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Climate Change Predictions - How Accurate Are They?

Updated on October 5, 2018
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.


Update April 21, 2018; A talk by Peter Kelemen - Columbia University

The title of the talk is too long but I will just summarize it. He is a geologist who is the expert on mantle rock formation. His talk which is a summary of works done by over 30 scientists in this field. His idea is to use the natural process that exist today in areas of the world where the tectonic plate shifts is taking place, and accelerate this process of extracting CO2 from the atmosphere. He estimate the venture will cost 40 billion dollars per year to mitigate and remove a significant amount of the manmade CO2 emissions. Sound like a viable solution if it can proven to work.

This is exciting since it is a different approach to fighting climate change. I am wondering how many billionaires will sign up and donate some of their fortunes to save the planet. How about it, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos and Al Gore?

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

A New Question About Models? 2/2/2018

I attended a talk today on the intricacies of volcanic crystals. The speaker‘s research was on the makeup of magna in the depth of volcanos...and how to deternine their ages and their composition to help with future predictions of eruptions.

This gave me an inspiration and a philosophical question.

Why is it so hard for scientists to predict volcano erruptions and earthquakes in localized regions and yet they are so confident in their models to predict global climate years into the future?

Think about it. Does it seem reasonable or odd that this is the case?

Can someone explain this contradiction or dilemma?

Rising Oceans Projections...

Energy Production By Source in 2017

Postscript - October 2018

My latest realization on the climate debate. It may just be both sides are right. Let me explain my thought. First of all, we all agree that climate science is very complex. It is not a one answer fits all type of problem or solution. If I were to use math as an analogy. It is not as simple as 1 + 1 = 2. It is more like a differential equation with many variables and some are unknown.

Therefore, it is unfair to ask the simple question that what percent of the warming in recent years are due to human activity and what percent is natural causes?

The answer may be multi-faceted.

From all my interactions with scientists and layman, it is clear to me that there are at least two scenarios and both are in play in any given moment in time.

First, in ordinary periods, the natural variablility of our climate is small compared to the recent run up in fossil fuel use by humans. As the concentration of CO2 indicates, it has been rising steadily and has surpassed the 400ppm a few years ago and rising still. This is the scenario that most climate scientists adopt to be true and they also assume this to be the reality we face. Therefore, their estimate on climate change causation to be 95% human is understandable.

Second, in other extra ordinary periods, such as a weak sunspot cycle, or a major volcanic errption, or an asteroid striking from outer space, the effects of these natural occurances, though rare, can be major in its effect.

Therefore, combining both scenarios, the estimate on human contribution to climate change needs to be qualified and re-stated. It can be stated as a three part solution.

If condition A, Human contribution to climate change is 95% and natural causes 5%.

if Condition B, Human contribution is 50%, and natural causes 50%.

if Condition C, Human contribution is 5%, and natural cuases 95%.

Can you guess what condition C might be?


Finding Causation in the Noise

Climate change is hard to detect. The reason are many but one of the problem is climate is changing in nature. In fact, temperatures vary as much as 40 degrees F from day to night. Therefore, to detect a change of .5 degrees C over a decade is almost impossible. Another problem is looking at averages. In mathmatics and statistics, there is a thing called standard deviation. This indicator measures how much of a swing in data variation. For example, take a series of measurement over 10 years, 10, 11, 9, 10, 11, 9, 10, 11, 9, 10 and you will say the average is 10. However, another series of 10, 20, 0, 10, 20, 0, 10, 20, 0, 10 the average is also 10. The deviation in the first case is 10% while the deviation in the second case is 100%.

In climate change, we are looking for changes so small, it is hiding in the noise. In any given year, we have a large variation of temperatures around the globe. The science is trying to detect a small change over a long period of time. Climate cycles can be as long as 60 years and as short as 1 year. To extract a change due to one particular source is almost impossible. You would have to exclude all other natural elements that could come from a very long cycle and also may be random in nature such as a volcanic erruption.

So far, the change in warming of 0.5 degrees over the last 20 years is among the natural variability of the earth. I am not saying it is not human induced. I am just saying, it is not significant enough to say it is definitively outside of natural causes.

A new Observation - Oct. 4, 2018

Over the past year, I attended numerous talks given at the Lamont Dogherty Earth Observatory campus. I heard a talk by a vulcanologist on some details of volcanic activity. I head a talk by a seismologist on the science of tectonic plates and relations to earth quakes. Of couse, I heard numerious talks on the study of climate science.

In the first two cases, my question to the speakers at the end of their talk focused on why it is so hard to make predictions regarding volcanic erruptions or earth quakes and tsunamis. They had no answer. Apparently, these are real hard problems for scientists.

However, when it comes to climate science, which by all comparison are much more complex and much more global in its effects, they claim their various models are accurate in predicting our future climate.

As an engineer, I am perplexed. How is this possible? When we speak of a volcano, we are only talking about one mountain. When we speak about earth quakes, we are only talking about the ring of fire around our globe. There are two specific regions where volcanic activities are most active. Yet, these advanced models and sensors and all kinds of monitors cannot predict the next erruption or the next “big one.“

Climate science, covers our whole globe. It includes numerous natural cycles like the the sun, and moon and the major planets and the precession of the earth and earthquakes and volcanic activities and various climate related effects such as the jet stream and the North Atlantic oscillations and known la Nina and el Nino...

The 64 thousand dollars question is this. How can these climate scientists be so confident that their models are correct and that their projections for the next 30 years are true? Does anyone have an explanation?

© 2015 Jack Lee

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    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      6 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "The environmentalist claim we humans are the cause of these problems. The best in their mind is if we are all poor or just die, the plant will be so much better..."

      No, it's not a typical environmentalist view that humans should be poor, much less die. And if you read SR 1.5, you'll find that a major concern is harmonizing our need to, as you very rightly put it, be good stewards of the environment, with the need to alleviate poverty and provide opportunities for humans to thrive.

      I don't disagree with what you believe, even if I wouldn't necessarily ground those beliefs upon the same fundamental theology. (I'd also consider the precept to 'multiply' as having been amply fulfilled at this point. Time to check that box and move on, IMO!)

      "To think we humans can control the weather is rather hubris..."

      Again, no-one is claiming that we can control the weather. What we *can* do is to influence *climate*--not the same thing as weather. The evidence is that that is exactly what is happening today.

      Imagining you control what you don't is hubris. Failing to recognize what you *can* control is irresponsibility. We're called to walk a fine line. To do so, we need to use our gifts of wisdom and intelligence to recognize what is happening around us--and that certainly includes the warming of the planet under the influence of its increased GHG burden.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      6 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, that is the whole point of what we are saying. The environmentalist claim we humans are the cause of these problems. The best in their mind is if we are all poor or just die, the plant will be so much better...

      We totally disagree with that concept. Here is what I believe. We are put on this earth by God to be fruitful and multiply...

      We are provided with vast amount of resources and riches.

      It takes work to get at them and prosper. Just like it takes hard work to drill for oil or dig for coal.

      We are givien a mind to dream and come up with new inventions. Renewable energy including nuclear power comes under that same unbrella. We are also told to be good stewart of our planet. Thst includes protecting our environment and not polluting and also not abusing animals in our care....

      However, the fruits and trees and animals are put here for our use. They are our sources of food and companionship...

      These are very different world views.

      We have made a lot of progress in thr 5000 years we have recorded history. Who knows what the next 5000 years will bring?

      To think we humans can control the weather is rather hubris...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      6 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "If climate change is so complex, much more so than volcano or earthquakes, and yet we humans seems to believe we have a better prediction model in climate than the other two."

      The complexity of the subject is only one side of the equation, the other being the availability of good data, allowing the formation of robust mathematical models.

      To use a hypothetical analogy, you could have a system composed of 100 major components, for which you have data on 20, or you could have a system with a million major components, for which you have data on 900,000. Obviously, the odds are that you'd have a better understanding of the second than the first.

      On the 'don't be rich' comment, I don't think it's all *that* idiotic. To be sure, if you were rich, but didn't consume much, then your carbon footprint would be low. But how many people actually behave like that?

      And after all, isn't that precisely why Breitbart et al. pillory Al Gore as a hypocrite, despite his carbon offsets, solar panels and energy efficiency measures?

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Most idiotic statement of the year...

      “The best way to reduce your personal carbon emissions: don't be rich”

      https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/7/...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      13 days ago from Yorktown NY

      My question is more a theoretical one. If climate change is so complex, much more so than volcano or earthquakes, and yet we humans seems to believe we have a better prediction model in climate than the other two. Whereas, the other two disciplines are more realistic in recognizing their limitations.

      This latest article captures exactly what I feel. What if despite all the extreme proposals to combat climate change, what if we are helpless? What if, as it turned out, it is one of those things we cannot control? Just like we cannot control how the beaches are being eroded on the west coast? Or stop iceburgs from drifting off the polar regions...? Or even prevent coastal flooding in Miami.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      13 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      My reaction to the Kavanaugh article: it's highly hypocritical of Lindsey Graham to bitch about Democrats going to the mat over Kavanaugh when he and the GOP caucus did the same thing by simply refusing to take up Merrick Garland's nomination.

      The other article seems to be paywalled; all I can see is the first couple of lines, followed by a subscriber sign-in notice.

      As to your last section, we've already had that conversation; you previously asked me essentially the same question in a comment somewhere in the thread below. In a nutshell, there's *much* more relevant data available for weather/climate than for seismology, and as a result much better theoretical models describing the relevant processes.

      (It's your *assumption* that climate is more complex than practical seismology--while it would be mine too, were I forced to assume, I don't think we actually understand the seismology well enough to refute or to validate that assumption today.)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      13 days ago from Yorktown NY

      The best article this year on climate change IMHO

      https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/glob...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      I just read this article...and was wondering what your reaction would be.

      https://freebeacon.com/politics/graham-challenges-...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, I just added a new section above. This was my observation after attending another talk at the LDEO. Care to comment?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Cool! Check it out. There's a few older comments that you may or may not have seen, too.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Sure. I have no problem discussing it anywhere.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Did you read the comment over there? If we're going to talk about it, I'd prefer to have the conversation there, too.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, funny how you mentioned Tesla and people voting with their pocket book.

      I actually have some real experince here with my neice. She is a liberal who lives out in Venice Beach CA. She runs in the crowd of liberal hollywood since her husband works in the film industry as a producer. She bought a Tesla model S and later upgraded to the Tesla SUV. Her biggest fear is running out of power on the highway. She avoid a drive to Irvine, some 40 miles away on highway 405 because she does not want to get stuck. In addition, she bought a 5 million dollar home newly renovated with radient cooling. This was suppose to be ecologically friendly...except it does not work well in hot humid weather. In her case, she means well but suffer the consequences.

      A lesson for all liberal progressives that buy into the environmental argument of climate change. The truth is, one has little to do with the other.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, no offense, but if that's a worry of yours, I'd suggest not patronizing news sources whose business it is to systematically minimize or deny the impact of climate change. Their efforts are why (IMO) you'd forgotten about the various hurricane impacts that have seriously affected the Southeast every year since 2015. (By the way, while we're fine here, the flooding still hasn't subsided in Conway, where the Waccamaw was just reported yesterday to have dropped below the previous record high! The flooding isn't expected to subside completely for at least another week.)

      I'd certainly say that it's a worry of mine; humanity's social structures are for the most part oriented toward short time horizons, and climate change is to a considerable degree a long-term problem. But the real kicker is that climate 'commitment' is now, according to all the best information we have, now very much a short-term problem.

      I suppose it's good in theory, but the problem is that it's the 'realization' component that gives us the most direct and forceful feedback, letting us understand the consequences of our actions in an unequivocal way.

      Changing the subject for a moment, I don't know if you've noticed the last few comments I've posted on my 'predictions' Hub; the latest is this morning, and concerns a fact about the Tesla 3 that you are probably also not aware of. And it actually does have to do with citizen concerns, in a way--that is, people voting with their pocket books:

      https://hubpages.com/politics/Climate-Change-Predi...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      There may be another scenario. Instead of smoking and lung cancer as an analogy, it may well be, the boy that cry wolf. What if climate change is as bad as you say but the full effects won’t be felt in 100 years. While creating alarm now as some has, and nothing serious happened over the next few decades, the public is lulled into believing it is benign. Then, when the real effects come, in 100 years, people would not pay attention because they say it was exaggerated...

      See what I mean?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Regarding your post-script, I'd say there's some good stuff there. However, while as hypotheticals your various scenarios are fine, B and C don't line up well with the data we actually do have. And you're still failing to take on board the possibility, which I've presented several times now with supporting evidence, that the human contribution to observed warming may very well be *more* than 100%, because it may be bucking the natural forcing.

      Indeed, that would seem to be the case now for solar forcing, which is measured to be declining. Since temperatures are not in fact declining in concert with low solar activity, *something* must be offsetting its cooling effects. (See previous comment for more detail.) There's really no other plausible candidate than greenhouse warming.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, I understand your point about projections perfectly. I should, as you've made it repeatedly, and I've responded in much the same way repeatedly. To wit:

      "I don't agree that predicted warming has failed to materialize!"

      As an instance, consider our last two comments. You said that you thought there was reason to think solar influences were more important, and should count for more than 5% of change. I disagreed, and presented my reasons--ie., that during the 'weak solar cycle' you correctly pointed to, we've had a very sharp warming take place! I went on to show, with the graph I linked to, that the correlation between solar activity and temperature is actually negative over the period since 1979.

      So, while solar input is of course the single biggest 'control knob' on the Earth's temperature, it appears that no-one is turning that knob very much, which allows human-caused CO2 increases to dominate.

      And here's another thing to consider. I think you are taking it that the 95-5% division refers to observed temperatures directly. I suspect that it refers, rather, to forcing, not temperature.

      What that means is that the "5%" could be of either sign: that is, either negative or positive. Since solar activity has been *declining* over the satellite data record, that would indicate a *negative* solar forcing.

      If so, the math would look like this:

      0.95 + -0.5 = Obs

      0.90 = Obs

      1/0.90 * 100 = ~111% Obs

      Rather than this:

      0.95 + 0.5= Obs

      0.95 * 100 = 95% Obs

      In words, if it's forcing, not proportion of observed trend, then greenhouse warming is really responsible for ~111% of the observed trend, because part of the effects of the greenhouse forcing is being offset by the weakening solar cycle.

      Now, I don't know what your presenter intended; obviously, I wasn't there. But I would gently note that this is very consistent with what Dr. Gavin Schmidt of NASA has said in the past, and it's pretty consistent with the solar data I presented.

      You 'want' natural forcing, and specifically solar forcing, to be significant. But if that's true, and if the PMOD data is correct, then it follows that the situation I've described above obtains--and that scientists *can't* say what you suggest they say, because it would be a lie on their part.

      Your other point is interesting. You say that "They say we must act now or it may be too late...back in 1990s. Now it is 2018 and things are not that bad off."

      First, I think you are being influenced by folks whose business it is to minimize the effects of climate change. (I hope you aren't offended by my frankness in saying so.) For instance, we've had several record-warm years now, yet while I know you know this cognitively, you seem not to ever quite 'take it on board', leading you to refer again and again to 'the pause' as if it were still ongoing.

      But the really important point here is to distinguish clearly between *commitment* and *realization*. When scientists said "we must act now or it may be too late", they were talking about climate *commitment*, which is led by actual emissions to the atmosphere. But when you say "things aren't that bad," you are talking about *realization*, which is the observed effect of emissions.

      The problem is that there is a serious lag between increased GHG concentrations in the atmosphere--commitment--and the full warming that results from it--realization. (I've seen estimates of 40 years for that, though I'm not sure how solid the number is.)

      So, like a smoker in the early stages of lung cancer, it may indeed be 'too late' now, without us knowing it. I hope not, for obvious reasons. But there is no reason for complacency; we've been very slow to act; basically all the efforts so far have done no more than to slow the rate at which concentrations have risen. (Much like a smoker 'cutting back' from two packs a day to one-plus.) Indeed, this disjunction was noted and discussed back in the 90s; people realized back then that it would prove a political difficulty in getting effective mitigation measures done. And so it has proven.

      Summing up, I disagree with you that projections have 'failed to materialize', and I've tried consistently to provide the evidence that leads me to that position. But I certainly agree with you (and apparently your presenter) that a great many people do not prioritize climate change issues as highly as she and I think they should when voting.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, I just added a new section to my hub above. Please let me know your reaction.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      I guess you are not understanding the point I am making.

      My thinking on this is -

      If the climate scientists have been more proactive and been realistic in their assessment of human vs. natural contribution to global warming, for example say 50% of each...

      Then, in the recent years and decades, when their warming projects fail to reach the level they anticipated, it would be an easier sell to say

      Due to natural occurences of late like the weak sunspots...the warming was offset temprarily for this next decade...

      Do you see what I mean?

      Instead, they make the claim that humans are the cause of 95% of warming. When it does not materialize as their models projected, they are caught scratching their heads and looking for other explanations...such as the heat is aborbed in the deep oceans...one among many excuses...

      The reason I am still a skeptic is - I was told by these same scientists of the dire projections. They also told me they studied all natural cycles and assessed their contribution to be very small and negligible.

      They say we must act now or it may be too late...back in 1990s.

      Now it is 2018 and things are not that bad off. Yes we still have hurricanes and tsunami and volcanic erruptions and drought and floods... but so did these events happen over the past 200 years of recorded climate.

      All the data does not demostrate that we are in a runaway global warming scenerio. That is the reason 50% of the public are not as worried about it. It poll as perhaps 8 or 9 behind economy and terrorism...cyber crimes...EMP...as top issues.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "Doc, it was not me saying it." OK, then I think *she* may be underestimating the number of people who think it's a problem. But I agree with much of the rest, as noted in my previous comment.

      Yes, it's a matter of trade-offs, and yes, specific situations are critical. That's one reason the Paris Accord is structured around "NDCs"--nationally determined contributions to mitigation. The current US government is essentially saying that mitigation is not required, which is not scientifically supportable.

      "It is more plausable that the natural elements like sunspot cycles play a bigger role than they thought and perhaps the recent “pause” in warming is more due to the cooling effects of sun activities. As you well know, the current cycle is one of the weakest in the last 200 years."

      The data don't support that, as far as I know. Most clearly, while the current cycle is indeed very weak, as you say, temperatures are nevertheless very high--for example, of the past five years, three (2014, '15, and '16) set all-time warm records, and 2017 was second only to 2016. And this year, though slightly cooler as expected for a La Nina year, is on track to exceed every year prior to 2014.

      https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GL...

      That means that for GISS data, when 2018 is in the record books, we will have experienced the hottest five-year period in the record--and that at the bottom of the weakest solar cycle in modern history!

      A little more systematically, here's temperature since 1979, graphed against PMOD insolation data for the same period:

      http://woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/plot/pmod/offset:...

      As you see, there is very little correlation there. (By the way, that site is completely interactive, so if you want to put in a bit of time yourself you can make your own comparisons. I'd recommend it; it's illuminating and even kind of fun.)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, it was not me saying it. She said it in the talk and other climate scientists as well. They are frustrated that more people are not convinced even though, to them, the science is clear. It is one thing to say I believe in human caused global warming, and another to be willing to sacrifice your life style like giving up ones SUV to save the planet. So it does come down to trade-off. How much we are willing to give up and compromise to get the mitigation we think will suffice...

      It is not going to be a one size fit all solution.

      I am just reporting on what she said in the talk.

      I personally, is still not convinced that the natural causes are so small as 5%. It is more plausable that the natural elements like sunspot cycles play a bigger role than they thought and perhaps the recent “pause” in warming is more due to the cooling effects of sun activities. As you well know, the current cycle is one of the weakest in the last 200 years. By overstating the human cause, they are actually hurting their case.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      No, I haven't seen that slide, though I've read other material on the question.

      I think you may be underestimating the numbers of the public who are convinced that there is a problem. Random example:

      http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/05/16/mo...

      But perhaps you mean 'convinced enough to make it a voting priority,' in which case I would agree with you! I think it's likely that the challenges of mitigation are indeed part of the problem. Systemic change is required, and that means a lot of people who stand to lose in the short term. Naturally, they will be--have been--resistant.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, I attended a new talk at LDEO given by Brenda Ekwurzel of Union of Concerned Scientists.

      One of her slide claims humans are 95% affecting the climate while only 5% is due to nautual causes.

      Have you seen this slide?

      Also, I posed the question why Climate change is a harder selll than the Ozone hole despite all the evidence she presented? It seems 50% of the public is not convinced by her science data.

      Her answer is this, in the ozone case, they had a solution ready and an alternative product that replaces CFC so the international community was easily convinced. In global warming however, there are too many products of fossil fuels and sources of CO2... there is no easy solution. In most cases, it is going to come down to trade offs. That was an interesting insight.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      5 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, good to hear you are doing well. Keep dry. I know how water can do some real damage.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      5 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Thanks for asking, Jack. We didn't do too badly, as it turned out. It rained pretty much continuously from Friday through to Sunday evening--48 hours straight, give or take--and we lost power once, for a little more than 2 hours. But the amounts of rain here weren't nearly as extreme as for some places in the area. And the winds here, I think, never got higher than the 40s--Irma last year was worse in that respect.

      Phase II of the disaster is just starting for the region, though, with riverine flooding expected to be a big, big problem. Our house should be fine--we thought about flooding possibilities!--but our dock will probably go under water again. They drew down the lake level as much as possible in anticipation of the rains--like almost all Southern lakes, ours is man-made and controlled by a dam--and it's already well above normal levels this morning. I'm sure it will keep on rising for at least a day, and hold at elevated levels for several days more. I hope the folks with low-lying properties will be OK. For some communities, it'll be rough, I'm afraid.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      5 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      Just a personal note. Just wondering how you made out with Hurricane Florence? In your neck of the woods...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      5 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      On the report you cite, yes, that's consistent with our experience here, as well as with other measures I've seen along the way. We've experienced an extremely warm spring and summer, with very few days that failed to reach at least 90F; and it's also been mostly very dry as well. We just had a few showers to come through in the last few days to ameliorate the very local conditions some, but the grass in the yard was feeling crispy underfoot, and since the showers you can see the resultant greening.

      Drought doesn't figure to be a near-term issue now, though... ;-)

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      5 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Yes, that's the good news, so I was glad to see that. The bad news is that forward speed continues to be forecast to decline drastically upon landfall, which is expected to set up a "Harvey scenario" where the rain just keeps coming for days. Current forecasts are for 40 inches in the central zone. We may get 5-8 inches--I'm hoping less--here.

      Another, less-well reported factor is that while strength dropped, size expanded, which is also not a good thing.

      Fingers crossed.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      5 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Florence is now down to Cat. 2...from a 5 before landfall.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      5 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      5 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      You are welcome, Jack.

      "I mentioned Katrina because that was the last big storm that made landfall and caused vast damage... My general point is that as large as these storms, they are part of the norm and not the exception."

      My wife had a career as an "EBD" teacher--that stands for 'emotionally and behaviorally disturbed.' She always used to say that EBD kids didn't do anything that 'normal' kids don't do--that the behavior difference is a matter of intensity and frequency.

      Similarly, hurricanes. There's no clean, bright line that says 'this event couldn't have happened in the past,' if only because the past is incompletely known. And with hurricanes, there's tremendous variability, which complicates assessments. But climate change loads the dice. While hurricane *frequency* is expected to *decrease," *intensity* should increase.

      As to Katrina's impact:

      "Hurricane Harvey of 2017 is tied with 2005's Hurricane Katrina as the costliest tropical cyclone on record, inflicting $125 billion in damage, primarily from catastrophic rainfall-triggered flooding in the Houston metropolitan area. It was the first major hurricane[nb 1] to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005, ending a record 12-year span in which no hurricanes made landfall at the intensity of a major hurricane throughout the country."

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

      Then, of course, we got Maria, which dinged us for another $90+ billion.

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

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-11...

      I don't want to be too dogmatic or argumentative about any of this. But let's not forget such large data points!

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      5 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Thanks for the info. I did not know about the other storms. Most hurricanes are in the gulf. A few Northeasters like Sandy comes up the eastern seaboard.

      I guess I mentioned Katrina because that was the last big storm that made landfall and caused vast damage. The breach of the levy was what made it worst. My general point is that as large as these storms, they are part of the norm and not the exception.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      5 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      I'm also confused as to why you include Katrina at all in the current context, as it obviously had nothing to do with the Carolinas.

      On the other hand, if you meant to refer to *all* US hurricanes, then the omission of Harvey is rather remarkable, and even Maria should have been mentioned.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      5 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, you may recall that I live in South Carolina.

      So I can assure you that you are incorrect. Hurricane Matthew, a Cat 5, caused very significant damage here--and worse in North Carolina, where 26 people died in flooding--in 2016, although it stayed just offshore, sparing us from the still-worse effects that actual landfall would have had:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Matthew#No...

      We were also strongly affected by Irma last year--another Cat 5--though of course the worst damage was in Florida and the Caribbean. 5 died, and the Charleston peninsula suffered historic flooding. Here we were not too badly affected, though I did have to spend a day chainsawing parts of a neighbor's tree that fell into our yard.

      We were also absolutely hammered by the effects of a minor hurricane, Joaquin, in 2015; it stalled out a frontal storm, resulting in flooding the effects of which are still being dealt with, three years later. (For just one instance, there was a story on TV just last month about a business reopening, finally--they were near Gills Creek, where the flooding was so intense that it destroyed the gage.)

      19 people died, and the economic loss was somewhere north of $2 billion, much of it in this state.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_2015_North_A...

      So, if your perception is that things have been quiet, I can assure you that it is not shared here. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to see about checking our propane tank and seeing about augmenting our supply of canned food.

      P.S. Katrina was in 2005.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      5 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      A category 4 storm is approaching the Carolinas...this is the first large storm since Kateina 10 years earlier.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      6 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

    • tsadjatko profile image

      6 weeks ago from now on

      Jack here is an observation. Can you guess what Sno’s knee jerk reaction to this is? Guarantee you we’ve heard it many times before when they are confronted with data that can’t be refuted.

      https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-09-05-science-stu...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      6 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, I have two new observations. Two weeks ago, I was vacationing in Ca. As the plane landed in LAX, I was looking out the window and saw many houses in the sourounding area of the airport. The one thing that was noticeably missing is solar panels on the rooftop. I saw very little, by my estimate, only 1%. Meanwhile, I came home to NY, and saw one of my neighbors. He and about a dozen others have installed solar panels on their roof last year as a push by a large solar company. They were offered a free installation for the lease of their rooftop. I asked him how is the system working. He said, so far, in one year of usage, he has not seen much benefits.

      The only benefit was he was able to get some one time State tax credit. I was shocked.

      How come? In a State like Ca. Where they get almost 100% sunshine all year round, solar is not installed. In a State like NY, where the sun is maybe only 70% effective and having those snowy winters... solar installations out pace that in other states. Curious?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      7 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      I don't have a separate estimate, as doing such calculations is no small matter. I have neither the training nor the informational and technological assets needed.

      However, I will say that the result discussed is consistent with the results I've been reading about elsewhere. I certainly hope that I'm around in 2035; however, merely passing a "point of no return" doesn't mean that there is some obvious sign that we have done so. In fact, the story says that we've probably already done that WRT the 'aspirational' 1.5 C goal of the Paris Accord.

      Commitment to an outcome isn't necessarily the same as fulfillment of that outcome.

      Analogies:

      --Development of fatal cancer may be far advanced before any symptoms are noticed.

      --Conviction and sentencing to death may long precede execution.

      --Fatal cash-flow problems may long precede the bankruptcy they eventually precipitate.

      Just so, if we fail to act sufficiently on economic sustainability, there's won't be a light show in the heavens telling us that. We'll probably be seeing a lot more climate-related problems than today, but there will almost certainly still be those insisting that it could still just be natural variability.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      doc,

      Seeing the following story, I am just curious what year would you consider to be the breaking point?

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/08/30/now-climate...

      Hopefully, it is a year we may still be alive to verify...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      7 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      1. Agree.

      2. Disagree--IPCC projections have been conservative by intention.

      3. Disagree; awareness has risen slowly, as has concern--though with ups and downs along the way.

      4. Disagree; the long-term trend is up.

      5. Disagree; 'predictions' have been driven by science, not PR.

      6. Strongly disagree; the politicization has proceeded from the right, not the left. Note that George H. W. Bush's administration negotiated Kyoto, and that even into the 2000s, important GOP politicians ran on platforms including mitigation. But they were increasingly 'primaried' by hard-right candidates, often explicitly funded and supported by fossil-fuel interests. Cf., Bob Inglis.

      7. I think your estimate of renewable energy penetration is already way too low. For example, in the US, wind is already 6.3%, and solar PV 1.3%, with the latter set to increase 23% for 2018. And total renewable energy generation is already over 17%. All this is per the EIA:

      https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, so your response is that the message was not marketed properly and the deniers were well orchestrated and funded by big oil?

      Here is my take and you may disagree.

      1. Climate change is very complex.

      2. The avtivists over sold the dire situation...like the boy who cried wolf.

      3. The public was first swayed and bought into it lock stock and barrow as I was at first...

      4. Once historical data and analysis were presented and the current climate over the last 20 years have been experienced..., the public lost interest.

      5. Climate scientists doubled downed on their dire predictions instead of taking a breather...

      6. Environmental extremists copted this issue and made it a political one instead of a scientific one.

      7. Fossil fuel will be around long after we are gone. Renewable energy will only be a small part of our overall energy requirements.

      Perhaps 10% at best.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      7 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      So how did they do last year?

      I think you pointed to it last year, too, but if that's even correct, I only vaguely recall their forecast. But wasn't it for another cold winter for most of the country? And how did that pan out?

      Here we had some of that, and some exceptionally warm winter weather, too. As I recall, that latter experience, of highly variable conditions, was widespread across North America, but I could be misremembering.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      7 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Well, I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that I have a different perspective on many of those points.

      1) The essential difference between the ozone case and the climate case is that efforts to politicize and cast doubt on the science were not highly effective in the first case, and have been all-too-effective in the second. (In part, this results from the relative complexity of the two issues wrt both attribution and mitigation.)

      2) We are, IMO, *much* closer to a solution. The Paris process, in my opinion, is a huge piece of the puzzle, and the ever-increasing economic advantages of renewable energy (and less far along, but following a similar cost trajectory, battery storage), not to mention energy efficiency can take us quite a long way along the road we need to travel. Already many developed nations-especially those that took their Kyoto targets seriously--have cut emissions very significantly. Eg., the UK is currently 41% below 1990 levels, and their economic growth is and has been competitive.

      As to why we aren't closer, it's due, IMO, to the determined opposition by fossil fuel and allied interests, who as a matter of public record have propagandized extensively against the science, and created a whole ecosystem of 'alternate fact' on this vital matter. You yourself sample their wares on an ongoing basis. See, as a more-or-less random example, this piece on the Mercers:

      https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/...

      Early Trump supporters, they have also supported a number of climate change denial outlets, as well as Breitbart (which of course frequently does what I see as 'hit pieces' on climate science.) It's imperfect as an example, though, in that Mercer himself, unlike the Kochs, isn't a fossil fuel guy; he's a computer guy who worked for IBM.

      3) "...the science is not settled..." It's more than settled enough to know that action is urgent. That's not my opinion, it's extremely widely shared among the scientific community in general.

      4) "...the average person is not convinced this problem is dire... the people yawned."

      Again, that's to a considerable extent a result of the propaganda campaign that has been waged in this country. Nevertheless, you overstate climate apathy considerably, imo; climate change, though not a top concern for most, is still a significant concern for the majority--even here in the US, where the numbers are lower than in most countries around the world.

      In my opinion, it's because climate-related changes are becoming increasingly obvious in more and more people's lives and experience. Just one (not so small) example:

      http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sci...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, I know weather and climate are two very different animals...

      However, it is stories like this that make my ear perk up...

      https://www.wmtw.com/article/maines-farmers-almana...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      8 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      I will refer back to my original question and one that you have no answer for.

      What is the difference between The ozone hole and climate change?

      In the Ozone case, The international community were in complete agreement and the world put together a cohesive plan and reverse this man caused phenonmenon.

      In the case of climate change, after 3 decades of study, and models and projections and international meetings and proposals, we are no closer to a solution....why is that?

      My contention is that - the science is not settled. That is why there is no agreement, no cohesive plan and no global effort and in fact, just the opposite. After much alarm and warning by the likes of Al Gore and Leneardo decaprio, the average person is not convinced this problem is dire. Despite the Obama administration labeling it the most existential threat to our survival, the people yawned.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      8 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, you seem to be trying to have it both ways here. In the SLR point of your original post, you featured a graph comparing the observed sea level with various projections to 2100, with a a view to demonstrating that the latter appeared implausible at present. That's essentially an exercise in extrapolation. My question here has been a to apply extrapolation to a shorter-term projection from the very same source you cited, and which currently does *not* appear at all implausible.

      (Actually, the observed SLR is *already* greater than the lower confidence bound, so in that sense you can dispense with the extrapolation! Now, if the prediction falls outside the prediction window, it will only be because of catastrophic acceleration of SLR that would take SLR above 29 cm by 2030--which, I think, most would find thankfully improbable.)

      To your more general points:

      "...there are much more complex drivers besides the CO2."

      Yes. I've repeatedly linked to IPCC graphs quantifying the influence of those other drivers.

      "...the data we measure is down near the noise level."

      I don't agree with that characterization. While it is true that the magnitudes of some past changes is greater than observed changes so far, I think it would be a mistake to to characterize those past changes as 'noise'--rather, they were *signals* of significant changes in climatic drivers (including CO2 feedbacks). There's also the issue of time scale; the observed change is very, very fast on geological time scales. Most of those past "changes" took place over many millennia, not just a few decades.

      "When the data is moving and changing by a large amount, the average over a long period tends to be small. That is the reality."

      I'm not sure what you mean here. While large variability makes the signal harder to detect in the short term, it says nothing about the magnitude of the signal over longer time spans. And the current observed temperature and sea level rise are both highly significant from a statistical point of view now. No extrapolation required there!

      "We cannot at present separate the human from the natural."

      Incorrect. Our abilities in this regard may not be perfect, but they are quite skillful. Vide those graphs I mentioned above, or Foster & Rahmstorf (2011):

      http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-932...

      "...if we were just to monitor the temperature alone, given what we have seen, it is not definitive that nature did not contribute most or all of it."

      But why would we 'just monitor the temperature alone?' Science progresses by attacking problems along multiple lines of analysis and collating and cross-checking results, not by ignoring them. And when we do that, it's pretty definitive (pace Judith Curry!) that no, nature didn't do it.

      "Therefore, we cannot fix it or change it in any significant way."

      That doesn't follow. Our knowledge is independent of our influence (though making intelligent use of knowledge multiplies the potential effectiveness of our influence.) For example, lead pollution of the environment was stunting children's brain development long before we figured out that that was the case. For another (and you may like this one), our transition to kerosene from whale oil for lighting was highly beneficial to oceanic ecosystems even though, at the time, we were completely oblivious to the fact that there even was such a thing as an 'ecosystem'.

      "...if we were to compare doing nothing and doing all that was recommended by the Paris accord, the estimated difference was only 0.1 degrees C."

      That's a meme, and it's an incorrect one. The estimated effect of the Paris accord, compared with doing nothing, is a reduction of temperature rise of ~1.5 C, not 0.1. (That is, warming is no more than 3-3.5 C, as compared with 5 C or more.)

      In his withdrawal announcement, the president cited 0.2 C, but in a misleading manner, as deconstructed here:

      https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2...

      In essence, the 0.2 C was the modeled difference between the Paris accord result and the result from adherence to the 2009 Copenhagen agreement, NOT complete and utter inaction--much less the encouragement of fossil fuels which has been such a misguided feature of federal policy since 2017.

      "And even some climate scientists agree with me."

      A very, very tiny minority. As arguments from authority go, that's not an especially strong one.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      8 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, that is the problem with extrapolation and linear projection. It applies to ocean levels as well as global mean temperatures and climate.

      As we have experienced over the last 30 years, there are much more complex drivers besides the CO2. Don’t you agree? Otherwise, the projections should be exact and on the nose. Since it is not and it is non-linear and it is slow and the earth is huge by comparison, the data we measure is down near the noise level.

      As can be seen with the year to year data plots, they are jumping all over the place. When the data is moving and changing by a large amount, the average over a long period tends to be small. That is the reality.

      My proposition as an engineer and a scientist is that this climate problem is too big to predict. We cannot at present separate the human from the natural. That is to say if we were just to monitor the temperature alone, given what we have seen, it is not definitive that nature did not contribute most or all of it. Therefore, we cannot fix it or change it in any significant way.

      Just as an example, if we were to compare doing nothing and doing all that was recommended by the Paris accord, the estimated difference was only 0.1 degrees C. To me that is noise and not a real solution. And even some climate scientists agree with me.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      8 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, an interesting answer, but not to the question I asked. I was asking, not about temperature, but about sea level rise (related, of course, but not identical).

      As laid out in my previous comment, the source you linked in connection with SLR, back when you wrote your original post here, projected 8-29 centimeters by 2030, with a 'best-estimate' of 18 cm.

      When I noticed that, I wondered how that projection looked from today's perspective, 28 years on now, and only 13 years from 2030. It turns out--I won't repeat the calculations here!--that simple extrapolation indicates a probable 2030 SLR of 14.2 cm. That's quite close to the best estimate, and well within the uncertainty.

      Doesn't that look like a pretty successful 'prediction' from the 'experts' whose judgement you question in the SLR point, above?

      On the temperature trend comments you make below, I would say that while past changes in climate are indeed comparable or greater in magnitude than observed warming, that doesn't mean that that observed warming can be attributed to natural causes. Why? Because natural forcings are observed to be insufficient to cause the observed warming.

      And let me remind you that 100% is not the maximum amount to which human activity can contribute; it's entirely possible that human activity can more than offset a natural cooling. In that situation, human influence might be 105% or 110% of observed warming, the difference being the natural cooling that's 'masked.'

      In fact, if we accept the idea you have often put forward--that current solar output may be declining a bit due to low sunspot activity--then human influence has probably been masking natural cooling for several years now, which if true makes 2016 all the more remarkable.

      "The other reality is how soon the time frame of these changes. Again, if it is on the order of 1000 years..."

      Well, if we assume the warming rate of the last 3 decades and extrapolate out to 1000 years, then you'd get a temperature rise of 17 C. Off the top of my head, I don't think the Earth is believed *ever* to have been quite that warm since the oceans formed. So I think we can rule out 1000 years as a possible time frame.

      On the other hand, if we accept the research that says that 1.5 or 2 C is the 'sort of safe' limit, then we have a couple of decades before we reach the former, and about three more before before hitting the latter, roughly speaking.

      But that doesn't mean we have that long to act. Such a devoted advocate of the merits of fossil fuels as yourself must surely appreciate that it takes time to replace them without unacceptable dislocation. That is what fuels my sense of urgency on this issue. If we are to reach the goal of a carbon-neutral economy by, say, 2050, we can't expect to begin in 2050. Or 2030, for that matter. Now is probably already flirting with 'too late.'

      Maybe that is too pessimistic--but given the stakes, better too pessimistic in planning than the reverse.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      8 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, you asked a fair question and here is my response. The current measurements around the world shows a warming trend taking the 30 year time scale... However, these increases are within the variation of our climate due to natural causes if you look at our climate over the past 100 thousand years or more. Therefore, the mere fact that we are experiencing some warming does not necessarily mean we caused it. Man made global warming is the theory of AGW that I have issues with and continue to question. Not that it is happening but the degree which we contributed. Is it 100% or 50% or 5%? Depending on the answer, we can then discuss mitigation and which is the better solution for mankind. Without a clear understanding of current climate science and all its drivers, we may choose the wrong solution. That is my fear and reservation.

      If the answer is only 5%, for example, then, whatever we do or try to do seems ineffective. We might as well accept it and work around it as we have done for generations.

      The other reality is how soon the time frame of these changes. Again, if it is on the order of 1000 years, or 100 years or decades? Our response should be different and appropriate. No climate scientist seems to have a good handle on the time frame. I try to ask during these talks I attended at LDEO and to my surprise, they don’t seem to even ask the basic question of the rate of change. Why not?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      8 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, to change the topic up just a bit, this whole exchange led me to do some long-overdue editing to my challenge hub, in order to fix some format issues introduced by changes in Hubpages. That, in turn, led to a couple of updates.

      It's all here:

      https://hubpages.com/politics/Climate-Change-Predi...

      But the last one followed on from something I just noticed in your present Hub, which is the report you cited from the 1990 meeting of the World Conservation Union. You'd highlighted century-scale predictions of SLR, but I noticed a nearer-term projection that you may have missed. From my new update:

      "[The WCU report states that] With the B-a-U scenario, the best-estimate is that MSL will be 18cm higher than today by the year 2030, with a range of uncertainty of 8-29 cm. The range reflects uncertainties in both the warming and the contributing factors to seal level. Most of the future rise comes from oceanic thermal expansion and glacier melt; the Antarctic ise sheet is likely to gain in mass and thus slightly decrease MSL, due to increased precipitation and hence greater accumulation rates.

      "Environmentals Implications of Global Change," 18th session of the General Assembly of The World Conservation Union, Perth, Australia, 1990.

      "Compare the satellite record, here:

      ftp://podaac.jpl.nasa.gov/allData/merged_alt/L2/TP...

      "Extrapolating backward from the beginning of the record in 1993 (using the observed trend rate of 3.22 mm/century), we can conclude that the rise to date has been roughly 100 millimeters (or 10 centimeters). Extrapolating forward 13 years, we find:

      "13 years x 3.22mm/year = ~42 mm (future rise)

      + 100 mm (observed rise)

      = 14.2 cm (total estimated rise)

      "14.2 cm is quite close to the best estimate, and certainly well within the prediction interval of 8-29 cm. Add to that the facts that 1) the greenhouse forcings from 1990 to present turned out to be somewhat less than 'B-a-U', and 2) SLR is likely to accelerate as the increasing mean surface temperature is likely to increase glacier mass loss rates, the forecast accuracy is probably even better than the raw extrapolated number would indicate."

      You wrote below that "In a few years, we will see who is right and who is wrong."

      My question is, given that SLR today appears (after 28 years) to be on track to reasonable agreement with the projection from your cite, do you feel that this is in any way indicative of success in prediction by the mainstream? If not, why not?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Tsad, sorry, you are wrong. Period. (Can't get any more honest than that.) I've explained why, twice. Clearly, repeating the explanation for the third time would not help.

      However, let's try this. If someone is interested in predicting *climate*, as opposed to weather, then they are talking about 30-year periods, basically. Much shorter than that, and there's not enough data to qualify as 'climate.' (For instance, the universally-agreed period for defining climate norms is 30 years.)

      There is such a prediction, and here's the result:

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018...

    • tsadjatko profile image

      2 months ago from now on

      Exactly what I have been saying, and exactly how predictions by global warming alarmists over the last 40 years have proven WRONG! Nothing will change that and the future will be more of the same, mark my words.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Tsad and doc, I think we have beaten this topic to the ground. We are not going to settle this issue. What will is time. In a few years, we will see who is right and who is wrong.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      2 months ago from now on

      The whole point I had been making throughout my recent comments was climate change can not be predicted and you think deflecting from that to imply I’m talking about weather helps your argument - that is just a joke and a transparent attempt to imply I don’t know what I am talking about. Instead of introducing weather an honest debater would have simply said you are right, climate change can’t be predicted as history has proven. And watch, the future will prove it also because climatology is too complex to predict.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      2 months ago from now on

      Um? So you go ahead and do it again - my post only “revealed” exactly what I said Climate change can not be predicted, not 10, 20 or 30 years from now and what you said unknowingly on your part confirmed what I said while you were trying to obvuscate the truth by bringing up weather. Face it Sno, you aren’t going to get away with your feigning innocence, your tactics aren’t going to go unnoticed If you attack me.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Um, your post revealed that--not me. And the fact that you register any new information that contradicts your existing ideas as indicative of someone being 'condescending' to you rather speaks volumes, too.

      None of us know it all--you (or I) have no need to be ashamed if you (or I) have been mistaken about something. But if we wish to be mistaken less, we'll listen and learn. Or so I see it.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      2 months ago from now on

      Ha ha don’t feign you didn’t know you insulted me when you condescendingly implied I don’t know the difference between weather and climate. Or else you are so used to condescendingly insulting people you don’t know any more you are actually doing it...on second thought I could believe that.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Tsad, I'm not going to insult you now, and I fail to see anything condescending in what I wrote earlier; what I wrote is 'just the facts.'

      So, getting back to that--the fact is that climate is the *long term* average weather. So if you are talking about predicting temps 10 years in the future, that doesn't fall under the heading of climate. It's rather as if you asked me to predict the winter temperature 30 days from now (today being August 21, for any future readers that may stumble across this exchange). It's a contradiction in terms.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      2 months ago from now on

      Really, Sno?

      So you just admitted climate cannot be predicted even ten years into the future which is exactly what I said. You’re condescending attempt to twist what I said just backfired on you, Sno.

      You aren’t on your game today.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "...so far no one has been able to predict climate even 10 years into the future."

      If you are talking about 10 years in the future, you are talking about weather, not climate.

      But mean temperature observations are running within the climate model 'ensemble envelope':

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/climate-model...

    • tsadjatko profile image

      2 months ago from now on

      I don’t care what data is known or not known, Jack the future is unpredictable so to project 100 years into the future is begging to be proven wrong and so far no one has been able to predict climate even 10 years into the future. But I see your point, the whole thing hinges on the complexity of climatology which begs the question will the complexity in and of itself make it impossible to predict? I tell you it already has.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      A few quick comments. As I keep saying, yes, climate modelers do take into account the effects of solar radiation. They can't necessarily predict *future* solar output variations with complete fidelity, so incorporating them into future scenarios is a problem. But they have worked very hard to get accurate measurements of past values, and these are in fact incorporated into hindcast modeling. (Also, for future projections, plausible *ranges* of solar output may be considered based on past records, including estimates of the Maunder and Dalton Minima.)

      Second, climatologists are the ones doing calculations and estimates of how long responses take. So--no offense, Jack!--on what basis can you claim that they don't correctly estimate possible rates of change? What's the data supporting your claim?

      Third, they've also worked hard to incorporate as much accurate physics into the models as possible--your 'unified model of all known contributors to climate change, both natural and man made.' I also don't think there's any claim out there that it's impossible that there are, or could be, additional drivers yet to be discovered. But the fact is, the models now do a pretty decent job of hindcasting and forecasting. So one would have to think that if such 'unknown unknowns' are still out there, there is a limit to how significant they are.

      Also, how else is one to assess their influence *before* they are discovered?

      Lastly, the 'best guess projection' exists now. It's called the 'ensemble mean', and it's demonstrably more skillful than any single model is. And it is currently being compared to observations all the time. (I've repeatedly linked graphs of such comparisons.)

      Just like 'real science.'

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      One more thing, here is where I think the climate scientists drop the ball. They needed to create a unified model of all known contributors to climate change, both natural and man made. They also need to admit there are some they just don’t know and need more work...

      Next, they need to provide a best guess projection of the effects going forward next 100 years and using the same model going back 100 years as regression test. This way, as we move forward, we can validate their projections with actual measurements.

      That is what real science should be.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Tsad, Yes, I do believe partly what is happening may be that man caused global warming has some effect on the natural climate cycle. The question is how much and to what degree. The climate model is deficient in incorporating all the parameters and therefore are over stating the effects of human caused warming - IMHO. The current weak solar sunspot cycle is one prime example. Their model does not take in account and therefore overstate the warming. At some point, they have to admit they were wrong and not accounting the sun and other natural cycles. The other mistake they are making is not understanding the long time it takes for our globe to shift. Even if everything they claim about human global warming is true, it does not take 30 years to feel the effect but perhaps much longer. It is the inertia of the earth that is huge. The fact that these changes may happen over hundreds of years instead of decades works in our favor. It means we have time to develop mitigation techniques and migrate away from rising coasts...

    • tsadjatko profile image

      2 months ago from now on

      Jack, just a thought I’d like your opinion on. As you know the arguments for impending cold are well founded and still believed by many good scientists. Given the complexity of climatology do you think there is any possibility that they are right but manmade global warming is what has staved off the next “ice age” and so in the end if man made global warming isn’t just a hoax it could be the salvation not the destruction of our climate which would otherwise plunge us into an ice age that couldn’t be good for civilization, maybe worse than global warming. After all there have been 5 major ice ages in history, why not another while there has not been a catastrophic warming like alarmists predict.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      I suspect so. I think Trump and the GOP is doing a great job on the economy. We will see if the American people agrees.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, I'll just say that I disagree with your perspectives and (mostly) leave it at that. At this point restating things would just produce tedium.

      I suspect, though, that you and I are going to be looking at a slightly different reality on the morning of November 7. Just how different, we shall see.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      2 months ago from now on

      Jack, give it up - you two will never see eye to eye and it’s not your fault Jack - when you are dealing with people who ignore common sense observation it’s like trying to convert a cultist.

      What common sense you ask? The common sense analysis is knowing how the incipid deceiving liberals operate. It’s obvious, especially since Algore spearheaded the hoax, that the global warming hoax was initiated on the basis that climatology is such an unimaginably complex and changing endeavor of study that no one will ever be able to prove any theory of global warming scientifically so with the help of dishonest scientists, manufactured data, rigged models, the UN, and the MSM the hoax can be perpetrated and scientific evidence contradicting it can simply be denied or ignored and if that gets too hard to do, why just label them “climate change deniers”, oh yeah and pass a law making it illegal to disagree with the hoaxers.

      If you don’t see the common sense fact that there is nothing scientific about this Hoax and that it is purely a liberal, progressive, socialist, democrat, communist (whatever they call themselves yesterday, today or tomorrow) plot to steal your money, your freedom and liberty, growing government by deceit and fear mongering then you are devoid of reason and kind of sick discussing this or that scientific evidence that will never prove where the climate is headed or why, simply because it is too complex.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, let us put our own biases aside for a moment. I admit it, I have a bias on this topic. You do as well and we are having the needed discussion at a detailed level over and above the rhetoric and politics...

      The reality in 2018 is -

      1. The masses are not convinced climate change is the number one issue of the day.

      2. Despite the works of the IPCC and the Paris accord, and all kinds of people from celebrities to scientists and environmentalists... trying to ring the alarm bell, it is not working.

      My recent attendance at the LDEO lecture pretty much confirm for me at least that - that is the case. The speaker talks about how they are not presenting the message properly to win over the masses.

      3. Government and industry has shifted their focus post the election of Trump. This is real. That is why the Keystone pipeline is going forward, when it was killed under the Obama years. When it come down to it, it is about business and productivity and progress. Businesses and world leaders will make decisions based on economic needs of their people.

      4. Unless there is a dramatic event that demonstrate climate change by human activity will lead to our extinction in the next 10-20 years, it will not become the top priority.

      5. People have a short memory. They vote based on their pocket book. The current state of affairs does not support an all out attack on reducing fossil fuel because it is still something we need to survive. Unfortunately, there is no other solution that is equally good at this time. Until a time comes where that is no longer the case, fossil fuel will be the dominant source of energy.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "It is clear to many in the scientific community that climate change is not the dire problem that was exaggerated by some like Al Gore."

      Define "many!" I'd say that "It is the opinion of *a few* in the scientific community that climate change is not the dire problem that the mainstream scientific community assesses it to be."

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

      Yeah, it's Wikipedia, but I don't know of another place where the relevant surveys that have been done over the years have been conveniently gathered together. You'll note that the researchers involved in just the IPCC reports amount to thousands.

      On the other hand, you've got this:

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

      Maybe seventy or eighty names of actual scientists, plus known low-quality lists like the so-called Oregon petition (which is so lacking in any kind of quality control as to be completely useless for purposes of quantitative estimation.)

      You might call it 'many.' I wouldn't.

      As to my alleged 'tenacity', well, thanks, but I'm not sure the compliment is really merited. I realize that there is a strain of thought among contrarians/skeptics/deniers that the millennium arrived with the election of president Trump; that they had definitively won the day. I think that's seriously mistaken (though I hope they go on thinking so for a while longer.) For one thing, public opinion in the US seems to be continuing its long, slow drift toward more and more 'alarmed' status. (Never mind opinion abroad.) So I don't feel that 'my side' is 'losing' in general.

      Of course, I do think that the delay in addressing what I see as a clear and present danger is highly unfortunate and potentially very, very dangerous.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      My, my, I seem to have hit a nerve with you, Tsad. Lots of ad hom crap, not much substance.

      However, to clarify, you said: "As far as publications in climatology that is where you can go to find the proven charlatans so to pretend that people who are published are the only scientists who can analyze climate or debunk wrong science is just plain ignorance."

      That is what I referred to when I wrote "That you think that only 'charlatans' publish in climatology shows in a dramatic way how ignorant you are about the scientific process." I must say that my comment still seems to me to be a pretty accurate paraphrase of what you wrote, but if you care to explain the difference I'm willing to listen. In the meantime, it doesn't seem to me that I'm 'putting words in you mouth.'

      You accuse me of "ignoting [sic] the truth and repeatedly attacking the messenger," of promoting "the hoax of man made global warming based not on facts but your liberal ideology."

      Well, let's look at evidence, then. After all, I wrote a very lengthy Hub which did just that--and note, it was based on Jack's chosen format which was a series of predictions that he found implausible. The result of earnest consideration was that the projections were imperfect, but overall more right than wrong. You can read it here:

      https://hubpages.com/politics/Climate-Change-Predi...

      Clearly you have a preconceived notion of who I am and what I think, so I don't expect that you would read that Hub with a lot of trust. But I think you'd have to concede that at least I took a lot of trouble to look at actual evidence.

      Let's turn to your claims in the last few comments. You say that "Earth is still here, thriving and virtually as unchanged as it has been for the last 50 years." Let's take some indicators in turn.

      First, carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere. 50 year ago was 1968. In 1968, CO2 was approximately 322 parts per million. Today, it's approximately 407. That's an increase of about 26%, and the increase over the pre-Industrial value of 280 ppm is about 45%. That in itself is a significant change.

      https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/wp-...

      Second, surface temperature. If we want to look at surface temperature 50 years ago, we must use the 'instrumental record', as satellite sensing of Earth temperatures only started in the 1970s. There are four instrumental records commonly cited: GISTEMP (curated by NASA); NCEI (curated by NOAA); HADCRUT (curated by a British consortium); and BEST (curated by a team centered at Berkely, originally composed of skeptics and funded by the Koch brothers.) The data for 3 of these is conveniently available at the site Woodfortrees, which also allows you to plot it in graphs, with numerous other data sets and options for statistical processing. (For some reason, wft doesn't provide NCEI data, which I think is unfortunate as it's my favorite and is arguably the best, but it's very close in trend to both GISTEMP and BEST, so the result wouldn't change much if it were available.)

      Here's a link to the site and resulting graph:

      https://tinyurl.com/50-year-temperature-record

      You can play with it yourself to get a feel for how it works, if you like. But you can read off the actual trends by clicking on the 'raw data' link. The results:

      GISTEMP, warming rate ~0.18 C per decade, total warming ~0.90 C; HADCRUT, warming rate ~0.17 C per decade, total warming ~0.84 C; BEST, warming rate ~0.18 C per decade, total warming ~0.90 C.

      So the planet is definitely warming, just as predicted by all those 'charlatans.' (Note: warming of 0.9 C might not seem like much, but it's quite exceptional in the context of the geological epoch we're in, the "Holocene".)

      Third, sea ice. It's a good 'sanity check' on the temperature data, and an important bellwether for the future, since the more open water there is in summer, the warmer the polar seas become. For a number of well-understood reasons, the warming in the Arctic is much greater than that in the Antarctic, so the trend in Antarctic sea ice is pretty small, and in fact Antarctic ice has grown slightly.

      (It doesn't make much difference for warming consequences, though, because the growth is in the winter, when there is no sunshine; in the summer, the Antarctic sea ice still melts back, pretty much, to the continental margins.)

      So let's look at what has happened to the Arctic sea ice since we started satellite monitoring in 1979. For brevity, I'll only present one graph, though there are many others that might be of interest--specifically, Arctic sea ice *volume* for September, the month when annual minimum occurs:

      https://tinyurl.com/ArcticSeptemberSiVolumes

      This graph is plotted by Dr. Larry Hamilton from the volume estimates prepared by PIOMAS, which you can find here:

      http://psc.apl.uw.edu/research/projects/arctic-sea...

      What it shows is that the September sea ice volume has declined drastically. The highest year is the first in the record, 1979, and shows a value of 16.9 thousand cubic kilometers (km3, hereafter). The lowest year so far is 2012, which came in at 3.8 thousand km3.

      I did a very rough-and-ready trend analysis by taking the mean of the first five years and the last five years and comparing those means. That's not the proper way, but if you really care I'll redo it for you more properly. Results:

      1979-1983 mean: 17.86 thousand km3

      2013-2017 mean: 5.52 thousand km3

      Difference: 12.34 thousand km3 (~69% decline)

      Estimated rate of decline: 0.32 thousand km3/year

      At that rate of decline, September 2034 would see an ice-free Arctic. Now, that's not a prediction, it's a naive projection of this data. For one thing, there's no law that decline must follow a linear trend indefinitely. For another, September currently sees ice growth during the month, so even if we see the ice disappear completely early in the month, we'll probably see some refreezing later, which would obviously mean a non-zero average for the month. (In fact, that's one reason that the trend isn't likely to be perfectly linear.) For a third, there's huge variability from year to year, with upward or downward 'jumps' of up to 4 thousand km3 from year to year.

      So, given that the recent 5-year mean was just over 5 thousand km3, and last year was less than that, if the weather gods decreed warmer and sunnier conditions in the Arctic we could even see an ice-free Arctic as soon as 2020. (Since 3 years at the current mean trend would get us within the 4 thousand km3 range of observed variability.) Weather could also affect things the other way, delaying the first Arctic ice-free minimum. But all that's speculation, illustrative only.

      What's clear now is that the ice is massively different than it used to be, and that absent something big happening that changes the observed trends, we *will* at some point see an ice-free Arctic Ocean.

      Now, I grant you that there are lots of dots to fill in here; for instance, I haven't presented any evidence about how we know that the change in CO2 we observe is either a) due to human activity, or b) causing the observed warming. If you like, I can go into some of that; actually, I already have Hubs on those questions. But I think I have presented some pretty good evidence that the Earth is far from, as you said, "unchanged."

      So, let me know if you want more evidence. I've got lots.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, fair enough. I do want to commend you on your tenacity. You are one of the die hard who defends climate change to the end.

      It is clear to many in the scientific community that climate change is not the dire problem that was exaggerated by some like Al Gore.

      Perhaps, science can take a fresher look at this complex issues and not be politicized.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "I think you need to consider what Dr. Lynch have to say. If what he proposes is the reality, then it changes the whole ball game."

      It's not. He is just wrong on the three points I previously mentioned. And the fact that he has no credentials in the subject matter is a pretty good explanation of the reason why he is wrong.

      But I tell you what--I'll take another look at the video, in deference to our long on-going conversation.

      "If runaway CO2 does not create the global warming disaster, then all our efforts to combat climate change may be misguded... don’t you agree?"

      Sure, but as the premise is wrong, the conclusion is moot.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      2 months ago from now on

      A other liberal tactic, put words in my mouth - I never said, nor thought, nor implied “That you think that only 'charlatans' publish in climatology shows in a dramatic way how ignorant you are about the scientific process.” and all your statement shows is how deceptive you are in making an argument. I have exposed you for what you are and the tactics you use of ignoting the truth and repeatedly attacking the messenger and time will tell, as it already has for the past 50 years, that you and your ilk do everything you can to continually promote the hoax of man made global warming based not on facts but your liberal ideology - watch, you’ll come back to me in 10 years, 20 or 30 and keep employing your tactics to explain why the Earth is still here, thriving and virtually as unchanged as it has been for the last 50 years despite the doomsday scenario every year painted by your ilk. See you in 30 years, I guarantee if We’re not here then it won’t be because of the man made global warming HOAX.

      An “earned doctorate in composition”. I am glad you clarified that. I’m not exactly sure what that is, I googled it and could only find PhD inMusicComposition. Is this the kind of doctorate Bugs Bunny refers to when he says “what’s up Doc”? Well music or compost I’m sure that’s a valuable asset when it comes to spinning a hoax.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Tsad, you have added a slew of information to our on going debate and I thank you. Dr. Lynch has an alternative approach to the climate change study that seems to match what we see in reality.

      The problem with using CO2 as the main component driver of climate change, which is what most climate scientists rely, is that it may not be the whole story. That could explain why their models fail to make the projections and seems to err on the high side.

      Dr Snow, I think you need to consider what Dr. Lynch have to say. If what he proposes is the reality, then it changes the whole ball game. If runaway CO2 does not create the global warming disaster, then all our efforts to combat climate change may be misguded... don’t you agree?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Tsad, I'm not up against Dr. Lynch; I'm up against you. And Dr. Lynch is up against the entire mainstream of climate science, all of whom are qualified in the area. (And actually, just as an aside, I am a 'doctor of some kind', holding an earned doctorate in composition--University of Georgia, 1994.)

      I merely pointed out that your original comment was quite self-contradictory if you do the digging to look at credentials.

      That you think that only 'charlatans' publish in climatology shows in a dramatic way how ignorant you are about the scientific process. Publication is the heart of it, because the published record is the primary mechanism for allowing scientific debate in any given area. If you don't, or can't, publish a paper on climatology, you aren't a climatologist because you aren't contributing to the debate.

      Which Dr. Lynch is not.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      2 months ago from now on

      Jack, don’t you think It’s pretty funny that “Doc Sno” who is not a doctor of any kind, makes lite of Bill Lynch, PhD, being “just” an engineer with no publications in climatology when it is obvious if you read his bio this is not anyone “Doc” Sno could go up against and even sound competent on any subject.

      BIOGRAPHY

      Dr. Bill Lynch is a Fellow in the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). He had a formal classical Latin and Greek background in high school; he has a B.S. from Notre Dame, an M.S from M.I.T. and a PhD from Princeton, where his thesis was on the interaction of polarons in electron transport through quartz (SiO2). He has trained expertise in radiation effects, alternative energies, and solid state device physics and circuitry. He has multiple patents and published papers and was a contributor to national roadmaps for the semiconductor industry. He was an instructor in the U.S. Navy, the Head of the VLSI Device and the Materials Technology Departments at Bell Labs, and the Director of $10 million of PhD research while working at the non-profit Semiconductor Research Corporation.

      As far as publications in climatology that is where you can go to find the proven charlatans so to pretend that people who are published are the only scientists who can analyze climate or debunk wrong science is just plain ignorance.

      https://youtu.be/UKRZF-rkhbs

    • tsadjatko profile image

      2 months ago from now on

      Nice try Snow ignore the substance of my comment and raise a straw man from it.

      Ignore the track record of alarmists.

      Ignore how this ruse continues to be propagated in the face of all the real scientific evidence and the revelations of all the failed stats and manipulated data that has been exposed and is still continuing to be done by chalatan “scientists” with agendas.

      Ignore that I was referring to people like Gore, a politician with NO credentials, (not even an engineer) or like you who

      Isn’t an engineer or a scientist who cherry picks the “science” you want us to believe.

      And after ignoring all that try your hardest to make me the issue, yes defame the messenger of the truth and in the end that is all you’ve got to try and peddle your hoax agenda.

      Good luck with your delusion which 30 years ago predicted we’d be dead now and 30 years from now, if you are dead, I guarantee it won’t have had anything to do with your hoax of global warming.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Tsad, you talk about credentials. Perhaps you were unaware that your hero has impeccable credentials--as an electrical engineer? From the foundation website where the video was originally published:

      https://www.johnlocke.org/person/bill-lynch/

      He has zero publications in actual climate research--unlike those whom you characterize as 'charlatans'. But I suppose you will continue to believe what you wish to be true.

      Your assessment of what is real, and what is important in the science generally is just as upside down, however.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      2 months ago from now on

      I have to agree with you Jack, almost anything is more important than the hoax of global warming as far as our future goes as evidenced by the track record of all the global warming alarmists throughout the preceding decades whose projections would have had the earth unlivable long before now! It’s hard to imagine how this ruse continues to be propagated in the face of all the real scientific evidence and the revelations of all the failed stats and manipulated data that has been exposed and is still continuing to be done by chalatan “scientists” with agendas. That is why I thought you’d apreciate Dr. Lynch’s brief video whose examination is devoid of politics and rhetoric and relies on a mathematical and scientific analysis of a slice-by-slice modeling of the atmosphere.

      Naturally those taken in by the ruse, usually with no credentials, like Gore, will spout false arguments against scientists like Lynch but they will be the same people 30 years more from now trying to explain why they weren’t wrong.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "Today we are here--2010?"

      Looks to me like that prediction has already been falsified in 2018--in terms of temperature, anyway (and even though he doesn't actually show temperature on his graph).

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Check this out -

      https://www.iceagenow.info/sunspot-cycle-chart-sho...

      If this is in our future, we have more serious problem than global warming?

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Tsad, I have no opinion on the video. I have been following climate change since it was called global warming for 20 years or more.

      The problem is not so much the science but the politicization of this issue by the left and the environmental extremists. Then you add the Al Gore and other celebrities that jumped on the band wagon and exaggerate the dire consequences to scare school kids who does not know better.

      The engineer in me is always looking for the optimum solution. Given this problem, what is the best course of action with the least impact on our standards of living. That is where I am coming from.

      Also, data trumps all else. My opinion matters little if the data show the earth is warming due to human activity. It comes down to how much of this warming is due to natural causes and how much is within our control. To the extent that we can control, what is the most effective solution? Whether that be cutting fossil fuel emissions or mitigation by other means or converting to nuclear power or solar or wind...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Total BS. To cite three instances, everybody has known that the climatic effect CO2 does not scale linearly--that was in the literature at least as early as 1896; everybody knows about the urban heat island effect--that was in the literature in 1938; and everybody knows about the adiabatic effect (and its converse, the catabatic effect)--I'm not sure when that came into the literature, but it's been part of operational weather forecasting for many decades. To suggest that climate science has somehow 'missed these' is just ludicrous, and blows any credibility the video might have had.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      2 months ago from now on

      Jack, what do you think of this

      https://www.real.video/5814781307001

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Well, some people do have 'alternate facts' so I suppose that who does it is relevant. However, and once again, a reply is not censorship. It's just a reply, even if its institutional status may carry some weight with some. And that means that the First Amendment doesn't come into play--after all, presumably it would cut both ways, no? Joe Conservative has the right to say "Climate change is a hoax" on Facebook, but Facebook also has the right to say "The overwhelming majority of scientific opinion supports the reality of climate change."

      And I hate to tell you back, but no, 'the left' does not control the media. To get a truly 'left' perspective, you need to search a bit, and find outlets like "The Nation" (print) or "Democracy Now" (online). CNN, for instance, is *not* 'the left.' They hew has close to the center as they can in order to protect their market share, even if discerning where that is isn't easy.

      I'd agree that Hollywood is probably a bit left of center, but with many exceptions even so.

      And in broadcast TV, I think the balance is rather the other way: between Fox and Sinclair Broadcasting--partially overlapping--conservative views are pushed quite strongly to American TV audiences:

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

      Sinclair serves about 40% of US households; Fox is pretty much ubiquitous.

      Finally, I would say that I've personally seen quite a lot of reporting on conservatives of various stripes in America, and from quite a number of sources, so you are perhaps more 'visible' in media than you realize.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      It comes down to who does the fact check. That is always the problem when it comes to the first Amendment and freedom of the press and speech...that is why we have the first amendment to protect unpopular speech. Let me put it this way. If we only allow speech that is agreeable, then we don’t need a first amendment.

      I hate to tell you, the left has control over 90% of the media, including google, youtube, facebook and most socail media...

      I write about politics on hubpages. You can read some of my other hubs... I am Conservative and we are approx. 40% of the population though you would never know it from the media and hollywood and the elite academic community.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      I don't see how adding a fact-check "shuts down dissent and debate." The original post is still there; if the idea/fact/perspective holds up, then fine. If not, also fine--that's pretty much how the so-called 'marketplace of ideas' is supposed to work, isn't it?

      Also, I don't know that I would agree with you that these large new media corporations qualify as 'the left.' (Though they are certainly to the left of Breitbart, that's mostly a function of where Breitbart lies on the spectrum, IMO.)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      Check out this article -

      https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/08/1...

      The left has finally done it. Shut down dissent and debate on climate change. Here is exactly how one looses an argument.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "The global climate change is what is in doubt."

      I don't see how.

      1) We know that greenhouse gases do not transmit thermal infrared very efficiently, as experimentally determined back in 1860; we know why that is, with the benefit of 20th-century quantum theory; and we've been using that knowledge operationally in weather forecasting for several decades now. So there is no reasonable doubt about the properties of greenhouse gases, nor about the resultant effects upon the propagation of radiation in the atmosphere. Put crudely, we know to a virtual certainty that 'GHGs trap heat'. (Remember, I said that was a crude formulation!)

      2) We know that carbon dioxide and other GHGs are increasing in the atmosphere. We've been doing highly accurate, reproducible measurements for basically your lifetime and mine, and in addition to previous measurements (already enough, in 1938, for Guy Callendar to accurately infer Pre-Industrial CO2 levels) we have the direct evidence of Antarctic and Greenlandic ice cores.

      3) We know that these increases are due to human activity, because of simple accounting--we know reasonably well what has been burnt--but also because of careful measurements of carbon and oxygen isotopes in the atmosphere.

      4) We know that, on balance, warming will be bad for us and the biosphere in general because of both theoretical and empirical evidence. Both are too broad and deep to adequately summarize here. But as to the first, basically large, *large* chunks of modern biology would be falsified if warming somehow failed to be harmful; there's no way that serious warming can fail to damage biodiversity or to cause widespread ecological disruption, which in turn will certainly be detrimental to human interests, since agriculture does not thrive on the unexpected. As to the second, impacts are being observed all over the globe, and in multiple areas. Public health, infrastructure, economic productivity, and culture are all at risk.

      If you really want to know, I'd point you toward the Working Group II report from AR5, because it is the task of Working Group II to assess climate change impacts, and to look toward means of adaptation to change. But, just to underline the point about the breadth and width of, be aware that the WG II report itself comprises 30 chapters, and the text ends on page 1715 (though references take up another 16 pages!) Here's a link to that last chapter, which deals with oceanic impacts:

      https://ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg2/WGII...

      So that is where the evidence is--collected conveniently in the ARs, and, more diffusely, in the scientific literature in general. Now, I know you have a settled distrust of the UN in general, and that you extend that general distrust to the IPCC. But the IPCC has no permanent staff scientists; indeed its permanent staff is very small and assigned to administrative functions and support. All the writing is done by volunteer scientists, and their brief is not to support one point of view or another, but to summarize and synthesize what the evidence in the scientific literature says.

      If you distrust the IPCC, your only realistic option is to start checking their bibliography: head down to a research library, check their cites, and start reading papers. I've done a bit of that, and it's damned hard work. But everything that I've seen leads me to believe that the IPCC is doing exactly what the organization was designed to do, which is to paint the most accurate picture possible of our knowledge of issues related to climate change at selected points in time.

      Bottom line: you can look at the evidence or not, and you can trust it or not. But it is extant, abundant, and freely available.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Where is the evidence that we are doing harm to the extent you claim?

      I know environmental protection is valid and necessary. That is to give us clean air and clean water. Those are on a local level and not global.

      The global climate change is what is in doubt. So far, evidence does not support it. The thory has some validity. The prove of the pudding is in the actual measurements over time.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      I'm confused. I just wrote that we have not demonstrated that we can "control" anything about the planet, but that we are currently *influencing* mean surface temperature. At best, I said, we have the *potential* to have some control, via controlling our emissions.

      The ice age's comings or goings really have nothing to do with that. But if you ask, then I would say that if we survive the current crisis as a technologically-accomplished global society, then we would have a very real chance at averting the next Ice Age, because we now *do* have a demonstrated capacity to rapidly augment the greenhouse forcing within our atmosphere. That should be sufficient to avert an ice age, and indeed, some think that that has already happened:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environ...

      Of course, there are things that we can't control, too. Our civilization could be wrecked by a sufficiently large asteroid strike; by a sufficiently strong interstellar gamma-ray burst; or (probably even less likely) a sufficiently strong episode of solar 'indigestion'. Maybe there are other doomsday scenarios, too.

      But they are all aside from the question of whether our current actions are causing potentially disastrous global warming. And there, the evidence seems pretty incontrovertible to me. We are creating a serious problem for ourselves, and we'd be smart to stop doing so. It wouldn't make us God; but it would see us living up to the taxonomic name for our for our species a bit better.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      That is where we disagree. I don’t think we can control most of what happens in our planet. Just like the ice age comes around every 100000 years or so. We have no say in that matter? Or do you disagree with that statement.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      There's no "having it both ways." There are completely different forecasts for different timescales.

      *Climate* scientists forecast that as the climate warms, we may expect to see *more intense* (but, as I've pointed out several times now, probably *not* more frequent) hurricanes *over the course of the coming century.* Over those timescales, the comings and goings of ENSO cycles even out, as do the other things the story mentioned.

      *Meteorologists* forecast hurricane probabilities for the forthcoming or (now) ongoing season. That is a forecast window over which the influence of climate change is precisely zero, because the climate does not change appreciably during the course of one hurricane season.

      I hope you see the difference.

      "...if a climate scientist predict as a result of global warming and the melting of the ice in arctic, that the level of sea rise will cover most of Florida, and when it doesn’t happen as they claim, they say it is because of xyz or some other excuse."

      If a climate scientist said that, they would be laughed out of court, as sea ice melt does not have any appreciable effect on sea level rise. SLR comes about because of the melting of *terrestrial* ice, and because of thermosteric expansion of seawater.

      "...these same scientists are asking us..."

      No, 'the scientists' aren't asking us to do anything; they are telling us what the evidence says our present actions are already doing.

      Now, some individual scientists, like James Hansen, sometimes put on a climate activist hat, at which point they may indeed tell us what they think we ought to do. But that's citizenship, not science; Hansen has the same right to advocate for his point of view as you or I do (albeit with more exposure and credibility.)

      "...to sacrifice our standards of living and spend billions of tax dollars..."

      There's no credible evidence that decarbonizing the economy would appreciably lower the standard of living. Period. (In fact, there are some that indicate that even in pure economic terms we'd come out ahead.)

      And if billions of tax dollars are a concern, then I suggest that we begin saving them by eliminating all direct and indirect subsidies for fossil fuel production.

      "..to chase after something we have little understanding or control over."

      We have more than enough understanding to know that we are on an unsafe course of action, and more than enough evidence that we have strong influence on global mean surface temperature.

      If 'control' over GMST were the issue, we'd have to show that we can cut as well as increase emissions. But sadly, we have as yet to demonstrate that we have the political and social capability to exert as much 'emission control' as we need.

      Right now, we're more like a young child at the wheel of a moving car; we have the potential to 'control' it, but our present skill level is insufficient to do more than 'influence' it. And as with that kid, better hope we learn fast.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      You can’t have it both ways. If climate scientist are going to make the claim or projection that due to warming, we can expect more frequent and more extreme hurricanes...and when it doesn’t happen as projected, say it is only weather and not climate change related.

      Either it is or it isn’t? I hope you see my logic.

      By the same token, if a climate scientist predict as a result of global warming and the melting of the ice in arctic, that the level of sea rise will cover most of Florida, and when it doesn’t happen as they claim, they say it is because of xyz or some other excuse.

      The reason I am making a case out of this is that these same scientists are asking us to sacrifice our standards of living and spend billions of tax dollars to chase after something we have little understanding or control over. I know you disagree on my point but that is what we have been debating all along.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Not that particular story, but I had heard the news of the update reported.

      You ask: "How can this be if we are faced with the 4th warmest year in all time history?"

      The article itself answers your question:

      "To produce the seasonal update, forecasters take several factors into account. El Nino is now much more likely to develop with enough strength to suppress storm development during the latter part of the season. Today, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center updated its forecast to a nearly 70 percent likelihood of El Nino during the hurricane season.

      "Additionally, sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea have remained much cooler than average. A combination of stronger wind shear, drier air and increased stability of the atmosphere in the region where storms typically develop will further suppress hurricanes. Storm activity to-date and the most recent model predictions also contribute to this update."

      Hurricanes are influenced by multiple factors, which is one reason that their occurence, paths, and strengths are so widely variable.

      "Doesn't this give you pause about our climate science understanding?"

      No, why would it? Seasonal hurricane forecasting isn't primarily a climatic enterprise, it's a weather issue. Admittedly, understanding climate means understanding weather, too, but the latter is much more difficult to forecast since it doesn't involve the so-called Law of Large Numbers.

      By which, I mean climate forecasts are forecasts of statistical norms, whereas weather forecasts are of specific, mathematically chaotic trajectories. For example, based on the statistical norms, you'd expect a high around 90, and that is very stable over time. It's increased with warming, of course, but the 60s-90s normals are still only about 2 F lower than today's, as best as I can judge from data I was able to quickly find online. But the *actual* high temperature might well be anywhere from 85 to 95, and once in a while will make even wider excursions from the norm. As it happens, today's predicted high is 92, and it appears likely we'll be close to that, with current temperature sitting at 90 and most of the afternoon ahead of us.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "Clear and present..."

      There is something to that, in that the observations of the developing ozone hole were surprising, and the threat was immediate. In the case of climate change, while the science is just as clear, the danger was less immediate. (We've really been starting to experience it during the last couple of decades, but it was and continues to be a slow ramp-up, rather than a sudden shock as the ozone hole was.)

      "Banning or even reducing Fossil fuel use is not practical anytime soon."

      I'd have to disagree with you there: many nations have in fact reduced fossil fuel usage. Actually, even the US has--the EIA, no particular friend to 'new energy', said in 2016 that:

      "Three fossil fuels—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—have provided more than 80% of total U.S. energy consumption for more than 100 years. In 2015, fossil fuels made up 81.5% of total U.S. energy consumption, the lowest fossil fuel share in the past century. In EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2016 Reference case projections, which reflect current laws and policies, that percentage declines to 76.6% by 2040."

      https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=26...

      And what about today? Well, they updated that statement at the beginning of last month:

      "Fossil fuels—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—have accounted for at least 80% of energy consumption in the United States for well over a century. The fossil fuel share of total U.S. energy consumption in 2017 was the lowest share since 1902, at a little more than 80%, as U.S. fossil fuel consumption decreased for the third consecutive year."

      https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=36...

      And that, as you know, in a political environment where federal action on decarbonizing energy has been--shall I be polite?--limited at best, and actively obstructed at worst.

      On the global scale, the BNEF just reported that nearly a fifth of global electrical capacity now renewable, with a terawatt of capacity installed:

      https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3037104/the-...

      Even more recently, they reported that they expect solar PV to hit that mark within 5 years (by which time, according to the previous story, wind plus solar will account for 40% of global capacity.)

      https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3060851/glob...

      And the BNEF 2018 energy outlook report projects that by 2050, it is likely that fully half of global *generation*--not capacity--will be renewable. They expect coal's market share to be down to 11% by then, with gas operating mostly in the peaker space.

      https://about.bnef.com/new-energy-outlook/

      So I think your idea that replacing fossil is 'impractical' is way, way behind the times. Not only can it happen, it *is* happening.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      doc, have you seen this from NOAA?

      http://www.noaa.gov/media-release/noaa-forecasters...

      How can this be if we are faced with the 4th warmest year in all time history?

      Doesn't this give you pause about our climate science understanding?

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      I will spell it out. The reason the Ozone problem was resolved is because the science and the predictions and the final data collected was verified and a clear and present danger was about to be unleashed on our planet. The International community got together and came up with a viable solution of banning CFC products and finding an alternative replacement.

      In the case of Climate Change, non of that happened. That is why I remain a skeptic. Banning or even reducing Fossil fuel use is not practical anytime soon. Another alternative have to be presented and it has to make sense and be economically viable.

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