Five rules for evidence communication

by Judith Curry

“Avoid unwarranted certainty, neat narratives and partisan presentation; strive to inform, not persuade.”

I just spotted this Comment in Nature: Five rules for evidence communication.  Once I spotted co-author David Spiegenhalter, I knew this would be good.  I have definitely been in need of an antidote to the Covid-19 and global warming propaganda that I’ve come across lately.  I’m also working on a new climate change presentation; this provides an excellent check list.

Here is a [link] to the article (freely accessible).  Excerpts:

<begin quote>

There are myriad examples from the current pandemic of which we might ask: have experts always been explicit in acknowledging unknowns? Complexity? Conflicts of interest? Inconvenient data? And, importantly, their own values?

Our small, interdisciplinary group at the University of Cambridge, UK, collects empirical data on issues such as how to communicate uncertainty, how audiences decide what evidence to trust, and how narratives affect people’s decision-making. Our aim is to design communications that do not lead people to a particular decision, but help them to understand what is known about a topic and to make up their own minds on the basis of that evidence. In our view, it is important to be clear about motivations, present data fully and clearly, and share sources.

We recognize that the world is in an ‘infodemic’, with false information spreading virally on social media. Therefore, many scientists feel they are in an arms race of communication techniques. But consider the replication crisis, which has been blamed in part on researchers being incentivized to sell their work and focus on a story rather than on full and neutral reporting of what they have done. We worry that the urge to persuade or to tell a simple story can damage credibility and trustworthiness.

So how do we demonstrate good intentions? We have to be open about our motivations, conflicts and limitations. Scientists whose objectives are perceived as prioritizing persuasion risk losing trust.

  • Inform, not persuade
  • Offer balance, not false balance
  • Disclose uncertainties
  • State evidence quality
  • Inoculate against misinformation

When zoologist John Krebs became chair of the UK Food Standards Agency in the 2000s, he faced a deluge of crises, including dioxins in milk and the infectious cattle disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy. He adopted the following strategy:

  • say what you know;
  • what you don’t know;
  • what you are doing to find out;
  • what people can do in the meantime to be on the safe side; and
  • that advice will change.

Quick tips for sharing evidence

The aim is to ‘inform but not persuade’, and — as the philosopher of trust Onora O’Neill says — “to be accessible, comprehensible, usable and assessable”.

  • Address all the questions and concerns of the target audience.
  • Anticipate misunderstandings; pre-emptively debunk or explain them.
  • Don’t cherry-pick findings.
  • Present potential benefits and possible harms in the same way so that they can be compared fairly.
  • Avoid the biases inherent in any presentation format (for example, use both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ framing together).
  • Use numbers alone, or both words and numbers.
  • Demonstrate ‘unapologetic uncertainty’: be open about a range of possible outcomes.
  • When you don’t know, say so; say what you are going to do to find out, and by when.
  • Highlight the quality and relevance of the underlying evidence (for example, describe the data set).
  • Use a carefully designed layout in a clear order, and include sources.

Trust is crucial. Always aiming to ‘sell the science’ doesn’t help the scientific process or the scientific community in the long run, just as it doesn’t help people (patients, the public or policymakers) to make informed decisions in the short term. That requires good evidence communication. Ironically, we hope we’ve persuaded you of that.

<end quote>

The Supplementary Information is a longer version of this, well worth reading also.

350 responses to “Five rules for evidence communication

  1. Hi Judith,

    I suspect I tend to break some or even all of these but would be happy for you or anyone else to shoot holes in the following (style or content wise) I wrote for the Climate Coalition on food security:

    https://climatecoalition.org/future-food-security-must-focus-on-supplies/

    Regards,

    Iain Climie

    • Brexit of the UK might be a precursor for the food shortages you write about. I’ll miss the fresh salad produce as I have it twice a day. We as a nation are not very self-sufficient in producing own own food.

      • HI Alan,

        One statistic I saw was that the UK imported about 46% of its food in 2018 although we exported some too. The belief that we (or any country) can always import food could be suicidal. Somalia (and other countries nearby) suffered massive crop losses to locusts this year, for example, and might not be able to afford imports while Russia’s 2010 grain export ban following a heatwave and drought could be the shape of things to come. Economists quote Ricardo’s law on the benefits of trade but they will be list if countries decide to put their own food security first. Food for food trade would still work but relying on cash crops like tea, coffee, tobacco, flowers and even (illegally) coca is tempting providence.

      • Hi Iain, thank you for the interesting reply. The first thing I thought of was cyclone Gati which formed in the bay of Bengal and is tracking towards Somalia (!)

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/features/55034547

        Yes, I think you’re right. Food security is going to be a major issue with increasing climate change.

        I drink tea and coffee all day but would willing sacrifice these luxuries for a self-sufficient UK in which we can provide the staples of our food requirements.

    • Iain, successful farming should be, as much as possible, a lossless nutrient and energy web. It should be based on this and not be micromanaged. Example: Thinking that humans, rather than fowl, should eat insects; which for humans have large masses of inedible chitin, that fowl can digest. “Primitive” farming mimics that natural web. The complexity and waste arises from humans using the produce from neighboring farmlands and forests to build and maintain large, dense populations breaking the nutrient and energy web.

      Large, dense populations means that most human waste systems remove nutrients/energy from the web that has to be replaced. This is especially true in the West where large amounts of energy intensive nutrients are landfilled. “Primitive” farming is the most efficient by conserving this web. “Modern” farming is most effective by consuming energy. A fundamental cause of this is that steak is worth a lot of money, but human waste is considered a cost. This is the result of breaking the natural web. It also highlights why a command down system will not work. The command structure is in the large, dense population centers and will use its power to ensure the status quo.

      A cultural aspect, that is a problem, is expecting stasis from humans by their respective governments, whereas adaptation is necessary. Examples are the encouragement of traditional local food sources, rather than obtaining seed and stock from other locales. Combined with tax relief for failure by governments, the tendency to grow food that is marginal, rather than already adapted, results in larger than necessary waste and misuse of land that could be better utilized more often. The organized societies will continue this behavior as it supports and benefits the large, dense urban areas.

      These are just a few and obvious problems concerning this fundamental and extremely complex human activity of food acquisition.

      • HI John,

        I wholeheartedly agree with your view here and the lessons that can be learned from old-fashioned farming (see Native American 3 sisters method, integrates methods and not giving rabbits disgusting diseases), game ranching (e.g. bison in US) and other ideas like reducing waste which seems the simplest starting point. I hoped those came across in the article; if you think otherwise, please let me know and I’ll consider revising it.

        Would you like to copy your views into the area on the Climate Coalition website if you haven’t already done so? Colin Tudge’s ” enlightened agriculture ” is also relevant here. Many thanks though!

    • Iain, what’s your opinion on this article, related to additives given to animal feed in foreign countries which is then imported:

      “Thousands of people marched in Taipei’s streets on Sunday demanding the reversal of a decision to allow U.S. pork imports into Taiwan, alleging food safety issues.”

      https://apnews.com/article/global-trade-tsai-ing-wen-trade-agreements-taiwan-food-safety-cf76e2db33063462632bfd383e0b7dbf

      • HI Alan,

        I’d want to know more about why the additive is OK in the US but not in Europe (I’m in the UK) and what the approval (or not) is based on. The routine use of antibiotics in factory farming has been widely criticised as helping create conditions for resistant bacteria but adding Asparogopsis taxiformis (a red alga) at the right concentration to cattle feed can massively reduce methane emissions. Additives and medication can have benefits, with Bovine TB and other livestock diseases a scourge in some places. I’d hope to be sensibly cautious here, rather than complacent or hysterical, but who is benefitting? If it is just to cut prices and reduce fat content to placate consumers worried about bacon being fatty, then I’d be very unhappy – they could always eat less bacon or trim bits off. If there are genuine benefits that would be different.

        I would want more info but would tend towards not using the additive unless really necessary.
        Feel free to shoot me down for fence sitting! I suspect that calm assessment and debate is unlikely on this one (and many other issues) though. Fire away but thanks for that.

      • Hi Iain, I’m pleased with your in depth answer. I agree with your cautionary stance. Taiwan is presumably a well educated country so I suspect that the opposition isn’t unduly founded. Another angle is the military assistance that is required to fend off the threatening CCP.. perhaps a side deal on arms trade etc.

      • Alan,

        Thanks for that. I try to remember the comment from E O Wilson the Harvard biologist: I must always remember I might be wrong. I’ve got a wife and grown-up daughters though so it can be something of a default setting for me!

  2. In the aftermath of Katrina, Gov Barbour of MS did an outstanding job of communicating:
    What he knew,
    What he didn’t know,
    When he’d find out,
    And promising – and keeping the promise – to come back with the answer.

    Gov Blanco of LA really did none of these. Surprise, surprise! MS recovered sooner than LA, even though much the poorer state. Given good information and trust, people will figure out the right things to do – and generally do them. We’re seeing the same thing now in Covid communications. Compare FL, SC, SD, GA and others to NY, NJ and PA.

  3. > have experts always been explicit in acknowledging unknowns? Complexity? Conflicts of interest? Inconvenient data? And, importantly, their own values?

    Is Nic Lewis an expert?

  4. “Inform but do not persuade” was the method I used when successfully selling securities and financial products — products that always included a measure of uncertainty. One client (husband and wife) sat down at my desk while we were in the depths of the last financial crisis and started by saying, “We know you told us this could happen but that doesn’t make it feel any better.” They didn’t fire me.

    Scientists, prognosticators and futurists who claim to know anything with absolute certainty are lying and should be treated as unreliable sources.

    I’m certain of that :)

  5. Freeman Dyson has been more clear than most on the proper scientific way to look at things but no one will listen to him until they at the least know that political bias, self-interest and fear-mongering must be put aside first.

  6. This all sounds nice but if the issues are complex then most of it is impossible. There may be hundreds of uncertainties and a vast array of what we don’t know. For example, nothing about climate change could ever be written if it had to meet this standard. Same for Covid.

    I touch on this here: https://www.cfact.org/2020/11/17/the-structure-of-complex-issues/.

    • Here is an example. A modeling group wants to report some of their CMIP6 results, especially that their ECS is higher than it was in CMIP5. The uncertainties with the models are legion. The uncertainties with ECS are if anything worse. The unknowns are varied and deep. The article is limited to a few pages.

      The only issues this proposed standard applies to are important ones and important issues are almost always complex, where this standard makes no sense.

      • Just in that statement haven’t you ‘Discloseded the Uncertainties’ (though not in detail) and ‘Stated the Evidence quality’?

      • *A modeling group wants to report some of their CMIP6 results, especially that their ECS is higher than it was in CMIP5. The uncertainties with the models are legion. The uncertainties with ECS are if anything worse. The unknowns are varied and deep.*

        If what is said here, *The uncertainties with the models are legion. The uncertainties with ECS are if anything worse. The unknowns are varied and deep* is true, then how do they know that their ECS is higher than it was in CMIP5, and since the uncertainties are worse and the unknowns varied and deep, why would they want to make that report? The more I ponder it, the more obvious it becomes that these hypothetical modellers *Believe* that ECS is a problem, and they want to leverage the number that popped out of their model to raise alarm, whether the number is true or false.

      • The great Harvard biologist E.O.Wilson put it nicely: “I must always remember that I could be wrong” (Consolience).Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S7 – powered by Three

      • David – be aware that climate sensitivity is based on the assumption of radiative forcing as the only external driver of climate change. I make a good case that gravity forcing will be the new talking point in the near future. Gravity theory isn’t settled therefore climate science isn’t settled.

      • “…this standard makes no sense.”

        Except for this:
        Inoculate against misinformation

        …and then up pops Alan with: its gravity what done it. You may be right about “complex issues” David but there is no excuse, none, ( is that being too certain?) no its not, NONE for misinforamtion and disinformation both of which are on display on ‘contrarian’ blogs like this. All too frequently this sort of complete rubbish go unchallenged let alone uncorrected – and then rarely by any of the regular cheer-squad. No, its the so-called “alarmists” who ironically do most of the debunking.

        Alan, there is no evidence that gravity has caused modern global warming. If you’ve recently read some credible research, post a link. You won’t because you can’t, there is none. You’ve put two and two together and come up with five and as such you are peddling misinformation. Don’t worry, you’re not Robinson Crusoe.

        Is CO2 a radiative gas that can act to increase surface temperature?
        Has the concentration increased in the last 200 years?
        Is the increased CO2 concentration due to human activity?
        Has it warmed as a result?

        These fundamental questions have all been repeatedly answered and there are thousands of highly credible research papers that add support.
        A massive body of work. None of them even remotely contraversial, so uncontraversial in fact that even Judith will give tacit assent.

        There are really only two important, objective but complex unsettled climate science questions: How much more will it warm? And for how long? Niether of which have anything to do with the sun, cosmic rays, polar bears or gravity.

        So I would say to you Judith, if nothing else, at least show a little less tolerance of what is patently bs.

      • Loydo – I welcome your intellectual banter on the issue of tidal forcing as a driver of natural climate variability which Judith agrees is at least 50% of current climate change. Your response of ‘it’s not in a peer-reviewed paper therefore it’s not valid’ is the kind of response one gets from the Skeptical Science blog site.

        Some key points which lend itself to consider the tidal forcing hypothesis:

        (i) the ocean tidal range is increasing at an alarming rate.
        (ii) the solid body Earth tides haven’t been checked to see whether they’re increasing.
        (iii) sea-level rise measured by satellite *assumes* solid body Earth tides are constant.
        (iv) the ocean tropical waters are widening.
        (v) the deep ocean abyssal plane is warming.
        (vi) equatorial waters are cooling.
        (vi) pacific cold tongue upwelling mechanism of increased easterly winds not supported by data. (vii) indian cold tongue *exactly* on the line of equator.
        (viii) pacific cold tongue *exactly* on the line of the equator.
        (ix) net zero temperature change in sweden over last 70 years.
        (x) current gravity theory unable to dovetail with quantum mechanics.

        I could go on..

      • You do go on – and all of it complete nonsense.

      • Robert – your responses are unscientific and laughable. Let someone else take over..

      • Lol!! Let’s keep each other amused because I think we’re all gonna need it come the Great Reset agenda

      • You’re not really helping to foster rational discussion. It would be better if you left it to the adults.

      • No, I avoided the “peer” phrase for that very reason, it frustratingly triggers libertarians and Dunning-Krugers. But bugger me you still got triggered.

        D. AnythingbutCO2, var hopefulnutter, known locally as Alan ‘It’s the tides’ Lowey

        Alan it is not gravity and it not tidal, it is CO2. Your CO2 and my CO2.

        Please re-read my four questions above. You need to aquaint yourself with that body of scientific evidence as starting point for any helpful banter. And yes there is plenty to banter about, but until then you seem destined for a nasty surprise.

      • There is rather a dominant scientific paradigm of greenhouse gases in a complex dynamical system.

        https://watertechbyrie.com/2014/06/23/the-unstable-math-of-michael-ghils-climate-sensitivity/

      • Experiencing the climate roll under the sofa is going to be a nasty surprise for all of us, not just Alan.

      • Lol!! Loydo – you’re even more amusing than Robert – and that’s saying something! Lol..

      • And here I was thinking that any joke was beyond him.

      • Alan

        i) the ocean tidal range is increasing at an alarming rate.

        Do you have a citation?

      • cerescokid – the links are given in the article:

        “Between 2000 and 2015, high-tide flooding in the U.S. doubled from an average of three days per year to six along the Northeast Atlantic, according to a 2018 NOAA report. It is especially common along the East Coast and Gulf Coast, where the frequency is up by roughly 200% over the last two decades. In some areas like Annapolis, the numbers are even more extreme. Annapolis had a record 18 days of high-tide flooding from May 2019 to April 2020, according to flooding thresholds for the city established by NOAA. That’s up from the previous record of 12 days in 2018. Before 2015, the record number of high-tide flood days in one year was seven, and the yearly average of high-tide floods from 1995 to 2005 was two.”

        https://sealevel.nasa.gov/news/203/beating-back-the-tides

      • cerescokid – In the western isles of Scotland the tides are reported to encroach upto 5m a year, threatening the airstrip. The local crofter tells of increasing winds that last for days.

        An increase in tidal energy is a better fit than meltwater runoff:

      • cerescokid – the second paper linked to in the article has very interesting data in Figure 7a. It shows the different flooding areas prone during the phases of the El Niño Southern Oscillation. This to me is further evidence which lends itself to an orbital inclination cycle of the Sun’s dark matter core. There are three phases of ENSO. The neutral phase would be when the inclination is changing from one direction to the other, analogous to the bipolar seesaw in glacial data.

        A lot can be deduced from this data with respect to ocean currents and the effects of tidal forcing on slightly different angles of inclination..

    • Since Loydo hijacked my thread I reply here to this comment:
      “Matthew Bruha | November 21, 2020 at 6:09 pm |
      Just in that statement haven’t you ‘Discloseded the Uncertainties’ (though not in detail) and ‘Stated the Evidence quality’?”

      No, I am sure simply saying “there’s lots of uncertainties and unknowns” does not satisfy their implied standard. For major complex issues their to-do list is simply impossible.

  7. 4 principles of ‘corridors of clarity’ – https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biaa115/5936130

    (1) follow the strongest and most direct path between policy decisions on outcomes

    (2) focus on finding sufficient evidence for policy purpose

    (3) prioritize no-regrets policies by avoiding options with controversial, uncertain, or immeasurable benefits

    https://www.excellentdevelopment.com/our-strategy

    (4) aim for getting the big picture roughly right rather than focusing on details.

    People in the 21st century are pushing at nonlinear planetary boundaries – the world is – not might be or in future – in great peril.

    • >” … aim for getting the big picture roughly right rather than focusing on details”

      If the details are wrong, then the big picture is stuffed, isn’t it, sport ?
      You remind me of Mann when he decided that the stratigraphy of varved shales could be interpreted accurately even when the sequence was inadvertently read upside-down … oh, well.

      • Do you have any evidence that the big picture on planetary boundaries or crashing wildlife populations is wrong? Start with what is reasonably well known and proceed to rational responses. We can add to the babbling incoherence rife here or not. You have made your choice.

      • Ianl

        “If the details are wrong, then the big picture is stuffed”

        You are absolutely correct on that. Here’s an example.

        If not for the irrational fear of nuclear power – caused by the belief in the false LNT hypothesis [1] and the anti-nuclear protest movement [2] – the cost of nuclear power could now be around 10% of what it is and it could be supplying most of the world’s electricity [3]. “Nuclear power is and always has been the safest way to generate electricity. In the USA and Europe electricity generation with coal causes 150,000 more deaths per TWh than nuclear, natural gas 40,000 more and wind 1,500 more.” [4]

        Furthermore, by now it could be supplying a significant proportion of the world’s transport fuels [5].

        The result would be that the global economy and human well-being would be much greater than they are. The poorer economies would be growing faster and the poor would be emerging from poverty much faster than they are.

        1. See four comments starting here: https://judithcurry.com/2020/11/19/cultural-motivations-for-wind-and-solar-renewables-deployment/#comment-933017

        2. Daubert, V.; Moran, S.E. Origins, Goals, and Tactics of the U.S. Anti-Nuclear Protest Movement; Rand Corporation: Santa Monica, CA, USA, 1985. https://www.rand.org/pubs/notes/N2192.html

        3. Refer to Sections 3.3 and 3.4, Table 3 and Figure 7 here: https://doi.org/10.3390/en10122169

        4. See four comments starting here: https://judithcurry.com/2020/11/19/cultural-motivations-for-wind-and-solar-renewables-deployment/#comment-933019

        5. See this comment: https://judithcurry.com/2020/11/19/cultural-motivations-for-wind-and-solar-renewables-deployment/#comment-933048

      • “A robust nuclear power industry is important for the national and energy security of our country. If the US is going to lead the world into a future of nuclear power, we must develop advanced reactors based on new
        technologies that meet all of the criteria you established in the FY 2014 Energy and Water Appropriations bill: namely, that they would “dramatically improve nuclear power performance including sustainability, economics,
        and safety and proliferation resistance.” Christina Back

        The starting point is today and finding simpler ways to communicate with an overwhelmingly skeptical public.

    • Regarding this one: “prioritize no-regrets policies by avoiding options with controversial, uncertain, or immeasurable benefits.” In the climate case there are no such policies because the very existence of the threat is controversial.

      • Rotational grazing is a practice that improves farm productivity and environments. That it sequesters massive amounts of CO2 in soils is almost beside the point. You may hold on to your delusion that climate risk is debatable – but it really doesn’t matter.

      • Hi Robert,

        Good stuff and I corresponded briefly with Gave Brown who appears in the film. I asked him if he used methane-reducing feed additives like Asparogopsis taxiformis in livestock feed. He didn’t totally discount them but reckoned the methanotrophic bacteria his methods built up in the soil meant the value they added was limited. Some boost growth though (see work at the Rowett Institute a while back) so maybe still worth a look. The carbon capture in soil is a win-win situation though.

  8. In March the US surgeon general advised the public that masks were ineffective because it was feared the public would dry up the supply of N95 respirator quality masks that were urgently needed by medical staff. That advice quickly shifted once the washable fabric and cheap disposable alternative masks became available. The reasoning was based on the assumption of large particle mode of transmission, the six-foot travel type, which we know now is largely incorrect.

    But if mask wearing still offers even minimal protection to the wearer, and possibly very significant protection to others when and infected person is masked, it can still be argued to be efficacious. This all seems straight forward and reasonable. So why the huge controversy? It’s because of a breakdown in trust from dissemination of filtered information from authorities based on a seemingly default lack of trust of the public. This dynamic is a vicious spiral leading to overstepping of authority met by civil resistance, all exacerbated by political scapegoating and tribal vilification.

    How do we break the cycle? Authorities could try Spiegelhalter’s 5 points. Why not?

    • Ron – the problem is often not the original officials who communicate, but the amplification taking place through ‘media outlets’.

      If you ever looked in the past at how a right wing newspaper communicated vs a left wing newspaper (presumably based on the same briefing by officials), you immediately learn that the media do not follow these rules. Not at all. In the UK, there is hardly any left wing newspaper left at all, it is now a variety of neocon brands, all owned by tax-avoiding men with closer to billions than millions in wealth.

      The reason is simple: media outlets are for-profit entities with decades of experience in how to make the most money from their readers.

      They are, in my experience, emotional drug dealers who want their junkies coming back day after day for their next ‘fix’.

      ‘Headlines’ are always inflammatory.

      When was the last time the front page said: ‘All’s well, have a good weekend’?

      Never.

      It is one manufactured crisis after another, often with the manufactured crisis being a misdirectional ploy so that other underhand activities do not get reported when there is still a chance of the crucial activities being stopped.

      Go look at 9/11 reporting and how it rapidly turned from reporting into propaganda.

      Go look at Russia bashing.

      Go look at Covid19.

      Go look at the way Trump was reported in the media since 2016.

      The media, in my opinion, are the biggest problem in the ‘free world’. They do not abide to standards which promote societal health, but our cultures say we should interfere with how they operate.

      It would be very interesting to see a scientific study carried out on those who religiously read MSM output every day (and believe it) vs those who read it occasionally (mostly disbelieving it) vs those who live free of all contact with the MSM for five years.

      I would be amazed if those in constant communion with the MSM were healthier than those who ignored it like the plague, but I don’t have any data to back up that strongly felt hunch right now.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        rtj,
        When considering matters like these, I tend is refer to a yardstick question about popular communications, that question being “How did the gun come to figure in such a high % of Americal movies?”
        There is no benefit that is easily seen. The gun has become unevenful in movies, when innocent bystanders might wonder what on Earth the gun has got to do with anything they are likely to meet. It is irrational, yet it displays the force of heavy repetition by media, who do not even seem to know anymore that they continue to push a destructive influence.
        If you can work out this gun puzzle, you might ask if similar plays are at work with global warming. Geoff S

      • RTJ,
        Yes. We need our journalists not to be corrupted into being entertainers and propogandists just like we need doctors not to turn into drug pushers and lawyers not be… well you know.

        What are the governors against such societal decay? Good education? Maybe that is the starting point. How do we bring open thought and critical thinking back into education?

  9. I haven’t commented here in a long time but this bears noting:

    I have made what is for me a fairly discouraging discovery about social media.

    I’m a writer (definitely not the day job – and worse the writing is poetry), I have grown kids with whom I am in contact, constantly teasing and joking and I have a brilliant wife. This all contributes to me being blessed with an environment which supports and encourages facile language and quick repartee.

    I tried for a long long time to use reason, to try to understand the other person’s position repeat it back to them and then suggest that there might be another legitimate perspective. I’d show them how their argument didn’t follow, yada yada. I eventually decided that it was all futile and gave up.

    Then one day I was on a page and someone was being arrogant and wrong all that the same time (and this time it wasn’t me). As arrogant is a favorite hot button of mine, I let go. I flogged the guy with a flurry of insults and memes, some of which contained crumbs of a data but not much…After some pretty vitriolic back and forth (I like to think mine was at least pretty funny) he apologized and said that he could see that maybe I had a point. I almost had a heart attack. That was the first time anyone had indicated on FB (or social media in general) that they might be open to changing their mind. We had a civil back and forth after that point.

    Okay, that’s a one off. However, that’s happened twice since. And that has been the only context in which I’ve seen people want to engage with anything like an open mind. WTLH???

    My wife’s take on this is: “Yes. But at what price your soul?”

  10. Energy and climate are two topics that go hand in hand, obviously. This commentary seems mainly on climate science. I plead regularly for better evidence for future energy science, technology and strategy. Just this morning I dropped this on Twitter: “I hate seeing #energy policies based on little more than speculative projections for #renewables that rely on motivated reasoning. OK, I might well be wrong. But please take these concerns seriously! Energy is just too important.” My expectations for responses are low but I refuse to give up. And by the way, the reaction is often that people who don’t have faith in solar and wind energy must also be “climate deniers”. It’s grim out there.

    • Look up Planning Engineer – an expert in the electricity supply field who wrote several excellent articles for Climate Etc. He used a pseudonym only to avoid the tedious clearance process from his employer, and has since outed himself – though I can’t remember his name.

  11. The evidence communication style of this presentation is compelling and the final footage of German armed forces breaking into a doctors livestream is ‘one of those moments’:

  12. Surely, if we all think rationally, we should all arrive at the same conclusion when presented with the same evidence. If we don’t then whatever we are being told should be ignored.

    • Easier said than done.

      • Too true, especially as I suspect most of us have mental baggage and preconceptions about what constitutes rational. I certainly do.

    • Depends what subject you are talking about, depends what your fundamental values are. When assigning absolute value to different scenarios are all but impossible, behaving exactly rationally is probably a pipedream.

      For example: how do you value an unborn foetus vs the life of an adult who got raped, was made pregnant, was not in a position to support a child financially and would be a much better mother if they could have their first child in four or five years following consensual sex with a supportive partner?

      The history of the USA since 1950 suggests that you will not get unanimity on what is more important….

    • No NIMN, that is what I call the Lockean fallacy. In complex cases intelligent people can look at the same evidence and come to opposite conclusions. The reason (Wojick’s first law) is that the weight of every piece of evidence is relative to the observer.

      For example in the climate case, some people regard the modeling results as very strong evidence, while others consider it very weak. More broadly some people already believe that humans are destroying the environment while others do not believe this.

      This relativity of weight extends to and explains multiple party political systems. The US Founding Fathers were big fans of Locke. So they failed to anticipate and were shocked by the rise of the two party system.

  13. “Avoid unwarranted certainty, neat narratives and partisan presentation; strive to inform, not persuade”

    And don’t get emotionally involved with the subject??

    • Spot on! Trying to get it right should be the aim but trying to prove I’m right is always the temptation!

    • It’s actually quite hard not to get emotionally involved and still be motivated to reach sufficient levels of professionalism, accuracy and reliability.

      Particularly where injustice is clearly currently prevalent, the reason people actually become active in some field is usually because some strong emotional response was triggered, be it pity, anger, sympathy, sadness, sorrow, outrage etc.

  14. Pingback: Five rules for evidence communication |

  15. Pingback: Five rules for evidence communication | | Climate- Science.press

  16. The biggest glacier in Greenland, Jacobshavn, in 2016 reversed from shrinking to growing. Dramatically. This was covered until 2019.

    But in 2020 there is silence on the current status of the glacier.

    Does anyone know the current status of Jacobshavn? Is it still growing? Ocean based trends are typically slow so rapid back and forth is unlikely.

    The stony media silence that has fallen over Jacobshavn is curious. Anyone have any updates in the last few months of 2020?

    • Interesting. Tambora’s eruption in 1815 shows that climate could (although improbably) take an unexpected turn although the undersea methane escapes in the Laptev sea and elsewhere give huge cause for concern. Changes in the Gulf Stream and the Beaufort Gyre might even cool the UK and Ireland in a warming world.

      The obvious solution (to me anyway) involves adopting measures like reducing waste, restoring fish stocks, silviculture and combining conservation with careful usage all of which make sense regardless of what happens next and which also help if (say) a
      major food crop collapsed. Grassy stunt virus was a massive concern in the 1970s as a threat to global rice supplies. Unfortunately the last 30-40 years have seen huge debate on climate change instead of adopting such win-win options. I despair at times.

      • The reality is that if you use narrow profit-based motives for doing anything, you are unlikely to find holistically optimal solutions.

        I personally think the major debate globally right now should be around at what size of organisation the healthy profit motive (from start-up to a 250 employees certainly) starts to become less healthy and at what point maximising profits through tax avoidance introduces fissures sufficiently great in society that the whole basis for capitalism comes under scrutiny…

      • An economic system boiling down to “make more money, buy more stuff” is likely to misfire sooner rather than later. One recent estimate (Professor Gordon Marshall at the Leverhulme Institute was that eleven (!) fully used planets would be needed for everyone to have well-off US lifestyles and jobs to afford them. Ouch!

      • “I personally think the major debate globally right now should be around at what size of organisation the healthy profit motive (from start-up to a 250 employees certainly) starts to become less healthy..”

        I used the same methodology and put the figure at 2000 employees max. A CEO has to take full responsibility and can’t use the infamous “I didn’t know how my company works” etc or “We’re too big to fail” aka the financial crash 2008.

      • Thanks for your comments, I agree that endless growth is the model of a cancer, not a healthy organism with a future. But the corporate suits just can’t let go of those growth targets. Everything is built around them.

      • There are suggestions that capitalism has intrinsic flaws that make the complete dismantling of markets necessary. It always begs the question of what it is to be replaced with. The usual suspect is that capitalism requires growth and perpetual growth is impossible in a finite world. This is an idea based on a mathematical abstraction that lacks essential real world parameters.

        We may recycle, substitute for finite resources or innovate in products and services that minimise resource use – entertainment, education, finance. We may expand the resource base beyond the planet. We are at any rate at a point where development is sorely needed in the world – and economic growth is still self-evidently possible.

        Thomas Piketty suggests that wealth tends to concentrate in capitalist markets if the rate of return on capital exceeds economic growth. Although we should include interest rates, inflation and redistribution in the Piketty inequality. Inflation and interest rates should be managed to vary within a tight range. We should perhaps tinker with redistribution – as Piketty further suggests – before advocating the overthrow of capitalism.

      • Hi Robert,

        Capitalism certainly beats communism as shown by Mao’s infamous famine (1958 to 1962) and North Korea’s problems. “Make more money, buy more stuff” is also difficult to fight against unless we can do that by carefully and productively using nature instead of either looting it or naively hoping to have no impact on it. E O Wilson’s “The Diversity of Life” not only argued eloquently for careful usage of rainforests, he costed the potential benefits and suggested that far better returns over a longer period could be achieved than by short-term vandalism. I think this is worth a try; what do you reckon? Silviculture, aquaponics, silvo-pastoral methods, other integrated systems and not regarding Myxomatosis and RHD / RVHD in Europe & Australia as more sensible than eating rabbits all strike me as obvious ides, together with restoring fish stocks or even having fruit trees in the garden.

        Regards, Iain

      • Experience teaches us that there are ways to manage global resources beyond the tragedy of the commons. There is an Elinor Ostrom video on how that’s done linked below. The Iriai are here to help and give understanding to people.

    • Here is the relevant nasa report. It says that the growth since 2016 has continued till 2019.

      https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2882/jakobshavn-glacier-grows-for-third-straight-year/

  17. Willis Eschenbach is admired by more than just a couple of online “skeptics” for his approach to presenting evidence.

    Well, here we go…

    > So I would consider 0.085% of the population dying to be a hard upper limit on what the disease does when you do nothing. No country to date has gotten there, and there is no sign that any country will get there after the virus subsides.

    https://judithcurry.com/2020/06/21/did-lockdowns-really-save-3-million-covid-19-deaths-as-flaxman-et-al-claim/#comment-919556

    Now I tried to tell Willis, as the time, that he was underestimating the impact of uncertainty…but he didn’t want to listen.

    For the US, if we project from current numbers who have already died from COVID and add a projection of those that are currently infected and are likely to die… (let’s say 300k total)… we will likely be at 0.09% at a minimum.

    Belgium is already at 0.14%

    And BTW, here’s what Nic Lewis said at the time…

    > the convergence in your graph of lines approaching the 0.085% of population deaths level is certainly suggestive of somewhere near that being a possible upper limit.

    https://judithcurry.com/2020/06/21/did-lockdowns-really-save-3-million-covid-19-deaths-as-flaxman-et-al-claim/#comment-919633

    • This is useful for evaluating Willis’ nutty theory about COVID deaths that Nic apparently found plausible – and which gives us a window into the treatment of uncertainty by two prominent online “skeptics”:

    • Joshua: Willis Eschenbach is admired by more than just a couple of online “skeptics” for his approach to presenting evidence.

      Did lockdowns really save 3 million COVID-19 deaths as flaxman et al claim?

      No.

      Willis’ presentation of the evidence was quite clear. His estimated upper bound was a little low for Belgium and the US. As you noted, but think vacuous or something, everyone makes mistakes. But his presentation of the data at the time was admirable, and quantitatively, that error was smaller than most errors of COVID forecasts.

      Now I tried to tell Willis, as the time, that he was underestimating the impact of uncertainty…but he didn’t want to listen.

      Now your estimate for the US is 0.09, compared to his estimated upper bound (so far, at the time) of 0.085. Does your estimate support the claim of Flaxman et al?

      • > Willis’ presentation of the evidence was quite clear. His estimated upper bound was a little low for Belgium and the US.

        A little low? Lol. We aren’t done yet. Belgium has already blown through it. And it’s considerably higher already in a number of other countries as well. And part of the reason why it hasn’t already gone considerably further past the magical 0.85% in each of those countries are the interventions which have been put into place (even if you believe that the deaths would have reached the same point eventually, obviously the interventions have reduced the deaths in the short term as of now and as reflected in the current number of deaths relative to the population). Willis’ nutty theory was that absent any interventions deaths would cap out at 0.85%. Willis put a theoretical “hard” limit on deaths from COVID and obviously his theory was just WRONG. There is no magical mechanism by which the deaths from the virus cap out at 0.85%, as Willis thought. Willis just believed in magic.

        Now that’s not entirely surprising as (1) Willis had no idea what he was talking about and was just pulling stuff out of his a$$ after looking at a graph of short term tends and making up a causal mechanism to explain the pattern of the lines and (2) Willis is highly triggered, and thus “motivated” on the topic.

        > Now your estimate for the US is 0.09, compared to his estimated upper bound (so far, at the time) of 0.085.

        My “estimate” is based on the number of deaths ALREADY in the pipeline as the result of those already infected. A vaccine will be helping us to keep the total number infected down, but given the logistical obstacles of rolling the vaccine out, the % infected is quite likely in reality to go above the 0.09% of my “estimate” because between now and when the vaccine is distributed more people will get infected and thus die from that infection.

        The bottom line is that Willis’ theory was a nutty belief in magic, and Nic is on record as thinking a magical mechanism limiting deaths from COVID was plausible.

      • Early on it was clear that the IFR in nursing homes was very high …about 30%. There are 1.5 million people in nursing homes in the USA. That by itself would result in 500,000 deaths just in the USA. People are failing to consider the exponential increase in IFR based on age. It is so pronounced that a population wide IFR is difficult to calculate and not that meaningful IMO. I am reminded of the caution Dr. Ioannidis stated in his early NEJM article…the common cold CV can have an 8% IFR in nursing homes.

        Herd immunity for most viruses is a myth. Viruses change sero-type too quickly.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        dougbadgero,
        You are right about a population wider IFR being not useful. It varies from very near zero for people under 30 to near 30% for those over age 85 (data from 52,000 confirmed Florida cases). Worse, many asymptomatic cases will be missed, especially among younger people, so even estimating the age specific IFR is very difficult. It is futile to try to place an upper bound on number of fatalities without examining the age profile of the population and the age specific infection fatality rate. Many countries with median ages below 20 have so few deaths that covid-19 can’t even be considered much of a public health problem.

        That the severity of outcome is so dependent on age is both a problem and an opportunity: the opportunity is that the population in real need of protection/isolation is only a smallish fraction of the total. My critique of public policies in most places is that those policies are not ar all designed to minimize exposure of those at risk, but rather minimize exposure mainly to those not at risk. I find it very odd.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        “ Herd immunity for most viruses is a myth. Viruses change sero-type too quickly.”
        .
        The rate of change seems to vary quit a lot depending on the virus. We are about to do a very large world-wide test, and then we will know whether or not long term herd immunity to covid-19 is possible. There is some conflicting data, of course, but the tiny number of documented cases of re-infection (I think 5 or 6 worldwide) does suggest the virus does not change very quickly. The worst case outcome is a need to update vaccines if the viruse changes significantly.

      • I would expect the IFR for COVID 19 to drop as it does during other pandemics. Herd immunity, as usually discussed, is misunderstood though. The popular equation is for a homogeneously mixed population with constant connectivity and an unchanging virus. A situation that simply doesn’t exist in the real world.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        dougbadgero,
        The simple models of infection spread are all terribly wrong, of course, for the reasons you noted plus others. I think the suggestion that models provide useful policy guidance is risible on its face.

      • Doug –

        > Early on it was clear that the IFR in nursing homes was very high …about 30%.

        So you have a link for that. I have to wonder if that is a CFR.

        I agree that an aggregated IFR is of limited value – and not only because of the age stratification. The importance of all of influencing variables, such as race/ethnicity or SES or even the interaction of other correlates to those variables such as baseline health status and # of comorbidities or housing status, all tend to get lost in an aggregated IFR.

        And them there’s the problem whereby the % of true cases ascertained has changed dramatically over time, laefely resulting from only the more severe cases being identidied early on.

        One problem I see is that some people tend to over-evaluate the effect of improved treatments when they look at the higher ratio of identified cases to deaths now as compared to months ago when probably a good chunk of that increase in the ratio is because a higher % of true cases are being identified.

  18. I am minded to suggest that until Nature (and Science) for that matter change their editorial policies to remove the flagrant bias toward articles pushing particular agendas that publishing a comment such as the one described in this article is not really going to change their known credentials for climate alarmism and other partisan positions.

  19. There is a new article from the Stockholm Resilience Center on four principles of ‘corridors of clarity’.

    https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biaa115/5936130

    The four principles are:

    (1) follow the strongest and most direct path between policy decisions on outcomes

    (2) focus on finding sufficient evidence for policy purpose

    (3) prioritize no-regrets policies by avoiding options with controversial, uncertain, or immeasurable benefits

    (4) aim for getting the big picture roughly right rather than focusing on details.

    The global economy is worth about $100 trillion a year. To put aid and philanthropy into perspective – the total is 0.025% of the global economy. If spent on Copenhagen Consensus smart development goals such expenditure can generate a benefit to cost ratio of more than 15. If spent on the UN Sustainable Development Goals you may as well p!ss it up against a wall. Either way – it is nowhere near the major path to universal prosperity. Some 3.5 billion people make less than $2 a day. Changing that can only be done by doubling and tripling global production – and doing it as quickly as possible. Optimal economic growth is essential and that requires an understanding and implementation of explicit principles for effective economic governance of free markets. So what are these laws of capitalism? Aiming to avoid bubbles and busts is the core.

    https://watertechbyrie.com/2016/03/11/all-bubbles-burst-laws-of-economics-for-the-new-millennium/

    The big picture on planetary boundaries shows us what to focus on to avoid running out of planets. Excess nutrients in waterways results in blue-green algae, lake eutrophication and coastal zone anoxia. Fixing excess export of nutrients involves water management in urban centers, minimizing wind and water erosion, increasing the carbon content of soils and vegetation through cover crops and rotational grazing, precision application of farming inputs, etc – in a highly productive farming system that secures the global food supply. Conserving and restoring wetlands, forests and rangelands and reclaiming deserts can reverse crashing populations of 1000’s of species that we know of.

    The late, sainted Elinor Ostrom explains how to move beyond ‘the tragedy of the commons’.

  20. Scnhieder has passed, of course,
    but consider the old quote in the context of the rules:

    Inform, not persuade
    Offer balance, not false balance
    Disclose uncertainties
    State evidence quality
    Inoculate against misinformation

    “To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”

  21. stevefitzpatrick

    Judith,
    I am reminded of the old joke that the cure for cancer is robust good health. Advocate scientists are a bit like that cancer…. they are not ever going to suddenly behave differently, and brung “good health” to science, because they don’t want to…. they want their personal policy preferences instituted, and that is all.

    • Steve –

      > they are not ever going to suddenly behave differently, and brung “good health” to science, because they don’t want to…. they want their personal policy preferences institute

      How ’bout Nic? I mean when he gets out of the witness protection program, that is.

      • Nic has much better things to do than respond to a nuisance anonymous non-scientist on the internet who never really does more than give random quotes and lengthy monologues with little real content. Grow up and do something someone else will value.

      • I would think he’d want to clarify why Sweden currently has among the highest rates of COVID infection, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and at least for now the highest death rate among Nordic countries even though he said they’d reached a HIT six months ago.

        I’m sure people who are smarter and less of a nuisance and who do things ofote value than I would appreciate an explanation as to whether his theories have been falsified.

        After all, as a leading light of fanatical online “skeptics,” it might carry some meaning if his analysis turned out to be just flat out wrong.

        I mean it could be troublesome, on top of his mistaken conclusion that Willis’ nutty theories about a cap on the population fatality rate of COVID were plausible. Don’t you think it’s important that Nic at least clarify whether his many posts about herd immunity had fatal flaws?

        Judith always points out the importance of respecting uncertainty. I mean as a non-anonymous, non-nuisance scientist who writes concise comments with non-random quotes while also doing things of great value to humanity, don’t you think it would be ironic if Nic put up posts at Climate Etc. that were fatally flawed in their lack of accounting for uncertainties?

      • And David –

        As always I just want to note my appreciation for your high standards and refusal to engage in ad homs. If you didn’t uphold such a high standard, one might be tempted to consider your frequent complaining about ad homs as whiny hypocritical bleating.

      • Joshua, you are a doofus. You have repeated ad nausium that one can’t compare across countries or states (unless you want to do it). You just compared the Nordic countries. Which pseudo-science do you want us to adhere to?

        You have a short memory. A week ago or so you posted a tweet pointing out that R0 will change seasonally. It is quite possible that during the summer Sweden did reach herd immunity. Now that winter is here, that is not the case anymore.

        Nic would be foolish to respond to you until you produce something substantive worth responding to. Nic is very willing to engage any and all constructive commenters. He won’t do that with you. Why do you think that’s true. You are wasting your own time.

      • > Joshua, you are a doofus. You have repeated ad nausium that one can’t compare across countries or states (unless you want to do it). You just compared the Nordic countries. Which pseudo-science do you want us to adhere to?

        Comparing among the Nordic countries makes a lot more sense than comparing Sweden to a country like the US or the UK. But sure, there are dissimilarities there as well. But when you have 10 X as many negative outcomes per capita in Sweden as in Finland, and a much faster rate of spread currently in Sweden, and a much faster rate of hospitalizations, and then try to say that Sweden reached herd immunity six months ago and WE SHOULD HAVE FOLLOWED THEIR POLICIES because six months ago you and Nic looked a flat infection rate in Sweden and tried to extrapolate, then it actually makes sense to point out that currently Sweden is experiencing much, much worse COVID outcomes with no apparent economic benefit from their policy as compared to the most similar countries that also had a flat rate of spread during that exact same period.

        > You have a short memory. A week ago or so you posted a tweet pointing out that R0 will change seasonally. It is quite possible that during the summer Sweden did reach herd immunity. Now that winter is here, that is not the case anymore.

        Right. “Seasonal” herd immunity. So I guess Finland and Norway and Denmark and practically every country in Western Europe also reached summer herd immunity – because they also flattened out in COVID transmissions.

        Lol.

        > Nic would be foolish to respond to you until you produce something substantive worth responding to. Nic is very willing to engage any and all constructive commenters. He won’t do that with you. Why do you think that’s true. You are wasting your own time.

        A bunch of weeks ago he suggested that the increase in disease transmissions in Sweden might be a “blip.” Then he suggested it was only an increase in infections but might not be related to an increase in deaths. Then he suggested that there might not really be a lag time between hospitalizations and deaths in Sweden so the deaths actually might not go up….

        And he thought that Willis’ nutty theory about the death rate capping at 0.85% was plausible.

        I love it.

        And all of this from you, someone who said the pandemic in the US was over during the summer, and wrongly claimed that the spike in cases this summer was only because of increases in asymptomatic capture or identifying cases among young people, etc.

        Thanks for coming back around, David. Your comments are always amusing to read.

      • And David –

        I’m sure that in your non-anonymous, non-nuisance scientist way of writing concise comments with non-random quotes while also doing things of great value to humanity, you recall that you were kind enough to explain to me in your infinitely greater wisdom how it was very unlikely that a vaccine would be developed in time to cap off deaths before the theoretical limit reached by (non-vaccine influenced) community herd immunity?

        I have a question for you. Do you ever learn from your previous mistakes? Maybe at some point you should consider that appealing to your own authority might not be a great way to discuss different views in complex questions?

      • Every interaction with you Josh is shot through with your misrepresentations. You lie about what I have said in the past. Your preceding comments of course say nothing that proves anything about anything. It’s the product of a scattered mind with no ability to focus long enough to actually produce a conclusion that might be valid.

      • David –

        I have provided proof of the things you have said.

        You said it wasn’t realistic to think there’d be a vaccine.

        You have said the pandemic was “over” months ago.

        You said the spikes in cases in Florida and Arizona and Texas this summer were nothing to worry about because the rise in cases was only an artifact of the testing.

        You said it was “irrelevant” when I pointed to the disparate compact on minority communities.

        You can deny it, it I know you said that stuff and you know you said that stuff.

        In a way, I guess it’s a good sign that now you’re denying you said that stuff. At least it’s an admission Ia way that you now realize how wrong you were.

      • David –

        Did you know that there are very easy ways to use search strings to find the nutty things you’ve said?:

        -snip-

        dpy6629 | July 7, 2020 at 8:38 pm |
        … We are clearly nearing the end of this epidemic….

      • Here’s the article you said was “excellent.”

        https://off-guardian.org/2020/07/07/second-wave-not-even-close/

        -snip-

        The COVID-19 virus is on its final legs, and while I have filled this post with graphs to prove everything I just said, this is really the only graph you need to see, it’s the CDC’s data, over time, of deaths from COVID-19 here in the U.S., and the trend line is unmistakable:

        If virologists were driving policy about COVID-19 rather than public health officials, we’d all be Sweden right now, which means life would effectively be back to normal. The only thing our lockdowns have done at this point is prolong the agony a little bit, and encouraged Governors to make up more useless rules.

        Sweden’s health minister understood that the only chance to beat COVID-19 was to get the Swedish population to a Herd Immunity Threshold against COVID-19, and that’s exactly what they have done, so let me start there.

      • Praised in that article for supposedly incredibly accurate predictions was Michael Levitt:

        He said Europe “no deaths” recently – they’re at 2k/day; Brazil he said 98k deaths, at 170k; Iran he said past halfway at 24k cases, at 894k; Israel – he said likely 10 deaths, at 2,800; Italy – he said 17k-20k, at 52k; said the pandemic would be over on 8/22 in the US.

        Almost as far off as David. Although not quite.

  22. I’m still having trouble understanding the logic of attributing climate change to us humans – rather than to, say, termites.
    What seems incontrovertible is that
    1. climate change is happening – or rather, hasn’t stopped happening, and
    2. we do not have control of climate change and
    3. CO2 does not have control of climate change.
    A true scientist would look at the natural experiment in 1929-1931, when global human CO2 production went down by 30%, CO2 did not change its indolent rise, and temperature kept rising… until it dropped 10 years later, through WWII and the post war reconstruction CO2 production.

    There is not even a theoretical justification for CO2’s control, since as noted by Arrhenius its GHG effect drops exponentially, with 50% in the first 20 ppm. We are in the 5th half-life of that decline. So CO2 may be one of the least effective forcings, at this time, at these levels.

    Luckily, previous warmings in this Holocene have been very beneficial for our species and not particularly detrimental to others. Let’s not mitigate CO2, rather let’s clean up the air and the water, improve sanitation (especially in those West Coast cities), get the plastics out of the rivers and oceans and prevent it from getting into them, and promote carbon sequestration through agriculture. After all, 30% of the increase in agriculture since 1950 has been attributed to CO2.

    • The 1910 rising temp did not stop until 1941 and the decline did not reverse until the 60s

      • Hi Jimmww,

        A guy called Anthony Bush flagged the slowdown from 1940 to 1960 tp me (and he reckoned as far as 1980). One reason is that much lignite (sulphur rich coal) was burned in that time and sulphur dioxide (often spewed out by volcanoes e.g. Tambora in 1815) can reduce solar input; 1816 was described as a year without a summer.

        I think that the effects of carbon dioxide in terms of trapping IR can be demonstrated in the lab but there is a simpler way forward as I’ve pointed out elsewhere. Many ideas essential if mainstream views are correct make sense if the whole process is completely natural, if it were a damp squib, if temperatures crashed or a major food crop failed e.g. due to disease. Examples are restoring fish stocks, less waste, silviculture, integrated methods involving soil restoration (which improves yields anyway), combining conservation with careful usage, cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels and adopting measures which can dramatically reduce the impact per head of conventional livestock. I accept that this could get me abuse from both sides of the debate as I spoil the argument about who is right by proposing win-win measures which render the question less important. I apologise for being a spoilsport here!

        Regards (and keep well), Iain Climie

      • Decadal to millennial variability emerges from the Pacific Ocean. The energy dynamic involves positive low level marine stratocumulus feedback to sea surface temperature.

        But definitely add ‘blue carbon’ to the mix. Conserving and restoring mangroves enhance fisheries, provides a timber resource for local communities, protects coastlines from storm, surge and sea level rise and sequesters immense amounts of carbon as sediment settles at high tide slack water.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPiK9zthe high tide eX2OY&ab_channel=BlueCarbonLab

      • But Iain, that doesn’t address my discomfort. No one, including you, is taking note of the undisputed facts that I stated. The maybe there was some coal dust or SO2 in the air doesn’t seem apposite.

      • HI again,

        Aren’t you looking at explanations for past phenomena though when the focus should be more on focussing how to move forward? I apologise if that sounds cynical or suggests I don’t give two hoots about what is true but, if we have win-win options to go with, shouldn’t we pursue those regardless given the range of risks we face. You can tell I’m not a pure scientist to be fair; I work in engineering risk assessment although my academic background originally was statistics. I strayed into engineering on a whim and my employers realised I could answer “Is this piece of kit sufficiently unlikely to crash this aircraft by accident?” well enough and kick up a fuss if not, while helping to find solutions. No I didn’t work on Boeing’s 737 Max 8 where insufficient backup had predictable consequences.

        The food security issue is a sideline but rather more important than the day job. I sympathise if you think I’m trampling horribly on scientific rigour here though.

      • Ellison, your chart shows temps declining through the early 70s, consonant with the famous predictions of The Coming Ice Age. That doesn’t address the facts I’ve cited.

      • It shows natural decadal variability. And I don’t thin your ‘facts’ mean much.

      • Iain – I’m not looking for “explanations for past phenomena”, merely pointing out that there is nothing in past history or in theory to support the notion that CO2 at these levels is in control of climate change – not to the upside, and certainly not to the downside when prior ice ages have had CO2 levels in the thousands.
        Where then does the notion come from then? Perhaps from the idea, which you imply, that doing something is better than doing nothing. There’s no historical justification for that, either.

        Ellison – My facts don’t mean anything to you because you refuse to accept anything as fact which causes cognitive dissonance. Quite understandable. Entirely human.
        Or you could turn the scientist switch and decide to refute one of those facts. Easy enough, eh?
        Left to stand they indicate that CO2 is not in control of climate change, and we are not in control of CO2.
        Climate change is a given, not a problem. CO2 mitigation is not a solution, it is a problem.

      • HI Jimmww,My point is that action to ensure food security makes sense regardless.  Look at Tambora’s effects, grassy stunt virus and this year’s massive locust damage in Kenya, Somaloia and other countries.   Yet there is no defined responsibility for food security and gluts misfire in free markets.  So the precautions I noted make sense regardless and it makes further sense to adopt measures which are effective if mainstream climate science is valid.  I accept nobody will want the job or the bill but I’d be arguing for sensible policies here even if there were no worries about heating.Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S7 – powered by Three

      • HI again,

        Inaction is always tempting but assume that climate change is a damp squib. A major crop disease, pests (e.g. African loxust swarms the year) or a VEI 7 event could still create havoc. Yet there is no defined responsibility for food security and gluts misfire in free markets as prices crash. Fish stocks are depleted, land usage is driven by financial considerations and nobody wants the job or bill for storing gluts.

        The measures I’m suggesting (e.g. less waste, restoring fish stocks, silviculture, soil carbon capture) make sense here regardless; look at the US dustbowl for example. It is just a question of covering all bases and cutting food supply risks to an acceptable level. I realise that Yellowstone’ s volcano erupting or a large asteroid impact won’t be survivable. Nobody wants to pay the insurance premium of course, but do you really object to the idea?

      • Based on decades of observations and line by line radiative transfer equations. It is known more or less precisely what has been emitted – I list it below – dispute it if you will – and where more or less it ends up. This warming is superimposed on perpetual change in Hurst-Kolmogorov stochastic dynamics.

      • Yes indeed, Iain: “The measures I’m suggesting (e.g. less waste, restoring fish stocks, silviculture, soil carbon capture) make sense here regardless” Doing the right thing regardless of whether it might benefit climate is very rational indeed.
        As Klaus-Ekhart Puls said, “Scientifically it is sheer absurdity to think we can get a nice climate by turning a CO2 adjustment knob. Many confuse environmental protection with climate protection. it’s impossible to protect the climate, but we can protect the environment and our drinking water. On the debate concerning alternative energies, which is sensible, it is often driven by the irrational climate debate. One has nothing to do with the other.”
        And as I said, getting plastics out of the waters may be the most important thing on the proper agenda.

      • Thanks for that and take care at this difficult time. Good to find common ground.

  23. But Alan, GHG theory predicts that warming from GHG will be
    -more at night
    -more in winter and
    -more at the poles

    • The article is about Arctic ocean warming models not predicting mid-latitude cold winters:

      “Screen added that “what we’re saying, really, is if you take the trends from the 1970s to the present, the trend lines are flat and the models show a muted response.To reconcile that, you have to say the models are wrong. And there is research suggesting that models are underestimating the predictability of things like changes to atmospheric circulation.”

      “Marilena Oltmanns, a climate researcher with the National Oceanography Centre in the United Kingdom, said that one weakness in the models might be that they can’t accurately show a specific mechanism that makes the warming Arctic affect the mid-latitudes.”

  24. Dr Curry,

    …and others.

    This should sound very familiar to you. THIS is how I like my science communication – balanced, and nuanced, but CLEAR.

    “Anyone who says ‘the science is simple’ is either lying or they don’t know what they are talking about”.

    Nic Lewis will be pleased to see population inhomogeneities as a factor in HIT addressed really clearly.

    • I posted that a long time ago. She’s good with regard to covid but knows too much on her own subject to be open minded enough to consider dark matter at Earth’s core.

  25. RTJ,
    Yes. We need our journalists not to be entertainers and propogandists just like we need doctors not to be drug pushers and lawyers not be… well you know.

    What are the governors against such societal decay? Good education? Maybe that is the key to it all. How do we reform education and bring back open thought and critical thinking? If we grant any authority to do the reform how long before that authority is corrupted and the opposite of the original intention is realized?

  26. HI Alan,

    I’d want to know more about why the additive is OK in the US but not in Europe (I’m in the UK) and what the approval (or not) is based on. The routine use of antibiotics in factory farming has been widely criticised as helping create conditions for resistant bacteria but adding Asparogopsis taxiformis (a red alga) at the right concentration to cattle feed can massively reduce methane emissions. Additives and medication can have benefits, with Bovine TB and other livestock diseases a scourge in some places. I’d hope to be sensibly cautious here, rather than complacent or hysterical, but who is benefitting? If it is just to cut prices and reduce fat content to placate consumers worried about bacon being fatty, then I’d be very unhappy – they could always eat less bacon or trim bits off. If there are genuine benefits that would be different.

    I would want more info but would tend towards not using the additive unless really necessary.
    Feel free to shoot me down for fence sitting! I suspect that calm assessment and debate is unlikely on this one (and many other issues) though. Fire away but thanks for that.

  27. The Central England Temperature (CET) record is an instrumental record fortuitously located in a region affected by excursions of the polar annular mode. Excursions drive storms and snow into lower latitudes in response to surface pressure variation.

    Polar excursions have been linked to low solar activity correlating with cold English winters, solar UV interacting with ozone, solar winds interacting with the global electrical circuit, changing geopotential heights in a world in which the Arctic is warming fastest, declining Arctic ice cover… I’d suggest that all these things modulate turbulent ocean and atmosphere flows in a completely deterministic – governed by inertia and viscosity – but seemingly random manner. We really don’t know in anywhere near sufficient detail what’s happening and can’t predict the future. But the turbulent Earth flow field is nonlinear – a small change can precipitate a large shift in the state of the system.

    “Luckily, previous warmings in this Holocene have been very beneficial for our species and not particularly detrimental to others. Let’s not mitigate CO2, rather let’s clean up the air and the water, improve sanitation (especially in those West Coast cities), get the plastics out of the rivers and oceans and prevent it from getting into them, and promote carbon sequestration through agriculture. After all, 30% of the increase in agriculture since 1950 has been attributed to CO2.” Dear little Jimmy

    Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and cement production – from 1750 to 2011 – was about 365 billion metric tonnes as carbon (GtC), with another 180 GtC from deforestation and agriculture. Of this 545 GtC, about 240 GtC (44%) had accumulated in the atmosphere, 155 GtC (28%) had been taken up in the oceans with slight consequent acidification, and 150 GtC (28%) had accumulated in terrestrial ecosystems. Carbon losses from soils and vegetation has been some 500 GtC since the advent of agriculture at the beginning of the balmy Holocene. Returning some of that to soils and ecosystems is the key to bringing us back from the brink of catastrophe.

    • So, to wrench the dispute back to the imputed control of CO2 on climate change at this time, at these levels…
      1. Granted that water vapor and CO2 and the other GHGs are essential to warming the world above the Stefan-Boltzmann equilibrium, why don’t they correlate properly (i.e. causatively) with the major swings in climate over the past 3 million years? The end-Ordovician (Hirnantian) Ice Age, 440 million years ago, began when CO2 was over 4,000 ppm and lasted a little more than a million years. At the end of that time, with 85% of marine life extinct, when the frigid oceans had inhaled atmospheric CO2 to around 3,000 ppm, the globe suddenly began to warm up, getting back to the 21°C with astonishing speed. We don’t actually know why it cooled so fast and so far, or why it warmed so fast and so far. After all, that was the time of the Cool Young Sun, 96% of today’s irradiance. It’s not just The Pause that doesn’t fit the model.

      2. The earth has spent half of the previous 550 million years around 23°C (20-26C), looking like there’s a tight lid around 25C. Doesn’t that entail strong negative feedback and no “tipping point”?

      3. We don’t know why the P-T extinction warming (to at least 28°C) occurred so fast, nor why it was so brief. What brought the temperature down to 25°C again? Why didn’t it “run away”?
      [[But — Cold extermination: One of greatest mass extinctions was due to an ice age and not to Earth’s warming – “Summary: The Earth has known several mass extinctions over the course of its history. One of the most important happened at the Permian-Triassic boundary 250 million years ago. Over 95% of marine species disappeared and, up until now, scientists have linked this extinction to a significant rise in Earth temperatures. But researchers have now discovered that this extinction took place during a short ice age which preceded the global climate warming. It’s the first time that the various stages of a mass extinction have been accurately understood and that scientists have been able to assess the major role played by volcanic explosions in these climate processes.”]]

      4. Why is the lowest temperature around 12°C? When “snowball earth” occurs, with glaciers almost down to the equator, why doesn’t the albedo force more cooling, more ice, more albedo, and more cooling down to the Stefan-Boltzmann equilibrium of 255K (0°F)?
      [Here’s an interesting discussion of that:
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/04/09/an-engineers-explanation-of-climate-change/%5D%5D

      5. In other words, why has the earth’s temperature been so stable, mostly ranging from 285K to 295K [excluding excursions of 280-300K] since the end of the Archean Eon 3.5 billion years ago? That’s a median of 290K (62°F), ±2% or so. Climate stability needs an answer, not climate change.


      Over the last 150 years, the average temperature has only varied by plus or minus 0.3%. For a system as complex and ever-changing as the climate, this is nothing short of astounding.

      6. And then, if CO2 is currently close to the lowest it’s been for the last 550 million years, why is it dangerous to produce more?

      7. The emergence from the last glaciation 14,500 years ago was not preceded by CO2 change. The Younger Dryas a few thousand years later was a very rapid cooling succeeded by a very rapid warming, neither reversal preceded by CO2 change. The Holocene Optimum was not preceded by CO2 change, and we’ve been cooling since then. The interval Minoan Warm, Roman Warm, and Medieval Warm and the current Modern were not preceded by CO2 change.

      There is, of course, the magical thinking that leads to Cargo Cult Science. That could be simple devotion to the Climate God — if we build it He – She? – will come.

      The morality of the desired end justifies any necessary deceit, fraud, and coercion along the way. The corollary is “It is immoral to interfere with this care for the planet’s welfare by dissenting on the evidence.” And of course it’s flattering to our notion of self-importance to think that WE can change the climate of the earth. Another version of the Ptolemaic system. We’re special. Cf: Canute, King.

      • You collect snippets and apply them to a political agenda. I am not your stereotype. I have many detailed comments on system operation – and indeed on economics, energy, agriculture and environments. Address these rather than insisting I debate your snippets.

        The goal is prosperous and resilient communities in vibrant landscapes.

      • Thank you Ellison.
        I am relieved to know that you do not dispute the facts that demonstrate that CO2 is not in control of climate change and that we are not in control of CO2. You do indeed have other fish to fry, all of them useful and tasty.

        I am indeed a one-trick pony, intensely concentrated on the pervasive faith in the control that CO2 should have over climate, but doesn’t. It’s quite religious, medieval even, neh?
        My agenda of course is in no way political. Politicians of all stripes – except, it seems, the communists – have that same faith.

        I’m very glad we’ve finally come to agreement. Peace, brother.

      • The rational scientific paradigm is of course nothing of the sort. The evidence is there but you simply tell stories with snippets from skeptic curmudgeon websites that end with disparagement and ridicule of the other in your particular groupthink. Fair enough – sport?

      • No, sport, neither fair nor enough. I give facts certifiable on multiple sites. You haven’t disagreed. You can’t. There is nothing you can say, is there.
        You have already acknowledged that CO2 does not control climate, and we cannot control CO2. Now you seem to want to disparage the paradigm of logic and reason as an oppressive tool of the patriarchy. Well, good luck, cobber. You are the tool. And you know it, in your heart.

    • Robert:
      “Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and cement production – from 1750 to 2011 – was about 365 billion metric tonnes as carbon (GtC), with another 180 GtC from deforestation and agriculture. Of this 545 GtC, about 240 GtC (44%) had accumulated in the atmosphere, 155 GtC (28%) had been taken up in the oceans with slight consequent acidification, and 150 GtC (28%) had accumulated in terrestrial ecosystems. Carbon losses from soils and vegetation has been some 500 GtC since the advent of agriculture at the beginning of the balmy Holocene. Returning some of that to soils and ecosystems is the key to bringing us back from the brink of catastrophe.”

      Ocean is the most powerful carbon dioxide sink.
      So how it comes the carbon dioxide is mostly accumulated in the atmosphere? What makes you believe ocean has “difficulties” to absorb.

      Robert:
      “…Of this 545 GtC, about 240 GtC (44%) had accumulated in the atmosphere, 155 GtC (28%) had been taken up in the oceans… ”

      http://www.cristos-vournas.com

    • I was discussing CET, the polar annular mode and Navier-Stokes. And you take it down your particular rabbit hole. It’s Dunning-Kruger – you have attained your level of incompetence at a very low bar.

      I gave you the opportunity to politely let it go – but your type never can.

      https://scied.ucar.edu/image/radiation-budget-diagram-earth-atmosphere

      • Robert:
        “Polar excursions have been linked to low solar activity correlating with cold English winters, solar UV interacting with ozone, solar winds interacting with the global electrical circuit, changing geopotential heights in a world in which the Arctic is warming fastest, declining Arctic ice cover… I’d suggest that all these things modulate turbulent ocean and atmosphere flows in a completely deterministic – governed by inertia and viscosity – but seemingly random manner. We really don’t know in anywhere near sufficient detail what’s happening and can’t predict the future. But the turbulent Earth flow field is nonlinear – a small change can precipitate a large shift in the state of the system.”

        What do you think might happen?

        “We really don’t know in anywhere near sufficient detail what’s happening and can’t predict the future.”

        “But the turbulent Earth flow field is nonlinear – a small change can precipitate a large shift in the state of the system.”

        How much large?

        http://www.cristos-vournas.com

      • σT⁴ is nonlinear
        Te = [ (1-a) S / 4 σ ]¹∕ ⁴

        Any change will result in a much smaller in fourth root shift.

        http://www.cristos-vournas.com

  28. Nine articles regarding renewables and green policies in Europe
    https://mailchi.mp/2ff1be44966c/europes-green-deal-in-limbo-as-poland-demands-further-cost-analysis-179378

    Europe’s Green Deal in limbo as Poland demands ‘further cost analysis’

    Boris’s green jobs for China

    1) Europe’s Green Deal in limbo as Poland demands ‘further cost analysis’
    EurActiv, 20 November 2020

    2) Europe’s largest employer’s association questions EU climate policy cost modelling
    EurActiv, 23 November 2020

    3) Germany’s climate consensus cracks as costs mount
    Bloomberg, 21 November 2020

    4) Germany plans ‘turbine-free zones’
    EurActiv, 22 November 2020

    5) Boris’s green jobs for China
    The Times, 23 November 2020

    6) From Hyundai to Tesla and BMW, battery fires turn the heat on electric cars
    Reuters, 19 November 2020

    7) Matt Ridley: Ten reasons why Boris’s green agenda is just plain wrong
    The Sunday Telegraph, 22 November 2020

    8) Michael Kelly: Boris’s green industrial revolution is doomed to fail
    The Spectator, 21 November 2020

    9) Neil Collins: This green fantasy will bankrupt us
    Neil Collins XXX, 21 November 2020

  29. ‘Why climate scientists LOSE debates’:

  30. Synonyms for skeptic: disbeliever, doubter, doubting Thomas, questioner, unbeliever

    Near Antonyms for skeptic: chump, dupe, gull, pigeon, sucker

    Which are you?

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/skeptic

    • Can you be both?

      For example, could a sceptic on climate change be a dupe for the fossil fuel industry?

      • Like it! The best solution is surely to be questioning of anything or maybe go for win-win approaches e.g. if alternatives to fossil fuels make sense even if climate change were a damp squib. See also my thoughts on food security where less waste makes sense regardless if what the future throws at us.

    • HI Jim2,

      You don’t blog on Bobby Wolff’s bridge site do you? I’m assuming a different Jim2 but you never know.

  31. Maybe one more rule
    Avoid Biblical interpretations

    https://wp.me/pTN8Y-5qg

  32. “There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life. Is bound in shallows and in miseries.” Shakespeare

    I am listening to the original IQ debate – and not the talking head decomposition Alan introduced. I’ll let you know who act9ually won when I find out. I read all Peter’s GWPF links. Neither Alan’s video or Peter’s articles lend any clarity or depth. It is classically the fog of war. Creating confusion for strategic tribal ends. And of course the first casualty of war is truth.

    Climate is not a crisis? Thank God for that. There are enough crises to be getting on with. Although it can’t be said that it doesn’t have the makings of one. Disappearing low level marine stratocumulus in a warmer world is a factor the physics suggests.

    It is sufficient to justify no regrets policies – the 4th ‘corridor to clarity’. “This pragmatic strategy centers on efforts to accelerate energy innovation, build resilience to extreme weather, and pursue no regrets pollution reduction measures — three efforts that each have their own diverse justifications independent of their benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation.” https://thebreakthrough.org/articles/climate-pragmatism-innovation

    I’d add cows to the mix. Mmmmm…

    The skeptic curmudgeons won the debate by a 4% margin. But then American attitudes to climate change depend on the time passed since the last natural disaster. And some people will believe they have debunked general relativity or invented a new physics law.

  33. Douglas Walton has a book out for $47 called “Ethical Argumentation.” It’s on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Ethical-Argumentation-Douglas-Walton/dp/0739103490/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=ethical+argumentation&qid=1606203888&s=books&sr=1-1. It’s blurb reads:

    “Bridging the gap between applied ethics and ethical theory, Ethical Argumentation draws on recent research in argumentation theory to develop a more realistic model of how ethical justification actually works. Douglas Walton presents a new model of ethical argumentation in which ethical justification is analyzed as a defeasible form of argumentation considered in a balanced dialogue. Walton’s new model employs techniques such as: asking the appropriate critical questions, probing accepted values, finding nonexplicit assumptions in an ethical argument, and deconstructing emotive terms and persuasive definitions. This book will be of significant interest to scholars and advanced students in applied ethics and theory.”

  34. So please follow these rules of unbiased and objective scientific inquiry unless of course the catastrophe and urgency of the matter are more important than silly stiff collar kindergarten rules for kids.

    https://wp.me/pTN8Y-5qg

  35. Listen to how the ‘consensus’ is the new curse of humanity. It prevails in dark matter, climate science & covid-19 lockdown strategy. It’s getting harder and harder to break out of groupthink consensus and consider outlier alternatives:

    “Ever since astronomers reached a consensus in the 1980s that most of the mass in the universe is invisible — that “dark matter” must glue galaxies together and gravitationally sculpt the cosmos as a whole — experimentalists have hunted for the nonluminous particles.”

    Listen to the non-sensical language that arises from incorrect groupthink:

    https://www.quantamagazine.org/physicists-are-expanding-the-search-for-dark-matter-20201123/

  36. Extinction Rebellion creates new campaign to urge believers into purposely taking out mortgages and then not repaying.. ! .. in order to force the government to stop CO2 emissions

    This is the kind of action that happens due to people like Robert I. Ellison who constantly hinder the voices of outlier scientific opinion:

  37. The Arctic used to be described as warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet but now it’s *three* times faster.

    Despite lockdown reducing manmade CO2 emissions, warming has accelerated. Ever consider the outlier opinion that it’s something else altogether driving climate change?

    https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/climate-change-arctic-temperatures-warmer/

  38. Evidence communication of a crisis in leadership of the western world. Boris Johnson self-isolates just as a precaution despite having T-cell immunity:

  39. My apologies, but here’s evidence that lends itself to the spinning helical corkscrew graviton force-carrier particle as opposed to Einstein’s spacetime. The graviton can travel around a hypersphere to act as a force of repulsion relative to it’s place of origin. It’s a crucial part of the tidal forcing inclination hypothesis for climate change:

    “Cosmologists say that they have uncovered hints of an intriguing twisting in the way that ancient light moves across the Universe, which could offer clues about the nature of dark energy — the mysterious force that seems to be pushing the cosmos to expand ever-faster.”

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03201-8

  40. Extinction Rebellion creates new campaign to urge believers into purposely taking out mortgages and then not repaying.. ! .. in order to force the government to stop CO2 emissions

    This is the kind of action that happens due to people like Robert I. Ellison who constantly hinder the voices of outlier scientific opinion: Alan Lowey

    Debunking general relativity, inventing new physical laws, cherry picked ‘facts’ overthrowing paradigmatic science – it is a great tower of Babel in which every norm of communication is discarded. Disagreement is ignorance – rather than an opportunity to learn – and their job is to beat people over the head with their oddball beliefs. The facts support their views and their views inform the facts. What could go wrong. There is clearly no lack of certainty. The other is responsible for lies, fraud, deceit and ER loan defaults – and add insult to injury. 5 rules for confusion and misunderstanding.

    5 rules for evidence communication
    (1) Inform, not persuade
    (2) Offer balance, not false balance
    (3) Disclose uncertainties
    (4) State evidence quality
    (5) Inoculate against misinformation

    But real people know what they want. They want clarity of policy on fundamental environmental problems.

    https://www.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/ft_2020.04.21_earthday_01.png?resize=640,462

    There are ways to a bright future for the planet, its peoples and its wild places – but these need to be consciously designed in a broad context of economics and democracy, population, development, technical innovation, land use and the environment.
    How do we get there? This might help.

    4 corridors of clarity
    (1) follow the strongest and most direct path between policy decisions on outcomes
    (2) focus on finding sufficient evidence for policy purpose
    (3) prioritize no-regrets policies by avoiding options with controversial, uncertain, or immeasurable benefits
    (4) aim for getting the big picture roughly right rather than focusing on details.
    https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biaa115/5936130

  41. “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. Current models of statistical hydrology cannot account for either effect and must be superseded. As a replacement, ‘self‐similar’ models appear very promising. They account particularly well for the remarkable empirical observations of Harold Edwin Hurst. ” Benoit B. Mandelbrot James R. Wallis, 1968, Noah, Joseph, and Operational Hydrology

    Long before there was climate change there were extremes of climate in a chaotic Earth system. Chaos used to be the poster child of ;climate skeptics’ – until they realised it implied tipping points.

    There is so little doubt that carbon dioxide is a control variable in the system. Based on decades of spectroscopy and line by line radiative transfer math. To deny it based on arm waving – and ‘skeptics’ don’t in general – Judith Curry, Roy Spencer and John Christy are part of the 97% – you have to be really, really out there not to – is utter lunacy.

    • Very carefully phrased, Ellison. Bravo.
      “There is so little doubt that carbon dioxide is a control variable in the system” Indeed it is a control variable – ie a forcing – just like the other eight forcings. Unlike them, it’s effect declines exponentially with 50% of the ghg effect in the first 20 ppm. We are in the fifth half-life of that decline. Do the math. Its GHG effect at the next doubling to 800 ppm will be increased by less than 2%

    • Based on modern spectroscopy.

      “We see that for the pre-industrial CO2 concentration, it is only the wavelength range between about 13.5 and 17 microns (millionths of a meter) that can be considered to be saturated. Within this range, it is indeed true that adding more CO2 would not significantly increase the amount of absorption. All the red M&M’s are already eaten. But waiting in the wings, outside this wavelength region, there’s more goodies to be had. In fact, noting that the graph is on a logarithmic axis, the atmosphere still wouldn’t be saturated even if we increased the CO2 to ten thousand times the present level. What happens to the absorption if we quadruple the amount of CO2? That story is told in the next graph:” Raymond T. Pierrehumbert

      • Excellent choice, Ellison.
        You will perhaps not have noticed the incipient asymptosis toward zero which given infinite time will be reached. Thus the exponential decay. Do the math.

      • Pierrehumbert – why do I think of Lolita? – is a fun read. I believe he is the one who said “Hot as Venus is, it would become still hotter if one added CO2 to its atmosphere”. He is also as one might expect a very good accordion player.

      • I am not discussing their lunacy with lunatics.

      • Perhaps you have not noticed the logarithmic scale on the absorption factor. Do the math and show us your working.

      • Ah yes. Good point. As the absorption bands increase, the absorption factor diminishes, on a log scale. Adding to the exponential decline in GHG effect. Thanks, cobber.

      • The result can of course be seen. Not nearly saturated at 4 times preindustrial concentrations. The absorption factor declines logarithmically. Still not saturated at 10,000 times preindustrial. You might have it a$$ backwards and that would be par for you.

      • Hmph. I thought you were mathematically inclined, but I guess not.

        The point is not how much gets absorbed given infinite increase and infinite time, but how MUCH more with each doubling of CO2. As Pierrehumbert’s chart shows, less and less, with less and less absorption at each expanded band. Doubling to 800ppm increases the CO2 GHG by less than 2%.

      • And I knew that you are mathematically illiterate, devoid of any science other than what you find on skeptic echo chambers and congenitally unable to correct your humungous errors. Sound about right?

      • Actually, unlike you, I don’t go to echo chambers. I look at data from reputable sources. Try it sometime.
        Which of my humongous errors are you referring to, pray?
        Or are you reduced to ad hominem?

      • If you actually read reputable sources or the primary literature – you might not make such humongous errors.

        And you should talk about ad hom. Deceit, lies, tool and fraud ring a bell? It doesn’t affect me – that’s just the way you guys roll – I just hate hypocrisy.

      • Sorry, I must have missed the humongous error you deplored in the fog of your ad hom.
        Do you have any point at all? Can you do anything but blather?
        Please. Contradict something. Anything. Just quote the words you’re responding to.

      • The atmosphere is not nearly radiatively saturated in the CO2 absorption band. Once you get that your entire silly narrative – fueled by a ridiculously adversarial egotism – oozing disparagement and ridicule – is seen as the nonsense it truly is.

      • Robert, you’re such a scamp.
        You entirely missed the part where I said quote my words. No one that I’ve read or spoken to has ever said that.
        All I’ve said is that the next doubling of CO2 to 800ppm will increase its GHG effect by less than 2%, which will be submerged in the the effects of the other eight forcings. Please try to be honest. I know it’s hard.

      • And all I said was that saturation at 800ppm is not even close. If you have a reference other than Angstrom’s assistant let us know.

      • Well, congratulations. You got something almost right. The asymptosis means that saturation is not far off.

        Now try tackling “the next doubling to 800ppm will increase CO2’s GHG effect by less than 2%.” Tick, tick, tick…

      • If it is not nearly saturated at 1200ppm – see the graph – the gap between your narrative and reality at 800ppm is a chasm.

      • Yes, Robert. It’s not saturated at 1200, nor at 4000 as in the Ordovician, nor at 6000, as in the Cambrian.
        What’s your bleeding point? Or do you not have one. Just throwing random data around? Can you not handle the math for the 2%?

      • Let’s call it radiatively saturated – because I’m not sure you understand what is being discussed. The physics of your 2% is wrong.

      • Ah, radiatively saturated. Hmmm.
        Out of your depth, lad? Can’t do the math on the 2%?
        Ah well, back to school. Perhaps you can have a friend help you? You do have a friend, don’t you?

      • Math is only relevant if it describes physics reality. This thing you have invented does not.

      • “Math is only relevant if it describes physics reality” which of course you determine by visual observation and verbal description.
        Hmm. I hesitate to say this, but it does look like you don’t have any friends that can do the math.
        “This thing you have invented” – what thing is that? This thing discovered by Arrhenius that you haven’t yet understood? I invented that? Really? I am pleased and proud. Please do go on.
        But… do look for a friend…

      • You twist and turn in the wind with nothing concrete to anchor what amount to merely disparaging flippancies.

        Your 2% math is entirely on you. Don’t go blaming Arrhenius for your woefully wrong physics. He got it right.

      • ” Don’t go blaming Arrhenius for your woefully wrong physics. He got it right. ”
        But you just finished pointing out how he got it wrong, and it wasn’t him, anyway, it was his dogsbody assistant.
        And if I’m wrong, you really should be able to find a friend that can demonstrate that in print. Without all those adjectives. Oh wait, that requires math. Sorry, my bad. You and your friends can huddle around the campfire and hug.

      • If you are right you should be able to reference someone more up to date than Angstrom’s assistant. A physics text perhaps? Something a little more than the 2% assertion you seem to believe is complex math.

      • Nooo, Robert, it’s not at all complex. And as you should know, but don’t, it’s ever so much easier to disprove something that to prove it. Especially when the proof has to get past the buttresses of the head you’re addressing.
        Please don’t think I’m going to do your work for you so you can disparage the source. You can do this. You’re good enough and you’re smart enough and, goddongit, people like you!

      • Normally it is expected that a reference or citation is provided in support of an assertion – and of course “extraordinary proof is required of extraordinary claims.”

        Your try to be scientific for a change. Or has cognitive dissonance hit too hard?

      • Robert, I believe I’ve explained why it would be counterproductive to provide you with something to knock your head against.
        Please feel free to destroy my argument with withering analysis.

      • Please try to say something useful and interesting.

      • Oh, and, just a caution. It will take more than adjectives. It might require verbs. And, heaven forefend, even math.

      • “Please try to say something useful and interesting.”
        Ah. Forgive me. I had thought it might be useful and interesting for you to destroy my flimsy arguments in front of the 40,000 who are watching us.
        Back to the campfire and your hugs.

      • On the other hand why start now.

  42. The ancient riverbeds of the western Sahara become more alive with recent deluges of more northern Africa:

    “A vast river network that once carried water for hundreds of miles across Western Sahara has been discovered under the parched sands of Mauritania.

    Radar images taken from a Japanese Earth observation satellite spotted the ancient river system beneath the shallow, dusty surface, apparently winding its way from more than 500km inland towards the coast.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/nov/10/ancient-river-network-discoverd-buried-under-saharan-sand

    • The ancient river has been found to extend beyond the coastline, showing a hydrological system during the glacial age, when sea-levels were much lower than today. The process appears to be beginning once again, indicating the next phase of the 100,000-year natural climate cycle.

      https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Continuity-of-the-Tamanrasett-River-Cap-Timiris-giant-system-Complete-identified_fig4_283714259

      • Alan L
        Look at the correlations here: https://melitamegalithic.wordpress.com/2018/08/12/searching-evidence-4-prehistoric-mass-burials/
        And the correlation to the Eddy cycle. Both peaks and roots; times of change.

      • mm – did you produce the data graphs yourself? It’s interesting with the burial mound evidence but overall I find the exact date lines to be a red herring. In my mind it’s analogous to the Medieval Warm Period (circa 950CE – 1250CE) and subsequent series of cold snaps hundreds of years later.

        I did google Eddy cycle and found the change in latitude of sunspots yet another correlation with orbital inclination & strong gravitational interaction:

        “The term was introduced after John A. Eddy published a landmark 1976 paper in Science. Astronomers before Eddy had also named the period after the solar astronomers Annie Russell Maunder (1868–1947) and her husband, Edward Walter Maunder (1851–1928), who studied how sunspot latitudes changed with time.”

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunder_Minimum

      • Alan
        Look at fig 122 here https://judithcurry.com/2018/06/28/nature-unbound-ix-21st-century-climate-change/

        When I saw that I photoshopped the Eddy curve on to my graphs. The five consecutive roots (in circles in my earlier link) aligned near perfect. I had found those points years before (noted in my book -2015- from ice cores) That forced me to change my mind, – from possible chaotic response, to a regulating trigger that is still not identified. That was june 2018. Now there is more.
        Identified peaks: at 2700bce Akkadian Sumerian ascendance; 1750 Babylonian; 800bce Phoenician Greek; 300ce RWP; 1100 MWP; 2100 we are heading there.
        Roots: 3200 major seismic; 2300bce Akkad/Mohenjo Daro collapse 4k2 event; 1250 Aegean collapse; 300bce roman/punic/greek wars and collapse; DACP; LIA,, Note that dates are not accurate because archaeological dating is far from accurate.
        There is a Devil pulling strings; that is not by chance. What was also clear in the Holocene is the abruptness of change. The time it took for change to appear in proxies is only the effect the slowness of buildup. But when it comes to orientation change to horizon sunrise point on equinox for calendars it is very abrupt; and that is a precise record.

      • mm – I find all a bit too muddled to take it further unfortunately. My take away is the 5° difference in ancient calendars which correlates with the 5° orbital inclination of the Moon.

        What book did you write?

      • mm – what do you believe is the driver of past abrupt climate change? What is the mechanism? Where does the extreme amount of energy required come from?

        12 years ago the Oak Island mystery pit was a lot less sensationalised and commercialised. There was a old style drawing of the main shaft with an upper slanting tunnel and a lower slanting tunnel.

        I interpreted this as master engineers showing the change in tide level that occurs due to the millennial cycle, which I have now deduced is due to the Moon.

        There’s even a connection with the Piri Reis map which shows the Antarctic coastline at much lower sea-level than today.

      • Alan, your question first “What book did you write?” This https://melitamegalithic.wordpress.com/2017/04/21/the-calendars-of-megalithic-malta/
        I thought you had figured that out; the connection ‘melitamegalithic’. My WordPress site is all additional evidence that has surfaced since then. It is also a wide perspective of the related evidence, the main cause of which can never be identified from any single piece of research. What the book explains was later put to test and proven, as per video ‘Melitamegalithic II’ which you posted.

        What it does is in fact this:
        *say what you know; (with all the evidence to-date)
        *what you don’t know;
        *what you are doing to find out; (what you did to find out; we are the ‘blind men and the elephant’.)
        *what people can do in the meantime to be on the safe side ( Which way is forward – ???); and
        *that advice will change. (new evidence – not speculation- can change everything).

        The 5deg you refer to, is a change in the equinox to solstice angle (at 3550bce). That depends only on earth tilt, and indicates change. In the final alteration -today- that is 29.5deg (a change from 18, at ~2345bce), and equivalent to today’s obliquity. Why for the previous >3kyrs it was different is serious food for thought.

      • C R Sant! I did work it out myself but then became a little less sure. I’m glad the issue is cleared up.

        You sound convinced that it’s the Earth’s tilt whilst I’m convinced it’s the Moon’s tilt of orbit, simply because it dovetails with the inclination hypothesis.

        Is there anybody else who is in agreement with you and your opinion on the 5° discrepancy being due to the planet tilting? What would the mechanism be? It would be counter to standard physics as far as I’m aware.

      • OMG! Perhaps it’s both!? The Earth tilts by 5° in synchronicity with the Moon’s orbit becoming flatter to the Earth-sun plane due to their strong gravitational core interaction?

        It’s a perfect fit.

      • “Though physicists have been trying to figure out what dark matter is for decades, the detectors they built to find it have gone silent year after year. It makes some wonder: Have they been chasing a ghost? Dark matter might not be real. Instead, there could be something more deeply flawed in physicists’ understanding of gravity that would explain it away. Still, the search, fueled by faith in scientific observations, continues, despite the possibility that dark matter may never be found.”

        https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/science-and-health/21537034/dark-matter-unexplainable-podcast

      • “Why for the previous >3kyrs it was different is serious food for thought.” – C R Sant

        The lunar millennial cycle is 1,470-years and there’s a bipolar nature due to the orbital inclination going from 5° to 0° to -5° to 0° to 5° to 0° to -5°etc.. so there’s also a ~3kyr cycle.

      • “What the book explains was later put to test and proven, as per video ‘Melitamegalithic II’ which you posted.” – C R Sant

        The building date of 3195BCE puts it at 265 years after the start of the warm period. This is the equivalent of 265 years after the greening of Greenland which started ~950CE ie. at the end of the golden period before the cold snaps from the polar vortex set in. (It’s simply multiples of 1,470-years from this date point)

      • Some simple figures:

        950CE -5° to 0° to +5°
        520BCE +5° to 0° to -5°
        1990BCE -5° to 0° to +5°
        3460BCE +5° to 0° to -5°
        4930BCE -5° to 0° to +5°

        The extra strong tidal energy occurs at 0°, lasting for ~200/300 years.

        The question is, the Earth should be tilting, although extremely slightly because we’re currently ~400 years away from the next warm phase. So is this detectable and gone unnoticed by mainstream science?

        If the increase in solid body Earth tides has gone undetected, then it’s in the realms of believability.

        Sounds crazy… but…

      • “Over the course of a year, the angle of tilt *does not vary*. In other words, Earth’s northern axis is always pointing the same direction in space. At this time, that direction is more or less toward the star we call Polaris, the North Star. But the orientation of Earth’s tilt with respect to the sun – our source of light and warmth – does change as we orbit the sun.”

        https://earthsky.org/earth/can-you-explain-why-earth-has-four-seasons

        It’s possible that over a course of a year the tilt *does vary* but only exceedingly slightly relative to the star Polaris.

      • Alan reply misplaced; is further down.

    • “Climate change has been implicated in the success and downfall of several ancient civilizations. Here we present a synthesis of historical, climatic, and geological evidence that supports the hypothesis that climate change may have been responsible for the slow demise of Minoan civilization. Using proxy ENSO and precipitation reconstruction data in the period 1650–1980 we present empirical and quantitative evidence that El Nino causes drier conditions in the area of Crete. This result is supported by modern data analysis as well as by model simulations. Though not very strong, the ENSO-Mediterranean drying signal appears to be robust, and its overall effect was accentuated by a series of unusually strong and long-lasting El Nino events during the time of the Minoan decline. Indeed, a change in the dynamics of the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) system occurred around 3000 BC, which culminated in a series of strong and frequent El Nino events starting at about 1450 BC and lasting for several centuries. This stressful climatic trend, associated with the gradual demise of the Minoans, is argued to be an important force acting in the downfall of this classic and long-lived civilization.” https://cp.copernicus.org/articles/6/525/2010/

      The bifurcation is coincident with the drying of the Sahel. “A high-resolution, multiproxy palaeolimnological record from the Manga Grasslands, northeastern Nigeria, spanning the last 5500 calendar years, reveals the episodic deterioration in Sahelian climate as significant biogeophysical thresholds were crossed. Desert-dust deposition began to increase 4700 cal. BP. Rainfall during the summer-monsoon season declined permanently after 4100 cal. BP. A further significant change in atmospheric circulation, giving rise to multidecadal to centennial-scale droughts and enhanced dust deposition, occurred 1500 cal. BP. Hence, the post-1968 Sahel drought is not unique. The prolonged arid episode that occurred around 1200–1000 cal. BP in Ethiopia, the Sahel and tropical Mexico may have been linked to an abrupt cooling event in the North Atlantic and to a cluster of intense El Niño-Southern Oscillation events in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific.” https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1191/095968300678141274

      There are without much doubt a number of factors involved in triggering a state transition in Mediterranean rainfall. Predictions based on not having a clue about any of them can be disregarded.

    • “The buried waterway may have formed part of the proposed Tamanrasett River that is thought to have flowed across parts of Western Sahara in ancient times from sources in the southern Atlas mountains and Hoggar highlands in what is now Algeria.

      The French-led team behind the discovery believe the river carried water to the sea during the periodic humid spells that took hold in the region over the past 245,000 years. Water may last have coursed through the channels 5,000 years ago.”

      I interpret this as evidence that the region has much more rainfall during the 100kyr cycle until tidal forcing, which exponentially rises and falls, reduced after the last millennial cycle around 5000yrs ago to make the region tend toward the aridity we have today.

      • I interpret it to mean that the Mediterranean is periodically wetter and drier over long periods associated with variable sea surface temperature in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans – as it is today. You seemingly posit an underlying cause of shifts in ocean circulation – solid earth tides – without an explicit mechanism and for which there is absolutely no evidence but your hand waving at this or that. I take it with a truckload of salt.

    • Don’t jump to conclusions. The moon’s standstill positions (with respect to the earth) are even greater than earth obliquity. Greater still at higher latitude. Meaning most times the moon is way beyond the field of view from a megalithic temple. http://star-www.st-and.ac.uk/~fv/sky/standstill.html

      The optics are quite simple. Simple and ingenious, that leave no room for false interpretation.

      • The builders of the temple wouldn’t know about the Moon’s inclination cycle. All they would be aware of is the slight change in the tilt of the Earth relative to the old temple.

        The Moon affects the Earth and vice versa aka ‘every action has an equal an opposite reaction’.

      • Alan quote “The builders of the temple wouldn’t know about the Moon’s inclination cycle.” Look at the video again, how they predicted the solstice day and hour.

        Wiki – solstice determination- “Accounts do not survive but Greek astronomers must have used an approximation method based on interpolation, which is still used by some amateurs. This method consists of recording the declination angle at noon during some days before and after the solstice, trying to find two separate days with the same declination. When those two days are found, the halfway time between both noons is estimated solstice time. An interval of 45 days has been postulated as the best one to achieve up to a quarter-day precision, in the solstice determination.[24] In 2012, the journal DIO found that accuracy of one or two hours with balanced errors can be attained by observing the Sun’s equal altitudes about S = twenty degrees (or d = about 20 days) before and after the summer solstice because the average of the two times will be early by q arc minutes where q is (πe cosA)/3 times the square of S in degrees (e = earth orbit eccentricity, A = earth’s perihelion or Sun’s apogee), and the noise in the result will be about 41 hours divided by d if the eye’s sharpness is taken as one arc minute.”
        According to Wiki we cannot predict. A good helping of humble pie for us today. Do not underestimate our ancestors. What they developed 7000 years ago necessarily required a good understanding of the solar system.

      • I’m not underestimating their ancient knowledge and abilities, I’m just trying to agree with you. In my mind, it all fits.

        You need a mechanism to create the Earth’s tilt in the order of a few millennia. I’m proposing one.

      • Evidence counts; proposals are tricky things. And do not try to agree with me, its dangerous and my cost one a career. To many I am still from beyond the fringe.

      • Okay.. I don’t have a career btw. I’m a former UK missile scientist, who went travelling … etc … etc … and have recently been a self-employed gardener up until March last year due to covid. I rekindled my scientific mission during lockdown. It’s crystal clear in my mind but I understand it takes time for the ideas to sink in because they are so leftfield. I’m a young 51 and I’m still waiting for life to take off..

      • Hi Alan. I think you know what I meant. I was also 51 once 24 years ago. And a gardener from birth, a necessity then. It was also a great font of knowledge, and what agriculture means for human survival.
        Then you may enjoy this (read the early bits on-line, it is the science behind agriculture) here at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Two-Queens-Megalithic-Temples-Identity/dp/1500530476#reader_1500530476
        Find out why calendars are essential.
        And stay safe.

  43. Once you find a crocodile in the Arctic the sensitivity at the eocene-pleistocene transition was some 5 degrees C per CO2 doubling.

    • oof! Noooo…..
      There were, however, hippopotamuses in the Thames. Not that long ago. Hippopotami?

      • “That impression is not so much one of lions led by donkeys as of hippopotami managed by hypocrites.”

        Hipopotami are mammals. Crocodiles are egg laying reptiles with very narrow reproductive temperature limits.

      • I don’t recognize the quote, unless it’s mangled from WWI “a Russian officer who had said that British soldiers were “lions commanded by donkeys”.
        Howsomever, you did get another one right. Congrats.

      • I was correcting your arm waving error that was no doubt an attempt to appear cleverer than you are. Recognise this one?

        “There were a lot of fools at that conference — pompous fools — and pompous fools drive me up the wall. Ordinary fools are all right; you can talk to them, and try to help them out. But pompous fools — guys who are fools and are covering it all over and impressing people as to how wonderful they are with all this hocus pocus — THAT, I CANNOT STAND! An ordinary fool isn’t a faker; an honest fool is all right. But a dishonest fool is terrible! And that’s what I got at the conference, a bunch of pompous fools, and I got very upset.”

      • “There were, however, hippopotamuses in the Thames. Not that long ago. Hippopotami?” – jim

        The island refugia within the Mediterranean survived for longer before human hunters caused their extinction:

        “At the time of its extinction between 11,000 and 9,000 years ago, the Cyprus dwarf hippo was the largest animal on the island of Cyprus. It was a herbivore and had no natural predators.”

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus_dwarf_hippopotamus

        The Balearic Islands had a dwarf goat, only 50cm high at the shoulder with long canines, until around 5000yrs ago.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myotragus

      • Lord, what a relief! Ellison can be tiresome.
        Yes, and there were crocodiles in the Rhine.
        Oh for the good old days!

      • Extreme atlantification of the Arctic Ocean must have existed until around 4000yrs ago:

        “Wrangel Island is the last known place on earth where woolly mammoths survived, until around 4,000 years ago.”

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrangel_Island

        This gives a good correlation with the tidal forcing hypothesis and dating of the last water course in the Western Sahara.

        It’s started once again, giving a rough figure of just 6000 years inbetween gravity forcing climate change.

      • “Ellison can be tiresome” – jim

        That’s an understatement .. ! ..

      • He’s pretty good on soil management, though. Maybe if he stuck to that…

      • “He’s pretty good on soil management, though. Maybe if he stuck to that…” – jim

        Lol..!

      • “pompous fools”
        Yeeeesss. Now you know why we deplore you. If it weren’t for ad hom you’d have no argument at all…

      • You are a fount of ridicule and disparagement of the stereotypical other in your misguided culture war on science. It seems hypocritical therefore to complain about a Feynman quote.

    • Feel free to quote Wikipedia and talk hipopotami among yourselves. The video by Tapio Schneider speaks for itself.

      • Indeed it does. And there is nothing in the history of the earth that supports it.

      • Nothing you can equitably contemplate at any rate. You don’t have the maths or physics.

      • Says he who doesn’t know how to do MODTRAN.
        Or how to respond to the point. What history is on your graph?

      • I moved past MODTRAN many years ago. I know what it is and what the results imply. I play with ideas not toys.

        The graphic displays a schematic of cloud physics that can expressed as numerical equations and modelled for several hundred thousand dollars using existing computer technology over about an 8 square kilometer region. But the crocodile suggests that the Arctic was very much warner roughly 55 million years ago and it wasn’t all due to CO2. Besides – its observed in the modern era.

        Less reflected SW and more emitted IR.


        With rising SST.

      • Why, thank you, Robert. Your charts admirably demonstrate the disconnect between CO2, at current levels, and GST. Note the decline 1941-1975…
        And sometime, somewhere, someone will note that the radiation of IR from the land surface is proportional to the fourth power of the temperature increase.

    • “The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.” https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10712-012-9175-1

      What it shows is a change in cloud cover – that in additions to Stefan-Boltzmann law emissions from any surface modulate IR emissions. The changes in SW dominate and the planet warmed. But thanks for your culturally inspired and scientifically illiterate gobbledegook.

      • Not much interested in geophysical history, are you? Just models? Maybe going back to as far as 1800?
        Why don’t you try it for a few million years?

      • Again – this is data that reveals change in satellite era precision. Not much interested in scientific observation are you. Culturally correct slogans work just as well aye old man?

  44. There appears to be a sudden obsession with ozone holes and the Montreal Protocol in climate activism these days.

  45. I have spent time skirmishing with the usual skeptic curmudgeon suspects. They are utterly hopeless. I suspect that at heart it is taking on the heroes mantle in a cultural battle with an accompanying vainglorious attitude. For both extreme minorities it is about victory. Adamant views marshalled in echo chambers and arrayed like cannon aimed at implacable stereotypes. I’ve spent a bit of time on it because – despite weird curmudgeon science – greenhouse gas emissions are pushing our nonlinear planet into states not seen for some time. Complacency is misplaced – surprises are inevitable.

    The following highlights shared socioeconomic pathway (SSP) 5. It is the highest energy and greatest economic growth aspirational target. The only thing that needs to be added is focusing on energy innovation and building resilient infrastructure. Carbon is being sequestered in wetlands, forests, rangelands and farming land – and momentum is growing planet wide. 21st century materials and designs will deliver cheap, abundant and safe nuclear energy this decade. In the interim the developing world and most of the developed world are sticking to coal, gas and oil. I could fly my private jet into every environmental conference on the planet and still not stop that.

    “This world places increasing faith in competitive markets, innovation and participatory societies to produce rapid technological progress and development of human capital as the path to sustainable development. Global markets are increasingly integrated. There are also strong investments in health, education, and institutions to enhance human and social capital. At the same time, the push for economic and social development is coupled with the exploitation of abundant fossil fuel resources and the adoption of resource and energy intensive lifestyles around the world. All these factors lead to rapid growth of the global economy, while global population peaks and declines in the 21st century. Local environmental problems like air pollution are successfully managed. There is faith in the ability to effectively manage social and ecological systems, including by geo-engineering if necessary.” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378016300681

    It looks like at least some curmudgeons aren’t on board with free markets. I was wondering who would be on board with this. Then I remembered the middle ground ducking for cover. “Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them…”

    • Blather. Where’s your math, lad?

      • They’ll be a new word in the future:

        Ellison – a tiresome blatherer. Often old with high religiosity.

      • Agnotology is the word for these two. Not a brain between them.

      • Agnotology. Great word. lad. You’re good with words. But where’s your math, lad?

      • “Agnotology. Great word. lad.” – jim

        It’s a new word for me and certainly relevant to today’s society with regard to *both* physics and climate science:

        “More generally, the term also highlights the condition where more knowledge of a subject leaves one more uncertain than before.”

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnotology

      • I enrolled in math but transferred to engineering because a poor white trash lad can always make a buck in engineering. You might ante up and provide a reference but there isn’t one. Your radiation absorption physics are a fraud but you have invested too much personal capital to do anything now but obfuscate, belittle and ridicule. .

      • Come on, lad. I’m not going to help you because it’ll be much better for you to figure it our for yourself. You’ll thank me for it later.
        My radiation absorption physics are not a fraud, but you’ll have to figure that out for yourself. Buck up, lad. It’s not that hard. References there are many.

      • You were shown the line by line results – not remotely your 2% fraud. Anyone sane would let it slide.

      • Clive Best, whom Ellison used to quote as a good knowledge and data source, is similarly dubious about the physics of an increased CO2 warming effect, referencing saturation figures:

        “There are 3 main CO2 bands of IR absorption at wavelengths 1388, 667, 2349 cm-1 (HITRAN) and these are already saturated at current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Infra Red measurements from space show that the atmosphere is opaque at these wavelengths. However at high levels in the atmosphere this is not no longer true and this is the only argument for the enhanced greenhouse warming by CO2 warming which makes sense to me (see below).”

        http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=1169

      • Clive best sums it up in the comments section:

        “The idea that CO2 levels alone determine the temperature has become a sort of religion. Other more important mechanisms must be at work and it is obvious that the Oceans have to be the main stabilizing influence. Otherwise why did not the climate not run away after the last ice age as CO2 outgased from the warming oceans causing more global warming causing more outgasing?

        As Roy Spencer argues CO2 levels have for at least the last million years been an effect of climate change and not the cause ! Can the tail wag the Dog ? Well the IPCC supporters are obviously convinced the answer is yes ! The physics certainly supports a small warming effect of about 1 degree from a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere, but this can be easily offset by small changes in humidity and cloud cover.”

        Ellison doesn’t like straight talking common sense.

      • “The breakthroughs that finally set the field back on the right track came from research during the 1940s. Military officers lavishly funded research on the high layers of the air where their bombers operated, layers traversed by the infrared radiation they might use to detect enemies. Theoretical analysis of absorption leaped forward, with results confirmed by laboratory studies using techniques orders of magnitude better than Ångström could deploy. The resulting developments stimulated new and clearer thinking about atmospheric radiation.”

        This is what I meant by decades of spectroscopic observation informing line by line radiative transfer equations. Clive Best is correct.

        “CO2 causes the lower atmosphere to be opaque at the main absorption bands. The mean free path is only about 25 meters, so at these wavelengths the lower atmosphere is already like a thick fog where IR radiation is scattered in all directions. As we rise up in the atmosphere so the density falls exponentially and only at heights of 8-9 kms does the atmosphere then become transparent in the main CO2 bands allowing energy loss direct to space. Doubling concentration rises that level nearer to the tropopause which radiates at a lower temperature.”

        As Clive Best suggests the assumptions are too crude and the usual Stefan-Boltzmann computations too simple to do justice to Earth system complexities. Only data counts – in this case observations at different levels and calculations across thin atmospheric layers.

      • They write them faster than I can respond. The one degree is the canonical ‘no feedback’ Planck response. It is based on the Stefan-Boltzmann Law. Water vapor in a warmer atmosphere is a positive feedback. Low level marine straocumulus covering much of the world’s tropical and subtropical oceans is a positive feedback due to nonlinear rain and cloud effects. Closed Rayleigh-Bénard convection cloud cells rain out quicker over warm water than cool leaving open cells with a lower domain albedo. Clive Best’s article predates recent progress in cloud physics.

        “Marine stratocumulus cloud decks forming over dark, subtropical oceans are regarded as the reflectors of the atmosphere.1 The decks of low clouds 1000s of km in scale reflect back to space a significant portion of the direct solar radiation and therefore dramatically increase the local albedo of areas otherwise characterized by dark oceans below.2,3 This cloud system has been shown to have two stable states: open and closed cells. Closed cell cloud systems have high cloud fraction and are usually shallower, while open cells have low cloud fraction and form thicker clouds mostly over the convective cell walls and therefore have a smaller domain average albedo.4–6 Closed cells tend to be associated with the eastern part of the subtropical oceans, forming over cold water (upwelling areas) and within a low, stable atmospheric marine boundary layer (MBL), while open cells tend to form over warmer water with a deeper MBL. Nevertheless, both states can coexist for a wide range of environmental conditions.” https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.4973593

      • And a major stabilising influence is the negative Planck feedback due to the Stefan-Boltzmann T**4 emissions increase. It is labelled P in the graphic. .


        http://www.atmos.albany.edu/facstaff/brose/classes/ATM623_Spring2015/Notes/Lectures/Lecture03%20–%20Climate%20sensitivity%20and%20feedback.html

      • Will Robert-the-white emerge from Robert-the-grey in an epiphany of clarity such as spoken by his once esteemed Clive Best?

      • I linked a Clive Best graph once because while not scientifically rigorous it included – especially for Lowey the layperson – multiple factors implicated in glacial/interglacial transitions. Lowey the serial pest commented belatedly on the site about debunking general relativity. Clive Best politely responded doubting Lowey’s thesis – that I less politely refer to as aberrant thought bubbles repeated ad nauseum. There is more to climate than dreamed of in your world Alan Lowey.

        The ideas were stimulated by: https://www.pnas.org/content/115/9/2026

        “In observational data, we find striking and globally coherent increases of atmospheric dust concentrations and deposition during the coldest phases of glacial−interglacial climate cycles. As shown by our simulations with a climate−carbon cycle model, such a relationship between dust and climate implies that dust-induced cooling is responsible for the final step from intermediate to extreme glacial cooling and drawdown of atmospheric CO2 concentrations. These results also increase our overall understanding of glacial−interglacial cycles by putting further constraints on the timing and strength of other processes involved in these cycles, like changes in sea ice and ice sheet extents or changes in ocean circulation and deep water formation.”

        Carbon dioxide is of course biokinetically mediated. In colder conditions there is less respiration. And heterotrophs are concentrated in the terrestrial environment of the surface and within soils. Thus as glacials evolve CO levels in the atmosphere drop – and as conditions warm CO2 increases. The modern period sees a very rapid approach to Eocene Thermal Maximum (IETM) levels of CO2 as a result of fossil fuel burning and disruption of the terrestrial carbon cycle through agriculture, changed grazing patterns, land clearing and desertification. Prudentially – this needs to stop as soon as practically possible.

        One of the mysteries is the mid Pleistocene transition from a 41ky periodicity of glacial/interglacial transitions to a 100ky periodicity. Conceptually a change in system resonance is suspected – slowly drifting continents or tectonic uplift. But this explains nothing about the detailed mechanisms of transitions. Nor is ‘correlation’ – usually eyeballed from graphs on skeptic blogs – satisfactory. Deep water formation seems to be involved – bringing in aspects of ocean and atmospheric circulation, ice sheet state, salinization, etc – and this is all rapidly changing

        “We note that the Arctic Ocean is characterized by large amplitude multi‐decadal variability in addition to a long‐term trend, making the link of observed changes to climate drivers problematic. However, the exceptional magnitude of recent high‐latitude changes (not only oceanic, but also ice and atmospheric) strongly suggests that these recent changes signify a potentially irreversible shift of the Arctic Ocean to a new climate state.” https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2007EO400002

        Igor Polyakov is a researcher of note in this field. Keep an eye on that space. Ignore Lowey. I introduced the word agnotology – it is an ignorance that is caused by a cultural bias. It is all about buttressing the cultural bias and need not be – and usually with Lowey is not – rational or factual. Evidence abounds that disagreement demonstrates membership of their stereotypical other. People are far more complex than that. Lowey demonstrates as well a profound lack of understanding of the values needed to create social progress, environmental stewardship and economic growth for the entire planet this century. That was the subject of the comment at the top of this thread.

      • “Clive Best politely responded doubting Lowey’s thesis.” – Robert

        That’s not true. On the contrary, he replied in the comments that he liked the increasing tidal forcing idea due to the accelerated melting of ice shelves.

        You’re a very naughty boy Ellison. You deliberately misrepresent, just as Andy has repeatedly reminded everyone.

      • Minor increases in HAT results from water level or density changes. So Clive Best is right again. You copied and pasted some words above without any understanding to support a point that is wrong. And are otherwise incorrigibly deceitful as in this disparaging but pointless remark .

        e.g. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-17056-z

        It is not down to neutron star matter at the core of celestial bodies. Again as Cliver Best quite rightly said. Why can’t you lot admit the truth? Andy believes I misrepresented him by saying that he believed that climate catastrophe (belatedly *imminent*) was not supported by mainstream science. And then you all complain about tipping points in mainstream science. Andy is deep down the skeptic curmudgeon groupthink rabbithole. I doubt there is any hope for you either.

      • “Will Robert-the-white emerge from Robert-the-grey in an epiphany of clarity such as spoken by his once esteemed Clive Best?”

    • Robert, you disappoint me but you don’t surprise me. Your concern for the environmental infrastructure is very proper and timely. Your approval of nuclear energy is most welcome. But you fear-mongering horror of CO2 – of which humans supply 4% or so – is entirely irrational and completely misplaced. There is, as we have at times agreed upon in the past, no theoretical or historical evidence for CO2 being in control of climate change – certainly not at this time, at these levels.
      You seem to have agreed that the next doubling of CO2 to 800 ppm will increase its GHG effect by less than 2%. With you of course, there’s no telling what the next thing out of your mouth will be. What you can’t refute you ignore. And then you chastise me for asking the questions again.
      Curmudgeons I take it are those who do not agree with you and your fellow fanatics. We are the infidels who have not the faith. We who approve of the free market do so not because we have faith in it but because there is no better means to achieve our goals which include such outliers as personal liberty and autonomy. After all, we have freely decarbonized out energy over the last thousand years or so, going from wood to coal to oil to natural gas, dropping carbons all the way, and now potentially to nuclear. Our populations are dropping because of abortion and birth control. Russia, Italy, China and Japan. Past trends can clearly not be extrapolated.
      When/if the next glaciation in this Ice Age begins, I hope you, like me, are not around since the cognitive thrashing and bashing which will occur will be awesome. All eight previous glaciations have not been preceded by CO2 change, so you won’t know what hit you. And you won’t care, since all you have to do is deny it’s happening. Easy for you. Not so much for the curmudgeons.

      • What a long winded and quite oddball characterization that is totally at odds with anything I have ever said. And I don’t recall agreeing with Jimmy on anything. A skeptic curmudgeon – as opposed to a scientific skeptic – has an ideologically straightjacketed, groupthink worldview in which any disagreement must come from a stereotypical other. One who is irrationally religious on CO2 and who therefore can be ridiculed and disparaged (cancel cultured) on whatever grounds they can imagine. But I am most certainly not their stereotyped other.

        https://judithcurry.com/2020/11/21/five-rules-for-evidence-communication/#comment-933376
        https://judithcurry.com/2020/11/21/five-rules-for-evidence-communication/#comment-933675
        https://judithcurry.com/2020/11/21/five-rules-for-evidence-communication/#comment-933743
        https://judithcurry.com/2020/11/21/five-rules-for-evidence-communication/#comment-934172

      • Roberto, no, you have never made the statement that “You’re right. I agree” That’s not in your nature. You have made some concessions, under duress, the only way you will ever make concessions.
        >>Robert I. Ellison | November 24, 2020 at 11:41 pm |
        And you are no Galileo – getting it all wrong.
        jimmww | November 24, 2020 at 11:51 pm |
        “And you are no Galileo – getting it all wrong.”
        You rascal! Once again getting away with vituperation and no evidence!
        Surely I must have gotten everything that you can deal with right, else you would be coming back at me with hammers!<>Robert I. Ellison | November 24, 2020 at 10:28 pm |
        Perhaps you have not noticed the logarithmic scale on the absorption factor. Do the math and show us your working.
        jimmww | November 24, 2020 at 10:44 pm |
        Ah yes. Good point. As the absorption bands increase, the absorption factor diminishes, on a log scale. Adding to the exponential decline in GHG effect. Thanks, cobber.<<
        Now that clearly is agreement on the exponential decline of the GHG effect of CO2, logarithmic if you prefer.

        I am quite willing, even eager, to change my mind on this subject. You, I think not. All I require is evidence, which you do not require. Give me evidence that CO2 is in control of climate change at this time, at these levels, and I will say that you're right. After all, I have done that once…
        Again, something, please, to refute the conclusion that that there is no historical or theoretical evidence that CO2 controls climate change.

      • “Ah yes. Good point. As the absorption bands increase, the absorption factor diminishes, on a log scale. Adding to the exponential decline in GHG effect. Thanks, cobber.”

        “The transmission decays extremely rapidly for short tubes (under a centimeter or so), because when light first encounters CO2, it’s the easy pickings near the peak of the absorption spectrum that are eaten up first. At larger tube lengths, because of shape of the curve of absorption vs. wavelength, the transmission decreases rather slowly with the amount of CO2. And it’s a good thing it does. You can show that if the transmission decayed exponentially, as it would if the absorption factor were independent of wavelength, then doubling CO2 would warm the Earth by about 50 degrees C instead of 2 to 4 degrees (which is plenty bad enough, once you factor in that warming is greater over land vs. ocean and at high Northern latitudes).”

      • And your bleeding point would be…

        Yet another demonstration of exponential decline, which you decline to acknowledge?
        We’re wasting everyone’s time. But Judith is most accommodating, perhaps out of curiosity.

      • All or nothing? Me?
        Nooo, cobber, that’s not me. that’s you I’d say.

      • Exponential – y=b**x, and logarithmic – y= ln (x) – functions. The data fits a logarithmic curve better – but whatever. There is still plenty of transmission capacity in the IR band left in Earth’s atmosphere to shut down. Burns you up doesn’t it? 🤣

      • Hmm. Still don’t understand the word asymptotic, do you…

        “There is still plenty of transmission capacity in the IR band left in Earth’s atmosphere to shut down.” Yes. And the saturation at the lower levels raises the transmission level. And your point?

      • So you have finally learned not to call it exponential and that the upper levels of the atmosphere are far from radiatively saturated in the IR band. Frankly – I didn’t think it possible. You’re welcome.

  46. Justin Trudeau sets a worrying trend which is accelerating by the day:

    “As a researcher who studies the governance of climate-altering technologies (such as carbon capture and storage), I can assure you that we are already behind on tackling climate change and catching up is going to be expensive. The government’s strategy will likely rely upon technology that isn’t viable in the way it hopes.”

    https://theconversation.com/amp/ottawas-latest-climate-plan-bets-on-expensive-and-unproven-carbon-capture-technologies-150527

  47. If you really, really like models, you can run the MODTRAN program which will produce something like this:

    or, what I prefer is to look at real-world data as on the phanerozoic charts above and note the correlation without causation between CO2 and GMST. And then if you do the math, you’ll find that the next doubling to 800ppm will increase the CO2 GHG effect by less than 2%

    • jimmww,
      “…the next doubling to 800ppm will increase the CO2 GHG effect by less than 2%”.

      Of course.

      http://www.cristos-vournas.com

    • Modtran is one of the two line by line by line programs. HITRAN is the other. It’s a database of spectroscopic observations linked by radiative transfer equations across thin slices of the atmosphere.

      “HITRAN is an acronym for high-resolution transmission molecular absorption database. HITRAN is a compilation of spectroscopic parameters that a variety of computer codes use to predict and simulate the transmission and emission of light in the atmosphere.” https://hitran.org/

      MODTRAN in this apparently shows CO2 only forcing increasing for the foreseeable future. There are other greenhouse gases – and aerosols. The increase in CO2 forcing is some 4.7 W/m2 for a doubling of CO2 from preindustrial levels. Then there is water vapor, lapse rate, cloud and albedo feedbacks.

      Carbon dioxide is of course biokinetically mediated. In colder conditions there is less respiration. And heterotrophs are concentrated in the terrestrial environment of the surface and within soils. Thus as glacials evolve CO levels in the atmosphere drop – and as conditions warm CO2 increases. The modern period sees a very rapid approach to Eocene Thermal Maximum (IETM) levels of CO2 as a result of fossil fuel burning and disruption of the terrestrial carbon cycle through agriculture, changed grazing patterns, land clearing and desertification. Prudentially – this needs to stop as soon as practically possible.

      If – as Tapio Schneider did – we look at carbon dioxide levels and temperature at the Eocene Thermal Maximum – there is a rough sensitivity of 5 degrees C. The relevant couldn’t be a CO2 from volcanoes warming alone. It suggests a cloud feedback. Tapio Schneider’s cloud resolving modelling – using physical equations of state rather than parameterizations – doing it at a global scale would require millions of times more computing power – show a marine stratocumulus tipping point at levels of CO2 we could reach this century or a little beyond. – https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0310-1 – I will link the video again for those who haven’t bothered for reasons of agnotology.

  48. Much more compelling is the theory of the Cloud Thermostat with warming producing more water vapor in the air, more clouds and thunderstorms and more reflection of insolation. The idea that warming will make clouds vanish is most implausible – the dinosaurs were 5C warmer, with 2000ppm CO2, and had plenty of clouds and rain.

  49. You may have missed that they said “decreases in low cloud cover are the primary driver of the decrease in SW TOA flux.” and not that SW TOA flux decreases drive the decrease in low cloud cover. You chaps have trouble discriminating cause, effect, and correlation.

    • As I explain somewhere above the feedback involves nonlinear rain and cloud effects. With the albedo reduction mapping predominantly onto the upwelling regions of the eastern Pacific. It is sea surface temperature that causes a reduction in cloud albedo over warmer oceans – and the reduction in reflected SW is a positive feedback.

      e.g. https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.4973593

      Neither of these studies look at cause, effect or correlation – they analyse CERES, ISCCP, COAD and other data series. It has in fact energy implications for natural warming and cooling. The cause is shifts in eastern Pacific SST and they focus analysis on this region. .

    • The convention is that ln in the simplified formula above is the natural logarithm

      “Unlike them, it’s effect declines exponentially with 50% of the ghg effect in the first 20 ppm. ” Jimmy the lad

      “Any quantity that grows (or decays) by a fixed percent at regular intervals is said to possess exponential growth or exponential decay.”

      And he complained about the Feynman quote. What new confusion will he sow to conceal that he is way out of his depth in any – even on the most basic math and science – of this.

  50. Pingback: The art of helpful communication – DON AITKIN

  51. Those are models. Modeling has value when it produces inevitable consequences to the hypothesis, which can be tested in the past, and looked for in the future. Do let us know when either or, preferably, both of those are available.
    Meanwhile, we do know that clouds are abundant over the tropical region, and sparse at the poles.

    • Although the Amy Clement et al study did discuss model results – the primary focus was on data. Loeb et al 2019 was based on analysis of CERES data. This is not something that is ambiguous or difficult to grasp.

      This is observation. Note the MEI anti correlated with SW flux.

      These are models.

      • Not much interested in geophysical history, are you? Just models? Maybe going back to as far as 1800?
        Why don’t you try it for a few million years? Or is that too much math?
        Still can’t find anyone to tackle the 2%, eh?

      • That you are not mathematically or scientifically competent to distinguish between exponential and logarithmic decay – and can’t tell the difference between observations and models – is not my problem.

      • “distinguish between exponential and logarithmic decay – and can’t tell the difference between observations and model”
        Oh good. Now you’re on record as being mathematically incompetent. Now I understand why you don’t address the 2%

      • Your 2% is based on a 50% decay rate for every 20ppm rise. The log function fits data better.

      • Good lord! Not only are you misquoting me, but you’re demonstrating your incompetence. “50% decay rate for every 20ppm rise.” would be a linear process, not an exponential one.
        The 2% is based on the half-life of a 50% decay for each doubling of CO2. As you really should have realized from the “the next doubling to 800ppm will…” even if you don’t know what an exponential process is.

        And BTW, the logarithm is capable of being based on other exponents besides 10 – the binary, 2, is common but even more the natural logarithm based on e.

      • The convention is that ln in the simplified formula above is the natural logarithm

        “Unlike them, it’s effect declines exponentially with 50% of the ghg effect in the first 20 ppm. ” Jimmy the lad

        “Any quantity that grows (or decays) by a fixed percent at regular intervals is said to possess exponential growth or exponential decay.”

        And he complained about the Feynman quote. What new confusion will he sow to conceal that he is way out of his depth in any – even on the most basic math and science – of this.

      • Drat, you’re right. But it doesn’t make up for not knowing that the logarithm is an exponential process. Nor does it help you get to the 2%.

      • No – the logarithmic function fits the data better than your mooted exponential decay. These functions have a defined mathematical reality. It means that CO2 forcing will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Whatever your cultural bias tells you.

      • Sigh. Bloody hopeless.
        Now you can tackle Achilles and the tortoise.

      • Zeno’s paradox is quite obviously unphysical. Unless we are talking half life radiative decay and Schrödinger’s cat. We are not.

        Forcing increases approximately 3.7W/m2 for every doubling of CO2.

      • The starting point is 280 ppm with an almost linear rise in forcing – approximately 3.7W/m2 for every doubling of CO2 – for the foreseeable future. This is your graph from WUWT. A source of serial disinformation – but it is close enough to what is found in the primary literature over many decades. You are not saying anything new – apart from your exponential decay nonsense – just that you interpret it to mean that more greenhouse gases will have a miniscule effect. That is weird cognitive bias.

        https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/co2_modtrans_img1.png?zoom=2

    • Maybe this one will work

      • Chaos is defined according with the very fast movement of all the parts consisting the system. Like the turbulence in the fluids flow. It is chaotic for us, for us observing the turbulent flow.

        We call chaotic every system its components moving fast enough we are not able to follow and “see” in every detail.

        http://www.cristos-vournas.com

      • “You can see spatio-temporal chaos if you look at a fast mountain river. There will be vortexes of different sizes at different places at different times. But if you observe patiently, you will notice that there are places where there almost always are vortexes and they almost always have similar sizes – these are the quasi standing waves of the spatio-temporal chaos governing the river. If you perturb the flow, many quasi standing waves may disappear. Or very few. It depends.” Tomas Milanovic – https://judithcurry.com/2011/02/10/spatio-temporal-chaos/

      • “you interpret it to mean that more greenhouse gases will have a miniscule effect.” Of course, I didn’t say that. And if I had I would have spelled it right. What I said was the GHG effect with further doubling would be swamped in the effects of the other 8 forcings.
        And then of course there is the evaporation from the oceans, and the increased IR output to space from the land at the fourth power of the linear increase in land temperature.
        You might want to consider the onset of the Hirnantian Ice Age with the CO2 at 4,000 ppm.

      • Of course you said it repeatedly – and quibbling about spelling variants is a recourse of scoundrels.

        What are these other forcings that are changing so dramatically in the modern era?

        Returning to Gondwanaland? Let me help you out.

        https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2016PA002928

      • Yes, they do sound confused, don’t they…

      • A “bad faith” discussion is doomed to fail, as one or both person’s rights, dignity, and
        autonomy are not respected. A “good faith” argument relies on persuasion to try to
        convince the other person whereas a “bad faith” argument relies on other means,
        possibly including intimidation or coercion. “Bad faith” arguments in private life are best
        exited swiftly, and are generally not effective at swaying hearts and minds. In public life,
        they are best exposed.” Cato Institute – “Good Faith” vs. “Bad Faith” Arguments or Discussions

        I will leave the judgement of whether I have exposed your bad faith to others.

      • And I equally willingly will leave the judgement on your rationality to others. I would never try to persuade you of anything.
        Doesn’t bad faith argument pretty much describe your responses to my comments?

      • Yes – you do sound confused.

      • Interestingly, that lovely Modtran graph shows the predicted less than 2% increase in GHG effect – 1.9% from 400 to 800 ppm, to be precise. Don’t worry, if you can’t do the math, we’ll do it for you. No worries, cobber.

      • “These calculations can be condensed into simplified fits to the data, such as the oft-used formula for CO2: RF = 5.35 ln(CO2/CO2_orig) (see Table 6.2 in IPCC TAR for the others). The logarithmic form comes from the fact that some particular lines are already saturated and that the increase in forcing depends on the ‘wings’ (see this post for more details). Forcings for lower concentration gases (such as CFCs) are linear in concentration. The calculations in Myhre et al use representative profiles for different latitudes, but different assumptions about clouds, their properties and the spatial heterogeneity mean that the global mean forcing is uncertain by about 10%. Thus the RF for a doubling of CO2 is likely 3.7±0.4 W/m2 – the same order of magnitude as an increase of solar forcing by 2%.”

        The 3.7W/m2 is about 1.4% of downward radiation in this grade school level calculation. This calculation assumes that CO2 is doubled instantly and the planet hasn’t had time to energy equilibrated at TOA. This is not how the planet works and it is not the enhanced greenhouse effect. .

        The energy imbalance at TOA is in the order 0.6 W/m2 this century.

      • Yes. The earth does not respond to theory occasionally. And the GHG effect which is calculated – calculated, mind – is only one forcing among 9 known.
        And you’re supposed to be responding to the theory, without dithering about “how the planet works” as if you knew how it works.
        So do you know understand a little bit about exponential decline?
        And how logarithms work?

      • You still haven’t said what the 9 forcings changing so radically in the modern era are?

      • Keeping it simple for you Jimmy old man. After all the mind is not what it used to be – and you had not much to begin with.

        The first differential – if you know what that is – global energy equation can be written as the change in heat in oceans is approximately equal to energy in less energy out at TOA.

        Δ(ocean heat) ≈ Ein – Eout

        Ocean heat is measured by the Argo project – accessed via the ‘Global Marine Argo Atlas‘. Radiant flux – a power term – is measured by the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) project – accessed via the CERES data products page.

        If you can’t provide an energy signature – we are not dealing with science or how the planet actually works.

      • The calculation is based on decades of spectroscopic observations. It assumes no planetary response – i.e. no Stefan-Boltzmann T**4 increased emissions.

        “Prior to 1750, before the Industrial Revolution, Earth’s average RF remained relatively stable. To document how the atmosphere has changed since then, scientists calculate current RF levels as if it were zero in 1750. Source: IPCC AR5 WG1 Figure SPM.5.”

        Actual radiative forcing is defined as energy in less energy out and approximated with ocean heat change.

        Thanks – the more obdurate people are the more it’s forces me to clarify my thinking and writing.

      • Who said anything was changing radically?
        We’re still in an Ice Age. Co2 is close to the lowest it’s ever been. GST is not far from the lowest it’s ever been. Should we be surprised that the earth is getting slightly warmer? I expect we’re going to be terribly upset when the next glaciation begins. And you won’t know why it begins will you…

        Oh, those forcings? That’s homework. For your improvement. See how many you can come up with. Bet you can’t manage more than two.
        Three including CO2.

      • 😁

        You ignore my comments – such as this below that was posted above – and then prattle on with your cancel culture contrarian pretensions.

        One of the mysteries is the mid Pleistocene transition from a 41ky periodicity of glacial/interglacial transitions to a 100ky periodicity. Conceptually a change in system resonance is suspected – slowly drifting continents or tectonic uplift. But this explains nothing about the detailed mechanisms of transitions. Nor is ‘correlation’ – usually eyeballed from graphs on skeptic blogs – satisfactory. Deep water formation seems to be involved – bringing in aspects of ocean and atmospheric circulation, ice sheet state, salinization, etc – and this is all rapidly changing

        “We note that the Arctic Ocean is characterized by large amplitude multi‐decadal variability in addition to a long‐term trend, making the link of observed changes to climate drivers problematic. However, the exceptional magnitude of recent high‐latitude changes (not only oceanic, but also ice and atmospheric) strongly suggests that these recent changes signify a potentially irreversible shift of the Arctic Ocean to a new climate state.” https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2007EO400002

        Igor Polyakov is a researcher of note in this field. But it is potentially a global climate shift – warm or cold. Keep an eye on that space.

      • Now Robert, don’t feel neglected! If I were to ignore you I wouldn’t respond, now would I?
        I really enjoy reading your cut-and-pastes with their possiblys and suggests and seems-to-bes and potentially irreversibles. You really go for the click bait.
        So how many forcings have you discovered so far? And are you happy with exponential decline yet?

      • “If you thought that science was certain – well, that is just an error on your part.”
        ― Richard P. Feynman

      • Bravo.
        Now about those forcings?
        And that exponential decline?

      • Climate forcing is shown in all its gory detail detail in the great bit IPCC graphic. Must be like not noticing that I had discussed the Artic just yesterday – and then throwing in a jive about me not knowing. Slipped you attention aye?

        But you *seem* to have run out of things to say – you have repeated yourself a million times – and none of it any good. So if there is nothing else? 😘

      • ” It assumes no planetary response – i.e. no Stefan-Boltzmann T**4 increased emissions.” It also assumes no interference by any of the other 8 forcings.
        Splendid. You’ve explained why a perfectly accurate calculation doesn’t actually work.

  52. Zero covid deaths in Sweden due to sensible policies without vaccine, lockdown or masks:

  53. We are often dependent on others for information, e.g. re COVID-19. Can we trust it? Is it soundly based? Does the presenter have any bias or self-interest?

    When giving economic policy advice to government, I often had a personal view of what was the best option. But – unless I was asked for my own view – my aim was that that should never be apparent in the brief, that I should write without any bias in favour of a particular option. The Nature article offers good advice.

    • He used to work for the BBC and knows that if he steps one foot over the line he’ll be shut down.. he’s very particular with his sources and only uses Office of National Statistics (ONS) numbers.

  54. This guy sums up the sheer scale and *rapid intensification* of tropical storms around the world. This is going to be an ongoing feature unfortunately:

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