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Unforced variations: Sep 2016

Filed under: — group @ 1 September 2016

To come this month: Arctic sea ice minimum, decisions from the IPCC scoping meeting on a report focused on the 1.5ºC target, interesting paleo-climate science at #ICP12 and a chance to stop arguing about politics perhaps.

Usual rules apply.

292 Responses to “Unforced variations: Sep 2016”

  1. 51
    Radge Havers says:

    Re: politics

    To often people who say you can’t separate politics from science are just trying to make excuses for being sloppy.

    There’s an art and discipline to flyting. Make an effort to respect it, or go back to splashing around in the shallow end of the pool.

  2. 52
    mike says:

    condolences to Ed’s friends and family on his passing. Ed was serious and thoughtful. I think he got some things wrong, but hey, what do I know? Ed will be missed.

    warm regards


  3. 53
    Alf says:

    Addendum to my comment at #35 above to avoid the impression of exaggerating, as the graph swung back today:
    You need the chart dated 2016.09.04 – which showed ASI extent dropped ~1M km2 in 3 days – to see what I referred to.

    Is ASI flashing in and out of existence in such large area and quatities (as Neven states on his blog):

    If one looks carefully at the ice in the so-called Wrangel Arm, you can clearly see the ice flash in and out of existence. There comes a point where the ice no longer flashes back, but in the meantime it makes for wild swings on the CT sea ice area graph […]

    or was it just an error?
    BTW does someone know why the graph from 2012 is missing on the Bremen chart and why it differs so much from Cryosphere Today?

    p.s.: Joining the condolences expressed by others on the passing of Ed Greisch, I send best wishes to his family and friends. May he have found peace to rest in. Om mani padme hum

    p.p.s.: @33 LC Spot on! +1

  4. 54

    T 18: Barton Paul Levenson pushes more false assumptions, ignorance, insults and errors.

    BPL: I notice you don’t specify what they are.

  5. 55
  6. 56

    I must say, as many others have above, that I’m sorry to hear of Ed’s passing. I probably clashed with him more than anyone, but while I questioned innumerable assertions of his, I never questioned his sincerity.

  7. 57
    sidd says:

    Prof. Ruddiman, thank you for the enlightening comments.

  8. 58
    Mal Adapted says:

    I’m saddened by the news of Edward Greisch’s death. My condolences to his family. While I sometimes found his comments exasperating, they were often constructive. I know he was genuinely committed to bringing an end to anthropogenic global warming, and I trust many RC regulars will carry on that work in his honor.

  9. 59
    mike says:

    Last Week

    Aug. 28 – Sep. 3, 2016 400.98 ppm

    Aug. 28 – Sep. 3, 2015 398.49 ppm

    looks like 2.49 ppm increase. Noisy number. This past week may have a low wobble in it from storm, but in the usual ballpark these days, which is about 3 ppm on annual basis. 3 ppm annual increase is new, it’s only been happening in the past few years.

    I read headline in the Guardian today that ocean warming is the greatest challenge

    I think over and over that this kind of headline can be a little misleading. The great challenge is the level of CO2 and CO2e in the atmosphere. The levels of CO2 and CO2e drive the ocean acidification and warming. But I guess the headline writers think it does not work to just print: We have to reduce GHG in atmosphere now or kiss our asses goodbye. as the headline day after day. But, you know, the KOAG story really should be the headline every day now. Even more newsworthy than demeaning Obama’s mother!

    Warm regards all


  10. 60
    Thomas says:

    Chuck, BPL, Radge et al feel free. Climate science deniers are not the only one’s on earth to make silly mistakes, make wild assumptions, get their facts wrong, get paranoid, make up silly theories, are haughty, fearlessly blame others for their own shortcomings, and never admit they may have misunderstood something that was written and which is easily double checked against the publicly available hard evidence. Climate science deniers and RC trolls are not the only one’s incapable of admitting error and having the maturity to apologize for it – then lightly LOL over it. Some take themselves way too seriously unfortunately forgetting one day they too will end up like Ed. Whatever. Fiddle away to heart’s content, but please do try and stick to climate science here. The usual rules apply. :-)

  11. 61
    Thomas says:

    There was a chap here recently speaking about ‘grasslands/soils’ etc for carbon uptake. I do not think this new study relates directly to his specific suggestions/ideas, but it is in the ball park.

    quote: So “if we wanted to count on these grasslands to soak up carbon from the atmosphere, that’s not going to happen,” said ecologist Kai Zhu, the study’s lead author who is now at Rice University in Houston.

    As a result, the research emphasizes the need to take more proactive steps to combat climate change, said Field, a co-author of the study and one of the country’s leading climate scientists, who is with the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University in California.

    The paper was published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (not yet available)

    Still, he emphasizes that the results indicate a need for action. “If we want to address the climate change problem, we need to do it by either planting new forests or by decreasing industrial emissions,” he said.

  12. 62
    Hank Roberts says:

    > BTW does someone know why the graph from 2012 is missing on the Bremen chart

    Did you read the captions on the several different charts at the Bremen page?
    You picked one of the charts on the Bremen page — the one with a sample of years — and ignored the other charts that included 2012 and other years.
    I linked them for you earlier, page up a few responses.

    Or, did you find the chart somewhere else and repost it here without checking the source? Did someone tell you it was “unprecedented” as you said, or is that you?

    There are wackos out in all directions — don’t be fooled, especially by people telling you stuff you find easy to believe.

  13. 63
    Hank Roberts says:

    > and why it differs so much from Cryosphere Today?

    The Cryosphere Today charts have been broken since April.
    They explain that on their blog page.

    “Special Sensor Microwave Imager and Sounder (SSMIS) on the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F-17 satellite that provides passive microwave brightness temperatures (and derived Arctic and Antarctic sea ice products) has been providing spurious data since beginning of April. Working on resolving problem or replacing this data source.”

  14. 64
    Thomas says:

    The Australian Institute of Marine Science is Australia’s tropical marine research agency – AIMS takes coral bleaching to task 31 March 2016

    Topical recent articles
    Youtube channel for Refs

    This comes on the back of a 27 year study from 2012 – Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half its coral cover in the past 27 years, a new study shows.
    “The results show that coral cover declined from 28.0% to 13.8% between 1985 and 2012. They attribute the decline to storms, a coral-feeding starfish and bleaching linked to climate change.”

    Includes data from two coral mass-bleaching events in 1998 2002 and multiple storms. “But recovery takes 10-20 years. At present, the intervals between the disturbances are generally too short for full recovery and that’s causing the long-term losses,” Sweatman said.
    PNAS Paper:

    Then came the 2016 coral mass-bleaching event, which could have been worse except for long term cloud cover over the southern portions.
    (repost) ‘Demise of the Great Barrier Reef’ – 2016 Coral Bleaching Event with Emeritus Professor Dr John (Charlie) Veron & Head of AIMS. (16 minutes)
    and why it’ll all over/destroyed/dead by 2050>

    (about the same time in June’16)
    John Cook’s UQx DENIAL101x Full interview with John “Charlie” Veron. (1 hour)
    Denial101x isn’t just a climate MOOC; it’s a MOOC about how people think about climate change.

    More info refs/resources
    ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

    eg Seminar title: Combining high-resolution ocean modelling and graph theory tools to estimate marine connectivity in the Great Barrier Reef

    eg Ryan Lowe – Oceanic drivers of coral reef heat budgets

  15. 65
    patrick says:

    IUCN: Ocean warming may well turn out to be the greatest hidden challenge of our generation. More than 93% of the enhanced heating since the 1970s resulting from human activities has been absorbed by the ocean, and data show a sustained and accelerating upward trend in ocean warming. The scale of ocean warming depicted in the report is truly staggering: if the same amount of heat that has gone into the top 2 km of the ocean between 1955 and 2010 had instead gone into the lower 10 km of the atmosphere, the Earth would have seen a warming of 36°C. …We now know that the changes in the ocean are happening between 1.5 and 5 times faster than those on land.

  16. 66
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    64 Patrick: Yes indeed. The ocean is really a double edged sword. Without the moderating affect of the oceans, atmospheric temps would now be inhospitable to life on earth. It has given us borrowed time or a false sense of security whichever way you prefer to look at it. Is is the most simple molecule and yet one of the most efficient heat sinks there is. It is because of this amazing attribute that our continuous forcing of the climatic system with live with the planetary ecosystems for many hundreds or thousands of years. It will inevitably cause the ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic to melt. As the oceans become warmer the uptake of CO2 will decrease dramatically forcing the atmospheric temp to rise to intolerable levels.

  17. 67
    Chris O'Neill says:


    as the headline day after day

    But do people who only unthinkingly read the headline actually care about it? Apart from three word slogans that appeal to self-interest of course. That helps win elections in Australia at least. But if there’s no obvious self-interest involved in a headline saying “Stop CO2 Emissions”, for example, then how is that going to positively influence people who just unthinkingly read headlines?

  18. 68

    Climate Change, Arctic Security and Methane Risks #3DEdition

    Methane from a security perspective, also mentions a unpublished study.

  19. 69

    Th 44: Maybe if we keep quoting the bible to show how ‘clever’ we are and pray it’ll help? :-)

    BPL: “O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom.” -Job 13:5

  20. 70
    Nemesis says:

    @Thomas, #44

    “Maybe if we keep quoting the bible to show how ‘clever’ we are and pray it’ll help? :-)”

    Erm, I am not sure about that, I am no believer, I am a heretic and troublemaker, I don’t believe in anything, not in the bible, not in the Deutsche Bank, not in politics ect blah blah, I am just passing in transit, enjoying the final show :-)

  21. 71
    Nick O. says:

    Re. Arctic sea ice and the melt season for this year. I see that the end of the ‘bite’ is hovering around or maybe just north of 86N, so not that far from the Pole. Also we may have two weeks to go still before the annual minimum is reached. I wonder how many years we will have to wait before the geographical North Pole is actually ice free at the end of the season. Probably not going to happen this year, but anyone know when it was last ice free at the end of a melt season?

  22. 72
    Dan H. says:


    You may be interested in this graph from DMI

  23. 73
    mike says:

    August CO2

    August 2016: 402.24 ppm
    August 2015: 399.00 ppm 3.24 ppm increase over last year.


    levels falling harder/faster than my projection of a few months ago, so that’s good news to me. I had August at 404.1. I just did not believe the number could fall this fast. My projection for 2016 average was 404.66, but I think it come in at something closer to 403.8 based on the drop in July August. Anything higher than zero increase is a disaster imho. We are seeing the ocean heat storage from past 20 years (the hiatus period) start to crank out some nasty weather and ecosystem impacts.

    I remember reading a tamino post about how GW would actually stop increase very quickly upon a move to zero increase. That still seems wrong to me on common sense grounds that tell me the warming trend has big time inertia, but I trust tamino’s ability to crunch the numbers. Of course, it’s moot as long as we cruise along gaining 3 ppm each year. We can talk all we want about lower emissions, better technology, etc. if the CO2e number goes up, heat and ocean acidification go up.

    We should be working to get to zero ppm increase now as if our lives depended on achieving that result. If we could get there, we would be in a position to talk seriously about how to go carbon negative for a lifetime and head back to 350, but if we just talk the talk and let the 3 ppm increase run, we are toast. KOAG.

    Warm regards


  24. 74
    MA Rodger says:

    The race is hotting up for second-place year in the NSIDC SIE Arctic summer minimum. The JAXA SIE data has already seen 2016 take second spot from 2007 but for the NSIDC data, 2016 is still 88,000 sq km short of that 2nd-place 4.154m sq km minimum of 2007. But with 2016 still dropping, 38,000 sq km from 4 Sept into 5 Sept, second place is certainly not impossible. Such a rate of reduction may even get some folk thinking the 2012 1st-place record minimum of 3.387m sq km could be challenged, but that may be expecting far too much. Indeed, the JAXA measure curiously shows no drop in SIE since 3 Sept. The Cryosphere SIA data would allow a measure of how much these reductions in SIE (or lack of them) was actual melt & how much was compaction (which could stop as soon as the wind decides to blow the other way), but sadly the satellite failure back in the spring has not been replaced by a new data source at Cryosphere Today. The only guide (& hardily worthy of the name) is the Cryosphere anomaly base that suggests another 25,000 sq km in SIA over the next five days.
    Mind, in the grand scheme of things, it would be fairer simply to call 2007, 2011, 2015 & 2016 as all =2nd.

  25. 75
    Jim Hunt says:

    Alf @53 – There was a one day “glitch” in the Bremen AMSR2 extent metric which is now fixed. Chapter & verse can be seen at:

    The 2016 Arctic Sea Ice Metric Minima

    A variety of Arctic sea ice metrics currently show 2016 below the annual minimum for 2007, but not (yet?) NSIDC extent. The 2012 minimum looks like a step too far at present.

  26. 76
    MA Rodger says:

    RSS has posted for August at +0.458ºC, a small drop on the July figure. This is the third warmest August on record (after 1998 & 2010) and the 31st warmest monthly anomaly on record.
    The first 8 months of 2016 average +0.645ºC. For RSS TLT to have 2016 as warmest calendar year (currently that is still 1998 averaging +0.550ºC), the remainder of 2016 would have to average above +0.36ºC, which is a little cooler than has so far been seen in 2016. A comparison of recent RSS TLT anomalies with the 1997/98 El Nino years:-
    ……….1997/99 … 2015/16
    Dec … +0.302ºC … +0.545ºC
    Jan … +0.550ºC … +0.665ºC
    Feb … +0.736ºC … +0.978ºC
    Mar … +0.585ºC … +0.842ºC
    Apr … +0.857ºC … +0.756ºC
    May … +0.667ºC … +0.524ºC
    Jun .… +0.567ºC … +0.467ºC
    Jul ….. +0.605ºC … +0.469ºC
    Aug … +0.572ºC… +0.458ºC
    Sep … +0.494ºC
    Oct … +0.461ºC
    Nov … +0.195ºC
    Dec … +0.311ºC
    Jan … +0.181ºC
    Feb … +0.317ºC
    Mar … -0.013ºC
    Apr … +0.182ºC
    May … +0.112ºC
    Jun … -0.083ºC

  27. 77
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Mike … I remember reading a tamino post about how GW would actually stop increase very quickly upon a move to zero increase.


    … the practical implication of this reframing is small. We are clearly not going to get to zero emissions any time soon, and even the 60-70% cuts required to stabilise concentrations initially seem a long way off. Thus as a practical matter, it doesn’t really matter whether the inertia is climatic or societal or technological or economic because the globe will continue to warm under all realistic scenarios (what we do have a possible control over is the magnitude of that warming).

    Some of the comments point to older discussion at Tamino’s

  28. 78
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Fiddle away to heart’s content, but please do try and stick to climate science here. The usual rules apply. :-)

    Comment by Thomas — 5 Sep 2016

    Wowee! I’ve seen some hubris in my day but you’re pushing the envelope. While reading your “posts” these traits jumped off the page:

    According to these authors, virtually universal characteristics of cranks include:

    1. Cranks overestimate their own knowledge and ability, and underestimate that of acknowledged experts.

    2. Cranks insist that their alleged discoveries are urgently important.

    3. Cranks rarely, if ever, acknowledge any error, no matter how trivial.

    4. Cranks tend to be bad listeners, being uninterested in anyone else’s experience or opinions.

    I come here to read the science and and learn. You’re an annoying distraction. We know the guidelines. And for the record, you’re not “way ahead” of anyone. You should quit while you’re behind.

  29. 79
    Thomas says:

    Some readers of RC may find the following really helpful (re attitudes and communication styles and effectiveness, and why ‘AGW/CC deniers think the way they do.) It’s all from expert scientists.

    UQx DENIAL101x From the experts: Climate metaphors
    (Understanding of Any Subject is helped by using Metaphors) – only 7 mins.

    Metaphors. I think I have spoken about and provided refs on Metaphors before.

    I did a quick site search and found these examples fwiw

    Reply to EdG. (follow the youtube link)

    How not to do it:

    Using metaphor here

    and here

    and then here, Explaining Metaphor with ‘LOVE IS A JOURNEY’ metaphor.

    Then a ‘thought experiment metaphor’ searching for solutions (not a partisan recommendation, merely a metaphor experiment to ‘help people’ who are willing and open to improve their thinking processes.)

    Nonviolent Communication and Corporations (Govts & Gangs)

    Multiple metaphors and ref urls to scientists using applied metaphors

    Analogy isn’t metaphor, we think using metaphors, we process our beliefs, ideology opinions, politics and choices using metaphor, there is no escape – however you can ignore this knowledge if you wish.

    Radge Havers attempts metaphor ends up with an analogy

    Ed.G “The rest have not been trained to think like scientists. They reason by analogy and metaphor.”
    No Ed (RIP) Scientists also reason and communicate using Metaphor – there is no escaping that. Please refer to 21st century literature in Cognitive (Neuro) Science and Linguistics.

    wili says in 2014: “Better to be more aware of the metaphors and metaphorical systems we inevitably employ, and to use them skillfully and purposefully. I refer you to the works of George Lakoff, among many others”

    New scientific knowledge to improve our own skills and understanding is everywhere today, at our fingertips.

    As Hank would say: “Google it!”

    No need to believe what I say about it.

    Additional insights:

    UQx DENIAL101x Structure of an effective debunking
    (That’s any debunking, not just climate science myths and denial, but all false claims, myths, fallacies and general illogical spin)

    PLUS using FLICC in that
    UQx DENIAL101x Five Characteristics of Science Denial

    Main site ref for John Cook’s communications and psychological expertise and those of other scientists.

    UQx Denial101x Making Sense of Climate Science Denial
    (plus any denial any fallacy any myth – a wealth of info and clear thinking skills worth pursuing, imo.)

    Some related research insights:
    Climate Change in the American Mind – Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in November 2013

    And for use where this fits :
    2012 Analytic Thinking Promotes Religious Disbelief

    and a repost of a recent scientific study:
    2016 Why Do You Believe in God? Relationships between Religious Belief, Analytic Thinking, Mentalizing and Moral Concern

    Scientists and research academics are clever people. I do my best to learn from them all.

    Then I share that scientific knowledge where it “appears” most appropriate and potentially useful to others. Some don’t like that, while others run with it. Each to their own.

    Of course some people already know this so it’s redundant. But I don’t know who does and who doesn’t. Feel free to ignore it all or cherry-pick what rings true for yourself. Regards

  30. 80
    Jim Hunt says:

    Nick @71 – How do you define “actually ice free” at the “geographical North Pole”? There’s plenty of open water in the vicinity at the moment for example, in between the sea ice. A submarine could reach it easily enough, but not a small yacht:

    Could Northabout Sail to the North Pole?

    Al @74 – Sorry. Your comment wasn’t visible when I typed mine.

    JAXA dropped a bit yesterday, and is now a mere whisker above 4M. There are sources of area data apart from CT, and they reveal that the ice is currently noticeably less “compact” than in 2012.

  31. 81
    MA Rodger says:

    Thomas @43,
    I held back on responding to you @43 as I did wonder whether your serving of comment @61&64 was the beginning of a new leaf from you in which you would now be sparing us your long rambling non-climatological diatribes, but apparently not.

    Concerning #43, I was a little surprised that your reply there to me initially branded my comment as a “sensible reply” as then you presented a cascade of less-than-flattering claims:-

    Nothing new there I didn’t already know incl RC rules. I actually mentioned those rules specifically last month. You may have missed that. We’re speaking at cross-purposes imo – I think you missed the psychological point I was making. Besides I was not the one to raise the issue of politics here nor mitigation. I responded. Find a better target to educate (there are many) because I am way ahead of you already.” (My bold)

    There is one useful point you make. I did indeed ‘miss’ your mention of RealClimate Open Thread comment rules last month. This is no surprise. I probably read no more than 2 or 3 of your 75 comments in last month’s thread as the remainder I dismissed as pure clutter and ignored. That is quite a lot from just one source, although your cluttering of this months thread is even more dense, running at 25% of the while thread!!

    So what is it that you said last month? @275:-

    “RC seems to have changed it’s posting policy about ‘mitigation and politics’. I good thing imo. Nothing exists in a vacuum.”

    (Note that “nothing” actually exists everywhere. It is the absence of any significant substance that exists in a vacuum.) I’d be interested to know what led you to decide that RealClimate had opened the floodgates on politics, mitigation & now apparently long lists of links to of examples of how Thomas communicates so effectively here at RealClimate. (If you are truly interested in communicating messages, do note the paragraph above.)
    I’d also be interested to know why you “responded” to the header text on this thread (in which our hosts expressed their hope that we would “stop arguing about politics perhaps”) with such a bolshy reply:-

    “re: “about politics perhaps.”
    “If there is anyone in RCland who can convince me as to how one can logically and rationally disconnect the embedded inbred links between Climate Science and Politics anywhere, including here, then I am all ears.”
    (My bold)

    I think the problem lies not with the task of dividing politics from the science but with the need to ‘convince you’ that it is possible, and indeed desirable. You told us @277 last month “It can be difficult to define wisdom, but people generally recognize it when they encounter it.” Do be aware that if people do generally recognise wisdom when they meet it, they will also recognise its absence.
    Our hosts desire that we stick to the science and leave politics & big mitigation rows for more appropriate sites. Please be mindful of this. For all our sakes.

  32. 82
    MA Rodger says:

    Jim @80,
    I do feel CT’s absent SIA is a bit of a loss with the icy Arctic minimum upon us. My point with compaction was less the relative compaction with previous years (although with compaction lower than in 2012, that perhaps indicates that there is a place for further compaction this year). Rather it is the relative rates of decline in SIA & SIE this year should (sort of) show how much compaction & how much melt is under way as we reach the minimum.
    Another day from NSIDC with a drop of 15,000 sq km 5th-to-6th, now 73,000 sq km short of second-place 2007.

  33. 83
    Dan H. says:


    Yes, they are running neck and neck through the first eight months. Both years showed a 5-month plateau after the peak. If the pattern continues, we should see it start to fall in October.

  34. 84
    mike says:

    Chris at 67: on headlines, I just think that the focus should be on CO2e levels in the atmosphere over and over. So to say that “ocean warming is the greatest challenge” is just poor journalism and confusing or misleading. Maybe that headline should have read Ocean Warming Driven by Increasing Atmospheric CO2 Levels is a Great Challenge.

    Or on another day: Torrential Rains Powered by Increasing Atmospheric CO2 Levels are Pounding the SW.

    Or on another day: Torrential Rains Powered by Increasing Atmospheric CO2 Levels are Flooding LA and FL.

    At the root of the problem is the way our species has burned everything it can to gain mechanical advantage and the byproduct of burning (CO2) is now a big problem. I think it really is that simple. We have to stop burning stuff and cranking out CO2 or kiss our asses goodbye. People need to hear that over and over so they grasp the fundamental nature of the problem. Many folks will be confused about ocean warming as presentation, some will think “oh, too many underwater volcanos? Or solar radiation must be up and all that sunshine is warming the oceans. or any similar kind of basic misunderstanding of how and why the ocean warming is happening. Or how and why torrential rains are cranked up by increasing CO2 levels.

    A lot of folks get confused and think we are getting a handle on our problem when they read a headline that says global emissions are down when any reasonable review of the rise of CO2 (and CO2e for those with more sophisticated approach to GHG) show quite clearly that the level of atmospheric CO2 continues to increase without any sign of slowing, in fact, the trend is up, we can’t even hold it at 2 ppm per annum, we have entered the era of 3 ppm per annum increase. This really is a global disaster and worthy of being the headline day after day. But hey, what do I know? Maybe it’s all going to be fine?

    Hank at 77: I don’t think that is the Tamino post I was remembering, but thanks for the effort, Tamino is correct, the whole question of slowing the warming is academic since we won’t do what it takes to stop the increase in atmospheric CO2 level.

    Robert Scribbler has post about methane spike at Point Barrow and elsewhere. It’s thoughtful and covers the difficulties in discussion of methane release. Methane release does appear to be a low probability, high impact type of event, so why worry about that when we are doing such a bang-up job of cranking up the atmospheric CO2 levels?

    Warm regards


  35. 85
    Thomas says:

    Self-control, an aspect of inhibitory control, is the ability to control one’s emotions and behavior in the face of temptations and impulses. As an executive function, self-control is a cognitive process that is necessary for regulating one’s behavior in order to achieve goals.

    This study has many implications related to self-control and the everyday things that interfere with people’s ability to stay on task. This is a big reason why self-control is considered to be a public speaker’s worst nightmare.[10] Goleman, Daniel (1998). “Working with Emotional Intelligence”, p. 73. Bantam Books, New York. ISBN 0553378589.

    Ref: The secret of success is not what they taught you in school. What matters most is not IQ, not a business school degree, not even technical know-how or years of expertise. The single most important factor in job performance and advancement is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is actually a set of skills that anyone can acquire, and in this practical guide, Daniel Goleman identifies them, explains their importance, and shows how they can be fostered.

    Goleman, Daniel (1998). “Working with Emotional Intelligence”, p. 73. Bantam Books, New York. ISBN 0553378589.

    Referring to B.F. Skinner’s Science and Human Behavior, the wiki entry continues:
    The best way to learn self-control is with free will where people are able to perceive they are making their own choices. [41- Logue, Self Control: Waiting Until Tomorrow For What You Want Today 34-77]

    “Doing something else”
    Skinner noted that various philosophies and religions exemplified this principle by instructing believers to love their enemies. When we are filled with rage or hatred we might control ourselves by ‘doing something else’ or more specifically something that is incompatible with our response.

    Positive correlation between linguistic capability and self-control has been inferred from experiments

    follow the url ‘linguistic capability’ to
    eg. Language is the ability to acquire and use complex systems of communication, particularly the human ability to do so, and a language is any specific example of such a system. The scientific study of language is called linguistics. […] Major figures in linguistics include Ferdinand de Saussure and Noam Chomsky [and also George Lakoff] Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, where he has taught since 1972.

    The Public, Academics, Scientists, Politicians, and Climate Science ‘activists’ can all learn ‘How Brains Think’ and why Reason is 98% Subconscious Metaphor via

    eg Global Economic Symposium 2013 – interview with George Lakoff
    [edited intro] “The most important challenge we’re facing today has to do with Unconscious Cognition. That means that most people do not know that 98% of their thought is unconscious. Consciousness is the ‘tip of the iceberg’. And when we study the unconscious we find that all politics is ‘Moral’. So therefore the idea is that all Policy is ‘Moral’ too – it’s either the right thing to do or the wrong thing to do.

    imo and ime all the above has implications in internet forum discussions everywhere, is behind Gavin’s Twitter story about The Crank Malcolm Roberts and ‘Australian Silliness’ in electing him to the Senate, but especially the bigger issues in regard to climate science research, public awareness of the issues, agw/cc impacts, cs denial, economics, politics, geo-politics, and wtf to do about any of it and all of it.

  36. 86
    Thomas says:

    I think that James Hansen is a really interesting character to observe (and possibly learn from) in the public domain over the decades regarding climate science and AGW/CC issues.

    Since retiring from NASA/GISS as a govt employed scientist he has changed his focus and rhetoric significantly. Most would be aware of this, though some may never have thought about it much.

    His main professional activity (from what I can see) now centers on his work at Columbia U’s Earth Institute. There is also a Blog there where he often sends his latest thoughts, research papers and articles: They do not accept ‘comments’ there.

    Hansen also has his own website It has a mailing list subscription to be advised on new content. He accepts emails from interested parties but doesn’t run a blog for ‘comments’.

    Hansen’s reputation precedes himself as he is a highly qualified climate scientist. On the deniers side it’s a very negative reputation and that has become even worse since leaving NASA/GISS because his public statements and lectures have taken on an ever increasing connection to Policy issues about Mitigating the impacts being described in the body of the science literature. Some would see the obvious that he has become a climate science political activist in the normal sense of that word. Something that would have been unacceptable as a Govt employee at NASA/GISS. I believe this would still be deemed unacceptable if Gavin Schmidt did or said the same things that Hansen is today.

    A review of the sites above will show that Hansen is still putting his name to a range of scientific studies, he’s still doing proper science work and sharing his and his co-authors findings with the world and the scientific community.

    Similarly Michael Mann (a RC founder) is engaged in public outreach via his Op-eds and TV interviews while still doing hard climate science work publishing papers. Tenure at a State University is a privilege that’s been earned and it does come with significant degree of freedom to express one’s science based ‘opinions’ in the public sphere without fear or favor. Many active in climate science do not have that kind of freedom to express their broader opinions based upon the science along with their own personal values and morals. (see the last video by Lakoff in my prior post regarding ‘morals’ and choices about what’s right or wrong.)

    I think that straddling the divide between doing the science and speaking about it’s implications publicly is a difficult balancing act for most scientists and academics. Some are better equipped than others in this regard while some simply find themselves within institutional constraints that limits their freedom to say what they really think about xy or z. It doesn’t mean they do not have ‘opinions’ and ‘values’ only that they are not heard.

    I’d love to be ‘a fly on the wall’ hearing what people reactions were to Hansen repeatedly raising the issue of the unspeakable word ‘nuclear’ in recent years. I wonder how many instantly ‘turned off’ and never wanted to read or hear another word from Dr. James Hansen.

    To me it would be fascinating to overhear the thoughts of people as Hansen was encouraging close engagement with China (especially over that unspeakable word) at the same time hearing the rhetoric in the media over the south china sea issue. This would surely have been a moment of potential cognitive dissonant inner conflict for many. It didn’t bother me because I could already see (knew of) Hansen’s justifications and what they were based on.

    I’m reminded here of the idea attributed to John Maynard Keynes.

    Or this quote:

    Poetry is so often metaphorical as this academic research shows about the meaning of the word ‘fiddles/fiddled’ which has traversed the fields of History, Philology, Literature, and Music.*.html

    “Fiddling while Rome burns” is basically now a modern day metaphor. Meaning: “To occupy oneself with unimportant matters and neglect priorities during a crisis.”

    The metaphor has a greater power for Truth no matter what a single word within it is or means, or what Google might or might not tell you about the History of it. But do the research properly and one may discover that most of the crap out there on Google is wrong, or at least only half right. Fact is, most people stop ‘searching’ once they find the answers they want to hear! Easy to see that in climate science deniers. Not so easy to recognize within ourselves when caught in the same trap.

    So, quoting from the Ref above in Nero’s time: …the outstanding stringed instruments were the cithara and the lyre. There can be no doubt that the instrument employed by Nero was the cithara. Tacitus, Suetonius, Dio Cassius, Sextus Aurelius Victor, Philostratus, and Juvenal attest the fact.”

    “Dio Cassius, ca. 225, describing the fire writes that “Nero ascended to the roof of the palace from which there was the best general view . . . and assuming the kithara-player’s garb, sang the Capture of Troy. . . .” Even here the stress lies upon Nero’s singing, though the presence of a kithara might be assumed along with the garb.” [end quotes]

    Do you know the last lines in the original Desiderata poem actually goes: “Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” and not “Be careful.” And it wasn’t written nor found in 1692 in “Old Saint Paul’s Church, Baltimore”, as so many millions had falsely believed previously, including myself until I did the proper historical research (many thanks to Google).

    But isn’t it amazing how much difference one single word or drawing incorrect assumptions about a date can make? Especially where ‘metaphors’ are concerned. (see that Lakoff video again)

    Opinions and beliefs are like that, they are often wrong and this is how myths are typically begun, much like the ‘telephone game’. And so the rhetorical question is: JMK “When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?”

    It certainly doesn’t apply to Malcolm Roberts and so many others. I think that it does apply to Dr. James Hansen though. Just my opinion though it is based on what I have heard him say himself. :-)

    Strangely enough, it seems to me that people’s opinions, feelings and beliefs about Poetry are not that dissimilar to what happens with their beliefs and opinions about climate science and it’s implications. The very same ‘thinking processes’ are involved. As Lakoff suggests, based on his deep scientific understanding of cognitive science/linguistics and what he teaches about ‘metaphor’ especially in the political realm.

    What we often ‘believe’ simply is not true. Science can help us see that a little more clearly. If we listen to it and are willing to change our opinions in the process.

  37. 87
    Hank Roberts says:

    entire species populations—such as plankton, jellyfish, turtles, and seabirds—are moving toward the poles by up to 10 degrees latitude, taking up residence in waters previously too cold to support them. That’s five times faster than land animals are migrating north.

  38. 88
    Thomas says:

    The following quote only applies to a small self-selected few. It does not apply to the good people who run this website, nor to the majority of those who choose to post comments here over the years.

    In memory of E.G.

    Life’s too short to be found in the company of abusive vapid fools. Anonymous

    Because only disingenuous hypocrites and intellectual lightweights would spend years insulting a man and his ideas only to then praise him after he’s dead … or on hearing the news silently say to themselves something like: “Good riddance, that’s one less idiot I have to deal with.”

    Sometimes The Truth Hurts. Get over it!

  39. 89
    Chris Dudley says:

    A GISTEMP anomaly for August 2016 of 0.96 C or greater would make it the hottest recorded month beating July 2016. Drumroll please.

  40. 90
    Hank Roberts says:

    Why scientists aren’t running screaming in the streets about climate change:

  41. 91
    Hank Roberts says:

    from my email:

    AGU On Demand 2016

    AGU On-Demand provides you free global access – either live-streamed or on-demand viewing – of breakthrough research and prestigious presentations taking place during Fall Meeting.

    … AGU will be providing the same free access to view sessions selected for the 2016 AGU On-Demand program.

    Excited about the content for 2016? Mark your calendar and plan to login and begin viewing on Sunday, 11 December, when Dr. Michael Meyer, Dr. Bethany Ehlmann, and Alex Longo deliver the Public Lecture: How Do We Choose a Landing Site on Mars?

    starting in early October: Browse the entire list of AGU On-Demand presentations by channel, and view presentation details in the scientific program

    Take a moment to test your system in advance by watching some of the topviewed sessions of the 2015 Fall Meeting
    AGU On-Demand site

    You can use the below link to send anyone you think will benefit from this exciting event.;F:APIUTILS!11000&ShowKey=33780

    Check in advance — some folks in the RC peanut gallery with me last year had trouble viewing the program; it will test your settings for you when you try to view the 2015 programs and let you sign up for 2016.

  42. 92
    Digby Scorgie says:


    Um, Thomas, old chap, please be more succinct. Your long rambling comments are counter-productive. The longer your comment, the less inclined we are to read it. More and more, I find myself skipping your comments. You might well have something interesting to say, but if so I will probably miss it. You are losing your readers.

  43. 93
    Thomas says:

    92 Digby Scorgie, 81 MA Rodger, opinions noted.

    What would you like to have happen now?

    For educational purposes:
    TEDxMerseyside – Caitlin Walker – Clean Questions and Metaphor Models

    Turning that around into: What would I like to have happen now?

    I would like to be the Moderator here for 3 months because I would fix this Blog’s comments forum space into one worth reading and posting to in under a month.

    Of course, that is not going to happen.

    So have at it and swim in your own creations.

  44. 94
    Tony Weddle says:

    Regarding Hansen’s advocacy of nuclear (since it was raised), I’ve asked him a couple of times whether he’s given any thought to what would happen if a nuclear build out was attempted but failed to make a big enough impact quickly enough. He’s never addressed it other than one small aspect. That aspect was related to Fukushima but it wasn’t the aspect I was getting at. Obama said recently, in an interview, that climate change could destabilise societies. So, if we have thousands (“only” about 450 now) of nuclear reactors operational as societies destabilise (which must be a possibility) what would be all of the possible implications in that situation?

  45. 95
    Jim Hunt says:

    Al @82 – Nobody’s pointed this out here (visibly) yet, so perhaps I should mention that NSIDC single day Arctic sea ice extent has now dropped to 2nd place below the 2007 minimum, at 4.083 million km²? The 5 day trailing average has yet to follow suit.

    As far as I’m aware it’s not possible to embed graphics in comments here? See the area graphs at my previous link @75 and the ArctischePinguin “compaction” graphs at:

    They make it clear that area has been falling noticeably faster than extent recently!

  46. 96
    MA Rodger says:

    Dan H, @83,
    I suspect that a longer set of data would yield different conclusions. (I am conscious of not loading too much monthly data into this thread. There is graphic comaparing both surface & satellite tempertures 1997-1999 with the recent equivlents here (usually two clicks to ‘download your attachment’)) You may note that the 1997/98 El Nino temperatures did not properly return to the values seen in early 1997 until early 1999. This year the surface temperatures have already dropped to that level and the satellite data is not so far behind. The temperature drop you envisage in coming months thus appears a far smaller affair than that seen in the comparative months of 1997/98.

  47. 97
    Chuck Hughes says:

    These are the kinds of trend lines I don’t see stopping. Professor Stephen Hawking told Larry King in a recent interview that since 2010 we’ve added a half Billion people to the planet. We’re consuming all of the resources and apparently they’re still going to find a way to pipe oil from Canada.

    I linked to a article that stated: “High above Earth’s tropics, a pattern of winds changed recently in a way that scientists had never seen in more than 60 years of consistent measurements.”

    Whataya want to bet that’s NOT good news for us? Humans aren’t going to stop what they’re doing. Half the voting population is dumber than Donald Trump. Mull that over for a bit…

    “A tenth of the planet’s wilderness was eradicated in the last two decades and conservation efforts are failing to keep pace with the rate of wilderness loss, according to a new study.
    The loss recorded since 1990 is equivalent to an area twice the size of Alaska and half the size of the Amazon, according to the study published Thursday in Current Biology. Most of the depletion is happening in South America, which experienced a nearly 30 percent loss, and Africa, which lost 14 percent of untouched ecosystems.”

  48. 98
    Alfred Jones says:

    Nick O: Probably not going to happen this year, but anyone know when it was last ice free at the end of a melt season?

    AJ: I don’t know if it by happenstance it occurred recently, but other than a fluke, I’d say it was during the Eemian, which had CO2 concentrations more than 100ppm lower than today’s.


    mike: how to go carbon negative for a lifetime and head back to 350,

    AJ: Hi Mike! I enjoy your posts. Keep up the good play. (work is much less productive than play!) But methinks you’ve fallen into a logic trap. There’s no need to go carbon negative to get back to 350ppm because our rise to 400+ has been so quick that the oceans (the laggards!) are both way behind the curve and incredibly massive. I don’t know what the actual equilibrium point would be if we (and nature) went carbon neutral, but it would be less than 350. Personally, I’m not convinced that the old commercial was wrong. “It’s not nice to fool mother nature.” The sun is hotter than when the planet was way hotter, and the CO2 concentration is way higher. Uh, DUH, eh?

    (and note the incredible caveat “and nature” As if nature will suddenly this time only NOT respond to a forcing….)


    Thomas: Or on another day: Torrential Rains Powered by Increasing Atmospheric CO2 Levels are Flooding LA and FL.

    AJ: YES! Republicans have learned that repeating stupidity and lies will sway the masses. Imagine how much sway can be generated by Truth. Honest purveyors generally have a tremendous flaw; they almost always accept the terminology and buzzwords of the liars and idiots.

    Note that even here the less-than-genius folks have started attacking you for being holistic and smart. I suggest you DON’T bend to their stupid desires. I enjoy your intelligent discourse. Morons are everywhere. So are mosquitoes.


    “If we want to address the climate change problem, we need to do it by either planting new forests or by decreasing industrial emissions,” he said.

    AJ: I suppose that would be a reasonable conclusion if one ignored the fact that grasslands are the highest CO2 sequestering biome on the land-based planet. (at least according to everything I’ve read so far. I’m way way way open to changing my mind)


    Thomas: Because only disingenuous hypocrites and intellectual lightweights would spend years insulting a man and his ideas only to then praise him after he’s dead

    AJ: Yeah, I’ve been laughing for days at the hypocrites. It seems that the only thing somebody has to do to be declared a saint is to “friggin die already!” Ain’t it interesting how disrespect of somebody who can be hurt by said disrespect is glorious, but disrespecting a bag of dead bones is horrendous? Humans are stupid.


    BPL: “O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom.” -Job 13:5

    AJ: So enlighten me how you reconcile that with your glorification of the Offense Budget as opposed to the Peace Corps. Personally, I can’t fathom your Savior (and my hero) Jesus not throwing up at the ratio of funding. Remember, I’ve committed to honoring you this month.

  49. 99
  50. 100

    @Chris O’Neill #67

    “…a headline saying “Stop CO2 Emissions”, for example, then how is that going to positively influence people who just unthinkingly read headlines?”

    Yes, that’s abstract, and demanding, making feel you guilty, different responses.

    Narrative should become more instructive, more on the point, ie. Use less CO2 emitting vehicles, establish CO2 free zones in the city, because health, AGW etc.
    Then step two, show examples, show leaders, give incentives like subsidising electric vehicle transportation. And important establish the carbon tax as the main mechanism to pave the way to a neutral carbon infrastructure.

    With more climate disasters people will ultimately demand such actions, but with rate changes, time is the culprit. Thus, the world requires large scale affords today.