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Comments 1 to 50:

  1. Making sense of the slowdown in global surface warming

    @scaddenp: "You might also like to run EXACTLY the same curve-fitting analysis, (quadratic and 2 sine) but with say monthly Dow-Jones average and see how good the fit is."

    That would be interesting, wouldn't it?  I recall from many years ago that someone published an analysis of extinctions (of species) that purported to identify a particular periodicity.  I think it was around 55 million years, if memory serves.  The method was fairly complex, and of course the data was pretty sketchy.

    Some years later, someone else tried repeating the work, and found that when fed any pseudo data that looked roughly like the real ones, even data with some other periodicity, that the original method always cranked out that 55 million year periodicity.  Somehow the method just baked it in.  I remember reading the second paper with a lot of enjoyment.

    In this case, it's easy to show in several ways that there's a lot of power at the 66-year period, so whatever the reason for it, I'm confident it's really there.  Is it "real", in the sense that somehow heat actually is sloshing around in the oceans with that period?  II would seem to be generically plausible.  ENSO has heat sloshing around with periods of a year or a few years.  The PDO and AMO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) seem to be accepted phenomena, and they are generally speaking the right kind of thing (whatever may be driving them).  The current indices of the PDO don't correlate too closely with the temperature anomaly record.  The AMO correlates better, if I recall correctly from looking at it last year. (Actually, these indices are arrived at by subtracting off some version of the temperature trend from the data, then doing some variation of a principal component analysis.  So using them to support the idea of a long-period heat sloshing may seem like a bit of circular reasoning, but at least I'm not the only one).

  2. Kevin Cowtan Debunks Christopher Booker's Temperature Conspiracy Theory

    daveburton @60, I had forgotten about that promise, so thankyou for reminding me.  I will try to follow through shortly.  In the meantime, Kevin C has published his far more usefull temperature tool.  There is a brief introduction to the temperature tool here.  The only thing my spreadsheet will hopefully add to the tool is the unadjusted ocean data, but we know their impacts already from Zeke Hausfather's graphs.

  3. Making sense of the slowdown in global surface warming


    @scaddenp: "This style of curve-fitting is common. Nicola Scafetta has published on this many times. The trouble is with quadratic and two sine curves you can fit any time series well.... Unless you have a physical basis for the curve, what are we to make of it?"


    Yes, of course.  Not only that, but the data are too noisy to be able to discriminate between variations on the theme, or even between very different models.  Yet you can't necessarily fit just any time series with two sine waves (plus a slow, nearly DC component, in this case).  This analysis didn't show me that the data *is* caused by a couple of sine waves.  It's in no way adequate for that.  It just showed that many of the really pronounced features of the temperature record can be reduced to just a few.  That's usually worthwhile.

    As for physical causes, I don't know about that (I'll add: "yet").  It would be better to know.  I'm a physicist and engineer, I always want physical causes.  You know, it's something like the tides.  The causes are well known - the modification in the Earth's iso-gravitational contours caused by the sun and the moon, approximated by a dipole moment - but the way in which they combine over time, together with the detailed shapes of the ocean basins and local undersea topography and weather lead to very complex details of the time series at any given point.  The details of all this may not really be known, but the general picture still gives us quite a bit of understanding even so. 

    Maybe existing climate models actually crank out a 66-year oscillation.  That would be interesting to know about, although I don't at the moment.

  4. Making sense of the slowdown in global surface warming

    You might also like to run EXACTLY the same curve-fitting analysis, (quadratic and 2 sine) but with say monthly Dow-Jones average and see how good the fit is.

  5. Making sense of the slowdown in global surface warming

    This style of curve-fitting is common. Nicola Scafetta has published on this many times. The trouble is with quadratic and two sine curves you can fit any time series well. See here for more statistical discussion and specifically on Scafetta here. Unless you have a physical basis for the curve, what are we to make of it?

    Of course you can do curve fitting with the actual physical factors (eg Schmidt and Benestad, which was a counter to another Scafetta wild claim). Compare that with yours for same period. If you want to postulate some "undiscovered natural cycle", then where is the heat coming from (ie your proposal must respect conservation of energy), and what is your explanation for the measured forcings have so little effect if you think the natural cycle is important?

    If you insist on curve fitting, then a better way to do it, is use part of the data set for training (eg first 1/2 to 3/4) and then see how well it predicts the rest of the dataset, or do it in reverse.

  6. Making sense of the slowdown in global surface warming

    I've read many discussions of the supposed slowdown or hiatus, including (of course) Tamino's posts.  But no one I've read has discussed it in the rather different way I've been analyzing it.  I'm in the middle of writing it up, but in short, if you look at the longest temperature record, the one from 1850 to present (e.g., HADCRUT4), you can see a number of features including a 30-year rise from about 1910 through 1940 and a 30-year flat period from about 1940 to 1970.  I find that you can reproduce the entire 160+ year record surprisingly well with the sum of a smooth trend (e.g., quadratic fit), a 66.5-year sine wave, and a 21.3-year sine wave.  Except for frequencies with period less than about 10 years, and so excluding  ENSO and volcanos, this simple sum reproduces all the main features of the data.  BTW, there is no trace of the sunspot cycle that I can find in the HADCRUT4 data.

    A slowdown since around year 2000 is clear in this reconstruction, being the destructive interference of the sine waves combining with the trend, and is just ending. 

    Now, this may be only numerology, but the components are so few and so simple that the approach is attractive.  One set of causes - two ongoing oscillations continuing for more than 150 years - interacting with a smooth, simple, concave upwards temperature trend.  No need to invoke unpredictable variations in ENSO, no need to bring in special cases for other features, no mystery about the halt in warming between 1940 and 1970.

    As to what these two sinusoids represent, that remains to be seen.  But note that a current of only 1 km/day over a size typical of ocean basins would give times in the right ballpark.  And you would think that the oceans would have to be involved in oscillations with such long periods.  

  7. Spoiled ballots, spoiled views: an election snapshot from Powys, Wales, UK

    That's a darned good quote, Jim! Michael - thanks for the link!

  8. Making sense of the slowdown in global surface warming

    1. You make no mention of the change in forcing due to the reduction in CFC emissions. The impact of this on the rate of increase in anthropogenic forcings can be seen in the GISS forcing data. I would have expected an effect on the warming rate as large as those you report. Were you unable to find relevant literature that considered CFC's as a cause.

    2. I also think that in making sense of the slowdown it is important to consider views like Taminos. I view from his pieces is that there is no slowdown unless you compare the trend using short time periods (15 years) instead of decent intervals of 30 years. With short intervals the apparant differences are meaningless due to inherent uncertainty and we must conclude that warming continues at the same pace.

    A key point in making sense of the slowdown is that it is an illusion we inflict on ourselves by trying to see a pattern in short term data. If there has been a slowdown since 2000 we need to wait another 15 years to have a reasonable chance of detecting it. Past experience should warn us that the most likely explanation is that we seeing just another step of the down escalator. The explanations given above being reasons these steps can appear but they are not explanations of a real slowdown.

  9. Spoiled ballots, spoiled views: an election snapshot from Powys, Wales, UK

    shoyemore - Just down the road from me in sunny South Devon there were plans for a twin turbine, community owned wind farm near Totnes. Here's what happened at the District Council planning meeting:

    https://youtu.be/wZuENb3_Xlw

    To quote a local Parish Counciller:

    Industrial devices provide to all the opponents of the turbines both their immediate surroundings and their enviable standard of living. Their televisions, toasters and hair dryers may not be crude designs, but we can be sure they've all been made somewhere over the horizon, out of sight. The electricity to activate these industrial devices also comes from power stations, over the horizon, out of sight. Some people here like it that way, defending their Arcadian idyll, none of whose practical comforts have been made anywhere near their green acres. Other people, I'm glad to say, see an opportunity to contribute back to the common good by using our local natural asset, abundant wind, to fuel the most benign and graceful technology ever devised to generate electric power.

    In 1968 Garrett Hardin published an influential and now classic article entitled "The Tragedy of the Commons". This is the phenomenon that individual selfishness and greed in exploiting an asset common to all mankind eventually destroys that asset. We see this happening now in our exhaustion, over a few generations, of fossil fuel accumulated over millions of years. Now, the opponents of wind turbines are adding a further, bitter twist to this tragedy by opposing exploitation of an inexhaustible natural asset, the wind passing over our land.

    In case you're wondering, the NIMBYs won the day.

  10. Making sense of the slowdown in global surface warming

    @2 "Were global temps at the higher end of predictions at some point?"

    This Sks post (by Dana) contains the following statement;

    The observed trend for the period 1998–2012 is lower than most model simulations. But the observed trend for the period 1992–2006 is higher than most model simulations. Why weren't Curry and McIntyre decrying the models for underestimating global warming 6 years ago?

  11. Owenvsgenius at 04:45 AM on 27 May 2015
    Making sense of the slowdown in global surface warming

    Were global temps at the higher end of predictions at some point?

  12. Spoiled ballots, spoiled views: an election snapshot from Powys, Wales, UK

    I live across the Irish Sea in a region which possibly has much the same problems. Out government is probably most green-friendly that the British Tories, and is slightly left-of-centre economically.

    We also are developing wind energy, and sometimes I think the capitalists who are backing green developments get trapped into a mirror image of their fossil fuel counterparts - lobbying high level politicians and ignoring the people who will live near the new developments. It makes things oh-so-easy for their detractors (and there are many in the media) to misrepresent them.

    I know wind farms can be moved, but for a houseowner it is not good news to see your single biggest lifetime investment lose some of its value overnight. They are entitled to feel that if they are helping to save the planet then the burden is not being shared equally.

    Wind farm developers should do more outreach to local communities, with the promise of jobs for example, and perhaps an electricity subsidy for local people shold not be out of the question? These small communites, often isolated, could often do with a break.

    PS In the very interesting chart above, I was gobsmacked to see that UKIP voters do not look favourably on capitalism! Perhaps they are so far-right they favour some sort of proto-fascist "corporate state"?

  13. Kevin Cowtan Debunks Christopher Booker's Temperature Conspiracy Theory

    On Feb. 9, 2015, Tom Curtis (#34) wrote, "I intend to fully digitize both the GHCN3 and HadSST3 adjustments on a publicly available spreadsheet, as I think the results will be interesting independently of this discussion. That may, however, take a couple of weeks..."

    Tom Curtis, did that ever get finished? Can you provide a link, please?
     

    On Feb. 10, 2015, Kevin C (#38) wrote, "The GHCN tool is unfinished, frequently broken, and not ready for release, I'm not sure how you got the link. I've removed it now."

    Has it been released yet, Dr. Cowtan?

  14. Jeffrey Davis at 01:50 AM on 27 May 2015
    Spoiled ballots, spoiled views: an election snapshot from Powys, Wales, UK

    Tamino is skeptical about the reality of the "slowdown". Sketches of math.

  15. Making sense of the slowdown in global surface warming

    Thanks interesting article and video.

    It is going to be interesting to see where 2014, 2015, 2016 put things as the current El-Nino plays out.

    Do wonder whether the global temperatures might migrate towards the higher end of predictions again?

    The last 12 months was the hottest to date again (April 2014, May 2015).

  16. PhilippeChantreau at 00:39 AM on 27 May 2015
    There's no empirical evidence

    Of course, there is also that pesky stubborn thing called physics. It always wins eventually.

  17. There is no consensus

    I think your graphic and other references to the “97%” needs to be changed to emphasize that that figure represents climate scientists who opined on human warming in papers that were included in the study. Otherwise it incorrectly implies that 97% of ALL scientists are included. (Your graphic states this but not prominently.)

  18. michael sweet at 23:59 PM on 26 May 2015
    Spoiled ballots, spoiled views: an election snapshot from Powys, Wales, UK

    The image of Florida shown above is produced using a satelite radar.  This measures elevations to the tops of trees and buildings.  I doubt Miami residents will stick around when they have to live on the roof of their houses.  No area in or near Miami is higher than 8 meters above sea level.  Sea level rise is much worse than the diagram.  This map from Climate Central is probably more accurate.  It is difficult to find accurate sea level rise maps.  

  19. The Big Picture

    James C Wilson - You're quite correct that the satellite offset discrepencies are larger than the imbalance derived from ocean heat content. However, the observed spectral changes (Harries et al 2001 and later works) are entirely consistent with about 1 w/m2, and empirically support the radiative models that also give that imbalance value. So it's not without reason to include the satellite measures as consilient evidence. 

  20. Spoiled ballots, spoiled views: an election snapshot from Powys, Wales, UK

    Thanks for a most interesting article John, which covers many of my own highest hobby horses!

    By some strange synchronicity I have mentioned the names of Amber Rudd and David Rose in my recent musings on assorted social media. My latest article on my Arctic themed blog even suggests a possible mechanism to explain where Bob Trueman gets his "scientific" ideas from:

    Why It’s So Hard to Convince Pseudo-Skeptics

    Be sure to watch the video at the end. Here's a brief quotation from it:

    In a new study that just came out a couple of months ago they showed a single digusting image, and one single digusting image and measuring the brain activity and how the person responded to that was sufficient to allow you to identify if somebody was conservative or liberal. With a single brain image. With 95% accuracy!

  21. There's no empirical evidence

    By the way, da, did you click on the "intermediate" tab at the top of the article?

  22. There's no empirical evidence

    da, what exactly is "natural temperature change"?  What sort of mechanisms are involved?

    The claim is based on the premise that CO2 absorbs/emits thermal infrared radiation.  The evidence for that premise is abundant, and there's no challenge.  Increase atmospheric CO2, and the surface-to-space path of thermal infrared lengthens in time/space.

  23. Spoiled ballots, spoiled views: an election snapshot from Powys, Wales, UK

    The election result was a tragedy for climate science and victory for the politically vested interests of the press who partly orchestrated it (because advertising works). 

    Of any party the Conservatives are the least interested in the Green movement, even less than UKIP voters which really says something.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Graphic width reduced to conform with website maximum of 500 pixels.

  24. There's no empirical evidence

    Myth has not been addressed.

    Yes, CO2 is increasing. Yes, temperature is rising. This is a correlation and does not mean causation. The cause could also be natural temperature changes. What arguments are there to show that it is the CO2 and not natural temperature change causing the warming? For example: is temperature rising faster now than in earths history? If it is then it is likely to be man-made.

  25. 2015 SkS Weekly Digest #21
    So while I don't believe peer reviewed literature should die,
    SkS is the way to go on top of it.

    Yes, there are plenty of blogs and sites dedicated to various sciences and their specialities but SkepticalScience's format of Question and Basic+Intermediate+Advanced Answer is a wonderful model. Incorporating it would be a fine strategy for scaling the ladders of quality, accessibility and appeal.

  26. Climate's changed before

    This explains the climate changes in our county, i remember in my childhood weather was very predictable in seasons but nowadays this has changed completely.

    Jerusha

    CEES

  27. Spoiled ballots, spoiled views: an election snapshot from Powys, Wales, UK

    Slightly off topic but the Murdoch empire has done nothing for balanced reporting on global warming in Australia - I wonder if the papers mentioned are some of his.  This is just one article that points to data cherry picking by Murdoch.

    www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-12/rupert-murdoch-misleading-north-south-poles/5604656

    So I have no doubt that his writers/editors are picked because they agree with him.  There is also little doubt that his network on Australia influenced voters to "axe the tax'  ie the carbon tax at the last election.

  28. 2015 SkS Weekly Digest #21

    Interesting article about peer reviewed articles from Singapore

    Prof, no one is reading you

    Most memorable quotes from therein:

    Up to 1.5 million peer-reviewed articles are published annually. However, many are ignored even within scientific communities - 82 per cent of articles published in humanities are not even cited once. No one ever refers to 32 per cent of the peer-reviewed articles in the social and 27 per cent in the natural sciences.

    If a paper is cited, this does not imply it has actually been read. According to one estimate, only 20 per cent of papers cited have actually been read

    If academics want to have an impact on policymakers and practitioners, they must consider popular media, which has been ignored by them.

    So while I don't believe peer reviewed literature should die, SkS is the way to go on top of it.

  29. The Big Picture

    The uncertainty priniciple underpins everything including attacks on climate science...

  30. James C Wilson at 14:55 PM on 26 May 2015
    The Big Picture

    A small complaint about the discussion of the first figure:

    If you click on the first figure it takes you to a discussion of that figure.  That discussion states that  "satellite measurements of energy imbalance (the difference between incoming and outgoing energy at the top of the atmosphere),"  tell us about the energy imbalance.  This is not correct.  The discrepancies between the satellites are on the order of 6 w/m2 and the imbalance is about 1 w/m2.  A key problem is that the measurement of the imbalance requires that the satellite be everywhere all at once and it can not.  So the accuracy required is unobtainable.  The estimates of the imbalance come from the measurement of the rate of increase in the heat stored in the oceans.  (eg Keihl and Tremberth)

    Chuck Wilson

    Golden, CO, USA

  31. Seeds of Time - preserving food resources in a hot future climate

    Scientists write very little on how many humans will die this century and the next due to global warming and its climate change.  Much more is written on the impacts of global warming on animal and plant diversity and extinction. 

    World food stores are at the 70-90 days of consumption level, while basic food prices are down from their peak several years ago. UN population projections have increased to 11 billion humans living on Earth in the year 2200. But, the agricultural yield per acre has actually been decreasing since 1980 for most crops. Soil fertility is also decreasing, not increasing. Seas will certainly flood many fertile river deltas. Many current agricultural regions are projected to become desert or semi-desert this century.

    Global warming gases are already at extremely high levels. While science has dramatically lowered the cost of renewable energy, fossil fuel consumption keeps breaking records year after year. Granted that human efforts to stem global warming emissions seem to be increasing, much greater progress was made way back in 1990 with the Kyoto Protocol only for emissions to get much worse instead of better.

    I think it is time for scientists to start making reasonable projections on future food prices and on human deaths due to starvation. While Hansen long ago suggested that the Earth may only be able to sustain 1 billion living humans, I have seen no scientific articles in years on this issue.  While fossil-funded deniers would attack any truly pessimistic scientist projecting billions of deaths, e.g., 25 million or more per year, year after year, it would help wake people up.  That's killing more people than World War II year after year after year.

    Mike Berners-Lee in "How Bad Are Bananas" guesstimates that for every 150 tons of CO2 now put into the atmosphere, one more human will die this century.  That means that the average American is killing one person every 10 years and that the average European and average Chinese is killing one person every 15-20 years. We need published research on this issue.  We need to ourselves start living our lives as if our own pollution is actually killing other humans.

    My person guide is that one mile driven in my Chevy Sonic emits 1# CO2 which deprives one other human somewhere this century of 1 hour of life. I have turned off my water heater, buy wind electricity, eat inexpensive vegan home cooked from scratch, given up flying, vacation locally, unheated bedroom, etc. As soon as I can buy a Nissan Leaf and install PV solar, I will. I have a moral duty to become carbon neutral as soon as humanly possible.

    I think that evidence is clear that death is rushing at us. I think that scientists are afraid of being personally attacked for documenting the evidence for this.  We need to wake up.  Carbon neutral now, not in 2040!

  32. michael sweet at 11:20 AM on 26 May 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    Ryland,

    The Gratten report claims that the previous method of rewarding solar installations was overly beneficial to solar installers.  That is why more systems were installed than expected.  The tariff scheme has been adjusted already.  They say future incentives should be adjusted to reflect costs and benefits.  They also say the the utilities are over incentivised to build more infrastructure.  Although they do not quantitate the amount it is probably a lot more than the amount invested in solar.  

    They expect distributed solar to be the cheapest method of generating new power in most of Australia by 2020.  It may be more cost effective to put the solar on businesses since they have bigger roofs.  

    So the Aussie government was not perfect in their scheme for solar installation.  Did you expect the government to be perfect?  As Tom says, the Gratten report does not consider at all the social cost of the carbon saved.  They also do not count the decrease in everyones utility bills since decrease in demand leads to lower electricity rates to generators (on page 18 they say it is zero sum to the economy since generators make less money).  Most consumers think it is a benefit when their rates go down.

  33. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    ryland @17, your original claim @4 was that the article claimed "the cost to households of solar panels has outwibghed their benefits".  I gave that its most natural interpretation which is that the costs of solar panels, on average, out weigh the benefits in households with solar panels - a claim that is not supported by the article and arguably misrepresents it.  Even if we allow that the claim is that the cost of solar panels averaged across all australian households have outweighed the benefits, it still ignores appropriate context from the article in which the article points out that the equation on household solar is changing.

    I will note that even on the more general interpretation, the Grattan Institute report does not make its case.  In making its case it:

    1. Assumes that all government revenue comes from households so that the full value of direct subsidies for household solar to particular householders comes from all householders generally.  The actual case is that a substantial portion of government revenue comes from taxes on business, which are not necessarilly passed on to householders in increased prices; and part of whose income comes from exports and hence is not a cost to householders under any interpretation.  Costs to electricity suppliers from feed in tariffs could also be defrayed against businesses.  Consequently, while on the issues the examine they can purport to have shown the costs of household solar exceed the benefits across the entire economy, they cannot accurately make that claim with regard to householders only.
    2. The report ignores the contribution of household solar to the Renewable Energy Target.  They do make the case that non-household solar would have been a cheaper way to contribute to meeting that target; but that being the case the net cost of household solar to the economy is the difference between the cost of non-household solar and household solar.  As the costs of meeting the RET are passed on to all electricity customers, that a portion of those costs are met by individual householders represents a saving for other customers not accounted for by the Grattan Institute.
    3. The report ignores the fact that new installers of household solar, and purchasers of houses with household solar already installed, and renters of houses with household solar already installed, do not get the high feed in tariffs that caused the initial poblems, but a price approximately equal to the wholesale cost of electricity.  As renewable energy is sold at a premium value to householders, pricing household solar at the lower value wholesale value of non-renewable energy means that increasingly into the future, household solar will actually be providing a subsidy to purchasers of renewable energy from the grid.
    4. Finally, and most importantly, the report ignores completely the social cost of carbon, and therefore ignores the benefit of emissions reductions from household solar.
  34. michael sweet at 07:49 AM on 26 May 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    Ryland,

    Your link is broken.  Can you find a working link?

  35. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    Moderator the URL is http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/cost-of-house...ar-has-outweighed-benefits-grattan-institute-report-20150524-gh7

    Skepticin Canada  I quoted accurately and in turn you failed to mention 

    "it argues Australia could have reduced greenhouse gas emissions for much less money if governments had focused more on commercial and large-scale solar power, instead of household subsidies. "We've got the highest percentage of households in the world [with solar PV] because we've targeted our subsidies at households whereas other countries targeted the commercial sector," Grattan Institute energy program chief Tony Wood said. "We'd be better off if that was where we were going." The report calculates that the capital cost of installing and maintaining household solar systems since 2009 has been $18 billion, while their benefit in terms of greenhouse gas abatement and reduced conventional electricity generation has been $9 billion.

  36. Spoiled ballots, spoiled views: an election snapshot from Powys, Wales, UK

    Also I'd point out to windpower detractors:

    windmills = temporary

    excess CO2 in atmosphere and nuclear waste = permanent

    With the pace of technological development, the windmills are a useful stop-gap measure until we're all flying around in jet-packs and burning unobtanium in our levitating cars.

  37. Frank._Mueller at 04:56 AM on 26 May 2015
    More Carbon Dioxide is not necessarily good for plants.

    I udnerstand the statement made in context is that CO2 cannot by itself give plants bulk. But in experiemnts that are reproducible one can see that the "bulk" is translated from the GHG gases particularly CO2. Taking a plant and measure the soil, and water used and substracting them from the plants wieght after it is grown one sees the bulk and the mass are not from the water and the soild as much as from the CO2. So to say "They get their bulk from more solid substances like water and organic matter. This organic matter comes from decomposing plants and animals or from man made fertilizers" is an incorrect statement.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KZb2_vcNTg

  38. SkepticalinCanada at 02:47 AM on 26 May 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    @17. And from that same article that you have referenced:

    "(The report) predicts it will soon become viable for households to install solar without government subsidies as the cost of panels falls and battery storage from companies like Tesla becomes more widely available in future."

    So, to date the costs may have outweighed their benefits, but you failed to mention what is clearly in the quote, and not "tucked away out of sight."  My original comment about significant misrepresentation stands.

  39. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    Skepticalin Canada @ 13.  Your comment "

    "I did find that particular article, and was still puzzled by ryland's claim about the cost if that article was the basis for his claim. Saying that their costs have outweighed their benefits is, in my opinon, significant misrepresentation of that article and in fact other articles at the SMH"

    is both incorrect and unfair

    The piece to which I was referring was the piece by Lisa Cox on May 24 the headline of which was "Cost of household solar has outweighed benefits: Grattan Institute report."  Fair criticism is obviously perfectly correct but your comment is manifestly wrong.   I fail to understand why your comment was made as you state you have read thre articleyou did read the article.  The heasdlinde was not tucked away out odf sight.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] For future reference, please provide links to articles and other materials that you include in a comment.

  40. Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    Actually, Cowpuncher, what Curry is doing--trying to turn uncertainty into a commodity--is feeding political action that seeks to end government-funded climate science.  It's not really shooting herself in the foot, since she'll have plenty of private funding sources when she takes her early retirement.

  41. Eric Grimsrud at 23:28 PM on 25 May 2015
    Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    @26 and 28

    Bozzza,  Perhaps  I was not clear enough.  We know why sea levels have risen since 20,000 years ago  - it is due to a transition from a glacial to an interglacial period.

    My question is why Christy would claim that sea level would continue to rise today and into the future due to natural causes.  We are now well out of an interglacial period and, I thought, in a stable interglacial period with no or very little change in sea levels.  If any natural change would be in the works for the future I thought sea levels might actually be decreasing somewhat in the immediate future as we begin to head back towards the next glacial period.

    So I still don't understand why Christy would claim that sea levels will be rising due to natural causes in the future.  The only explanation I can think of is that Christy suspects that sea levels will indeed rise due to Man's effect on the GHGs and, therefore, is claiming natural forces will do the same - but has no good reason to make that claim.Thus, if there is such a reason for Christy's claim, perhaps someone could point out what that is.  Otherwise, it would appear that he is misinforming the members of this congressional hearing. 

  42. Art Vandelay at 20:41 PM on 25 May 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    "In other words, those who don't embrace new solar/battery technogoly and stay behind, will continue to "fund" the dying FF infrastructure."

    In the unlikely event of such an outcome, governments would simply raise taxes elsewhere to subsidize the grid.

    Consider the plight of hundreds of thousands of poeple who are forced to rent properties because they're not earing enough to pay a million+ dallar mortgages in the big cities, and ask what percentage of landlords are going to fund expensive PV solar systems for them.  

    Also, the cost of housing is pushing more and more people into appartments and estates where PV solar and power storage would required strata approval and in many cases it may not be viable anyway due to insufficient surface area.

    Personally, I would love to install a PV solar and storage system too but I'm currently unable to lawfully clear the trees (and a good thing too) that currently shade my entire foof area for much of the year.  

    It's my hope that future large scale solar and wind farms will be publically floated, affording mum and dad investors the oportunity to investment and share the rewards.

  43. Seeds of Time - preserving food resources in a hot future climate

    "Many of the seeds can be stored for thousands of years in this site."

    Mmm, I think that's only if industrial civilisation lasts that long. The cooling does rely on chillers to get down to the temperatures required for that long term cooling.  And will the seeds be accessible if some catastrophe does happen (which is why it was built, after all)?

  44. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    SkepticalinCanada@13,

    I think ryland's claim is correct in noting the smh  (in fact Grattan Institute) reported (among other things) wasted money:

    "Lavish government subsidies plus the structure of electricity network tariffs means the cost of solar PV take-up has outweighed the benefits by more than $9 billion."

    I, on the other hand, don't understand the very misleading headline of the article I quoted @13: "Billions wasted on solar subsidy, says report", which is vey inaccurate and does not repfect its contents and may have resulted ryland's misunderstanding of the complex issue of energy transition from FF to solar/renewables.

    Further, I don't know how the benefits (presumabl $5 billions) of the subsidies in question have been calculated: what was for example the prize of the emissions saved, how the emission savings have been calculated, for the lifetime of the subsidised solar installations or for the perior 2008-2020 in question, etc. So what was the reason for "failed subsidies" that gave science deniers further ammunition? One more familiar with the Grattan Institute report might want to answer that question.

  45. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B

    Tom Curtis@11,

    The braoder extent of the Grattan Institute report in question have been described in this smh article. It turns out, the report considered not only unfair feed-in tariffs and essentially flat charges at peak demand times and at low demand times. They have also looked at what may happen with over-invested, "gold-plated" power network once improved storage technology prompts people to move away from the networks:


    Rising power charges is encouraging more users to consider "unplugging" from the power grid, which would then push up power prices for those staying on the grid. Unplugging may make sense only for some large users in remoter locations, the study found. [...]

    As a result, fears that the tens of billions of dollars invested by state governments and superannuation funds in power networks would be hit by a "death spiral" as users desert from the power network will not occur. [...]

    As part of this, government must also clarify who will pay to shut down the parts of the power network no longer needed as new technology and declining demand reduce network revenues.

    Under present regulations, the networks can raise prices to offset revenue declines so that a declining number of users would be called upon to fund an unnecessary network, the report found.


    In other words, those who don't embrace new solar/battery technogoly and stay behind, will continue to "fund" the dying FF infrastructure.

  46. Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    What Curry actually publishes in the scientific realm may be of value but her misinformation in the public arena is not. What information sources are you trusting in your evaluation of what is an "extreme position". Do you regard the IPCC position (the scientific consensus) of ECS in range 1.5 to 4.5 extreme?

  47. Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    Cowpuncher: how about doing some reading so you can bring something to the table?!!?

  48. Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    scaddenp - there is far too much personal denigration and ad hominem attacking in the wider AGW debate fro me to add to it.  Curry is a highly accomplished scientist with a wealth of published material and she seems to via away from any extreme positions.  I am also sure she will be wrong on some issues but she is making a contribution to the search for a fuller understanding of climate.

  49. Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    @ 26, the answer is because we are coming out of an ice-age!

  50. Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing

    Cowpuncher @24, Judith Curry's question is not so much interesting, as poorly framed.  Specifically, it tacitly assumes that there are not costs from AGW after 2050.  As it happens, because of the slow response rate to forcing, a reduction in emissions now will not appreciably effect temperatures until about 10 years later.  Further, because we must decrease emissions gradually, an 80% reduction will not be fully implimented (if it is) until 2050.  Consequently most of the temperature effect of such a reduction will occur after 2050.

    As it happens, RCP2.6 shows an approximate 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050:

    We can therefore use its temperature predictions to look at the claim:

    At 2050 it only amoutns to 0.75 C between RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 (no mitigation).  By 2100 that difference increases to 3.2 C, and by 2200 to 6 C.  With costs increasing more than linearly with increased temperature, Curry is attempting to exclude more than 90% of the cost differential from the equation.  Indeed, with RCP8.5 tempertures rising to levels where parts of the tropics may be seasonally uninhabitable by 2050, ignoring long term costs amounts to tackling climate change by putting your head in the sand.

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