Warmer and wetter. But not as wet as I thought.

I reblogged the original article, so I should also reblog the correction and clarifications…

Protons for Breakfast Blog

The Global Mean Temperature Anomaly compared to the average during the years 1951 to 1980. The data shows that 2014 was the hottest year on record. A link to the data source is shown at the end of this post. The Global Mean Temperature Anomaly compared to the average during the years 1951 to 1980. The data shows that 2014 was the hottest year on record. A link to the data source is shown at the end of this post.

Last week I wrote about how 2014 was warmest year in UK history.

This week two US labs have confirmed that 2014 also appeared to be the warmest year on Earth for many generations.

And looking at the graph above, it’s not hard to see why people – myself included – are alarmed by the trend. Hiatus? What Hiatus?

But on last week’s blog I also got something wrong. I said that

Roughly speaking, every 1 ºC causes…

View original post 766 more words

91 Responses to “Warmer and wetter. But not as wet as I thought.”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    The correction doesn’t extend to a reported statement by Gavin Schmidt of NASA that they were in fact only 38% sure that 2014 was the hottest year; in other words that 2014 was 1.6 times more likely not to have been the hottest year than to have been.

    • You haven’t read or seen the original presentation that contained an estimate of 38% for 2014 being the warmest year in the instrumental record, have you?

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Not yet. I note that you fail to dispute what was said while also declining to give the original source, which would be the constructive way forward.

      • You regurgitated a false claim from dubious sources rather than look up what the guy actually said. And then you have the gall to snottily suggest to me that I’m not being productive! Adrian Burd already gave you the original source.

  2. Adrian Burd Says:

    Whilst Gavin’s comments placed the proper uncertainties on the statement, whether 2014 was the hottest year or not is largely irrelevant to any discussion on climate change, and is really just a distraction — personally, I don’t know why these agencies keep putting out these news reports except that they garner considerable press coverage.

    A couple of weeks ago here in central Georgia, the temperatures were downright frigid. So what? One expects day-to-day and week-to-week temperatures to change, but there is a seasonal change, so I actually know that the burst of cold temperatures does not herald an ice age. Similarly, one expects year-to-year changes in global average temperatures — El Ninos and La Ninas affect global temperatures on those timescales, and large volcanic eruptions can affect global temperatures on short timescales of a year or two.

    But the important thing is the TREND!!! If you take the trend in temperature anomaly from 1970 to 2000 say, and extrapolate to 2014, guess what you find? Tamino has a nice (simple, though perhaps not entirely rigorous) demonstration at

    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/its-the-trend-stupid-3/

    and others on the inter-tubes have similar posts. Similarly, look at the trends in sea-level rise, Arctic sea ice extent, glacier size, organism range extent, phenology, weather extremes, ocean pH etc. etc. etc……. They all show the types of trend one expects if the Earth is warming.

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      Well if they can’t get that right (ie, 2014)…

      • Adrian Burd Says:

        Hold on there just a dang minute. Weren’t you arguing in a previous thread that there’s been a hiatus in increasing surface temperatures since the late 1990s? So, if climate scientists can’t even figure out if 2014 was the hottest year, then how much credence can you give to that “pause” in temperatures? Perhaps the “pause” is not a pause, and the temperatures increased all through the last 15 years or so…..who knows…….

        Also, who can’t get what right? The folks making press releases? I agree, sometimes they neglect information that might be crucial for some people.

        Let’s apply this to anything else shall we? Physicists…..can’t even get measurements of travel times correct, therefore all of physics is wrong. Cosmologists (apologies to Peter et al.), can’t get polarization data correct, therefore all the Big Bang is wrong and should be thrown out.

        I hope you can see the extreme position you’re taking, though perhaps you don’t believe in physics or cosmology either.

        I’m afraid to say that, given the discussions we’ve had over the past months, I’m getting to the point where I’m not going to reply to your comments on climate change — it’s just not worth my time. It’s pretty obvious that you’ve not read the links I’ve provided over the many posts we’ve exchanged on this topic — the reason I can tell is that the questions you ask indicate that you really have no idea of what the actual issues in climate science really are, but instead you’re parroting the histrionics of a very few folks who also don’t understand (in general) what they are doing. You remind me very much of those in the Republican Party, in particular the Tea Party component, here (as well as those on Fox News) who parrot the same remarks; though I guess there has been some progress in that the US Congress has just declared that climate change is real, with many Republicans shifting their stance, though they still won’t admit that there is any contribution from humans (Inhofe is quoted as saying that “Man can’t change climate”…..sigh).

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Adrian,

        Gavin Schmidt, who reportedly stated that NASA was actually only 38% sure 2014 was the hottest year yet – ie the previous statement that it was hottest is considerably more likely to be wrong than right – is the Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. That’s not some photogenic hack from NASA’s PR department. I mean no offence but, in regard to my comments above, Stet; and in regard to the rest of what you say I consider that these are inaccurate analogies. You can’t use the word “hiatus”, by the way, without knowing what the future observations will be, which nobody does. It is true that I have not yet read the URLs you provided a few days ago, but others from previous exchanges I have read.

      • “Well if they can’t get that right (ie, 2014)…”

        What exactly makes you think they didn’t get it right?

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        RW,

        The fact that NASA said 2014 was hottest and then said they were only 38% sure of it, ie less likely to be true than false.

      • So, either you misunderstood a fairly simple bit of statistics, or you’re deliberately misrepresenting it. Most likely the latter.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        RW, if you apologise for your insult immediately above then I’ll respond.

        If you consider yourself an expert then you can always show it by knocking down my arguments at whatever level you consider I’d understand. People generally resort to insults when they have no arguments.

      • I do not consider that there is any level on which you’d understand, given the way you’ve described this 38% estimate. You should read one of the GISS papers describing how they actually compile the surface temperature record. But you’ve made it clear that you’re not interested in doing that, and I’m not patient enough to waste my time explaining things to someone who is clearly not listening.

      • “Weren’t you arguing in a previous thread that there’s been a hiatus in increasing surface temperatures since the late 1990s? So, if climate scientists can’t even figure out if 2014 was the hottest year, then how much credence can you give to that “pause” in temperatures?”

        I think this hits the nail on the head: If a measurement confirms expectations, wishes, hopes, desires, dreams etc of the “sceptics”, then it is highly touted. If not, then the entire methodology is questioned. One can’t have it both ways. One can’t say that the data in general are unreliable (for whatever reason) then quote the data to claim that a “plateau” now exists.

        Tamino’s blog has many examples of even worse cherry-picking.

  3. Adrian Burd Says:

    Hi Anton,
    Perhaps I didn’t explain myself clearly enough. I’m very familiar with Gavin, and have been a long time reader of his papers and slightly more popular writings on Realclimate (another great source for first rate scientific, technical information and discussions, but i think I’ve recommended that site to you on multiple previous occasions). Your comments (both in this thread and the previous one) relating to his remark concerning the uncertainties in the “2014 Warmest Year claim” made me suspect that you were using his remark to cast doubt on estimates of global surface temperature (your remark “Well if they can’t even get that right” seems to strongly suggest this, but if I’m mistaken, then I apologize; though it might behoove you to be a little more transparent in your meaning).

    Gavin’s remarks were not part of the press releases concerning 2014 being the warmest year on record. Those press releases (being for general consumption) did not contain any mention of the uncertainties in the data. Many have taken Gavin’s added remarks as evidence that US agencies (and climate scientists in general) are trying to hide something and pull the will over people’s eyes (Hint: they are not!).

    My post above was indicating that whether 2014 was the warmest on record is not really important, but instead, what IS important, is the trend in temperature anomaly (and I’m sure Schmidt would wholly agree, though I cannot speak for him).

    Perhaps my use of the word “hiatus” was ill-advised, perhaps “pause” would have been better. My critique still stands, you can’t with one hand cast doubt on the temperature record (if that indeed is what you were doing) whilst then using that same record to state that there has been no statistical increase between 1997 and 2012, as you did earlier. Though the fact that you make this statement indicates to me that you have not really figured out things from all the links I’ve posted in this and previous exchanges. If you had, you would have realized that your statement is at best misleading (I’ve supplied all relevant links for you to figure out why this is, and a little digging on those website will really show you the fundamental misunderstanding of analyzing climate data that you have demonstrated by making that claim).

    And whilst humans are more complex in their behavior and motivations than ducks, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. So, I think my analogies stand.

    I can fully appreciate the desire to make science better and to ensure that the best scientific understanding and analysis is used, especially when making policy. However, the fact that you don’t understand where the problems in climate science actually lie, and instead rely on perceived issues that have been resolved, shot down, shown not to be issues etc. shows to me a distinct tendency to not actually understand the science involved, but rather to grasp onto any straw in an attempt to cast doubt on what is happening to the Earth.

    How can I say the above? Because I’ve done the hard work re-tooling my career and learning this stuff (I still have a lot more to learn). I actively use GCMs in my research (I have the MIT GCM running at the moment). I’m quite aware of the problems these models do in fact have, both in terms of the numerics, physics and the biogeochemistry. Part of my research is trying to come up with improvements to these models. I’m working on revisions of a paper that indicate where some of these problems lie and offering routes forward for correcting them — this paper is in conjunction with about 10 other authors whose expertise covers a wide range of climate-related disciplines, and we’re all tearing apart these models to highlight where they get things wrong so that we, as a community, can improve them. However, none of your remarks, nor those on Jo Nova’s blog, nor Anthony Watts’, nor any of those individuals comes even close to mentioning the real problems. Oh, and before anyone gets the wrong idea, are any of these issues I’m talking about game changers? Do any of them invalidate climate science or global warming? No. In fact, if you do a search in the peer-reviewed literature for CMIP 5 analyses, you’ll find many papers by climate modelers doing exactly the same thing as my co-authors and I — using their hard-gained understanding of climate science, numerical methods, physics, biology, chemistry etc. to pick apart their own models showing where they get things wrong, and where they get things right, so that as a community we can improve our model predictions. They also show where the models do get things right, and knowing how hard it is to model these processes, that list is quite impressive indeed.

    • Adrian Burd Says:

      Apologies for replying to myself, but Gavin Schmidt has a new post on RealClimate where he discusses the announcement of the 2014 temperature record in detail. He states there that discussion of the uncertainties was most certainly given at the press briefing and shows the slides that were shown there. This discussion, as often happens, never made it into the press reports. I was incorrect in implying that a discussion of the uncertainties was not in the press briefing; all indications were that it was not.

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/01/thoughts-on-2014-and-ongoing-temperature-trends/

      It’s an interesting read. It’s also worth reading the paper he references.

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      Adrian,

      Thank you for the URL. It is good to get beyond the Daily Mail. I am not in the field of climate and atmospheric physics but I know a thing or two about statistics and probability and I fail to understand how it can be announced by a leading climate scientist that, with uncertainties suppressed ie on a Yes/No basis, 2014 was the hottest year, while when uncertainties are taken into account 2014 is less than 50% likely to have been the hottest year (according to three groups: NOAA, 48%; GISTEMP, 38%; Berkeley Earth 35%). If you came across a similar situation in a field of physics other than your own, what would you think?

      I’d welcome your comments on my assertion that while it is difficult to calibrate the satellite data against terrestrial records, comparison of satellite data against satellite data on a year-by-year basis is likely to be accurate. You stress that you are a climate physicist and I am not so please do educate me. I assure you I want to know.

      • Adrian Burd Says:

        Hi Anton,

        You say….

        “I am not in the field of climate and atmospheric physics but I know a thing or two about statistics and probability and I fail to understand how it can be announced by a leading climate scientist that, with uncertainties suppressed ie on a Yes/No basis, 2014 was the hottest year, while when uncertainties are taken into account 2014 is less than 50% likely to have been the hottest year (according to three groups: NOAA, 48%; GISTEMP, 38%; Berkeley Earth 35%). If you came across a similar situation in a field of physics other than your own, what would you think?”

        My first reaction would be to think that the sources of information I was using (the Daily Mail????? Really? The Daily Mail?) had gotten things wrong, or missed something out of their report, or that I had misunderstood something. I would then go looking for clarification from the actual source (in this case Gavin Schmidt himself).

        Obviously your first reaction is to think that the Daily Mail (or some blog written by a former weatherman, or some random person in Australia) is a more reputable source of information on climate science than a highly respected climate scientist. I think this alone speaks volumes of your attitude and default position on this subject. It’s astonishing to me that your first reaction is to “fail to understand how it can be announced by a leading climate scientist that, with uncertainties suppressed ie on a Yes/No basis”. You actually say that the UNCERTAINTIES WERE SUPPRESSED!!!!!!!! However, you take as gospel truth the writings of people who have demonstrated over and over again that they have little to no understanding of how planetary climate works. This astonishes me; no, I’m flabbergasted. I really don’t know what to say. Are you sure you’re not really James Inhofe, Rush Limbaugh, or Bill O’Reilly in disguise?

        Here’s the key quote from Gavin Schmidt at the URL I posted above (it appears under the heading “Odds and Statistics, and Odd Statistics”, about half way into the post)…

        “Analyses of global temperatures are of course based on a statistical model that ingests imperfect data and has uncertainties due to spatial sampling, inhomogeneities of records (for multiple reasons), errors in transcription etc. Monthly and annual values are therefore subject to some (non-trivial) uncertainty. The HadCRUT4 dataset has, I think, the best treatment of the uncertainties (creating multiple estimates based on a Monte Carlo treatment of input data uncertainties and methodological choices). The Berkeley Earth project also estimates a structural uncertainty based on non-overlapping subsets of raw data. These both suggest that current uncertainties on the annual mean data point are around ±0.05ºC (1 sigma). Using those estimates, and assuming that the uncertainties are uncorrelated for year to year (not strictly valid for spatial undersampling, but this gives a conservative estimate), one can estimate the odds of 2014 being a record year, or of beating 2010 – the previous record. This was done by both NOAA and NASA and presented at the press briefing (see slide 5). ”

        Read the last line of the above quote. Read it again. Read it a third time. So, I’m at an absolute loss to comprehend how you can write the paragraph you did. Here’s Gavin Schmidt saying that the uncertainties were discussed at the press briefing, and shown (he even tells you what slide of the presentation it was on) and on the Realclimate website, there’s a link to the actual slides, and here’s the damned (forgive my language) presentation he gave (which again he links to) and if you can actually bother to look at slide 5 you’ll see exactly what you’re asking for…..

        http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/briefings/201501.pdf

        Go to that link and look at the slide 5 (the slides are numbered in the lower right hand corner). What do you see there? This was the slide used at the press briefing by Schmidt (NASA) and Karl (NOAA).

        Now, please apologize. Apologize for your statements about “suppressing uncertainties”.

        If you read the Realclimate article, how, please explain how you can make the libelous statement that “…it can be announced by a leading climate scientist that, with uncertainties suppressed…”? How? Please explain this. You obviously had NO idea, zero, completely ignorance, of what occurred at the press briefing, and yet you are wiling to state that the “uncertainties were suppressed”!!!!! So you make a libelous statement about a professional scientist based on ZERO information (not even a prior!!). My feeling is that this says far more about you than it does about global warming.

        So, do you actually understand that in the previous post I not only state that Schmidt had given the uncertainties, I gave you EVERYTHING for you see for yourself that Gavin Schmidt HAD talked about the uncertainties at the press conference. If these are not relayed in the Daily Mail article you refer to (you actually trust the Daily Mail???????) or JoNova’s website, or Anthony Watts’ site or wherever you get your information, then HOW, HOW, HOW is that the fault of Gavin Schmidt?

        So, can you even begin to understand why I can only come to the following conclusions: Either

        1) You are being willfully stupid and/or pig-headed
        2) You have no intention of reading any of the information I pass on to you….you most definitely did NOT read the link to the Realclimate site…..if you did, you found plain English impossible to understand
        3) You believe that Gavin Schmidt is lying in the RealClimate site post, and he made up the slides after the press conference
        4) You’re conducting, for your own warped reasons, some malicious, evil, psychological test on human’s ability to suffer incredible stupidity.

        So far, I can’t make up my mind which is more plausible.

        Needless to say, I am incredibly disappointed in you. I hope you can see, perhaps maybe even glimpse at, why I am reticent to engage you further on this topic. If you actually start to show signs of common sense, signs that you are genuinely interested in a constructive engagement of ideas, then I might return to doing so — for example, you might start off by reading David Archer’s “Global Warming, Understanding the Forecast”, or if you want something meatier, try Ray Pierrehumbert’s “Principles of Planetary Climate”. But until then, I’m afraid I’ve written you off and you can join, in my mind, the Republicans, Fox News, the Rush Limbaughs, the creationists, flat earthers, anti-vaccination nuts etc. of the world.

        A very frustrated, and very, very disappointed, Adrian.

        p.s. apologies to any innocent bystanders, I should have warned you to seek shelter!!

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Adrian,

        If you prefer not to reply to me then I can bear the prospect. Certainly you haven’t responded to my comment about internal consistency within the satellite record, regardless of the difficulties of correlating it with the terrestrial.

        I too have been pondering that 38% figure. I suspect that the situation is as follows. To compare one year with another it is necessary to identify an appropriate ‘statistic’, ie a single function of the relevant data, and then see whether its value is less or more in one year than another. Now, it is perfectly possible that the mean (or the mode) for 2014 is greater than for any other year while at the same time the probability that 2014 was hottest is less than 0.5 or even arbitrarily small. An analogy would be with a democratic election involving 20 candidates in which they are all close according to street polls and the electorate is highly volatile. The favourite is the one who did best in that street poll, but his probability of winning, conditioned on that data, is still only just greater than 0.05. So I’d like to see how NASA came up with that 38% figure.

        What I meant by “suppressing uncertainties” was that a comparison of this sort between means (or modes) was given without mentioning the fact that it was a probabilistic calculation. If someone demands a Yes/No answer from me to a probabilistic question then I answer according to whether the probability is less or more than 0.5. Then, if they are interested, I explain that it is a bit more complicated. In the present case the binary question was “Was 2014 the hottest year?” I think you are supposing that by “suppressed” I was implying impropriety, but I was referring to the binary reply to a binary question with issues of uncertainty suppressed.

        It is still the case that if NASA is only 38% sure that 2014 was hottest (according to one dataset they use) then they are 62% sure it wasn’t: a fact which is highly contrary to the assertion on the title slide that “2014 was the hottest year on record”. Thank you for the original source and for the realclimate URL above, which together seem to confirm what the Daily Mail said and a lot more reliably too. This discrepancy is extraordinary. You have questioned my motives so am I now free to do the same here?

        Yes, the trend is more important than one particular year. You have changed ‘hiatus’ to ‘pause’ but both words imply that it is bound to get warmer in future, which you can’t know – that’s what all the research is about, after all. A more accurate statement is simply to say that warming has ceased. I entirely support research to investigate why, given that the atmospheric CO2 concentration has continued to increase at the same time.

      • “A more accurate statement is simply to say that warming has ceased”

        But that would be a grotesquely inaccurate statement. Why do you wrongly believe otherwise?

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Take that up with Adrian, RW; he referred to a ‘hiatus’ or ‘pause’ which clearly means it has stopped at present.

      • What he said was “Weren’t you arguing in a previous thread that there’s been a hiatus in increasing surface temperatures since the late 1990s?“. What you said was “A more accurate statement is simply to say that warming has ceased“. Referring a direct question about your own words to Adrian Burd is frankly bizarre.

        What are you actually posting here for? Do you have even the slightest interest in climate physics, or are you posting just to be tiresome?

      • Adrian Burd Says:

        Hmmm….for some strange reason I cannot seem to get WordPress to put this reply in the right place. Oh well.

        “So I’d like to see how NASA came up with that 38% figure.”

        Email Gavin, or leave a comment on RealClimate.

        “You have changed ‘hiatus’ to ‘pause’ but both words imply that it is bound to get warmer in future, which you can’t know – that’s what all the research is about, after all.”

        You cannot know that the Sun will rise tomorrow. You cannot know that come July, the average daily temperature in the northern hemisphere will be warmer than it is at the moment. I cannot know that in 100 years time, I’ll be dead.

        Oh, wait a minute, we understand something about these phenomena. We know something about the Sun, we know something about the seasons, we know something about biology and aging. I can say with pretty nigh on certainty that the Sun will rise tomorrow, that it will be warmer in July than January, and (with somewhat less certainty) that I’ll be dead in 100 years time.

        So, we know we’re changing the radiative forcing of this planet. The interaction of CO2 molecules with radiation is well established physics. We are increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Ergo, temperatures will rise. Are there feedbacks that might either accelerate or slightly mitigate that rise? Sure. But we know (and this is physics that has been known for a long, long time) that if you dump more CO2 into the atmosphere, you will increase the heat content of the planet. Period. In fact, you can make a nice back of the envelope calculation to show that if we burn all the projected, extractable fossil fuel presently in the ground, then we’re in for a pretty rough time. In fact, we also know that if we stopped ALL CO2 emissions globally today, the temperature will still rise a bit more because of the inertia of the system. We know a heck of a lot about planetary climate, and I strongly suggest you pick up some of the books and articles I’ve mentioned and read about what we know.

        Could we, as clever folks, come up with ways to cope with this situation? Sure. Will it put a huge strain on social, political, economic, agricultural……systems? Pretty likely. For example, there will likely be an increase in the areas of the planet in which human and animal live cannot be sustained because of thermal limits. Can we avoid the worst of the possible consequences? Yes, if we act now.

        “What I meant by “suppressing uncertainties” was that a comparison of this sort between means (or modes) was given without mentioning the fact that it was a probabilistic calculation. ”

        Can you please respond with the table heading from slide 5 of the press briefing?

        “I entirely support research to investigate why, given that the atmospheric CO2 concentration has continued to increase at the same time.”

        And we have a reasonable (imperfect yes, but improving all the time) understanding of why this is. What’s more, I’ve mentioned these in past posts.

        “Certainly you haven’t responded to my comment about internal consistency within the satellite record, regardless of the difficulties of correlating it with the terrestrial.”

        This was not your original assertion, which concerned the relative reliability of satellite based measurements over ground based measurements when discussing global warming.

      • “In fact, you can make a nice back of the envelope calculation to show that if we burn all the projected, extractable fossil fuel presently in the ground, then we’re in for a pretty rough time.”

        One can also look at the time before these fossil fuels were formed: back then, most of the corresponding carbon dioxide was in the atmosphere, and the Earth was much warmer than it is today.

        It also doesn’t matter whether the Earth was warmer sometime in the past (very probably) or whether the change occurred as quickly (probably not with regard to temperature rise, but probably so with regard to temperature fall after comet impacts). The Earth will survive. Life will survive. It will just be difficult for humanity.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Adrian,

        To reply to your points in sequence:

        1. NASA quoted a figure of 38% probability that they was right, ie 62% probability they were wrong, and didn’t say how they reached it? I’m happy to wait for it to come out in peer review.

        2. Nobody today is doing research into whether the sun will rise tomorrow morning. Plenty of people, yourself included, are doing research into whether the warming will continue to plateau or will resume. Please compare like with like.

        3. For the avoidance of doubt, I have never questioned the warming effect of CO2 as a consequence of its radiation-absorptive properties. Also Arrhenius’ century-old calculation of the magnitude of global warming for differing CO2 concentrations in a dry atmosphere. Where I believe you are, in the comment I am replying to, being over-confident is in the effect of CO2 combined with water vapour in our atmosphere. If it’s all understood just as well as why the sun rises then why is there so much continuing research? The failure of the IPCC’s models to predict the present plateau makes that clear.

        4. Slide 5 – “Ranking of record years is sensitive to methodology and coverage”. Why, then, was the title slide – the one the press will remember, as NASA must know – subtitled “2014 was the warmest year on record”? Would not a more honest subtitle, given that NASA’s own calculations assign a probability of less than 50% to that proposition, have been “2014 was probably not the warmest year on record”?

        5. I have not intentionally changed my arguments regarding the satellite data. Perhaps I have not been clear. Discrepancies with terrestrial data will tend to be systematic rather than random and, given the radiation-temperature relation, an ordering of years by hotness can be made reliably although if the inferred values of the mean temperature are less accurate.

      • Where is the proof that there is a statistically significant plateau?

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Phillip: As I said to RW, Adrian has referred to a ‘hiatus’ and a ‘pause’. That means a plateau. My questioning of the term is only because Adrian used terms that imply the plateau is very temporary, whereas I say we don’t know what will happen next. If Adrian accepts it then it is surely generally accepted?

      • ” Where I believe you are, in the comment I am replying to, being over-confident is in the effect of CO2 combined with water vapour in our atmosphere.”

        On what grounds is this belief that he is being over-confident based? It’s not like climate scientists forgot about water vapour, or farting cows, or whatever.

        “If it’s all understood just as well as why the sun rises then why is there so much continuing research? “

        No-one ever claimed that it is understood just as well. There is a middle ground. Some things can be understood in general but not in detail. That doesn’t mean, however, that refining our understanding of the details will massively change robust conclusions.

      • Adrian Burd Says:

        “Where I believe you are, in the comment I am replying to, being over-confident is in the effect of CO2 combined with water vapour in our atmosphere.”

        Please explain……..and please explain whether or not this will increase or decrease global warming and how. You obviously have a much better handle on this than I do.

        “If it’s all understood just as well as why the sun rises then why is there so much continuing research? ”

        I don’t believe I said that, and hope I didn’t imply it. What I was stating is that we have a pretty good idea of how planetary climate works. Indeed, the early, very simplistic models of Hansen et al. pretty much said it all if you look at century-long timescales.

        Look, the base idea is this. If you want to wait until every i is crossed, and every t is dotted before saying that climate change is going on, and we need to do something about it, then that’s up to you. It shows to me that you’ve not spent time really looking at the data, at the models, at the theories, at the observations (not just temperature). My reaction is that you’re sticking your head in the sand. Now, if the only person who would be affected is you, then fine. But sadly, future generations are going to have to live with the world we leave them. For myself, and many, many others, the preponderance of evidence is overwhelming that this is happening and it’s going to get worse and we’re at fault. Am I (or is anyone) able to predict the exact temperature in 2100, or the exact sea-level rise, etc. etc.? No. Do we have bounds on our predictions that make it obvious things are going to get worse. Yes. So we either change, or say to hell with it, who cares about our grandchildren anyway! We already know that there’s a very good chance that they or their children will have to live with at least a 1-2 m sea level rise caused by what is happening in Antarctica right now, and that’s unstoppable, period. We already have areas here in the US where sea level rise is affecting coastal communities, and not just during storms. People are already being affected…families are having to abandon their homes after this generation because of salt intrusions.

        So, when I see all this happening around me, I look at people such as yourself, Jo Nova, Tony Watts, the US Republican Party (most of them, anyway), I can only think that there is something else going on in your heads, because you sure are not looking at the evidence, the whole evidence.

        “The failure of the IPCC’s models to predict the present plateau makes that clear.”

        Do you know what the timescale for statistical significance is for global temperature records? If you did, you’d know why there is an interest in figuring out where the heat is going. In addition, we have a pretty good idea (not perfect yet, but getting close) of where the heat has gone and why and when it started.

        As for the temperature record, Schmidt gives the reference in the Realclimate post where the details of the probability calculation are given.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Adrian,

        I’ll look up those statistical details; thank you for pointing me to the reference. I’m not going to sit an exam you wish to set me here, just as you are free not to comment on my suggestions why the satellite data are reliable at inferring the order of warmth of years, or on the fact that NASA calls a press conference stating that 2014 was the warmest year when its own stats say that on the balance of probabilities it wasn’t. Your side of this dialogue has to convince politicians, not me, and with argumentation as flawed as that you might find it difficult, for others will point out that flaw.

        I’d love to know where you think “the heat is going”. You have made it clear that this would be speculation at this stage, and I respect informed speculation when it is stated as such; airing such thoughts is part of the scientific process.

      • Why are you refusing to explain your false claim that “A more accurate statement is simply to say that warming has ceased”? Simply saying “Adrian Burd used words when referring to something that I said earlier that might imply that he agreed with that earlier false claim” is not terribly impressive, is it?

        As for satellites, the remotely sensed surface temperature is subject to biases and systematic effects, just as the directly measured surface temperature is. There is no a priori reason to think that the ordering of years in the satellite record should be more reliable than that in the surface record. If you think there is, you’ll have to explain why the RSS and UAH satellite temperature records do not perfectly agree, despite using the same raw data.

        You want to know where the heat is going? The oceans are warmer than ever, the atmosphere is warmer than ever, the Arctic ice cap is less voluminous than ever, and non-polar glaciers are less voluminous than ever. Where do you think the heat is going?

      • Adrian Burd Says:

        “I’m not going to sit an exam you wish to set me here,”

        Shame, I was interested to know why you think I’m “over-confident” when it comes to “the effect of CO2 when combined with water vapor in our atmosphere”. I was looking forward to that. Oh well.

        ” just as you are free not to comment on my suggestions why the satellite data are reliable at inferring the order of warmth of years”

        Well, so far, your statements about the satellite record have changed, so I’m not really sure what I’m meant to be responding to. However, it would be interesting your views on why the ordering of years from UAH and RSS differs.

        “or on the fact that NASA calls a press conference stating that 2014 was the warmest year when its own stats say that on the balance of probabilities it wasn’t.”

        I have commented on that….on multiple occasions. I don’t know what more you want me to say. I think your interpretation of the stated probabilities is rather off-kilter, but hey, you know probability and stats, and as far as I’m concerned I couldn’t care less if 2014 was the warmest, second warmest, third warmest……

        “Your side of this dialogue has to convince politicians, not me, and with argumentation as flawed as that you might find it difficult, for others will point out that flaw.”

        Funny how the politicians are divided along political (and in some cases religious) lines on this issue. Hmmmmm…..I wonder if anything is going on. As for the flaws, “look to the massive beam in your own eye”.

        “I’d love to know where you think “the heat is going”. You have made it clear that this would be speculation at this stage, and I respect informed speculation when it is stated as such; airing such thoughts is part of the scientific process.”

        I’ve already mentioned this at least once. But, if you insist……

        http://www.nature.com/news/climate-change-the-case-of-the-missing-heat-1.14525

        I wonder where you think it’s going….or maybe your don’t think there’s any extra heat at all? So, how do YOU explain the pause, leveling-off or whatever you want to call it?

        Signing off for good now. I just hope that in the decades to come, people do not vilify intelligent, knowledgeable folk for not acting when you had the information available to you. I strongly suspect that this generation will be viewed very poorly by future generations. Sad really, very sad. Well, I’ve tried.

      • Adrian Burd Says:

        “On what grounds is this belief that he is being over-confident based? It’s not like climate scientists forgot about water vapour, or farting cows, or whatever.”

        You forgot the pirates!!!

        http://www.treehugger.com/culture/talk-like-a-pirate-day-the-critical-relationship-between-pirates-and-climate-change.html

        We need more pirates!!!!

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Adrian,

        That’s a hit to you if there’s a different ordering from differing satellites. Makes us about equal on that, according to Schmidt’s data on terrestrial datasets. I’ll look into it. As for probability, I’ve inspected the paper referred to at bottom of the realclimate URL and stick to my view that he gave a talk subtitled “2014 was the hottest year” when his own stats in the small print say it most probably wasn’t. Poor show.

        You accept that there is a “pause” – in words that do not pretend clairvoyance it is not getting warmer. Thank you for the URL to a hypothesis explaining it. I guess we’ll see. I’m wholly in favour of further research.

        Actually I agree with you that “this generation will be viewed very poorly by future generations” albeit for large-scale social rather than scientific reasons.

      • There is no evidence for any change in the rate of global warming during the last 40 years. Adrian Burd didn’t claim that there had been; you did. It takes a pretty special kind of intellect to look at the graph at the top of this post and say “it is not getting warmer”. Being gullible is one thing, but being taken in to the extent that you can no longer even see what a graph shows is quite another.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        RW,

        Adrian recommends links that accept it has ceased warming. You say it is necessary to look at the longer trend. This is in fact an example of the Ockham’s Razor analysis in Bayesian analysis, the one true) probability theory. Do we prefer a theory which (for simplicity) posits linear warming from a start date long before the disupted date of cessation, and estimates the rate of warming; or do we prefer a theory that posits linear warming up to a certain date (which might itself be estimatable) and then a slower (or zero) ;linear rate of warming from then to the present? The latter theory has more ‘floating’ parameters than the former, and in its favour is that it can fit the data better, but against it is the fact that more of the prior probability for those parameters falls where the data subsequently indicate that they are very unlikely to be. Swings and roundabouts and *far* from obvious. I doubt that any climate scientist, whether of your view or of mine, has done that analysis, because there aren’t enough Bayesians around.

      • There is no evidence for any change in the rate of global warming during the last 40 years. Grow up and take responsibility for your own views. Whatever it might say in whatever links anyone posted does not absolve you of the responsibility to think critically.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Feel free to give me as many instructions as you like RW!

      • The instruction you need to follow is to get less ignorant and to think for yourself. And remember that denial of science costs lives.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        It is bad politics that costs lives. The politics comes after the science and the science is not settled. You want to point to cyclones in recent times that might equally well have happened had CO2 concentrations not continued to rise. I wish to point to riots in the Third World and a near-famine due to use of change of land use from rice to crops to mash for fuel alcohol, and that is *not* speculation.

      • The science is simple and very much settled. Shame on the gullible fools who meekly allow themselves to be misled about it.

      • Adrian Burd Says:

        Anton says…

        “It is bad politics that costs lives. The politics comes after the science and the science is not settled. ”

        OK, I cannot let that stand. One can always argue that the science is not settled, in any science; it’s part of the scientific discipline.

        For someone to argue that we don’t do anything because “the science is not settled” is at best an argument from sheer ignorance, at worst it is rank delusion and cowardice.

        The arguments have been made, the analogies drawn, many times over by many people in many venues. If you wish to deny the validity of the science we know, then that’s up to you, but don’t expect any respect from people who have worked hard to understand what is happening to this planet.

        “I wish to point to riots in the Third World and a near-famine due to use of change of land use from rice to crops to mash for fuel alcohol, and that is *not* speculation.”

        Please provide references for this “near famine” caused by changes from rice to “mash for field alcohol”.

        If you think those things are bad, imagine what will happen when grain cannot be grown in the US, or cattle can only be produced in the upper US, or people start dying in their thousands from thermal issues in tropical India, Central America, Indonesia, Africa. Think of the mass migrations of humans to more “temperate” climates, in places like England, northern Europe, Canada. Think what will happen to the temperature forests when they start dying (in fact they already are, at alarming rates) from disease and invasions. How do you think the rich and wealthy will react? If you think there is social, economic, and political unrest now, just sit back and do nothing about climate change for the next 50-100 years, then you’ll see unrest!!!! Do I know exactly how many will die? Do I know exactly which crops will fail? No. Do we have a pretty good idea that problems will be widespread and severe. Yes. Should we wait and see? No. Should we act now to alleviate possible consequences…..the smart political decision is yes.

        You talk about bad politics. It’s bad politics to cow-tow to those who deny climate change and not prepare.

        Anthropogenic climate change is NOT speculation. Is the science perfect? No. Show me one that it is. If you think anthropogenic climate change is speculation, then you’re either willfully ignorant or delusional. You’ve swallowed the cool-aide handed out by denialist groups and the fossil-fuel industry. I find it hard to see how otherwise intelligent people can be that gullible.

        Sadly, on this topic, you fall in the same category as creationists, anti-vaxers, birthers, US Tea Party, Republicans, ancient alien astronaut theorists, etc. etc.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Adrian,

        *Catastrophic* anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) IS speculation.

        I realised some time ago that when discussing this topic there was no chance of “respect” from people who are committed to the view that the imminence of CAGW is effectively proven. Accordingly I live without their respect, and I consider that their noxious style of rhetoric is auto-discrediting in public forums, so it doesn’t concern me.

        Ottmar Edenhofer of the IPCC let the cat out of the bag with this comment: “We distribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy… one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy; this has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore” (interview in Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 2010/11/14; translated).

        I spoke of “riots in the Third World and a near-famine due to use of change of land use from rice to crops to mash for fuel alcohol” and you request a reference for near-famine. You don’t contest the riots (which are googled easliy enough), and by near-famine I meant that people nearly couldn’t afford sufficient food to subsist, which means they were near to starvation, which means a near-famine and is why they were rioting.

        “If you think those things are bad, imagine what will happen when grain cannot be grown in the US, or cattle can only be produced in the upper US, or people start dying in their thousands from thermal issues in tropical India, Central America, Indonesia, Africa. Think of the mass migrations of humans to more “temperate” climates, in places like England, northern Europe, Canada.”

        As I’ve said, those are scenarios based on speculation. But this is the first time in history that warming is being held up as being bad for the human race. Canada and Siberia, currently inhospitable, would become breadbaskets (with grain growth aided by the elevated CO2 concentration) having temperate climates. Deserts would get a bit hotter but almost nobody lives in them anyway, while in the moist parts of the tropics any warming effect is greatly mitigated, as usual. Why dwell on the negative and ignore the positive? Edenhofer knows.

      • “Catastrophic anthropogenic global warming” is not a term that appears in the scientific literature. It is only ever used by deniers of science. Perhaps you could give a definition of what you consider “catastrophic”. Without one, the term is of course completely meaningless.

        Your summary of the effects of global warming as being “deserts would get a bit hotter” is staggeringly ignorant. Sea level rise, water shortages, heat waves, hurricanes, forest fires and extreme rainfall events are just some of the effects that we already see and which will get worse the warmer it gets.

        I live in a city where it rarely rains, and we rely on meltwater from glaciers on nearby mountains. Those glaciers have lost about half of their volume in the last 40 years. When the glaciers disappear, we are, to put it bluntly, a bit fucked. People like you who pretend that it’s not even happening are, to put it bluntly once more, sick bastards.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        RW, the climate has never been stable and that was true before the Industrial Revolution.

      • Entirely true, and entirely irrelevant.

    • Adrian Burd Says:

      “*Catastrophic* anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) IS speculation.”

      Well, in the long term, neither of us will be around to find out. Me, I’d rather have compassion and respect for those who will come after me, and try to not to leave this world in a worse state than I found it.

      Oh, and I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…..IPPC scientists do not make policy.

      I strongly suspect that economic and political attitudes and ideas will have to change dramatically. Views and opinions such as yours will, I suspect, in 100 years time seem as outdated, self-interested, and repugnant as many policies and ideas of the past (racism, misogyny, paternalism……) seem to us today. I strongly suspect that it’s an irrational fear of change that motivates many who claim climate change isn’t going to happen, or if it does, it will be great (p.s. your ideas about CO2 and plants are outdated — if they were ever true — you have no concept of skin temperatures and biological thermal tolerances, and you somehow seem to think that political and economic structures we have today will miraculously allow humans to sort everything out).

      We’re seeing the effects of climate change today. Only the willfully blind deny that. We know what the primary cause of these changes is. We have a pretty good idea of many of the changes that will occur (we’re already committed to a 1-2 m sea level rise, unless you can come with new physics to prevent the Pine Island, Smith, Kohler, Thwaite glaciers from slipping into the ocean, I hope you know that, even though you won’t have to live with the consequences).

      We have a former politician here in GA who has, I suspect, very similar motivations to you. He’s afraid, to put it bluntly. His father wasn’t like that, but he is. Fear motivates his life and decisions he has made as a politician…fear of different ideas, fear of different people, fear of change.

      It’s sad. There are some days when I have hope for the human race. I sometimes wish I could spend the last 10 years of my life one year at time, with 100 years in between each, just to see if we, as a species, eventually figure it all out. There are other days, such as the past few days with these conversations, when I come away with no hope at all. People with attitudes such as yours will screw everyone else over.

      On that depressing note…….

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        On the contrary Adrian, I’m the one who believes that man is flexible enough to flourish under changes. It’s what distinguishes us as a species.

      • One moment you are hyping riots and famines. Next, humans will flourish in any circumstances. Clearly your understanding of human society is as poorly informed as your understanding of physics.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        RW, I did not “hype” the riots. They happened because of justified fear of famine. Perhaps you are a little short of a sense of irony to complain of hype after writing that “Sea level rise, water shortages, heat waves, hurricanes, forest fires and extreme rainfall events are just some of the effects that… will get worse”

      • So which environmental changes cause riots and famines, and which trigger only the glorious flourishing of the human race? Is it to do with which changes you personally believe in? Does someone consult you on these things?

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Adrian, one thing that concerns me is that climate scientists use the language of research – this is difficult, we think we are creeping up on an answer, etc – to describe possible explanations for the decade-long cessation of global warming, yet speak with a quite different voice – CO2 will cause catastrophic global warming – to politicians who are charged with making decisions.

      • The point is, deciding to do nothing when one should do something is more dangerous than vice versa. If you get a tip that a hit man is on your trail, would you take action to evade him, or first check out the source?

      • Anton Garrett is clearly desperate to have the last word. But completely ignoring all the challenges to his many false claims and ideas, and simply spouting new ones, is immature and unpersuasive.

        There is no “decade-long cessation of global warming”. There is no evidence for any change in the rate of global warming in the last 40 years.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        RW, your comments about my motivation are speculation too. If you finish with a comment that is merely insult and contains no contribution to the politics or the science involved then you are welcome to the last word.

      • Adrian Burd Says:

        “On the contrary Adrian, I’m the one who believes that man is flexible enough to flourish under changes. It’s what distinguishes us as a species.”

        Flourish, or survive? And even if humans eventually do flourish, how much potentially avoidable pain, suffering, and misery will be inflicted on the way? I would prefer humans to find a way through this with minimal suffering, misery, upheaval, and pain. To do so requires us to take action, and to take action now. Those who argue we should wait and see, “the science is still not in” etc. apparently don’t care how much pain and suffering and upheaval occurs. Strangely, almost all those I know of who argue for the “wait and see” approach, are sufficiently well off and comfortable, or sufficiently old, that they either will not see these changes in their lifetime, and if they do, they will do ok. It’s those millions who do not have those resources at hand that I worry about. Perhaps you don’t? I don’t know.

        As for flourish? Maybe? Possibly? There’s a lot about this universe and the way it works that we do not know. It could be that we come across some form of energy to power our societies that will take the place of fossil fuels (Star Trek style). Who knows? And more importantly, who knows on what time-frame such discoveries will be made? 100 years, 1000 years?

        Many humans have yet to figure out that this planet is finite, its resources are finite, and we still have not learned that one cannot continue to foul ones own living space without there being consequences. Exploitation, continued economic growth, etc. are still the mantras many hold to, and they cannot continue as is without significant repercussions. Many people have great fear of changing those systems, but change they must. There are many people who cling to the belief that was recently stated quite nicely by Senator Inhofe: “Man can’t change climate.”

        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/22/us-senate-man-climate-change-global-warming-hoax

        Such a view is beyond belief. We’ve been dumping our waste into the environment (oceans, atmosphere etc.) for generations, and we’re now doing it at such a rate that it’s having consequences.

        Could we move beyond this planet? Maybe, but we’re definitely not there yet, and may never get there in any large scale way.

        So, for me personally, the issue of climate change is a human one and reflects our responsibility to our fellow human beings, as well as to the ecosystems and biology of this planet that is our home. We can continue in our rapacious fashion, or we can try and act like responsible adults and act as custodians for the future, rather than grabbing as much as we can for ourselves in the here and now and “to hell with everyone else”.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        So there’s the agenda… haul the human race back to a rural idyll that never actually existed. People quit the land for brutal factory life because life on the land was even harsher, for apart from a small proportion driven off it by enclosure, people *chose* to work in those factories. The horror was not factory work so much as lack of security. Today’s green movement are the heirs of the Romantic movement in hating the Industrial Revolution that has brought us so much that we take for granted – electricity, communications, transport, security of food. Thanks to this most people in Europe have a higher standard of living than than mediaeval kings, and it is spilling over to less fortunate places if it is let.

        I hear one climate scientist say one thing, I hear another say another. Lindzen was reckoned to be a world leader until he dissented, and is now pilloried for it. Is he right? Is he wrong? I don’t know, and I don’t think anybody else can say with confidence either. That is why I support further research. People on either side of the fence can shout louder that the science is settled but that doesn’t make it so.

      • I hear one climate scientist say one thing, I hear another say another

        Except you don’t, because you don’t listen to what climate scientists say. You’re gullible enough to go by what industry shills told you they said.

      • I don’t know, and I don’t think anybody else can say with confidence either.

        The assumption that everyone is as ignorant as you are is a poor one.

      • “So there’s the agenda… haul the human race back to a rural idyll that never actually existed. “ Or keep the status quo, relying on fossil fuels.

        False dichotomy.

      • “people *chose* to work in those factories”

        Maybe, in some cases. Some people have cut off their toes to avoid frostbite. Some people have given up their lives to save the lives of others. Just because something is a choice doesn’t mean that it is a desirable goal in and of itself.

      • “The horror was not factory work so much as lack of security.”

        I’m sure both were bad, and probably worse than anything you have experienced.

      • “So there’s the agenda”

        No. The agenda is: there is a consensus (which doesn’t mean that everyone agrees on it) that it is better to be safe than sorry, so we should act now. This does not preclude further research.

        Anton, if someone said that there is a hit man out to kill you, but, for whatever reason, you are not sure how reliable the source is, would you just ignore it or wait for further research?

      • “Today’s green movement are the heirs of the Romantic movement in hating the Industrial Revolution that has brought us so much that we take for granted – electricity, communications, transport, security of food.”

        Some of them, but not all of them. Isaac Asimov once said “I know some people who are against all forms of technology—except electric guitars.” 🙂

      • “I hear one climate scientist say one thing, I hear another say another. Lindzen was reckoned to be a world leader until he dissented, and is now pilloried for it. Is he right? Is he wrong? I don’t know, and I don’t think anybody else can say with confidence either.”

        You can probably find two opposing viewpoints on any question. As a Bayesian, you shouldn’t be looking for a definitive “yes” or “no”, but rather take all the evidence in account and see which hypothesis is better.

        “That is why I support further research.”

        One can also support further research while at the same time taking action on our perhaps imperfect current knowledge. Don’t paint a false dichotomy.

        “People on either side of the fence can shout louder that the science is settled but that doesn’t make it so.”

        True, but it is also true that a few sceptics saying “it isn’t settled” doesn’t make it so.

      • Adrian Burd Says:

        “So there’s the agenda… haul the human race back to a rural idyll that never actually existed.”

        Anton, I’m learning far, far more about you and your own beliefs in these exchanges than anything else!!!! That in itself should be a sign for you look long and hard at yourself and those beliefs.

        Anyway, back to your screed.

        “So there’s the agenda… haul the human race back to a rural idyll that never actually existed.”

        Actually, I never said that. I never implied it. You imposed your own fears and biases on what I said. My beliefs do not match with anything you wrote, and from those I know, no climate scientist I’ve met lays claim to those beliefs either.

        “Today’s green movement are the heirs of the Romantic movement in hating the Industrial Revolution that has brought us so much that we take for granted – electricity, communications, transport, security of food. ”

        I know of a handful who could be described thus, but a very, very few. Most I know don’t hate the Industrial Revolution, but instead recognize it for what it was, and can rationally argue that it had both good points and bad. They would state that the bad points have been ignored until recently, when they’ve made themselves known to such a degree that they cannot be ignored any longer.

        “I hear one climate scientist say one thing, I hear another say another. Lindzen was reckoned to be a world leader until he dissented, and is now pilloried for it. ”

        That’s rather a gross misrepresentation of reality. Lindzen had a great reputation, and wrote several classic papers. His recent work has been less than “classic”. Indeed, in an exchange many moons ago you gave a link to one of his recent modeling papers. I responded with a link to paper showing that his model didn’t even conserve energy — energy and energy flow are what climate is all about, so if your model does not conserve energy, then there’s something really wrong with it. Indeed, Lindzen publishes work which then is shown to be wrong, all in plain view, all in the scientific literature, as it should be.

        It’s not that he is “pilloried” for being a “dissenter” as you would have it, it’s that those papers he writes where he claims there are problems with current climate science have all been shown to be fundamentally and fatally flawed; and flawed to such a degree that a first year grad student or bright undergrad can spot it.

        I don’t know if you’re familiar with cosmology, but one might argue that Fred Hoyle had a broadly similar career arc. In both cases, their early work is highly regarded and heralded as ground breaking, their later work…..not so much.

        So your picture of the climate community is again grossly distorted (again, by your own prejudices and biases) and bears little relation to actual reality.

        “Is he right? Is he wrong? I don’t know, and I don’t think anybody else can say with confidence either.”

        With some of his recent papers, one CAN say with considerable confidence that he is wrong (see above for just one example).

        “People on either side of the fence can shout louder that the science is settled but that doesn’t make it so.”

        The science required to know what is going to happen in broad brush IS settled and has been for nigh on 120 years or more. It’s because some people cannot face reality, or some other belief is stronger than reality (their image of themselves, or of the human race, or their religious convictions, or political or economic philosophies) that they continue to deny what’s in front of their noses.

        “That is why I support further research”

        As do I. The difference is that I have a pretty good idea where the actual unknowns in climate science lie. You want to still research the basics, things that are well established and known and are in undergraduate textbooks. I want to research the new, the unknown stuff, things that are at the forefront of our knowledge and understanding.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Adrian,

        I wrote: “So there’s the agenda… haul the human race back to a rural idyll that never actually existed” and you responded: “I never said that. I never implied it. You imposed your own fears and biases on what I said…”

        Indeed you never said it (I didn’t say you did), but I disagree that you never implied it. You had written: “Many humans have yet to figure out that this planet is finite, its resources are finite, and we still have not learned that one cannot continue to foul ones own living space without there being consequences. Exploitation, continued economic growth, etc. are still the mantras many hold to, and they cannot continue as is without significant repercussions. Many people have great fear of changing those systems, but change they must.”

        I believe the implications of those words are as I said.

        You also wrote: “I know of a handful who could be described thus, but a very, very few. Most I know don’t hate the Industrial Revolution, but instead recognize it for what it was, and can rationally argue that it had both good points and bad. They would state that the bad points have been ignored until recently…”

        They can’t be very well read then. Friedrich Engels wrote a telling book in the mid-19th century called The Condition of the Working Class in England about its bad points. Factory reform became a parliamentary cause celebre. The Trades Union movement was born as a much needed Victorian Health and Safety movement. Yet, for all of that, many people freely came to work in the factories from off the land. That shows how harsh working the land had been, but because there had been no choice before the Industrial Revolution this fact gets forgotten. (Phillip’s comment that it is a choice between two unpleasant options is true but beside the point. He also talks of a false dichotomy but fails to provide further alternatives.)

        Lindzen fails to conserve energy but Schmidt fails to conserve probability in his: says that 2014 was the warmest year on the cover slide and that the probability is 38% on Slide 5.

        Climate physics is unusual in that the basic equations are well known but the system to which they are applied is extremely complex, and moreover has complex interfaces with other complex systems. That is why I support research. My concern is about statements that are overconfident (Schmidt’s is one) and I would like to be reassured that the reason for them is not because this is a field with political ramifications.

      • “My concern is about statements that are overconfident”

        You’re not well informed enough to judge whether anything is over or underconfident.

        “I would like to be reassured that the reason for them is not because this is a field with political ramifications.”

        Do all climate scientists share the same political views? If they do, please describe what those views are. If they don’t, please explain how your request for reassurance makes any sense.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        RW, I consider myself under no moral obligation to reply to you until you apologise for your personal insults. Adrian has thrown one or two at me but understands scientific rhetoric. You don’t.

      • “He also talks of a false dichotomy but fails to provide further alternatives.”

        I guess it’s not obvious. There are more choices than returning to an ideal past which never existed and continuing to burn fossil fuels without worrying about the consequences: improving efficiency, developing other forms of energy, reducing the world population, etc.

      • “My concern is about statements that are overconfident […] and I would like to be reassured that the reason for them is not because this is a field with political ramifications.”

        Some combination of pot, kettle, and black springs to mind.

        Seriously? The one case where there is almost a one-to-one correspondence between the “scientific opinion” and political beliefs is the case of the AGW “sceptics”. Almost all such “sceptics” are politically conservative, and some are even funded by oil companies.

      • Adrian Burd Says:

        Anton:

        “Indeed you never said it (I didn’t say you did), but I disagree that you never implied it.”

        Not at all….it’s you that’s projecting your own fears and concerns onto my words. You said…

        “So there’s the agenda… haul the human race back to a rural idyll that never actually existed.”

        You start off by claiming that there’s an “agenda”. If there is, I’ve not been told about it, and in fact I’d say that those involved in climate science as whole have not been told either. To say that there’s an agenda implies that there is some plan, potentially kept secret. There isn’t, and it’s plain paranoia on your part to assume there is.

        You then claim that this “agenda” is to “haul the human race back to a rural idyll that never actually existed”. There is NOTHING in what I have written that states or implies this.

        All I was stating was that a) we’re fouling our environment at a rate that is unsustainable, b) this rate of fouling is in part determined by our current economic and political policies and philosophies, and c) something has to change, and this is most likely to be our economic and political philosophies.

        Now, if you can prove that ALL other political and economic philosophies apart from the ones currently being pursued necessarily “haul the human race back to a rural idyll that never actually existed”, then I will concede the point. I don’t know what type of economic model is needed. Indeed, mainstream economics has yet to figure out how to account for the damage one does to ones own environment — there are some initial ideas, but most of those are still on the fringe of mainstream economics. So economists and political philosophers don’t know either.

        So, as far as I can see, I stand by my conclusion that your conclusions concerning what I was saying are woefully off the mark, incorrect, and are a result of a knee-jerk reaction on your part.

        “Lindzen fails to conserve energy but Schmidt fails to conserve probability in his: says that 2014 was the warmest year on the cover slide and that the probability is 38% on Slide 5.”

        Three points: One I think you’re willfully misunderstanding what Schmidt said and did. Secondly, you are yet again picking at irrelevancies. Whether or not 2014 is the hottest year on record is not the point; as I and others have said over and over and over and over again….it’s the TREND!!!!! If you look at the maximum temperatures, most have occurred in the last 10 – 15 years; if you look at the coldest temperatures, fewer occur now than earlier in the record; if you look at glaciers and ice sheets, they’re disappearing at an alarming rate; if you look at phenology, organisms are shifting their patterns to fit in with warmer temperatures; if you look at the polar vortex, it’s showing signs of instability; organisms are changing their ranges (if they can) to fit in with warming temperatures; wildfires are more common; the oceans, even the deep ocean, are warming; ocean pH is decreasing, disease and pests are affecting trees that they could’t before (try visiting the Rocky Mountains)….do I need continue the litany of phenomena we’re seeing that result from a changing climate and increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere? And your response? Complaining about a single statistic….talking about not being able to see the forest! Sheeshhhhhh! Thirdly, you yet again make a false equivalency. Developing a climate model that claims to show fundamental errors in standard climate models when your own model has huge fatal flaws in it is by no means on any level par with (potentially) getting a single statistic (and one that’s irrelevant anyway) possibly wrong (perhaps you might like to ask yourself what is the probability of 1998, or 2010 being the warmest year?).

        “Climate physics is unusual in that the basic equations are well known but the system to which they are applied is extremely complex, and moreover has complex interfaces with other complex systems. That is why I support research.”

        On this we agree. However, from your other posts and comments you’ve made, I suspect that you greatly under-estimate what we do in fact know about these complex systems and their interactions. How do I know this? Because you raise questions that have long been answered, you haven’t raised any issues that are real issues.

        “My concern is about statements that are overconfident (Schmidt’s is one) and I would like to be reassured that the reason for them is not because this is a field with political ramifications.”

        This statement makes no sense…..of course there are political ramifications of climate science. Most science impinges on the human sphere in one way or another, and because the way we act and do business on a day-to-day business affects the climate, it has political and economic ramifications. BUT, if you’re implying that climate scientists are making statements and announcing discoveries motivated by some nefarious, secret political agenda, then that is something I, and all the climate scientists I know, would take great offense to; you’re basically questioning, without evidence, our scientific integrity and ethics. Also, look at the growing list of evidence I allude to above…..are you saying that ALL those scientists have these nefarious motives? If you do, then look to the beam in your own eye my friend.

        However, you have raised an interesting point, and I think your statements (in this and other threads) demonstrate quite clearly that, on the contrary, it is yourself and those who deny climate change that are in general being motivated by political reasons; you refuse to see what’s staring you in the face because of these politically motivated blinders you have on. And, to make matters worse, you project onto climate scientists the very thing that you yourself are guilty of. Until people such as yourself are willing to face reality and look objectively at the science and the facts, then this discussion goes nowhere. Sometimes reality is harsh, and our views (political, religious, philosophical etc.) of how we would like the world to work have to change because they conflict with reality. And reality always wins.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        “Almost all such “sceptics” are politically conservative, and some are even funded by oil companies.”

        To a negligible amount compared to government funding, which always seems to get a free pass compared to other funding when discussed by people in government-funded research… as exposed in this document, in which both government and the private funding dwarf oil money:

        http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=8af3d005-1337-4bc3-bcd6-be947c523439

        (If you are going to critique the assertions in this document, please play the ball not the man.) In any case the oil companies long ago diversified into green energy in order to reap the subsidies that government throws at inefficient and landscape-wrecking ways of generating energy that produce energy only when nature feels like it, even though there is no known way of buffering between supply and demand, ie storing energy on such scales. And with nuclear also unpopular with greens, and carbon out of bounds if the arguments of Adrian’s side prevail, it’s back to an energy-impoverished way of life that will have to be basically agrarian: just as I said. Pick an energy consumption figure that you think attainable by green means and then look at the standard of living of any country that matches it. That’s basically my response to Adrian’s most recent post, too, although I’d add that I’m not worried about being accused of concentrating on the issue of whether 2014 was or was not the hottest year given that it is the subject of this blog post; and as regards the TREND Adrian himself has used the word Pause.

      • “To a negligible amount compared to government funding, which always seems to get a free pass compared to other funding when discussed by people in government-funded research”

        There is nothing wrong per se with being funded, but obvious conflicts of interest, such as tobacco companies funding lung-cancer “research”, should raise eyebrows.

        “there is no known way of buffering between supply and demand”

        Maybe not (enough) now, but I thought you were in favour of further research? There is no obvious reason why such a scheme is not possible in principle, or even not possible in practice on a timescale short enough to be useful.

        Norway has the highest standard of living in the world and almost all of its energy is from renewable sources. (Yes, Norway is not very green considering that it makes huge profits from oil and gas which are burned elsewhere, and using such money to subsidize electric cars is hypocritical if they are touted as “zero emission”. However, even without any oil revenue its energy can be obtained from renewable sources.)

      • As regards the trend, Anton, there is no “pause”, and your repetitive bleating about “but Adrian said” is quite pathetic. As is your desperate Gish gallop – it’s abundantly clear that you’re a bullshitter in the Frankfurtian sense, but you’re impressing no-one.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Phillip: Of course I support more research into overcoming the energy buffering problem; I’ve said so on this blog before. Someday the oil and gas will run out so regardless of carbon issues we all agree that we need to get something in place. There’s a new generation of fission reactors, and of course the possibility of fusion. If the Greens stop whingeing, that is. Norway is lucky in having hydroelectric resources that few other nations can have. I agree with what you say re tobacco research funding, but let’s stick to discussing energy funding rather than draw analogies that contain subtle but important differences.

        RW might consider showing this thread to his (or her) friends and seeing whether they reckon he (or she) is impressing anybody by writing in that way.

      • The thing is, I care about the truth and I don’t care whether anyone is impressed by what I say. You are the exact opposite.

      • Adrian Burd Says:

        Anton says:

        “To a negligible amount compared to government funding, which always seems to get a free pass compared to other funding when discussed by people in government-funded research… as exposed in this document, in which both government and the private funding dwarf oil money:”

        Have you read the report that you link to? Can you give us page references of arguments in that report that you’d like responses to? I suspect that you’ve not read the report yourself because you always cite examples that are basically “talking points” from websites. You don’t appear to show any interest in actually learning about the topic, but rather insist on repeating theses talking points. That’s what makes discussions such as these so frustrating for people who actually do know something of what they’re talking about.

        If you know how politics in the USA works these days, then none of the information in that report would be a shock or surprise, and you’d realize that the political right does exactly the same thing (just look up Koch brothers).

        “In any case the oil companies long ago diversified into green energy in order to reap the subsidies that government throws at inefficient and landscape-wrecking ways of generating energy that produce energy only when nature feels like it, even though there is no known way of buffering between supply and demand, ie storing energy on such scales. ”

        Oh, go on Anton, you can pick more emotionally loaded wording than “inefficient” and “landscape wrecking”, you’re not trying hard enough.

        However, to address the points:

        “In any case the oil companies long ago diversified into green energy…”

        Not as clear as you make out. In April 2013, BP divested itself of its entire US wind energy business as, in it’s own words “part of a continuing effort to become a more focused oil and gas company”. At most, only 6% of BP’s expenditure was committed to alternative energy, and that was at its height. Chevron and Shell had the second biggest expenditure at about 2%, it’s now about half of that. The remaining investments that these companies have in alternative fuels concentrate on biofuels.

        “..reap the subsidies that government throws..”

        Fossil fuels and things like the internal combustion engine have the advantage of over 100 years of research and development. If societies are to transition rapidly to alternatives, something has to be done to level the playing field. But, that doesn’t stop energy companies and right wing groups such as ALEC etc. continuing to try to have legislation put in place (particularly at the state level) to put obstacles in the way of people making their own decisions.

        “…inefficient and landscape-wrecking ways of generating energy ..”

        Technologies surrounding wind and solar have shown dramatic increases in efficiency over the past 10 years, to such a degree that even outlets like Forbes magazine is showing a distinct interest. As for “landscape wrecking”, I guess this is an aesthetic issue, but personally I don’t mind seeing wind farms and solar panels, and I prefer them to the alternative: do a search for “open coal mine”, “smog”, “mountaintop mining”, etc.

        “…that produce energy only when nature feels like it…”

        Have you ever done any serious research on this? People in Bremerhaven (not somewhere renowned for abundant sunshine) can easily generate sufficient hot water through solar heating.

        “even though there is no known way of buffering between supply and demand, ie storing energy on such scales. ”

        If, as you say in response to Phillip, that you support research in this, why choose the above wording? Why not add the word “yet”, or “although it’s an active area of research”. What happened to the optimist? In a response to Phillip you mention nuclear fusion, which is also far from an actual viable source…but you don’t surround that with any negative, pessimistic phrases. Curious……..

        “And with nuclear also unpopular with greens, and carbon out of bounds if the arguments of Adrian’s side prevail, it’s back to an energy-impoverished way of life that will have to be basically agrarian:”

        There you go again….you really don’t have any cogent, rational, evidence-based arguments on this topic do you?

        “Pick an energy consumption figure that you think attainable by green means and then look at the standard of living of any country that matches it. ”

        Tell that to the Germans, South Africans, New Zealanders …..etc.
        Germany produces an average of about 1/4 of it’s electricity needs from renewable sources (over 40 billion kWh in the first quarter of 2014), and on one day in May, achieved nearly 75% of it’s electricity supply from renewable (mostly solar and wind) sources.

        When I was in Germany 18 months ago, I don’t recall seeing people leaving the cities in droves to take up an agrarian lifestyle.

        Again, fossil fuel usage has been around for over 100 years; renewable sources have only been implemented on large scales in the past 10 years or so. It’s not surprising that there’s a lot to still sort out.

        One interesting thing: a recent study (and I know Anton won’t believe a word of it because, even though it was published in a top flight scientific journal, it’s written by them evil, farmin’ oriented, tree-hugging, agenda laden climate scientists) that estimated that if as a planet we’re to keep close to or below the 2 degree warming limit, about 90% of the currently estimated reserves of oil and gas and coal have to remain in the ground….we cannot use them. The CO2 they would add to the atmosphere would push us over that 2 degree warming line. So, alternative energy sources have to be developed and deployed. Fossil fuel technologies cannot be improved much further in terms of efficiency etc.,

        “Someday the oil and gas will run out so regardless of carbon issues we all agree that we need to get something in place. ”

        If we get to that point, we’re so screwed…..If we burn all the estimated fossil fuels currently in the ground, then estimates are that the average temperature of the planet would increase by 16 degrees C, with warming over the poles of up to 30 degrees C and land increases of about 20 degrees C. This makes large swaths of the planet uninhabitable to many mammals, including us — wet bulb temperatures above about 35C result in lethal hyperthermia (currently, typical wet bulb temperatures are about 26-27C, with highs reaching 31C).

        Anton, you might not like to think about catastrophic climate change, but the scenario you’ve described will be just that. We have to find alternatives LONG before we ever get close to having the oil and gas running out.

        “If the Greens stop whingeing, that is. ”

        Ah, but of course, you’re not whingeing….no, heaven forbid, goodness gracious no…..

        “I agree with what you say re tobacco research funding, but let’s stick to discussing energy funding rather than draw analogies that contain subtle but important differences.”

        There is a clear and direct link between both the players and the tactics used by those who tried to discredit the tobacco-cancer link and those who try to cast doubt on climate scientists and their work (see e.g. groups such as The Heartland Institute). In both cases they have very effective and destructive tactics used to discredit scientists and their work. You seem to have swallowed their cool-aide hook line and sinker. Interestingly, reality always comes back to bite ideology. A recent survey shows that 52% of republican and republican-leaning independents believe climate change is happening, and many believe humans are responsible. What is more, a majority think the US and the world have to develop and deploy alternatives and do so rapidly. I think the reason for this shift in opinion is that ordinary people can see for themselves the effects of climate change around them (trees and flowers blooming earlier — interestingly the US recently shifted it’s botanical zones, the areas where certain plants grow based on temperature, making them warmer and this is something that people see on seed packets and plants they buy in the store) and are starting to get worried. Now, if only those with a strong financial interest in maintaining the use of fossil fuels will get on board, something might be able to be done.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        RW, you don’t get to determine what the truth is. Nor do I. The aim is convergence not surrender.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Adrian, you write:

        “Have you read the report that you link to?”

        Yes; all of it, and before this thread began.

        “If you know how politics in the USA works these days, then none of the information in that report would be a shock or surprise, and you’d realize that the political right does exactly the same thing (just look up Koch brothers).”

        I know that. What I am doing is saying that the Greens do the same, which is less well known, and that they are far better funded than most people are aware of.

        “Fossil fuels and things like the internal combustion engine have the advantage of over 100 years of research and development. If societies are to transition rapidly to alternatives, something has to be done to level the playing field.”

        I think you mean “alternatives have to be found”. Trouble is, they haven’t been, so talk about “transition to alternatives” is misleading. We agree that they should be sought, at least.

        “Technologies surrounding wind and solar have shown dramatic increases in efficiency over the past 10 years, to such a degree that even outlets like Forbes magazine is showing a distinct interest. As for “landscape wrecking”, I guess this is an aesthetic issue”

        It certainly is! Dave Mackay, the government’s main scientific advisor on energy, has done the sums for wind energy and shown that an area the size of Wales has to be covered in wind turbines for the UK to get what it needs this way. Still happy with the landscape that would result? At least the landscape damage caused by mining is localised.

        “If, as you say in response to Phillip, that you support research in this, why choose the above wording? [“even though there is no known way of buffering between supply and demand, ie storing energy on such scales. ”] Why not add the word “yet”, or “although it’s an active area of research”.

        Did you miss the word “known”? Had I written “no way of buffering” then your criticism would have been correct, but I wrote “no known way of buffering”.

        “There you go again [“And with nuclear also unpopular with greens, and carbon out of bounds if the arguments of Adrian’s side prevail, it’s back to an energy-impoverished way of life that will have to be basically agrarian:”] you really don’t have any cogent, rational, evidence-based arguments on this topic do you?

        And you don’t have any non-carbon non-nuclear way of generating on-demand energy on the necessary scale. I support research; how many times do I have to say it? What I dispute is imminent carbongeddon, and I remain concerned at the way the climate science community speaks with the voice of hesitancy about its research results within itself – consistent with this being being a genuinely difficult problem – but with a voice of utmost certainty to politicians who make the decisions.

        “Pick an energy consumption figure that you think attainable by green means and then look at the standard of living of any country that matches it. ”

        Tell that to the Germans, South Africans, New Zealanders …..etc. Germany produces an average of about 1/4 of it’s electricity needs from renewable sources

        And it is causing real financial hardship to the poor, and the outsourcing to lands where energy is cheaper of many industries whose products help people live better.

        “There is a clear and direct link between both the players and the tactics used by those who tried to discredit the tobacco-cancer link and those who try to cast doubt on climate scientists and their work (see e.g. groups such as The Heartland Institute). In both cases they have very effective and destructive tactics used to discredit scientists and their work.”

        Some scientists do that very effectively themselves. Saying that 2014 was warmest when the stats used show that the statement was 62% likely to be wrong, for instance.

      • “The aim is convergence”

        Haha. I don’t think so. We have ignorance, lies and stupidity on the one hand, and the earnest search for scientific explanations on the other. The aim is not convergence.

      • Adrian Burd Says:

        “Yes; all of it, and before this thread began.”

        So which specific arguments do think I need to address?

        “I know that. What I am doing is saying that the Greens do the same, which is less well known, and that they are far better funded than most people are aware of.”

        Anyone who thought otherwise was not paying attention.

        Oh, and by the way, the reason that most climate science is funded by governments is because it’s expensive.

        “It certainly is! Dave Mackay, the government’s main scientific advisor on energy, has done the sums for wind energy and shown that an area the size of Wales has to be covered in wind turbines for the UK to get what it needs this way. Still happy with the landscape that would result? At least the landscape damage caused by mining is localised.”

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe anyone is suggesting one gets 100% of ones energy from wind power alone.

        “What I dispute is imminent carbongeddon, ”

        Do you mean imminent on geological, or imminent on human timescales?

        “and I remain concerned at the way the climate science community speaks with the voice of hesitancy about its research results within itself – consistent with this being being a genuinely difficult problem – but with a voice of utmost certainty to politicians who make the decisions.”

        If you believe that this is what is happening, then you’re not paying attention. What is more, you’ve not been paying attention to how the right wing, conservative, fossil fuel lobbyists behave. Phillip was perfectly correct to raise the comparison with the tobacco industry.

        “RW, you don’t get to determine what the truth is. Nor do I.”

        Ah, there’s some progress at least.

        “And it is causing real financial hardship to the poor, ”

        That’s a economic policy issue and potentially a result of their feed-in-tarrif system and the German’s underestimate of the cost of FIT. Electricity prices have indeed doubled in Germany, from $0.18/kWh in 2000 to $0.38/kWh in 2013. However, wholesale electricity prices have dropped from about $125/MWh to $50/MWh in 2013. Consumer electricity prices in the US have generally increased as well (and not for the same reasons), though it varies from region to region.

        “and the outsourcing to lands where energy is cheaper of many industries whose products help people live better.”

        Are you claiming that outsourcing is a result of moving over to Green energy?

        “Some scientists do that very effectively themselves. ”

        Some scientists have learned that, to get through the lies, distortions, and personal attacks from the right wing and fossil fuel lobbyists, one has to present information simply. The fact that 2014 is the best candidate for the hottest year on record stands.

        As far as I see it, there are two options. Start to make changes now, or wait until every i is dotted and every t crossed before one takes action. The dangers of the latter approach are a) you’ll never cross all the ts and dot every i, b) if you wait that long, it may very well be far too late to do anything and the problems one faces will be far, far worse.

        If you’re proposing the “wait and see” approach, then I’m sorry, but I disagree with you 100%. What is more, the evidence is there for all to see, if you don’t want to see, then you’re being willfully blind for reasons other than wanting to know the truth. You obviously don’t understand anything about climate science, about how climate works, the inertia in the climate system, etc.

        So far I’ve seen nothing to counter my belief that your protestations are motivated by political and/or religious and/or ideological grounds and are not grounded in any form of reality that exists in this universe. In fact, almost every argument you make has bolstered that view.

        Sadly, reality will win the day. I hope that the majority, and particularly those making policy decisions, will discard their political/religious/ideological blinders and face reality head on before it gets too late.

        On one point we agree. Humans are resourceful and creative. If people start to see what’s really happening, then solutions will be found. At the moment we’re going with the best solutions we have to date because action needs to be taken now because of the inertia in the climate system. Will better solutions come along, I’m pretty sure they will. But the more bright, intelligent, creative individuals we have thinking about this problem, the better those solutions will be.

      • Adrian Burd Says:

        Anton says:

        “RW, you don’t get to determine what the truth is. Nor do I. The aim is convergence not surrender.”

        Surrender? Surrender to what? What a silly thing to say.

        I for one want to know about the climate system, about how this world works. I want to know the “truth” about how this thing works. From the posts you’ve made, the comments you’ve made, I’m not convinced that you do.

      • ” If the Greens stop whingeing, that is.”

        I don’t follow you here. In most (all?) countries which have nuclear power, or could have it soon, the Greens play essentially no role in decisions relating to it (in some cases due to a two-party system). As far as I know, Germany is the only country which has decided to do away with fission power, but this decision was made by a conservative government.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        RW, it is merely your opinion that pointing out to you Adrian said there was a pause in warming is pathetic. Adrian and I disagree about the likely duration of the pause and what happens next, but a pause means a cessation of what had been happening before ie warming, whereas you say this is not the case. This serves, if nothing else, to show the lack of unanimity even among those climate scientists who accept a higher strength of the CO2-warming relation.

      • There is no pause. You have not provided any evidence to the contrary. All you’ve done is bleat about how Adrian used the word. Yes, he did, when he said to you “Weren’t you arguing in a previous thread that there’s been a hiatus in increasing surface temperatures since the late 1990s? how much credence can you give to that “pause” in temperatures?”

        You prefer to play infantile games instead of having an evidence-based discussion. You really do need to grow up.

      • Does it make sense to cite “standard” climate data to support a claim for a pause in global warming, but to doubt essentially the same data when they show a warming trend?

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        RW, in view of your tone I am happy to let Peter’s readers decide which of us is behaving in an infantile manner here. Insults are not arguments.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Adrian,

        So far as RW is concerned the idea is surrender. He little realises what his practice of shouting the most obnoxious rhetoric the loudest makes him look like to blog readers.

        You asked me if I had read a report I cited about the political and financial influence of the Green lobby, to which I replied, “Yes; all of it, and before this thread began.” You now ask: “So which specific arguments do think I need to address?” I was citing that report to back up my point about the Green influence. Feel free to respond in any way you choose, but you did say: “Anyone who thought otherwise was not paying attention.” I do not agree, for that report showed how (deliberately) nontransparent the Green funding was and how hard it is for anyone to get the figures.

        You wrote: “the reason that most climate science is funded by governments is because it’s expensive.” Very probably, and I support such research. My grouse is that people who cry “Foul” about private funding of reports on grounds of potential conflict of interest give a free pass to government funded research when there is just as much conflict of interest. Medical researchers understand this issue better, and as all money has to come from somewhere they consider it normal to declare the sources of funding in a research report.

        “I don’t believe anyone is suggesting one gets 100% of ones energy from wind power alone.”

        Nor did I say they were; but if carbon and nuclear are out then we are dependent on energy generated at the whim of nature with no known way of buffering between supply and demand, moreover at very high expense.

        I wrote: “I remain concerned at the way the climate science community speaks with the voice of hesitancy about its research results within itself – consistent with this being a genuinely difficult problem – but with a voice of utmost certainty to politicians who make the decisions.” I don’t consider that you have shown this to be false.

        “Electricity prices have indeed doubled in Germany, from $0.18/kWh in 2000 to $0.38/kWh in 2013. However, wholesale electricity prices have dropped from about $125/MWh to $50/MWh in 2013.”

        I can’t square that with the Chairman of Germany’s Council of Economic Experts complaining that the government has “not paid any attention to costs; these are now huge”. (You can bet he means to industry.) Or that Germany’s industry federation has reportedly stated that it can no longer remain silent as green romanticism play havoc with German power supply:

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10321173/Germany-industry-in-revolt-as-green-dream-causes-cost-spiral.html

        Or that rising energy costs are complicit in BASF shifting much chemical production outside Germany, while the General Manager of Trimet Aluminium, which is a major electricity user in its German smelting plants, is warning that it is likely to follow:

        http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/02c9beb2-4966-11e4-8d68-00144feab7de.html#axzz3QcbD0R2l

        Let us try to reconcile what you say and what I read here. What is your source for your figures, please? (I am hoping it clarifies what “wholesale” means.) We should also take into account taxes on industry that provide green energy subsidies in Germany. Let us try to build upon the agreement in your last paragraph.

        “Some scientists have learned that, to get through the lies, distortions, and personal attacks from the right wing and fossil fuel lobbyists, one has to present information simply. The fact that 2014 is the best candidate for the hottest year on record stands.”

        Certainly you have phrased that more fairly than Schmidt did on his title slide. Your latter sentence is entirely true according to the terrestrial data. But even then it is like a many-horse race in which the odds only slightly favour one horse. As for grumbling about personal attacks, please look at this present correspondence and count how many personal insults you have made to me, and I to you.

        Anton

  4. Adrian Burd Says:

    Harumph…..I just wasted an hour on this when I should have been writing my book!

  5. telescoper Says:

    I think it’s time to close this thread. Everyone has had a chance to air their views but I don’t think it’s going anywhere now.

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