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Unforced variations: June 2018

Filed under: — group @ 2 June 2018

This month’s open thread. We know people like to go off on tangents, but last month’s thread went too far. There aren’t many places to discuss climate science topics intelligently, so please stay focused on those.

297 Responses to “Unforced variations: June 2018”

  1. 151

    KIA 133: Such articles no doubt written to make Trump look bad to non-thinkers

    BPL: Nothing makes Trump look bad to non-thinkers. Non-thinkers are his base.

  2. 152
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @149, I took your list of annual data which was from 2010 – 2018, so excluded the 1998 el nino year. Longer list of data below:

    I’m not claiming I’m “right and everyone else is wrong”. To me its just a discussion. Its probably too hard to do a series excluding all natural variation.

  3. 153
    Ric Merritt says:

    +1 to Ray Ladbury for the “Life on the Mississippi” example. I also love the scene wherein the oblivious cub pilot hears the master describe the passing landmarks, then belatedly comes to the awed realization that he needs to *remember* all that information, integrate it, and keep up with changes. No better description anywhere of the condition of apprenticeship.

  4. 154
    nigelj says:

    MAR @150, that all makes sense, but here’s a curious twist. There’s a chance of an el nino late this year or next year;

    This (as opposed to some leap in human emissions) could push CO2 towards 3.3mm in 2019!

  5. 155
    Al Bundy says:

    Hank (quoting an idiot): As a result of low gravity attraction in the region of equatorial bulge and high gravity attraction in the region of polar flattening, melt-water would not move from polar region to equatorial region.

    AB: Wow. That’s the best modern adaptation of “the world is flat” that I’ve ever heard. Yep, all that meltwater would just fall off the edge. Thanks.

    (In reality, the meltdown lowers the gravitational attraction of the poles, resulting in not just the meltwater but even more water heading towards the equator.)

  6. 156
    Carrie says:

    “Where it is possible the growth rate could rise up to 2.30 ppm or higher.”

    “Where it is possible the growth rate could remain at 1.70 ppm.”

    “Where it is possible the growth rate could drop to 1.00 ppm or less.”

    “Where it is possible the growth rate could suddenly REVERSE DROPPING TO NEGATIVE 1.00 PPM or more.”

    “Where it is possible selected commenters here grew up?” Maybe not the last one.

    Of course there is the balance of probability. Or what does “could” really mean – and is it possible under the laws of physics, right?

    There is also the amount of existing Observational Data and Scientific climate knowledge and energy use probabilities that the individual is actually considering and balancing within thir own preparations BEFORE presenting such possibilities to an internet forum … versus a peer reviewed publisher or to their movie actor “mad scientist professor” at college, right?

    150 MA Rodger” “You appear to be skyrocketeering again.”

    No, that’s is not the case because it is you who appear to be irrational, manipulating numbers, manipulating and twisting what I have said (and why) and so it is you who appears to be quite unbalanced and obsessive and illogical on this subject. For it appears a rational mature evidence based ‘discussion’ or any objective feedback / comment on what anyone says on this subject is impossible with you. I am not alone with this. Please find some other windmills to go tilting at.

    My comments are based on hundreds and hundreds more science papers and the science and the data. I have no idea what this persons comments are based on but it is not objectivity nor observations nor mathematics. This is obvious.

    You see generally speaking it’s the obsessive arrogant manipulative types who continue to bash their drum rather than simply accept the CORRECTION provided in good faith …..

    Carrie @149,
    I was trying to gain some understanding of what you meant by [I doubt that given his style which appears more like finding a way to be an aggressive haughty smarty pants on this subject] “Where it is possible the growth rate will rise by 2.30 ppm or higher.”” so as to make sense of your comment. The full paragraph you present @114 is:-

    “Therefore I ‘suspect’ it is more likely than not the Annual CO2 Growth Rate will again rise above 2.00 ppm in 2019. Where it is possible the growth rate will rise by 2.30 ppm or higher. “Where it is possible the growth rate could rise up to 2.30 ppm or higher.” If this was to happen this would easily push the 2010s Decadal Rate above 2.40 ppm.”

    Yes while UNSAID specifically “anything could happen” where volcanoes went ballistic, and El Nino went off the scale for the next 18 months, where forest fires raged, where massive CO2 net flows suddenly erupted from the arctic sea ice – where something like this happened again —

    YES, shock horror, …… almost anything is possible and all manner of things remain UNSAID and undefined in a SHORTHAND FORUM POST you brilliant mathematician you.

    Luckily others are as broadly informed as I am and recognize reality beyond their own calculators and spreadsheets. It’s big world outside.

  7. 157
    Carrie says:

    adjective: disingenuous

    not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does.

    synonyms: insincere, dishonest, untruthful, false, deceitful, duplicitous, lying, mendacious; hypocritical

    “that innocent, teary-eyed look is just part of a disingenuous act”

  8. 158
    Carrie says:

    REGARDING: nigelj says:
    20 Jun 2018 at 4:38 PM

    Carrie @149, I took your list of annual data which was from 2010 – 2018, so excluded the 1998 el nino year. Longer list of data below:

    I’m not claiming I’m “right and everyone else is wrong”. To me its just a discussion. Its probably too hard to do a series excluding all natural variation.


    Please learn to read what a comment is actually saying nigelj.

    What was that list of annual data FOR nigelj? It’s purpose? And then what happened?

  9. 159
    Carrie says:

    On Strawmen, Moving the goal posts, and irrelevant distractions

    106 mike
    107 mike
    114 Carrie – Further on the question: Is the Rate of Increase in Atmospheric Concentration of CO2 Increasing (Accelerating)?
    116 Carrie
    117 mike
    119 Carrie
    121 Carrie
    125 Killian
    127 Carrie
    131 Carrie
    139 MA Rodger
    141 Al Bundy
    146 nigelj
    149 Carrie
    150 MA Rodger

    Therefore the Growth Rate of Atmospheric CO2 Decadal Trend has been accelerating from 1960 to 2018 (the present @ 21st June 2018)

    There is no substantial evidence of any kind as yet that this has changed, or is about to suddenly change.

  10. 160
    Killian says:

    Re #136 Mal Adapted dribbled While none of Killian’s opinions are the least bit humble

    1. There is no such thing. An opinion does not cogitate.

    2. And yours are? LOL…

    Quiet your hypocrisy.

    he does display an impressive grasp of many topics.

    Indeed! Thank you, sir! Luckily, I have escaped from the Economics Asylum you still inhabit. Ergo, I know commerce and economics are not the same. To put it as simply, though certainly not as subtly as one might, economics is the study of human commerce.

    You are still confused about this:

    However, he evidently misses the distinction between the cultural adaptation of trade as a manifestation of human economic behavior

    See? There is no such thing as economic behavior. There are people who study people using stuff and how they choose to exchange stuff. They are called economists because they pretend to understand what everyone else is doing when they exchange stuff. They don’t, however.

    and the cultural institution of Economics as a way to organize the scientific investigation of economic behavior including trade.

    Let me help you: and the academic, though not scientific, area of study called Economics which attempts to organize the pseudo-scientific investigation of economic behavior, including trade.


    LOL! Good one!

    the distinction is important in this context

    The distinction does not exist.

    because not all scientists who study economics are employed by academic Economics departments, nor do academic models of economic behavior map perfectly to ‘objective’ phenomena (although some economic models are useful nonetheless).

    This is all not germane to your claim.

    Killian’s curious failure is still no one’s problem but his,

    One must fail to have a failure. You are confused on this, too, it seems.

    but since having the last word seems to matter to him, he may have it.

    Should those you chase around these fora in a fury of pedantic mania not speak up? If you take the first, we should not take the last? But really, this is more B.S. on your part. You attack, and complain of response. It’s dumb.

    The last has been had.

  11. 161
    Matthew R Marler says:

    This looks like a good paper:

    Causes of irregularities in trends of global mean surface temperature since the late 19th century
    Chris K. Folland1,2,3,4,*, Olivier Boucher5, Andrew Colman1 and David E. Parker1
    See all authors and affiliations

    Science Advances 06 Jun 2018:
    Vol. 4, no. 6, eaao5297
    DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao5297

    It’s open source, as is the supplemental online information

  12. 162
    Killian says:

    #148 nigelj said Killian @130, wrong as you often are.

    Where you are concerned, I never am. The day you best me… will never come. You have none of the intelligence or analytical skills to do so.

    ?The main reason Clinton lost was the email thing. It’s simple maths. She was about 6 points ahead in the polls

    She was only rarely 6+ points ahead in the polls after the nominations, only for a few days in a couple spots. Her average was well under 6 pts. So… yeah… prevarication on your part. What a surprise…

    Further, “in counties where Clinton won at least 70 percent, the vote count was 1.7 percent lower”

    “Take Michigan for example. A state that Obama won in 2012 by 350,000 votes, Clinton lost by roughly 10,000. Why? She received 300,000 votes less than Obama did in 2012. Detroit and Wayne County should kick themselves because of the 595,253 votes they gave Obama in 2012, only 518,000 voted for Clinton in 2016. More than 75,000 Motown Obama voters did not bother to vote for Clinton. They did not become Trump voters – Trump received only 10,000 votes more than Romney did in this county. They simply stayed at home.”

    Yes what you say about Sanders is more or less true, but it was not the proximate reason for her loss

    I didn’t say Sanders, I said Sanders and minorities.

    Don’t really care.

  13. 163
    Carrie says:

    A data snippet from ESRL

    CO2 Growth info from

    1996 1.22
    1997 1.93
    1998 2.93 – strong El Nino period
    1999 0.93 – 2.00 ppm drop yoy
    2000 1.61
    2001 1.61

    2013 2.01
    2014 2.19
    2015 3.00 – strong El Nino period from May
    2016 2.98 – strong El Nino period to May
    2017 1.95 – 1.05 ppm drop yoy
    2018 1.70 – ytd June

    Related influences upon global energy GHG emissions

    The “Asian flu” had also put pressure on the United States and Japan. The crisis led to a drop in consumer and spending confidence (see 27 October 1997 mini-crash). Indirect effects included the dot-com bubble ….

    The recession affected the European Union during 2000 and 2001 and the United States in 2002 and 2003.

    Near term – Growing energy demand 2016-2040
    In the New Policies Scenario, global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.


    From 2016-2040
    Renewable sources of energy meet ONLY 40% of the increase in primary demand.

    Since 2000, coal-fired power generation capacity has grown by nearly 900 GW. From 2016-2040 net additions in coal-fired power generation is projected to grow by another 400 GW

    At no point in the last 30 years has the annual growth in low-carbon hydro, nuclear or renewable energy been even meet the annual increase in total energy demand. Not once.

    Why is Europe chaffing at the bit to get the Nord Stream 2 Natural Gas Pipelines operational?
    In 2011, Nord Stream AG started evaluation of an expansion project which would include two additional lines (later named Nord Stream 2) to increase the overall annual capacity up to 110 billion cubic metres (3.9 trillion cubic feet).
    In June 2015, an agreement to build two additional lines was signed between Gazprom, Royal Dutch Shell, E.ON, OMV, and Engie.

    Likely lifetime of gas delivery to Europe is beyond 2050. Why sign +25 year contracts if you do not need that Gas?

    In the foreseeable future:
    Is global energy demand increasing and projected to keep increasing? Yes.
    Is global fossil fuel energy demand increasing and projected to keep increasing? Yes.

  14. 164
    MA Rodger says:

    nigelj @154,
    We are a month-on from that article you link-to & time changes ENSO outlooks. Today it is better to call it “likely” than to call it “a chance.” The ENSO-watchers at Columbia put it thus:-

    “The official CPC/IRI outlook calls for neutral conditions through northern summer season, with a 50% chance of El Niño development during fall, rising to 65% during winter 2018-19. An El Niño watch has been issued. The latest forecasts of statistical and dynamical models collectively favor weak El Niño development during late summer, growing to possibly moderate strength during fall and winter; forecasters are largely buying into this scenario as the spring barrier is now mostly passed.”

    And in terms of the predicted strength, note the predicted Nino3,4 = 1 against the 2015/2016 Nino3,4 = 3. Thus the boost to CO2 levels from Spring 2019-on should not be expected to rival the boost seen in 2015/2016.

  15. 165
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Ric Merritt, I’ve always loved Twain. He could play the English language like a friggin Stradivarius. I’ve toyed with the idea of using Twain as a guide for a technical writing class. He had some wonderful guidance for how to convey ideas simply–some of which you can find at the link:

  16. 166

    KIA, #132–

    Those ARE the fundamentals of AGW theory…

    No, they are *some* fundamentals of AGW, several levels of abstraction in from where the rubber meets the road.

    I’ll agree that the good Dr. may know something about ‘quantum effects,’ but he doesn’t seem to know much about hoe the atmosphere operates, as evidenced either by his record of expertise, or by the flaws Gavin pointed out.

  17. 167
    Mal Adapted says:


    I have escaped from the Economics Asylum you still inhabit.

    “Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired” (Swift). It appears Killian’s [Ee]conomics denial is impenetrable by [Rr]easoning. Cognizant of my own unredeemable existential mediocrity, I humbly acknowledge his superior truculence, and cede the field of minute semantic parsing to him.

    BTW: in case y’all might be wondering, I lied about letting Killian have the last word. I might be lying about ceding him the field, too ;^). In any case the substance of what I’ve been trying to impart to him speaks for itself: the symbol is not the referent!

  18. 168
    nigelj says:

    Killian @167,

    Clinton lost because of that email scandal in the last week. Good analysis below

    At the very least the email scandal was a huge factor in her loss. It’s important, because if people fail to analyse the reasons for the loss correctly, the Democrats will go off on some tangent, and loose again, – and that will be very bad for the environment.

  19. 169
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @158,

    I agree we would only know with clarity whether atmospheric C02 is reducing with about 10 years of data, if that’s what you are saying. All I said was there’s a hint that CO2 may have decelerated. Its interesting that’s all. I don’t know why you get so aggravated about it all.

  20. 170
    nigelj says:

    Mal Adapted, I agree commerce is essentially a subset of economics. The thing with economics is it is both a science, and a prescriptive system, and this gets people all confused.

    From what I have read the science actually describes economic behaviour reasonably ok in the short term, but it fails to deal with longer term issues well, because human behaviour starts to make long term trends very complicated to understand.

    The prescriptive system favours certain things: broadly free markets, free trade , avoidance of monopolies, low taxes, small government, and is dismissive of problems such as inequality.

    Economics does generally accept markets fail, and so there’s a legitimate role for environmental and safety laws and government provision of basic services. I get the impression economics is agnostic about economic growth, and is more concerned with process.

    However from what I have read and observed the problems with economics are :

    1) economics is not giving enough good advice on the problems of endless growth

    2) economics has tilted too far towards financial deregulation, evident in the obvious failures of this ideology.

    3) Economics has not understood the problems of inequality well enough

    4)Economics has underestimated the negative impacts of free trade on blue collar workers. However this could be mitigated with some wealth redistribution. The opposition to this is comes from the conservative end of the spectrum, which leaves ugly, failed solutions like protectionist trade.

    5) Politicians apply economics badly. They pick and choose so for example underegulate some things and over regulate others, driven by the lunatic stupidity of voters.

    This all gives economics a bad name, and it is dismissed as voodoo with a haughty wave of the hand by people who like simple explanations and solutions for everything (not naming names, ahem, cough cough)

    And while the basis of the climate problem is obviously consumption of fossil fuels, economics can at least help put prices on any changes we make to the system, and politics pretty much determines electricity generation options.

    What say you?

  21. 171
    David B. Benson says:

    Ray Ladbury @ 165 — Consider also “The Elements of Style” by Strunk & White.

  22. 172
    nigelj says:

    Carbon Brief explainer: How climate scientists estimate climate sensitivity.

    This is a good guide for the general public, as well as more technical people.

  23. 173
    Carrie says:

    “I don’t know why you get so aggravated about it all.”

    You continual habit to misconstrue what was said, and misrepresenting what was said, and making repeated false accusations .. such as me missing 1998 numbers when I did not is what is aggravating nigelj. Add to that despite wasting my time to correct your errors you then ignore them and pretend it makes no difference. It does make a difference. Maybe I might start twisting what you say into something else and making things up and accusing you did it – would that help?

    At least you noticed I was aggravated this time, if nothing else. :)

  24. 174
    Mr. Know It All says:

    156, 157, 158, 159, 163 – Carrie

    Thanks Thomas!


  25. 175
    Killian says:

    Re #168 nigelj said Killian @167,

    Clinton lost because of that email scandal


    At the very least the email scandal was a huge factor in her loss.

    No. A factor is fair. A huge, meaning, by definition, the primary, which you said above, is still wrong even if rephrased.

    She lost because she wasn’t Bernie and too many of us went Green, Trump or home.


    Final note to Mal Adapted Peanut:

    Economics is the study of some types of behaviors, and the definition is not universally agreed upon so it’s interesting you know the one and only.

    But, of course, you don’t. And neither does anyone else. So, what is economics? Apparently, whatever you want it to be, thus…. nothing of real use.

    Now, let’s get back to what you said and what I responded to. 1. Straw Man: I never said economics doesn’t exist. 2. I said climate is not an economic issue. 3. I said there is no little e definition, and sure as heck no rubric. (You, smartly, did not pursue that trash.)

    What you are confused by is the change in language over time where people rather stupidly talk about “the economics of the city” and other such dumbness. All it means is the same as whichever definition one chooses to accept: The actions of people in a city related to whatever the definition you choose claims is economics. It’s shorthand, not a new thing.

    Last bit, just to remind all that looking at climate through economics is simply unintelligent. Frankly, looking at anything through economics is. As is said below, all it does it create barriers to intelligent decision making.

    Strangely enough, the origins of neoclassical economics in mid-19th century physics were forgotten. Subsequent generations of mainstream economists accepted the claim that this theory is scientific. These curious developments explain why the mathematical theories used by mainstream economists are predicated on the following unscientific assumptions:

    * The market system is a closed circular flow between production and consumption, with no inlets or outlets.
    * Natural resources exist in a domain that is separate and distinct from a closed market system, and the economic value of these resources can be determined only by the dynamics that operate within this system.
    * The costs of damage to the external natural environment by economic activities must be treated as costs that lie outside the closed market system or as costs that cannot be included in the pricing mechanisms that operate within the system.
    * The external resources of nature are largely inexhaustible, and those that are not can be replaced by other resources or by technologies that minimize the use of the exhaustible resources or that rely on other resources.
    * There are no biophysical limits to the growth of market systems.

    If the environmental crisis did not exist, the fact that neoclassical economic theory provides a coherent basis for managing economic activities in market systems could be viewed as sufficient justification for its widespread applications. But because the crisis does exist, this theory can no longer be regarded as useful even in pragmatic or utilitarian terms because it fails to meet what must now be viewed as a fundamental requirement of any economic theory—the extent to which this theory allows economic activities to be coordinated in environmentally responsible ways on a worldwide scale. Because neoclassical economics does not even acknowledge the costs of environmental problems and the limits to economic growth, it constitutes one of the greatest barriers to combating climate change and other threats to the planet.

    Now, do be quiet.

    (Rubric is still funny though, so thanks for that!)

  26. 176
    Killian says:

    Re: 159 Carrie:

    Uh, what, exactly, is your problem with me? Perhaps you misunderstood me…?

  27. 177
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Some fairly trenchant observations wrt economics. I’d add the following. First, to dismiss all economics simply because much of the research sucks is a lazy and irresponsible position. It’s important to look at why so much economic research sucks.

    First, economics has a valid, interesting and useful subject matter. Markets are fascinating, and they arise wherever you find humans. I have personally been a long observer of behavior in markets–ranging from flea markets and swap meets in the US, to traditional markets in India, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, South America and Africa to global markets. There is certainly a lot to study.

    Part of the problem is that science works better when motivated by curiosity. When curiosity outweighs self interest, there is less likelihood of motivated reasoning. Unfortunately, economics is inherently concerned with money, with gain and loss, etc. The results have political implications. The researchers are bound to have a stake in the outcome to some extent, and as such are likely to be biased in their choice of research subjects, methodology and analysis. Even if a particular researcher is scrupulous in trying to avoid bias, his results will likely be lost in the shouting by his peers.

    And because of the ubiquity of economics in politics, the disagreements tend to break along political lines, preventing arrival at a consensus theory. This in turn affects even the empirical research. One is left with the situation summarized by the tacit internal motto of the U. of Chicago Econ department: Well, that’s fine in practice, but how does it work in theory?

    WRT your numbered points:

    1) There are a lot of reasons for economists to be pro-growth. Growth covers a lot of sins. In a growing economy, you can contend that there is a chance for mobility in response to fairness-based criticisms of inequality. Growth makes it possible to care for the aged, the young and the infirm who cannot work. And if you are wrong in your conclusions, you can still argue that as long as the economy is growing, they must be good enough. It is very difficult to make an economic system work without growth.

    2) In part, the bias against regulation arises from the fact that markets work so damned well on their own most of the time. And there are plenty of instances where well intentioned regulation has just screwed things up (viz. the trade policies of the current administration). People rarely understand markets in their full complexity with sufficient detail that they will be able to anticipate effect of a rule. Markets, however, will be imperfect precisely to the extent that they do not fully reflect the value and costs of goods and services. Unfortunately, intelligent regulation has been the best–indeed, the only–remedy we’ve found for this.

    3) 100% agree with this. However, from an economic standpoint, the issue with inequality is not one of fairness, but one of the inefficiencies it introduces. It is the extent to which poverty prevents education of the next generation and the extent to which inequality distorts markets (e.g. increasing demand for luxury goods while rendering the majority incapable of even making their demands heard in the market) that is important. There is probably some optimal level of inequality that actually facilitates efficiency–and that level of inequality may differ from what we perceive as fair politically.

    4) The issue here is not just what affects blue collar workers, it is how change affects the value of labor, commodities, etc. Fossil fuel companies worry that they may be left with stranded assets if the world shifts too quickly to renewables–and they make their displeasure known by buying politicians with campaign donations. Blue collar workers throw a tantrum over their declining fortunes and elect an imbecilic populist. Technological development, economic trends, politics…, all can change the balance in the name of what we loosely term progress. The question then becomes what consideration should be given to the “losers” in the game. It is a question not just of what is fair. It is a question of how much one must pay to buy sufficient acquiescence that progress can continue without out violence or impediment by the losers. In 1860, there were nearly 4 billion slaves in the US, valued at just over 3 billion dollars. Rather than lose this “capital”. The Civil War that freed the slaves cost $7-10 billion.

    5) Here’s the take away. The confusing nature of economic research and its internecine relationship with politics make it easy for politicians to justify their self-interested policies with “economic reaearch”. Even if economics were not such a “dismal science,” this would be enough to extinguish the light.

  28. 178
    mike says:

    Hi Carrie,

    I appreciate that you have picked up the slack wrt discussion of CO2 accumulation. I am watching the slope go down as the EN bump moves through the yoy comparison. I fear/expect we will see some pretty awful numbers in the next EN event. The skyrocket man and some others will be touting emissions reports, but those papers will likely prove to be more useful for fashioning a lightweight fan than for understanding the trends and changes in the planetary carbon cycle and the accumulation of CO2 (proxy as always) in oceans and atmosphere.

    Don’t let the provocateurs stir you up, I believe and fear that time will reveal how wrong they are. I would love to be wrong about that, but meanwhile, as one person who is alarmed about our situation to another: thanks for your work and concern. Don’t let the foolish people get under your skin.

    as you know and others can’t get their heads around, all of the heat and CO2 that gets produced, whether in EN event, or LN event or neutral years sticks with us for a long time. All the smoothing and adjustments that a person might want to make in looking for a more rosy scenario don’t change the facts of heat and CO2 accumulation. That is very unfortunate, I wish it were otherwise,

    On the CO2 daily spread? who knows? I guess we have to wait for more data before the heavy duty number crunchers will attend to that question.

    best to you


  29. 179
    nigelj says:

    Killian @175, no is not an answer!

    You haven’t refuted the analysis in the link I posted in any way at all, and it’s not the only source making the same claim.

    And yes you are right in that plenty didn’t vote or went green or Trump, but as the article pointed out, this was partly because of the email scandal itself in the last week.

    Public support for Sanders and Clinton was about the same in polling, so too close to really call. However I think Sanders is a good person, he has charisma and integrity and some good policies, but he is too old fashioned on trade and is far from an amazing candidate. He might have won the election, so hard to say either way.

    You Americans had a terrible line up of candidates last election. Happens to all of us sometimes.

  30. 180
    Cody says:

    An amusing Identity. Quoting verbatim from Steven Soloman’s, “Water. (The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, & Civilization).” [@ Page # 13, the initial complete paragraph]:

    “The minuscule, < 1% total stock of accessible freshwater. . . is not the actual amount available to mankind since rivers, lakes, and shallow groundwater are constantly being replenished through Earth’s desalinating water cycle of evaporation & precipitation–@ any given moment in time, four-hundredths of 1% of Earth’s water is in the process of being recycled through the atmosphere.”
    I.e., the Airborne Fraction of our Planet’s total endowment of H2O, is Identical to the Portion (Ratio) of its overall, Complete Atmosphere, that is contributed in parts, Volume, by the Temperature-Controlling (Radiatively Active) gas, CO2.

  31. 181
    nigelj says:

    Mike @178, what would you want in the way of data and analysis to be convinced we are having a positive effect, and thus reducing the mlo atmospheric emissions trend?

    And ditto what would convince you we are reducing fossil fuel emissions?

    Or would nothing satisfy you?

  32. 182
    Cody says:

    An amusing Identity. Quoting verbatim from Steven Soloman’s: “Water. (The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, & Civilization)” [@ Page # 13, the initial complete paragraph]:

    “The minuscule, less than 1% total stock of accessible freshwater. . . is not the actual amount available to mankind since rivers, lakes, and shallow groundwater are constantly being replenished through Earth’s desalinating water cycle of evaporation & precipitation–@ any given moment in time, four-hundredths of 1% of Earth’s water is in the process of being recycled through the atmosphere.”
    I.e., the Airborne Fraction of our Planet’s total endowment of H2O, is Identical to the Portion (Ratio) of its overall, Complete Atmosphere, that is contributed in parts, Volume, by the Temperature-Controlling (Radiatively Active) gas, CO2.

  33. 183
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @173

    I don’t think I misconstrued you. Your list of data @ post 114 was from 2010 – 2017. It’s very hard to see 1998 in that list. Maybe you need new glasses :)

    Look, I see people misconstruing people all the time. No doubt I do it sometimes, I see you misconstrue MAR sometimes, he misconstrues you sometimes. The thing is to work through the issues and stop shouting.

    I think most people have useful points, apart from maybe Victor its pretty rare with him.

    But unless you can show that someones math’s or analysis is wrong in specific detail, as opposed to calling them illogical or whatever, it is all rather unconvincing.

  34. 184
    Mal Adapted says:


    Last bit, just to remind all that looking at climate through economics is simply unintelligent. Frankly, looking at anything through economics is.

    It seems the ‘e’ word provokes Killian’s narcissistic rage. Perhaps he was insulted by an Economics instructor in college. One may feel some sympathy, but it’s still no one’s problem but his. He doesn’t even know where I live ;^D!

    nigelj and Ray Ladbury are having a fruitful discussion. Ray:

    One is left with the situation summarized by the tacit internal motto of the U. of Chicago Econ department: Well, that’s fine in practice, but how does it work in theory?

    I thought it was “First, assume a spherical cow.” But seriously:

    science works better when motivated by curiosity. When curiosity outweighs self interest, there is less likelihood of motivated reasoning.

    Isn’t that what science in general is about, i.e. inferring explanatory, and ideally predictive, models from observation? Trying really hard not to fool ourselves is even more critical in economics because of our self interests. I had assumed everyone made the distinction between honest and motivated reasoning in science, economics included. Thank you for making it explicit.


    The thing with economics is it is both a science, and a prescriptive system, and this gets people all confused.

    Er, yes. When I think of the economics of AGW, I think of what’s known about sustainable exploitation of common pool resources. While the “Tragedy of the Commons” may have been deployed by the British aristocracy of the 17th-19th centuries to justify privatizing the historic grazing Commons, it’s still a useful model for thinking about AGW or any other socialized cost of ‘free’ markets. Since the free (of collective intervention in private fossil carbon transactions) market created AGW in the first place, it can hardly be expected to mitigate AGW on its own. Ergo, collective intervention is required to cap the warming short of global tragedy. Collective management of common pool resources for sustainability, e.g. ocean fish stocks, has been reasonably effective even at the international level, and smaller-scale cooperation for sustainability by stakeholders is common. Cooperative management of common pool resources may be ‘prescriptive’ because everyone has to comply or risk exclusion from the resource, but the prescription is mutually agreed to and mutually enforced.

    The research that won the late Elinor Ostrom her Economics Nobel award in 2009 is represented by a later paper of hers, Polycentric systems for coping with collective action and global environmental change. Following her death in 2012, this appreciation by three colleagues appeared in PNAS: Elinor Ostrom: An uncommon woman for the commons

  35. 185
    nigelj says:

    Ray Ladbury @177,

    On bias and self interest in economics. I agree and its amusing how economists ardently promote reductions in tax rates on high incomes….

    1) On gdp growth. I hear you, but I have a strong belief we are heading towards zero growth, and may have to learn to make it work. Or it will be growth more related to services, than extractive industries. Look at how gdp growth rates have tracked down since the 1960’s. Look at the way costs of extracting (finite) resources will inevitably increase.

    2) On regulation, agreed.

    3) On inequality. I agree, and high inequality has also been shown to reduce economic growth (for those with a strong commitment to high economic growth) by pushing funds into stock market speculation and away from productive investment. The levels of moderate inequality back in the 1960s seemed to create a good optimal position, and a range of taxes related to capital seemed helpful and moderate, but were apparently unacceptable to those who see personal wealth acquisition and winning at all costs as primary motivators.

    However I stress I don’t see a problem with moderate inequality, but when it becomes extreme its virtually self evident that things will become problematic. Put it this way, we can make arm chair comments about whether perfect equality is ideal or even possible or whether humans are basically competitive or cooperative, or whatever, but I’m more of a pragmatist, so get things pointing in a practically sensible direction towards less inequality.

    4) On free trade and general economic policies. I agree its about maintaining economic stability and progress rather than fairness as such. However I think fairness is a useful guiding principle, – but has to go both ways so to both employers and employees, and between other groups.

    But this becomes a huge challenge with fossil fuels, and people with interests in these cannot expect to be compensated much, if at all, especially as the climate problem has been recognised for decades now. We are not talking people defrauded for example .

    5) On politicians and economics. Politicians pick what elements of economic theory that suit them them like “deregulation”, and then take it to a stupid extreme, and they ignore messages they don’t like such as “free trade”. This is all much like selective interpretation of the bible.

    The poor quality and vagueness of some economic theory doesn’t help either, but is not a reason to dismiss economics completely. Although ‘voodoo’ would describe parts of it….

  36. 186
  37. 187
    Carrie says:

    181 nigelj

    This is only a wild guess (and I can’t speak for Mike) but the answer could be convincing credible peer-reviewed data and analysis? :-)

  38. 188
    Carrie says:

    176 Killian, no problems at all Killian. I listed every person who made a comment on the topic which showed the overall interest level and views about the topic under discussion. Any other comments were not in any way directed at every person on the list. Apologies for the confusion, that is all my fault.

  39. 189
    Carrie says:

    179 nigelj, articles and media reports are often wrong. Who knew? :-)

    Contrary to the beliefs fed to you by the politico media “experts” in the states that mattered and well before Comey ever used the words “reopening” the better quality accurate Polling data was showing that the Undecided were breaking in favor of Trump. That trend continued unabated in the last 2 weeks of the election campaign. I know this is true because I was monitoring it live for weeks on end. I used highly informed analysis (my own) to determine which Polls were most reliable in each of the 8 states I was monitoring. The other 42 states were irrelevant and of no importance as to who would win the Election.

    The national poll numbers their swings and trends are irrelevant. Clinton could have been leading by 10 points and still lost the Electoral College. Facts is she was never as far ahead as the inaccurate poorly done polls were suggesting and the incompetent “fake news” media were endlessly reporting. My prognosis shifted from Trump having now chance 3 weeks out to it being neck and neck on the day … it all depended on how well he would do in 5 of the 8 key states. He won all of them that mattered.

    Comey had little to no effect. Clinton herself had profound effect upon her loss. In a word – Incompetent and Arrogant. I could almost prove this beyond reasonable doubt, but that’d be a waste of my time. So I won’t bother. people believe the strangest things and much prefer assumptions and other people’s opinions over paying attention to the details. Like CO2 readings. :-)

    Relying on yet another “media article” by said incompetents is not a sign of great wisdom or insight either. Be happy anyway. :-)

  40. 190
    Carrie says:

    178 mike, all good, thanks.

    Week beginning on June 10, 2018: 411.16 ppm +1.67
    Weekly value from 1 year ago: 409.49 ppm

    June 19: 409.32 ppm

    June 21: 411.17 ppm

    2017 06 18 408.26 ppm ( 2.91 below June 21, 2018 )

  41. 191
    mike says:

    Nigel asked:

    “Mike @178, what would you want in the way of data and analysis to be convinced we are having a positive effect, and thus reducing the mlo atmospheric emissions trend?”

    I think anything less than a ten year set of data is just too noisy for conclusion. Sets of shorter time frame data can/do offer tantalizing hints about what might be happening, and can support supposition, but I don’t think they are sufficient for my “wants.” Note, you say “convinced.” That’s a pretty high bar for any of us, right?

    And ditto what would convince you we are reducing fossil fuel emissions?

    Again, a ten year set of data would that shows the trend would be quite convincing, but 5 years of falling emissions would be persuasive.

    Or would nothing satisfy you?

    The question seems a wide-open, but I will give it a shot:

    In terms of what would satisfy me: I like large sets of data, with broad analysis. You seem to be concerned with fossil fuel emissions in the frame of your questions and I think that is insufficiently broad to address the problem we have with accumulation of CO2 in oceans and atmosphere. The big picture here is the planetary carbon cycle and whether the amount of heat that we are going to throw into the oceans and atmosphere are going to cause the carbon cycle itself to start creating problems for us that proceed from the pulse of CO2 we emitted primarily with the burning of fossil fuels. Beyond fossil fuel emissions, I think we simply have developed some rather large problems with a heavily carbonized global economy that we may or may not be able to address. These problems play out in resource depletion, in global overshoot and in loss of natural habitats capable of sustaining planetary biodiversity. I think these problems cumulatively have triggered the sixth great extinction event on the planet and that’s kind of a big deal.

    I have heard this “we are having a positive effect and thus reducing the mlo atmospheric emissions trend” many times and I occasionally ask Tamino to crunch the numbers to determine whether our collective efforts have shown up as a change in the trend. So far, the answer from Tamino, has been no, there is no evidence to suggest a change in the CO2 trend in the atmosphere. I think the most recent word from tamino is here:

    I don’t have the number-crunching skills of tamino. I look at the large data sets and the small data sets and I don’t see much to suggest that “we are having a positive effect, and thus reducing the mlo atmospheric emissions trend.”

    If you want to ask Tamino or someone with his number-crunching skills to endorse your sense that we are having a positive effect and thus reducing the MLO atmospheric emission trend, please do so.



  42. 192
    JCH says:

    189 – BS.

  43. 193
    Dan says:

    re: 189. “Facts is she was never as far ahead as the inaccurate poorly done polls were suggesting and the incompetent “fake news” media were endlessly reporting.”

    Wow, what an absolute, cowardly bald-face lie. Completely bogus. Fyi, almost every poll had Clinton ahead going into election night. Guess what? They were all correct. She won the vote by 3 million. The polls got it spot on. But no, just go ahead and regurgitate a lie that someone told you and that you want to believe, actual data be damned. And yes, polls are based on popular vote, not electoral vote. So, a. the media was completely correct reporting the polls, b. you are completely, utterly wrong, and b. we know you won’t admit it. BTW, the only “fake news media” are the made up stories concocted by Breitbart and Fox which are then served to intellectual lazy people who failed to do any critical thinking but simply want to believe what they are told for affirmation. Congrats on being in that category as proven here.

  44. 194
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @189, we are not going to agree on this email thing.

    But yeah Clinton was arrogant. She also didn’t pay enough attention to blue collar workers. No big strong policies or positions. Nothing on climate. What a train wreck of a campaign. But Trump was the worse choice don’t you think?

  45. 195
    nigelj says:

    Mike @191, I agree we need 10 years of mlo data to determine if anything significant has really changed.

    I had a play with the numbers and it just looked like the last couple of years are decelerating but this was just curiosity and of no great significance, but it has sent Carrie into paroxysms of anger and annoyance! Many feathers ruffled, ha ha.

    I have mostly taken little interest in short term trends on CO2, and wish I had stayed that way!My university maths is too rusty anyway.

    Thank’s for the Tamino link. I have seen this already recently, and I have no argument with it.

    I’m perfectly well aware burning fossil fuels is having wider implications than simply warming the air. Its horrendous and seems baffling to me that anyone would deny it, or cant integrate such things together in their heads. An interesting book related to your comments is “Adventures in the Anthropocence” by Gaia Vince.

    I think something that is driving me is I’m naturally a bit of a pessimist, but I don’t want to let this rule me and turn into despondency. So this is why I look for at least some signs we are making progress on the climate issue, and try to be a realist on issues as much as possible.

  46. 196
    nigelj says:

    Mal Adapted @184, I think your paragraph on the tragedy of the commons sums the whole thing up quite well. I would add a few things. Free markets mostly work well, but break down sometimes, requiring some government or local regulations, or court processes or something sensible like carbon fee and dividend (I think you mentioned this?). I think most people appreciate this if you look at history.

    Unfortunately some people “object” strongly because they don’t like being told what to do at all ever by anyone, and they are very focused on personal material status at all costs above everything else in life.These fanatics and extremists may hold positions of influence and form lobby groups. The public and politicians are often failing to see this and how they are being manipulated. This is the other real “tragedy of the commons”.

  47. 197
    Mr. Know It All says:

    For those who would like to purchase solar panels, the time may be right. According to Renewable Energy World magazine, prices are plunging because China has put huge solar power projects on hold as the prices continue to fall. Should be good news for those on a budget, perhaps for investors also. ;)

    189 – Carrie
    All true. She hurt her chances by cheating Bernie in the primary – many Bernie supporters refused to vote for her; the fact that she was a known criminal did not help either. And the smug, arrogant, intolerant attitude of the media, displayed on steroids today with respect to Trump, hurt her as well.

  48. 198
    Hank Roberts says:

    I’d like to see someone come up with the social/psychological/political version of the Crackpot Index.

  49. 199
    Mr. Know It All says:

    186 – Hank

    A video about it:

    I’d recommend churches stick to preaching about things churches are supposed to preach about, and not get into politics. Either that or strip them of their tax exempt status.

  50. 200
    Carrie says:

    192 JCH, I call your BS and raise it by 5 x BS.

    I was there. I know what I saw and saw what happened. You weren’t. Basically you simply don’t like my “conclusions” without a stick of knowing what I am referring to. You got the short-hand version in my comments summarizing several months of monitoring, observations and checks.

    Am I am not going to explain it or prove it …. I do not need to. Could I be wrong. Shit yeah, I could be. So? I don’t think that I am. :)