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Climate Change Predictions - How Accurate Are They?

Updated on October 3, 2017
jackclee lm profile image

I am a retired engineer and scientist who has expertise in digital image processing and are engaged in other disciplines like climate change

Introduction

This hub is in response to a challenge from another distinguished hubber who disagree with me on Climate Change. He is Doc Snow and his recent hub Climate Change: How much Time Do We Have? was the start of this debate. To proof each of our positions, we decided to each create a hub detailing the accuracy of recent predictions made by Climate Scientists. We will select a few highlights to make our points and leave it to the readers to decide. We have agreed on a time frame of about one month to complete. I hope you will keep an open mind and wait till you had a chance to read both hubs. Here is the hub by Doc Snow opposing opinion. Let's have a robust discussion with respect. Please take the poll at the end after reading both hubs.

-September 2015

Background

I am an engineer by training and I am also a skeptic when it comes to AGW (man-caused global warming or climate change). I've written several hubs related to this topic and they are linked below. As an engineer, I am pragmatic and I look for solutions that produce results. The reason we are at this point is very simple. The vast extreme claims made by climate scientists over the last 20 years have not panned out. If they were accurate, I would not be a skeptic today.

I have been following this topic with great interest for many years. At first, I bought into the scientific theory that CO2 emissions were causing our planet to heat up. The theory seem simple enough and made some sense. However, after looking into it deeper and reading some related writings available, I began to realize that climate is a very complex issue. No one factor can determine the total effect. That's the genesis of the debate. How much of the warming is due to man-made events and how much of it is due to natural cycles and events.

A Side Bar

Let me give an example where I have been convinced by Science theories just to show I am not anti-Science or an ideolog. In the 1970's, a scientist discovered that our ozone layer was eroding. An ozone hole was becoming apparent in the antarctic pole region. This was alarming because the ozone layer in our upper atmosphere was protecting us from the harmful UV from the sun. The scientific community got together and determined that CFC was primarily responsible for the depletion. The is the chemical Chlorofluorocarbons that are in spray cans and air conditioners. The International community worked with nations to remove and replace CFC usage. Recently, we have seem a reduction of the ozone hole. In fact NASA is reporting the hole is reducing in size and may be closed in a few years. This is a success story I welcome. Just to summary this experience.

  • A problem was identified - Ozone Hole
  • A theory was proposed on the cause by scientists
  • A man-made chemical was identified as the culprit - CFC
  • Policies was adopted to fix the problem by replacing the chemicals
  • The problem seem to be reversing

Progression of Ozone Hole

AGW Climate Change

Getting back on topic, in the case of climate change, this is a very different scenario. Even though it may share some of the attributes of Ozone Holes, there is one important distinction. The projections made on global temperature and climate due to increased CO2 concentrations did not come to fruition. There is something else going on and we don't have a good understanding at the moment.

If the theory say "A" causes "B", and we see "A" causes "?", then we need to revisit the theory. That is why I'm a skeptic in 2015.

Let's example three predictions that were made about AGW and increase CO2 levels.

Here are three bullet points taken from the list published on the EPA main site.

  1. Earth will get warmer
  2. The Ocean level will rise
  3. The annual hurricanes will increase in intensity and frequency

FACT: CO2 Crosses Above 400 ppm 2013

Increase Temperature (Predictions vs. Actual Reality)

As seen from the above chart, CO2 concentration have been increasing steadily and have crossed the 400 ppm level.

Prediction: from Michael Mann, the creator of the "hockey stick" chart and Dr James Hansen of NASA in 1988. Here is a snippet from the NYT article 1988 - (read link below)

"Mathematical models have predicted for some years now that a buildup of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil and other gases emitted by human activities into the atmosphere would cause the earth's surface to warm by trapping infrared radiation from the sun, turning the entire earth into a kind of greenhouse.

If the current pace of the buildup of these gases continues, the effect is likely to be a warming of 3 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit from the year 2025 to 2050, according to these projections. This rise in temperature is not expected to be uniform around the globe but to be greater in the higher latitudes, reaching as much as 20 degrees, and lower at the Equator."

Results: It is 2015, and 27 years since the dire prediction. Does it seem like we are anywhere near the temperature rise predicted by Dr. Hansen? In fact, even a former IPCC lead author Dr. Philip Lloyd recently admitted that global warming is within natural variability.

Rising Oceans

Another dire prediction is the rising sea levels and the impact that will have on all parts of the world especially coastlines. Here is a technical paper on this topic from 1988.

What is the reality?

Increase Hurricanes in Frequency and Intensity

Another projection is that global warming will lead to drastic increases in the frequency and intensity of hurricanes. On the face of this, it seems logical. If the temperature of the oceans are warming, it will create more cloud activity and lead to storms in the summer months.

What is the reality?

In the last 10 years, there has not been a category 3 or greater hurricane making land fall in the US. How is this possible?

Here is the list of major storms in the last 100 years or so…

Scroll down to the listing for the 20th century. You will note that 1938 was the biggest of them all, called the "Long Island Express." Also, 1960 had Hurricane Donna and both were category 5 storms. This happened before any global warming awareness.

I rest my case.

What's The Harm?

Environmentalist have co-opted the climate change movement. They have tied the environment protection to reducing fossil fuel as if the two are one and the same. They are not.

I have heard smart people such as Tom Friedman of the New York Times make the following argument. Suppose the theory of global warming are wrong. What's the harm? the worst is we will end up with cleaner air...They say think of it as an insurance policy.

The answer is lots.

  • destroying jobs in the energy sector.
  • increase cost of electric utility.
  • subsidizing alternative energy production that are not cost efficient.
  • reduced quality of life.
  • Wasted resources and missed opportunities.


What If?

Here is a mental exercise to ponder. If reducing CO2 is the proposed solution to global warming, what if sometimes down the road the earth enters a cooling phase? Would these same scientists propose that we increase CO2 to counter global cooling? Bring back the coal power plants... I tend to doubt it.


Items For Thought...

For all who are concerned about climate change, here are some items to think about going forward.

  • The past dire predictions have not come to fruition. Remember the boy who cried wolf...
  • Climate change is not the same as environment protection. I disagree with the Pope on this even though I am a catholic. I believe we should be good steward of the earth but climate change is not in our power to affect.
  • The hypocrisies of the climate change proponents such as Al Gore and some of the Hollywood crowd. They want us to curtail our energy consumption while they live in mansions and fly in private jets. Who's carbon footprint is larger?
  • Consider the harm that was done and ongoing with large amount of resources put into energy tax credits and renewable development...solar, wind, electric cars
  • Consider the increased cost of basic necessity of electric power for everyone and the lost of coal power plants.
  • Consider the increase of standard of living and improvements for 3rd world nations due to cheap and efficient fossil fuel.
  • Consider the lost of good jobs in the construction of the XL pipeline and the coal industry.
  • How does scientist explain the climate change occurring in the rest of the plants in our solar system?
  • Consider the false prediction of "peak oil" and the high cost of crude oil. Last I check, it is around $45 a barrel.
  • Notice that many predictions are for 25 years or 50 years into the future. Why is that? Could it be that they will not be around when the predictions don't come true. They will be retired and collecting their pensions.

Some Sign Of Desperation

Recently, a group of 20 climate scientists sent a letter to President Obama asking him to use the RICO law to prosecute climate change deniers. Is that a sign of desperation? Now we learned that one of the leader of the group, Jagdish Shukla, is under investigation for corruption.

The Sun

Here is an important quote I discovered from a workshop discussing the Effects of Solar Variability on Earth's Climate - (page 28)

"The basic question in understanding the Sun’s role in climate change is a compelling one: How well is past and present total solar irradiance known and understood? As Haigh pointed out, it is certainly an issue of concern that the existing TSI database has been derived from measurements that could not be intercalibrated to the degree of accuracy necessary for climate studies."

Summary

In this hub and others, I tried to make the case that the science of climate change is still a work in progress. The current models are incomplete and have a poor record of predicting future climate effects. We are about to reached a tipping point in a few short years. The projected rise in global temperature plotted against actual data is about to cross into a zone below that of the variance. If that trend continues, the whole model's credibility will be put to the test.

Let the reader decide. Please take the poll at the end.

The Changing Climate Models

Update 11/23/2015 (Hard Data Nugget)

Recently, I attended a Colloquium at the Lamont Observatory, Columbia University (Palisades, NY). It was a talk by Dr. Neil Pederson of Harvard University.

His specialty is the study of tree forests. The title of the talk was “Did the climate of the late 20th Century mask mechanisms for rapid, large-scale change in eastern US forests?”

It was a very interesting talk because it gave me a real data point that is peripheral to the general climate change environment. What I mean is that his work is related to climate science and how it affects the tree population over long periods of time but it is not a study of climate change per se. In the course of his presentation, he put up a chart showing the average temperature of four regions of forests in the US over a period of last 100 years. His focus was on droughts but it surprised me because the temperature were even over that period and in fact one region even show a slight decline of temperature.

At the Q/A session at the end, I posed the question to Dr. Pederson and ask for his comment with regard to the claim of climate change scientists that the earth is warming. His response shocked me a bit. He didn't see any issue with that and ended his response that we are not seeing warming "yet." I was also struck by the lack of curiosity on his part. Why are we not seeing the predicted warming?

His talk ended with the conclusion that we are in the best time of environment for trees. The last 15 or 20 years are wet and not too warm and ideal for tree life. This was not always the case going back 300 years. his study have found periods of severe drought and frost that have had negative effects on forests in the US.

This incident relates to my assertion that most scientists are just doing their narrow study on the effects of climate change on some specific item. They "assume" that CO2 causes global warming almost religiously and don't even question that fact even when their own data fail to agree with that assertion. Instead of questioning it, they just move along and continue with their study and getting the grants.

Chart by Dr. Neil Pederson (Harvard University)

Update Nov. 18, 2016 (on rising sea level)

I attended a talk at the Lamont Dogherty campus today. It was given by professor Andrea Dutton of the University of Florida. Her topic was polar ice sheet retreat during past warming periods...and their effects on sea level rise. I was particularly interested in this topic because of recent discussions here on this hub and elsewhere on the potential dangers of sea rise due to climate change. She spent a good part of 45 minutes describing the details of her teams work. She went on to expain the difficulty of measuring sea level averages and that they vary from location to location and even places where sea level will go down due to other factors such as topography and gravitational effects. She also mention the recent estimates of a rise of 3mm per year of oceans as accepted range. Going back over the past 3 million years, there have been multiple periods of warming and cooling. Her study focused on how high oceans have risen due to these natural warming cycles. The numbers they came up with using carbon dating and instrumentation were between 6-13 meters for a corresponding 2 degrees C rise in temperature. The implications is that a modern day warming of 2 degrees will possibly cause the same among of sea rise which will be devastating. She ended the talk with the projected chart of the IPCC of rise of 20 feet over the next 100 years.(2000-2100 time frame)

During the Q/A session, I asked the question of how fast the rise will come based on her studies. She was brutally honest and said she doesn't know. Her studies and experiments using coral reefs and radioactive dating does not indicate the timeframe but only the rise and fall of sea level. I found this astounding. When I followed up and ask about her last chart, she said they were based on combining the various work done by her colleagues and various climate models. Again, she does not know how accurate these projections are since they were made by other groups.

Here is the bottom line for me. If these scientists cannot answer the basic question of how fast, then we can't trust any projections. From a birdseye view of an outsider, I can accept the theory that a warming earth will lead to melting polar caps and rising oceans. I just can't agree on the dire nature of their projections. Let me pose the following hypothetical. Assuming a worse case scenario, that our earth will experience an average warming of 2 degrees C. Assuming we know from past history that the ocean will rise as high as 13 meters as a result. How fast will that rise take place? If it is decades, we are in definite trouble. If it is hundreds of years, we have time to mitigate by relocating to higher grounds. If it is thousands of years, then I say we can just forget about it. It is a non issue because other factors will become much more significant. Our civilization has only been here 5 or 6 thousand years.


Unscientific Poll

What should we do in 2015 about Climate Change?

See results

Final Poll After Reading Both Hubs (Started 11/18/2015)

Have your opinion on climate change science moved one way or another?

See results

Projected US Energy Sources by the EIA

Flooding in Paris- Then and Now

An Inconvenient Truth - 10 years later 2016

One of the chart that struck me is the one Al Gore presented in the documentary film released in 2006. It depicts the projection of temperature rise due to man-made global warming. As you can see, it is a complete fabrication to scare people. Here is the official website. The prediction of increased number of hurricanes, rising oceans, disappearing glaciers, polar bears going extinct...all have not come to pass. What happened Al Gore? Please explain the discrepancy...Is the science of climate change really settled? Does 100% of scientists agree with you?

Truth or Distortion?

Latest Temperature Records ...2016

Mann Hockey Stick graph

Al Gore and the IPCC have bought into this. Now, they will have to live with the implications going forward...In particular, the steep rise in just the last 50 years. What will the actual temperature be in the next 25 years?

Projected for 2100...up up and away!!!

Glacier National Park 2017

© 2015 Jack Lee

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    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 11 days ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      "Perhaps, it will be the earth..."

      Perhaps. Not much we can do about it, if so.

      "...we need to consider all possibilities..."

      Correct. And that's what the mainstream has done, and continues to do.

    • jackclee lm profile image
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      Jack Lee 12 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, check this out -

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/10/science/yellows...

      Perhaps, it will be the earth that will change our climate and not the sun...

      My point has always been consistent, that we need to consider all possibilities, natural and man-made.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 13 days ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Jack, it may well be that this cycle is as quiet as you say--I don't know of any reason to doubt it--but that doesn't help your case. If the current cycle is so quiet, yet current global temps are relatively high, then the logic says that variation in solar activity--even a remarkable variation, such as we see now--is not the primary driver of global temperature.

      You're mistaken to think that climate scientists have limited their consideration of solar variation to the recent past, though. For example, the AR5 FAQs item on solar forcing states that estimates from the Maunder Minimum--and no one is saying yet that we are now in a comparable state, though some think that we possibly could be entering it--are that solar forcing was only about 0.01% lower than at present--comparable to the magnitude of the 11-year cycle.

      http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/docs/WG1AR5_FAQb...

      (See page 21.)

      A relevant extract:

      "For pre-satellite times, TSI variations have to be estimated from sunspot numbers (back to 1610), or from radioisotopes that are formed in the atmosphere, and archived in polar ice and tree rings. Distinct 50- to 100-year periods

      of very low solar activity—such as the Maunder Minimum between 1645 and 1715—are commonly referred to as

      grand solar minima. Most estimates of TSI changes between the Maunder Minimum and the present day are in the

      order of 0.1%, similar to the amplitude of the 11-year variability."

      So you see that longer time frames are indeed considered by climate science in assessing and estimating past solar influences. Indeed, it could hardly be otherwise, given that paleoclimatic research has been a very active area of investigation. How could past climates offer guidance for the future if the role of the sun were ignored? Obviously, they couldn't!

    • jackclee lm profile image
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      Jack Lee 2 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      The solar component was considered by the climate scientists but was assumed to be small because they use the average of past solar cycles...

      They did not count on current quiet cycle 24... weakest in 100 years.

      http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/the-...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 2 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Jack, you aren't making much sense here. I say, "Solar activity is low, and has been, yet, just a predicted by James Hansen among others, the variance is too small to have much effect on global temperature."

      You then say, "Yes, that's my point, they should consider solar influence, it would be more accurate."

      But the observations are consistent with what I said, and 'they' *did* consider insolation, *and* 'they' did so "from the beginning." Hubs of mine that relate to this fact:

      https://hubpages.com/education/The-Science-Of-Glob...

      https://hubpages.com/education/The-Science-of-Glob...

      https://hubpages.com/education/Global-Warming-Scie...

      https://hubpages.com/education/Fire-From-Heaven-Cl...

      https://hubpages.com/education/Fire-From-Heaven-Cl...

      Remember, as I've pointed out before, every IPCC report, going back I think to the very first, has provided a quantified estimate of the solar forcing on climate. They've uniformly found it to be small, and the fact that high planetary temperatures are coinciding with low solar activity, right now and for some years now, is a strong indication that they were right.

      "...the pause in global warming last decade or so..."

      Your nostalgia for the days of 'the pause' is betraying you here. The rate of warming in the last decade is much above that of the previous decade (which, however, featured a more active sun.) Here's a graph I made on 'woodfortrees' to illustrate:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:2007/tre...

    • jackclee lm profile image
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      Jack Lee 2 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Perhaps, that is my point. The main stream science did not consider solar to be a big influence on climate from the very beginning. Now that it is becoming an issue, they just don't know how to explain it.

      If they had included solar effects in their model, perhaps the current projections will have more meaning and may even be more accurate...it may also explain the pause in global warming last decade or so...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 2 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      "Whose forecast?" I ask, and answer myself (with some help from Google) "Accuweather and the Farmer's Almanac."

      http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/news/a46383/2...

      It's notable, though, that in neither forecast does it explicitly mention solar influences. (Though I believe that is an input in the FA 'algorithm', I don't think any outsiders know for sure what is considered, or exactly how.) It's also notable that the forecasts are not uniformly cold for the US--both forecast teams think the West Coast will have a warm winter, and Accuweather thinks the South will, too. So how is that solar influence?

      And shouldn't we be looking at global, not US, forecasts anyway?

      I'd also note that the low solar activity is not a new thing: activity has been low in either absolute or relative (to the phase of the solar cycle) terms for a long time now, and yet we have had record-warm years for global temperature in '14, '15, and '16. It's unlikely this year will beat '16, but it still may place in the (new!) top 3.

      So all in all, I don't think that solar variations are showing up as large enough to be principal drivers of the global temperature. (Just as mainstream science has been saying, actually.)

    • jackclee lm profile image
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      Jack Lee 2 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      The Sun is quiet...

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/08/weak-solar-...

      A cold winter is in the forecast.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 2 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Yes, interesting. And as you say, that's lucky about malaria in Africa. (It may be quite another story in cooler parts of the world, though.)

      Note that--again, luckily--it's not just 35C; it's 35C *wet-bulb*. That measurement accounts for humidity as well as pure temperature--crucial, in this instance, since humans are essentially evaportively cooled in warm conditions. Pure temps may be higher than the wet bulb measurement, and in dry areas or conditions *will be* much higher. Sadly, it's a robust conclusion that those sorts of conditions will be much, much more frequent than in the past--and how *much* more frequent is dependent upon our global choices.

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 3 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      The talk was interesting. It focused on two parts. 1. The effects on the Asia continent where the effects of global warming will have the greatest impact. 2. The effect on the malaria epidemic in Middle Africa where it is most impacted.

      He described extensive 3d modeling efforts to reach his conclusions.

      1. Based on human physiology, we cannot survive in climates warmer than 35 degrees C for extended periods (6 hours). Because the mass of populations are concentrated in a narrow band region along the asian coastline and Indian river valley, he projected a huge impact in the next few decades if climate change is not mitigated.

      On point number 2, with his extensive modeling of temperatures and water pools and even mosquitos reproduction cycle, his study concluded that malaria would not be impacted by climate change in Africa. Good news. The reason is complicated but apprently, mosquitos have a narrow temperature window where they reproduce. Too warm temperatures will reduce the number of mosquitos and thereby reduce malaria spreading...interesting?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 3 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Jack, I look forward to hearing about the Lamont-Doherty talks. Thanks for sharing.

      On the 'gotchas' for Mr. Musk, well, they are cute in their way, I suppose, but don't really substitute for actual analysis. A couple of points:

      --Everything powered from the grid is powered by a mix of sources--in 2016, according to the EIA, about 15% renewable. Ten years ago, I remember being assured solemnly that RE at more than 5%, or at most 10%, was an impossible pipe dream. Now the segment expanding the fastest is RE.

      https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page...

      --I notice the questioner did NOT ask what powers the new Gigafactory in Nevada. Astute, since the answer is that it is 100% solar--it is a self-powering facility. Or rather, it *will* be--the solar farm is Phase 2, which as far as I know is not yet complete. Note that the plan involves using battery storage for night operation. It will be a significant demonstration of the feasibility of all-solar PV-powered manufacturing.

      https://www.theverge.com/2017/1/11/14231952/tesla-...

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 3 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      I came across this recently... questions for Elon Musk...

      What powers the Tesla assembly lines?

      What powers the solar roof panel and battery factories?

      What fuel powers the raw material delivery trucks?

      What fuel powers the trucks that deliver the vehicles and roof panels to customers?

      What powers the charging stations?

      What fuel powers the service center vehicles?

      What powers the SpaceX rockets?

      What powers the boring machine?

      What powers the equipment building the giant battery in Australia?

      What powers Elon's jet?

      Thank you, Mr. Musk, for giving SO much business to the fossil fuel industry!

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 3 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, a new season of Colloquiums is starting at Lamont Doherty Observatory...

      Here is the new speaker -

      http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/news-events/events

      I will let you know how it goes.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 3 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Depends upon what you mean by "portable and efficient," doesn't it?

      After all, you can carry in many gallons of gas for your generator, and *still* have an all-too-finite supply, or you can carry in a solar panel and battery and be good to go indefinitely.

      Obviously, there are advantages both ways, depending upon the load you'll be powering, et cetera. But power is pretty fungible. Don't mislead yourself by idolizing the status quo.

      And no, fossil fuel is not "irreplaceable"--it's just presently cheaper than other fuel options that exist (synfuels of numerous varieties, basically, plus hydrogen.) Some of them also have supply advantages over FF--such as the ability to be synthesized from seawater.

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 3 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, yes but my point is when the mission critical demands on energy source, the most efficient and portable and cheap is still fossil fuel.

      Any renewable, as pointed out have deficiencies...in high winds and floods...

      As I said in another article, fossil fuel is irreplaceable.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 3 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      I think it's worse because warm waters fueled an unusually intense storm--so while the storm is basically "natural", as you call it, its intensity probably wasn't, entirely.

      Yes, they need fossil fuel right now, because they have made choices that perpetuate their dependence upon it.

      On the other hand, if they *had* previously deployed some solar and wind power, they *might* have a little more power available today--both because it would have meant modernizing the grid some, and because the power source would be more decentralized/distributed. (Though of course, renewable gear can be vulnerable to high wind, too, just as any human infrastructure can.)

      There are probably a few lucky homeowners there right now who are extremely happy about having gone off-grid with solar PV and battery storage.

      https://qz.com/1083809/hurricane-maria-damaged-pue...

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 3 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, what do you think about the current crisis unfolding in Purto Rico as a result of a natural disaster?

      Looks like fossil fuel is what they desparately need right now...

      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-puertorico-f...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 6 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      "Irma not the most powerful Atlantic hurricane..."

      I think the article is pretty silly. Who really cares?

      But in their defense, I, too, found the reporting somewhat confused (and confusing). However, the correct facts did emerge from reading several of them. That is, Irma is second to Allen if you include the entire expanse of the Atlantic, but first if you exclude the Gulf and Caribbean waters. People apparently make this distinction because the latter seas typically have warmer waters than the main body of the Atlantic, and hence apparently tend to see slightly stronger hurricanes.

      "Krakatoa..."

      Nice photos! As far as climate goes, it would certainly illustrate for people what difference a relatively small change in global mean temperature makes. It would also afford the opportunity to repeat (sort of) the successful modeling of the effects on climate of Mt. Pinatubo. Indeed, it would be highly practical research, since the multiyear cooling could pose serious difficulties for agriculture which could in theory be mitigated somewhat by intelligent responses, such as planting appropriate crop varieties, or perhaps putting in place helpful management strategies.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 6 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      "Irma not the most powerful Atlantic hurricane..."

      I think the article is pretty silly. Who really cares?

      But in their defense, I, too, found the reporting somewhat confused (and confusing). However, the correct facts did emerge from reading several of them. That is, Irma is second to Allen if you include the entire expanse of the Atlantic, but first if you exclude the Gulf and Caribbean waters. People apparently make this distinction because the latter seas typically have warmer waters than the main body of the Atlantic, and hence apparently tend to see slightly stronger hurricanes.

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 6 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, check this out -

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/07/hurricane-i...

      What do you think of this?

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 6 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Thanks, I had a great weekend and It was also my 66th birthday. We had a great dinner on the shore of the Hudson river.

      I consider myself blessed.

      I was watching a show recently and it was about the possibility of the next erruption of Krakatoa...and the effect on climate...

      Here is one article I found related to this topic -

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1203028/Wi...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 6 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Hi, Jack, I hope you had a very pleasant Labor Day weekend.

      Well, you can 'disagree' all you want to about the viability of renewable energy as the new mainstay of our energy economy. However, what you haven't done is provide a reasoned basis for your belief.

      You have pointed out that there are some applications for which liquid fuels are quite hard to replace, and I don't disagree with you on that, though I do think you overstate the case significantly. But we'd agree, I think, that battery tech is not going to be giving us long-haul heavy lift aviation any time soon. And though EV versions of heavy trucks are starting to come into the marketplace--Cummins just announced forthcoming models, for instance--they won't crack the long haul problem right away:

      "A team of Morgan Stanley analysts wrote that they can envision a not-so-distant time in which electric-powered engines become marketable.

      ""We believe an autonomous, electric truck can be a game changer for trucking carriers by significantly lowering operating costs, improving productivity and even driving industry consolidation," they wrote in an April note, adding an autonomous electric truck could be up to 70 percent cheaper to operate than diesel-powered trucks.""

      So, you may believe that electric vehicles can't compete, but it seems that Cummins and Morgan Stanley don't agree with you. And last time I checked, neither one was notable for hippy-dippy 'dream-world' enthusiasm.

      As to electric generation, I think that the contest is pretty mostly over, though fossil fuels will be playing out their losing hand for quite a while yet. I've already shown in previous comments and links how renewable energy is cheaper than new thermal capacity now--*without* subsidies. (Well, subsidies for the *former*--fossil still gets its subsidized emissions, and in many places such as for instance Indonesia, non-capitalistic price supports or (as here) 'exploration credits'.) That's why, for instance, new Indian solar PV is being added pretty much on a straight auction basis--they are discontinuing the old 'feed-in tariff' model once necessary to offset high up-front costs.

      And the thing about this is, the cost advantage for RE is only going to keep growing--even if the technology stopped improving tomorrow, which it won't--because increasing deployments around the world are driving economies of scale. I've already linked studies on that, so I won't do so again here.

      OK, go ahead and disagree. But if you want to convince, show me why I'm wrong. Unsupported assertions have very little persuasive power.

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      Jack Lee 7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      I disagree with your last paragraph. Reducing fossil fuel is not the most effective and that is not even the question for us. We have little choice at this time. All other alternative renewable fuels are not up to the task. The only one is nuclear and you know how difficult the environmentalist feel about that...

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      Doc Snow 7 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      "...my point is with all the things man have done to reduce carbon emissions, by their own assessments, have amounted to very small effects on our temperature."

      Because our efforts have so far done no more than to slow the *growth* in emissions. We need actual emissions *reductions*--and really, we need to reduce atmospheric *concentrations." We have technologies that will let us do this; it is primarily political will that is required.

      "It comes down to what is the more effective way to deal with long term climate change. You seems to be not open to any other ideas which may have better results..."

      Because none have been identified, and because on the basis of our scientific understanding of the overall situation, probably none exist. The only alternatives we have are various forms of geoengineering, none of which are proven, all of which are likely to be more expensive, and all of which have risks. (Adaptation will be necessary whether we mitigate or not--the only question is how successful our adaptation efforts will be, and all evidence (not to mention common sense) says that the more we mitigate the root cause, the better our odds of successful adaptive responses.)

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      Jack Lee 7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Yes, but my point is with all the things man have done to reduce carbon emissions, by their own assessments, have amounted to very small effects on our temperature.

      It comes down to what is the more effective way to deal with long term climate change. You seems to be not open to any other ideas which may have better results...

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      Doc Snow 7 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Depends what you mean. "Natural disasters" will always occur.

      But their 'juicing' by climate change is not "natural" and can certainly be prevented. That is, in fact, precisely what I've been talking about this whole time.

      Remember, it's not that we are currently 'doing nothing.' Far from it; we're raising the atmospheric concentration of CO2 by about 3 ppm per year--a total rise of more than 40% to date, relative to pr-Industrial levels.

      You frequently issue a caution that we shouldn't do anything precipitate. Unfortunately, the reality is that we've been doing something precipitate all along.

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      Jack Lee 7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, you speak as if you think we can do anything to prevent these natural disasters. I hate to break it to you...we can't.

      We can not prevent this just like we can't prevent the next volcano erruption or the next earthquake or the next sunami or the next asteroid strike...

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      Doc Snow 7 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      I forgot Hurricane Matthew, even though some of the worst impacts were here in South Carolina. But hey, it only cost the US maybe $15 billion. This morning there's talk on radio about Harvey setting a new loss record, with economic damages somewhere north of $190 billion.

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      Doc Snow 7 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Again, a list of historical hurricanes with huge 'coverage gaps' and a more-or-less complete lack of good meteorological data tells you nothing except that 'hurricanes happen'--which nobody is disputing, including me. Of course hurricanes happen, and of course some of them in the past have been extremely intense. Again, not in dispute.

      What is to the point is this:

      "A warmer, wetter world is more prone to stronger storms."

      That is not in dispute, as far as I know, following as it does from well-understood physics.

      "...why didn't we see one last year or the year before that... we had record warming temperatures both years according to NOAA?"

      We did, just not in the US. 2016 had higher ACE values than climatology, and some record storms. I've linked them previously, and you can easily Google them for yourself, so I won't link them yet again here. But here are the numbers on ACE:

      http://models.weatherbell.com/tropical.php

      "So it was a luck of the draw that conditions came together that made this extraordinary."

      Yes, and that will always be the case when there is a record-breaking event: there will *always* be specific causes or circumstances that help push that event beyond the norm.

      Another way to say what the meteorologist said was that there was a 'lack of steering currents aloft', causing the storm's slow speed. There's some suggestion that that may also be related to climate change, but as far as I know that part is still under investigation and can't be considered 'settled science.'

      But be that as it may, that does not negate the role that warmer water and air played in Harvey. Without them, this storm would have been less disastrous.

      But we won't be without them in the future, except quite exceptionally. And they are going to keep getting more extreme, too, as long as we keep going with something like BAU.

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      Jack Lee 7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, here is a record of past hurricanes going back a few hundred years...

      http://www.hurricaneville.com/historic.html

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      Jack Lee 7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      So by that logic, why didn't we see one last year or the year before that... we had record warming temperatures both years according to NOAA?

      The way meteorologist explained this Harvey was that it would have been a Regular tropical storm like we had in so many others except for the fact there was a high sitting just North of the Houston area. This high prevented the storm from moving upwards and that was the key factor why so much rain fall came down. So it was a luck of the draw that conditions came together that made this extraordinary.

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      Doc Snow 7 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      A Cuban record is not relevant.

      Yes, Galveston was bad, but its impacts were largely due, not just to the magnitude of the storm, which appears to have been roughly comparable to that of Harvey, but to the fact that there was little prediction capacity, poor communications, and that politics interfered with science (gee, where have I heard about something like that?):

      http://www.history.com/news/how-the-galveston-hurr...

      It is not "coincidence" that 20+ years of observations show statistically significant increases in extreme precipitation across the US.

      "Just because we had these storms does not mean increased CO2 concentration is the cause."

      No, and I'm not claiming that it is. Remember, this thread started with your repeated assertion that there was some kind of significance to the lack of major hurricanes making landfall in the US--a 'drought' that is now history.

      What I am asserting is that there is good reason to link the increasing frequency of extreme precipitation--again, something established empirically and previously predicted on theoretical grounds!--with the remarkable precipitation totals we have seen with Harvey.

      You have been trying to imply that it's just another storm. It isn't. It is true, as I've been saying, that hurricanes are highly unpredicable, and their occurence is highly variable. But we know that warmer water fuels these storms; we know that that was important in the development of this particular storm; we know that increases in the average temperature will mean warmer water on average in the places where these storms grow. We know that warmer air holds more water vapor (AKA "precipitable water.") And as noted above, we know that this is measurably increasing precipitation across the US.

      The logical consequence is that storms like Harvey--always *possible*--are now more *likely* than they used to be. Which may well be why the US, by the time this latest disaster is over, will have probably lost over $300 billion in economic damages in 12 years, just due to the three storms named.

      "These things happen" just really doesn't cut it, from a policy perspective.

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      Jack Lee 7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, this storm Harvey was a major one no doubt but it was not the worst and it certainly won't be the last. In terms of rain fall, it was a record in the US but not a world record. Cuba has a record rainfall that was 70 inches...

      Instead of using this storm to promote a climate change agenda, you might want to look back in history and see how many major storms has occurred. We had these storms ever so often. The Galveston storm in 1900 wiped out the whole city. We did not have climate change then did we?

      Don't make the mistake of linking coincidence with causality.

      Just because we had these storms does not mean increased CO2 concentration is the cause.

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      Doc Snow 7 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Jack, I just did a Google search of the words "Harvey unprecedented" and pulled 1.9 million hits.

      Yesterday it was widely reported--including on WUWT--that this storm set a new precipitation record for the lower 48 states, and that it was likely to surpass the all-USA record currently held by a station in Hawaii:

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/29/harvey-sets...

      So, are you still going to tell me that this storm is nothing unusual? Katrina made landfall 12 years ago yesterday. That was the first time in my lifetime that we saw a major American city utterly savaged by a weather disaster. In 2012 we saw comparable damage (though, thankfully, many fewer fatalities) inflicted on the Northeast by Sandy. Now we see a disaster of Katrina-like proportions devastating our 4th-largest city.

      I guess and hope that fewer people will die as a result of this storm, compared with Katrina, but I'm pretty sure already that the economic damage will be much greater.

      We *know* empirically that these extreme rainfall events have become more frequent and intense over the modern warming era, and we know that this was predicted on the basis of physics that has been largely understood since the mid-19th century (cf., "Clausius-Claperon relation").

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clausius%E2%80%93Cla...

      So, while climate change can't be said to be responsible for Harvey's existence, the link to its rapid development and to its potential for extreme precipitation is solid.

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      Doc Snow 8 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      "My point about the CFC is an example of how government use their power to create havoc among the citizens."

      "Havoc?" If that's the worst havoc you can find, count me unimpressed.

      "Trump and his administration is trying to bring some sanity back to this. Do you think Trump is stupid enough to destroy our world where he and his family have so so much to loose?"

      All available evidence says, yes, he is that stupid. In my opinion, there is not one policy put forward so far by this Administration that is likely to prove constructive in any way whatever.

      "...climate change is a long term proposition and there are many ways to mitigate its effect without destroying our economy."

      Trump appears not to understand *anything* about climate change, based on his own statements about it. You understand more about it--you understand that it is real and that it is happening now.

      But you preserve illusions about it--primarily, that its essential causes are not well understood, and that therefore we shouldn't act except, perhaps, very cautiously. The reality is that although there are many questions of detail that we would like to understand better, we know with high confidence that we are causing it (primarily), that its consequences won't be positive--indeed, they may be quite disastrous--and (most crucially) that we have a limited window for action.

      Here you run into another fallacy: that fossil fuels are 'indispensible', that without them we will all be reduced, as you put it, to a "Stone Age" lifestyle. That's quite absurd. As my first link shows you, renewables are now at the point of outcompeting every form of new electrical generation except natural gas purely on the price (as calculated by levelized cost.) In fact, Bloomberg recently reported that RE was projected, by the 2030s, to become *cheaper than fully depreciated existing coal plants!*

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-15...

      It's real, Jack.

      So why do you keep retailing past circumstances as if they were current verities? I'm guessing that it's partly because you choose to indulge in 'alternate facts', such as Breitbart specializes in so persistently, and partly because you don't want what I'm telling you to be true. That's understandable enough, but the Universe--and specifically our atmosphere--doesn't give a damn about what we want to be true.

      You want to believe in Trump, apparently. Well, he said he would unite us--has he? He said he'd get Mexico to pay for his wall--is there any prospect of that happening, and if so, then why is he willing to shut down the government in order to get *us* to pay for it? He said he'd rarely get out of the White House because he'd be working so terribly hard--and he's blown the Secret Service budget already in the first six months with his jaunts to Mar-a-Lago and New Jersey. He said we'd get wonderful healthcare, that would cover just about everything and everybody--and all he's got now is "let Obamacare implode" (which he's willing to help along by welshing on Federal commitments, or threatening to do so.)

      He's even willing to argue that the *non-binding* Paris Accord--you've criticized it yourself for being too weak--somehow 'infringes American sovereignty.' It's hard to imagine a more ludicrous idea. The logical consequence would be that America never signs any binding treaty with anybody, because it would infringe our sovereignty more than Paris. Then what of all the wonderful bilateral trade deals he's going to negotiate, any minute now?

      Seriously, you need to look at this guy as he is, not as you would wish him to be.

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      Jack Lee 8 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      You seem to deliberately trying to miss interpret my points. It is frustrating for me to try and discuss this with some common understanding. My point about the CFC is an example of how government use their power to create havoc among the citizens. That is what you and your EPA officials want to do with our country. It is not a harmeless exercise. When the EPA rule CO2 as a pollutant, we all loose.

      Trump and his administration is trying to bring some sanity back to this. Do you think Trump is stupid enough to destroy our world where he and his family have so so much to loose?

      Or he understand like me that climate change is a long term proposition and there are many ways to mitigate its effect without destroying our economy.

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      Doc Snow 8 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Jack, if you are trying to make some kind of point with your timeline, you'd better come right out and say it. Not much there I didn't already know.

      "Doc, you are missing the big picture. If we had storms the size of Glaveston in 1901, it should tell you that these storms are part of the natural cycle of planet earth..."

      Yes, that is what I said. And the odds of extreme storms go up under warming.

      "If you insist that we have a hand in our climate, you are welcome to believe it. My problem is when you try to influence public policy thst will hurt our stamdards of living."

      And if I'm right? Then what is your culpability for endangering millions of lives, and potentially even the survival of our technological civilization? And remember, it's not really *me* who would be right: it would be many thousands of the best researchers we've got.

      As to the CFL versus LED light question, this is not at all analogous to the problem of kicking our fossil fuel addiction. You yourself claimed it's 'impossible' to kick fossil fuels just a couple of comments down, so the implied claim here, that somehow "all will be well" without any thought or effort, is pretty damn incongruous.

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      Jack Lee 8 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, Checkout this historic timeline- you may learn something...

      https://alternativeenergy.procon.org/view.timeline...

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      Jack Lee 8 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, you are missing the big picture. If we had storms the size of Glaveston in 1901, it should tell you that these storms are part of the natural cycle of planet earth. Every so often, a category 5 storm will happen. Nothing to do with global warming...

      For climate change scientist and activists to use these periodic storms to scare the general public is unsavory.

      If you insist that we have a hand in our climate, you are welcome to believe it. My problem is when you try to influence public policy thst will hurt our stamdards of living.

      One quick example. My brother in law lives in Seattle. He tells me his local city council past a law that all their electric bulbs must be replace with CFC... that was a few years ago. There condo associations spent the money to upgrade and no one like the blue tinted light bulbs. Guess what, now we have LED bulbs that are much better and come with all color temperatures. If they had just waited a few years, the technology will take care of this. No environmental mandates needed.

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      Doc Snow 8 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      No, Jack, I am not "living in a dream world." I am keeping up with the news:

      https://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2017/nrel-updates-...

      No, Jack, my fear of global warming is not irrational. We are on track for something on the order of 4 C warming. That is not livable.

      No, Jack, the world was not warmer 'a few hundred years ago.'

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013...

      And no, Greenland was never "lush". It was warmer during the Medieval Optimum, but it never rose to the standard of "lush"--there was never much forest, mostly turf and shrubs, and that only around the fringes--much as today. Well, that's true, if by "one time" you mean "one time during the Holocene." It is true that if you go back to Eocene times the whole Arctic was much warmer. Famously, they found a crocodile fossil on Ellesmere Island, across the strait from Greenland, dating from that period. But CO2 was much higher back then:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eocene

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      Doc Snow 8 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      "What is happening now is not unprecedented. Look up the Galveston storm in 1901, it destroyed the whole city."

      I don't need to look it up, I recall the story. We are unlikely to see a repeat of the Galveston tragedy in the US soon, because the weather services--despite the underfunding proposed by the current Administration--will have the organizational and technical tools needed to predict and publicize such storms. So we won't be taken by surprise, just as--thank goodness!--we weren't by Harvey, even with its remarkably rapid spin-up.

      Again, it's not that anything is happening that could never have happened in the past. It's that by altering the composition of our atmosphere, we load the dice in a way unfavorable to our own interests.

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      Jack Lee 8 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, you are living in a dream world. Renewable energy is not competitive with fossil fuel. The only reason it exists is due to government subsidies. Take away all the subsidies and see how many renewable energy survives.

      You fear of the global warming is irrational. Go back a few hundred years and the earth was warmer by comparison to now. Why do you think it was called Greenland? At one time it was full of lush vegetation...

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      Doc Snow 8 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      "We can stop all use of fossil fuel today and it would make a small dent in our climate."

      We can't stop it today, of course--the Titanic cannot turn on a dime. That is why it is *imperative* to start making the needed turn ASAP. Paris would be a good start, and may still be despite the American abrogation of it.

      If we could, however, it would make a big dent in our climate problem. We'd see CO2 levels stabilize and start ot fall within a couple of years. Temperatures would continue to rise for maybe a couple of decades, but after that they would probably stabilize. We'd have a very good chance of staying under 2C total warming. As it is, we're currently on track for more like 4-6 C. That's a hugely significant difference.

      And that is why I am passionate about delay.

      "...In the process, we would be taking us back to the stone age. A world without fossil fuel will mean a lower of standards of living for all of us. Do you deny that fact?"

      Yes, I do. Renewable energy is, or soon will be, cheaper than fossil fuel for purposes of electric generation. EVs will be cheaper than ICEs as soon as we can ramp up production enough to achieve sufficient volume to realize the economies of scale. (We're well along that track already, but there is some distance to go.)

      Liquid fuels may well persist for some applications; they do have high energy density going for them. High-performance and long-haul aviation may require them. But they needn't be fossil fuels.

      There will also be some use of nuclear energy. Perhaps some of the promises made wrt those technologies will finally come true--though it sure doesn't appear that any of that is going to happen in the US any time soon. Maybe China will be more successful in their nuclear ambitions; they've been able to get reactors built in more reasonable timeframes.

      At what cost, you ask? Well, considerably less than the cost of an unlivable climate, for starters. (And don't forget the collateral benefits of less pollution and better public health when doing the cost accounting.)

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      Jack Lee 8 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, I do feel bad for the residents of south coast Texas. It happens every so many years and hurricanes have actually been rare in the last 10 years. What is happening now is not unprecedented. Look up the Galveston storm in 1901, it destroyed the whole city. You say we are irrational animals but what would you have us do? We can stop all use of fossil fuel today and it would make a small dent in our climate. In the process, we would be taking us back to the stone age. A world without fossil fuel will mean a lower of standards of living for all of us. Do you deny that fact?

      Our technology has done a lot to help. Today, with satellite warnings, we can mitigate the effects of extreme weather much better.

      My prayers is with those caught in this storm. Hope they will be safe and dry.

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      Doc Snow 8 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Actually, there are a number of things that make this unlikely to be a 'natural cycle.'

      One is that there is no identifiable natural forcing that can account for it, so the forcing MUST be assumed, as you have done; there's no empirical support for its existence, despite lots of searching. (On the other hand, we have increasing greenhouse concentrations that are known to cause warming, from theoretical and lab work, and so from a scientific POV are a very good candidate to be causing warming in the real world.) I know that you are proposing a thought experiment here, but I think it is good to note the implications of the fundamental assumption--which would be that we would be trading a perfectly good physical explanation for none whatever.

      Two is that we see the greatest warming in poleward regions, especially the more vulnerable Arctic. That was seen in Svante Arrhenius's very first model of greenhouse warming in 1896, and has been a consistent feature of projections ever since. (There are other geographical 'fingerprints', too, but as I understand it, that is the clearest and most robust.)

      Three, the warming of the surface and troposphere has been accompanied by a persistent cooling of the stratosphere. Again, this has long been a predicted feature of greenhouse warming, and one that is particularly unlikely to occur in any other scenario.

      There's quite a bit more, but for that I'll refer you to this article, which is good, if now a little dated:

      https://www.skepticalscience.com/its-not-us-advanc...

      I hope the residents of southeast Texas are in your thoughts this morning. They certainly are in mine; and not least my brother- and sister-in-law in Houston, where they have already got 5 inches of rain as of this morning, and are expecting up to another 35 inches by Wednesday. Not having to deal with the meaningless "US major hurricane drought" meme anymore is not much consolation to me, and none whatever to them.

      If I sound bitter, well, I am. Harvey's rapid intensification to Cat 4 would almost certainly not have happened in the absence of global warming. (Same story as Sandy and Katrina.) People are dying for no good reason as we quibble.

      And lots more will die, going forward--in the US, but particularly in the developing world. The proximate causes will be heart failure, respiratory distress, drowning, burning, hunger, malnutrition, and military conflict or civil unrest. The underlying cause will be human greed and folly, in allowing the best information to be suppressed and denied in the service of corporate profit and petty ideological advantage.

      Jonathan Swift had it right we he said that humans are not really "rational animals", as we traditionally liked to describe ourselves, but rather "rationis capax"--'*capable* of reason.' Truly rational beings would be ruled by reason. We sure as hell aren't. I just hope it retains enough influence in our culture that we can begin to deal realistically with the consequences of our actions in modifying the planetary atmosphere before it is altogether too late.

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      Jack Lee 8 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, Let me come at this from another path.

      Assume for a moment that the earth is going through a natural warming cycle for the past 30 years.

      All the climate scientists goes about studying various aspects like drought and flooding and forests and oceans and eco systems...of all the various disciplines...

      Can you explain what difference their studies results would be in real data...?

      As opposed to the same warming caused by human activity?

      I hope you are grasping what I am asking.

      My contention is this...

      There is no difference in their data and results. Which lead to my first point of cause and effect.

      If the measured effects are the same, whether due to humans or natural causes, how can anyone determine the cause?

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      Doc Snow 8 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      I didn't say that anyone attributed this to human causation in any of these studies; we weren't talking about that topic. So I don't think that it is me that is failing to 'be clear minded'.

      But there *are* numerous attribution studies, and I've cited the AR results in that regard in the past. Do you really want to go around that mulberry bush another time?

      It's very frustrating, Jack. One minute you are saying, "all these projections are wrong." A few rounds of citing projections that seem to be pretty on target, and you say, "Well, OK, maybe they aren't all wrong, but it could be just a coincidence." That's called 'moving the goalposts.'

      It's logically possible that those projection 'hits' are mere coincidence, of course. But it's also logically possible that the projections--made on the basis of detailed study of the physics, and quite often on numerical simulations of them (as opposed to, say, mythology about dragons eating the sun)--were actually valid in the first place. And I'd say it's a hell of a lot more likely, to boot.

      By the way, you made me curious about what the record stats in my state say. Found a state climatology site listing the standing 24-hour precipitation records for each of the 46 South Carolina counties, and did a few very basic statistical computations. The oldest record is from 1893; the newest 7 records are from last year. The most interesting stat, I think, is that the median year in the record is 1988, meaning that half of all counties have 24-hour precip records set in the time since then. (6 date from 1990, and an otherwise pretty undistinguished hurricane, Marco.) Only 3 years prior to that account for more than one county record: 1916 (3, 2 due to another 'notable' hurricane), 1940 (2, both hurricane-related) and 1969 (2).

      Hurricane Matthew was the proximate cause of the 2016 records. Interesting, don't you think, that it was a mere Cat 1 storm when it made landfall near Myrtle Beach? (Though, to be fair, it had been Cat 5 at its peak, and was at Cat 4 when it savaged Haiti.)

      All in all--and no, it's not a proper scientific analysis, just a quick 'sanity check'--it sure looks like increasing extreme precipitation here in the Palmetto State--just as general predictions would have it.

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      Jack Lee 8 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, what you cited are all true but they don't proof humans are the cause. Do they? You are not being a scientist and clear minded here. I can find correlations of many things but they don't proof causation. One event leading to another. That is the problem with the whole climate change debate. I can go back 100 years and bring up facts similar to what you just cited. Does that proof we caused all that back 100 years ago? No. We just had a total eclipse of the sun. In our past history, there were many bad events that occured during an eclipse. So superstition has use it to be a sign from God of omens...

      Does that mean they are fact or true? Of course not. We know now that they are mere coincidences.

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      Doc Snow 8 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Oh, one more: this study looked at precipitation records worldwide and found that yes, more records are being set than one would expect in a 'stationary' time-series (ie., one without a forced trend.)

      "The number of record-breaking rainfall events peaked in 2010 {the last year studied--Doc} with an estimated 26 % chance that a new rainfall record is due to long-term climate change."

      https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-0...

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      Doc Snow 8 weeks ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Interesting data. However, it's not much of a way to "see" shifts in rainfall patterns because it's such a tiny slice of data--you are only looking at a tiny, tiny percentage of outliers.

      Here are some more studies:

      http://glisa.umich.edu/climate/extreme-precipitati...

      Short version: More extreme precipitation has been observed across the US since 1958, with the greatest increase (71%) in the Northeast and the smallest (5%) in the Southwest.

      https://www.ethz.ch/content/dam/ethz/special-inter...

      Short version: Switzerland is seeing more extreme precipitation.

      https://www.ethz.ch/content/dam/ethz/special-inter...

      Short version: Indonesia is seeing more extreme precipitation in the east, but less in the west.

      http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v7/n2/full/...

      Short version (if I've got this one right!): Australia is seeing more extreme precipitation, and it agrees with model projections if you take into account the fact that precipitation can also *lower* measured temperature.

      https://www.hindawi.com/journals/amete/2016/245680...

      More extreme precipitation in Iran over the last half-century.

      http://pc70.gvc.gu.se/dc/PUBs/Fan&Chen2016.pdf

      A lot of nuance in this one; the best 'short version' is probably from the conclusion: "Our findings reveal that changes in upper extremes of the distributions of the extreme precipitation indices, which very often cause serious weather and climate risks, have occurred in a broader area of China and at a much higher rate than previously believed."

      https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00704-0...

      Short version: extreme precipitation events are observed over most of peninsular Malaysia, except in one 'rain shadow' area.

      https://www.scopus.com/record/display.uri?eid=2-s2...

      Short version: More extreme precipitation in Georgia (nation, not US state) between 1971 and 2010.

      https://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci-discuss.net/10/6...

      Short version: differential examinations at varying time-scales in 3 Northern Italian stations showed extreme precipitation increasing in some, but not all categories; one category at one station showed a decreasing trend.

      That's from the first 2 pages of the search results, and (full disclosure!) it's not comprehensive: I omitted a couple of studies *not* finding significant results: not everyplace has the data needed to reach statistical significance, and precipitation trends can exhibit a lot of local variation. Not every location necessarily will follow the predominant global trend. But there is a lot of evidence that, overall, extreme precipitation is increasing in most places.

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      Jack Lee 8 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, the latest rainfall from storms are impressive but they are not too far from historic records as shown here -

      http://www.nws.noaa.gov/oh/hdsc/record_precip/reco...

      I don't see a shift in rallfall patterns...due to climate change.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 2 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Another thing we shouldn't be forgetting is the increase in extreme precipitation events--it was projected. And it is observed. For one instance:

      http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v6/n5/abs/n...

      "...extreme daily precipitation averaged over both dry and wet regimes shows robust increases in both observations and climate models over the past six decades."

      And more than that, it is affecting us all. I've already mentioned South Carolina in connection with Hurricane Matthew, which did a lot of damage here. But it was in 2015 that we had our extreme precipitation event. Another few billion, another handful dead...

      But Louisiana had it worse in 2016. It was reported, and it was in the list of top 10 disasters of the year I showed you. Are you paying attention?

      http://grist.org/article/one-year-after-the-great-...

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      Doc Snow 2 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Sorry, I'm not able to quickly understand the article on NP-complete problems. Not enough relevant background to really get it, though I think it get a very basic, general idea.

      However, a couple of thoughts on your other points. I'm not sure to what extent it's helpful to compare the casino model with the computer modeling of climate. Obviously there will be some similarities, but the latter is a fantastically more complicated task, both in terms of the intricacies of the systems and subsystems involved, and because of the scale involved. Both are deterministic to a degree at least, but the climate case involves what researchers term "natural variability"--a term of art for all we don't understand yet, I suppose.

      What it means is that it's easier to be confident about big questions than little ones. We can be pretty darn confident that if we keep raising the CO2 levels, the planet will keep on warming. But then there's a whole hierarchy of levels, the further down which you go, the less you can be certain of. For instance, I'm very confident that we won't see an individual year cooler than 1995 under any regime that qualifies as 'normal'--that is, I'm assuming BAU, and no huge volcanic event or nuclear exchanges to articificially lower temps. (Also, no geoengineering, say by sulfur aerosol injection into the stratosphere.) But I wouldn't want to guess whether 2018 will be warmer or cooler than 2017.

      Same thing geographically: we know the planet will warm over time, given BAU, or something like it. And we know the polar regions will tend to warm faster than other places (though with an asterisk for the high, icy places of Antarctica, for the shorter term.) But it's much harder to know with any confidence, say, how much South Carolina will warm before 2040. Oh, we can calculate projections, no doubt. But over a relatively short span like that, and a relatively small area, natural variability is going to be high--the projections are affected by a 'higher degree of randomness'.

      Moving on, I'd like to address some other statements more specifically.

      "The CO2 level crossed over 400ppm a few years ago and keep rising as we speak.

      The models made their predictions...so far so good...

      Yet, the results as measured by what we see and recorded does not come close to what was projected."

      By what metrics? Remember, the projections I examined--ones you nominated, and I then selected based on whether they could reasonably be assessed--didn't look all that bad. Almost all of them at least pointed in the right direction. And the most central one, the one that has the most numerical rigor, is the comparison of the surface temperature record with the model projections. And as I've already shown, that projection is right down the middle. That result *does* in fact show pretty exactly what was predicted.

      "There are two possibilities and only two possibilities.

      "Either the model were wrong in their assumptions about the various drivers and influences on climate... or the science is incomplete."

      No, there is the possibility that you are not looking honestly at the evidence. I don't mean that in an accusatory way. But I've shown repeatedly that the temperature record is in good agreement with the projections. I've explained that hurricane trends were never expected to be easy to discern, and that limiting your criteria to "storms landfalling in the USA as major hurricanes" so limited the dataset as to greatly multiply the difficulties of doing so. I've explained that while observed Arctic sea ice trends may not be quite as bad as the most extreme projections, they are still way worse than models showed for quite a while (and in fact current modeling, for the most part, still hasn't *quite* caught up with the reality. Which brings us to this comment:

      "The bottom line... every climate model have erred on the highside. This bias is inescapable. If it turned out, they were wrong, and the actual effect of humans on climate is small, what then?"

      No, every climate model has *not* 'erred on the high side.' That's a demonstrable fact--and I've demonstrated it more than once in this conversation to date. So why and how is it that you just as repeatedly proceed on the assumption that the models *are* all biased high? It just isn't so.

      Here's yet another examination of the question, from January of this year:

      https://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/comparing-cmip5...

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      Jack Lee 2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, So even if that is true and climate change by human activities started in the 1900s, how do you explain the extreme climate in the past 200 years? Farmer's Almanac has documented them quite extensively...

      My original question is still valid?

      Either the models are inaccurate or the science is bad?

      In computer sciences, there is a class of problems that are classified as NP complete.

      here is link to explanation - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NP-completeness

      Just perhaps, climate change is such a problem???

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      Jack Lee 2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, that is actually a great analogy. Let's take the casino gambling as an example. We all know in slots that it is designed by the casino gaming to produce a certain percent payouts. That is, for every 100 dollars bet, a payout of 95% is programmed into it. Statistically speaking, it is averaged over a long period and with some large jackpots to attract players. The chances of winning big are very small but possible never the less. Assuming there are no other influences like cheats..., over time, the casino will always make a 5 percent profit. That is why they make money as a business. It is a guarenteed outcome base on the odds. This is true of all games, slots, roulette and blackjack...

      If I design and build a computer simulation, by the way, that was part of job in the 1980s, I can run a program that will give the breakdown of how often and how much a player can win... the distribution curve.

      Likewise, given what we know about climate and its various drivers, we should be able to do the same. Don't you agree?

      Therefore, we should be able to run a simulation and say, if the CO2 level increase to 400ppm, this is exactly what we can expect to happen...right? Are you following this?

      Now lets see what actually happened. The CO2 level crossed over 400ppm a few years ago and keep rising as we speak.

      The models made their predictions...so far so good...

      Yet, the results as measured by what we see and recorded does not come close to what was projected.

      There are two possibilities and only two possibilities.

      Either the model were wrong in their assumptions about the various drivers and influences on climate... or the science is incomplete.

      The bottom line... every climate model have erred on the highside. This bias is inescapable. If it turned out, they were wrong, and the actual effect of humans on climate is small, what then?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 2 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Oh, I should respond to this point, too:

      "...climate change did not start until the 1980-1990s...due to human activity... right?"

      No, that's not right, either. First, according to statistician Grant Foster, the most likely date for the statistically detectible change in trend is around 1970. You're perhaps thinking of the IPPC reports; the FAR in (IIRC) 1992 did not claim to have detected the "anthropogenic signal"; SAR was a bit equivocal, and TAR more confident. But that's just detection; it stands to reason that the process is already underway before it can be detected. (Think of other gradual processes--say, a pot of water heating on a stove, or a ship taking on water. Initially, changes won't be noticeable, but that doesn't mean the process hasn't started.)

      In terms of the question of when human activity started to affect climate, most researchers would tell you that it started at least by the early 19th century, with the rise of fossil fuel burning. Some (Bill Ruddiman, notably) believe that land-use changes of various sorts (examples: desertification, or the rise of rice-paddy agriculture) had an effect much earlier, and have presented evidence to that effect. That is not, however, regarded as 'settled science', though the idea is taken seriously.

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      Doc Snow 2 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Jack, I didn't do anything meriting the term "analysis". You asked, where was the extreme weather; I pointed at some. That's it. You want analysis, you got to pay extra. (Kidding!)

      Yes, kidding, I guess, since I'm about to make a somewhat analytic comment, even if it's only one sentence. It's in response to your point that:

      "Either they are part of the natural cycle or they are exclusively created by human activity...???"

      No, that is wrong; extreme weather has always occurred and will always occur as far as we can tell, BUT the odds of occurrence can be (and are) affected by human activity--hence the apt metaphor of "loading the climate dice."

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      Jack Lee 2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, what is missing from your analysis is the comparison to past evnts going back 100 years? For every one of your examples, I can point to 5 others that were just as bad or worst in the past 100 years...climate change did not start until the 1980-1990s...due to human activity... right?

      How do you expalin these past devestations of floods, and hurricanes and droughts...

      Either they are part of the natural cycle or they are exclusively created by human activity...???

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      Doc Snow 2 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      In 2016 there were 10 weather and climate-related disasters in the US alone, costing (according to my quick mental arithmetic) nearly $50 billion. That number has been reached only once before (in 2011). The table for 2016 is here:

      https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/events/US/2016

      "These events included 2 flooding events, 1 freeze event, and 6 severe storm events. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 57 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted."

      Don't know why you are so fixed upon hurricanes, given how many times I've explained that we are not likely to be able to distinguish a trend over the very high natural variability, but FWIW, there were a couple of really severe ones in 2016:

      https://weather.com/news/news/5-deadliest-natural-...

      Hurricane Matthew was ranked #1:

      "Hurricane Matthew proved to be the most talked-about natural disaster of 2016 and it will be years before the wounds caused by the powerful storm are healed.

      "The Caribbean suffered the most in terms of the loss of life, particularly in Haiti. Some reports listed death totals anywhere from 500 to more than 1,000 for the tiny island nation. The nation's poor infrastructure has been blamed for deaths in many of the country's highly publicized natural disasters over the years and Hurricane Matthew proved no exception in finding Haiti's weaknesses.

      "Lam said Matthew was a very powerful Category 4 hurricane with estimated maximum sustained winds of 145 mph when it made landfall in Haiti early on Oct. 4."

      I can also tell you that there are quite a few folks here in South Carolina still out of their homes because of Matthew, and there aren't enough funds to pay for all the repairs needed. So it will be a long time before the scars of Matthew have healed here.

      You say, "You wonder why some are skeptics when it comes to climate change...."

      Yes. Yes, I do. The capacity not to notice pretty obvious things puzzles the heck out of me.

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      Jack Lee 2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Can you explain this? 2016 is record warming according to NOAA. Yet, where are the extreme storms and hurricanes?

      They predicted above normal activities?... what happened? You wonder why some are skeptics when it comes to climate change....

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 2 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      ...and in other news from China:

      https://cleantechnica.com/2017/08/08/china-governm...

      "Analysts further expect that China will surpass 2016’s record-breaking installation figure of 34.2 GW, due in part to national policies driving speedy completion of projects. Further, Mercom Capital Group explains that “demand in China going into second half is a lot stronger due to the 5.5 GW Top Runner Program, which carries a deadline of September 30, 2017, and the Poverty Alleviation program (all year).”

      "Looking beyond 2017, the NEA last month provided guidance through to 2020 for its solar installation expectations, expecting cumulative installations to reach between 190 GW and 200 GW at the end of the country’s 13th Five Year Plan. Analysts suggest that total cumulative installed solar might actually go higher than that, considering that the new guidance doesn’t include distributed solar PV totals and poverty alleviation project targets, which means it could go as high as 230 GW by 2020."

      Not bad for a "total failure."

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      Doc Snow 2 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Hi, Jack. Apparently a couple of earlier comments I wrote didn't come through; they were dealing with the renewable energy and hurricane comments you posted. Without repeating myself, the first I think is just sloppy, and particularly the completely unsubstantiated claim that solar is a "total failure." (Why would a 'failure' attract hundreds of billions of dollars in new investment annually, and add 50 GW of capacity yearly?)

      On hurricanes, I'll say what I've said before: the metric of "major hurricanes landfalling in the US" has very little to tell us, at best. Better to look at ACE totals in various basins, and even then decadal variability is high, so trends are (expectedly) hard to spot.

      Your new comment, about the Chinese research, is possibly being overinterpreted a bit. When they say, as they do, that they saw periods in the past nearly as warm as the present, suggesting that the regional Chinese warming is not 'unprecedented', that's fine. As far as I know (I haven't looked at the numbers lately), regional warming in the Southeastern US, where I live, isn't either. (As it happens, the 1890s were extremely warm down here for some reason.) You'll find regions where that is true.

      But you'll also find regions where the warming is much beyond precedent--like the Arctic.

      The global trend is unprecedented:

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/3...

      There's another thing to note about the Chinese research, too: their comment relates to their reconstruction, which stops at the end of the 20th century. We've had another 17 years of warming since then. And, just to confirm that it is indeed a 'warming' period, here's one index, plotted since that time, together with the linear trend, which is ~0.16/decade. So you can add another 0.2C or so onto the end of the graph given in the paper.

      http://woodfortrees.org/data/wti/from:2000/trend/p...

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      Jack Lee 2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Here is latest study by Chinese climate scientists...

      -

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/09/warm-period...

      There were 4 warming periods in past human history...

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      Jack Lee 2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      It's been 4300 days since last major hurricane to hit US mainland...

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2017/07/4300-days-sinc...

      Where are the extreme weather? Brought on by climate change?

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      Jack Lee 4 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, did you read this report on renewable energy from the IEA?

      It does not bold well...

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/06/14/iea-report-...

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      Doc Snow 5 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Can't say, Jack. I know that it has been pretty common practice to redevelop wind farm sites, sometimes even before the original turbines reach the end of their design life. (That can make economic sense because newer, more efficient (and generally larger) gear has much high capacity factors.) One of the reasons that that happens a lot is that historically, the best wind resources have been developed first.

      Whether any of that applies to your site, I can't say. It's even possible that the site is now deemed less suitable for some other reason (say, it turns out to be a heavy bird migration area, or something.)

      Or maybe there's a deal being made even as we consider the question.

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      Jack Lee 5 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Another data on wind power. I was driving across Palm Springs recently and saw 90% of the wind turbines stopped. Not doing much...I decided to do a little research on this particular site and it turned out, 3/4 of the turbines are obsolete or out of commission. They are just too old. They were designed to last 30 years and they are reaching their end of life. No plans to replace them or repair? How come?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 5 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      This story seems like more of the same to me. The manufacturing side of the business is extremely competitive, and especially tough for players outside of China. On the other hand, the cost of solar energy continues to plummet, and that means that deployment will continue to increase.

      There's money to be made, if you are good at picking the right horse. (So far, I'm not, sadly! I own not one share of First Solar, though I did seriously consider them a couple of years back.)

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      Jack Lee 5 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, what do you think about the future of solar market?

      Here is a story that is a warning for investors.

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/05/06/impending-u...

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      Doc Snow 5 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Another 'missed forecast?'

      No. Another allegation of such by an extremely unobjective source. I can't go after every single element in that Gish gallop--especially since the one I did try to dig down into was so spam-laden that it crashed the web browser. However, Pielke's work, which underlies several of the points claimed, needs to be read in conjunction with other researchers, who in many cases have reached quite different conclusions. And the thing about tornadoes--as I have explained several times already--is totally bogus, as there is not now, and never has been, any claim that tornadoes are linked to climate change (though it is true that researchers continue to examine the possibility.) If he debunks a claim that doesn't even exist, how trustworthy do you think Morano is, anyway?

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      Jack Lee 5 months ago from Yorktown NY

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      Jack Lee 5 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, what do you think of this new development -

      http://gizmodo.com/why-the-scariest-response-to-cl...

      I am not a fan of geoengineering. Unintended consequences...

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      Doc Snow 6 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      So, your point is that the EPA, like numerous organizations past, present and future, has at least one employee who appears to have 'featherbedded'?

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      Jack Lee 6 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, I know we differ in opinion on the EPA...Here is a story that makes my point.

      http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/04/13...

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      Doc Snow 6 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Thanks for the brief notes on Dr. Severinghausen's presentation. Glad you found it interesting.

      Overall, it sounds like it's pretty much in the scientific mainstream.

      There are points which differ a bit, or which seem a bit surprising, but I'm running out of tiome to comment just now. More later?

      --

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      Jack Lee 6 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, I updated my latest hub with the summary of a talk I attended last week. You may like the results -

      https://hubpages.com/literature/What-If-It-Takes-1...

      I am open minded to research that makes sense...

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      Jack Lee 6 months ago from Yorktown NY

      doc, in that case, I have some good news for you. I went to a talk last week and got some good information. I took notes and will share the results with you. I am deciding whether to create a new hub or just append to this one. will keep you posted...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 6 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Jack, there is a national standard for a reason--and that standard, and the EPA's enforcement of it, has been a major reason for the improvement of US air quality over the last 40 years. You had started out by saying that you thought that there should be lots of money left for enforcement of clean air and clean water standards by the EPA, if only they dropped the supposedly unnecessary climate change mission.

      Now you are saying that the EPA shouldn't be doing what has been a core mission for 40+ years.

      "Doc, it is clear to me for a while that you are not open to anything I bring forth."

      No. I'm 'open' to what you say. Sometimes I have even agreed to various points you have made. However, I do not simply roll over and accept every assertion that is made by you (or by anyone.) That is what a true skeptic does.

      "My only warning to you is that - be prepared to be disappointed. Your dire consequences may never appear..."

      Believe me, that would be a relief, not a disappointment. However, I have provided voluminous amounts of evidence to try to show why that is an exceedingly unlikely outcome, and why it is accordingly rather foolish to count on that when humanity's health, wealth and prosperity is on the line--and not just for a few years, but essentially forever (from a normal human perspective, as opposed to geological time-spans.)

      Again, that's what true skeptics do.

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      Jack Lee 6 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, it is clear to me for a while that you are not open to anything I bring forth. You mind has been made up and no amount of contrary evidence will suffice. It is fine. My only warning to you is that - be prepared to be disappointed. Your dire consequences may never appear and that is good news for the rest of us. It is between you and the climate scientists...

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      Jack Lee 6 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, I am serious and objective. In NY and other states, we have something called auto inspection every year. They test every registered car with emission standards, in addition to safety such as tire treat and brakes. Why do we need the EPA to do more tests? Isn't this duplication of effort? That was my complaint about the EPA in the first place. Look who is being non objective.

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      Doc Snow 6 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      I can't believe you are serious! The EPA tests auto emissions because auto emissions are a major source of air pollution, and because the EPA is tasked with limiting said air pollution. Clean Air Act, and all that?

      Don't mean to be uncivil, but honestly, are you even *trying* to think objectively about this?

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      Jack Lee 6 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      That is a good start. Why is the EPA conducting these tests anyway?

      Is this the job of the NTSB and Consumer Reports?

      There are plenty of agencies that oversea safety in auto. Another over reach by an out of whack agency.

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      Doc Snow 6 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Another facet of the proposed EPA cuts:

      http://jalopnik.com/trump-administration-to-evisce...

      'It's not as if anything bad has happened lately.'

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      Jack Lee 6 months ago from Yorktown NY

      doc, checkout my new hub after attending a talk last week at the Lamont Center -

      https://hubpages.com/literature/What-If-It-Takes-1...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 7 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      I must admit, Jack, that your question about the funding of different types of science has stuck in my head--in part because I'm reading Thomas Friedman's "The World Is Flat," an intriguing 2005 book about globalization, in which he notes how the US was then being outhustled on maintaining its capacity in STEM research. (That's a fact that apparently hasn't changed over the last 10 years, by the way.)

      The NSF site isn't much help in providing a clear answer to the question as you posed it. It does list every single active award, so you can find out who got what, and it quickly becomes clear that there are LOTS of non-AGW-related awards. But it's hard to see the big picture because the total number of awards is around 50,000. You can't troll through that one by one!

      However, I found this story from last year, which details how the GOP committee dealing with such things proposed to stealthily cut research that they didn't approve of, which includes the directorate of geosciences:

      http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/05/house-spend...

      "Representative John Culberson (R–TX)... told ScienceInsider, “I want to make the hard sciences a priority—the math and physics and pure science. The fundamental mission of NSF should be those core sciences.” To guide NSF, he said that four directorates—biology, engineering, computer science, and math and physical sciences—should receive 70% of the funding in NSF’s $6 billion research account. (They now receive about 65%.) The rest of the money would be divvied up among the two directorates—social, behavioral, and economic sciences (SBE) and geosciences—and other research-related activities in the account."

      You'll note that that means that anything related to AGW in the NSF budget now should come in well under 30%, and probably less than 10-15% of the total--especially when you take this next paragraph into account:

      "But Culberson wasn’t telling the whole story. The bill’s report language, made public on Wednesday, reveals that Culberson has sheltered those other activities, which include an instrumentation program, graduate research fellowships, and a long-running initiative to help states that receive small amounts of NSF funding, by freezing their budgets at 2015 levels. That stipulation, combined with the application of the 70% rule, leaves SBE and geo with only $1.32 billion between them in 2016. That’s a $255 million drop from their current combined total of $1.57 billion, a reduction of 16.2%. "

      The committee relented, however, perhaps deciding that they really shouldn't be micromanaging:

      http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/03/top-republi...

      But that, of course, was pre-Trump.

      http://www.nature.com/news/us-science-agencies-fac...

      "In a surprising omission, the NSF is not mentioned anywhere in the Trump budget document. Although the $7.5-billion agency has traditionally attracted bipartisan support in Congress, Republican lawmakers have sought in recent years to limit the NSF’s geoscience and social-science divisions.

      "The Trump plan adds more uncertainty for the agency, which is already struggling to cope with the federal hiring freeze that the president instituted in January. The NSF is scheduled to move its headquarters later this year, and an internal survey suggests that 17% of its 2,000 staff plan to leave within the next two years because of this. The hiring freeze would prevent the agency from replacing many of these employees if they do leave.

      "“I know two individuals who have put off retirement to help out during the hiring freeze,” says a programme director, who asked for anonymity to prevent retaliation. “We don’t know if they’ll stay past the move, or if some of the people who plan on retiring will put it off.” Overall, the programme director says, “morale is low”."

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      Doc Snow 7 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      "I cannot make the absolute connection that these events are due to CO2 concentration passing the 400 ppm mark."

      I assume you really mean "due to elevated CO2," since the 400 is just a benchmark. But why do you assume that the "connection" has to be "absolute"? I wouldn't claim that it is quite that--just that there is very little room for reasonable doubt, based on the well-known physics of the greenhouse mechanism, and the consilience between observations and projections.

      "We have experienced high levels in the distant past." Yes, but many other variables, including your favorite, solar output, were different. Nothing we know about that deep past suggests that the present analysis is wrong.

      "It may not be man made or it may be part of a long natural cycle. We just don't know enough at this point."

      There is no reasonable doubt that the warming is "man made." To believe it isn't would require too much physics to be wrong--and that's physics that is operationally verified every day in banal weather forecasting. As to "natural cycles," Occam's Razor would say that in the absence of evidence of any such cycles that would explain observed warming, we ought not to posit them when we have a perfectly good mechanism that *does* explain it. (Not to say that there aren't natural fluctuations--the word 'cycle' may be misleading--that exist; they just don't explain what we see happening.)

      "I do think the Sun plays a bigger role in the whole affair, just as it is indicated by some other planets in our solar system. The same system driving the small rising temperature on earth is happening in Mars and other planets."

      It's pretty rich that folks who think we can't precisely measure temperatures on Earth then argue that similar warming on other planets 'must' imply a solar cause. If you look into it, you will find that some planets are thought to be warming (based on very sparse data compared to Earth) and some are thought to be cooling--and that the reasons for those changes are quite varied.

      https://skepticalscience.com/global-warming-other-...

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      Jack Lee 7 months ago from Yorktown NY

      I will admit that there is some indicators that warming is happening on a global scale. I will also admit that our weather patterns have shifted creating droughts and floods in areas that traditionally have not seen them. That is where I stop. I cannot make the absolute connection that these events are due to CO2 concentration passing the 400 ppm mark. We have experienced high levels in the distant past. It may not be man made or it may be part of a long natural cycle. We just don't know enough at this point. I do think the Sun plays a bigger role in the whole affair, just as it is indicated by some other planets in our solar system. The same system driving the small rising temperature on earth is happening in Mars and other planets.

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      Doc Snow 7 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      The answer based on what research, precisely? I'm afraid I don't believe the bare assertion, so if you wish to convince me you must show that you've done the work.

      I'm not "blinded by the thory of AGW" (sic), nor do I claim that it is absolutely complete. But I've shown you, over and over, that the science has indeed looked at the "other factors" involved. I've named them, and shown that the IPCC has looked at them. You haven't rebutted anything I said.

      In the meantime, the Arctic sea ice is at a record low for this time of year (again--and, at least for now, so is the Antarctic sea ice), last month was near-record warm even though the El Nino is long gone, we've had three years of record global warmth, and there have been numerous instances of extreme weather, some of which have quantitatively been shown to be serious outliers in the historical data.

      When will you admit that your denial is flying in the face of fact?

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      Jack Lee 7 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, the answer is very few. That is the problem... wake up and smell the roses. You and climate scientists have been blinded by the thory of AGW that you fail to see other factors that may be more relevant in the long run. I can lead you to water but I can't make you drink. The thing you need to ask yourself is at what point will you admit to the fact that the theory is incomplete and there may just be a better way to deal with it rather than reducing fossil fuel.

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      Doc Snow 7 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      How about you do your own research on that, Jack? I'm not sure you're paying much attention to what I say, anyway. Here's a start, though:

      https://www.nsf.gov/

      I would note that "geosciences" is only one of 10 research areas, however. Also, of the current front page, none of 6 featured research stories have anything obvious to do with climate change.

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      Jack Lee 7 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, so how many papers or studies funded by the NSF in the last 20 years have topics that is unrelated to climate change? Or by skeptics of AGW?

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      Doc Snow 7 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      "Perhaps if the NSF change their funding focus, we will see more studies about real causes of climate change and not man made causes as the only driver..."

      Complete smear. Attribution of climate change has always included, and continues to include, full consideration of all causes. For example, just today a study on attribution of the decline in Arctic sea ice came out, concluding that natural variability may explain as much as half the observed decline. (If that turns out to be correct, it would explain why climate models have underpredicted the observed decline.)

      And on Karl et al., the raw data *was already published*; they used existing data, merely trying to homogenize and integrate it more accurately. I don't know where you get the idea that there is some new data that needs to be released.

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      Jack Lee 7 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Perhaps you miss my drift... a climate study agency closing shop... in the era of a Trump presidency, the EPA budget cut back to size, the NOAA group put to the test on revealing their raw data...all good indication that the tide may be turning against the politicized and environmental extremists.

      Perhaps if the NSF change their funding focus, we will see more studies about real causes of climate change and not man made causes as the only driver...

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      Doc Snow 7 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      "Good indicators..."

      I'm a bit bemused. First, this is exactly one example of climate advocacy group. Second, I don't see anything that suggests it is 'extreme." (It sounds a bit boring, if anything--Australian readers, please chime in!) Third, the story quotes the group thusly:

      "When established in 2005 for an intended five-year life, TCI was the only non-government organisation focussed solely on climate change. TCI has now been joined by many other organisations with a significant focus on climate change."

      Which doesn't exactly chime with the perception you gave. But hey, different strokes...

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      Jack Lee 7 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Good indicator meaning some of the extreme groups are closing shop. Let the real scientist do their work without the hype and the fear mongering...

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      Doc Snow 7 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      'Good indicators'--of what, exactly?

      As to the allegation that there is a 20-year cycle to California drought, I challenge you to look at state drought/precipitation data and ID that cycle. You won't find any such pattern. What you will see is a century-long declining trend in precipitation. I'm not saying that that is necessarily anthropogenic--it may well be natural.

      However, basic physics says that the warming trend--which IS anthropogenic--exacerbates the drought by increasing evaporation. Another factor that worsens drought there is the decline of snowpack, another long-term anthropogenic trend. Yes, snowpack this year is good, but that doesn't mean the trend has changed.

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      Jack Lee 7 months ago from Yorktown NY

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      Jack Lee 9 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, did you see this in the news ?

      http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-rain-reco...

      I predicted this last year. Drought in the west coast is a recurring phenomenon every 20 years or so...

      It had little to do with climate change AGW.

      Another failed projection...

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      Doc Snow 9 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Hi, Jack. Here's the latest on the CLOUD experiments at CERN (your link is from 2011, as you are probably aware.)

      http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6316/111...

      So, aerosol parameterizations in climate models get improved, but the idea that cosmic ray fluxes strongly affect climate gets disproven (at least for current conditions.)

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      Jack Lee 9 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, I wrote a new hub today and you might find it interesting -

      https://hubpages.com/politics/Explaining-Where-We-...