Unforced Variations: Nov 2013

This month’s open thread…

289 comments on this post.
  1. Yoram Bauman:

    Hello all: Just an invitation to review the latest draft of my Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change, due out in mid-2014 from Island Press. Details and downloads at http://cartoonclimate.wikispaces.com/, and thanks in advance for any feedback and suggestions! (And if anybody wants to get updates on future drafts &c, just email me at yoram@standupeconomist.com.)

    Yoram Bauman PhD (environmental economist / “stand-up economist”)

  2. Russell:

    As Sandy’s anniversary rolls round, let us not forget what was said about the storm elsewhere.


  3. Dan H.:

    Remember also that is was the European model that forecast a turn to the northwest and convergence with the approaching low-pressure system. The American model predicted a movement to the northeast, out to sea, with but a glancing blow to the NY area. This was more the “perfect storm” scenario, where the tropical cyclone supplies the energy to the terrestrial low.

  4. wili:

    Let’s not add too many additional clicks to suwt for them to boast about how popular their site is, shall we? If you think it important for us to know what is going on at the site, quote notable text or summarize for us, please.

  5. Shizel:

    Some humans will survive in a hi-tech hell. Earth? No.
    – China plans to build 500 nuclear reactors before 2050.
    – China is building 1 new coal power plant per week.
    – China now imports more oil than the U.S.!
    – Half of all species may disappear before 2040.
    – 200 species per day are going extinct right now.
    – Land Animal populations down 28% since 1970.
    – Marine Bird populations down 30% since 1995.
    – Big Ocean Fish populations down 90% since 1950.
    – Fresh Water Fish populations down 50% since 1987,
    – All Marine Animal populations down 28% since 1970.
    – Plankton populations down 40% since 1950.
    – Bumblebee populations down 70% since 1970.
    – Human sperm counts down 50% since 1950.
    – Human population up to 9 billion by 2050.
    – Ocean acidification to double by 2050.
    – World temperature rise may triple by 2050.
    An ECOLOGICAL TIPPING POINT may be by 2025.
    Nobody knows when we will pass this tipping point except in retrospect. Once passed, mass extinction becomes unstoppable and irreversible. Cascading extinction collapse is forever.
    The acidity of the oceans will more than double in the next 40 years. This rate is 10 times faster than 65 million years ago when when a mass extinction of marine life occurred. It is also faster than during 4 of earth’s biggest mass extinction events during the last 300 hundred million years — faster than even the great Permian mass extinction event where 95% of life on earth vanished 250 million years ago. The oceans are now 30% more acidic than in pre-industrial times.
    When ice ages come and go the planet can change temperature 5°C in as little as 5,000 years. 50 times slower than what we are doing to earth now. In the past, a 5°C change normally takes 20,000 years, we are going to do 5°C in 50-100 years, 200 times faster than historical norms.
    Climate change is happening 100 times faster than in the past.
    Only 1% of methane needs to be released to cause total disaster.
    Peter Wadhams interview
    Natalia Shakhova interview:
    Overstatement Overdrive

  6. Hank Roberts:

    … many people claim not to be convinced by this so-called climate change evidence. That is because they are shortsighted sociopathic morons who don’t want to lose any money.

    But anyone who can look even a little bit into the 21st century
    has got to be highly interested …

    “Viridian Design” By Bruce Sterling, October 14, 1998

  7. Hank Roberts:

    Wili, Russell’s pointing to “ve vee attsup” not “dubya attsup”

  8. Sean:

    Hi, this is a request for information and URL links. My hobby interest is communication of the science to the general public. I am seeking good quality Videos that do one of two things: 1) explain the complexities of aspects of the science in a straight forward ways, and 2) that expose the individual pseudo controversies and fraudulent claims made by the anti-science activists, and 3) that highlight currently proven impacts of Climate Change in specific ways (loss of fish stocks) and places (as Arctic Ice has been presented).

    My preference is for *little known* quality Videos (lost in cybersapce) that include genuine active climate scientists in their specialty field. ie not by Prof Flannery, Al Gore, nor other ‘talking heads’ no matter how well intended they may be.
    Examples of the type of Videos I seek are: the recent RC “Climate Change on Film” post; http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/yale-climate-media-forum-on-youtube/ ; http://youtu.be/hM1x4RljmnE ; and this amateur effort http://youtu.be/CY4Yecsx_-s which exposes the intentional doctoring of Graphs used by Monckton et al – see @ 7:50 mins. Another example would be Attenbrough’s 7th episode of Frozen Planet “On Thin Ice” http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p011vc1z – Any tips are gratefully accepted. Thanks Sean

  9. Sean:

    Shizel #4 – Thanks for sharing, noted and saved.

  10. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by Sean — 2 Nov 2013 @ 7:32 PM

    If you haven’t checked out-



    you really should. Potholer has as especially juicy series of videos on Monckton.


  11. wili:

    Thanks, Hank. Apologies to Russell. May I blame aging eyes?

  12. Sean:

    Another request for info: A while ago I saw a statement indicating there were approx 27,000+/- individuals (climate scientists and others) currently working in the Climate Science related fields. Is this accurate today? If so does anyone have a ref to some substantive credible “authoritative” material (or single site) that might confirm this, as well as articulate some kind of breakdown of the different fields and the numbers involved in them? Thanks Sean

  13. bigcitylib:

    So, reading this:


    …and the work coming after it, couldn’t Mike’s hypothesis be subject to experiment? Grow some trees under controlled conditions over here; grow some over there under identical controlled conditions, and then simulate the weather-effects of a volcanic eruption on one set of trees. See if ring growth is suppressed in that set of trees. Hey presto.

    Or is it more complicated than that?

  14. observer:

    Interesting NPR story on science knowledge and policy reasoning.


    Underlying paper at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2319992


  15. pete best:

    Regarding Kevin Anderson: Tyndell Centre

    Dear participants

    Is he right ?


    It well worth a watch as he states that economic assumptions (related to the UK but can easily be translated to the USA) regarding the stern report etc and way off the mark.

  16. Tony Weddle:

    James Hansen, in his book, believes it is possible (or was possible then) to take actions which reduced the atmospheric concentration of CO2 to 350ppm (a level he considers the maximum to have a chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change). I couldn’t spot how that was to be achieved. Does anyone know?

  17. Sean:

    #15 I too would like an experts opinion about the “factual content basis” in this other presentation I recently found Kevin Anderson ‘Rhetoric to Reality’ May 2012. http://youtu.be/KumLH9kOpOI It’s an impressive clear talk with excellent slides, which on the surface makes sense based on my own *understanding*. But what would a genuine Climate Scientist / Expert say about the accuracy? Is he right? thanks Sean

  18. Sean:

    #10 Steve, thank you, I had Pothole in hand, but not Greenman. perfect!

  19. Icarus:

    @Tony Weddle, #16:

    “Humanity could defuse a continuous release of 5 GtC/year, thus avoiding hyperthermal warming, by capturing and sequestering the carbon. The American Physical Society estimates the cost of capture and sequestration as ~ $2 trillion per GtC. Given that the United States is responsible for 26% of the fossil fuel CO2 in the air today, the U.S. cost share for removing 5 GtC/year would be ~$2.6 trillion each year. Technology development might be able to lower that cost, but fundamental energy constraints imply that cost reduction at most will be a factor of a few.”


    I don’t know anywhere that Hansen goes into technical details, but presumably you could follow this up at the APS website…

  20. Edward Greisch:

    8 Sean: The bad news is that just telling them the truth doesn’t work. Demonstrating experiments doesn’t work.

    In a University of Melbourne climate science course,
    each student evaluated the final papers of 3 other students. The 3 students whose papers I evaluated thought that Global Warming [GW] is a liberal cause. GW is clearly NOT a political cause of any kind. This course has failed utterly and should be abandoned as worthless. The humanities and fine arts students still have no idea what science is and they still have no idea what the word “truth” means.

    If our leaders don’t know what truth is, don’t know that GW can easily cause our extinction and don’t know how to solve GW, we have very little hope of surviving as a species. Solving this problem requires huge changes to our educational system. Giving college non-science majors one course in math-free science clearly does not work.

    In a technological society, all citizens need to know a great deal of science. All high school students should be required to take 4 years of physics, 4 years of chemistry, 4 years of biology and 8 years [double classes] of math.

    Probability and statistics should be included starting in the third grade. Elementary school must also include for everybody some “cub scout” projects in building simple machines and disassembling discarded machines to see how they work.

    In college, Everybody, regardless of major, should be required to take the Engineering and Science Core Curriculum [E&SCC] plus a laboratory probability and statistics course plus more physics lab courses plus one course in computer programming.

    E&SCC = 2 years of calculus at the college level, 2 years of physics and 1 year of chemistry. All engineering and science students are required to take the E&SCC in their freshman and sophomore years.

    Getting correct answers requires doing math.

    Most people, including people with college degrees in subjects other than science and engineering, use their emotions [emote] when they should be doing math. Nor do they know how to think rather than emote [have emotional reactions]. “To think” means “to do math.”

  21. MARodger:

    NASA GISS September temperatures out at last showing a bit of a leap up to equal 10th hottest month on record. The year-to-date temperature is above the 1998 annual temp with only 2005 & 2010 hotter. (This third place is also held by NCDC’s year-to-date). And that without a sniff of an El Nino!

  22. Radge Havers:


    Well there’s scientific ignorance, but there’s also political stupidity: like when you have people who don’t know how the world works outside their own tiny silos stridently espousing half-baked views and juvenile remedies.

    AGW certainly has political ramifications, but calling it politically rooted should be easy for any adult to recognize as an obvious classification error. That so many don’t would seem to point to problems extending beyond the education system. The deliberate antics and obfuscations of politicians and the profit driven panderings of media, for instance, would seem to be very efficient at undoing critical thinking.

  23. Hank Roberts:

    from takvera.blogspot.com

    Further Information from Bristol University
    Powerpoint presentation [PDF, 1.6 MB]
    Transcript [PDF, 125.8 KB]
    Responses from attendees [PDF, 270 KB]
    Bristol University Cabot Institute Annual Lecture 2012 – Real clothes for the Emperor: Facing the challenges of climate change

  24. Hank Roberts:

    > “Observer” … Kahan

    That paper has been widely misrepresented. Make sure you’re reading about it on a science site, and watch out for spin.

    the study supports no inferences about the reasoning of scientific experts in climate change.

    I’d recommend http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120527153812.htm

    “In effect,” Kahan said, “ordinary members of the public credit or dismiss scientific information on disputed issues based on whether the information strengthens or weakens their ties to others who share their values. At least among ordinary members of the public, individuals with higher science comprehension are even better at fitting the evidence to their group commitments.”

    Kahan said that the study supports no inferences about the reasoning of scientific experts in climate change.

    Researcher Ellen Peters of Ohio State University said …. “What this study shows is that people with high science and math comprehension can think their way to conclusions that are better for them as individuals but are not necessarily better for society.”

    “More information can help solve the climate change conflict,” Kahan said, “but that information has to do more than communicate the scientific evidence. It also has to create a climate of deliberations in which no group perceives that accepting any piece of evidence is akin to betrayal of their cultural group.”

  25. Hank Roberts:

    That damn Cassandra keeps leaving us these little notes.

  26. Kevin McKinney:

    #20–Ed, please stop banging the drum on this. It’s a radical misdiagnosis of the problem, since developing rational skills–including mathematical ones–leaves cognitive/emotional biases untouched. (See ‘Lubos Motl’ for example.) Emotional issues must be addressed on an emotional level–as humanities scholars tend to know on various levels. (Some can even offer practical strategies for dealing with them.)

  27. Jon:

    @MARodger/#21 Are you quite certain of your math? As far as I can see you got the tied for 10th highest GISTemp anomaly part right (I assume you have the Land-Ocean Temperature Index in mind, not the land only numbers) but my spreadsheet disagrees with your claim that the average anomaly for 2013 to date would put it in 3rd place – I get 9th. Not to say I couldn’t have messed up somewhere in my spreadsheet but I can check mine and see everything appears to be correct whereas I can’t examine your calculations.

  28. Kevin McKinney:

    My #26–

    >developing rational skills–including mathematical ones–leaves cognitive/emotional biases untouched.

    See also Hank’s quote in #24.

  29. Edward Greisch:

    26 Kevin McKinney: So sorry, but I disagree with you completely, based on my own experience. Education changed me radically. Especially probability & statistics laboratory left me a different person. Laboratory does revolutionary things to cognitive/emotional biases, like blasting them to smithereens.

    So what is your diagnosis and what is your cure? How exactly do you address Emotional issues on an emotional level? Emotionalism is the problem, not the cure.

  30. SecularAnimist:

    Edward Greisch wrote: “I disagree with you completely, based on my own experience”

    Right. That’s what’s known as a cognitive/emotional bias.

    Everyone has them. Those who think they don’t have them are at their mercy.

  31. Hank Roberts:

    Kevin, Edward, I think you’ll find Kahan on this page relevant.

  32. Ray Ladbury:

    Edward Greisch,
    No, merely presenting the facts is not enough, but that is not a reason to stop presenting the facts. Ultimately, I believe that the biggest problems denialists face stem from a failure of nerve–they cannot face the threat of climate change unless they think there is some solution, and we cannot at present lay all of that out. At the same time, that makes it all the more important that those of us who do have the nerve to feel our way in the dark not to lose nerve. We must keep pushing the right way on all fronts–and that includes a continual, calm and cogent recital of the facts as best we know them at the time.

  33. Radge Havers:

    I think there’s something to what Greisch is saying. Not sure what the best load across a whole educational span is. I do think that extra emphasis should be placed throughout on getting across to students the working environment of science: including the what, how, and why of peer review, checks and balances, etc. (methodologic hygiene if you will); and also on the values of science — everything from rigor and integrity to valuing the best, real insights above, you know, just “winning” for the sake of winning (by whatever means). There should probably be reforms in the way that civics and business are taught as well.

  34. Dan H.:

    I think I have to side with Kevin on this. People who become emotional regarding an issue, tend to accept anything which reinforces that belief, and disregard that which does not. Scientific evidence or logic gets lost in the process. While I would like to see more people make rational decisions based on sound evidence, that is, sadly, not the case with many people.

  35. Tony Weddle:


    Thanks for the response. I’d read that but it didn’t seem to be a strong endorsement for the method and I didn’t get the feeling that Hansen thought it was likely. Skimming the reference he gave, it doesn’t even seem like the cost estimate includes storage of CO2.

    Maybe I missed it in his book, so I’m rereading it. I also dropped Hansen an email, though I have no strong expectations of an answer.

  36. Dan Bloom:

    Has anyone here heard of the new literary term CLI FI for climate fiction novels? Or not heard of the term yet? Google NPR or the New Yorker mag and the term CLI FI to see news. Just surfaced bigtime this year. More to come soon. See Mary Woodbury in Canada webzine titled CLIFIBOOKS dot COM in which she is archiving and listing all past and current CLI FI books.



  37. MARodger:

    Jon @27.
    Thank you for the spotting and checking of my error @20. I’ve been using a too-clever-by-half spreadsheet for ad hoc analayses, once too often apparently. And apologies for your trouble; and to all. GISS year-to-date would be but 9th among the annual temp list, and NCDC would be but 6th.

  38. Sean:

    @various# fyi quoting: “My question to you as a media and communications practitioner is why has this explaining of the basic of the science been so poor over the last 15 years. Why no good series of newspaper articles, why no TV documentary, why are so few of our politicians able to explain anything to us. Further who should be doing the teaching: Governments, the media, academics, (or Climate scientists/IPCC)?” was a comment regarding: “This decade has been called the “critical decade” for action on climate change. But communicating the urgency of climate change has proved problematic, for two reasons.” by Senior Lecturer, Communications and Media Studies https://theconversation.com/ten-days-how-we-imagine-climate-change-18517
    And What is climate change scepticism? http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378013001477
    And Exploring the Psychology of Wealth, ‘Pernicious’ Effects of Economic Inequality http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business/jan-june13/makingsense_06-21.html

  39. Sean:

    UK Study 2011: *Scepticism and uncertainty about climate change: Dimensions, determinants and change over time* Highlights – 1) Scepticism is strongly determined by environmental and political values rather than by education or knowledge. 2) Public uncertainty about climate change has remained remarkably constant since 2003, although belief that claims about the issue are exaggerated has doubled. 3) The paper describes a novel and highly reliable measure of public scepticism about climate change, the Scepticism Scale.
    UK Study 2012 Uncertainty & attitudes towards climate change Key words: scepticism, biased assimilation, attitude polarisation. “In both groups, attitudes towards climate change became significantly MORE Sceptical after reading the editorials, but we observed no evidence of attitude polarisation – that is, the attitudes of these two groups did not diverge.” http://psychdemo.cf.ac.uk/home2/whitmarsh/Biased_assimilation%20pre-print.pdf

  40. SecularAnimist:

    Radge Havers wrote: “I think there’s something to what Greisch is saying.”

    Yes, there is “something” to it.

    And that “something” consists of nothing more than completely unsupported assertions that people with a background in the arts and humanities cannot understand the problem of global warming because they are driven by “emotion” and unable “to think”.

    In my experience, musicians, artists and writers are among the strongest and most motivated activists for dealing with global warming.

    Whereas the most common educational and professional backgrounds that I see being claimed by aggressive and vociferous purveyors of denial are engineering and geology.

  41. Radge Havers:


    I won’t attempt to speak for Greisch. Speaking for myself, I think this has been covered in bits and pieces on other threads, but just to be clear, your characterization does not reflect my position. At all. My comment @33 follows my comment @22, and basically is a suggestion to get around the tendency to treat scientists as the faceless other and to fill in the blanks with something more realistic and hopefully beneficial. It was not intended as a panacea or quick fix for the political mess we find ourselves in.

  42. numerobis:

    In political news, Cuccinelli apparently won’t become the next governor of Virginia. This will undoubtedly leave him more time, but less resources, to go after climate researchers.

  43. Sean:

    @40 SecAlarm. re: “..aggressive and vociferous purveyors of denial are engineering and geology.” My anecdotal experiences would like to add to that illustrious pairing Physicists, Accountants and Economics/Financial Journalists. Plus a healthy dose of 50%+ of the academic degree holding Politicians world wide (esp in Oz & the US). There should be an “investigation” about this! :)

  44. owl905:

    Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II lost the Virginia Governor election today. How about everyone chip in and send him a hockey stick as a sympathy prize?
    (The NY Times even mentioned his attempt to discredit ‘a climate scientist’).

  45. Hank Roberts:

    > Dan H. says: 4 Nov 2013 at 7:34 PM [the Vulcan “rationality” position on, well, everything].

    Dan H.’s promoting a notion unrelated to Kahan’s study; Kahan did not compare rational to emotional approaches (nor anything to that effect — Dan H. appears to suggest concern (about climate change) is emotional rather than rational. There’s no support for that in Kahan, as Kahan makes clear.

    (Yes, there are emotional wackos out on all spokes of the political wheel, no question, but there’s good sense among those willing to engage in politics at all.)

    Kahan’s study found that people for whom individualism and personal freedom are always the answer see climate change as less risky.

    It’s the social group membership he’s studying.

    And yes, for any single individual, purely personal freedom is likely an effective way of minimizing the risk of climate change or any other change. Keep the bunker taped up, the basement well stocked and the solar panels and battery bank and sump pump in good shape, come hell or high water, you’ll be fine.

    Kahan says,

    The question under investigation in our study was what explains climate change conflict–differences in science comprehension or differences in cultural outlooks? One shouldn’t really have to know statistics to see the answer in a figure like this


  46. Chris Dudley:

    Given the rather heated response to a letter by Caldeira, Emmanuel, Hansen and Wigley, I wonder if the blanket policy against using the N-word here has perhaps held back understanding of the issue in a climate context. Might this situation have been avoided if, for example, Lovins work had been digested here? http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/to-those-influencing-environmental-policy-but-opposed-to-nuclear-power/?comments#permid=10454835

    I realize that endless discussions of drawing board projects is tedious, but there are climate implications in the economics of power generation.

  47. Sean:

    ex-PM John Howard’s opinion @ UKs Global Warming Policy Foundation? “One Religion is Enough” He predicted that shale oil and gas had opened up a “tantalising prospect” of an energy independent US, which would dominate energy policy in that country and would “dwarf” consideration of a carbon trading scheme. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/the-claims-are-exaggerated-john-howard-rejects-predictions-of-global-warming-catastrophe-20131106-2wzza.html

    “Increasingly offensive language is used. The most egregious example has been the term “denier”. We are all aware of the particular meaning that word has acquired in contemporary parlance. It has been employed in this debate with some malice aforethought. […] An overriding feature of the debate is the constant attempt to intimidate policy makers, in some cases successfully, with the mantras of “follow the science” and “the science is truly settled”.” http://australianpolitics.com/2013/11/05/howard-one-religion-is-enough.html
    This issue, imho, is truly heating up globally, and I don’t mean surface temperatures!!! There has a steady uptick in anti-science rhetoric by previously silent more high profile advocates and supporters of the current “system”. It is my view that if the Climate Scientists as a whole do not start cutting through to the general public now and have an immediate impact upon Public Opinion across the board, you may as well all go find a job cleaning Shopping Malls for the good your science work will have on anything or anyone. imho, from connecting the dots over the years what is going on now in the ‘public domain’ is a concerted and globally coordinated effort. A last ditch effort to undermine all Climate Science consensus and future activity. No I am not a conspiracy theorist. Quite happy to consider and connect overt conspiracy facts though. Best to all.

  48. Kevin McKinney:

    #29–Ed, I respect your experience. But remember, that’s a sample of one! Not everyone will respond as you did.

    I certainly agree that scientific literacy and numeracy are (or at least can be) very helpful in making accurate assessments. I myself have spent many, many hours researching and writing online articles seeking to disseminate correct information on the topic of climate change–a behavioral demonstration of how much I do in fact agree that science education is very important.

    But I’m a musician, not a scientist, and I assure you that had I been forced to take the kind of program you advocated upthread, I would not have been able to study the core disciplines I needed to pursue my avocation. (That’s because the music curriculum is already ‘over-crowded’; most college music schools are forced to cram in necessary technical foundations by subterfuges such as half-credit but required courses which, in reality, take ten hours of actual work weekly for an ‘average’ student.)

    And I would have been resentful as hell. Quite possibly, I would have been ‘turned off’ enough to have prevented me learning (informally) what I have managed to learn about climate change in recent years.

    And I’ve got good scientific and mathematical aptitude (though the latter remains pretty undeveloped to this day,) and a lifelong interest in science. Imagine how a more typical ‘subject’ of this thought experiment would feel!

    As to your question about addressing the issue on emotional grounds, whole books could (and have) been written on this; some have been linked here in the past. And there are many aspects to that question.

    Two interest me in particular. First is to communicate entertainingly on the topic. I don’t mean entertain as in ‘use cheap tricks’, but I do mean such things as to write vividly, as simply as possible given the requirements of the audience and subject matter, to write concretely, and to write in ways that invite imaginative, human participation in the subject. For example, I have a series on the development of GW science, starting with William Charles Wells, who, in researching and explaining the phenomenon of dew, also made the first set of more-or-less systematic observations of what we would now term ‘downwelling infrared.’ The story is here:


    You’ll note that I tell his whole life story, though it’s not, for the most part, directly relevant to the science per se. That’s intentional: my calculation is that that will interest people and engage them on an emotional level. The result will be greater interest in, and acceptance of, the science. It also combats the tendency of some to dehumanize researchers–a strategy Dr. Mann adopted in his memoir, and which I tried my best to further when I summarized his book:


    Those aspects are just examples of using emotionality–NOT ’emotionalism!’–in what I consider appropriate ways.

    The second aspect I want to bring up is that of respecting emotions and points of view. While I’ve used sarcasm, mockery, and snark at times, I do think that in general it’s best to assume that there is some reason for people feeling the way they do on particular issues. Those reasons generally have both emotional and rational bases, and, most of the time, appreciating the former can shed light on the latter.

    In cases where there is a modicum of openness–not the case for any hard-core denier, to be sure, but the case for some commenters online–framing issues in ways that respect the emotional validity of a particular point of view will facilitate communication. It will allow you to address points in a way that is more direct, preventing the ‘talking past’ syndrome from developing. It will make for a more civil conversation for third-party readers to learn from. And once in a while you may even convince someone that way.

    Unfortunately, that’s a fairly abstract statement on the topic, and I don’t have a good concrete example at hand. But this comment is already over-long anyway.

    Hope that helps clarify where I’m coming from on these questions.

  49. Dan H.:

    While people certainly may have both emotional and rational reasons, logic will only apply to the rational area. One need not be a scientist to acknowledge logical reasoning. Emotional reasons are acquired separately. Since these were not acquired logically, logic will not sway these beliefs. No amount of scientific evidence and reasoning can penetrate a stubborn emotional stance. Only through competing emotions can these opinions be changed. I am sure that you have had conversations with people who are either rationally or emotionally vocal on gw. Listen to the difference in their arguments.

  50. SecularAnimist:

    Hank Roberts wrote: “there are emotional wackos out on all spokes of the political wheel”

    Anyone who truly understands the implications of unmitigated anthropogenic global warming and does NOT become “emotional” about it is arguably a “wacko” of the sociopathic variety.

  51. Kevin McKinney:

    #45–But Hank, I didn’t think that I was talking about just “comparing rational to emotional approaches.” I thought I was talking about the role of emotionality (again, NOT ’emotionalism’) in real, functioning human beings.

    From that perspective, I’ve been arguing that rationality can’t be a ‘silver bullet’ in climate change education because ‘rationality’ can (and often is) put into the service of climate change denialism. Consider the NASA 49 (or 41) who wrote that open letter requesting that NASA stop talking about ‘unproven’ notions like climate change. Highly rational guys, engineers and pilots to a man, capable of doing all kinds of hard calculations–and utterly failing to come to grips with the actual science because (I presume) their emotional biases prevent them from really looking at it.

    Reminds me of a research meteorologist I used to know (and love.) Great guy, but though he prided himself on his rationality–and he had tons–and denied his emotionality–of which he also had tons–his voice tended to rise in a manner that I found ironically suspicious when he talked about either.


    (Hey, they call that an ’emoticon,’ don’t they? And here I was, using it in a purely rational fashion…)

    WRT the Kahan study, I like it. But I have to say that I think that values have an emotional basis, and that therefore ‘cultural outlook’ falls under the (informal) rubric I’m using.

  52. deconvoluter:

    RE: #40 and #43 engineers, geologists, physicists, arts graduates etc.

    …aggressive and vociferous purveyors of denial….

    This lacks detail, so speculation as to its causes is unavoidable. If it is part of the well funded campaign against climate science, then it would make sense to promote more people with a technical background of some sort.

    The ordinary busy professional is quite a different matter and less speculation is required in such cases. I have seen how some of these non-activists get their information from the media and from the purveyors just described. They suffer from a shortage of information and true skepticism.

  53. Sean:

    @48 Kevin, great info (however re) “–framing issues in ways that respect the emotional validity of a particular point of view will facilitate communication. It will allow you to address points in a way that is more direct, preventing the ‘talking past’ syndrome from developing.”

    That is an excellent “theory”, and I know in some circumstances it will actually work – especially with any 3rd party readers on a public forum (who may not even participate in a discussion themselves). OK, so I DO admit that it can work. My qualification to that is unless one has very finely tuned communication skills and peace of mind to the point of almost being an “emotional zombie” themselves this process is extremely problematic and will STILL FAIL >98% of the time even if one is absolutely “perfect”.
    ie in cases that are naturally “emotional/emotive” dearly held and strongly identified with BELIEFS and World Views/Values etc. Because no matter “how” someone says things, or has plowed the ground for a fair equitable discussion as soon as a valid FACT comes into play, you lose the other immediately if that factoid conflicts with their “beliefs”. I have 15+ years of battle wounds to prove it. Face to face vs online, well I different story comes into play. Only my own “anecdotal” personal view. Yes maybe I am just a “bastard” and it’s always my fault. Could be. :)

  54. Pekka Kostamo:

    Presidents and prime ministers read their teleprompters.

    There is a whole cottage industry to help them choose.


  55. Geoff Wexler:

    To: Kevin McKinney.

    A most interesting essay on William Charles Wells. Perhaps you could extend it some time to cover William Herschel , who was according to Wikipedia, a great admirer of Wells?

    There is a bus station near his home in England, which is perhaps based on the experiment in which Herschel isolated the infra-red part of the spectrum.


    (Trivial typo near the start: radioactive should be radiative).

  56. Hank Roberts:

    > cases that are naturally “emotional/emotive” …
    > BELIEFS and World Views/Values

    Well that’s Kahan’s point — people high on the independence/individualist scale think climate risk is low to negative. People high on the cooperative/community scale think climate risk is high.

    Kahan says this doesn’t affect the ability of the climate scientists to evaluate risk — he’s talking about just the audience/citizens/voters.

    That’s an important point.

  57. Ray Ladbury:

    On the “New European Report” thread, Walter Manny said: ” I was commenting on the orthodoxy I believe pervades this site (and other sites, on either “side”) and which causes it to be less relevant than it should be. Ray, in my opinion, has not only made some great contributions here, he has also made any number of comments that belong in the borehole. None reside there. This comment does, of course, but not my site, and the moderators are free to do what they like.”

    I think that you misunderstand the purpose of The Borehole. It is not a dungeon in which to jail miscreants and impose Kumbaya fellowship on the commenters. Its purpose is to keep the discussion focused more or less on the topic of the post. Any post involving Nukes, Al Gore’s carbon footprint, religion or comparing scientists to Nazis will likely derail a thread for a time and so winds up in the borehole. Also, any post that denies established scientific fact also belongs there as those who know the scientific facts will succumb to SIWOTI syndrome and correct the ignorance in the post. It is pointless to deny the reality of the greenhouse effect. It is pointless to deny that the planet is warming over the long term. These are simply empirical facts, and the only way you can deny them is if you believe in a massive scientific conspiracy or astounding incompetence of scientists. If one cannot be bothered to acquaint oneself with the accepted science in the field, it is not surprising one’s comments will be deemed unhelpful and a distraction. This is not orthodoxy. It is simply ensuring that the readers can continue to learn more about climate science without being distracted by ignorance, irrelevancies and misinformation.

    In my opinion, posts based on a logical fallacy belong there. Argumentum ad Hominem is particularly egregious in the context of climate science because its practitioners feel entitled to dismiss any fact or study done by an opponent based solely on the affiliation of the author, his funding source or his parentage. This is anathema to science. I don’t like all of my fellow scientists, but I damn well better listen to their arguments at least well enough to find any errors in them, or I’m not doing my job as a scientist. Argumentum ad Hominem is lazy, dishonest, disingenuous and unproductive. It is quintessential anti-science, and it pisses me off.

    I do not see the point of nor to I care to be nice to folks who derail scientific discussions by resorting to ad hominem attacks. I do not see the point in being nice to those who either cannot be bothered or do not have the courage to accept established science. FWIW, I occasionally peruse the comments in the borehole. One could argue that a tiny minority don’t belong there, but the overwhelming majority would add nothing to the discussion and could badly derail it. They belong in the borehole, and I pity our hosts for having to go through them at all.

  58. Hank Roberts:

    Kevin, my #45 was referring to Dan H’s comment, not to yours, which is clear and makes good sense.

    Seriously, look at Kahan’s explanation of the problem:

    The question under investigation in our study was what explains climate change conflict–differences in science comprehension or differences in cultural outlooks? One shouldn’t really have to know statistics to see the answer in a figure like this:


    “Hierarchical Individualist” — sees climate risk as low or negative.
    “Egalitarian Com munitarian” — sees climate risk as high

    And this is an _audience_ problem.

    Here: pictures:

  59. Hank Roberts:

    brief quote from the 11/5 Kahan blog linked above:

    The “white male effect,” as every school child knows!, refers to the tendency of white males to be less concerned with a large variety of societal risks than are women and minorities. It is one of the classic findings from the study of public risk perceptions.

    One thing that engagement with this phenomenon has revealed, however, is that the “white male effect” is really a “white hierarchical and individualist male effect”: the extreme risk skepticism of white males with these cultural outlooks is so great that it suggests white males generally are less concerned, when in fact the gender and race divides largely disappear among people with alternative cultural outlooks.

  60. Hank Roberts:

    Kahan says: Click me; you won’t regret it

    white males are decidedly more “skeptical” about climate change risks only among “hierarch individualists.
    There is no meaningful difference between white males and others for “egalitarian individualists” and “egalitarian communitarians.”

    but remember,

    The cultural worldview scales are continuous, and should be used as continuous variables when testing study hypotheses, both to maximize statistical power and to avoid spurious findings of differences that can occur when one arbitrarily divides a larger data set into smaller parts in relation to a continuous variable.

  61. Kevin McKinney:

    #53–I doubt it’s ‘always your fault,’ Sean! ;-)

    Well, there’s always a gap between best practice and reality, isn’t there? I know it’s that way in my reality…

  62. SecularAnimist:

    Ray Ladbury wrote: “… derail scientific discussions by resorting to ad hominem attacks …”

    I would respectfully object to the use of the phrase “ad hominem attacks“.

    An Argumentum ad Hominem fallacy need not be an “attack”. Indeed, it need not allege anything negative against its target, and it might even praise its target (“my opponent is an admirably sensitive soul, who is clearly so moved by compassion for suffering that you should reject his arguments as motivated by emotion, not reason”).

    And it certainly need not be insulting, and is probably more effective if it is polite.

    Any statement that presents attributes of the person making an argument as a reason to reject that argument is an ad hominem fallacy — calling it an ad hominem “attack” perpetuates the confusion between rhetorical fallacy on one hand, and mere insults and personal attacks on the other.

  63. Walter Manny:

    Ray, I think that I have perfectly understood the purpose of the Borehole, and “tiny minority” is not an apt description of the many intelligent comments that have been deposited there by the thin of skin. Nor are the many distracting comments on the “correct” side of the argument to be found there. Your own off-topic comments, for example, and Susan Anderson’s fabulously Kumbaya stuff, for another: not present. To be sure, the Borehole seems exactly as you describe it if you believe what you believe, but to those arriving to this site to learn, as you put it, how long do you think it takes for them to leave once they figure out the RC ethos, and do you think they bother to say why they left? Now that RC has devolved into Hank Roberts et al dot com, I would guess there’s some regret over the heavy-handedness of the Borehole, but perhaps a small audience is a good thing after all.

  64. SecularAnimist:

    Walter Manny wrote: “once they figure out the RC ethos”

    I have no idea what you are referring to, except perhaps that the rote regurgitation of long-since and many-times-over debunked denialist nonsense is mercifully (and no doubt laboriously) deleted by the RC moderators — unlike every other open blog on the Internet where any attempt to discuss the science of anthropogenic global warming is quickly drowned out by a torrent of pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, blatant falsehoods, and hate speech against climate scientists.

    I for one am glad to have even one climate change blog that is free of that garbage.

  65. Hank Roberts:

    The Three Salient Global Mitigation Pathways Assessed in Light of the IPCC Carbon Budgets

    This briefing paper examines the levels of risk associated with three widely discussed global mitigation pathways: a 1.5°C marker pathway, a 2°C marker pathway, and a G8 marker pathway, in light of the latest IPCC report….
    … The G8 pathway, a marker of the high-level political consensus in developed countries, is based on a G8 declaration in 2008. Emissions peak in 2021, decline (in all-gas terms) by a maximum of 4.5% per year, and have a cumulative budget of 2,860 Gt CO2e. The authors find that its chance of keeping below 2°C is far less than 33%.

  66. Edward Greisch:

    A new piece of the puzzle:
    Climate Change Denial


    George Marshall @ 8:21 pm
    “failure to fit a classic narrative … Our evolution as a social animal has left us highly attuned to threats posed by visible human enemies with a clear intention to do us harm.  Intention is important:”

    Instinctive cartoon-like response in most people. Possibly they have to be trained at least to the B.S. level to get it?

    I think we are getting down to where the real problem is.

    “Narratives need to be about co-operation common ground-and solutions need to be presented that can speak to the common concerns and aspirations of all people.” Don’t make anybody the enemy.

    Read what George Marshall says and let’s talk some more. This could be productive, but difficult.

  67. wili:

    Manny wrote: “the Borehole…the many intelligent comments that have been deposited there”

    If you find the comments in the borehole intelligent, you’re not.

  68. Hank Roberts:

    PS, if you’re having trouble placing yourself in Kahan’s plane view, consider how you’d label an additional axis (or several more) to go beyond the 2-dimensional picture he sketches out. It’s a picture — the labels are poles apart, but people aren’t. I’d suggest an axis from intuition to calculus.

  69. Doug Bostrom:

    Maybe Walter misses some of the old characters who came to RC spoiling for a fight. In those days, “those arriving to this site to learn” actually would have been appalled, doubtless were. Not much learning to be had in comment threads back then, not compared to now. “RC” or “References/Comments” has gone way up, RC as Raw Count of “you’re another” way down.

    Learning the skills of crude verbal pugilism wasn’t ever the instructional goal of RC, I think.

  70. sidd:

    Mr. Walter Manny writes:

    1) ” … to those arriving to this site to learn, as you put it, how long do you think it takes for them to leave once they figure out the RC ethos, and do you think they bother to say why they left?”

    2)” Now that RC has devolved into Hank Roberts et al dot com …”

    In reply:

    1)If those who wish to learn will not do the homework, then they may leave. That is the ethos for any advanced class. Do the math. Do the homework. If you can’t do the math or the homework, find someone you trust to explain, and just audit the class. RC is full of people you can trust. As to who they are and why you ought trust them, you are left to your own judgement. If people leave, that is their choice, and their judgement, who can gainsay them. Perhaps, as may be true in your case, they might find a different forum more to their liking. Perhaps a meta-forum where they discuss the shortcomings of RC and their reasons for leaving. Just not here, if you please.

    I have not read the borehole in a long while, but it seems like a large section of repeat offenders wind up there, multiple times by the look of it. Would that they would really leave, perhaps the moderators would find time to comment more frequently, rather than wading thru crap.

    2) I, for one, welcome our new Hank Roberts overlord. Long may he reign. I always supported him. All Hail Caesar Hank !

  71. Ray Ladbury:

    Walter, you fail to understand the situation in a couple of critical dimensions. First, it isn’t about belief but rather about evidence. Second, it isn’t about whether a post is off topic, but rather whether it is likely to be disruptive to the thread–that is to derail the discussion of the topic.

    It is easy to ignore a single off-topic post. However, if a comment is simply off the deep end, in denial of science for which evidence is incontrovertible, it is likely to generate a case of SIWOTI (Someone Is Wrong On The Internet) syndrome. And if it is attempting to besmirch the reputations of scientists known to people here, it will likely generate a firestorm.

    Finally, you seem to be under the impression that Realclimate is a debating society. It isn’t. It is an educational resource for those who want to come here and learn the science. It has done an excellent job of keeping that possible in a subject area that is but ought not to be controversial. There are plenty of places where one can engage in debate on this subject. There are precious few where laymen can come here to learn the science. The borehole plays a critical role in ensuring that remains possible. I have actually gone through and read a good proportion of the comments there. Most are simply sad. The majority are the same allegations of conspiracy one can find on the comments in the Wall Street Urinal. If I want a good laugh, I can go there.

  72. Hank Roberts:

    Don’t let Manny personalize the concern troll. It’s a tactic.
    Asking for cites is not an attack

    Asking for sources is not a bar to entry.

    People lie, and post PR spin as though it were credible.
    You know what to do about that.

  73. Chris Snow:

    For some light relief, I’d like to share two letters that appeared side by side in this week’s edition of my local newspaper, the Totnes Times. As you can see, they are written with all the authoritative ignorance of those with no expertise in the subject. Taken together, they cover a wide range of the climate myths (even Al Gore gets a mention), but are so bad, I would like to nominate them jointly for a Golden Horseshoe award.

    Letter 1
    Readers may or may not believe in catastrophic global warming caused by mankind. Personally, I don’t but everybody has the right to make up their own mind.

    Firstly, it’s not catastrophic even if it is happening. A total rise of 0.7C over the last century and a standstill since 1985 despite steadily increasing CO2 emissions cannot be described as ‘catastrophic’. A mild warming will be beneficial to mankind. Sea levels are rising at less than 2mm a year.

    The present hysteria about global warming and proposed actions to control it, can be compared to the human body. If, in an accident, a man has his arm severed, it is wise to put a tourniquet on the stump to keep him alive. If he has a nosebleed, it is most unwise to put a tourniquet on his neck. Any global warming, whatever its cause, is relatively minor and analogous to the nosebleed. The vast amounts of money being spent on trying to nullify global warming is akin to the tourniquet, which will destroy the world’s economy.
    The head US envoy on climate change has said to the UN that ‘talks aimed at negotiating a binding treaty to curb global warming are based on unrealistic expectations and are not doable.’

    The big game changer will be the exploitation of shale gas which is happening now.

    Letter 2
    The spread of ugly wind turbines and solar farms into the South Hams countryside continues unabated, with our Government committed to producing 30 per cent of our electricity from ‘renewables’ by 2020 under the Climate Change Act of 2008. But how concerned should we be about the climate?

    This autumn the Inter¬national Panel on Climate Change has issued its 5th assessment. According to the summary for policymakers, there is now even greater certainty, 95 per cent, up from 90 per cent in its 4th assessment of 2007, that more than half the warming since 1950 was caused by fossil fuel carbon dioxide. The new summary was leaked. Sceptical analysts soon pointed out that while the graphs, of predictions made in the 4th assessment, showed warming continuing ever upward, the actual temperatures since about 1998 have remained stubbornly flat, and even declining slightly. Worse, the actual readings lay well outside the permitted margins of error.

    In response, the IPCC hurriedly withdrew the summary and replaced it with a 2nd edition including a revised graph, based on an earlier model, which had margins of error nearly twice as large. Now the errant temperature readings appear within the margins. So, while their certainty has increased from 90 to 95 per cent, the margin of uncertainty in the science on which this is based has nearly doubled, in complete contradiction.

    The original 1st edition summary contained the comment that ‘models do not generally reproduce the observed reduction in surface warming trend over the last 10 to 15 years’. This was also removed and replaced with a long-winded rationalisation. It also conceded that the effect of greenhouse gases on temperature forcing may have been over-estimated.

    Nature Climate Science reports that the IPCC’s predictions of warming from 1993-2012 and 1998-2012 were over-estimated by factors of more than two times and four times, respectively. Regarding the future effect on temperature of a doubling of the concentration of atmospheric CO2, the IPCC now admits that ‘…no best estimate can now be given because of lack of agreement (in the science)’.

    The technical summary, the detailed science supporting these confused conclusions, will not be released until January, in the words of the summary, following adjustments for changes, for consistency with the summary. In other words, the science will be amended as necessary to fit the desired conclusions.
    Professor Corinne LeQuere, head of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research, gave this reply during a recent interview: ‘The policymakers see the information from quite a different angle as they have to make a relationship with policy. They go through it, line by line, paragraph by paragraph and suggest changes which the scientists respond to.’

    But all this should be no great surprise as Al Gore, over 10 years ago, said that science can not be allowed to influence climate policy. Gore further predicted, in his 2007 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony speech, that the Arctic ice would have completely disappeared by 2013. The reality is that the rate of Arctic ice growth has more than doubled. And Antarctic winter ice this year had the largest coverage since records began in 1979.

    If the IPCC computer models can not even predict the past, why on earth are we still listening to their alarmist exaggerations about the future? How much longer do we have to put up with this nonsense and the ridiculous energy policy restrictions of the Climate Change Act?

  74. Walter Manny:

    Ray, thanks, and we’ll continue to disagree about this, I think. You have been very good about saying the preponderance of evidence points to potentially dangerous warming, and I agree with that, but that’s where belief comes in, along with the precautionary principle. If you don’t believe something, you don’t do anything about it.

    You have written recently about sensitivity bifurcation and deep ocean warming, both of which have little to do with solid evidence [yet] of one thing or another. Nor are models evidence of anything, strictly speaking, though they are vital to improved understanding.

    Finally, while I do take your point about RC being an educational site, surely there’s a debating aspect to it, or folks here would stop debating. Debate is, after all, a key component of anyone’s education. So, yeah, I find it irritating when debate gets shut down on topics such as the hiatus, but I’ll allow that it’s a tedious objection, and I’ll desist.

  75. Rob Nicholls:

    Chris Snow (#73). Thanks for this, it made me smile. Reminds me a lot of ‘An Appeal to Reason’ by Nigel Lawson.

  76. Thomas Lee Elifritz:

    Manny, there is a HUGE AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE from paleo proxies that deep ocean warming of the magnitude and rate we are seeing is VERY BAD. If you think otherwise, you are deluding yourself and misinforming others. That is not cool. Nor is it smart.

  77. AGWeird:


    I have a serious question about something I don’t understand.

    First, two premises (to confirm that I got them right)
    – Changes in pH usually has been buffered (counteracted) by the chemical composition in the ocean. But since we now release lots of carbon very fast, we overrun the buffer system.
    – There are large variations in pH on a small spatial and temporal scale.

    Then why are not the small-scale pH variations counteracted by the buffer effect?


  78. Hank Roberts:

    > debate

    Pfui. Dagnabbit, debaters don’t use DOI.
    If they did, they couldn’t be debaters.

    You claim the existence of what you call “debate” proves the site’s welcoming it, and yet you seem to think citing sources prevents debate from happening.

    And ya know what?
    You’re right.

    Debaters can’t use DOI, nor take time to give fair reading to sources on the subject.

    We’re doing something slow here (because a lot of us are pretty damned slow, myself for example. I’ve got to look just about everything up, to have any hope of comprehending the subject). Learning whose statements have any weight of fact behind them takes a long time even with the best of intentions on all sides.

    And when *ahem* and *cough* plop in for debating during the science conversation, refusing to cite sources, it blows up conversations.

    My opinion, solely: you came here for debate, and debate is not the goal here; persistent reminders you’re in a science lesson aren’t attacks.

    I don’t care _what_ your facts are.
    I care whether you’re making them up.

  79. Hank Roberts:

    Bass: Dan H. ….. by co2science 217,411 views. Uploaded on Apr 9, 2010

    Isolated for 42 days in chambers of am bient and elevated CO2 concentrations, we periodically document the growth of cowpea plants (Vigna unguiculata) via time-lapse photography.

    Go, don’t flinch, laugh if you can, but stay for the music.

  80. sidd:

    Mr. Manny addresses Mr. Ladbury:

    “You have written recently about … deep ocean warming … little to do with solid evidence … ”

    Evidence, quite solid actually.

    doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00834.1

    some grafs from these and other at


    Mr. Manny continues:

    “Debate is, after all, a key component of anyone’s education …

    Quite. Part of the trivium, specifically, rhetoric. Together with grammar and logic, qualifies one to study further.

    Unfortunately, useful debate in science is only possible when all parties understand the science. RealClimate is not a debating society. RealClimate is a course in climate science, say at undergraduate level, with some graduate level seminars, requiring aptitude and motivation. Debate can occur after you have mastered the known, and takes place, quite vigorously, at conferences and in peer reviewed papers.

    When you are taught in class about Newtonian gravitation, you do not debate your professor about action at a distance. Not for long, anyway, before you are shown the door, either by the professor, for wasting his time, or by your fellow students, for wasting theirs. This might be a more useful _question_ (and _not_ a debate) in a class on relativity, in the context of light delay, but unfortunately, you will never get to that class, because you flunked out of Newtonian physics. So sad.

    Debating someone who will not read and cannot count is less useful than debating the inverse square law with a cat. At least the cat will soon apply needle like claws to your tender bits to be let out and kill small things, whereas the illiterate, innumerate or ill-intentioned debater will waste your time for ever insisting on explanations he cannot, or worse, will not understand.


  81. Susan Anderson:

    Tenney Naumer and I have located one of the best detailed analyses of a trolling attack we’ve ever seen. It was on Angela Fritz’s blog (h/t somebody at Neven’s for the ref.) but this is the best place to find the whole thing. Brilliant! I think it might come in handy with some of the cleverer and more polite phonies:


    At the end, this nice short summary, but the detail is priceless and more exactly in the bullseye; do go to the link:

    1. Discredit your opponent
    2. Inject misinformation
    3. Accuse others
    4. Deflect the argument
    5. Attack the science
    6. Establish yourself as a (false) authority
    7. Amplify your message.

    These are your tactics. They define your motives. They explain why you are here: to distract you

  82. Susan Anderson:

    Now, to change the subject, Haiyan (aka Yolanda). Capital Weather Gang has a nice set of satellite pix:


    Of course, Dr. Masters at Wunderground did three posts, and one should bear in mind that it is now barreling towards Vietnam, though now the reports of deaths are finally filtering in from the Philippines.

    There’s some peculiar evidence (comments at Masters blog) of the startling ignorance of Joe Bastardi (arguing with Heidi Cullin, go figure). You’d think he’d not want to expose that he has no idea about how heat and energy get moved around …

  83. ArcticHaze:

    I have a question about the availability of global monthly average temperatures (not anomalies). I’m looking for some data to verify the old van Loon (1972) claim that global temperature difference between July and January is 2 K (with July being the globally hottest month).

    I understand the physics. Landmass heats faster than ocean so the land-filled NH will be hotter in boreal summer than SH in austral summer even as it receives less irradiation due to the shape of Earth orbit. But I want to see it with some actual data. All the global series of temperatures are useless for that as they are anomalies calculated separately for each month.

    Any ideas when to find the data (or at least the values of offsets of each month anomaly relative to annual anomaly)?

  84. Hank Roberts:

    > van Loon (1972)

    I sure wish RealClimate had a staff librarian :-)

    I’d guess you might turn up what you want searching Scholar, starting with the original paper

    and reading papers that have cited it (there are several hundred). E.g.:

    A modulation of the mechanism of the semiannual oscillation in the Southern Hemisphere


    DOI: 10.1034/j.1600-0870.1998.t01-3-00005


  85. MARodger:

    ArcticHaze @83.
    You would think that the month-by-month climatology for GISS, NCDC etc would be easy to source but I’ve never seen a whiff of one myself. I wonder if Fleming et al 1988 would provide what you’re after. Mind, my attempts at cut&paste of the tables have never been satisfactory so it may be a ‘transcribe by hand’ task.

  86. Dan H.:

    The variations over smaller scaled are due to local phenomenon. This could include soil runoff, ocean floor releases, plant and animal life. Local effects have always occurred, which are separate from the larger ocean.

  87. SecularAnimist:

    Walter Manny wrote: “the preponderance of evidence points to potentially dangerous warming”

    The actual observed effects of the warming that has already occurred, as a result of the greenhouse gases we have already emitted, are self-evidently already “dangerous” since they are already causing massive and costly harm.

    So any “debate” about whether anthropogenic global warming is “potentially dangerous” is fatuous.

  88. Doug Bostrom:

    Further to Sidd, what is about the deep ocean that make it so susceptible to our eyes sliding around it? Folks of all stripes repeat the same fiction: “We don’t know about it.”

    We do, enough to say that what’s happening down in the briny deep is fairly disturbing. Let alone temperature, there’s circulation, as Sidd points out. Look up the term “Sverdrup” or “Sv.” Changes in deep ocean circulation are measured in multiple Sv. 1 Sv is roughly equal to the flow of all rivers together into the ocean. A wag might say “the Kraken awakes.” :-)

  89. sidd:

    re:monthly climatology

    look at MERRA monthly in Giovanni (my new best friend, as I posted awhile ago), like


    2nd parameter block from the top, scroll down in that block, you will see 2 m Temperature

    knock yourself out, i have been playing with precip there and other places, like ERA-40, and podaac and such, big time sink

    have phun


  90. Edward Greisch:

    78 Walter Manny: Search Climate Progress [thinkprogress.org/climate] for the number of people killed per year by GW. I think Joe Romm said it is 160,000/year and half a million total. Not that Romm has proof of his estimates. I agree with 87 SecularAnimist.

    1.  Enemy + Intention → Harm to victims
    2.  Hero + Intention      →  Defeats enemy and restores status quo

    Most “adults'” thinking is at the cartoon level. We must get most voters’ thinking to move from the cartoon level to at least a rudimentary science level. We have to teach the concept of experiment and we must get all students to do hands-on experiments. In other words, we have to teach, not tell them, what science is.

    Debate is an “enemy.” We always loose debates because the other side does the Gish Gallop.

  91. Walter Manny:

    An attempt at clarification about: “deep ocean warming… [having] little to do with solid evidence (yet).” To be more precise, I should have narrowed that to the deep ocean explanation for the hiatus, to suggest that the evidence, while compelling, may be preliminary.

    Stocker (IPPC co-chair): “I’m afraid there is not a lot of public literature that allows us to delve deeper at the required depth of this emerging scientific question [the hiatus]. For example, there are not sufficient observations of the uptake of heat, particularly into the deep ocean, that would be one of the possible mechanisms to explain this warming hiatus.”

    Stocker may have been wrong about that or misrepresented his report, but the IPPC has been held up here as a useful standard and reference.

  92. wili:

    Speaking of death tolls, Haihan is already the deadliest storm to hit the Philippines in that nation’s history.


    10,000 are estimated dead just from one town.


    It may be hard to know exactly how much GW contributed to make this the monster it became.

    But we can be quite sure that such storms and worse will become more and more common.

    The equivalent of 400,000 Hiroshima-obliterating bombs in energy that we are adding to the climate system every day are going to be falling around the heads of ourselves and our children with more and more deadly force.


  93. wili:


    This is good news, right? If industry-generated aerosols have a more limited cooling effect than originally thought, we can clean up and scale down dirty coal plants without worrying too much about consequent sudden jumps in global temperatures of up to 2 degrees C (if I remember the upper limits of earlier studies correctly).

    On the other topic, we need both better science ed. and better debating/communication skills.

    As others have noted, I don’t think it is for lack of science education that so few petroleum geologists accept the science of global warming.

    (It would be nice to have the wealthiest corporation since the invention of money on our side, too. But Exxon is not likely to come around soon, no matter how much science they understand (plenty) or how many debates we win (or lose).)

  94. wili:

    Since this has been a topic of (sometimes heated) discussion, I thought I might point out this section from the recent WMO GHG bulletin (as covered by SkSc):


    “In a special section on methane, the bulletin said that there has not yet been a measurable increase in Arctic methane due to melting of the permafrost and hydrates. It said that the increase in global average methane levels was rather associated with increased emissions in the tropical and mid-latitude Northern Hemisphere. Attribution of this increase to anthropogenic (human-influenced) or natural sources requires better coverage and more sophisticated observations in the atmosphere which are currently not available.”

    How does this square with the fact the many of the highest levels of methane recorded on earth continue to be in the Arctic?

  95. Radge Havers:

    Some people will go over to the dark side regardless of education. In the case of (some) petroleum geologists, it’s hard not to wonder about how $$ affected the nature of the education they received, not to mention the career environment. There is an historical and cultural/values component to science education which should perhaps be given more emphasis early on and continuously thereafter.

    Apart from that, science is a good thing and well worth learning. Like Ed, my experience was certainly transformative, and agree that more is better… within practicable limits. By itself however, boosting science curricula is probably not sufficient to fix the mess we’re in. Narrative-wise, I’ll just point out that there’s a recalcitrant and smugly self-satisfied, anti-science element out and about. No mean task to undermine even that portion of the problem culturally.

  96. Jack Maloney:

    Dear Moderator: When “climate science” prefers suppressing questions rather than answering them, civilization is indeed at risk. Posting SA’s baseless claims in #87, and boreholing polite and legitimate questions addressed to them, does more than stifle debate – it reveals RealClimate’s intellectual poverty.

  97. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by Jack Maloney — 10 Nov 2013 @ 9:03 PM

    Based on content, I disagree.


  98. tmb:

    95 – As a member of the dark side I see many examples of cognitive dissonance, but mostly AGW just doesn’t come up. A few people will pontificate about what they saw in the “Global Warming Swindle” or whatever it’s called. A couple more will make snide remarks occasionally about Al Gore. On the rare occasion where I press the issue or overhear a conversation it’s painfully obvious they are about 20 or 30 years behind in their understanding. It’s pretty depressing because they are otherwise smart people. I don’t know how much of it is the paycheck and I’d hesitate to guess. Still, it’s a tricky environment for someone who “believes” the evidence for AGW. I’m just keeping my head down while exploring options. I’m certainly not the only one who understands what’s coming, but it’s a disappointingly small number.

    (I’m having captcha issues so I apologize if this suddenly appears multiple times…)

  99. MARodger:

    Steve Fish @97.
    Based on content, I do not see the comment from Jack Maloney as borehole material. Then the enquirer does have history so on that count I would side with the moderator’s actions.

    Of course, finding actual “real scientific” proof that AGW is “already causing massive and costly harm” is not straightforward. This is not because such “harm” is not happening. Rather there is always a lot of “harm” in this big wide world and nailing down the “harm” attributable to AGW to a scientific standard is not simple and, like a ship’s officer asking for the latest first aid reports on the Titanic, it is not the best use of resources. ‘And those first aid reports jolly-well better be signed off all tickerty boo, or you won’t have heard the last of it.’ Just remember the continued ruckus with ‘a majority of the last 50-year’s warming was likely caused by AGW’.
    Also, from the comfort of a life in the (presently) safe developed world, what level of “harm” would be construed as “massive and costly”? A farmer enduring drought or working in higher temperatures or an eco-system falling apart due to AGW – would these feature high on the list of significant “harm”? A skeptic may be hard to convince, especially when he can point to other anthropogenic causes of “harm” to such life systems. It simply wouldn’t register unless has a pesonal impact, say like it raises the insurance premiums on the Hummer.

  100. Dan H.:

    How can you be quite sure that they will become worse and more common. Even the IPCC does not concur, stating that the “Current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century and it remains uncertain whether any reported long-term increases in tropical cyclone frequency are robust.” A recent report from the University of Colorado stated, “The analysis does not indicate significant long-period global or individual basin trends in the frequency or intensity of landfalling [tropical cyclones] of minor or major hurricane strength.”



  101. Fergus Brown:

    Change of subject: Has anyone looked at the AMSR2 Antarctic maps recently? It looks odd to me; lots of coastal melting?? Someone reassure me..

  102. Kevin McKinney:

    #96–Er, no. SA’s comment may not be certainly correct–and how often is a complex position like that ever ‘certainly correct?’–but it is very far from “baseless.” Events such as the 2003 heatwave, the 2010 heatwave/wildfire event, and the 2012 drought–to name just a few of the most well-known–have cost on the order of 100,000 premature deaths and $100 billion in economic losses. While some of these events might have occurred without the observed climatic warming, it’s pretty likely that not all of them would.

    A relevant discussion here:


    More recently, the accepted draft of AR5’s Technical Summary says:

    “…it is now very likely that anthropogenic forcing has contributed to the observed changes in the frequency and intensity of daily temperature extremes on the global scale since the mid-20th century. It is likely that human influence has significantly increased the probability of occurrence of heat waves in some locations…”

    Nor is it just heatwaves; there is reason to think that precipitation events have been affected:

    “Since the AR4, there is some new limited direct evidence for an anthropogenic influence on extreme precipitation, including a formal detection and attribution study and indirect evidence that extreme precipitation would be expected to have increased given the evidence of anthropogenic influence on various aspects of the global hydrological cycle and high confidence that the intensity of extreme precipitation events will increase with warming, at a rate well exceeding that of the mean precipitation. . In land regions where observational coverage is sufficient for assessment, there is medium confidence that anthropogenic forcing has contributed to a global-scale intensification of heavy precipitation over the second half of the 20th century.”

    Heavily caveated (to create an ugly verb), but still a basis for thinking that such events as the recent Colorado floods, the Alberta floods, and even the Toronto flood could well be related to climate change:


    Roughly $4 billion in preliminary loss estimates in roughly 3 months–just in North America, and just off the top of my head.

    To be very clear: again, I’m not making an attribution claim that all of these ‘must’ be due to climate change. But all were extreme events, both in terms of precipitation rates and of cost, of the sort which we expect to become much more frequent given both theory and observed metrics such as precipitable water in the atmosphere. These events would thus be good candidates for attribution studies–as Bob Henson of UCAR remarked in connection with the colorado event:


    Link to AR5 TS:


  103. Hank Roberts:


  104. Kevin McKinney:

    #101, 103–Thanks for the handy link, Hank.

    I don’t think you can assume melting as the cause of concentration drops; winds and currents can have a big effect, too. That said, the SH melt season is now well underway; November there is (roughly speaking) equivalent to NH May, after all.

    (Said the Master of ‘pointing out the obvious.’ Hope my comment wasn’t too bumptious.)

  105. wili:

    While the total number of cyclones may not increase (though there seems to be quite a bit of uncertainty here), the intense ones are projected to increase. I hope that clarifies what I was intending to say above.

  106. wili:

    Hank, thanks for the well-known link to the uni-bremen site. But when you post such links with no comment, we are left wondering what you intend by it. Do you have a point you wish to share? I ask, because you always have interesting and important things to say (even if I don’t always agree), so I don’t want to miss whatever point it is you are trying to make here. Thanks ahead of time for any clarification.

    Meanwhile, reports are starting to come in on the devastating effects of Haiyan:

    “I was gob-smacked as we made our final approach into the ruins of the airport in Tacloban — the first major population center in the Philippines to be struck by Super Typhoon Haiyan.

    Entire forests of palm trees on hilltops had been flattened by the sheer force of the storm.

    I’d never seen anything like it.

    It was a sight the other Filipino passengers on our plane had never seen either.

    As we got closer to the town we could make out villages, their roads completely flooded. Then Tacloban itself — it looked completely devastated. It was as if a giant hand had come from the sky and just crushed it.”


  107. dhogaza:

    Dan H:

    “How can you be quite sure that they will become worse and more common. Even the IPCC does not concur…”

    then goes on to quote sources that state that no observed trend exists for the LAST CENTURY, the last century, of course, not being the next century …

  108. wili:


    [b]Typhoon Haiyan overshadows U.N. climate talks as Philippines envoy breaks down in tears[/b]

    [quote]The devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan cast a gloom over U.N. climate talks Monday as the envoy from the Philippines broke down in tears and announced he would fast until a “meaningful outcome is in sight.”

    Naderev “Yeb” Sano’s emotional appeal was met with a standing ovation at the start of two-week talks in Warsaw where more than 190 countries will try to lay the groundwork for a new pact to fight global warming.[/quote]


    “We can fix this, we can stop this madness.” Met with a standing ovation.


    “If not us, who? If not now, when? If not here, where?”

    Unfortunately, this eloquence fell on deaf ears last year and will likely meet with the same indifference this year.

  109. SecularAnimist:

    Jack Maloney wrote: “… SA’s baseless claims in #87 …RealClimate’s intellectual poverty …”

    So, other than name-calling and ad hominem fallacies, what have you got?

    Not much, it seems, except demands that denialist propaganda be given respect and legitimacy that it does not deserve.

  110. Hank Roberts:

    Wili, Fergus asked

    Has anyone looked at the AMSR2 Antarctic maps recently?

    so, after I found the link, I posted it; someone might want it.

  111. Jack Maloney:

    109 SecularAnimist: I have repeatedly asked you for the basis of your claim that observed effects of anthropogenic warming are already causing massive and costly harm. You have yet to respond with anything more than bluster. So – again – what is the basis for your claim? Please cite an example from a credible authoritative source.

  112. Kevin McKinney:

    #111–Care to respond to the instances I cited in my #102?

  113. Hank Roberts:

    Jack — if you want to provoke “debate” keep poking at SA, who is likely willing to engage you in that. If you want a clear statement of what SA ought to be telling you, though, Kevin McKinney, above has already answered your question as SA should, quite clearly.

    On any heartfelt issue, there’s always someone available here to take the tasty bait and proclaim debatable beliefs here, so long as the hosts’ vast patience lasts. There’s ample opportunity to post beliefs, and disbeliefs. You can lather, rinse, repeat.

    Facts, though — attribution studies — are available to read and, perhaps, understand.

    See above.

  114. Chris Korda:

    Jack @111: Spare us the drama. You’re not even making a token effort to answer your own questions. One could plausibly infer a lack of interest in the answers. If I Google “current costs of climate change” I immediately find these:

    Climate change is already damaging global economy, report finds
    “Economic impact of global warming is costing the world more than $1.2 trillion a year, wiping 1.6% annually from global GDP”

    Who Pays for Climate Change?

    “U.S. Taxpayers Outspend Private Insurers Three-to-One to Cover Climate Disruption Costs”

    National Journal Warns The Economic Price Of Climate Change Is Already Here, And Growing

    “Globally, extreme weather and climate change are already shaving 1.6 percent off worldwide gross domestic product — or about $1.2 trillion per year — according to a [2012] study by DARA.”

    These are all likely to be underestimates for reasons that have been repeatedly explained here at RC and elsewhere.

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” -Upton Sinclair

  115. WebHubTelescope:

    Why is Roy Spencer so deceptive with his latest work?

    He must realize that everyone that understands climate science knows that he is cherry-picking by selecting only ocean temperatures (0-50 m below the surface) for his analysis. This will undershoot climate sensitivity by 1/2 since he is not including land values.

    What do real climate scientists do to combat this deliberate obfuscation?

  116. Hank Roberts:

    There is clear evidence from recent case studies that individual event attribution is a feasible, if challenging, undertaking.

    We propose a way forward, through the development of carefully calibrated physically-based assessments of observed weather and climate-related events, to identify changed risk of such events attributable to particular factors including estimating the contributions of factors to event magnitude. Although such event-specific assessments have so far only been attempted for a relatively small number of specific cases, we describe research under way, coordinated as part of the international Attribution of Climate-related Events (ACE) initiative, to develop the science needed to better respond to the demand for timely, objective, and authoritative explanations of extreme events. The paper considers the necessary components of a prospective event attribution system, reviews some specific case studies made to date (Autumn 2000 UK floods, summer 2003 European heatwave, annual 2008 cool US temperatures, July 2010 Western Russia heatwave) and discusses the challenges involved in developing systems to provide regularly updated and reliable attribution assessments of unusual or extreme weather and climate-related events.

    [inline url link added -hr]


    Climate Science for Serving Society
    2013, pp 307-337
    Attribution of Weather and Climate-Related Events (book)

    I realize the attribution studies are apt to be ignored by those who feel they aren’t needed to support their opinions; I post this not to “debate” but as a reference: attribution for those interested in the science.

  117. Doug Bostrom:

    Paraphrasing and updating Upton Sinclair to suit the mess we’ve made and are living in:

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his sanity depends on his not understanding it.”


    South Florida Faces Ominous Prospects From Rising Waters

    Rising sea levels, falling real estate values

    The latter article includes this priceless gem:

    A warning might scare away some buyers — but not all. Peter Harlem, an FIU researcher, points out that Miami boomed in the 1920s when developers sold swamp land to buyers who hadn’t seen it. Perhaps, Harlem suggests, that could happen again.

    “You know, about a third of America … doesn’t believe [in] climate change. That’s a sure market to sell to.”

  118. patrick:

    “I’ve been in a lot of really bad places and I can’t think of anything I’ve ever seen that’s worse than this.” –Johnathan Head, BBC, Tacloban

  119. Kevin McKinney:

    #114–Some useful links, there, Chris! Thanks!

  120. MARodger:

    WebHubTelescope @115.

    Other than his conclusion that ENSO has been for a century a non-anthropogenic net-warming process, my takeaway from Spencer’s latest offering was the way he managed to keep silent over his model’s performance over the last decade. According to the graphs he presents on his blog-o-site, in his favorite Case III version 0-50m OHC has been dropping while Levitus shows it rising. And then he has the cheek to end his account by throwing an accusation that “the glaring 15+ year hiatus in warming which is currently being swept under the rug.” Perhaps he should examine his own graphs a little more carefully before lashing out at his designated opponents.

  121. Hank Roberts:

    a sure market to sell to

    Yep. As Rick Perlstein pointed out in The Long Con:

    Via the battery of promotional appeals that overran my email inbox, I mainlined a right-wing id that was invisible to readers who encounter conservative opinion at face value.

    Subscriber lists to ideological organs are pure gold to the third-party interests who rent them as catchments for potential customers. Who better suits a marketing strategy than a group that voluntarily organizes itself according to their most passionately shared beliefs?

    Same principle the email spammers use — their pitches are so outrageously unbelievable that they screen themselves; nobody would respond to Your Beloved Friend except the most credulous, aged, or demented. That’s exactly who the spammers want, the suckers.

    Lying is an initiation into the conservative elite. In this respect, as in so many others, it’s like multilayer marketing: the ones at the top reap the reward—and then they preen, pleased with themselves for mastering the game. Closing the sale, after all, is mainly a question of riding out the lie: showing that you have the skill and the stones to just brazen it out, and the savvy to ratchet up the stakes higher and higher. Sneering at, or ignoring, your earnest high-minded mandarin gatekeepers—“we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,” as one Romney aide put it—is another part of closing the deal.

    The coal industries have to sell off their stranded assets to somebody, after all. And they have their sucker lists ready. Similarly for coastal property.

  122. SecularAnimist:

    Hank Roberts wrote: “I realize the attribution studies are apt to be ignored by those who feel they aren’t needed to support their opinions”

    I don’t ignore those studies. I do think they “aren’t needed” to support the assertion that various global warming-related factors have observably played a role in causing, contributing to, and/or greatly exacerbating the destructive effects of recent “extreme weather events”.

    It’s great to have mathematically precise calculations of the “changed risk of such events attributable to particular factors including estimating the contributions of factors to event magnitude” — and no doubt essential for the purposes of, for example, insurance companies whose business depends on accurate, detailed risk assessments.

    However, to support the assertion that global warming is responsible for a great deal of damage from such events, it is sufficient to show that such events have the “signature” of global warming — for example, that specific global warming-related factors such as abnormally high sea surface temperatures, elevated water vapor levels, and altered jet stream patterns contributed to making Hurricane Sandy what it was — even if those factors cannot be precisely quantified.

  123. Kevin McKinney:

    #115–I don’t mean to comprehensively defend a paper I strongly suspect is quite wrong, but I don’t think that focussing on the oceans is necessarily a ‘cherry-pick.’ And it doesn’t limit depth to 50 meters; rather, it considers depth in 50-meter layers (down to 700 meters, IIRC.)

  124. Hank Roberts:

    to support the assertion … it is sufficient to show

    Indeed: show; support the assertion.

  125. SecularAnimist:

    Hank Roberts wrote: “I realize the attribution studies are apt to be ignored by those who feel they aren’t needed to support their opinions”

    On Friday, Joe Romm quoted Michael Mann regarding “common fallacies regarding the impact of climate change on extreme weather”:

    “Chief among these,” wrote Mann, “is the notion that just because somebody hasn’t done a formal attribution study of a particular event, that event somehow must not have been influenced by climate change.”


  126. Doug Bostrom:

    Along the lines of SecularAnimist remarks on consistency, physical inevitability and our lying eyes versus mathematically rigorous rectitude:

    …the Philippine government’s raw statistics suggest the region’s typhoons are getting stronger. From 1947 to 1960, the strongest to hit the country was Amy in December 1951, with a highest wind speed recorded at 240kph in Cebu. From 1961 to 1980, the highest wind speed recorded was 275kph in October 1970. In the past 13 years, the highest wind speed has soared to 320kph, recorded by Reming in November to December 2006. “Menacingly, the Philippine typhoons are getting stronger and stronger. If this is due to climate change, we’d better be prepared for even stronger ones in the future,” says Romulo Virola, head of the government’s national statistics board.

    Chance? If we could have the answer in a minute, how would we bet in the next 60 seconds?

  127. Hank Roberts:

    ps, SA, you can just link to Kevin McKinney’s excellent exposition above, which gives the support anyone could expect you to provide for your beliefs.

    We regular readers know what you mean.

    New readers here who don’t know what you’re talking about can benefit from cites to good sources for what you believe.

    You’re convincing to the extent you can show support for what you believe, to inform — rather than to encourage debate.

    Kevin McKinney has provided that, in a clear well written form. Take advantage of his help.

    You became convinced. Show, don’t just tell, what convinces.

  128. Russell:

    The extension of maximum cyclone intensity scales Greg Lade proposes has long been embodied in the Modified Beaufort Scale employed by cruising sailors the world over:

    Force 0 Smoke rises vertically , sea a mirror for miles around. Hand helmsman full bottle of Demerara rum

    Force 1 Sails slack, sea surface barely undulates
    Give helmsman second bottle of Barbados rum

    Force 2 Sails begin to fill, ripples appear astern

    Offer helmsman a lime to put in second bottle of rum.

    Force 3 Bow wave appears, slack lines tighten
    Place cup of ice at helmsman’s disposal

    Force 4 Whitecaps appear, winch handle needed to trim sail
    Start adding cola to helmsman’s rum.

    Force 5 Whitecaps begin to shed spray and salt water ruins helmsman’s Cuba Libre

    Force 6 Waves lengthen, helmsman requests beer

    Force 7 Helmsman relieved after mistaking streaks of blowing foam for head on navigator’s beer

    Force 8 Waves heighten and new helmsman switches to shandy

    Force 9 Overhanging crests appear on waves, new helmsman switches to ice tea

    Force 10 Breaking waves interfere with steering. Helmsman requests black coffee

    Force 11 Violently agitated sea surface disappears beneath
    blowing foam, hand helmsman irish coffee after he agrees to set storm trysail

    Force 12 . Hurricane. Bow invisible from stern. Give all hands bottles of Demerara rum.

    Force 13 Existential Threat: St. Elmo’s fire ignites emergency cask of iron jack stored in bilge.

  129. WebHubTelescope:

    Regarding Roy Spencer’s latest

    “#115–I don’t mean to comprehensively defend a paper I strongly suspect is quite wrong, but I don’t think that focussing on the oceans is necessarily a ‘cherry-pick.’ And it doesn’t limit depth to 50 meters; rather, it considers depth in 50-meter layers (down to 700 meters, IIRC.)”

    Three misdirections in my opinion by Spencer
    1. He did TCR only but called it ECS.
    2. He didn’t include Land temperatures in the average.
    3. Using the subsurface layers confuses everyone.

    The first two are obvious blunders but the last one is puzzling. What temperature anomaly is Spencer trying to isolate? An average temperature down to 700 meters? That would certainly suppress an overall increase in comparison to using the top 50 meters and even more so the SST.

  130. Jane Jackson:

    In response to posts #s 20, 33, 40, 43, 48, 90, and 95, here is good news about an effective program in high school science, that is strong on examining evidence. It was developed at Arizona State University, and has reached 10% of the nation’s physics teachers. It has expanded to chemistry, physical science, and biology. (Excuse me for the long post.)

    Modeling Instruction is an evolving, research-based program for high school science education reform that emphasizes constructing and applying conceptual models of physical, chemical, and biological phenomena as a central aspect of learning and doing science. The Modeling method of instruction corrects many weaknesses of the traditional lecture-demonstration method, including fragmentation of knowledge, student passivity, and persistence of naïve beliefs about the physical world.

    From its inception, the Modeling Instruction program has been concerned with reforming high school teaching disciplines to make them more coherent and student-centered, and to incorporate the computer as an essential modeling tool. In a series of intensive workshops over two years, high school teachers learn to be leaders in science teaching reform and technology infusion in their schools. They are equipped with a robust teaching methodology for developing student abilities to make sense of physical experience, understand scientific claims, articulate coherent opinions of their own and defend them with cogent arguments, and evaluate evidence in support of justified belief.

    Instead of relying on lectures and textbooks, Modeling Instruction emphasizes active student construction of conceptual and mathematical models in an interactive learning community. Students are engaged with simple scenarios to learn to model the physical world. Modeling cultivates science teachers as school experts on use of technology in science teaching, and encourages teacher-to-teacher training in science teaching methods, thereby providing schools and school districts with a valuable resource for broader reform.

    Data on students of teachers who have been through the Modeling Instruction program show that students typically achieve twice the learning gain on a standard test of conceptual understanding as students who are taught conventionally. Further, Modeling Instruction is successful with students who have not traditionally done well in physics. Experienced modelers report increased enrollments in physics classes, parental satisfaction, and enhanced achievement in college courses across the curriculum.

    Information is at http://modeling.asu.edu
    Teacher workshops, typically 50 each summer in ~25 states, are listed at http://modelinginstruction.org/workshops

  131. bowdawg:

    I have followed Tamino for some time and I am familiar with Foster and Rahmstorf wherein they estimate the rate of anthropogenic warming at .17 degrees C/decade. I have recently run across an article by Tung and Zhou at http://depts.washington.edu/amath/research/articles/Tung/journals/Tung_and_Zhou_2013_PNAS.pdf wherein they argue that the rate of anthropogenic warming is half the rate found by Foster/Ramstorf after subtracting what they believe to be a naturally occurring oscillation. I am having trouble seeing how an underlying oscillation would not be caused by some discoverable forcing. Anyone care to share with me their opinion as to the best estimate of the rate of anthropogenic warming and whether Tung and Zhou are missing something?

  132. Kevin McKinney:

    #128–“Iron Jack”:


    “This is a strong rum without the harsh alcohol taste you would expect from a rum that can literally light up your life.”


  133. Kevin McKinney:


    Thanks, WHT… I don’t have reasonable access (and, I must admit, didn’t search very hard for a PDF copy) to the paywalled version. The definition of ‘climate sensitivity’ was a point of suspicion for me, as the design did seem to preclude any conclusions about ECS.

    (For any readers who may not already be aware of these, the acronyms “TCR” and “ECS” refer to “Transient Climate Response” and “Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity,” respectively.)

    I didn’t see any further specification of ‘climate sensitivity’ at all, in what I did read. I don’t know whether it makes the paper look a tad better in that he tried to specify it, or worse in that he apparently got it wrong.

    Of course, the reception by the usual crowd on the other side of the mirror has been, er, ‘forgetful’ of the principle about extraordinary claims and evidence–though of course from their perspective, it’s always “anything but carbon,” and so the claim isn’t extraordinary at all.

  134. MARodger:

    bowdawg @130.
    Tung & Zhou 2013 (also Zhou & Tung 2013) were featured in a trio of posts at Skeptical Science (one, two, and three), the first of these prompting the second & third as a response from the paper’s co-author KK Tung who also got stuck in down the comments’ threads.
    In essence Tung & Zhou are dining at the denialist’s last-chance saloon by invoking a 60-year natural cycle (their cycle of choice being AMO) resulting in a reduced anthropogenic influence on climate, although they make sure to not directly challenge climate sensitivity by asserting that their findings will impact on assessment of net anthropogenic forcing and leave climate sensitivity estimates unchallenged.

    I find their thesis less than convincing. They say their findings are similar to Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) and are supported by Wu et al (2011) but neither assertion is correct. I consider their wavelet analysis of CET little more than cherry-picking & their MLR has serious problems that I have summed up in this graph. You will note the noise on the residuals (blue trace) still carries a signal of about half the amplitude of the original HadCRUT signal, so the residuals are not just noise as had been alleged. The ‘recent’ end of the AMO signal has a large and unexplained droop. The non-AMO ‘regressors’ (SolVolENSO) show little response within the MLR (which will impact on the implied climate sensitivity) and, unlike F&R(2011), their attribution of these ‘regressors’ accounts for very little of the HadCRUT signal. And I could go on further.
    As I say, I am less than convinced.

  135. Tony Weddle:

    What do people make of this:

    Methane Levels Going Through The Roof?

    The Arctic news blogspot doesn’t publish critical comments so I can’t assess the validity of what is written but some of the notes on recent Arctic sea ice loss seems over the top.

  136. bowdawg:

    Thanks. It took me quite some time to get through it all, but I feel I have a much better understanding of the issues here.

  137. Louise:

    BBC Question Time: Please give scientists proper representation on Question Time.


  138. Hank Roberts:

    > methane levels
    A lot is made of the AIRS data, which is from very high in the atmosphere. They tell you how high up that is — but how many people actually looked and thought about the altitude at which the measurement is being done?

    There are always some extremely high tentative numbers in the early released data, and so far they always go away when the final numbers come out. That site makes much of a single little red dot far above the remainder of the data. I’d bet that in the original at AIRS it’s a tentative number. But they aren’t giving you the original, it’s an artist’s redrawing of the charts for that methane emergency story.

    He’s a very good artist. That’s not the problem.

    What’s needed from the areas claimed to be new and scary methane sources is ground truth. That can be done; for an example look at this street by street methane track, which was done in Manhattan. Look at the concentration numbers there at a known ground level source, then look again at that methane emergency blog and the concentrations reported for up high in the polar atmosphere.
    If that doesn’t boggle ya, I don’t know what would.

    The trick here is to look for the actual cited papers and see what later work has cited _those_. Where did the scientists go with the information, versus where did the bloggers go with it?

    For example, see:

    Methane release from warming-induced hydrate dissociation in the West Svalbard continental margin: Timing, rates, and geological controls

    K. E. Thatcher et al.
    first published online: 30 JAN 2013
    DOI: 10.1029/2012JB009605

    Did you read that? Think it through? Feel any different?

    The thing to remember when you read big scary numbers on climate blogs is — the scientist’s responsibility is to try to find all the relevant information and bring it all into the discussion (and figure out what’s missing and needs more work).

    The climate blogger may be looking only for “proof” or for papers that can be pointed to or handwaved at in _support_ of their point. So you end up looking for more and they can say oh you’re just trying to pick holes in my argument.

    Welll, yeah. That’s how it’s done.

    It’s kind of like comparing ecologists to environmentalists; for those who remember what life was like before the first Earth Day back in 1970, when few people had even heard the word “ecology” and even fewer had the benefit of studying even Ecology 101 or Statistics 101

  139. wili:

    Hank, I love that methane map of Manhattan, but it doesn’t seem particularly relevant to this discussion, as far as I can see. That there are very high values immediately over a particular intersection in one of the world’s major cities is presumably completely explainable as a local breach in a NG line or some other such very local (in principle) easily identifiable source.

    This is about as far as one could get from high levels (relative to most atmospheric concentrations) of methane over large areas high in the atmosphere in the Arctic where there is very little (direct) human activity. The very value of the high elevation of the readings is that they are not likely to be from a particular very local individual source since the gas would presumably be fairly well mixed by the time it has drifted this far up. The same implies either much higher concentrations at the source(s) or ground/sea level concentrations near those seen farther up in the troposphere that are from quite a vast expanse of ground/sea level sources. Either should be of at least some concern to thoughtful observers.

    The accuracy of any particular reading is another issue, however.

  140. Hank Roberts:

    wili, look at the actual levels — the numbers. That’s what was detected at ground level. That’s how to inspect possible sources at ground (or sea) level — for methane getting into the atmosphere from relatively point sources.

    The methane in the atmosphere is coming from locations that can be, er, located, and quantified over time.

    Whether there’s data to map that, I don’t know. But it can’t be all that hard to do. If they can get the detector into a New York taxi or whatever they used to haul it around …..

  141. Hank Roberts:

    On the other hand, this:

    See the big round red dot? Is that scary, or what?

    (I’d bet on “what” — I recall finding the originals months ago after emailing someone at AIRS to ask, and posting — but where did I put it? The early data points always have a scattering of really extreme numbers, and those go away after the data is analyzed and cleaned up. The really extremely off-the-line points in the raw provisional data are noise.)

    But I forget where I put that, and of course the picture linked there doesn’t cite the source in a way that lets it be found easily.

    Someone else have an idea how to check that claim?

  142. Tony Weddle:


    Thanks for the reply. I know that that site does tend to leap on things early. It reminds me of that self-published “paper” by Malcolm Light (it was on the Ameg blog, but I think was mentioned on the Arctic News blog). That was based on a single data point, a few years ago, that was subsequently corrected. It still forms the basis of many doomer theories today.

    I’ve tried to criticise other articles at the Arctic News blogspot but criticisms don’t get published, so very little useful discussion goes on there. I guess I should stop checking in there every so often!

  143. Ray Ladbury:

    And another US state decides to give Lysenkoism a try:

  144. Hank Roberts:


    The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (Public Lab) is a community which develops and applies open-source tools to environmental exploration and investigation. By democratizing inexpensive and accessible Do-It-Yourself techniques, Public Lab creates a collaborative network of practitioners who actively re-imagine the human relationship with the environment.

    The core Public Lab program is focused on “civic science” in which we research open source hardware and software tools and methods to generate knowledge and share data about community environmental health….

  145. Hank Roberts:

    > 141, 142
    Found the old post. Just for the record, for any new readers:

    You will see scary-looking pictures and people tell you they’re scary (or reassuring-looking pictures with reassuring claims).

    Either way, if you aren’t given a link to the actual source, it’s PR.

    Some comes from people you agree with who have their hearts in the right place. Some from cynical PR types who have their hands on their wallets or yours. Some from sincere, worried, copypasters.

    But you can look this stuff up. Ask a librarian for help.

    We don’t need to go on at length on how to check claims in every topic. Here’s that previous lather-rinse-repeat about scary methane data:

    RealClimate: Unforced Variations: February 2012.

    Search in the Comments popup to find
    “I used the contact link at one of the AIRS websites. They invite questions. You can do this yourself”

  146. Edward Greisch:

    130 Jane Jackson: THANK YOU!

  147. wili:

    Just to stir the pot a bit here, Guy McPherson has a new (to me) video out:


    Setting aside his reference to the AMEG folks (and I see he is at least stepping back from the rather shoddy Light article a bit), he does seem to back up nearly all of his points with references to published papers or major reports. So where (besides the AMEG stuff) does he go wrong here (if he does)?

    (And note that just because someone has been wrong in the past does not automatically make everything else s/he says completely wrong.)

  148. Hank Roberts:

    > where (besides the AMEG stuff) does he go
    > wrong here (if he does)?

    You could check his references from his website and let us know.
    Asking people to watch video, track what he says, and check his sources for you is — well, rather a lot to ask, isn’t it?

    I mean, stirring the pot is fine, it’s a blog on the Internet here. But traditionally one adds something to the pot first. Otherwise it’s just stone soup.

    I did glance at his website. I don’t see anything new.

    His earlier work on fire in wildlands was good science.
    His current pessimism sounds like Lovelock’s.
    So maybe he’s right and we’re all doomed.
    But I thought the same 50 years ago.

  149. wili:

    Most of the stuff I’ve checked out seems to be legit. If you’re too tired or lazy to follow it up, that’s fine. Just don’t dismiss somebody’s conclusions because you haven’t bothered to check out his sources, or because you’ve already passed judgment on him from his earlier statements.

    The one clear misstatement that I’ve found is at about minute 30 where he seems to claim 90% loss of GIS in a week (or perhaps something else?). Clearly he either meant in a particular very narrow local, or a 90% increase in loss for a short period of time. We all can make little misstatements in the midst of a longish talk, though. Anyone else care to take a look?

  150. Hank Roberts:

    > too tired or lazy to follow it up
    Yep, that’s me in a nutshell. You got me pegged.
    Life is to short to fact-check YouTube videos.

    That, actually, is the whole point of reading science papers.
    It’s a convenience for those of us too tired or lazy.
    Hey, or both.

    Carry on.

  151. Tony Weddle:


    I’ve tried to wade through the feedbacks that Guy lists and it does take a while, especially without access to much of the research. It seems to me that only about a third of the listed feedbacks may have definitely kicked in but it’s not clear that they are all self-reinforcing at this time. Some descriptions of the feedbacks are just wrong (e.g. the one regarding drought in the Amazon).

    I respect what Guy has done and he does provide much good info but he does tend to collect worst case scenarios, sometimes without fully checking them out and does tend to cling to them even when they’ve been shown to be either wrong or highly dubious (e.g. the Malcolm Light “paper” and the decline of phytoplankton).

    I would certainly love to see an analysis of climate feedbacks in a more considered way. If anyone knows of links, I’d love to get them. I have been pointed to a forum post of someone collecting a list, but no analysis.

  152. patrick:


    This is re-post at SkepticalScience of 17 Nov re-post of an EcoWatch article
    by Michael Mann, Super Typhoon Haiyan: Realities of a Warmed World and Need for Immediate Climate Action.

  153. patrick:

    Make that: a 16 Nov re-post by Dana of an EcoWatch article by Michael Mann


    It says in part:

    The unusually deep, unusually warm pool of water that provided the initial fuel is unlikely to have existed in a world without warming. Global warming-induced sea level rise contributed to the 20-foot storm surges that caught victims off guard, much as it contributed to Sandy’s record 13-foot coastal surge that flooded substantial sections of New York and New Jersey. These events would not have been as severe in a world without warming.

    But herein lies the crux—we no longer live in a world without warming. Given that 1985 was the last year with temperatures below the 20th century average, and 2000-2010 was the hottest decade on record, it has become impossible to say for certain that any given storm is free from the influence of our warmed world.

    While contrarians may dislike it when activists or actors like George Clooney


    point out the linkage between climate change and extreme weather, the bottom line is this: climate change makes tropical storms more damaging. Not only through increased wind speed and rainfall, but most notably through rising sea levels. This means greater damage and loss of property and life.

  154. patrick:

    Link to Clooney won’t work unless you paste it. There’s a link on Clooney in the article–no problem.

  155. Kevin McKinney:

    For your convenience at those annoying times when some chucklehead reveals that they think that the impact of two degrees (or whatever) on GMT is identical to that of two degrees warming on a random winter’s day–for some reason it’s always winter–I’ve reviewed/summarized “Six Degrees,” complete with summary tables for each of the chapters.


    So now, you can point said chucklehead to it. (Odds are they’ll ignore it, but what the heck, some other reader won’t.) The book is dated, to be sure–2008–but I’ll be updating the review, and especially the summary tables, as I can. (It was a tedious pain to do, so your editorial thoughts are particularly welcome–tedium induces error.)

  156. sidd:

    Joughin says Pfeffer is here already at Jacobshawn

    The Cryosphere Discuss., 7, 5461–5473, 2013

    “If, as the glacier recedes up the trough, it is able to maintain the peak speeds year round, then a sustained speedup by a factor of 4 of 5 is conceivable based on recent behavior, which is about half of the ad hoc tenfold upper limit on speed proposed by Pfeffer et al. (2008). Nevertheless, these speeds would occur in a trough roughly twice as deep as prior to the speedup. Hence, a tenfold increase in ice flux may be possible for Jakobshavn Isbræ if the trough does not narrow substantially with distance upstream. Equivalently, while the increase in terminus speed and the glaciers overall maximum speed may remain under a factor of five, as the terminus retreats farther inland where the speeds now are comparatively slow, the relative speedup is much greater (e.g., if the terminus retreated to M26 with a speed of 16 000 m yr−1 , this would represent a twelve-fold speedup). Thinning by hundreds of meters to a terminus near flotation, however, yields something closer to a ten-fold flux increase.”

    free access, Fig.3 is revealing

    very nice paper


  157. Lennart van der Linde:

    sidd #156,

    Thanks for the reference to the draft paper by Joughin & Smith. I’m trying to understand how exactly this compares to Pfeffer et al 2008:

    Pfeffer et al say:
    “Average (present day to 2100) outlet glacier speeds required to meet 2- and 5-m SLR targets range from 26.8 km/year to 125 km/year, depending on the scenario considered [Table 2 and supporting online material (SOM)]. These velocities must be achieved immediately on all outlets considered and held at that level until 2100.”

    So about an average speed of 27 km/yr is needed from now until 2100 for all GIS outlet glaciers, in combination with a 10x higher surface melt rate, to get a GIS-contribution to global SLR of 2 meters this century.

    It seems Joughin & Smith argue in their last sentence this seems unlikely to be possible. However, Pfeffer et al also show a scenario of 2 meter total SLR by 2100 in which GIS contributes about 54 cm. In this scenario:
    “Greenland SMB was accelerated at present-day rates of change, but dynamic
    discharge was calculated by accelerating outlet glacier velocities by an order of magnitude in the first decade.”

    This implies that over the 21st century all GIS outlet glaciers should reach an average speed of about 12 km/yr in this scenario, if I understand correctly. Marine outlet glaciers could then reach a higher average speed and land outlet glaciers a lower average, but it’s not obvious from Joughin & Smith that such average speeds could be sustained for nine decades, I think.

    Jim Hansen for one seems to think Pfeffer et al may under-estimate in particular the potential AIS contribution, so all this is not to say that 2 meter of total SLR by 2100 would be impossible.

  158. Pete Dunkelberg:

    PIG Loses Chunk
    The Pine Island Glacier has calved a sizable iceberg. This has been expected as Mauri Pelto explains and illustrates. This site has fun videos.

    This seems to be typical for the PIG.

    Recapcha says Etat icertypp

  159. Pete Dunkelberg:

    Lennart van der Linde @157

    “”Average (present day to 2100) outlet glacier speeds required to meet 2- and 5-m SLR targets range from 26.8 km/year to 125 km/year, depending on the scenario considered [Table 2 and supporting online material (SOM)]. These velocities must be achieved immediately on all outlets considered and held at that level until 2100.”” (embedded quote)

    I think that is only one way to get 2 or 5 meters SLR by 2100. Another is acceleration of glacial flow as temperature increases. Here is another: Antarctica only appears to be a continent. If ocean channels into the interior occur, the number of ice outlets increases. A combination of these two ….

    SLR by 2100 looks like a wild card to me.

    (Next commenter, please note that bedmap2 is not the original bedmap of Antarctica.)

  160. wili:

    Apologies, Hank. I should have said ‘busy’ rather than ‘lazy’ (which you aren’t).

    Tom, someone on another forum pointed me to this link where apparently Guy keeps an updated feedback list.


    It is really I who am too lazy to go through and figure out which of these we can discard out of hand, which are future issues to keep an eye on, and which are actually feedbacks/tipping points that have now kicked in at some significant level. Since I am also a bit busy (and always tired), I will have to come back in a bit for a first crack at this analysis.

    Kevin, thanks for that summary. I look forward to reviewing it. Do you mind if I share it with others?


    “Current climate change models greatly underestimate the amount of methane being released by thawing permafrost in the Canadian Arctic, according to Canada’s National Institute of Scientific Research (INRS).

    Canadian, French and US researchers from the INRS have been studying the methane and greenhouse gas emissions in small thaw ponds, concluding that the emissions could have a significant climate impact.

    “We discovered that although the small shallow ponds we studied represent only 44 percent of the water-covered surface in a Bylot Island valley, they generate 83 percent of its methane emissions,” said Karita Negandhi, a water sciences doctoral student at the INRS’s Environment Research Center.”


    Original article:


    “Small Thaw Ponds: An Unaccounted Source of Methane in the Canadian High Arctic”

    Does anyone know anything about the reputation of this journal (PLOS One)?

  161. wili:

    Now this:

    “Poor countries walk out of UN climate talks as compensation row rumbles on:
    Bloc of 132 countries exit Warsaw conference after rich nations refuse to discuss climate change recompense until after 2015”

    “Representatives of most of the world’s poor countries have walked out of increasingly fractious climate negotiations after the EU, Australia, the US and other developed countries insisted that the question of who should pay compensation for extreme climate events be discussed only after 2015.

    The orchestrated move by the G77 and China bloc of 132 countries came during talks about “loss and damage” – how countries should respond to climate impacts that are difficult or impossible to adapt to, such as typhoon Haiyan.

    Saleemul Huq, the scientist whose work on loss and damage helped put the issue of recompense on the conference agenda, said: “Discussions were going well in a spirit of co-operation, but at the end of the session on loss and damage Australia put everything agreed into brackets, so the whole debate went to waste.”

    Australia was accused of not taking the negotiations seriously. “They wore T-shirts and gorged on snacks throughout the negotiation. That gives some indication of the manner they are behaving in,” said a spokeswoman for Climate Action Network.

    After a three hour delay in the negotiations,while countries debated what to do in private, talks resumed.”


  162. Hank Roberts:

    > Does anyone know anything about



    The review process was great…. All told, from submission to first decision was about a month. And the decision was … major revisions.

    No, our paper was not simply accepted at PLoS ONE (in fact, PLoS ONE only has about a 30% [] rejection rate). The reviews were tough, critical, and insightful. It was obvious there was no free pass at PLoS …. This was not peer-review light, as some (who have not submitted a paper to PLoS I presume) call it***.

    In the end, I am very happy with our decision to publish in PLoS ONE. ….

  163. wili:

    Thanks, Hank. I couldn’t find anything too damning on a quick perusal, but I thought someone here may have had first hand knowledge–there is a whole industry devoted to scrubbing the web of negative info about journals and other institutions and individuals.

  164. OnceJolly:

    The 20-year GWP for methane reported in the AR5 is somewhat lower than the value reported in Shindell et. al. (2009). I’ve read through parts of Chapter 8 of the AR5 report and there seems to be two possible explanations (pg. 8-58): either (i) the IPCC calculation doesn’t include the indirect effects of methane on the oxidation of SO2 to sulfur aerosols or (ii) the effects are included, but subsequent research found a smaller effect. Unfortunately I’ve been unable to determine where the differences come from. Any clarification would be much appreciated.

  165. Bojan Dolinar:

    Anyone noticed new preliminary survey on consensus. Some are already manufacturing spin on conclusions, but from diagonal read it seems that it merely replicates other such studies.

  166. Hank Roberts:

    > new preliminary survey on consensus


    (Bojan’s second link “manufacturing spin” is broken by a familiar bug — the blog software links itself to itself here.

  167. Tom Roche:

    On NPR yesterday (21 Nov 2013) Richard Harris said “about half of all carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has come from the developing world.” Seems high regarding *all* atmospheric CO2 (i.e., the stock, not current flows), but ICBW.

    Could anyone enlighten me regarding the provenance of that estimate? Particularly, does that include emissions from colonies (e.g., Africa before 1950)? I’m also interested in political partitioning of CH4 and N2O–are such estimates available?

  168. Tom Roche:

    @160, @162: PLoS ONE is an open-access journal. This leads some (notably, those with an interest in maintaining for-profit scientific publishing) to question its quality. They are generally wrong, but there are specific concerns about PLoS ONE, as expressed here.

  169. Killian:

    First time I recall hearing a climate scientists say what many of us have been saying for years: We must rapidly and significantly reduce consumption.

    The scientists also address scientists’ activism. That starts at @ 14:45. They say, for example, scientists have been too quiet about the misuse of their work.


    The interview is via Democracy now at the COP.

  170. wili:

    Tom, thanks for the PLoS ONE insight. On the Harris quote, “about half of all carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has come from the developing world” someone got something wrong. The developing world is just now approaching annual CO2 emissions levels of the developed world (which is presumably the intended message, or the original message that got garbled somehow intentionally or un-). So it should say, “about half of all CO2 in the atmosphere _IS NOW COMING_ from the developing world.”

    But through most of the relevant history (last 200 years or so) nearly all the additional CO2 from burning ff and land use changes were the result of activities of industrial nations (and early on, industrializing nations). I don’t have the latest estimated imbalance historical figures in front of me. But there is still an enormous ‘ecological debt’ owed to the ‘developing’ world from these historical emissions (among other things).

  171. Tom Roche:

    @170: “The developing world is just now approaching annual CO2 emissions levels of the developed world”

    That’s my impression: current *flow* of CO2 (gotta check on the other major GHGs) from LDCs is approaching parity with current flow from MDCs. But given the atmospheric lifetime of CO2 and the history of its anthropogenic emissions (both subjects with which Harris should be familiar), I was startled to see and hear Harris’ bald statement regarding global CO2 *stocks*.

    @170: “(which is presumably the intended message, or the original message that got garbled somehow intentionally or un-)”

    Increasingly unimpressed by NPR’s “journalism,” I’ve been getting my daily “news fix” via MP3s from Democracy Now! for a few years now. Call me biased, but I suspect intentional garbling: à la Krugman, I’d label this NPR’s “Opinions Differ on Climate Loss and Damage” moment.

  172. Tom Roche:

    @169: “hearing a climate [scientist] say[,] We must rapidly and significantly reduce consumption.”

    If you want some *serious* firebreathing, check out Naomi Klein’s piece in the New Statesman. Anybody got media of Brad Werner‘s talk?

  173. Russell:

    This superb slice of bafflegab from the Heartland Institute deserves response :


    Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science has generated extensive press and online attention worldwide. Of course, not all of it has been positive.

    Jim Lakely, Heartland’s communication director, has collected links to MSM, television and radio hits, and online hits at http://www.climatechangereconsidered.org. That site includes links to the new book as well as past volumes in the series, background on NIPCC and IPCC, bios of the lead authors, review procedures, and much more.

    A new link has been added (in the right-hand column of the home page) to replies to critics of the book:


    If you’re familiar with critical commentaries about NIPCC that you think merit an “official” reply from Heartland, please let me know and I’ll see what I can do, or write a reply yourself and send it to me. If you have some free time, I hope you’ll also consider visiting the sites where the negative reviews appeared and add a comment or two.

    Sam Karnick

    Director of Research
    The Heartland Institute

  174. prokaryotes:

    Extreme Weather November 2013 (Super Typhoon Haiyan, Midwest Tornado Outbreak, Sardinia Cyclone)

    Americans Are Convinced Climate Change Is Connected To Stronger Storms, Poll Says

  175. Hank Roberts:


    You want to know who’s putting money against climate science, and making money off the bad news, this is one way to find out.

  176. wili:

    Hi prok. Does your site carry only videos any more? It used to be a great clearing house for scientific papers on a number of important topics. Have you dropped that side of the site? (Of course, I like your collection of videos, too.)

    Meanwhile, the emissions figure is out for last year: 36 billion tonnes CO2.


    “Carbon Emissions on Tragic Trajectory”

    “Global emissions continue to be within the highest scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), she said.

    “This is a five-degree C trajectory. It’s absolutely tragic for humanity to be on this pathway,” Le Quéré said.

    This year’s 36 billion tonnes of CO2 will raise the planet’s temperature about 0.04 degrees C for thousands of years. [b]Every tonne emitted adds more warming[/b], she said. (If one tonne of CO2 was a second, 36 billion seconds equals about 1,200 years.”

  177. wili:

    Thanks for the link, hank. The takeaway seems to be this paragraph:

    ““This is perhaps the most corporate climate talks we have ever experienced … not to say that previous ones haven’t had a large corporate influence,” Pascoe Sabido told me. “But what’s different this time is the level of institutionalization, the degree to which the Polish government and the U.N., the UNFCCC, have welcomed this with open arms and have actively encouraged it.” Sabido works with Corporate Europe Observatory, which published the pamphlet, “The COP 19 Guide to Corporate Lobbying: Climate Crooks and the Polish Government’s Partners in Crime.” Among them, Pascoe says, are “General Motors, known for funding climate skeptic think tanks like the Heartland Institute in the U.S.; you have BMW, which is doing equal things in Europe, trying to weaken emission standards.” LOTOS Group, the second-largest Polish petroleum corporation, has its logo emblazoned on the 11,000 tote bags handed out to delegates here.”

    I notice that the presence of anti-environmental corporations is even being felt right here on this site. Has anyone else noticed the little annoying advertisement videos that now occasionally pop up on the right of the main page? One was for Walmart, recently identified as one of the top corporations undermining climate progress. http://todayeco.com/pages/17707403-wal-mart-fedex-among-the-top-50-undermining-climate-progress

    Adds for cars also seem particularly inappropriate here.

    Are these kinds of adds really the only way this place can keep the doors open?

  178. prokaryotes:

    Wili, all the content should be still there, though i tested another concept for some time under a different layout, but i integrated those into the video site a few month back. This week i moved the server and did not established this other concept again. But the content should be still there, just under the video site. Let me know if you missing something in particular and i will link it here.

  179. flxible:

    What ads on the right wili? Must be something your browser is doing, I’ve never seen any adverts whatever here.

  180. wili:

    “What ads on the right wili? Must be something your browser is doing, I’ve never seen any adverts whatever here.”

    That’s weird. They don’t seem to be coming up any more. Maybe a short term glitch. I do hope they weren’t anything that was happening with mods approval.

  181. wili:

    New article on seabed methane out in Nature Geoscience DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2007

    Here’s a link to the article about it in New Scientist: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24639-arctic-storms-speed-up-release-of-methane-plumes.html#.UpJdRI2kCxl

    Apparently, Arctic storms increase methane release from the seabed. So far, though, the amount of increase is relatively small (not the ‘big burp’ Shakhova has been warning could happen any time). So far.

  182. prokaryotes:

    Re #181 The NS article links a 2007 study and refers to expeditions from 2010 and 2011.

  183. wili:

    Good catch, prok. The coverage at the Guardian doesn’t link to a current scholarly article, either. http://guardianlv.com/2013/11/global-warming-arctic-storms-releasing-methane/

    Anyone have a link to the actual scholarly article?

  184. prokaryotes:

    Here is the study, from today

    Ebullition and storm-induced methane release from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf

  185. wili:

    Thanks, prok.

  186. wili:

    Note that they found that seabed surface (former) permafrost “entirely unfrozen.” That does not bode well, it seems to me.

    (reCaptcha oracle comments: knostic account)

  187. wili:

    The storm-induced methane story has been picked up by Climate Central now. http://www.climatecentral.org/news/storms-warming-mean-more-arctic-methane-being-released-16775

    How about a main post about it here at RealClimate?

    [Response: In the works. – gavin]

  188. wili:

    Gavin wrote “In the works.” wili replies: ‘F’ing awesome!’ ‘-) No, really, it seems to me quite an important matter to get a good discussion about.

    For example, Shakhova is quoted in the CC piece as saying the latest study increases the estimate of total methane being emitted by that part of the Arctic Ocean to 17 teratonnes, but that this is probably a conservative estimate. So lets round it up to 20 million tonnes.

    If we take the Shindel et al. estimate of short term GWP of methane as about 100 times that of CO2, that bring us to 2 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent from this one source. Total CO2 emissions this year are looking to be about 36 billion tonnes, iirc. So this added amount is already looking like a pretty significant chunk of what is going on, especially if it is on an exponentially growing curve (as feedback systems tend to do). But maybe my maths are wrong somewhere?

    What is clearly needed is an immediate ‘feedback’ of quick reductions of human carbon emissions, but that does not seem much in evidence after the latest farce in Warsaw.

  189. Hank Roberts:

    … “You have given more presentations that Al and I ever thought possible — to date, more than a million people have seen that slide show, personally delivered around the world!”More than a million served. It seems like an amazing statistic to the group, who are stunned to hear that there are now 1,700 trained presenters working in a dozen countries — over a thousand in the U.S. alone — and that the next big training session is scheduled for India in March.

    This all seems kind of unreal. When we applied for this gig, on an unassuming little web site set up by The Climate Project and Participant Productions after the release of the movie “An Inconvenient Truth”, it seemed like a quixotic dream that might appeal to only a few hard-cord activists. Al Gore wanted to train a thousand people to be communicators for the climate crusade. Most of us thought he’d have to paper the house.

    But as it turned out, they received nearly ten times that many applications, and those of us who got to go to Nashville a year ago for the climatology boot camp are now considered the lucky few….

    … Jeremy and the other science advisors to The Climate Project are here with the data to re-focus us and make sure we get the story right — fearlessly and confidently, without backing down.

    “We know you guys are modifying and updating the slide show — we know you have to,” says Roy with a smile. “People don’t want to see the movie over and over again, they need the new information and they need the solutions-based slides, we know, and we thank you for your resourcefulness. But as you know, you cannot just grab anything off the Web and put it in your slide show, make sure you get it right.” So this retraining session is a critical opportunity for us — we can share our new solutions-based slides, update them and fact-check them, and The Climate Project scientists have new, peer-reviewed information to share with us. And we have a couple of amazing mentors — called District Managers — who guide us through the technical bits ….


  190. Sean:

    This may help show the kinds of outcomes I feel need addressing by the IPCC as a Global UN Institution.
    Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard has delivered a speech on climate change Nov 5th 2013 the Global Warming Policy Foundation in London. This has been widely reported. The speech title was “One Religion is Enough!” http://australianpolitics.com/2013/11/05/howard-one-religion-is-enough.html

    Some comments were: “I chose the lecture’s title largely in reaction to the sanctimonious tone employed by so many of those who advocate quite substantial, and costly, responses to what they see as irrefutable evidence that the world’s climate faces catastrophe, against people who do share their view. To them the cause has become a substitute religion.”
    He calls for a “sense of proportion” in the global warming debate and says that “first principles tell us never to accept that all of the science is in on any proposition”.
    “In the past five years, the dynamic of the global warming debate has shifted away from exaggerated acceptance of the worst possible implications of what a majority of climate scientists tell us, towards a more balanced and questioning approach.”
    He warned against use of “offensive language” such as the term “denier”.
    Howard said it is “highly unlikely” there will ever be a worldwide agreement on global warming.
    He said he had “always been something of an agnostic on global warming” and suggested his support for an emissions trading scheme in 2007 was purely political and occurred at a time when it was expedient to be seen to be “doing something”. (iow public opinion forced his Govt to do something – this is no longer the case and all climate change action in 33 separate actions is being repealed or defunded in Australia with the re-election of his centre-right party in Sept.)
    Global warming is a quintessential public policy issue. Understanding the science is crucial;….
    In his speech he quotes/mentions: Lord Nigel Lawson; Dr Richard S. Lindzen:”This immediately involves a distortion of science at a very basic level”; the GFC Irving Kristol’s famous phrase, it mugged the debate with a heavy dose of reality;
    “flood of emails coming from the University of East Anglia, the admitted errors regarding the Himalayan Glaciers, as well as the nakedly political agendas of some of those allegedly giving impartial scientific advice have DEGRADED the image of the IPCC as the unchallengeable body of scientific EXPERTS on global warming.”
    Otto Edenhoper, Co-Chairman of the IPCC Working Group III, and a lead author of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, released in 2007, demonstrated his commitment to impartial scientific enquiry with his remarkable statement, “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.” Revealing his REAL AGENDA he has stated: “One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”
    ” the most recent IPCC Report has produced a grudging ADMISSION that the WARMING process has been at a STANDSTILL for the past 15 years. But we are assured that is only temporary.”
    “Most in this room will recall the apocalyptic warnings of the Club of Rome, more than 40 years ago. They were experts; they predicted that the world would run out of resources to sustain itself. They were wrong. ”
    ” the report by Sir Nicholas Stern hit the shelves, with the author himself visiting Australia, and lastly the former US Vice President Al Gore released his movie “An Inconvenient Truth”. To put it bluntly “doing something” about global warming gathered strong political momentum in Australia.”
    “2009 Abbott turned the Liberal Party’s policy on the issue on its head. He withdrew any kind of bipartisan support for an ETS (and more)”
    “two years ago Canadians gave majority government to Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, who were pledged to a sensible use of its resources, so Australians have now elected a government with a pragmatic attitude on global warming”
    “Led by Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, an attempt was made, by what can only be described as alarmists, to exploit these fires for the purposes of the global warming debate. She said the fires were an example of the “doom and gloom” the world may be facing without vigorous action on climate change”. ”
    ” Nigel Lawson’s compelling point in his book An Appeal to Reason, that the present generation should not carry too heavy a burden so that future generations ”
    “Can I finish on a geo-political note? What some call “the shale revolution” now underway in the United States has the potential to be a game changer in the proper sense of that expression. ”

    The general Public, and Journalists, and Politicians do hear unrelenting promotions of these kinds of views in the press, radio, TV, news, and online.

    ex-PM John Howard is representative of a distinct alternative **global consensus** of key **public opinion makers** in the media, in business, in politics, even Priests and Archbishops, with influence and a distinct public presence about Climate Change today.

    These views are representative of the majority in the US Congress, and of the current Governments in Australia, Canada, UK, Russia, Poland and several other eastern european nations which is reflective of a dominant view of the people in those nations as to CC importance and the validity/certainty of the science and risks involved.

    The US, Australia, UK, Poland & Canada are all nations that are actively pursuing CSG/Shale Gas exploitation. Which may only a coincidence or indicative of the situation being coupled with a strong climate science denial activism, plus News Corp presence.

    A quite common view now vs 2007/08 is, “well of course climate changes, that’s natural. But man-made caused global warming, well that’s just a MYTH.” This promoted daily across the globe today. 25 years after the IPCC was created.

    The open question I have is what has the IPCC or other climate science body publicly done to counteract the falsity about the “science” and about the IPCC itself, and working climate scientists, as expressed by John Howard and others?

    Many here seem to believe this is not an issue about effective public communication, and that neither the IPCC nor anyone else holds a responsibility for this current state of play. I find that very odd and unreconcilable. Maybe I am missing something? Anything is possible.
    Lord Nigel Lawson’s The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) http://www.thegwpf.org/ (good mates with Lord “the Fraud” Monckton btw

  191. Sean:

    IPCC “Because of its scientific and intergovernmental nature, the IPCC embodies a unique opportunity to provide rigorous and balanced scientific information to decision makers.”

    PM John Howard was a major Government “decision maker” from 1996 to 2007.

    Clearly the “information” did not sink in. The communication of the science of AGW & Climate Change & future risks was ineffective in this case.

    The direct public response to John Howard’s speech in Nov 2013 by the IPCC and Climate Scientists and other formal organisations has been ZERO.
    I personally find that unconscionable and a dereliction of responsibility. That’s my opinion.

  192. Sean:

    ‘We’re F***ed! Conceptualising Catastrophe’.

    The inspiration for this came from Stephen Emmott’s recent sell-out play 10 Billion. At the end of the play, having reviewed the different ways in which humanity has altered Earth’s climate, the Oxford professor (and expert in complex natural systems) states ‘I think we’re already f***ed’.

    This is a sentiment that has been surfaced by others, including US geophysicist Brad Werner in a conference paper last year. Indeed, short of the expletive, the theme of humanity’s suicidal trajectory in the Anthropocene has been highlighted by writers such as Clive Hamilton, Mark Lynas and George Monbiot.

    This has been reinforced with increasing urgency by scientists around the world, with US climate scientist James Hansen this week publishing a paper highlighting that ‘conceivable levels of human-made climate forcing could yield the low-end runaway greenhouse effect’ including ‘out-of-control amplifying feedbacks such as ice sheet disintegration and melting of methane hydrates’.
    [embedded links within the article]

  193. prokaryotes:

    The livescience article on the recent methane study features an interview with Natalia Shakova and has an interesting image. Twice as Much Methane Escaping Arctic Seafloor

  194. Hank Roberts:


    ALEC puts a crimp in U.S. democracy. When a politician receives enough votes to make it to the U.S. House or Senate, the assumption is that person will spend time learning the facts about multiple issues and then drafting legislation around those issues that better society. ALEC tries to shortcircuit all that nasty legislative stuff and put elected state officials directly in touch with corporations and other like-minded lobbyists and politicians to meet outside of the legislature and make things happen.

    ALEC’s m.o. is to write blueprints for laws that would advance the council’s cause, and then pitch these draft bills to potential sponsors in assorted state legislatures….

  195. prokaryotes:

    Singapore sized iceberg breaks off in Antarctica

  196. Ray Ladbury:

    Sean@190-1: John Howard is a politician who has decided that there are more votes to be gained from denial and delay than by taking action that we cannot be sure will avert catastrophe. I do not view him as an unintelligent or misinformed, but rather as a cynical manipulator who world rather wield power in his life than preserve the planet for his progeny.

    Where he and so many others are wrong, and where indeed, the views you allude to in 192 are wrong is that there is no limit to how badly we can screw up the planet for our progeny. There is not some magic level of CO2 or temperature where we simply proclaim “We’re f***ed”. Rather we can always continue to make it worse and worse or start to make it slightly better. We will determine how badly off our children and grandchildren will be during our own lifetimes, and we will do it consciously with every decision we make during that lifetime.

  197. Mal Adapted:


    The direct public response to John Howard’s speech in Nov 2013 by the IPCC and Climate Scientists and other formal organisations has been ZERO.
    I personally find that unconscionable and a dereliction of responsibility. That’s my opinion.

    The IPCC is not organized to do what you are asking. It is has fulfilled its charter by issuing the Assessment Reports. In the U.S., the National Academy of Sciences promulgates document after document. Many of the world’s professional scientific bodies have issued statements calling for government action, and various individual climate scientists have forcefully expressed their concerns in public venues. They are out-shouted by professional deniers, in the employ of those who will lose the most if fossil fuel use is curtailed.

    Policy responses to climate catastrophe are up to politicians like John Howard, whom Hank succinctly characterized. Every member of the U.S. Congress makes the same cynical calculation that Howard does. In Australia and the U.S., scientists lack credibility with the voters who might elect climate realists to office. Nothing a scientist can say will get through to them.

    I expect that nothing will be done until enough voters experience undeniable impacts themselves, which of course will mean that catastrophe is already well advanced. Only then will efforts to keep it from getting even worse get under way. I’d love to proved wrong, though.

  198. nigelj:

    I agree with Shaun at 33-36. The sceptics are having things all their own way and the mainstream climate community are letting themselves be treated badly, and are not approaching things at a level the public can grasp. Their discussions are factually sound and their work is brilliant, but is too complex for the public, as are the IPCC reports. The media are biased and unreliable.

    Why doesnt the IPCC release a very short, simple guide to climate change, and get it in the media? This would have some authority with the public and politicians. You could produce a guide, and counter the main sceptic argments in about two pages as follows.

    The evidence for the greenhouse affect goes back 150 years and was prediced long ago. The climate has warmed recently and isnt explained by solar activity. Sceptics who say its driven by solar activity have not produced evidence of this.

    There are certain changes in the atmosphere that point at CO2. The increase in temperature is varaible due to ocean cycles. The result will be significant sea level rise and extreme weather. Look no numbers, graphs, and complex science or fear mongering photos and the guts of it in one paragraph.

    I have always believed science should be slightly cool and conservative in terms of public communication, but if a sceptic argument is seriously missleading the IPCC itself should address this firmly. As should climate scientsits by getting in the mainstream media. And obviously the climate community itself should get together and get the latest research on the non pause in the media as this is very significant research. Climate scientists have to get in the media and attend to communicating the issues in simple, slightly blunt terms to the public or they will not be taken seriously.

  199. prokaryotes:

    U.S. Methane Emissions Vastly Underestimated: Study

  200. Bojan:

    Regarding @165 and @166, this is the link that got broken:

    Ray, thanks for pointing it out

  201. Hank Roberts:

    UPI today:

    … Frolicher’s study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, suggests that the 2 °C rise may be achieved with a lot less CO2 in the atmosphere.”If our results are correct, the total carbon emissions required to stay below 2 degrees of warming would have to be three-quarters of previous estimates, only 750 billion tons instead of 1,000 billion tons of carbon,” Frolicher said.

    The reason for this disparity in figures is that previous models did not take into account the gradual reduction in the ocean’s ability to absorb heat from the atmosphere, particularly at the poles.

    [Princeton University]

    [Nature World News]

  202. wili:

    Neven is now covering the seabed methane article on his Arctic Sea Ice blog: http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2013/11/and-the-wind-cries-methane.html#more

  203. Hank Roberts:

    Prokaryotes’ link above is to:

    The word “hydrate” does not appear in that. Anyone know if they have changed the estimated amount of methane in that shallow seabed? I don’t see numbers and haven’t found their calculations, other than the “twice as much” claim.


  204. wili:

    nigel, sean and others: If you see something that needs to be done, don’t sit around complaining that others aren’t doing it.

    Do it yourselves!

  205. wili:

    If anyone hasn’t yet, please do check out hank’s linked article at 201. The title of the article is: “Even if emissions stop, carbon dioxide could warm Earth for centuries.” (I must say that I’m pretty sure if I had linked to any such article, I would have been called a hopeless doomster or worse. Miserable me is always glad to have company.’-))


    “Disappearing Permafrost: We visit German climate researchers in the northern Siberian wilderness of the Lena Delta. They’re studying how the thawing of permafrost is affecting climate change.”

    (reCaptcha oracle says: “respect Luubse” –whoever he is.)

  206. Sean:

    @58 Hank, first the general public (nor I) needs to educate themselves about the intricacies of ‘statistics’ in the links to accept the climate science and act accordingly. These matters are for spec-ialists and the occasional interested person making up 0.0000001% (?) of the population. It is not critical for the public to ‘get this’, albeit fascinating for a few, to prove to themselves AGW/CC is valid.

    Quote: “RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. We aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary.”

    OK, so re “central ‘authoritative responsible’ body being active” and “Name one case where that’s worked out, for any global problem?”

    The UN, the UNSC, UNHCR, Red Cross, IAEA, NNPT, UNESCO World Heritage body,… or do you only seek those bodies that have achieved “perfect” outcomes?

    The IPCC was founded in 1998 upon previously successful approaches, see below links. The IPCC like any organisation does not preclude it from potential positive Reforms nor Productivity improvements. It is not sacred, it is not sacrosanct from making rational Changes to it’s mission or role or activity in the public domain. Neither is RC, but the owners are free agents. Simply saying the same principle applies.

    International Co-operation to Combat Acid Rain http://www.fni.no/ybiced/95_05_levy.pdf


    http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/arep/gaw/gaw_home_en.html (tip of an iceberg, but still depends on how each person looks at it)

  207. Hank Roberts:

    > wili, 205

    You say you’re “pretty sure …” — but if you will get familiar with the skepticalscience articles, you’ll recognize this sort of thing as already well known. The news story is about a detail, a refinement, not big new news.

    That’s why we amateurs need to — always — check what we think we know. Most of our common knowledge about climate change is likely wrong, or at least uninformed and outdated.

    We won’t learn how to always be right. We can learn to always look stuff up.

    climate models suggest that ocean warming will continue for at least a thousand years even if CO2 emissions were to completely stop.


  208. Sean:

    @61 RayL .. “Does that paragraph sound familiar, Sean? It is what you wrote back in #17. It is also simply flat-assed wrong.”
    Yes Ray I remember it, I wrote it. You disagree. Well shoot me! :)

    RE; “an audience that is lazy or unwilling to hear what the speaker has to say will also torpedo the process.”
    No comment required.
    re: “And then you come up with some vague suggestion that the IPCC should have made AIT rather than Gore.” Sorry, I didn’t realise that you knew MORE about what I think and why I think it, than I do. I should have asked you first obviously. meanwhile, feel free anytime to ask me a respectful question if there is something in what I have ever said that seems out of kilter to you. I will clarify it by providing more in depth information. I didn;t just wake up yesterday with a ‘thoguht bubble and had to rush off to RC to announce it to the world. I actually CARE a lot about this space, and am eternally grateful for it. Until now.
    re “Sean, my criticism of your position is that you are criticizing those who have been most active for the longest” My humblest apologies for your inability to comprehend despite pointing it out repeatedly that I am NOT criticising anyone to find fault. I am critiquing, no matter how much to wish to allow your emotional reactions to verbal and criticise and bully me to STFU because you (apparently) cannot handle what it is I am suggesting, let alone actually understand it. (see, how do you like it?)
    And who had the authority to deem that the IPCC and RC or cliamte scientists in general were above hearing someone else opinion on the subject of how they present their materail to the wolrd, and how they have abidacted the field of battle when it comes to the outrageous verballing of themsleves and sit in silence behind a cone of silence … leaving the genral public out there not knowing WTF is going on having to rely on sheer chance they might find a journalist there somewhere writing an article that might explain it for them in a way they can understand? NO, not the science but the relentless attacks on scientists and the IPCC and the entire process? They do get to hear what PM Howard has to say though .. that is splashed across the nightly news. In a vacume what else should they think? Not everyone has had the time I have to educate myself, nor do they have the internet skills etc required to keep up with a website like RC or skeptical science, or NASA, or YaleClimate forum.
    Seriously ray you are trhe one with the problem here mate. I suggest you get a grip and come down off your high horse. Did you actually bother to go listen to that Richard King interview? I think not. GO educate yourself about what I am talking about yourself. I get the science, over a decade ago. You do not have a clue about ‘communication” and exactly what it is I point to because you buddy do NOT want to know and am so full of yourself you won’t listen nor ask a genuine question in case there might just be something you are not aware of.

    “an audience that is lazy or unwilling to hear what the speaker has to say will also torpedo the process.”

    You wrote it, go eat your own words. Plonk!

  209. Sean:

    @197 Mal “The IPCC is not organized to do what you are asking.”
    Yes I know that. Which is why I am speaking about it.

    “Policy responses to climate catastrophe are up to politicians like John Howard,” and if you read his speech you will see where his policy responses changed due to ‘public opinion & voting intentions demanded it’ – that public opinion has now evaporated 6 years later… JH lite is not in office dismantling over 33 CC programs.

    ” In Australia and the U.S., scientists lack credibility with the voters who might elect climate realists to office.” OK, so you agree there actually IS a problem here. But none of this has to do with the “scientists /ipcc communication” directly to those VOTERS. It’s all the deniers fault? It’s the Voters fault for being too stupid? So eevry thing I might suggest must be wrong. Is this what you believe or have I misunderstood your point? thx.

  210. Sean:

    @196 Ray … John Howard is an EX politician and former PM who lost his seat in 2007 primarily over Climate Change inaction and asylum seeker policies. he isn’t chasing votes, he has offered himself up to the ‘machine’ so others get Votes.

    RE ” I do not view him as an unintelligent or misinformed” he has only ever read one thing about Climate Change, Nigel Lawsons book, twice. He has read an IPCC Summary, ever. So maybe you are wrong on this point.

    RE ” a cynical manipulator who” who the general public get to hear about via the news wihtout asking for that information. He has an effect on the general public, and note what he has reinforced about the IPCC and climate scientists in his speech. The response from the IPCC and anyone else is? Zero. IF they responded in kind they would get onto the TV NEWS, and current affairs programs, and potentially radio interviews in this nation no matter where they are in the world. The public would get to hear that, without asking for it. I could write a comment on newspaper site or send in a letter to the editor, but who would heed anything I had to say VS John Howard?

    re: ” “We’re f***ed”. ” Ray did you actually go and look at that blog site and the authors credentials and what he is doing and why? He has actually complimented me on my pov on this matter and others.

    re: “Where he and so many others are wrong,.. ” so are really assuming that I don’t know that already? Am not taking that into consideration and is a core reason why I am saying what I am saying? Really I have no idea what you are trying to get at here. It makes no sense to me. Must be my fault of course. Couldn’t be you mate.

  211. Sean:

    @204 Wili … So in your view all I am doing is sitting around and complaining? Thanks so much for your support Wili. With like minded friends like you who needs WUWT or Curry.

    Please let me know the url of the website you purchased your crystal ball from. I would hate to go there and waste my money. Fair dinkum, you don;t know a thing about me, nor what I have done and am doing. Yep I never lifted a finger on this AGW/CC, not once. Not ever helped one other soul ever. Thank you very much. Noted: ‘wili’. Got it.

  212. Sean:

    @198 NigelJ – “I agree with Shaun at 33-36. The sceptics are having things all their own way and the mainstream climate community are letting themselves be treated badly, and are not approaching things at a level the public can grasp. Their discussions are factually sound and their work is brilliant, but is too complex for the public, as are the IPCC reports. The media are biased and unreliable.”

    Thank you very much Nigel for taking the time to say that. Plus your other comments. Much appreciated, Sean

  213. Sean:

    @69 Hank said: ” But — Sean — you’ve taken over a wonderful science topic that’s worth us learning from. Could you take your issue and those attracted to it somewhere else?”

    Taken over? My issue? Those who are attracted to it, one of them was you Hank. You did put some questions to me, so I gave you the courtesy of answering them as best I could. Now you are complaining about it. That seems pretty irrational to me, or duplicitous and disingenuous. Thanks for wasting MY time by asking questions you had no interest in. Why do you do that?

    Hank re: “Because the Statistics and Climate thread could still be about statistics and climate.”

    The article by Rasmus includes: […] statisticians in climate research is to bring in their experience with ‘infographics’ and ways to convey complex messages through illustrations. […] Standard conventions can reduce the risk of misrepresenting data […] We now have many different climate models, many different methods, and get a range of different results. […] But how do we make sense out of all this information? And, do we really need all these different models? []

    These issues are of great interest to me. Therefore I am making comments and posing queries in this regard that are imho on topic, and intended to gain the information and knowledge that I am seeking at this time. “how does the public make sense of these models?” “ways to convey complex messages” “misinterpreting data & different results” Do I need your special permission to pose/query ideas and elicit responses from guests and the scientists here that are different than your specific personal interest? If so why?

    Furthermore Hank, this is a moderated forum and I know that. Been here since 2006/07 at least monthly usually weekly. I suggest if you have an issue with my comments being posted here then you would best take the issue up with the moderators, and not me. I respect their authority and the even way that they manage this site and I will defer to them, not you. Is that clear enough and fair enough and within the site guidelines? If not why? I’d like to know.

    Hank re: “I’ve read about half of the links in the original post and mean to read them all and try to learn about statistics and climate. Here, if possible. Now, with luck.”

    Please explain to me how any comment posted by me has interfered with your freedom to read those links? I fail to see any valid reason how this comments section gets in the way of you reading web pages on other sites. And what’s taking you so long to read them all? :)

    Hank re: “Education starts with us, here. If we’ll shut up long enough for the scientists to educate us.” Perhaps you could take your own advice on this mate! If my comments or anyone elses are not of interest, how about you use the mouse wheel and skip over them when you come back here to pose a question or see what others have to say. I don;t see that is very hard. I have seen threads here with +300 comments, unlike the 60 here now.

    Hank re: “Ask smart questions showing a beginner’s understanding of the statistics.” But Hank, my interest is different than the inner working of statistics. It;s beyond my ken and time constraints and specific goals.

    Hank re: “Better yet, let’s hope some actual statisticians wanting conversation with the climatologists show up and ask better questions.”
    Well that’s fine by me. I can’t see how I am in the way. They only need to post a comment or ask a *better* question more to YOUR liking and bob’s your uncle. Why should this be a problem to you? Maybe none will show up. It’s not logical to blame me for that. Is it?

    Now as to off-topic, and me supposedly taking over, most of my comments have been responses to people who spoke to me about matters I mentioned. If people take the time to address me, my usual response is reply in kind. No comments usual means the readers have no interest. I don;t complain about that.

    Fact is Hank, I am doing my own research to find out what the answers may be to some important questions I have. I have a time window open and deadline to make a decision. I thought one place to come was the best Climate science site created for the public that I know of. I am the public. I have come to the experts and a group of readers who are usually a cut above the rest. The quotes from the article I gave are some of issues that are involved. I have read the article and looked at the links info. My specific interest is directly related and yet a variation on the specific intent of Rasmus in writing the article, and your detailed intellectual pursuits. I believe that my intellectual pursuit is just as valid, and just as relevant. If you can give me a valid reason why it isn’t it, or why I am getting in your way here, I am all ears.
    But I’ll tell you this Hank. if you didn’t write to me like you have written to me you wouldn’t have this long response cluttering your precious space mate. TY. Answer my questions or not, that’s totally up to you. Do as you wish. There’s room enough for all in the Inn, imho. I have made more comments here in the last week than I have in the last 6 years. If that’s a problem, then I am not the one with the problem. Sean

  214. Ray Ladbury:

    Sean, If I have misinterpreted what you are saying, perhaps you could try to say it clearly rather than using vagueness as a sheild against criticism.

    My main criticism, however, is of the few points you have clearly expressed:

    that the public misunderstanding of climate science is due to the inability of climate scientists to communicate


    that AIT was a net negative.

    Both of these statements are demonstrably false, not to mention insulting to those who are trying to do the most to increase public awareness and understanding of this threat.

  215. Sean:

    Deja Vu from the Crypt

  216. wili:

    Sean, take a deep breath.

  217. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by Sean — 26 Nov 2013 @ 10:05 AM

    You have emphasized the importance of the communicator in the effective transmission of ideas. Do you consider your post to be a good example of high quality communication?


  218. Thomas Lee Elifritz:

    that blog site and the authors credentials

    You’re joking, right?

  219. dhogaza:


    “Fact is Hank, I am doing my own research to find out what the answers may be to some important questions I have. I have a time window open and deadline to make a decision. I thought one place to come was the best Climate science site created for the public that I know of. I am the public. I have come to the experts and a group of readers who are usually a cut above the rest.”

    Concern trolling is b-o-r-i-n-g.

  220. OnceJolly:

    Richard Heede’s recent work establishing the role of the “carbon majors” (i.e. entities that have produced a significant share of emissions) has been receiving media attention recently. Although it’s a minor quibble (given that methane has a small overall share), the one thing that strikes me as odd is summing annual CH4 emissions over the period and then using the 100-year GWP (a value of 21) for methane to convert this figure into CO2e units. My understanding is that GWPs are really only meaningful when referring to the future implications of emissions.

  221. wili:

    Thanks for those points, hank. “That’s why we amateurs need to — always — check what we think we know. Most of our common knowledge about climate change is likely wrong, or at least uninformed and outdated.”

    Another way of saying, “Don’t believe everything you think.” Always sage advice.

  222. Mal Adapted:


    ” In Australia and the U.S., scientists lack credibility with the voters who might elect climate realists to office.” OK, so you agree there actually IS a problem here. But none of this has to do with the “scientists /ipcc communication” directly to those VOTERS. It’s all the deniers fault? It’s the Voters fault for being too stupid? So eevry thing I might suggest must be wrong. Is this what you believe or have I misunderstood your point? thx.

    It’s not that the voters are too “stupid”, it’s that (at least in the U.S.), the dominant culture doesn’t place a high value on thinking scientifically, so the public schools don’t emphasis science, resulting in abysmally low levels of scientific meta-literacy in the electorate.

    And it’s pretty clear (though not accepted by everyone) that ideological identity counts more than scientific knowledge when voters are choosing policy positions.

    Professional deniers freely exploit those factors when crafting their propaganda, and they have the financial wherewithal to keep our compliant mass media continuously saturated with it. OTOH, despite the tu quoque calumnies of deniers, scientists are ethically (and financially) constrained from adopting that strategy.

    That’s what I believe, but I’d love to be proven wrong.

  223. SecularAnimist:

    Various media outlets are reporting that Al Gore recently adopted a vegan diet.

    Apparently this was first reported in passing by Forbes magazine, and according to the Washington Post “an individual familiar with Gore’s decision … confirmed that Gore opted a couple of months ago to become vegan”.

    Gore’s office has not officially confirmed, so no reason for Gore’s choice has been given, but NPR’s report notes that Gore “has previously said that he has been slowly reducing his meat consumption over the past few years because of his concern about climate change … Gore is one of many consumers who are seeing the link between their food choices and the destruction of the planet and taking action”, and quotes a 2009 interview:

    “It’s absolutely correct that the growing meat intensity of diets around the world is one of the issues connected to this global crisis, not only because of the CO2 involved but also because of the water consumed in the process.”

  224. Sean:

    @222 Mal … Thanks for your comments and the links. Appreciated. I hear you and believe that I know what you mean and why you see it that way. Thx.

  225. Sean:

    @218 Thomas, what’s your problem with his particular field of research and credentials? Thx

  226. Sean:

    John Christy VS Gavin Schmidt On Climate Gate 2009 with Wolf Blitzer CNN Live

    4 years later in 2012 … One viewers comment goes like this:
    “Gavin Schmit sounds like a preacher. John Christy sounds like a scientist. The AGW debate is over. Skeptics win in the United States and China, so the Eurosnobs who buy into this garbage can suck it.”

    This interesting to me because I believe Gavin is correct on the Science and the facts surrounding ClimateGate, and Christy is [fill in with your own opinion].

    This live interview [being used an example only] shows up multiple learning opportunities and primary information about effective and ineffective communication with the public. It also highlights “entrapment” by highly skilled interviewers and Producers.

    One example of the ‘tricks of the trade’ in Blitzer tool box appears near the beginning @43 secs. Before you view this, note that the whole thing goes for 7:49 mins. What does Blizter say but more importantly WHY is he saying it?

    If anyone on RC would like to have a fruitful and mature well reasoned and respectful dialogue about the manipulative strategies used in this example and why it is that people so easily fall into the traps such as the viewer comments indicate, I’m up for it.

    But I only have a limited amount of time! Sean

  227. Tony Weddle:

    The article linked to by Hank@201, includes this, “The researchers’ work contradicts a scientific consensus that the global temperature would remain constant or decline if emissions were suddenly cut to zero.” This is effectively repeated by the lead author of the study. Surely this is nonsense? As I understand it, the earth has an energy imbalance, which will not go away the moment GHG emissions cease. The earth (particularly the troposphere) must surely continue to warm until that energy imbalance is back to zero?

  228. Mike Roberts:

    I’m trying to figure out how f****d we are, with climate change. There is a huge amount of research to tell us how things are going wrong but I’m having difficulty finding a science based site or paper that links all of this together. I know there are always lots of caveats in science but is there enough known about feedbacks, current forcings and likely emissions paths (given the inability to even reduce emissions or the growth in emissions) to paint a reasonably probably scenario about where we are headed? Have enough feedbacks kicked in to such a degree that they could even take over from human forcings if humans got their act together? I’ve seen lots of speculation about where we’re headed but most doesn’t seem to be solidly based on science.

    I’ve been a lurker here for a while (it’s a great site) but still haven’t got a good feel for where we are likely headed and thought a question might get me further. Thanks for any responses.

  229. Sean:

    I will call the following, tacked onto the end of a comment, “The Night Time Flare Technique”. What is the main purpose of using Flares at night?

    “imho, the worst thing that has negatively affected global understanding of the importance of climate science and future risks was in fact Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. Good intentions can sometimes be a road to hell.” http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/statistics-and-climate/comment-page-1/#comment-427469

    [side bar] I could have said “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Any idea why I wrote it differently instead? (some may say I couldn’t remember)Was there any ‘subtle effect’ of doing it differently than the usual ‘saying’?

    OK every online discussion has it’s ‘resident in-group’ and mini-cultural norms. All the individuals are different, and yet still in time a culture develops and that culture is set by the tone of the ‘moderators/owner’ but as time goes on more and more of the influence of that comes from the ‘in-group’ of regulars. These people become quite protective of both the owner and the culture. They are well-intended.

    An analogy would be the catholic church. Whilst very much adhering to the basics of that faith, each Parish Church is actually driven by the core in-group of Lay parishioners who are the most active in their church administration and activities. Because of this two parishes right beside each can in fact have completely different cultures and acceptable norms. Changes in the Parish Priest even will often not be powerful enough to resist the subtle control of the Parish by the core in-group of Lay people.
    Bringing this back to “climate science” this principle equally applies to different blog/discussion boards online. All may have the same over-riding basic beliefs and purpose, and yet each will have a very different culture. This culture is set in stone the longer the discussion group exists. This works on the same principles found in ‘evolution’. It is hard wired into human beings, it is a foundation stone of our collective natural psychology. It is as irresistible a ‘force’ as being take over by the Borg. One either complies and becomes assimilated into the prevailing culture, or they will be ejected and if necessary destroyed. This process operates by proxy on all online discussion groups. It is an undeniable fact. Only a belief not based on evidence will deny this is the case.
    By using a short sharp confronting statement on any discussion board such as the Night Time Flare technique will flush out the in-group immediately. AS soon as this in-group members see such a post they will react in defensive mode. This is exactly what has occurred, as almost anyone who is not in this in-grouop will recognise. Why? becausue they ahve all seen it a hundred times before. Right?

    The question is this .. what do do about it, if anything? Another question is why does it happen? Knowing that one will discover the strategies that will work to regain control from this in-group IF the goal is to encourage true and sustainable open minded, creative, imagination and a welcoming space for like-minded visitors. There is a choice. Act in order for the good parts and best benefits of discussion group to survive, or work out once and for all if it is worth the individuals time to persist or fly the bee hive and look for a better place to obtain what one seeks.

    These are all very personal choices. No one can tell another what is right for them. That would be an infringement upon their independence and free will should any pressure or manipulation is applied y others. The latter is is definitely not my intention, in fact the opposite by lifting this issue from out of the shadows and discussion in openly using facts evidence education and hopefully returning to respectful dialogue between parties.

    Now the in-group plays an important role. Firstly they do have leadership skills. Secondly their self-confidence is usually higher than the norm. and thirdly because it is they they usually bounce the short term Trolls who only seek discord and disruption out of the group faster than greased lightening. They really pull their weight whilst the more meek participants look on in awe wishing they were so. :) This is a good thing. This is ‘evolution’ in action.

    The downside is that power corrupts, and absolute power (or a belief one holds such a power) corrupts absolutely. Sometimes the defenders of the faith can later become tyrants in their own right. History tells us this is so.

    The in-group becomes complacent, very comfortable and feel at home the longer the group survives and their role is enhanced by others. Soon after they begin to lose sight of the broader goals and purtpose of the original intent of the discusion board confalting their own specific individual needs for the the group needs. The consequence of this is that new ideas, new entrants, imagination, creativity, thinking outside the box, open dialogue between parties is smothered. This is not a good thing when it happens. Not even for the in-group over the long term. Increasing they become myopic and over-reactionary. The slightest variation for the cultural norms are immediately set upon as look out it’s another troll attack .. man the battlements. And the best form of defense is what? Attack!

    To understand this dynamic by way of further analogy, maybe have a look at the topic of Mobbing in the Workplace. And then ask yourself is this the kind of place you want RC to be?

    I am open to any respectful dialogue about this subject by anyone on RC, and especially those who already recognise what I am saying from first hand observations here. You know what I mean. This is an opportunity for you to speak about openly and honestly, and maybe learn some new skills on how to more effectively deal with it yourself, and communicate your feelings about it, and to stand up and defend yourself and your own beliefs and values. be that here now, or in the next discussion group you decide to join.

    Lastly for the benefit of all, I am not an American. Please do not treat me like one. And do not expect me to act like one nor speak like one either.
    My cultural norms are different, so if you cannot respect that whilst I (at times humorously) respect and acknowledge your national norms and limitations plus your ways of being then effective communication and respectful dialogue will become impossible.

    I know how to handle Americans on discussion boards with either kid gloves or a size nine boot. So far I have been using the latter by choice. I suggest I have as much right to engage in conversation here and be myself and stand up for my own values and be tolerated and accommodated here as such, as everyone else should be. I will not tolerate fools nor abuse nor haughtiness and self-righteousness. Sorry, i do have my own standards. :)

    Alternatively, Gavin may at any time kick me off the site forever. That is his right. That would be a shame imho, but if that’s the way it is then that’s great because it means I won’t need to waste my time trying to help him out here.

    And yes, I am very self-confident that I know what I am speaking about here. I have the scars to prove it. Over to you guys. make of this what you will. personally I;d look at this post as an opportunity, and not a threat.

    Best to all, even those who already think I am a complete jerk. Sticks and stones and all that, right. :)

  230. Sean:

    @217 Steve said: “You have emphasized the importance of the communicator in the effective transmission of ideas. Do you consider your post to be a good example of high quality communication?”

    NO Steve I do not. I consider it effective communication and fit for my purpose. Was there anything else you’d like me to answer, or do I take this as a basic “comment” about my poor communication and writing skills?

    If the latter, no probs. I heard you loud and clear. Thx.

  231. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by Sean — 26 Nov 2013 @ 11:03 PM

    I am wondering if you think that this new excessively long free association is a good example of effective communication to your audience. But, to take it seriously, you made several statements about psychology and evolution and then said- “Only a belief not based on evidence will deny this is the case,” and because you are obviously very conversant with the evidence, please provide one or two references (peer reviewed please).


  232. Sean:

    @230 Steve – I will quote a more substanial amount inoder for your quesry to be framed more accurately here :: being mindful of the early introductory statements and analogies upon which the PRINCIPLE is couched within, and which the essential point being made here :: “Bringing this back to “climate science” this principle equally applies to different blog/discussion boards online. All may have the same over-riding basic beliefs and purpose, and yet each will have a very different culture. This culture is set in stone the longer the discussion group exists. This works on the same principles found in ‘evolution’. It is hard wired into human beings, it is a foundation stone of our collective natural psychology. It is as irresistible a ‘force’ as being take over by the Borg. One either complies and becomes assimilated into the prevailing culture, or they will be ejected and if necessary destroyed. This process operates by proxy on all online discussion groups. It is an undeniable fact. Only a belief not based on evidence will deny this is the case.” [end quote]

    re: “please provide one or two references (peer reviewed please).” No. It is what it is. Not too many peer reviewed studies out there on the Borg. I am not going to play games with this. If you disbelieve what I said, or wish to refute it feel free for that is your privledge. I won’t stand in your way, tear me rhetoric to pieces all you wish.

    You can ask me a thousand times for “refs” about already well known dynamics about psychology and evolution and human nature and communication and advertising all you want, and you get the same answer.

    Feel free to avail yourself of google. I am not going to argue about it. Thanks for replying though. It helps. Cheers Sean

  233. Sean:

    @228 Dear Mick Roberts, I hear you loud and clear. You have asked an excellent question. I know exactly what you mean and the situation you find yourself in. I could give you my personal opinion as everyday person in the public who understands exactly what you;re saying, but seriously it ain’t worth it. I am not qualified nor have the authority to answer your question in a way that would be meaningful. I have great empathy for your position though. You are not alone for there are billions in the same boat as you. This was NOT a dumb question you have asked. It is in fact first rate! Well done. You’re half way there now, believe me. Actually knowing what the “right question” is is critical. You got that part right, do not give up. Cheers Sean

  234. Chuck Hughes:

    @228 > Mike Roberts, I came here with the same sort of questions. It’s complicated with lots of moving parts and changing dynamics but the message I’ve been getting is that it’s pretty serious. How serious depends on who you ask.

    The more you read and listen the more you can start to piece together the big picture. The big question is time and how much we have but that depends on what level of consequences you’re referring to. I’m keeping a close eye on the overall weather disasters and frequency. My guess is that weather disasters will continue to worsen over time until we get to a serious food shortage caused by crop failure, flooding and drought. Up till now we’ve been able to stay pretty comfortable overall here in the U.S. and other developed countries but the pockets of misery are increasing on a global scale.

    Short of that, if a big section of the WAIS should happen to break off we might see some panic set in fairly quickly. Nobody seems to know if and when that might happen or how soon from what I can gather. I’m not a scientist so maybe someone will be kind enough to correct my assumptions if they’re a bit off.

    I don’t think you’re going to get one clear “answer” to your question because it’s too general and the situation is, as I said, complicated.

  235. Sean:

    I find this very interesting – Angela’s Blog September 27, 2013

    What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn’t Include
    A heavyweight boxer in the climate change match is missing from the 5th climate assessment report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Friday.
    This effect, called the permafrost carbon feedback, is not present in the global climate change models used to estimate how warm the earth could get over the next century.

    Go to the page and first read oomment
    7. DrGr8ape 5:37 AM GMT on September 28, 2013
    8. Daisyworld 6:11 AM GMT on September 28, 2013
    and then
    15. DrGr8ape 8:17 PM GMT on September 28, 2013
    17. Daisyworld 11:40 PM GMT on September 28, 2013
    who says in part: “However, all climate projections in the IPCC’s AR5 are likely to be biased on the low side relative to global temperature because none of the participating models include the permafrost carbon feedback.”
    Based on this, I’m am calling you out on the untruth you just wrote in your comment above, and I will continue to question your motivations.

    In the original article Angela did write: “This effect, called the permafrost carbon feedback, is not present in the global climate change models used to estimate how warm the earth could get over the next century.”

    Who is more right here in your opinion: Angela, DrGr8ape with the newborn child, Daisyworld, or the IPCC ???

    OK then, who is more “angry” and emotionally reactive – DrGr8ape or Daisyworld

    Lastly, in your opinion, should (the Permafrost Feedbacks be included in (all/some) of the AR5 WGI Report Climate Models to 2100? yes/no / doesn’t matter? I am curious about what people believe is more important overall. Thx sean

  236. Sean:

    17. Daisyworld 11:40 PM GMT on September 28, 2013 also said:
    “Furthermore, based on the untruth you wrote above, I can only conclude that you are inserting misinformation into this discussion of the permafrost carbon feedback in attempts to derail the conversation here. You are doing this by FABRICATING A CONTROVERSY where there is none, and for no good reason than to try and publicly humiliate a featured blogger here at Weather Underground.”

    BEFORE THAT though poor sleep deprived new-father DrGr8ape had said:
    [quoting] “Most of the CMIP5 and Earth System Model (ESM) simulations were performed with prescribed CO2 concentrations reaching 421 ppm (RCP2.6), 538 ppm (RCP4.5), 670 ppm (RCP6.0), and 936 ppm (RCP 8.5) by the year 2100.

    Including also the prescribed concentrations of CH4 and N2O, the combined CO2-equivalent concentrations are 475 ppm (RCP2.6), 630 ppm (RCP4.5), 800 ppm (RCP6.0), and 1313 ppm (RCP8.5).” (p. 22)”
    Not only was CH4 (methane) employed in the current models in the IPCC report, but permafrost melt and the ensuing CH4 release was mentioned several times – and this is just the “summary for policymakers”. Seriously, did you actually read it? [end quote]

    Who is correct? Unknown Visitor – or Resident Presidential Guard? )

    I mention this above because this next url was posted on RC recently and one thing led to another: Response to a Climate Troll by Daisyworld http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2013/11/from-angela-fritzs-wunderground-blog.html

    Daisyworld’s WunderBlog –
    However, what really opened my eyes with this article was the concept of “Manufactured Doubt” campaigns, and why corporations and industries (and consequently, politicians and individuals who listen to them) continue to deny the science behind human-induced climate change.
    I used to think that it was only because they are money-grubbing, evil institutions with no soul. But it turns out that there’s actually a logical reason: Apparently, laws exist in all 50 states that legally require corporations to “exercise their powers and discharge their duties with a view to the interest of the corporation and of the shareholders” (see Maine section 716).
    In a nutshell, if corporations aren’t looking out for their bottom line, they can be sued by their shareholders. Further still, if they act in a socially responsible way that costs the company marketshare or puts a cap on their profitability, it can be viewed as undermining the company, the consequence being that they can also be sued by their shareholders.

    Some food for thought, perhaps.

  237. Sean:

    @228 Mike Roberts Try this section of the AR5 WGI Report
    Annex I: Atlas of Global and Regional Climate Projections
    It may help a little.

  238. Kevin McKinney:

    Sean, before you prescribe to others how to communicate effectively, you might consider that I no longer read any of your posts. Way too long, way too little illuminating content.

    Just sayin’.

  239. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by Sean — 27 Nov 2013 @ 1:22 AM

    On a science site when asked to substantiate factual statements that you describe as “[o]nly a belief not based on evidence will deny this is the case,” you admit that there is no scientific evidence. Further, you have claimed that the message is all important and that a listener who is unprepared to listen can be won over with a skilful or appropriate communication, yet you are not having much success here.

    Is this a good summary? Steve

  240. Hank Roberts:

    Sean, put a little time into checking stuff you find on blogs, rather than copypasting — often blog info is outdated.

    Here’s a shortcut for info on recent US corporate law: https://www.google.com/search?q=public+benefit+corporation

  241. Hank Roberts:

    And don’t fall for the notion that corporations can’t consider costs and benefits beyond the shortest term. Look up the energy efficiency regulations for transformers, for example — Bush’s Dep’t of Energy came out with a regulation allowing the cheapest and lowest-efficiency transformers to be used (a lot of electric grid operations need to replace them, and whatever goes in will stay in use for decades). That was the “free market” notion that all stockholders care about is shortterm profit.

    The utilities, conservation groups, and some states joined together to sue the DOE to raise the requirement, so that purchasers would not have the risk of being sued by stockholders for making the wiser longterm choice by paying more up front for more efficient equipment and longterm savings.

    The law does not require stupidity and shortsightedness. Those are political choices. People create governments to allow better choices than those.

  242. tokodave:

    Kevin. Thanks.

  243. wili:

    Kevin at #238: You and me both. Just one example from #232: “I will quote a more substanial amount inoder for your quesry to be framed more accurately here :: being mindful of the early introductory statements and analogies upon which the PRINCIPLE is couched within, and which the essential point being made here :: “Bringing this back to “climate science” this principle equally applies to different blog/discussion boards online.”

    This is word salad.

  244. flxible:

    @238 x2

    Sean, before you prescribe to others how to communicate effectively, you might consider that I no longer read any of your posts. Way too long, way too little illuminating content.

    [CAPTCHA too: and stroth]

  245. Sean:

    @238 Kevin, thx for sharing your personal opinion. It’s appreciated. I cannot recall telling one other person ‘how’ they should communicate effectively. Maybe I did and didn’t notice or maybe that is how it was interpreted. Best Sean

  246. Jim Larsen:

    238 Kevin, neither do I, but as they scroll past, certain words like “sued” keep flashing by.

  247. Susan Anderson:


    I tried to read some of it and didn’t entirely disagree with what I read, but the animus was too much and the volume incredible. The presumption of anger in response was trumped by the anger in presentation.

    On another topic, thought not science related, I was struck by the fact that 47 million Americans are hungry at least some of the time. Now when I read that we are pretty comfortable, I wonder if you know any poor people. I do, and I’m here to tell you, no we’re not doing fine. Those are the ones who will suffer the most, and the ones who can’t do anything about it.

    It’s not OK to temporize.

  248. Sean:

    @240 & 241 Hank, making assumptions is clearly your forte. You excel in fact.

    have you ever heard the phase “well that sure went over your head”? :)

    Thanks for all other comments, excellent, keep them coming. Get it off your chest.

  249. Sean:

    @230 Dear Steve .. “you admit that there is no scientific evidence.”

    FALSE Please learn to read what is actually written and do not put words in my mouth that were not said, nor intended. Please! Is that clear enough communication Steve? Have another go if you want to. :)

  250. Sean:

    @244 Dear Susan you say *was trumped by the anger in presentation.* That’s an interesting opinion. Feel free to be more specific and support your belief with evidence on this site thus far. I will consider it. I am here to get answers to my specific purpose of now posting here after reading here for almost 7 years. You may be able to help.
    You also were the one who provided the link to daisyworld ‘troll info’ the summary of which I have already shared with others online confronting climate denialist trolls. But I dug little deeper and shared some info about that beyond mere trolls. You may not be interested, and that’s fine by me. Others may be able to see what’s there. and why I felt it was interesting, valid and appropriate for sharing here. Thanks for your feedback on my writing style, and length, is always good to hear how one’s writing affects another. Noted. Slowly I am receiving the responses I needed to make a more informed evidence based decision. Best to you. My apologies if that was too long. I don;t shoot arrows, nor slogans. It’s the way I am. And I am OK, not angry, thanks anyway. Sean

  251. Sean:

    For those interested who may not have ever seen this, I think it’s pretty good and worth the time. 22mins Interview and Q&A with Gavin circa 2009 (?)

    Andrew Revkin says: Gavin Schmidt discusses how scientists can and should occupy the space “between the paper and the Tweet.”

    Gavin Schmidt of RealClimate on the Promise and Pitfalls of Blogging

  252. Sean:

    @244 Susan Anderson sorry susan, I meant to say “examples” and not ‘evidence’ before. Both began with ‘e’ and so I blame steve fish for this, lol.

  253. sidd:



    is fascinating. Forests and woodlands buffer heating, give the small scurrying creatures and the sessile plants time to try an move poleward.

    “… thermophilization, particularly the increase of warm-adapted species, is attenuated in forests whose canopies have become denser, probably reflecting cooler growing-season ground temperatures via increased shading.”

    not just forests. i have planted trees far from others, and seen how the ground around changes. Plant an appropriate tree, and care for it, microclimate is important too.


  254. MARodger:

    Sean @250.
    You mention a “specific purpose” for commenting @RealClimate. Given you are responsible for over 15% of this comment thread and have single-handedly dominated it over the last few days with you voluminous comment (one stretching to almost 1,300 words) it is bizarre that your “specific purpose” remains entirely obscure.

    @250, you talk around the subject of trolls. Having presented the subject of trolling of course, there is the thought that perhaps you are by your ubiquity on this thread yourself trolling. If not, it would be preferable for all to be clear about your “specific purpose” here.
    If we look back up the thread, ‘trolling’ does not appear to be the subject matter of your “specific purpose”.
    @8 you ask for obscure climate videos, @12 you ask for a count of climate science workers, @17 you join in asking for a critique of a Kevin Anderson presentation, @38/39 you raise the subject of communicating science, in particular climatology & its denialist side. @42 you share your views on professions harbouring denialism, @47 suggest climatology isn’t getting its message across in the face of increased denialism, @53 assert that denialism trumps factoids, @190 provide advice to the UN IPCC in the manner of a question – ‘What is the IPCC & climatology doing about the denialist lies?’ then @191 accuse UN IPCC/climatology of “unconscionable and a dereliction of responsibility” How this accusation links with your comment @192 where climatology harnesses the expletive & Hansen’s pronouncement that a human-fueled “low-end runaway greenhouse” is “conceivable” – how this links in is not made plain. And on and on and on and on.
    And by the way, I make it @238 x 6, x 7 now I add myself.

  255. prokaryotes:

    Climate Change 2013 Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis

  256. wili:

    Gavin, if you’re still reading these (sometimes interminable and garbled) posts, could you affirm (or not) that the figures for methanes GWP from Schindell et alia http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/326/5953/716 of 35xCO2 for century time scales and 105xCO2 for decadal time scales is true?

    Has any subsequent research superseded these figures in the last few years/months, or, in your view, are they still valid? Thanks ahead of time.

    (On the other matter, looks like it’s time to stop ftt.)

  257. Steve Fish:

    Re- Comment by Sean — 27 Nov 2013 @ 8:12 PM

    You invite another go, so OK, in the comment by Sean 27 Nov 2013 @ 8:12 PM you, when asked for a couple of references, said- “No. It is what it is. Not too many peer reviewed studies out there on the Borg. I am not going to play games with this. If you disbelieve what I said, or wish to refute it feel free for that is your privledge” (the Borg?). So you don’t have any references for your very strong statements and you still haven’t answered the embarrassing question (now the third time) regarding your inability to communicate effectively here while at the same time lecturing to climate scientists about how they should communicate.


  258. Hank Roberts:

    Wili, the papers citing that Shindell paper are worth a look; more than 200 total; about 60 in 2013. http://scholar.google.com/scholar?as_ylo=2013&hl=en&as_sdt=4005&sciodt=0,6&cites=5198717999429845339&scipsc=

    The first result I get today on that page is
    The danger of overvaluing methane’s influence on future climate change
    JK Shoemaker, DP Schrag – Climatic change, 2013

  259. wili:

    Thanks, Hank. That’s a good strategy, but a bit overwhelming. I’ll start looking, though. I mostly wanted to know if there was a study that one of the authors themselves would consider valid to reconsider their GWP figures. Gavin’s judgment on such things would be worth orders of magnitude more than mine (or yours–sorry, old chap).

  260. OnceJolly:

    Re – Hank @258 and Wili @259

    One of the relevant papers (cited in the AR5 Physical Science Basis) is Stevenson et. al. 2012 (Shindell is a co-author). From the paper:

    “While it is well understood that increases in CH4, NOx,CO and NMVOCs have driven up tropospheric ozone, only one model has previously explored the relative contributions of these different precursors (Shindell et al., 2005, 2009). Applying six different models here, we estimate that
    CH4, NOx, CO and NMVOCs are respectively responsible for 44±12% (±1 standard deviation range), 31±9 %, 15±3% and 9±2% of the 1850s–2000s ozone RF (Table 10).” (pg. 3079)

    In the same paragraph, they note:

    “The results from Shindell et al. (2009) indicate a split of: 74 % (CH4), 11 % (NOx), 13 % (CO) and 2 % (NMVOCs)(Table 10), which is outside the model range (except for CO) found in this study.”

  261. wili:

    Searching around a bit, it looks like some recent papers give a range of values for the global warming potential of methane, rather than one number. For example, “global warming potential that is 20–40 times higher than that of carbon dioxide (CO 2) on a 100 year timescale”


    Note that the high end of this range is even higher then that given by Schindell et alia.

  262. Sean:

    @257 Hi Steve. If I am ‘lecturing’ and I do not believe that I am, then I am not the only one doing so. A few days ago, Ray suggested to me I was wrong on a point I made that ‘communication’ was a two street. His pov was correct from where he was coming from and yet it did not disprove my own, imho.
    Steve, your reply wasn’t unexpected by me. I have been waiting for it so I could genuinely suggest a workable and very practical strategy that will help, if you are willing to give it a go.
    I humbly suggest you go back to the post I made you are focusing upon here. Copy and paste it into a text file. Then skim through it, select and delete all those sentences (ideas/claims) that you have a serious issue with and are critical of me for including.
    Re-save the text file, take a 20 minute break to relax and distract your mind by doing something else. Then come back to your computer and read what is there with fresh eyes. Have a think about what you see in the ‘content’ now.
    And ponder again what my purpose and intent is. Am I truly being unfairly ‘critical’ or lecturing any individual or org? Is it my ineffective communication that is at fault, or could it be something else entirely?
    Bottom line and most important imho is: What am I really demonstrating Steve? My answer is: ineffective public communication. What’s your answer? Cheers Sean

  263. OnceJolly:

    Appendum to my earlier comment:

    Probably not the most relevant one, though, given that the main point of the Shindell et al paper was methane’s indirect effect on aerosols. From the Physical Science Basis: “Shindell et al. (2009) estimated the impact of reactive species emissions on both gaseous and aerosol forcing species and found that ozone precursors, including methane, had an additional substantial climate effect because they increased or decreased the rate of oxidation of SO2 to sulphate aerosol. Studies with different sulphur cycle formulations have found lower sensitivity (Collins et al., 2010; Fry et al., 2012).” (Chapter 8, page 58)

  264. Sean:

    @254 MARodger, thanks for your comment & the time you took to review my ‘comments’. That tells me you’re not a dill, and are genuine in your comment.

    Firstly this is grossly unfair on me, and is a selective re-framing of the whole reality of me as a sincere RC participant, namely: “Given you are responsible for over 15% of this comment thread and have single-handedly dominated it over the last few days”

    It is unfair on me and a misrepresentation of the true facts because you are a) ignoring all my other comments made on this site and b) that you are ignoring my total time on this site which extends back to the year 2006. It’s called ‘cherry-picking’ and all kinds of illogical fallacies are involved here.

    So if you are going to make a genuine evidence based point, I suggest it will ONLY ever be accurate if you actually calculate the REAL long term figures. Then if you want to compare ME with everyone else who has posted here since 2006-2007 and are still posting here regularly, then feel free. But at least get the basic facts correct and present them fully and honestly. Short Term Variations do NOT only work in Climate Science. To focus on those is IRRATIONAL and not scientific. I claim that to do the very same thing about my posts is doing the very same thing deniers do, as such it grossly UNFAIR and UNTRUE.

    RE “how this links in is not made plain.” So MARodgers what you are saying here is that you are confused by the content of my comments as listed, and that this is a problem for you. But you find that I personally am the cause of this and therefore at fault? Is this what you mean, because I do not know what it is you are trying to say, nor what I am supposed to do or say about it.

    Except that from the look of it your list sounds accurate. Yes I have mentioned those things, whether your interpretation about them is reasonable is anyone’s guess. I really don’t know what I am supposed to say or how to help you. But thanks for your comment because it is still helpful to me. Cheers Sean

  265. Sean:

    @254 re: “@12 you ask for a count of climate science workers” Yes I did, and the last time I checked I still had not received a response by way of a tip of where I could find that info. I asked that question for a reason. I had spent MANY hours in the proceeding weeks trying to locate a credible source for the many comments I had seen that there were 27,000 or so in the field. I can’t recall but that 27,000 (?) might even have been made right here on RC itself.
    I am not an incompetent in internet search in fact highly skilled for well over a decade now. Before barely a soul even knew what the “Internet” was was using FTP to find documents in Universities etc around the world in the 1990’s. But it wasn’t as congested as it is today and so is getting harder and harder every day. I asked for some help, it is important to me. If anyone knows anything please have a look at my original query: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/unforced-variations-nov-2013/comment-page-1/#comment-421558
    I have not complained and still are not that I didn’t get a response either.

  266. Sean:

    Regarding my last comment “@12 you ask for a count of climate science workers”

    RC About: “We aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics …”

    If the many queries I have asked recently, but especially this one about 27,000 workers in the field of climate science is not appropriate for posting to RC as a question and a request for help, then I honestly do not know what would be. Why this query could be an ISSUE for anyone is totally beyond me. And should be for everyone else here as well, imho.

    Who is being unfairly and relentlessly critical here? Me?

  267. Sean:

    RC Moderator, please replace my last sentence in my last comment with:
    “Who is being unfairly and relentlessly critical, plus intentionally belligerent here? Me? To put this as clear as day, I am not operating inside a vacuum.”

  268. wili:

    RC Moderators, please replace Sean’s last 30 posts since #190 with…nothing. They have contributed nothing to the discussion. The last question posed is typically ill formed and so of course can be given no simple answer. There is obviously no clear definition of “workers in the field of climate science.” As discussed above, and as is clear from a moment’s thought, climate science involves many fields and draws on experts from any number of disciplines. Clear from a moment’s thought, but then thinking can seem a very laborious process for some, and a moment can seem a very long time.

    His/her belligerence when people don’t serve him/her as he/her feels he/she deserves is a clear indication that he/she is lacking in the minimum level of maturity required to contribute productively on such a site. I work with often-emotionally-distressed teenage girls, and his antics make them seem the epitome of calm-cool-and-collected by contrast. Drama queen would be far too polite a term.

    I will comment no more on the matter. Best, wili.

  269. OnceJolly:

    @261 Wili

    I think I’m going to have to bow out on this and let the experts comment. My impression was that the AR5 would use the Shindell et al. figure, but the reported figures are lower (20 year and 100 year figures of 28 and 84 w.o. carbon cycle feedbacks and 34 and 86 with). My best guess from browsing Chapter 8 of the Physical Science Basis is that given the high uncertainty in the indirect effect on aerosols, the decision was to report GWPs that don’t include these effects.

  270. Sean:

    The Mobbing Encyclopaedia
    “The empirical research on mobbing in the workplace has revealed…..”

    Repost info: “Writer and critic Richard King believes that Australians have become too quick to take offence.” Richard says freedom of speech means nothing without the freedom to offend. On Offence: The Politics of Indignation is published by Scribe.

    Recommended Audio sections: @29:00 mins; @33:20 mins to 40:00 mins

    In this provocative account, Richard King explores how the politics of offence is poisoning public debate. With hurt feelings being paraded like union banners, we’ve ushered in a new mood of censoriousness, self-pity, and self-righteousness. http://scribepublications.com.au/books-authors/title/on-offence/

  271. wili:

    Thanks, OJ. That makes sense.

  272. Edward Greisch:

    I received the following email:

    “From: PAGES IPO
    Subject: e-announce: US Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences – seeking community input

    The US National Research Council is conducting a Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences (DSOS 2015) and wants to hear from the ocean sciences community regarding the top ocean science priorities for the next decade.

    The purpose of this decadal study, sponsored by the NSF, is to review the current state of knowledge, identify compelling scientific questions for the next decade, analyze the infrastructure needed to address these questions vs. the current NSF portfolio, and identify opportunities to maximize the value of NSF investments.

    The survey committee feels strongly that this report must be informed by broad and thoughtful community input from across the entire spectrum of ocean sciences supported by NSF. 

    One of the ways they are soliciting community input is through a virtual Town Hall: 

    The site provides more detailed information on the statement of task, as well as a complete list of the DSOS committee members.”

    I went to their web site and thanked them for confirming what climate scientists do.

  273. Tony Weddle:

    If methane levels are increasing, as they are, shouldn’t we be considering the GWP of methane over short time scales? The amount of methane being converted to carbon dioxide is being replaced each day, and more. It looks like, for the foreseeable future, the instantaneous level of methane will not be decreasing, so the full impact of the current level of methane should be used. If the GWP over 1 year is, say, 120xCO2, shouldn’t that be the number used? Is that not right?

    [Response: Not really. The impacts over a single year are small (tiny even) because of the inertia of the climate system which integrates the forcings over time. 20 years is pretty much a minimum at which it makes any sense, but as you can read in section 8.7 of AR5, there are many problems with GWP as a concept. – gavin]

  274. MARodger:

    Sean @264/265/266.
    It is gratifying when my comments here are helpful. Perhaps I should have a second attempt.

    But let me first point out why you are being unreasonable to expect (or demand?) answers to questions posed here. Your query @12 asked “A while ago I saw a statement indicating there were approx 27,000+/- individuals (climate scientists and others) currently working in the Climate Science related fields. Is this accurate today?” You also ask for an authoritative reply. This enquiry of yours is all a bit vague. “…and others”? “Climate Science related fields”? And where did you see this number? If it is important, why not describe why are you so interested? If the answer were know by somebody reading your comment @12, would they not answer it? That they did not, the question is likely not one so simply answered. Indeed, the questioning posed @12 did ask “Does anyone have a ref to…” So if nobody does “have a ref to…” why the surprise when you get no reply.
    But you find this unreasonable and @266 you quote from the RealClimate ‘About’ page as though RealClimate has some sort of obligation to answer such off-the-street questioning. This is an incorrect reading of that page. The quote concerns “developing stories” within climatology not off-the-street questions in the comment threads.
    Do you really expect our hosts or perhaps me, or some other denizen of these comment threads to invest time investigating a question when the questioner is so unhelpful? You do not @12 share with us your own labours trying to find the answer you seek, and you “highly skilled for well over a decade” in such work. Note also that @265 it is no longer “a while ago (you) saw a statement” but there are now “many comments (you) had seen that there were 27,000 or so in the field.” Is that consistency? Myself, I can find 27,000 articles, species, years, homes, trees, quotations, pages, affected people, all concerned with climate science but the only ‘27,000 working’ is here on this RealClimate thread. (Of course, while I might not have been “highly skilled for well over a decade,” might I suggest that if you think 29,083 could be the number you seek, you will also get ‘authors’.)

    So to the second attempt.
    Sean @264
    You say ” I really don’t know what I am supposed to say or how to help you.” The comment I made @254 had one central question although I did not directly pose the question. Then, are the dots too far apart to join up? Let me cherrypick. ““Sean @250. You mention a “specific purpose” for commenting @RealClimate. … it would be preferable for all to be clear about your “specific purpose” here.” So what is this “specific purpose” of yours for commenting here @RealClimate?

  275. prokaryotes:

    Scientists Measure Bubbling Sounds of Melting Glaciers? [Video]

  276. Sean:

    @255 Prokaryotes says: Climate Change 2013 Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis

    Absolutely brilliant IPCC video, thank you for sharing this, and especially the website. Chris Machens of Germany is brilliant and has done a fantastic service for everyone with his website http://climatestate.com/

    An extra special thank you to Prokaryotes for a final confirmation of the answer/s to my key question. You and Machens have just saved me a lot of unnecessary work and time. Fantastic. I will upload of few choice videos and submit many existing Youtube videos not yet listed there in the coming weeks. Thanks Sean

  277. Sean:

    @274 re: “expect (or demand?)” I have never expected nor demanded a damned thing. Paranoia and presumption is not becoming of you nor anyone. Have a good day.

  278. prokaryotes:

    Sean, thanks for the positive feedback. At the bottom of the page at ClimateState you have the option to suggest videos.

  279. prokaryotes:

    Help ClimateState to reach more people

  280. Hank Roberts:

    >> hurt feelings being paraded …
    > Paranoia and presumption …

    “I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”

  281. Sean:

    @279 aha! Now I get it “private run project by Chris Machens aka prokaryotes since 2009 (formerly climateprogress.net, climateforce net and biochar.be)”

    Good stuff, very intelligent, highly professional and serving a critical need globally. The general public trying to make sense of Climate Science and the future within a storm of noise. Various feedbacks had confirmed to me recently that audio/visual presentations was the solution to disinformation and confusion.

    Plus Chris you have created a new venue space where individuals can positively contribute in coin, ideas, talent, and within a positive sharing environment. Very classy indeed. 200 hits a day? Times 1000 within a year imho. Your SEO is brilliant and is exactly how I would have structured such a site, where single videos/files uploads are replicated across multiple sub directories. I was doing a very similar thing on Google Docs for a history project compilation holding over 2500 separate files across 50+ sub-directories, where every title was keyword rich. Page 1 Google search results went off the scale. Simply offering my confirmation you are on the right track here. It will be successful, have no fear.

    Best to you. I will contribute soe things I have collected over time. Including future editing some longer youtube videos of lectures by professionals into shorter subject focused vids. I have already shared your site within an academic public domain that regularly discusses the latest in Climate Science. Thanks for saving me from starting from scratch. I could not have done as good a job as you have Chris. KUDOS

  282. Sean:

    @279 PS on avg speed adsl 2 your site works fast, no problems loading pages nor vids.

    From Little Things Big Things Grow http://youtu.be/_tHEGo-g3mw

  283. Chuck Hughes:

    @ 280

    Frank: “But this is our hill. And these are our beans!”

  284. Chuck Hughes:

    What now?


    Does anyone here envision Americans giving up their oil and gas consumption in light of this?

  285. Lars Karlsson:

    Fred Singer is now spreading a claim that the tropical tropospheric hot spot was presented as a human fingerprint in IPCC SAR:


    “This report devotes a whole chapter, #8, to “Attribution and Detection.” Its main feature is what one might call the “invention” of the “Hotspot,” i.e. an enhanced warming trend in the tropical troposphere — never actually observed.

    The first error was to argue that the Hotspot is a “fingerprint” of human influence — and specifically, related to an increase in greenhouse gases. This is not true.

    I haven’t been able to find any such claim in SAR chapter 8, i.e. the Hotspot is a “fingerprint” of human influence. There is a discussion about differences in models and observations, but not even there the Hotspot is presented as a fingerprint.

    Have I missed something, or is Fred simply making the thing up?

  286. Sean:

    @284 an alternative view about nth american shale oil gas potential
    FEB 2013 – New Shale Gas Report – Drill Baby Drill – David Hughes

    In this landmark report, PCI Fossil Fuel Fellow David Hughes takes a far-ranging and painstakingly researched look at the prospects for various unconventional fuels to provide energy abundance for the United States in the 21st Century. While the report examines a range of energy sources, the centerpiece of “Drill, Baby, Drill” is a critical analysis of shale gas and shale oil (tight oil) and the potential of a shale “revolution.”

    also Social Dominance Orientation: A Personality Variable Predicting Social and Political Attitudes http://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/3207711

  287. Hank Roberts:

    > Your SEO is brilliant … single
    > videos/files uploads are
    > replicated across multiple
    > sub directories ….
    > every title was keyword rich.
    > Page 1 Google search results
    > went off the scale….

    This explains so very much.

    My growing belief in the Captcha AI Oracle is further strengthened by its first suggestion: ‘was ntClicyt’

    Carry on ….

  288. MARodger:

    Lars Karisson @285.
    Singer is getting in a stew over Santer et al 1996 “A search for human influences on the thermal structure of the atmosphere,” (Santer et al 1995b in SAR). Where Singer is away with the fairies is in characterising this as the “main feature” of the SAR chapter and (it seems) seeing it as vital to the SAR. Santer et al (1996) conclude that “many uncertainties remain” with their attribution. SAR says of Santer et al 1995b “Some concerns remain…” So the study is not being relied on and is certainly not a “main feature” of anything in the SAR, unless you’re Fred Singer.

  289. Sean:

    @287 is just more confirmation of #229 for those readers looking on quietly, smiling and nodding their heads in agreement. Teaching by practical example and role playing in real life situations is always a far superior mode of communication than a one way lecture or unnecessary arguing which goes no where and gains nothing. Just sayin’ :)