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Comments 351 to 400:

  1. One Planet Only Forever at 04:20 AM on 9 November 2018
    Climate change science comeback strategies: 'In it for the money'

    Another way to address the claim that climate scientists are 'in it for the money' is to point out that the improved awareness and understanding of climate science was not developed by the people who benefited the most from fossil fuel burning wanting to understand if they should continue to try to benefit from the activity.

    Pursuers of personal benefit are understandably reluctant to investigate the acceptability of the actions they hope to benefit from. That is primitive human nature.

    Socially responsible modern humans be willing to pursue Good Reasons and strive to learn how to avoid harming others and try to effectively help others. They will try to understand what is going on without a bias for personal benefit.

    Good scientists will be socially responsible by default. They will simply try to develop the best explanation and understanding of what is going on, regardless of the potential for personal benefits.

    As mentioned in the OP, less responsible scientists will be able to make more money in ways other than altruistically performing Good Helpful Climate Science work. They can be observed to be the "spokes-people" favoured by less altruistically (more selfishly) motivated people (people in it for the personal benefit).

  2. One Planet Only Forever at 03:22 AM on 9 November 2018
    Climate change science comeback strategies: 'In it for the money'

    I recommend a focus on John Cook's point about science (not just climate science). "... helping us build a safer, healthier world." That directly connects to the importance of achieving, and improving, all of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly the Climate Action Goal since achieving that goal makes it easier to achieve the other goals.

    I try to make the point that the purpose of science is to help by improving awareness and understanding of what is really going on. I also extend the point about helpfulness to applying that improved knowledge to act locally now (what everyone constantly does) to help sustainably improve, not harm, the future of humanity (local and global humanity, now and into the distant future). The SDGs are a good guide to helpful local actions.

    That leads to understanding that all of that helpfulness is under the umbrella of Altruism. It leads to understanding that serious problems for humanity can develop if altruism does not govern the development of awareness and understanding and the application of that knowledge.

    That leads to appreciating that there are many examples of things only getting better when altruism governs and limits human activity. There is a long and continuing history of pursuers of altruism having to step in to try to correct and clean up the damaging developments of less altruistic (more selfish) people. And their efforts can be seen to face powerful resistance to the understood required corrections (because what has developed is popular and profitable, and people do not like to be corrected regarding something they have developed a liking for).

    The point is the importance of sustainable advancement of humanity produced by efforts to improve awareness and understanding of what is really going on, and applying that improved knowledge to act locally now (what everyone constantly does) to help sustainably improve, not harm, the future of humanity (local and global humanity, now and into the distant future).

    And that argument then opens the discussion up to awareness and understanding of the unacceptability of 'other ways people try to personally benefit'. Which leads to the appreciation that free market capitalism really needs external governance to limit what develops. There will always be people trying to unjustifiably Win more personal benefit or perceptions of superiority. And getting away with behaving less acceptably can be a significant competitive advantage for as long as it can be gotten away with.

    And the few climate scientists favoured by the likes of the fossil fuel cabal who make up poor excuses in an attempt to discredit the climate science consensus can clearly be understood to be more like 'those type of people - in it for the money or the unjustified personal impressions of superiority'.

    I suggest the following pithy pitches, which apply to almost any important issue.

    The Future of Humanity is in Question - Altruism is the Answer
    Altruism! What is it Good For? - The Future of Humanity

  3. Climate change science comeback strategies: 'In it for the money'

    When people choose doctors they often talk about their experience, where they work (e.g., Mayo Clinic), how many of a particular type of operation they've done, etc. I don't ever remember somebody saying they would not trust a doctor because he/she was in it for the money.

    Perhaps we should help people apply the same standard to choosing which scientists to trust.

  4. How (not) to talk about Climate Change

    As this is your first post, Skeptical Science respectfully reminds you to please follow our comments policy. Thank You!

    WAS at 12.14 8 November 2018

    The problem with trying to persuade the right in politics about AGW is that they subscribe to a free market model as a fundamental truth and the free market is suposed to be self correcting.  If AGW is correct then their model is manifestly mistaken.  To accept AGW would mean they have to abandon a lifetimes philosophy.  No wonder they are in denial.  I fear that only the flooding of New York and London will change minds.  Still we must keep trying and facts calmly stated and avoiding emotion and name calling are most likely over time to have an effect.

  5. How (not) to talk about Climate Change

    I don't agree, Wol. Adult discussions are one approach, but they don't seem to be working, do they. Your better ideas are always welcome as well of course.

    I've posted to Facebook and we'll (or rather I'll!) see if anyone responds.

  6. Climate change and compassion fatigue

    Thank you for expressing the feelings that I frequently experience in regards to Climate Change.  The idea of keeping such feelings 'locked in a tiny box' resonated very much.  When many years ago I first started learning about the potential ramifications for the future it felt completely overwhelming and I was occasionally so saddened by the science I would literally cry. I ended up researching the psychology of climate change and begun a journey of meditation which helped in many ways to come to peace within myself.

    I would just comment that compassion fatigue is no longer the terminology used for those in helping professions.  It's more nuanced name is empathic distress fatigue (  Withdrawal and burnout are related to empathy. Compassion is about cultivating the antidote to this (if interested in exploring).

    My compassion for the needs of other beings insects, bees, birds, fish, animals has grown more and more because of the science that this website lays out.  Each time I log on to Skeptical Science I make a point of noting the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb count.  I feel dismay and sadness which makes me want to develop a compassionate response. The discomfort and the science is what sets my intention as I begin another day with the understanding that I have an opportunity try to walk lightly on this Earth.  This is not that easy when the culture of waste and consumption surrounds.  I cannot do big things but I just try to do something however small.  I am not a climate scientist, I have no particular skills of repute, I am not in a position of great power and influence.  But still I am walking to work today.  I can do that.  

    John Cook started Skeptical Science which is extraordinary in a way because it educates and inspires change and takes very complicated scientific data and creating easy to use resources for ordinary people like me. Thank you to so many scientists who have contributed also and who I believe are helping to develop a more compassionate world.

  7. Climate sensitivity uncertainties leading to more concern

    And the problem with estimating climate sensitivity using the modern temperature observations since the 1980's - 2108, and subtracting the milankovitch cycle is the modern warming period is its just too short to be 100% certain, some feedbacks haven't fully developed, aerosols distort the record and effects are not 100% certain. But again it still points towards 3 degrees.

  8. Climate sensitivity uncertainties leading to more concern

    William @2, this is my understanding, although Im not a climate scientist.My understanding is climate scientists do look at paleo climate data to estimate climate sensitivity,comparing C02 and temperature and subtracting the effects of the milankovitch cycle, but I would guess the trouble is you also have past volcanic activity, sometimes at scale, and the energy output of the sun has changed on long term time scales. There are also limits in the fossil data they use.

    Some of this stuff is not known with great reliability, so this might explain the quite wide range of climate sensitivities, even those from studies based largely on paleo climate data.

    Although such data still suggests 3 degrees is the most likely sensivity, possibly more but not less. Personally I would put my money on the paleo climate data rather than other ways of estimating sensitivity.

    Climate sensitivity can also be estimated with modelling and more recent observations. The following articles describes different ways used to calculate sensitivity: Explainer: How scientists estimate ‘climate sensitivity’

  9. One Planet Only Forever at 13:58 PM on 8 November 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #44


    The global surface temperature record is the 'Temperature Record' addressed by the SkS myth debunking item you refer to.

    The ocean heat content is a related matter. However, any correction or new learning regarding ocean heat content would not change the global average surface temperature data.

    I hope that helps you better uderstand this issue.

    What is undeniably unethical is for a portion of any current generation of humanity to personally benefit from an unsustainable activity that undeniably harms others, particularly an activity that harms future generations (generations that will not be able to continue to benefit from the activity because it is unsustainable - the burning of buried ancient hydrocarbons has a finite future).

    Gradually making the unacceptable activity more expensive, a progressively increased fee on the carbon, is actually a slower correction of the harmful activity than the future generations would prefer to see. It is an action that makes the harm to future gemerations larger than it would be if more aggressive corrective actions were implemented.

    And the longer and slower the correction is, the more jarring a future desperate correction may need to be, with even more future harm done. Especially if global geo-engineering action is thought to be the way to address a future emergency that was avoidable, but was not avoided because so many people in the previous generations had developed a powerful greedy resistance to being corrected.

    And the less fortunate do need to be helped, but excusing fossil fuel burning is not helpful.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] The poster you refer to is one of 3 dozen fake account sock puppets run by user "cosmoswarrior".  No further responses to it are warranted, as it's sole purpose for existence is to waste the time of as many as possible, for as long as possible.

    It's posting privileges have been revoked (like all that came before it), as will those of future similar, ignorant iterations.

  10. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #44

    Well, Well!  It seems that the SkS "myth" titled Temp record is unreliable is really not a myth at all according to the third paragraph which states:

    In the scientific realm, the new findings help resolve long-running doubts about the rate of the warming of the oceans before 2007, when reliable measurements from devices called “Argo floats” were put to use worldwide. Before that, differing types of temperature records — and an overall lack of them — contributed to murkiness about how quickly the oceans were heating up.

    So despite the fact since the 1980s, the AGW community has preached the importance of heeding the "experts" with their "overwhelming evidence" and 97% consensus about human-caused global warming, reliable temperature measurements did not exist before the year 2007. This is by their own statements and not those of the contrarions. Therefore, the science concerning climate change is not settled and it would be grossly unethical to impose more taxes and regulations on the citizens of any nation under the pretense of saving the planet from AGW.  This is especially true considering the fact that despite all of this global warming, people in the northeastern and midwestern US have seen record low temperatures for the past three or four winters. They simply cannot afford another tax on top of their already high heating bills.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Sloganeering snipped. By the way, the heat content of the ocean is an entirely different subject matter than the temperature of the atmosphere at the surface of the Earth. You can use this site's Climate Science Glossary to learn what each term means.

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

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

  11. Climate change science comeback strategies: 'In it for the money'

    Good but too wordy and defensive. How about this:

    The accusation is scientists are only in it for the money. Just reply "Of course scientists do their job for the money. Everyone needs to earn a living. Whats wrong with that?

    Next accusation is they exaggerate the problem to get attention and research grants. No. Too much chance of being caught and humiliated by egotistical colleagues. Scientists play safe.

    Another answer: Multiple studies and temperature data sets are used to help uncover mistakes and exaggerations. Science self regulates.

  12. Climate sensitivity uncertainties leading to more concern

    I can't get my head around this one.  Is climate sensitivity determined by comparing the observed rise in temperature with the observed rise in Carbon dioxide.  Should we be using the temperature rise above what it would have been if only the Milankovitch cycle has been in play???  Puzzled.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] The final paragraph of the OP contains the phrase "climate sensitivity". If you click on it you will see the oficial IPCC/WMO definition of climate sensitivity.  

  13. Greenland is gaining ice

    Sarmata @23,

    Your question is a little silly as there cannot be less ice if the analysis is conducted across "ice-free Greenland" and the annual average trend in Land Surface Temperature (LST) presented by Westergaard-Nielsen, et al (2018) is not "overall cooling" but overall warming through the period 1986-2016. The latter half of the period (2001-15) shows neither warming nor cooling at an annual level but does show a warming trend through summer (July) and a cooling trend through autumn (Sept-Dec), a situation which could still result in increased ice melt (if there were any ice to melt). The paper specifically proposes a link between the rate of ice-free Greenland LST warming and the Greenland Blocking Index (rather than the "cold blob" suggested by scaddenp @24).

  14. Greenland is gaining ice

    The ice-free part of greenland is only the southern/south-western edge which happens to be on edge of the North Atlantic "cold-blob" (see here for maps and further discussion of cold-blob). On the other hand, the ice-covered part of Greenland continues to warm and shed ice. Your reference was about the observations on the ice-free part.

  15. How (not) to talk about Climate Change

    I'm sorry, but I could only manage half that infantile video: it's heave-inducingly awful, and does a great disservice to those who accept the problem is real. I was expecting an adult discussion, not second form banter.

  16. Climate impacts

    More cases in point:

    Economic models significantly underestimate climate change risks

    We are almost certainly underestimating the economic risks of climate change

  17. Climate sensitivity uncertainties leading to more concern

    The evidence points towards medium to high climate sensitivity, and didn't the recent research paper finding increased ocean heat content also point to high climate sensitivity?

    Yet the sceptical lobby are still claiming otherwise, and claiming no warming since 1998 (despite recent record temperatures since 2015 staring them in the face). It's beyond human comprehension.

  18. How (not) to talk about Climate Change

    citizenschallenge, nothing will change lindzens mind, he is a full time professional scientific crank. 10% of people still think tobacco is harmless. All we can do is try to convince normal people who might have some normal healthy scepticism.

  19. citizenschallenge at 01:50 AM on 7 November 2018
    How (not) to talk about Climate Change

    I'm curious how would one apply this method to counter the malicious science by slander and retortic that Dr. Richard Lindzen has been peddling with such success for decades now (though his general thesis hasn't changed one iota)?

  20. Major PAGES 2k Network Paper Confirms the Hockey Stick

    THen why so many papers about so many places measurements shows no unusual warming or cooling?

    Could you elaborate on that?

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Please read Those 80 graphs that got used for climate myths by Ari Jokimäki, Skeptical Science, July 11, 2018 and post any further comments on that thread. Generally speaking, No Tricks Zone is not considered to be a reliable source of quality scientific information.

    [PS] On other hand, many readers were so confident of the misinformation being fed to them that they bet real money on temperatures not rising. That hasnt gone well so far.

  21. Greenland is gaining ice

    Contrasting temperature trends across the ice-free part of Greenland (25 January 2018) 

    "less than 36% of the ice-free Greenland has experienced a significant trend and, if any, a cooling is observed during the last 15 years (<0.15 °C change per year)."

    "Warming trends observed from 1986–2016 across the ice-free Greenland is mainly related to warming in the 1990’s. The most recent and detailed trends based on MODIS (2001–2015) shows contrasting trends across Greenland, and if any general trend it is mostly a cooling. The MODIS dataset provides a unique detailed picture of spatiotemporally distributed changes during the last 15 years."

    So why is there less ice if it's overall cooling?

    Is it because of algae and lowwer albedo? Any impact of delayed mechanisms, sea currents maybe? 

  22. CO2 limits will harm the economy

    Sarmata @110,

    You have evidently done a lot of reading, although I am pretty sure it is not a well-rounded reading list you present here (which your commenting at SkS recently also managed, here & here, although these earlier comments were questioning the references), and as such your references lead you to what are obviously poor conclusions .

    Rather than address the various references you make, perhaps it would be best if you set out your own position on AGW mitigation (ie emissions reduction strategy).

    You write "The asnwer is a gradual transition with replacing coal and oil with lowwer emission of CO2 with natural gas and in long term strategy building power plants..." these 'long-term power plants' being described as renewable, eco-friendly, economically viable and efficacious in every way.

    So what do you consider to be the time-scales of this "gradual transition" and this "long term strategy"? I ask because the timliness of AGW mitigation is important. We cannot be shutting th stable door after the horse has bolted.

  23. citizenschallenge at 10:46 AM on 6 November 2018
    Climate impacts

    Case in point:

    "We’re probably undervaluing healthy lakes and rivers
    Economists often ignore the human health benefits of keeping water bodies clean"

  24. How (not) to talk about Climate Change

    Something related: "Apocalyptic Climate Reporting Completely Misses the Point. Recent news commentary ignored the UN climate report’s cautiously optimistic findings."

    The point the article makes is too much doom and gloom might be counter productive causing people to switch off. Not enough media attention is given to the considerable successes of renewable electricity generation for example and other opportunites to improve things.

    However I think its important to still look at the climate problem and how serious it could be. Its probably a tricky balance of getting the message home that this climate thing is big,  and with a very clear way out of the problem given equal media attention. You have to give people hope and a plan. 

    However worst case scenarios need an evidential basis. Like hothouse earth has a good evidential basis. When scientists make excessive, highly speculative apocalyptic claims I dont think that helps.

    I think one of the biggest sticking points is people probably just can't get their head around how a degree or two is all that much of a problem. But the simple fact is a couple of degrees is capable of a climate shift of considerable proportions, more than that and the shift could be frightening. Everything changes, weather patterns the whole lot. Look at how the jet stream is already changing. This is a powerful influence on weather systems. I digress. Apologies.

  25. CO2 limits will harm the economy

    "CO2 limits will harm the economy"
    So you claim it doesn't harm economy? All ideas for shifting posted requires state interventionism, socialist taxation - all of them alone are harming economy.

    Taxes lowwers poor people income, consumption, bought production so less adaptable to changing climate. Tariffs damages (as we see now) competition on the market and so increasing local prices and lowwering local companies competitiveness on global market (and tariffs cause countertarrifs). Only competition and free market builds growth.

    "our estimates reveal that these countries also experienced an average reduction in GDP per capita growth rates of around 1–2 percentage points relative to non-Annex I countries."

    1-2% GDP is a hell lot of growth slowing both economical and technological development.

    Germany is the best example of how emissions trade and radical transition into renewable energy based economy ends with failure

    a) not meeting lowwer CO2 goals b) breaking ecological standards, taking space, reshaping terrain in ugly way, damaging ecosystems and animals c) adding new costs for citizens and so taxes, failing in sustaining stable electricity supply when it's needed



    "by 2030. It will, however, also have varied effects on the macroeconomy, with GDP losses of 1.54% to 2.5%"

    Increase in food prices

    But the real problem is not in lowwering CO2 emissions - which can't as any radical transition of economy not come with a big costs. It is these socialist antifreemarket policies that comes with it in package and lack of economical realism brings bigger costs for economy, especially for economies based on fossil fuels. In Europe emissions trade was a political tool of decreasing competitiveness of Eastern Europe which was already burdened with hard adaptation to new reality after fall of communism and prices of electricity are surging there. This was a taxation of Emerging Markets by Developed Markets.

    So please don't fool people with 0 costs retoric. You probably already can see these costs in everyday bills in grocery store, taxes and electricity bill.

    The asnwer is a gradual transition with replacing coal and oil with lowwer emission of CO2 with natural gas and in long term strategy building power plants which: a) provides ecological, sustainable 24h a day, cost-effective, competitive energy, friendly for economy, b) doesn't require great interference in environment and ecosystems, doesn't harm animals, or placed close to houses doesn't affect human health c) and so creates a real acceptance for such a transition without polarising society and risking the backfiring effect like in USA.

    Climate might be on the edge of collapse in future but the global economy after years of such irresponsible anticapitalist, economically ineffective and to radical policies is on the edge of collapse already (what similar central planning showed earlier in Soviet Union and as similar will be seen in China also ). EU the vanguard of this revolution is the best example of how patetic effects it has. Japan still uses nuclear power and it's the only way they could keep CO2 reduction course, otherwise would be economically forced to reversing progress.

    And also why nobody speaks about adding reforestation programs? Every country could meet CO2 reduction goals by increasing it's capacity to bind CO2 from air in plants and rebuilding it's old ecosystems and wildlife (also adding renewable resources as wood). And FYI there are other alternative technologies like controlled coal burning underground - what makes CO2 filtering, storage easy and cuts any pollution to zero.

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Please read and comply with the comments policy, this is not the place for political sloganeering. Labelling something that Milton Friedman would agree with as "socialist" is not conducive to constructive discussion. Data demonstrating that revenue-neutral fee-and-dividend is harmful would be more welcome. "nobody talks about reafforestation" is a strawman - it is key part of many countries Paris plans and gets a whole chapter in IPCC WG3 report, including the limits. Leave the rhetoric behind if you are going to post here.

  26. How (not) to talk about Climate Change

    Yes ok good, sound advice, but some real gaps of understanding as well. So the question is why is it hard to discuss climate change? One of the biggest impediments is it has become politicised and a sign of tribal identification, and  theres an old saying "you dont discuss politics and religion in polite company". Things can get very bitter. Sport is safer ground so people avoid discussing the climate issue.

    Climate change science is identified with the liberal tribe (ridiculous though this is)  and the conservative tribe has adopted a negative view of climate change as a weapon of political combat and a core tenet.

    However I think it has to be discussed anyway and de politicised somehow. I think rather than preach, ask people what they think of the climate change issue and keep discussion light and humorous. Don't get angry if people raise badly informed arguments. Keep it intelligent, free and easy like a student discussion between equals. Of course it all depends on the nature of the group and the context.

    This article is good: How the science of persuasion could change the politics of climate change. It gets into how the issue has become politically tribal, and some potential solutions to this.

    Personally I think theres also potential in focussing more on solutions to the climate problem and their advantages in addition to the science. This helps depoliticise the issue to some degree.

    Facts are obviously important in convincing people, but facts alone are insufficient. We know this. We know some people simply don't connect with facts and data or dismiss them as lies or politically tainted. Facts can also be a bit dry for some people.

    You need to put discussion in a human interest setting and a personal setting and connect with emotions. This is basic communications skills. Emotions and human interest can be convincing, just look how politicians use them in argument. The thing is emotional argument can be over done so some care is needed. Avoid the manipulative, preachy and guilt inducing rhetoric.

    Its "horses for courses". Its not "either or". Personally I connect better with facts and data but not everyone is like that. I feel good discussion and books on climate change would probably benefit from a mix of facts, graphs,  emotion, personal stories and human interest perspectives. But this mix is rare in  my experience.

  27. Canada passed a carbon tax that will give most Canadians more money

    The level of the carbon tax is far less important than the fact that it increases each year by some predetermined formula.  Trudeau could have started with a far lower tax but with an arithmetic (X1,2,3,4...) or geometric (X1,2,4,8,16....) formula for increasing the amount year by year.  It is sad that he put a cap on the maximum amount.  An open ended price would have sent investors scrambling to get out of carbon based fuel and into renewables befor they lost their shirts.  It would have happened long before it was strictly economically necessary.

  28. IPCC overestimate temperature rise

    Samata @65,

    The Monckton YouTube video you link to appears to be the 'work' presented in Monckton et al (Unpublished) which remains unpublised because it is total nonsense. You ask for the mathematical errors. There may be many but the central problem Monckton has is his insistence that  climate sensitivity can be calculated on the back of a fag packet in the following manner:-

    If the black body temperature of a zero GHG Earth is 255K and there is, according to Monckton, enough forcing pre-industrial to add 8K to that temperature directly from those forcings (giving a temperature without feedback of 263K), then if the actual pre-industrial temperature with feedbacks is 287K, the feedback mechanisms have raised the temperature by 24K. Monckton then calculates the strength of these feedbacks as a portion of the full non-feedback temperature (287/263-1) = 0.09. [This, of course, is a big big error.] Thus ECS(Monckton)= 1.1K x 1.09 = 1.2K.

    (See Monckton's explanation of his basic method at Roy Spencer's, a climate denier who refutes Monckton's methods).

    The big big error is in attributing pro-rata feedback to all the black body warming. It is also an error to run with these back-of-fag-packet calculations all the way to zero LL-GHG (what Monckton calls NOGS) but not as dreadful a mistake as using them pro rata  all the way down to absolute zero.

    His back-of-fag-packet calculation should be saying that 8K LL GHG-forced warming results in 33K of warming at equilibrium, thus ECS = 1.1K x 33/8 = 4.5K, a value that is high but not entirely implausable.

    A more sensible analysis would not consider that ECS is a constant value over such large temperature ranges. And there will be feedback mechanisms operating without LL GHGs being present. But they will bear no resemblance to the feedback mechanisms facing a world at 288K.

  29. Climate impacts

    The Washington Post: Article on food scarcity in general and it's history of causing armed conflicts and riots, and examples of recent impacts of climate change on the issues.

  30. Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    Sarmata @265,

    His (that is one Harry Dale Huffman) claim is that "Venus's atmosphere DOES absorb 1.91 times the power that Earth's atmosphere does" only holds if the reflectiveness of Earth & Venus are identical. The webpage does in an up-date acknowledge reflectiveness (albedo) and sets out to correct for it but makes the mistake of assessing albedo as being "the same fraction (f)"  on both Venus & Earth. Yet they are not even similar as this NASA Fact Sheet shows. Venus receives 2601.3Wm^-2 solar radiation and Earth 1361.0Wm^-2, a ratio of 1.91-times. But the albedo's are vastly different, Venus 0.77  and Earth 0.306. This means the absorbed solar radiation is 601Wm^-2 on Venus and 948Wm^-2 on Earth (these values over the disc of the planet). The true ratio is thus not 1.91-times but 0.63.

    And the fancy use of the 1.91 ratio (which is wrong so has no merit) only works over the Earth's troposphere and a portion of the Venus atmosphere. If it were some grand theory, you would expect it to work throughout these atmospheres and indeed throughout all atmospheres. So Jupiter the Harry Dale Huffman theory would give a 1bar atmospheric temperature on Jupiter of 55K (that's ignoring albedo which is similar to Earth's) and not the measured 168K.

    Planetary temp-pressure graph

  31. Climate impacts


    As I pointed out, one of the principle causes of the Syrian war was climate change.

    aleppo distruction

    Wholesale distruction like this is caused by declines in food production.  Over 1 million refugees headed to Europe.  Climate change is causing much of the migration to the USA from Central America.  A small decline in food production can cause hundreds of millions of deaths.

    If you think that is no big deal OK.  I think that will be a problem.

  32. IPCC overestimate temperature rise

    What about how he debunks this equation here: 

    "Monckton's Mathematical Proof - Climate Sensitivity is Low"


    What errors does he do in this math there?

  33. citizenschallenge at 04:35 AM on 5 November 2018
    Climate impacts

    The author summarizes what some think: "One possibility is that the global economic impact will indeed be relatively small, even if the climatic and ecological changes are large.”

    How’s that work? Our economy isn’t created by spreadsheets and computer algorithms fine tuned to profit making. It’s a vast interdependent network fueled by exploiting and consuming Earth’s valuable resources, this includes farmland, forests, fishing.

    I don’t think economists recognize the Earth has entered a one way climate regime shift.

    The course of the near future is determined and it’s a game of global Weather Roulette. Increasingly extreme and destructive weather events will happen. Where they strike is the Global Economic wild card, location, location, location.

    Seems that all too few recognize the depth of the complexity and interdependencies, nor vast variety of cascading consequences of AGW will inevitably trigger. Economy needs energy, energy production needs cooling water, river water or coastal ocean water. River waters are warming, rivers are drying, sea water is warming and sea levels are rising, increasingly intense storm surges and flooding are to be expected.

    Healthy global agriculture, communication and transportation networks likewise are absolutely dependent on relatively moderate and predictable weather patterns for any number of reasons - yet most seem to have no appreciation for the myriad of interdependent linkages. Worst, seems most couldn't care less.

  34. Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    Hello there :) Does it also debunk this theory here? It also take into account pressure and distances ratio beetween sun and venus, earth, also claiming no greenhouse effects.

    His claims "Venus's atmosphere DOES absorb 1.91 times the power that Earth's atmosphere does, as their temperature ratio shows--and that ratio is precisely that predicted simply from the ratio of their distances from the Sun" 

    I'm really curious about your opinion. Is there an error in his math? 

    PS I suppose this is the right place to ask this question if not direct me to the proper one please. 

  35. Philippe Chantreau at 12:46 PM on 4 November 2018
    Climate impacts

    "A few percent"? As if that wasn't a big deal ?!!!!??

    If that is anything between 2 and 6, it's going to plunge the majority of Western countries in stagnation or steep recession. How is that not a problem? And we're not even taling about the rest of the World.

  36. Climate impacts

    Amplifying a couple of points. The article says that economists estimate climate change will reduce economic output "by a few percent" implying costs are low. If only this were true, but is it?

    In fact some reports find about 3% or so, The Stern Report thinks 5%, but if a wide range of impacts is included it says it would be 20% of gdp. This is not small. Its is not rhetoric or sloganeering.

    For some background information: The Stern report is on wikipedia, and an article " economic impacts of climate change " is on wikipedia and it is written around what the research has found.

    The problem is threefold. Firstly economists have a terrible record of prediction of future economic scenarios in general. They are "data driven" but tend to understimate problems and over estimate growth scenarios. This suggests on balance that their projections of changes to total economic output, ie costs are likely to be innacurate, and likely to be underestimates. This is not rhetoric or sloganeering. Their poor record is well documented.  

    Secondly yes I take the point that things have to be "data driven" but it depends on what data they are looking at, so their range of focus. As the article states changes to economic growth are generally ignored in many studies, and there's evidence from various reports that climate change will decrease growth on balance. It also appears from the wikipedia article that the problems and costs of sea level rise and migration, refugees and potential conflict are largely ignored (as I suggested in comment 1). This casts doubt on the usefulness of economic studies.

    Once you get above 3 degrees heatwave problems become intense something not terrribly well captured by the economic studies from what I have read.

    In other words the economic studies tend to focus only on hard data that is very certain, and for very modest warming scenarios, and ignore the difficult stuff, yet that difficult stuff looks to be a huge potential component with few upsides.

    Three, estimating climate impact costs is difficult because of uncertainties.

    Another problem is the use of economic output as a metric. This measures repair costs as economic output, so disguises an obvious problem that we are repairing things, not moving forwards in a useful way.

    The economic studies find interesting things on agriculture and wildly different results, but on balance most studies do find a negative effect but with huge regional variations with lower latitudes generally harder hit as pointed out by commentators. But the IPCC still finds a problem in Europe at just 2 degrees. This would be greater at higher levels of warming from what I have read. Even a moderate sized problem in Europe would just so obviously have significant effects not easily captured in typical economic analysis. It will certainly hurt poor people who spend a lot of their available income on food. It doesnt take much to tilt economies into recessions and crashes.

    It appears climate change could well cause economic growth to slow from various studies. But this growth is slowing anyway. Anyone that thinks robust economic growth going forwards will continue and save us from the costs of climate change is frankly delusional, because none of the data suggests we can maintain high rates of economic growth in the future.

    And thirdly to reiterate a couple of points. Economic output does not capture anything like the full effects of climate change on human beings and ecosystems and plenty of evidence and data suggests huge problems.

  37. TTauriStellarBody at 06:37 AM on 4 November 2018
    Climate impacts

    So this

    "B5.3. Limiting warming to 1.5°C, compared with 2ºC, is projected to result in smaller net reductions in yields of maize, rice, wheat, and potentially other cereal crops, particularly in subSaharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America"

    Is your justification for this:

    "If agriculture were to collapse that would not mean the GDP would drop 2%"

    You are saying a drop in yeilds is a collapse in agriculture. 

    We know the low latitudes will be disproportionately hit. But we also know that the mid lattiudes are where the bulk of the worlds GDP is generated. 

    The opening post asks why is it that GDP seems to be so slightly affected by 1.5C and 2C. Once we get beyond the sloganeering and rhetoric few seem to have built cases on data.

  38. Climate impacts


    From your link to IPCC-SR15:

    "B5.3. Limiting warming to 1.5°C, compared with 2ºC, is projected to result in smaller net reductions in yields of maize, rice, wheat, and potentially other cereal crops, particularly in subSaharan
    Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America; and in the CO2 dependent, nutritional quality of rice and wheat (high confidence). Reductions in projected food availability are
    larger at 2ºC than at 1.5°C of global warming in the Sahel, southern Africa, the Mediterranean, central Europe, and the Amazon (medium confidence). Livestock are projected to be adversely
    affected with rising temperatures, depending on the extent of changes in feed quality, spread of diseases, and water resource availability (high confidence). {3.4.6, 3.5.4, 3.5.5, Box 3.1, CrossChapter Box 6 in Chapter 3, Cross-Chapter Box 9 in Chapter 4}" my emphasis.

    I already mentioned revolutions partly caused by failure of the wheat harvest in Russa.  The Syrian war was caused by agricultural failure due to unprecented AGW linked drought.  In locations like Egypt where many people live on $2 per day and buy all their food, a small increase in the price of food results in severe problems.

    Your post seemed to suggest a maximum decline in GDP from severe agricultural effects of a few percent.  I wanted to point out that agricultural effects can be much larger than the current percent of GDP.  People require food.  Currently in developed countries food is cheap.  If agriculture strains cause food shortages the price will rapidly increase.  AGW related drought in Texas a few years ago killed 20% of cattle.  Several years of that would cause an increase in food costs.

    I am not sure what you want from me with respect to the OP.  Your question is not clear to me. 

    I have seen economic forecasts that sugest minor changes from AGW when climate forecasts include large land areas being rendered too hot for humans to live there any longer.  The economic forecasts cannot consider the climate forecasts in detail.

  39. Climate impacts

    Predicting a "sea change" in complex, chaotic systems like climate and economics is extremely difficult, and disastrous change can occur much more quickly than most people realize.  I do, however, agree with others in this conversation that the science of climate research is on much more solid footing than that of modern economics. 

    I remember reading many years ago about someone who challenged an American meteorologist (weatherman?) on next-day forecasting.  By simply predicting every next day to have the same weather as the current day, he won - because the meteorological predictions of change in the day were so inaccurate.  That matches my feelinga about our current global capitalist system - as long as governments cater to the ultra wealthy and corporate sectors, they believe that the good times and exponential growth can go on forever. 

    Another factor in overly rosy economic predictions is that people don't want to hear bad news about the future. Often, any predicted change in a negative direction that does not come to fruition leads to people no longer believing the source -unless you are Donald Trump.  The U.S. president is a master at telling his fans just what they want to hear - and it is almost always based on falsehoods and inaccuracies. Even when his words are immediately debunked, his fans refuse to accept the truth.  Following this surrealistic  phenomenon leads me to believe that a similar psychology leads to the stubborn denialism that refuses to accept the reality of the looming disasters that will be precipitated by AGW/CC. 

    Economists do the same thing as Trump without overtly lying, but simply refuse to consider and include all of the obvious possibilities and their liklihoods in their calculations.   Their theories, hyphtheses, and calculations may be mathematical marvels, but the "garbage in garbage out" maxim applies here. 

    Reading this post and its replies prompted me to go to Google to look for "economic prediction failures" - and I was a bit surprised at how the first page of results was filled with exactly what I was looking for.  It looks like I've found some very interesting information to peruse over the next few days. 

    I see two possibilities for the next few decades - either modern civilization and its global economy will hit a wall - or drive over a cliff. And either one will likely be at full speed with "the pedal to the metal."

    At age 76, I probably will not be around to see it. Many of my contemporaries are already gone, and unlike me, did not live long enough to see even the real beginning of the global "tragedy of the commons" surfacing so obviously.  The current path of modern technological civilization will likely lead to its end.  The focus on "saving the earth" was completely wrong. The earth will survive and life will continue to evolve - just not in the way we humans with out collective monumental hubris expected.

  40. Climate's changed before

    Waterguy13 @ #614 ,

    What source do you base your comment on?   The earlier mainstream climate models have done a fairly good job with their projections during the past 30 years or so.   They can be criticized for minor inaccuracy, in that they A) somewhat overestimated the tropical mid-trospheric "hot spot" , and B) underestimated arctic warming,  and C) underestimated sealevel rise.

    But on the whole, they have done quite well.   In comparison, Dr Lindzen's model has done appallingly badly [he predicted cooling!] . . . and Lindzen still has difficulty acknowledging the reality of the actual ongoing global warming.

    Waterguy13 , you very much need to explain your strange comment.

  41. TTauriStellarBody at 17:28 PM on 3 November 2018
    Climate impacts

    michael sweet

    "If agriculture were to collapse that would not mean the GDP would drop 2%"

    Can you please cite from either IPCC Special Report on 1.5C or from IPCC 5th Assessment Report where you have gotten "agricultural collapse" and precisely what that means espcially with respect too the topic, the lack of loss of global GDP from climate related incidents as referred too in the article above. 

  42. Climate impacts


    I think you have broken things into useful components,  but your view is too narrow, as MS implies. Heres another:

    "The biggest cost to the developed world economy is going to be insurance and increasing premiums."

    This is assuming you can even get insurance. Who is going to continue to insure against things like sea level rise ? Its probably not going to happen. This in turn could lead to a collapse in coastal property values, another cost. Housing collapses cause recessions. Have economists considered all this? Their record in general does not inspire confidence.

  43. Climate impacts


    While only 2% of the GDP is agriculture, most people spend much more of their budget on food.  

    If agriculture were to collapse that would not mean the GDP would drop 2%.   It means everyone would starve to death.  Much of the Arab Spring was caused by a 10% increase in the price of wheat.  That increase was caused by drought in Russia related to climate change.

    The USA has a very large food excess.  We make some food into gasoline for our cars.  That is not the case in many areas of the world.  Many of the refugees coming from Central America are fleeing climate change that caused their farms to fail.  Trump says they are invading our country.

    Think your statements through.  If agriculture yield went down so that the USA had enough food but none to export it would cause world wide starvation.  The effect is far beyond 2% of GDP.

  44. Climate's changed before

    We are told at the end of the video that climate is understood.  If that is the case, then why are climate models not capable of reproducing climate history over the past 35 years?

  45. One Planet Only Forever at 08:34 AM on 3 November 2018
    Climate impacts

    Discussing economic predictions is a rather pointless distraction. As nigelj has mentioned, economic forecasting is poor because the forecasting is based on rather erroneous presumptions about the behaviour of the participants in the system.

    What is needed is sustainable actions that eliminate poverty and actions that do no harm to future generations (do not reduce non-renewable resources, do not create challenges that future generations will have to attempt to deal with). The systems that have developed to date have failed to do that, because that was never their intended objective (it is not why they were developed). And the damage done to the natural resources and ecosystems of the planet are plenty of proof that all of the systems have been failures (not just capitalism), even the supposedly more advanced ones that proudly declare that their 'partial correction' of the damage done is brilliant testimony for the greatness of their way of developing wealth.

    The best understanding of what has developed, and the required corrections, are the Sustainable Development Goals. And the Climate Action Goal has been an understood required correction of what has developed for a long time. In one form or another, the need to curtail the creation of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels has been understood by global leaders since the early 1970s (when it was part of the many identified damaging developments addressed in the Stockholm Conference).

    The economists who like to claim that free market capitalism is "The Greatest" fail to explain how that claim fits with the way things have gone related to fossil fuel burning (and all the other damaging economic developments) since the early 1970s. Only a few of those have been reluctantly sort of mitigated, and not because of the 'responsible' actions of people in the economic games (certainly not by the actions of the bigger winners). Responsible leaders have struggled to implement corrective actions, and have even lost power by attempting to do so.

    The economic systems, including the ways a majority of the evaluators evaluate it, are badly broken. The only legitimate economic activities are the ones that future generations could continue to benefit from almost indefinitely on this amazing perpetual motion machine we live on. The SDGs make that clear. Correcting what has developed is the challenge.

    Calling what has developed what it actually is "systems containing very unacceptable and unsustainable activity, systems needing lots of help to be corrected" is the first step (just like the first step of any damaging addiction correction program - admit the real problem, and admit that help is needed to learn how to correct and limit the harmful behaviour).

    Expecting the corrections to occur from the actions of the biggest winners in the systems, without correcting the systems and how people can win in the systems, is the folly of many economists.

    The SDGs are open to input for improvement. Any attempt to claim something that is contrary to the SDGs without providing a justification for it "improving" the SDGs needs to be corrected.

    Economic growth can continue into the future. But the required first step is correcting the unsustainable developments that have occurred, removing them from the system, while changing the system to only allowing new activity that is almost certain to be sustainable to enter the economic competition. And even 'almost certain to be sustainable activity' will need to be monitored to ensure it is actually sustainable, with corrections made as required as soon as possible.

    That will not 'please everyone', but 'pleasing everyone' is not the point. Compromises attempting to 'please everyone' have seriously compromised the development of a sustainable future for humanity.

  46. Climate impacts

    William @5 exactly. Infinite growth is not possible in a finite world and growth has to slow, - at least growth based on basic resources. Services could possibly expand. Economists are obsessed with growth, but some are starting to acknowledge the resource issue.

    GDP growth has been slowing in recent decades in America and western countries anyway, and this might partly reflect increasing extraction costs of materials. Just look at trends on any economics data base like

    The following is maybe of interest to people: World 3 model interactive simulator. You can input data on resources, industrial growth, population growth etcetera and generate trends. Crude but interesting and useful model.

    Sorry I did a couple of years of maths at varsity, but much has been forgotten, so I won't add much on the maths.

    I will just make this point. We are using resources too fast. It will leave future generations with shortages and painful choices, and will ultimately force gdp growth down anyway.

    If we wish to consider the well being of future generations, the solutions are a combination of proactive policies to get population growth to slow asap, recycling, conservation of resources, less profligate use of resources, and deliberately accepting a steady state growth model at least in rich countries. 

  47. Climate impacts

    Here is a little puzzle for you.  You have a test tube.  It is full of food for a particular micro-organism.  This little beast doubles once each minute.  In exactly one hour, 60 minutes, the tube will be full of this organism and all the food will be gone.  Question.  At which minute will there be half food and half micro-organism.  Answer at the bottom of the page.

    Once again, an economist talking about economic growth and how bad it would be if it didn't continue.  How many times has it been stated that we live on a finite world.  Economic growth is what is goint to  kill us.  If you double the size of an economy, to a first approximation you use twice the water wood and metal, produce twice the garbage and pollution and push nature, which we depend on for our continuous survival into an ever smaller corner.  If we are to survive, we must learn how to live well without an ever expanding economy.  Here is a table of how many years it takes to double an economy at various annual percent increases.  You can calculate it yourself, using your kid's calculator.  For 1%, put log2 divided by log 1.01.

    1%   70 years

    2%   35 years

    3%    23 years

    4%    18 years

    5%    14 years

    How many countries do you know that can find twice the resources they use today and cope with twice the garbage and pollution.

    Answer Minute 59 (work backwards if the answer seems strange)

  48. Stratospheric Cooling and Tropospheric Warming - Revised

    Josbert Lonnee @128,

    You present a hypothesis that relies on how a low pressure GHG gas radiates energy rather than how an increase in the GHG concentration impacts the net radiation. Here I will restrict the comment to low pressure, rather than low pressure with increased GHG.

    Perhaps the hypothesis can be stood on its head and used to argue that the low pressure gas would be warmer and unable to radiate energy away as efficiently as a high pressure gas. Your argument rests on the idea that an excited CO2 molecule has more opportunity to radiate a photon as there is more time between the collisions that put it into that excited state. Conversely, once the wicked deed is done, the CO2 molecule is no longer in this excited state and thus unable to radiate a photon and that period of unexcited time is far longer at 10mbar than it is at 200mbar. Thus the frequency of (E), the A-or-B situation will be lower and the excited CO2 photons radiated by the gas would be less even if the probability A is relatively higher than B in a lower pressure gas.

    Or just perhaps, these two effects cancel each other out.

  49. TTauriStellarBody at 20:49 PM on 2 November 2018
    A eulogy to Guardian's Climate Consensus - the 97%

    There was an instance where a comment by a user ended up being a Daily Mail story over there joke about Matt Riddley. I'd not bother linking unless someone asks. So there was an inherent potential liability, however that is the same as with any comments open story.

    I know the science blogs were lightly trafficked.

    The articles themselves were of an unusually high standard for the dead tree press. That said the newspaper is undergoing (yet another) radical make over to be more of a tabloid and they are closing articles to comments far more frequently than only two years ago.

    Perhaps another outlet would take up a proven group of low cost contributors with their own prebuilt readership.

  50. TTauriStellarBody at 19:10 PM on 2 November 2018
    Climate impacts

    Well how much of an impact do people expect from 1.5C or 2C?

    A developed world economy like the UK or Canada will often see agriculture, the sector most at risk as only 2%ish of GDP. Areas like service sector will be closer to 60%. How many days shopping do they expect to see lost nationally from extreme weather at 1.5C?

    What is the realistic expectation of infrastructure damage at perhaps 2C? The UKs annual infrastructure spend by the government is projectd to be about £110 billion a year. Are we really expecting £110 billion a year in damage to road, rail, schools and hospitals? That would require something on the sclae of hurricane Harvey\Sandy hitting the UK every year.

    Now developing world economies have a far higher % of gdp in agriculture, are often in regions more at risk from smaller changes (due to the tropics being generally more stable) and have far smaller spends on infrastrcuture so much smaller scale events will chew up their entire annual budget then see them going backwards. 

    The biggest cost to the developed world economy is going to be insurance and increasing premiums.

    I am not an economist and fully support radical action to cut CO2. I am just trying to be realistic about the financial side of 1.5 and 2C on the GDP of the big economies.

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