Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week

Global average mortality and loss rates down 5x over last decade. Effect is strongest for poorest populations. [link]

Important new research on the underlying topography of Antarctica [link]

Two intervals of distinctly lower Indian Ocean sea level during the last two millennia occurred during times of relatively low incoming solar radiation nature.com/articles/s4156

Mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet [link] We have seen an acceleration from ~2004-2012 and a deceleration from ~2013-17, attributed to atmospheric circulation & local ocean temp.

Analysis of polarimetric satellite measurements suggest stronger cooling due to aerosol-cloud interactions [link]

Three new SST reconstructions near coastal Peru indicate temperatures have plummeted in the last 50 years to the coldest of the Holocene. Regional temperatures were ~4 °C warmer than today a few thousand years ago. agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.10

Earth system sensitivity inferred for the Pliocene [link]

Coupled atmosphere-ice-ocean dynamics in Dansgaard-Oescger events [link]

A new compilation of globally gridded night time marine air temperatures [link]

Momentum grows for mapping the global seafloor [link]

“Seasonal Changes in the North Atlantic Cold Anomaly: The Influence of Cold Surface Waters From Coastal Greenland and Warming Trends Associated With Variations in Subarctic Sea Ice Cover” agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/20

In ancient Scottish tree rings, a cautionary tale  on climate, politics and survival.  A 1600s famine with echoes in the age of Brexit. [link]

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation less predictable under greenhouse warming go.nature.com/2EjToqX

Arctic Temperature Was 7°C Warmer Than Today 10,000 Years Ago

Challenging the interpretation of trends in the upper troposphere and stratosphere in context of global warming [link]

4 reconstructions from the central and western High Arctic reveal July temperatures were about 1-2°C warmer than today during most of the 1st millennium and Medieval period (MCA). tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.108

Tree ring records confirm that years of Europe’s Great Famine 1315-1317 were among wettest in 700 years, putting this historic event in context of Europe’s long-term climate trends. blogs.agu.org/geospace/2019/

The Little Ice Age caused cool short summers and long cold winters from 1400-1850, with the worst between 1550 and 1700. It also made New England history. newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/six-ways-littl

Review of the technology and methodologies of estimating the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and to highlight emerging developments and observational gaps doi.org/10.1029/2019RG

Characterising the winter meteorological drivers of the European electricity system using targeted circulation types. rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.10

Policy & technology

Rethinking how we describe ‘business as usual’ on climate change [link]

Looks like rejecting RCP8.5 is picking up steam.   Article by David Wallace-Wells:  Good news on climate change: worst case looks unrealistic [link]

Net zero emissions energy systems: challenges of the hard to mitigate sectors [link]

Glen Peters on the carbon budget: 0.5C makes a big difference for mitigation [link]

The cost of decommissioning wind turbines: who pays? [link]

Matt Ridley: We’ve just had the best decade in human history [link]

Who is winning the climate wars? [link]

Carbon Brief:  Key outcomes agreed at the UN climate talks in Madrid j.mp/2S212hA

UN speakers push population reduction for ‘climate emergency’ [link]

Robert Stavins:  What did (and did not happen) in Madrid at COP25 [link]

China now accounts for 30% of global emissions [link]

What it would take to get to the UK to zero emissions by 2050 with existing technologies: an engineering perspective.  ukfires.org/wp-content/upl

Michael Liebreich:   Peak emissions are closer than you think [link]

Investment banker are now waging the war on coal [link]

Judge finds US liable for Hurricane Harvey damage [link]

In most of the U. S., particularly along the Mississippi River, it would cost taxpayers less to buy and conserve vacant land in floodplains now than to pay federal insurance claims and recovery funds over the next 30-100 years says [link]

Decarbonizing space heating with air source heat pumps [link]

The rights and wrongs of central-bank greenery [link]

Apple, Google, Dell, Microsoft and Tesla named in “landmark” lawsuit over child cobalt miner deaths and injuries. [link]

Converting coal plants to biomass could fuel climate crisis [link]

Too much wind and solar raises power system costs. Deep decarbonization requires nuclear utilitydive.com/news/too-much-

The next nuclear plants will be small, svelte and safer [link]

In a win-win for #agriculture, new research confirms that Midwest #Farmers can boost yields of soy & corn and improve soil health through reduced tilling. sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/

About science & scientists

Dan Kahan:  Why smart people are vulnerable to putting tribe before truth [link]

Neil Jacobs has been nominated to be the Administrator of NOAA (good choice) [link]

White House officials are working on an executive order to require that publicly funded science be obtainable for free immediately, prompting publishers to panic about the future of their business models [link]

Mike Smith:  Why am I so critical about climate ‘science’? [link]

When great minds think unalike: inside science’s replication crisis [link]

Journalists must also cover the mistakes of science [link]

Cliff Mass on climate anxiety [link]

Threats to Free Speech at University, and How to Deal with Them—Part 1 areomagazine.com/2019/12/10/thr

The free college fantasy [link]

Helping students prepare to argue both sides of an assigned topic can add nuance to instructors’ world views as well, providing all parties with “a stronger understanding of the gray area of life.” kqed.org/mindshift/5496

Lew is upset:  Comment threads on blogs can influence climate change attitudes by altering perceived consensus [link]

84 responses to “Week in review – science edition

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

  2. Ireneusz Palmowski

    In this study, an 810-year summer temperature reconstruction, derived from temperature-sensitive Scots pine trees,
    is presented. A strong calibration with July–August mean
    temperatures was achieved, providing a good indication
    of summer temperature conditions in Scotland over much
    of the last millennium. Although uncertainty of the reconstruction increases back in time, it is possible to draw some
    conclusions about summer temperature in Scotland over
    the past ~800 years;
    1. Within the context of reconstruction uncertainty, recent
    summertime warming is not significantly more pronounced than past reconstructed warm periods (e.g.
    around 1300 and 1500). The reliability of these earlier
    periods should, however, be viewed with caution.
    2. The coldest protracted period occurred from the midsixteenth century until the early eighteenth century,
    coinciding with the LIA, with the 1690s representing
    the coldest decade. This is also corroborated by documentary and historical evidence. A shorter cold period
    was also observed before ~1270 but uncertainty is
    rather large for this period.
    3. Reconstruction of individual extreme cold years
    showed good agreement with instrumental observations and historical accounts (e.g. 1698, 1782 and
    1799). However, the agreement of anomalously warm
    summer conditions with historical observations is
    poorer, likely reflecting an under-representation of
    warm summer extremes in historical documentation and a possible recruitment-related inflation bias
    of reconstructed years around 1300 in the TR record
    4. Comparing the new Scotland reconstruction with other
    UK and European temperature records reveals some
    similarities such as the generally colder LIA conditions
    and late twentieth/early twenty-first century warming.
    However, differences are also observed predominantly
    related to the distance between locations and expected
    spatial decay in agreement between temperature
    records, but also due to additional uncertainties such
    as different target seasons, detrending methods and the
    type of records or proxies used.
    5. Superposed Epoch Analysis revealed a significant cooling response of about 0.3 °C to volcanic eruptions in
    the NCAIRN reconstruction in the first post-event year,
    which is consistent with other examined European temperature records. On the whole there is a diminished
    response in NCAIRN relative to the other European
    records. This may be related to Scotland’s maritime
    climate with the caveat that uncertainties exist in eruption timing and the spatial influence of sulphate aerosols.
    6. Reconstructed extreme warm (cold) summer temperatures in the NCAIRN record coincide with high (low)
    pressure anomalies centred over the North Sea related
    to the positive (negative) phase of the summer NAO.
    The atmospheric circulation appears to have a greater
    influence on extreme cold summers than major volcanic events.

  3. The Utilitydive article on too much solar and wind shows they are starting to recognize the problem from the generation side. The grid transmission management side, though related, is the bigger issue and the one which will be a lot harder to fix. No doubt the impetus to sort things out will come after politicians are somewhere when it goes black.

    • “There is still lots of room for solar and wind to grow in the marketplace, and they should grow many-fold; however, our study found that the costs they impose on the system begin to become substantial once the variable renewables (wind and solar) provide about 40% of the total electricity generation in the region — about four times larger than what those sources provide today for the country as a whole.

      But in some regions, the market penetration of wind and solar is far higher, and acute problems are emerging. And 40% is well below the vision of a grid powered solely by wind and solar that some advocates call for.”

      I’d suggest less hyperbole and more thinking out of the self imposed box.


      • The question advocates of wind and solar can’t answer is.. .Why?
        If you use biomass or nuclear you don’t need anywhere near 40% of your energy to come from wind and solar. Even if you accept that it’s worth trying for no apparent reason, the only thing it accomplishes is adding unnecessary cost to the energy grid.
        It’s like saying “sure, we have a Tesla we can drive to the next town emissions-free, but we’re going to get out and ride a bike next to the car for about 40% of the trip just to make Greta happy.”
        And so no nation is anywhere near 40% wind and solar today because there still exists no reasonable explanation of why to do it.

      • Don’t know. Perhaps you should read the MIT study? But the article was not about too much wind and solar. The comment was knee jerk hyperbole and massively pointless. I suggest thinking out of the box – just for fun. It is just technology and possibilities are endless. The schematic above shows one possibility. A nuclear backbone with excess power and heat – you need enough generating capacity to supply demand in extreme conditions – used to produce liquid fuels from high temperature evolved hydrogen and captured CO2. Supplemented by low LCOE wind and solar. Costs of the latter have great potential to further dramatically decrease. This makes a hell of a lot more sense than relying on limited fossil fuels on an increasingly energy hungry planet.


        My friend has new 1.5L turbo diesel Suzuki I researched for her pre-purchase. Brilliant little car – responsive, great handling, gets 20 km/L. It has sensors for everything. I can’t help thinking it’s a dinosaur on the way out. To be replaced by electric hybrid vehicles sporting simpler, lighter, more efficient and fuel flexible linear generators charging lightweight ultracapacitors powering electric motors. These things can leave any dinosaur in their dust.



        Many applications – backup generation, remote power, etc. And just for fun.


        Unless it works in markets it is not much use. Subsidies to bring technologies to market are – however – a good use of government money – much as first of a kind advanced nuclear reactor prototypes are being supported to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in the US. You want innovative industry to drive future economic growth. It is why I have little objection to current levels of wind and solar – although – like many people – there is a limit to my patience.

  4. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation less predictable under greenhouse warming

    Here is an article on the above PDO study:

    Seasonal forecasts challenged by Pacific Ocean warming

    The research found that the PDO would become less predictable as the planet warms, because warming conditions result in a significantly shortened PDO lifespan.

    The above was been strongly hinted at on the NOAA fishery website several years ago.

  5. First, Dr. Judith, my thanks as always for both this series of weeks in review, as well as for the contribution of this blog to the climate discussion.

    Next, I had to laugh at the paper entitled The Pacific Decadal Oscillation less predictable under greenhouse warming.

    I’d expected that they would have looked at colder and warmer periods in the past, during times of greater and lesser greenhouse warming. But nooo … from the abstract:

    Determining the predictability of the PDO in a warming climate is therefore of great importance.

    By analysing future climate under different emission scenarios simulated by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5, we show that the prediction lead time and the associated amplitude of the PDO decrease sharply under greenhouse warming conditions.

    “Analysing future climate”? Really? We don’t understand the past climate and we’ve already moved on to analyzing the “future climate”??

    As is far too common these days, the authors badly conflate reality and model-world. So in fact, the headline should be:

    The computer-simulated Pacific Decadal Oscillation less predictable under computer-simulated greenhouse warming

    Yawn … it’s models all the way down.

    Someone asked on Twitter the other day how we could fix climate science. My reply was:

    My fix would be for all climate scientists to stop vainly trying to predict the future and focus on the past.

    Until we understand e.g. the LIA, MWP, etc. and why they started and stopped when they did and not earlier or later, pretending to understand the future is a joke.

    Merry Christmas to all, and very best wishes and thanks to you, Dr. Judith,


    • The third link above:

      Two intervals of distinctly lower Indian Ocean sea level during the last two millennia occurred during times of relatively low incoming solar radiation https://nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0503-7

      shows new palaeo data finding lowstands of Indian Ocean sea level during the periods AD 234–605 (dark ages cold period) and AD 1481–1807 (LIA) with sea level in both intervals almost a meter lower than today.

      This oceanic sea level data refute the argument that these climate intervals were restricted to small local regions only. They were extensive enough to lower Indian Ocean sea level by almost a meter.

      And by inference, the MWP, in between the dark ages cold period and the LIA, is also confirmed by this work as a widespread if not global phenomenon.

    • You’re refuted something that never existed.

  6. From the Kench, et al, Indian Ocean sea level paper.

    “Our data also confirm the acceleration of relative sea-level rise over the past two centuries and suggest that the current magnitude and rate of sea-level rise is not unprecedented.”

      • I was going to stfu – but there may be a different take home message from the science than what the media report suggests.


        Fig. 2 | Reconstructed sea level in the central Indian Ocean and global
        paleoclimate variability over the past 2,500 years. a, The elevation and
        age of fossil microatolls from Mahutigalaa reef platform, Maldives.
        Red boxes are two fossil microatolls from Funadhoo reef (central Maldives,
        Fig. 1a) that mark the end of the mid-late Holocene highstand and were
        dated using AMS17; orange boxes are microatolls dated using U–Th method in this study (Supplementary Table 1), vertical error bars ±0.14 m. Age error bars are smaller than the size of symbols and the width of the boxes reflects the microatoll diameter. Dashed boxes indicate corals included in lowstand calculations. b, Reconstructed northern hemisphere (European) June, July and August temperature anomalies (red line and left y axis) relative to the 1901–2000 period (grey dashed line), the error is ±1 root mean square error (red dashed lines)28; and northern hemisphere decadal temperature variations (blue line, right y axis) with 2δ error
        (blue shading)23. c, A 2,000-year sea surface temperature reconstruction
        in Makassar Strait, Indonesia22 ( blue line); SST reconstruction36, for the West Pacific Warm Pool (red line) and southern Makassar Strait (orange line). d, Total solar irradiance30 (blue line), occurrence of major volcanic events through the Holocene (green bars) and volcanic events making major contributions to stratospheric sulfate levels based on Δ17O analyses (brown squares), error bars are 1 s.d.37. The vertical grey shading denotes time periods of lower sea levels in the Mahutigalaa coral record and climatic cool periods. LIA, Little Ice Age; MCA, medieval climate anomaly; LALIA, Late Antiquity Little Ice Age.”

      • The media article is from his university.

    • https://realclimatescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/2019-02-26052109_shadow.jpg

      “….dating of the Maldivian corals identified lowstands at AD 234–605 and AD 1481–1807 when sea level fell to maximum depths of −0.88 m and −0.89 m respectively.”

      Perhaps the islanders had seen the seas rising in 1837 after experiencing low levels up to 1807……something they are still concerned about nearly 200 years later.

      • Let’s be clear. What they said was that the modern sea level rise since the LIA is not different to the rise following the Late Antiquity Little Ice Age (LALIA). The media article spins it in an entirely different direction.

      • SFU research points to unprecedented and worrying rise in sea levels

        The study, which provides new details about sea levels in the past, concludes that sea levels in the central Indian Ocean have risen by close to a meter in the last two centuries.

      • It appears there was a spring in the step of Mother Nature post Little Ice Age.

      • “Over the past decades, atoll islands exhibited no widespread sign of physical destabilization in the face of sea‐level rise. A reanalysis of available data, which cover 30 Pacific and Indian Ocean atolls including 709 islands, reveals that no atoll lost land area and that 88.6% of islands were either stable or increased in area, while only 11.4% contracted. Atoll islands affected by rapid sea‐level rise did not show a distinct behavior compared to islands on other atolls.“


        “Here we present analysis of shoreline change in all 101 islands in the Pacific atoll nation of Tuvalu. Using remotely sensed data, change is analysed over the past four decades, a period when local sea level has risen at twice the global average (~3.90 ± 0.4 mm.yr−1). Results highlight a net increase in land area in Tuvalu of 73.5 ha (2.9%), despite sea-level rise, and land area increase in eight of nine atolls. Island change has lacked uniformity with 74% increasing and 27% decreasing in size.”


      • “We show that Grande Glorieuse Island has increased in area by 7.5 ha between 1989 and 2003, predominantly as a result of shoreline accretion: accretion occurred over 47% of shoreline length, whereas 26% was stable and 28% was eroded. Topographic transects and field observations show that the accretion is due to sediment transfer from the reef outer slopes to the reef flat and then to the beach. This accretion occurred in a context of sea level rise: sea level has risen by about 6 cm in the last twenty years and the island height is probably stable or very slowly subsiding. This island expansion during a period of rising sea level demonstrates that sea level rise is not the primary factor controlling the shoreline changes.“


  7. From White House considering Executive Order to make publicly funded science obtainable for free.

    “”If you completely take away their business model, then they have no incentive to exist,” he said.He thought allowing free access after a year would be “a reasonable compromise.”

    Or even after a couple of years would be an improvement. I’ve read many abstracts of papers 20-30 years old that would have been immensely interesting to read and yet were still paywalled. Not unlike in the pharmaceutical industry.

  8. The climate war article compares rhetoric to polemic. Science doesn’t get a look in. In the public arena – however – there is no doubt who has won the war.


    • This hardly counts as winning the war. Windmills and electric cars are still trivial.

    • It is the public attitudes repeated across the board on climate – including by Republicans – not wind and solar. Here’s Joe Biden’s policy stripped of the rhetoric.

      “To accelerate this progress, President Biden will make the largest-ever investment in clean energy research and innovation. After World War II, public investment in research and collaboration between universities and the private sector spurred American innovation, led to rapid economic and job growth, and helped build a strong middle class. The Biden plan will double down on this approach to create the industries of the future by investing $400 billion over ten years. That’s twice the investment of the Apollo program which put a man on the moon, in today’s dollars. This investment will enable us to develop new technological break-throughs that will create jobs and drastically reduce emissions.

      Bring together America’s top talent to innovate on climate. America – with the leadership of government – has led the way on many technologies and innovations, from the GPS to computer networking. Biden will establish ARPA-C, a new, cross-agency Advanced Research Projects Agency focused on climate. This initiative will target affordable, game-changing technologies to help America achieve our 100% clean energy target, with a specific focus on the following, as recommended by the founding director of ARPA-E:

      * grid-scale storage at one-tenth the cost of lithium-ion batteries;
      * small modular nuclear reactors at half the construction cost of today’s reactors;
      * refrigeration and air conditioning using refrigerants with no global warming potential;
      * zero net energy buildings at zero net cost;
      * using renewables to produce carbon-free hydrogen at the same cost as that from shale gas;
      * decarbonizing industrial heat needed to make steel, concrete, and chemicals and reimagining carbon-neutral construction materials;
      * decarbonizing the food and agriculture sector, and leveraging agriculture to remove carbon dioxide from the air and store it in the ground; and
      * capturing carbon dioxide from power plant exhausts followed by sequestering it deep underground or using it make alternative products.” https://joebiden.com/climate/

      Inevitable technological progress could revitalize the US industrial and agricultural base. There is – however – a snowball’s chance of the Republican Titanic changing course in time.

      • There’s lots of problems with these sorts of polls. Overarching this particular one is all rhetoric to polemic among the public arena demographics polled too. Such polling isn’t all that demonstrative of sentiments generally speaking because the questions aren’t framed to gather useful results. Mostly they’re push polls used to advance narratives, there’s many holes that allow for speculative interpretation.

        Specifically, just to use conservatives as example, most of these would have an “all the above” sensibility for preferences towards sources of energy, inclusive of the development of alternatives and also expansion of fossil fuels. However, if one were to tease out further detail, conservatives would say that they would prefer 100% renewables if the tech is proven, that robustly works as advertised, and also that it’s cost effective/unsubsidized. This would represent a logical market driven win that balances economics, quality of life, while improving the environment.

      • Similar result are repeated in poll after poll. They can’t all be dismissed so easily. And making up alternate realities on the spot with no evidence at all… well…

        But even with the best will supplying process heat for instance – or for high temperature electrolysis – cannot be done with wind and solar. It’s does nothing about CFC’s, land and water management. nitrous oxides, aerosols or construction emissions. For that you need a strategy and not just noisy tactics.

      • Advanced nuclear designs – for instance – are being supported in their development by the US taxpayer. There is no problem with that – unless you like to tie one hand behind your back.

      • “Similar result are repeated in poll after poll.”

        Of course, and like all those other similar polls that you describe, the results create similar results; you then feel empowered to tell me what I think because you think you’re relying on “clear evidence”. That’s what a push poll is designed to do. You’re a smarter person than one so easily peeled off by polls. Confirmation bias, however, is wicked.

      • A sloppy riff, it should read, “the results are similar.”

    • It was the attitudes even among Republicans that I found interesting. Check out Joe Biden’s $400B DARPA-C proposal. Inevitable technological progress can revitalize the US industrial and agricultural base. But there is a snowball’s chance of the Republican Titanic changing course in time.

    • Except if you consider how won the real war not the public opinion war. The last climate conference in Spain demonstrated a complete compitulation. It’s coal onward for India and China.

    • Except if you consider how won the real war not the public opinion war. The last climate conference in Spain demonstrated a complete compitulation. It’s coal onward for India and China.

    • If you look at the country commitments – nothing has changed. It was known before Paris what electricity sector emissions would be – 3Gt extra per year by 2030. This is not a surprise.


  9. Paris Accord destroyed! (my latest thinking)
    “COP 25: Paris Accord destroyed”

    “Action Now!” radicalism has destroyed the slow moving, consensus based Paris Agreement. It is not just COP 25 that failed; the UN climate change machinery has collapsed. This is good news, even though the reason is bad news.

    I have been writing about the climate alarmism movement tearing itself apart for months now. For example here.

    The new radicalism is at war with the establishment moderates. This great gulf between radicals and moderates hit the COP 25 summit in Madrid with a vengeance. These annual summits are normally protracted exercises in compromise among the almost 200 nations represented. Not this time.

    In Madrid the Action Now! radicals would not even consider compromise. Their extremism then caused the moderates to take hard line positions as well, so the COP stalled out and failed to act on any significant issue. That what the radicals demand is impossible did not help. The negotiating machinery ground to a noisy halt.

    So now we have two very different versions of the alarmist rhetoric and a lot of people on each side. I call them the “Action Now!” hysterics (Greta, XR, etc.) and the moderates. The Paris Accord reflects the slow moving moderate view. It turns out that a lot of national delegations now take the hysterical view, especially the small island states and the Africans (both of which stand to make the most money).

    You could see the breakdown coming on, as Madrid was hyped as the “action COP” when it was nothing of the sort. Even the COP leaders took part in this foolish rhetoric. Yet the sorts of radical national actions being called for were simply not on the agenda. I doubt the moderate negotiators on the ground in Madrid had the authority to even consider the radical’s hysterical demands for immediate drastic action.

    Nor is such radical action on upcoming COP agendas. It is not part of the Paris Accord process and therein lies the problem for the Action Now! radicals. They demand what cannot happen.

    The hysterics are calling for radical action at next year’s Glasgow COP at the latest. This is highly unlikely, to say the least.

    In fact the harassed moderates in Madrid pointed out that most countries, including all of the major emitters, do not have to file new emission reduction plans until 2030. China and India, the first and fourth biggest emitters, have already said that is their intent. Additionally, their plans allow for unlimited emission increases until 2030, which is intolerable for the Action Now! hysterics.

    America, the number two emitter, is certainly not going to file a radical action plan. U.S. membership in the Paris fiasco officially ends before the 2020 Glasgow COP begins in November.

    If the Action Now! radicals continue their intransigence then the Paris Accord is essentially dead. This is almost certain to happen. Ironically the Paris Agreement has been killed by the irrational fear of climate change that spawned it in the first place. Is that cool or what?

    The death of the silly Paris Accord is fine by me. My only real concern is that the hysterics might somehow do real damage. So far this seems unlikely, given that what they are demanding is impossible.

    This is why I cherish the hysterics. They are wrecking the climate scare political movement. It is like I am fighting an enemy force and suddenly it is having an endless civil war. I am all for that.

    A wild year looms!


    Climate Change Debate Education Project (http://ccdedu.blogspot.com)

  10. At last, a cogent reason for abhorring the exit from the Little Ice Age: the demise of denser wood responsible for the superior tone of the Stradivarius violin.

  11. “The Little Ice Age caused cool short summers and long cold winters”

    Long cold winters can occur at any time, like those they mention in 1777-78 and 1779-80, which were well before the Dalton Minimum, plus there were mostly hot summers through 1778-1783. Winter 1783-84 was colder, and that has a direct heliocentric analogue in winter 1963, and in 829 and 1010 when the Nile froze.


  12. ‘Europe’s Great Famine 1315-1317 were among wettest in 700 years’

    “By zooming in on this specific sequence of years in the past, they also noticed something that could inform future climate models.”

    Climate models certainly do need informing of how the Sun causes negative North Atlantic Oscillation episodes. A ~179 year ahead heliocentric analogue in either 1483 or 1485 were floods called “the Great Waters” for 100 years after.

    Page 126:

  13. Could there be anything more stupid than replacing coal with wood chips?

  14. Could there be anything more stupid than replacing coal with wood chips?

  15. Could there be anything more stupid than replacing coal with wood chips?

  16. “In Ancient Scottish Tree Rings, a Cautionary Tale on Climate, Politics and Survival
    A 1600s Famine With Echoes in the Age of Brexit”

    Pseudoscience, because large volcanic eruptions follow extreme cold Northern Hemisphere winter periods, and slightly warm subsequent N Hem winters. And political double think as remaining in the EU leaves us at the mercy of their climate tithes, which would increase cold related death rates.

    “Based on the width and density of tree rings the researchers collected, they showed that 1695-1704 was Scotland’s coldest decade in 750 years. This, on top of the fact that much of the northern hemisphere was already in the grip of the so-called Little Ice Age, when cold temperatures were the norm for centuries, until the 1800s. “Before this, we knew it was cold. Now we have an understanding of exactly how cold,” said coauthor Rob Wilson of Scotland’s University of St Andrews, and an adjunct researcher at Lamont-Doherty. “The whole 17th century must have been a horrible time to live in Scotland, but this was the worst part.”

    Such poor sloppy work and much time wasting with tree rings. The 1660’s were very warm apart from two years with cold winters, the early 1650’s even warmer, and very warm in the 1610’s and 1630’s too. They could have simply looked at CET to see that the coldest part of the Maunder Minimum was during the 1690’s.

  17. “Maldivian corals identified lowstands at ad 234–605 and ad 1481–1807 when sea level fell to maximum depths of −0.88 m and −0.89 m respectively. These lowstands are synchronous with reductions in radiative forcing and sea surface temperature associated with the Late Antiquity Little Ice Age and the Little Ice Age.”

    Those periods are a mix of grand solar minima and warmer periods, they need to identify the actual centennial minimum decades. Which because of increased negative NAO/AO, should have increased El Nino conditions and a warmer AMO, which means Greenland and continental glacier melt and higher sea levels.


  18. Ireneusz Palmowski

    This year, ice in the Central Arctic looks very good.

  19. The Arctic sea ice has a warming and not a cooling effect on the Global Energy Balance.

    It is true that the sea ice has a higher reflecting ability.
    But at very high latitudes there is a very poor insolation.

    The open sea waters have emissivity ε = 0,95.
    The ice has emissivity ε = 0,97.
    On the other hand, the snow has a much lower emissivity ε = 0,8.
    And the sea ice is a snow covered sea ice with emissivity ε = 0,8.


    Also we should have under consideration the physical phenomenon of the sea waters freezing-melting behavior.

    Sea waters freeze at – 2,3 oC.
    Sea ice melts at 0 oC.

    The difference between the melting and the freezing temperatures creates a seasonal time delay in covering the arctic waters with ice sheets.

    When formatting the sea ice gets thicker from the colder water’s side.
    When melting the sea ice gets thinner from the warmer atmosphere’s side.

    This time delay enhances the arctic waters IR emissivity and heat losses towards the space because of the open waters’ higher emissivity e = 0,95,
    compared with the snow covered ice ε = 0,8.

    Needs to be mentioned that Earth’s surface emits IR radiation 24/7 all year around.
    And the Arctic region insolation is very poor even in the summer.

    That is why Arctic sea ice has a warming and not a cooling effect on the Global Energy Balance.

    On the other hand it is the open Arctic sea waters that have the cooling effect on the Global Energy Balance.


  20. Here is my updated prediction for the start of the Next El Nino event. I have updated my prediction using a new Lunar Alignment Density Index (LADI) which can more precisely predict the start of an EL Nino event.



  21. I believe that the following paper is a gamechanger that will transform our views on the Earth’s climate system.


    Jialin Lin & Taotao Qian, Switch Between El Nino and La Nina is caused by Subsurface ocean Waves Likely Driven by Lunar tidal forcing,
    Nature, Scientific Reports, Vol. 9, Article number:13106 (2019)


    The el Nino-Southern oscillation (ENSO) is the dominant interannual variability of earth’s climate system, and strongly modulates global temperature, precipitation, atmospheric circulation, tropical cyclones, and other extreme events. However, forecasting ENSO is one of the most difficult problems in climate sciences affecting both interannual climate prediction and decadal prediction of near term global climate change. the key question is what causes the switch between El Nino and La Nina. For the past 30 years, ENSO forecasts have been limited to short lead times after ENSO sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly has already developed, but unable to predict the switch between El Nino and La Nina. Here, we demonstrate that the switch between El Nino and La Nina is caused by a subsurface ocean wave propagating from the western Pacific to central and eastern Pacific and then triggering the development of SST anomaly. This is based on an analysis of all ENSO events in the past 136 years using multiple long-term observational datasets. the wave’s slow phase speed and decoupling from the atmosphere indicate that it is a forced wave. further analysis of earth’s angular momentum budget and NASA’s Apollo Landing Mirror experiment suggests that the subsurface wave is likely driven by lunar tidal gravitational force.

  22. Something to watch for.

    On New Year’s Day, global shipping is supposed to use low sulfur fuels.

    Since they’re variable, it might be difficult to see how ship tracks change.

    But as a veteran observer of satellite imagery, ship tracks can be quite prominent features. Probably not enough to significantly change global albedo, but who really knows? Certainly, shipping has increased over the decades.

  23. Climate Etc. has been blacklisted as pseudoscience by the DNC fact checker. See https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/techwatch/corinne-weaver/2019/12/17/dnc-starts-disinformation-intelligence-unit-combat-drudge for story.
    Here is the listing: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/conspiracy/.

    The Democrats have become hopeless.

  24. Geoff Sherrington

    Topography under Antarctica.
    The words about this research sadly continue with assumptions about the future written as settled science. Thus, we see words about topography being one of the big players in “sea level rise”. Surely “sea level change” is better when reviewing the past 30 million years. Just a small nitpick, just a small excursion into insidious groupthink techniques.
    A paper like this should not be taken as the final word, although the authors invite readers to use it as such a framework. Decades of work with top geological teams showed me over and over that many important geological postulates are uncertain, as if geology faces a future of events like plate tectonics rejection/acceptance arguments repeated over and over. So please accept this paper knowing it is far from the final word. The papers about Antarctica for the last 40 years have many new advances replacing old perceived wisdom in this unsettled field. Geoff S

  25. on the Ellington post and the Pew Research Center poll:
    Such polls are totally meaningless re. Climate Change matters.
    – The results depend on the questioner, the motives and how questions are formulated
    – They reflect the absorption of publicly prevailing reporting and propaganda and the degree of access thereto
    – They don’t count those who don’t give a damn and those who have no time to explore this, because they work too hard and worry about feeding their family of many
    – They reflect those who can’t recall name the Vice President and think that plastic straws determine future climate.

  26. Three new SST reconstructions near coastal Peru indicate temperatures have plummeted in the last 50 years to the coldest of the Holocene. Regional temperatures were ~4 °C warmer than today a few thousand years ago.


    My guess would be that the Humboldt current flowing north from Antarctica along the west coast of South America, is cooling significantly and this is causing this Holocene-record cold in the upwelling Nina 1-2 region of the East Pacific off the coast of Peru 🇵🇪 .

    Cooling deep currents from Antarctica have also more recently been detected in the south Atlantic:


    This puts in a new light the series of strong El Niño’s in the last half century (1966, 1973, 1983, 1988, 1992, 1997). These events, as described by Bob Tisdale, each caused a significant step up in global temperatures by propelling a pulse of warm tropical water poleward to higher latitudes. In fact Bob justifiably claims that all the last half century climate warming has come from nothing else but a series of step ups associated with these major classical Bjerknes type (not Modoki) El Niño-La Nina events.

    One of the key ingredients of the El Niño cycle is cool water off Peru, causing the temperature and pressure gradient that propels the equatorial trade winds. If the waters off Peru are cooling – at the coolest they have been in the whole Holocene, then this cold upwelling has likely caused the series of strong El Niño events.

    If one takes the paradigm of climate being a complex self-organising heat engine, then the series of El Niño events last century could be seen as a response of the system to Antarctic ocean cooling and cooling of the Humboldt current. The poleward transport of warm equatorial water could be an attempt by the system to oppose the cooling originating in Antarctica by sending heat to higher latitudes.

    Could warming excursions driven by ENSO be a climate response to incipient oceanic cooling? There is palaeo evidence that there are a series of 2-3 warming pulses right at the end of each interglacial:



    These end-interglacial short warming peaks are referred to as AIM (Antarctic isotope maxima).

    If it turns out that Peruvian Niño 1-2 sea cooling deriving from Antarctica and Humboldt current cooling has provoked the series of El Niño events of the last century, then it raises the possibility that the current warming period could be an AIM, or an end-interglacial warming excursion provoked by oceanic interactions resulting from Antarctic oceanic cooling. The climate warming ENSO events are ultimately triggered by cool waters off Peru – that can be traced back to Antarctica.

  27. > Judge finds US liable for Hurricane Harvey damage

    Oh of course, a legal degree is what is needed to settle what $billions of taxes and climate science cannot.

  28. I always look forward to these: hours and hours of new reading.

    Thank you and please keep it up!

  29. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190812172328.htm“>Icebergs delay Southern Hemisphere future warming, study shows

    …With a projected future retreat of the Antarctic ice sheet, scientists expect an intensification of iceberg discharge. Icebergs can persist for years and are carried by winds and currents through the Southern Ocean until they reach warmer waters and ultimately melt. The melting process cools ocean waters like ice cubes in a cocktail glass. Furthermore, freshwater discharge from icebergs impacts currents by lowering ocean salinity. Whether this “iceberg effect” can slow down or alter future climate change in the Southern Hemisphere has remained an open question. …

    Antarctic iceberg impacts on future Southern Hemisphere climate

  30. “Eventually voters will tire of believing in a climate crisis which never manifests. But until then, I see the main role of climate skeptics as trying to contain the economic damage caused by ruinously expensive political climate follies.” – Recently at WUWT

    Economically, wind and solar don’t work. I think we need to delay them.

  31. “We’re left with a question: why it is that forty years after the Charney report, there has been no progress in reducing the uncertainty in the estimate of the equilibrium climate sensitivity?”

    “I hold that the reason is that the canonical equation is not an accurate representation of reality … and it’s hard to get the right answer when you’re asking the wrong question.”

    – Willis Eschenbach at WUWT

    If you cant answer the question after 40 years. Reassess. If the Arctic warms more, and the Southern Ocean warms less. Then roll it all into one number? No. They want a simple climate for policy. But once you have a number, Norway is different than an equatorial country. If climate science was a company, it would’ve failed a long time ago. No value.

  32. What impact will the Australian wildfires have on global temperatures over the next year

    • Rob

      That’s an interesting question. It is claimed that the torrential rain in Australia five or Six years ago had the effect of causing global sea levels to fall for a year or two. Dorothea mackellar knew all about fire and flooding in Australia in her century old poem ‘I love my sunburnt country’

      In answer to your question, we have underground coal reserves on fire for Years which have no impact and nor apparently do volcanoes, so I would suggest it will have zero impact on global temperatures but might register a tiny blip on very local ones


      • I would think the question would be total particulate matter put into the atmosphere. How much have the fires put into the atmosphere as compared to a large volcanic eruption.

  33. jungletrunks

    It seems like there would be a formula to determine what effect, if any, wild fires may have on the climate for any given year by looking at global aggregate for acreage burned?

    It may seem counterintuitive for one living in a region that’s seeing more fires than normal, but according to NASA, data published August 28, 2019; the amount of land burned by wildfires worldwide has plummeted by 25% since 2003. https://www.thegwpf.com/nasa-area-burned-by-global-wildfires-dropped-by-25-since-2003/

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