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Unforced Variations: July 2012

Filed under: — group @ 3 July 2012

Have at it.

561 Responses to “Unforced Variations: July 2012”

  1. 1
    dbostrom says:

    Open thread closed? Oh, well– ice cores are related to sea level!

    Terrific article on Lonnie Thompson at the NYT.

  2. 2
    David B. Benson says:

    Fantastic sunsets recently. I suppose much of the aerosols are generated in the Puget Sound area; after all, Washington State’s population is now larger than that of the countries of Scotland and Norway (seperately); that is fairly recent.

    But I think a sizeable contribution is from east Asia. That used to be unnoticable in the previous century.

    Also, nights don’t cool down here in southeastern Washington state the way they used to in the 1970s.

  3. 3
    Tokodave says:

    dbostrom beat me to the Lonnie Thompson article but there’s this from Bill McKibben

  4. 4
    wili says:

    Joe Romm has some good posts over at CP in the last couple of days:

    “We’re all climate test dummies now”

    Could we devote some time here talking about recent weather events in the US and abroad? The recent dericho event in the East seemed rather extreme. Has that happened before? Have such events increased in frequency, intensity, size?

    (Cue hank to come and scold me in his charmingly school-marmish way for not searching google scholar before asking any question on this forum–but for some reason, I thought that this was a place to come and ask real questions about real events rather than just a place for troll feeding.)

  5. 5
    wili says:

    This article, notes that there are significant increases in wind storm related damage, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there are increases in the storms themselves.

    I call on hank, with his god-like web searching powers, to help me find even more relevant articles that address the question of how much have straight-line wind events increased in intensity, size and frequency in the last, say fifty years (and to spare poor me his withering ridicule at my obvious ineptitude).

  6. 6
    flxible says:

    For wili: the science

  7. 7
    JCH says:

    The following is an excerpt from an article Andy Lacis published at Climate, Etc. that has caused a lot of confusion, some of it willful. Does anybody know the source for the 60C at 40,000 ppmv? I’ve searched on Scholar and haven’t found anything.

    In short, we need to start getting used to understanding the fact that atmospheric CO2 is the principal control knob (the solar luminosity remaining fixed) that governs the global surface temperature of the Earth. The present atmospheric concentration of CO2 stands at about 400 ppmv. With zero atmospheric CO2, the climate of Earth will plunge to a snowball Earth state (global annual-mean surface temperature of – 30 °C) and kill off most everything that is alive. (Something similar to this happened about 650 million years ago).

    With the atmospheric CO2 concentration increasing to about 4% (40,000 ppmv), the global annual-mean surface temperature will rise to about 60 °C, a temperature extreme that will very likely kill off most everything that is alive. (This has not happened in the geological past. But it could happen in the future if all the CO2 that is locked up in the carbon reservoirs was released into the atmosphere).

  8. 8
    Hank Roberts says:

    Sorry, I do homework help, with a note from a teacher for special needs.
    Call on your library, ask for help at the reference desk.

  9. 9
    Patrick 027 says:

    Re 7 – I don’t have specifics but:

    60 deg C – 15 deg C = 45 K = 15*3 K,
    15 doublings of CO2 from ~300 ppmv ~= 32,000*300 ppmv = 9,600,000 ppmv (in this case, parts per million of the original atmospheric amount).

    40,000 ppmv / 300 ppmv ~= 133, just over 2^7, or 7 doublings; 7 * 3 K = 21 K, from 15 deg C this would go to 36 deg C. However…

    While any ice/snow albedo feedback would essentially disappear beyond some limit, (and then there’d presumably be negative surface albedo feedback from death of surface vegetation), there is another CO2 band that starts to become important beyond some CO2 amount, making CO2 changes stronger than the logarithmic approximation that works for the ranges that are ‘more Earthly (for most of geologic time?)’. (Even without that, although I’m not sure, I wouldn’t assume the same logarithmic relationship holds for so long, because changes in temperatures change the Planck functions for different effective emitting levels, and overlaps with clouds and water vapor could shift, etc (changes the forcing per doubling), and then water vapor, cloud, and lapse rate feedbacks could be different…)

  10. 10
    dbostrom says:

    wili: The recent dericho event in the East seemed rather extreme. Has that happened before?

    At Planet3.0 grypo pointed out this NOAA resource: About derechos

  11. 11
    wili says:

    Thanks, flxible. A very informative site, even if it didn’t (as far as I could see) directly address the question. I’m sure hank could find an even better one if he put is mind to it, but sadly, he seems to have abandoned me in my hour of need. [Puts back of hand to forehead, sighs heavily, and nearly swoons.]

  12. 12
    Unsettled Scientist says:

    This was brought up at the end of another thread just now, and I had never seen it. It’s awesome! No wonder 3 people provided the link. This is definitely something I’ll pass along, the presentation is awesome, and I love reading Science histories.

    The Discovery of Global Warming by Spencer Weart.

    Having just discovered this amazing site, I thought it deserved to be posted in the open thread where more eyes may see it. I’m enjoying the writing style, and the layout seems well thought out.

  13. 13

    2 Major events are occurring at the same time, 1- all time sea ice extent is literally melting in place;

    Arctic warm temperatures amaze as usual.

    2) El Nino is back at an odd time of the year,

    and I literally saw it coming, on my blog and website I reveal yet again the strong possibility that lower stratospheric CCN’s are visible, they are strongly related with world wide Cumulonimbus activity, of which they are more frequent during El-NInos, leaving an overall mysterious sky print only visible during twilights. Check it out after your local more or less clear sky sunset. I filmed these dark streaks above High in the sky Cirrus, right above and joined with Cirrus, forming them, these are clouds which should also be more numerous during El-Ninos , exacerbating the overall heat injection from the Pacific to dizzying levels.

  14. 14
    jyyh says:

    [sarcasm] still waiting for the extensive analyssis of the effect of the discovery of the Higgs’ particle to GHG thoery. [/sarcasm]

  15. 15
    Kevin C says:

    I have a question about solar irradience.
    I’m trying to understand the difference between the GISS forcings here and various other sources, including the CMIP5 recomended values. I’ve plotted a graph of various sources here.

    The PMOD satellite data shows a much deeper recent minima – I think this is the difference between PMOD and ACRIM?

    The Max-Plank and CMIP-5 data are similar in broad terms, especially in the sattelite era. I guess the differences are due to different models.

    The big discrepancy is between the early GISS data (black crosses) and the other sources. Obviously this has a significant impact on how much early 20thC warming is attributed to solar.

    Can anyone clarify what is going on or point me to a good source? (Alternatively if there is a better forum for dabblers in climate science to ask technical questions, that would be useful too. I’ve already mined the brains at SkS.)


    [Response:The GISS pages are relevant for what was used in CMIP3 and are based on Lean (2000) (+updates) whose calibration is a little obsolete (and the web pages should be updated to make this clear). The CMIP5 recommendations are based on Wang Lean and Sheeley (2005) which had less of a trend. The recommendations for the long term simulations were discussed in Schmidt et al, 2011;2012. – gavin]

  16. 16
    andrew adams says:

    I think the issue with Lacis’s comment is the question of whether CO2 could ever reach 40,000 ppmv rather than the amount of warming it would cause.

    Of course he wasn’t actually saying that CO2 would ever reach that level, only that it was a theoretical upper limit, but unsurprisingly he is being accused of fearmongering.

  17. 17
    MARodger says:

    Re – Partrick 027 @9
    Would sensitivty remain anything like constant for such large changes in CO2 levels? “Climate Sensitivity Estimated From Earth’s Climate History” Hansen & Sato 2012 has a graph (their fig 7, fig 1 in the link below) showing sensitivity is far from constant but rises sharpely with increasing (& decreasing) forcing.

    I’m also a little surprised by the zero CO2 figure in the quote @7 – “global annual-mean surface temperature of – 30 °C.” This would be 45 °C below present. I thought the entire presenr day GHG effect was only some 35 °C.

  18. 18

    All rite. Extreme event #1:

    Chief executive Rod Quin says the conditions that killed the cows were unlike anything local farmers had experienced before.
    He says it was a very isolated case of a weather bomb and it wasn’t rain or sleet, but frozen ice going sideways.

    “It happened so quickly that these animals, and the herd was on the move, it literally stopped them in their tracks and the ones that stopped couldn’t be encouraged to move again and the situation escalated from there. And a number of the stock remained where they were and subsequently died”.

    Hokitika Valley, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand.

  19. 19
    Radge Havers says:

    jyyh @ 14

    As if by magic:
    What Good is a Higgs Boson When the Planet is Burning?
    Probably not what you had in mind, but kind of a miss anyway.

  20. 20
    Chris Colose says:

    MARodger (#17)

    That’s only if you keep the albedo fixed. Remove the greenhouse effect, and you get a lot of ice…

  21. 21
    barry says:

    Skeptical Science are sending a letter of support to Prof Phil Jones (et al). You can add your signature there or at the email address they recommend.

    I’m guessing there’s only a day or two left before they send it.

  22. 22
    Unsettled Scientist says:

    barry, thanks for the link to the Phil Jones letter of support. Reading the death threats PDF was emotional, it reveals a great darkness in the hearts of humanity.

    The irony, I think, of some of the slander directed at Phil Jones is stuff that identifies him as a data obstructionist. My understanding is that Phil is known amongst his colleagues as a man who works hard to open up proprietary data sets, to make stuff like National Met data products available to scientific researchers around the world. The complete opposite of his portrait in the news media. If anyone has a nice like on this topic, I’d appreciate it. I think I first came across that reputation of his during the CRU email hacking event. Later this week maybe I’ll be able to find something about his work in that area.

  23. 23
    jyyh says:

    #19 Radge Havers Thanks for that.

  24. 24
    Guy Walton says:

    Hey everyone,

    Please play “The Climate Lottery” from my latest post at:

    The individual lottery numbers for the spring were very toasty. Here’s a hint….June should be, at least, in the top 20 picks. You can play via facebook when making picks making comments.


    Guy Walton (That Climate Guy)
    Lead Forecaster
    The Weather Channel

  25. 25
    Jack Roesler says:

    @David Benson, #2: You mentioned the nighttime temps going up in your state. How about this, for those temps in Ohio, between 1960, and 2007?

    I’m sure higher nighttime, rather than daytime temps were predicted many decades ago, due to global warming.

  26. 26
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Unsettled Scientist,
    Open data is something that makes sense, but is very difficult to implement in practice. I work in a field where data are always scarce, but rarely shared. I’ve worked probably harder than anyone else to open up the data. However, you always face suspicion at first. They wonder what you will do with the data. They wonder if you understand its limitations. They worry that even if you know what yo are doing, the data may be misused by someone else, and they could face repurcussions.

    So far, when I’ve been successful, it has been because I could persuade the holder of the data that I could combine their datasets and present a fuller picture of performance than they could obtain otherwise. And even then, I face a lot of skepticism from members of my community who trust “engineering judgment” over statistics.

    So, what I am saying is that I imagine Phil gets it from both sides–from colleagues who don’t trust the public with the data and from the public who will never believe in the data no matter how open the scientists are. I suspect he only gets death threats from one side though.

  27. 27
    wili says:

    We had derecho winds night before last here (Minneapolis)–many trees down, some on houses, and some power outages. I see that one is blowing across northern MN right now. I’m wondering if there are lots of these things going on around the country, but since they’re local, we’re not hearing about them.

    Has anyone else been having these (besides the big one we all hear about and that many are still recovering from)?

  28. 28
    Mark Ryan says:

    Hi folks, I have a quick question: can anyone please tell me who first coined the term ‘forcing’? My research into its usage and definition hasn’t revealed the origin of the term, but I suspect the answer may well be part of the personal experience of people associated with this site.

    Many thanks

  29. 29
    Richard Hambright says:

    I came across some temperature information I would like to bounce off the board. After 9\11 planes were grounded for a while. I have been told that the temperature went up 1 degree during this period because the aerosols from the planes were not being added to the atmosphere and the temperature went back down after the planes started flying again, due to the increased aerosols from the now flying planes.

    Is that true?

    And, if so does that mean that we have altered the climate by 2 degrees with 1 degree being suppressed due to the aerosols from planes?

    Does anyone have the facts on this?

  30. 30
    Patrick 027 says:

    Re MARoger – about zero CO2 cooling (which technically isn’t zero greenhouse effect, although the water vapor feedback would bring you closer to that (and I’m guessing cloud height reductions would help (less difference between cloud and surface temperature, perhaps less cloud cover in general, but I’m not sure), there’d still be some CH4 (setting aside biological feedbacks) and ozone (not sure how much, and oxygen levels might change long-term) – I’m not sure about cloud albedo feedback but see what Chris Colose said about surface albedo – that’s the really important thing.

    The graph from
    – makes sense to me, not that I’m qualified to judge, but at least some of the reasons for the shape are given in the text – see the section “Earth System Sensitivity” in particular.

    I may not be up-to-date on the latest Snowball/Slushball(a near-snowball) science, but the evolution toward a Snowball as I have understood it involves crossing a threshold of infinite climate sensitivity, beyond which climate sensitivity is actually negative (1/0 can be be approached going toward either positive or negative infinity – picture the slope of a line as it rotates past this point) – which means equilibrium climate is unstable in that range. Equilibrium can be attained when the ice reaches the equator only because there is no more ocean left to freeze at that point.

    This is because, given (a certain parameterization for) the way heat is transported from low to high latitudes, there is some temperature gradient (for a given climate, at a given latitude), so that a given cooling results in a given shift in the boundary between water and ice, having some globally-averaged albedo feedback proportional to the area change, the difference in albedo between water and ice, and the surface insolation at that latitude. The albedo feedback increases as the ice line goes toward lower latitudes from midlatitudes (see the first figure at – if you use equilibrium ice line latitude as a measure of global climate, then the slope of the graph of that quantity in this figure is the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS). While the ECS in terms of temperature would have a different slope (and a range of temperatures exist for which the ice line remains at 0 or 90 deg latitude), it would pass the 1/0 threshold at the same points. Because of the range of unstable equilibrium, cycling the forcing can produce hysteresis, where thawing initiates at a different forcing value than that which brought the ice line to the equator. The presence of continents adds some complexity – they reduce the area (in whatever latitudes they are found) where ocean can be replaced by ice. They may develop snow and glaciers/ice sheets – aside from mountains, this can take an extra-long time if near the equator as the global hydrologic cycle slows to a trickle in a snowball state (but how long does it take for the equatorial ocean to finally freeze and would the little area of cold but unfrozen water provide regionally-enhanced precipitation? – still, I’d think it wouldn’t be like the Gulf Stream/North Atlantic Drift providing moisture to eastern Canada and Europe – PS Earth system sensitivity might change with different arrangements of continents (and mountains), also the coriolis effect (which decreases over time as the spin of the Earth slow due to tidal interaction with the Moon).

    (Hysteresis may exist for glaciation-deglaciation of the more familiar Pleistocene kind – for example, a thick ice sheet’s surface elevation will make it colder than otherwise and so may remain in place for forcing that would otherwise not allow the formation of a new ice sheet — although the ice sheet could decay from loss at the edges, which could be at lower elevation due to isostatic adjustment (which also displays hysteresis) – at least if the ice sheet has recently retreated – and there’s probably other stuff to consider too.)

    Ecological successsion exhibits hysteresis. Evolution does too, and the evolution of land plants certainly has affected climate and could affect sensitivity (no vegetation feedback if no vegetation).

    At the hot end, there is no such obvious source of hysteresis that I know of (outside geologic processes; I’m assuming any remaining extremophiles are climatologically insignificant, but maybe that’s wrong) other than heat capacity (for climate change purposes I mean to include latent heat, and chemical heat if that ever matters, in the heat capacity); the water vapor feedback gets stronger and stronger approaching runaway, at which point there is a range of global temperatures that all support the same global OLR (outgoing longwave radiation) (setting aside some things not yet known well, like cloud behavior in this range? – Chris Colose could probably clarify that point), so if solar heating is even just a little above or a little below this value of OLR, a planet will continually heat up or cool down until it gets out of this range. The high end of the range occurs when the ocean has been entirely boiled – or at least reached the critical point?? – some things I don’t know there; therein lies an opportunity for hysteresis – net transfers of water between the surface and geologic reservoirs. Also there’s the matter of what happens to carbonate minerals.

    However, other GHGs have trouble providing the forcing that would put Earth into a runaway water vapor feedback state (I’m not sure if this is the correct way to explain that offhand, but it might be something like you’d have to dilute the concentration of water vapor to the point that you’re not near runaway in order for other GHGs to be sufficiently important(?)); it’s basically got to be stellar (solar) forcing or a matter of heating from impacts and other things related to the formation of planets – in which case, given a dim enough sun, cooling is inevitable (for example, see “Initiation of clement surface conditions on the earliest Earth” by Sleep et al. )

  31. 31
    owl905 says:

    And now for something completely different – Fox News says ‘climate change’ without going all Fox News at it …

    Okay, that’s actually an AP that Fox let in the unlocked coop, and when heat came to burn they got back to being the Fox News we all know and love:

    But still, a brief sliver of intelligence did interrupt their spelunking. That’s … progress.

  32. 32
    Geoff Beacon says:

    Climate models don’t yet account for increased forest fires.

    Am I wrong?

    Are there any guesses about the consequences?

    [Response:Not sure if your concerns are with aerosol production, carbon cycling issues or biophysical feedbacks from vegetation such as albedo change or evapotranspiration, or some combination thereof.–Jim]

  33. 33
    Hank Roberts says:

    For Richard Hambright: I used your question to search in Scholar:

    That contrail effect was suggested from studies of several events
    but is still being looked into, e.g.

    The effort to sort out how much of what was noticed was happenstance, natural variability, and how much was directly related to contrails, is typical of the effort involved in this sort of study.

    Repeat that search yourself, follow the “cited by” links and you will get an idea of how the idea has been looked into; repeat the search next year and there will be more.

  34. 34
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Richard Hambright,
    The situation is not clearcut–not surprising, since 9/11 was a one-off event. Researchers in a 2002 study (Travis et al., Nature, 2002) did see a significant increase in the diurnal range of temperatures. However, a 2008 (Hong et al. in GRL, 2008) study noted that the weather from 9/11-14 was exceptionally clear, and this could be sufficient to explain the difference.

    I would also note that many of those advocating contrails as an explanation of everything are frankly, wingnuts.

  35. 35
    Charlie H says:

    #29, Richard Hambright,

    I was thinking about that just the other day. If you use google on “global dimming” it will lead you right to an informative Wikipedia article and some other resources.

  36. 36
    DP says:

    I notice Northern hemisphere snow cover hit a record low in June. Will this effect temperatures.

  37. 37
    John Wilson says:

    I enjoy the inline responses, but don’t visit often enough to catch that many. Is there a way to see more than the five most recent?

  38. 38
    MARodger says:

    Patrick 027 @30
    Agreed re my second point @17 which was really questioning the zero CO2 cooling figure and so, by association, draw into question the 4% CO2 warming figure. Chris Colose @20 has put me right on that line of argument. Thank you Chris.

    Of course, this still leaves the unknown source for the 4% CO2 warming JCH @7 was enquiring about. I noted in your last link @30 the quote “The length of time Earth spent with surface temperatures in the 60°C to 110°C range of thermophilic organisms would have been short. To maintain such temperatures required that 5–25 bars CO2 (600–2,900 × 1018 mol) were in the air (27).
    Note the “60°C” for “5 bar CO2” figures.
    This is, of course, the early earth. However (27) is Kasting & Ackerman 1986 that most helpfully has in its Fig 1A a trace for temp v. CO2 for present solar luminosity. And (if you don’t mind the results of scaling a graph the size of a postage stamp) the dT for 0.0006 bar to 0.06 bar (ie 400ppmv to 40,000ppmv) is something like 45°C.
    So I would suggest Kasting & Ackerman provides evidence to back up the assertion “With the atmospheric CO2 concentration increasing to about 4% (40,000 ppmv), the global annual-mean surface temperature will rise to about 60 °C.

    A final thought to share. One take-away I got from reading these accounts of ancient climates is the seriously dominant role played by CO2 at almost every turn.

  39. 39
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by John Wilson — 5 Jul 2012 @ 9:06 AM:

    What I do is open a topic thread, hit Ctrl + F (for find), type in the “[Response:” (without the quotes) that begins each inline, and then scroll down with the Next arrow in the find pop up to skip to each inline. For Mac users there is probably a similar search function. Steve

  40. 40
  41. 41

    There is simply not enough of this kind of writing out there:

    “Extreme weather events forecast storm over climate change denial”

    Thank You Miss Goodman!

    Instead we have dumb dumbs at WUWT, climate Audit etc plugging politics , literally forcing right wing politics down climatologies throat by being trojan horses, so called experts made of hockey stick wood.
    I have always said that major weather events may sway, such as current US heat wave, but weather is fickle, it changes a lot, and so would a standard TV weatherman say, never really challenging thought, not inspiring people with the reasons fueling extreme weather. There has to be more exposure to contrarian garbage being wrong, that is something we can do here. So please post a contrarian dedication, a collage of all their predictions and misinterpretations, an edifice of statuesque grandeur showing their feet made of wet clay. Contrarian monsters belching lies roam the WWW streets, we yell out “shut up” towards the window of our computer apartments without really looking at them, it would be more effective if we would confront them by simply showing what fools they are by the failed predictions they have made and especially the erroneous science they advocate.

  42. 42
    SecularAnimist says:

    This reminds me of Peter Ward’s Under A Green Sky:

    Global Warming Favors Proliferation of Toxic Cyanobacteria
    July 3, 2012


    Cyanobacterial populations, primitive aquatic microorganisms, are frequently-encountered in water bodies especially in summer. Their numbers have increased in recent decades and scientists suspect that global warming may be behind the phenomenon, and are particularly concerned by the increase in toxic cyanobacteria, which affect human and animal health.

    Cyanobacteria are among the most primitive living beings, aged over 3,500 million years old. These aquatic microorganisms helped to oxygenate Earth’s atmosphere. At present their populations are increasing in size without stopping. It appears that global warming may be behind the rise in their numbers and may also lead to an increase in the amount of toxins produced by some of these populations.

  43. 43
    SecularAnimist says:

    wayne davidson wrote:

    There is simply not enough of this kind of writing out there:
    “Extreme weather events forecast storm over climate change denial”

    In light of the media controversy over the “weather of mass destruction” occurring not only in the USA but all over the world in 2012 (and 2011, and 2010 …), here’s another good article on the subject published in Science Daily — SIX YEARS AGO:

    Meteorologists See Future of Increasingly Extreme Weather Events
    Science Daily
    February 1, 2006


    While raising average global temperatures, climate change could also bring more snow, harder rain, or heat waves, meteorologists say. Computer models based on climate data from nine countries indicate every place on the planet will be hit with extreme weather events, including coastal storms and floods.

    Is it any wonder that the screeching of the deniers that there is NO LINK between global warming and the onslaught of dangerous and destructive weather events grows more hysterical every day?

  44. 44
  45. 45
    SecularAnimist says:

    James Hansen, October 2010 (PDF) (emphasis added):

    “Given the association of extreme weather and climate events with rising global temperature, the expectation of new record high temperatures in 2012 also suggests that the frequency and magnitude of extreme events could reach a high level in 2012. Extreme events include not only high temperatures, but also indirect effects of a warming atmosphere including the impact of higher temperature on extreme rainfall and droughts. The greater water vapor content of a warmer atmosphere allows larger rainfall anomalies and provides the fuel for stronger storms driven by latent heat.”

  46. 46
    Susan Anderson says:

    Wayne Davidson,

    Excuse my amateurism, it’s chronic. Earth Observatory provided some materials in pyrocumulus clouds and there’s been a fair amount of material about fires in Siberia and elsewhere and how their smoke has been traveling. While I’m sure you are extremely better informed than I, it might be worth factoring in the worldwide smoke we’ve had lately:

    While to my eye some of this material is a bit strong (though nowhere near as strong as the polar opposite, the massive fake skeptic deceptions) the graphics don’t lie.

    Please feel free to ignore if this is irrelevant.

  47. 47
    Anna Haynes says:

    Riffing off Geoff Beacon’s “Climate models don’t yet account for increased forest fires” reference/Q (link) above, I have a Q –

    Michael Tobis has said that the climate models “have a stodginess” about them, that they don’t show the variety of extremes that we’ve been seeing, because (I think he said) their parameters & tuning come from our (relatively-stable) past (and don’t include stuff that we don’t know how to model?) Is this discussed or quantified anywhere?

    It’s become fundamental to my view of the climate issue, so it’d help to know what its empirical & consensus basis is.

  48. 48
    Anna Haynes says:

    Riffing off Geoff Beacon’s “Climate models don’t yet account for increased forest fires” reference/Q (link) above, I have a Q –

    Michael Tobis has said that the climate models “have a stodginess” about them, that they don’t show the variety of extremes that we’ve been seeing, because (I think he said) their parameters & tuning come from our (relatively-stable) past (and don’t include stuff that we don’t know how to model?) Is this discussed or quantified anywhere?

    It’s become fundamental to my view of the climate issue, so I want to know what its empirical & consensus basis is.

  49. 49
    Rattus Norvegicus says:

    Hank, I prefer the Dorothy Parker version, myself.

  50. 50
    Hank Roberts says:

    > zero CO2 … “global annual-mean surface temperature of – 30 °C.”

    Without CO2, temperature starts to go down, and water starts to freeze and fall out. The drier the atmosphere gets, the easier heat is lost to space and the colder it gets.,5