Climate Science Glossary

Term Lookup

Enter a term in the search box to find its definition.


Use the controls in the far right panel to increase or decrease the number of terms automatically displayed (or to completely turn that feature off).

Term Lookup


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.

Home Arguments Software Resources Comments The Consensus Project Translations About Support

Twitter Facebook YouTube Pinterest MeWe

RSS Posts RSS Comments Email Subscribe

Climate's changed before
It's the sun
It's not bad
There is no consensus
It's cooling
Models are unreliable
Temp record is unreliable
Animals and plants can adapt
It hasn't warmed since 1998
Antarctica is gaining ice
View All Arguments...

New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts


Search Tips

Comment Search Results

Search for Jo Nova

Comments matching the search Jo Nova:

    More than 100 comments found. Only the most recent 100 have been displayed.

  • Science: What it is, how it works, and why it matters

    Bob Loblaw at 00:08 AM on 2 September, 2022


    Both Happer and van Wijingaarden are physicists with no real background in climate science.

    From van Wijingaarden's profile page at York University, his research area is:

    Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

    High-precision laser spectroscopy; Laser cooling and atom trapping; Ultracold atoms, Bose-Einstein condensation, and quantum information; Optical lattices; Environmental pollutant monitoring and climate change.

    I highlighted the "climate change" part. It is not really his area of expertise. His publication list shows several recent climate-related titles. Looking at the titles, some are simple data analysis papers. Looking at some of the "journals",  I notice that two of the papers with Happer are listed as "Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics arXiv". As far as I can tell, this is not an actual journal - just a place for people to post "papers". The PDFs are hosted on van Wijingaarden's York U web site, and give no indication that they have actually been published anywhere. They did not show up when I searched on

    Another paper is listed as "accepted Open Atmospheric Journal (2016)". Also links to a PDF on his own web page. I can find a journal called "Open Atmospheric Science Journal", but that paper does not appear in a search for "Wijingaarden" on their web page. Downloading the PDF from the YorkU site shows that the full title of the journal really is "Open Atmospheric Science Journal", and it lists Bentham Open as the publisher. Bentham Science Publishers has a page on Wikipedia, which notes:

    Bentham Open, its open access division, has received criticism for questionable peer-review practices as well as invitation spam; it was listed as a "potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open access publisher" in Jeffrey Beall's list of predatory publishers, before the list went defunct.

    Some of the "publications" give no journal name at all.

    To put it bluntly - that list of "publications" is padded to the extreme. You may wish to believe that these "papers" represent some radically-innovative evidence that the field of climate science is keep the truth hidden. It is much more likely that they are crap, and the only way that the authors can "publish" them is to place them in locations where literally any old crap is accepted.

  • SkS Analogy 4 - Ocean Time Lag

    One Planet Only Forever at 06:13 AM on 9 July, 2022


    It appears that you may be doing the most that can be expected of a individual – pursue increased awareness and improved understanding and apply it to be less harmful and more helpful. But changes of individual actions are only part of the solution (note: ‘individualism’ is identified as a specific strategy of ‘discourse of climate (action) delay’ presented in the Cambridge Core article “Discourses of climate delay” that is referred to by the Desmog article “Climate Deniers and the Language of Climate Obstruction” that BaerbelW provided a link to in comment 1 on the SkS post “Skeptical Science tackles 'discourses of climate delay' and 'solutions denial'”.)

    The following quote about the ‘individualism discourse’ is from the Cambridge Core presentation:

    “Who is responsible for taking climate action? Policy statements can become discourses of delay if they purposefully evade responsibility for mitigating climate change. A prominent example is individualism, which redirects climate action from systemic solutions to individual actions, such as renovating one's home or driving a more efficient car. This discourse narrows the solution space to personal consumption choices, obscuring the role of powerful actors and organizations in shaping those choices and driving fossil fuel emissions (Maniates, Reference Maniates2001). Blame shifting in this way can be explicit – “Yale's guiding principles are predicated on the idea that consumption of fossil fuels, not production, is the root of the climate change problem” (Yale University). But it can also be implicit, such as in the social media campaign run by BP – “Our ‘Know your carbon footprint’ campaign successfully created an experience that not only enabled people to discover their annual carbon emissions, but gave them a fun way to think about reducing it – and to share their pledge with the world.”

    This is not to suggest that individual actions are futile. Rather, a more productive discourse of responsibility would focus attention on the collective potential of individual actions to stimulate normative shifts and build pressure towards regulation. It would also recognize that regulations and structural shifts are complementary to supporting individual behaviour change.”

    Note that in spite of Yale University producing/hosting Yale Climate Connections the high level position of Yale is less helpful than it could be.

    So, in addition to pursuing increased awareness and improved understanding of how to change what you do to reduce the harm done by what you do, it is important to politically engage in efforts to help others be more aware and better understand the required changes to help achieve and improve on the Sustainable Development Goals (less global warming helps). One way to do that is to understand the importance of, and ways to improve, political policy pursuits like Green New Deals. One improvement I note regarding most Green New Deal presentations is adding mention of the importance of limiting consumption combined with limiting how harmful the remaining consumption is.

    That circles back to the 10% causing 50% concern you raised. The better way to think about the solution is that a major problem is the desires of the other 90% to develop to be like the ‘10% most superior humans’. Those ‘10% most superior humans’ need to set a ‘superior’ sustainable example for the 90% to aspire to. They need to dramatically reduce their consumption and constantly pursue ways for their reduced consumption to be less harmful and more helpful to others including future generations.

    As far as helping others, I would suggest you can relax about concerns that you personally fail to be more helpful to those who live less than a decent basic life. That guilt trip is part of the ‘individualism discourse of delay’. My perspective is that collective government action at all levels (municipal up to national and international) is the best mechanism to help people sustainably improve their lives to at least decent basic lives. Acts of charity should be able to focus on the joy, for the charity giver and recipient, of providing improvements beyond that basic decent life. It is a tragedy to expect individual actions to address a systemic problem like a portion of the population not being able to live at least a decent basic life. Economic development can only be part of the systemic solution to poverty if the economic activity is sustainable and harmless. That said, I support groups like Red Cross, Food Banks, pursuits of sustainable assistance for the Homeless, Amnesty International ...

  • From the eMail Bag: a review of a paper by Ziskin and Shaviv

    nigelj at 18:39 PM on 1 February, 2022

    Thanks Bob for the appraisal. I don't know enough physics to follow all of it, but I got something out of it, and I can see some of the flaws.

    Did a quick google search on Nir J. Shaviv. The name was familiar: He routinely minimises affects of CO2, has links to Heartland Institute and GWPF, and supports websites like WUWT and Jo Nova, believes CO2 is plantfood, is sceptical of measures to control covid 19 pandemic, promotes nuclear power.

    The complete classic package of a typical climate change denier. Almost textbook. Its almost a personality type. It always seems to include the same range of things and same leanings, spanning not just climate, but energy systems and covid issues and other things.

    Not remotely surprised. Doesn't mean his paper is necessarily wrong, but it sure suggests dont take it at face value.


  • Thinking is Power: How to do your own research

    Bob Loblaw at 23:41 PM on 18 September, 2021

    I have been enjoying reading these posts. In this one, the phrase that struck me was "What you’re actually doing is looking for the results of someone else’s research."

    This is a really key factor in terms of what people think "research" is. In common usage, someone might say "I am going to the library to research this topic" (or, today, "I am going to Google to research this topic")1. This is not really "research" in terms of creating original work, though.

    In scientific terms "research" usually involves either the collection of new data, or at least a novel analysis or combination of existing data. "Research" requires that somone provide innovative thinking, analysis, and interpretation - supported by evidence, of course.

    An important stage in scientific research is to go to the library and learn what others have already learned before you ("Learn from the mistakes of others - you won't live long enough to make them all yourself"). But then you need to be able to say the following:

    • What questions remain unanswered?

    • What sort of data or evidence is needed to answer that question?

    • Can I find existing data that fits my needs?

    • How would I go about collecting new data to answer my question?

    • What does this data tell me?

    • Do I now know more about my question?

    Doing this well requires knowledge and skill.

    1. [Someone over at RC once said something along the lines of "between a library and Google, one of them wants to make you smarter, while the other wants to sell  you stuff. Choose carefully."]

  • The top 10 weather and climate events of a record-setting year

    One Planet Only Forever at 04:27 AM on 27 December, 2020

    Riduna @3,

    I share your concerns, but would encourage you to consider an important clarification regarding the 'population problem' - the need to focus on the more harmful, less sustainable, portion of the population.

    The Human Development Report 2020 I refer to in my comment @2 includes information about the relative impacts of different portions of the global population, including the following: "Figure S7.2.3: The wealthiest 1 percent of individuals worldwide emit 100 times as much carbon dioxide each year as the poorest 50 percent". In that same figure (S7.2.3) the Carbon Emissions (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per capita per year) of the average member of the 78 million in the top 1% is 146.2 tonnes.

    A break down of the global total impacts is:

    • The Carbon Emissions of the average member of the 780 million in the top 10% is 37.4 tonnes = 29.2 billion tonnes per year (the top 1% are 11.4 billion tonnes - 40% of the top 10%).

    • The Carbon Emissions of the average member of the 3.1 billion in the middle 40% is 7.1 tonnes = 22.0 billion tonnes per year.

    • The Carbon Emissions of the average member of the 3.9 billion in the bottom 50% is 1.4 tonnes = 5.5 billion tonnes per year.

    • The top 10% cause 29.2 of the global total 56.7 impact > 50%.

    And the HDR 2020 addresses the larger scope of human impacts, more than just climate change, striving to get global leadership to pursue improvements of human life circumstances while staying within planetary boundaries. And an important understanding is that poorer people have an ethical and moral Right to increase their impacts, aspiring to levels matching 'supposedly more advanced people', as they pursue living a better life. A part of the HDR 2020 Summary Statement (last page) is:

    "The Report calls for a just transformation that expands human freedoms while easing planetary pressures. For people to thrive in the Anthropocene, new development trajectories must do three things: enhance equity, foster innovation and instil a sense of stewardship of the planet. These outcomes matter in their own right, and they matter for our shared future on our planet. All countries have a stake in them"

    So the real 'population problem' is the highest impacting portion of the population that Others 'aspire to develop to be like'.

    A changed perception that requires the richer people to be less harmful and more helpful individuals, rather than people being impressed by wealth and power regardless of how it is acquired, is clearly a significant helpful change required in the population.

    As for concerns about increased global total population a recent Report in The Lancet, "Fertility, mortality, migration, and population scenarios for 195 countries and territories from 2017 to 2100: a forecasting analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study" (Study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), establishes the following understandings:

    • "In the reference scenario, the global population was projected to peak in 2064 at 9·73 billion (8·84–10·9) people and decline to 8·79 billion (6·83–11·8) in 2100."

    • "Our alternative scenarios suggest that meeting the Sustainable Development Goals targets for education and contraceptive met need would result in a global population of 6·29 billion (4·82–8·73) in 2100 and a population of 6·88 billion (5·27–9·51) when assuming 99th percentile rates of change in these drivers.

  • What does Net Zero emissions actually mean?

    MA Rodger at 08:24 AM on 20 March, 2020

    meb58 @15,

    In terms of their contribution to the biosphere, I think the C3/C4 thing is a bit more complex than just CO2 levels. The Wikithing page does a pretty good job describing much of it, and complete with references.

    C4 plants have a competitive advantage over plants possessing the more common C3 carbon fixation pathway under conditions of drought, high temperatures, and nitrogen or CO2 limitation. When grown in the same environment, at 30 °C, C3 grasses lose approximately 833 molecules of water per CO2 molecule that is fixed, whereas C4 grasses lose only 277. This increased water use efficiency of C4 grasses means that soil moisture is conserved, allowing them to grow for longer in arid environments.

    C4 plants arose around 35 million years ago during the Oligocene (precisely when is difficult to determine) and did not become ecologically significant until around 6 to 7 million years ago, in the Miocene. C4 metabolism in grasses originated when their habitat migrated from the shady forest undercanopy to more open environments, where the high sunlight gave it an advantage over the C3 pathway. Drought was not necessary for its innovation; rather, the increased resistance to water stress was a byproduct of the pathway and allowed C4 plants to more readily colonize arid environments

    Today, C4 plants represent about 5% of Earth's plant biomass and 3% of its known plant species. Despite this scarcity, they account for about 23% of terrestrial carbon fixation. Increasing the proportion of C4 plants on earth could assist biosequestration of CO2 and represent an important climate change avoidance strategy.

    Of course with C4 plants becoming "ecologically significant " sometime between 35My bp and 6-7My bp, this was also a time of falling CO2 levels with (probably roughly 13My bp) CO2 levels seen dropping below 400ppm(v), until modern times.

  • Sea level is not rising

    Eclectic at 15:52 PM on 19 February, 2020

    Duncan61 comments today on another thread [wildfires] :-

    < "O.K. where is the sea level rising.I took it upon myself to contact Freemantle port Authority and they have measured no change in 163 years.If a lot of the ice has melted why is the sea not going up???.Is it O.K. for me to ask or is it a secret " >

    Duncan, the scientific data shows a 200 mm rise in sea level at Freemantle in modern times ~ which is kind of average for worldwide sea leve rise (currently rising about 3mm per year and accelerating).  The moderator indicates that you sometimes have to adjust for vertical land movement also : but that's less than 0.2 mm per year for coastal Western Australia, so quite insignificant.

    Why would you think (or believe) that 100+ years of global ice melting and global ocean warming . . . would not  produce an ongoing sea level rise?   Even the science-denying propaganda shill who calls herself JoNova and who loves to deceive & mislead her readers . . . even she  admits that the Freemantle level has risen 200mm in just over 100 years.

    So it's a puzzle, Duncan, how you came to take up the ridiculous nonsense you got from the Freemantle Authority.  Sounds like maybe your informant was a jokester enjoying pulling your leg . . . or he's a rabid Flat-Earther . . . or his brother is a Real Estate agent trying to clinch a big waterfront land deal.   Could be all sorts of reasons for someone coming up with such rubbish, don't you think?

    Freemantle sea level does fluctuate 150 mm over a decade or so, as the oceanic current is affected by the larger-scale effects of El Nino & Indian Dipole oscillations ~ but that averages out to about zero alteration to the underlying mean sea level rise coming from AGW.   But I doubt it was that half-truth cherrypick which was what your misinformant was trying to trick you with.

    Best just to stick with the reliable mainstream science, rather than listen to a source similar to "a guy you met at the tavern".

  • Doubling down: Researchers investigate compound climate risks

    One Planet Only Forever at 02:23 AM on 8 January, 2020

    Some structure design is incredibly complex. Dynamic response is a very complex behaviour to evaluate. But the real issue is 'not doing something when there is uncertainty regarding the potential for negative consequences'.

    Some of the most complex design is dynamic response of a structure with partially yielding elements of a structure system (parts stressed beyond their elastic behaviour). That includes seismic and blast resistance design (things I have personally done). And that complex dynamic system response gets combined with the understanding that lateral motion of a structure is amplified by vertical loads acting concurrently on the off-set structure (the vertical load is no longer straight down a support column).

    My main point remains. The knowledge that the combination of effects of climate change are not yet well understood should have been enough to cause the leadership of the highest impacting people to dramatically reduce their impacting while pursuing the required expanded awareness and improved understanding. That is what they would expect to happen in Structure design, even though a flawed structure design would only affect a tiny portion of the global population, and have almost no effect on generations in the distant future.

    The real problem is the fatally flawed of belief that the 'power of innovation' requires anything that is competing for popularity and profit to be allowed in the competition before the potential negative consequences are well understood. Competitive consumerism, especially the Patent/Copyright systems and related limited time period for benefiting from owning patent/copyright protection, tempts people to try to get away with harmful and unsustainable activity (because it is easier and cheaper than the alternatives).

    Harmful unsustainable developments can be seen to be defended if they become popular and profitable. The demand is that evidence of it being harmful 'must be very certain', with higher certainty of unacceptability required the more popular and profitable it is. In some people's minds that has quickly gotten to the absurd point where no amount of evidence will 'meet the demanded level of proof' (on many issues, not just fossil fuel abuse). The 'learning resistant people' who enjoy benefiting from the popular and profitable activity, or developed a liking for an incorrect understanding, can claim that any evidence is Fake and demand that any presentations of information on the issue be 'Balanced or Moderate' which means 'Compromised'.

    Compromising expanded awareness and improved understanding of how harmful something may be may seem appealing to the Kumbaya types who just want 'everyone to get along and let everyone live the way they want'. That attitude has its place, when no profit or personal benefit at the expense of others is involved. But that attitude would never cut it in Structure design. And it certainty should not apply to the issue of the future disaster creating potential of the popular and profitable fossil fuel abuse.

    Everyone's actions need to be governed and limited by the avoidance of creating harmful impacts on others, even if that means having to forego potential personal benefit because of uncertainty regarding the acceptability of an activity.

  • Climate Scientist reacts to Donald Trump's climate comments

    One Planet Only Forever at 00:40 AM on 27 November, 2019

    I drafted this earlier, but then had errands to run, and MA Rogers has provided a great reply.

    However, applying the advice of other wise commentators at this site I had a little fun making fun of this. So I am sharing it.

    Also, the parts at the end of my original draft (still there) about the guy needing to get a new job leads me to suggest a possible action that could be helpful.

    In Canada every business with a broadcasting licence can have complaints about inappropriate content result in regulatory actions from the CRTC, the Licence Governing body. In addition, the Advertising Standards Council acts on complaints about misleading advertising. If similar Institutions exist in Australia, you could submit parallel complaints to the Licence Governing body and the Advertising Standards Council about this specific episode being inappropriate content that is also misleading advertising.

    You could also use MA Rogers points to help your friends improve their awareness and understanding by pointing out the many gross errors made by this Guy in this episode.

    No Copyright on this comment. Like any comment I make here, it is offered for all to improve, correct, and use as they see fit.

    Here are the Key Points presented sort of as they come up during this entertaining, though admittedly annoyingly incorrect, presentation (unlike some entertainment, even vaguely educational, except as a Bad Example). Think of it as similar to a Sportscaster's Play-by-play, or Game Bloopers bit.

    The entire game played was a Massive Miss regarding Global Warming evaluation. The global warming trend is best seen in the global average of surface temperature data, not selected local data sets. And that data needs to be reviewed and adjusted for things like changes of conditions at the monitoring locations that affect the temperature measurement at that specific location, including improvements to the monitoring equipment set-up or the local relocation of the monitoring equipment.
    The reasons for adjusting the raw data is explained by Australia's BoM here.

    But let's play along anyway:

    • Melbourne is not 'the hot spot of Australia'. And even though Adelaide, or other locations, may be thought of as a similar location, the history of data for Melbourne would be the only relevant data set to review when discussing the hot day in Melbourne (why are other locations like Glen Innes and Lismore near Brisbane not Melbourne, brought up later instead of Melbourne).
    • That makes it a clear offside to then leap to talk about data for all of Australia.
    • And it is further out of bounds to to say that the uncorrected data is “... the chart that the BOM used previously ...”.
    • The guy then attempts to fool the fans by claiming that the previous adjusted data chart, before the more recent better understood and applied correction, indicates more very warm days earlier compared to current years. It actually appears to have more hot days in the recent years, yet he says the opposite, without any explanation. Then he brings up the totally unadjusted data presentation as if it is relevant.
    • The item by item descriptions of the 'corrections made to the raw data' are essential. This fiction pitcher dismisses the importance of detailed understanding, because it would shatter the illusion he is trying to create.

    Then there is More:

    • Another Big Miss in understanding is the importance of presenting how much warmer than 40 C each of the days noted as warmer than 40 C actually was. 40.1 C is incorrectly counted as being the same as 45 C. So, the entire babble about how difficult it is to figure out the number of days warmer than 40 C is another attempt to fool the fans that JoNova happily plays along with. The truth is that such an exercise in an exercise in irrelevance, and someone like JoNova probably knows that.
    • Then, on top of the pile of mistakes so far, he makes the massive leap to questioning the legitimacy of a politician who says they understand that global climate change is happening because of the science.
    • He then cherry picks 2 location data sets, and makes claims about them, without rigorous proof of the claims (as MA Rogers covers), or any consideration of what may have been regionally going on in Australia's past compared to what was going on globally (like the much warmer than global average 1930s and 1940s in the USA).
    • He then makes a Blind Leap of Faith that Fails to Land, by jumping to assertions that unusually cold snowy weather, climate change, cannot be the result of global warming. He appears unaware that the global average has only increased by 1.0 C since the 1800s and that most of that warming was in the Arctic. And an added blindness of his is that the nights are warming ore than the daytime (the minimums that MA Rogers mentions) everywhere. That means that the increase in average daytime highs everywhere other than the Arctic is less than 1.0 C, which questions the legitimacy of the argument that some cherry-picked regional data shows very little sign of increased daytime highs.
    • He also fails to compare the frequency of record highs being set vs. record lows being set.
    • So, on top of all the other inaccuracies and misleading claims, the evaluation should be done on the average of day and night temperatures, not the maximum day temperature.

    His presentation shoots and missed on so many counts. So much Missing. Someone should be 'changing his career' (his team manager needs to do that because this guy appears to be clueless). Maybe a letter could be sent to his bosses questioning his ability to correctly interpret and report information. It appears he lacks the ability to properly Report evidence-based understanding. Maybe Sports would be 'his thing' (sportscasters are the Entertainers of Information Reporters, even more so than Entertainment Reporters).

    The Sportscasters might welcome him, but I doubt that. Even a Sportscaster has to get the scores and statistics correct, and know what game they are talking about.

    Most important, anyone trying to claim they won based on this guy's reporting would be in serious trouble. Claiming to win of a bet with a friend based on this guy's reporting should seriously affect the friendship, hopefully by the friend having pity and trying to help educate the fooled one. Trying to get paid by a bookie based on this guy's reporting would be worse. Bookies are not interested in Helping Others, and bookies base their actions on a detailed understanding of the facts.

  • Climate Scientist reacts to Donald Trump's climate comments

    MA Rodger at 06:17 AM on 26 November, 2019

    prove we are smart @21,

    The muppet in the video simply combines a number of weak or falacious argument to support his grand "there is no AGW" delusion.

    The first bit of it is feeding off this weblog at denialist site There are genuine reasons for adjusting temperature data but the usual nonsense from denialists is that such adjustments are fake, or at least they are fake when the raw data is more favourble to their delusions.

    The Mayor of Glen Innes featured in the denialist video says nothing about what data is used to establish AGW. I'm sure if the number of +40ºC daily maximums was how to measure AGW, we would have debunked that particular denialist argument many times before.

    The Glen Innes Annual Max data for the period 1907-2012 doesn't show any significant warming trend, although when combined with the Annual Min data, the Annual Average data 1907-2012 does. And over the period 1975-2012 the Average data is running at +0.15ºC/decade although the noise reduces the statistical significance (+/- 0.12ºC/decade at 2sd). The Annual Max also shows a reasonable warming trend but the noise makes it statistically insignificant at 2sd +0.12ºC(+/-0.21)/decade.

    And the various reports of cold winters are not incompatible with AGW although it is wise not to listen to other swivel-eyed climate deniers unless you are happy broadcasting fake news. So the blather about a cold winter ahead for the UK is nought but blather. "Claims that the UK is set to face the chillest winter in a century and even a white Christmas have been dismissed by the Met Office."

    And arguing against a swivel-eyed loon in full flow isn't for the faint hearted. Unless you have history with the guy, or you can succinctly debunk his nonsense, I would suggest you let this Rowan Dean make a fool of himself. He appears not to always be careful with what he spouts.  For instance, I see last year that he proclaimed that "A growing number of scientists now believe solar activity is the real culprit behind so-called climate change." This is the sort of nosense that can be addressed assertively. "A growing number of scientists"? What are their names? Put up or shut up!!

  • Wind energy is a key climate change solution

    Daniel Bailey at 03:36 AM on 30 July, 2019

    "what about all the bird and bat deaths it's causing"

    Wind turbines kill orders of magnitudes fewer birds than do fossil fuel energy generation sources. Where's the outcry against those?

    In reality, cars kill 2,800 birds for every 1 killed by a wind turbine.

    And cars kill more pedestrians than windmills kill birds. Is it time to ban cars yet?

    The leading causes of Raptor deaths in the Altamont study:

    1. Shooting
    2. Poison
    3. Cars

    But pretend-skeptics aren't interested in facts that disagree with their desired outcome.

    Avian Mortality

    Avian Mortality

    Per Erickson 2005:

    Table 2–Summary of predicted annual avian mortality.

    Buildings_______________ 550 million
    Power lines_____________ 130 million
    Cats___________________ 100 million
    Automobiles_____________ 80 million
    Pesticides_______________ 67 million
    Communications towers___ 4.5 million
    Wind turbines___________ 28.5 thousand
    Airplanes________________ 25 thousand

    Avian Mortality

    Cat's out of the proverbial bag. Per Loss et al 2013, feral cats kill most of the 87,000 times as many birds (in the US alone) than do all of the wind turbines in the world do, combined. That's 3.7 BILLION bird deaths per year, by cats the US. Or about 10 MILLION per day, as compared to about 2 per day per wind turbine.

    Seems the bird holocaust is getting out of...paw. Meow. :)

    "Why have these people forsaken nature's physical grandeur for an often ineffective power source?"

    Grandeur like this?

    Wind Turbines Ruin The View

    As for the environmental impacts of wind power:

    "Most estimates of wind turbine life-cycle global warming emissions are between 0.02 and 0.04 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour. To put this into context, estimates of life-cycle global warming emissions for natural gas generated electricity are between 0.6 and 2 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour and estimates for coal-generated electricity are 1.4 and 3.6 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour"


    "building and running new renewable energy is now cheaper than just running existing coal and nuclear plants...the full-lifecycle costs of building and operating renewables-based projects have dropped below the operating costs alone of conventional generation technologies such as coal or nuclear"


    "its cheaper to tear down three-quarters of American coal plants and replace them with renewables than to let them continue operating"

    Both utility solar and wind are cheaper than gas:

    "alternative energy costs have decreased to the point that they are now at or below the marginal cost of conventional generation"

    Wind Cheaper than gas

    Unsubsidised wind and solar are now the cheapest form of bulk energy:

    "The unsubsidised cost of wind and solar now beats coal as the cheapest form of bulk generation in all major economies except Japan, according to the latest levellised cost of electricity analysis by leading energy analyst BloombergNEF.

    The latest report says the biggest news comes in the two fastest growing energy markets, China and India, where it notes that “not so long ago coal was king”. Not any more.

    In India, best-in-class solar and wind plants are now half the cost of new coal plants,” the report says, and this is despite the recent imposition of import tariffs on solar cells and modules.

    The China experience is also significant. While local authorities have put a brake on local installations, causing the domestic market to slump by one third in 2018, this has created a “global wave of cheap equipment” that has more than compensated for increased financing costs caused by rising interest rates.

    The cost of battery storage is also falling – so much so that in countries like Australia and India, pairing unsubsidised wind and solar with four hours of battery storage can be cost competitive with new coal or gas plants."

    Fancy that, renewables are already cheaper than 75% of the US coal fleet of power generation facilities.

    Whodathunkit, the carbon benefits of wind and solar far outweigh their carbon footprints.

    Harking back to that picture of that lovely tableau of the open pit coal mine:

    "Coal’s carbon footprint is almost 90 times larger than that of wind energy, and the footprint of natural gas is more than 40 times larger"

    To wrap this up and stick a wooden stake through the undead heart of this meme, fossil fuels are less efficient than earlier estimates and are essentially uneconomical, now.

    This means that the levelized cost of electricity estimates put fossil fuels at even more of a disadvantage vs renewables than previously demonstrated. 

    Yes, without subisidies.

    Brockway et al 2019 - Estimation of global final-stage energy-return-on-investment for fossil fuels with comparison to renewable energy sources


  • It's the ocean

    jesscars at 15:10 PM on 13 June, 2019

    I believe this is a misrepresentation of the "skeptics'" argument being made.

    "Skeptics" believe that, before the industrial revolution, the correlation betweeon CO2 and temperature (as shown on records such as the Vostok Ice Coe records) was explained by:

    1) Natural factors causing the earth's temperature to change e.g. Milankovitch cycles, solar radiation cycles, and the circum-polar jet-streams.

    2) The ocean beng warmed or cooled due to these natural factors - which takes several hundred years (thus explaining the 800-year lag found on the Vostok Ice Core samples).

    3) The release or absorption of CO2 from the oceans, as the natural solubility or equilibrium level of CO2 in water changes with temperature. (The linear relationship of CO2 to water temperature (below about 23 degrees C.) also explains the linear historic relationship of temperature to CO2 (found at Vostok): which is about 1 degree C. to 10 ppm atm. CO2.)

    So yes, the historic source of CO2 was the oceans - and it was the temperature change, caused by natural factors, that caused this change.

  • Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    jesscars at 12:51 PM on 13 June, 2019

    I have a couple of questions re. the historic vs future predicted relationship between CO2 and temperature:

    If you look at the Vostok Ice Core Records, the relationship between CO2 and temperature is linear, and is approximately 1 degree change per 10 ppm change.[1]

    1) Why is this not the expected predicted relationship of CO2 to temperature? Why does it go from 1 degree per 10 ppm to 1 degree per doubling, the first doubling being 300 ppm (then 600, 1200, etc.)? Why does the sensitivity of the earth's temperature to CO2 change so severely to have only 1/30th the sensitivity? What is the reason for this reduction in sensitivity?

    2) Why does the relationship change from linear to logarithmic? There is a steady and consistent linear relationship of 1 degree for 10 ppm - why should this change to a logarithmic relationship of  degree per doubling i.e. instead of 1 degree per 10 ppm, we now have 1 degree per 300 ppm, then per 600 ppm, then per 1200 ppm, and so on. What is the cause of the change of the nature of this relationship?

    It seems to me that the "skeptics'" explanation - which assumes temperature is causal in the observed temperature-CO2 correlation - does not involve such erratic and unexplained behaviour.

    N.B. The linear 1 degree per 10 ppm can be explained by the linear relationship of CO2 solubility in ocean water (at temperatures below 23 degrees, see link [2]).

    As the temperature changes (measured by the atmospheric temperature), this causes the ocean temperature to change. Within the temperature range seen on the graph in link [2] i.e. below about 23 degrees, you would expect a similar amount of CO2 to be released or absorbed, per unit or degree of change, per volume of water, resulting in a linear atmospheric temp-CO2 relationship.

    The Vostok Ice Core records also show an 800-year lag where temperature changes before CO2 does. This indicates that temperature is causing CO2 to change, not vice-versa. (The Shakun study only attempts to provide an explanation for this for the last deglaciation, not the entire duration of the Vostok samples (400,000 years), so really is inadequate.) This can be explained by the fact that the oceans take so long to heat or cool. So it takes hundreds of years for the warming or cooling to have an effect on the CO2 levels, as this has to happen via the oceans.

    2) The causal mechanism to explain the temperature-CO2 correlation is explained by:  natural causes (e.g. Milankovitch cycles, sun radiation cycles, circumpolar jet-streams, etc.)  to be caused by ocean absorption of CO2, is expected 



  • Introducing a new citizens initiative for carbon pricing in Europe

    wilddouglascounty at 01:15 AM on 24 May, 2019

    #1 True, Jose; the fee and dividend proposal is primarily a financial signal for manufacturers and consumers to transition from fossil fuel dependent technologies, transportation and housing options to low carbon, using the marketplace for folks to acquire low carbon options. It does not preclude top-down research, innovation, regulations and subsidies to speed up the process; indeed it is quite compatible with those strategies. It's not either-or, rather all-of-the-above is most likely going to be needed. But it seems to me to be a very valuable tool to help move things along.

  • Skeptical Science Study Finds 97% Consensus on Human-Caused Global Warming in the Peer-Reviewed Literature

    Eclectic at 16:07 PM on 10 May, 2019

    Jake S  @370 ,  yes it is quite evident that you "skimmed" the Cook paper . . . and that you skimped on thinking it through ( +/-  a prompter ).

    As for the shape of the Earth being "universally accepted by scientists and rational laypeople" [your quote] . . . it is interesting that you fail to use that criterion for AGW (which has a similar weight of evidence supporting it).

    Clearly, Jake S , you need to educate yourself about climate science.

    And if I may hint [not prompt!] ~ you will find that all science is advanced through peer-reviewed scientific papers in reputable journals.  ( Not by Op-Eds in Breitbart or the WSJ or FoxNews ).   The heart of the matter for this particular thread, is that the "Consensus" is the result of that science.   And FYI, the reputable scientific journals are very keen to publish contrarian papers provided the papers seem to have valid supporting evidence ~ indeed, a number have been published, but every such paper has later been found to be faulty/invalid by subsequent scientific research

    You will not find climate science in journals such as Energy Policy (a journal which explicitly describes itself as being about "Political, Economic ... and Social Aspects of Energy" unquote).   Many of the articles in Energy Policy are open-access and not peer-reviewed.  Possibly you know what that implies !!   You referenced Energy Policy re a "short communication" by Dr Richard Tol  ~  the same Richard Tol who later backed off his Consensus criticism, and admitted that in his opinion the Consensus was more like 90%.   ( Not 33% or 13% or 4% or whatever is the latest fantasy of Lord Monckton his WattsUpWithThat colleagues.)

    Jake S , to be more accurate, I should point out to you that the 97% Consensus was based on scientific papers centered at about the year 2005.   The consensus in say 2014 was well over 99% , as judged by the scientific papers published over a 59-week period [why 59 not 52 weeks?] . . . a study of [IIRC] around 2,200 papers showed only 3 [three] papers that were "contrarian" [and each of those 3 was rubbish].

    Education, Jake S.   And you will find that there are close to zero actual climate scientists who take a contrarian viewpoint about AGW . . . and you will find absolutely zero who can supply any valid evidence to support their position(s).   (All they have is rhetoric and religious beliefs.)


    My apologies, Jake S ,  for mentioning Lord Monckton, in post #369  ~ it is just that he is a prominent speaker (not a scientist in the slightest) who is remarkably innumerate & ignorant in actual climate science, and who typifies many denialists by asserting that AGW is a hoax invented by (worldwide) scientists who are plotting to set up a Communist World Government.   'Nuff said, about his intellect.

    But it is interesting, Jake S , that you raised the matter of lobotomy (perhaps you meant leucotomy)  . . . which has prompted me to think of a Monckton nexus there.   It would explain much.



    Jake S , as for your list of "many refutations" of the 97% consensus figure . . . there seem to be few, if any, that are scientifically peer-reviewed papers.   And much worse, they present no valid argument.   And your list includes Dr R. Tol in Energy Policy (!) ; and Breitbart (!!!) . . . not to mention American Thinker (!!) and 3 from ClimateEtc (!) and 6 from JoNova (!!) .

    And 15 (fifteen) from WUWT blog (a favored home of Monckton) which is mostly a blog of remarkably puerile propaganda, with comment columns half-filled by commenters who are in full denial of the physical properties of CO2.   (Mr Watts says they are quite wrong . . . but he encourages them to rant.   It's that sort of blog / echo-chamber.   Almost no rational laypeople and almost no real scientists.)

    In short, Jake S , you have provided nothing in the way of rational reasons.

  • Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’

    One Planet Only Forever at 02:38 AM on 9 May, 2019

    nigelj @6,

    Thank you for clarifying that you are referring to humanity eventually getting to a point, possibly soon, where Zero-Growth of 'Quantity of Consumption and related Harm and Waste (QCHW)' is required.

    I do not agree with the thought that humanity will eventually need to limit what is developed to a Zero-Growth economy.

    And I substantially agree with the understanding presented by Mentor @7. However, I am more of an optimist.

    As a proponent of Sustainable Development, I refer to Growth of 'Quality of Helpful Life Circumstances (QHLC)' which is a completely different thing (even though both are Growth and the acronyms look similar - and these are just my acronyms in this comment, they are not public domain acronyms).

    It should be common sense that QCHW and QHLC are very different matters. Improving QHLC (IQHLC), particularly for the poorest everywhere, is a worthy objective of Sustainable Development. And everyone should be aspiring to be as Helpful as they can be in that regard, which entails honouring the correlated objective of 'Do No Harm'.
    It is then common sense that 'Reduction of QCHW (RQCHW)' is the related objective. RQCHW can be used along with IQHLC to measure the merit of allowing an innovation to compete for popularity and profit. An initial screening to determine the acceptability of a new activity in competition for profit and popularity should not be the end of IQHLC and RQCHW efforts. Constant monitoring and investigation of the impacts of what has been allowed to compete will be needed to enable early detection and correction as required by improving awareness and understanding.

    The competitions for popularity and profit, magnified by marketing, have now been conclusively proven to need careful monitoring and external correction of what can develop (no matter what Neo-Liberals claim).

    QCHW and QHLC are incorrectly connected by many people. They incorrectly perceive IQCHW as the measure of QHLC. And to do that they develop a preference for ignoring the HW parts. Even you have commented that many people perceive their QHLC as directly proportional to their QCHW. And those people also do not consider how harmful and unsustainable their developed perceptions, desires and preferences are.

    The lack of awareness and its related misunderstanding is powered by 'allowing misleading marketing' rather than requiring any promotion to be a presentation of a fuller awareness and understanding (like the weak, but improving, requirements imposed on pharmaceutical marketing), or limiting marketing (as is done regarding tobacco and alcohol).

    Current developed institutions in many supposedly more advanced and advancing nations incorrectly promote the misunderstanding about QCW and QLC (the applicable concepts of H are dropped because including them would lead to ethical considerations which would be contrary to their unethical interests). The result is an Over-Growth of powerful harmful misunderstanding among the population that is hard to correct.

    That Over-Growth of misunderstanding and the related Over-Growth of QCHW have already occurred. There is no 'increased room for Growth of consumption'. Humanity's total impacts are already far past levels of Consumption that would be Sustainable, especially if the objective is to ensure that every human, now and far into the future, enjoys at least a basic decent life.

    Humanity has developed many harmful activities with accumulating impacts. Population growth is part of the problem. But the highest consuming and impacting portions of the population are by far the major problem to be corrected.

    So it is common sense that Sustainable Development requires significant UN-development and a related correction of incorrectly developed perceptions of status and prosperity.

    There is no doubt that a significant portion of the developed population will 'not like that change and correction'. But they also have no Good Helpful Reason for attempting to maintain their incorrectly acquired perceptions of status and prosperity (their status-quo).

    That portion of the population can be seen to have been continuing to harmfully pursue their interests, contrary to developing sustainable improvements for humanity, in spite of the improved awareness and understanding that was established at the end of WWII. The IPCC and IPBES identified needs for correction are just two of the many identified required corrections of what has been developing. The 1972 Stockholm Conference established international awareness of the unacceptability of many things that competition for power, profit and popularity (status) had been developing.

    The unethical backlashes by Neo-Liberal Economic Fundamentalists and their Uniting with Social Fundamentalists is an expected 'anti-correction' result of that constantly improving of awareness and understanding. Their interests and pursuits are undeniably unsustainable and harmful to the improvement of the future for humanity. That improved awareness and understanding needs to Grow to the point where there are enough Altruistically motivated helpful people to effectively govern and limit the actions of the minority that Egoistically prefers not to be helpful, prefers to be harmful.

    There are No Good People opposed to Achieving, and Improving on, the Sustainable Development Goals. And once the harmful correction resistant people have their influence significantly limited, humanity will be able to more rapidly continuously IQHLC. And there maybe no upper limit on IQHLC. The only limits are due to the QCHW by the less ethical, less responsible, less deserving than the Status they have in the Status-Quo.

  • 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #18

    One Planet Only Forever at 14:18 PM on 7 May, 2019

    Correcting the ways of living of the least sustainable, highest consuming, highest impacting portion of the global population would produce more benefit for the future of humanity than 'more' attempts to limit population growth (though both are important for the sustainability of humanity). The end of this comment is a point connected to limiting population.

    Biodiversity loss and climate change are both harmful results of a higher level Crisis facing humanity.

    That crisis is the developed diversity of ways that the developed institutions of supposedly more advanced nations tend to promote a lack of interest in the future of humanity. Harmful results include claiming that correcting one sub-problem is more important than correcting a different sub-problem. That is an attempted divisiveness hoping to distract attention from the higher-level root-cause of many problems that requires correction. Many of the developed institutions can be seen to resist the required corrections of developed preferred beliefs and behaviour.

    Powerful proof of how damaging many of the supposedly more advanced nations have become is the response of leadership and popular belief in those nations to the improving awareness and understanding of climate science and diversity of life through the past 30 years. An associated proof is the actions (or lack of helpful corrective action) by many of the wealthiest people in all nations. The harmful results include active denial or making up poor excuses like the need to compromise the future of humanity because of current economic interests (the so-called 'need' to balance economic and environmental interests that fatally fails to acknowledge that unsustainable economic activity has no future).

    Every improvement of awareness and understanding can be seen to reinforce the following Theory: The only viable future for humanity is a robust diversity of humans living in ways that sustainably fit into the robust diversity of life on this or any other amazing planet.

    There are many alternative claims about possible futures for humans. But those claims lack convincing presentations of sustainability. The lack of attention to sustainability is a fatal flaw. As examples:

    • Many technological innovation promoters claim that constant improvement will occur. To do that they must presume a 'sustainable?' development of fixes or repairs or replacements to correct the problems created by unsustainable and harmful technological developments being allowed to compete for popularity or profitability, unless harmful unsustainable developments are not allowed.
    • Many enlightenment promoters make similar unsustainable. They fail to acknowledge that any claimed improvement of circumstances for the poorest is not sustainable if the systems and actions that provided those 'perceived improvements' have not been proven to be sustainable. It is especially flawed thinking to claim that perceived improvements for the poorest due to the undeniably harmful and unsustainable use of fossil fuel is 'sustainable' because it 'Feels Good to think of it that way'.

    Governing and limiting actions to achieve sustainable improvements for the future for humanity is required. And that required Altruism to govern over Egoism. And the developed institutions and systems are not effective are not effective at producing that result. Those systems develop powerful Regional and Tribal resistance to the required increase of altruism and the associated corrections of what has developed. Global institutions will probably need to be developed to help achieve the altruistic improvement of the future for humanity.

    Many people have been writing about this, and for a very long time. It is not a recent or novel understanding. It is improved understanding that has been very powerfully resisted by many in the developed status-quo. A very good presentation of the problem is made by Stephen M. Gardiner in “A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change”.

    Competition for status in games where success is measured by wealth or popularity encourages the development of Egoism and its related harmful attitudes that ignore, dismiss or discount concerns about Others or the future of humanity.

    Competing for popularity and profit needs to be restricted to sustainable and helpful (or at least long lasting and harmless) options. It is now undeniable that competitions for status based on perceptions of popularity and profit are not ethically self-governing systems. Popularity or profitability can clearly develop powerful resistance to correction. For the benefit of future generations, the resistance to correction among any portion of any current generation cannot be allowed to get “too big to be corrected”.

    Tragically, many people, especially the Conservative ones, are easily tempted to be fearful about corrections of developed beliefs and preferences. They struggle to accept understanding that contradicts things they developed a liking for. And they will support leadership that harmfully resists a broad diversity of incorrect beliefs that need to be corrected. The result can be a tragic divisive push away from sustainability. And the further that the resistance to correction takes a society away from sustainability the worse the ultimate end correction will be (more harm done and a more jarring correction).

    The real problem is, and always will be, the ethical challenge from the tendency for people to be easily impressed into passionately and even fearfully caring about “maintaining Their Current developed perceptions of status and opportunity for status” more than they care about “how their actions affect the Future of all of humanity”. Everyone's chosen actions do add up. Claiming that 'one person's actions' are of little consequence is a very poor reason for a person to not learn to correct how they live.

    The future of humanity requires increased awareness and acceptance of the understanding that all of humanity needs to be governed and limited by the objective of developing “a robust diversity of humans living in ways that sustainably fit into the robust diversity of life on this or any other amazing planet.”

    New global institutions that people like Stephen M. Gardiner are working towards the development of are clearly needed to support Regional and Tribal efforts to effectively identify and correct harmfully Egoist people who have been winning popularity and profit competitions to the detriment of the future of humanity. The people leading the resistance to correction have understood that for a long time. That is likely a major reason they have been trying to discredit or impede UN initiatives. They do not want any UN success that would be detrimental to their developed interests. The anti-abortion division of the correction resistance team have recently attacked a UN women's rights conference with a disruptive text-barrage on the vice chair of the conference (see the CBC Report "U.S. investigates spam barrage on UN diplomat at women's rights conference")

  • There is no consensus

    Eclectic at 12:24 PM on 26 April, 2019

    Pl @787 ,

    of course you are quite correct that there are institutional pressures towards conformity.   As well as the genetically-inherited tendency of humans to "team up" in a tribal manner : just witness the current mindless tribalism in political matters ~ "full steam ahead and damn the facts!"   ;-)

    But your question suggests you are insufficiently aware of the drive towards contrarianism by scientists as individuals.   The up-and-coming scientist seeks not money, but reputation / respect / fame / prestige.  Yes, a Nobel Prize may well be awarded in 10 years' time or more . . . but scientific acclaim this year is a powerful inducement for publishing clever / innovative / iconoclastic work.  And the competition is fierce !

    Similarly, there is no shortage of respected journals that are ready & willing to publish novel dissenting papers (always provided the ideas have some reasonable evidentiary backing . . . and are not just fruitcake speculation.)   A journal gains in prestige by being the first to publish groundbreaking work.

    Between the scores of journals and the 10,000+ climate-related scientists, there is really nothing for you to fear that any worthy contrarian idea will be suppressed.

    Yes, there are a few real scientists who speak against the mainstream climate science, but they have no actual evidence to back up their viewpoint ~ and if you look more closely at them, you find a sorry collection of crackpots / religious nutcases / political extremists / and a few aging "emeritus" types (even a rare Nobel Laureate) whose maverick-inclined personalities have become warped by the early changes of senility.  [  I myself know a once-respected researcher, PhD equipped etc, who is a member in good standing of a local branch of the Flat Earth Society.]

    But let's not get bogged down in Ad Homs ~ however apt & amusing.   The basic problem is that the climate contrarians are still fighting last century's battles ~ and they have no facts to support themselves.

    All they can muster is rhetoric & the unjustified "soft claims" you mention . . . in their attempt to sway the susceptible.


    ( btw, since the consensus of climate experts is extremely close to the 100% mark, I am wondering what you can mean by "the method of determining the level of consensus".  What can you be thinking of ? )

  • Should a Green New Deal include nuclear power?

    sauerj at 00:29 AM on 24 April, 2019

    All, I am hardly a NP biased proponent. I have only just began to learn about NP (only starting in the last 9 months). I was technologically agnostic before that (instead only focusing on revenue-neutral carbon tax policy). I would call myself a proponent of skeptical science and due-diligence. I have made my primary motivations (zero GHG emissions) quite clear in the above comments. The above characterizations and snide remarks toward me (#16: "black is white and up is down") are unprofessional. I have been fair, professional and forthcoming; referencing all of my points and pointing out (w/o meanness) where the refs that I provided were not correctly understood (ex. 1.2mm panels per day and for US only). ... Nigelj points out that this latter point doesn't matter b/c NP is cheaper (#14); but, this cost detail is very complicated and not so clear, as I explained above & further explain below. Regardless, I still think a continuous replenishment of 1.2mm panels per day, for the US, forever, (assuming a conservatively high 40-yr life span), even if recycling, is something not to dismiss lightly.

    I am still worried that a 100% RE plan (per Jacobson's plan, who was a big part of this greenman video) would be imprudently bias against NP and close-minded to how NP can help us (in the mix) get to zero GHG emissions as quickly, smartly & justly as possible. I believe that Jacobson's 100% RE 35-year roadmap plan needs more careful cross-examination; and I base this on what appears to be a thorough review video (cited above & again HERE for convenience), as well as per what other reputable people are saying, also pointed out above, such as highly respected people like James Hansen & others), and I feel that this sort of on-going diligent cross-examination of Jacobson's plan should be pointed out (as I have done).

    In the end, I feel that cost should decide, but only provided we are truly & earnestly looking at all costs, and also including all external, long-term costs in the cash flow analysis (which is what the EICDA bill ultimately gets us at (concerning GHG pollution). I am not convinced that that kind of total & comprehensive cost analysis is done w/ Lazard's cost #'s, mostly b/c of the two missing big factors (mentioned in my comments above) which are: non-equal service-life & non-equal reliability (which are not included in Lazard's cash flow analysis).

    1) Abbott (MSweet's 16.1): I didn't address the Abbott 2011 paper (material resource issue, #13 in his paper) b/c it is way over my head technically. By myself, I could never get to the bottom on what is the definitive truth on this. To fairly review this paper, it would take a team of senior NP & geological experts, to be able to give Abbott's conclusions due analytical diligence. I am nowhere near qualified for that.

    But, in order to meagerly attempt to do that (in the last 2-3 days), I have submitted this Abbott 2011 paper to NP experts (who frequent this "RE vs NP" FB public group) to give them a chance to review & comment on this. A 'Colby Kirk' has given me the following information that throws the Abbott 2011 paper into doubt.

    1.1) On Abbott's Material Resource Issue (his point #13):
    Per Colby Kirk: "I reviewed his [Abbott] claims on the limited materials. He didn't give a number of materials per reactor, he just claimed all of these materials are required for nuclear reactors and then did a basic algebra formula based on the reserves limited to only the U.S. This is far from being scientific, quantitative or honest.

    "For instance zirconium ... "15 Metric tons per reactor unit of ACR1000" at 15,000 reactors will still not be an issue [see page 73 of this site HERE for this 15MT/rx #]. 225,000 tons for the world nuclear fleet against a world supply of 73,000,000 tons [sauerj insert: Abbott has this at 56,000,000 tons]. That's also assuming we only use that reactor design, which advanced reactors will eliminate the need for zirconium cladding.

    "None of this brings up the possibility of recycling which would become a large part of the supply line as these materials go up in price. Fuel assemblies go in and come out with the technical possibility of reprocessing and recycling. Different reactor designs have different needs and any bottle neck on certain materials will just motivate a substitution or design pivot."

    1.2) On Abbott's paper being "peer reviewed":
    Per Colby Kirk: "I've learned to not rely on the approval of peer review since lots of easily refuted antinuclear hit pieces get published in the literature under "peer review". Editors and reviewers can play favorites, have bias and also not know what they are looking at, which is unfortunate. I've seen lots of terrible work pass under "peer review". I can say for sure he [Abbott] is citing some widely refuted anti-nuclear hit pieces that were not peer reviewed like SLS. [sauerj inert: See my note below about this SLS paper below (*).]

    "There are also some egregious errors and mistakes in the rest of the paper that any honest reviewer would catch, like cherry picking U235 as the only viable nuclear fuel.
    "The document is labeled under "point of view" [sauerj insert: see top of the Abbott paper & on every corner] which looks to be a debate platform in the IEEE content stream. They talk about "personal positions" and "predictions" without mention of peer review like they do for the rest of the journal. Therefore I doubt it is peer reviewed. HERE is the description of that page. "

    (*) About the non-peer reviewed SLS paper (that Abbott cites 3 places in his 2011 paper): Colby Kirk also sent me the following two rebuttal articles about this SLS paper, see HERE & HERE.

    Finally, on this 16.1 point, I personally could not find where Abbott says that the shortage limit of Be, Nb, Zr, Y, Hf will limit NP to 5% max of total power (NP currently provides 11% of global power today). MSweet, could you cite where Abbott claims this?

    2) Lazard pg 13 Methodology (MSweet's 16.4, 2nd para of 16.4): This page 13 is just an example free cash flow analysis for just one technology (wind). That is why it doesn't show a comparative table for NP. But regardless, no, they probably don't include disposal costs for NP; so that is a fair point. But, they probably don't also include replacement & recycle costs with the RE options either; though this is probably much less $ than that for NP.

    3) Costs (MSweet's 16.4, 1st para of 16.4): My statement above (comment #13) about NP being less than solar & equal to wind (based on slide #2 on THIS site) was not apples-to-apples in comparison; I did not read the slide carefully enough (my error). This slide is a comparison of old fully depreciated NP and new un-depreciated solar & wind, which shows old NP being less cost than new solar & equal to new wind (but this not a fair comparison on new vs new). As MSweet pointed out above (pt 16.4) (in the PDF that I sited), new NP is much more than solar & wind. ... My next thought (per the bottom citations I gave above in #13, & for convenience citing again HERE & HERE) does NP have to be this expensive (based on installations in China, India & South Korea being 25-30% less and per the 3.1 & 3.2 paragraphs below that give credible evidence & references that Jacobson's 100% RE plan would cost 3x more than a Gen III NP plan in reguards to capital costs). But, I fully admit & agree, per Lazard's #'s, without any correction for service-life & equal reliability differences (or without consideration of the capital cost differences per 3.1 & 3.2 below), that new NP does cost more than new RE.

    Lazard's #'s do not account for differences in service-life (per its pg 13 methodology), nor offsetting to achieve equal on-demand reliability (ditto). I think these two are big cost factors that are missing from Lazard's cash flow analysis, which is otherwise quite rigorously & technically well done. This lack of 100% apples-to-apples comparison (due to these two missing points) is the same lack of apples-to-apples consternation as cited in the Grist article above (conveniently cited again HERE, see below the "Are renewables cheaper?" header)

    On comparing capital cost differences b/w a 100% RE plan vs a mostly NP plan to supply the US with enough non-carbon energy to de-carbonize the US, the following information is noteworthy:
    3.1) Capital cost to put the US on 100% RE: Per Jacobson, to supply the 1591GW US demand using his 100% RE plan will cost $15.2tr (not counting necessary pumped hydro back-up which adds $1.3tr for every 4 hours of total US grid back-up). Ref: See this video (3:15-4:15) for these Jacobson 100% RE costs #'s.
    3.2) Capital cost to put the US mostly on NP: The Gen III reactors (in SKorea) were built for a cost of $4.4bn/GW. Therefore, to satisfy the US power demand, this would cost $6.7tr (almost 1/3 the cost of the 100% RE costs if the RE plan includes a moderate amount of pumped hydro back-up). And, this NP capital cost could fall to $3tr with Gen IV MSR reactors. These NP costs are per this video (4:50-6:30).

    4) Shellenberger (MSweet's 16.2 [the first 16.2]): MSweet, Could you post which video (& time) is pertinent to where you said he (Shellberger) contradicted himself? If that is so, then you are most right; and I would agree. Yes, there is absolutely nothing wrong with RE driving power prices down.

    5) Shellenberger (MSweet's 16.2 [the 2nd 16.2]): About Fukushima deaths: Shellberger's claims of no deaths due to NP (this video at 14:37) are backed up by the May-2013 UN report (see wiki article, below the "UNSCEAR Report" header), which cites "No radiation-related deaths or acute diseases have been observed among the workers and general public exposed to radiation from the accident". In addition, Shellenberger ref'd the actual UN report, (in the above linked video slide at 14:37), which appears to be extremely thorough (200 pgs). Therefore, I see nothing to make me believe that Shellenberger misrepresented the facts in his video stating that there were no radiation deaths due to NP. Therefore, b/c the nuclear industry didn't technically kill anybody (that all associated deaths were only due to the fault of inappropriate emergency response) per this reputable UN report (that Shellenberger cites), my conclusion is contrary to MSweet's above statement: "Shellenberger denied that the nuclear industry is responsible for the people they killed at Fukushima. The industry demonstrates their complete lack of concern for safety when they do not accept responsibility for the people they kill."

    Regardless to no one dying due to radiation, the Fukushima accident was still not good. But do we throw out any good that NP can provide, in getting to zero emissions, if done safely and prudently, due to a possible bad & risky design at Fukushima?

    6) Material Mass/Power Comparison (MSweet's 16.3): MSweet, On this "tons/Mwh" point, you mentioned above having trouble finding ref docs that Shellberger referenced. To be clear, I used this Shellenberger video at 18:39 for the mass/power ratio #'s that I posted in #9 above. When I check Shellenberger's references here, I was able to quickly find his referenced doc HERE, which then points to HERE to access it. But, you have to have a sign-on clearance to access it, which I don't have. My expectation is that this doc will, in fact, have a Table 10 (that matches the same figures on Shellenberger's slide). So, I believe you might have been too quick to say that Shellenberger's graph was "falsified"; and to call him a "liar". Now possibly you were looking at a different video and slide, b/c the reference Shellenberger cites here (18:39) is not a "pro-nuclear book" but instead a DOE paper (which led me to the above two sites). If you are able to access this report (again HERE), and find no Table 10 to back-up Shell's slide here, then this does discredit him.
    To try to find additional docs on this tons/Mwh ratio subject, I could also ask the above mentioned NP experts for more refs on differences between NP & solar & wind on this point. On the surface, it does jibes w/ my eng sensibilities that solar & wind would far outweigh NP on this ratio due to much lower energy density of the RE's vs NP, especially for the required large scale (per Jacobson's #'s) as outlined in this video (2:40-3:30, and 6:35-8:30).
    At this point, on this mass/power ratio matter, I see nothing that gives me reason to doubt Shellenberger's numbers; and certainly no definitive evidence to classify him as a "falsifier" and a "liar".
    Also, his presentation cites people who were once very anti-nuclear (Brand, Monbiot), but now in their zeal to really get to zero emissions (as smartly & quickly as possible), and in their honest examination of all the facts, these people have changed their minds. This is profoundly moving to me. Hansen's word is also profoundly moving to me, as I mentioned above (#13).

    7) NP Maturity (Nigelj 14): In my learning's about NP (in the last 9 months), I have learned that the NP industry is certainly not fully mature. It may be more mature than the solar industry, but there are many things that could be strategically done to bring the capital cost of safe NP down via alternations/upgrades to different paradigms (from Gen II to Gen III, IV) and construction streamlining techniques. Other countries are moving forward into these more cost competitive & safer paradigms (per all of my points above in #3 of this reply) and lower cost construction techniques.

    In Conclusion: I am not a NP hack; please do not characterize me of that. I am a CC mitigation hawk and active CCL member, who is simply asking questions & trying to learn to find the truth, and I feel that reputable sites & people (as ref'd) legitimize my questions & concerns about a 100% RE plan. With this reply, I feel I have addressed your points comprehensively and professionally, and on subject concerning this greenman video and its Jacobson referenced content.


  • Next self-paced run of Denial101x starts on March 5

    Prometheus at 01:20 AM on 7 March, 2019

    There are a lot of responses, and I'll try to capture all of them the best I can.

    Can you please explain to people how strawmen, cherrypicking, out of context statements, and fake experts are not some form of intellectual dishonesty? .. Nobody says all sceptics use these, but they do feature quite frequently.

    I don't need too, it should be obvious. I'm speaking only to skeptics that don't get caught up in intellectual dishonesty. There are two different modes of rhetoric in the context of Climate Science - Science and politics. It’s easy to see the dishonesty in politics, and I personally don't care to speak to those, but these people are driven by a fight over a fear of what they see as government oppression. I'm speaking to the pursuit of science and science alone, which is a subject of learning and understanding. Yes, there are a number of skeptics that are clearly in pursuit of this. Frequency of good skeptics doesn’t matter. It only took one Einstein to change the whole perspective of physics.
    You think this website is adverserial? What about the death threats climatescientists like M Mann have received? Theres some real adversity for you.
    Does this insinuates that you agree that the site is indeed adversarial? It’s just not the worst.

    And what about Trumps blatant exaggerations and mistakes about the climate issues? You ok with that?

    I am not interested in political discussions. I think subjects of science need to be outside of the politics. Politics, by nature, lacks critical thinking and only reacts to a motive. The weakness in mistakes, exaggerations and the like are a weakness of both sides of the political spectrum

    Nobody has said anyone has a psychological denial issue.

    The above article has the text "We explain the psychological drivers of denial," So while this statement speaks to drivers, its clearly putting it in context of an issue, and further explains how to use mythbusters to counteract the denial.

    Prometheus, can you cite an example of "relavent arguements made by the skeptics that has changed the perspective of climate change science and advocates alike"?

    I would like too, but this commentary is about the post of denial, and I could see this turning into a massive argument over the arguments. I’d be happy to go over these either privately or in another discussion setting. I love exploring these arguments.

    How about enroling in our MOOC and working through the material to find out what it is about and how much merit the comments made by „skeptics“ actually have?
    I've never heard of the MOOC, but I am interested and would love to join.

    “For climate change, there are many scientific organizations that study the climate. These alphabet soup of organizations include NASA, NOAA, JMA, WMO, NSIDC, IPCC, UK Met Office, and others.
    One of the main weaknesses in climate science is the far too close coupling between government and the science. People have a natural (and well deserved) propensity to not trust the government. All of these organizations you listed are government organizations. Science is not an authority unless people trust it.

    If you have to dismiss all of these scientific organizations to reach your opinion, then you are by definition denying the science.

    Incorrect. This is exactly my problem. This is a political statement. Denying a science does not have anything to do with denying any organization. Science is about learning, and people are denying learning because the science is too political. The information in the science is only as good as its authority. People do not consider these organizations as authorities because they are government organizations.

    Many of these are run by lobbyists (e.g.., Climate Depot, run by a libertarian political lobbyist, CFACT), or supported by lobbyists (e.g., JoannaNova, WUWT, both of whom have received funding and otherwise substantial support by lobbying organizations like the Heartland Institute), or are actually paid by lobbyists to write Op-Eds and other blog posts that intentionally misrepresent the science.”

    If it were my world, which it isn't, then all skeptics would be funded by groups without any bias. However, we are not in that world. If a skeptic wants to be funded for research that challenges climate change hypothesis, how do you think they should get funded in this world? Do you think the government organizations you listed would fund them? They can only be funded by those who are interested in it. I believe that the government organizations have a massive bias, yet they are the source of funding for much of the climate science research.

    I don’t trust the government. Do you think it would be fair for me to state “Most climate science is run by the government who are actually paid to intentionally misrepresent the science in order to support policy”? Being an intellectual, I don’t, and I do read the IPCC reports anyways and try to learn about what they are trying to say. I hold my criticism in pure objectivity and cross a number of information sources (including my in-depth knowledge of physics) to form my understanding. For me, it isn’t difficult to weed out the dishonesty using this strategy. And if I see it, the authority is gone, and I will seek other sources. This is no different with the organizations you listed above.

  • Next self-paced run of Denial101x starts on March 5

    Postkey at 19:25 PM on 6 March, 2019

    "Now, it appears to be more likely that it is a hoax to get more money from civillians . . . "

    “For climate change, there are many scientific organizations that study the climate. These alphabet soup of organizations include NASA, NOAA, JMA, WMO, NSIDC, IPCC, UK Met Office, and others. Click on the names for links to their climate-related sites. There are also climate research organizations associated with universities. These are all legitimate scientific sources.

    If you have to dismiss all of these scientific organizations to reach your opinion, then you are by definition denying the science. If you have to believe that all of these organizations, and all of the climate scientists around the world, and all of the hundred thousand published research papers, and physics, are all somehow part of a global, multigenerational conspiracy to defraud the people, then you are, again, a denier by definition.

    So if you deny all the above scientific organizations there are a lot of un-scientific web sites out there that pretend to be science. Many of these are run by lobbyists (e.g.., Climate Depot, run by a libertarian political lobbyist, CFACT), or supported by lobbyists (e.g., JoannaNova, WUWT, both of whom have received funding and otherwise substantial support by lobbying organizations like the Heartland Institute), or are actually paid by lobbyists to write Op-Eds and other blog posts that intentionally misrepresent the science.”

  • A Green New Deal must not sabotage climate goals

    sauerj at 03:15 AM on 20 February, 2019

    RedBaron & Others:
    1) First off, a point of clarification on my @20: I technically mis-spoke (@20) when saying EICDA would subsidize Carbon Seq (CS) to "farmers and land managers". It does provide a refund to CCS enterprises (that meet “safe, permanent, and in compliance with any applicable local, State, and Federal laws”), but there is no direct language aimed at "farmers and land managers". However, if these agricultural-based CS practices could be shown to meet the above quoted provision, then possibly a refund to "farmers and land managers" (the subsidy RB advocates) would indeed occur. See point 2.9 in this FAQ on the EICDA.

    2) EICDA's Rise-in-Fee is tied to Reduction Targets: Also see in 2.1 & 2.2 of this same EICDA FAQ that the carbon fee will continue to rise to meet the emission reduction targets (90% by 2050 along with interim targets that start on 2025). I personally like this provision of contining to increase the fee past $100/mt and tieing its rise-rate to meeting reduction targets. I believe this makes the EICDA even more robust in its effectiveness in reducing GHG emissions. Though faster reductions would be ideal, still, this reduction rate is laudable and superior to any other politically serious policy option that I am aware of (though, I admit, that I am not an expert on the array of serious mitigation policy options on the table). If anyone knows of a more laudable policy option, please provide links.

    3) CFD & CT Endorsed by Many Economists: Many noted economists (for example: a) More than 70 Top Economists Back New Carbon Tax Plan, b) Carbon Tax Center list of economists endorsing carbon tax,  and c) Nordhaus views on carbon tax) advocate for a revenue-neutral carbon tax as an effective way to reduce GHG emissions.

    4) The above two points #2 & #3 seem to disagree with RB's statement above (@46): "Unfortunately [EICDA] won't actually reverse AGW even if passed." when considering that the primary mitigation objective, right now, is to first concentrate on reducing GHG emissions to zero as quickly as possible.

    My goal of this additional comment (as this thread is probably winding down) is to 1) post the informative FAQ of the EICDA, and 2) make a good case that the EICDA will in fact be effective in reducing GHG emissions (refer to my points #2 & #3 above). Personally, I believe that these latter two points make a strong case for the efficacy of EICDA compared to any other politically serious policy option.

    If anyone would like to join Citizens' Climate Lobby and help to support this awesome organization and the EICDA bill, then please refer to my comment above (@20) for more information and links to CCL and on the EICDA bill (House #763 & Senate #3791).

  • A Green New Deal must not sabotage climate goals

    sauerj at 16:09 PM on 2 February, 2019

    Everyone, The recently re-introduced bi-partisan Carbon Fee & Dividend bill: "Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act" (house bill #763) fits what many above are advocating. This is the culmination of 10 years of bi-partisan relationship building by Citizens' Climate Lobby. See link HERE for details on this bill; see HERE for actual text of this bill. Call your congress person today to support this bill (see the helpful congress call-in tool provided by CCL HERE); and consider joining citizens' Climate Lobby to lend more support (see HERE).

    RedBaron #17: This bill includes payments from the fees for certified carbon capture and sequestration (such as to "farmers and land managers"). So, it funds & stimulates exactly what you are advocating to concentrate on, as well as all the benefits listed by william (#15) (win-win). ... This policy (CFD) is the least costly way to correct the market failure caused by not including the external cost of carbon in the price of FF's. Thereby it drives economic forces so to accentuate everything that we should be doing, and de-accentuate everything that we shouldn't. And, it will do this without increasing the size of goverment (think: low cost; think: not economically regressive; think: politically durable). Plus, it will do this in a way that is very just & progressive to the poor (see Household Access study HERE). ... It will reduce GHG emissions 40% by 2030 and 90% by 2050. Nothing else, on the books, comes close to those kind of stats. ... Carbon tax policy, like this bill, has been endorsed by dozens of noted economists and nobel laureates (HERE); Dana Nuccitelli cited the same economist endorsement of CFD in his article above.

  • A Green New Deal must not sabotage climate goals

    Doug_C at 14:09 PM on 1 February, 2019

    michael sweet @4

    Not at all, I'm saying that in earlier attempts to have an in depth discussion of nuclear power I've been instructed by moderation that it was taking the discussion off topic.

    What really needs to be said about nuclear power that is needed to convince anyone of its utility as part of a new energy model that is free of fossil fuels?

    To be clear, I'm not advocating for a large scale expansion of Pressurized and Boiling Water(PWRs & BWRs) nuclear power plants which are wasteful of fuel, have faulure mechanisms that cannot be 100% addressed and produce large amounts of very long lived waste some of it transuranic actinides like Plutonium that need to be safely stored for thousands of years.

    I do however support investment in develping the kind of molten salt reactors pioneered at ORNL in the 1950s and 60s that can run on both the uranium and thorium fuel cycles. Thorium 232 being a fertile not fissile material needs to be transmuted into U-233 to be then used as fuel in a slow neutron reactor is far more proliferation tolerant than uranium as it is many neutron captures away from weapons grade Pu-239 not the one of U-238. And if you pull U-233 out of a running molten salt reactor that is breeding its own fuel it will cease to function. The break even is almost identical in neutrons released by fission in the reactors and the neutrons needed to maintain the fission and breed new fuel.

    Molten salt reactors also offer advantages not available with PWRs and BWRs as they cannot melt down - molten salt core with U-233 in solution - a two stage Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor(LFTR) would utilize almost 100% of input fuel while uranium cycle PWRs and BWRs currently utilize less than 1% of input fuel. Nuclear poisons like Xenon-135 can be removed instream while the reactor is running as can useful medical isotopes like Technetium-99m, Iodine-131 and Bismuth-213. Any moderate scale implementation of LFTRs would mean an end to any shortages of material for nuclear medicine which is very important in imaging and cancer treatment currently.

    As they run at high temperatures compared to PWRs and BWRs and near atmospheric pressures, LFTRs have a much higher thermal efficiency, do not need massive secondary containment and can also be used for things like salt water desalination after heat has been pulled off for the power loop. Which can be run by far higher efficiency Brayton Cycle gas generators.

    Because of their nature LFTRs can be built in flexible modular design and placed in locations that would never be suitable for PWRs and BWRs. Current interest in LFTRs was started by NASA looking at nuclear power generation on the Moon for instance where water would not be available for moderation, cooling and heat transfer to the generation loop. Cooling would be done with a radiation fin alone.

    As for the safety factor of nuclear power, I find it quesitonable that the Linear No Threhold(LNT) model of biological risk from exposure to ionizing radiation is accurate as the biological response to ionizing radiation does not seem to be linear.

    "The concept of DNA “repair centers” and the meaning of radiation-induced foci (RIF) in human cells have remained controversial. RIFs are characterized by the local recruitment of DNA damage sensing proteins such as p53 binding protein (53BP1). Here, we provide strong evidence for the existence of repair centers. We used live imaging and mathematical fitting of RIF kinetics to show that RIF induction rate increases with increasing radiation dose, whereas the rate at which RIFs disappear decreases. We show that multiple DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) 1 to 2 μm apart can rapidly cluster into repair centers. Correcting mathematically for the dose dependence of induction/resolution rates, we observe an absolute RIF yield that is surprisingly much smaller at higher doses: 15 RIF/Gy after 2 Gy exposure compared to approximately 64 RIF/Gy after 0.1 Gy. Cumulative RIF counts from time lapse of 53BP1-GFP in human breast cells confirmed these results. The standard model currently in use applies a linear scale, extrapolating cancer risk from high doses to low doses of ionizing radiation. However, our discovery of DSB clustering over such large distances casts considerable doubts on the general assumption that risk to ionizing radiation is proportional to dose, and instead provides a mechanism that could more accurately address risk dose dependency of ionizing radiation."

    Which means the main threat of nuclear power - exposure to ionizing radiation - is not the linear to zero threat it has been treated as from the start.

    In fact there are preliminary results that would seem to indicate that exposure to ionizing radiation within a certain threshold may have a positive health benefit. As the US Navy found with its Nuclear Shipyard Workers Study that was implemented after anecdotal evidence of a link between workers exposed to activated steel producing cobalt-60 having higher rates of leukemia.

    Although the study was never published as it found no links to leukemia from exposure to slightly higher levels of gamma radiation, the results did show a significantly lower mottaility in the nuclear worker cohort as compared to the non-nuclear workers.

    "Abstract: This paper is a summary of the 1991 Final Report of the Nuclear Shipyard Worker Study (NSWS), a very comprehensive study of occupational radiation exposure in the US. The NSWS compared three cohorts: a high-dose cohort of 27,872 nuclear workers, a low dose cohort of 10,348 workers, and a control cohort of 32,510 unexposed shipyard workers. The cohorts were matched by ages and job categories. Although the NSWS was designed to search for adverse effects of occupational low dose-rate gamma radiation, few risks were found. The high-dose workers demonstrated significantly lower circulatory, respiratory, and all-cause mortality than did unexposed workers.
    Mortality from all cancers combined was also lower in the exposed cohort. The NSWS results are compared to a study of British radiologists. We recommend extension of NSWS data from 1981 to 2001 to get a more complete picture of the health effects of 60Co radiation to the high-dose cohort compared to the controls."

    Then there's the fact that as organisms we like everything else are radioactive;

    "All of us have a number of naturally occurring radionuclides within our bodies. The major one that produces penetrating gamma radiation that can escape from the body is a radioactive isotope of potassium, called potassium-40. This radionuclide has been around since the birth of the earth and is present as a tiny fraction of all the potassium in nature.

    Potassium-40 (40K) is the primary source of radiation from the human body for two reasons. First, the 40K concentration in the body is fairly high. Potassium is ingested in many foods that we eat and is a critically important element for proper functioning of the human body; it is present in pretty much all the tissues of the body. The amount of the radioactive isotope 40K in a 70-kg person is about 5,000 Bq, which represents 5,000 atoms undergoing radioactive decay each second."

    Ionizing radiation in any amount stops seeming a threat when it is understood that we are constantly exposed to ionzing radiation from within and like every other organism on the planet have evolved mechanisms to not just deal with this but quite possibly use it to our benefit.

    Which us why I commented that the risk of nuclear power is often misrepresented often to highly unreasonable levels.

    And while Acute Radiation Syndrome is a concern, it is very rare in association with nuclear power. And it is also not an automatic death sentence as conventional "wisdom" by some would have us believe.

    The Chernobyl accident resulted in almost one-third of the reported cases of acute radiation sickness (ARS) reported worldwide. Cases occurred among the plant employees and first responders but not among the evacuated populations or general population. The diagnosis of ARS was initially considered for 237 persons based on symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Ultimately, the diagnosis of ARS was confirmed in 134 persons. There were 28 short term deaths of which 95% occurred at whole body doses in excess of 6.5 Gy. Underlying bone marrow failure was the main contributor to all deaths during the first 2 mo. Allogenic bone marrow transplantation was performed on 13 patients and an additional six received human fetal liver cells. All of these patients died except one individual who later was discovered to have recovered his own marrow and rejected the transplant. Two or three patients were felt to have died as a result of transplant complications. Skin doses exceeded bone marrow doses by a factor of 10-30, and at least 19 of the deaths were felt to be primarily due to infection from large area beta burns. Internal contamination was of relatively minor importance in treatment. By the end of 2001, an additional 14 ARS survivors died from various causes. Long term treatment has included therapy for beta burn fibrosis and skin atrophy as well as for cataracts."

    The primary cause of death with emergency responders at the Chernobyl reactor accident was from infection in 3rd. degree beta burns. And while there are serious health issue with survivors, many were still alive decades later.

    To sum up my position on nuclear power of certain types.

    - Thorium has an energy denisty of more than 1 million times coal. A lump of thorium that fits within your hand could provide all the energy you need in a lifetime.

    - Modern reactor designs are far more safe and efficient than older designs.

    - They provide benefits such as an endless supply of medical isotops that would likely result in a revolution in nuclear medicine.

    - LFTRs produce far less transuranic actinides and most of the fission products that remain after the original fuel is consummed have decayed to ground state within a decade leaving a little over 10% of the waste needing to be stored long term. This in a reactor design that will produce about 1% of waste as current reactors.

    - Thorium is in the same abundance as lead.

    - If we choose to utilize uranium in fast spectrum molten salt reactors we can burn up all the current high level nuclear waste and have a virtually unlimited supply of fuel as the oceans contain about 4.5 billion tons of uranium before we even look at terrestrial reserves. This comes with the proliferation risk of producing large amounts of Pu-239.

    A new family of absorbents is being developed to efficiently extract uranium from sea water.

    To be clear, I'm not advocating the implementation of nuclear power over other low carbon sources of energy. 

    I think we need to develop everything we can because the next few decades are going to be a challenge that is going to require innovation and flexibility that leaves no room from political agendas and poorly implemented science such as with the LNR which is almost certainly inaccurate and yet remains the main plank of opposition to nuclear power as it presents ionizing radiation as a health risk down to a level of zero. A factor that is present in all our lives at varying rates.



  • Explainer: Why some US Democrats want a ‘Green New Deal’ to tackle climate change

    alonerock at 05:19 AM on 18 December, 2018

    A few non-scholarly comments regarding possible misunderstandings and potential solutions :

    Climate Change Denial
    Many people exhibit a complacent, if not an outright attitude of denial toward human-induced climate change. The following list contains many of the fundamental reasons behind this irrational behavior:
    -Ignorance of the complex science required to understand this serious, complicated issue.
    -Contradictory information disseminated by the media.
    -Misinformation distributed by politicians and scientific imposters with deep fossil fuel interests.
    -The threat is not immediate. It has been accumulating over a long period of time.
    -There exists no historical precedent with which to compare.
    -The cause is not derived from a specific, tangible enemy. Nearly all humans are collectively responsible for the problem.
    -There is a tremendous misunderstanding regarding temporal and spatial scales.
    -There is a failure of the experts to properly educate the public regarding the urgency of the problem.
    -There is little direct, noticeable impact.
    -Environmental problems are typically too disturbing and unpopular for the general public to address.
    -Why should one entity spend resources to reduce pollution when others that are contributing a far greater problem do nothing.
    -Many people have a passive attitude- expecting others to fix the problem.
    -Unclear links exist between costs to solve problems and the benefits.
    -Many elderly people do not care since they will not be around to experience the consequences.
    -There is a strong unwillingness of people in general to change their lifestyles or specifically, to sacrifice their perceived luxuries.
    -Lack of desire to participate and get involved at Local, Regional, State, National and Global levels which would provide or lead to exposure to other ideas and ways of looking at problems.

    Some potential Climate Change Solutions:
    The present state of climate conditions presents out society with complex, serious moral, social, environmental, economic and political issues unparalleled in history.
    The anthropogenically-induced climate problems are reversable if approached with wisdom in a timely fashion.
    This crisis will not be solved by 195 countries arguing over multiple issues. It can be best solved by the United States implementing important environmentally related regulations, which will ultimately force other countries to participate.
    This horrific problem has become so large, it has evolved into a tragedy of the commons in which others share or will share (future generations) in the cost, in addition to those who actually created the problem. Make no mistake, this climate change is not a liberal left or conservative right issue. It is a species survival issue. It is a species survival issue, including humans.
    If the grave finality of this crisis is to be solved, the following measures could be implemented in a timely fashion by the United States, in an effort to reduce energy consumption, improve energy efficiency, improve/expand existing clean energy sources and search for new clean energy sources, otherwise the problem will soon be irreversible and out of control for the next generation:
    -No couples should produce more than two children. Tax incentives/penalties can be used to encourage this concept. The penalties can be earmarked for R&D of clean energy.
    - The U.S. should implement a C-tax program. The solution is not simply for bigger government and increased taxes. Governmental officials, influenced by special interest groups and lobbyists, lack the knowledge or integrity for successfully managing such C-tax programs. This can be consumer driven. A large fee on fossil fuel businesses implemented at port of entry as well as domestic mines and wells would ensure that the fossil fuel businesses are paying their fair share for their cost to society. The taxes due to the increase at the pumps could then be distributed equally among all legal US residents annually. The wealthier people have a greater C-footprint and can afford the tax. The middle- and lower-class people will receive money back (which would likely exceed the taxes they paid in) which they can then spend and stimulate the economy. Likely, due to the rising cost of fuel, they would spend a substantial portion of the dividends on vehicles of increased efficiency, better insulation in homes, improved heating systems, more efficient appliances, etc. This would further drive R&D of businesses regarding improved energy as well as giving entrepreneurs incentive to invest is such endeavors while unleashing a huge faction of innovations in technology. Industries will compete far more aggressively with far improved results without “help” from the government. The differing prices of food, goods and services based on their C-footprint will cause a shift in what consumers purchase, so the market will drive a healthier and swifter result.
    Cap and trade, as some have suggested as a wise choice, would likely fail in its objective because it will enable rich businesses/nations to not reduce their emissions because they can afford otherwise. Furthermore, the cap and trade scheme cannot be implemented for all types of pollution (personal vehicles, home heating oil, etc.).
    -Huge tariffs must be placed on foreign imports for countries that do not engage in similar environmental policies as that of the United States. This will make competition fair and more importantly, create tremendous incentive for foreign countries (China, India, etc.) to reduce their C footprint as well. This will stimulate all markets/innovations, foreign and domestic.
    -Improved forestry and agricultural practices (i.e. no-till) must be encouraged.
    -Increase individual contributions; car-pooling, improved recycling/re-using, food waste reduction.
    -Support local framer’s markets and other businesses. Educate people from early age on.
    -Reduce travel, particularly air travel and reduce vehicle travel speed
    -Reduce meat consumption overall and eating larger percentage of wild game (deer, fish, turkey, etc.)
    -Sustain vehicles in good condition (tire pressure, tune-ups, filters, exhaust, etc.) and require vastly improved fuel mileage.
    -Reduce thermostat in cold months and limit air conditioning in warm months.
    -Insurance companies can influence climate-based decisions due to their cost from associated health problems (cardiac/respiratory etc.).
    -Law enforcement can influence climate-based decisions due to direct correlations between hotter temperatures and violence.
    -Implement zoning/planning regulations at local levels to encourage a smaller C-footprint; lights off at night in residences, encourage smaller houses, narrower driveways and roads, smaller lawns, reduce street lighting, lights off after business hours, etc.
    -Vote for politicians who have no fossil fuel interests and who care about issues rather than simply devoting their efforts into getting elected and then getting re-elected.
    -Get involved personally and participate at all levels. VOTE! Write senators, representatives, governors and presidents. Write articles in newspapers. Exercise consumer pressure. As Winston Churchill once suggested, if people do not have courage and participate, all of their other virtues are wasted.
    Surely many other wonderful ideas can be considered. We enjoy what we have today because of people who came before us who were wise stewards of the land. Likewise, we have an obligation to future generations. It is all about quality of life and leaving the place better than how we found it.

  • Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    Doug_C at 18:00 PM on 13 December, 2018

    The advantages to EVs are significant.

    First off your "fuel" can be transported at near ligthspeed hundreds of miles with little risk, pollution and waste stream. And it weighs almost nothing.

    EVs take that energy and deliver it directly and highly efficiently to the wheels meaning only a tiny fraction of the loss of potential energy we have with fossil fuel produced gas and diesel. And with so few moving parts the need for expensive after-market replacement parts is a tiny fraction with EVs compared to ICE vehicles.

    And when the electricity generated for EV transportation is produced with low carbon renewables like solar and wind power that is a major step to an essential reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

    One of the roadblocks so far has been battery pack cost and technological barriers. Wet lithium ion batteries do remove a lot of the risk associated with wet lithium metal batteries at the cost of about half the energy denisty, longer recharge cycles and shorter lifespan.

    This does cause some incovenience to drivers as they have to plan for shorter range, longer "refueling" and at what speed to drive. The faster you go the quicker you draw down your charge and it drops very fast when EVs are operated at high performance levels.

    What solid state lithium metal batteries will do is eventually significantly increase the energy density, lower the weight of the battery pack, increase range, decrease the recharge time and mostly remove the fire risk with the elimination of the flamable electrolytes in wet lithium ion batteries.

    I think a decade from now there will be no comparison between ICE vehicles and the latest EVs that will have impressive range, much quicker recharging, much longer battery pack life and little of the risk of catastrophic discharge if the battery is damaged in an impact.

    With inductive roadbeds it will be possible to charge your vehicle while driving in some schemes that have already been tested in places like New Zealand and London England.

    The UK is testing out roads that charge electric cars as they go

    Major new investment in wireless electric-charging roads

    The future is electric with power provided by solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and other renewable utilized in ways that will simply drive innovation in ways we can't predict now.

    The future for us all will be exceedingly dark if we stay the course with fossil fuels while the potential with alternatives could be very bright indeed if we choose.

  • Trump's disbelief won't stop dangerous climate change

    One Planet Only Forever at 03:43 AM on 6 December, 2018

    I have an MBA, but I am pretty sure the fundamental economics related to climate science are fairly easy to follow:

    • The competition for superiority relative to others in games based on popularity and profitability (with the ability to benefit from misleading marketing), have developed unsustainable and damaging results. That is because it is cheaper and easier to do things less acceptably or unsustainably (especially if you can keep people from realizing how unacceptable the activity is).
    • Earning wealth for 10 or 20 years is 'increasing wealth'. And earning wealth for one more year is 'earning more wealth'.
    • Being able to personally avoid harmful consequences or significant personal losses when an unsustainable activity ends (when it can no longer be prolonged), is simple 'risk mitigation' which the bigger winners in the pursuit of profit do more successfully than others. Risk mitigation can be done by making sure Others suffer any negative consequences or making sure Others suffer the losses of benefit at the end of the unsustainable activity.

    The burning of fossil fuels is a fundamentally unsustainable activity. The non-renewable resources continue to get harder to get. And eventually nobody will be able to benefit from their burning.

    Burning fossil fuels is also a harmful activity, in many more ways than the production of excess CO2 or methane in the atmosphere.

    So, any society (or person) that has developed perceptions of prosperity or superiority relative to others that are substantially based on benefiting from burning fossil fuels faces a potential serious correction. And without correction of the socioeconomic-political system that allows harmful and unsustainable activity to have a competitive advantage, any innovation is likely to develop new harmful unsustainable activity.

    The portion of the current population benefiting most from the burning of fossil fuels hopes to remain powerful enough to prolong their continued acquisition of more wealth and enjoyment in 'Their lifetime - that 10 to 20 year time frame often applies', and powerful enough to continue to allow harmful and unsustainable activity to continue to have a competitive advantage (every year of personal benefit is 'more personal benefit').

    Protecting the future of humanity, including effective action to limit the climate change impacts on future generations, clearly requires the already more fortunate people who continue to benefit from the global burning of fossil fuels to be unable to protect 'their personal interests and incorrectly developed perceptions of superiority' from the required correction.

    Trump and the New GOP are just part of the many who are now trying to win by Uniting greedier and less tolerant people (united to support each other's unacceptable interests, interests that need to be corrected). Hopefully their undeniable incorrectness on climate science (and so many other matters related to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals) will hasten the end of their ability to win the game playing Their incorrect way.

  • Katharine Hayhoe on Fossil Fuels

    nigelj at 16:50 PM on 20 November, 2018

    OPOF @6, yes its probably too simplistic to say economic growth would stop. This is how I see future patterns of gdp growth: Growth based on mining industries is likely to slow and even fall eventually, given limits on reserves of minerals and higher extraction costs, although recycling woud partly offset this.

    Growth in the services sector is likely to continue especially with AI and more people working in this sector as manufacturing automates. But its likely to be low levels of growth as increasing output of services is notoriously challenging. 

    Growth in agriculture may continue quite robustly due to GM food and other innovations, but I would suggest the whole thing will slowly reach a limiting factor especially as land is finite, and if population declines there would be little reason for generating higher levels of output. Perhaps growth will be in quality.

    It all depends on how we define growth, and timeframes,  and low growth does not have to be a bad thing imho if it is in life promoting things and sustainable things as you mentioned. Japan has had low growth for years without major problems.

  • 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #39

    nigelj at 11:41 AM on 1 October, 2018

    John Hartz  posts "Climate change is real and we believe it's our duty and our opportunity to reduce the risks. But to make a difference, we have to fight climate change with free enterprise instead of ineffective subsidies and regulations."

    The writer would need to elaborate, but one assumes he would be referring to the efforts of people like Elon Musk, and the general power of competition to drive innovation, all laudable things. But sadly not everyone acts in these ways.

    The "ineffective subsidies and regulation" can be fairly interpreteed to mean either no regulation, or no regulation that I dont like. But it would be good if people acted responsibly without the need for regulations imposed by governments as the writer, and OPOF alluded to,  but such a world may be implausible because of the  well known and fascinating social dilemmas discussed in this article.   At the very least we might need a carbon tax in some form.

  • The silver lining of fake news

    One Planet Only Forever at 08:43 AM on 5 September, 2018

    I share your concern about needing to change the behaviour of the masses. But the masses (the people) need to see examples to aspire to in the behaviour of 'all of the wealthier and more powerful' - the winners need to be deserving examples to aspire to. The developed socioeconomic-political environment significantly influences how people develop. The way they see people win is a significant factor.

    The leaders/winners need to set Good Examples (and directly and openly correct people like John McCain often did). Many wanna-be-leaders/winners claim they only do what the masses want, while what they actually do is try to deceive people into supporting understandably unacceptable and ultimately unsustainable things that the wanna-be-leaders/winners actually want to benefit from.

    Improved awareness and understanding of climate science and the emergent truth about the corrections of what humans have developed is an essential part of the bigger picture of what is going on. It is an important part of the larger worldview that more people need to embrace for humanity to actually have a sustainable and improving future.

    Improved awareness and understanding of that larger worldview already has a good start in many collectives (tribes/organizations/institutions/nations). All that needs to be overcome is the ease with which people can be tempted to believe made-up stories that appeal to more primitive human nature. Good Helpful Altruistic Reasoning (GHAR) needs to overpower the temptations of more primitive human nature.

    I have just finished reading Jonah Goldberg's “Suicide of the West - How the rebirth of tribalism, populism, nationalism, and identity politics is destroying American Democracy”. Jonah is a self-declared conservative who presents many incorrect stories in his book (correcting his story about families and economies come later in this comment). But he does present a fundamental understanding that could be a useful way to connect with people like him: “Human beings are hardwired to want to belong, to be part of a cause larger than themselves, and to be valued for their contribution to that cause”. That fits what I have presented above (also, refer to my previous comment @12).

    The diversity of causes people choose to be part of need to all be governed by the same universal objective(s). For a universal objective to be helpful it needs to be developed by people dedicated to Good Helpful Altruistic Reasoning (GHAR). Any other motivations would weaken the helpfulness of a Universal Objective (because its objective would be biased). The emergent truth is that global collaboration of people who embrace GHAR has developed a very robust set of Universal Objectives. They are the Sustainable Development Goals and the many other developed UN documents, especially declarations like the Declaration of Human Rights. And those objectives all need to be achieved for humanity to have a viable lasting future.

    Having GHAR globally govern over primitive human nature is required to achieve the Universal Objectives. Getting everyone aspiring to have their diversity of interests and actions governed by GHAR and those universal objectives is the required correction of the masses and the winners/leaders (and the Constitution of the USA can easily be honoured and defended in ways that are governed by, and consistent with, those Universal Objectives).

    A diversity of innovations governed by GHAR that are sustainable aspects of a robust diversity of humanity fitting into the robust diversity of life on this or any other amazing planet can be, and need to be, developed.

    Back to Jonah and an incorrect story he (and many others like him), tells about families that relates to concerns regarding the required corrections of developed human activity that climate science has exposed. He claims that the correlation of family stability with perceptions of prosperity, and family instability correlating with economic troubles, is proof that stable families (with his narrow worldview of a family being a manly man married for life to a womanly woman and raising their 'properly identified as' male and female off-spring) produce economic prosperity. An extension of the claim is that anything developing other than that 'type of family' will result in economic failure. The rather self-evident emergent truth among those studying what is going on is that declines of perceptions of prosperity resulting from instability and unsustainability of developed economic activity lead to future family/social problems and worse (like the tragic 2008 result of fiscal freedom fighters successfully excusing and allowing unsustainable and harmful economic activity to compete for popularity and profitability, and like the excuses being made by wealthier and more powerful people for their lack of effort to correct the unsustainable and harmful burning of fossil fuels).

    Undeserved developed perceptions of prosperity due to benefiting from the burning of fossil fuels will fail at some point in the future. The experience of current day USA coal miners will be experienced by many others who choose to gamble on getting away with benefiting from the burning of fossil fuels. The longer the correction is delayed the more rapid and significant the correction will be, and the more damage will have been done before the correction is achieved. It will be a double-hit on the families and institutions of future generations. The ones benefiting most today, those undeserving wealthy powerful people, are quite certain that it will be Others in the future (near future or more distant future, but others nonetheless) who will suffer the negative effects of the required economic correction, and others in the future (immediate future as well as far into the future) will suffer the climate change effects and other environmental effects (including the reduced access to easy to get buried ancient hydrocarbons).

    Being able to benefit by getting away with harming others needs to be weeded out of the ranks of the winners among humanity. That will require 'Government of the people, by the people, for the people' to intervene to correct incorrect developments (economic and social).

    Many conservatives seem to be unable to see that emergent truth. Their smaller worldview constrained by faith in made-up stories about how great their dogma would be if it only could be freely imposed on the entire population is a serious problem.

    Holding winners accountable and responsible for setting Good examples is the solution. Having the masses demand better behaviour from all of the bigger winners, fewer members of the masses so easily impressed by the made-up stories that excuse thoughts and actions that are detrimental to achieving the universal objective of a sustainable better future for all of humanity, is the change of the masses that is required to get responsible climate action, rapid reduction of harm creation and rapid increase of assistance for those needing help correcting the unacceptable things that have been developed.

    Without that correction of the wealthier and more powerful, driven by correcting the expectations of the masses, it is unlikely that the future of humanity will be protected from a damaging major future correction of the economy. And without that correction of the economy, human impacts will go well beyond the 2.0C warming which will be very harmful to the future of humanity.

    Without the less deserving among the wealthy and powerful being effectively corrected, the future of humanity will corrupt into barbarism, meaning that the future of humanity will be brief, with only primitive barbaric human-nature driven humans remaining. And there may be no correct history of how it happened. The correct history that could help avoid a future disaster for humanity would require non-barbaric humans to survive and have the stories they tell be believed.

    (p.s. money in politics is only a problem if undeserving people are winning because of it)

  • Wind Energy: What About Those Subsidies?

    shoyemore at 07:57 AM on 28 July, 2018

    Funny ... read a few books on the Oak Island mystery when I was a kid & retained a lifetime's curiousity. Sometime before 1800, somone dug elaborate tunnels on Oak Island, Nova Scotia, with passages connected to the sea, possibly to hide pirate treasure (one theory). Generations of explorers have ripped up and added new layers of confusion to the whole elaborate network. Lovers of a mystery will love Oak Island.

    The Laginas (Marty and Rick) returned to the island a few years ago, as the latest generation of explorers. Cannily they made their exploration a Reality TV show, so their research and drilling at least partially pays for itself. The show is watchable & (I think) fun, with a lot of red herrings and cliffhangers (some fake, imho). Personally, their favoured theory of a treasure buried by pre-Columbian Templars is wacko (again, imho).

    In the UK, there are repeats on Sky, and I believe a new series in the offing, the 6th. The Laginas, by the way, come across as pretty hard-headed and practical, not starry eyed romantics.

    Just enjoy suddenly finding out Marty Lagina is a renewable energy guy. I had wondered where he made his money.

  • 97% of House Republicans foolishly reject carbon taxes

    trstyles at 04:13 AM on 23 July, 2018

    I live in one of America's many cities named "Springfield". My Springfield is a "downstate" Illinois city hosting a population of just over 100,000. It also happens to be the state's capitol. In Illinois the gears of civic process are badly rusted. Some say jammed. Attitudes toward almost anything to do with government are deeply negative. While I'm speaking here about a particular corner of a large country, I'm certain what I'll say applies to many other regions.

    When my wife and I first moved here we would ask residents what they liked most about our new community. The most common rejoinder was an enthusiastic observation that real estate taxes were uncommonly low compared to other cities.
    But then such statements were usually followed by complaints about inadequate city and county services or the public school system. Disconnecting taxes-paid from public-services-received struck us as very odd. Now that I have lived here a few decades I better understand the source of this popular mode of thought. Also the circumstances that perpetuate it.

    Througout Illinois, urban and rural areas alike, federal and state government are perceived to be frequently corrupt and almost universally inept. Furthermore citizens commonly feel they have little or no say in matters. The combined attitudes can be expressed as: Why bother to 'fork over' money to a 'bunch of bureaucrats' who will 'waste most of it' and use the rest in ways 'I don't like' or 'I don't understand'? (The ' enclosed phrases are common and reflect the level of exasperation.)

    Almost by accident, these attitudes have trickled down to produce excessive negativity toward local government, even though voters undeniably have more control at this level. Pertinent to our concerns here, negativity-as-normal leads to knee-jerk rejection of most any progressive initiative concerning environmental issues.

    I say "almost by accident" because, by word if not by deed, politicians in the USA routinely rail against taxes as a tactic to win elections. Both major political parties take part in this game, but Republicans have literally "weaponized" anti-tax sentiment. They embrace it as one of their party's cornerstones. (A classic example of the Republican anti-tax mantra was the famous? "Read my lips. No new taxes!" promise of Bush the 1st.)

    While this style of campaigning is by no means new (or limited to the USA) decades of effort by Republican strategists to manipulate perceptions through television and radio outlets have been highly effective. (Using the word "successful" here would be quite misleading. Let's just say they have borne fruit.) Some of the more extreme think tankers are convinced they can graduate to altering the very laws of physics.

    Stubborn rigidity is becoming a defining character of a culture once known for innovation. The normal dynamic of debate between liberals, centrists, and conservatives has been overwhelmed by partisan politicking. Even relatively simple elements of policy provoke over-the-top rhetoric and undue belligerence.

    A huge number of Americans are now fully alarmed by recent events. There is reason to hope their ranks will grow enough by November to punish the Republican party for its hubris. I predict the situation will improve, but it will take time for the USA to establish ("re-establish" doesn't quite cut it) itself as a constructive and reliable partner in efforts to combat environmental deterioration.

  • Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    jesscars at 19:54 PM on 9 July, 2018

    Hi All,

    I have another question re. temperature predictions.

    If the expected warming is an increase of 1 degree per doubling of CO2, why is this not matched by the Vostok Ice Core samples? These show about a 1 degree per 10 ppm linear relationship. 

    Why would the historic linear trend be replaced by a logarithmic one? At what level of CO2 does this happen?



  • 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    NorrisM at 02:40 AM on 28 February, 2018

    scaddenp @ 162

    About the only two things I took away from my undergraduate economics degree was the present value of money and the importance of assumptions in any analysis (ie my joke about the economist's contribution to opening the can of beans on the desert island).

    The arguments of what discount rates to use render any discussion about future costs of climate change very problematic.  The assumptions used again make the discussion very difficult.

    Again, my point is that governments have a lot more resources than we do to come up with some estimates of the costs but we once again meet up with the problem that there is no world body that has any power to do anything about it.

    The information that China's population is more at risk than any other nation state is somewhat interesting.  If there is one thing the oligarchy in China is concerned about is staying in power and keeping its nation united.  This should be a strong incentive for China to come up with innovative ways to deal with climate change knowing that they have 50 million people to protect. 

    I hate to say it but I look at Florida with some amusement.  Did they only discover yesterday that some areas are only 12" above sea level? Or was it not a problem when it was 15" perhaps 10 years ago?  I have no idea what the annual rate of sea level change is in this area. 

    As for Lomborg, I have read his book and I recall the reception I received on this website bt making reference to him.

    I might be mistaken but I believe that Stern has joined Lomborg's "council of scientists".   I am sure I will be corrected if I am wrong on this.  Even if that is the case I am not sure what that means as to whether any of his views have changed.  I do not follow Lomborg's website.

  • Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

    nigelj at 05:52 AM on 21 February, 2018

    jef @1

    "...major reduction in greenhouse gases", "...reduce CO₂ levels now...", " ways to reduce CO₂ emissions..."."Wiggly wormy weasle words that muddle the truth."

    They don't muddle the truth, because the language is clear enough and is based on what we know is possible. You also don't explain why you think the statements in the article muddle the truth, so you are just posting empty propaganda.

    "technological innovations are providing new ways to reduce CO₂ emissions..."."There are currently none that have any prospect what so ever at scaling to a degree that is even 1% of what will be necessary, but don't let that stand in the way of "magic happens aka technology"

    You give no evidence that these things can't be scaled up. Theres no technical reason because the technology exists. The only thing standing in the way is perhaps human motivation, but people have found the will in the past to tackle major projects. Of course nobody said it would be easy. Where does the article say it would be easy? So you are just posting empty cynicism.

    Of course one other thing standing in the way are campaigns of climate science denialism and also attacks on renewable energy, mainly from self promoting lobby groups. Maybe have a look in the mirror?

    "...a low-carbon future."Which is it, negative carbon/removing carbon in massive giga, trillion, mega amounts, or just lower?"

    The article said low carbon, so presumably they mean low carbon. Humanity will always use fossil fuels for things like plastic manufacture, had you not thought of that?

    "What is needed is speaking truth to the masses. Difficult? hell yes, but absolutely good will happen until we take on that herculean task first.'

    Yes, and you are not communicating anything very well to the masses,  because you make wild, one sided, unsupported, cynical claims.

  • Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

    jef at 02:30 AM on 21 February, 2018

    "...major reduction in greenhouse gases", "...reduce CO₂ levels now...", " ways to reduce CO₂ emissions...".

    Wiggly wormy weasle words that muddle the truth. 

    "technological innovations are providing new ways to reduce CO₂ emissions...".

    There are currently none that have any prospect what so ever at scaling to a degree that is even 1% of what will be necessary, but don't let that stand in the way of "magic happens aka technology".

    "...a low-carbon future."

    Which is it, negative carbon/removing carbon in massive giga, trillion, mega amounts, or just lower?

    What is needed is speaking truth to the masses. Difficult? hell yes, but absolutely good will happen until we take on that herculean task first.

  • The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    nigelj at 16:27 PM on 11 January, 2018

    Norris @8

    Regarding costs of gas compared to renewable sources, refer to the Lazard analysis below for America, or costs of electricity by source on wikipedia. (These are all measured slightly differently from the article, and are average costs, not the lowest costs cited in the article, but the comparison is what is obviously most important)

    Key points:

    "Onshore wind has the lowest average levelized cost in this analysis at $59 per megawatt-hour, and utility-scale photovoltaic plants weren’t far behind at $79. By comparison, the lowest cost conventional technologies were gas combined cycle technologies, averaging $74 per megawatt-hour, and coal plants, averaging $109. These numbers are the average of Lazard’s low- and high-end estimates (see their study for more about their cost calculations)."

    Regarding the Tesla battery in Australia:


    Some points:

    "Less than a month after Tesla unveiled a new backup power system in South Australia, the world's largest lithium-ion battery is already being put to the test. And it appears to be far exceeding expectations: In the past three weeks alone, the Hornsdale Power Reserve has smoothed out at least two major energy outages, responding even more quickly than the coal-fired backups that were supposed to provide emergency power."

    "Fed by wind turbines at the nearby Hornsdale wind farm, the battery stores excess energy that is produced when the demand for electricity isn't peaking. It can power up to 30,000 homes, though only for short periods - meaning that the battery must be supported by power plants in the event of a long outage."

    IMO this is quite something for one of the first instillations. The article was in our local newspaper recently.

  • New study uncovers the 'keystone domino' strategy of climate denial

    nigelj at 05:47 AM on 30 November, 2017

    Yes people do indeed latch onto a few selective issues to try to discredit entire theories. Of  course intelligent open minded people know this is false logic, but not everyone does, or they are so blinded by their politics they just dont care.

    It's a tough one, as things like polar bear examples make the issue real and relatable compared to some graph of climate trends, but at the same time are somewhat easy to pick holes in, especially as trends are currently only declining overall and not everywhere. Hopefully  people see the big picture, not one study that shows an increase in some limited area.

    I find it useful understand the polar bear issue by doing a simple thought experiment to imagine the arctic totally ice free, or nearly ice free, which is a very possible scenario in our lifetimes. This means no ice for polar bears and changes to seal populations etc.

    Where do the polar bears go? Its almost certainly much too fast for them to biologically evolve and adapt to alternative environments. This sort of evolution takes centuries to millenia. Polar bears do not have the inventive nature of humans to use tools and innovate their way out of changing environments, and even humans can only do this up to a certain point. Its going to be game over for polar bears.

    We have seen numerous species go extinct through not only hunting but environmental pressures. Some studies on species already affected badly by climate change and other environemntal problems here and here

  • Greenland has only lost a tiny fraction of its ice mass

    Eclectic at 19:55 PM on 28 November, 2017

    Bruce @4 , look at the evidence.  Think for yourself — don't swallow the BS you seem to have gotten from some crazy science-free website.  [Would it be WattsUpWithThat or JoNova or similar?  Those are websites which cherry-pick tiny bits of data, without analysing them properly . . . and which love to put so much spin on the info, and carefully avoiding the context / bigger picture, to produce a grossly misleading impression on the casual reader.]

    Greenland has gained a small bit of ice on the central heights — and has been losing over 50 cubic miles of ice (per year) from around the periphery.  Rather as you'd expect, from all this AGW that's going on.  And that melting loss of ice is part of the reason the sea level is rising so fast (and will get faster).

    One cubic mile is a mighty big iceblock when you think about it, Bruce.

    In comparison, the USA's Glacier National Park is pretty small beer.  Sadly, the Park has lost most of the glaciers it had 150 years ago . . . and the few remaining, are horribly shrunken and disappearing fast.   Get in and see them, Bruce, while there are still some left.

  • Sea level rise is exaggerated

    Mal Adapted at 06:58 AM on 7 November, 2017

    yppo: "the most authoritative and objective analysis yet of sea-level rise globally."

    Sorry, I'm skeptical.  Your citation is to the second of two issues of a brand new journal.  From the 'Preface' to the first issue, published three months ago:

    It is our great pleasure to present the inaugural issue of our newly launched scientific journal “Earth Systems and Environment,” the official journal of King Abdulaziz University, which has now become a reality with Springer Nature in Germany. Our main objective is to establish very high standards for the journal so as to support research and innovation in the greater Middle East region and to promote the exchange of scientific knowledge between local scientists in the region and the international community.

    With all due respect to King Abdulaziz and his namesake University, its new house organ has yet to establish how 'authoritative' it is. As for whether Short-Term Tide Gauge Records from One Location are Inadequate to Infer Global Sea-Level Acceleration will "finally put this issue to bed", that's up to post-publication peer review to decide. 

    As an armachair climate scientist, I'm hardly a 'peer' of any working SLR specialist, but I'll offer my two cents.  I noted this in the article's Introduction:

    The loud divergence between sea-level reality and climate change theory—the climate models predict an accelerated sea-level rise driven by the anthropogenic CO2 emission—has been also evidenced in other works such as Boretti (2012a, b), Boretti and Watson (2012), Douglas (1992), Douglas and Peltier (2002), Fasullo et al. (2016), Jevrejeva et al. (2006), Holgate (2007), Houston and Dean (2011), Mörner 2010a, b, 2016), Mörner and Parker (2013), Scafetta (2014), Wenzel and Schröter (2010) and Wunsch et al. (2007) reporting on the recent lack of any detectable acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise.

    Candidly, citing the likes of Mörner and Scafetta to support a claim of "loud divergence between sea-level reality and climate change theory" won't help to "establish very high standards for the journal."

  • It's a natural cycle

    Eclectic at 03:47 AM on 18 October, 2017

    Postkey @29 , yes that video presentation evoked both laughter & boredom, simultaneously.

    Postkey, as you increase and extend your knowledge of climate matters, you will soon discover two things :-

    (A) For all their imperfections & uncertainties, the scientists aim to present things as honestly & truthfully as they can.

    (B) The anti-science propagandists (such as Mr Heller/Goddard) do not hesitate to mislead and deceive.   They will cherrypick / "doctor" / fabricate . . . to whatever extent they think they can get away with.  They aim to outright deceive the reader — or at least get him thinking that with so much "controversy" then he might as well put the climate/AGW issue on the backburner 'cos it seems nobody knows what the hell's going on.   ~Either of those outcomes will satisfy the propaganda industry, as represented by GWPF, Heartland Institute, and other such "front" organizations.  (And you will notice, Postkey, that the more scientifically-ignorant their audience, the more these proagandists extend their lies & deceptions.  You will see that in places as diverse as Wall Street Journal op-eds and "lie & spin" websites like WattsUpWithThat or JoNova.  They are completely shameless in their disregard for truthful presentation.)

    Postkey, as for the AMO — what do you mean by "a statistical base"?   There are very short-term trends (e.g. the ENSO) having a short up-or-down effect on the global surface temperature, but which (when you think it through) are incapable of altering the long-term climate trends produced by real drivers of climate change (e.g. long-term solar activity changes / Milankovitch-cycle insolation / Northern Hemisphere ice albedo changes / continental drift positional effects / and of course Greenhouse gas alterations).

    But as for long-term (decadal) oceanic events such as the AMO — do they actually exist as some sort of real physical cycle, or are they only a collection of random natural variations that we interpret in our minds as some sort of "real" thing?   ~Interpret in a similar way as our minds "see" a Face in the Moon . . . when in reality we are only observing a random asteroidal-bombardment pattern on the Moon's surface.

    Still, whatever existence the AMO has or doesn't have — it does not and cannot cause significant climate change in the real way that Greenhouse gasses & other such "drivers" do.

    That video presenter was way off into crazy territory.  Either from his own ignorance or from his insane Conspiracy Theory beliefs or from some underlying extremist-political ideation.  And he was certainly shooting himself in the foot by using the mendacious Mr Heller as his "rock".   BTW, the presenter seemed to be "into" some form of agricultural permaculture (which in general I would say is a reasonable thing) but he hints at a Survivalist-type tendency — which is crazy-wrong in regard to apocalyptic "ice-age" threats . . . but which might well make some sense if North Korean nuclear attack occurs!   ~Alas, if the ongoing Global Warming gets very bad, then there will be no "hiding out in the mountains" for would-be Survivalists, since the climate change itself and the hordes of climate refugees will render such plans null & void.

  • The Mail's censure shows which media outlets are biased on climate change

    Eclectic at 02:41 AM on 28 September, 2017

    Philippe Chantreau, I wish to spare you further blushes, so I will go no further than saying it is a pleasure to read your excellent posts.  Alas, in this Vale of Sorrows known as the internet, infested by angry illogical and semi-literate "deniers" . . . even posts of basic mental competence look quite good!


    Tom13 @25 , for readers' convenience, I have aimed to keep points (A) to (E) as reasonably brief as possible, and I have taken care to present these excerpts [from Curry's own blog, and elsewhere as indicated] in a manner consonant with their context.  All for your convenience.  There is no deception / quote-mining / or "verballing" involved here.

    if you wish to waste your own time verifying these quotes, then you are welcome to google away.  If you knew Curry's modus operandi as well as I do, then you will see how all these statements hang together — even where she shows some self-contradiction!

    Yes, Tom13, her comments present an ugly picture.  And if you didn't really know her before, then I can understand if you experience some shock & revulsion at her grossly unscientific statements.  The denial of fundamental physics (especially the radiational properties of CO2).  The denial of mainstream observations & research.  The lack of any coherent "contrarian" science (even if by plausible hypothesis only).  The coy flirting with crazy rubbish e.g. Salby's ideas.  The continual sophisms combined with intentional vagueness & evasiveness.

    Use your common sense, Tom13, and look at the big picture — Curry is obviously a shill (but not near as poor a case as the blogger who calls herself JoNova).   Sorry Tom, but your goddess has feet made of clay . . . extending up to her eyebrows.

  • Correcting Warren Meyer on Forbes

    Rbrooks502 at 03:50 AM on 27 September, 2017

    I searched the website for an article by Gary Novak and came up empty. Self proclaimed Independent Scientist. Over the past 72 hours I read several papers and articles both for and against. Articles from NASA, the above mentioned "It's the Sun", reports from the Sierra Club,,, the IPCC, EPA, David Biello of Scientific America and Yale, as well as others. I would like to see the response regarding Gary Novak's paper listed below. There are two links regariding his work. 

    Honeycutt @43 You are right regarding Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
    "The great thing about science is, it's true whether or not you believe it." But since we are talking about a constant influence of a new set of eyes, Science will show that this statement was wrong. If he had said this back in 1100 AD, 1400 AD, 1600 AD, and virtually any other time we would see that Science has been proven wrong consistantly. After all, the earth is not flat, and the earth is not the center of the universe. Science's job is to evolve and get smarter if you will. It is not to take hard black and white stances that can not see further than the current technologies or limited modelling. So here is Novak's work.



    I also discovered that looking at the list of papers by Biello over the last 10 years or so, and overlaying it on the data that I have consumed both here and other locations, it would appear that we are too late, and if the EIA is correct looking towards 2040, we should expect that we are screwed anyway based on thier findings. So should I pack my bags and move to the south pole with a bag of seeds? 


     I dont think I will look into this further, I would like to find the measureing sites that are used to CO2 for example as well as looking at the math. So far it is only cursory in my searches but I am held to the thought that if someone like myself who is novice and enters into this line of research, wouldnt it be wiser to be less derogitory to us and more instead be more supportive and offer more solutions than the Paris Accords. Solutions that are not only logical but are cost effective and motivator skeptics like myself to get on board with your agenda. For me, you have to walk us through the science better and more convincingly. 

    The last charts that I could find for example regarding what countries are producing what in terms of CO2 date back to 2009. Almost a decade old. Along with that is this logic that seems to permeate the research saying that we contributed 336 million tons CO2 from 2000-2006. Making it 1/3 of the maximum amount that we can produce up to 2030 when we must show a reversal. Meaning that if 2007-2013 represents another 1/3 of the maximum amount, and again from 2014-2020, we are just 2 years away from being screwed anyway. Witht that being said, Biello's report show that we are just not going to make the cut off regardless of what we do now short of turning off virtually all polluting products like trucks, cars, farming equipment, concrete manufacturers etc.


    So allow me to take you up on your offer regarding the challenge of me being willing to learn. Can we start with Novak's articles and move forward from there so that I can stay linear in my research. 

  • Trump promised to hire the best people. He keeps hiring the worst. Nasa is next

    nigelj at 07:33 AM on 14 September, 2017

    The philosophical roots of Thatcherism and Reagonism go back to M Friedman, F Hayek and AynRand, and glorify the individual and acquistive instincts, and oppose collectivism and ideas of society and collective responsibility and ownership. The philosophy is also suspicious of government regulation.The belief system is best seen in terms of economic history and anthropology, because its a reaction to various historical cycles and evolutionary processes, as follows.

    Early human hunter gatherers were a sharing society, because it worked, but only because it was small groups in an abundant world. The development of farming 10,000 years ago lead ultimately to specialisation, complexity, individualism, capitalism and private ownership. This system reached its peak in the industrial revolution, and became very harsh and crashed in the 1920's leading to the great depression. 

    The depression lead to the mixed economy that combined capitalism and socialism to the extent of trade tariffs, public education, environmental laws, the welfare state, income support, etc, etc. This system worked but eventually stagnated in the 1980s and lead to Thatcherism and Reagonism and a return to individualism and free markets, deregulation, flat taxes, and glorification of markets as the singular measure of success.

    This neoliberal philosophy was extreme, uncompromising and single minded. Oddly enough it did promote good environmental laws, but more recent governments have abandoned this like Trump and there has always been an emphasis that "less regulation is by principle better".

    Capitalism and the class structure also crashed in Russia in 1919, and lead to communism. This in turn stagnated and fed into fears that lead to Reagonism.

    The global financial crash has highlighted the huge weaknesses of neoliberalism, Thatcherism, Reagonism, deregulation, laissez faire capitalism, and excessive faith in markets. The whole thing has come undone and is destroying the planet, and causing high inequality etc. Yet at the same time free markets and private ownership generate economic power and innovation, and are good things, so we have a frustrating situation to resolve, and its not a simple thing. 

    Scandinavia has done a good job of reconciling competing realities and facts. They have done a nice job combining the best virtues of free markets, capitalism, and individualism and freedom,  with things like public education, strong environmental laws, a supportive welfare state, the cooperative spirit, etc. They avoid ideological dogma and take a practial approach that is very child focussed. This is a very successfull, practical, balanced version of the mixed economy. It shows in their good economic and social statistics and quality of life. The proof is in the results.

  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #34

    RedBaron at 03:26 AM on 30 August, 2017


    You said, " Can you provide an explanation why man's ingenuity and invovation will stop?" 

    That's easy really. There is a multibillion dollar "merchant of doubt" campaign to prevent it. 



    "If all farmland was a net sink rather than a net source for CO2, atmospheric CO2 levels would fall at the same time as farm productivity and watershed function improved. This would solve the vast majority of our food production, environmental and human health ‘problems’." Dr. Christine Jones, CSIRO ag scientist

    The case studies Dr Jones used to show this hypothesis are 10 year studies that were completed almost 10 years ago. And yet we still march on with agriculture that is an emissions source helping to cause AGW and continues to degrade the land.

    In fact many of the CSIRO scientists had their budgets cut and/or lost their jobs! Here they were the cutting edge of ingenuity and innovation, best in the World,  and all it got them was the unemployment line.

    There is a huge Neo-Luddite backlash against any solutions to our unsustainable energy and food systems. 

  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #34

    Tom13 at 02:30 AM on 30 August, 2017

    #7 nigel - from the 6th paragraph of the article you cited.

    "The researchers found that crop duration will become significantly shorter by as early as 2018 in some locations and by 2031 in the majority of maize-growing regions in Africa. Only the most optimistic assessment — in which farming, policy, markets and technology all combine to make new varieties in 10 years — showed crops staying matched to temperatures between now and 2050.

    Both studies, The one you cited and the study of this article are basing the switch from positive gains in crop yield to a reduction in crop yields are based on innovation and technological improvements stopping.  That is contrary to historical trends.  Agriculture experts/ farmers have been adapting for centuries.  Can you provide an explanation why man's ingenuity and invovation will stop?

  • Explainer: California’s new ‘cap-and-trade’ scheme to cut emissions

    John S at 08:19 AM on 3 August, 2017

    It’s good that California affirmatively resolved the uncertainty as to whether its carbon pricing would continue past 2020. At the same time it’s a disappointment they couldn’t do better. It was only last year, as reported by your Dana Nuccitelli in the Guardian, that California passed AJR 43, urging the national government to pass a revenue neutral carbon tax. .
    And, earlier this year, there were reports that, under SB 775, CA was about to revolutionize climate policy by replacing cap-and-trade with something much better, closer to fee and dividend, as advocated for many years by James Hansen, Katherine Hayhoe and Citizens Climate Lobby, and, more recently, by the Climate Leadership Council.
    Why would this have been so much better?
    The key point is a commitment to increase carbon prices predictability, in perpetuity (in other words until they get the job done of eliminating fossil fuel burning). This means all (or most, see below re environmental justice), of the revenue must be given back to citizens as dividends; otherwise taxpayers, and the economy, will not tolerate the extra taxes.
    To be clear, every Californian would have received rising dividends compensating for the drain on their budgets from rising prices.
    The big hit, the home run, as you baseball fans would say, is that predictably ever-rising fossil fuel prices would energize innovation and increase the net present value, hence feasibility and chance of success, of all long-lead-time and long-life projects, e.g. changing some of your old steam district heating systems to modern low temperature hot water systems, thereby enabling use of non-fossil sources, building retro-fits and strategic changes in transportation and industry.
    It would protect trade exposed industries and prevent “leakage” by border-adjustment taxes (BAT’s). This is much more selective than giving away allowances holus bolus, which is typical in cap-and-trade schemes, such as ours here in Ontario. (Just for fun, some of us are imagining Trump’s reaction if Canada enacts wide-ranging BAT’s against the US next year because we will have a national carbon price and the US probably won’t.)
    SB 775 would not have allowed off-sets. I could argue both sides of that one, but would have thought the environmental justice groups would fight for it, having seen some of the terrible industrial urban landscapes down there. But these were the same people who sank a revenue neutral carbon tax proposal in Washington state, hence some special effort to help vulnerable communities would have been wise (better than grandiose plans for bullet trains anyway.)
    Perhaps the main opportunity lost, as expressed by David Victor in the referenced article, is the positive, leadership impact on the rest of the word – because, yes, we were watching.

  • Bad news for climate contrarians – 'the best data we have' just got hotter

    nigelj at 07:14 AM on 10 July, 2017

    I just don't understand Judith Curry at all. She is certainly very vague.

    She says climate gate raised genuine doubts with her. I find this incomprehensible, because I have looked at the actual evidence and there's just nothing there, nothing wrong and various investigations have found the same. So what is she on about? She is certainly unable to specifically say when asked. She  is a scientist for goodness sake!

    Yes, climate scientists do sometimes make mistakes like anyone, but there was nothing remotely significant in the climategate thing! In fact when you look at the desperate attempts to get dirt on climate scientists, and the many documents found (or hacked illegally) theres just remarkably little dirt there.

    I think Curry is an attention seeker, and this is her way of creating a following of people on her blog.

    Of course climategate showed some grumpy scientists complaining about somebody trying to publish a sceptical paper, and hoping it might not get published. This is people in a frustrated mood, as we all get, it is not evidence of a global conspiracy!

    Jo Nova and Judith Curry are of course entitled to their websites. Free speech and all that is very important to me. It doesn't change the fact the content is largely nonsense.

    People like Joe Nova claim to be intelligent, discerning sceptics, but they do not apply this equally to everything, they ignore patent nonsense, so they are intellectually shallow.

    They are not genuine sceptics. I think they simply have some deep seated distrust or dislike of climate science, that is probably a mish mash of different motivations, some genuine scepticism, but I think much of it more about gut reactions, politics and protecting their general world view. You will learn precious little reading their websites.

  • Bad news for climate contrarians – 'the best data we have' just got hotter

    jgnfld at 00:23 AM on 10 July, 2017


    The Greek scholar in my family assures me  of a couple of things:

    Thucydides wrote in a terrible, deeply nested style that is hard to work with. She said that many translations are more understandable that the original!

    WRT the specific Greek terms underlying "sovereign reason" she says the term relates to "autocratic" more than any more positive connotation. That is rather than "motivated reasoning" one might render it as reasoning like an autocrat. 

    WRT Jo Nova, her political views totally outweigh her accurate reporting of actual science as this case clearly typifies.

  • Bad news for climate contrarians – 'the best data we have' just got hotter

    Eclectic at 23:25 PM on 9 July, 2017

    Haze @33 , it is not altogether true that SkS comments columns are more strictly moderated than WUWT's & JoNova's.

    Yes, WUWT & JoNova comments columns are [and please forgive the "Irishism" ..... ] not just "full of hyperbole and emotion" but also full of vitriol, conspiracy theorism, and mindless repetition of long-disproven ideas.  And particularly telling counterpoints (against denialism) are deleted — according to hearsay from scientists who have attempted such posts.

    OTOH, the past policy of SkS moderators seems to have been to only delete posts which were egregious rubbish and/or flagrantly in breach of Comments Guidelines.  More recently (as you will have seen) the moderators have taken a softened approach to many "low-quality" posts, by striking them through yet leaving them visible.  But not sparing them where spam or outrageous trolling is involved.

    Judith Curry's blog is a different kettle of fish.  Yes, the comments column has a goodly share of poor thinking and unscientific nonsense posts, but there are also many posts which at least make some attempt to grapple with the issues raised by her.  Almost invariably ineffectually, though!!!  Taken altogether, the Curry blog provides a space where genteel denialists can express themselves without the unpleasantness of associating themselves with the vitriolic hoi polloi.

    The problem of Curry's blog is mostly with her own efforts.  She revels in vague (and unjustifiable) "uncertainties".  Always her underlying message is: We must wait and do nothing; we must carry on with Business-As-Usual ; we must carry on with more studies over many decades.  Unsurprisingly, she is seen as (and doubtless is) an apologist for Fossil Fuel Industry.  For which reason she is a darling of right-wing anti-science extremists, especially those in high places!  And like other FF Industry apologists, she entirely fails to make a case against the mainstream consensus science position.

    Vague uncertainties and woolly sophistries are the stock-in-trade of Curry.  On top of that, she sometimes features guest authors who spout rubbish & crazy theories — crazy stuff, which she does not trouble to deny or critique, but she says they were included in her blog "because they are interesting".  A tasty bone for the crazier end of the spectrum of her blog's followers ;-)

    For an example of Curry sophistry & confusionism & absurdity :- try this gem ...

    "The Brumbergs are correct to conclude: In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the [causes of the] earth's warming is, in itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for [human caused] global warming."

    Quelle superbe post-modernist claptrap, eh!!!

  • Bad news for climate contrarians – 'the best data we have' just got hotter

    Haze at 19:53 PM on 9 July, 2017

    @31  Yes I do visit sites that have different view points.  I look at WUWT, JoNova and Climate etc and  Skeptical Science, Real Climate and Open Mind.   I also subscribe to The Guardian and The Australian as I like to get views from both sides of politics  too

    @31 and 32.  WUWT, JoNova but not really Judith Curry do tend to over simplify the topic and exaggerate minutiae and the readers are less likely to be scientifically inclined as those visiting this and other similar sites.  This leads to comments that are full of hyperbole and emotion but often not well thought through.  I think the real difference though is that the climate science sites are far more strictly moderated and emotive incorrectness is not tolerated.  Thus comments to, say, SkS need more thought than those to, say, WUWT

  • Bad news for climate contrarians – 'the best data we have' just got hotter

    Eclectic at 16:04 PM on 9 July, 2017

    Thanks, Haze @29 , for the excellent Thucydides quote.

    I guess a more modern translater would have rendered "Sovereign Reason" into some form of "Motivated Reasoning".

    Ultimately however, we must choose between truth and falsehood — and JoNova has chosen falsehood.

    The scientific evidence is overwhelmingly clear, in this matter of AGW/Climate-Change, that JoNova and others of her type are quite wrong — and so to that extent there is no moral equivalence between the "followers" of JoNova (et alia) and the "followers" of SkepticalScience (& other such organizations dedicated to scientific truth).    The two groups are worlds apart, morally.

    Emotions are always an enormous part of what motivates us humans: yet we must acknowledge there are good emotions and evil emotions.   Sadly, it is the "Dark Side" emotion of selfishness which impels the science-deniers, and leads them to commit lies and deceptions (and self-deceptions).

  • Bad news for climate contrarians – 'the best data we have' just got hotter

    Haze at 13:03 PM on 9 July, 2017

    @28.  I try to see the best in people rather than the worst.    Jo Nova, who is a scientist with an Honours degree from the University of Western Australia in a hard science, does in fact post comments that do not support her views.  As for her readers, it is impossible to comment on whether or not they want to be accurately informed. They almost certainly however do prefer to have their biases confirmed.  This is a common human trait, first described by Thucydides in about 400BC in his treatise "The Pelopennesian War" .  He wrote:

    "For it is a habit of humanity to entrust to careless hope what they long for, and to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not fancy."

    Much subsequent research has unequivocally  confirmed this comment.   Jo Nova's readers are extremely unlikely to be any different from readers of other sites, even sites such as Skepticalscience


    as do many readers of readers on any blog site including sites such as Skeptical Science?

  • Bad news for climate contrarians – 'the best data we have' just got hotter

    jgnfld at 23:43 PM on 8 July, 2017


    Do you honestly think Jo Nova cares one whit about "informing readers"? Or that the majority of the readers there want to be accurately informed as opposed to having their biases confirmed?

  • Bad news for climate contrarians – 'the best data we have' just got hotter

    Haze at 08:18 AM on 8 July, 2017

    @23.  Tom Curtis thanks for your detailed, thorough  and informative remarks, they are much appreciated and I certainly was not aware of the information  you have provided.  Perhaps you could post the comment  on Jennifer Marohasy's and Jo Nova's sites to inform readers there that the BoM does take care to ensure accuracy and fidelity of its temperature observations and does not make alterations on a whim.  Thanks again.  With regard to posting on other sites, I really think you should as your comment would challenge the perceptions of readers at those sites.  BUt perhaps not as positions are often too entrenched to change

  • Bad news for climate contrarians – 'the best data we have' just got hotter

    nigelj at 07:26 AM on 8 July, 2017

    I agree the reason for temperature adjustments is all there if you look. I have just done some reading on it myself, and put some links on the Republican Party article. If I can find this material in about one minute, sceptics have no excuse to be ignorant. The explanations are utterly compelling, and take little time to read. I have never even seen a sceptic try to refute them, and instead they just nag away, creating confusion, never clarity.

    But maybe Haze partly has a point that making mistakes and having to correct them is never a good look. So try and minimise them, and openly explain what went wrong. We should avoid getting too defensive.

    Any human based system will make a few  mistakes. But do a bit of reading, and you find the climate science process goes to extreme lengths to minimise mistakes, identify mistakes, and biased temperatures or faulty measuring equipment, and correct them. The result is the big picture is very reliable.

    Sceptics like Jo Nova are nit picking, and relying on the fact most people dont have time to check the detail. Its a form of cynical manipulation, and is not genuine scepticism that confronts issues openly. It's crowd manipulation. It's not genuine scepticism in the honourable, traditional sense of the term. Proper scepticism has to operate within rational boundaries.

    For decent, rational scepticism read "Skeptic, by Michael Shermer"

  • Bad news for climate contrarians – 'the best data we have' just got hotter

    michael sweet at 02:51 AM on 8 July, 2017


    It is always interesting to see you find exactly the information that is being asked for.  Haze asks why the BOM cannot exactly say how they record the data and you provide a link to their methods.  Other readers should note that it is very time consuming to find these references and thank you for your diligence.  Hopefully casual readers will realize that scientific methods are carefully documented and skeptic claims that changes are made without reasons are false.

    It is impossible for the OBM to satisfy deniers like Marohassy and JoNova.  They both know what the BOM does and they ignore those protocols for their own reasons.

  • Bad news for climate contrarians – 'the best data we have' just got hotter

    Tom Curtis at 22:22 PM on 7 July, 2017

    Haze @22, so you are suggesting that BOM should make statements such as:

    "The standard scientific practice is to detect potential artificial jumps by comparing data from the station of interest (the candidate station) with data from other nearby stations where the suspected artificial jump is absent (reference stations). If there is an artificial jump in the data, this will be reflected in the candidate station warming or cooling relative to other surrounding stations.

    This method of detection avoids falsely identifying actual climatic shifts and natural variability (such as that associated with the 1997–98 El Niño) as spurious artefacts in the data. The comparison with neighbours also serves the valuable purpose of largely rendering the test data free of trends."

    (Full explanation here under question 5)

    Or perhaps this on the cutoffs:

    "3. Internal consistency of METAR and maximum/minimum temperature data

    This check flagged data violating either of the following:
    •Maximum temperature 4°C or more above the highest METAR temperature of the day, providing that there was no point during the day when there were more than 70 minutes between METAR temperatures.
    •Maximum temperature 1°C or more below the highest METAR temperature of the day.  (The tolerance on this test was used because many METAR temperatures, particularly manually observed ones, are only archived to the nearest whole degree.) 

    Equivalent criteria were used for daily minimum temperatures."

    (From here, which has a link to it here.  METARS are meteorological reports produced for aviation on a regular basis through the day.)

    The fact is that BOM has taken the time to detail its methods, their justification, and the relative rate of errors in original observations (" The error rate in temperature observations is low – experience with operational quality control procedures at the Bureau of Meteorology in
    recent years suggests that it is in the order of a few tenths of one per cent – but such a rate still equates to the potential for several tens of thousands of errors in a data set of the size of ACORN-SAT").  These detailed explanations are typically ignored by AGW "skeptics", as also by the general public.  It is certainly not the practise of the general public, having read some bombshell "revelation" by Marohassy, to carefully read the BOM site conjuring up a twitter storm.

    This, then, shows the fundamental problem of the idea that "perception is reality".  The perception is artfully generated by people with an intention to distort the data (ie, Marohassy and JoNova etc).  They are feeding an uncritical audience who lap it up because it feeds their prejudices.  In that context, no amount of careful explanation by BOM will change the perception for that audience because they are not listening.  Marohassy has been shown to be wrong on Australian temperature data repeatedly, but creates no perception problem for her because her audience does not care.

    In that context, expecting BOM to operate on managing perceptions is an impossible task.  What they need to do is concentrate on the science so that anybody who actually thinks critically about the issue can see they are doing a very good job.  I mean, think about it.  Consider the thousands of observations BOM makes every day, then ask yourself, how many imagined problems have those "skeptics" actually found.  Even if all were real problems, the result is a very high accuracy rate.

    The further solution is for people to stop giving others a pass on lazy, motivated reasoning.  If somebody feeds you a Marohassy article, call them out for not fact checking, for the (often) implicit conspiracy theory they are accepting, and for their uncritical thinking.  This should be particularly the case if the person involved is in a position of relative authority (journalist, MP, etc).  There is no excuse for spreading ignorance and falsehoods, and that they are doing it second hand only makes them more foolish.

  • Bad news for climate contrarians – 'the best data we have' just got hotter

    Haze at 19:54 PM on 7 July, 2017

    You clearly are not au fait with the saying "perception is reality"  The point I am trying, very badly it seems, to make is that to those who seize on anything that reinforces their prejudices, a report showing a BoM temperature was altered upward and then, after attention was drawn to the alteration, changed back to the original,  reinforces  their belief that temperatures are adjusted  to  fit  the "Climate Change scam".  And your comment "That is, unless your real "concern", as in the case of Jo Nova, is neither meteorology nor climate science but rather something else entirely"  is a typical example of shooting the messenger.  My "concern" as you put it,  is, in fact,  trying to show that actions by the BoM such as those reported by Jennifer Marohasy and picked up by Jo Nova are meat and drink to those who deny or who are sceptical about, the role of humans in Climate Change

  • Bad news for climate contrarians – 'the best data we have' just got hotter

    jgnfld at 18:57 PM on 7 July, 2017


    Your "concerns" are noted.

    As for your concern that this could have muddied the climatological record, did you know this station is not even part of the Australian Climate Observations Reference Network
    – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) dataset?  You are arguing that a .4C difference in one value at one location that is not even used in climate analysis in the first place somehow introduces doubt in the whole science. That's a real denier stretch. Even if this station was part of the climate record this value if not edited would change the Australian monthly reported value about .0001C. Values are not reported to 4 decimal places as no one would make the claim the aggregated values are accurate to that level, so it would not affect the record at all. 

    Have you ever dealt with a high quality national- or global-sized database? Those who do have a huge number of real concerns all designed to keep the error rate as low as possible. See the various tabs at for a detailed description of all these issues and how they are dealt with.

    Their concerns are much different from those reporting on daily values in daily meteorological forecasts and reporting as is the case here where .4C at one time at one locale is absolutely trivial. That is, unless your real "concern", as in the case of Jo Nova, is neither meteorology nor climate science but rather something else entirely.

  • Bad news for climate contrarians – 'the best data we have' just got hotter

    Haze at 14:07 PM on 7 July, 2017

    Interesting that Jo Nova should be mentioned in posts 13 and 14.  In actuality the original  report came from Jennifer Marohasy and was picked up and put on line by Jo Nova.  Personally, I prefer, whenever possible, to go to the original source rather than subsequent re-iterations as this approach removes the possibility of distortion on retelling.  And @13 as for the "automatic recording of any value regardless of how nonsensical it is"  it is obvious that, after challenge,  the -10.4C  was recorded  and eventually pubished as such.  This rather negates your point but raises the interesting questions as to why the filtering was reversed and why the -10.4C value was not entered in the CDO database.  

    And @14 your guess about filters on upper temperatures might well be right and my guess is Jo Nova has no problem with filters on low temperatures either.  That really isn't the point. What is the point is that the use of these filters and their set points have not been generally disclosed.  That they have not may introduce another  element of distrust as to the veracity of the readings to those who are already distrustful of what they regard as manipulation of temperature data

  • Bad news for climate contrarians – 'the best data we have' just got hotter

    scaddenp at 13:22 PM on 7 July, 2017

    My guess is that Jo Nova has no problem with limits on upper temperature filtering values the require checking.

  • Bad news for climate contrarians – 'the best data we have' just got hotter

    jgnfld at 12:48 PM on 7 July, 2017

    @12...I guess you'd rather have automatic collecting instruments set to record any value regardless of how nonsensical it is without being further checked?

    It's really not a conspiracy to set limits on data collection instruments such that suspect readings can be validated no matter how much Jo Nova thinks so.

  • Study: to beat science denial, inoculate against misinformers' tricks

    Haze at 12:02 PM on 11 May, 2017

    I just watched the video clip featuring Bill Nye the science guy.  No doubt amusing to some but giving entirely the  wrong message.  Look for yourselves.  The"denier" is asked why he denies climate change and gives a concise, clear, straightforward and readily understandable answer "the science isn't in yet".  John Oliver then turns to the "climate scientists" who produce  a babble of sound in which nothing can be  distiguished.  How does this help their cause?  Humorus? Debatable.  Informative?  Definitely not

    A significant sentence in the piece  under discussion is " I asked lead author John Cook how these findings can be implemented in the real world where misinformation about subjects like climate science and vaccines is pervasive."

    The primary interest of the MSM is earning money by selling advertising everything else is secondary.  A piece headlined "Climate Change is a Scam"  attracts heaps of interest.  All the WUWT and JoNova readers say "Yeah bro, right on!"  while the readers of Real Climate and Skeptical Science  "No way bro, the evidence shows that that ain't so".  This sells papers and/or attracts viewers but above all gets publicity which attracts advertisers.

     And on a slightly different tack, I agree that JoNova and WUWT are attractive to the wider community  as their content makes little demand on the intellect.  That however is not the case  with  Judith Curry's "Climate etc" so why does it garner so many comments?

  • Study: to beat science denial, inoculate against misinformers' tricks

    michael sweet at 20:31 PM on 10 May, 2017


    I have been reading here for many years.  When I first started there were long debates over the data.  Skeptics would challenge the scientific viewpoint.  As time passed and more convincing data became available it has become impossible for anyone who looks at the data to argue that AGW is not occuring.  A few people still challenge the degree of warming, but even there the data is clear that the expected rise in tmeperature is alarming.  

    At the other sites you mention they develop stories that are not supported by data so that they can continue to argue.  DeanMJackson is typical of recent septics who post here and would fail my High School Chemistry class because they know nothing about data or science.  Should we mourn the lack of ignorant rants here?

    There are a few commentators here now (especially Tom Curtis) who post very strong, data based answers.  Deniers have found it impossible to respond to the data.  They go elsewhere to engage in their fantasies.  Even JoNova and Curry have been unable to argue with the data and scientific explainations posted here.  I used to post a lot but now I rarely post because the answers already here are so strong.   Should WUWT get credit for more posts when most of them are fantasy?

  • Study: to beat science denial, inoculate against misinformers' tricks

    Eclectic at 18:04 PM on 10 May, 2017

    Haze @9 : what methods are you suggesting, to capture (and maintain) the professional interest of journalists and editors?

    JoNova and WUWT websites' comments columns are filled with toxic vitriolic and angry comments, because that is where angry deniers go to vent their anger.  They are angry people — not especially about AGW — but the AGW topic is a useful and available lightning-rod for them to express their anger about how life in general is going (and all the changes they see happening in society).  As well as venting public shouts of tribal loyalty.

    We would hope that journalists and editors are mostly motivated by other considerations.  And something else again, applies to the Murdoch media, unfortunately !

  • Study: to beat science denial, inoculate against misinformers' tricks

    Haze at 16:18 PM on 10 May, 2017

    I wonder why sites such as this and Real Climate and Open Mind attract such relatively few commenters compared with sites such as JoNova and WUWT and Climate etc.

    SkepticalScience has the headline "Explaining climate change science & rebutting global warming misinformation"  But to whom are these explanations and rebuttals being made?

    Commenters here are all, well virtually all, entirely convinced  humans are 100% responsible for climate change and don't require any explanations or rebuttals.  From time to time a denier will post but usually that post is heaviy moderated and the commenters here will rail mightily against such unwarranted and unwelcome intrusion to "their site"

    Perhaps the MSM find that if they print, publish, broadcast just the pro-AGW view very few people are interested just as many fewer people are interested in sites such as Real Climate and Skeptical Science than are interested in JoNova and Climate etc.  Perhaps if AGW proponents could create as much public interest in their views as the deniers manage to create in theirs, the MSM might have  a higher  pro-AGW /denier ratio than currently is the case.

  • CO2 lags temperature

    Eclectic at 10:07 AM on 18 February, 2017

    Adri Norse Fire @540

    You mention a New little ice age, coming in the next few years and decades.   That is the assertion by Mr Peter Ferrara in Forbes Magazine in 2013 (the link supplied by you).

    Since 2013, the world has had its three hottest years in recorded history ( 2014 / 2015 / 2016 ).    And there is absolutely no sign that Mr Ferrara's assertion could become true.   His assertion is total Unsinn (as the Germans say).   Total nonsense.

    Adri, you should not be surprised to find Unsinn coming from Mr Ferrara.   He is a lawyer and a professional propagandist and an Amerikaner . . . a truly toxic combination!!   Mr Ferrara is paid to give you Dreck instead of Wahrheit / Sanningen / Truth.  And it is the same with JoanneNova.

    Adri, please attempt to be scientific with your thinking.   When you wish to assess the health of a forest, then you should look at the health of all the trees - not simply look at the healthiest 4 trees which you can find to please you.

  • CO2 lags temperature

    Rob Honeycutt at 02:52 AM on 18 February, 2017

    Adri...  From the warning snip portion of your comment at 540 I think we can gather that "dismissiveness" (as I framed it) is based in distrust of government. You can correct me if I'm wrong. 

    I can promise you, you're interpretting the science very wrong. Everyone here at Skeptical Science has been through this a 100 times before. What we find is, as we explain the science, people like you are generally driven further into denial. And as you get more and more frustrated with not getting the answers you prefer, you end up getting angry and frustrated, and we ultimately have to delete your access to comment.

    We can start going through the science if you like, but if you want to avoid this predictable outcome, you would have to bring an open mind to the conversation. 

    I know it's probably very hard for you to see the difference, but many of the sources you're using are not about the science., These are websites that do not present the actual scientific research. They're designed to confuse. And they do a very good job of that.

  • CO2 lags temperature

    Adri Norse Fire at 23:41 PM on 17 February, 2017

    MA Rodger
    What I meant was that I am using scientific data in the sense that my arguments are exclusively in scientific terms, regardless of whether my claims are true or not.

    Rob Honeycutt/scaddenp

    Why do you say that I am not using scientific data? Do not scientific documentaries and scientific journals make scientific knowledge public? Is that knowledge invalid? So everything the public knows is a lie ... including global warming, right?

    When I said that the current temperature was below about 1.5 ° I relied on a documentary where a gentleman, I think he was Norwegian who was in the Antarctic and claimed that the ice cores of his own research proved that the temperature was 1.5 ° higher to the present during the Medieval Warm Period. But also, it is known that historically the peoples of contemporaries of that time recorded that in Greenland agriculture was possible, among other things, etc. I think it is out of place to think that everything is part of a subtle conspiracy, of wich I am part, of course.

    Tom Curtis

    Thank you.

    Okay, this is the kind of thing I said that misinterpretations were likely to occur. I have not said that the current increase in CO2 comes from volcanoes. And you're right, I thought it was a question I asked John Hartz, it's my fault. Sorry. Again you are right, I have no problem accepting that the recent increase in CO2 is due to human industrial activity, although there are other scientists who deny that conclusion with their own data, since from the beginning I said CO2 does not cause the current global warming by greenhouse effect or by feedback. I just do not see it likely. Sources I read some time ago claimed that water vapor is the main greenhouse gas and that it is responsible for two-thirds of the natural greenhouse effect. As you say very well it is a stable process, but the Earth makes all kinds of movements and we do not really know how much impact the orbital changes have on the greenhouse effect and Milankovich attributed the intervals of glacial periods and warm periods to the orbital changes. Which is no small thing in terms of climate.

    Sorry for putting that graphic, I knew it was just a very nice graphic. I have taken note.

    Well, as I said above the Antarctic data show also, that the temperature was higher than the current approximately 1.5 degrees during the Medieval Warm Period.

    "All of this may be a side issue, but I am unsure as to what point you are trying to make with two charts of CO2 concentration over the last 800,000 years, or the chart of CO2 concentration over the Holocene." Why the current Temperature is 1.5 ° lower than the medieval warm period? " It is not. See chart above.'' Yes it was, why do you think it was called the Medieval Warm Period? Let's look at some recent research:

    Working with a 2.5-foot-long core of peat in Penido Vello (Galicia, Spain) Martinez-Cortizas et al. (1999), a Mercury deposit record was extracted that extended until 4000 years ago. The work revealed that warm periods were characterized by a low accumulation of mercury. They also standardized the variables extracted and related them to the temperatures of the last 30 years. The work revealed that the medieval warm period in the northwest of Spain was 1.5 ° C warmer than the current one and that the average temperature of the warm Roman period was in no less than 2 ° C. Even a period of 80 years in the Middle Ages with average temperatures 3 ° higher than the current ones.

    Desprat et al. (2003) studied the climatic variability of the last three millennia through the sediments of the Vigo estuary, clearly recognizing three warm periods and three cold periods, without seeming to be a relation between the variability and the increase of carbon dioxide. The authors concluded that the solar radiative balance and the ocean circulation seem to be the main mechanisms that force these cyclical variations in the Peninsula.

    Pla and Catalan (2005) analyzing sediments of chrysophytes in more than 100 lakes of the Pyrenees reproduced a record of winter and spring temperatures during the Holocene. Warm and cold oscillations were recognized for these oscillations over the past few millennia. From the Medieval period it is deduced that the temperatures were then 0.25 ° higher than the current ones.

    Here a chart: And as I liked the dissection you did to the other here is more:

    ''Of course, in your version it is labelled Northern Hemisphere temperatures, not global temperatures. The point still stands, however. A Greenland ice core no more shows Northern Hemisphere temperatures by itself than does a thermometer in Moscow show temperatures in Tucson, Arizona.'' The question then remains valid, but to avoid falling into the little trick of geography I will rephrase: Why the current temperature of Spain is lower (0,25º - 1,5º) than the Spain's Medieval Warm Period, if the current concentrations of atmospheric CO2 in Spain is higher without any doubt?

    (Can we extend the geographical scope to the Mediterranean and even Europe? I do not know; ,

    --And someone asked me why I'm so skeptical or something--

    Well, it is not very difficult to be a skeptic of anything since we have been able to see everything from the millionaire Red Cross scam in Haiti after the earthquake to hear the Greenpeace co-founder say that this organization has become a corrupt gang and then you see scandals with emails and what some IPCC scientists say, and so on. When I saw the Al Gore's documentary I believed it and when I saw the documentary of The Great Scam of Climate Change, I also believed it. So we must be very careful not to be deceived by the official tone, as some have pointed out:

    MA Rodger

    It's funny that you mention sidelong to the ''Little Ice Age revivalists'' because according to NASA members, this very century we can face a solar minimum such as the Maunder Minimum or the Dalton Minimum and presumably a new Little Ice Age. Here's a link:

  • Repeal without replace: a dangerous GOP strategy on Obamacare and climate

    nigelj at 10:45 AM on 9 February, 2017

    Coal Miner @31, says:

    "Storms, droughts, tornados, heat waves, snow storms, hail, hurricanes, sea surges, etc have occurred forever. We've seen a big drop in hurricanes in the past 10 years. They'll be back - they're not on a bus schedule."

    With respect that is empty, irrelevant rhetoric. Past climate change does not mean we are not causing change now, through fossil fuels. While natural climate cycles clearly affect weather patterns, this tends to be a gentle process over long periods.

    We are causing change, and it is comparatively much more rapid change. The last IPCC report found heatwaves, droughts and heavy rainfall events have already increased significantly, and will increase more.

    Evidence on hurricanes was mixed at the last IPCC report. A drop in numbers over a timeframe of 10 years is meaningless,  as its too short to be statistically significant and you provide no source for that claim. We certainly have evidence of greater hurricane intensity as below.


    There is also evidence in the IPCC reports finding pacific storms have increased. This debate cannot all be about climate risks for America.

    I can appreciate coal miners would have some understandable grounds to be sceptical, but times move on. I have had to learn new stuff in my career as the economy has changed. New jobs will replace old jobs.

    "Today, the debt is much larger around the world so we're still vulnerable. We cannot switch energy sources "today"."

    Well nobody is saying we have to adopt billions of alternative energy "today" so that is an emotive strawman argument.

    We do have global debt, but changing to alternative energy has dropped dramatically in price recently. Wind power is now the same cost as coal power (without subsidies) and solar power is very close, from Forbes who are a business magazine, so could not be accsued of bias towards warmists.

    So the costs of switching to renewable energy are not some huge burden or debt generator. You need to appreciate at the very least old power stations inevitably have to be replaced as they wear out.

    There are also other ways of funding things, like taxes and levies, on the appropriate people or organisations, fairly determined, or innovative forms of infrastructure bonds, that are better than traditional debt instruments.

  • Prepare for reanimation of the zombie myth ‘no global warming since 2016’

    RedBaron at 07:21 AM on 11 January, 2017


    Easier said than done. The best published science so far regarding management changes on existing grassland is here:

    Grazing management impacts on vegetation, soil biota and soil chemical, physical and hydrological properties in tall grass prairie

    But one study in Texas, no matter how well done, doesn't help much to determine what will happen in Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, South America, Asia, Australia etc etc... Its being done in all those places. Soil carbon is rapidly rising. Vegetative cover is increasing, etc etc etc. But as far as I know, there isn't yet enough published literature to quantify it. 

    That's the first problem. The second problem is so far, counter to what everyone is claiming, no land managed this way has ever been found yet to saturate so far. Other types of grassland management has, but not HPG, not yet. Gabe Brown has one paddock up to 11%, and it is actually accelerating carbon sequestration rather than slowing down. There is a guy in Missouri named Greg Judy who has been doing this long enough he theorectically should have reached saturation, but instead, his land the A horizon carbon sequestration simply tapered off at the upper levels, but accelerated deeper in the soil profile. He is now building high carbon soil meters deep. No saturation in sight...yet. But he hasn't had his land volunteered as part of a carbon sequestration scientific study with controlls either. Only relying on his own reporting of soil tests sent to labs. So these lines of evidence are not robust at all, nor quantified properly.

    In some cases where some of these properties have been robustly measured, they often are simply thrown out as outliers. That doesn't help us much either.

    But the biggest obstical of all is getting any good data at all on land currently in corn and soy production. What would be the effect of changing that land back to properly managed pasture? People have done it, but I have seen no data that could be used to quantify the effects besides the case studies done on several farms including Gabe Brown and his neighbors. A webinar describing those results can be found here and even this focused on cover crops used as forage rather than the pasture land:

    Innovative No-Till: Using Multi-Species Cover Crops to Improve Soil Health

    And here is Gabe describing it himself:

    Gabe Brown: Keys To Building a Healthy Soil

    This would necessarily be part of any plan though. Because while we currently over produce corn and soy, we wouldn't want to stop completely either. So this needs to happen too. Wouldn't want to grow it for biofuels though. Switchgrass not only produces about 5 times the biomass above ground for biofuel production, it also rapidly sequesters carbon in the soil at the same time. (10.6tCO2/ha/yr in the 0-120 cm soil profile)

    Soil Carbon Storage by Switchgrass Grown for Bioenergy


    Basically what we are left with then is calculating potential theoretically rather than actually robustly estimating it from observable published results. We have a few studies here and there, and they are suprisingly consistant, but not enough to be sure worldwide. Agriculture can double soil carbon levels in the topsoil within three to five years, particularly when the starting point is below 2%. Soil carbon increases of 0.5-1% could therefore be achieved relatively easily with these simple changes to land management anywhere those soil carbon levels have dropped below 2%. So the next question is how much carbon is that? To calculate that we use this formula:

    Total weight of the soil (100 t/ha/cm) x % SOC = 1tC/ha/cm for every 1% increase of SOC. The standard soil measurement depth is 30cm. So 30tC/ha for every 1% increase in SOC. (SOC actually increases meters deep and in the case above with switchgrass even more at depth than shallow, but data for depths over 30cm is quite rare because most the data was collected in conjunction with arable cropping)

    The only thing to do next is simply project how many acres of land we do this on.

    Desertification is experienced on 33% of the global land surface and affects more than one billion people, half of whom live in Africa. [1]

    Applying the numbers above to 33% of the land surface gives one ridiculously high potential. Even I can't be that optimistic. Agricultural land producing food totals  49,116,227 square kilometers (just under 5 gigahectares) So if we could do this on just 33% of current agricultural land that would give us a usable sink of around 1.5 gigahectares. That gives 45 Gt C for every 1% increase in SOC just in the top 30cm of the 1/3rd the world's agricultural soils. You won't reach saturation for at minimum 225 Gt C. Every 27 tC sequestered biologically in soil represents 100 tCO2e removed from the atmosphere. That gives us 833 Gt CO2e sink size for only 1/3rd the agricultural land increasing in SOC 5% only in the top 30cm. More than all the excess CO2 currently in the atmosphere and approaching significant numbers for total emissions ever. The last figure I found for global industrial emissions since 1751 was ~ 1,450 Gt CO2e (maybe some of you climate scientists could confirm that) 

    Yet as big as that number is, 1/3rd the agricultural land being capable of sequestering well over 1/2 of the total industrial emissions ever just by increasing SOC 5%. It is still finite. So we still must rely on the other scientists and engineers to get a handle on emissions.

    I still contend if we do both, it will solve AGW and may be the ONLY  way we can. Certainly the only way I know of that can be afforded and instead of risks, benefits.

  • From the eMail Bag: CO2 in the air and oceans

    RedBaron at 18:52 PM on 10 December, 2016

    What you continue to ignore is the scale. If the nearly 1.5 billion ha of world cropland now under cultivation for crop production (and a significant % of the 2 billion ha of cropland that has been abandoned by humans since farming began due to soil degradation) were sequestering CO2 at 5 -20 tCO2/ha/yr via the LCP, that totals 7.5 to 30 GtCO2/yr cropland + whatever degraded abandoned land can be restored.

    + 3.5 billion ha agricultural grazing land = 17.5 to 70 Gt CO2/yr

    So just those two categories alone we have a biological potential of 25 to 100 GtCO2/yr. And not for only a year or two. The source I already gave you states currently about 80% of the world’s agricultural land suffers moderate to severe degradation. So instead of the 6, 8, 10% SOC meters deep; we have 1, 2, 3% SOC centimeters deep. It will take decades to fully restore this land. That means at MINIMUM we can have 25–100 Gt CO2e pumping into the soil sink for decades before we even have to start worrying about feedbacks slowing us down. In fact no one really knows if it ever will slow down short of atmospheric CO2 getting so low and climate so cold it reduces the flow. All the inovators are claiming sequestration rates that continue to climb. Gabe Brown has one field up to 11%. That field actually sequesters faster now! It just keeps getting deeper. Coli Seis's best fields are up to sequestering 33t/ha/yr. No reduction in rate at all. Dr. Jones asks why would anyone think the LCP would ever slow down?

    The soil gets so healthy it kills off the AMF? Maybe so. But no one ever observed such a thing ever.


    Total worldwide CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and cement combined was 36 Gt CO2 in 2014, but only about 20Gt actually adds to the atmosphere, because natural ecosystems and processes are at work mitigating this already.

    Of course biological potential varies quite significantly from practical potential. Just training all the farmers how to do it would be a herculean task.

    That's why I have consistently used far more conservative numbers. I get quite annoyed when I use ultra conservative numbers and get accused of exaggerating them instead, implication being this is some small thing that maybe might help just a little. You claim there is an immense amount of carbon that needs to be sequestered. I agree. However, the land surface of the planet under agriculture is immense! And the amount of carbon missing from our agricultural soils worldwide is immense.
    I have been using 62-250% as my numbers. But as you can see I am being excruciatingly conservative.

  • Watch: Before the Flood

    RedBaron at 14:47 PM on 7 November, 2016

    @Digby Scorgie,

    Agreed with pretty much everything you said! We do have to have a clear vision, and it must use technology available right now! You are absolutely correct. Since you are unfamiliar, let me give you double sets of examples, first to show you what it can look like, and gradually ease into a more scientific analysis.

    Lets start with Beef (although it applies equally for all large grazing herbivores)

    How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change | Allan Savory

    Restoring The Climate Through Capture and Storage of Soil Carbon ... White Paper

    Grazing management impacts on vegetation, soil biota and soil chemical, physical and hydrological properties in tall grass prairie

    Next lets add wheat and most small grains. Here is what it looks like and analysis of case studies.

    Why pasture cropping is such a Big Deal

    Liquid carbon pathway unrecognised

    Carbon That Counts

    Next rice

    India's Rice revolution

    The System of Rice Intensification (SRI)… … is climate-smart rice production


    And even though probably the most significant gain is in NOT growing so much corn, (at least 50-70% less) there still is a need for SOME  corn. So to do that requires a kind of integrated hybrid system between the modern industrial and regenerative models.

    Gabe Brown: Keys To Building a Healthy Soil

    Innovative No-Till: Using Multi-Species Cover Crops to Improve Soil Health

    I actually could go on and on for every little crop, but hopefully you have a clear picture of the principles in your mind now, and can see the pathway forward. There are actually a few minor gaps still, but nothing substantial enough to limit the potential of this mitigation strategy. Like the movie correctly stated, things like vegetables are about 1% or so. The big ones covering the majority of land are covered with the posts above.

  • Range anxiety? Today's electric cars can cover vast majority of daily U.S. driving needs

    michael sweet at 01:06 AM on 11 September, 2016


    I think you are being needlessly negative.  It will be more difficult to make some products fossil fuel carbon free than others.  So what if steel requires carbon?  As Scaddenp and Tom Curtis point out above, biochar will make steel as good as fossil fuels.  This would remove carbon from the atmosphere when making steel using electric arc furnaces using renewable energy.  This techology has already been developed.

    Once you have jet fuel from seawater , you can make any other hydrocarbon you want.  Ocean freighters can burn jet fuel in their current engines without any modifications (Jacobson prefers hydrogen).  Cost is estimated at US$3-6 per gallon (US$.75-1.5 per liter), less than gasoline in many European countries today.  Plastics can also be made through this process using CO2 from the atmosphere (the Navy apparently found it was cheaper to get the CO2 from the ocean than from the air).  I have seen articles that use plant based feedstock to manufacture plastic also.

    There is no question that it will be a big job to convert our entire economy to a new source of energy.  On the other hand, there is no doubt that fossil fuels will run out in 200 or 300 years even if we burn all the carbon in the ground.  Do you expect our decendants to live in caves and revert to stone tools after all the carbon is gone??  I do not know anyone who has suggested that will happen  We all expect them to figure out a new source of energy.  We have that source availabe to us right now, it is wind and solar.

    Currently business uses fossil fuels because they are the cheapest.  Wind and solar have very recently become the cheapest source of electricity.  As they are built out they will be able to replace fossil fuels for industrial heat and other uses. The best path forward is to convert the easiest energy first to renewables: electricity.  Then you start to work on the harder processes.

    Jacobson has demonstrated that there are multiple ways to get to fossil fuel free economies.  There are multiple technologies for all of the objections that you have raised.  I like the idea of jet fuel from sea water.  Jacobson likes hydrogen power (with the hydrogen generated by electrolysis from renewable power).  In 30 years we will see which tenchnologies win out.  I doubt anyone today can predict exactly which technologies will be most successful.  Just 10 years ago no-one thought that wind and solar would be as cheap as they are today.  

    Once renewable energy dominates the electricity market it will start to penetrate other markets.  An example of this is the manufacture of aluminum in Iceland using renewable electricity from geothermal energy.  Iceland is cutting into the market for Alminum made with coal electricity from Australia.  Don't expect industrial manufacture of hydrogen (or jet fuel) until the electricity market has gone mostly renewable.

    It is difficult to keep a positive face on in response to political stupidity, especially in the USA.  It seems to me that we have no other choice, if we lose hope why should we build out renewables?  The sooner we go full bore on renewables the less damage we will have to deal with.  If we built wind generators like tanks were built during WWII we would emit much less CO2 in a decade.

    The great positive is that renewable energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels!!  Ten years ago it looked like the only way to get widespread acceptance of renewables was if the government heavily taxed fossil fuels.  Those taxes have always been a political long shot.  Now renewables compete without subsidy in many locations.  And the price of renewables continues to go down!  Walmart, Costco and Ikea are putting solar panels on top of their stores!  Other major companies are loooking at solar because they save so much money.  

    As renewables gain market share it will become easier to raise taxes (or lower subsidies) on fossil fuels.  Already the coal companies in the USA are going bankrupt!!  Coal power plants are shutting down.  There is discussion of making coal companies pay fair fees to mine on public land.  As more wind and solar are built out it will become uneconomic to frak for gas.  Unfortunately, nuclear was the most expensive power and is being eliminated along with coal.  The response must be to build out renewable energy faster.

    It is difficult to respond to a post like yours that lists multiple questions about many technologies.  If you separate your questions into smaller chunks it is much easier to have a discussion.

  • Range anxiety? Today's electric cars can cover vast majority of daily U.S. driving needs

    michael sweet at 11:27 AM on 9 September, 2016


    Mark Jacobson and his group think all energy to support a modern economy can be generated using renewable fuels. They have won several major awards for their work including the Cozzarelli prize for best paper in 2015 from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  They could not have received that award if the editors did not think their plan was well founded.  Their publications have hundreds of citations.   Most of the people who cite them agree.  Anyone who wants to claim that great sacrifices must be made to reduce carbon pollution has to say what they think is incorrect with Jacobsons' plan.

    Some of their examples seem difficult to me (I am not an expert).  However, there are alternatitives that could work instead.  For example, Jacobson suggests that hydrogen powered airplanes could be developed.  An alternative would be biofuels (which have their own problems as Tom suggested) or the US Navy has developed techniques to make jet fuel from sea water and electricity.  The primary issue with making fuel from CO2 is cost.  How much do we really need to fly, what are we willing to pay? Jacobson does not like these options because he feels that any combustion of organic materials makes too much pollution.  Society may decide that the pollution is worth the lower cost.

    If people decide they want to stop carbon pollution it is possible to transition to a renewable economy.  If most people install solar panels their electricity will be cheaper than it currently is.  Some portions of the economy will be better, for example air pollution and ensuing health issues (over 13,000 people are killed each year by coal pollution in the USA alone)  will decrease a great deal, others like air travel might be more expensive.  Currently in China air pollution reduces everyones lifespan by at least 5.5 years.  What are they willing to spend to live 6 years longer?  They currently install more renewable energy than any other country.  As renewables continue to decrease in cost more will be installed.  Would you pay triple for air travel if it saved all the buildings and infrastructure between 6 and 30 feet above sea level? I would.

  • Americans Now More Politically Polarized On Climate Change Than Ever Before, Analysis Finds

    Paul W at 11:57 AM on 6 September, 2016

    Haze @12 I think the reason that WUWT and Jo Nova are popular has been mentioned. They appeal to a tribal political mentality about emotions and not about data or logic. In politics it's talked about playing the race card as being the reason for electoral success in Australia.

    Playing emotional cards is well know for drawing big crouds. Not only do people get to read what pleases them but they get a sense of beloning against an opposing tribe. The 1939 - 45 period was a big example of this kind of emotionally driven period. Sense and logic draw a smaller croud. 

    The capture of the Republican vote by Trump was another example of the use of identity and emotions where logic was just not allowed to get in the way of a good set of feelings.

    Talk back radio also draws big crouds based on the emotions of conflict and belonging. There are lots of pent up emotions that can be ventilated drawing in large numbers. Logic just gets in the way of mass passion.

    I have worked as a volunteer in counselling for many groups over 3 decades. People love being around a storming or sounding off person who is sounding rightfully angry or resentful. Like watching the football. The logic of emotions is different from the logic of ideas. Its only beginning to be fleshed out scientifically but advertisers understand it well. Its quite divorced from data and theory. To be able to vent emotions is a "sweet pill" for a very large number of people.

    I think the Roman's had something to say about the uses of pigs and the circus.

    Jo Nova and WUWT are the contrarian equivalent to Roman pigs and the circus. Great for passion. Light on logic or reason but that is just not needed in politics. Passion and a rightful quest drives politics. No need to look too carefully at the details as it spoils the show.

  • Americans Now More Politically Polarized On Climate Change Than Ever Before, Analysis Finds

    Haze at 11:28 AM on 6 September, 2016

    Sorry PaulW I'm not being clear.  I don't care a jot about the appeal Watts and Nova have. What I am trying to do is find out why they have it.   For example, at the moment Nova is  commenting on a paper published in Nature in 2015 entitled "Global wheat yield may drop as temperature rises'.  This has received, at the time I write this, 110 comments.  The question is why?  Why does Skeptical Science almost never attract anywhere near that level of reader participation when it discusses scientific articles?    I gave some possible suggestions  but from the responses I got from you and chriskozit it is clear  I haven't made my aim plain.  Or is there, perhaps,  an element of motivated cognition involved?

  • Americans Now More Politically Polarized On Climate Change Than Ever Before, Analysis Finds

    Paul W at 10:46 AM on 6 September, 2016

    Haze @10 I understand that you are wanting to discuss the great appeal the WUWT and JoNova have on the ideologically driven excitment of the contrarian cause. We have had climate change accepted by Republicans before the Al Gore movie that "Red Flagged" the issue making contrarian issue like anti communism a partisan issue. We have famous Climate Scientists state that they are Republicans and the carbon fee dividend idea of James Hansen is written in terms of Republican sentiments of smaller government with all money returned to the people to stimulate the economy. All good Republican sentiments.

    You raise the elitist issue "Or are Real Climate and Skeptical Science seen as being run by elitists who not receptive to and dismissive of the views of "ordinary" Americans and Australians?" I'm not an untrained member of the public so I cant tell. I do have experence with a wide set of lobbists on another issue where after the Al Gore movie a wave of climate denial swept accross the good Christian members like a dose of the flu. There "your an athiest scientist" attitude at myself became spiked with climate conspiracy and "your not one of us as you worry about the climate issue that God will protect us from". Similar non sense attitudes were apparent. Mentioning that the modern Popes saw no difference between science and the work of God did not register as they were protestants. The dog whissle had been blown and their owner had call the flock home.

    It was just tribal politics. Whos in and who is out. Part of their identity and not able to be spoken about.

    The fossil fuel lobby own these people. It seems cut and dried. Getting minds to start to question requires from my experience "a relationship of trust". I think that you trying to point to this element as though its missing from SkSci and Real Climate. These site have my trust due to the way they use logic and data. 

    The Republicans who oppose climate science use ideology as their definition point for trust. What can be done about that? Is a good question. They are not being reached in the way you reach Scientists or people who use reason.

  • Americans Now More Politically Polarized On Climate Change Than Ever Before, Analysis Finds

    Haze at 09:52 AM on 6 September, 2016

    scaddenp @5  You comment: "Haze, I am not quite sure what your point is. That people are stupid? Dont want believe unwelcome facts?"   I prefer not to comment on your first question and to answer yes to your second. In the report the following comment was made:  "The sociologists say one major reason why attempts to better communicate the realities of climate change to conservatives have failed is down to “motivated cognition” — described as the tendency for people to only accept information that reinforces their existing political beliefs and their views on the world."

    From the coomments by PaulW@8 and chriskoz@9 "motovated cognition" could well be  present at Skeptical Science.

     PaulW says" the pseudoscience in your post @3 is the simple giving of reality to the popular misconseptions of the poorly climate science educated as if cultural dominance (in the MSM pseudoscience is the dominant culture, where frequent articles from climate scientists are dismissed) makes it real" 

    What I actually wrote was :"It is also perhaps relevant that, for example, WUWT and JoNova attract far more respondents than do Skeptical Science and Real Climate."  That doesn't make any comment on the content of these blogs just that Watts and Nova attract more respondents than Skeptical Science and Real Climate.  That is easily determinable fact .  That Paul W chooses to totally misinterpret what I wrote seems a clear case of motivated cognition.    


    chriskoz @9 says 'With the benefit of the doubt, it looks as suggestions posted @3 can be read as the questions of a person ignorant on the subject. Which is fine: everyone can be ignorant about certain aspects of reality until they learn the facts. Now, that you've learned the facts, and understood how far off the mark suggestions @3 are, you should not ask such questions ever again, unless you want to be called a pseudoscientist or more tivially a denier of reality."

    The questions I posed had absolutely nothing to do with the science of climate change and everything to do with the selling of climate change to the public, which is what the article is all about.  So when commenting on an apparent failure of marketing why  am I called a pseudoscientist?  Another clear example of motivated cognition.

     And by the way chriskoz, my comment "provide a shorter and more punchy piece on why pursuing the lowering of CO2 emissions is not going to lead to penury for the workers."  is clearly a statement not a question and doesn't require answers.  I cannot comprehend why you regarded as a question.  Motivated cognition again?





    if  Paul W @8  The sociologists say one major reason why attempts to better communicate the realities of climate change to conservatives have failed is down to “motivated cognition” — described as the tendency for people to only accept information that reinforces their existing political beliefs and their views on the world

    PaulW@8 Haze @7 Clearly I have completely failed in my attempt to address possibilities for the fall in acceptance of climate change by Republication, You say: "pseudoscience in your post @3 is the simple giving of reality to the popular misconseptions of the poorly climate science educated as if cultural dominance (in the MSM pseudoscience is the dominant culture, where frequent articles from climate scientists are dismissed) makes it real".

    Whatever your take on the words I used let me state clearly the message I was trying to get across is that denier blogs get more traffic than climate science blogs That is a statement of fact not some attempt to push the messager of these b logs and asking both why that and what could be done to combat it.

  • Americans Now More Politically Polarized On Climate Change Than Ever Before, Analysis Finds

    Haze at 14:45 PM on 4 September, 2016

    It seems that  despite the 97% consensus scientists with a Democrat as President for the last 8 years, are unable to convince the American Republican voter that AGW is of serious concern.  Perhaps instead of saying it is due to advertising from the anti-AGW side, concentratiing on why their advertising is having less effect might be more profitable.  No matter how much the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch et al. can spend, it is nowhere near the amount the Americn government can spend if it so desired. Perhaps the swing away from AGW by Republican voters reflects failure in the approach of AGW proponents rather than success of the approach taken by the anti-AGW factions.  It is also perhaps relevant that, for example, WUWT and JoNova attract far more respondents than do Skeptical Science and Real Climate.  Why is that?  Because Watts and Nova are better funded?  Better publicists?  More in tune with "ordinary" Americans and Australians?  Or are Real Climate and Skeptical Science seen as being run by elitists who not receptive to and dismissive of the views of "ordinary" Americans and Australians?

  • CERN CLOUD experiment proved cosmic rays are causing global warming

    Aaron S at 13:12 PM on 1 August, 2016


    I fail to see the connection between Earth's magnetic field, and the Sun's magnetic field. Are we are discussing climate relative to the sun's magnetic field deflecting Galactic Cosmic Rays? The Earth is something like a millionth the volume of the sun, and its magnetic field is weak regarding our solar system deflecticing Galactic Cosmic Rays.  The Sun is the player in our solar system.  I need to watch the video- perhaps I am missing something, but no way does Alley imply we are talking solar cosmic rays. Then I can Revert.

    MA Roger:

    Did you address the new Nature paper that states:

    "This could raise the baseline aerosol state of the pristine pre-industrial atmosphere and so could reduce the estimated anthropogenic radiative forcing from increased aerosol-cloud albedo over the industrial period."

    I am confused about a few of your points: 

    MA states:

    "his comparison is not used to demonstrate some grand sun-effect on climate but rather to show the wobbles in their 9,200-year record can be found in climate data."

    Steinhilber et al (2012) Concludes:

    " A comparison of the derived solar activity with a record of Asian climate derived from δ18O in a Chinese stalagmite reveals a significant correlation. The correlation is remarkable because the Earth’s climate has not been driven by the Sun alone."

    MA states:

    "Your first citation Steinhilber et al (2012) is certainly not part of such a literature as it tells us "TSI is taken as a proxy of solar activity" which is the particular position that Svensmark (& apparently you also) argue against."

    Aaron S:

    I don't understand what you mean. TSI is used for a proxy of solar activity. Solar Activity includes TSI, as well as magnetic field strength. Solar Forcing is the combination of both (perhaps even additional contributions from the exagerated flux of the UV spectrum of TSI). 

    Steinhilber et al (2012) (in Abstract):

    "The new cosmic radiation record enables us to derive total solar irradiance, which is then used as a proxy of solar activity to identify the solar imprint in an Asian climate record. Though generally the agreement between solar forcing and Asian climate is good, there are also periods without any coherence, pointing to other forcings like volcanoes and greenhouse gases and their corresponding feedbacks. The newly derived records have the potential to improve our understanding of the solar dynamics and to quantify the solar influence on climate."

    I think I am picking something up here: Are you guys thinking cosmic rays are from the sun- ie random solar storms that may interact with Earth? Just to be clear, the Svensmark theory are talking about Galactic cosmic rays from super nova explosions across the universe. These are relatively constant and originate from many different directions. The sun's magnetic field deflects these depending on strenght of solar activity, and then cloud cover is impacted by the amound of Galactic Cosmic Rays reaching the Earth.  Yes the Earth's field plays a minor role to but clearly minimal compared to the sun. Yes our sun's cosmic rays can play a role in short term cloud cover and "weather" not climate, but again this is not what the Cosmic Ray theory is implying.   



    Tsonis et al (2015)- Please don't bring character into a data debate- not professional. I need to read your links to understand the problems. Have to revert back later. 


    MA issue with Solar Trend:

    Really in fig 3D of the Steinhilber et al (2012) you don't see in 1910 we were in a solar minimum, characterized by increased CR intensity (weaker solar mag field, more cosmic rays, more nuclei, more clouds, more albedio, less sunlight), then by 1950 to 2000 we were in a very large and sustained solar max. Basically you have a very steep slope 1910 to 1950, then a very minor slope 1960 to 2010. This is difficult for me to understand how you say: "specifically that over the last century it has been a rising one." Furthermore, it is ironic to me when lags are accepted for things like the hiatus, but the role of the sun is considered invalid if there is a lag from say ocean circulation or whatever. It is bad logic. 


    Solar Trend


  • How to inoculate people against Donald Trump's fact bending claims

    Jim Eager at 01:00 AM on 25 March, 2016

    I see no problem with Ryland's advice to Dr Death to check out WUWT, Jonova, ClimateEtc, the GWPF, et al. If Tom is truly sincere in his intention to with intelligence and an open mind compare almost 200 years of cohesive science with its multiple lines of non-contradictory evidence to what the "debunking side" puts forward it will only make reaching his conclusion that much easier.

  • How to inoculate people against Donald Trump's fact bending claims

    ryland at 19:42 PM on 24 March, 2016

    Dr Death @8.  Not unsurprisingly despite your comment "I will look at scientific facts and the reasons for it and then I look at the debunking side of it as to why people believe that part is not true" none of those responding to your post have provided you with any sites where "debunking" occurs on a regular basis.  

    Some of those sites are Wattsupwiththat run by an American "meteorologist" but probably more accurately a TV and radio weather presenter; Jonova run by the Australian Joanne Nova who has an Honours degree majoring in Microbiology and Molecular Biology  from the University of Western Australia; ClimateAudit run by Steve McIntyre a Canadian with a Bachelor's degree im Mathematics from the University of Toronto and a degree in politics, philosophy and economics from the Unversity of Oxford; Climate Etc run by the American Dr. Judith Curry who is a climatologist with many peer reviewed publications in the field of climate science; Global Warming Policyh Foundation started by the Englishman Nigel Lawson (aka Lord Lawson) who was the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Mrs thatcher's government.  Others you might like to look up are the American Dr. Richard Lindzen an atmospheric physicist educated at Harvard, the American meteorologist Dr Roy Spencer and the American climate scientist Dr john Christy who, with Roy Spencer monitors the global climate using information from satellites

    All of those who I have mentioned are persona non grata at this site but as your stated aim is to examine the views from the "debunking side" it seems remiss not to point you in the direction of some, but by no means all, of those who frequently comment on the 'debunking side" of the climate debate

  • Volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans

    Tom Curtis at 12:00 PM on 18 March, 2016

    Ybnvs @268:

    1)  It is not simple reasoning (except in a perjorative sense) to take William of Ockham's principle that we should not multiply entities beyond necessity and conclude that volcanic seeps and subsurface volcanism exist far in excess of, not just what has been observed, but what would be expected from surveys of the ocean floor.  Rather, it invokes a principle as justification of doing the reverse of what the principle dictates by mulitiplying our estimate of the number of seeps and subsurface volcanoes beyond any necessity justified by the data.  (Note it is Ockham in the English spelling, or Occam from the anglicized latin spelling - not Occum.)

    2)  That a NOVA documentary features a volcanic seep near New Guinea (of which several are known) in no way proves the seep to be newly discovered, or extensive enough to alter in any way estimates of subsurface CO2 emissions.  And FYI, there are smaller seeps than those listed at the link above such as those in Milne bay, but again these are well known.  It remains the case that you have yet to present any evidence for your claims.

    3)  While the uncertainty about volcanic emissions is sufficiently large that they may be up to double current estimates, we would need to be underestimating volcanic emissions by a factor of 50 for volcanic emissions to represent even 50% of anthropogenic emissions.  That scale of error is simply not on the cards, and for you to be certain that the error in current estimates is even greater than that, as it would need to be for volcanic emissions to be the primary cause of the increased CO2 levels, without having become even superficially familiar with the relevant scientific papers shows that your certainty the the scientists who have dedicated their career to studying this issue (and hence who are well familliar with the facts, as you are not; and well familliar with the relevant arguments, as you are not) represents a breath taking arrogance.  The style of reasoning you evidence even has a formal name - invincible ignorance.

    4)  As PhillipeChantreau alludes to, while there is significant uncertainty as to the actual value of volcanic emissions, regardless, other evidence makes as certain as it is possible to be in science that anthropogenic emissions are the cause of the rapid rise in CO2 levels in the twentieth century.

    5)  CO2 emissions and concentrations started rising around 1750, and rose rapidly after 1850:

    In contrast, temperatures did not start rising significantly until 1910:

    Again, whatever your argument with regard to temperatures, it is based on a very selective misinterpretation of the evidence.

  • Oceans are cooling

    Cedders at 18:09 PM on 11 March, 2016

    A more recent sceptical argument is that, while the ocean appears to show the energy imbalance, the rate of warming is negligible.  See for instance which alleges that the error from network of buoys is greater than thought (I didn't find that line convincing, but the temp graphs get recylced). 

    Judith Curry writes "with the 2nd law of thermodynamics, it is not easy to get much of that heat back to surface... since the 1960s, the warming of that layer [0-2000m] was 0.06 °C... can anyone figure out why 0.06C is a big deal for the climate". 

    Cheng, Zhu and Abraham find warming of 0.0061 °C/yr in 0-700m, close to models, but one naive question might be why this is less than half the rate of surface warming, and less than 1 °C in a century.  Does this slowness mean the oceans will moderate or delay the surface warming more than thought?  Is there a simple model to explain this?  I wonder if this deserves its own article. 

  • The gutting of CSIRO climate change research is a big mistake

    ryland at 09:50 AM on 13 February, 2016

    Tom Curtis @ 23.   Unlike mancan@18 I am surprised at the unusual amount of speculation and supposition in your discussion.  I too read the SMH but I also read the Australian and trust neither to give a totally unbiased report. You express reservations on the statements made by Dr Marshall on staff cuts, the RV, Argo and the climate models that have no basis in fact.  They are in fact pure speculation

    On RV Dr Marshall stated:"The second area of correction is our ability to support climate measurement in Australia. Cape Grim and RV Investigator are not under threat from these changes."Your interpretation is:"RV Investigator is a multi-function research vessel and can continue its voyages very easilly without any research on climate (focussing instead on ecology, for instance)". What evidence have you that any of this will occur?  As far as I can determine it is again speculation with no basis in fact

    On Argo, Dr Marshall: :We will also continue our contribution to the international Argo floats program which provides thousands of data points for temperature and salinity of our oceans; and we’ll be investing more in autonomous vehicles, using innovation to collect more data than ever before."

    Your comment is : "Nor does a continued contribution to the Argo floats program assure us that the level of contribution will remain the same."

    Any evidence that it won't? Marshall certainly gives no indication it will be changed. He specifically states "we'll be investing more".

    On climate models Dr Marshall states:"Our climate models have long been and will continue to be available to any researcher and we will work with our stakeholders to develop a transition plan to achieve this."

    You say "the phrasing of the assurance regarding the climate model suggests that it will not be used by CSIRO researchers, merely that it will be available to others (of which more later). More important, it contains no assurance of the continued development and testing of the model, without which it will be obsolete in 4-5 years."

    This is purely your interpretation of Marshall's phrasing.  Another interpretation could well be  "that as the statement says models will continue to be available etc, these models will be fit for purpose".  

    On the staff cutting to which you refer Dr Marshall said: "In our Oceans and Atmosphere business we have about 420 staff, not 140 as reported by some media, and after these changes we expect to have about 355, contrary to media reports."

    Your comment "This, however, seems like misdirection to me. Specifically, the 100 full time positions lost from the Oceans and Atmosphere section will be lost from just two out of five units. The question is, how many staff are their in the two units that will sustain the losses? Larry Marshall does not answer, and the answer is probably 140". "

    "Seems like misdirection to me" is a purely subjective assessment with no apparent basis in fact Why is there "probably 140"? That number is specifically referred to by Dr Marshall as being incorrect.  

    In conclusion, why is the climate science community, of which SkS is certainly a member, so vehemently hostile to any actions it considers a threat to its beliefs and activities?  The furore  the appointment of Bjorn  Lomborg generated and the current hand wringing and prophecies of doom about proposed cuts at CSIRO epitomise the "to the ramparts" attitude of the climate science community at anything it perceives a threat to its beliefs and importance.  To the unbiased observer this could appear to be more like knee jerk paranoia than anything else.

  • The gutting of CSIRO climate change research is a big mistake

    Tom Curtis at 18:37 PM on 12 February, 2016

    Further information, and comments.

    First, Larry Marshall clarified the restructure on Monday 8th here.  Amongst other things he said:

    "In our Oceans and Atmosphere business we have about 420 staff, not 140 as reported by some media, and after these changes we expect to have about 355, contrary to media reports. We asked business unit leaders to focus their operational plans on growth, and growth within finite resources will always initially lead to making choices about what to exit. However, as painful as any redundancy is, for the majority of the 5,200 CSIRO employees there will be no change to their current circumstances as a result of these plans, and we will also recruit new people with new skills."

    This, however, seems like misdirection to me.  Specifically, the 100 full time positions lost from the Oceans and Atmosphere section will be lost from just two out of five units.  Both are heavilly focussed on climate research.  The question is, how many staff are their in the two units that will sustain the losses?  Larry Marshall does not answer, and the answer it probably 140.  Marshall merely distracts us by inflating the denominator.

    Marshall goes on:

    "The second area of correction is our ability to support climate measurement in Australia. Cape Grim and RV Investigator are not under threat from these changes. The Cape Grim air pollution monitoring station which is a source of much of our greenhouse gas information will continue to be that source. Our climate models have long been and will continue to be available to any researcher and we will work with our stakeholders to develop a transition plan to achieve this. The RV Investigator, operated by CSIRO for scientists from Australia and around the world as a state of the art research facility will continue to operate scientific voyages, gathering data every day at sea. We also have an air archive which is a resource available to any researcher to investigate air changes over time. We will also continue our contribution to the international Argo floats program which provides thousands of datapoints for temperature and salinity of our oceans; and we’ll be investing more in autonomous vehicles, using innovation to collect more data than ever before."

    While happy to hear that Cape Grim will survive, I am less than sanguine about the other reassurances.  RV Investigator is a multi-function research vessel and can continue its voyages very easilly without any research on climate (focussing instead on ecology, for instance).  Nor does a continued contribution to the Argo floats program assure us that the level of contribution will remain the same.  Finally, the phrasing of the assurance regarding the climate model suggests that it will not be used by CSIRO researchers, merely that it will be available to others (of which more later).  More important, it contains no assurance of the continued development and testing of the model, without which it will be obsolete in 4-5 years.

    Ryland above reffers us to the Senate Estimates hearings, for which (unfortunately) a transcript is not yet available.  The SMH, however, reported on the hearings.  From them we learn that:

    1)  An original document planning this restructuring indicated the need for the loss of only 35 positions from Ocean and Atmosphere, which can reasonably be taken as the number of cuts necessary to impliment the restructure without loss of significant, relevant capacity.  Apparently the increase from 35 to 100 positions was a top down position made without familiarity with the research being cut.

    '"Those numbers of 100 are very round," said one senior researcher, who had watched the live stream of the hearing and whose work may face the chop. "What was the rationale for coming up with them? We still don't know."'

    2)  The board was told of the level of cuts involved in the restructure just two days before the public announcement.  From that it is clear that this was not a decision made in consultation with the board, and ergo also not a decision whose rational has been tested by independent scrutiny.

    3)  The executives making the decision had not adequately informed themselves of the details of the operations and research they were cutting.  This is evident in their having made several errors about that research in responding to Senate Estimates.  In particular:

    "For instance, they initially said the key Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator (ACCESS) model jointly worked on by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO was "open-sourced", allowing for wide-ranging contributions that might offer the opportunity for savings."

    A belief that the software was open access may well have contributed to a belief that the CSIRO "climate models have long been and will continue to be available to any researcher" even while cutting the staff that operate those models (see Marshall's clarrification, and discussion above).

    This is fairly crucial in that Senate Estimates is the only indepedant scrutiny of the suitability of the restructure, and for the exectives to not have the basic facts underlying the restructure at their fingertips for Senate Estimates shows the numbers were chosen independent of an actual analysis of the number of staff needed to be retained for the capability Marshall claims will be maintained.  His clarrification is therefore revealed more as a statement of faith than something of which he can genuinely reassure us based on analysis.  Worse, his faith inflated by a factor of three the number of cuts an actual analysis showed to be appropriate.

  • The gutting of CSIRO climate change research is a big mistake

    Tom Curtis at 10:53 AM on 12 February, 2016

    On the same topic, funglestrumpet @16, it is very dubious that the former British Chancellor of the Exchequer has much direct influence on the Treasury Department of the Commonwealth of Australia, or the Treasurer in the Australian Government.  Given the details @19, the idea that this redeployment of CSIRO resources results from the undue influence of Lawson in UK politics is not credible.

    For deniers as for supporters of science, this came as a bolt of lightning out of the blue.  The only difference is that they while they celebrate the loss of fundamental research on climate, supporters of science regret it.

  • The gutting of CSIRO climate change research is a big mistake

    Tom Curtis at 10:44 AM on 12 February, 2016

    mancan @18, your comment is excellent all round.  However, it does seem to attribute the current changes to the CSIRO to the government.

    As it happen, the chief executive of the CSIRO is not appointed directly by government, but by the board of the CSIRO.  The Chairman of the Board at the time this was done was, Simon McKeon, was appointed by a Labor government.  He raised ire among deniers by his attitude towards Climate Change:

    "Despite admitting he has "no scientific pedigree", Mr McKeon says he wants to see the issue of climate change elevated to the top of the political and public agenda.

    "We may not have all the answers to what is occurring, we may not have certainly all the solutions to how to fix it," he said.

    "But the point is, why wouldn't one take out very strong insurance to at least do what we can to future-proof our well-being? I think it's a no-brainer.""

    Even today, nearly half of the board are Labor appointees, and at the time of appointment of Larry Marshall, the majority would have been.

    As tempting as it might be to suppose this is an act of the government, it is not.  It is the act of an independent manager of the CSIRO, of whom there is no reason to think that he is a denier or influenced by deniers.

    There is a contradiction between Prime Minister Turnbull's supposed commitment to innovation and his not reversing Abbott's cuts to the CSIRO - but this decision is not a direct reflection of that contradiction.

  • The Quest for CCS

    Sharon Krushel at 20:50 PM on 1 February, 2016

    #56 - Andy. Thank you for replying to my comment. I am certainly open to anything you have to say. (And I love the photos of your dog.)  I agree CCS is suitable for oil sands which are usually in remote areas. And they are, of course, a transitional solution.

    Thank you for the link to the Drakes Landing project. Wow! What a great plan for new neighbourhoods. I hope many more of these will be built. Ironically, if our oil industry "tanks" we probably won't be able to afford such ideal innovations. Right now, many I know have lost their jobs or fear they will lose their jobs or that their businesses will go bankrupt. This includes biologists, fish and wildlife specialists, reclamation specialists and environmental scientists and technologists who were working alongside industry to minimize effects on the environment. It trickles down even to us artists (I'm a nature photographer). The curator in Fort St. John, B.C. said sales are down 40% from last year, because most of their customers worked in oil related jobs.

    There is a book called "Creativity: the psychology of discovery and invention" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (don't ask me how to pronounce his name!). He makes the observation that innovation is sparked by a perceived problem. However, innovation often, eventually, brings about other unintended problems, requiring further innovation. I think it would be most helpful if the issue of AGW could be addressed in light of this truth. AGW is an unintended problem created by consumers and industry together. Most people know there's no silver bullet. Even the production of solar panels has an environmental impact. As Rumpelstiltskin says in the TV series, Once Upon a Time, "Magic comes with a price, Dearie."

    What distresses me most about this issue, besides, of course, the people affected by rising water levels, etc., is what I would call "the psychology of blaming." It's easy to target the tar sands because Canada has a great deal of industry in one area, and statistics and images can be used to paint them in the worst possible light - to the point where they are perceived as one of the biggest contributors to climate change. But from what I understand, if we shut down all of the tar sands, it would reduce global emissions by 0.16%. Even the 2013 Skeptical Science article, An Updated Look at What Keystone XL and Alberta Tar Sands Mean for the Climate, indicates that the "dirty" part of the tar sands (if all the expansions had gone through and the maximum had been sent through Keystone XL for 40 years) would contribute only 0.2% to the global carbon budget. And CCS has the potential to reduce the dirtiness to less than 0.2%.

    By focusing the public's blame on the tar sands, are we, in the grand scheme of things, "straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel"? The camel might represent our cars, or the trips we take for the sake of pleasure, or the oil we import across the ocean from Saudi Arabia, or other places where they don't have the same regulations...

    The oil industry certainly needs to be held accountable, and I was encouraged by your link to the article about Alberta's energy plan which involved consulting with industry.

    Ironically, I believe we're going to need a strong fossil fuel industry in order to transition to renewables. We need their expertise and resources. And I do think CCS may prove to be an important part of that transition. Hopefully, as they work with the technology, it will become less expensive and more effective, while we innovate together with renewable alternatives.

    Thanks again for your good work. Your articles and comments are most helpful. I have been an environmentalist since the 80s, and I am on a task force to address this AGW issue within the Anglican Church in regard to the suggestion that it is immoral to invest in fossil fuel companies. Our priest referred me to this website, and I'm so glad he did. 

  • The Quest for CCS

    JWRebel at 06:01 AM on 14 January, 2016

    Approaches using natural processes (accelerated olivine weathering, etc) seem to be a lot more promising. Below is a brief (2010) claiming it is possible to capture global annual carbon emissions for B$250/year. The second is using weathering to produce energy and materials using carbon dioxide as a major input.



  • Climate denial linked to conspiratorial thinking in new study

    Tom Curtis at 13:27 PM on 12 January, 2016

    chriskoz @54, Sheehan writes:

    "The paper was entitled "NASA faked the moon landing – therefore (climate) science is a hoax". The abstract of the study states: "Endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy theories [...] predicts rejection of climate science … This provides confirmation of previous suggestions that conspiracist ideation contributes to the rejection of science."

    Note the term "conspiracist ideation". The English language is being brutalised in the social sciences to create a false sense of rigour.

    When Jussim checked the data, he found that of the 1145 participants in the study, only 10 thought the moon landing was a hoax. Of those who thought climate science was a hoax, almost all of them, 97.8 per cent, did NOT think the moon landing was a hoax."

    (Emphasis mine, elipsis in square brackets mine)

    If you look at the underlined sentence, what is claimed by the Lewandowski paper is that:

    1)  If you are a conspiracy theorist, you are more likely to be a climate change denier.

    It does not claim that:

    2)  If you are a climate change denier, you are more likely to be a conspiracy theorist.

    The two claims are quite distinct.  One is a particular claim about the population of conspiracy theorists, and makes no particular claim about the population of climate change deniers.  The other is a particular claim about the population of climate change deniers and makes no claim about the population of conspiracy theorists.

    However, when we look at the evidence presented by Sheehan, it is a statistic about the population of climate change deniers, not about the population of conspiracy theorists.  That is, it shows that the data for the Lewandowski "moon landing" paper does not support proposition (2) above.  (Actually, it only shows it for a restricted version of proposition (2), as there were a total of 10 conspiracy theories considered by Lewandowski et al.)

    For some strange reason, the logician in me wants to insist that refuting 'if B then A' does not refute 'if A then B'.  It really does not.  Ony those who do not understand the meaning of the word "if" could think otherwise.

    So the best that can be said of Sheehan's critique (which he copied of McIntyre, JoNova and a host of other 'skeptical' luminaries) is that he is incompetent at either at logic, or at reading comprehension, or both.

  • G R A P H E N E

    denisaf at 11:40 AM on 27 November, 2015

    The current global fleet of 90000 cargo vessels consumes a high proportion of the oil that is being extracted around the globe by various means. Global trade and so the economies of many countries is very dependent on this unsustainabel transportation process. Focussing on the selected role of graphene does not contribute to tackling this emerging major predicament or to the other ones, over population, unsustainable food and potable water supply, global warming and ocean acidifcation are warming together with replacing the thousands of jet powered aircraft, including airliners.

    It is open to question as to whether the innovative technology described here will have a significant impact on the inevitable powering down of civilization as the predicamnts hit hard in coming decades.

  • 2015 SkS Weekly Digest #42

    Tristan at 10:03 AM on 19 October, 2015

    Meanwhile, over at Gina Rinehart's favourite website, Dr David Evans, PhD has gone full Galileo, and his wife has so far devoted 13 posts to it.

  • 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #31C

    Tom Curtis at 15:42 PM on 2 August, 2015

    jenna @2, the claim echoes those made by Fabius Maximus, and echoed by Joanne Codling three days ago.  They relate to the release of additional data from Verhenger et al (2014).  (Note, the PDF document is a data release, not a new paper - contrary to the misrepresentation by Codling.)

    A couple of things are worth knowing about the data.

    First, the authors invited responses from a number of groups chosen for their having authored scientific papers on climate change plus a small group invited because they had signed "... public statements disapproving of mainstream climate science".  That group represented just 2.4% of invitees, but 4.7% of respondents.  We are told that "about half of [the respondents only invited because of public political statements against climate science] only published in the gray literature on climate change"; ie, that they are not climate scientists at all.  Further, even for the "about half" who are climate scientists, it is unlikely that that many of them would have been invited from a random sample of climate scientists.  Indeed, we know that they would not because there is not a 50% overlap between the "unconvinced" and those invited on their merits.

    Fairly obviously, because the rest of the respondents were invited based on their names appearing of authors on climate science related papers in the scientific literature, that introduces another bias into the group.  Those who have published fewer papers are less likely to have been invited.  Ergo, even ignoring the deliberately introduced bias in favour of the "unconvinced", the sample is also biased in favour of frequent publishers.  Ergo the the sample does not represent a random sample of climate scientists, and therefore it is impossible to infer from the sample frequencies the frequencies of particular beliefs among climate scientists in general.  The results are merely indicative, and when we look at patterns among subsamples, informative.

    Second, the survey explicity asked about the respondents breadth of knowledge in climate science.  That is very important because "climate science" is a multidisciplenary subject with a very complex field.  As a result, many climate scientists are very expert in a particular issue relating to climate science without therefore being expert in all, or even many aspects of climate science.  In fact, among respondents only 34% indicated that their "general knowledge of physical climate science" was "broad" or "quite broad", with another 31% indicating that their knowledge was only "slightly broad", or that it was "not broad" at all (Question 8a).

    A similar question was asked about depth of knowledge of even one aspect of climate science ("one or more aspects of physical climate science"), with only 38% indicating it was "very deep" or "quite deep" on even one aspect, while 35% indicated it was only "slightly deep", or "not deep" on even one aspect of climate science.  The low level of stated depth of knowledge would be a function of two factors.  One is the level of comparison.  Scientists would compare their depth of knowledge to the acknowledged experts in the specialist field (aspect), so that even "slightly deep" knowledge may well represent at least an undergraduate level of understanding of the topic.  Further, because climate science is multidisciplenary, coauthors of climate sciense papers may be authors because of their specialist knowledge in a related field, but not in how it applies to climate science.  A paper on dendroclimatology (determing past climates from tree rings) may include as an author an expert in tree rings who has not studied any aspect of climate science beyond the effects of temperature and precipitation on treering density and width.

    Given these stated limits on the knowledge of climate science by the respondents, it is absurd to argue (as Joanna Codling does) that:

    "Fabius Maximus suggests we exclude the “I don’t knows” which brings up the number to 47%. Since these are “climate scientists” I don’t see why those responses should be excluded. An expert saying “I don’t know” on the certainty question is an emphatic disagreement with the IPCC 95% certainty."

    Climate scientist is not the same as "expert on attribution of temperature increases", the latter being a distinct and very small subset of the former.  Therefore when a climate scientist says about an attribution question that "I don't know", it is safe to assume that is because attribution is not their area of expertise, and that they should not be included among the experts in that area.

    So, where does the 43% come from?  Essentially, Maximus takes the percentage of respondents who agreed that 50% or more of "global warming since the mid-twentieth century can be attributed to human induced changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations" (question 1a), which is 65.9%.  He multiplied that by the percentage that agreed that the certainty was "extremely likely" or "virtually certain" (65.2%), thereby obtaining a percentage that agreed with the IPCC AR5 both with respect to the attribution level and certainty (43%).

    So, even on face value, the claim becomes that only 43% of a non-representative group of climate scientists and skeptics without necessarilly having detailed knowledge on attribution agree with experts in attribution who have spent more than a year in a detailed review of all the relevant data on attribution both on amount and certainty.  To that, I think, the appropriate response is, "so what".  Without a detailed study of attribution, climate scientists have no independent knowledge of the level of attribution, let alone the certainty of the attribution.  Do Maximus and Codling realy expect detailed study of (for example) ENSO, will magically confer the knowledge of not just the best estimate of the attribution percentage, but also the certainty of the estimate?  Perhaps they do.  Codling at least certainly seems to believe it is possible to make detailed and exact attribution statements by studying just the Sun - and may well carry a similar magical view of science across to other areas.  But just because they live in a fantasy land is no reason for us to take them seriously.

    Of course, many, including many who don't have an investment in "anything but CO2" being the cause of recent warming may find such a reponse unsatisfying.  For them it may be necessary to examine the numbers.

    If we do that, the first thing to notice is that the IPCC AR5 says that:

    "More than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) from 1951 to 2010 is very likely due to the observed anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations."

    But that:

    "It is extremely likely that human activities caused more than
    half of the observed increase in GMST from 1951 to 2010."

    (My emphasis in both quotes)

    As the survey question relates to the effect of greenhouse gases, it is the first statement, not the second that is the relevant comparison.  That being the case, if you want to compare those who agree with both the attribution level and the certainty, it is the certainty of the first statement (not the second) that should be used.  That immediately lifts the percentage to 65.9% (attribution) * 89.3% (certainty), or 59%.  Puting it simply, Maximus fudged the issue by using an incorrect comparison.  Without that fudge he could not have claimed a minority of scientists agreed with the IPCC.

    The second thing to notice is that the percentage increases significantly if we eliminate the non-climate scientists and the overrepresented "skeptics" from the sample.  This is a necessary step if we want to interpret the result as anything meaningful with relation to climate scientists.

    As it happens, 14 (15.9%) of those "unconvinced" respondents agreed with the concensus that more than 50% of recent warming is due to changes in GHG concentration.  Removing those 14 from those agreeing on attribution, and the other 74 "unconvinced" from those 'disagreeing' lifts the attribution percentage to 68.4%, and hence the total agreeing on both attribution and certainty is lifted to 61%.

    The third thing is that not only the "I don't knows" but also the "others" should be excluded from the response.  The first because (as note above) "climate scientist" is not the same as "expert on attribution" so that when they say that they do not know, that response should be taken as a statement of personal ignorance, not (as Maximus and Codling would have it) just a variant formulation of "it is unknown".  That is, a statement of personal ignorance is not a conclusion that the experts are wrong in stating that they know something.  

    The "other" category needs to be excluded because it is logically incoherent.  The available responses allowed you to respond that there was "no warming", or that the cause of the warming was "unknown".  It also allowed you to respond that GHG was responsible for "less than 0%" of the warming.  That is, it covered all logical bases.  For something to be "other" you have to agree that warming was greater than zero (to exclude the "no warming response").  You further have to agree that the answer to the attribution question is known (to exclude the "unknown" response), known by you (to exclude the "I don't know" response, and that GHG caused neither less than nor more than 0% of the warming (to exclude all other possible responses).  Having done that, you are at least a sixth of the way to dining at Milliways.  Put simply, the "other" responses are inchorent and therefore should be excluded.

    Excluding these two cagegories excludes 222 responses from all responses, and 7 responses from the "unconvinced".  That means excluding them raises the attribution level to 74%, and the 66%.

    To summarize, if we did a valid comparison with the IPCC AR5, and did not pad out the survey numbers with known "skeptics" and by including explicity statements of ignorance and incoherent results to pad out the denominator, the proportion we would obtain would be, not 43%, but 66% agreeing on attribution and certainty, and 74% agreeing on attribution.  That is, Maximus has deflated the agreement to fit his narrative by 35% at minimum.  (Given that the survey is of climate scientists in general, not of researchers into attribution in particular, I would say he has deflated it by 58%.

    Having said that, I would still not call 74%, let alone 66% a consensus.  It is a supermajority.  This should bring some caution in the over interpretation of studies like Cook et al (2013), which showed a 97% concensus in published literature - not among climate scientists.  That however, has been evident for a while.  What is known, however, is that the more expert climate scientists are on the topic, the more likely it is that climate scientists will agree with the IPCC consensus.  The same is shown with Verheggen et al, with 84.5% of respondents having published 30 papers or more (and exlcuding those who express personal ignorance or have an incoherent response) agree with the IPCC on attribution.  Only 8.5% think GHG concentrations are reponsible for less than 50% of warming, or think there has been no warming; and only 7% think the answer unknown.  (Percentages calculated by pixel count, and are only accurate withing approx 0.5%).  No doubt the percentage would be even greater among climate scientists with experience in attribution studies. 

  • 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #31C

    Rob Honeycutt at 15:29 PM on 2 August, 2015

    Jenna... I believe that comes from JoNova. I would suggest locating the original research she's quoting and see if it agrees with what she's saying.

  • 2015 SkS Weekly Digest #27

    MIchael Fitzgerald at 11:03 AM on 16 July, 2015


    Actually, it was his post here (#35.1) that inspired my question.

    Based on your denial that these questions even have answers, co2isnotevil appears right and the answers clearly dispute the accepted sensitivity, and this scares many who believe otherwise. I'm also a physicist and his descriptions of the underlying physics are spot on. The climate is certainly complex, but in the final analysis, its macroscopic behavior must still obey the laws of physics. The many inconsistencies pointed out in the threads you referenced is astonishing, especially how so many laws of physics must be violated to support a high sensitivity. I still have trouble believing how so many smart people can be so wrong in so many ways about something so important, but the evidence presented is powerfully compelling.

    One piece of evidence is a plot of monthly average surface temperatures vs. monthly average emissions by the planet, extracted from decades of satellite measurements, where the only possible conclusion is that the Earth is nearly an ideal gray body from space with an emissivity of 0.62 and answers the question about whether an ideal gray body model is sufficient for modeling climate change or at least bounding the sensitivity. The theoretical range of the sensitivity for an ideal gray body model of Earth is in the range of 0.2 – 0.3 and spans most of the estimates from the so called 'consensus of skeptics' and is far from the 0.4 – 1.2 range asserted by the 'IPCC consensus'. There's no room for compromise where both sides can say they were right and that's part of the problem. I predict that a sensitivity significantly less than the accepted lower limit of 0.4 must inevitably be accepted, and when it is, climate science will be disrupted in a way that no field of science has ever experienced and it will be both interesting and scary to watch with many far reaching repercussions.

  • Climate denial linked to conspiratorial thinking in new study

    ryland at 07:49 AM on 10 July, 2015

    Philippe Chantreau.  If you're going to attack something i wrote, attack what I actually did write rather than what you think I actually wrote'  You start off with this comment of mine:

    "There may be a 97% consensus of climate scientists that humans are responsible for climate change and certainly I consider that humans have contributed and do contribute to climate change but there are a lot of other scientists who are less convinced."

    You then say: 

    It matters very little that there are "a lot" of scientists who are less convinced. They're still only 3%.

    Can you not see i didn't say 97% of scientists but 97% of climate scientists.  You then follow up by saying it matters very little as they're still only 3%  

    Who are still only 3%?  All the other scientists who are not climate scientists?  Geologists? Meteorologists? Physicists?  Surely you recall the survey by the American Meteorological Society that showed only 52 % of its members were convinced oof AGW.  The survey did make it plain that meteorologists were at odds with the majority of scientific research on climate change.   I was careful to distinguish between climate scientists and other scientists, a distinction you appear not to have noticed.  After that introductory bit of stunning misapprehension I didn't bother to read the rest as its late

    scaddenp what I can't get from the daily mail I make up.  And as for the media The Guardian in which dana frequently writes is a useful source as is RealClimate.  So is Roy spencer and judith Curry and Jo Nova and Grant Foster 

  • The Carbon Brief Interview: Christiana Figueres

    Tom Curtis at 05:57 AM on 25 June, 2015

    Micawber @1, I quote from the abstract:

    "Time-poor scientists, stripped of their intellectual property rights, under rewarded, poorly educated, and ruthlessly exploited by growth-obsessed commercial interests, missed catastrophic global warming and multiple extreme consequences. Climate scientists abandoned classical physics and Newton-Hooke field verification in favor of unverified beliefs, models, and apps. Climate studies confuse heat with temperature, do not include basal icemelt, density temperature-salinity function, Clausius-Clapeyron evaporation exponential skin temperature function, asymmetric brineheat sequestration, solar and tidal pumping, infra-red GHG heat trap, vertical tropical cells, freshwater warm pools; or wind-driven surface currents at 3 percent of windspeed. Climate model mistaken assumptions lead to the absurd conclusion that evaporation in the Labrador Sea at midnight in midwinter is greater than at the midday Equator."

    That sort of rant is not found in scientific articles.  Nor are the claims true.  Given that the journal of publication mimics the name of a high impact physics journal to which it has no association, only publishes for a fee (and hence is reasonably described as a vanity press), has editorial board members with dubious or no academic affiliation (I particularly like 4 and 5), and its publisher (Council of Innovative Research) is listed on Beall's list of predatory journals, and given that the author published no papers from 1991-2011 (since when the majority of his publications have been in predatory press), I would take this article with a very large grain of salt.

More than 100 comments found. Only the most recent 100 have been displayed.

The Consensus Project Website


(free to republish)

© Copyright 2022 John Cook
Home | Translations | About Us | Privacy | Contact Us