2020

by Judith Curry

Happy New Year!

An end of year post.  Not that I have much to say at the moment, but I think we need a new thread.

Here are a few ‘end of year’ articles, looking back and looking forward.  I put these forward for discussion, let me know if you have spotted others.

I don’t have the stomach for climate alarm prognostications at the moment, but I suspect that we have not yet reached peak craziness.

2019 at Climate Etc.

I didn’t have that much time to blog this past year.  But here are some of CE’s greatist ‘hits’ for 2019, in case you missed some:

I’ve been trying to check in 3x per day to moderate the comments (but sometime I forget).  Overall the comment threads are much better, but I have to do some pretty heavy moderating.  If I get sick and tired of deleting too many of your comments for violating blog rules, i will put all of your comments into moderation, and they have to be released manually.  Thank you for your efforts in not violating blog rules.

Prognostications

I don’t have any prognostications to make, other than that I will continue to be too busy

However, I will predict another crazy year of ‘extinction’, ‘crisis’, etc.

Happy New Year!

Wishing all of you a healthy, happy and prosperous 2020.

A special thanks to CE’s 2019 guest posters:  Nic Lewis, Larry Kummer, Javier, Andy West, Planning Engineer, Vaughan Pratt, Paul Viminitz, Garth Paltridge, Alberto Zaragoza Comendador, Donald Rapp, Ralf Ellis, Clive Best, Ross McKitrick, Kevin Murphy, Alan Cannell.

179 responses to “2020

  1. May the year 2020 not be an average year (better than 2021 and worse than 2019.) Anyway, thanks and a Happy New Year.

  2. Best wishes in 2020 and beyond. Hope you all keep working to mitigate climate change with climate sanity.

  3. The Climate System is robust and self correcting. Our one hundred parts per million of added CO2 is ONE MOLECULE ADDED TO TEN THOUSAND. It is not reasonable to believe that makes a difference that the climate system cannot correct.

    In this new year, 2020, study and understand natural causes of climate change and internal response of the climate system that keeps temperature and sea level bounded.

    I hope your 2019 was a good year and your 2020 will be better.

  4. Best wishes in 2020 and beyond. Hope you keep working to mitigate climate change with climate sanity.

    • I’d like 2020 to be ‘back to the science’ since trying to scare people with exaggerations is failing in the cause of forced energy transformation. Restated, what is realistic given the primacy of adaptation?

      • “…working to mitigate climate change with climate sanity.”

        Why can’t we mitigate CO2 emissions AND adapt to a post-ice age CO2 level? In other words a 400-800ppm CO2 may be the Goldilocks zone in maximizing productivity of our planetary habitat. Sea level rise, after all, is a consequence of being in an interglacial in the Quaternary Ice Age. Even at CO2 levels averaging ~315ppm during the 20th century the sea level was rising at ~2/3 the rate of present.

        So the choice from a policy perspective for world legislatures and heads of state is whether we should spend our blood and treasure into reducing the level of sea level rise by shutting down industry, home heating and most transportation and somehow extract CO2 from the air. Or, should main focus be on directly reducing sea level rise impacts?

        The most damage from SLR is due to storm surge combined with massive precipitation during landfall of tropical cyclones. If we focused our scientific priorities into manipulating precipitation we could improve almost every climate problem, from starving cyclones of moisture to ending droughts (and fires) to building polar ice mass during winters. If this was found to be too far beyond technological reach the next closest fix would be to cool the planet directly by artificial means, or geo-engineering. This would leave the benefits of time to adapt to alternative energy technology, precipitation control and leave the crop-enhancing CO2 levels alone. High CO2 levels also produce a “dead man’s switch” of protecting the planet from catastrophic cooling in the case of a super volcano or asteroid strike (or nuclear exchange) or slowing of the global sea current conveyor (like in the movie The Day after Tomorrow). At 280ppm CO2 the Little Ice Age could have been the prelude to more Little Ice Ages or the overdue return to the regularly scheduled end of our interglacial (the Holocene) altogether.

        Do you have any objections to my logic, congressman Gutierrez? Or, what is the discussion behind closed doors in Washington, DC?

  5. Judith – Many thanks for all your efforts to keep the world sane. All the best for 2020.

  6. JC,

    “If I get sick and tired of deleting too many of your comments for violating blog rules, i will put all of your comments into moderation, and they have to be released manually. ”

    Please do. It would be great if the toxic comments from the usual suspects are blocked. It would greatly improve CE of all comments containing ad hominens – attacking the person rather than providing considered rational discussion of substance – be blocked / deleted.

  7. Many thanks for this platform and exchange

  8. Happy New Year to you, Judith, and thank you for a sanctuary of sanity in the sometimes bizarro world of the climate debate.

    When the movie “2001” was released, I remember thinking I will never make it that far. I couldn’t even think about 2020.

  9. Dr. Curry,

    Happy New Year to you as well. I thank you for all the effort you put in, as well as having very informative guest posts. Your blog has greatly influenced my views of what we know, and don’t know, about our climate. Best to you in 2020.

  10. [video src="https://authors.library.caltech.edu/92140/3/41561_2019_310_MOESM2_ESM.mp4" /]

  11. Yes – I am a bit resigned to a couple of people who take it on themselves to police my comments with persistent sniping – one in particular ultimately ending in tantrums. Although that one takes it on himself to police everyone. I might respond or I might not – but it would be better if the sabre rattling ceased altogether.

    Climate discourse is more politically than scientifically oriented. With all sorts of partisan rhetoric binding faux objective narrative. The politics of both sides seems ripe for satire – but it is only personal if people self identify. As for the usual suspects who just have to be right – I suggest cultivating scientific diffidence and an ability to listen without descending into climate war stereotypes. Then there is the eccentric science, congealed echo chamber consensus and downright gobbledegook. What a wicked mess it all is.

    • Personally I have no complaints. A few of my comments have gone into moderation, but most came out unscathed. I read almost all the comments that are posted here. And I read many of the articles that are linked by the writers, and I read many of the items linked at Week in Review.

      A special thanks to CE’s 2019 guest posters: Nic Lewis, Larry Kummer, Javier, Andy West, Planning Engineer, Vaughan Pratt, Paul Viminitz, Garth Paltridge, Alberto Zaragoza Comendador, Donald Rapp, Ralf Ellis, Clive Best, Ross McKitrick, Kevin Murphy, Alan Cannell.

      Yes indeed. Thank you to you all.

      And thank you again Dr Curry.

  12. Why did you promote the Forbes article on climate alarmism?

  13. Happy New Year to you, Dr. Curry, and all the guest posters as well as the regular cast of denizens.

    We haven’t begun to reach peak craziness as we head toward election day this year. This really has been the best decade in the history of mankind, and we got to see and live it. And somehow, there are broad swaths of people who feel everything is getting worse. I’m not sure how to reach these people because they seem lost in a self-reinforcing loop of Doom and gloom. No matter what you show them, they refuse to see the reality of real progress across the globe.

    Thanks to everyone who make this blog so informative. I love the passion here for the path of truth, no matter where it leads. We’re currently facing the Ministry of Truth in America as people attempt to re-write the past to conform the present and future to a particular narrative. We can’t allow this and its going to take everyone to be willing to stand up to these bullies and charlatan snake oil salesmen. /end rant

    Cheers!

  14. Happy New Year and thank you for all you do.

  15. A healthy, happy and prosperous 2020 back at you, Judith.

    Sincerely,
    Bob

  16. Wishing all, but especially Dr Curry, a healthy and happy New Year.
    Long may she flourish!

  17. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Can climate change “accelerate” with a gradual increase in CO2? My answer – no.
    Can climate change accelerate with a strong decline in solar activity? My answer is yes.

    • Ireneusz, “Can climate change “accelerate” with a gradual increase in CO2? My answer – no”.
      I agree with that 100% – no.

      “Can climate change accelerate with a strong decline in solar activity? My answer is yes”.
      If it is a long term strong decline the answer is – yes.

      I wish you a happy New Year.

      http://www.cristos-vournas.com

  18. A happy new year to you and may your business and you Blog prosper.

    What does Peter think of the notion of four day tests instead of 5? Sacrilege!

    It was claimed the boxing day test held in Australia may have to be cancelled as it was becoming too warm but jo nova posted a good graph showing that boxing day temperatures have actually declined since WW2

    tonyb

  19. A happy new year to you, Dr Judith Curry, a happy new year to your wonderful Blog and to all the participants, guest posters and readers.
    I am happy to find here, in your Blog, the so much needed balance of opinions and comments.
    May the year 2020 be as much and even more prosperous and fruitful.

    Christos Vournas

  20. I just spotted this from Eric Winsberg: superb
    https://biopoliticalphilosophy.com/2019/12/31/war-and-climate-change/

    “Not initiating new wars is hands down the best and easiest thing that the U.S. could do to cut global emissions.”

    • Managing world peace is a little like forest fire management. A policy that prevents conflagrations at all costs in many cases can lead to larger and harder to control ones. The management trick in controlling aggression is to be neither hawkishly provocative or dovishly inviting.

    • Of course, avoiding war is also good for human beings and other living things.

      The Donald got elected partly by promising a more restrained foreign policy. I think the jury is still out on whether he is carrying through: often politicians feel pushed to do the opposite of their campaign promises to assuage their critics (e.g., Trump has to prove that he is not “soft on Russia”).

      The older i get, the more I wonder why humans ever tolerate war: systematic, organized mass murder. I’d fight to defend my family, my neighbors, or my country from outside invaders. Otherwise, I am inclined towards J. Q. Adams hopes for our country:

      ” Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own….

      “Her glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of mind. She has a spear and a shield; but the motto upon her shield is Freedom, Independence, Peace. ”

      I’m old enough to remember when such views were viewed as leftist. Now, they seem to be viewed as right-wing.

      Seems to me rather simple: life is better than death.

  21. When I read the many dire warnings about climate changing, I wonder if any of them consider the adaptability of the human species? Our collective knowledge, intelligence (at times debatable), and resourcefulness seem to be factors excluded from any predictions. The most notable feature of these dire warnings, in my view, is the refusal to accept that today’s human situation is far more capable than it has been historically, yet humans advanced and adapted and thrived through far worse conditions. We have the ability to modify conditions to our liking or migrate to more desirable conditions (anyone wonder why so many northerners move to the hot south?). We are at the point where local climates are irrelevant; regional climates are irrelevant; and a global climate doesn’t exist.

    Are we vulnerable to change? Yes, but only in a catastrophic sense. A huge asteroid striking earth, a nuclear war, a super volcano; not slowly changing temperatures. We can desalinate salt water, we can grab energy from the sky, we can manage our poisonous pollutants, and we can adapt to new surroundings. What we have not yet managed to control is our outbursts of stupidity.

    • “When I read the many dire warnings…”
      Dan, I made a similar touting practical solutions and faith in technological evolution. It popped into moderation. It was slightly long. It seems that conservatives are more and more evaluating the leftist’s existential angst on anthropogenic climate effects as being religiously connected. In this article today Dennis Prager does a good job by doing a character study of Greta Thunberg showing her personal existential depression, where she stopped eating or talking for years, was cured by her world-saving crusade. Take-away: people need to have purpose and meaning and for young people today in a secular society that is a tough one.
      https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/12/31/greta_thunberg_a_living_explanation_of_the_left__142054.html

      There is no question if the global warming and sea level rise was 100% natural and 0% anthropogenic there would be no climate movement because there would be no “climate justice” issue. Though we would have 100% the same practical challenges to face in economics and technology most could be confident they would be solved. After all, we would be working together in purely practical and rational cooperation.

      • From Preger’s article: Greta Thunberg wrote at the beginning of the month: “The climate crisis is not just about the environment. It is a crisis of human rights, of justice and of political will. Colonial, racist and patriarchal systems of oppression have created and fuelled it. We need to dismantle them all.”

      • jungletrunks

        ‘There is no question if the global warming and sea level rise was 100% natural and 0% anthropogenic there would be no climate movement because there would be no “climate justice” issue.”

        Very nice observation. It’s very difficult sometimes to ascertain where the delineation is between the science of climate, the science of sociology, and political science. It’s no wonder the industry attracts the bipolar disordered, and induces schizophrenia; what else could the left wing media do other than run with it.

        Happy New Year to all.

  22. Happy New Year.
    Climate scare propaganda will accelarate as globalism crumbles and the globalist powers kick into facism overdrive to try and control the minds and hearts of every human alive to prevent the inevitable collapse and return to the localized.

  23. The snow is on the ground. Wispy clouds accent a robin egg blue sky. The occasional diehard leaf flutters down. The backyard lake is beginning to freeze over again having melted its firm ice after an inch and half rain. The start of a new year’s winter. Time for a wintery walk.

    Happy New Year to Judith and all who come to speak and share on CE.

  24. Thanks for all your hard work, Judith, and such a great venue.

  25. Dr. Curry ==> My prediction for the year is that the truly rabid climate alarm crowd will shoot itself in the foot in the two-party political battle in the United States Presidential election — vying to “out alarm” one another, and demanding crazier and crazier (and frightening) “solutions” to the “Climate Emergency”.

    This will be countered by cooler heads, such as yours, and the Pragmatic Solutions (No Regrets) effort will gain momentum in the backlash against the “We’re all Gonna Die” meme.

    With appreciation for what you do,
    and wishes for a better New Year,

    Kip Hansen

    • “This will be countered by cooler heads, such as yours, and the Pragmatic Solutions (No Regrets) effort…”

      Kip, those are my wishes as well. Greta even wishes us all the best on this beginning of the last decade of planet Earth.

      P.S.–“How Dare You!” -G

  26. Judith. Your work and your efforts are exceptional. Please keep up the great work in the New Year.

  27. Thanks JC for hosting the all-round best climate blog, attracting – uniquely – serious commentary from both sides of the debate with intensity but ultimately with respect and live-and-let-live. Always informative and surprising, a place for open minds. I hope mine still is. A Happy and successful New Year everyone.

  28. “By ‘Noah Effect’ we designate the observation that extreme precipitation can be very extreme indeed, and by ‘Joseph Effect’ the finding that a long period of unusual (high or low) precipitation can be extremely long.” Benoit B. Mandelbrot, James R. Wallis (1968): Noah, Joseph, and Operational Hydrology

    I suspect that we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. North America hasn’t fared too badly in the late 20th century – there were of course megadroughts over a good part of the middle of the last millennium. Australia may be the driest (precipitation – evapotranspiration) it has been for a 1000 years. Around the planet – I predict record breaking heat waves, cold snaps, drought, floods, fires and pestilence over the rest of the century. It is either the Hurst law and the Langbein corollary or a dream from God. I get confused.

    e.g. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02626667.2015.1125998

    Whatever – it is perhaps time to get serious about climate in a nonlinear world. 😊

  29. Geoff Sherrington

    The New Year started with serious challenges in Australia. Thousands of square miles (for our USA friends) of Eastern Australia have been blackened by fires that have killed or displaced hundreds of people and flattened several thousand dwellings/structures.
    Prime Minister Morrison gave a long interview on ABC TV today. He described how we were collectively managing the effects of the disaster, with Federal resources like the military and dollars at the disposal of State authorities. Good practical and management talk, good political cooperation, words from an upset PM who had just come from a funeral for one of the victims. Not an easy task, but we were impressed by his compassion and leadership.
    Then, as is customary, he invited questions from the Press. Almost all of them seemed to disregard his commentary and screamed at him with questions on the theme of “Why are you ignoring climate change?”
    Others have noted that climate change converts seem noticeably absent from the coal face, pen is mightier than the sword, perhaps? These converts were negative and destructive with their words. None of them offered suggestions about what should practically be done to pay homage to climate change. They just screamed that we have to do more, as if they were changing some sort of favoured communal mantra.
    A previous Prime Minister named Gough Whitlam, with whom I sometimes chatted, once faced similar vacuous Press questions about another issue, abortion. The chant was often “What about abortion?!?!?!”. To this the gifted wordsmith Gough replied “I wish it could be made retrospective”.
    Real Aussies in comments to forums like letters to Editors are losing interest in people who carry on like these reporters of scare. Geoff S

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      Anomalies in the stratosphere in the south have a major impact on drought in southern Australia.

      It’s worth seeing what SSW looked like in the south.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        You can see that a strong wave from the mesosphere broke the winter polar vortex in the south.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        IP,
        If your comment was meant to be linked to mine, I can respond.
        You claim that anomalies in the stratosphere have a major impact on southern droughts. To this I say piffle, that is unscientific nonsense as stated. Anomalies have a major impact on the colours of ink in cross sections like you show, but little more. Drought is associated with factors that can move energy around. What you show might be merely a cartoon after the event that shows one result of forces. To be useful, we need to know what causes this anomaly, how long it lasted, whether it is ephemeral or permanent, whether it merely correlates with some climate mechanism or whether it is involved in causation. We need to know why you call it an anomaly rather than a regular feature and what causes your classification.
        Now, there is a possibility that you have valid responses to these questions and that you have discovered something of value. There is a conventional procedure to make this known. It is formal publication and subsequent discussion. As you have posted here and similarly on many other occasions, your effort is largely wasted because I for one have standard ways to evaluate information and you are failing to provide them.
        My apologies if you have some impediment to clear expression in customary ways, but please try to understand what I have written.
        Geoff S

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        Similarly, in the north a strong wave from the mesosphere will break the polar vortex.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        The blocking of circulation in the south has ended and the lows will reach the south of Australia.

    • Sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) over Antarctica is a rare and transient phenomenon – 2002 and 2019 are the known events. Rossby waves descending to the surface push the band of westerly circumpolar winds to the north. A little like this figure skater. It can result in cooler and stormier conditions in southern Australia. It is far from the cause of extended drought in Australia or the only factor in polar surface pressure.

  30. Happy New Year to all.

    This is the current situation of the solar minimum, including data from December.

    The dotted lines are the monthly model data from Jan Alvestad of Solen since July 2019.
    http://www.solen.info/solar/
    He doesn’t say where this model data comes from, perhaps one of SILSO’s models. The model seems to have a bias towards shorter minima, perhaps because they have been more common during the solar maximum (1935-2005).

    As of now it looks quite probable that the solar minimum took place between July and November 2019. It also looks quite probable that SC24-25 minimum is going to have more activity than SC23-24 minimum.

    Given the relationship between a solar minimum and the next solar cycle activity, the data so far supports the polar fields method result that SC25 should have more activity than SC24, indicating that we are not entering a Grand Solar Minimum.

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      There is currently no visible increase in solar activity.

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      The magnetic activity of the Sun is still very low.

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      The geomagnetic field was very quiet on January 1. Solar wind speed at SOHO ranged between 287 and 326 km/sec.

      Solar flux at 20h UT on 2.8 GHz was 71.8 (increasing 1.1 over the previous solar rotation). The average 90 day 10.7 flux at 1 AU was 68.1 (The centered average 90 day SF at 1 AU reached a low of 67.77 on December 9, 2018. The centered 1 year average SF at 1 AU reached a minimum of 69.46 on April 27, 2019.

    • Javier, AFAIR you pointed out a few months ago, that the SC25 has started in March 2019. Your “proof” was the smoothed SSN at Silso. I would suggest to withdraw this claim.

      • I follow Adjusted 10.7 cm solar flux as real time indicator, and smoothed sunspot number as the official definition of the minimum.

        As of spring 2019 the lowest adjusted 10.7 cm flux value was from November 2018 (67.52 s.f.u.), and the number of sunspots was higher than a few months earlier. The data seemed to support the minimum had already taken place. Since then a new minimum in adjusted 10.7 cm solar flux was established in October 2019 (67.04 s.f.u.) and the number of sunspots over the summer and fall were very low. The new data showed the minimum hadn’t taken place in early 2019. I adjusted my opinion accordingly. As John Maynard Keynes said: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

        The data now supports a solar minimum for the second half of 2019, so that is what I support.

      • Javier, as I wrote it before: you can’t take some smoothed data to find a minimum/maximum in real time! Every forecast based on those data is a wild guess. If you follow carefully the posted values at Jans website ( which in turn is a mirror of Silso) you have seen that the estimated minimum data developed further in time and nobody knows at this point when the minimum will occure (occured). And: in all moths since sycle month 100 the present minimum had a lower monthly SSN than the SC23/24 minimum. The best way to estimate the actual minimum from the smoothed SSN is at least 6 months after it’s occurence and not during the process itself.
        A very good 2020, btw.

      • Frankclimate, I am and have always been aware that the actual date of the solar minimum cannot be known with certainty until at least 9 months after it took place, when the smoothed monthly number has been growing for 3 months. But that doesn’t mean that the date of the solar minimum cannot be estimated. Estimates can be right or wrong. Right now the earliest the solar minimum could have taken place is June 2019, that corresponds to the latest smoothed value available.

        In the graph I show above, the SC23-24 and SC24-25 minima are aligned from the time they both showed a smoothed monthly sunspot number of 13. While the SC23-24 reached a minimum value of 2.2, the SC24-25 has reached a minimum value of 3.7, therefore the SC24-25 solar minimum has so far more activity than the previous one.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        Javier, maybe the cycle minimum has already been reached. And what’s next?

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        It seems that activity in both hemispheres will occur at different times. First, spots should appear in the southern hemisphere. Two waves are not in phase.
        “The northern polar field is still gaining strength while the southern polar field reached its peak in November 2015.”

      • Javier, I agree that an estimate is just an estimate. However, IMO one can’t make reliable estimates and you state: “… therefore the SC24-25 solar minimum has so far more activity than the previous one.”
        It’s just some kind of a unjustified claim when looking at the monthly SSN data:

        It’s clear that the SC24-25 minimum has so far less activity than the previous one. The average SSN of the last 7 months is below 1 (0.93) and this was not the case during the minimum of SC 23-24 for any time window. The remaining question is: how long will it go. We just don’t know it, perhaps not so long as the former cycle because it’s estimated ( from the solar polar fields) that SC25 will be a little stronger as SC 24 but weaker then SC23. As longer a minimum holds as weaker the following cycle, of course also with some uncertainty. But every comment at this time about weaker/stronger minima is just speculation. We should not step in.

      • It’s just some kind of a unjustified claim when looking at the monthly SSN data:

        You are not aligning the minima properly for a fair comparison.

        A proper alignment shows:
        -SC24-25 has fallen in activity faster than SC23-24. About 4 months less from 50 to 20 smoothed sunspots.
        -SC24-25 is falling more slowly over the last year than SC23-24 did over the year prior to the minimum. In the last 12 months prior to the minimum SC23-24 fell by 5.6 smoothed sunspots. In the last 12 months SC24-25 has fallen by only 3.4 smoothed sunspots.
        -SC24-25 is not falling in activity as much as SC23-24 did. At an equivalent time SC23-24 had 1.4 smoothed sunspots less.

        All three are indicative that SC24-25 minimum should be shorter and with more activity than SC23-24 minimum, and SC25 should have more activity than SC24.

        But every comment at this time about weaker/stronger minima is just speculation.

        NOAA and NASA do their forecast and I do mine. You are welcome to abstain.

        A lot of scientists and people have been predicting/projecting a grand solar minimum. I am adamant that it won’t take place, based on my studies on solar activity, and the evidence for this solar minimum is the first data that will contradict the 21st century GSM hypothesis.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        “The northern polar field is still gaining strength while the southern polar field reached its peak in November 2015.”
        https://solen.info/solar/polarfields/polar.html
        “We can conclude with a sufficient degree of confidence that the solar activity in cycles 24–26 will be systematically decreasing because of the increasing phase shift between the two magnetic waves of the poloidal field leading to their full separation into opposite hemispheres in cycles 25 and 26. This separation is expected to result in the lack of their subsequent interaction in any of the hemispheres, possibly leading to a lack of noticeable sunspot activity on the solar surface lasting for a decade or two, similar to those recorded in the medieval period.”
        https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0004-637X/795/1/46/meta;jsessionid=F413A302C14212E053E26F3AC82AF398.c1.iopscience.cld.iop.org

      • “A lot of scientists and people have been predicting/projecting a grand solar minimum. I am adamant that it won’t take place, ”
        Agreed!

      • “We can conclude with a sufficient degree of confidence that the solar activity in cycles 24–26 will be systematically decreasing because of the increasing phase shift between the two magnetic waves of the poloidal field leading to their full separation into opposite hemispheres in cycles 25 and 26.
        we predict a noticeable decrease of the average sunspot numbers in cycle 25 to ≈80% of that in cycle 24 and a decrease in cycle 26 to ≈40% which are linked to a reduction of the amplitudes and an increase of the phase between the PCs of SBMF separating these waves into the opposite hemispheres.”

        It is not going to happen.

      • agree, this is some kind of BS. Very likely the SC25 will be a bit stronger than SC24. A “great minimum” is not at the edge. However, it’s not detectable if one looks at the minimum as we see it up to now. The best predictor are the solar polar fields. And it’s prediction is the one that counts (untill it’s shown that this is not the whole truth :) )

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        Cycle 25 will be weak because it will not develop evenly in both solar hemispheres. Sunspots will first form in the southern hemisphere.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        It can be seen that the strength of the solar northern field is constantly increasing, while the southern one is falling.

      • Cycle 25 will be weak because it will not develop evenly in both solar hemispheres.

        Ren, for its effect on Earth’s climate I doubt it matters which hemisphere the sunspot is.

        And to get a better idea of how active a solar cycle is, one can just add the monthly average sunspot number for all the months from a minimum to the next.


        (SC24 preliminary, but it won’t be very different).

        The sunspots per cycle measurement doesn’t care when or where the sunspots appear, and it is a very good very simple measurement of solar activity. The result is essentially the same as applying a gaussian filter to solar activity.

        I expect SC25 to be a little bit more active than SC24.

        This is my solar model compared to solar activity, and what I expect for the next 10 cycles. In a few decades we should be reaching the millennial maximum in solar activity, and then it will be ~ 500 years of decreasing solar activity.

        It would be very unusual to get a grand solar minimum this close to the millennial peak in solar activity.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        Javier, different activity in both solar hemispheres is of great importance, as shown in cycle 24. In cycle 24 there were two separate solar peaks in both hemispheres, which significantly weakened the total solar activity. The more these peaks are not in phase with each other, the weaker the solar cycle will be.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        As I showed above, the different activity in both hemispheres is due to the difference between the peaks of the northern and southern solar magnetic field.
        “The northern polar field is still gaining strength while the southern polar field reached its peak in November 2015.”
        This is very important because the cause is in the magnetic field of the Sun, which determines solar activity.

      • In cycle 24 there were two separate solar peaks in both hemispheres, which significantly weakened the total solar activity. The more these peaks are not in phase with each other, the weaker the solar cycle will be.

        You mistake maximum solar activity for total solar activity. When you have two sunspots simultaneously this side of the sun, the maximum solar activity is higher than when you have then at different days, but the total solar activity is the same. If anything when there are lots of sunspots they appear to interfere and result in less total energy.

        Considering that the effect of solar activity on climate has a lag of decades, I don’t see why it would matter that the North and South Hemispheres have peaks separated by ~ 1-2 years.

        “Here we … show that this cold anomaly was part of a recursive pattern of antiphase Greenland temperature responses to solar variability with a possible multidecadal lag.”
        Kobashi, T., et al. “Modern solar maximum forced late twentieth century Greenland cooling.” Geophysical Research Letters 42.14 (2015): 5992-5999.

        I rather use total sunspot number over the entire cycle as indicator of the cycle activity than peak sunspot number at a certain month. Then it doesn’t matter when the hemispheres peak.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        Javier, the phase shift between the north and south solar magnetic fields shows that there are factors that affect the strength of the sun’s magnetic field. When the northern and southern solar field are not in phase, the strength of the entire solar field weakening.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        Javier, as you know, the strength of the solar magnetic field determines the activity of sunspots.

      • Javier, albeit I agree that SC25 won’t be less active then SC24 I can’t replicate your figure including the 13 month smoothed SSN graphs for the minimum. I started at cycle month 88 for both minima making centred 13 months running means. This gives this figure:

        It clearly indicates that up to now the present minimum has less activity than the previous one. IMO there is some evidence from the last data that the SC 24 ended in December 2019. We’ll see.

  31. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The sunspots of the new solar cycle are very weak and are only visible for a few days.
    https://www.spaceweatherlive.com/en/solar-activity/sunspot-regions

  32. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Most importantly, the extent of sea ice in the north is increasing.
    All the best in 2020!

  33. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Low it will bring relief from the heat in southern Australia.

  34. What we can predict with certainty is that on January 1st, 2021, hindsight will be 2020.

    More importantly, after four years of close, productive cooperation between NuScale and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission starting in 2016, the license application for the first commercial small modular reactor (SMR) is on schedule for NRC approval in 2020.

    The NuScale/Fluor/UAMPS project to build a 720 Mw 12-unit SMR reactor facility at DOE’s INL site in eastern Idaho is our last opportunity to prove that a new-build commercial nuclear construction project can be delivered on cost and schedule in the United States.

    Start-up operation is slated for late 2026 or early 2027. A well-experienced team is working this project. We shouldn’t expect to see any surprises between now and 2026, assuming UAMPS decides to proceed forward with construction once the NRC license is in hand.

    • There are many costs associated with first-of-a-kind (FOAK) prototypes. Factory fabrication – for instance – means that you first have to build the factory and put in place supply chains. The same for all the SMR ideas. This is not an argument for not doing it – but for accepting the current reality that advanced nuclear development is being supported by government and to not get distracted. Unit production costs will dramatically decline with volume.

      • Beta Blocker

        NuScale is working with BWX Technologies to plan and design the manufacturing process that will be used for the SMR reactor units.

        Here is a slide-show presentation given by NuScale’s chief operating officer in May, 2019, to the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) which describes the project in some good level of detail.

        https://naseo.org/Data/Sites/1/atkinson_naseo-may-22,-2019.pdf

        As I understand it, the first-of-a-kind learning curve costs for the NuScale SMR are accounted for in their project capital cost estimate of $4,300 per Kw for the Idaho project.

        I’ve been told informally that this figure is expected to drop somewhat as manufacturing experience is gained and as production of SMR units expands. Time will tell if it actually does.

        The advantage of the approach NuScale has taken to designing and building an SMR is that it significantly expands the envelope of nuclear technology while at the same time minimizing the project’s technical and financial risks.

        The decision to use half-height conventional fuel rods for the reactor fuel, as opposed to something like molten salt or thorium, is the most prominent of the risk minimizing technical decisions NuScale has made.

        This facet of the NuScale design philosophy doesn’t sit well with those who ride the thorium reactor and molten salt reactor hobby horses.

        However, we have sixty years of practical experience with the legacy nuclear fuel cycle, and all of that valuable experience is available for further use in the NuScale SMR design.

        We have every reason to believe that the existing fuel cycle is what should be used for the first practical commercial SMR.

        And if the Idaho project is successfully delivered on cost and on schedule, then other technical philosophies using molten salt technology or thorium technology can then be given further consideration for use in an SMR.

        We have every reason to believe that the existing fuel cycle is what should be used for the first practical commercial SMR.

        And if the Idaho project is successfully delivered on cost and on schedule, then other technical philosophies using molten salt technology or thorium technology for an SMR can then be given further consideration.

      • DoE support for Nuscale stands at nearly a quarter of a billion dollars to date. And their $4,300/kWh price is still way above gas generation costs in the US at today’s gas prices.

        There is considerable experience with both gas cooled and fast neutron ‘breeder’ reactors – importantly with a partially closed fuel cycle.

        http://www.ga.com/energy-systems-and-products

        ,

      • Beta Blocker

        “DoE support for Nuscale stands at nearly a quarter of a billion dollars to date. And their $4,300/kWh price is still way above gas generation costs in the US at today’s gas prices.”

        Left alone to follow unregulated market forces, the power generation market in the US would move decisively towards gas-fired generation as a replacement for coal. Adopting nuclear, wind, and solar as opposed to natural gas for replacement of coal-fired generation is strictly a public policy decision.

        In pushing their low or no carbon anti-carbon policies, politicians in the Rocky Mountain West have left the door open for nuclear power.

        Among the three alternatives of wind, solar, and nuclear, UAMPS knows that wind and solar can’t come anywhere close to matching nuclear in terms of cost and reliability, which is why they have chosen to support development and eventual production of the NuScale SMR as their low or no carbon replacement for fossil fuels.

      • The economic case for supporting advanced nuclear as a sunrise industry involves reducing the capital risk of these very large investments to a point where they are viable.

    • Beta Blocker: More importantly, after four years of close, productive cooperation between NuScale and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission starting in 2016, the license application for the first commercial small modular reactor (SMR) is on schedule for NRC approval in 2020.

      Here’s hoping.

      • Not enough time to plan, contract and build that many nuclear plants of any size to make a difference before 2030 or even 2050. Was Fukushima Daiichi reliable? 3 Mile Island? Chernobyl? Since the very FIRST plant will not be even approved until later this year, there is no way for it to be in service in less than 5 or prove itself reliable for 20 years. Without a track record, who is going to invest in such questionable tech? With lots of SMR’s, expect lots of citizens opposing it in their back yard. “You have nothing to worry about. [skip] You have nothing to worry about. [skip] You have nothing to worry about [hot mike: Well, we have nothing to worry about since we and our families won’t live near one of those nuclear bombs waiting to go off…
        https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/mar/14/nuclear-power-plant-accidents-list-rank

  35. wrt to the infamous RCP8.5 debate mentioned in this item:
    March saw me attempt a Bayesian climate sensitivity analysis, but also saw the beginnings of the now infamous RCP8.5 debate. There was also one of Willard’s interviews, this one with Jonathan Gilligan. [edh removed URLs]

    See this:

  36. Open question to anyone–I’m looking to see temperature rises for the decade just ended. Does anyone know or can they point me to an authoritative source? I have a financial interest in the answer… So does Joe Romm.

  37. The faster a planet rotates (n2>n1) the higher is the planet’s average (mean) temperature T↑mean:
    Tmin↑→ T↑mean ← T↓max
    when n2>n1 (it happens because Tmin↑ grows faster than T↓max goes down)
    It happens in accordance to the Stefan-Boltzmann Law.
    Let’s explain:
    Assuming a planet rotates faster and Tmax1-Tmax2 = 1 oC.
    Then, according to the Stefan-Boltzmann Law:
    Tmin2-Tmin1 > 1oC
    Consequently Tmean2 > Tmean1

    If the solar irradiated hemisphere average temperature
    T1-T2=1oC
    Then the dark hemisphere average temperature
    T2-T1>1oC
    Consequently the total average
    Tmean2 > Tmean1
    So we shall have:
    Tmin↑→ T↑mean ← T↓max
    The faster a planet rotates (n2>n1) the higher is the planet’s average (mean) temperature T↑mean.

    http://www.cristos-vournas.com

  38. The Australian national Landcare program began in 1989 with a joint agreement between the National Farmers’ Federation and the Australian Conservation Foundation. The moderate collaboration continues with many billions of dollars – much from private sources – spent on landscape restoration. My wish for 2020 is that we get much better at explaining the relevance of this to climate change whether anthropogenic or natural.

    “Without a new vision for creating healthy, resilient landscapes, we will experience continuing environmental decline and degradation.”

    For all the policy developments and practical achievements of the past 20 to 30 years in managing our environments and ecosystems, we are not closing the gap between the magnitude of the challenge and the scale of our response.” http://australia21.org.au/reports/repairing-preparing-australias-landscapes-global-change/summary.html

    Australians are overwhelmingly in favor of paying for responses to climate variability – as uncertain as that is. Somewhat inconsistently – what we don’t want is yet higher energy costs.

    We have seen some progress in land use and forestry. This has come at a cost to biodiversity and rational fire management. 40% of emissions come from electricity – and that can’t change without plausible alternative sources. A narrow majority favor nuclear – and that should grow as SMR come online in this decade and people better understand the difference between advanced nuclear and conventional light water reactors. With cheap and abundant energy – anything is possible.

    The General Atomics gas cooled, fast neutron reactor seems a great notion for many reasons – the replacement of zirconium cladding with silicon-carbide that won’t melt down or blow up at any feasible temperature is just one.

    • Increase thermal efficiency by at least 60 percent over current and projected water-cooled reactors. We believe this increase in efficiency will be the driver in cutting nuclear electricity costs by nearly half, making them much more competitive with coal and natural gas.
    • Convert nuclear waste from a liability into an asset by using it as part of the fuel used by this new reactor. This capability can effectively eliminate the argument that nuclear waste represents an insoluble problem
    • Decrease significantly the upfront capital required to build a reactor by making small modular reactors that could be manufactured in factories, transported to the site, and brought online within five years
    • Significantly reduce the proliferation risks associated with nuclear power production, and
    • Enormously increase the number of locations suitable for reactors by making it possible for them to be sited away from large bodies of water.”

    The 60% remainder requires a more considered approach than hippies chanting solar power now – as they have done for the past 45 years at least.

    ‘Livestock grazing is the most extensive of Australia’s land uses, practised across 55% of the continent. The conservation and Indigenous estates have continued to expand; each now represents more than 20% of Australia’s land area.’ op. cit.

    Intensive rotational grazing and better fire management remain a large part of the solution.

    “Our planet has 5 billion hectares of grasslands. Almost all of it is less healthy than it could and should be, and much of it is in desperate condition. We use properly managed livestock within the framework of ‘holistic management’ to increase biodiversity on all the land we manage.

    Desertification is caused by a slow steady decrease in biodiversity. The United Nations has recognised that desertification is one of our biggest threats and challenges.

    Many people use simplistic linear thinking. It goes something like this: greenhouse gases (GHGs) are damaging to life on Earth, we need to get rid of GHGs (we call them ‘carbon pollution’). This means ‘sources’ are bad, and ‘sinks’ are good. So GHGs are ‘bad’, methane is a GHG, cows emit methane, so cows are ‘bad’. Simple and linear. And wrong.” https://atlasofthefuture.org/futurehero-tony-lovell-5-billion-hectares-hope/

    A comprehensive plan is emerging across diverse sectors and many activities. On which we have committed $4.56 B since 2014.

    “https://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/government/emissions-reduction-fund/methods

    What’s needed is to get beyond pointless climate ‘science’ talking points to a new and inspiring public narrative.

    • The General Atomics gas cooled, fast neutron reactor seems a great notion for many reasons – the replacement of zirconium cladding with silicon-carbide that won’t melt down or blow up at any feasible temperature is just one.

      Does this represent a revival of the fast breeder reactor research and development that was previously terminated in the US and Western Europe just before the turn of the millennium? Everyone except Russia (and maybe China and France) stopped working on fast breeders due to problems like leaks in pipes carrying liquid metal coolant. I worked (on a student research project) at the fast breeder reactor site at Dounreay in Scotland, where this leakage problem led to the closure of the project.

      It would be impressive indeed if gas cooling could adequately cool the very high energy density of a fast neutron core that earlier sent designers in the direction of liquid metal coolant.

    • Total warming is proportional to cumulative emissions.

      Let’s be honest – there isn’t much Australia can do at this point to stop global climate change and hence the problems they’re suffering. They should definitely do their share — and stop letting fossil fuel interests lead their politicians around by the ring in their nose — but it’s only diplomacy that can do any good now. And they aren’t up to it. (No one else is either.)

      • “The International Partnership for Blue Carbon, launched by Australia in 2015, brings together national governments, non-government organisations, and research institutions to build awareness, share knowledge and accelerate practical action to protect and restore coastal blue carbon ecosystems for climate action.

        The Australian Government is supporting countries in the Asia-Pacific to build their capacity to protect coastal blue carbon ecosystems. This includes a $6 million Pacific Blue Carbon Initiative and a $2 million Indonesia-Australia Program. Both programs will strengthen blue carbon expertise and data, support integration of blue carbon into national greenhouse gas accounting and climate policy, and encourage public and private sector investment.”

        The region – Asia and Oceania – contains most of the world’s mangroves. And it is just one plankl in a diverse portfolio of responses needed to mitigate carbon emissions, conserve and restore natural systems and soils, increase efficiency, productivity and innovation. And we will continue to supply coal and gas for electricity and industrial process heat to the region – including China and India – until something better comes along. All in accord with their post Paris NDC’s I might add.

        “A commitment to a high-energy planet empowers growth and development using the broadest array of energy services, technologies, and policies that can meet the manifold needs of developing societies. The way we produce and use energy will become increasingly clean not by limiting its consumption, but by using expanded access to energy to unleash human ingenuity in support of innovating toward an equitable, low-carbon global energy system.”

        It’s a very different way of thinking. But if that is not pure enough for David and his ilk – they can take a flying leap and fall flat on their faces yet again.

  39. I wish a safe and healthy New Year, to Dr Curry and all the contributors.

  40. Jose M Paredes MD

    Dr Curry: Wishing you a Happy New Year 2020. And many thanks for hosting this site, where intelligent opinions re: Climate Change can be seen and discussed in a civil way

  41. Jose M Paredes MD

    DR Curry:
    Some work I did years ago, when this paper was published. I hope you and your readers may find it interesting.

    John Cook et al: “ Quantifying the consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming ( AGW ) in the scientific literature “. 2013 Environ.Res.Lett 8 024024 ( April -June 2013 Number 2), reviewed the abstracts of 11944 papers on “Climate Change” published between 1991 and 2011. The abstracts ( 97% ) were reviewed by pairs of 12 “ Independent, anonymized raters ; 12 further reviewers completed the remaining task ( 2.6% of papers ). The abstracts were classified in terms of specific research category and rated as to endorsement of AGW :Humans as cause of global warming ,in a scale of 1 to 7: 1-3: Explicit/ Implicit endorsement, AGW +
    4 No opinion AGW 0
    5-7 :Implicit/ Explicit
    denial AGW –
    As a follow up emails were sent to authors asking for “ Self Rating “ in terms of AGW position.
    Their results state that of 11944 peer reviewed journals, their abstracts were considered by the reviewers as:
    AGW 0: 66.4 %
    AGW +: 32.6 %
    AGW-/~: 1.0 %
    Among the 33.6% of abstracts deemed – by the reviewers -, to have an opinion as to AGW, 97.1% endorsed AGW. In the follow up phase, with a response of only 14% , 35.5% of respondents initially placed in the AGW0 self rated themselves as AGW +.
    At no time whatsoever in the article the authors make the claim that 97.1 of scientists endorse the postulate of AGW; what they say is that: “ Among abstracts [ deemed by the reviewers ] expressing an opinion on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the position that humans are causing Global Warming “. In the context of the article the proper conclusion is as follows : “ Of X number of scientific publications queried in terms of Global Warming, 66.4% have no opinion as to the cause (Human, non Human, etc ), while 32.6% endorse AGW.
    Independently of the reading by the press and many individuals as the fallacy of the statement: “ 97.1% of scientists endorse Global Warming “, there are a number of methodological issues with this paper :
    A ) The paper is based on review of abstracts of Papers published. Abstracts do not always reflect the findings presented in the actual paper: See Journal of Clinical Oncology 30, 3552-3557, 2012., Alwaitirig,A et al,., an analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials in Lung Cancer showing that even in a very tight research area 10% of the time the abstract is not reflective of the actual findings in the paper.
    B) Initially 27% of Category Ratings and 33% of Endorsement Ratings disagreed on reviewers analysis . It is stated in the paper that eventually all remaining disagreements “ where then resolved by a third party”. Since we are dealing with one third of the data the manner in which the resolution was carried out is of the upmost importance to support the findings.
    C) Possible Biases in the reviewer system. This is a paper that presents conclusions on the basis of Interpretation of Data by individuals . Therefore it is the responsibility of the authors to assure the reader that any possible bias on the part of the reviewers was properly addressed. This was clearly not done ; the anonymity of the reviewers may be called into question ( see: Acknowledgements , end of paper .)
    D) Follow up phase of the study: 14% response rate: How do we know that this is a statistically representative sample of the whole study population, that would give some validity to the results.
    In conclusion, two ways of looking at this paper:
    The most charitable way, as a paper that claims to show that 32.6% of scientific publications queried endorse AGW

    The scientific way, that deems this paper as unfit for publication in its present form and should be submitted again when the significant issues discussed are addressed.
    Jose M Paredes MD
    Hematology -Oncology
    AlphaMed Physicians Group

    • 2. The “97%” Myth
      Every day, the news media, activists, politicians, and some climate scientists proclaim that 97% of all scientists agree that atmospheric C02 causes global warming and rising C02 will lead to global catastrophes. This claim has been echoed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), various scientific organizations, governments, President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry*, and many others. Where did the 97% number come from—was there some worldwide survey of all scientists? The 97% number is based on two publications—the first by Doran and Zimmerman (2000) and a later one by Cook et al. (2013″).
      The Doran and Zimmerman paper was a University of Illinois master’s thesis by Maggie Zimmerman and her thesis advisor, Peter Doran, who claimed that “97% of climate scientists agree” that global warming is caused by rising C02. They sent an Internet survey to 10,257 people working at universities and government agencies and received 3146 replies. Of these, only 5% identified themselves as “climate scientists.” Only two questions were asked: (1) “When compared with pre-1800 levels, do you think that global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remain relatively
      constant?” and (2) “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperature?” Of the 3146 replies, Doran and Zimmerman arbitrarily selected 79 responses, of whom 77 replied “yes.” They divided 77 by 79 to get 97%, which was then elevated to “97% of all scientists” by various proponents of C02. The proper number should have been 77 divided by 3146, which equals 2%.
      The Cook et al. (2013) paper was based on counting abstracts of climate papers. The authors contended that “Among [4014] abstracts expressing a position of AGW [Anthropogenic Global Warming], 97% endorsed the consensus position humans are causing global warming.” However, Legates et al. (2013*) point out that “the author’s own analysis shows that only 0.5% of all 11,944 abstracts, and 1.6% of the 4014 abstracts expressing a position, endorsed anthropogenic warming as they had defined it.”

      The “97%” Myth is based on two publications—the first by Doran and Zimmerman (2000) and a later one by Cook et al. (2013″). The Doran and Zimmerman paper was a University of Illinois master’s thesis by Maggie Zimmerman and her thesis advisor, Peter Doran, who claimed that “97% of climate scientists agree” that global warming is caused by rising C02. They sent an Internet survey to 10,257 people working at universities and government agencies and received 3146 replies. Of these, only 5% identified themselves as “climate scientists.” Only two questions were asked: (1) “When compared with pre-1800 levels, do you think that global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remain relatively
      constant?” and (2) “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperature?” Of the 3146 replies, Doran and Zimmerman arbitrarily selected 79 responses, of whom 77 replied “yes.” They divided 77 by 79 to get 97%, which was then elevated to “97% of all scientists” by various proponents of C02. The proper number should have been 77 divided by 3146, which equals 2%.
      The Cook et al. (2013) paper was based on counting abstracts of climate papers. The authors contended that “Among [4014] abstracts expressing a position of AGW [Anthropogenic Global Warming], 97% endorsed the consensus position humans are causing global warming.” However, Legates et al. (2013*) point out that “the author’s own analysis shows that only 0.5% of all 11,944 abstracts, and 1.6% of the 4014 abstracts expressing a position, endorsed anthropogenic warming as they had defined it.”
      Every day, the news media, activists, politicians, and some climate scientists proclaim that 97% of all scientists agree that atmospheric C02 causes global warming and rising C02 will lead to global catastrophes. This claim has been echoed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), various scientific organizations, governments, President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry*, and many others.

      (2013″) and Bast and Spencer (2014*) conclude “The 97.1% consensus claimed by Cook et al. (2013) turns out upon inspection to be not 97.1% but 0.3%. Their claim of 97.1% consensus, therefore, is arguably one of the greatest items of misinformation in history.”
      Evidence-Based Climate Science: Data Opposing CO2 Emissions as the Primary Source of Global Warming, Don Easterbrook
      Thus, the contention that “97% of all scientists agree that global warming is caused by C02” is simply not true, and those who continue to assert this are either uniformed or perpetuating a false statement. Legates et al.

  42. https://www.iceagenow.info/new-type-of-auroara/
    NASA intern Jennifer Briggs discovered a new type of aurora in 3-year-old video footage of the Arctic sky.

    Scientists connected the never-before-seen aurora to a sudden retreat, or compression, in Earth’s magnetic field, the first time scientists have seen an aurora caused solely by such a compression.

    The aurora’s bright and colorful lights are a result of collisions between electrically-charged particles from the sun (the solar wind) and gases in Earth’s atmosphere, such as nitrogen and oxygen. Earth’s magnetic field usually deflects these charged particles, but since the field is weaker at the planet’s poles, this allows some particles sneak through, producing the aurora borealis near the North Pole and the aurora australis near the South Pole.

    Researchers are unable to explain why this magnetic crunch happened or why it forced Earth’s magnetic field to decrease in size so suddenly and rapidly, but since there were no eruptions on the sun to push against the magnetic field that day, researchers think the crunch may have been caused by an “unprecedented storm” in the area where Earth’s magnetic field meets particles from the sun.

    Whatever the cause, the mysterious compression produced the stunning twisting aurora in the video below, which was observed from an island in Norway.

    ‘Imagine someone punching Earth’s magnetic field’

    When this particular aurora occurred, the edge of the magnetosphere moved toward Earth’s surface by about 25,000 km in under two minutes (more than 15,000 miles), according to Briggs. More than four times the Earth’s radius in less than two minutes!

    To put this into perspective, it would take a commercial jet about 27 hours to fly that distance.

    “You can imagine someone punching Earth’s magnetic field,” Briggs said. “There was a massive, but localized compression.”

    Normally, Earth’s magnetic field diverts these charged particles, but it is weaker at the planet’s poles. This allows some particles to sneak through, creating the aurora borealis near the North Pole and the aurora australis adjacent to the South Pole.

    The sudden dash of charged particles during an aurora borealis can interrupt electronic communications, confuse GPS, move satellites out of orbit, endanger astronauts and even eliminate power grids if the eruption is large enough.

    Now let’s try to imagine what havoc a full-fledged magnetic reversal could cause.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/new-aurora-borealis-crunch-earth-magnetic-field-2019-12

    https://www.theweathernetwork.com/ca/news/article/puzzling-crunch-in-earths-magnetic-field-produces-new-type-of-aurora-borealis-nasa-discovery

    • Santa’s New Home: The North Pole is Moving to Russia

      The North Pole is moving and quickly. Is someone stealing Christmas?

      It is not the Grinch or Vladimir Putin that is stealing Santa’s workshop, but instead it’s the natural processes of the Earth that are moving the North Pole. In fact, since scientists have been tracking the anomaly in the Arctic, the North Magnetic Pole has been shifting towards Russia.

      What surprises scientists is the rate at which the movement has increased in recent history.

      The field has weakened about 10% in the last 150 years.

  43. Happy Retirement Anniversary and Happy New Year Dr. Curry !!

  44. The remarkable thing about prognostications for the coming decade is that not one of the 20 “experts” emphasizes the profound need for assimilation of rigorous physics and system analysis into the dismal “science” of climate. Instead, we see a narrow, academic preoccupation with numerical modeling and a trendy emphasis on the developments expected from AI. And many of them tie it all up with a bow of superficial socio-babble, scarcely above the sheer prattle of compulsive blog denizens.

    BTW, has anyone noticed the distinctly inverse relationship between frequency of commenting and its scientific merit?

    • john321s wrote:
      The remarkable thing about prognostications for the coming decade is that not one of the 20 “experts” emphasizes the profound need for assimilation of rigorous physics and system analysis into the dismal “science” of climate. Instead, we see a narrow, academic preoccupation with numerical modeling

      Models have the laws of physics built into them. Of course.

    • The sanguine notion that “models have the laws of physics built into them” can be maintained only by those who have little conception of the stark differences often seen between real-world processes and results produced by various numerical models.

      Merely having some recognized “law of physics” nominally incorporated does not guarantee sufficient coherence with actual observations to make numerical models useful. There’s a matter of inadequate grasp of which physical laws actually dominate under certain conditions and which are of academic interest–the known unknowns. With GCMs, we have little more than parametric guesstimates about development of clouds and their manifold thermodynamic effects. And ultimately there are the unknown unknowns…

  45. “It’s Difficult to Make Predictions, Especially About the Future.” But statistics of climate series allow us to form an opinion that isn’t utterly uninformed.

    • Climate projections aren’t based on statistical trends, they’re based on the laws of physics.

      • Data series show how climate works. Extremes grow exponentially with time. As do uncertainties in perturbed physics ensembles, As all these doyens of climate modelling I cite say.

      • David Appell

        Climate projections aren’t based on statistical trends, they’re based on solving the laws of physics.

        Here’s a model explanation for you, if you can handle the math:

        “Description of the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM 3.0),” NCAR Technical Note NCAR/TN–464+STR, June 2004.
        http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/atm-cam/docs/description/description.pdf

      • ” We are living in a world driven out of equilibrium. Energy is constantly delivered from the sun to the earth. Some of the energy is converted chemically, while most of it is radiated back into space, or drives complex dissipative structures, with our weather being the best known example. We also find regular structures on much smaller scales, like the ripples in the windblown sand, the intricate structure of animal coats, the beautiful pattern of mollusks or even in the propagation of electrical signals in the heart muscle. It is the goal of pattern formation to understand nonequilibrium systems in which the nonlinearities conspire to generate spatio-temporal structures or pattern.” Spatiotemporal Chaos and Pattern Formation – http://www.ds.mpg.de/LFPB/chaos

        So what do you imagine these spatio-temporal chaotic patterns look like?

      • David Appell

        The world’s climate was in near equilibrium up to the start of the industrial era.

        Since then, not so much.

      • The system is thermodynamically non-equilibrium. So if you can’t get that right – when it is posted there on a Max Planck Institute page – then spatio-temporal chaos is certainly a bridge too far.

      • David Appell

        Robert I. Ellison | January 4, 2020 at 3:31 am |
        ”We are living in a world driven out of equilibrium. Energy is constantly delivered from the sun to the earth”

        Show us the direct measurements that show a solar influence on climate change.

        None of your usual bullsh!t — real, actual measurements.

    • “Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation (see ref. 26).” https://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709

      Neglecting of course the third great idea of 20th century ohysics.

      • “Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.” https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsta.2011.0161

      • David Appell

        I suspected you couldn’t speak for yourself.

        Show us where chaos has occurred over the Pleistocene, and how often:

      • David Appell

        Show us where chaos in temperature has occurred in the last 400 kyrs:

      • “The Earth’s climate system is highly nonlinear: inputs and outputs are not proportional, change is often episodic and abrupt, rather than slow and gradual, and multiple equilibria are the norm. While this is widely accepted, there is a relatively poor understanding of the different types of nonlinearities, how they manifest under various conditions, and whether they reflect a climate system driven by astronomical forcings, by internal feedbacks, or by a combination of both.” https://www.globalcarbonproject.org/global/pdf/pep/Rial2004.NonlinearitiesCC.pdf

        A ” small forcing can cause a small change or a huge one.”
        — National Academy of Sciences, 2002, Abrupt climate change: inevitable surprises. p74

        “By the 20th century, scientists had rejected old tales of world catastrophe, and were convinced that global climate could change only gradually over many tens of thousands of years. But in the 1950s, a few scientists found evidence that some changes in the past had taken only a few thousand years. During the 1960s and 1970s other data, supported by new theories and new attitudes about human influences, reduced the time a change might require to hundreds of years. Many doubted that such a rapid shift could have befallen the planet as a whole. The 1980s and 1990s brought proof (chiefly from studies of ancient ice) that the global climate could indeed shift, radically and catastrophically, within a century — perhaps even within a decade.” https://history.aip.org/climate/rapid.htm

        Some people remain many decades behind the curve. 🤣

      • David Appell

        So then show me all the chaos in temperature over the last 400,000 years.

      • David Appell

      • David Appell

        OK, so if you can’t point to any example of temperature chaos in the last 400,000 years, why should I expect one in the next 100 years?

    • The system is thermodynamically non-equilibrium. So if you can’t get that right – when it is posted there on a Max Planck Institute page – then spatio-temporal chaos is certainly a bridge too far.

      • David Appell

        Big deal. Climate models have done a good job of projecting to modern temperatures — Schneider’s model, Hansen’s model, Exxon’s model.

      • I suggest you read some Wally Broecker. The original keeper of climate’s wild and angry beast.

        “Those who choose not to accept that the warming produced by fossil fuel CO2 poses a serious threat, point to what they view as a cessation of warming during the first decade of this century (see Trenberth 2015). This observation has been used to strengthen the position of those who oppose tough legislation designed to reduce CO2 emissions. This plateau could be interpreted as an undoing of what happened in 1976–1977. Hence, it is of great importance to gain an understanding of these reorganizations and whether similar ones will punctuate the ongoing warming.” https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-017-1927-y

        Wally did an admirable job over 20 years ago now discovering the wild and angry climate beast. But Wally went to the dark side more recently – bemoaning the failure of democracy and lauding China. At least he was still forecasting economic growth – I think the phrase was we couldn’t avoid it. I advised Wally to buck up – any classic liberal, democratic capitalist will tell you that growth is most efficient and sustainable in stable, classic liberal, civil democracies with capitalist markets. And any intervention had best take that dynamic to heart in order to succeed.

        The tracks of the climate beast that impose such significant constraints on anthropogenic warming in the 20th century can be so readily seen in the surface temperature record. Try it – there are four regime shifts – around 1912, the mid 1940’s, the late 1970’s, and 1998/2001. Warming, cooling, warming and at least not warming much. Now you’re an environmental – if not climate – scientist. I am inspired – btw – to continue to labor the beast metaphor – at least I have not capitalised it – as no less than Science O’Doom himself did.

        The phrase was science poetry. There has always been a science that is poetic at an erudite core. Very recent thinking on science it that it should be rich and fruitful – perhaps more a forensic investigation than a poem? So I will continue to mix metaphors with wild abandon and to wax on and wax off – much as climate itself does.

        We can sample the two regimes we know most about – mid 20th century cooling and late century warming – and may or may not attribute the difference to greenhouse gases in the period that they started to grow strongly. Because it “evens out”. It’s about 0.4 degrees Kelvin – and relatively insignificant in the scheme of things.

        The future – however – is another country. And the past is pretty murky too come to that. Especially for climate modellers it seems.

      • David Appell

        I’ve read Broecker. His model did pretty well until about 2000.

      • “At least he was still forecasting economic growth – I think the phrase was we couldn’t avoid it. I advised Wally to buck up – any classic liberal, democratic capitalist will tell you that growth is most efficient and sustainable in stable, classic liberal, civil democracies with capitalist markets. And any intervention had best take that dynamic to heart in order to succeed.” Is what I said in fact.

      • David Appell

        Actually predicting warming as a function of CO2 isn’t that difficult — it’s proportional to total emissions.

      • “Fortunately, climate science is rapidly developing the tools to meet this challenge, as in the near future it will be possible to attribute cause and effect in decadal‐scale climate variability within the context of a seamless climate forecast system [Palmer et al., 2008]. Doing so is vital, as the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean temperature.” https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2008GL037022

        We might note that Tim is still working on it.

      • David Appell

        Citations?

      • Palmer could well become a Brexit victim.

        And, he thinks cold surprises by 2100 are BS.

      • “The richness of the El Nino behaviour, decade by decade and century by century, testifies to the fundamentally chaotic nature of the system that we are attempting to predict. It challenges the way in which we evaluate models and emphasizes the importance of continuing to focus on observing and understanding processes and phenomena in the climate system. It is also a classic demonstration of the need for ensemble prediction systems on all time scales in order to sample the range of possible outcomes that even the real world could produce. Nothing is certain.” https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsta.2011.0161

  46. UAH: Warmest December in their records.

    Warmest meteorological autumn (Sept-Nov).

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2020/01/uah-global-temperature-update-for-december-2019-0-56-deg-c/

  47. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The front with precipitation is approaching Sydney.

  48. Geoff Sherrington

    Appell versus Ellison.
    Trip through La La Land via selected quotes from unwitting others.
    When will it ever end?

    (Possibly with a formal scientific paper that finally quantifies a link between CO2 in air and atmospheric temperature, or shows there is no link. Or even gets the sign right if there is a link. Or even calculates proper uncertainty bounds.). Geoff S

    • The “trip through La La Land via selected quotes from unwitting others” will
      never end as long as any credence is given those whose understanding of science is largely verbal–and analytically wrong! In the present case, it’s the misguided imputation of ubiquitous chaos by those who only have read Lorenz, but don’t fully understand dynamical systems and have never learned from Wiener or other analytic minds. They wind up propagating nonsense that “extremes exponentially increase with time.”

      • “The hydrologist H.E. Hurst, studying the long flow records of the Nile and other geophysical time series, was the first to observe a natural behaviour, named after him, related to multi-scale change, as well as its implications in engineering designs. Essentially, this behaviour manifests that long-term changes are much more frequent and intense than commonly perceived and, simultaneously, that the future states are much more uncertain and unpredictable on long time horizons than implied by standard approaches.” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02626667.2013.804626

        From Hurst, to Mandelbrot, Langnein and Koutsoyiannis – mathematical analysis of real climate data series lead to a disconnect between theory and reality.

        “The form of Equation (3), which was used by Hurst to estimate H, was apparently suggested by Equation (4) wherein the term (n/2) appears. Lloyd (1967) subsequently coined the term “Hurst Phenomenon” to describe the discrepancy between Hurst’s average value of 0.73 for H and the theoretical value of 0.5 deduced from classical statistical theory.” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02626667.2015.1125998

        I don’t selectively quote. I provide teasers and links – where the math can be followed for those with the capability and interest.

      • “Here, we chronicle the research that has evolved from Hurst’s remarkable finding, dealing firstly with the early search for a statistical explanation of the Hurst Phenomenon in the period from 1951 up to 1968, when Mandelbrot and Van Ness (1968) unveiled fractional Brownian motion and demonstrated that its increments, fractional Gaussian noise (fGn), had the necessary attributes to account for the Hurst Phenomenon (Mandelbrot and Wallis 1968) (Section 2).” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02626667.2015.1125998

        Fractional Gaussian noise had the unfortunate property of stationarity requiring infinite system memory. The foundations for a physical understanding – on the other hand – were laid by Poincaré with his 3 body Hamiltonian equation in the early 20th century. Kolmogorov’s mathematics of turbulence in the 1940’s reached a similar conclusion to Hurst with his millennial scale Nile River data. So much so that it sometimes known as Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics. The Lorenz paradigm placed Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics firmly in the context of the laws of motion.

        Or someone of the status of Koutsoyiannis may just redefine stationarity.

        “This “novel” description does not depart from the 60‐ to 70‐year‐old pioneering works of Hurst on natural processes and of Kolmogorov on turbulence. Contrasting stationary with nonstationary has important implications in engineering and management. The stationary description with Hurst‐Kolmogorov stochastic dynamics demonstrates that nonstationary and classical stationary descriptions underestimate the uncertainty. This is illustrated using examples of hydrometeorological time series, which show the consistency of the Hurst‐Kolmogorov approach with reality.” https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00543.x

        IT IS NOT REMOTELY WIENER’S RANDOM THEORY PROCESS. Got it? Or will you waffle on with some more random names? .

      • The quotations about antiquated engineering notions (Hurst) of stochastic stationarity are quite irrelevant to the issue of recognizing the strongly distinct manifestations of chaotic vs. classical dynamics in geophysics. Nor is the issue of the behavior of long-term extremes addressed thereby. These problems essentially boil down to questions of spectral structure and predictability that were explored in both linear and nonlinear cases by Norbert Wiener decades ago. That these analytical developments remain terra incognita to hydrologists and climatologists is evident from the mistaken notion that I was referring to a simple random walk, aka Wiener process.

        Nevertheless, profuse outpourings of uncomprehending verbiage continue in pretentious la la land.

      • Nonlinear random walk mathematics is not remotely a 1000 year data series and Hurst dynamics. And John seems capable only of repeating a name and a claim couched in so much calumny it’s a wonder to me that he survives moderation.

        “We are then in one of those situations, so salutary for theoreticians, in which empirical discoveries stubbornly refuse to accord with theory. All of the researches described above lead to the conclusion that in the long run, E(Rn) should increase like n^0.5, whereas Hurst’s extraordinarily well documented empirical law shows an increase like n^k where K is about 0.7. We are forced to the conclusion that either the theorists interpretation of their own work is inadequate or their theories are falsely based: possibly both conclusions apply.”

        John seems to have little acquaintance with theory and none at all with climate series. Little wonder then that his comments are so empty of content.

  49. Rob Johnson-taylor

    I am far more concerned about the reduction in air quality, from not only the Australian bush fires, but also the large-scale fires elsewhere. There are numerous effects of poor air quality, not only breathing issues, but on the hart, and other effects. eg some 16% of type 2 diabetes cases are thought to be caused by air quality issues. Air quality in New Zealand has been affected by the fires in Australia; these particles will span the globe. It will be sadly interesting to see the coming mortality rates over the coming years.

  50. Would there be any science capable of persuading Sherrington with his rote litany of complaints about data imprecision and uncertainty. Whatever the topic – data is always suspect. Science is always always found wanting. Nothing is known with certainty therefore nothing is knowable it seems. An attitude far more churlishly political than scientific – less able to discuss science in any detail and more griping from the peanut gallery.

    We have a working hypothesis that anthropogenic greenhouse gas warming is superimposed on intense internal variability at many scales. In the case of the former – physics and data seem undeniable.

    “Here we analyse the difference between the spectra of the outgoing longwave radiation of the Earth as measured by orbiting spacecraft in 1970 and 1997. We find differences in the spectra that point to long-term changes in atmospheric CH4, CO2 and O3 as well as CFC-11 and CFC-12. Our results provide direct experimental evidence for a significant increase in the Earth’s greenhouse effect that is consistent with concerns over radiative forcing of climate.” https://www.nature.com/articles/35066553

    The hypothesis there is of increasing randomization of photon paths in the atmosphere – as theory suggests – with an increase in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. This empirical proof of concept has been replicated. It is more than enough to be going on with if you believe that science is a guide to action. Not what action – but action in ways that accomodate society and economics, culture and environment.

    Internal variability is a less tractable and therefore a more interesting problem. In the words of Michael Ghil (2013) the ‘global climate system is composed of a number of subsystems – atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere – each of which has distinct characteristic times, from days and weeks to centuries and millennia. Each subsystem, moreover, has its own internal variability, all other things being constant, over a fairly broad range of time scales. These ranges overlap between one subsystem and another. The interactions between the subsystems thus give rise to climate variability on all time scales.’

    Here the instrumental record is far too short to sample the extremes climate is capable of. Extremes exponentially increase with time. A 1000 year flood is not 10 times a 100 year flood but much more. The engineering challenge is to make human systems resilient whatever happens for whatever reason.

  51. Charon’s (Pluto’s moon) Effective Temperature Calculation:
    So = 1.362 W/m² (So is the Solar constant)
    Charon’s albedo: acharon = 0,2 to 0,5 at solar phase angle of 15°
    let’s have acharon = 0,2
    1/R² = 1/39,48² = 1/1.558 = 0,0006418
    Charon’s sidereal rotation period is 6,38723 days
    Charon does N = 1/6,38723 rotations/ per day
    Charon is an ice crust planet, very cratered, and Charon’s surface irradiation accepting factor Φcharon =1.
    Charon’s surface is composed of water ice
    Charon can be considered as a water ice crust surface planet,
    cp.charon = 1 cal/gr*°C
    β = 150 days*gr*°C /rotation*cal – it is the Planet Surface Solar Irradiation Absorbing-Emitting Universal Law constant
    σ = 5,67*10⁻⁸ W/m²K⁴, a Stefan-Boltzmann constant
    Charon’s effective temperature Te.charon is:
    Te.charon = [ Φ (1-a) So (1/R²) (β*N*cp)¹∕ ⁴ /4σ ]¹∕ ⁴
    Τe.charon = { 1*(1-0,20)*1.362 W/m² *0,0006418*[150 *(1/6,38723)* 1]¹∕ ⁴ /4*5,67*10⁻⁸ W/m²K⁴ }¹∕ ⁴ = 51,04 K
    Te.charon = 51,04 K

    Tsat.charon = 53 K (- 220 °C)

    http://www.cristos-vournas.com

  52. Marshall Shepherd & Co:

    “I also worry about continued trends in Arctic Sea Ice loss, sea level rise, and Greenland dynamics that, in some cases, are ahead of projections from decades ago.”

    With rising CO2 forcing expected to increase positive NAO/AO conditions, I don’t see how they project Arctic warming from that. Arctic warming is normal during a centennial solar minimum because of increased negative NAO/AO, directly, and from warmer ocean phases and their effects on cloud cover.

    “I could foresee advances in longer-range predictions of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, heat waves, cold snaps, untimely freezes, flash droughts – the range of extremes that can impact life, property, and ecosystems. We are on the path already with at least a few of those hazards, but we need – and, I believe, will achieve – greater understanding and communication of the links between global climate patterns and potential for hazardous/high-impact weather.”

    They have that backwards, heatwaves and cold-waves are solar driven, so it’s about understanding how the short term solar changes effect the global climate.
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/major-heat-cold-waves-driven-key-heliocentric-alignments-ulric-lyons/

    “better and more consistent communication (by the media) of the linkages between extreme weather events and climate change to eliminate skepticism and erroneous reporting. This likely also prompts intentional political action”

    Eliminating scepticism removes the possibility of understanding what drives extreme weather events. Linking extreme weather events to climate change is the erroneous reporting, and is intentional political action.

  53. Pingback: Weekly Local weather and Power Information Roundup #393 – All My Daily News

  54. Matt Ridley in his article states that famine is virtually extinct, but a search turns up that it’s on the rise? Logically of course it can be both, but I’m not sure?

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