Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

“Fingerprints of internal drivers of Arctic sea ice loss in observations and model simulations” [link]

Conflicting Measurements Reduce Uncertainty in Climate Science [link]

California’s new earthquake warnings deliver critical seconds of notice [link]

Why are land-use change emissions so complex? Forests have direct (eg, deforestation), indirect (eg, CO₂ fertilisation), & natural effects (eg, storms). Policy  & science  treat these differently!  [link

A 900-year New England temperature reconstruction from in situ seasonally produced branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers  [link

Reassessing the Role of the Indo‐Pacific in the Ocean’s Global Overturning Circulation [link]

The importance of unresolved biases in 20th century sea-surface temperature observations  [link]

Deep floats reveal complex ocean circulation patterns [link]

Review: Snow–atmosphere coupling in the Northern Hemisphere [link]

Simple model for past periods of rapid sea level rise [link

Climate‐Driven Change in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans Can Greatly Reduce the Circulation of the North Sea  [link]

Last century warming over the Canadian Atlantic shelves linked to weak Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation [link]

Climate trends have been “peculiarly pleasant” for US maize. Farmers are changing mgmt to take advantage of the longer growing season, while high temps have been suppressed from elevated crop water use [link

Cascading transitions in the climate system [link]

Probabilistic reasoning about measurements of equilibrium climate sensitivity: combining disparate lines of evidence (open access) [link]

Mechanisms for and predictability of a drastic reduction in the Arctic sea ice: [link]

The Medieval Climate Anomaly in South America. MCA warming in South America and the NH appears to have occurred largely synchronous, [link]

Lively debate on ‘Emergent Constraints on Climate Sensitivity’ in today’s issue of Nature. Ostensibly variability-based constraints actually reflect a forced signal: . Author’s reply:

“all the indicators point to real problems with insect and invertebrates in decline across the world.” [link]

“Our findings confirm the importance of the deep Southern Ocean in ice-age CO2 change, and show that deep-ocean CO2 release can occur as a dynamic feedback to rapid climate change on centennial timescales.” [link

I can’t recommend enough the paper by Tapiador et al. (2019) — … — Succinct review of outstanding issues and assumptions in current cloud microphysics parameterizations [link]

Current CaCO3 dissolution at the seafloor caused by anthropogenic CO2  [link]

Models suggest injection of into the stratosphere could have unintended consequences [link]

In some groundbreaking CESM-WACCM geoengineering simulations, stabilizing surface temp interestingly fails to accompany stability in either Earth’s energy imbalance or polar ocean temps. [link]

New review paper on snow-atmosphere coupling [link]

Mapping Sea-Level Change in Time, Space, and Probability [link

“models show that completely deforesting the tropics could result in global warming equivalent to that caused by burning of fossil fuels since 1850” [link]

Comparison of the Fast and Slow Climate Response to Three Radiation Management Geoengineering Schemes [link]

Snow cover is a neglected driver of Arctic biodiversity loss [link]

Predictability of Extreme Precipitation in Western U.S. Watersheds Based on Atmospheric River Occurrence, Intensity, and Duration [link]

Temporal trends in absolute and relative extreme temperature events across North America [link]

Social science and policy

Bjorn Lomborg: UN climate officials admit ‘Paris agreement will leave 99% of the problem unsolved’ at ‘a very, very high cost’ [link]

MIdterm election results: outlook for science [link]

Soil and Seaweed: Farming Our Way to a Climate Solution: We can sequester carbon and improve our nutrition through farming of land and sea [link]

India is cancelling coal plants because they are uneconomical compared with renewables [link]

Jordan Peterson Says Global Warming Hype Is ‘Low-Resolution Thinking’ [link

ames Huffman, professor and dean emeritus at Lewis & Clark Law School, writes about how climate change lawsuits can actually undermine the rule of law. [link]

Our new paper revealing how subglacial rock landforms at ice sheet grounding zones lead to >100km ice shelf channels, adding to ice-sheet vulnerability. Processes operating millions of years ago have an influence now and in future. [link]

Increases in food costs and ozone emissions aren’t the only negative consequences of corn production: prairies and other wild-lands are disappearing, soil is eroding, groundwater is being depleted and ocean dead zones are expanding [link]

About science and scientists

20 things I wish I’d known when I started my PhD [link]

Academia is a cult [link]

The Guru Effect: Intellectual gurus write impenetrable, jargon-ridden prose; readers mistake lack of clarity for profundity. [link]

The importance of stupidity in scientific research!  It contains some excellent advice on how to handle – and even learn to love – the feeling of being constantly immersed in the unknown. [link]

Sarah Lawrence professor Samuel Abrams wrote an op-ed about leftist bias. Critics vandalized his office door. Students want him fired. And he says the administration is pressuring him to shut up. [link]

In peer review we (don’t) trust: How peer review’s filtering poses a systemic risk to science [link]

Flawed consensus gets in the way of innovative Alzheimer’s research [link]


77 responses to “Week in review – science edition

  1. As always, much to read, much to learn, much to thank you for, dear Dr. J.

    Well done, that woman!


  2. The “Lively debate” link on emergent constraints doesn’t seem to lead to anything useful. One link that seems to work is below, but this is using Kyle Armour’s own link as an author, which is on his page.
    The debate is about Cox et al.’s 2018 emergent constraint paper that got a lower sensitivity range, ECS=2.2-3.4 C. Three separate responses identified problems with it, and Cox responds to these.

  3. “India is cancelling coal plants because they are uneconomical compared with renewables [link].” From the link: “As ever-cheaper renewable energy comes online, increasingly expensive coal generation will fall further from profitability.” It sounds like a usual fairy tale.

    “India will not be able to meet its Paris climate agreement commitments in the coming years if it carries through with plans to build nearly 370 coal-fired power plants.”

    • Yes, the Forbes article does not discuss subsidies, but it does refer to air pollution standards that the coal plants cannot comply with. Maybe the higher costs refer to retrofitting the coal plants to comply with strict standards, perhaps stricter than ours’.

      Also not discussed is the cost of modifying the grid to handle intermittency, or the cost of battery storage.

      Anyone have any insight into this?

    • The Forbes article is not concrete evidence but a wish list, like Scraft noted. I love how Forbes fudge the data “n 2016-2017, India added 15.7 GW renewable energy capacity (2.5 times the 6.5 GW added in 2015-2016), compared to 7.7 GW net coal installations (65% less than average installs over the previous four years). “. Put how much energy each type of generation provide and the numbers reverse.

  4. Dr. Curry

    What do Jordan Peterson, Andrew Marzoni and Samual Abrams have in common? a lectern from which to speak when academic avenues have been withdrawn.

    I watched the entire U of Cambridge U-Tube lecture of Jordan Peterson who describes his travails with his own academic institution. Then Andrew Marzoni uses the NYT as a forum, having opted out of academia, regarding it as a sinister place. Samual Abrams resists being pushed out of his tenured position by a president who can’t decipher her role as referee of politically correct demands vs first amendment rights.

    In my experience, the only people who have protected speech in academia are the externally well-funded professors. Now these academic “billionaires” are not necessarily saints in their own behavior, far from it. Rather, these “money talks” persona can be quite enterprising regarding their own exploits.

    Someone said some time ago: “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Academia is the current knowledge power house.

  5. ?Meeting the goal of the Paris climate accord to limit global warming to 2°C requires adopting multiple strategies for rapidly reducing and mitigating carbon emissions. These strategies include an array of negative emissions technologies that result in the net removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, including the capture and storage of carbon in vegetation and soil through reforestation, afforestation, and changes in agricultural practices (Hansen et al., 2017; Smith et al., 2016). Restoration of degraded landscapes will also contribute to improving ecological integrity, which will provide many additional benefits to biodiversity and human well‐being (IUCN, 2016). As a result, 56 countries have pledged to restore 168.4 million ha of deforested and degraded land through the Bonn Challenge, which will sequester an estimated 15.7 Gt CO2 and generate $48.4 billion USD in economic activity (IUCN, 2018). The effectiveness of these efforts can be improved by information on how much and how quickly carbon can be stored in forest vegetation and soil.” https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcb.14475

    Rattan Lal has estimated that 500 GtC has been lost from terrestrial systems in the Holocene due human activities. For comparison – the IPCC estimated that some 350 GtC entered the atmosphere from fossil fuels, cement manufacture and land use activities since 1750.

    I am intrigued by the possibilities of the Resplandy et al 2018 method – after rejecting the unwarranted claims and trivial complaints by around it – for tracing the carbon cycle in the global system.

  6. .

    Which temperature series are correct?

    Which do you believe, GISTEMP, HadCRUT4, UAH, or RSS?

    This article compares these 4 “major” temperature series, to see how well they agree, or disagree, with each other.

    You may be surprised at the results.


  7. Abrupt cascading transitions of the climate system


    Can do down as well as up.

  8. Reblogged this on Patti Kellar and commented:
    Another week with what caught Judith Curry’s eye…..

  9. Thanks for the reading list. I need a tutorial on how “parameterization” is used in Climate Science models. Are they supported by robust evidence or are they “fudge factors” inserted to influence the model outcome!

  10. While it’s fair to accuse me of not paying attention, as I have too many interests and things to do at this time, I noticed you can share these posts on Facebook. By increasing this blogs reach, it’s possible there will be growth for the point of views expressed here. I would ask you not to assume if you do share some of them, it will not amount to anything. Perhaps a growth potential threshold will be passed. You can make a positive difference.

  11. “Jordan Peterson Says Global Warming Hype Is ‘Low-Resolution Thinking’ ”

    The relevant link is to the Cambridge Union interview+questions with Jordan Peterson, which can be viewed on YouTube here: –

    Jordan Peterson’s contribution to the debate on climate science – probably the most useful, knowledgeable and insightful, bar none – including the billion dollar climate scientific community, the journalists, reporters and commentators, industrialists, etc,. is to be found between time mark 20:14 and 21:02.

    • The global warming part starts after 20 minutes when a person asks innocently whether the world can unite around the climate change problem. He goes apoplectic to say the least.

      • His answer was no – and everyone laughed.

      • Yes, they did and there were murmurs several times during his angry response. He seemed unhinged by his hopelessness on this issue.

      • This is a case where everyone can judge for themselves #jiminy’s dishinged interpretation.

      • Yes, the question was one of hope in humanity coming together and solving this and his initial “no” answer was somewhat angry and lacking any hope at all. A complete diss of the question. This is why “no” drew laughs.

      • I got the impression of bright young things listening attentively and smiling while he described the multiple misconceptions of the urban doofus hipster cohort. They are irredeemable klutzs worth talking past and not to. Then they get offended. I find it perversely amusing.

      • He is full of hopelessness. It was a big contrast from the premise of the question. One of his solutions is to educate the third world so there are more brains to come up with the solution. Also if everyone had a GDP of $5k per person they would live cleaner anyway. Really? Amazing stuff. He is a clinical psychologist, so we can’t expect much when he spouts on these subjects.

      • Lomborg makes it about philanthropy towards poor nations when they aren’t the problem. It is something for advanced nations to do themselves. The top third of the global population sorted by CO2 per capita (about 20-25 countries) emit two thirds of the CO2. That’s where the action is needed. It’s a Lomborg trick to frame this as though it is in opposition to helping poor nations.

      • Jim D:

        You brought up something like his hopelessness. His experience solving problems is pretty good. He is/was a practicing clinical psychologist. There are number of stories, most from him, of his helping people, mostly young males. While he criticizes universities, he’s working on a solution which is something online. He’s studied things that don’t work, like the Russian Gulag, and Nazi Germany. He’s been involved with many studies which is more than some angry guy with a computer. What he doesn’t like is the way he sees things going, and he’s trying to do something about it. I think there are many more important problems for instance the state of politics in the United States. And spending all our time feeling good about our solar panels isn’t addressing that or in my opinion, isn’t even doing a good job.

      • He responded to a question about how the world can unite to help with climate change with the answer “no”. It is like he doesn’t want to have a united effort or perhaps any effort at all and he is angry about any efforts already taking place with particular bitterness towards even trying for renewable energy.

      • Eh – sophist debating tricks do not an informed opinion make. Yes let’s grow global economies, invest in all sorts of technologies and love the little fishies.

      • Lomborg frames it as a false economic choice that no one is making. Foreign welfare does not come from the same budget as national energy and fuel systems, and the UN does not control national economies anyway. Can we provide global immunizations while reforming the energy system? Why not?

    • Re: “Jordan Peterson’s contribution to the debate on climate science”

      … is largely worthless. For example, he repeats nonsense he saw on non-peer-reviewed, faux “skeptic” blogs like NoTricksZone. He’s just another run-of-the-mill political conservative who misrepresents climate science for ideological reasons:

      For the curious: the NoTricksZone blog Peterson cites does a number of nonsensical things, such as trying to pass off a non-peer-reviewed blog article (ex: Reinhart, 2017) as being a scientific paper. Kenneth Richard, the author of the NoTricksZone post, was taken to task for this, to point that he began blocking comments. This becomes all the more ironic since Richard acts like he’s just citing peer-reviewed papers:

      You ostensibly have nothing else to offer but blog essays as source material to support your beliefs. In contrast, we cite peer-reviewed scientific papers here. That’s the difference between us, mikeR. Next week we will be releasing the list of 450 scientific papers published in 2016 that support a skeptical position on global warming alarm.”

      More reputable overviews of climate sensitivity estimates are given in peer-reviewed sources such as:

      “Beyond equilibrium climate sensitivity”
      “Climate sensitivity in the geologic past”

      In citing NoTricksZone, Peterson did something on par with maligning earth scientists, because he read a flat Earther blog that claimed a bunch of scientific papers showed that Earth was flat. And yes, flat Earthers do make claims like that (ex: search for the Youtube video “Documented Failure: NASA Papers Do NOT Prove a Flat Earth”).

      I’m not surprised that Peterson did this since he’s said another puerile nonsense, such as claiming that intellectually consistent atheism is on par with defending murder. It is beyond me why people still take this man seriously, outside the context of peer review, textbooks, etc. where his nonsense tendencies can be restrained. Hero worship, maybe? Anger about the phantom SJWs?

      • “For the curious: the NoTricksZone blog Peterson cites does a number of nonsensical things, such as trying to pass off a non-peer-reviewed blog article (ex: Reinhart, 2017) as being a scientific paper. Kenneth Richard, the author of the NoTricksZone post, was taken to task for this, to point that he began blocking comments.”

        So Peterson links to a blog where its author once tried to pass something off as something you say it wasn’t and then someone pestered him about to the point of being banned. So what?

        “In citing NoTricksZone, Peterson did something on par with maligning earth scientists, because he read a flat Earther blog that claimed a bunch of scientific papers showed that Earth was flat.”

        Because NoTricks made some mistakes, Peterson might as well be citing flat earther blogs. Peterson cited an article from NoTricks. Now he’s maligning earth scientists because what he ‘knows’ is from that one article in the tweet. That’s it. We can sum it up with that. Forget the 2 years working for the UN on whatever that was.

      • Re: “So Peterson links to a blog where its author once tried to pass something off as something you say it wasn’t and then someone pestered him about to the point of being banned. So what?”

        Try again, Ragnaar, and this time try to accurately represent what was said. Once again:

        Peterson maligned climate scientists based on tripe he saw from a nonsensical non-peer-reviewed blog. He therefore showed that his views on climate science are not based on reputable information, but instead the usual tripe one finds online. More reputable sources rebut the nonsense posted by Peterson’s source. Peterson is credulous enough to rely on NoTricksZone, thus displaying low scientific meta-literacy (to borrow a term from John Nielsen-Gammon). Peterson should know better:

        “Unlike mainstream climate scientists, who publish primarily in peer reviewed journals, these critics typically employ a range of non-peer-reviewed outlets, ranging from blogs to the books we are examining. […]
        The general lack of peer review allows authors or editors of denial books to make inaccurate assertions that misrepresent the current state of climate science. Like the vast range of other non-peer-reviewed material produced by the denial community, book authors can make whatever claims they wish, no matter how scientifically unfounded.”


        Peterson does this habitually. For example, he jumped of the “Earth is cooling based on a flawed satellite-based analyses I found cherry-picked on a blog, with cherry-picked endpoints” bandwagon:

        Maybe Peterson should now familiarize himself with more reputable sources?

        (Page S17 of: “State of the climate in 2017”)

      • Long winded and wrong headed motivated nonsense as usual.


        There is a large variation in outgoing energy due to variable ocean and atmosphere circulation – in the Pacific largely – demonstrated in science I have cited and on which they have not the slightest clue.

      • Blobs turning up in my WordPress media is a bit annoying. One more thing to check for.

      • Come on.
        “Peterson maligned climate scientists based on tripe he saw from a nonsensical non-peer-reviewed blog.”
        You know it’s not true. There’s more to that tweet than the source. And the source got the story correct enough. Lewis and Curry were so correct in lowering sensitivity, some others started criticizing that method as used by anyone. NoTricks said, Sensitivity has been dropping. If it hadn’t been dropping, the alarmists wouldn’t have had to say, But not that method. Use a different one.
        “He therefore showed that his views on climate science are not based on reputable information, but instead the usual tripe one finds online.”
        He did not. He grabbed one link which does not in any universe sum up the depth of what he thinks about climate change.
        Are you trying for SJW status? Once you say one thing that may be wrong, that’s it. Deplatformed. 15 words or whatever it was in Peterson’s tweet, now defines him. For you. That’s easy. No thinking required.

  12. The Daily Caller/Peterson link was pretty hard hitting in so far as the about 6 minute long top video. If you notice, there’s a body guard on the left and right of Peterson and the interviewer. I don’t know that for a fact. They escorted him in at the beginning of the full length video. Peterson develops, and I can’t point to a specific video, the idea of high and low resolutions. We handle, the number of pixels we can. Sometimes we increase them for a small area. This is the actual doing. Our abstract thoughts such as, solve global warming is a low resolution statement. You have to actually do it, broadly, over and over again at the local level. One wind turbine at a time, assuming that will work. This is the high resolution required for quality work. A thing that actually works, down to the level of reduction gears in the wind turbine that require very little maintenance and last for 25 years. Politicians hurl low resolution broadsides at each other in many ways. Policy is implemented and its success in part depends on whether it is simply an abstract idea or will it actually work when the rubber meets the road? Neither approach is better. Ronald Reagan had some low resolution broad ideas. Assume most of them worked.

    • Above, please replace ‘reduction gears’ with gearbox. I was thinking of the 912 Rotax engine.

    • Ragnaar: “Ronald Reagan had some low resolution broad ideas. Assume most of them worked.”

      If they worked they couldn’t have been low resolution. The ‘working’ part is the measure.

      The body guards are also matters of fact, but not something he has ever made reference to and so I suggest you respect him in this and allow them to fade into the background.

  13. I’ll take another shot at low and high resolution. All things being equal, more CO2 warms the planet. Start from here and work down the hierarchy. The low resolution idea is used to describe how high resolutions thing in the climate work, even though we don’t know how many of them work. Many studies are framed as confirming the abstract guiding idea of CO2 warming. We can sub in for the low resolution idea, it’s not good. When CO2 greens the planet, it’s not good. And find all the support we can for that not being good. In both cases, abstract ideas are driving things. One might argue our abstract high level thought is driven by observing high resolution things in detail. That things are driven by the broad base of the hierarchy which flow upwards to result in our abstractions, or high level thought. One could also argue, that’s what happened, and everything is fine an my fears are not warranted and climate science is fine. Once you say what you have say, I believe in global warming and we are causing it, every high resolution detail then must conform to that. Or else we know what happens, perhaps getting flamed on Twitter or something like that. As it turns out, this all a pretty simple idea. I am able to describe it, so it must be. Have people locked themselves into a top down approach, it’s bad, all the while the skeptics keeps looking with various levels of success and finding high resolution things not agreeing with the theme? Once you’ve made up your mind, what the heck does it matter what the high resolution details are? So, which way should it flow? From the high resolution details? The idea that it’s a bounded system, so we don’t need to know the details where it actually happens, we are driving things with that top down approach. Is it supposed to flow that way? The answer is probably some of both. We don’t want a sub-optimal imbalance though. What we can also wonder, what are the Greens doing? Find their high level low resolution abstraction that drives things for them. When they implement it, or if successful, what happens to all the people.

  14. His is one angry stream-of-conscience response to a simple question. Renewable energy, Germany, the UN, all get his ire. He supports Lomborg, but neglects to say that a priority for Lomborg is green energy research.

    • More clinical dissection of progressive sacred cows.

    • Jim D:
      Something that I am stealing from Peterson. I think the question was something like, Will climate change unite us? It hasn’t so far. The Greens have not united us. Nuclear power has not united us. Fracking has not united us. I do agree, he was strident in this case, the first video at the top of the page link. I’ve been hawking him. He does have less than ideal responses at times.

      • It united all the global governments, except one, as something that needs action and fast. This is not a controversial issue globally speaking.

      • Jim D:
        United with many aspects of fraud. Fraud only to the extent of, What great things we say we are going to do, while doing things that in the end don’t amount to very much. You’re aware of Hansen’s criticisms.

      • Ragnaar, that is not Peterson’s argument. He is nothing like Hansen who wanted nuclear power and a carbon tax and a global agreement to effect it which Paris did not deliver. Peterson made it clear he is skeptical of renewables and even of the science that the IPCC uses for projections that lead to the need for mitigation in the first place, which again is not Hansen’s position. Peterson falls more into the category of don’t know, don’t care, skeptics.

      • #jiminy motivated reasoning is completely suspect. He must know by now that we do not for a moment share his odd and simplistic ideas. He may believe that climate science is a monolith – it isn’t. Computer projections from opportunistic ensembles are a complete nonsense. Late 20th century warming was mostly quite natural it seems and not entirely anthropogenic as the IPPC claims – they are wrong – demonstrably so with extensively cited science. Something #jiminy seems incapable of. The very idea seems alien to JCH. #atomski relies on selective google lists of mostly irrelevant papers,.repetitive and disparaging denier talking points and don’t forget the tweets. Pathetic. As for the future we will see soon where the next global climate shift leads.

        These are ideas that they are utterly incapable of grasping because they are not consistent with their collective memes.

        Paris endorsed whatever countries wanted – consistent with retaining and deploying cheap power. Utterly pointless window dressing that they now hypocritically object to. The only halfway decent project to emerge from Paris is the French 4 per 1000 initiative – that # jiminy doesn’t ave a clue about – but which is signed up to by 56 countries and more importantly million of farmers and indigenous landowners well outside UN nonsense. Lomberg is completely correct and a 1000 times more rigorous than the UN. I agree a 1000% with Peterson and really can’t see where #jiminy is dragging his very odd and obviously motivated calumny from. Peterson is so much smarter than #jiminy of course. But it is the nature of these urban doofus hipster pissant progressives to imagine bizarrely that they are smarter and more moral than any outsider they define as such. The posturing is completely predictable and hilarious. And he will still pretend, prevaricate and dissimulate. I think so little of #jiminy’s science and moral philosophy – and find both Lomberg and Peterson a 1000 times more likely to contribute to culture and ideas.

      • Jim D:

        I think the answer is to have Dave Rubin interview Hansen and Peterson at the same time. The problem with that is the risk to Hansen. People already call Peterson a climate denier. And he’s survived the twitter hate storms so he’s pretty immune to further leftist attacks. I don’t know if you’re aware of his science background? It’s part of his gender wars approach. As in the 1st video of the story’s link having goals is not having a plan. I think it’s just a deal where a bunch of people, like those trying make money selling solar, set up their feeding at the government trough. We could be like France whenever it was they committed to nuclear. As good as France was. That’s aiming high. But we’ve been brought so low, that’s out of the question. Say what you want about Hansen as they try to usher him off the stage, nuclear power can be a plan.

        “President Trump sought $120 million in his budget proposal for fiscal 2018 to restart the licensing process for Yucca, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry has become a vocal defender of the project.” – The Hill

        Caring is over rated when it’s primarily a virtue signal.

  15. Politico has a good article on Claire Lehmann just posted. Some of the usual suspects are mentioned.

  16. WUWT links to a video of Pat Michaels on Fox News (Levin’s show). This is a transcript. Various skeptic memes and conspiracy theories are covered. Entertaining.

  17. Nothing about whether global warming is beneficial or detrimental. The premise that global warming would be dangerous underpins the whole climate alarmist meme. Why isn’t most of the research effort aimed at challenging and testing the arguments and evidence that underpins this premise – this belief?

  18. Letter in today’s Australian:

    Evidence is mounting

    [Professor] “Judith Sloan’s call for reasoned debate over climate change and its potential effects (10/11) is opportune. However, the call is likely to go unheeded. Those who insist on political action to combat climate change are masters at talking up perceived dangers whose existence is based on conjecture and, at best, flimsy evidence.

    Constructs and evidence contrary to the human-induced storyline are dismissed because of alleged consensus science. Yet, the uncertainties and assumptions underlying the hypothesis are well known. What is in dispute is the claimed magnitude of global warming and its likely effects.

    The evidence is mounting that the recent warming trend has origins in natural variability. Attempts to regulate our changing climate through decarbonising industry could well be futile at best, destructive at worst.”

    William Kininmonth

    • Model opportunistic ensembles are without a doubt theoretical nonsense. Let me try again.

      “Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation” http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709

      It goes beyond that of course – but you would need to read the paper.

      And although I rabbit on about warming in CERES and Argo – it is not like anyone here has asked the right question as to why.

  19. I am looking forward for a change to World Toilet Day on the 19th of November.

    It may be time to update this.


  20. So here we are ENSO monthly pause.

    It is a little cooler in the north-east Pacific.


    Multi-decadal variability in the Pacific is defined as the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (e.g. Folland et al,2002, Meinke et al, 2005, Parker et al, 2007, Power et al, 1999) – a proliferation of oscillations it seems. The latest Pacific Ocean climate shift in 1998/2001 is linked to increased flow in the north (Di Lorenzo et al, 2008) and the south (Roemmich et al, 2007, Qiu, Bo et al 2006)Pacific Ocean gyres. Roemmich et al (2007) suggest that mid-latitude gyres in all of the oceans are influenced by decadal variability in the Southern and Northern Annular Modes (SAM and NAM respectively) as wind driven currents in baroclinic oceans (Sverdrup, 1947).


    And although the polar annular modes have drifted more positive in recent days – the surface pressure pattern is a canonical if nascent La Nina feedback pattern.

    And I take perverse delight in citing an original giant of the field from 1947 just for #atomski.

  21. Let’s see how far out I can go? This is queued to my point:

    Equilibrated states. Piaget. Somewhere on the interwebs he goes into a lot more detail about Piaget where this possible connection ocurred to me. The climate seeks an equilibrated state. Same as the sane enough of us do. Introduce tyrannical CO2 and the climate loses to the climate that would have been. As it’s working against itself. The reason we seek an equilibrated state is evolution. Equilibrated states of families and societies out compete others. But the climate cannot evolve you say. Tell that to the climate. Coevolution happens. Don’t deny it. An equilibrated state can be argued to be not be too cold. In that case, CO2 as the tyrant is not to certain. An equilibrated state can be argued to be that of 1950 with all the advances up until that time from the relative misery that preceded it. Who is to say what it should be? But this state will be sought by evolution. In some ways it means, the most efficient state (think physics). Suppose sea levels rise by 3 meters? Is that efficient? In some ways it is more efficient than cutting fossil fuel use by 2/3s. For the well being of humanity, some of them who will have to move. All the good, all the lifting out of poverty and new freedoms are worth some of the people having to move. And ending up at a new better equilibrated state. Perhaps not the one that some say they want. The one they know to be the best one.

  22. The dissolution of sedimentary CaCO3 neutralizes excess CO2, thus preventing runaway acidification, and acts as a negative-feedback mechanism in regulating atmospheric CO2 levels over timescales of centuries to millennia.

    The floccinaucinihilipilification of oceanic acidification– the oceans are infinitely buffered… despite pernicious global warming alarmist fictions continually being exposed, time and time again, the real problem still exist: AGW is nothing but a hoax and a scare tactic– Left vs. right politics, not science.

    • Yes – my environmental science specialization is biogeochemical cycling. Which is no specialization at all but after decades I may have some slight inkling.

      There is a stoichiometric equilibrium between carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and carbonic acid in oceans. Calcium carbonate is one of the most abundant substances on Earth – from hundreds of millions of years of biological deposition. It’s presence both in sediments and in open ocean organisms – in the presence of magnesium ions and other catalysts – maintains dissolved calcite and aragonite in a supersaturated state in the world’s ocean. It is this source of calcium that is utilized in shell and coral formation – and that complexes with carbonic acid in acid neutralization. The neutralized carbonic acid will then be replaced as more carbon dioxide goes into solution. An ongoing process that it has been suggested will result in undersaturation of aragonite in the Great Southern Ocean. Most unlikely given the efficiency of substance recycling in the photic zones of open ocean. Impossible in shallow coastal zones. What seems likely to change is the deposition rate – the net flux of calcium between pools. Not especially significant.

      But you are right in another way as well. I don’t particularly care what people understand about very complex, coupled and dynamic Earth system processes – I doubt myself most of the time – as long as the fruits of their ruminations are life affirming – ‘the lifting out of poverty and new freedoms’ of Raagnar just above. AGW is the fruit of a poisoned tree.

  23. “Marine stratocumulus cloud decks are regarded as the reflectors of the climate system, returning back to space a significant part of the income solar radiation, thus cooling the atmosphere. Such clouds can exist in two stable modes, open and closed cells, for a wide range of environmental conditions.” https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.4973593

    The cloud parametization paper seems to lead nowhere useful. I note only that the misplaced faith in the completeness of model physics is undermined by the paper itself. And of course climate fundamentals perpetually change – in regimes that sum to millennial variability

    “Global warming presents a new challenge for parameterization. As the climate is changing —and we can state this with a high level of confidence based only on observation, without having to resort to models— coefficients and empirical values may vary, together with the associated assumptions.”

    The paper doesn’t get to the level of describing physical mechanisms. It makes no mention at all of the variability of low level marine strato-cumulus that seem relatively important for Earth energy dynamics.




  24. Dr Curry, Thank you again for sharing these.

  25. Salvatore del Prete

    Robert what is your climate outlook for the next decade and why? Thanks.


    The climate is now in at the crossroads and we are going to see and find out which way it goes very soon. I feel it is happening but I need more of the items below to make a more definitive turn before my confidence can really increase.
    For my money I think it is the geo/solar magnetic field strengths and if they weaken enough and stay weak I think the result will be a major climatic impact to colder conditions.

    Signs I am watching for are:


    500 MB ATMOSPHERIC CIRCULATION PATTERNS /HEIGHTS-more meridional /lower heights



    Time will tell but the potential is as higher now then any other time since the Dalton Solar Minimum ended which was in 1850.

    • It is quite simple – the chaotic climate system will shift regimes again in the next decade if it is not happening now. History will repeat. Where to and by how much I have not the slightest clue. One might invoke reversion to the mean – but that’s a statistical rule of thumb and not a prediction.

      But I am interested in the mechanisms of change – much of which emerges from the polar regions as more meridional or zonal wind patterns. These push winds and storms more or less into lower latitudes, drive changes in AMOC and bias the Pacific system to one state or another on interannuaql to millennial scales. The source of surface pressure variability is another. An appealing hypothesis is the role of solar UV/ozone chemistry translating through atmospheric pathways to polar surface pressure.

      Just btw – I have been considering #atomski’s piffling narrative about consensus and medicine. I am sitting in a hospital bed with IV antibiotics. I have been a good patient for far too long. What I have to show for it is a multiple drug resistant golden staph, Charcot arthropathy and a $14,000 wheelchair. Science there may be – and thank God for antibiotics – but this does not guarantee the competence of medics.

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