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Comments 251 to 300:

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

    jimsteele - well I havent heard that myth for a decade or so. So solar output isnt increasing but solar heating is?? I suggest that go over to Science of Doom who dealt with subject exhaustively in 2010. (4 parts in the end) If that doesnt convince you then I wont waste my time.

  2. jimsteele24224 at 07:15 AM on 3 April 2024
    Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    scaddenp:  I am unsure why you claim "On interannual and to some extent the decadal scales, variations in surface temperature are strongly influenced by ocean-atmosphere heat exchange, but I think you would agree that the increasing OHC rules that out as cause of global warming?"

    Why?

    Most studies I have reviewed, find that most heat flux(98%) leaves the oean and warms the air.  I trust the Argo data that the oceans have slightly warmed, but Argo does not determine attribution.

    It has been well established that the tropics absorbs more heat locally than it ventilates. And that outside the tropics more heat is ventilated than is absorbed. Because CO2 infrared never penetrates deeper than a few microns compared to deep solar heating, I argue solar heating of the oceans drives atmoispheric warming.

    I addressed this in https://twitter.com/JimSteeleSkepti/status/1771957182407536940

     

     

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

    Two dog. The OHC content data in red comes from the Argo array. You can find reasonable description here. The old pentadecadal data is ship-based and has much bigger error bars. I cant immediately find the paper that determined the accuracy of the Argo data but if interested I am sure I dig it out.

    On interannual and to some extent the decadal scales, variations in surface temperature are strongly influenced by ocean-atmosphere heat exchange, but I think you would agree that the increasing OHC rules that out as cause of global warming?

    "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?"

    Sort of  - there is a square law. If radiation increase from 200-400 is say 4W/m2, then you have to increase from CO2 from 400 to 800ppm to get 8W/m2. However, that doesnt translate directly into "warming" because of feedbacks. Water vapour is powerful greenhouse gas and its concentration in the atmosphere is directly related to temperature. Also as temperature rises, albedo from ice decreases so less radiation is reflected back. Worse, over century level scales, all that ocean heat reduces the ability of the ocean to absorb CO2. From memory, half of emissions are currently being absorbed there. Hot enough and the oceans de-gas. These are the calculation which have to go into those climate models.

    Which brings us to natural sources. Geothermal heat and waste heat are insignificant so would you agree that the only natural source of that extra heat would be the sun? Now impact of sun on temperature has multiple components that climate models take into account. These are:
    1/ variations in energy emitted from the sun.
    2/ screening by aerosols (natural or manmade). Important in 20th  century variations you see.
    3/ changes in albedo (especially ice and high cloud)
    4/ The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

    Now climate scientist would say that changes to all of those can account for all past natural climate change using known physics. They would also say very high confidence that 1/ to 3/ are not a significant part of current climate change (you can see the exact amount for each calculated in the IPCC report). Why are they confident? If you were climate scientist investigating those factors, what would you want to measure to investigate there effects? Seriously, think about that and how you might do such investigations.

    Is it possible there is something we dont understand at play? Of course, but there is no evidence for other factors. You can explain past and present climate change with known figures so trying to invoke the unknown seems to be clutching at straws. 

  4. jimsteele24224 at 06:07 AM on 3 April 2024
    Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    A Netherlands journalist, Maarten Keulemans, tried to denigrate Climate the Movie: The Cold Truth in about 50 tweets using much of the same arguments posted to here on SkepticalScience. I successfully debunked all of his arguments in 16 tweets (originally I intended 20) listed below, and so I was just honored with being interviewed for a Dutch TV segment regards how the Climate the Movie promotes vital scientific debate. Too often alarmists try to suppress debate with weak arguments or denigrating the opposition as deniers. However I doubt alarmists can refute any of my arguments, but I will gladly entertain your arguments.

    1 Denigrating the Climate Reconstruction graph by Ljungqvist https://twitter.com/JimSteeleSkepti/status/1771929435366940908…

    2 Keulemans' Medieval Warm Period lie https://twitter.com/JimSteeleSkepti/status/1771933673488789868…

    3 Contamination of Instrumental by Urbanization https://twitter.com/JimSteeleSkepti/status/1771939656504062260…

    4 The Best USA temperature Statistic! https://twitter.com/JimSteeleSkepti/status/1771947116631580724…

    5 Ocean Warming Facts https://twitter.com/JimSteeleSkepti/status/1771957182407536940…

    6 US Heat Waves https://twitter.com/JimSteeleSkepti/status/1771963700951527487…

    7 It is the Sun Stupid! https://twitter.com/JimSteeleSkepti/status/1771977013576024282…

    8 Alarmists know better than Nobel Prize Winners ! https://twitter.com/JimSteeleSkepti/status/1771987039631921454…

    9 Wildfires: Liar Liar Keulemans' Pants on Fire https://twitter.com/JimSteeleSkepti/status/1772000151596572844…

    10 The Dangers of CO2 Sequestration and CO2 Starvation https://twitter.com/JimSteeleSkepti/status/1772016867265380795

    11 Models Running Hot! Keulemans Disgraceful attack on the most honest Dr John Christy! https://twitter.com/JimSteeleSkepti/status/1772081300884852829…

    12 Keulemans’ Blustering Hurricane Fears
    https://twitter.com/JimSteeleSkepti/status/1772319957042479298

    13. Dishonestly Defining Natural Climate Factors
    https://twitter.com/JimSteeleSkepti/status/1773395443864736058

    14. Denying Antarctica’s Lack of Warming
    https://twitter.com/JimSteeleSkepti/status/1773473481637957758

    15. Misinformation on CO2’s Role in Warming Interglacials during our Ice Age.
    https://twitter.com/JimSteeleSkepti/status/1773777313924297210

    16. Science journalists vs grifting propagandists – Antarctica
    https://twitter.com/JimSteeleSkepti/status/1774428539858907444

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

    Two Dog @65.  All that additional heat energy accumulating in the oceans has to come from somewhere. Possible candidates are anthropogenic warming, increased solar activity, and an increase in sub sea   geothermal or volcanic activity.

    Scientists have ruled out solar forcing and geothermal or volcanic activity. It's really hard for me to see where else that quantitiy of energy could come from if not those three possibilities. Just waving your hands and saying there may be something else isnt remotely convincing to me. Its just so implausible and such a vanishingly small possibility and so unlikely.

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

    William said (paraphrasing) that the mortality rate from natural disasters has fallen over the last 100 years. The implication being why worry about global warming because death rate will continue to fall. I think its a deluded view for the following reasons.

    I would assume the mortality rate has fallen because of improvements in prevention, technology, rescue services and healthcare. However this has been in the context of a reasonably stable climate until the last couple of decades. I would be concerned that as warming increases heatwaves, floods and crop failures could escalate and mean improvements in healthcare etc,etc cant keep up and the mortality rate increases. This would be especially in tropical zones that get hit hardest by climate change but have the weakest economies.

    It should also be noted that as more people are made sick by increasing numbers of natural disasters like heatwaves, this requires resources to treat them that could be spent elsewhere. So its incredibly naeive to focus just on the mortality rate.

    We cant stop volcanic eruptions or tidal waves and we just go into overdrive to save lives even although it uses massive resources. But we can do someting about anthropogenic climate change and thus avoid needing to put more resources than otherwise into healthcare and other rescue services.

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

    lchinitz @ 32:

    Fossil fuels look a lot cheaper than they should, because of externalities.

    Energy transition considers how costs will change. Production by renewables is already cheaper in may cases; storage to cover lulls is still an issue.

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

    The claim is made that global warming is not a problem because cold is far deadlier than heatwaves. It is  misguided and simplistic.  This commentary explains why and adds to Bob Loblows post. Excerpts: 

    Heat-related deaths will rise 257% by 2050 because of climate change. Number of heat-related deaths projected to increase in UK as temperature rise, with elderly people most at risk

    Researchers wanted to try to determine the effect that climate change will have on temperature-related deaths in the coming decades. Their study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, examined fluctuations in weather patterns and death rates between 1993 and 2006 to characterise the associations between temperature and mortality. (Emphasis mine. The study uses solid evidence.)

    The researchers, from Public Health England (PHE) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, then looked at projected population and climate increases so they could estimate temperature-related deaths for the UK in coming decades.

    Heat-related deaths will rise 257% by 2050 because of climate change. Number of heat-related deaths projected to increase in UK as temperature rise, with elderly people most at risk.

    Researchers noted a 2.1% increase in the number of deaths for every 1C rise in the mercury and a 2% increase in mortality for every 1C drop in temperature. The number of hot weather days is projected to rise steeply, tripling by 2080, they said. Meanwhile the number of cold days is expected to fall, though at a less dramatic pace.

    At present there are around 41,000 winter-related deaths and 2,000 excess summer deaths.

    The authors predicted that without adaptation, the number of heat-related deaths will increase by 66% in the 2020s, 257% by the 2050s and 535% by the 2080s. Cold weather-related deaths will increase by 3% in the 2020s, then decrease by 2% in the 2050s and by 12% in the 2080s, they added.

    This means by 2080 there will be around 12,500 heat-related deaths and 36,500 cold-related deaths.

    The authors said that the burden of extreme weather remains such higher in those over the age of 75, particularly in the over-85s....

    (So the conclusion is the increase in the mortaility rate of heat related deaths is higher than the decrease in mortaility rate from warmer winters)

    www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/04/heat-related-deaths-climate-change

     

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

    William @ 30:

    No, I do not agree that deaths are "the most important" thing. And I do not agree that past trends in deaths present evidence that there will not be many deaths in the future. If I had to be on future causes of deaths related to climate change, I'd put it on massive failures of agriculture (which we are already seeing the early signs of), massive migrations of people fleeing lands that can no longer support them (they are not going to just roll over and die - they'll be showing up in your back yard), and massive instability in our economies and society as people try to adapt to the new conditions.

    ...and before people start dying, there can be an awful lot of pain and suffering.

    As for your questions about:

    Your idea that the IPCC doesn't think we have a problem is so far from what they say. (Unless, of course, your only metric is deaths so far.)

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

    Bob Loblaw @29, and WIlliam @27,

    I am probably doing a poor job at describing what I am trying to describe.  I am not trying to compare the Covid crisis with the climate crisis.  I am aware of the differences.

    I was just using the quote from Collins to illustrate that policymakers can, based on their policy goals, ignore certain things which later (upon reflection) they might wish they had not ignored.  And I'm just wondering if we could get that out of the way in the climate conversation.  William @26 is basically using that argument.  He says "Cheap reliable energy has massively improved human well-being. We ignore that our peril."  Meaning that in the climate change contenxt we are proposing to address climate change in such a way that we will affect the availability of cheap, reliable energy.

    Now, I don't agree with that, but that's not the point.  The point is that it's an argument to be considered.  As I said, personally I think that the risks are highly asymmetric, so if we were able to quantify the "peril" he mentions, it would be far less than the peril of NOT taking action.  But it would be great to have numbers there.  That is, show that we are NOT ignoring that at our peril.  That we have looked to the best of our ability, and we believe that there is a bigger peril to deal with.

    Maybe it's not possible, though.  Even the fact that I can't explain it to this group is discouraging me.  I see a glimmer of what I'm trying to say in this piece from NPR.  

    "It's kickstarting the government doing this," said Margaret Walls, Director of the Climate Risks and Impacts Program at Resources for the Future, a Washington research group. But, she continued, "it's imperfect."

    Walls said she would like to see the government include the climate costs of safety net programs, such as unemployment insurance, in future versions.

    Maybe I'll look into this "Resources for the Future" to see if anything like what I'm asking for has been done, or even considered.

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

    William @ 24:

    You refernce a newspaper story from 2015. The actual study is probably this one:

    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)62114-0

    Have you read the actual study? (The Lancet copy is paywalled, but Google Scholar will find free versions.)

    The RealClimate post I linked to (and you chose to ignore) is newer, and written by an expert in the field (not a journalist). And it looks at more than one study, including a more recent one (2017) written by many of the same authors as the one your newspaper story mentions.

    In that newer study, their interpretation is:

    This study shows the negative health impacts of climate change that, under high-emission scenarios, would disproportionately affect warmer and poorer regions of the world. Comparison with lower emission scenarios emphasises the importance of mitigation policies for limiting global warming and reducing the associated health risks.

    So, the authors of that study do not seem to share your "nothing to worry about" point of view.

  12. William24205 at 04:19 AM on 3 April 2024
    A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    Bob - 

     You continue to ignore "the fact" that deaths are not the only thing that contributes to an emergency or disaster.


    Not the only thing - but surely the most important?

    Getting rid of fossil fuels could cause untold damage"
    Do you not think there is a risk in getting rid of fossil fuels ?

    There is high confidence that the changes predicted by climate science are very likely

    What are these changes ? What are the effects ? Yes , it very likely will be warmer - but what are the effects ? The IPPC does not think they will be very significant , they don't say millions will die - and that there will be more weather disasters.

    I would like to ask you one question>
    If we carried on as we are - with disasters not increasing , deaths at an all-time low and fewer people dying from direct weather deaths and crop yields at their current improved rate. 
    Would you admit the " crisis was overblown?
    Or is it just a crisis because it is - regardless of what the outcome is?

     

     

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

    lchinitz @23:

    I don't think we are that far apart on our viewpoints. My question about whether there are specific things that you (or others) think are not part of the analysis was probably more directed at the arguments people like your friend are making to you.

    ...but I tend to disagree with you on parts of this. When you quote Francis Collins saying "You attach zero value to whether this actually totally disrupts people’s lives, ruins the economy..."  you are referring to a micro-case. The context of the quote is a public health person, and specifically saving lives. Even in the public health sphere writ large, where budgets and resources are limited, there will have to be some sort of consideration of the economic costs (even if they are only the short-term local ones). If the patient is paying, and the patient has the money for a quadruple bypass even though they are 80 years old, smoking 3 packs a day, and ridden with cancer that will kill them in 6 months, there may be a doctor that will take the money and "save the life". But in most cases, the medical decision will probably be "no bypass for you". Especially if there is only one surgeon and operating room available and there is an otherwise healthy 20-year-old that needs heart surgery due to a car accident.

    And when we get back to the global economy in relation to the global climate, then yes, "ruining the economy" will be part of the calculations. There will be a lot of subjective values that will be left out, but things that can be quantified are likely included. From my limited understanding, I think that one of the highly debatable points in economic modelling is the "discount rate" - the relative value placed on a life today versus a life 50 or 100 years from now. With a sufficiently high discount rate you can basically say "who cares about tomorrow?". Caring about the long-term argues for a low discount rate. But that also becomes subjective and a function of personal values.

    I am somewhat familiar with Canada's legislation related to regulation of chemicals and such. There are clear requirements that an analysis preceding regulation must consider available alternatives and "external" costs that industry and users will face.

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

    William:

    You continue to ignore "the fact" that deaths are not the only thing that contributes to an emergency or disaster.

    When you say "...when people make apocalyptic predictions and want us to fundamental change on the back of the predictions", do you include predictions such as "Getting rid of fossil fuels could cause untold damage"??? Or ruining the economy? Or "the dangers of depriving people of cheap reliable energy"??? Or "the economic pain it could bring"???

    What is it about your knowledge that makes you so confident in your predictions that disaster awaits if humans take action to prevent climate change? After all, you did say "Mankind has always been useless at predicting the future", and "...neither you or I have any idea which problems will or will not occur".

    I think I know the answer to that. You also said:

    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.

    In other words, you accept any argument, no matter how weak, that goes in favour of your preconceptions, and you dismiss any discussion and evidence that goes against your preconceptions. As has been stated, your motivated reasoning is in overdrive.

    And adding "may" or "could" to your arguments is very weak. There is a huge difference between "may happen at 95% probability", and "there is a 1:1,000,000 chance it wll happen". There is high confidence that the changes predicted by climate science are very likely. You seem to be willing to bet on the long shot, and are putting your hopes for the future on an argument that amounts to "nobody is perfect".

    I think that when you say "I can't help thinking no evidence will make any difference" that you are speaking about yourself.

  15. William24205 at 03:19 AM on 3 April 2024
    A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

     lchinitz 13,
    It is interesting to compare Covid with climate change. With Covid I was ( certainly at the beginning ) very much on the precautionary side. It was a brand new unknown virus and rising exceptionally .

    Climate change is of a completely different order - with Covid speed because of the exponential growth speed was of the essence. No such things occurs with climate change - there is no exponential threat as such . Very importantly the threat is extremely slow moving - if a low lying island is threatened we have years to adapt .
    There are no upside benefits to a virus - warming/less cold might be good.
    We panicked over Covid because people died and very quickly - we were right to panic - and even if we might ( or might not ) have panicked too much - we did the right thing at the time without hindsight.
    We are now more relaxed about Covid because fewer are dying - we have had 40 years of climate change coverage and fewer people are also dying.
    I am much more worried about a future pandemic than climate change - a pandemic hist you quickly - we can adapt to climate change and we have plenty of time.
    nuclear war , biological terrorism even AI worry me a lot more than climate change - they are scary and unpredictable.
    In 2019 the WHO cited climate change as the greatest threat to huma health in the next 12 months. Talk about looking in the wrong place and getting things wrong.

  16. William24205 at 02:54 AM on 3 April 2024
    A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

     Eclectic 14
    Thomas Malthus was a bit more than not 100% right - he was more like 100% wrong . He said : We would not have enough food to feed more than one billion people - we actually feed 8 billion better than we did 1 billion. His scare did harm and helped cause the potato famine.

    I don't cite him and say : predicted problems will not occur because he was wrong. The truth is neither you or I have any idea which problems will or will not occur .

    I do say we should remember Thomas Malthus - when people make apocalyptic predictions and want us to fundamental change on the back of the predictions.
    Getting rid of fossil fuels could cause untold damage. Cheap reliable energy has massively improved human well-being .
    We ignore that our peril.

  17. William24205 at 02:44 AM on 3 April 2024
    A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    John - 22

    the quickest way for you to find it is google  :

    USA Today Lancet study : cold kills 20 times more than heat.

     

  18. William24205 at 02:41 AM on 3 April 2024
    A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    John - 22

    https://eu.usatoday.com/story/weather/2015/05/20/cold-weather-deaths/27657269/

     

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

    Hi all,

    Thanks for the comments.  Let me try to address a few, and refocus on the question I was asking.

    First, I am definitely not advocating for a market-based solution to climate change.  For all of the reasons that Bob Loblaw raised (and more), I consider the failure to address climate change a classic example of a market failure.  We are heavily discounting the future, we are not considering externalities, and we are allowing ourselves to be caught in a Prisoner's Dilemma trap in which "common sense" says that it make more sense to continue to consume and hope that everyone else solves the problem.  So climate change is, to me, a perfect example of a collective action problem.  We have to work on it together, and government is the mechanism by which we make collective decisions and take collective action.

    THAT BEING SAID, to address Bob Loblaw's question ("Do you (or others) have a reason to think that such costs are not part of the economic analysis?"), my answer is that based on my reading, they are not part of the economic analysis.  I could be wrong, but look again at what Francis Collin's said in my post #13, above.  "You attach zero value to whether this actually totally disrupts people’s lives, ruins the economy..."  So Collin's is basically saying that in their analysis of the right thing to do, they simply didn't consider those other "costs" at all.  They attached zero value to them, which means they were not considered.  There was no way for those effects to influence policy, since they had no value.

    What I'm asking is, has anyone specifically attempted to look at those costs in the context of climate change?  I guess I'm not convinced of Eclectic's opinion that the task would be "gargantuan".  This is what economists do, right?  Based on uncertain information attempt to align limited resources to best accomplish a set of goals?

    So the question would be, suppose we implement a set of policies (from any of the policy documents).  What would be the effect on, let's say, food, sanitation, health care, heat, cooling, transportation, etc?  And would it be clear from that analysis that the effect on those things would not be so bad as to convince you not to implement the policies in the first place.

    I am personally convinced that that is the case.  That is, that no matter how you look at it, immediate action to address climate change is necessary.  But my personal opinion isn't necessarily persuasive.  There is obviously already a lot of solid data supporting my opinion.  But it would be nice to have some data looking at the perspective I've tried to describe.  At least, I think it would be nice.

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

    William - can you cite that Lancet study so I can have a read of it? Ta!

  21. William24205 at 02:12 AM on 3 April 2024
    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. 

  22. 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;.

  23. 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.)

  24. 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.

  25. 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 .....

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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?

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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

  32. William24205 at 22:41 PM on 2 April 2024
    A data scientist’s case for ‘cautious optimism’ about climate change

    8

    * interestingly 

  33. William24205 at 22:36 PM on 2 April 2024
    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

  34. 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?

     

  35. William24205 at 22:29 PM on 2 April 2024
    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?

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. William24205 at 19:57 PM on 2 April 2024
    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 . 

  39. William24205 at 19:51 PM on 2 April 2024
    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.

     

  40. 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?

  41. 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   ;-)

  42. 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?

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

     

  45. 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.

  46. William24205 at 07:26 AM on 2 April 2024
    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 .

  47. William24205 at 07:12 AM on 2 April 2024
    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. 

  48. 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"?

  49. 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. 

  50. 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.

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