly anthropogenic) climate change.

  6. What is the point of articulating the worst case scenario? We have no way of attaching any probability to the event – simply beyond our abilities. Strikes me as arguing about “angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin”. Not worth losing any sleep by fretting over imponderables.

    Serves no useful purpose other than generating irrational fear which is a main plank of the “green religion” and their quest to line their pockets with money extracted from the poor and middle class.

    Try worrying about something important, like helping vast segments of the planet climb out of poverty by improving access to reasonably priced and reasonably clean energy.

    • Kellermfk is on the right track. Talking about worst case senarious is just trecking back to James Hansen’s scaremongering.
      What is si mply forgotten is that we are talking about a water planet where solar energy affects the thermodynamics of the three phases on H2O. Try to heat the oceans with solar energy and what is the highest temperature that open oceans can attain – Correct – around 32 C, because that equals the amount that solar insolation can raise ocean temperatures. In addition evaporation leads to cloud formation and thus shading the surface.

      I simply cannot see how any amount of CO2 can cause a tipping point á la
      Hansen.
      Joachim Schellnhuber and his likes are again fantasizing probbaly again just to get funding for their science.

      • Boris W#interhalter: What is si mply forgotten is that we are talking about a water planet where solar energy affects the thermodynamics of the three phases on H2O.

        Just so. It isn’t sufficient to raise the Earth surface temperature to the tipping point — a higher energy flow rate is then required to melt the ice and vaporize the water.

        In most parts of the warm atmosphere, the water vapor does not simply languish around but rises, and forms clouds in the process of transferring tangible and latent heat to the mid troposphere. An increase most likely will produce an increase in cloud cover, with not fully known results.

      • An increase most likely will produce an increase in cloud cover, with not fully known results.

        With water, what goes up comes down. More evaporation results in more rain and snow. People who forecast climate do not understand or have a clue. People who forecast weather do understand this very well.

      • Mathew market
        Water vapor is one of the primary drivers of climate. The simple conclusion is that it forms clouds, condenses etc.

        It does much more than that, the release to atmosphere is at all temperatures relevant to the atmosphere above.
        Evaporation is not linear there are periods of abrupt release that produce simultaneous signals / markers at both poles.

        When the only measurement of evaporation is the effect on the 2meter temperature anomaly you never the volume aspect and the “work” or downstream outcomes.

        There needs to be a minimum of five values used to determine earths current energy state. Not just the 2 meter anomaly. Noone currently understands what influences that anomaly, it’s just a number.
        Regards

    • planning.
      in the 80s we planned for a two front war: one in Korea and the other in the fulda gap
      That worst case scenario drove the defense budget and weapons design.

      there was NO PROBABILITY assigned to this scenario. but it was useful

      • There certainly was a probability assigned to the scenario. It was considered by far the most likely scenario in the event of a Soviet invasion. What drove the budget and weapons development was a commitment to superiority against known numbers on the other side of which there was very little uncertainty. The budget and weapons development was a strategy to win any war and Fulda Gap and Korea were simply defensive tactics tailored for our greatest vulnerabilities.

        Building resiliency against any climate eventuality makes the most sense. That was brought home this week with false reports of elevated deaths from the recent heatwaves when in fact the increase in deaths occurred as result of delayed reporting from an exceptionally cold winter in Europe. Cold offers a much more dangerous scenario as it will affect food production negatively where its likely warming will enhance food production. Cold would seem to be our greatest vulnerability. Granaries and food preservation have been a huge life saver over the centuries. Today, at least in California, water infrastructure is the top vulnerability. Answers in major part have been delayed out of concerns about carbon emissions.

    • “in the 80s we planned for a two front war: one in Korea and the other in the fulda gap. That worst case scenario drove the defense budget and weapons design.
      there was NO PROBABILITY assigned to this scenario. but it was useful”

      No probability? In the 1980s it had been less than 30 years since the Soviet Union and North Korea had militarily invaded their neighbors. The Sovs did it in the ’70s (which was just before the ’80s on my calendar.)
      By the way- there were a significant number of people of a certain political persuasion who felt it was ridiculous to have a military capable of stopping such invasions. One ran for president in 2016 and almost won the Democrats’ nomination.
      I’m sure we all remember the party of the “precautionary principle” declaring such folks to be fools, merchants of doubt, deniers, clowns, unwilling to accept consensus, etc etc.
      Another fun fact about the 1980s- it was a liberal trope to assert that government research funding produced shoddy, wrong, “science” motivated by ideology and money and designed to support politicians’ agenda. Google Reagan’s “Star Wars”. One of my favorite comics from the era- Bloom County- did a hilarious series where the main character becomes wealthy beyond belief by claiming to be a scientist who knew how to stop a missile (his idea was to sew a blanket of $100 bills around the planet in near earth orbit because, haw haw, everyone knows it’s impossible to hit a missile with a missile. Oh wait: “The United States, Russia, India, France, Israel and China have all developed missile defense systems. [1]” Wikipedia)

  7. Right now getting this on the pdf: Highwire Fatal Error: Error opening socket connection to backend file-stream service

  8. Human beings don’t control earth’s climate, never have, never will. We adapt to change or we will perish. Those who want to control humanity, however, will never tire at creating whatever artificial crises serve their interests.

  9. https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2778/seeing-hidden-worlds-under-melting-ice/

    DAVID WINTERFLOOD INVITES YOU TO CONSIDER WHAT IS HAPPENING UNDER THE SURFACE .
    NASA HAS JUST RELEASED THIS COMMENTARY

    • Can they only see under a MELTING ice? This is a nice piece of propaganda paid for by us to benefit Hansen’s pals..

  10. The apparent point of this paper is to spur ‘action’ on changing the world to prevent this hypothetical consequence ~ 1000 years in the future: decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values.

    The bottom line is: “get rid of fossil fuel and its benefits”, at any cost, with no concern about what really causes natural climate cycles. There is much more money to be made with windmills, solar panels and whatever renewable they can tax us for. They are in a panic because they have no proof, they have no real supporting data, more and more people are turning against their worse than useless fixes for something that is not broken. Their window of opportunity just closed with Trump getting elected in the last election. We elected Trump to stop the alarmist madness.

    • “Their window of opportunity just closed with Trump getting elected in the last election.”
      No, unfortunately. The fear-mongering will continue long after Trump has left the scene. It is a religion, after all, and people are very unwilling to give up beliefs that make them feel virtuous, regardless of how much data show them to be wrong.

      • The fear-mongering WILL continue, just as it has continued with the Peek Oilers and Population Bombers. But the general population will no longer CARE. Their predictions have mostly failed, as have their ‘solutions’. And despite what the Climate Faithful have cried for decades, the people know that by and large they have been given almost everything they have wanted.

        Renewables have long been pushed and subsidized. Fossil Fuels have been penalized and driven out. Energy prices have ‘necessarily skyrocketed’. Climate Science has been funded, Skeptical thought has been blocked, and Consensus has been rewarded.

        The mainstream media has published endless reams of Alarm, while actively blocking anyone who questions it. Most Governments have made it their most pressing issue. Tens of Thousands gather every year to discuss the situation, and numerous promises and commitments have been made.

        All for what? Even the Faithful admit that so far, no real progress has been made. More importantly, it’s becoming increasingly evident that none really CAN be made. Every place that has pushed the hardest to implement the Green’s ‘Solutions’ have shown how poorly they work.

        Meanwhile, the more shrill the Alarmists get about sea level rise, melting ice, ‘extreme weather’, and all the rest, the more it becomes obvious that little has (or will) change.

        The election of Trump WAS a death knell for the Climate Faithful, but mostly because the Crises was already on its deathbed. It’s all over but the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

        ~¿~

      • schitzree, yes, but what do you really think?
        By that I mean, in your rant you have not said (a) whether you think adding hundreds more ppm of CO2 in this century is a good thing to do or produces threats to the way people live, (b) whether we should do anything at all to try to mitigate that threat or just give up. If you are just saying it is very difficult and needs both an energy revolution and global agreements, I agree. If you are saying those things are impossible so just give up and just keep looking for more fossil fuels so that we don’t run out by 2100, I think that is very shortsighted.

      • Well jim, since you asked. I think that

        A) doubling atmospheric CO2 to around 500 to 600 ppm (or even quadrupling to 1,000 to 1,2000 ppm) would generally be beneficial to the biosphere, with greening of plant life from CO2 fertilization, reduction of deserts, and a small expansion of the temperate regions from global warming (0.5C to 1.5C, added to whatever the Globe does natural). I also expect that ‘extreme weather’ would remain mostly unchanged, since weather extremes have always happened regardless of how global temperature has gone up and down over the Years (and Decades, Centuries, Millenniums, Eons ect.) And even happens on other worlds with very different Climates. There probably will be ‘winners and losers’, places were the weather will improve or get worse, but since Climate has always changed this has always been true. And we won’t know what will happen where until it happens. Oh, and there MIGHT be a slim chance that it could lead to greater, (dare I say, Alarming) warming. But since most of History, and even prehistory has shown that warmer is generally better, I consider this a danger on par with Alien Invasion or an Asteroid Impact. In other words, highly unlikely and impossible to know what would be really helpful even if it came to pass.

        As to b) well, I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you can’t have an ‘Energy Revolution’ just because you want one, or even because you NEED one. And no amount of ‘Global Agreement’ will ever change reality. Half the world’s population is clawing it’s way out of extreme poverty, and they will no more settle for the kind of half assed arrangements the World Bank and other ‘sustainable development’ promoters push then the people of the Soviet Bloc settled for poverty and deprivation. Global Energy needs will double in the next few decades, and Renewables will not even keep up with that need, much less replace any significant current production.

        Which brings us to c) What do I THINK is going to happen? Regardless of what happens, or what people want, or what certain parties, governments, foundations, ect push, the basic mix of energy production will not change significantly over the next 25 years. Some places may still continue to force some conversion over to Renewables, but that simply doesn’t work in the long run. For every new wind farm or whatever that actually manages to get built, 50 new Coal or Gas plants will be built in Asia, Africa, or elsewhere. For every new electric car built, 200 more gas or diesel ones will be built.

        In the 25 to 50 year range, we will gradually see a slow shift away from Fossil Fuels. Not because of CO2, or Peak Oil, or any other such reason, but because NUCLEAR technology is continuing to improve and mature, and more countries like China, India, and others not hobbled by anti-technological Greens are making strides in the field. We may finally see Fusion make good the promises it has been dropping for most of a century. We may even see transportation convert gradually to electric as energy storage slowly improves. Or we may see synthetic gasoline come into vogue, since the infrastructure to handle it is already in place. Or both may happen.

        What won’t happen is that these technologies will come any earlier then they would have otherwise if we have the Climate Faithful and their fellow travelers in government and the media trying to force things. In fact, history has shown that if they do anything, it will be to waste time and money pursuing ‘solutions’ that will never work. Much as how they pushed so hard for people to convert from incandescent bulbs to twisty fluorescent ones, despite how much more expensive, how flawed, or how toxic they were. And then LEDs jumped ahead and made them utterly redundant.

        Because unlike ‘Climate Science’, real Science marches on.

        ~¿~

      • schitzree, OK, so you say 600-700 ppm, no biggie. Greenland fine? Sea levels fine? No big warming or other destabilizing tipping points? You seem to realize that expanding CO2 emissions by exploiting additional fossil fuel resources will cease because after all the world is not stupid, and you predict they will go nuclear instead of finding ways to use renewables plus pinning your hopes on fusion. Is that about it? Anything but renewables, right? Technology can never make that a big part of energy revolution in your opinion even as these are expanding exponentially. This is very short sighted on what technology can do, especially with the motivation of stabilizing the climate. You’re like the people who said home computers will never amount to much and that was only 40 years ago. Where we are in 2060 will be incomprehensible to you if you think we will still be using today’s technology for energy and fuel. That looks like a poor extrapolation on your part.

      • That’s right, jim. No biggie. Greenland will be fine. It’s ice sheet has been around more then a million years. It’s survived the last few interglacials where it was warmer then now for thousands of years. It sure won’t be melting off this century. Same goes for Antarctica. Sea Level will be fine too. Since those ice sheets won’t be melting away just yet, there won’t be all that extra water to go into the ocean.

        And tipping points? What tipping points? As we’ve just said, the Earth has been warmer then this before, and we didn’t tip. Is anthropogenic CO2 warming supposed to be more tip inducing then regular warming? That sounds pretty silly.

        Now, I did agree that there might be a slim chance that we could get more then the degree or so of warming I’d expect from doubling Atmospheric CO2. Anything is possible, though some things are more likely then others, as they say. But as I also said, there’s nothing that can be done to stop that short of what’s going to happen with energy production regardless. I mean, short of a massive push to Nuclear NOW. But frankly, it was never MY side that refused Nuclear Fission as a path away from Fossil Fuels. Blame Greenpeace and the Union of Overly Concerned Pseudoscientists for that.

        As for Renewables, it may surprise you to know I was once a huge enthusiast of them. 35 years ago I read everything I could get on the subject, like Popular Science and Popular Mechanic. Wind turbines, solar panels, and of course the coming Hydrogen economy.

        But then I grew up, and Renewables… didn’t. They are still puttering along as they always have. Oh, the turbines have gotten bigger, and the solar panels have gotten better, but they still can’t compete in an energy market without lots of subsidies, tariffs, guarantees, and immunity from the penalties any other generator would suffer for producing a random amount of intermittent power.

        But hey, you never know when a technology might have a breakthrough. So I wouldn’t say ‘Anything but Renewables’. Just try to understand, anytime someplace like California or South Australia try to push the envelope of Renewables and it results in a doubling of energy prices, the people will soon reject them. That’s just how it is.

        Nor am I ‘pinning my hopes on fusion’. As I clearly said, we MAY see Fusion finally come to play in the next 50 years. But it is Nuclear FISSION that is set to move into a dominant role in energy production. It alone has the capacity NOW, as well as the basis Energy Density, to keep up with the world’s growing energy needs.

        You see, I actually remember what computers were capable of 40 years ago. And I remember where Renewables were 40 years ago too. And I can extrapolate those out another 40 years, just fine.

        The only thing I find incomprehensible is that anyone would believe we’ll still be trying to wring whatever paltry amounts of energy we can out of the same old Renewable technology by 2060.

        ~¿~

      • schitzree, OK, give all the countries nuclear reactors. What could possibly go wrong? I am sure they are all responsible and won’t take money-saving shortcuts, right? But that’s your forlorn hope for what replaces the depletables (fossil fuels). Nuclear is good for some countries. France did fine on it, but plan to go to renewables next. Germany and Japan should have stuck more with it until they could replace their fossil fuel use with renewables. The US has the most nuclear power in the world, but with no new growth, just aging plants, it’s not promising. On the other hand, renewables are growing exponentially and are a healthy new industry with prices coming down to where they already can displace the worst of the fossil fuels. And the public prefers clean energy that is also ideally non-nuclear for obvious reasons.

      • The best bet for most countries is nuclear energy. Especially attractive are the new modular rebreeders working on used nuclear fuel and e.g. thorium. test plants are being tested in many countries, even in Norway with all its hydropower and good wind conditions. Solar may do well at low latitudes. (my freetimer cottage runs well with solar during summer, but winter is a different pease of cake.

      • Jim jim jim, we don’t need to give all the countries nuclear reactors. Most of them already have them. Iran and North Korea both operate them, and somehow the world has survived. But even if we did end up with a few 3 Mile Islands or Fukashimas a decade, or even another Chernobyl or two, isn’t that a small price to pay to prevent your ‘Climate Crises’?

        Ah, but I jest. Since there is no Crises, we do need to be a bit more responsible in our development. And personally I am OK with the gradual closing down of the old gen 1 and 2 reactors. They are reaching their planned end of lifetime, and honestly we jumped the gun building most of them anyway. The fear of Peak Oil and Fossil Fuel depletion back in the 60’s and 70’s spurred on far more building then was warranted before the technology was ready. We really shouldn’t have seen a build out before gen 3 at the earliest. And now, when the technology has reach a point that it has matured and is much safer and more disaster proof, it looks like it won’t be the western nations that take the leadership in them. A pity that, as much as the Greens talk about how important is is to be the leader with new tech to reap the rewards, that they fail so badly at the times when it would actually make a difference.

        Ah, but you and the rest of the Climate Faithful would prefer we focus all are time and wealth on Renewables, right? Well, like I said, I once believed too. But unfortunately all the belief in the world won’t change what works. And despite all that ‘exponentially growth’, Renewables still don’t provide even a single precent of the world’s energy. And they simple AREN’T preventing any CO2. Indeed, most of the places pushing the hardest for Renewables are seeing the most increases in CO2 production, along with the most increase in energy price.

        And that’s where you’ll fail. Because the public DOESN’T prefer clean energy. Oh, they’d like to have it if they could, but what they prefer is CHEAP energy. And any place that sees energy prices double, especially when they don’t even result in lowered CO2 production, will see the people rebel very quickly indeed. It’s already happening.

        ~¿~

      • schitzree, in terms of electricity generation renewables including hydro account for around 20% globally and that is a growing number. In the future, fuels could be produced by solar energy instead of extraction, or replaced by electric vehicles that use electric grid energy to recharge batteries that themselves are improving their capacity. There are already large-scale pilot programs for practical storage of wind and solar, so in a few decades that will be routine too, while manufacturers are already looking to phase out internal combustion engines. The world is leaving you behind, schitzree.

      • Jim D:

        This is electricity only:

        https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

        Wind is 6.3% and PV is 1.2%. I think it’s fair to divide each of these numbers by 2.5 to get to total energy consumption. Between the two, 3%.

        These two sources have the been the poster boys of the movement for at least a decade. 3% is a bust. It’s a poor man’s nuclear power with favoritism instead of people attacking it as happens with nuclear power plants. And without baseload capacity.

      • Replacing the internal combustion engine is one of the things that will help in that department, but first electricity generation, otherwise that doesn’t save anything if we’re still using coal energy to recharge electric cars. It is a staged approach out of necessity.

      • Tamsin Edwards, who falls solidly into the alarmist camp, switched from of more rigorous studies in particle physics to modeling ice. She agrees that sudden change in Greenland ice is not plausible. The structure of the ice and of the geology underneath make it impossible.

      • In 2100 there will still be some alarmists who will be saying “We know our ancestral freakouts have been predicting catastrophic collapse of the Greenland Ice Sheet for 100 years, but we are really, really, really serious about the next 100 years and the Big Melt and its impact on coastal communities.”

        Greenland and it’s ice are not a brand new concern. The only thing new is the latest generation of nervous nellies. The constant in the human experience over the millennia is the existence of nervous nellies.

      • With Greenland, what is expected by 2100 is an accelerating melt rate. Its loss rate and contribution to sea level has already doubled in the last ten years or so. Will the exponential behavior continue at that doubling rate. Hansen puts that as a possibility just because it has already started to look like that, and unstable behavior tends to grow exponentially at first.

  11. You are right in that it seems that only Trump can do something about this madness – unfortunately he messes in other matters.

  12. “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it.”

    That about sums it up.

    In far less than 1,000 years governments will probably have the power to control something similar to a thermostat to govern climate; after having developed CO2 sequestering technologies and various alternative energy solutions. AGW won’t have any relevance. Clean energy will be taken for granted; probably on the nearer end of a 1,000 year scale, much earlier, rather then the back end of it.

    Future battles will be similar to couples battling over who controls the thermostat; wars will be fought over this control.

  13. Our initial analysis here needs to be underpinned by more in- depth, quantitative Earth System analysis and modeling studies to address three critical questions.

    The only critical question is: What controlled climate for billions of years before now, whatever it was, it is still working. It don’t care what we do.

  14. If you believe that the large-scale ocean circulations are dominating climate variability on decadal to millennial time scales, then what we do with respect to CO2 emissions won’t make much difference.

    This makes no sense whatsoever.

    • JCH:

      We’re salt and pepper. I thought it was a great sentence. We take mass and see how little various depths of the oceans have budged we could have ‘dominating’ or moderating control.

      If the question is, Where to put stuff? The simplest answer is the oceans. The problem was drawn up focusing on flows with less emphasis on the SST interface. And also with less emphasis on ocean storage and discharge.

      The Polar Equatorial Temperature Gradient was brought up by Francis. How about the SST to deep oceans temperature gradient? The first thing is obviously trending not good, but important.

  15. “The possibility of these kinds of climate thresholds has already been explored in numerous studies and reports in recent years. In many cases, experts largely agree that these thresholds likely exist — but at exactly what point they’ll be crossed remains highly uncertain. This new paper adds an element of urgency to the issue by suggesting that even 2 C of warming could be enough to send the whole Earth system over the edge.”

    This is no help whatsoever.

    Judging by this comment a climate threshold may or may not exist and we may or may not have already passed it.

    • And, Scotty, on top of that they’re talking about time scales a thousand years out. i just don’t see a realistic way forward for climate change policy with thinking like that. i think they need to brand the whole discussion differently to get better policy outcomes. Present the bigger picture. (that’s one attribute about hansen that i like, his realism) Eventually we’re going to run out of fossil fuels anyway. Probably a lot sooner than a thousand years. THAT will be the big crisis (and yet nobody seems to care much about that either). Looking at the picture on the whole should be the focus of the green movement and not alarmism. Like answering the question of how do ten billion people realistically go forward with energy (and environmental) security into the future?

      • As you know, most of my comments emphasize that fossil fuel reserves have limits. I’m more familiar with oil and gas, and I keep a close eye on production figures and reserves/resources. And thus far what I see happening is in line with a CO2 peak at 630 ppm due to market forces and gardual improvements in renewables and nuclear technology.

        Whenever I’ve written these comments I get ignored or clobbered by what i call cornucopians, who think we can snap our fingers and keep producing cheap oil and gas and coal for centuries. The data shows the contrary. Today, real oil prices are about 2 1/2 times what they were 20 years ago, and there’s solid indications that in 20 years they will be 2 1/2 times today’s price. I realize developed nations and the rich/middle class in other nations will be able to afford $170 oil (in 2018 $), but others will not. And this will reduce demand, cause civil conflicts and possibly mass migrations. This problem is much more immediate that any worst climate case you can dream up.

      • Not so much ignored as no one is able to point out how you are wrong. I tend to agree with your premise. The supply/demand curve will dictate at some point.

      • Your comments are great and I have nothing to add.

  16. Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene.

    Well, at least they’re seemingly acknowledging that sea level has been higher during the past 8,000 years than it is at present.

  17. Guardian: ”Domino-effect of climate events could move Earth into Hothouse state”

    WR: ‘climate events’ are not able to move the present Earth into a Hothouse state. To reach a Hothouse state, the deep ocean first has to warm with more than a handful degrees Celsius. Sea surface temperatures ‘set’ 71% of the surface temperatures of the Earth: without raising sea surface temperatures, the atmosphere never will reach a Hothouse State.

    Sea surface temperatures are largely depending on the temperatures of the deep ocean. More than a million cubic kilometres of deep ocean water is yearly welling up into the surface layer from below, driven by ‘wind’. The present million cubic kilometres deep water are ice-cold, starting at 0-3 degrees Celsius because our deep oceans presently are that cold. The huge cooling capacity of our deep oceans keeps our present ocean surfaces much colder than with a warmer deep upwelling would have been the case.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/26/warming-by-less-upwelling-of-cold-ocean-water/

    The deep oceans are that cold because the dominant production of warm deep ocean water stopped some 35 million years ago and changed into the dominant production of cold deep water – as we still have nowadays. Resulting in our Quaternary Pleistocene. Resulting in our present Ice House State.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/20/oceanic-downwelling-and-our-low-surface-temperatures/

    To get a Hothouse State, temperatures all over the Earth have to rise. The physical mechanism that did do so in the past was a worldwide warming by warm deep oceans in combination with a reversed vertical oceanic water circulation system and an enhanced role of our main longwave radiation absorbing gas: water vapor.

    Needed to get the Hothouse State were continents and oceans that were positioned differently, causing that dominant warm deep water production and preventing a substantial cold deep water production. Without the different position of our continents and without a different ‘weight’ of warm/cold deep water producing seas, no Hothouse State will be possible. The [temperatures of our] present deep oceans prevent such a switch.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/06/15/how-the-earth-became-a-hothouse-by-h2o/

    • Spot on Wim. Again the Guardian and left-serving scientists show that they don’t know what they’re talking about with terms like “hothouse world”, continental configuration and complex attractors. They probably think that they themselves invented the term “hothouse”, not realising that it has a serious scientific meaning.

  18. We need to raise the bar on how we think about the possible worst case scenario for climate change.

    The worst case scenario is abrupt global cooling

    Why don’t the alarmists, like Professor Will Steffan, consider that possibility and weigh it appropriately?

    Any global warming that occurs this century will be beneficial, not detrimental. I’ve explained why that is so, and included the evidence to support it, in many previous comments on CE over the past several years.

    • Woops, typo, didn’t properly close bold after “The worst case scenario is abrupt global cooling”

    • I think abrupt global cooling will only take place after a significant uptick in rays from the sun. To get to global cooling, it will require a whole bunch of additional energy in the earth’s system.

  19. A statement in the Onion piece repeats a common assumption, that if it continues to warm the coastal areas are done for. Not really. The AGW hypothesis is not necessarily falsified if the coastal ares do not succumb to the most apocalyptic predictions. Warming can continue while little understood geological dynamics can play out, thereby naturally mitigating the impacts on those communities. We don’t yet know how quickly the ocean basins will expand or the what the potential is for deformation of the ocean floors.

    Irrespective of attribution, coastal environments could still thrive with higher temperatures.

  20. There are stable climates for each CO2 level looking at paleoclimate. At 400-500 ppm the stable climate has no Arctic permanent ice including sea ice and Greenland. At 700-800 ppm The Antarctic also has no permanent ice. The climate becomes an iceless hothouse. These are equilibrium states for those levels. It may or may not be fast but it condemns us to steady sea-level rises that can reach meters per century and the extra positive feedbacks from losing all that ice. So, yes, if we reach those levels it will not be stable climate until the ice has gone. Those CO2 levels are tipping points for continental glaciers and therefore sea levels, and that is worth pointing out even if not for policy but just for understanding.

    • I don’t get you. Look at the icecore data from Antarctica or Greenland; you see CO2 concentrations lagging the temperature: that means that CO2 follows temperature and by no means can it cause a temperature change.

      • Curious George

        “There are stable climates for each CO2 level”. Unfortunately, no stable climate had happened – ever.

      • Would that be the indefinably “global climate” or actual climate?

      • Yes, indeed, but it can also lead it. Look at paleoclimate where CO2 increases due to volcanoes lead to warm periods. What we are doing now is akin to what those volcanoes were doing. High CO2 is always warmer than low CO2 and also has less to no ice depending on how high it is.

      • CG, various continental glaciers and polar sea ice are stable or not for each CO2 level. This equilibriation does not take long to happen with the normal time scale on which CO2 changes where it would take millions of years to half or double (until now) and those glaciers can adjust in a thousandth of the time, a relative blink. What we have now is a step function in those terms, but that blink will look like a long slow rise to us, in terms of human timescales, of melting and sea levels with its feedback warming for centuries to come. Heading towards 500 ppm has put us on a long and slippery slope from which return is difficult because it is not a stable situation for Arctic ice that did not exist at levels above 400 ppm last time we had them.

      • The ice core data dooesnt seem to include a large CO2 injection from fossil fuels, burnt or dead trees, and cement manufacture. Comparisons with preindustrial data should not ignore this fact. As far as i know there has been no supergiant natural emission volume like the one we are creating in tens of millions of years.

      • We are finally getting some of the badly needed CO2.
        we were dangerously close to the lower limit where all life on earth does die.

      • It seems that the popesclimatetheory is way led by Milankovitch theory.
        Why? because if orbital cycles are responsible for recurring interglacials and glacials, then how come this sequence started some 3 million years ago. I can not visualize that orbital cycles all of a sudden grab hold of Earth’s climate. Where were the orbitals before the 3-3.5 million years ago? How about if ocean currents caused the instigation of glaciations following the closure of the Isthmus of Panama. There is so damned much we do not know about our climate variability and what factors influence such processes.

        You are right that a very low CO2 concentration in the atmosphere can lead to plant starvation and a chain reaction leading to mass loss of life. However, the low CO2 concentrations in core data does not necessarily mean that it was global. Arctic and Antarctic snow deposition could have been influenced by the actual concentration of CO2 having been sequestered by the very cold waters in the polar regions. Cold waters absorb more CO2 than warm waters (note the Vichy-bottle effect.)

        Nir Shaviv and Jan Veizer came some years ago with a very plausible theory for the last set of ice ages. They noted that our solar system was moving across galactic spiral arms and every time our earth was within the arms with more supernovae and thus more galactic cosmic rays (GCR) reached our planet ,we had more clouds leading to a cooling á la Henrik Svensmark and when earth was in the “void” between galactic arms less GCRs and hence warming climate.

        There are so many excellent theories dealing with global climate that CO2 looses its attractiveness.

      • because if orbital cycles are responsible for recurring interglacials and glacials, then how come this sequence started some 3 million years ago. I can not visualize that orbital cycles all of a sudden grab hold of Earth’s climate. Where were the orbitals before the 3-3.5 million years ago?

        They were always present. But they have more impact when GMST is low enough to maintain permanent ice caps – a rare condition over the last 0.5 billion years. You need to understand that Earth is currently experiencing about the most severe icehouse phase since complex life began. The last severe icehouse phase was 300 million years ago, and it lasted 70 Ma. We have only recently started this one, about 10 Ma ago.

        There are many different overlapping cycles. Read the nine articles by Javier starting here: https://judithcurry.com/2016/10/24/nature-unbound-i-the-glacial-cycle/

    • Geoff Sherrington

      Jim D,
      Doubtful comments.
      Your presumptions require a calculation using climate sensitivity. We do not know its value. Some think we know the broad range per AR5.
      What sensitivity value did you use for your calculations and why?
      Geoff.

      • Best guess from Nic Lewis is 1.65C per doubling – i.e. about half what the modellers reckon. Models are running too hot by about a factor of about 2, just on the basis of ECS. But it’s worse. The IAM projections of economic damages use the worst case and almost impossible RCP8.5 for their best guess projections.

      • I didn’t use a sensitivity, just observing CO2 versus ice cover or sea level, which are closely related throughout paleoclimate. You can base sensitivity on paleoclimate as Hansen has and it comes out at 4 C per doubling when including the albedo decreases due to melting and greening feedbacks that are both positive long-term effects.

      • CO2 versus ice cover or sea level, which are closely related throughout paleoclimate

        Yep, the oceans are the biggest carbonated drink, when oceans are cold, vapor pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere is the lowest and when oceans are warm, vapor pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere is higher.

        Yep, they are related, with CO2 a result and not a cause.

        This is Occam Razor, simple, basic, physics.

      • it snows more when oceans are warm and thawed
        it snows less when oceans are cold and frozen
        CO2 does not change the temperature that sea ice freezes and thaws.
        CO2 does not have any influence on the upper or lower bounds of temperature, that comes from abundant water changing state between ice and liquid.

      • Pope, Occam’s razor would tell you that the ocean can’t acidify at the same time as the atmosphere gains CO2 if the ocean is the source. What it tells you is that emissions are a source for both. This is not so easy for you to understand, is it? But for everyone else it is obvious.

    • Natural cycles do resonate with orbital cycles and other stuff, sometimes in phase and sometimes out of phase.

      Natural cycles do correlate with ice extent and temperature always in phase. This is not random stuff. It snows more in warm times and it gets cold after. It snows less in cold times and it gets warm after. This is not random stuff. It is recorded in and reported from Ice Core Data.

  21. The authors seem to want more of everything: Even so, the pathway toward Stabilized Earth will involve considerable changes to the structure and functioning of the Earth System, suggesting that resilience-building
    strategies be given much higher priority than at present in decision making.

  22. The mitigation of their so called CAGW is ( according to Dr James Hansen) just BS and fra-d.
    Lomborg has updated the TOTAL WORLD energy provided by S&W at just 0.8% and this may increase to just 3.6% by 2040.
    Meanwhile China generates 66.7% of their energy from coal and the USA just 17.1%. See the IEA site for details.
    Here’s Lomborg’s 2018 link. What is it that these fools find so hard to understand about this data? Will they ever wake up?

    https://climatechangedispatch.com/where-do-we-get-most-of-our-energy-hint-not-renewables/

    • Hansen does have a few pertinent things to say, doesn’t he?

    • The inability to replace fossil fuels means many of us (and/or descendants) are going to die too soon. I expect less than a billion will be alive 100 years from now.

      • These die offs people were promised in the past were always replaced by order of magnitude more people. The nuclear age will come to be when/if fossil fuels do run out. Fossil fuel reserves have increased faster than we have used them. We have not started to mine the methane.

  23. Let’s have a bet. Scratch off the Onion header and present the article to 10 million warmists. What is the over/under for how many would totally agree with the faux premise. That attitude is routinely divulged here, so certain are they of the infallibility of the scientists and their consensus. I take 9,999,999.

  24. sheldonjwalker

    Is the entire earth going to be a “hothouse”, or just some of it?

    Scientists need to realise, that the entire earth is NOT warming at the same rate. “Global” warming is NOT “Global”, it is “Regional”.

    I divided the earth up into 8 regions, of equal area, by latitude. And looked at warming rates for the date range 1970 to 2018. The regions are:
    – 90N to 48N
    – 48N to 30N
    – 30N to 14N
    – 14N to Equator
    – Equator to 14S
    – 14S to 30S
    – 30S to 48S
    – 48S to 90S

    As you move from north to south, the warming rate decreases consistently. From
    +3.98, to –(most Northern)
    +2.53, to
    +1.99, to
    +1.63, to
    +1.61, to
    +1.29, to
    +1.07, to
    +0.26 ——(most Southern)
    (all in degrees Celsius per century).

    The most Northern region (1/8 of the earth), is warming at a rate 15.3 times faster, than the most Southern region (1/8 of the earth). Nearly 16 times faster!!!

    Isn’t CO2 meant to be a well mixed gas? The CO2 concentration should be just over 400 ppm everywhere. Why is the CO2 in the southern hemisphere, not having the same effect as the CO2 in the northern hemisphere?

    Look at the brightly coloured Global Warming Contour Maps, which show the decreasing warming rates from north to south, as colours. They go left to right on the top row, and then left to right on the bottom row. Look at the legend, to see what warming rates each colour represents.

    There are full sized versions of these contour maps on my website:

    https://agree-to-disagree.com/regional-warming

    Here is the legend:

    • sheldonjwalker, for a Hothouse State the whole Earth has got to be involved.

      You are correct that ‘warming’ is visible over latitudes. But it is even more concentrated: the North Atlantic / Arctic Region shows most of the warming. An important role probably has been played by large scale intrusions of warmer sub-surface Atlantic water into the Arctic region during the nineties and 2000’s. This caused more mixing of the upper layers, ice melt and more water vapor in the air, all together resulting in an enhanced warming of the Arctic and surroundings. Pressure patterns and weather patterns changed: a poleward southwestern flow of warm moisture air became common last decades.

      It will be interesting to see how present anomalous weather patterns will work out. In Holland /Western Europe we have seen such a hot/dry summer weather type in 1975,1976 and before in 1947,1949. Both marked a reversal to respectively a colder period (from 1947.1949) and a warmer period (from 1975, 1976). Interesting times!

      • Wim, it’s nice to see that you’ve found Robert Ellison’s blog. (it’s quite a gem, isn’t it?) Question: how hot is a hothouse state at the surface and in the deep ocean?

      • Afonzarelli: “how hot is a hothouse state at the surface and in the deep ocean”

        WR: The deep ocean does not need to be very warm to get a Hothouse State. Deep ocean temperatures are best approximated by Bill Illis in this graphic:

        Deep ocean temperatures (brown line) might have stayed below 10 degrees Celsius. Compare that with the present deep ocean temperatures of mostly 0-3 degrees Celsius. But the effect in warming the surface has been huge. Polar upwelling of warm deep water made the difference.

        At the surface the Hothouse pole to equator temperature gradient was quite different from the present one: much more flat. Probably resulting in a completely different atmospheric system with much lower wind speeds and a lesser role for big atmospheric systems like a Hadley cell. While average (!) surface temperatures in a Hot House State were much higher than today’s, absolute tropical temperatures might even have stayed below present maximum tropical temperatures. The big difference was made by the poles that had average temperatures well above zero Celsius, pulling upwards the average for the Earth as a whole.

        Fossilized plant leaves give evidence for temperatures during a Hot House State. For example during the Maastrichtian. See PDF here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249550697_The_Maastrichtian_Late_Cretaceous_climate_in_the_Northern_Hemisphere

        Figure 2 of the article shows the interesting graphic about temperatures in the Maastrichtian: dashed line.

    • Maybe The Onion has an opening.

  25. What I was curious about this article is how they determined a departure from natural variability. So I looked, and I didn’t find much.

    They say “Insights into the risks posed by the rapid climatic changes emerging in the Anthropocene can be obtained not only from contemporary observations (51⇓⇓⇓–55) but also, from interactions in the past between human societies and regional and seasonal hydroclimate variability. This variability was often much more pronounced than global, longer-term Holocene variability (SI Appendix).”

    Is it just me or are they referencing their own white paper in their determination that climate is abnormal?

    When I referenced SI Appendix I find that their holocene variability is based upon limnology conducted at two bodies of water in Europe. Limnology isn’t the best tool for understanding hydroclimate variability, speleothems are. From what I see the speleothems from around the world show variability that is severe enough to wipe out entire cultures and shift plant communities several hundred meters in elevation. We have not experienced such climate change in the modern era, so how is it that we are in a new geologic epoch?

    Also, how the hell do you define “global climate?” Does the earth have a global color? Global vegetation type? Global rainfall? Global doesn’t mean anything meaningful. I thought climate was always local?

    It seems to me that the only way they can get away with claiming we are in the anthropocene is by introducing an abstract idea such as “global climate.” I know, I know, we could simply say “global climate” is a measure of the energy balance of the planet, but it doesn’t really mean anything to humans, and it does not describe anything with regards to climate.

    I think Judith would agree as this concept of “global climate” is simply a spin off of the idea that we have a “global temperature” that seems to change based on observer and methods used.

    I have met individuals such as the authors, and to discuss climate with them is no different than arguing religion; if you know something that doesn’t fit nicely with their beliefs, they will dismiss it as non existent.

  26. Crossing the threshold…
    
    e,g,,
    
    ‘One Toke Over the Line?’
    
    I think we’re exposed to conduct in modern-day life that gives rise to such sentiments that have zero to do with climate change…

  27. ATTP has put up a post on this as well so that those wanting a contrast in views could take a look over there. He says,
    “The basic point of the paper is that, as we warm, there are various possible processes that could be triggered and that some of these might start at around 2oC.”
    My take.
    “It suggests from one naive standpoint that there have been no (NO) processes triggered under a 2C threshold yet.
    Obviously this must be wrong and I am ready to listen to those who will list, and explain, the processes currently under way and at what putative temperature rise they started.
    Obviously something has already started at 0.01C, 0.1C or 1C that I missed to be responsible for the rash of unprecedented weather eleventh’s afflicting the globe that everyone has been alluding to.
    Myself, I am agreed with the authors that a genuine increase needs to occur and sustain for such processes to be operational and explainable. A different species as Dawkins would say. The subtle changes between 0 and 2C should be almost indistinguishable from normal extremes of normal weather until the new process is initiated.

    The authors did not comment on whether processes might be triggered under 2C though obviously this is possible, or on the same or other processes developing above 2C, though this is of cause expected to be very likely”

    There has been a lot of blaming normal weather extremes, usually hot weather somewhere in the world at the hottest part of summer ignoring the cooler anomalies.
    The fact that a minor change of a degree in temp cannot possibly be triggering processes that might give extreme weather is ignored in favour of alarmism. This article and least expresses the concept that an order of magnitude shift is needed to produce consistent weather shifts, that a change of at least 2C is the bare minimum needed, and all the extremes that occur at the moment can only be normal natural extreme events that are appropriate to the temperature envelope we are currently in.

  28. There are a lot of people who push each and every upward temperature variation anywhere in the world at any time as evidence that the world is warming rather than that temperature variations occur naturally and can be locally quite extreme and therefore individually cannot ever be used as a explanation.
    This is never acknowledged by warmists tothe detriment of any credit they have.

    • Yes, it’s ridiculous to suggest that temperatures going up is evidence of warming.

    • Why not look at the fact that there are two or more record warm temps for every cold temp? I guess since “skeptics” are busy playing the “it’s cold right now in Australia” game they should know that the overall (global) result is warming.

      • Doesn’t exactly fit very well with a well-mixed atmospheric control knob on a spinning planet with big oceans.

      • Why not look at the fact that there are two or more record warm temps for every cold temp?

        Why not look at the fact that the record was started as we came out of the little ice age? We have not broke any of the warm records that were set in the Roman or Medieval Warm periods, or the even warmer period before that. We are setting warm records now because we are supposed to be warm now.

      • Scott Koontz | August 9, 2018 “Why not look at the fact that there are two or more record warm temps for every cold temp? I guess since “skeptics” are busy playing the “it’s cold right now in Australia” game they should know that the overall (global) result is warming.”
        Apart from the practical reason given by popesclimatetheory Scott ignores an important fact.
        While climate cooling records are still being set even if at only half the rate of warming records he claims, all that says is that natural variation must still be in play. True warming of a degree in a century would perforce lead to a much bigger imbalance in warm to hot records, probably 20 to one.
        Now it might be so, but not on Scott’s stated ratio.
        Does anyone know the ratio or a way to wo,rk it out?

      • “While climate cooling records are still being set even if at only half the rate of warming records he claims, all that says is that natural variation must still be in play.”

        And thus we witness angech bowing out. Of course the earth is warming, and what we managed to do was take natural variations (still there, and you!) and tip the graph upwards. Thus, we are warming the planet.

        How is this so hard for you? Nobody EVER said natural forcings were dismissed. Of course they are still there, but certainly not causing the recent warming.

        How can you still be here and not know the most basic facts about this topic?

      • “And thus we witness angech bowing out. Of course the earth is warming, and what we managed to do was take natural variations and tip the graph upwards. Thus, we are warming the planet.
        Nobody EVER said natural forcings were dismissed. Of course they are still there, but certainly not causing the recent warming.”

        Scott, you contradict yourself in every utterance.
        You say nobody ever dismisses natural forcing then you go and dismiss them “ but certainly not causing the recent warming.”
        Pretzels unable to think clearly that have to twist each inconvenient fact to a world view.
        Natural variation is much greater than you can force yourself to admit. Leading to the amusing view that AGW causes more than 100% of the warming and we are only saved by natural variation acting as a cooling force.
        CO2 increase should have a warming effect. Sorting this out from natural variability over small temp changes and short time intervals leads to warmists making factually untrue claims. If you have an ounce of intelligence to understand that then you lack a mustard seed of honesty in promoting your claims without acknowledging the uncertainties.

      • Up;down. +~5;-~5. +~10;-~10.

        Two prominent examples, almost perfectly flat trend for both:

    • Every decade since the 1980’s has been warmer than the previous one and not by a little. This is a period when CO2 forcing has grown enough to dominate over natural variations and provides more than enough energy to account for all of the gain in heat content.

      • JimD , the range and extent and magnitude of natural forcing is unknown. Not to say people have not made guesses and estimates but it is unknown.
        Hence while temps have gone up from your facile choice of 1980 there have been periods of greater than 10 years in a number of reliable records where it did not go up (1).
        CO2 forcing has grown and must be present in the temperature record.
        It is impossible to say that it has grown enough to dominate natural variability. (2) SInce you do not know what the natural variability is.
        It certainly could provide enough energy for the heat gain. (3)
        iIf there were no natural variability and other factors like negative feedbacks and cloud cover that you choose to ignore in your blanket statement.

      • The largest known natural forcings are solar and volcanic variations. No one suggests these contributed to the warming. If you have other natural forcings in mind, they would be currently unknown to science. Easily the largest of known forcings is GHGs with some subtraction from the aerosols. Somewhere much lower down are solar and volcanic. What else is there?

      • “If you have other natural forcings in mind, they would be currently unknown to science”
        JCH would differ.
        Try more negative cloud and LW clear‐sky feedbacks.
        “Eight Atmospheric General Circulation Models (AGCMs) are forced with observed historical (1871‐2010) monthly sea‐surface‐temperature (SST) and sea‐ice variations using the AMIP II dataset. The AGCMs therefore have a similar temperature pattern and trend to that of observed historical climate change. The AGCMs simulate a spread in climate feedback similar to that seen in coupled simulations of the response to CO2 quadrupling. However the feedbacks are robustly more stabilizing and the effective climate sensitivity (EffCS) smaller. This is due to a ‘pattern effect’ whereby the pattern of observed historical SST change gives rise to more negative cloud and LW clear‐sky feedbacks. Assuming the patterns of long‐term temperature change simulated by models, and the radiative response to them, are credible, this implies that existing constraints on EffCS from historical energy budget variations give values that are too low and overly constrained, particularly at the upper end. For example, the pattern effect increases the long‐term Otto et al. (2013) EffCS median and 5‐95% confidence interval from 1.9K (0.9‐5.0K) to 3.2K (1.5‐8.1K).”
        Particularly clouds JimD. Try to see them.

      • Feedbacks are not forcings. Try to distinguish causes and effects. You only get confused if you can’t. Forcings are causes, feedbacks and responses such as increased heat content are effects.

      • No, I would NOT differ.

      • The largest variance in global cloud cover occurs with variability in sea surface temperature in the central and eastern Pacific (Clement et al 2009).

      • You see JimD.

      • I only see who you take as an authority on this.

    • (JCH does have some interesting comments)…

      • No sarcasm intended, JCH. You’ve got a lot of well presented and informative comments that i really appreciate. (i guess i should have made that clear)…

    • I have met Richard Betts several times. He is a nice guy and a good scientist who does read the sceptic blogs.

      I think you would find his views on the MWP illuminating.

      tonyb

      • His tweets are often misleading. I’d say dishonest and dangerously flirting with lying.

        That said, to his credit he did an excellent critique of the Hot House nonsense. Unfortunately it was accompanied by a very alarming graphic which is probably all that the vast majority of people will see.

    • Tony

      Betts views on MWP. In TV that is known as a tease. I would like to hear them.

  29. Thanks JCH, for your support.
    I wish you could point out to the others that it will take the aforesaid centuries or Millenia for extreme temperature changes and weather extremes to be able to be used as proof of global warming and that all current observations are unavoidably normal.

  30. Both figures 1 and 2 are more like cartoons than scientific graphs or plots. Both figures have no real scale bars. Over the past 100,000 years, the interglacial period represents 70% duration versus the interglacial period which is only 30%. This is not represented on either figure. And what is the definition of stability? Figure 2 indicates that “hothouse earth” is more stable than the interglacial or glacial period. Really?

    • Earth is warm when it is using energy and water in warm oceans to produce lots of ice. That is where ice comes from, warm thawed oceans can produce snowfall in cold places.

      Once there is lots of ice, cold, ice covered oceans do not produce lots of ice. Ice does not come from cold frozen oceans. It takes a long time to thaw and remove the ice. After the ice is depleted, ice sheets retreat and warming happens then.

  31. nobodysknowledge

    It may have been up to 7000 ppm CO2, some billion years ago, and 4000 ppm some hundred million years ago. The earth stopped warming at about 25 deg C, independent of the level of CO2. But there was a treshold at 3000 ppm CO2. When it came under that treshold the earth became frozen. Then it was snowball earth at 3000 ppm, now Hansen and friends say it will be hothouse earth at 450 ppm CO2.

  32. BTW here is the lead author Prof Steffen in 2011 being interviewed by Andrew Bolt on the Bolt Report.
    Andrew was fairly easy on him here , but Steffen and his mad mate Tim Flannery have said some strange things over the years.
    Actually you’ll see that Andrew quotes Judith during this interview.

  33. and cause continued warming on a “Hothouse Earth” pathway even as human emissions are reduced. Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene.

    Clearly Steffan et al. haven’t a clue what “hothouse” temperatures are. They are around 9 to 12C warmer than now. There isn’t the remotest possibility of getting to hothouse temperatures inside tens of millions of years, let alone this century.

    Steffan is an extreme alarmist. This paper should be dismissed as alarmist advocacy.

  34. In today’s Copenhagens Consensus Centre Newsletter, Bjorn Lomborg says:

    “There is a strong, direct connection between access to electricity and a person’s wealth and well-being. Over the past 16 years, nearly every person who gained access to electricity did so through a grid connection, mostly powered by fossil fuels. And yet donors say that many of the 1.1 billion people who are still without electricity should instead try solar panels.

    The benefits of expanding fossil fuel access massively outweigh the climate costs, and the movement against this – including from major donors – is disturbing, and flies in the face of the evidence.

    • The benefits of expanding fossil fuel access massively outweigh the climate costs, and the movement against this – including from major donors – is disturbing, and flies in the face of the evidence.

      Peter Lang, you got that right, for sure!

      The benefits of renewable energy are in the huge profits in wind, solar and bio fuels. They must scare people in order to tax and control them and transform the governments of the world.

      Nothing to do with climate, they are losing that war, they will try something else. How about ozone, already done, DDT, already done, etc.

  35. How about Lorenz-house earth?

    • How about we discuss out what is shifting the entire system in a warming direction? A Lorenz model can be shifted on an axis or two by changing parameters.

      You’re insisting that we look at the curves that are within the larger curves. Back up a step or two. The topic isn’t the chaos of weather, but the decadal march of average temps.

      Tie a balloon to a fan and it’s position is chaotic, and unpredictable within seconds. Change the direction of the fan and I can tell you how the general position of the balloon will change. Tilt the fan upward, and the balloon will move to a higher average position.

      Stop pretending that the chaotic movement means that we cannot recognize the more general trends. You don’t need to know the exact year that the majority of people cry “uncle” and decide they need to do something about it.

      • There is nothing that people can do. As I was once asked, “what is the optimal state of the Earth, its temperature, atmospheric composition etc? Are we moving towards it or way from it?”. I’ve know idea. But there are far too many King Canute’s around here.
        a). Denatured soil as it breaks down gives up far more CO2 than any other single source.
        b). The oceans gives up CO2 in vast amount as it warms up.
        I keep expecting people start running around with hands waving frantically in the air shouting “the sky is falling. sky is falling.”

      • I keep expecting people start running around with hands waving frantically in the air shouting “the sky is falling. sky is falling.”

        Just read the papers or watch the TV, they are shouting “the sky is falling. sky is falling.”

        That is what “Hothouse Earth” is all about!

      • The sky is falling, I mean “save the coral reefs”
        There are white sand beaches around the world, because coral reefs have died and regrown many times before. Researchers are fired if they dare say that new coral replaces old coral, this is just one more natural cycle.

      • The alarmists know that scared people will allow others to get rich, by taxing and controlling them.

      • “There is nothing that people can do.” What? Nothing? No way to burn more or less fossil fuels? That’s a new one.

        “what is the optimal state of the Earth, its temperature, atmospheric composition etc? Are we moving towards it or way from it?”

        Silly question. Optimal would be the temps and composition that we have, with the slow changes that occur naturally. Maybe you’ve not looked at rates of change.

        If man spent the last 10,000s of years in warmer temps, then that would be optimal, but population densities, farms, rivers, ice, cities would be elsewhere. If colder, same. Who still asks the childish question about some single temp that is optimal? Change and rate of change. Keep your focus on the topic.

      • I keep expecting people start running around with hands waving frantically in the air shouting “the sky is falling. sky is falling.”

        OK. Sure. Now back to the subject of CO2, warming, the consequences, and what we should do about it. Not sure why calling attention to a problem is a problem for you.

      • Richard Arrett

        Scott says:

        Change and rate of change. Keep your focus on the topic.

        The current SLR is 1/2 of the average over the last 20,000 years (3 mm/year versus 6 mm/year). Of the last 120 meters of SLR, only about 8 inches is caused by humans (and probably 1/2 of that was natural).

        So what exactly is the problem?

      • The current SLR is 1/2 of the average over the last 20,000 years (3 mm/year versus 6 mm/year). Of the last 120 meters of SLR, only about 8 inches is caused by humans (and probably 1/2 of that was natural).

        Lol.

      • Scott
        Thanks for your detailed reply to my off-the-cuff remark. But your treatment of Lorenz seems to be taken from a pre-prepared lookup table of stock replies to skeptic arguments (“chaos is just short term noise”) rather than being a deeply considered answer.

        Chaos and Lorenzian dynamics take time place not only in the atmosphere with hours to months timescales, but in the ocean, with decade to millennial timescale. Nonlinear oscillations can take place on such long time-scales, where they can’t be dismissed as “noise”.

        Going back to your analogy of the fan blowing an attached balloon. Imagine that the ITCZ is the fan, and that the AMOC (Gulf Stream) and North Pacific Gyre are the flapping balloons. But the time-course of these balloon-flaps is from decades to centuries. So the AMO, PDO, MWP, LIA and the modern warm period, are all flaps of this balloon.

      • Why are we talking about sea level rise when sea level is not rising? Axel Morner concludes that sea level has been essentially static for 50-70 years. Having published 600+ peer reviewed papers on lea level, I am inclined to take his word for it. Unless someone else with 600+ publications on sea level wishes to offer an alternative interpretation of the same static shoreline data?

      • If Morner’s name was redacted from his resume, one would conclude, rightfully, that he had one of the most impressive set of credentials in all of climate science. But, he has found himself on the wrong side of the issue and is persona non grata.

        Given his position on SLR, I would have expected to find the usual dirt on the guy, you know, like using some bizarre brand of detergent or tooth paste. I guess the establishment hasn’t been digging in his trash……yet.

      • \\How about we discuss out what is shifting the entire system in a warming direction?//

        Yes, let’s discuss that. How much do you figure is caused by humans emitting CO2? Oh. You don’t know? How much do you figure is caused by natural variability? Oh. You don’t know?

      • “Yes, let’s discuss that. How much do you figure is caused by humans emitting CO2? Oh. You don’t know?”

        You don’t know? How are you one of the only people left on the planet who doesn’t know? Physics can be tough, but get a grip.

      • Scott

        Let me help you with your confusion. You don’t know it either. I accept that you think you know it as does much of the climate community. But knowing it and thinking they know it are completely different things.

        I know I had 2 eggs for breakfast yesterday. How do I know it? I broke them myself and then ate them. I was a first hand observer. I know I have $34 in my wallet. How do I know? I looked in my wallet and counted it. First hand. I know I didn’t catch a fish yesterday. None. No bites. I was there. No fish.

        But you don’t know any of those facts that I know. You weren’t there. You have to take my representations of what I say as fact. You can’t verify it since you only have my word for it. I could be BSing you. Just like I can’t verify any of your representations of facts that you actually observed.

        What you take as fact are best estimates. There are no facts. If you believe they are facts then give us a %. Not just any old %, but the % to at least 4 decimal places. Then introduce facts which prove that number was not higher or lower, again to at least 4 decimal places. If it was a fact, then proving that precision should be easy. Tangible items can be measured to.0001 of an inch or millimeter. That would establish a fact.

        There are some things that are unknowable in the traditional deductive, rational approach to knowledge. There are volumes of equations that help with those beliefs of the facts. But sitting in a blanket covered cubicle with a burning up Texas Instrument handheld cranking out equations by the truckload still doesn’t get the facts. At best, they will be just another representation of what the facts are believed to be.

        I’m always happy to dissipate the fog.

  36. Odd how most of the “scientists” on this site want to forget the globe is warming because the timeframe to an earth none of us would recognize is unknown. It’s as though most of you failed the first quiz of a high school science class, but were proud of it.

    Do any of you deny the following?
    1. Earth warming.
    2. CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
    3. CO2 increasing in atmosphere.
    4. Burning fossil fuels is the primary reason for #3.
    5. Solar irradiance is down.

    There must be reason(s) that the earth is warming. Pretending it’s not primarily CO2 is an odd non-science stance when you do refuse to explain what is causing the warming if not CO2. Saying things are complex is a silly cop-out.

    • There must be reason(s) that the earth is warming.

      We just came out of the little ice age, we warmed because ice depleted and retreated. We warmed for the same causes of the Roman and Medieval warm periods. We are warm again now because we are supposed to be warm again now.

      Climate changes in normal, natural and necessary cycles and we do not control them.

      It is snowing more now, after a few hundred years of more snowfall, we will move into another little ice age. What has happened will happen again, in natural cycles.

      • So you have nothing. Do you know why the 10,000s+ year changes occur naturally? Do you know the difference in magnitude of 100s of years vs 10,000s? So you know why it is snowing more?

        We are warming at a rate that is not natural. If you cannot explain the natural forcings, and you ignore the question of man-made forcings, then of course you’re not concerned.

      • We have warmed at a rate that is natural, normal and necessary.
        Past climate cycles prove that this is normal.

        Ice core data shows ice accumulation is higher in warm times and cold times follow as the more ice advances.

      • I have explained the natural forcings, many times.

        it snows more when oceans are warm and thawed
        it snows less when oceans are cold and frozen

        This is really all that matters

      • Do you know the difference in magnitude of 100s of years vs 10,000s? So you know why it is snowing more?

        I do. When oceans are deeper and warmer, it produces more snowfall and enough ice for a major ice age. When oceans are warm and deep but less warm and deep, it can produce enough snowfall and ice for a little ice age. This is Occam Razor simple stuff, and the story is told in the ice core data.

      • Scott

        “We are warming at a rate that is not natural”

        In his 2005 paper Dr Phil Jones confirmed that natural variability was far greater than had hitherto been realised.

        tonyb

      • In his 2005 paper Dr Phil Jones confirmed that natural variability was far greater than had hitherto been realised.

        He publishes a lot, including in 2005, and, often when people say a date it turns out to be a different date.

        What is the title of the paper?

      • “We are warming at a rate that is not natural”

        Every thing that happens is natural, or it is fiction.

        If it actually happened, it is natural.

      • Jch

        Here us the paper from 2005

        https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-006-9078-6

        Phil jones was especially interested in this period as it encompassed the warmest decade in CET until the 1990’s and it was brought to an abrupt halt by one of the severest winters on record in 1740

        I have posted this here before

        Tonyb

      • We are warming at a rate that is not natural.

        In his 2005 paper Dr Phil Jones confirmed that natural variability was far greater than had hitherto been realised.

        Does he conclude that historic warning was greater than current?

      • VTG

        As JCH says, Phil Jones has published an awful lot of papers and I haven’t read every single one although I do occasionally correspond with him, currently on a project about historic wind directions which have a huge impact on temperature patterns.

        I hope to write up an article about this in the next few months which I am sure you will be waiting for with keen anticipation.

        Phil Jones tends to stick to measured temperatures i.e. from the 1700’s onwards, unlike his former boss Hubert Lamb, who did lots of reconstructions and primary research into earlier periods.

        As far as instrumental temperatures goes then, as the abstract mentions, he found natural variability greater than the modern literature suggests. In such books as ‘History and climate; he mentions periods of warming as great as today on a global as well as regional basis, but I would say the stadium wave effect appears to be fairly obvious in much of this period.

        He is concerned about the effects of urbanisation and once took part in a very complex and expensive EU project called ‘Improve”

        In it seven very long European temperature records were examined for all the factors that could affect them, including urbanisation, which a very large number of historic sites are prone to as cities have grown and the nature of the original site fundamentally changed

        http://www.isac.cnr.it/~microcl/climatologia/improve.php

        tonyb

      • Tony,

        in other words he did *not* conclude that historic warning was greater than current (I know, I read the paper).

        Can I suggest that when you cite research to make a point, you actually cite research which supports the point you are making? Particularly, including a link makes it unambiguous which paper you refer to.

        This allows sceptical people like myself to check the veracity of your claims.

        Here, you cite Jones (2005) when responding to a point that “we are warming at a rate that is not natural”

        Jones (2005) in no way refutes that. It’s largely irrelevant to the point you responded to, but rather investigates short term and regional variation.

        Non paywalled PDF available here for those interested.

        https://www.researchgate.net/publication/226043410_Unusual_Climate_in_Northwest_Europe_During_the_Period_1730_to_1745_Based_on_Instrumental_and_Documentary_Data

      • If you read it, it’s like the history of Europe is the history of the world. Maybe there’s a name for that.

      • To Judith, it is called natural climate variability!

      • VTG

        Once again you are putting words into my mouth

        “in other words he did *not* conclude that historic warning was greater than current (I know, I read the paper).”

        When did I say he did conclude that historic warming was greater than current?

        My original point was that He confirmed that natural variability was greater than had hitherto been realised and I linked to a paper that confirmed that

        This is the second time you have misrepresented my words to make some sort of point in just a few days

        Phil Jones covers primarily the modern instrumental era (which I have never claimed to be warmer than today although some periods such as the 1730’s were surprisingly warm as Phil Jones also confirmed)

        In the book I cite he concludes that some periods of warming globally and regionally appear to be as great as today (not warmer), that natural variability is greater than had been thought and there are urbanisation concerns.

        We need to go back further than the modern instrumental era for evidence of consistently warm temperatures that appear likely to be as warm or warmer than today.

        Now it is my birthday today so I will take your apology as read and have other things to do even more interesting than responding to you..

        tonyb

      • Tony,

        *You* cited it in response to a comment which said “We are warming at a rate that is not natural”.

        How this is misrepresenting you is a mystery.

        If it’s not relevant, don’t cite it.

        If you do cite it, expect scepticism.

      • It really does not confirm that. He makes a sweeping generalization about what historians had thought about human-timescale climate.

        Find me a historian who set specific limits on climate variability during human timescales that would be exceeded by CET 1730 to 1745.

      • Happy Birthday, Tony, you have come through, via ancestors,
        many, many whether variabilities, drought ‘n frequently occurring
        famine,* wiping out whole regions of China,- flood, biblical at
        times, lucky, lucky you, and denizens here, even some serfs!

        *Did ol’ King Cole and the technical revolution have something
        to do with it?

      • Thank you for confirming my point.

      • Happy birthday Tony, it is also a happy birthday here since you share August 10 as the birth date with my granddaughter, who just mentioned to me that she noticed the Lake Michigan water level is so high after years of warmists telling everyone the Great Lakes are evaporating from Global Warming. She said “ Grandpa, why do those warmists tell so many fibs”

      • Grandpa, why do those warmists tell so many fibs”

        I tell my grandchildren:

        Honey, they scare us so they can Tax and Control us!

      • When oceans are warmer and more thawed, it rains and snows more and that does fill lakes more.

        The increased evaporation happens in warmer times, and it produces more rain and snow, and that is why it does not get too warmer.

      • When Lake Erie is warm and thawed, Buffalo, NY gets lots of snowfall.
        When Lake Erie is colder and frozen, Buffalo, NY gets little snowfall.
        Oceans work the same way.

      • Vtg

        It was not me that said that we are warming at a rate that is not natural, it was Scott.

        I then made a reference to natural variability being greater than was thought., as quoted by Phil jones. how on earth does that cite cause you problems unless you disagree with it. In that case please make your own citation.

        Tonyb

      • Beth and Cerescokid

        Thanks for your birthday greetings

        Tonyb

      • Greater than thought by whom? Those who came before him? Lamb? Herodotus?

      • Jch

        The wording is not clear on the link supplied by Vtg

        Here is a Fair summary

        http://www.co2science.org/articles/V10/N13/C1.php

        Jones and Briffa were joint authors so must have thought this and they do not work in isolation so would presumably have discussed this with their peers generally in the historic climatology field

        Tonyb

      • Do you know of anybody who has ever suggested that natural variability of NW Europe is defined by the data in the instrument record starting in the last half of the 19th century: HadCrut3; GISS, etc.

      • Here is a Fair summary

        Where we find:

        It makes little difference to climate alarmists, who say all such aberrations are due to CO2-induced global warming, as anything out of the ordinary is fodder for their catastrophe mill

        Yup. Very fair and balanced.

        I provided a link to the pdf. I suggest people read the abstract and summary from it if they’re actually interested in fair summaries.

      • JCH

        In reply to your comment.

        At one time temperatures were thought to be relatively constant-that is to say that natural variability was played down;

        This used to be on the web site of the Met Office who don’t assert things in isolation to other similar bodies

        Extract “Before the twentieth century, when man-made greenhouse gas emissions really took off, there was an underlying stability to global climate. The temperature varied from year to year, or decade to decade, but stayed within a certain range and averaged out to an approximately steady level.”

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/policymakers/policy/slowdown.html

        It disappeared some years after the paper by Jones and Briffa so presumably the authorities had a rethink about natural variability

        I had also noted that the temperature rise was much longer lived than merely from the end of the 19th century;

        “The CET warming period from 1690 to 1730 is well documented by such as Hubert Lamb and was noted here in the 2000 book ‘History and climate-memories of the future?’ This chapter from Phil Jones-page 61;

        ‘All five series show long term warming from either the late 18th or early 19th centuries. Recent years are only marginally the warmest of the entire series because of the warmth of the 1730′s (particularly in Western Europe) and the 1820′s (Northern Europe) The five series are CET, De Bilt, Berlin, Uppsala, Stockholm.’

        This natural variability aspect has also muddied the comment I made about temperatures being at times around as great as today in the period since the MWP, where I never said they were greater than today as was asserted by VTG

        tonyb

      • I never said they were greater than today as was asserted by VTG

        1. I didn’t assert that.
        2. You directly cited Jones in response to a comment.

        Here is that quote and your response exactly as it appears up thread.

        Scott

        “We are warming at a rate that is not natural”

        In his 2005 paper Dr Phil Jones confirmed that natural variability was far greater than had hitherto been realised.

        tonyb

      • VTG

        You are doing it yet again. Please differentiate between what I say and what others assert

        “Where we find:
        It makes little difference to climate alarmists, who say all such aberrations are due to CO2-induced global warming, as anything out of the ordinary is fodder for their catastrophe mill

        Yup. Very fair and balanced.

        I provided a link to the pdf. I suggest people read the abstract and summary from it if they’re actually interested in fair summaries.”

        Your link to the pdf was heavily truncated at the sides so as to make it unreadable. I provided a link to a fair summary of what Jones and Briffa wrote which quoted their words. It was ONLY their words i was interested in. I never said anything at all about any assertions by CO2science who in those comments were not quoting anything written by Jones and Briffa and therefore had nothing to do with anything I had written

        tonyb.

      • VTG

        at 4.59 you said this

        “in other words he did *not* conclude that historic warning was greater than current (I know, I read the paper).”

        As I had not concluded that Jones had believed that historic warming was greater than today either why did you introduce this? It clearly infers that somewhere i had asserted that jones did believe that warming was greater. You have used rather clumsy phrasing.

        tonyb

      • First, studies of variability in the instrument record are about variability during that timescale. So with HadCrut3, it’s from 1850.

        In that paper he’s not talking about historians, etc. who have discussed the climate on human timescales in terms of relative stability. That was and is true. That timescale does not include icehouse and hothouse,

        The climate from 1730 to 1745 did not end any civilizations. No continents were abandoned.

        All they, Jones and Briffa, are saying is the variability of the instrument record of NW Europe may not define the variability of the Holocene climate of NW Europe. I suppose if somebody wades through all their references maybe some British scientist writing a paper in 1980’s or 1990’s about the variability of Great Britain/NW Europe may have implied it did.

      • “It clearly infers that somewhere i had asserted that jones did believe that warming was greater. ”

        Yes. You cited it. Directly in response to the comment above.

      • ” I provided a link to a fair summary of what Jones and Briffa wrote”

        No. As amply demonstrated by the quote I gave, you linked to a site which distorted their words and claimed nefarious conduct. It’s there in black and white.

        You keep on making claims which are contradicted by your cites.

        The pdf reads fine to me on pc or android.

      • Vtg

        The PDF is heavily truncated on my iPad and pc.

        Where did I say that that Phil jones had said warming was greater?

        I usually make a comment, link to a quote that I clearly define as a quote and then link to the paper the quote came from so the reader can see it in context.

        The co2 science paper, which was not truncated, reflected the words used by jones and briffa.

        You chose to then include phrases used by the co2 site itself which were nothing at all to do with what I had written or claimed. I don’t know why you wanted to do that. Please concentrate on what I wrote or quote, not what others Who I don’t even agree with have written.

        Tonyb

      • You chose to then include phrases used by the co2 site itself which were nothing at all to do with what I had written or claimed.

        It’s the exact page *you* linked to summarising the Jones paper! Which you claimed was “fair”.

        Again, your claim was contradicted the actual content of the cite.

        It’s very simple. When you make a claim, provide a citation *which actually backs up your claim*

        So far, every one doesn’t. It’s a running theme.

      • VTG said

        “words from an entirely different person to whose words I had made no reference whatsoever, nor endorsed in any way.

        *you* linked to them!”

        I did no such thing. I linked to and was referring ONLY to the words of Jones and Briffa that were in a clearer format on that site than your link, which, for me, led to a distorted pdf, (the words missing from the side) which I assumed was unreadable to other people as well

        At no time did I make references in any shape or form to an entirely different person who had written words that were no part whatsoever of any narrative I had previously set out.

        If I had wanted to make reference to that particular phrase by co2 science that your squirrels have unearthed, I would have repeated them and put them in speech marks as I normally do.

        I didn’t make any reference to it as it is not a statement that has any relevance whatsoever to the words we were referencing in our completely baffling discussion, nor one I would even endorse.

        Now, please lock your squirrels away. They must be exhausted by now

        tonyb.

        .

      • VTG

        I hope you don’t perceive this question as too personal or intrusive, but is English your first language?

      • …greater than the modern literature suggests.

        This above is the problem.

        He doesn’t say that modern literature is suggesting they have capped NV. He’s not saying a group of scientists held a belief that the instrumental record caps NV.

        All he is saying is studies of the instrument records of NW Europe may not cap the NV of NW Europe.

        There is no smearing of rent seeking, socialist climate scientists in the paper.

        This sort of nonsense is from where the insanely bizarre and wrongheaded notions that practicing scientists intended to erase the MWP and LIA come.

        Modern literature,1990 style:

      • *you* linked to them!”

        I did no such thing.

        Bizarre. I don’t know why you’re denying this. It’s in black and white up thread.

        Here your exact words and exact link, which I quoted directly from:

        Here is a Fair summary

        http://www.co2science.org/articles/V10/N13/C1.php

        Weird stuff.

      • jch

        Not sure as to who you are referencing in this absurd sub thread nor to which part of it you are referring to, when you write;

        “This sort of nonsense is from where the insanely bizarre and wrongheaded notions that practicing scientists intended to erase the MWP and LIA come.”

        Just so this doesn’t get swept up in the squirrel droppings, I would point out that at no time have I suggested scientists intended to erase either event and in fact have quoted several articles by Dr Mann (amongst others) in which he endorses the notion of both.

        I think the prime questions are whether they were merely regional events or if wider spread, how synchronous they were , how long lasting and how intense they were.

        tonyb

      • VTG

        Yes, very weird stuff indeed. I have never denied linking to that site. If you had actually read my comment (restated numerous times) you will note that I linked to it as a useful vehicle of the Jones and Briffa quote because your pdf version was so unclear.

        I was only EVER referring to the words already quoted by Jones and Briffa. At no time did I reference, quote, or endorse the phrase you dragged up from a different part of the article, written by someone completely different to the people I had been referencing-Jones and Briffa- and about whom I had previously made no comment whatsoever.

        So why you suddenly introduced the words of co2 science which were no part whatsoever of our discussion I have no idea.

        Please look at the words of Jones and Briffa ONLY on whatever web site you find easiest, and stop introducing complexly unrelated and irrelevant quotes by an individual who, up to then, had not even been mentioned by anyone.

        tonyb

      • you will note that I linked to it as a useful vehicle of the Jones and Briffa quote

        But that’s not what you wrote.

        You wrote that the link was to a “fair summary”. You didn’t say it was a link to a hatchet job with a couple of quotes from the paper thrown in.

        You now seem to acknowledge it’s not a fair summary? That’s progress I guess.

      • VTG

        But you are doing it yet again. You have several times truncated my comment, as in this example here from 10.16

        “Here your exact words and exact link, which I quoted directly from:

        Here is a Fair summary

        http://www.co2science.org/articles/V10/N13/C1.php

        Weird stuff.”

        That is not what I had said. For example here in my reply to JCH at 5.16 previously

        “The wording is not clear on the link supplied by Vtg

        Here is a Fair summary

        http://www.co2science.org/articles/V10/N13/C1.php

        —- —-
        You have missed out the first part

        ‘the wording is not clear on the link supplied by VTG”

        That is the wording -i.e that of jones and Brffa-is not clear as the pdf was truncated. I was clearly not referring to the co2 science piece in its entirety as being a ‘fair summary’, but that the words written by jones and briffa were easy to read at this location. .

        If you quote me please do so in its entirety as you have completely changed the context of my words by your omission.

        tonyb

      • Tony,

        Entire quote

        “Jch

        The wording is not clear on the link supplied by Vtg

        Here is a Fair summary

        http://www.co2science.org/articles/V10/N13/C1.php

        Jones and Briffa were joint authors so must have thought this and they do not work in isolation so would presumably have discussed this with their peers generally in the historic climatology field

        Tonyb”

        Is the link to a “fair summary” or not?

      • VTG

        Absolutely baffling.

        I had thought you would make some sort of apology as you realised you had wrongly assumed I was referring to the work of co2 science as a ‘fair summary’ of jones work in that short piece, when all I was doing was saying your link was not clear, here is a better one, where the words of jones and briffa can be more clearly read.

        Here it is again. It is absolutely unambiguous

        ———–

        ‘the wording is not clear on the link supplied by VTG”
        (link)

        That is the wording -i.e that of jones and Brffa-is not clear as the pdf was truncated. I was clearly not referring to the co2 science piece in its entirety as being a ‘fair summary’, but that the words written by jones and briffa were easy to read at this location.”

        —- ——

        We were only EVER talking about Jones and Briffa NEVER anyone else but instead you introduced a whole load of squirrels and despite my explaining to you numerous times of your misunderstanding you continued to perpetuate your mistake. You must realise you have made one, surely? You must realise I was only ever referencing the words of Jones and Briffa and not the words of some other person that I had never ever made any other reference to?

        tonyb

      • Is it a “fair summary” or not?

      • VTG

        Is it fair summary of the specific quote I had made from the Jones and Briffa paper which was ENTIRELY the point of the link, as yours was not very clear?

        It was an exact replication of the phrase I used from their paper, because it quoted their words. It was ONLY their specific words from their OWN article I was interested in that matched the phrase I had originally quoted. Nothing else.

        No wild claims by co2 science or conspiracy theories. NOTHING! I made this clear numerous times that I was not interested in any of the other side issues you chose to introduce, but instead you wanted to believe I thought the co2 science article was a ‘fair summary’ of the entire Jones and Briffa article.

        If you had bothered to read anything I wrote you will see that I never at any time claimed this, or made any endorsement WHATSOEVER of the co2scence piece. This is made abundantly clear in the full quote to jch instead of the truncated one you chose to make which altered the meaning.

        So you are barking up completely the wrong tree and must surely have realised this after all these utterly pointless exchanges?.

        tonyb

      • you wanted to believe I thought the co2 science article was a ‘fair summary’ of the entire Jones and Briffa article.

        As that was what you wrote, it’s not too surprising that’s what I thought.

        It’s a shame it took you so long to acknowledge it.

        I can only suggest in future that you don’t link to conspiracy sites. Or if you do, you make clear at the time what you’re pointing to rather than having it dragged out of you after the event.

        Anyway, we now both seem to agree that:

        1. Jones (2005) doesn’t refute that “We are warming at a rate that is not natural. ”

        2. The Co2 science summary of Jones (2005) is not “fair”

      • Vtg

        Sorry, ended up in wrong place

        As I wrote or suggested nothing of the sort and it is you trying to suggest that I endorsed the co2 science article view on the entire jones article when it is clear I didn’t and I have been saying that for the last day, it is clear that we should leave it here rather than continue to participate on the stupidest sub thread in weeks.

        Tonyb

    • Koontz

      If there was absolutely no evidence (0, zip, zilch, nada) for the LIA, then you might have a point. But there is, so you don’t.

    • What caused the warming in the 1930’s, or the MWP?

      • 1930s were not warmer globally. here are many reasons that local regions will warm or cool, and there are many reason that the global will warm or cool. To understand climate change (as it is to be discussed, not as it is discussed by people who want badly for CO2 to not be an issue) you need to understand the difference between years in magnitudes, and the portions of the globe in question.

    • 1. What timescale? Yes, it’s warming since the LIA, but cooling since the HCO (with multi-centennial and multi-decadal ups and downs).
      2. NO
      3. YES, since the late 50s. The growth rate is tightly correlated with the global temperature indices.
      4. NO.
      5. YES, TSI is down this solar cycle. We only have been measuring TSI since the late 70s.

      Yes, there must be reasons, but we don’t necessarily know what they are. I think at the multi-centennial timescale it’s mostly the sun (ssn or solar cycle frequency as proxy). The ~60 year cycle – who knows, but it’s clearly real.

      • “Yes, there must be reasons, but we don’t necessarily know what they are.”

        All that work on forcings for nothing. I guess it’s back to pretending less solar irradiation is the reason we are warming.

      • Scoot, the main reason we are warming since the 50s is the dramatic reduction of air pollutution, resuting in less smog, global brightening and more sunlight reaching the earth surface.

      • “the main reason we are warming since the 50’s is the dramatic reduction of air pollution…. ”

        Nope….

      • Thats a purely matter of misattribution of the lower aerosols Tony,

      • Sulfate emissions per region

        Europe wamed faster than the rest of the world, how come?

      • maksimovich1

        Europe includes the FSU and the eastern bloc as the heavy factories shut aerosols decreased faster over europe and surface solar radiation increased no mystery there.

      • Look carefully FSU is an independent region in the graph of sulfate emissions, so the role of increasing co2 is overattributed compared to the role of reduced sulfate pollution., the bittom blue line in the forcing graph is not according to reality.

      • A cumulative graph of SO2 emissions

    • At 298K and 50 percent RH there are 25 water molecules for every 1 carbon dioxide molecule in the atmosphere, and water absorbs at most of the same wavelengths as carbon dioxide.

      The long term worst case scenario is the end of the Holocene and beginning of the next glacial. As that eventuality approaches, humans will be trying to add water vapor and carbon dioxide to the atmosphere or migrating toward the equator.

    • VTG

      I assume you must be at a very loose end today.

      Nowhere did I say that jones thought it was warmer in the instrumental past (i.e such as the 1730’s) than it is today. Believing in greater natural variability than many sources take account of is also not the same as saying it was warmer then than it is today

      Because you link didn’t work (on two of my machines) I linked to a clear summary of the exact words used by jones. You then introduced this barrowload of squirrels by choosing to highlight an entirely different set of words from an entirely different person to whose words I had made no reference whatsoever, nor endorsed in any way.

      I was referencing the words of Jones and Briffa ONLY. They were in a clearer ( to me) document than in your link You introduced the words of others which had nothing to do with it. If I had wanted to highlight their words I would have put them in their own speech marks and made separate reference to them

      THAT is the running theme.

      If I quote something please discuss my words or those I link to (generally in speech marks) not those of others that have nothing whatsoever to do with me and which were no part whatsoever of any part of the narrative.

      tonyb

      • words from an entirely different person to whose words I had made no reference whatsoever, nor endorsed in any way.

        *you* linked to them!

        Own it.

    • Vtg

      As I wrote or suggested nothing of the sort and it is you trying to suggest that I endorsed the co2 science article view on the entire jones article when it is clear I didn’t and I have been saying that for the last day, it is clear that we should leave it here rather than continue to participate on the stupidest sub thread in weeks.

      Tonyb

  37. We need to raise the bar on how we think about the possible worst case scenario for climate change.

    Natural climate regulation knows how to deal with worst case scenarios. We really need to raise the bar on how we understand natural climate regulation.

    Temperature and sea level regulation is really simple. 
    Temperature and sea level  measurement is really complicated. 

    Solar energy is stored in the oceans. Most of our energy comes from our sun. Most of the warming of the oceans occurs in the tropics, the cooling in the tropics comes from evaporation of surface water, be it oceans or land, that cools the surface immediately and warms the atmosphere and increases the water vapor in the atmosphere. The warm moist air is carried up by convection where it forms water and ice, releasing energy that is transported out by IR from the tops of clouds. Oceans circulate between the tropics the polar regions. In cold times, the polar oceans are ice covered and the warm water from the tropics is cooled by the ice, but the evaporation is blocked. Ice in the polar region depletes from lack of evaporation and snowfall until the ice retreats and allows warming. When the oceans get warm enough, the surface sea ice thaws rapidly, increasing the evaporation and snowfall rates. The ice on land in cold places is replenished in the warm times. The ice on land in cold places is replenished the fastest in the warmest times with more warmer oceans. The ice on land is depleted the fastest in the coldest times with colder oceans that are covered by ice.

    Water, in all of its states, is abundant. CO2 is not much more than a trace gas. At 400 parts per million, with 100 parts per million of man made CO2, the man made CO2 is one molecule in ten thousand. CO2 is NOT the control knob.

    Water, water vapor, ice, is used to regulate the temperature of earth in repeating cycles. The thermostat setting is the temperature that the sea ice thaws and freezes. More or less energy from any cause, does not change the temperature that sea ice freezes and thaws.

    Ice is produced with energy from the sun, stored in the oceans, using evaporation to get the energy from the surface, using the warm moist air, moving up where it forms water and ice and releases IR out. The ice production is turned on when oceans are warm and thawed, the ice production is turned off when oceans are cold and frozen. Earth operates huge ice machines and produces ice in warm times with thawed oceans. Earth turns the ice production off in cold times when there is already enough ice.

    This is Occam Razor simple. Everyone looks for chaos, complicated and unstable. Earth temperature regulation is simple, no one recognizes simple when they only look for complicated. There is not an equilibrium temperature, there is a cycle. People looking for complicated, get complicated results, but no answers.

    This also works for sea level, the more ice on land lowers the oceans and the less ice on land raises the oceans, it follows the same cycles.

  38. Another thought. These are End of History theories.
    Just read in a book by Philip Rieff concerning “ultimate concern”:
    “Such a concern is for mystics who cannot otherwise enjoy their leisure. In the workaday world there are no ultimate concerns only present ones.”

    The answer is 10°K. So what?
    I can die by way of some accident when I leave my house. So what?
    I still try to make the best of it under an assumption of the most probable state of affairs and not the assumption of the worst case (out of many possible ones, a lot of which may be contradictory (ice age anyone?)).

  39. I agree that studies and analyses such as this can be useful to stimulate thinking and further work to understand possible outcomes but should be taken as just that. They are not a basis for policy making and therein lies the danger. Political activists with prejudged positions will always try to use such published work to push their given political position but that is not justified and should not be permitted. The studies should do an adequate job of defining how/what they are / are not suitable re drawing “real conclusions.” Not doing so is dangerous and irresponsible! You could do a study showing a case for a distinct possibility planet earth “could” be hit by a thousand thousand thousand meteors destroying all the major cities on the planet but it is meaningless without substance demonstrating the hypothesis …. nothing more than a hypothetical “what if” scare case, but always welcomed by political advocates.

  40. Read the paper and SI, because wanted to understand how well the media and social media commentaries understood it. Reached two conclusions.
    1. Most of the media had not bothered to understand the paper or its roots. Hothouse Earth headlines prove only the adage, ‘if it bleeds, it leads’.
    2. The meat of the paper is more Schellnhuber tipping point nonsense, this time compounded into speculative domino effects.
    Most individual possible tipping points in the SI have been scientifically discredited. Among the Blowing Smoke ebook essays discrediting possible tipping points are: Credibility Conundrums, PseudoPrecision, By Land or by Sea, Tipping Points, No Bodies, and Shell Games. Several of these were in whole or in part previously guested posted here a few years ago.

  41. At the end of the Younger Dryas there was reportedly a 15 C temperature increase in the atmosphere over Greenland that took place over a couple of decades (Severinghaus 1998). This sudden increase took place without the benefit of greenhouse gas increases, which characteristically followed the warming.

    If we give a paleo uncertainty discount of 50%, and only 7 degrees actually happened, this is still a staggering abrupt change. Aside from gross speculation and arm waving about impacts, THC shutdown/meltwater pulse, etc., we really have no explanation for this event; or for that matter, any of a dozen transitions less dramatic but similar in rate.

    Can you imagine the wailing is something like this were taking place now? The models would require something like an instantaneous quadrupling of GHG’s to accomplish this.

    • Meltwater from the major ice sheets dumped into the oceans and caused cooling spikes that ended with warming spikes as the cold water mixed with warmer oceans. 20K years ago to 10K years ago were dynamic times as the meltwater reentered the oceans. The ice that is sequestered on land now is cycling in the new smaller natural cycles that have been in place for 10k years.

  42. Surely the most plausible worst case scenario is that the next ice age kicks in. That the models cannot figure out how to make this happen speaks volumes about their inadequacy.

  43. The incorrect use of Anthropocene and hothouse is telling, this should never have passed peer review. I bet Scotese was not asked to review this.

  44. Science has a serious case of the Fonzi’s.

  45. We have two words for this type of publication: Science Fiction

  46. This is about ice.

    Ice cools the earth by reflecting, increasing albedo, and ice cools the earth by thawing. The ice cools land and oceans. When ice extent, the area the ice covers, is large, there is much cooling by reflecting and by thawing. When the ice extent, the area the ice covers, is small, there is much less cooling by reflecting and by thawing. Ice is sequestered in cold places in both hemispheres. Ice that is sequestered in cold places came from snowfall. The moisture for that snowfall comes from warm tropical oceans that circulate into Polar Regions. When ice volume and weight on land is high, the ice extent grows. When ice volume and weight on land is low, the ice extent decreases. When the oceans are warm enough, the surface of the oceans is thawed and produces enough moisture to provide snowfall to increase the ice volumes and weight of ice sequestered on land in cold places. When the oceans are cold enough, the surface of the oceans freeze and provides too little moisture and the ice on land continues to flow and thaw and break off and the volume and weight depletes until the flow decreases and allows the ice extent to decrease. This causes climate cycles that alternate between warm times that produce too much snowfall and cold times that produce too little snowfall. This process can never stop and allow an equilibrium earth temperature.

    These cycles and the amount of ice sequestered and returned to the oceans in each cycle has changed over time with larger and larger cycles until the recent ten thousand years with much smaller cycles.

    The cycles in the NH and SH do occur independently to some extent, and they are coordinated in larger cycles because oceans are deep and warm in both hemispheres at the same time. The oceans get shallower and colder in both oceans at the same time. Modern Holocene cycles are independent in the hemispheres. In the cold period of the major ice ages, there were large coordinated cycles and smaller independent cycles. The two hemispheres have different land and ocean configurations and do operate this same cycle differently.

    This does limit the bounds of temperatures and sea level. It cannot become “Hot House Earth” because it will snow too much. It cannot become “major ice age earth” because it will snow too little.

    Ice does not increase because earth is cold, ice does not decrease because earth is warm. Ice increases because earth is warm and ice decreases because earth is cold.

    Ice Core data does show that this is how natural variability works.

    • This process can never stop and allow an equilibrium earth temperature.

      Increased CO2 changes the equilibrium temperature that does not really exist. CO2 does not change the temperature that Sea Ice forms and thaws.

  47. I just started to read the paper, and it’s complete lack of any science is just jawdropping.

    In fact it’s worse than no science – they actually write complete nonsense. For example they write in a figure caption

    “Stability” (vertical axis) is defined here as the inverse of the potential energy of the system.

    No, that’s not what stability is. My second-year undergraduates know that. But apparently this team of top climate scientists doesn’t.

    • (oops, its not it’s!)

      So, where is the model? Where are the equations that give the dynamics shown in fig 1 and fig 2?

      It’s not in the paper. Oh, there’s an appendix in the SI. It must be in there.

      Let’s look through the appendix… No, that’s just another 20 pages of waffle! Still no model. So the figures and the text and the conclusions seem to be an invention of the authors based on nothing at all.

    • That’s right. Stability refers to whether or not my lego tower will fall down, and anyone who uses it to mean anything else is a silly poopyhead.

      Words can have different meanings in different contexts. Even my 8 year-old nephew knows that. They’ve even helpfully put stability in quotation marks to denote a usage specific to this context, and clearly stated how they’re defining it.

      This is like claiming someone is wrong when finding x = 2 in the equation 2x = 4 on the basis that you’ve just found that x = 4 in the equation 2x = 8.

    • Well PaulS, one should use words according to their meaning. If you mean something else that doesn’t have a word to describe it, invent a new one. Paul M’s point is well taken. Lack of precision is a good reason to reject something.

  48. Meanwhile, some of the most intelligent science writers (with great writing skills) are talking about the report. The following from Ars Technica is a sample of what should be read and discussed.

    Two paragraphs (quoted):

    The authors point out that, for the last few million years, the Earth has cycled between a heavily glaciated state and one in which the ice has been largely limited to the poles. The details of these warmer periods vary—carbon levels and orbital influences differed, leading to differences in temperatures, the loss of ice, and resulting sea levels. But the differences were never large enough to drive the climate into a new state. When the orbital influences cycled back, the planet returned to a glacial state.

    That’s no longer the case. Even at current levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it would take something exceptional to allow glacial conditions to return, and emissions are set to push those levels up ever higher over the next few decades. And, if we’re no longer in a situation where the Earth can cycle between two relatively stable states, it’s reasonable to ask what the planet will do instead. Based on its past history, a hothouse state would seemingly be one possibility. The problem is that we don’t know enough about what triggered historic hothouses to fully appreciate what could drive us into a new one.

    • Ars Technica I have not read any of their stuff lately, I will go look.

      I used to follow one of their people when he worked for the Houston Chronicle, for many years.

    • When the orbital influences cycled back, the planet returned to a glacial state.

      That is what many believe, but it did not happen like that.

      • Certainly did not happen like that. The best correlation to orbital influence is the ~41yr wobble cycle. This cycle produces no net insolation change, but fosters hemispheric seesaw annually. It (or something with the same period) is evident in low amplitude fluctuations in ocean cores back to the Miocene.

        What characterizes the Pleistocene is initially an increase to higher amplitude 41kyr fluctuations, and then a transition to something else at the MPT.

        A great mystery is why the ~400kyr eccentricity cycle, which produces insolation changes of 10 W/m2 (more than 3x current supposed human CO2 forcing) has no spectral power in the Pleistocene.

    • “Meanwhile, some of the most intelligent science writers (with great writing skills) are talking about the report.”

      As judged by what? There’s an even chance they are biased. The one quoted wrote,

      “It’s critical at this point to drive home that we don’t have strong indications that we are on one of these paths or even that a hothouse state is accessible directly from our current climate. The perspective is closer to what you might call informed speculation. The presence of tipping points and feedbacks in the climate is well established, as is the history of times where the Earth experienced hothouse climates. The links among these, while plausible, haven’t been established.”
      “Is it appropriate for scientists to highlight risks like these? It could certainly be argued that they’d be irresponsible if they didn’t. But the public often has a hard time understanding risks, as well as the scientific understanding behind them. In cases like this, where there’s lots of media coverage (of mixed quality), then it’s also irresponsible for the scientists to sit back and let the misunderstandings persist.”

      Our intelligent science writer questions aspects of the paper. Seems the paper is confusing according to the writer. The writer’s argument is, We don’t know if we are one of these paths. So climate scientists bring up risks, or it could have been the bogey man. Not explaining those risks is throwing stuff without regard to its impact to the general public. They are helped along by the MSM, who also doesn’t provide useful information on the risks, if that’s possible. So we are left with the word, Risks.

      One theory would be the MSM is trying to act like climate scientists and the reverse is also true. One thrown into the gutter quaint custom was for the MSM to question things. We don’t need to do that any more. Because of polar bears.

    • Scott
      “That’s no longer the case. Even at current levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it would take something exceptional to allow glacial conditions to return.”

      This is pure speculation on your part. Unsubstantiated rubbish.

      • It’s not just speculation, ozonebust. It’s simply wrong. The Earth went through one ice age already with CO2 levels over 4000 ppm. There is no reason but Climate Faith to believe it couldn’t happen at 400 ppm.

        ~¿~

      • We are currently in a Milankovitch phase that favors Arctic ice growth and that was happening for thousands of years until the LIA, but look at what is happening now there instead. The CO2 forcing overtook the Milankovitch forcing somewhere in there.

  49. Judith says:

    There are two overall [falsification] approaches that could be followed:

    1. Considering the possibility of outcome, based on background knowledge of past climates and what caused them
    2. Consideration of the various links in the causal chain reasoning that produced the outcome

    For approach 1, a critical step would be to investigate the paleo record and find any previous case where the planet has warmed from the icehouse conditions it is currently in (GMST=15˚C), to hothouse conditions (GMST=24–28˚C), an increase of around10˚C, in millions of years, let alone 100 or a 1000 years. The only previous time this occurred was following the Permo-Carboniferous icehouse phase. In this case it took about 40 million years to rise from 13˚C to 25˚C.

    For approach 2, there is an engineering method for such analyses: HAZOP analysis.

  50. Has anyone heard of using actual measured data to refute a wrong idea?

    Like the data of NOAA’s SURFRAD and USCRN projects? If there is no GHE there can be no global warming. Use this data to understand how solar radiation and the earth’s surface actually interact.

  51. No one convinced me that “these thresholds exist” for any human-induced climate change. Nor did they try. Every article talking about catastrophic changes is either wild speculation (as in this case), or computer modeled; which in climate science is the same thing. They are just making it up.

    • And the world continues to warm at a rapid pace when it should be cooling if left to natural forcings. I guess we should go along with conservatives and wish ourselves “good luck” with the whole thing.

      Nobody is making things up, unless you’re been reading Monckton, Watts or Heller.

  52. My tribe is supposed to be against the paper. It’s got this though:

    As mentioned, ‘Stability’ is a bit problematic. Clear and unchanging peaks and valleys that contain whatever is round and in a valley is stability. Lack of stability is flattened contours letting the round thing out. But then it goes into another valley in which it stabilizes. Their picture shows stability, until you have not stability to be followed by stability. It’s a tristable system so they say. I’d say it has at least 2 states. The contour indicating a hellish 3rd state is theoretical. All negative feedbacks plus that, to the 4th power thing, all argue against the 3rd state hell. Also, all the mass of the about 3.7 kilometers of water covering 2/3s of planet greatly influences the shape of the future contours out to at least the year 2200. So we can argue what the future contours are. But kudos for going beyond, CO2 makes it warmer.

    • The third state did exist. In an extreme form, it was called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Even around that, the Eocene was mostly an iceless hothouse with high CO2 levels. This is not just theoretical. Good diagram, by the way.

    • Ragnaar,

      out to at least the year 2200

      Paleo evidence suggests the “out to 2200 years” should be “out to 40 million years”. That’s the transition time from icehouse to hot house conditions the last time such a transition occurred, 300 Ma ago.

    • There is nothing new in the publication, so thanks for not knowing any of it.

  53. Dr Curry, I’ve written a post to address the Social Media Censorship I wanted to share with you and your readers.

    Comprehensive Climate Change Debating Points and Graphics; Bring It Social Media Giants. This is Your Opportunity to Do Society Some Real Good
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2018/08/11/comprehensive-climate-change-debating-points-and-graphics-bring-it-social-media-giants-this-is-your-opportunity-to-do-society-some-real-good/

  54. It appears Steffen et al. are not aware of the paleo evidence, which shows that the last time Earth’s climate transitioned from icehouse to hothouse conditions was 300 Ma ago, and that transition took 40 million years.

    • The transition rate is proportional to the rate of change of forcing which is currently very fast by paleo standards. Many would consider 50 million years ago to be an iceless hothouse too, especially the PETM.

    • Jim D,

      You don’t understand. The PETM was a transition from hothouse to extreme hothouse (up tgo 13 C warmer than now), not a transition from icehouse to hot house.

      Please try to get some sense of credibility, and do reality checks on your beliefs.

      • I am saying the forcing change determines the transition rate. Hansen (2008) says we are currently half way between the icehouse and the hothouse and 4 W/m2 in either direction gets us to one or the other. Doubling CO2 achieves that kind of change and the forcing is changing much faster than the Milankovitch forcing that got us out of the last Ice Age did. The point is not that it is immediate, but it is in a relative sense compared to past changes of this magnitude. It could take some centuries for the sea levels to rise the 70 meters that an iceless hothouse would be defined by, but that would be a high rate of change by prehistoric standards and we are just at the beginning of that ramp up.

      • Hansen is dead wrong that we are halfway between icehouse and hot house. We are currently in about the severest icehouse conditions in the past 540 Ma. What is the evidence that forcing rates are unprecedented?
        What’s the evidence that GMST can increase 20,000 times faster than ever before?

        As I said, please try to get a sense of reality, and do credibility checks on your beliefs.

      • You need to look at your own diagram to see what Hansen is referring to. The Holocene is at the midpoint of those extremes, if you believe that picture at all. This is because we only have one third of the glacier mass of the coldhouse extremes while the hothouse melts the rest of it too. The forcing has jumped 2-3 W/m2 in a century. That is fast and large by any standards especially compared to Milankovitch which itself is faster than the normal background geological time scales.

      • The Holocene is at the midpoint of those extremes, if you believe that picture at all.

        No JimD, it is not. You clearly cannot understand the chart. GMST is currently 15C, i.e. 2.6C above the LGM, 13C below extreme hothouse, and 11C below hothouse. Average over the Phanerozoic Eon is about 7C warmer than now – which arguably is the optimum temperature for life on Earth. So, there is no threat of catastrophic warming inside. Any warming would be beneficial.

      • The definitions there are different. 35 million years ago the earth was iceless and your picture rates that as a “cooling greenhouse” despite the poles being icefree. To me, that is the beginning of the hothouse, and definitely iceless. Hansen’s midpoint was between the icehouse and icefree states amounting to 600 feet of sea level difference. We do not want to be in that “cooling greenhouse” state that only requires a CO2 doubling, let alone his hothouse.

      • JimD, clearly you have no understanding of geological history or paleo evidence. The temperature scale, names, and time scale are all clear on the chart, I suggest you go do some relevant study. You could start by understanding Scotese’s paper https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275277369_Some_Thoughts_on_Global_Climate_Change_The_Transition_for_Icehouse_to_Hothouse_Conditions

        and the Paleomap Project: http://www.scotese.com/Default.htm

        And:
        Scotese’s Paleomap project, plate tectonic animations over the past 750 Ma.

        And:
        Cretaceous Greenhouse: http://shadow.eas.gatech.edu/~jean/paleo/Lectures/Lecture_4.pdf

        You have a lot of study to do. Come back when you’ve done it.

      • Scotese’s Paleomap project, plate tectonic animations over the past 750 Ma.

      • You can start with Hansen. I don’t want to get into dueling papers, but it is fairly well established that melting Greenland and Antarctica is a concern because it is within reach of the CO2 levels we can produce.
        https://websites.pmc.ucsc.edu/~jzachos/pubs/2008_Hansen_etal.pdf
        How does Scotese manage to not mention CO2 levels in any of that? This is a reason for its lack of relevance to the discussion. If you find anything on CO2, let me know, because this looks like just a chronology with no causes mentioned.

      • Jim D,

        You said:

        Hansen (2008) says we are currently half way between the icehouse and the hothouse and 4 W/m2 in either direction gets us to one or the other.

        Hansen is wrong, and clearly you don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

        The temperature range from LGM to Triassic maximum is 15.5C. GMST is currently 2.6C above the LGM. That is, at present GMST is just 17% above the bottom of the temperature span from extreme icehouse to extreme hothouse – not half way. Simple maths!

        You are also dead wrong saying Scotese makes no mentions of CO2. This shows you have not read his or other materials on the subject zero background in the geology and paleo-climate evidence of the Phanerozoic Eon and the period since complex life began.

        You didn’t answer the questions I asked in a previous response to your comments. You keep changing the subject. We’ve been through those avoidance tactics over and over again. You are incapable of conducting a rational discussion. Discussing anything with you is a waste of time.

      • Scotese makes mention of the answers to your questions. Why is it faster now than before? He says it is 50 times faster because we are adding GHGs at a high rate. As for why it got warmer and colder in paleoclimate, no mention of CO2 changes or how geology is involved through volcanoes and continent building. For that you have to go to other sources. Does he know this at all? Does he know why Antarctica froze over when it did or why the Ice Ages started when they did? These are the questions we are discussing and pointing to Scotese didn’t help answer them. What happens to glaciers when you add 4 W/m2 of forcing? His paper would not tell you. Look to Hansen for quantification. How do you want to define a hothouse? I think just being iceless would be enough, and we are half way between the iciest and iceless conditions. Subtract 4 W/m2 – deep Ice Age. Add 4 W/m2 – all the glaciers melt. Scotese won’t tell you this. Realclimate doesn’t have a high opinion of his reconstructions.
        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/03/can-we-make-better-graphs-of-global-temperature-history/

      • nobodysknowledge

        Thank you for the reference to Scotese. It ia very useful and illuminating. Hansen and his court should be adviced to study his papers before publishing their science fiction. What was in their drinks when they placed the point of no return to 450 ppm CO2?

      • “What was in their drinks when they placed the point of no return to 450 ppm CO2?”

        Delicious kool-aid. And all the Climate Faithful like jim have drank it as well.

        You can’t join their religion without first drinking the kool-aid.

        ~¿~

      • Hansen (2008) says we are currently half way between the icehouse and the hothouse and 4 W/m2 in either direction gets us to one or the other.

        over the recent ten thousand years, the NH lost 5 times that much and the SH gained 5 times that much beyond sixty degrees to the poles and it caused very little response. Four W/m2 is nothing compared to what did change, Natural response fixes these little things.

      • What happens to glaciers when you add 4 W/m2 of forcing?

        You are thawing massive ice, when you add a tiny more energy you thaw the ice a tiny bit faster, the temperature that ice thaws does not change. you could never detect the difference.

      • Pope, it looks like you are describing massive feedbacks. Where do you get those numbers from? With feedbacks, 4 W/m2 can have a large effect. The Milankovitch cycles are driven by only a few W/m2 changes.

      • The Milankovitch cycles are driven by only a few W/m2 changes.T

        Earth totals are small, the changes to the NH and SH outside of 60 degrees us large. The results are small because the climate counters and self corrects when temperature tries to get out of bounds.

      • It’s not “corrections”, it’s orbital forcing changes.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles

      • This chart from your wiki link shows large changes at 65 north.

        The changes at 65 south do alternate with this.

        The ice cores show that the last major ice age was cold in both hemispheres at the same time and both hemispheres warmed at the same time. Milankovitch should have caused ice ages to alternate between the hemispheres. Both hemispheres internally counter the alternating changes. That is what data shows.

      • The Milankovitch cycles are about economics. It’s not the total energy, it’s the unequal distribution of it.

      • Pope, the asymmetry between the hemispheres is due to water and its sea ice. The NH sea-ice albedo varies much more under solar forcing which is why its change dominates the global energy budget. Milankovitch looked at only 65N for this reason. The NH is the driver. The SH responds.

      • Milankovitch likely looked in the north because he did not know much about the south. If he had the data we have available now, he would have most likely come to different conclusions.

    • “The Milankovitch cycles are driven by only a few W/m2 changes.”

      Not where it matters … at 65 deg N.
      Up to 100 W/m2 and 50 since the HCO.

  55. “We examine the evidence that such a threshold might exist and where it might be. If the threshold is crossed, the resulting trajectory would likely cause serious disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies. Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state. Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values.”

    Such thresholds do exist at many scales. Knowing how close the Earth system is to abrupt changes let alone where it will shift to is a problem of a different order. Relatively intense and abrupt surprises are to be anticipated – at all scales.

    Recovery of some of the 5000 GtC lost since the advent of agriculture in the Holocene in terrestrial soils and systems – (see Rattan Lal) – has many things to recommend it. Food security, water conservation, flood and drought resistant to name a few. And technological innovation is the underpinning of economic growth.

    “… behavioral changes … new governance arrangements, and transformed social values” however really are the imponderous impracticalities.

    The future is human, pretty much like today – but more peaceful and prosperous – and likely cyberpunk. The singularity occurs on January 26th 2065 when an automated IKEA factory becomes self-aware and commences converting all global resources to flat pack furniture. Until then – endless innovation on information technology and cybernetics will accelerate and continue to push the limits of what it is to be human and to challenge the adaptability of social structures. New movements, fads, music, designer drugs, cat videos and dance moves will sweep the planet like Mexican waves in the zeitgeist. Materials will be stronger and lighter. Life will be cluttered with holographic TV’s, waterless washing machines, ultrasonic blenders, quantum computers, hover cars and artificially intelligent phones. Annoying phones that cry when you don’t charge them – taking on that role from cars that beep when you don’t put a seat belt on. Space capable flying cars will have seat belts that lock and tension without any intervention of your part. All this will use vastly more energy and materials this century as populations grow and wealth increases.

    • How to build successful Artificial intelligence systems

      My take away was, bottom up and not top down. Like all those bugs in Minority Report that scouted. I want an army of robot super ants. This has an advantage of evolving like we did, and we are the model for robots ever since a long time ago. Even in the Movie 2001, HAL built upon simple things like the song, Daisy.

      So to really understand something, build it from the bottom up. I suppose this applies to the climate too. Now maybe this is also why engineers generally have a skeptical bias.

      The CO2 warms the planet, is a top down approach. It must be true. How the climate works? CO2 warms. The CMIPs are going into the details but their resolution sucks. High resolution is closer to the actual mechanics whereas low resolution things are often abstractions. CO2 warms, is a low resolution thing. This doesn’t tell you the actual real world mechanics of it outside my window this minute. CO2 warms is so low resolution that the IPCC says that we get from 1.5 to 4.5 C per doubling. It’s like someone that has really poor eyesight. Peterson has short segments explaining this resolution idea.

      • This is a bottom-up approach. Start with the basic observations, temperature and CO2 for the last 60 years.
        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1950/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.01/offset:-3.2
        1 C per 100 ppm means effectively 2.3 C per doubling as the transient rate that matches over this whole period.

      • Jim D:

        Okay, I’ll take a different tack. Assume 100 ppm = 1.0 C. Is this high, low or medium resolution? If you take your body temperature with a thermometer, high, low or medium resolution. It’s probably painfully obvious I’ve be trying to learn some new stuff.

        Resolution perhaps can be seen with the GMST and the average temperature of Minnesota. For instance, CO2 doesn’t necessarily warm Minnesota the same as other places like Hawaii. As already discussed, The SSTs have been trailing the land temperatures.

        The PDO is an abstraction. I mean, what the hell is it? Bottom up. Even the GMST is what? What does it tell me about the system? Pretty darn close to an abstraction.

      • It looks like high resolution because adding or subtracting 50% to 100 ppm per degree doesn’t fit anything like as well. I would say it is within 10% of that number. This shows a 10% variation.
        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1950/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.01/offset:-3.2/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.009/offset:-2.9/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.011/offset:-3.5/mean:12

      • Jim D:

        As usual, I am not very clear. Resolution such as at the link, even though my my point is not all the specific examples it’s the idea of it. Low resolution:

        “You’ve just taken the most complex thing we know in the universe, the human being and attached consciousness, and summed their entire life in an extremely narrowly framed stereotype.”

        I suppose when I think about it, we could assign a resolution value to my explanation of what I mean by resolution which of course is just stolen from Peterson.

        Now, I see at the link, I’ll just call someone an alarmist, which is low resolution. I don’t have read what they actually said. I don’t have to look at 10 abstracts from their papers. It saves time, which is sometimes the point. We do have to abstract or use low resolution at times. Life is too short not to.

        And while I am at, victims. I can sum up the entire being of someone by their gender or race and turn that into policy. I could be in charge of college admissions for instance. Low resolution.

      • Hypothetically, suppose I am making sense in one of those rare cases. Peterson was explaining our nervous system and brain in regards to resolution. Our finger tips, mouth senses are high resolution. Lots of pixels if you will. Some how all this information has to be processed to something we can use in what we think of as our brains. Our brains have the ability to handle lots of data but has to sacrifice resolution. My brain doesn’t need to know every pixel of that bear running at me. I need only enough to figure it out rapidly.

        When we look at a line on a graph, we are abstracting. We aren’t processing data so much. The high resolution stuff is each data point. But to say this means something, is abstracting and is lower resolution than the data, so I say.

        Mosher said something about temperatures at BEST. That was more of an abstraction than the actual data is.

      • Ragnaar, that doesn’t sound like a useful concept. Einstein, Newton, Copernicus and Darwin had simple ideas that explained a lot of things. You would call a simple idea low resolution no matter how much it explained. In physics, the simple idea is that CO2 can absorb IR and emit photons. That ends up explaining a lot of things and is directly observable happening as a bonus because we are doing that experiment with Earth too, not just in labs.

      • Jim D:

        You brought up Copernicus. I like Brahe. I suppose I want to build something like he did out of two by fours and use a watch. Wile E. Coyote, blah, blah, blah. And learn a lot more celestial math.

        “Tycho proposed a “geo-heliocentric” system in which the Sun and Moon orbited the Earth, while the other planets orbited the Sun.”

        Everything orbits the Earth. Or the Sun, or what Brahe proposed. The proof was found as resolution increased to arc seconds or whatever is really small. We started with a low resolution understanding and the written word in the Bible. The truth is low resolution but also the whole shooting match.

        My point with climate change is that it seems likely to me climate science started with a low resolution idea. And that there are many examples of its low resolution. At least elsewhere I’ve commented that doesn’t make it bad. Many things are rightly low resolution as they are summaries. This balance between high and low resolution I’d argue has examples found in animal evolution.

        Low to high resolution progress is typical of reductionism (See Robert Sapolsky). Will we get our answers in climate science by cranking up the resolution and looking at smaller and smaller things? Sapolsky relates the limits of reductionism to chaos. Two different approaches.

      • Ragnaar, to the extent that the last billion years of climate are understood with a few concepts, it is low resolution. Greenhouse gases determined the temperature, and their changes are understood in terms of geological variations. On top of that, when GHG levels are sufficiently low and the continents are arranged in a way for large ice areas to exist orbital/albedo feedbacks come into play too because of the ice. It is no mystery why adding 2 W/m2 of CO2 forcing in the last century has caused the warming it has. That is a lot of energy that wasn’t there before and some has made its way into the heat content of the earth changing the climate, and there is a lot more where that came from if we are not careful. Energy conservation is a low resolution idea going back to Newton, but it holds.

      • Jim D: “Greenhouse gases determined the temperature, and their changes are understood in terms of geological variations. ”

        If you believe that is the case then you believe that hothouse Earth is of no threat in conditions of less than 2000ppm CO2. Because as you know, but always need to be reminded, a doubling of CO2 or 4W/m of forcing equates to only 1.1C in rise in GMST.

        All of the climate scare, from hothouse papers to computer models, is in exaggerated feedback scenarios. And they all know, but always conveniently forget, that clouds are a negative feedback.

        The goal of science is to explain in low resolution by providing proofs under high resolution analysis. Same in crime solving. High res forensics gives us the low res who done it.

        Climate science is high res challenged.

      • Ron Graf, more recent work shows that clouds are a positive feedback as their albedo is reducing while it is warming. This is dominated by shallow tropical clouds. The models that capture this observed trend are also the more sensitive ones. Meanwhile just from observations over the last 60 years we have effectively a hi-res sensitivity of 2.3+/-0.1 C per doubling (as I was showing Ragnaar earlier), so numbers like yours would have hopelessly underestimated the warming from the 1950’s even allowing for error bounds, and that is despite the sun being less active now.

      • Actually 2.3 C plus or minus 10%.

      • “Ron Graf, more recent work shows that clouds are a positive feedback as their albedo is reducing while it is warming.”

        I don’t believe that’s is supported by observations, such as they are.

        It’s true that CERES data, such as they are, indicate a big decrease of albedo for 2014-2017, there’s also been a big increase of albedo for about the last nine months, so you’d have to rectify the fact that, with ostensibly the warmest temperatures, albedo has increased back to about the period of record mean. Predicting things without a sound physical basis is comparable to superstition.

      • Jim D:

        I think we’re making progress. Put high resolution at the base of a pyramid. And low resolution at the top. As the top summarizes all beneath it. Which one drives the other? We find many models for this. My nervous system for instance. Accounting. Power hierarchies existing for many, many years. River systems.

        In climate science, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that, We know what is at the top of the pyramid. CO2. Anytime something does not bow down to CO2, like the high Antarctic cooling with more CO2 we are reminded, CO2 is still the King.

        Let’s go down the rabbit hole. Peterson said that a hierarchy needs to not be too rigid or else it will fail. It seems that a rigid structure has been in the neighborhood of climate science. With people reluctant to upset it. So when we have certainty as I think it’s fair to say we’ve seen increased certainty, this certainty is a top down thing. Others will say bottom up research has provided this and that’s partly true, and it’s partly nonsense.

        Now when there is guidance on the status and the direction of research, who all bows down to the King? Sub Kings are assembled such as professional organizations. The Nobles support the King.

        I hope this is half clear. You can tell people things from the top down, based upon what you want, or you can go out and look at high resolution things as objectively as possible. A potential problem is, you will do research and not pass it up the hierarchy because it doesn’t agree with the King.

        This passing of information up the hierarchy has other applications. Economists and Engineers need to not bow down to the King but be objective. But states like Minnesota don’t listen anyways, and make renewable mandates and in some cases subsidize renewables. But when a King has been proclaimed, that might be hard to do.

        And I think we can see how much effort has gone into these alleged hierarchies and into maintaining them and defending them. History might be taken into account.

      • “Ron Graf, more recent work shows that clouds are a positive feedback as their albedo is reducing while it is warming.”

        Jim D, since you may have read the study you mention how did they eliminate the possibility that any other factors are not involved in cloud formation other than GMST? If it is possible that cosmic rays or other factors have become more cloud unfavorable over the span of the study’s data then there is the clear possibility that less cloud formation was a driver of the observed warming.

        Correlation is not causation, as those who first linked paleo CO2 plots with paleo ice core temp proxy plots. Al Gore, (and surely Prof. Lonnie Thompson,) knew CO2 lagged temperature by hundreds of years due to ocean uptake, but they both eagerly deceived the public with their sciencey movie. Of course, if they corrected their deceit they would not have won the Nobel Prize or would have had to return it. Corruption is bad.

      • TE, I don’t count 9 months as climate. You need to at least look at decadal trends. Also is that albedo change due to low tropical clouds or is it something else? If clouds, did the SST of that area decrease at the same time (ENSO cycle?) which would only prove the point.

      • Ron Graf, correlation is not causation, but having cloud albedos decreasing in a time of warming seems to discount a negative feedback being very likely otherwise it would have counteracted rather than reinforced this warming.

      • Ragnaar, I think you are getting at how science works via hypotheses and theories. A hypothesis becomes a theory, as far as I know, when it is supported by observations. Once it is a theory, the challenge becomes to find observations that run counter to it. AGW is at that state. So far, it is supported by the observations, and nothing has been found that is not explainable in terms of it. On the contrary, more observations tend to support it more. A theory is top-down in the sense that it predicts the results of bottom-up experiments you might want to do to test it.

      • Jim D, you admit that correlation is not causation yet you dismiss that idea in your next sentence. Climate is the result of very complex force interactions, each of which is affected by numerous circumstances.

        The fundamental cause of false beliefs is false attributions. The fundamental cause of false attributions is the selection of results needed for reinforcement of desired beliefs. If the results of the study showed increased albedo you would be sounding the alarm that CO2’s effects are worse than we thought. Also, you would be predicting crop failure from lack of sunlight.

        Climate science is vulnerable to confirmation bias. I think all sides can agree on that. Luckily, we have only hard-nosed, sober and incorruptible investigators working on it, like Mann. Otherwise, we could see it being ripe for abuse and political ends.

      • Ron Graf, yes, correlation is not causation but it is evidence. My next sentence follows what you said about negative cloud feedbacks. There is a correlation which is evidence against your hypothesis (perhaps a killer) and for a positive feedback. Correlations can kill ideas even if they can’t prove them.

  56. Anthropocene is pseudoscience. It is not recognized in geology. The paper is just idle philosophical speculation akin to prophesies of doom by Old Testament prophets. I have low regard for “philosophy of science.”

    A joke from a physicist: Experimental physicists need gigantic particle accelerators worth billions of dollars. Theoretical physicists only need paper and pencil. Philosophers don’t even need a trash can.

  57. Above I put that cool picture of a tristable system. An abstraction. Which gives points to it being low resolution. I favor the abstraction in the picture. This means I think abstractions are useful. To keep going down this path, assume climate science started as an abstraction and moved to higher resolution which is problably a good description of a CMIP, so good, many people can understand this, that is assume there is a target audience. It didn’t go the other way to the bi or tristable system until it did. And I think someone here has said words to the effect of, We just about played out the CMIPs. There isn’t much left there. Perhaps because it’s such a massive system, high resolution isn’t going to do it. I mean why doesn’t Google satellite show me every square inch of my yard, updated every 1 day? It can be done.

    So for every short cut taken by a CMIP, the argument is, we can’t afford it or we don’t need it.

    • I mean why doesn’t Google satellite show me every square inch of my yard, updated every 1 day? It can be done.

      Not likely, but if it could, even Google could not afford it. Can you even write the number of square inches on the surface of the earth?

  58. Reading some of the comments here is a real joy! It’s been about two years, but I just had to dip in for a quick look. It’s the same 500-odd people. Judith, you have 500 True Fans, but little relevance.

  59. Elsewhere on this topic I mentioned reductionism and Sapolsky. Here he argues for and against it:

    He has a whole series of lectures not related to climate. The above sums up and sounds familiar. We’ve heard, But chaos arguments. He argues somewhat against, But chaos. The video is only 6 minutes long. However, if someone asked, At what point did climate scientists give up because they lacked further increases in resolution. If they didn’t give up, should they? Suppose we are allocating research dollars. The limits that Sapolsky sees in his research because to the limits of reductivism, should apply to climate science.

    Above I argue climate scientist did or will give up seeking higher resolution of smaller and smaller areas. Consider grid cell sizes of the CMIPs. Consider the terrible ocean resolutions in the models. The at best, average Antarctic ice sheet on land models.

    What are their true tools? Consider the IPCC’s banner statements.

  60. Dear Judith,
    I was interested in the Hothouse discussion, but then all of a sudden an older Dansgaard Oeschger flow of views began. Utter nonsense based on a few deep sediment cores seem to have led to an escalating torrent of views.
    Having worked myself with detailed analysis of sediment cores in the Baltic Sea, actually a wonderful down-scaled mini ocean. The idea that a few cores of possible redeposited sediment can not be used to analyze past events leading to so long fetched views.

    I hope that in the future you choose better topics with some value, especially with all the “odd balls” messing around with rather strange views leading no where..

    I wonder how much time you loose following wierdos

    • I wonder how much time you loose following wierdos

      Many of the successful and famous scientists in history were wierdos to other people of the times. You seem to think that people who have different thoughts should not be heard,

      We lose a lot of time following wierdos, but we don’t always know which ones are really right about something. Most of us, do not accept consensus. I want a better understanding of natural climate change causes.

      • “Many of the successful and famous scientists in history were wierdos to other people of the times.”

        I often see this as some sort of justification for sky-dragon slayers or the ABCD types that inhabit these Blogs – as though someone among a handful of people looking at a particular topic decades, hundreds of years ago, without the “shoulders of giants” (empirical science) to stand on, can somehow come along now that we have that said empirical science and overturn it.
        Not going to happen – but it wont stop said types from hoping it will. Because (for many but not all) the science is wrong because they don’t agree with it’s conclusion.

      • The science is wrong because the conclusions are wrong.

      • “The science is wrong because the conclusions are wrong.”

        You mean the IPCC “conclusions” that the GMST of the Earth will rise by between 1.5 and 4.5C per x2 CO2?

      • The science is wrong because they have consensus and peer review to enforce it.

        Real actual science is skeptical.

  61. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #325 | Watts Up With That?

  62. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #325 |

  63. Ha. The worst case scenario is not a Hothouse Earth (which humans will probably start to deliberately induce within a few hundred years to help support the 100B+ humans alive by then), but the end of the Holocene interglacial and a return to the prevailing Ice Age conditions of the Cenozoic since Azolla.

    Cold, arid, dusty, and eventually unable to sustain modern civilization even in the tropics due to falling CO2. That should terrify everyone. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Glacial_Maximum

  64. I am laughingly skeptical in general about climate prognostications – even in the simplest cases of warming or cooling, wet or dry. Greenhouse gas warming is set against perpetual climate change. A turn of phase I have blatantly borrowed from Dimitris Koutsoyiannis – his claim is based on his Nilometer data – from the world’s oldest climate monitoring instrument where Nile River water levels were read for more than a millennia. It is still there in Cairo.

    Koutsoyiannis calls the variability structured random – to distinguish it from purely random behavior. Nile River variability emerges from – inter alia – the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and changes in circulation there as sunlight enters into or is reflected from the atmosphere. About 30% is reflected back – but a 1% change is 3.42 W/m2 going into or out of the global heat sink. Thus it must be by the 1st law.

    With more or less cloud, ice, forest, desert, dust, biology… change happens quickly and can be extreme as the Earth system responds to subtle solar signals.

    • Warming projections have been correct for several decades. No sign of cooling, and as predicted this past decade the current one will be warmer again.

      Not that hard to see where things are heading. Less solar irradiation, but warmer temps, so the increase in temps has to be coming from trapped heat.

      I wonder how the heat is being trapped? Could it be CO2 levels that had been stable for 100,000s of years up until now? If not greenhouse gasses (together with feedbacks, obviously) then what is it? Without additional CO2 there are no explanations other than “it must be something else.”

    • Any anthropogenic warming is set against a background of large natural variation of TOA radiant flux due to changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation (Loeb et al 2012).

      So this projected onto cooling from the mid 40’s to the late 1970’s, warmer to 1998 and a lower rate of warming to date. The periods can be mapped precisely onto observed patterns of Earth system change. It is all fairly in your face geophysics – but it is not science that Scott and friends have allowed themselves to contemplate. There is a broader science of change as ‘structured random’ internal responses to system control variables.

      These projections he speaks of are dominated by nonlinear divergence from imprecisely known initial states. Not only is intrinsic variability not computed – but one non-unique solution is chosen to represent the model solution space (Julia Slingo and Tim Palmer, 2011). There are interesting uses of computers in climate science – but selecting one solution trajectory to represent the model solution space – to be graphed with other single solutions of other models – is a recognized scientific chimera.

      The questions in a perpetually changing system is how much recent climate change was anthropogenic, how will greenhouse gases feed into future internal responses and where will intrinsic change will go next. Our answers are far from perfect – but the rational response is. Building rich, resilient communities in vibrant landscapes and technological innovation in diverse sectors. Business as usual in other words.

  65. Robert I Ellison: With more or less cloud, ice, forest, desert, dust, biology… change happens quickly and can be extreme as the Earth system responds to subtle solar signals.

    Yes it can be.

  66. Robert I Ellison: Koutsoyiannis calls the variability structured random – to distinguish it from purely random behavior.

    Nice phrase. Does it (or the concept it denotes) subsume “long memory”, “pink noise”, “polynomially integrated VAR”, “nonlinear autoregressive”, “Wiener process”, and other varieties of non i. i. d. random variables?

    “structured random” is a nice phrase, but the concept does not seem new. Even Brownian motion is structured, not purely random.

    Is there a definition for “purely random” other than “i. i. d.” (independently and identically distributed”)?

  67. Trouble is we humans believe our modern tools i.e. ‘models’ are perfect (no, only those on the catwalk!)
    They are a gross guide ONLY!
    All models are incorrect by their intrinsic nature of inbuilt human axioms, as its said “It is very hard to predict, especially the future.”
    Just because we use tools like PowerPoint, Excel etc., people believe they must be correct, especially scientists, we trust them.
    Don’t you recall being told ‘Garbage In, Garbage Out!
    There is such a gravy train of scientist and engineers behind this Global Climate Change Cooling & Warming scenario, trying to measure to such minute degrees of accuracy, that are like Lilliput egg battles and is a ‘force’ that it now seems virtually impossible to halt.
    Some scientists get shunned if they dare question this Climate Change Cult, think of Johnny Ball, David Bellamy as two examples now not seen on BBC.
    Has anyone noticed that in the media the words ‘Climate Change’ are used incessantly like people with Tourett’s Syndrome; every scientist has to mention these words then they are accepted against the new evil Climate Change – the one we can blame for all the evils of our modern world, an excuse for not spending in areas such as dredging rivers.
    The science of CAGW is so weak they have to call people that question it ‘Deniers’ (as if linking people questioning to the Nazis, shameful); nothing to see here (WTF are they hiding!) – it’s quite a pathetic story!
    Science is meant to be questioned and that makes it robust.
    Then they call the essential photosynthesizing trace gas Carbon Dioxide, ‘Carbon’ again to give it a blackened evil nature; do we now say ‘Hydrogen’ for Water now? How is your Hydrogen footprint this year !
    Levels are only just above minimum levels 150ppm to 200ppm required for photosynthesis; 400ppm is virtually Sweet FA and only 0.04%.
    When photosynthesis initiated in the Climate, CO2 levels were far higher than today’s miserly low ‘starvation’ levels.
    So now we have countries wasting remaining resources on next-to-useless ugly mass Wind-mills & Solar Panels that aren’t very energy dense and chop and burn Birds, Bats & Insects – we are even felling forests of real tees to make way for them. But it is good business and is a lesson in ‘Following the Money’.
    We are mining rare Earth’s for Neodymium, Lithium and the like, leaving chemical lakes instead of nature.
    Mankind cannot have his cake and eat it, our deluxe way of life is ephemeral and eventually in some generations to come humans will maybe realise this and know we’ve squandered so much in search of what … happiness.

    Rant over my fellow money following scientists; show some flipping balls stand up to this ridiculous situation!

  68. Koutsoyiannis elsewhere redefines random as unpredictable and deterministic as predictable. But the words are far less significant than the underlying geophysical conceptualization.

    https://www.itia.ntua.gr/en/docinfo/923/

    Random sums to zero as Koutsoyiannis shows in his graphic. Roulette tables are hopefully random. As is Brownian motion and the noise in electronic systems. The climate signal is complex and dynamic – stochastic resonance is the closest analogy in signals processing. It is approached in Nile River data with Hurst effect analysis.

    “The Hurst effect plays an important role in many areas such as physics, climate and finance. It describes the anomalous growth of range and constrains the behavior and predictability of these systems. The Hurst effect is frequently taken to be synonymous with Long-Range Dependence (LRD) and is typically assumed to be produced by a stationary stochastic process which has infinite memory. However, infinite memory appears to be at odds with the Markovian nature of most physical laws while the stationarity assumption lacks robustness. Here we use Lorenz’s paradigmatic chaotic model to show that regime behavior can also cause the Hurst effect.” e.g. https://www.nature.com/articles/srep09068

    • An interpretation of the Hurst effect is that extremes increase the longer your climate series or proxy is. Data at 10, 30 or even a 100 years is monkey chatter quite obviously in longer term hydrology data and proxies.

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