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Comments 1 to 50:

  1. New research, December 3-9, 2018

    Thank you Ari.

  2. Little Ice Age? No. Big Warming Age? Yes.

    There are two important points about the relationship between Global Warming and Solar Activity. Lots of deniers, for some reason, claim that Global Warming is caused by increased Solar Activity, but we know that the sun has been slightly "cooler" than normal for the past few decades, so obviously this explanation for the recent warming is eliminated. But the important part of the story is that the sun is doing us a temporary favor, and being kind to us as we continue to pile on the CO2 blankets. But this will not last, and the return of an active, occasionally angry sun will just add to the heat. Which won't help at all...

  3. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #50

    As far as it goes, the Paris Accord us a good beginning but among the questions it did not address was how we will handle a population increase of 2 billion by 2050, or the effect of that increase on the environment and greenhouse gas emissions. We need to curb population growth now – or be prepared to see a large portion of that increase perish due to lack of essential amenities.

    More importantly – and pressing – is the need to independently monitor the source of our greenhouse gas emissions because the time will come – in the not too distant future – when it may become necessary to impose international trade and financial sanctions on those responsible for the highest emissions.

    The alternative is to accept the ‘inevitability’ of global warming which triggers destructive climate change, impairment of carbon sinks and uncontrollable methane emissions from the Arctic. Either countries like Russia and China, India and the USA reduce their carbon emissions in a timely manner to levels which avoid such threats or they are compelled to do so.

    My guess is that resort to sanctions will not be necessary once the effects of dangerous climate change are observed. Unfortunately it may then be too late to avert their further development, resulting in catastrophic outcomes. So, the sooner major emitters are ‘encouraged’ to rapidly reduce their emissions and control population growth, the better.

  4. New research, December 3-9, 2018

    Hello blatz, there is no place that lists all the papers. There are thousands of scientific journals, most of which can publish a climate/climate change related paper occasionally. I use a RSS feed reader where I have set up new paper feeds of close to hundred journals. If you want to see more, my suggestion would be that you should set up RSS feed reader with your own selection of journals.

  5. Explainer: Why some US Democrats want a ‘Green New Deal’ to tackle climate change

    The other issue is things like universal health care and better minimum wages might be 'socialist' but most countries have such policies, basic human welfare is important,  and they are popular in America with the majority public according to polling. Its only the GOP that oppose them on principle and gerrymander electoral districts and get up to other tricks to push their own policies against the wishes of the majority. At some point the Democrats have to stand up to all this, or they are nothing.

  6. Explainer: Why some US Democrats want a ‘Green New Deal’ to tackle climate change

    Alonerock @2, good list. Thank's for mentioning population. If we don't meet Paris goals, and we are stupid enough to still be burning fossil fuels, it will help if population stops growing and falls. Ideally I think we should aim as an immediate priority to get the fertility rate down to something like 1.5 - 2 so a bit below replacement rate. It won't make much difference by 2050, but the difference by 2100 is profound with population trending down in absolute terms. 

  7. Explainer: Why some US Democrats want a ‘Green New Deal’ to tackle climate change

    Red Baron, I understand your point of view and believe me I have wondered the same about the wisdom of linking environmental and social policies. I'm a political centrist and pragmatist.

    However heres the issue that is making me reconsider. The GOP has a history of  opposing everything and anything the Democrats have suggested on climate change (and everything else) unless it involves cutting taxes and other Republican beliefs.

    The GOP opposed all Obamas climate policies with or without social programmes attached. The Democrats have ended up watering their ideas down so much to try to please the GOP they end up standing for  nothing. This was Hilarys problem. I think they have given up in frustration, and are going for everything they want adding a few things they know they may have to compromise on, hoping to get something close through the senate.

  8. Explainer: Why some US Democrats want a ‘Green New Deal’ to tackle climate change
    • "Making “green” technology, industry, expertise, products and services a major export of the US, helping other countries transition to carbon-neutral economies.
    • Provide all members of society a job guarantee programme to assure a living wage job.
    • Basic income programmes and universal health care."

    This is where Democrats shoot themselves in the foot every time, and why US has such pushback. They have never put forth a workable plan and even this one can't work, because they insist on using AGW as a tool to make completely unrelated major socialist changes to the US economy.

    In many of my conversations with denialists, it always comes up ultimately. First they try to deny AGW. But at some point it becomes a socialist plot, ot a communist plot, or a Chinese plot, or a Russian plot, or Al Gore's destroy the US form of capitalism and substitute socialism.

    And there it is yet again...... universal health care and various socialist  welfare programs attached directly to AGW mitigation strategy.

    As long as the democrats continue with unworkable plans like this, the rest of the country will be fighting them tooth and nail.

    In the good side, at least they finally figured out we must sequester carbon. That oversite on previous plans made certain their plans were literally impossible to actually solve the problem. However, they still haven't figured out to stop attaching welfare programs to AGW mitigation.

  9. Explainer: Why some US Democrats want a ‘Green New Deal’ to tackle climate change

    A few non-scholarly comments regarding possible misunderstandings and potential solutions :

    Climate Change Denial
    Many people exhibit a complacent, if not an outright attitude of denial toward human-induced climate change. The following list contains many of the fundamental reasons behind this irrational behavior:
    -Ignorance of the complex science required to understand this serious, complicated issue.
    -Contradictory information disseminated by the media.
    -Misinformation distributed by politicians and scientific imposters with deep fossil fuel interests.
    -The threat is not immediate. It has been accumulating over a long period of time.
    -There exists no historical precedent with which to compare.
    -The cause is not derived from a specific, tangible enemy. Nearly all humans are collectively responsible for the problem.
    -There is a tremendous misunderstanding regarding temporal and spatial scales.
    -There is a failure of the experts to properly educate the public regarding the urgency of the problem.
    -There is little direct, noticeable impact.
    -Environmental problems are typically too disturbing and unpopular for the general public to address.
    -Why should one entity spend resources to reduce pollution when others that are contributing a far greater problem do nothing.
    -Many people have a passive attitude- expecting others to fix the problem.
    -Unclear links exist between costs to solve problems and the benefits.
    -Many elderly people do not care since they will not be around to experience the consequences.
    -There is a strong unwillingness of people in general to change their lifestyles or specifically, to sacrifice their perceived luxuries.
    -Lack of desire to participate and get involved at Local, Regional, State, National and Global levels which would provide or lead to exposure to other ideas and ways of looking at problems.

    Some potential Climate Change Solutions:
    The present state of climate conditions presents out society with complex, serious moral, social, environmental, economic and political issues unparalleled in history.
    The anthropogenically-induced climate problems are reversable if approached with wisdom in a timely fashion.
    This crisis will not be solved by 195 countries arguing over multiple issues. It can be best solved by the United States implementing important environmentally related regulations, which will ultimately force other countries to participate.
    This horrific problem has become so large, it has evolved into a tragedy of the commons in which others share or will share (future generations) in the cost, in addition to those who actually created the problem. Make no mistake, this climate change is not a liberal left or conservative right issue. It is a species survival issue. It is a species survival issue, including humans.
    If the grave finality of this crisis is to be solved, the following measures could be implemented in a timely fashion by the United States, in an effort to reduce energy consumption, improve energy efficiency, improve/expand existing clean energy sources and search for new clean energy sources, otherwise the problem will soon be irreversible and out of control for the next generation:
    -No couples should produce more than two children. Tax incentives/penalties can be used to encourage this concept. The penalties can be earmarked for R&D of clean energy.
    - The U.S. should implement a C-tax program. The solution is not simply for bigger government and increased taxes. Governmental officials, influenced by special interest groups and lobbyists, lack the knowledge or integrity for successfully managing such C-tax programs. This can be consumer driven. A large fee on fossil fuel businesses implemented at port of entry as well as domestic mines and wells would ensure that the fossil fuel businesses are paying their fair share for their cost to society. The taxes due to the increase at the pumps could then be distributed equally among all legal US residents annually. The wealthier people have a greater C-footprint and can afford the tax. The middle- and lower-class people will receive money back (which would likely exceed the taxes they paid in) which they can then spend and stimulate the economy. Likely, due to the rising cost of fuel, they would spend a substantial portion of the dividends on vehicles of increased efficiency, better insulation in homes, improved heating systems, more efficient appliances, etc. This would further drive R&D of businesses regarding improved energy as well as giving entrepreneurs incentive to invest is such endeavors while unleashing a huge faction of innovations in technology. Industries will compete far more aggressively with far improved results without “help” from the government. The differing prices of food, goods and services based on their C-footprint will cause a shift in what consumers purchase, so the market will drive a healthier and swifter result.
    Cap and trade, as some have suggested as a wise choice, would likely fail in its objective because it will enable rich businesses/nations to not reduce their emissions because they can afford otherwise. Furthermore, the cap and trade scheme cannot be implemented for all types of pollution (personal vehicles, home heating oil, etc.).
    -Huge tariffs must be placed on foreign imports for countries that do not engage in similar environmental policies as that of the United States. This will make competition fair and more importantly, create tremendous incentive for foreign countries (China, India, etc.) to reduce their C footprint as well. This will stimulate all markets/innovations, foreign and domestic.
    -Improved forestry and agricultural practices (i.e. no-till) must be encouraged.
    -Increase individual contributions; car-pooling, improved recycling/re-using, food waste reduction.
    -Support local framer’s markets and other businesses. Educate people from early age on.
    -Reduce travel, particularly air travel and reduce vehicle travel speed
    -Reduce meat consumption overall and eating larger percentage of wild game (deer, fish, turkey, etc.)
    -Sustain vehicles in good condition (tire pressure, tune-ups, filters, exhaust, etc.) and require vastly improved fuel mileage.
    -Reduce thermostat in cold months and limit air conditioning in warm months.
    -Insurance companies can influence climate-based decisions due to their cost from associated health problems (cardiac/respiratory etc.).
    -Law enforcement can influence climate-based decisions due to direct correlations between hotter temperatures and violence.
    -Implement zoning/planning regulations at local levels to encourage a smaller C-footprint; lights off at night in residences, encourage smaller houses, narrower driveways and roads, smaller lawns, reduce street lighting, lights off after business hours, etc.
    -Vote for politicians who have no fossil fuel interests and who care about issues rather than simply devoting their efforts into getting elected and then getting re-elected.
    -Get involved personally and participate at all levels. VOTE! Write senators, representatives, governors and presidents. Write articles in newspapers. Exercise consumer pressure. As Winston Churchill once suggested, if people do not have courage and participate, all of their other virtues are wasted.
    Surely many other wonderful ideas can be considered. We enjoy what we have today because of people who came before us who were wise stewards of the land. Likewise, we have an obligation to future generations. It is all about quality of life and leaving the place better than how we found it.

  10. Explainer: Why some US Democrats want a ‘Green New Deal’ to tackle climate change

    Ambitious but persuasive. Look at it in context. The ozone hole problem was simple, only really affected refrigeration and air conditioning and was resolved with a cap and trade scheme.

    The climate problem is complex, affects most of the economy, and requires multi layer solutions including mitigation, negative emissions and adaptation. It's very hard to see how you resolve all these issues with a singular stand alone mechanism like cap and trade or a carbon tax. Inevitably you need a top down lead government plan that combines several mechanisms.

    However without a price on carbon, measures would be ad hoc and arbitrary. and I think theres still a place for a carbon tax and dividend sort of scheme.

    In an ideal world I prefer market solutions, but its just not appropriate for the climate issue. In addition individuals wont do much until they see a concerted effort to transform the grid, and leadership from government and industry. It's human nature and individual economic rationalism.

    Funding can't really come out of taxation. The GOP have recently cut taxes and increased the deficit so the money isn't there. This has eliminated the ideal way of funding such a scheme. This has effectively been an attempt to limit governments ability to do anything, but all it really does is make it harder to fix the climate problem amongst other problems. So you are left with "quantitative easing" as was used for public works projects in the 1930's. Not ideal, but so be it.

  11. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #50

    I would be interested to know how long after a sustained drop, or levelling off  in emissions (say ten years) before this would show up in the keeling curve?

  12. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #50

    Don't mean to nitpick, but in the article "UN climate accord 'inadequate' and lacks urgency, experts warn" there is the statement, "The latest figures show carbon dioxide emissions are still rising." This is, of course, correct, but the more urgent message is that atmospheric CO2 concentrations are not just increasing, but they are accelerating upwards. In time the oceans will likely begin taking up less carbon and the biosphere will begin releasing more carbon as positive feedbacks kick in. So although agreements are written to regulate emissions, those interested in monitoring how we're doing should use atmospheric CO2 levels as a better metric of how we're doing, because in the end analysis it is CO2 concentrations that will determine how climate changes, and not emission rates. I realize that the only things we can effectrively regulate are emissions, but because scientists themselves are uncertain about ocean uptake rates and the point where positive feedbacks will kick in, we must always be looking at the Keeling curve (curve of atmospheric CO2 concentrations) as an indication of just how well we're doing.

  13. New research, December 3-9, 2018

    I really enjoy seeing these posts every week.  Thanks!  This is a "selection" of papers.  Is there anywhere online that lists ALL of the papers released?  Somewhere I don't need to pay. 

  14. Climate Change Cluedo: Anthropogenic CO2

    alonerock @69,

    It may be worth further clarifying what is meant in the OP Item 3 by:-

    "Indeed, growth in atmospheric emissions probably has not exceeded anthropogenic emissions since the early 1880s, approximately the time anthropogenic emissions reached the equivalent of 0.45 ppmv of atmospheric concentration"

    The early 1880s saw a period of volcanic activity which affected the natural carbon cycle for some years. Ice core data shows CO2 levels rising annually at rates above 0.5ppm(v)/year for half a decade and this cannot be attributed to mankind as the emissions from all anthropogenic sources were less than that level. Thus the high CO2 increase in the 1880s cannot be attributed wholly to anthropogenic sources & the argument of Item 3 only applies post-1880s.

  15. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    I wish someone would explain how a trade imbalance of a surplus of imports over exports is a bad thing. I mean it doesn't appear to be hurting America, and looks like a win win for them. I would be more concerned if its the other way around. The White House appears full of economic numb skulls. I would also be more concerned about the federal deficit.

    Unfortunately exporting coal also puts America in the group of countries with some climate change policies (those that have survived under Trump) who export their climate problem. Just seems like a fiasco to me.

  16. Climate Change Cluedo: Anthropogenic CO2

    Excellent! Thanks very much for your clearification. I was confused because I would consider atmospheric emmissions as anthropogenic emissions. My apologies. My expertise is biogeochemistry and Holocene forsest ecology dynamics of the Central New Hampshire Region and as such, the climate change issue is of grave concern to me concerining abundance and distribution of species- so much so, that I have about 200 pages addressing it in one chapter of my book I have been writing for the past 20 years based on document, field and parol evidence of in excess of 500 sites I am studying.

    The massive inertia of the ocean appears to be a serious problem for which naysayers do not account, enabling a huge lagtime for consequences. They will someday learn, nature bats last.

    This is some non-scholarly text that I recently wrote for our local paper concerning climate change that you might enjoy:

    Real Eyes Realize Real Lies
    The True Story of Climate Change, Part I
    Historically, the natural changes in global climate have occurred at rates that enable species to either survive by adapting, evolving, or relocating, or in the case of extreme events, species perish. With extinction comes consequences of reduced biological diversity and many other ecological problems.
    The biological species that live on Earth are able to do so largely in part due to many complex biogeochemical relationships which include the precarious balance of energy coming into Earth from the Sun with that of the heat radiated back out into space.
    Irrefutable scientific evidence indicates that commencing with human activities associated with the the industrial revolution, there has been an anthropogenic induced trend of more energy coming in to Earth than is being radiated back out into space. Until this energy balance is restored, the planet will continue to warm, and will do so at a non-typically increased rate.
    The major reason for present climate warming is the elevated level of atmospheric CO2, which has not existed at current levels for in excess of 600,000 years. Destructive events associated with continued increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations will include continually increasing global temperatures, increased intensity and frequency of storms and wildfires, increasing drought and flood events, rise in sea level and if carrying on business as usual, a mass extinction of species.
    The climate change issue is a grave inter-generational matter in which the present generation, through their current production of comparatively inexpensive fossil fuel emissions, benefit briefly, while burdening future generations with the long-term negative and perhaps irreversible destructive ecological effects resulting largely from an irresponsible, decadent behavior.
    The climate change issue is clouded by misinformation. The confusion stems largely from ignorance or greed. Most non-scientists lack the time, desire or ability to acquire a collective in-depth knowledge of chemistry, biology, physics, geology, botany, mathematics, oceanography, thermodynamics and meteorology which form the basic foundation necessary for understanding climate change. In recent decades, due to ignorance or dishonesty, the issues have been in many cases, tragically corrupted into a political tool to promote many socio-ecological failures involving concepts of world government, denial of problems associated with over- population and destruction of entire terrestrial ecosystems along with a re-distribution of wealth, all the while exhibiting a blatant disregard of long-term environmental consequences involving the burning of fossil fuels. Much of the misinformation peddled by scientific impostors and those of morally questionable economic interests or dark political agendas is carelessly accepted by people, many of whom lack the understanding, are unwilling to sacrifice their perceived luxuries, find the truth too disturbing to accept or fail to acknowledge a planet of finite resources and limited resilience. Such people often become easy prey for self-appointed climate change “expert” skeptics. Additionally, it is often difficult to get a person to accept the truth when their livelihood depends on denying it. The “American Dream” is in fact, largely based on the erroneous concept of unlimited natural resources.
    Furthermore, a great deal of confusion regarding the understanding of climate change results from comparing unrelated temporal or spatial scales of weather and climate or cherry-picking data to support a particular position as well as a general misunderstanding of terms or concepts. It is all about statistics/trends- not individual events. Make no mistake, the distribution of extreme events is swiftly shifting inward on the “bell-curve”. Additionally, the delayed response of the climate system in and of itself further clouds the grasping of the immediate, necessary concerns to be recognized by the present generation.
    Past global and national governmental “attempts” to successfully address the climate change issue have shared similar fates of failing miserably. The Clinton and Obama administrations were complete failures regarding this issue, as were the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Accord. Nothing but talk, half-measures, corruption or irrational concepts at various levels… Ironically, the Montreal Protocol, with its successful goal of reducing Freon emissions to save atmospheric ozone, likely did more to slow the problem of global warming than all other attempts combined.

    Many conservatives appear to be worried about a failing economy and filling their coffers while most liberals are more interested in grabbing money for themselves, their friends and their favorite failed social agendas. This climate change issue is however not a political issue and in the absence of radical change in the near future, will devastate all, regardless of political aspirations. There is hope and there is still time to fix the problems, however the clock is ticking.
    Suicidal policies of past executive and legislative branches of the United States are largely influenced by the fossil fuel industry and their influential lobbyists. Perhaps a wiser approach would be to address the matter through the U.S. Supreme Court based on language of the 5th Amendment of the United States Constitution of clearly challenging if not outright denying future generations of their “Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness”.
    The United States has always been and will always be the greatest political experiment to exist in the history of the world due to its foundation of documents which embrace the concepts of the celebration of the human spirit, freedom, and accountability.
    The United States, with many of the greatest minds in the world, has the ability to lead the world in a gradual shift toward cleaner energy which will lead to a stronger, stable economy and more importantly, a far improved environment. Anyone who thinks the economy is more important than the atmosphere should try counting their money while holding their breath.
    . Wendell Berry once stated: “Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory and a sterner sense of justice than that of man.”
    Anyone who thinks otherwise is gravely mistaken. Anthropogenically induced climate change is not a political issue. It is not a debate. It is a scientific fact. It is all about quality of life and leaving the place better than how we found it. We truly borrow the future from our children. Sometimes choices require sacrifice of perceived luxuries. We all have choices and those choices define us as a species.

    As Edmund Burke once suggested, “…evil prevails only if good men sit back and do nothing…”
    Similarly, Gene Brewer stated in his book, “K-Pax”; a purported “alien” warns humans of their accountability by stating, “...the Universe will expand and collapse on itself...repeating this process forever...and every mistake you will live through again and again forever, so my advice to you is get it right this time around, because this time, is all you have.”
    Perhaps the greatest legacy that this generation can pass on to the next is the acknowledgement that we “got it right with climate change.
    In conclusion, the Earth will survive regardless of what humans do to it. Its survival however, might not include humans.

    Tick-tock, tick-tock….

  17. Climate Change Cluedo: Anthropogenic CO2


    For #3:  Each year humans release into the atmosphere about 24 billion tons of CO2.  Those tons are the "atmospheric emissions of CO2".  At the end of the 2018 there will be about 12 billion more tons of CO2 in the atmosphere than there was at the end of 2017. 

    That means that the amount of CO2 that remains in the atmosphere is less than the amount of CO2 that humans emitted.  Since the amount of increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is less than the amount hmans emitted, all the increase in the atmosphere comes from the human emissions.

    The ocean absorbs and emits a lot of CO2 each year, much more than 24 billion tons.  That does not contribute to increasing atmpspheric concentration because we know all the increase comes from human emissions.  If fact, the ocean absorbs more CO2 from the atmosphere than it emits every year so it is a sink of CO2 and not a source.

    The mass balance is the accounting for all the CO2 emitted each year from every source and showing where it goes by the end of the year.  The amount emitted and the amount at the end of the year must balance.

    For #6, if the CO2 came from volcanoes no oxygen would be used up in generating the CO2 since the CO2 from volcanoes comes out of the volcanoes as CO2.  We measure that O2 in the atmosphere is decreasing.  This decrease of O2 is just the same amount that would be used to generate the 24 billion tons of CO2 that humans generate each year.  That shows that the CO2 in the atmosphere comes from burning fossil fuels and does not come from volcanoes.  Volcanoes only emit about 200 million tons of CO2 each year (1% of human emissions) source.

    Does that address your questions?

  18. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Poland?? forget it.  Same old same old result and now America plans to balance her trade imbalance with China by selling her a massive amount of coal. 

  19. Climate Change Cluedo: Anthropogenic CO2

    What does Tom mean by "atmospheric emissions of CO2" ? Is he referring to the portioin returned to the sinks? Can anyone please explain better to me his mass balance and declining O2 concentration concepts in his items #3 and #6 ? Thanks!

  20. Climate Change Cluedo: Anthropogenic CO2

    The link to the graphic at Item 6 in the OP is broken. I assume it is TAR Fig 3.1 that should be showing.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Link to IPCC TAR WG1 Fig 3.4 above updated.

  21. Climate's changed before

    alonerock @626,

    It would be better to put your enquiry on the thread below the OP by Tom Curtis. And note the list is followed by explanation of each item, although they do perhaps need a little effort to understand (& currently have a missing graphic for item 6).

  22. Climate's changed before

    Can somone please explain in great detail why  the mass balance (the annual CO2 concentration growth is less than the annual CO2 emissions) and the declining O2 concentration are both strong indicators of GW ? I was reading the post by Tom Currtis in 7/25/2012 and these were items number 3 and 6.

  23. Climate's changed before


    You claim that you are "semi-informed".  You are citing resources that are  at least 10 years out of date.  The current IPCC report is AR5 or the 2018 supplimental report.  Perhaps the discrepancy you notice is caused by SkS being up to date while your reference is out of date.

    You are clearly echoing some other web site you have read.  Can you cite and link that web site directly so that we can see the entire argument?  SkS probably addressed this myth in an OP 10 years  ago when it was first raised.  It will be easier for us to directly address the source instead of rehashing the argument again.

    When you claim to be semi-informed attacking consensus scientific orthodoxy ought be done with humility,  If the best you can find is a 10 year old web site that is no longer active you might want to reconsider how strong your argument is.

  24. Climate's changed before

    The IPCC figures mentioned @621 are:-

    IPCC AR4 Figure 8.14.

    IPCC AR4 Figure 8.15.

    The graphics linked @622 are reporduced by the denialist website climate4you from the now defunct International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project but discussion of these data would be best transferred to a more appropriate thread - SkS Could global brightening be causing global warming?

  25. Climate's changed before

    Ed @ 621/622 ,

    you don't really advance your case (whatever it is) by waving a rhetorical hand in the direction of Copernicus, Galileo, Einstein, and LeMaitre.

    Copernicus and Galileo were (strictly speaking!) representing the scientific consensus of their age (an age of very few scientists, indeed).   Their opponents (shall we label them denialists?) were a group of rich & powerful men (in the upper echelons of the Papal state) who supported an evidence-deficient position. Easy to see a parallel with the rich & powerful magnates of the upper echelons of the fossil fuel industry . . . plus c'est la meme chose.   Even more irony, in that the modern-day Pope denounces those same science-deniers.

    Einstein and LeMaitre advanced the physics/astrophysics science ~ but they did not trash the pre-existing body of science.

    # Attacking the consensus scientific orthodoxy [especially in climate matters] ought to be done with humility [and genuine skepticism], lest you join the ranks of the Dunning-Krugerites.


    "Uncertainty" about ECS (currently the most probable ECS figure being around 3 or 3.5 degrees) is an interesting scientific question ~ but in no way justifies delaying on decently fast transition to a nett-zero-emission economy.   After all, we citizens/voters/politicians/parents ought to be intensely practical in prudent risk-managing. 

    My apologies, but my little laptop is struggling to access "figure 8.14 and 8.15 of AR4 WG1".   Perhaps, Ed, you would be kind enough to upload those charts and explain how you think they undermine the mainstream position.

    Strangely, the same goes for Dr Humlum's "climate4you" illustrations.  (I have no difficulty accessing the WUWT and Climateetc websites.)   On the little I know of Dr Humlum: he has (scientifically speaking) a poor track record indeed.   * That is not to say he must therefore be wrong, on the cloudiness issue.  But it seems the somewhat-related "Iris Hypothesis" of Prof Lindzen has fallen flat on its face.  And on a second point: a "cloudiness drop" providing a warming forcing of "roughly 4 W/m^2" has much the same problem I mentioned above in post #619.D  . . . that if true, then there must also be some Unknown Mysterious Cooling Factor that nicely follows/matches the rising arc of CO2's warming forcing effect.   Which seems absurdly unlikely, if not quite impossible.

    (And which would leave only another 5 impossible things to believe before breakfast.)

  26. Antarctica is gaining ice

    PS: It's important to note that according to the above sources glacial meltwater isn't the only contribution of the geothermally warm area that affects sea level.  The meltwater essentially lubricates the accelerated motion of the ice flowing into the ocean.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] From Cazenave et al 2018, the various contributions to SLR from 1993-2015:


    And from 2005-2015:


  27. Antarctica is gaining ice

    Thanks David.  It's difficult to find any hard quantitative data.  I don't see much in the references you provide.  


    I did did a quick search and found a few more articles, one an actual journal paper with more recent information:

  28. Antarctica is gaining ice

    Ed @478, take a look at the comments at this SkS post from 2014: Ice Picks: Five pieces of ice news...

    You may want to look at the comments at a RealClimate post from the same time. Specifically this one (#179).

    The upshot is that not much of the melting in West Antarctica is due to geothermal heat flux.

  29. Antarctica is gaining ice

    Anyone hear anything about how much of the melting West Antarctic land ice is due to geothermal/volcanism versus the warming climate?  

  30. A Rough Guide to the Jet Stream: what it is, how it works and how it is responding to enhanced Arctic warming


    I see a link to a SWF file is now like:

    So the difference in safe (HTTPS) and unsafe (HTTPS) protocols is no longer the problem. But the site does not work with https. See:

    Thereby the flash movies still do not work, sorry.

  31. Climate's changed before

    The above-mentioned cloudiness data for your convenience:

    Correlation with temperature change:

    This is data is not being shared to divert topic, just to ask where it is included in the above-mentioned IPCC AR4 WG1 figures.

  32. Climate's changed before

    I've read the other myth-busting pages.  Lots of good information on many of them.  I hope to engage on some that appear deficient from my semi-informed perspective.  I have no dog in this hunt other than truth and scientific integrity.  I'm disappointed by the personal commentary that some se fit to include. 


    Defendping consensus scientific orthodoxy ought be done with humility, lest you join the ranks of the scoffers and naysayers who pilloried the likes of Copernicus, Galileo, Einstein, and LeMaitre.

    I'm not seeing lots of hard scientific evidence here on this myth-buster topic,  just mostly declarations.  Thus my posting.

    This myth-busting deals with natural climate variability, yes? Isn't the uncertainty about ECS exactly directly related to that?  It's wide range informed by some decadeal to millennial scale proxy temperature records—GISP2 stands out—would seem to indicate a significant uncertainty related to this topic, no?  That's the only intended point.

    Can anyone engaged hereing please explain the apparent certainty on the issue offered here on SKS relative to figure 8.14 and 8.15 of AR4 WG1?  

    Has anyone seen the NASA data showing significant decadal reduction in global cloudiness from around the 1980-2000 time frame, dropping from roughly 70% to 65% in two decades?  That drop in cloudiness corresponds with an apparent increase in global surface solar radiation of roughly 4 W/m^2.  

    Where is that addressed in the AR4 WG1 tally of radiative forcing information included in the aforementioned figures 8.14 amd 8.15?

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Baiting snipped.

  33. A Rough Guide to the Jet Stream: what it is, how it works and how it is responding to enhanced Arctic warming

    I have a hard time understanding what the tropopause is reading this article. It this not just the real story behind the existence of this phenomena?

    In other words: Isn't it just the bounady above which a parcel of air can only get above when it is (almost) completely dry? So any parcel of air that contains water vapour in any concentration will never have enough 
    buoyancy to get above that 'magic' boundary, right?

  34. Positive feedback means runaway warming

    Menschmaschine @113,

    It was suggested that you read coment #107 above but you plainly have not.

    A feedback system with a gain of g=1 or g>1 will cause a runaway situation. The feedback from a climate forcing is expected to triple an initial pertubation (ECS=3 with feedback, =1 wiithout) and this would therefore correspond to a feedback gain of g=0.6667. This is what @113 you call "the (at least implicit) position of the greenhouse modeling industry." There is no "proposed ... hypothetical mechanism to counteract" runaway climate change as for today's climate g<1 and a runaway situation thus cannot happen.

  35. Positive feedback means runaway warming


    Actually, as a natural climate change proponent I wholeheartedly agree that the "gain factor" of the water feedback loop is smaller than 1 - so much so in fact, that the amplification in practice is indistinguishabble from 1. So I am a bit at a loss how to discuss a purely hypothetical situation that I don't believe to be true. The concrete assumptions ("model") going into it would need to be spelled out, the article(s) here quite tellingly avoid to discuss the actual water vapor feedback case.

    But there are clear indications that any attempt to model a water vapor feedback loop that results in any significant amplification at all, would find it very hard to avoid it being of the runaway type. Note, for instance, the highly nonlinear water carrying capacity of air at different temperatures. The (at least implicit) position of the greenhouse modeling industry is certainly that a runaway feedback loop will happen - they have proposed a hypothetical mechanism to counteract it (See answer to DB)


    I am sincerely puzzled how you managed to so completely misunderstand the issue. Of course Hansen has backed off his claim, because it is actually highly damaging to his case. The point is this: The anthropogenic climate change adherents claim that there are powerful positive feedback loops prevalent in the global climate system, in particularly water vapor feedback (In contrast to natural climate change proponents that maintain that negative feedbacks dominate).

    But if the claims of the anthropogenic climate change adherents are true, then we should have a bipolar climate: Any small initial temperature change would lead to a runaway feedback loop until some maximum (or minimum) ist reached. If the maximum is high enough to completely destroy the current atmospheric system in a venus like scenario it will stay there. If it is not so high, another induced small initial temperature fall would lead to a drop to the minimum. Depending on the exact assumptions, the climate would either be permanently stuck in either the minimum or the maximum or it would bounce between the two extremes. In any case, only the minimum or the maximum temperature would be stable (or both semistable).

    This is very obviously not how the climate on earth works. Therefore, climate change adherents need to find some explanation why the feedback loop should stop before reaching its conclusion. The explanations on this site are, in the famous words of Pauli, "not even wrong", they simply don't address the issue.

    I actually found it surprisingly difficult to find the "official" explanation of the greenhouse modeling industry for such an important issue. It is supposed to work somehow like this: the models can be made to move warm air in the tropics to higher tropospheric altitudes, where energy is more efficiently radiated into space. This can be made to be dependent on the rate of warming by the water vapor feedback loop, therefore providing a means to counteract and stop it. By turning the knobs of the models appropriately, about any cutoff point desired can be selected, leading to the wide range of assumed amplification factors from 1.5 to 4. As obviously arbitrary, self serving and lacking in evidence as this hypothesis is, it is still better than the attempts here which, as I wrote, don't address the issue really at all. I suggest therefore to delete the current answers here and replace them with the "official" narrative.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please keep in mind that the burden of proof is on the claimant, you, to provide source citations for claims.  Simply making unsupported assertions is not how dialogue is kept in this venue.

    Moderation complaints snipped.

  36. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    How would you describe a country where every elected office is up for grabs to the highest bidder, where gerrymandering is rife, where avarice at all costs – including destruction of the environment - is lauded and where appointments to the Bench and Court decisions can be politically motivated?

    Would you say that country was the worlds’ leading democracy, the guardian of the ‘free world’ – the land of the free doing things in an exemplary ‘American Way’? Well no, it is none of those things. It is of course the USA to-day, a country increasingly derided for its practices and pretentions - a country which has inherited and sought to preserve the worst failings of 18th century Britain.

    Should we blame the GOP or Trump for this state of affairs? No. We should blame those who voted them into office, who so avidly support all that they espouse, all that is rotten and corrupt in America – and which has the potential to destroy climate stability, the economy and ultimately, human habitat and civilisation.

    Because science has failed to persuade the American electorate of the dangers posed by their support for GOP policies and practices, the task is left to climate change. As the severity and frequency of climate events increases, as the cost of damage they cause becomes prohibitive, as now seems inevitable, the electorate will opt for reform of the country’s worst excesses.

    The problem for America and the rest of the world is that by the time climate deterioration becomes so damaging as to force change in America, it may no longer be possible to stave-off catastrophic effects of climate change in other parts of the of the world.

    Bearing that possibility in mind, we should remember that the USA is not the worst contributor to growing climate instability. China is. So is Russia, India and some EU counties.

  37. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    And yes just to wrap this up, your denialist did have a sense of humour. A real comedian. Perhaps some of the denialism is  expressed as  making fun of science, or being antagonistic,  basically as attention seeking. I would say keep the jokes for "live at the apollo", and after smoking you know what.  

    But its the shifting of goal posts that really annoys me. So for example basically someone raises some sceptical point, and you counter it, they ignore your comment and raise another point, on and on until the end point is reached, which is usually inevitably "its all lies" or "its all a left wing conspiracy". In other words, they have a temper tantrum.

  38. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    EsaJii @10

    I have had a few similar conversations with denialists. It's very frustrating and goes on and on, and they keep moving the goal posts.

    I would sum it up by saying we all have some natural  healthy scepticism,  but scepticism is on a spectrum, and can morph into a form of lunacy. Some people are just antagonistic for the sake of it, or get influenced by political motives, and if they are not very smart this makes it a whole lot worse.

    Many denialists are a lost cause, but I respond sometimes in the hope I might convince one or two, or other people listening / reading and because its mentally stimulating. You like to practice finnish. All good I think.

  39. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    Nigel, I've spent years discussing all kinds of topics on the net in Finnish. The quality has gone down thru the years, but I do have a few places left, mainly to keep up my FInnish. These climate deniers are an annoying bunch, only one has a sense of humor.

    One discussion involved the typical handling of solar rays falling on the planet, watts per square meter etc. Then we add the radiation going back from greeen hous gases, as well as out to space. So not all goes back. One of them said I was cheating ( I quoted some article in English), as "now the sun is sending more than 100% of its radiation to the earth!" I made him then think of them as separate sources. One, the sun with visibel light. Two, a different source (working even at night), the green house gases. He got that much and half way agreed. So we get extra radiation to the surface. A day goes by. "What about the IR radiation, from those green house gases. Does that reflect back to the sky?" Me: Yes. "Well, you are cheating again, you are still going over 100%!". I gave up, I did not respond, half way guessing that this cycle would be small after a few iterations.

  40. Is Methane Worse than CO2?? | Climate Chemistry

    EsaJii@13. By definition, if a molecule gains an amount of energy that is higher than the average energy of surrounding molecules, it will transfer some of its energy to its neighbors so that on average, its energy returns to the average energy of its neighbors. Molecules are very generous. In fact, there is a constant redistribution of energy among molecules. There is no sense that a single molecule gains energy and keeps it for itself for a period of time exceeding something like 0.0000000000001 seconds.

  41. Positive feedback means runaway warming

    Hardly "mysteriously" stops. In a simply analogy water (and other climate) feedback has gain factor of less than one, so asymtophically reaches it limit.

    See comment 107 above.

  42. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    EsaJii @8, good comment. I thought you were a denialist yourself, just the way you worded a couple of things, but you are not.

    The interesting thing is temperatures have increased more in winter in some places,  and also at nights, as a general rule. This doesn't lessen the problem, but might make it less easy to perceive given we sleep through the night. However very hot nights are really bad for your health because the body doesn't shut down properly.

    I understand the reality in America that Republicans are determined to undo democrats policies. From what I have read they now appear to want to undo all the reforms going right back to the new deal. Seems absolutely crazy to me, and I'm not hard leftist, but thats just my opinion. Whats undeniable is it is not what the American people want according to numerous polls and its just not right to ignore the majority like that especially when theres no hard evidence to dismiss public opinion.

    Like you say things are more in the hands of the States. This might even be appropriate for some things, but it doesn't make so much sense for the environment, because environmental issues don't respect borders and having 50 different sets of standards is inefficient. In my country we are going in the opposite direction to one central government set of environmental standards, although it was a battle getting there, as the conservative leaning party preferred to leave it local.

  43. Positive feedback means runaway warming

    How exactly is this article "debunking" anything? Of course no one wants to indicate with "runaway feedback" that the warming/cooling will go on forever; Venus also stabilized at about 450°C. Remember, the claim by anthropogenic climate change enthusiasts is that the water vapor feedback only amplifies an initial temperature change by a specific factor of 1 or 2 and then mysteriously stops instead of going all the way to the maximum/minimum. I honestly fail to see how playing around with solar irradiance levels is going to show us how this feat is achieved.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB]  "no one wants to indicate with "runaway feedback" that the warming/cooling will go on forever"

    No scientist says that it will.  Even Hansen has walked back from that:

    "With the more realistic physics in the Russell model the runaway water vapor feedback that exists with idealized concepts does not occur. However, the high climate sensitivity has implications for the habitability of the planet, should all fossil fuels actually be burned.

    Furthermore, we show that the calculated climate sensitivity is consistent with global temperature and CO2 amounts that are estimated to have existed at earlier times in Earth's history when the planet was ice-free.

    One implication is that if we should "succeed" in digging up and burning all fossil fuels, some parts of the planet would become literally uninhabitable, with some time in the year having wet bulb temperature exceeding 35°C.

    At such temperatures, for reasons of physiology and physics, humans cannot survive, because even under ideal conditions of rest and ventilation, it is physically impossible for the environment to carry away the 100 W of metabolic heat that a human body generates when it is at rest. Thus even a person lying quietly naked in hurricane force winds would be unable to survive.

    Temperatures even several degrees below this extreme limit would be sufficient to make a region practically uninhabitable for living and working.

    The picture that emerges for Earth sometime in the distant future, if we should dig up and burn every fossil fuel, is thus consistent with that depicted in "Storms" — an ice-free Antarctica and a desolate planet without human inhabitants"

    Beyond that, it is quite well-established that water vapor is a feedback to temperature changes, and not a driver of them.

  44. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    "Well raise income tax or perhaps have an infrastructure levy so it actually funds basic infrastructure. Do you expect new infrastructure to appear out of nothing?"

    That sort of thinking seems to have fallen back into the last century. It now seems that 4 years is all Americans are willing to plan. The polticis here is sort of a pendulum of about 8 years. Whatever Democrats achieve is erased by the next Republican congress. On top of that, I live in a Red state and it took a state wide referendum to add for instance Medicaid expansion. The governor is still dragging his heels. As I mentioned the only progress we have on the environment is county or city level. 

    The statements I made about cars and the 2 degree guy are the denialists', and their level on understanding. "It does not feel warm" is what they are capable of. Bever mind that the winter has warmed more than summer in Finland. Every cold week in summer is followed by screams of "there is no warming." Most of them are found at this address, though I knew two from before that.

  45. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

     EsaJii @4

    "The problem seems to be that they cannot "feel it in their bones." My denialist "fiend" in Finland said exactly that. I asked him if he would be able to tell if it is -22C or -20C outside, just by standing outside. He had no answer. Right wingers have usually some small government preferece so studies paid for by any government as suspect."

    That's a misrepresentation of what global warming forced climate change will do. It's not a slight warming everywhere that has little discernible impact, it is an increase of the global average temperature that has catastrophic impacts at the local level.

    Like 86 people being killed by the Camp Fire and almost 20,000 buildings destroyed. It's killer heat waves that are ten times more common now and that can kill thousands. Or years long droughts that can help trigger wars that kill hundreds of thousands and send millions fleeing for their lives.

    As for your denier "friend" in Finland, it's not a slight warming he should be concerned about now. Due to the large amount of melting fresh water off the Greenland ice sheet, global warming is already desreceasing the ocean currents that warm much of northern Europe. While the rest of the world warms, places like Finland could experience a drop in temperature.

    What climate change means is chaotic weather conditions for decades or possible centuries that are already deadly.

    Pretty sure the humans who were vapourized by the intense heat of the Camp and other other fires felt it in their bones. And when half the North American continent is covered in smoke from fires tied directly to climate change and we're getting smoke here from wildfires in Siberia due to the same then how out of touch with reality itself do people have to be to not get the link and the risk.

  46. The Security & Sustainability Guide

    Article says: "A transition to “sustainability” is underway, but still at an early stage of development. The progress that has been made (e.g. wind and solar energy installations) is being offset or outmatched by ....( long list of daunting problems) . "

    This is a good paragraph. There is some evidence the younger generation are more environmentally aware than the older generation. Millennials are prioritizing 'experiences' over owning stuff. Family sizes are falling quite significantly, so population growth might decline faster than the quoted estimates. But obviously none of this will be fast enough to solve the climate problem so we need support for renewable energy, a carbon tax and dividend and related policies.

    The older generation are set in their ways, and get conservative and have memories of the cold war and communism , and associate environmentalism with creeping communism. The single greatest challenge might be to convince them that they are wrong, and that environmentalism is really just commonsense, and can be part of a free market private ownership economy.

  47. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    EsaJii @4

    "I mean there is enough detail for most voters to have made up their minds, so they no longer read techical articles."

    I do understand your point and its tempting to think that people do have enough detail, but it's not really the case surprisingly. Media coverage of climate change in America has been superficial and of variable quality, full of denialist propaganda.

    Climate change is badly taught in schools in America according to research.

    The level of igorance about climate science is huge as in this research.

    And what are you doing reading a technical article? And how would you know how many articles people read?

    "Even my Democrat friends (about 90% of the people I realte to) have put all of the Trump items as the top ones to "change back."

    Remember the electorate has expressed huge concern over his environmental policies as in my comment above so these might be at the top of the list to change back.

    "I asked him if he would be able to tell if it is -22C or -20C outside, just by standing outside. He had no answer. "

    Obviously nobody can reliably tell the difference between a couple of degress without a thermometer, but that won't stop ice sheets melting.

    " Right wingers have usually some small government preferece so studies paid for by any government as suspect."

    This is just a crazy attitude with all due respect. So what are they going to do, completely ignore science despite the fact it essentially powers their lives? ! Obviously studies by oil companies are virtually worthless because of massive conflict of interest.

    "They show how much CO2 is spent making one. I have no idea where these numbers come from as they do not show the calculations."

    Ever thought why they are reluctant to release calculations? It's possibly becuase the denialists attack them, make false allegations about them, cherrpick material out of context, nit pick, exaggerate problems, and cast yet more doubt. The denialist community are mostly not after the facts and are not interested in proper process or fair minded debate.

    "Taxes on carbon is an issue that seems to be postponed to the after Trump era"

    Why? The democrats control congress so it could be back on the agenda. Its going to depend on sentiment in the senate, and it could possibly go with a carbon tax. They don't know until they try.

    "Republicans that tax cuts for alternative energy are a good idea, especially for a business in their own state"

    This is a bad idea economically. Because of Trump's ill advised tax cuts that were never needed, America now has a balloning deficit and growing federal debt so more tax cuts are no longer feasible.

    "State income tax is so low that building power plants is a major drain on state funds. "

    Well raise income tax or perhaps have an infrastructure levy so it actually funds basic infrastructure. Do you expect new infrastructure to appear out of nothing? You need new roads and 21st century sustainable electricity generation as well as buying cars and expresso machines etcetera. Sigh.

  48. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    I can't think of another country that has greater renewable energy resources than Australia combined with a widely spread population that makes distributed energy sourcing a particularly attractive solution to their energy gerneration.  However they will be fighting an uphill battle unless they first sort out the one ring that controls them all.

  49. Philippe Chantreau at 04:18 AM on 14 December 2018
    Climate's changed before

    Ed says earlier in the thread "changes in solar behavior, volcanism, impacting comets and meteors, seismic activity, and who knows what else would be tough to rule out."

    Certainly not for recent times. None of these is a factor in the changes we are currently experiencing. Solar activity is actually lower now than it was in the late 20th century (see related threads where PMOD data can be found). Comets and asteroid strikes have a way of getting noticed. Even tiny nuclear weapon tests in North Korea can be detected by our seismological equipment. "Who knows what else" seems to be falling in the category of cosmic rays and Leprechauns (see applicable thread, except for Leprechauns), rather surprising from one who claims an extensive scientific background.

    Perhaps, like a lot of other people, Ed has difficulty accepting that we humans are responsible for a truly geological scale event. Going up in total atmospheric CO2 content by a 100 ppm within the 2ish decades since I started teaching weather for pilots is simply astounding, and a lightining fast geological freak event. Anyone who doesn't see that has a problem with quantitative thinking. Human activity releases about 100 times more CO2 per year than all volcanoes together (see applicable thread). If all of a suddent we started witnessing that kind of volcanic activity, year after year, there would be absolutely no doubt about its scope, consequences, and the urgency of the situation.

  50. Climate's changed before

    Ed the Skeptic @616 : you say you are not uninformed ~ yet you seem unaware of the absurdity of suggesting that the modern-day rapid global warming could be caused by "multiple cyclic peaks" of warming.   (e.g. Dr Curry's frequent "hints" that oceanic cycles are the majority cause of recent rapid warming, are similarly absurd.)

    The "multiple peaks" hypothesis is unphysical [=absurd] because:

    A.  Oceanic currents merely redistribute heat energy, giving negligible overall change through a full cycle.  (Unusual events, such as the Younger Dryas, produce a forcing feedback via albedo change ~ but that is not-at-all the case in the present circumstances.)

    B.  There is no evidence of significant positive [=planetary heating] effect from other cycles or Natural Variations that you mentioned, during the recent 50 years of rapid surface temperature rise.  And the real temperature rise is still going up steeply.

    C.  If the oceans were producing the observed surface heating, then there would be some consequent cooling of the upper ocean.  But actually the opposite is occurring ~ the oceanic water is warming [Oceanic Heat Content is increasing over many decades].

    D.  Even assuming that a "perfect storm" is presently existing ~ leads to the necessity of having a simultaneous Unknown Mysterious Cooling Factor which counteracts the known planetary warming effect of our recent atmospheric CO2 rise (and other GHG's).   Some Mysterious Cooling Factor that nicely follows/matches the rising arc of CO2.   Clearly absurd !

    Ed, our past climate change tells us global warming occurs when there is a reason causing the change.   The evidence is strong enough to indicate that we should abate the present [Greenhouse] cause.

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