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Comments 651 to 700:

  1. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #30

    Michael - Nigrelj partially answered your question on how to drill into the EIA data

    using the link - right side column "chart options"

    Chose frequency - daily or hourly

    Date range type - choose custom

    Number of days - less than 30 days will provide the hourly - longer than 30 will only display daily

    Select balancing authority - click on any grid - ERCOT/ MISO / PJM / SWPP or any other grid.

    Hope that helps you learning how to navigate the real time source data.

    A baseball player can look at the box score printed in the sports section of the newspaper (on line these days)  and tell you what happened every inning. Same thing with the EIA electric generation by source report. Once you learn how to read the source data, you will have a greatly improved grasp of what is actually happening, and far less easily fooled by the activists representations. Hope that helps.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Inflammatory snipped.  Do better.

  2. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #30

    Regarding the ERCOT grid controversy being discussed. I had a look at the EIA page with the interractive graph. I plugged in the Texas ERCOT grid for 28 June - 29 June 2023. (you do this under the select balancing authority / region and then the date selection panel). I discovered you can then hover the arrow over the point on the  graph you want and the data appears.

    The best case for renewables plus nuclear power was on 28 June (although both days were very similar). I got the following numbers: wind + solar + nuclear 35,562 mwhr and for Gas + coal 43,472 mwhr. This is 44.304 % for wind + solar+ nuclear (using an online percentage calculator that would only let me enter simple numbers 35 and 43 but this is useful enough) so this does seem to roughly confirm David Accts result.

    However I'm wary of such things. Im just reading things off a web page. Im not an electrical engineer, and its not clear how the people in the article arrived at their numbers. Although all the raw data seems to be on the EIA page there is the perrenial problem of potentially comparing apples and oranges.

    And 44.304% is still a very credible result. And obviously it should be noted that wind and solar are still only a smaller component of the grid relative to fossil fuels.

  3. michael sweet at 03:52 AM on 4 August 2023
    2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #30

    I looked at your EIA link (sorry I missed it before).  I could not figure out how to get data for ERCOT from it.  I noticed that the lowest times for wind were allways durig the day when the production of solar was high.  At night demand is much lower.  WIth more wind and solar buildout that should continue to be benificial.  

    Hydro can be used to generate power at times when wind and solar are low.  In the cases you mention, hydro could probably cover most or all of the shortages at night.  Since they are also installing battery storage in ERCOT, as well as a lot more solar, they should be covered.

    Scientists who study power systems have all come to the conclusion that renewable energy will be able to handle all power all the time with higher reliability than current fossil systems.  You are simply making up your own claims without any analysis to support your incorrect conclusions.  I have already provided you links to support this claim but you apparently have not read them.

  4. Philippe Chantreau at 03:00 AM on 4 August 2023
    Wildfires are not caused by global warming

    Bob makes a interesting point above by bringing the difference between grasslands fires and forest fires, and how they play in the decrease of global area burned.

    As Bob pointed above, said decrease is pretty much entirely due to the lower area of savannah and grasslands burned. These environments have a long relationship to fire and are very well adapted to it, with grass species in fact relying on it for their life cycle. The carbon cycling from grassland fires is a short term one that has always been present in the background of the natural global carbon cycle. The amount of CO2 released per unit of surface burned is limited, since grasslands store the vast majority of their carbon underground, and quickly regenerate the above ground part that is lost in fires.

    Forest fires, especially the ones affecting old growth forest are an entirely different beast. The amount of CO2 generated by unit of surface is much higher for forested lands. Zheng et al (2021) show that the CO2 released by forest fires essentially compensates for the decrease in total area burned provided by the decline in grassland fires. The result is a "quasi stable" amount of CO2 generated by wildfires. It would not be surprising if this changed with more years like this one has been in Canada and Siberia.

  5. michael sweet at 02:12 AM on 4 August 2023
    2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #30


    Can you provide a link to where you say you found data that contradicts the CNN article?  A claim without a link is not worth much.  I note that even if renewables provided "only " 45% of total electricity that renewable energy was what kept the lights on in Texas the last two months. 

    SInce renewables have only been the cheapest electricity for about 5 years I would say they are doing great!!

  6. It's not urgent

    PollutionMonster @37 , yes the economist William Nordhaus is an interesting case.

    Climate science deniers love him since he seems unconcerned about a 3 or 4 degree rise in global temperature . . . because, in his estimation, the vastly higher temperature will have no adverse effect on "output" (aka Gross Domestic Product ~ GDP being the heart & soul of economists' thinking).   And undoubtably Nordhaus is correct in his projections, for we all know that the "dismal science" of economics has an impeccable track record of long-term accuracy . . . and it is also the Be-all & End-all of measurement of human happiness (and of all other aspects of the natural world).

    But putting that minor point aside, the Denialists are slightly less happy that Nordhaus has suggested a $100-per-ton tax on carbon emissions ( I am unsure, but presume he means tax on tonnage of CO2 rather than tonnage of elemental carbon emitted ).

    As per usual, Denialists feel entitled to cherry-pick from the sayings of any prominent scientist or public figure, in order to support themselves.

    For arguing online ~ no, it is not a waste of your time, since your comments will be seen by "undecided" fence-sitters.  No, your arguments won't & can't change the minds of the hard-core intransigent Denialists (who are usually political extremists that are basically uninterested in the actual science or the actual happiness of other people).   But your activity will encourage decent sensible people.

    Only keep arguing so long as you find it fun/entertaining.  Refresh yourself with lots of walking & greenery & open skies . . . plus good company and other interests in life.  But I am sure you already know that is how Life should be lived.

  7. PollutionMonster at 12:08 PM on 3 August 2023
    It's not urgent

    I agree that it can be fun entertainment for awhile. Yet, after awhile it just becomes exhausting trying to keep up with a denier constantly changing topics only to repeat as in your example with the anti-vaxx.

    MA Rodger said in #27 that it was still nesscary to argue with deniers, do you agree? Or am I wasting my time arguing online?

    What about William Nordhaus? Deniers like to reference him. Saying that we should aim for 3.5C change and that 1.5-2C is infeasible if not impossible by 2100. Thank you in advance.

  8. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #30

    Below is an except of the statement in the CNN article linked to by michael sweet.  

    "And as the state struggled through an early heatwave in June, non-fossil fuel power including renewables and nuclear made up 55% of total generation on June 28 and 29 and close to 50% of the power needed during the evening peak, according to statistics from the federal Energy Information Administration."


    I Went to the EIA electric generation by source, dialed into the ERCOT grid and compared the actual data against the claimed data in the article ( basic due diligence).  At best , Wind solar and Nuclear only got to 45% of total  electric generation  and they article included Nuclear which is generally not considered a renewable.  


    As I have previously stated multiple times, cross check the claims against the actual source data to prevent being fooled. 

  9. CO2 effect is saturated

    [ If the Moderator will allow a brief off-topic musing, I promise a sort of return in my concluding paragraph. ]

    As a complete tyro in the world of probabilistic AI language generative models, I picture ChatGPT as the analogy of a Zillion monkeys tapping away at a Zillion typewriters . . . and eventually (which is actually a millisecond) out comes something speciously good.  The product is sometimes Booker Prize standard; sometimes merely quite presentable; sometimes a diamond but deeply flawed when examined closely; and sometimes there is an Einsteinian Pearl of inventiveness (if the reader has the wit to pick it up and run with it).   But always, the winning monkey has no real knowledge of what he has produced.   Play-It-Again-Sam . . . and a millisecond later, the new winning monkey gives you a somewhat different product.   ~In a decade's time, will the current language AI become so refined as to filter out its own fabrications & nonsenses?  Probably yes...

    On-topic  ~ another analogy is the brain of the climate-science-denier, whose Motivated Reasoning (produced by a Zillion monkey neurons) keeps coming out with flawed presentations, in various repetitions.   Monkeys, or Dragons?

  10. Rob Honeycutt at 04:49 AM on 3 August 2023
    CO2 effect is saturated

    I've played around with ChatGPT and found that it has a tendency to make sh*t up. When you push further it will acknowledge that it is merely a natural language generator. It doesn't have the capacity to review and verify the accuracy of its output. It's just very good at sounding authoritative. But, to its credit, it will tell you not to rely on its statements and to engage experts in the field to verify any facts.

  11. CO2 effect is saturated

    Eclectic @705,

    If the jibberish presented @704 is an output from ChatGPT, or some similar machine learning engine, then the technology is being greatly over-hyped.

    I don't see that the CO2 absorption/emission spectrum "approaches a blackbody" spectrum at high concentration or density. (Concentration and density seem to be confused in the #704 account.) N2 & O2 are transparent to IR so they have no spectra (although this is indeed "constant over the IR range"). There are more bands of the spectrum absorbed by atmospheric CO2, not just at 15 micron. And up-welling IR is not restricted to "altitudes of only a few hundred meters" as CO2 emits as well as absorbs.

  12. CO2 effect is saturated

    Welcome back, DragonsHeads / DragonHeads / DragonSeed / DragonTeeth...    It appears you have enlisted the aid of ChatGPT or Bard or other Artificial Intelligence "large language models", to construct your post #704.

    ChatGPT etcetera typically produce a lot of words, with an initial semblance of meaning . . . but on closer examination, the words can often fail to show a true connection with reality ~ and that is the case here.  DragonChat, you are spouting nonsense.  Come back in 2030, in your seventh iteration !   [ Meanwhile, you might enjoy exercising yourself at the website WattsUpWithThat  ;-)   ]


    Moderator ~ you are too quick on the draw !

  13. CO2 effect is saturated

    Eclectic and Moderators

    If you would quit being so arrogant and ban-happy, you might just learn a little something on subject you are talking about. From your comments, analogies, and "rebuttals" on the CO2 greenhouse effect saturation issue, I would place your knowledge of spectroscopy somewhere between lacking and non-existent! Since all GHGs, including CO2, are trace gases, their spectra are much closer to that of single molecules than blackbodies. As the concentration of such a gas increases, however, the individual spectral lines are broadened into bands. If the density is further increased, those bands eventually overlap each other and are merged into a more or less continuous spectrum. Finally, in the extremely high density limit, the spectrum approaches a blackbody and it actually makes sense to talk about a temperature and pressure of the gas.

    Now, the spectra of the main atmospheric gases N2 and O2 can be approximated with blackbody curves since they are of sufficiently high concentration. Also, the absorption coefficients can be regarded as roughly constant over the IR range. This is not the case, however, for CO2 nor any of the GHGs since these are trace gases. For the GHGs, we must determine an absorption coefficient for each spectral band. In the case of CO2, the important band for the GHE is the 2 micron band at a 15 micron wavelength. All other bands are either too weak or too far away from the peak of the upwelling IR spectrum. Therefore, CO2 can affect temperature only by absorbing radiation within this particular band. This is a strong absorption, however, so radiation within this band of the upwelling thermal energy is depleted at altitudes of only a few hundred meters. Above that, CO2 can absorb no more upwelling energy regardless of its concentration. Now, there is still upward-bound thermal energy, but not within the 15 micron band.  That energy would most likely be absorbed by H2O vapor or escape to outer space.

    Unfortunately, however, every purported rebuttal to CO2 GHE saturation in this Climate Myth page has, one way or another, involved the assumption of a single absorption coefficient for CO2 which applies for the entire IR spectrum. Simply put, this is incorrect and results in gross over-estimations of the amount of heat energy absorbed by CO2.

    In summary, your case against CO2 GHE saturation wouldn't stand up under the scrutiny of a good student.

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] You can lead a horse to water...

  14. Rob Honeycutt at 08:20 AM on 2 August 2023
    CO2 emissions do not correlate with CO2 concentration

    Dave... "If either of you gentlemen (or anyone else) find another error, or any misleading information, on my site, I will be grateful if you bring them to my attention."

    I think you don't grasp that there is no reason for anyone to spend any time on your site at all. It is a multi-year Gish gallop. And here, in your posting efforts on SkS, you've demonstrated a stark unwillingness to update or alter your position on many errors pointed out by others. 

  15. Rob Honeycutt at 08:15 AM on 2 August 2023
    CO2 emissions do not correlate with CO2 concentration

    Dave, I did not infer that you were doing it out of a monetary motivation. "Pro bono" would also be a poor selection of words since that generally refers to legal work done for free to benefit people of lower income. Your site is, as far as I can see, merely a non-expert pretending to be an expert and seeking validation in that effort.

    Your site could potentially be useful if you would submit to some form of review process by people who are genuine experts in the fields you're commenting on. Short of that you're just promoting misinformation based in your personal ignorances.

  16. CO2 emissions do not correlate with CO2 concentration

    Thank you, Eclectic, for bringing the dead Ed Berry link to my attention! If have corrected it. (It appears that he reorganized his site.)

    Rob, I guess you didn't notice that my site is not monetized. So "generating traffic" is of no use to me. It's a purely pro bono project. I merely hope that it is useful to someone.

    If either of you gentlemen (or anyone else) find another error, or any misleading information, on my site, I will be grateful if you bring them to my attention. Even punctuation or spelling errors will earn my gratitude.

    My full contact info is on my site, so please contact me directly, if you find an error. I visit this site only sporadically, so if you direct a comment to me here I might not notice it.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Empirical evidence here suggests that you are unwilling to follow simple instructions to post where things are on topic, and unwilling to to accept the corrections to errors that  you post here.

    When you say "if you find an error. I visit this site only sporadically, so if you direct a comment to me here I might not notice it.", this tells us that you are not here to engage in honest discussion. People that comment here are expected to follow the conversation and respond to criticism. As such, your postings are no longer welcome.


  17. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #30

    Always a good idea to cross check the story line against the raw source data so that you arent fooled by an activists story line. The raw real time source data from the Energy information administration paints a much more complete picture. See the attached link. One hand, wind and solar contributed considerable electric production to the ercot grid. On the other hand there were two periods starting July 1 lasting approximately 64 hours and a second period starting July 22 lasting approximately 64 hours in which electric production from wind was less than 20% of normal and less than 5% for several hours. These two periods were not confined to ERCOT , but were across nearly the entire north american continent. The MISO grid lost more than 80% electric generation for 9 day period.

    It was during those two periods where the grid was at the highest risk of failure and in which the fossil fuel plants prevented the collapse of the grid. Always best to cross check against actual real time source data.


  18. CO2 effect is saturated

    Moderator:  Bob, thanks ~ the indications were indeed strong.

    While there is some entertainment value in replying to those delusional puppets . . . nevertheless I am quite happy for my own posts (including this) to be deleted from this thread.   Maybe after a 24 or 48 hour delay, in order to allow a wider viewing of the shenanigans?

  19. CO2 effect is saturated

    DragonHeads @700 and @701 ,

    You are right that the bucket-of-water analogy is ugly & unlikable (IMO).

    But you are wrong about the GreenHouse Effect [GHE].  Where do you get the idea that the GHE regarding CO2 is concerned only with the 15 micron IR emission from the surface or near surface [say, at the 2 meter height] ???

    Bobhisey [and here I am hoping I am not treading on the toes of Present Company ] is basically & stubbornly clueless about GHE.

    The GHE involves the whole planet ~ which includes the full depth of the atmosphere.   Energy in & energy out, at the so-called Top Of Atmosphere [TOA].   Unfortunately, the TOA term is a tad misleading (just as is the GHE term) . . . but if you take the trouble to think all these climate concepts through, then it becomes "bleeding obvious" that the scientists are correct.

    DragonHeads, please slow yourself down ~ and clarify where you think the atmospheric physicists are wrong.  ( And perhaps it might be best to assure sensitive readers that no Sky Dragon Slayers  have been harmed in your explanation. )

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] There are strong indications that Dragonheads is yet another sock puppet of a large collection of previously-banned users. As this is a violation of the Comments Policy, this user will not be participating any more.


  20. CO2 effect is saturated

    Eclectic @442

    I'm afraid bobhisey is correct in the statement that no 14-16 micron radiation leaves the earth — at least not from its surface.  Due to the strong absorption of such radiation by CO2, the intensity of this band (radiating from the surface) is insignificant at the altitude of orbiting satellites.  Therefore, any measurements of these wavelengths taken aboard satellites fall into the category of upper atmospheric and space physics.  From what I have read, this radiation from space appears somewhat as a blackbody at temperature 220 deg. K.  Anyway, it has nothing to do with the greenhouse effect at lower altitudes.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL} I'm afraid that you make the same basic error that bobhisey and many other people commenting on this thread have made. At least you add the "not from its surface" clause, but you completely ignore the well-known and observed fact that the lower atmosphere that is absorbing IR radiation in those wavelengths is also emitting it in those wavelengths.. as a result, measurements of upwelling IR radiation in those wavelengths always shows a continuous stream, from the surface up to the top of the atmosphere.


  21. CO2 effect is saturated

    I reviewed your Basic Rebuttal to CO2 greenhouse effect saturation, and believe that the author's analogy with the buckets of water is incomplete and misleading.  If I understand this analogy, it is comparing the water with heat energy, the bucket with the atmosphere, and the hole in the bucket corresponds to a path for the heat energy to reach outer space. Finally, the plug for the hole corresponds to the CO2 greenhouse effect. CO2, however, can absorb (or block) IR radiation only within a narrow band at a 15 micron wavelength, which is a small fraction of the total IR energy going into space.  In order to complete the analogy, one would need to blow a massive hole in the other side of the bucket to allow for IR energy to escape at other wavelengths.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Should you wish to inform yourself (which seems highly unlikely), you should read more about the bucket analogy on this thread.

    You may also wish to acquaint yourself with the definition of "analogy". An analogy is not typically expected to be a full model of an entire system - just a simple way of explaining part of it:


    A relationship of resemblance or equivalence between two situations, people, or objects, especially when used as a basis for explanation or extrapolation

  22. CO2 emissions do not correlate with CO2 concentration

    Rob H ~ never would I have thought you had such a cynical streak.

    And yes, DaveBurton should self-cancel his website, and start off with a clean sheet, correcting all the errors & misleading information.

  23. Rob Honeycutt at 07:37 AM on 1 August 2023
    CO2 emissions do not correlate with CO2 concentration

    Somehow I get the sense Dave's merely trying to generate traffic for his website. These posts are starting to border on spam.

  24. CO2 emissions do not correlate with CO2 concentration

    Daveburton @20 ,

    thank you for supplying that link < /Skrable2022/ > to some criticisms of the Skrable et al paper.   And the criticisms are scathing.

    Very evidently, the Skrable paper should have been retracted.


    btw, Dave, in the list of links shown at your website, the second-to-last one (to EdBerry) comes up as Page Not Found.   #But please do not bother to correct that, since Ed Berry is mostly a complete waste of readers' time.

  25. CO2 emissions do not correlate with CO2 concentration

    If anyone doubts that Skrable et al got it wrong, they should read the five published responses to it. They're devastating.

    I have the Skrable, Chabot & French paper, as well as the five "comment on" response papers which Health Physics published, Skrable's replies to the responses, Skrable's later letter & paper, a "comments on" response to that one by Dr. David E. Andrews, and Skrable's response to that, all on my site, here:

    My initial motivation for putting the responses on my site was to make them available, to debunk the errors in Skrable's paper, since Health Physics had paywalled all but the first page of each "comment-on" response. (I obtained the responses, in some cases, by contacting their authors.)

    Fortunately, Health Physics subsequently un-paywalled them. But it's still handy to have all that material together, in one place.

    I did notice a small problem with this article. The red trace in Figure 1 is labeled "Total CO2 Emissions (Total amount of CO2 emitted by humans)." But it is not actually the total amount, since it excluldes CO2 from land use changes (forest clearing, swamp draining, etc.).

    I don't have a problem with that choice, since fossil carbon emissions are known with reasonable accuracy, and land use change emissions are not. However, a better label for the red trace would be "Total fossil CO2 Emissions (Total amount of CO2 released by burning fossil fuels and making cement)."

    Another problem is that the graph appears to end with CDIAC's 2013 emission data. Newer data from multiple sources can be found here:

  26. It's not urgent

    PollutionMonster ~ you being able to argue with 3 Denialists, sounds like it could be fun entertainment for you (provided they come up with halfway-decent points for consideration).

    But all too often, the Denialists are like Anti-vaxxers.  When you show evidence of enormous benefit of vaccines (and the rareness of adverse effects) . . . then the Anti-vaxxers simply launch into a perpetual cycle of: Fatal side-effects > Mercury poisoning > Autism > Individual freedom > Conspiracy theories > Financial corruption > and back to vaccines causing millions of deaths / millions of cases of gross & permanent sabotage of the human immune system, and so on.

    PollutionMonster  ~ in over 10 years of searching, I have never come across a valid argument that shows the basic mainstream climate to be wrong.  If you yourself encounter a valid scientific argument that shows "it's not urgent we act now on climate change" . . . then this thread here might be a good place to publicize it.  (Sadly, all I come across is the vague & half-truthful rhetoric of the occasional person like Dr Judith Curry . . . or the even vaguer & only-slightly-truthful Mr Nicolas Loris of your example above.)

  27. PollutionMonster at 16:40 PM on 31 July 2023
    It's not urgent

    @34 Electric

    Thank you. I am currently arguing with three deniers and got quite overwhelmed. I didn't want to dismiss a legitmate concern and lose crediblity with the interlocutors.

    I sometimes go on tilt and cannot process the paragraphs when I am presented with a vague argument. A confusing denier statement can be the most difficult of all.

    Loris' part about three decimal points sounded legimate, thank you for debunking this myth.

  28. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #30

    Michael Sweet:

    Alas, the reality of renewable energy's performance in Texas is not acknowledged by the far right state elected officials who are beholding to the fossil fuel industry. The following article is illustrative:

    Gov. Greg Abbott vows to exclude renewable energy from any revived economic incentive program by Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune, Mar 1, 2023 

  29. Wildfires are not caused by global warming

    Scott @ 15, 16:

    Congratulations. You continue your biased assertions of "extremely misleading". Once again, you really should read the Coments Policy, and tone down the rhetoric.

    You continue to cherry pick specific graphs or quotes that do not necessarily imply what you want them to mean.

    You continue to fail to discuss the difference between global and regional issues. Your very first reference, to the Royal Society blog post, starts off with the Overview statement (emphasis added):

    Fire activity is on the rise in some regions, but when considering the total area burned at the global level, we are still not seeing an overall increase.

    In the first paragraph of the article, they quote the author as saying (emphasis added):

    So, there is no doubt that, as explained in our paper, fire activity is on the rise in some regions, such as the western side of North America. And very importantly, associated with these regional increases, we are already seeing a rise in fire impacts...

    Yet you characterize the blog past solely on the basis of what they say about global biomass burning trends. What else do they say about the recent global decrease they are referring to? The second paragraph, in full:

    This may sound counter-intuitive. The global decrease is mostly driven by less fire in savannahs and grasslands, mainly in Africa, but also in South America and Australia. In quantitative terms, fire in those grassy ecosystems account for around 70% of the total global area burnt, so the reduction in fire activity here outweighs the increase in burned area that we are seeing in other parts of the world.

    Much of the damage and danger in other areas is associated with forest fires. Burning an acre of forest is not the same as burning an acre of grassland.

    Nobody is claiming that global or regional climate is the only factor in fires, so arguing that other factors is present is arguing a strawman. Regardless of the source of ignition, large fires require large amounts of fuel.

    ...and you continue to ignore the question of what the future holds. That requires a deeper level of understanding than what you have shown here.

    Claiming that climate "is the least important factor" is certainly not supported by any of the evidence you provide.

  30. Wildfires are not caused by global warming

     Eclectic @14 /Bob Loblaw @13

    It didn't find those files but here they are:

    Southern hemisphere biomass burning

    Fire Cause

    Global Biomass Burning


  31. Wildfires are not caused by global warming

    Eclectic @14 /Bob Loblaw @13 You are correct, I assumed the diagram was from the IPCC, it isn't, and the increase it shows has very little to do with global warming. In that respect it is extremely misleading. The area burnt by wild fires has been decreasing not increasing. You criticised this conclusion as being from 2016 - yet in a 2020 blog post by the Royal Society the authors of the paper were interviewed again to find out whether things have changed since its publication. The answer was basically no. "... when considering the total area burned at the global level, we are still not seeing an overall increase, but rather a decline over the last decades. This has been confirmed in a series of subsequent studies, using data up to 2017 or 2018."

    From: 'Large Variations in Southern Hemisphere Biomass Burning During the Last 650 Years' Z. Wang,1 J. Chappellaz,2 K. Park,1 J. E. Mak1 (Science Vol 330 17 December 2010)

    "These observations and isotope mass balance model results imply that large variations in the degree of biomass burning in the Southern Hemisphere occurred during the last 650 years, with a decrease by about 50% in the 1600s, an increase of about 100% by the late 1800s, and another decrease by about 70% from the late 1800s to present day."
    Southern hemisphere biomass burning

    [For some reason images are not showing in the preview but the source is correct]

    The same picture is repeated globally. In 'Climate and human influences on global biomass burning over the past two millennia' by J. R. MARLON et al. (Nature Geoscience 1, 697–702; published online: 21 September 2008), they measure sedimentary charcoal records spanning six continents to document trends in both natural and anthropogenic biomass burning for the past two millennia. From this they obtain the following graph - again showing a very clear 20th century decline.


    All this begs the question of why there has been such an increase in fires in California.
    "Autumn and winter Santa Ana wind (SAW)–driven wildfires play a substantial role in area burned and societal losses in southern California. Temperature during the event and antecedent precipitation in the week or month prior play a minor role in determining area burned. "

    "Models explained 40 to 50% of area burned, with number of ignitions being the strongest variable. One hundred percent of SAW fires were human caused, and in the past decade, powerline failures have been the dominant cause. Future fire losses can be reduced by greater emphasis on maintenance of utility lines and attention to planning urban growth in ways that reduce the potential for powerline ignitions."

    See 'Ignitions explain more than temperature or precipitation in driving Santa Ana wind fires' by Jon E. Keeley et al. Science Advances 21 Jul 2021 Vol 7, Issue 30

    In 'Nexus between wildfire, climate change and population growth in California' by Jon E. Keeley and Alexandra D. Syphard (Fremontia vol 47 Issue 2 2020) is a detailed analysis of wildfires in California. A distinction is drawn between fuel dominated and wind dominated fires.

    Population increase leading to urban expansion, accompanied by expansion of the electric power grid, increasing the chances of a powerline failure was a significant cause of wildfire. (The 2021 Dixie fire at 389,837 hectares was caused by a tree falling onto a powerline and could have been prevented had the power company acted promptly - see California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Investigation Report Case Number: 21CABTU009205-58). General poor maintenance by utilities has caused many wind dominated wildfires.

    Fuel-dominated fires are mostly forest fires in lightly populated regions and so tend to result in less property damage. A century of fire suppression has led to a huge accumulation of fuel at ground level. As a result a low intensity surface fire can easily become a high intensity crown fire.

    How 100 years of a misguided policy outlawing controlled burns has left California vulnerable to wild fires

    In conclusion, the total area burnt has been decreasing globally and in California where it has increased this is largely due to misguided policies of forest management and poorly maintained, overloaded power infrastructure. (Urban planning which doesn't adequately address fire hazard doesn't help either). I think linking wildfires to global warming is misguided and likely to backfire when it is revealled to be the least important factor.

  32. It's not urgent

    PollutionMonster @32 & @33 :

    It is not very clear what points you wish to discuss re your link to the February 2019 article by a Mr Nicolas Loris.  His article seems little more than a half-baked gentle rant (and is published by the Heritage Foundation . . . which is simply a propaganda organization).

    Loris's article is rather dated, being from 4.5 years ago, and talks against a (leftist politician's) supposed "Green New Deal"  which planned major changes over 10 years.   And basically, this "Deal" is non-existent ~ just vaporware on the political stage, with about zero chance of being implemented in the USA.

    Loris uses very vague wording about "industrialized" countries reducing CO2 emissions to zero yet having negligible effect on global temperature by 2100.   But he simply does not analyse the situation with any care or logic.   [By quoting temperature rises to 3 decimal points, he hopes to give the impression of scientific ultra-precision & credibility.]

    In short, Loris is wasting the reader's time ~ IMO he aims to produce an impression that our current situation is hopeless and that we all might as well close our eyes to problems . . . and go back to sleep & take no climate action.   Pure propaganda ~ not subtle but merely vague.

  33. michael sweet at 22:56 PM on 30 July 2023
    2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #30

    Here is a current article from CNN about wind and solar propping up theTexas grid during the current record heat wave.  The old fossil grid wuld have failed again without renewable energy.

  34. michael sweet at 21:59 PM on 30 July 2023
    2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #30

    This article from The Guardian (US edition) describes how solar and wind have supplied Texas power to keep the Air Conditioning on this summer during record demand.  (It is a month old).  There have been a lot of outages at fossil plants but the large amounts of solar that were installed in the last two years are keeping the lights on.  Wind has provided power in the evenings and at night. 

    Prices have stayed down, in contrast to the past two or three years when electricity and gas prices rose to extraordinary highs due to shortages from fossil plants failing during the heat.  It points out that fossil fuel backers do not count all the times that fossil plants fail in challenging weather conditions and claim "always on".  The Texas legislature has proposed new rules favoring fossil plants over renewable energy.

    They point out that it is easier to get permits for a renewable plant since renewables do not use significant water and produce no air pollution.  They are rapidly building more solar plants and are starting battery storage to replace peaker plants.

  35. Over 31,000 scientists signed the OISM Petition Project

    Please note: the basic version of this rebuttal has been updated on July 30, 2023 and now includes an "at a glance“ section at the top. To learn more about these updates and how you can help with evaluating their effectiveness, please check out the accompanying blog post @

  36. PollutionMonster at 13:54 PM on 30 July 2023
    It's not urgent

    With the last post, I was asking for help debunking what I am pretty sure is a denier's argument and link. I could have made that more clear this heat wave is affecting my cognitive ability.

    For example, the link quotes very specific numbers, are they correct and a red herring or just plain incorrect? This is the best place to come if I get stuck and it takes too long to debunk a climate change myth or is there another place?

  37. PollutionMonster at 18:07 PM on 29 July 2023
    It's not urgent

    I used the tactic of asking for a source rather then trying to debate an incoherent argument.

     Denier link heritage

     This seems very similar to the other arguments they make usually focusing on how expensive and infeasible renewable energy is. Certainly more subtle than other deniers who deny the 97% scientific consensus.



  38. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29


    "When the severity and frequency of extreme weather increases, the sea level rises and gets more acidic, wildlife populations move and wildfires abound, it is not because of Climate Change. It's because fossil fuel use that has changed the atmospheric and oceanic chemistry, allowing it to store more heat, changing the climate. Everyone who watches the weather needs to be reminded of that, too."

    I'm sympathetic to what WDS wrote and what OPOF says. One reason. Apparently the link between fossil fuels and climate change is not mentioned in the IPCC summary for policy makers (or rarely mentioned I just forget which), because the oil exporting companies lobbied vigorously to keep it out. And in hindsight I've noticed our news media doesn't explicilty mention the link very often.

    The counter argument is that almost everyone on the planet must know by now that fossil fuels are the main cause of climate change in recent decades. You would have to live a very isolated existence not to have heard by now.

    But I think the link should always be mentioned more often and when appropriate. ( I hear what BL is saying) Reinforing the facts is arguably a good idea and cannot be a bad idea. 

  39. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    OPOF - blog-post in an advanced state of preparation to dispel the latest emergent climate-myths. Expect to see it fairly soon.

  40. One Planet Only Forever at 04:10 AM on 29 July 2023
    2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    The following BBC News: Science item is a recent example, only one of many, regarding the communication challenge I refer to in my comment:

    "False claims that heatwave is bogus spread online"

    In spite of meticulously correct reporting 'one of many characters' is used as a clear example of false claims made about the reporting.

    The BBC did an excellent job of quickly rebutting the false and harmfully misleading claim. However, it is likely that not everyone who sees and prefers the non-sense false claims will see the refutation and corrections of understanding. And it is also likely that many of the fans of the falsehoods will believe that they are the ones with 'the common sense understanding' and everyone who disagrees with them has been duped ... by The Globalist Elitist Programming.

  41. At a glance - How do we know more CO2 is causing warming?

    Walsculer - see my comment below the following piece, in response to the very similar comment you posted there a few days ago:

    At a glance - Empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming

  42. Flying is worse for the climate than you think

    It's true that the original problem was introducing additional CO2 from the lithosphere beyond what was already in the biosphere. In other words, growing a tree then burning it was, if averaged out over the long run, fine. Just as long as we leave the fossils in the ground.

    Two problems with that. One: there is some sensitivity to timing. Maybe we can't burn everything at once. Different gasses have different forcing effects over different time spans.

    The second relates directly to flying. Burning things up there is not the same as burning them down here. The contrails are mostly just water but they still heat up the planet. Greenhouse effect. Emitting CO2 is just a third of the problem with flying. Adam explains this in the video.

  43. One Planet Only Forever at 11:57 AM on 28 July 2023
    2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    Bob Loblaw,

    I understand the focus on presenting defensible statements. But the science is pretty clear that the use of fossil fuels has produced the majority of human influence on observed Climate Change.

    We are clearly in a system/state where the 'popularity of an idea' can trump the 'merit of an idea'. I am not sure that any significant portion of humanity has ever developed out of this condition. Even current day science, what is investigated and how it is reported, can be seen to be influenced by powerful interests that conflict with how a ‘pure pursuit of science’ would improve the understanding of what is going on.

    It seems that the degree of power held by ‘popularity of impressions favouring those with higher status’ has varied. But ‘popularity of impressions’ has rarely been fully governed by the ‘pursuit of improved understanding’. In such a system/state it seems that people who are willing to mislead others in the hopes of benefiting from popular misunderstanding will have a competitive advantage ... no matter how carefully worded a statement of understanding that they dislike is ... no matter how much evidence supports the understanding they dislike ... no matter how much evidence contradicts the belief/misunderstanding they prefer and want to promote.

    Competition for status has developed in a diversity of nations and cultures. The result is a diversity of ways that 'many people with higher status' potentially have to lose status relative to others if 'increased awareness and improved understanding governed'. That applies 'Big Time' to the matter of the harms of climate change.

    It seems there is little chance of increased risk of harm from indicating that fossil fuel use is causing unacceptable climate change (unacceptable because the persons benefiting from harmful fossil fuel activity are not the persons being harmed by that activity).

  44. At a glance - How do we know more CO2 is causing warming?

    Perhaps you do nto think it worth mentioning in this brief the following early work in the area of CO2 and climate change. This includes de Saussure's demonstration of the focusability and transmission of "obscure chaleur" (dark heat) and the measurement of atmospheric heat trapping as a function of altitude with an insulated, dark interior, double glazed cubic foot box he transported from seal level to Alpine peaks: Fourier's mention of human industrial pollution's heat trapping potential in 1827 (which refers to de Saussure), and Arrhenius' 1896 paper with the first computed (single equation, single flat layer) atmospheric model, that sought to explain recently discovered evidence of ice ages by calulating the effect of halving, and also up to tripling the then current concentration of CO2 (about 295pmm) month by month at 10 degree latitude intervals to display the effects on changes of seasonal solar inputs. I think at lleast the last of these is worthmentioning in the brief.

  45. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    The only [snipped] wavelength of Earth's radiation the Co2 can effectively absorb is the 14-16 micron Band.  The other two bands are in an area where Earth radiation is minimal.

    NASA data now available shows that the 14-16 band energy is already totally absorbed at present levels of CO2.  (NASA Technical Memorandum 103957, Appendix E)

    Therefore more CO2 can not result in more energy absorption, thus can have no effect on Warming.

    This information is only recently available.  

    It is time to quit trying to find complicated verbal arguements trying to get around the facts.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Strike five. As this user seems to have nothing else to say except to repeat this snippet, he will no longer be participating in this forum.


  46. Wildfires are not caused by global warming

    Scott @12 , thank you for the link to the Royal Society research article (by Doerr & Santin) published in 2016.  This was somewhat earlier than the disastrous wildfires recently in Australia and in California ~ disastrous not so much in their extent as in their effect on human lives & livelihoods.

    Also earlier than the more recent ( non-Mediterranean ! ) wildfires in Canada that were "smoking out" regions of New England, into the bargain.

    Also earlier than the [current] disastrous wildfires in southern Greece and Rhodes.  (Difficult to picture a more Mediterranean scenario than southern Greece and Rhodes.)   Human impact is a large factor in assessing the significance of fires ~ but I am sure the inhabitants & tourists in Rhodes are at present comforted by by the knowledge that the island of Rhodes is small in area, in global terms.


    [IPCC] was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 ... to provide policymakers with regular assessments on the current state of knowledge about climate change.  [And was endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 1988.]      So I suppose we can say that the IPCC is a political body in a sense . . . perhaps rivalling the well-known political nature of the WMO.    Scott , you need to explain what you mean by the "political agenda"  being "pushed"  by all these international bodies.  Are they in any way partisan or nefarious?

  47. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    Wild and One:

    I'm going to have to express some disagreement. Although in public discourse and discussion there may be reasons to keep emphasizing the links between human activities, fossil fuels, and changing climates, in the scientific discussion (which Skeptical Science tries to focus on), the terms such as "climate change" have specific scientific meaning.

    Not all climate change is induced by burning fossil fuels or other recent human activities. Using vocabulary that fails to recognize that will lead to a risk of losing credibility. Number 1 on the SkS "Most used climate myths" is "Climate's changed before". Number 89 is "They changed the name from 'global warming' to 'climate change'." Number 209 is "IPCC edited out natural causes of climate change".

    It's unfortunate, but you need to be careful on how contrarians will twist your words.

  48. Wildfires are not caused by global warming

    Scott @ 12:

    Frankly, you appear to be having some difficulty in reading comprehension. You make the serous accusation that "the IPCC is a political body with a political agenda to push", but you have very little in the way of logic or data to support that claim. Such an accusation flirts with the Comments Policy here, but let's entertain your case for a bit.

    So,, you reference in your very first paragraph "the diagram from the IPCC". Can you be specific as to which diagram you are referring to? The original post references the IPCC just once, near the end, where is says:

    ...the latest IPCC report found in 2014 that “fire weather is projected to increase in most of southern Australia,” with days experiencing very high and extreme fire danger increasing 5–100% by 2050.

    The first diagram in the post, in the tweet from Robert Rhode, has no citation, but states that the data are from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The graph is for Australia.

    The second diagram is for California data. Again, the diagram is not attributed to a reference, but states "Data from Cal Fire", and is titled "California Wildfire Acres Burned".

    The third diagram looks at the forest area burned in the western US. It is sourced from page 1105 in the referenced  Fourth National Climate Assessment. The "national" part of that report title relates to its origin: the US Global Chance Research Program.

    ..and that is the last diagram in the post. So where is this "diagram from the IPCC"???

    The original post also makes specific reference to Australia and California in its opening paragraph (the green box at the top). Under "heat worsens wildfires", the post specifically says (emphasis added):

    In simple terms, vegetation and soil dry out, creating more fuel for fires to expand further and faster. This is particularly a problem in Mediterranean climates that are prone to drought, like in California and Australia.

    So, the post is specifically looking at certain regions. What about the paper you link to? You make the claim:

    Yet research published by the Royal Society shows the opposite...

    Now, you do add "(globally)" after that. But why are you presenting this as if it evidence that goes again the evidence provided for Australia, California, and the western US? If we dig into that reference (which is now 7 years old), what we find is statements like the following, in their Synthesis and Conclusion:

    We do not question that fire season length and area burned has increased in some regions over past decades, as documented for parts of North America, or that climate and land use change could lead to major shifts in future fire consequences, with potential increases in area burned, severity and impacts over large regions

    That reference discusses many of the factors affected fire statistics, and make frequent reference to regional variations. (It also provides no new research - it is a review of existing research and expresses an opinion.)

    And the figure you provide - which you introduce with "In particular in Europe..." is, as it says in the caption (which you included), for the European Mediterranean region.

    So, your case seems to boil down to "but if we average out the areas where burning is less with the areas where burning is more, then the areas where burning is more won't be affected"??? Add in a bit of "but if there is not a trend in current data, there won't be a problem in the future", and you have someone that simply does not like the science. The OP and the references all indicate that increased risk of fire is something that is worth worrying about.

  49. Wildfires are not caused by global warming

    Something is not adding up here. The diagram from the IPCC shows the area of wild fires increasing (for the Western US). Yet research published by the Royal Society shows the opposite (globally) and I give a link to the article:

    "Analysis of charcoal records in sediments [31] and isotope-ratio records in ice cores [32] suggest that global biomass burning during the past century has been lower than at any time in the past 2000 years."

    "The availability of satellite data now allows a more consistent evaluation of temporal patterns in area burned. Thus, from an analysis based on MODIS burned area maps between 1996 and 2012, Giglio et al. [35] present some rather notable outcomes. In contrast to what is widely perceived, the detected global area burned has actually decreased slightly over this period (by 1% yr−1). A more recent global analysis by van Lierop et al. [36], based primarily on nationally reported fire data supplemented by burned area estimates from satellite observations, shows an overall decline in global area burned of 2% yr−1 for the period 2003–2012."


    In particular in Europe there has been a gradual declining trend in area burnt since 1980: Wildfire occurrence (a) and corresponding area burnt (b) in the European Mediterranean region for the period 1980–2010. Source: San-Miguel-Ayanz et al. [37].

    Wildfire occurrence (a) and corresponding area burnt (b) in the European Mediterranean region for the period 1980–2010. Source: San-Miguel-Ayanz et al. [37].


    Given that the concern should be for GLOBAL CO2 why is the emphasis on wild fires in the Western US? I'm beginning to suspect that the IPCC is a political body with a political agenda to push.

  50. One Planet Only Forever at 05:43 AM on 25 July 2023
    2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29


    I agree. And my initial impulse was to simply add the importance of reducing unnecessary consumption, especially energy consumption. More is not always an improvement.

    Then I wondered about the merit of the change. It seems that the problem is that when there is competition for the ‘popularity of ideas’ rather than ‘evaluation of the merit of ideas’ less ethical and more misleading marketers have a competitive advantage. Successful misleading marketing has already developed many people who are interested in dismissing or denying that fossil fuel use is a significant problem – mainly because they consider that ‘their perceived benefits from fossil fuel use’ off-set or justify ‘any perceived harm done’ (higher discount rates used by the likes of Nordhaus are examples of that). And adding the mention of fossil fuels may not change that.

    However, it is important to avoid distracting debates about what is ‘more or most helpful’ among the diversity of helpful harm reduction understandings and actions. Many things are helpful and need to, and can, happen concurrently to improve conditions for others, especially for future generations.

    My interest is increased awareness and improved understanding regarding Sustainable Development. I have developed the understanding that a root of the problem is that a lot of harmful unsustainable actions have become popular and profitable ... and ... a lot of misunderstanding exists that resists correction because becoming more aware of, ‘awakening to’, the harmfulness of what has developed leads to changes that can reduce developed perceptions of superiority.

    Applying the Imrov Comedy approach of “Yes ... And” may be helpful. So...

    Yes to calling it many versions of ‘fossil fuel use caused climate change’

    And ... Consider saying climate change ‘primarily’ caused by fossil fuels.

    And ... Consider mentioning that there are many other harmful impacts of fossil fuel extraction, processing and use.

    And ... An additional related problem is misleading marketing fuelling misunderstandings.

    Yes to the list of actions

    And ... Reduce unnecessary consumption, especially energy consumption. Limiting unnecessary actions is not harmful no matter what is claimed by people who like benefiting from being unnecessarily harmful.

    And ... Minimize the harms done by the remaining necessary actions. Note that actions that limit climate change should not cause other harms.

    And ... Repair the damage that has been done ... and ... require those who benefited most from the damage done to do the most to repair the damage done. Note that not everyone in a ‘most harmful nation’ is a ‘most harmful person’... and ... Very high impact people can hide in a nation that has low per capita impacts.

    And ... Understand that the current developed, and developing, condition includes harmful over-consumption and related developed desires to resist giving up any of the incorrectly and unjustified developed perceptions of superiority or opportunity to obtain more personal benefit.

    And ... Understand that mitigation and adaptation are both versions of ‘repair of damage done’, including the damaging fundamentals of developed socioeconomic political systems, especially the harmful ‘conflict of interests’ and related desires for more freedom to do whatever a person or group develops an interest or desire to do.

    And ... Help people increase their awareness and understanding of what is harmful, which includes helping others become more aware of the importance of more people becoming “more woke”.

    And ... Call-out harmful people who try to promote the misunderstanding that “being woke” is harmful. More people being more woke only harms the interests of people who want to benefit from lack of awareness and harmful misunderstandings. Woke is a Helpful and necessary part of harm reduction


    Understand that it is harmful for leaders to compromise actions that would reduce harm done by ‘being considerate and accepting of harmful interests and related misunderstandings’. Some people will passionately resist learning to be less harmful and more helpful. They are personally interested in having more freedom to believe and do whatever they perceive to be ‘beneficial to them’.

    ... A more comprehensive understanding may be ...

    Harmful climate change and resistance to limiting and repairing the harm done is due to unnecessary and harmful human activity that incorrectly became popular and profitable. And the developed harmful activity and related misunderstandings can powerfully resist being limited and corrected.

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