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

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  • Taking the Temperature: a dispatch from the UK

    MA Rodger at 01:07 AM on 4 August, 2022

    Fixitsan @97,

    I have replied to you off-topic comment on a more appropriate trhead.

  • CO2 is just a trace gas

    MA Rodger at 01:06 AM on 4 August, 2022

    Fixitsan @97 elsewhere,

    You say "I struggle to find anyone who can offer a sensible explanation why it is, that if 0.04% of the atmosphere consisting of CO2 traps significant heat, enough to warm the planet an estimated 1 Celsius in 1 century, why is CO2 at higher concentrations not used more often (or even ever) in common or garden insulation."

    99.95% of the Earth's dry atmosphere comprises N2, O2 or Ar but they are transparent to IR. It requires a more complicated molecule to absorb or emit IR at the temperatures found in the Earth's atmosphere. So any IR passing through the atmosphere will only be absorbed by those more-complicated molecules and IR will only be emitted these same molecules.

    And this is only at certain wavelengths which equate to the various wobbles that can be induced in those molecules. Of these, in the dry atmosphere, the big daddy of the IR-reacting molecules is CO2 which acts at 15 microns wavelength (666 cm^-1 wavenumber). This effect is responsible for a big bite seen in the spectrum of IR emitted out into space.
    IR spectrum of Earth
    Thus about 20% of the Earthly IR has to negotiate the CO2 in the atmosphere and this mechanism directly provides perhaps 7ºC of the full 33ºC pre-ndustrial greenhouse effect.
    The important variable is the altitude at which the CO2 emits the 15 micron IR out into space, and specifically the temperature of that altitude. The hotter it is, the more IR is lost to space, helping to cool the planet. But a colder gases emits less and that then insulates the planet better.
    Now, if the upper atmosphere at the altitudes at which CO2 allows this 15 micron IR to escape into space were really really really cold, you could double that direct 7ºC CO2 effect by blocking all the IR in that band. But you need that really really really cold temperature to achieve it.
    So if you;re after "common or garden insulation", if you want to keep something warm by half-a-dozen degrees or more, it is far easier covering it with a more conventional insulating barrier.

    As far as anthropogenic global warming goes, filling the atmosphere with extra CO2 concentrations results in the space-bound IR in the 15 micron waveband being emitted at higher altitudes and, because those higher altitudes have a lower temperature, less IR will this be emitted in the 15 micron waveband out into space adding to the insulating greenhouse effect.

  • Taking the Temperature: a dispatch from the UK

    One Planet Only Forever at 03:06 AM on 31 July, 2022

    To recap (a term used by fixitsan @2).

    Fixitsan @67 claims “I made it5 clear in my first response that I was aware of a difference between local and regional and global terminologies”.

    Their responses have clearly indicated something, but not what they hope to indicate.

    Fixitsan @2 ends with the following para. I provide a response to each part in brackets:

    So to recap, lets recall the amount of serious messaging about climate change which probably dates back to 1989, when Mrs Thatcher addressed the UN and stressed the importance of a worldwide commitment to reducing CO2 [Many global leaders spoke more strongly on the issue and did it years before Thatcher did. They had been learning since the 1972 Stockholm Conference which led to the 1987 Montreal Protocol about Ozone and formed the IPCC which issued its first report in 1990].

    Anything since then is a year in an era when it has been fine to suggest we might only have ten years left to live, or only a few days left before doomsday due to climate change, [The correct understanding based on increased awareness and improved understanding since 1990 is undeniable. Avoiding the creation of significant harm to the future of humanity requires dramatic reduction of fossil fuel use by 2030. Many other dramatic corrections of harmful ways of living developed by humans are also required]

    and recall how most of the CO2 was produced before 1989, [wrong, and shown to be wrong by other comments]

    so how come that of the 12 months in every year, only 5 of those months have been hottest since 1989, [wrong – and proven by subsequent comments to be an incorrect claim, a gross misunderstanding about the meaning of bits of data found in the record of temperature in a small part of the planet. A ‘hottest date does not make a ‘hottest month’, or a ‘hottest year’. And finding a ‘hottest ’ in a region of the planet does not indicate a hottest global condition]

    and 2 were hottest before the start of the industrial revolution (which apparently causes global warming, except not in April or May) [repeatedly proven to be a grossly incorrect way to think about the issue]

    Further early evidence of fixitsan’s incorrect understanding is provided by fixitsan @8: ”Be honest you don't know if it was hotter 20 years ago in a place where there was no thermometer. Statictiscally possibl;e, as thermometers are located on such a small amount of area of the UK” [Nonsense belief that some actually collected temperature information indicates nothing meaningful ‘because everything hasn’t been measured rigorously everywhere all the time’. That nonsense appears to be the reason they refuse to learn about Sea Level rise or any other matter they do not want to learn about.]

    That type of nonsensical thinking  can be understood to be related to conspiracy type thinking - thinking that will not be a sustainable 'common sense' in any sub-set of humanity unless the subset is permanently isolated for all others. Review the following brief (about 6 minutes each) BBC Reel videos (I referred to the first one in my comment @51:

    And that awareness and understanding makes sense of the success of the efforts to mislead people about climate science I refer to in my comment @39 pointing to my comment on the Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2022.

    My comment on New Research for Week #29 links to The following BBC News item:

    The audacious PR plot that seeded doubt about climate change

    That BBC story includes the following concise summary point:

    "What the geniuses of the PR firms who work for these big fossil fuel companies know is that truth has nothing to do with who wins the argument. If you say something enough times, people will begin to believe it."

    A concluding Note:

    It appears likely that the massive efforts to mislead regarding climate science were a response to the way that global leaders collectively agreed to meddle in the marketplace to limit the harm done to the Ozone layer. That type of global leadership effort appeared to be working towards a similar action on climate impacts, which would focus of ending fossil fuel impacts – and some harmful misleading people believed that that ‘helpful harm reduction action’ had to be delayed any way that could be gotten away with.

    People like fixitsan appear to have allowed themselves to be so deeply misled into conspiracy belief that they cannot easily be helped to learn what is really going on and what needs to happen to limit the harm being done.

  • Taking the Temperature: a dispatch from the UK

    Jim Hunt at 01:42 AM on 30 July, 2022

    It seems that John Kennedy, who recently left UKMO, isn't entirely happy with the MSM coverage of the "this month's extreme heat in the UK" either:

    There’s an attribution of the record breaking UK heat but of the three articles I read (Guardian, AP, Carbon Briefs), not one linked to the actual study. I can’t even find a link to it on the WWA web site, just a summary.

    Here's the missing link to the World Weather Attribution study that Robert Rohde dug up:

    [BW - comment updated per request]

  • Taking the Temperature: a dispatch from the UK

    MA Rodger at 22:06 PM on 26 July, 2022

    Fixitsan @63,

    I fear you are getting carried away with all this. While not exactly representitive of "maximum low" records, the record for such CET values for 1st Jan was set 2022 and for 31st Dec 2021 and most maximum monthly low averages are also recent.

    CET RECORD HIGH NIGHT-TIME TEMP - Jan 1921, Feb 1903, Mar 1957, Apr 2011, May 1889, Jun 2017, Jul 2006, Aug 1997, Sep 2006, Oct 2001, Nov 1994, Dec 2015, Annual 2006

  • Taking the Temperature: a dispatch from the UK

    MA Rodger at 00:04 AM on 26 July, 2022

    Fixitsan @42-44&46,
    It seems SLR has gone Forth and we are now back amongst the sassenachs with their CET record.

    (Note you miss the point @43 where you respond to a caooment which is questioning why a discussion of CET should suddenly be discussing a strange article in the Edinburgh News abuot SLR projections.)

    @42&44 you forget that it is the global average SAT which will show some warming from a positive climate forcing resulting from increased CO2, and react with lots of warming from a big positive climate forcing like the CO2 forcing within AGW.
    But as you say up-thread (perhaps you have forgotten), the temperature record of a wider area provides a "better guide" than a smaller area. So @42 perhaps the question of what is causing these CET wobbles of the 1970s/80s (or any other period) may provide an exemplar for why a smaller area is more wobbly than a biggerer one. And @44 there appears to be some inane idea that global SAT (& thus also wobbly CET) should have been rising vigorously since that day Abraham Derby first thought to make his steel using coal rather than of charcoal.
    @46 you treat us to the bizarre idea that we should be able to use the house prices on the Maldives to measure AGW (with some inverse correlation) and because there is no indication of any falling prices to be seen, "the average person" will thus conclude the political message on AGW is yet more nonsense from the political classes.
    Yet in such a world, what "the average person" thinks or doesn't think makes no reference to the SLR records in the Maldives.
    Maldive SLR

  • Taking the Temperature: a dispatch from the UK

    Bob Loblaw at 23:34 PM on 25 July, 2022

    ...and Fixitsan is back to his bogus argument that rising CO2 must create temperatures that are "always undoubtedly more warming"Is Global warming still happening? is #5 on the list of most common myths. Does CO2 always correlate with temperature? is #47 on the list of most common myths.

    And he's picked the cherry of the 1970s cooling. Why did climate cool in the mid-20th century? is #49 on the list of most common myths. Will he chase the squirrel of early 20th century temperatures next? That is #52 on the list of most common myths.

    And  he's justifying going off topic for this blog post ("Taking the temperature: A Dispatch from the UK") because he seems to be incapable of using the search function (top left of every page at Skeptical Science) to find a post where sea level rise is on topic. Oe perhaps he simply does not understand that the link between sea level rise and global temperatures is the result of the slow overall rise in global temperature, not the week of record-high temperatures in a small part of the world (the UK). Given his repeated failure to understand the global vs local relationships for temperature, it seems quite likely that he is equally-poorly-informed about the causes of sea level rise.

    And he returns to the CET temperature trend as if local variabilty disproves global trends. (He's still wrong.) And he goes into the pre-1900 period (part of the "Industrial Revolution") as an example, seemingly unaware that CO2 rise is largely a 20th century phenomenon - and mostly the latter half of that century.

    20th century CO2


    I need to correct an earlier misunderstanding on my part. Fixitsan is not playing "look, squirrel!". He's playing Climate Myth Bingo. Which square will he call out next?

  • Taking the Temperature: a dispatch from the UK

    Fixitsan at 17:37 PM on 25 July, 2022

    One Planet, with reference to your own referenced series extracted from CET

    Why was there a cooling starting at around 1972, with temperatures not recovering tot heir pre 1970's level until the 1990's if CO2, the alleged cause of all warming, was rising throughout the same period ?

    The theory is more CO2 = always undoubtedly more warming.

  • Taking the Temperature: a dispatch from the UK

    Bob Loblaw at 03:57 AM on 24 July, 2022

    Wow. Fixitsan sure has a wild game of "look, squirrel!" going on.

    From an original claim that a long list of temperaure records from the Central England Temperature series represented UK "national" values, he's gone into full retreat. No longer calling it "national" (he must have run out of "national"s in his keyboard, having used it nine times in his first post), he's backed down to calling it "regional" (not unreasonable), and then local, and finally (in comment #24) saying "We are definitely only talking about a single location on the planet which continually monitors the temperature, unlike most locations on the planet."

    His game-killer statement? "But there is clearly 1 location on the earth where that is not true." (He's talking about places with record highs.)

    Now, if he had looked at (and understood) the figures provided in the article, he would see that the rise in temperatures across the globe is not uniform. Here is the original figure, copied again:

    1976 vs 2014-2021

    Notice how the maps show a range of colours? The dark red ones are the hottest (relative to their normal temperature), and the blue ones represent locations that were colder than normal, with a range of colours in between. And Fixitsan seems to think that this is news - and devastating to the science of climate change. Of course, it is not. It's just a variation on the myth "It's freaking cold!" that Skeptical Science already has a page on.

    If he understood anything about weather, he would also know that "climate" includes variations about the averages. Gradual warming does not mean that we'll never see cold again (see above link about "it's freaking cold!"), and it also does not mean that we'll never see record cold temperatures set. What we do see is records highs being set a lot more frequently than record lows - as would be expected in a warming climate. It turns out that Skeptical Science has a post about that, too.

    So, Fixitsan still hasn't said anything that is actually new, or that goes against our understanding of climate and climate change. He's just repeating myths that have been around for years - and debunked many times.

    His closing comments on temperature seem to be: "...the question needs to be asked about how many other areas do not align with the global trends, and therefore apparently challenge the notion that global warming is not global (affecting everywhere) at all."

    Guess what? Some areas are warming less than (or more than) other areas, and some may even show some cooling, but none of this represents any challenge to climate science. In fact, observations such as increased warming at the poles, regional variations in warming, etc. are all things that were predicted by climate theory. Fixitsan's "show stoppers" are actually confirmation of the science.

    Then, running out of myths to retreat to on temperature, Fixitsan has jumped the shark to start going on about sea level rise. He's not doing any better on this. All he seems to have is some newpaper headlines and misinterpretations of same.

    I'm not sure exactly what sea level rise has to do with temperature records, but I guess the discussion is a least on topic with the UK slant of the blog post.

    Having seen his sea level "gotchas" torn to shreds, will we see Fixitsan jump to chase another squirrel? There are lots to choose from. Check out Skeptical Science's Most Used Climate Myths, choose your favorites, and place your bets!

  • Taking the Temperature: a dispatch from the UK

    MA Rodger at 09:44 AM on 23 July, 2022

    Bob Loblaw @17,

    The CET is described as "representative of a roughly triangular area of the United Kingdom enclosed by Lancashire, London and Bristol." That would give it a centre somewhere near Stratford-on-Avon and only the western edge of your red area sitting within that triangle which extends mostly to the south. One problem with using early daily data (or even monthly data) from CET is that it is not using standardised thermometer hosuings. The Met Office do give ranked regional, national and UK-wide monthly averaged data for max min & mean temperatures but only go back to the start of use of the Stevenson Screen in the 1860s. These at least would be "sticking with national averages" which as described by Fixitsan @2 indeed would be "a better guide to what is happening in terms of trends over a larger sample area," although advice apparently then ignored.

    These UK-wide top-rankers come in:-

    Max Temp - Jan 1916, Feb 2019, Mar 2012, Apr 2011, May 2018, Jun 1940, Jul 2006, Aug 1995, Sep 1895, Oct 1921, Nov 2011, Dec 2015, Winter 1989, Spring 1893, Summer 1976, Autumn 2006, Annual 2014.

    Mean Temp - Jan 1916, Feb 1998, Mar 1938, Apr 2011, May 2008, Jun 1940, Jul 2006, Aug 1995, Sep 2006, Oct 2001, Nov 1994, Dec 2015, Winter 1989, Spring 2017, Summer 2018, Autumn 2006, Annual 2014.

    But single months and even single years ar subject to a lot of noise so listing out these top-ranked months etc and reflecting on the length of time thay have maintained that top-rank is doing little more than examining randomness. Even for annual means, this UK-wide data provides a randomness spread of +/- 0.9ºC (2 sd) and the rankings will be latching on to even rarer events than 1-in-20.

    So the argument set out up-thread by Fixitsan is baseless.

    Added to that, the statement @2 that "most of the CO2 was produced before 1989" is wrong. In terms of FF emissions, more has now been emitted since 1989 and in terms of the rise in atmospheric CO2 levels, 1989 sit at about halfway from pre-industrial, but not forgetting the poor old climate system does need a decade or more to get its reaction to climate forcing working significantly.

  • Taking the Temperature: a dispatch from the UK

    Bob Loblaw at 07:45 AM on 23 July, 2022

    Fixitsan (in several comments):

    Hmmm. You seem to be rather inconsistent in your selection and discussion of data. In your first comment (#2), you make specific reference to the Central England Temperature (CET) record, but then you start talking about "national" temperatures. In fact, your comment #2 uses the word "national" nine times.

    The CET is indeed well-known and documented. Wikipedia has a page for it.

    It also appears that many (if not all) the record temperatures and dates that you provide are for the CET. The Wikipedia pages says that the "Central" in CET refers to the Midlans of the UK, and links to a page that contains the following map:

    Wikipedia map of UK midlands

    Yet, when I follow the link that John Mason gave in comment #4, to the UK Met Office report, they provide an animated GIF image of the maximum temperature comparisons for specific hot summer days in the years 1976, 2003, 2019, and 2022 (this week). When I look at those maps, I see that the Midlands usually is not part of the hottest regions of the UK for any of those maps. (Follow the link to the report to get a full-sized image.)

    Copy of UK met office image from report

    You also make the comment (third paragraph of comment #2) that "The strength of reporting on local temperature highs always seems to be given more importance then another useful metric, the national average temperature."

    So, I have one question (for now): why are you using a regional analsyis of temperature (CET), and presenting it as a "national ...temperature"? Are you not making exactly the same mistake that you are saying other people should not be making?

    Please provide a justification for treating CET as a "national temperature", when it is clear that it does not represent the area of the UK that tends to have the hottest temperatures. Why did you select CET, with its limited geographical coverage, for this purpose?

  • Taking the Temperature: a dispatch from the UK

    Bob Loblaw at 22:15 PM on 22 July, 2022

    "Can you spot 1976 amongst 2014-2021?"

    Oh, I know! I know! Pick me! Pick me!

    Could it be.... the one in the middle?

    It's like watching an episode of Sesame Street:

    One of these things is not like the others,
    One of these things just doesn't belong,
    Can you tell which thing is not like the others
    By the time I finish my song?

  • Recklessness defined: breaking 6 of 9 planetary boundaries of safety

    David Hawk at 21:00 PM on 21 July, 2022

    Well said. In 1985 this might have been ignored as ad hominen material. In 1975, when I managed a major Swedish environmental deteioration project, showing why we are incapable of managing phenomena like climate change, this story of the human bus would have been laughed at. In 1979, when the results of that project were presented to OECD, a very angry Director of the US EPA called it a hoax. Now that climate change is essentially outside management, we see this sotry as "interesting."  Humans?

    A 2019 book, "Too Early, Too Late, Now what?" republishes the 1979 work and is "interesting."  A 2022 clarification of the thesis urgency was seen as a "non-book" by Amazon and sold in candles, so you could morn as you read. After dessent by book buyers it was moved to the T-shirt section, where harsh depression is placed by youth up front. 

  • SkS Analogy 4 - Ocean Time Lag

    One Planet Only Forever at 14:26 PM on 8 July, 2022


    This is a good update of the presentation of the technical points regarding future global temperatures.

    The future depends on the rapidity of changes (or delay of changes) of how humans live to limit the harm done by accumulating global warming impacts. The future temperature depends on the collective actions by humans today and in the future. And the tragic starting point is the current damage done and the time required for the massive required corrections of how people live due to the lack of responsible limiting of harmful over-consumption through the past 30 years.

    I have one important point of elaboration.

    In addition to climate “... scientists, such as James Hansen, refer(ring) to global warming as an inter-generational issue, because the time lag means that the heating due to our emissions are only fully felt by later generations.”, policy development experts such as Stephen M. Gardiner have presented the ethical and moral hazard of expecting the developed socioeconomic-political systems to effectively and equitably limit the damaging climate change impacts. Developing sustainable solutions requires significant systemic changes.

    Stephen M. Gardiner’s book “A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change” presents an important perspective (note it was written in 2011). The book should be read in its entirety. But a reasonable understanding can be obtained by reading the abstract and the summary statements regarding each chapter of the contents on the following Oxford University Press Scholarship Online website for the book.

    The following is a key point in the Abstract: “...the key issue is that the current generation, and especially the most affluent, are in a position to pass on most of the costs of their behavior (and especially the most serious harms) to the global poor, future generations and nonhuman nature. This tyranny of the contemporary is a deeper problem than the traditional tragedy of the commons.”

    The ‘human caused global warming and resulting climate change’ problem is a case of some people benefiting from actions that are unsustainable and harmful to others. The ‘benefit by some causing harm to others’ distinguishes the climate change challenge from a tragedy of the commons problem (where all those benefiting from the commons are harmed by the collective damage and over-consumption). And human caused global warming is not the only development where Others who are harmed have little or no ability to limit the harm done to them and get those who harm them to make full amends and reparations for the harm done.

    Rather than just saying global warming is inter-generational, it is important to understand that human caused global warming is one of many developed international and inter-generational tragedies that the developed systems fail to effectively govern because the people who benefit from the damaging unsustainable activity can, and will, misleadingly manipulate public beliefs to powerfully compromise the governing of things and to protect their interests.

  • How to inoculate yourself against misinformation

    Petra Liverani at 20:53 PM on 1 July, 2022

    Misinformation is a weasel term just as conspiracy theory and conspiracy theorist are.

    With regard to criticism of what we are told by the authorities the term to apply is not misinformation or conspiracy theory, but rather words such as criticism orrefutation and the validity of the criticism needs to be addressed. Of course, if it's called criticism that allows possible validity at least, doesn't it, and we can't have that, no we must smear any criticism with the label misinformation. To call a medical doctor who has studied scientific papers and points out what she thinks shows errors in scientific method a conspiracy theorist or a spreader of misinformation is the wrong approach. What needs to happen is that her argument needs to be counter-refuted not simply dismissed as misinformation. In fact, NZ doctor, Dr Sam Bailey, who has made extremely iconoclastic claims with regard to the alleged SARS-CoV-2 virus and viruses in general (as have a few other doctors and scientists) has been struck off the NZ medical register for allegedly spreading misinformation but so far that misinformation has not been identified.

    Where we see the constant refrain of misinformation with clear evidence of censorship we need to consider which information is misinformation and who is spreading it.

    We're told to "trust the science" which is, ironically, a completely anti-science attitude to take. What an absurdity. Science is about questioning not trusting. I have no desire to "trust science", what I want is open and frank discussion but it's squashed and instead we're told that anything against the mainstream narrative is misinformation.

    This recent 20-min video by Sam Bailey, False Gods, "Experts" and the Death of Science, includes snippets of:
    -— Richard Feynman's 1974 Caltech commencement address where he speaks of "cargo cult science" and scientists igoring the rigorous scientific work of a particular scientist and
    -— Dr Richard Smith, former editor of the BMJ, saying that it's difficult to see the upsides of peer review and how experiments done to test peer review show it doesn't bear up very well.

    If eminent scientists criticise "science" why shouldn't we?

  • Climate Confusion

    One Planet Only Forever at 03:07 AM on 30 June, 2022


    You have brought up a great example of "discourse of climate delay or denial" (refer to "Skeptical Science tackles 'discourses of climate delay' and 'solutions denial'")

    The focus on a small part of the big picture can look appealing as a justification for delaying doing, or deny the need to do, what is understandably required to limit the harm done to future generations of humanity. And limiting the harm done is the first step in 'developing sustainable mprovements' (harmful developments can appear to be helpful, as long as the focus is only on the 'good looking bits').

    The following Carbon Brief item from 2016, "Human emissions will delay next ice age by 50,000 years, study says", indicates that without the damaging human climate change impacts the next ice age would have been expected in about 50,000 years. It indicates that the current rapid increase of CO2 has created a long lasting condition that would 'delay' the ice age onset by an additional 50,000 years. Note that the ice age still happens. And this more recent Carbon Brief item, "Explainer: How the rise and fall of CO2 levels influenced the ice ages" provides more details regarding CO2's role in ice ages.

    The current high levels that would delay the ice age by 50,000 more years were not needed to offset the ice ace until 50,000 years from now. Wouldn't it be great to have well known reserves of fossil fuels that are kept buried and accessible until they were really needed? Maybe the entire next ice age could be offset by timely thoughtful use of those fossil fuels.

    In addition to finding and keeping the fossil fuels for that important future use (and 50,000 years is a reasonable amount of time for future humans to figure out how to effectively use the fossil fuels to do that), it is important for current day humans to reverse (clean-up, undo) the current massively harmful excess CO2. Expecting the next generation of humans to figure out how to live with the harm done (or correct things) is callous and irresponsible. There are many harmful results of keeping CO2 levels higher, not just sea level rise mentioned by michael sweet @9 (btw, michael I agree that if the systems of profitability and profit continue to be the governing systems more damage will continue to be done, and not just climate impact harm).

    The following CBC News item "Analysis reveals how climate change is influencing extreme weather" and BBC News item "Japan swelters in worst heatwave ever recorded" are added examples. But there are even more harmful consequences of the current excessive CO2 levels, harms that are irreversible, harms that will not be undone by reducing the current CO2 levels. And those harms are made worse as the CO2 is pushed higher -— even if pushing it higher today could be claimed to delay the next ice age by even longer.

    The best way to deal with high heat conditions is not the actions described in the most recent SkS repost of the Yale Climate Connections item "How to stay cool in hot weather". What would be best is leadership actions that rapidly limit the peak CO2 levels and rapidly bring them down (done in ways that still improve the lives of all those who are not yet living basic decent lives - but not caring if the higher-status harmful living ways get chopped down a few notches). The Joy Riding Party Bus humans who denied the undeniable understanding of how harmful they were being through the past 30 years and want to push CO2 even higher because they don't want their Good Time Harmful Fun ways of living to be limited or scaled back deserve to be severely disappointed (no matter how angry that makes them - like I, as a professional engineer, have had to tell clients they could not get what they wanted, no matter how angry it made them. And my MBA education helps me understand their anger and know what they want and why they want it. But I have maintained my engineering responsibility to Do No Harm rather than be tempted to personally benefit by letting them have what they want and reward me for allowing - and make me to blame if it turns out bad).

  • Climate Confusion

    MA Rodger at 21:17 PM on 28 June, 2022

    There is the idea that a sudden end to CO2 emissions will result in the reduced forcing from continued CO2 draw-down balancing the pipe-line warming such that there is no extra warming beyond the end of emissions. As a theoretical exercise it is roughly correct but there is more to AGW than CO2 and a worldwide end to CO2 emissions (tomorrow morning, 0930 hrs GMT - set your watches) is but theoretical. But there it is, and folk do check it is a valid interpretation of what would happen (as per the lt blue trace below - graphic from this CarbonBrief item).

    CarbonBrief warming after zero CO2 graph

    But realistic zero-CO2 scenarios will not react like this. The IPCC AR6 SPM shows temperature peaking under SSP1-1.9 before zero CO2 is reached in 2050. And note its Fig10 which attempts to set AGW ΔT as a function of cumulative CO2 emissions. If you scale that graph, you'll find +1.5ºC equals to 2,960Gt(CO2). Note this is Gt(CO2) not Gt(C). And as of today June 2022 we have managed 2,510Gt(CO2).

    IPCC AR6 SPM fig 10

    But what is less well known is that post-2050 the SSP1-1.9 scenario expects negative emissions which according to the graphs in Meinshausen et al (2020) total 1,100Gt(CO2). That means we maintain the +1.5ºC (or a statistical chance of maintaining it) by extracting and storing out of harms way all our emissions from now to zero-CO2 as well as all the emissions back to 2008.

    That's quite a task to prevent pipeline warming from messing up the +1.5ºC limit. And the SSP1-1.9 scenario also shows (as does any logical analysis of what the 2,960Gt(CO2) budget implies) global CO2 emissions halving by 2030. And 2030 is not now very far away.

  • Antarctica is gaining ice

    Philippe Chantreau at 03:32 AM on 19 June, 2022

    You see what you want to see even it if it's not there and do not see what you don't want to see, even if it is there. 

    Your did not link AR5, so I went directly to the source.

    From AR5 synthesis report, Topic 1: Observed changes and their causes, section 1.1.3, page 42 (58 in the pdf counter), Cryosphere: "There is high confidence that there are strong regional differences in the trend in Antarctic sea ice extent, with a very likely increase in total extent.

    Further down, it reads " It is very likely that the annual mean Antarctic sea ice extent increased in the range of 1.2 to 1.8% per decade (range of 0.13 to 0.20 million km2 per decade) between 1979 and 2012."

    Is that obvious enough? How else could it be written? How did you miss it?

    Synthesis Report here.

    Earlier you mentioned the Summary for Policymakers. So I went to that part and looked at what it said about the cryosphere. Unsurprisingly, it said almost verbatim the same words as in the synthesis report. Quote from AR5 Summary for Policymakers: " It is very likely that the annual mean Antarctic sea-ice extent increased in the range of 1.2 to 1.8% per decade between 1979 and 2012. However, there is high confidence that there are strong regional differences in Antarctica, with extent increasing in some regions and decreasing in others."

    Those familiar with IPCC know that specific ranges of probability correspond to "likely" or "very likely." As usual, that can be found in the the report.

    Not only AR5 mentions the increase of Antarctic sea ice in the body of the report and in the summary for policymakers, but it even quantifies the size of the increase and the level of confidence in the finding. It also lists scientific references. If that is your idea of sweeping under the rug, you can't be helped.

    You asked the question "Where is the other trend?" 

    The answer is: in the synthesis report and in the summary for policymakers. Read them. For all your talk about what's in the reports, you seem surprisingly ignorant of their actual content.

    The accusation that the IPCC was trying to hide the small increase in Antarctic sea ice that existed at the time of AR5 is baseless, as can be easily verified from examining the report you cited. This suggests that you did not read the material you used for your own argument.

    This: "Ice is decreasing dramatically all over. Measured data is aligend with models, we go to do something, IPCC is totally right !" would certainly qualify as a strawman argument but it is so grotesque that a better name would be a straw clown.

    In the actual IPCC material, what policymakers find is language like this: " In the Synthesis Report, the certainty in key assessment findings is communicated as in the Working Group Reports and Special Reports. It is based on the author teams’ evaluations of underlying scientific understanding and is expressed as a qualitative level of confidence (from very low to very high) and, when possible, probabilistically with a quantified likelihood (from exceptionally unlikely to virtually certain). Where appropriate, findings are also formulated as statements of fact without using uncertainty qualifiers."

    You also do not seem to understand how models are made, validated and used, what ensemble means are and a number of other elements. I have never seen before the expression "approval model." From what you have produced so far, I doubt that there is much point getting into a discussion of these issues. 


  • Antarctica is gaining ice

    Philippe Chantreau at 06:12 AM on 18 June, 2022


    You are launching accusations of nefarious intent. However, you are not producing anything even close to evidence that would support such accusations. In fact, the accusations thenselves are about actions that have not taken place and facts that are imaginary.

    The treatment of polar regions in the 6th assessment is summarized here. It says: "For Antarctic sea ice, there is no significant trend in satellite-observed sea ice area from 1979 to 2020 in both
    winter and summer, due to regionally opposing trends
    and large internal variability." The trend is not significant because it is less than the uncertainty. Antarctic sea ice is not ignored or swept under the rug. As usual with IPCC reports, the full treatment of the polar regions is accessible online.

    Not only does it not ignore Antarctic sea ice, it provides numerous references for it:

    Turner et al., 2017

    Kusahara et al., 2018

    Meehl et al., 2019

    Wang et al., 2019

    Before asserting that a trend is being ignored, it would also make sense to ensure that there is really a trend to speak of. Turns out that there isn't: "Total Antarctic sea ice cover exhibits no significant trend over the period of satellite observations (Figure 3.3; 1979–2018) (high confidence) (Ludescher et al., 2018)."

    Interestingly, this was compiled before the lowest extend on record, which was in 2022.

    Last point, about models. Another quote from same AR6: "Coupled climate models indicate that anthropogenic warming at the surface is delayed by the Southern Ocean circulation, which transports heat downwards into the deep ocean (Armour et al., 2016). This overturning circulation (Cross-Chapter Box 7 in Chapter 3), along with differing cloud and lapse rate feedbacks (Goosse et al., 2018), may explain the weak response of Antarctic sea ice cover to increased atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations compared to the Arctic (medium confidence). Because Antarctic sea ice extent has remained below climatological values since 2016, there is still potential for longer-term changes to emerge in the Antarctic (Meehl et al., 2019), similar to the Arctic."

  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2022

    One Planet Only Forever at 07:36 AM on 17 June, 2022

    The report “Cost increase in the electricity supply to achieve carbon neutrality in China” is indeed a robust evaluation of the likely future costs of electricity after the correction of the market failure free-riding by harmfully exploiting non-renewable fossil fuels. The resistance to rapid correction of the market failure is making the situation worse for the future generations than it has to be. And the most important, and most powerfully resisted (or attempted to be ignored), understanding is that energy consumption and other consumption, needs to be reduced with the highest per capita consumers leading the correction to less consumption. More ‘less harmful consumption’ can be worse that the status quo (a case in point is Alberta increasing oil sands operations excused by the new things having ‘lower emissions per unit of production’ while the already built stuff is permitted to continue be more harmful).

    The full evidence-based cost of harmlessly using fossil fuels (paying to fully neutralize the harm) should have been the market pricing requirement all along. The costs would have steadily increased as the evidence of the harms were identified (no need to try to develop popular support for imposing a carbon tax today). Instead the socioeconomic-political system failed by ‘permitting harm to be done’, then deeming that what was permitted cannot be made to be corrected in a way that is detrimental to those who had developed substantial benefits from the harmful activity.

    The current generation of humanity faces the daunting task of correcting the massively incorrectly produced results of that massive market system failure. And climate scientists have faced the challenge of being understood, being faced with vicious significant resistance to their improved understanding becoming common sense knowledge. Perceptions of advancement or superiority due to burning fossil fuels are harmful misleading if they can’t be continued without continued fossil fuel use. But demands that the ‘correction of the harmful results of the market failure’ must not reduce developed perceptions of advancement or superiority remain intensely irrationally harmfully popular.

    And, indeed, it is likely that the higher cost of electricity after the transition to net-zero would not just apply to China. The following is the electricity generation mix and electricity generation per capita for several nations (electricity generation data is from Our World in Data. Population data is from Worldometer):

    % Coal (fossil fuel generation/total generation TWh) [Total TWh/million]
    Norway 0.03% (<1.0/151=<0.7%) [151/5.42=27.9]
    Sweden 0% (2/171=1.2%) [171/10.1=16.9]
    Canada 5.5% (106/623=17%) [623/37.7=16.5]
    USA 21.6% (2509/4157=60%) [4157/331=12.6]
    Australia 50.8% (174/247=70%) [247/25.5=9.69]
    New Zealand 5.4% (10/45=22%) [45/4.8=9.4]
    France 1.05% (49/549=8.9%) [549/65.3=8.4]
    Germany 28.8% (272/574=47%) [574/83.8=6.85]
    China 63.6% (5664/8460=67%) [8460/1439=5.88]
    Denmark 15.1% (8/33.4=23%) [33.4/5.8=5.76]
    Italy 5% (167/283=59%) [283/60.5=4.68]
    South Africa 84.4% (198/230=86%) [230/59.3=3.88]
    Brazil 4.1% (120/640=19%) [640/213=3.0]
    India 73.7% (1313/1697=77%) [1697/1380=1.22]

    South Africa, India and Australia have high coal generation percentages like China. But all fossil fuel generation, not just coal, needs to be ended soon. And that indicates that the US, Italy and Germany also have a major generation transition challenge like China’s. And a significant concern could be the high per capita electricity generation of nations like Norway, Sweden and Canada.

    I listed the nations in order of electricity generation per capita for a reason. A better future, and advancement of humanity, can be understood to have less per capita energy use and less per capita consumption of resources. That ‘improvement understanding’ would require renewable energy systems to operating in ways that minimize consumption of non-renewable resources (ideally fully recycling the non-renewable resources) and not produce accumulating harmful consequences (no problems getting bigger). That would only be achieved by competition for popularity or profitability if there is significant monitoring and governing that pursues improved awareness and understanding of how to minimize harm done and help those needing assistance.

    But, of course, there is much more to understand about why electricity is being generated. The very high value in a nation like Norway may be close to being a valid minimum amount of electricity generation for a nation to have all of its members live at least a basic decent life. Alternatively, it could be due to large amounts of electricity used for an activity like fossil fuel extraction and exporting (like happens in Alberta, Canada where I live – a province with a population that is comparable to Norway). Given the history of free-market consumerism and aspirations for the luxuries of higher status, it is likely that a significant amount of unnecessary consumption is occurring in high electricity consuming nations like Norway (and regions like Alberta).

    Returning to the evaluation of the future situation in China. The study’s authors based their work on China’s 2050 annual electricity demand being 14,900 TWh (200.9 PWh is reported to be 13.5 times China’s 2050 electricity demand). For the current population of China that would be 10.3 TWh/million (on the high side of current consumption per capita). But the population in China is expected to peak soon and decline by 2050. The BBC Futures article "Could China’s population start falling?” indicates that China’s population may peak this year (or peaked last year) almost a decade earlier that forecasts made in 2019. The indicated 2021 population of 1412 million as the peak would mean China’s 2022 population will be 37 million lower than presented by WorldoMeter (which are based on UN Population Division estimates). And research referred to in the BBC Futures article indicates that China’s population peak will be followed by a decline of 1.1 percent per year (down to 587 million by 2100). That decline raises the question of the wisdom of over-building a more expensive to build renewable energy capacity if global total population will be declining soon (The recent report in The Lancet "Fertility, mortality, migration, and population scenarios for 195 countries and territories from 2017 to 2100: ..." indicates that global population is likely to peak at less than 10 billion near 2060).

    China’s population in 2050 would be approximately 1030 mllion (based on a peak of 1412 million in 2022 and an annual decline of 1.1%). That would mean an approximate 2050 electricity demand of 14,900/1030=14.5 TWh/million. That would put China up to the levels of the highest consuming nations rather than seeing China, and the highest consuming nations, target developing to be closer to 5-7 TWh/million.

    As indicated in the study report, renewable electricity will likely cost more. However, reducing energy demand will reduce some of the costs identified in the study. It would reduce the costs of excess demand for manufacturing components. It would also reduce the cost of system integration components. And reduced energy consumption would reduce the costs of a person’s lifestyle by having reduced energy to pay for and having that reduced amount of energy cost less.

    In Summary:

    Developing sustainable solutions is unlikely to happen if something easier and cheaper is allowed to compete and compromise the pursuit of doing things less harmfully and more sustainably. That aligns with a fundamental ethic of engineering – the limitations on the risk of harmful results are not to be compromised by something that is cheaper or easier. Anything failing to pass the ‘limits of harm’ requirements is not a viable alternative regardless of how much cheaper and easier it is to be more harmful. (note that a profit bias can harmfully compromise the limits of risk of harm that are established to govern the actions of engineers).

    It is important to be aware that sustainable ways of living almost always ‘Cost more and require more personal effort than getting away with harmful less sustainable alternatives’. The related understanding is that more sustainable ‘renewable energy’ can be expected to be more expensive than less sustainable alternatives, even if the alternatives are called ‘green solutions because of a claim that they do not produce ghg emissions’. Note that nuclear fission consumes non-renewable non-recyclable resources and produces accumulating harmful impacts).

    Also, this relates to the donut eating analogy for fossil fuels presented in the SkS OPs Planetary Dieticians and Planetary Diet:

    • In the developed system, equally enjoyable less harmful replacements for donuts will likely cost more than donuts. And they will also need to be limited because with the developed preferences of the system the alternatives to the donut will still be harmful or unsustainable.

    • Not everyone can have as much as they want. But some people will make the mistake of consuming more of the less harmful alternative because it is less harmful so more is OK isn’t it? The objective is zero harm. Not just less harm. And the objective certainly isn’t as much harm as you can afford, especially when Other people will be suffering the harm ‘you can afford’.

    • The most advanced highest status humans already have the ability to enjoy eating in ways that are significantly less harmful. But they also have to learn to live without harmful eating, ending their temptation to eat harmful things. And they con do it because they have access to the Best Dieticians and Personal Cooks to be able to enjoy nutritious harm free food and beverages. They can live donut free. But the poorest struggle to get their basic energy needs. And they can be stuck eating as much of whatever harmful anti-nutritious, understandably more harmful than beneficial, donuts they can find to eat. And some of the poor are so mistaken that they believe that they will have a better life if they eat more donuts (because they see the highest status people eat donuts).

    In spite of the harmful actions not being essential to survival for the highest status people, it is challenging to correct something that has developed a perception of being essential or, because of massive market failure, has become almost locked in as temporarily essential to survival. It is hard to correct harmful developments in competitions for popularity, profit, status and power. And it is even harder to take away the benefits, including the benefits of perception of higher status, that were obtained via the harmful unsustainable activity and related misunderstanding.

  • What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    michael sweet at 08:19 AM on 12 June, 2022


    Krall et al have responded to NuScales' letter  (at the end of the article).  It appears that NuScales' letter is completely without merit.  I guess the reviewers at PNAS know more about nuclear reactor analysis than Nuscale does.  I am not surprised.

    You state somewhere that you want to post "what scientists think" and not nuclear propaganda.  It seems to me that you consider anything that shows nuclear weaknesses to be propaganda and accept false claims from industry as what scientists think. 

    I do not have time to respond on other forums to baseless complaints that scientists are biased against nuclear power.

    "What scientists think" is documented in the peer reviewed literature.  If you want to discuss nuclear rationally you need to consider and post what the peer reviewed literature says.  Krall et al 2022 is state of the art scientific thought. 

    Lyman 2021 is a 135 page, very well referenced report that summarizes what many scientists think about small modular reactors.  It is grim reading.  I suggest that you read it entirely, as I did, so that you know more about what you hope to moderate.  At least it should be linked prominently on your pages.

    On page 96 Lyman discusses MSR's that do not require reprocessing.  On page 97 he discusses the Thor Con MSR reactor which also does not require reprocessing.  Anyone who discredits Lyman with claims Lyman says MSR's require reprocessing is wrong.

    On page 91 Lyman discusses the accumulation of 137Cs in the noble gas stream of molten salt reactors.  Cite his discussion on your pages.  Lyman claims that there is too much radioactive noble gas to trap and store it as Thor Con claims they will do.  I will have to see peer reviewed calculations (the NRC is ok) that show it is possible to trap all the noble gasses before I will believe Thor Con.  I note that Thor Con keeps this data secret and refuses to say what they will do with the 137Cs that will accumulate in the noble gas waste stream.

    Abbott 2012 should be prominently discussed on your pages.  People who discount Abbott using claims that hafnium is not used in commerical reactors are wrong.

    Good luck in your efforts.  


    There is not enough uranium (and other rare elements) to build out a significant amount of nuclear power and the reactors are too expensive.  I note Eclectic's concern about helium.

  • Driving with electricity is much cheaper than with gasoline

    One Planet Only Forever at 10:50 AM on 8 June, 2022

    Doug, Bob and peppers,

    Natural Resources Canada has developed a tool for searching and comparing the fuel efficiency of personal vehicles sold in Canada.

    NRC Fuel consumption ratings search tool

    Setting the search "vehicle type" to be "battery-electric" finds 81 vehicle models, including 4 pickup truck models showing the following comparisons:

    • The most efficient vehicles (3 of the 81 models) are 1.8 le/100 km. And they are sedan style vehicles. (le is litres equivalent - see Note at end of comment).

    • The next most efficient models (4 models) are 1.9 le/100 km including the most efficient SUVs.

    • The next set (9 models) are 2.0 le/100 km and includes several SUVs.

    • The most efficient battery-electric truck is 3.3 le/100 km which is better than the least efficient SUV (3.6 le/100 km). And it is slightly better than the least efficient sedan which is 3.4 le/100 km.

    And setting the search to only be conventional (ICE)/hybrid vehicles finds that the most efficient hybrid is 4.0 l/100 km (not as good as the least efficient battery-electric)

    Note: The search can be set for "miles/gallon". But there are 2 choices because the antiquated imperial system has 2 different gallon size: "imperial (the Canadian gallon before the switch to metric in 1979)" and "US (the smaller one the US created and still uses)".

  • Flying is worse for the climate than you think

    Philippe Chantreau at 04:10 AM on 13 May, 2022

    The video takes a rather drastic shortcut when it comes NOx emissions. The overall long term effect of NOx at altitude is likely to be a net negative radiative forcing because of the shortening of the methane residence time. The effect of contrail clouds is more difficult to ascertain and is likely a small net positive. Of course, the CO2 emissions remain the main concern, but presenting NOx emissions as making flying even worse is misleading. The whole picture is more complex.

    There is very large uncertainty as to the total net forcing and how it compares to the CO2 forcing alone. It is pretty much admitted, however, that the total net forcing is higher than the CO2 forcing alone.

    NOx is much more of a concern for low altitude operations and air quality around airports. Unfortunately, a similar trade-off exists to that of diesel engines for cars and reducing NOx involves higher CO2 emissions. 

    The truth remains that aviation is the most bang for the buck that burning hydrocarbons can deliver. That is where energy density really hits the spot. Unlike many other applications, there is currently no viable, or even prospective, alternative technology that comes close to the performance obtained with ICEs for propelling aircrafts. This holds true for both turbines and reciprocating, the latter being surprisingly more efficient in that role than is ususally believed. If we are to give attention to low hanging fruits, aviation certainly is not one of them (no pun intended).

    The only electric aircraft I know of that is currently well engaged in the certification process is ALICE. When ready, it will carry 8-10 passengers over 5 to 600 miles at speeds around 220 to 240 knots. That is the level of performance of a King-Air 200, without the ability to refuel and be ready for flight again in less than 30 min. 

    Biofuels produced with clean energy are the best bet for a future carbon neutral aviation. However, if all electricity production and terrestrial transportation could be carbon free, aviation would not be a much of a factor, as only these 2 dwarf aviation emissions. 

  • From the eMail Bag: the Beer-Lambert Law and CO2 Concentrations

    Bob Loblaw at 11:58 AM on 27 April, 2022

    Hello, Likeitwarm.

    Yes, you are misinterpreting Wiens' law. It does not link a single photon to a specific temperature - it tells you the wavelength of the peak emission of all radiation from a blackbody as a function of temperature. You can read more about it here.

    If you look at figure 2 of the blog post (or the non-log version for two IR temperatures in comment #20), you can see that Planck's Law tells us that any blackbody emitter, regardless of temperature, emits at all wavelengths. From those graphs, we can derive two interesting features:

    1. The area under each curve tells us the total amount of energy at all wavelengths. Stefan-Boltzman did the caculus for us, and we end up with a result that says the total area is σT4.

    2. The peak of the curve happens when the slope of the Planck Curve is zero, and Wien did the calculus for us on that one to get λpeak = (2898/T)

    If an object was at 193K, then the peak emission would be at 15 μm, but the body would still be emitting radiation at other wavelengths.  At 255K, the peak emission would be at 11.4 μm, but the object would still be emitting at 15 μm, too - just not as much as at 11.4 μm.

    All this is thinking in terms of blackbodies - perfect emitters. For gases, they do not tend to emit as blackbodies. You revise Planck's Law with a wavelength-specific emissivity. For a blackbody, the emissivity is always 1 for all wavelengths, leading to the curves in figure 2. In gases, the emissivity is rarely 1, and the emission curves are not nice smooth ones like figure 2. With many gases in the atmosphere emitting at many different wavelengths, you end up with curves that look like this. You can see that the measured spectral sort of follow the blackbody curves, with drops where atmospheric emissivity is less than 1.

    Infrared emission spectra


    (That figure is from this blog post.)

    So, you have done the calculation correctly in Wien's Law, but misinterpreted it because it only applies to blackbody radiation, and it only tells us what the peak is. Once you factor in emissivity for a specific gas, we no longer have a blackbody, and the peak from a specific gas (e.g. CO2) is more a function of what wavelength has the highest emissivity. Even as the temperature of that gas changes, the wavelength with peak emissivity does not change, so knowing the peak emissiion can tell us what gas we are dealing with, but not its temperature. (At least, not without a lot of other information.)

  • It's the sun

    Bob Loblaw at 23:57 PM on 5 April, 2022

    krit242 @ 1298:

    The argument that short wavelengths of solar radiation have a large effect on climate is usually tied to the "it's cosmic rays" argument. The total amount of energy at those shorter wavelengths is very limited - although individual photons have more energy  at shorter wavelemgths, there are just a lot fewer photons. A large percentage change in a small number is still a small number.

    As for cosmic rays, Skeptical Science has a page for that, too.

    The review I linked to at 1297 looks at a paper that tries to argue in favour of "indirect" solar effects - i.e., effects that are related to "something unknown" that is not the direct heating/energy input from variations in solar output. (Spolier alert: it's not a good paper.)

  • It's the sun

    Eclectic at 21:14 PM on 5 April, 2022

    Krit242  @1298 ,

    Please look again at the diagram Figure 1 at the top of this page.  The blue line shows the solar irradiance (in watts per square metre) has been decreasing since about year 1960.   There is no increasing.   The planet Earth is warming, and the warming is not due to solar changes.

    That is why Pepper  @1296  is wrong also ~  and the paper linked  @1297  [ Ziskin & Shaviv, 2012 ]  is poor science.   Pepper has been deceived by Shaviv & some of the other (very tiny number of) scientists who are acting as propagandists.   And why are these propagandists trying to deceive people ?  . . . yes, that is an interesting question !   Most likely, these propagandists are first trying to deceive themselves.

    Krit242  ~ please look at "the big picture".   Look at the huge forest of climate evidence, and not at just one or two trees.

  • The Climate Shell Game

    jan at 00:03 AM on 31 March, 2022

    @Eclectic #80

    This was the base of my hypothesis in early 2021 - copy/paste from document No. 2 mentioned in my last post.
    All the emissions defined here are Emissions from Fossil fuels only.

    2010 Global CO2 fossil fuels emissions: 33 971 Mt CO2 (EDGAR-AR5 model)
    In model pathways with no or limited overshoot of 1.5C, global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 (40 60% interquartile range), reaching net zero around 2050 (2045 2055 interquartile range). .... based on IPCC AR5.

    2030 goal = 33 971- 45% (15 287) = 18 684 Mt CO2 in 2030
    the value: 15 287 Mt CO2 is slightly over of equivalent of the entire: China + US + India emissions (TOP3 emission providers in the world in 2019)
    179% of 2019 Total emissions from the rest of the TOP20 countries in the world are responsible for 81% of CO2 emissions. Remember the TOP20 label for all the later considerations in this document.
    So looking for solutions in the rest of the 188 countries, which generate only 19% of CO2 emissions, is nice, but it has a very small impact on achieving the goals defined in the IPCC AR5.

    2019 Global CO2 emissions: 38 017 Mt CO2, then till 2030 we need to decline the emissions by about 50% from 2019 til 2030 (reach the 2010 target), and reaching net zero around 2050.

    The annual (linear) declination step must be 1 567 MT CO2 = entire Japan+Turkey. Each year. It's supposed to go down, but on the contrary, it's going up. Every year.

    With the existing approach to emissions-reducing, we will achieve only 50% reduction from 2020 to 2050.

    This means that we will be outside any safe borders as early as 2037, defined by the IPCC as Pathways with higher overshoot. At the end of 2025, this scenario will either be confirmed or refuted.

    In global numbers, we should reach less than 30GTin 2025 if we are to adhere to the IPCC predictions to keep warming up to 1.5C.

    (Note from 2022: just thanks to the pandemic we get 35.96Gt in 2020, but in 2021 we were back in increase).

    However, this means that the TOP20 countries in the world must reduce their emissions by at least 8GT = 27% of their cumulative value from 2019.

    Because the rest of the 188 countries have total CO2 emissions of about 7Gt – so there isn’t a doable plan to ask them for a 100% reduction by 2030 (even for 50%).

    Just for your imagination, the 27% decrease from the TOP20 countries:
    - it is 71% equivalent of their cumulative Power production emissions
    - it is 119% equivalent of their cumulative Industry emissions
    - it is 151% equivalent of their cumulative Transport emissions ........................ (Note: as you can see no way for EVs to reach it)
    - it is 98% equivalent of their cumulative Transport and Buildings emissions
    - it is 125% equivalent of their cumulative Buildings and Others (Agricultural, ...) emissions

    Till the end of 2025, we only have 4 years and 7 months remaining. (Note: the document is from 2021)

    The first bad sign of discomfort will be 34.5Gt at the end of 2025. According to the AR5 report, we need less than 30Gt in 2025 and less than 20Gt in 2030.
    I'll be really happy if someone refutes this plan.
    Otherwise, it won't be good at all.


    Pareto principle:

    20 (10%) countries are responsible for 81% of CO2 emissions. ...... here we need to try to find major reduction scenarios.


  • The Climate Shell Game

    jan at 21:56 PM on 30 March, 2022

    @Eclectic #80

    First of all, it is necessary to unify what kind of data we will interpret:

    a) or GHG emissions converted to CO2 equivalent = CO2 + other types of gases enter the atmosphere may/may not be related to the combustion of fossil fuels
    b) "pure" CO2 emissions from fossil fuels only

    Then B) emissions are a subcategory of the A) emissions.

    All of the above emission values come from qualified estimates (some with a more accurate attitude some with how to say ... based on an estimate from the estimates), there is nothing like 100% true in this area. I'm not writing this because of the Climate denier topic, but in research and interpretation, it's really important to understand how those datasets are created. Otherwise, incorrect/inappropriate interpretations may (and often do) occur.
    Many people don't know about it and then compare pears to apples.

    Therefore, it is necessary to create, adhere to and comment on data according to "data taxonomy" = a classification of the data according to the right categories/subcategories, sources, credibility, ...

    General Data taxonomy unfortunately very missing. I suggested to the European JRC that I could handle them. Including the facts described by the positive effects on the exchange of data between UN FAO - EDGAR datasets. Including the negative scenarios that exist today and will be maintained unless they change that. As I mentioned above, the European JRC has responded and is consulting the options. On the contrary, the FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organization) is silent.
    The biggest problem with these qualified estimates is the data inconsistency. E.g. the EDGAR model for defining emissions by individual states and regions (Power production, Transport, Building, ...) is still "active" = today's exported data for 2019 do not match the data you exported from the same model in 2021 for the same year 2019. It is very difficult to qualify the shift in YoY emissions because what was true last year is no longer valid today.
    A simplified example:
    This is similar to achieving 2.5% YoY Product Sales for a Car company in 2019 (calculated in 2020), but if you want to recalculate this in 2021, you will reach 1.9% YoY only. One would say that the 0.6% is a negligible value. At 35Gt of CO2 emissions, this makes a difference of 0.21Gt, which is more than the annual Transport emissions generation from 21 EU27 countries or more than the annual total of 92 countries for the CO2 emissions from fossil fuels. For the average reader, 0.6% means nothing. For a data scientist, this is a data disaster.

    If you read my simple essay, which is more intended for the average user, you will find the basis of the 80/20 problem explained in a really simple way:

    No More Good News on Global Warming

    Let me know when you read it.


    Used acronyms:

    EDGAR: Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research
    JRC: EU Joint Research Centre
    FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    FAOSTAT: Statistical authority of FAO

  • The Climate Shell Game

    jan at 19:50 PM on 29 March, 2022

    @Philippe Chantreau #67

    this is my response continued from #69

    Section 6 ---------------
    Your opinion:

    Hall and Lutsey found in 2018 that in all studied European countries, EVs lifecycle emissions over 150,000km were less than ICE, except perhaps in Germany.

    Back to the study wording:
    As a result of the high efficiency of electric motors and the ability to generate electricity from low-carbon sources, electric cars typically have lower emissions in the use phase compared to similar internal combustion engine vehicles.
    They use the term “low-carbon sources” based on their own research: INTEGRATING ELECTRIC VEHICLES WITHIN U.S. AND EUROPEAN EFFICIENCY REGULATIONS (Lutsey, 2017); link. I found there some discrepancies:
    a) there is no available term like “low-carbon sources” or “low-carbon”
    b) just the “average European grid” or country-specific grid values (Netherlands, Germany, UK, France, Norway)
    If I'm referring to something, I should follow the wording.

    However, the “low-carbon sources” term was used first time in the NREL study based on a previous study (Brinkman, 2015), which was mentioned by me here #40: Emissions Associated with Electric Vehicle Charging: Impact of Electricity Generation Mix, Charging Infrastructure Availability, and Vehicle Type (McLaren, 2016); link
    where the Daily profile of the low-carbon grid (sources) is based on:
    - 97% from ZERO Emissions Fuels
    - 3% from the Natural Gas
    - 0% from the Coal.

    In a timeline, it fits, because in 2016 the NREL study was issued and in 2018 they used the term “low-carbon sources” in the study by Hall and Lutsey, 2018.
    So yes, I must agree with the study (Hall and Lutsey, 2018), that:

    As a result of the high efficiency of electric motors and the ability to generate electricity from low-carbon sources, electric cars typically have lower emissions in the use phase compared to similar internal combustion engine vehicles.

    Anyway, the study (Lutsey, 2017) compares the mentioned countries - Netherlands, Germany, UK, France, Norway. And this comparison confirmed my analysis and conclusion that we need to compare apples to apples - energy mix by country and not by continents and never by the single global number. See page 7, Figure 4. Electric and conventional vehicle test-cycle and upstream fuel-cycle emissions in Europe …. Where France and Norway have they have fundamentally different values of CO2 emissions (g/km) for EVs (up to 4-5x less than the Netherlands or Germany or UK). Reason:
    Electric vehicles have particularly low CO2 emissions in France and Norway due to the high share of nuclear power in France and hydropower in Norway.

    This is another example of why we can’t use a single emission number as a useful strategy.


    Section 7 ---------------
    Your opinion:

    One could say that just the benefit of cutting on particulates would be enough to give EVs an advantage if CO2 life-cycle emissions are comparable. One could also, as was done earlier, argue that waiting until the generation mix is more favorable is counterproductive in the perspective of a large scale transition. As the generation mix improves, the CO2 equivalent/km of a given EV will decrease over the lifetime of the vehicle.

    You need to consider that electricity for 100% transition from ICEs to EVs needs to be produced – it doesn’t exist now.

    Then you need to calculate complex variables:
    - you must create a plant to achieve Carbon Neutral till 2050. I have never seen a complex worldwide plan based on UN IPCC outcomes.
    - you must calculate the common energy consumption growth in each country (w/o EVs impact). This will mean that you will need to replace much more energy by 2050 than we produce today. And China is in this area mandatory variable again.
    - you must calculate fossil fuels energy production YoY growth in fundamental countries, i.e. China. What will make a heavy impact on your Carbon Neutral calculations.
    - you must calculate the energy production for EVs in each country. This energy doesn’t exist now. Note – not just for the passenger cars.
    - You must calculate energy production for the transition of combustion energy sources (biomass) to clean energy sources – this energy doesn’t exist now also.
    - You must calculate that Climate change has an impact on the possibility to keep efficiency or sustainability for some RES. Then you need to plan exactly what kind of RES you will use where. You can’t do it without Nuke.
    - You must calculate that this planet has limited sources for croplands and the population will grow to huge numbers (where).
    To be sure – biomass has so negative impact on emissions than fossil fuels.


    Section 8 ---------------
    Your opinion:

    In China, just the benefits of cutting particulates emissions from numerous discrete sources close to people (like cars) is certainly enough to argue in favor of EVs.

    My point:
    China is the High-carbon electricity producer -  according to the mentioned NREL study. Is there exact evidence that China's electricity production is falling with emissions? Unfortunately, I did not find one from the official Chinese Energy Portal. If I'm wrong, I have no problem admitting it.

  • The Climate Shell Game

    One Planet Only Forever at 04:25 AM on 25 March, 2022

    Here is an Alberta Example of the Shell Game.

    The largest Solar Farm in Canada is now being built in Alberta. Read the following article about it, and note the statements regarding the 'number of homes it would power'.

    CTV News - Canada's largest solar project under construction in Vulcan County

    Now read the following article from a different news source published on the same day.

    Global News - Southern Alberta firm signs massive solar power deal with tech giant Amazon

    Note how the second article tells about the the 'new benefit for Alberta of the Amazon server farm' that is going to consume almost all the power from the new solar farm.

    What happened is an added energy demand in Alberta that fully consumes a renewable energy generating facility. Essentially, no improvement. But lots for Albertans, and Others, to be pleased about.

  • The Climate Shell Game

    jan at 19:42 PM on 24 March, 2022

    @nigelj #30

    your opinion:

    I disagree partly. You do actually have to start using some EVs even if the energy source is only about 10% renewables. You have to phase in EV's gradually. Otherwise we would have a situation where we get say 30 years down the road and the grid is say 75% renewables, then we have to start building EVs and everyone driving them which would probably be another 30 years because scaling them up is inevitably a slow process. By then the climate is totally cooked.

    My note:
    You read this sentence from my essay for masses: No More Good News on Global Warming; link

    When you will read deeply my document: GHG [CO2] emissions problem in a dark box - 1st part of the Global warming series; link
    you will get more answers to my point of view.

    Step by step to your opinions:

    “You do actually have to start using some EVs even if the energy source is only about 10% renewables.”

    My point: YES

    “You have to phase in EV's gradually.”

    My point: YES

    “Otherwise we would have a situation where we get say 30 years down the road and the grid is say 75% renewables, then we have to start building EVs and everyone driving them which would probably be another 30 years because scaling them up is inevitably a slow process.”

    My point: YES – from the Global level only. But this is the wrong attitude. Reason:
    Vehicles operation is not global but regional. It follows that we cannot use global emissions from cars as a tool to calculate emission reductions with the introduction of EVs, but strictly regional, per country. It will be mathematically correct (the global data approach), but you will not be able to put it into practice.

    An example:
    Slovakia - Electricity generation by source: almost 80% comes from Carbon Zero technologies (mostly from Nuclear, then Hydro, partially PVe) and just 20% from the fossil fuels (mainly Natural gas, partially from coal which will be terminated 2023 and thin part from oil and biofuels). Then according to the study from NREL (2016): Emissions Associated with Electric Vehicle Charging: Impact of Electricity Generation Mix, Charging Infrastructure Availability, and Vehicle Type; link

    Slovakia has a Low carbon average Daily profile of electric grid carbon intensity. This will be changed from the autumn of 2022, as another 471MW reactor in the new NPP will be launched to operation, which will bring the next 3.7TWh to the grid. It will cover fully coal, oil and almost 50% of the natural gas power production in the country = ready to immediately switch off. Then Slovakia will achieve from the beginning of 2023 near to 90% of green electricity. So, not gradual, but the fastest possible strategy of exchanging combustion engines to EVs seems to be workable.

    But then we have a country like China. Its share in the EVs market is 53% (car sales according to The Chinese government’s official target is for electric cars to reach a market share of 20% for the full year in 2025, and their performance in 2021 suggests they are well on track to do so. link
    If China had up to 270M passenger cars in 2020 and in 2025 it expects the number of EVs to be 54M EVs (270M x 25%) and in 2035 it expects 100% EVs, then it will need to produce 618TWh of energy in its electric grid, which does not exist today. In the same year, 50% of fossil fuel energy sources from Todays near 5 PWh (2021) will have to be transformed. So China needs to build a capacity for 6PWh/annually power production infrastructure and also distribution grids upgrade by 2035 (you can't generate electricity at point A, which is thousands of miles away from point B consumption. It's inefficient.) What's hard to achieve because China by 2025 will rise with coal fire power plants construction. Plus, energy consumption is growing - no one expects it to freeze. When it puts into a comprehensive analysis – so, China will need a miracle or something to do.
    You can find more in my analysis: GHG CO2 emissions - Part 01 China Power production, race to zero analysis;link

    I like to talk about exact data, analysis. Opinions are one thing, but the data shows something else. When thinking about such complex things as energy production and distribution, we need to be purely pragmatic and not subject to immediate results, but to look for ways to long-term sustainable solutions.

    Ready for a discussion. But especially here we need to use more facts than opinions.

  • The Climate Shell Game

    jan at 20:42 PM on 23 March, 2022

    A simple example of the masses thinking:

    Question: "What do you think is the fundamental problem in our civilization: ignorance or disinterest?"
    Answer: "I don't know. And I'm not even interested."

    Masses: We do not take care unless our house burns down.

    That's why I changed my approach to creating links for the masses. They don't need graphs, numbers, evidence.
    They need examples, stories. Something they can feel in the subconscious:

    No more good news on Global warming

    Let's join forces, knowledge, possibilities and let's communicate it so that the masses understand it.
    Of course, it is also necessary to maintain the scientific level. But again - this is not something the masses can understand.

  • Models are unreliable

    Oldengine at 03:14 AM on 16 March, 2022

    Oldengine is a retired engineer, not a scientist.  I love watching scientists argue over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.  But this has become tiresome and dangerous.  The accuracy of the measurement of CO2 in the atmosphere is "good enough" to take action now.  My ASHRAE handbook from 1977 shows the CO2 content of "average air" was less than 300 ppm.  Now it's over 400 ppm (+/- whatever).

    Don't you all see what you are doing.  We (The big "we", as in all humanity) are driving towards a stone wall at more than sixty miles an hour and we are not taking our foot off of the accelerator.  It doesn't matter if the speedometer is calibrated in MPH or furlongs per fortnight.  It doesn't matter if we are actually going 58 mph or 62 mph.  We have to step on the brake now.  Paralysis by analysis will result in the end of life as we know it.

    FYI - I think we should be building 500 thorium salt fueled nuclear reactors (50 to 100 MW each) right now and ordering another 500 tomorrow.


  • Addressing the Climate Crisis: Evolution or Revolution1

    One Planet Only Forever at 04:19 AM on 15 March, 2022

    Here is my response to what swampfoxh wrote @74 (in the context of other responses and all the other comments on this thought provoking OP).

    Regarding animal agriculture, I support corrections of all food production, distribution, and consumption aligned with the understanding that harmful unsustainable ways of food production need to be ended. It is especially important to correct the developed types of production and consumption that have already caused phosphorous and nitrogen impacts to exceed safe planetary boundaries (see Planetary Boundaries). It is also important to limit waste and ensure that all people receive at least basic decent nutrition, preferably from maximized local food production (refer to the compendium of climate impact related solutions presented in Project Drawdown).

    Upon reflection it appears that serious important questions are raised by the way that swampfoxh chose to try to focus attention on the matter Rights (in spite of the content of my first comment on this topic @3, and all subsequent comments).

    The (sort of) quick response is:

    Fossil fuelled development can produce perceptions of prosperity and superiority. And the competitive for pursuit of higher status (admiring and aspiring to be like the highest status) can develop harmful misunderstandings in attempts to develop and prolong harmful activity. Undeserved status would be lost by a correction of what has developed and a correction of the direction of development (away from fossil fuel use).

    A correction to limit the harm of climate change impacts will cause loss of developed status. The more rapid the correction, the more significant the losses will be. And it now appears, based on Figure 2, that significant losses will have to happen in the remaining lifetime of many people who fought to delay the correction. Their fight against change, their fight against correction of harmful developed misunderstandings, has created the need for more rapid correction. That has motivated increased resistance to learning in people who would prefer to have the losses happen to Others, especially the future generations who have no influence today. They make excuses that the future will always be better for everyone. And they make related demands that they not suffer any loss of their status relative to others due to required corrections, claiming things like ‘everybody’s perception of prosperity needs to constantly improve fro the current developed starting point, like a marathon racer who wants to start 20 miles into the race, because that is where they are when the race starts.

    Rights are an ethical matter that gets harmfully compromised by political game players. The harmful socioeconomic game players who have significant political influence can become the least ethical people, using the power of misleading marketing to promote and prolong harmful misunderstanding.

    Poverty in the midst of Plenty is the result of systems that create cases of people who do not deserve the circumstances they experience. Many of the lower status do not deserve their lower status. And many of the higher status do not deserve their higher status.

    A different response is:

    It is a misunderstanding to believe that people who were less able to develop the more harmful, less sustainable, fossil fuelled ways of living (mistakenly perceived to be more advanced or superior) have ‘missed the bus’. It is also unacceptable to declare that the people enjoying the ride on the ‘harm-full bus’ must not have their level of enjoyment limited or governed externally by others. It is not right to declare that the ones on the ‘Harm-Full Bus’ have the right to be more harmful than Others. And it is not right to declare than others cannot develop to harmfully joy-ride like the ones already on the ‘Harm-Full Bus’.

    And helpful people should not have to try to undo or repair the harm done by people on the ‘harm-full bus’. However, until the Harm-Full Party Bus is safely kept from harmfully compromising leadership actions, all possible helpful hands are required to build the power to limit the harm done - no more bystanders or people ‘just focused on the science’, because those type of people are part of the harm problem by not being as helpful as they could be.

    Competitors who are willing to try to benefit from something harmful that others may not notice as harmful (like sports cheaters) or try to benefit from a harmful misunderstanding (including unethical rules or unethical enforcement of rules) can mistakenly develop the belief that ‘everyone is like they are’. That can create a mind-set that can be easily tempted to spiral down into more harmful misunderstanding.

    Less fortunate people have more excuse for being less aware of how to avoid being harmful to others. More fortunate people have less excuse. And the legitimacy of the highest status, like the wealthiest 10%, should be evaluated based on the understanding that they all have ‘little excuse for maintaining harmful misunderstandings’.

    Disclosure: I have lived for decades in Alberta, a major region of origin of harmful fossil fuelled misunderstanding. I have tried to be less harmful, engineering was a good fit for that, and more helpful to others (a diversity of volunteer activities are part of that). My abilities, combined with those focuses, appear to have enabled me to rise into the top 10% of income earners in Alberta. I may have been able to achieved a higher status, but I was not interested in compromising my ethical perspective in pursuit of that.

    A detailed response regarding my perspective on the issue follows:

    Constant learning from a constantly improving ethical perspective is an important part of the pursuit of increased awareness and improved understanding of how to be less harmful and more helpful to others. And that expanded ethical perspective includes consideration for all other life, humans do not stand apart from nature, now and into the future, constantly learning to correct, and make amends for, developed harmful misunderstandings and related actions.

    Everyone learns and develops their motives and perspective from the environment they are born into and grow up in. A lack of diversity of experience, including a lack of natural experiences, can develop a harmfully limited perspective. And that developed limited perspective can resist learning how harmful the things that are perceived to be beneficial actually are. Too much focus inside a man-made socioeconomic-political environment of competition for survival and superiority relative to others can develop intensely held harmful misunderstandings.

    Ethical fairness of what is being evaluated is determined by considering the system and its results from versions of the following perspective: The system is fair and just if I end up experiencing any of the diversity of individual circumstances that the system could potentially produce (consider the history of European colonial conquest from that perspective, and extend that thinking into the future).

    That evaluation justifiably determines that systems that produce poverty in the midst of plenty need correction. It also establishes the understanding that a person who acts in ways that harm others does not deserve credit for helping ‘a different sub-set of others’. A person who ‘helps some people’ in ways that ‘harm other people’ is harmful. And that individual-based understanding can be extended to groups of people. A group or nation is not Collectively Good if some of its members are helpful pursuers of being less harmful while other members of the group or nation pursue benefit in harmful ways.

    A fundamental ethical point is understanding that each person born should not have ‘advantages or special rights and privileges’ due to where and when they are born or who their parents and ancestors are. That understanding is often attempted to be denied by the promotion of harmful misunderstandings regarding ‘perceptions of status’ (like believing that a ‘special sub-set of the population’ deserve to be the first and only ones on a bus). A related point is that a person who has attained higher status relative to others by benefiting from harmful actions does not ‘deserve the ability to be harmful because they can afford it or can legally win attempts to penalize them for the harm they benefit from’. Harmful laws and harmful application of laws have been developed, proving that all Rule of Law is not Ethical Law and Order. Harmful laws and enforcement are often developed to defend and excuse harmful people who have become wealthier or more powerful through harmful means.

    That context leads to ethical questions of how fair and just it is for someone to declare that:

    • They were the first to benefit from a harmful unsustainable activity and therefore must not be corrected, but others who have not developed to live that way must not be allowed to develop to be like that.

    • They have developed to be the most harmful pursuer of personal interest and must not be corrected, but others who have not developed to live that way must not be allowed to develop to be like that.

    • Because they were born into a group that had developed perceptions of higher status relative to others through actions that are now understood to be harmful and that were/are excused and defended by harmful misunderstandings, they must not be corrected, but others who have not developed to live that way must not be allowed to develop to be like them.

    Applying that thinking to climate change impacts, what swampfoxh states @74 can be understood to be arguing for the right to continue to be more harmful than Others are allowed to be.

    Applying a different perspective, what swampfoxh argues @74 is no reason for nations like China or India to forego their development. There is lots of coal and oil to burn. It is clearly inexcusable for people in nations with a history of benefiting from harmful actions to demand that they have the exclusive Right to maintain their harmfully obtained benefits, insisting that others who have been less harmful and have less developed ways of living must not develop to be like them.

    I will use Canada (representing the Western developed nations), the nation I was born in about 60 years ago and continue to live in, as the example to reinforce the point. The following compares per person emissions from 1960 (World Bank data) between Canada - USA and the BRIC nations. The average atmospheric CO2 levels are provided in brackets to indicate harm already done primarily by western nations (with 280 ppm as the understood level before those impacts:

    Yr (ppm) Canada - USA: Brazil – Russia – India - China
    1960 (317)  10.8  -  16.0:   0.65     12.1        0.27      1.2
    1970 (326)  16.0  -  21.1:   1.0       18.1        0.35      0.94
    1980 (339)  18.1  -  20.8:   1.6       25.1        0.45      1.5
    1990 (354)  15.1  -  19.4:   1.3       14.6        0.64      1.9
    2000 (369)  16.8  -  20.5:   1.8       10.2        0.89      2.6
    2010 (389)  15.7  -  17.4:   2.0       11.1        1.4        6.3
    2018 (410)  15.5  -  15.2:   2.0       11.1        1.8       7.4 latest World Bank values
    2020 (412) Canada 16.8 (= 637 Mt / 38 million): China approx 10 (like Canada was in 1960)

    There is ample coal and oil for China and India to develop to match the pattern of high emissions per person for 60 years. What is their motivation to not do that? Why wouldn’t they follow the examples set by the more developed nations? The argument by swampfoxh @74 would deservedly be laughed away.

    And, revisiting my comments about how averaging things can obscure what needs to be seen, why wouldn’t every region of China and India develop to match what the region of Alberta/Saskatchewan in Canada has currently developed to be? The combined population of Alberta and Saskatchewan is 5.6 million (4.4 + 1.2) with emissions impact rates of 60 tonnes per person (potentially increasing if the rate of extraction and export of fossil fuels, especially Western Canada Select - diluted bitumen - is increased). It is important to note that that high rate of impact does not count the additional harm done outside of Canada to process the exported product into final products for burning. What is exported, WCS, is heavy sour crude. Upgrading it to the quality of other globally traded oil products before export would result in more emissions in Canada (that understanding indicates that the federal government shares the blame with the provincial governments for exporting more harmful products to make Canada’s numbers look better).

    I am fairly proud of a lot of actions taken by Canada's leadership on matters of corrections of harmful developed misunderstandings, but not regarding climate change.

  • Addressing the Climate Crisis: Evolution or Revolution1

    One Planet Only Forever at 01:47 AM on 11 March, 2022


    I will simply say your simplistic position that modern ways of food production are superior to pre-modern ways is wrong. There is ample evidence proving that. And it is easy to find examples in the Project Drawdown content.

    What I try to point out is based on the understanding that beliefs that the  system needs time to adjust would have been a little questionable even 50 years ago, when the Stockholm Conference of 1972 occurred.

    But, with the increased awareness and understanding developed since then due to increased focus on identifying harmful developments and how to correct things that 'let the system painlessly adjust' attitude lost most of its potential to be reasonable about 30 years ago.

    There now is increasing undeniable evidence, like the Planetary Boundaries understanding, that things have over-develped so harmfully that painful corrections are required, with the biggest current problems due to industrial food production (which contributes to the climate change problem but has caused massive harm unrelated to climate change impacts). And the pain and loss of required correction needs to be experienced by the people who enjoy the most benefit from the continued incorrect directions of development through the past 30 years. Those people can be hard to identify in the past. So what has to be done is focusing the pain and loss on the ones who more recently, and currently, are committing the most per person harm. However, the nations that benefited the most through the past 100 or more years are able to be identified and should be the groups suffering the loss due to the increasingly urgent correction, especially the nations whose leaders resisted the correction the most. And that makes some among the top 10% angry.

    When you think about what the resistance to acceptance of Kyoto was motivated by, the motivation was largely the reluctance of powerful wealthy people to give up the perceptions of superiority they had developed. And US President Bush declared that 'Americans do not need to change how they live' when he announced that the USA was withdrawing from Kyoto. And a bunch of others chanted versions of Kyoto 'robbing the rich'. And the misleading attempts to excuse other harmful activities and maintain harmful misunderstandings apply to far more than climate science.

    I see that understanding as the best explanation for everything that can be seen to be harmfully happening, including the harmful resistance to correction of harmful misunderstandings. The 1980s resurgence of libertarian capitalism was one of the most damaging developments in recent history. And the populist misunderstanding demands for 'political or nationalist identity protection from learning it is a harmful misunderstanding' and the other harmful freedoms to misunderstand things are aspects of the same systemic problem.

  • Addressing the Climate Crisis: Evolution or Revolution1

    One Planet Only Forever at 07:08 AM on 10 March, 2022


    You appear to misunderstand my perspective. The staring point is the very robust evidence-based understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals, Planetary Boundaries evaluations, and other things like them.

    I suggest that you learn about the SDGs before dismissing them as unachievable or harmful with a misinterpretation that they are just some form of perpetual and sustainable "green growth". The SDGs were developed from the learning that occurred via the Millennium Development Goals and further understanding, like climate change science, that developed since the development of the MDGs. The Age of Sustainable Development MOOC is the comprehensive presentation of the basis for the SDGs. It is also presented in a book of the same name if books are more appealing to you.

    The Planetary Boundaries is developed understanding that is related to the SDGs. The current understanding is that there is no longer time to wait for the developed systems to 'naturally', in their own time-frame, decide to change to produce less harmful results.

    And Project Drawdown, and the related book Drawdown, provides many evidence-based corrections of 'expert opinion based' misunderstandings about 'modern' food production.

    And the 2020 Human Development Report fairly comprehensively presents all of this, with a major focus of climate change matters because failing to limit the magnitude of climate change impacts harmfully compromises achieving the development of lasting improvements. Waiting for the people benefiting from harmful pursuits of perceptions of 'improved living and supriority' to realize they need to stop being so harmful is no longer an option.

    I am learning and promoting the diversity of understandings associated with the only viable potentially eternally improving future for humanity on this planet.

    Any expert opinions that appear to claim that that is not achievable, or that the identified corrections are harmful, should be seen as a version of resistance to learning about the harmful lack of sustainablity of what has developed (wasteful consumption of resources producing accumulating harmful waste and a reduction of available resources due to a lack of recycling).

    And I say the higher status people need to change their ways of living to be the examples of ways of living that others can aspire to develop towards without the total impacts being unsustainable. And those changed ways do not need to be reduced consumption, just changes of consumption. However, I also accept that it is helpful for the higher status to participate in the global economy by helping less fortunate people instead of exclusively pursuing 'more of what they want for themselves', like the example Evan linked to in his comment @56. However, Government intervention by taxing the 'reluctant to help' among the wealthy is also a solution. And it is clear that some actions like Carbon Fee and Rebate would not occur through the chosen actions of helpful wealthy people.

    The fundamental understanding is that competitive pursuits of superiority will produce harmful results as the harmful and undeserving among the higher status pull the power levers available to them, especially the misleading marketing ones, to promote and excuse harmful misunderstandings about the ways of living that they benefit from and enjoy. And those harmful examples set by the more harmful people cause the added harm of inspiring lower status people to strive to develop to be more harmful like the examples they see being set by higher status people.

    It is undeniable that the competition for superiority promoting and excusing harmful misunderstandings has created the evidence of its harmful unsustainability and the need for significant rapid corrections. This understanding was globally acknowledged 50 years ago at the 1972 Stockholm Conference. The resistance to many of the identified required corrections through the past 50 years, especially the destructive resurgence of libertarian capitalism (Reagan-Thatcher nonsense like 'Freer Markets and less Governing is Better' and 'trickle-down benefits of the rich getting richer' ) has developed the requirement for a more dramatic correction now. The problems of harmful undeserved perceptions of prosperity, advancement, and superiority are bigger now and continue to get worse.

    Saying 'things will eventually work out' won't achieve an effective limitation and correction of the harm done. That kind of talk is unacceptable from an Engineer's perspective, and a business leader perspective, and a medical professional perspective, and a professional accountant perspective, and a professional housing framer perspective, and a professional bricklayer perspective ...

    The developed systems of competition for perceptions of superiority can be seen to resist limiting harm done, and even be seen to fight to be able to be more harmful. And powerful fights against external governing develop. The competition often produces increasingly harmful results unless there is external helpful thoughtful governing that effectively limits the risks of harm done. The lack of success of that type of external governing through the past 50 years has been a tragedy in many ways. More tragic is the ways that many people fight to defend and ignore the harm done by harmful misunderstanding, selectively highlighting what they see as 'benefits developed'.

    The reality is that the benefits developed based on harmful misunderstandings and actions will make things worse until those misunderstandings about prosperity and advancement become too hard to maintain, which will happen too late on many matters that matter to the future of humanity.

    Poverty perceived to be alleviated by fossil fuel use or other harmful developments, like harmful modern day unsustainable agriculture, are clear examples of that problem. Lasting poverty reduction has not occurred if harmful unsustainable actions are required to maintain the illusion.

    The incessant promotion of harmful misunderstanding is the reason for the now undeniably required dramatic correction of many perceptions of superiority, not just the Coal Barons significantly losing perceptions of superiority.

  • What the latest science says about Antarctica and sea-level rise

    David-acct at 12:22 PM on 9 March, 2022

    interesting research / commentary on the thwaites glacier - large part of the melting seems to be related to geothermal activity

    Pine island glacier shows evidence of volcanic heat.




  • Addressing the Climate Crisis: Evolution or Revolution1

    wilddouglascounty at 02:11 AM on 6 March, 2022

    Well, that is one of the more depressing posts that I've seen: looking at those charts and numbers can be used to convincingly argue quite a different conclusion: it's too late. According to World Energy Consumption patterns I've looked at (and there are no doubt more current analyses), there was a huge jump in energy consumption in the 1970s, with a 65% increase in 10 years, dropping off to a mere 15% energy growth per capita by 2000, bouncing back to 25% increase from the previous decade by 2010, and yet there was barely any change in the growth rate of CO2 emissions during those times. I presume that this is due to population growth that ate up the increases in efficiencies, so that even modest increases in global per capita energy consumption (1965: ~48Gj/person, 2010: ~74) resulted in almost no change in the emissions trajectory.

    While it is easy to turn a line dramatically down to zero from this incessant, steady rise in consumption, it is very hard to envision the circumstances it would require to actually turn that arrow downward in such a dramatic fashion. Compared to the 1970s, so much has changed, and yet the slope of the curve marches on and up. The word Revolution seems to be a gross understatement. Collapse might turn the curve in the manner you draw it: either through some unparalleled catastrophe, or if the trends continue, climate-induced collapse.  Please tell me I'm wrong and why.

  • SkS Analogy 1 - Speed Kills: How fast can we slow down?

    Evan at 10:40 AM on 24 February, 2022

    Eclectic@97 When we bought our Tesla the local power company had a deal where they guaranteed that the power we use to charge our car comes from wind power, basically using credits for that. I have no illusion that my buying a Tesla will save the world, but we drive about 25,000 miles/year. My wife worked at a rollerrink that was a 50 mile roundtrip. We could have taken the philosophy of her quiting her job was better than driving any car that far of a commute, but she was working with children, the leaders of the next age. I figured she was doing good for society working with kids, so it alleviated my guilt to know we were driving a EV powered by wind.

    Yes, it will take much much more than EV's. But it;s a start.

    We also have a 20-year old truck that we will use for hauling. It gets driven maybe 200 miles/year. Obviously there is no sense trading it in for a "greener" vehicle, because we would never work off the carbon used to make it.

    I prefer to bypass plug-in hybrids because you have all the complexity of gas engines plus all the electric components. The Tesla is a great car and I'm confident the Fords will be as well. The only thing I'm frustrated with on the Tesla is no vehicle-to-home capability. It is a bummer to have that big battery that cannot be tapped. Ford definitely did good by providing power outlets and the ability to plug it into the house out of the box.

    But the bottom line is that EV's are simply great cars to drive: stable, no transmission, quiet, and the best of all in Minnesota, they start every day, no matter how cold it is outside. :-)

  • SkS Analogy 1 - Speed Kills: How fast can we slow down?

    One Planet Only Forever at 07:59 AM on 23 February, 2022

    This is the UN webpage for the series of Conferences that started with the 1972 Stockholm Conference (50th anniversary this year) that I mention in my comment @92.

  • SkS Analogy 1 - Speed Kills: How fast can we slow down?

    One Planet Only Forever at 07:48 AM on 23 February, 2022

    In response to Santalives’ questionable insistence on asking questionable questions, especially his demand for a comprehensive response to a cherry-picked questionable paper, Evan@89 has concisely and correctly asked Santalives a valid question.

    I await Santalives’ thoughtfully considered comprehensive response.

    However, Santalives’ responses to all other efforts to help them learn to be less harmfully misled, and every other commenter has tried to help, has prompted me to share more thoughts.

    Santalives has rather conclusively proven that they are powerfully motivated to persist in harmfully misunderstanding matters that matter to the future of humanity, like many of the fans of sites like WUWT.

    When I first read this item, when there were no comments, it prompted me to consider the matter and consider how I could thoughtfully respond. When I returned with some thoughts I was thrilled to see that there were already many other comments ... then I read the comments to see if they would modify my thinking. Reading the comments motivated me to make the comment I made @23. Santalives clearly did not pick-up on the hint.

    My comment @48 was motivated by what continued to happen. Santalives responded @49 in a questionable way that was rapidly and effectively responded to by Evan (no need for me to respond). Santalives’ lack of a meaningful response to Evan @50 (I did not see the comment that disappeared. But I can infer from the remaining comments that Santalives’ response was more misunderstanding, adding proof of my point about them being a unique individual who shares the “anti-commonsense” “Hard of Learning – Selective Learning” characteristic (a play on “hard of hearing – selective hearing”) of fans of WUWT.

    Santalives questionably asked about Newton vs. Einstein. “The Big Picture” by Sean Carroll (highly recommended reading for everyone, not just Santalives) explains that science has developed different ways of talking about similar things. Einstein’s way of talking about physics does not contradict Newton’s way of understanding what would happen to an apple when you let it go. And as a structural engineer I prefer to apply Newton’s way of describing things, even though it does not work for everything that Einstein's way does. And newer ways of describing physics are developed for newer things that Einstein was unaware of. And those newer ways of describing things are very unlikely to ‘overturn’ the fundamental understandings of Einstein. And it is highly unlikely that more in-depth pursuit of awareness and understanding regarding climate science will overturn the consensus understanding that human impacts are rapidly causing climate changes that harm the development of a sustainable improving future for humanity.

    Returning to Santalives questionably asking about the motivation of people commenting on WUWT. They would each have their own motivations, beliefs and biases which have to be inferred from the patterns of their behaviour (Many situations require the development of understanding of what is going on to be inferred from observation, with the understanding that any interaction may affect the observed result. This is covered effectively by Sean Carroll in “The Big Picture”, but is more relevant to socioeconomic-political matters). Further details regarding the context for my response can be found in my comments on the three recent versions of “Analogy 1”: this one, the previous one, and the one before that.

    The important question is: Is a person interested in, or willing to, learn to be less harmful and more helpful to Others. Everyone undeniably always has the ability to learn. People who can be seen to 'Resist learning to be less harmful and more helpful to Others' are harmfully motivated to harmfully misunderstand things. And competition for perceptions of superiority relative to others can produce very harmful motivations, with related harmful misunderstandings, and harmful resistance to learning to be less harmful and more helpful to Others. And competition for popularity and profit can develop harmful demands for the freedom to believe whatever excuses doing something understandably harmful that a person may hope to benefit from.

    The Sustainable Development Goals are a very comprehensive presentation of the constantly improving understanding of how to be less harmful and more helpful to Others. They are the result of the efforts of thousands (perhaps millions) of people who became officially globally coordinated to collaborate by the 1972 Stockholm Conference.

    Global warming related climate change (btw, As an engineer I would define “climate” as the regional climate norms - like temperature, wind, rain, snow, freezing rain - and their expected variations) is a significant impediment to Sustainable Development. The diversity of rapid climate change impacts harmfully distracts attention by forcing the pursuit of ‘adaptation attempts’ rather than the pursuit of ‘sustainable improvements’ (like the ways that a war or recovery from a natural disaster can ‘appear to improve economic performance measures like GDP’). And changes of atmospheric CO2 levels due to burning fossil fuel is a significant, but not exclusive, cause of the problems faced by global humanity into the future.

    Admittedly from a ‘Sustainable Development to improve the future for humanity’ perspective there are many other harmful unsustainable ‘developed popular and profitable activities’ that are excused by harmful misunderstanding. However, this site is focused on the subset of harmful misunderstanding that relates to climate science (btw, the other human caused ghgs of concern are examples, so indeed it isn’t just CO2).

    The following items are offered as further evidence of the harm being done by the popularity and profitability of harmful misunderstandings that sites like WUWT fail (potentially deliberately) to help fight against:

    Sea Level Rise related to the previous versions of SkS Analogy 1.

    Broader impacts of rapid human caused climate change

    Regional specific impact of human caused climate change that has already happened.

  • It's albedo

    blaisct at 07:28 AM on 20 February, 2022

    MA Rodger @112
    Before I answer your question on whether there is something other than AGW causing global warming. Let me clarify that I am not a skeptic on Anthropical Global Warming, AGW, I firmly believe that man’s activities are causing AGW. The paper Dubal & Vahrenholt expressed doubt that the 20 years of CERES data showed significant evidence of GHG caused AGW and that clouds were the significant factor. How is cloud cover related to AGW? The Skeptical web site seems to be committed to evaluating theories. Here is the answer to your question:
    The data I have looked at (below) suggest that AGW is not cause by one thing but a series of interactive events starting with land albedo and ending with ocean/land albedo and relative humidity (not specific humidity) in the middle. You will see (below) that this cycle of events is a known cycle in weather and that man’s activities have interfered with the cycle to cause AGW. For lack of a better name, I will call the cycle of events the “Low Humidity Albedo Cycle”, LHAC. The LHAC cycle back in the 1700-1800 (with low man-made albedo change) was:
    Event 1: Over land on sunny days the temperature rises and the relative humidity, RH, drops through the day no matter what the albedo of the land is. How much the RH drops depends on availability of water from liquid water evaporation or plant transpiration. If no water is added to this daily event the specific humidity, SH, will remain constant while the RH drops. With water available the RH does not drop as much and the SH increase. The energy fueling this event (sunny days) depends on the albedo and latitude of the land, the lower the albedo and the closer to the equator the stronger this event. Clouds greatly dampen this event.
    Event 2: The air above this land is hot and dryer and it rises all day long, creating a plume of rising hot low humidity air. That plume of air moves with the prevailing winds usually to the east in a circling pattern due to the Corellas effect.
    Event 3: This hot low RH air is hungry for water. If this air finds clouds it eats away at them until the air is saturated with water, this process cools the air and raises the SH and RH. If this hot low RH air does not find a cloud it can cool as the pressure drops at the higher altitudes or it can serve as a deterrent to cloud formation. In all cases it reaches saturation.
    Event 4: With fewer clouds more sun can reach the earth and warm the land and oceans, this is the final albedo decrease event. This last albedo event is the strongest because the change in albedo in the greatest with no clouds in the way of direct sun light. The warmer oceans store some of this energy and evaporate more water - find cold air and make more clouds.
    This natural LHAC cycle of event will remain stable if the albedo and moisture availability remain constant. Let’s take each event and look at its contribution to the total AGW since 1880:
    Event 1: Since 1700-1880 man has made some small changes in land use albedo but a large change in the land area. Most of these albedo changes came along with a decrease in moisture availability. UHI’s are most noted, with albedo changes between 0 and 0.2 depending on what the city replaced. I don’t have a source for the average, I will assume 0.05 average albedo change. The urban area has increased to about 3% of the earth’s land mass for all cities. I have no trouble doubling that to 6% for all man-made structures, rural + urban, they all have lower albedos and generate heat. Go to any city at Climate data and you can find the daytime data for temperature vs RH, in the morning the RH is high and as the day progress the temperature rises and the RH drops sometimes to 40% RH or lower, this is a normal psychometric thermodynamic process. Figure 1 is an example of daily RH from Beijing and is typical of most cities (just focus on the day time).

    Figure 1



    The change in albedo flux of all the earth’s cities is estimated at 0.08W/m^2 (assuming 177W/m^2 sun to the city, 50% cloud cover, 0.05 albedo change, 3% of land mass cities). Even if we make larger assumptions, we still can’t get to the 2.2W/m^2 we are looking for to account for all the AGW since 1880 or the 1.3 W/m^2 in Dubal & Vahrenholt . These cities can have daily temperature rise of up to 8’C. A large part of this temperature rise is due to the psychometric rise, PR, in temperature while the RH drops at a constant energy input (albedo). Looking at temperature anomalies, SH, and RH all plotted together vs time, Figure 2, we see they are all correlated (Temp and SH positively, and Temp and RH negatively).

    Figure 2

    If PR were not occurring on a global basis the RH and SH would both have a positive slope. Using the psychometric chart in @106 we can get the average temperature rise per % RH of -0.15 ‘C/%RH. The slope of the RH data in (2) is 0.16%RH/decade, for the 40 years of the chart this is 0.6% change in RH, giving a PR temp rise of 0.1’C for the 40 years vs the 0.7’C observed, small but not insignificant.  This hot low RH air has no W/m^2 flux as it leaves the UHI; but, the hot low RH air has potential energy gain in getting saturated with water. Let’s add the crop/pasture land albedo changes to the UHI's. Globally the change since 1880 from virgin land to crop/pasture was about 6% with little change in albedo (Global albedo change); but, with low moisture change. The most notable of these changes was the deforestation of the Amazonian rain forest to make crop and pasture land Amazonia report (and @106). Amazonia report showed that in despite of an increase in albedo from rain forest to crop/pasture the temperature increased, the RH deceased, the cloud cover decreased, and the rain decreased. Classic example of psychometric temperature and RH behavior. Most likely all of this global 6% increase in crop/pasture land is producing hot low RH air just like the UHI’s. Combining the UHI and crop/pasture land changes we get 9% of the earth’s land mass producing more hot low RH air than 1880.
    Event 2: This hot low relative humidity air rises and goes downwind from the UHI or changed crop/pasture land. The picture from (6) shows the extent of the UHI plume from Chicago, Il.

    Figure 3


    This is a computer model tuned with real data and calculates the extent of the plume to be 2 to 4 time the area of the UHI. The model also predicts the shape of the plume, rising to where some clouds could be. Using 3 times as the average extent of the plume we now get 27% of the land mass (7.8% of the earth) being affected by plumes like the one in Figure 3.
    Event 3: Cloud destruction/prevention is the closest target for the hot low RH plume; but, if clouds are not available the lower pressure will saturate it or it will mix with cooler air. When this plume of hot low RH air increases its RH to 80% it is no longer is a threat to clouds or cloud prevention. Clouds and RH observations are that almost no clouds can form below 60% RH and significant reductions will occur below 80% RH.

    Figure 4

    Data shown in the figure 4 shows a 41%/decade decrease in clouds over 40 years.  Dubal & Vahrenholt Figure 9 show about 0.57%/decade decrease, this data can be correlated to Figure 2 RH data and get 2.7% change in cloudiness/change in RH (R^2 =0.63).  Not the best correlation but shows there is a relationship.  
    Event 4: The reduce cloud cover exposes more land and ocean to the sun. This land and ocean are located in the middle 75% of the earth where the cloud cover is about 50% vs about 60% for the whole earth, also assuming albedo of clouds is 50%. The sun’s flux to this exposed area is the cloud free flux of 342 W/m^2 (1367/4).  Dubal & Vahrenholt suggest this energy is split 85% over ocean (0.05 albedo) and remainder over land (0.15 albedo). Using 40%/decade cloud cover for 2 decades of CERES data we get -1.6W/m^2 change in incoming SW [ 342W/m^2*0.8% cloud cover change*(85% *(1-0.05)+(1-80%)*(1-0.15))]. A little greater than the -1.3 W/m^2 observed; but close enough to show that the LHAC theory is plausible.

  • SkS Analogy 1 - Speed Kills: How fast can we slow down?

    MA Rodger at 21:10 PM on 19 February, 2022

    Santalives @40/41,

    ❶ You use the term "back scatter radiation" and you may be forgiven for using it as the term even appears in the title of Seim & Olsen (2020). But the term is not correctly used. Backscatter concerns the physical reflection of radiation. The radiative effects being modelled involves only absorbtion and re-radiation. The peer review should have been down on this like a ton of bricks but evidently the paper was not properly subject to such review.

    ❷ You are correct that Seim & Olsen (2020) reference the IPCC (although rather sloppily) to support their description of the GH mechanism. However, Houghton et al (1997) 'An Introduction to Simple Climate Models used in the IPCC Second Assessment Report' does not provide such description (and why should it, it is desribing model representation, not what the model represents). Again, peer review should have been onto this non-reference like a ton of bricks.

    There are further references provided for their description of the GH mechanism.
    The first is a text book Benestad (2006) 'Solar Activity and Earth's Climate'. The full text is available on-line but not downloading for me. The content pages are available and it is Section 5.4.3 which would provide a description of the GH mechanism, but this section is not being very come-hitherish.

    So to the last reference provided by Seim & Olsen (2020) which is Pierrehumbert. (2011) 'Infrared Radiation and Planetary Temperature'. It is no surprise to see zero support for the Seim & Olsen (2020) description of the GH mechanism. Instead we find the following description of the GH mechanism.

    "An atmospheric greenhouse gas enables a planet to radiate at a temperature lower than the ground's if there is cold air aloft. It therefore causes the surface temperature in balance with a given amount of absorbed solar radiation to be higher than would be the case if the atmosphere were transparent to IR. Adding more greenhouse gas to the atmosphere makes higher, more tenuous, formerly transparent portions of the atmosphere opaque to IR and thus increases the difference between the ground temperature and the radiating temperature. The result, once the system comes into equilibrium, is surface warming."

    So yet another non-reference within Seim & Olsen (2020) has slipped through the peer review, as did the silly description provided by Seim & Olsen (2020) itself.

    And if this is how the GH mechanism operates, does the wonderful experiment of Seim & Olsen (2020) in any way demonstrate the GH mechanism? Or is it just demonstrating a pair of numpties playing climate-change-denial in a lab?

  • Update: Supreme Court to weigh EPA authority on greenhouse pollutants

    David-acct at 12:51 PM on 18 February, 2022

    Regarding Standing question.  

    The standing issue will be interesting.  Stevens greatly expanded standing in Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007), while just 4 years earlier, Steven dissented in the Gratz v Bollinger (02-516) 539 U.S. 244 (2003)  (UofMich undergraduate case - the companion case to Grutter).


    This dichotomy presents an interesting catch 22 - how can the plaintiffs have standing in Mass v Epa and not have standing in this case. The facts in favor and against standing are very similar.

  • CO2 emissions do not correlate with CO2 concentration

    JohnMashey at 08:23 AM on 17 February, 2022

    The Skrable, et al paper appears akin to last summer's HGSS mess, i.e., HG6-9, Case D in taxonomy of how poor climate papers get published, off-topic journal, weak editorial process, possible "pal review."  Publisher Copernicus handled this well,  paper retracted, relevant editor and author/editor left.

    In this case, the 3 authors were labeled as affiliated with UMass Lowell.

    Kenneth Skrable was already emeritus in 2012, p.14 of physics dept brochure.

    George Chabot is Professor Emeritus of Physics.

    Clayton French is also Professor Emeritus of Physics and you can see his papers there, many coauthored with Skrable and Chabot, often published in Health Physics.

    Some were coauthored with current UMAss Lowell prof  Mark A. Tries, who is one of the editors at Health Physics.

    His 2000 PhD Dissertation p.3 had:
    Supervisor: George Chabot, also on p.4. and see p.8 for Acknowledgments

    Committee: Kenneth Skrable, Gus Couchell, Clayton French.

    Of course, that may be coincidence, as the 3 authors had published many papers in Health Physics, but the question must be raised, given the editorial process

    "Review and Editing Process. After you have submitted your manuscript, a Health Physics associate editor and two peer reviewers (selected by the associate editor) will review it using a double-blind process. The reviewers will evaluate your manuscript's scientific or technical merit, originality, practicality, interest to our readers, and conformance with these guidelines. The reviewers will decide if your manuscript should be accepted, revised, or rejected, and you will be notified of their decision. If your manuscript requires revisions, you can resubmit the revised manuscript. At this point, your manuscript may be accepted, rejected, or the peer-review process may be repeated. When your manuscript is accepted, Journal editors will copyedit it to conform to Journal style requirements. You will be asked to review and approve any changes to your manuscript before it is published."

    It appears that a paper is handed over to associate editor who then makes the decisions, akin to the infamous de Freitas pal review at Climate Research years ago.

    This case also seems akin the the (eventual) retraction of Florides et al(2013), accomplished by dogged work of SKS' Ari Jokamaki.  Sooner or later, journals need to learn to reject papers out of their field.

  • It's albedo

    MA Rodger at 23:52 PM on 13 February, 2022

    nobodysknowledge @118,
    I would suggest that Dübal and Vahrenholt (2021) is not a reliable paper due to both its simplistic use of climatological data and its bizarre theorising which has more to do with climate change denial than the science of climatology.
    That said, you make criticisms of Dübal and Vahrenholt (2021) of which they are not guilty.

    You are correct that their Fig 15 (not Fig 14 as you reference) that Dübal and Vahrenholt call a "bridge-chart" shows values for 'Clear Sky' and 'Cloudy' which are significantly different from the values show elsewhere in the paper (which you call "trend"). This discrepancy is because Fig15 firstly is not using the "trend" values but using the difference between the 2020 values and the 2001 values, (a point you do mention) and secondly and more significant, these end-point values are converted to 'global' values, thus with 'Clear Sky' values being multiplied by the relevant [1 - Cloud Fraction] and 'Cloudy' being multiplied by the relevant [Cloud Fraction]. The Cloud Fraction values CA shown in their Fig 9 suggest CA[2001] = 61.33% & CA[2020] = 61.5%. I assume Dübal and Vahrenholt's arithmetic does not conceal errors.

    And I would entirely disagree with your assertion that folk "are not taking the attribution problem serious."

  • It's albedo

    MA Rodger at 23:36 PM on 10 February, 2022

    blaisct @115,
    And concerning your second question - "If all the global warming, GW, came from CO2 radiative forcing alone would not a graph like @111 be flatter...?"

    The 'graph @111' is Fig 3 of Dübal & Vahrenholt (2021) and specifically shows a quite-dramatic reduction in albedo 2001-20 with a trend of -0.70Wm^-2/decade. Fig 1 shows a reduction in solar of -0.03Wm^-2/d. Thus Figs 1 & 3 matches Loeb et al (2021) Fig 2d with Absorbed Solar 2002-20 given as +0.67Wm^-2/d. Loeb et al Fig 2d also presents an attribution of this increased absorbed solar warming 2002-20, ☻ 60% cloud albedo, ☻ 7% water vapour, ☻ 4% GHGs, ☻ 26% surface albedo, ☻ 3% aerosol. And note also that Loeb et al Fig 2a shows this 'quite-dramatic' effect occurs almost totally 2013-20.

    To explain this attribution; if 4%+7% of this increase-in-Absorbed Solar (decrease-in-albedo) is attributed to GHGs, this means additional GHGs+water-vapour is directly preventing solar being otherwise reflected away and instead directly absorbed by the increased GHG+water-vapour. The underlying cause for the water vapour increase is of course AGW.


    Your question implies that you consider there is something other than AGW and increased CO2 driving a significant part of this increase-in-Absorbed Solar (decrease-in-albedo) 2002-20. I don't think I could agree.

    Loeb et al does identify the geography of the various components of the net EEI, mapping them out in Fig 3 and pointing to the Surface effect being "greatest in areas of snow and sea-ice, where significant declines in coverage have been observed in recent decades." It is, of course, easy to see that the ice-loss is due to AGW.

    And for the biggest component, Cloud, Loeb et al says "Regional trends in net radiation attributable to changes in clouds are strongly positive along the east Pacific Ocean, while more modest positive trends occur off of the U.S. east coast and over the Indian, Southern, and central equatorial Pacific Oceans." Is this the finger print of AGW? If it isn't, it would require an alternative causation.

    If AGW is the cause, note that the increase-in-Absorbed Solar (decrease-in-albedo) 2002-20 is mainly occuring 2013-20 which matches the global temperature record showing 70% of the 2002-20 warming occurred in the period 2013-20.

    So without further explanation, I see no reason to expect a "flatter" slope from CO2-forcing alone, the slope being presumably all down to AGW.

  • It's albedo

    MA Rodger at 00:17 AM on 9 February, 2022

    blaisct @113,

    Surely 0.45ºC x 0.5Wm^-2/ºC = 0.225Wm^-2. The Dübal & Vahrenholt (2021) numbers put the 2001-20 19-year increase in Absorbed Solar at +1.27Wm^-2 (+/- 0.26, so 1.53 to 1.01). With the 0.5 convertion factor you state you used, that would be 1.27 / 0.5 = 2.54ºC (or 3.06ºC to 2.02ºC). The alternative 0.7 convertion factor you mention would yield 2.19ºC to 1.44ºC.
    As for these 0.5 and 0.7 convertion factors, simple physics tells us a planet with 240Wm^-2 solar warming would require a factor of 3.7Wm^-2/ºC. But with the oceans to be warmed, that is a process that would take centuries not 19 years of slowly increased warming, a process which is also complicated by feedback mechanisms.

    I would attempt to assist in putting your analysis back on the rails but I'm not entirely sure what it is you are about and also a little conscious that you are referencing Dübal & Vahrenholt (2021) which drinks rather deeply at the well of denialism.

    That said, you appear not to be accounting for AGW prior to 2001 and attempting to analyse climate numbers 2001-20 in isolation. But AGW has been running at a pretty constant rate since the 1970s with only recently the first signs of a bit of acceleration. Simply attempting to isolate the period 2001-20 from the on-going AGW is always going to end in tears.

  • It's albedo

    MA Rodger at 10:33 AM on 7 February, 2022

    blaisct @111,
    You say you want to "take smaller bites out of albedo apple" which is probably advisable and presumably it is also advisable to start from the first "small bite."

    So we have set out in Dübal & Vahrenholt (2021) for the 19 year period 2001-20 a trend in 'Incoming Solar (TOA)' of -0.0035Wm^-2/yr and a trend of 'Shortwave Out (TOA) ' -0.0704Wm^-2/yr of and thus an inferred trend in 'Absorbed Solar' of +0.0669Wm^-2/yr which would thus equate to +1.27Wm^-2 'Absorbed Solar' over the 19 years. So far so good.
    You then assert that the "change in global temperature over the CERES time period is about +0.45ºC" which is a reasonable value for global SAT 2001-20 although its best if its derivation was properly explained. But, so good so far.
    You then assert that this temperature increase of +0.45ºC is in some way equivalent to +0.9Wm^-2 per 20 yrs. That step does certainly need explaining.
    And if that explanation is convincing (warning - that is very unlikely to happen), when that explanation is provided, it would help why the discrepancy between 0.9 and 1.3 can also allow the two to be considered as "an almost perfect fit."

    And when these "small bites out of albedo apple" have been digested, the relevance of your first question may be more evident.

  • It's albedo

    blaisct at 04:24 AM on 7 February, 2022

    Ref my @104 and @106 replies
    Thanks again for the comments. I can see that I need to take smaller bites out of albedo apple in the CERES data. Let me start with Hans-Rolf Dübal et al 2021 graph of CERES data.

    Hans-Rolf Dübal et al 2021 does not have an official albedo change graph (change in sun’s energy out -change in sun’s energy in). The graph above needs to be correct for the small (-0.07 W/m^2/20 years) in coming energy (correction is: -1.3W/m^2/20 years). My post @104 has that correction in a graph. The change in global temperature over the CERES time period is about 0.45’C or -0.9 W/m^2/20 years. Over laying that on the graph above one can see an almost perfect fit (slightly higher slope for CERES data) (can’t show that in this format).
    First question: Does an almost perfect fit of global temperature to CERES albedo (in W/m^2) mean albedo is the main cause of global warming for the 20 years of CERES data? (Regardless of what caused the albedo change or the short 20 years of data)
    Second question: Should the slope of the albedo graph above be different (flatter) than the actual global temperature if CO2 caused radiative forcing was at work; since, CO2 caused radiative forcing does not use albedo change energy to cause global temperature rise?
    Any answer to these questions would help me understand the CERES data before exploring what caused the albedo change in CERES data.

  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #5 2022

    michael sweet at 00:28 AM on 7 February, 2022

    The Guardian had an interesting article where they determined how much the temperature had increased since 1895 and since 1970 in different counties in the USA.  They determined that the temperature has increased more than 1.5C since 1895 for more than a third of the population.  In the southern states many counties have had a decrease in temperature since 1895.  The greatest increases were in Alaska where records only go back to 1925.  Ventura County in California increased 2.6 C since 1895 (4.7F).

    It is expected that warming will not be the same everywhere.  The increase in temperatures over land worldwide are greater than the increases over the ocean.  The average increase in the USA is about 1 C, which is close to the global average.

    It would be interesting to see a similar calculation for places worldwide.

  • The phenomenon of ‘Don’t Look Up’ (Part 2)

    One Planet Only Forever at 07:26 AM on 25 January, 2022

    It is incorrect to restrict Don’t Look Up to being an attempt to raise awareness about climate change.

    I watched the movie in late December. And I watched it again recently. It is not just a satirical story trying to expose the many aspects of the harmful resistance by leadership to taking action that would limit the rate and ultimate magnitude of climate change harm caused by human activities.

    I will start with the item that triggered my interest in responding – a comment about the End

    Having watched the movie again, and trying to avoid spoiling the movie for anyone who is yet to see it, the scene described as “And the one scene praised even in negative reviews of the movie, the reconstituted family that gathers for a final prayerful meal at the end, may ultimately promote a sort of religious resignation or fatalism in the face of climate change.”, is not what it is claimed to be at all. That presentation is a gross distortion. See for yourself. The gathering is more than a reconstituted nuclear family. And the religious aspect is a minor part of the gathering interactions. It is sort of along the lines of ‘an atheist faced with the ultimate end may briefly dabble in spiritual possibilities’. And the spiritual bit is presented in a religiously neutral way, but mono-theistic so not truly representing the spectrum of spirituality, by a young outsider of the family who is welcomed at the gathering. And the gathering only happens when it is virtually certain that they can do nothing more to avert or lessen the harm done by the coming tragedy.

    The Movie is about more than the challenges of climate change

    Don’t Look Up exposes the developed socioeconomic-political system challenges to raising awareness and improving understanding of the harmful aspects of popular and profitable developments. Those challenges are not exclusive to climate change. The UNEP 2022: Emergency mode for the environment published January 6, 2022 as a Climate Actions Story identifies the “... enduring crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste.” That is far more than climate change. And the story links to 10 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. And the other Sustainable Developments Goals, which are social rather than environmental, face similar resistance to learning that what has been developed is harmful and unsustainable.

    Court Jester style ridicule of high status more powerful people, not just the ‘rich’, can help everyone, including lower status people, identify the harmful actions among the higher status, particularly exposing who is being harmfully misleading in pursuit of personal benefit. But, as the movie exposes, many people can be tempted to Identify with cult-like incorrect beliefs and biases. And, like cult members, they will resist learning, and even fight against learning, that their bias and beliefs are incorrect until it is glaringly obvious to them through the potently restrictive biased filter of their developed Identity. (At this point I will add that everyone has developed personal biases and beliefs. My current developed bias is towards increased awareness and improved understanding of what is harmful and the application of that learning to help others by developing sustainable improvements – The Ethical Engineer).

    Note that the movie was not made to make money or garner ‘popularity points’. And the criticism that it may ‘turn-off’ some people who are not yet convinced about climate science is a bit of misleading marketing. When it comes to matters like Sustainable Development the fence sitters need to learn and choose a side. Their choices are:

    • Learn what is harmful to the future of humanity and try to Help reduce, idealing ending, the Harm Done so the future of humanity is sustainable and improving or,

    • Continue to be the harmful distracted learning resistant people they have been by resisting that learning and potentially becoming more harmful by choosing to fight to defend and excuse harmful unjustified aspects of the developed Status Quo.

    Science is helpful when it is biased to increase awareness and improve understanding of what is harmful and apply what is learned to help develop sustainable improvements. That requires constant investigation for evidence of harm being done to the robust diverse ecosystem that humans undeniably are only a part of and cannot survive ‘apart from’.

    More considerations

    Criticisms of the film also expose the harmful ridiculous (deserving ridicule) developed ways of thinking that have regrettably been able to dominate development. They can be seen to be misleading marketing efforts by people who have a bias for the Status Quo. That bias opposes corrections of development required by the global leadership level learning that was developed and presented at the Stockholm Conference of 1972, and has continued to be developed and publicly shared since then.

    The Stockholm Conference was a significant global leadership admission of the diversity of global Human Development problems that had occurred. It exposed that the problems would get worse and new problems would develop unless significant systemic changes were made to the developed predominant beliefs and biases.

    A harmful response to that raising of awareness of the need for systemic changes that would alter developed perceptions of superiority and progress blossomed in the 1980s. The Reagan-Thatcher right wing power plays for popularity and profit can be understood to be concerted efforts by harmful wealthy powerful interests who would lose status if the harmful unsustainable beliefs and actions they benefited from were limited and corrected to achieve sustainable improvements for global humanity. The scope of the Stockholm Conference went beyond the harmful injustices of colonialism that people were still attempting to raise awareness and improved understanding of (A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn was written in 1980 was part of that centuries long effort that continues today). Raising awareness and improved understanding of what was harmful and unsustainable threatened many powerful wealthy interests. And it continues to threaten them because they have not yet lost their undeserved perceptions of status and related harmful biases and beliefs.

    With the above frame of reference, worldview, established I will make the controversial point that, contrary to a gross generalization that science is unbiased, “science can be biased”. All individuals have biases and perceptions of reality that they develop based on their experiences and learning. And scientists are people.

    The claim that science is unbiased is understandably restricted to the constantly improving awareness and understanding based on the evidence found so far regarding what was investigated so far. Science can be understood to be biased against investigating more complex matters, especially having a bias against anything that cannot be confirmed by repeatable experiments. Experimental learning is important. But it is limited to parts of more complex reality that can be isolated for ‘repeatable’ experimentation. And that Achilles heel of science is a weakness that has been exploited to raise doubts and discredit scientists ... they change their minds, never say something is absolutely certain, and seem to be unable to extend their rigorous science to more complex realities. That leads to the obvious opening to play games of misleading influence claiming that the current understanding on any issue can be wrong and subject to change, no matter how ‘distinguished’ a scientist may appear to be (the competition for status relative to Others governs everybody – doesn’t it).

    And I will build on that point to ridicule criticisms that simplistically claim that the film is biased and, as a result, may turn-off people who have ‘to date’ resisted learning to be less harmful and more helpful to Others. ‘Learning resistant’ is a more accurate description of the ‘moderates' who are not yet biased to believe that many aspects of developed human activity are harmfully degrading the future of humanity. On important matters the 'moderates’ or ‘undecided’ can be understood to be willing to compromise better understanding because of a desire for respecting less sensible, more harmful, opinions (Loving the Freedom to believe and do whatever one wants is a powerfully harmful bias and belief system).

    Science is biased to be the pursuit of increased awareness and improved understanding. It can be opposed to a bias to maintain and defend the developed status quo. But science is not biased to focus on the investigation of harmful or potentially harmful things. Science can be biased away form that by the status quo it operates in.

    And the ‘status’ part of ‘status quo’ gets pursued by people who allow themselves to be co-opted into a status quo competition for perceptions of status (including competitions pursuing popularity and profit). And the pursuit of status is also not biased to be governed or limited to developing lasting improvements for humanity. The harmful reality of the results of people being freer to believe and do as they please are undeniable. Yet some people still fight to maintain the status quo belief in Individual (or Regional, or National, or Cult) Sovereignty to believe and do as they please. Even scientists can feel they should be sovereign to investigate whatever they would choose to investigate. That sovereignty of science investigation can be helpful or harmful, just like competition for popularity or profit can be helpful or harmful.

    So the obvious key is for everyone to be biased to want to learn what is harmful and learn how they can be more helpful to Others. Science (and economics and politics) governed (and limited) by that bias is what is required.

    The lack of interest and paltry funding for increased awareness and understanding of what is harmful and the related lack of having everyone governed and limited by learning to be less harmful and more helpful to Others can be understood to be the expected result of pursuits of status in poorly governed and ineffectively restricted competition for status (popularity and profit).

    Science can also be understood to potentially be harmfully biased against investigations and explanations of the complex interconnected nature of reality that cannot be experimented on to rigorously confirm theories being investigated. The hierarchy of the importance of pursuit of increased awareness and improved understanding can be understood to be (one of many references supporting this is Sean Carroll’s The Big Picture):

    • Physics - the ways things happen down to the sub-atomic levels

    • Chemistry - the interactions of physical items that are larger than the sub-atomic

    • Biology – the more complex interactions of organic matter

    • Psychology – the way that brains work in biological organisms to respond to their experience in their environment

    • Sociology – the ways that independent organisms of similar type (societies) interact.

    • Ecology – the ways that organisms of different types interact.

    The most important and most complex, and least able to be investigated by experiment, is clearly the Ecology and its potential to develop sustainable constantly improving success for the organisms involved. And the lowest level of importance to the future of humanity, while still having significant importance, is Physics.

    Note that that ranking also means that protecting the environment from harm should also significantly govern economic and political actions. And it also means that protecting the society of global humanity, now and into the distant future, from harm also needs to significantly govern economic and political actions. The resulting understanding is that individual interests, including that tempting individual freedom of belief and action, also need to be governed to limit harm done. Restricting freedom and changing the status quo are not 'harmful by default'.

    That understanding explains why it can be so hard to change the mind of a person who has developed their biases and beliefs immersed in poorly governed socioeconomic-political competition for perceptions of superiority. Anyone who has powerfully developed their identity in that way is like a conscript in a cult. And extreme measures can be required to free minds from harmful cults.

    Note that being a member of a cult can also be helpful if the cult is helpfully governed to limit harm done. But it would be preferable for people to learn to be less harmful and more helpful rather than be that way because of the leadership of a cult they have become a captured member of.

    And science is also biased to the belief in the supremacy of humans, and the related harmful potential belief in the superiority of a sub-set of humanity that developed perceptions of their superiority through unjust pursuits of perceptions of superiority relative to others.

    Competition for perceptions of superiority can be fierce among scientists. And there are many examples of scientists being harmfully biased regarding their choice of what to investigate by the biases they developed based on their experience in the system they learned in. That will be harder to change without significant systemic changes that effectively restrict the Freedom of development of harmful competitive biases for pursuit of status.

  • There is no consensus

    Eclectic at 08:24 AM on 16 January, 2022

    Star-affinity @ #900 :

    Thank you for the reference to the 2016 Forbes  article by Earl Ritchie, who describes himself as a retired oil industry executive (not a scientist).   I read the article with interest, and found it disappointing.  It was more a propaganda piece, and not at all a rigorous logical examination of the issue.

    Star-affinity, if one chooses to define things very loosely, and also use rhetoric like a lawyer-advocate  ~ then one can come to any "conclusion" that is desired.   (e.g. the good Lord Monckton - not at all a scientist - can re-define "3%" to be the result of the excellently clever Cook 2013 survey of scientific papers which produced the famous "97%" consensus figure.)

    What is a consensus here?  (See some of the comments upthread.)   Broadly, consensus in non-scientific matters is all about opinion  ~ and opinion is worth the price of the paper it is printed on [except in politics!]

    But consensus in scientific matters (such as climate science) is all about the evidence.  And that evidence is expressed in the scientific literature (peer-reviewed papers published in reputable journals).   And there you will nowadays  find a 99+% consensus in line with the mainstream science.   Not an 80-90% consensus (not even in 2013 or 2016).

    The 80-90% figure you (or Mr Richie) are mentioning, is a result of canvassing opinions of "scientists"  ~ not of canvassing the evidence.   And who is a scientist?  And are their individual opinions relevant?  The notorious Oregon Petition (of the 1990's) had "scientists" ranging from Wood Engineers to Spice Girls.   In other words, it was a completely worthless survey,  simply gathered for propaganda value.

    In short, Mr Ritchie's article is worthless.

  • There is no consensus

    star-affinity at 00:48 AM on 16 January, 2022

    What do you think of the article critizising the 97% number here?

    It's claiming the consensus number is closer to 80% – at least in the study being referred to from 2013 by Dennis Bray & Hans von Storch, (linked to below).

    While 80% is still a strong consensus I must agree with the Forbes article author (Earl J. Ritchie) that:

    "It’s not as easy to discount dissenters if the number is 10 or 15 percent."

    The reason for me asking this is that I'm discussing with a friend whether there's still a debate going on if the climate change is of "natural" origin or if human activity is contributing. I'm arguing that the science is basically settled, but he seems to think it's not since not all climate scientists agree. He was the one giving me that article questioning the 97% claim. Now, I of course think the researchers behind the 97% number presented here on the Sceptical Science site has been thorough and honest, but if there are serveys such as the one below pointing more to 80% agreement I'm wondering how we can be sure the consensus number is around 97%?

    "A survey of the perceptions of climate scientists 2013":

    A comment on the above study from the Forbes article by Earl J. Ritchie:

    "A value of 1 indicates not convinced and a value of 7 is very much convinced. The top three values add to 81%, roughly in the range of several other surveys."

  • From the eMail Bag: the Beer-Lambert Law and CO2 Concentrations

    Bob Loblaw at 07:54 AM on 2 January, 2022

    I encountered the Manabe and Strickler/Wetherald papers as a grad student in the 1980s, when they were still fairly new.

    The Manabe and Wetherald paper is also part of The Warming Papers.

    I often find that older papers cover more of the basics than you find in newer papers. Newer papers do not repeat the well-established science, and often tend to assume certain knowledge on the part of the informed reader. This is also true of the IPCC reports - for the basics, I often suggest reading the first one from 1990.

  • From the eMail Bag: the Beer-Lambert Law and CO2 Concentrations

    Charlie_Brown at 03:09 AM on 2 January, 2022

    Bob @ #7

    Thank you for providing the graph for HITRAN data. The point that I wanted to make is that increasing CO2 increases the individual high resolution absorption lines in the wings. That is why the effect of CO2 is not “saturated,” but is diminishing with increasing CO2. Moderate transmission programs use algorithms to simplify the detailed line-by-line calculations into an absorption band. Essentially, it is an approach to average the lines within an absorption band, which makes the calculations easier. With this approach, increasing CO2 increases the width of the band, effectively by increasing the inclusion of small lines at the end of the wings.

    I have used the version of MODTRAN hosted by the University of Chicago quite a bit, and I find it to be an excellent tool for understanding atmospheric radiation. It is similar to the free demo version from Spectral Sciences, Inc  Fortunately, it makes all of the calculations, including Beer’s Law, molar density, temperature, pressure, etc., for you. There is no need to do a lot of math on your own. It is easy to run several cases and plot the Upward IR Heat Flux as a function of increasing CO2. The upward IR heat flux is the energy lost to space. It becomes apparent that the diminishing effect is logarithmic. Because it is an atmospheric radiation model and not an energy balance model, it is a little bit trickier to resolve the overall heat balance to determine the effect on surface temperature, but it can be done. The surface temperature is an input with a default value of 299.7 K for a tropical atmospheric profile and 288.2K for the 1976 U.S Std atmosphere. One can adjust the surface temperature manually, then use trial-and-error to find a surface temperature that causes the overall global energy balance to be closed. This means the upward IR heat flux needs to be constant, since the only other factor in the balance is solar energy in. The logarithmic diminishing effect of increasing CO2 is the same.

  • Animals and plants can adapt

    Hal Kantrud at 08:36 AM on 20 December, 2021

    "ost extinctions have been linked to immense volcanic events, called Large Igneous Province (LIP) eruptions. These events spew billions of metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) into the atmosphere, in many cases triggering marine anoxia (oxygen loss) and ocean acidification due to rapid greenhouse warming. Of the Big Five mass extinctions, the one exception is the end-Cretaceous event. The current scientific consensus is that the end-Cretaceous mass extinction (that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago) was primarily caused by a large meteor strike (and a resulting, jarring change in climate). In Figure 1, the past three events (end-Permian, end-Triassic, and end-Cretaceous) are positioned at their respective, estimated short-term CO2 spike levels. These CO2 spikes which triggered their respective mass extinctions are not captured in the grey CO2 concentration curve due to its coarser temporal resolution."

    I read where the Tubo volcano about 2MYA resulted in a long cooling period caused by the sun's rays reflecting off the ash in the air.  I would think that would decrease atmospheric greenhouse gasses.  Mass extinctions resulted including nearly all our homonid ancestors, with survivors limited to small populations in Africa.

  • We're coming out of the Little Ice Age

    John Hartz at 02:26 AM on 18 December, 2021

    Suggested supplemental reading:

    Scientists discover ‘surprising’ cause of Europe’s little ice age in late medieval era

    Change in ocean currents – similar to phenomena seen today – likely cause behind substantial cooling, US scientists say.

    by Harry Cockburn, Climate, The independent (UK), Dec 16, 2021

  • It's albedo

    MA Rodger at 21:07 PM on 15 December, 2021

    blaisct @108,
    I would strongly suggest that you take the assertions regarding the underlying causes of trends in EEI set out in the papers you call "Earthshine 20 years" (aka Goode et al 2021) and "CERES 20 years 1" (aka Dübal & Vahrenholt 2021) with a large pinch of salt. Their speculations about the reasons for the EEI data are entirely unsubstantiated.

    The third paper you cite as "CERES 20 years 2" (aka Loeb et al 2021) is a more considered analysis as it uses a modelled analysis (setout in its section 2.3) to derive the underlying causes of recent trends in EEI. Shown in their Fig 2f, Loeb et al find the overall EEI trend is dominated by 4 positive and 1 negative factor. You appear not to grasp that the positive factor "other" is the GHG forcing (with a small negative contribition from solar forcing through the period 2002-20). Also the water vapour factor results from a GHG forcing feedback. Thus your speculation doubting the contribution of "any AGH global warming mixed In with the TOA (red) data" is entirely misplaced. And do note that this is the change in EEI through the period. An EEI had been established by GHG forcing prior to this period while the analysis looks solely at the trends (ie changes) 2002-20.
    Simply I do not see Loeb et al (2021) anywhere "express doubts on the current understanding of climate change."

    I find most of the latter part of your comment most bizarre. I refrain here from explaining where you appear to be in error as you do run such a long way with your theorising. But if you wish such explanation, do say.

  • It's albedo

    blaisct at 05:08 AM on 15 December, 2021

    Once again thanks for your comment (MA Rodger and the editor) and the additional papers on the subject. I will try to do better with the links.

    The earlier data I was referring to was earthshine 10 years and CERES 10 years which showed that the data for the earths albedo was very noisy and flat. The flat part was what was expected for anthropogenic greenhouse gas , AGH, global warming. My initial understanding of AGH radiative forcing was that AGHs absorbed radiation (got hot) and that the higher the AGH concentration (at constant radiation) the more heat it could hold back thus the temperature would increase but the energy in vs out of the zone where this occurred would be the same (albedo would be flat). My understanding has been expanded to include: AGHs hotter temperature will reduce humidity and thus reduce cloud cover, expose more earth surface to the sun thus reduce earths albedo; therefor, albedo vs time for AGHs may not be flat.
    The new (new to me) data I sited Earthshine 20 years showed a decrease albedo from both earthshine and CERES data – my only interest is this report was the agreement with earthshine an CERES data. The editor’s link CERES 20 years 1  and another link CERES 20 years 2 provided a lot more CERES data with different analyses. These three papers are the first time I have seen data showing a decrease in albedo (increase in TOA radiation) vs time. If all climate change was due to AGHs this graph would be flat. Using the CERES 20 years 2  graph for TOA radiation out. (of the three links I chose this one because it has the In Situ data (earth surface temperature)) one can see the good correlation between In Situ data and CERES data

    Figure 1
    “Comparison of overlapping one-year estimates at 6-month intervals of net top-of-the-atmosphere annual energy flux from the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System Energy Balanced and Filled Ed4.1 product (solid red line) and an in situ observational estimate of uptake of energy by Earth climate system (solid blue line). Dashed lines correspond to least squares linear regression fits to the data.”

    . If there was any AGH global warming mixed In with the TOA (red) data it would have a slope lower than the In Situ data. The report CERES 20 years 1  did look for the AGH flat line signal and found it in the “Clear Sky” LW (long wave) data but nowhere else (1 of four graphs).
    Two of these reports put a lot of emphasis on clouds decrease (new to me). (Decrease in cloud cover increased surface exposure to suns radiation and heats the earth more.) The report CERES 20 years 2  also found correlation to Water vapor, trace gases, surface albedo, as well as clouds. Both of these reports express doubts on the current understanding of climate change and make recommendation to further understand what is causing cloud cover to change.
    While this new data is interesting and worth following up on it is still very noisy (low R^2) and another 20 years would be better.

    I recognize that AGH global warming would promote other forcing including reduce clouds, reduced ice, reduced snow cover all exposing more surface to direct rays of the sun. Other man-made albedo changes can do the same thing. Here are two examples that may relate to the new papers.
    Let’s start with the “heat island effect”, UHI. While the global warming from UHI’s lower albedo is small it does have observable effect on cloud formation, CERES 20 years 2.

    “Figure 3
    Attribution of Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System net top-of-atmosphere flux trends for 2002/09–2020/03. Shown are trends due to changes in (a) clouds, (b) surface, (c) temperature, (d) combined contributions from trace gases and solar irradiance (labeled as “Other”), (e) water vapor, and (f) aerosols. Positive trends correspond to heat gain and negative to loss. Stippled areas fall outside the 5%–95% confidence interval. Numbers in parentheses correspond to global trends and 5%–95% confidence intervals in W m−2 decade−1.”

    When air rises from a UHI it is hotter than the incoming air without a source of moisture to saturate it; so, it leaves as dryer air. This air generally rises and moves to the east. Look at figure 3 (a) and see the lower cloud formation change off the coast of east USA, Tokyo, and downwind Europe. With time (1880-2021) the UHI does not get hotter but it gets bigger thus the volume of low moisture air gets bigger. I am not going to argue the significances of the albedo part of UHI other than to recognize it is lower than 1 W/m^2 but not zero. What UHI is not given credit for is what happens downwind to this hotter low humidity air. Does it cool the ocean, reduce the snow line, melt ice, or reduce the cloud cover down wind, since this hot dry air should rise the clouds should be the first target.  I can also see a chain of events: Hot low moisture air (from AGHs, UHIs, or other land changes) rises and go downwind, reduces cloud cover, over water the sun heats the ocean, the hotter ocean currents circulate to the poles, and melt some ice.
    I’ll leave the quantification of this observable (figure 3 (a)) new (to me) correlation to others. A new UHI contribution to GW will be the albedo effect + the lower cloud effect + any other.

    Second, is land use changes such as forest to crop or pasture land or grass land to crop land.  Albedo decrease in grass land to crop land change is documented in Grass to Crops.   Forest to crop land change increase in albedo is documented in Forest to Crops.  Over 205 years the paper Global albedo study  calculates that all the pluses and minuses add up to little change in albedo from land use changes. It is assumed (by me) that decreased albedo of a parcel of land means an increase in temperature and vs/vs. The study Amazonia Forest to Crops shows that increasing albedo does not always mean cooler temps. This report shows that when rain forest was replaced with crop land that the temperature increased, the rain decreased, and the cloud cover decreased. The Figure 3 (e) above shows bright red spot for “water vapor” (I assume that is change to lower humidity) in Amazonia. This is not an uncommon effect from replacing forest with crop or pasture land. The report Forest study  observes that forests vs crop/pasture conversion gets warmer as the conversion gets south of 35’N latitude.

    This unintuitive (to me) observation that an increase in albedo does not always result in a decrease in temperature can be explained by moisture. The resulting temperature depends on a constant enthalpy (total heat in the air= gases + moisture). Enthalpy is usually determined by the albedo (higher albedo lower enthalpy vs/vs); therefore, land exposed to the same albedo (enthalpy) can have a wide range of temperatures depending on the moisture (relative humidity) of the albedo (enthalpy). This relationship has been captured in a psychrometric chart,


    (Sorry for the poor quality of this chart)
    Example of a rain forest conversion to crop land: Start out with a rain forest at 25’C (bottom scale) go straight up to 90% humidity curve; this is our hot humid rain forest. If we convert this rain forest to crop land with a higher albedo, we move to a lower enthalpy line (anyone will do). The constant enthalpy line run diagonal (upper left to lower right). If the moisture is maintained at 90% the temperature will drop as expected for the higher albedo. Following the same enthalpy line (same albedo) go to a lower humidity curve that may result (and does in Amazonia) and one will see the temperature will increase (even to above the starting rainforest temperature at very low humidity).
    A concern is how NASA and the IPCC pair surface temperature data with relative humidity and albedo. The three all connected in enthalpy. A misunderstanding of climate change could occur if Amazonian (rain forest to crop land) high albedo, high temperature, lower humidity type data was included in correlations with Canadian (forest to crop land) lower albedo, cooler temperatures, high humidity, type data. Does anyone know if this has been looked at? The report CERES 20 years 1 has looked at ocean enthalpy correlations. I have not seen any land enthalpy data.

  • How machine learning holds a key to combating misinformation

    David Hawk at 01:16 AM on 15 December, 2021

    There seem to be two important points in the posted statement. The first favors the capability of machine learning. The second illustrates a belief in the value of more efficient fact-checking, and that such will better expose wrongful information, thus making the world a better place.  I would suggest two books for review, one for each topic of false hope in the science that brought us climate change.

    1. Shockwave Rider, John Brunner, 1975: somewhat of a bible for hackers that used its terminology for their purposes. Brunner makes an important distinction between artificial (machine-based) intelligence and natural (nature-based) intelligence. With this he outlines an eternal weakness always found in machine-based anything as it is presented in science fiction, thus carrying over into presentation of science fact.

    2. On Bullshit - Harry Frankfurt, Princeton U Press. 2005: A philosophical doorway into why fact-checkers are to become irrelevant to general public discourse. Speakers/writers that intend to lie once cared about lies and how best to cover their basis up, as in science articles with weakness but purpose, yet need to be withdrawn. That has now changed. Such personalities with immortality complexes now work to create systems of lies. These are tightly bound into bundles where concern with the true and false are replaced by emphasis on anything it takes to persuade the listener/reader. You will see why this became one of Princeton U Press's best selling books. It explains why politics has changed, and why we should avoid problem solvers that act like German leadershp of the 1930s. They came to ban discussion of "politics, off topic comments and ad hominem" statements, or anything else that questioned their assumed basis for their statements of the central problem of the society supporting them.  (My keynote lecture to the annual meeting of the Leibnitz Society in 2007 was on this use of a qualifier in England that year, and no longer in Germany. Now its widely used in the US.) 

    Yes, discourse on the when, why and where of climate change has evolvled since the work of Eunice Foot in 1856, but those are noise factors, not a basis for the essential change that humans over 20 years old are not prepared to make.

    This comes from my 1979 book at the University of Pennsylvania, then its 2019 reprint "Too Early, Too Late, Now what?. That book illustrated why politics are key, where a political point of view defines your relations with nature, each other and self. The two year study it was based on, with 20 companies and 6 govenments, illustrated why analaytic politics would make regulation of climate change irrelevant to the problematique; the system of problems, not a narrow problem from whatever you decided to analyze that day.

  • It's albedo

    MA Rodger at 08:48 AM on 10 December, 2021

    blaisct @104,
    The paper you obtain the Figure 3 from is Goode et al (2021), the latest in a series of papers (spawned by Flatte et al 1992) which have been trying to establish Earthshine measurements as a useful data source. There is a distinct lack of rigour within the work as well as a worrying denialistic flavour to it. The paper linked in the moderator Response @104, Dübal & Vahrenholt (2014) suffers from similar problems but does use the latest CERES data which Goode et al fails to use.
    As for the cause of the reduced cloud cover identified within the CERES data, it is a known feedback from AGW. This Yale E360 article from 2020 explains.

  • Can genetically engineered seeds prevent a climate-driven food crisis?

    One Planet Only Forever at 13:02 PM on 6 December, 2021

    John Hartz @2,

    Thanks for pointing out the article.

    It is an interesting perspective on the well established understanding that has been written about in different ways by many different people in recent years. It alings with the understanding shared by Gaya Herrington after she revisited, and performed an update on, the "The Limits to Growth" study published by the Club of Rome in 1972 (one article about this is The Guardian reporting on her study).

    An important understanding is that Over-population is not the real problem. And the population problem is undeniably being more effectively addressed than the climate change problem.

    The real problem is harmful over-consumptive ways of living that some humans have developed a liking for. And those harmful over-consumers provide harmful unsustainable examples that others can be tempted to aspire to develop to match or exceed.

    There are many sources of information to help people improve their understanding that Total Population is being address and that the harmful over-consumption problem fails to be effectively addressed. People who claim to be concerned just need to act on that concern and become better educated. But it is undeniably difficult to get people to learn something that contradicts their developed preferences or that contradicts something they want to claim to excuse not understanding the real problem. Proof of that difficulty is the lack of effective actions to limit harmful over-consumptive ways of living like the ways of living that cause the growing climate change problem and people continuing to claim that "over-population is the problem".

  • The Keeling Curve: Part III

    Evan at 21:22 PM on 11 November, 2021

    swampfoxh My goal is to define alternative paths, from doing nothing to being very aggressive (albeit complicated), and then encouraging people to use the evolution of the Keeling Curve as a check on which path we are following.

    As for population, using this data on Worldometers, whether I use a 50-year period from 1970-2020, a 10-year period from 2010-2020, or a 1-year period from 2019-2020, I come up with a net increase of about 80 million people/yr. What data set are you using?


  • The Keeling Curve: Part II

    One Planet Only Forever at 04:05 AM on 9 November, 2021


    I agree that "... the baseline emissions seem to be one of the most difficult challenges, ...". But I am reluctant to believe that substantial negative emissions technology (NET) will be developed and can harmlessly offset the harmful impacts of other technological developments that were not understood to be harmful when they were implemented and because popular and profitable (which made the harmful new ways powerfully able to resist efforts to limit or end the harm done).

    My baseline for understanding the problem may be the difference regarding our thoughts.

    My baseline understanding is that poorly governed and inadequately limited pursuits of personal benefit have over-developed many harmful unsustainable ways of living. Un-developing the harmful over-developed activity is required. And that would mean un-doing the incorrect beliefs that the developed perceptions of prosperity and superiority are "deserved" and "deserve" to be maintained. That may mean reducing GDP as the harmful over-development is removed from the system. And it means that it is harmfully incorrect to believe that the correction of harmful over-development should be delayed in order to maintain increasing GDP and to maintain harmfully over-developed perceptions of prosperity and enjoyable living.

    The reports you refer to do indeed indicate the magnitude of the problem and what to expect if the current system is not changed. The expectation that the harmfully incorrect over-developed food desires of wealthier people will be aspired to by everyone else is indeed the expected result if the systemic beliefs that cause the harmful pursuit of impressions of status are not changed. The belief that eating beef, and other meats, is a sign of status is just one of the many incorrectly developed beliefs that seriously compromise the nutrition and health of wealthier people.

    I would say that studies based on the perspectives of helpful people "from within the harmfully over-developed system of beliefs" are like ivory tower speculation. The reality is that the resistance to the required corrections is more powerful than the helpful people "thinking within the system" are acknowledging. What should be presented is the understanding that unless there are serious leadership actions that rapidly bring about significant systemic changes, including ending beliefs like "eating beef or other meat is a sign of superiority", there is no likelihood that impacts will be limited to 4C. A related ivory tower belief is that "non-profitable carbon removal" will be implemented at a meaningful scale (and a related ivory tower belief based on the incorrect belief that "new technology is helpful advancement" would be the failure to recognize the potential harm of industrial scale carbon removal technology or other "technological development" believed to be solutions that allow harmful unsustainable activity to continue longer).

    Without significant systemic changes the warming impacts are likely to exceed 6C, though the breakdown of global civilization, and the resulting global conflict and strife, may temporarily, or permanently, stall the harm done by the "endless harmful pursuit of More personal benefits and new likely to be harmful technological developments".

    The 2020 Human Development Report presents a current summary of understanding that contradicts developed worldviews and beliefs held by many people among the wealthier and more powerful portion of the global population. And the 2020 HDR is not investigating things in a New way. It is a continuation of a long history of efforts to better understand how to protect the future of humanity that included the 1972 Stockholm Conference.

    The worldview preferred by the wealthy and powerful has been constantly challenged by thoughtful people with interests that are not motivated by pursuit of personal benefit (for thousands of years). But more harmful wealthy and powerful people have repeatedly been able to quash or delay the advancements of civilization when that advancement would be contrary to the interests of the wealthy and powerful.

    The system aspects that need to change are the aspects that the harmful among the wealthy and powerful fight to establish and that they can take advantage of to defend their interests and increase their ability to be more wealthy and more powerful.

    One of the most insidious realities of the developed systems is the many ways that "Interests in Personal Freedoms" can be used against "Advancement of civilization's interests". The freedom to be more harmful and believe whatever excuses that behaviour is a significant part of the resistance to increased acceptance of climate science and the required limiting of the climate change harm being done to the future of humanity.

  • Discourses of Climate Delay

    David Hawk at 22:21 PM on 4 November, 2021

    This article does seem insightful relative to personality type-castings and climate change results, but its implications leave the problem at the doorway of education or personality typologies and features. There are other approaches but they are less complementary to the species and its membership. 

    Another approach was used in a 1975-77 international project on environmental deterioration as a result of general human characteristics and a species attitude towards nature. It did not end in particulat personality profiles nor educational backgrounds and foregrounds.

    The research began with concern in humans having a general distrust, even dislike, of nature and natural processes in psychology as measured in industrial processes. Nature was seen as implicitly systemic while humans prefered being seen as analytic. The analytic was shown to be reductionistic, segmented and absent of context, while having reverence for cause-effect conclusions as abstractions. Any reference to management as wrong in the longer-term, as comparied to factory workers proving to be more insightful, was said to be "ad hominem," whatever disbelievers, usually upper management but not CEOs, might mean each time they said such. This was endemic to the human approach to problems. In the research it was called legalism in search of finding a legal order.

    The alternative posed from the research with twenty major international firms and six governments was a more natural, neogtiated order. This began in what had been learned in Prisoner's Dilemma with Rapaport. The three volume research conclusions appeared, with an ending with research from a participant on climate change if the human psyche did not find a paythway to appreciate the natural (Black was in the project).  This approach to governance requied self-regulation of human relations to the environment, each other, and self.

    In 1978 this was presented in a dissertation at the U of Pennsylvania. The cross-disciplinary professor-committee finally accepted it but asked for the "cimate-change" part be removed with more analysis as to why such was very questionable. They asked for traditional results that could be abstracted from "research details."  They saw general systems thinking as anti-science?  The Head of EPA was furious about the study and the dissertation, as was the Dean of the Wharton School. He saw no relation between environmental deterioiration and business. The author agreed, that dean did fail to see a relation, which made discussion more difficult.  Forty years later the work was republished as "Too Early, Too Late, Now what?"   A new chapter on this evolution will appear in Europe late this year which goes deeper into why its a human thing, not restricted to some types.  That thesis is:  "Short-term gain, Long-term pain."  Its a very old story about a species with seroius limitations in its great ability to think.

  • SkS Analogy 25 - Emissions vs Accumulation

    MA Rodger at 01:51 AM on 2 November, 2021

    cph @9,
    While it is correct that H2O does the heavy lifting when it comes to the GH-effect, H2O is a vey lazy gas and requires the presence of long-lived GHGs to get it doing any work at all. Thus it is the long-lived GHGs, and particularly CO2 that defines the temperature-boost of the planet's GH-effect.

    I'm not at all happy with your assessment of the GH-increase being caused by "cow & sheep livestock." Combining your numbers, that would suggest a 20% contribution which seem miles high. The OurWorldInData graphic below suggests just 5.8% from livestock.

    GHG emissions by sector

    Evan @5,
    Beyond their source, I don't see reason to account for the anthropogenic climate forcing in any way other than the usual bar charts presented by say IPCC AR6 Fig SPM.2 below. Thus the talk of "GHG grade" or "quality" isn't advancing any analysis that I can see. CH4 from livestock is simply a climate forcing as it has elevated global CH4.

    IPCC AR6 fig SPM.2

    swampfoxh @1,
    The CO2 breathed out by livestock is a component of that part of the carbon cycle represented by Primary Production and one of the fluxes shown in the graphic in the OP above, a carbon flux assessed by Haberl et al (2007) as having been reduced due to humanity (not just since 1750AD) by 10%, this surely through deforestation, forests being far better at Primary Production (and as a store of carbon)  than a field of cows.


  • The scientific consensus on climate change gets even stronger

    Jim Hunt at 21:09 PM on 22 October, 2021

    In a perhaps surprising recent development regarding the change in consensus among economists, Professor Dr. Richard S.A. Tol MAE endorsed the Cook et al. approach:

  • Faster transitions to clean energy are also cheaper

    David Hawk at 22:07 PM on 16 October, 2021

    Comparing this with the numbers from 1980 is very interesting. What we do know, based on such comparisons, is that the costs of business as usual in building design will be far greated then conceived above, and the benefits of developing business as unusual around energy needs will also be far greater then listed here. 

    This comment comes from having written a book in 1979 on humans creating conditions of climate change then serving as senior advisor to the world's largest construction company for 15 years, a company doing $200 billion a year in projects.

    Is my comment considered "ad hominem?"  Knowing Hawkings first article on black holes was categorized as ad hominen by two reviewers, do you really want to post that you rely on such political filters?

  • Estimates of the economic damages from climate change

    David Hawk at 21:19 PM on 6 October, 2021

    Sounds like a good meeting. There seems to have been a touch of optimism present, in their seeking economic models that matter. From the outside it seems much more optimistic than an NSF seminar I organized at New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1986. It was for international economists that had an interest in environmental deterioration impacting infrastucture. My climate change research from the Stockholm School of Economics in 1977 was the rational behind the meeting. Models of social and physical infrastructure, including governing systems, were discussed relative to deterioration of their essential context. 

    Those in attendance were quite pessimistic about chances for avoiding economic and societal turbulence from consequences of relying on short-term economic valuation as the motivator of humans. They thought 2035 looked like a bad time. Many lecturers were there and recorded. Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen was the most emphatic about the urgent need for a different kind of concern.  In his response to questions from a Swiss economist, about the value of ecological economics modeling and thinking, Nicholas responded:

    "Ecology will eat economics." 

    Thereafter he and I wrote a paper on "Second Law Economics," that joined the stack of the unpublishable, due to reviewers calling it "pointless pessimism."   Based on events of the 35 years it seems the reviewers were right. It was pointless.  One reviewer called climate change "ad hominem."  

    NSF reviewers avoided such labels and set up a National Academy of Science Commission in 2001 based on the earlier seminar. It was called "Committee on Business Strategies for Public Capital Investment," Published by NRC. The Committee's draft report of 2003 had much potential but was edited in the White House before release. A Presidential Aid managed the re-review saying our earlier draft report contined too much "ad hominem" material? Probably that term needs to be avoided as humans keep moring towards the fateful. Its use is mostly as policies of the political, not a means to empower the scientific.

  • Reviewing the horrid global 2020 wildfire season

    Mike at 11:16 AM on 23 September, 2021


    This is the story that I meant to link.  It says "Wildfires released 1.26bn tonnes of CO2 in July, according to the data, with more than half of these emissions attributed to fires in North America and Siberia. In August, fires caused 1.38bn tonnes of CO2 to be released."

    a billion tonnes of CO2 seems like a lot.   But this where scaling becomes problematic.  Is a billon tonnes of CO2 a lot?   How does it compare to other sources, like private vehicle emissions for the US in a month, etc.  I read a source that said the US emission level for 2019 was abt 5.1 billion metric tons.  are metric tons and "the Independent" tonnes the same thing?  If yes, then a billion tons of emissions in a month is really quite large at about twice the monthly US emission level.  Am I understanding this correctly? 

  • Reviewing the horrid global 2020 wildfire season

    Mike at 03:02 AM on 23 September, 2021


    I have trouble getting a handle on the scale of emissions from forest fires.  I assume these emissions are dwarfed by human emissions, but I am would like to have a clue about the scale.  So, if 2021 summer was the worst on record for forest fire emissions, how bad is that? 

    Is this a significant feedback or journalistic clickbait? 




  • Book Review: Saving Us by Katharine Hayhoe

    David Hawk at 01:47 AM on 23 September, 2021

    Very nicely presented "Wilddouglascounty."  I hope many read it. You are more optimistic than I can be; thus thank you for your sign of hope. I need such. I'll make it through the day.

    My take tends to be with the flaws in being human, and the laws of a natural order that human fight with. Yes, I'm a bit skeptical about "scientific method," as was one of my mentors who authored the 1962 book of that title. He moved on to systems sciences, as did I, thus I encountered climate change in 1975 via reading the 1856 work of Eunice Foote.

    In my courses, whatever they might have been titled, I covered two subjects. 1) Ethics: Fastian Negotiations always selling the soul, thus leading to end-state tragedy, and 2) Human economics and business always avoiding laws of thermodynamics, especially that funny 2nd one. 

    For the first I usually rely on Marlowe, Goethe, and Mann. For the second I rely on Einstein, Hawking and Sagan, where I considered Carl a friend.  In 2007 in this regard a debate was held with China's leadership council, prior to their selection of Xi as President. I recommended they give up on Confucian thought (too similar to Plato) and return to Lao Tzu wisdom (similar to Socrates).  They seems to really understand what such could mean to managing climate change, before they didn't a few years later.  A similar debate would not have been held in Washington, unless about a dozen lobbiest approved the script. (I can give you a list, ha..ha.. )

    I have a book coming out in Europe this winter on the above..."Short-term Gain, Long-term Pain."  Its about Faust, Industrialization, and life during the human end state.  Therein I cover 2,500 years of the idea of management as the problem, including the management of science. My focus ends with the inherent limitation in the first three letters of management. If so, we might try femagement for a bit? Their science is very promising. For politics they listen to their husbands, but are now moving on from that limitation.  See you on the other side, I hope. 

    In 2015, when is was obvious that America was moving to a Trump version of leadership, I began a foundation in China to prepare girls for managing humans during masculine created climate change.  An English version of its site is at 

  • Book Review: Saving Us by Katharine Hayhoe

    David Hawk at 22:31 PM on 22 September, 2021

    The Hayhoe book if fine but a bit late. By some standards it could be seen as an "ad hominem" exercise to cheer up human failures. I carried out a major Swedish-based research effort in the nineteen seventies, that  was widely labelled "ad hominem" in 1979. Even the director of EPA at the time used that label in a furious letter. From that time I never respected those using that title to pretend they were more scientific. 

    My project included many corporations and six governments, as well as researchers like James Black. It was presented to OECD by Sweden's Prime Minister. The three volume research report ended with a threat of climate change if humans didn't improve on their reductistic science without context and legal-order regulations via threats that become humor. A negotiated order approach was proposed to manage environmental deterioration.

    A key finding, as presented in a keynote to the annual Liebnitz Conference, was that the glass is neither half full nor half empty. It is clearly empty with urine stains on it. A dissertation came out from the Swedish project where the Dean of the Wharton School, U of Penn, came out strongly against the research conclusions. He called it "ad hominem." It was not allowed in the library so a group of students, not including me, publlished it. They were upset with the Wharton dean's comments on the future relative to climate change.

    It was republished after 40 years as "Too Early, Too Late," Now what?"  An outline of the book was in a May, 2019 Science Magazine issue. More then 800 scientists responded with 2,100 pages of comments, where the majority were more pessimistic than the book. A Science community chat site director called it "ad hominen," and thankfully was let go.

    Now its even later. The book is being republished this winter under a much clearer title.  This was became the 2019 version was seen as having a "funny" title by Amazon. They moved if from acadmic science to their human section.  Sadly, its not all that funny, but humans and their counter productive attempts at rules of irrelevance are funny.

    Just now I'm managing my 1,500 acre Iowa farm to demonstrate the ravages of climate change to those who see it as a hoax, and say its "ad hominem."  The farm is winning, but humans are still losing.  Sorry for being too clear.

  • It's albedo

    MA Rodger at 05:23 AM on 18 September, 2021

    The commenter @97 is no-longer a participant here but as this response to his comment @97 is albedo-stuff, I hope the moderators will allow it.

    ☻ Concerning the spectrum of reflected light in earthshine:- @97, the objection was to Woolf et al (2004) using an arbitrary ordinate scale on their Fig 1 (shown @96) rather than Wm^-2. Addressing this objection (although Woolf et al Fig 2 should have sufficed as it shows a roughly constant % albedo with wavelength), below is a graph of spectrum for wavelengths 0.25 to 6.5 microns (so into the UV) with a Wm^-2 ordinate scale. (Woolf et al above shows the spectrum 0.48 to 0.92 microns, so into the IR.)

    albedo spectrum

    ☻ Concerning Wild et al's -19Wm^-2 clear-sky radiation:- Indeed, as commented @97, it is "visa versa"  @96 as "cooling" was written in error and should have been "warming" from clear-sky relative to all-sky.

    Do note that the cooling from an AGW-induced decrease in albedo is greatly due to the reduction of tropical marine cloud. AR6 provides a better assessment of such cloud today that allows AR6 to state that "A net negative cloud feedback is very unlikely" with a potential range of -10Wm^-2ºC^-1 to +9.4Wm^-2ºC^-1 ['very likely' =1.67sd]. (Although half the range given in AR5, these remain broad confidence intervals.)

    Yet the -19Wm^-2 result from Wild et al (2019) was not misunderstood. The value is saying that the net energy balance under clear skys is -19Wm^-2 relative to the global average. (Note a coincidental -19Wm^-2 is also given by Wild et al for Land relative to Global.)
    It doesn't follow that a reduction of clear-sky conditions would result in a comenserate cooling of the planet (just as an increase in the land area of the planet would not be expected to increase planetary cooling). It is not so simple.
    Note what Wild et al consider their finding would be useful for:- "To better constrain (global climate models from CMIP5), we established new clear-sky reference climatologies." There is no mention of geo-engineering. (And note that if it were, the net planetary cooling would be -19Wm^-2 for the extra cloud and a further -19Wm^-2 for the loss of clear sky - this assuming a 50% global cloud fraction.) However, the impact of altering the global level of clear-sky conditions would depend entirely on the particulars of the alteration.
    Indeed, consider the cloud-effect in its totality. If the models take all the clouds out but keep everything the same, the GH-effect is diminished by about 15%. This would suggest increased cloud warms (and so does not cool,) a warming with a back-of-fag-packet global value of [33ºC GH-effect x 3.7Wm^-2/ºC x 15% =] +18Wm^-2. So +ve and not -ve. An interesting result.

    ☻ Finally, the mistake within the annotations of Fig3 of Pascolini-Campbell et al (2021) - It a trivial mistake (that the value of 2.3mm/yr in Fig3a should be 2.3mm/yr/yr and likewise elsewhere) as the mistake is quite evident. Simply look at the regression line. The graphed regression line rises from an anomaly of -18mm/yr in 2003.0 to +21mm/yr in 2020.0, so a rise of 39mm/yr over the 17-year period graphed = 2.3mm/yr/yr.

  • CO2 effect is saturated

    MA Rodger at 23:19 PM on 13 September, 2021

    Eclectic @625,

    Of course, there is the point as to whether you should be referring to that paper as Wijngaarden & Happer (2020). Academic work is usually only dated if it is properly published or if it is presented at a conference. Otherwise it would be demoted to being a working paper which is thus not complete and thus not properly dateable. And I would suggest that up-loading a paper onto Cornell University's "free distributon service" arXvi doesn't count as 'publication', it being no-more 'published' than this comment I post here at SkS.

    But the proof of the pudding and all that....

    Whatever tha nature of a piece of work's origin, it is its usefulness to the science that is the proper measure of it. A look at google scholar for Wijngaarden & Happer (unpublished) 'Dependence of Earth’s Thermal Radiation on Five Most Abundant Greenhouse Gases' shows today just four citations, which is pretty rubbish. And one of those is a reference from a further Wijngaarden & Happer paper posted @arXvi which is but an updated version of the same while accounting for two more GHGs, CF4 & SF6. Of the remaining three, one explicitly styles itself a working paper. (I note its reference list is stuffed full of denialist nonsense: Koonin & Jon-boy Christy, Lewis & Dicky Lindzen, McIntyre & McKitrick & Monckton, Svensmark & Woy Spencer.) The final two citations do initially appear to be by published work. But in tracking down both ♣Pascal Richet (2021): 'Climate and the temperature-CO2 relationship An epistemological re-examination of the ice core message', History of Geo- and Space Sciences, Vol 12, pp97-110. and ♣David Coe; Fabinski, Walter & Weigleb, Gerhard (2021): 'The Impact of CO2, H2O and Other "Greenhouse Gases" on Equilibrium Earth Temperatures'  Int J. Atmos. & Oceanic Sci.,Vol 5, Issue 2, pp29-40. I see either a blank space in the pp97-110 page-numbering or the pages pp29-41 taken by another paper. So it appears that the final two citations have failed to gain publication; not so uncommon with denialist works which both these final two citing paper evidently are. (An on-line French version of the first of these two simply presents a common climate myth while a posting of the second's Abstract still visible on a denialist website shows its finding is an ECS=+0.5ºC.)

    ....turns out to be a large bowl of rather-sticky humble pie.

  • CO2 effect is saturated

    Hari-Seldon at 02:51 AM on 13 September, 2021

    Ma Rodger. 

    I read Asimovs story in 1977 , when I was 13 years old. It is my favorite, so yes the name comes fron Trantor.

    We have to be self-consistent with what we claim. In this article the authors support the idea that the CO2 effect in atmospheric radiance comes form the increasing of the width of the spectral lines. This program shows that effect, and that effect shows a logarithmic behaviour which is leading to a decrease of the slope of the increase anount of the energy confined in the atmosphere. 

    If someone uses another argument then we will discuss the effect of that argument, but when we speak of the width of the lines this is the result. And if we have to convince someone we have to be selg-consistent and not to change our story.

    Michael Sweet You are wrong. I do not support something that is different from accepted science. On the contrary I am speaking of the accepted science. Earth is warming because it radiates less energy than it receives. Simple fact. So looking at tha spectrum (black-body or bettter gray-body) of the outward radiation will gives as the amount of energy earth radiates. I am not interested on the mechanisms that energy uses to reach the upper atmosphere. I know that almost vacuum surrounds earth so I know that the only energy leaving earth is EM radiation (and gravitational radiation but this is negligible). Thus there is one argument concerning the increase of the widths of the absorption lines more that the Doppler and Heisenbergs uncertainty effects. This program shows exactly how this effect (increase of the width) works.  Simpe as that.  


  • The new IPCC Report includes – get this, good news

    anticorncob6 at 05:39 AM on 15 August, 2021

    To stay below the main Paris target of 2°C (3.6°F) warming, global carbon emissions in SSP1-2.6 plateau essentially immediately and begin to decline after 2025 at a modest rate of about 2% per year for the first decade, then accelerating to around 3% per year the next decade, and continuing along a path of consistent year-to-year carbon pollution cuts before reaching zero around 2075. The IPCC concluded that once global carbon emissions reach zero, temperatures will stop rising.

    This makes no sense to me. We can still avoid the 2C limit by reducing CO2 emissions by just 2-3% per year? And aren't there positive feedback mechanisms that will cause the world to keep warming after emissions hit zero (e.g., artcic methane release)?

    Current emissions are 38 billion metric tons per year. If we integrate (38 * 10^9)*(0.97^x) from x = 0 to x = 55 we get 1 trillion tons of CO2 that will be emitted by 2075, and I haven't seen a carbon budget for two degrees that's anywhere near that big. So a 3% reduction per year wouldn't be nearly enough.

    This source here says we have 469 billion metric tons left, and that was written in 2013, meaning that now we only have about 200 billion metric tons left, which at current rates means we will blow the two-degree target in only five years.

    Perhaps better data since then might give us a better budget, but could it change by that much?

  • Models are unreliable

    MA Rodger at 00:25 AM on 9 August, 2021

    sailingfree @1294,

    You ask "Did Christy use model predictions for the bulk atmosphere?"

    He says he does.

    It is not easy to be sure what Christy "uses" as he is not a reliable researcher. In specific cases it would/should be possible to see what he says he is "using" and then compare the numbers he "used" with what he says. But this is not always a trivial task and Christy's public statements are not considered of the slightest scientific importance by those best positioned for this task. So they mainly ignore them. But note the issue of modelled tropical tropospheric temperatures (which is real) is being addressed with, for example Vergados et al (2021) or Po-Chedley et al (2021).

    You mention @1292 the "102 model runs", so a specific case of data use (although Christy happily reuses his grand finding oblivious to any errors it contains). The prime-time appearance of "102 model runs" was presumably Christy's testimony to the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space & Technology 2 Feb 2016 and in this case Christy's use of data has been questioned more than once but this is technical enough for even climatologists to trip over this task (as the correction within yet another RealClimate posting illustrates). What is perhaps most telling in this situation is the silence of John H Christy who thus acts more like a troll than a proper scientist who would be expected to defend his position by resolving any doubt on the matter.

    Christy's misleading graphs

    So on these graphics we see John Christy saying he uses "Global Bulk Atmospheric Temperature, Surface to 50,000ft" and also 'Global' and 'Tropical' "TMT Temperature Variations"  (which actually go a bit higher than 50,000ft). The TMT satellite data is a statistical sample of emissions from a great swathe of altitudes, even up into the stratosphere where it is cooling due to AGW.

    MSU weighting functions The RSS browser tool with the correct choice of 'Channel' and 'Region' shows a TMT Tropical trend of +0.145ºC/decade. This compares with the UAH TMT Tropical trend of +0.09ºC/decade. Christy's assessment of model data puts the comparable model trend at +0.214ºC/decade although the model assessment presented by the RealClimate critique linked above gives a model trend of +0.19ºC/decade.

    This +0.214ºC/+0.19ºC isn't a massive difference but this and the visual trickery employed by Christy has resulted in a film (actually a 7 minute YouTube video).

    Christy latest wheeze is to brandish yet another fun-with-figures graphic (below) which compares TMT data (measured from surface up to 70,000ft with differing strength) with a small layer of the modelled atmosphere (roughly from 30,000ft to 40,000 ft). Presumably this is because the denialists require redder meat with the passing years.

    Chrisiy's latest nonsense.

  • Thinking is Power: The problem with “doing your own research”

    One Planet Only Forever at 05:14 AM on 4 August, 2021

    The root of the issue is very complex. But a few things stand out:

    • There is a tragic popularity of the belief that all opinions are equally valid. The truth is that having learned something and basing an Opinion on that learning, including constantly updated understanding as more evidence is obtained or better explanations of what is going on develop, is different from developing a personally liked Opinion, especially if that Opinion is maintained as a Gospel-type Constant in spite of updated learning requiring it to change.

    • Harmful selfishness is excused, encouraged and rewarded in many cultures. The more competition there is for perceptions of superiority relative to others the more harmful the culture becomes, including increased resistance to efforts to educate the population to reduce how harmful its collective actions are (how harmful the actions of its leaders and winners are).

    • Many supposedly highly advanced cultures (and supposedly more intelligent people) can be seen to have developed massive Harmful Selfishness problems. And many developing people (supposedly less advanced) tragically take their development cues from the examples set by the supposedly superior people. And those who don't play the game the way the harmfully wealthy and powerful want the game played can get penalized in many ways ... particularly with the abuse of misleading marketing along with the other undeserved mechanism available to the harmfully unjustifiably wealthy and powerful.

    • Harmful unsustainable pursuits of perceptions of success and status relative to others has developed almost all of the harmful results of human actions to date.

    The Guardian article "Yep, it’s bleak, says expert who tested 1970s end-of-the-world prediction" discusses a recent re-evaluation of a 1972 MIT sustainability study that suggested there was no long ter future for the developing dominant socioeconomic games humans played.

    In addition to the rapid ending of additional climate change harm due to fossil fuel use, deforestation, and other activities, all of the Sustainable Development Goals, and more, needs to be achieved.

    The lack of attention by leadership to Sustainability, even though it was undeniably recognised by global leadership in the 1970s (at the Stockholm Conference and everything that followed), has produced the current day result of "a lack of time to pick and choose and slowly act to correct what has developed".

    Big changes are needed rapidly regarding how receptive populations are to actually becoming more aware with improved understanding about what is harmful. That will include severely limiting the ability of competitors for leadership to be able to win through misleading marketing efforts. And that requires ending the false belief in the "equivalency of all Opinions", that irrational misunderstanding of Relativism (everyone's perceptions are their reality).

    The efforts to make the required major corrections is not going to be easy, especially in the supposedly superior cultures and nations. But it is undeniably dangerous to compromise better understanding just to get along with people who do not like the idea of better understanding.

  • It's Urban Heat Island effect

    Bob Loblaw at 06:45 AM on 28 July, 2021

    Blaisct @ 62.

    As Rob Honeycutt says, there is something clearly amiss in your calculations. Let me point out the obvious ones.

    1. You do not cite a sources for your urban albedo of 0.04. Wikipedia lists 0.04 as a value typical for fresh asphalt. Most urban areas are not fresh asphalt. I have a well-worn copy of Tim Oke's Boundary Layer Climates, where he lists typical urban surafaces as follows (p 281):

    • Asphalt 0.04 to 0.20

    • Concrete 0.10 to 0.35

    • Brick 0.20 to 0.40

    • Roofing materials (various) 0.08 to 0.35

    Your estimate of urban albedo is way too low.

    Typical natural land surfaces (Ok.e op cit, p 12)

    • Soils (wet to dry) 0.05 to 0.40

    • Deserts 0.20 to 0.45

    • Grass 0.16 to 0.26

    • Crop land 0.18 to 0.25

    • Forests 0.05 to 0.20

    You need to consider just what urban material is replacing what natural material. Then you can estimate a change in albedo. Most urban landscapes are not that different from natural ones.

    4. Global albedo is not just a surface albedo. You need to factor in cloud cover. For a global cloud cover of 50%, only half the surface is seen from space - and surface albedo changes only have half the effect you get when you ingore cloud cover. You'd need to know the cloud cover over the urban areas you are doing calculations for.

    Your estimate of the contribution of urban surface albedo is an over-estimate. A serious over-estimate.

    7 through 13. Urban area is not proportional to population. Haven't you ever noticed how much more closely packed people are in cities, compared to rural areas? Population density is not uniform. Oke (op cit, p291) notes that the urban heat island effect tends to be proportional to the log of population, not linear. You are seriously over-estimating the amount of global albedo change in relation to urban population growth.

    14 and 15. The 1367 W/m^2 figure is for a measurement perpendicular to the sun's rays, in full sun. To compare to CO2 and other forcings, you need to divide by four, as the CO2 forcing is calculated for the entire globe, perpendicular to the earth's surface - not the sunlit side perpendicular to the sun's rays.

    You are over-estimating the effect by a factor of 4.

    16. As you have the wrong forcing in W/m^2, you are getting the wrong temperature rise.

    17. Essentially, garbage in, garbage out.

    Real scientists have been doing this the right way for decades. Try this one from way back in 1979:


  • Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    michael sweet at 03:28 AM on 27 July, 2021

    John ONiel:

    A peer reviewed study, published in 2020, said:

    "Reliable mechanical valves that can withstand the corrosive and high-temperature conditions in Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) have not yet been demonstrated. In their place, freeze valves (sometimes called freeze plugs) represent a unique nuclear design solution for isolating salt flow during operations." my emphasis.

    Your reply is "Freeze valves are actually very simple".   Apparently we do not need to verify that freeze valves work before we build these new nuclear designs.  I think most reasonable people would disagree.  Valves do not exist for MSR designs. 

    Watchng your Youtube advertisement, the company produces valves made out of stainless steel.  The paper linked above states clearly that no known materials can withstand the extreme conditions inside an MSR for the lifetime of a reactor.  Obviously, stainless steel would have been one of the first materials tested.  The valves you cite are only for short, experimental usage and are not exposed to the extreme hot, radioactive and corrosive environment for any significant amount of time.  These are not valves that can be actually used in a nuclear reactor.  They are valves used in test equipment to evaluate possible future valves once a supply of "unobtainium" is found.

    It is a waste of time to discuss speculative possible solutions to problems that are known to exist.  Obviously, you have no idea how possible valves can be built for MSR's since your reference is for a completely different use and you did not recognize that.  Suggesting that freeze valves are so simple that they do not need to be tested is absurd.  Freeze valves open and close too slowly to help in an emergency.  Engineers in the 1950's rejected their use. 

    Your suggestion that repairing pipes in a shut-down, cold, non-radioactive system is comparable to active regulation of a nuclear reactor core demonstrates that you do not care if the reactor you propose to build has been safely designed and tested.

    The entire discussion is premature since no proposed reactor design exists, only speculative rough proposals.  Come back to discuss MSR's when they have a buildable design.

    hat tip to Philippe Chantreau for producing the peer revidewed article about freeze valves.

  • Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    John ONeill at 14:48 PM on 26 July, 2021

    From 228, Michael Sweet

    'Freeze valves are apparently not used in any existing chemical or nuclear processes. Therefore the knowledge of their manufacture, use and failure modes is rudimentary. They are complicated and have many failure modes compared to normal mechanical valves. They open and close very slowly in emergencies. The size of pipes used is restricted. Test valves have suffered catastrophic failure.'

    Freeze valves are actually very simple - a short length of flattened pipe with fins on the outside, with a fan blowing air over it. Failure can hardly be 'catastrophic', because there's a very wide margin between the normal operating temperature of the molten salt, and that high enough to melt the metal holding it. If the metal is hot enough to melt, so is the salt in the freeze plug. If the reactor is not operating, there is no power going to the coolant fan. ( The Molten Salt Reactor Experiment, back in the 1970s, didn't make any power, so they used sensors and manual controls instead.) What's more, they are easy to test using non-radioactive versions of the salt, which are chemically identical but easier to handle. (Depleted uranium has very low radioactivity, and plutonium, usually a minor fraction of a thermal reactor's salt composition, can be substituted with cerium.) Failing open would shut the reactor down, which might be bad for the owner's financial return, but not really a safety concern.

    In fact, 'freeze valves' are widely used when working on power systems using water circuits, including nuclear ones - if a valve, pipe or pump needs maintenance, the pipe either side of it can be frozen and then cut, and the work done without having to drain the whole system. An MSR freeze valve is designed to drain the whole system, so there's very little to go wrong - they're 'fail safe'.

    In any case, valves of any sort are not a prerequisite for MSRs. One alternative is to have the salt level actively kept up by the main fuel pump. If the pump stops, the salt drains to a tank where fission cannot occur because of the geometry. Another is to surround the reactor with a salt with a higher melting point. If the reactor exceeds a predetermined temperature, fission will stop from fuel expansion and doppler broadening of the neutron absorption spectrum, and the surrounding salt will suck up the excess heat by change of state. Rupture disks are another option if there is any danger of overpressure.

    Finally, these guys - Copenhagen Atomics - are building and testing mechanical valves, among other components, and selling them to anyone else working in the field -2 minutes in to the video if you want to check my veracity in a hurry.

  • As scientists have long predicted, warming is making heatwaves more deadly

    John Hartz at 05:02 AM on 22 July, 2021

    Recommended supplementary reading:

    Scientists are worried by how fast the climate crisis has amplified extreme weather by Angela Dewan, CNN, July 20, 2021

    An exceprt from the article:

    "Climate scientists have for decades warned that the climate crisis would lead to more extreme weather. They said it would be deadly and it would be more frequent. But many are expressing surprise that heat and rain records are being broken by such large margins.

    Since the 1970s, scientists have predicted the extent to which the world would warm fairly accurately. What's harder for their models to predict — even as computers get more and more powerful — is how intense the impact will be."

    A number of prominent climate scientists were interviewed for the article and are extensively quoted.

  • Analysts dissect historic Pacific Northwest ‘heat dome’

    Bob Loblaw at 23:47 PM on 10 July, 2021

    Thanks for the links, Eric.

    I will first comment on the Canadian sources of data, which I have more than a passing knowledge of. You have found the main public archive of data available from Environment and Climate Change Canada (Meteorological Service of Canada). The web site ( has its limitations in search functions - in particular it's a bit hard to determine sources of data, whether data are available on hourly, daily, or monthly periods, etc. It takes a bit of manual labour to try all the drop-downs and see what shows up.

    In my comment #6, the source of information I was using for station listings and observation programs was the old "Station Data Catalog". For decades, it was published on paper by MSC, and for a while in the elctronic age the catalog was available electronically, but they seems to have stopped providing it publicly. The last electronic copy I have is from 2017. The Catalog lists all observing programs/time periods for each station, including some that are not available electronically. MSC still has records that have not been transferred from paper to electronic form, and the public archive at the web site you used also does not cover every station and observing program that exists electroncially. That web site is probably as complete as it gets for public records, though.

    The station catalog I refer to tells you when a measuremnt program was active at a station, but it does not tell you when there are gaps in the observations. For example, the one period I mentioned in comment #6 is based on this entry:

    1114620 LILLOOET BC | 50 42 121 56 | 0290| 1948-03-01 1970-02-01

    but the data do not appear to be avaiable on the web. As you have discovered, even if the web page provides you with a download, you may find missing values.

    Yes, a change in station identifiers usually means a significant change in location, but it is not always so. Over many decades, it is hard to maintain a standard policy on when a new identifier should be used. The same identifier may be used when a station undergoes major changes in instrumentation, too - even though this can mean a discontinuity in methodology that may require homogenization. Station names may also change, making it hard to find other stations that might fill a gap. Once you have selected a specific station and are viewing data, there is a "Nearby Stations with Data" link.

    A useful link to additional sources of MSC data is this one: It includes a link to gridded data based on adjusted and homogenized data.

    The MSC web site provides data from a variety of sources. both in terms of who originally collects the data, and the type of observations that performed. Data can come from MSC-operated stations, or partners such as Nav Canada, DND, Parks, or provincial agencies. Observations can be done manually, or through a variety of automatic systems. Manual observations can be detailed hourly meteterological measurements by trained ovservers, or simple once-per-day temperature (max/min) and precipitation measurements by volunteers (although the equipment is provided by MSC).

    You can find more information on the observation and processing methods in the Techncial Documentation and Glossary links on this web page:

    A few key points:

    • Daily mean temperature is calculated as (Max+Min)/2 regardless of the level of detail available in the original observations. This provides consitency across many different data sources.

    • When manual observations of Max/Min are done once or twice per day, there are specific rules on how these are assigned to calendar dates, to maintain consistency. A high temperature will not be used twice on two days or two months.

    • When manual or automatic readings are available on an hourly basis, all Canadian data use a "climatological day" from 0601Z to 0600Z, regardless of time zone.

    For the archived data, hourly, daily, and monthly reports are stored independently, so you are not looking at daily or monthly values that are calcualted on the fly when you request them. Until recently, only selected stations were being processed into daily and monthly results. For monthly results, the MSC folows WMO rules for completeness of records: monthly value are not computed if more than a few days are missing. As a result, monthly data may not be provided for a lot of stations that do report daily data.

    I will comment on your methodology in the next response.

  • Analysts dissect historic Pacific Northwest ‘heat dome’

    Bob Loblaw at 07:48 AM on 9 July, 2021

    Thank you for providing additional information, Eric.

    Regarding Lillooet. What is your source of data, and are you going by name, or the Climate ID used by the Meteorological Service of Canada? The information sources I have contain 29 entries for Lillooet, starting in 1878. Each entry indicates small changes in observing programs.Although there are gaps (as suggested by your graph), I see information that suggest a station was active in the period 1948-1970, and other stations in the 1970s and 1980s.

    There are nine Climate ID values associated with those 29 station information records - a few have additional information in the names, such as "Lillooet A', which indicates an airport location. The nine Climate IDs are associated with slight variations in location, which would indicate a need for homogenization if records are joined.

    You may be looking at a very incomplete record for the Lillooet area.

    You may wish to look at the recent discussion where several of us talked about the Lytton location (record all-time Canadian high temperature) and fire:

    In the information I have access to, the current Lytton RCS station (Climate ID 1114746) has been operating since 2006, but there are other records in Lytton going back to 1966. Lytton also has nine different Climate IDs associated with the name (incuding variations such as "Lytton", "Lytton RCS", "Lytton 2"). Again, homogenization would be required to join these together, but the current Lytton RCS station is within one arc-minute of the 1966 location (and 50m higher in altitude).

    A great many weather observing locations in Canada (and throughout the world) have undergone many changes over the years, and it takes a lot of work to collect all the different bits and pieces. That's why people do homogenization, and they do tend to know what they are doing.

    Although you mention "that web site", you did not actually provide a link.

    You also state "Homogenization may or may not be a factor..." and "...that doesn't guarantee that extreme temperatures were not moderated by homgenization in prior years".

    That is a very weak argument. Maybe it is? Maybe it isn't? Maybe you don't really know?

    What do you consider to be a "short record station? How many years? On what basis do you decide that this is too short?

  • Models are unreliable

    MA Rodger at 21:00 PM on 6 July, 2021

    Bob Loblaw @1289,

    The paper that fuelled the 2011 Scientific American item linked @1288 is presumably Carter et al (2005) 'Our calibrated model has poor predictive value: An example from the petroleum industry' [ABSTRACT] which may provide the argument for "6 or 7 in interdependant variables" preventing model calibration although likely this is no more than a different version of the famous Fermi quote:-

    “I remember my friend Johnny von Neumann used to say, with four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.”

    However, this Fermi quote concerns "arbitrary parameters" and what Carter had in mind when he says "As far as I can tell, you'd have exactly the same situation with any model that has to be calibrated," isn't defined. But this 2011 Scientific American quote of Carter (I don't see an earlier statement of it) has occasionally been used by denialists to suggest the same calibration situation affects climate models. Of course GCMs do have a big challenge with calibration but I don't think it is down to the number of independent variables. There are many physical measures that can be used to callibrate the processes within GCMs, which is probably why they can (collectively) demonstrate useful predictive qualities. (The graphic is from this 2021 RealClimate post.)

    RealClimate GCM performance 2020

  • ‘Tis the season’? Learn how change is in the air

    MA Rodger at 08:55 AM on 3 July, 2021


    ???? Hanami (as the cherry blossom festival is called) is of course celebrated to coincide with the cherry blossom and, as the upside-down hockey stick graph below shows, the blossom has on average not been arriving later in the year since about July 4th 1776, although inscrutably the 1777 Hanami did indeed come later than the 1776 Hanami (by about a year).

    Cherry blossom timing graph

  • The cool, lush Pacific Northwest roasts in Death Valley-like temperatures

    Bob Loblaw at 04:37 AM on 3 July, 2021

    I just found this nice little video on the Lytton fire and weaher conditions on CBC's web page:

  • Study: Extreme weather may not lead to increased support for climate action

    prove we are smart at 15:32 PM on 29 June, 2021

    Sorry mate, ha,forgot the last link,

  • The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann - our reviews

    Bob Loblaw at 10:30 AM on 19 June, 2021

    Nick's posts are reminding me of the cartoon about the Hollywood movie plot:

    97% of the world's scientists conspire to create an imaginary environmental crisis, only to be exposed by a plucky band of billionaires, senators, and oil companies!

    I know NIck does not think the climate problem is imaginary, but he sure seems to have a different way of judging the behaviour of environmental groups than he does of the fossil fuel industry (as espoused through the organizations they fund).

  • The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann - our reviews

    Bob Loblaw at 06:10 AM on 13 June, 2021

    One additional point, related to timing.

    The Heartland institute, a major player in the climate science denial industry, was founded in 1984. According to the Wikipedia entry linked above, it moved into tobacco industry work in the 1990s, and into climate change lobbying in the 2000s.

    To say this was justified by uncertainties in climate science as known in the 1970s seems a stretch.

  • The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann - our reviews

    Nick Palmer at 02:48 AM on 13 June, 2021

    I realise I've got an uphill struggle with you lot because you are unlikely to have heard anyone arguing this position before - most seem to have been happy to accept Greenpeace et al's interpretation of events as gospel without deconstructing it enough. When one has been deconstructing the deceit, delusion and/or dumbness from the various denialist factions for decades, as I have, one can't help it if one sometimes notices the very same methods being used by our 'side'. I personally think that demonising Big Oil's past activities and misrepresenting them as if they were real denialism is very counter-productive. Apart from anything else, one of the most powerful arguments I use against tricksy denialist rhetoric is that these days even Big Fossil Fuel fully accepts mainstream climate science and they acknowledge that something serious needs to be done to avoid the very unacceptable risks. I point that if there was a trace of reality in the arguments that have sucked them in, Big Oil's scientists would have noticed and their corporate execs would have then beaten a wide path to the doors of the sceptic/contrarian/denialists with wheelbarrows full of cash to learn about their magic get-out-of-jail-free cards. When I challenge denialists to explain, if they are so sure of their beliefs, why this is not happening, and never did happen, they either shut up or go off into the lala land of conspiracies I list later on. In either case, the wider audience sees they have nothing real...

    Bob Loblaw@25 wrote:

    "Give me a break. I was studying climatology for 10 years before Hansen's speech, and a dozen years before the 1990 IPCC report"

    I refer you again (3rd time) to my quote of Carbonbrief's article and the words of top climate scientist Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M Uni.

    C.B.: "In 1979, the Charney Report from the US National Academy of Sciences suggested that ECS was likely somewhere between 1.5C and 4.5C per doubling of CO2. Nearly 40 years later, the best estimate of sensitivity is largely the same.
    However, Prof Andrew Dessler at Texas A&M University pushes back on this suggestion. He tells Carbon Brief:

    I think that the idea that ‘uncertainty has remained the same since the late 1970s’ is wrong. If you look at the Charney report, it’s clear that there were a lot of things they didn’t know about the climate. So their estimate of uncertainty was, in my opinion, way, way too small"

    "Back in 1979, climate science was much less well understood than today. There were far fewer lines of evidence to use in assessing climate sensitivity. The Charney report range was based on physical intuition and results from only two early climate models.

    In contrast, modern sensitivity estimates are based on evidence from many different sources, including models, observations and palaeoclimate estimates. As Dessler suggests, one of the main advances in understanding of climate sensitivity over the past few decades is scientists’ ability to more confidently rule out very high or very low climate sensitivities."

    I'm not disputing that the basic science of radiative physics and the simple climate modelling of ECS of 'how many degrees per doubling' has been around a long time. As a matter of fact, as a science geek, I knew about some of the scientific views in my later teens (early 70s) - about the time I stopped buying aerosols (apart from WD40...) to protect the ozone layer. The uncertainty of outcome referred to by Dessler is to the 'known unknowns' and 'unknown unknowns' at the time and these were very significant. The (some of) CMIP6 model problems were mentioned just to show that even today some crucial feedback mechanisms affecting ECS are still being nailed down 40 years later.

    It is the solidarity or otherwise of the climate sensitivity figures AT THE TIME of the memos and documents cherry picked in 'Exxon Knew' which is at the very nub of whether, as the populist environmentalist narrative goes, Exxon were evil or, as I am convinced, just cautious because the views of sensitivity at the time were just not solid enough to mandate massive corporation change without a lot more scientific work to more reliably figure out what ECS was (not to mention the Transient and Earth system sensitivities too). If Exxon's scientists told their bosses that, as Dessler wrote, Charney's figures were waay more uncertain than Charney thought they were, that is not evidence of psychopathic evil, it's just evidence of good scientists offering a very valid criticism of another scientist's work.

    Sure, at the time, Exxon's own scientists acknowledged the basic 'settled' science but of course they would also acknowledge the great uncertainties which the 'anti's turned a blind eye to. There was nothing sinister about that and it is the attribution of malignant motives to Big Oil by Greenpeace et al that I have a serious issue with. There is so much deceit, deception, propaganda, selective and misleading information from all sides out there that I think our 'side' should clean up its act and disavow all that stuff and just stick to the best peer reviewed science, the best risk analysis and not indulge in dubiously demonising (probably) innocent'ish corporate behaviour that has been, in my view, massively misrepresented or rule out many solutions, as Mann has done, which have great potential thus making 'the answers' much harder to achieve.

  • The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann - our reviews

    One Planet Only Forever at 04:01 AM on 11 June, 2021

    Nick Palmer @18 and 23,
    I have the following perspective to add to the responses provided by Philippe and Nigel.

    Be careful. You may be presenting a defence similar to claims that atrocious things, like slavery and racism, unjustly prolonged by previous generations were done "at a time when people did not know better".

    Reading evidence based presentations like "A People's History of the United States", by Howard Zinn, exposes that what people today often fail to understand is that better understanding did exist but failed to be "Beneficial to the wealthy and powerful" and as a result it failed to be "Popular".

    Also, claims of the Boon to humanity from fossil fuel use is misleading. There is very little lasting benefit for humanity from this burst of harmful unsustainable human activity. Many technological developments did not occur because of the use of fossil fuels. In fact, a focus on benefiting from fossil fuel use significantly distracted effort from other potentially less harmful and more sustainable developments. And the easy access to power has allowed far more harm to be done by humans than the harmful climate change impacts. Any perceptions of advancement that depends on cheaper higher artificial energy use is destined to fail to continue in the future. The perception so ending poverty are a particularly galling case. Any part of that perception that relies on fossil fuel use or comparably cheap energy use has no future. Sustainable development limits the need for artificial energy and requires all the artificially generated energy to be obtained sustainably, which include not using up non-renewable resources and requires no lasting accumulating harm to be done by the energy production, distribution or use.

    In spite of global wealth rising far faster than global population there continues to be horrid inequity and injustice. Getting richer and more powerful clearly does not mean getting better. Note that at the time of slavery there was a very long period of time where the unacceptability of slavery was understood, but popularity of profit and other benefits traumatically prolonged the activity. And the worst part of the end of slavery in Europe was that in the end the rich people decided that their peers who were wealthier because of slavery would be financially compensated when the forced end of slavery happened, with no compensation give to those who had been enslaved and were now disadvantaged by the socioeconomic-political system and on their own.

    I strongly urge everyone to be better informed about what is harmful and what is sustainably helpful.

    • Read "The Age of Sustainable Development", by Jeffrey D. Sacks, or take the MOOC of the same name. It is not new. It is the result of continued pursuit of increased awareness of the harm being done by human development.

    • Read the first global recognition of the harmful unsustainability of human actions that was recognized globally as early as 1972 at the Stockholm Conference.

    Claiming "Exxon didn't know better" fails to admit that they were not "responsibly thoughtfully doing what the most responsible and thoughtful people were aware of and doing at the time".

    The “Fog of misleading marketing compromised democracy, consumerism and capitalism” is like the Fog of War, a lousy excuse for horrible things being done.

    Exxon had been on a more helpful leadership track in the 1970s. But something changed in the 1980s (Reagan/Thatcherism was a significant result of that change). And Exxon's approach to climate science appears to have changed at that time as well. The timing of Reagan/Thatcherism looks like a reaction to the growing awareness and understanding of harmful human developments that needed to be corrected, a fearful aggressive misleading marketing response to the increasing awareness and improving understanding that things needed to change and government action was required to make it happen. It was a reaction to the realization that the Free Competition for superiority in systems like Capitalism causes problems it resists correcting (popular and profitable things are hard to correct). And that realization meant that some wealthy powerful people would not maintain their developed sense of status. And the required corrections and potential for wealthy people to be losers would be in many industries like chemical and food companies, not just fossil fuels.

    More than a decade ago, the understanding developed that a rapidly increasing Price on Carbon along with other Government actions to curtail fossil fuel use, including actions to encourage renewable energy system implementation and development of improved renewable energy systems.

    The questions become things like:

    • Was Exxon's messaging leading the promotion of that helpful understanding?

    • Or was Exxon pushing misleading marketing like claiming that corrective action to limit harm should not happen until there was "More certainty" regarding the need for the corrections? That is the way the current system has developed so harmfully and so harmfully resists correction.

    • Did Exxon promote a significant and rapidly increasing Price on Carbon along with other Government actions to more rapidly end the use of fossil fuels? Or did they promote the idea that a fixed certain "Price on Carbon" could be determined by an economic evaluation comparing benefits that would have to be given up today to reduce the harm done to future generations, with the future harm discounted (see my comment @17)?

    • Did Exxon executives do what the law of the USA regarding Publicly Traded corporations requires them to do - “whatever they can get away with to maximize shareholder wealth”? Exxon could have been sued by shareholders if they acted to educate about the need to reduce fossil fuel use. That is an example of the harmful flaws that have developed in the Freer competition for superiority that so many wealthy people, and people who want to be like that, will excuse and defend.

    Raising awareness and improving understanding regarding harmful activity and how to limit harm done should not be done by misleading marketing. But misleading marketing that achieves that objective is helpful in spite of perceptions of harm done. Without “Dramatic attention getting” the issue would be something people are less aware of and less understanding of. As for “getting more people to support the actions” ... Leadership compromising awareness and understanding and delaying required corrections in order to appeal to more people is Harmful Unsustainable Leadership. The sooner that type of Leadership fails to be influential the better the future for humanity will be.

    Perceptions of success and progress based on unsustainable activity, especially harmful activity, are delusions no matter how popular or profitable they are at the time. And undeserving wealthy powerful people have been masters of harmful delusion, misleading marketing, throughout history. That is what needs to change. And that means a deserved loss of status for many high status people rather than “excuses, appeasement and delays trying to maintain undeserved perceptions of superiority” that compromise what is understood to be required to limit harm done so that humanity can have a sustainable improving future on this one amazing planet that may be the only planet that humans can be certain of being able to sustainably live on for many millions of years into the future.

    The unjustified lack of leadership through the past few decades by the wealthiest and most powerful on the transition to rapidly ending the accumulating harm done by fossil fuel use is a travesty. The wealthy and powerful cannot claim they were “unaware”. They also have little ability to claim uncertainty about the magnitude of impact. The fact that fossil fuel use was unsustainable needed no research. Burning up non-renewable resource has no potential in the future of humanity. It was only ever a temporary ability for some to benefit in ways others never would be able to. Even now people try to argue that the less developed portion of the human population should not be allowed to use fossil fuel energy at the level that the Supposedly more Advanced, higher status, portion of the population still do (30 years after clear indications of the need to end fossil fuel use). And using Bob Loblaw’s concern “what if I am wrong?”, the 1.0C of warming already experienced is producing harmful climate changes impacting many people, especially the poorest. And that warming is less than the low end of the 1.5C to 4.5C warming due to a doubling of CO2.

  • The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann - our reviews

    Philippe Chantreau at 04:17 AM on 10 June, 2021


    You just reiterated the points you made earlier.

    Uncertainties have not been represented inadequately in the IPCC reports. Cloud feedbacks have always been at the top of the uncertainty ladder.

    You are sliding toward the very behavior you condemn by saying the CMIP5 models run "too hot." In reality they run slightly warmer than observations, and slightly is even generous. There is plenty of good posts on that RealClimate and even here showing how well within models' expectations the observations have been. The cloud feedback underestimation has not prevented actual temps of increasing beyond .15 degC/decade. Everything considered, the models have performed remarkably well, even the old ones. Describing it as "too hot" does exactly the same as what all the sides you accuse of taking liberties with the facts do.

    I'll add that over-emphasizing uncertainty is Judith Curry's preferred method of manipulation and it is every bit as bad than anything done by so-called alarmists. It is a free pass for do nothing or slowly do a little, neither of which are adequate.

    I can understand the pressures and imperatives that a business like Exxon has to reconcile. The state of their knowledge, and the remarkably reasonable tone in most of the old documents (see the wayback machine link) are so far removed from the propaganda they pushed that your excuse falls short. Why such an immense disconnect? Sure there was significant uncertainty in 1979. Less so in 1989. Much less in 1999. All the uncertainty that could justify not seriously starting a transition was gone in 2009. Exxon kept on pushing the same narrative, and still does, through the same actors. 

    I do not disagree that, if one wants to understand the science, the message coming from activist organizations is often not helpful. I do not disagree that some have a wholefully unrealistic perception of the difficulty of a full energy transition. The energy transition we are faced with is a major undertaking. Both the magnitude and urgency of it have been made far worse by the decades of inaction caused by the fossil fuel backed opinion campaigns.

    As for myself, I strive to be reality-based and firmly believe that no option should be off the table, except those whose range of consequences can not be well assessed )atmsopheric geo-engineering comes to mind). I am not opposed, in principle, to nuclear. I believe that existing dams that can produce electricity and allow to store water should be kept. I think that enhanced geothermal deserves more attention. I also know for sure that a world in which the pursuit of more profit at any cost all the time is the main driver is a world doomed to fail.

  • The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann - our reviews

    Nick Palmer at 23:49 PM on 9 June, 2021

    When activists try to bad mouth Exxon et al they speak from a 'post facto' appreciation of the science, as if today's relatively strong climate science existed back when the documents highlighted in 'Exxon knew' were created. Let me explain what I think is another interpretation other than Greenpeace/Oreskes'/Supran's narratives suggesting 'Exxon knew' that climate change was going to be bad because their scientists told them so as far back as the 70s and 80s. Let me first present Stephen Schneider's famous quote from 1988 (the whole quote, not the edited one used by denialists).

    "On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but – which means that we must include all doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both."

    I submit that part of the apparently damning content of the documents was exactly caused by Exxon's scientists, Schneider-like, simplifying their message to initially present it to their corporate employers. In exactly the same way that the denialosphere combed though the Climategate emails to find apparently damning statements and then interpreted them through a filtered 'lens' to insinuate fraud and data manipulation, usually by editing out context etc and even previous and subsequent sentences which changed the meaning completely, I submit that Greenpeace's 'Exxon knew' team did that too. They knew that the majority of people who read their report would assume that the current science that projects the bad consequences that we are (fairly) sure about today was as rock solid back way back then as it is now and would therefore jump to their desired conclusion that Big Capitalist Oil was just being evil. I'm absolutely not suggesting that Greenpeace's team were consciously being deceptive, just that they allowed their zealotry to run away with them so they saw just what they wanted to see...

    Today's science, that projects bad outcomes, was by no means solid back then. I think that what Big Oil should be fairly accused of is the much less 'evil' culpability of not adequately informing the public about the full probabilities of the risks - which again is the 'Schneider' method of tailoring one's output for one's audience. Perhaps they didn't get "the right balance is between being effective and being honest" quite right. As denialists will endlessly tell us, the use of fossil fuels has been on balance a huge boon to humanity and I suspect that past one-dimensional calls by activists (including those I naively made!) to not use or explore for any more fossil fuels almost overnight, to a corporate mind, would require a public relations strategy to counter that extremist view while waiting for the science to get solid enough to start serious corporate planning for change should it be needed.

    'Ban all exploration for or use of fossil fuels today' is a frequent call of today's extremists and no doubt they are sincere that they think the risks are such that such draconian action must be justified, and that things such as new technology, carbon capture, Gen3/4 nukes, agricultural changes etc must be Machiavellian Big Industry just manouevring to do nothing now to protect their financial bottom lines - delaying tactics that must be resisted. I think Professor Mann too has fallen in to the trap of feeling 'certainty' about what he thinks the solutions should be and this has lead to his dismissal, even libellous characterisations, of those who offer up a more nuanced way forward. Activists who call for an immediate ban on fossil fuels and 100% renewables by next Tuesday do not seem to realise that they are thinking in a one-dimensional way. Their 'solution' might address climate change, but such a solution would instantly cause enormous global disruption and would likely spark off the mother of all global economic recessions, which would rapidly cause long lasting extreme global hardship much greater, at least in the short to medium term, than anything global warming is scheduled to do for several decades.

    So what were the 'uncertainties' back then? Some of the most important parameters plugged into climate models are those for climate sensitivity. While (widely varying) estimates existed before 2000 it only got well constrained and modelled within firm(ish) limits by papers published after then. Check out the links in this Skepsci article to see when the major papers were published.

    Here is explaining the lack of certainty back then

    "From Carbon Brief

    "In 1979, the Charney Report from the US National Academy of Sciences suggested that ECS was likely somewhere between 1.5C and 4.5C per doubling of CO2. Nearly 40 years later, the best estimate of sensitivity is largely the same.
    However, Prof Andrew Dessler at Texas A&M University pushes back on this suggestion. He tells Carbon Brief:

    I think that the idea that ‘uncertainty has remained the same since the late 1970s’ is wrong. If you look at the Charney report, it’s clear that there were a lot of things they didn’t know about the climate. So their estimate of uncertainty was, in my opinion, way, way too small"

    "Back in 1979, climate science was much less well understood than today. There were far fewer lines of evidence to use in assessing climate sensitivity. The Charney report range was based on physical intuition and results from only two early climate models.

    In contrast, modern sensitivity estimates are based on evidence from many different sources, including models, observations and palaeoclimate estimates. As Dessler suggests, one of the main advances in understanding of climate sensitivity over the past few decades is scientists’ ability to more confidently rule out very high or very low climate sensitivities.""

    Activists try to insinuate that the documents and memos show that Big Oil 'knew the scientific truth' back then and adopted a position of denial, or psychopathic deception for the sake of profits, in the face of noble environmental groups campaigning against them because they also 'knew the truth' too. Much though it pains me to admit it, I was part of the campaigning certainy of those groups back then. I used to coordinate a Friends of the Earth area group and all the material I saw did not mention any of the scientific doubts and the uncertainties which featured in the scientific literature. I trusted it - it was the same thing we see today when such as Extinction Rebellion go waay over the top with the certainty of their assertions and the cherry picked nature of the information they present to the public. This is why I think that all sides - denialist/alarmist/doomist/sceptic etc - use misleading rhetoric to spin their narratives. I realise that many of the environmental activist 'troops' in their crusades like to feel certain that they know the 'truth' that Evil Big Industry had psychopathically tried to hide but I think total honesty is necessary to enable the public to judge the situation properly, so that policy changes we need are not based on the shifting sand that the 'divine deception' of the rhetoric of extremist campaigners and political forces is. Noble cause corruption is not a good strategy whether it is that of the greens, the left or right.

    It's not as if even today's science is completely bulletproof, as a new paper about clouds shows. Consideration of it offers up an explanation as to why the new CMIP6 models are running too hot, and that is because observations show that some parameters plugged into current cloud models about longevity, warming and precipitation are wrong which mean that clouds cool more than previously thought. It doesn't,as it happens, change what we need to do but it does demonstrate that even today a fairly major part of the mechanics of climate changee can - uh hm - be changed.

    New paper on clouds

  • The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann - our reviews

    One Planet Only Forever at 05:07 AM on 9 June, 2021

    Bob Loblaw,

    I will definitely check out The Authoritarians, reading the complete book. A shorter read on Authoritarianism is On Tyranny, by Timothy Snyder.

    There are many other helpful references including How Fascism Works, by Jason Stanley. Jonathan Haidt's book, The Righteous Mind, also presents important understanding, however, I suggest being skeptical of his recommendations regarding how to deal with them. Harmful people should not be engaged by compromising efforts to limit harm done.

    I have read many books laying out reasons for the tragic ease of obtaining popular support for harmful Nationalism, Authoritarianism and Capitalism.

    The key is Governing to limit harm done based on the constant pursuit of increased awareness and improved understanding of what is harmful. Some people will responsibly self-govern that way. But many people develop temptations to not self-govern that way. And harmful wealthy people maintain and increase their status relative to others through misleading marketing and appealing beliefs in systems that are actually unjust and unfair, especially if awareness and understanding of what is harmful is not diligently pursued.

    Any socioeconomic-political system can be compromised by harmful pursuits of status "Winning". But misleading marketed Capitalism and Free Market Consumerism is potentially very harmful because the harmful stuff can become popular and profitable which makes it seem even more justified and excusable. And Capitalism has a fundamental need for constant expansion which is a serious problem on a finite planet. The Capitalist free market requires significant effort to identify and limit harm being done. And history proves that the participants in the system will not do that very well. A clears example is the stagnation of opportunity for the middle and lower classes in the USA since the 1970s in spite of massive increases in perceptions of total wealth. And very little of the economic activity that generated those perceptions of wealth are sustainable. And much of the activity is harmful.

    A nasty climate impact example of unjustified justification and excusing is the way some people try to compare "their evaluation of the Benefits that would be lost if the Harm to future generations was reduced" with "their evaluation of the Harm done to future generations, with the future harm done discounted because that is what you can do with future harm". Having an MBA, I appreciate the merits of net-present-value obtained by discounting future costs and revenue when comparing investment alternatives. But I understand that methodology should not be applied to cases where a person or group benefits at the expense of others, especially future generations. Even Stern's use of a low discount rate is likely inappropriate. Harm done is not justified by benefits obtained that way.

    An even nastier reality of those Benefit-Harm evaluations is that the people doing them claim that whatever Status Quo has developed has to be maintained and improved on, even though the wealthier people who benefit form harm done deserve a loss of status. And they over-state the Benefits that have to be given up, including ignoring the activity in the alternative economy. And they understate the harm that will be done. Then they discount that low-balled harm because it happens in the future they will likely not experience.

  • The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann - our reviews

    Micawber at 03:04 AM on 8 June, 2021

    Michael Mann is correct in thinking that our information is totally controlled by media giants.
    Scientists are charged to read their own publications and “peer reviewers” stack the peers so that no new ideas can get through. Rarely if ever do you find references to key earlier work by retired or deceased scientists. I give a few examples.
    Microsoft Office still uses years beginning 1 January 1900. They charge for updates but still have a fatally flawed program. Why is he allowed to pose as a scientist and innovator?
    Even David Keeling was nearly prevented from continuing verification of CO2 infrared heat blankets by rigged peer review. He gives a vivid account in his autobiographical review:
    Keeling, C. D., 1998, Rewards and Penalties of Monitoring the Earth, Ann Rev. Energy Env, 23(1), 25-82, doi:10.1038/nature105981.
    Blair Kinsman had earlier shown how the misuse of statistics and inability to take daily validation data could mislead to wrong conclusion. Unlike in lab experiments geophysical data once not taken cannot be repeated at will. This has happened with our gross neglect of near surface ocean data where is located most anthropogenic heat.
    Kinsman, B. 1957, Proper and improper use of statistics in geophysics, Tellus 9(3), 408-418, doi:10.1111/j.2153-3490.1957.tb01897.x
    Free access
    "The dangers facing the earth's ecosystems are well known and the subject of great concern at all levels. Climate change is high on the list. But there is an underlying and associated cause. Overpopulation."
    Sir David Attenborough
    "Can you think of any problem in any area of human endeavor on any scale, from microscopic to global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way aided, assisted, or advanced by further increases in population, locally, nationally, or globally?"
    "The Greatest Shortcoming of the Human Race is our Inability to Understand the Exponential Function" Bartlett, Albert A., 1979 › watch › v=F8ZJCtL6bPs
    Wherever humans are involved we HAVE the Weimar greed equation. Better snap up fish stocks, or oil or whatever before someone else grabs it.
    Graham Hancock has beeN ridiculed for suggesting there was a great civilisation as early as 400,000 years ago. Yet there are pyramids dated 130,000 years old in the Mississippi basin. Genetics link Oceania to S America. The compact nature of the Antikythera Clock suggest it was used for navigation. Why else would one cram a complete astronomical clock into a case the size of a sextant? The clock could predict lunar eclipses 78 years ahead as well as their colour. Many wheels have prime number of gears to give highly accurate astronomical times. There were even wheels for the Olympic and other games. Silicon valley may think of it as a mechanism or computer. But it was a clock long before Harrison’s. Such sophistication suggests many years development. It clearly could not have sprung up 350BC, any more than modern printed circuits could have been envisioned in 1957.

    Sealevels averaged 50m below present in prehistory before 1750AD. There were many rich landmasses where merchant sailors could establish empires. They were wiped out by catastrophic sea level rise both cyclical and from asteroid impacts. We are at the top of earth’s remaining peaks.
    Melting ice of Greenland and Antarctica is proceedING exponentially leading to rapidly rising sealevels, floods and storms as well depleted fish stocks.

    Waters around Faeroes does not get cold enough for cod and halibut to breed. They need to be at least 10 years old before they start. (netflix seaspiracy)
    The north sea herring disappeared before 1950s, the Newfoundland cod in the 1980s. Gunboat diplomacy could not save them.
    What do you think we should do? Perhaps include the equatorial undercurrent in climate models?
    There has been too much about hot air instead of hot water.
    I have not heard Dr Mann mention this. There are none so blind as those who will not see.
    There needs to be a real focus on what the great oceans are telling us.

  • Arctic sea ice loss is matched by Antarctic sea ice gain

    Jim Hunt at 22:33 PM on 3 June, 2021

    Joe @23,

    Since the Arctic is my pet hobby horse I'll second Eclectic's request.

    I assume you must know the drill? Links to authoritative sources to evidence for your claims would be nice to see, if such are available?

    "Where they settled then is not habitable today due to ice levels."?

    Wikipedia begs to differ:

  • Dr. Ben Santer: Climate Denialism Has No Place at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    Jim Hunt at 03:34 AM on 2 June, 2021

    Thanks for you kind words @Eclectic.

    FYI my Arctic alter ego has a warped sense of humour:

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