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Unforced variations: Jan 2020

Filed under: — group @ 1 January 2020

The new open thread on climate science for a new year, and a new decade – perhaps the Soaring Twenties? What precisely will be soaring is yet to be decided though.

Two things will almost certainly go up – CO2 emissions and temperatures:

But maybe also ambition, determination, and changes that will lead to reduced emissions in future? Fingers crossed.

503 Responses to “Unforced variations: Jan 2020”

  1. 151
    b fagan says:

    137
    nigelj #137 about Wind power and danger to birds (bats, too).

    An overview at Audubon, but kind of heavy focus on condors and eagles.
    https://www.audubon.org/magazine/spring-2018/how-new-technology-making-wind-farms-safer-birds

    I searched “wind turbine collision avoidance” and found a bunch of other stuff, including products. Keys are siting (Altamont Pass wouldn’t get approved today) as well as having good data on seasonal migrations and on what flys around the area.

    I’d seen something a few years back that noted that a lot of strikes could be avoided simply by increasing the minimum wind speed for cut-in of rotation a bit. Bumping it from the default to a few mph higher results on only a 1% loss in output for a year, since real power generation starts higher up the wind speed/rotation curve, while avoiding many strikes because a lot of birds and bats reduce flying when it’s breezier.

    Repowering older sites with fewer new, higher output turbines can also reduce risks at a specific site, but since our net inventory will be growing, that’s not as big a help as if our buildout was already at capacity.

  2. 152
    Mr. Know It All says:

    144 – Chuck
    “Chuck – And now Weaktor is trying to promote the “Arsonist Started the Australian fires” bullshit.

    https://junkee.com/arson-bushfires-australia/237148

    From your junkee link: “The data shows that of the 180 people charged, only 24 have been charged for deliberately lighting bushfires.”

    So, because “only 24” have been charged with arson, it’s not arson? If I ever commit arson, I will pay you to be a juror at my trial. :)

    Your junkee link confirms EXACTLY the same arsonist information I posted in 130. Is your junkee source lying? ;)

    147 – William Jackson
    “Meant to post #130 Breitbart…LOL! sorry…”

    The Breitbart claim of ~180 charged, 24 arrested, is confirmed by Chuck’s junkee.com link in post #144. So LOL all you want Billy. ;)

    142 – BPL
    “BPL: Despite lies being put about by deniers, “arson” did not cause 21 million km^2 of Australia to go up in flames.”

    Where did you get 21,000,000 km^2 burned? Not from my links. Australia’s area is only 7,692,024 km^2. I did not dispute the acreage burned (although I probably should) – I merely pointed out that arson was responsible for many of their fires; an inconvenient fact confirmed by the Chuck’s link in post 144, police reports, and the Australian news media. ;)

    If y’all want to minimize the arson claims then I’d suggest comparing the acreage burned in intentionally set fires, to the acreage of natural fires started by Mother Nature. Probably a tough task. ;)

  3. 153
    Thomas says:

    #130 the highly predictable result of neuropathological dysfunction and self-inflicted brain damage.

    It continues to a pity that G. et al still welcome people inside their house to constantly shit all over the furniture. Each to their own.

  4. 154

    V 136: As I’ve pointed out many times, there is NO “longer-term ongoing warming trend” that could be associated with CO2 emissions.

    BPL: And as I’VE pointed out many times, you have no Earthly idea what “trend” actually means and actively refuse correction on this issue, just like you do with “correlation.” Ignorance isn’t a sin, but willful ignorance is, and you are full of the latter.

  5. 155

    V 136: If, on the other hand, we have a relatively small dataset that CAN be comprehended at a single glance, then there is no need for statistical analysis

    BPL: Dunning-Kruger, Victor, whether you like it or not. Your active refusal to learn what statistics is actually about is very telling about your whole ignorant attitude.

    If you WANT to learn, you can start here:

    http://bartonlevenson.com/ISK/Statistics/00Stats.html

  6. 156

    n 137: the number of birds killed which is significant. Is there a solution?

    BPL: Don’t buy into the deniers’ propaganda. The number of birds killed by wind turbines is insignificant compared to those killed by buildings and cats. In any case, wind turbine bird kills have already been significantly reduced by A) siting wind turbines locations better, out of bird migration paths, B) painting stalks lavender instead of white, C) putting silhouettes of raptors on the stalks, and D) attaching whistles to the blades which drive away birds.

  7. 157

    Correction: It’s 21 thousand square miles of Australia that have burned so far, no 21 million. I got that wrong. (The latest figure is 32,000 square miles.)

  8. 158
    jgnfld says:

    Vic@136

    “Once again I feel the need to repeat myself. 1998 is a date frequently mentioned in the literature as the beginning of a well-known phenomenon known as the “pause” or “hiatus.” The existence of this pause, which lasted fully 16 years is well documented and has posed a challenge to climate scientists for some time.”

    Once again I feel the need to repeat myself. NO one has shown that so-called “pauses” will not regularly appear in any long random series.

    Run the following R code:

    set.seed(12345)
    a = rle(sample(c(0,1), 100, replace = TRUE))
    a[[1]]

    Now explain this challenge to us: HOW in the world do you explain just how we get not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4 , but FIVE “significant” runs of successive heads or tails including the “ultraimprobable” run (p<= .004) of 8 here. There MUST be a causal explanation.

  9. 159
    Leigh Reeves says:

    Hi everyone,

    I am writing this comment to ask for some help from a climatologist or other similar professional.

    I have studied Bachelor of Arts (Honours) / Bachelor of Science and have achieved multiple majors in philosophy, geography, and earth sciences.

    In addition to this I am a Masters qualified town planner (but my knowledge of climatology is perhaps a little wafer thin lol).

    I am potentially interested in doing a philosophy PHD associated with epistemology.

    I am trying to compare and contrast common research methodologies of climatology to common research methodologies of philosophers.

    When writing philosophical papers, philosophers rarely cite government publications and instead tend to favour more diverse sources of academic information. The approach is highly liberated, grassroots in style, and emphasises the freedom of the individual to contribute to the discussion (because of this it is not uncommon for philosophical papers to achieve publication without a formal peer review).

    On the other hand it is not overly uncommon for climatology research to cite publications from governmental institutions such as IPCC, NASA, and so forth.

    The question I have is … why is it within the scope of the acceptable for climatologists to cite documents published by governmental institutions?

    For comparison, most scientists rarely trust industry-initiated research because of the potential for bias. Why is government-initiated research acceptable?

    Please do not interpret this question as an attack on the scientific discipline of climatology. It is more of an attempt by me to understand the reasons why this happens (perhaps it is a worldview difference, or a necessity to ensure data collection can actually happen, etc).

    Warmest regards.
    Leigh Reeves.

  10. 160
    Dan H. says:

    Zebra,
    Sorry, but your post is wrong. You are repeating MAs misconception that I claim that deaths will decrease. You must realize that he purposely misstates others post to try to discredit them, not to mention other smear tactics. All I said was that there change in weather-related deaths cannot be correlated with changing weather with any accuracy. Too many other factors come into play. This part has been repeated by other posters. I did post solid peer-reviewed evidence that the deaths from changing weather have not increased. The evidence also shows that the death rate has decreased since the onset of warming.

  11. 161
    zebra says:

    #136 Victor,

    Victor, this is a serious question, which I hope you can answer, You say:

    If, on the other hand, we have a relatively small dataset that CAN be comprehended at a single glance, then there is no need for statistical analysis, which in any case is not particularly effective when a relatively small dataset is involved (see the law of large numbers). In such cases visual assessment of a graph is probably more reliable.

    The question is, how do we determine that it can be “comprehended at a single glance”, and that “the assessment is more reliable”?

    Since different individuals would very likely give different assessments, are you suggesting that we “put it to a vote”? If 51/100 say the temperature is increasing, is that sufficient?

    Or, should we do a statistical analysis of the responses? What would be the criterion in that case…95%? How would we determine the required sample size?

    It sounds like you are interposing an unnecessary extra step with your visual assessment, and introducing more error rather than less. For example, if you took 1,000 random individuals, and they knew it was climate data, it is very likely you would get a bimodal distribution, which correlated with political party affiliation.

    It doesn’t seem that you’ve thought it through in any depth.

  12. 162
    Andrew says:

    About the rate of global warming, Grant Foster (tamino) has two posts dedicated to it, one from January 2011:
    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/how-fast-is-earth-warming/

    “… presently, Earth is warming at about 1.7 deg.C per century. There’s good reason to believe that it’ll be warming even faster in the upcoming decades. And there’s good reason to believe that this spells trouble for life on earth — including human life.”

    And one from August 2019:
    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2019/08/20/global-warming-how-fast/

    “My opinion: the present warming rate is about 2.23 deg.C/century, but could be as low as 1.66 or 2.67. It might be substantially higher than its average-since-1970 value of 1.83, but then again it might not.

    My other opinion: given that the uncertainty is so large, we should at least be prepared for the possibility that right now, Earth is warming substantially faster than it has for the last 50 years. If that’s true, it’s a matter of serious concern.”

    2011: about 0.17 per decade.
    2019: about 0.22 per decade.

    Apart from Foster’s statitical analysis of actual data, there is actually good reason to believe that since the radiative forcing has increased as a result of increased CO2, CH4 and NO2 atmospheric concentrations, the planet is warming faster than a few decades ago.

    If we accept that as of 2020 we are at around 1.2C above pre-industrial, at present global warming rates of around 0.2C per decade we should reach the Paris Agreement 1.5C global warming threshold in around 15 years, before or around 2035.

    Apart from that, the wildfires in Australia in the last three months have already burned through 8.4 million hectares of both bush and forests, killed between 500 million and 1 billion animals (excluding insects) and emitted as much CO2 and other pollutants as Australia’s yearly emissions. And the bushfire season is not over yet.

    If anybody here believes that the global warming rate will go down and possibly even become negative, please explain why the present radiative forcing would disappear, knowing that CO2 remains in the atmosphere for centuries and that natural sinks have decreased in efficiency.

  13. 163
    CCHolley says:

    RE. Victor @136

    The level of ego-inflated arrogant ignorance is mind boggling. If anyone on this site is afflicted with a fixed opinion regarding climate change to a point of it being a rigid dogma it is Victor. Victor, in his completely deluded self-importance believes that he alone, a science illiterate, is capable of pointing out the flaws of the science behind AGW. Likewise, Victor, untrained in statistics, believes he can lecture experts on the proper use of statistics. Egregious claims! Those that have attempted to point out the absurdity of his arguments over and over again based on the science, the evidence, and often their substantial expertise are apparently just losers incapable of recognizing the genius of Victor. Victor just knows better, if a poster points out the fallacies made by Victor then it is just bulling name calling. Of course it is, Victor couldn’t possibly be wrong, he is so brilliant. The facts be damned. Rinse lather, repeat. It is tiresome and oh so boorish.

  14. 164
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Mr. KIA: “Run the numbers – show your data – more science, less flowery blather.”

    Took me a while to figure out how to respond to this, as my flabber had to recover from being so seriously gasted. Dude, we’ve been running our numbers, showing you the data and inundating you guys with science for over 3 decades now. Pray, why would we expect you to treat the science any more seriously now than you have in the past.

    Mr. KIA, you, Dan H. and the rest of the denialati serve only one purpose here: comic relief. You are clowns. You have pissed away whatever intelligence and analytical ability you once had through a steady diet of Faux News, Breitbart and all the other denizens of the rightwing fever swamps. Work on being funnier. You don’t have it in you to be smarter.

  15. 165
    Victor says:

    #149 TPaine: “My point is, just be careful which points you cherry pick if you want to get the results you like.”

    V: There are no results I like. There is only the evidence, which, for those with eyes to see, speaks for itself. You can choose to begin at 1998 or 1979 or 1940 or 1890 and you can choose to end at 2019, 2016, 2015, 2014, whatever. No matter. In every instance we see clear evidence of the pause, or “hiatus” or whatever you prefer to call it, ranging from 1998 (or 2000, if you prefer) through the outset of 2015. Whatever happens after 2015 cannot change what happened during the previous 16 years or so of the 21st century: a pause (or, if you prefer, slowdown) in temperature rise inconsistent with AGW dogma. This has been acknowledged in the literature of climate science for years, as true believers have fallen over themselves in a variety of (mutually contradictory) attempts to explain it away.

    More fundamental is the prevailing tendency to, first, identify a trend, no matter how dubious, and then extrapolate future global temperatures from that (alleged) trend. How utterly naive. From 1910 through 1940 we see a very clear upward trend – – which ended in that year, followed by a steep downward trend, which panicked many to extrapolate a continuation of that trend into a new ice age. From ca. 1979 through 1998 we see a strong upward trend, which panicked many into accepting Hansen’s projection of climate disaster, based on a continuation of that trend. That trend ended abruptly in 1998, however, to be followed by the above referenced “pause.” Does anyone posting here get the picture? Is anyone willing to see the picture and learn from it?

  16. 166
    CCHolley says:

    RE. Mr. Know Nothing @130

    No, it’s the highly predictable result of the crime of arson.

    BS. The major fires burning in Victoria and NSW were started in highly remote areas. Who is going to travel deep into the bush just to start a fire? No one.

    The evidence shows that these fires are the result of extreme dry conditions that have been ignited by lightning strikes like most fires that burn in the Australian bush.

    See: It’s climate change on top of drought, heat and wind, not arson, that’s behind Australia’s fires.

    https://blog.hotwhopper.com/2020/01/its-climate-change-on-top-of-drought.html#more

  17. 167

    @Victor, #136

    Re: “As should be obvious, the great majority commenting here have a fixed opinion regarding so-called “climate change,” amounting, as I see it, to a rigid dogma. Without exception, anyone expressing skepticism in this regard is routinely greeted with insults, accusations of cherry picking, Dunning Kruger, lack of scientific understanding, stupidity, idiocy, etc. Whenever someone like myself chimes in with observations that challenge the prevailing view, there is sure to be gnashing of teeth and foaming at the mouth.”

    Denialist rhetoric, on par with the type of thing I see from other science denialists, such as vaccine denialists, AIDS denialists, etc.:

    “Portraying Science as Faith and Consensus as Dogma
    Since the ideas proposed by deniers do not meet rigorous scientific standards, they cannot hope to compete against the mainstream theories. They cannot raise the level of their beliefs up to the standards of mainstream science; therefore they attempt to lower the status of the denied science down to the level of religious faith, characterizing scientific consensus as scientific dogma […].
    […]
    Deniers also paint themselves as skeptics working to break down a misguided and deeply rooted belief. They argue that when mainstream scientists speak out against the scientific “orthodoxy,” they are persecuted and dismissed.”
    http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040256

    Re: “As I’ve pointed out many times, there is NO “longer-term ongoing warming trend” that could be associated with CO2 emissions.”

    Increasing CO2 has a warming effect. That’s well-evidenced, and well-established by the scientific community since at least Arrhenius back in the 19th century. Human activity emitted greenhouse gases such as CO2, CH4, and N2O, causing longer-term global warming. The fact that you have a blog article where you refuse to accept this, is of no more substance than there being blog articles from people who don’t accept HIV causes AIDS.

    For folks genuinely interested in the greenhouse-gas-induced warming trend, below is a paper on this, along with a link to a CarbonBrief article from the authors of that paper (see the 3rd figure in the link for a the warming trend):

    10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0555.1
    https://www.carbonbrief.org/guest-post-why-natural-cycles-only-play-small-role-in-rate-of-global-warming

    Re: “If change point analysis fails to spot this very obvious, widely recognized, change of trend then the method is clearly flawed. Which prompts me to repeat what I’ve written many times on this blog: statistics can be misleading.”

    Your personal bias is what’s misleading, which is one reason why scientists use objective, mathematical methods to compensate for such biases. What you find “[not] obvious” is just your appeal to personal incredulity; that doesn’t count for much, since you’re a non-expert in this field. Combine that with the motivated reasoning you use to object to climate science that you think will be used to support policies you dislike, and it’s quite clear that your evaluation of the science is not to be trusted.

    Anyway, I already cited multiple papers to you in #117, showing there was no statistically significant, “pause” in longer-term post-1970s warming. You could claim there was a non-statistically-significant change in trend, but that’s trivially easy to get. It would occur time one day was globally cooler than the previous day, or when one year was globally cooler than the previous one. Those shorter-term fluctuations (including your pet “pause”) do not rebut the longer-term, statistically significant warming trend. To quote a recent paper:

    “So, has there been a pause in global warming? The answer would be mistakenly “yes” only if one defines the “global warming” only by GMST changes [a non-statistically significant change in the rate of GMST; GMST = global mean surface temperature]”
    https://www.mdpi.com/2225-1154/6/4/91

    Re: “If, on the other hand, we have a relatively small dataset that CAN be comprehended at a single glance, then there is no need for statistical analysis, which in any case is not particularly effective when a relatively small dataset is involved (see the law of large numbers). In such cases visual assessment of a graph is probably more reliable.”

    No, statistics is useful in small samples, since it lets you know the limits of what can be said with that sample. For instance, p-values incorporate sample size. Power analyses help you figure out what effect size you need to get a meaningful result from your sample size. And so on. Your “visual assessment” fails to do this; in fact, visual assessment is often misguided for small samples for precisely that reason.

    Re: “This is precisely the problem I have with the graph Gavin presents”

    No, it isn’t your problem, since you don’t even understand the “multiple testing problem” (“selection bias” problem), let alone how to account for it. After all, you’ve shown you don’t understand basic statistics. If you did, then you’d know that there are mathematical methods for addressing this problem, and those methods show long-term global warming continuing from the post-1970s period to the present. Let me know when you finally decide to read the published literature on that, much of which I already cited to you in #117. I won’t hold my breath, though.

    I’m done with you for awhile anyway, since it’s not as if you’re going to change your years-long behavior and finally accept what the scientific evidence shows. My point was just to illustrate to people the evidence you’re evading, so they could learn from it. I have no illusions of getting through to you, anymore than I think I can get through to most vaccine denialists.

  18. 168

    Victor said:

    “Whenever someone like myself chimes in with observations that challenge the prevailing view, there is sure to be gnashing of teeth and foaming at the mouth…”

    Well, there’d almost certainly be less of either if you actually got the “observations” correct. (Eg., the “flat trend” that was anything but.)

  19. 169
    Chuck says:

    Hey Weaktor!

    “Know what? If I see another know-nothing denier try to claim ‘it’s not climate change it’s arson’ or ‘backburning’ or ‘not enough prescribed burns’ or ‘it’s not happening’, I’ll scream.” After this, an excellent fact-filled explainer piece. Recommended! https://blog.hotwhopper.com/2020/01/its-climate-change-on-top-of-drought.html

  20. 170
  21. 171
    Keith Woollard says:

    BPL @ 142 “21 million km^2 of Australia”
    as usual, you have no clue. there are only 7 million km^2 in the whole of Australia. And the number is about 10 million hectares (about half a percent of what you said) at the moment, just shy of the record 102 million hectares. We’ve had 4 fire seasons with more than twice the area burnt as this season.

    And the 24 people actually arrested is only in one state

  22. 172
    Adam Lea says:

    144: That article is misleading. Climate change didn’t “cause” these bushfires, they were always going to happen if unusually favourable circumstances for priming the bushland happen, one of which being the very strong Indian Ocean dipole (https://www.nature.com/articles/ngeo2009). It is also likely a lot of those fires were started by humans, either deliberately or carelessly, around 80% of bushfires in Australia are started by humans. Climate change could have exasperated the hot dry conditions for priming the fire, increased the areal extent of such conditions, and increased the severity and extent of the fires overall. Making something worse or more likely is not the same as causing it in the first place, like if someone dies of lung cancer, you cannot say it was definitely the smoking that caused it, but the smoking will have increased the probabiltiy of catching it.

  23. 173
    jgnfld says:

    TPaine @148 re. file uploading…

    There are free file uploading alternatives. See https://www.doublemesh.com/best-free-file-hosting-websites/ for a list of 30. Some don’t even require registration.

  24. 174

    LR 157,

    Because the government sponsors a lot of research and sometimes issues reports summarizing it. Also, government agencies generate a lot of useful data (e.g. meteorological data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

  25. 175

    DH 160: The evidence also shows that the death rate has decreased since the onset of warming.

    BPL: [CITATION NEEDED]

  26. 176
    Dan H. says:

    Adam @170 and Kieth @169,
    Agreed. While the causes are not yet known, the major suspects are arson, accidental fires and lightning strikes. The hot, dry conditions did not cause the fires, but likely exasperated them. Several posters have repeated exaggerated numbers of land burned. I suspect many are not familiar with the hectare unit, and transposing that to a more widely recognized unit. Australia, like California, has a fire season every year. Yes, this ranks as one of the worst. Social media likes to present current events as the worst ever, and with disasters if is difficult to say what is the worst. This is neither the most extensive fire year, nor most fatal. Inaction (or possibly inability) by the federal government may be the primary reason that the dies are as widespread. At least, that is what many Australians are claiming. While the hectare burned could exceed all other years, the casualty count likely will not. The record belongs to the horrendous 2008-9 fire season.

  27. 177

    Victor (again)–

    “…a pause (or, if you prefer, slowdown) in temperature rise inconsistent with AGW dogma.”

    1) There is no “AGW dogma.” (Though there certainly appears to be ‘anti-AGW dogma.’) There is, however, science associated with AGW.

    2) Santer et al, 2011:

    https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2011JD016263

    Because of the pronounced effect of interannual noise on decadal trends, a multi‐model ensemble of anthropogenically‐forced simulations displays many 10‐year periods with little warming. A single decade of observational TLT data is therefore inadequate for identifying a slowly evolving anthropogenic warming signal. Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global‐mean tropospheric temperature.

    So, no, slowdowns are completely consistent with ‘AGW science.’ They show up in climate model runs as well as in real-world observations.

    3) This is not new information, either in the literature, in discussions generally on Realclimate, or discussions specifically with Victor. So, this is a ‘the sun still rises in the east’ story.

  28. 178
    Victor says:

    BPL: And as I’VE pointed out many times, you have no Earthly idea what “trend” actually means and actively refuse correction on this issue, just like you do with “correlation.” Ignorance isn’t a sin, but willful ignorance is, and you are full of the latter.

    V: Bart, since you claim some degree of expertise on the science of statistics, I invite you to read and evaluate the argument presented in the following blog post: http://amoleintheground.blogspot.com/2018/10/thoughts-on-climate-change-part-8-tale.html

    In all sincerity, I would welcome your thoughts regarding my analysis of the graphs in question and where you think I might have gone wrong.

  29. 179
    Mal Adapted says:

    Adam Lea:

    144: That article is misleading. Climate change didn’t “cause” these bushfires, they were always going to happen if unusually favourable circumstances for priming the bushland happen, one of which being the very strong Indian Ocean dipole (https://www.nature.com/articles/ngeo2009). It is also likely a lot of those fires were started by humans, either deliberately or carelessly, around 80% of bushfires in Australia are started by humans. Climate change could have [exacerbated] the hot dry conditions for priming the fire, increased the areal extent of such conditions, and increased the severity and extent of the fires overall. Making something worse or more likely is not the same as causing it in the first place, like if someone dies of lung cancer, you cannot say it was definitely the smoking that caused it, but the smoking will have increased the probabiltiy of catching it.

    I mostly agree. In a general systems perspective, however, all events are effects of a chain of causation from proximate to ultimate, leading back to the Big Bang. We know Australia’s climate is generally growing warmer and drier, as an effect of global, economically-driven net transfer of fixed carbon to the atmosphere. Thus we know climate change is increasing the statistical probability that Australia’s current wildfire season would be extreme. IOW: we know all the country’s wildfires are now fractionally caused by anthropogenic climate change. Regardless of their ignition source, it’s reasonable to say climate change is a primary cause of the extreme fires, just as habitual tobacco smoking is a primary cause of death from lung cancer.

    In the article Chuck linked at #144, the tweet is “Arsonists exist for sure, but they’re not the primary cause of these bushfires.” The article itself says:

    People were quick to jump all over the tweet, but unless you happen to possess the critical thinking skills required to actually open the link they included, it’s slightly misleading. The data shows that of the 180 people charged, only 24 have been charged for deliberately lighting bushfires.

    It’s still a disgustingly high number, but to say 24 idiots are solely to blame for the current crisis is ridiculous.

    IMHO it’s misleading only to those unacquainted with systems thinking, or who equate “primary” with “most proximate” and read “these bushfires” to mean only the ones ignited by arsonists.

  30. 180
    Victor says:

    #169 Chuck: Hey Weaktor!

    “Know what? If I see another know-nothing denier try to claim ‘it’s not climate change it’s arson’ or ‘backburning’ or ‘not enough prescribed burns’ or ‘it’s not happening’, I’ll scream.” After this, an excellent fact-filled explainer piece. Recommended! https://blog.hotwhopper.com/2020/01/its-climate-change-on-top-of-drought.html

    V: OK, first of all you’ve directed your comment to the wrong person. I’ve posted nothing on this blog regarding the current Australian fire disaster. That said, however, I do have some thoughts regarding what might have either caused or contributed to it.

    The first thing we need to consider is the phrase “climate change.” What exactly does that mean? If we choose to identify “climate change” as either a cause or contributing factor, then by “climate change” is meant nothing more than an incremental rise in global temperatures over the last hundred years or so. Since higher temperatures can contribute to increased dryness such a suspicion does make sense — though one can’t deny the existence of devastating forest fires in the past, when temperatures were significantly lower.

    Unfortunately, “climate change” has come to mean much more than simply a rise in temperature, but a rise in CO2 levels assumed to be responsible for the temperature rise. Yet NOTHING about this or any other disastrous fire provides the slightest amount of evidence that CO2 emissions are responsible. It is simply implied. So all the finger wagging over this and other fires is totally misplaced as these fires offer NO evidence whatsoever that they have been caused by the burning of fossil fuels. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and sometimes climate change means nothing more than a change of climate. One might as well argue with Mother Nature.

  31. 181
    MA Rodger says:

    Andrew @160,
    The quotes you provide from the two Tamino OPs you link to, from 2011 and from August last year, do together appear to strongly suggest acceleration in the rate of AGW through the last decade.
    But do note that the rate of warming has not risen strongly enough to provide full evidence for acceleration.
    Prompted by a discussion last November of the reanalysis Copernicus ERA5 data (which does show acceleration) Tamino tested for signs of acceleration over the 1979-2019 period and concluded

    “I’m not ready to declare “acceleration” yet. But if the “hottest such-and-such month on record” reports keep piling up, that may change. I’ll keep you posted.”

    The most evidence for an acceleration was found within the NOAA data and messing about with the NOAA data myself, I do wonder if there is acceleration resulting from warming northern oceans and southern continents. Certainly they deviate far more from the long-term trend than they have in the past. And December 2019 has come in within the reanalyses records (ERA5 & JRA-55) as another “hottest such-and-such month on record” so the instrument results will likely follow. 2020 may be the year when what has been a remarkably linear rise in global temperatures over the last four decades starts to show definite signs of an acceleration.

  32. 182
    Nemesis says:

    Btw, I see that “arsonists” meme all the time when it is burning like Hell somewhere on the globe and, yes, these Hell Fires had been set up deliberatly absolutely for sure:

    smokeandfumes.org

    And you know what? There is one fun fact only:

    These fossil fools will BERN in Hell with the rest of us, they won’t be spared, I put a Spell on em and I can’t wait to see em bern.

  33. 183
    zebra says:

    #160 Dan H,

    You just completely contradicted yourself:

    All I said was that there change in weather-related deaths cannot be correlated with changing weather with any accuracy. Too many other factors come into play. This part has been repeated by other posters. I did post solid peer-reviewed evidence that the deaths from changing weather have not increased.

    So, there’s “solid peer-reviewed evidence that the deaths from changing weather have not increased” even though weather-related deaths “cannot be correlated with changing weather”?

    Amazing. Are you one of those people who comments while under the influence of something? Sure sounds that way.

  34. 184
    Victor says:

    #168 Kevin: Well, there’d almost certainly be less of either if you actually got the “observations” correct. (Eg., the “flat trend” that was anything but.)

    V: Sure looks flat to me: http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/hadcrut4gl/from:2001/to:2015

    NB: I deliberately chose 2001 as end point rather than 1998. Still looks flat. And why not, since the data is the same.

  35. 185
    Victor says:

    Anyone want to argue for correlation between CO2 levels and global temps. since 2001? Or maybe you’d want to do a linear regression analysis first. :-)

    https://www.thegwpf.com/content/uploads/2019/02/Tempgraph-21stcentury-1024×541.png

  36. 186
    zebra says:

    #157 Leigh Reeves,

    I sometimes bring up issues here from what’s called Philosophy of Science. It’s difficult for me to understand how you could be interested in epistemology and not know that science has developed its own “rules” for appropriate practice.

    I’m also curious about your statement:

    “When writing philosophical papers, philosophers rarely cite government publications and instead tend to favour more diverse sources of academic information.”

    Which government publications on philosophy are you referring to?

    So, I’d be happy to expand on the topic, but if you are really thinking of going for a doctorate, you might want to sharpen your communication skills. You need to specify… give examples of the “publications”, “documents”, “industry-initiated research” you are referring to, in terms of content.

  37. 187
    Mal Adapted says:

    Dan H.:

    You are repeating MAs misconception that I claim that deaths will decrease.

    Chortle. Here is what he said:

    What needs to be put into perspective is the difference between suspected deaths attributed to AGE and suspected deaths prevented. The net difference is what is truly important.

    As far as I can tell, he’s arguing that suspected deaths attributed to age and those prevented (by health care?) must be distinguished from those attributable to versus prevented by anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Those distinctions can be made statistically (RPJr thinks so, at least), but that’s beside the point: it sure sounds like he’s claiming AGW can prevent deaths, implying that its net lethality may be zero or negative. As he has offered no evidence that AGW can prevent deaths, I maintain his claim is extraordinary. If that’s not what he was trying to say, I throw myself on the mercy of the court, but feel I can be excused for thinking it was.

    You must realize that he purposely misstates others post to try to discredit them, not to mention other smear tactics.

    Nah, I’m at pains to smear deniers with their own words, so they amply discredit themselves 8^)! My warrant is merely to call out his egregious betrayals of science and reason, to which RC’s regular readers bear repeated witness. I want to help ensure he’s not seen as respectable or deserving of courtesy. As long as he’s got the time, so do I.

    All I said was that there change in weather-related deaths cannot be correlated with changing weather with any accuracy.

    That’s not all he said, is it. One fact remaining after RPJr’s piece, is that extreme weather is still taking lives around the world. Statistically, as rising GMST drives increasing weather extremes, some increasing proportion of the deaths they cause are attributable to it. If a similar proportion are not prevented (by fewer cold-weather records being broken, say), then mortality due to AGW is assumed to be greater than zero; and ceteris paribus, to rise with GMST. Demanding an “accurate” number implies subjectively evaluating the tragedy of others. That is the foundation of the lukewarmist position: “AGW isn’t bad”. How many deaths attributable to AGW, within what time interval, will it take for Dan H. to abandon his pseudo-skepticism? Is any threshold number the hill he’ll die on?

  38. 188
    nigelj says:

    Barton Paul Levenson @156, yes I realise the deniers spin things, and wind turbines don’t kill all that many birds presently, but given the vast number of turbines eventually needed it would clearly be a problem needing pretty damn good solutions. Thank’s for the information, looks like plausible solutions.

    What astonishes me is humanities ingenuity at solving these sorts of technical things. If only it extended better to solving socio / economic issues, but then vested interests and ideology gets in the way of that I suppose.

  39. 189
    nigelj says:

    Leigh Reeves @159, my background is a little bit similar to yours. To answer your implied question of why climate scientists and people like the IPCC quote government funded climate research more often than quoting private sector research. Firstly there is more government funded research done on climate than industry research, because there’s no real profitability in the private sector doing this sort of research. Secondly quite a bit of the privately funded climate research doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

    Its that simple. No bias against industry, no suggestion its corrupt, although it might be.

  40. 190
    nigelj says:

    Dan H. @170 claims waving his arms there’s no evidence climate change has increased death rates to date. Maybe hard to tease out what effects there have been so far, I grant you that much, but have a look at the work done by The Economist Richard Nordhaus, who finds climate change will definitely lead to a net increase in death rates, and explains this in detail. This guy has a Nobel prize in economics and used a vast team of experts in every discipline. And if anything, most of the criticism of his work is that he still understates things a bit.

  41. 191
    nigelj says:

    Ray Ladbury @164, curiously enough, I just called KIA a clueless clown over on the FR thread.

  42. 192
    nigelj says:

    DanH @176 says “The hot, dry conditions did not cause the fires, but likely exasperated them.” Exasperated is an unusual term to use. Perhaps you meant exaggerated them or exacerbated them. A typo I guess reminds me of someone presidential…God I hope you aren’t related. We have enough clowns already.

    But why not just provide some useful information, and mention the hot dry conditions increased the ease fires take hold, and caused larger areas to be burned and more quickly, etc. There’s tons of science on that easily googled. You could have provided some links….

  43. 193
    CCHolley says:

    RE. Victor @165

    Does anyone posting here get the picture? Is anyone willing to see the picture and learn from it?

    Numb nuts doesn’t get it that everyone gets it except him. Surface temperature is driven by MULTIPLE variables therefore you cannot necessarily discern a single correlation of one of the variables by just simply observing a graph. A two year old should be able to grasp this simple principle, but not our Victor. One variable may be driving temperatures down while another variable driving them up. Because of this the net gain shown in a graph could be zero or negative even as CO2 was driving temperatures up. That’s why we need statistics.

    RE. Victor @178

    In all sincerity, I would welcome your thoughts regarding my analysis of the graphs in question and where you think I might have gone wrong.

    LOL. Victor has been told where his reasoning is wrong so many times his head should explode. Why should one expect a different outcome here?

  44. 194
    Dan says:

    re: 180. “…as these fires offer NO evidence whatsoever that they have been caused by the burning of fossil fuels.”

    That is true scientific ignorance right there. Again.

    The conditions that are prevalent in Australia (heat and drought) are unprecedented in the modern era. The intensity of both are directly due to the effects of global warming caused by increased emissions of man-made greenhouse gases. Specifically how storm systems form in that region. Those are scientific facts. You are not entitled to your own “facts”. Nor does the use of all capital letters make it any more so (how classic from a science denier).

  45. 195
    Dan says:

    Furthermore to 182:

    How Climate Change is Fanning Australia’s Flames: https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/australia-fires-climate-change/. Which includes “comments from Australian climate scientist Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, who explains why climate change has heightened the country’s naturally volatile weather patterns to make this the worst fire season in living memory.”

    Australia’s Wildfires Point to the Future:
    https://loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=20-P13-00002&segmentID=1

    So you are busted and utterly wrong again. Not that you will admit it of course. Science cowards never do.

  46. 196
    MA Rodger says:

    Victor the Troll @178,
    You tell us “In all sincerity, I would welcome your thoughts regarding my analysis of the graphs in question and where you think I might have gone wrong.”
    Reading the drivel you present on your grubby little web-page, there are two points that spring to mind.

    Firstly you tell us of your second graph, the one you sourced from the Cato Institute (not a source I would recommend for anything on climate change) of which you say “I’ve decided to add this one, which represents the so-called “hiatus” from 1998 through 2015 much more clearly. (The spike we see for 2016 is due to an especially strong El Nino and does not reflect long-term temperature trends)” The graph actually shows HadCRUT4 from Jan 1997 to Dec 2016. Your fatal error is to suggest that “the spike we see for 2016” should be ignored being “due to an especially strong El Niño” but failing to direct people to also ignore the spike seen in 1998 which is also “due to an especially strong El Niño.” To fail to do this is down-right dishonest.

    Secondly, having decided that your eyeball showed a strong correlation within the third graphic you present, you then run through a set of reasons for dismissing the existence of any such correlation, the basic reason being that the data is the same used in the first graphic you present (pinched from SkS) which has too many wobbles for your liking but which, like the 1998 El Niño spike and unlike the 2016 El Niño spike, these are wobbles you are unable to ignore as to do so would expose the delusion you are trapped within.

    And do note that if you truly run with the advice of Ronald H Coase in the manner that you do, all numerical analysis becomes irrelevant; that is all analysis, everything, not just the stuff that you find inconveniently incompatible with your deluded world-view.

  47. 197
    William Jackson says:

    #150 Please explain why scientists should waste their time rebutting nonsense?

  48. 198
    b fagan says:

    Just so the site admins and owners know, the prompts in the comment section (as of ~8pm CST on Friday) are switching randomly between English and what seems to be Finnish – like « Edellinen 1 2 3 4 Seuraava » to navigate between blocks of comments.

    Is today “learn prompts in Finnish” day?

  49. 199
    prl says:

    On arson and the 2019-2020 bushfire season the ABC (Australia) has this article:
    The truth about Australia’s fires — arsonists aren’t responsible for many this season

    The article mainly quotes representatives of the police and the rural fire services largely responsible for fighting the fires.

    New South Wales
    “I can confidently say the majority of the larger fires that we have been dealing with have been a result of fires coming out of remote areas as a result of dry lightning storms,” he [NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Inspector Ben Shepherd] said.

    Victoria
    “Despite massive fires causing chaos in Victoria this season, authorities are treating only one blaze as suspicious.”
    “Our intelligence suggests there are no deliberate lightings that we are aware of.” [Brett Mitchell, the CFA incident controller in Bairnsdale, in East Gippsland] — East Gippsland is where most of the severe bushfires in Victoria have been burning.

    South Australia
    “None of SA’s deadliest or most destructive fires are being treated as suspicious.”

    Queensland
    “Queensland Police said there had been 1,068 reported bushfires between September and January 8, of which 114 of which had been deliberately lit.”

    Tasmania

    “The Apple Isle is the only state where arson has allegedly been the overwhelming cause of fires.

    “Authorities attributed almost two-thirds of the blazes burning on Tasmania’s east coast and in the south since late December to arson.

    ” ‘Approximately 21,000 of the 35,000 hectares burnt is a result of deliberately lit fires,’ a Tasmanian Fire Service spokesperson said.”

    Australian Capital Territory
    “[I]n the ACT, one person has been charged for deliberately lighting a fire, according to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

    “The 20-year-old Mawson man allegedly lit several small grass fires, although no property was damaged, and was charged with breaching a total fire ban.

    “Police are treating as suspicious another grass fire which started on Friday in Canberra’s south.”

    The ACT has not yet been subject to any major fires so far in the 2019-20 bushfire season.

  50. 200
    Dan H. says:

    Zebra @183,
    The contradiction only exists in your mind. The evidence presented showed an overall decreased death rate due to extreme weather. However, other factors likely contributed to those decreases, such that the decreases are not a result of the weather changes, but other factors. These factors include early warning systems, improved building, and management. Perhaps you would be better off actually reading the literature rather than repeating your own stated beliefs. Maybe then you can converse intelligently about why deaths have decreased. I guess you are just another poster who chooses to denigrate others, rather than engage them scientifically.