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  1. I am horrified, but this was expected. On a “positive” note, I won my wager on projected sea level rise.

    Comment by Desertphile — 27 Sep 2013 @ 11:29 AM

  2. Stefan wrote: “The new IPCC report gives no reason for complacency – even if politically motivated ‘climate skeptics’ have tried to give this impression …”

    Make that “financially motivated”.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 27 Sep 2013 @ 12:02 PM

  3. thanks for that summary; some quick questions…

    1) are all the graphs in your post from the current .pdf release (Sep 27) of the SPM document?

    2) for your graph showing “Figure 2: The future temperature development” – why does the vertical line appear to go through 2005. Shouldn’t it be updated to be at 2012 if that is intended to show the cutoff between historical and model?

    3) also, with respect to the Figure 2 projections – for the 2 scenarios shown (red and blue): are there a range & best estimate for the TCR / ECS associated with the scenarios?

    Comment by MJFriesen — 27 Sep 2013 @ 12:10 PM

  4. Speaking of predictions, many of you participated in last year’s Vision Prize expert poll which asked when the Arctic Sea will become completely free of summer floating ice. The most surprisingly common answer — before mid-century — is in line with the new IPCC findings reported above. See chart:

    Comment by Mark Kriss — 27 Sep 2013 @ 12:15 PM

  5. The Working Group 1 paper makes no acknowledgement of the impact of natural feedback due to the faster Arctic warming taking place. Policy needs to be informed by an accurate picture, we cannot keep dumping carbon into the atmosphere.

    Per Aubrey Meyer:
    Unfortunately,as can be seen from the source material and as the UK Met Office [UKMO] has repeatedly admitted, as the IPCC’s ‘Representative Concentration Pathways’[RCP] scenarios all omit key feedback effects [such as Arctic and Permafrost melt]so these figures under-estimate what lies ahead.

    Comment by L Barlow — 27 Sep 2013 @ 12:53 PM

  6. I think you should point out that the “best case scenario”, RCP2.6 is predicated on global carbon emissions peaking before 2020, and then falling fast, with the entire world becoming carbon negative by the 2070s. When the RCP scenarios were first picked, this was considered to be too unlikely to be worth looking at. The plan was to go with a higher scenario, RCP2.9, which, together with RCP4.5 bracket the lower 5% and upper 95% confidence interval for what can be achieved with strong mitigation policies. However, RCP2.9 didn’t keep temperatures under 2C of warming (over pre-industrial levels), so they decided to go with the more ambitious RCP2.6, just so there would be at least one scenario that kept below the politically important 2C threshold. Analysis is still ongoing for figuring out what it would actually take to achieve RCP2.6 (and will be release with the Working Group 3 report next year). But the key point is that it has to get us to net carbon negative (from all sources) within 60 years.

    In reality, the strongest (practical) climate policies imaginable will probably produce a future somewhere midway between RC2.6 and RCP4.5.

    More detail on the model experiments and RCPs, and how they were chosen is here:

    [Response: RCP8.5 is actually even worse than the temperatures out to 2100 would indicate, since at 2100 in RCP8.5 you are still emitting carbon at a rate of 20GtC per year. If it takes another century to get that down to zero, the additional carbon emitted boosts the peak warming to something more like 8C. The graphs in this summary are the usual time range out to 2100, but a new wrinkle in AR5 is that the report did give some consideration to what happens over the coming millennium — hinted at in the reference to “irreversibility.” –raypierre]

    Comment by Steve Easterbrook — 27 Sep 2013 @ 1:21 PM

  7. Stefan,

    RCP 2.6 gives 0.9-2.3 K above preindustrial, right? So a good chance to stay above 2 degrees, but also still a significant risk to go higher.

    And for SLR there seems a 5% chance of more than 98 cm by 2100 at RCP 8.5, so that’s also a risk we should consider, right?

    [Response: The sea-level range is a “likely” range, i.e. IPCC assesses a 17% risk to end up higher. -stefan]

    Comment by Lennart van der Linde — 27 Sep 2013 @ 1:24 PM

  8. so even when we add ocean and air temps together we still get that 15 year lull (natural variability of the ENSO cycle) when it has been reported all over that ocean heat is where all of the missing heat has seemingly gone. I would of thought that 15 year hiatus would be more upward.

    Comment by pete best — 27 Sep 2013 @ 1:25 PM

  9. Curiously, I am seeing on some TV services like BBC indications that the new IPCC report is somehow seen as playing down climate change – at least to the extent of trotting out deniers. Having paged through the Summary for Policymakers and seen this article I don’t know where they are getting this. The old fake balance I suppose – you know the way they always follow the market reports at the end of the news by a Trotskyist rebuttal?

    Anyway thanks for posting this – a nice summary.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 27 Sep 2013 @ 1:48 PM

  10. IPCC is as usual half a decade late, and this time it is a dozen or more positive feedback loops short.

    Comment by Robin Datta — 27 Sep 2013 @ 2:06 PM

  11. I am wondering what the right winger response will be.

    Comment by nanheyangrouchuan — 27 Sep 2013 @ 3:09 PM

  12. I looked for the word pause or hiatus. Nothing there, which is good.

    I don’t think there is a real pause anyways. It is simply cooling ENSO events compensating the underlying warming.

    I used the NCAR SOI data along with GISS to come up with this diagram:

    Why not do something this simple to get the point across?

    Comment by WebHubTelescope — 27 Sep 2013 @ 3:32 PM

  13. Concerning sea level rise I worry that there is still so much that can not be proven that it has been left out. Listening to scientists who are working on Greenland they think that there may be a sudden collapse.(not overnight but a real acceleration). There is a lot going on in the depths of the ice that we do not understand but can only suspect.

    Comment by Bob Bingham — 27 Sep 2013 @ 4:47 PM

  14. Philip Machanick (#8) ‘The old fake balance I suppose – you know the way they always follow the market reports at the end of the news by a Trotskyist rebuttal?’

    Thanks for making me laugh.

    Comment by Rob Nicholls — 27 Sep 2013 @ 5:04 PM

  15. Of course I meant ‘below 2 degrees’ instead of ‘above’ in my comment at #7.

    Comment by Lennart van der Linde — 27 Sep 2013 @ 5:21 PM

  16. I’m a little confused with the sea ice extent diagram – the 2-degree september extent is HIGHER than the current 0.8C extent. Is the arctic going to “recover”??
    Also, is there a version of the report that actually has figures and tables – instead of place markers such as

    Comment by Jim_S — 27 Sep 2013 @ 5:38 PM

  17. I’m a bit puzzled at the September sea ice map for a 2 degree world in 2080-2100. Even the smaller subset version looks comparable to this years september (which was quite a bit higher than last). Is the label correct? I know models are lagging reality but I though they were getting a bit closer than that!

    Comment by SCM — 27 Sep 2013 @ 6:12 PM

  18. On the sea ice, Figure 4 (SPM.8 c) looks seriously problematic. The left panel for a +2°C world appears to show a September extent late this century that is greater than the observed extent in recent years. That’s at barely +0.5°C (vs 1961–1990, or is that meant to be pre-industrial … just me, or do those damn goal posts keep moving).

    It would have been better if the SPM admitted that CMIP5 still can’t do sea ice. PIOMAS (and CryoSat-2) say it’ll all be gone by 2020 (see website link).

    Comment by GlenFergus — 27 Sep 2013 @ 6:56 PM

  19. “Based on current understanding, only the collapse of marine-based sectors of the Antarctic ice sheet, if initiated, could cause global mean sea level to rise substantially above the likely range during the 21st century. However, there is medium confidence that this additional contribution would not exceed several tenths of a meter of sea level rise during the 21st century. {13.4, 13.5}”

    How much is several ? Ten maybe ?

    I have medium confidence that they are incorrect.

    1)Greenland: NEGIS is a big unknown, and ELA has exceeded the saddle height at 67N
    2)WAIS: PIG and Thwaites
    3)EAIS: more unstable than we thought.

    To put some numbers to this, I expect a saddle collapse at 67N in Greenland, and NEGIS acceleration over some of the deepest icebeds on earth. PIG eating into Thwaites on the east even as Thwaites retreats south. EAIS is showing signs of wobbliness. Put me down for a meter, best case, from AIS and GIS alone.


    Comment by sidd — 27 Sep 2013 @ 9:55 PM

  20. Has anyone produced a graph of the last 100 year global temps where the element that is attributed to man’s influence takien out? How would that look? Where do we think we would be right now. What degree of cooling would we have seen over the last 15 years?

    [Response: The graph you want is SPM.6 (scroll down the SPM, the tables and figs are at the end. -stefan]

    Comment by Dave — 28 Sep 2013 @ 1:16 AM

  21. Lennart #7, the figure caption says

    Figure SPM.9: Projections of global mean sea level rise over the 21st century relative to 1986–2005 from the combination of the CMIP5 ensemble with process-based models, for RCP2.6 and RCP8.5. The assessed likely range is shown as a shaded band. The assessed likely ranges for the mean over the period 2081–2100 for all RCP scenarios are given as coloured vertical bars, with the corresponding median value given as a horizontal line.

    And in the Table SPM.2 caption:

    Calculated from projections as 5−95% model ranges. These ranges are then assessed to be likely ranges after accounting for additional uncertainties or different levels of confidence in models.

    Now, likely in IPCC lingo is a probability between 66% and 100%. So this means there could be a 17% probability, worst-case, that it goes over 98 cm by 2100 AD…

    There is more. See a comment by Aslak Grinsted.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 28 Sep 2013 @ 2:24 AM

  22. The report claims 95% confidence that “human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century”
    How is this value calculated, especially since there is a great discrepancy between the models and observed temperatures, that this tome completely fails to account for.
    I do not consider the various “It might be due to… or to…” to be sufficient explanations.
    Please also tell us what “human influence” comprises of and the relative proportions of the warming seen and how this differs from the warming seen in the instrument record from the 1880s to the 1940s.
    I regard the claims of accelerating increase in sea levels to be unsustained, as the record shows a steady 3.2mm/year rate.
    I see now mention of the increase in Antarctic sea ice, nor the cooling seen over the majority of Antartica, so what’s happened to “Polar Amplification”?
    How have previous reports faired with their prediction (Or scenarios as they seem to be called)?

    [Response: What discrepancy between data and models? The observations are within the range of models. Perhaps you do not understand that short-term variability, like that caused by ENSO, is not predicted by models but is stochastic i.e. largely random – and IPCC has never claimed it can predict that, IPCC projects only the long-term climate evolution. Which is why the IPCC scenarios look “smooth” rather than showing ups and downs like the observed temperature. -stefan]

    Comment by Adam Gallon — 28 Sep 2013 @ 3:16 AM

  23. It would be interesting to understand in more detail what has led to the increase in confidence in the attribution statement. I have heard hints that it is related to better models, more attribution, better observations and so forth, but these were a summary from a senior scientist not directly involved in this report (but involved in the other 4 reports as a lead author or lead reviewer).

    [Response: I discussed the basis for the attribution statement in AR4 before. If you follow that methodology, and add further years of data where natural forcings were more negative, the danger of conflating multiple causes decreases (thereby increasing confidence). More and better models also helps, as does the fact that long term trends have not much changed. – gavin]

    Comment by Steve Milesworthy — 28 Sep 2013 @ 4:03 AM

  24. Why don’t they title it: “Were All F@cked”, With apologies to Dr.Laurence Krauss >;-)
    Seriously though, as I read through the summary and I tried to reconcile it with what I actually see being done by our so called policy makers. My heart sank a few notches. And when I read comments about anthropogenic climate change in the mainstream media or online sites like for instance at the Wall Street Journal it quite frankly almost leads me to despair!

    “It’s difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends on him not understanding it.”
    —Upton Sinclair

    “Any coward can fight a battle when he’s sure of winning, but give me the man who has pluck to fight when he’s sure of losing. That’s my way, sir; and there are many victories worse than a defeat.”
    —George Eliot

    Best Hopes that there is still might be time to change the fundamental paradigms on which our current global civilization is based!

    Comment by Fred Magyar — 28 Sep 2013 @ 5:24 AM

  25. Jim_S et al @16-18.
    The caption attached to the figures in the post above have been simplified and in the case of Fig 4, this is perhaps a simplification too far.
    The two maps are for RCP 2.6 and RCP 8.5. The first of these which has raised the concern here results from global emissions dropping very very quickly (beginning before 2020) and the resulting global temperature rise is projected at 0.95ºC – 2.6ºC above pre-industrial. At the lower end this is not dissimilar to today’s temperatures (+0.1ºC). The average RCP 2.6 above pre-industrial is a little less than 2ºC (1.65ºC?) and with the famous IPCC under-estimation of Arctic Sea Ice loss, the map perhaps then begins to enter the realm of being understandable.

    Comment by MARodger — 28 Sep 2013 @ 5:28 AM

  26. Adam Gallon @ 22,

    “I do not consider the various “It might be due to… or to…” to be sufficient explanations.”

    “A bloke who’s been a professor of dentistry for 40 years does not have a debate with some eejit who removes his teeth with string and a door. Dara O’Briain …”

    Just sayin…

    Comment by Fred Magyar — 28 Sep 2013 @ 5:41 AM

  27. Stefan (#7) and Martin (#21), thanks for the clarification. That’s a confusing statement by IPCC, as Aslak Grinsted also notes. I’m curious what they have to say about the semi-empirical models and expert elicitation in the full report. A worst-case of 1.5-1.7m of SLR in 2100 seems to be the implication of all this.

    We could even argue that almost 2m can be considered the worst-case, since they mention this, but then say there’s no consensus on this. But how much consensus is needed from a precautionary perspective? The more risk is involved, the less consensus is needed, I would think.

    Comment by Lennart van der Linde — 28 Sep 2013 @ 7:04 AM

  28. Adam Gallon@~22

    If you are genuinely interested in the answers, I’d suggest a look at SkepticalScience, which is much abused by the promoters of misleading talking points because it is effective in providing detailed answers with lots of links and backup that are easy to access and organized by topic. There’s a helpful list on the left and it just might also open your eyes to the organized nature of the distraction effort

    You could also read some of the other recent articles here at RealClimate and use “Start Here” at the upper left.

    If you are just repeating the various points that have grabbed your attention from the clever alternate universe of counterfacts, I’d suggest you take a closer look at what they are trying to prevent you from seeing. It’s easy for a nonscientist to tease out how it is not ethical but very well funded and organized to mislead people like you and prevent action. Remember that many of the accusations are exact duplicates of honest points just cleverly reversed in meaning, since it is easier to snark and destroy than to build understanding.

    For lay readers, the graphics in the report are terrific, as presented above.

    (more silly almost relevance from captcha: omixgd (OMG mixed) technique)

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 28 Sep 2013 @ 9:22 AM

  29. Was there any discussion/information on aerosols part in variables of measurements?

    IMO aerosols are an important part in understanding what is happening. Is there any one or group focusing on this issue? and if so then links please.


    Comment by Jef Jelten — 28 Sep 2013 @ 9:35 AM

  30. Something that Gavin had in one of the other comment strings fits here as well: “Here’s a test: If you read something written by someone who basically knows what they are talking about and it seems absurd to you, ponder – at least for a second or two – that it might be your interpretation that is at fault rather than the statement.” I’d certainly second Susan’s suggestions as the SKS site and Start Here at Real Climate as good places to start for a fundamental understanding of the science.

    Comment by Tokodave — 28 Sep 2013 @ 10:18 AM

  31. > Adam Gallon

    See the right hand sidebar under the heading
    “…With Inline Responses”

    There’s an inline response for Adam Gallon

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 28 Sep 2013 @ 10:27 AM

  32. Heh!

    The IPCC Report In Pictures

    “Notice that when you squint your eyes, turn your head sideways, and take some LSD you can see a highly significant decline, hiatus, pause, or even cooling in global temperatures that, if you’ve taken enough drugs, seems to obviate global warming. But if you look at the data by decade, even very strong mushrooms are not going to let you see what isn’t there.”

    Comment by Radge Havers — 28 Sep 2013 @ 10:54 AM

  33. “…IPCC projects only the long-term climate evolution. Which is why the IPCC scenarios look “smooth” rather than showing ups and downs like the observed temperature. -stefan”

    Beg pardon? The IPCC models assembled into Figure SPM.7 and the models used in CMIP ensembles show annual “ups and downs” in both temperature and sea ice predictions.

    Comment by Alex — 28 Sep 2013 @ 11:12 AM

  34. Philip Machanick (#9): ‘The old fake balance I suppose – you know the way they always follow the market reports at the end of the news by a Trotskyist rebuttal?’

    Thanks for making me laugh.

    Amusingly, “skeptic” websites are often full of irate comments denouncing the “commie BBC” for its “pro-warmist” bias.

    I think climate change reporting is generally a massive failure of journalism. There are exceptions to this, but where are the front page headlines to wake us all up to urgent action? I’m not confident that many journalists who report on / criticise IPCC reports have ever actually read one, otherwise it’s hard to understand the endless obsession with that one mistake about Himalayan Glacier melting in AR4 WG2…the BBC has mentioned that mistake very prominently at least twice again this week, with no context given about the size of the error compared to the size of the report etc. I would hope that anyone who’s read part of any IPCC report might be able to find something more interesting to talk about than that single error.

    It’s hard to know the causes of the BBC’s poor coverage but I suspect that it’s partly a mixture of ignorance (if you don’t know anything about the evidence then “skeptics” may seem to have a point, so you may end up parroting their statements), and fake balance …that’s presumably why this week the BBC gave Prof Myles Allen and Andrew Montford (seriously, Andrew Montford) roughly equal airtime in a news item about climate change. (Maybe Nigel Lawson was busy that day).

    We are just so lucky that it’s only major changes to the climate of the planet on which all known life depends that we’re talking about.

    Comment by Rob Nicholls — 28 Sep 2013 @ 11:13 AM

  35. I’m aware of what the article says about short timescales, TCS, and internal variability, but Steve McIntyre and Lucia Liljegren try to suggest that even at longer timescales (25 and 30) years the models differ significantly from the measurements.

    I notice that both do not include uncertainty for the measurements. Using the SkepticalScience trend calculator I get uncertainties that would make measurements overlap models uncertainty again, I think. But is that all there is to say about these graphs?

    Comment by cynicus — 28 Sep 2013 @ 12:06 PM

  36. Alex #33:

    Beg pardon? The IPCC models assembled into Figure SPM.7 and the models used in CMIP ensembles show annual “ups and downs” in both temperature and sea ice predictions.

    Not a lot. And not remotely as much as the individual models that are combined into ensembles. Remember that each ensemble member contains one simulated realisation of natural variability, with the statistics about right but the timing completely arbitrary. Averaging evens this out, but complete removal would require an ensemble size of infinite.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 28 Sep 2013 @ 12:12 PM

  37. Alex, you’re confusing models with scenarios.

    Models are run repeatedly, each result is a bit different.
    Scenarios are sets of assumptions.

    Someone besides me should explain this better than I can.

    Look at the discussion for SPM2.10
    “Model results over the historical period (1860–2010) are indicated in black. The coloured plume illustrates the multi-model spread over the four RCP scenarios”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 28 Sep 2013 @ 1:01 PM

  38. Fred Magyar #24, I love the suggested title (maybe WG2 can use it?), although I would put some caveats around it (which spoils the snappiness).

    Comment by Rob Nicholls — 28 Sep 2013 @ 1:06 PM

  39. Hi Stefan. Can you please reproduce here the calculation giving 95% confidence?


    [Response: The evidence backing up the SPM statements is found in the full report, which will become publically available next week. I don’t know why you think I can “reproduce” it here – I am not one of the authors of this report. -stefan]

    Comment by Carl — 28 Sep 2013 @ 1:17 PM

  40. Stephan,
    In the Land and Sea ice section you say:

    “In the Eemian (the last interglacial period 120,000 years ago, when the global temperature was higher by 1-2 °C”

    Is that 1-2°C higher than temperatures in 2013 or 1-2°C higher than some other baseline? If another baseline, how much warming have we seen so far from that baseline.

    Comment by Michael Sweet — 28 Sep 2013 @ 1:28 PM

  41. Discrepency between data & models as per Hans von Storch,
    “At my institute, we analyzed how often such a 15-year stagnation in global warming occurred in the simulations. The answer was: in under 2 percent of all the times we ran the simulation. In other words, over 98 percent of forecasts show CO2 emissions as high as we have had in recent years leading to more of a temperature increase.”
    “If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario. But even today, we are finding it very difficult to reconcile actual temperature trends with our expectations.”
    NOAA’s 2008 State of the Climate report said 15 or more years without global warming would indicate what was delicately described as a “discrepancy” between prediction and observation, we’ve achieved that length of time now.
    We have CO2 emissions above Dr Hansen’s “Scenario A” levels, with temperatures at his “Scenario C” levels.

    Oh and why do you want me to run “analytics.js”?

    [Response: Unfortunately Von Storch has gone to the media with this statement without a peer-reviewed publication to back it up, so there is no way for other scientists to check or have any basis for commenting on it. -stefan]

    Comment by Adam Gallon — 28 Sep 2013 @ 2:31 PM

  42. Hi, I have two questions:

    1. What is the reason for the changed lower end of the climate equilibrium sensitivity likely interval since the last IPCC report, 1.5-4.5K vs 2.0-4.5K?

    I’ve read that the PALAEOSENS study, which summed up the paleoevidence, gave a likely range of 2.2–4.8 K. Dessler recently posted a video where he argues that it most probably is > 2.0K based on modern observations of feedbacks. CMIP5 climate models are also all > 2.0K (i.e. from Forster et al 2013) with an average of 3.2K. Is it recent studies based on recent (from 20th century) observations of temperature and forcings that is reponsible for the drop?

    2. Are feedbacks from the carbon cycle included in the sensitivity assessment, i.e. melting permafrost or oceans becoming less of a sink?

    Comment by John L — 28 Sep 2013 @ 4:00 PM

  43. If sea level is rising at 16cm per decade over the last decade of this century, what beyond this. It has often been stated that a man should plant a tree, the shade of which he will never sit under. We should also avoid a catastrophe that will never effect us personally.

    Comment by William Hughes-Games — 28 Sep 2013 @ 4:42 PM

  44. Wiki on von Storch: “Scientific research faces a crisis because its public figures are overselling the issues to gain attention in a hotly contested market for newsworthy information.”[3]

    “The alarmists think that climate change is something extremely dangerous, extremely bad and that overselling a little bit, if it serves a good purpose, is not that bad.”[4]

    This is the more recent of the flavors of denial, The Minimalist. When a scientist is using loaded words like “alarmists,” they are not using scientific reasoning, they are inserting their own beliefs and ideology.

    When we speak of denial of climate science we are discussing verifiable history. It’s not subjective. No scientist working to do good science would denigrate the fact that models and future-looking statements exist and need to be addressed. Extremes happen.

    The do-nothing crowd are now the dominant form of obstruction of solutions.

    Comment by Killian — 28 Sep 2013 @ 6:05 PM

  45. What I find fascinating about the whole climate things at this point? Everyone worried about SLR which will be problematic but is really simply fixed: Move.

    The answers to a far more immediate aspect are far less certain while the problem is already occurring on a large scale and will cause collapse of systems via mass death, panic, migration, etc.:

    It’s the food supply, Stupid.

    Extreme Temps and Food

    Climate, Food, Geopolitics

    Grain Supply:

    The greatest problem we face, when all is said and done, is food. Water, climate zone changes, extreme temps, extreme precipitation, extreme drought, out-of-sync growing seasons…

    Fixing the food system = reducing atmospheric carbon.

    “…the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – B. Mollison

    Comment by Killian — 28 Sep 2013 @ 6:45 PM

  46. Re: #34 and #94

    ‘Balanced’ reporting about the unbalanced climate.

    The actual release of the AR5’s SPM was finally announced by BBC Radio 4 on the “World at One” on Friday Sep.27th.2013. First came the headlines for the whole of the bulletin which of course included other items. The reference to the SPM was followed by a quote from someone who completely denounced the IPCC. Why was that in the headlines?

    Then in the body of the news, came the report itself followed by a return to this person, who was given a prolonged interview which involved a more extended attempt to rubbish the entire thing. It ended with a plug for the NIPCC together with information about where the listener could find it at the Heartland Institute’s web site. Anyone familiar with the “World at One” will know that interviewees can be given a very tough time by rigorous questioning. Not on this occasion. The interviewer was clearly out of his depth especially considering that he was dealing with a skilled operator like Bob Carter *.

    There are two areas where the BBC has been seriously deficient over the years. First in explaining the science, rather than just reporting some of its conclusions, and secondly in carrying out a forensic investigation into the campaign of disinformation about it. The nearest it came was when a climatologist recently referred to people who were trying to politicise ** the debate. This took all of two seconds. The result is that many people , including scientists, think that we are only faced with a difference of opinion.
    *. Contributor to Channel 4’s fake Swindle documentary and co-author of
    the paper discussed here

    ** But she didn’t go on to say that politicisation includes a campaign of pressure on the BBC by those hostile to climate science.

    Comment by deconvoluter — 28 Sep 2013 @ 6:50 PM

  47. @45 – “Everyone worried about SLR which will be problematic but is really simply fixed: Move.”
    That’s not even close to understanding the problem. Start with the cyclic exposure of tides, seasons, and extreme events. The ‘century-event’ design point for defenses is becoming unreliable – extreme events like Katrina and Sandy show that it’s insufficient for new ‘worst-case’ scenarios. Fukushima built a 30-meter worst-case barrier, and then tectonics laughed at it with a shift, and the extra boost from sea-level rise combined to throw a 32-meter tsunami punch into it. It’s not very good advice to simply move … when the thing moving you is a tsunami or a coast-smashing cyclone.
    The second, and larger ubiquitous, issue is the pollution of aquifers and water tables in coastal areas. There are no barrier solutions to the repetitions of water-quality problems as ocean pressures build. An extreme parallel to that was the Tigris/Euphrates dams built during the latter years of the Saddam Hussein Regime – the redistribution of pressure resulted in salinity pollution in wells and the delta wetlands around south-east Iraq and Kuwait.

    Comment by owl905 — 28 Sep 2013 @ 8:03 PM

  48. owl905 wrote, re SLR:

    “The second, and larger ubiquitous, issue is the pollution of aquifers and water tables in coastal areas. There are no barrier solutions to the repetitions of water-quality problems as ocean pressures build.”

    This is a huge concern. Couple this with influx of salt from hurricanes, which can poison farmland for decades. Everglades are probably gone soon, I am glad i have travelled the Tamiami Trail while it existed, and I weep for those to come who will never see that wonder. There are many wonderful places we will never see in the sun and the breeze again.

    I think of all the water wells for all the coastal populations, and I see thirst where half the population lives.

    And to add another issue, the subglacial hydrology beneath GIS and AIS will respond to SLR, and not in a nice way.

    Disimissing the calamity with the edict “Move” is not only intellectually lazy, but worse, cruel and uncompassionate. Yes, we will move indeed, we will tread a trail of tears away from all the coastlines in the world. Generation upon generation will walk that long retreat, their laments will echo through the barren centuries, and our names will be a hissing and a curse in the mouths of our children.


    Comment by sidd — 29 Sep 2013 @ 1:13 AM

  49. @45 – “Everyone worried about SLR which will be problematic but is really simply fixed: Move.”
    That’s not even close to understanding the problem… It’s not very good advice to simply move … when the thing moving you is a tsunami or a coast-smashing cyclone… pollution of aquifers and water tables in coastal areas Comment by owl905

    Yeah… wasn’t writing a book, just a juxtapostion. You can’t move from food insecurity, but you can move from the tides… and, btw, every point you raised is, in fact, fixed by moving.

    Disimissing the calamity with the edict “Move” is not only intellectually lazy, but worse, cruel and uncompassionate

    Get over yourself and understand the limits of the post. I *design* sustainable systems for goodness’ sake. The post was not about SLR, it was about the lack of attention paid to a far more dangerous, far more urgent, and far more complex problem to solve than SLR.

    And, yes, the best option in most cases is to move, not in small part due to the uncertainty of how high SLR will be.

    How ironic your accusations…

    Comment by Killian — 29 Sep 2013 @ 3:25 AM

  50. Generation upon generation will walk that long retreat

    Only if they make really, really stupid choices. It’s not hard to apply principles of sustainable design to decision-making. If you have to move a community more than once, then the planning was done by people who had no business in the process. If more than one generation of any given city has to deal with moving, they deserve the penalties of their hubris in trying to make too dear a bargain with Nature. If you choose to move, do it right the first time.

    Far better to avoid the worst of SLR by getting the GHGs out of the air and into the ground in no small part by growing food, thus solving all three problems at once.

    Comment by Killian — 29 Sep 2013 @ 3:54 AM

  51. As I understand them all of the RCPs assume economic growth ad infinitum. Is that true? If so, I don’t think it’s an assumption that would stand up to scientific scrutiny (given resource depletion and environmental degradation). Consequently, I see this report more in the way of explaining what could happen in a fictitious world that had any level of business as usual, rather than showing what actually could happen in the real world.

    Attempts to keep economic growth going will likely (it seems to me) get even more dirty fuels burned but that doesn’t look like it could go on until the end of the century. Extreme mitigation actions, along the lines of RCP2.6 also look highly unlikely (with 99% confidence), unless caused by societal collapse. This all makes me very uneasy about these RCPs, in that none of them would seem to be modelling any path that makes any sense in the real world.

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 29 Sep 2013 @ 4:22 AM

  52. Hi there,

    You might want to have a look at the latest reporting of The Economist on climate change:

    The interesting pieces that deserve some response:

    About sea ice decline:
    “summer sea-ice minimum is shrinking by about 10% a decade, though this year’s summer ice melt was smaller than last year’s”
    Why they feel the need to mention this year’s extent when talking about decadal trends, I don’t know but they might have their reasons for that

    About ECS:
    “But recent work, partly influenced by the pause in temperatures, has suggested sensitivity might be somewhat lower.”

    “The IPCC also decided to scrap its central “best guess”. Perhaps this is meant to reflect uncertainty in the science. If so, some scientists argue, then perhaps it should not have increased its confidence that man is the main cause of global warming.”
    What the last 15 years have to do with the ECS, and what the ECS has to do with attribution, I have no idea but would be interested in learning…


    Comment by Julien Cochard — 29 Sep 2013 @ 4:34 AM

  53. I’m a little bit puzzled by how the > 95 % confidence has been calculated after reading Judith Curry’s blog.

    Is there an accurate statistical calculation that provided a value x > 95 % , or not? (it is of course unlikely that a p-value would just be equal to a conventional limit of 90 %,and then exactly equal to 95 % ).

    if yes, what is this value ?
    if not, how can we give a confidence interval ?

    Comment by Archi3 — 29 Sep 2013 @ 5:22 AM

  54. sidd @48,

    Tks for the reality check… >:-(
    I’m returning to my home in the greater Miami area in a few weeks. I’ve been on an eight month sabbatical in Brazil.

    Comment by Fred Magyar — 29 Sep 2013 @ 5:44 AM

  55. I can think of several ways that von Storch could get a result that makes him happy (while being uselessly wrong).

    The easiest way would be to define stagnation as no statistically significant positive trend over a fixed period of 15 years starting in 1997 or 1998.

    Then when he goes looking for such a thing in model simulations that have been free-running since way before this, he is all surprised when there doesn’t happen to be any ENSO events that line up neatly with his fixed period.

    2% sounds about right for this silly exercise.

    Other things he could do: use models that don’t include natural variation or generate ENSO events, use models that don’t include real-world forcings, and, of course, he can ignore statistical significance and call any trend over 0 “warming”.

    Dishonesty is really easy. I can’t imagine he will ever publish this.

    Comment by Didactylos — 29 Sep 2013 @ 5:56 AM

  56. RE: ‘Balance'(cont.); Philip Machanick(#9),Rob Nicholls (#34)and me (#46)

    This morning BBC Radio 4’s 9AM news bulletin was , as usual, followed by an item consisting of a chat about to-day’s newspapers. It started with an item about the use of computer models by the police to optimise their crime prevention efforts; someone provided some support for this idea but appeared to warn that using computers for modeling the world’s climate might be a different matter because there were so many variables. So I postponed switching off until that item came up again. In the event one guest was impressed by an item in the Mail that Arctic researchers ‘had made an error of a million square km. of ice’. Next came an item from the Telegraph. Then someone mentioned the IPCC’s report but only in passing.

    I’m reminded when on another BBC chat show some years ago someone said that you could no longer trust the scientists, it was not just the politicians. But when was this show? It coincided with one of the long series of exonerations of the people at CRU after the ’emailgate’ libel. If that exoneration received a mention , I must have missed it.

    Comment by deconvoluter — 29 Sep 2013 @ 6:17 AM

  57. Adam Gallon,
    von Storch’s contention is highly problematic because he doesn’t bother to even give enough data that his study could be replicated or even enough that his probabilistic reasoning could be tested. There are many ways in which one could phrase the problem that would yield dramatically different answers:

    1)What is the probability that a 15 year interval yields no significant rise? The probability here might in fact be low.
    2)What is that probability that some 15 year interval selected within a 50 year window would yield no significant rise? The probability here would be substantially higher.
    3)What is the probability of a 15 year interval beginning with a huge-assed El Nino and ending with two good-sized La Ninas would yield an insignificant rise? The probability here would be damn near close to 1.

    The significance of the event which the denialists trumpet as their one solid piece of evidence is really only evidence of their delusion.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 29 Sep 2013 @ 7:34 AM

  58. deconvoluter @55.
    I didn’t find BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House programme anything like as bad as you describe. The review of the papers section can be a bit more ‘interesting’ than an interview on a set subject as they probably do try to ‘balance’ political views and an individual’s views on the stories in the papers can occasionally be extreme.
    So we find Angela Ripon (ex-new reader) is sceptical enough about AGW to prefer to believe a Rail on Sunday headline than the IPCC AR5.

    Her fellow reviewers did quickly rally to the defense of truth and righteousness with Maggie Aderin Pocock saying there are “very very large warning bells and we should be doing something about” AGW. And Henry Dimbleby talking of our previously stable climate, so “why are we conducting this unprecedented experiment on our climate?” The only thing they didn’t do was confront their fellow reviewer over her antediluvian views.

    Comment by MARodger — 29 Sep 2013 @ 10:59 AM

  59. It is clear. This IPCC is full of crap. So the sun does not contribute to any global temperature? Or change in it?
    Explain then: why it is cooler in the shade, when the sun goes under in the evening and its cooler at night?
    Explain why and how variations in earth orbit, thousands of km’s, output of the sun can not have any influence?
    Explain why CO2 greens the planet and has risen in level to 400ppm and the temperature stagnated and even dropped a bit?


    Comment by Moose — 29 Sep 2013 @ 11:15 AM

  60. Moose,

    Please explain: How is it that you are able to not pay attention and yet not be aware that you’re not paying attention.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 29 Sep 2013 @ 12:37 PM

  61. Moose’s comment (currently #58) is a joke, right?

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 29 Sep 2013 @ 12:43 PM

  62. Oh, Moose, sweetie, I can only hope you are satirizing the denialists, because if you really are that dim, CO2 might make you grow, too!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 29 Sep 2013 @ 12:51 PM

  63. Moose @ 58. Dude, you’re serious right? You’ve stumbled onto the wrong website for that level of ignorance. I suggest you return to the RealClimate website and go to “Start Here” or go over to Skeptical Science ( and click on “Newcomers Start Here”.

    Comment by Tokodave — 29 Sep 2013 @ 12:55 PM

  64. @58

    Yeah…In the immortal words of B O’R: “The tide goes in, the tide goes out. You can’t explain that!”

    Comment by jgnfld — 29 Sep 2013 @ 1:10 PM

  65. Last year Professor John Mitchell OBE FRS, Principal Research Fellow, at the Met Office, kindly replied to my email about the feedbacks that were in climate models. The missing/incomplete ones…

    5. more forest fires
    5 we don’t do yet, but could be important for changing ecosystems response to climate.

    6. melting permafrost
    6a/b [GB – a:CO2, b:CH4] we don’t have in the GCM, but have some simple modelling of. Too early to show any results yet, but we plan to publish later this year. Bottom line is that both CH4 and CO2 will be released as permafrost thaws. The magnitude is uncertain, but likely to be significant.

    7. increased decomposition of wetlands
    7, we have in HadGEM2 but didn’t enable as a fully coupled feedback, but we can diagnose changes in wetland extent and CH4 emissions

    I would add that although these things may be important, they are not always easy to quantify, model, initialize and validate, especially 5-7. That is why is taking time to implement them.


    Is this true for the CMIP5 models used for the current IPCC report?

    See the rest at Do you believe the European Commission on Climate Change?

    Comment by Geoff Beacon — 29 Sep 2013 @ 1:53 PM

  66. Is it just my prejudice, or does the moniker “Moose” suggests a high-school football player who barely passed algebra? I wonder if that’s intended.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 29 Sep 2013 @ 2:18 PM

  67. In answer to my own question @16 regarding the missing tables and figures, I’ve finally found them – If you scroll right down to the end of the document, they are all there in one lump, individually labelled as [FIGURE SUBJECT TO FINAL COPYEDIT]
    As this is the public release version, rather than a ‘for comments’ beta, I find this is a bit sloppy, but then that’s just me :-)

    Comment by Jim_S — 29 Sep 2013 @ 2:24 PM

  68. That’s gotta be Bullwinkle. Where’s Rocky when you need him?

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 29 Sep 2013 @ 2:32 PM

  69. @58, I call Poe! Come on, ‘Moose’!? That’s a dead give away.

    Comment by Fred Magyar — 29 Sep 2013 @ 4:44 PM

  70. Can anyone please explain how economic growth can continue for the rest of this century, as the RCPs assume. Anyone?

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 29 Sep 2013 @ 5:17 PM

  71. I am not a climate scientist, just a lowly HVAC guy.

    Let’s assume the surface temperature of land masses are increasing 0.5 deg. C (dry bulb) per century is true.

    If the world is “warming” that means an increase in “heat” (BTU/LB or KW/KG dry air).

    Using a psychrometric chart – provided for your convenience (

    Please explain how we know the “heat” (i.e. BTU/LB dry air) at the surface of the earth is increasing if we do not know the increase (or decrease) in the corresponding WET BULB temperatures?


    Please email me at

    Comment by tkette — 29 Sep 2013 @ 6:44 PM

  72. Tony Weddle (#69),
    I could explain but this is kind of off-topic here.

    Perhaps you could look at the scenarios from this perspective: “The RCPs are not new, fully integrated scenarios (i.e., they are not a complete package of socioeconomic, emissions, and climate projections). They are consistent sets of projections of only the components of radiative forcing that are meant to serve as input for climate modeling, pattern scaling, and atmospheric chemistry modeling.” (RCP database)

    I generally agree with you regarding the plausibility of these scenarios. But if less oil and gas is burned and more coal is burned instead or if more fossil fuels are burned earlier in the century and less at the end of the century, as far as the climate is concerned the result would not be all that different as long as the amount of CO2 emitted is the same. There are differences of course (else the scenarios would be pointless) but there are much larger differences between the different scenarios you object to.
    So these scenarios provide a wide spread of possible outcomes that should be useful to you even if you do not care for some of the assumptions that underly them. If you think a likely scenario in terms of cumulative CO2 emissions would be in between RCP2.6 and RCP4.5 for instance, you could average the sea level projections for both of these scenarios to get a ballpark value for what your preferred scenario would yield (crude, yes, but preferable to having no idea what to expect).

    Comment by Anonymous Coward — 29 Sep 2013 @ 7:17 PM

  73. I am wondering if Tony Weddle is in fact referring to “the limits of growth”. Many of the scenarios in the “limits of growth” study resulted in collapse of society by the mid 21st century. If they were right, then – I could argue – the effects of global warming at the end of the 21st century are somewhat of a non-issue.
    Then again, maybe not.

    Comment by Retrograde Orbit — 29 Sep 2013 @ 8:19 PM

  74. Hey, and what about the moral decay of society?
    That could easily preempt global warming as well …

    Comment by Retrograde Orbit — 29 Sep 2013 @ 8:29 PM

  75. The coincidence of the multidecadal decline from ~ 1840 to 1920 with the heyday of coal-fired steam energy is obvious, but insofar as these global estimates span the oceans as well as land one wonders about the effect of readings taken in sea lanes on the overall statistics.

    The aerosol and NOx optical depths over the sea lanes of today are still very high, and conspicuously visible in satellite imaging.

    in Victorian times the bulk of marine traffic clung to these narrow tracks and hence raw thermometric readings taken at sea may reflect travel along sea lanes often adumbrated by the sooty emissions of the ships traversing them

    Can anyone address howthe question of optical depth feedback from ‘marine heat islands’ was addressed in arriving at these graphs ?

    Comment by Russell — 29 Sep 2013 @ 8:31 PM

  76. Apologies if this has been answered before elsewhere, but do future climate simulations (and the publications that describe them) quantify the amount of heat that goes into the oceans? All I see are surface temperature projections.

    Somewhat related, the IPCC AR5 SPM says that 60% of the heat accumulated went to the top layers (0 – 700 m) of the ocean, and 30% went to the deep layers (below 700 m). Is this information currently used to calibrate or test GCMs?

    Thanks for all the work you RCers do!

    Comment by Joe — 29 Sep 2013 @ 10:51 PM

  77. Russell. Steamships were rather late to the party for the major long trading routes in the Victorian era. Certainly the wheat and wool trade from Australia was pretty well entirely sailing by fast clippers until very late in the 19th century. Some were still being used in the Edwardian era.

    Until later in the 19th century, steamships were used more in river trade and around coasts rather than as trans-ocean vessels.

    Anyway, with no buildings or hard paving or factories, it’s a bit hard to see how there could be anything remotely like an UHI in the middle of the Atlantic or Pacific, let alone the roaring 40s.

    Comment by adelady — 30 Sep 2013 @ 2:06 AM

  78. Thanks to Anonymous Coward and Retrograde Orbit for their responses. I guess the RCPs do serve a useful purpose as they allow some communication with our leaders and other members of our societies who all assume that it’s possible to grow the economy for ever (or at least until 2100).

    However, it doesn’t seem to be working as I just heard one of our leaders, here in New Zealand, say that we must balance the need for economic growth against the actions needed to mitigate warming. How stupid is that? Let’s compromise on the one thing that underpins all life and the whole economy so that something that is underpinned by the environment can continue to ignore it.

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 30 Sep 2013 @ 2:47 AM

  79. So what would present day temperatures be without the man made warming? Presumably natural variability sucked out the .4 degrees C out of the atmosphere? I think it would put today’s temps .4 degrees C below the “0” baseline. That would put the earth back into Little Ice Age temperatures, would it not?

    Comment by Ed Barbar — 30 Sep 2013 @ 2:49 AM

  80. tkette @71.
    I’m not sure your question has an answer, so it’s lucky meteorology concerned itself with measuring rainfall and the causes thereof. Thus your question remains purely theoretical.

    Comment by MARodger — 30 Sep 2013 @ 4:27 AM

  81. “In the new IPCC report the critical temperature limit at which a total loss of the Greenland ice sheet will occur is estimated as 1 to 4°C of warming above preindustrial temperature. In the previous report that was still 1.9 to 4.6 °C – and that was one of the reasons why international climate policy has agreed to limit global warming to below 2 degrees.”

    Er, oops?

    So even if, miraculously, the world managed to cut carbon dioxide emissions quickly enough to keep temperatures below 2C, there would still be a roughly 1-in-3 chance that Greenland would completely [eventually] melt anyway. That’s pretty bad.

    Comment by Timothy (likes zebras) — 30 Sep 2013 @ 4:30 AM

  82. @ Geoff Beacon

    “Is this true for the CMIP5 models used for the current IPCC report?”

    In his reply it looks as though John Mitchell is refering to the set-up of the Hadley Centre model HadGEM2. This model is one of several that add so-called “Earth System” components to the previous generation GCMs, in particular land and ocean carbon cycle models. However, each model is different and some will have some processes while other will not, so it is pretty hard to give an answer to your question off the top of my head.

    One expects that the full WG1 report will summarise the differences between the models so you can find your answer. You’d hope that there would also be some discussion of known unknowns – those processes that are known could be important, but haven’t been incorporated into the models yet.

    Comment by Timothy (likes zebras) — 30 Sep 2013 @ 4:56 AM

  83. tkette:

    Please explain how we know…

    Start here

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 30 Sep 2013 @ 1:16 PM

  84. For those wondering about mentions of copyediting, click through and read what’s linked. It says there:

    Before publication the Final Draft will undergo copyediting as well as any error correction as necessary, consistent with the IPCC Protocol for Addressing Possible Errors. Publication of the Report is foreseen in January 2014.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Sep 2013 @ 2:08 PM

  85. “I’m a little bit puzzled…after reading Judith Curry’s blog.”

    Confusion is the objective but puzzlement is an acceptable substitute.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 30 Sep 2013 @ 3:10 PM

  86. Hog Wash, The collapse of the magnetosphere allows more solar and space whether “radiation” to warm our planet. Co2 are much higher and the correlation between co2 higher temperatures is n

    Comment by WDL — 30 Sep 2013 @ 3:10 PM

  87. The greenland Ice sheet is composed of snow from the last 100,000 years. (wiki) When was the last time it melted completely? Is it the position of this blog that temperatures over the last 100,000 years have never been 1 or 2 degrees hotter than they are today?

    Comment by dan — 30 Sep 2013 @ 3:53 PM

  88. What am I misunderstanding? The IPCC Website has a button for Full Report, but what I am downloading has on the bottom of each page: “Do Not Cite, Quote or Distribute”.

    Comment by AIC — 30 Sep 2013 @ 4:03 PM

  89. AIC, you’re looking at the final draft. Always check the website (and clear your browser cache).

    Yesterday when I looked it said:

    . . . Before publication the Final Draft will undergo copyediting as well as any error correction as necessary, consistent with the IPCC Protocol for Addressing Possible Errors. Publication of the Report is foreseen in January 2014.

    The IPCC has last I heard a dozen paid staffers; now that the people creating that Final Draft have finally gone off to get some sleep, I expect the paid staff has some cleaning up to take care of.

    Just now when I looked it said:

    Disclaimer: The accepted Final Draft of the full Working Group I report, comprising the Technical Summary, 14 Chapters and three Annexes, has been released online in an unedited form. Following copy-editing, layout, final checks for errors, and adjustments for changes for consistency with the Summary for Policymakers, it will be published online in January 2014 (tbc) and in book form by Cambridge University Press a few months later.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Sep 2013 @ 4:24 PM

  90. @87 Dan:

    The greenland Ice sheet is composed of snow from the last 100,000 years. (wiki) When was the last time it melted completely?

    From the ‘Greenland ice sheet’ Wikipedia article (presumably the same one you got the 100,000 year old ice figure from):

    The ice in the current ice sheet is as old as 110,000 years.[4] The presence of ice-rafted sediments in deep-sea cores recovered off of northeast Greenland, in the Fram Strait, and south of Greenland indicated the more or less continuous presence of either an ice sheet or ice sheets covering significant parts of Greenland for the last 18 million years. From just before 11 million years ago to a little after 10 million years ago, the Greenland Ice Sheet appears to have been greatly reduced in size.

    So the ice sheet has been there for at least 18 million years. I can’t answer the question of when it was last 1 – 2C hotter than today, but it probably wasn’t in the last 100,000 years. It could have been during that period 10 – 11 million years ago when the Greenland ice sheet had melted considerably, but not completely.

    Comment by Steve Metzler — 30 Sep 2013 @ 4:48 PM

  91. Ed @ 79 You’re in the right ballpark – see for the longterm natural trend. I don’t know that anyone has studied this in detail, though.

    Comment by MalcolmT — 30 Sep 2013 @ 5:14 PM

  92. Re: #58 MARodger.
    Fair enough; two witnesses can be better than one.

    So what do you think about the drift of my main criticism of the BBC’s coverage of climate science research? It matters, especially when you consider that the UK’s Secretary of State for the Environment * may have acquired his views from the newspapers which share his politics and the BBC.

    (a) Too many conclusions combined with too little straight science, leaves a void to be filled by contrarians who pretend to dig deeper and provide a simple story e.g those in the BBC’s own Moral Maize and in Channel 4’s “Swindle”.
    (b) “Climate Wars” by Iaian Stewart spoilt by too much prominence given to so called ice age scare of the 1970’s, and by reference to a hot summer.
    (c) Sensational and muddled Horizon programme on global dimming.
    (d) Biologist, Steve Jones advised the BBC to drop the policy of balance,
    but it is unclear how much notice they have taken.
    (e) The one good programme in which Horizon’s “Science under Attack”
    allowed Paul Nurse to interview James Delingpole and Bob Carter, led to
    such severe political attacks on the BBC that they may have been a bit scared to put on any more like it.
    (f) Radio 4’s Moral Maize should have covered this issue, but its coverage has either been absent or dominated by contrarians.
    (g) Coverage of the leaked or stolen emails from CRU was sensational and biased against the CRU. The exonerations were either omitted or accompanied by interviews with Nigel Lawson, who was allowed to attempt to rubbish them.
    (h) I missed some of these, but have been told that the run-up to the release of the AR5’s SPM had multiple short items partially framed by contrarians.
    (i) The odd ‘balanced’ way of reporting the final release of the SPM was also remarked upon by Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP, in the evening’s ‘Any Questions’.
    (j) The overall impression is too often that there is a difference of opinion between two lots of honest people with a tendency to zealotry on both sides.

    Thats what I can remember of the last seven years. Many viewers/listeners can be excused if they know next to nothing about the roles of increasing water vapour and falling albedo etc. and and without these their knowledge has to be very impoverished.

    It is mainly climate science thats in the doldrums; parts of physics, cosmology and materials science have fared rather better while geology and especially evolution have been covered quite well.
    * “The climate has been changing for centuries” says
    Owen Paterson

    Comment by deconvoluter — 30 Sep 2013 @ 6:59 PM

  93. @Steve Metzler #90,
    During the Pliocene, about 3 million years ago, it was probably about 2-3 degrees Celsius warmer than now (or pre-industrial). Sea level was probably about 20 m higher than now. Greenland had probably no or very little ice, just as West-Antarctica. East-Antarctica probably also contributed significantly to the higher sea level.

    Comment by Lennart van der Linde — 1 Oct 2013 @ 12:36 AM

  94. When do the Working Group II and III reports come out?

    Comment by James Cross — 1 Oct 2013 @ 6:36 AM

  95. deconvoluter @92.

    I would agree that the BBC has often in the past done badly when presenting the reality of AGW. And as you allude to, the UK still has at least one climate denier in the cabinet as well as some very vocal deniers who hold the ear of the PM & the boy George next door. And when push comes to shove, it is government that controls the BBC.
    I don’t consider BBC airing of denialism to be systematic, a decision to do the dirty deed good and proper (like say Channel 4 with the “Great Global Warming Swindle”) but a combination of the ‘balance’ problem (apparently revised in 2006 so scientists are no longer faced by a denier during interview) and of internal skeptics/deniers doing what they do naturally with nobody on hand to prevent it.

    My own bad memories are of presenters like John Humphries, Andrew Neil or Michael Portello bursting forth with denialism. I assume they know no better. My ‘favourite’ was Jeremy Vine (?) on Newnight. A report on German lowering of emission cut targets was followed by a chat with anchorman Vine in the studio which concluded something like – . Vine “So what does this mean?” Reporter “Well, if the scientists are right, this is very bad news.” Vine “So let’s hope the scientists are wrong then.” Reporter “Yes. Let’s.”

    But while the BBC’s coverage has caused me to make a few official complaints, they do also get it right. The denialist 1990 Channel 4 film “The Greenhouse Conspiracy” was a response to the BBC’s “After the Warming” documentary (Part One and Two I never did see it, myself). And just last week the entire Today programme the day the AR5 was to be released was well presented (No John Humphries that morning.)

    Comment by MARodger — 1 Oct 2013 @ 7:52 AM

  96. RE: >Tony Weddle says:
    >29 Sep 2013 at 5:17 PM

    >Can anyone please explain how economic growth can continue
    >for the rest of this century, as the RCPs assume. Anyone?
    This is easy. Economic growth is no longer equal to increased use of physical resources. More and more of economic activity is due to immaterial services, like playing your favorite game on your smartphone. It is the ingenuity of the humankind that creates more efficient ways of accomplishing the same things with less resources. The predictions of the “Limits of growth” have already proven misleading.

    Comment by Lauri — 1 Oct 2013 @ 12:01 PM

  97. Steve Easterbrook #6 – “The plan was to go with a higher scenario, RCP2.9, which, together with RCP4.5 bracket the lower 5% and upper 95% confidence interval for what can be achieved with strong mitigation policies.”

    Forgive my confusion, but does that mean there is only a 5% chance of staying on a RCP2.9 pathway even WITH strong mitigation policies? And that RCP2.9 doesn’t even keep us under 2C increase in global warming? So, what is the chance of a RCP2.6 scenario with strong mitigation? Even lower than 5% right?

    I appreciate the IPCC report, I know a lot of work went into it to make it clear, quantifiable, and accurate. Thanks to all of you who worked on it. I just wish there was a way to clearly and simply state the facts – “Global temperatures are going to increase MORE than 2C, that’s going to cause a LOT of problems for all of humanity. We need to deal with it now.” Of course, scientists will respond: “We’ve been saying that for YEARS!”

    Comment by Brent Smith — 1 Oct 2013 @ 12:06 PM

  98. @93 Lennart van der Linde:

    During the Pliocene, about 3 million years ago, it was probably about 2-3 degrees Celsius warmer than now (or pre-industrial).

    Thanks for the info. Just goes to show that even as Wikipedia makes for a decent entry point if you know nothing/little about something, it isn’t a substitute for primary sources. Going to go read up a bit on the Pliocene now…

    Comment by Steve Metzler — 1 Oct 2013 @ 4:07 PM

  99. Tremendous study for the attention of politicians ,sociologists ,economists and religios leaders.
    What is required now is for a correlation with diseases caused by the deterioration of the world climate on the world population

    Comment by Prem Nandlal — 1 Oct 2013 @ 4:21 PM

  100. Yeah, so I accessed the Wikipedia article on the Pliocene, and it linked to Robinson et. al. 2008, which is where the 2 – 3C warmer than today figure for the mid-Pliocene comes from.

    Only… the paper is on NASA’s FTP server… which has been taken down due to the government shutdown :-( I managed to source the paper from elsewhere, but that’s not the point. I will refrain from partisan comment because this isn’t the right venue for it, but… ouch.

    Comment by Steve Metzler — 1 Oct 2013 @ 4:59 PM

  101. Re: my #46 (also discussed at #95,92,58, 55,);

    More about the BBC from

    To-day’s Guardian

    According to John Ashton, formerly the top climate-change official at the Foreign Office, the BBC’s coverage of last week’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was “a betrayal of the editorial professionalism on which the BBC’s reputation has been built over generations”.
    He questions why a senior corporation figure had long meetings about climate change with Nigel Lawson and Peter Lilley, both prominent UK sceptics.

    The biologist Steve Jones, who reviewed the BBC’s science output in 2011, told the Guardian he was concerned that the BBC was still wedded to an idea of “false balance” in presenting climate sceptics alongside reputable scientists.

    [My comment; I’m sure that many people in RC could add some flesh to these bones when it comes to the BBC’s choice of ‘expert’ Bob Carter and his contributions to the subject]

    Comment by deconvoluter — 1 Oct 2013 @ 6:28 PM

  102. Lauri @~96

    This about says it all:

    “like playing your favorite game on your smartphone. It is the ingenuity of the humankind that creates more efficient ways of accomplishing the same things with less resources.”

    The nothingness signification of the human race is reaching its endgame.

    The toxic materials that go into creating electronic devices which are “thrown away” faster and faster is indeed a toxic endgame. If playing a game on a smartphone is an end in itself, there is nothing in our futures.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 1 Oct 2013 @ 7:02 PM

  103. MARodger @95,

    I should think that almost the entire UK cabinet is in denial about climate change, not just one member. This is the same in every major nation on earth. If this were not true, we’d see a lot stronger advocacy for effective mitigation strategies. Indeed, any country with a largely non-denialist cabinet would already be enacting such strategies. Or maybe some countries would be doing that if they didn’t realise that any effective mitigation strategy also ensures economic contraction and a need for massive investment in alternative living arrangements at the same time – which is impossible.

    Oh well, we can dream.

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 2 Oct 2013 @ 3:22 AM

  104. deconvoluter @92.
    I note that while BBC Radio 4 managed a good job on the AR5 release fist thing in the morning, by lunchtime they had lost the plot.
    The World at One (BBCi) featured the AR5 launch as its top story but the main man was Bob Carter. In 6 of the 11 minutes used he told the audience that the IPCC didn’t do real science but the NIPCC did and came to the opposite conclusions. 95%? It’s all natural. NIPCC is mainly self-funded. No govt money, industry or green lobby groups. Some money from a “libertarian thinktank”. And what should be done over AGW? Paraphrased .We need to improve emergency responses & adapt to climate. “No government tries to predict or stop an earthquake or volcanic erruption. No sensible govt would dream of trying to “stop climate change.” It is a ludicrous idea.”
    Despite preceding comment from the Energy Secretary Ed Davey and 4 minutes with Peter Stott, Carter did dominate the story. Stott was bogged down in responding to ‘the pause’ and Himalayan glaciers when he should have been directly responding to Carter’s nonsense. I can see how this story spiraled out of control but the BBC is rightly be criticised.

    Comment by MARodger — 2 Oct 2013 @ 4:44 AM

  105. This is not the forum for an extended discussion, but Lauri, #96, says “The predictions of the “Limits of growth” have already proven misleading.”

    Lauri, needless to say, cites no page number or specific prediction. There is a considerable literature lately about this. It’s not hard to find: type “limits” into Wikipedia and auto-complete will already offer the article. Recent work of Ugo Bardi is on topic.

    Comment by Ric Merritt — 2 Oct 2013 @ 11:39 AM

  106. #105

    Check out this.

    Pretty easy to find.

    Comment by James Cross — 2 Oct 2013 @ 6:56 PM

  107. Top Climate Scientists Assess Latest Report from U.N. Panel
    Yale Environment 360 asked some leading climate scientists to discuss what they consider to be the most noteworthy or surprising findings in the recently released report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s working group on the physical science of a warming world.

    Comment by prokaryotes — 3 Oct 2013 @ 4:14 PM

  108. #105-6 and previous related comments:

    A reductio of infinite growth:

    Also apposite is the following post in the series.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 3 Oct 2013 @ 6:25 PM

  109. Hi guys, is there any conditions to be met to be accepted as a translated version of a RealClimate article? We’ve made a Portuguese version of this article, and if applicable, would it be possible to have a link on the title pointing to it? (it’s also been sent to RealClimate by email)

    Anyway, thanks for your great work keeping this website.

    Comment by Alexandre — 3 Oct 2013 @ 6:41 PM

  110. Or maybe some countries would be doing that if they didn’t realise that any effective mitigation strategy also ensures economic contraction and a need for massive investment in alternative living arrangements at the same time – which is impossible.

    Economic contraction? I find it hard to see how massive investment in infrastructure and in living arrangements amounts to an economic contraction. These sorts of activities are expensive, but they also employ lots, and lots, of people. It does mean a huge change in economic activities, but power infrastructure, public transport, retrofitting most and rebuilding some housing provide a huge economic boost to the areas in which they’re undertaken. And a flow-on effect to other areas because of the boost in economic activity generally.

    I can see that some people wouldn’t like it much if we did some things like rationing (or denying) power for gigantic electronic billboards and other things we’re used to that use power (or water) for purposes that are deemed wasteful or counter-productive. Many businesses and employees don’t like it when buggy-whips, typewriters, asbestos products, whalebone corsets, and spittoons are superseded or rejected by technical or social improvements, but that’s been the way of the world for a good while now.

    As I see it, building renewable power generation and retro-fitting existing buildings for greater efficiency is a great driver for an economy re-focusing on what is really important. And I don’t see the economic “contraction” you’re so fearful about.

    Comment by adelady — 3 Oct 2013 @ 6:57 PM

  111. The experts weigh in on the new IPCC SLR projections:

    Aslak Grinsted:

    Anders Levermann:

    Would be interesting to hear Stefan Rahmstorf and Martin Vermeer weigh in too.

    Comment by perwis — 3 Oct 2013 @ 11:07 PM

  112. Lauri @ 96,

    “This is easy. Economic growth is no longer equal to increased use of physical resources. More and more of economic activity is due to immaterial services, like playing your favorite game on your smartphone. It is the ingenuity of the humankind that creates more efficient ways of accomplishing the same things with less resources. The predictions of the “Limits of growth” have already proven misleading.”

    Surely you jest! Either that, or you have very little understanding of some very basic physics.

    Susan Anderson’s points apply in spades and here’s my two cents. You obviously don’t understand ‘Limits to Growth’!
    Here’s is presentation tiltled: ‘Growth has an Expiration Date’ by Tom Murphy Associate Professor of Physics UCSD.

    Or you can read his blog post at Do The Math

    Hint, your example of immaterial services, such as playing games on smartphones is anything but immaterial… Do you have any idea how much energy it takes to power the internet?!
    And do you suppose smartphones are just poofed into existence by some form of magic?!

    Comment by Fred Magyar — 4 Oct 2013 @ 6:12 AM

  113. Tony Weddle wrote: “… any effective mitigation strategy also ensures economic contraction …”

    The transfer of trillions of dollars in wealth and investment from the fossil fuel corporations to other sectors of the industrial economy is not “economic contraction”.

    The reality is that continued business-as-usual use of fossil fuels will lead inevitably to global economic collapse, whereas renewable energy technologies are the basis for the New Industrial Revolution of the 21st Century, which can provide sustainable, equitable prosperity for everyone.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 4 Oct 2013 @ 10:19 AM

  114. Suggestion for Gavin, these links Fred Magyar reminds us of above (thank you) have been mentioned before; they might merit a place in your right sidebar list of reliable sources.

    ‘Growth has an Expiration Date’ by Tom Murphy Associate Professor of Physics UCSD.

    … his blog post at Do The Math

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Oct 2013 @ 11:13 AM

  115. secular animist said:
    “The reality is that continued business-as-usual use of fossil fuels will lead inevitably to global economic collapse, whereas renewable energy technologies are the basis for the New Industrial Revolution of the 21st Century, which can provide sustainable, equitable prosperity for everyone.”

    Problem is too many “everyone”s, so poor and dirty, and annoying.

    Mightn’t we should just let natural selection run a few stretches of disaster to reduce the carrying load, wash away the residue, pretty up the sea shores? Then we can look around for new things to do with all that room and resource, shared out among those important enough to survive. Petroleum dollars can buy a lot of security and insulation from risk (e.g. Paraguayan mountain valley).

    Comment by Phil Mattheis — 4 Oct 2013 @ 11:48 AM

  116. We should consider that the underlying cause of climate change is the relentless pursuit of economic growth in a 90% fossil-fueled economy. Economic growth entails increasing consumption of resources and greenhouse gas emissions which lead to the loss of ecosystems that the economy itself depends on. If we’re serious about stabilizing climate, we have to get serious about the steady state economy as the sustainable alternative to growth.

    Read Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution.


    Comment by CASSE3 — 4 Oct 2013 @ 1:12 PM

  117. Tony Weddle’s post @103 illustrates the sort of economic fallacy foisted on us by the U. of Chicago, fun-with Hayek (Friedrich, not Salma)crowd–to wit that funds spent on infrastructure of by the ebil gummint somehow disappear from the economy into a black hole.

    It is true that the multiplier for the efficacy of these funds may vary depending on their target, but I’ll take funds spent on NASA over those spent on advertising any day. Likewise as SA and others have pointed out, we are talking about replacing the entire energy infrastructure of the freakin’ planet. We are bound to learn something interesting as a result of that, and I would bet it will be of commercial as well as academic interest. Isn’t $41.3 billion per Koch bro enough? Let’s direct some money toward ensuring the survival of our progeny.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 4 Oct 2013 @ 1:17 PM

  118. Fred: “Do you have any idea how much energy it takes to power the internet?!”

    As an illustration, some researchers recently calculated that some US $500K/day of electricity is being stolen by malefactors in pursuit of ill-gotten gains of about US $2K/day via Bitcoin mining using compromised computers, by the particular subset of malware under scrutiny.

    That’s just one little organism in the Internet jungle.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 4 Oct 2013 @ 7:55 PM

  119. Re the comment from deconvoluter comment #104 that I should have been “directly responding to Carter’s nonsense” that would have been a bit difficult since I hadn’t heard what he’d said. According to the BBC producer they were unable to play me the clip of what he had said, as I recall, due to a technical problem. Instead, in that interview, I did make clear the very robust, rigorous and comprehensive nature of the IPCC report and rather than concentrating on Himalayan glaciers or the pause I described the important conclusion coming from the assessment that there is 95% certainty that human influence on climate is the dominant cause of the warming observed since the mid 20th century.

    Comment by Peter Stott — 5 Oct 2013 @ 4:49 AM

  120. Re #118 “Bitcoin mining ” The rise of digital currency like Bitcoin, and carbon footprints
    The new (2013 introduced) ASIC architecture is roughly 60 times more energy efficient than one of the best GPU’s. Hence, ASIC miners are used today to farm Bitoin, powered with the USB port.

    Comment by prokaryotes — 5 Oct 2013 @ 6:53 AM

  121. Perwis #111,

    Seems that Levermann essentially agrees with Grinsted (to which I gave one link earlier).

    Though, reading his contribution one wonders if trusting the creativity of the reader (of the IPCC report) was such a great idea…

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 5 Oct 2013 @ 9:44 AM

  122. Peter Stott @119.
    The comment @104 was me, not deconvoluter. It was apparent that you were but responding to the BBC’s questions and not to ‘Carter’s nonsense’ which never got the slightest mention during your piece. And I failed to mention but you did indeed begin by describing the standing and the importance of the IPCC report. My point @104 was that it was the BBC questioning that ‘bogged you down’. About half your interview (as transmitted) was taken up with ‘pause’ and Himalayas.

    I am surprised to learn that Carter had been interviewed before you and BBC technical problems prevented you hearing what he had said. And it’s even more surprising your interviewer did not put to you something of the accusations made by Carter about AR5 & IPCC. I had assumed the BBC’s decision to interview/include Carter at least had the excuse of being rushed. It appears no such excuse can be made.

    Comment by MARodger — 5 Oct 2013 @ 10:57 AM

  123. Fred Magyar @112, and others,

    I wrote on a lightly tone but not completely in jest. One example of the studies I thought exist is “Growth in global materials use, GDP and population during the 20th century by Fridolin Krausmann et al., Ecological Economics 68 (2009) 2696–2705.” They write in the conclusions:

    “… In the past century, materials use grew at a smaller rate than GDP, and material productivity continuously improved at an average rate of 1% per year. By the centennial perspective, it is evident that relative dematerialization is a standard feature of economic development.”

    Don’t get me wrong: I completely agree that the current level of resource use in unsustainable. And the dematerialization is too slow, in comparison. (Sorry I don’t have the citation, but) the favorable decrease of CO2 emissions per GDP has slowed down in the recent years, and it has been argued that the reason is the increased share of global GDP growth in less developed economies where energy efficiency is lower.
    Please remember that the discussion started from a statement that how can the IPCC predict continuous economic growth over the 21st century (because we will run out of resources). I don’t see any problem in that prediction. With more severe resource depletion, resource prices will increase and the economic growth will transform itself.

    Comment by Lauri — 5 Oct 2013 @ 1:13 PM

  124. MARodger @122
    Apologies for misattributing you.
    John Ashton gave a very interesting talk to the Royal Society on Thursday in which he suggested that climate scientists needed to better understand the terrain on which they were being drawn to in the climate struggle between reality based and ideology based world views. John Ashton has already called out the issue with the framing of this World at One item in his Guardian piece but the extra additional twist in the uneven terrain here is that the BBC did not play me what Carter had said.

    Comment by Peter Stott — 5 Oct 2013 @ 4:35 PM

  125. 115–“Mightn’t we should just let natural selection run a few stretches of disaster to reduce the carrying load, wash away the residue, pretty up the sea shores? Then we can look around for new things to do with all that room and resource, shared out among those important enough to survive. Petroleum dollars can buy a lot of security and insulation from risk (e.g. Paraguayan mountain valley).”

    Please tell me this was a sarcastic and heartless joke.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 5 Oct 2013 @ 10:30 PM

  126. CASSE3:

    If we’re serious about stabilizing climate, we have to get serious about the steady state economy as the sustainable alternative to growth.

    I’m pretty sure the majority of RCers are on board with that. The problem is that the “we” reading and commenting on this blog are a tiny subset of the “we” that has to get serious about transitioning to a steady-state economy. That’s a political problem, obviously, thus better discussed elsewhere. Nobody here needs reminding, though, that wonga on the scale of Ray’s “$41.3 billion per Koch bro” buys a lot of political inertia.

    What Is to Be Done? I don’t know, but clearly nothing that’s been tried so far.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 6 Oct 2013 @ 11:57 AM

  127. Peter Stott referred to John Ashton, which led me to some interesting (and to me, believe it or not, soothing – it’s been that kind of day) material. I see Gavin Schmidt was also at that Royal Society event.

    This is a tremendous indictment of the BBC program:

    I didn’t find the Royal Society talk, but I did find this:

    a “top climate diplomat” indeed. There is a lot of passionate and gorgeous language that expresses much that I worry about but which may be perceived as excessively metaphysical and a tad optimistic in these difficult times. But beautiful use of English is always welcome.

    Lauri, my apologies for overreacting. It’s such a minefield, or to mix metaphors, walking on the razor’s edge of the need for limits versus expediency in communication with people who find those limits unacceptable.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 6 Oct 2013 @ 9:48 PM

  128. Kevin McKinney, I don’t think that was straight-up humor, I think it was intended to express outrage (and perhaps frustration at our powerlessness to prevent misuse of precious human and other resrouces as this all plays out), fwiw. Our generation and onwards have learned to use black humor for relief when things get dark.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 6 Oct 2013 @ 9:52 PM

  129. I copy below my email to Fox News, responding to their “Wall Street Journal Report” of this Sunday.

    “Two points made in your 10/6 coverage of the IPCC report were unacceptably distorted: 1) Mr. Gogot’s citation of the “no warming in 15 years” meme; & 2) his guest’s assertion implying that the sole basis for believing that warming may prove highly problematic is the (now presumably challenged) models. Last first, for well over a decade, the stronger basis for believing in mid- to high range sensitivities (natural amplification of direct, spectroscopic CO2 warmth) is not in fact from modeling, but rather from growing paleoclimatic evidence. While technically not a factual error, Mr. Gigot ought think about the following detail. Using global data from the Hadley Center, the coolest five years in the past century and a half, were centered upon 1907, @ 59 hundredths F. below mean. Ninety years later, the five years centered upon 1997 registered as: 72, 54, 76, 106, & 61 hundredths F. warmer than mean. Tens of millions of observations are super-compressed into each of these two-digit summaries. They average +74 hundredths F., which yields a rate of warming across the bulk of the last century of 1.5 hundredths F. per year (+74 – -59 = 133/90 = 1.48). The most current similar interval centers upon 2010: 81, 103, 115, 94, & 97, which averages 98 hundredths F. Since 98 exceeds the 1997 five-year average by 24 hundredths, this 13 year interval’s warming rate was 1.85 hundredths F. per year, or a 25% INCREASE in the rate which prevailed from 1907 through 1997. Note that that 1998 value of 106 exceeds the 1996 value by 52 hundredths F., or 35 years worth of warmth, at the gradual rate of average warming of our world (1.5 hundredths per year). One can deceive an audience through selecting, without their awareness, the single most extreme outlier in the entire instrumental record, to assert that there has been “no warming in 15 years,” but one cannot inform.”

    Comment by Dave Peters — 7 Oct 2013 @ 12:37 AM

  130. #128–Thanks, Susan. I was likely in a bad mood myself when responding… black humor, indeed. Been re-reading “Six Degrees” and the Technical Summary of AR5, and am disheartened by the way AR5 has been dropped from the news cycle.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 7 Oct 2013 @ 7:24 AM

  131. Mal Adapted wrote: “The problem is that the ‘we’ reading and commenting on this blog are a tiny subset of the ‘we’ that has to get serious about transitioning to a steady-state economy.”

    For one thing, each and every one of “we” can vote with each and every dollar we spend (or DON’T spend) for the transition to a steady-state economy, by purchasing only goods and services that are produced by sustainable, steady-state means (and those of us in the rich countries, especially the USA, can learn to live well and happily with less consumption).

    And we can also, of course, lobby the government to enact policies that enable and facilitate sustainable practices and discourage unsustainable practices.

    And we can also, of course, refrain from reproducing.

    If enough of us do that, the steady-state economy will arise from within the growth-oriented economy.

    “Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.” — M.K. Gandhi

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 7 Oct 2013 @ 9:36 AM

  132. SA:

    If enough of us do that, the steady-state economy will arise from within the growth-oriented economy.

    Uhmm, which “us” are you thinking of? Are you saying that there are enough RC readers to bring about the steady-state economy by voluntary action? That would suggest that you don’t regard AGW and other external costs of growth as a Tragedy of the Commons.

    If the “us” you’re thinking of is the global (or even just the U.S) consumer population, the question remains “So why don’t enough of us do that?”

    Again, further discussion is probably off-topic at RC.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 7 Oct 2013 @ 12:03 PM

  133. wanted to tap the authors and readers thoughts on why this supposed ‘hiatus’is given importance – a question that climate negotiators i was told were found asking through 2012-13: if we are not certain of how short term temperature rises will play out would it be correct to hinge the 2015 agreement on a two degree rise cap or a carbon threshold cap? what is the ultimate goal and how does one find a formula that is equituous in terms of carbon space for all while giving a temperature cap instead of an emission cap in an agreement.

    upon which i make a small observation. as a journalist in a developing world (India), I speak to both negotiators/policymakers and scientists: the former pick on the rhetorical and political significance of the lines in IPCC reports(which can easily deviate from the facts underlying the lines picked) while the scientists too often do not realise the way terms are used in the negotiating and geo-political arena.

    Comment by Nitin Sethi — 18 Oct 2013 @ 4:14 AM

  134. Nitin Sethi (#133) asked authors and readers: “would it be correct to hinge the 2015 agreement on a two degree rise cap or a carbon threshold cap?”
    This is a WG3 (yet to be published) topic.

    But it dosn’t take a very subtle understanding to realize both these approaches would lead nowhere. The 2 degrees cap is of course a joke (as you say, we are not certain how temperatures will play out) but even the seemingly more reasonable carbon cap would likely achieve nothing in practice.
    That’s because no one can possibly be held responsible for adherring to some kind of global cap. Everyone will simply point fingers at others.
    It is my view that enforceable agreements prescribe specific policies with a view to holding specific persons responsible for enacting and enforcing them.

    If governments commit to long-term goals without committing to timetables and specific ways to achieve these goals, they will be sorely tempted to stick to window-dressing and to let the next government deal with the real problems.

    Comment by Anonymous Coward — 18 Oct 2013 @ 6:03 AM

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