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Comments 751 to 800:

  1. Renewables can't provide baseload power

    The Burden of proof is solely on 100% renewables studies. To say we can do it through reducing energy usage is moulding the data to fit our ideals - not very skeptical. As a skeptical site you should really be taking the Jacobsen Study down as it has been firmly rebutted which he is now sueing over instead of correcting his work or replying in a scientific manner. And for a thorough look at what the Burden of Proof needs to be for 100% renewables I recommend the following (LINK)

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Link breaking page formatting shortened.

    [PS] Given the authorship, I hope you are reading with the same skepticism you apply (rightly) to Jacobsen.

  2. New study ‘reduces uncertainty’ for climate sensitivity

    It is just shorthand. CS is meaning ECS. The Cox study is only about ECS.

  3. So, why is two degrees the magic number?

    The two degrees issue originated back in the 1970's. Heres the complete history from Carbon Brief, in a very nice readable article.

  4. New study ‘reduces uncertainty’ for climate sensitivity

    How doečs it come, that the central estimate of CS is 2.8C and that of ECS is also 2.8C? Should not be ECS considerably higher than CS?

  5. One Planet Only Forever at 04:41 AM on 25 January 2018
    Switching to electric cars is key to fixing America's 'critically insufficient' climate policies


    The perception of what owning a car was all about definitely will change.

    Car ownership always was an significant expense for the average person.

    Any place on the planet that was developed based on the 'need to have a car' will be at a significant economic competitive disadvantage in the future.

    Automated cars will very efficiently travel through level crossings. Freeways through developed areas are wastes of land that increase travel distances and the elevated portions are expensive to maintain.

    However, the future disadvantage of developing down unsustainable paths is 'someone else's problem' which is the poor excuse behind most unsustainable and damaging Private Interest pursuits of personal benefit.

  6. New study ‘reduces uncertainty’ for climate sensitivity

    It sounds like climate change won’t be that bad because we won’t go over 3.4 C! you think we might avoid an ongoing refugee crisis involving nuclear powered countries?

  7. Switching to electric cars is key to fixing America's 'critically insufficient' climate policies

    Looking at that first graph anticipates hope!

    Electric trucks will be the leap but when autonomous vehicles get the go ahead I think the car will largely disappear as it represents personal freedom and autonomous cars take that away ...

    ...just to think: the 21st century was started with 4 jet liners and now we‘re looking envisioning crazy stuff like 150 passenger electric planes! Why???

  8. Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions

    What "seems" to you, would appear to be a reflection of your biases if you cant back it with evidence. Take Eclectic's advice. Pick what you think is his most compelling argument and check it against our rebuttals. Just stating your biases without any evidence to support is what is called "sloganeering" here. if you want to dispute the science, then put up the evidence. Make sure you understand what the science actually does say (read it from source or the IPCC summary), as opposed to how some denialist misrepresents it. Dealing with strawman arguements is tiresome.

  9. New study ‘reduces uncertainty’ for climate sensitivity

    The Cox study has been criticised by an article filed by Rasmus over at

  10. Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions

    Well he seems open minded to me. Between his work and that seen on Adapt 2030 it seems to me like the grand solar min, the dalton min, the magnetosphere and the galactic cross correlate with the earths climate far better than an tiny increase in a trace gas. But if me being open minded to that hypothesis makes me a closed minded shill perhaps this isn't the site for me. The comments seem very one sided. I don't feel this is the place for a truly unbiased debate. 

    Thankfully we'll know in a short time won't we. If 2024 is record colds we know CO2 is less important than cosmic rays. If it's hot again we know CO2 outweighs the suns  But thankfully it will be seled! 

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Sloganeeing snipped. 

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can be rescinded if the posting individual treats adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

  11. Switching to electric cars is key to fixing America's 'critically insufficient' climate policies

    Tony Seba video on the electric vehicle disruption, and end of oil by 2030.

    This is Tony Seba's Clean Disruption Keynote presentation at the Swedbank Nordic Energy Summit in Oslo, Norway, March 17th, 2016.

  12. Switching to electric cars is key to fixing America's 'critically insufficient' climate policies

    What we are now seeing is market convergence of decarbonised electricity generation and most forms of transport because of advances in technology which increasingly make use of fossil fuels more expensive. Let there be no doubt about it – those who have invested in fossil fuel industries will fight a rear-guard action in a vain attempt to prevent or slow this transition.

    They will fail because two developments in electricity generation are occurring and gaining momentum:

    Firstly: The storage capacity of batteries is increasing and their cost is reducing which, combined with the development of pumped hydro, enables solar and wind generation to become dispatchable 24/7.

    Secondly: Batteries with capacity to store all the energy needed by an average household will become increasingly affordable and, in combination with roof-mounted solar panels, will enable many homes to go off-grid, reducing demand from grid-generators.

    The move to wind and solar generation is increasing and displacing fossil fuels by (a) generating at less cost than fossil fuels and (b) increasing use of electricity by making it available to those who do not have access to it – without the need for costly, unaffordable infrastructure. Solar and wind generation are already available at lower capital and operating costs than is fossil fuel generation.

    It is likely that within the next 2-5 years battery technology will have reduced the price of batteries to less than $100/kWh, making the capital cost of electric vehicles less than vehicles powered by the internal combustion engine. As soon as this is achieved, producers will cease manufacturing fossil-fuelled vehicles (which will become unsellable) and consumers will only ‘buy electric’.

    These transitions to solar/wind generation and electrification of transport could be complete as soon as 2040, even earlier!

  13. Switching to electric cars is key to fixing America's 'critically insufficient' climate policies

    State and federal incentives for buying electric vehicles in America:

    Key point. Federal income tax credit of $7,500, and various different state incentives.

  14. Anti-vaccers, climate change deniers, and anti-GMO activists are all the same


    Your general argument appears to be "sometime science gets things wrong", which is obviously, true, but then you see to extend this to "so anything I don't like I can presume is also wrong". As I pointed out before, that is item #8 on the list in the post.

    You need to have a better reason for thinking the science on climate change is wrong. The best reason is evidence and a better theory. The "skeptics" only present evidence after rejecting most of it (items 1, 2, and 3 on the list), and their alternative "theories" tend to be self-contradictory and often require the rejection of basic physics.

    Science advances by providing better explanations, not hand-waving away the current ones.

  15. Anti-vaccers, climate change deniers, and anti-GMO activists are all the same

    Alan @53 , I whole-heartedly assure you that there is no stalemate, as far as my opinions are concerned.  (And I am fairly sure that I speak on behalf of almost all of the scientific-minded users of this website.)

    I am very open to being persuaded by you, that I [and the scientific consensus] am largely in the wrong about the harms coming from AGW and about the urgent need to counter CO2 emissions.   Few things would please me more, than to learn that there is no problemo.

    Unfortunately, Alan, you have provided no evidence or arguments that the 99.9% of climate scientists are wrong.   Your comments lack logic and science — and worse, they appear to demonstrate your fixed resistance to to clear & rational thinking about AGW & related problems.

    If you feel that is not the case, then you are very welcome to raise and discuss/dispute the various aspects — but please do so at the appropriate threads (rather than this thread).   Best of luck !

  16. Anti-vaccers, climate change deniers, and anti-GMO activists are all the same

    Eclectic, I appreciate the time you took for your answer, but we're at a stalemate as we both hold contrary opinions.
    And as this website is dedicated to climate change, it is not my desire or intent to proselytize and convert readers, and I won't descend to "troldom", so this will be my last post.
    For disclosure's sake, I was erroneously directed to this site by google search, and saw the site interesting, with an open comments section (uncensored).

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Well constructed comments are very welcome on this site. However, it can be very frustrating for an author to write a piece, and then have discussed elsewhere (especially on as a repost on site that the author might not frequent). It would be courtesy to put a copy of your comments on the authors site as I suspect he would be interested in discussing your points.

  17. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3

    Thank's for printing Climate Feedbacks interesting review of 25 articles.  I noticed that the most viral articles generally had something specific and simple like polar bears, diseases, beans, and icebergs. The  least viral articles were dominated by  anonymous people casting doubt on the science, and technical claims about lack of warming or changes in ocean circulation.

    More people seem attracted to things easily understood and visualised like animals, rather than opinions of weather people, and technical issues.

    The ten most viral articles also contained fewer denialist claims on the whole than the next ten articles. 

    The denialist articles are not persuasive.

  18. Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what's Earth's ideal temperature. Scientists answer

    The article hit the nail on the head.  The best temperature is the one we have adapted to over they past 12,000 years or so.  It is often noted by scientists, looking at past interglacials, how unusual this period has been. Generally, a little before maximum ice melt as we emerge from a glacial, (not an ice age) carbon dioxide begins to drop and that combined with the current Miloankovitch cycle causes snow to begin to accumulate on the high lands of Baffin Island and to spread south.  Reading  Plought Plagues and Petroleum, it looks as if we reversed the steady drop in Carbon dioxide long before the industrial revolution by our agriculture.  We may have been responsible for this remarkably benign period.  Even so we were sliding into a glacial, albeit, more slowly than usual.  Then came along the black death and the extermination by disease of the population of North America.  We were very close and the recovery of the forests  with the draw down of Carbon dioxide, just nudged us into snow accumulation on Baffin Island.  The traces can still be seen in the halo of dead lichens around the highlands.  Our output of Carbon dioxide continued to increase and the process was reversed.  Now we have too much of a good thing and seem to be on the road to kicking ourselves into a dark age or perhaps a stone age.  It is as endlessly fascinating as a good horror movie, to see how incredibly smart we are individually and how incredibly dumb we are in the collective.  The one ring that controls them all is vested interest money in politics.

  19. TheNewDayBreaker at 04:06 AM on 22 January 2018
    The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Riduna, could you provide me with your qualifications? (college degree and from where, profesiional position, and/or any awards you have won). I would love to cite this article for an argument I am making, but I will need your qualifications.

    Great article!

  20. Anti-vaccers, climate change deniers, and anti-GMO activists are all the same

    Alan @51  — Again, you are failing to achieve clarity [including validity] in the expression of your lines of argument.

    Your Paragraph 2  --  <"... even if there are thousands of well-established scientists agreeing on one theory, they could be proved wrong by only one person..."> (unquote) is a nonsense argument in the case of climate science.  Modern climate science is based in the "hard" sciences of physics & inorganic chemistry i.e. in well-integrated science involving cross-linking of large numbers of strands (strands of basic scientific theory meshed with experimental & empirical evidence).   Furthermore, regarding climate science, there is only about a score of "genuine" climate scientists who are [in modern parlance] Climate Deniers . . . and these 20 or so are unable to present any valid evidence or counter-hypothesis !    Worse, their ideas/statements seem mutually contradictory (as well as failing to possess plausibility !! ).

    Of the <"... at least a few hundred to thousands of high-level scientists who are accusing the CCT** ..."> (unquote), they are likewise possessing no valid case .   Instead, they lose their minds in a quagmire [ =swamp?  ;-)  ]  of empty rhetoric and/or extremist political posturing . . . but they possess no actual scientific reasoning to support their positions [positions plural] .    Sadly, some appear to be in their dotage, and some are possessed [ excuse pun  ;-)  ]  by extremist/fundamentalist religious beliefs which prevent them from acknowledging reality [ e.g. Spencer, Lindzen ] ,  and some seem not to know one end of a Lapse Rate from t'other.

    Evidence and logical reasoning, Alan — that is what the Deniers lack.


    Your Paragraph 3 --  Alan, you make an illogical argument when you try to equate the "hard sciences" to the "soft sciences" [e.g. sociology] or the distinctly-less-than-hard sciences such as medical science (and your case of the New England Journal of Medicine).   Apples and oranges, Alan.   Without taking away from the vast achievements of medical science during the past 200 years [anesthetics, surgery, vaccinations, drugs, etc] nevertheless the experiment-based advances of modern medicine are usually impeded by a vast complexity of confounding factors (as well as by the effect of human psychology).   These confounding complexities hamper the medical scientists in a way that does not exist in the vastly simpler area of physics/climate/meteorology.   Alan, your comparison/analogy is not valid, and so your argument is not valid.


    Your Paragraph 4 — Alan, nobody is mocking the most brilliant minds of the early centuries of science . . . but they lived in a very different scientific environment (from the cross-checking and weight of consistent evidence, found in the "hard sciences" of today).


    Your Paragraphs 5 & 6 ,  — Alan, it is all about the evidence.  The evidence supports the mainstream scientific consensus position (regarding climate).   There is no actual supporting evidence to be found for the (many and incoherent) positions of the deniers /science-deniers /denialists /call-them-what-you-will.   I myself would like to be able to dignify some of them with the term "contrarians" . . . but that cannot be, since to be a contrarian one must have something valid to base one's "counter-position" on.   And that is exactly what the deniers lack (as well as lacking logical commonsense risk management, and lacking decent compassion for billions of other human beings) .


    BTW, Alan, you also fail in your "local weather" argument . . . for instance while in the past two weeks or so, a small part [scientifically insignificant] of north-east North America has had a bitter cold snap — yet other parts of the world have been experiencing heat waves.   Even worse for your line of argument : the New England cold snap may well, to a considerable extent, be a result of Arctic warming (Arctic warming being a consequence of AGW).


    ** Alan, the "Climate Change Theory" term you use is an odd one — not generally used by scientists (likewise, even more odd, is your contraction "CCT" which would be meaningless to educated people).   Best to stick with standard English and standard/widely-used abbreviations, in climate discussions, Alan.  There is already more-than-enough appallingly-poor communication in the discussion of important topics, in today's world !

  21. Mt. Kilimanjaro's ice loss is due to land use

    The mount Kilimanjaro glaciers are inherently unstable: the ice at the bottom of the glacier touching the rocks melts, the glaciers lose their ‘grip’ on the mountain and ‘overhangs’ occur where the ice at the base has melted away, leaving just the ice at the top to survive.

  22. Consensus on consensus

    A few thoughts about the importance of consensus.

    1. William – it seems to me that your comment is self-contradictory. You say

    a. Consensus has little to do with science.
    b. Evidence is essential to science.
    c. We should base our arguments on the evidence.

    The use of the term ‘we’ indicates consensus concerning the evidence. Without this consensus there is no we who, you say, are to base arguments on the evidence.

    The essence of science is the process of correction. As experiments are performed or as more data are gathered by a community of scientists, our understanding of physical processes increases, our instruments are improved and our measurements and our theories (i.e., models) become more precise.

    Science is a communal enterprise. If you fail to get colleagues in your field to understand your experiments and theories you are failing as a scientist. If your colleagues, assuming they have reputations as capable experimentalists, are unable to replicate your findings you are failing as a scientist. It doesn’t mean that, in the end, their judgments will not be revised. It does mean, however, that the judgments of the scientific community— i.e., the consensus judgments of that community are important to the process of the scientific enterprise.

    A certain measure of disagreement within the scientific community is sometimes helpful. Not all consensus or agreement is important. But deviate too far from the consensus views of this community : reject the importance of things such as measurements, experiments, data, and the use of mathematics and your ability to interact with the scientific community will come to an end. Science could not exist as an enterprise without shared views of the value of evidence, data, and instrumentation.

    BBHY –

    I am with you here. Evidence is only convincing if it is understood. I am not a scientist. I cannot claim to understand much at all beyond the introductory sentences of a science journal article.

    I am no more capable of looking at the evidence for warming and arguing that this evidence is sufficient warrant to show that humans are causing warming than I can look at my x-rays and other medical evidence and claim that I need xyz surgery. I leave it to the scientific and medical experts to come to their conclusions. I would be a fool to disagree with the consensus of the scientific or the medical community.

    William –

    I agree with you on your views about rationality, mental short-cuts, biases etc. But the problem runs deeper. It affects scientists too. You say our scientific consensus is soundly based. How to we ever know this? There is no simple instrument that registers positively when consensus is soundly based.
    How would we verify the accuracy of such an instrument?

    Right now, the scientific consensus on AGW is meeting very little opposition from credible sources. All objections to the consensus are coming from opponents based on their political and economic interests. None of the objections are coming from credible scientific sources.

    So, I would argue that we think that our scientific consensus is soundly based because we have a consensus concerning how to conduct scientific inquiry – we agree on the use of data, the use of various instruments to collect that data, the use of various mathematical methods to evaluate that data, and we agree on the importance of open inquiry. Based on this consensus concerning how the scientific enterprise to to be conducted we can form a meta-consensus about the well founded basis of climate science.

    Its not quite like turtles all the way down but it is turtles down a bit further than you suggest.

    My point is no more than consensus is important and perhaps more important than its been treated in the comments.

  23. A ‘new’ measurement of climate sensitivity?

    nigelj - thanks for that.  Much along the lines of my own thinking

  24. A ‘new’ measurement of climate sensitivity?

    Riduna @6

    Climate sensitivity is temperature response to a doubling of CO2, and nothing more. That much I know.

    The way the weather and ice melting responds to temperature is another matter. Maybe call it weather and sea level rise sensitivity. But in a way the same issues apply. For example we know approximately what will happen with sea level rise and weather, but we do not know exactly how weather will respond or how fast ice sheets will collapse, due to some unknowns, so there is a range of predictions. However its perhaps easier to calculate the effects of temperature on ice sheets, than the effects of CO2 on temperature.

    Fwiw I think climate sensitivity is most likely towards the middle of the range, and might almost be slightly under, but I think weather and sea level rise is underestimated, and will change towards the upper ends of the range. So I would say weather is very sensitive to even small changes in temperature. This is just a gut reaction or intuition based on the preponderance of information I read about things. Apparently from todays article warming has already doubled the area of forest fires and appears to be ahead of what was predicted. Sea level rise is slightly ahead of predictions. This is at a point where climate sensitivity appears to be in the middle of the range.

  25. Anti-vaccers, climate change deniers, and anti-GMO activists are all the same

    To the moderator: As I initially saw the article on this page with comments, I thought it would be the place to add to the discussion. I will continue here for the sake of continuity and to answer some concerns.

    My point was to show that man has two options in science: he can do things correctly or falsely, and this depends on two factors. 1) he uses current knowledge and reaches into the unknown with induction/deduction to further science; and 2) his perception is not distorted. I believe the latter is more important as even observable “facts” can be wrong, as Darwin, Curies’, et-al. have proved to the consensus. My post was written to show that even if there are thousands of well-established scientists agreeing on one theory, they could be proved wrong by only one person. Now let us take Climate Change Theory: is everyone aware there are at least a few hundred to thousands of high-level scientists who are accusing the CCT school of “denial and irresponsibility?” So who is right as both can’t be?

    Unfortunately, it is well known that “facts” and “research” in the modern-era can be used prejudicially and incorrectly to make one’s point. The case of the ex-editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr Marcia Angell, stating that this once world-renowned magazine is corrupted by their sponsor drug companies is a case in point. It is becoming exceedingly difficult to take “scientific research” at face value as fraud and bad research abound. One must take their time to double-check original references, etc, and most people do not have the time or inclination to do this. I did not say I do not believe in science, but only in observable theories that can usually be collaborative with other branches (i.e., a unifying principle). True scientists have always been geniuses with the instinctive gift to discover a profound truth. A truth that usually leads to someone else later improving it, as more creative thinking is applied. This is what makes it “good” science. This should rebut the original author’s claim "that one has to either accept science or not.”

    To poster “eclectic”: To your first point, Semmelweis was right, while pre-Columbus sailors were wrong; this is the domain of correct perception. Second point: are we so omnipotent as to state that our scientific thinking is at an all time-high without capacity for serious error, while simultaneously mocking the pre-mid 20th century minds? May I remind everyone that the most profound and life changing inventions and ideas emerged before the “information superhighway."

    But let’s try this from a different angle—the climate change school is really the newcomer to the field and therefore has to prove their point. Did not they use all of the nine points the article refers to going against mainstream science? It was very easy to use the accusatory terms “fringe and denial” against CCT, and with the roles reversed, one can see it’s an ad-hominem attack. I prefer to call the anti-CCT school unbelievers, as CCT has not been proven by observation. One can cite all the studies until tomorrow, but the very real fact that we are getting snow and freezing temperatures all over the world and a deep-winter pattern is re-emerging shows that climate change is real, but not in an abnormal way. I prefer not to list all the studies and web sites to counter CCT, as I am just addressing the “logic of science.”

    I personally find it is a mistake for the anti-CCT school to withhold a statement about the Earth’s environment, as they are seen as uncaring, boorish, and influenced by money, etc. This is not the case at all with many of us. We care about the environment and would like to reduce pollution as much as feasible and practical. If we would not need combustion engines and coal, fine, but that is impossible at this stage, and forcing a nation to forego their energy requirements is tyrannical. The agents of pollution that are immensely more dangerous that CO2 (of which man-made is a minor part) are the chemicals and the full spectrum of electromagnetic energy, and I would not mind if there was a vast reduction in their usage.

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] I would just add that: "CCT has not been proven by observation. One can cite all the studies until tomorrow, but the very real fact that we are getting snow and freezing temperatures all over the world and a deep-winter pattern is re-emerging shows that climate change is real, but not in an abnormal way."

    is moving into realm of sloganeering. Firstly, you dont prove anything in science, that is for maths and logic. Secondly, if you want assert that observations are counter to what a theory states will happen, then you need a/ link to a statement of consensus theory that you think is contradicted (the IPCC reports are starting point) and b/ link to observations that you think show the contradiction. Otherwise you are simply sloganeering or attempting a strawman argument. (ie it is not clear to me that freezing temperatures in winter in parts of US and Europe are in contradiction with the theory - far from it - but it behoves you to show that).

  26. SingletonEngineer at 23:27 PM on 20 January 2018
    Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what's Earth's ideal temperature. Scientists answer

    Dear Moderator:

    Please remove this post and my previous one in response to a comment which has since been removed.

  27. SingletonEngineer at 23:24 PM on 20 January 2018
    Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what's Earth's ideal temperature. Scientists answer

    @ Bozza:

    I understand that Australia is no newcomer to malaria, having eliminated it in the Top End during and after WWII (DDT??).  There is no reason to forget that the disease's name comes from the Latin or Italian, meaning "bad air".  Europe eliminated malaria only recently.

    Malaria is no joking matter, however the above demonstrates that it is probably manageable.  One emerging tool is vaccine, currently being developed in several promising research establishments in Australia and elsewhere.

    Other effects of climate change, such as sea level rise and ocean acidification, may not be so accommodating.

  28. Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what's Earth's ideal temperature. Scientists answer

    2ndly, does anyone know if Michael Mann is predicting malaria in Australia yet?

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Off-topic nonsense snipped. 

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can and will be rescinded if the posting individual continues to treat adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

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  29. Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what's Earth's ideal temperature. Scientists answer

    Scott is happy with his mediocrity : it makes him happy and the elite treat him with softer fingers than they do themselves and their peers because this is infact the first prerequisite for a member of the elite!

    I think that‘s Nietzsche but don’t quote me on it!

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Ad hominem snipped.

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can be rescinded if the posting individual treats adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

  30. A ‘new’ measurement of climate sensitivity?

    Is the term ‘Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity’ (ECS) appropriate when calculating the effect of doubling the concentration of CO2-eq on mean global air temperature measured near the surface? The term certainly does not describe the way or rate of change in climate - or its effects on the environment.

    Informed guesses about the effects of increased near surface air temperatures on the climate can be made in terms of increased severity of climate events, land based ice mass loss and sea level rise. These are based on evidence of what happened during the Eemian maxima when mean surface temperature was probably less than 1°C higher than at present.

    The sensitivity of the climate to a change in mean near surface temperature is not what ECS measures – or is my understanding wrong?

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] See the definition of "climate sensitivity" in the SkS Glossary of Scientific Terms. 

  31. A ‘new’ measurement of climate sensitivity?

    Wili @4

    The Guardian article might have  made a mess of the numbers as well. They say "Earth’s surface will almost certainly not warm up four or five degrees Celsius by 2100, according to a study which, if correct, voids worst-case UN climate change predictions." I think they have messed this up.

    The  IPCC climate sensitivity was 1.5 - 4.5 degrees celsius, now the new research suggests to 2.2 - 3.4 degrees. The Guardian appears to have mistaken all these numbers for temperature predictions by the end of the century. They are not, they are only representing a doubling of C02 levels. In effect, they are a middle range scenario in terms of predictions.

    The actual  IPCC worst case senario for temperature predictions is actually 5.8 degrees (above the 1990 base line) based on heavy burning of fossil fuels. Therefore I would suspect the new worst case scenario is still  somewhere between 4 - 5 degrees. 

  32. A ‘new’ measurement of climate sensitivity?

    As the last two paragraphs of this article show, they have not, in fact, "ruled out worst-case scenarios," just ignored them.

  33. Anti-vaccers, climate change deniers, and anti-GMO activists are all the same

    Actually, Alan's post is primarily a good example of the "Science has been wrong before" argument.

  34. Anti-vaccers, climate change deniers, and anti-GMO activists are all the same

    Alan @48 , your post is rather discursive.  Is there a cogent case (for something) that you wish to make?

    Because Semmelweis was correct (but initially scorned) . . . does that mean we should be more accepting & respectful of Flat-Earthers and their ideas?   No, Alan, your line of argument is illogical.   Especially so, since "science" in the 1600's , 1700's , and much of the 1800's , has been a very different kettle of fish to the very integrated science of modern times.

    What is the relevance of your fourth paragraph?

    Clarity, please, Alan.

  35. A ‘new’ measurement of climate sensitivity?

    Suggested supplemental reading:

    Climate scientists say they may be able to rule out the worst-case scenarios — and the best ones by Chris Mooney, Energy & Environment, Washington Post, Jan 17, 2018

  36. A ‘new’ measurement of climate sensitivity?

    Some good quality media commentary and information on Cox et al:

  37. Anti-vaccers, climate change deniers, and anti-GMO activists are all the same

    Your article starts with the premise that if one disagrees with an “official science” or consensual hypothesis, they are being fringe deniers. You then list nine different false assumptions made by some in the public and try to deconstruct them. With your permission, I will use your list to prove the opposite— their inherent worth to scientists. My rebuttal is not about climate change per se, but the arguments used to eliminate skeptical researchers.

    First, some quotes are in order: “All great truths begin as blasphemies,” Shaw. “Science advances one funeral at a time,” Planck. “First it is ridiculed, then it is violently opposed, third it is accepted as self evident,” Schopenhauer. Lastly, “When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces of the world are all in confederacy against him,” Swift.

    Next, a very minute list of great pioneering scientists, who were attacked, ridiculed and ostracized when their work went against consensual science; their “reward” follows. Mendel/Genetics--life in isolation. Semmelweis/Puerperal fever—death in asylum. Boltzmann/Statistical Thermodynamics—suicide. And of course, Copernicus, Galileo, and Darwin who were all shunned.

    I hope the above two paragraphs will lay to rest eight out of the nine positions of deniers, as any pioneer in groundbreaking work has had to resort to them.

    1) Ignore a large body of evidence. Check, if it is wrong.

    2) Cite small studies. Check, as his new findings are unknown. I purposely left out “low quality, cherry-picked,” since this is a prejudice.

    3) Conspiracy theories. Check, and not a delusion when funding is denied.

    4) Accuse opponents of being close-minded. Check, and the term “shills” is irrelevant.

    5) Rely on anecdotes and personal experience. Check, since by itself, exactly what is wrong with that?

    6) Cite non-conventional sources (blogs and videos). Check, not a mistake if they appear genuine and logical. This is called observation, and Newton used it in nature, as he did not have a laptop back then.

    7) Science has been wrong before. Check, see examples above. Your mention of Einstein versus Newton omits many real mistakes, including modern medicine.

    8) Just asking questions. Check, as pioneers are usually censured and stymied. The “Appeal to minority of fringe experts,” does not really apply, as a pioneer knows that it is impossible to be taken seriously when an observation turns science upside down.

    Otherwise your well-written article describes how true science is supposed to work, but you left out one essential detail—man gets in the way with his petty behavior.

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] This topic is report from "The logic of science". It would be polite if Alan made his points over there and that is possibly the best place for discussions not directly on climate science.

  38. A ‘new’ measurement of climate sensitivity?

    And there is Cox et al which suggests 2.8C

    Emergent constraint on equilibrium climate sensitivity from global temperature variability
    Peter M. Cox, Chris Huntingford & Mark S. Williamson
    Nature 553, 319–322 (18 January 2018)

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Link activated

  39. Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what's Earth's ideal temperature. Scientists answer

    Scott, since sea level and global temperature are closely linked, your question can be reconstructed as, "What it the ideal sea level?" 

    Well, the sea gulls don't care, the fish don't care, even the coral reefs will move effortlessly if the change is gradual.  However one species has trillions of dollars invested in coastal infrastructure.  What is the ideal location for a major port?  Ten meters above sea level?  Ten meters below sea level?  Or right at sea level where it currently exists?

  40. Flaws of Lüdecke & Weiss

    The roguish curve-fitting in this LW17 paper will surely become more apparent the deeper you dig.

    I was intrigued by their use of HadCRUT4 and RSS (v3.3 as v4.0 was not published in April 2017) and their comment "For Bün, HADCRUT4 and Pet respectively the most recent years which show unusual deviations from the remaining reconstructions were also omitted." Perhaps this is why their Figure 3 makes such a poor showing at representing 20th century global temperatures. Their blue trace (31-year rolling ave, last data 2015) shows temperatures only reachng about 0.12ºC above the 1940s peak, about a quarter the actual value from HadCRUT4. And the final values plotted don't reach 2015 by a few years. Perhaps it was too painful to plot it all out properly as that would show their predictive red trace dropping 0.66ºC over the 75 year period since 1940 while the blue trace was travelling in the opposite direction by about the same amount. Such a mis-match looks to be unique on their 2000-year-long red-blue-dancing traces and, darn it, it is just at the point of interest.

    It must be very frustrating for curve-fitters when their curves refuse to cooperate!

  41. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Recommended supplemental reading:

    With Donald Trump in the White House, the prospects for fighting climate change have never been any bleaker in the US. Yet there are options available to state governments to move forward with the greening of the economy even without federal support. This point is made crystal clear in two studies produced recently by economist Robert Pollin and some of his colleagues at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for the states of Washington and New York. In this exclusive interview for Truthout, Pollin explains the significance of Green New Deal programs.

    How to Achieve Zero Emissions, Even if the Federal Government Won't Help by C.J. Polychroniou, Truthout, Jan 17, 2018

  42. Flaws of Lüdecke & Weiss

    >>Unchecking all the boxes should stop any glossary terms from popping up.<<

    Many thanks - I hadn't seen that.

  43. Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what's Earth's ideal temperature. Scientists answer

    Pruitt: "how do we know what the ideal surface temperature is in 2100"?  Ideal surface temperature 4 C cooler than now.  At that temperature, Eastern U.S. covered under a mile of ice, sea level hundred feet lower than present, wooly mammoth everywhere, plenty meat and skins for all neanderthal.  Good times!  Signed,  Thorg.

  44. Flaws of Lüdecke & Weiss


    When you are logged on, you should see a tab on the lower left of your window that says "Look up a Term". Click on that, and you open up the glossary function. On the right, you can customize your settings. Unchecking all the boxes should stop any glossary terms from popping up.

  45. Flaws of Lüdecke & Weiss

    OK, off subject - but Mods, is it at all possible to change the site coding so that one has to say right click on an "explained" link instead of the explanation appearing just because the mouse has lingered momentarily over the link?

    It's irritating to constantly have to cancel expanatory boxes which have appeared unwantedly!

  46. Flaws of Lüdecke & Weiss

    It's a question of relative radiative forcings acting on the Earth's land surface, oceans and atmosphere.

    The periods of deep glaciation in recent geological times that have covered a large part of the Northern Hemisphere in thick ice sheets and dropped global temperatures for thousands of years are likely the result of the Milanchovitch Cycles which can reduce the amount of Solar irradiation at northern latitude. These are on the order of a few tenths of a watt per meter squared and act over thousands of years in a dry process of more snow and ice cover lasting longer and reflecting more sunlight back into space dropping temperatures and drawing down more carbon dioxide cooling things even more creating more snow and ice cover which reflect more sunlight cooling things further. It's a feedback loop than when most of the continents are near the Equator can cover almost all of the Earth in ice.

    The radiative forcing from the changes we have made in atmospheric CO2 alone are almost +2 watts per meter squared, we have totally swamped the natural focrings that have resulted deep glaciation periods.

    There almost certainly will be no transition to a glaciation period due to the human release of CO2 alone. The Solar Cycles are also not that significant in relation to the forcings of atmospheric CO2 in recent times, once again in the range of a few tenths of a watt per meter squared.

    Even a prolonged Solar Minimum is not going to result in a cooling trend on the Earth's surface now, it will only result in a slowing of global warming as long as the positive radiative forcing from carbon dioxide emissions and other human activities greatly exceed the possible negative forcings from Solar Cycles.

    And the overall trend in Solar activity is not a decrease in Solar irradiance, it is an increase. The Sun puts out far more energy now than it did say 500 Mya for instance.

    Appealing to the Sun to save us as papers like LW17 do seem far more religious to me than scientific.

  47. One Planet Only Forever at 08:56 AM on 18 January 2018
    Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what's Earth's ideal temperature. Scientists answer

    The problem is: Change/Harm/Uncertainty on a global scale being created by rapid alteration of the living environment of this amazing planet by an unsustainable and damaging human activity.

    The Real question is: How much damage/trouble are the pursuers of Private Interest (trying to personally benefit from the unsustainable and damaging activity) going to get away with creating?

    The debates needs to be: How did we end up in this unsustainable damaging situation? And what changes get the future of humanity out of the damaging unsustainable downward spiral that only looks like progress? Hint - new technological developments may be helpful but are Not the answer.

    The likes of Pruitt appear to be deliberately Unhelpful (potentially deliberately harmful, and potentially deliberately harmful is almost criminal)

  48. Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what's Earth's ideal temperature. Scientists answer

    Recommended supplemental reading:

    Climate scientists on Wednesday suggested that they may be able to rule out some of the most dire scenarios of what would happen if greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere were to double.

    Unfortunately, the same scientists say the best-case scenarios are also probably unrealistic.

    How a doubling of atmospheric greenhouse gases would affect the climate is of tremendous importance, as humans are running out of time to avoid that outcome. With current atmospheric concentrations at 405 parts per million, as opposed to about 280 parts per million before the dawn of the industrial era, the planet is already about halfway there.

    Climate scientists say they may be able to rule out the worst-case scenarios — and the best ones by Chris Mooney, Energy & Environment, Jan 17, 2018

  49. Flaws of Lüdecke & Weiss

    Ruddimans ideas are quite compelling. By some estimates we have already released more than enough CO2 to prevent or hugely delay the next ice age. We could still have a colder than normal period, but it only takes a couple of degrees to stop the full advancement of continent sized ice sheets. We don't need to release any more CO2.

    I gather the research in the main article deconstructs 200 yeas of solar irradiance data into its component curves and one of these correlates with recent decades of higher temperatures? But even if this is the case, which appears in doubt,  a correlation doesn't prove a great deal by itself. Changes in solar activity like this don't appear to have much effect, and the overall recent decadal trend is falling solar activity.

  50. Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what's Earth's ideal temperature. Scientists answer

    Yes its a rate of change problem. An ideal temperature is a strawman. Heatwaves will increase, and we cannot adapt quickly enough biologically, so have to expend energy to adapt, diverted form other pressing priorities,  and it will create refugee problems.

    But this will not worry people like Scott Pruit. Pruitt sits in his secure, air conditioned office with his millions of dollars, secure from the effects of climate change, and not caring about anyone apart from his immediate circle of people. You cannot reason with people like Pruitt. The fossil fuel industry now runs the American government. 

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