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Unforced Variations: July 2020

Filed under: — group @ 1 July 2020

This month’s open thread for climate science topics.

74 Responses to “Unforced Variations: July 2020”

  1. 1
    David B. Benson says:

    Two asked on the previous thread about apocalypse never:

  2. 2
    NSAlito says:

    Interested lay person here: Who’s doing work on meltwater and/or heat flows from rivers emptying into the arctic?

    Is there a magic terminological keyword to search for that sort of research?

  3. 3
    MA Rodger says:

    David B. Benson @92 UVJune,
    The paper that article is reporting is Kaufman et al (2020) ‘Holocene global mean surface temperature, a multi-method reconstruction approach’ which styles itself as “a more robust reconstruction of the evolution of Holocene GMST and associated uncertainties” relative to Marcott et al (2013).


    Norm Merton @91 UV June,
    The message from Michael Shellenberger you link to in which he formally apologises on behalf of environmentalist everywhere “for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem”: this unauthorised apology was so important that, rather than just apologise Michael Shellenberger decided to write a book about it first. (Fair do’s, he has presented his message before, but such messaging was short enough to plainly show his mistakes, as is the quote above – “over the last 30 years”? What exaggerating was there 30 years ago?)
    Shellenberger’s grand book is entitled ‘Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All’ and available for $26.99 at all good book stores. The blurb runs:-

    Climate change is real but it’s not the end of the world. It is not even our most serious environmental problem.

    Michael Shellenberger has been fighting for a greener planet for decades. He helped save the world’s last unprotected redwoods. He co-created the predecessor to today’s Green New Deal. And he led a successful effort by climate scientists and activists to keep nuclear plants operating, preventing a spike of emissions.

    But in 2019, as some claimed “billions of people are going to die,” contributing to rising anxiety, including among adolescents, Shellenberger decided that, as a lifelong environmental activist, leading energy expert, and father of a teenage daughter, he needed to speak out to separate science from fiction.

    Despite decades of news media attention, many remain ignorant of basic facts. Carbon emissions peaked and have been declining in most developed nations for over a decade. Deaths from extreme weather, even in poor nations, declined 80 percent over the last four decades. And the risk of Earth warming to very high temperatures is increasingly unlikely thanks to slowing population growth and abundant natural gas.

    Curiously, the people who are the most alarmist about the problems also tend to oppose the obvious solutions.

    What’s really behind the rise of apocalyptic environmentalism? There are powerful financial interests. There are desires for status and power. But most of all there is a desire among supposedly secular people for transcendence. This spiritual impulse can be natural and healthy. But in preaching fear without love, and guilt without redemption, the new religion is failing to satisfy our deepest psychological and existential needs.

    If that still leaves in your mind some vestage of promise that Shellenberger has a sound message to give, I was struck by a couple of sentences in that message (the one linked in June’s UV thread) that ran:-

    “Nations are reverting openly to self-interest and away from Malthusianism and neoliberalism, which [ie self-interest] is good for nuclear and bad for renewables.

    “The evidence is overwhelming that our high-energy civilization is better for people and nature than the low-energy civilization that climate alarmists would return us to.”

    Note the author’s confused understanding of the work of Thomas Malthus, his poor understanding of what a transition to a nuclear future would entail (although perhaps he’s talking ‘weapons’ not ‘power’), and his inability to grasp the idea of there being a future that is neither “high energy” nor “low energy” (although again, he may be talking ‘nuclear weapons’ not ‘nuclear power’).

  4. 4
    nigelj says:

    Bobloblah @93 on last months UV asked about thoughts on this article:

    The article seems incredibly simplistic and largely deluded to me, and contradictory, as follows:

    “Humans are not causing a “sixth mass extinction”

    Some people do exaggerate some aspects of the climate problem like claiming it would make the human race extinct, and this isnt helpful, but Shellenburger seems to have reacted gone to the other extreme and seems to largely dismiss the problem, despite it being a very serious problem.

    “Climate change is not making natural disasters worse:”

    Misleading.There is clear evidence climate change is making storms worse, for example hurricane harvey.

    “Fires have declined 25% around the world since 2003”

    Misleading. Yes the number of fires have declined, but areas burned have increased.

    “The amount of land we use for meat — humankind’s biggest use of land — has declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska”

    So what? Over what period?

    “The build-up of wood fuel and more houses near forests, not climate change, explain why there are more, and more dangerous, fires in Australia and California”

    Not correct. Climate change is also implicated in more fires to an extent, and definitely in larger areas being burned. The fires in S Australia were huge in historical terms.

    “Carbon emissions are declining in most rich nations and have been declining in Britain, Germany, and France since the mid-1970s ”

    Not nearly enough.

    “Netherlands became rich not poor while adapting to life below sea level ”

    Naieve. The netherlands became rich despite building sea walls, but only because they are hard working people and they would have been richer without having to devote energy to building sea walls.

    “We produce 25% more food than we need and food surpluses will continue to rise as the world gets hotter.”

    Yes we produce more food than we need but much is wasted and changing that is very difficult. Saying food surpluses will continue to rise as the world gets hotter is not what I’ve read on science websites. And at the very keast climate change would make it all harder.

    “Habitat loss and the direct killing of wild animals are bigger threats to species than climate change”

    Arguably true, but climate change comes a close second. And climate change causes habitat loss…and we can walk and chew gum at the same time.

    “Preventing future pandemics requires more not less “industrial” agriculture.”

    Debatable. You can stop pandemics by stopping things like wet markets. I dont think it relates directly to industrial agriculture. Although Im not against industrial agriculture per se, depends how its done.

    “Factories and modern farming are the keys to human liberation and environmental progress”

    Yes but it depends how its done and we can incorporate old techniques where they are shown to be environmentally preferable.

    “The most important thing for saving the environment is producing more food, particularly meat, on less land ”

    Just his opinion. It’s also hard to produce more food with more, droughts, higher temps, more pests, and storm damage….

    “The most important thing for reducing air pollution and carbon emissions is moving from wood to coal to petroleum to natural gas to uranium”

    Just his opinion. Renewables are another option to uranium. And you can do both. And why do we have to go from coal to natural gas to uranium? Wouldnt it be better to go straight from coal to uranium?

    “100% renewables would require increasing the land used for energy from today’s 0.5% to 50% ”

    So what? You are still talking about less than 0.2% of the earths land area.Seen numerous calculations on this.

    “We should want cities, farms, and power plants to have higher, not lower, power densities.”

    What we want and what are good for us longer term are not always the same things

    “Vegetarianism reduces one’s emissions by less than 4%”

    And has a range of other benefits as well….Although personally I think the answer is a low meat diet.

    “Greenpeace didn’t save the whales, switching from whale oil to petroleum and palm oil did”

    Strawman. Greenpeaces efforts helped.

    “Free-range” beef would require 20 times more land and produce 300% more emissions”

    But it would reduce the nitrates pollution problem of water ways, and can help sequester soil carbon and we could reduce our meat consumption. The fact is intensive dairy farming is a problem.

  5. 5
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Regarding a couple of the last posts from the previous UV thread:

    Why the hell would we care what Michael Shellenberger has to say? He has zero expertise in science. He presents zero evidence for any of his assertions. He’s a fricking cheerleader for his corporate sponsors. Nothing more.

  6. 6

    Well, just before last month’s forum closed, two deniers showed up to post links to Shellenberger’s hit piece on global warming. What is our reaction? They wanted to know.

    My reaction is: it’s a load of crap from beginning to end, and pretty much everything he says in it is wrong.

    Does that help?

  7. 7
    MA Rodger says:

    UAH has posted for June 2020 with a TLT anomaly of +0.43ºC, the second lowest anomaly for 2020-to-date (which recorded +0.56ºC, +0.76ºC, +0.48ºC, +0.38ºC & +0.54ºC through its first 5 months). June 2020 is the 3rd warmest June in the UAH TLT record, behind 1998 (+0.57ºC) & 2019 (+0.47ºC), and ahead of June 2016 (+0.45ºC), 2015, 2010 & 1991 (all +0.31ºC), 2002 (+0.30ºC), 2014 (+0.25ºC), 2017 (+0.22ºC), 2013 (+0.21ºC) & 2018 (+0.20ºC).
    May 2020 sits =39th in the UAH TLT all-month anomaly record.

    After six months, the ‘warmest start-of-year table’ in UAH TLT runs as follows (also showing the calender year averages & rankings). 2020 sits in an impressive 3rd place for a non-El Niño-boosted start-of-year:-
    …….. Jan-June Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +0.69ºC … … … +0.53ºC … … … 1st
    1998 .. +0.60ºC … … … +0.48ºC … … … 2nd
    2020 .. +0.53ºC
    2010 .. +0.44ºC … … … +0.33ºC … … … 5th
    2017 .. +0.39ºC … … … +0.40ºC … … … 4th
    2019 .. +0.37ºC … … … +0.44ºC … … … 3rd
    2002 .. +0.25ºC … … … +0.22ºC … … … 8th
    2018 .. +0.24ºC … … … +0.23ºC … … … 7th
    2007 .. +0.23ºC … … … +0.16ºC … … … 12th
    2005 .. +0.22ºC … … … +0.20ºC … … … 9th
    2003 .. +0.22ºC … … … +0.19ºC … … … 10th


    One feature of surface temperature anomalies last month was the exceptionally warm Siberia and that appears to continue having for a week or two been reported in the media. This exceptional warming is now making its mark on the the Arctic Sea Ice melt season.
    On July 1st, 2020 has managed to gain its second* record daily low for Arctic Sea Ice Extent according to JAXA numbers and this is solely down to melt in the Laptev Sea which is setting serious records for early melt, as the maps at NSIDC illustrate. (*2020 did earlier in the year manage a solitary day on the minimum JAXA SIE record. That was back on 28th March.)

    Over the year-to-date, 2020 sits 6th meltiest in the JAXA SIE record, behind the last five years (so translating into Wattsupian, that’s ‘the iciest since 2014’) averaging 0.27M sq km behind top-spot 2016. Looking solely at the year since the height of the freeze (so since the end of March) 2020 comes in third behind 2016 and 2019. (A plot of the JAXA SIE year-on-year anomalies is here (usually two clicks to ‘download your attachment’)

    Table of average SIE April-June
    2016 … 11.36M sq km
    2019 … 11.44M sq km
    2020 … 11.54M sq km
    2018 … 11.62M sq km
    2017 … 11.73M sq km
    2015 … 11.77M sq km
    2006 … 11.83M sq km
    2011 … 11.88M sq km

  8. 8
    Guest (O.) says:

    German TV reportage on a project in norway to pump CO2 under the north sea:

  9. 9
    Guest (O.) says:

    Prompt rewetting of drained peatlands reduces climate warming despite methane emissions

  10. 10
    Piotr says:

    Re: BPL(6)
    That Schullenberger guy – is a poor-man’s “skeptical environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg, with the same trick of claiming to be “environmentalist” to confer the instant credibility: if an “environmentalist” repeats the denier’s cliches then the cliches must be true, right?

    But a nice touch comapred to Lomborg – this guy apologizes for the supposed lies in the name of … the people whom he attacks (“On Behalf Of Environmentalists”).,14065

    “Michael Shellenberger, headlined as an environmentalist in the article, is, in fact, a self-advertised nuclear power lobbyist and an advocate for nuclear weapons proliferation. […] He may once have been an environmentalist, but the fact is he was exposed – not for the first time – for attacking climate science as long ago as 2010 by the Public Interest Research Centre which reported that along with a co-author he had restated: ‘…a plethora of half-truths, misrepresentations and outright fantasies that have lately become almost canonical in the public sphere”.[…]
    In 2016, he became the founder and president of an enterprise lobbying for the nuclear industry “Environmental Progress”.

    So I guess he read Voltaire and Orwell not as a warning, but as an instruction – his all is good with environment argument could have been done by prof. Pangloss, and he names his company following the “1984”‘s convention (where Ministry of Propaganda is named “Ministry of Truth”)


  11. 11

    Yes, as per comments above Shellenberger has no real credibility; his misleading claims are liberally sandwiched with outright falsehood to make a very nasty confection indeed.

    But I guess it sells books and earns speaker’s fees.

  12. 12
    nigelj says:

    Some more issues relating to The Netherlands system of dykes and barriers. Schellenburger said in his misguided rant “Netherlands became rich not poor while adapting to life below sea level ”. This is naive in yet more ways.

    Firstly as I mentioned, they would be richer without having to devote so much energy to building dykes and barriers. But in addition their programme of building dykes and barriers goes back seven centuries so the costs were spread out over time. The Netherlands may well have to deal with 1 metre of sea level rise this century, and the costs will really explode in their faces. And everyone elses faces.

    It also becomes very difficult to increase the size of their dykes to accommodate an ever changing situation. And there are also huge differences between dealing with the Netherlands flooding rivers and sea level rise in other countries. Some commentary below:

  13. 13
    Piotr says:

    Nigelj (4) illustrating the scientific integrity of a nuclear power lobbyist “apologizing” in the name of …. his opponents:

    Shellenberger. “Vegetarianism reduces one’s emissions by less than 4%”

    Well, according to the graph from Kim et al., reproduced in

    thes e”4%” looks close to “90%”.

    “90%, “4%”, what’s the difference, Mr. Shellenberger, right? I guess your Master (B. Lomborg: “Don’t let vegetarian environmentalists shame you for eating meat. Science is on your side.”) left you high and dry.


  14. 14
    Thomas P says:

    #10 Augustine is the original master of this kind of story. First writing about his sinful youth to make his conversion to Christianity seem more important.

    I’d also like to repat a question I asked a couple of months ago. Has there been any results from studying the effect of the reduced number of aircraft in the air this year? Seems like it would be useful to get better data for the effect of contrails. It’s gotten to the point where you look up in surprise when you see an aircraft overhead.

  15. 15
    Russell says:

    Shortly after arriving, the Dutch began to augment their $24 dollar investment in Manhattan by raising ground levels with landfill from the harbor and the island itself. The fortified dyke known as the Battery ,and Canal Street testify to their industry.

    Superstorm Sandy demonstrated that comforting as seawall may be, they can’t save generations of infrastructure constructed near or below sea level.

    More than a century ago,Tammany Hall, [ not the Knickerbockers], unwisely chose subway tunnels over elevated railways for lower Manhatten.Sea level rise notwithstanding, the island is also stuck with depressed arteries like the East Side & FDR Drives prone to float cars in a thunderstorm, let alone a hurricane.

  16. 16
    b fagan says:

    #2 – NSAlito
    I don’t recall reading anything about the topic before, but a quick search on “arctic warming from increased river flows” turned up some stuff in popular science press and journals, and also suggests searching on “climate arctic river discharge” might get you more.

    Here’s a link to a 2002 press release from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Woods Hole –

    “New Study Reveals Increased River Discharge to Arctic Ocean
    11 Dec. 2002

    New Study Reveals Increased River Discharge to Arctic Ocean

    Finding Could Mean Big Changes to Global Climate

    WOODS HOLE, MA, USA and POTSDAM, GERMANY-An international team of hydrologists and oceanographers report in this week’s issue of Science magazine that the flow of freshwater from Arctic rivers into the Arctic Ocean has increased significantly over recent decades. If the trend continues, some scientists predict that this could impact the global climate, perhaps leading to the cooling of Northern Europe.

    Bruce J. Peterson of the Marine Biological Laboratory’s Ecosystems Center led the research team of scientists from the United States, Russia, and Germany. They analyzed discharge data from the six largest Eurasian rivers that drain into the Arctic Ocean. These rivers, all located in Russia, account for more than 40% of total riverine freshwater inputs to the Arctic Ocean.”

  17. 17

    With everything else going on, from Covid to the so-called ‘leader of the free world’ essentially descending into full-on fascist mode, it may be a pleasant diversion to contemplate the Arctic sea ice.

    Or not:

    Lots of melt season left, and the Arctic is nothing if not unpredictable, but at this point, and since the beginning of July, the sea ice extent (per JAXA, or whatever they’re calling it now) is running record low–as of writing, a significant 170k km2 below the 2016 trajectory. (2016 ended up 3rd-lowest at minimum, as it turned out, and 2012 still retains the record-low title.)

    I can’t help but wonder whether clearer air this Covid year is contributing to what we’re seeing. I expect someone out there is working on that notion. If true, it’s possible we’ll see another low minimum this year. (Well, it would have been *possible* anyway, but you know what I mean–perhaps the probability has been augmented.)

  18. 18
    Paul D. says:

    I couldn’t find the answers to these questions anywhere:

    What would be the negative forcing if the atmospheric methane concentration were set to 0?

    What would be the negative forcing if the atmospheric nitrous oxide concentration were set to 0?

    [Response: Using the standard IPCC formula (which might not be quite right extrapolating down to zero concentration – probably biased a little low), you get -1.4 W/m2 for zeroing out CH4, and -2.0 W/m2 for N2O. But there would be additional effects from atmospheric chemical feedbacks. – gavin]

  19. 19
    MA Rodger says:

    RSS has posted for June 2020 with a TLT anomaly of +0.762ºC, almost the lowest anomaly for 2020-to-date (which recorded +0.89ºC, +1.02ºC, +0.84ºC, +0.757ºC & +0.81ºC through its first 5 months). June 2020 is the 2nd warmest June in the RSS TLT record (3rd in UAH) , behind 2019 (+0.82ºC), and ahead of June 2016 (+0.67ºC), 2010 (+0.64ºC), 1998 (+0.60ºC), 2015 (+0.59ºC), 2014 (+0.55ºC), 2017 (+0.52ºC) & 2018 (+0.48ºC).
    June 2020 sits 19th in the UAH TLT all-month anomaly record (=39th in UAH).

    After six months, the ‘warmest start-of-year table’ in RSS TLT runs as follows (also showing the calender year averages & rankings). 2020 sits in a strong 2nd place:-
    …….. Jan-June Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +0.94ºC … … … +0.80ºC … … … 1st
    2020 .. +0.85ºC
    2019 .. +0.72ºC … … … +0.74ºC … … … 2nd
    1998 .. +0.69ºC … … … +0.58ºC … … … 6th
    2010 .. +0.69ºC … … … +0.62ºC … … … 4th
    2017 .. +0.63ºC … … … +0.67ºC … … … 3rd
    2015 .. +0.53ºC … … … +0.60ºC … … … 5th
    2018 .. +0.51ºC … … … +0.53ºC … … … 7th
    2005 .. +0.48ºC … … … +0.47ºC … … … 9th
    2014 .. +0.47ºC … … … +0.48ºC … … … 8th
    2007 .. +0.47ºC … … … +0.42ºC … … … 11th
    A plot of RSS TLT monthly data shown year-on-year is here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’

  20. 20
  21. 21
    MA Rodger says:

    And giving an indication of the global surface temperature for June, the Copernicus ERA5 reanalysis has posted for June 2020 with an anomaly of +0.53ºC, the lowest monthly anomaly for 2020-to-date (which ranged +0.80ºC to +0.63ºC through its first 5 months). June 2020 is the 2nd warmest June in the ERA5 record, just behind June 2019 (+0.54ºC).

    …….. Jan-June Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +0.70ºC … … … +0.63ºC … … … 1st
    2020 .. +0.69ºC
    2017 .. +0.57ºC … … … +0.54ºC … … … 3rd
    2019 .. +0.56ºC … … … +0.59ºC … … … 2nd
    2018 .. +0.44ºC … … … +0.46ºC … … … 4th
    2010 .. +0.39ºC … … … +0.32ºC … … … 6th

    A plot of Copernicus ERA5 monthly data shown year-on-year is here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’

    The maps on the Copernicus site show the continuing warmth over Siberia has moved eastward and explains the record Arctic Sea Ice loss in the Laptev Sea.

  22. 22
    MA Rodger says:

    The link to the year-on-year graph that hopefully works this time.

  23. 23
  24. 24
  25. 25
    nigelj says:

    Barton Paul Levenson @20

    Ha! Almost exactly what I said above! I thought it didn’t pass the sniff test. In fact the bad odour was instant and overwhelming.

  26. 26
    nigelj says:

    New research: “Six hundred years of South American tree rings reveal an increase in severe hydroclimatic events since mid-20th century”

    “The SADA is an annually-resolved hydroclimate atlas in South America that spans the continent south of 12°S from 1400 to 2000 CE. Based on 286 tree ring records and instrumentally-based estimates of soil moisture, the SADA complements six drought atlases worldwide filling a geographical gap in the Southern Hemisphere. Independently validated with historical records, SADA shows that the frequency of widespread severe droughts and extreme pluvials since the 1960s is unprecedented.”

  27. 27
  28. 28
    nigelj says:

    Cedric Knight @15

    “Andrew S makes a good point that polderisation cannot be generalised to other areas or coastal cities.”

    Yes. Posted this previously:

  29. 29
    David B. Benson says:
    If there was a Real Climate thread about this study of climate model skill by Zeke Hausfather, I missed it. Certainly good to know about this success from the climate modeling community.

    [Response: Here. – gavin]

  30. 30
    Steve says:

    Apologies in advance if this is the wrong way to post. I’m wondering if anyone has read the Biden-Sanders task force recommendations that recently came out? Can be seen here:

    If so, does it offer anything particularly encouraging, or still fall short, in your opinion? Granted, none of this is binding and we don’t know what will actually be implemented if there is anything noteworthy in it.

    I’m reading through it now, but I’m not yet thoroughly familiar with the actual facts of what has to be done by when.

  31. 31
    Killian says:

    Re 30 Steve:

    Changes nothing systemically. Pointless. Will fail as it… changes nothing systemically, and even encourages increased consumption. I blame the idiocy of the SDG’s, particularly #8.

  32. 32
    Vendicar decarian says:

    Re: 13
    “Shellenberger. “Vegetarianism reduces one’s emissions by less than 4%””

    He is referring to your total energy reduction, not your reduction of the energy needed to produce your food only.

    His argument is much like saying that since taking a single step toward the toilet does not get you very far, there is no sense in doing it, and shitting your pants is be best way to deal with the issue of emptying a colon.

    These arguments appeal to fools of course, and it should now be readily apparent to everyone here that in America well over 50 percent of the public are spectacular fools.

    Hence the spectacular ignorance of the collective American state.

    What is your game plan now?

  33. 33
    Jim Shewan says:

    Does anyone have in helpful info regarding debunking of vid by Tony Heller “No excuse for data tampering”. I’ve seen TH say some crap in his vids but this one is tougher to refute with my limited knowledge.

    [Response: It’s the same old nonsense. He refuses to accept that stations move, equipment changes, or practices change. This was discussed with respect to the US records twenty years ago! Everything else is fluff. – gavin]

  34. 34
    zebra says:

    #30 Steve,

    Steve, FYI if you wish to continue the discussion you should do it on the “Forced Responses” thread, which covers solutions to the climate problem.

    But briefly, there is no magic answer. So, if our politics moves in the direction that allows anything suggested by that task force to get done… there’s hope that we will eventually reduce negative impacts, and things will be ‘less awful’ for future generations.

    If you do go over to Forced Responses, you may see lots of repetitive rhetoric about bits and pieces of the puzzle. But given how complicated geopolitics and economics are, we should expect that if things move in the right direction, it will be a somewhat unpredictable all-of-the-above process.

  35. 35
    Billy Pilgrim says:

    I agree with #32 Vendicar.

    When Shellenberger says, “Vegetarianism reduces one’s emissions by less than 4%”, he’s suggesting that because 4% is a small number, there’s no reason to be a vegetarian. This is a toxic mentality, akin to, ‘your single vote won’t change the outcome of an election, so why bother?’

  36. 36
    MA Rodger says:

    GISS hsa posted for June with a global anomaly of +0.93ºC, the =31st highest monthly anomaly on the GISS all-month record and the lowest anomaly of 2020-to-date (Jan to May anomalies running +1.17ºC, +1.25ºC, +1.19ºC, +1.14ºC & +1.02ºC).

    However, this is a June-thing as we do have a condition “scorchyissimo!!”.
    June 2020 is the equal-warmest June in the GISS record, equalling 2019 and ahead of June 2015 & 2016 (both +0.81ºC), 2018 (+0.79ºC), 1998 (+0.77ºC), June 2017 (+0.73ºC), 2013 (+0.70ºC) and 2014 & 2010 (both +0.68ºC).

    Halfway through the year, the ‘warmest start-of-year table’ in GISS runs as follows (also showing the calender year averages & rankings).
    …….. Jan-June Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +1.13ºC … … … +1.02ºC … … … 1st
    2020 .. +1.12ºC
    2017 .. +0.99ºC … … … +0.93ºC … … … 3rd
    2019 .. +0.98ºC … … … +0.99ºC … … … 2nd
    2015 .. +0.85ºC … … … +0.90ºC … … … 4th
    2018 .. +0.85ºC … … … +0.86ºC … … … 5th
    2010 .. +0.80ºC … … … +0.73ºC … … … 7th
    2007 .. +0.76ºC … … … +0.67ºC … … … 10th
    2014 .. +0.74ºC … … … +0.75ºC … … … 6th
    2002 .. +0.70ºC … … … +0.63ºC … … … 14th
    1998 .. +0.70ºC … … … +0.61ºC … … … 17th
    A year-on-year plot of GISTEMP monthly anomalies is here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’).

    For 2020 to gain warmest-calendar-year status, the final half of 2020 will have to average above +0.92ºC. On the basis that non-El Niño years usually maintain their first-half temperature through the second half of the year, a drop to below +0.92ºC does appear less rather than more likely. The La Niña conditions now being projected for the latter half of the year will take some months to impact global temperatures, perhaps preventing 2021 from also claiming a top-spot.

  37. 37
    MA Rodger says:

    The deniosphere is presuably lapping up the fake apology set out in the Shellenberger book ‘Apocalyps Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All ‘. (If you are still curious about this work of drivel or, as Michael Tobis suggests is required to read it, if you want to see what the world looks like for those who see it through a “uniform and zombie-like” lens, there is a preview of the first 20-odd pages of it here and it’s big print so not too much of an ordeal.)
    The deniosphere may also be now expectantly awaiting the witless words of denialist Bjorn Lomborg whose latest best-seller is poised to hit the bookshelves. Entitled ‘False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet’, according to the sales blurb it apparently “will convince you that everything you think about climate change is wrong.” Further, it “points the way toward making the world a vastly better, if slightly warmer, place for us all.” Whether all that is in any way true can already be adjudged as the NY Post have an op-ed by Lomborg based on an extract (presumably a choice extract of compelling content) from this new 233-page book of his.

  38. 38
    Mal Adapted says:

    Jim Shewan:

    Does anyone have in helpful info regarding debunking of vid by Tony Heller “No excuse for data tampering”. I’ve seen TH say some crap in his vids but this one is tougher to refute with my limited knowledge.

    Gavin’s in-line response, though authoritative, is a little terse. Jim, do you know about the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project? It was launched in 2010 by UCB physics professor Richard Muller. From the about page:

    Berkeley Earth was conceived by Richard and Elizabeth Muller in early 2010 when they found merit in some of the concerns of climate skeptics…From 2010-2012, Berkeley Earth systematically addressed the five major concerns that global warming skeptics had identified, and did so in a systematic and objective manner. The first four were potential biases from data selection, data adjustment, poor station quality, and the urban heat island effect. Our analysis showed that these issues did not unduly bias the record.

    The project was welcomed at its outset by climate pseudo-skeptics such as Anthony Watts, who then predictably dismissed its results. That’s a story for a separate comment. Bald-faced deniers like Heller notwithstanding, the BEST record is now a standard dataset underpinning the climate-science consensus.

  39. 39
    Brian Dodge says:

    Re riverine heat flow @2 –

    If you search on the authors and title in you should get more references for research published since this papwe

  40. 40
    MA Rodger says:

    There is some emphatic melting going on up in the Arctic at present.

    A couple of UV months back, I pointed to the 2020 year, after a rather icy freeze season, had claimed its first record low day in the JAXA Arctic Sea Ice Extent data (which is less smoothed than the NSIDC data).

    And a couple of weeks back @7 up-thread, I pointed to the 2020 year claiming its second such daily record.

    Since that time, 2020 has increased the number of ‘record days’ to 14 but in doing so it is now truly smashing these records. Plotted without the big annual melt/freeze cycle (see here – usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’), the JAXA data anomalies are running at levels not seen before so early in the year.
    In the spectacular 2012 melt season, the SIE anomaly managed to best these 2020 levels through the height of the melt beginning in the second week of August.
    2007, 2018 and 2019 achieved these 2020 levels in the immediate aftermath of the annual minimum (so a slow start to the re-freeze in October) and 2016 a little later in the freeze season through November.

    The 2020 melt season is showing crazy levels of melt at present. Whether this will result in a record minimum SIE in September, time will tell. It may be worth keeping an eye on for a bit.

    Year … Arctic SIE record low days
    (as of 14th July 2020)
    2010 … … … … … 4
    2011 … … … … … 6
    2012 … … … … … 68
    2015 … … … … … 8
    2016 … … … … … 125
    2017 … … … … … 25
    2018 … … … … … 57
    2019 … … … … … 59
    2020 … … … … … 14 (to date)

  41. 41

    #41, MAR–

    Yes, this melt season is taking off. Clearer skies, perhaps?

    Here’s the JAXA plot:

    Nearly half a million km2 ahead of the nearest previous year!

  42. 42

    Professional slimebag Jon Lomborg published a full-page op-ed in the New York Times today suggesting that we’re all “overreacting” to climate change.

  43. 43
    nigelj says:

    This research is ominous and hopefully wrong: “Tree planting in organic soils does not result in net carbon sequestration on decadal timescales”

  44. 44
    mike says:

    at MAR, you note the heat and the ice melt. What do you think of CO2 saturation numbers? Are they still looking good to you?



  45. 45
    mike says:

    at KM – we can hope that something like clearer skies is pumping up the melt, but I think it’s just warmed oceans and polar amplification. Exponential growth, right? Gradually, then suddenly.

    we can hope we don’t live long enough to see the second half of the chess board crank into effect.

  46. 46
    John Pollack says:

    Regarding arctic ice meltoff, a strong 2+ sigma warm ridge aloft has persisted on the Siberian side of the pole,0,2020071700&projection=classical_europe

    for over a week, now. Great pattern for lots of downwelling radiation, and maybe some mixing, as well.

  47. 47
    Billy Pilgrim says:

    The annual high temperature, as a global average, will occur sometime this month – but nobody pays any attention. The focus is exclusively on anomalies. How come the interest in Arctic sea ice extent is so much different? The absolute low extent is the headliner..

  48. 48
    sidd says:

    This is interesting: from Hansen’s latest missive

    ” This year, we have obtained strong confirming evidence of the principal conclusions of our paper [doi:10.5194/acp-16-3761-2016 ] Because I am within months of finishing Sophie’s Planet, I will describe the results first in the book.”

    Anyone have a clue ?


  49. 49
    MA Rodger says:

    mike @44 & @45,
    I struggle to understand what you mean by “CO2 saturation numbers” or how it could relate to my recent comments. That you ask if this is “still looking good” smacks a bit of skyrocketry.

    The exceptional 2020 Arctic ice melt can be seen as a product of the exceptionally high Siberian temperatures. Skyrocket-think has a history of seeing warming at high latitudes as a harbinger of large CO2 emissions from melting permafrost. If by “still looking good” you mean still no sign of such a CO2 source playing a significant role in the global CO2 increase, then things are “still looking good” – AGW continues to be driven solely by our human emissions, so far.

    But do be aware that an amplified signal is not of itself the bringer of ‘exponential growth’.
    The OP you link to @45 is a poorly titled piece of work. Andrew Nikiforuk titles it ‘We’re Dumb about Exponential Growth. That’s Proving Lethal’ with the sub-title ‘And not just for COVID-19. The same ignorance accelerates the climate crisis’. While the piece demonstrates how bacteria, population and fuel-use can take off exponentially, there is zero substance within the OP demonstrating the same for “the climate crisis”.

    Mind, that is not to say such a demonstration could not be made.

    Nikiforuk writes of mankinds environmentally-damaging activities “Now we carelessly … plan to double that every 30 to 40 years. The global chessboard* is groaning.” [*An allusion to the Wheat & Chessboard anecdote with 2^64 grains of wheat weighing 1,200 Gt.]
    Under RCP8.5, CO2 emissions were projected as doubling every 35 years prior to 2040 (when, presumably, the coal miners would start struggling to find coal to mine) and that pretty-much translates into atmospheric CO2 increases under RCP8.5. Yet this would not translate into exponential increases in climate forcing and happily the projected RCP8.5 atmospheric CO2 increases (3ppm/yr by 2020) are not materialising. (The wibbly-wobbly global CO2 increase is presently decelerating from a recent peak of 2.8ppm/yr, as plotted here usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’.)
    While global temperature increases have remained remarkably linear since AGW took off in the 1970s (something that continues in the HadCRUT4 record – as graphed here – 2 clicks), GISTEMP which has global coverage does appear to show acceleration in recent years. (That acceleration demonstrated by 30-year OLS trends from the period since 1970 sitting in the range 0.165C/decade to 0.181ºC/decade, but only up to 2014. More recent periods yield greater rates of warming. 1988-2017 = 0.205ºC/decade, 7/1990-6/2020 = 0.228ºC/decade.)
    Additionally there is good argument that linear increases in the likes of global temperature, sea level rise etc will result in anadverse impact on humanity which is non-linear (although such logic-based argument isn’t at all well nailed down at the moment.)

    I thus see an exponential argument could be made but I don’t see it being made yet.

  50. 50
    Killian says:

    43: We show that planting two native tree species (Betula pubescens and Pinus sylvestris ), of widespread Eurasian distribution, onto heather (Calluna vulgaris ) moorland with podzolic and peaty podzolic soils in Scotland, did not lead to an increase in net ecosystem

    If you had bothered to learn any of what you’ve been told since you came to this site you’d know that research is *worthless*, because WHy. THE. #$%^. WOULD. ANYBODY. DO. THAT?