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New studies confirm weakening of the Gulf Stream circulation (AMOC)

Filed under: — stefan @ 17 September 2020

Many of the earlier predictions of climate research have now become reality. The world is getting warmer, sea levels are rising faster and faster, and more frequent heat waves, extreme rainfall, devastating wildfires and more severe tropical storms are affecting many millions of people. Now there is growing evidence that another climate forecast is already coming true: the Gulf Stream system in the Atlantic is apparently weakening, with consequences for Europe too.

The gigantic overturning circulation of the Atlantic water (dubbed AMOC) moves almost 20 million cubic meters of water per second – almost a hundred times the Amazon flow. Warm surface water flows to the north and returns to the south as a cold deep current. This means an enormous heat transport – more than a million gigawatts, almost one hundred times the energy consumption of mankind. This heat is released into the air in the northern Atlantic and has a lasting effect on our climate.

But since the 1980s, climate researchers have been warning of a weakening or even a cessation of this flow as a result of global warming. In 1987, the famous US oceanographer Wally Broecker titled an article in the scientific journal Nature “Unpleasant surprises in the greenhouse”. Even Hollywood took up the subject in 2004 in the film “The Day After Tomorrow” by the German director Roland Emmerich. However, there were no measurement data that could prove an ongoing slowdown.

Only since 2004 has there been continuous monitoring at 26°N in the Atlantic (RAPID project). Although the data show a weakening of the current system, the measurement series is still too short to distinguish a possible climate trend from decadal variability. For the longer-term development of the Gulf Stream system, we must therefore rely on indirect evidence.

A long-term AMOC weakening should lead to a cooling in the northern Atlantic. Such a regional cooling in the middle of global warming has been predicted by climate models for a long time. And indeed, the evaluation of data on sea surface temperatures shows that the northern Atlantic is the only region of the world that has escaped global warming and has even cooled down since the 19th century (see graph). In addition, one can see a particularly strong warming off the North American coast, which according to model simulations is part of the characteristic “fingerprint” of a weakening of the Gulf Stream circulation.

Diagram of the Gulf Stream system with the warm surface current and the cold deep current. The actual Gulf Stream off the US coast is a part of this more comprehensive circulation system. The color shading shows the measured temperature trend since the late 19th century. This diagram is based on Caesar et al., Nature 2018 and first appeared in the Washington Post.

This fingerprint is regarded as important evidence, and not least because of this, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated for the first time a year ago in the Summary for Policy Makers of its Special Report on the Oceans:

 “Observations, both in situ (2004–2017) and based on sea surface temperature reconstructions, indicate that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) has weakened relative to 1850–1900.”

New studies support long-term weakening

Two new studies now provide further independent evidence of this weakening. In August a paper by Christopher Piecuch of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on the Florida Current – the part of the Gulf Stream system along the Florida coast – was published. Although continuous measurements of the current have only been available since 1982, Piecuch was able to reconstruct the strength of the Florida Current over the last 110 years from measurements of the sea level difference between the two sides of the current. To do so, he used 46 tide gauge stations in Florida and the Caribbean as well as a simple physical principle: the Coriolis force deflects currents in the northern hemisphere to the right, so that the water on the right side of a current stands higher than on the left. The stronger the current, the greater the difference in sea level. Comparison with measurements since 1982 shows that the method works reliably.

The result: the Florida current has weakened significantly since 1909 and in the last twenty years has probably been as weak as never before. Piecuch’s calculations also show that the resulting reduction of heat transport is sufficient to explain the ‘cold blob’ in the northern Atlantic.

This Monday, in Nature Climate Change a further study appeared, of researchers of Peking University and Ohio State University (Chenyu Zhu and Zhengyu Liu). For the first time, their paper provides evidence for an AMOC slowdown based on data from outside the North Atlantic. Model simulations show that a weakening of the AMOC leads to an accumulation of salt in the subtropical South Atlantic. This is due to the fact that strong evaporation in this region constantly increases the salinity, while the upper branch of the ocean circulation drains the salty water northwards, continually bringing in less salty water from the south. When this current weakens, the water in this region becomes saltier. This is exactly what the measured data show, in accordance with computer simulations. The authors speak of a “salinity fingerprint” of the weakening Atlantic circulation.

Video animation of ocean currents in the CM2.6 climate model of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab in Princeton:

In addition to these oceanographic measurements, a number of studies with sediment data indicate that the Gulf Stream circulation is now weaker than it has been for at least a millennium.

These current changes also affect Europe, because the ‘cold blob’ out in the Atlantic also influences the weather. It sounds paradoxical when you think of the shock frost scenario of the Hollywood blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow: but British researchers found that in summer the jet stream in the atmosphere likes to take a route around the south side of the cold blob – this then brings warm winds from the southwest into Europe, leading to heat waves there, as in the summer of 2015. Another study found a decrease in summer precipitation in northern Europe and stronger winter storms. What exactly the further consequences will be is the subject of current research.

However, the latest generation (CMIP6) of climate models shows one thing: if we continue to heat up our planet, the AMOC will weaken further – by 34 to 45% by 2100. This could bring us dangerously close to the tipping point at which the flow becomes unstable.

This article appeared originally in German in Der Spiegel: Das Golfstromsystem macht schlapp

269 Responses to “New studies confirm weakening of the Gulf Stream circulation (AMOC)”

  1. 201
    Victor says:

    V: (see above) “I was not referring to official “scientific” databases, as should have been obvious. I was (sarcastically) wondering how an inanimate object such as “the Arctic” is able to determine whether temperatures have been rising over the past several years without maintaining a database in which yearly temps. are duly recorded. Obviously “the Arctic” is incapable of maintaining such a database, thus has no way of determining relative warmth from year to year.”

    Piotr: “If previous year temperature reduced moisture in the soil and vegetation making, it will make them more flammable in the_next_ year. If milder winter in the past lead to massive tree kills by the increased populations of pests, this will make the forests more much flammable in _next years_ – see the recent massive in boreal forests of Western Canada, _many years_ after the explosion of tree-killing pine beetle and fungus it spreads? If the climate warms faster than the local vegetation can adapt to it, then you have more dead trees which make the forests more flammable. etc. “this should be obvious. Why is that so difficult for you to understand?” , eh ? ;-)”

    V: Reductions in moisture, massive tree kills, adaptations of vegetation, etc. can have many causes. You are assuming the cause in all cases is rising temperatures, a logical error known as begging the question. While such conditions might well contribute to more intense forest fires and other extreme events, your assumption that rising temperatures over time are the cause (with the additional assumption that rising CO2 levels are the cause of rising temperatures) reveals your confirmation bias, which, as I see it, is the whole problem with the tendency among climate alarmists to blame everything on “global warming.” As I’ve stated before many times, if you want to argue for temperature rise per se as some sort of “existential threat” then you need to explain why the normally much higher temperatures in the lower latitudes haven’t already wreaked havoc many years ago.

    Moreover, if you insist on temperature rise as the primary problem, then consider the extreme temperature rise the planet experienced from ca. 1910 through the early 1940’s, closely comparable in extent to the steep rise seen during the last 20 years of the previous century. And if the temperature rise noted over the last 5 years alarms you, then consider the much steeper DROP in temperature that occurred during the 1940’s, a development that convinced many we were on the verge of another ice age.

  2. 202
    Susan Anderson says:

    Paradox of tolerance
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance

    The paradox of tolerance states that if a society is tolerant without limit, its ability to be tolerant is eventually seized or destroyed by the intolerant. Karl Popper described it as the seemingly paradoxical idea that “In order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance.” Popper expands upon this, writing, “I do not imply for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force…”

    [strictly speaking, I should have put this on unforced variations, but the endless proliferation of call and response by clever misinformation and well-informed replies that has extended this discussion beyond reason is best answered, in my very humble opinion, by a little cognitive dissonance. It’s hard not to be impatient with the distraction, tho’.]

  3. 203

    Victor, #210–

    …you need to explain why the normally much higher temperatures in the lower latitudes haven’t already wreaked havoc many years ago.

    Already explained at length. You didn’t listen.

    Let me try one key word and see if that does better:

    “adapted.”

    (As in, “Ecosystems, organisms, and societies are adapted to their specific habitats.” E.g., *Tropical* ~ are adapted to the Tropics. Arctic ~ are adapted to the Arctic. Now, which has a more rapid pace of change to which to re-adapt?)

  4. 204
    Piotr says:

    V: Reductions in moisture, massive tree kills, adaptations of vegetation, etc. can have many causes. You are assuming the cause in all cases is rising temperatures, a logical error known as begging the question.

    Huh??? I assume nothing of the kind of your: “ the cause in all cases is rising temperatures”. If you insist on classifying errors: that’s a logical error know as “being a Victor”.

    If you don’t get it – let me help you:
    – For MY argument, it is enough if SOME of these are caused, or contributed to, by rising temperature,
    – So to disprove my argument – YOU would have to prove that NONE of them are caused, or are contributed to, by the rising temperature. Good luck with that… ;-)

    Vic: “Moreover, if you insist on temperature rise as the primary problem, then consider”

    Huh ???? again. I insist on NO such thing – my argument does NOT require “temperature rise as the primary problem”. See the explanation of the “being a Victor” fallacy above.

    But wait a minute – since you’ve already brought “primary problems” – what happened tothe famous “principal point” of Victor@191???

    Why, being your “principal point” in @ 191, it … disappeared them moment (i.e. in @192) I have shown it to be another logical fallacy???

    If you forgot what was YOUR “ principal point” in the current thread, let me refresh your memory:

    ======
    Victor @191: “As for my principal [sic!] point: “the full range of typical temperatures across the globe is far greater than the miniscule rise in global averages over the last hundred years or so.”

    Piotr @192: “Principal, shmincipal – ecosystems have adapted to those differences over tens of thousands, or millions of years, not in DECADES! Your “principal point” is like saying that the orange crops in Florida cannot be possibly be damaged by a frost, because trees in Canada regularly survive much colder temperatures for much longer times. Apples and oranges, Vikki, or rather: spruce cones and oranges.
    ======= end of quote

    Do you always unceremoniously dump your “principal points” on which you based your contempt for others, the moment those others (Piotr@192, nigel@195, Kevin@196) have shown it to be your principal … ignorance?

    Piotr

  5. 205
    William B Jackson says:

    Once again why is Victors nonsense as per his #201 not boreholed?

  6. 206
    nigelj says:

    Think of it this way VICTOR. A spruce tree in the Canadian rockies is adapted to low temperatures but would not do well if transplanted into a hot desert. A cactus in the desert is adapted to high temperatures. Put it in a cold cloudy wet climate and it would be overwhelmed and die. So we just don’t see huge havoc in the lower latitudes caused by the hot temperatures. We see some lesser differences as I mentioned.

    Sigh.

  7. 207
    Jim Eager says:

    the full range of typical temperatures across the globe is far greater than the miniscule rise in global averages over the last hundred years or so.

    And yet we’ve seen a relentless increase in global mean temperature over the last 41 years. Moreover, the increase has been even larger over land masses than over the ocean, and far larger at the poles than at lower latitudes.

    And yet we’ve seen a greater than 75% reduction in minimum Artcic sea ice volume in just the last 41 years, never mind the last hundred.

    And yet we’ve seen every glacial ice field on the planet lose mass.

    And yet we’ve seen a relentless and accelerating rise in global sea level as a result of that loss in ice mass.

    Which should one take seriously, Victor’s personal incredulity, or our measurements of the real world?

  8. 208
    Victor says:

    Kevin McKinney says:

    Victor, #210–

    …you need to explain why the normally much higher temperatures in the lower latitudes haven’t already wreaked havoc many years ago.

    Already explained at length. You didn’t listen.

    Let me try one key word and see if that does better:

    “adapted.”

    (As in, “Ecosystems, organisms, and societies are adapted to their specific habitats.” E.g., *Tropical* ~ are adapted to the Tropics. Arctic ~ are adapted to the Arctic. Now, which has a more rapid pace of change to which to re-adapt?)

    V: Yes yes of course. My point, however, was that it’s difficult to understand how a temperature increase of only 1 or 2 degrees, over a period of more than 100 years, could make that much of a difference. Are you insisting that forest fires in Canada or the Arctic are due to these regions’ failure to adapt to such a miniscule temperature rise, over such a long period? And what of fires in these regions that occurred so many times in the past, when global temperatures were much lower? Are you arguing that droughts in the higher latitudes are due to failures of these regions to adapt to such tiny increments in temperature despite the fact that droughts have recurred so often over so many different regions of the planet at so many times in its history? And how do you explain species extinctions on this basis, when all that’s required for adaptation, according to your thinking, is migration to a higher, thus cooler, latitude? Plenty of time for that in over 100 years.

  9. 209
    Victor says:

    204
    Piotr says:

    V: Reductions in moisture, massive tree kills, adaptations of vegetation, etc. can have many causes. You are assuming the cause in all cases is rising temperatures, a logical error known as begging the question.

    P: Huh??? I assume nothing of the kind of your: “ the cause in all cases is rising temperatures”. If you insist on classifying errors: that’s a logical error know as “being a Victor”.

    If you don’t get it – let me help you:
    – For MY argument, it is enough if SOME of these are caused, or contributed to, by rising temperature,

    V: No, it’s not enough. In every case you are assuming rising temperatures as the cause, while there are any number of other factors that could be responsible. Reductions in moisture, massive tree kills, adaptations of vegetation, etc. have occurred many times in Earth’s history and for many different reasons. A rise in temperature is only one possibility.

    P: – So to disprove my argument – YOU would have to prove that NONE of them are caused, or are contributed to, by the rising temperature. Good luck with that… ;-)

    V: No I don’t have to prove any such thing. YOU are the one begging the question, you are the one posing the hypothesis, not I. The burden of proof is with you.

    P: If you forgot what was YOUR “ principal point” in the current thread, let me refresh your memory:

    ======
    Victor @191: “As for my principal [sic!] point: “the full range of typical temperatures across the globe is far greater than the miniscule rise in global averages over the last hundred years or so.”

    Piotr @192: “Principal, shmincipal – ecosystems have adapted to those differences over tens of thousands, or millions of years, not in DECADES! Your “principal point” is like saying that the orange crops in Florida cannot be possibly be damaged by a frost, because trees in Canada regularly survive much colder temperatures for much longer times. Apples and oranges, Vikki, or rather: spruce cones and oranges.

    V: Average temperatures in Florida are far higher than those in Canada, and if the world were now that much warmer after 100 plus years then you’d have a point. But 1 or 2 degrees difference can’t cut it, sorry. My principal point was based on a comparison of this “minuscule” rise with the far greater differences we find between places such as Florida and Canada.

  10. 210
    William B Jackson says:

    Number 206, nigelj you are asking Victor to think in terms that lead to acknowledging reality, sadly this is not in the cards!

  11. 211
    Victor says:

    Some excerpts from the CIA report, “A Study of Climatological Research as it Pertains to Intelligence Problems,” dated August 1974, posted to the public in 2016 due to a Freedom of Information Act request (https://www.governmentattic.org/18docs/CIAclimateResearchIntellProbs_1974.pdf):

    The western world’s leading climatologists have confirmed recent reports of a
    detrimental global climatic change. The stability of most nations is based upon a dependable source of food, but this stability will not be possible under the new climatic era. A forecast by the University of Wisconsin projects that the earth’s climate is returning to that of the neo-boreal era (1600-1850) [aka the “little ice age”]-an era of drought, famine, and political unrest in the western world. . .

    Populations and the cost per hectare for technological investment grew exponentially. The world quietly ignored the warning provided by the 1964 crop failure and raced to keep ahead of a growing world population through massive investments in energy, technology, and biology. During the remainder of the 1960s, the climate change remained hidden in those back washes of the world where death through starvation and disease were already a common occurrence. The six West African countries south of the Sahara, known as the Sahel, including Mauretania, Senegal, Mali, Upper Volta, Niger, and Chad,
    became the first victims of the climate change. The failure of the African monsoon
    beginning in 1968 has driven these countries to the edge of economic and political ruin. They are now effectively wards of the United Nations and depend upon the United States for a majority of their food supply.

    Later, in the 1970s one nation after another experienced the impact of the climatic
    change. The headlines from around the world told a story still not fully understood or one we don’t want to face, such as:

    Burma (March 1973)-little rice for export due to drought
    North Korea (March 1973 )-record high grain import reflected poor 1972
    harvest
    Costa Rica and Honduras (1973)-worst drought in 50 years
    United States (April 1973)-“flood of the century along the Great Lakes”
    Japan (1973)-cold spell seriously damaged crops
    Pakistan (March 1973)-Islam planned import of U.S. grain to off-set crop
    failure due to drought
    Pakistan (August 1973)-worst flood in 20 years affected 2.8 million acres
    North Vietnam (September 1973)-important crop damaged by heavy rains
    Manila (March 1974)-millions in Asia face critical rice shortage
    Ecuador (April 1974)-shortage of rice reaching crisis proportion; political
    repercussions could threaten its stability
    USSR (June 1974)-poor weather threatens to reduce grain yields in the USSR
    China (June 1974)-droughts and floods
    India (June 1974)-monsoons late
    United States (July 1974)-heavy rain and droughts cause record loss to potential bumper crop. . .

    What would a return to this climate [of the Little Ice Age] mean today? Based on the Wisconsin study, it would mean that India will have a major drought every four years and could only support three-fourths of her present population. The world reserve would have to supply 30 to 5O million metric tons of grain each year to prevent the deaths of 15O million Indians. China, with a major famine every five years, would require a supply of 5O million metric tons of grain. The Soviet Union would lose Kazakhstan for grain production thereby showing a yearly loss of 48 million metric tons of grain. Canada, a major exporter, would lose over 5O percent in production capability and 7S percent in exporting. Northern Europe would lose 2S to 30 percent of its present product capability while the Common Market countries would zero their exports. . . .

    To resolve these issues, the principal investigators representing the various research approaches convened in San Diego in April 1974 to discuss these three specific topics:

    The state of climatological forecasting; identification of elements of the methodology wherein there is some consensus, current trends in development, and
    new approaches.
    Prospects for developing near-term applications of climatology to Agency
    interests.
    Recommendations for high- and low-risk approaches for long-range climatological· models development.

    For two days they argued, discussed, and defended their approaches to climatic
    foreca5ting and the impact of climatic change. By the second day a consensus was reached on the following fundamental issues:

    A global climatic change is taking place.
    We will not soon return to the climate patterns of the recent past.

    CONCLUSIONS
    Leaders in climatology and economics are in agreement that a climatic change is
    taking place and that it has already caused major economic problems throughout the
    world. As it becomes more apparent to the nations around the world that the current
    trend is indeed a long term reality, new alignments will be made among nations to insure a secure supply of food resources. Assessing the impact of climatic change on major nations will, in the future, occupy a ma]or portion of the Intelligence Community’s assets.

    See also the following commentary, as published in The Spectator: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-cia-s-global-cooling-files

  12. 212
    Victor says:

    206
    nigelj says:

    Think of it this way VICTOR. A spruce tree in the Canadian rockies is adapted to low temperatures but would not do well if transplanted into a hot desert. A cactus in the desert is adapted to high temperatures. Put it in a cold cloudy wet climate and it would be overwhelmed and die. So we just don’t see huge havoc in the lower latitudes caused by the hot temperatures.

    V: Forgive me but I don’t recall any discussion of spruce trees or cactuses on this blog. At issue here are: forest fires, floods, heavy rains, droughts, heat waves, species extinction, etc.

  13. 213
    MA Rodger says:

    While not intending to feed the trumpish Troll @211, the silly CIA document the fool waves was in the public domain much earlier than 2016, up-loaded here for instance in 2011.
    But hey, two-thousand-eleven, two-thousand-sixteen, two-thousand-zip. All number are fake and it’s gonna be grate!!!

  14. 214
    Susan Anderson says:

    The endless proliferation of contrarian argument shading into outright misinformation should, in my not so humble opinion (though I should be humble, unlike said proliferators), be boreholed. Full stop.

  15. 215
    nigelj says:

    Victor @211

    Yes in the 1970’s temperatures were flat, and many scientists thought there might be a cool period coming. This is nothing new. Bear in mind understanding of the climate was not as good back then. But MOST studies in the 1970s did actually predict warming:

    https://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.htm

    Victor @212

    “V: Forgive me but I don’t recall any discussion of spruce trees or cactuses on this blog. At issue here are: forest fires, floods, heavy rains, droughts, heat waves, species extinction, etc.

    I’m discussing those things, to try to get you to understand. Your claim was why dont we see huge damage in hot regional climates as compared to cold regional climates? How many times do I have to point out vegetation in hot climates is adapted over millenia to those climates, and just doesn’t suffer the massive damage you seem to think it would. It suffers some lesser damage from heat stress in heat wave conditions and the like. Likewise hot climates don’t cause forest fires, they just mean more area typically gets burned, although not hugely. This is all irrespective of the climate change issue.

    Now we are warming the climate relatively fast. That same vegetation that is adapted to centuries of overall stability will in some cases find it hard to adapt to this new rapid rate of change, and may suffer more heat related damage than normal. Remember while plants do live with big changes in diurnal temperatures they are adapted to that, its how they work, and what climate change is doing is increasing temperatures all day and all night. This puts agriculture at risk. There are numerous studies on this you could google if you were genuinely interested. Warming will cause areas burned to increase in all regional climates.

    You need to do more thinking, and less writing of clever shallow sophistry. You are lazy.

  16. 216
    nigelj says:

    Victor @209

    Piotr: “– For MY argument, it is enough if SOME of these are caused, or contributed to, by rising temperature,”

    Victor: “V: No, it’s not enough. In every case you are assuming rising temperatures as the cause, while there are any number of other factors that could be responsible. Reductions in moisture, massive tree kills, adaptations of vegetation, etc. have occurred many times in Earth’s history and for many different reasons. A rise in temperature is only one possibility.”

    Nigel: Wrong. Piotr is not assuming that. He has JUST SAID that SOME of these are caused or CONTRIBUTED to by rising temperatures. Can you not read simple english?

    There are plenty of studies that differentiate how much is contributed by climate and how much by other factors. Dig them up and read them.

  17. 217
    Ray Ladbury says:

    It is kind of amazing watching Weaktor’s utter inability to consider two factors acting simultaneously in any phenomenon It raises the question:

    Weaktor–brain damaged or merely intentionally obtuse?

    Discuss

  18. 218
    Killian says:

    202 Susan Anderson:
    Paradox of tolerance
    The paradox of tolerance states that if a society is tolerant without limit, its ability to be tolerant is eventually seized or destroyed by the intolerant. Karl Popper described it as the seemingly paradoxical idea that “In order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance.” Popper expands upon this, writing, “I do not imply for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force…”

    [strictly speaking, I should have put this on unforced variations, but the endless proliferation of call and response by clever misinformation and well-informed replies that has extended this discussion beyond reason is best answered, in my very humble opinion, by a little cognitive dissonance. It’s hard not to be impatient with the distraction, tho’.]

    The issue here, of course, is that “modern” humans are basically stupid, having divorced themselves from Nature for thousands of years. Aborigine societies do not tolerate the Victors of the world – or, rather, their lies, disinformation, immorality and lack of ethics; they very clearly, yet gently, show their displeasure. Modernites conflate tolerance with permission to act badly/stupidly/against the good of the whole. Regenerative societies do not do this. The individual has absolute autonomy, but the community has very real, immediate, if gentle, responses to make clear that shit will not be done without being addressed.

    That autonomy is double-edged: You can do what you want, but it is assumed you are not a ****ing idiot and will work for the good of all since all is shared and disrupting that disrupts your own ability to survive.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/freedom-learn/201105/how-hunter-gatherers-maintained-their-egalitarian-ways?fbclid=IwAR10rdYa1NVRDdQ64Cb1M4t8G8wVvM30_XlZs7UCIJrHNwOB1KSqfmQVSxI

    We can continue this on the other forum, if intereseted.

  19. 219

    Victor, #208–

    My point, however, was that it’s difficult to understand how a temperature increase of only 1 or 2 degrees, over a period of more than 100 years, could make that much of a difference.

    The point at issue was not that particular argument from incredulity, but rather your oft-repeated idea that higher temperatures at the tropics mean more ‘extreme weather disasters’ there, implying a flow of climate refugees poleward. If you are dropping that argument, then good.

    Are you insisting that forest fires in Canada or the Arctic are due to these regions’ failure to adapt to such a miniscule temperature rise, over such a long period?

    “Miniscule” (or as I prefer to write it, “minuscule”) is a prejudicial term. Its literal meaning is “extremely small; tiny,” but this requires context to be meaningful. Since we’re talking about plants, I propose the context of USDA hardiness zones, which are defined in increments of 5 Fahrenheit degrees (~2.8 Celsius). We’ve previously seen that the zonal mean changes in the Arctic span ~1.5-3.5 C, which would mean a shift of two hardiness zones. Presumably the mean understates the changes for terrestrial areas, so they would be more affected still.

    Hardly minuscule, by any spelling.

    And what of fires in these regions that occurred so many times in the past, when global temperatures were much lower?

    “Much lower?” Whatever happened to the proposition that the temperature changes were “miniscule?”

    Are you arguing that droughts in the higher latitudes are due to failures of these regions to adapt to such tiny increments in temperature…

    Ah, wherever “miniscule” went to, it’s back again, by another name.

    …despite the fact that droughts have recurred so often over so many different regions of the planet at so many times in its history?

    No, I don’t think I was. Did I even use the term in this thread of the discussion? “Drought” has at least four or five distinct meanings, (e.g., “agricultural” ~ versus “meteorological” ~)–and I don’t want to open that can of worms now.

    What I did say was that Arctic wildfires–which anecdotally at least seem to be increasing–could very well be a consequence of the observed Arctic warming. There’s a well-understood mechanism, or rather suite of them, known to operate so in other contexts, so it’s a very simple extrapolation that those same factors should produce similar effects in the Arctic.

    And how do you explain species extinctions on this basis, when all that’s required for adaptation, according to your thinking, is migration to a higher, thus cooler, latitude? Plenty of time for that in over 100 years.

    Glad you asked that question. I’m no sort of expert on this, but I do know that a very pertinent question here is “plenty of time” for *whom*? That is, 100 years surely is a goodly amount of time for humans to bug out of an unpleasant environment, and doubly so for, say, a migratory bird species. But how about, say, dwarf spruce? Arctic lichens (which IIRC are symbiotic quasi-organisms?)

    Close enough, I guess:

    A lichen is a composite organism consisting of a fungus and an alga and/or cyanobacteria growing together in a symbiotic partnership.

    https://www.nps.gov/articles/aps-16-1-13.htm

    Then there’s the fact–ably discussed by Elizabeth Kolbert in her Pulitzer-winning “Sixth Extinction”–that organisms do not exist in glorious isolation, but in biological communities we term “ecosystems”. So, what good does the mobility of caribou do them if the low migratory mobility of lichen they feed on is a limiting factor?

    Ibid:

    Recently, patterns in Arctic lichen community composition have received attention in response to expanding shrub communities and increasing fire frequency and extent, both of which are linked to declines in lichen abundance. Because lichens are often a major component of forage consumed by caribou, such as by the Western Arctic Caribou Herd estimated at 234,000 individuals, and is one of the largest free-roaming herds in North America, the consequences of lichen habitat decline could be substantial for the ecosystem and the local subsistence communities (Joly et al. 2010).

    One final point regarding migration arises from the fact that it has constraints. Fundamentally, you eventually run out of “higher, hence cooler” latitudes; in the Arctic, 90N is it. And let’s not forget the shore of the Arctic Ocean; that’s another big one. But there may be many, many other, based on other constraining factors, such as soil type, elevation, micro-climate and more. Increasingly, human-caused habitat fragmentation is a big one. (Ms. Kolbert has a lot to say about that, too.)

    I’ve debunked the idea that 100 years is necessarily “plenty of time.” But I mustn’t close without addressing the idea that the meaningful period is 100 years. Consider the following:

    https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature

    One way to look at that graph is to observe that everything from inception in 1880 through 1997 was +/- 0.5 C of baseline. Most everything since has been 0.5-1.0 C. So the real period of heat stress, if we stipulate that such it was, would have begun ~1998. That’s just over 20 years, of course.

  20. 220
    nigelj says:

    Ray Ladbury @217

    “It is kind of amazing watching Weaktor’s utter inability to consider two factors acting simultaneously in any phenomenon, It raises the question: Weaktor–brain damaged or merely intentionally obtuse? Discuss.”

    Yes it is amazing. I think its both some poor scientific thinking skills and being deliberately obtuse. I’ve said this before. Victor reminds me of a school friend who was an A grade student in the humanities, and a C and D grade student in science and maths. I think some people are just like that by temperament, or perhaps they had bad maths and science teachers at a critical phase, or broken schooling which is not good for learning maths and science, but less of a problem for the humanities. I suspect Victors grades were better in the humanities than maths and science. His inability to understand correlation principles is obvious.

    I think hes also a bit intentionally obtuse. It doesn’t have to be either / or. The reason is that he’s expressed that he leans left politically, and hes expressed a a concern that climate change mitigation would be harsh on poor people (unfounded in my view) and I think this might lead him to be sceptical of the climate issue. I feel this is an understandable and noble concern that bothers me as well, but hes mistaken. This is the mirror image of climate scepticism that originates from fears about so called big government.

  21. 221
    Al Bundy says:

    RayL: Weaktor–brain damaged or merely intentionally obtuse?

    Discuss

    AB: Trumpian. He’s got, or had enough brains to be a productive and helpful assistant to a tertiary technician, but he found a way to be center stage: loud, proud, and selecting only the most colorful flecks of truth while disregarding or inverting the rest of the story.

    He keeps telling you. He isn’t a scientist. Which begs the question. What is he?

    A performance artist who draws in the crowd with “clueless” contrarianism.

  22. 222
    Victor says:

    213 MA Rodger says:

    While not intending to feed the trumpish Troll @211, the silly CIA document the fool waves was in the public domain much earlier than 2016, up-loaded here for instance in 2011.

    V: As usual, you’ve missed the point. (See below.)

    215 nigelj says:

    Victor @211

    Yes in the 1970’s temperatures were flat, and many scientists thought there might be a cool period coming. This is nothing new. Bear in mind understanding of the climate was not as good back then. But MOST studies in the 1970s did actually predict warming

    V: You too have missed the point, nigel. Yes, reports from the 70’s expressing concern over a possible coming ice age are nothing new. This one is very different, however, and unusually instructive. It’s not just some media hype, concocted by journalists looking for an alarming story, but a carefully researched, detailed report from an official government source, based on a scientific study and produced in collaboration with a group of noted climate scientists.

    I decided to reference it here when I realized that it provides the best possible response to all the resistance I’m getting from the true believers on this blog who insist we are now on the verge of some horrible disaster due to a rise in global temperatures of only 1 or 2 degrees celsius.

    What struck me most forcibly are the very strong parallels between the alarming predictions of a coming ice age due to global cooling and the dire dangers we’re now being warned of due to global warming. In both instances, “climate change” is touted as the source of the “inevitable” disaster. The parallels go well beyond the simple prediction of coming catastrophe, as so many of the examples offered are so strikingly similar to the extreme events now being so hysterically trumpeted to the four corners of the globe.

    It would seem, according to this report, that drought, famine, flooding, heavy rains, etc. are due to increased cooling rather than increased warming. What a surprise. One takes one’s “evidence” where one can find it, apparently. Note, moreover, the similarities of hyperbole from then to now: “record high”; “worst drought in 50 years”; “flood of the century”; “worst flood in 20 years”; “record loss.”

    And yes, the authors of this report were every bit as convinced of coming disaster as are the alarmists of today:

    “Leaders in climatology and economics are in agreement that a climatic change is
    taking place and that it has already caused major economic problems throughout the
    world. As it becomes more apparent to the nations around the world that the current trend is indeed a long term reality, new alignments will be made among nations to insure a secure supply of food resources.”

    Oh and by the way, the recognition of the “long term reality” is based on a “consensus,” that magic word that’s convinced so many nowadays, as in the past:

    “For two days they argued, discussed, and defended their approaches to climatic
    forecasting and the impact of climatic change. By the second day a consensus was reached on the following fundamental issues:

    A global climatic change is taking place.
    We will not soon return to the climate patterns of the recent past.”

    NB: The cooling trend they identified lasted roughly 40 years — more than enough time, it would seem, to justify, on the basis of the very best statistical analyses, the certainty that it would continue indefinitely as one disaster followed the next until the predicted “ice age” emerged.

    NB: The period in question was one in which CO2 emissions were rising to unprecedented levels.

    NB: It’s been roughly 40 years since global temperatures began to rise in 1979.

    The moral of the story — do I really need to supply one? Figure it out for yourselves, my dears.

  23. 223
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Oh Weaktor, Weaktor, Weaktor,
    You have an astounding ability to focus in on a nit and ignore everything around it. Yes, in the late ’60s and early ’70s, some climate scientists were concerned about cooling–and with good reason. The forcings that cause glacial-interglacial oscillations were moving toward the cooling phase. As it turned out, the cooling did not happen. Why, and more to the point what did the scientists concerned about cooling get wrong?

    The answer is that the particular scientists worried about cooling all underestimated the warming that would result from increased CO2. We know this unequivocally. So, like all the moron denialists who say, “But what about the cooling?,” you have just scored an own goal. Unlike most human institutions–and unlike you–scientific understanding progresses. We know more than we did back in the ’70s, and actually, most climate scientists knew enough even back then to not be too concerned with cooling.

    The fact that you are an ignorant moron does not mean that the people who study this for their day jobs are equally ignorant or unintelligent.

  24. 224
    nigelj says:

    AB @221 “(Victor is) A performance artist who draws in the crowd with “clueless” contrarianism.”

    Closer to the truth than you probably realise. Victor is a musician and an ethnomusicologist.

  25. 225
    nigelj says:

    Victor @222, I cant add anything to RL @223, other than to say I would not place Americas CIA, a spying agency with all sorts of dubious motives, in the same category as the IPCC ( a global body dedicated to the climate issue) as far as assessing climate risks and scientific opinion objectively.

  26. 226
    Victor says:

    re #223-225

    You still don’t get it folks. Because you don’t want to get it. And yes, it’s a form of denial.

    I didn’t cite that CIA report simply because it was yet another example of global cooling alarm, nor did I hold it up as a demonstration of scientific excellence. As should be obvious. I referenced it for one reason only: it holds up a mirror to the rampant climate change alarmism we now see all around us. What we see in that 1974 report comes so close to the hysteria of today that I initially assumed it must be a hoax, a deliberately contrived satire. Only it’s not. It’s a legitimate government document, fully authenticated.

    I also found it instructive to learn that so many climate scientists back then managed to attribute disasters such as drought, famine, flooding, and heavy rainfall to falling temperatures, in contrast to the climate scientists of today who attribute the same assortment of calamities to rising temperatures. The name of the game is: confirmation bias.

    And no I don’t expect you’ll ever get it. Easier to accuse me of being some sort of stubborn fool then see yourselves in that mirror.

  27. 227
    nigelj says:

    Victor @226,

    I totally understand the psycho – social parallels you draw between the ice age predictions and the current situation. But remember there have been false alarms and always will be, but we have to still look at each new case on its merits. False alarms in the past dont mean everything will be a false alarm. I would have thought that is obvious.

    For example it was thought one of those virus scares, either the bird flu or SARS could be a global killer, but it fizzled out. It wasn’t infectious enough to spread widely. Covid 19 has certainly spread widely. Yet the rhetoric around both events was similar.

    Its really you that don’t get it and probably never will. You don’t understand what people say in their replies, because you don’t want to hear it. This is really obvious to us. We hear you but you dont hear us.

  28. 228

    V: Easier to accuse me of being some sort of stubborn fool then see yourselves in that mirror.

    BPL: Maybe because you’re a stubborn fool?

  29. 229
    Dan says:

    re:226. Your complete failure to understand how science is conducted (as it has been for centuries) is on full display with that comment. Wow. You really continue to flaunt your ignorance of basic science and the scientific method. Somewhere along the line someone failed to teach you the basics of critical thinking. And how science is done. Your insecurity is obvious by your failure to try to learn and your inability to admit you are wrong.

  30. 230
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Weaktor,
    The problem I have with your entire approach here is that you elevate your own ignorant, blinkered opinion above that of the experts in the field. That is an unfortunate and all too common affliction in our current world of “alternative facts”.

    You understand nothing of climate science. You understand even less of statistical analysis. And yet, somehow you claim that it is you who understand the situation, rather than the thousands of climate scientist who have been studying and publishing on this subject for decades as their day job.

    I would pause here to let the irony seep in, but you are clearly irony impaired, so I’ll keep going.

    Expertise matters. Deep understanding of a subject matters. Without it you wind up drinking bleach rather than wearing a face mask and socially distancing. So, drop a note sometime soon to reality–you clearly haven’t checked in for a while.

  31. 231

    Victor, #226–

    Shorter version: “Group A was wrong about proposition X in 1970, therefore Group B is wrong about inverse X now.”

    The logical fail should be eminently obvious.

  32. 232
    MA Rodger says:

    I’m not sure why Victor the Troll continues (other than his innate pig-headed stubbornness) to grossly misrepresent the significance of this 1974 CIA document which itself so-badly misrepresents the climatological science available in the early 1970s. It is difficult to demonstrate directly how poor the CIA document as its major source, “The Wisconsin Study”, does not appear to feature in the provided bibliography. But what a quick scan of that bibliography does provide is the likes of Machta (1872) ‘Mauna Loa and global trends in Atmospheric air Quality’ which tells us:-

    “The prediction for the year 2000 A.D. calls for 380ppm [of CO2], an increase of about 60 from the present value of about 320ppm. … There are a number of uncertainties in this prediction. … However, in contrast to the last step we need for a climatic forecast, I feel this one is pretty good.
    “This last step is a conversion of an increased atmospheric composition of carbon dioxide into a climatic change. Manabe and Wetherald (1967) and others have shown that the upper atmosphere will cool and the lower atmosphere warm when atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration increases. If the concentration reaches about 380ppm as expected in 2000 A.D., the Manabe and Wetherald calculations suggest a “green-house” warming of about 0.5C in the lower atmosphere of the globe. We may debate the impact of such a warming on mankind’s well being, but I feel this is premature since there are so many uncertainties in the climatic forecast.”

    Perhaps the only message set out in the CIA document is that even back in the early 1970s the impact of small global temperature changes, either up or down, were seen as very damaging for humanity.

  33. 233
    jgnfld says:

    “I also found it instructive to learn that so many climate scientists back then managed to attribute disasters such as drought, famine, flooding, and heavy rainfall to falling temperatures”

    Of course you can point to this large literature created by “so many climate scientists” here. Right?

  34. 234
    Al Bundy says:

    Victor: It’s a legitimate government document, fully authenticated.

    AB: Why the ef would anyone care what some twit wrote in 1974? Are you saying that I am bound by what government twits said in 1974 but you aren’t? That’s garbage. I have just as much right to be better informed by half a century as you have refused to be.

    Get a life. In the meantime stop quoting morons from prehistoric times. And curb that dinosaur you’re riding. Cuz you sure leave big piles everywhere you go.

    Seriously, do you ever do any self-reflection? Sure, it’s got to be fun to toss wrenches at a society that, well, I don’t actually know why you have chosen to become so destructive.
    The question remains: is there an exit ramp from your, uh, “trip” besides death?

    Folks, what do you think? Arctic sea ice volume is down perhaps 80%, and things always accelerate, so it won’t be long before we have an almost blue ocean event….

    Do you think Victor will change his tune when that happens?

  35. 235

    AB 234: Do you think Victor will change his tune when that happens?

    BPL: No. He’s too invested in being “right.”

  36. 236

    #234, AB–

    …it won’t be long before we have an almost blue ocean event….

    Do you think Victor will change his tune when that happens?

    Probably not. But then again, Georgia did just vote for a Democratic presidential candidate.

  37. 237
    CCHolley says:

    AB @234

    Do you think Victor will change his tune when that happens?

    Nope. Not a chance. Victor is just an arrogant, egotistical, pig headed moron who suffers from illusory superiority. Much like the soon to be ex-president.

  38. 238
    Al Bundy says:

    Adding to what MARodger said, from Chrome:

    The annual global temperature from 2000 to 2009 was 0.61 °C (1.1 °F) higher than the average temperature for 1951 to 1980.

    Pretty darn good, eh?

    Yo, Vic! Do you know the moral of “The boy who cried wolf” (assuming one is not a hoaxster or a Chicken Little)?

    That Hoaxsters and Chicken Littles exist in no way affects the population of wolves. The only way to stay safe is to check out all the claims about wolves, not as individuals, but as the whole friggin village. “Is that a wolf, like Joe says?” Paul says, “Nope”. Mary says, “Maybe”…

    and the whole village discusses and studies and concludes that Joe was wrong. Whew!

    So, next time somebody screams, “Wolf!” the same technique is used, but with far more advanced techniques. And this time the whole friggin village says, “HOLY S**T!!! THAT’S THE BIGGEST WOLF IMAGINABLE!!”

    Victor! What should the villagers do? Ignore the wolf cuz Joe (who died years ago) raised an incorrect alarm half a century ago?

  39. 239
    Susan Anderson says:

    Thanks to Ray Ladbury. All the rest of this particular argument is hot air which is taking up space better used for something else. It is sad that we, at a critical juncture in human habitation of our vulnerable planet, are expending energy on arguments instead of getting to work:

    Expertise matters. Deep understanding of a subject matters.

  40. 240
    John Pollack says:

    For me, the CIA report was a blast from the past. Dr. J E Kutzbach referenced in the report was my thesis advisor. I am familiar with the thinking of the period. Despite Victor’s claims that the report represented the “consensus” of climate scientists in the 1970s, this was far from the case. IMHO most of the report reads like one of the lectures given by Reid Bryson during the period. He typically spoke with a degree of assurance well beyond what the science allowed, and was a strong advocate of the hypothesis that our present Milankovitch interglacial was nearing its end, with global cooling imminent. He wasn’t shy about trumpeting his views on to the press, either. All of this ought to be of concern merely to historians of science by now, instead of being a prime theory still used by denialists.

    With the benefit of hindsight, I list some fatal deficiencies in the report:

    1. Total lack of consideration of greenhouse gases – These are implicitly held constant by not considering changes in the “back radiation to the surface” term of the global energy budget.

    2. Major overconfidence in dating – a lot of relatively precise dates are included, such as a statement about the “ominous consistency in the rate at which (temperature) change takes place” p.24, and a statement that interglacial warm periods lasted “10,000 to 12,500 years” p.16
    The chart on p.17 should be compared to the later time/temperature plots emerging out of the Antarctic ice core research showing a much more irregular duration and intensity of warm periods.

    3. A near dismissal of numerical climate modeling – It was referred to as “the eastern establishment” in the report. “The limitation of this approach, although not yet apparent to the establishment, is rapidly being abandoned by the academic community.” p.26

    Overall, the report mostly represented the (then) scientifically plausible, but minority, opinion of the “Wisconsin group.”

    jgnfld@233 If you google on Reid Bryson, you will find plenty of material in the same vein as the report, some much later in vintage.

    I will note that the main human impacts of climate change: droughts, flooding, storms, and agricultural failures, will predominate no matter what direction the change occurs in. The areas affected may be different. The speed of the change certainly is a major factor in the degree of disruption. Modern concerns also expand to include sea level rise, species extinctions, and an expanding array of interactions with other processes that could produce additive effects.

    Personally, I absorbed some of the dismissive attitude of the “Wisconsin group” to numerical climate modeling. It took the publication of the first Antarctic ice cores to completely erase my skepticism – and recognize that carbon dioxide was certainly a major contributor to climate change. I congratulate the entire school of modelers in their sustained efforts to understand climate in all its aspects. You also pointed out the dangers of rising greenhouse gases by doing controlled numerical experiments long before we were ready to contemplate ending fossil fuel use. This is now a multi-generational research project that has borne fruit. I heartily appreciate and endorse your work!

  41. 241
    Victor says:

    From “The 1970s Global Cooling Consensus was not a Myth,” by Angus McFarlane
    (https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/11/19/the-1970s-global-cooling-consensus-was-not-a-myth/ ):

    CONCLUSION

    A review of the climate science literature of the 1965-1979 period is presented and it is shown that there was an overwhelming scientific consensus for climate cooling (typically, 65% for the whole period) . . . greatly outnumbering the warming papers by more than 5-to-1 during the 1968-1976 period, when there were 85% cooling papers compared with 15% warming.

    It is evident that the conclusion of the PCF-08 paper, The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus, is incorrect. The current review shows the opposite conclusion to be more accurate. Namely, the 1970s global cooling consensus was not a myth – the overwhelming scientific consensus was for climate cooling.

    It appears that the PCF-08 authors have committed the transgression of which they accuse others; namely, “selectively misreading the texts” of the climate science literature from 1965 to 1979. The PCF-08 authors appear to have done this by neglecting the large number of peer-reviewed papers that were pro-cooling.

    I find it very surprising that PCF-08 only uncovered 7 cooling papers and did not uncover the 86 cooling papers in major scientific journals, such as, Journal of American Meteorological Society, Nature, Science, Quaternary Research and similar scientific papers that they reviewed. For example, PCF-08 only found 1 paper in Quaternary Research, namely the warming paper by Mitchell (1976), however, this review found 19 additional papers in that journal, comprising 15 cooling, 3 neutral and 1 warming.

    I can only suggest that the authors of PCF-08 concentrated on finding warming papers instead of conducting the impartial “rigorous literature review” that they profess.

    [Response: Hmmm… who knew that if you change the question you ask and make classifications based on your biases, you’ll get a different answer! For instance, Morner (1972) suggests that a new ice age would happen in 18,800 years. Hardly ‘imminent’. How many other of these newly included papers are even relevant to the question raised in PCF08? Maybe others here could review… – gavin]

  42. 242
    MA Rodger says:

    It appears here we have our pet denialist troll reposting from that grossly unreliable rogue planetoid Wattsupia the work of a denialist-&-engineer (here complete with graphics) that dates from a year ago and purports to overturn the finding of Peterson et al (2008).

    Being a year old, it has been debunked already, here by yours truly (my Boxing Day last year required more than a little distraction), and shown to be the usual Wattsupian drivel.
    The slight-of-hand employed by the denialist-engineer was to recategorise the 71 papers considered by Peterson et al and add to this a list of 117 papers considered by a piece of denialist nonsense from 2016 plus a couple more found by the denialist-engineer himself, all this to reach the opposite conclusion of Peterson et al.

    Interestingly, despite the denialist-engineer insisting he only ever used peer-reviewed references, the non-pier-reviewed CIA paper dragged in here up-thread by our pet troll features not once but twice in this denialist-compiled list being presented in two forms.

  43. 243

    Gavin’s response to Victor’s 241

    You have got to be kidding!!! How many articles do we see constantly raving on about the sea level rise from the melting of the whole of Greenland, or Antarctica? Or just Thwaites (this site included)

    I think Victor draws a very valid comparison between the ’70s and now, and if you can’t see that then you are doomed to never get the full trust of the wider community

  44. 244
  45. 245
    John Pollack says:

    MAR@242 Thanks for linking your debunking of the Wattsupia re-posting (241).
    I find it interesting that you concluded that the CIA report primarily represented the views of Reid Bryson by Annex II (which I didn’t see) while I came to the same conclusion by being there in the 1970s and listening to his talks.

    I would state the mid 1970’s consensus something like this:
    The paradigm of thinking of modern climate as a static feature of geography (e.g. Koppen) has been broken. We now think of climate as a dynamic process that can be better understood through historical analysis, biological and geological proxies, direct satellite measurements, and numerical modeling. The early results in these areas are exciting, but inconclusive. Milankovich cycles appear to provide the timing for glacial/interglacial transitions. In the shorter term, it is far from clear whether solar fluctuations, greenhouse gases, aerosol – human generated or volcanic, or stochastic interactions predominate. Divergent opinions among climate scientists highlight the need for more investigation and better data and modeling.

    Note to Victor: I am reminded of a Groucho Marx question: “Who are you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?” I was THERE, dude! Don’t try to tell me it was “an overwhelming scientific consensus” for cooling, when a lot of us weren’t overwhelmed by the existing evidence at the time. You really ought to be more careful about the numbers that constitute an “overwhelming consensus.” It might turn out that by your chosen definition – “typically 65%”, the overwhelming consensus of the contributors to this blog is that you’re a troll.

  46. 246
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Oh, fuck! We’re done. Weaktor just cited poptech. Now we can look forward to months of even more clueless libertarian bullshit than we normally get from Weaktor.

  47. 247
    Victor says:

    John Pollack: “I was THERE, dude! Don’t try to tell me it was “an overwhelming scientific consensus” for cooling, when a lot of us weren’t overwhelmed by the existing evidence at the time. You really ought to be more careful about the numbers that constitute an “overwhelming consensus.” It might turn out that by your chosen definition – “typically 65%”, the overwhelming consensus of the contributors to this blog is that you’re a troll.”

    V: Please learn to read before letting your assumptions run away with you. I never claimed “an overwhelming scientific consensus” for cooling or anything else. All I did was post some excerpts from an article by Angus McFarlane. He’s the one who made the claim, not I. I have no idea whether or not there was ever a “scientific consensus” for cooling, nor do I care. All I’ve done is attempt to shake at least some reading here out of their dogmatic slumber by demonstrating the strong parallels between the cooling alarmism of that period and the strikingly similar warming alarmism of this.

    Clearly many climate scientists expressed alarm over the possibility that the global cooling trend so evident at the time was going to continue indefinitely — just as so many now express alarm that the warming trend we now see over the last 5 years or so will continue indefinitely. And if you doubt this, I invite you to consult the long list of references I linked us to in my previous post (#244). Do you really think all those journalists just decided to ring the alarm bells on their own? Clearly they got their information from scientific reports. More than one or two, obviously. And as McFarlane demonstrates the concern among climate scientists of that time was, if not necessarily a consensus, certainly more than a myth.

    As for my status as a “troll,” echoed endlessly by so many of the true believers posting here, my comments have invariably been on-topic, scientifically oriented and respectful. Typically the responses to my posts are the ones that exhibit trollish behavior, in the form of witless insults and ad hominems of the sort that have no place in scientific discussion.

  48. 248
    MA Rodger says:

    John Pollack @245,
    The unseen Annex II exposed.

    The spreadsheet linked from the denialist-engineer’s 2019 blather (introduced into-thread by the troll @241) lists out all th denialist-engineer’s 1960-70s climatology references. The CIA paper appearing on lines 74 & 76. The second of these (line 76) is the document presented up-thread by the troll @211. The first of these CIA documents (line 74) has a 6-page Annex II providing an account of the theorising of Bryson and described as “a layman’s review for laymen of one of the many theoretical descriptions of climate change that observers agree is ocurring. For a fuller explanation of this and other thesis, see the forthcoming paper from ORD, ‘A Study Of Climatological Research.’

    This forthcoming paper would presumably become the second listed (line 76) CIA document which says it bases itself on ‘The Wisconsin Study’ which I cannot find.

    The Annex II does not fit the bill for ‘The Wisconsin Study’ but the account given in section ‘IV Climate’ manages to run for a few paragraphs on that subject and suggests Icelandic temperature is a good indicator of NH climate change, a point also said to appear in ‘The Wisconsin Study’. Section ‘IV Climate’ follows up this Icelandic assumption by providing its very-own hockey stick graph of Iclandic temperature. The exceptional present-day situation illustrated by the hockey stick is then taken to be an aberration that must soon be ended by global cooling.

    Section ‘IV Climate’ also makes plain that controversy is involved in this climate theorising, appending the note “Discussion of the nature and impact of possible climate change is, of necessity, highly speculative and therefore controversial. Various experts will disagree with some or many of the implicit assumptions.”

    Annex II does agree with modern climatology that CO2 emissions are a warming influence but Annex II also considers there is a greater cooling influence from anthropogenic dust & more frequent volcanoes.

  49. 249
    nigelj says:

    Victor @244

    “No comment. The list of references speaks for itself.”

    No it doesn’t. Its a list of media hype and misinformation. When they say things like “scientists say” gullible people like Victor clearly think this means there’s a consensus or something. But when you read the detail, or check their claims, it is just a small number of “scientists saying” these things, not the majority.

    Read MAR’s post and specifically the skepticalscience references which I have posted below. The zombie claims that most scientists thought there was an imminent cooling period coming have been thoroughly debunked.

    And SS looked carefully at all the individual scientific papers. As usual the denialists conflate things. The issue is whether there would be a fairly imminent cooling and the fact is most predictive studies predicted warming. The denilaists quoted a whole lot of papers talking about the flat trend of temperatures after WW2 trying to make out these suggested that this would continue when the papers they quoted didnt suggest this. Denialists that do this are just paid liars.

    https://skepticalscience.com/print.php?n=4110

    https://skepticalscience.com/70s-cooling-myth-tricks-part-II.html

    It’s all so immaterial anyway. You always have to look at any new claim on its merits, not on what someone said about some issue in the past.

  50. 250
    nigelj says:

    Victor says “As for my status as a “troll,” echoed endlessly by so many of the true believers posting here, my comments have invariably been on-topic, scientifically oriented and respectful. ”

    No sorry, Victor is way off topic. The article is about the gulf stream slowing and Victor is talking about the general effects of warming and also alleged 1970s ice age predictions.

    And his idea of trolling is wrong. Internet trolls are people who make inflammatory claims and this fits Victor perfectly. Tone is another matter, although I do give him points for being polite. 9/10 for tone, 1/10 for understanding science. Understanding anything really.

    Victor is a bullshit generating machine who might go on forever. Its possible he has discovered a form of perpetual motion. God help us all.