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A warning from Copenhagen

Filed under: — stefan @ 21 June 2009 - (Deutsch) (Chinese (simplified)) (Español)

In March the biggest climate conference of the year took place in Copenhagen: 2500 participants from 80 countries, 1400 scientific presentations. Last week, the Synthesis Report of the Copenhagen Congress was handed over to the Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen in Brussels. Denmark will host the decisive round of negotiations on the new climate protection agreement this coming December.

The climate congress was organised by a “star alliance” of research universities: Copenhagen, Yale, Berkeley, Oxford, Cambridge, Tokyo, Beijing – to name a few. The Synthesis Report is the most important update of climate science since the 2007 IPCC report.

So what does it say? Our regular readers will hardly be surprised by the key findings from physical climate science, most of which we have already discussed here. Some aspects of climate change are progressing faster than was expected a few years ago – such as rising sea levels, the increase of heat stored in the ocean and the shrinking Arctic sea ice. “The updated estimates of the future global mean sea level rise are about double the IPCC projections from 2007″, says the new report. And it points out that any warming caused will be virtually irreversible for at least a thousand years – because of the long residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere.


Perhaps more interestingly, the congress also brought together economists and social scientists researching the consequences of climate change and analysing possible solutions. Here, the report emphasizes once again that a warming beyond 2ºC is a dangerous thing:

Temperature rises above 2ºC will be difficult for contemporary societies to cope with, and are likely to cause major societal and environmental disruptions through the rest of the century and beyond.

(Incidentally, by now 124 nations have officially declared their support for the goal of limiting warming to 2ºC or less, including the EU – but unfortunately not yet the US.)

Some media representatives got confused over whether this 2ºC-guardrail can still be met. The report’s answer is a clear yes – if rapid and decisive action is taken:

The conclusion from both the IPCC and later analyses is simple – immediate and dramatic emission reductions of all greenhouse gases are needed if the 2ºC guardrail is to be respected.

Cause of the confusion was apparently that the report finds that it is inevitable by now that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere will overshoot the future stabilization level that would keep us below 2ºC warming. But this overshooting of greenhouse gas concentrations need not lead temperatures to overshoot the 2ºC mark, provided it is only temporary. It is like a pot of water on the stove – assume we set it to a small flame which will make the temperature in the pot gradually rise up to 70ºC and then no further. Currently, the water is at 40ºC. When I turn up the flame for a minute and then back down, this does not mean the water temperature will exceed 70ºC, due to the inertia in the system. So it is with climate – the inertia here is in the heat capacity of the oceans.

From a natural science perspective, nothing stops us from limiting warming to 2ºC. Even from an economic and technological point of view this is entirely feasible, as the report clearly shows. The ball is squarely in the field of politics, where in December in Copenhagen the crucial decisions must be taken. The synthesis report puts it like this: Inaction is inexcusable.

Related links

Press release of PIK about the release of the synthesis report

Copenhagen Climate Congress – with webcasts of the plenary lectures (link on bottom right – my talk is in the opening session part 2, just after IPCC chairman Pachauri)

Nobel Laureate Meeting in London – a high caliber gathering in May that agreed on a remarkable memorandum which calls for immediate policy intervention: “We know what needs to be done. We can not wait until it is too late.” The new U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu participated over the full three days in the scientific discussions – how many politicians would have done that?


416 Responses to “A warning from Copenhagen”

  1. 351
    Hank Roberts says:

    More on sea level:
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL038720.shtml

    (I only have access to the abstracts, but search by author name and the other usual tactics will eventually turn up more)

  2. 352
    Hank Roberts says:

    Steve, one last repetition: it helps to say:
    what you’ve done (how much statis
    what you are finding and reading;
    who you’ve asked (contacting the corresponding author is the usual way); and
    how you are searching.

    Without that, it becomes rather like the “submarine” board game.

    How about A3?
    Nope.

    I’ll guess B17
    Nope …

    You might consider starting a blog for the search if you really can’t find anything out of all the above material. I’m just a reader, not a competent librarian or searcher.

    I mainly try to suggest ways to approach problems for kids who may come along later and need help finding references, and not know where to start.

    Short answers for kids are:
    ask a school or public library reference librarian for help; and
    http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

  3. 353
    James says:

    Rod B Says (27 June 2009 at 11:14):

    “Mark, not that it matters much, but I did not call a wood stove a heat pump.”

    Then maybe you could explain what you did mean by “…solar and wood stoves satisfy the statement: heat pumps are about all that is left…”. I can read that two ways: either solar & wood stoves don’t work for home heating (and I have several winters of first-hand experience that says they do), or they’re equivalent to heat pumps. Which?

  4. 354
    Hank Roberts says:

    C’mon, RodB isn’t saying that solar, wood, and heat pumps are all equivalent.

    He was ignoring solar and wood, and saying heat pumps don’t work well below freezing so they use lots of electricity (or gas) in cold weather. For outdated models in poor condition, that used to be true.

    Alas, most of us have “A poor sort of memory that only works backwards” so must look things up to provide accurate information.

    http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12620

    The above of course is all in reference to air source heat pumps.

  5. 355
    Hank Roberts says:

    PS, at the above link, don’t miss:

    Advanced Technologies: Reverse Cycle Chillers
    … The heat pump is connected to a large, heavily insulated tank of water that the heat pump heats or cools, depending on the season of the year. … The RCC system also allows the heat pump to operate at peak efficiency even at low temperatures…. The simple payback on the additional cost in areas where natural gas is not available is in about 2–3 years.

    Advanced Technologies: Cold Climate Heat Pump
    … tested favorably by several utilities in the Northwest, which announced that the heat pump showed a 60% efficiency improvement over standard air-source heat pumps in preliminary testing.
    The product has never been made available to consumers on a large scale, but it appears that manufacturing may resume and the heat pumps will soon be available to consumers….

    Advanced Technologies: All-Climate Heat Pump
    … can operate in the coldest days of winter without supplemental heat, maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures even when the temperature outdoors falls below zero. The heat pump could reduce heating and cooling costs 25%–60%. Wenatchee Valley College in Washington has installed the heat pump and campus and has been testing it since October 2006…

  6. 356
    Mark says:

    steve arbitrarily asserts:

    “Mark the significant difference between the two situations is that in one situation, the sea levels, getting the right answer is the most important factor.”

    Is it? Why? Sea levels depends MUCH MUCH ***MUCH*** more on whether the ice on the South Pole has melted.

    This is rather dependent on temperature.

    Ice doesn’t melt progressively, you know. It doesn’t 1% melt at -99C, 2% melt at -98C all the way down to all melted at 0C.

    So temperature is really quite important.

    And what the sam hill does that have to do with “would you use two different measuring instruments to find the temperature anyway”????

    You’d use more than one different measuring method for temperature for the exact same reason you would use three systems independently written in a FBW system: so you can see if there’s any unforseen issues with your measuring system.

  7. 357
    steve says:

    Mark, I was comparing sea levels and fly by wire. Why the lecture on temperatures being important? Also, I was actually making an argument that would have been somewhat supportive of your argument earlier, that correcting one data set with another would be a good idea for sea levels assuming we knew the answer was the correct one. But now you seem to on the side that this would be a bad idea. Do you have a position other then being diametrically opposed to any position I may take?

    Thanks Hank I am fairly competent at searching the net. I have found that typing the topic and adding peer reviewed cuts out most the garbage. Thanks for the pointers.

  8. 358
    Rod B says:

    James, I simply said that after gas and fuel oil electric driven heat pumps (as currently constituted — reverse AC units) is about all that is left. The “about” allows for the current picayune usage of solar and wood stoves; but in looking at what Americans are currently using solar and wood, while maybe neat, are off the radar screen. That’s all; other than the original point that tons of people heat their homes with electricity (A/C heat pumps) but not very efficiently in colder climes — Hank’s new stuff coming down the pike not withstanding.

  9. 359
    Ralph Peters says:

    For over 50 years, the media (particularily TV) have been hammering home the messages that we all “deserve” whatever we want, that self-indulgence is the ideal life style, and that only suckers think about other people, even if the other people are their own children. So is it any suprise that glazed eyes are the typical response to unwelcome facts? It seems to me that, if we are going to motivate people to make the necessary changes, we have to bite the bullet of cost, and use the media to begin reversing those messages.

  10. 360
    James says:

    Hank Roberts Says (27 June 2009 at 17:10):

    “C’mon, RodB isn’t saying that solar, wood, and heat pumps are all equivalent.

    He was ignoring solar and wood…”

    OK, that was one of the two possibilities I had. Now the question is why was he ignoring them? They are perfectly viable options in a lot of places.

    http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12490
    http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12570

  11. 361
    Mark says:

    “Mark, I was comparing sea levels and fly by wire. ”

    You may be now, but only because you weren’t getting an answer you could use to waste more of my time.

    “Does it make anyone else uncomfortable that one data set is used to clean up the noise from a different data set instead of just using standard statistical procedures?”

    Is what you asked.

    I gave an example where despite hige expense and complexity, this is used and WHY IT WORKS.

    If you want to waste time talking about something else, go ahead.

  12. 362
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Now the question is why was he ignoring them

    Nope, ’tisn’t the question.
    Y’all could get a blog, you know, for bickering.
    Else you become a tag-team for digression.

    The questions are in the more than 1,600 abstracts from both the oral and poster presentations from the Congress.

    http://climatecongress.ku.dk/abstractbook/

    I won’t bother to ask if either of you has even begun reading these.
    I recommend the reading to those interested in the topic.
    Get ready for December, the scientists are doing so.
    Don’t be left behind rehashing old information.

    Click the link, pick an area, read, look up the cites for the topic.

  13. 363
    Charlie says:

    #255 (re Copenhagen updated temp trends) “Did you change the filter length from M=11 to M=14 in the temperature graph (Figure 3)?”

    inline reply by stefan “…we chose M=15. In hindsight, the averaging period of 11 years that we used in the 2007 Science paper was too short to determine a robust climate trend.”

    Do you know why the graph was left with a caption saying “Changes in global average surface air temperature (smoothed over 11 years) relative to 1990.” rather than showing the change in smoothing method?

    —————————–

    Stefan’s inline comment that implies that he changed the smoothing method only after he realized that m=11 showed a flattening of the trendline, while m=14 did not. Changing things on the fly like this and leaving the erroneous caption just gives skeptics more ammunition.

    [Response: I hadn't noticed the error in the caption of our graph yet, thanks for drawing my attention to it. I have notified the editors of the report of this mistake. Not sure why a small technical error in the caption would give ammunition to anyone except conspiracy theorists: the original annual data are shown, and the report draws only one conclusion from the figure:

    Figure 3 shows the trend in surface air temperature in recent decades.
    2008 was comparatively cooler than the immediately preceding years,
    primarily because there was a minimum in the cycle of the sun’s magnetic
    activity (sun spot cycle) and a La Niña event in 2007/2008. Nevertheless,
    the long-term trend of increasing temperature is clear and the trajectory
    of atmospheric temperature at the Earth’s surface is proceeding within
    the range of IPCC projections.

    None of this has anything to do with the smooth trend line or is affected by whether one happens to choose 11-year or 15-year smoothing.
    -stefan]

  14. 364
    steve says:

    By all means Mark, do not waste any more of your time answering my posts. I think it unfair that it be left up to you to set everyone straight on every topic. Perhaps you should ignore some of us and let others pick up the slack.

  15. 365
    James says:

    Hank Roberts Says (28 June 2009 at 8:36):

    “The questions are in the more than 1,600 abstracts from both the oral and poster presentations from the Congress.”

    Yes, and my question would fit quite well in some of the abstracts under Session 26 :Beyond Technology: Changing the Way We Live?”, for instance in Zero-Carbon Homes.

    And what’s in December that I should be getting ready for? Or shouldn’t I ask?

  16. 366
    Ike Solem says:

    Look at what the DOE is doing:

    Raising questions about the Department of Energy’s committed to its oft-stated pledges of openness and transparency, journalists were told to leave the room shortly before new Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Poneman was to speak at this year’s Energy Facility Contractors Group meeting in Washington last week. While no explanation was given at the time, according to those present, the move was apparently intended to ensure that journalists not only didn’t cover, but couldn’t even hear, a routine address on DOE’s priorities under the Obama Administration and efforts to address climate change.

    http://pogoblog.typepad.com/pogo/2009/06/doe-closes-door-to-journalists-not-lobbyists-at-recent-event.html

  17. 367
    Leonard Weinstein says:

    I am a skeptic (not denier) on the global warming problem. I admit that there is some effect of human burning of oil and coal, and the non AGW pollution (smog, acid rain, soot, etc.) is clearly a problem. In my opinion the AGW heating is not as big a problem as modelers seem to expect. However, there is another problem caused by energy consumption moving in the direction of exceeding availability (and thus causing unacceptable high prices), and this required a separate solution. Any solution to the energy problem would also reduce possible global warming, so this might be of interest to people on this site. I do think nuclear power is a practical solution, but probably will not overcome the resistance of the public to it. An alternate and fully clean solution can be found at: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dnc49xz_44f67brtp&hl=en

  18. 368
    Gerry Beauregard says:

    Roger Pielke Sr. takes issue with this realclimate post, specifically claims that “Some aspects of climate change are progressing faster than was expected a few years ago”. See:
    http://climatesci.org/2009/06/30/real-climates-misinformation/

    According to Pielke Sr:
    “Sea level has actually flattened since 2006″
    “Their [sic] has been no statistically significant warming of the upper ocean since 2003.”
    “Since 2008, the anomalies have actually decreased.”
    He points to some credible-looking references to back up his statements (e.g.

    Anyone at realclimate.org care to comment?

  19. 369
    Charlie says:

    Inline comment to #363: “Not sure why a small technical error in the caption would give ammunition to anyone except conspiracy theorists: ”

    If you look at the URLs below, it is obvious that changing the smoothing period and end conditions radically changes the trend line of Figure 3 in the Copenhagen report.

    See http://landshape.org/enm/another-copenhagen-synthesis-report-error/#more-2459 and
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/fishy-odors-surrounding-figure-3-from-the-copenhagen-synthesis-report/

    The Copenhagen report was intended to show the affect of more recent data and studies. In keeping with that philosophy it would perhaps been better to leave the smoothing at the same 11 year setting that was chosen for the original report.

    The only apparent advantage of changing the data smoothing is that it causes the trendline to continue without the more recent data having any significant effect on the plot. See the above URLs to see the changes.

  20. 370
    Chris Colose says:

    # 368, Gerry

    See Stefan’s response at #192, about cherry-picking vs. analyzing long-term trends. This is typical Pielke sloppiness and I’m not surprised.

  21. 371
    dhogaza says:

    Gerry, I’m just a citizen lurker but …

    “Sea level has actually flattened since 2006″

    All you need to do is to look at Pielke, Sr’s graphic to see how he had to cherry-pick that exact range to make it appear “flat”.

    Knowingly cherry-picking data is a form of lying. Pielke, Sr is blatantly cherry-picking and doing so over a range that’s far to short to say *anything* of statistical significance. He’s a good enough scientist that he’s not doing it out of ignorance, he knows what he’s doing. Therefore Pielke, Sr is lying.

    [Response: Lying is too strong. "Careless" is reasonable and perhaps "over-eager in search of critique" is fair. But since there is still a strong significant positive trend in sea level over the period he selected, it does seem a little odd. And of course the trend from Jan 2008 is even more positive - one might ask him why that isn't just as important as his cherry picked period? - gavin]

  22. 372
    dhogaza says:

    Huh first attempt got eaten.

    Gerry, look at Pielke, Sr’s graph here.

    Surely you can see that this is a blatant cherry-pick. Look how the left side of the “flat” marker is precisely aligned with a high-temp spike in the record.

    Cherry-picking is a form of lying. Arbitrary point-to-point comparisons are meaningless, and he’s a good enough academic to know it. Arbitrary point-to-point comparisions over time frames far too short to yield any statisically valid result even if analyzed properly are even more meaningless, and he’s a good enough academic to know it.

    And comments over there are turned off.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  23. 373
    Hank Roberts says:

    > 3. “shrinking Arctic sea ice”
    “… Since 2008, the anomalies have actually decreased.”

    Mmmm, cherry.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/ice.area.at.minimum.new.png

  24. 374
    Hank Roberts says:

    Belated reply to Danny Bloom’s oft-repeated question at the top of the string; someone has noted the North Pole is wet; as to the South Pole: http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20090630

  25. 375
    Gerry Beauregard says:

    Re. 369, 370, 371, 372… thanks for your responses.

    I agree entirely that Pielke was selective about his dates, in particular for all the measures in question he used only the last few years of data. However, the RC post pretty simply invites him and others to do that. Saying “some aspects of climate change are progressing faster than was expected a few years ago” suggests that *measurements* in the past few years show faster progress than was expected.

    E.g. if in 2007, the prediction was that sea levels would rise X mm/yr (on average, over the long term), but since then sea levels actually rose less than X mm/yr, then it’s incorrect, or at the very least misleading, to suggest that sea levels are rising faster than expected a few years ago.

    It looks to me like what’s happened is not so much that measured aspect of climate change have progressed faster than expected in recent years, but rather than the latest science indicates that the eventual effects will be larger than forecast a few years ago. Saying “The updated estimates of the future global mean sea level rise are about double the IPCC projections from 2007″ is very different from saying that since 2007, sea levels have been rising faster than projected in 2007 :-)

    Incidentally, I’m not a climate change skeptic/denier – indeed, it’s pretty clear to me that the trends over the last 30 years or so show clear warming, there’s reason to believe that the trends will continue and perhaps even accelerate (of course with year-to-year random ups & downs), and the consequences will be serious.

  26. 376
    dhogaza says:

    Lying is too strong. “Careless” is reasonable and perhaps “over-eager in search of critique” is fair. But since there is still a strong significant positive trend in sea level over the period he selected, it does seem a little odd. And of course the trend from Jan 2008 is even more positive – one might ask him why that isn’t just as important as his cherry picked period? – gavin

    Sorry, I’ll stick with “lying”. I think that cherry-picking is lying, period. Of course I was raised in a right-wing evangelical Christian household, and while I did shed the RW politics of my upbringing, I didn’t shed by strong beliefs about the moral necessity of telling the truth.

    But I appreciate your giving him the benefit of the doubt. Too much, I think, but hell, for you, it’s professional courtesy. For me … can’t give him that.

  27. 377
    dhogaza says:

    Lying is too strong. “Careless” is reasonable and perhaps “over-eager in search of critique” is fair.

    Actually, Gavin, did you look at the graphic? There’s no way that “careless” is a reasonable characterization of the “flat trend” annotation being placed on the left *precisely* at about dec 2008 where there’s a large peak.

    I have to say, I’ve never seen such an obvious or so precisely placed cherry-pick in my life (not that I spend my life looking at cherry-picked arguments).

    And of course the trend from Jan 2008 is even more positive – one might ask him why that isn’t just as important as his cherry picked period?

    I’m sorry, it’s not because he’s careless.

    Of course you might disagree, and others, too, but then again … maybe not.

    [Response: The annotation appears to have put on by Watts. Your critique of that should be directed at him. - gavin]

  28. 378
    dhogaza says:

    It’s also interesting that you defend RP SR when he labels his blog post …

    “Real Climate Misinformation”

    I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I’ve seen over the years to suggest that RP SR, RP JR, McI, etc share your ethical desire to treat RP SR with professional courtesy.

    He’s lost that right, long ago, IMO.

  29. 379
    Gerry Beauregard says:

    Just looked at Pielke’s references again, and I must agree he is cherry-picking. Thanks again to those who pointed out the obvious to me :-) A good clue (even without looking at the graphs) that he was cherry picking was that he conveniently chose different start years for each of the measures (2006 for sea level, 2003 for ocean temp, 2008 for ice cover).

  30. 380
    drizzle says:

    What accumulation of heat in the oceans do you refer to? There has been no statistically significent warming since 2003 has there?

  31. 381
    Chris Schoneveld says:

    Chris Colose Says:
    30 June 2009 at 8:19 PM

    “See Stefan’s response at #192, about cherry-picking vs. analyzing long-term trends. This is typical Pielke sloppiness and I’m not surprised.”

    No Chris Colose, the claim was:

    “Some aspects of climate change are progressing faster than was expected a few years ago” . This implies we are talking about climate change aspects that occurred the last few years. So Pielke was right to criticize the claim of “faster than expected” since it was not he but the Synthesis Report that did the cherry picking, to their own demise I may add.

  32. 382
    dhogaza says:

    The annotation appears to have put on by Watts. Your critique of that should be directed at him. – gavin

    Hmmm … OK. Watts presents it as though it’s part and parcel from Pielke, Sr, but I guess that shouldn’t surprise me …

  33. 383
    dhogaza says:

    E.g. if in 2007, the prediction was that sea levels would rise X mm/yr (on average, over the long term), but since then sea levels actually rose less than X mm/yr, then it’s incorrect, or at the very least misleading, to suggest that sea levels are rising faster than expected a few years ago.

    Trends. Not individual data points. They’re different things.

    Until people understand that, they will understand nothing important regarding climate change.

  34. 384
    Charlie says:

    OK, lets see if I understand the back and forth about Pielke.

    The relevant section in the article above is

    Some aspects of climate change are progressing faster than was expected a few years ago – such as rising sea levels, the increase of heat stored in the ocean and the shrinking Arctic sea ice.

    The article then continues with

    “The updated estimates of the future global mean sea level rise are about double the IPCC projections from 2007″, says the new report.

    Pielke has chosen to focus on the statement the portion of the statement that essentially says “sea levels are rising faster than was expected a few years ago”. Note that this is a paraphrase of the first blockquote above.

    1. Is this a valid restatement of what Stefen wrote? If it isn’t a valid restatement, please explain why.

    2. In the following sentence Stefen has moved from observed, actual events (such as sea level, ocean heat content, Artic ice extent) into changes in projected TRENDS over the last few years.

    I don’t see Pielke as making comments as to whether or not various organizations have changed their projections in the last few years to projections of faster sea level rise. He is commenting on the 1st point, that a particular aspect of climate change (specifically sea level rise) has progressed faster in the last few years.

    Since the article is about changes since the 2007 IPCC report, it would seem that looking at data not included in the 2007 IPCC report is the natural, obvious thing to do. I wouldn’t call that cherry-picking. I would call that a direct, obvious way to check the accuracy of the statement under consideration.

    Please explain the fallacy in my logic.

  35. 385
    pjclarke says:

    Well, I pulled down the data behind the Seal Level graph put up on the Science Blog of the Year, and plotted the slope for the bit labelled ‘Flat’ by Mr Watts [2006-]. Anyone surprised to learn it is positive, with a rate of about 1.5mm /year? Admittedly half the historic rate, but not flat (and not significant).

    Applied Statistics 101 anyone?

  36. 386
    Martin Vermeer says:

    “Some aspects of climate change are progressing faster than was expected a few years ago” . This implies we are talking about climate change aspects that occurred the last few years

    Eh, no. We’re talking as much or more about the, may I say naive, conservativeness — the nature of the IPCC beast — of the AR4 estimates, themselves based on data already several years old.

    What has changed isn’t climate change itself as much as our (or mainstream, consensus) understanding of it; as in greater realism.

  37. 387
    Chris G says:

    Does it matter if we can avoid the 2C mark or not? Wouldn’t 2.1C be better than 4C?

    My children face a train wreck of peak oil, climate change, and an ever increasing population. The first two will make it more difficult to produce food and the last means that more will be required. We might as well try to slow the train down before the wreck. Hitting it with alternate forms of energy in place will be a lot better than hitting it without.

  38. 388
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Nice little article by Kristof of the New York Times discussing our scientific findings about our psychological evolutionary heritage and how it affects our perception of risks, the article’s focus being the risk of climate change.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/02/opinion/02kristof.html

  39. 389
    Franz Fischer says:

    this is crazy!

    does anybody believe, that anyone cares realy about the climate in 50 or a hundret years?
    what we are doing here, is far away from real climate science. we have to know, that this debate is only about political interrests and of course a oil problem.

    lock at the data and you will never find a accelerating global warming and for sure not during the last 10 years.

    if you are a lobbyst ore piltdown thinker, you can create warming and cooling in this period but anyway, both is WRONG!

    open your eyes and never say, you will understand the process of global climate.

  40. 390
    Mark says:

    ““Some aspects of climate change are progressing faster than was expected a few years ago” . This implies we are talking about climate change aspects that occurred the last few years.”

    No, this doesn’t imply that. Or, rather, your excerpt (dropping the context) doesn’t only imply that.

    It implies that a few years ago (where you have only good quality data and statistically significant trends from data a few years before that) a certain rate was expected. And that the expectations have changed.

  41. 391
    Mark says:

    [Response: Lying is too strong. “Careless” is reasonable and perhaps “over-eager in search of critique” is fair... gavin]

    But we have again the problem of “never mistake incompetence for malice” that for some things, there’s no difference between what is happening under either case.

    Here we have something that is either lying or doing something that is the same as lying.

    As someone else pointed out, the period of “the last few years” has changed depending on what makes the answer looked for. This isn’t done because there’s a good reason.

    If they were looking to make their point because of over-zealous, then “the last few years” would be the same “last few years” for all of them. Or it would be pointed out that the last few years was being selected based on what they wanted to say.

  42. 392
    Mark says:

    “In my opinion the AGW heating is not as big a problem as modelers seem to expect.”

    How did you get that opinion, Leonard?

    A skeptic would check to see what the science says, not what a blog says.

  43. 393
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Franz Fischer,
    Please tell me that you don’t have children. I’m willing to say that YOU will never understand global climate. However, some of us are a bit more willing to work at it than you are. Now go play. The adults are trying to have an important discussion.

  44. 394
    G. Elliott says:

    (P.S. I linked my very out of date website, but have not had time to keep updated.)

    I am a veteran of groups trying to keep Kansas from building more coal-fired power plants. (Doing so will in essence cancel the CO2 emissions limitations of several surrounding states, and provide low price power to these surrounding states while emissions occur outside those states, allowing those states to claim their emissions have been reduced.)

    We have been in the news because our former Governor Kathleen Sebelius and her Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s refusal to grant a permit for a new power plant, based on CO2 emissions being a hazard. Then Sebelius went to the Obama administration as HHS secretary, and was replaced by Mark Parkinon. Parkinson had changed parties from Republican to Democrat (in a largely Republican state) to run as Lieutenant Governor. Our groups heard him speak repeatedly in support of the denial of the permit, and the Governor’s veto of legislation that would have undercut the denial of the permit.

    After taking office, Parkinson spoke about wanting to be known for success in creating renewable and wind energy sources in Kansas. One day after such a speech, he signed a back room deal with the western Kansas power company that allowed construction of (supposedly) one power plant, and that agreement included a commitment to sign legislation that removed the Governor’s office ability to regulate CO2 beyond federal limitations. If permitted by the federal government, that agreement and the Kansas legislation that he subsequently signed will allow a second plant proposal after two years.

    The financing for these power plants originally proposed was based on the construction of two or three new plants, with most of the energy being sold to the surrounding states as I described above. Power plants run for something like fifty years, and cost billions. These events (sans federal denials) will in my opinion result in the permitting and construction of these multiple plants – even though the news coverage repeats the claim that Parkinson negotiated a limitation to one new plant. The agreement broke a logjam in legislation, and allowed some weak measures like a tiny commitment to a form of “net metering” (limited to no net generation over a year’s time, and less than 1% of energy). It also helps smooth the way to building some wind power resources.

    Here I am showing a kind of political inertia, the difficulty of getting across the need to actually reduce emissions. All these efforts can possibly reduce the rate at which CO2 emissions increase. The fraction of total energy produced by renewable (non net CO2 generating) methods will increase, but only in an environment of total CO2 emissions increases.

    How are we to get politicians to understand that increasing the fraction of renewables while increasing net CO2 emissions is not even remotely close to the needed goals to limit to 2 degrees C? Politicians seem to understand the need for an increased fraction of non CO2 generating capacity, but not to understand the long term planning needed. They don’t seem to understand that individual actions must be part of this very deep cut in CO2, not just marginal improvements in the fraction of renewables. They don’t understand the long term curve projections as shown at this conference, and long term consequences of current actions.

  45. 395
    Steve McIntyre says:

    In #363, you say that it is a “15-year smooth”. This is not correct. The smooth is actually (2M-1) years i.e. 29 years, a point confirmed by Moore of Moore et al. The caption accordingly remains incorrect.

    [Response: Maybe the caption is incorrect when interpreted your way, but to me it is correct. On a technical level, what is meant by 15-year smooth here is that the SSAtrend smoother with a 15-year embedding dimension was used - anyone who cares about this technical stuff can look this up in the paper that is cited as the original source of the graph. But on a more pragmatic level, as it will be interpreted by most non-expert readers, it's also correct, since the characteristic response of this filter is on a 15-year time scale. For example, it responds to a single 1 sticking out of a row of zeroes with a peak of half-width 15 years and height 1/15, just like a 15-year running average would do (albeit with a different shape of that peak). -stefan]

  46. 396
    CTG says:

    G. Elliott, your story illustrates all too well the old adage that politics is too important to be left in the hands of politicians. I wish I were joking.

  47. 397
    Doug Bostrom says:

    #394 G Elliott:

    “The agreement broke a logjam in legislation, and allowed some weak measures like a tiny commitment to a form of “net metering” (limited to no net generation over a year’s time, and less than 1% of energy).”

    So, not only is nothing being done, but it’s actually made impossible for significant help to be provided by those willing and able.

    That net metering example reminds me of the Feds making it illegal for ranchers to test their cattle for BSE.

    #396 CTG:

    If only it were so simple! We do have the vote, our politicians are despite all the defects of our system still accountable to us. Complications come in when, among other things, we allow our educational system to rot. After a generation or so of cultivating cultural dementia by refusing to educate our children in order that we can have an extra few pizzas a year, it becomes fundamentally impossible for us to productively participate in government.

    Captcha: inland votes. Eerie.

  48. 398
    Martin Vermeer says:

    Re #395 Steve McIntyre: your viewpoint is certainly arguable, but so is Stefan’s. It depends on what you mean by “period”, which you may or may not take in the (for most people not very intuitive) Fourier sense.

    You demonstrated that (away from data edges) the SSA filter is practically equivalent with a triangular weighted moving-average filter of width 2M-1. This is the convolution of two rectangular moving averages of width M, the Fourier transform of which is the sinc function (sinc x = sin x / x).

    The first zero point of the sinc function occurs at a frequency corresponding with (sinusoidal, Fourier) period M. By the convolution theorem, the Fourier of the triangular moving average is the square of the sinc function, having the same first zero point. Beyond this point, function values of the transform are small.

    By this view, when interpreting the triangular moving average — or SSA smoothing — as a low-pass spectral filter, the period corresponding to the cut-off frequency is ~M.

    Alternatively, you could identify the cut-off frequency as the point where the spectrum takes on half of the peak value, i.e., 0.7 times the distance to the first zero for the rectangular moving average; yielding 1.4M for the cut-off period. Nobody does this AFAIK. For the triangular moving average you then get, indeed, 2M, corresponding to the cut-off of a most closely equivalent low-pass filter. But the equivalence is far from ideal.

    I would say the definition of “smoothing period” is conventional for the method used. My two cents.

  49. 399
    Hank Roberts says:

    re post 5 Jul 2009 at 9:01 pm (with inline response):

    Last note from Moore I can find says:

    ~climateaudit.org/?p=6473#comment-348236

    “… If you strongly think its actually 21 years then please do go ahead and contact the editors. I have not followed this argument at all, so if I wrote I would be simply quoting your own findings anyway.”

  50. 400
    Derek Wall says:

    We do need effective policies, the current system based on cap and trade is not working, in the UK
    an interesting report ‘How to get climate policy back on course’, argues for a new policy framework.

    What do you think?


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