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Comments 1 to 50:

  1. Spoiled ballots, spoiled views: an election snapshot from Powys, Wales, UK

    Slightly off topic but the Murdoch empire has done nothing for balanced reporting on global warming in Australia - I wonder if the papers mentioned are some of his.  This is just one article that points to data cherry picking by Murdoch.

    So I have no doubt that his writers/editors are picked because they agree with him.  There is also little doubt that his network on Australia influenced voters to "axe the tax'  ie the carbon tax at the last election.

  2. 2015 SkS Weekly Digest #21

    Interesting article about peer reviewed articles from Singapore

    Prof, no one is reading you

    Most memorable quotes from therein:

    Up to 1.5 million peer-reviewed articles are published annually. However, many are ignored even within scientific communities - 82 per cent of articles published in humanities are not even cited once. No one ever refers to 32 per cent of the peer-reviewed articles in the social and 27 per cent in the natural sciences.

    If a paper is cited, this does not imply it has actually been read. According to one estimate, only 20 per cent of papers cited have actually been read

    If academics want to have an impact on policymakers and practitioners, they must consider popular media, which has been ignored by them.

    So while I don't believe peer reviewed literature should die, SkS is the way to go on top of it.

  3. The Big Picture

    The uncertainty priniciple underpins everything including attacks on climate science...

  4. James C Wilson at 14:55 PM on 26 May 2015
    The Big Picture

    A small complaint about the discussion of the first figure:

    If you click on the first figure it takes you to a discussion of that figure.  That discussion states that  "satellite measurements of energy imbalance (the difference between incoming and outgoing energy at the top of the atmosphere),"  tell us about the energy imbalance.  This is not correct.  The discrepancies between the satellites are on the order of 6 w/m2 and the imbalance is about 1 w/m2.  A key problem is that the measurement of the imbalance requires that the satellite be everywhere all at once and it can not.  So the accuracy required is unobtainable.  The estimates of the imbalance come from the measurement of the rate of increase in the heat stored in the oceans.  (eg Keihl and Tremberth)

    Chuck Wilson

    Golden, CO, USA

  5. Seeds of Time - preserving food resources in a hot future climate

    Scientists write very little on how many humans will die this century and the next due to global warming and its climate change.  Much more is written on the impacts of global warming on animal and plant diversity and extinction. 

    World food stores are at the 70-90 days of consumption level, while basic food prices are down from their peak several years ago. UN population projections have increased to 11 billion humans living on Earth in the year 2200. But, the agricultural yield per acre has actually been decreasing since 1980 for most crops. Soil fertility is also decreasing, not increasing. Seas will certainly flood many fertile river deltas. Many current agricultural regions are projected to become desert or semi-desert this century.

    Global warming gases are already at extremely high levels. While science has dramatically lowered the cost of renewable energy, fossil fuel consumption keeps breaking records year after year. Granted that human efforts to stem global warming emissions seem to be increasing, much greater progress was made way back in 1990 with the Kyoto Protocol only for emissions to get much worse instead of better.

    I think it is time for scientists to start making reasonable projections on future food prices and on human deaths due to starvation. While Hansen long ago suggested that the Earth may only be able to sustain 1 billion living humans, I have seen no scientific articles in years on this issue.  While fossil-funded deniers would attack any truly pessimistic scientist projecting billions of deaths, e.g., 25 million or more per year, year after year, it would help wake people up.  That's killing more people than World War II year after year after year.

    Mike Berners-Lee in "How Bad Are Bananas" guesstimates that for every 150 tons of CO2 now put into the atmosphere, one more human will die this century.  That means that the average American is killing one person every 10 years and that the average European and average Chinese is killing one person every 15-20 years. We need published research on this issue.  We need to ourselves start living our lives as if our own pollution is actually killing other humans.

    My person guide is that one mile driven in my Chevy Sonic emits 1# CO2 which deprives one other human somewhere this century of 1 hour of life. I have turned off my water heater, buy wind electricity, eat inexpensive vegan home cooked from scratch, given up flying, vacation locally, unheated bedroom, etc. As soon as I can buy a Nissan Leaf and install PV solar, I will. I have a moral duty to become carbon neutral as soon as humanly possible.

    I think that evidence is clear that death is rushing at us. I think that scientists are afraid of being personally attacked for documenting the evidence for this.  We need to wake up.  Carbon neutral now, not in 2040!

  6. michael sweet at 11:20 AM on 26 May 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B


    The Gratten report claims that the previous method of rewarding solar installations was overly beneficial to solar installers.  That is why more systems were installed than expected.  The tariff scheme has been adjusted already.  They say future incentives should be adjusted to reflect costs and benefits.  They also say the the utilities are over incentivised to build more infrastructure.  Although they do not quantitate the amount it is probably a lot more than the amount invested in solar.  

    They expect distributed solar to be the cheapest method of generating new power in most of Australia by 2020.  It may be more cost effective to put the solar on businesses since they have bigger roofs.  

    So the Aussie government was not perfect in their scheme for solar installation.  Did you expect the government to be perfect?  As Tom says, the Gratten report does not consider at all the social cost of the carbon saved.  They also do not count the decrease in everyones utility bills since decrease in demand leads to lower electricity rates to generators (on page 18 they say it is zero sum to the economy since generators make less money).  Most consumers think it is a benefit when their rates go down.

  7. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    ryland @17, your original claim @4 was that the article claimed "the cost to households of solar panels has outwibghed their benefits".  I gave that its most natural interpretation which is that the costs of solar panels, on average, out weigh the benefits in households with solar panels - a claim that is not supported by the article and arguably misrepresents it.  Even if we allow that the claim is that the cost of solar panels averaged across all australian households have outweighed the benefits, it still ignores appropriate context from the article in which the article points out that the equation on household solar is changing.

    I will note that even on the more general interpretation, the Grattan Institute report does not make its case.  In making its case it:

    1. Assumes that all government revenue comes from households so that the full value of direct subsidies for household solar to particular householders comes from all householders generally.  The actual case is that a substantial portion of government revenue comes from taxes on business, which are not necessarilly passed on to householders in increased prices; and part of whose income comes from exports and hence is not a cost to householders under any interpretation.  Costs to electricity suppliers from feed in tariffs could also be defrayed against businesses.  Consequently, while on the issues the examine they can purport to have shown the costs of household solar exceed the benefits across the entire economy, they cannot accurately make that claim with regard to householders only.
    2. The report ignores the contribution of household solar to the Renewable Energy Target.  They do make the case that non-household solar would have been a cheaper way to contribute to meeting that target; but that being the case the net cost of household solar to the economy is the difference between the cost of non-household solar and household solar.  As the costs of meeting the RET are passed on to all electricity customers, that a portion of those costs are met by individual householders represents a saving for other customers not accounted for by the Grattan Institute.
    3. The report ignores the fact that new installers of household solar, and purchasers of houses with household solar already installed, and renters of houses with household solar already installed, do not get the high feed in tariffs that caused the initial poblems, but a price approximately equal to the wholesale cost of electricity.  As renewable energy is sold at a premium value to householders, pricing household solar at the lower value wholesale value of non-renewable energy means that increasingly into the future, household solar will actually be providing a subsidy to purchasers of renewable energy from the grid.
    4. Finally, and most importantly, the report ignores completely the social cost of carbon, and therefore ignores the benefit of emissions reductions from household solar.
  8. michael sweet at 07:49 AM on 26 May 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B


    Your link is broken.  Can you find a working link?

  9. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    Moderator the URL is

    Skepticin Canada  I quoted accurately and in turn you failed to mention 

    "it argues Australia could have reduced greenhouse gas emissions for much less money if governments had focused more on commercial and large-scale solar power, instead of household subsidies. "We've got the highest percentage of households in the world [with solar PV] because we've targeted our subsidies at households whereas other countries targeted the commercial sector," Grattan Institute energy program chief Tony Wood said. "We'd be better off if that was where we were going." The report calculates that the capital cost of installing and maintaining household solar systems since 2009 has been $18 billion, while their benefit in terms of greenhouse gas abatement and reduced conventional electricity generation has been $9 billion.

  10. Spoiled ballots, spoiled views: an election snapshot from Powys, Wales, UK

    Also I'd point out to windpower detractors:

    windmills = temporary

    excess CO2 in atmosphere and nuclear waste = permanent

    With the pace of technological development, the windmills are a useful stop-gap measure until we're all flying around in jet-packs and burning unobtanium in our levitating cars.

  11. Frank._Mueller at 04:56 AM on 26 May 2015
    More Carbon Dioxide is not necessarily good for plants.

    I udnerstand the statement made in context is that CO2 cannot by itself give plants bulk. But in experiemnts that are reproducible one can see that the "bulk" is translated from the GHG gases particularly CO2. Taking a plant and measure the soil, and water used and substracting them from the plants wieght after it is grown one sees the bulk and the mass are not from the water and the soild as much as from the CO2. So to say "They get their bulk from more solid substances like water and organic matter. This organic matter comes from decomposing plants and animals or from man made fertilizers" is an incorrect statement.

  12. SkepticalinCanada at 02:47 AM on 26 May 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    @17. And from that same article that you have referenced:

    "(The report) predicts it will soon become viable for households to install solar without government subsidies as the cost of panels falls and battery storage from companies like Tesla becomes more widely available in future."

    So, to date the costs may have outweighed their benefits, but you failed to mention what is clearly in the quote, and not "tucked away out of sight."  My original comment about significant misrepresentation stands.

  13. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    Skepticalin Canada @ 13.  Your comment "

    "I did find that particular article, and was still puzzled by ryland's claim about the cost if that article was the basis for his claim. Saying that their costs have outweighed their benefits is, in my opinon, significant misrepresentation of that article and in fact other articles at the SMH"

    is both incorrect and unfair

    The piece to which I was referring was the piece by Lisa Cox on May 24 the headline of which was "Cost of household solar has outweighed benefits: Grattan Institute report."  Fair criticism is obviously perfectly correct but your comment is manifestly wrong.   I fail to understand why your comment was made as you state you have read thre articleyou did read the article.  The heasdlinde was not tucked away out odf sight.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] For future reference, please provide links to articles and other materials that you include in a comment.

  14. Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    Actually, Cowpuncher, what Curry is doing--trying to turn uncertainty into a commodity--is feeding political action that seeks to end government-funded climate science.  It's not really shooting herself in the foot, since she'll have plenty of private funding sources when she takes her early retirement.

  15. Eric Grimsrud at 23:28 PM on 25 May 2015
    Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    @26 and 28

    Bozzza,  Perhaps  I was not clear enough.  We know why sea levels have risen since 20,000 years ago  - it is due to a transition from a glacial to an interglacial period.

    My question is why Christy would claim that sea level would continue to rise today and into the future due to natural causes.  We are now well out of an interglacial period and, I thought, in a stable interglacial period with no or very little change in sea levels.  If any natural change would be in the works for the future I thought sea levels might actually be decreasing somewhat in the immediate future as we begin to head back towards the next glacial period.

    So I still don't understand why Christy would claim that sea levels will be rising due to natural causes in the future.  The only explanation I can think of is that Christy suspects that sea levels will indeed rise due to Man's effect on the GHGs and, therefore, is claiming natural forces will do the same - but has no good reason to make that claim.Thus, if there is such a reason for Christy's claim, perhaps someone could point out what that is.  Otherwise, it would appear that he is misinforming the members of this congressional hearing. 

  16. Art Vandelay at 20:41 PM on 25 May 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    "In other words, those who don't embrace new solar/battery technogoly and stay behind, will continue to "fund" the dying FF infrastructure."

    In the unlikely event of such an outcome, governments would simply raise taxes elsewhere to subsidize the grid.

    Consider the plight of hundreds of thousands of poeple who are forced to rent properties because they're not earing enough to pay a million+ dallar mortgages in the big cities, and ask what percentage of landlords are going to fund expensive PV solar systems for them.  

    Also, the cost of housing is pushing more and more people into appartments and estates where PV solar and power storage would required strata approval and in many cases it may not be viable anyway due to insufficient surface area.

    Personally, I would love to install a PV solar and storage system too but I'm currently unable to lawfully clear the trees (and a good thing too) that currently shade my entire foof area for much of the year.  

    It's my hope that future large scale solar and wind farms will be publically floated, affording mum and dad investors the oportunity to investment and share the rewards.

  17. Seeds of Time - preserving food resources in a hot future climate

    "Many of the seeds can be stored for thousands of years in this site."

    Mmm, I think that's only if industrial civilisation lasts that long. The cooling does rely on chillers to get down to the temperatures required for that long term cooling.  And will the seeds be accessible if some catastrophe does happen (which is why it was built, after all)?

  18. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B


    I think ryland's claim is correct in noting the smh  (in fact Grattan Institute) reported (among other things) wasted money:

    "Lavish government subsidies plus the structure of electricity network tariffs means the cost of solar PV take-up has outweighed the benefits by more than $9 billion."

    I, on the other hand, don't understand the very misleading headline of the article I quoted @13: "Billions wasted on solar subsidy, says report", which is vey inaccurate and does not repfect its contents and may have resulted ryland's misunderstanding of the complex issue of energy transition from FF to solar/renewables.

    Further, I don't know how the benefits (presumabl $5 billions) of the subsidies in question have been calculated: what was for example the prize of the emissions saved, how the emission savings have been calculated, for the lifetime of the subsidised solar installations or for the perior 2008-2020 in question, etc. So what was the reason for "failed subsidies" that gave science deniers further ammunition? One more familiar with the Grattan Institute report might want to answer that question.

  19. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    Tom Curtis@11,

    The braoder extent of the Grattan Institute report in question have been described in this smh article. It turns out, the report considered not only unfair feed-in tariffs and essentially flat charges at peak demand times and at low demand times. They have also looked at what may happen with over-invested, "gold-plated" power network once improved storage technology prompts people to move away from the networks:

    Rising power charges is encouraging more users to consider "unplugging" from the power grid, which would then push up power prices for those staying on the grid. Unplugging may make sense only for some large users in remoter locations, the study found. [...]

    As a result, fears that the tens of billions of dollars invested by state governments and superannuation funds in power networks would be hit by a "death spiral" as users desert from the power network will not occur. [...]

    As part of this, government must also clarify who will pay to shut down the parts of the power network no longer needed as new technology and declining demand reduce network revenues.

    Under present regulations, the networks can raise prices to offset revenue declines so that a declining number of users would be called upon to fund an unnecessary network, the report found.

    In other words, those who don't embrace new solar/battery technogoly and stay behind, will continue to "fund" the dying FF infrastructure.

  20. Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    What Curry actually publishes in the scientific realm may be of value but her misinformation in the public arena is not. What information sources are you trusting in your evaluation of what is an "extreme position". Do you regard the IPCC position (the scientific consensus) of ECS in range 1.5 to 4.5 extreme?

  21. Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    Cowpuncher: how about doing some reading so you can bring something to the table?!!?

  22. Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    scaddenp - there is far too much personal denigration and ad hominem attacking in the wider AGW debate fro me to add to it.  Curry is a highly accomplished scientist with a wealth of published material and she seems to via away from any extreme positions.  I am also sure she will be wrong on some issues but she is making a contribution to the search for a fuller understanding of climate.

  23. Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    @ 26, the answer is because we are coming out of an ice-age!

  24. Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    Cowpuncher @24, Judith Curry's question is not so much interesting, as poorly framed.  Specifically, it tacitly assumes that there are not costs from AGW after 2050.  As it happens, because of the slow response rate to forcing, a reduction in emissions now will not appreciably effect temperatures until about 10 years later.  Further, because we must decrease emissions gradually, an 80% reduction will not be fully implimented (if it is) until 2050.  Consequently most of the temperature effect of such a reduction will occur after 2050.

    As it happens, RCP2.6 shows an approximate 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050:

    We can therefore use its temperature predictions to look at the claim:

    At 2050 it only amoutns to 0.75 C between RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 (no mitigation).  By 2100 that difference increases to 3.2 C, and by 2200 to 6 C.  With costs increasing more than linearly with increased temperature, Curry is attempting to exclude more than 90% of the cost differential from the equation.  Indeed, with RCP8.5 tempertures rising to levels where parts of the tropics may be seasonally uninhabitable by 2050, ignoring long term costs amounts to tackling climate change by putting your head in the sand.

  25. Eric Grimsrud at 10:33 AM on 25 May 2015
    Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    In his testimony, Christy says that sea levels have risen for the last 20,000 years (OK) but the says that sea levels will continue to rise in the future.  

    I don't understand what he is trying to say  and am wondering if someone did.  

    If man is not overpoweriing the natural Milinkovitch cycles (as he claims), why would he think sea levels will continue to rise?  They will be rising, of course, due to Man's effects, and without man's effects they would be going down, right? 

    Is Christy simply trying to avoid the use of sea level directional change as a proof of Man's effect?  If so why might sea levels possibly rise due to natural causes.  Don't understand where he is going with that one.

  26. SkepticalinCanada at 10:32 AM on 25 May 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    @12  Thank, Tom.  I did find that particular article, and was still puzzled by ryland's claim about the cost if that article was the basis for his claim. Saying that their costs have outweighed their benefits is, in my opinon, significant misrepresentation of that article and in fact other articles at the SMH.

  27. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    @9, still interesting information so cheers!

  28. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    SkepticalinCanada @5, with reference to solar panels, Ryland is probably refering to this article, which does say:

    "Feed-in tariffs had to be paid for. The businesses that run the networks were allowed to pass on these costs to other electricity consumers through their energy bills. Essentially, governments arranged it so that money went from people without solar to people with solar.

    By the time premium feed-in tariffs end - Queensland's scheme runs until 2028 - Australians without solar will have paid about $5 billion extra on their electricity bills. They have paid a further $5 billion as a result of federal government subsidies to solar from the Renewable Energy Target. Add a third subsidy that is embedded in the structure of network tariffs, and people without solar PV have spent $14 billion subsidising those who have."

    That is 14 billion over twenty years.  The excessively high feed in tariffs do in fact represent a problem, not least because they encourage people using solar panels to shape their energy use so that their peak energy use is at night when they are drawing energy from the grid, and hence primarilly CO2 emitting sources.

    However, if that is the article to which he refers, he has again misrepresented its contents.  The article is primarilly about the potential revolution in solar power from the introduction of relatively cheap, convenient batteries:

    "Yet change is on the way and if it is managed properly, solar PV will finally become a major player in Australia's power system. In concert with home batteries, solar panels will change people's relationship with the grid, giving them the ability to store and manage the electricity their solar panels produce, and reducing their electricity costs.

    These changes will benefit not only solar PV owners but everyone. Battery owners will use the grid less at peak times, placing less strain on the network and reducing the need for costly investment in new infrastructure. Reducing network costs will push down electricity prices."

  29. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    ryland @4, on January 11th, 2011 I described the Queensland floods saying:

    "Of course, and even larger perspective is needed. In March, 2010, Queensland experienced record breaking floods, with many towns experiencing record flood depths, and the greatest area flooded ever reported for Queensland. It was reported that the flood effected area in March was larger than Victoria (area: 240,000 square kilometers, or 92,000 square miles). In the week after Christmas, that record was broken, with a reported flooded extent greater in area than New South Wales (810,000 square kilometers or 313,000 square miles). That is an area about the size of the five largest contiguous US states either under water or cut off, or with crops rotting in the ground two weeks before harvest.

    In the last week of December, the floods were mostly confined to the interior behind Rockhampton and Bundaberg (also flooded) and to the Darling Downs and interior. There was minor flooding in Brisbane, and in the north of the state (where at least one woman lost her life). Since then the floods have moved south, flooding Gympie, Maryborough, and of course, Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley (and soon to be Ipswich and Brisbane). Dalby deserves a special mention, having experience five flood peaks in two weeks."

    The post was in connection to the Toowoomba floods, described at the time as an "inland tsunami":

    The Toowoomba floods were astonishing in that Toowoomba is literally at the crest of the Great Dividing Range west of Brisbane.  Toowoomba's catchment area lies entirely inside the city limits.

    Shortly after the Toowoomba flood, Murphy's Creek was hit by a wall of water, with the water level rising "... about 12 metres in 12 minutes" (Source).


    That was less surprising in that Murphy's Creek lies at the bottom of the range, hard up against the edge of the Lockyer Valley.  Any flash flood coming down the range would have had no time to disperse before hitting Murhpy's Creek.

    Further downstream from Murhpy's Creek (and downstream of the confluence of Murhpy's and Lockyer Creek, on which Helidon sits), at Helidon, the water level rose 8 meters in thirty minutes, with 4 meters of that rise being in ten minutes.  Helidon is downstream of three other streams in addition to Murhpy's Creek.  The rapidity of the water rise at Helidon is astonishing given the relative distance from the valley walls (and hence time and distance for the flood peak to disperse).

    Downstream of Helidon (and of Flagstone Creek) lies Grantham.  Further downstream again is Gatton where flood levels 20 meters above Davey's Bridge were recorded:

    (Source, see here for video of after flood levels at the same location)

    I run through all this to illustrate just how deceptive is your comment @4 that "it is heartening to read in the SMH (May 24 2015) pieces noting the 2011 floods in Queensland were not due to climate change but to human error".  It is deceptive because the 2011 Queensland floods were not restricted to a flood in Grantham.  Nor is the SMH report about the "Queensland floods", but the rather about the floods in "Grantham, Queensland", something made very clear in the article.  It is further deceptive because Grantham certainly would have flooded in any event on January 10th, as is made clear from the generalized flooding both upstream and downstream of Grantham.  Indeed, Grantham had already flooded on Jan 9th, and would do so again in a further flood on Jan 11th when the Grantham water gauge ceased operating at 14 meters (source).

    What is at issue in the SMH is whether the collapse of an earth wall in a local quarry made the flood worse in Grantham than it would otherwise have been.  It has no bearing at all on the causes of the flood.  Further, the story is known to be inaccurate (and essentially a beat up by Channel Nine).  The Channel Nine Chopper did not record the "wall of water" through Grantham.  It did not even record the peak of flooding in Grantham, video of which did not emerge until March 18th.  Rather, it responded to reports of the flood which had already peaked by the time it was airbourne.  The "new evidence" on the Sixty Minutes report was not relevant evidence at all.

    Even the reports account of what the prior inquiry said is inaccurate.  Channel Nine claims the inquiry "...determined the flood hit the town at 3.15pm".  The SMH reports that as:

    "The commission concluded that a wall of flood water hit Grantham between 3.15 and 3.30pm, which fit the timeline of events that suggested the overflowing river upstream was the cause of the devastation."

     The inquiry actually found that:

    "While it accepts the submitters’ contention that the road from Gatton to Grantham was clear shortly after 3.00 pm (a conclusion consistent with the Commission’s finding in its interim report that the Grantham flooding occurred between 3.20 pm and 4.00 pm), it does not consider that there is any basis to reject the SES controller’s account as given in his statement referred to in the interim report.  It is supported by statements from the group leader of the Gatton SES unit and members of the SES group which set out to perform the doorknocking task, as well as by the contemporary record in the form of the Gatton SES attendance log."

    IMO it is very difficult to mistake 3:20 to 4:00 for 3:15 to 3:30; so Channel Nine and the SMH have directly misrepresented the Commission to beat up a story.  So the "missing hour" is manufactured by dishonest reporting by Channel Nine (and possibly lazy reporting by the SMH).

  30. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    Not my area of expertize, but you can find levelized cost for different energy production in US here. None of this includes accounting for externalities (ie damage to environment from use of fossil fuel). This is much more difficult calculation. I understand that internally, Shell uses a $40 per ton costing which I guess is what they think a carbon tax might be.

  31. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    What would the economics of fossil fuels be if you payed full price for it?

  32. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    Ryland, I should also say that if you want to primarily discuss political comment around climate change, then have a look at thinkprogress. This SkepSci site is primarily about the science of climate change and debunking pseudo-skeptic nonsense associated with it.

  33. Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    Cowpuncher, the IPCC WG1 show results for different carbon pathways (RCPs). I see you worried about reduction costs but have you also looked at future costs if you dont? I am reasonably amazed at your "level headed" assessment of JC given these statements and her (non) standing in the research community. How did you make that assessment?

  34. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    Ryland, what would the economics of solar power be if you actually paid the full price for it? Even removing the subsidies on fossil fuel makes a big difference to the cost equation. How skeptical have you been of the claims made by the opinion piece compared to the skepticism you have expressed here about peer-reviewed science?

  35. Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    Judith Curry who seems to be quite level-headed raises an interesting question about the Congress hearings and Presient Obama's speech.  She questions what the anticipated reduction in temperature will be against the climate models assessments as a result of an 80% reduction in CO2 by 2050.  I am struggling to find information on this.  It is an important issue given the costs involved of an 80% reduction.  Can someone help, please?

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Suggest that you pose your question directly to Judith Curry on her website.   

  36. SkepticalinCanada at 06:41 AM on 25 May 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    @4.  Where exactly does the article note precisely that the floods were  not due to climate change? And please provide the link to the solar panel item, as I can't seem to find it.  Thanks.

  37. Upcoming MOOC makes sense of climate science denial

    Does this course discuss the value of presenting solutions to climate change such as Cap & Trade or Fee and Dividend (as proposed here when describing the problem?

  38. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    I posted a comment addressing the prejudices of the Guardian and the SMH which has not appeared perhaps because I was critical of these two papers.  That said it is heartening to read in the SMH (May 24 2015) pieces noting the 2011 floods in Queensland were not due to climate change but to human error and that the cost to households of solar  panels has outwibghed their benefits

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Your prior post was deleted because it was nothng more than nonsensical sloganeering.

    Sloganeering 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.

  39. Seeds of Time - preserving food resources in a hot future climate

    The norway project is a good way to preserve the actual genes.  However we need to take a mass scale to do the same with food.  E.g.  Store several year's grain supply.  

    This goes against the whole "Just in Time" system in industry.  Look instead to collecting pools of resources that can be used later.  Inventory, instead of being a liability should be an asset — subject to re-valuation as times change.

    If you are going to store 7 years grain supply, you need massive silos, good pest control, and possibly controlled atmosphere conditions.  All costs money.  On the other hand, companies that do this are in a position to gain on the arbitrage between bounty years and lean years.

    Probably quite doable with minor changes to tax laws — make it easier to write off storage costs, including lost revenue for tied up capital.

  40. PhilippeChantreau at 02:18 AM on 25 May 2015
    Climate's changed before

    RoamerNZ, I find your post rather offensive. You confessed earlier having limited knowledge and understanding of the subject at hand, yet you address pretty much all contributors here with such thing as "have you informed yourself about this data?" without specifying what such data is or providing any useable reference. People participating to this forum are usually very well informed about climate science. Many of the contributors/moderators here have published papers in reputable journals. Since you are, by your own admission, the one rather less informed about the whole field, your condescending tone is unwarranted.

    References are needed for many of your assertions, especially the ones that are more specific or mention numbers:

    "But for every yay sayer there is an opposite." The various consensus studies so far indicate that, in fact, the "opposites" are outnumbered by approximately 97 to 3. There are more appropriate threads to discuss this, if you want to provide credible evidence to the contrary.

    This part here: "In fact earth cooled a whopping 4 degrees from 1450 to 1850 in fact earth has warmed up to 4 degrees 4 times in the last 450 thousand years a fairly regular cycle at that of about 100 thousand years.. We enter the fifth cycle now" That requires some serious backing by real scientific work, the kind published in well established science journals. I'm waiting to see it before taking it seriously. If it is an attempt to refer to the alternance of glacial/interglacial periods, the subject is well studied, consistent with the consensus model of Earth climate, and you should go to the appropriate threads.

    "It's all to do with Jupiter apparently." This was one the very first pieces of nonsense that I personally debunked on SkS during the early years of the site. Some cited also Mars, and even Pluto, which took us to the height of stupidity. It is complete nonsense. But by all means, cite scientific evidence on the proper thread if you have any.

    On SkS, you don't get to make up stuff or equate opinion with evidence. The preponderance of scientific evidence is what is considered. It takes some work to determine in which direction that points, but it's worth doing that work, because that is most likely where reality resides. If you're unwilling to do that work, you essentially give up and rationalize your choice of opinion with unfounded ideas of competing theories and competing experts of equal value, which couldn't be farther from reality. Not everything is a matter of opinion, especially in the physical world.

  41. SkepticalinCanada at 00:57 AM on 25 May 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    Now, if only those 25 newspapers would also team up to make sure that their online comments sections were about the science of human-caused global warming as well.  Clicking on almost any of the links to their articles and then going to their comments sections brings up a disgusting repetition of personal attacks, unscientific nonsense, the usual memes from the deniosphere's script, and so on.  I'm not saying cut off one particular point of view when it comes to the science, but how about raising the bar a bit and turning them into real discussions? Kudos to Skeptical Science for leading the way on that. 

  42. Climate's changed before

    by 'nformation above', I meant this Sks page

  43. Climate's changed before


    You seem to be trying to advance the idea that people seeking to determine who to believe regarding the likely impacts of antrhopogenic influences on the atmosphere just cannot figure it out because a) climate changes on various timescales for varioius reasons, and b) one can find experts and supposed experts that disagree on causes and whether warming or cooling is more likely. 

    This information above addresses well a).  On b), simply put, you simply need to have apropriate descretion to weed out quacks.  Wikipedia nots that Abdussamatov, who you apparantly give as an example of why we just can't determine whether we will warm or cool in the future,"holds that Earth's atmosphere does not produce a greenhouse effect." 

  44. Climate's changed before

    Tristan .. I did not say they were my interpretations.. It is an opinion formed after listening to climatologist. Yes some are of a different persuasion than the one you proclaim., And they are compelling.

    Each of us must form our own opinion there is no "carte Blanche" to be filled with your version.

    i also did did not say anything about you or any one else not knowing why.the heating is taking place.  What I am not buying into is that we are solely responsible especially in the light that this happens over and over on this planet long before the blink of an eyelid that we have been here.

    i would also never presume or assume to give insight to any true scientist.. I was merely expressing an opinion.. Based on what I believe to be plausible and for you this is a problem as I am not convinced otherwise.

    Because of the wiggle.. We are heating up.. But you seem to say because of the current conditions the planet cannot do anything but.. I presume by conditions you mean human activity.

    And you can categorically guarantee that if all human co2 emissions stopped today .. The heating up would stop permanently? I find that impossible to believe knowing what we know of earth and her idiosyncratic movements. It's akin to saying if humans stop moving around ..the magnetic polar shift won't happen again.

    Michael.. Sure, deniers at the time did not see the warming as alarmingly large.. Since they now have irrefutable evidence it is heating.. The question then came.. Why?  And this is where argument is. (Btw the deniers aren't necessarily the same people). And what is wrong with the argument .. It's happened before? .. It has.. Many times!

    Yes predictions for global warming happened 120 years ago.. But for every yay sayer there is an opposite.. In 1837 louis agazzi presented the opinion the planet had cooled and then warmed only to cool again with a new ice age on the horizon.  (In fact earth cooled a whopping 4 degrees from 1450 to 1850 in fact earth has warmed up to 4 degrees 4 times in the last 450 thousand years a fairly regular cycle at that of about 100 thousand years.. We enter the fifth cycle now) .. This concept was met by skepticism only to later be accepted. Many papers have been produced predicting severe cooling 2042 onwards one such scientist is russian astrophysics habibullo abussamatov

    so you see some one is predicting cooling when it is now warming.. Opposite to your point. But as bozza would say.. These are joining issues and the warming is the precursor for cooling even the possibility of a "snowball" earth.. as it once was and may happen again Have you informed yourself about this data?

    the earth is heating and will cool again.. But it has nothing to do with our activities.. It will do it regardless as it has for billions of years. It's all to do with Jupiter apparently

    Im glad you'll be looking after me bozza .. very comforting :)

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Personal opinion carries very little weight on this site. Please provide appropriate scientific documentation of your assertions in your future posts. 

    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.

  45. The climate 'hiatus' doesn’t take the heat off global warming

    dcpetterson @33.

    You ask for comment on your blog post.

    You are correct that a regression for the full period covered in all three of Mad Monckton of Brentchley analyses would provide a positive trend but it would be very very small (I make it +0.05ºC/century) and statistically insignificant.
    His Lordship's delicate adjustments of the period being examined are purely so he can get a big fat zero in trend. Different choices of start & end points during this short period allow him to achieve this as the wobbles in RSS data (which are larger than the wobbles in surface temperature records) continue to bounce along just over and occasioanally under zero. Your primary finding and your accusation of cherry-picking his time-intervals as presented in your blog post is thus no great revelation.

    You are correct in pointing to Monckton's dodgy choice of temperature record. RSS TLT attempts to measure a weighted temperature from surface to stratosphere. The weightings of the TLT measurements does give a lower average altittude than TMT but the descriptor "lower" is otherwise less than accurate and RSS TLT is certainly no substitute for surface measurements.

    And your criticism that the period chosen by Mad Monckton is too short is also correct. He effectively is arguing using the contrarian 'escalator'.
    As this woodfortrees plot demonstrates, the Viscount has managed to magic away most of the temperature increase shown in the RSS data.

    My own analysis for the length of the 'pause' using RSS data show that the accumulating RSS data gives a steepening rate of warming up to mid-2004. (For surface temperature records the steepening continues into 2007.) That means RSS TLT temperatures were accelerating up to 2004 which is entirely incompatable with a 'pause' in temperature rise starting in 1996. And plotting the trend of surface temperature measurements and including more recent data demonstrates that since last autumn surface temperature records are again showing a steepening trend in global temperature rise. That surely means the 'pause' (if we were to call it that) has at the least 'paused'.

  46. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    "Cutting warming to 1.5°C could endanger food supply" and "Limiting global warming to 1.5C is still possible, say scientists" refer to a common source, a Nature Climate Change article  

    Rogelj, J. et al, (2015) Energy system transformations for limiting end-of-century warming to below 1.5 °C


    Frank Johnston

  47. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    NOAA has updated its global ocean heat content. It seems that they will soon have to expand their y-axis – again!


    Global Ocean Heat Content 0-2000 m

  48. Hotspot Found Again: Warming of the Tropical Troposphere Confirms Climate Model Prediction

    Complements from previous comment (#12): To be fair, the 0.55 K/decade cooling trend given by Chriskoz concerns 50 hPa, which should be compared with the C10 channel centered at 20 km height. There, the 1999-2013 trend is still cooling but at a lower rate: 0.24 K/decade, cf.
    (1) considering the short period and the noise of both time series, this figure doesn't show unequivocally an inflexion of the previous trend;
    (2) comparing the different channels (C10,11,12,13,14 at respectively 20,25,30,35 and 40 km heights), the 1999-2013 cooling trends are increasing with height from 0.24 to 0.76 K/decade. As for the synthetical C25 data which emulate the SSU time series, they show a 0.40 K/decade trend for the same period.

  49. Hotspot Found Again: Warming of the Tropical Troposphere Confirms Climate Model Prediction

    @Chriskoz (#10):
    The lower stratosphere might have stopped cooling because of the beginning of the recovery of the ozone hole. But the middle stratosphere is still cooling, according to RSS analyses,  about 0.5 K/decade from 1999 to 2013 (see AMSU channel C13), very close to the 0.55 K/decade you cited for 1960-2010.

  50. Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    Also, no: I do not dislike government intervention- I understand better than most that Government helps farmers to even grow a marketable product let alone provide standards that stop people dying in the workplace in all manner ways: I'm not a dumb lib... simply just trying to put forward a fair view of the world worthy of discussion rather than circular back-patting!

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