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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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Comments 101 to 150:

  1. CO2 lags temperature

    Was there a graph included with the 800,000 yr study? Just want an easy to compare and valid one that I can use.

  2. CO2 lags temperature

    Hi Bob. SkS (SkepticalScience?) ;) Yes, I guess that SS has some bad connotations to it. Sorry.

    There seem to be a lot of graphs out there. Like this one one, or this one. I was thinking of something closer together like this one

  3. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    Polling by Pew Research on American scientists attitudes to the climate issue. (Appears to be all scientists not just climate scientists)

    ".....And 77 percent of scientists said climate change is a very serious problem......"

    So quite a strong majority of scientists think climate change is a very serious problem. 


  4. CO2 lags temperature

    Ron @ 645:

    Although the Basic tab shows a Vostok ice core that only covers 400,000 years (the limit available at that station, according to Wikipedia), the Intermediate tab of this article includes another station (Dome C) with an 800,000-year record. Is that the graph you are thinking of?

    Dome C ice core record


    P.S. The preferred abbreviation for Skeptical Science is SkS. Three guesses for why. (First two guesses don't count.)

  5. CO2 lags temperature

    Hi SS. You have a graph showing the relation between Co2 and Temperature going back 400,000 years, but I'm wondering if you can insert the one that goes back 800,000 years?

  6. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    Yes Bob - so it proved. Made the beer taste especially good at - I think because it was a while back - the Braunschweiger Hütte. The next day on the Otztaler Wildspitze was a cracking one, despite most of the party being a tad hungover to start with. High mountains magic. Sorry to take this even further O/T: just revisiting memories!

  7. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    John Mason @ 20:

    It sounds to me like you were only caught in a "potentially catastrophic" situation. Since nothing bad actually happened, then obviously it would be pointless in the future to avoid being out on glaciers during lightning events, or running quickly down glaciers with deep crevasses.

    (Where is that html sarcasm tag???)

  8. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    To borrow a contrarian meme, "one more nail in the coffin" of Gordon's quest "to find out what percentage of climate scientists believe that global warming will be catastrophic."

    The study referenced in the OP is not a survey of "what scientists believe". Skeptical Science has a longer post on the 97% consensus theme. The Cook et al (2013) study is just one of the papers discussed there, and this is how it is described (including a link to the paper itself):

    A Skeptical Science-based analysis of over 12,000 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subject 'global climate change' and 'global warming', published between 1991 and 2011, found that over 97% of the papers taking a position on the subject agreed with the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of the project, the scientist authors were emailed and rated over 2,000 of their own papers. Once again, over 97% of the papers taking a position on the cause of global warming agreed that humans are causing it

    Note that the study looked at the abstracts of published papers. And in a second phase, the study did not ask scientists "what they believed" - they asked authors of papers to rate the papers they had written.

    That Gordon confuses reading the literature with "asking what someone believes" tells us more about Gordon than we probably need to know.

    If Gordon seriously wants an answer to his "catastrophic" question, along the lines of the study done by Cook et al (2013), there is an obvious solution:

    Read the scientific literature

  9. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    I suppose when it comes to catastrophic, lightning could be cited as an example. I've been caught way back in my youth in severe electrical storms high up in the European Alps. I recall one occasion when a multi-channel CG strike hit the large glacier I was descending, some 100 metres away - far too close for comfort. Even the guide I was with was freaked out. Memorable, as readers might well imagine. Nevertheless it would only have been catastrophic if it had instead grounded through either (or both) of us. We ran the few miles to the hut from that moment - it was a long glacier - thereby risking the further catastrophe of both of us dropping down a hidden crevasse simultaneously. I don't know, because we escaped both fates, which catastrophe would have been worse!

  10. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    Also note that Gordon has taken his "definition" quote from the Positives and negatives of global warming post. He linked to the advanced tab in comment 6, and I have now linked to the basic version three times (including this comment).

    Gordon has absolutely no justification in ignoring that post, where the consequences are laid out in detail. If he disagrees with those consequences - either that they won't happen, or that they are not bad - then he needs to go to that thread and discuss them there.

    If Gordon continues to post off-topic here, there will be consequences. (He can read the Comments Policy to find out what they are.)

  11. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    In spite of being given a definition of "definition", Gordon @ 16 still fails to provide his definition of "catastrophic".

    The quote he has provided, and doubled-down on, says "...the consequences of 4C being potentially catastrophic".

    So, we are back to word games. Let's start with the first key word - consequence:

    consequence (plural consequences)

    1. That which follows something on which it depends; that which is produced by a cause.
    2. A result of actions, especially if such a result is unwanted or unpleasant.
      I'm warning you. If you don't get me the report on time, there will be consequences.
    3. A proposition collected from the agreement of other previous propositions; any conclusion which results from reason or argument; inference.
    4. Chain of causes and effects; consecution.
    5. Importance with respect to what comes after.
    6. The power to influence or produce an effect.
    7. (especially when preceded by "of") Importance, value, or influence.

    So, clearly it is not the 4C that is catastrophic, - it is (as Eclectic has pointed out), what comes along with the 4C. And Gordon has utterly. completely failed to provide any constructive input on just what those consequences are. He even uses the phrase "..the environmental effect of..." as a substitute for "consequences", without ever actually specifying what those effects would be.

    Second important word: potential.

    potential (countable and uncountable, plural potentials)

    1. A currently unrealized ability (with the most common adposition being to). Even from a young age it was clear that she had the potential to become a great musician.
    2. (physics) The gravitational potential: the radial (irrotational, static) component of a gravitational field, also known as the Newtonian potential or the gravitoelectric field.
    3. (physics) The work (energy) required to move a reference particle from a reference location to a specified location in the presence of a force field, for example to bring a unit positive electric charge from an infinite distance to a specified point against an electric field.
    4. (grammar) A verbal construction or form stating something is possible or probable.

    Note definitions 1 and 4. Note the use of "unrealized" and "possible or probable". We are talking here about risk. The "definition" that you have given for "catastrophic" is simply stating that the consequences (of something) are potentially catastrophic.

    Your "question", Gordon, is still just as poorly specified as it was in your first comment on this thread,. Since you refuse to say what consequences (or effects) you want people's opinion on, you are asking a meaningless question.

    And it is still off-topic for this thread. Go to this one, read it, and pose your questions there. But do not simply triple-down on your useless version.

    Positives and negatives of global warming

  12. At a glance - The 97% consensus on global warming

    @ NigelJ - thanks. At a glance are always ideally <500 words that can be read e.g. when you have phoned that utility company and are waiting for an actual human to answer while the tinny music plays on - in fact my experience of the utilities of late is that I could get through a dozen of them. The longer ones (this one's around 700 words) occur either when something has been so slagged off by the opposition that it deserves fuller explanation at all levels - OR when said opposition has picked an obscure and complex topic with which to make word-salad, so lots of first principles have to be explained. In summary - there's no one typical climate myth. Each has to be treated on its anti-merits!

  13. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    Gordon ~ regarding Dana Nuccitelli, it's all a matter of context.

    Easy to see when "catastrophic"  is being used as a deflection / strawman that is being shouted (to abort rational thinking).

    Catastrophic  is defined by the effect  (not the absolute temperature e.g. 4 degrees rise).   As I am sure you know very well, Earth's surface temperature was above that 4 degC  level in the distant past  ~  but then  there was much more carbon in the biosphere.   Nowadays . . . not so much carbon "available", but the biosphere is far less resilient against rapid warming (in large part, thanks to the presence of 8+ Billion humans ~ and many of whom live in poverty already).

    Your question about % of scientists "believing" in catastrophic probabilities, is a question that is moot.   It is a question that is designed (consciously or otherwise) to deflect thought away from the practicalities of our current situation.  Or to deflect from the 97% topic?

  14. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    Bob @12 & 13,

    I would prefer to refer to the Skeptical Science definition of catastrophic, that being a the environmental effect of a greater than 4°C temperature rise.  We could also ask Dana Nuccitelli (a regular cotributor here) what his definition was when he wrote:

    Climate contrarians will often mock 'CAGW' (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming), but the sad reality is that CAGW is looking more and more likely every day.

    (Eclectic, is Dana just shouting a slogan here ?)

    My original question was what percentage of climate scientists today believe that global warming will be catastrophic ?  Given that the IPCC now believes that RCP8.5 has a low likelyhood of occuring, the chances of a greater than 4°C warming along with the prophesied catastrophic effects seem unsupported.

  15. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    Scaddenp @14 ,

    Very droll.  And on target.  As well as anything causing "change".

    Many of them use the same catastrophic ideation about taxation & governments . . . except when the guvmint supplies services to *me*

  16. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    I thought the working definition of "catastrophic" for deniers was "something that would force me to pay more tax"

  17. At a glance - The 97% consensus on global warming

    Incredibly well written, informative, accurate explanation. A delight to read.  Although I still have some trouble reconciling "at a glance" with quite a long explanation.

  18. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    To avoid further distractions on this thread, it is worth noting that the studies mentioned are addressing the question of the cause of recent warming (roughly, over the past century). There are three implications in this:

    1. The global climate has warmed over the last century.
    2. The warming is not just "random variation" - it has been caused by something.
    3. Increases in atmospheric CO2, from human activity, are the major cause.

    Three contrarian "talking points" are discounted by these studies:

    1. The "it's not happening" position in wrong.
    2. The "it's not us" position is wrong.
    3. The "there is lots of disagreement on 'it's not us'" is wrong.

    Gordon's misdirection on "catastrophic" suffers from at least two problems:

    1. The studies look at what the literature says about the cause of climate change up to the present date, with no consideration of the good/bad nature of those changes.
    2. The studies do not examine what the literature predicts will happen in the future, or whether that will be good/bad.

    Gordon is following the expected contrarian path. Having failed on the 'it's not happening" and "it's not us" arguments, the expected third stage is well under way: "it's not bad". That, too, is an extremely weak position, and few climate scientists exist that hold that position.

  19. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    Gordon can't or won't provide a definition of "catastrophic"? I'm shocked, I tell, shocked.

    Maybe he does not know the definition of "definition". Here it is, from Wiktionary:

    (semantics, lexicography) A statement of the meaning of a word or word group or a sign or symbol (dictionary definitions).

    Your definition of "elephant" needs to be more precise than "a big animal with large ears".

    While I am at it, let's look at "catastrophic" (also from Wiktionary):

    catastrophic (comparative more catastrophic, superlative most catastrophic)

    1. Of or pertaining to a catastrophe.
    2. Disastrous; ruinous.
    3. From which recovery is impossible.

    catastrophic failure

    At which point we may as well add "catastrophe":

    catastrophe (plural catastrophes)

    1. Any large and disastrous event of great significance.
    2. (insurance) A disaster beyond expectations.

    Still rather general - losing one's house in  a flood may be catastrophic for the people living in that house, but is not catastrophic for another person half way around the world.

    ...but such vagueness is a feature for Gordon, not a bug. By avoiding his own definition, he gets to use it as a "slogan for shouting" (to use Eclectic's words). He gets to avoid any real discussion of the implications of warming, can repeatedly take positions such as "I don't think that is catastrophic" without saying what he thinks is catastrophic, and just use the slogan as an attack on the significance of the studies mentioned in this blog post.

    Gordon is introducing "catastrophic" as a red herring. He is engaging in misdirection (Look, squirrel!):

    1. An act of misleading, of convincing someone to concentrate in an incorrect direction.

    The magician used misdirection to get us to watch his left hand while he did something with his right hand.

    ...and just in case anyone does not know what a squirrel is (it's not just "a small animal with small ears"):

    squirrel (plural squirrels)

    1. Any of the rodents of the family Sciuridae distinguished by their large bushy tail.

    Any further discussion of whether or not global warming is bad should probably go on this thread:

    Positives and negatives of global warming

  20. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    Michael @10   ~ yes, points taken.

    But the question of time scale : that's probably best viewed by the usual legal yardstick of "reasonable"  ~  that which would be reasonably expected over a reasonable timespan in reasonably predictable circumstances, as viewed by a reasonable person (or better, by a reasonable climate scientist).  Does that sound reasonable?

    A future sea level rise of 1 meter has been closely estimated as displacing around 230 million people.  Presumably a rise of 2 meters would displace well over twice that number, and would destroy a far greater amount of fertile farmland into the bargain.  Perhaps not a problem if occurring over 2,000 years  ~  but  not-quite-unbearably-catastrophic  if occurring over the more reasonably likely timespan of 200 years.

    In short, the term "catastrophic" is nearly useless.

    Beg to differ on (your) suggestion of catastrophe definition by dollar scale.  Too much room for endless wrangling there, whether the figures be $10 Trillion or $50 Trillion or $500 Trillion  (not to mention if these figures are additional costs or partly-substitute costs  +/- dependence on future unknowable technologies).   Besides, oooooodles of zeros can have a stultifying effect on the average mind [such as mine].

    Dollar scale is inferior to scale by Deaths & Displacements & Destroyed farmlands.

  21. michael sweet at 22:26 PM on 16 May 2023
    EPA’s car pollution rules would save Americans trillions of dollars


    I have seen many comments online about electric cars being heavier than ICE cars.  I was very surprised to see your numbers showing that the difference is only 10-15% of the total weight.  Since batteries improve every year, in the near future the weight difference will depend completely on the range the designers want (more range more weight).  I note that popular big SUVs and 4 door pickups are even heavier.

    I agree with you that this is trivial.   As I said in comment 4, this looks like fossil propaganda.

  22. michael sweet at 21:32 PM on 16 May 2023
    10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    Is it "catastrophic" if sea level rises 2 meters in 1000 years, or do we have enough time to adjust?  It would be catastrophic if sea level rose 2 meters in 5 years.  You need an amount and a time.  I think a cash amount is easiest to start with.  Since it is a forecast you need a percentage chance.  If the chance of catastrophe is only .01% most people would not care.

    Is it more likely than not that climate damages worldwide exceed $10 trillion before 2050 or $50 trillion by 2100? 

    You could have a single value or two possible catastrophes.  Or you could do human cost:

    Is it more likely than not that Climate Change will result in over 100 million refugee by 2050?  Or perhaps over 50 million deaths?

    I think items like ecological damage are too hard to estimate.  Single items like likely sea level rise are too specialized. 

    Scientists would have to offer heir opinion on topics that are not heir specialty.  For example Zeke Hausfather gives good temperature descriptions, we want his thoughts on the chances of catastrophe.  We only want opinions from experts, not just the man on the street or some paid fossil shill.

  23. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    Gordon @6 ,

    your quote ["potentially catastrophic"] is not a definition.

    Better to give your own words to say what you mean by catastrophic.

    As John Mason points out, the word means many different things to different people ~ and it is impossible to have an intelligent discussion unless everyone has a common concept of what's being talked about.   Otherwise, words like catastrophic  are just "slogans for shouting"  ~ and nothing gets achieved (apart from the exercise of shouting).

  24. How to inoculate yourself against misinformation

    Petra Liverani I find it interesting why people such as yourself claim to be more open when in reality you are the least open as your stand point just dismisses volumes of scientific evidence that doesn't fit your own beliefs & feeling.  Contrarian thinking can have a value in science to stress standing hypothesis & create alternative hypothesis. However alot of alternative hypothesis continue to be kicked around well after their sell-by date as the evidence against them grows.  We see this in climate science with the likes Lindzen. His climate predictions were proved wrong. He could of conceded, but instead doubled fown and went into the 'it's a conspiracy against me'.  The evidence against Terrain theory is so high their are branches of science dedicated to virology that you have dismiss over a 100years of scientific evidence.  The pieces of Terrain theory that had merit where long included into health care such as the role environment & personal health that's how science works it incorporates things which can ve evidenced as having an effect.  The ideas pushed by the likes of Sam Bailey have long been dismissed to the point she is reverting to scientific knowledge of the 1800's when trying to apply Koch's postulates.  Again this mirrors climate science where past talking points are continually rehashed though the scientific evidence had dismissed them long ago.  The poor logic deployed to dismiss any evidence against a biased position is astonishing - the vast organisation, cost, number of people invloved etc that would be required gor these conspiracy theory's to be real is laughable when membersof governments can't even keep their affairs secret.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Note that you are replying to a thread that was last active nearly a year ago. Petra Liverani has not posted anything since then. A reply is unlikely.

  25. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    John Mason @7 ,

    You are quite right ~ "going red giant" is vastly more likely (tho' gradual)

    . . . so I rate that as only  # 97%  catastrophic.

    ~Was going to say # 95% , but 97% is an almost inescapable climate figure .

  26. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    Eclectic #5 - nice!

    The trouble with terms like "catastrophic" is that one man's minor catastrophe is another's Bad Hair Day... but yes I think we can agree about the Sun going Nova (or, the likelier outcome, to red giant). There are a lot of subjective terms out there - 'dangerous' is another.

  27. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    Bob @4,

    Can we use the Skeptical Science definition ?

    The consequences of climate change become increasingly bad after each additional degree of warming, with the consequences of 2°C being quite damaging and the consequences of 4°C being potentially catastrophic.

  28. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    Perhaps "catastrophic" should only be used when quantified by %  .

    # 100% catastrophic  =  the Sun goes supernova

    #  90%  catastrophic  =  moon-size asteroid strikes Earth

    #  30%  catastrophic  =  sea level rises 2 meters

    #  20%  catastrophic  =  Floridian gets re-elected President

    #   5%   catastrophic  =  price of gasoline exceeds $8 per gallon

    #  0.1%  catastrophic  =  earthquake tsunami destroys New York.

    Something along those sorts of lines.  Quantification essential.

    You can't intelligently manage to talk about it, if you can't measure it.

  29. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    Gordon @ 3:

    Ah, yes, the good old "catastrophic" squirrel.

    I'll tell you what: if you can provide us with your definition of "catastrophic" - and it is a clear, well-expressed definition - then maybe we'll pay some attention to you.

    Until then, we'll just assume that you are playing debating games. "Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming" (CAGW) is the center square in ClimateBall Bingo.

  30. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    On the 10th Anniversary of the 97% consensus study maybe it is time to find out what percentage of climate scientists believe that global warming will be catastrophic ?

  31. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    If you sum all of the (100-percentages) up you get over 30 percents of papers disagree with AGW. And if assume that they are only 95% certain, because I heard somewhere about p values and confidence limits at 95%, then we can take another 5% off for each of those 9 papers, which is 45%, add the initial 30% and we get 75% total papers disagree with AGW. Flawless denier math!

    Please don't ban me, this is sarcasm / humour.

  32. 10 year anniversary of 97% consensus study

    Plus ca change....

    I notice that if you look at the total number of downloads of the later "Consensus on consensus" paper and the Tol paper that triggered it, 95% of the downloads are for "Consensus on consensus". That's gotta hurt.

  33. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #19

    Brown Report Claims Anti-Wind Group Uses Deceit, Delay, Denial and Chicanery to Sabotage Crucial Renewable Energy

    The report emphasises that the denial techniques used by the local group use "data" from fossil-fuel funded national institutions.

    It cannot be stated too often that climate denial, misinformation, disinformation and simple outright lies comes from groups mostly funded by the oil and gas industries and rich people with large investments in the oil & gas industries.

    It also cannot be denied that climate denial / obstruction has been successfully implanted at all levels of Government and in small local denier groups, and they are increasingly effective in blocking progress in reducing CO2 emissions.

    It is a pity that lying now seems to be a normal acceptable part of discussion.

  34. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #19

    Regarding: "Climate scientists first laughed at a ‘bizarre’ campaign against the BoM – then came the harassment by Graham Readfearn , Guardian, May 7th 2023" (Where the Australian bureau of meterology was essentially falsely accused of introducing a warm bias into the temperature records).

    New Zealand had a similar campaign against climate scientists as follows:

    Case against NIWA (Summary)

    On 5 July 2010, The New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET), associated with the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, filed a legal case against the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) claiming that the organisation had used a methodology to adjust historic temperature data that was not in line with received scientific opinion.[53] The Coalition lodged papers with the High Court asking the court to rule that the official temperatures record of NIWA were invalid. The Coalition later claimed that the "1degC warming during the 20th century was based on adjustments taken by Niwa from a 1981 student thesis by then student Jim Salinger...[and]...the Salinger thesis was subjective and untested and meteorologists more senior to Salinger did not consider the temperature data should be adjusted."[54] The case was dismissed, with the judgement concluding that the "plaintiff does not succeed on any of its challenges to the three decisions of NIWA in the issue. The application for judicial review is dismissed and judgment entered for the defendant."[55] On 11 November 2013, the Court of Appeal of New Zealand dismissed an appeal by the Trust against the award of costs to NIWA.[56][57][58] NIWA Chief Executive John Morgan said the organisation was pleased with the outcome, stating that there had been no evidence presented that might call the integrity of NIWA scientists into question.[59]

    There was concern in 2014 that the New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust had not paid the amount of $89,000 to NIWA as ordered by the High Court, and this was a cost to be borne by the taxpayers of New Zealand. Trustee Bryan Leyland, when asked about its assets, said: "To my knowledge, there is no money. We spent a large amount of money on the court case, there were some expensive legal technicalities...[and that]...funding had come from a number of sources, which are confidential".[60] Shortly after that, the New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET) was put into formal liquidation.[61] On 23 January 2014, Salinger stated that this "marked the end of a four-year epic saga of secretly-funded climate denial, harassment of scientists and tying-up of valuable government resources in New Zealand."[62] He also explained the background to the issue around the Seven-station New Zealand temperature series (7SS)[63] and how he felt this had been misrepresented by the Trust.[62]

    (My comments) I recall that during the case NIWAS methodology was also peer reviewed by an independent climate organisation in Australia and they endorsed the methods used. One of the other issues I recall was the judge dismissed the climate denialists expert witnesses because they were not qualified to give evidence on climate science. Details in this article:

    More details and link to the full ruling.



  35. Charlie_Brown at 09:12 AM on 13 May 2023
    2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory

    Wading through over 1,500 comments covering 12 years is a difficult and daunting task. So is reading almost 100 pages of Gerlich & Tscheuschner’s paper. There is so much misinformation and misunderstanding filled with distractions, red herrings, and wild geese, all mixed in with the good information, that it is hard to distill and address the fundamental problem. One hardly knows where to begin. But the core misunderstanding, equilibrium, is revealed in the quote from the abstract of G&T’s paper as shown above in the statement of the myth, as well as in Figure 32 of their paper.

    Increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations causes global warming by reducing radiant energy loss to space. The global energy balance is upset, and the planet warms until the balance is restored. The myth about the 2nd law is based upon an incorrect description of the global energy balance. As GHG increases, the atmospheric system, including the surface of the Earth, is not “radiatively equilibrated” until after warming occurs. Global warming is in accordance with both the 2nd law and the 1st law of thermodynamics - conservation of energy - as the atmosphere changes.
    Input = Output + Accumulation

  36. EPA’s car pollution rules would save Americans trillions of dollars

    My two cents worth on tire wear.

    "A Tesla Model 3 Performance with AWD weighs 4,065 pounds — 379 pounds more than a BMW 330i XDrive (A typical similar size and quality of ICE car to the best of my recollection).

    This weight difference is not going to cause much additional tire wear , so its not significant for vehicle running costs. These sorts of objections to EV's seem trivial to me.

  37. michael sweet at 06:16 AM on 13 May 2023
    EPA’s car pollution rules would save Americans trillions of dollars

    Reading Eric's link about Brake and tire dust I noticed that they always said "brake and tire".  That suggests to me that brake dust is more important.  The article suggests that this research is just beginning because ICE pollution used to be so much bigger that people did not bother looking at brakes and tires.

    I Goggled a little and found that a lot of EV's use one pedal driving.  I have found that with one pedal driving I rarely use the brakes.  I have not measured but I would estimate much less than 5% of the time.  It appears that all electric cars use regenerative brakes.  The brake wear from electric cars will be much lower than current ICE cars.  I saw a youtube video (what could be more accurate ;) where after 90,000 miles (about 145,000 Km) the brake pads were about 15% worn.  Google says brake pads should be replaced every 20,000 miles, although some pads last longer.

    The mechanic estimated that the tires had been driven 65,000 miles and had 5,000 miles left on them.  The car was a Tesla model.   70,000 miles is not much different than an ICE car tire wear.  I note that when you buy tires some have much longer warranty milage claims than other tires.  Presumably tires with a longer lifetime release less dust per mile.  The size of the dust particles is probably also different but I have no idea what the differences are.

    My conclusion is that elecric cars release much less brake dust and probably a little more tire dust than ICE cars.   Since these are currently not even measured because ICE cars release so much particle pollution, switching to electric cars will dramatically reduce small particle pollution.

  38. Eric (skeptic) at 13:05 PM on 12 May 2023
    EPA’s car pollution rules would save Americans trillions of dollars

    Michael thanks for the generative braking reminder.  I forgot about that. 

  39. EPA’s car pollution rules would save Americans trillions of dollars

    Michael @4 , in my role of Devil's Advocate, I can confidently and citationlessly point to the heavier mass of EV's . . . combined with their often temptingly brisk acceleration . . . that leads to faster tread wear.  And presumably the rubbery engineers prioritize grip & low rolling resistance & quietness for the EV market, and tread life is much lower on the list.  The attention to particle PM2.5 pollution has been as an exhaust concern, rather than a rubber concern (even among youthful environmental scientists).  But perhaps this could change in the future.

    It is all very well for you Teslarazzi  to use regenerative braking.  But for those of us with more Scottish blood (read:  pessimistic & dour & penny-pinching) tend to use the disk brakes far more.  The line of thought is that ~ with today's primitive lithium batteries, we wish to avoid the frequent reversals of current flow which shorten battery life.  New battery technology (with ultra-high cycling life and low capital cost) may come eventually . . . but for now, us penny-pinchers would like to eke out the battery long enough to get the rest of the car up to its economic life (rust & plastics degradation) in 15 years or more.  Aye, and a chance at 20.

  40. EPA’s car pollution rules would save Americans trillions of dollars

    Please note that there has been previous discussion of EVs on this thread, and that the distinction between "emissions" from tailpipes vs tires, etc. was brought up in this comment and the ones that follow. Distinguishing between gas emissions (such as CO2) and particulate emissions (such as soot, etc - the things that show up as find particles measured by PM2.5) is very important. In the reference listed on the above thread, tire wear is largely related to vehicle weight, not the source of power.

  41. michael sweet at 10:21 AM on 12 May 2023
    EPA’s car pollution rules would save Americans trillions of dollars


    My Tesla Model 3 uses the motor for almost all of the braking.  I will be very surprised if the vehcle ever requires new brake pads.  I have read that many other (most? All?) electric cars primarily use the motor for braking since they generate electricity to increase driving range.  Can you provide a reference that says electric cars will wear out brake pads faster than ICE cars?  Even hybrids use regenerated braking to increase range.

    What do other model electric car users who read SkS find about brake use?  All Teslas primarily use regenerative braking with the engine and not brake pads.

    I have heard a little about tire wear.  My niece, who is a environmental  scientist working on land management, had never heard of this type of pollution, which suggests to me that it is not very important.  Can you provide a link that describes the importance of electric cars versus ICE and tire wear?  I expect that tire manufactures will reformulate tires to reduce wear if it is a problem, how much that would help is another question.

    I notice that fossil fuel proponents raise a lot of red herrings about electric cars, like brake pad and tire wear.  Are these really issues or are they fossil propaganda?

  42. Skeptical Science News: The Rebuttal Update Project

    The blog post was updated on May 11 with the links ot the latest rebuttals getting the "at a glance treatment":

    The 97% consensus on global warming

    Global cooling - Is global warming still happening?

  43. It's cooling

    Please note: the basic version of this rebuttal has been updated on <date> 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 @

    Thanks - the Skeptical Science Team.

  44. There is no consensus

    Please note: the basic version of this rebuttal has been updated on May 11, 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 @

    Thanks - the Skeptical Science Team.

  45. EPA’s car pollution rules would save Americans trillions of dollars

    Eric, thank you for the links.

    I suspect that the PM2.5 from rubber is not easily reducible.  However, PM2.5 from brake pads could well be an area of improvement, if research effort is put into it.

    Bobhisey, it would be interesting to see more details about the 5c/mile and 12c/mile figures ~ surely there would be vast differences from country to country.  Taxes vary a lot, and a cynic would point out that funding nominally earmarked for road maintenance . . . somehow gets bled off into "general revenue".  Local regional taxation can also go into road repairs, often combined with federal grants.  It's very often a mish-mash.

    At worst, it sounds (to me) like the overall costings situation is likely close to being a wash.  And there is still much scope for future battery improvements in cost & performance (and possibly a smaller EV battery combined with a fuel-cell range extender).  But you are right ~ death & taxes will never be out of the picture.

  46. Eric (skeptic) at 23:13 PM on 11 May 2023
    EPA’s car pollution rules would save Americans trillions of dollars

    758 page EPA "proposed rules" link above is broken.  I tried looking the same document up and found other sites with the same link like this They describe some more of the quantitative benefits in that document.

    I have a question however.  Have the vehicle emissions been segmented into tailpipe and non-tailpipe?  In this source they say "Thus, non-exhaust sources, including brake and tire wear PM, have become larger contributors to traffic-related emissions as well as to ambient PM2.5 (particles less than 2.5 um) concentrations."

    Another question is hormesis.  There's a J-curve to many things like particulates.  There's a slight detriment to having none, then a benefit at low amounts, then more detrimental at increasing amounts and very detrimental at high amounts.  Figuring out where people are on the curve will change the costs and benefits for various groups.  City dwellers will always have more pollution but will also (and have also) benefitted the most from EVs.  I can't tell if they did that segmentation or not.

    Final question is how soon to transition for various groups considering the grid mix.  In some places it will make sense to wait considering the battery will be worn out with charge cycles before the grid has been transitioned away from mostly fossil.  The segementation by group could probably be applied by county based on vehicle-mile density and grid fuel mix.

  47. EPA’s car pollution rules would save Americans trillions of dollars

    Just one comment of man possible.  The 12c/mile includes Federal and state taxes to maintain roads.  The 5c/mile for electrics does not.  They just sort of forgot about that.  

  48. CO2 is not the only driver of climate

    piotr @78,

    Going back to your up-thread enquiry, the responses were not entirely nailing you initial question.

    piotr @70
    I think you confuse the dips in the 11-year solar cycle with the Maunder Minimum. And I would add that associating the Maunder Minimum with a frozen River Thames rather defies the evidence. Frozen Thames events were very rare and only happened in winters when a long cold period of weather engulfed the region. And they stopped happening when they demolished the old London Bridge and embanked the river through London. Without such work, we would have witnessed a frozen Thames in 1963.

    piotr @72
    You asked what Martin Mlynczak was talking about when he talked of something that "will not cause noticeable cooling at the surface."
    The source of that quote is here and I don't think it directly quotes Mlynczak although Mlyncsak was being quoted directly upthread @69 when he says "There is no relationship between the natural cycle of cooling and warming in the thermosphere and the weather/climate at Earth’s surface," the source here dating to 2018.

    And what Martin Mlyncsak was talking about is the newly established Thermosphere Climate Index which back in 2018 was dropping due to the ending of sunspot cycle 24 and with the arrival of sunspot cycle 25 has since risen from 'cold' and approaching 'warm'. This is the "natural cycle" Mlyncsak referred to when he says it has no imact on surface temperatures and given this Thermosphere is a hundred+ kilometres up in the atmosphere, this should not be any great surprise. A graphic of the Thermosphere Climate Index.

  49. CO2 is not the only driver of climate

    Hm my post has not been placed but in short: thanks a lot to your effort to explain as precise as possible. very pleased to not getting dumb comments.

  50. CO2 is not the only driver of climate

    Let me just say thanks a lot at first for your effort to explain. Give me some time to respond. Its very pleasend not to get downed with dumb comments and instead get lot of effort.

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