RealClimate logo


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. 401

    [prodding system]

  2. 402
    zebra says:

    #395 Fred,

    “Can anyone make the case that the Australian wildfires (or the conditions supportive of fires) are NECESSARILY a result of climate change?”

    I’m happy to give it a shot, if you can tell us what NECESSARILY means.

    Lots of time is wasted here (and on blogosphere discussions in general) because people never agree what they are talking about before they start disagreeing– they just end up talking past each other.

    How about being a bit more specific about what would qualify as demonstrating “necessity”. After all, in science, we usually work with “sufficient”.

  3. 403

    Victor, #398–

    A better try, but still ‘nope’–not a “demonstration.”

    First of all, due to the annual cycle in CO2, the scattergram is going to be significantly ‘blurred’ with respect to dates. Presumably that’s why the vertical lines are labelled “mid-1970s” and “late 1990s”, not something more precise. If you wanted to clear that up, you could use CO2 data with the annual cycle removed. As it is, the effect will be to mix two or three years of data up due to overlaps in values during those years. This will bias the last 17 years by ‘importing’ higher values from the preceding period, and banishing lower values to the preceding period, thus lowering the apparent trend.

    Second, the graph ‘cheats’ in terms of presentation by putting a flat ‘trend’ line for the last 17 years–shown in dashed red–which has no justification given whatever. It will direct the eye and bias perception, but has no algorithm given to show how it was arrived at. My presumption would be that it’s purely based on what the blogger thinks ‘should’ be the case. Hence, I’m quite doubtful about its value, not to say its probity.

    Third, the graph was posted in 2014, which means that it is now dated, ignoring the last 5 years of temperature data. (And don’t try to tell me that we’re justified in ignoring it because “El Nino”; this wasn’t an El Nino year, yet it was still 2nd-warmest in most of the datasets.)

    Fourth, we know from Santer et al (2011) that 17 years is the lower limit for detecting the anthropogenic trend. Hence, we cannot expect that every 17-year period will unambiguously display said trend. That’s the greatest significance of the difference that incorporating 5 more years of data to the end period would make.

    Have a look at this graph of CO2 and temperature from 1998 to 2014 and tell me that there’s no correlation:

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1998/to:2014/mean:3/plot/wti/from:1998/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1998/scale:0.008/offset:-2.85/plot/wti/from:2014/mean:3/plot/wti/from:2014/trend

    (By the way, this graph could be a bit of a math puzzle: why and how am I ‘putting a thumb on the scales’ to make the correlation look as impressive as possible? And why does said ‘thumb’ not invalidate the point about correlation?)

    Also, it’s interesting to note that, although the linear trend for 2014-present (light blue) would massively fail statistical significance, at ~0.15 C/decade, it’s nevertheless very close to the trend for 1998-present (green).

  4. 404

    Victor, #394–

    I’ve yet to see such evidence.

    Manifestly true–but not for lack of folks directing your eyes toward it.

  5. 405
    CCHolley says:

    RE. Victor

    Will wonders never cease? CCHolley has actually come up with a reasonable post for a change.

    Somehow, I’m not in the least bit flattered. I wouldn’t expect Victor to recognize a reasonable post if it slapped him in the face.

    it was written in response to a claim that there is, indeed, a simple one-to-one correlation of precisely the sort you’ve questioned. My analysis was directed explicitly at this particular claim, not the more general claim you’ve raised regarding the influence of CO2 on temperature.

    Made up drivel…no one made the claim that there was a simple one to one correlation of CO2 levels to temperature. The effect of CO2 is logarithmic, not linear. And it is just one of multiple factors for which surface temperatures are dependent.

    There would be no need to produce a correlation demonstrating the influence of solar output on planetary temperatures, because everything we know about the physics involved tells us that this has to be so. If no correlation can be seen then we have no choice but to consider the influence of additional variables, both known and unknown.

    Obviously. Just like everything about the physics involved behind greenhouse gases tells us it has to be so.

    However, this is NOT the case as far as CO2 levels are concerned. In fact, the whole debate now raging over “climate change” is centered on this very issue. If “the physics” of AGW were as clear as the physics of solar warming there would be no need for a correlation to support such a claim.

    Wrong, more made up drivel, there is no debate over “the physics” of AGW. In fact, the physics behind the CO2 forcing IS AS CLEAR as the physics behind the role of solar energy in warming the earth. The changes in CO2 forcing have been measured and conform to the known physics. As Victor stated, we know with great certainty the influence of solar output on planetary temperatures, and based on that knowledge we know that the the average temperature of the surface should be about zero degrees Fahrenheit instead of the 60 degrees that it actually is. Greenhouse gases make up the difference and this is NOT in dispute. There is no need for a correlation to support such a claim, it is only the lunatic Victor that seems to think the correlation question is important.

    The core of the issue I’ve raised is that so many have insisted on a one-to-one correlation between temperature and CO2 as evidence supporting AGW. And what I’ve demonstrated is simply that no such correlation actually exists. It’s a mirage. And since the influence of CO2 levels on global temperatures is by no means as clear as the influence of solar output, then the lack of correlation represents a serious obstacle to the AGW claim.

    Again, Victor makes a false claim, no one insists there is a one to one correlation..it is logarithmic. And, no one has made the claim that correlation is a major argument supporting AGW, the question of correlation has only been brought up by Victor. It is a strawman. People have simply responded to Victor’s idiotic claim that there is no correlation, which is absurd, absurd as showing there is no correlation between solar output and temperatures.

    You need to provide solid evidence not only that it exists, but that it is THE major forcing, as is so often claimed. I’ve yet to see such evidence.

    Just like Victor denied he was shown that CO2 and temperatures are correlated he denies the science behind the role of CO2 in warming the planet. He is a deluded nutcase.

    How about that correlation of CO2 levels to ocean heat content?

  6. 406
    CCHolley says:

    Victor lecturing on statistics again, comical.

    For example, it’s common knowledge that the time of day is correlated with the position of the sun — no need for either a scattergram or the calculation of a correlation coefficient.

    I love this one.

    The time of day is defined by the position of the sun, correlation has nothing to do with it.

  7. 407
    William Jackson says:

    No 384 It tells Victor precisely nothing as he wears blinders, has his fingers in his ears….and cries out nyah nyah na nah…at the top of his lungs, in the vain hope that his denial will prevent the undesired reality!

  8. 408
    nigelj says:

    Fred @395, not an expert but I can point you at a few facts. The 1974 – 75 fire season burned a huge area of 117 million hectares but it was unused grasslands in the central outback. Nobody even noticed until satellite images appeared. There was no economic loss. Comparing that to coastal forests burning now is an apples and oranges comparison.

    This year 18 million hectares of forests have been burned in NSW, and early in the season and this is ahead of past total areas burned in this region. So unprecedented for NSW. And its in coastal urban areas.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushfires_in_Australia

  9. 409
    nigelj says:

    Does anyone remember the television series “The Life and Times of Reginald Perrin” where this guy talked and talked and basically said nothing? It was a great laugh. Reminds me of Victor.

  10. 410
    dhogaza says:

    Victor:

    ” But not all correlations need be statistical. For example, it’s common knowledge that the time of day is correlated with the position of the sun — no need for either a scattergram or the calculation of a correlation coefficient.”

    Oh my. Time of day isn’t correlated with the position of the sun, it is DEFINED as the position of the sun. A few minutes with a textbook and a sextant will teach you how to use local noon to determine your latitude, for instance.

    You’re not the sharpest note on the scale, dude.

  11. 411
    nigelj says:

    Victor @398 ” There is in fact NO evidence supporting a long-term correlation between CO2 levels and global temperatures.”

    This is wrong. The wolfe scatterplot in your link clearly shows a moderate to strong long term correlation between CO2 and warming from what looks like 1950 – 2015 (which is moderately long term). Even although its obviously an exercise in cherry picking and deceit. Refer to the following simple guide to scatterplots. Please notice that all the scatterplots have a correlation, even the rough shaped ones, and bent shaped ones like the wolfe scatterplot.

    https://chartio.com/learn/charts/what-is-a-scatter-plot/

    Its just a question 1) what sort of correlation it is and 2) how strong it is. The ONLY scatterplot on the page labelled “no correlation” is a collection of random dots filling a very rough circular blob filling much of the page. As you would expect.

  12. 412
    MA Rodger says:

    Victor the Troll @398
    The dictionary meaning of the word correlation’ runs something like “a mutual relationship or connection between two or more things.” Statistics is a means of measuring the strength of such ‘correlations’. Your explanatory example of a non-statistical ‘correlation’ is a bit odd. The ‘time-of-day’ is not correlated’ with ‘position-of-the-sun’. It is defined by the ‘position-of-the-sun’ with ‘time-of-day’ being the product of ancient scholars wielding numbers. That is why clock faces are covered in numbers. And had it been a more messy relationship, that ancient number-wielding would have had to involve statistics.

    You have in the past and do again @398 confirm that statistics demonstrates a ‘correlation’ exists between the CO2 record and the global temperature record. You insist that this demonstrated ‘correlation’ is misleading. (I believe your initial apprearance here back in October 2014 was to wave some silly agrument for CO2 not being ‘correlated’ with SLR, so this same argument of yours has been round the block a few time.)
    You concede that three graphical representations of the CO2-temperature ‘correlation’ are statistically correct. You then pick one of them which runs 1880-2007 so an incomplete set of the 1850-2019 data. You proceed to annotate this chosen graphic to show that through the early years of this data set, CO2 levels rose far less than in the later years. Of course, this is entirely correct and the CO2 levels rising in such a manner is properly accounted-for within the correlation’ analysis. So the Troll scores “nul points”.

    You then treat us to a couple of graphic from a proper denialist liar/fool in that while both graphics plot genuine data (although GISTEMPv4 has now entirely superceded the GISTEMPv3 used by the denialist), the annotations are simply fake. (This has been explained to you before.) So again the Troll scores “nul points”.

    Victor the Troll, if you wish to argue that there are wobbles in what is without question a CO2-temperature ‘correlation’, wobbles that make the attribution of a physical relationship between the two impossible, you really have two tasks to perform, tasks you have yet to address.
    (1) You have to explain why on the ove hand you accept the smaller wobbles during the period you happily accept as demonstrated ‘correlation’ are acceptable while on the other the larger wobbles beyond that period are not. In such explanation, you might find a graphical representation of the ‘correlation’ plotted against time useful in your deliberations/explanation. This is such a graph (usually 2 clicks to ‘download yor attachment’) You have met it before.
    (2) You have to find a convincing substitute for CO2 as driver of the global temperature rise over the period. Without such a sustitute, the role of CO2 in AGW will remain. After all, it has a shed load of physics to support it as being a driver of AGW.
    So best of luck with that.

  13. 413

    V 394: so many have insisted on a one-to-one correlation between temperature and CO2 as evidence supporting AGW. And what I’ve demonstrated is simply that no such correlation actually exists.

    BPL: No, you have not. Your success exists solely in your own mind. You can’t seem to get it through your head that correlation is something that can be measured, and the correlation between CO2 and temperature for the last 170 years is extremely high. Do the freaking math, or better yet, shut up.

  14. 414
    MA Rodger says:

    The Met Office has a report of their ‘Mauna Loa carbon dioxide forecast for 2020’ that some may find of interest. The annual 2020 MLO average they put at 414.2(±0.6)ppm, a rise on 2019 of 2.74(±0.57)ppm. They provide the following monthly ppm numbers (to which the implied annual rise is added):-

    Jan … … … 413.4 … … … 2.57
    Feb … … … 414.0 … … … 2.25
    Mar … … … 414.9 … … … 2.93
    Apr … … … 416.8 … … … 3.48
    May … … … 417.4 … … … 2.74
    Jun … … … 416.7 … … … 2.78
    Jul …. … … 414.7 … … … 2.93
    Aug … … … 412.6 … … … 2.65
    Sep … … … 411.0 … … … 2.46
    Oct … … … 411.5 … … … 2.97
    Nov … … … 413.3 … … … 3.03
    Dec … … … 414.7 … … … 2.94

  15. 415
    Astringent says:

    Victor @398 is using his magic eyes again – the ones that see the world as he would like them to be. Of course if we actually use some science….

    Taking his last plot, CO2 at Manua Loa vs GISSTEMP. If you actually look at the raw data (rather than relying on a jpeg from a denialist website), the data plot in a similar pattern – but with some key differences. I used the combined land/ocean data GISS Temp V4 (not sure what dataset the jpeg uses – it implies land temperature) and plotted temp as an anomaly.

    So the first thing (to no surprise at all) is the jpeg version of the graph stops round about 2015 and 400 ppm CO2. If you add the post 2015 data the claimed flatness of the relationship post the ‘late 1990s’ disappears.

    Secondly the temperature scale on the jpeg doesn’t seem to match the GISS temp data. The highest monthly mean temp anomaly on the jpeg is about 0.9 degrees C (14-9 – 14). The same month in GISSTemp has an anomaly of > 1 degree. Of course in recent years monthly anomalies have frequently exceeded 1 degree.

    And then the stats. A linear trend line through the data fits nicely with a slope of Temp = CO2 * 0.0106 and R2 of 0.83.

    But why look at monthly CO2 vs monthly temperature anomaly anyway – no one expects an instantaneous response on monthly timescales We can simplify our life and plot annual averages – and a lot of the noise goes away, as we would expect and we get Temp = CO2 * 0.0107 and R2 of 0.91.

    Of course Victor won’t actually look at the raw data or do the maths – why should he when he owns a set of magic eyes?

  16. 416
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Weaktor, Weaktor, Weaktor,
    Still looking far an answer about whether your apparent inability to learn is caused by head trauma or inate stupidity.

    ‘Til then, I’ll feel free to laugh.

    Two important points, so please read them or better, have someone read them to you.
    1)Correlation does not necessarily imply causation. Causation requires correlation AND some mechanism whereby one variable influences the other. In the case of CO2 and temperature, we have both.

    2)Regarding a multivariate system. The best way to approach the system is to examine the levels of correlation with the different known drivers of the system and then as a first approximation, account for the contribution of each separately. Two ways to do this: a)If you have a good physical model, you can estimate the contribution of one or more of the variables and subtract it from the total; b) more commonly, you will not have a good physical model, and in this case, you start with the factors that have the highest correlation.

    In the case of climate, we have the somewhat counter-intuitive situation where the most important contributor to temperature exhibits a poor correlation in general. This is because Mr. Sun is kind to us and varies but little. We can get around this by looking at the anomaly, since Mr. Sun’s constancy contributes mainly to the average. Here, one factor stands out–CO2 has by far the highest correlation with temperature. Account for it–a linear rise works pretty well. Then you are ready to look at the other variables.

  17. 417
    Dan H. says:

    Fred @395,
    No, we cannot. Too many other factors contribute to wildfires, many of which are manmade, that many any correlation to increasing temperatures is futile. Additionally, the amount of land consumed in these fires can be influenced significantly by land changes and fire management (or lack thereof). Causalities are largely affected by the location of the fires. Wildfires have been shown to be influenced by dryness and drought years, but there does not appear to be any long-term trend related to temperature.

    https://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/mckelvey/mckelvey3.pdf

  18. 418
    mike says:

    can you say, positive feedback loop?

    Atmospheric concentration of major greenhouse gas forecast to hit 417 parts per million in May with bushfires contributing 2% of increase

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/24/australian-bushfires-to-contribute-to-huge-annual-increase-in-global-carbon-dioxide?utm_campaign=Carbon%20Brief%20Daily%20Briefing&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Revue%20newsletter

  19. 419
    Guest (O.) says:

    Energiewende – Mythen reloaded

    Der Ruf der deutschen Energiewende hat stark gelitten. Nach Ansicht von
    Claudia Kemfert handelt es sich bei den meisten Argumenten gegen die
    Energiewende um Mythen. Hier räumt sie mit den gängigsten Märchen auf

    https://www.capital.de/wirtschaft-politik/energiewende-mythen-reloaded?article_onepage=true

  20. 420
    nigelj says:

    Killian @396 said stuff. I need to extend my response slightly, and fix my bad grammar. His response to me is a page of ad hominems, personal abuse, arrogance personified, empty bragging, wild false claims, lies, misinterpretations and throwing of turds. Like Zebra says we are all monkeys. We throw stuff at other monkeys.

  21. 421
    William Jackson says:

    398 jeez Wictor you sure do stretch the truth trying to avoid admitting reality.

  22. 422
    TPaine says:

    Victor @ 398

    Victor would you tell me if you can eyeball a correlation between the two measurements on this graph?

    https://www.solidfiles.com/v/p53pyNpPrmrNq

  23. 423
    nigel says:

    Killian @396 says ” You have the illusion/delusion you add something here, yet literally have never done so a single time. I *am* superior to you in every aspect WRT issues of climate, energy, resources, and a gargantuam compared to you WRT sustainability/regenerative systems. There is no illusion here. It’s fact. But, then, even Victor makes you look small.”

    Complete rubbish. A couple of years ago I was asked to join the team that runs a large award winning climate science website. The offer was private so I cant name it. Run by a large team of scientists, environmentalists, engineers, a few lay people, etc. This speaks much louder than your arrogant, empty raving and ranting.

  24. 424

    V 398: There is in fact NO evidence supporting a long-term correlation between CO2 levels and global temperatures.

    BPL: You can say this a million times, and you’ll still be wrong.

  25. 425
    TPaine says:

    Victor @ 398
    I’m a little confused about where the WUWT graph is getting the data. Looks to me like the last plot you linked is showing monthly data whereas the first graphs you linked showed yearly data. The monthly data creates a messier graph that’s hard to see. I used the NASA yearly data and got the graphs for the two different plots here. (again hope the links work)

    1975-1999

    1997-2019

    I don’t see any flat lines for either time period. If you want to pick say 1998 to 2015 then you get a flatter line than the whole range. If you want to pick a very short time starting with a strong El Nino and ending with a La Nina you can get a flat line over a short time period. This has been pointed out multiple times in different blogs and reports. But as I said previously that is true of most things in nature. If you plotted a train’s diesel usage vs speed you would get high diesel usage and almost no speed increase for the first several minutes because of inertia. That would be just like the short time period you seem to want to talk about. Yet we all know the diesel is the fuel that is used to force the train to speed up. Just like CO2 is forcing the temperature to increase but takes some time for the atmosphere to respond.

    If you look at the separate land and ocean temperatures during that time you are talking about you will see the land is increasing rapidly while the ocean temperature is pretty flat. That would seem to me that the oceans had given up quite a bit of heat into the atmosphere during the massive 1998 El Nino and ‘catching back up’ over the following several years while the atmosphere was heating rapidly with the heat transfer from the ocean. When the two temperatures are combined it appears the global temperature has slowed because the ocean temperature dominates. However that’s just my take and I’m not a climate expert.

    If you are trying to say that before around 1975 that CO2 did not have the same effect as later then I would agree based on the fact that by 1975 the CO2 level had only increased at the most around 13%, whereas by 2019 the CO2 level has increased by almost 40%. The higher the CO2 levels the stronger the correlation will be. I assume you can understand the difference.

  26. 426
    CCHolley says:

    RE. Victor @398

    Thus: the scattergrams presented by Grumbine, Bart and yourself, while statistically consistent with a correlation, are nevertheless misleading, as the correlation supported by your statistics represents only a relatively brief time period. There is in fact NO evidence supporting a long-term correlation between CO2 levels and global temperatures. QED!

    What a knucklehead. Once again, by Victor’s logic, there is no correlation of surface temperatures to solar output. How does he get around this simple fact that shows the complete absurdity of his conclusion? He simply ignores it and doubles down. He is so much smarter than the experts on statistics. What a complete moron.

  27. 427
    William Jackson says:

    Can someone…anyone clue me in, what does Victor get in exchange for making a fool of himself? I begin to suspect he is some sort of masochist, but I just do understand the pleasure he might get from this!

  28. 428
    sidd says:

    Re: multivariate correlations

    One way to approach this is through dynamical causality. There was a very nice paper by van Nes et al. DOI: 10.1126/science.1227079 in 2012 that illustrates the method in application to glacial cycles.

    Another tool is information flow, Liang has a series of pepers on this eg.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.physd.2012.12.011
    DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.90.052150

    et seq.

    sidd

  29. 429
    nigelj says:

    William Jackson says @427, “Can someone…anyone clue me in, what does Victor get in exchange for making a fool of himself? I begin to suspect he is some sort of masochist, but I just do understand the pleasure he might get from this!”

    Very possibly masochism, but also attention seeking, dunning kruger and politics. Victor once said he is very liberal and left leaning politically. Some of these people are afraid (mistaken in my view) that climate change mitigation will hurt poor people, so they attack the science.

  30. 430
    Killian says:

    Re 423 nigel said A couple of years ago I was asked to join the team that runs a large award winning climate science website. The offer was private so I cant name it.

    Why believe a liar? You lie here regularly.

    Run by a large team of scientists, environmentalists, engineers, a few lay people, etc. This speaks much louder than your arrogant, empty raving and ranting.

    Let’s say you do “help run” some secret society. 1. That says bad things about them. 2. “help run?” Taking out the trash is not what I am talking about. 3. I have made it quite clear I am talking about you adding nothing of intellectual value. No ideas whatsoever have left your mind and landed on these pages, or any other. Me? Wrote on the need for distributed energy systems over ten years ago. Still the correct way forward.
    https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190905-how-localisation-can-solve-climate-change

    Me? Have talked of the need to use #TEK for a decade. Growing rapidly. Me? Talked of #permaculture/#regenerative solutions for over a decade. Growing rapidly. Me? Said Antarctica would be melting well before 2100… ten years ago, back when the clear consensus was end of the current century, and came to that conclusion without any science papers as reference. How? You don’t even care. Your studpity is far to precious for you to ask an intelligent question. Me? Suggested a global model for finding solutions over ten years ago based on technologies already available. Such things are advancing, though nowhere near as ambitious as what I propose and unable to get to regenerative solutions. Me? Created a new form of governance… in three hours.

    And on and on.

    You? Nada.

    For you, being some sort of stoodge at some phantom website – WUWT would be most appropriate for your “soft” denialism – means you’ve contributed original ideas to the issues of climate change, etc. Because you can’t cipher a few simple sentences in Engish and yet again demonstrate you haven’t a damned clue what you’re talking about.

    Go bite someone else’s ankles.

  31. 431
    zebra says:

    #427 William Jackson, also Tamino and others,

    “what does Victor get?”

    Attention? Living a fantasy? I know it isn’t PC to say it, but several of the people who comment here clearly have “issues” of one sort or the other.

    The much more interesting question is why the more “normal” seeming folks can’t control the impulse to enable and validate that dysfunctional behavior. Lecturing isn’t going to have the effect of changing what Victor says; it just creates this false equivalence. To him, and perhaps to visitors, it’s a “scientific debate” about “the controversy”, just like in the old days with Evolution.

    So, Tamino, I don’t think it is fair to call on the moderators to deal with it (and others like him). Absent a clear set of policies that can be uniformly enforced, it’s way too complicated a decision-making process for people with day jobs. And of course, for many Denialists and others, borehole can be a “badge of honor”.

    My suggestion, which I have tried to model with him (and some others), is to require more specific answers and a real dialogue. I’m not the only one trying to engage him that way, but as long as he can get a bunch of responses by repeating his catechism with slight variations in language, nothing will change.

  32. 432

    Dan H., #417–

    Pretty spectacular fail, IMO, to claim ‘no correlation’ between temperature and wildfire based on a paper from 1996!

    It is true, however, that there is no shortage of confounding variables making analysis difficult.

    Both points are on full display in Doerr and Santin (2016). There really are trends in wildfire that should give us pause:

    Indeed, according to national statistics for the USA, while area burned by prescribed fire has changed little overall since reporting began in 1998 (10 year average: 8853 km2), area burned by wildfires has seen an overall strong trend of increase by over 5% yr−1 over the period 1991–2015, with 2015 exceeding 40 000 km2 burned for the first time during the past 25 years (figure 3). This increase has been accompanied by an overall decline in the number of fires (figure 3). This suggests a general trend of fewer, but larger wildfires, which is also highlighted for forests in the western USA by Westerling for the period 1983–2012.

    On the other hand, the authors overall take a very nuanced and ‘non-alarmist’ stance, suggesting that there will be an increasing need to ‘coexist’ with wildfire.

    A more recent paper concurs about the regional specificity of trends:

    Notable regional trends identified over the 1986-2016 period include: statistically significant (Kendall’s τ, p < 0.1) decreasing linear trends in Europe and Northern Hemisphere Africa, likely related to changes in fire management and land use; statistically significant (Kendall's τ, p < 0.1) increasing linear trends in the western USA, likely related to a combination of factors but including anthropogenic climate change; and a non-linear trend in South America, likely linked to changing rates of deforestation practices in the Amazon Basin.

    Again, though, we should not lose sight of the fact that while fire data are very noisy in the nature of things, and not always as comprehensive, homogenous, or robust as we’d like, the physics of how temperature tends to exacerbate fire are very straightforward, particularly that of soil moisture. Warm, dry conditions are always going to imply increased fire risk, and global warming is going to imply more frequent and severe ‘warm & dry’ spells in many places. (Though some are going to be warmer but wetter as circulation changes–the Western side of the Canadian boreal forest, for one.) We don’t need to wait for statistical confirmation to understand that.

  33. 433
    Chuck says:

    Weaktor: As I’ve demonstrated (many times), there is no correlation between CO2 levels and global temperatures (aside from a brief 20 year period).

    Pathetic. How is this guy able to continue to post deliberately WRONG information???

  34. 434
    Dan says:

    re: 427. He gets attention for his insecurity. He is unable to admit to being fundamentally wrong, as has been shown time after time. He does not make any effort to actually learn because that would mean he was wrong. And, again, he is unable to admit to that. He is flaunting his scientific ignorance in exchange for attention.

  35. 435
    Fred says:

    zebra #402,
    I will settle for “sufficient” evidence tying Australia’a wildfires to AGW.
    Here’s the link to my original comment with my observations/objections: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2020/01/unforced-variations-jan-2020/comment-page-8/#comment-754763
    Thanks,
    Fred

  36. 436
    Killian says:

    We are eating up the planet. No, that’s not a typo. Our eating up the planet is the cause of heating up the planet. While few yet acknowledge it, #ClimateChange is a resource abuse issue, not a climate issue. The latter would imply it’s a natural cycle. It’s not. It’s over-consumption and unsustainable consumption of the planet.

    We are transmogrifying the natural wonders of the planet into waste.

    Even an eternal mouse needs to eat to stay alive. What happens when there’s nothing but mouse dropping left?

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/22/worlds-consumption-of-materials-hits-record-100bn-tonnes-a-year?fbclid=IwAR3JwgMOsfrNYip7CnAF0PAIsnEexRZKcdjTaSQd3hMhHr_2tLGad4lCRwI

  37. 437
    Fred says:

    Kevin McKinney #432

    If you look at long term trends in acreage burned (type “us wildfire acreage burned historical” / images), you see that the trend is WAY down over the last 100+ years.
    But I would say that looking at number of fires and/or acreage burned is a terrible indicator anyway, since the occurrence/size of a fire is totally haphazard. If 100 people discard cigarettes instead of 20, or if the fire starts near a river or heavily-paved area, etc ad infinitum, the number/size of fires varies dramatically. Same goes for life/property lost.
    So, the only relevant indicator is climatic conditions supportive of fire. Namely, hot and dry conditions. And, though temperature by itself certainly tends to increase dryness, that effect is (I’m guessing) likely pretty small compared to other factors (i.e. precipitation, wind, and sunshine). AGW accounts for only 1.5 degrees of extra heat, so that’s the only relevant temperature data to consider here.
    But as I pointed out in my earlier comment: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2020/01/unforced-variations-jan-2020/comment-page-8/#comment-754763
    there is no long-term precipitation trend in Australia.
    Perhaps cloud cover holds the key, but I’m not aware of cloud cover decreasing under AGW. The atmosphere should, as I understand it, hold MORE moisture under AGW.
    Also, CO2 affects plant growth and their ability to retain water, possibly reducing fire risk. But it also might increase density, thereby increasing fuel load.
    Then there’s the drying effect of wind. Can we connect increased wind to AGW? I was under the impression that the poles are warming relative to the rest of the Earth, and that this would cause an overall decrease in air circulation.
    Anyway, just some thoughts.
    I’m leaning towards the conclusion that it is impossible to link fire-supportive weather conditions to AGW, but if anyone can dissuade me, I’d gladly listen.

  38. 438
    Victor says:

    From my book: “Based on many years of experience debating this issue, I’ve concluded that no matter what evidence one might present, no matter what science, what research, what data, what logic, attempting to convince someone who doesn’t want to be convinced is a waste of time.”

    So there’s your answer folks, as to why I post here — to waste my time. Well what the heck? It’s my time and I can waste it if I want to. Fine with me to spend the better part of an afternoon crafting careful responses to all the lame attempts to demonstrate that I’m an idiot — only to find my efforts relegated to the dreaded Bore Hole.

    If I were seeking approbation, I could post on any number of “denialist” websites, preaching to the choir about the follies of “climate change” and be applauded for my efforts. But that would be no fun. They too don’t want to be convinced, but justified in their beliefs, just like you all. Much more fun to waste my time here, “debating” with self-appointed “experts” who prefer to believe the time for debate is over. Meanwhile, no matter how you slice it, the world is going to Hell in a handcart. Either we are all doomed because of “climate change,” or we are all doomed by the impossible demands of those determined to “fight” it at all costs. Meanwhile, I’ve made reservations at the Restaurant at the End of the World.

  39. 439
    nigelj says:

    Killian @430

    “A couple of years ago I was asked to join the team that runs a large award winning climate science website. The offer was private so I cant name it.”

    “Why believe a liar? You lie here regularly.”

    Rubbish. I’ve contributed to numerous websites over the years, and almost nobody has accused me of lying. You are almost the only person making those accusations of lying. You accuse numerous people of lying. You obviously have some sort of personality problem over it all. The people you accuse of lying are mostly not lying. You jump to conclusions way too fast.

    “Me? Wrote on the need for distributed energy systems over ten years ago. Still the correct way forward.”

    The article you reference is very vague. That sort of local self sufficiency just shrinks economies. Why do you think we trade? Its to improve things. So yeah of course I dont talk about that local self sufficiency thing much, because I dont think its much of an answer to anything. We have already tried it where I live and it just caused inflation.

    ” Talked of #permaculture/#regenerative solutions for over a decade. Growing rapidly. ”

    I don’t see much hard evidence of substantial growth and you sure haven’t provided any. A few organic farms maybe at best.

    “Me? Said Antarctica would be melting well before 2100… ten years ago, back when the clear consensus was end of the current century, and came to that conclusion without any science papers as reference. How? You don’t even care. ”

    And I talked about Antarctica having the potential to cause multi metre sea level rise about 4 years ago on this website when I first started reading this website in earnest. But you conveniently choose to forget.

    The difference is you get carried away. I posted an article on the greenland ice melt accelerating last year I think, and you started waving your arms about exponential sea level rise and it adding several additional metres by the end of the century, when the article was actually talking about the accelerated melt adding few extra centimetres of sea level rise by 2100. So you plainly didn’t read or comprehend it. So yeah maybe I misunderstand a few things you say, Im an impatient person, but you misunderstand a whole lot as well.

    But why the hell do you go on and on about this stuff? We both agree the IPCC appear to be underestimating sea level rise. I’m not stealing your thunder.

    “Me? Suggested a global model for finding solutions over ten years ago based on technologies already available. ”

    What does that even mean?

    “Me? Created a new form of governance… in three hours.”

    And I’m still waiting for you to provide a cut and paste describing what the hell it is and how it works.

    “Go bite someone else’s ankles.”

    Speak your yourself. You are doing most of the ankle biting. All I did was 1) mention a research paper on warming and soils that might have been of interest to you and 2) that there doesn’t seem a good case to ban discussions of nuclear power. Your reaction is bizarre, way over the top, and to declare war on me personally. As you can see I don’t turn the other cheek any more.

    I don’t provide many novel solutions to the climate problem for the simple reason that I think the IPCC have already identified all the basic solutions, namely clean electricity grids, changes to farming, some achievable lifestyle changes and negative emissions technologies. We have achievable solutions coming out of our ears. The problems are lack of personal motivation, political grid lock etcetera.

    Imho your regenerative solutions and simplification could add a bit in a light handed form, as I’ve always said, but you are way more ambitious than that and propose massive changes to our entire civilisation and huge reductions to our use of energy and technology. I just dont think they work when taken to that level for multiple reasons.

    Maybe I’m being a critic, but criticism is important, and I’m not making any apologies for that. Im a fair critic. I work in a creative field but I was also a quality assurance manager for a while. So maybe there will be some more biting going on.

    I dont want to be wasting the websites time with responses like this, but I dont believe in turning the other cheek and ignoring such blatant personal attacks on me. The more you attack me personally, the harder I will attack your commentary and ideas.

  40. 440
    nigelj says:

    Killian @436 we need a great deal fewer mice (by gentle encouragement) and clean energy. Its the only way.

  41. 441
    Mr. Know It All says:

    436 – Killian
    “We are eating up the planet. …… It’s over-consumption and unsustainable consumption of the planet.”

    Nah, the planet is large. We haven’t even made a tiny dent in it. Resources are essentially infinite. Every year we find more of what we need – all thanks to the profit motive. Free people are willing to work for money. We have a greater abundance of material things than ever before. Are there too many people? I think so – I like wide open spaces.

  42. 442
    Killian says:

    Re #433 Chuck said Weaktor: As I’ve demonstrated (many times), there is no correlation between CO2 levels and global temperatures (aside from a brief 20 year period).

    Pathetic. How is this guy able to continue to post deliberately WRONG information???

    Why do any of you feed the troll? Even more pathetic.

  43. 443
    zebra says:

    #431 zebra,

    In case there was any confusion, my reference to Tamino was from a comment he made re Dan H on the other thread. Same idea, of course.

  44. 444
    zebra says:

    #435 Fred,

    When scientists say they are working on “attribution”, it means that they are using models to predict the probability of some conditions.

    When people ask questions like yours, they are talking about a specific event that has already occurred.

    This gives a nice discussion of attribution, specifically about Australia:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00173-7

    What you have to keep in mind is that for the people doing the attribution studies, the specific event…e.g., the 2018 fires discussed in the article, or this year, which they are working on… are “targets of opportunity”. They run the model, and see how often the specific conditions like temp, drought, and so on, are close to what specifically existed for that event.

    So, the study for 2018 said that the extreme temps were 4.5 times more likely due to increase in CO2. Now, before going on, we need to further clarify your question:

    “I will settle for “sufficient” evidence tying Australia’a wildfires to AGW.”

    Is that study sufficient to “tie” the 2018 fires to the increase in CO2?

    It seems that way to me, but “tie” may mean something different to you.

  45. 445
    Dan H. says:

    Kevin @ 432,
    Sounds like you are supported my assertation. Why then do you call it a “pretty spectacular fail,” when more recent papers come to the same conclusions that other factors overwhelming any temperature effect?

  46. 446
    Al Bundy says:

    AB 381: “We’re all bozos on this bus” Monty Python

    BPL: Firesign Theater

    AB: Thanks. You’re a good editor.

  47. 447
    tamino says:

    Re: #395 (Fred)

    First: You are mistaken when you say that “Australia has gotten wetter over almost the entire country.” The map you refer to shows linear trend rates, but doesn’t tell you that almost all of them are not statistically significant — not even close. The actual changes in Australian precip are much more complicated. Please see:

    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2020/01/03/precipitation-trend-in-new-south-wales/

    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2020/01/15/australia-rain-seasonal-by-state/

    Second: When you say “the temperature increase due to AGW is 1 or 2 degrees, so that in and of itself, doesn’t seem like a reasonable explanation.” it’s because you are not aware of the tremendous impact of 1 or 2 degrees on VPD (vapor pressure deficit). If you’re familiar with the Clausius-Clapeyron equation, run some numbers for yourself and perhaps you’ll understand. In any case, please see:

    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2019/11/02/california-wildfire-denial/

    https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2019EF001210

    Something you should be aware of: Arguments like “doesn’t seem like” are based on ideas such as “1 degree is so small!” It’s only small when you consider personal comfort. When you consider how possible fuels dry out, 1 degree — sustained over the entire year — is immense. It’s very, very, and very very common for people to gauge how important an impact is based on their own personal experience of what it “feels like” when the actual impact is orders of magnitude above what seems plausible, based only on their personal experience and “doesn’t seem like.” The peer-reviewed literature (one example given above) has made quite clear the link between heating of “just 1 or 2 degrees” and massive increase in wildfire risk.

    It’s a good thing you came here to ask. Please free yourself from the folly of treating “doesn’t seem like” as though it were viable evidence.

  48. 448
    nigelj says:

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/wcc.636?af=R

    New research: “A history of the global carbon budget”.

  49. 449
    nigelj says:

    Mr KIA @441 “Resources are essentially infinite.”

    Only in galactic terms. All resources on planet earth are very finite. Do a calculation of the volume of the earth. That’s all we have. And don’t count on us mining other planets or asteroids, it would be a difficult expensive process limiting us to mining small quantities.

    Many minerals on Earth are in very limited supply, because we know the basic composition of the crust, and how minerals form. However minerals are not as limited as media scaremongering makes out. We aren’t going to start running out of metal based minerals for several centuries, however oil will almost certainly run out before then.

  50. 450
    Dan H. says:

    Nigelj @ 449,
    Not so, unless you are referring solely to very rare minerals. Resources like water and iron are essentially infinite, as they are recycled back into the ecosystem. Organic materials, including oil and natural gas, are definitely not finite, as they are being produced continuously. This latter area appears to be where the conversation was occurring. Mankind is using up forests and the like, but they can regenerate.