Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Changing available energy for extra tropical cyclones and associated convection in NH summer [link]

The residence time of Southern Ocean surface waters and the 100,000-year ice age cycle [link]

Norwegian Sea ice cover changes were key to past abrupt climate change [link]

Predictability of North Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature and Upper Ocean Heat Content

Greenland is getting more rain, even in winter, triggering melting [link]

Coal plants have contributed to widespread contamination of aquifers, according to a new national assessment. In some areas, “groundwater may be unusable for decades or hundreds of years.”

Human-vegetation interactions during the Holocene [link]

How can sea surface temperature impact cloud formation in climate models? [link]

A Euro-Mediterranean tree-ring reconstruction of the winter NAO index since 910 C.E. [link]

Greenland ice cores can be used (and misused) to tell us about how the climate has changed in the past. Carbon Brief looks at past, present, and potential future changes to Greenland [link]

Evaluating models’ response of tropical low clouds to SST forcings using CALIPSO observations [link]

dynamics of the Indo-Australian #monsoon over the last 40,000 years [link]

A new statistical tool could extend predictions of atmospheric river activity by as much as 5 weeks. [link]

Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation reconstructed from trans-Pacific tree rings: 1350–2004 CE [link]

The Contributions of Winter Cloud Anomalies in 2011 to the Summer Sea‐Ice Rebound in 2012 in the Antarctic

Holocene cultural and climate shifts in NW Africa as inferred from stable isotopes of archeological land snail shells [link]

Barotropic Kelvin wave‐induced bottom boundary layer warming along the West Antarctic Peninsula

Colder surface air over Antarctica has shortened one of its ice shelf’s annual melt season by a couple of days. [link]

Modeling the response of northwest Greenland to enhanced ocean thermal forcing and subglacial discharge

New insights into aerosol and climate in the Arctic (open access) buff.ly/2H9FkmC

New insights into aerosol and climate in the Arctic [link]

Adaptation to Future Water Shortages in the United States Caused by Population Growth and Climate Change

how monsoon depressions in Asia draw energy from the low-level eastward monsoon wind (barotropic growth in meridional shear):

A tree ring-based winter temperature reconstruction for the southeastern Tibetan Plateau since 1340 CE [link]

Rapidly declining remarkability of temperature anomalies may obscure public perception of climate change [link]

One of Antarctica’s ice shelves is quaking like it’s going out of fashion, but it’s only taking place at night. Here’s the fascinating science as to why [link]

Inverse-square law between time and amplitude for crossing tipping thresholds |

Good to see that more attention is being paid to verification and validation of climate models

It turns out that young temperate forests may be more effective carbon sinks than old rainforests. [link]

The impact of strong El Niño and La Niña events on the North Atlantic –

Nudging the Arctic Ocean to quantify sea ice feedbacks

Variability, timescales, and nonlinearity in climate responses to black carbon emissions

Volcano in Iceland is one of the largest sources of volcanic CO2 [link]

Interhemispheric effect of global geography on Earth’s climate response to orbital forcing

 Short lived climate pollution

Reconstructing climate from glaciers [link]

“After reconstructing southern Greenland’s climate record over the past 3,000 years, a Northwestern University team found that it was relatively warm when the Norse lived there between 985 and 1450 C.E., compared to the previous and following centuries.” [link]

Social science, technology & policy

With Ethanol And Biomass No Longer Viewed As “Green,” Will Other Renewables Soon Follow? [link]

EU dragged to court for backing forest biomass as ‘renewable energy’ [link]

Europe’s renewable energy program is built on burning American trees [link]

Is climate change more like diabetes or an asteroid? [link]

Across the country, urban communities are rejecting ‘green’ energy projects [link]

San Baernardino County (biggest county in California) bans big renewable energy projects [link]

There really, really isn’t a silver bullet solution for climate change [link]

Requirements for a scalable approach to decarbonization [link]

The politics, science and politicization of climate change [link]

The green bubble [link]

The benefits of recycling have been overstated for years and the costs never clearly understood [link]

Is this the end of recycling? [link]

Your recycling might be poisoning poor communities [link]

Congress considers carbon capture options [link]

Report finds widespread contamination at nation’s coal ash sites [link]

Will climate change the courts? [link]

Why renewables can’t save the planet [link]

How extreme weather becomes normalized

About science and scientists

Freeman Dyson interview [link]

We need to disagree better: our culture of contempt [link]

The wisdom of polarized crowds [link]

How French ‘intellectuals’ ruined the west [link]

Gavin Schmidt:  the best case for worst case scenarios [link]

Matt Ridley:  Lying with science: a guide to myth debunking [link]

Biased assimilation and attitude polarization: the effects of prior theories on subsequently considered evidence [link]

“Statements about climate researchers’ carbon footprints affect their credibility and the impact of their advice.”

The concept of probability is not as simple as you think. It never was, and it never will. [link]

122 responses to “Week in review – science edition

  1. Quite a selection on recycling and renewables. Theses movements have some striking parallels. It’s easy to be critical of current widespread practices and overly optimistic about “new” approaches and technologies. Moreso for younger and less experienced people. Throw in virtue signaling and honest but misguided efforts at altruism and responsibility and much of the motivation behind the “green” push in these areas is better understood.

    Problems with today’s technologies have been magnified and the capabilities of alternatives have been oversold in these areas. One small example is that recycling was often promoted by touting benefits of reducing needed landfill spaces which supposedly we were running out of. Now supposedly we have plenty space for alternative energy although in reality to seriously increase wind and solar requires multiple orders of magnitude more land than conceivably could be needed for foreseeable waste landfill purposes.

    • Hello PE, let me know when you get tired of goofing off and are ready to write more posts :)

      • Thanks! Right now I am enjoying goofing off immensely and I don’t know where to even begin with the Green New Deal. But I am thinking of a summary piece of some sort. Thanks for your more continuous and diligent efforts at promoting a reasonable approach to climate and energy policy.

      • I don’t think there’s any point in addressing the GND, it’s rather absurd. But it would be good to consider what might be a good path forward for developing an anti-fragile energy policy. I would think there is some reasonable amount of “renewables” we could tolerated expanding to/subsidizing in the interest of energy security (conserving natural gas, diversity of supply). We should develop the capability to expand if desired.

        I think creating excess capacity and storage of NG with large variability of production capability, and then operating at the low end would be wise. We need to be prepared for more intense winters than we’ve seen in the past 50 years. Artic blasts could be more intense than we’ve seen and last longer the 2 weeks (IIRC) we can sustain energy supplies for. It probably isn’t wise to rely on NG for heat, supply/demand variability, and base load.

    • There does seem to be a large recycling portion here. Even the New Republic piece mentions dumpster diving.This is something of a hobby of mine. My moniker refers to my collecting beverage containers under Michigan’s ten cent bottle deposit law. I figure it fits in well with academic disputes, because, as the saying goes, “the stakes are so small”.

      I sometimes wonder if deposit laws might be good for other disposable items. I find lots of rechargeable batteries, which I drop off at the battery store. One thing I find impossible to get rid of is microwave oven magnetrons, which are not supposed to go in landfills because they contain beryllium. I’ve got five gallon buckets of the damn things.

      Lately, there’s been some concern about how huge volumes of solar panels are going to be disposed of. This new electronic age has brought us an awful lot of electronic junk that has to go somewhere. I’ve noticed that scrapyards now require electronic components to be removed from appliances before they’ll accept them. Maybe it’s time for a major reassessment of how to handle waste.

  2. Thanks for the heads up re “New insights into aerosol and climate in the Arctic” Judith. It’s of great interest to Arctic sea ice nutters like yours truly. A long list of authors and an even longer list of references!

    A brief hint of what it contains:

    “Motivated by the need to predict how the Arctic atmosphere will change in a warming world, this article summarizes recent advances made by the research consortium NETCARE (Network on Climate and Aerosols: Addressing Key Uncertainties in Remote Canadian Environments) that contribute to our fundamental understanding of Arctic aerosol particles as they relate to climate forcing. The overall goal of NETCARE research has been to use an interdisciplinary approach encompassing extensive field observations and a range of chemical transport, earth system, and biogeochemical models. Several major findings and advances have emerged from NETCARE since its formation in 2013.

    (1) Unexpectedly high summertime dimethyl sulfide (DMS) levels were identified in ocean water and the overlying atmosphere in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA). Furthermore, melt ponds, which are widely prevalent, were identified as an important DMS source.”

    etc. etc.

  3. With Ethanol And Biomass No Longer Viewed As “Green,” Will Other Renewables Soon Follow? [link]

    As it turns out, the supposed promise of solar and wind power is more than illusory… it’s an environmental disaster– the experience of Germany validates that conclusion but, the fake news of global warming alarmism has turned reason on its head. ‘If we do nothing to stop this insanity, science will rightly be regarded as just another racket.’ ~Richard S. Lindzen

    • Given cost trajectories I predict a future for rooftop solar both domestically and commercially. Powering daytime air-conditioning in my comfortable corner of the world. With wind – I worry about the bats and birds.

      The immediate future of baseload power is gas in the distorted US market and HELE coal most everywhere else. And if coal ash is contaminating aquifers – I’d suspect poor design and construction or ash ponds. Longer term – modular nuclear seem likely to be cost competitive – and safe.

      Nothing is black and white.

      • …or, run the A/C during the day off the battery of a gov’t subsidized Tesla that is charged on the grid at night at reduced rates.

      • Even if I lived in South Australia it would cost me $11,000 ($15,000 without subsidy) for a battery that would run my air-con for 1 hour.

      • I just got an online solar quote for an 8kW solar system – nearly $10,000 for the most expensive installer.

        I could probably save $300 a year on aircon costs and make $700 a year in other offsets and supply to the grid. Redraw $10,000 from my 5.95% fixed interest (established long ago) fully offset mortgage – and it is very doable.

        Grid balance is via regional gas turbines and baseload is provided by local coal. The last of the subcritical pulverized fuel plants producing about 0.83 tonnes CO2-e/MWh-net. Low cost and still pretty good efficiency.


  4. Greenland is getting more rain..

    “But he also said that short-term natural variability can have an impact. Since the end of the study period for the new research on rain and melting, Greenland has seen some relatively cold years. Still, the trends identified by the study are clear against natural long-term climate variations in the region, Tedesco said.”

    Is there a particular reason the study period ended 7 years ago?

    • Now your straying into my “professional” area of expertise David!

      How does “Battery trickery by U.S. utilities” == “Batteries cannot backup renewables”?

      • David Wojick

        Easy, Jim. The cost of the batteries actually required to backup intermittency is impossibly huge, so pretending that is what you are doing is purely deceptive. I have a study on this coming out soon.

    • Smoothing out the “duck curve” shouldn’t cost the Earth.

      Bung in a bit of “low carbon” nuclear generation and what’s the problem?

      Surely you must know the drill? Lots of references to peer reviewed studies in reputable journals please!

      P.S. I don’t seem to be able to post comments when logged in via Twitter today

      • David Wojick

        Keeping the lights on requires handling the likely worst case. Most places in the US are subject to prolonged high pressure systems where there is pretty much no wind power for a week, while electricity demand is near peak due to heat or cold waves.

        Backing up (that is, replacing) a 1000 MW wind farm for 7 days is a lot of MWh. At today’s prices the batteries would cost over 100 times as much as the wind farm. Using nukes as peaking plants would indeed be much cheaper than batteries. That is my point actually, that batteries are impossibly expensive.

        That the peak demand condition is often a low wind condition is a case that I have not seen treated in the literature, which is why I am studying it. If there are references to this case I would love to see them as it might save me some time.

      • Not that I reference a vast number of “academic” sources, but try this one from my “professional” web site:


        Vehicle-to-Grid technology will ultimately offer vast quantities of battery storage “free of charge”? Please excuse the poor pun!

        N.B. I’m back on Twitter from a different browser on a different computer.

      • David Wojick

        Thanks Jim, but I am looking simply at renewables with today’s battery backup technology, not possible worlds that are far from today, like total EV with distributed in-vehicle storage. Note that going EV on a grand scale also requires vastly more electricity than today, so vastly more storage would be required. None of this vastness is free.

        EV based storage is an interesting case, one of many grand schemes, but not what I am looking at for now. The question I am working on is what it would cost at today’s prices to do 100% wind and solar with battery backup. It is a relatively simple question.

      • Good morning David (UTC),

        And there was me hoping you’d supply me with a link to a learned paper in a reputable journal in return! Do you know of one that forecasts static or rising prices for batteries over the next few years and decades for example?

        FYI I’m based in the once United Kingdom rather than the US. Were you aware that UK plc is currently spending tens of millions of once Great British Pounds on priming the pump for V2G technology?


      • @david
        “The question I am working on is what it would cost at today’s prices to do 100% wind and solar with battery backup. It is a relatively simple question.”

        There’s a nice paper from NREL about this applied to California… you may want to read that before re-inventing the wheel…

  5. Dr Curry,

    What do you think of the rain events in Greenland?

  6. re: “Greenland ice cores can be used (and misused) …”:
    The article says that that uses of the graph are misleading because “versions of the graph have[] excluded the modern observational temperature record”. Wrong. It would be misleading if they did splice on the modern observational record, because its resolution is different to that of the cores. If they did splice on the modern observational record, they would likely be repeating one of Michael Mann’s disgraceful corruptions in the “Hockey-Stick”.

  7. Curious George

    Short Lived Climate Pollution. We have already climate deniers, now another scarecrow in a form of “climate pollution” is being introduced. Holy Climate can bear just anything. These “scientists” never sleep.

  8. “If aggregation changes were acting alone, they would exert a strong negative feedback on global mean surface temperature. However, in a coupled framework, aggregation changes interact with the SST and generate SST gradients that strengthen the positive low‐cloud feedback associated with changes in SST pattern.” https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2018MS001406

    I have little patience for computer modelers who have little insight into Earth system geophysics. Cloud formation at the marine boundary layer occurs as closed cloud cells in Rayleigh–Bénard convection in a fluid – the atmosphere – heated from below.

    Mesmerizing? The difference is as closed cells in formations 1000’s of square kilometers in extent rain out from the center to leave behind open cells. Closed cells persist for longer over cool oceans than warm with a higher domain albedo.

    The place where SST varies most dramatically over much of the global tropics and sub-tropics is the eastern Pacific.

    We have seen this modeled over centuries using historically constrained SST and large eddy simulation models.



    It was an observed and even dominant source of modern warming in surface and satellite data. Including post hiatus warming in CERES data.


  9. Evaluating models’ response of tropical low clouds to SST forcings using CALIPSO observations [link]

    To link is to carbon capture from air.

  10. “Stratocumulus clouds cover 20% of the low-latitude oceans and are especially prevalent in the subtropics. They cool the Earth by shading large portions of its surface from sunlight.” https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0310-1

    Marine stratocumulus may be unstable in a warmer atmosphere leading to a hothouse Earth.

  11. Thanks – some good reading ahead.
    How about this one on human signature in hurricane peak intensity (not) from 1958-2005 by Trenary et al., March 4 2019, in Geophysical Research Letters:


  12. Freeman Dyson Interview: The Uncertainty has Settled

    “That’s how humans evolved. And under those conditions the important thing was loyalty to the tribe. It was absolutely the most important thing to have people totally loyal to the tribe. Holding the tribe together. And whether their beliefs where right or wrong was not so important. As long as they believed the same things they would survive. And I think that is very much driving us still. To be with the herd, to be thinking the same thoughts as other people is build into our nature. So it’s still more important to belong to the tribe than it is to speak the truth. And so I think that explains it a bit. And scientists are not different from other people, we have our tribes also. This believe in global warming, it is a tribal loyalty which is very strong.”

    My grandfather use to say: “It isn’t whose Right, but whose Left.” Motivation to keep struggling with tribalism,

    • “My grandfather use to say: “It isn’t whose Right, but whose Left.”

      yup. and skeptics are old and dying and most importantly
      nobody if going to school under them.

      Take my good friend Steve McIntrye. Who will take up his mantle?
      Which of his grad students will carry on, build on the masters understanding and go further? crickets.
      The reason is easy. Most skeptics only did half the job. The demolition
      part. They built nothing. No foundations for others.

      Take Anthony. Made a great start with surface stations but then
      poof, six years ago decides to stop sharing data and no publications
      since then. He could have published the data and others could build on it
      but nope. 6 years, no data no publication. And that means
      no young people to come along and build on his foundation. Sad.

      Bob carter? where are his students? who is picking up his understanding of the climate and pushing it forward? nobody.

      Dyson, Happer, Ball, Micheals, Spenser, Christy.. what foundation
      are they laying? what classes are they teaching? what grad students are they helping? how are they pushing their theory forward? oh wait they have no theory.

      See here is the thing. Skeptics think that doing the skeptical part of science
      ( playing the “prove it” game) is the sum total of science. Its not.
      In the end the best understanding left standing wins. So yes, you need the critical step, but if you dont have the creative step ( my theory is better)
      then you will lose. The half life of a typical skeptic is maybe 15 years

      dont make any bets with them that extend beyond 2030

      • Steven Mosher

        Thanks for the in sight: Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.

        To that end, remove the funding for an alternative idea, and, guess what? that idea dies; not by a thousand cuts, just that the elite, that is the elite scientists on the Governmental review boards, never provide the funding; hence, as Freeman Dyson did, they go on to something else. The lack of vociferous skepticism does not mean the ideas are not valid, only, those in control of funding are in charge, and… their prejudices prevail. Such is the life and times of Climate Science today.

        I’ve sat on such Governmental boards, and prejudice is the rule and not the exception. The evil is willful and deliberate, for a political agenda, and in this case, not stated, except by political types like AOC and her Green New Deal. Politics deciding science agendas is the current evil. Are you on board?

      • I would agree with the fact that there have been people that have pretty well demonstrated real problems with (aspects of) the ‘consensus’, and that those people have not been part of academia and don’t have funding streams that pay for grad students to further their insights/lessons. The idea of ‘building something’ is not a legit gripe, IMO. Good skeptics don’t need ‘alternative theories’ to dispute ‘consensus’ claims, they just need to be able to soundly dispute whatever claims they are arguing against at a particular time. Take Nic Lewis, for example. And yes, its depressing to me that eventually we’ll lose McIntyre’s expertise (and Nic also, in a different sub-area), but almost certainly there will be folks to fill in those voids and/or different voids as time marches on. Smart people abound and free, critical thinking will continue.

      • Well the problem here is higher education which is in deep trouble. There is in my field a deep lack of understanding of uncertainty and a deep faith based approach toward models. This is all about the soft money culture at research universities and the constant need to sell your work and bring in contracts. It’s also about postmodernism and its influence on the academy. Even science students are exposed to a lot of this nonsense.

        Everyone now seems to know that there is a problem and no-one is willing to do anything to correct the problem. Climate scientists are among the worst because any admission of errors or high uncertainties is a violation of the consensus code.

      • Sorry, SM but in the final analysis nature will be the determinint regardless of what skeptics do. In 50 years, when Manhattan still isn’t underwater and the coastal mansions still aren’t threatened and Antarctica still is inherently unstable and the threat in a millennium is still a millennium away and the Arctic Sea Ice has recovered and started to trend down again and the only noticeable changes in temperatures are on graphs, won’t matter what the skeptics did or didn’t do. Those future generations will look at all the failed predictions and say what the hell were those alarmist idiots thinking. History will not judge kindly.

      • Steven Mosher: yup. and skeptics are old and dying and most importantly nobody if going to school under them.

        You wrote an interesting comment. I would be interested in what you see when you view developments from the perspective of India and China, or try to. On present trends, I see them as being “left” as the civilization in the US and EU powers down. Their populations are “aging” and their economic growth may have slowed, but they aren’t doing much to reduce their CO2 emissions.

        California may be unusual in the rate at which employers are moving to other states, but we don’t yet rank down with Venezuela. But those are perhaps different stories.

      • “Since “panta rhei” was pronounced by Heraclitus, hydrology and the objects it studies, such as rivers
        and lakes, have offered grounds to observe and understand change and flux. Change occurs on all time scales, from minute to geological, but our limited senses and life span, as well as the short time window of instrumental observations, restrict our perception to the most apparent daily to yearly variations. As a result, our typical modelling practices assume that natural changes are just a short-term “noise” superimposed on the daily and annual cycles in a scene that is static and invariant in the long run. According to this perception, only an exceptional and extraordinary forcing can produce a long-term change. The hydrologist H.E. Hurst, studying the long flow records of the Nile and other geophysical time series, was the first to observe a natural behaviour, named after him, related to multi-scale change, as well as its implications in engineering designs. Essentially, this behaviour manifests that long-term changes are much more frequent and intense than commonly perceived and, simultaneously, that the future states are much more uncertain and unpredictable on long time horizons than implied by standard approaches. Surprisingly, however, the implications of multi-scale change have not been assimilated in geophysical sciences. A change of perspective is thus needed, in which change and uncertainty are essential parts.” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02626667.2013.804626

        Science has always warned against simple and easy assumptions about the complex dynamical Earth system. But then there are always those who resist – or are incapable of – a change of perspective.

      • Remember Bjorn Stevens, the good guy, and his missing Iris effect?

        The convection-permitting simulations also suggest that cloud feedbacks, as arising when perturbing the equilibrium state, may be very different, and in our case less negative, than what emerges from general circulation models.

        On the Interplay Between Convective Aggregation, Surface Temperature Gradients, and Climate Sensitivity

        The comparison of the total climate feedback parameter in the different experiments suggests that the (strong) negative feedback associated with the enhanced convective aggregation is more than offset by the (strong) positive feedback associated with the change in SST patterns and its interaction with the low‐cloud cover. It suggests that due to the coupling between SST, convective aggregation and low‐cloud cover (Coppin & Bony, 2017), the role that changes in aggregation play in climate sensitivity may not be as strong as speculated based on prescribed uniform SST experiments. …

      • This demand for some sort of better skeptical science is a weird conceit. Paul Ehrlich’s book didn’t become wrong because his skeptics retasked academia, industry and government to intensely review his masterful insights. The world did exactly what it should have with the book- ignored it and moved on.
        The trouble with politicized science is that it tends to make sharp minds irrelevant. For example, it’s a waste of resources to dedicate our best young minds to the job of trying to heat Chicago in negative 20 F temperatures with snow-covered solar panels. The only reason we’re doing it is because aging activists can’t give up nonsense from the ’60s.

      • I wonder if the Mosher has noticed that the old dying off skeptics have won the battle for the hearts, minds and pocketbooks of the masses:

      • I think it could be argued that part of Pat Michaels’ legacy is Alex Epstein. Also, Steve McIntyre and Nick Lewis have shown that science does not have to come from the scientific, academic establishment.

      • Science confirms what he regards as skeptical arguments.



        Some people just can’t move on.

        “Modeling studies have shown that cloud feedbacks are sensitive to the spatial pattern of sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies, while cloud feedbacks themselves strongly influence the magnitude of SST anomalies. Observational counterparts to such patterned interactions are still needed. Here we show that distinct large‐scale patterns of SST and low‐cloud cover (LCC) emerge naturally from objective analyses of observations and demonstrate their close coupling in a positive local SST‐LCC feedback loop that may be important for both internal variability and climate change. The two patterns that explain the maximum amount of covariance between SST and LCC correspond to the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, leading modes of multidecadal internal variability.” https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2018GL077904

        Lower domain albedo over warmer oceans than cooler – from changes in marine strato-cumulus cloud – is seen in higher IR emissions and decreased SW reflection. For those who can’t walk and chew gum at the same tome.

      • We find that such feedback is too weak in current models, which implies stronger than expected future latent warming and possibly higher climate sensitivity.

      • “We find that such feedback is too weak in current models, which implies stronger than expected future latent warming and possibly higher climate sensitivity.”


        Poll: Sixty-Eight Percent of Americans Would Not Be Willing To Pay $10 a Month To Combat Climate Change

      • Poll: Sixty-Eight Percent of Americans Would Not Be Willing To Pay $10 a Month To Combat Climate Change

        I might be willing to pay a lot more than that to fund lawsuits to stop the efforts to reduce the CO2 that helps grow or feed everything I eat.

      • Steve Mosher

        yup. and skeptics are old and dying and most importantly
        nobody if going to school under them.

        Irrelevant. The skeptics that matter are not those who are outspoken and then become the untermenschen shunned by the media and academia, your MacIntyre, Watts, Spencer, Lindzen, Soon etc. No – the ones that matter are the career scientists who genuflect to global warming to stay in work but keep their opinions to themselves, and every month publish papers in mainstream journals – not peripheral skeptic channels – with research that totally destroys the narrative of climate catastrophism. Note I say catastrophism – lets not be taken in by the conjuring trick of simply pointing out recent mild warming and implying that this of itself is a portent of catastrophe, it is not. Websites such as Climate Etc., NoTricksZone, CO2 Science and others, and journals such as Nature and many others, continually publish papers that undermine the catastrophe narrative. The alarmist position depends on the false catastrophe narrative, not just recognition of mild and generally beneficial warming / CO2 fertilization.

      • And 57% are willing to spend $1 per month.

      • In the end the best understanding left standing wins.

        Mosher overlooks the fact that the best understanding is provided not by trumpet-blowing bloggers, such as McIntyre, Watts, or himself, but by geophysicists, oceanographers, meteorologists, system and signal analysts etc. working without fanfare in their own areas of expertise.

        It’s they who are forcing the ever-widening recognition of the very flimsy conceptual foundations of a “climate science,” wherein CO2-controlled radiative transfer is claimed to overshadow moist convection in surface-to-atmosphere heat transfer, “positive feedbacks” are posited without any credible source of power, historical temperature variations are assumed to be “red noise” instead of more structured stochastic processes, and linear trends over several decades are blindly projected over secular time-scales.

        Just as the leap from alchemy to quantum mechanics was not made in one step, so the formulation of far-more-rigorous foundations for the study of climate will require many intermediate steps. Indispensably, the first step will always be, however, the rejection of pitifully inadequate, politically-favored paradigms.

      • He quotes the reference back to me. The point was internal variability in addition to global warming.

        “We find a marked 0.83 ± 0.41 Wm−2 reduction in global mean reflected shortwave (SW) top-of-atmosphere (TOA) flux during the three years following the hiatus that results in an increase in net energy into the climate system. A partial radiative perturbation analysis reveals that decreases in low cloud cover are the primary driver of the decrease in SW TOA flux. The regional distribution of the SW TOA flux changes associated with the decreases in low cloud cover closely matches that of sea-surface temperature warming, which shows a pattern typical of the positive phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.” https://www.mdpi.com/2225-1154/6/3/62

        The result is robust – and the question is where the Pacific goes next?


      • Geoff Sherrington

        Skeptcs. … They built nothing.
        Steven, many of us tried. I tried to get establishment scientists to write joint papers, got nothing but quick brush offs and comments in Climategate like ‘ Fortunately, our (Aussie) sceptics are rather stupid’ or words like that. I presented technical reports to our BOM and was told that the BOM could not consider material that was not peer reviewed and publshed. One of the BOM chiefs announced he would be gatekeeper for all my emails.
        Why did I not go it alone? Two good reasons. First, they had raw data, a charter, funds and supercomputers, I had a hobby and an old PC. Second, most of my career I was the ideas person, the lateral thinker, the odd job problem solver, in a team with stellar performance, so I was not used to playing with the nuts and bolts that juniors used.
        It was not my lack of ideas, effort, willingness to cooperate that killed it. Ditto for a number of colleagues who tried like I did.
        It was stifled by hubris from others, an astounding display of self-assumed confidence fuelling a faulty concept. Hard, successful, productive scientists they are not. They are too conceited to evaluate their dismal performance records, let slone the damage they have done to the institution of Science. Geoff

      • JCH

        And 57% are willing to spend $1 per month.

        What do we get for our $1 per month?

  13. I am looking for a markup of trenberth diagram that shows the fluxes after a CO2 doubling consistent with alarmist models. Thanks in advance ofr any pointers or ideas.

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  16. Start by doing an image search on “Earth’s radiation budget”. You’ll find a couple of Trenberth-type charts that show the variation of the numbers depending on whose study. From there look at “CO2 forcing” and do a couple of Modtran runs on UChicago. Then write your own blog comment about how imprortant or unimportant CO2 is relative to published discrepancies.. Hint: be wary of both wolves, and big bad wolf stories.

  17. Skeptics don’t need to train scientists, new skeptics will organically convert from the “consensus”. What happens is people see mistakes and change their minds.

    For example, the 100% renewable people will try to build such a system and it will fail and be studied and some scientists will start to speak out that 100% renewable won’t work (with our current technology).

    People will learn a lot from Germany and Australia.

    Maybe if we invent a practical fusion power source, or invent space based solar (the trick is getting the power down to the ground). But alas, we haven’t invented a way out yet. We haven’t even invented a good power storage technology which will provide stored power to a large city for several days.

    Eventually, through trial and error, we will grow up and realize we have to deploy nuclear power. I see a future with 75% nuclear, 25% renewable and still using some fossil fuels for things like making steel (oops – more than 100%).

    But until we grow up and get over the irrational fear of nuclear power, we will simply burn more and more fossil fuels (until and if we run out).

    Just a lay person’s opinion.

  18. Neodymigo, I have looked at plenty of Trenberth diagrams and updates and built a working climate model, Really struggling to understand surface average IR up would not be exactly the Stef-Boltz value for average earth temperature. It is always about 3 degrees higher. FYI my model is here:https://github.com/ndbucksmith/tf.climate

    • Models that rely only upon radiative transfer will never produce realistic results for an aqueous planet. Hint: examine evaporation and moist convection, which constitute the principal means of surface heat transfer on Earth.

  19. Europe is all in a tizzy over using chopped down trees to burn for renewable energy. China is no longer buying recycled paper and plastic. Might there be some dots to connect here?

    • Current consumption patterns generate low grade recycling waste streams?
      ie. single serving packaging made from thousands of different chemical compounds.
      1/3 of my groceries actually have 2 containers, one for handling and labeling and another for sanitary product preservation.
      Looks like the easy fix is to just (safely) bury everything and let the future sort it out.

  20. If it is not worth keeping and recycling here, the Chinese figure out that it is not worth doing it for us. Recycling stuff that should not be recycled is reaching the end of the scam.

  21. Third law of thermodynamics

    The 3rd law of thermodynamics states that entropy of crystalline substances approaches zero as temperature approaches absolute zero. For non-crystalline substances, entropy approaches a fixed non-zero value as temperature approaches absolute zero. Since zero entropy and zero temperature are lower limits, both are unattainable in a finite number of steps. It would take infinite number of steps to attain them. Hence, they are deemed impossible. Quantum mechanics was developed after the 3rd law so Nernst did not use it in his formulation of the law. Neither did he use statistical mechanics, which was known at that time.

    I will explain the 3rd law using quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics because it is easier and more accurate than classical thermodynamics. It is easy to see why zero entropy is deemed impossible. In statistical mechanics, the Boltzmann entropy is proportional to the number of possible microstates corresponding to a macrostate. The only way to get zero entropy is the number of microstates must be one. In quantum mechanics, Pauli’s exclusion principle states that fermions cannot have the same four quantum numbers. Fermions are particles with non-integer spin. Hence, if there is more than one fermion, there are at least two microstates representing the different quantum numbers (two fermions cannot have the same four quantum numbers). Therefore, they cannot have zero entropy because the number of microstates is at least two.

    Bosons are particles with integer spin. They do not obey the exclusion principle. Hence, they can have the same four quantum numbers. As I explained, the exclusion principle is the reason why zero entropy is impossible. Without the restriction imposed by the exclusion principle, zero entropy is possible. Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC) are bosons under special condition near absolute zero temperature. I postulate that BEC has zero entropy. I will give a mathematical proof of this postulate. Since it violates the 3rd law of thermodynamics, the proof of the postulate is a disproof of the 3rd law.

    Disproof of the 3rd law of thermodynamics

    Bosons obey the Bose-Einstein statistics. The number of bosons at a particular energy level is given by the Bose-Einstein distribution:
    n (E) = g / (e^((E – u)/(k T)) – 1)
    where: E is energy level of boson; n is number of bosons at E; g is degeneracy of energy level; u is chemical potential; k is Boltzmann constant; T is temperature

    Convert the Bose-Einstein distribution into a probability function (P) by dividing both sides of the equation by the total number of bosons (N):
    P (E) = n (E)/N = (1/N) g/(e^((E – u)/(k T)) – 1)

    The mean energy Ea of particles at temperature T is:
    Ea = k T
    The minimum energy of a particle is the ground state energy level. The ground state (Eg) is at critical temperature (Tc):
    Eg = k Tc
    The chemical potential (u) is the change in energy of the system with addition of one particle. So u must be at least equal to the ground state. Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) occurs at a critical temperature (Tc) Hence, the mean particle energy of BEC:
    Ea = k Tc = Eg
    Since Ea is equal to the ground state, this is not a mean energy of particles because there is no energy level below the ground state. Ea is the boson energy level (E) in the probability function (P):
    P (E) = (1/N) g/(e^((E – u)/(k T)) – 1)

    Note that in BEC, E = u and E – u = 0. Substituting this into the probability function yields infinity:
    P (E) = (1/N) g/(e^0 – 1) = ∞
    What does infinite probability mean? P = 1 means certainty that a particle occupies energy level E. In discrete probability, an integer P > 1 means more than one particle can occupy the energy level.
    P = ∞ means an infinite number of particles can occupy the energy level. This interpretation can also be seen by separating the two factors of the probability function:
    1/N < 1
    g/(e^0 – 1) = ∞
    The first factor is less than 1 because the total number of bosons (N) is greater than 1. The second factor equals infinity because the denominator is zero. However, division by zero is undefined in math. To observe proper mathematical rules, the degeneracy of energy level (g) must be infinite to equal infinity and to eliminate the zero divisor. Degeneracy is the number of microstates or particles that can occupy one energy level. This is the same as the interpretation in discrete probability. This means all the particles in BEC are in one energy level which is the ground state. No matter how many particles, there is only one microstate.

    I apply probability theory to elaborate on this unique BEC phenomenon. The microstates are equivalent to distinct objects. The particles are equivalent to objects taken at a time. In probability theory, the permutations (W) of E distinct objects taken N at a time is:
    W = E^N
    Notice that if E = 1, then any positive integer value of N gives W = 1
    I used the symbols W, E and N to represent the same symbols used in statistical mechanics that are analogous to probability theory.

    The Boltzmann entropy formula:
    S = k ln W
    Where: S is entropy; W is number of possible microstates corresponding to a macrostate
    In BEC, W = 1. Substituting:
    S = k ln 1 = 0
    Therefore, the entropy of BEC is zero. This proves my postulate and disproves the 3rd law of thermodynamics.

    Zero entropy can be understood using group theory, the study of mathematical symmetries. When objects undergo change, what remain the same are symmetries. Objects are highly symmetrical if they retain many of their features after undergoing change. The bosons in BEC are analogous to indistinguishable objects. No matter how you rearrange them, they look the same. They are just one permutation. They are perfectly symmetrical. Entropy is a measure of disorder. BEC bosons are in perfect order. Therefore, their disorder (entropy) is zero.

    My postulate is not just theoretical. The existence of BEC has been confirmed experimentally. Cornell and Wieman produced BEC in the lab by cooling 2,000 Rubidium-87 atoms to 170 nanoKelvins (billionth of a degree above absolute zero). For this discovery, they won the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics.

    Next I will reformulate the 3rd law of thermodynamics to conform with quantum statistical mechanics.

  22. The recent reference to rain triggering more melting on the Greenland ice sheet states a potential global average sea rise of 7 metres. No time scale was mentioned but as is usual alarmist press reports follow with pictures of Armageddon showing the Statue of Liberty, Big Ben and the Eifel Tower under water.
    What time scales may be expected. The following is a very simplistic look at a possible scenario based on the known sea levels over the last 140 years. The published Tidal Gauge readings from 1880 to 2013 show a remarkable set of data, especially when averaged on an annual basis. Many papers have referred to the fitting of a quadratic curve to these results giving an equation of the form
    y = 0.0063×2 – 0.2452x + 174.82
    where y is the sea level and t is the time such that 1800 is set at zero.
    As an aside polynomial curve fitting is a useful tool but must be used with respect. Some physical background is helpful such as in this case a “constant driving force”, whatever that is, is creating a constant acceleration which in this case is 0.0126 mm/year/year. Any subsequent extrapolation must be accompanied with a Public Health Warning and treated with due respect. These reservations regarding curve fitting/extrapolation are very applicable to the studies of the 25 years of NASA readings but that’s another story.
    Back to the above equation, and after taking a deep breath, lets calculate values over the next 1000 years or so. In 1880 the level was about -150mm with a slope of about 0.8mm/year. The current values are about 70mm and 2.5mm/year. By 2100 they reach 320mm and 3.5mm/year and by 2900 have just reached 7000mm (7metres) and a slope of still only 13.5mm/year. I say “still only” as post the last ice age the average slope was about 15mm/year for about 8000 years. This high post ice age rate must have been because of all the goats being reared and clay pots being fired!
    The above is not to be taken as a definitive study but used to illustrate the order of times etc that may be taking place.

    The following résumé is of my, as yet unpublished, paper entitled “Accelerating Sea Level Rise – Reconciliation of Tidal Gauge Readings with Satellite Data”. It summarises an investigation into the two large sources of historic sea levels, namely Tidal Gauge and NASA Satellite databases.
    The summary of this paper, reproduced below, shows what was covered and the two graphs below are copies of Figures 8 and 22 from the paper with added explanatory annotation.
    (These comments are my first venture in submitting to this site and I am not sure if the 2 diagrams will appear correctly, or at all. I have conveyed them to JC (as Appendices 2 and 3 to my paper} and would be grateful, assuming they are absent, if there any way they could be shown.

    “The tidal gauge sea levels follow quite closely a constant accelerating curve. Closer analysis also shows that by combining this curve with a long-period (57 year) sinusoidal function many aspects of the tidal gauge data are even more accurately portrayed. A combined equation of the form
    y = (0.0063×2 – 0.2452x + 174.82) + 6sin(((50+2t)/57) π)
    was derived, where t is now defined as 1800 being t=0. See figure 8 and Appendix 2. This equation was then used for short and long-term projections. During this study other possible formulae to replace the constant acceleration were also investigated.
    A separate study of the NASA satellite results was also carried out when the deviation from the linear regression line was used. This arrived at a similar short-term (22 year) sinusoidal variation resulting in a combined equation given by
    (3.225x – 37.377) + 3.5sin(((5+2t)/22) π)
    See figure 22 and Appendix 3. Short term projections were carried out.
    The 2 periods of 57 years and 22 years could be related to known ocean oscillations.”

    The first graph displays: –
    – The average annual Tidal Gauge Readings (red dots)
    – Best fit Quadratic Curve (dotted green line)
    – Combined Curve (blue line)
    The combined curve picks up the following features absent in the quadratic curve: –
    – The low slope (0.5 mm/year) around 1920
    – Two periods of increased acceleration around 1930 and 1990
    – The almost constant slope (3mm/year) during the period of the Nasa Satellites
    – Deacceleration periods around 1910 and 1970
    – The start of a new deacceleration period
    Main predictions are
    1. Reduction of slope down to about 2mm/year by 2030.
    2. Slope reaching 3.7mm/year around 2060.
    3. Sea level about 250mm above 2018 levels by 2100.
    It can also be concluded that the basic Quadratic Curve, being based on a nearly 140-year period, is probably a true indication of the process taking place and the limited extrapolation to 2100 is more acceptable than any based on the 25-year NASA Satellite readings. The Quadratic points to a constant acceleration, which in turn points to a constant “Driving Force” what ever that is, but to remain constant over such a long period of 140 years points, in my mind, to a mainly natural cause.

    The second graph displays: –
    – The NASA results (blue line)
    – Best fit Straight Line (dotted green line)
    – Combined Curve (red line)
    The combined curve shows a better fit at each end than the equivalent quadratic fit. The latter would extrapolate to much higher values by 2100. The post 2018 extrapolation points to a reduction of the slope over the next 10 years but any further extrapolation is judged questionable at this stage as the long-term findings of the Tidal Gauges must also be taken in to account.

    Each combined curve contains a sinusoidal element that may be the result of the methods used in obtaining the readings. The Tidal Gauge readings have a sparse coverage and would be affected by the known “60 Year” Oscillation. Allowing for all the various ocean amplitudes and phase differences could easily result in the +/-6mm perceived oscillation. The NASA readings do not have a 100% coverage and known 20 to 30-year ocean oscillations, such as the PDO, could easily lead to a +/-3.5mm added variation.
    The main conclusions are that the Tidal Gauge results are a good indication of the changes in sea level. The additional sinusoidal variations are consequences of the method of measurement and coverage. This all points to a possible additional 250mm rise by 2100. If anyone is interested in viewing my paper, I can be contacted on alankwelch@gmail.com.

    • Hello Alan, this looks very interesting. I will email you to request a copy.

    • alankwelch: The main conclusions are that the Tidal Gauge results are a good indication of the changes in sea level. The additional sinusoidal variations are consequences of the method of measurement and coverage. This all points to a possible additional 250mm rise by 2100.

      That was a good post. Thank you. I appreciate your warnings about extrapolating polynomial fits. Would you consider posting your paper at ResearchGate? Please let us know when it gets published.

    • Put your paper in Arxiv.
      The 60-yr oscillation in sea level rise is well known thanks to Jevrejeva’s group studies, particularly her 2008 article.

  23. BY 2100 we will have enough cheap nuclear power to control sea level and melt the next ice age. Problem solved!

  24. Dr. Strangelove comments about Bosons at zero temperature do not apply to physical systems like liquid Helium at zero temperature. Here the particles are strongly interacting and the free-particle Bose distribution does not apply. But looking at such systems with more powerful method shows that their entropy still vanishes.

    • Yes Helium-4 is liquid and can form BEC. My example is Rubidium-87 which is gas and BEC. By the way, zero entropy is possible below critical temperature but zero temperature is not possible because virtual particles interact with bosons so their kinetic energy is never zero. And kinetic temperature is the kinetic energy of particles.

  25. https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/03/11/it-sounds-crazy-but-fukushima-chernobyl-and-three-mile-island-show-why-nuclear-is-inherently-safe/?fbclid=IwAR11dVCYxBbSh9BVgLKxqIltolX7jv2PvZAXJHAayo6XIUNWjnc78EcB7bs#10af74b61688

    The Republicans have failed us on the issue of nuclear power. They cower before the Green blob. Scientists have failed us. They cower too. Fear and ignorance won. If we have to virtue signal, do it for the right thing, Nuclear Power.

  26. How about $500 million a year subsidies to keep old nuclear plants running?
    “Pennsylvania state Rep. Thomas Mehaffie, R, introduced a bipartisan bill on Monday to provide subsidies for nuclear generators.”
    “The “bulk of that total,” about $287 million, could be earned annually by Exelon, Fox told Utility Dive via email. FirstEnergy might earn $88 million and Talen Energy, the owner of the Susquehanna nuclear plant, might earn $123 million annually.”
    I’m in support of this subsidy but I would require the utility companies to reinvest the money rather than just make them more profitable.

  27. Help required
    Being a newcomer to this site my first submission (March 12th) was marred by the absence of 2 important figures which encapsulated the main content of my comments.

    I had produced a Word document, which had the figures embedded within, and cut and pasted this document into the comments box. The text appeared but no diagrams.

    How does one submit a comment with diagrams embedded?

    Any advice on this would help me and hopefully other contributors.

  28. Another question on Trenberth diagram. I would expect earth average IR up to be the stefan -boltzman blackbody value less a few percent. Trenberth shows a higher number (like 396 Wm-2) that yields 17C average temp, instead of 14C. Is trenberth meant to be after a CO2 doubling?
    Thanks for any ideas or guidance on this

  29. Marty Anderson

    Another amazing set of reference links.

    One item that caught my eye was the Boeing AI failure that has grounded its planes.

    This may seem oblique to climate issues, but it has direct relevance to the “alternative energy” world.

    If one reads how the imagined pulsing of solar and wind at scale is assumed to be managed over millions of local generation and use sites, it involves the same kind of “artificial intelligence” software that Boeing is using to “avoid human error”.

    When one shifts the grid from a few hundred steady-source generation units, to a few hundred million small distributed generation/consumption points, and IF one seeks to manage this pulsing mass as a common utility, then the issues of AI limits appear.

    Also – given several comments on “free charging” of EV’s at night…

    …notice the current patterns of electricity use without millions of distributed EV batteries at the edges of the grid.

    Base load versus peaker generators over daily 24 hour cycles.

    If 1.5 billion EVs seek to “use the void” of electricity distribution at night, then there will be massive changes in both the physical and economic dimensions of electricity distribution.

    Linear extrapolations of the past into the future always mask unintended consequences.

    Plus the mining and scrap of billions of tons of matter in the battery life cycle makes current global e-waste flows look benign.

    • Good point. I believe the smart grid technology also makes us more vulnerable to malicious actors. It should make us better handle weather and natural disasters, but software becomes vulnerable to attack.

  30. Marty Anderson

    Per the article on biofuels.

    I was in the room when the ethanol subsidies were built. The current system was proposed years ago coincident with the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations.

    It was clear at the time that this would be a terrible environmenal “solution” – simply owing to the diversion of scarce water to automotive and agricutural transportation.

    If you follow the entire network that emerged from this political boondoggle, it will reveal how absurd the policy is.

    Start with agricultural water cycles, go through the changes in automotive components (mostly the fossil chemical plastic and rubber seals), distribution systems, loss of energy density in final use, insecticide/fertilizer in ground water – and so on.

    At that time Americans were driving between 1-2 trillion miles per year, so the net assumed benefits of the ethanol subsidies could have been met with simple reductions in the growth of driving.

    Today Americans are driving about 3 trillion miles per year, so small reductions in driving are more environmentally effective than the planned targets of more than 50 million electric vehicles in the US – or 1.5 billion worldwide.

    Total life cycles determine which enviromental solutions are truly valuable.

    Myopic regulators and politicians shoot first…and then shoot again later…still without aiming.

  31. Marty
    I wasn’t exactly in the room, but was city head of traffic when the ethanol boom started in Brazil. The aim at the time was to find a substitute for sugar and thus save the big sugar plantations and refineries. After adding 8% of anhydride ethanol to gas, it was found that gas could be unleaded without octane loss. Claro, this was touted as “environmkental friendly” and is a huge benefit, but really was an afterthought.

    Soyabean cake is a major export which means that oil is pressed out before transport. The Gov found out that trucks were filling up and running on soya oil (which plays hell with the engine, but works). And not paying taxes.
    Hence “Biodiesel” was born and added to local diesel (in short supply) or even as 100% Bio Fuel for city buses. In the latter, the oil (with less tax) is refined and does have a zero sulphur content as well as lower particle emissions. The market for oil both domestic and worldwide does not compensate transport costs.

    Wind is harvested in the NE of Brazil – not so much a greeny fob, but makes use of the stiff trade wind to meet a fair % of demand and reduce the use of hydro power (necessary in a drought striken zone).

    The raw material of monetary growth in the West during the 16th to 19th C was silver from Potosí (Rich Mountain – Cerro Rico) in Bolivia. This is also the country with the largest reserves of Lithium. Recycling EV batteries is one thing, the scramble for the raw material will be a different aspect to keep an eye on.

  32. Sorry, I do not yet know how to work this system. Anyway

    Dr. Strangelove | March 13, 2019 at 4:12 am | Reply

    but zero temperature is not possible because virtual particles interact with bosons so their kinetic energy is never zero. And kinetic temperature is the kinetic energy of particles.

    This is not correct. For example, He atoms have repulsive forces between each other — I suppose you could call this force a “virtual particle interaction”. Nevertheless, in principle liquid He can be cooled as close to T=0 as you want.

    • Yes as close to T = 0 as you want but not T = 0. It’s the concept of limit in calculus or asymptote in analytic geometry. By the way, forces between atoms are Van der Waals forces due to electromagnetic force. Virtual particles are from vacuum energy. They are not the same.

    • Over time in our non-equilibrium system energy out is equal to energy in – and this is maximum entropy.

      • Robert I Ellison: Over time in our non-equilibrium system energy out is equal to energy in – and this is maximum entropy.

        What is that about? To start with, the second law of thermodynamics is that:

        deltaH + TdeltaS >= 0, where deltaH is energy flow (plus means into the system), and TdeltaS is the temperature weighted entropy change. On earth, energy inflow slightly exceeds energy outflow, permitting (by law, but not guaranteeing) biological processes to invest energy in reducing entropy. In absolute terms the difference may be slight, but in biological terms is is critical: creating tight structures with high energy bonds like cellulose, glucose, ATP, hemoglobin and tooth enamel. This is what makes corn nutritious; glucose to power muscles; teeth to chew leaves, meat, stems and bones; wood to burn and warm our homes in winter; and all life to proceed.

        Considering the earth and sun together with the rest of the universe, entropy increases with energy transfer, but there is no reason think that it is anywhere maximum.

        Hence my question: What is that about? Did you, as sometimes happens to everyone including you — did you intend to write something different?

      • It is such a crappy thesis and Matthew whines that I won’t argue it. On the basis of semantic superficiality. When does he ever do anything else?





        There are other more important aspects to note in my comment than warming and extinction. But I did provide the National Geographic link. Show it ain’t so – not just whine about ‘may’.

      • I had intended to pithily indicate that there was an underlying Earth system reality. But far from a notion that life reverses entropy – there is the idea that life in its profusion from cellular proteins to herds of wildebeast take free energy and irreversibly transform it according the principle of maximum entropy production (MEP).

        “Schematic of catalysts and associated reactions used in the MEP model for Siders Pond. Functional groups include: SPhy, phytoplankton, purple, 2 rxns; SGSB, green sulfur bacteria, brown, 2 rxns; SGz, aerobic grazers, red, 8 rxns; SAGz, anaerobic grazers, green, 8 rxns; SBac, aerobic organoheterotrophic bacteria, blue, 3 rxns; SSRB, sulfate reducing bacteria, magenta, 3 rxns; SPH, photoheterotrophs, cyan, 1 rxn; SSOx, sulfide oxidizing bacteria, orange, 1 rxn. Other abbreviations: hν, photon capture; CL, labile organic carbon; CD, refractory organic carbon; PD, refractory organic phosphorous. See Table 2 for qualitative representation of functional reactions and section 2.7 of the Supplementary Material for stoichiometrically balanced reactions.”

        Energy is dissipated through the physical and biological system – understood through the elegance of MEP – in states that are far from thermodynamic equilibrium.

        “The majority of processes within the Earth system are irreversible. This irreversibility is expressed by their entropy production, which, in general, can be expressed as the product of a thermodynamic force multiplied by a thermodynamic flux. An estimate of the global entropy budget is shown in Fig. 3 assuming a steady state (i.e., dS/dt=0), based on a compilation of previous budgets (Nicolis and Nicolis 1980; Aoki 1983; Peixoto et al. 1991; Goody 2000; Kleidon and Lorenz 2005; Kleidon 2008a). In the following, we will go through the different kinds of processes and discuss the irreversibilities involved and the means to quantify the associated entropy production.” https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00114-009-0509-x

        But ultimately energy in = energy out. As nearly as makes no difference.

      • Robert I Ellison: But ultimately energy in = energy out.

        thanks for the clarification: ultmately. I suspected that something might be missing from your earlier post.

        as near as makes no difference

        In the meantime, the difference supports life on earth.

      • I did say over time. The biome is relatively stable – autotrophs and heterotrophs – the circle of life. I was thinking more of deep sequestered energy in carbon-carbon bonds. Not something on which life depends.

  33. New machine learning model extend current forecast horizon from 10 days out to 6 weeks.
    “… the combined models improved the accuracy of the operational forecast by between 37 and 53 percent for temperature and 128 and 154 percent for precipitation.”
    I assume that the work is continuing as I see Microsoft is supporting the project.

  34. The DOE E3SM coupled model version 1: Overview and evaluation at standard resolution

    E3SMv1’s aerosol-related effective radiative forcing (ERFari+aci= -1.65 W m−2),equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS = 5.3 K) and transient climate response (TCR= 2.93 K) are larger in magnitude than most CMIP5 models, but fall within previously published uncertainty bounds. Predictions of large future warming are due to unusually large positive shortwave cloud feedback.

  35. Here is an excellent presentation by Nic Lewis: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/03/14/how-sensitive-is-the-climate-to-greenhouse-gases/

    My comments

    Very interesting and well presented. Many important points. I particularly agree with his answer to the last question. Briefly, he said:

    • Don’t damage your credibility by arguing about stuff that is well established instead of focusing on the policy implications and claims that are obviously stupid.
    • Well established that putting more GHG in the atmosphere will warm the Earth
    • No point arguing about that with the mainstream because it just destroys your credibility on more important things like what the policy issues are
    • Better to focus on criticising the things that you can show are stupid and are wrong rather than argue about things where they respond that you are stupid and we’re not going to listen to you at all.

    Other important points:
    • Should use TCR not ECS for estimating temperature response to GHG emissions this century
    • Best estimate TCR is 1.35 C
    • Best estimate ECS is 1.7 C
    • RCP8.5 is not business as usual, it is near impossible
    • RCP6.0 is best estimate if there is little policy impact
    • Projected human caused warming this century is ~2C with 1.35C TCR and RCP6.0 (I think).

    To be effective stop arguing nonsense about science, and put shoulders to the wheel to persuade those who are willing to listen that any warming that does occur will have negligible or positive impacts. Each to his own on the best way to communicate with the most people to get the best result. Key points to focus on:
    • Any warming that does occur will have negligible or positive impacts
    • Therefore, there is not valid justification for policies to reduce global warming.
    • They are doing great harm for no benefit.
    • Focus on the impacts of bad policy on the hip pocket nerve.

    • • Don’t damage your credibility by arguing about stuff that is well established instead of focusing on the policy implications and claims that are obviously stupid.
      • Well established that putting more GHG in the atmosphere will warm the Earth
      • No point arguing about that with the mainstream because it just destroys your credibility on more important things like what the policy issues are
      • Better to focus on criticising the things that you can show are stupid and are wrong rather than argue about things where they respond that you are stupid and we’re not going to listen to you at all.

      Maybe Now that my fellow lukewarmer Nic has said it, you will listen

    • An engineer, a mathematician and a philosopher walk into a bar… the bartender is a parrot and asks them what they’ll have… the joke is on us.

      I’d opt for not doing something economically stupid. After all that’s what they did in Paris. Commercialization of 21st century technology seems like a win win.

      What is uncertain is how chiseled in stone any of these forecasts are. Let’s not find out if we don’t have.

      Well yes – some of these gases do have a long life cycle.

      Well yes – there are lots of environmental problems.

      Let’s fix them all.

      Here’s my favorite video of the moment starring international treasure Rattan Lal. Much better than some old white guys sitting around a room.

    • 3. I infer the optimum GMST for ecosystems is that which existed around the Eocene Thermal Maximum and during the Cambrian Explosion, i.e. ~28 C which is about 13 C warmer than present.

      4. Most major extinction events have been due to bolide impacts and ice ages, not due to global warming https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinction_event#List_of_extinction_events

      5. The PETM was due to warming but it was less severe than most mass extinctions
      “The most dramatic example of sustained warming is the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum, which was associated with one of the smaller mass extinctions.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleocene%E2%80%93Eocene_Thermal_Maximum

      6. The cause of the Permian-Triassic Boundary mass extinction event has recently been reported as an ice age, not global warming (Baresel et al., 2017) https://www.nature.com/articles/srep43630

      7. I do not know of any major extinction events that were due to global warming when GMST was less than optimum

      8. Even very rapid warming is beneficial for ecosystems. Coxon and McCarron (2009) Figure 15:21 shows temperatures in Ireland, Greenland and Iceland warmed from near LGM temperatures to near current temperatures in 7 years 14,500 years BP and in 9 years 11,500 BP. Life thrived during these events. http://mural.maynoothuniversity.ie/1983/

      9. Biosphere productivity is increasing during the current warming – the planet is greening. Gillman et al. (2015) ‘Latitude, productivity and species richness’ https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/geb.12245
      Biomass density (tC/ha) ~10 times higher in tropical rainforests than extratropical. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.4155/cmt.13.77 (p84)

      10. I infer from the above that global warming is net beneficial for ecosystems when GMST is below the optimum (which may be around 10–13 C above present GMST).

    • “Scientists have narrowed down several of the most likely causes of mass extinction. Flood basalt events (volcano eruptions), asteroid collisions, and sea level falls are the most likely causes of mass extinctions, though several other known events may also contribute. These include global warming, global cooling, methane eruptions and anoxic events–when the earth’s oceans lose their oxygen.” https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/prehistoric-world/mass-extinction/

      I had a brief look at the links in Lang’s comment. But really I can’t argue again such reasoning motivated in service of a simplistic thesis.

      “These results highlight a substantial degree of uncertainty in our interpretation of the observed climate change using current generation of climate models.” https://www.nature.com/articles/s41612-018-0044-6

      But not only do models miss global scale decadal variability – Nic Lewis does as well. Without which no analysis can do justice to the Earth system.

      Insolation may form a backdrop against which perpetual internal variability plays out.


      Change that by the nature of complex dynamical systems is in abruptly shifting regimes. With such a system and with a century long decline in AMOC – it seems unclear even that warming is guaranteed.

      But we know where we are and with 21st century knowledge and technology – we can build both agricultural productivity and restore and conserve ecosystems.

      • Robert I Ellison: “Scientists have narrowed down several of the most likely causes of mass extinction. Flood basalt events (volcano eruptions), asteroid collisions, and sea level falls are the most likely causes of mass extinctions, though several other known events may also contribute. These include global warming, global cooling, methane eruptions and anoxic events–when the earth’s oceans lose their oxygen.”

        “May” is an important word in that quote. Is there relevant evidence regarding extinctions due to warming at temps lower than Peter Lang’s hypothesized.

        I had a brief look at the links in Lang’s comment. But really I can’t argue again such reasoning motivated in service of a simplistic thesis.

        In fact, there isn’t evidence that Peter Lang is wrong in any of his assertions, is there? Surely you’d have told us if you found any.

  36. With Ethanol And Biomass No Longer Viewed As “Green,” Will Other Renewables Soon Follow?
    We are winning. Keep on the economics. Let the believers take their own path. Stay on the smart path.

    • If you have to burn it, it ain’t Green.

    • Cartoon caption is “I think I won!”

      To your comment on economics I would point out my electricity usage dropped by over 60% after I switched to zoned heating and cooling and put my electric water heater on a smart timer.
      If I was doing it today I would use these new Smart Vents and a on-demand water heater like this:
      Alea Labs: https://www.alealabs.com/
      HeatWorks: https://myheatworks.com/pages/model-3-specs

    • My latest contribution: Burn More Coal wins big with the SEC

      Some excerpts:
      The “green wave” of utilities shutting down coal fired power plants in the name of climate change has hit a rock, with bigger rocks to come. In this case the rock is the activist Burn More Coal, with the help of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The big rocks to come are shareholder meetings of the monster utilities Duke Energy and Exelon, plus many more as well.

      As we explained three months ago, Burn More Coal (BMC) is filing proposed stockholder motions calling on the green wave utilities to account for their lavishly expensive carbon cutting plans, given that there is no regulatory requirement to make these cuts. Their first hits were on Duke and Exelon.

      Not surprisingly, the utilities resisted in writing, so these twin issues went to the SEC for adjudication, along with BMC’s responses. Now the SEC has ruled in BMC’s favor, so the motions will go to the stockholders for a vote. The entire correspondence is available here. It is a fun read indeed.

      BMC’s proposed shareholder resolutions are simple and elegant. The two are very similar and here is the Duke example:

      “Resolved: Shareholders request that, beginning in 2019, Duke Energy annually publish a report of actually incurred company costs and associated actual/significant benefits accruing to shareholders, public health and the environment from Duke’s environment-related activities that are voluntary and exceed federal/state regulatory requirements. The report should be prepared at reasonable cost and omit proprietary information.”

      There is also a Supporting Statement specifying what is to be reported.

      BMC principal Steve Milloy sums it up this way: “If we are successful, utilities will need to justify CO2 cuts some other way than by claiming they are saving the planet.”

      These two SEC rulings are a clear precedent that the Burn More Coal motions cannot be blocked. On to the stockholder meetings! Should be great fun.

  37. This is a very important oceanography study – thanks! – showing the importance of ice cover on the Norwegian Sea:


    It has been long held that the Norwegian Sea is where the key downwelling and cold deep water formation occurs that drives the AMOC. That’s what I was taught in my oceanography degree in Southampton in the early 1980’s. More recently this was contradicted and the “consensus” moved to modelling studies suggesting that the Labrador Sea was more important. (An America-centric view.) But in the last year or two research covered here at Climate Etc. reaffirmed that it is indeed the Norwegian Sea after all, not the Labrador Sea, that is the key site of AMOC cold water formation.

    In this context it is not at all surprising to find that, if you bottle up the Norwegian Sea with ice cover, the AMOC will be abruptly slowed down, and since the AMOC is probably the most important driver of NH climate, an abrupt climate shift is highly likely to follow from either covering or uncovering of the Norwegian Sea with Sea ice.

  38. The linked paper on Antarctic water circulation and the 100,000 ice age interval, ends with this gem:

    which increased the resistance of the Antarctic upper water column to orbitally paced drivers of carbon dioxide release.

    So talebanically fanatical is climate dogma now, that nothing, but nothing, affects climate except via CO2. CO2 does not increase until after glacial termination is well underway, but this is no problem for the faithful.

    “Then Satan Dioxide answered unto them, saying, Lo, I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one changeth the climate except through Me.”

    Did you know BTW that having red spots all over your skin can cause measles? Better take that vaccine. Unless you’re an anti-vaxer who believes that only CO2 causes measles.

  39. More goodies from Hasenfratz et al, Antarctic surface water and the change to 100,000 year glacial pacing …

    (i.e. the MPR)

    The emergence of the 100,000-year cycle coincided with a reduction in deep-water supply and a freshening of the surface ocean.

    So, if cold meltwater from Antarctica fails to downwell and hangs around at the surface, freshening it, that causes cooling and less frequent interglacials.

    But that’s odd – because when freshening is detected in the 21st century around either Antarctica or Greenland, we’re told that this is due to accelerating melt from warming. So surface freshening around ice masses can cause either warming or cooling, as required in context.

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