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  1. Little heroes: bacteria gobble up 200,000 tonnes of potent greenhouse gas methane from BP oil disaster: http://wapo.st/BacCH4

    Comment by Kees van der Leun — 6 Jan 2011 @ 3:10 PM

  2. I found this video from Peter Sinclair interesting. Its of isaac Asimov talking about the greenhouse effect back in 1989. Just goes to show the basic foundations of AGW were understood over 120 years ago and yet the deniers still dont want to accept it.

    http://climateprogress.org/2011/01/06/1989-isaac-asimov-on-climate-change/#more-39887

    Comment by Luke — 6 Jan 2011 @ 6:12 PM

  3. Excellent idea, especially with a moderator to do the move. You’ve improved your site.

    Comment by catman306 — 6 Jan 2011 @ 6:18 PM

  4. RE: #596, “Better to deny and retreat…”

    In another thread on RC, I believe Bob (Sphaerica) wrote eloquently on the uses of trolls. His point as I recall was that in revealing the bankruptcy of the trolls’ arguments, posters illuminate the soundness and solidity of the scientific case. He put it much better than I!

    As one who usually lurks, I can attest to the validity of Bob’s point of view.

    You have also been eloquent over the years; whatever your motivations I hope you will continue to help unmask the bogus denialist arguments.

    [moved]

    Comment by Walter Pearce — 6 Jan 2011 @ 7:47 PM

  5. 1989 may have been a tad more recent than that.

    Comment by Joel — 6 Jan 2011 @ 7:55 PM

  6. Something that’s nonetheless worth adding is that the warming effects of GHG’s have indeed been known for nearly that long… Arrhenius published in 1896.

    Comment by Joel — 6 Jan 2011 @ 8:15 PM

  7. “NASA Studies Report Oceans Entering New Cooling Phase”

    Would be nice to have some ‘up to date’ data.

    The article is from 5 Nov, 2008 => So any new data points could dramatically change the linear trend of the very short Argo data series.

    So it could be cooling for all I know. Where is the data or do I have to join the stonecutters society?

    [moved]

    Comment by Isotopolopolus — 6 Jan 2011 @ 8:44 PM

  8. You should probably make the point a little clearer and the black hole thread “The Boor Hole”. Much better.

    Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 6 Jan 2011 @ 8:55 PM

  9. My compliments on the blog enhancements. I like Rattus’ suggestion for ‘the boor hole’ – very apt.

    On another note, for the deniers and skeptics out there (and those having trouble distinguishing deniers from those wanting to learn), I came across an excellent primer for you from Greenfyre’s excellent blog:

    http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/guide-for-dealing-with-the-denier-label/

    Comment by Sou — 6 Jan 2011 @ 9:54 PM

  10. My bad, should have been 1889

    Comment by Luke — 6 Jan 2011 @ 10:11 PM

  11. I agree. “The Boor Hole”.

    The linguistic implication of ‘bore’ coupled with a touch of a Swedish accent (in honor of Svante Arrhenius), and roasted over the mellow yet current fire of punk rock…

    Oh please: The Boor Hole.

    Comment by Jaime Frontero — 6 Jan 2011 @ 10:18 PM

  12. Wegman on Deep Climate (and climategate)

    http://deepclimate.org/2011/01/06/wegman-on-deep-climate-and-climategate/

    Courtesy of Donald Rapp, we now have more insight into Edward Wegman’s take on \Climategate\ and other subjects of interest.


    But for now I want to focus on two emails from Wegman himself, both forwarded by Rapp. Wegman has some choice comments about the “totally unsavory” blog of yours truly, claiming it to be – wait for it – “developed in retaliation” for enquiries into the “obvious misconduct made clear” by climategate. But the problem is not just some obscure Canadian blogger; according to Wegman, even Bradley’s complaint to GMU itself is nothing more than “a smear campaign that attempts to deflect scrutiny from the real misconduct revealed by the climategate emails”.

    When the story of the Wegman misconduct inquiry first broke in USA Today, Wegman plaintively protested “We are not the bad guys”, leaving one to wonder just who the “bad guys” might be, at least in Wegman’s fevered imagination. Now, we have the answer in Wegman’s latest outrageous and unsubstantiated accusations against climate scientists.

    Comment by Deep Climate — 6 Jan 2011 @ 11:20 PM

  13. “Bore Hole” (w/closed comments) – This is a good thing, thank you.

    Comment by arch stanton — 7 Jan 2011 @ 10:27 AM

  14. OHC:

    http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~douglass/papers/Knox_Douglass_KD_IJG_InPress.pdf

    In summary, we find that estimates of the recent (2003–2008) OHC rates of change are preponderantly negative. This does not support the existence of either a large positive radiative imbalance or a “missing energy.”

    Comment by JCH — 7 Jan 2011 @ 12:14 PM

  15. http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

    Clearly the trend is up.

    Comment by Maya — 7 Jan 2011 @ 2:23 PM

  16. Anyone care to comment on Semenov et al. 2010 and work on IMP which show a contribution to the current warming from the atlantic multidecadal oscillation. Previous work more or less considered it to be a redistribution of heat but it is difficult to understand whether it can still be considered that.

    Comment by Robert — 7 Jan 2011 @ 4:37 PM

  17. Robert @16 — Using the AMO helps to explain the global temperature record:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/10/unforced-variations-3-2/comment-page-5/#comment-189329

    Comment by David B. Benson — 7 Jan 2011 @ 6:15 PM

  18. JCH @ 14 – Given his track record, I would place too much confidence in Douglass. I think we saw a similar scenario with the MSU satellite data, a while back.

    Hopefully once the extent of the faults in the ARGO float pressure sensors is fully known and corrected for, we can see some re-analysis of the data.

    By the way, where do you think all that energy is going if not into the oceans?.

    Comment by Dappledwater — 7 Jan 2011 @ 6:35 PM

  19. JCH: people sometimes post a link to something, maybe with a quick quote, without motivating it or showing udnerstanding.

    For the sake of credibility, can you explain this paper, and why you think it’s worth bothering with?

    1) The publisher, Scientific Research Publishing, SCIRP has odd characteristics.

    a)IJG is in its 3rd issue, total. The same issue has this article by Paulo Cesar Soares.
    It says:
    “The main conclusion one arrives at the analysis is that CO2 has not a causal relation with global warming and it is not powerful enough to cause the historical changes in temperature that were observed. The main argument is the absence of immediate correlation between CO2 changes preceding temperature either for global or local changes. The greenhouse effect of the CO2 is very small compared to the water vapor because the absorbing effect is already realized with its historical values.”

    Presumably a journal that prints that is credible?

    b) IJG might be better than Energy&Environment, but it is too new to know. It is not Science or Nature.

    2) The paper:
    a) Went from Received July 23, 2010 to accepted August 3, 2010. That is the sort of interval where an associate editor takes a quick look. Real peer review rarely goes so quickly.

    b) Cites a paper in E&E.

    c) talks about a 5-year period, picked from a longer period. This is not an encouraging start, given any idea of statistics.

    3) I have some familiarity with Knox and Douglass, from 2009 study on petition to APS. See p.7 for the petition they signed. See p.27 and p.87-88 for notes on Douglass, who has spoken at several Heartland conferences. He and Knox invited the Viscount Monckton to speak to the physics department at U of R. And there is plenty more, including Douglass’ attacks on Ben Santer. I’ve studied some of their earlier papers.

    4) So, none of this is the slightest encouragement to look at this paper, but you believe it is worth citing. Can you explain this paper and why you think it is worth spending time on? I do not dismiss it out fo hand, but life is short.

    Comment by John Mashey — 7 Jan 2011 @ 8:32 PM

  20. Any chance of a link to The Bore Hole on the right panel? It will get a little hard to find when this post is off the front page.

    Comment by S. Molnar — 7 Jan 2011 @ 8:55 PM

  21. S Molnar #20 seconded. Perhaps instead of a link to “the Bore Hole” it could be a little gif of a trashcan.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 7 Jan 2011 @ 9:19 PM

  22. John M, Maya, and Dapplewater – I sensed some excitement about the paper so I was just trying to get comments before it bloomed into “this is the end of global warming.”

    It just showed up Dr. Curry’s latest technical article on her blog.

    As for where I think it went, I believe Gavin said, and this was a couple of years ago, that it’s either in the oceans or it went into outer space. P

    Reading the tea leaves, and this is just a hunch, the authors seem to think they’ve found something wrong with von Schuckmann’s:

    Global hydrographic variability patterns during. 2003-2008.

    Comment by JCH — 7 Jan 2011 @ 11:13 PM

  23. Looks like the SOI December value +27 highest on record. So much for a weakening of the walker circulation, or a strengthening of the walker circulation for that matter. As they say on mythbusters…Busted.

    “Like a candle in wind…”

    lol

    [Response: How many times does it have to be repeated that long-term trends are not determined by single months? - gavin]

    Comment by Isotopolopolus — 8 Jan 2011 @ 12:36 AM

  24. Just to demonstrate how CC can effect the world’s economy, look at us in Queensland Australia. We are enjuring the worst natural disaster in our history..namely the never ending rain and unprecedented widespread flooding. Notwithstanding the $50billion+ cost to queensland but our 40odd coal mines produce 2/3 of the world’s supply of coking coal.used in the manufacture or iron and steel and other metals. 3/4 of those mines are underwater, the diggers and trucks are also underwater and will be for months, the rail and road routes from those mines are also impassable. Anotherwords we are exporting currently only about one quarter of what we should. This will impact the major steel producers globally..basically a short fall in steel equals a shortfall in world economic growth and this this has occurred just after the GFC. In the global village like we have now, a natural disaster in one or several countries can really impact the entire planet. As for us in queensland the wet season hasn’t really oficially begun as we still have another 3 months to go..the state premier considering renaming Queensland to ‘Waterworld’!!

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 8 Jan 2011 @ 1:19 AM

  25. It is about time to introduce a new Blytt-Sernander chronozone, after the SubAtlantic. How about calling it the Anthropic?

    Comment by Tom Mazanec — 8 Jan 2011 @ 4:10 AM

  26. I think George Orwell called it the Memory Hole….

    [Response: Different hole.... - gavin]

    Comment by Jack Savage — 8 Jan 2011 @ 4:22 AM

  27. #24 coal mines produce 2/3 of the world’s supply of coking coal.used in the manufacture or iron and steel

    Not quite

    Global Hard (Coking)Coal Production in 2009 was 5990Mt. China, USA and India are the top producers. Australia was the 4th largest producer at 335Mt.

    Australia IS the largest EXPORTER of coking coal, accounting for about 2/3 of global coking coal trade.

    Comment by JiminMpls — 8 Jan 2011 @ 8:00 AM

  28. The Russian government doesn’t like for their people to get alarmed about “apocalyptic” reports that the government may not be able to cope with: war, disease, nuclear accidents, or global warming.

    The global cooling alarmists like Pravda and Marc Morano have been posting nonsense about a coming ice age. This propaganda has backfired in Russia, and the media is reassuring people that actually there is global warming. Even Bedritsky is debunking the notion that a new ice age is on the horizon. Plus, TV is showing Ice Age 2: The Meltdown!

    Bedritsky claims that scientists don’t agree on the causes of global warming, but he says the fight against global warming is a good thing.

    I have started some details here:

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2011/01/russian-media-moves-to-calm-junk.html

    Just look what those alarmist denialists have done!

    Comment by Snapple — 8 Jan 2011 @ 10:26 AM

  29. The Russian government doesn’t like for their people to get alarmed about “apocalyptic” reports that the government may not be able to cope with: war, disease, nuclear accidents, or global warming.

    The global cooling alarmists like Pravda and Marc Morano have been posting nonsense about a coming ice age. This propaganda has backfired in Russia, and the media is reassuring people that actually there is global warming. Even Bedritsky is debunking the notion that a new ice age is on the horizon. Plus, TV is showing Ice Age 2: The Meltdown!

    Bedritsky claims that scientists don’t agree on the causes of global warming, but he says the fight against global warming is a good thing.

    I have started some details here:

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2011/01/russian-media-moves-to-calm-junk.html

    Just look what those alarmist denialists have done!

    Comment by Snapple — 8 Jan 2011 @ 10:36 AM

  30. I have written a blog explaining the mechanisms responsible for Stratospheric Cooling resulting from greenhouse gases. Please see:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Stratospheric_Cooling.html

    Bob

    Comment by Robert Guercio — 8 Jan 2011 @ 10:38 AM

  31. HELP!

    I run a lab in a large manufacturing facility in a small town, basically, I’m the closest thing to a scientist a lot of these people know and trust. I’m continually being asked by people about Global Warming. On the one side I get those that have heard stuff like “the world is coming to an end” or “Earth is turning into Venus”; on the other side I get the Fox news watchers who have heard its a “hoax”. So, I find myself explaining the science as I understand it and debunking myths and hyperbole from both sides of the “debate”. This can be very tiring as one goes from the nearly sucidal to the nearly Al Gore linch mob forming. The thing is there’s tons of information easily obtainable to debunk the Fox news side, but the hyperbole from the “hyper-alarmists” doesn’t seem to be challenged directly by actual climatologists in one convienient location. Anyway, have I missed the “What GW is NOT” page?

    Comment by John W — 8 Jan 2011 @ 11:34 AM

  32. Hi,
    Could someone comment on this:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-07/greenland-s-melt-will-be-unstoppable-by-2040-berlingske-says.html

    sidd

    Comment by sidd — 8 Jan 2011 @ 12:53 PM

  33. Are all the variations on “iso …” usernames from the same IP, or are they from a bunch of different people?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Jan 2011 @ 1:00 PM

  34. The article on Greenland is referenced in this:
    http://politiken.dk/newsinenglish/ECE1161570/greenland-close-to-unavoidable-meltdown/

    Here is the abstract

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JHM1140.1

    And I include the final sentences:

    “The rate of SMB loss, largely tied to changes in ablation processes, leads to an enhanced average loss of 331 km3 from 1950 to 2080 and an average SMB level of −99 km3 for the period 2070–80. GrIS surface freshwater runoff yielded a eustatic rise in sea level from 0.8 ± 0.1 (1950–59) to 1.9 ± 0.1 mm (2070–80) sea level equivalent (SLE) yr−1. The accumulated GrIS freshwater runoff contribution from surface melting equaled 160-mm SLE from 1950 through 2080″

    This is the first article I have seen that definitely predicts the GRIS is certainly gone in a kiloyear.

    sidd

    Comment by sidd — 8 Jan 2011 @ 1:02 PM

  35. Since the 1960s I’ve watched as natural gas and refinery bi-products are flared from production wells and refineries. Recently there has been a dust up about this waste and what some of it is doing to deprive the government of revenue from leases on public land. Is anyone researching what contribution this flaring is making to climate change? More importantly is anyone researching what can be done about it to divert the gas to productive uses? According to the fossil fuel industry it has to be flared for safety or other reasons which may be legitimate, but which have existed for so long that it is hard to understand why the great engineering skills of this world have not gone to work on the problem.

    Comment by Russ Doty — 8 Jan 2011 @ 1:16 PM

  36. David B. Benson @ 17,

    have you gotten any feedback on this simplified model from any climate scientists? If so, what did they say pertaining to your inclusion of the AMO?

    Comment by Robert — 8 Jan 2011 @ 1:55 PM

  37. re #1 Kees van der Leun

    Note of course that the methane was turned into CO2 in the process.

    Methane directly released into the atmosphere gets turned into CO2 in about 14 years anyway, if I remember right. Thus, it has a strong but brief role as a ‘greenhouse gas’.

    The CO2 from the methane would of course be composed of carbon isotopes dating from the time of ancient methane creation, whenever that happened.

    Our hosts here seem satisfied with radio-carbon dating of deep ocean water, but we seem to have new knowledge of bacteria eating methane and oil, which would seem to be a new thing to consider.

    On another matter, the search for methane seems to have shown that it is all gone, but there is a missing statement in the news reports regarding how much oil is still hanging around.

    Comment by Jim Bullis, Miastrada Company — 8 Jan 2011 @ 2:13 PM

  38. Clippo, sorry if I got the wrong inference on what you meant.

    I don’t disagree much with what you say in #190. But I’m concerned with your limited and one-sided scope. The media as a whole is currently overwhelming in support of AGW, your crocodile tears over Fox News not withstanding. Secondly, all governments, regardless of their party affiliation, have twisted facts and science from time to time to suit their beliefs or desires. Do you think the left never makes stuff up or stifles debate?

    [Response: Moved. Everyone: you now know where off-topic conversations belong. Please continue it there if you must--and only if it relates to climate science and not politics or other extranea.--Jim]

    Comment by Rod B — 8 Jan 2011 @ 2:29 PM

  39. I trust the Bore Hole is not RC’s answer to ethnic cleansing.

    I wouldn’t for a moment believe that the moderators here would do such a thing. But thought I’d just make a quick check…

    [Response: Let me rephrase it for you Rod. You thought that you'd slip in an analogy between ethnic cleansing and us putting comments in the Bore Hole, and then beg off having done so. If you make any such outrageous accusation again you are permanently banned from this site. Period.--Jim]

    Comment by Rod B — 8 Jan 2011 @ 2:43 PM

  40. Can you comment on this? Has the warming been cancelled?

    http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~douglass/papers/KD_InPress_final.pdf

    [Response: Yep, it was called off in November when that came out.--Jim]

    Comment by joe — 8 Jan 2011 @ 3:18 PM

  41. I spent a bit of time crunching some GHCN data (raw and “adjusted”) — wrote a program that computes crude global temperature anomaly estimates by via unweighted averaging.

    A plot of my results is here: http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/7766/caerbannogandnasa.jpg

    Legend:

    Green — my results from GHCN monthly-mean “raw” data.
    Red — my results from GHCN monthly-mean “adjusted” data.
    Blue — official NASA “Northern Latitudes” temperature anomalies.

    I think that the results pretty much speak for themselves — will be keeping the plot handy for anyone who hits me with any Wattsian talking-points. This is just the sort of “quick and dirty” sanity-checking that any true skeptic should do before shooting off his or her mouth about supposed “manipulation” of temperature data by climate-scientists.

    Comment by caerbannog — 8 Jan 2011 @ 3:47 PM

  42. I trust the Bore Hole is not RC’s answer to ethnic cleansing.

    I think of it being more like an entrance exam …

    Comment by dhogaza — 8 Jan 2011 @ 4:51 PM

  43. Specifically, the receptacle for those who fail.

    Comment by dhogaza — 8 Jan 2011 @ 4:52 PM

  44. Joe (#40)

    Closure of the energy budget over the past 5 years is still pretty elusive. The long-term warming of the ocean is robust to all kinds of assumptions about how the data are processed (see Lyman et al 2010), though the exact amount of the warming and the changes in rate over time are still uncertain, and the slowing since 2003 is at odds with TOA radiation measurements. But note the possibility of a yet-undiscovered bias in the observing system (the flatline occurs around the transition from a predominant XBT data to ARGO floats, it could just be coincident but maybe not) as well as significant warming below the 700 m level. Lyman argues that the uncertainty associated with sampling, mapping, and the use of different climatologies are large enough so that that interannual variations (such as the 2003–2008 flattening) are not statistically meaningful.

    Comment by Chris Colose — 8 Jan 2011 @ 4:59 PM

  45. Rod B.,
    I for one am glad to have the borehole to insulate me from the white-hot, weapons-grade stupidity in some of those posts. My respect for Gavin’s patience–indeed the mental stability that keeps him from running screaming into the night when reading some of thos posts–has been increased by a quick perusal. And now I need some tea to calm my nerves!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 8 Jan 2011 @ 6:05 PM

  46. Robert @36 — I only have received responses from some of the amateurs here. [I'll add that amateur standing does not mean that some of them are quite good climatologists.]

    The general response was that it is quite a surprise that a merely zero dimensiional, zero resevoir model does so well and that adding the AMO was quite a nice touch. The only downside comment was that using decadal averages improved the degree to which the variance is explained. [On that point, I'm trying to finish up a zero dimensional, two resevoir model which uses the annualized data; it demonstrates once again that using the AMO as an index of nternal variability explains more of the variance than leaving it out does.]

    There is a NOAA geophysical lab in Florida. On their website that are some presentations stating that the AMO is thought to be related to MOC rate. A related paper, I think, is
    DelSole, T., M. K. Tippett, and J. Shukla, 2010: A Significant Component of Unforced Multidecadal Variability in the Recent Acceleration of Global Warming. J. Climate, submitted.
    ftp://www.iges.org/pub/delsole/dir_ipcc/dts_science_2010_main.pdf
    so I feel I am on good ground in using the AMO as that index of internal variability.

    P.S. The model using the annualized data also uses SOI as another, more important index of internal variability, ENSO.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 8 Jan 2011 @ 6:13 PM

  47. I hope that this comment doesn’t wind up in the borehole but I really don’t like the idea of the borehole.

    This is a professional science website and contrarian pseudoscience comments do not belong here. The idea of the borehole cheapens this site and, in my opinion, gives the contrarians a sense of legitimacy.

    Bob

    Comment by Robert Guercio — 9 Jan 2011 @ 7:21 AM

  48. Maybe you should gently critique what the Russians are saying instead of Forbes. In the Russian media there is a new line on global warming: they are writing facts about about global warming and also debunking Western pseudoscience about a coming ice age. Seems our denialists are causing them a headache!

    Many “conservative” Western media cited Pravda about an ice age, but that author was really an American 9-11 Truther!

    I am sure there is much misinformation, but I think they are trying. The government authorities are telling the people that they are “arming” to meet the challenges of global warming. The fires made the government focus on this problem. People are asking the authorities about global warming after the fires and wanting to know “what is to be done.”

    Last summer during the fires, the official press agency began reporting everything NASA was saying. I think they thought this would reassure their very angry people that they were on top of the problem.

    Many places–like Petersburg–are very vulnerable to flooding, not unlike London.

    Here is an article that cites the head of their version of FEMA–Sergei Shoigu.

    http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=416999&cid=520

    Shoigu stresses adaptations, but their climate expert Bedritsky talks about new technology that will not emit so much carbon:

    Bedritsky observes in Murmansk’s Komsomolskaya Pravda (12-15-10):

    The fight against global warming is useful in any case. It leads to an increase in technology, reducing production costs – it is not bad, but good.

    Not long ago, President Medvedev claimed that global warming was a “trick” by certain commercial interests.

    The scientists are also trying to explain to people the difference between weather and climate. They are trying to exlain that warming in the Arctic and melting ice could make England colder.

    They are saying that global warming is costing trillions.

    If you are interested, this is global warming in Russian: глобальное потепление

    I read Russian, and the Google translation tool is usually pretty good. Sometimes strange things happen.

    I remember when they were trashing the climate scientists that “Mike’s” came out as T-shirt! That’s because Mikla (the possessive of Mike) means T-shirt. There are some things like that, but it’s not terrible. The “T-shirt’s trick” did confuse me for a minute, until I went back to the Russian!

    Comment by Snapple — 9 Jan 2011 @ 9:48 AM

  49. I really admire Russian scientists. After Climategate, Russian scientists were quiet, but now one Russian article even debunks the “evil conspiracy trials” of Climategate and the “secret [climate] weapon” conspiracy:

    In 2010, many of the overheated, and the Internet community, rumors spread about the “evil conspiracy” trials and secret weapon. Alexander Ginzburg, Deputy Director of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics. Obukhov Academy of Sciences, explained that the reason for the temperature anomalies – global climate change: “The scale, but the local natural and technological disasters (Mexican oil, the Icelandic volcano) are not able to turn everything upside down.”

    http://www.infox.ru/science/animal/2010/12/28/ZHizn_zhivotnih.phtml

    I hope this will last.

    Comment by Snapple — 9 Jan 2011 @ 10:18 AM

  50. In my classroom I see 100 students per semester. None of them have any clue that there is a coming crisis that should be the Top Story of the Century. OK. They are 18 and care more about Jersey Shore than reading solid news sources. I will forgive them to a degree.

    I do public lectures every semester and people are shocked when they hear the likely impacts of what even a 2-3C increase will bring. We can only hope for 2-3C on our current trajectory of apathy and emissions.

    I work with many academics day in and day out who are not scientists and they are shocked when I tell them about the risks we are assuming by a business as usual emission scenario.

    I work with scientists with backgrounds in physics, chemistry, and astronomy every day and even those that understand humans are dramatically altering the planet are surprised to hear about the risks associated with a 2xCO2 or 3xCO2 world.

    So why are all of these people clueless about the huge risks we are accepting? As I told Tom in a private email: “Fingers can be pointed in many directions including toward scientists and media. Both have failed to truly educate the public about how serious the situation is even though within both groups there are very vocal foot soldiers. We need both ARMIES to be more vocal.”

    Although not a scientific analysis, you should look at the link below where I show how the coverage of climategate was unfair. This says a lot about why the Story of the Century is not.

    Climategate Coverage: Unfair & Unbalanced

    [OT-moved]

    Comment by Scott Mandia — 9 Jan 2011 @ 11:52 AM

  51. I only wish Gavin and moderators would at least be honest enough to include a tally of the number of contrary comments that were deleted per topic. (Sure, deleted spam, manifestos, etc. can be omitted, we all have to live with those.)

    [Response: Honesty has nothing to do with it. If you think we have time for something like that you're wrong and if you think the number of deleted comments proves anything, even more so.--Jim]

    Comment by Mike M — 9 Jan 2011 @ 12:17 PM

  52. For those interested in the Knox and Douglass paper (the one rumored to have called off warming in November, 2010,) Dr. Trenberth is said to have commented here, and Knox and Douglass have responded here.

    [Response: Something wrong with the links. Can you repost? I think you might be referencing this and this? - gavin]

    Comment by JCH — 9 Jan 2011 @ 2:45 PM

  53. New study released about Melting Mountain Glaciers – note over-stated headline and rather unsupported subhead, which I think relates to the Forbes thread about reportage.

    Comment by flxible — 9 Jan 2011 @ 2:51 PM

  54. I wish some climate scientists did their very best to model natural climate variability with all possible parameter ranges / forcing combinations / feedback mechanisms that can’t be ruled out from observations. I view the climate system as extremely interesting and challenging, and would like to se some more studies of this. I can’t help feeling that the involved scientists are not so interested in this part. If they were, we would read more of it in the IPCC reports? No?

    Perhaps there is a load of studies investigating this?

    [Response: There are. And there are research groups set up to do exactly that. You can't investigate the influence of various possible forcings without an understanding/estimate of inherent variability.--Jim]

    [moved]

    Comment by Tommy S — 9 Jan 2011 @ 2:53 PM

  55. “So why are all of these people clueless about the huge risks we are accepting?” – 156

    In your first paragraph you answered your own question.

    “They are 18 and care more about Jersey Shore than reading solid news sources. I will forgive them to a degree.” – You

    The American public are scientifically and technically illiterate, mostly innumerate and growing ever more isolated from the rest of the world as a result of TV, Ipods, Iphones, and Virtual Reality Video games.

    There simply isn’t any time or reason to think, experience, or learn when you have 6 tweets waiting to be read and another 3 waiting to be composed.

    Remember. In your public talks you are speaking to a select group of people who are actually inquisitive and or concerned.

    Ultimately, they are not the desired target audience.

    [OT-moved]

    Comment by Vendicar Decarian — 9 Jan 2011 @ 3:05 PM

  56. But Jim, don’t you know, if denialist comments are being deleted, that proves that Svante Arrhenius is in on the conspiracy!

    Comment by JBL — 9 Jan 2011 @ 3:35 PM

  57. Mike M: If the Bore Hole contains just a fraction of the idiocy that hits RC, then we owe a great deal to the moderators for helping keep the debate sane. Can you imagine the time that would be wasted by vacuous unsubstantiated claims, and endless repetition of blatant falsehoods?

    Comments aren’t removed because they are merely contrarian. The briefest of glances will confirm that. Comments are removed because they are blazingly idiotic.

    I am confident that in time, some of the blazingly idiotic comments from all sides of the debate will end up in the Bore Hole. If people arriving from so-called “sceptic” sites are over-represented in the Bore Hole, then it is because they start with a major disadvantage: indoctrination.

    So, advice to sceptics: if you want a reply, then don’t import an argument that you heard elsewhere. Think for yourself, and even if you are still wrong, you will at least be taken seriously. In other words: be sceptical!

    Comment by Didactylos — 9 Jan 2011 @ 3:39 PM

  58. Scott Mandia,
    I actually see the reverse. In my experience, the younger generations are much more concerned about climate change and other environmental threats than the older ones. I think we are dealing with about 2 generations where science and mathematics education failed utterly. I think things are getting better, and I hope by the time current grade schoolers enter your classroom, you will again be teaching science literates.

    [OT-moved]

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Jan 2011 @ 3:53 PM

  59. Mark Shapiro (27),that’s an apples versus cereal comparison. An almost infinitesimal amount of EM’s advertising, PR, etc budget goes for anti-AGW advocacy. In fact where their straight marketing relates to climate change it is always what they are (saying they are) doing to combat global warming.
    [OT-moved]

    Comment by Rod B — 9 Jan 2011 @ 3:53 PM

  60. Jim, my #39 was meant as humor. Probably bad humor as it turns out.

    [Response: Very bad indeed. Respectful criticism is fine, analogies to murder of groups of people is 100% not.--Jim]

    Comment by Rod B — 9 Jan 2011 @ 4:15 PM

  61. Gavin, yes, those are the links. I tried to test the links, which were there, and they failed. I foolishly thought they might work anyway. Thanks for adding functional links.

    Comment by JCH — 9 Jan 2011 @ 4:39 PM

  62. Scott and Ray: our own experiences are all very well, but nothing beats some good, objective evidence.

    Studies seem to show that concern about climate change increases with education and decreases with age. (Try Olofsson A, Öhman S (2006) – I haven’t read it myself).

    Now, whether concern translates into action or anything tangible is a more open question. Students have a reputation (deserved or not) for apathy. While this is true in many cases, I don’t think it is a valid generalisation. Students today are perfectly happy to demonstrate, whether is is against massive increases to tuition fees in the UK, or to rally to restore sanity in the US, or one of countless other examples around the world.

    Education isn’t so simple, though. Better education should correspond to increasing concern, but concern is a subjective thing, and it relates not to actual expertise, but to our imagined expertise. Turns out, the Dunning-Kruger effect plays a big part in shaping opinions, as shown by Hamilton (2010).

    And who gives people the impression that they are well-informed, while actually feeding people predigested anti-science? ← Rhetorical.

    [OT moved]

    Comment by Didactylos — 9 Jan 2011 @ 4:49 PM

  63. “I think things are getting better, and I hope by the time current grade schoolers enter your classroom, you will again be teaching science literates.” – 160

    More environmentally conscious, but less capable of comprehending science. At least in the west.

    Two days ago, I asked a young girl (19) what the square root of 4 was. She was unable to answer. I then asked what 2 squared was. She didn’t do that math stuff she replied.

    I then asked where she saw herself in 10 years. She said that she would like to be a Dr. of Veterinary medicine.

    I suggested that she consider a “career” as an assistant, at which point she stopped talking to me.

    I haven’t encountered a single young person in more than a decade who actually has a hobby. Yes. I make it a point to ask. All respond that they spend their time playing Video Games.

    These observations and the near bottom of the list and still sinking U.S. test scores in science and math relative to the developing nations tells me that there is continuing decline in the system of science education in the U.S.

    The economic decline in the U.S. will soon be recognized as a major economic problem in the U.S. and a threat to the corporate governance of that nation. At that point technical education will be promoted and a decade later the U.S. will begin to rise in the standings.

    So progress 20 years from now. Perhaps.

    [OT-moved]

    Comment by Vendicar Decarian — 9 Jan 2011 @ 4:50 PM

  64. #55

    Thanks for the advice Didactylos. Deniers such as myself don’t care whether we are taken seriously.., and to be honest, the Bore Hole is where we belong, down here in the mud. It’s psychological, we disagree with everything. Gravity, physics, you name it, we deny it (or atleast be skeptical of it).

    Questioning the fundamental laws is a great way to truly understand why they are laws, why they cannot be broken.

    Why bother doing it this way, Isn’t it foolish to ignore the mistakes made by others? The question answers itself.

    Comment by Isotopolopolus — 9 Jan 2011 @ 5:23 PM

  65. Isotopolopolus, you seem to be confusing denial with scepticism (or the other way around).

    Scepticism is good. It is what drives scientists, and underpins science.

    What you think of as scepticism is nothing of the kind. If you were genuinely sceptical, you would apply your scepticism equally to everything you hear, instead of credulously and gullibly promoting everything that you agree with, and unceasingly attacking everything you disagree with.

    Scepticism brings with it the understanding that when you discover you are wrong, then you change your mind. And sceptics are always, always searching for errors in their own beliefs about the world.

    I wanted to relate this soapboxing to something concrete you said about climate, but you didn’t say anything about climate at all.

    Comment by Didactylos — 9 Jan 2011 @ 6:17 PM

  66. JCH @ 52 – You appear fixated with the Knox and Douglass paper. I take it you have read it? (I have). What’s your opinion on it?.

    Comment by Dappledwater — 9 Jan 2011 @ 8:58 PM

  67. Re: jacob mack

    “You should know by now I have read your work and the RC in total.”

    How can you say something like this and expect to be taken seriously by anyone is beyond me.

    I’ve been a reader here for 3 years and I still haven’t read all of “the” RC. Must be because I’m actually trying to understand what I read (I read the posts, the comments and the linked sources, too).

    The Yooper

    Comment by Daniel Bailey — 9 Jan 2011 @ 9:53 PM

  68. Dapplewater, I originally posted the link to the paper because I sensed there was a lot of excitement about it being a significant paper. My instincts were double confirmed: one, moments later it became a centerpiece of Dr. Curry’s latest technical article (she maybe liked it a little too much as she thought Willis was a co-author;) two, the RC staff apparently read the paper in November and consequently ended warming:

    “[Response: Yep, it was called off in November when that came out.--Jim]

    So obviously my fixation on this paper has been insufficiently fixated.

    I’m unqualified to establish an informed opinion about science. Some of my uninformed questions would be the magnitude of the paper’s claim versus: the length of the study (I’m probably wrong, but to me it looks like Lyman found 2003 to 2008 to be statistically insignificant,) the singular line of evidence, not including 2009 ARGO data, not discussing that ARGO floats do not go under the ice and what that might mean, and not including ARGO data of greater depth.

    The paper also seems to think it has reinforced the Tsonis and Swanson “climate shift”, which was, as I understand it, to be followed by the resumption of Anthropogenic Global Warming. I suspect Knox and Douglass are not enthusiastic adherents of that outcome.

    Trenberth said they did not say which data they used. They responded that they used ARGO data. Is there more than one set of 2003-2008 ARGO data?

    Comment by JCH — 9 Jan 2011 @ 10:08 PM

  69. @ JCH 67: re Jim’s response. Funny, I read that as trenchant sarcasm. Still, one paper, overturning 100 years of evidence. Amazing what some people believe.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 9 Jan 2011 @ 11:34 PM

  70. Response to #52 & #61:

    It was I who posted Dr. Trenberth’s email response to me to the Knox & Douglass paper over on Judith Curry’s site. He made it quite clear that he found the paper to be “rubbish”, and that he had no intention of responding to their rebuttal to his response on Dr. Curry’s site, but that he would be responding in the future with a paper. When I first emailed Dr. Trenberth about the Knox and Douglass paper a few days back, he hadn’t heard either of them, nor the journal it was published in (this is not a surprise is it?), but he graciously took the time to read the paper and give me his quick thoughts before heading out off to Europe.(Bern ISSE Jan. 9-14; Grenoble ECRA Jan. 15-18).

    “Rubbish” then pretty well summarizes his viewpoint on Knox & Douglass’ paper I think, and it will be interesting to see is full response in his future paper…

    Comment by R.Gates — 10 Jan 2011 @ 12:32 AM

  71. Sheesh – look at this flooding in Toowoombah, Queensland today!

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2011/01/10/3109884.htm

    Comment by Sou — 10 Jan 2011 @ 1:44 AM

  72. Oops, please correct spelling – should be Toowoomba.

    Comment by Sou — 10 Jan 2011 @ 2:02 AM

  73. this is getting crazy in queensland , more flooding covering from maryborough to brisbane and into NSW,

    toowoomba a city west of brisbane hit by flash flooding today , unbeleivable

    http://media.brisbanetimes.com.au/toowoomba-struck-by-flash-flooding-2126666.html

    Comment by john byatt — 10 Jan 2011 @ 2:21 AM

  74. Daniel,

    it took me a few years to accomplish and for awhile I was out of work with more time to do it, but yes I read to understand and I did read each and every piece here and the papers/interviews/books by the moderators current and past.With a reasonable background in statistics, chemistry and calculus one can analyze most of the data using the background. Add in the reading of textbooks on climate and weather and then reading peer reviewed literature it becomes far more efficient to read the RC entries. Being able to read fast and retain information and bounce ideas off of relevant professors who are friends of mine has all been very helpful as well.

    Eric,

    yes I know you are aware of this data and many papers discuss it in fact in addition to the NOAA and NASA website. This is why I am confused when others make the claim that global warming is going to ruin the planet and threatens humanity when no one can make a claim like that based on the best science. How certain is anyone actively doing research that snow is going to almost completely disappear or that 8-11 billion people is completely unsustainable? I realize the research is wide and varied: chemists, physicists, mathematicians, meteorologists, interdisciplinarians, ecologists etc… The issue I take based upon most research in peer review/textbooks and physical observations of weather and climate history (and watching the weather channel)is that cold winters are not going anywhere, nor are sometimes warmer, or sometimes cooler summers, heat waves, or record breaking cold globally. Nature does what it does and all can we do is observe, somewhat haphazardly. Greenhouse gases do add some energy to the system but weather dissipates excess heat. Where is the evidence to support an assertion that we are in severe danger from such events long term? The IPCC report while a nice attempt at summarizing literature is not nearly enough to make predictions with >90% confidence. Looking at the global weather patterns and a cool 2010 and not a record breaker, it seems to me things must be re-annalyzed.

    Oceans buffer the increased heat well and the earth not being a closed system is not holding heat like a blanket like so many commenters here claim. Heat and temperature as you know from P-chem (and gen chem, etc…) are not the same thing. Heat transfer both warms and cools. I want to reitterate this is not an attack but an invitation to a serious conversation with people in the field. Rather than continuing to come off as brash I am keeping my tone neutral.

    [Response: I think the problem is that you're conflating what is said in the scientific literature with popular interpretations of it that come across as too broad brushed. But no scientist actually makes claims like 'global warming is going to ruin the planet', or 'threatans humanity'. These are hopelessly vague kinds of statements. What scientists *do* legitimately say, based on the evidence, is things like this: there is "high probability (>90%) that growing season temperatures in the tropics and subtropics by the end of the 21st century will exceed the most extreme seasonal temperatures recorded from 1900 to 2006". That's from a paper about the risks to agriculture in the future. Whether that sort of thing amounts to 'ruining the planet' or 'threatens humanity' is in the eye of the beholder.--eric]

    Comment by Jacob Mack — 10 Jan 2011 @ 7:07 AM

  75. Eventually there could be major flooding a lot further south along the the Murray Darling, maybe as far as South Australia. All this water has to go somewhere.

    It’s a dark hour during the worst floods ever recorded here:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/01/11/3110095.htm

    To get some idea of what’s been happening across Queensland, click on the icons on this map:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/infographics/qld-floods/default.htm

    And then think about the rural properties in between.

    Comment by Sou — 10 Jan 2011 @ 9:24 AM

  76. Wivenhoe Dam was built in Queensland as water storage and flood mitigation after the 1974 floods when Brisbane was inundated. It was built to prevent flooding of Brisbane re-occurring.

    The flood mitigation section of the dam was emptied before the wet season. It is now filled above the stated capacity and the Wivenhoe catchment is getting the equivalent of two Sydney Harbours full of water every day. All the dam outlets are open now. Brisbane is preparing for floods, and hoping they won’t be too bad.

    Comment by Sou — 10 Jan 2011 @ 9:30 AM

  77. “I want to reitterate this is not an attack but an invitation to a serious conversation”

    Jacob, are you able to admit to yourself that your knowledge has limits? There is such a big gap between what you say you understand, and what you demonstrate you understand, that any conversation is really going to struggle.

    Lack of knowledge isn’t a barrier. But when you say “Looking at the global weather patterns and a cool 2010 and not a record breaker, it seems to me things must be re-annalyzed”, your disconnect from reality is just too great.

    Comment by Didactylos — 10 Jan 2011 @ 10:55 AM

  78. Jacob says, “Oceans buffer the increased heat well and the earth not being a closed system is not holding heat like a blanket like so many commenters here claim”

    While this statement is based on utter ignorance, it is at least correctable, and so a step up from your previous postings.

    First, the only effect the oceans have is on the rate of warming–not the ultimate amount. That is determined by radiative balance.

    Second, while it is true that Earth is not a closed system, the only way energy leaves is via outgoing IR, and that is determined by 1)the BB temperature of the planet and 2)the amount of IR the ghgs let out of the system.

    Jacob: ” The IPCC report while a nice attempt at summarizing literature is not nearly enough to make predictions with >90% confidence.”

    Wrong again. We can make many predictions at better than 90% confidence.

    A cooler 2010? Huh? WTF? What planet were you on? Most temperature indices had 2010 at #1 (GISS) or #2 on the list.

    I’m reminded of the scene in “A Fish Called Wanda”:

    Otto: Apes do not read philosophy.

    Wanda: Yes they do, Otto. They just don’t understand it.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 10 Jan 2011 @ 11:36 AM

  79. I scanned the Knox & Douglass paper and found it curious, interesting, and maybe significant. But I didn’t see anything terribly contentious (didn’t read it all, just the first parts) yet I see comments here really taking it to task. Is there an implication that the data showing a likely decrease in upper ocean heat 2003-2008 is all wrong? Seems hard to imagine.

    Or were there maybe statements or conclusions made from the data (which I might have missed in my reading), not the data itself, that’s causing all of the contention?

    Comment by Rod B — 10 Jan 2011 @ 12:25 PM

  80. JM 63: Greenhouse gases do add some energy to the system but weather dissipates excess heat.

    BPL: To where? Energy is conserved, you know.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 10 Jan 2011 @ 12:33 PM

  81. Anyone want to take a bet? I’m betting the Australian deniers won’t change one word of their propaganda, except possibly to misuse the “weather, not climate” line.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 10 Jan 2011 @ 12:39 PM

  82. re: 63

    “Whether that sort of thing amounts to ‘ruining the planet’ or ‘threatens humanity’ is in the eye of the beholder.”

    I’ve just finished The Storms of My Grandchildren by James Hansen, and while the work is a polemic and is not a scientific treatise, Hansen is completely convinced by the geological record that if even the middle range of the predicted temperature increases come to pass civilization will be threatened.

    As little as a 2C increase over time will produce a vastly different planet than the one we’re on now. Or else the geological record is useless as a predictor of the future.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 10 Jan 2011 @ 1:05 PM

  83. JM 63: Greenhouse gases do add some energy to the system but weather dissipates excess heat.

    BPL 68: To where? Energy is conserved, you know.

    He is referring to the transport of heat via weather’s convection/evaporation/condensation to higher in the atmosphere. A hurricane is a large heat engine.

    Comment by RichardC — 10 Jan 2011 @ 2:31 PM

  84. Richard C exactly right, a heat engine.

    Comment by jacob mack — 10 Jan 2011 @ 3:03 PM

  85. So, RichardC #71, all you have to do now is marry the observed facts (that the stratosphere is cooling while the surface is warming) with what you reckon is happening, and that is a very large hole in the ground would you like a spade?

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 10 Jan 2011 @ 3:28 PM

  86. Personal pet peeve – so very off topic – why does the word scientist get so overused? “Scientists say” gets put in so many headlines, etc. It implies that just because someone is a scientist then they hold the same opinions, thoughts as do all other scientists in all realms of science. And also implies that once you are a scientist, then some how you have become an expert in all areas of science.
    While there can be a great deal of overlap in certain sciences that does not necessarily mean expertise in all facets outside the overlap- i.e. geologists do need to know some biology, but geologists are not experts in all areas of biology.
    It would be at least a little clearer to people if headlines said things like biologists believe bee decline is due to x or climatologists see change in climate due to x. Then people might start to realize that a degree, even a PhD does not equate to expertise in everything and stop to ask who is saying what and just what is their level of knowledge about the subject before they buy all that the guy is saying. The fact that the great consensus of climatologists have found the evidnece supports climate change through global warming has a lot more weight than if the great majority of architecture professors were not so sure.

    Comment by Donna — 10 Jan 2011 @ 3:49 PM

  87. 8 dead and scores missing around Toowoomba, you are correct BPL, some of the deniers in OZ are actually cheering the breaking of the drought, others saying that it is the 100 yr cycle re 1918 floods { two intense following cyclones that year} this is monsoonal trough, makes you wonder just what it will take for Australians to get the message.

    Some of these re-captcha words deserve dictionary status ,

    Comment by john byatt — 10 Jan 2011 @ 4:20 PM

  88. #87–Yeah, a guy on CBC.CA claimed that this flood disproved the AGW drought predictions. Lame, since Queensland had been in drought since 2001, according to the BOM, but so it goes.

    It was another good opportunity to educate.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 10 Jan 2011 @ 5:35 PM

  89. Jacob Mack,
    10 Jan 2011 at 3:03 PM

    Richard C exactly right, a heat engine.

    Ok, the hurricane pumped the heat higher up in the atmosphere. But it is still in the atmosphere. So, where does it go next?

    Comment by Anne van der Bom — 10 Jan 2011 @ 5:41 PM

  90. Anne mostly to space
    Some help form clouds and the rest is absorbed by water and land where temp changes are nill or very little and ephemeral.

    Comment by jacob mack — 10 Jan 2011 @ 8:12 PM

  91. Who cut down the last tree on Easter Island? Might seem like an unrelated question but it’s more conceivable that it is relevant to the situation. To learn more read the Wikopedia entry for Jared Diamond’s book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Suceed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collapse:_How_Societies_Choose_to_Fail_or_Succeed it would appear as if we are on the path to failure.

    Comment by Charles — 10 Jan 2011 @ 8:45 PM

  92. >> the hurricane pumped the heat higher up in the atmosphere
    > mostly to space

    If this were true, a pulse of infrared leaving the atmosphere above the hurricane cloud tops should be measurable, right?

    What heat? The heat of condensation was released much lower down as the clouds actually form, so that heat isn’t available to lose to space. And the clouds would also be intercepting heat radiation from below so you need to subtract that from the outgoing. Numbers?

    I dunno. Seems to me you need to write the paper before claiming the result.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Jan 2011 @ 8:52 PM

  93. Jacob Mack,
    Heat and IR radiation are not the same. And remember, the more CO2 we have, the higher the heat must reach before it can escape. Higher equals colder in the troposphere.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 10 Jan 2011 @ 9:27 PM

  94. The flood crisis in queensland just gets worse and worse..it came to us today on the sunshine coast north of brisbane as we were cut off ‘marooned’ for 8 hours with unrelenting rain and thunder. Brisbane is on the eve of the biggest natural disaster since the devastating 1974 floods even higher than then there are predicting. The met bureau says the unprecedented floods are causes by a historically active la-nina, but we have had very weird weather for a year now with considerably less days of sunshine that anytime I can remember and that was even before the la-nina officially kicked in. Last year was characterised by extremely torrential downpours from almost every cloud that passed even in the midst of winter. There seems to be so much more water vapour in the atmosphere now than in the past. Australia most likely will need foreign aid when the final economic figure is put on this disaster. The entire state has been affected and is being affected as I type. I know that CC is largely behind this and that our climate is progressively getting more and more unstable. I know this will not end as this is probably the first chapter as we still have many many weeks of summer to go. The only certainty we have now is though this increasing uncertainty..we are entering into a very strange and frightening world indeed.
    In the comment above I read that the wivenhoe dam was built specifically to prevent another 1974…that is true!. It now is 174% capacity and releasing all of it’s flood gates into the brisbane river system. The dam was never supposed to become full it has and as you will see in the next days on cnn and the bbc the terrible cost is will exact on Brisbane.

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 11 Jan 2011 @ 4:31 AM

  95. RC 83: He is referring to the transport of heat via weather’s convection/evaporation/condensation to higher in the atmosphere. A hurricane is a large heat engine.

    BPL: No kidding. And you think climate modeling or climate science in general doesn’t take convection or evapotranspiration into account?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 11 Jan 2011 @ 6:33 AM

  96. JM 90: Some help form clouds and the rest is absorbed by water and land where temp changes are nill or very little and ephemeral.

    BPL: You’ve never spent 24 hours in the Sahara, I take it.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 11 Jan 2011 @ 6:35 AM

  97. Bore Hole is a great idea – far better than censoring.

    Comment by Jonathan Bagley — 11 Jan 2011 @ 7:21 AM

  98. Han watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRsrDZARTHg

    Comment by Jacob Mack — 11 Jan 2011 @ 8:09 AM

  99. Ray IFR causes excitations which leads to transfers of heat. IFR and heat are often termed as the same thing in the literature. IFR leaves the planet due to hurricanes among other processes.

    Comment by Jacob Mack — 11 Jan 2011 @ 8:10 AM

  100. Jacob Mack
    10 Jan 2011 at 8:12 PM

    Your answer was short and cryptic. I’m not sure if I understand what you’re trying to say. It is probably because I am not a scientist, but still trying my best to understand as much as possible. Allow me to poke a little deeper in your reply.

    mostly to space

    Between the top of the hurricane and space is still enough atmosphere for greenhouse gases to limit the outgoing IR. To me that still means: more greenhouse gases will retain more heat on the planet. Perhaps a better explanation helps to bring your point across.

    Some help form clouds and the rest is absorbed by water and land where temp changes are nill or very little and ephemeral.

    Are you now extrapolating from the hurricanes to the entire planet? Do hurricanes play a significant role in radiating heat out from the planet? I would estimate that hurricanes cover on average less than 1% of the earth’s surface. Can that really have an influence large enough compared to the radiation budget of the whole planet? My gut feeling says no. But gut feeling is a dangerous thing in science. Can you attach numbers to your argument to demonstrate the significance? Does it really increase the uncertainties to a point as to reject the confidence levels expressed in AR4? At this point I think your argument is based on a theory that has a negligible effect in the real world.

    ‘Some help from clouds’ sounds pretty vague. How do the clouds exactly help? As I understand from RC, there is still considerable uncertainty regarding cloud feedback. How can you say they help if mainstream climate science is less certain?

    You assert that the ‘temp changes are nill or very little’. On what evidence do you base that? The world around me shows me something different. Temperatures have risen by ~0.7 C over the past century, and are now rising even faster (~0.2 C per decade), sea levels are rising (mostly thermal expansion), glaciers are shortening and sea ice is melting. You may be right, but are you asking me to take your word for it?

    Comment by Anne van der Bom — 11 Jan 2011 @ 8:15 AM

  101. Jonathan Bagley,

    11 Jan 2011 at 7:21 AM

    And it gives you a chance to see that there isn’t, and never has been, any justification for the term ‘censoring’. It is plain and simple quality control.

    Comment by Anne van der Bom — 11 Jan 2011 @ 8:23 AM

  102. What, if anything, has been written thus far about sea level rise in 2100 and later?

    I need to know because I’m about to start writing on this subject and don’t want to reinvent the wheel.

    If you have any comments, please send them to me off-line at huntjanin@aol.com.

    Comment by Hunt Janin — 11 Jan 2011 @ 8:41 AM

  103. Anne, just watch the video and pick up a textbook on hurricanes. Never just take another’s word on anything:)

    Comment by Jacob Mack — 11 Jan 2011 @ 9:08 AM

  104. Gavin,

    Just curious. Are you at all concerned that the Borehole might undergo gravitational collapse due to the extraordinary density of stupidity in one spot?

    Wow, dude, you hve my sympathies. Your mental stability must be astounding. A normal person who had to deal with such a high flux of stupidity would be lucky not to make the evening news.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 11 Jan 2011 @ 9:46 AM

  105. “I haven’t encountered a single young person in more than a decade who actually has a hobby. Yes. I make it a point to ask. All respond that they spend their time playing Video Games.”
    Define hobby and why don’t video games count as one? How would stamp collecting, for example, improve ones ability to understand science or maths, or any other subject other than stamp collection?

    In the last decade hobbies have changed. For the most part they aren’t any worse than hobbies of twenty or thirty years ago, just different. I love video games; I started with Pong and never looked back. Now in my grumble-mumbles, I enjoy video games with my wife and daughter. Guess what, I can do maths, read without moving my lips and wear socks that match (mostly). And *gasp* I love science. It fascinates me, always has done, always will.

    Sir, keep your stereotypes to yourself, you beanie-capped, pocket-protector wearing nerd.

    Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to the bore hole I go…

    Comment by The Bore Holer — 11 Jan 2011 @ 10:01 AM

  106. #102–Hunt, funny you should ask. This Canadian modeling study just compared scenarios where zero-emissions occurred now (magically, one must presume, but this is a thought experiment on steroids) versus 2100.

    Basically, we’re screwed now, but we could still be screwed so much worse.

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1047.html

    (Abstract, but the figures are well worth perusing.)

    The University of Calgary press release is here:

    http://www.ucalgary.ca/news/utoday/january10-2011/climatechange

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 11 Jan 2011 @ 10:35 AM

  107. HELP! …I’m the closest thing to a scientist a lot of these people know and trust… but the hyperbole from the “hyper-alarmists” doesn’t seem to be challenged directly by actual climatologists in one convienient location. Anyway, have I missed the “What GW is NOT” page?

    Comment by John W — 8 Jan 2011 @ 11:34 AM

    You’ve got a bigger problem than you think you do. The sad thing is, there is nothing you can say about climate warming that is actually “alarmist” or “hyperbolic.”

    Alarmism: the often unwarranted exciting of fears or warning of danger

    There is nothing unwarranted about the warnings about climate. With whatever due apologies to the gents running this site, everything we feared is happening, and much of it faster – much faster – than predicted, and the news getting worse with virtually each new paper published:

    http://symposium.serdp-estcp.org/content/download/8914/107496/version/1/file/1A_Shakhova_Final.pdf

    It is very bad news. And to illustrate how “alarmism” isn’t alarmism, here is a conversation I had via e-mail back in ’09 with a cryoscientist, I believe. Name changed to protect the innocent.

    Dear Dr. Whosit,

    There has been much reported in the media about the recent analysis of Greenland ice with regard to methane clathrates and methane.

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-04/uoca-agm042109.php

    The error I see in this analysis is the assumption that methane as a cause of possible abrupt warming is now somehow less significant.

    The fact is, the Arctic was cooler then than now. That is, we simply wouldn’t **expect** to see any clathrate destabilization with temperatures as they were at the end of the Younger Dryas.

    What destabilizes clathrates is not so much the absolute temperature as the shift in the pressure-temperature conditions. The rapid atmospheric warming in the Arctic at the end of the Younger Dryas was very large… Yet we don’t see evidence for large clatharte methane releases to the atmosphere.

    http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/pi/arch/examples.shtml

    More importantly, the areas of clathrates were lergely above the water line where the clathrates were basically forming.

    This would be permafrost clathrates, which I believe are estimated to be only ~10% or less of the total clathrate inventory (the rest are in deeper marine sediments).

    Whatever the number, it’s apparently something like 2x that in the air. That would indicate a mere 10% could equal another 78 ppm. And apparently on the Siberian shelf. Sadly, the amount of CO2 increase we can tolerate is, uh, -50ppm or so, so any is too much.

    Now, they under the sea floor. As Dr. Romanovsky poitns out, warmed as they were flooded over, and are warming ever more now…

    Arctic clathrates weren’t implicated at the termination of the YD because they simply couldn’t have been. The comparison is in error.

    I agree that the evidence suggests that they weren’t implicated. While the comparison is imperfect… it is the temperature SHIFT that matters more than the absolute temperature.

    I think the shift in the Arctic has been dramatic, and this was not reassuring:

    http://www.arcticwarming.net/node/70
    When the last glacial cycle turned into the interglacial, all the Arctic shelves were covered with sea water. The temperature …had been –15 °C to –25 °C… increased to –1.8 °C or warmer. The permafrost started to thaw from both sides – from the top down because of the chemistry of salty water, and from the bottom up as the thermal process also affected hydrates as well… there is some evidence that permafrost is thawing from both sides, and there are some methane concentrations in the sea water which exceed by one or two orders of magnitude the equilibrium concentration of methane that we would expect in sea water. This means that there is some source, and we see these methane increases not only at the bottom sea water but at the sea surface. It means there is some methane coming into the water and going through the water and probably being released into the atmosphere. …given the history of sediments (marine sediments for some period of time, then terrestrial sediment for another period of time, then again marine sediments because of the glacier/inter-glacial cycles in the hundreds of thousands of years), there could be no ice in the marine salty sediments. Thus, there could be no problems for gas to go through this warm permafrost

    Sounds, and sounded, like a problem to me, but my e-mail buddy says:

    While there have been observations of individual bubble plumes in the Arctic making it to the ocean surface, there is no strong evidence (to the best of my knowledge) of this methane currently being a significant contributor to the atmospheric methane budget.

    What a difference two years makes, eh? But here’s the thing. How do we allow scientists to apply their intuition without recrimination if an intuitive leap fails? It was clear to me from the first report I read about Walter, et al., that we were in some pretty deep doo-doo. Arctic clathrates within 2C of destabilization with bottom melt of sea ice accounting for 2/3 of mass loss? This was a no-brainer for me.

    Work by Katy Walter also indicates that the permafrost and clathrates are nearing their melting points, that is, the sea bed and permafrost are approaching O degrees, at which point melting can be expected.

    Remember that clathrates dissociate based on the combination of temperature and pressure conditions — they are stable at temperatures way above 0C at large depths in the ocean.

    Sadly, we aren’t talking about great depths.

    People are too complacent about the risks of climate change… temps at the end of the YD were lower than today by at least two degrees, so the clathrates were in no danger of melting. Temperature rises since then leave clathrates within 1C of melting.

    Some fraction of the clathrate reservoir will certainly become unstable as global warming continues – it is a simple question of thermodynamics. … Most clathrates are deeper than 200m in marine sediments. The propagation of the warming signal through this thickness of sediments will take hundreds of years… In the process, there is a very good chance that the methane will be consumed by methanotrophic bacteria.

    Ah, but not on the Siberian Continental Shelf, and obviously the quote showed that even in deep water the methane content was rising to the air…

    So, the science is alarming, and even the scientists get it a bit wrong at times for various reasons.

    IMO, it is impossible to be alarmist about climate changes; we can only underestimate them at this point.

    Comment by ccpo — 11 Jan 2011 @ 12:45 PM

  108. Sorry to bother you with questions about Knox, Douglass 2010. When thinking about it, however, there are a few things I can’t figure out for myself with my amateur knowledge.

    1. Argo Data Depth
    Argo floats sink down to 2000m. Willis and Lyman used data from down to 750m. How deep is the OHC of Knox & Douglass? They mention the depth of every other OHC estimate from ARGO, but not their own. Or am I blind? Or do they use data from down to 750m, because it’s Willis’ data?

    But why not use data from down to 2000m (like von Schuckmann). Wouldn’t that add more insight about the missing heat issue?

    2. 2003-2008 time span and ENSO
    Does ENSO influence global OHC? Or do the ENSO ocean temperature anomalies cancel each other out? I didn’t find any papers about influences of ENSO on global OHC, but starting in an El Nino and ending in a La Nina somehow “felt” unfortunate for me (but then, I am an amateur).

    Thank you in advance for answering my questions (if you do, that is ;-) ).

    Comment by _Flin_ — 11 Jan 2011 @ 12:52 PM

  109. joe says:
    8 Jan 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Can you comment on this? Has the warming been cancelled?

    http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~douglass/papers/KD_InPress_final.pdf

    1. Not a reputable journal, so far as I can tell.

    2. In the intro they clearly state they don’t care about long term trends and will use a climaically insignificant 5 year trend instead.

    Conclusion: Bunk science.

    Comment by ccpo — 11 Jan 2011 @ 12:56 PM

  110. ccpo: I have to respectfully disagree.

    Of course real scientists don’t say anything “hyper-alarmist” that they can’t fully justify. Plenty of other people are there to fill the void, and there are two methods they use to generate hyper-alarmism: treating the very high end of estimates as absolute certainty, and misusing or falsifying estimates.

    For example, tabloid claims that sea levels will rise tens of metres this century fall into the second category, by misrepresenting the timescale.

    Unfortunately, deniers aren’t interested in correcting these errors. In fact, it’s one of the primary non-scientific reasons I know deniers are full of it. They prefer ludicrous straw men to tilt against – it’s the only way they can fool themselves they are winning. It even works well with those people who really aren’t deniers, but don’t want to think too hard about it, and are looking for an excuse to dismiss it all as unrealistic “doom and gloom”.

    Consequently, when we deflate the straw men, we strengthen the argument for taking climate action.

    Comment by Didactylos — 11 Jan 2011 @ 1:10 PM

  111. I see an unexpected benefit of the Bore Hole. Some commenters tread the line, more often than not having their comments wiped out. Before the Bore Hole, we had no idea of this, and just saw the better comments, that maybe got through after a few rewrites.

    Now, we have some warning of when a discussion might be unproductive.

    Comment by Didactylos — 11 Jan 2011 @ 1:16 PM

  112. 110
    Didactylos says:
    11 Jan 2011 at 1:10 PM

    ccpo: I have to respectfully disagree.

    I can’t figure out what you are disagreeing with, for you’ve not said anything I disagree with and don’t seem to have addressed what I wrote.

    Help?

    reCAPTCHA: Roints infra. Has it been programmed with Scooby-doo dialect?

    Comment by ccpo — 11 Jan 2011 @ 1:36 PM

  113. #111–Very true.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 11 Jan 2011 @ 2:06 PM

  114. An early report, this, and I think it begs some verification and followup. But it seems that there are some rumblings about problems with one of the few functioning CO2 sequestration operations:

    http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2011/01/11/sk-carbon-complaint-1101.html

    (Captcha opines: “Gonvism problem.” Now if we only knew what “Gonvism” is.)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 11 Jan 2011 @ 3:18 PM

  115. Re ccpo – the original question refered to Earth turning into Venus (likely in the deep geological future, but not from AGW now so far as I know). We could imagine the “The Day After Tomorrow” scenario may also come up (some things nominally correct but blown out of proportion; physically implausable storms (how low would the central pressure have to get?) and cold. In comparison to the Younger Dryas, we have less ice to melt in the Northern Hemisphere and it’s in different places).

    Comment by Patrick 027 — 11 Jan 2011 @ 3:22 PM

  116. Any thought or hope that one day supercomputers may point the way on how to “tweak” the climate to our satisfaction? Please forgive me if this sounds completely insane.

    Comment by doug — 11 Jan 2011 @ 4:34 PM

  117. Doug #116 Yes! They say we had better reduce the CO2 content of the atmosphere to 350ppm.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 11 Jan 2011 @ 5:14 PM

  118. _Flin_ @108 — Start with
    http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter14/chapter14_02.htm

    Comment by David B. Benson — 11 Jan 2011 @ 6:29 PM

  119. Thank you Anonymous. I’m thinking in the absense of that…supercomputers might show that if we put (is it sulfates?) into the atmosephere that we might get such and such outcome? It was meant as a serious question. I do think the outlook for computers is that they will be perhaps be millions of times more powerful than they are now.

    Comment by doug — 11 Jan 2011 @ 6:30 PM

  120. Hi Everyone,

    I don’t want to interrupt a productive exchange on the facts about global warming.

    But I want to ask everyone to join me in commenting on Climate Denier Blogs like: http://www.wattsupwiththat.com and http://www.globalclimatescam.com and http://www.climatechangedispatch.com and http://www.cbn.com and http://www.globalwarmingcause.com. Pretty much any site you can find that is spreading misinformation about climate change.

    Here’s what I’ve posted. I urge you to also post this on these sites. The more this comment shows up, the more people will remember it. Climate deniers don’t come to our sites, so we have to go to them:

    –Begin Quote–

    We should believe scientists. In fact, we have to, because they have studied this stuff much longer than we ever could. We’re going to either have to believe the scientists that work for the universities or the scientists that work for the energy companies.

    Why would a university scientist have our best interests in mind any more or less than a BP scientist, a Koch Industries scientist or an Exxon scientist?

    What would they have to gain from trying to convince everyone that the fuel that everyone including them depends on is running low and is changing our atmosphere for the worse?

    It would take a conspiracy theory bigger than a faked moon landing, a covered up alien invasion and a fake 9/11 combined to solve this question on a global scale.

    Or it could just be that the money the fossil fuel companies like Koch Industries give to scientists is enough to make them say what they want. Would you say that the Earth is flat for $5 million?

    —End Quote—

    I wish you all the best. Please get this out there. If you can improve the comment, do. I wish us all the best!

    Comment by Matt7195 — 11 Jan 2011 @ 6:49 PM

  121. http://www.dataists.com/2011/01/our-predictions-and-hopes-for-data-science-in-2011/
    (hat tip to: http://www.metafilter.com/99412/Data-Tools-of-the-Fuuuuture-fuuture-future-uture-ture-re )

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Jan 2011 @ 7:04 PM

  122. Mountain Glacier Melt to Contribute 12 Centimeters to World Sea-Level Increases by 2100
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110110103731.htm

    Comment by David B. Benson — 11 Jan 2011 @ 9:36 PM

  123. ccpo: You said “it is impossible to be alarmist about climate changes”. I suppose you didn’t get into the subject of misinformation, but your comments were easily interpreted as the “any exaggeration is justified” canard.

    Thank you for clarifying.

    Comment by Didactylos — 12 Jan 2011 @ 12:54 AM

  124. Dactylos, I think you are missing the point.

    You wrote at #110: “treating the very high end of estimates as absolute certainty”

    I rarely see this. What I do see everywhere is almost total disregard for the ‘very high end of estimates.’

    Any rational person in any real life context would not ignore possibilities that were at the high end of estimates.

    If you were told that if you walk through door x, there is a 10, 5, even one % possibility of your being horribly mutilated, probably fatally, would you prefer not to have known or heard about this possibility before you made your decision.

    Anyone who puts a fragment of a moments thought into it realizes that very, very high stakes (particularly existential stakes) trump very low odds.

    But in spite of what you claim, this side of the discussion is almost completely left out of the general conversation.

    It is not irrational to contemplate what the worst possibilities could be.

    It is the height of rational, prudent thinking.

    Thinking that is almost completely lacking anywhere.

    Comment by wili — 12 Jan 2011 @ 1:40 AM

  125. wili, maybe you have forgotten the time when the tabloids decided to treat climate as a scare story. Currently, most tabloids have swung back to the opposite view, but when the story is “hottest year ever” again, you can count on yet another reversal.

    They won’t be careful with the facts. You know what headline writers do.

    I’m not in the mood to go digging for examples, but I remember a few recent ones. RC even did a post a while back, trying to correct some media distortions.

    Comment by Didactylos — 12 Jan 2011 @ 2:07 AM

  126. @David Benson: Thank You

    Comment by _Flin_ — 12 Jan 2011 @ 2:49 AM

  127. As methane is viewed as a 20 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. We need hence to look at ways and means of combusting methane before it is released into the atmosphere from: the defrosting permafrost boggs of siberia to methane release from sea beds and rice fields etc.
    Collecting mebranes with collecting valves or open flame exits or other more innovative approaches should be developped we are looking at a free energy source …

    Comment by Christer Svensson — 12 Jan 2011 @ 4:30 AM

  128. Unusually warm temperatures pretty all over Europe, with major melt induced flooding in Germany, Poland and Belgium.
    This means Piers Corbyn’s much publicized forecast of a brutally cold January in Europe has failed in a most spectacular fashion. However, as usual, when “skeptic” predictions fail, the MSM will not report on it.

    Comment by Esop — 12 Jan 2011 @ 6:14 AM

  129. The following 2010 paper suggests that 0.8mm/year sea level rise could be due to pumping out of aquifers. On the face of it, the estimate looked like a reasonable starting point. The paper says that aquifer pumping is mentioned, but not quantified, in the IPCC 4th Assessment Report.

    How does this fit with sea level budget and so forth?

    Global depletion of groundwater resources
    Y Wada, LPH van Beek, CM van Kempen

    http://tenaya.ucsd.edu/~tdas/data/review_iitkgp/2010GL044571.pdf

    Comment by Steve Milesworthy — 12 Jan 2011 @ 7:16 AM

  130. Didactylos,
    Before we can do risk assessment, we need a lowest upper bound–a sort of 95 or even 99% WC. We don’t even have that. We can’t even rule out the absolute worst of scenarios. So what we need to remember is that when used for the purposes of risk assessment/mitigation, worst-case assessments are not alarmist, but rather essential.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 12 Jan 2011 @ 8:46 AM

  131. Folks, please stop twisting my words. I said “treating the very high end of estimates as absolute certainty”.

    Any reasonable discussion of risk can talk about the unbounded upper end of unlikely values, as well as the better bounded lower end and also the best estimate. But please note that risk assessment may take a theoretical worst case into account, but you don’t go on from there to take a course of action which absolutely rules out the worst case. If people did that, nobody would ever cross a road again, or step into a car.

    I can’t believe I’m trying to convince scientists that it’s not a good idea to ignore 97.5% of the PDF.

    Comment by Didactylos — 12 Jan 2011 @ 9:45 AM

  132. Climate always changes. Risk assessment should be used more for adverse weather.

    Comment by jacob mack — 12 Jan 2011 @ 10:21 AM

  133. #132 (Jacob): The climate only changes when forced to do so. When we know the forcings (solar/Milankovitch/tilt/greenhouse gases, etc) we can make predictions and assess risks.

    Comment by Esop — 12 Jan 2011 @ 10:27 AM

  134. Surely I’m not the first one with this. There’s gotta be comments awaiting moderation. :D

    2010 ties record for warmest year – NOAA

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110112/india_nm/india541117

    Comment by Maya — 12 Jan 2011 @ 12:36 PM

  135. Dan,

    I’m just going with the data. If it makes you happy to insist that events have not taken place, there’s nothing I can do about that.

    Global temperature increase is projected to be 1.1-6.4°C by the end of the century, with a best estimate of 1.8-4.0°C. That’s based on the IPCC 2007 report. Going with your 0.6°C thus far, that means a best guess of AT LEAST 300% higher.

    I’m sorry, I don’t know how to have a productive discussion with you. I look at the very best data and estimates available, and as far as I can tell, your overall response to them is “it isn’t so.” I just don’t know what to do with that. I really am sorry, because it seems like you are truly interested in the subject, but I just don’t know where to go with the conversation. Maybe someone else can figure out a better way to go about it.

    Comment by Maya — 12 Jan 2011 @ 1:02 PM

  136. Didactylos@131
    Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. Interogative?

    I cannot see any universe in which your post follows from what I wrote. And mine is the only one that mentions risk up to that point. Perhaps you merely scanned my post. If so, read it again…this time for comprehension.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 12 Jan 2011 @ 1:16 PM

  137. Thunderstorms produce antimatter particle beams radiating energy into space. How cooling is _that_?
    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/11jan_antimatter/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 12 Jan 2011 @ 1:23 PM

  138. Hank,
    Very cool, but not particularly cooling. These are not common events–not the gamma ray bursts and certainly not the antimatter production. Even so, it’s a really neat result.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 12 Jan 2011 @ 1:35 PM

  139. Ray, you were the third person to ignore or confuse what I actually said. Maybe you agreed with me, I couldn’t tell. But I thought it was about time I cut through the fog.

    Comment by Didactylos — 12 Jan 2011 @ 1:58 PM

  140. Maya,
    Looking at teh very best data we have:
    The global temperature increase over the past 130 years is about 0.6C based on the CRU data (other datasets may be slightly different, but close). During this time, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased ~35%. Climate science tells us that the CO2-temperature relation is logarithmic, such that every 35% increase will yield similar temperature increases (all other factors being equal).
    At the current rate of increase (past decade), atmospheric CO2 concentrations will rise another 35% by about 2090. Therefore, a similar temperature would be expec ted based on CO2. Predicting a higher increase without accompanying data is foolhardy. Since you are quoting the AR4 report, I see why you are arriving at such high figures.

    [Response: You might want to think about why the IPCC arrives at it's figures yourself. (Hint. They don't use linear extrapolation). - gavin]

    Comment by Dan H. — 12 Jan 2011 @ 4:17 PM

  141. GISStemp 2010 anomaly figures are out:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

    Global land ocean: warmest (just barely) Jan-Dec at .63 compared to .62 for 2005.

    Global met station only: warmest at .83 vs .77 for 2005.

    Northern hemisphere land-ocean: .84 vs .82.

    Norhtern hemisphere met station only: 1.08 vs 1.01.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 12 Jan 2011 @ 4:46 PM

  142. T-shirt seen on Brisbane street: “I’m just getting warmed up.”–Mother Nature

    Comment by Tinman — 12 Jan 2011 @ 5:22 PM

  143. NOAA released their data today also. Tied for warmest with 2005. The crowd at that site which shall not be named had the predictable reaction: foaming at the mouth.

    Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 12 Jan 2011 @ 5:23 PM

  144. #140 (Dan H):
    I seem to remember reading on some climate realist sites about a year ago that Climategate proved the CRU data to be rather inaccurate, so it probably best to use one of the other datasets in your example.

    Comment by Esop — 12 Jan 2011 @ 5:42 PM

  145. DanH at #140

    As Gavin alluded to, you’re significantly oversimplifying the problem. It might seem OK on a first guess sort of basis, but it certainly isn’t the sort of thing one can use to tell those studying the problem in detail that they’re all wrong.

    The first thing you need to consider is the lag is between adding CO2 and reaching equilibrium temperatures. We haven’t yet begun to reach all the temperature increase for the CO2 we’ve already added. In 35 years we’ll see more of it, but not that much of the effect of the CO2 we’ll add in that time.

    You probably want to understand that, and a lot of other basics, before trying to convince people they’re wrong.

    Comment by David Miller — 12 Jan 2011 @ 6:15 PM

  146. http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200203/the-man-who-shocked-the-world?page=3

    Comment by Jacob Mack — 12 Jan 2011 @ 6:19 PM

  147. Maya, you say “The global temperature increase over the past 130 years is about 0.6C. Based on the chart on GISS, the temperature is up .6C from the 1950-80 base. The 1950-80 base is about .2C higher than 1900, so we are up .8C since 1900.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.lrg.gif

    Comment by Bibasir — 12 Jan 2011 @ 6:42 PM

  148. The Russian media attacked the climate scientists after Climategate, but now there are articles in the Russian media supporting the idea of climate change.

    Here is a new one.

    http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/01/10/39206387.html

    It seems the official line has changed, or maybe some Russians want to take advantage of the carbon credits. I would be very suspicious that the Russians would attempt to turn the climate credit program into a racket. They are really good at those paper crimes Interpol has gone after some criminal organizations who try to take advantage of these credits.

    It is really interesting that an official at Andrei Illarionov’s Institute for Economic Analysis (IEA) is quoted—Boris Profiriyev.

    It’s kind of funny because Cuccinelli’s EPA suit cited the RIA Novosti version of a Kommersant article that trashed climate scientists by citing the “expert” Andrei Illarionov of the IEA, so this really seems to be a new line.

    This article is Russian media, but it is in English for us to read–caveat emptor. I am just telling what they are saying.

    Profiriyev of the IEA says that Gazprom has sold Japan “quotas” on greenhouse gasses.

    The article also says,”President Medvedev sees a reduction in green-house emissions as one of the priority issues on the country’s economic agenda.”

    In 2009, when he was in Tomsk, Medvedev called global warming “some kind of tricky campaign made up by some commercial structures to promote their business projects.”

    At least one Russian paper I looked at was connected to Gazprom, but it also admitted there was global warming.

    Comment by Snapple — 12 Jan 2011 @ 7:46 PM

  149. Don’t you mean a WET T-shirt seen on a Brisbane street?

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 12 Jan 2011 @ 7:48 PM

  150. The article piously presents Russia in the lead of countries who honor their committments on the climate agreements:

    “Unlike Russia, other signatories to the Kyoto Protocol are in no hurry to act on their commitments. Opposition from other countries disrupted the signing of new climate agreements on Copenhagen and Cancun summits. But Nature, as we see from the calamities of late, does not tolerate disregard and neglect on the part of humanity.”

    Still, this does seem to be a change in the party line. I would be so interested if some climate scientists could give their insights on this article and some others I have linked to in recent posts on my site.

    http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/01/10/39206387.html

    The Russians are trying to diversify their economy with higher technology. They want to have their own Silicon Valley. Even Arnold Schwartzeneger was in Russia and was given good reviews. I think maybe he will have something to do with Silicon Valley investing in Russian high-tech and also with global warming.

    The Russians do seem to be telling their people that a lot of Russia may end up under water because of thawing permafrost and the rising of the Arctic Ocean.

    Comment by Snapple — 12 Jan 2011 @ 8:03 PM

  151. Regarding the turning of carbon trading into a huge international money-go-round while doing nothing to combat CO2 emissions, I think the Russians might have to get in line behind Goldman Sachs.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 12 Jan 2011 @ 8:26 PM

  152. new try;

    We have a controversy in Sweden over a citation of James Hansen. “Within 15 years, global temperatures will rise to a level which hasn’t existed on earth for 100,000 years”. “Hansen said the average U.S. temperature had risen from one to two degrees since 1958 and is predicted to increase an additional 3 or 4 degrees sometime between 2010 and 2020″.”

    We think it is from here: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=llJeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=AWENAAAAIBAJ&pg=5501,1378938&dq=james-hansen&hl=en

    Now does any one know what the models said would happen to global warming if we would continue using chloroflourocarbons?

    [Response: Not a great piece of journalism there. No indication of even whether the temperatures are in C or F (likely to be F, given the source). The reference to 100,000 years is the same reference as was used in Hansen et al (1988) based on estimates of what the Eemian temperatures may have been. However, given that this is related to Senate or Congressional testimony, the text of the actual evidence is likely available in a library somewhere. I doubt very much that the testimony would be very different from what is in the papers, so I conclude that the journalist is probably guilty of dropping the caveats, the range and the context for the numbers they are writing about. - gavin]

    Comment by Magnus W — 13 Jan 2011 @ 7:17 AM

  153. Gavin,
    I am surprised that you thought I was talking about a linear extrapolation. My comment in #140 is clearly logarithmic.
    David,
    A temperature lag could result in some of the higher predicted future temperatures (>2C). However, this is just speculation at this point, and in view of the recent cooling, looks less likely.

    [Response: Repeating the phrase 'recent cooling' doesn't actually make it true you know.... - gavin]

    Comment by Dan H. — 13 Jan 2011 @ 8:22 AM

  154. Thanks Gavin, yes it would be stupid to go against your own research, Hansen in a “publication” 1984

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi?id=ha06600q

    “Hansen et al. 1984
    Hansen, J., A. Lacis, and D. Rind, 1984: Climate trends due to increasing greenhouse gases. In Proceedings of the Third Symposium on Coastal and Ocean Management, ASCE/San Diego, California, June 1-4, 1983, pp. 2796-2810.

    Climate models indicate that global mean temperature should increase 3±1.5°C if atmospheric CO is doubled. A broad range of empirical evidence, ranging from the climate on other planets to paleoclimate and recent climate trends on the earth, is consistent with the climate sensitivities indicated by the climate models. After reviewing the evidence, we conclude that there is strong evidence that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will lead to a global climate warming of at least 1.5°C. Such an increase will correspond to a climate state near or beyond the range of human experience.

    The time required to reach an effective doubling of atmospheric CO is reduced by trace gases such as methane and the cholorofluorocarbons, which have begun to increase at substantial rates during the past two decades. The contribution of trace gases to the atmospheric greenhouse effect is now comparable to that of CO2. If current trends of atmospheric composition continue, effective doubling of CO2 will occur in several decades. Based on the consensus estimate for climate sensitivity, it appears likely that substantial climate change due to the greenhouse warming will become apparent during the next 1-2 decades”

    Comment by Magnus W — 13 Jan 2011 @ 8:56 AM

  155. Yet we have not witnessed substantial climate change since 1984.

    [Response: I'm starting to appreciate these delphic offerings. There is a certain poetry to them. Unfortunately they have roughly the same track record of correctness as the original oracle. Temperature change since 1984 is almost 0.5ºC (0.18/0.19ºC/dec), significant increases in water vapour, big decreases in summer sea ice, net loss of glacier ice across the world.... no, nothing to see there. - gavin]

    [Response: Please stop blurting out statements for which you have no evidence and provide no defense. That got old a while back--like when you first showed up here.--Jim]

    Comment by Jacob Mack — 13 Jan 2011 @ 9:24 AM

  156. Barton Paul Levenson,

    If you have access to the WSJ, there is a story on page 1 this morning about the world harvest … basically, it’s less than was projected, and the concerns around that. It seemed like it would be a relevant data point for your research.

    Comment by Maya — 13 Jan 2011 @ 11:05 AM

  157. Dan H:

    in view of the recent cooling, looks less likely…

    [Response: Repeating the phrase 'recent cooling' doesn't actually make it true you know.... - gavin]

    Awww, c’mon, Gavin, he did post at 8:22 AM! It does usually cool at night … who needs more evidence of global cooling than that?

    Comment by dhogaza — 13 Jan 2011 @ 11:24 AM

  158. Dan H says:

    in view of the recent cooling

    Jacob says:

    Yet we have not witnessed substantial climate change since 1984

    It’s really funny how one month of reduced temperatures instantly starts the “it’s not warming” chant, despite what we’ve just seen in the past year (during a quiet sun, a very strong La Nina, and a below-zero phase of the PDO). And even then, the December temp (based on UAH TLT data) is exactly average for the 1979-2009 period, which means equal to the level of warming achieved by 1993… and that during a month depressed by the greatest one month SOI value since 1973 (and the next biggies before that? 1917 and 1904).

    Some people won’t accept the observations until the rubber tires on their SUVs start to melt on the pavement (and even then it will obviously have been caused by UHI).

    Comment by Bob (Sphaerica) — 13 Jan 2011 @ 11:28 AM

  159. Gavin,
    The figure I showed in my last post was for the GISS dataset which shows marginal warming, 0.003C / yr, compared to the CRU data which showed similar cooling. It is baffling to me how anyone can look at either graph and conclude that warming has occurred since 2002. Granted this is a short time-frame, but the graph is in agreement with the recent statement by prof. Latif that we can experience a “lack of warming” during the next two decades.

    [Response: I'm not sure how many more times I'm inclined to point out, again, that people like yourself, who think anything interesting can be said about global warming on the basis of short term trends, are just fooling themselves, but here goes: People who think anything interesting can be said about global warming on the basis of short term trends are just fooling themselves. As for Latif's statement, that was based on the Keenlyside et al study, which, it can charitably be said, is not wearing well. Please try and talk about something more interesting. - gavin]

    Nick,
    I was actually referring to his response about the temperature trend being negative since 2002.

    Comment by Dan H. — 13 Jan 2011 @ 11:30 AM

  160. “Repeating the phrase ‘recent cooling’ doesn’t actually make it true you know…. – gavin”

    That’s what denialists do.

    They repeat, over and over and over, assertions which they know to be untrue.

    I know it is considered “uncivil” to point out that people are being deliberately dishonest, so I will understand if this comment is rejected by the moderators.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 13 Jan 2011 @ 1:17 PM

  161. #153 Dan H.

    Clearly you do not understand what logarithmic means.

    You said “every 35% increase [in CO2] will yield similar temperature increases (all other factors being equal)”

    You are not describing a logarithmic response, you are describing a linear response, which is why Gavin corrected you.

    Fail.

    Comment by CTG — 13 Jan 2011 @ 1:46 PM

  162. CTG,
    I guess you do not understand a logarithmic increase either. I am referring to a 34% increase from the higher value, not the original. Two compounded 34% increases would result in an 80% increase over the original. Atmospheric CO2 increased 34% from 290 ppm to 390 ppm (100 ppm) from 1880-2010. An additional 34% increase amount to 133 ppm over the present day value. Is it clearer now?

    Comment by Dan H. — 13 Jan 2011 @ 2:34 PM

  163. Dan H. — 13 Jan 2011 @ 8:22 AM:
    “Gavin,
    I am surprised that you thought I was talking about a linear extrapolation. My comment in #140 is clearly logarithmic.”

    The (obvious) point of Gavin’s comment was that using a simple extrapolation is hopelessly naive (and you are, in fact, doing a linear extrapolation of log transformed data). We have a lot of additional information we can use to refine the model beyond simple linear (or logarithmic, if you prefer) extrapolation.

    “David,
    A temperature lag could result in some of the higher predicted future temperatures (>2C). However, this is just speculation at this point, and in view of the recent cooling, looks less likely.”

    I’ll do you the favor of ignoring your comment about recent cooling and focus instead on the first half of this. First, given that the most likely temp change per doubling is thought to be 3C, the “higher” predictions would be rather higher than your “2C”. Second, to say that this is “just speculation” is to ignore physics. You seem more comfortable with simple statistical models, which might be fine in some settings. To think that they are sufficient for climate is ludicrous.

    Comment by MartinJB — 13 Jan 2011 @ 2:37 PM

  164. Thanks, Maya.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 13 Jan 2011 @ 2:39 PM

  165. Martin,
    If a doubling of CO2 leads to a 3C temperature increase, then why do you think that a 34% increase resulting in a temperature rise of less than 2C is ludicrous? If order for a 34% increase in CO2 to yield a temperature rise in excess of 2C, the climate sensitivity would need to be 5C/doubling. Or are you “speculating” that the climate sensitivity is indeed that high? If so, what physics are you using in making that determination?

    Comment by Dan H. — 13 Jan 2011 @ 3:55 PM

  166. Gavin – I think that Jacob Mack was using the royal we, not the delphic we.

    We are greatly amused &;>)

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 13 Jan 2011 @ 4:52 PM

  167. For Dan H. — 13 Jan 2011 @ 3:55 PM
    I said that using your simplistic extrapolation was ludicrous, not the sensitivity value.

    Also, it was not obvious from your post (#153) that the “>2C” sensitivity was for a 34% increase in CO2, since everyone talks about sensitivity per doubling. As such, I don’t believe I have to site any special physics to justify the 3C per doubling that I believe is the consensus figure.

    I would suggest that it is incumbent upon you, who posits a much lower climate sensitivity than do those people who actually study the subject, to justify your figure with actual physics rather than naive extrapolation. I await this with baited breath.

    Comment by MartinJB — 13 Jan 2011 @ 5:07 PM

  168. Secular Animist:
    “…assertions which they know to be untrue.”
    I have a horrible feeling that many of them don’t know this at all: they think that there is a difference of opinion, and that all opinions are valid. Who need to pay shills when you’ve got postmodern claptrap on your side?

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 13 Jan 2011 @ 5:24 PM

  169. Dan H. would do well to actually study
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/10/unforced-variations-3-2/comment-page-5/#comment-189329

    Comment by David B. Benson — 13 Jan 2011 @ 5:33 PM

  170. Earth Is Twice as Dusty as in 19th Century, Research Shows
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110110055748.htm

    Comment by David B. Benson — 13 Jan 2011 @ 9:21 PM

  171. Question – what’s the evidence that the climate disruptions last summer (Moscow, Pakistan) – and perhaps also now – could stem from jet stream alteration by the solar minimum (Haigh, second-hand), rather than from Arctic sea ice loss?
    (Has this been addressed? (what keywords should I search for?)
    It was brought up on a local radio show and if it’s off in the weeds, I’d like to know.)

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 13 Jan 2011 @ 11:11 PM

  172. (I did see the Oct 2010 RC post Solar spectral stumper on Haigh et al’s Nature report, but that’s independent of the “solar activity/midlatitude storm track northward shift” correlation, right?)

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 13 Jan 2011 @ 11:19 PM

  173. 115 Patrick 027 says:
    11 Jan 2011 at 3:22 PM

    Re ccpo – the original question refered to Earth turning into Venus (likely in the deep geological future, but not from AGW now so far as I know). We could imagine the “The Day After Tomorrow” scenario may also come up (some things nominally correct but blown out of proportion; physically implausable storms (how low would the central pressure have to get?) and cold. In comparison to the Younger Dryas, we have less ice to melt in the Northern Hemisphere and it’s in different places).

    Venus-like or not is irrelevant. One can only die once, and massive disruptions to BAU will come long before we reach Venus’ conditions. However, we can, and are, push the planet well beyond what civilization developed in. Entirely possible, ane, imo, probable at this point. The combination of burning another trillion barrels of oil (@ 100ppm CO2) and coal (@200 ppm? More?), natural gas (50ppm?) and, say, half the permafrost (@400 ppm?) and the Siberian clathrates (another 400+ ppm?) gets us into feedback territories that take us far enough towards Venusian conditions to make the difference a distinction without a difference.

    123
    Didactylos says:
    12 Jan 2011 at 12:54 AM

    ccpo: You said “it is impossible to be alarmist about climate changes”. I suppose you didn’t get into the subject of misinformation, but your comments were easily interpreted as the “any exaggeration is justified” canard.

    Thank you for clarifying.

    Sure. But we may disagree after all. I’ve never been able to track it down again, but I remember reading about a European ice sheet, now long gone, but that evidence suggests disintegrated in a decades to century time frame.

    Just as virtually everything being measured is way ahead of schedule, at least as laid out in the first four IPCC reports, other accelerations cannot be ruled out. Insurance is not for the fat middle of the Bell curve, but for the long tail events or Black Swans. I called at least a meter rise back in ’07, after all, and now that is at the low end of projections.

    Russian fires, Pakistani floods, Tennessee floods, Australian floods, US superstorm… crop losses…

    The wobbles are getting pronounced, if you ask me. I think 6C sensitivity is probably right, all feedbacks included. One meter would be darned lucky at this point.

    #140 (Dan H):
    I seem to remember reading on some climate realist sites about a year ago that Climategate proved the CRU data to be rather inaccurate, so it probably best to use one of the other datasets in your example.

    How did this not make it into the Bore Hole?

    Comment by ccpo — 13 Jan 2011 @ 11:50 PM

  174. Any head shrinks out there that can work out what is going on in this persons brain?

    from a skeptics-blog forum;

    The way climate sceptics are treated is insulting and arrogant. We have maintained the same position since this whole issue began. In fact, I resented being called a sceptic because that gave the impression I did not believe in climate change. The sceptics used climate change in relation to their beliefs for a long time before the pro-warmers, because that was relative to our beliefs, as global warming was an alarmist term.

    I have never participated in alarmism, scare mongering or brainwashing on my beliefs, which I base on history and cyclic weather events. My position has never changed.

    I am not a denialist, nor am I a denier, as I believe in climate change.

    What does make me angry though is how pro-warmers continue to presume I don’t accept climate change, and continue their argument in this fashion. They really do not understand what a sceptic is so how can they rationally argue their case against we sceptics, when the most basic information is ignored?

    If you want to argue a case, don’t you need to inform yourself of basic details, and why you disagree on these details? Once you have this knowledge, then and only then can you understand where the other person may be coming from? As it is, we are treated with ignorance, intimidation, and rarely have our views printed in the media. We have been forced to the sidelines throughout the years with this argument.

    We become frustrated and angry to continually have our views twisted to suit an argument, or insults issued regarding links or the authors. Worse to be told we don’t believe in climate change.

    I’m sick of it. Get out of our faces, pro-warmers and let us be treated equally.

    Comment by john byatt — 14 Jan 2011 @ 4:24 AM

  175. Now for something really scary…

    http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2011/01/science-stunner-on-our-current.html

    A study published in Geophysical Research Letters (subs. req’d) looked at temperature and atmospheric changes during the Middle Ages. This 2006 study found that the effect of amplifying feedbacks in the climate system –where global warming boosts atmospheric CO2 levels – “will promote warming by an extra 15-78% on a century-scale” compared to typical estimates by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The study notes these results may even be “conservative” because they ignore other greenhouse gases such as methane, whose levels will likely be boosted as temperatures warm.

    A second study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, “Missing feedbacks, asymmetric uncertainties, and the underestimation of future warming” (subs. req’d), looked at temperature and atmospheric changes during the past 400,000 years. This study found evidence for significant increases in both CO2 and methane (CH4) levels as temperatures rise. The conclusion: If our current climate models correctly accounted for such “missing feedbacks,” then “we would be predicting a significantly greater increase in global warming than is currently forecast over the next century and beyond”– as much as 1.5 °C warmer this century alone.

    Much to quote, and several scary studies I’d not come across before. Densely populated with info.

    Is long-term climate sensitivity 3C? Not a snowball’s chance in Hades.

    reCAPTCHA as unsettled as I by the above-linked post: sively frelared

    Comment by ccpo — 14 Jan 2011 @ 6:44 AM

  176. I agree ccpo. I do not think the sensitivity is anywhere near that high.
    The ice core data all show a significant CO2 rise following temperature increases, but the lag time is rather large.
    Why all the hoopla about one year? I seem to remember everyone dismissing the rather cool 2009 as being “just one year.”

    Comment by Dan H. — 14 Jan 2011 @ 8:24 AM

  177. Rather cool 2009? But warmer than 1999.

    And just 12 months among the 310 consecutive months that have exceeded the 20th century average.

    Not my definition of cool, even if it’s yours.

    Comment by adelady — 14 Jan 2011 @ 8:40 AM

  178. Actually, Dan, it was 2008, not 2009, that was the “rather cool year.” 2009 was the 6th-warmest year on record, with an anomaly of .56C–2010 and 2005 are first with .62.

    And it wasn’t the mainstream that made the hoopla. If it weren’t for the constant necessity of responding to Big Lie attacks that deny the most basic aspects of our current situation–”it stopped warming,” “CO2 doesn’t warm,” “it won’t be that bad,” and even “God will protect us”–see Congressman John Shimkus–it would be a hell of a lot easier to have a sensible conversation about what’s really happening, and what to do about it.

    For example, the mainstream focuses on long-term terms that are statistically significant, as opposed to cherry-picked periods such as 2002-present.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 14 Jan 2011 @ 9:02 AM

  179. ccpo: Those may seem scary, but they still seem to be safely within the envelope of IPCC forecasts. And 15-78%? Uncertainty much? It is true that we are dealing with asymmetric uncertainties, but that doesn’t change our best estimate, based on many different methodologies.

    I really don’t understand the arguments that the actual climate sensitivity is likely to lie in the least likely high range any more than I understand those repeated claims we hear that the sensitivity is most likely to be in the least likely low range.

    That’s just not how mathematics work. The likely range is 2-4 degrees, and the most likely value is 3 degrees. Lower and higher vales are not ruled out, but they are not likely, and they are emphatically not the most likely.

    Highly uncertain paleoclimate studies don’t exactly narrow our understanding of climate sensitivity. I believe taking only the high estimate from such studies is unjustified, since in reality, the wide spread simply confirms that the true value is likely to be in the narrower range given by more concrete studies.

    ccpo, please also note that Hansen is *not* arguing that Charney sensitivity is 6 degrees. That would be kind of silly, since 3 degrees is supported by Model E.

    I also believe that applying long-term sensitivities crudely derived from glacial periods is invalid, since we are in an interglacial, and the only ice sheets are near the poles. It seems fairly obvious that the loss of the last bit of ice isn’t going to have the same effect on albedo as the loss of ice closer to the equator during emergence from a glacial period. So – wow. I’m saying Hansen is wrong. Slightly. Oh, no. Hansen’s not stupid. Look what he wrote:

    “Note that the 6°C sensitivity for doubled CO2 applies to the Pleistocene. About half of that sensitivity is from the ice sheet albedo feedback. At earlier times in the Cenozoic, between 65 and 35 My BP when there was little ice on the planet, the sensitivity should have been closer to the Charney 3°C sensitivity.”

    So yes, long term sensitivity is likely to be higher than Charney sensitivity. But not all that much, and we’re a long way from pinning it down.

    Comment by Didactylos — 14 Jan 2011 @ 9:10 AM

  180. 2-4.5 degrees. Typing fail.

    Comment by Didactylos — 14 Jan 2011 @ 9:31 AM

  181. Kevin,
    My mistake. It was 2008. CRU still has 1998 has the highest at +.56, followed by 2005, +.48. Final numbers for 2010 have not been tabulated, but based on the first 11 months, it is likely to finish third or fourth, (2003).
    Long term statistics show that the warming trend has been 0.6C / century, with oscillations above and below the trendline. Nothing observed recently leads me to believe that we have deviated from that trend. I admit that we are current above the trendline, but temperatures have been even higher above the trend in the distant past such that recent events are not outside the realm of variability.

    [Response: But why is it trending Dan? Surely that is the question you need to ask before you can decide on what you think is likely to happen in the future? - gavin]

    Comment by Dan H. — 14 Jan 2011 @ 11:41 AM

  182. Didactylos,
    The problem is that even if we take into account the reduced probability for high values of sensitivity, these values still wind up dominating the risk for the simple reason that the consequences are so much more severe. This is precisely the motivation behind James Annan’s attempts to get rid of the thick high-sensitivity tail by using a Cauchy Prior. This does eliminate the high-end tail, but it is sort of doing the opposite of a Maximum Entropy Prior in that it makes the conclusions of the analysis dependent on details like the location parameter of the Cauchy.

    The basic problem is this. We get a climate that most robustly resembles Earth’s with a climate sensitivity of ~3 degrees per doubling. But it’s a whole helluva lot easier to make an Earthlike climate with a higher sensitivity than a lower sensitivity. 2 degrees per doubling is right out. But on the high side a sensitivity of 4.5 degrees per doubling is not all that more appreciably likely than a sensitivity of 6 degrees per doubling.

    Now you see why thick-tailed loss distributions drive actuaries and Hedge-Fund managers nuts!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 14 Jan 2011 @ 11:55 AM

  183. Oh wait… when I first showed up you were not even a moderator here Jim… and I agreed with the RC stance at the time based on their evidence.

    [Response: I just went back to your first comments here - and almost all of them were substantive. Yet recently, ... not so much. Can we get the old Mack back? - gavin]

    [Response: The first comments I remember from you were statements about what research expertise UC Davis does and does not have in different subject areas. I haven't trusted a thing you've said since then quite frankly, and you've given me no reason to change my mind.--Jim]

    Comment by Jacob Mack — 14 Jan 2011 @ 12:00 PM

  184. Ray Ladbury: If we wander into the realm of policy, my position is that even the lower end of likely values is quite bad enough, and we desperately need to take decisive and effective steps to cut emissions.

    Why worry about tails and uncertainties when exactly the same action is called for by the very likely probabilities?

    I’m not saying knowing these further details isn’t valuable – but hopefully you get my drift.

    Comment by Didactylos — 14 Jan 2011 @ 2:34 PM

  185. Dan H.: ” I seem to remember everyone dismissing the rather cool 2009 as being “just one year.””

    Funny how you can say that about the 7th hottest year on record.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 14 Jan 2011 @ 2:47 PM

  186. Comment by Didactylos — 14 Jan 2011 @ 9:10 AM
    #ccpo: Those may seem scary, but they still seem to be safely within the envelope of IPCC forecasts.

    Like heck:

    What was Earth’s climate like at the time of past elevated CO2? Consider one example when CO2 was ∼1000 ppmv at ∼35 million years ago (Ma) [2]. Temperature data [5,6] for this time period indicate that tropical to subtropical sea surface temperatures were in the range of 35 to 40 °C (versus present-day temperatures of ∼30 °C) and that sea surface temperatures at polar latitudes in the South Pacific were 20-25 °C (versus modern temperatures of ∼5 °C). The paleogeography of this time was not radically different from present-day geography, so it is difficult to argue that this difference could explain these large differences in temperature. Also, solar physics findings show that the Sun was less luminous by ∼0.4% at that time [7]. Thus, an increase of CO2from ∼300 ppmv to 1000 ppmv warmed the tropics by 5-10 °C and the polar regions by even more (i.e., 15-20 °C).

    Show me where the IPCC suggested anything like those conditions. I don’t think you read all the links in the main post I coped from, and I don’t think you are keeping all issues in mind. Take permaculturist’s approach and at all times try to keep all issues in mind. These changes do not happen in isolation, they have follow-on effects in energy production, food production, political stability, social structures, etc., etc., which also amplify the effects and can send things tumbling into chaos.

    In my head, new research looks like a web of mycelium spreading our into everything. Like compounding interest or the proverbial butterfly’s wings, small changes in initial conditions create potentially massive changes downstream. As I’ve noted before, as a layman I am not bound to what is provable in my comments. I can allow myself to see what is likely *and* actually speak to it in public. When I start being wrong, I’ll accept your perspective. Since I keep being accurate, perhaps you should consider mine more fully.

    And 15-78%? Uncertainty much? It is true that we are dealing with asymmetric uncertainties, but that doesn’t change our best estimate, based on many different methodologies.

    Yes, the new data absolutely do change our best estimates. That’s what new data should do. Someone else already addressed the risk assessment issue, but I’ll repeat: insurance is for the long and fat tails, not the first and second deviation. You are arguing the exact opposite of what good risk assessment suggests.

    I really don’t understand the arguments that the actual climate sensitivity is likely to lie in the least likely high range any more than I understand those repeated claims we hear that the sensitivity is most likely to be in the least likely low range.

    That’s because you buy Charney and the IPCC IV as having accurately set the probabilities. I have never suffered that limitation. Ice, permafrost, clathrates, rates of change all made IPCC IV an excellent out of date report before it was published. Hansen, et al’s., 6C has always seem the more accurate number, and this new research supports that. I don’t really care how you apportion sensitivity – feedbacks, charney, whatever – because I consider it a distinction without a difference outside the lab. It’s a useless conversation for public consumption. The question should be, in terms of public consumption of information, how much total change will we see with a given CO2e?

    That’s just not how mathematics work. The likely range is 2-4 degrees

    I don’t care what the “likely” range is, I care what the actual range is, and even more so, the worst case because that’s the realm of policy discussions. If our mitigation and adaptation efforts aim for “likely,” the risk of sui-genocidal decisions is far higher than the risks of houses burning down or dying in car accidents. We are talking about a world in which wet bulb conditions become the norm for large areas of the planet. As I noted earlier, those are not butterfly wings, those are pterodactyl wings.

    Highly uncertain paleoclimate studies don’t exactly narrow our understanding of climate sensitivity.

    I think they just did.

    I believe taking only the high estimate from such studies is unjustified, since in reality, the wide spread simply confirms that the true value is likely to be in the narrower range given by more concrete studies.

    Except that changes have been at or beyond the high end all along. You are simply ignoring reality in favor of Ivory Tower logic. You might want to keep in mind logic alone can be twisted like a pretzel, so is meaningless in isolation. When I teach young kids about scientific method I stress the importance of letting the data do the talking and especially the incorporation of new data objectively. Faith in middles as bifurcations and dislocations are happening is questionable. For experiments and models – the doing of science – you are correct. For risk assessment and policy discussions, you have it backwards.

    ccpo, please also note that Hansen is *not* arguing that Charney sensitivity is 6 degrees. That would be kind of silly, since 3 degrees is supported by Model E.

    See previous comment on sensitivity.

    I also believe that applying long-term sensitivities crudely derived from glacial periods is invalid, since we are in an interglacial, and the only ice sheets are near the poles. It seems fairly obvious that the loss of the last bit of ice isn’t going to have the same effect on albedo as the loss of ice closer to the equator during emergence from a glacial period.

    So? How is this relevant or even logical? There are very potent feedbacks in play now that were not 11 – 20k years ago.

    So – wow. I’m saying Hansen is wrong.

    I wouldn’t put any money on that.

    “Note that the 6°C sensitivity for doubled CO2 applies to the Pleistocene. About half of that sensitivity is from the ice sheet albedo feedback. At earlier times in the Cenozoic, between 65 and 35 My BP when there was little ice on the planet, the sensitivity should have been closer to the Charney 3°C sensitivity.”

    So yes, long term sensitivity is likely to be higher than Charney sensitivity. But not all that much

    You have offered nothing to support this. To do so you will need to explain virtually all measures of change being at or beyond the worst projections to date, particularly what we are seeing with methane.

    and we’re a long way from pinning it down.

    I think it is more accurate to say you are a long way from accepting it and that we are some way from proving it.

    Comment by ccpo — 15 Jan 2011 @ 9:24 AM

  187. ccpo: A rise of 5-10 degrees is perfectly plausible. For 1000 ppmv, it makes perfect sense. Two doublings, 3 degrees, that’s 6 degrees. If we take the higher 4.5 degree sensitivity, two doublings equals 9 degrees. So that’s absolutely in line with our current state of understanding, as represented by the IPCC. It also overlaps with the A1F1 model results.

    I’m really confused why you are trying to present this as something that hasn’t been considered before. It’s just confirmation of what we know already.

    Our present climate observations are absolutely consistent with a Charney sensitivity in the expected range.

    With respect to long-term sensitivity, you say “You have offered nothing to support this.” But all I did was actually read the caveats that Hansen wrote, instead of taking him out of context like you did.

    You also say “you will need to explain virtually all measures of change being at or beyond the worst projections to date” – but that’s just wrong. Some measures are beyond our estimates. Some aren’t. But that’s beside the point. We won’t clearly see the results of long-term sensitivity for decades, maybe a century or two. Why you even expect to see such observations is a mystery to me, let alone claiming you see them already. Again, your own links explain this.

    You keep accusing me of ignoring reality, but you are simply wrong: temperature has not been “at or beyond the worst projections to date”. That’s the measure we have the greatest understanding for, and it is currently completely consistent with our best estimate. (Best estimate, not best case. Don’t confuse the two.) Yes, Arctic ice was low-balled. Methane? That’s generally included in the scenarios, rather than projections. And my reading of WG1 is that observations have come in lower than the scenarios anticipate. Clathrates? Yes, we are observing some bubbling, but it has not caused any significant methane spike. I expect AR5 will go into methane in much more detail.

    “As I’ve noted before, as a layman I am not bound to what is provable in my comments”

    Now we get to it. To be better than the deniers, we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. And that means being clear about what we know, and what is speculation.

    Comment by Didactylos — 15 Jan 2011 @ 10:59 AM

  188. Didactylos: “Why worry about tails and uncertainties when exactly the same action is called for by the very likely probabilities?”

    Well, that’s precisely the issue, isn’t it? Actually, the low end and the high end of even the 90% CL call for dramatically different mixes of mitigation and threat avoidance.

    And when you throw in the 5% probability that sensitivity could be above 4.5 degrees per doubling, and the flatness of the tail in this region, then the risk calculus becomes quite complicated. If the sensitivity were actually in this range, the only acceptable strategy would be to put the brakes on CO2…HARD. So, do we ignore this region? Unfortunately, many a hedge fund and insurance company has gone belly up precisely by ignoring such thick tails. Levees have failed and bridges collapsed.

    The thing is that there are very few events in climate history that constrain this portion of the curve. It’s much easier to rule out a sensitivity below 2 degrees.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Jan 2011 @ 11:12 AM

  189. Ray Ladbury @ 182:

    I think more analysis and “publicity” of the sort you alluded to is definitely in order. Obviously my inclination is towards including the economic impacts of =doing= what it would take to get to those scenarios. For example, oil closed at $91 / bbl. How much economic damage are we doing near-term by our dependence on oil, and how much environment damage is in the pipeline long-term by our use of oil.

    The absolute worst case scenario, in my opinion, is that we maintain our reliance on fossil fuels, suffer the economic devastation caused by skyrocketing prices, destroy the environment, then don’t have the resources to do anything about it. A bit like “Mad Max”, it seems to me.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 15 Jan 2011 @ 11:49 AM

  190. Climate Change Panel, Nov. 17, 2010 Panel 1.
    Lindzen to Congress:
    1. Climate always changing
    2. .75 increase
    3. Greenhouse effect
    4. CO2 increasing due to man’s actions not in question
    5. BUT these facts do no lead to “major climate concern” per se
    6. Eg. 2x CO2 alone leads to only 1C warming (meaning, don’t even include water vapor, but lierally *just* CO2)

    7. If all global anomaly increases (there is no such thing as global average temp) were ascribed to GHG increases, sensitivity must be even lower.

    8. The case for alarm rests on three doubtful propositions
    a. Sensitivity is much higher than 1C due to alleged dominance of positive feedbacks

    b. The association of phenomena as sea level rise, arctic sea ice, which depend on many, many factors, of which globally averaged temperature anomaly is not even the most important factor, and to use these changes as evidence for dangerous warming is illogical.

    c. This is especially true for sea ice. The over-simplification of climate to a single number, globally averaged temperature anomaly, and a single forcing number, let’s say radiative forcing from CO2, is a gross distortion of what is going on.

    With respect to climate sensitivity, GH physics tells us that temp changes at the surface should produce certain change in outward flux of heat, which at the top of the atmosphere is in the form of radiation. It will, in the absence of feedbacks, correspond to a sensitivity of about 1 degree per doubling of CO2. Now, if you have positive feebacks and you go to space and measure the ougoing flux associated with temperature perturbation, you should see less than you would expect without feedbacks, and if you have negative feedbacks you should see more. Now, it turns out that the models when you ask what they calculate, calculate what is consistent with positive feedbacks. If you go to the data, you find the opposite.

    More recently there’s been an attempt to measure these fluxes from the surface. You have to understand the flux might be reasonably constant through the atmosphere, but it’s process is different. At the top it’s radiation; at the surface it’s mostly evaporation. And there is a problem that’s been noted for some years. Models predict very little change in evaporation as you warm compared to observations and this can be directly translated into sensitivity. The models’ behavior is consistent with 1.5 to 4.5C per doubling of CO2. The data suggest it’s closer to half the lowest limit.

    I mean, one has the problem that the observations when turned to feedbacks rather than specific mechanisms show the opposite. And this isn’t surprising. One speaks of clouds as a kind of peripheral uncertainty, but they are capable… they involve changes in the radiative balance that are, you know, more than a factor of 20 larger than what you get from a doubling of CO2. Now, parenthetically, we might wonder why models that have such a high sensitivity can simulate past behavior if the past behavior is consistent with low sensitivity, and the answer as I think Jerry would point out, is aerosols. Now, you might say there are really aerosols so they cancel some of the greenhouse, but if you check, each model uses a different value. Because they want to adjust their model to look right it’s an adjustable parameter, and the aerosol community (Schwartz, roda(sp?), ) published a paper last year pointing out the uncertainties mean that if you include arbitrary aerosols, you can get any sensitivity you want. That’s hardly reassuring.

    Lindzen: zero CO2 equals only 2.5 degrees cooler!

    Lindzen: temp devices vastly different, so proportion of record highs and record lows unreliable!!!!!

    Cullen: ibalance could become 20:1 by end of century

    I can’t even bring myself to address this shill. Have at him.

    Comment by ccpo — 15 Jan 2011 @ 1:06 PM

  191. Most of the commenters here are firm believers in global warming as I am. They argue for it with great knowledge and passion. I am curious what changes they have made in their own lives to reduce their carbon use. I have a feeling some of the most strident believers are doing virtually nothing. I also believe that if they did, they would have a much greater effect on those around them, and would make real strides towards making a difference. When others see what you actually do, rather than what you actually say, you’ll really start to make a difference.I think that can have a multiplier effect.

    So maybe, get off the computer today, and go change your light bulbs or put more insulation in your attic? Seriously, I think this could have a HUGE IMPACT. People watch what you DO.

    Comment by doug — 15 Jan 2011 @ 1:55 PM

  192. I’m really confused why you are trying to present this as something that hasn’t been considered before. It’s just confirmation of what we know already.

    By 2100? Besides, it’s not just the doubling, it’s all the other stuff. That is, we’re going to see the same sorts of changes long before the doubling. That’s really the message. Also, your very point was to de-emphasize the “extreme” possibilities. My point is, they are not the extreme, they are the middle case. 3C is minimum, not a midpoint.

    You also say “you will need to explain virtually all measures of change being at or beyond the worst projections to date” – but that’s just wrong.

    No, that is exactly my point: The rapidity and degree of changes shows our assumptions are off. Whether that’s due to Charney, not undersanding feedbacks, not being aware of feedbacks, what have you, is irrelevant to my point. We are seeing changes associated with GHG levels we haven’t reached, yet, so forget about the IPCC IV scenarios altogether. Research since then is far more useful, of course.

    Some measures are beyond our estimates.
    How is what is happening today outside our estimates? Or even be estimates? We are talking observation. My point stands: if you want to warn against alarmism, you better explain why the alarm is sounding, and why so loudly. Explain the melt in Antarctica *now* vs. eventually. Explain thermokarst lakes not only existing, but tripling in size over about 5 years or so *now*, not eventually. Etc. Make that case with a 3C total sensitivity… This is my key point. Even A1F1 doesn’t predict these changes at these rates.

    You keep accusing me of ignoring reality

    I am saying there is a difference between thinking like a scientist must to maintain credibility and what nature is actually telling us and what the risks are. I leave PC statements to those who are bound. I am not. I can speak to what I see and read, then I can add to it information from energy, economy, socio-political issues to round out what the projections really might be. I.e., reality-based rather than pure scientific method.

    but you are simply wrong: temperature has not been “at or beyond the worst projections to date”.

    Sorry, should have said CO2. I have a habit of mixing the two in conversation. What is scary, is that at the temps we have so far we see so much change and chaos, no?

    Yes, Arctic ice was low-balled. Methane? That’s generally included in the scenarios, rather than projections.And my reading of WG1 is that observations have come in lower than the scenarios anticipate. Clathrates? Yes, we are observing some bubbling, but it has not caused any significant methane spike.

    Sub-sea and permafrost melt was included? Nope. I think it’s a fair bet methane will, indeed, be seeing a large rise. The observations certainly suggest this. I was not referring to the current ppb, though the rise from .7-ish to 1.8-ish should scare heck out of us, don’t you think?

    Spike? I beg to differ. It was on a ten year plateau till a few years ago. The thermokarst lakes were busy tripling during that time frame. I think you are seeing a spike.

    I expect AR5 will go into methane in much more detail.

    LOL… one would hope!

    “As I’ve noted before, as a layman I am not bound to what is provable in my comments”

    Now we get to it. To be better than the deniers, we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. And that means being clear about what we know, and what is speculation.

    UM, nope. There is nothing wrong with Watts, et al., in principle, but the fact they are dishonest. Besides, I am clear what we know vs. what I think. I reject any claim otherwise. I know what Charney is, I just think nature is telling us it’s absolutely not 3C. It’s at the high end. I guarantee you. (Otherwise, real observations don’t make sense vs. scenarios.) Now, note I said I guarantee you, and not that the science guarantees it.

    Etc.

    Look, you want us all to be circumspect, polite little activists and I think that is suicidal, but, we are on the same side, so let’s not get too caught up in this. Things are changing very quickly, and every new piece of info we get reinforces this. At the end of the day, we’re going to find Charney+ feedbacks is 6C or more, or we’re going to discover something really basic that we don’t understand right now… but that would still be feedbacks… no?… so the situation is dire.

    Some of us need to be saying so till the rest of you catch up. (Let me repeat a point made above that all of the non-science issues inform my POV and are feedbacks that are at least as important the climate science itself.)

    If I end up being wrong, but we make the changes, well, we’ll have powered down and be living in a much more stable and healthy world, so I can live with that.

    Comment by ccpo — 15 Jan 2011 @ 2:12 PM

  193. doug says:
    15 Jan 2011 at 1:55 PM

    Most of the commenters here are firm believers in global warming as I am. They argue for it with great knowledge and passion. I am curious what changes they have made in their own lives to reduce their carbon use. I have a feeling some of the most strident believers are doing virtually nothing. I also believe that if they did, they would have a much greater effect on those around them, and would make real strides towards making a difference. When others see what you actually do, rather than what you actually say, you’ll really start to make a difference.I think that can have a multiplier effect.

    So maybe, get off the computer today, and go change your light bulbs or put more insulation in your attic? Seriously, I think this could have a HUGE IMPACT. People watch what you DO.

    Sold everything, changed countries, bought old truck, bought old house, learned permaculture, doing regenerative living, teaching regenerative living (permaculture).

    How’m I doing?

    Comment by ccpo — 15 Jan 2011 @ 2:16 PM

  194. doug says: “Most of the commenters here are firm believers in global warming as I am. They argue for it with great knowledge and passion.”

    Here is the preamble of a concern troll if I’ve ever seen one.

    doug: ” I have a feeling some of the most strident believers are doing virtually nothing.”

    Sure enough. He follows through with baseless assertions and accusations.

    doug: “I also believe that if they did, they would have a much greater effect on those around them, and would make real strides towards making a difference.”

    That’s right, folks. Quit gathering all that evidence and go out and plant a fricking tree. Then you can join hands Anthony “Micro”Watts, McI and his Lardship and sing fricking Kumbaya.

    And the winner of this years Rodney King “Why can’t we all just get along” award goes to:
    doug.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Jan 2011 @ 2:28 PM

  195. Re What have you done. My wife and I drive hybrids, we walk to neighboring stores, we have added insulation, we use low energy lights, we keep a/c high and heat low, we recycle extensively, we tinted our windows and installed double pane glass. I also write my congressmen to advocate an increase in the gasoline tax and that I believe in AGW.

    Comment by Bibasir — 15 Jan 2011 @ 2:40 PM

  196. Naw..you kind of read my wrong Ray. I think what you are doing is great. Really. Better than me. Am I wrong about everyone else on here? Do you have personal knowledge of the habits of all the commenters?

    This wasn’t meant to be a fight, but rather encouragement for people. I don’t think I’m your enemy.

    Comment by doug — 15 Jan 2011 @ 2:50 PM

  197. #191 Doug. What do you say to a vegan, who lives in a country where electricity is generated without carbon emissions? Buy one of these: http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/bmw-hydrogen7.htm
    Joking aside, what is the carbon footprint of converting the world’s car-fleet to hydrogen?

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 15 Jan 2011 @ 3:08 PM

  198. [edit - please stick to scientific discussions instead of picking fights.]

    Look.

    We’ve established you were mistaken about temperature. You are also mistaken about CO2, which has been rising perfectly in accordance with the scenarios (how could it not – they cover all likely eventualities).

    So, let’s follow this through: “The rapidity and degree of changes shows our assumptions are off.” But you were wrong about that. The opposite is true. The neat match between reality and models shows us that our assumptions are spot on, or close enough to be going on with.

    Comment by Didactylos — 15 Jan 2011 @ 3:35 PM

  199. Doug, Please forgive my accusation, but yes, I do know what many of the commenters are doing. Tamino had a post awhile back where he asked just this. I, myself, carpool with a disabled woman. I try to grow as much of my own food as possible. My wife and I have planted a couple hundred trees on our property. Furry Catherder is just about carbon neutral. You’ll find plenty of early adopters of hybrid vehicles, efficient lighting…. I think you really should investigate before making accusations that the folks here are less than committed. They are.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Jan 2011 @ 3:48 PM

  200. Let’s not jump the gun too much on how alarming “new” climate sensitivity estimates are. The Kiehl article in Science is interesting but let’s keep in mind that he’s comparing snapshots in time over a range of tens of millions of years, and it’s not self-evident that CO2/solar are the only significant forcings relevant for a good comparison, or that you can easily extrapolate the same sensitivity to the future. There’s also a lot of ways the proxies for temperature and CO2 can be off. I don’t really think the spatial structure of land and sea surface temperatures in deep time climates is settled at the present.

    Also keep in mind that while the public may not be interested in what the “Charney sensitivity” is, you do have to know what it refers to if you’re going to claim it’s different than the ‘actual’ sensitivity. For that matter, what exactly does the ‘actual sensitivity’ refer to? The paleoclimate inferences derived from the Kiehl article is most useful for understanding the very long-term response to a perturbed climate, like I discussed toward the end in part 1 of my post on feedbacks and what several scientists are now including in the Earth system sensitivity response. The long-term outlook is the focus of a number of recent articles, a key resource is the 2010 Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia report from NAS. While this is important, and can be the subject of many debates on cost-benefit analysis and economics, the transient climate response is much more useful as a gauge for what to expect in the coming century.

    Comment by Chris Colose — 15 Jan 2011 @ 3:49 PM

  201. 2xCO2 acting alone gives 1.2 K. From the transient response to date
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/10/unforced-variations-3-2/comment-page-5/#comment-18932
    about twice that. From the Pliocene
    Earth system sensitivity inferred from Pliocene modelling and data
    Daniel J. Lunt, Alan M. Haywood, Gavin A. Schmidt, Ulrich Salzmann, Paul J. Valdes & Harry J. Dowsett
    Nature Geoscience 3, 60 – 64 (2010)
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n1/full/ngeo706.html
    about twice that.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 15 Jan 2011 @ 5:34 PM

  202. third panel discussion

    Curry: AGW understood, magnitude highly uncertain
    1 . background info doesn’t indicate existential threat over century time scale. (no kidding.)
    2. more important for robust policy response rather than quick solutions that may not address problem (hurry up and wait)
    3. 20 years of acrimonious debate of the science and policy (because your side lies their butts off and make lurid accusations about governmental control and conspiracies that don’t exist)

    4 debates over arcane points substituted for real debate of politics and values.

    5. has been publicly raising concern since 2003 about how uncertainty is evaluated and communicated

    6. need to better understand natural climate variability (it ain’t us!!!) and need more transparent and robust climate records (you’re hiding the data!!! ( at this point I’m wondering how Exxon/Koch brothers get her the money…), particularly the paleoclimate record (Mann, et al., you *&&^*&*!!!!)
    7. climate impacts on decadal scale less important than population, land use and degradation (and how do you separate the four????); regions that adapt to current weather extremes and population will be better able to deal with any additional stresses from climate changes (apparently current stresses have nothing to do with climate)

    8. social scientists and science philosophers need to interact with climate scientists to prevent dysfunction at the science/policy interface so evident this last year (from you and yours, ya dirt bag!!! Stop lying to affect policy and all will be well!!)

    9. scientists need to listen to denialist bloggers, particularly you hockey stickers!!!

    10. and give us better paleoclimate data (stop hiding it!!) and make it easy to use (cause the bloggers are not skilled at doing your job, so you have to help them so they can lie about your work and the data)

    Comment by ccpo — 15 Jan 2011 @ 5:39 PM

  203. [edit - might I suggest not engaging so personally?]

    Comment by ccpo — 15 Jan 2011 @ 6:10 PM

  204. David B. Benson says:
    15 Jan 2011 at 5:34 PM

    2xCO2 acting alone gives 1.2 K. From the transient response to date
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/10/unforced-variations-3-2/comment-page-5/#comment-18932
    about twice that. From the Pliocene
    Earth system sensitivity inferred from Pliocene modelling and data
    Daniel J. Lunt, Alan M. Haywood, Gavin A. Schmidt, Ulrich Salzmann, Paul J. Valdes & Harry J. Dowsett
    Nature Geoscience 3, 60 – 64 (2010)
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n1/full/ngeo706.html
    about twice that.

    So, then, if sensitivity is at the high end of Charney, about 4.5, the inclusion of slow and fast feedbacks gets us to… ta-da!… 6C. I think the climate response to date argues strongly that Charney is at the high end.

    Comment by ccpo — 15 Jan 2011 @ 6:17 PM

  205. Chris Colose says:
    15 Jan 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Let’s not jump the gun too much on how alarming “new” climate sensitivity estimates are.

    Jump on? I’ve been saying this for 3-4 years. :-) Precocious, aren’t I?

    The Kiehl article in Science is interesting but let’s keep in mind that he’s comparing snapshots in time over a range of tens of millions of years, and it’s not self-evident that CO2/solar are the only significant forcings relevant for a good comparison, or that you can easily extrapolate the same sensitivity to the future.

    This is true scientifically, but colloquially, it’s yet another bit of info supporting higher sensitivity. But what argues best for higher sensitivity are the changes coming so early and at significant magnitudes. I understand scientific reticence, and appreciate it, but that conservative approach leaves us too often playing catch up. Perhaps we need to think on how scientists can make use of us laypeople to say things they can’t…

    There’s also a lot of ways the proxies for temperature and CO2 can be off.

    Sure, but, again, the argument for higher sensitivity has evidence piling up, and I don’t think it is a good idea to ignore that. Hansen, et al., might simply have been right.

    Also keep in mind that while the public may not be interested in what the “Charney sensitivity” is, you do have to know what it refers to if you’re going to claim it’s different than the ‘actual’ sensitivity. For that matter, what exactly does the ‘actual sensitivity’ refer to?

    Oh, come on. Who said we don’t know what Charney is? And, I explained clearly I am simply saying Charney plus all feedbacks. Charney is likely higher than 3C, but it may just be that feedbacks are more sensitive than previously understood. The rapidity of change seems to me to logically infer at least some degree of higher Charney. The responses at the poles and Greenland suggest his also, I think, for those are supposed to be very slow feedbacks.

    The paleoclimate inferences derived from the Kiehl article is most useful for understanding the very long-term response to a perturbed climate

    Sure, but I am always thinking and speaking from a 7 Generations perspective, so…

    Comment by ccpo — 15 Jan 2011 @ 6:35 PM

  206. ccpo @204 — No Charney sensitivity involved. ESS from this paleo study is about 5 K.

    5 ~ 1.2x2x2

    But the Charney sensitivity is quite close to 3 K. It’s just that it does not now appear to be such a useful concept.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 15 Jan 2011 @ 7:08 PM

  207. @ Anna Haynes — 13 Jan 2011 @ 11:11 PM “what’s the evidence that the climate disruptions last summer (Moscow, Pakistan) – and perhaps also now – could stem from jet stream alteration by the solar minimum (Haigh, second-hand), rather than from Arctic sea ice loss?”

    They were prolly talking about this – http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100414/full/news.2010.184.html
    Note, however “Lockwood is quick to point out that even if the recent lull in sunspot activity extends into another Maunder minimum, the effects are regional and it will not offset global warming. ‘This is very much a European phenomenon,’ he says.”

    I suspect that it’s also not so much a question of “rather than”, but “in addition to”. Like, if the sea ice were as low as it is now, and distributed the way it is now, and the PDO/ENSO/NAO etc were the same, but the solar cycle/spectral distribution/TSI were different, then maybe half as many people in Russia would have died of heat stroke.

    Wouldn’t roul_ette be a lot more fun if everyone at the table could add or subtract momentum from the wheel? If the solar cycle was dominant, there would be a much higher correlation with the weather, and any bozo like me could plug simple data into a spreadsheet, instead of requiring “…a very careful statistical analysis, which is not the case with all the papers in this particular subject area,”

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 15 Jan 2011 @ 7:50 PM

  208. Ray,

    Furry. Cat. Herder.

    Three words.

    And I wish I was carbon neutral these days — the renewable energy business I started has been soaking up massive amounts of spare change. That and the weather has been positively dreadful the past few days and the (all-electric) motorcycle has been stuffed in the garage.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 15 Jan 2011 @ 7:54 PM

  209. Jacob Mack is absolutely right that there has been no climate change since 1984. I can state with complete confidence that the weather on July 1st (“middle” point in the calendar year …), 1984 was MUCH warmer in the Northern Hemisphere (which is all that matters) than it is today in the Northern Hemisphere (which is all that matters).

    Now all we have to do is order days from one year to the next such that each subsequent year has it’s next cooler day selected and I’m sure someone can draw a graph that shows 365 consecutive years of cooling.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 15 Jan 2011 @ 8:02 PM

  210. Furry Cat Herder #207 Be careful what you wish for.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 15 Jan 2011 @ 9:10 PM

  211. Oh guttural grunt! That should be #208

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 15 Jan 2011 @ 9:13 PM

  212. OAB @ 210/211:

    What’s that supposed to mean? Being carbon neutral isn’t hard, it’s just that starting a business (I’m an ex-high tech person who passed her “Best Sell By” date and was laid off …) has a way of making you broke!

    – Julie.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 16 Jan 2011 @ 6:01 AM

  213. doug 191: Most of the commenters here are firm believers in global warming as I am.

    BPL: Yeah. Sure.

    doug: They argue for it with great knowledge and passion. I am curious what changes they have made in their own lives to reduce their carbon use. I have a feeling some of the most strident believers are doing virtually nothing.

    BPL: Well, let’s see. I drive a late-model Kia. We’ve got all CFBs instead of incandescents. We take the bus a lot. I have plastic over all my windows but two I have to get to today. We had our furnace replaced with a more efficient model. We turn off surge suppressors when the devices connected to them are off, so they won’t draw parasitic power. Is that enough?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 16 Jan 2011 @ 6:44 AM

  214. In #272, Didactylos writes: “hormesis is the basis of homeopathy. I think Maddow was perfectly justified in treating it with contempt, particularly given Robinson’s views on it.

    Due to the low quality of research in the area, I’m not certain why you want to defend it at all. Anyone seriously studying low-dose effects can do so quite happily without ever using the word “hormesis”. They should avoid the term, in my opinion, given its anti-science origins and associations. And in general, I think they do avoid the term.”

    Homeopathy predates the initial research on hormesis by Hugo Schulz. Homeopathy seized on that research and later elaborations as scientific justification for their (pre-existing) practices. As Didactylos notes, this gave the concept and word hormesis a “bad name”. More recently, research on hormesis, using the “bad name”, has revived. In 1990, the Department of Energy and other organizations established the Advisory Committee on Biological Effects of Low-level Exposure (BELLE), which has organized meetings and published research in the BELLE newsletter ever since. BELLE newsletters are available at http://www.belleonline.com/index.htm . Of particular interest in this context is v. 16, no. 1, April 2010 on Hormesis and Homeopathy.

    DOE has supported this research because of the significant fiscal impact of the standards on the health effects of low-level radiation, since this controls how much needs to be spent to sequester the waste resulting from weapons programs, civilian nuclear power, and medical and industrial uses of radiation. This research is contentious and highly politicized, as reflected in Didactylos comment above.

    Unlike Didactylos, I don’t think Maddow benefits from treating kooks (with excellent credentials) like Robinson with contempt. She makes the same mistake that Robinson does, believing she knows the truth in an area outside her expertise (probably because she is more ideologically comfortable with those who say A is true than she is with those who say B is true). As an aside, apparently Robinson’s poll numbers dropped several points after his appearance on Maddow’s show.

    I would be more persuaded by Didactylos assertion of “the low quality of the research in the area” if he or she showed any sign of having read the research in the area.

    Best regards.

    Jim Dukelow

    Comment by Jim Dukelow — 16 Jan 2011 @ 8:34 AM

  215. “arctic sea ice, which depend on many, many factors, of which globally averaged temperature anomaly is not even the most important factor,”

    True, but irrelevant and intentionally deceptive. It is also absolutely true that the amount of hot air Lindzen is blowing in Congress face isn’t a factor in melting of sea ice.

    What Lindzen has hoped you(and Congress) won’t notice is that no matter how the other “factors” that are important for sea ice melting change, if the ice doesn’t get warmer, it will not melt. Changing winds will move ice around, but if it doesn’t warm, it won’t melt. Changing ocean currents won’t melt the ice unless they warm it.

    Lets assume for a moment that denialists like Lindzen are correct that the instrumental record is complete UHI hooey, made up out of whole cloth by that econazi Hansen and his cohorts. Lets further assume that Svensmark, Soon, and Baliunas are correct and that its all due to solar output and its GCR/cloud interactions, which have caused a pause in the “natural cycles of climate change” where we have instrumental records since 2002.

    Where we have few instrumental records, in the Arctic, there has been a statistically significant decline in ice since 2002.
    >>>>> It has to have gotten warmer there, or the ice wouldn’t have melted. <<<<<<<<<<
    If we average this warming in the Arctic with our (presumed unchanging) temperatures elsewhere, there has been an increase in average global temperature.

    Lindzen' assertion that "there is no such thing as global average temp" is based on the canard that the measures that are combined are like comparing apples to oranges. If I have a pile of fruit that has 930-1120 kg of apples, and 820-950 kg of oranges, and i add 30-40 kg of apples and 27-33 kg of oranges, I get a larger pile of fruit. It doesn't matter that I didn't know precisely how much apples or oranges I started with, or precisely how much of each that added, I still get a bigger pile of fruit. If I know that some guy named CO2 is adding apples and oranges to the pile, I know the pile is growing.

    It doesn't matter that the satellite records, and weather station records, and ship ocean temperature records, and sea level records, and glacial melt records, and sea ice extent (or area or volume) aren't measuring exactly he same thing, or have imprecision that all measurements have, we still have a bigger pile of global average temperature. We know from the radiational physics that CO2 can be used to make industrial lasers, and we know from that same physics that CO2 will add energy to the global pile of average temperature.

    "The models’ behavior is consistent with 1.5 to 4.5C per doubling of CO2. The data suggest it’s closer to half the lowest limit." BS. cherrypicked, preliminary, bleeding edge of science and subject to further improvement data often suggest climate sensitivity below what the paleoclimate record demands. Lindzen is saying we should bet the future on his guess that the nonlinearities in climate response will work in our favor – like the megafauna that went extinct because of PETM "abrupt" warming. (The PETM onset took thousands of years; the Eocene Anthropocene Thermal Maximum Event – EATME – will be much faster)

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 16 Jan 2011 @ 1:42 PM

  216. David B. Benson says: 15 Jan 2011 at 7:08 PM

    ccpo @204 — No Charney sensitivity involved. ESS from this paleo study is about 5 K.

    5 ~ 1.2x2x2

    But the Charney sensitivity is quite close to 3 K. It’s just that it does not now appear to be such a useful concept.

    English, please.

    [Response: ESS = Earth System Sensitivity, meaning the inclusion of slower feedback processes (e.g. vegetation) in addition to the faster ones included in "Charney" sensitivity.--Jim]

    Comment by ccpo — 16 Jan 2011 @ 2:56 PM

  217. IPCC list of FQ. “How Likely are Major or Abrupt Climate Changes,
    such as Loss of Ice Sheets or Changes in Global
    Ocean Circulation?”
    Not likely using available models”However, the occurrence of such changes becomes increasingly more likely as the perturbation of the climate system progresses.” Followed by page of fine print science speak that concludes “Therefore, no quantitative information is available from the current generation of ice sheet models as to the likelihood or timing of such an event.”
    Without a relevant University degree or the resources to go and get one, accepting a definition from someone like Monkton is much easier.

    Comment by Steve — 16 Jan 2011 @ 8:15 PM

  218. Dramatic Ocean Circulation Changes Caused a Colder Europe in the Past

    Comment by David B. Benson — 16 Jan 2011 @ 9:30 PM

  219. This is a question for all the AGW theory experts out there.

    Michael Mann in support of the AGW issued his famous paper in which he said…………

    “More specifically, a number of reconstructions of large-scale temperature changes over the past millennium support the conclusion that late-20th century warmth was unprecedented over at least the past millennium. Modeling and statistical studies indicate that such anomalous warmth cannot be explained by natural factors…………………”

    http://coast.gkss.de/staff/storch/pdf/Soon.EosForum20032.pdf

    He is saying that because this warming rate is clearly unprecedented we can rule out any natural cause.

    [edit. um....no he isn't. The quote is pointing out both that (a) recent warming appears unprecedented and that (b) this unprecedented warmth cannot be explained by natural factors (the latter based primarily on climate modeling studies employing estimates of natural and anthropogenic forcing, which show that natural forcing cannot explain the observed warming). In simple logical form that can be expressed as "A and B". You have somehow taken that, and turned it into "A implies B". The distinction between these two statements (and the flaw in your logic) really isn't that subtle. -mike]

    Comment by Alan Millar — 16 Jan 2011 @ 10:18 PM

  220. “I am curious what changes they have made in their own lives to reduce their carbon use.”

    I drive the highest MPG car I could afford, and we live close enough to my husband’s work that he can walk instead of use his higher-MPG vehicle. We have an automatic thermostat, we recycle, all the lightbulbs are CFLs or LEDs. I buy local produce when I can find it. So on and so forth. Perhaps the biggest one is still in the works – an off-grid residence. It may take years before we can use it exclusively (money is a factor, here), but if it goes as I intend, it should be able to fully support a family (or two) with little or no outside help, if necessary.

    Comment by Maya — 16 Jan 2011 @ 10:44 PM

  221. “The Bore Hole” is a great idea: how hard would it be though to tag each post with where it first showed up? It’s a bit hard to guess context from some of the weird ramblings (then again, why would I want to? Morbid curiosity?).

    I challenge the denialist sites with a track record of censoring comments (e.g. WUWT) they don’t like to publish them in like fashion.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 16 Jan 2011 @ 11:34 PM

  222. Guys,

    The discussion on climate sensitivity is getting a bit awkward. I think it’s useful to clarify a few points of interest.

    First, the response of the surface temperatures to some change in the energy budget can be usefully approximated as the sum of two components: a fast component, which is proportional to the instantaneous radiative forcing, and a slow component which represents the surface manifestation of changes in the deep ocean. In fact, even for volcanic eruptions there is a large response in ocean heat storage which persists for over a century. These different timescale components have different spatial structures, so changing the relative magnitude of the two components introduces a time-dependence into the strength of the climate sensitivity (see e.g., Senior and Mitchell, 2000; Held et al., 2010). The “slow” component is much harder to remove the system by manipulating the radiative forcing, but it’s relatively small in the present day (but grows in importance with time)

    Secondly, while it is certainly important to keep the distant forecast in mind when discussing climate impacts, you can’t also forget about the 20th and 21st century impacts of climate change. This is a time period in which the deep ocean is far out of equilibrium with the warming surface water and so the transient climate response is of great importance when talking about global warming projections out to 2100. In equilibrium, the net transfer of energy into/out of the ocean is zero. Thus the Charney sensitivity is important for thinking about simulations on longer timescales once the ocean stops taking up heat, and includes the fast feedbacks (sea ice, water vapor, clouds, lapse rate). Table 3.1 here lists current estimates of the range of warming at various CO2 concentrations for these two timescales. The Earth System Sensitivity concept is relatively new and is not a fully developed subject yet in terms of the implications. It incorporates a range of very slow feedback processes which could be important over the centuries to millennia that excess CO2 is expected to impact climate. Note that some such as Matthews (2009) have also forwarded a carbon-climate response defined as the temperature response to a given amount of CO2 emission (e.g., 1 trillion tons of carbon) and represents both the physical and carbon-based responses of the climate system.

    There are thus a number of interesting timeframes relevant to the problem of putting CO2 in the atmosphere, or having a volcano go off, etc…and a number of interesting feedbacks which are important on various timeframes. A definition of sensitivity that incorporates a wider variety of feedbacks does not necessarily invalidate the utility of another definition. Finally, when looking at new studies evaluating climate sensitivity and comparing them to other estimates, you absolutely need to make it a useful comparison (which means understanding what the studies methodology is looking at). For deep-time paleoclimate inferences of sensitivity you are going to be getting more information about equilibrium than a study analyzing the immediate post-Pinatubo impacts (for instance)

    Comment by Chris Colose — 16 Jan 2011 @ 11:35 PM

  223. re: 221
    Phil: that’s why I’d originally suggested automatic insertion of links… but this is a good manual start to see how it works.

    Comment by John Mashey — 17 Jan 2011 @ 12:37 AM

  224. Another lawsuit to halt California solar power development:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70G0VB20110117?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=22&sp=true

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 17 Jan 2011 @ 2:06 AM

  225. @ doug#191 – I agree that actions speak louder than words. For example, solar panels and solar hot water systems are highly visible (more so than what one doesn’t do, such as not driving your car as much). In my valley, solar PV and solar HWS are getting more and more popular.

    Installing solar PV has a multiplier effect – owners become obsessive about watching what electricity they use vs what they generate and some have cut their total power usage by 50% and more! There is a site just for monitoring PV generation –
    http://www.pvoutput.org/list.jsp?p=1

    It’s almost a competition to see how much clean electricity you can generate and how low you can get your electricity consumption!

    In Australia, the old style incandescent bulbs aren’t sold anymore, except for some highly speciali-ed purposes. Less overheating of the house, so not as much air conditioning needed as well as less electricity consumption from lights.

    Comment by Sou — 17 Jan 2011 @ 4:23 AM

  226. Via an article in The Age (Melbourne daily paper), I see there’s a research paper by Gallant and Karoly analysing Australia’s climate since 1911. I haven’t read the paper itself, only the abstract. But it seems that it shows that human-caused climate change has resulted in more hot and wet extremes across the continent (surprised anyone?) and shifts of climate in various parts of the country.

    The Age article is here:
    http://www.theage.com.au/environment/weather/more-of-australia-getting-hot-and-wet-extremes-20110115-19rj7.html

    The abstract and research paper (I think this must be the one) is here (full paper is pay-walled):
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010JCLI3791.1

    It helps to have scientific research and not merely rely on anecdotes and direct observation. I’d be interested in comments from the experts.

    Comment by Sou — 17 Jan 2011 @ 4:39 AM

  227. doug@191,

    Neither my wife nor I has flown for non-work purposes since the early ’90s; we’ve allowed my 15-year-old son a return trip to Greece with his school. I have to travel quite a bit in Europe for my work (which includes work on ways to reduce energy demand), but use surface travel wherever possible – I’ll fly for the second time since 2006 this week. We both cycle to work, minimise car use, and have a high MPG car. We have insulated our house as well as we can, buy electricity from a supplier that guarantees to buy the amount it sells from renewable sources, and switch off equipment not in use.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 17 Jan 2011 @ 6:32 AM

  228. Climate resets ‘Doomsday Clock’

    “Not since the darkest days of the Cold War has the Bulletin, which covers global security issues, felt the need to place the minute hand so close to midnight.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6270871.stm

    Comment by Maya — 17 Jan 2011 @ 11:47 AM

  229. > Bulletin … Doomsday Clock
    Old, respected, thoughtful organization, now paying serious attention to climate. http://www.thebulletin.org/
    Current issue includes:

    A brief history of climate change and conflict
    By James R. Lee

    (some free items, some paywalled items)

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 17 Jan 2011 @ 12:20 PM

  230. doug wrote: “They argue for it with great knowledge and passion. I am curious what changes they have made in their own lives to reduce their carbon use. I have a feeling some of the most strident believers are doing virtually nothing.”

    Your use of the phrase “strident believers” strongly suggests that you are a troll, and your comment is just another variation on the good old “Al Gore has a big house, therefore global warming is a hoax” argument.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 17 Jan 2011 @ 1:33 PM

  231. #

    David B. Benson says: 15 Jan 2011 at 7:08 PM

    ccpo @204 — No Charney sensitivity involved. ESS from this paleo study is about 5 K.

    5 ~ 1.2x2x2

    But the Charney sensitivity is quite close to 3 K. It’s just that it does not now appear to be such a useful concept.

    English, please.

    [Response: ESS = Earth System Sensitivity, meaning the inclusion of slower feedback processes (e.g. vegetation) in addition to the faster ones included in "Charney" sensitivity.--Jim]

    Comment by ccpo — 16 Jan 2011 @ 2:56 PM

    Thanks, Jim. Glad to know there is a term for what I’ve been trying to express. Now please stop responding in K, David, ’cause I am not going to run to a conversion calculator every time you use that.

    cheers

    [Response: K is synonymous with C when you're just discussing anomalies, rates (eg, sensitivity) etc, since K = C + 273. Only when comparing temperature states do the scales matter--Jim]

    Comment by ccpo — 17 Jan 2011 @ 2:02 PM

  232. Chris, thanks for that, but bear in mind all of that is lost on the general public. If I had an audience, that would be it, so I seek ways of speaking about climate that are useful for engaging with those less informed folk.

    ESS, or overall sensitivity as I might call it, is far more useful to me than parsing all the feedbacks and time scales… most of the time.

    cheers

    [Response: Wouldn't you say that people are more interested in--and likely to take action on--what is likely to happen in the next 50 years, than the next 500? Also, the further out in time you go, the less predictable things are in a complex system.--Jim]

    Comment by ccpoaa — 17 Jan 2011 @ 2:14 PM

  233. On February 3, WWF and Ecofys will release The Energy Report. A report that will show that a planet run completely on renewable energy is something that could happen within the lifetime of many of us: http://bit.ly/WWFTER

    Comment by Kees van der Leun — 17 Jan 2011 @ 2:23 PM

  234. “Hansen, et al., might simply have been right.”

    If Hansen were a racehorse, I’d bet on him every time and grow rich on the winnings.

    I appreciate the conservative I’m-a-scientist-so-I-need-to-be-able-to-defend-what-I-say-to-my-last-breath, really I do. BUT, whether the effects of AGW peak 100 years from now, or 1000, or 3000, I’ll be dead by then. My concern is for my children, my children’s children, and all the generations that come after them. With luck (although other species might beg to differ on how lucky it will be), there will still be people around in those distant times, maybe some with my DNA. They won’t care what the Charney sensitivity is/was, they’ll only care what the climate actually DID in response to the carbon (and other things) we released into it. If it’s a possibility that the response will be greater than we think, we need to look at it fearlessly.

    After all, if I need to set up my little farm in Alaska, or north of the Arctic circle, instead of in the continental US, I’d really like to know that now, instead of 30 years from now when I hand it off to my children, and their children.

    Comment by Maya — 17 Jan 2011 @ 3:12 PM

  235. Given that the price of steam coal in Asian markets where 2/3rds of the worlds coal is burned has gone from $27/tonne in 2002 to $120/tonne in 2010 what evidence is there that economic substitution will not take place?

    In light of recent reports that the Chinese have $500 billion in their nuclear power build budget what evidence is there that emissions growth will continue at it’s recent pace?

    In light of the fact that steam coal prices in the US Southeast are at $80/tonne and all Southeastern US electric utilities have applications pending before the US NRC of which NONE have yet to be given anything more then ‘pre-construction’ approval is there any reason to believe that economic substitution will not occur once regulatory delays are overcome?

    Is ‘Business as Usual’ what will happen if the economy is allowed to adjusts to changing economic circumstances or is ‘Business as usual’ what will happen only if the economy fails to adjust to changing economic circumstances?

    Given the fact that nuclear,wind and hydro are all cheaper forms of energy in Asia and Africa then fossil fuels how realistic are the emissions scenario’s that project substantial growth in fossil fuel use in Asia and Africa once beyond the period of industrial lag?

    I.E. In the electric generation markets it takes 10 years from the point where economic substitution makes financial sense to the point where the economic substitution actually occurs.

    Which emissions scenario projections in the IPCC report had coal priced at or above $120/tonne?

    To be fair, anyone predicting in 2005 that steam coal in Asian and European Markets would be $120/tonne in 2010 would have been dismissed as a raving lunatic.

    Comment by harrywr2 — 17 Jan 2011 @ 4:04 PM

  236. Has anyone got comments on http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1062.html , which estimates ice albedo feedback at 0.3 – 1.1 W m-2 K-1?

    Comment by Meow — 17 Jan 2011 @ 4:35 PM

  237. harrywr2,
    First, any significant substitution of nukes or renewables is unlikely to occur in the short term for the simple fact that the infrastructure doesn’t exist and will take decades to build. Second, there are large portions of the planet–many showing among the most rapid economic growth–that do not have the technology to undertake such high-tech energy projects. Third, the demand for energy in India and China is for all practical purposes insatiable. China’s 500 billion dollar investment in nukes is a drop in the bucket. Fourth, nuclear fuels are also in finite supply. Finally, there is no good substitute for hydrocarbon fuels for transport. I would guess that we will continue to burn hydrocarbons until at the very least late in this century, and that we will probably piss away any oppportunity to develop a sustainable economy or address climate change.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Jan 2011 @ 5:48 PM

  238. Re: Doug’s question:

    I’m sure we could all do more, but here’s my insufficient contribution:
    1) Vegetarian 21+ years;
    2) Installed Solar PV and hot water in 2004;
    3) Heat pump for warmth;
    4) Tankless on-demand water heater for solar backup;
    5) Installed dual-pane windows and insulated the roof of 770 sq.ft. house that had no insulation when purchased;
    6) Total annual utilities cost approx. $150/year, half of which is for the grid connection; the rest is natural gas for cooking and zero for electricity;
    7) drive approx. 4K miles per year/ take public transit (light rail) to work 90% of days;
    8) All compact fluorescent bulbs in house and Energy-star rated major appliances;
    9) Cut water use to approx. 30 gallons per day (California uses about 30% of its energy moving water);
    10) Haven’t had any kids.

    Comment by Taylor B — 17 Jan 2011 @ 5:54 PM

  239. Taylor B,

    Oh, yeah, I forgot to include that we’ve been vegetarian a similar length of time (longer, in my wife’s case).

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 17 Jan 2011 @ 6:12 PM

  240. ccpo @231 — The SI unit for temperature is Kelvin, abbreviated K. The derived unit is degrees Celcius. The abbreviation begins with a little elevated circle denoting degrees and then C:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celsius
    However, just the abbreviation C stands for kilocalorie, the usual unit for food energy.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 17 Jan 2011 @ 6:29 PM

  241. I’m having trouble getting someone to accept Gavin’s answer of “somewhere between 80% and 120%”, to the Q “what percentage of global warming is due to human causes vs. natural causes?”, because it’s his considered judgment instead of coming from a published paper.

    Given its importance, why isn’t it – or something like it – in the literature? (or is it?)
    (& he’s not the only one to drag feet, on this)

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 17 Jan 2011 @ 8:42 PM

  242. Anna Hayes #241. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Climate_Change_Attribution.png Of course it’s in the literature. Why ask for a soundbite from Dr. Schmidt when the science tells the story on its own?

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 17 Jan 2011 @ 10:06 PM

  243. Sorry Anna spelled your surname wrong. Also, please note: I’m quoting wikipedia because it’s the top link, and it quotes its sources. There are many higher-definition graphs available from perfectly credible sources if you go looking for them. I have found that the best way to explain global warming and associated climate change is to get people to engage with the science on a personal level, rather than rely on the ‘scientists say’ canard.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 17 Jan 2011 @ 10:23 PM

  244. Anna, I think it’s in the FAQ; have you looked? Look at the trend before human activity started (at the end of every ice age temperature leaps up then starts to go down slowly; reversing that gets you ‘more than 100 percent’).

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 17 Jan 2011 @ 11:04 PM

  245. Re: Anna,

    Chances are that the person you’re discussing this question with is unwilling to accept an answer with appropriate uncertainty intervals, and only wants you to give them an unreasonably precise answer in order to claim “gotcha.” In other words, chances are that the person you’re discussing this with is just trying to bait you into an argument that you can’t win, because they are not really interested in any answers you might give them. To save you from a lot of wasted effort and frustration, I’d recommend you refer them to one of the several resources at realclimate.org to read for themselves, e.g., “Start Here”, or maybe better, “RC Wiki”, which provides a summary of common denialist/”skeptic” arguments and why they are false.

    On another topic I brought up above, I’d like to provide some better information on the percentage of California’s energy consumption that is applied to water supply, treatment, and end-use:
    - According to data compiled in 2001 (admittedly old) by the California Energy Commission (Table 1-1 on p.8), 19% of electricity, 32% of natural gas, and 88 million gallons per year of diesel are consumed for water uses in California.
    - A report by the Pacific Institute and NRDC (2004) states, “according to an estimate from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the amount of electricity used to deliver water to residential customers in Southern California is equal to one-third of the total average household electric use in Southern California.”

    Comment by Taylor B — 17 Jan 2011 @ 11:06 PM

  246. Re: Anna
    Thanks to One Anonymous Bloke for a better response to your question than my previous one. Another good source for information on the sources of uncertainty in the attribution of climate change to human influence is Ben Santer’s recent testimony to the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

    Comment by Taylor B — 17 Jan 2011 @ 11:33 PM

  247. Taylor B,
    17 Jan 2011 at 11:06 PM

    From your last report I get the following quote:

    “The more than 60,000 water systems and 15,000 wastewater systems in the United States are among the country’s largest energy consumers, using about 75 billion kWh/yr nationally—3 percent of annual U.S. electricity consumption. This demand is equivalent to the entire residential demand for the state of California and does not even include energy for what is called end use: the energy required to further treat, circulate, heat, or cool water at the consumer level.”

    That is a difference of an order of magnitude (3% vs 33%). I think the confusion is about the energy in end use, especially for heating the water to a comfortable temperature. This energy use dwarfs the energy needed to deliver the water in the home and for wastewater treatment.

    Comment by Anne van der Bom — 18 Jan 2011 @ 2:31 AM

  248. #183–Gavin’s inline:

    [Response: I just went back to your first comments here - and almost all of them were substantive. Yet recently, ... not so much. Can we get the old Mack back? - gavin]

    Yeah, I noticed the same thing and would have the same wish.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 18 Jan 2011 @ 9:08 AM

  249. I just read Anil Ananthaswamy’s article “Casting a critical eye on climate models” in New Scientist -seemed a reasonable article about where improvements are targetted for the climate models. But I tend to look for the positive out of lots of articles etc that someone else might see more issues.
    I thought it was weird that Judith Curry would get quoted as I doubt she is actually a climate model expert – hopefully when she was asked, she threw in a discclaimer that her area of expertise is not in the climate models. But her comments weren’t all that valuable to the article anyway. (not sure why she was even being included, maybe that false balance sort of thing)
    Wondering if others have read it and what they think?

    Comment by Donna — 18 Jan 2011 @ 9:47 AM

  250. Re: Anne van der Bom

    You’re right that the energy consumed to deliver water to users in most of the country is much less than the values cited for California. However, the 33% of total [household electrical] consumption cited in the Pacific Institute/NRDC report for Southern California is for “source and conveyance” only. The energy consumption is so high because

    “To convey water to Southern California from the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, the [State Water Project] must pump it 2,000 feet over the Tehachapi Mountains, the highest lift of any water system in the world. Pumping one acre-foot of SWP water to the region requires approximately 3,000 kWh. Southern California’s other major source of imported water is also energy intensive: pumping one acre-foot of Colorado River Aqueduct water to Southern California requires about 2,000 kWh.”

    The report also states that the SWP consumes 2-3% of the total electricity used in California, more in line with the national average. However, other California water agencies consume another 7% of California’s energy (prior to end use). You’re also right that the numbers in the CEC report include end uses and wastewater treatment, which account for even more than conveyance. The CEC report notes some difficulties in accounting for the energy use at all stages of the water use cycle, particularly by end users.

    Comment by Taylor B — 18 Jan 2011 @ 9:51 AM

  251. Ray Ladbury wrote: “First, any significant substitution of nukes or renewables is unlikely to occur in the short term for the simple fact that the infrastructure doesn’t exist and will take decades to build.”

    Well, that of course depends on what you mean by “significant” and we could also quibble about what constitutes “substitution”, but renewables already account for the majority of new electric generation capacity being built in the USA and Europe. Meanwhile in the USA, no new coal-fired power plants are being built, planned coal plants are being canceled, and many existing coal plants are approaching end-of-life.

    On-shore wind power is already booming, and large-scale offshore wind is getting ready to explode. Concentrating solar thermal power plants with molten-salt thermal storage (to provide 24×7 baseload power) are only now getting started, but there are quite a few of them going to be built in the USA in the next few years.

    One of the crucial things about wind farms and concentrating solar thermal power plants is precisely that they DON’T take “decades” to build, more like a couple of years. It’s true that depending on their location, new power lines are required; but that’s hardly the show-stopper it is sometimes portrayed to be, and that work is happening now as well.

    Ray Ladbury wrote: “Second, there are large portions of the planet–many showing among the most rapid economic growth–that do not have the technology to undertake such high-tech energy projects.”

    The countries with the “insatiable” demand that you mention (China and India) absolutely DO have the technology. Wind turbines and concentrating solar thermal are no more “high tech” than coal-fired power plants. China has all the technology and resources needed to build a renewables-powered energy economy (and indeed has the technology and resources to become the world’s leader in developing, manufacturing and exporting such technology, including to the USA). Whether they CHOOSE to do so, is a matter of political will, just as it is in the USA and Europe.

    And in the desperately poor regions of the developing world, e.g. sub-Saharan Africa and rural India, where there is a desperate need for electricity but little or no possibility of building massive centralized power stations of any kind, let alone a grid to distribute the power, the answer is cheap, mass-produced, off-grid photovoltaics, which are in fact relatively “low-tech” when it comes to their day-to-day use. Such household or village-scale PV systems are already bringing about a revolution in rural electrification. Westerners accustomed to a fully electrified society often fail to appreciate the difference that small-scale PV can make in the lives of people who have never had access to ANY electricity. With even a single-panel PV system, they can have electric light, cell phone charging, radio, TV and Internet access, refrigeration for medicines, etc.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 18 Jan 2011 @ 10:05 AM

  252. When Climate Gate and Glacier Gate appeared on the scene, public support for action to combat Climate Change dropped significantly and has yet to recover. Surely a new initiative is required. Perhaps the climate scientists should take the fight to the ‘enemy’.
    Any denial industry missive, talk, rave or rant that disputes accepted science should be sued for deformation of character by the climate science community. After all, if someone spends their life investigating something that others deny is worthy of investigation, which is what most denial industry output implies, it surely queries their intellect, or implies that they are only doing it for the money, which could be seen as fraudulent. Surely a fund could be set up cover the legal costs. The resulting court case would, of necessity have to investigate the science. It would thus present an opportunity to expose the flimsy basis on which most, if not all, denial industry output is based.

    Comment by Mel Tisdale — 18 Jan 2011 @ 1:25 PM

  253. [Response: Wouldn't you say that people are more interested in--and likely to take action on--what is likely to happen in the next 50 years, than the next 500? Also, the further out in time you go, the less predictable things are in a complex system.--Jim]

    Comment by ccpoaa — 17 Jan 2011 @ 2:14 PM

    Don’t see how that response relates? I’m not sure where I said I was trying to emphasize one or the other. It’s simple enough to talk about changes in context and how fast vs. slow feedbacks might be affecting any given time frame. That all comes down to context. Either way, my teacher spidey sense says ‘splain it in a way they can hear it. I find overall effects on climate are more useful than parsing the various inputs and their time frames. Most of the time.

    Is this what you were getting at?

    [Response: I was just saying that the longer term changes and feedbacks implied by ESS may not be as meaningful to a lot of people as shorter term changes are.--Jim]

    Comment by ccpo — 18 Jan 2011 @ 2:13 PM

  254. ccpo says: 15 Jan 2011 at 6:10 PM

    [edit - might I suggest not engaging so personally?]

    OK, but when the post disappears, it’s hard to know what offense was given ’cause I often don’t remember small posts. For the record, I don’t remember responding “so personally” so am a bit confused. If I did, my bad.

    [Response: No problem. This is advice to all commenters to focus on the substance of any critique rather than on the qualities of the critic. - gavin]

    Comment by ccpo — 18 Jan 2011 @ 2:27 PM

  255. Mel Tisdale, I commend to you the words of Voltaire,

    “I was ruined but twice in my life–once when I lost a lawsuit and once when I won one.”

    In the end, science is going to have to depend on telling the truth. If the people are too stupid to recognize the truth, no legal remedy will save us.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Jan 2011 @ 3:05 PM

  256. 251, Secular Animist:

    Well said.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 18 Jan 2011 @ 5:51 PM

  257. Dire Harvest: Climate Report Warns of Food Gap

    [Response: Unfortunately, the timeline for this report is all wrong. They have made a mistake in assessing net forcing and then assumed that the instantaneous response is the same as the equilibrium response. The '2.4 deg C by 2020' is nonsense, I'm afraid. The authors were notified of this error a couple of days ago but have chosen not to change anything. Not a great way to earn credibility points. - gavin]

    Comment by David B. Benson — 18 Jan 2011 @ 9:07 PM

  258. Mel Tisdale, I know I should just let this go by, but you seemingly have no idea how the civil justice system works.
    [OT, drop it]

    Comment by Rod B — 19 Jan 2011 @ 12:31 AM

  259. #251 It’s true that depending on their location, new power lines are required

    One of the falsehoods frequently used in the coal/nuclear/renewables debate is that wind and solar power will require extensive upgrades the power transmission infrastructure while large scale coal and nuclear power plants will not. Large scale coal and nuclear power plants typically require $250-500 million in transmission infracture upgrades. Often, wind, solar and multiple smaller scale natural gas plants can be added to the network with minimal upgrades to the grid.

    For example, the proposed – and now cancelled – Big Stone II coal plant in SD would have required $450 million in transmission upgrades. A study in Minnesota found that 600MW of wind power could be added with minimal upgrades to the transmission grid.

    True, large scale renewable projects in remote areas (e.g., offshore) do require new transmission lines, but so do large scale coal and nuclear power plants, regardless of where they are built.

    Sorry, I don’t have time to cite references. I’m off to work. Look it up. (Note, the only proposed nuclear power plant in the USA for which cost estimates have NOT been declared proprietary by Toshiba and Areva is the Turkey Point project in Florida. Even for Turkey Point, though, the NRC keeps moving the data so it can be very difficult to find.)

    Comment by JiminMpls — 19 Jan 2011 @ 7:19 AM

  260. #257–

    Just for the record, an excessively alarmist claim debunked by RC!

    I hope some who like to claim this doesn’t happen will take notice this time. (But they probably won’t.)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 19 Jan 2011 @ 8:45 AM

  261. 259 and others.
    The infrastructure itself can do great environmental harm, as it winds it’s way towards the consumer from the fuel source or power plant. The rapid growth in Russian gas fields in the Arctic circle proves the point. Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug covers approximately 540,000 sq Kms in western Siberia and is Russia’s number 1 producer of oil and gas, in 2006 it exported 2billion barrels of oil and gas condensate (liquefied natural gas) it exports most of the gas it extracts to western Europe.

    Natural gas is useless as a fuel unless it can be transported to the consumer; to do this it is compressed and water and oil and other condensates removed, this usually means burnt in the atmosphere. The major pipelines all start at Urengoy, this is the worlds 2nd Largest gas field complex and one of the more established (1966). Urengoy gas field produces 260 billion cubic meters of natural gas, more than 5,000 tons of condensate and 825,000 tons of oil per year. 1000′s of small gas wells feed into a maze of pipes here, most within the Arctic circle. Six 58 inch steel pipes start their trek west passing the various gas field’s along the way adding in their gas at a massive 220bar pressure, other pipelines criss-cross the former soviet states importing and exporting as required from the gas main network.

    One of the newest and largest gas fields is the Vankor field, it is estimated to have reserves of 520 million metric tons of oil and 95 billion cubic meters of natural gas. Production was launched in August 2009. The target for annual production at the field is 510 thousand barrels per day, or 25.5 mln tonnes of oil per year (about 5% of total Russian oil production). Oil from Vankor is one of the main inputs to the Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean pipeline.

    The satellite images for this region show many, many infra-red sources all generating heat and emitting by-products of the oil and gas burning within the artic circle, the infrastructure compressing stations all add to this process. All this extra energy (non solar) is radiated 365days a year within the arctic circle and increases the heat within the atmosphere here.

    Warm air produces high pressures and “Blocking highs” are implicated in Ice loss and the present weather disruptions worldwide, I note today that the Eastern part of the Greenland northeast iceshelf has fractured and is beginning to break up in January!

    This location appears to play a role in stopping Icebergs moving southwards on the east Greenland current.
    On the 14 June 2010 it was approx 50% bigger and intact, have posted images here.
    http://my.opera.com/erikthefish/albums/showpic.dml?album=4923892&picture=74403362
    Image today 19 January 2011
    http://my.opera.com/erikthefish/albums/showpic.dml?album=5878882&picture=90003552

    Pipeline map
    http://www.theodora.com/pipelines/russia_ukraine_belarus_baltic_republics_pipelines_map.jpg
    Vankor
    http://www.rosneft.com/Upstream/ProductionAndDevelopment/eastern_siberia/vankorneft/
    Urengoy
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urengoy_gas_field

    The problem is what can be done if no-one can agree?, especially as when the lights go out or the heating goes off
    reason gets lost in noise.

    Comment by David Painter — 19 Jan 2011 @ 11:24 AM

  262. I subscribe to Hansen’s email updates. This one arrived this morning, and I have not read it in its entirety, but I believe it relates to ccpo’s posts on climate sensitivity.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    From the Desk of
    Dr. James E. Hansen
    Draft Paper: Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change

    A draft paper with title above has been submitted for publication in the Belgrade Milankovitch Symposium volume — the paper is now under review, so any criticisms are welcome. It was written in a bit of a rush when the editor told me there was a last chance to submit a paper before the book went to press (Springer).

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110118_MilankovicPaper.pdf

    Comment by Maya — 19 Jan 2011 @ 11:49 AM

  263. more about blocking solar power in California:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE7042ZR20110105?pageNumber=1

    I expect the lawsuits to be resolved in favor of the projects, which have already been approved by state and federal regulatory agencies. But if I were an investor interested in solar power I’d invest in some place other than California for a few years at least.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 19 Jan 2011 @ 12:06 PM

  264. Septic Matthew wrote: “… more about blocking solar power in California …”

    There is an excellent article over at ClimateProgress about improving policies and procedures for siting utility-scale solar projects in California and the Southwest:

    Improving the second round of big solar projects
    Interior department needs a more careful site selection process
    Tom Kenworthy, Senior Fellow
    Center for American Progress
    January 19, 2011

    Excerpt:

    We’re headed into what promises to be another busy year for solar development in the desert Southwest. Ramping up the nation’s supply of clean energy and cutting carbon pollution are profoundly important goals. But the Obama administration should not repeat the same mistakes made by its predecessor during its headlong and heedless rush to develop oil and gas resources on public lands. To do so would erode public support for the critically needed transformation of our energy generation and transmission systems. The administration needs to guide these projects to appropriate areas where their environmental disruption is minimized.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 19 Jan 2011 @ 1:22 PM

  265. #261–Thanks for linking the Hansen and Sato “Milankovitch paper,” Maya!

    The first parts reminded me of the review paper by Arrhenius’s buddy Nils Ekholm, which spent some time and effort on relating geology and atmospheric CO2, way back at the dawn of the 20th century:

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Global-warming-science-press-and-storms

    The “Milankovitch paper” discussion of paleoclimate-based determination of climate sensitivity is very accessible and illuminating.

    Too bad the take-home conclusions are so disturbing–including possible curves for SLR, showing how “back-loaded” that could be, compared with a linear scenario. It looks like we could see little reason for great alarm as late as mid-century, just looking at SLR per se, and still get hammered for 5 meters by 210o.

    But it’s the idea that we have less margin for error than thought–only about 1C–that is probably worst of all.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 19 Jan 2011 @ 1:47 PM

  266. Hansen has a paper under review for publication. He’s requesting feedback (from scientists, I assume). It’s not good news, of course. Something about being warm enough that ice sheet melt doublings appear to be as short as ten years… multi-meter rise possible… the usual “we’re all gonna die!”

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110118_MilankovicPaper.pdf

    The problem with Hansen? So far nobody has shown his work to be wrong.

    Comment by ccpo — 19 Jan 2011 @ 2:01 PM

  267. #260 Adding to my list of “RC What Global Warming is Not” collection:

    “There have certainly been incorrect assertions and headlines implying that 20 ft of sea level by 2100 was expected, but they are mostly based on a confusion of a transient rise with the eventual sea level rise which might take hundreds to thousands of years.”
    “How much will sea level rise?” group

    “Is there a risk that anthropogenic global warming could kick the Earth into a runaway greenhouse state? Almost certainly not. For an atmosphere saturated with water vapor, but with no CO2 in it, the threshold absorbed solar radiation for triggering a runaway greenhouse is about 350 Watts/m2 (see Kasting Icarus 74 (1988)). The addition of up to 8 times present CO2 might bring this threshold down to around 325 Watts/m2 , but the fact that the Earth’s atmosphere is substantially undersaturated with respect to water vapor probably brings the threshold back up to the neighborhood of 375 Watts/m2.”
    “Lessons from Venus”
    by Rasmus Benestad and Ray Pierrehumbert

    “but for what it’s worth, there aren’t any models that explode as catastrophically as this.”
    “James Lovelock’s Gloomy Vision” — david

    “The suggested ‘doubling’ of the rate of warming in the future compared to even the most extreme scenario developed by IPCC is thus highly exaggerated. Supposed consequences such as the drying up of the Amazon Basin, melting of Greenland, and a North African climate regime coming to the UK, are simply extrapolations built upon these exaggerations. Whether these conclusions are actually a fair summary of what the scientists quoted in the program wanted to say is unknown. However, while these extreme notions might make good television, they do a dis-service to the science.”
    “Global Dimming?” gavin

    Comment by John W — 19 Jan 2011 @ 4:29 PM

  268. The key to Hansen’s analysis of sea level rise are the graphs in figure 8 on page 15 that fit ice mass loss to the time to double the loss rate. The fit is pretty good for both 5 and 7 years. Kevin in 265 worries that even with the potential for a 5 meter rise in sea level by 2100, there may not be much evidence by 2050. However, if the curves still fit, there may be more reason for concern. Of course, it may too late to do much.

    Comment by Bibasir — 19 Jan 2011 @ 8:55 PM

  269. With this being the warmest decade on record, how is it possible, if true, that there was a negative trend for the decade?

    [Response: Mathematically there is no problem with that: for instance, have T=14 for the years up to 2000, have T=16 for 2001, and then T=15 for 2002 onwards - you would get a clear long term trend that would be different from the decadal trend. The problem is assuming that linear trends on any timescale are necessarily predictive of future trends. However, for the real world, the amount of weather noise precludes any assessment of global warming from short term trends - they just aren't significant and don't have any predictive power. We have just had the warmest decade in the record (by a very significant amount), and the trends over that decade 2001-2010 are positive in all relevant timeseries except the HadCRUT data. - gavin]

    Comment by tonee — 20 Jan 2011 @ 4:44 AM

  270. Tonee,
    The CRU data shows a negative (albeit insignificant) temperature trend for the last decade. There is nothing unusual about the last decade being the warmest, but the trend being negative, it will always happen when data peaks.
    To put this in perspective, assume your are driving from the U.S. east coast to the west coast. Your altitude will increase until your path reaches the highest point in the rocky mountains (assume Colorado), and which time your altitude will start to decrease. Your average altitude will be the higheast shorthly after reaching the peak, but your trend has already begun to decrease. Your average altitude will not start to decline until well past the peak.
    Now, the decrease may be temporary, as your trip would be until you hit the Sierra Nevada range in California, or it could be the start of another downward trend. Time will tell.

    Comment by Dan H. — 20 Jan 2011 @ 9:42 AM

  271. Dan H. said “there is nothing unusual about the last decade being the warmest.”

    It sure is getting to be a habit.

    Comment by CM — 20 Jan 2011 @ 12:01 PM

  272. Thanks for the info Gavin and Dan.
    If the Hadcrut negative trend isn’t significant, when is it significant enough, relevant to the IPCC projection of 0.2 C/decade?

    [Response: Tamino and Ron Broberg have just had posts examining that very issue. Bottom line? not for a while given the year-to-year variation in the temperature statistics. - gavin]

    Comment by tonee — 20 Jan 2011 @ 12:37 PM

  273. “Time will tell.”

    Yes, let’s wait until it’s too late. That sounds like a really good plan.

    Comment by Didactylos — 20 Jan 2011 @ 1:12 PM

  274. BP Energy Outlook 2030: emissions forecast to be well above IEA’s 450 (ppm) scenario: http://bit.ly/BPEnOu. That would lead to uncacceptable climate risks; even 450 ppm gives less than 50% chance to keep average global warming below 2 degrees C.

    Comment by Kees van der Leun — 20 Jan 2011 @ 2:49 PM

  275. Hi blokes

    Have I got this right? I’m looking at the GISTEMPS http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts.txt and for 2010, it’s all high, high, high until a La Nina scuppered anomaly of 49 for December. But according to this record, 2010 was way above all other years. So why did it only tie for the warmest? Is there a combined record?

    Comment by John Mann — 20 Jan 2011 @ 3:06 PM

  276. Re: #275 (John Mann)

    The data you’re looking at is for meteorological stations only. The more usual characterization of global temperature is the GISTEMP land+sea surface temperature data, at

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

    Comment by tamino — 20 Jan 2011 @ 4:34 PM

  277. Incidentally, remember how Phil Jones was manipulated in an interview early last year into “admitting” the warming since the carefully picked year 1995 was not statistically significant? This was always irrelevant, given that a very significant long-term warming trend continued through these years. Is it also out of date, now that 2010 is in?

    A linear fit of HadCRUT3vgl annual averages for the 16 years 1995-2010 (inclusive) gives a warming of 0.11 deg/decade just within the 95% confidence level (p=0.041). Did I get that right?* And is that likely to have been the kind of calculation Jones did for 1995-2009 that came up just shy of significant?

    (* – Not a rhetorical question. Please don’t trust my math, check it.)

    [Response: Linear regression on the HadCRUT3v annual means 1995-2010 gives 0.11+/-0.10 ºC/dec (95%, no correction for auto-correlation), so yes, it is now 'significant' - though I think this is more of a comment on standard notions of significance than it is a comment on global warming. - gavin]

    Comment by CM — 20 Jan 2011 @ 6:17 PM

  278. Re: the infamous BBC article

    Teachers usually begin teaching something new by connecting new material to something students already know.

    Dr. Jones might have explained statistical significance to the BBC reporter and the average Joe by comparing measuring global warming to weighing ourselves when dieting.

    Do you know if you have lost weight if you weigh yourself ten times in one day or once a week for ten weeks?

    Like this (very cute):

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2010/02/media-misquotes-climatologist-phil.html

    Also, be alert for reporters who set you up with LOADED QUESTIONS. Dr. Jones should not have answered this LOADED yes/no question:

    “BBC: Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?”

    Either this reporter was trying to stir up trouble or someone pretty slick fed the reporter that question. An average reporter would never have thought of something like that.

    Comment by Snapple — 20 Jan 2011 @ 8:10 PM

  279. “It seems fairly obvious that the loss of the last bit of ice isn’t going to have the same effect on albedo as the loss of ice closer to the equator during emergence from a glacial period.” Didactylos — 14 Jan 2011 @ 9:10 AM

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118123519.htm
    “A new analysis of the Northern Hemisphere’s “albedo feedback” over a 30-year period concludes that the region’s loss of reflectivity due to snow and sea ice decline is more than double what state-of-the-art climate models estimate.”

    One thing that makes a difference, and makes it harder to model, is seasonal changes in snow and ice cover as well as decreases in permanent snow/ice cover. I downloaded North American snow cover data from Rutgers Snow Lab, and normalized the area covered to the monthly averages over the first 10 years of data (unfortunately the computer with the data and references has died, and I havn’t recovered the data yet). Steven Goddard over at WTFUWTS was nattering on about how snow cover is increasing in the winter, and there is a small positive bump early in the winter; but there is a big negative anomaly spring-summer-fall, the snow cover is melting earlier in spring, reaching lower levels in summer(there is some snow a northern latitudes year round), and recovering later in the fall – see http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/sno_cover_anomaly-gZZqa.jpg and http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/09/what-noaa-isnt-saying-about-snow-and-ice/#comment-314812

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 21 Jan 2011 @ 1:02 AM

  280. Gavin (@277), thanks!

    I’m sure you’re right that “this is more of a comment on standard notions of significance than it is a comment on global warming”. As was the original BBC exchange. I think it could be a pedagogical aid in explaining why this story never made sense, but I’ll be careful how I use it.

    I’m warming this canard over because “Jones says it hasn’t warmed” is a major theme of a denier book just published in my local language. (The same book goes on to spend a chapter trying to demolish Jones’s credibility with “Climategate” stuff. Go figure.)

    Comment by CM — 21 Jan 2011 @ 3:24 AM

  281. Tonee,

    In general you need 30 years of data to pick out a climate trend. It’s that noisy. But we’ve got good data for the last 161 years now.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 21 Jan 2011 @ 5:52 AM

  282. Snapple #278, I think the question’s been traced to source:
    http://deepclimate.org/2010/03/02/round-and-round-we-go-with-lindzen-motl-and-jones/

    Comment by CM — 21 Jan 2011 @ 8:53 AM

  283. #280–

    I’m warming this canard over because “Jones says it hasn’t warmed” is a major theme of a denier book just published in my local language. (The same book goes on to spend a chapter trying to demolish Jones’s credibility with “Climategate” stuff. Go figure.)

    “Denialism, thy name is inconsistency!” (Or should that be “inconstancy?”)

    Anyway, today’s post at Tamino’s site should be of interest in the context of this comment:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/phil-jones-was-wrong/

    Interesting question, also, at #269–

    With this being the warmest decade on record, how is it possible, if true, that there was a negative trend for the decade?

    The inline response is great, but for those who’d like a simpler response to digest, just reflect for a moment upon what would happen if you could freely reorder the years of the 00s.

    Simply by reordering the years by increasing or decreasing temperature anomaly, you could certainly create “warming” or “cooling” trends, respectively. (Though you wouldn’t necessarily be able to make them pass standard significance tests.)

    However, that set of operations could never affect the decadal mean temperature, which is independent of ordering–and therefore its rank relative to other decades would be unaffected as well.

    Conclusion: trend within a given period is completely independent of its relative warmth in a larger context. In other words, you can have ‘hot cooling periods’ or ‘cool warming periods’ with no logical inconsistency whatever.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 21 Jan 2011 @ 9:25 AM

  284. Yes Barton,
    During the last 151 years, the temperatures have increased at a rate of 0.049C/decade. Interesting enough, if you bracket the temperature data with two parrallel lines with the same slope (0.049) at 0.3C above and below the trendline, the lower line matches the lows during the past century and a half, while the upper line closely matches the highs (except for 1878 and 1998 which are well above).

    Comment by Dan H. — 21 Jan 2011 @ 11:07 AM

  285. How about a post on the new Hansen-Sato paper predicting up to 5 meters sea-level rise by 2100? How does this square with Pfeffer et al?

    Comment by som — 21 Jan 2011 @ 11:32 AM

  286. Dan H: Why don’t you calculate the trend over the last million years, instead? That would be just as useful.

    The problem with sarcasm like this, of course, is that deniers have already tried doing just that. le sigh

    Comment by Didactylos — 21 Jan 2011 @ 11:35 AM

  287. Dan H, your talking point isn’t changing no matter what replies you get.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Jan 2011 @ 12:28 PM

  288. Dr. Jason Box: Year 2010 temperatures around W and S Greenland (+2.5C over average) were unprecedented, dwarfing highs occurring in the 1920s and 1930s: http://bit.ly/GrlTmp

    Comment by Kees van der Leun — 21 Jan 2011 @ 2:45 PM

  289. Kevin, re: post-’95 significant warming,thanks for the heads-up on the Tamino thread.

    re: reCaptcha
    (#59, 62 at the “Getting things right” thread — but I think it belongs here):

    I used to be a warm reCaptcha supporter, but lately, it’s been feeding my neurotic fears of failing the Turing test.
    :-)

    (I bet the true trolls, being essentially psychopaths at least in their on-line personas, and the spambots, being non-sentient, never have this problem.)

    Comment by CM — 21 Jan 2011 @ 3:00 PM

  290. re: post-’95 significant warming again (my #277, 280),

    Then again, after having had the benefit of both Gavin’s and Tamino’s thoughts on this, on reflection I think I’ll let that rhetorical point drop. The numbers are too iffy and the argument too narrow, anyway. Oh well.

    Comment by CM — 21 Jan 2011 @ 4:46 PM

  291. Can some folks with more knowledge help me out with a paper? Galactic cosmic rays are back, this time in an article by U.R. Rao in Current Science.
    ias.ac.in/currsci/25jan2011/223.pdf

    The gist is that their data clearly shows that the primary cosmic ray intensity has decreased by 9% during the last 150 years, due to the continuing increase in solar activity.

    I thought solar activity was fairly low, and the NASA forecast for the next solar cycle (25) will be the weakest in centuries. And solar activity in the long run, while increasing/sun getting hotter, is on a time scale that is pretty much irrelevant to the next few centuries.

    Also, a number of Rao’s statements seem to contradict material I’ve been reading here and at Skepticalscience (e.g. cosmic ray and cloud formation correlations broke down, and not, as the paper claims, there is a well established excellent correlation between low level clouds and primary cosmic ray intensity).

    Can someone with a better grasp of the subject point me in the right direction, e.g. perhaps an overview of the subject (already read Skepticalscience overview on cosmic rays, RC on cosmic rays and CO2 and other drivers). Thank you.
    –dan

    [Response: The analysis in the Rao paper is pretty weak - there is a lot of uncertainty in how figure 1 is put together (note that the observed neutron monitor CR records only go back to the 1950s and show no long term trend; also, different 10Be records show different 20th C trends). Figure 2 is a slightly modified (and controversial) figure from Marsh and Svensmark, but it has been recently updated to show more data and the relationship falls apart. For an up to date review of this (including that figure (fig 15)), see Gray et al (2010). My first guess would be that this report reflects an internal Indian political issue, not a scientific one... (note too that the ministry discussion paper included a short rebuttal from Ramanathan.) - gavin]

    Comment by Daniel J. Andrews — 22 Jan 2011 @ 1:27 PM

  292. Daniel,
    The solar activity increased up to just recently. The decrease in cosmic rays corresponds to the increase in temperatures (albeit not extremely well over the long term, although that may be due to the data from earlier years). The decrease in cosmic rays recently does correlated quite well with the decrease in cloud cover, and the resulting temperature increase.
    Forecasts for the current solar cylcle are for a rather low output. this would allow for further study for trends between solar, cosmic rays, clouds, and temperature. This could be a quite interesting decade for climate research.

    Comment by Dan H. — 22 Jan 2011 @ 11:17 PM

  293. Daniel,
    The solar activity increased up until just recently. The decrease in cosmic rays corresponds to the increase in temperatures (albeit not extremely well over the long term, although that may be due to the data from earlier years). The decrease in cosmic rays recently does correlated quite well with the decrease in cloud cover, and the resulting temperature increase.
    Forecasts for the current solar cylcle are for a rather low output. this would allow for further study for trends between solar, cosmic rays, clouds, and temperature. This could be a quite interesting decade for climate research.

    Comment by Dan H. — 22 Jan 2011 @ 11:18 PM

  294. > som
    > 5 meters
    And where did you get _that_ idea?

    Check your ruler, or your ostensibly reliable source.
    I think you’ve picked up the wrong one.

    Google your own phrase: http://www.google.com/search?q=Hansen-Sato+paper+predicting+up+to+5+meters+sea-level+rise+by+2100

    and you’ll see where the misleading information is coming from.

    See also direct quotes often repeated: “1.9 metres (6ft 3in) by 2100″ if we stay on BAU

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Jan 2011 @ 12:22 AM

  295. PS for Sou, the phrase to search for is: “as an example”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Jan 2011 @ 12:36 AM

  296. The Gray paper that Gavin cites in an in-line response (291) features an interesting list of authors, most from the mainstream scientific view but also noted Dutch skeptic van Geel. Good to have such collaborative efforts.

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 23 Jan 2011 @ 3:11 AM

  297. Daniel J. Andrews,
    That’s a 9% change on a base of 6 particles per square cm per second in interplanetary space. Those the have enough momentum to penetrate the geomagnetic field and reach the atmosphere–cut that by quite a bit more. Kind of hard to see how you turn that feeble a flux into a global effect. Weak doesn’t begin to describe this effort.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Jan 2011 @ 7:29 AM

  298. It’s not the average rise that’s gonna get us so much as how it all piles up as it non-linearly gets distributed…

    http://climateprogress.org/2011/01/23/canada-mildness-high-presure-record-ostro-global-warming/#more-40911

    * After New Year’s Day, the town went 11 days without getting down to its average daily high.
    * On the 6th of the month, the low temperature was –3.7 °C (25.3 °F). That’s a remarkable 30 °C (54 °F) above average.
    * On both the 5th and 6th, Coral Harbor inched above the freezing mark. Before this year, temperatures above 0 °C (32 °F) had never been recorded in the entire three months of January, February and March.

    The extremes have been just as impressive when you look high in the atmosphere above these areas. Typically the midpoint of the atmosphere’s mass—the 500-millibar (500 hPa) level—rests around 5 kilometers (3 miles) above sea level during the Arctic midwinter. In mid-December, a vast bubble of high pressure formed in the vicinity of Greenland. At the center of this high, the 500-mb surface rose to more than 5.8 kilometers, a sign of remarkably mild air below. Stu Ostro (The Weather Channel) found that this was the most extreme 500-mb anomaly anywhere on the planet in weather analyses dating back to 1948. Details are at the conclusion of Ostro’s year-end blog post.

    Farther west, a separate monster high developed over Alaska last week. According to Richard Thoman (National Weather Service, Fairbanks), the 500-mb height over both Nome and Kotzebue rose to 582 decameters (5.82 km). That’s not only a January record: those are the highest values ever observed at those points outside of June, July and August.

    Comment by ccpo — 23 Jan 2011 @ 4:33 PM

  299. http://arxiv.org/abs/1101.2221
    \In this paper we consider hypothetical particles (57Fe solar axions) as the main carriers of the solar-terrestrial connection ….\

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Jan 2011 @ 9:33 PM

  300. som at 285 and Hank at 294.

    Under BAU forcing in the 21st century, the sea level rise surely will be dominated by a third term: (3) ice sheet disintegration. This third term was small until the past few years, but it is has at least doubled in the past decade and is now close to 1 mm/year, based on the gravity satellite measurements discussed above. As a quantitative example, let us say that the ice sheet contribution is 1 cm for the decade 2005–15 and that it doubles each decade until the West Antarctic ice sheet is largely depleted. That time constant yields a sea level rise of the order of 5 m this century. Of course I cannot prove that my choice of a ten-year doubling time for nonlinear response is accurate, but I am confident that it provides a far better estimate than a linear response for the ice sheet component of sea level rise under BAU forcing – James Hansen

    Link to whole article:

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2007/2007_Hansen.pdf

    So som, what’s he saying?

    Comment by JCH — 24 Jan 2011 @ 2:05 AM

  301. Hank,

    There’s a graph of it on page 14: http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110118_MilankovicPaper.pdf

    Yes, 5 meters. Maybe he’s right, maybe he’s not, but he’s been the former more than the latter. I don’t think it’s wise to dismiss the assertion out of hand. He doesn’t try to say that it’s a certainty, of course, but he says it’s possible and plausible.

    Comment by Maya — 24 Jan 2011 @ 9:51 AM

  302. Maya, yes, there’s a picture, but make sure you urge people to read the text associated with the picture. That is one of his examples. He is not saying that’s _the only_ possible or plausible result — it’s an example based on one set of possibilities. People are reposting “5 meters” and making it sound like that’s a conclusion, rather than an example of one possible outcome.

    It’s like when your doctor tells you that if you keep going in the direction you’re heading now, you’re likely to end up where that might take you and it might not be good — an invitation to choose better among the alternatives.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Jan 2011 @ 2:44 PM

  303. Hank, sure, I get that, which I think is completely obvious by my saying that “He doesn’t try to say that it’s a certainty, of course, but he says it’s possible and plausible.”

    When you go “5 meters – and where did you get _that_ idea?” I’m pointing out that it’s *right* *there*, no need to act startled about it or like it’s preposterous or anything, which is definitely how your response comes across. The link you posted in your response gives denialist sites at the top of the list, too. Did you change sides on us or something?

    Comment by Maya — 24 Jan 2011 @ 3:15 PM

  304. Dan H. — 22 Jan 2011 @ 11:18 PM
    “The decrease in cosmic rays recently does correlated quite well with the decrease in cloud cover, and the resulting temperature increase.”

    Who told you that?
    http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/webform/query.cgi?startdate=2000/01/24&starttime=00:00&enddate=2011/01/24&endtime=23:47&resolution=Automatic%20choice&picture=on
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2000/trend

    If Svensmark were correct, the increase in cosmic rays would have lead to an increase in clouds and a decrease in temperature, all other things being equal. Of course, all other things, such as CO2, aren’t staying equal. Do you think that the expected decline in cosmic rays over the next solar cycle will result in even larger increases in temperature?

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 24 Jan 2011 @ 3:47 PM

  305. James Delingpole owned by Sir Paul Nurse on Horizon. Brilliant. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00y4yql

    Comment by Richard Lloyd — 24 Jan 2011 @ 4:35 PM

  306. Maya, Hansen posted that draft for discussion asking scientists to comment.

    I’m not one. I pointed that “5 meter” number being used by people people posting it out of context. I pasted sou’s question into Google. Result — as you saw — that finds mostly people using that “5 meter” number out of context and misrepresented to make exaggerated strawman claims _about_ what Hansen wrote.

    Note they don’t mention it’s an example of an estimate from a draft made public to ask for discussion. Note what they do instead.

    Just sayin’ — look carefully, explain fully, cite good sources, be wary of those using numbers, even good numbers, out of context, as is being done very eagerly about that particular item.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Jan 2011 @ 5:38 PM

  307. For those who haven’t read Hansen’s draft paper, you should.

    The 5-meter sea level rise is clearly only a hypothetical possibility, meant to illustrate that if sea level rise is exponential (a distinct possibility if the ice sheets disintegrate), then the current rate of sea level rise is a poor indicator of what to expect in the next century. Hansen emphasizes that if it’s exponential, the “doubling time” is highly uncertain. And when it comes to the future habitability of earth, uncertainty is not our friend.

    For me, the most interesting part was that paleoclimate data (ice age cycles) may give a more precise estimate of climate sensitivity than other sources of information (both theoretical musings and computer models).

    Comment by tamino — 24 Jan 2011 @ 9:10 PM

  308. Sorry, I know I’m OT but I wondered what you thought of this (especially looking at the ‘guest’ list)?

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/01/24/lisbon-workshop-on-reconciliation-in-the-climate-change-debate/

    Comment by Louise — 25 Jan 2011 @ 8:56 AM

  309. Louise, you missed the announcement but this is a useful way to get attention — There’s now a topic for that kind of interruption. It needs a big flashy button to get new readers’ attention (-:

    Unforced variations: Jan 2011
    Open thread
    They say there: “… We are going to try and ensure that there is always an open thread for off-topic questions and discussions. They will be called (as this one) “Unforced Variation: [current month]” and we will try and move all off-topic comments on other threads to these threads. So if your comment seems to disappear from one thread, look for it here….”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 25 Jan 2011 @ 10:52 AM

  310. Judy Curry…

    Ok, Next!

    Seriously? They want to talk about “post-normal” science. Hell, I’d be satisfied if they understood the plain vanilla scientific method! Try it guys. It’s worked for 400 years! I think we can do just fine without all your postmoderist crap for a few hundred more.

    And the participants list doesn’t hold out much hope for serious discussion. It sounds like the 4th circle of hell.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Jan 2011 @ 10:55 AM

  311. It would seem to me that for the “Unforced variations: Jan 2011″ thread to work as a needed home for OT discussions, some force has to keep its location invariable for all of Jan, 2011.

    Comment by JCH — 25 Jan 2011 @ 12:09 PM

  312. Louise,
    25 Jan 2011 at 8:56 AM

    Argh, Steven Goddard is on that list! I didn’t check her credibility levels lately, but did JC still have some credibility left to lose?

    Comment by Anne van der Bom — 25 Jan 2011 @ 12:24 PM

  313. Louise, yes she does.

    But I was dumbfounded when I saw her interpretation of the historic flood record for Queensland. One would think that an advocate of building dams might have the first clue as to why they build them; as in, to make large precipitation events result in lower flood levels.

    People can’t think as fast as they can blog. As a person of average intelligence, it’s great to know that includes scientists.

    Comment by JCH — 25 Jan 2011 @ 3:34 PM

  314. Apparently Anthony Watts was also invoted to that conference and declined.

    I wonder if it is actually an attempt at reconciliation or an attempt to bolster the denialist concensus.

    Comment by Louise — 25 Jan 2011 @ 4:56 PM

  315. Louise, if their goal is denialist consensus, then I’m all for it. If they’d ever quit tapdancing, we could (figuratively) nail their feet to the floor and demolish them in time to catch the red-eye from Lisbon.

    Unfortunately, “Anything but CO2″ winds up being rather difficult to obliterate when the advocates of the position refuse to even acknowledge evidence.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Jan 2011 @ 8:40 PM

  316. from Curry’s workshop-on-reconciliation blog post –

    “Thanks, Judith, for the posting. Good luck!

    Regretfully, there can probably be no reconciliation in the climate debate.
    Climategate exposed an unholy, worldwide alliance of politicians and world leaders with leaders of government science agencies.
    Major distortions in science since 1969 are documented in this new paper on “Neutron Repulsion”.
    http://db.tt/9SrfTiZ

    What are the chances that leaders of the UN’s IPCC, the US National Academy of Sciences, the UK’s Royal Society, and editors of leading research journals will now

    a.) Address the experimental data presented in the paper, or
    b.) Admit that Earth is heated by neutron repulsion, rather than by hydrogen fusion?

    That is the chances of reconciliation
    Regretfully unlikely,
    Oliver K. Manuel”

    Is this postnormal science “that recognizes the potential for gaps in knowledge and understanding that cannot be resolved other than through revolutionary science,” or a Poe troll?

    Should neutron repulsion, cosmic ray cloud iris enhancements, and unexplained processes that prohibit warm bodies from radiating in the direction of hotter bodies nearby be part of the multiple veiwpoints we incorporate into the problem of global warming?

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 25 Jan 2011 @ 8:57 PM

  317. Nice straightforward lecture notes here, that may be helpful to to someone:

    “The wavelength distributions of the radiation emitted by the sun and the Earth … The upward IR flux from the surface is computed …”
    http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/~liougst/Lecture/Lecture_2.pdf

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 25 Jan 2011 @ 9:22 PM

  318. #316–

    Ah, yes, Oliver “Iron Sun” Manuel.

    Well, that settles that, then.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 25 Jan 2011 @ 11:24 PM

  319. For anyone in search of something relevant to read each week, don’t fail to check:
    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Jan 2011 @ 12:06 AM

  320. Ray – I suppose that rather than ‘denialist consensus’ I suppose I meant that, because there are some mainstream scientists going along as well as fans of Anthony Watts, they are trying to make the denialist position appear mainstream, i.e. using Dr Curry and Nick Stokes (who is also attending) to give a veneer of legitamacy.

    Comment by Louise — 26 Jan 2011 @ 5:42 AM

  321. Louise,
    I have a lot of respect for Nick (Judy…not so much). I really think he is of the opinion that common ground is possible. I disagree–at least until the denialists cease being denialists and accept 1)physical reality, and 2)standard methodology of risk mitigation. I hold out little hope that they will do this, as it would leave them with no choice but to embrace limitations on CO2 emissions as the only current viable strategy.

    They may think they are “looking for common ground”. But you can’t find common ground between science and lies. And with folks like Judy and Steve Goddard headlining…, well, let’s just say that I can easily envision them all emerging on stage from a single Volkswagen Bug.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 26 Jan 2011 @ 9:47 AM

  322. Maya,

    Do you think Hansen’s current paper changes the 5-meter discussion in his 2007 article? I really don’t think that.

    I think what Hansen is saying is his speculation is that SLR by 20952100 will be greater than 3 meters because of model-resistant nonlinear melting: closer to 5 meters than to linear estimates of ~1 meter.

    Comment by JCH — 26 Jan 2011 @ 9:54 AM

  323. Hank, #319–

    Thanks for that reference. Some provocative work in there. . .

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 26 Jan 2011 @ 1:02 PM

  324. For several months I’ve been accumulating references to either combustion events or totals for oil spillage events during WW2, so Hank’s link was very interesting. WW2 was a global event during which a very large amount of combustion took place, and there was also a fairly large amount of oil spilled into the oceans. One American oil company lost 67 oil tankers during the war: probably the equivalent of at least 5 Exxon Valdez spills.

    The Korean War and the Vietnam War continued some of that activity. The United States dropped almost three times the tonnage of bombs in SE Asia as it did in WW2. It is said the the Korean War artillery tonnage exceeded that of WW2. That one I find doubtful, but the claim exists.

    In WW2 significant burning of a large number of cities took place. The strategic bombing surveys have pretty good numbers there.

    In terms of Mid-20th Century temperature, I am curious as to whether or not potential impacts of warfare have been fully evaluated by climate scientists. It just seems to me there are ways some of this stuff – dust, black carbon, oil sheen, etc. – might have played a role in global temperature.

    At a platoon level, my father’s SPM fired 12,000 75mm rounds on Iwo Jima. All SPM platoons on the island – potentially 500,000 shells. This was by far the least common USMC artillery type on Iwo Jima. That is an awful lot of TNT, which was cut with other explosives. The Russians claim they used more than 600,000 tons of TNT during the war. The US number would be much larger; probably the British too. The first atomic bomb: 12 to 16 kilotons.

    Comment by JCH — 26 Jan 2011 @ 4:51 PM

  325. Heh, yeah, using their own tactics against them, I love it.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kelly-rigg/skepticgate-revealing-cli_b_814013.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kert-davies/rep-waxman-presses-for-in_b_813251.html

    ‘How many results can we get on “Skepticgate” by the year’s end?’

    Comment by Maya — 26 Jan 2011 @ 5:20 PM

  326. I posted a question on another thread but can’t find it about the potential for disruption of the circulation cells (Ferrel, Hadley cells etc) with increasing warming and there were some interesting responses. If spontaneous reconstruction of circulation patterns does occur, for example, driving heat north, would one expect the potential, firstly for sea ice to melt faster than models predict (if such models don’t include circulatory reconstruction) and secondly, induction of ice disintegration events? Is there any evidence that the trigger for the Melt Water Pulse observed in paleo-historical SLR was associated with a spontaneous reconstruction of circulation patterns, with attendant ‘pulsed’ heat transfer? Presumably, if so, might that provide an indication of potential self-similar event (ie repeat of MWP, but on a smaller scale) in the coming decades?

    Comment by Michael G — 26 Jan 2011 @ 5:56 PM

  327. Erratum: I should have written ‘ice sheet disintegration’ in my last post.

    Comment by Michael G — 26 Jan 2011 @ 5:59 PM

  328. > combustion events or totals for oil spillage events during WW2

    There’s a guy out there with multiple websites under various names on ocean surface oil spills and other WWII events changing climate. I recall hunting up estimates of the total oil spilled into the ocean from shipping during the war; compared to spills from supertankers lost since; compared to the total natural seepage. Having baselines would help.

    Recent science on the thin surface biological layer is fascinating; I’ve found no idea how warfare affects this stuff: http://www2.cnrs.fr/en/206.htm

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Jan 2011 @ 6:08 PM

  329. Aside, on oil spills, some bits toward numbers on contemporary losses; might be interesting to compare to WWII losses. The volume of shipping and size of contemporary ships (longer ships can span the gap between bigger waves so may break instead of riding them; imagine a supertanker on this pair: http://www3.ncc.edu/faculty/bio/fanellis/biosci119/ramapo_wave.jpg )

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3917539.stm
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040721084137.htm

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Jan 2011 @ 6:51 PM

  330. Here’s one:

    “the combined total of WWII shipwrecks stands at 7807 vessels worldwide (Figure 1), combining to over 34 million tons of shipping with 861 tankers and oilers (Figure 2). …”

    http://www.seaaustralia.com/documents/The%20Global%20Risk%20of%20Marine%20Pollution%20from%20WWII%20Shipwrecks-final.pdf

    Comment by JCH — 26 Jan 2011 @ 9:02 PM

  331. A solar note: according to this author (actually, the language is ambiguous) California has installed 3 GW of off-grid solar electrical power:

    http://cleantechnica.com/2011/01/25/solar-incentives-for-commercial-rooftops-are-used-up-early-in-california/

    Today’s predicted maximum demand for California (from CAISO, which excludes the cities of Los Angeles and Sacramento) is about 30GW, so the rooftop solar panels reduce load on the grid by almost 10%. Had it been available back then, this amount of solar power would have prevented the electricity crisis, which was a crisis only of peak demand.

    The usual caveats apply: it’s relatively expensive electricity, tax-subsidized, the panels are made out of state, etc. But it is a noteworthy milestone.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 27 Jan 2011 @ 4:20 PM

  332. 316 Brian dodge: unexplained processes that prohibit warm bodies from radiating in the direction of hotter bodies nearby

    “Warm bodies” and “hotter bodies nearby” are all radiating in all directions (that is, assuming that there are a lot in each category.) The claim is that the set of “warm bodies” can not raise the temperatures of the set of “hotter bodies nearby”. It may be “unexplained”, but it’s “the law” (second.)

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 27 Jan 2011 @ 4:27 PM

  333. SM, Brian alludes to a notion from the denier universe. Look at the responses in this thread by people who think that: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/07/yes-virginia-cooler-objects-can-make-warmer-objects-even-warmer-still/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Jan 2011 @ 9:13 PM

  334. 333, Hank Roberts: Brian alludes

    I understand the allusion. I addressed his actual language, which was deficient. The fact that certain denialists mess this up all the time is no reason for a warmist to mess it up as well.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 27 Jan 2011 @ 11:19 PM

  335. #331 Had it been available back then, this amount of solar power would have prevented the electricity crisis, which was a crisis only of peak demand.

    Bullsh_t. No amount of addtional capacity would have prevented the California energy crisis. Peak demand never remotely approached capacity. It was an artificial crisis created by Exxon’s manipulation of supply.

    Comment by JiminMpls — 28 Jan 2011 @ 7:32 AM

  336. 335 : you mean ENRON, I think.

    Comment by François — 28 Jan 2011 @ 9:29 AM

  337. #333, 334–

    Brian didn’t mess it up, nor was his language (IMO) ‘deficient’; it was an ironic reference, rather adroitly skewering the G & T fetishists out there.

    BPL also has a nice discussion of this issue:

    http://bartonpaullevenson.com/JJandJ.html

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 28 Jan 2011 @ 9:34 AM

  338. > SM
    >> The claim is that the set of “warm bodies” can not
    >> raise the temperatures of the set of “hotter bodies nearby”.

    That claim is wrong.

    >> It may be “unexplained”

    What’s unexplained: any basis for believing the claim.
    (the claim that the greenhouse effect/back-radiation can’t happen because the atmosphere is warm but the Earth is warmer).

    There are no “unexplained processes that prohibit warm bodies from radiating in the direction of hotter bodies nearby”

    Back-radiation from the atmosphere to the planet happens.

    > yes-virginia-cooler-objects-can-make-warmer-objects-even-warmer-still

    We agree, right? Just checking.
    Spencer tries hard to make it clear.
    His thread makes it clear how difficult this can be to explain.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 28 Jan 2011 @ 11:27 AM

  339. 335, I think you mean ENRON.

    Comment by JCH — 28 Jan 2011 @ 11:53 AM

  340. 335, JiminMnpls: Peak demand never remotely approached capacity. It was an artificial crisis created by Exxon’s manipulation of supply.

    The CAISO ordered brownouts and factory closings whenever supply was less than 5% greater than projected demand.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 28 Jan 2011 @ 7:27 PM

  341. >> Exxon’s manipulation of supply.
    Enron

    > supply was less
    Exactly.

    Enron manipulation throttled the supply.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09513570310482327

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 28 Jan 2011 @ 9:28 PM

  342. 316: unexplained processes that prohibit warm bodies from radiating in the direction of hotter bodies nearby

    Ah. I understand now that the wording is beyond reproach. Sorry.

    Hank Roberts and Jim in Minneapolis, Californians solved their electr5icity crisis by their own efforts. It took them a while, but Californians solved their electricity crisis by their own efforts. Had the electricity supply been “choked off”, that would have been impossible. It’s too bad that Californians ran up such a big debt first, but they were slow to act. The current 3 GW of off-grid solar power is greater than the shortage of peak supply at the peak of the crisis. That isn’t a great amount, about 8% of demand a few days ago, but a memorable milestone.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 29 Jan 2011 @ 12:13 AM

  343. SM, they got caught at it.
    How can you tell people it never happened?
    What are you relying on for your claims about Enron’s California power?
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=enron+trader+guilty+tapes

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 29 Jan 2011 @ 5:22 AM

  344. Since this is way off topic I’ll post it here!

    Should be of interest to Americans.
    New Scientist map showing areas that have the most patents (or above/below average) in the US:

    http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/onepercent/2011/01/-innovation-in-america-dashboa.html

    Then I wondered what the average political affiliation of different states were:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_states_and_blue_states

    Maybe not surprising to many Americans?
    If you have problem with the links, then in summary:
    Republican states appear to under perform in the patent count.
    I thought it suggested why there was a political battle between the political right and science/innovation??

    Comment by Warmcast — 29 Jan 2011 @ 8:57 AM

  345. From wikipedia – “Poe’s law, named after its author Nathan Poe, is an Internet adage reflecting the fact that without a clear indication of the author’s intent, it is difficult or impossible to tell the difference between sincere extremism and the parody of extremism.”

    And the boundary between sincere postmodern science unintentional self-parody and intentional parody of postmodern science is pretty fuzzy as well.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 29 Jan 2011 @ 2:25 PM

  346. SM @ 340:

    Yes, but there are other sources of supply and Enron created the crisis by manipulating supply.

    Likewise, just because there is “supply” doesn’t mean that supply is “available”. The ERCOT (TX ISO) peak is around 69GW, but if the day-ahead forecast were off by a few GW, there could be problems even though demand is nowhere near 69GW.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 30 Jan 2011 @ 6:52 PM

  347. Warmcast @ 344:

    “Patents issued per warm body” is a useless metric if patents issued to companies that license their portfolio are included. Some companies, such as my former employer, promote patent filing in part so they can maintain their standing in terms of patents issued, without much apparent regard for the quality of the patents. Or as we used to call them on the review boards I sat on, “cell-phone patents”. Meaning, some feature of dubious commercial value who’s true value is being able to say there’s yet another patent. Or defensive patents which exist to =stifle= innovation.

    Real innovation is revolutionary, not evolutionary, and of the more than a dozen patents I’ve been issued, I think only two or three are “revolutionary”. And of those two or three, based on the number of times they’ve been referenced by other patents, only one is =truly= revolutionary. Another patent, a method for improving pipelined instruction execution, seems to be attracting some interest and I may yet change my opinion as to how much it changed the state of the art. But my reading of the two recently issued patents that reference says those patents were themselves minor tweaks. Probably to the extent that they weren’t even tweaks …

    All this is to say that “innovation” is hard to capture in numerical terms because the “unit” of “innovation” isn’t well-defined. A “patent” means one thing to a company that has a limited budget for IP lawyers, and something completely different to a company that keeps IP lawyers on staff, or pays for patent filings in bulk. I had plans to file 3 patent applications, and I did file a provisional, but when revenue attributable to the concept failed to materialize, those innovative concepts — and one was highly innovative — had the wrong cost/benefit ratio.

    – Julie.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 30 Jan 2011 @ 7:05 PM

  348. http://mediamatters.org/research/201101270013

    “Spencer wrote that he “wasn’t aware” of the FoxNews.com report. He further stated that he “read the part that mentions me, and it does not make sense.” [Email to Media Matters, 1/26/11]”

    “Spencer: “No One I Know Seriously Debates That Warming Has Actually Occurred.” Spencer, who contends that the warming trend is natural rather than manmade, further told Media Matters via email, “I love FoxNews, but this was a little sloppy.” He added: “We have differing opinions on the cause of warming…no one I know seriously debates that warming has actually occurred…so… ….I think whether 2010 was a record or not is not terrible relevant to the debate” [Ellipses in original]. [Email to Media Matters, 1/26/11]“

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Jan 2011 @ 9:26 PM

  349. Glad to see an open forum for posting various ideas. I read (the Bore Hole, January 2011, about #10 or so, and various other items from the past few years) that there is lots of money in climate science, what a joke. Fortunately most scientists stay in science jobs. After all, look what happened when a bunch of physicists found other work after the Superconducting Supercollider work collapsed when they went to work on Wall Street. As an old hand there said – the real cause of the financial collapse is that there were too many smart guys working there, thinking up too many new products and schemes that no one else understood. Instead of just making a killing (tens of millions) they began to make extreme amounts of money (billions). Kind of like any other field of human endeavor, people continue to push things to new extremes.

    Comment by Brian Taylor — 31 Jan 2011 @ 2:06 AM

  350. 343, Hank Roberts: SM, they got caught at it.
    How can you tell people it never happened?

    despite manipulation of the market by wholesalers, Californians solved their own problem.

    they did so by a slight (ca 3%) reduction in peak electrical demand.

    they could have implemented the solution a year earlier than they did.

    most of the lawsuits against the electricity wholesalers were decided in favor of the wholesalers.

    wholesalers were obligated to return about 5% of the claimed overcharges (of the claimed overcharges, not 5% of the total billed.)

    Californians are still paying for the electricity that they bought during the crisis (there is a line item on my monthly bill.)

    the precipitating event was a reduction in hydroelectric power following a prolonged drought. That followed 3+ decades in which CA electrical consumption grew faster than CA electrical production.

    Had the 3GW (assumning the figure is accurate) of installed solar power already been installed at that time, the crisis would never have happened, just as I wrote.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 31 Jan 2011 @ 2:26 PM

  351. SM @ 350:

    That’s a gross misrepresentation of what happened and the solutions that were required to solve the problem.

    Production was idled for no reason other than to create an artificial shortage so that power had to be purchased on the spot market at grossly inflated prices. Transmission capacity was reserved for no reason other than to artificially create “constraint” so that power had to be purchased in other ways at grossly inflated prices.

    Electricity cannot be stored from one instance to the next. That means that no matter how much people conserve, there is always going to be a way to rig the system. Cut consumption by 5%? Okay, we’ll take a 500MW plant off line for “maintenance”, create an artificial shortage anyway, then sell back that 500MW of production at 10 to 100 times higher prices on the spot market. Cut consumption by another 5%? We’ve got other plants that need “maintenance” …

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 31 Jan 2011 @ 9:23 PM

  352. Brian Taylor@349,

    The real cause of the collaps was not the smart guys, but rather the dumb guys trying to misapply the products the smart guys developed for entirely other purposes. The lesson is that if you are using a model to estimate risk, it had damn well better be calibrated with REPRESENTATIVE data. It is a bad idea to estimate risk for 30 year-fix-ed ra-te mort-g-ages with 20% down and good credit and apply it to Liar’s lo-ans with no money down, and no credit check.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 31 Jan 2011 @ 9:45 PM

  353. Ray @ 352:

    The real cause was people who were able to sell the risk to someone else and lie about the risk at the same time. People in positions of trust (for various values of “trust”) flat out lied. That so few of those people seem destined for jail tells me that we’ll get a repeat in the future.

    And while this is “Unforced Variations”, the applicability of that to Climate Change is that people who are lying about what’s going on — and who know better — are highly unlikely to suffer the consequences.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 31 Jan 2011 @ 10:00 PM

  354. You guys simply ignore (deny??) California State’s culpability in their own power problem. For one, their effective limiting in-state production required massive imports (which they can’t regulate — all they can do is not let the power companies pass on their high costs to the consumer) which put a sign on their back that said ‘come screw me!’ Their living in la-la land made them easy picking for the bad guys.

    Comment by Rod B — 1 Feb 2011 @ 12:15 AM

  355. FurryCatHerder, I share your ire, but the middle man did not lie in those transactions. The bank or whatever that made the lo_an did nothing that violated the requirements set by Fannie Mae et al. (They explicitly approved those low-doc, AKA “liar’s”, mort_gaged lo_ans.) The problem at the higher end came with the packaging and collateralizing mort_gages and partial mort_gages: they didn’t lie about what was in them — they didn’t know what was in them. So all those “smart” guys bought and sold and insured and made derivatives for stuff that, after a few rounds, they had no clue what they were worth. Abetted by them being rated AAA right up to the end.

    Comment by Rod B — 1 Feb 2011 @ 12:35 AM

  356. Rod B. 355 completely misses the point. He says “they didn’t lie about what was in them — they didn’t know what was in them”, whereas the point is that when you’re in a position of trust, you make goddamn sure you know what’s in them or you say “I don’t know”.

    Rod, seriously, if you told me your house was on fire I’d check with your neighbour.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 1 Feb 2011 @ 2:02 AM

  357. Where the denialists’ books on climate issues should be classified? Sociology, Psychology, Economy, Fiction, WWII History or Politics? You may not vote on this since I’m not opening a vote here. Suggestions of alternative energetic mitigating actions on this issue are heard but ignored.

    Comment by jyyh — 1 Feb 2011 @ 2:17 AM

  358. Got cites? http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=enron+trader+guilty+tapes
    Opinions, everybody’s got. Reliable sources, you can find, if they exist.
    Remember, that’s not just stating an opinion then doing ‘reverse research’ to find someone else on the Internet who said it too.

    Happy new month ….

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 1 Feb 2011 @ 4:53 AM

  359. jyyh, I would propose that the great resources of the oil companies be put to work to make the denialist works available for free in malls all over the world–printed on 4-inch squares and wrapped around cardboard tubes. In this manner, whatever winds up on the paper will be an improvement.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 1 Feb 2011 @ 4:58 AM

  360. OAB, Better listen to Rod. He majored in revisionist history! There’s plenty of blame to go around. I merely took issue with blaming the crisis on particle physicists. Moreover, the instruments developed by the bulging foreheads were all developed for a specific purpose–and it was not so the financial giants could over leverage their assets. Their main sin was not developing trigger locks to keep them out of the hands of infants.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 1 Feb 2011 @ 5:34 AM

  361. I’ve now reached the point in writing my introductory survey on sea level rise that I’d like to explain to general reader what, if anything, the Americans are actually DOING now to deal with sea level rise.

    My own guess is that the answer is: “precious little, except talk about it and, in a few cases, point with alarm.” But I may well be wrong. If I am, please let me know off-list at huntjanin@aol.com

    Comment by Hunt Janin — 1 Feb 2011 @ 5:57 AM

  362. RE: Cyclone Yasi, a few weeks ago when the Queensland flooding was beginning, a denier or three jumped to assure that rainfall of that sort ‘had happened before in the area.’ Well, that wasn’t yet the end of the weather season there, and the pain continues. I wonder when memory exhausts to the point that it no longer is possible to say “It’s no big deal, it’s happened before; it can’t be climate change. Nothing to see here. Move along.” I hope for the best for the Queenslanders, as it doesn’t look good from afar. Maybe it’s a reminder to North Americans that it isn’t winter everywhere in the world, though.

    Comment by ghost — 1 Feb 2011 @ 12:51 PM

  363. 351, furryCatHerder: Cut consumption by 5%? Okay, we’ll take a 500MW plant off line for “maintenance”, create an artificial shortage anyway, then sell back that 500MW of production at 10 to 100 times higher prices on the spot market. Cut consumption by another 5%? We’ve got other plants that need “maintenance” …

    You appear not to be familiar with the actual numbers. An actual reduction in peak demand of 3% followed the announcement by the California Public Utility Commission that it would permit the retailers (PG&E, SOCAL Edison, SDG&E) to raise their rates. That ended the crisis. The reduction was mostly a 20% reduction in peak air conditioning, which constituted about 15% of peak demand.

    A stupid provision in the California law required the utilities to buy in the spot market. That law was another mechanism by which the California electricity crisis was self-inflicted. The Davis administration assumed emergency powers to deal with the crisis, and bought long-term contracts; unfortunately they hired a bunch of electricity traders from private industry who bought long-term contracts at very high prices, and then sold the electricity to the utilities at low prices. That alone obliterated the budget surplus that Davis had received from Wilson.

    The other main factor that helped to end the crisis was the expedited completion of two large gas-fired plants, the first large-scale electricity generation constructed in California during a period of about 30 years during which the population doubled.

    Nobody increased the charge for electricity by a factor of 100. The largest price included prepayment of an EPA fine; the fine was in fact never levied (prepayment was a legal requirement), and the prepayment was returned to the utility that had paid it.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 1 Feb 2011 @ 1:47 PM

  364. Gavin and/or Mike

    Do you know this reconstruction of temperature during the last 1000y :

    http://cmslive1.unibe.ch/lenya/giub/live/research/see/People/CK-Home/CK-Publications/Larocque-Tobler_et_al_2010.pdf

    which shows that the medieval period in Switzerland is about 1°C warmer than our recent period and what is your opinion about it.

    It seems that the skeptics are very interested by this new.

    Comment by meteor — 1 Feb 2011 @ 3:38 PM

  365. jyyh @357 — The thing to do is to convince the Library of Congress to assign a non-science LC designator to septical books. I suggest
    B — PHILOSOPHY. PSYCHOLOGY. RELIGION
    in
    http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco/

    Comment by David B. Benson — 1 Feb 2011 @ 7:26 PM

  366. Shouldn’t septical books go in R – Medicine?

    Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

    Comment by Rod B — 1 Feb 2011 @ 11:55 PM

  367. Is there any easy way I can can find on the net (preferably in one fell swoop) all the names and email addresses of the state agencies in shoreside US states that deal with environmental issues, e.g., sea level rise?

    Comment by Hunt Janin — 2 Feb 2011 @ 8:53 AM

  368. SM, please cite your claims; there’s ample history behind the California/Enron situation — posting cherrypicked claims without citing sources makes it harder for others to see the context.

    It’s hard to lean, spin, and pick cherries, all at once, but it’s doable.
    Citing sources avoids the problems with that.

    Or, if you’re just copying uncited claims you find elsewhere — where?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Feb 2011 @ 11:55 AM

  369. There’s this one:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_electricity_crisis

    By keeping the consumer price of electricity artificially low, the California government discouraged citizens from practicing conservation. In February 2001, California governor Gray Davis stated, “Believe me, if I wanted to raise rates I could have solved this problem in 20 minutes.”[15]

    Enron eventually went bankrupt, and signed a US$1.52 billion settlement with a group of California agencies and private utilities on July 16, 2005

    The article does not say so, as far as I can tell, but the figure of 5% of total overcharges refunded was from newspaper accounts at the time. That figure of $1.52B from Enron was a small fraction of the money that CA lost.

    According to the article, rolling blackouts were called when the electricity supply surplus fell below 3%. As I wrote, there was always a surplus, just not a surplus required by the CAISO. After little expansion of the power supply, CA licensed 14,365MW of new production in response to the crisis; it does not say clearly whether the two powerplants that were licensed in response to deregulation a few year earlier, but came on line under Davis, are included. As I wrote, the 3,000 MW of roof-mounted solar generating capacity, had it been in place at the time, would have prevented the crisis; that was close to 6% of peak demand on CAISO before the rate increase.

    During the crisis my electricity usage never rose about about 50% of the baseline (approximate median) for my region. I was seriously out of step with my CA neighbors in my opinions of their profligacy, and I wrote the LA Times criticisms of their whining self-pity. As I wrote above, Californians eventually solved the problem by adopting solutions that they might have adopted a year earlier.

    The electricity wholesalers, including the cities of Sacramento and Los Angeles, gamed the system. But the reduction in peak electricity demand that was caused by the rate increase approved by CPUC amounted to about 3%, over one month, and restored the margin that was required by CAISO. I knew people who reduced their electricity bill from $300/month to $200/month, but only after the rate increases went into effect. Why people, such as my neighbors whom I like, waste that much money on A/C is a mystery to me.

    If you reread all I wrote, you’ll note that I did not deny that the wholesalers gamed the system. What I wrote was that California set itself up for the problem, and then solved the problem on its own. Most lawsuits brought against the wholesalers were decided in favor of the wholesalers.

    Oddly enough, the state-funded electricity consumer conservation program expired during the crisis due to lack of interest in energy conservation evinced by Californians. It was surprising to me, at first, to see restaurants and other places that had not replaced their gluttonous incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents, but since that time most that I have been to have done so.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 2 Feb 2011 @ 1:30 PM

  370. Reposting an old favorite:

    ” … we didn’t change the Earth’s weather, but its climate. There’d be no point in trying to explain the difference to you, I guess. They stepped up the CO2 content of the atmosphere, producing an increased blanketing effect. At first the equatorial regions were uncomfortably hot as a result; but when the thing stabilized again a lot of the polar caps had melted, and a lot of formerly desert land in the torrid zones, which had been canalized for the purpose, had flooded in consequence. The net result was an increased evaporation surface and, through a lot of steps a little too technical for the present discussion, a shallower temperature drop toward the poles….”

    Hal Clement, “Cold Front”
    First published in _Astounding_ July 1946
    Reference: http://www.nesfa.org/press/Books/Clement-2.htm
    “Cold Front” reprinted in Vol. 2, ISBN 1-886788-07-8

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Feb 2011 @ 3:44 PM

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