Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Coupled modes of North Atlantic ocean-atmosphere variability and the onset of the Little Ice Age [link]

Marine Ice Cliff Instability mitigated by slow removal of ice shelves [link]  Overview/media article [link]

Erica Thompson and Lenny Smith:  Escape from model-land [link]

Satellite-based time-series of sea-surface temperature since 1981 for climate applications nature.com/articles/s4159

Large loss of CO2 in 2inter observed across the northern permafrost region [link]

Pielke Jr:  If climate scenarios are wrong for 2020, can they get 2100 right? [link]

Effect of mangrove forest structures on wave attenuation [link]

Vegetation structural change since 1981 significantly enhanced the terrestrial carbon sink [link]

ENSO modulation of the QBO: Results from MIROC models with and without non-orographic gravity wave parameterization journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.117

How accurate are atmospheric reanalyses in the Arctic? [link]

The recent September trend in sea ice volume is larger in PIOMAS-20C than PIOMAS, although within uncertainty estimates. journals.ametsoc.org/doi/10.1175/JC

Recent droughts in India have been less severe, but more detrimental [link]

The North American hydrologic cycle through the last deglaciation eartharxiv.org/8q5kz/

Nick Lutsko: What drives uncertainty in transient warming? [link]

African evidence supports Younger Dryas impact hypothesis [link]

Global cooling linked to increased glacial carbon storage via changes in Antarctic sea ice nature.com/articles/s4156

Pielke Jr:  It’s time to move beyond the toy models that guide climate policy [link]

Policy and technology

Don’t electrify everything.  Avoiding lock-in is key  [link]

Efficiency can cut US energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050 [link]

How better land management (agriculture, forestry, wetlands, and bioenergy) could feasibly and sustainably contribute ~30% of mitigation to deliver on the 1.5 °C goal of the Paris Agreement. [link]

Is bi0-energy carbon capture and storage feasible?  The contested authority of integrated assessment modeling [link]

Strategies to address climate change risk in low to moderate income communities [link]

Is climate change responsible for the conflicts we are seeing around the world today? Its complex [link]

The physical impossibility of renewable energy meeting the Paris Accord goals [link]

As the world’s garbage piles up, controversy over waste-to-energy incineration continues buff.ly/2P20hnk

If solar panels are so clean, why do they produce so much toxic waste? [link]

Golden rice: the true story of the genetically modified superfood that almost saved millions [link]

As PG&E shuts off power to 800,000 and SDG&E considers de-energizing lines for 30,000 in wake of fire risk, the debate over pre-emptive shutoffs ramps up: sandiegouniontribune.com/business/energ

Managed retreat through voluntary buyouts of flood prone properties [link]

Unmanaged retreat [link]

The health benefits of clean energy substantially outweigh the climate benefits (at least using standard economic analysis). [link]

Are nuclear disasters dangerous? [link]

Our refrigerators may one day run on greener technology in part to what scientists call a “twistocaloric” effect. [link]

Lord Howell:  Energy transition? Not so fast [link]

Vietnamese man makes biodegradable straws from grass [link]

The economy keeps growing, but Americans are using less energy, steel, paper, fertilizer [link]

Low carbon options for heavy industry, steel and cement are scarce and expensive [link]

Making sense of wicked problems [link]

Only about 3 percent of the United States’ more than 80,000 dams generate electricity, and there are countless other conduits that could be readily outfitted for the generation of electricity. [link]

About science and scientists

The cost of silence:  Normalization of deviance and groupthink [link]

Acknowledging uncertainty impacts public acceptance of climate scientists’ predictions nature.com/articles/s4155

Universities breed anger, ignorance and ingratitude [link]

Pielke Jr:  The biggest threat to climate science comes from climate advocates [link]

Math is racist, according to Seattle Public Schools [link]

Cliff Mass:  The real climae debate is not between ‘believers’ and ‘deniers’ [link]

How science has shifted our identity [link]  Stephen Pinker doesn’t like this essay [link]

“The argument is that statistical nitpickers cause social harm by decreasing public confidence in a published claim… even if the published claim has errors, we should either shut up about the errors or talk about them very quietly.” statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2019/10/07/are

Best tenure announcement ever [link]

Viewpoint diversity: necessary for quality science [link]

Revenge of the lazy ‘MSword’ people: “We show that LaTeX users were slower than Word users, wrote less text in the same amount of time, and produced more typesetting, orthographical, grammatical, and formatting errors” journals.plos.org/plosone/articl

The absurdity of the Nobel Prizes in science [link]


175 responses to “Week in review – science edition

  1. Did you see my comment, earlier in the week?

  2. I saw the ‘math is racist article’ earlier this week in a UK paper. They seemed to be saying Maths was a racist confection of the west but seemed to forget the input from the Arabs.


    • I can only imagine what JFK and FDR, two heroes of the left, would think about the current obsession/mental disorder about racism. When the vigilantes have chewed up everything else in their sights, those two bastions of liberalism should expect a knock on their Presidential Museum’s door.

      Is there no end?

    • When Arabs (and Muslims) do math, it’s not racist; it’s only racist when white Westerners do it. Get with the program.

  3. “African evidence supports Younger Dryas impact hypothesis [link]”

    The extreme malleability of YDIH theory to fit the ever changing evidence for it is a serious issue. Pls see


  4. I would like to add two more recent interesting papers:
    1. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2019GL084988?af=R . They constain the AMOC variability during the holocene with proxies for the NADW and find a very stable AMOC over the time, even during the 8k2 event. “The day after tomorrow” scenario is dead and gone?
    2. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-019-0551-4.epdf?author_access_token=lev7cCLvJaqZgqEL2fkrCtRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0OkPw7OWz-ctumf1Sllaa-sNqBW8kixcwl-ojSoyKUmUfvHbXmZ3llXRmZN-HO_pmKRWEHLwCuZqZkuv4bolog-ehQV4R4jg8i93P7ntZX4_w%3D%3D
    They find that the shringking arctic sea ice doesen’t make the midlatidude land warmer during wintertime and find a possible reaseon for the intensified arctic melting during 2007…2012: IV. The “WACCy” saga is dead and gone?

  5. Is climate change responsible for the conflicts we are seeing around the world today? Its complex

    Victor Hanson book “The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won ” has an great discussion of the geo political aspects and causes of many of the major wars though out history.

    The attribution of climate change as the cause of conflicts in the present day for similar conflicts which has been happening throughout the history of mankind is weak to say the least

  6. Universities Breed Anger, Ignorance, and Ingratitude

    Just utter ignorance.

  7. This is one of those papers where the abstract leaves too many questions about what the full paper says. Purportedly there is much more about the western Arctic Sea Ice variability behind the paywall.


    “Interestingly, during the Little Ice Age enriched δ18O and reduced Western Arctic sea ice are observed and may be indicative of prolonged periods of the warm Arctic/cold continents pattern and a northwestward shift of the North Pacific storm track.”

  8. Pingback: Week in review – science edition — Climate Etc. – Climate- Science.press

  9. The “WACCy pattern” is a pure phantasy. I linked the relevant paper above.

  10. Joe Bastardi says El Niño caused all the satellite warming, as have I.

    Joe’s latest:

    Joe’s picture of the El Niño step up in global temperatures, with nothing but pauses on either side:

    My description of the big step up, from 22 months ago (no picture):

    There is no CO2 warming in the entire satellite record! Just a step up warming due to the super El Niño 20 years ago. We may now have a second El Niño step warming but it is too soon to tell.

    I told you so.


    • Why would heat stay in the atmosphere?

      • During the long periods of no warming, such as 1978-1997, there is clearly a natural oscillation around a baseline energy content. The super El Niño simply raises that baseline a bit. How this all happens is what climate science should be asking, not what the CO2 sensitivity is (as it is clearly zero).

      • It’s already answered: increasing atmospheric CO2.

    • Steven Mosher

      now thats funny.

    • David Wojick:
      I appreciate your work. It there is a we, I think we need to get off of this argument. Just quietly walk away from it. Yes there are steps. Maybe in this case, but at different scales there are steps. Ice melting on a lake in the Spring has a step. Even if the climate system’s GMST will portray as steps, something is driving it from one to the next step. We need to be trusted. We need to argue from a defensible position. If they are as bad we say, they’ll make fools of themselves while we easily defend what we say. Simplest example is quoting the IPCC currently. I like cfact. I at times share it on Facebook. But it is a body of work, fairly or unfairly.

      • There actually a scientist from Australia who is doing similar work, sans the lunacy about “the El Niña did it” and “no CO2 warming.

      • JCH:
        I never have a problem daydreaming. The Aussie. Everything is this or that down to very small scales. Spaced out mass conversions from this to that like with an El Nino alternating with not converting, would give steps. ENSO still doesn’t seem big enough. Maybe it’s a combination of a big thing like the ENSO region and the rest linear with the linear negatively feeding back. Where’s my Nobel Prize?

      • Interesting that amidst all the ridicule no one has questioned my and Joe’s analysis. The only warming in the record occurs concurrently with the super El Niño. If this is not correct, say where. If you think the gradual CO2 buildup can cause this step pattern, say how. Otherwise the claim stands unopposed. Ridicule without counter analysis is not science.

      • First, the scientist who is looking at it in those terms doesn’t just use UAH. Because UAH is junk.

      • That the GMST portrays as steps is subjective. There is data. Then we draw conclusions from that. The GMST leaves out near ocean surface warming as can happen in the ENSO region. We keep score with the GMST. Everyone does it. But it doesn’t capture many important things. Ice sheets for instance. So steps on a GMST plot isn’t complete. But if we think it is, we can then apply that to the climate system as something very important. I think the climate system is warming. At the same time I place more weight on the oceans ability to absorb and delay GMST warming then 90% of people. I think the climate system is warming in a linear way. It’s in the atmosphere and the oceans. The portrayed steps suggest the need to understand the oceans to a greater extent. You could reference Tisdale and Trenberth. Even though that would argue against what I am saying. But maybe Trenberth knows how it works. We haven’t heard from him in a while.

      • If UAH is junk then we don’t even know the atmosphere is warming. But I thought the balloon data supported UAH. Perhaps you can explain specifically what is wrong with UAH, which is now on version 6 as I understand?

      • There is nothing subjective about the data analysis. The pattern is objective. The issue at hand Is very specific, namely whether or not the CO2 increase is increasing the energy level in the atmosphere. The data clearly says no. If the surface or oceans are warming then there must be some other cause, such as indirect solar warming, but these are other issues.

      • UAH is junk. RSS is not junk. As the chief scientist for RSS admits, GISS, HadCrud4, NOAA, C&W, JMA are likely more accurate than the satellite series. The steps are in all of the series. Your conclusions are not.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Interesting that amidst all the ridicule no one has questioned my and Joe’s analysis. ”
        That because THERE IS NO ANALYSIS.
        you made a claim
        “There is no CO2 warming in the entire satellite record! ”

        but nothing in your chart establishes “no” c02 warming.
        what you show is a bunch of “steps”, but nothing in terms
        of a physical argument that there is NO c02 warming.
        your charts “explain” nothing.
        there is no argument, no counter argument.

        this is why no scientist takes you or joe seriously.

        not to mention the hack job of just looking at one piece of “data”
        UAHs model of temperature

      • Let’s humor David and pretend that we can exclude CO2 as having anything to do with the step up in El Nino warming. It’s going to step back down, any day now.

      • JCH
        “As the chief scientist for RSS admits, GISS, HadCrud4, NOAA, C&W, JMA are likely more accurate than the satellite series.”
        He believes they are more accurate because they are all very similar. Could it be the result of using the same station data? Seems like a weak argument!

      • RSS is in agreement, and it does not use the same data.

      • richswarthout

        GISS, HadCrud4, NOAA, C&W, JMA are [likely more accurate than the satellite series] and yet, RSS is in agreement with those series?

      • The reason Sgt. Springer of the United States Marine Corps liked to use RSS was it showed less warming than the UAH version at the time, and it was produced by consensus scientists. he loved that dig. That was around the time Mears made his statement about the relative accuracies. Since then RSS has repaired their formerly F-upped crappy series, and it now shows more warming over the satellite era than the surface series.

      • richswarthout

        1. Mears determined that land measurements were more accurate based on flimsy evidence. When I first read that, several years ago, I decided that he was not a professional.
        2. It seems that you evaluate datasets as junk or good based on outcome; good are warm and junk are too cool. Are there no objective methods? UAH systematically compares its outputs to balloon data of the same place and time, with excellent results. And you call it junk?

      • http://woodfortrees.org/plot/uah6/plot/gistemp/from:1979/plot/uah6/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1979/trend

        Looks like a difference of rising 0.2 C over about 40 years or 0.05 C per decade. This means UAH is fine. Because 0.05 C per decade doesn’t make a policy difference. I wouldn’t make a big deal about Mears. He was the most wrong for the longest amount of time. He goes from lowest to highest. That’s not confidence inspiring. And he said his data wasn’t that good. If he repents then what?

      • BS.

      • We know that the state of the Pacific causes changes in tropospheric temperature and have dor 20 years.

        We know how and why.

        e,g, https://www.mdpi.com/2225-1154/6/3/62

        It’s more than half of recent warming.


        Let me know when the penny on extreme chaotic variability in climate drops David. .

      • Our 2018 published paper had the most extensive comparison to other data sources (radiosondes, reanalyses), and an objective person would consider our satellite dataset as the most accurate.

        ~ Roy W Spencer
        October 4, 2019

      • Let us know when John Christy and Roy Spencer become objective.

      • Christy and Mears co-authors.

        Top Secret until September 15, 2020:


      • David Wojick: The only warming in the record occurs concurrently with the super El Niño. If this is not correct, say where. If you think the gradual CO2 buildup can cause this step pattern, say how.

        Step changes have frequently been observed in experimental and computational experiments. For examples, consult Kondepudi and Prigogine: Modern Thermodynamics, the last few chapters. There are many other sources on the behavior of high dimensional nonlinear dissipative systems, but I cite that one most frequently because it explicitly addresses thermodynamics.

        Consequently, step changes in output are not evidence that the changes are not caused by continuous input.

      • Matt, we will suggest that David gets back to you, when the step changes start trending in the other direction.

      • https://www.drroyspencer.com

        Let us know when John Christy and Roy Spencer become objective.

        Why don’t you go over there, ask him and find out yourself? (put your objective money where your subjective mouth is)…

      • Don Monfort on October 28, 2019 at 10:14 am
        Let’s humor David and pretend that we can exclude CO2 as having anything to do with the step up in El Nino warming.

        Well, if it isn’t ad hom don (rearin’ his ugly head again). If we’re to expect step rises in temperature, then why aren’t they incorporated into climate models?

      • Not necessary. Unless they elect to waste their golden years on abject futility, retirement will end it.

      • …retirement will end it.

        True, true (very true). Before too long UAH will no longer be a thorn in the alarmist’ side. (and the final stage of the adjustocene will be complete)…

      • Don Monfort: Matt, we will suggest that David gets back to you, when the step changes start trending in the other direction.

        Well, at age 72, I am afraid that I shall not witness the projected climate temperature decreases. But they may indeed be step changes, even if the changes in forcing are smooth.

    • We may now have a second El Niño step warming but it is too soon to tell.


      Northern hemispheric SSTs have begun their annual nose dive. Keep a watchful eye on the southern hemisphere which is already quite low. (how much lower will it go?) From the looks of it, we could see the new step rise vanish into thin air. Exciting times for climate change junkies. Our forecasted cooling could be just around the corner! (i certainly hope so, cuz dis is gettin’ old… 😖)

      • Well, in the meantime, October is rockin’ out hot:


      • As it should be… You might say that northern hemispheric SSTs have been anomalously warm. (and that would be an understatement) Makes you wonder what on earth is going on. But, alas, this too shall pass. The seasonal swing comes crashing down every fall. That’s why i say watch the southern ocean. In the final analysis, that will be the difference maker. Shouldn’t be too long, though perhaps still years, before we see where things are actually headed. (in spite of all the enso noise)…

      • The PDO shifted positive in 2015. Marine life has had a very difficult run. A positive phase is not going have very many ventures into strong negative, so the Eastern Pacific is going to remain pretty warm, even in La Niña conditions.

      • We shall see — No point in bloviating when we can all watch the thing unfold in real time. So, git yer popcorn ready, smoke a doobie, or do whatever’s your fancy, cuz que sara, sara

    • David Wojick: Joe Bastardi says El Niño caused all the satellite warming, as have I.

      Without an increase in the total energy, El Niño by itself can not cause a step increase.

      See also my other comment that again cites the K&P text on modern thermodynamics.

      • Matthew, it may well be a spurious association of el nino with step rises. Both step rises of the late 70s and early 2000s accompanied the rise of the solar cycle — the early 90s being aborted by pinatubo. And, they were strong solar cycles. So, solar may be your increase in the total energy. (and, puh-lease, lets have none of this solar activity has been declining crap)…

      • afonzerelli: So, solar may be your increase in the total energy. (and, puh-lease, lets have none of this solar activity has been declining crap)…

        Yeh, the step changes could result from smooth changes in solar energy input. Step changes in measured responses do not rule out smooth changes in inputs in high dimensional nonlinear dissipative systems, whatever the inputs are hypothesized to be.

      • That’s Javier’s picture BTW… He posted it over at watts’. (i caught some flack over there when i asked him if he thought it was simple enough for svalgaard… 😉)

  11. Coupled modes of North Atlantic ocean-atmosphere variability and the onset of the Little Ice Age [link]
    It snowed more during the Medieval Warm Period, when the Arctic was warmer and there was more evaporation and snowfall.
    Increased ice volumes caused ice extent increase, it is well known that ice advances as temperatures dropped into the little ice age. The ice advance caused the little ice age, it was not a result. Study the ice core data, the proofs are in actual data.

  12. Cliff Mass: The real climae debate is not between ‘believers’ and ‘deniers’ [link] is fundamentally wrong as far as excluding ‘deniers’ goes, as this is in fact still the real debate. He is however right that there is a big internal debate among those who believe in dangerous AGW. I have described it a bit more strongly than he does here: https://www.cfact.org/2019/09/28/is-climate-alarmism-tearing-itself-apart/. The practical versus the devoted.

    • “The real debate is certainly not over whether global warming, spurred by increasing greenhouse gases, is a serious problem that must be addressed. Both sides of the real climate debate agree on that.” Cliff Mass

  13. Judy
    The paper from your selection above
    – How accurate are atmospheric reanalyses in the Arctic? https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2019GL082781

    This is an interesting paper for its simplicity in providing understanding what causes Arctic sea ice extent reduction, variability and rapid rate of decline -0 Atmospheric Ingress. SST will soften the ice, but atmospheric intrusion is the primary villain. Atmospheric intrusion is accentuated during periods of increased low latitude convection, which has increased during the modern warming period.

    Atmospheric intrusion into the Arctic is not a constant volume, it can occur in bursts, such as the Arctic Cyclone of 2012. Bursts of intrusion are caused by NH tropospheric pressure pulses originating from low latitudes. Importantly we can identify those same pressure pulses that reduce Arctic SIE in other atmospheric events.

    Example one – Hurricanes
    Dorian – Aug 24th to Sept 7th. H1-28th, H3-30th, 1st Sept H5, 3rd-H2, 5th-H3, 6th H1.
    East Pacific
    Hurricane Juliette Sept 1st to 7th – H1 2nd, H3 3rd
    West Pacific
    Typhoon Faxai – Aug 30th to September 10th – H1-6th, H4-8th
    Typhoon Lingling – Aug 31st to 7th Sept – H1 to H4 on 3rd to 4th Sept
    All of these Tropical Storms were dancing to the same NH thermal pressure pulse, and all underwent rapid intensification at similar times.

    Now check the rate of Arctic SIE decline over that period. Between 29th Aug and 7th September = rapid decline from 4.665 to 4.293 Msqkm. In Antarctica there was a rate of SIE increase.

    Example two – Hurricanes
    Humberto – Sept 13th to 20th – H1 16th, H3 17th
    Jerry – 17th to 25th – H1 to H3-19th
    East Pacific
    Kiko Sept 12th to 25th – H1-14th ; H4 15th.
    Again there is rapid decline in Arctic SIE, and increase in Antarctic SIE between 12th to 20th Sept. coinciding with the same pressure pulse.

    The September Arctic SIE minimum signals a relaxation of atmospheric circulation restraint. Therefore it takes something really big to ingress into the Arctic and slow the rate of Arctic SIE increase. Enter Super Typhoon Hagibis October 4th to 13th. The imprint is clearly in the Arctic SIE over the same period.

    What causes the “pressure pulses”?
    Rapid intensification of Tropical Storms / Hurricanes (reason previously unknown) is not a local stimulation. Wind shear, SST and humidity locally are key players, but are secondary.
    The key driver is large bursts of tropical convection entering the atmosphere in a short time period. Tropical convection is not regular and constant like a boiling jug. There are periods of high volume release. This creates the atmospheric pressure pulse for both rapid intensification of Hurricanes, and Arctic atmospheric intrusion causing SIE variations as described above. This “pressure pulse” phenomenon is reliant on other atmospheric connections to facilitate the outcome.
    With Regards
    Martin Cropp

  14. Only about 3 percent of the United States’ more than 80,000 dams generate electricity, and there are countless other conduits that could be readily outfitted for the generation of electricity. [link]

    That is a good thing. Grid failures cause the most power outages, local grids and larger grids. The renewable power added to the grid has increased the risk, now, talking about adding 97% of 80,000 mostly smaller dams would add more risk. Every flood would require flood damage to be balanced with power generation. There are countless other conduits of increased risk that can be added to the grids.

    CO2 is good, there is much proof of that.
    CO2 has never been proven to cause any harm.

    Take the alarmists to court and force them to prove there is harm from more CO2. Climate models are not proof. Consensus opinion is not proof.

    Current temperature is lower than most of the most recent ten thousand years and not changing fast.

  15. How accurate are atmospheric reanalyses in the Arctic? [link]

    Sea ice is on top of the water, warm tropical ocean currents thaw the sea ice or cooler tropical oceans currents allow sea ice to form.

    Thaw one pile of ice with warm air and another with warm salt water, see which is most effective. Ocean temperature, mostly, determines the extent of sea ice.

    • Pope
      Then you need to explain why
      A, at the point of sea ice minimum why the area rapidly expands. Does the ocean water suddenly cool. No it does not.
      B, why are there periods of rapid decline in area, then stability, then rapid decline.
      C, why in some years does the recovery in area exceed or match the decline. See point A.
      D, why does the DMI temperature profile remain so constant.
      Put away your broad brush, and provide some detail.
      With regards

  16. Bill Fabrizio

    The article ‘As the World’s Garbage Piles Up …” just couldn’t resist citing multiple extreme environmental positions that the incinerators produce harmful pollutants and so shouldn’t be used. Yet, it did give a link in the beginning of the article to a paper that examined 124 incinerators in France that operated well below French and EU standards for dioxin and furans. And ended with what seemed a call for more waste to energy plants. Source separated or not, garbage is growing at an alarming rate. Waste to energy needs to be greatly enlarged along with research on stack mitigation techniques. Call it green, call it black … there’s actually no choice.

  17. JC, thanks for this link:
    Are Nuclear Disasters Dangerous?https://medium.com/generation-atomic/are-nuclear-disasters-dangerous-462476b49968

    As I’ve been saying for years, the answer is NO!!. Nuclear is the safest way to generate electricity by a wide margin and always has been.

    This article is a good summary of the UK NREFS papers (which I have read).

    [NRC] the toughest regulator on the planet so let’s see what it has to say about the consequences for public health of a severe nuclear disaster.

    The NRC has studied accident consequences in depth in the 2007 SOARCA project, and here is a summary of what it found:

    Existing resources and procedures can stop an accident, slow it down or reduce its impact before it can affect public health;

    Even if accidents proceed uncontrolled, they take much longer to happen and release much less radioactive material than earlier analyses suggested; and

    The analyzed accidents would cause essentially zero immediate deaths and only a very, very small increase in the risk of long-term cancer deaths.
    So basically, according to the NRC, a severe nuclear disaster would do little or no harm to public health.


    The research has shown that the risk after a big nuclear accident has happened is smaller than almost everyone has realised, a result that may change fundamentally the way people think of nuclear power. The life expectancy lost through radiation exposure after even the biggest nuclear accident can be kept small, while the downside risk is limited even in the absence of countermeasures.

    So that research confirms the earlier NRC findings, but it further clarifies:

    Mass population movement has been shown to be a poor response to a big nuclear accident: relocation is an option that governments should use sparingly if at all.

    Essentially, the study was able to determine objectively, quantitatively that relocating people out of a nuclear accident fallout zone typically does more harm than good, namely because:

    The NREFS results show that the life expectancy lost through radiation exposure after a big nuclear accident can be kept small by the adoption of sensible countermeasures, while the downside risk is less severe than is widely perceived even in their absence. Nearly three quarters of the 116,000 members of the public relocated after the Chernobyl accident would have lost less than 9 months’ life expectancy per person if they had remained in place, and only 6% would have lost more than 3 years of life expectancy. Neither figure is insignificant, but both are comparable with life expectancy differences resulting from the different day-to-day risks associated with living in different parts of the UK. It is clear in hindsight that too many people were relocated after both the Chernobyl and the Fukushima Daiichi accidents. Remediation methods can often be cost-effective, but relocation of large numbers following a big nuclear accident brings its own risks to health and well-being and should be used sparingly, a message coming from all three of the quantitative methods. There is a need to understand and hence demystify the effects of big nuclear accidents so that decision makers are not pressurised into instituting draconian measures after the accident that may do more harm than good.

    More here https://medium.com/generation-atomic/are-nuclear-disasters-dangerous-462476b49968 and in the NREFS papers:

    • Peter, the danger from nuclear Is financial. The plants are exorbitantly expensive to build, payoff and make a profit on the investment. An accident at one nuclear plant causes a regulatory generated financial tsunami across all nuclear plants, as has been observed on a number of occasions.
      Fukushima provides a really good example of an accident that caused no particular public health problems but the financial carnage was stupefying. The financial tab is hundreds of billions of dollars when considering the destruction of reactors, remediation, long duration temporary shutdowns, premature closure of scores of reactors, buying expensive replacement power, etc.
      Frankly, a private utility company would have to be stark raving mad to make an investment in a new nuclear plant. The current generation of nuclear reactors are just too financially risky. Advanced nuclear reactors might be a reasonable investment if they are absolutely passively fail-safe and reasonably cost effective. That is a really, really big IF, however.

      • Kellermfk,

        Thank you for your comment.

        Regarding your first sentence: “Peter, the danger from nuclear is financial”, I agree, but this is not what the articles and the cited papers are about. They are mainly focused on evaluating the health risks and the financial risks of accidents, not the overall financial risks of the high cost of nuclear power.

        I agree that the costs for nuclear are ridiculous in the developed countries (but not in China and South Korea). The reason the costs have become ridiculously high is 50 years of regulatory ratcheting as a results of the fear of nuclear accidents, which has been largely caused by the anti-nuclear power protest movement and the green activists. IMO, costs will not come down substantially until the following happens:

        1. The majority of the public accept that nuclear power is the safest way to generate electricity, and that the risk from nuclear power accidents is small – and that nuclear is the safest way to generate electricity by a wide margin

        2. If we want to get cleaner and safer energy we must transition from fossil fuels to nuclear (note that nuclear can supply all our currently used transport fuels effectively, and they will be cleaner than the transport fuels we now use)

        3. Renewables is the wrong approach – they can never supply much of the world’s energy needs, they are hugely expensive already and the total system cost will get much higher as the penetration of renewables increases

        4. Once the majority of the public in the developed countries recognise and accept the above points, then it is up to the regulators in US, Europe, UK and Canada, and the IAEA, IEA, and OECD-NEA, to rewrite the regulations.

        5. I’d also suggest that electricity generators be taxed on the technologies they use (brown coal, black coal, natural gas, hydro-electric, biomass, geothermal, wind, solar, tidal, etc.) on the basis of the deaths per TWh caused by each technology. This would greatly increase the cost of fossil fuel generators and to a lesser extent the renewable technologies, and give nuclear the greatest boost relative to all existing technologies. It would increase the rate of development of nuclear power.

        Have you read this: ‘Nuclear Power Learning and Deployment Rates; Disruption and Global Benefits Forgone’ https://doi.org/10.3390/en10122169

        Below is an excerpt from an opinion piece ‘What Could Have Been – If Nuclear Power Deployment Had Not Been Disrupted’ https://www.thegwpf.com/what-could-have-been-if-nuclear-power-deployment-had-not-been-disrupted/ on the above paper
        Some of nuclear power’s advantages are, it:
        1. is the safest way to generate electricity and always has been since the first power reactor began supplying power to the grid in 1954 (Appendix B, Note VIII)
        2. is sustainable – nuclear fuel is effectively unlimited
        3. provides reliable, dispatchable electricity
        4. provides countries with a high level of energy security – many years of fuel supply can be stored in a small space at low cost so countries are not vulnerable to disruption of fuel supply during periods of trade or military conflicts
        5. is highly flexible in small modular reactors – consider the flexibility of nuclear powered submarines and ships, as has been demonstrated over the past 60 years; also see Irwin (2017) submission to the Australian Energy Security Board on SMR technologies.
        6. almost unlimited potential for cost reductions over time, if the impediments to progress are removed.

        Other economic benefits and policy implications are presented in Sections 3.5 and 3.6.
        The likely-root cause of the disruption, and the cost escalations and stalled deployment rate since about 1967 was, and still is, the activities of the anti-nuclear power protest movement (Appendix B, Note IX ).

        To achieve the substantial benefits available by transitioning to nuclear power requires a recognition of the disruption and its consequences, identification of its causes, and amelioration of the impediments that are slowing progress.

      • Peter, not sure “what might have been” will solve nuclear energy’s current plight. In my view, we need a quantum shift to escape the heavy baggage of the past.

        The huge cost increases caused by massive overregulation need to be short circuited by vastly safer technologies. Such a state inherently greatly simplify regulations. For instance, if the fuel cannot melt and release radioactive material, then the vast majority of existing regulatory rules are irrelevant and can be eliminated.

        On the economic front, build and operating costs must be competitive. That suggests high output and high efficiency which is the opposite approach used by most SMR’s. The ability to economically cope with the grid’s variability is also key. Most SMR approaches have trouble in that regard because imbedded fixed costs are not easily accommodated by lower capacity factors.

      • Kellermfk

        Peter, not sure “what might have been” will solve nuclear energy’s current plight.

        I didn’t say “what might have been” will solve nuclear’s current plight. If you read the paper you’ll see what I actually said. It’s a review of the past and shows what could have been if not for the disruption – i.e. nuclear power would cost around 10% of its current cost. The paper doesn’t actually do a Root Cause Analysis of the causes. That would require another analysis. But see Appendix B, Note IX.

        The paper shows what the learning rates were before the disruption. I’ve said several times, in comments on CE, that if we could return to those learning rates, the cost of nuclear power would reduce at around 25% per doubling of global cumulative capacity from now on. Unfortunately, that means adding over 500 GW of nuclear capacity for the first doubling and over 1000 GW for the second doubling, etc. Whereas, if the disruption had not occurred, we would have had four doublings between 1968 and 2015. Clearly, we cannot regain what we’ve lost.

        In my view, we need a quantum shift to escape the heavy baggage of the past.

        That’s not feasible. Nuclear plants last for 60 years (probably longer). So, turnover is slow, and therefore development and improvement is slow.

        What is needed to accelerate progress is what I said in my previous comment.

      • Kellermfk

        In short, I suggest what is needed is to remove all the market distortions – i.e. all the subsidies and all the penalties for all electricity generation technologies.

        In addition include the health externalities in the cost of the various technologies – e.g. the deaths per TWh times the VSL (Value of a Statistical Life).

        This would greatly reduce the cost of nuclear and increase the cost of all other technologies – but it would take time (decades) to wash through.

      • Cost reduction curves are asymptotic – and not linear. A 90% cost reduction is just incredible nonsense. If you can imagine a 90% reduction in materials, labour, fuel etc – it’s a n engineering sanity test you have failed. I have seen Peter disregard that very point raised by a nuclear engineer. China and Korea can’t manage to do that. And if we believe MIT rather than a spectacularly misguided climate sceptic with a political axe to grind – as I do – then the reason reactors cost more in the US than Korea or China is not regulation.


        General Atomics – btw – simulated a thermal efficiency of their high temperature gas cooled reactor at 53%. Light water reactors top out at some 34% – and they need to be behemoths to get that. This is a company that has done everything in atomics.


        Here’s the government response – not specific to EM2. .

      • “The concept of learning rates, or cost experience curves [I], is widely used to quantify the rate at which costs reduce as experience is gained. Learning rate is the fractional reduction in cost per doubling of cumulative capacity or production. Rubin et al. [13] explain how to calculate learning rates, and summarise learning rates for selected electricity generation technologies.”

        “Figure 1. Overnight construction cost (in 2010 US $/kW) plotted against cumulative global capacity (GW), based on construction start dates, of nuclear power reactors for seven countries, including regression lines for US before and after 32 GW cumulative global capacity.”

        Source: “Nuclear Power Learning and Deployment Rates; Disruption and Global Benefits Forgone” https://doi.org/10.3390/en10122169

      • Peter takes a couple of dubious data points, extrapolates and calls it a learning rate. Real world cost reduction is asymptotic as I said – not linear. Call it what you will.

        There is no reason we should believe him rather than industry, academia and government. Read the MIT report for a rational and comprehensive review of cost components – including regulation.

      • Robert I Ellison: Cost reduction curves are asymptotic – and not linear.

        “Fast and loose” with the language again? Peter Lang presented estimated cost reduction per doubling of generating capacity, which is not a linear function.

      • He regressed it as a linear function and extrapolated. It surprises me how little Matthew does understand

  18. This is also an interesting article: https://thebreakthrough.org/issues/energy/air-pollution

    It includes this chart:

    However, I suspect the cost benefit of climate policies is incorrect. I suspect the cost benefit is actually negative – i.e the cost of actions to reduce global warming climate policies is very high and the benefits are negative.

  19. I agree with the main thrust of this article – i.e. the transition from fossil fuels will take much longer than the climate alarmists would like us to believe.

    Energy Transition? Not So Fast, One Expert Says

    I also believe the transition will be to nuclear power, not to renewables.

  20. Here are five papers that provide an alternative perspective to the idea that the Sun and CO2 are the only significant factors affecting climate change:

    1. Treloar, N.C. A Proposed Exogenous Cause of the Global Temperature Hiatus. Climate, 2019, 7, 31.


    2. Treloar, N.C. Deconstructing Global Temperature Anomalies: An Hypothesis, Climate 2017, 5(4), 83


    3. Ian Robert George Wilson* and Nikolay S Sidorenkov, A Luni-Solar Connection to Weather and Climate I: Centennial Times Scales, J Earth Sci Clim Change 2018, 9:2


    4. Wilson, I.R.G. and Sidorenkov, N.S., 2019, A Luni-Solar Connection to Weather and Climate II: Extreme Perigean New/Full Moons and El Niño Events, The General Science Journal, Jan 2019, 7637. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.20846.87362


    5. Wilson, I.R.G. and Sidorenkov, N.S., 2019, A Luni-Solar Connection to Weather and Climate III: Sub-Centennial Time Scales, The General Science Journal, 7927


  21. Norman Treloars 2017 paper on zonal (Z) and meridional (M) ) tidal forcing terms is in close agreement with my own findings.

    He uses a scaled accumulated tidal Z-M difference to describe the tidal forcing. It is the tidal zonal-meridional analog of the Atmospheric Circulation Index (ACI). The forcing function has turning points at:

    1872 – 1902 Meridional regime – decreasing GMST (Global Mean Surface Temperature)
    1902 – 1934 Zonal regime – increasing GMST
    1934 – 1966 Meridional regime – decreasing GMST
    1966 – 1997 Zonal regime – increasing GMST

    He identifies an 8 year lag between the turning points in the lunar forcing terms and the actual increase and decreases in GMST. Hence:

    1872 goes to 1880 – start in global cooling
    1902 goes to 1910 – start in global heating
    1934 goes to 1942 – start in global cooling
    1966 goes to 1974 – start in global heating
    1997 goes to 2005 – start in global cooling

    This almost exactly the same as my 31-year Perigean New/Full Moon epochs which I find governs the onset times for El Nino events and which, I believe, leads to changes in the GMST temperature roughly 10 years later:

    1870 to 1901 – Full Epoch Moon – leads to cooling starting in 1880
    1901 to 1932 – New Moon epoch – leads to heating starting in 1911
    1932 to 1963 – Full Moon Epoch – leads to cooling starting in 1942
    1963 to 1994 – New Moon Epoch – leads to heating starting 1973
    1994 to 2025 – Full Moon Epoch – leads to cooling starting in 2004

    Perhaps Treloar’s most important conclusion is that the lunar forcing precedes the observed changes in the changes in LOD by 2 years, the changes in ACI by 4 years, and the changes in GMST by 8 years. Strongly implying that the changes in the zonal and meridional lunar tidal forcing is driving almost all of the observed natural climate cycles.

    This is a rough agreement with a conclusion from my 2011 paper which found that, if you look closely at the peaks in the deviation of Earth’s LOD from its long term trend and the peaks in the PDO index shown in figure 8 of this paper, you will notice that the peaks in deviation of LOD take place 8 – 10 years earlier (on average) than the peaks in the PDO index, suggesting a causal link.


    Wilson, I.R.G., 2013, Are Global Mean Temperatures Significantly Affected by Long-Term Lunar Atmospheric Tides? Energy & Environment, Vol 24, No. 3 & 4, pp. 497 – 508


  22. Re coupled modes– true, true, Nikola Scafetta observed warmth, stability, cooling is based on long term ‘physical mechanisms’ (like ENSO), the Sun (solar activity) and the big planets (Jupiter, Saturn) and ‘the phenomenon of collective synchronization of coupled oscillators,’ combining to make something unimaginable which, by definition, is beyond our ability to forecast.

  23. It’s Time To Move Beyond The Toy Models that Guide Climate Policy
    What good can you say about what they know? Very little. He even gives them the benefit of the doubt. Economic models for projecting the future. Really? Tell me what China’s going to do in the next 20 years? Venezuela. I have to think what these experts are doing with their IAMs is about one the least valuable things I can think of. Make the world a better place.

  24. “So that’s it: a nuclear disaster — at worst— will shorten life expectancy by 9 months.
    That’s not cool.
    We should avoid nuclear disasters.”

    Do you feel lucky punk? I have read a 100 or radiation epidemiological studies. There is a low and very uncertain risk in a large population. What is needed to convince a once bitten twice shy public is failsafe designs that use all available energy in nuclear fuels and leave only fission products as waste.

    “To provide [electricity] in today’s world, an ‘advanced reactor’ must improve over existing reactors in the following 4-core objectives. It must produce significantly less costly, cost-competitive clean electricity, be safer, produce significantly less waste and reduce proliferation risk. It is not sufficient to excel at one without regard to the others.” Dr. Christina Back, Vice President, Nuclear Technologies and Materials for General Atomics, May 2016 testimony before the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the status of advanced nuclear technologies.


    The idea of the madness of repeating the same light water reactor construction and expecting a different outcome comes to mind.

    We have – btw – spent decades reducing pollution in developed economies to good effect. The comparison between pollution and radiation is invidious.

  25. For the Word vs. LaTeX paper, the key is in Table 2c that show equation errors are lower for LaTeX users than Word users (not mentioned in the abstract). Equations are hard to typeset and errors there are more significant than other typos. The authors also didn’t address bibliographies, for which LaTex has good tools. Anyway, most of the time that goes into a good paper is spent editing, not writing.

  26. Aww.. I am reposting it from last weekly roundup.. I hope someone can help me out..

    Dear Judith, I have one of this nagging questions and I hope that you (or any reader) could point me in the right direction..
    It is about the Bern model and similar attempts to model the residence time.. My question boils down to how good are numbers like this:
    (a table with amplitudes and time constants modeling the CO2 decay)
    As far as I can tell these numbers change a lot between groups and over time in every group. Are these values used as inputs into GCM?
    Where do these numbers come from and if there would be a scientific progress (like new facts in the discussion if the ocean sinks are diminishing or not), that should affect these amplitudes, right?
    Also, it seems, that about 90% of all CO2 has a rather short residence time (with time constants of 15years or shorter)
    I guess you are aware, that people like Engelbeen and Eschenbach talked about a simpler model consisting of a single decay with a time constant of about 35 years..

  27. Dr. Judith, No doubt you’ve seen the meme comparing you to Greta Thunberg? I try to tell people it’s not accurate, and they get all in a snit. I can’t see how such a meme helps anything, frankly.

  28. Pielke Jr. “Can they get 2100 right?”
    Who are they? I am under the impression that you are one of them. Is not so?

  29. Another paper, maybe of interest for some: https://leilan.yale.edu/sites/default/files/publications/article-specific/watanabe_et_al_2019_oman_corals_geology.pdf
    Note the ~400+ year steps between periods of civilisation growth and periods of collapse, and which appear to conform to the Eddy cycle.

  30. Dr Curry,

    I thought you might appreciate seeing this link:


    Ron Harbut MD, PhD


  31. Vegetation structural change since 1981 significantly enhanced the terrestrial carbon sink.


    Great linguistic inventiveness is shown in obscuring and hiding the huge benefits of CO2 greening.

    “Vegetation structural changes” – that I think means more plants 🌱 and trees. This is good. But sounds kind of sinister, so job done.

    It reminds me of the scene in the Netflix series “The Crown” in which surgeons operate on the lungs of the chain-smoking king George the sixth. Later they tell the king that they found in his lungs “structural alterations”. Somehow they couldn’t bring themselves to call it lung cancer.

    • Increased atmospheric vapor pressure deficit reduces global vegetation growth

      Atmospheric vapor pressure deficit (VPD) is a critical variable in determining plant photosynthesis. Synthesis of four global climate datasets reveals a sharp increase of VPD after the late 1990s. In response, the vegetation greening trend indicated by a satellite-derived vegetation index (GIMMS3g), which was evident before the late 1990s, was subsequently stalled or reversed. Terrestrial gross primary production derived from two satellite-based models (revised EC-LUE and MODIS) exhibits persistent and widespread decreases after the late 1990s due to increased VPD, which offset the positive CO2 fertilization effect. Six Earth system models have consistently projected con- tinuous increases of VPD throughout the current century. Our results highlight that the impacts of VPD on veg- etation growth should be adequately considered to assess ecosystem responses to future climate conditions.


    • “The accumulated global sink enhancement due to vegetation structure (LAI) change over
      the 1981–2016 period is 11.7 Pg C, which is 12.4% of the total sinkor 35.7% of the enhanced sink in the same period. Over this
      period, global average LAI increased from 1.6 to 1.7, enhancing GPP by 1.2% and NEP by 0.3% relative to GPP.”

      Leaf area is of course only one of the terrestrial carbon stores in a complexity there seems liitle point going into. Political posturing around barely grasped science doesn’t cut the mustard Phil.

      • Yes, natural cycles can only cool. My gosh, that’s why they’re called cycles. They offset those evil socialists. And CO2 only has benefits. Ditto.

      • richswarthout

        Robert E.
        “Political posturing around barely grasped science doesn’t cut the mustard”
        Right on mate! Chapter 10 of AR5 proves that the science is truly barely grasped. That chapter reveals that the estimate of natural variability is seriously flawed, that it is an unknown. Here are the relevant sections of AR5:

        ..However, it is generally believed that models reproduce the space-time statistics of natural variability on large space and long time scales (months to years) reasonably realistic. The verification of variability of CGMCs [coupled GCMs] on decadal to century timescales is relatively short, while paleoclimatic data are sparce and often of limited quality.

        ..We assume that the detection variable is Gaussian with zero mean, that is, that there is no long-term nonstationarity in the natural variability.

        It is generally believed? We assume? Should we have confidence in the estimate of natural variability (which AR5 concludes is almost zero)?

        But how important is this? I am not a climate scientist. However I believe that some, including Dr Curry, would say that we cannot accurately study the climate without understanding natural variability, and I that research in understanding natural variability is dreadfully inadequate.


      • Models are probabilistic and the real world is determinate.

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said. Quadrant
        Febuary 2010

    • Bond proposed a model of how increasing CO2 will lead to reforestation of grasslands. It’s about fire, speed of growth of tree saplings and the time taken for trees to grow to a size to resist fire:


      And here is the data showing that the model is likely correct:


      Models and data agreeing with each other.
      That’s a revolutionary thought for a Monday morning.

      • People have maintained open woodland and grasslands with the use of fire since time immemorial. Does Phil imagine that degrading these systems is good for organisms adapted to these conditions.

      • It’s a fair question.
        Would we want reforestation of grassland / Savannah?
        It’s an alternation that’s happened lots of times over the Pleistocene. Savannah animals like a type of rhino got trapped in forest at least once.

  32. As PG&E shuts off power to 800,000 and SDG&E considers de-energizing lines for 30,000 in wake of fire risk, the debate over pre-emptive shutoffs ramps up

    A sweet serving of Sunday schadenfreude.
    You made your bed, you lie in it.
    This is only a foretaste of what’s to come.

  33. “Before proceeding, it is important to remember that climate change poses significant risks to our collective futures, and aggressive policy action makes sense on both the mitigation of emissions and adaptation to variability and change.”

    Not clear if Roger Pielke grasps the import of a lack or precision in physical, cultural and economic parameters on the evolution of uncertainty in Earth system models with their nonlinear set of equations. But there is a climate risk in the real world.

    I caught a discussion with Nicholas Burns this week.


    It led me to Joe Biden.


    Who seems to be performing strongly in the polls.


    With Trump on his political capital uppers – the failure of sceptics to grasp neither the political or scientific value of effective but economically rational climate action has never been more poignant.

    • Robert I Ellison: the failure of sceptics to grasp neither the political or scientific value of effective but economically rational climate action has never been more poignant.

      “failure to grasp neither” probably ought to have been “failure to grasp either”.

      • The grammar police on a blog? I am pretty fast and loose and language is plastic or it is dead. I considered both but liked the sound of not one or the other. But is this really all you got from the comment? Address the substance or … off.

      • Robert I Ellison: I am pretty fast and loose

        I have noted that often, and it is worth remembering.

        Address the substance or … off.

        Substantively, what you wrote was nonsensical.

      • Trouble is getting Matthew to address anything of substance – as opposed to trivial snark on a truly forgettable personal level.

  34. “Internal decadal-to-centennial scale variability is a persistent feature of North Atlantic climate of the last millennium. Although the majority of this record appears to be independent of changes in radiative forcing, we do find that a decadal-scale negative phase of the NAO and cold North Atlantic are most consistent with proxy reconstructions of drought on both sides of the Atlantic during the onset of the LIA in the 15th century.”

    Summer negative NAO is wetter in Northern Europe and drier in America, as in Summer 2012, and Winter negative NAO is drier in Northern Europe.
    Negative NAO directly drives a warm North Atlantic (AMO), and is associated with slower trade winds, with El Nino episodes driving additional major warm pulses to the AMO with an ~8 month lag.


  35. My latest article – “A fine Irish overview of skeptical climate science”

    The beginning:
    “The Irish Climate Science Forum has published an elegant (and graphic filled) 36 page white paper that provides a dynamite overview of many of the most important skeptical climate science arguments. I have posted an annotated link to it on my Climate Change Debate Education website here:


    The title is “Overview of the Latest Climate Science for Policymakers” because it was prepared as input to an Irish government inquiry. It is also a great reference document for educational uses. It could even be used as a textbook.

    For that matter, if I had the resources I would send a copy to every journalist that writes about climate change and every politician that pontificates about it. I encourage our readers to do just that.”

    There is a lot more in the article. This is great stuff.


    My Climate Change Debate Education fundraiser:
    Please donate!

  36. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Excess ozone over eastern Siberia modifies the polar vortex pattern. This pattern has an effect on extremely low temperatures in the west of the US.

  37. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The cold eastern Pacific announces a severe winter in North America.

  38. Hot air over North America causes Roy Spencer to chide ‘ren’ for being off topic again.


  39. Cooling oceans – in particular the southern oceans – draw down CO2 reducing its atmospheric concentration in this above linked paper (Global cooling linked to increased glacial carbon storage via changes in Antarctic sea ice):


    Remarkable to see the arrow of causation from ocean temperatures to atmospheric CO2 levels, rather than the reverse. Although the oceans were attributed only half the atmospheric CO2 change.

    In this linked paper, “ Coupled Modes of North Atlantic Ocean‐Atmosphere Variability and the Onset of the Little Ice Age”


    The cooling descent into the Little Ice Age (LIA) in the 1300-1400s was attributed to ocean driven cooling (the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation) and volcanic activity – including big volcanoes like Krakatoa.

    Curious then that the warming recovery out of the LIA in the last 2 centuries should be not by those same mechanisms – warming surface oceans and positive NAO, together with a decrease in volcanic activity. No – now it’s all CO2 only.

    • There is no such thing as
      ” the warming recovery out of the LIA in the last 2 centuries”
      The LIA was a short-term dip of under 0.5 degrees, which was all over long before the 19th Century was anywhere near drawing to a close, and certainly didn’t coincide with anythign that happened in the 20th Century.

  40. After more than 5 years, this discussion website still displays the same wrangles and rancour. As far as I can tell from now periodic reading, the only real change is Ellison’s backflip (yes I know, who cares ?)

    It would be interesting though for those who assert that the UAH satellite data are useless to explain why they think this is so. Mere assertion or some linked reference to another assertion is insufficient.

  41. I am on Australia’s Gold Coast. With my 90 year old mum. I’ve been wondering how long she possibly hang on for – for 50 years – she’s defying the odds but what would I know. Funny thing. My orthopaedic surgeon told me yesterday that my hand problem happens only in people with Viking ancestry. I’m changing my name to Sven the Destroyer. Looking for a hat with horns – not just for Halloween.

    I had a rethunk on the Roger Pielke sceptic-alarmist not the climate debate limk. Not having that sceptic-alarmist not debate. May be the only thing that can breath life into it.

  42. Fun bit. Wind at surface over the poles. If it is still there I’m linking the SH first just in case. The planetary spin vortex is always better defined at the surface in the SH. Going up shows the dimensions of the vortices.


    Great masses of air spin out spinning up oceanic gyres.


  43. Michael Smith

    Dont the kiddies at sks call that the escalator or some such?

  44. A different view on the physical dynamics involved with the Larsen Ice Shelf, including boiling water in the 1820s, peeling off paint on sealing ships in adjacent waters, due to geological factors. Just another case where much more knowledge is needed before conclusions can safely be made about all influences affecting the Antarctica Ice Sheet.


  45. Ireneusz Palmowski

    An unusual temperature drop will occur in Illinois and Indiana.

  46. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Another dangerous cold front approaching from the mountains to California.

  47. “The past decade has been one of remarkable progress in the study of Antarctic subglacial water. We have gone from an old view, where most subglacial water is stored for long periods in isolated lakes mainly near to the ice divides, to a new view, where water moves between lakes distances of hundreds of kilometres in broad but well-defined channels on time scales of months to several years. Lakes exist under most of Antarctica’s fast-flowing ice streams and subglacial water flow continues to the grounding line, where it enters the Southern Ocean [18,43,75].

    Understanding subglacial water systems is crucial for modelling the future evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet. The presence of water beneath an ice stream affects ice flow rates and continental ice flux, as it acts as a lubricant either between the ice and the subglacial bed or between grains of a subglacial till [76]. Basal water systems may also be a way to transport significant amounts of heat at the ice-sheet base [77,78]. This transformational decade in Antarctic subglacial water research has moved us significantly closer to understanding the process sufficiently for it to be included in ice-sheet models.”


    This study is certainly important for the gains it made in understanding sub glacial Hydrology in Antarctica. But it’s also important for the reminder that there is an “old view” and a new view about what science knows. Some of the strides made in the last decade might have been unthinkable as recently as 20 years ago. When scientists get in an intellectual rut believing in only one theory, the big picture can get obscured.

  48. “In a cyclone the central air pressure is lower than that of the surrounding environment, and the flow of circulation is clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere.” https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/cyclone-and-anticyclone/

    There is an anticyclone over the Gulf Stream.


  49. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The polar vortex in the lower stratosphere create two centers. One of them is located over Canada.

  50. In Mediterranean regions of the world: the Mediterranean Basin, California, Chile, the Cape region of South Africa and southern Australia – conserving open woodland with fire conserves ecologies adapted to it. A lot of central Australian lands are held by indigenous peoples. There are indigenous land councils such as the Central Land Council. California may need less control of random fires and more planned burning. See that’s an argument for site renewable energy.


  51. Ireneusz Palmowski

    On November 1 it promises to be a snowstorm on the Great Lakes.

  52. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The forecast of the polar vortex in the lower stratosphere indicates winter conditions in the northeast of the US and the inflow of air from northwest to Central Europe.

  53. More than 2 years after presenting the discovery of the world’s oldest ice core, scientists have published an analysis of the 2.7-million-year-old sample. One surprising finding: Air bubbles from 1.5 million years ago—from a time before the planet’s ice age cycles suddenly doubled in length—contain lower than expected levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), a possible clue to the shift in the ice age cycle.
    100,000 years 40,000 years. Some uncertainty.
    “That means that something other than a long-term CO2 decline was likely driving the cooling, says Peter Clark, a glaciologist at Oregon State University in Corvallis.”
    The flip between the two to 100,000 years.

  54. From WNA Newsletter, re the Fukushima nuclear accident

    Hidden costs of nuclear accidents and government responses

    While some lessons were learned from the Chernobyl accident about not exacerbating the radiological effects of an accident, they were not applied at Fukushima in 2011. A new report builds on what was already disclosed by government sources, and magnifies the death toll arising from government decisions and actions. There were no fatalities from the accident itself – most radionuclides from the three meltdowns due to the tsunami were contained. The significant releases that did occur were exacerbated by Prime Ministerial interference with plant procedures. The tsunami directly killed over 18,000, most in neighbouring prefectures.

    In 2014 the government of Fukushima prefecture reported a death toll from the evacuation as 1656, as determined by municipal panels. About 90% of these indirect deaths were people over age 66. The figure is greater than for Iwate and Miyagi prefectures, though they had much higher loss of life in the ‘quake and tsunami. As of March 2019, the Fukushima prefecture government reported 2268 “disaster-related” indirect deaths in the prefecture. Causes of indirect deaths include physical and mental stress stemming from long stays at shelters, a lack of initial care due to hospitals being disabled by the disaster, and suicides.

    The new report is published by Germany-based IZA Institute of Labor Economics and addresses wider impacts from the government’s over-reaction in shutting down Japan’s nuclear reactors to placate public anxiety. In particular, it suggests that increased electricity prices and greater use of fossil fuels have led to more deaths following the March 2011 accident than the prolonged evacuation from the area surrounding the nuclear power plant. “Our estimated increase in mortality from higher electricity prices significantly outweighs the mortality from the accident itself [ie evacuation], suggesting the decision to cease nuclear production caused more harm than good.” The study estimated 1280 deaths over 2011-2014, and did not quantify the air quality impacts of replacing nuclear with fossil fuel generation. The study’s data covered less than one third of Japan’s population, so the estimate is low.

    The findings of the IZA study concur with those of medical and environmental experts, who have stressed the lethal consequences of evacuation that is unnecessary or unduly prolonged. The UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) has published reports on Fukushima suggesting safe radiation dose criteria and pointing out that government policies were unrealistic and broadly harmful. The precautionary principle in such situations relates to “perceived risk, which is often based more on emotions and instincts than on reason and rationality,” according to IZA. Well-established science is marginalised.

    The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) is currently revising its guidance for people affected by large nuclear accidents, and the World Nuclear Association has strongly submitted that it should properly draw “upon the vast literature and efforts post-Fukushima.” In particular, “Putting radiation risks in proper context and perspective against other hazards and any socio-psychological impacts is essential, and would be fully in line with the principle of justification and ensuring that actions do more good than harm.”
    WNN 29/10/19. Fukushima accident

  55. Also see the articles on the true impact of nuclear accidents and what the response should be. The Editorial is here:

    Thomas, P.; May, J. Coping after a big nuclear accident. Process Safety and Environmental Protection 2017, 112, 1-3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0957582017303166

    The main articles are here:
    You can download the full text.

  56. Just wondering if Dr. Curry has had a chance to review the work of the Connolly family in Ireland and if she has an opinion.


  57. https://phys.org/news/2019-11-secret-crystals.html So after you get the moving diagram, look here:
    So the CO2 molecule would also shrink when warmed. Or not.

  58. Would someone tell me, as a layperson:

    Is the following a bunch of breathless BS, or is there anything to it? https://weather.com/news/news/2019-11-05-scientists-declare-climate-emergency

    I’m no longer able easily to distinguish between climate-related news items and plot blurbs for summer blockbusters, and need a little guidance.

    • Breathless B.S. It kind of the consenus argument one more time. People aren’t listening to them and don’t want to pay much for their energy.

      • JCH:
        Is your picture a climate protest? The University of Sydney was in the vicinity of the above paper. And I thought Australia was getting more real on the subject. Seeing that what they do is expensive and doesn’t help most of the time. Maybe they are bored and want something to do? Ran out of problems to solve. They could maybe spend their efforts in Syria. I am guessing they are mad about that too. Have you got a climate chaos farm report from NoDak? I imagine they’re all on their last legs by now with so much rain.

  59. “Confusing Strategy With Outcome
    “Fooled by Randomness” author Nassim Nicholas Taleb had the following to say on confusing strategy and outcome: “One cannot judge a performance in any given field by the results, but by the costs of the alternative (that is, if history played out in a different way). Such substitute courses of events are called alternative histories. Clearly the quality of a decision cannot be solely judged based on its outcome, but such a point seems to be voiced only by people who fail (those who succeed attribute their success to the quality of their decision).”
    In investing, there are no clear crystal balls. Thus, a strategy should be judged in terms of its quality and prudence before—not after—its outcome is known.”

    My CPE today. So we are not judging climate models by how well it replicates the past. My model got this right. You might have just been lucky like some investor. Or worse, you tuned it to the past.

    “If the last year was bad, we tend to be pessimistic. And after a couple of years of high growth, we’re even more optimistic. This is often due to a “recency effect”, where the most recent events tend to overshadow those of greater vintage. It’s also easier for the lazy analyst, and usually acceptable to their bosses or clients. Few are ready to take the risk of forecasting a change in trend.”

    Because it warmed since some past decade, it will continue to do so. The more recent outweighs the past. Because we are great and smart. And we can explain it. And we need a Nobel Prize.

    So we can get a two for one confidence. It warmed these past decades and it was more recent. Forecasting is B.S. Many people have convinced themselves they can do this and lost a lot of their client’s money.

    The history of stupid deluded stockbrokers is 1000 times bigger than climate scientists also predicting the future. But thankfully we figured things out and will be right this time.

  60. https://quillette.com/2019/11/07/climate-change-assessing-the-worst-case-scenario New article. Judith is referenced a number of times. Quillette is worth your time.

  61. https://fabiusmaximus.com/2019/11/07/who-wins-the-climate-debate/ Good article here. I am more optimistic than Fabius. We’ve done a good job. We should work on strengthening our positions. They had every advantage. And we were like the libertarians being made fun of and dismissed. I am grateful for the people who did stand up and say no.

  62. Thanks to those who replied to my question.

    I really DO try to remain open-minded to the consensus story, in the hopes that so many otherwise-smart people will turn out, some day, to have not been completely mindless nincompoops on this topic.

    But however often I check back into this topic, I find that it’s — once again! — a secular version of a “Jesus is coming back on such-and-such a day, at such-and-such a time, because we’ve calculated it” prophecy, complete with calls to send money to the prophets in question.

    Why human crowd psychology is so prone to that error, I have no idea. But there it is.

  63. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2018/11/26/true-polar-wander-trigger-ice-age/
    “This shift could have had serious effects on the Earth’s climate, which is particularly interesting given that the last ice age started somewhere around 3.2 million years ago. The change would’ve shifted Greenland up into the Arctic circle, which could have affected ice accumulation at that time.”

    It seems to me if Greenland shifts North, Antarctica on the same longitude shifts warmer but into it’s current position. So before the shift, lopsided. Impacting the circumpolar current. The Antarctica Peninsula also shifted warmer being near the same longitude. I’d say more land was brought South than brought North in Antarctica. Lots of theories.

  64. The extreme USA bias and the North Atlantic Hurricane obsession of climate science is not science