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Comments 251 to 300:

  1. A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

     Bob 11,
    The evidence that cold kills more than heat ( on every continent ) is overwhelming.
    A Lancet study of 74 million weather deaths over 17 years -  showed cold killing 20 x more than heat, Subsequent comprehensive studies looking at what has happened because of warming - have unsurprisingly shown lives being saved. .

    That Real Climate or any other similar outfit tried to debunk these studies is predictable. I have always found it strange how alarmists ( apologies for the lazy term ) always have to debunk and dispute any evidence that goes against their narrative - in this case it is more transparent than normal.
    As statistical power goes - 74 million over 17 years is pretty significant.
    Why not just accept facts? I can't help thinking no evidence will make any difference. 

  2. One Planet Only Forever at 01:55 AM on 3 April 2024
    A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    Building on this discussion, and not just Bob Loblaw’s points, I offer the following things for people to think about.

    Developing human ways of living on this amazing planet that result in the collective of human activity being a sustainable part of the robust diversity of life is undeniably required for humanity to have a future.

    The ‘starting point’ for that development is a significant part of the challenge for sustainable development.

    The failure to have the marketplace competition for popularity and profit be effectively governed by ‘the pursuit of increased awareness and improved understanding of what is harmful and how to be less harmful and more helpful to others, especially helping those who need assistance to live basic decent lives’ has developed a very problematic starting point.

    A lot of correction of unjustly harmful development is required. And in many cases the less harmful alternatives are more expensive and harder to achieve.

    And there is reason to be concerned about the harm done by the pursuit of making those alternatives cheaper. The nasty mining that is being done for renewable energy systems is not better than the nasty fossil fuel extraction.

    Cheaper or easier or more popular or more profitable does not mean ‘More Sustainable’.

    An obvious part of the solution is ending the harmful impacts of unnecessary consumption by people who live ‘better than basic decent lives’.
    Seriously think about that.

    Getting all of the 'supposedly superior higher status' people to reduce their consumption and show leadership by reduciing the harm done by their consumption is 'problematic;.

  3. A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    As Eclectic points out in #17, there are many "costs" that are very hard to quantify and include in any economic analysis. But that failure cuts both ways. There is a huge difference between "cost" and "value".

    Economics take the approach that if people value it, they'll be willing to spend money on it (cost). But our system does not necessarily allow that. A mining company can buy mining rights on land, but they usually only get to keep those rights if they take action to actually do some mining. I can't outbid them for the mining rights with a plan to never, ever build a mine there - no matter how highly I value that action.

    Another important economic concept is "externalities".

    An impact, positive or negative, on any party not involved in a given economic transaction or act

    You can maximize gain in a portion of the economy through externalities - getting some one else to pay for the negative impacts of your actions. (Queue OPOF...) Climate change is a classic example of negative externalities - the people gaining from fossil fuel production and use don't have to pay for the negative consequences on those that don't. (It's also a classic example of Tragedy of the Commons.)

  4. A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    lchinitz:

    Do you (or others) have a reason to think that such costs are not part of the economic analysis? Basic economics talks about "supply and demand", where consumption of a good will tend to decrease as prices rise. The rate of decrease in relation to the price increase is call "the elasticity of demand". A highly elastic demand (easy to avoid the purchase, or people just can’t afford it) results in a big drop, while a low elasticity (people buy anyway) results in a small decrease. (Maybe demand goes up if they increase prices, as far as I can tell with Apple.) Elasticity of demand on each product modelled would need to be specified as an input or constraint on the model.

    (The supply side of "supply and demand" suggests that as prices rise, more people will be willing to produce and sell. The balancing point is when prices encourage enough producers to produce and sell to the number of people willing to buy at that price.)

    Another common economic concept is "opportunity cost". Look! I got 3% this year by buying a GIC! Yes, but you lost 3% because you took the money out of another investment that would have produced 6%... There is a cost associated with the loss of opportunity that the 6% investment offered. This "which is better - mitigation or adaptation?" question appears to me to be essentially an "opportunity cost" question. Not a surprise to economists.

    I don't know the internals of economic models, but I would expect that at least some (if not most) of the increased costs associated with climate action would cascade into negative impacts elsewhere, via implicit relationships such as supply and demand and opportunity costs. Even if there is not an explicit statement within the model or analysis, the concept is embedded as a result of other things explicitly included in the model.

  5. A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    Ichinitz @16 :

    Quite so ~ it would be a gargantuan task to undertake a full analysis of the type you would wish.

    A decade by decade costing of a rapidly-expanding probability tree, having increasing levels of uncertainty also.

    And how to put a dollar cost on individual suffering . . . or how to use other yardsticks (would 10,000 philosophers be enough, over a decade?).   Ignoring ecological damage ~ how to cost societal disruption and instability . . . with all the possible consequences in political and other fallout that history has been teaching us (even very modern history).

    Daunting.  And probably the best we could do is apply some dispassionate commonsense to our estimations.  Along with caritas (in the Christian sense).

    What we should not do, is ratchet up our Motivated Reasoning, and slide into denial of real-world problems.

    Pragmatically, we know of the social & technological inertias that will slow the whole response to AGW.  But at least we can be walking fast in the right direction, where we ought to be running.

    Half a loaf .....

  6. A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    Hi Eclectic,

    OK, let me back off from trying to speak for William.  Probably not fair of me anyway.  (I am pretty sure I'm representing my friend well, though.)

    Anyway, do you (or does anyone else here) know of any analyses of the kind I mentioned?  That is, what are the possible downsides to taking the actions required to (say) limit ourselves to 2C, and is it possible to quantify those downsides (in dollars, for example?)

    The subset of people for whom such an analysis would matter may be small, but since I feel like I'm hearing it more than once, I'd like to have a solid analysis as a response in the toolkit.

  7. A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    Ichinitz @13 : Sorry, I cross-posted with you.

    Yes, it is rational to examine & cost it all from different angles.

    But that is not what William is suggesting ~ he seems strongly resistant to taking a medium-to-long-term view.  But AGW is too important a matter to allow our emotions to rule our intellects.

  8. A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    William , your Motivated Reasoning is in overdrive.  Give it up.

    Air-conditioned barns for farm animals in the poor parts of the Third World?  Have you costed that ~ and with where the electricity will come from?  And the social disruption, with mass refugees?  Costed that?

    And now you are falling back on: Predictable problems will not occur because  Mr Malthus was not 100% right in his predictions 200 years ago.  William, you know that is not a logical argument.

    Yes, the Do-Nothing approach will result in adaptation by poor people in the hotter zones of the planet . . . they will adapt by migrating.  Costed all that?

  9. A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    Hello all,

    I find this conversation interesting because I am having exactly the same conversation with a friend of mine.  My friend has a position that (I think) is similar to WIlliam's, while I have been responding from the point of view of most of the responses here.  So let me try to take the other point of view for just a second to see if it helps.

    What my friend argues (and maybe this is part of William's point) is that every policy decision will have to have some negative consequences, but those don't seem to be acknowledged by the people arguing for taking significant actions to prevent climate change.  The Stanford paper that Michael cites is a great one (I used it myself in my conversations with my friend) but, as Bob Loblaw describes, these analyses focus on the cost of avoidance vs. the cost of dealing with the consequences.  They do not, however, ask/answer the question "what are the costs of the unintended consequences of implementing these avoidance strategies?"  For example, if we assume that (at least for a time) energy costs rise, how does that affect people who don't have the ability to pay those increased costs?

    Let me provide a non-climate change example.  During the Covid crisis there were a lot of measures undertaken to deal with the virus — vaccine mandates, mask mandates, stay-at-home mandates.  Recently in some conversations moderated by Braver Angels, Francis Collins made the following statement "If you’re a public health person and you’re trying to make a decision, you have this very narrow view of what the right decision is, and that is something that will save a life. Doesn’t matter what else happens. … You attach zero value to whether this actually totally disrupts people’s lives, ruins the economy, and has many kids kept out of school in a way that they never quite recover from."

    If we take that back into the climate change conversation, I think that the question that (at least some) people are asking is, can we show that we have at least considered the unintended effects of these actions before we decide to take them?

    To be very clear, I am absolutely convinced that if we were to do that, we would find that the risks are highly asymmetric.  It's going to be MUCH worse to do nothing than to aggressively address the problem right now.  That is, my personal opinion does not align with William's.  However, based on what I'm reading from him, and based on this ongoing conversation with my friend, I get the sense that there are at least some people who need to see that there has been an attempt to understand the possible negative consequences of whatever choices we decide to make.

    Does anyone know of such an analysis?  I have found a lot of good economic analyses (the Stanford one above, and one from the Institue for Policy Integrity called "Expert Consensus on the Economics of Climate Change", are among my favorites.)  But these, again, focus on the costs of doing something vs. the costs of doing nothing.  But they don't bring in the unintended costs of the doing something path, similar to what Collins mentioned.  I'd love to know if there is something out there that discusses this.

  10. michael sweet at 23:01 PM on 2 April 2024
    A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    William,

    Once you build the wind and solar generators you don't have to buy fuel to run them every day so they are cheaper than fossil fuels.  You continue to only measure the cost of the renewable side.  Who cares if it costs L1.4 trl to build out renewables if the cost of fuel is L3 trl?  The article I linked included storage for enough power so that there would be no shortages, you just didn't read it.  Fossil or nuclear backup are not necessary.

    I remember 10 years ago the IPCC report suggested that Global Warming would eventually cause sea level rise that endangered houses near the sea, wildfires and droughts that caused massive relocations of people.  I wondered if I would see these damages in my lifetime.  I expected to live about 25 years.  

    We see all these things happening now, only 10 years later.  They are no longer future projections.  Wildfires are destroying entire towns and massive amounts of forrest.  Unprecedented droughts and floods are making it harder for farmers to turn a profit.  Millions of climate refugees are already trying to access the Global North because they can no longer make a living due to climate change.  The damages we currently see are much, much higher than scientists projected only 10 years ago. 40 years ago they thought the great ice sheets would take thousands of years to melt as much as they have already melted now. No-one thought that all the coral reefs worldwide would be dying off as we see today.

    We do not need to wait 40 years to see these problems.  You are blind to what is happening before your eyes.

  11. A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    Regarding heat deaths vs cold deaths, RealClimate had a post on that a few years ago:

    Will climate change bring benefits from reduced cold-related mortality? Insights from the latest epidemiological research

    From the introduction:

    Climate skeptics sometimes like to claim that although global warming will lead to more deaths from heat, it will overall save lives due to fewer deaths from cold. But is this true? Epidemiological studies suggest the opposite.

    As for William's latest @8, once again William simply does not accept the extensive economic calculations that say avoiding the problems will cost less than dealing with them.

    Air conditioning will not help people that have to work outside. Air conditioning will not save agriculture. Air conditioning will not stop flooding.

    William demands "absolute certainty" before any action should be taken to prevent a problem.

    Do you have car insurance, or fire insurance, William? Or are you waiting until you have absolute certainty that a car accident or fire has already happened?

    As a general rule, it seems that people that argue "there are bigger problems" [cough]Lomborg[cough] never seem to actually put any effort or resources into taking actions on those "bigger problems".

    [Courtesy of XKCD]

    XKCD Bigger Problem

  12. A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    8

    * interestingly 

  13. A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

      Michael,
    The £1.4trl ( likely an underestimate ) is amongst other things the cost of changing the grid.

    As you also know ( without going into the whole thing ) renewables are intermittent you need fossil fuel or nuclear back up. So you pay twice.
    Hopefully there will be a cheaper and cleaner alternative to fossil fuels , pretending renewables are - helps no one. They are part of the mix and a welcome one - but they are not a replacement

  14. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Scadd - #64

    Thanks for the explanation and appreciate the civility, I don't consider it a dog-pile(on?) to reply - and its nice not to be accused of "abysmal ignorance" and told to "put up or shut up".

    I get the fact the planet is warming and your sea temperature chart is more compelling for the reasons you cite, although I would like to understand where this temperature is measured and the average obtained - but I do not doubt the trend. I also agree the heat has to come from somewhere and, to be clear, I have no preference for theories of man-made sources or natural sources.  My point remains that we are not dealing with a world in perfect temeprature equilibrium, so I feel uneasy discounting natural sources as significant when their impact is all too obvious when looking at the historical temperature record.  I have no idea "which natural sources" I am referring to but I am fairly confident we are unable to accurately measure and predict them. However, so long as the temperature continues to rise in line with C02 emmissions I think the man-made argument becomes more and more compelling but a few years blip and, for me, it becomes open to considerable doubt.  That is why the 30 year period of little warming looks suspicious to me (and I now know the explanation some have for this)

    I did also read that the warming effect of CO2 decreases as its concentration increases so the warming is expected to reduce over time. Is there any truth in that?

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] I tried to give you a gentle nudge to change your behaviour. You are not listening.

    The "put up or shut up" challenge was preceded with this statement:

    What you have utterly failed to do is to provide any new "natural factor" that you think has not been considered and can possibly have a large enough impact to explain what is already fairly well-explained by the factors that we do know about and have quantified.

    You now state:

    I have no idea "which natural sources" I am referring to but I am fairly confident we are unable to accurately measure and predict them.

    This is your problem: you are "fairly confident" about topics you "have no idea" about. Non-perfection creates "considerable doubt" in your mind. Do you realize how your confidence in the absence of an argument or evidence makes you look?

     

  15. A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

     

    Eclectic,
    Surely instead of spending trillions trying to change the weather - it would be better to give the poor air conditioning.
    110f with air conditioning is much better than 108f with no air conditioning.
    The real action toy want will cost trillions - and as the movement always says only real significant action will make any difference to temperatures .

    Much better to spend the money on adaption, if and when we need it. It should also be noted everything is based on predictions ,modelling and projections., We could have had the same conversation 40 years ago - we could have the same one in 40 years.
    I will say - none of it happened - and you will say it will in the future.
    Mankind has always been useless at predicting the future - we have not learnt from Thomas Malthus - interesting people are still saying - yes his predictions were very wrong - but one day.....

    Surely there must be some part of you that thinks maybe it has been overhyped. There may be bigger problems - that we should spend our time and money on. Or are you absolutely certain catastrophe awaits unless we take drastic action?

  16. michael sweet at 22:18 PM on 2 April 2024
    A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    William:

    You say "The cost of Net Zero is estimated by the OBR to be £1,4 trillion in the UK alone."  and you get all your fossil fuels for free????  In the USA we have to pay for gasoline and other fossil fuels.  This is a completely absurd argument.  You are arguing that a Tesla model 3 is too expensive so you have to buy the $1,000,000 Ferrari.  You have to compare the cost of both sides to see which is cheaper. 

    When the cost of both renewable energy and fossil fuels are measured the renewable energy system is cheaper.  Renewable energy saved the EU tens of billions of dollars during the recent energy crisis 

    In any case, fossil fuels are running out.  We have to start building out renewable fuels or there will not be enough energy to power the economy.

  17. A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    William @4 , @5 :

    William, you are again failing to think logically.

    The people of the Global North are fairly well accustomed to deal with the cold.  ( Even in harsh Greenland during the Medieval Warm Period, the farmers kept their cattle in the barn for 5 months of the year.  Later, a 0.5 degreeC temperature cooling did not cause their societal collapse ~ that collapse was due to socio-economic changes.)

    The coming problems of further global warming do affect the people of the impoverished "South".   The poor cannot afford house airconditioning ~ even if the national electricity prices were halved.  And airconditioned barns . . . are a fantasy.  Like the idea of solar panels for barn coolers.  And most of the poorest are a long, long way from (expensive) transmission lines.

    Yes, agricultural scientists have done some good work in breeding for more heat-resistant staple crops.  But nature imposes genetic limits, and there is no Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card to ultimately save the day.

    And the increasing sea level rise will also contribute to mass migrations.  Think of "border crises" and demagogues ranting against them thar furriners.  It will get a lot uglier than now.

    William, you are intelligent enough to know all this.  Please put aside your Motivated Reasoning, and skip past all the Denial, Anger, and Bargaining (and the Depression stage, too) . . . and move on to the Acceptance that real action needs to be taken against AGW.

  18. A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    Michael ",

    The cost of Net Zero is estimated by the OBR to be £1,4 trillion in the UK alone. There is a reason why a lot of goverments are scaling back their green commitments . 

  19. A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    Eclectic 3,
    Yes there are and most ;likley will be more heatwaves - but there are also fewer cold waves. Cold kills more than heat, so there has been a net reduction in direct weather deaths. Ignoring the ( larger number ) of cold deaths averted is similar to an anti vaxxer only focussing on the side effects of vaccines.
    There is relatively quite a lot of time to deal with rising sea levels should it be needed .
    I am not dismissing everything you say , climate change could of course become a significant problem - but it could not. My concern is : a lot of people one side of the debate , will never recognise it is not the problem they say it is.
    Deaths from weather related disaster could be 9.99995% down - and it would make no difference . they will always say - but in the future....they might rise. saying something could happen in the future is of course unfalsifiable.
    We should recognise that over the last 40 years - a lot/most/all of the doomsday predictions have not occurred. Crop yields have improved, disasters deaths are down, direct weather deaths are down.
    How many years more of benign outcomes would it take for you or others to change their mind - or at least consider the crisis was overhyped.
    I am open minded , I think we should take precautionary action - but for the most part it should be of dual benefit, cutting pollution at the same time - and also a cost benefit analysis and feasibility study should be done. Net Zero is an arbitrary target - that does not take anything else into account. Governments will not achieve it , because it is too expensive and the people will not put up with the economic pain it could bring.

     

  20. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Two Dog, I don't want to be dog-piling, but I am very curious as to how you assess evidence when you are examining a question like global warming? We are seeing the same information, and yet to my mind you are fixating on the very unlikely or what you seem to think is unknownable rather than the obvious, the observable and the extremely likely. Other commentors have commented on your tendency to push what they see as straw-man arguments - you seem to be confident the scientists say things or work in ways that they dont. I am curious as to what informed assertions like these?

    Can I assume that you comfortable with conservation of energy? So that any change in temperature involves moving or transforming energy. Consider total ocean heat content - a much less noisy measure than surface temperature and the ocean is where most of the heat is going.

    Ocean heat content

    The blips you see here in the red on this record are the near-surface action of ENSO - when the upwelling of warm water to surface heats the atmosphere but cools the ocean.

    Do you agree that all that heat has to come from somewhere whether it is natural or anthrogenic? If your priors are to assume it is natural, then how do you start to think about what might be causing it and what measurements would you like to  make to verify or falsify?

    Also, you do realise that increased radiation from the CO2 has been directly measured? In terms of likelihood, the match between the  amount of excess radiation and increased ocean heat content would be strong evidence for anthropegic warming for most people. I am assuming your priors would try to discount that so again, what do you think happens to excess radiation from the greenhouse effect and what kind of measurements would you use to verify?

  21. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Bob Loblaw @62 :

    Yes, thanks for pointing out that William managed to get his arguments very wrong on two different threads on the same day.

    Fingers crossed he doesn't open up in a third thread

    . . . and attempt the Triple Whammy   ;-)

  22. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    For all readers:

    Note that after posting his comment 60, WIlliam has jumped over to another thread to continue his discussion.

    William:  In that other thread, people have responded to you, pointing out that "disaster" includes an awful lot more than deaths. If someone hacked into your bank accounts and investments, stole everything, secured title to your home and sold it out from under you, and left you penniless on the streets, would you take the position that it's not an emergency and nothing needs to be done because you did not die?

  23. A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    William @1 :

    William, you are being illogical in your objections  ~ illogical because (a) you are avoiding looking at the big picture . . . where "weather disaster deaths"  are only a very small part of assessing the ongoing problem of rapid global warming

    .... and (b) because you are handicapping yourself by using emotive and very poorly defined terms such as "emergency".   Emergency??  ~ "How dare you" . . . speak like Greta Thunberg  ;-)

    IMO the two biggest threats (from AGW) are the longer-term ones ~ more frequent bigger/longer heat waves affecting crops & humans . . . and rising sea-level over the next 100 years.   Both will cause a massive refugee problem, measured in 100's of millions of desperate migrants, with resultant huge social disruption in the "receiving" countries.  And huge dollar costs, too.

    As Michael Sweet points out, climate consequences produce $ costs in the billions & trillions.  William, you seem to be forgetting that these $ costs will be occurring on both sides of the ledger.  Not just on one side.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Note that at least part of Eclectic's comment is most likely addressing another comment from William on a previous thread. On that other thread, William is dismissing climate issues because not enough people are dead yet.

  24. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Bob Loblaw at 57

    Bobby L, I suggest you have a look at the comments policy and refrain from ad hominem attacks which, as you know, "gets us no closer to understanding the science". It is not my intention to put words in other peoples mouths and I have never professed to be an expert in this area.  I am simply trying to understand why "natural factors" appear to be discounted to the extent that they are.

    [Argumentative, repetitive claims snipped]

    Nigel J - thanks again for a clear and understandable explanation.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Alas, you have now forced me to recuse myself from the discussion, and switch to moderator role.

    Now, you are just trying to pick a fight. It is not one that you will win.

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

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

     

  25. michael sweet at 08:11 AM on 2 April 2024
    A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    The cost benefit has been done.  It has been determined that if we switch to all renewable energy it will cost much less for energy than if we continue using fossil fuels.  The linked article finds for the USA that renewable energy will cost $993 billion per year in 2050 while fossiil fuels will cost $2,513 billion per year for energy alone.  When you add in the health costs (millions of people die every from fossil pollution) and the climate costs the fossil energy costs $6,791 billion per year while renewable costs are unchanged.  The question is why do you want people to spend so much more for fossil energy when it costs 7 times the renewable energy cost and so many people die every year from the pollution?

    The IEA reports that in 2022 83% of all new buiild power in the world was renewable energy (primarily wind and solar).  These generating stations are being built because they are the cheapest power in the world.  Since both wind and solar get cheaper every year, you are advocating spending much more money on more expensive fossil power.

    These homeowners in Massachusetts wasted $600,000 building sand dunes to protect their homes from sea level rise.  There are trillions of dollars of homes in the USA alone that are threatened with distruction from sea level rise alone.  When you add in the stronger hurricanes and other storms, drought starving South Africa and other places and unprecedented firestorms worldwide already causing trillions of dollars of damage and you want to just let it get worse instead of trying to staunch the bleeding?  Talk about penny wise and pound foolish!!  

    From Politico today:

    Property insurers see escalating losses from climate disasters
    Wildfires, floods, droughts and other "secondary perils" are becoming more frequent — and costing insurers more money.

    I guess you don't read the newspaper.

    I note that peak oil is near.  The USA fracking craze is ending.  The best plays have all been tapped out and the older wells are rapidly slowing down.  All the easy, quality coal has been mined.  In 20 years there will not be enough fossil energy for the world even if we drill baby drill.  How old are you that you think you don't require renewable energy which will be around forever instead of fossil fuels which are already running out.

  26. A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

     There should be a proper cost benefit analysis. What are the risks of climate change? Not vague unspecified assertions. We have had 28 Cops during that time deaths from weather disasters have continued to decline and are now over 95% lower than they were 100 years ago. Climate change is not the only problem in the world - If we spend trillions on trying to change the weather - we might not succeed - and we will not be spending trillions on something else which will save lives.
    Will spending trillions on trying to change the weather save many lives? Sincere people recognise the danger of not focusing on things that can save lives.

     They also recognise the dangers of depriving people of cheap reliable energy. We desperately need honest open-minded people of good will .

  27. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    bob Loblaw 35

    The evidence for the falling deaths rates are more than just a study. 

    Deaths stats are hard evidence - and hard to fudge 

    https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/number-of-deaths-from-natural-disasters

    You say it is because of adaptation and improvmentsin forecasting. I agree. But that is not really the anti alarmists point. Their point is : 

    If weather disaster deaths are declining and are never likely to return to previous levels . It really isn't much of an emergency 

    I have yet to hear a convincing rebuttal of that point. 

  28. michael sweet at 05:10 AM on 2 April 2024
    Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Two Dog,

    In 1989 Dr Hansen spoke before congress and warned the USA about Global Warming.  He projected the temperature increase expected from human emissions.  It is now 45 years after Dr Hansens projections.  The temperature has increased almost exactly along the line Dr Hansen forecast.  How do you explain the extraordinary accuracy of Dr. Hansens projections if scientists do not understand the climate system?  You need to say what are very the strong natural processes causing the climate to change exactly at the time humans started releasing large amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere?  

    I note that the climate had been cooling for the 4,000 years previous to humans starting to release large amounts of greenhouse gasses.  Can you explain why the Earth was cooling before humans started releasing large amounts of greenhouse gasses but now unknown natural processes have turned into heating at a rate not seen in the geological record for many millions of years?  What a wild coincidence!!  Human emissions are estimated to have caused 105% of current warming (ie that natural forcings woud have cooled the Earth in the absence of human pollution).  You are simply uninformed about the facts of global warming.  If you inform yourself you will find out that scientists have investigated everything you question and found out that natural processes currently are cooling the Earth.  

    Scientists predicted in 1850 that increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would increase surface temperature.  Arhennius projected in 1894 the approximate amount of heating from increasing carbon dioxide would be similar to what has been observed.  Why are the scientists of the 1800's "a group who are highly unlikely to admit the strength and frequency of natural factors"?

  29. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Two Dog @55

    "You make the same point I am searching for - namely that "blips" in the temperature record can be driven by natural factors. What puzzles me is others on this thread, whilst they recognize these natural impacts, appear confident that the natural factors that we are aware of are "temporal and not significant" (my words) when pitted against the powerful impact of human GHG emissions"

    Nobody has claimed natural factors are all 'insignificant' forcings. Only that the natural cycles are in a cooling or flat phase in recent decades so cannot explain the recent warming trend. However the solar cycle is not a particularly powerful factor,  and if it was in a warming phase it would struggle to explain more than a small amount of the recent warming. Refer to the climate myth "It's the sun" on the left hand side of this page.

    "They rely on climate scientists for this - a group who are highly unlikely to admit the strength and frequency of natural factors is unpredicatble and hard to measure."

    Incorrect. Climate scientists freely admit that the frequency of natural factors can be unpredictable to an extent. I provided you with data on the solar cycle, ENSO, and The PDO oscillation which depicts the degree of regularity of these cycles. You can see there is a repeating cycle bit its not perfectly regular.This data is prepared by climate scientists.

    In addition whether they are not precisely predictable doesnt stop us detecting how they are affecting temperatures at any given time.

    Climate scientists are quite open about accuracy of data. If you dig into the details the data has error bars. However the data has generally good accuracy. Solar irradiance in particular is meaured by satellite sensors with reasonable accuracy, and the Sorce network used since 2003 is highly accurate:

    www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/solar/solarirrad.html

    ENSO index is not that hard to measure with decent accuracy:

    www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/enso/technical-discussion

    "I think this is where the climate scientists tend to differ from the physicists and geologists, whose very existance does not require them to claim knowledge of all factors that impact the climate."

    Incorrect. Most climate scientists are in fact physicists, geologists, chemistry graduates etc. There is a degree in climatology, but its very recent and not many climate scientists have that degree. It typically has modules in physics and geology anyway. I suggest google it for your local university. 

  30. michael sweet at 04:37 AM on 2 April 2024
    2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13

    A while ago I subscribed to The Climate Brink.  It is written by Dr. Andrew Dessler, a top climate scientist.  He posts an article about once a week. The articles are short, easy to read and informative.  Skeptical Science could consider asking Dr. Dessler about reposting his stuff here, they would fit with no editing.

    His most recent article titled "How extreme was the Earth's temperature in 2023" compared the temperature record in 2023 with model results.  He finds that while the record was bigger than any in the historical record, it was in the middle of what record model results were.  This suggests that it might just be a larger bump from random variables than we have observed before.  He suggests that if that was the case, in the next two years we should see temperatures go back down.  If the temperature does not go down in the next two years that means a different cause which would be bad news.

    This article made me feel less anxous about the 2023 record.

  31. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Frankly, Two Dog, you are continuing to put words in other people's mouths, and continuing to create strawman caricatures of climate science. Many people working in climate science are actually well-trained (if not primarily trained) in physics and geology. All you are doing is showing your abysmal ignorance of the science and the people involved.

    I'll choose one example - in fact, the first example I decided to check. Michael Mann is often a target of the fake "skeptics". He is a well-respected member of the "climate science" community. You can find his biography at realclimate.org. Here is his academic training:

    Dr. Mann received his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Applied Math from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. degree in Physics from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University.

    You should be embarrassed at how easy it is for people to show that you have no idea what you are talking about.

    Once again, nobody has ever claimed "knowledge of all factors that impact the climate." Nobody has claimed that natural factors are not significant. Nobody has claimed that all natural factors are temporary (which is what I presume you have meant with your use of the term 'temporal').

    Natural factors exist on a variety of time scales, from hours to thousands of years, and "climate science" has considered many of them, and found that many of them can be both measurable and predictable. And they have collected evidence to support the position that these factors are having impacts that are much less important that CO2 over the past few decades - and are extremely unlikely to become more important than CO2 in the coming decades.

    What you have utterly failed to do is to provide any new "natural factor" that you think has not been considered and can possibly have a large enough impact to explain what is already fairly well-explained by the factors that we do know about and have quantified. It's time to put up, or shut up.

    What you have done is refuse to actually engage in discussion with people that have pointed out your errors. You simply re-assert your unfounded and uniformed opinions. As OPOF says, you have an "apparent resistance to learning".

    Before you comment again, I suggest that you read the Comments Policy, especially the part about excessive repetition. If you are only going to repeat your uninformed and unfounded strawman arguments, you should expect to see parts or all of your comments subject to moderation.

    Comments should avoid excessive repetition. Discussions which circle back on themselves and involve endless repetition of points already discussed do not help clarify relevant points. They are merely tiresome to participants and a barrier to readers. If moderators believe you are being excessively repetitive, they will advise you as such, and any further repetition will be treated as being off topic.

     

  32. One Planet Only Forever at 02:21 AM on 2 April 2024
    Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Two Dog @55,

    I offer the following as an example of the incorrectness of your beliefs, and your apparent resistance to learning:

    A combination of understood natural factors explain the 'blip' of warm global average surface temperatures in the early 1940s. That warm blip, along with the other aspects shared by others, especially nigelj, for your potential learning benefit, is a significant part of the total understanding of why there 'appeared to be no warming from 1940 to 1970 in spite of CO2 levels increasing'.

  33. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    NigelJ@49

    You make the same point I am searching for - namely that "blips" in the temperature record can be driven by natural factors.  What puzzles me is others on this thread, whilst they recognize these natural impacts, appear confident that the natural factors that we are aware of are "temporal and not significant" (my words) when pitted against the powerful impact of human GHG emissions.  They rely on climate scientists for this - a group who are highly unlikely to admit the strength and frequency of natural factors is unpredicatble and hard to measure.

    I think this is where the climate scientists tend to differ from the physicists and geologists, whose very existance does not require them to claim knowledge of all factors that impact the climate.

  34. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    diff01 @ 51,52:

    If you want to apply a "modicum of reasoned thought", the answers to your questions are available if you look. Given your use of labels such as "true believers" and "sham", I doubt that your mind is open to any reasoned discussion, but here are a few pointers. Basically, your short post is kind of like the movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths.

    Skeptical Science posts that are already linked in the OP:

    Additional Skeptical Science posts:

    I hope that if you come back with "a myriad of other questions", that you will have given them more than "a modicum of reasoned thought". So far, what you have said here suggests that your level of thought is at the "trifling" end of "modicum" (per Wictionary). Scientists, on the other had have given these issues a lot of thought.

    Noun

    modicum (plural modicums or (rare) modica)

    A modest, small, or trifling amount.

     

  35. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Re - #51 diff01:

    I'll break this up into Q&A because there's a range of questions:

    Q. Will changing one small ingredient (0.04%) of the earth's greenhouse gases (CO2) arrest gloabal warming (if that is what is happening)?

    A. CO2 has increased 50% since pre-industrial times. Can you imagine if sunshine became 50% stronger?

    Q. If the scientists(?) believe this to be the case, how will it be regulated to adjust the climate to maintain an average that is not too hot or cold?

    A. We have yet to see!

    Q. If all anti-carbon emitting policies were implemented, what says the climate will not be too cool?

    A. Already locked into further warming for centuries.

    Q. How will the climate be regulated (say changing one greenhouse gas does the trick) if the sun's intensity changes (sun spots), the reduction in carbon emission works, and it cools too much?

    A. Changes in total solar irradience across a sunspot cycle are very low, but not neglibible.

    Q. Another question I have is about other factor's, such as the recent eruption at Hunga Tonga. Apparently water vapor increased by 10% in the stratosphere. Won't that affect the climate?

    A. It may be accoutable for a few tenths of a degree of recent warming, but research continues.

    Q. What about the earth's orbit, and it's distance from the sun?

    A. You are referring to Milankovitch cycles that affect three orbital parameters. However they do so over tens of thousands of years, not in a couple of centuries.

  36. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Will changing one small ingredient (0.04%) of the earth's greenhouse gases (CO2) arrest gloabal warming (if that is what is happening)?

    If the scientists(?) believe this to be the case, how will it be regulated to adjust the climate to maintain an average that is not too hot or cold? 

    If all anti-carbon emitting policies were implemented, what says the climate will not be too cool?

    The other, obvious hole in the argument for drastic economic change in the name of cooling the planet, is that the sun is not factored into the equation (by the way, I am all for increasing efficiency and reducing waste). How will the climate be regulated (say changing one greenhouse gas does the trick) if the sun's intensity changes (sun spots), the reduction in carbon emission works, and it cools too much?

    Another question I have is about other factor's, such as the recent eruption at Hunga Tonga. Apparently water vapor increased by 10% in the stratosphere.

    Won't that affect the climate? How do the 'models' account for nature not doing what the computers predict?

    There are a myriad of other questions. I haven't watched the movie yet, but will, with interest.

    When I searched for the movie, this website popped up right under the movie heading.

    It's always interesting to hear from the 'true believers'.

    The whole thing is a sham of biblical proportions. You need just a modicum of reasoned thought to tell you so.

    Just had a quick look at your response regarding 'the sun'.

    You say the 'irradiation level' has been measured  with accuracy for the last 40 years, and shown little variation.

    The sun has been influencing weather on earth for 4 and a half billion years.  What about the earth's orbit, and it's distance from the sun?

  37. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Will changing one small ingredient (0.04%) of the earth's greenhouse gases (CO2) arrest gloabal warming (if that is what is happening)?

    If the scientists(?) believe this to be the case, how will it be regulated to adjust the climate to maintain an average that is not too hot or cold? 

    If all anti-carbon emitting policies were implemented, what says the climate will not be too cool?

    The other, obvious hole in the argument for drastic economic change in the name of cooling the planet, is that the sun is not factored into the equation (by the way, I am all for increasing efficiency and reducing waste). How will the climate be regulated (say changing one greenhouse gas does the trick) if the sun's intensity changes (sun spots), the reduction in carbon emission works, and it cools too much?

    Another question I have is about other factor's, such as the recent eruption at Hunga Tonga. Apparently water vapor increased by 10% in the stratosphere.

    Won't that affect the climate? How do the 'models' account for nature not doing what the computers predict?

    There are a myriad of other questions. I haven't watched the movie yet, but will, with interest.

    When I searched for the movie, this website popped up right under the movie heading.

    It's always interesting to hear from the 'true believers'.

    The whole thing is a sham of biblical proportions. You need just a modicum of reasoned thought to tell you so.

  38. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Some sources related to my comment @49:

    PDO cycle in negative (cooling phase) mid last century:

    www.researchgate.net/figure/PDO-over-the-last-100-years-Nine-years-moving-average-PDO-index-is-indicated-in-black_fig1_323553944

    Weak el ninos mid last century:

    psl.noaa.gov/enso/mei.ext/

    Solar irradiance trend flat after 1950:

    skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm

  39. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Two Dog @41

    "Finally, on the "cherry picking" of the 50s, 60s and 70s. I think its a fair point to pick 30 years out of 150 in this case. Indeed, the argument above is, as I understand it, that the main and dominant factor in the current warming is human GHG emissions. For that theory to hold, in any period where GHG emissions are increasing year on year, then only a few years "blip" in warming must presumably call the theory into question? (unless we can find another new and temporary factor like air pollution)"

    The reason the temperature record has "blips" and is not a smooth line is because the trend is shaped by a combination of natural and human factors that have different effects. However the overall trend since the 1970s is warming. The known natural cycles and infuences can explain the short term blips of a couple of years or so, (eg el ninos)  but not the 50 year overall warming trend since the 1970s. Sure there may be some undiscovered natural cycle that expalins the warming, but its very unlikely  with chances of something like one in a million. And it would require falsifying the greenhouse effect which nobody has been able to do. Want to gamble the planets future on all that? 

    The flat period of temperatures around 1940- 1977, (or as OPOF points out it was really a period of reduced warming) coincides with the cooling effect of industrial aerosols during the period as CB points out. This is the period when acid rain emerged as a problem until these aerosols were filtered out in the 1980s.

    However the flat period mid last century also coincided with  a cool phase of the PDO cycle (an ocean cycle), a preponderance of weak el ninos, and flat solar activity after 1950 and a higher than normal level of volcanic activity. Literally all the natural factors were in a flat or cooling phase. In addition atmospheric concentrations of CO2 were not as high as presently, so it was easier for the other factors to suppress anthropogenic warming.

    So for me this is all an adequate explanation of why temperatures were subdued in the middle of last century. Just my two cents worth. Not a scientist but I've followed the issues for years.

  40. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    It's also worth noting that the trend values OPOF is providing from the SkS Trend Calculator use 2σ ranges for the uncertainties.

    ...and if you look closely, none of the trends OPOF mentions are significantly different from 0. So, the "cooling from 1940 to 1970" is really "no significant warming [or cooling] from 1940 to 1970". To argue "cooling", you need to

    • ignore the statistical significance of the linear fit
    • choose your starting point carefully.

    In comment 41, Two Dog makes the point "...then only a few years "blip" in warming must presumably call the theory into question? ". That depends on "the theory" being that CO2 is the only factor causing warming on an annual or several-year basis. As we've been pointing out, this is not "the theory" that climate science is working with.

    Two Dog is making the classical logic failure that is discussed in the SkS Escalator.

    The Escalator

     

    In fact, Two Dog is also arguing with himself. On the one hand, he is arguing that climate science can't possibly know all factors that might be affecting global temperature, no matter how many factors they have already considered in the relevant scientific literature. And then on the other hand, he is criticizing climate science because any blip in temperature that is not explained solely using CO2 as the only factor "...must presumably call the theory into question?". The two positions he argues are mutually contradictory.

    Unfortunately this is a common thing in "skeptical" arguments against well-supported climate science - mutually-contradictory (and often impossible) positions on the subject. It's like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland:

    I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

  41. One Planet Only Forever at 02:54 AM on 1 April 2024
    Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Regarding my comment @46,

    Using the Start date of 1940 and End date of 1970 in the SkS temperature trend calculator does evaluate 30 years of data, 1940 through 1969. The period of 1940 to 1970, including 1970, is 31 years.

    But that difference does not make a big difference.

  42. One Planet Only Forever at 02:46 AM on 1 April 2024
    Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Note regarding my comments @39 and @45,

    In the SkS Temperature Trend calculator the evaluation of 30 years of data from 1940 through to, and including, 1970 is actually done using the End date 1971.

    Note the following trends for full 30 year periods:

    • 1940 to 1971 is -0.037 +-0.057 C/decade
    • 1942 to 1973 is -0.018 +-0.055 C/decade
    • 1943 to 1974 is -0.001 +-0.057 C/decade
    • 1944 to 1975 is +0.003 +-0.056 C/decade
    • 1945 to 1976 is +0.018 +-0.054 C/decade
    • 1946 to 1977 is +0.022 +-0.053 C/decade
  43. One Planet Only Forever at 02:26 AM on 1 April 2024
    Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Two Dog @41,

    Regarding your persistent belief in the mystery of the 30 years from 1940 to 1970 I will add the following to my attempt to help you with my comment @39.

    The SkS Temperature Trend Calculator (link here - again) shows that the temperature trend from 1940 to 1970 was: GISTEMPv4 Trend: -0.043 +-0.052 C/decade. A little bit of investigation of that 30 year period exposes the following facts:

    • trend for 1941 to 1970 was -0.038 +-0.063 C/decade
    • trend for 1942 to 1970 was -0.026 +-0.066 C/decade
    • trend for 1943 to 1970 was -0.021 +-0.070 C/decade
    • trend for 1944 to 1970 was -0.013 +-0.074 C/decade
    • trend for 1945 to 1970 was +0.009 +-0.075 C/decade
    • trend for 1946 to 1970 was +0.025 +-0.078 C/decade
    • trend for 1947 to 1970 was +0.026 +-0.083 C/decade
    • trend for 1948 to 1970 was +0.032 +-0.090 C/decade

    So, within that 30 year data set there appears to be a ‘mysterious or questionable’ trend of the temperature trends. The claim of cooling since 1940 becomes a claim of warming since 1945. What’s up with that?.

    Note the following trends for 30 year periods:

    • 1944 to 1974 is +0.006 +-0.060 C/decade
    • 1945 to 1975 is +0.019 +-0.057 C/decade
    • 1946 to 1976 is +0.029 +-0.055 C/decade

    Based on your most recent comment, a better question for you to investigate appears to be: What is preventing you from improving your understanding of this issue?

  44. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    A lot of computer modelling goes into car design these days, too. And structural engineering for buildings, bridges, slope stability predictions, flood zones, etc. Don't live in a high-rise. Don't travel in cars, trucks, or buses. Only live in grass huts on flat plains, far away from any sources of water.

  45. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    I like to enquire - of people who disparage models - whether they fly. A lot of computor modelling goes into aircraft design, so people so concerned about the performance of models would never, you'd think, fly again!

  46. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Two Dog: You say ' but I am less convinced about the arguments that "all other causes for the current warming have been looked at and ruled out".'

    First of all, I will point out that nobody here, and nobody in climate science (that I am aware of), has ever  claimed that "all other causes ... have been looked at". In fact, I'd be willing to wager that there is not a single scientific subject where any scientist would claim that "all other causes ... have been looked at".

    By putting that phrase in quotes (in your statement in #41), you are making it look as if someone has actually made that claim. If you have a source for such a quote, please provide it. Otherwise, you are creating a strawman argument, and setting impossible expectations ("all other causes").

    In the rest of comment 41, you are basically making an argument from incredulity. You use strawman terms such as "all of those factors", and emotive impossible expectations such as "then accurately measure their hypothetical potential impact". You throw in rhetorical questions such as ' how do we "know" what would have happened to our climate absent human GHG increases?'

    The answer to the last question is, climate scientists do the science. The second figure in my comment 34 shows the results of some of that science:  running models that look exactly at the question you raise - how does the model behave with and without the anthropogenic forcing. They look at hypothetical natural and anthropogenic causes, quantify them as best they can, and perform calculations to determine the relative importance of each factor.

    As Eclectic pointed out in comment 31, saying there might be some "undiscovered mysterious physical cause responsible for the recent rapid global warming" [Eclectic's words] is nothing but handwaving. Unless you can propose a plausible mechanism that would cause the warming (and another one to offset the warming from GHG, as Eclectic points out in #31), then you're just blowing smoke.

    People often try to use the same bogus arguments in denying that fossil fuel combustion is causing the rise in atmospheric CO2. They postulate some mysterious, unknown source of CO2 that remains undiscovered - and avoid the question of what mysterious, undiscovered process is managing to remove all the CO2 from fossil fuels (but can't remove this mysterious, unknown source of CO2 that is making atmospheric CO2 rise).

    You may as well be saying "it could be fairies".

    ...and before you try to counter the graphical evidence in the figure I posted in comment 34 using the "but modelz" argument, I will point out that everything in science uses models. Descriptive, mathematical, statistical, computer simulations - all are different forms of models. If you don't accept models as valid science, then you are rejecting science writ large. (The original post points out that reliabilty of models is one of the myths that was raised in the movie, and proves a link to the SkS page that covers this myth.)

  47. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Charlie_Brown @40.  Thank you, that seems a sensible point and makes sense.

    I appreciate the other responses (e.g. Bob Loblaw @32) but I am less convinced about the arguments that "all other causes for the current warming have been looked at and ruled out". I do not believe that we are that intelligent!  The Earth is a clearly complex "living organism" with multiple factors that interact with each other impacting its climate. Do we really know what all of those factors are, how the affect each other and, then accurately measure their hypothetical potential impact over the last 150 years?  Given we have no idea whether the economy (another complex organism) will grow or contract next year, how do we "know" what would have happened to our climate absent human GHG increases?

    Finally, on the "cherry picking" of the 50s, 60s and 70s. I think its a fair point to pick 30 years out of 150 in this case.  Indeed, the argument above is, as I understand it, that the main and dominant factor in the current warming is human GHG emissions. For that theory to hold, in any period where GHG emissions are increasing year on year, then only a few years "blip" in warming must presumably call the theory into question? (unless we can find another new and temporary factor like air pollution)

  48. It's Pacific Decadal Oscillation

    Please note: the basic version of this rebuttal has been updated on March 31, 2024 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 @ https://sks.to/at-a-glance

  49. Just how ‘Sapiens’ in the world of high CO2 concentrations?

    On reflection, I believe my @47 comments (on Dr Bierwirth's paper) were lacking the bluntness that our readers deserve.

    His 2024 Abstract shows a notable Red Flag, in his mention of the phrase "existential threat"  ~ a phrase which is not only rather panicky, but is fashionably overused nowadays for subjects ranging from imminent nuclear holocaust . . . through to a possible world shortage of cocoa.

    A second Red Flag is his lengthy laundry list of "potential"  threats of a wide range of nasty diseases ~ cancer; calcification in the kidneys; diabetes; etcetera.

    A third Red Flag is his attribution of all these diseases to a combination of elevated CO2 in association with  low pH.   Actually, such a combination is a brief/transitory situation when CO2 is high  ~ for (as I and others have pointed out, earlier in this thread) the body's kidney function does correct the low pH in the medium & long term.

    Which leaves us with his dubious claim about "protein malfunctions".

    In short, it seems Dr Bierwirth paints with a very broad brush and also draws a very long bow.   Not only that ~ but some of his other papers seem to have a similar flavor.

    All well and good if Dr Bierwirth has supportive evidence ~ but for the meantime, I think we should all remain most skeptical.

     

    # Obviously, we cannot expect controlled experiments in humans with exposure to years of elevated ambient CO2.   The mouse experiment (mentioned above) was a controlled study using mice in 890ppm CO2 versus mice living in half that level.   The gestation & first 3 months of life might perhaps equal 5 - 10 years of human equivalence.   Still, it is only about 110 days in absolute terms ~ and that might explain the absence of adverse findings in the "high CO2" mice, despite the rapid pace of mouse physiology.

    And that fits with other evidence, of mice and men . . . and dinosaurs. 

  50. Just how ‘Sapiens’ in the world of high CO2 concentrations?

    Res01 @46 : thank you for resuming the conversation of 2023, and the mention of the new [2/2024] paper by Dr P. Bierwirth (please note the second "r" in Bierwirth).

    His 2024 Abstract quotes: "Protein malfunctions in cells due to elevated CO2 and associated low pH has [sic] the potential to cause threats to life including cancer, neurological disorders, lung disease, diabetes, etc.      ... overexpression of carbonic anhydrase, the enzyme that catalyses CO2 in the body, causes calcification in the kidneys arteries and tissues, along with other diseases and this may be an existential threat."

    Please excuse my adding of underlining emphasis, in the above.  The body of the paper does not really add much, I think, to earlier comments on the topic.  # It is all rather breathless [please forgive my feeble attempt at a pun, of sorts].

    Looking at the bigger picture, we see that the dinosaurs survived millions of years of "high" ambient CO2.   Were their bodily proteins shaped by evolution to perform satisfactorily at high CO2 levels ~ or did their kidneys simply compensate for high CO2 ?   We don't know ~ and yet we know that the dinosaurs did survive and thrive.

    Is there any experimental evidence to support Dr Bierwirth's gloomy comments about long-term CO2 exposure?   # Well, for what it's worth, there is a 3-month study in mice, by C. Wyrwoll et al (2021).  Gestation through to 3-months of age.   Despite some slight ambiguity in the Abstract, they quote: "There were no clear anxiety, learning, or memory changes.  Renal and osteological parameters were minimally affected."  [my emphasis]

     

    If there be some clear-cut evidence of failure of the mammalian body to make (renal or other) adjustment/compensation in high ambient CO2, then I would be pleased to learn of it.

    At SkS , we all know the potential of increasingly severe adverse effects of higher atmospheric CO2 levels.  But these dangers are terrestrial, rather than physiological, for mammals.

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