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Unforced variations: Nov 2016

Filed under: — group @ 8 November 2016

This month’s open thread. Usual rules apply…

145 Responses to “Unforced variations: Nov 2016”

  1. 51
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    36: Chris: Good point! Although even if the democrats got an extra 220000 votes. That is still less than 2%. Trump would have gone off his tree and declared another civil war; and the trump camp carries far more firepower. The end result if Hilliary had just scraped in could have indeed been worse?.

  2. 52
    MA Rodger says:

    Christopher @39.
    You ask “Have scientist identified cause of this acceleration (in atmospheric CO2 levels)?” I think it is fair to say that they predicted it. See Richard Betts’ post at Carbonbrief.
    The rate of increase of CO2 fluctuates with ENSO. The red trace on this graphic (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’) plots these fluctuations. As for the present underlying rate, there are some commenters here who feel that the underlying rate has increased markedly recently as the rates of 4+ppm/year in recent months are unprecedented. The underlying rate has been assessed by Tamino who shows it is running at something like 2.26ppm/yr. (Tamino has also posted on the subject of a ‘pause’ in CO2 rates (here) responding to Kennan et al (2016) ‘Recent pause in the growth rate of atmospheric CO2 due to enhanced terrestrial carbon uptake’.)

  3. 53
    Eric Wolff says:

    Re 22, 31, 43:

    As one of those who was quoted in the Independent article, I can confirm that it was about Friedrich et al in Science Advances, published 9th November, and I should comment a little.

    The paper bears some comparison with the Snyder et al paper which Gavin posted about last month. They both use attempted reconstructions of global mean temperature over many glacial cycles to try and learn something about sensitivity, and the used that to suggest something about future climate change. In both cases the temperature reconstruction seems OK, in the sense that it’s the best that can be done at the moment. However it’s worth bearing in mind that the number and reliability of the records used in the reconstructions is very small beyond the last glacial cycle, and frankly the answer each gets is barely different to the one they would have got if they had used data from only one glacial cycle.
    Snyder et al derived an Earth system sensitivity in which they treated CO2 as the only forcing and everything else as a feedback. While that is an interesting exercise if the assumptions behind it are fully explained, it is not useful for extrapolating to the future, because it assumes that the same feedbacks (such as the loss of northern hemisphere ice) continue into the future as they did from glacial to interglacial, which is obviously impossible. Gavin explained other reasons why the conclusions of the Snyder paper were invalid. Friedrich et al is a much more creditable attempt at the problem because they explicitly calculate the forcings as well as the global temperature over 784,000 years, which allows them to estimate (with quite a lot of assumptions) a more relevant version of climate sensitivity. Doing that they find that the climate sensitivity appears to rise with temperature, an interesting result that warrants further study in itself to see what causes it and whether it can safely be extrapolated.

    The headline finding in the abstract of the Friedrich paper is that the climate sensitivity they estimate from the palaeo data is consistent with the CMIP5 sensitivities and warming projections. This is a useful result, though given the full range of uncertainties one can deduce from their paper it is not a very strong constraint. Unfortunately the Independent concentrated much more on the fact that their preferred solution gave a sensitivity above the CMIP5 mean: we can’t blame the Indy because as so often the press release they were working with drew you to that.

    The numbers the Indy quoted were a range of global mean warming (1880-2100) of 4.78-7.36K (the number in the press release was the central one of 5.9K). This certainly emerges from the paper but it’s the highest of a set of ranges they derive when they use different ways to estimate global mean surface air temperature (SAT). As an example the SAT change they derive from the last glacial maximum (LGM) to the present is around 6 degrees, which is about 50% higher than the one that is often quoted as typical of previous reconstructions for just that period (LGM-present, which as I have said is by far the most reliable part of the reconstruction). While they have some arguments for this higher value (such as the way the scale SSTs to SATs), there is sufficient doubt that the possibility of lower SATs should be in their uncertainty calculation, and this immediately makes their estimates “consistent with” rather than “higher than” the CMIP5 mean. This, and other uncertainties, are discussed well enough in the paper but just got lost as it was translated into a press release and into the Indy.

    I would also question a little whether it is safe to extrapolate the high curvature of the SAT/forcing curve they derive into the future. This assumes that the high sensitivities continue as forcing rises out of that experienced in the last 784,000 years. That might or might not be true, but doesn’t seem self-evident to me.

    But I am quibbling. It’s a nice paper and the result that it validates the CMIP5 projections within mutual uncertainties is an important reassurance. I just wish the press release hadn’t made it so easy to exaggerate it to another level.

  4. 54
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Lawrence Coleman: “Not at all. More of careful and duly considered nomination by a committee of highly regarded in their respective fields – wise elders.”

    Because that’s worked out so well for the Catholic Church, the Russian Politburo, the Chinese Communist Party…

    The only system that hold out the possibility that everyone can represent their own interests is democracy. No wise elder is sufficiently wise that he or she can understand the situations of the young, the poor, etc.

  5. 55
    Mike Roddy says:

    32, Killian: Of course Bernie would have been much better than Hillary, and he probably got cheated here in California, too. Clinton is just another corporate neoliberal, a good talker, but not even as smart as her reputation implies. She is a good talker, but genuflects to power, including the military kind. But your notion that four years of Trump will somehow awaken people- or that Hillary would have been approximately the same- is not correct.

    Trump can’t cancel the Paris Agreements, but he will throw more money at coal and gas, cancel any incentives for renewables, and increase our emissions so much that many other countries on tight budgets will just say to hell with it, and do likewise. It is possible that the Electors will change enough votes to change the outcome, when evidence of fraud, Russian interference, and Trump’s criminality come to light.

    On the other hand, if someone like yourself can’t see this, it makes me wonder how much hope we actually have.

  6. 56
    mike says:

    LC at 5. Shocked and surprised at the election results? I think the podesta and mook emails indicate that the Clinton campaign worked to get the most extreme republican candidate possible nominated. I think that worked. Our new president, Donald Trump looked like he was on the crazy fringe wing of the R party, but it turned out he was in the electoral sweetspot. This was a year when outsider and change politics were ascendant. Obama looks very establishment now even though he looked very changey-hopey way back when.

    The DNC and dem establishment worked very hard to prevent Bernie from getting the nomination. They ignored the evidence of the outsider mood of this election cycle. That evidence was the bernie wins in open primaries in the midwest states and these same states went to Trump in the general. The indicators were there. Like K mentions at 49, a lot of us were quite vocal about HRC’s weaknesses as a candidate. And we were vocal about how the mood of the country was wrong for a race based on more years of Obama type presidency. You can say what you want about the guy, but TPP is/was pretty unpopular. If Hillary had come out strongly and believably (that one is tougher) against TPP, she might have won this election, but she was the wrong candidate at a wrong moment. HRC is blaming the loss on Comey’s October Surprise. Ok, who could see that one coming?

    You do not speak for everyone in expressing surprise at the result. I thought HRC would win, but I also thought she was an amazingly risky choice for the dems and that this choice opened the door for Trump. Next four years are going to be hard. Anybody want to get behind Hillary for 2020? is her experience still looking persuasive to anyone? Anybody want to double down on insider politics for 2020? Is it possible that HRC could lose twice to someone like Donald Trump?

    sorry, feeling a little ranty. go figure.


  7. 57
    mike says:

    Christopher at 39: what MAR said at 52, plus we should see a dip in CO2 ppm as La Nina ages and that should produce a flat month for annual comparisons. I think that month will be November or December. I think that monthly increase comparison gets flat if November 2016 comes in at something around 2.9 ppm increase because November 2015 showed a monthly average increase of 2.89 over November 2014. From December 2016 forward, we might see a monthly average, annual comparison number under 3 ppm for the duration of the LN event. My sense is that we are seeing changes in the natural carbon cycle and seeing new “natural” sources of CO2 come into play, so the modest changes our species has made in CO2 production are being absorbed and eclipsed by the tipping points that we have passed.

    That is the bad news, I think. Good news is that we have personal choices to make now to reduce CO2 production and to stimulate CO2 sequestration, plus we have another presidential election in four years, so we have full plate.

    btw, I am amateur in this science. I only do modest stat work with the numbers provided by NOAA and Scripps and a brief ongoing survey of the available science. I have been told I don’t know what I am talking about, so take it with a grain of salt.

    Go get’m,


  8. 58
    alan2102 says:

    Esko #21: “Trump may not yet be too deep in denial. Could it be that he just hasn’t thought about it much? Now would be the time to explain to him that climate action is the winning strategy. He likes to win. Being global leader regarding climate action would ensure that USA wins globally. He would have the chance to be the biggest winner ever. Any ideas how to make him get this? Are there any proper climate scientists etc. who would have access to him? I understand that what I say is completely naïve.”

    Esko, that is not a good idea. That is a GREAT idea. Keys directly in to Trump’s narcissistic winning addiction. If there is a way to pull a rabbit out of this miserable hat, you’ve just put your finger on it. Kudos. Now if only the idea could spread in the direction of people who have (or could have) access…

  9. 59
    Chuck Hughes says:

    “Trump will be gone in 4 years, all his undoing redone lickety-split. Trump is a blip in human history, at best.” Killian

    Chuck >Trumpism is an ideology. That’s the concern now and it’s not just in the United States. Brexit? What is that? An ideology is much harder if not impossible to get rid of.

    “At least with Trump, the overreaction to him combined with realistic reaction to him will cause a large uptick in understanding how precarious our situation is. The FEAR of non-action will be more powerful than the risk assessment itself. Then he’ll be gone and we’ll get a huge swing toward sustainability with the next president.” ~ Killian

    Chuck >You speak with such certitude here. Do you have a crystal ball? From the get go NOBODY thought Trump had a chance of becoming President. What some people fail to understand about Trump is that he has no morals. No remorse. No conscience. He can do as he pleases because consequences mean nothing to this guy. When you’re of that type of personality you can do almost anything and that’s exactly what he’s doing. I invite you to take a look:

    Do not underestimate the danger we’re facing now. A lot can happen in 4 years…. good and awful and the odds aren’t 50/50 as to which way things will go.

  10. 60
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Richard Engel also has some very dire words of caution regarding Trump. Constitutional Crisis anyone?

    We’re in uncharted territory now. Anyone’s predictions as to what happens next are highly suspect as far as I’m concerned.

  11. 61
    Racetrack Playa says:

    Esko#21 Yes indeed, and in terms of business models, the challenge is to explain to the media and the general public and the Trump Administration what it will take to get off of fossil fuels, the feasibility of the replacement of fossil fuels by a renewable energy model, the resulting economic disruption to established interests (like pension funds, hedge funds, investment banks, energy corporations, etc.) with large fossil fuel holdings, and how to manage such a transition.

    On basic economic grounds, this is why China and Germany, which notably lack access to domestic oil & gas reserves, are working faster than any other country to develop solar, wind and storage. They have no internal economic interests trying to block renewables from stealing their market share. Noticeably, even though it has coal reserves, China is closing down and canceling coal plants (with air pollution concerns as a major political issue).

    “Last year, China’s coal, gas and nuclear plants ran at just 49 percent of their full capacity on average, versus 61 percent in 2011, BNEF found. When a plant runs at just half the capacity, it’s hard for plant operators to turn a profit. On top of all of this, China is heavily investing in wind and solar power projects.”

    This is why the American coal industry won’t recover without large government subsidies; no coal export ports have been approved, and even if there were there is falling demand for coal. And no, there is no such thing called clean coal, there’s no coal carbon capture and burial scheme waiting to be added on to every coal-fired power unit. Coal is on its way out, with global market forces and coal’s huge air pollution problem (on top of the fossil carbon -> atmospheric CO2 burning problem).

    Thus revitalizing coal is not going to be viable, particularly on ideological grounds, when both the economics are so poor, including the pollution problem. Thus all the coal miners should be offered job retraining programs, because that profession will go the same way as that of whale oil production.

  12. 62
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    21: Esko, Your idea is very Dale Carnegie-esk but it might be the only chance to change his stance on the CC ‘hoax’. His achilles heel after all is his narcissism. Good thinking Esko.

  13. 63
  14. 64
    Chuck Hughes says:

    sorry, feeling a little ranty. go figure.


    A couple of points:

    1.) US Intelligence knows that Russia has been engaged in a cyber attack in order to influence the outcome of the election:

    2.) “The DNC and dem establishment worked very hard to prevent Bernie from getting the nomination.” – Mike

    Bernie Sanders was and IS an “Independent” candidate. The DNC were under no obligation to accommodate Bernie Sanders. Especially when his only goal running as a ‘Democrat” was to utilize DNC money and resources, which he openly admitted. A very risky bet would have been to take away resources from the Clinton campaign to fund a candidate running as a self-proclaimed Socialist. Having said that there is no real evidence that the DNC tried to “hurt” Sanders. There IS evidence that the DNC were trying to support their Democratic candidate for President. If you’re relying on emails as proof for your argument I refer you to Point #1.

    3.) “I think the podesta and mook emails indicate that the Clinton campaign worked to get the most extreme republican candidate possible nominated. I think that worked.” – Mike

    ‘I think’ and ‘I know’ are not the same thing. With all due respect your statement sounds more like a conspiracy theory to me. What we do know is that Russia has been engaged in a cyber attacks for a while and that the Trump campaign had been in touch with Putin operatives.

    While that doesn’t completely explain Hillary Clinton’s loss it is a strong indication that this was not your normal election. As everyone here knows, it’s all about the numbers of votes. Sanders lost to women, Blacks and Hispanics. Sanders got almost no Black voters compared to Hillary Clinton and he completely lost the Southern Black voters.

    These debates and arguments will go on for months and maybe years. What matters now is where we are today. I worry what the GOP may do to organizations like NASA, NOAA et al. We simply have no idea what a Trump Administration will do because he’s only been a politician for a year and a half or less. At 70 years old I don’t think there’s much room for a change in behavior. We’ll have to wait and see how this all plays out. I’ll say one more little thing…

    The reason the GOP win, when they do, is because they vote in lockstep with their party’s nominee. Liberals are much more fractious and likely to split if they don’t like something about the party platform. You’d think we’d learn from past experience that this doesn’t work when dealing with hardline Conservatives but we haven’t. You have to have a unified party to win. Especially when the opposition party is willing to go to any extreme. Jill Stein anyone???

  15. 65

    Alastair, 40–

    But that is not how the greenhouse effect works. As Barton reports at 30, it is the back radiation which changes, warming the surface. CO2 absorption is saturated as was shown by Koch (1901), whose results were cited by Callendar (1938). Callendar explained that the greenhouse effect was due to the back radiation from a lower and warmer altitude producing a warmer surface.

    Except that:

    1) CO2 isn’t saturated. (If it was, we’d hardly be able to do meaningful remote sensing measures of CO2 from orbit.) Herr Koch’s experimental design wasn’t adequate. See:

    2) Callendar was state of the art in 1938; but he was speaking to the part of the argument for which he had direct measurements. At that time, no-one had elucidated how energy was actually transported through the atmosphere–Plass and Kaplan were more than 20 years in the future, and there was also much work, if I’m not mistaken, on the convective side of things. It’s true that the increased optical depth at IR frequencies will (and is observed to) increase downwelling LWR, just as it will raise the mean effective radiating height. These effects are two sides of the same coin. But while the matter still gets discussed, it seems pretty clear that it’s what happens at TOA that matters, since that is where energy actually leaves the Earth system–that’s the interface.

    Discussion at length:

  16. 66
    SecularAnimist says:

    Chuck Hughes quoted Killian: “Trump will be gone in 4 years, all his undoing redone lickety-split. Trump is a blip in human history, at best.”

    It isn’t just Trump. It is Trump plus the Republican majority in Congress. And they can easily do incalculable, irreversible damage in four, or even two years.

    According to best current scientific understanding, the next 4 – 8 years will be decisive: failure to begin rapid reductions in global emissions during this time period may destroy any chance of limiting warming to 2C let alone 1.5C. The Trump/GOP agenda will increase US emissions and commit the US to higher emissions for years or decades to come, and could undermine international efforts to reduce emissions.

    And of course Trump and the GOP have vowed to dismantle the EPA and roll back 40 years of environmental regulations. That will not be undone “lickety-split”.

    I am not at all confident that Trump will be a one-term president. I think we cannot even take for granted that there will even be elections in 2018 or 2020, or that they will be “free and fair”.

    Trump proclaimed before this election that he would not accept the result if he lost. In 2020, if he doesn’t like the result, he will have the National Guard and plenty of KKK-infiltrated, highly militarized police forces at his disposal to enforce the result that he prefers.

    Meanwhile the GOP is engaged in an ongoing, nationwide, highly successful project to disenfranchise millions of minority voters, to ensure that Trump gets the result that he wants.

  17. 67
  18. 68
    Marcus says:

    I think there is a chance, albeit small, of convincing Trump to change his mind. I think the NAC should send a delegation to talk to him. It’s better than simply complaining and giving up for four or more years.

  19. 69
    mike says:

    Look at that!

    Daily CO2

    November 13, 2016: 402.47 ppm

    November 13, 2015: 402.51 ppm

    It’s a daily average number, so very noisy, but I have been watching the dailies drop under 3.0 ppm. I love seeing any year on year comparison that does not show an increase in the 3 plus ppm range.

    November might be the flat month where the current LN CO2 sat numbers start to look encouraging when compared to the EN CO2 sat numbers from 2015. It doesn’t mean too much, but I started watching these numbers when they started making the big jump and I have been waiting for this moment. We need to keep the number in the 405 ppm range and lower by any means necessary. Not sure how we do that, but it’s pretty clear what happens if we don’t stop the increase.

    Warm regards


  20. 70
    mike says:

    Last Week

    November 6 – 12, 2016 402.76 ppm
    November 6 – 12, 2015 400.05 ppm

    Increase of 2.71 ppm on noisy weekly number Anything under 3 looks good after the past year with wild CO2 increase numbers and record heat around the globe.



  21. 71
    Thomas says:

    Misc snippets

    The most important news of November 8 was barely noted, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) delivered a report.

    Determining whether or not Sanders would have won the states Clinton lost is easy when looking at exit poll data taken during the Democratic primary.

    Dan Ariely, Doing The Right Things for The Wrong Reasons
    Can people care about global warming? The answer is basically no. A few will – but it’s long in the future, will happen to other people first, we don’t see it progressing, can’t see anybody suffering, and anything we would do would be a drop in the bucket. – can you do something else that would get them to act ‘as if’ they cared about global warming? [2 mins]
    People are not motivated by long term big goals but instead are motivated by short term immediate rewards and how the environment (society) around them is structured, we can get people to behave differently. We can get people to behave in the right way even if not always for the right reasons.

    Yes, global warming systemically caused Hurricane Sandy — and the Midwest droughts and the fires in Colorado and Texas, as well as other extreme weather disasters around the world. Let’s say it out loud, it was causation, systemic causation.
    Systemic causation is familiar. Smoking is a systemic cause of lung cancer. HIV is a systemic cause of AIDS. Working in coal mines is a systemic cause of black lung disease. Driving while drunk is a systemic cause of auto accidents. Sex without contraception is a systemic cause of unwanted pregnancies.

    Understanding Trump By George Lakoff JULY 2016
    “Systemic causation has chains of direct causes, interacting causes, feedback loops, and probabilistic causes — often combined. Systemic causation is more complex and is not represented in the grammar of any language. It just has to be learned.

    Empirical research has shown that conservatives tend to reason with direct causation and that progressives have a much easier time reasoning with systemic causation. The reason is thought to be that, in the strict father model, the father expects the child or spouse to respond directly to an order and that refusal should be punished as swiftly and directly as possible.

    Many of Trump’s policy proposals are framed in terms of direct causation.”

    George Lakoff – How Systemic Causation Affects Sustainability

    The HRC Democrat vote crashed by 5.5 MILLION on Obama’s 2012 election
    It crashed by a whopping 9 MILLION than Obama in 2008!
    Millennial Voters 2008 Turnout 51%
    Millennial Voters 2016 Turnout 19%
    Clinton 55% vs Trump 37%

    The Female Vote for Clinton was 54% in 2016
    For Obama in 2012 it was 55%

    The Latino Vote 2016 Clinton 65% against Trump 29%
    In 2008 Obama’s was 67% against McCain 31%

    Illegal Immigrants Deported under GW Bush = 2 million
    Under Obama? 2.5 million

    The existing Mexican Border ‘Fence’ already covers 32% of the border since 2010. – the Department of Homeland Security had built 640 miles (1,030 km) of fences and barriers as part of the Secure Border Initiative

    “You can only understand what your brain allows you to understand.” George Lakoff

    Dan Ariely – The Honest Truth About Dishonesty
    “It’s really about conflicts of interest” […] “you can create a system with multiple oppportunities for rationalization” […] “the problem is the system is supporting lots of misbehaviour”
    [ see 2 mins 30 seconds from ]

    The brain adapts to dishonesty | Nature Neuroscience (2016)
    “The findings uncover a biological mechanism that supports a ‘slippery slope’: what begins as small acts of dishonesty can escalate into larger transgressions.”


  22. 72
    Omega Centauri says:

    Alastair@40. Do note that Incoming shortwave is not identical to TOA longwave. There is a storage term too. Currently some of the excess heat id being used to warm the oceans, and I think its something around seventy percent of the imbalance (If I remember correctly), so there is that correction. Of course the shape of the LR will change a bit too, as the changes in greenhouse gases change the opacity -especially in wavelengths with moderate but not extreme optical depth. I think you have to write a very detailed simulation, covering the frequency range in the IR, potential changes in convection, storage of heat (mainly to the sea). Changes in cloud cover too.

  23. 73
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Thomas says:
    14 Nov 2016 at 6:42 PM

    “Determining whether or not Sanders would have won the states Clinton lost is easy when looking at exit poll data taken during the Democratic primary.

    NEWS FLASH: ALL of the polls were “dead wrong” during this election.

    This tired meme that Sanders would have beat Trump ignores reality.

    “Now, to Bernie. I argued last spring, as I’ve been reminded lately on Twitter (thanks!), that I wrote some columns arguing that Sanders wasn’t electable. I remember making three main points. One, that he wasn’t a Democrat, and therefore many Democrats would bail on him if things got really tough; two, that his foreign policy experience was too thin and too pacifist, and conservative attacks would exploit that; three, that he was polling well against Republicans back in the spring because conservative PACs hadn’t yet spent a dime attacking him, and as nominee, he’d be in for hundreds of millions of dollars of ads savaging every aspect of his and his wife’s lives.

    Those may be true, but none of them were the main point. The main point is that if Sanders and Trump had secured their respective nominations, Mike Bloomberg vowed that he would have gotten in the race, and that would have split the center-left vote.”

    Unless the Democratic party is able to regain control of at least the Senate in two years there will be no progress on the Climate front. Trump is busy appointing the Dregs of the GOP to his cabinet. He has absolutely NO idea how to govern and I completely agree with what SecularAnimist said. We have no idea what’s going to happen but odds are it will be bad. Can Donald Trump lose an election? Who knows.

  24. 74
    TTT says:

    I have a suggestion. Seeing and hearing from President Obama, Trump seems to be pragmatic rather than ideological. So why don’t we push a trip to Arctic or Antarctic which ever is better visually of the global warming effects. If he could see it himself he would be more susceptible to it. Just my 2c.

  25. 75
    Thomas says:

    63 Tony Weddle says: “Thomas, Nuclear energy is not “carbon-free”.

    Doh! Did anyone here say it wasn’t? I sure did not.

    You know (or should given what was written) that I spoke to what the original ref INTENDED that being “carbon-free” FUELS.

    Do you know the difference in Total CO2e emissions over 50 years between building a new coal fired power plant and a GENIV Nuclear generator with the same GW electricity output?

    Or the difference between building and running a 350MW Solar Thermal power plant and a GenIV Nuclear one?

    Can a solar thermal, solar PV or a wind farm “power plant” even operate for 50 years without a major refurbishment or a complete rebuild?

    When did “slowing the increase in GHG concentrations” become a really BAD thing to happen? Apparently it’s the world’s UNFCCC #1 Goal atm.

    RE “We need to be clear that the imagined energy solutions are not zero emissions”

    That train has long left the station Tony.

    Here’s a simple thought / calculator experiment – with the wave of a wand replace every coal/gas/oil fired power plant today with a GenIII+/GenIV nuclear plant and redo the RCP.8 future emissions and global temperature growth out 100 years.

    …and replace every (dangerous) GenII/III nuclear plant with an equivalent solar/wind renewable energy output at the same time.

    What do the numbers tell everyone?

    What would the atmospheric CO2ppm be in 50 years? In 100years?

    Is global warming, ocean acidification, sea level rise, and ice sheet loss still “dangerous” under such a hypothetical scenario – Yes or No?

  26. 76
    Thomas says:

    64 Chuck Hughes, well, the NYTs admitted to it’s own incompetence as a news organization regarding Bush’s Iraq War and many other issues. Miraculously, now when the NYTs publishes something Chuck and many others believe them 100% without even bothering to FACT CHECK their reports.

    Surely the NYTs couldn’t be politically Biased – no never.

    Meanwhile Assange has categorically denied multiple times that ‘russia’ had anything to do with any email leaks – the last time was SAT 5th NOV – Assange stated as FALSE all claims by US Intel/Govt/Media sources that the emails came via Russia.

    Wikileaks has also published 880,000 documents ‘critical’ of Russia in the last decade.

    Any semi-literate IT nerd could have got Podesta’s emails — he responded to the Phishing email and gave them his login details willingly.

    A pimply faced teenager could have done that and not got caught. It happens thousands of times a day across the world.

    Plausible deniability is the ability for persons (typically senior officials in a formal or informal chain of command) to deny knowledge of or responsibility for any damnable actions committed by others (usually subordinates in an organizational hierarchy) because of a lack of evidence that can confirm their participation, even if they were personally involved in or at least willfully ignorant of the actions.

    It fits the ‘vapid’ unproven claims by US intel chiefs as it does the NYTs new reports.

    Evidence – where’s the evidence?

    It’s in the emails! Read them verbatim eg Aug 19, 2014 private citizen HRC sharing Classified Intel Assessments via insecure email

    quote: “to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”

    Plausible deniability…? Assad of Syria was saying the very same things since 2010 – Obama and Sec State Clinton said he was lying.

    Please fact check.

  27. 77
    Thomas says:

    Almost ALL the pundits were useless before, and now even more so.

    Which media outlets and journos/opinionators are even half credible these days on any subject – NYTs included? :-)

    Here’s what was happening in the Polls 20-25th OCT
    Quoting email – polls done 3 to 5 days before Comey 10/28.

    “massive swings” in polls ?? last 4-5 days?
    eg Nevada
    Monmouth SEPT 9/17 – 9/20 Clinton +9
    Monmouth OCT 10/22 – 10/25 Clinton +4
    Skimming the battleground states – Trump has gained 2% in the last 4 days in many polls. He is rising in all aggregate polling % except in one state. Clinton % is falling in almost all but two states?
    There is a definite trend there versus the trends when he fell due to the Bus talk exposure.
    will it continue, and will it be enough to beat clinton, I don’t know — no one does hey.

    [End quote]

    No “MSM pundit” reported on that noticeable swing to Trump pre-Comey. Because Comey became the news that pushed all the other news off the table.

    4TH OCT email quote
    “Given a REPUB is more likely to win this time round post-Obama then it’s possible Swinging / UNDECIDED voters could move to TRUMP in the last WEEK post-Monday, October 31 Halloween 2016. Election is Tuesday, November 8
    He only needs a swing of 2% to 4.5% across three (3) of these five (5) key states – and has 4 weeks to do it.
    [end quote]

    Of course, it’s rational to think the Comey emails announcement would have helped that trend to Trump to continue – but it was NOT the main cause.

    The Polls showed this was possible and was actually happening in late Oct and the week before the election. Which is why the Obama’s were out stumping for Clinton – unprecedented for an incumbent to do that – they knew Clinton was in big trouble.

    Comey is a “plausible excuse” now and that’s all it is – an excuse!

    SEPT 2016 Professor Allan Lichtman, author of “The Keys to the White House,” explains why his keys still point to a Democratic loss in the 2016 presidential election – and a Donald Trump victory.

    13 Keys listed

  28. 78
  29. 79
    MA Rodger says:

    GISTEMP has posted for October with an anomaly of +0.89ºC. This is the second hottest October on record, below last year’s +1.07ºC & just ahead of 2014’s +0.86ºC. The run of months taking the ‘hottest Xember on record’ spot is now over with the start to the boost to global temperatures from El Nino now 12 months old. October’s anomaly stands as the 17th warmest month in the full record. The average anomaly for 2016-to-date is running at +1.02ºC. This compares with the average for the last 12-months of +1.03ºC and the average for the last calendar year (also presently the record calendar year) of +0.87ºC. The remainder of 2016 would have to average below +0.125ºC to fail to gain the ‘warmest calendar year’ accolade. (As well as such a low anomaly in the final two months not being seen since 1985, the drop in temperature anomaly required between the first 10 months of the year and the last 2 months of the year would have to be three times larger than in any other year on record.)
    The anomalies for 2015/16 and their rankings within the full record are as follows:-
    2015.. 1 … +0.82ºC … = 23rd
    2015.. 2 … +0.87ºC . = 18th
    2015.. 3 … +0.91ºC . = 12th
    2015.. 4 … +0.75ºC . = 51st
    2015.. 5 … +0.78ºC . = 36th
    2015.. 6 … +0.79ºC . = 31st
    2015.. 7 … +0.72ºC . = 63rd
    2015.. 8 … +0.79ºC . = 31st
    2015.. 9 … +0.82ºC . = 23rd
    2015. 10 … +1.07ºC … 6th
    2015. 11 … +1.03ºC … 7th
    2015. 12 … +1.11ºC … 4th
    2016.. 1 … +1.16ºC … 3rd
    2016.. 2 … +1.34ºC … 1st
    2016.. 3 … +1.30ºC … 2nd
    2016.. 4 … +1.09ºC … 5th
    2016.. 5 … +0.94ºC … 10th
    2016.. 6 … +0.76ºC . =43rd
    2016.. 7 … +0.84ºC … 22nd
    2016.. 8 … +0.99ºC … 8th
    2016.. 9 … +0.90ºC . =15th
    2016..10 … +0.89ºC … 17th

  30. 80

    “Thus all the coal miners should be offered job retraining programs, because that profession will go the same way as that of whale oil production.”

    Well, yes, they should. But lurking in there is a false narrative, which is that the decline of the profession of coal mining is mostly due to Obama, the renewables revolution and (more realistically) fracked natgas. If we are talking about coal mining jobs, the ‘war on coal miners’ was fought most decisively during the 1980s and 1990s, when techniques like mountain top removal and automation drastically reduced employment in the industry.

    There are basically three phases in the industry. Prior to about 1960, production and employment were clearly correlated. The second phase sees production, after years of declines, start to rise, but at first employment does not follow. There is then a rise to the modern peak employment year for coal in 1980, when there were more than 200,000 jobs. That begins the third phase: a steady employment decline to 1995, at roughly 80,000 jobs, accompanied by generally rising production.

    So the war on coal *employment* was fought by the mining industry ‘against’ its own employees, from 1980 (200,000+ jobs) to 1995 (~80,000 jobs). According to the EIA, employment has now shrunk to ~65,000 jobs:

    So one must conclude that it was OK for industry efficiency to kill off 120,000 jobs, but a terrible crime for energy efficiency to kill off 15,000.

  31. 81

    “We humans do love our illusions.”

    Now, there’s an article that’s a true masterpiece of false equivalency.

  32. 82

    Th: Meanwhile Assange has categorically denied multiple times that ‘russia’ had anything to do with any email leaks – the last time was SAT 5th NOV – Assange stated as FALSE all claims by US Intel/Govt/Media sources that the emails came via Russia.

    BPL: And naturally, if Assange says, “I’m innocent,” it means he’s innocent. And that’s your only source on the subject.

    Good bit of dezinformatsiya, comrade.

  33. 83
    Ray Ladbury says:

    The Huffpo piece is just more BS false equivalence. Watson asserts that unless world leaders follow his prescription to the letter, they are doing nothing. Absolutely puerile.

  34. 84
    SecularAnimist says:


    Your lengthy comments about electoral politics, pre-election polls, and about various people’s opinions regarding both, are completely off topic for this site.

    They have nothing to do with climate science.

    They have nothing to do with climate change mitigation policy.

    They don’t even have anything to do with the possible role of public opinion about climate change in the election.

    There are MANY other blogs where you can go to argue about the pre-election polls and such things.

    Please stop spamming this site with self-indulgent off-topic posts. It is boorish and boring.

  35. 85
    Alastair B. McDonald says:

    Re Omega@72 who wrote “Do note that Incoming shortwave is not identical to TOA longwave.”

    Two points: first my complaint is not about the short and long ware radiation balancing. It is about Harries et al (2002), who are not discussing the long-wave radiation in the greenhouse gas bands. They are discussing the long-wave radiation in the IR window. That is not what I imagine that you and most other people, who only read the abstract, will expect.

    Second: that is not important since the idea that the balance at the top of the atmosphere depends on the outgoing long wave radiation (OLR) equaling the incoming short wave radiation (ISR) is wrong!. It is the outgoing short wave radiation (OSR) which maintains the balance at the TOA, i.e. the albedo. Just as the looking up from the surface the we see a saturated black body, so wen looking down from space we also see a saturated black body. Increasing CO2 will have little effect on OLR.

    What I am pointing out is that when the the concentration of CO2 increases it is the surface which warms, as mentioned by Plass (1956). This melts the snow and ice, reducing the albedo, and raising global temperatures. The direct effect of an increase in CO2 is very small.

    The reason that there was an ice age at the end of the Ordovician, without a decrease in atmospheric CO2, was that the closing of the Iapetus Ocean produced the Caledonian Orogeny which resulted in snow caps and ice sheets.

    We now face a rapid warming when the Arctic sea ice sheet melts. See MA Roger@1.

    The recent hiatus was caused by the increase in Antarctic sea ice compensating for the loss of Arctic sea ice, but now both are decreasing at record rates temperatures are beginning to soar.

    With Trump heading for the White House we could not be in a worse state!

    Plass, G. N. (1956) ‘The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climatic Change’, Tellus, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 140–154.

  36. 86
    Thomas says:

    BPL: “And that’s your only source on the subject.”

    Scientists don’t usually make things up out of thin air, but there are exceptions to every rule. :-)

  37. 87
    Thomas says:

    84 SecularAnimist, it’s relevant and directly correlated with the cause of climate science disinformation. The majority of people, including voters, get their primary information about agw/cc from the same media providers that reported and opinionated on the election.

    Comments about “the disastrous election result” began at #5

    My posts’ sources and comments corrects previous disinformation about what actually happened, when it happened and why it happened. At least for those sharp enough to see it. My posts are apolitical, informative and focus on the data and accurate facts. Have a great day anyway.

  38. 88
    Thomas says:

    84 SecularAnimist, “are completely off topic for this site.”

    You’re kidding, right? :-)

    I am not even saying anyone has to accept his long article as correct, however it is being said and these issues are part of the mix. I think it’s good to be aware of all the most consistent views/beliefs on issues – especially those who believe that agw/cc is a conjob or anti people’s self-interests.

    iow knowledge is power?
    and extensive broad based comprehensive knowledge is ………

  39. 89
    mike says:

    spikey day on CO2:

    Daily CO2

    November 15, 2016: 404.70 ppm
    November 15, 2015: 400.42 ppm 4.28 ppm

    after days of 2.0 and less numbers

    I think the Nov 15 reading and comparison is just noise and anomaly. I think baseline is around 402.something for this year and about the same for 2015. The EL CO2 bump is falling off so we are beginning to compare current, light LN influenced CO2 numbers with daily/weekly/monthly averages from 2015. This should translate into numbers that show small increases, like 2.0 ppm or less.

    The impact of the EN is fading in the CO2 readings, but it is hammering the traditional weather and ice conditions in the Arctic. Wadhams looking good with his prediction. Too bad for all of us if he is right. Time to make the Earth great again.

    Warm regards,


  40. 90
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Thomas says:
    15 Nov 2016 at 11:45 PM
    “We humans do love our illusions.”

    Thomas, your word salads make Sarah Palin sound like Shakespeare.

  41. 91
    Thomas says:

    (rhetorically wise) What have you learned during 2016 about the critical importance of ‘politics, the media and accurate data/evidence’ to Climate Scientists, ongoing Climate Science progress, and for AGW/CC Mitigation strategies from people such as: AND from Dr. James Hansen, Dr. Michael Mann, Emeritus Profs Noam Chomsky and George Lakoff, Prof Kroth, Prof Dan Ariely, Julian Assange, Edward Snowdon, Malcolm Roberts, Jennifer Marohasy, Kevin Anderson, Dr. Roy Spencer, Lamar Smith, Bernie Sanders, the DNC, Jill Stein, HRC, John Podesta, and Donald Trump; – or the public Polling of AGW/CC/Political issues by Gallop & Pew Research; as well as Voter Polling & the US Election Result – besides nothing much at all? :-)

    I use the word “critical” as in: 7. of decisive importance with respect to the outcome; crucial – synonym 3. discriminating, exact, precise.

    Beyond wishful thinking, what was the outcome you expected to happen on Nov 8th?

    What would you like to see happen now? And what are you going to change about your own state of knowledge, your attitude and actions (the only things you can control) to make sure it happens?

    What is Epistemophobia (Gnosiophobia)? It is the “fear of knowledge.” – Developing epistemophobia is akin to placing a cognitive cap on your development. You can’t learn anymore, unless you’re willing to withstand unrelenting terror throughout the entire process, which would obviously impair your ability to even comprehend the new material in the first place.

    “You can only understand what your brain allows you to understand.” says Prof. George Lakoff – Cognitive Scientist. This applies to everyone – no exceptions.

    imo, history already proves that Climate Science is useless without the power of politics to drive necessary systemic change by first breaking down cognitive barriers. Capitalizing on the accumulated knowledge from other Scientific fields and modern academic research sounds like a ‘no brainer’ to me, aka “It takes a village”?

    Says Marcia McNutt in NatGeo: “People still have a need to fit in, and that need to fit in is so strong that local values and local opinions are always TRUMPING science. And they will continue to TRUMP science, especially when there is no clear downside to ignoring science.

    In science it’s not a sin to change your mind when the evidence demands it. For some people, the tribe is more important than the truth; for the best scientists, the truth is more important than the tribe.

    The scientific method doesn’t come naturally — but if you think about it, neither does democracy. For most of human history neither existed. We went around killing each other to get on a throne, praying to a rain god, and for better and much worse, doing things pretty much as our ancestors did.

  42. 92
    Tony Weddle says:


    You’re, perhaps deliberately, missing the point. Carbon free energy infrastructure doesn’t exist and maybe never will. If we’re going to reach a zero carbon economy, we’ll have to do something else or something more than switching to renewables/nuclear.

    Michael Mann mentioned “carbon free” energy. If he didn’t mean “carbon free”, he should not have said it.

  43. 93
    Tony Weddle says:

    Ray, Kevin and Thomas,

    That HuffPost article is spot on (mostly). The only thing world leaders have done over the past 25 years (and it looks like James Hansen thinks this too – at 1:52 into the video) is talk. The only thing committed to in Paris is to talk.

  44. 94
    Thomas says:

    November 11, 2016 Emphatic Ruling: Constitutional Basis for Case Against the U.S. Government by Jim Hansen.

    “In a remarkable 54-page Opinion and Order, which, for its clarity and scholarship, will surely be a historical document, Judge Aiken rejected the request by the Federal Government and fossil fuel interveners to dismiss the case.”

    Historical insights, importance of such USDC rulings, and context consider:
    Frank M. Johnson – an Alabama federal judge who in the mid-20th century oversaw major rulings favoring integration, voting equity and human rights.
    Terrorists burned a cross on the lawn of his home, bombed his mother’s house and forced him and his family to live under constant federal protection for more than two decades.
    In 1995, President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian award.

    Depending on one’s default political worldviews, drawing a comparison to Johnson’s USDC rulings could feel somewhere between encouraging to really terrifying.

  45. 95
    Thomas says:

    Defendants are the United States,
    President Barack Obama,
    and numerous executive agencies namely:
    the Council on Environmental Quality,
    the Office of Management and Budget,
    the Office of Science and Technology Policy,
    the Department of Energy,
    the Department of the Interior,
    the Department of Transportation,
    the Department of Agriculture,
    the Department of Commerce,
    the Department of Defense,
    the Department of State,
    and the Environmental Protection Agency

    Intervenors are the National Association of Manufacturers,
    the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers,
    and the American Petroleum Institute.

  46. 96
    mike says:

    maybe we can move/keep the electoral comments on the “don’t make a choice” thread?

    Daily CO2

    November 16, 2016: 404.70 ppm

    November 16, 2015: 400.43 ppm

    second day in a row at 4 plus ppm increase over last year. Very noisy, but we really don’t want to be looking at 4 ppm increase in any averages. I think we should be heading to the 2.0 ppm increase because of EN bump that is rolling through the daily/weekly/monthly average numbers at this time.

    Death of winter? Anybody looking at the temp graph for Arctic


    Warm regards


  47. 97
    MA Rodger says:

    And NOAA has also now posted for October with an anomaly of +0.73ºC, a bit of a drop from September’s +0.87ºC anomaly. (Note NOAA do not have good polar coverage so the toasty temperatures up (& down) there are not well represented.) This is =3rd warmest October after 2015 & 2014 and matching 2003. It is the =44th warmest anomaly in the full record.
    The average anomaly for 2016-to-date is running at +0.966ºC, just a smidgeon below the average for the last 12-months of +0.978ºC and still running above the average for the last calendar year (also presently the record calendar year) of +0.90ºC. Thus the remainder of 2016 would have to average above +0.55ºC to gain the ‘warmest calendar year’ accolade. (The most recent year with last 2 months’ average below +0.55ºC was 2012 although the rest of 2012 was much cooler. The anomaly drop in the last two months of 2016 from the year-to-date would have to be almost twice any such drop previously on the record.)
    While too late to affect temperatures for the end of the year, the measures of ENSO are showing a La Nina will not be following hard on the heals of the 2015/16 El Nino. The 30-day SOI has now gone negative – neutral El Nino – and NINO3.4 at -0.7ºC is well above the equivalent temperatures that followed the 1997/98 & the 2009/10 El Ninos (-1.4ºC) with predictions all showing NINO3.4 rising in coming months. A comparison of MEI & temperatures (surface measurements for October still awaiting HadCRUT) is plotted here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’)
    The anomalies for 2015/16 and their rankings within the full record are as follows:-
    2015 … 1 … 0.81ºC … .. 25th
    2015 … 2 … 0.88ºC … = 13th
    2015 … 3 … 0.90ºC … = 9th
    2015 … 4 … 0.77ºC … = 34rd
    2015 … 5 … 0.86ºC … = 18th
    2015 … 6 … 0.88ºC … = 13th
    2015 … 7 … 0.80ºC … .. 26th
    2015 … 8 … 0.87ºC … = 16th
    2015 … 9 … 0.92ºC … .. 8th
    2015 .. 10 … 0.99ºC … .. 6th
    2015 .. 11 … 0.96ºC … .. 7th
    2015 .. 12 … 1.12ºC … .. 3rd
    2016 … 1 … 1.05ºC … .. 5th
    2016 … 2 … 1.19ºC … .. 2nd
    2016 … 3 … 1.23ºC … .. 1st
    2016 … 4 … 1.07ºC … .. 4th
    2016 … 5 … 0.88ºC … = 13th
    2016 … 6 … 0.89ºC … = 10th
    2016 … 7 … 0.86ºC … = 18th
    2016 … 8 … 0.89ºC … = 10th
    2016 … 9 … 0.87ºC … = 16th
    2015 .. 10 … 0.73ºC … = 44th

  48. 98
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    Re: 77

    Everyone is running around trying to figure out how DrumpF won the election, while doing their best to ignore the real reason.

    Americans are in bulk, Stupid, Stupid, Vile, people who deserve every bit of the ass raping they are about to receive.

    You earned it. Now relish it.

  49. 99
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    SecularAnimist says: “Meanwhile the GOP is engaged in an ongoing, nationwide, highly successful project to disenfranchise millions of minority voters, to ensure that Trump gets the result that he wants.”

    Only vile enemies of humanity act in such a manner.

    Only lazy, ineffectual scumbags permit it without civil challenge civil force and violent rebellion as needed.

  50. 100
    mike says:

    Sea Ice Loss: in mid-November? Yes, it’s an anomaly and sea ice will likely resume going in the right direction, but an anomaly like this seems pretty shocking to me. It seems like the kind of thing that Peter Wadhams might have predicted. Is Wadhams’ observational model of sea ice loss looking more accurate than the other more mainstream models in use? Are we seeing a relatively abrupt state change in Arctic Sea ice? Did any of the more mainstream models churn out that kind of outcome?

    Warm Regards