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2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11

Posted on 18 March 2018 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Opinion of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... SkS in the News... SkS Spotlights... Video of the Week... Reports of Note... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of Consensus...

Story of the Week...

Climates change faster in a warmer and wetter world

While more rain normally cools a summer environment, a warmer and wetter world could face quite unfamiliar problems.

Warmer & Wetter World 

Heat and moisture together can speed up climate change. Image: By Mary Hollinger, NOAA, via Wikimedia Commons

Climate change may still cause surprises, if simultaneously it means a warmer and wetter world. More heat and moisture together can unbalance ecosystems.

Scientists have been warning for decades of shifts towards ever greater risks of flooding in some places, more intense and sustained droughts and potentially lethal heatwaves in others.

But new research suggests an unexpected twist: temperate and subtropical zones could become both hotter and wetter during future summers.

And this could create a whole suite of unexpected problems: farmers and city dwellers who have adapted to a pattern of cool wet summers or hot dry summers could face a new range of fungal or pest infections in crops, or pathogens in crowded communities, as insects and microbes seize a new set of opportunities.

Canadian scientists report in Nature Communications that they considered what they call “departures from natural variability” that may follow as a consequence of continual rises in global average temperature, driven by ever greater combustion of fossil fuels that emit ever higher ratios of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. 

Climates change faster in a warmer and wetter world by Tim Radford, Climate News Network, Mar 16, 2018

Opinion of the Week...

It's 50 years since climate change was first seen. Now time is running out

Making up for years of delay and denial will not be easy, nor will it be cheap. Climate polluters must be held accountable 

Hurricane Harvey Flooding 

 ‘Scientists attribute 15-40% of the epic rain of Hurricane Harvey to climate change.’ Photograph: Marcus Yam/LA Times via Getty Images

Fifty years ago, the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) delivered a report titled Sources, Abundance, and Fate of Gaseous Atmospheric Polluters to the American Petroleum Institute (API), a trade association for the fossil fuel industry.

The report, unearthed by researchers at the Center for International Environmental Law, is one of the earliest attempts by the industry to grapple with the impacts of rising CO2 levels, which Stanford’s researchers warned if left unabated “could bring about climatic changes” like temperature increases, melting of ice caps and sea level rise.

The year was 1968, and the term “global warming” would not appear in a peer-reviewed academic journal until 1975. Famed Nasa scientist James Hansen would not testify before Congress that “global warming has begun” for another 20 years. And the US would not enter into – only to later pull out of – the Paris climate accord for nearly half a century.

It's 50 years since climate change was first seen. Now time is running out.Opinion by Richard Wiles, Climate, Guardian, Mar 15, 2018

El Niño/La Niña Update

La Niña ends, El Niño-Southern Oscillation returns to neutral

The 2017–18 La Niña has ended. El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indicators have eased back to neutral levels over the past several weeks. This means the ENSO Outlook has shifted from LA NIÑA to INACTIVE.

The end of the La Niña is clear in oceanic and atmospheric indices. Sea surface temperatures have warmed steadily since December, and are now in the neutral range. Waters beneath the surface have also warmed. In the atmosphere, cloudiness near the Date Line has returned to near-average levels, and trade winds are generally near average across the equatorial Pacific. Likewise, the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is well within the neutral range.

Most models indicate that ENSO-neutral is the most likely scenario through the southern hemisphere autumn and into winter. However, model accuracy during autumn is lower than at other times of year. A neutral ENSO pattern does not necessarily signify average rainfall and temperature for Australia. Rather, it indicates a reduced chance of prolonged very wet or dry, or very hot or cold conditions, and that other climate drivers may have greater influence over the coming months.

The weak and short–lived La Niña had relatively little effect on Australian rainfall patterns over the 2017–18 summer. However, it may have kept temperatures higher than average in southern parts of the country due to weather patterns being slower moving, and further south than normal.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral. IOD events are unable to form between December and April. Current outlooks suggest a neutral IOD for autumn and early winter. 

La Niña ends, El Niño-Southern Oscillation returns to neutral, ENSO Warp-up Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Mar 13, 2018

Toon of the Week...

2018 Toon 11 

 Hat tip to Stop Climate Science Denial

SkS in the News...

In his Discover Magazine article, Here’s what real science says about the role of CO2 as Earth’s preeminent climatic thermostat,Tom Yulsman cites and links to two SkS articles:

Operative paragraph #1:

For more details about the Ordovician glaciation and related issues, the website Skeptical Science has an excellent overview. And for a broad overview of  CO2’s role in Earth’s climate over geological history, check out this lecture by Richard Alley, a renowned Penn State geoscientist:

The first link embedded in the above paragaph is to the SkS rebuttal article, Do high levels of CO2 in the past contradict the warming effect of CO2?

Opeartive paragraph #2:

This general picture leaves out some important details, such as the role of fresh water flowing into the oceans as ice sheets melt. A 2012 study led by Jeremy Shakun, now a Boston College climatologist, examined some of these details. Skeptical Science posted an excellent explainer about the results here. But the upshot of the study was this: “While the orbital cycles triggered the initial warming, overall, more than 90% of the glacial-interglacial warming occured after that atmospheric CO2 increase.”

The link embedded in the above is to the SkS blog post article, Shakun et al. Clarify the CO2-Temperature Lag by Dana Nuccitelli, April 10, 2012 

SkS Spotlights...

 CIEL Logo

Since 1989, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) has used the power of law to protect the environment, promote human rights, and ensure a just and sustainable society. CIEL seeks a world where the law reflects the interconnection between humans and the environment, respects the limits of the planet, protects the dignity and equality of each person, and encourages all of earth’s inhabitants to live in balance with each other.

CIEL pursues its mission through legal research and advocacy, education and training, with a focus on connecting global challenges to the experiences of communities on the ground. In the process, we build and maintain lasting partnerships with communities and non-profit organizations around the world.

Video of the Week...

Arctic Permafrost Thaw Looks Alien, Accelerates 

Arctic Permafrost Thaw Looks Alien, Accelerates, Climate State, Mar 16, 2018

Coming Soon on SkS...

  • John Kelly shut down Pruitt’s climate denial ‘red team,’ but they have a Plan B (Dana)
  • Developing countries need fossil fuels to reach the standard of living we enjoy, right? (Katharine Hayhoe)
  • Our leaders need to learn not everything is zero sum (Joe Robertson)
  • The Carbon Brief Interview: Dr Bill Hare (Leo Hickman)
  • New research this week (Ari)
  • 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12 (John Hartz)
  • 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12 (John Hartz)

Poster of the Week...

2018 Poster 11 

SkS Week in Review... john Hartz

97 Hours of Consensus...

97 Hours: Wally Broecker 


Wally Broecker's bio page and quote source

High resolution JPEG (1024 pixels wide)

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Printable Version  |  Link to this page


Comments 1 to 21:

  1. A warmer and wetter world will likely increase the decay of untreated or lightly treated building timber, due to more favourable conditions for fungal infections.

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  2. Some parts are getting warmer and wetter, but I live in South Africa and it is getting warmer and drier in Cape Town. I also notice that gas and oil exploration are going ahead in grand style. The only solution seems to be to take carbon dioxide out with massive rain enhancement and growing of trees, etc, in deserts. One of my rain enhancement ideas is this and I have written to newspapers about it:  I am proposing the use of floating spray pumps, operated by wave motion, to humidify air that would be blown ashore with sea breezes. Example for Cape Town: Say each pump costs R100 000 and they are placed 50 metres apart to form a 2000 m by 500 m grid (about 400 pumps). The total cost would be about R 40 000 000 (40 million Rands). This is a relatively small amount compared to the cost of the drought.
    My reasoning is this: The sea (with a high emissivity of roughly 0.93) radiates about 400 W of heat energy per square metre if sea temperature is about 18 deg C. Often the sea temperature is a lot higher than the air above the sea at night. Now on clear nights this radiation can go straight through to space if it has wavelength between 8 and 14 microns (atmospheric window). However water in spray mist is not water vapour and it can absorb 8 to 14 micron energy and heat up, so you will get warm moist air if you use spray above the sea. About 37% of all radiated energy from the sea is energy with wavelength between 8 and 14 microns and water in mist captures this radiation very well because the absorption coefficient is around 1000 per cm (intensity of the radiation drops to 1% of the initial intensity within 0.046 mm of penetration of water). So we have extra heat to humidify and warm air if we use spray pumps.
    Eddie Miller

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Excessive repetition including promoting personal website snipped. Excesive repetition is prohibited by the SkS Comments Policy.

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can be rescinded if the posting individual treats adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.


  3. Swayseeker @2, you claim that 400 pumps would lead to enough rain and enhanced plant growth to extract all the CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels. You have not provided any evidence. Neither have you as an alternative stated a lesser number for CO2 extraction (maybe 25% of emissions), and with any supporting evidence.

    Your comments on water mist make sense more or less but don't answer this key question.

    To extract all additional atmospheric carbon requires vast areas of new forestry plantations of about 25% of land area, according to experts who have looked into this issue. You want to grow these on land thats currently useless for anything, because they are arid, by increasing rainfall, so clearly you would need very substantial increased rainfall over millions of hectares.

    Somehow I dont think 400 pumps will be sufficient for that task. Prove me wrong with maths.

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  4. Once again you have forgotten that it is the degraded grasslands rather than forests that sequester carbon long term in quantities sufficient to mitigate AGW.

    Fix the grasslands and C4 photosynthesis is double the efficiency as C3 photosynthesis in trees. Furthermore, in temperate zones when trees lose their leaves many C3 grasses are still at work fixing carbon.

    Fixing carbon is not the same as sequestering carbon though. It does no good if it returns right back into the atmosphere as CO2 during the decay process. Here again grasslands have the big advantage. Trees put their fixed carbon mostly into the leaves branches and woody trunk. All above ground and easily returned to the atmosphere durring rot. Grasslands instead put the majority of their fixed carbon deep into the soil where it is far less susceptible to decaying into CO2. So as much as 40% of the products of photosynthesis become sequestered into deep geological timeframes of thousands of years.

    Grass starts by fixing as much as double then then sequesters an even greater % of that higher rate into the soil. There is no compareson.

    Lastly, grasslands have a much lower albedo than forests. 3 strikes and you are out of here. Why all this effort talking about the impossible when the solution has already been known for decades? Doesn't fit into your preconceived agenda? Or what?

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  5. Red Baron @4, while I support the idea of grasslands soil sinks, please stop telling me what you think I should be saying. The point at issue was rainfall, not an evaluation and exposition of ideal soil sinks.

    I only have so much time to post comments and I can't deal with everything in one post. I dont mind criticism of my views at all, but if I'm going to be constantly nagged, told what to say, or personally criticised,  I'm happy to not bother with this website at all.

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  6. Rainfall is exactly what we are talking about! You keep forgetting how this effects infiltration and holding of water!

    Effect of grazing on soil-water content in semiarid rangelands of southeast Idaho

    Mitigates the effects of flooding too. Of course trees can do both too, but yet again much less effectively.

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  7. RedBaron @6, you are missing the point, and you know it. I was focusing on pumps and rain, as opposed to forests versus grasslands or whatever. Perhaps I should have said "vegetation".

    I always try to raise awareness of the grasslands issue when I remember to, but that's your department and area of specialisation. Maybe this website could do an article on the issue at some stage. Thank's for the link.

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  8. @ Nigelj

    My initial comment was directed at this quote, "The only solution seems to be to take carbon dioxide out with massive rain enhancement and growing of trees, etc, in deserts." It wasn't even made by you. Not sure why you in particular got offended.

    It is still the grasslands that will do the work of sequestering carbon. That is in particular one major ecosystem function of a grassland. Forests have important ecosystem functions too, just not that one in particular.

    C4 grasses are double the efficiency at photosynthesis, then after fixing double the rate of CO2, they then sequester many many times more of that larger quantity of carbon long term in the soil.

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] For future reference, please specify the person/comment that you are reponding to.  

  9. Red Baron @8  yes I said that about forests, but I wasn't promoting trees as such. Like I said my mind was on pumps and rain and I mentioned forests only because the other writer did! 

    I do agree grasslands appear to be the better carbon sink overall than trees from the weight of evidence. I think grasslands in combination with no till agriculture makes sense practically, because it's reasonably permanent, where tree planting is already under constant threat from logging companies, and this will not get less given population pressure.

    However, some land will not suit grazing, and may be better planted in trees. More tree planting is possible as hedgerows and shelter belts, and in urban areas, and as fruit trees combined with crops (theres a term for this but I have forgotten). 

    I tend to look at things holistically,  and in terms of connections and mutually supportive possibilities.

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  10. Red Baron @8, oh I thought you were referring to me. Ok, I understand now.

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  11. @Red Baron:

    Can you link some evidence to estimate the relation of grasslands and forests?

    I do not have much knowledge on the issue, but found this source from the australian government, which disagrees with your claim:

    It might be the case, that this depends upon the special australian ecosystems.

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  12. LINK

    michael sweet and nigelj,

    I cannot remember on which thread we were discussing how much of the US energy needs could be supplied by wind and solar power.  My understanding is that the most recently weekly news site is the preferred location.

    Here is an interview with Paul Denholm, a lead researcher at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), who expresses the opinion to the interviewer David Roberts at that "around the coffee table" their general estimate is that wind and solar can provide 80% with the balance probably being supplied by natural gas (he does not think existing US nuclear is safe enough to provide backup variable power).  NREL (with Denholm as the lead) provided the modelling to CAISO, the operator of the California energy grid, regarding what capabilities wind and solar power could provide, so this view comes with some experience.

    I think both of you will find it interesting.  Hope this meets the moderator's test of relevance for this website. :)

    PS  Tried to post the url at this location rather that at the top but unsuccessfully.

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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Link shortened

  13. NorrisM@12,

    The undeniable requirement is for the current generation to stop creating more challenges, costs and harm for future generations, or at least limit impacts to a 2.0 C increase of global averrage surface temperature. Nobody has offered up any substantial justified new information to change that robustly established emergent truth, and it is highly unlikely that anyone ever will.

    One question comes to mind. If the USA will 'end up at' 80% renewable and 20% natural gas power supply, if that is 'the best that can be done', what happens to the USA after the natural gas is done?

    Setting aside that thorny questionable future, to achieve the required corrections of what has developed to date all of the richest clearly need to be 'compelled/motivated to responsibly lead the required correction, at their expense'. That means the richest redirecting their efforts and investment into sustainable activities, even if it means a perceived loss of personal wealth because unsustainable perceptioins are just that - unsustainable. That means none of the richest making a penny from the activities related to the 20% burning of natural gas. It also means the richest paying for the non-profitable removal of CO2 from the atmosphere at the rate required to neutralize the impacts of the burning of natural gas, plus the rate to keep the temperature impact of increasing CO2 to 2.0 C and bring it back down to 1.5 C.

    That is understandably what is required. Eventually getting to 20% burning of fossil fuels for power, and claiming that a slow creep towards that objective is the 'best that can be done', is only proof that the reluctant among the richest do not deserve their developed perceptions of wealth or power.

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  14. Norris @12, yes the Vox article and interview is definitely useful. I was aware of all these issues in general terms, but not all the details. 

    I see the issue this way fwiw. Jacobsen thinks a 100% renewable grid is already practically economically feasible, and for all I know he may be right.However put that aside for now as one view ( a very good view).

    The article appeared to say an 80% renewable grid is feasible practically and economically at roughly current prices and state of knowledge. Imho thats enough to make large inroads into addressing the climate issue, even if it isn't perfect, and I feel that is sufficient justification to proceed.  And its not unreasonable to assume the economics and practical options on both supply and storage will improve towards 100% over time. It's enough to enable society to confidently embrace renewables.

    While gas fired plant is not ideal, if it comprises just 10 - 20% of peaking supply, it may at that level of use be feasible to bury the CO2 emissions underground. Are you smiling? I suspect you are smiling at least a little.

    I honestly think the nuclear option is in the hands of the engineers.  They need to come up with new alternatives that are quicker to build and less reliant on difficult to access materials. The safety issue is complex, because you can argue logically that even with accidents nuclear energy causes fewer deaths "per capita" overall than coal for example and perhaps even some formms of renewable energy. However its a public perception issue of the dangers, and the only workable answer might be that the nuclear industry need to somehow get this across to the public, and also come up with safer systems to improve confidence and public acceptance.

    I don't care if significant parts of the solar or wind supply are "curtailed" given its  cheap power, and this is done already with conventional energy supplies.

    Anyway it was indeed an interesting article.

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  15. @11 Liberator,

    Yes, there are several flaws in the paper you posted. Primarily the mistake being made is conflating fixed carbon with sequestered carbon. All plants fix carbon. Trees do in fact have more biomass. However this is not the same as sequestering carbon out of the rapidly cycling short carbon cycle and entering the long term carbon cycle (geological time frames of stability) Grasses have less biomass than trees but higher efficiency rate of photosynthesis. Where does all that extra products of photosynthesis end up? Deep in the soil where a much higher % is SEQUESTERED  into deep geological time through soil building.

    Two great papers by Dr Gregory J. Retallack regarding this ecosystem function of the grasslands compared to forests which cycle carbon relatively rapidly. (through fire and decay)

    Cenozoic Expansion of Grasslands and Climatic Cooling

    Global Cooling by Grassland
    Soils of the Geological Past
    and Near Future

    Dr Christine Jones ran multiple 10 year CSIRO case studies on the rate at which properly managed grasslands and agricultural land can sequester CO2 into the soil. The average measured sequestration rate over 10 years was 5-20 tonnes CO2/ha/yr (yes there were even higher in some cases which were thrown out as outliers.)[1]

    A couple good layman's explanations of Dr Jones' work can be found here:

    Why pasture cropping is such a Big Deal

    Technical Brief: The Liquid Carbon Pathway

    Pasture Cropping: A Regenerative Solution from Down Under

    There is confirming evidence all over the world, this is not just a phenomenon of Australia.

    Here is just one confirming increases of grasslands' sequestration rates simply by changing management strategies in Texas. Falls right in the middle of the ranges Dr Jones found.

    Grazing management impacts on vegetation, soil biota and soil chemical,
    physical and hydrological properties in tall grass prairie

    I already posted the study from Idaho showing increased soil moisture levels associated with proper grassland management.

    Here is another layman's explanation of how it works:

    How to fight desertification and reverse climate change

    Here is a couple white papers for policy makers, one written by me, the other by Dr Richard Teague:


    Can we reverse global warming?

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  16. Norrism2,

    The Vox article only discusses renewable electricity.  The Jacobson articles and Connolly's Smart Energy Europe discuss 100% of all power used.  Connolly, which I started referring you to because you do not like Jacobson, found that as more of the economy is converted to electricity it is possible to get much greater penetration of wind and solar.  They discuss the problems that are discussed in the Vox article.  If you read the references I give you than the Vox discussion would not be news.

    Connolly found that as more sectors of the economy become electrified more renewable energy can be used.  They propose using electrofuels (the conversion of CO2 into methane or other carbon fuels using renewable energy) to supply the storage energy.  Jacobson's plan is similar using hydrogen instead of electrofuels.

    In 100 years oil, coal and gas will run out.  Surely you do not think civilization will collapse then.  We all expect this problem to be solved.  Why don't we just solve it now since it has to be done in the end?

    The Vox article appears to try to preserve as much of the current system as possible for political reasons.  As more and more renewable energy is built it will not be economic to preserve fossil fuels.  Currently nuclear and coal are no longer economic.  Once a proper carbon fee is implemented all renewable will become the cheapest option (or possibly earlier, solar is cheaper than gas in some places now).

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  17. michael sweet @ 16

    Thanks.  This time I have downloaded the Connolly paper and will read it when I have some time. 

    Finally the essay on sea levels which I was waiting for on another website has now been published.  It had nothing more specific on the Nerem 2018 paper so I probably will not raise any more questions on that paper.   

    The question of rising sea levels and the amount of acceleration we have seen since 1993 is so complex that I think all I can do is set out what a non-technical person has absorbed listening to both sides but I promise to have technical citations or IPCC references for anything (most of what) I say.

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  18. NorrisM:

    When you're ready, a search (box in the upper left corner) for "sea level" will provide several threads where such a discusssion would be best placed. Top candidates are:

    Sea level is not rising   [You likely won't argue against that]

    Sea level rise is decelerating    (Ditto)

    Sea level rise is exaggerated.   (If you argue the data is poor)

    Sea level rise predictions are exaggerated.   (Ding, ding, ding, ding!)

    You may also wish to go over this post at RealClimate.

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  19. Bob Loblaw @ 18

    I have to admit this is pretty daunting.  I somewhat have a feeling of someone in the trenches being asked to "go over the top" into the machine gun fire!  I really should keep out of this because it is so technical.  But by the end of the weekend, I will take a shot at it (excuse the pun).

    I would be interested in your thoughts on the Judith Curry most recent posts IV and V on sea level rise.  I think JCH has done a pretty good job of responding, especially his summary of sea level rises 1900 to 1990, then the various shorter periods of the last 20 years, last 10 years and last 5 years.

    I have now read your last reference at RealClimate.

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  20. NorrisM @19 , with your permission, I will jump into the fray also — with an overview.

    Judith Curry's recent articles on sea level rise exhibit typical Curryism.  She provides, at first glance, an impressively erudite summation of the field of (modern) sea level rise.  It is a complex area.  She quotes from the IPCC and and other sources, and in effect she states that somewhere in the region of 40 - 60% of recent MSL rise is clearly anthropogenic (from AGW).

    But there are three facets of Curryism here : 

    1.  Although the mainstream scientists know that around 100% of modern rapid global warming is caused by human activity (including more than simply CO2 effects) . . . this fact does not suit public acknowledgement by Dr Curry and her agenda.  Her clientele wish to hear that only a very minor part ( or none !! ) of global warming is caused by CO2 emissions — and to hear that AGW itself is a very small and temporary effect and will never amount to more than a limited inconvenience.  (And preferably hear that today's slight/insignificant warming is merely the result of "natural variability" . . . such as a 1000-year or 2400-year cycle, or the AMO and/or a Stadium Wave and/or due to ABC [Anything But Carbon] ).

    Dr Curry therefore presents her case in a way that implies that the very reasonable conclusion of 40 - 60% human attribution for sea level rise, must (by implication) point to AGW being far less than 100% human . . . and that therefore the mainstream scientists have gotten it wrong about warming.   Curry is happy to strongly hint, but never state that explicitly.

    2.  Another typical Curryism, is her careful avoidance of the bigger picture.   Readers who read her without making any effort to notice what she has avoided saying, will feel that she is giving a fair, balanced and dispassionate presentation.   But taking a longer historical view of sea level, one sees that Curry is restricting her comments to the narrow case of the recent century or so (and she prefers to draw the focus toward 1950 and later).  In that narrow window it is indeed possible to make a defensible case that cycles [however dubious] plus contributions from solar variability, the AMO, volcano eruptions, or other natural variability . . . can explain around half of [recent] sea level rise.

    But on the multi-century / multi-millennial scale, her explanations are twaddle.

    3.  NorrisM, you may also notice how very carefully Dr Curry delineates the various time-segments through the 20th Century up to 2017.  And she wishes to suggest validity of the post-1998 "Pause" in surface temperatures (and to minimize or not even mention the continuing oceanic heating).  And she places the last few years of high spike in surface temperature, in a separate post-Pause category . . . caused by the "super-Nino" (without acknowledging that it's an ongoing warming problem, not just an El Nino fluctuation).

    All very selective, all very denfensible in a court of law . . . yet at the same time rather obviously intended to mislead the unwary reader.


    NorrisM, if you have time, take a further read through the comments columns at the foot of Dr Curry's articles.  I confess to finding them quite entertaining — I usually skim through the repetitive nonsense coming from most posters there.  But yes you are right, JCH is usually fairly well on the ball, if rather short-tempered.  Nick Stokes is always worth reading, and provides genuine science.   And there is the admirable calmness of JimD as he continually puntures the nonsense of posters like "ABC" Ellison and the slightly less crackpot-ish Javier.  All good fun, but sadly illustrating the insanity of some of the tolerably intelligent sections of the human population.

    Also entertaining, NorrisM, is the way that on Curry's Climate Etc, the denialists who are scientifically/mathematically literate "medium crazies" have to keep turning around and putting down the "ultra-crazies" who come out repeatedly with way-off-planet ideas (ideas which are nevertheless still extremely common in the common ruck of denialists).  You hardly ever see that with the posters at WhatsUpWithThat . . . where craziness & anger run rampant continuously.

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  21. NorrisM:

    In deference to other parts of my life, I try to restrict my blog time to reading blogs that help me learn things. Judith Curry's blog does not fall into that category, for reasons that include what Eclectic stated in his response.

    When you post (on the selected/appropriate thread), instead of feeling that you have to present or defend a particular position, focus on outlining what you do understand, describe what you don't, and ask questions to help understand.

    You're not a lawyer trying to argue a case against an opponent. The idea here is to be a participant in a discussion where ideas are shared and a common understanding is the desired outcome. It is the ideas that will be put in the line of fire, not you.

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