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

  • New resource: myth deconstructions as animated GIFs

    BaerbelW at 05:42 AM on 25 March, 2022

    The initial 9 animated myth deconstructions have now been added as notes to the related rebuttals:

    Does cold weather disprove global warming?

    Are glaciers growing or retreating?

    CO2 lags temperature - what does it mean?

    How reliable are climate models?

    How the OISM Petition Project casts doubt on the scientific consensus on climate change

    What does past climate change tell us about global warming?

    Plants cannot live on CO2 alone

    Sun & climate: moving in opposite directions

    Do volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans?

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

    BaerbelW at 16:22 PM on 21 February, 2022

    @Santalives #80

    "I have always thought rather than just endless debates 2 steps removed on these websites, why not a TV show where the best climate scientist debate against best deniers on these topics."

    This would be a fake debate because both "sides" are not equal when there is a scientific consensus on a topic. It just paints a very wrong and misleading picture for people watching such a fake debate on what is basically settled science. This is explained in The Consensus Handbook on pages 8 and 9 and in this sketch from John Oliver's Last Week Tonight show which is as true today as when it came out in 2014!

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

    Eclectic at 11:49 AM on 20 February, 2022

    Santalives , perhaps I can give you some helpful hints :

    If you wish to discover some major flaw in the conventional climate science ~ something which will overthrow the consensus ~ then you will really need to sit down and put on your Thinking Cap.

    Since no-one yet has managed to discover any major error in today's climate science, then obviously it will need you to achieve a huge stroke of inspired genius.  You will need to think outside the box.  Some thunderbolt of deep insightful & groundbreaking discovery about physics will be necessary.  Just like Einstein had, when riding that tram in Vienna.

    Achieve that, Santalives , and fame and fortune will fall into your lap.  The Nobel Committee will award you a small fortune of cash, and the world's fossil fuel companies will give you much bigger bucketloads of money.  Very nice !

    Yes, it is a bit daunting that for the past 125 years or so, no-one at all has achieved what you are looking for.  But that is why you need to make a completely novel approach to such a quest.

    Needless to say, you would be wasting your time in searching through the old, established scientific papers . . . or searching through WattsUpWithThat  and all the other denialist/contrarian blogs & videos.  They have never found anything ~ otherwise, they would already have received all those awards I mentioned.   No, you need a fresh start, entirely based on your own stroke of genius.

    (btw, if you are successful, then please consider a small ex-gratia  payment to me.)

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

    BaerbelW at 22:17 PM on 19 February, 2022

    @Santalives #44

    Just because a paper is peer-reviewed doesn't make it correct and others have already explained what is at the very least questionable in Seim & Olson (2020). There unfortunately are publishers out there who are more interested in making a (quick) buck than in publishing properly peer-reviewed articles. There however is a list with potentially predatory journals called Beall's List and Scientific Research (SCRIP) does make an appearance there, which is a warning flag about how much weight to give their publications.

    Another such red flag is that scrolling through the paper you link to, I don't quickly see the somewhat customary information about the timeline from manuscript "received" via "accepted" to "published". For properly peer-revieved papers this tends to span several months at least but you often see it happening within a few weeks (if not days) for predatory journals. I might well have missed it for the paper in question but if not, does failing to disclose this important information increase or decrease your confidence in the publication? It sure decreases mine!

    In addition, here is a link to a short article published recently by Yale Climate Connections titled "Scientists agree: Climate change is real and caused by people". It starts with this:

    "The scientific consensus that climate change is happening and that it is human-caused is strong. Scientific investigation of global warming began in the 19th century, and by the early 2000s, this research began to coalesce into confidence about the reality, causes, and general range of adverse effects of global warming. This conclusion was drawn from studying air and ocean temperatures, the atmosphere’s composition, satellite records, ice cores, modeling, and more."

    Last but not least, let me repeat my invitation to join our MOOC Denial101x. It explains - among other things - why a lot more than a questionable paper would be involved to overturn the scientific consensus explained in the Yale article.

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

    Eclectic at 18:00 PM on 18 February, 2022

    Santalives @32  . . .  yes, very droll.

    And yes, I have already noticed that those NTZ  papers do not show any evidence which overthrows the consensus climate science.  Despite their speleothem isotopes and strontium/calcium ratios.

    Strike One, against you.

    Is there any evidence ~ any at all ~ that you can produce to show that all the climate scientists are wrong?  Well, it shouldn't take you more than a day or so to produce . . .  for yourself, as a maven of published scientific papers !

    The smart money is on : Strike Two, against you.

    Let's look ahead to Ball Three  (which the Moderators may suggest you play on a thread more appropriate to such discussions).   And while you are having a few practice swings at home . . . I will remind you that no climate scientist has stated the world is going to end in 2030.

    And remind you that your "1 minute to midnight"  reference actually applied to pending nuclear warfare  [readers at a later date will ~ I hope ~ have largely forgotten about the current brinkmanship of the Ukraine crisis].

    But first, Santalives , you need to define what is meant by "climate crises"  [unquote].

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

    Eclectic at 15:07 PM on 18 February, 2022

    Santalives @25 , 

    . . . as Evan says, you seem to be getting yourself bogged down with words & definitions.   If the term "settled science" is something that sticks in your craw ~ then simply look at the science itself.  Look at what is happening in the physical world of atoms, molecules, radiations and temperatures.  The real world ~ not the rhetorical world of the propagandists & science-deniers.

    #  And thank you for the link to the list of papers provided by the notrickszone  website (usually referred to as "NTZ").

    From time to time, NTZ  does come out with lists of 100's of papers, which NTZ  alleges do overthrow the mainstream climate science.  It is the "shotgun" approach, intended to impress the hell out of the layman who will never read anything more than the titles of the papers (if even that much).   The layman who wishes to believe that all those 10,000+ scientists (worldwide) are massively wrong.   The layman who doesn't wish to do some thinking (and legwork) for himself.  This is very much the target audience for NTZ.

    So,  Santalives , please have a look in detail at about half-a-dozen  of those NTZ  papers, and get back to the readers here at SkS  when you have identified one or two "killer arguments" from the papers (arguments or lines of evidence that the consensus climate science is wrong in some major way).

    It is fair to warn you that NTZ  has a track record of complete failure in this regard.  (NTZ  loves to "cherry-pick" ~ pick out a tree or two, while ignoring the forest.)

    #  Santalives , if you are not keen on doing a lot of climate reading (as is my impression so far) then you might enjoy viewing some YouTube videos by science reporter PotHoler54 who is a very knowledgeable guy ~ he debunks a lot of junk science & "fake media".   His climate series (now 58 videos) range from 5 - 30 minutes.   You could comfortably do one a day, and get up to speed about the climate controversies.   All of the videos are informative, and most of them are amusingly humorous in parts !

    One of the PotHoler54 videos from 2017 is titled:  "Have 400 papers just DEBUNKED global warming?"    And you guessed it ~ unsurprisingly the list of 400 papers comes via NTZ .

    Another of his videos debunks Christopher Monckton's spurious claims about scientific papers regarding the Medieval Warm Period (MWP).

    You will find PH54 very informative on the misrepresentations and deceptions practised by science-deniers such as Monckton, Heller, and others.

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

    Eclectic at 15:19 PM on 17 February, 2022

    (continued from @15 ~ and please excuse the typo double negative at one point.  The intended meaning is nevertheless quite clear.)

    Santalives @11 , I agree with you that the media show a great deal of puff pieces and exaggerated alarmism.  But that is not the actual climate science.  The science clearly shows that there are big problems approaching us: kind of like a slow-moving freight train.  But going into denial and closing one's eyes, is not the intelligent way of dealing with the situation.

    Santalives , you seem rather unfamiliar with the blogsite WattsUpWithThat.   I visit it daily ~ and I can assure you that there is extremely little debate on published peer reviewed climate science.  Extracts from reputable journals are scoffed at and ranted at (inbetween the extremist political rants, and the repetitive rants about the "non-existent" Greenhouse Effect).   But I live in hope that someday, some year, WUWT  will uncover some killer evidence that the mainstream climate scientists are wrong.

    There are a few - very few - intelligent & well-informed posters on WUWT.   Istvan and Tillman come to mind ~ but they all have an Achilles Heel.  They do not have the insight to recognise the emotional poison that is spreading all the way up from their heel, and is distorting (via motivated reasoning) their rational processes.  A great pity.  But please note I am not here referring to the small number of rational genuine scientist - Nick Stokes is a prominent example - who all-too-rarely  pop in to the WUWT  comments columns . . . where their scientific accuracy & common sense produce infuriated responses from the denialists.

    Sadly, even a recent paper by Happer & Wijngaarden , is quite misunderstood / misrepresented by the WUWT-ites.  It simply does not overthrow the scientific consensus.

  • There is no consensus

    One Planet Only Forever at 14:03 PM on 18 January, 2022

    In response to Star-affinity @#900:

    Comprehensive responses to the question about the magnitude of consensus regarding human induced global warming and resulting climate changes have been provided by others.

    My initial supplement is: Rather than debating the magnitude of consensus for the theory that “significant anthropogenic climate change is occurring” ask for an evaluation of the level of consensus for the theory that “No anthropogenic climate change impacts are occurring”.

    Increased atmospheric CO2 is unquestionably due to human activity. And increased CO2, along with other human impacts, unquestionably produce global warming and significant, hard to precisely identify, but unquestionably harmful climate changes from the conditions that human civilization developed in through the past several thousand years.

    However, there is more to consider. It is important to be aligned on the context/objectives for a 'debate'. Without objective alignment the result can be a waste of time.

    My primary objective is to try to help develop a sustainable improving future for humanity. Increased awareness and improved understanding of what is going on is essential to sustainable improvement of the future of humanity. And increased awareness of what is harmful and learning how to limit harm done is key, with climate change impacts of human activity being a significant sub-set of concern.

    Science questions things with the objective of increasing awareness and improving the understanding of what is really going on in a way that develops “improved common sense”. It is important for that “common sense” to help improve the future of humanity.

    Note that not all science or application of science is helpful. Misleading marketing is a good example of harmful scientific investigation and application. It can develop cult-like groups of believers with nonsense as “their common sense”.

    Every individual’s perception of what is going on is their reality. All understandings of what is going on are individual beliefs. And everyone has biases regarding what they learn. Everyone develops their understanding based on their experiences in the socioeconomic-political environment they grow up in. In many cases people develop a fondness for, or addiction to, harmful unsustainable developments (systems and beliefs) and resist correction of harm done that they benefit from or hope to benefit from.

    Getting alignment on the objective of “reducing harm done to the future of humanity and developing lasting improvements for humanity” is essential. Without that alignment the discussion can be a competition with the different sides having different sets of rules about how the game is played or judged/refereed. That can be a waste of time.

    Debating details about the level of consensus of understanding that human activity is causing harmful rapid climate change impacts is one of those waste of time games. Establishing that there is significant consensus is important. However, questioning a well developed understanding of the level of consensus is a game being played to delay and distract from the important discussions of how to identify and most effectively limit the harmful impacts of the many developed unsustainable activities that cause climate change impacts.

    One of the most harmful activities is misleading marketing. Always keep in mind that popularity and profitability have no reason to be aligned with limiting harm done. They are measures that are indifferent to harm done . Being more popular or profitable does not mean something is less harmful. In fact, getting away with being more harmful or misleading can be a competitive advantage in games of popularity and profit. And being more popular and profitable can make harmful beliefs and actions harder to correct (the persistence of climate science denial is one of many cases proving that point).

  • There is no consensus

    Eclectic at 08:03 AM on 17 January, 2022

    Thank you, Bob, for showing the ingenious Project Steve.

    The vonStorch survey [referred to, above] may not have many Steves, but it is a good survey - in the sense that it has a suitable first filter.  It contacts many thousands of appropriately qualified scientists.

    Unfortunately, the low 7% return rate is the first weakness.  It would have been better (but at much greater expense) for expert interviewers to personally meet with a truly random selection of perhaps 200 of the scientists . . . and gently hound them for their views, allowing no-one to drop out or excuse himself!

    At 7% return , there is the reasonable fear that the respondents include a relatively high proportion of "extremists" (from either end of the spectrum).   For example, in one of the questions, 2.5% of respondents replied that they were "not at all"  convinced that AGW existed.   And this 2.5% is an amazingly high percentage, in view of the accumulated overwhelming evidence that the 2.5 percenters are flat wrong.

    In such extreme cases, one suspects that a big slice of the 2.5 percenters have bizarre/extremist political views & a lot of cognitive dissonance.  But 'twas ever thus ~ for almost any field of science.  (Personal anecdote - I know quite well a PhD-level scientific researcher who is a member of his local Flat-Earth Society.)

    And the vonStorch survey questions were very unsuited to elicit actual consensus-relevant opinions.

    Overall, John Cook's 2013 survey of the true scientific literature was the optimum approach to the "consensus" issue.  It was reasonably neutral in selection; it didn't suffer from drop-outs (drop-outs by the busy, or by the disgruntled) . . . and it looked at the actual science , not the sometimes-flaky opinions of us imperfect human beings.

    And on top of it, the Cook 2013 survey doubled-down by asking the scientists personally to confirm (or not) what they viewed their scientific papers as saying.   Brilliant !

  • There is no consensus

    Eclectic at 23:50 PM on 16 January, 2022

    BaerbelW  @  #902  :  We can look even further, regarding the Forbes 2016 article mentioned by Star-affinity @ #900 .

    The article's author, Mr Earl Ritchie, has grossly misrepresented the vonStorch 2013 survey  ~ the survey simply does not support Ritchie's thrust of argument.   Ritchie is severely misleading the Forbes  readers - readers who are probably good at business but probably rather unthinking (and ill-informed) on science.   And Ritchie is also misleading them about the Cook 2013 survey of scientific papers.

    The vonStorch 2013 survey [now 8 years old] had its interesting points.  And I think the brief "Mertonian" discussion on pages 68 & 69 was a pleasant change of pace.   And at the end of the survey report, Bray & vonStorch published a long list of comments criticizing the deficiencies of the survey (participants' critiques ~ especiallly about the ambiguities of the survey questions).

    Additionally, please note that the survey had a 7% return rate.  (Vastly different from the Cook 2013 survey, which had a different structure.)

    And, the survey was about opinions ~ and much of it was about opinions on technical aspects/adequacies of climate models & future projections.

    Most of the questions were rather vague and fuzzy and "word based" instead of scientific concept based.  So, somewhat difficult for the participants to express themselves about the overall climate science situation  ~ in analogy: they were invited to give opinion about a leaf or two, but not to discuss the background forest.

    (There were a few exceptions in the questions:  one where 2.5%  of respondents opined that they were not at all convinced about AGW.   And another question, where 89% of respondents said they were now more convinced [versus in 2007] that greenhouse gasses had produced modern global warming.)

    All this compares very poorly with the excellent methodology used in the Cook 2013 assessment of scientific consensus.

  • There is no consensus

    BaerbelW at 21:30 PM on 16 January, 2022

    Star-affinity @#900:

    Several other studies have looked at the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change since that Forbes article was published. Here is a blog post from last year written by John Cook about a study he was involved with, replicating Doran & Zimmermann (2009) with a larger sample:

    The scientific consensus on climate change gets even stronger

    The interesting thing with the Forbes' article is, that it has to cherry pick a particular study to make its point of a lower than 90% consensus. And expecting 100% agreement of climate scientists before accepting the evidence is a case of impossible expectations, one of the main science denial techniques covered in the FLICC framework.

  • There is no consensus

    Eclectic at 08:24 AM on 16 January, 2022

    Star-affinity @ #900 :

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

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

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

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

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

    In short, Mr Ritchie's article is worthless.

  • Animals and plants can adapt

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

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

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

  • Fighting back against climate misinformation and the damage being done

    Mal Adapted at 07:14 AM on 10 October, 2021

    I've been commenting on climate-related articles on for a few years now. I've noticed a change in the science-denying participants, as public opinion has tilted in favor of the scientific consensus, perhaps shocked by widely-reported new weather extremes. Denialism is ever more automatic and reactive. Some regular pseudonyms appear to be software agents, deployed to spout denialism on triggering. OTOH, the overwhelming consensus of commenters in these articles is science-respecting. Every once in a while, a comment of mine will get enough 'recommends' to make me think I'm not just talking to myself. I'll probably keep  commenting for awhile, at least.

  • Why the IPCC climate reports are so important

    Evan at 20:24 PM on 7 August, 2021

    rkcannon, the IPCC "bias" is often referred to as scientific consensus, the result of over 160 years of climate science showing conclusively that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

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

    citizenschallenge at 09:09 AM on 5 August, 2021

    There's a good quote in that article,

    Even those of us with excellent critical thinking skills and lots of experience trying to dig up the truth behind a variety of claims are lacking one important asset: the scientific expertise necessary to understand any finds or claims in the context of the full state of knowledge of your field.

    It’s part of why scientific consensus is so remarkably valuable: it only exists when the overwhelming majority of qualified professionals all hold the same consistent professional opinion. It truly is one of the most important and valuable types of expertise that humanity has ever developed. (Ethan Siegel)


    It comes down to motivations and what is one after, learning or winning an argument.  Just like the two forms of debate, a scientific debate where learning is the goal, and honesty is a requirement.  Compared to the lawyerly political debate where winning is everything and the truth is treated with contempt and derision.

    As a lay-person I've come to appreciate that when I do "my own research" I'm actually doing "homework" collecting as much information as I can to understand a topic.

    A serious student questions their own assumptions and wants to understand opposing views because only through dissecting and resolving objections can we truly come to understand our own position.

    As for expertise - for the constructive layperson, all it takes is reading scientific papers, to get an inclining of the amazing details scientists are familiar with, which I can barely, or not at all, grasp.  It's a good humbling experience.

    Finally, possessing a healthy dose of self-skepticism is a prerequisite for constructive learning.


  • Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Engineer-Poet at 11:18 AM on 4 August, 2021

    Michael Sweet @265:

    You are wasting your time talking about radiation safety.

    Oh, I don't know.  Putting your intransigence out there for all to see has value.

    My experience is that people who do not like nuclear recognize that the scientific consensus is LRNT.

    How much of said "consensus" is from people in the "radiation protection" business—in other words, people with an interest in maintaining and ever-tightening the rules so they can make money from "minimization"?  Meanwhile, health physics deals with the REAL world, and workers at university research reactors routinely take many times the dose allowed at commercial nuclear plants, yet suffer no ill effects. Why is this allowed?  It's because research reactors are not competing with the fossil fuel industry; nuclear electric plants do.  Evidence-based radiation standards would seriously reduce the operating and maintenance cost of nuclear electric plants, and applying the same radiation standards to fossil fuels would require things like the handling of radium-rich petroleum well pipe scale as radwaste with all the same protection standards as at nuclear plants.  Such cost shifts might even get people to build more nuclear and use less fossil.

    There is a LOT of uranium in the ground, and the decay chain of U-238 produces Ra-226 and Rn-222.  A lot of this uranium chemically deposits in the same strata which host coal, oil and gas, which is why natural gas from the Marcellus shale is so high in radon.  Gas stoves dump the radon straight into the air people breathe.  I don't see any major "environmental" organizations demanding protection from that,do you?

    People who are avid supporters of nuclear, like you, do not care how many people nuclear power kills

    That's libelous.  I used to spend 2 weeks a year mere miles from a Generation I nuclear power plant, and the rest of the year not too far from a university research reactor.  Neither ever killed ANYONE.  Both are gone now, with only the casks storing the used fuel showing the former was ever there (I don't know about the latter).  I now live year-round mere miles from this "danger".  Do I sound like I don't care about lives?  It's MY life on the line here.  I walk the walk.

    Know what I'd love?  I'd love a new nuclear plant on the site of the old one, causing people with radiophobia to stay away and not buy homes here.  It would reduce my property value and thus my property taxes.  Pay less money for the same or better quality of life (less crowding and cleaner air)?  Sign me up!

    and cherry pick their references to the few scientists who disagree with the consensus.

    Science is not determined by consensus.  It's determined by evidence, and anyone who will not look at the evidence has no business calling themselves a scientist. The evidence is on the side of Calibrese.  Those opposed are not scientists, whatever degrees they hold or what they call themselves.

    We are all familiar with the scientific deniers of climate change. Citing the few outliers of the LRNT consensus does not prove your point. The National Academy of Science strongly backs LRNT.

    The acronym is "LNT", and the NAS shows every sign of having been captured by special interests.  Fossil-fuel interests are notoriously wealthy.

    As you pointed out, dissenters of the consensus were allowed on the committee.

    But not allowed a voice.  Calabrese has published many papers on radiation hormesis and the errors in LNT.  None of those objections made it into the BEIR VII section on radiation hormesis, and yes I read it from end to end. What does this mean?  (lemme try list tags here)

    1. The BEIR VII report reflects a majority view, not a consensus view and certainly not a view of the actual range of opinion in the field.

    2. The majority view is subject to capture by various interests, especially wealthy ones.

    3. Those interests are overwhelmingly benefitted by fossil fuels.

    You need to acknowledge this.  (love it, list tags rock)

    Reviewing this thread I notice that opponents of nuclear power have never raised the issue of low level exposure to radiation as a reason not to build out nuclear.

    That's implicit in the use of LNT to oppose nuclear energy.

    It is raised by nuclear supporters.

    Because we see no detectable increase in morbidity or mortality due to small increases in radiation; on the contrary, the evidence supports hormesis (when you can extend the median lifespan of rats from 460 to 600 days by irradiating them with gamma rays, it very likely has the same effect in all mammals including humans).  We do see increases in morbidity and mortality with increases of criteria air pollutants and things like PM 2.5, neither of which are produced by nuclear energy.  So why are you raising these issues?  It's enough to make anyone think you're doing it in bad faith.

    1) Nuclear plants are not economic. They cost too much to build.

    France proved otherwise; France has some of the cheapest and cleanest electric power in Europe, while "renewable" Germany has some of the most expensive and continues to burn lignite.  The way you make nuclear power cheaply is the same way you make automobiles cheaply:  series production of stanard units.  That's what France did in the 80's.  That is not what France is doing now, which is why Flamanville costs so much.

    2) Nuclear plants take too long to build.

    They didn't used to.  Ever ponder what's different now?

    The breeder reactors you support have not yet been designed. Once they have a design (at least 5 years from now), the approval of the design takes 3-5 years.

    So you admit that the regulators are a big part of the problem.

    3) There are not enough rare materials to build a significant number of nuclear plants.

    Nonsense.  Nuclear plants do not require rare materials; they've just been convenient for the way we've been doing things since the 1950's.  We don't have to keep doing things that way, and there are a great many reasons not to.  Many of the new reactor concepts use other physical mechanisms than e.g. control rods to control the rate of reaction, so they have no need for the elements which go into them.

    You admit in your post 260 that there is not enough uranium for your plan.

    No, I said there's not enough land-based uranium to start the required fleet of fast-neutron reactors.  There's more than enough in the oceans, and the depleted uranium already on hand in the USA would suffice to run the entire world for about a century on fast reactors.  Also, there's more than enough thorium available to do the job (3-4x as abundant as uranium and it's almost 100% convertible to energy with thermal neutrons).

    4) Your responses to Abbott are grossly inadequate and uninformed. For examply you claim "pretty much ANY site that has ever hosted a coal plant is suitable for a nuclear plant." Only 10 miles from my house is the Big Bend power plant (it is switching from coal to gas). This plant is too close to a city to be converted to nuclear

    It's "too close" for nuclear, but far more dangerous and polluting coal (with far more radioisotope emissions from the tramp actinides) was just fine?  Ye gods, if it wasn't for double standards, anti-nukes wouldn't have any standards.

    (Mods:  there's a bug in the way the post editor JS handles closing bold and italic tags when switching from "Source" back to "Basic" after pasting in HTML; a trailing space is deleted even when it's explicitly in the source.)

  • Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    michael sweet at 23:23 PM on 31 July, 2021

    Engineer Poet:

    You are wasting your time talking about radiation safety.  My experience is that people who do not like nuclear recognize that the scientific consensus is LRNT.  People who are avid supporters of nuclear, like you, do not care how many people nuclear power kills and cherry pick their references to the few scientists who disagree with the consensus.  We are all familiar with the scientific deniers of climate change.  Citing the few outliers of the LRNT consensus does not prove your point.  The National Academy of Science strongly backs LRNT.  As you pointed out, dissenters of the consensus were allowed on the committee.

    Reviewing this thread I notice that opponents of nuclear power have never raised the issue of low level exposure to radiation as a reason not to build out nuclear.  It is raised by nuclear supporters.  I have never raised this point in debate about nuclear power.  It is a waste of time.  Neither Abbott or Jacobson mention this issue.  I suggest you concentrate your efforts on the arguments that matter:

    1) Nuclear plants are not economic.  They cost too much to build.  It currently costs more for operation and maintenance of a nuclear plant than to build a new renewable plant with a mortgage.  Nuclear plants are shutting down because they cannot make money at the price of renewable energy.

    2)  Nuclear plants take too long to build.  The breeder reactors you support have not yet been designed.  Once they have a design (at least 5 years from now), the approval of the design takes 3-5 years.  Than it is 10-15 years to build a test plant.  The earliest that a pilot plant will be built is 20 years from now.  Production of many plants can not start before 2050.  The entire energy system will be renewable by then.  A few nuclear plants cannot make money against renewable energy.

    3) There are not enough rare materials to build a significant number of nuclear plants.  You admit in your post 260 that there is not enough uranium for your plan.  Nuclear plants use many other exotic materials that are already in short supply.  

    4) Your responses to Abbott are grossly inadequate and uninformed.  For examply you claim "pretty much ANY site that has ever hosted a coal plant is suitable for a nuclear plant."  Only 10 miles from my house is the Big Bend power plant (it is switching from coal to gas).  This plant is too close to a city to be converted to nuclear and it is very seriously threatened by sea level rise.  For both reasons it is unsuitable for nuclear power.   This disproves your "ANY site" claim and I didn't even have to look past the nearest plant to my home.  The Turkey Point Nuclear plant in Miami is almost isolated by sea level rise already.  Its location is unsuitable for nuclear power. 

  • Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Engineer-Poet at 11:23 AM on 31 July, 2021

    Michael Sweet @262:

    You post this in response to my citing the most recent National Academy of Science BEIR VII concensus science report on the topic of LRNT, published in 2006. This report was specifically written to determine the consensus of scientists on the effects of low level exposure to radiation and resolve the LRNT argument. They strongly endorsed LRNT.

    Yes, about that.  I found a great many references to it, including one taking the authors to task for failing to deal with issues straightforwardly(sadly, the full text is paywalled):

    Risk of low-dose radiation and the BEIR VII report: A critical review of what it does and doesn't say Michael K O'Connor PMID: 28826776 DOI: 10.1016/j.ejmp.2017.07.016 Abstract This article briefly reviews the history behind the BEIR VII report and the use of the linear no-threshold hypothesis. The BEIR VII committee considered four primary sources of data on the stochastic effects of ionizing radiation. These were environmental studies, occupational studies, medical studies and studies on the atomic bomb survivors. These sources are briefly reviewed along with key studies that run counter to the LNT hypothesis. We review many of the assumptions, hypotheses and subjective decisions used to generate risk estimates in the BEIR VII report. Position statement by the Health Physics Society, American Association of Physicists in Medicine, and UNSCEAR support the conclusion that the risk estimates in the BEIR VII report should not be used for estimating cancer risks from low doses of ionizing radiation.

    It wasn't until I was way down in the search results before I found the actual report itself rather than your link to a press release about it (which, strangely, did not link to the report either).  Sadly, I can't find specific quotes with which to identify details about which there is more recent research.  But here's something from the introduction:

    (4) assess the current status and relevance to risk models of biologic data and models of carcinogenesis, including critical assessment of all data that might affect the shape of the response curve at low doses, in particular, evidence for or against thresholds in dose-response relationships and evidence for or against adaptive responses and radiation hormesis;

    Except they didn't do that, or did it incompetently.  Here's a meta-study from just 3 years later, compiling studies which contradict BEIR and LNT (full text at the link):

    Media reports of deaths and devastation produced by atomic bombs convinced people around the world that all ionizing radiation is harmful. This concentrated attention on fear of miniscule doses of radiation. Soon the linear no threshold (LNT) paradigm was converted into laws. Scientifically valid information about the health benefits from low dose irradiation was ignored. Here are studies which show increased health in Japanese survivors of atomic bombs. Parameters include decreased mutation, leukemia and solid tissue cancer mortality rates, and increased average lifespan. Each study exhibits a threshold that repudiates the LNT dogma. The average threshold for acute exposures to atomic bombs is about 100 cSv. Conclusions from these studies of atomic bomb survivors are: One burst of low dose irradiation elicits a lifetime of improved health. Improved health from low dose irradiation negates the LNT paradigm. Effective triage should include radiation hormesis for survivor treatment.

    Back to you now.

    You are welcome to your opinion, but the consensus of scientific experts is LRNT.

    I know it's NOT a consensus, because the BEIR VII committee included Dr. Edward J. Calabrese, who is a strong opponent of LNT and has published a number of papers showing that it is inaccurate and often flatly contradictory to the truth.

  • Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    michael sweet at 02:06 AM on 31 July, 2021


    Congratulations on getting your first warning on your first post!  A new record.

    I note that in your 6 post rant that you have referred to only two peer reviewed reports, both in post 259.  One report, published in 1958, is apparently an attempt by the nuclear industry to argue against using the LInear Response No Threshold model of exposure to harmful radiation.  You post this in response to my citing the most recent National Academy of Science BEIR VII concensus science report on the topic of LRNT, published in 2006.  This report was specifically written to determine the consensus of scientists on the effects of low level exposure to radiation and resolve the LRNT argument.  They strongly endorsed LRNT.  You are welcome to your opinion, but the consensus of scientific experts is LRNT.  Upthread a nuclear supporter said the data supporting LRNT was too old.  Here you use ancient data to argue against the most recent NAS report which used no data older than 1990.  Even in 1958 the consensus was LRNT.  You also link a 1982 paper that describes the medical effect of radiation.  That seems unrelated to LRNT exposure in large populations.

    In post 256 your comments on entropy are designed to start an argument.  You do not add anything to the defination of heat, energy and entropy.

    Post 256: your speculation on how future reactors might be designed is irrelevant to the question that was asked.  Again you are trying to start an argument and not answer the question asked.

    Post 256: you make the unuspported claim that nuclear reactors are safe.  The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates 27,000 deaths from Chernobyl alone.  The nuclear industry denies responsibility for the people they kill.

    Post 257: Peer reviewed papers state that not enough materials exist to build out more than an insignificant number of nuclear reactors.  See Abbott 2012 linked in the OP.   It is the job of nuclear proponents to show that enough material exists for your proposed system.  Claiming there are many undesigned, proposed reactors that might use less materials is not an answer.  You must show materials exist for your proposal.   Nuclear proponents claimed that enough materials did not exist for a renewable system. Jacobson 2011 (free copy for those who don't know how to find papers) shows all the materials needed for a renewable energy system exist.

    Post 258: Arguing that it is a good idea to build cheap, unsafe nuclear reactors will not get you many supporters.  If you think that is a good argument go for it.

    Post 260: I note you have only your own, unsupported opinion to argue with Abbott 2012.  I note that you have no experience designing or operating a nuclear power plant and have no related educational experience either.  I guess you learned a lot watching videos on the internet.

    Post 261: I linked the same copy of Jacobson 2018 the moderator found at least 3 times upthread like here and here and here.  It indicates how familiar you are with the peer reviewed literature that you are unable to find a copy of a linked paper yourself.

    I will not respond in more detail to your extended Gish Gallops.  I know that your system to issue long, repetitive, opinion statements unsupported by any data.  Eventually the moderators will ban you for sloganeering.  They have already started warning you for not adhering to the comments policy.  If you do not start producing data to support your insane claims they will not allow you to post any more.

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

    prove we are smart at 10:21 AM on 24 July, 2021

    Taken from Wiki:  "Mass maintains a popular weblog in which he posts regular articles on meteorology, Pacific Northwest weather history, and the impacts of climate change[8] written for the general public. According to Mass, "Global warming is an extraordinarily serious issue, and scientists have a key role to play in communicating what is known and what is not about this critical issue.[9]"

    Mass has stated publicly that he shares the scientific consensus that global warming is real and that human activity is a major cause of warming trend in the late 20th and 21st centuries.[10][11] He has been critical of the Paris Climate accord for not going far enough to address the negative impacts of climate change.[12]

    However, Mass is frequently critical of and has expressed concern that when media and environmental organizations make exaggerated claims about the current impacts of climate change, or cite climate change as the cause of specific weather events. He is concerned about misinforming the public about a key societal issue, distracting public and governmental attention from more immediate environmental concerns, and stifling opportunities for effective bipartisan policy-making to slow climate change and mitigate its effects.[13][14][15][16]

    His statements on the severity and progression of anthropogenic global warming have elicited condemnation from The Stranger[17] as well as members of activist environmental organizations[18] due to concerns that Mass's scientific approach to understanding and communicating the risks associated with global warming could result in public apathy or be used by climate change deniers to bolster their claims."

    I think Professor Mass is just typical of climate scientists giving  responses to their perceived inaccuracies in the increasing climate craziness reporting. What is different with this professor is he is more of a "personality". Possibly the second link from 2.Bob Loblaw at 22:18 PM on 21 July, 2021   disproves Mass' theory but the science though was beyond my understanding.

    The back and forth exchange between scientists peer reviewing "science" is what keeps us up to date and reliably informed. The fact Climate Change deniers can cherry pick a "headline" will never change.  I don't know whether to feel hopeful or nor when I read this either,

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

    Evan at 22:41 PM on 25 May, 2021

    Trump is demonstrably incompetent in most areas where he claims competence, uses paper-thin lies, and has no defensible basis for questioning the recent election, yet he is galvanizing a dangerous movement.

    Koonin has academic credentials, is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and he is being championed by credible sources (WSJ, LLNL). Whether we like it or not, he will continue to galvanize the contrarians.

    But we need to continue to fight such disinformation for the sake of those whose minds are still open, even a crack, to receiving input from more diciplined, consensus-based scientific sources.

  • There is no consensus

    MA Rodger at 13:45 PM on 11 May, 2021

    The argument presented by hedron @896 is entirely anti-science in that it is saying any area of scientific study can be fake as it can be created to sustain fallacious findings based purely on the belief of those who initiated that area of study and not based on the scientific evidence. If this fake science were possible, all science would be at risk of being slowly stacked full of undebunked nonsense.

    Of course, that is not to say that an individual or small group of resrearchers cannot go off and create a pile of undebunked nonsense. Indeed, many researchers do effectively spend their whole careers so employed. Such work is not of itself anti-scientific as, through the act of bebunking it by others or eventually by those initially involved, the science learns what is and what is not nonsense. The 97% consensus is thus healthy and healthier than 100% as the missing 3% provides an arena for testing the veracity of the 97% and specific to AGW healthy because that 3% is better seen as comprising 30 x 0.1% (as those testing the 97% do not present a singular criticism).

  • There is no consensus

    Karlengle at 23:58 PM on 9 April, 2021

    Tom Dayton, Thanks for the insight into the peer review process!  Sounds pretty grueling... 

    I was asking because one of the main responses I get from deniers when I give the studies on consensus, are links to notable deniers going into details on their own reviews about the studies always claiming a smoking gun of trickery and deception on these studies.  One usually has to get pretty deep in the weeds to dispel those.  I always look for the simpler explanation that makes sense to the possible audience of my discussion.  I've usually given up on convincing the other person, but I want to always frame my arguments to appeal to those with a cursury interest and not get mired in the snowing attempts from deniers.  It would be good to argue that denier biased "reviews" of studies are not reliable, and the scientific peer review process is much better at catching bad science.

  • There is no consensus

    scaddenp at 13:14 PM on 9 April, 2021

    Note there is more the Naomi Oreskes paper here. It is not clear to me from the context whether the Oreske article was peer-reviewed. Editorial-type and some review pieces in Science journals are not always peer-reviewed, though papers are in Science. However, the Oreske paper was in section called "essays on science and society". Since it was presenting an actual analysis rather than comment, I would guess "yes", but it isnt that clear.

    The Oreske conclusion is not substantively different from other peer-reviewed studies of consensus however. It is extremely difficult to challenge the conclusion that a very strong scientific consensus on AGW exists from the evidence.

  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2021

    michael sweet at 08:52 AM on 19 February, 2021


    The "scientific consensus" argument was popular about 10-15 years ago.  That horse was flogged untill there was nothing left.  Read the articles the moderator has highighted.  There is a scientific consensus when a great majority of scientists agree that the problem has been solved.  Scientists agree that CO2 causes global warming.  The question is exactly how much it will warm and what the consequences of that warming will be.

  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #52

    Eclectic at 21:57 PM on 1 January, 2021

    As it is the New Year today, perhaps there is room for some lighter revue.

    Yes, the Covid-19 situation is dire, but at least we have hopes that some moral and intellectual sanity will be gaining strength from later this month in the District of Columbia.

    And even in the darkest times of 2020, there was always the Bedlam entertainment regularly found on the WattsUpWithThat  blogsite.  

    I am a reader of WUWT  (a blog which, to avoid nausea, is best digested in tiny amounts per day . . . or, alternatively, should be skimmed through at high speed).   But for the end of 2020, I noted there was one recent article by a guest author whom I shall call "W".

    W was vexed to learn that Wikipedia described WUWT  as "a blog promoting climate change denial" [and] ... accommodating "beliefs that are in opposition to the scientific consensus".

    W was appalled at Wikipedia's failure to understand the real nature of [modern] science, and at Wikipedia's failure to appreciate how WUWT  is valuable as a place [one of the few places in the world]  "where scientific ideas of all kinds can be most critically examined and publicly peer-reviewed in a modern efficient manner".

    Now I like W ~ he is clever and at times humorous, though rather deficient in insight.  He also tends to digress off the topic.  And in this case, he digressed so far that he forgot to actually debunk Wikipedia's assertion.

    Equally entertaining, were many of the subsequent responding comments ~ as typical displaying the assertions that the formal peer-review in journals was a nefarious & malign influence on true science.  And that anything within the modern scientific consensus must automatically be wrong.  And that "the scientific societies have betrayed science".

    (These attitudes are almost universal at WUWT.   Along with the frequent assertion that AGW is not only incorrect, but is a conspiracy & hoax & stalking horse ~ for the imposition of a Communist World Government dedicated to the destruction of mankind's freedoms.)

    WUWT  is a treasure-box of beliefs that the modern rapid (yet simultaneously non-existent)  global warming is unconnected with CO2 , and is actually caused by Natural Cycles / or Cosmic Rays / or the Solar Wind / or other yet-undiscovered or unappreciated factors.   One commenter repeatedly asserts the sole influence of geothermal heat.   Another, the sole influence of tidal heat energy deriving from the presence of super-dense materials in the Earth's core, being fragmentary remnants of an ancient neutron star.

    The Wikipedia statement certainly stirred up the WUWT  denizens.   W's article brought on some 250+ comments, of which 26 were made on the first 60 minutes.   But evidently the function of WUWT  is a healthful outlet for all this denialist steam pressure.  Though it would be less tiresome if it wasn't always the flood of Usual Suspects repeating the usual intellectual insanity.

  • What did 1970’s climate science actually say?

    Nick Palmer at 22:23 PM on 13 November, 2020

    As any one will find out when dealing with 'hard core' deniers (as opposed to the gullible majority of 'sceptics'), who repeatedly post the same misinformation even after having been corrected multiple times, it's hard not to be driven to the conclusion that they are actually deliberately using deceit and insinuation to drive their readers to certain conclusions.

    In this case the desired conclusion they want their audiences to jump to is that if scientists changed their mind once before, then it's unsafe to rely on what they are saying now, particulary about science based policy that is being planned to globally make big changes.

    The insinuation and deceit is in how they frame their assertion. It uses a form of the 'magnified minority' technique (here's John Cook Tweeting about it

    The misleader will say or write something like this

    'but, but, but scientists predicted an ice age in the 70s - it was in Time and Newsweek -  now they've changed their minds, so how can we trust them now?'

    The thing about this deceit, like the best propaganda, is that it's technically true but rests upon the ambiguities of language to mislead.

    The nitty gritty of the deceit is that the word "scientist's" can be taken to mean all scientists or as few as two. It gives no idea of the relative numbers, yet the insinuation in the 'imminent ice age' meme is that all, or the majority of, scientists supported the hypothesis.

    The mention of the Time and Newsweek articles, which the public are infinitely more likely to remember and be far more familiar with than the consensus scientific view in the literature at the time, is highly likely to tip the undecided 'quantum state' of the public's appreciation of the topic towards their accepting that the scientific consensus back then was different to what it actually was...

  • What Tucker Carlson gets wrong about causes of wildfires in U.S. West

    Daniel Bailey at 03:35 AM on 7 October, 2020

    JoeZ, increased forest fire activity across the western U.S. in recent decades is due to a number of factors, including a history of fire suppression and human encroachment in forest regions, natural climate variability, and human-caused climate change. Forest management would help in some areas, however the wildfire numbers and burned area are also increasing in non-forest vegetation types. Wildfire activity appears strongly associated with warming temperatures (California spring/summer temperatures have increased by more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1970) and earlier spring snowmelt.

    Source: NASA

    "For all ecoregions combined, the number of large fires increased at a rate of seven fires per year, while total fire area increased at a rate of 355 km2 per year. Continuing changes in climate, invasive species, and consequences of past fire management, added to the impacts of larger, more frequent fires, will drive further disruptions to fire regimes of the western U.S. and other fire-prone regions of the world."

    Since the 1980s, the wildfire season has lengthened across a quarter of the world's vegetated surface.

    "We show that fire weather seasons have lengthened across 29.6 million km2 (25.3%) of the Earth’s vegetated surface, resulting in an 18.7% increase in global mean fire weather season length. We also show a doubling (108.1% increase) of global burnable area affected by long fire weather seasons (>1.0 σ above the historical mean) and an increased global frequency of long fire weather seasons across 62.4 million km2 (53.4%) during the second half of the study period."

    "The start of the Southwestern fire season—as indicated by the date of first large-fire discovery—has shifted more than 50 days earlier since the 1970s, accounting for about one-third of the increase in the length of the fire season. The substantially earlier SW fire season start is consistent with warmer temperatures and earlier spring seasons leading to earlier flammability of fuels in SW forests."

    "Anthropogenic increases in temperature and vapor pressure deficit significantly enhanced fuel aridity across western US forests over the past several decades and, during 2000–2015, contributed to 75% more forested area experiencing high (>1 σ) fire-season fuel aridity and an average of nine additional days per year of high fire potential.

    Anthropogenic climate change accounted for ∼55% of observed increases in fuel aridity from 1979 to 2015 across western US forests, highlighting both anthropogenic climate change and natural climate variability as important contributors to increased wildfire potential in recent decades.

    We estimate that human-caused climate change contributed to an additional 4.2 million ha of forest fire area during 1984–2015, nearly doubling the forest fire area expected in its absence.

    Natural climate variability will continue to alternate between modulating and compounding anthropogenic increases in fuel aridity, but anthropogenic climate change has emerged as a driver of increased forest fire activity and should continue to do so while fuels are not limiting."

    "By 2100, if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, one study found that the frequency of extreme wildfires would increase, and the average area burned statewide would increase by 77 percent. In the areas that have the highest fire risk, wildfire insurance is estimated to see costs rise by 18 percent by 2055. "

    "The clearest link between California wildfire and anthropogenic climate change thus far has been via warming-driven increases in atmospheric aridity, which works to dry fuels and promote summer forest fire, particularly in the North Coast and Sierra Nevada regions.

    Importantly, the effects of anthropogenic warming on California wildfire thus far have arisen from what may someday be viewed as a relatively small amount of warming. According to climate models, anthropogenic warming since the late 1800s has increased the atmospheric vapor-pressure deficit by approximately 10% and this increase is projected to double by the 2060s. Given the exponential response of California burned area to aridity, the influence of anthropogenic warming on wildfire activity over the next few decades will likely be larger than the observed influence thus far where fuel abundance is not limiting.

    Since the early 1970s, California's annual wildfire extent increased fivefold, punctuated by extremely large and destructive wildfires in 2017 and 2018. This trend was mainly due to an eightfold increase in summertime forest‐fire area and was very likely driven by drying of fuels promoted by human‐induced warming. Warming effects were also apparent in the fall by enhancing the odds that fuels are dry when strong fall wind events occur.

    The large increase in California’s annual forest-fire area over the past several decades is very likely linked to anthropogenic warming.

    Human‐caused warming has already significantly enhanced wildfire activity in California, particularly in the forests of the Sierra Nevada and North Coast, and will likely continue to do so in the coming decades."

    Wildfire mitigation efforts can reduce wildfire intensity and severity while improving forest resilience to fire, insects and drought. The total area burned by wildfires is a trend driven by the warming climate (which is warming because of human activities), so mitigation efforts will not likely be able to affect the total area burned trend.

    Droughts in the Southwestern US have been made nearly half-again worse by human activities and are projected to worsen yet.

    These droughts couple with rising temperatures, reduced soil moisture and lower humidity to kill vast amounts of trees, providing an ever-increasing amount of fuel loads for wildfires.

    California’s frequency of fall days with extreme fire-weather conditions has more than doubled since the 1980s. Continued climate change will further amplify the number of days with extreme fire weather by the end of this century.

    California Fires

    There is strengthened evidence that climate change increases the frequency and/or severity of fire weather around the world. Land management alone cannot explain recent increases in wildfires.

    Analysis shows that:

    • Well over 100 studies published since 2013 show strong consensus that climate change promotes the weather conditions on which wildfires depend, enhancing their likelihood.

    • Natural variability is superimposed on the increasingly warm and dry background conditions resulting from climate change, leading to more extreme fires and more extreme fire seasons.

    • Land management can enhance or compound climate-driven changes in wildfire risk, either through fuel reductions or fuel accumulation as unintended by-product of fire suppression. Fire suppression efforts are made more difficult by climate change.

    • There is an unequivocal and pervasive role of climate change in increasing the intensity and length in which fire weather occurs; land management is likely to have contributed too, but does not alone account for recent increases in wildfire extent and severity in the western US and in southeast Australia.

    Human-induced climate change promotes the conditions on which wildfires depend, enhancing their likelihood and challenging suppression efforts. Although the global area burned by fires each year is declining, the majority of this trend is explained by conversion of natural savannahs and grasslands to agriculture in Africa (Andela et al. 2017). In contrast, the area burned by forest wildfires is increasing in many regions, including in the western US and southeast Australia.

    • “Fire weather” refers to periods with a high likelihood of fire due to a combination of high temperatures, low humidity, low rainfall and often high winds.

    • Human-induced warming has already led to a global increase in the frequency and severity of fire weather, increasing the risks of wildfire.

    • Land management can ameliorate or compound climate-driven changes in wildfire risk.

    • Wildfires can have broad impacts for human health and wellbeing and for the natural environment.

    US fires:

    • Fire weather has become more frequent and intense in western US forests.

    • Fire weather is driving more wildfire activity in western US forests.

    • Demographic factors alone cannot account for the magnitude of the observed increase in wildfires in the western US, but increased population leads to greater impacts.

    Land management practices are contributing factors, but cannot alone explain the magnitude of the observed increase in wildfires extent in the western US forests in recent decades.

    Australia fires:

    • The scale of the 2019–2020 bushfires was unprecedented.

    • Fuel management through prescribed burns and improved logging practice cannot fully mitigate increased wildfire risk due to climate change.

    • Extreme weather and Pyroconvection are projected to increase wildfire risk under future climate change in southeastern Australia.

    Scientific evidence that climate change is causing an increase in the frequency and extent of fire weather, contributing to extreme wildfires around the world, continues to mount.

    The severe droughts in the USA and Australia are signs that the tropics, and their warm temperatures, are expanding in the wake of climate change, due to the warming of the subtropical ocean.
    PDF here

    Climate change will continue to drive temperature rise and more unpredictable rainfall in many parts of the world, meaning that the number of days with “fire weather” – conditions in which fires are likely to burn – is expected to increase in coming decades.

    Carbon Brief Wildfire explainer

  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #37

    Postkey at 18:20 PM on 16 September, 2020

    Steve @5

    “The IPCC report that the Paris agreement based its projections on considered over 1,000 possible scenarios. Of those, only 116 (about 10%) limited warming below 2C. Of those, only 6 kept global warming below 2C without using negative emissions. So roughly 1% of the IPCC’s projected scenarios kept warming below 2C without using negative emissions technology like BECCS. And Kevin Anderson, former head of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, has pointed out that those 6 lone scenarios showed global carbon emissions peaking in 2010. Which obviously hasn’t happened. So from the IPCC’s own report in 2014, we basically have a 1% chance of staying below 2C global warming if we now invent time travel and go back to 2010 to peak our global emissions. And again, you have to stop all growth and go into decline to do that. And long term feedbacks the IPCC largely blows off were ongoing back then too.”


    'Limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius will not prevent destructive and deadly climate impacts, as once hoped, dozens of experts concluded in a score of scientific studies released Monday. A world that heats up by 2C (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit)—long regarded as the temperature ceiling for a climate-safe planet—could see mass displacement due to rising seas, a drop in per capita income, regional shortages of food and fresh water, and the loss of animal and plant species at an accelerated speed. Poor and emerging countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America will get hit hardest, according to the studies in the British Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions A. "We are detecting large changes in climate impacts for a 2C world, and so should take steps to avoid this," said lead editor Dann Mitchell, an assistant professor at the University of Bristol. The 197-nation Paris climate treaty, inked in 2015, vows to halt warming at "well under" 2C compared to mid-19th century levels, and "pursue efforts" to cap the rise at 1.5C.'


    If 'change' can be implemented?
    “LONDON, 19 February, 2020 − Virtually all the world’s demand for electricity to run transport and to heat and cool homes and offices, as well as to provide the power demanded by industry, could be met by renewable energy by mid-century. This is the consensus of 47 peer-reviewed research papers from 13 independent groups with a total of 91 authors that have been brought together by Stanford University in California.”



    Will there be change?
    “Today’s global consumption of fossil fuels now stands at roughly five times what it was in the 1950s, and one-and-half times that of the 1980s when the science of global warming had already been confirmed and accepted by governments with the implication that there was an urgent need to act. Tomes of scientific studies have been logged in the last several decades documenting the deteriorating biospheric health, yet nothing substantive has been done to curtail it. More CO2 has been emitted since the inception of the UN Climate Change Convention in 1992 than in all of human history. CO2 emissions are 55% higher today than in 1990. Despite 20 international conferences on fossil fuel use reduction and an international treaty that entered into force in 1994, wo/man made greenhouse gases have risen inexorably.”

  • Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    michael sweet at 04:34 AM on 5 September, 2020

    Preston Urka at 216:

    This is another post where you state your unsupportted ideas.  Since you have no training, experience or education in nuclear power or power systems this post is entirely sloganeering.  You are simply cherry picking data to fit your arguments.  If your arguments had any weight you would find some references to support them.  This is a completely unscientific post.

    At 217: Every point you make is started "I believe".  You have only one reference from 2012.  Experience in wind power worldwide since 2012 shows that your reference is incorrect.  Once again you are simply sloganeering.  This is a completely unscientific post.

    218: Here you actually have citations!!!  Unfortunately, all are to news articles (including one at WUWT!!!) and not peer reviewed articles.  You primarily discuss grid expansion costs.  Fortuantely, this is covered in the peer reviewed literature cited upthread.  If you had carefully read the background you would know that grid expansion typically costs 10-15% of total costs.  This turns out to be a reasonable cost.  Here is another link to a peer reviewed paper that discusses grid costs.  Nuclear supporters used to make this argument several years ago until it was proven incorrect.  Please try to catch up to current knowledge.  Citing outdated papers and debunked arguments makes you look bad.

    At 219: The point is that your claim that low carbon intensity in Sweden is due to nuclear was deliberately false.

    At 220: Everyone wants to reduce the carbon intensity of economies.  The peer reviewed literature indicates that the best way to achieve this goal is by building out renewable energy as fast as possible.  This link contains the abstracts of 47 papers that describe how to provide 100% of energy to the entire economy world wide using renewable energy.  They come from 13 different research groups with 91 different authors.  This list demonstrates a consensus among energy system researchers that renewable energy is the way to go. (Hat tip to Postkey.  You need to describe why your link is useful to be compliant with the posting rules.)

    Your claims that renewable energy cannot supply 100% of world power are supported only by your opinion as someone who has no education, training or work experience in power systems and is completely informed by reading on the internet (and who cites WUWT as a reliable source).  Coonstantly repeating your unsupported opinion is sloganeering.

    Please cite one paper that suggests it might be possible to supply even half of world energy using nuclear power.  Such a paper does not exist.  According to Abbott 2012, it is impossible to supply a significant amount of world energy (more than 5%) using nuclear power.

  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #32

    nigelj at 08:53 AM on 9 August, 2020

    "The encyclical was seen in some camps as an attack on capitalism, and it made some Catholic Republican leaders squirm, like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who in 2015 observed that the pope "is not a scientist."

    The pope is not a scientist. Yes Mr Bush, we know that. The Pope is not claiming to be a scientist. He is not making up his own science. He is not twisting or interpreting the science. Hes quoting the majority view in the scientific community. Plenty of consensus studies show what the vast majority of scientists think documented here.

  • IPCC human-caused global warming attribution confidence is unfounded

    MA Rodger at 09:12 AM on 10 May, 2020

    Deplore This @3,

    As set out by Philippe Chantreau @5, in the time of Galileo there wasn't much of a process which could be today called a "scientific community's acceptance" to allow us to understand how far Galileo's contemparies accepted his work. All we hear is that the Pope famously got very 'trumpy' with his work. But if you roll the clock on 50 years and you find the likes of 'Entretiens sur la pluralité des mondes' or 'Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica' so in 50 years there was established complete acceptance.

    And so for comprison, 50 years on from, say, the likes of John Sawyer setting out the scientific case for saying:-

    "The increase of 25% CO2 expected by the end of the century therefore corresponds to an increase of 0.6 °C in the world temperature – an amount somewhat greater than the climatic variation of recent centuries."

    50 years on we see there is a very strong consensus that such a finding is correct. And spelling-wise, "Judith Curry" is correct although so much of what she writes about climate change is unsubstatiated nonsense.

  • IPCC human-caused global warming attribution confidence is unfounded

    Philippe Chantreau at 04:19 AM on 10 May, 2020

    If Galileo's contemporaries had developed their own instruments similar to his, repeated his observations, replicated his results, reached his conclusions through multiple independents lines of inquiries, there would have been a scientific consensus in no time. Of course, in the time of Galileo, science was more like philosophy and had severe social constraints emanating from the religious power structures, who would not let one challenge their authority so easily. So the consensus that existed at the time was by no means a scientific consensus, but a mish mash of superstition, dogmatism, conformism, social control, politics etc.

    The difference is glaringly obvious, and anyone with basic critical thinking skills can see through the fallacy. 

    A scientific consensus does not consist of a bunch of people getting together to pat each other on the back for agreeing with all the rest of them. It consists of multiple independent teams working hard, double checking their results, submitting them to highly critical peers who will try their hardest to find flaws in their work, and independently reaching the same conclusions. A scientific consensus is not similar opinions across the board, it is persistent convergence of research results. That is what an examination of the scientific litterature will show.

  • Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    michael sweet at 09:04 AM on 10 April, 2020

    David Benson:  

    The BIER VII report was comissoned by the National Academy of Science to provide a summary of current scientific consensus.  A group of experts in the field reviewed all the recent data.  They concluded that LRNT is strongly supported by the data.  Linking to a 100+ response list on a blog is not a refutation of a NAS scientific consensus report.  Please link to the relevant comments instead of making us read all the chaff on your unmoderated site.

    The Executive summary contains a summary of the information in the report.   Even if there was a minor error in the Executive summary that would not invalidate the netire consensus of experts.

  • YouTube's Climate Denial Problem

    Eclectic at 23:08 PM on 8 April, 2020

    MA Rodger , the marvellous WUWT  that you call rogue planetoid, is not a planet nor a planetoid.  It is more of a moon or lunar body, orbiting the real universe yet not truly part of it.   Yet it draws sustenance from the real universe, just as a tick draws sustenance from its unwilling host.  (You can see that I am laboring to get lunar & tick into the same sentence, to describe WUWT . . . but sadly the intended pun is an uphill labor, and I had better retract it, and move on.)

    For my sins (and for the pleasure of Schadenfreude ) and for my education in the field of psychopathology I am often reading parts of the comments columns at WUWT.    (Of the lead articles there, I would say that 80% of them are not worth reading or maybe just worth a very high-speed skim.)   But the comments columns are a goldmine of mental pathology.

    Not every commenter there is intellectually and/or morally insane.  There are a few notable exceptions ~ pre-eminent is Nick Stokes, who is always worth reading.   Nick is a very well-informed scientific thinker who is regularly (and blandly) correcting the the usual errors & inanities of the run-of-the-mill commenters at WUWT.   He is balanced and scientifically accurate . . . in short, he is the complete opposite of the typical on-line Denialist.   And they hate him for it, and bay for his blood.   Most  non-denialists are quickly booted out by the website proprietor (Mr Anthony Watts) and his Moderators.   Yet Nick Stokes endures, year after year (and AFAICT he is unfailing correct in his observations).   I am sure Anthony Watts keeps tolerating Nick Stokes ~ partly as a demonstration of the [cough] civilized & open-minded nature of the WUWT website . . . as a token "contrarian" [i.e. mainstream scientist] . . . and possibly also as a piece of raw meat to keep inflaming the rabid dogs who frequent the WUWT  columns (and who keep the website hit-rate high, for the benefit of the routine on-line advertisers).

    And yes, just recently WUWT  has been serving up quite a bit of Covid-19 headlines ~ that's out of the ordinary for the site, but surely no worse than all other media outlets at present.   The usual WUWT  articles are sourly scoffing or sneering [e.g. anti-Thunberg] or generally anti-renewables . . . spiced up with the occasional mathematical clangers from Christopher Monckton as he comes up with his bi-annual mathturbational "proofs" that the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity is only 1.1 degrees or 0.5 degrees or whatever (or that the scientific Consensus was not 97% but actually 33% or 4% or whatever).   And sometimes other scientific Mc Experts demonstrate (in completely different & incompatible ways) how the mainstream scientists are all wrong about climate.

    WUWT  puts up several new headlines each day.   It's important to keep the flock supplied with fresh clickbait.  And I must admit they occasionally have a brief but interesting article of general interest, including astronomy news.   After all, this is a serious science-based website !

  • A history of FLICC: the 5 techniques of science denial

    Daniel Bailey at 00:11 AM on 3 April, 2020

    "I like to watch a lot of debates on both sides and it is complicated"

    Actually, it's not very complicated at all.  The scientific debate-train left the station, decades ago.

    In the discussions around global warming and its anthropogenic causation, there are those who focus on the science using the scientific method and logic, seeking reproducible evidence that best explains what we can empirically measure.

    Then there is everyone in the extreme minority, those who ignore the above in favor of slander, innuendo, unsupported assertion and character assassination in favor of promulgating false equivalence to support the ephemeral facade of "debate" and "sides".

    But it is not about the science, the bulk of the science was settled, decades ago. Deniers posing as skeptics set up a charade tableau of false equivalence to poison the well of public acceptance of that science.

    A parsimonious harping at the font of stolen, out-of-context and context-less emails proven not germane to the science is continuing on in the prosecution of the agenda of denial.

    Truth, science and reputable journalism all sacrificed to the unholy alter of false equivalence under the guise of promulgating a fallacious "debate".

    There is no debate. All that remains is the informed and the uninformed.

  • A history of FLICC: the 5 techniques of science denial

    scaddenp at 14:18 PM on 2 April, 2020

    Well duncan61, so which do you trust most? Information derived from a consensus of peer-reviewed scientific literature, even it is an unwelcome point of view; or information coming from non-climate scientists, non-scientists even, but which conform to what you would like to beleive?

    The difficulty for laymen is, that unless they are willing to delve into the science (and learn it from impeccable sources), then you are having to decide what sources to trust.

    A good start for critical thinking, is to decide what information/data would change your gut (value-driven) point of view. Scientists have no trouble telling you what measurements would change their mind on AGW. A pseudo-skeptic is more inclined to require the impossible, something science predicts cant be true (eg linear rise of temp with CO2), or the unmeasurable.

  • How deniers maintain the consensus gap

    DantetnaD at 20:54 PM on 26 February, 2020

    This is what scares me.

    There was an article yesterday about this new "anti-Greta" german girl which basically says climate change isn't as bad as it looks. Go in the comments and you see the sheer ignorance of a vast majority of the folks out there, even in our "first world" countries. 

    Just a whole bunch of hateful comments against Greta and a whole lot of people who have a complete lack of intellectual capacity to understand and analyse scientific evidence.

    I don't have a scientific degree per say, but my parents both had scientific degrees. I work with computers which gives me the capacity to understand complex systems. And what I do see out there, is that a lot of people don't understand how systems work in general. They don't understand that it is all about an equilibrium of a large number of factors that, when they work together, make a stable system. When you start to tinker with a parameter, the system will eventually become unstable and crash. Simple example: raise the frequency of a CPU without increasing the cooling capacity and you computer will overheat and crash.

    What annoys me most about deniers, is that they completely dismiss scientific evidence. They will go at great length to find data, studies or any piece of news (often not verified for that matter), that comforts them in their own bias. When you tell them that there is a consensus of actual scientists that do state that global warming is real and probably accelerated by humans, they will throw this "30'000 scientists say it's not true" idea in your face without even fact checking that these people are actual climate scientists.

    It honestly doesn't take a genius to read the reports. To look at the data. To look at the charts. And from their on, extrapolate to what is potentially going to happen. 

    The real problem in the end, is that human induced climate change has been politicized. Suddenly you're either pro or anti climate change. Why does everyone fail to understand that this should not be the case? How is it that we cannot understand that we all need to work together to do something about it? What's the worst that can happen? We make a better home for ourselves?

    Have we regressed so much that we are, once again, dismissing science in favor of "beliefs"?

  • How deniers maintain the consensus gap

    Eclectic at 12:05 PM on 24 February, 2020

    JoeZ , I am pleased to see you have returned to multiple-thread posting at SkS after a brief "hiatus".   Perhaps you were confused when you said that SkepticalScience had given you "a warning that ... [you would] be locked out!" .   I haven't seen any evidence of such a warning ~ so presumably it came on some other website where you currently post.

    Readers at SkS like to see science and fact-based opinions, rather than mere truculent denialism.  So I am hoping you can provide some reasonable comment on the scientific consensus, even when you are struggling to come to terms with the future spending of "trillions" of dollars in dealing with the global warming problem.   ( I would be interested to see - on another thread, please - a more precise budgeting of your projected "trillions".   Trillions [over 30 years] are sometimes a figure thrown about, but AFAIK they are not offset by the trillions that would otherwise ordinarily be spent on upgrading & routine replacement of coal-fired power stations, and the routine replacement of ICE cars & so on, and on medical health costs & loss of productivity from air-pollution/particulates, nor the high [dollar] costs associated with big numbers of climate refugees . . . going to Boston etcetera.   Nor the many other costs arising from a warming world.   Human compassion aside, for those who are purely concerned with the dollar bottom-line, it seems a bargain to spend up-front money in tackling climate change.

    .... and a minor comparison, the APPA expenditure figures project a total spend [over 30 years] of one trillion dollars on pet food.   And that's just for the USA, alone. )

  • How deniers maintain the consensus gap

    Eclectic at 15:57 PM on 22 February, 2020

    Libertador @1 ,  Yes I think sometimes a science-denier deliberately plays "change the goal posts" during a dialogue, as a rhetorical tactic to disconcert his opponent.   Though probably more often this tactic reflects the denialist's own intellectual confusion and lack of logical thought about the consensus issue.

    PatriceM @2 , and also PhilippeC : in addition there is the point that the denialists confuse & conflate the two separate facets of "consensus" :-   being (A) the numerical percentage you get when you discuss/survey the expressed opinions of (climate) scientists, and (B) the numerical percentage you get [99.9%] when you look at the current state of science, as expressed in peer-reviewed scientific papers.

    "B" is extremely close to 100% . . . while "A" is slightly lower, owing to some scientists being inhibited by their personal bias (bias of the rather extreme political sort and/or extremist religious beliefs).

    MA Rodger @4 ,  You make a very good point about denialists who (quite often) throw up a Gish Gallop of "historical consensuses being wrong"  as though it is a Law of Nature that any/every consensus must eventually & inevitably turn out to be completely wrong.  Their arguments are mostly irrelevant to climate, and are totally illogical, but - by the sin of omission - they carefully fail to mention the vastly greater proportion of scientific consensuses which turned out to be right (as confirmed in historical retrospect).

    Yet the "But Copernicus : But Galileo : etcetera" line of argument would often sound somewhat valid to the casual onlookers.   I can think of only two cards to be played in reply :-  That in olden times, the so-called consensus often swung back and forth on a number of occasions before settling on the true scientific conclusion: and yet that hasn't happened with the AGW climate consensus of modern decades ~ where the consensus keeps moving more and more strongly in the one direction, as the scientific evidence has continued to build up.   The consensus was about 90%  . . . then later 97%  . . . and nowadays well over 99% , with absolutely no sign of going the other way.

    The second card to play, is your point that (unlike in olden times) the "contrarians"  nowadays have no valid evidence to back their "alternative theories".   No evidence ~ because all their ideas have proven wrong when tested.   (This point means nothing to the committed hard-core denialist . . . but it would have value, in the minds of onlookers.)

  • How deniers maintain the consensus gap

    MA Rodger at 21:16 PM on 21 February, 2020

    There is the argument that science doesn't have anything to do with 'consensus'. In one respect, this is surely correct.

    A denialist version of this comes from Michael Crichton who was described by Joe Romm as "the world’s most famous global warming denier." Crichton's defines 'consensus science' in a broad denialist polemic of 2003 'Aliens Cause Global Warming ':-

    "I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.
    "Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had."
    "If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period."

    Crichton goes on to set out how in science "the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of." So he is not denying the existence of 'consensus science'. Rather, he is actually saying is that 'consensus science' is synonimous with science being wrong, badly wrong, and this is because 'consensus science' is used to stiffle unwanted argument that turns out to be the 'correct' science. By implication Crichton is saying of AGW that it is also badly wrong and the scientific community is trying to stiffle the 'correct' science. (Note, the word 'legitimate' is probably better than 'correct' but Crichton doesn't make that point.)

    To a certain level, Crichton was correct. The scientific community is trying to stiffle unwanted argument by invoking 'consensus science'.

    Myself, I prefer the version of 'consensus science' defined by the idea that 'consensus' is reached when the 'science' stops. So the question becomes "Is there any actual science being carried out by the myrad of numpties who deny AGW?" We can ask "That 3% who are outside the AGW consensus: what 'science' are they actually doing?"
    The argument set out by Crichton gave examples of 'consensus science' being wielded as a way of ignoring specific theories which proved to be correct - puerperal fever, pellagra, continental drift. "The examples can be multiplied endlessly. Jenner and smallpox, Pasteur and germ theory. Saccharine, margarine, repressed memory, fiber and colon cancer, hormone replacement therapy. The list of consensus errors goes on and on."  So, if AGW is another example of dreadful 'consensus science' as Crichton evidently implies, where are the specific theories wielded by AGW that we are ignoring? Where is this 'legitimate' science that prevents the existence of an AGW 'consensus'. I would be happy to consider the merit fo such work. And so would many others. But I don't see any specific theories wielded by the numpties who deny AGW! Their 'legitimate' science simply doesn't exist!! 

    And by my definition, until the numpties set out a specific theory, until there is 'legitimate' science which we can debate, we are left with nothing but AGW 'consensus'. And a climate emergency.

  • 97% consensus on human-caused global warming has been disproven

    Eclectic at 15:09 PM on 22 January, 2020

    Andrew Strang @70 :

    The short answer is . . . No, it's not.

    There's been endless talk downplaying "the 97% consensus" ~ just as there's still endless talk (mostly within the Flat Earth Society) that the Earth is not really Round.

    Regarding climate aspects, much of the naysaying has been like the speech delivered by the Defendant's lawyer trying to minimize his client's guilt.   Rhetorical sophistry, distortions, cherry-pickings, and outright misleading information.  (The only difference here is that the lawyer won't  utter a 100%  mendacity . . . yet there are many prominent climate-change deniers who routinely do  cross that line.)

    But some lawyers will go up pretty close to the line.   Sort of :-

    "Yes the victim died later in hospital, but my client is not actually guilty of murder because it was a flesh-wound and my client's knife only made an entry wound and the blade did not come out the other side of the body.  The whole thing is really a case of poor treatment by the surgeons."

    Andrew, it's a sad fact that the "op-eds" in Forbes are aimed at the reader who knows the business/financial field and is not easily fooled there . . . but who knows so little about science, that he is easily fooled in the science & climate field.   (And there are some Forbes readers who want to be fooled because, consciously or subconsciously, they have a guilty conscience about fossil fuels . . . and here we might justifiably point at the very author of the article and his role with fossil fuels or "energy"  as prefers to call it.  Motivated Reasoning at work, eh. )

    Why does Forbes publish op-eds / articles which are little short of morally criminal?   Perhaps it's their politics . . . or what they suspect is their reader majority politics . . . or perhaps they fear losing major advertisers.

    Andrew , consider three important points :-

    (A) What is happening in the real physical world.

    (B) What are the causations acknowledged by the expert scientists when you speak with them or survey their personal opinions.

    (C) What does "the science" show ~ and in essence, modern mainstream science is what is published in the respected peer-reviewed scientific journals (tens of thousands of scientific articles).

    (B) and (C) together or separately, can be called the consensus.  In practice, (B) is the result of (C)  . . . but you will find science-denialists bending over backwards to say: "Ignore (C)" and: "Let's do some creative accounting with the figures & definitions in (B)".    ~Hence the Forbes article, amongst others!

    Andrew, the consensus "(C)" is well over 99.9%  . . . and there are some rare contrarian scientific papers ~ but they've all been shown to be very faulty.

    (B) is well over 90%  (the small remnant usually due to personal political extremist views, rather than any actual scientific evidence).

    (A) is simply a rapidly warming world ~ ice melting, seas rising & acidifying.   The more you educate yourself on the subject, the more starkly obvious it all is.

    And yet there are still denialists busily denying the facts.   Go figure !

  • Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    michael sweet at 14:40 PM on 19 January, 2020


    You need to read your own citations.

    Claiming that the US National Academy of Science is wrong and saying you will not provide any citations to support your claim is completely unscientific.  Their review, published in 2006,  is the most up to date consensus report on low level radiation.  If you wish to substitute your personal opinion for the National Academy of Science scientific consensus you should stop posting here.  This is a scientific site, citations are required.

    I read the original paper for your pv magazine citation.  I gave you a reference to the paper.  They model only wind and solar power for electricity only in the USA.  They do not model a renewable energy system that anyone would propose for the USA.  They do not model All Power.  Nuclear power is not modeled at all in the paper.  At the end they speculate that adding nuclear might help but they provide no data or citations to support that wild claim.  They do not model costs of their renewable system and they do not give nuclear costs either so speculating that nuclear would lower costs is completely unsupported.  I quoted from a peer reviewed paper, you cited a popular magazine.

    It is common for nuclear supporters to make up a fake renewable energy system that is very expensive.  Then they claim, without data, that nuclear should be added since renewable is so expensive.  Even if it were true that renewable was expensive that would not mean that nuclear is reasonable.  As Abbott shows, it is impossible to build out more than a trivial amount of nuclear power.

    You did not read your reference for nuclear cycling.  The first paragraph stated that no reactors in the USA load follow because it is not economic.  They say no reactors in the USA can load follow.  They suggested that future reactors could be designed to very slowly load follow.  It will never be economic.  It will never be possible to load follow in real time.  In France they shut down reactors on the weekend.  For nuclear that is "load following".  It is not economic.

    Your claims that storage is too expensive is simply ignorant.  You have not read the papers I cited that show a well designed renewable system can store all needed power using electrofuels in existing storage facilities.  If replacement facilities need to be built it is over 1,000 times cheaper to build liquid electrofuel storage than to build out the pumped hydro you favor. (In any case it is impossible to build out major pumped hydro storage because the environmental damage is too great).  Liquid electrofuels are stored in the same tanks that you see if you drive by any chemical storage facility worldwide. "Working prototypes" are everywhere and the costs are well known.  Jacobson also documents storage for an all power system without electrofuels and the cost is reasonable. Jacobson details all storage down to the last battery and builds exactly zero pumped storage.  Anyone who proposes using extensive pumped storage is trying to mislead you.

  • Doubling down: Researchers investigate compound climate risks

    Hank at 00:56 AM on 12 January, 2020

    I will admit that I may be defensive about my profession after practicing and experiencing it for 50 years but I hope I can still be objective. I think we are all on the same team of trying to prevent climate change deniers from spreading their false and damaging message. However....

    One of the things I have consistently found is that climate change deniers use bits and pieces of scientific research and twist it into the opposite of what the research found. If they can convince the public that they know as much about climate change as the scientists because the data is just simple to understand, then they have accomplished their mission. One of the things I have learned in my limited research into climate change is that what can appear simple on the surface is very complicated when digging down into the details, something that deniers take advantage of every day. In my experience the same is true of all technical professions so in the end I ask and defer to the opinions of peer reviewed published material as explained by the authors. So I think that ironically the same thing is happening in this debate.

    Nigelj has stated this:

    “However let's take an increase in wind pressure of 17% as you mentioned. This doesn't sound too horrendously severe. I agree much of the global warming threat comes more from flooding etc. Anyway upgrading the code for a 17% increase in pressure sounds like a bit of extra wall and roof bracing and more fixings, so not a huge increase in cost.”

    In effect you have decided that you know enough about the statistical analysis of wind speeds, the application of that analysis to structures, the development of risk factors the economics of risk and the risk to the public among many other things that makes you an expert in how the structural codes should be changed. Yet you have pretty much admitted you have no expertise in any of these areas. And it appears you assume that the professionals that produce these codes are either not aware of environmental changes and how they affect the design of structures or they are deliberately ignoring those changes because of political pressure or greed. Pretty much exactly what climate change deniers are saying and using against climate scientists.

    From what all of you have said it seems you have some if not a fair amount of structural training. If so you should know that the design of structures are limited by the yield strength of the material for wind design in most cases. This is far from the “failure” of a structure unless you consider the “failure” of a structure to be some limited permanent deflections of the structure. This is evidenced by the success of seismic designed structures to prevent the total collapse of structures which exceed the wind forces by a large amount. In other words there is almost always a large amount of redundancy in structures due to many factors that are not considered in design. So rarely is this a matter of risk to public safety, but to economic risk.

    I am by all means in favor of requiring structures to consider human safety first and economy risk second. However there is no way codes can be written to cover all possible risks. My company and some of the companies I have worked for have multiple standard products they sale. The costs of upgrading all those products by a 17% increase in wind pressure would include a massive amount of redesign (I’m not sure everyone realizes the amount of time and work that goes into designing a large structure), the replacement and/or modification of millions of dollars of tooling required for the existing structures and the amount of published marketing material that would need to be replaced. This is not just adding some bracing. Existing structures would be grandfathered in with a new code but sales of new structures have to meet the new codes. If the experts decide an increase is necessary I will be leading the cause to get it implemented. But I’m not in favor of unnecessary feel good changes that can have unintended consequences.

    I am all in favor of public pressure to create changes in public policy when it is obvious the government is ignoring public safety. I think that is pretty evident with climate change when you look at heat waves, drought, floods, rising seas, the consensus of climate scientists, etc. Of course structures do fail for many reasons. But I have not seen, nor has anyone here presented any evidence of an increase in structural failures due to increased wind pressures.

  • The never-ending RCP8.5 debate

    michael sweet at 08:08 AM on 3 January, 2020

    Nick Palmer at 31:

    Thank you for a post completely lacking in citations so I do not need to go read them. 

    Long time readers ar Ske[ptical Science might remember a drawing from a scientist (sorry I do not remember the scientists name) which had a large gaussian curve labeled "Scientific Opinion" on one side.  At the far right of the gaussian curve was a line labeled "IPCC position.  About 10% of the curve was to theleft of the IPCC line.   Much further to the left, past the point of no problems,  was a line labeled Denier scientists.  In the middle of the IPCC line and the denier line was a line labeled "news reports splitting the middle".  The news reports line was far to the left of the end of scientific opinion. (If anyone has a link to this drawing please post it below, I have not been able to find it).

    The point of the graph was that, exactly as OPOF describes, the IPCC report determines the point where a consensus of scientists agrees "the damage must be higher than this".  That means the average of scientific opinion is much more damage than reported by the IPCC.  The lowest 10-15% of scientific opinion determines where the line is drawn.  Your description of the IPCC linne as the midpoint of scientific opinion is simply incorrect (I note that you have provided no citations to support your claim).

    I support my claim with this reference to  a RealClimate post. (the data discussed is referenced to a peer reviewed paper at RealClimate).  The graph below shows the data from IPCC AR5 and the results of a survey of 90 sea level rise experts.

    sea level graph

    In the IPCC report the data was only quoted from the 17-83%.  Standard data in scientific reports is to the 95%.  Thus for RPC 8.5, the I(PCC reported a maximum expected rise of just under 1 meter.  The 95% opinion of the experts was just over 1.5 meters.  

    I call the IPCC claim of under 1 meter low balling.

    Just for giggles let us look at a recently published survey of experts:  

    "We find that a global total SLR exceeding 2 m by 2100 lies within the 90% uncertainty bounds for a high emission scenario." my emphasis

    Your position is that I should only say sea level will rise 0.95 meters when expert opinion says there is as much as 10% chance of over 2 meters if we go BAU??  If I am responsible for building an airport I am expected to anticipate it will last 100 years with 95% certainty.  That would be well over 2 meters.

    According to this RealClimate post, Jason Box, a glaciologist who studies this issue, has said:

    "There was controversy after AR4 that sea level rise estimates were too low. Now, we have the same problem for AR5 [that they are still too low]."

    Stefan states:

    "One statement that I do not find convincing is the IPCC’s claim that “it is likely that similarly high rates [as during the past two decades] occurred between 1920 and 1950.” I think this claim is not well supported by the evidence. In fact, a statement like “it is likely that recent high rates of SLR are unprecedented since instrumental measurements began” would be more justified."

    At 27:40 of the video linked above Dr. Alley says:

    "The IPCC is way on the optomistic side fo what is possible [for this issue and many others]"

    He does not mention 30-40 feet but does say "could be bigger than this [15-20 feet]. they have not done a worst case study"

    Prominent scientists complain repeatedly that the IPCC is lowballing the numbers.  I think it is acceptable for me to do the same.  Can you provide something besides ":this what Nick Palmer thinks" to support your position.

    I have not been called a doomer before.  Thinking about it, I note that low balling it for 30 years as you advocate has not gotten anything done.  Perhaps Hallem of ER will do better with his approach.

  • The never-ending RCP8.5 debate

    nigelj at 06:48 AM on 3 January, 2020

    michael sweet @29

    "you can't argue every issue by pointing to what an expert or two said and leaving it at that. Sometimes experts are dead wrong. You are using the "argument from authority fallacy," and also doing exactly what the denialists do when the point at a couple of denialist experts."

    Yes I did say this, but at that point I was referencing the claims of Reese that 6 billion people will die by 2100, not sea level rise per se. This is really Reeses opinion, its not in the peer reviewed literature as far as Im aware, its been heavily criticised by several other experts, and like Nick Plamer says theres a big difference between claiming what will happen and what might happen. Reese is feeding the denialists. It's sad if you can't see this.

    "Your paper actually supports my posts: 2 meters is a high estimate but within 95% estimates of high sea level rise and 5 meters is within the long tail. You did not read the paper. The paper also states that the consensus of experts has significantly increased since 2013. "For sea level rise the consensus always increases every 5-10 years."

    Whatever. I have already stated that I accept some published science (Hansen and others) concludes 5 metres is possible as the most extreme worst case. An incredible numbers of things have to happen for this to occur and some of the mechanisms in Hansens research are none too clear. That's the opinion of plenty of scientists. Not everyone accepts Hansens conclusions. 2-3 metres by 2100 is what is considered more reasonably possible and scares the hell out of me anyway and would be devastating. I don't know why anyone needs to wildly speculate beyond this.

    Even Hansens sea level rise predictions that New York would be underwater by date xyz have fed the denialists for decades, and the scientific community has had to do gymnastics to defend them.

    If we want to be convincing the public, and using scary predictions towards the upper end, imho we need to be focusing in on a worst case for sea level rise that is strongly backed by evidence, not the off the chart highly contested stuff at the extreme end. I have already made this point so I'm trying again. It's a subtle difference but its important.

    Nick Plalmer is right when he says "If you havent seen the clear evidence from psychology that overstating risks not only turns people off, but reduces the credibility of the 'consensus' middle ground of science in the publics' eye then you need to read a bit wider." I have done some psychology, so Im aware of this. Basically fear can motivate change, but the research finds when using extreme and scary scenarious, there has to be a solid evidence base or fear can work in the opposite direction to whats intended.

    "Farmers raise crops on all the good land. Only poor land is allowed to go to trees. Virtually all farmable land is already occupied by a farmer. Your gross insensivity to farmers on good, delta land being forced to move to cities is disgusting. Lost good land is not replaced by poor land in the mountains or melted permafrost. All the estimates I used were for 2100. You refer to multiple time periods so it is unclear what you mean. It is clear that you are not up to date on the amount and consequences of sea level rise."

    My point was sea level rise will reduce framland, and forests might be cut down to provide more farmland so its hard to see 6 billion people dying by 2100. And it seems plausible, given huge numbers of trees are being cut down in the Amazon rain forest to grow crops and for cattle (unfortunately). Obviously there could well be very increased mortality longer term given seaa level rise wont stop by 2100.

    I said nothing about farmers being forced to move to cities. I said nothing about growing trees on mountains or permafrost regions. I don't recall using multiple time periods. I only talked about 2100 or end of this century. I provided you with a reference from to some of the latest science on sea level rise.


    Michael Sweet @30

    "The rules for the IPCC reports were written by fossil fuel lawers."

    Where do you get that from? Not that it would suprise me.

    "Lowballing problems as you suggest has not motivated anyone to take action in the past 30 years. "

    I don't think problems have been low balled as much as you think. While the IPCC have not highlighted the possibility of multi metre sea level rise by 2100, there is a graph in their report talking about 12 degrees c by 2200 for business as usual. This is not low balling. The media has been full of scary predictions of all sorts.

    "I do not support frightening people with 15 feet (Alley actually mentioned 30-40 feet as a maximum in his talk, listen to it again), but having 65 cm in the Executive summary, which is the most you expect people to read, is not accurate."

    This seems in total contradiction to all your previous rhetoric!

    My position is this and it always has been and I've said it 100 times: The IPCC understate things in the executive summary and are too cautious. The possibility of 2 metre sea level rise should be mentioned, or something like that, because theres good evidence its a reasonable possibility. But making truly extreme claims like 6 metres sea level rise and 6 billion people dead within one hundred years feeds is on shaky ground, and feeds the denialists and could be counter productive.

    I think we might be more on the same page than you think.

  • The never-ending RCP8.5 debate

    One Planet Only Forever at 04:04 AM on 3 January, 2020

    Nick Palmer @31 (also applicable to swampfoxh),

    Michael Sweet may not have explained in detail why it is correct to refer to IPCC reported summaries of the science as 'low-balling' how serious the problem is. However, it is true that the IPCC methodology for finalizing the wording of its reports, particularly the Executive Summary, results in 'low-balling of the negative seriousness'.

    The science continues to be clear. Human impacts beyond 1.5C warming are likely very negative for the future generations. That has not changed. Politicians who have less concern for future generations decided that a 1.5C limit was 'too hard on the current generation' and tried to say 2.0C would be OK. And some extremist economists, extreme in their lack of concern for future generations, have determined and declared that 3.0C would not only be OK, it would be a generous restriction of the harm done to future generations. They say that to be fair the warming limit could be even higher than 3.0C, depending on how much less concern for the negative future impacts (discounting of future costs) is acceptable (even though it is patently absurd to believe that it is acceptable to benefit from actions that create, or risk creating, negative impacts on Others).

    The IPCC report writing methodology is for an 'absolute consensus' to be reached among the participants in the authorship of a Report. And each science contributor has a 'political minder from their nation' influencing the way the report is worded. The 'absolute consensus' wording has to meet the desires of the political minders, but can only be pushed to the limit of scientific legitimacy. The result is reports that are pushed to the 'low-ball end' statements of what can be scientifically supported. (Based a my listening to a CBC Radio interview from long ago of a Canadian Scientist who was a participant in the process).

    That process has resulted in almost every subsequent Report 'stepping-up' its statement of 'negative consequences'. When you start from a position of 'low-balling how bad things are' it is almost certain that increased investigation will result in a 'higher low-balling of how bad things are'. Even the incredibly frightening most recent IPCC Special Reports regarding Climate Change impacts on Oceans and Land could be understating the severity of the future impacts.

    Compromising expanded awareness and improved understanding of climate science has not been helpful at all, from the perspective of the future generations. But nobody 'has to look at things that way' these days do they? - which is the real problem, especially when leaders don't have to see how unsustainable and harmful their choices actually are.

    It is correct to understand that some people will rigidly dig-in when faced with an attempt to correct something they developed a liking for believing. But some people are open to continued learning, even as they get older.

    The future of humanity requires Sustainable Development, the sooner the better, no matter how angry that makes the 'learning resistant'.

    The future will only be better without the 'learning resistant'.

    The 'learning and correction resistant' who fight against any of the pursuits of Sustainable Development corrections need to understand that their harmfulness will not be missed by Others. And their collective fading into impotent angrier irrelevance will be an improvement for global society and the future of humanity. Their lack of significant impact on Others would be a welcome improvement. I would prefer that they choose to learn to be more helpful, less harmful, and have their impacts be more welcomed and sustainably admired by Others.

    Once a person's basic needs are met, any improvement of their circumstance increases their ability to be helpful to Others. The choice is theirs to make. Hopefully more of them will resolve to become more helpful, less harmful, people.

  • The never-ending RCP8.5 debate

    Nick Palmer at 02:07 AM on 3 January, 2020

    Michael - it's getting tedious hearing your defence of extremist views. Yo just repeatedly used then term 'lowballing' which shows you do not have a good grasp of the science. The figures from the IPCC represent MIDBALLING, being the most likely figures.  Lowballing would be using the figures, again least likely, at the other end of the probability graph.

    If you havent seen the clear evidence from psychology that overstating risks not only turns people off, but reduces the credibility of the 'consensus' middle ground of science in the publics' eye then you need to read a bit wider.

    Most people, if they have memories, have seen extremist science predictions - or rather how the media report such predictions - fail before. The textbook example is that of Paul R. Ehrlich who famously, in 1968 wrote a book and the original edition of The Population Bomb began with this statement: "The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate ..."[20] Ehrlich argued that the human population was too great, and that while the extent of disaster could be mitigated, humanity could not prevent severe famines, the spread of disease, social unrest, and other negative consequences of overpopulation."

    I think you will find that although he was a top person in his field at the time he was essentially completely wrong. The inheritors of his mantle today are such as Guy McPherson, Pete Wadhams, Beckwith, Kevin Anderson, Carana, Scribbler etc who all take the far-end-of-the-probability-graph most unlikely forecasts and, in their public interviews, talk as if the least likely is pretty certain. It's just not scientifically valid to do that.

    Alley, of course, is a top notch scientist but people have to remember that he is speaking as a scientist using very precise language which unfortunately can be very prone to misintrepretation when reported on by interviewers of lesser scientific appreciation.

    Similarly the Hallam of E.R.  activist types who spout extremist definitive statements such as  "six billion people will die as a result of climate change in coming decades" need to be told to shut up because they are are seriously damaging the credibility of the actual climate science in the public arena.

  • Ice age predicted in the 70s

    MA Rodger at 23:56 PM on 26 December, 2019

    Dave Evans @84,

    The Wattsupian nonsense from Nov 2018 you ask about doesn't appear to have been de-bunked but the major slight-of-hand employed by the denialist-&-nonsense-author Angus MacFarlane has been de-bunked by SkS.

    The Nov 2018 nonsense purports to itself de-bunk Peterson et al (2008) which is the main evidence base for the OP above. [The co-authors seem to have been overlooked by the OP above who call it Peterson 2008.]  In directly challenging Peterson et al, the Wattsupian denier reclasifies 20% of the surveyed papers cited by Peterson et al  (14 of the 66 re-assessed with 5 Peterson et al citations not assessed) and thus attempts to convert the result from 7 'cooling', 20 'neutral' and 44 'warming' into 16 'cooling', 19 'neutral' and 36 'warming'. This is not greating different and certainly does not support the contention that there was a scientific global cooling concensus during the 1970s.

    To provide more fire-power, the Wattsupian denilaist adds extra citations to the survey - two which he found for himself (again not a level of evidence that would change the Peterson et al result) and an additional 117 papers gleaned from an earlier denialist attempt to debunk Peterson et al. It is only with this extra denialist fire-power from 2016 that anything like the number of citations can be obtained to overcome the Peterson et al result. This 2016 nonsense has been debunked in a two-park SkS post here & here.

    The general nonsense in this 2016 denialist blather is possible best summed up by the denialistical use of the 1974 CIA document which considers the global food supply and within this considers climate as potentially a major factor. Global cooling is presented as a potential increase in risk to an adequate global food supply. There is no 'consensus' being waved that global cooling is expected. Instead they cite HH Lamb but ignore Lamb's view at that time in the mid-1970s that "On balance, the effects of increased carbon dioxide on climate is almost certainly in the direction of warming but is probably much smaller than the estimates which have commonly been accepted." As this may sound itself a little 'denialist' to modern ears, I should all that the 1977 book containing this quote had added into its 1984 preface:-

    "It is to be noted here that there is no necessary contradiction between forecast expectations of (a) some renewed (or continuation of) slight cooling of world climate for some years to come, e.g. from volcanic or solar activity variations; (b) an abrupt warming due to the effect of increasing carbon dioxide, lasting some centuries until fossil fuels are exhausted and a while thereafter; and this followed in turn by (c) a glaciation lasting (like the previous ones) for many thousands of years.” [my bold]

    The evidence-base for the CIA document is set out in its Annex II is based on the work of one scientist, Reid Bryson who did continue to find it beyond his abilities to accept the idea of AGW as a problem that needed tackling. So even though the 1974 CIA document runs with global cooling, a worst-case scenario, there is no scientific consensus backing it up.

    The other study cited by the 2016 nonsense is Stewart & Glantz (1985) which talks of an emerging AGW-warming consensus but itself analyses the conclusions of a 1978 study on climate projection to the year 2000. This 1978 study would presumably have been advised by any 'cooling' concensus had such a thing existed in the mid-1970s. So their conclusions will be of interest:-

    "The derived climate scenarios manifest a broad range of perceptions about possible temperature trends to the end of this century, but suggest as most likely a climate resembling the average for the past 30 years.- Collectively, the respondents tended to anticipate a slight global warming rather than a cooling. More specifically, their assessments pointed toward only one chance in five that, changes in average global temperatures will fall outside the range of -0.3°C to +0.6°C, although any temperature change was generally perceived as-being amplified in the higher latitudes of both hemiipheres."

    So here the 1970s view was more towards 'warming' than 'cooling' although I note the 'warming' opinion prevailed as warming 1975-2000 was +0.5°C. 

    And today we see nothing but blather in that Nov 2018 Wattsupian whittering. It is ever thus there on the remote planetoid Wattsupia.

  • There is no consensus

    MA Rodger at 21:16 PM on 19 December, 2019

    PatrickSS @862,

    You present three names in response to my request @858 for the scientists you tell us "think that doubling CO2 will raise the world temp by about 1C," a position you appear to set as equal in importance to "those who think that doubling CO2 will raise the world temp by about 3C." It's not much of a list. Do note that two of these are not climatologists and further, I do not see that any of them present substantive reasons to support their bold claims. This is evidently not two sets of scientists arguing. It is sadly science under attack from a handful of swivel-eyed lunatics.

    In support of my own rather bold statement, I would share with you my view of the one climatologist you name - the veteran climate denier Richard Lindzen. He has been at this game so long that he has lost entirely his grasp on the science he is supposed to be practising and now resorts to bare-faced-lies/deluded-foolishness [delete as applicable]. He has certainly ventured far beyond the science of climatology with his nonsense. See his 2017 version here and tick off the numerous examples of untruth he presents. (And to keep us on-topic, note his first attempt to refute AGW is "The 97 Percent Meme".)

    I note you cite Dickie Lindzen when you say "Increasing CO2 causes the IR to be emitted at slightly greater altitude. This warms the surface because the temperature at which the emission takes place is the same, so when the lower atmosphere is chaotically mixed the air reaching the surface is hotter (because it gets compressed as it comes down)." I am not sure where Lindzen explaining this mechanism but the way you phrase it is subject to vast misinterpretation.

    You add that Judy Curry has had difficulty getting published yet if she has anything worth publishing she only has to post it on her website to get it into the scientific/public domain. Yet there is complete absence of any substantive comtribution from Curry, an absence that speaks volumes.

    @862 you say you do not feel your "main argument" has not be "really engaged." You appear to be arguing that the scientific view of AGW is not truly reflected in the 97% consensus and specifically that Verheggen et al (2014) is 'obviously not' fairly summarised by the 91% value. I find this difficult to accept. Perhaps we are reading a different paper.

  • There is no consensus

    MA Rodger at 03:14 AM on 16 December, 2019

    PatrickSS @856,

    You say that there is "an argument between the people who think that doubling CO2 will raise the world temp by about 1C ... and those who think that doubling CO2 will raise the world temp by about 3C ..." Do you consider the folk saying that Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (from 2 x CO2) is about +1.0ºC to be more than just a few contrarians and that their supporting evidence is well-founded? And if you do consider them to be thus, providing a serious scientific position, perhaps you should name their leading members so their position within the 'consensus' can be properly adjudged along with showing how numerous they are and how well-founded their arguments.

  • There is no consensus

    PatrickSS at 02:20 AM on 16 December, 2019

    Hi All. I think it's essential that we all think for ourselves on this topic. I wanted to do that, and I started recently by looking at the scientific consensus.

    I now have lots of problems with the information on this page, which I think is misleading in several different ways. From what I can see, this is an argument between the people who think that doubling CO2 will raise the world temp by about 1C (which they think will not be a major problem) and those who think that doubling CO2 will raise the world temp by about 3C (which, they think, would be a major problem). So it is very misleading to say, above, that "97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming", because both sides agree on that.

    Secondly I have a lot of problems with the way that the consensus is reported both here and in eg Wikipedia. I decided to look at the data. I looked at what seemed to be the most recent paper on this, by Bart Verheggen and colleagues, called Scientists’ view about attribution of global warming.

    In the light of my first point above, the only question that you really want to hear about is their Q12, "How concerned are you about climate change as a long-term global problem?". What is quite extraordinary is that Bart and colleagues don't mention this question, or the responses to it, in the whole of their article. How could that happen?

    Fortunately they have published a summary of the responses:

    Now we discover that only 33% of climate scientists are more than "somewhat concerned", and 8.5% are "not very concerned" or "not concerned at all".

    That doesn't really look like a consensus.

    The main argument in the abstract of Bart's paper is that the authors who publish a lot on climate science are more likely to agree that anthropogenic gasses are the dominant driver of recent climate change. John Cook's graph, above, makes a similar point. Given that scientists, such as Judith Curry, who take a "contrarian" view of climate change complain that they can't get their work published, this doesn't see like a very good argument.

    With the best will in the world, none of this looks good for the consensus.

    Would it be possible to change the information on this page to encourage people to look at the original data in Bart's report? And also to highlight areas of agreement - such as that most contrarians are "lukewarmers" who agree that human activities cause some warming? That way lay-people such as myself would be in a much better position to think about this for ourselves.

  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #48, 2019

    Mal Adapted at 14:29 PM on 14 December, 2019

    nigelj @14:

    Yeah maybe the intent in the name sceptical science was to fishook in a few climate sceptics. No big deal. Clever move.

    That's part of the rationale for the name, and it has worked well for the purpose. OTOH, science is a centuries-long, worldwide collective enterprise by trained, disciplined, competitively skeptical individuals, who adopt Nullius in verba as a guiding principle. As nigelj well knows, soi disant "skeptics" of anthropogenic global warming are actually pseudo-skeptical, and are appropriately called AGW-deniers. For the most part, volunteer AGW-deniers are neither trained nor disciplined, and readily succumb to the Dunning-Kruger effect. They scorn the lopsided consensus of genuine experts, namely the international peer community of climate specialists; but gladly take the word of professional disinformers who obfuscate reality for hire, with or without scientific credentials. It's no surprise that a robust public deception industry has flourished, under savvy long-time reinvestment of a tiny fraction of annual fossil fuel profits. The persistent failure of the US to enact effective decarbonization policy is a positive ROI.

    Many non-Americans find both our long history of truculent anti-intellectualism, and the vast power of fossil-carbon wealth over our politics, hard to fathom. Alas, they are realities confronting the world 8^(. FWIW, I apologize for my country, and I cling to hope we can somehow blunder our way to a carbon-neutral economy before it's too late for any economy at all!

  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #48, 2019

    ed56 at 09:42 AM on 6 December, 2019

    The author and the project may be 100% right in their scientific positions, but why the 'Skeptical' in the title?
    There is not skeptic attitude anywhere in this article or the whole website. You report that the mainstream finding is the mainstream finding, you repeat over and over that consensus has been reached and that there are no AGW denial positions.
    So why not change the name to ''?
    Then again, when there is no refusal of AGW (any more), why does the world need a website like this?

  • Holistic Management can reverse Climate Change

    RedBaron at 00:33 AM on 5 December, 2019

    @michael Sweet,

    I have back up all claims as well as debunked the false claims in the OP multiple times, if that's what you mean, sure.

    And yes I have done this for years, and slowly the consensus of scientific opinion has been moving this direction too. 

    There are many many comming around, project drawdown being a great example: Project drawdown

    Terraton initiative being another.

    Even the IPCC admits it, but is under the mistaken notion that changing agriculture would lower yields, so makes the mistaken assumption relatively small acreage could be changed. In fact yields for increase substantially. So that is why although they agree it could be significant, they lowball it.

    Now it is to the point that the OP position posted here is decidedly minority, Actually in my opinion it is actually a merchants of doubt talking point that somehow got past Skeptical Science..

    I am not critical of Skeptical Science though, because the merchants of doubt used a shotgun approach and fired literally hundreds of obfuscation attempts and the fact you managed to debunk them all but one is pretty impressive actually.

    I am just trying to help you tackle the one you missed.

  • Holistic Management can reverse Climate Change

    nigelj at 17:22 PM on 4 December, 2019

    RedBaron @27

    You have made a sweeping statement that I got everything wrong. You have learned literally nothing about my comments about diplomacy. Most people are going to react to that sort of comment by dismissing both you are your ideas. Fortunately for you I have a thick skin and control my temper.

    It's also an immensely silly statement, because some things I said are what you have said, or close enough.

    You have not answered my question in paragraph 5. Again, you show no diplomacy, and no respect.

    You have mentioned one specific thing that you disagree with: that I think we should eat less meat. You think we should eat more meat, but this doesn't make sense to me, because it means we need even more land for cattle. Do you not realise there is competing demand for land for biofuels, and beccs and foresty, and crops to feed a population heading to 12 billion people at least, and urban development? 

    Meat is a very inefficient use of resources requiring enormous inputs of land, biomass and water for a small quantity ofprotein outputs. Obviously you must know this.

    Yes I understand the "corn" issue in America, but that is only one component of land demand as I've outlined.

    It's really unlikely we can or should expand areas of land for grazing. Given rotational grazing is land intensive, if anything per capita meat consumption probably thus needs to fall, although not drastically.

    Now you would presumably argue that actually hugely expanding grasslands for cattle farming is a great thing, because it draws down atmospheric carbon, and so this should all take precedence over everything else. This would be a big claim so needs massive levels of proof. I have had a look at the numbers, and even taking your best numbers of 5-20 tonnes CO2e/ha/yr, and using 10 tonnes, this gives something like a reduction in about 10% of our total current emissions per year  It's still a good number - but as pointed out on this website about a year ago it falls well short of the sort of claims made by people like Savory no matter how you try to spin it. And this assumes literally all farms work regeneratively, ( a massive scaling up operation with huge challenges) and this soil carbon diminishes over time as soils heat up and upper layers become a net carbon source.

    The whole rotational grazing  proposal has merit, but would therefore take a very long time to make a dent in atmospheric concentrations of carbon, so its hard for me to see a case for scaling up your proposal above current land area.

    I can however see a very good case for making better use of what land area we "currently" use for livestock farming, and using Savorys rotational grazing system.

    If you think my maths is wrong, by all means check it and tabulate your own calculations in an ordered fashion but my rough boe calcs and conclusions are not much different from scientists who actually specialise in this area.

    I think you are in danger of coming across as an obsessive scientific crank with their pet project somewhat like Killian over at! Now perhaps I'm not being too diplomatic myslelf :) Imjust giving you a bit of advice.

    You have posted a lot of details and links on soil science. I'm not disputing that stuff in the main and never have. So if you want to post it don't do it for my benefit, but perhaps you are doing it for other people reading.

    To summarise, I do accept there is a valuable looking pathway where properly grazed pastures encourage the glomalin pathway and leads to deeper carbon rich soils ultimately, and as such we should farm that way, but the process looks slow to me, and theres not exactly a scientific consensus on the effectiveness of the issue,  and there are many competing uses for land. As such its hard for me to think we should actually expand grazing lands, but rotationally grazing what we have seems logical. I think you are right in general terms, but you may need to be more realistic.

  • Video: Is CO2 actually dangerous?

    Eclectic at 10:19 AM on 3 December, 2019

    BillyJoe @19 (onwards) .

    BillyJoe, thank you for your comments on Potholer54.

    I will act as an apologist for Potholer ~ to some extent.   While using the term Climate-Denier very frequently myself, nevertheless I do see he has a strategic point in himself avoiding using the Denier label in his videos.   As you know, the typical dyed-in-the-wool  climate denier always protests and squawks about the use of that label, and tries to make that a deflection from the actual scientific issue.   But that sort of person can never be reasoned with, anyway!!

    Where I think Potholer is going, is that he is wishing to educate the waverers & uncommitted fence-sitters who don't have a strong emotional investment in science-denial . . . and who are open to persuasion via sweet reason.   By avoiding such an emotion-charged term [though fully justified term] he simplifies his educational efforts and also makes himself a smaller target for hostile critics.

    Likewise, by avoiding arguments around consensus ~ the abstract arguments, the "Galileo" arguments, the arguments over whether it's Consensus of opinion polls versus Consensus of scientific evidence in the journal literature . . . and so on.   I think he is just picking his battles, and concentrating on his core messages.

    If you read through some of the comments/replies below his videos (if you can bear with, and laugh at, some of the painful stupidities from The Usual Suspects ! ) . . . then you might be entertained & educated by the skill of Potholer's ripostes.   And he continually says he is not giving his opinions, he is just giving the published science.   (And I can't believe he was at the bottom of his class ~ that's probably simply an effective rhetorical line.)

    Doug_C , you must have gotten out of bed on the wrong side, if you regard Potholer as "rude, condescending and supercilious".   ClimateAdam and Potholer54 are on the same scientific team, but their styles are very, very different.   ClimateAdam is more the zany loopy stand-up comedian type.  Potholer is more toward the end of the spectrum where dry humorous barbs & icy scathing politeness are the valued method of take-down.  

    And you will note Potholer's meticulous attention to detail, and to sourced references.

  • Video: Is CO2 actually dangerous?

    BillyJoe at 07:56 AM on 3 December, 2019

    Eclectic, yes Potholer seems to think that the more research that is done the more it looks like the MWP was global. But that was one of his earlier videos and, at present, the consensus is that the MWP was regional.

    And, speaking of consensus, he is of the mistaken opinion that there is no such thing as a scientific consensus - because science is not a democracy or not the result of a vote. But that just illustrates that he does not understand the meaning of the term.

    He also mentions the aluminium battery in a positive light whereas, in fact, is more of a scam than anything else. And solar panel roads, a venture that was always going to fail from the time it was proposed.

    He also rejects the term "climate denier" even though he has a horde of them commenting on his videos. And "Louder with Crowder" on whom he did two videos is such an obvious climate denier it's not funny. Of course he may have changed his mind after this experience. 

    But I enjoyed the videos and they were very informative. I defintiely do not understand Doug_C's comment at all. A hell of a lot more thought and time has been put into Potholer's videos and they are both educational and entertaining. Each to his own, I guess. 

  • There is no consensus

    Eclectic at 01:48 AM on 30 November, 2019

    Klmartinson @846 , 

    thank you for your "less wordy" reply  ;-)

    Brevity is truly the soul of wit ~ but not always the soul of precision !

    #0.  My comment of "low quality" applies to the AMS survey as a whole, not just to the 30% reply rate.   Indeed, 30% is poor in itself, because of the dangers of self-selection and unrepresentativeness [oh, what a wordy word! ] . . . as I am sure you are very well aware yourself.   As you have scrutinised the report, you will have noticed that the authors were slightly uncomfortable with the over-representation of student members and elderly/retired members (among other selection criticisms).

    Best if the survey were repeated nowadays, and done more carefully, so that the survey could be of high enough quality to achieve a worthy comparison to other surveys of Consensus.

    I agree the 30% is still rather poor, for the widely cited Doran survey ~ but Doran gains in strength because it closely fits with other surveys.   And "your" AMS survey also loses points, because of the lamentable extent of incompletion of those forms actually returned.

    And the fact that your quoted  52% was such an outlier , should have raised your suspicion that you had misinterpreted the figure or its context (or that the survey itself was faulty).

    #1.  Yes, there is such a thing as a "mandatory" survey.

        They are far and away the best sort of survey, in assessing the Consensus accurately.   [see part A of the Cook et al., 2013 survey]

    #2.  50 years vs 150 years in the questions, should have produced the same answers.   That it didn't do so, reflects rather poorly on the AMS members themselves (rather than on the survey itself!)

    #3.  Now you are adducing one winter in CONUS ?!   And you "don't understand how we can have record heat and yet have record cold seasons" ?!

    Hmmm ~ move another tenth of an inch in that direction . . . and some of the readers here will begin  to feel you are being a tad disingenuous   ;-)

    #4.  As I pointed out above, the survey was by definition limited to Americans.   Is that a bias?   It is only a bias, if the survey is falsely represented as worldwide (misrepresenting through omission).

    Though I hear that a percentage of AMS members are "furriners" . . . but only a small percentage.

    No, I am not shocked  at such (11%) a proportion of "Flat-Earther-type" opinions in some alleged scientists.   I myself know a PhD (in biological sciences) who is a proud member of his local Flat Earth Society . . . indeed, it's even worse , because he was born outside the USA !

    Klmartinson, the historic record is so clear on the fact  of modern global warming ~ that it takes an absolute willful blindness for any meteorologist to deny it, even back in 2012 or 2002.

    #5.  (which really deserves to be #6.)   Klmartinson, if you read a dozen or two of the upthread comments, and if you truly think it through, then you will come to see that a survey of published scientific articles is the far superior method of determining the real consensus.

    The analogy might be political surveys (examples: the Dewey/Truman 1948 election and the Clinton/Trump 2016 election) ~ inadequate survey size plus the tendency for "coyness" of replies to the vox-pop microphone or other polling method . . . results in an invalid "figure".   In reality, the accurate figure is the totality of the "on-paper" survey.  ;-)

  • Here Are 3 Climategate Myths That Have Not Aged Well

    michael sweet at 01:43 AM on 30 November, 2019


    You have chosen an interesting email to post.

    Scientists always challenge each others findings.  Your email is a clear demonstration of the fact that scientists challenge each other.  In private communitcations these arguments are heated.  After they are privately discussed the scientists with the best arguments publish them.  After they are published they are challenged again.  Only the very best proposed answers survive this constant challenge.  Even then they can be later challenged if new information turns up.

    It is also interesting that you pick an email where Tom Wigley is challenging Eleven and says Eleven is being too alarmist!!  Are you arguing that scientists are exaggerating warming by telling other scientists to dial back their assertions??

    Further, today in 2019, the scientific consensus is clearly that Eleven was correct and that the problem is critical and must be immediately addressed.  So are you arguing that someone who was correctly arguing that we needed to take inmediate steps to avoid catastrophie, perhaps before it was a clear consensus, needs to be silenced??

    My read of your email is that Tom Wigley was clearly completely incorrect.  His approach has threatened civilization because it has led to delay in implementing required pollution control.  The denier argument that somehow this email shows that scientists are exaggerating warming and the dangers it presents is the opposite of what this email clearly shows.

  • There is no consensus

    Eclectic at 22:46 PM on 27 November, 2019

    Klmartinson @844 ,

    Unfortunately the study you mention (of the AMS/ametsoc) is of a much lower quality than other "consensus" studies . . . so it is difficult to draw much of a conclusion from it.

    I am not sure where you got the 52 (versus 97%) figure from.  From the chart of stated results, "52" is simply not an accurate representation of the views of the AMS members who participated in the electronic survey.

    ##   Did you yourself read the report ~ or are you only passing on a hearsay version of the survey?

    The other failings of the survey are many :-

    #1.  Only a voluntary survey, and with only a 30% return (Doran, for example, had only a 30% return . . . but the AMS survey returns contained a considerable number where only part  of the survey was answered).

    #2.  The authors admitted a blunder, in that they had asked about causation of global warming over 150 years . . . and a significant number of respondents later made contact to say they would have upgraded their answer if the question had been for the most recent 50 years.

    #3.  The survey was taken in 2012 . . . and a great amount of change has happened in the 7 years since then e.g. the so-called Pause has disappeared, and record high temperatures have followed.

    #4.  The survey was (per definition) limited largely to Americans ~ a nation where there is strange & bizarre percentage of the population who are so influenced by Motivated Reasoning, that they reject plain evidence about AGW, evolution, age of the Earth, etcetera.  So is rather far from representative of meteorologists or scientists worldwide.  You will also notice that only 89% of respondents acknowledged any global warming at all . . . in other words for 11% their beliefs were at the Flat Earth level of science denial.

    #5.  The authors themselves pondered the observation that controversy (at the political/partisan level) had caused a percentage of AMS members to "disengage" with the AGW issue during the (then) recent years, and to express themselves less definitely about the scientific facts.  Sad to see such a defense mechanism!! ~ but it did seem to "tone down" the definitiveness of answers given to the survey.  One would like to think that the meteorologists of the AMS are more courageous in 2019 ~ and I have heard hints that is so . . . but of course that won't show up in the 2012 survey !

    In all, it was an overly-simple survey of 4 main points.  Even so, it was like the other "consensus" surveys, in that it showed that the greater the climate scientific expertise (of the meteorologists) the greater the agreement with the scientific mainstream.

    Klmartinson, you will find much more reliability from consensus surveys such as the contemporaneous Cook et al. 2013 survey, where the "return rate" was in effect about 100% ~ and the clever design of Cook eliminated the influence of bias (bias from personal and social factors) . . . and giving a robust 97%.  (Actually more than 99% consensus, based on recent years' evidence).

  • Why the 97% climate consensus is important

    Anodyne at 02:28 AM on 18 November, 2019

    So Skeptical Science screws the pooch really bad here and it's upsetting to see sheep follow without any pushback. There's a narrative that formed that says climate deniers completely ignore CC and argue against it with no evidence. That's categorically false and only ignorants who stay in their little social bubbles that always recycle the same nonsense say that. This must be one of them. 97% consensus was proven to be an outright lie - that is a BS claim that was made by 1 person and parroted by another and the media ran with it and never questioned it. Forbes did an exhaustive look into the 97% consensus theory and found that the real number was around 81% and showed various alternative numbers but the average was 81% consensus. Then Forbes clarified the word consensus which Skeptical Science doesn't ever do, and shame on everyone who doesn't bother to take 15 seconds to read up on what scientific consensus means. It's not a total agreement and the 81% consensus is as follows: anyone that believes climate change is a natural occurring phenomenon that humans do not impact all the way to people that think humans are the only way the climate shifts at all are all considered in "consensus". If you don't agree I don't care - this is a verifiable fact and I strongly urge everyone to start researching the counter argument to the 97% consensus claim. It's been proven wrong by numerous credible sources. One of my favorites is the Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore who constantly destroys man-made climate change claims with facts and examples in our world today. I'd automatically go Google/YouTube his lectures as they have a swath of evidence and his associates that work with him down not just Ecology but Solar Sciences, Geology, and Meteorology as well. Their counter points cannot be refuted and just be taken into consideration. But saying 97% of scientists agree that clmanmade climate change is real is a load of crap and shame on anyone who parrots that lie. 4/5 scientists agree that climate change is fully real and actively occurring, of those 4 only 1 (generalized estimate) believe humans are making an impact and even within that 1 (so 20% in total) say humans might be making a large impact on the planet's climate. Naomi Oreskes and John Cook, the two ppl that wrote articles claiming a 97% consensus exists on this topic, woefully mislead readers in what consensus meant even though Cook did try to slip in that consensus might not mean total agreement but vague agreement or commonality. Furthermore, more and more scientists are coming out against the idea that man-made climate change is affecting our planet. Just recently there were signatures from 5,000 folks in science fields that threw out the idea publicly in the face of pretenders like Greta Thrunberg. That doesn't mean that now the debate is over, it means that the idea that 97% consensus again isn't sound in the least bit. And what's more aggrivsting is that these extreme climate change advocates want us to make radical shifts now based on forecasting models that have never once in our history been correct. They take the most radical forecasting models and say we're doomed in 100 years if we don't cut carbon emissions now. Only problem is that for two decades we've shown those models never pan out and always exaggerate the reality over time. There are idiots out there who deny based on emotions but the reality is there are very intelligent, well informed people cutting holes left and right in the consensus theory and man-made climate change. Hell, aren't we seeing reportings now that are forecasting a global cooling trend in the next couple decades? Our assumption is that the planet swings in climate and that's how we get ice ages and hot periods. Folks need to take history into consideration and realize that the Earth isn't really above average of anything. The sea levels aren't going up as fast as alarmists say and then they point to places that are literally sinking into the seas and saying "see, the sea levels are rising so fast!". Pathetic. Bill Nye is a joke. Give me someone with a degree not in civil engineering and works in the field actively instead of a children's tv show host whose Netflix series was such a disaster that Netflix immediately cancelled it and scientists lobbed tomatoes at it for it's departure from science. 

  • In 1982, Exxon accurately predicted global warming

    scaddenp at 09:39 AM on 7 November, 2019

    Grant777 - as soon as students are equipped to do so, then they should be looking the primary source (peer-reviewed scientific papers), not what article or editorials skew for political purposes. Applies to most science reporting on media (ie much of it is junk). If you do not have the scientific background to follow the science, then students (and politicians) should be guided by the scientitic consensus, especially when it is strong. The consensus is not always right but it is the only rational basis for decision making.  A scientific concensus will only altered by peer-reviewed scientific papers that present a better model, not by political hacks fighting for a tribally-based position, nor misinformation from vested groups.  Climate science is fortunate to have an expert panel (IPCC) presenting reviews of the published science every view years. There is an entire chapter on evaluation of models which makes better reading than uninformed comment or delibrate misinformation.

  • Why the 97% climate consensus is important

    KR at 22:42 PM on 15 October, 2019

    Jay1988 - One of the major delaying tactic of the tobacco industry, copied by lobbyists for fossil fuel interests (in many cases the very same people and lobbying groups moving to the next customer) is manufactured dissent, claiming that because of varying scientific opinions (usually by quoting a very small number of dubious papers) that 'sound science' requires yet more study, and yet more study, not action. 

    The studies on the scientific consensus are simply an answer to that false claim and delaying tactic - showing that the vast majority of scientists who can be expected to know the subject conclude that AGW is happening, and has impacts. And since one of the most successful strategies for the non-specialist is to look at the conclusions of the experts, that has a significant impact on public opinion and policy. 

    For that very reason the climate denialists get very very upset by proven consensus. And spin all kinds of bovine excrement in attempts to cloud and confuse the issue...

  • There is no consensus

    Eclectic at 20:18 PM on 9 October, 2019

    CThompson ,

    insight is not your strong suit, apparently.  Your claim of familiarity with carbon isotopes etcetera, is not congruous with your dismissal of mainstream physics & biology.

    Just as (by analogy) someone who claims familiarity with mathematics . . . yet who alleges that 2+2=3 . . . is someone who is a tad less expert than he supposes.

    But perhaps, CThompson, you can achieve some credibility by staying on topic.  [Short musical interlude here, while orchestra plays Pride of Erin B  . . . and readers wait for you to also mention Galileo, as well.]  You have been repeatedly asked to say something substantive about the scientific consensus, to back your "beliefs".  But you have produced nothing, so far.

    A good start would be, if you can name a list of some credible scientists who have produced some evidence that the mainstream science is  seriously incorrect.  (And you must show what that evidence is ~ not just handwave at something unspecified.)  If at all possible, please list a sufficiency of names to demonstrate that these alleged contrarians exist in numbers way beyond 1% of climate scientists.  Would 20% "climate-skeptical" genuine climate scientists be achievable for you?  Otherwise, surely your consensus claim falls flat on its face.

    Hint: don't bother to use the delusional citizen-scientist  crackpots, such as Lord Monckton, Dr Tim Ball, or (the late) John Coleman . . . 'cos they ain't no scientists !

    And bear in mind, that the evidence is even more important than the exact percentage of contrarians.  And that is where the contrarian scientists make a double Fail ~ their numbers are shrinking and their hypotheses [cosmic rays; 100-year oceanic cycles; Lindzen's "Iris" ; etcetera] have failed the reality test.

    CThompson, the consensus exists because the evidence is clear.


    I can see that you believe what you want to believe ~ and I was never under the illusion that you would be convinced by anything factual.


    BTW, CThompson, you can educate me on one point ~ what is the meaning of the word "symmantic"  which you use so often  e.g. the "symmantic gymnastics" you mention in your last paragraph of #841 .   The OED failed to list the word.  Is it a new term for the latest display trick by that amazing young gymnast Ms Simone Biles ?

  • There is no consensus

    CThompson at 16:23 PM on 9 October, 2019

    Even though I know this comment likely won't even see the light of day as it will be construed as "inflammatory", even though yours is likewise and remains, by making assumptions about my education and knowledge, I'll give this a try anyway.

    Eclectic at 12:42 PM on 9 October, 2019

    CThompson ,

    Interesting, that you don't recognize your own anger. Anger is the underlying emotion in almost all "contrarians" ~ anger that the mainstream science shows that the Earth is Round rather than the politically-correct Flatness which the contrarians desire.

    Actually, I believe the "politically-correct" description would apply to the Earth is Round crowd, in your analogy. Further, there was never even such thing as anyone believing the world was flat and, that is a myth, just like the 97% claim.

    Perhaps the isotopes Carbon-12 and Carbon-13 are not so very obvious to you, CThompson, but that is all the more excuse for you to go inform yourself - educate yourself - about carbon sources, carbon dioxide, the carbon cycles, photosynthesis & enzymatic affinities, etcetera. Then you will see why you are wrong, and the climate scientists are right.

    Actually, I'm quite familiar with carbon-12 and carbon-13, as well as carbon sources, carbon dioxide, the carbon cycles, photosynthesis and enzymatic affinities. But, this is exactly why I can never take seriously those who advocate global warming/climate change. Their condescending, smug attitude which makes them believe they're the most brilliant people on the face of the planet and no one should even dare challenge them. I thought this discussion was supposed to be about the so-called "consensus", rather than your assumptions about my level of education or my knowledge. You have no idea what my level of education is or what level of knowledge it is I have. And, while my one comment is snipped and flagged as being "inflammatory", your assumptions concerning my education and my knowledge, which could also be construed as "inflammatory", is allowed to remain. But, what can I expect? If one is all for the global warming/climate change hysteria, one can be as inflammatory as one wants. If one isn't, they're shut down.

    Now, why don't you elaborate a little further on what it is carbon-12 and carbon-13 have to do with anything? If you're suggesting someone can determine what carbon dioxide it is that comes from the tailpipe of a Dodge Dart or that which comes from a decaying tree or that which comes from a forest fire has anything to do with carbon-12 or carbon-13, I believe you are mistaken.

    How many climate scientists are there? Certainly more than 79. Depending on definition, there are hundreds . . . thousands . . . tens of thousands . . . even more. There is no precise cut-off between climate scientists and "non-climate" scientists. There is a spectrum ranging from the most expert (who do climate research & publish papers in reputable scientific journals) through to scientists whose area of expertise is only distantly related to climate. And on through to the almost-famous "wood engineer" who, many years ago, signed the laughable Oregon Petition of 19,000+ people possessing a science degree, who denounced AGW. (Denounced AGW, based on almost zero expertise in the field of climate science.)

    Relevantly, CThompson, the consensus studies show that the more climate science expertise a scientist has, the more likely he is to agree with the consensus.

    That is why, CThompson, you have failed to present an impressive list of names of (sane and credible) climate scientists who are not in the 99% consensus. Because they are way less than 1%. And if, from such a potential list, you subtracted :- the "Emeritus" elderly dodderers, the political extremists, the fundamentalist religious extremists, and the delusional citizen-scientist crackpots . . . then you would have close to zero real scientists left on your list. That's why the consensus is more like 99% than 97% .

    Actually, I find the term "climate science" and "climate scientists" to be a misnomer in the first place as I don't believe for a second they know as much about the climate and those mechanisms which drive it as they THINK they know. I don't think "climate scientist" even fits. I believe, for one to be a "climate scientist", one would have to be proficient in almost all, if not all, principles of science. And, I don't believe there's anyone in the world who's smart enough to be proficient in ALL principles of science. They'd have to know how cosmic forces impact our climate, they'd have to know how plants and animals impact our climate, they'd have to know how the many forces that shape this planet impact our climate and, multitudes of other things. That they simply average out temperatures for a 30 year period or precipitation levels over a 30 year period and call themselves "climate scientists" doesn't seem to shed true light on what is needed to understand the climate and what drives it. Now, lastly, your anger is quite clear. Anger is what compels you to make assumptions about my education and knowledge and anger compels you to make smug and condescending statements and acting like no one should even dare challenge you because you're a brilliant know-it-all and there's absolutely no way you're wrong. You know who else believed they were know-it-alls? People who challenged Erin Brockovich. She had no formal legal training and everyone else thought they were so much smarter than her. But, of course, we all know how that turned out.

    (P.S. Just so you know, I don't have to present to you anything, to believe what I believe. But, you're certainly going to have to do better than presenting symmantic gymnastics, as demonstrated in the Doran study, to convince me. See, things are the way they are and, if you want people to believe you in order to initiate change, it's you that has to convince them, not the other way around. I don't have to present anything to believe what I believe, you've got to present something convincing to me, to make me believe differently. Thanks.)

  • There is no consensus

    Eclectic at 12:42 PM on 9 October, 2019

    CThompson ,

    Interesting, that you don't recognize your own anger.  Anger is the underlying emotion in almost all "contrarians"  ~ anger that the mainstream science shows that the Earth is Round rather than the politically-correct Flatness which the contrarians desire.

    Anger is an emotion leading to Motivated Reasoning  ~ where even some very intelligent people (such as yourself) manage to bamboozle themselves with rhetoric & false logic & semantic confusion . . . and manage to deny the "bleeding obvious".

    Perhaps the isotopes Carbon-12 and Carbon-13 are not so very obvious to you, CThompson, but that is all the more excuse for you to go inform yourself - educate yourself - about carbon sources, carbon dioxide, the carbon cycles, photosynthesis & enzymatic affinities, etcetera.  Then you will see why you are wrong, and the climate scientists are right.


    How many climate scientists are there?  Certainly more than 79.  Depending on definition, there are hundreds . . . thousands . . . tens of thousands . . . even more.  There is no precise cut-off between climate scientists and "non-climate" scientists.  There is a spectrum ranging from the most expert (who do climate research & publish papers in reputable scientific journals) through to scientists whose area of expertise is only distantly related to climate.  And on through to the almost-famous "wood engineer" who, many years ago, signed the laughable Oregon Petition of 19,000+ people possessing a science degree, who denounced AGW.  (Denounced AGW, based on almost zero expertise in the field of climate science.)

    Relevantly, CThompson, the consensus studies show that the more climate science expertise a scientist has, the more likely he is to agree with the consensus.

    That is why, CThompson, you have failed to present an impressive list of names of (sane and credible) climate scientists who are not in the 99% consensus.  Because they are way less than 1%.   And if, from such a potential list, you subtracted :-  the "Emeritus" elderly dodderers, the political extremists, the fundamentalist religious extremists, and the delusional citizen-scientist  crackpots . . . then you would have close to zero real scientists left on your list.   That's why the consensus is more like 99% than 97% .

  • There is no consensus

    Daniel Bailey at 09:47 AM on 9 October, 2019

    There has long been a consensus among climate scientists, based on multiple types of scientific evidence, that greenhouse gas emissions are altering the Earth’s climate. The strength of the scientific consensus on climate change has been established by numerous research studies employing a variety of methods, including surveys of scientists (Carlton et al., 2015; Doran & Zimmermann, 2009; Rosenberg et al., 2010; Stenhouse et al., 2014; Verheggen et al., 2014), analysis of public statements in scientific assessment reports and multi-signatory statements about climate change (Anderegg et al., 2010), and analysis of peer-reviewed studies about climate change (Cook et al., 2013; Oreskes, 2004). These peer-reviewed studies demonstrate a consensus among climate science experts that humans are causing global warming. Estimates of the extent of the consensus among experts—climate scientists who publish peer-reviewed climate research—vary between 90 to 100%; as of 2016 the best estimate, based on a number of studies, was 97% (Cook et al., 2016).

    NASA’s climate change website presents the state of scientific knowledge about climate change.  This includes a webpage on the scientific consensus about human-caused climate change, which captures the robust nature of the scientific consensus by citing multiple peer-reviewed studies from research groups across the world. This approach for assessing and portraying the veracity and consensus of a research result, in this case the scientific consensus on climate change, is consistent with NASA’s scientific research portfolio – namely the reliance on up to date peer-reviewed scientific literature.

    Here’s a recap of the published research articles appearing in peer-reviewed refereed journals examining the ever-strengthening, consilient consensus present in the primary literature:

    A. Oreskes et al 2004 - The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change
    Science 03 Dec 2004, Vol. 306, Issue 5702, pp. 1686; DOI: 10.1126/science.1103618

    B. Doran and Zimmerman 2009 - Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change
    EOS, Volume 90, Issue 3, Pages 22–23, doi: 10.1029/2009EO030002

    C. Anderegg et al 2010 - Expert credibility in climate change
    PNAS, vol. 107 no. 27, 12107–12109, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1003187107

    D. Rosenberg et al 2010 - Climate change: a profile of US climate scientists’ perspectives
    Climatic Change, August 2010, Volume 101, Issue 3–4, pp 311–329; DOI 10.1007/s10584-009-9709-9

    E. Cook et al 2013 - Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature
    Environmental Research Letters, 15 May 2013, Volume 8, Number 2; doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024

    F. Verheggen et al 2014 - Scientists’ Views about Attribution of Global Warming
    Environ. Sci. Technol., 2014, 48 (16), pp 8963–8971, doi: 10.1021/es501998e

    G. Stenhouse et al 2014 - Meteorologists' Views About Global Warming: A Survey of American Meteorological Society Professional Members
    Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2014, Volume 95 No. 7, pp 1029–1040, doi: 10.1175/ BAMS-D-13-00091.1

    H. Carlton et al 2015 - The climate change consensus extends beyond climate scientists
    Environ. Res. Lett. 10 (2015) 094025, pp 1–12, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/9/094025

    I. Cook et al 2016 - Consensus on consensus: a synthesis of consensus estimates on human-caused global warming
    Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (2016) 048002, pp 1–7, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/4/048002

    Also linked from NASA’s Scientific Consensus page, but worthy of repeating, a list of scientific organizations that hold the position that Climate Change has been caused by human activities and actions.

    In essence, there aren’t any (as in none, not even one) national or international scientific societies disputing the conclusion that most of the warming since 1950 is very likely to be due to human emissions of greenhouse gases.

    To sum: the science underlying and affirming the human-causation is based on over 170 years of research, research integral to the science forming the structural framework of our modern world today.

    From weather balloons to airplanes, from Pershing-2 to cruise missiles guidance and delivery systems, from CD & DVD players to microwave ovens, and from cellphones, GPS locators, HD TVs and the Internet, the radiative physics of CO2 pervasively form the bedrock underpinning our technology today.

    And the ever-strengthening, consilient consensus present in the primary literature merely acknowledges that.

  • There is no consensus

    Eclectic at 15:34 PM on 29 September, 2019

    Errata @826 [perhaps you will later change name to Corrigenda?  ;-)   ]

    the SkepticalScience website is primarily about the science, not "opinion".

    Science is advanced by research - and is published in reputable peer-reviewed journals.  Not every such scientific article is perfect; but en masse and over time the published science has a very good track record (in the "hard sciences" that is ~ not so much in the "medical" or "psychological sciences".)

    That is why opinion is next to worthless ~ except where it is based on real science.

    And that is why opinion-fests such as the ones you mention ~ '12-years-to-climate breakdown' ; and '500-scientists-no-climate-emergency' ~ have little or no relevance to the important questions regarding the recent rapid warming of the physical world.

    The thread here about consensus is really just an indirect way of examining the mainstream climate science.  As I mentioned in my post #822 [above] . . . there are hardly any "climate-skeptical" scientists remaining.  Forty years ago, there was space for scientists to be skeptical about AGW ~ but the current state of "overwhelming consilient evidence" is so clear-cut that "contrarians" have nothing left apart from empty rhetoric to support their so-called position/positions.

    How and why . . . can you yourself benefit your scientific understanding, by spending time on the two rather political opinion-fests you cited?   This website [ "SkS" ] does have a weekly events section, where opinions can be expressed on more sociological aspects of AGW, if that's what you're wishing.  (But that's not really related to this thread's consensus topic. )

    And you'll find that the "500" scientists are talking a great deal of unscientific nonsense (their Motivated Reasoning comes from extremist political positions and from extremist religious positions . . . and they still  don't have any actual evidence to back themselves up ! ).

  • Medieval Warm Period was warmer

    Daniel Bailey at 08:36 AM on 27 August, 2019

    Time for some updates to this thread:

    "'No doubt left' about scientific consensus on global warming, say experts"

    The Guardian article then cites 3 brand-new studies, just published, which show that:

    "there has never been a period in the last 2,000 years when temperature changes have been as fast and extensive as in recent decades"

    PAGES 2K 2019 Figure 1A

    Neukom et al 2019 - No evidence for globally coherent warm and cold periods over the preindustrial Common Era

    PAGES 2K 2019 - Consistent multidecadal variability in global temperature reconstructions and simulations over the Common Era

    This paper should finally stop climate change deniers claiming that the recent observed coherent global warming is part of a natural climate cycle. This paper shows the truly stark difference between regional and localised changes in climate of the past and the truly global effect of anthropogenic greenhouse emissions,” said Mark Maslin, professor of climatology at University College London.

    Bronnimann et al 2019 - Last phase of the Little Ice Age forced by volcanic eruptions

    "global mean annual temperatures are higher now than any time in the last 2,000 years, with the middle of the 20th century either matching or exceeding Common Era temperatures as well"

    Tardif et al 2019 - Last Millennium Reanalysis with an expanded proxy database and seasonal proxy modeling

    But even when we push our perspective to the earliest days of the Roman Empire, we cannot discern any event that is remotely equivalent — either in degree or extent — to the warming over the last few decades.”

    St George 2019 - Aberrant synchrony of present-day warming

    Related LINK

    This skeptic meme is stone dead.  Stick a fork in it, it's done.

  • There is no consensus

    CThompson at 19:29 PM on 25 August, 2019

    I think the whole problem I have with this alleged "scientific consensus" claim is the symantic gymnastics it is they engage in. To hear them talk, ALL scientists, or even ALL climate scientists, agree that climate change is happening and humans are responsible. However, and we'll use the Doran study in this example, we find out that actually isn't the case. If we analyze the Doran study and break it down, 10,257 earth scientists were asked to participate in an online survey. Of those, only 3,146 of those asked participated in the study. And, of those 3,146 earth scientists, 5% were climate scientists. That means some approximate 158 of them were climate scientists. Now, surely, there are more climate scientists than 158 and, there's certainly more earth scientists than 3,146 of them and, we can feel pretty confident that there's more scientists than the 10,257 that were asked to participate. So, that certainly isn't ALL scientists as we might be led, by illusion, into believing. Worldwide, I'd like somebody to tell me approximately how many scientists there are in total to qualify any claim that ALL scientists reach this consensus. I'm betting there's WAY more than 10,000, or 3,000 or, 158. So, where do they get off trying to present this illusion that ALL scientists have this consensus. Then, another article I read said that all articles where the abstracts endorse AGW. Well, if the abstract endorses AGW, of course the author is going to endorse AGW as AGW means Anthropogenic Global Warming. Why would they write an article about it if they don't endorse it? And, of course, these people have made it their academic career to be indoctrinated into the AGW camp. If anyone is looking for an objective opinion about AGW, they certainly don't go to someone who has been taught throughout their entire academic career that human kind is responsible for climate change.

  • Millions of times later, 97 percent climate consensus still faces denial

    MA Rodger at 20:37 PM on 20 August, 2019

    Doug_C @21/22 & @25.
    I think we are mainly talking past each other here. Perhaps to complete the trade of AGW 'credentials', I have been bashing on about the need to reduce our GHG emissions for only 38% of my life-to-date. I very quickly learnt that such a message is not something that easily yields meaningful results.

    We agree that the scientific uncertainty within the subject is not the uncertainty wielded by denialists, although they will happily add it to their own accumulated pile of uncertainties. We agree there is no doubt that the scientific consensus dictates the need to quickly reduce GHG emissions to zero. And we seem to agree that the 3% non-consensus is today entirely non-scientific.

    You do react to my assertion that there is scientifically a "looney fringe" that happily exaggerates AGW and which matches that denialist 3%. It is not as prominent as the 3% and it isn't so detatched from the science as the 3%. (And there are those non-scientific voices that exaggerate AGW even further.) Such exaggeration is often wielded by denialists as reason to ignore the science.
    [Strangely there has been warning from denier Richard Lindzen that the most basic non-scientific denialist argument is damaging to his denialism (He says you couldn't hire folk to do a better job - see from 12:00 in this 2012 talk in the Palace of Westminster.) but such mud doesn't seem to stick to denialists as it does to AGW.]

    One point I would take serious issue with.
    You consider "even a 5% chance we are facing a global crisis of this magnitude it should result in immediate action.[my bold]"  Yet I fully understand why, within the political sphere, that would not happen. The big problem is not the '5%' (which of course is actually a lot higher, not significantly different to 100%). The big problems are threefold - (1) the timing of the "global crisis" in the future way beyond any political planning horizons (with the exception of SLR on building requirements). (2) the far-reaching actions required by that "immediate action." (3) and what can be called 'institutional denialism' - your Trans Mountain pipeline provides a good example of the lunacy that can ensue. Unless the message sweeps the institution, the counter message of 'continue-on-as-before' will have great strength and will tend to regain its prior position. So bye-bye message.

    I will continue to object to use of the word "existential" without qualification. And the extinction of species and habitats is surely not such a qualification. (Note that denialists will counter by saying that the present sixth great extinction event isn't all down to AGW. And there are more powerful arguments that they fail to harness.)

    Finally, I'm reluctant to drag Quantum Mechanics into this interchange as it is certainly not of primary consideration. Yes QM does provide the "understanding" of the physics but the impact of the physics is measureable without it, perhaps this epitomised by black body radiation being the evidence that led to identifying QM and its probabalistic physics.

    @25 - "How do you reason with people who have strayed so far from rational thought?"  Reason may have flown out of their window but do we give them a free pass to spread their nonsense? If you can make their arguments look ridiculous it will perhaps chip away at their denialism and it will surely dissuade onlookers from believing it.

  • Millions of times later, 97 percent climate consensus still faces denial

    Eclectic at 16:34 PM on 20 August, 2019

    Doug_C @25 , 

    Quite so.   No reasoning with denialists.   At the present state of climate scientific knowledge, one can only be a "denialist/skeptic/contrarian"  by being intellectually insane.

    Fair enough, to point out to Dr Tim Ball (self-alleged "Professor of Climatology") how wrong he is . . . but in doing so, you are "playing to the audience", but you waste your time playing to him himself.

    # Despite years of complete disappointment, I still read some of WUWT (and ClimateEtc ) from time to time, in the ongoing hope of discovering some important & valid argument against AGW.   Nothing at all of that sort discovered, yet.   (You may know ClimateEtc  as a kind of upmarket WUWT , but with much less frothing-at-the-mouth in the comments columns.)

    Occasionally in WUWT articles, there are some minor points of interest (points I had been unaware of).   Most of the articles are tiresome in the puerility of their propaganda slant.   The comments columns, I skim at speed (looking for the several "names" where I can expect sensible/insightful comments e.g. Nick Stokes, Steve Mosher, and a very few others — all of whom get excoriated by the hoi polloi  of usual commenters).   There is some entertainment value in viewing the bedlam antics of the usual commenters — of whom, half or more are in full denial of the GHE and the physics of CO2's radiative properties.   And I confess to a feeling of Schadenfreude  in viewing the insanity of these people's delusional Motivated Reasoning . . . but I find a spoonful goes a long way !

    To return to Dr Tim Ball — if I see his name as author of an article, then I skip reading any of it.   Along with a few other names there, such authorship indicates that reading the article will always  be an utter waste of time.   Utter.    Similarly to reading the computations & ratiocinations of Monckton (or any inventor of a Perpetual Motion Machine) -— you know that somewhere in the verbiage is a serious error . . . and so you needn't bother reading any of it.

    Monckton's various "re-calculations" of the 97% consensus, are in the same boat.

  • Millions of times later, 97 percent climate consensus still faces denial

    BillyJoe at 15:43 PM on 20 August, 2019

    Thanks again for the replies.

    I am well aware that the climate deniers wil use every trick in the book, honest or dishonest, to discredit climate science, including all those studies about the consensus, including the most recent that puts it at over 99%. 

    There is just no point in giving them a "gotcha".

    Even if you think "mainly", "primarily", and "largely" are similar, it is not what was in the study which said "primarily" . And "extremely" in the following quote from the above article is clearly incorrect:

    “Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.”

    Again, al I am saying is don't give them a "gotcha" (and I have seen this "gotcha" used many times on internet forums).

  • Millions of times later, 97 percent climate consensus still faces denial

    nigelj at 11:22 AM on 20 August, 2019

    Billy Joe @17, I agree. The Cook study is fine but seems a little inconsistent with some statements in the article. I'm not going to say more, but as you say dont give the denialists ammunition on a plate.

  • Millions of times later, 97 percent climate consensus still faces denial

    Doug_C at 06:28 AM on 20 August, 2019

    I've been following this critical issue for more than half my life. In the mid 1980s the science was sound from what I could see and it has just gained confidence in the subsequent decades while the real world catastrophic impacts are seen all around us.

    I find it inconceivable we are still discussing consensus or uncertainty on an existential issue. If there was even a 5% chance we are facing a global crisis of this magnitude it should result in immediate action and an end to meaningless speculation. But the chances even with conservative studies places the chances at over 95%.

    There is no elite climate research institute that is about to release a groundbreaking study that this was all some mammoth misunderstanding and we'll all be fine now. Instead we are now in a position of trying to save as much of the biosphere as we can before the impacts of our actions become so catastrophic that there will be no coherent response possible in the chaos of climate change emergency after emergency.

    The systemic cognitive dissonance over this issue is staggering. In Canada we are going into a fall election and one of the central issue still remains "is climate change real", there is a discussion of it this afternoon on our national broadcaster CBC.

    Earlier this year the current government declared a "climate crisis" in Parliament one day and the next approved for the third time the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that would eventually be piping to terminal almost 1 million barrels of dilbit from the Athabaska tar sands. One of the most carbon intensive sources of energy on the planet. Our government has already spent $4.5 billion buying the current pipeline and will have to put in more than that to triple the line.

    The fossil fuel sector here indicates no sense of emergency at all, the new Premier of Alberta which drives energy policy in Canada has effectively declared war on the science of fossil fuels driven climate change.

    Jason Kenney touts $30M 'war room' but provides few details


    There is no scientifically meaningful uncertainty left over whether climate change is occuring or the most likely forcing based on not just decades but centuries of science. Just politically motivated efforts to deny it.

  • Millions of times later, 97 percent climate consensus still faces denial

    MA Rodger at 00:40 AM on 20 August, 2019

    Doug_C @19,

    I rather disagree with your comment or at least feel it sould be better explained.

    There are certainly differing qualities of work that comprise denialism. There is a large protion of that denialist work that is incompatable with very basic science. (I'm not sure that your mention of Quantum Mechanics is entirely correct or helpful to your assessment.) There is also a large protion of that denialist work that is incompatable with scientific data and thus contrdicts the resulting inferences that can be established by that data. None of this is a great distance from your comment.

    What I don't see is any remaining denialist work that is properly supported by evidence. The entirety of the 3% sitting beyond the 'consensus' is surely incompatable with the scientific data and it is actually not a proper constituent part of the science.

    What I particularly feel is a step too far is suggesting that:-

    "The few percents of research that show doubt are simply there as part of the uncertainty that is inherent in science, it may as well be stated in terms of a 100% consensus when it comes to evidence driving policy on global warming."

    This statement is saying that there exists "uncertainty ... inherent in (the) science" which is exactly the denialist message. The likes of, say, Richard Lindzen or Judith Curry who constitute the 3% outside the 'consensus' will argue that there is enough uncertainty to infer that Climate Sensitivity is low and thus AGW will not be a problem.

    Now, we can see that Lindzen with his cloud iris theorising or Curry with her large natural climate wobbles are part of the scientific process. But the doubt they may have sown scientifically is long dispelled. What we are left with is the likes of Lindzen & Curry continuing to spread their now-unscientific message to policymakers as though it was legitimate science. It is unscientific to represent these messages as scientific and their messages ar become part of the "finely tuned stream of disinformation" (although the "tuning" may not be a conscious process on their part).

    And masquerading as legitimate science, their message can then be presented as though it had the same scientific standing as the IPCC Assessment Reports rather than a loony fringe opinion, indeed one balanced by those who grossly exaggerate AGW.

    I note you use the word "existential" without making plain to what it applies - ie what it is that has its existence threatened by AGW. I would suggest that it is but that loony fringe (that is balanced by the denialist looney fringe) that describes AGW as an existential threat to the human race when AGW is surely only an existential threat to the world economy whose collapse would not be a pretty sight and likely reduce human populations to a fraction of today's total.

  • Millions of times later, 97 percent climate consensus still faces denial

    BillyJoe at 10:23 AM on 18 August, 2019

    Maybe I'm just being pedantic here but you made four different statements about the consenus in this article, each one less emphatic than the one before:


    “Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.”


    "So, what is the real percentage of climate researchers who agree that climate change is largely man-made?"


    "Our team’s review of the abstracts yielded a 97.1 percent consensus that humans are primarily responsible for recent global warming;" 


    "we demonstrated that between 90 and 100 percent of climate scientists and their peer-reviewed research agree that humans are the main cause of recent global warming"

    I have seen this criticised in the climate denying  blogosphere. They quote the more emphatic statements and show with quotes from the paper that this is not justified.

    Would you please clarify.

  • The consensus on consensus messaging

    nigelj at 07:28 AM on 12 August, 2019

    I think we all need to push hard to try to get the consensus studies mentioned more in the daily newspaper media and the like. The media might resist this, because it suggests the scientific debate is really largely over, and the media prefer to keep controversies going because it gets people buying their product, but try anyway.

  • The consensus on consensus messaging

    Loz73 at 10:45 AM on 11 August, 2019

    In Australia the reason that, “Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming with the scientific community” (Nigelj) is that no Australian scientist has ever persisted in telling them otherwise. As a retired biological scientist with 10 years of activism in BREAZE (Ballarat Renewable Energy & Zero Emissions) I am in a state of despair. Parts of Australia are in the worst drought in history; the Barrier Reef and the Murray Darling basin are in terminal decline; our Prime Minister fondled a lump of coal in parliament and told us not to be afraid; and neither of the main political parties opposed the giant Adani mine. Virulent attacks on young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and school strikers here confirm how terrified those on the hard right of politics and media are of the youthful threat but they’re nowhere near terrified enough yet. As the life support systems of all creatures face extinction, though, comment by Australia’s climate scientists continues to be so subdued as to be ineffectual.
    Scientists have one last chance of redemption. It doesn't involve the safe pathway of publishing ever more articles in prestigious journals to fine-tune what we already know. Instead, we are suggesting that climate scientist show leadership and join students to form an alliance that cannot be silenced. If we are to avoid the catastrophe of a 2 degree temperature rise we need activism on the scale of the Vietnam era protests, with kids in every school screaming for action and screaming for their parents to support it, and we need to have kids supported by loud and hard evidence from fearless scientists. Now is the time for action and hope.

  • There is no consensus

    cstrouss at 17:23 PM on 10 August, 2019

    Eclectic wrote:

    >>> the scientific consensus is about the science, not the political response required. <<<

    Yes, and I'm trying to keep that distinction clear. The consensus is that there is a problem. And given the inherently geo-political nature of the problem, I have not yet seen a workable solution proposed, let alone any wide consensus on it. In fact I very rarely see mention of the logarithmic nature of the problem, which is what makes it so intractable.

    Is there another forum where those issues are discussed?

    >>> ... the facts indicate that it would be foolish to delay the conversion to a renewables-based economy. Is there any other conclusion to be drawn from the consensus? <<<

    Well again we have to be clear on what the consensus is. This thread is about documenting and quanitfying the consensus that AGW exists, not about its scope or the urgency of solutions. Some have asserted in the last few comments that the consensus is that the latest IPCC report is correct, which is a step in that direction, but there is no evidence presented for that or how wide the consensus may be.

    >>> Cstrouss, if you have a point to make then please make it clearly and simply (and on another, more appropriate thread). <<<

    I agree, my question has been answered... the consensus is that AGW exists, as indicated in the formal proposition in the header, and consistent with my other reading. I'm not the one continuing the discussion into separate issues, like the severity, urgency, and strategies.

    I wrote:

    "...That the AGW hypothesis is true... Or that there it is a catastrophic situation and humans must immediately... <<<

    Rob Honeycutt responded:

    >>> Why is this an either/or question? Can they not both be true? <<<

    They can both be true, but are they both the consensus? If the consensus includes the latter, could you present evidence of that?

    >>> What you're doing, though, is running off into hyperbole... <<<

    Yes, guilty, that one thing was a bit overboard. My point is that what is being proposed are some very radical solutions with no real return, unless you go with the idea that if the USA spends a great deal of money, the rest of the world, including much poorer and rapidly developing regions will follow. (I heard Sanders say something along those lines the other day.)

    But of course that gets far outside the domain of climate science. It is a matter for political science and psychology, and necessarily involves a tremendous amount of speculation.

    >>> Therein lay the problem. Yes, if we continue to burn everything we can get dig out of the earth, most scientists will likely agree that would probably mean a total collapse of modern civilization. Lots of death, destruction and suffering. <<<

    Now who is engaging in hyperbole? Are we digging everything we can out of the earth? And if so, who is proposing that we continue doing that? Is the collapse of civilization with continued CO2 emissions also part of the consensus? Documentation?

    >>> Can we avoid that? Yes, of course. We are going to see significant challenges and costs due to our emissions so far. We are already seeing very good signs of progress with the cost of wind and solar continuing to fall. But there are so many more challenges we're going to see. <<<

    Again, we agree on that. I think it is great for wealthy people in wealthy nations to voluntarily adopt more expensive alternative forms of energy. In fact all of my super affluent friends are already making great strides, except for their regular jet travel.

    And no doubt progress is being made on the technology, and the small-scale interim deployments have been helping to refine the tech.  I have two good friends who have been working as engineers on photovoltaic systems for at least 25 years. They tell me we can expect a lot of changes in the next 20 years.

    The issue is what to do with the less affluent population. Will I be left behind? And even though I'm in the lower end of income in the USA, I'm still in the upper end in the world. I can barely afford one tank of gas per month in my 20 year old compact car now.

    I know that places where large numbers of people are rising out of dire poverty for the first time, like areas in Asia and Africa, are on the ragged edge of affording energy in the first place. Even when alternatives are CLOSE to fossil fuel costs, that is a luxury they will not be able to afford. I'm sure you're aware of studies that show people will only sacrifice to improve their natural environment after a certain level of affluence is attained.

    I'm sure you'll agree that it will not address the problem if the richest 20% reduce their emissions by 50%, when a billion or two people are increasing their consumption a great deal from virtually zero. So any attempts to force those nations and people to reduce (instead of increase) their use of fossil fuels will only happen if those rich nations are willing to foot the bill for alternative electrification. Certainly it is technically feasible, and would make a lot of sense, since distributed solar is a more efficient way of building rural electrical systems than power plants and long wired grids, but I have not heard this level of financial assistance being proposed.

    >>> Nothing I'm saying here is controversial, and I believe this would all fall within the definition of the "scientific consensus on AGW." <<<

    Well now we're getting back on topic. Is that your opinion, or do you have studies to back it? This thread refers to several studies that document a strong consensus that AGW EXISTS. I have not scoured the whole thing, but I have not seen any evidence to quantify the consensus for stronger propositions. Certainly that would have to be considerably less than the approximately 97% which apparently accept the minimalist proposition.

    >>> Here's what should give you the most concern about all this: thermal inertia.... Best case scenario says we'll be able to bring emissions to zero by ~2050. That means continued warming through 2080 at a minimum. <<<

    Yes yes, I understand that. But I have not heard any suggestions on how global emissions could realistically go to zero by 2050.

    michael sweet wrote:

    >> It is too bad that you canot afford future electric cars. According to this white paper put out by BNP Paribas (the eighth largest bank in the world) between 2020 and 2022 electric cars using renewable energy (wind and solar) will be by far the cheapest cars. You will be spending more to pollute the air for the rest of us. <<<

    Wow, I'm really sorry I'm so poor I have to inconvenience rich people who can afford new cars. Thank you for the compassion and understanding for those less fortunate than yourself. And by the way, any solutions that do not address the issues of the less affluent masses will never happen.

    By the time a 2020 electric car is affordable for people like me who need simple, reliable 20 year old cars, I'll be dead. Also, given battery life issues, it isn't clear whether any 2020 models will still be serviceable when they are 20 years old.

    >>>... You show your true colors when you call Greta Thunberg an actor. <<<

    I tried to research her. Certainly her parents and grandfather are in show biz. I couldn't find much else about her, but I'm going to assume she is not a published climate scientist who did original research. She seems to be repeating what others have told her... in other words, a celebrity spokesperson, and not a source.

    Rob Honeycutt wrote:

    >>> This is a genuinely bizarre statement: "Most of the IPCC signatories don't even agree with the entire report. So the IPCC report is not the consensus."... I'm very curious where you picked that up. <<<

    Yeah, me too... I can't find it again now. I have seen interviews with signatories who were critical of how the process was segmented, and who very displeased with how the politicians tacked on a "summary for policymakers" that did not follow from the scientific parts of the report.

    And I've read letters from other sigantories who have clarified that they do not agree with all of the conclusions, which of course is inevitable, as you won't ever get 2500 people to agree with everything in a long document, or even 97% of them.

    But since I can't find my references at the moment, I'll retract it unless and until I can document it. Meanwhile, I think the burden of proof is on those who assert that the IPCC report does represent a community-wide consensus.

  • There is no consensus

    Rob Honeycutt at 09:21 AM on 10 August, 2019


    "That the AGW hypothesis is true and it will have increasing implications on global weather patterns? Or that there it is a catastrophic situation and human must immediately and completely restructure our social and economic systems if the species is to survive?

    Why is this an either/or question? Can they not both be true?

    Think of climate change impacts as a sliding scale that vary based on our total emissions. Within a reasonable range of uncertainty, probably the best understood elements of AGW are the basics of radiative forcing and the response in global mean temperature. The concensus is that we'll likely see about 2.8°C of warming for each doubling of CO2 over preindustrial levels. I think almost every scientist working in the field would agree with that statement.

    We also know for certain, the more we push the system, the more damage we're ultimately going to see. Again, that's not a controversial statement for scientists.

    What you're doing, though, is running off into hyperbole. I don't think many scientists would agree that we must "...immediately and completely restructure our social and economic systems if the species is to survive." Our species is likely to survive whatever happens. We're extraordinarily adaptable. But, most of the natural world that we rely on to sustain 7+ billion people on the planet is not nearly as adaptable as we are.

    Therein lay the problem. Yes, if we continue to burn everything we can get dig out of the earth, most scientists will likely agree that would probably mean a total collapse of modern civilization. Lots of death, destruction and suffering.

    Can we avoid that? Yes, of course. We are going to see significant challenges and costs due to our emissions so far. We are already seeing very good signs of progress with the cost of wind and solar continuing to fall. But there are so many more challenges we're going to see.

    Nothing I'm saying here is controversial, and I believe this would all fall within the definition of the "scientific consensus on AGW." 

    Here's what should give you the most concern about all this: thermal inertia.

    I hope you agree that we are now seeing many of the impacts of climate change starting to emerge. Melting ice sheets, extreme weather events, heat waves, etc. Now, consider that there is a 30 year lag in the climate system since most of the heat goes into the world's oceans. That heat takes time to come into equilibrium with the land, ice and atmosphere. Thus the impacts we're seeing today are the result of where CO2 levels were some 30 years ago. 

    If we were to stop all carbon emissions tomorrow the planet would continue to warm through the middle of this century. If we're seeing impacts already you can bet your bottom dollar they're going to start getting a lot worse over the coming three decades. Best case scenario says we'll be able to bring emissions to zero by ~2050. That means continued warming through 2080 at a minimum.

    Also consider that, in the past at 450ppmv CO2 levels, there were no ice sheets on this planet. The planet was too warm to sustain them. It'll take another 1000 years to melt them entirely, but we're talking about sea levels rising to up to 70m over the coming centuries. That's a completely different planet than we currently live on. No Florida at all. It's gone. LA, SF, NYC, Tokyo, and 100's of other cities. All under water. 

    It's not the end of our species but replacing entire cities ain't gonna be cheap. The better investment is to reduce our carbon emissions as quickly as we can and keep CO2 levels as low as we possibly can. That's an enormous task. It's one that needs to happen fast.

    Again, none of this is controversial. Gore, DiCaprio and Thunberg are not scientists but they are doing their level best to help convey to the world what is overwhelmingly agreed in the scientific community.

  • There is no consensus

    Eclectic at 09:18 AM on 10 August, 2019

    Cstrouss , 

    the scientific consensus is about the science, not the political response required.

    The so-called Green New Deal which might "radically transform" the U.S. economy (in less than 12 years?!?! ) . . . is mere fanciful hyperbole.   Nor would it directly involve the other 95% of the world's population.

    Cstrouss, you are using the GND as a strawman (straw-woman??).   Please take a sensible look at the scientific facts — and the facts indicate that it would be foolish to delay the conversion to a renewables-based economy.  Is there any other conclusion to be drawn from the consensus?

    Cstrouss, if you have a point to make then please make it clearly and simply (and on another, more appropriate thread).

    No need for straw.

  • There is no consensus

    Eclectic at 01:50 AM on 10 August, 2019

    Cstrouss , you give the strong impression you are not really interested in the climate science or the scientific consensus.

    Are you interested in the consensus of the world's leading economists — which is that the cost of not  taking action against AGW is far, far higher than the cost of phasing-in "renewables" to replace fossil-fuels.

    It is grossly alarmist to represent that "renewables" change-over as the immediate and complete restructure of our social and economic systems . . . don't you think ?

  • There is no consensus

    cstrouss at 01:20 AM on 10 August, 2019

    Michael:  Seriously, you're pointing to a 16 year old Swedish actress as a source of information?  Why not that kid from Titanic?  He made a movie about climate, too.

    I've actually answered my own question now, as I'm learning to use this site, and you got the consensus very wrong. The "advanced" tab gives the actual proposition: "Surveys of the peer-reviewed scientific literature and the opinions of experts consistently show a 97–98% consensus that humans are causing global warming." 

    Most of the IPCC signatories don't even agree with the entire report.  So the IPCC report is not the consensus.

    Also, it's wrong to suggest that everyone who isn't a full bore alarmist is an oil industry shill. If it's all about bias, let's not forget that Gore became extremely wealthy with his "post-carbon" portfolio, but his profit motive does not invalidate his arguments. 

    As far as an indisputable expert who I think is reasonably unbiased and presents a non-alarmist position, my first thought would be to point to Cliff Mass at University of Washington.

     So then there are deeper questions... What can realistically be done to slow or mitigate AGW, given the global political implications, the millions of people rising out of poverty, and the logarithmic nature of the greenhouse effect.. but that is not the topic for this thread.

    The consensus being discussed in this thread is clear... AGW exists, which is a rather trivial conclusion... so I will search elsewhere on the site to see if anyone is diving into the more complicated and practical issues.

  • There is no consensus

    michael sweet at 22:16 PM on 9 August, 2019


    There are different measures of the consensus but Cook et al used the IPCC reports.  Since these are scientific reports that have been accepted line by line by all nations in the world they are a god pace to start.  Many people feel that they are too conservative but deniers say scientists are all alarmists.

    The most recent IPCC report says that we have only 12 years from January 1, 2018 to reduce emissions to zero if we want to limit waring to 1.5C.  For that we have a 66% chance of keeping warming less than 1.5C.  Already we have severe heat waves: over 75,000 hospitalized in Japan alone.  Half of the Great Barrior reef is dead.  Unprecedented floods in the US this year have seriously lowered food production.  If we succeed, little action has been taken as yet, we still have a 33% chance of greater than 1.5C.  

    10 years ago I wondered if I would see the effects of climate change in my lifetime (I am currently 60).  Now we see terrible floods and heatwaves.  Houses and towns are flooded by record rainfall and affected by sea level rise.  Many migrants coming to the US are fleeing AGW caused drought. Gore underestimated the problems in his movie.  The changes currently at 1C are dramatic.  How bad do they have to get before you become concerned?

    Watch some of Greta Thunbergs talks on line.  She speaks clearly about the science and does not pull punches.  As she says, this is an emergency and shoud be treated as such.

    Your suggestion that there are two sides is inaccurate.  One side is what people who have studied climate for 100 years have learned and the other is what fossil fuel executives tell you.  One side only cares about what will happen to their chilldren and the other only cares about their bonus this quarter.  Who do you trust?

  • The consensus on consensus messaging

    One Planet Only Forever at 03:10 AM on 9 August, 2019

    My efforts to constantly improve my awareness and understanding of what is going on have developed a personal understanding (open to improvement by the presentation of Good Reason to change it) that, to limit the amount of harm done by pursuits of status (power, popularity or profit), the acceptability, merit, or value of actions must be based on the helpfulness of the actions to the development of sustainable improvements (benefits for the future of humanity including benefiting those yet unborn in the distant future). The Sustainable Development Goals are a robust basis for determining the proper value or merit of actions. They include Climate Action Goals which are directly associated with the IPCC actions and the Paris Agreement and their constant improvement.

    Of course, improving awareness and understanding of the climate science consensus is not the only required helpful action. However, it is undeniably a helpful action (no scientific investigation basis required to confirm that it is helpful). And it is not harmful to the achievement of the required corrections of developed human activity. But it undeniably will face unjustified resistance from people who deserve to lose perceptions of status that have been obtained through harmful unsustainable actions.

    Similarly, putting a significant surcharge onto CO2 emissions from fossil fuels is not the only helpful corrective action. And all of the Sustainable Development Goals need to be achieved not just the Climate Action Goal.

    There is undeniably a diversity of resistance to correction of many aspects of the developed status quo, particularly resistance to correcting incorrectly developed perceptions of 'status' and the related 'stories made-up, and made popular, to defend the status quo from being questioned and corrected'.

    Attempts to argue against efforts to improve awareness and understanding of the consensus of understanding regarding climate science and the related impacts of human activities beg an explanation. A well reasoned consideration of the issue, without a rigorous science investigation basis (abductive reasoning applied to best explain what is observed to be going on), should conclude that such an action is helpful, not harmful, to efforts to increase the rate of correction of developed human beliefs and related harmful unsustainable activities. That leads to fairly obvious questions:

    • What is the reason for criticism of efforts to helpfully improve awareness and understanding?
    • Are the critics attempting to limit the rate of improvement of awareness and understanding of the required corrections of developed popular and profitable, but undeniably unsustainable and harmful, human activity?
    • Are the critics trying to defend unjustified perceptions of status obtained by some members of current day humanity via harmful unsustainable actions?

    Undeniably, undeserving wealthy powerful people have many ways to effectively influence the stories that get told, how they are told, and how prominently they are promoted. The Propaganda Model (PM) developed by Edward S. Herman and presented in “Manufacturing Consent” in 1988 (with assistance from Noam Chomsky), predicts that powerful interests are able to significantly influence the people who tell stories to the population - manufacturing the stories that become common beliefs or understandings. It predicts that part of the attack on the climate science identification of corrective actions would be restricting the opportunity for reward or positive recognition of any promoter of the improved understanding, including unjust attacks on the character of such promoters. That type of pressure, or the awareness of its potential to be applied, could make very smart people question the merit or value of promoting the climate science consensus.

    The PM also predicts that the resistance to the efforts to improve awareness and understanding that is contrary to the interests of the powerful in the developed status quo in Free Market Capitalism driven cultures would include claiming that the corrective actions are Socialist plots (or communist or terrorist or any other developed label that can be successfully unjustifiably applied in efforts to maintain or prolong stories, beliefs and perceptions that are actually undeniably unsustainable because they are harmful to the future of humanity).

  • The consensus on consensus messaging

    nigelj at 17:40 PM on 7 August, 2019

    The fact that research shows that communicating consensus studies to the public has a positive effect should come as no surprise. Just look at the deniers tactics, and they have years of experience delaying action on tobacco etc, so they know what works without needing research on the matter:

    "Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming with the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate, and defer to scientists and other experts in the field.” (Frank Luntz)

  • In 1982, Exxon accurately predicted global warming

    michael sweet at 19:34 PM on 30 July, 2019


    You should have a section on Greta Thunberg.  She is the same age as your students.  She is the most successful climate campainer in the world.  Perhaps your students will want to start a group to support her or school strike on Fridays.

    When I taught AP Chemistry I used several data sites to introduce AGW.  If you want to use denier information you will only confuse your students, they cannot evaluate data very well.  Most are familiar with the denier side since Exxxon's propaganda arm is so strong.  If you choose to use denier data I think you should view this sketch from John Oliver first:

    John Oliver 97% 

    I find that students like to see the data themselves and did not care about what I thought.  I used the NSIDC web site for the retreat of Arctic Sea Ice.  The minimum is around September 15 and the NSIDC October report around October 5 will cover sea ice in detail.  It is written at a level AP students can read.  This year is very low.  If you look at the NSIDC site the first week of school you can follow to see what the final result will be.  

    The NOAA annual climate report (2018 linked) describes the global temperature.  They have a USA only report and have monthly reports also.  I only used the annual reports.  The annual report comes out around January 15.  I like this graph linked at the start of their global report:  There is a similar US only graph. 

    It is possible to find data for the city you live in but that data is often very noisy and hard to interpret.

    My students did not like the IPCC reports because they wanted to only see US data.  The Fourth National Climate Report, issued by the Trump Admministration, has many sections that describe most of the expected affects already measured and expected in the USA.  I recommend you focus on this report since it is so authorative and is USA based.  Since this report is so long you could make your unit as long or short as you like by reading more of it.  I had students choose a section and write a report on the affects expected for the area they were most interested in.

    All of these data sets are accepted by everyone.  There is no need to offer the "other side" since only one set of data exists.  If you view the Michals video you will only be indoctrinating vunerable students with false propaganda.  Perhaps at the very end of your unit you could view it and point out his mistakes.  Time how long you view it and only give 1% of your time to it (the scientific consensus is now 99% and not 97% so more than 1% for deniers means you are pushing their points).  There is not really a denier position, they all disagree with each other and change their arguments every sentence to suit the wind.

    Ask here for more information.  If you describe in more detail what you want we can be more specific in reply.

  • 97% consensus study hits one million downloads!

    Daniel Bailey at 08:40 AM on 25 July, 2019

    From a science perspective, the most-important sound-bite of that Guardian article is this:

    This paper should finally stop climate change deniers claiming that the recent observed coherent global warming is part of a natural climate cycle. This paper shows the truly stark difference between regional and localised changes in climate of the past and the truly global effect of anthropogenic greenhouse emissions,” said Mark Maslin, professor of climatology at University College London.

  • 97% consensus study hits one million downloads!

    John Hartz at 07:34 AM on 25 July, 2019

    In this Guardian article posted today, Jonathan Watts extensively quotes John Cook about the consensus in a light of three new peer-reviewed papers published in Nature. The article:

    No doubt left’ about scientific consensus on global warming, say experts by Jonathan Watts, Environment, Guardian, July 24, 2019

    Two relevant paragraphs from the article:

    A 2013 study in Environmental Research Letters found 97% of climate scientists agreed with this link in 12,000 academic papers that contained the words “global warming” or “global climate change” from 1991 to 2011. Last week, that paper hit 1m downloads, making it the most accessed paper ever among the 80+ journals published by the Institute of Physics, according to the authors.

    The pushback has been political rather than scientific. In the US, the rightwing thinktank the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CPI) is reportedly putting pressure on Nasa to remove a reference to the 97% study from its webpage. The CPI has received event funding from the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers and Charles Koch Institute, which have much to lose from a transition to a low-carbon economy.

    On one hand, that the Competitive Resource Institute and its powerful conservative backers are pressuring NASA to remove its page on consensus messaging from its website is indeed disturbing. On the other hand, this effort reveals how powerful the consensu messaging is because the climate science denier community is working hard to suppress it.

  • Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    michael sweet at 10:02 AM on 14 July, 2019


    I do not usually discuss safety so I did not have citations at hand.  Reading some background information I find that the National Academy of Science BEIR VII report, the most recent of 7 NAS reports on radiation, very strongly supports the use of linear response no threshold.  The US Nuclear Regulatory Commision also uses LRNT.  Apparently every health organization in the world and every nuclear regulatory organization in the world use LRNT.  Your claim that you think LRNT is bunk just proves that you do not care how many people the nuclear industry kills.  

    Apparently nuclear industry shills in the USA oppose the use of LRNT without any supporting data.  The nuclear industry does not want to accept responsibility for the people they kill with their nuclear catastrophes.  

    Since the NAS report shows your claims on LRNT are false I have absolutely no confidence in your wild claims that unbuilt designs will be safer than current unsafe reactors.  In any case, it is extremely unlikely they will be available before renewable energy has been built out for all energy.  And they will be too expensive.  Nuscale executives have publicly stated that they require a several hundred billion dollar contract from the government to build their factory.  Some free market.

    You have not addressed Abbotts claims that enough rare metals do not exist to build out a significant amount of nuclear.  To start out there is not enough uranium, beryllium, hafnium, zirconium or vanadium.

    The nuclear industry is responsible for the people they killed during the required evacuations from Chernobyl and Fukushima.  No responsible person would leave people next to burning and exploding reactors.  Your excuses only show you do not care how many people the nuclear industry kills.

    I suggest again that you should change the subject to something that will support your argument better.  From my position you have just proven that nuclear supporters do not care how many people they kill. There is an overwhelming scientific consensus for LRNT among health professionals who care how many people are killed.

  • CO2 effect is saturated

    jjworld at 12:04 PM on 1 July, 2019

    michael sweet @506, instructing readers to blindly accept the IPCC summary and not "waste" time trying to understand the atmosphere is not wise if you are trying to gain consensus. There is no scientific method that ends in "trust me". 

    I'm focused on mathematics and, to a lesser extent, the physics of the arguments and most of the posts on this science seem reasonable and well-intentioned. I've been studying the IPCC reports and find it difficult to opine without more research. This site is typically useful although I find the proponents of ACG less reasonable than the skeptics. 

    On the topic of CO2 saturation, the math is not necessarily flawed, but the assumptions are immense and I'm not at all comfortable with the magnitude of error analysis required to reach some of the conclusions. For example, identifying the factors that support a convective heating model with CO2 are statistically impossible. Anthropogenic CO2 is approximately 0.0012% of the atmosphere. But the anthropogenic concentration would have to be increasing dramatically to support the 400ppm if the natural portion were to be static. Of course, we know that the natural portion of the CO2 concentration has increased in recent decades as the planet has been greening. This is the first of many assumptions that do not have much scientific basis. We know the current concentration and its fluctuations through a 12-month cycle. We know natural CO2 has increased although we don't know entirely from where. We know anthropogenic concentrations have increased although we don't know how much is being contributed from each continent. We know that reflective heating has almost peaked. So the assumption is convection but we don't know how much of the convective heating is due to other molecules. So scientists guess at what might be happening and how much heat might be involved in different transfer models without knowing exactly which molecule is involved and to what degree each molecule is contributing to convection. Mathematically speaking we've already reached a level of uncertainty with only the points I've mentioned to make the entire convection from CO2 theory basically worthless. The error rates are exceeding 50% in some models. In any other field of study, such a large error rate would be considered a SWAG and not worthy of publishing. Since the climate argument has gone tribal, the science is not being mathematically supported as long as the conclusion is that the result supports the bias of the publisher. 

    That you would recommend we "trust" the IPCC summaries when the details have so many mathematical SWAGs is intellectually disingenuous. I will fully admit to not understanding the chemistry enough to know how much error is introduced with each atmospheric assumption (not to mention the ocean carbon sink assumptions), but I can say with some authority that the mathematics is not tight enough to support any engineering application. And since we're talking about taking trillions of dollars away from more present and tangible efforts such as disease, I think it is fair to question the outcome of these models that carry such broad ranges of uncertainty.

    Recent temperatures have not followed recent CO2 measurements. It appears that CO2 concentrations might be less convective than the IPCC asserts. And if that is the case, we're pretty much back to guessing on why there appears to be a temperature correlation with CO2 emissions in the first place. I don't think the public or the lawmakers realize how important this CO2 convection issue is to the broader argument of CO2 related climate change. 

    So, my response is, NO! Do not trust the IPCC summary on the topic of heat transfer related to atmospheric CO2 convection since the math is weak. Use the scientific method, question every assertion, and come up with a better explanation for the heat fluctuations in the atmosphere. If somebody doesn't understand the science, learn the science, don't ignore it.

    I would encourage the readers of this site to ignore any advice that suggests a conclusion should be assumed valid if even a single assumption is left untested.

  • New Research for Week #24, 2019

    RBFOLLETT at 10:06 AM on 20 June, 2019

    Wow, that is a lot of research and reports, but just the tip of the iceberg I would guess of the tens of thousands of other Global Warming (GW) ongoing research studies that seem to fall mainly within the following three main GW Study Areas.
    The first of these Areas would probably fall under "PROOF OF GLOBAL WARMING" with ongoing studies of global temperature rise, sea level rise and increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Thousands of scientific research studies, costing billions of dollars around the world, just to PROVE Global Warming is ACTUALLY HAPPENING.
    Secondly we would likely have the "RESULTS OF GLOBAL WARMING" with ongoing research that essentially lays out what they think will happen to people, animals and the environment IF we allow Global Warming to continue. Again thousands of ongoing scientific studies and research and billions of more to PREDICT what COULD happen.
    And finally we would have "STOPPING GLOBAL WARMING" with all the ongoing scientific research and recommendations on simply how to REDUCE anthropogenic CO2 emissions or more simply how to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. I am now guessing we are into the trillions of tax dollars and private funding on these avenues. So those are the main 3 areas responsible for 99.9% of ALL the ongoing scientific research and spending on the current Environmental Crisis of Global Warming. Billions and Billions, maybe even into the Trillions of dollars spent into the Scientific Study and Prevention of Global Warming caused solely by the suspected burning of fossil fuels.
    I did however almost forget that stupid fourth" NOT ONGOING" study, covering the "CAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING". That would be the more than a century old "Greenhouse Gas Warming Theory" that, maybe because it was so old, there was thought to be NO NEED to do further scientific research and study of it. NO, they have a very good "EXPLANATION" of how the Theory works and pretty well all the GW Climate Scientists agree with an overwhelming consensus of the "EXPLANATION" that it is causing some amount of warming, they just don't know admittedly "HOW MUCH". And it seems they don't want to know how much or even do any further research to "prove it" or spend another dime on it. When was the last time a scientific research study was conducted to "Quantitatively Measure Global Temperature Rise with Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations"? Billions of dollars spent on thousands of scientific studies to prove the Existence and Results of GW and not a single dime to prove the one thing that everything hinges on.

  • There is no consensus

    Eclectic at 11:52 AM on 27 May, 2019

    JoeZ @801 ,

    Yes, there are "scientists who aren't part of the consensus" ~ but there are hardly any climate scientists who would fit in that category.   That is why the Consensus is only 99+% , not absolutely 100%  .   Far worse for your unstated position, JoeZ, those very few scientists had all produced hypotheses which have been thoroughly disproven (see Svensmark, Lindzen) . . . and worse again, they contain a high percentage of religious crackpots who are not strictly scientific in their mode of thinking.

    Are they "stupid"?   Well, stupid is a rather elastic term.   I myself know a fellow who has a PhD and spent decades in scientific research [but not in climate-related matters] and yet he is a member of the local Flat Earth Society.  Unsurprisingly, he is also in denial about global warming.

    Is he stupid?  He is pleasant, sociable, and intelligent ~ but that doesn't stop him from being quite wrong about important issues.   Just like Lindzen & his comrades who are over-influenced by irrational religious beliefs or extremist political beliefs.   They put their ego ahead of scientific thinking.

    Also rather like your Mr Alex Epstein (who is an author, not a philosopher) who chooses to write a book, not submitting his ideas to the point-by-point criticism which would occur in the process of peer-review in a scientific paper.   JoeZ, it is easy to write a book and have your unbalanced rhetoric sweep your ill-informed readers into a state of intellectual submission & adulation . . . just as it is easy to make a "documentary" film about a subject [ here, "The Great Global Warming Swindle" comes to mind ] where severely-doctored graphs and fallacious logic are employed.  The general reading/viewing public are not to know how fake it all is, unless they take the trouble to apply critical thinking and to educate themselves on the basics of the issue.

    In the end, JoeZ , it all comes down to evidence.   And evidence is the thing lacking in the positions taken by those "non-consensus" scientists.  The climate consensus exists because of the climate evidence.   

  • There is no consensus

    scaddenp at 13:53 PM on 17 May, 2019

    As been stated many time here, the point of consensus studies is to counter myth that consensus doesnt exist.

    The Scientific consensus might be wrong but it is the only basis for rational policy especially when it is strong.

  • 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.

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

    Eclectic at 04:18 AM on 10 May, 2019

    Jake S  @366 ,  yes it certainly is disturbing.

    Disturbing to realise that, in this modern age, more than 99% of our geophysical scientists are in consensus that the Earth is Flat ~ or possibly only slightly rounded.   They must hold that opinion . . .  because more than 99% of their published scientific papers fail to assert the Round shape of the Earth.

    Or so your line of argument goes, Jake S.

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

    Jake S at 01:53 AM on 10 May, 2019

    So to summarize: you studied 12,000 abstracts, arbitrarily rejected the 8,000 which didn't take a position on whether humans caused the observed degree of climate change in the past 100 years, and interpreted this to mean 97% of climate change scientists think humans caused this trend?

    That seems pretty disingenuous. In my opinion, a more rigorous interpretation would be that 97% of 33% — or 32.01% — of climate change scientists have taken the position that this trend is being caused by humans.

    You attribute this lack of consensus of causality to conservative language choices by the academics, and arbitrarily stuck those who haven't taken a position firmly in the "humans caused it" camp.

    Can you show this is the case without assuming the motivation of these academics? How about the possiblilty that they agree the planet is warming slightly, but think the cause is a moot point due to the limitations of our models and understanding of a very complicated and chaotic system, so believe it wouldn't be scientific to publish spectulation? 

    This seems like a meta-study designed and interpreted to produce desired results, rather than arriving at a conclusion based on impartial interpretation of all the results.

    And the fact that so many media outlets are quoting this study without mentioning how many academic abstracts were rejected to arrive at the 97% figure is disturbing.

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