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Comments 851 to 900:

  1. One Planet Summit: Finance Commitments Fire-Up Higher Momentum for Paris Climate Change Agreement

    Regarding jobs in renewable energy:

    "As fossil energy has turned down, investments in renewable energy are rising fast. The U.S. solar sector has grown to about 40 manufacturing plants, over 9,000 installation companies and 260,000 employees, according to the Solar Energy Industries Assn., the industry’s major trade group in Washington. (By contrast, 53,420 people work in the coal industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)" from the Los Angeles Times

  2. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Suggested supplemental reading:

    Baloney Meter: will the Liberal carbon tax really mean paying more for everything? by Mia Robson, Canadian Press/National Observer, Jan 11, 2018

    Wind & Solar + Storage Prices Smash Records by Christopher Arcus, CleanTehnica, Jan 11, 2018

    Solar steam powers homes – and new jobs – in South Africa by Munyaradzi Makoni, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Jan 11, 2018

    Nuclear debacle energizes push for solar power expansion by Sammy Fretwell, The State (Columbia, SC), Jan 9, 2018

    As Trump's fossil-fuel 'energy dominance' plan founders, a crucial solar energy decision nears by Keith Schneider, Los Angeles Times, Jan 10, 2018

  3. Submerged Forests off the coast of Wales: a Climate Change Snapshot


    John Cook rarely posts here anymore.  You might try searching for his email address on GOOGLE.  He currently works for George Mason University.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] John Cook has returned to Australia for a vacation visit. The best way to communicate with him is by using the "Contact US" button at the bottom of this page.

    [BW] As Kristinmoe's comment is on a post written by John Mason in 2012, I guess that it's him she'd like to contact. I already let him know about the comment and he'll be in touch with her.

  4. Michael Schroeder at 05:00 AM on 13 January 2018
    Welcome to Skeptical Science

    IowaCorn:  I had occasion to see Gregory Wrightstone present on his book at the Lebanon 9/12 Project meeting this past Dec. 21 in Lebanon County PA.  I asked some tough questions he wasn't able to answer adequately, and later purchased a copy of his book through his website (promo code 1776) — mainly so I can use it in my freshman-level "People & the Planet" course at Lebanon Valley College as a kind of "information literacy" assignment — the students' task will be to select one or more of Wrightstone's 60 "inconvenient facts" and hold it up to the scientific light-of-day by investigating the claim (and, I hope, amply demonstrating why it's bogus or misleading).  Wrightstone is a longtime Republican activist in Central PA and a paid consultant for the oil & gas industry, and has only recently turned his attention to climate change issues.  I wrote a scathing letter to the local paper (Lebanon Daily News) on his presentation, characterizing his book as "junk science," and the editor of the book, a local guy in a nearby township, wrote a rebuttal letter calling my letter a "smear".  Anyway the book is only recently published and I hope that by April or so I'll have a bunch of student papers debunking at least some of Wrightstone's fallacious claims.  Hope that helps. 

    Moderator Response:

    [TD] Perhaps you and your students could collaborate in writing a Skeptical Science post about that? It would be a nice way to cap that project for them, and force them to cope with having to summarize a lot of info for a particular audience.

  5. New research, December 25-31, 2017

    I'm sure someone already spotted this... but there's a typo on the first graph: "sanility" instead of the correct "salinity".

  6. Submerged Forests off the coast of Wales: a Climate Change Snapshot

    John, I'm a radio producer in the states and I'm putting together an idea for a podcast about the cultural dimensions of climate change. I'd love to interview you for it and talk about Cantre'r Gwaelod. I'm at Please send me an email if you'd be willing to chat with me. Thanks!

    Kristin Moe

  7. Welcome to Skeptical Science

    Tom:  Thank you.  I suspected as much when an Internet search brought up the usual denier web sites.  I'm saddened that folks in my line of work (engineering), folks who supposedly studied science and learned the scientific process, are not using it.

    Thank you again.

  8. With science under siege in 2017, scientists regrouped and fought back: 5 essential reads

    The pure sciences are extremely valuable and have lead to numerous technologies, but are often slow to generate profits, and have historically been neglected by the private sector. As a result much pure science is publicly funded, a very sensible idea.

    Basic economics 101 says that free markets don't solve all problems, or create all necessary goods. Even Einsteins discoveries eventually lead to numerous inventions, and still inspire inventions today.

    But there is also a "value" in simply understanding the world, just as playing sport has a value to us. Science has value even if it doesn't make a profit, or lead to an invention.

    It's deplorable that the White House has cut funding for basic sciences, and made unqualified and partisan appointments, and their rhetoric about global warming conspiracies and draining the swamp shows its all politically motivated, as opposed to economically driven. Trump keeps telling us how "great" the economy is, so it's clearly not economically driven.

    Unfortunately public funding of science is open to manipulation by politicians. Sadly The White Hoouse is playing with even more picking of prefered projects by politicians kown as "earmarking" as below:

    This is a most unfortunate development, that leads to wasted spending to reward donors.

    Of course not every science issue can be funded, but decisions are better made by officials, rather than politicians, and ideally a body separate from government, or a bipartisan committee at the very least. Ideology and politics or beliefs are no basis to decide science funding, and instead it has to be on costs and technical merits of whether research breaks new ground or is significant. 

  9. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Sunspot @14

    "20 years ago the world got over 80% of its energy by burning fossil fuels. Then we built lots of windmills and solar panels. The result is today, we still get over 80% of our energy by burning fossil suels. What happened?? Well, the world uses a lot more energy than we did 20 years ago."

    The reason for slow uptake of renewable energy is not really increasing demand for energy. The reasons have been political resistance to renewable energy, campaigns to spread doubt about renewable energy and climate science, and the high costs of early versions of renewable energy. Costs are much lower now, and growth in renewable energy has been much higher in the last 5 years or so, with both wind and solar power as in the link below. Solar growth has been near exponential since about 2008.

    "And, btw - I agree with Jef. I don't know how that is so confusing to some of you. If people get paid a living wage then they don't have to drive to work and consume fossil fuels."

    With respect this is not correct. A living wage is normally defined as a slightly higher version of a minimum wage (and its a good idea) that is paid by companies or subsidised by governments. People will still need to work to get this living wage, and to get to work driving something or by bus. So all the issues around renewable energy and electric cars remain.

    If you mean a "universal basic income" that people get as of right, this is  really for the unemployed and invalids, and is set at about the level of minimum wage or even less, so is very minimal. The vast majority of people will still work if they want to do more than merely survive. And money doesn't grow on trees, so a ubi has to be minimal, although I think its a useful idea.

    "If they are paid to grow vegetables then we have to get less lettuce from Chile."

    Nobody is going to pay people to stay home to grow vegetables. Money doesn't grow on trees. However I think you are right if you are promoting more self sufficiency in food, and less reliance on food imports, and associated transport costs.

    " And, the best part - we won't be able to afford to waste over a half trillion dollars a year, and all that wasted energy, bombing brown people on the other side of the planet who pose very little threat to us"


  10. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    robert.hargraves @11

    "I didn't realize Skeptical Science was an anti-science blog. This article does not even mention nuclear power as a solution"

    Nuclear power electricity generation is a technology, not pure science as such.

    Nuclear power is an expensive technology (refer "cost of electricity by source" on wikipedia) and slow to build and get regulatory approval, and this is why its not being chosen by generating companies or governments. I have nothing totally against nuclear power, although the thought of hundreds of reactors in developing countries does not fill me with confidence regarding safety.

  11. One Planet Only Forever at 05:09 AM on 12 January 2018
    With science under siege in 2017, scientists regrouped and fought back: 5 essential reads

    Linking Science to Potential Private Interest Benefit can be a very Damaging Game. People wanting a Damaging Unsustainable Private Interest Result have a proven Competitive advantage. The game must be Played very carefully to achieve a Good Result. Clear Good Objectives with aligned rules and strict enforcement effectively limiting what can be gotten away with are essential, and is clearly what is missing from the developed games of popularity and profitability.

    My understanding is that achieving/improving the Sustainable Development Goals (which include climate action based on climate science), is essential for the future of humanity (a robust diversity of humanity fitting into the robust diversity of life on this amazing planet - Darwin's survival of the Fittest). Though the Sustainable Development Goals are rather recent (2015), the fundamental good objective for that understanding is not new, it is just missing-in-action too much today (and through the past several decades).

    Any effort to increase awareness and understanding of what is going on is potentially Helpful. So Pure Science research and reporting should be fundamentally defended/supported.

    The application of awareness and understanding, or deciding where to focus efforts to increase awareness and understanding, is when it becomes important to differentiate the Helpful from Harmful.

    Raising awareness of the potential for Private Interest benefit/profit-making by a sub-set of humanity from the application/pursuit of increased awareness and understanding is potentially dangerous. What is dangerous is a lack of alignment on Good Objectives for any application of awareness and understanding. And the Good Objectives are to achieve, and improve, the Sustainable Development Goals. The ways to abuse the power of misleading marketing, including misleading reporting by information media, is one clear example of harmful research focus and application of awareness and understanding.

    Bringing attention to the potential for Private Interest benefit is only helpful if the objectives used to determine the acceptability of Private Interests are aligned with, supportive of, the Global Public Interest governing objective of achieving/improving the Sustainable Development Goals.

    Without alignment on that Good Objective basis, setting priorities for research funding can incorrectly lead to efforts to develop damaging unsustainable applications. The result can also be the termination of funding for research that may produce increased awareness and understanding that is contrary to Private Interests, such as increasing the awareness and understanding that a developed Private Interest should not be as popular and profitable as it is because it is actually unsustainable or damaging.

    Another downfall of linking basic science to the development of Private Interest pursuits of profit is the potential for people with wealth to incorrectly influence research to be 'In their Private Interest'. Examples of this are 'think tanks with objectives contrary to the Good Global Public Interest' being populated by University researchers, or faculties of 'supposed higher learning and better understanding' that gear their programs of education and research to 'Suit the interests of those Private Interests in order to get more funding'.

    As an example, the recent Conservative Government in Canada deliberately evaluated what research 'they thought would be beneficial' and cut funding for any science that was 'contrary to their Interests'. They also insisted that publicly funded researchers only be permitted to make public presentations that the Political Minders had vetted/screened/edited for acceptability of alignment with 'Their Interests'.

    Similar things were/are done by recent Republican leadership in the USA, and by other groups of unhelpful/harmful pursuers of Private Interest around the world.

    Note: I try to avoid appearing political, but the governments in Canada and the USA that clearly did significant amounts of unhelpful/harmful Private Interest pursuits related to Science that I pointed out as examples, called/call themselves “Conservative” and “Republican”.

  12. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    20 years ago the world got over 80% of its energy by burning fossil fuels. Then we built lots of windmills and solar panels. The result is today, we still get over 80% of our energy by burning fossil suels. What happened?? Well, the world uses a lot more energy than we did 20 years ago. 

    And, btw - I agree with Jef. I don't know how that is so confusing to some of you. If people get paid a living wage then they don't have to drive to work and consume fossil fuels. If they are paid to grow vegetables then we have to get less lettuce from Chile. And, the best part - we won't be able to afford to waste over a half trillion dollars a year, and all that wasted energy, bombing brown people on the other side of the planet who pose very little threat to us.  All I see is win-win-win...

  13. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    I agree w/ comments above that encourage the use of Revenue-Neutral Carbon Fee & Dividend with border-adjustments in an integrated (do both, push & pull) array of mitigation policies, but that RNCFD is an absolutely essential component of such a do all policy scheme. See RNCFD proposals by Citizens Climate Lobby or Climate Leadership Council (tax applied at the source, w/ border adjustments to promote global domino equal tax effect). I wish the author had included this particular sub-set of carbon taxation in their mitigation policy analysis.

    Switching to RE is not a net zero sum game. In other words, as RE advances & its capacity increases (but without cost pressure on FF's), then the economy will (in no small amount) "add on" the RE and not equally reduce FF consumption. The $/mwh costs given here do not show the costs on a $/GDP/mwh yearly trend basis (offsetting for inflation) and as a function of total or per capita energy demand. ... Reductions in FF consumption will cause downward pressure on FF price (i.e. supply & demand) and FF industries will react and by doing so, will maintain profitability while sustaining supply (even at the lower cost) by a) dropping off their higher cost sources and b) improving efficiency on their remaining operations. All of this will help FF's retain their current very large market leverage in the energy infrastructure network, making large-scale reductions too protracted. ... Evidence: Energy US efficiency increased by 58% between 1990 & 2015. Thus, FF usage should have dropped by 37% (1 - 1/1.58) in a zero-sum energy usage game. Population increases (21%) "chewed-up" 36% of this efficiency gain (21%/58%). But, since US CO2 emissions in 2015 are essentially equal to that of 1990, then this means that consumption "added on" the remaining 64% of these efficiency gains. Why? This is because of the downward pressure on the FF price resulting from the slight drop in demand due to the efficiency gains works to maintain FF's leverage. ... Why would the impact of RE's be any different? ... This tells me that relying on "replacement only" forces and not offsetting the supply & demand forces on lowering FF prices is not looking at FF consumption in a 'dynamically' appropriate way. And, continuing, policies that do not build upon the offsetting economic force of a carbon tax (and the political durability of the revenue-neutral tax sub-set) will fail to achieve the required reductions in a maximum allowed (30-50 year) timescale.

    Yes, carbon taxes are politically difficult & global attempts have not been very successful in large-scale reductions. But 1) this does not mean we should not politically fight-like-hell to install a well designed tax (note: the politics are becoming a bit more positive in the US, outside the WH, read about CCL's growing, 66 member, Climate Solutions Caucas) and 2) nor does it mean that all tax policies need to be poorly & timidly designed as most current global polices are (too isolated, in addition to subsidizing the very industries that they are designed to 'squeeze'). CCL's 100% revenue-neutral approach is designed so to foster & assure political durability, which then enables installation of a higher effective tax rate ($100/ton CO2) w/o causing undo economic regression. Once installed & ramped up (& business accept its perpetuity), then the economic forces would be powerful (investment, R/D, etc) in moving markets toward the best technological solutions (since then all carbon impact considerations would be "packed" into the price). Thus the best solutions that would achieve the fastest carbon reductions would be the most profitable solution enabling and forcing their genesis & implementation. This all works effectively because the carbon tax rate is  the same as its social cost (or future cost, or external cost) of carbon based energy (i.e. read: Pigouvian tax). ... Read 'The Case for a Carbon Tax' for further in-depth comparitive analysis.

  14. Welcome to Skeptical Science

    IowaCorn: I can't find any serious reviews of Wrightstone's book. Judging from his web site, my guess is that nobody has bothered because his claims are all the usual, incorrect ones. For example, the first and third items in his book excerpts section of his site is the old CO2 is plant food one, which you can find rebutted here at SkS by searching for that phrase in the Search field at the top left of the page, or by clicking View All Arguments at the bottom of the Most Used Climate Myths list below the Search field. Note that many posts here have Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced tabs.

    He goes on a bit about warming being good. Please see the rebuttal to the myth It's Not Bad.

    He's also got a graph of central England temperature, which is not especially relevant to the topic of global warming. My guess is that he's showing that together with a CO2 level graph to imply that the curve shapes don't match, therefore CO2 can't cause warming. But he is wrong.

  15. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    I recently rode an electric motorbike in Taiwan and electric bus in mainland China.  The electric motorbike had all the power I desired, even with two riding, and the range on one charge was about 45 miles.  Stopping by the rental place, one could change out a battery in about 20 seconds.  I'm not sure they are completely there yet but this sunny and windy isle are well positioned to keep their large fleet of EV bikes charged with renewables.             I rode an electric bus in China that carried about 20 people.  It was peppy and quiet.   China is getting into EVs in a big, big way, and fast, because they see it as cheaper, cleaner and the future.  Taipai's transportation system demonstrates an efficient way to move a lot of people in a relatively small space.  It has a mostly modern subway that serves most of the city.  People use more motorbikes than cars, lots of buses, hybrid taxis everywhere, bicycles and walking.  The city is dense but it moves in an efficient and relatively clean way.  The still burn coal but are moving away from it.  

  16. Welcome to Skeptical Science

    Good day, all.  I've been following Skeptical Science for a couple of years and consider you the Go-To folks on climate change. 

    I've run into a book that I have not yet seen addressed in this forum: "Inconvenient Facts: The science that Al Gore doesn't want you to know" by Greg Wrightstone.  I would not have paid much attention to it except that it's come up in a blog of an engineering group (ASCE).  If anyone here knows something about it, I would like to hear.

    Many thanks and keep up the good work.

  17. Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions

    Dkoli . . . sorry, but Mr Randall Carlson is a very ordinary science-denier when it comes to climate.  Nothing intelligent or original.

    No new points from him, at all.  All his points are old stuff, debunked long ago.   Dkoli, pick any three of the points he raises, and then read through the relevant sections of SkepticalScience and you will see that he hasn't a leg to stand on.  Then pick another three, and you will find the same results.  And so on.

    Dkoli, you are wastiing your time reading any of the "Randall" commentary.  He clearly has a closed mind, and is years/decades out of date with his understanding of climate matters.  Very sad case . . . made even worse by his hubris (of the Dunning-Kruger type).

  18. robert.hargraves at 21:21 PM on 11 January 2018
    The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    I didn't realize Skeptical Science was an anti-science blog. This article does not even mention nuclear power as a solution. The cost of energy storage required for renewables is an order of magnitude too high. One day of storage would cost more than an entire nationwide all-nuclear grid See

    I'll not visit this site again.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Your choice.

  19. Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions

    (314) But he goes on to say "this does not mean that CO2 is driving climate change" and gives reasoning. 

    I have listened to Randall on JRE podcasts before and he seems quite legit, but Ive never seen him debated or debunked so I figure the people here may have good insight into how hes wrong (if hes wrong). 

  20. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Norris @8

    Regarding costs of gas compared to renewable sources, refer to the Lazard analysis below for America, or costs of electricity by source on wikipedia. (These are all measured slightly differently from the article, and are average costs, not the lowest costs cited in the article, but the comparison is what is obviously most important)

    Key points:

    "Onshore wind has the lowest average levelized cost in this analysis at $59 per megawatt-hour, and utility-scale photovoltaic plants weren’t far behind at $79. By comparison, the lowest cost conventional technologies were gas combined cycle technologies, averaging $74 per megawatt-hour, and coal plants, averaging $109. These numbers are the average of Lazard’s low- and high-end estimates (see their study for more about their cost calculations)."

    Regarding the Tesla battery in Australia:


    Some points:

    "Less than a month after Tesla unveiled a new backup power system in South Australia, the world's largest lithium-ion battery is already being put to the test. And it appears to be far exceeding expectations: In the past three weeks alone, the Hornsdale Power Reserve has smoothed out at least two major energy outages, responding even more quickly than the coal-fired backups that were supposed to provide emergency power."

    "Fed by wind turbines at the nearby Hornsdale wind farm, the battery stores excess energy that is produced when the demand for electricity isn't peaking. It can power up to 30,000 homes, though only for short periods - meaning that the battery must be supported by power plants in the event of a long outage."

    IMO this is quite something for one of the first instillations. The article was in our local newspaper recently.

  21. Skeptical Wombat at 15:42 PM on 11 January 2018
    The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Sure carbon taxes are not universal, are open to manipulation and vary from country to country.  That does not mean that they don't work.  The Australian experience is that introduction of a far from perfect tax resulted in a drop in emissions and its subsequent abolition resulted in renewed increases.

    A properly designed tax and dividend scheme encourages reductions in carbon use where they are most effective (for instance more careful management of refrigerants - reduction in concrete use - more use of public transport).  Carbon tax revenues should not be used to further reduce emissions - they should be returned to citizens and/or businesses to ameliorate the impact of the tax on employment and living standards.  A carbon tax also encourages R and D in non emitting sources of energy so you get your option B anyway.

  22. The Key To Slowing Global Warming


    "In 2017 the cost of renewable energy continued to fall with wind energy in the USA as low as $20/mWh, solar thermal dispatchable falling to around $50/mWh with grid-scale photovoltaic below $40/mWh compared to existing coal-fired generation at $40/mWh and new coal fired generation at $60-$70/mWh."

    Along with a few of the other posts on this blog, there is no discussion of the present alternative costs of natural gas in the US in the competition of alternative energy sources.

    Riduna, could you please provide the equivalent cost of natural gas per mWh?

    Policymakers will know this cost.  I think the sKs audience would also appreciate knowing this figure.

    michael sweet @ 6

    Are you suggesting that there has been a technological breakthrough with battery storage?  My understanding is that this has not occurred.  I do not fully understand the implications of the Tesla battery installation in Australia.  Perhaps someone can elucidate.

  23. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Jef @1

    "Financial pressures is another way of saying more people becoming poor and loosing access."

    No they aren't going to become poor. The personal costs of large cuts in emissions might be $3000 a year in paying off extra costs of an electric car, renewable energy costs, and other costs.  If you bought just a slightly smaller home, and less expensive appliances, and flew less, and wasted less,  you would easily pay for the costs, and could even come out ahead financially. 

    It's about adjusting your priorities slightly.

  24. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    According to this article by JJoe Romm at ThinkProgress (a liberal web site), At a recent auction of wind and solar energy in Colorado the cost of wind with battery storage was cheaper than the running costs of any coal power plants in Colorado.  Solar was cheaper than 75% of the coal plants in Colorado.  These renenwable energy bids are lower than any fossil electricity in the USA.

    Jeff: please provide evidence to support your wild claim that renewable energy is more expensive than fossil fuels.  Renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuels in most locations.  They do not have thousands of wind generators in Texas because they like the environment.  They are the cheapest source of energy.

  25. Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions


    It appears that the OP refutes your link without any support needed.  The simple fact that in 1850 CO2 was about 270 ppm and now it is about 410 ppm indicates that humans have significantly increased the concentration of CO2.  In your link they agree that the CO2 concentration has increased.

  26. Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions

    Any rebuttles to this (which I believe attempts to refute this page)

  27. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Jeff @1

    "Starts out good then lapses into the usual gobbledgook."

    This would more accurately apply to your own comments, and also rather unsubstantiated claims.

    For example, I have no idea why you are talking about paying people, god only knows what that means. And I can't see the point of cutting all consumption and activity 80%   and going back to the stone age, especially as much of that activity is not carbon intensive.

    Relatively affordable focused personal sacrifices would work. For example buying electric cars, taking the bus, and less air travel, or building smaller less carbon intensive houses, etc, would go a long way to solve the climate problem. Carbon tax and dividend would modify behaviour, while giving most of the tax back.

  28. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Jef @2, in America a toyota corolla and a honda civic costs about $20,000, and the comparible size electric Nissan Leaf is about $32,000. However some states also offer subsidies, and the nissan leaf costs about $25,000. This is not "way more expensive."

    The electric car also has much lower running costs and maintainance costs, which should be considered. 

  29. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    I agree simple carbon taxes like that don't work very well, and aren't terribly popular.

    However without a carbon tax of some form, renewable energy would  require substantial subsidies to get going, as we have seen  in the UK for example, and this subsidy has to come from general taxation. This is a  limited resource, and would compromise spending on other projects.

    Carbon tax and dividend is another alternative that would help impel people towards renewable energy, help fund any subsidies, and would be more politically popular by giving something back to the public.

    Carbon tax and renewable energy are not mutually exclusive, and just have to be done properly.

  30. The 'imminent mini ice age' myth is back, and it's still wrong

    thanks for this article.

    i have previously researched this too and read (somewhere?) that the maunder minimum in the 1600's was estimated to have been caused by a -.4C (cooling).

    this caused me to question the current line of thinking which says +2C is a "safe" limit for warming, because if -.4 caused a little ice age, how the heck can +2C be "ok"??

    also it is very disconcerting that we are still warming when we should be cooling! yikes!

  31. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Pay people to do less.

    Pay people to go to school.

    Pay people to farm and garden.

    Pay people to do art and entertainment.

    Pay people to travel the slow way.

    I can go on and on.....

  32. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Starts out good then lapses into the usual gobbledgook.

    Financial pressures is another way of saying more people becoming poor and loosing access. Renewables also mean more expensive any way you spin it. EV's are not cheaper to buy, they are way more expensive and will be until massive numbers are produced. Half of all Co2 emissions from the life of autos is generated before it rolls off the sales room floor, then there is the massive carbon intense infrastructure required.

    All of the authors "solutions" are assuming that growth continues unabaited and everyone continues to get wealthy enough to afford the future. All of which means continued global emission increases. The building out of the future outlined in the post will require every last drop of FFs to accomplish.

    The real solution??? We must all do LESS! Much less, like 80% less. Starting now.

  33. citizenschallenge at 03:22 AM on 11 January 2018
    Fake news is a threat to humanity, but scientists may have a solution

    Although I should add, I liked your comment enough to share it over at the CFI forum where we've got a discussion on pseudo-science going on (along with parts of #7 Aaron D).

  34. The 'imminent mini ice age' myth is back, and it's still wrong


    The "this" I was referring to is the belief that we can predict the long term changes in Solar output and then base policy on that.

    Which seems to be the focus on a lot of these attempts to create doubt of whether we are in a warming phase - almost all the evidence says so - or at the edge of a cooling phase.

    Based on the relative radiative forcings even a short term cooling phase is highly unlikely, the positive radiative forcing of the additional carbon dioxide alone we've added to the Earth's atmosphere is many times the negative forcings that result in full blown ice ages. The relative minor negative forcing of a prolonged Solar minimum would result in a slowing of global warming, not a cooling of the Earth. As the article above states.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Thanks for the clarification.

  35. citizenschallenge at 02:06 AM on 11 January 2018
    Fake news is a threat to humanity, but scientists may have a solution

    Mal, I don't think it's "confidence" it's absolutism and totalitarianist tendencies covering up for their profound lack of substantive confidence.

  36. Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas

    TD @304

    Water vapor levels vary locally and globally, because of numerous factors including not just temperature,...

    I agree. The trouble is that your statement is in direct conflict with the needs of the AGW community for water vapor to be a feedback (not a forcing) in the greenhouse effect, and that happens only when the vapor concentration is a function solely of temperature. This is what allows the much weaker GHGs (such as CO2) to dominate the greenhouse effect (in model and theory) even in the presence of water vapor. Now, in order to constrain the H2O vapor concentrations to solely a function of temperature, John Cook and numerous climate scientists use the Clausius-Clapeyron equation from which one gets the saturation concentration of H2O vapor for a known given temperature. At this point, the actual H20 vapor concentration values are replaced their saturation values, which results in a substantial over-estimation of the enhanced greenhouse effect. This is one place where I along with numerous non-climate scientists get very concerned about what's happening in the climate science field, and don't particularly trust their results.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Evidenceless assertions and the "physics" of your personal pocket universe snipped.

    This user has recused himself from further participation here.

  37. The 'imminent mini ice age' myth is back, and it's still wrong

    This sounds more like economic predictions than hard science to me.

    Guessing how the interactions of a massive ball of plasma under the influence of gravity, intense magnetic fields and incredible heat at the core where fusion is taking place constantly is not like a pendulum over long periods of time. The Sun is a dynamic evolving system which means that it is not the same as it was even hundreds of years ago and it is much different now than it was millions of years ago. At some point it will not even be recognizable as our Sun.

    And its output is progressively increasing, though over the scale of hundreds and thousands of years this is not that significant.

    It is just as valid to assume that we could see a period of increased solar activity and a positive radiative forcing of the Earth than a deep minimum.

    Ice ages do not come about as a result of radiative forcings of the Sun, they are the result of long term changes in the orbital dynamics of the Earth, the eccentricity of the eliptical orbit, the axial tilt and precession of the earth as it wobbles on its axis.

    These forcings are tiny compared to what human created forcings have done in the last 150 years and require thousands of years to take a mostly ice free Northern Hemisphere and turn it into one covered by thick ice sheets that reached as far as south of the Great Lakes in North America.

    This has been completely swamped by the effects alone of hundreds of billions of tons of carbon dioxide being introduced into the carbon cycle by human activity. There will be no ice age as long as we burn fossil fuels and if we keep burning as much as we are now even a record solar minimum like the one we just had will only slow the process of global warming as the article states.

    With the coincidence of a deep solar minimum and a strong La Nina a few years ago the Earth should have seen a record low average yearly temperatures. We did not, they were still in the upper levels of temperature records.

    This seems to me to be just one more attempt to deny valid evidence of global warming.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Am I correct in assuming that the "this" you refer to in the initial and final paragraphs of your comment is Matt Ridley's article that the OP debunks?

  38. The 'imminent mini ice age' myth is back, and it's still wrong

    Recommended supplemental reading...

    No, we’re not slipping into a proper ice age, ...and Then There's Physics, Jan 8, 2018

  39. The 'imminent mini ice age' myth is back, and it's still wrong

    So in other words we know that a certain level of change in solar irradiance causes a certain change in temperature,  and its quite small compared to CO2. So a solar minimum would be weak.

    But the predicted so called coming "grand solar minimum" is just a guess. We don't really know the exact causes and periodicity of these cycles, and they appear random, so we are guessing that because solar activity increased from about 1600 to the 1970s, it 'might' be time for a decline of some sort, -  like an economic downturn. This is just pure presumption.  It  could equally stay flat for decades to come, or even increase reinforcing agw.

  40. The 'imminent mini ice age' myth is back, and it's still wrong

    the sun is at minimum now,so the only thing happening is the sun is skipping a solar maximum or two.the result is the temparature might increase slower or stop for a few years.

    this means the sun will keep at the energy output it has now but not increase as it does during a normal maximum.

  41. One Planet Only Forever at 02:39 AM on 10 January 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #1


    Your initial claim "No one is trying to limit warming to 2C!" is not defended by you comment @6. Your comment @6 just attempted to change the subject.

    Regarding the 440 ppm number (with the recommended safer value of 350 ppm). It is like a speed limit. The fact that some people are pushing to go faster does not justify 'accepting an upping of the speed limit'. And when the limit is exceeded everyone in the vehicle will not just say, seems OK since we exceeded the limit so we can go even faster. More and more people in the vehicle will be demanding the vehicle slow down, taking firmer and firmer action against whoever they understand is pushing the accelerator, including keeping them at the back of the bus or locking them in the biffy if that is what is needed to reduce the harmful impact of the pushers.

  42. One Planet Only Forever at 02:11 AM on 10 January 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #1


    I will counter the claim you are banking on that was made by Dr. David Mills 'the venture capitalist pursuer of Private Interest who would want to induce governments to do more to fund his Private Interest pursuits' (he can be seen to be a bit of a misleading alarmist marketer), with the simple fact that in 1960 lots of wealthy people pursuing Private Interests  would have told you Man was not going to be landing on the moon in less than 10 years because their Private Interest would not benefit from such a pursuit.

    The technology for all of humanity to live without burning fossil fuels already exists, as does the technology to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. The only thing missing is the 'powerful charitable desire' to do it (charitable because many people who incorrectly benefited from development in the wrong direction have to give up some of their perceived prosperity and opportunity). But that powerful desire is developing, and may develop far faster than 'the ones who have a Private Interest in not seeing those changes happen' will want/expect it to happen. Many of them thought/hoped the Paris Agreement would never be Agreed to. And many of them thought/hoped the Trump Win would cripple the global collective effort for Good Sustainable Change. They continue to be wrong. If anything the Trump Win has stepped up the rate of change globally as more people more clearly see how unsustainably damaging Winners like Trump are (albeit with a core of faithful Private Interest pursuers who will stubbornly resist better understanding what is going on and changing their minds to become helpful rather than harmful).

    The current damaging fatally flawed economics may indeed push CO2 beyond the Paris Agreement limit, but that would be the fault of the flawed damaging system not being corrected quickly enough, with 'everyone who fought in any way against the changes being achieved - anyone who did not properly raise awareness and understanding' clearly understood to have been damaging the future of humanity for unacceptable Private Interests. And that awareness of who the trouble-makers are could develop so rapidly that the trouble-makers actually get significantly penalized in their lifetime, not just posthumously in the better understood corrected record of what was going on.

    The developing awareness and understanding is that some Winners are Helpful, but many Winners are getting an undeserved competitive advantage by getting away with behaving less acceptably.

    What will actually happen is hard to predict, but the Trend is clear.

  43. Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas

    Pluto @304 , 

    I aspire to Christian ethics, but I do not aspire to being led through a catechism.   If you yourself have a dispute with mainstream science, then please state the case you wish to make, as succinctly as possible, and with minimal rhetoric.

  44. Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas

    Eclectic @303

    Thanks for getting back with me.  I appreciate your answering my rather dumb question, but I do want to be certain we are both on the "same page" with this GH effect issue.  So, if you don't mind, I would like to ask another question.  Suppose you brought a bucket of water into a room with unsaturated air (ie. less that 100 percent relative humidity).  What would happen to that water (assuming, of course, you didn't spill it)?  My answer is that the water in the bucket would evaporate until either the humidity does reach 100 percent or the bucket runs dry while the air, water vapor, and liquid water remain at the same temperature.  I would, however, like your thoughts on the question.  Thanks

    Moderator Response:

    [TD] Water vapor levels vary locally and globally, because of numerous factors including not just temperature, but liquid water sources for evaporation, ground & water temperature, wind, air pressure, amount of condensation nuclei, and more. Scientists have known about those things for many, many decades. Check any textbook for meteorology, atmospheric physics, climatology, or many other fields. None of those things eliminates the dependence on temperature. That's why your local weather person reports both relative and absolute humidities. Read the Intermediate tabbed pane of this post and then read the studies cited, regarding measurements of humidity changes.

  45. Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas

    Pluto @302 :

    Your comment was that the atmosphere is not always fully saturated with H2O.   And of course, I must agree with you there — as, I am sure, do all scientists & meteorologists, including James Frank (the OP).

  46. Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas

    Eclectic @301

    Your comment on the saturated/unsaturated state of atmospheric water . . . is of course so obvious that it needs no reply.

    No, I'm afraid it is not so obvious to me.  Exactly which comment are you talking about and what is it about this comment with which you agree or disagree?

  47. Philippe Chantreau at 07:57 AM on 9 January 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #1

    Dunno if this has been mentioned before but NOAA has confimed that there were 16 extreme weather events costing over $1Billion in the US in 2017, which ties with 2011, although the total cost is the highest on record (adjusted for inflation), coming at 306 billions. No doubt the California fires played a role in that cost.

    The year was also the 3rd warmest on record, beating 1998 without the help of El Nino. This was also the case on a global scale. It seems that we are going to experience the same thing that happened after the 1998, when temperatures "settled" back down to a much higher level than what they were before El-Nino.

  48. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #1

    A note for oversea readers, re my post @6, Penrith is the suburb of Sydney, known to be the biggest hot spot of the metropolitan area. I live closeby, that's why I didn't sleep well last night (too hot) & I am on my legs since early morning (6am my time and commenting here) because a violent rain finally came after the record heat and 2 months drought. I must look after all things arround my house not to be dislodged/ destroyed by the torrents.

  49. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #1

    A very wise, scientifically accurate comment from Climate Council of Australia on recent weather events:

    Penrith swelters while Florida freezes: climate disruption is to blame

    while in US, a child that dreams of ravaging a candy store (who currently occupies White House) tweets his silly thoughts "gimme that bit of global warming".

  50. Evaluating biases in Sea Surface Temperature records using coastal weather stations

    The new research findings described in the following article further complicates the measurement of sea level rise...

    So much extra water is being added to the world’s oceans from melting glaciers that the ocean floor is sinking underneath the increasing weight. This ocean floor deformation also means we have miscalculated just how much ocean levels are rising, and the problem could be far worse than previously believed.

    Over the past 20 years, ocean basins have sunk an average of 0.004 inches per year. This means that the ocean is 0.08 inches deeper than it was two decades ago. While this small fragment of an inch may not seem much, oceans cover 70 percent of our planet, making the problem bigger than it seems at first glance.

    In a study published online in Geophysical Research Levels, researchers explain how they used a mathematical equation known as the elastic sea level equation to more accurately measure the ocean floor. This allowed them to see how much the bottom of the ocean floor has changed from 1993 to 2014. While they are not the first scientists to look at the ocean floor, this is the first time that researchers have taken into account how additional water from melted ice may have further stretched that floor, LiveScience reported.

    The Ocean Floor Is Sinking Under The Water Weight From Melting Glaciers, And It’s As Bad As It Sounds by Dana Dovey, Newsweek, Jan 8, 2018

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