RealClimate logo


Unforced Variations: Apr 2021

Filed under: — group @ 1 April 2021

This month’s open thread for climate science discussions. Be nice, it’s Earth month.

361 Responses to “Unforced Variations: Apr 2021”

  1. 51
    prl says:

    Travis T Jones@45

    The first sentence and the rest of that “quote” from the Sydney Morning Herald (smh.com.au) are separated by four paragraphs in the article linked to.

    I suggest that anyone who’s interested in what Prof Steffen said (in 2013) should read the full article (it’s quite short). It’s actually making the point “changing climate influences weather events”, not “weather is the same as climate”.

  2. 52
    jgnfld says:

    @45 Re. weather records being set and climate.

    While I seriously doubt, given your tone, you are actually looking for a scientific education, I can help you here if you should happen to want to be…

    Weather on any one day is not climate, absolutely true. You got that.

    But then you get all turned around: The cited article doesn’t argue that the hot streak proves global warming. Rather, it says that the odds of seeing the observed streak are .002 if there were none of the well-proven global warming going on but quite expectable since it really is going on. This is perfectly valid. Calculating the odds of seeing, say, 0C–a pretty fractional value, I’m sure–in Sydney on a particular summer day or week or even season is a perfectly valid exercise.

    2 additional pts…

    1. You also need to be clear about definitions. Weather is what’s happening. Fine. Climate is what’s expected to happen and/or what the total possible range is. Noting that a particular daily/seasonal value has a particular probability is completely valid.

    2. Extreme value ***descriptive*** stats, used as here in your cite, are totally valid. As valid as any probabilty table in dice/poker/life insurance. Where extreme value stats fall down is power (inferential stats). That is why hot streaks/polar vortices say next to nothing about climate trends. I once saw 4 9’s lose to 4 10’s in a 4 person stud draw poker game. Means nothing. But if it were part of a longer term trend on that dealer’s part, now…

  3. 53
    Richard Caldwell says:

    CCHolley: My point was simply that businesses, including the oil industry (sans Koch), are no longer denying the climate crises and no longer promoting denialism. Instead they are now supporting climate action albeit action that is, in their opinion, in their best (profit) interest.

    RC: Quite the description. It doesn’t conflict with, “Businesses have decided that outright lying is less profitable than, say, greenwashing.”

    And you are correct. It’s just cynicism. Lots of folks are trying to nudge things in a better direction. But my guess is that the Arctic Ocean will go blue and the Amazon will shrivel rather soon. I see little to nothing proactive coming out of Capitalism. You?

  4. 54
    sam says:

    Re: 41 The scientific debate has been robust and going on for over 100 years. You should review the literature before making outrageous claims.

    It is the deniers who repeatedly lose bets and refuse an actual debate.

  5. 55

    NW 41: The most compelling evidence a layman can use to determine veracity here, is the complete unwillingness of one of the parties to engage in open debate.

    BPL: Debate in science is carried out in peer-reviewed science journals, not on stage. Climate scientists don’t debate deniers for the same reason biologists don’t debate creationists and archaeologists don’t debate Erich von Daniken or Zechariah Sitchin. Debating such people only gives them a platform they don’t deserve.

  6. 56
    zebra says:

    Terminology Question:,

    Is it

    Flock
    Herd
    Swarm
    Covey
    Pack
    Gaggle

    of Sock Puppets?

    Or has RealClimate really finally broken through in its pop-culture marketing effort?

  7. 57
    Killian says:

    41 Nathaniel Wixon says:
    4 Apr 2021 at 8:15 AM

    Very Skeptical to “Crisis”

    The most compelling evidence a layman can use to determine veracity here, is the complete unwillingness of one of the parties to engage in open debate.

    While the Skeptical community has been pleading for open debate for years.
    Something is rotten here.

    The Obvious is that the Climate Scare monger community is frightened of being exposed in an open forum.

    The rational human would ask “Are they hiding something?”

    Allow me to interpret:

    Denialists: Santa Claus is REAL! He REALLY magically comes down my chimney every year, and all the other chimneys in the world, too! All within 24 hours!

    Sane humans: Nope.

    Denialists: You won’t have an open debate on a nonsensical point, so you’re SCARED of us!

    Sane humans: Nope. You seek false equivalence for an insanely maladaptive opinion, that has zero scientific support, is based purely on an ideology, and is considered an existential threat to Nature and humanity. There is no reason to debate you other than you wanting The Big Lie effect to bring adherents to your unethical and immoral ideological stance.

    Denialists: Santa! Is! Real!

    Sane humans: Dude, your daddy ate the cookies, ok? Go to bed.

    Denialists: But presents!

    Sane humans: (Picking lint from between my toes would be more productive.)

  8. 58
    Mike says:

    Daily CO2

    Apr. 5, 2021 = 418.71 ppm

    Apr. 5, 2020 = 416.03 ppm

    CO2 levels back around the current baseline at 2.68 ppm yoy after a brief spike over 5 ppm.

    I think we will eventually find out why MLO is now recording the spikes more often now than it has in the past. I think it will be interesting and informative when we find out why MLO is seeing more of the noisy spikes.

    Cheers

    Mike

  9. 59
    Piotr says:

    Travis T. Jones (45) “Uh oh. Didn’t get the memo?

    First – “following the memos” is rather the MO of the deniers, climatologists prefer to follow the publications in Science or Nature. So the more interesting questions would be: what was the title of the memo – “ how to brilliantly respond to the alarmists saying that we confuse local weather with global climate”?)) and are you the memo writer or memo consumer, i.e.: did you find the 2003 newspaper article yourself or you were pointed there by another denier?

    Second – I hate to bring it to you, but nobody erased the difference between “weather” and “climate”: “weather” is still the state of atmosphere over the span of HOURS, DAYS, several WEEKS if we push it. “Climate” is, as previously, LONG-TERM AVERAGE of all the weathers over the scale of DECADES (typically over 30 years).

    Hence any genius who talks about weather events as “ever changing climate” does not understand the first thing about the climate. It’s like somebody claiming to disprove the difference between winter and spring, and for the proof offering that … one day at some location in February was warmer than on some day in May.

    Third – you understood nothing of you source (the 2013 article in some Australian newspaper) – it did not ERASE the difference between weather and and climate – but talks about ATTRIBUTION of PATTERNS of extreme weather events.

    You see, any _single_ local weather event – STILL does not disprove the climate change the way your fellow climate authority, ahead of the colder than usual weather in some part of the US, tried to do in his memo:

    In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming”
    the President of the United States of America, DJ Trump

    A single local WEATHER event does not disprove global CLIMATE change. And it applies to ANY single weather event the other deniers memos to climate change deniers CHERRY-PICK – “cherry pick” because for some reason they never seem to choose the heat waves for their statement about climate change.

    On the other hand, Global Warming (climatic) is, in addition to warming, expected to increase the amount of energy in the system, to alter circulation patterns, to warm ocean waters that would strengthen/sustain hurricanes, to increase evaporation thus altering patterns of precipitation etc. etc.
    Hence one CAN say about changes in the PATTERNS of weather as result of the climatic change. And there is no IPCC “memo” against it.

    So, how are you looking now with your “ Uh oh” ?

  10. 60

    #56–

    A drawerful of sock puppets, surely?

  11. 61

    z 47, It’s not cultural appropriation to use the language of the New Testament. Protestants and Roman Catholics celebrated Easter on April 4th this year because we use a different calendar than the Eastern Orthodox. The Eastern Orthodox do not get a monopoly on the use of the Koine language, which they do not speak nowadays any more than Americans do.

  12. 62

    z 56,

    I recommend “a drawer full of sock puppets.”

  13. 63
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Zebra@56,
    I believe the correct term for a gathering of sockpuppets is “a steaming pile.”

  14. 64
    CCHolley says:

    Richard Caldwell @53

    And you are correct. It’s just cynicism. Lots of folks are trying to nudge things in a better direction. But my guess is that the Arctic Ocean will go blue and the Amazon will shrivel rather soon. I see little to nothing proactive coming out of Capitalism. You?

    I was generally trying to make the point that denialism as a political tool to delay action on climate is on its way out due to shifts in public opinion and because the cost of renewables are going down. As such, denialism inherently becomes less effective in protecting the fossil fuel industry. Because of this, the Republican stance is moving to acceptance of the science, but nevertheless still promoting other reasons to hinder action (mostly due to fear of the power of the Koch political machine.) But, the professional deniers like the Bradley’s of the world are soon to become dinosaurs unless they can adapt to the shifting political landscape.

    As for the proactiveness of Capitalism.

    Capitalism tends to react to the relatively short term—at least publicly traded corporations do due to the pressure from stockholders for fast returns. Therefore, expecting Capitalism to be proactive to the mostly delayed effects of increases in CO2 levels would be an exercise in futility. Cynicism justified. But that doesn’t mean that the market power of Capitalism cannot be a driver of change. To accelerate that change, which is direly needed, a price on the externalized costs of CO2 emissions would be helpful in making emission reductions a shorter term economic driver. As I showed, this is a preferred action of the business community so why not embrace it? It should be politically expedient.

    However, even with support from industry, Republicans are still reluctant to support carbon pricing (Koch influence) and they make baseless excuses—like carbon pricing will hurt the economy and jobs (it won’t). Or why should we make sacrifices when we cannot trust China to act? (We’d not really be making sacrifices and the economies that move the fastest to cheaper renewables will win) and so on, and so on. Unfortunately, Republicans, or should I say the Koch far right, likes to promote the idea that Capitalism is all powerful and on its own can solve climate change. It can’t. Of course.

  15. 65
    Chuck says:

    Rob Bradley says:

    3 Apr 2021 at 5:09 PM
    Lots of criticism, some constructive. I have been a student of the science for several decades, beginning with a long consulting relationship with Gerald North of Texas A&M University back when I was at Enron.

    Lots here–I am not a ‘troll’ but just believe I have a superior case that the climate models are climate alarmists are exaggerating–and all of us can be more optimistic and don’t have to ruin our earth with wind turbines and solar panels.

    Chuck Says:

    So basically you have ZERO credibility on anything climate related.

    https://www.investopedia.com/updates/enron-scandal-summary/

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:

    1. Enron’s leadership fooled regulators with fake holdings and off-the-books accounting practices.

    2. Enron used special purpose vehicles (SPVs), or special purposes entities (SPEs), to hide its mountains of debt and toxic assets from investors and creditors.

    3. The price of Enron’s shares went from $90.75 at its peak to $0.26 at bankruptcy.
    
    4. The company paid its creditors more than $21.7 billion from 2004 to 2011.

    You’re a Chump at best and that’s giving you the benefit of the doubt.

  16. 66
    Thomas Fuller says:

    Killian and mike, those in the climate consensus have been advised, if not urged, to refrain from debating skeptics for nigh on 20 years, by such luminaries as Naomi Oreskes, et al. The stated reason for this was that it ‘gave a platform’ to skeptics (although that phrase is more recent than the advice).

    As a lukewarmer I tend to think the advice was in error. I noted at the time that the more free-wheeling conversation within the skeptic community allowed them to entertain and then quickly dismiss absurdities such as the Iron Sun kerfuffle, etc. However, I understand that opinions may differ.

    The strategy of consensus advocates (most of them not scientists) seemed to borrow heavily from that used by opponents of Big Tobacco. Which may have served them well in the early days of the climate conversation, when their opponents were large, conservative organizations that behaved much like Big Tobacco. IMO it became much less effective when the conversation expanded to include a much wider population without ties to established institutions such as Heartland, etc.

    At the end of the day I think an unwillingness to debate those on the other side of the fence just gives your opponent another stick to beat you with.

  17. 67
    zebra says:

    Thomas Fuller #66,

    The problem, and we see it even with people who are not Denialists here, is with the definition of the term “debate”.

    What most people on groups like this want to do is engage in rhetoric, which is very different from having a reasoned disagreement about some topic.

    “Debating” about what are considered scientific topics requires following a very strict set of rules, like agreeing on what the words mean, and accepting fundamental physics and quantitative principles, and avoiding obvious logical fallacies, and so on.

    What I’ve suggested is that such rules be clearly and formally stated, with the understanding that they are requirements for participation…just like all the terms and conditions we agree to when we use other services. That would debunk charges of bias.

    Unfortunately, it is much more fun for people to respond to comments, however idiotic they might be, because it is so easy to ‘win’. To my mind, that’s not the way to educate the hypothetical unbiased public readers about science.

  18. 68
    zebra says:

    BPL #61,

    https://www.oca.org/orthodoxy/paschal-greetings

    ” which they do not speak nowadays any more than Americans do.”

    Except, maybe, you know… actual Greeks? For whom it is not a pretentious display of scholarship, but just the language of their culture?

    And then there’s:

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

    Which I believe is specific to the religious tradition.

    I was mostly kidding with my original comment, but maybe you should give some thought to why you chose not to use your own language?

  19. 69
    nigelj says:

    It would be a bad mistake to ignore the climate denialists. If scientists don’t rebut denialists it would make scientists look like they have something to hide, or have a weak position or are supercilious. If people in general don’t say climate denialists nonsense is wrong, it may gain traction with the general public, who are eager to find any reason to dismiss the climate problem. However there are risks. If people do respond to the denialists it gives the denialists more visibility. Worse still the denialists are often lawyers who use rhetorical argument, and this can be quite effective. Scientists are often not skilled at that and shouldn’t stoop that low anyway. Its all an absolute conundrum.

    The solution perhaps requires out smarting the denialists techniques. Firstly the real scientific debate should stay in the literature. Televised debates with denialists would be a mistake because that is not how science is done and their sophistry would be too powerful and you don’t control the format. Mostly best to keep responses to denialists in the media strong, but polite, facts based, simple and short, because your real audience are sensible people in the middle of the bell curve. Its mostly best to avoid long lengthy exchanges that will just create doubts in peoples minds. However the right approach does depend on CONTEXT. And SOME denialists are obviously best ignored. There are no simplistic solutions to how to deal with denialists, and this seems beyond some people to grasp. This is my opinion as a non scientist, but I do have an interest in psychology and a degree in another area.

  20. 70
    Killian says:

    66 Thomas Fuller says:
    7 Apr 2021 at 10:54 AM

    Do people engaging in Crimes Against Nature and Crimes Against Humanity really have anything to say about those two crimes?

    Perhaps we should let all the murderers decide if murder is a bad thing, or what the sentences should be, eh?

  21. 71
  22. 72
    Piotr says:

    Re: Thomas Fuller(66)

    Could you point on RC a “skeptic” who is open to arguments, i.e. his/her first skepticism is toward themselves? And who after being proven wrong has the balls to admit honestly, without reservation, to being wrong? Without this – you are no “skeptic”, but a simple denier.

    And what is the point in trying to convince those whose climatological knowledge and self-reflection are at the level of DJ Trump?

    What is to be gained by explaining things to somebody who thinks that CO2 having a higher molecular weight falls to the ground, thus proving that
    here is intelligent design because all of the living organisms that utilize CO₂ exist on the surface of the Earth”? You could equally well try to convince a pig to write Hamlet.

    Should we engage QAnon too, since they are “a much wider population” than “the established [denier] institutions such as Heartland“?

    I tend to divide deniers into two groups – those who do it for the money (bots and paid trolls) and those who do it to gratify their ego – “look at me, I am so “fiercely independent” and how smart – Bill Gates and the global scientific conspiracy managed to brainwash many, but NOT ME – I was smarter than everybody, I didn’t allow to pull the wool over my eyes!“.

    Engaging EITHER of the two in any serious manner rarely is worth the time. In fact the mass appearance of trolls seems to be aimed at increasing the noise to make constructive discussion difficult or impossible. So my advise is to limit the engagement with the trolls:
    1. “Local weather – not the global climate” should take care of a good chunk of their posts….;-)
    2. for other standard denier claims you may give a link to one of the debunking sites

    3.If you encounter a new deniers claim or you are not sure yet that you dealing with a troll, you may answer seriously to the first post but by 2nd or 3rd you should already know whom are you dealing with.

    But the best use of the deniers posts is the general merriment. Like the said JDSwallow’s Intelligent Design of CO2, which to make it better, he then proved by referring to an article saying how … “carbon dioxide invaded the low lying valleys, killing more than 1500 people and 6000 head of cattle.”. Some seriously intelligent design!

    Or you can imagine the Annual Intelligent Design Symposium, and other Intelligent Designers pointing to J.Doug Swallow and asking our Intelligent Designer: “You designed …that ???” (Hilarity and Homeric laughter ensues.)

  23. 73
    nigelj says:

    Fyi: “Reflections and projections on a decade of climate science, Nature Climate Change volume 11, pages279–285(2021), Published: 01 April 2021”

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-021-01020-x

  24. 74
    mike says:

    “Levels of the two most important anthropogenic greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane, continued their unrelenting rise in 2020 despite the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic response, NOAA announced today…

    The atmospheric burden of CO2 is now comparable to where it was during the Mid-Pliocene Warm Period around 3.6 million years ago, when concentrations of carbon dioxide ranged from about 380 to 450 parts per million. During that time sea level was about 78 feet higher than today, the average temperature was 7 degrees Fahrenheit higher than in pre-industrial times, and studies indicate large forests occupied areas of the Arctic that are now tundra…

    Analysis of samples from 2020 also showed a significant jump in the atmospheric burden of methane, which is far less abundant but 28 times more potent than CO2 at trapping heat over a 100-year time frame. NOAA’s preliminary analysis showed the annual increase in atmospheric methane for 2020 was 14.7 parts per billion (ppb), which is the largest annual increase recorded since systematic measurements began in 1983.”

    https://research.noaa.gov/article/ArtMID/587/ArticleID/2742/Despite-pandemic-shutdowns-carbon-dioxide-and-methane-surged-in-2020

    My guess is that the methane increase is arising from wetlands and permafrost around the globe that are producing higher levels of methane due to a warmed planet. I think the initial readings on the isotopes of methane suggest the source is biologic rather than thermogenic.

    Cheers

    Mike

  25. 75
    MA Rodger says:

    mike @58,
    There is a joint Scripps/MetOffice statement on the CO2 increase above pre-industrial levels now topping 50%. And there is mention of “the first daily measurement above 420 ppm” at MLO with the explanation – “Daily measurements often fluctuate by a few ppm around the monthly average, due to winds bringing localised regions of air with higher or lower CO2 concentrations to the measurement sites.” No mention of the reason behind these fluctuations becoming bigger and more frequent with time; presumably too nerdy a consideration for press releases.

    Scripps MLO data has not given values for MLO CO2 on quite a number of recent days, including the 3rd April when “Baseline reading not available, data too variable 03-Apr-2021” which is why the record daily MLO value is attributed only to NOAA. The running 30-day average of annual increase in the Scripps daily MLO data is 2.34ppm/yr but with a La Niña in play we should expect to see this 30-day value dropping well below 2ppm/yr for a period. That drop may yet appear.

  26. 76
    MA Rodger says:

    The Copernicus ERA5 re-analysis has published for March showing a March global SAT anomaly of +0.19ºC, up on Feb (+0.06ºC) but below Jan (+0.24ºC).
    March 2012 sits 9th warmest March on record behind 2016(+0.63ºC), 2019(+0.51ºC), 2017(+0.50ºC), 2020(+0.49ºC), 2018(+0.27ºC), 2010(+0.27ºC), 2015(+0.21ºC) & 2002(+0.19ºC) and the coldest March since 10th-placed 2014(+0.09ºC).
    The first 3 months of 2021 average +0.15ºC giving 2021 the 9th warmest start to the year, again the coldest since 2014.
    A year-on-year plot of ERA monthly anomalies is here.

  27. 77
    Mal Adapted says:

    Thomas Fuller:

    At the end of the day I think an unwillingness to debate those on the other side of the fence just gives your opponent another stick to beat you with.

    Tom, despite your demonstrated penchant for beating recognized experts with rhetorical sticks, we know you’re a consensus advocate: a rational person who, though not himself a scientist, is persuaded by the preponderance of scientific evidence, just as the collective expertise of the international peer community of working climate specialists is. If I were a betting man, I’d bet you’ve read Weart’s The Discovery of Global Warming at least once, so you also know just how ridiculous the conspiracy theories of denialists are. How do you suggest we debate opponents like Tom Nelson #7, who asks with false innocense:

    Why should a rational person believe that we are currently experiencing a “climate crisis”?

    His self-titled website is a paradigmatic Gish Gallop of familiar science-denying memes, all long since exhaustively debunked on RC and elsewhere. Twitter has made it trivial for Mr. Nelson to propagate undead nonsense on a moment’s whim. Yet he apparently believes himself rational. Please, Tom, take a look at his website, then tell us how would you counter his arsenal of fake facts and fallacious logic? Would you simply direct him to the diverse sites listed in the right-hand menu on this page? Or would you tediously re-iterate each rebuttal one by one, knowing your opponent isn’t actually interested in verifiable facts or logic, but only in counting coup and galloping away (gotta love metaphor)?

  28. 78
    Russell Seitz says:

    Tom Fuller says” : At the end of the day I think an unwillingness to debate those on the other side of the fence just gives your opponent another stick to beat you with.

    A stick Tom ? Surely you mean a folding chair.

    Marc Morano’s performance at a climate hearing last year provoked House subcommittee chair Rep. Jared Huffman to say:

    “There’s a narrative around here that Republicans are coming around on science and climate.
    Look no further than the witnesses they continue to dredge out of the fever swamp for these subcommittee hearings,…
    week after week: instead of scientists, people from these junior varsity think tanks that they keep dredging up.
    Apparently, witnesses from QAnon and Infowars were unavailable, and so this is what we get.
    Mister Morano brought a provocative, almost like a World Wrestling type of ethos to his testimony…”

  29. 79
    Mike says:

    Apr. 8, 2021 = 421.36 ppm
    Apr. 8, 2020 = 416.96 ppm

    another spiky day at MLO at 4.40 ppm increase yoy, noisy daily number

    February CO2

    Feb. 2021 = 416.46 ppm
    Feb. 2020 = 414.02 ppm

    2.4 ppm is probably pretty close to the background rate of increase at this time in my opinion.

    co2.earth source

    Cheers

    Mike

  30. 80
    Aden says:

    People have been telling me that the increase in the speed of the earth’s rotation falsifies the increase in sea levels.

    What’s the way of putting these people in their place?

  31. 81
    TYSON MCGUFFIN says:

    Where did the idea of “back radiation” originate? I see mention of back radiation warming the surface of the earth but have not been able to trace its origin.
    We know that the atmosphere radiates according to S-B law which does not require a radiation balance; the atmosphere radiates by virtue of its temperature.

  32. 82
    Mike says:

    at Tom Fuller: I think it makes more sense for you to debate and attempt to reason with the denialists. You are familiar with the points that I might make and you seem to have the interest. Beat the denialists with any stick of your choosing.

    The question of debating with the denialists or the attacks on scientists being bad at communication generally seems like a climate ball ploy. You wouldn’t stoop to that, right?

    Cheers

    Mike

  33. 83
    Killian says:

    79 Mike says:
    9 Apr 2021 at 12:15 PM

    Apr. 8, 2021 = 421.36 ppm
    Apr. 8, 2020 = 416.96 ppm

    another spiky day at MLO at 4.40 ppm increase yoy, noisy daily number

    February CO2

    Feb. 2021 = 416.46 ppm
    Feb. 2020 = 414.02 ppm

    2.4 ppm is probably pretty close to the background rate of increase at this time in my opinion.

    co2.earth source

    Cheers

    Mike

    This is the time last year of the largest impact on CO2, so I think you can go back and draw a trend line from about February through to peak in May to get a better sense of what last year’s numbers might have been. Or just lop off a ppm or so as a rounding function. Or look at the avg. differences from maybe Sept to Feb and use that as a standard anomaly?

    I’m not a stats guy….

  34. 84
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Aden: “People have been telling me that the increase in the speed of the earth’s rotation falsifies the increase in sea levels.
    What’s the way of putting these people in their place?”

    Math. Estimate the increase in centripetal force required to hold the water in place due to the increased rotation and equate it to the increase in the weight of the column of water required to do so

    Or, alternatively, point out that increased rate of spin would increase sea level at the equator, but actually decrease it at the pole.

    Whoever makes this argument is not very smart.

  35. 85
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Debating science is like debating whether the Sun is shining. It is pointless, since the answer can and has been determined empirically. It is as pointless for climate change as it is for evolution.

    On a debate stage, the two participants are presented as equals. And when one side has all the science (i.e. the one with the scientists) and one side has only lies and bullshit (i.e. the denialists), all a debate does is devote more attention to idiots than they merit.

  36. 86

    A 80: People have been telling me that the increase in the speed of the earth’s rotation falsifies the increase in sea levels. . . . What’s the way of putting these people in their place?

    BPL: Do the math.

    Centrifugal acceleration is v^2 / r.

    v at Earth’s equator is the circumference divided by Earth’s sidereal rotation period, so 2 x pi x 6,378,000 = 40,074,156 meters / 86,164 seconds = 465.1 meters per second. r is the Earth’s equatorial radius, 6,378,000 meters. So a is 0.0339 meters per second squared.

    Gravity at the equator is 9.78 meters per second squared.

    Net acceleration is 9.78 – 9.03 or 9.75 m s^-2 downward.

    Now let’s take the derivative of the equatorial velocity with respect to time. v = c / r = c r^-1, so dc/dr is -c r^-2. c = 40,074,156. Let’s speed Earth up by one second per day, much more than has actually been observed. The change in equatorial velocity becomes 0.0054 meters per second. The change in centrifugal acceleration, then, is from 0.0033916 m s^-2 to 0.0033915 m s^-2. The equilibrium height of the ocean changes to…

    You can see where this is going.

  37. 87

    TM 81,

    Back-radiation just refers to the fact that, of the radiation produced by the atmosphere, on average half goes up and half goes down. The half that goes down is “back-radiation” by definition. Not a separate physical process, just an accounting measure.

  38. 88
    Thomas Fuller says:

    Thanks to all those who responded to my comment. mike, as I am a minor player in the climate conversation, I don’t expect you to be aware of my track record in confronting many on the skeptic side, such as Marc Morano and Viscount Monckton, etc.

    Russell Seitz, your response is an example of an unfortunate phenomenon–whether intentionally or not, your characterization of (I presume) all skeptics as equivalent to Qanon sympathizers is neither accurate nor designed to bring any close the possibility of agreement on a path forward. I am not a skeptic, but I hang out with many of them in all the wrong places, and I can assure you that this lumping all who oppose you into one unleavened mass and labeling this mass with the worst of those in it has caused nothing but trouble in the climate conversation.

    It was about 10 years ago that I proposed the creation of a wiki that would hold on it the major tenets of climate science and areas of presumed uncertainty, and that ‘high credibility’ science figures from both sides of the aisle be allowed to highlight portions they agree with. Sections highlighted by both could be assumed to be ‘settled science’ and would mark out those sections still open to debate. I still think it’s a good idea. I also think far more of such a wiki would turn out to be agreed on by both sides than many assume.

    But I proposed it at the same time as I proposed ‘The League of 2.5’ a failed attempt to secure agreement on an operating assumption of atmospheric sensitivity of 2.5C for the purposes of infrastructure planning. The proposal more or less failed for want of a second from either side, so I didn’t push the wiki idea.

    Perhaps now the time is a little more congenial to such an idea.

  39. 89
    Thomas Fuller says:

    And mike, further to the second point in your reply, as I wrote when I was a more active participant in the climate conversation, I have always directed most of my criticism to the consensus position, despite my broad agreement with it.

    The climate consensus holds all the levers of power. Some of that is literal–consensus advocates hold positions in government the world wide (and after the past four years we should be grateful that that is the case). It has far greater access to the media, broadly shapes the educational agenda, directs research funding, etc.

    As it should.

    However, the consensus arguments are far from perfect. Like all movements that achieve power, there is a need to hold feet to the fire.

    As skeptics have failed to organize, criticism of the skeptic position is limited to criticism of individuals or, with the exception of Heartland and a couple of others, criticism of mostly political organizations that adopted a skeptical position on climate change as another arrow in their conservative quiver without really thinking it through. I have done a lot of it, but it is distinctly unsatisfying.

  40. 90
    Piotr says:

    Aden (80) “ People have been telling me that the increase in the speed of the earth’s rotation falsifies the increase in sea levels. What’s the way of putting these people in their place?

    with slapping-your-knee (or rolling on the floor, depending on your temperament) laughter?

    And asking what other good jokes about House Republicans (comp. 78) they heard recently?

    My all-time favourite congress joke was Rep. John Shimkus (of course: R!), the “Ranking Member” of the Energy Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change.

    It’s plant food … So if we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere? … So all our good intentions could be for naught. In fact, we could be doing just the opposite of what the people who want to save the world are saying

    And wasn’t worried about climate change, quoting God on the no-new floods promise to Noah: in a one-two punch, first with Genesis 8:21-22:
    Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though all inclinations of his heart are evil from childhood and never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done.

    and then with Matthew 24:31:
    “And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds from one end of the heavens to the other.”

    following with his own: “The Earth will end only when God declares it’s time to be over. Man will not destroy this Earth. This Earth will not be destroyed by a Flood” “I do believe that God’s word is infallible, unchanging, perfect.”

    Eat that, Gavin!

    Later Rep. Shimkus sent a letter to his colleagues burnishing his credentials for the upcoming chairman position of House Energy and Commerce Committee by saying he is “uniquely qualified among a group of talented contenders to lead the Energy and Commerce Committee.
    https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2010/11/10/god_will_save_us_from_climate_change_us_representative.html

  41. 91
    Piotr says:

    TYSON MCGUFFIN (81): “ Where did the idea of “back radiation” originate?

    in a secret underground lab of Bill Gates, while drinking the blood from the children abducted in a pizza parlor from tall glasses with the lounge music playing in the background? Just a guess, based on the troll tells in your post (see the next paragraph)

    TM(81):”We know that the atmosphere radiates according to S-B law which does not require a radiation balance” ​
    S-B law does not require you being ruggedly handsome either, so what’s your point?

    A more interesting question is – you are so familiar with the Stefan–Boltzmann law to be with them on the … initial-base (“S-B”), yet you have NO idea how the radiation they quantify works? Such inconsistence is one of the tells of a troll – e.g. JDS dropping scientific terms and names of climatologists, and at the same time convinced that CO2 molecules fall toward the ground because the Intelligent Designer made it so to supply CO2 to the life that needs it (or to kill it, as in the JDS’s example of its magnificent Intelligence).

    But on a far off-chance that you were not a troll – the answer is…to open Google and type “back radiation”: the FIRST hit: “Because greenhouse gas molecules radiate heat in all directions, some of it spreads downward and ultimately comes back into contact with the Earth’s surface, where it is absorbed.

    Your great mystery solved, right there. So next time – do your homework, and post on RC ONLY if you have genuinely tried, but could not find the answers elsewhere.

  42. 92
    Steven Emmerson says:

    Aden @ 80,

    What’s the way of putting these people in their place?

    Ask them for references to peer-reviewed, scientific literature that supports this thesis.

  43. 93
    Tom Nelson says:

    77:

    Instead of vaguely smearing my work as “undead nonsense”, etc, why don’t you just answer my key, critical question:
    “Why should a rational person believe that we are currently experiencing a “climate crisis”?”

    It’s a fair question. The fate of human civilization allegedly hinges on someone providing a convincing answer. *Please* answer it.

  44. 94
    Russell Seitz says:

    88 : Tom Fuller errs yet again in attributing to me the” characterization of (I presume) all skeptics as equivalent to Qanon sympathizers ”

    Tom, I did not write that passage; the Chairman of the House Science Committee did.

    Tom says :”I am not a skeptic, but I hang out with many of them in all the wrong places” Perhaps he should apply to tucker Carlson for air time to explain what he means by that :

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2021/04/what-do-tucker-carlson-carl-sagan-have.html

  45. 95
    Mal Adapted says:

    Tom Nelson:

    Instead of vaguely smearing my work as “undead nonsense”, etc, why don’t you just answer my key, critical question:
    “Why should a rational person believe that we are currently experiencing a “climate crisis”?”

    Mr. Nelson, your website makes it clear no argument of mine will satisfy you. If I’m wrong, and you are sincere, I can do no better than to link to RC’s Start Here page. All your “notes for climate skeptics” have been decisively addressed many times over, on this blog and others such as SkepticalScience, to say nothing of the US National Academy of Sciences. The science of climate has advanced for two centuries, by the labor of generations of trained, disciplined scientists around the world. The first mathematical model of CO2-driven climate change was published 125 years ago. It’s now 32 years since James Hansen warned the US Congress and public that anthropogenic global warming was underway, and the case has grown stronger year by year. You have full access to the multiple, consilient lines of evidence that the globe is warming; it’s anthropogenic; it’s already costing money and tragedy in the US and globally; and the costs will mount as long as we keep transferring fossil carbon to the atmosphere by the gigatons annually. In 2021, contrary claims bear the burden of support: Your ‘key, critical question’ is thus a trap for the unwary.

  46. 96
    Piotr says:

    BPL(86)- even if we assumed Aden’s interest to be genuine, i.e. that he is NOT a member of the “drawer of denier sock puppets” recently released onto RC, based on the level of his questions, I doubt he can follow the math. Ray(84) suggestion that it would have increased equatorial sea level, but decreased polar sea level – may be more intuitive.

    And then there is a mismatch between periods of sea level rise and Earth’s acceleration – over geological scale the Earth slows down instead of accelerating,
    and over AGW time scale, the sealevel rises whether the Earth slows down (most of the time) or accelerates. Not the pattern you’d expect if the accelerations was the cause. Contrast this with the climatic explanation – where the sealevel increases in the same periods when icesheets melt, water expands thermally and expands due to the lower salinity from melting sea ice.

  47. 97
    MA Rodger says:

    Aden @80,
    Your “people” telling you “that the increase in the speed of the earth’s rotation falsifies the increase in sea levels” venture into a bit of physics that can be readily misrepresented be swivel-eye denialists. So I would suggest the response would be to ask them what they mean by their bold assertion. ‘Sea level’ is evidently ‘increasing’ (‘increasing’ presumably meaning it is rising although ‘increasing’ may be saying the rise is accelerating, but that is also evident) so what do they base their ‘falsifying” argument on?

    The potential for dissembling denialist is quite large on this matter. For instance, there is a correlation between length-of-day and global temperature which existed up to 1930 (see Dickey et al (2011)) that has been cherry-picked by deluded folk that I have encountered attempting to promote it as a fake alternative cause of AGW, this despite the data they use (or usually use) asserting the exact opposite.

    When sea-level-rise and planetary spin are considered, there are at least two conflicting short-term processes at work that result from a warmer planet.
    Firstly the melting polar ice redistributes itself in the oceans at lower latitudes thus increasing the angular inertia of the planet and slowing the Earth’s rotation. And the Earth is indeed slowing having, according to Wikkithing, fallen 64 seconds behind the cumulative rotation it would have achieved had it maintained the 1902 rate of spin.
    Secondly, a smaller effect results from the thermal expansion of ocean waters, the excess volume then tending to pile up in shallower waters. As these are not uniformly spread around the world (they are mostly in northern latitudes), this would reduce the planet’s angular inertia and thus result in the rotation speeding up (as per Landerer et al 2007).
    So here lies a lot of potential for dissembling denialists. To respond to them you need to know the nature of the nonsense they are peddling.

  48. 98
    michael Sweet says:

    Tom Nelson:
    The last time carbon dioxide was at the level it currently is in the atmosphere sea level was 78 feet higher. Hundreds of millions of people live within meters of sea level. Seems like a crisis to me.

    Well documented extreme weather events cause billions of dollars of damage in the USA and world wide every year. These are climate crisis driven. Large numbers of species are threatened with extinction from a changing climate. Read the newspaper.

  49. 99
    zebra says:

    Tom Nelson #93,

    Tom, around here I am an equal-opportunity critic of poor communication skills.

    Your question is an invitation to what I often describe as a middle-school-level definition debate.

    I have no idea what you mean by “climate crisis”. If you have a real question in science/engineering/policy, you need to articulate it in concrete terms. Otherwise, it’s like a bunch of kids with barely enough vocabulary standing around saying “no, that’s not a crisis, this is a crisis!!”

    Feel free to try again.

  50. 100
    Mr. Know It All says:

    53 – Richard Caldwell
    “I see little to nothing proactive coming out of Capitalism. You?”

    If global warming is to be solved by anything other than going back to the stone ages, then Capitalism is what will provide the solution. It is already providing many solutions. EVs, hybrids, PVs, gas instead of coal, appliance efficiency, heat-reflecting paints and coatings, etc, etc. Other solutions will come – nukes, better CO2 scrubbers, fusion, etc. Govt can provide incentives, but the profit motive will produce the solutions.

    66 – Thomas Fuller
    “At the end of the day I think an unwillingness to debate those on the other side of the fence just gives your opponent another stick to beat you with.”

    True. Someone unwilling to debate is usually because they know their arguments are weak or non-existent. This is why colleges will frequently not allow conservative speakers on campus.

    67 – zebra
    ““Debating” about what are considered scientific topics requires following a very strict set of rules, like agreeing on what the words mean,….”

    “Certain groups” ;) have trouble agreeing on what words mean. Perhaps it started when a former president said “It depends on what the meaning of “is” is”. It has gotten steadily worse until today those “certain groups” literally do not know the difference between the words “man” and “woman”. It is difficult to have a useful argument with such folks because they have no grasp of reality. They typically resort to calling their opponent derogatory names ending in “-ist”, “-phobe”, etc.
    ;)

    93 – Tom Nelson
    ““Why should a rational person believe that we are currently experiencing a “climate crisis”?”

    It’s a fair question. The fate of human civilization allegedly hinges on someone providing a convincing answer. *Please* answer it.”

    It is a fair question, Tom. As you see, they are pretty good on realclimate about allowing such questions. I’d like to see the answer too – it is probably out there, and will likely include discussions on sea level rise, greater storm frequency and/or strength, intolerably hot climates spreading, plants and animals not being able to cope, migrations of people escaping those intolerable conditions, melting of Arctic permafrost releasing methane gas and making the world even hotter (positive feedback), financial aspects of all of the above, etc. All of those can be discussed and debated as to whether they are such a dire threat that they should be called a crisis – some say they are, some say they are not.