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Comments 51 to 100:

  1. Republicans call for 'innovation' to tackle climate change, but it's not magic

    I think I recall that the current rate of rise in GGE is about 43 times faster than the rise that caused the Permian extinction.  And I think I remember that the Permian took out about 97% of the plant and animal organisms on the Earth and, further, that it took about 10 million years before the planet was returned to its Permian-prior plant/animal diversity ('though a different bunch of organisms, of course).  Does it help us to debate what should happen to mitigate the climate problem or is our debate a total waste of time?  What would Jared Diamond say?

  2. Climate negotiations made me terrified for our future

    @ClimateAdams, it makes my feeling sad, that for your insight at COP24, you indeed did accept to fly around the world. Realising zero-emissions as quickly as possible is not compatible with flying, that’s evident. As it is, that those conferences are not the place for adequate social change. (Already in 1992 Environment Commissioner Ripa de Meana resigned in protest to travel to the Rio-Conference...) So how did you really conclude (i.e. deep inside of yourself), that flying around is justifyable - of having the „right“ to do what is affordable? How to presume, that it´s ok to prolong this culture and practice of fossilist travelling?

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Ad Hominem based on fabricated, false narrative snipped. 

    ClimateAdam resides in the UK and traveled to and from COP24 in Katowice, Poland via combination of train and bus. He documented his trip to Katowice in this video: 

    Hat tip to redhot.

  3. One Planet Only Forever at 09:37 AM on 15 January 2019
    2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #2

    30 years ago the argument for not curtailing the burning of fossil fuels was that doing so would limit the growth of enjoyment and future wealth (by the portion of humanity that benefited from it), and that increased future wealth would pay for the required adaptation (And it would also mean evil government interference in the freedom of people to believe and do as they please - freedoms that undeniably produced in the problem, and its resistance to correction).

    Today, 30 years later, all we hear from those who enjoyed getting wealthier because of the continued burning of fossil fuels are compaints about suggestions that the activity they like now requires a more rapid reduction and that they should be the ones paying for the required adaptations by the poorer who did not benefit from the creation of the problems the poorer now have to suffer the expense of adapting to.

    They righteously declare that such 'wealth transfers' are immoral. They also demand that Tax money (everyone's not just their's) only be spent to address any negative impact on their precious developed likes (and they fight to reduce how much tax 'they' pay).

  4. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #2

    Iceland have a seed vault storing a range of seeds in case disaster strikes the planet. Unfortunately the permafrost is melting compromising the vault.

    Adaptation to climate change is going to have to include preserving old, important cherished buidings. Will be an expensive exercise, if its even possible.

  5. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #2

    Oh the legends our 7 times great grand children will tell about this Camalot of a society (or is it the new Atlantis).  How will they explain the artifacts they find strewn around, the radioactive hot spots, the paths through the forest where if they dig down they find this layer of tar and gravel.  Will they believe that man actually flew to the moon.  And our texts will all disappear.  Even now who could read a floppy disk.  Books are all printed on paper that at most lasts a hundred years and no electronic media will be readable.  Perhaps we should print information on the essence of our society on clay tablets, fire them and secrete them in caves all over the world.

  6. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #2

    Now for the next battle. The inevitable claims that adaptation is nothing to do with governments and tax payers money, and is all "personal responsibility".

    And that we musn't sacrifice profits, consumption and economic growth for adapting to climate change, building barriers and using higher building foundations etc.

    Does anyone seriously think the Kochtapus is going to sleep through adaptation?

  7. leslie dean brown at 17:38 PM on 14 January 2019
    Monckton Misrepresents Reality (Part 3)

    Monckton is a fool with zero scientific training. I'm surprised you gave him this much attention.

  8. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #2

    Regarding "How the fossil fuel industry got the media to think climate change was debatable"

    The book to read is Dark Money. Free copies easily googled.

  9. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #2

    I'm not going to waste time on this sort of stuff here or anywhere else, but perhaps a humourous quip is ok? If 97% of scientists said god exists, I would say we better be paying attention!

  10. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #2

    Occaisional hurricanes along the gulf coast and up the easter US seaboard is a normal event that has alway been happening. That is just proof the climate has not changed or not enough to change this fact.

    Also nice picture of "steam" rising into the air above a power plant. 

    As for my neck of the woods, it is still the same old spring, summer, fall and winter with the same unpredictable weather as always. Tornados, flooded rivers, 14 inch snow storms is nothing new and has neither gotten worse nor better. Just in the last 6 years, I've seen warm, cold and average winters. Nothing has changed out of any norm. 

    I'm not saying earths average temperature does not waiver up and down over the millenia because it does. As for causation, the 'real' science is not settled. 

    Of all the years I've been reading this 'stuff', I've yet to see any solid proof of CO2 or man causing any of the very, very small amounts of warming or cooling. 

    I hate to burst your bubble but CO2 is not a heat trapping gas. If you put CO2 in between your house window panes unlike argon or krypon gas, your heating bills will go up because it is a worse insulator than regular air. They use CO2 as refrigeratns because its properties to quickly obsorb and release heat unlike reguar air.

    Although the mass of CO2 is greater than O2, the small rising amount is negligible. 4 molecules per 10,000 is too small to have any affect. 

    The problem for me isn't I can't see the graph date showing some small recent rise. It is the causation of the rise that I am skepical with. There is no proof. Climate scientists are no different than religous people who come at you with the predetermined idea that god exists and everything they do and say are predicated to the existance of their god. 

    Climate scientists have done the same. They come at me with this predicated idea that man and CO2 is the cause and foundation of their argument but with no proof. They throw graphs in my face without evidence of causation. If 97 of 100 people say god exists does not make said god real. It is the same with climate change. 97 of 100 scientist say CO2 and man is causing the earths temperature to rise does not make said accusations true.  Consensus is not proof nor is it scientific. It is scientific in the way that it is easier for men to believe in what cannot be seen than what is in front of their faces every time they walk outside and see that nothing has changed.

    I'm not sorry for being what you call a skeptic.

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Welcome to Skeptical Science. Your comment is a gish-gallop of strawman arguments, slogans and long-debunked myths, in contravention of the comments policy which is not optional.

    This site is organized by myths, please use the search button or the "Arguments" item on the menu to find an appropriate topic. Make your on-topic comment there (no offtopic points) and back your assertions with evidence. As example of strawman - noone asserts that CO2 is a conductive insulator like Argon; that is not how GHE works. Please take some time to review beginner material to acquaint yourself of the science.

     [PS] Anyone tempted to respond to this post, please do on an appropriate thread and only post links to your comment here.

  11. 2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory

    So I just encountered this one, which appears to be a variant of "AGW violates basic physics"...

    "It ends up being trivially easy to understand that gravity, not spectrum , is why and by how much bottoms of atmospheres are hotter than their tops. See my website which includes links to my Heartland Inst talk showing the impossibility of explaining Venus's surface temperature , 400c hotter than what it absorbs from the Sun, as a spectral effect."

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Doesnt like a 2nd law argument. More like the Postma nonsense. Surface temperature is end result of all relevant physics including GHE. Actually I think the author is Bob Armstrong who has some times demonstrated his grasp of physics here. Try

  12. Sea level is not rising

    Whoops! Brain fart. Altimetry and GPS measurements are made with respect to reference ellipsoid not geoid. Sorry about that. However, effect is same (a reference level independent of land up/down).

  13. CO2 effect is saturated

    LTO @501,

    Concerning Zhong & Haigh (2013), you ask about the meaning of "our calculations assume no change in the surface or atmosphere, do not consider the climate response to the RF, or any issues related to climate sensitivity." This is simply saying that they calculate the climate forcing due to these changes in CO2 levels. Such forcings would increase global temperature and the resulting changes to other GHG levels, cloud, surface albedo, etc, which would result from that forcing are not being considered. This is solely about the direct effect of the CO2 and not any feedbacks.

    And the top row of their Fig 5a/b is simply the traces within all the other rows plotted together. The one rather confusing part of this Fig 5 is that Fig5a plots the zero CO2 alongside all the other CO2 levels while Fig5b plots the difference between each different level and a current level (as was) of 389ppm. Thus the second row of Fig5a shows both zero (lt blue) and 1.5ppm (green) but the difference between 389ppm & 1.5ppm (green) appears down in the fourth row of Fig5b.

    Note I still intend to tap out a screed as I promised @492.

  14. One Planet Only Forever at 03:38 AM on 14 January 2019
    Republicans call for 'innovation' to tackle climate change, but it's not magic

    I was not paying close attention.

    My comment is regarding John S @19.

    With the total indicated number of comments being 22 and John S being second last I mistook the numbering. Prossibly why the John S comment reference number to my comment @16 was indicated as @17.

  15. One Planet Only Forever at 02:59 AM on 14 January 2019
    Republicans call for 'innovation' to tackle climate change, but it's not magic

    John S @20,

    Thank you for your comment that included feedback regarding my comments. Feedback helps me improve my awareness and understanding, and improve my presentation of my constantly improving understanding.

    I will limit this comment to the points about my comments you made in your comment.

    1. Please clarify your comment “OPOF@7 paragraph 4, an example of the social cost of carbon straw-man fallacy to criticize carbon pricing in the first sentence, then the rationale of what is actually the carbon fee and dividend strategy in the second. As James Hansen said ”As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will continue to be burned”.” I am not able to connect that comment to a specific paragraph in my comment @7. It would help me if you quoted the paragraph rather than indicating a number.
    2. “OPOF@10 paragraph 1, in agreeing with RedBaron@9 you are (both) totally missing the point that rising costs of fossil fuels ...”. The point I am agreeing with RedBaron about is that it is important to encourage corrections of farming practices that sequester carbon. Carbon pricing will not do that. Carbon pricing will only lead to the reduction of fossil fuel burning in farming practices. A high enough carbon price to terminate the activity in farming is what is required (as I state in my comment @7). However, a higher carbon price (even with a rebate program), will not motivate the development of important corrections of farming practices like corrections that sequester carbon.
    3. “OPOF@17 paragraph 3, “rich people can pay … investors still profit”. This is regarding my comment @16. I am pretty certian that my full comment does not say what your comment seems to claim it says. My concern is that what may develop instead of the rapid correction of fuels for air transport is a significant reduction of air travel by middle class people while richer people continue to support and prolong the use of the already developed fossil fuel burning system. Eventually, a greater correction may occur. But my point is the need to get the richest to lead the correction in order to get the most rapid correction to occur. And that will likely require significant corrections of the incorrectly developed socioeconomic-political systems, systems that resulted in the massive resistance and reluctance to correction of the understood problem. Without effectively motivating all of the richest to lead the corrections harmful things liked by the richest, like the Concorde was, can be expected to continue to be developed (and be difficult to correct) instead of the development of sustainable improvements for the future of humanity.
  16. Sea level rise is exaggerated

    Just what I was looking for. Thank you.

  17. Sea level is not rising

    Just one other thought in the question on where land sinks or sealevel rises. Satellite altimetry measures sealevel with respect to the geoid rather than any definition of coast.  This height measurement (often referred to ordinary use as "GPS Height" as height from GPS is likewise) can be determined for tide guages too so you can see whether they are moving up or down with respect to geoid.

  18. Sea level is not rising
    "I find it difficult to imagine that any amount of erosion is causing a displacement effect"

    You are indeed correct in that skepticism, as the contribution of river sediment delivered to the oceans is about 20 billion tons / year. This sums to about 6 km^3 / yr or ~0.017 mm / yr of sea level rise equivalent (which is about ~1/200 of the current rise rate).

    So if the oceans are not rising significantly due to these natural displacement factors, why is it rising? What then are the actual measured major contributors to sea level rise?

    Let’s look first at what current SLR levels are: 3.2 mm/year.

    Let’s think about what that 3.2 mm/year actually represents, in terms of water volume: 1,184 cubic kilometers per year!

    This means that every 5 years, the oceans are rising by the equivalent volume of twelve Lake Erie’s (484 cubic kilometers)! And over a 10-year period, the oceans will rise by a volume almost equivalent to that of Lake Superior! Wow! And that’s just at current rates of SLR!

    So where are the various contributions to measured SLR coming from? Let’s look at that.

    "Ocean thermal expansion, glaciers, Greenland and Antarctica contribute by 42%, 21%, 15% and 8% to the global mean sea level over the 1993-present. We also study the sea level budget over 2005-present, using GRACE-based ocean mass estimates instead of sum of individual mass components. Results show closure of the sea level budget within 0.3 mm/yr. Substantial uncertainty remains for the land water storage component, as shown in examining individual mass contributions to sea level."

    Unfortunately, due to the measured increases in ice sheet mass losses coming from Antarctica (which have tripled since 2012 alone), the rates of SLR are themselves accelerating:

    "Global sea level rise is not cruising along at a steady 3 mm per year, it's accelerating a little every year, like a driver merging onto a highway, according to a powerful new assessment led by CIRES Fellow Steve Nerem. He and his colleagues harnessed 25 years of satellite data to calculate that the rate is increasing by about 0.08 mm/year every year—which could mean an annual rate of sea level rise of 10 mm/year, or even more, by 2100."

    "This acceleration, driven mainly by accelerated melting in Greenland and Antarctica, has the potential to double the total sea level rise by 2100 as compared to projections that assume a constant rate—to more than 60 cm instead of about 30." said Nerem, who is also a professor of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. "And this is almost certainly a conservative estimate," he added. "Our extrapolation assumes that sea level continues to change in the future as it has over the last 25 years. Given the large changes we are seeing in the ice sheets today, that's not likely."

    Per Nerem et al 2018:

    "the observed acceleration will more than double the amount of sea-level rise by 2100 compared with the current rate of sea-level rise continuing unchanged. This projection of future sea-level rise is based only on the satellite-observed changes over the last 25 y, assuming that sea level changes similarly in the future. If sea level begins changing more rapidly, for example due to rapid changes in ice sheet dynamics, then this simple extrapolation will likely represent a conservative lower bound on future sea-level change."

    Sea level rise components, from Cazenave et al 2018:



  19. 1934 - hottest year on record

    The 1200km correlation in temperature anomalies comes from the data, and while initial work done in 1987, it has been reproduced by numerous workers. And the reason is no great surprise either - 1200 km is about the size of a weather system.

    Please note the anomaly definition, it is critical. It is saying that if have a station that is measuring say 2 degrees above the local  average for that thermometer, then you expect thermometers with 1200 km to also be measuring 2 degree above their  local  average, especially if you consider monthly average which takes the time factor of the weather system out of it.

    Absolute temoperatures vary wildly over very short distances - that is why anomaly methods are used.

  20. Sea level rise is exaggerated

    Thanks Tom. As an engineer I’m familiar with the Law of Large Numbers and thought that might be at least part of the explanation. I look forward to reading the tutorial if the government ever opens.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] The Internet Archive has a backup of the tutorial page, here.

  21. Sea level is not rising

    Bart, I find some aspects here a little puzzling. Where has anyone postulated that sea level is rising because of erosion causing displacement? This could only affect very local bays. Seas are rising because of two factors:
    1/ Ocean warming. This causes thermal expansion. Because ocean volume is so huge small changes in temperature easily produce mm of rise.
    2/ Melting ice. Glacier and icesheet losses are well documented.

    As you point out NZ is a lousy place to measure sealevel rise because of tectonics (compare Marlborough sounds -going down - with Kaikoura going up) unless you live in Northland. Even so, on many wide beaches noticing a 10-12cm rise in sea level over 50 years takes a very acute observer.

    So it comes down to what evidence do you accept? The primary evidence is from worldwide network of tide guages (publically accessible) which admittedly needs works to deal with subsidence and station changes. Why are these not convincing to you? Because of issues of land up/down, since the early 1990s, we have relied on satellite altimetry instead though the curves closely match the tide guages. If you dont accept the measurements of sealevel from altimetry, then does that mean you dont accept the results of all the other uses for satellite altimetry either?

    So to disbelieve sea level rise, you have to deny also the measurements in tide gauges and satellites, that the oceans are warming and that the ice is melting. What kind of evidence would you believe?

  22. 1934 - hottest year on record

    David Kirtley @71 , 

    thank you for that reference to Nick Stokes's "Just 60 stations".

    I recalled him saying that he could get a good approximation of global temperature change from a fairly small number of observation stations [ less than 100 ] . . . but I did not recall the exact number he had used in his test case.   ( Also, slightly amusing to see the paucity of USA continental stations used in the analysis! )

    All of which, is leaving LTO's argumentation looking even more hollow.

  23. Republicans call for 'innovation' to tackle climate change, but it's not magic

    John S, I agree a price on carbon is parmount, otherwise we would need literally thousands of complicated regulations (not that I oppose regulation as such). And this fits in nicely with carbon fee and dividend. I would say this scheme is the most practical of all the possible general approaches.

    However I don't think we are going to escape subsidies relating to negative emissions. Government doesn't have to pick winners. Either subsidise all negative emissions technologies equally, or leave it to an independent panel of technocrats to pick and choose. And put time limits on all subsidies.

    Cap and trade lacks transparency not just on a carbon price. but in other ways. Could be its "archilles heel" I suppose. Shame because in theory its a good concept.

  24. 1934 - hottest year on record


    Regarding your question about how BEST justifies averaging anomalies over large areas I will point out that the BEST study was financed by the Koch brothers (fossil fuel deniers) for the specific purpose of finding errors in the surface temperature record.  No errors were found.  I presume that their data analysis would withstand rigorous examination since it was designed by deniers.

    I am interested to find out that you are so expert at temperature records that you can dismiss the work of multiple scientific groups for the past 50 years without even reading their papers.  Arguing that you do not believe scientists can average anomalies over 1200 km is simply an argument from ignorance.  Arguments from ignorance do not carry any weight on this web site, you must provide evidence to support your wild claims.

    Your tone changed so I changed my tone.

  25. 1934 - hottest year on record

    LTO, it seems to me that you are focused on absolute temps, whereas the global avg. temp. reconstructions are given in anomalies. The distinction is important, and this series of posts explains it all very well: Of Averages and Anomalies, especially Parts 1B and 2A, for your other hang-up on "coverage".

    scaddenp, up thread, pointed you to this post at AndThenTheresPhysics which is the most recent look at the amazing fact that you don't need thermometers covering every sq. meter of the globe to get a good sense of how the temps are increasing. One of the first to do this analysis is Nick Stokes here: Just 60 stations.

    You can do so yourself using Kevin Cowtan's "temp tool".

  26. 1934 - hottest year on record

    Michael: That video isn't what it purports to be. The percentages appear to be of mathematically sampled land area, not land area that actually had a weather station on it. Further, the analysis of past data has a pretty major assumption:

    "Our calculation assumes that the regional fluctuations in the Earth’s climate system during the entire study interval have been similar in scale to those observed in the reference period 1960 to 2010'

    Ummm... How can that be justified, if ihe period from 1960-2010 is apparently one of unprecedented climate change?

  27. Sea level rise is exaggerated

    Hank: Sea level is a population parameter that is estimated by combining multiple sample measurements of it. The Law of Large Numbers explains that the precision of the combined estimate increases with the number of sample measurements. Look up Law of Large Numbers in a textbook or in Wikipedia, then prove it yourself using a spreadsheet. There is a tutorial on satellite measurement of sea level linked right above the image at the bottom of This NOAA page, though currently it does not work, probably due to the government shutdown.

  28. 1934 - hottest year on record

    Hmmm. Intriguing change in tone. I don't yet have a viewpoint; what I'm trying to do is evaluate the evidence being presented. 

    First, thank you for putting in the time to try and find an answer - I really appreciate it, even if it's made you grumpy in the process. Having done some fuether research myself, I have some answers. 

    First, I see that the 1200 km figure is actually a 'smoothing radius', which assumes that a climate measuring station within 1200 km 'influences regional temperature'. Again, that is the length of Britain, and only a radius, so the diameter is twice this. A bit odd on its face, but depends how the smoothing is done I suppose. Note: it appears to come from a 1987 paper discussed below. Dodgy, but not necessary to go into now.

    I also had success on the gridding, and it looks like GISS breaks the globe down into 16,200 grids, (each presumably ~31,500 sq km - ie size of belgium) which are used to build the charts above. I base this on the data you can export from their site. So my question can be reformulated as:

    1. What % of all the 16,200 grids used to create the charts above had daily temperature readings from at least 10 different locations, split out by north/southern hemispheres percentage, in 1880, 1920, 1934, 1960 and 2000 respectively?

    Michael, an aside: That you can't find the information could be a sign that the question isn't important. However, given that the question is in essence one of how good the coverage of actual measurement data is and therefore what inferences can be drawn from it, the question seems to me to be of primary importance. You may well take the view that if this Hansen fellow says something then it must be true, but as I said earlier appeals to authority are not science. It's not very reassuring if you can't answer basic questions about the quality of the data set you're relying on and using to draw trend lines,

    The discussion in the Hansen paper you cite is trivial and adds nothing. It does however link to a 1987 paper that was perhaps the foundational work for this data set. Link is here:

    To my pleasant surprise Fig 1 goes some way to answering the question, which you can see here:
    Each circle has a diameter of 2,400 km (two Britains!) and within it a single meteorological station. Figure 2 shows the globe divided into just 80 grids(6 million sq ft each!), and you can see that for many grids continuous coverage didnt even start until well after 1934, and further the number of stations in many is tiny (far fewer than 10) despite covering enormous areas that will have variances in temperature of many degrees C.

    The paper is an absolute must read, if you can do so skeptically. Hansen's done a good job with a very limited data set. The problem is thst that data now appears to be being massively overinterpreted.

    For fun, I overlaid the 1930 station coverage from Hansen's 1987 paper against the 1936 chart on this page here: You can see the chart is just making up data showing a dramatic 4F decrease in temperature across much of the globe despite there not being a meteorological station within many thousands of kilometers. Remember each circle is two Britains wide, and contains just one meteorological station.

    So can I answer my own question? Unfortunately not, but I can answer a similar questions using Hansen's 1987 paper:

    Q: if the globe was divided into just 80 grids of roughly 6 million sq km each, how many contained at least 10 meteorological stations in 1987? For reference Australia is just 7.6 million sq km.

    A: Roughly 65%

    Given the explosion of stations in 1960 comapred to 1930, the answer for 1934, even at such a low resolution, would have been much smaller.

    My conclusion from all of this is unchanged: that to try and pretend that you can show a chart of global temperatures in 1934 with certainty of within a few degrees F is totally misleading. It doesn't pass the sniff test.

  29. 1934 - hottest year on record


    According to this video (, the BEST record covers 80% of the Earth's land area from about 1900 to 1950.  Only the Antarctic continent is not covered.  From about 1950 over 95% of Earth is covered.

  30. 1934 - hottest year on record


    You demonstrate again a deep knowledge of denier literature, contrary to your claimed recent introduction to AGW.  You have chosen a particularly obscure issue to hang your hat on.  I cannot find a reference with 30 minutes of GOOGLE time.  This demonstrates that  the issue is not important even to deniers.  Please link the denier site (and the post about global coverage) you are getting your information from.

    Hansen 2006 discusses the problems with the HADCRU data set.  That is the one referred to in your PhD thesis.  As you can see, Hansen beat McLean in finding this issue.  Hansen discusses how GISS resolved the issue so that they are not affected.  BEST is also not affected.  I note that the HADCRU issue results in HADCRU underestimating global warming because they do not include the Arctic and Antarctic.

    Cowtan and Way web site discuss the issue in more detail and show how they correct the HADCRU issue.

    Your attitude has changed from someone who claimed actual questions to someone demanding answers to obscure denier garbage.  I am not your GOOGLE boy.  Unless you make particularly wild claims I will no longer respond.

  31. 1934 - hottest year on record

    Calm down please, LTO.   We were discussing Dr McLean's work.

    And I am sorry you are not cynical enough to realize that there are PhD's . . . . and there are PhD's.    To put it politely  ;-)

    Dr McLean is criticized because he puts forward idiotic ideas ~ and more than one idiotic idea and on more than one occasion.   He is a repeat offender (and therefore deserves no presumption of innocence).   The likely explanation is that his emotional bias provides Motivated Reasoning for his intellect to deny the "bleeding obvious".   This is very typical of denialists (of all levels of intelligence).

    Even you yourself, LTO, should try some introspection to identify the underlying causes of your apparent determination to oppose the scientific evidence by means of rhetoric & sophistry.   Look at the overall picture please.   Melting ice, rising seas, alteration of weather patterns, migration of plant & animal species in response to global warming [global warming at a time in this interglacial when the world had been on a natural multi-millennial cooling trend].   All "bleeding obvious" ~ and irrelevant as to whether you classify Year 1936 as a this or a that.

    LTO, if you are a true skeptic, then you will present some reasonable evidence to support your "viewpoint".   But so far, you have only made handwave rhetorical comments.   There is a reason why (over recent decades) the number of climate scientists disagreeing with the mainstream consensus . . . has steadily dwindled to a minuscule minority.   Quite simply: they have no valid evidence to support their (often mutually contradictory) assertions.

    LTO, please get your act together, and present something substantive.   And good luck with that!   Indeed, I suspect you will need Divine intervention more than good luck  ;-)

  32. Sea level rise is exaggerated

    The deniers are saying the satellite equipment that can only measure distances in centimeters cannot produce sea level measurements in millimeters. Can someone address this or provide a link where this is addressed. I can’t find anything on this. Thanks.

  33. 1934 - hottest year on record

    Hi everyone

    Sounds like there's some history with this McLean fellow, but let's set it aside for now, as whether or not he's said silly things about other topics is neither here nor there. A phd thesis is absolutely peer reviewed, and thoroughly challenged. Mine certainly was, admittedly at a far more renowned university, but snobbery on such matters is uncalled for. Your comments on peer review and Science/Nature are a bit naive generally, but particularly so in the wake of this debacle

    Appeal to (lack of) authority is not science. Nor are we bound by what some now-dead scientists thought 50 years ago (notably when they thought a new ice age was upon us). I've learnt a lot from this site, but the 'ignore that person because he's an idiot' line of argument is not persuasive. Play the ball, not the man.

    Michael: Arhennius was hardly the last word, as you presumably know. I'm not really aware of much of the past GW politics (or interested in it), having previously taken it at face value. I recently became interested when someone I respect - Scott Adams - started looking at it. Do follow Scott's discussion on twitter / periscope, I'm sure he'd find your contributions useful.

    Back to the topic at hand. Nobody has yet answered my questions, so I'll formalise it. So NASA GISS averages out temperatures over 1200 km? That's almost the length of the UK, which in itself raises an eyebrow from someone who lives in London and is familiar with the weather in scotland. You probably mean 1200 sq km(?), but this still covers many degrees C of gradation in the UK and probably most places in the world. Nevertheless, let's go with that for now, which equates to ablut 42,000 grids globally, 21k in each hemisphere. Please correct if wrong.

    1. What % of all the ~42k (or however many therr are) grids had daily temperature readings from at least 10 different locations, split out by north/southern hemispheres percentage, in 1880, 1920, 1934, 1960 and 2000 respectively?

    If the answer for 1936 is >80% I'll withdraw my criticism of the chart.

    2. As above, but the % that had at least one daily max/min temperature reading within each grid for those years.


  34. Sea level is not rising


    Having grown up metres from a beach in the South Island of New Zealand, I would like to offer my observations, thoughts and a question. I personally have not observed any sea-level rises over 50 years (I'm a 63 year old) and have this link to an article on New Zealand's  most read news website who btw recently published their policy that the science around climate change is "settled". <a href="">News website to publish only climate change friendly opinions and not skeptical viewpoints</a>

    Below is a link to an article on where New Zealand's coastline is rising or falling.


    <a href=""> Is it the land that rises and falls, not the sea?</a>

    I find it difficult to imagine that any amount of erosion is causing a displacement effect mainly because the sea covers four fifths of the earths surface and the deepest point in the ocean is 10.9 kilometers while the highesthe point Mount Everest, is 8.9 km high.

    I would like to be convinced that sea levels are indeed rising (as I have been convinced about increasing levels of residual CO2, explained clearly elsewhere on this site). Is anyone willing to try? Thank-you.

  35. 1934 - hottest year on record


    Your citation is to an obscure PhD thesis.  Here is a discussion of the thesis from And then There's Physics.  The thesis states "The audit covers a broad range of issues but leaves the quantifying of the impact of such errors to others".  That means the writer has not checked to determine if the supposed "errors" affect the result.  All this data was reviewed and argued about in the 1970's.  Scientists agreed that the data was properly collected and analyzed.  You are 50 years too late.  An unreviewed PhD thesis cannot be compared to papers published in Nature and AScience.

    Please provide a peer reviewed citation to support your wild claims.

    NASA GISS averages their data over 1200 km.  They have good coverage over the globe since 1880.  You can check their errror bars at their web site here.  Scientist have determined that the data since 1880 are sufficient.  It is well known in the scientific community that the HADCRU4 record does not have very good coverage of the globe.  That is why their estimate of warming is too low.  Other records like GISS and BEST have better coverage.  

    Common sense tells me that the data is sufficient since the IPCC report, accepted by every nation on the globe, accepts the data.

    In 1850 there were no deniers.  Everyone agreed that CO2 would casue an increase in global temperatures.  By 1896 Arhennius had estimated the increase from doubling CO2 and got a number that is still in the range of sensitivities.  Here is his peer reviewed paper.

    For someone who is just starting to learn about AGW you are very well informed about obscure denier papers.  You are aware that most of the deniers have given up arguing because the evidence of warming is so obvious that it is not necessary to even measure the temperature any more.  Rising seas, disappearing ice, fire storms and unprecedented hurricanes all tell a story.

  36. 1934 - hottest year on record

    LTO @61 ,

    your link is to the work of Dr John McLean.

    To add to Scaddenp's comment: The short story is : McLean has made a fool of himself.  And not for the first time.

    Please, LTO, try to be logical and scientific in assessing important issues, such as AGW.   Everywhere you look on science-denier websites, you find deluded crackpots who continue to tie themselves in knots . . . cherrypicking and/or doctoring data . . . doing all sorts of crazy stuff in trying to deny the "bleeding obvious".   LTO, you owe it to yourself to dig deeper and really look into the rubbishy propaganda (which you seem so attracted to).

    Check out Andthentheresphysics on Dr McLean's ideas.  Plenty of other respectable sources critiquing his nonsense.  ( In particular, the McLean paper is an exercise in triviality. )

  37. 1934 - hottest year on record

    Sigh, if you want to rely on John McLean, then you will never want for moonshine. See here. A pretty simple check is construct a temperature series from the GHCN stations that have been around since 1934 and see if you can spot the difference. See here for time series with just 60 stations for comparison and also a proper discussion of coverage bias.

    The chart does not pretend any such accuracy - go to the appropriate papers for each of the temperature records to see what the error bars are.  

  38. 1934 - hottest year on record

    Michael: See here:

    I find your response disingenuous. What % of the globe do think was being sampled at least once a day in 1934, or indeed 1880? Common sense would tell you it's relatively low, with the southern hemisphere exceptionslly low. What were the 'deniers' in 1850 denying, pray tell?

    The 1934 chart pretends to have accuracy to a few degrees Fahrenheit. Independent of whether you believe in AGW, this is fanciful thinking.

  39. Republicans call for 'innovation' to tackle climate change, but it's not magic

    Evan@2 absolutely it is time for individuals as well as governments to take action, but I’m glad you said “as well as governments” because individual action is not enough. I don’t own a car and live in a small apartment downtown; but if I needed a car, I couldn’t afford an electric one. That’s an example of a government policy we need to “pull” (as Dana said) the market so that ordinary folks who must drive can afford to do so cleanly. In this case, it’s the capital cost not the fuelling cost that is a barrier, so it is the prime example, often quoted by Marc Jaccard, where we need a policy in addition to carbon pricing, e.g. to incent, nudge, coax, coerce or whatever is needed to get the auto makers to put more affordable EV’s on the market (including for non-personal transportation, i.e. buses, trucks, trains, ships and mobile equipment for mining, construction, forestry and agriculture). Some might also say subsidize them; but that becomes a reverse Robin Hood, which the previous government in Ontario learned to regret.

    At the same time, still give carbon pricing some credit for providing part of that incentive if it is designed well, by which I mean increasing every year transparently, predictably and significantly until the problem is solved. This gives all planners firm, forward numbers for business plans. (Yes, the social cost of carbon is a straw-man, often quoted by those opposed to carbon pricing. It’s an academic red herring – what we really want to get to is the price that nobody will pay – we don’t know what it is, but know we’ll reach it if we keep increasing sufficiently every year). And, yes, the price will (should) get quite high, which is another reason all the revenue must be distributed to citizens, otherwise politics will prevent the price rising sufficiently high.

    nigelj@3 quite right the issue is not innovation or regulation; the issue is how to incent both deployment of existing alternatives (as Dana said) and innovative development and deployment of new. There are 3 basic methods: regulations, subsidies and carbon pricing. I prefer the latter and could doubtless annoy the moderator with the number of words by which I could describe the inevitable pitfalls of the other two, which is not to say some may never be needed and I gave what I believe is the prime example of one we need above, i.e. some type of mandated quota for producing and selling zero-emission EV’s.

    OPOF@7 paragraph 4, an example of the social cost of carbon straw-man fallacy to criticize carbon pricing in the first sentence, then the rationale of what is actually the carbon fee and dividend strategy in the second. As James Hansen said ”As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will continue to be burned”.

    RedBaron@9 distribution of dividend is not a flaw but essential to secure political future proofing. It’s also ethically sound (check out “Who owns the sky – our common asset” by Peter Barnes (2001), which is where the idea came from).

    Even supposing that siphoning off revenue to fund the green illusions of the government of the day would prove to be politically secure (which it wouldn’t so I am over-arguing here) the effective, efficient use of such “apparently free money” is highly questionable. As the old saying goes “governments can’t pick winners, but losers can pick government’s pockets”.

    OPOF@10 paragraph 1, in agreeing with RedBaron@9 you are (both) totally missing the point that rising costs of fossil fuels (due to carbon pricing) puts a bull’s eye, so to speak, on every product and service that relies on fossil fuels (and not just in the energy sector) for entrepreneurs/intrapreneurs to target with better and cleaner alternatives and the rising carbon pricing schedule gives them invaluable competitive information to develop and deploy those alternatives.

    But then the balance of your comments seems to agree with the ideas I expressed above with the additional twist that you seem to suggest diverting dividends that would go to the wealthy to other actions. And I don’t have a big problem with that; in fact, I’d suggest the “just transition”, e.g. re-training if necessary, those fossil workers not ready to retire. I’d leave the development and deployment of products and services, especially products, to those who know what they are doing and are honestly incented by the higher prices available, driven by carbon pricing.

    nigelj@11 I generally find myself in agreement with most of your (very frequent) comments but here’s one I’d challenge (partly); that carbon pricing can do nothing about draw-down. Sure, it may be a government subsidy, but the prevailing carbon pricing schedule provides a good bench-mark e.g. alerting potential proponents to the value of certain possibilities. There may also be a role for off-sets.

    OPOF@17 paragraph 3, “rich people can pay … investors still profit”; I’d like to, again, stress the impact of carbon pricing is not only on consumers but also, and more importantly, in my view, on the producers or providers of goods and services; e.g. rich people may still be willing to pay top $ to fly around, but the airlines will have invented clean ways to enable them to do that; e.g. non-fossil derived jet fuel from biomass via methanol.

    nigelj@18, notwithstanding how I introduced my comment on nigelj11, here is another one – the big failing of cap and trade is that it does not provide a clear, transparent, long-term forward price, which is invaluable for planners and investors in all types of alternatives to fossil fuels.

  40. 1934 - hottest year on record


    Please provide a reference to support your wild claim that Global temperature in 1934 was inadaquate.  BEST (financed by deniers) starts global coverage in 1850 and GISS (more conservative) starts at 1880.  Both  are way before 1934.

  41. 1934 - hottest year on record

    The chart of global temperature on this page in 1934 appears to be exceptionally misleading. As I understand it we have nothing like so clear a picture of global temperatures in 1934, with significantly less than 50% global coverage and many areas having only a handful of readings. Such charts do not appear to be justifiable.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Not counting 2018 (which is almost ready for inclusion), 1934 is the 7th-warmest year in the US.  You can look this up yourself.

    US Temperatures

    Globally 1934 is nowhere near the warmest year, coming in at the 86th-warmest.



  42. CO2 effect is saturated

    LTO @501: "i thought it might be useful to go back and look at past predictions to see how they measure up against present day."

    You can easily do that right here on SkS. Scroll up to the "thermometer" in the left-side banner. Under that are some rectangular "buttons". Click on the "Lessons from Predictions" button. That will take you to a page listing blog posts dealing with past predictions/projections and how they have measured up.

  43. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #1

    For anybody interested and reading this post, I suggest Googling James Hansen, Richard Alley, and Eric Rignot together with "sea level rise" and read the reports and watch the videos that come up. All of these respected scientists regularly talk about multi-meter sea-level rise this century.

    Scientists routinely say that Earth is responding faster than anyone thought possible and faster than the models predicred. A good example is melt in the Arctic, which is occurring faster than the models have predicted.

    We only have one chance to prepare before rapid sea-level rise really kicks in. That time is now.

  44. CO2 effect is saturated


    A scientific discussion of Hansen's 1988 paper is here Realclimate discussion .  Note that this is the website the denier site "realclimatescience" is attempting to hijack. 

    Hansen's projections were skillful but the release of greenhouse gasses was not what he forecast. While he forecast lower CO2 emissions, he forecast higher cloroflurocarbon emissions.  Simplistic evaluations of only CO2, like the one at realclimatescience, ignore these important greenhouse gasses. 

    The writers at realclimatescience have had the opportunity to read the correct science at Realclimate and continue to push their incorrect ideas.  In my book that is a deliberate lie.  I recommend you stop wasting your time (and ours looking up the correct analysis) reading denier web sites.

    There is an easy way to find out how increasing CO2 affects temperature: read the IPCC summary and figure they are correct!!  It is a waste of time to attempt to calcualte or completely understand the atmosphere yourself, it is too complex. 

  45. Climate negotiations made me terrified for our future

    Easy to get the two things confused. Done it myself.

  46. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #1

    Riduna, I think multi metre sea level rise this century is possible, but somewhat unlikely, because it would require more than just melting ice, it would require physical destabilisation and destruction of ice sheets which requires strong local warming right around the antarctic and greenland oceans, considerably more than presently, and all over the next couple of decades surely. How would that happen? Seems unlikely to me by 2100, but very possible by 2200 as warming accelerates, if we do nothing.

    I'm not minimising the problem, just thinking how would it happen? It is pretty much just as bad if its by 2200 anyway. Hell, 1 metre is very serious. I think its important to talk about dangerous but realistic, evidence based defensible scenarios or the public will dismiss climate science as inflated scaremongering.

  47. Climate negotiations made me terrified for our future

    Riduna @5, you are looking at atmospheric concentrations of CO2! CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels levelled off from about 2014 - 2017:

    Atmospheric concentrations didn't follow suit, probably because of the big el nino of 2015 - 2016 boosting CO2 from natural sinks like forests.

  48. CO2 effect is saturated

    Erp . . . I have committed an unfortunate ambiguity, in the second post above this one.   "the temperature reduces with height" should read "the temperature reduces with increased height" ~ which is much clearer !   My apologies for that initial statement, which might well pass in colloquial conversation, but which was very open to misinterpretation (in written form).

  49. CO2 effect is saturated

    LTO , you have mentioned the "realclimatescience" website.

    Perhaps you are not yet aware ~ but that is not a science website, it is a propaganda website.   "Fake News".   As a pointer, one should always be on the alert for disinformation, on any site prominently quoting Feynman, Popper, or Galileo.   [ Feynman, Popper and Galileo are of course very worthy gentlemen in their own right ~ but their philosophies are seriously abused by propagandists hoping to drape themselves with reflected glory . . . propagandists hoping to mislead the uninformed/unthinking reader. ]

    As to your question on Hansen etcetera ~ the propagandists are diverting your attention onto some old predictions/projections of 30+ years ago, in the early days of such assessments.   Worse by far, they are deceiving you by comparing to more recent high-altitude data, not the planetary surface temperatures.   That is classic bait-and-switch deception.

    Also, note that site's reference to "the 52% consensus" ~ based on some very unrigorous survey of members of some meteorological society.  No detailed explanation.   Quite shameless propaganda.

    LTO , please get your information from an honest scientific website.   For instance : RealClimate.  (You can see how the anti-science propagandists are trying to piggy-back, by using a similar sounding name such as realclimatescience, to mislead the careless into their own site.)

  50. Climate negotiations made me terrified for our future

    I understand the speakers frustration at the preoccupation of COP24 attendees with discussion of minutiae while anthropogenic global warming propels the planet down catastrophe street at increasing speed.

    Nigelj – you write: ‘(CO2) emissions levelled off over approximately 2014-2017’

    Did they? This NOAA Graphic does not indicate any CO2 emissions levelling off during this period.

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