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Climate Change Predictions - How Accurate Are They?

Updated on June 13, 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...

© 2015 Jack Lee

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    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      25 hours 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 

      29 hours 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

      TSAD 

      31 hours ago from https:// www.consumeraffairs.com/ online/ hubpages. html

      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 

      32 hours 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 

      32 hours 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 

      32 hours 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://soapboxie.com/social-issues/Climate-Change...

      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 

      33 hours 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 

      34 hours 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

      TSAD 

      34 hours ago from https:// www.consumeraffairs.com/ online/ hubpages. html

      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 

      35 hours 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 

      36 hours 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

      TSAD 

      2 days ago from https:// www.consumeraffairs.com/ online/ hubpages. html

      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

      TSAD 

      2 days ago from https:// www.consumeraffairs.com/ online/ hubpages. html

      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 days 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

      TSAD 

      5 days ago from https:// www.consumeraffairs.com/ online/ hubpages. html

      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 

      5 days 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 

      5 days 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 

      5 days 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 

      5 days 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

      TSAD 

      6 days ago from https:// www.consumeraffairs.com/ online/ hubpages. html

      Jack, what do you think of this

      https://www.real.video/5814781307001

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      6 days 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 

      6 days 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 

      6 days 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 

      6 days 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 

      7 days 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 

      7 days 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 

      7 days 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 

      7 days 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 

      7 days 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 

      7 days 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 

      7 days 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 

      7 days 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 

      7 days 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 

      7 days 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.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      7 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Sorry, you are going to have to spell it out. I went back and looked at the beginning of the article again; there, you distinguished between the ozone hole situation and AGW on the basis that projections of the latter haven't been as accurate. But that was based on the James Hansen interview back in 1988--(although you misattributed it to Michael Mann in the article)--that was again referenced in the Bradley WUWT piece that I just critiqued below. So that bit is basically going around in a tangle of circles (or maybe ellipses).

      If you'll forgive me saying so, this happens a lot in the climate 'debate'--faux skeptics and outright denialists just keep promulgating the same ideas and objections, no matter how thoroughly answered they may have been. That's the origin of the phrase 'zombie argument'--dead, yet still walking--as well as the term 'rebunking' (which is what happens to an argument after it has been 'debunked', if its proponent is unwilling to accept that it is not, after all, correct, but has no further defense of it.)

      As to the ozone hole versus AGW, I'd opine, just for what it's worth, that the reason that the former was resolved much more easily was that opposition to acceptance of the Montreal Protocol was much narrower and weaker than opposition to Kyoto and now Paris. In large part *that* was because much of the problem was susceptible to relatively easy and cheap solution via drop-in substitutions (and usually made by the same manufacturers, I believe.)

      While kicking the fossil fuel habit is, I maintain, quite possible and indeed ultimately *more* than practical, it is also, admittedly, a very large and difficult job--as you yourself have pointed out. It is also much more difficult for the major players to maintain or adapt their business models in the case of AGW mitigation. Hence resistance to admitting its necessity is much stronger--and has generated its own bespoke political partisanship, enhanced (or exacerbated) by the current quasi-tribalism in American politics.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      9 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Interesting? So how did the international community come together to ban CFC when it comes to the ozone hole? Back in the1970s...

      It seems to me lessons can be learned here...

      Do you know what the lesson is?

      I kind of alluded to it in my hub from the beginning...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      9 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Well, there's the question of who should decide, and then there's the question of who *will* decide. But speaking broadly, society at large decides.

      I think that that would ideally take place via a democratic process, but you must first have a functioning democracy for that to happen. That will, perhaps, be the case in India, and perhaps here in the US, too--eventually. (I think you are going to seeing more and more folks acting as 'climate voters' in our elections, going forward--though I admit that may seem to many like unadulterated blind optimism at present.) In China, of course, the biggest 'decider' will be the Communist Party, which seems increasingly to mean Chairman Xi.

      I'm not implying that the *only* factor, or only required action, is governmental--although in my opinion, legal and regulatory frameworks are highly necessary to support market mechanisms and give them a structural context that will enable efficient pricing of carbon mitigation. (That follows, I think, since the biggest slice of the problem is systemic, in that present economic signals are distorted by the hidden subsidization of fossil fuels.)

      But one can look at examples such as the late years of the Soviet Union, or at Prohibition in America, to see that without reasonably strong and broad-based support of official policy, the latter can fail--and often has. So even without democracy, what everyday people want, and what they think is important, tends to matter over time.

      An example of that today is the attentiveness of the Chinese Communist Party to popular opinion; the Party has no electoral competition, of course, but they have the heritage of Maoism which, despite all its incoherencies and flaws, does teach that the will of the people matters. And so the Party monitors it carefully (and manipulates it to its own advantage whenever possible.)

      As far as I can tell--and I recognize that good information on this is limited--one of the reasons for China's strong move toward low-carbon technologies is in fact that people on the street really don't like wearing filter masks, or putting up with stinging eyes, allergies, asthma and the like. That makes mitigating air pollution an area where the Party can demonstrate the effectiveness of its policies, and their relevance to everyday wishes and desires. It also seems to be true that the technocrats within the government see serious downsides in climate change for their nation--based, at least, on many policy documents put forward over the years.

      Again, that Chinese model is not what I think is best; I'd prefer a democratic process, both because I think it's inherently right in ethical terms, and because I think that in general, democratic process tends toward policy that has reasonable citizen 'buy in.' (Though you couldn't prove it by today's America!)

      But the bottom line is that the realities of each society are what they are.

      Whatever and whoever the 'decider' may be, one hopes that the decision process is informed by accurate and timely data, analysis and advice. In theory, democracy offers the best chance for that to happen, too--and maybe in practice in the world at large, but that's another whole topic. The decision must ultimately be a political one, because politics is just society deciding what to do; and what people want, or not, is a question not only of fact but also of value. But the assessment of the realities being dealt with should be as technical, as scientific, and as objective as possible.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      9 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, let’s say I buy into your argument. The next step is who decides?

      Who decides what is the best path to take to mitigate climate change?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      9 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, to a considerable degree we aren't actually disagreeing on the merits of a free market--we both agree that it is a highly efficient mechanism with high utility to society.

      What you don't seem to get is that the market does not cover everything--as I said earlier, it does not regulate things which do not have prices attached to them. The problem with that is that there are things which have high value, but no price--such as ecosystem services, upon which we are utterly dependent.

      The result is that the free market will deliver us, say, mobile phones at the best possible price--but it won't protect us from toxic emissions in the smelting of the aluminum. Currently, Apple corporate policy is helping to do that, which is arguably an instance of "People including billionaires [acting] in their best interest and their posterity." And that is great--but there are lots of examples of folks *failing* to act in such a way.

      Partly that is because there are lots of pressures to do just that: in the link I provided earlier, for instance, Tim Cook was pressured by stockholders who questioned whether he should be spending their money on renewable energy. And from a short-term perspective, they might have a point. But should short-termism rule? And if not, just what time-frame *should* be prioritized? The free market provides no guidance on such questions; once again, market design depends upon social decisions.

      In short, the market, though efficient, is not complete. It's not sufficient in and of itself to achieve optimum social utility (in the economist's sense of the word "utility", which means something like "usefulness" or "value.") For one thing, it doesn't prescribe what 'utility' consists in. Society has to do that. We have to decide what we really value, and therefore what we will choose to pay for.

      As to that WUWT piece, it's highly incorrect. I won't try to catalog every error--that would be tedious--but let me address a few illustrative ones.

      1) Take this quote:

      "Take the mid-point of the above’s predicted warming, six degrees. At the thirty-year mark, how is it looking? The increase is about one degree—and largely holding (the much-discussed “pause” or “warming hiatus”). And remember, the world has naturally warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age to the present, a good thing if climate economists are to be believed."

      First, he mixes units; the 3-9 degrees of the Shabecoff prediction were Fahrenheit, and the current state is about 1 *Celsius* degree above pre-Industrial (or a bit more, depending upon definitions of "Pre-Industrial.") So we are not at 1 degree of 3-9, we are at 1.8, with 7 years to the *beginning* of the prediction window given (2025-2050), and 32 years to its end.

      Second, it is manifestly untrue, as we have previously discussed, that we are 'holding' during an alleged 'hiatus.' There was never any evidence that the slower warming rate during the first part of this millennium represented a change in trend; it was not out of line with variability observed in previous portions of the observational record, nor with realizations in climate models.

      But regardless of the status of the slowdown, it ended. As you know--but Rob Bradley seems not to--there were three consecutive record-warm years from 2014-2016. Last year broke the streak, but still reached 2nd- or 3rd-warmest on the list, depending upon dataset, and this year will enter the record books as the warmest-ever El Nino year. As I've said before, we could have another period of slower warming, but that last alleged 'pause' is dead, dead, dead.

      As to the 'natural warming since the LIA', that's not even wrong. It's a vexed topic, but there's no agreement on when the LIA was, whether or not it was really a global event, or what caused it. And since by most definitions, the LIA ended after the Industrial era began, human emissions were already part of the climate picture, falsifying Mr. Bradley's claim that warming must have been 'natural.'

      All of which brings us back to projections. Over the long term, the warming rate has been about 0.17 C per decade for the GISTEMP data. Multiply that out by 7-32 years, and you get 0.12-0.544 additional degrees C, for a total of 1.12-1.54 C, or 2-2.77 F warming.

      Ah, you say, still not as much as the 1988 prediction! It's still falsified!

      Well, given the costs we're seeing with warming of ~1 C, projected warming of 1.5 is still nothing to be happy about. But Mr. Bradley's prediction testing is radically flawed; he's not doing apples to apples.

      That's because he ignores a little clause in the original 'prediction'--it's really not a prediction, but a projection!--the one that says "If the current pace of the buildup of these gases continues." The short version is that it didn't. (The longer version has already been linked and discussed in past conversations, so I won't repeat it now.) The emissions trajectory leading to the cited 'worst case' simply didn't happen--so, obviously, one shouldn't expect that warming would follow the same trajectory as it would have done.

      But there's still more. I've already discussed how wrong Mr. Bradley is to claim that temperatures are 'holding.' But things are actually worse than that. There's a very interesting chart in the Wikipedia article on instrumental temperature records; it breaks down warming by decade:

      The portion for the modern warming era runs as follows:

      1970–1979 −0.001 °C (−0.00180 °F) +0.013 °C (0.0234 °F)

      1980–1989 0.176 °C (0.317 °F) +0.177 °C (0.319 °F)

      1990–1999 0.313 °C (0.563 °F) +0.137 °C (0.247 °F)

      2000–2009 0.513 °C (0.923 °F) +0.200 °C (0.360 °F)

      2010–2019 (incomplete) 0.728 °C (1.31 °F) +0.215 °C (0.387 °F)

      (I don't know how that formatting will survive posting! But you can always take the link to the original.)

      Note that with one exception (the 1980s/1990s), the warming rate each decade has increased (rightmost column). So by that measure, far from 'holding', warming appears actually to be accelerating!

      Now, I don't think that this result reaches statistical significance, so I wouldn't 'predict' that that is what we'll see going forward (particularly since I'm hopeful that our decarbonization of electric generation will begin to noticeably affect the rise of CO2 mixing ratios relatively soon.) But it wouldn't be obviously crazy or wrong to extrapolation the warming rate of the current decade forward.

      So, if we were to see warming at not 0.17 C/decade, but 0.215 C/decade over the next 7-32 years, what would we get? 0.27-1.24F warming above present-day, for totals of 2.07-3.04F above Pre-Industrial. The high end sneaks into the Shabecoff range, but I don't care that much about that, since regardless of the projection it's already likely enough to increase feedback action sufficiently to initiate a runaway that would take us to a 5C world--which would be absolutely catastrophic.

      I could go on--for instance, there is in fact evidence that sea level rise may be accelerating, contrary to Mr. Bradley's assertion; Peter Wadhams has not 'gone quiet', as a book from 2016 and numerous interviews attest; and the whole section Bradley titles "Now or Never Exaggerations" is based upon the completely false assumption that there is no time lag between *commitment* to an eventual end state and *attainment* of that state--but this is already another tediously long comment.

      Suffice it to say, Bradley is wrong at pretty much every turn.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      9 days ago from Yorktown NY

      30 years of failed climate change predictions...

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/08/07/failed-prog...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      10 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, I guess we will have to disagree on this one. I believe the free enterprise system is the best among all others. It works yesterday, today and will work tomorrow. The answer is simple. It takes human nature into consideration. We act in the best interested of our selves. That is why the hidden hand of the market will always produce the lowest cost and most efficient methods.

      It applies to climate science and all other economic human endeavor. People including billionaires will act in their best interest and their posterity. If Jeff Bezos thinks the planet will be destroying in 100 years, you can bet he would do whatever is necessary to either fix the condition or create an escape path for him and his family. Unless it is out of our human control. If it turns out no amount of money or effort can change our future climate, then the answer is moot. We are all in the same boat. Enjoy today and leave tomorrow to the God...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      10 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      I think there are several issues here.

      First, take your statement that:

      "Capitalism works the way it was intended. It is based on individual self interested which leads to a better economy for the masses."

      Basically, it's a statement of faith. It has by and large been true since the Industrial Revolution, but that is a period that has also been historically unique in several other relevant ways, such as, well, industrialization. (Not to mention many other innovations, which you can probably list just as well as I can.) So viewed as an experiment, we are faced with numerous confounding variables when we try to analyze the historical data.

      Put another way, yes, mostly the rising tide of capitalism lifted all boats. But what was true during a highly expansive period of history may not be true during a period in which growth is not so dynamic--which characterized both population dynamics in most of the world today, and also economic growth in so-called 'mature' economies. (And there has been an awful lot of head-scratching about just why growth has become rather tepid; I don't think anyone today can plausibly claim to know for sure.)

      What we do know is that we are approaching or exceeding natural limits today, which will affect our ability to 'grow the economy'. You mostly hear about limitations in terms of *sources* from which the economy draws--natural resources and energy, broadly speaking. But I think still more restrictive in practical terms is the ability of the Earth system to *sink* our various waste products--be it plastic debris, toxic chemicals, or natural substances that are biologically or climatically active, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, or carbon dioxide.

      We are observably damaging critical aspects of the natural system upon which we depend, utterly, and we cannot continue to do that unless we wish to choose unconstrained and potentially existential risks.

      That brings me to the second point, which is externalities. The free market is a wonderful mechanism for apportioning costs in an efficient way. However, it depends upon some combination of legal and/or social norms to function, because without a reasonably reliable rule of law and/or custom, theft tends to become a norm and the market breaks down. The market does not, and cannot, exist in a legal/social vacuum.

      From that it follows that market characteristics depend upon social regulation, whether formal or customary. And we know from market theory that markets can only efficiently allocate prices relative to factors which have prices attached to them. Fresh air traditionally did not have a price attached to it, because it was freely available (speaking broadly, at least).

      But in the modern era, we are starting to put prices on fresh air in various ways. One instance is the emergence in China of 'fresh-air tourism', in which relatively unpolluted provinces lure inhabitants of heavily industrialized areas, like Beijing, to come and enjoy freedom from air-filter masks. Another is the use of cap-and-trade mechanisms, which combine regulation with an emissions market, such as the 'acid rain' scheme which worked so effectively to clean up power plants killing forests in the 1990s in the US. A third is pure regulation, in which the government says, "You can't emit more than x amount of substance y, and if you do, you will be fined for doing so." This approach amounts to contingent taxation.

      Such things--possibly excluding the first response--are seen by all too many folks--obviously including quite a few in the current Administration--as 'anti-free-market' measures. They are not. They are mechanisms for allocating costs more accurately. To see that, turn the question around: if someone dumps a lethal toxin into the atmosphere (as infamously happened in Bhopal, to take an extreme instance), but does not pay for the harm inflicted, then they are receiving a subsidy, in effect. And that means that the market is not functioning as efficiently as it could.

      The third question you raise is the question of 'proof.' In essence, you are saying that "Bezos and Musk and Cook and Gates and Buffett" would act if the problem of climate change were real, because they are highly motivated to do so. There are a few problems with that. I'll put them as questions.

      --How sure are we? About that, I'll only say that, first, there is not an established standard for how sure a multibillionaire should be to act; and second, that fossil fuel interests have done just about everything they could over the last four decades or so to rhetorically influence perceptions of risk on the negative side. You should know; you apparently read their output on a regular basis.

      --When does the risk become acute? You mentioned twenty years. But what about, say, the end of the century? Should a multibillionaire care about serious dangers that become manifest about then? All the men you mention are likely to be dead by then. Do they care about descendants enough to trim their courses by such future considerations?

      --The rich are much less exposed to climate risk than are the rest of us; in fact, exposure scales pretty well with economic status, so you and I are a good deal safer in that regard than most of humanity. But to the extent that action is motivated by personal welfare, your magnates are less likely to be motivated than, say, a drought-stricken farmer in Syria or sub-Saharan Africa--considerable numbers of whom have been risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean in inflatable rafts. But it's the actions of the former, not the latter, who determine climate responses of large industries.

      Finally, let's examine the record of these folks on climate change:

      Bezos/Amazon: http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/companystories.aspx...

      Bottom line: Amazon is acting, but in a pretty half-hearted way.

      Gates: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-402...

      Just one story, but sounds like he's trying to bring Bezos onboard with some big-time business/philanthropy.

      Cook: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/0...

      Hmm, Cook sounds pretty exercised on the topic. On the corporate side, a (very) quick search didn't turn up third-party evaluations such as the one for Amazon I linked above, but here's what Apple has to say for itself in that regard:

      https://www.apple.com/environment/climate-change/

      Buffett: https://www.warrenbuffett.com/warren-buffett-on-cl...

      Short version: Climate change is real, and poses serious risks--but not to us as insurers, because we write policies on an annual basis, and will just increase premiums in response to rising risks. Oh, and "the company’s energy businesses had made “major commitments to the future development of renewables in support of the Paris Climate Change Conference...”

      As for Elon Musk, do I really need to say anything? Pretty much everything he's done as a businessman since selling his stake in Paypal has been motivated in large part to safeguard human well-being, whether it's Space-X aiming to put humanity's eggs in more than one planetary basket, or Tesla trying to transform the entire energy economy, starting with transportation. He's by far the pre-eminent icon for climate-activist business, far exceeding Al Gore in that respect.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      10 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, check out this latest from Michael Mann...

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/08/06/michael-man...

      I disagree with his assessment. The reason it has not worked for Climate Change as opposed to Acid rain or ozone hole...is precisely why it is not effective. Capitalism works the way it was intended. It is based on individual self interested which leads to a better economy for the masses. It is diametric opposite of communism or socialism where the State makes the decisions for the community.

      If climate change can demonstrate an accurate prediction that our planet will be destroyed in 20 years...all the resources of people like Bezos and Musk and Cook and Gates and Buffett will go into solvingthat problem. The reason is simple. They have the most to loose if it happens, They will do what ever is necessary to saving the planet to save their fortunes....don’t you agree?

      The fact they are not treating this as serious as they should, tells me something important.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, you've mentioned the problem of at-home charging for those who don't have garages. Here's something I thought might intrigue you:

      https://cleantechnica.com/2018/07/24/urban-electri...

      Seems a bit over the top to me; yes, the cosmetics would be better this way, but that 'pop-up' tech better be robust! And if it's robust, how expensive will it be? Then again, this is Britain; they don't tolerate eyesores quite as much as we do in this country.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, during the last ten years the warming rate (per HADCRUT data, which is not the most 'alarmist' set) was ~0.33 C/decade--fastest during the modern warming era, maybe the fastest in the whole HADCRUT record (I haven't checked specifically, but it seems likely). I know because I ran the analysis on the woodfortrees site just yesterday, in pursuit of an unrelated matter (or mostly unrelated, anyway). Here's the link:

      http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:13/fr...

      (Sorry it's so unwieldy. But if you click on it, you can not only 'get the picture', literally, you can also play with the data yourself if you are so inclined.)

      So, given that the last decade shows such a high 10-year warming trend, the idea that there is a continuation or 'extention' of the so-called hiatus is just laughable.

      There could be a *new* hiatus, of course, but frankly there is little reason to expect that, either. Based on 2018 to date, this year will probably end up in the area of 5th warmest ever, depending on the dataset you choose. It's also likely to be the warmest La Nina year ever--(though now they are talking about a possible switch to Nino conditions late in the fall, and I'm not sure how that would affect the definition of "La Nina year.")

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      4 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, did you see this?

      How is this possible?

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/18/quote-of-th...

      Another 2 decades extention of the pause...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      5 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Short version: Yes, aerosols are included in climate modeling, and so is humidity. (Of course, as with everything else involved in climate modeling, there is no expectation of reproducing the specific 'weather' trajectory, just the overall climate statistics.)

      As for the Ivanpah CSP plant, 40% was then, this is now. The numbers aren't thoroughly up-to-date--or if they are, I didn't find them--but for 2017 Ivanpah produced ~719 MWh, as compared with the 'advertised' capacity of 940. So it's operating at 76.5% or so, not 40%. Not sure why it's not 100%, but it is meeting the terms of its power contract. (They do say that the capacity factor leading to the calculated 940 MWh was "assumed.")

      Do note that this isn't photovoltaic solar, which is the dominant form today; Ivanpah is concentrating solar power, a thermal technology that's now much more expensive than PV. (It's not that CSP has gone up; it's that PV has kept coming down in price.) The potential advantage of CSP is that combined with thermal storage, it could generate 24 hours a day. But Ivanpah wasn't built with thermal storage capability.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      5 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Check out this article on solar farm...

      https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2016/05/21...

      It only produced 40% of the power...it was designed to do???

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      5 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, just read this article and wondered if this was included in the climate models?

      https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/2018/07/09...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      6 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      I think you're kidding yourself about Trump and the world's view of America today.

      I think that we're going to see increasingly 'green' energy, and peak fossil relatively soon. Yet will it be soon enough? I don't know.

      While most polls show that a decisive (and still growing) majority is concerned about climate change, I must agree with you that it is not nearly close enough to the top of the priority list, most often. That, too, is in my opinion shifting in the direction of recognizing the reality facing us, but is it shifting fast enough? I would say not.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      6 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, here is an observation. We have been discussing this topic for almost 3 years. During that time period, a nano second in climate change, remember 30 years is considered a brief moment, the world has seen great changes...The Paris accord and the Trump rejection.

      The world is surprising resilient. Great strides made in solar and renewable energy and yet fossil fuel use is greater than ever, with the fracking and all...and the economic boom brought on by Trump.

      Where do you think this is going?

      I think Trump is winning big time and people around the world is taking notice. On the other hand, the UN and the Climate science community seems at a loss...they are having problems keeping the message and polls show 50% of the people either do not buy into their dire warmings or they don’t see it as the most devastating problem facing us. That is my assessment.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      6 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, that's wrong on multiple fronts, from the alleged lack of warming since 2000, to the 'mitigation alarmism' in the last paragraph.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      6 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, this article has summarized what I have been saying for the past 5 years...

      https://www.nysun.com/national/global-warming-turn...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      7 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, that is not only not good news, it is not news at all.

      Here's the sea ice extent graph from the same source, the Danish Met Institute. You'll notice that this year's trace on the graph (shown in black) is among the lowest on the record (not *the* lowest, which remains 2016 for this time of year, but not so far above it on the graph, either):

      http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php

      At this time of year we are only about halfway into the melt season; the annual maximum is typically in late March or early April, with the annual minimum occurring in early-to-mid September.

      If you like, you can play with the dates on the original site, here:

      http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icethickness/thk.uk.php

      I think you'll find that the state of the ice isn't all that great by historical standards, though it has been worse in some recent years, in particular 2016. Even what turned out to be the record-low year, 2012, doesn't look all that different from the current map. But go back farther and you'll find a lot more thick ice, and a lot more coverage in the marginal seas at this date.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      7 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Tsad--very sad, actually:

      "See Jack, how can you expect to reason with the likes of doc snow when he lies about everything..."

      Temper, temper...

      "It was reported in the seventies that global warming was happening..."

      There were reports a lot further back than that--but a few scattered reports, of little interest (apparently) for most people's practical purposes, didn't add up to very much. And that is what I said: that public awareness of the issue in the 70's was pretty low.

      "...and who cares if the oil companies new it..."

      Maybe those who care whether they were deliberately misleading the public?

      "(frankly nobody even now knows it is from carbon)"

      Frankly, yes, those who pay attention to the mainstream science do know exactly that.

      "Whether it is a serious problem has nothing to do with the fact these suits are frivolous, so snow has no case."

      Actually, here's a definition of what constitutes a frivolous law suit: "Frivolous lawsuits are those filed by a party or attorney who is aware they are without merit, because of a lack of supporting legal argument or factual basis for the claims."

      https://definitions.uslegal.com/f/frivolous-lawsui...

      Neither of those conditions was met in this case; there was a reasonable supporting argument, and strong factual evidence for the claims.

      But don't worry; just because you are wrong, doesn't mean you have to conform with correct usage; you can keep on using words to mean whatever you want them to mean. There's no law against it.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 

      7 weeks ago from https:// www.consumeraffairs.com/ online/ hubpages. html

      See Jack, how can you expect to reason with the likes of doc snow when he lies about everything

      It was reported in the seventies that global warming was happening

      https://skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-i...

      and who cares if the oil companies new it (frankly nobody even now knows it is from carbon) first when the media has run with it for at least 30 years even according to doc snow. Whether it is a serious problem has nothing to do with the fact these suits are frivolous, so snow has no case.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, What legislative actions can Congress or the President take today that will reduce climate change? I pose this question seriously.

      The problem is we don't know what is the proper response or actions to counter climate change at this moment. Given the reality of where we are... If in 20 years, and with better knowledge and better models, we are able to determine a course of action that will reduce the effects of climate change, I will support it. Not the current Paris Accord...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      7 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "How can the oil companies be responsible and not all the consumers who keep them in business by using the oil?"

      Judge Alsup agreed with you: "...would it really be fair to now ignore our own responsibility in the use of fossil fuels and place the blame for global warming on those who supplied what we demanded?”

      "...because of the media they have known this certainly as long as oil companies could have known it..."

      No. The oil companies had internal scientific advice, back in the 70s, that allowed them to know long before the public at large had much concern or widespread knowledge. Widespread public concern about the issue only began to show up in the 90s, or late 80s at most.

      "That's as good reasoning as the basis of these suits which are plain and simply frivolous suits and not thrown out because the problem is too big."

      A serious problem is pretty much the definition of 'not a frivolous suit.' It always was, however, a difficult suit to *win* because the requirement that individuals demonstrate damage that's specific to the actions of the defendant is difficult when causation is indirect, as in this case.

      " What's too big is the judge is too big for his britches."

      Strange comment. The judge had the responsibility to decide; he decided. I'm not crazy about the decision he made, but I don't see how he in any way exceeded his authority.

      "...sanity from our court..."

      I would agree, especially this bit:

      " U.S. District Judge William Alsup acknowledged the problem of a warming planet..."

      And I agree with him that the problem is real and deserves a legislative and administrative response, led by the relevant regulatory agencies. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has decided that the science is wrong (apparently based on the fact that their biggest donors are fossil fuel interests), and has not only declined to address the problem, it is actively working to exacerbate it both at international and national levels. In addition, it is working to degrade or even destroy the capacity of regulatory agencies to address or even to monitor the problem.

      And sanity, that ain't.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 

      7 weeks ago from https:// www.consumeraffairs.com/ online/ hubpages. html

      Sanity? Too big for the courts to solve? That's not sanity, it's a dodge. How can the oil companies be responsible and not all the consumers who keep them in business by using the oil? If we are to believe carbon is causing the oceans to rise It’s the consumers ’ use of oil that is the problem and because of the media they have known this certainly as long as oil companies could have known it. That's as good reasoning as the basis of these suits which are plain and simply frivolous suits and not thrown out because the problem is too big. What's too big is the judge is too big for his britches.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      7 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Yes, though not that exact story, which has a lot of detail. So thanks for that.

      I don't really think it's a story about solar, though; more a story about Tesla. As stated, they are trying to achieve profitability within the year, so cost-cutting is the order of the day. Particularly when the residential solar segment is languishing a bit in general; anti-renewable energy initiatives and the solar panel tariffs imposed by Mr. Trump are putting a bit of a damper on it. Utility-scale solar isn't as much affected.

      There, the big picture looks pretty good, with cheap renewable energy putting a serious squeeze on coal, and pushing gas more toward a backup as opposed to baseload role.

      https://cleantechnica.com/2018/06/21/wind-solar-to...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, have you seen this news on solar -

      https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-tesla-solar-excl...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, good catch. There famously *are* issues with Dr. Dhristie's graph, which is the lower of the two. (IMO, the upper graph, from 2016, shows nothing more than natural variability; the commentary on it should be regarded as pure spin. So I won't address that one any further.)

      The first and least consequential discrepancy is simply that the more up-to-date graph I gave automatically 'looks better' for my case because it includes the record warm 2016 and the not-quite-record but still quite warm 2017.

      But there are more important issues, ably summed up here:

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-co...

      The first issue, baselining, though technical, is pretty serious numerically. If you pick one 'baseline' period or another, you will often actually change the *rank order* of various data sets at the end of the time under consideration! The established norm is to use 30-year averages as baselines in order to correctly align datasets such as observations and model runs. However, Dr. Christy didn't do that he simply arbitrarily set everything to '0' at 1979, which is the first year for which satellite temperature data is available.

      The more scholarly treatment of the baselining issue cited in the story is here:

      https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-...

      So is the average height in the 'atmospheric bulk temperature' observation set. His graph defines that as 0-50,000 feet, That's a weird choice because 50,000 feet is well into the stratosphere, which in accordance with greenhouse theory has been cooling for decades; most comparisons focus on the surface temperature, for which we have the best data. By contrast, the upper troposphere observational data is notoriously uncertain--a fact that has in the past put metaphorically put sizable portions of scientific egg on Dr. Christy's face.

      We can't tell how well the model runs chosen align spatially and temporally with the observations. But we do know that the chosen measure shows a lot less warming than more conventional choices--by eyeball from his graph, maybe 0.45 C from '79 to '15. By comparison the current UAH value for the lower troposphere ('TLT') looks to be about 0.7, or maybe a bit more, and it is famously the 'coolest' of any of the major observational data sets. That is also the value I get eyeballing the rise of the climate model runs, interestingly.

      Lastly, as previously hinted, we can't fully account for the shape of Dr. Christy's graph because he doesn't tell us several crucial things about how he derived that curve. For example, we don't know which 102 model runs he averaged, nor how he carried out the averaging. Is their altitudinal range really well-matched with that of the observations he picks? No way to know.

      But we do know that, apples to apples for the *surface* record, or even the lower troposphere, the observed warming is in pretty good agreement with the models.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, There seems to be a discrepancy between the plots you presented and the one's I see. What is going on here?

      Check out the two plots of projections I added above...

      It clearly shows the climate model projects are higher than observations...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "Your position on natural causes of climate change seems more closely to my views and less with climate scientists.

      "Of all my readings, it was clear that they believe the natural cycles are “negligible” compared to the human contribution. That is why they are surprised when the real data failed to match their predictions. They then backtrack and use the solar effects and the oceans and volcanic activities to justify the lack of warming... no?"

      I don't think so, no.

      I think the difference involves time scales, and stationary versus non-stationary forcings. Natural forcings are and were significant, and can temporarily counter the anthropogenic trend. (For example, this year will not be record warm.)

      However, because natural forcings are pretty much stationary on average over longer spans, their ups and downs largely average out over time. By contrast, CO2 and other GHGs keep on rising, and will do so as long as we fail to modify our behavior. The mathematical consequence is that over time, the growth in GHG predictably dominants the natural forcings. (Which, of course, do include "solar effects and the oceans and volcanic activities.")

      And remember, the observational record is in good agreement with the projected model ensemble, as I keep showing:

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

      (Time for a new update to that page, I think!)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      Your position on natural causes of climate change seems more closely to my views and less with climate scientists.

      Of all my readings, it was clear that they believe the natural cycles are “negligible” compared to the human contribution. That is why they are surprised when the real data failed to match their predictions. They then backtrack and use the solar effects and the oceans and volcanic activities to justify the lack of warming... no?

      Anyway, we will see how much effect the next solar cycle will have on our climate. Either it will be negligible or it will prevent the warming or even cause a slight cooling over the next 11 years...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Hi, Jack--

      1) Well, I give Mr. Marusek points for doing a lot of digging. However, I must note that his prediction that "The global warming pause or hiatus will continue. (According to the most accurate temperature data from satellites, global temperatures flatlined after 1998..." is falsified already. After three years of consecutive record-warm years, and a current (fourth) year that is still in the top ten warmest in the record, the "pause" is dead, dead, dead. *Another* pause might develop, to be sure, but that's the closest possibility remaining. (To elaborate just a bit, the year-to-date is currently anywhere between 4th-warmest and 8th-warmest, depending upon which data set you use.)

      2) You ask, "why don’t the climate models do some regression test and see how the models hold up going back 200 years", and in doing so you surprise me. I thought I had been quite clear in the past that climate models have done *lots* of so-called 'hindcasting'. Here's a search, if you wish to survey some papers in this genre of research:

      https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sd...

      3) I have no idea why Anthony Watts calls this work an 'excuse', nor why he thinks it's something all that new: the idea that natural forcings could have caused the slowdown is familiar, and nor does the research presented challenge mainstream science in any way.

      Perhaps he is under the misapprehension that mainstream science does not think solar input is at all significant, but as I've tried to make clear in numerous exchanges of views that we've had, that is simply not the case. And his comment that "Nature is still in control" is just weird; does he really think Nature acts purposefully somehow? Or that anyone thinks that natural forcings are negligible? Does he think that a decadal 'pause' is contrary to model predictions? It's not, there are numerous model runs showing just such behavior--the snag being that, due to the chaotic nature of weather that Mr. Marusek insists on (quite correctly), such pauses don't all happen at the same time in models. That fact illustrates the difference between predicting climate (the evolving norms of weather) versus weather itself (in which one must predict not just the mean states involved, but also the exact trajectory by which one evolves into the next).

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      The big difference between these predictions and the ones made using the various climate models is that these predictions are based on past history. The events predicted has happened before during a previous solar minimum back in the 1800...

      It begs the question, why don’t the climate models do some regression test and see how the models hold up going back 200 years instead of only going forward 30 years?

      Their credibility will be much improved if their model can accurately reflect past conditions...in all its forms(CO2 levels, solar onditions and the various natural cycles...)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, things are beginning to get interesting. A new detailed projection about our climate is made here -

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/forecast-for-s...

      It relates to the next solar cycle 25.

      We will see which has a greater accuracy and effect on climate...the Sun or human activities?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Yes, they're having a bad time of it near Kilauea.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, the pjmedia article is interesting and well-written, but badly flawed. I just lost a long comment setting that out in some detail, unfortunately, due to a browser crash. I don't have time to redo all of that.

      But briefly, and as one example, let's take your author's comment that:

      "...'climate sensitivity' [is] basically how much total warming can be expected from a unit increase in CO2 concentration. The accepted models give numbers as high as 4 degrees per century for the increases we've seen, but those models uniformly don't seem to be predictive..."

      I counted no less than 6 errors or misunderstandings in that short passage. (If you care, I can lay them out for you.) So my conclusion is that the author, however engagingly he may write, simply doesn't know what he's talking about.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "What does AGW have to do with coral reefs?"

      Where do I start? We've been discussing this at least since I wrote my 'predictions' article, and it's decently explained in the article I linked.

      Short version: high water temps--increasingly frequent and intense, due to AGW--cause coral bleaching, which can kill coral. Increasingly, they *are* killing coral, as the article explains, and essentially on a global basis.

      "Would you agree that if man was not here on earth and the climate changes over the 100000 year cycle...as it does on a regular basis, wouldn’t it affect the coral reef just the same?"

      With the '100,000-year cycle' phrase you reveal that you are speaking of the glacial cycle that has prevailed during the Quaternary period. So the answer is "No, it wouldn't, because current temperatures are probably already higher than observed during the Quaternary--and if they aren't yet, they almost certainly will be before temperature stabilizes.

      There is also the question of rate of change, as the observed warming during the 20th is much faster than the rate of warming during transitions to interglacials.

      "It will experience warming and cooling....and will adapt ot it will go extinct as many other species..."

      And if it does, we impoverish ourselves and the marine environment. As the article I last quoted points out, a billion people depend on coral reefs for protein.

      "Why is it our fault or even our responsibility to maintain the status quo at 1970 temperature levels?"

      It's our "fault"--and certainly our "responsibility" because we are driving the change we observe. You complicate matters when you bring in the ethically-based terms "fault" and "responsibility"--not inappropriately, mind you! But ethics is complicated and inconclusive by nature.

      What is crystal clear, though, is that driving coral reefs to extinction is *not* in our best interests. So whether it is ethical to do so--and I can't imagine a system under which that is unambiguously the case, but 'your mileage may vary'--it isn't very smart.

      I have nothing against coral reefs. Just using it as one example of the environmental agenda.

      "I will do my best to save the planet and clean air and clean water and animals on brink of extinction...but I will stop short of going the extra mile of sacrificing our standard of living for these extreme positions."

      At the end of the day, you will lose 'our standard of living' anyway if you lose the former. But many commentators see the choice as a false dichotomy, that rational use of the technology and resources we have would mean that we could live well and still destroy less of our planet.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "What does AGW have to do with coral reefs?"

      Where do I start? We've been discussing this at least since I wrote my 'predictions' article, and it's decently explained in the article I linked.

      Short version: high water temps--increasingly frequent and intense, due to AGW--cause coral bleaching, which can kill coral. Increasingly, they *are* killing coral, as the article explains, and essentially on a global basis.

      "Would you agree that if man was not here on earth and the climate changes over the 100000 year cycle...as it does on a regular basis, wouldn’t it affect the coral reef just the same?"

      With the '100,000-year cycle' phrase you reveal that you are speaking of the glacial cycle that has prevailed during the Quaternary period. So the answer is "No, it wouldn't, because current temperatures are probably already higher than observed during the Quaternary--and if they aren't yet, they almost certainly will be before temperature stabilizes.

      There is also the question of rate of change, as the observed warming during the 20th is much faster than the rate of warming during transitions to interglacials.

      "It will experience warming and cooling....and will adapt ot it will go extinct as many other species..."

      And if it does, we impoverish ourselves and the marine environment. As the article I last quoted points out, a billion people depend on coral reefs for protein.

      "Why is it our fault or even our responsibility to maintain the status quo at 1970 temperature levels?"

      It's our "fault"--and certainly our "responsibility" because we are driving the change we observe. You complicate matters when you bring in the ethically-based terms "fault" and "responsibility"--not inappropriately, mind you! But ethics is complicated and inconclusive by nature.

      What is crystal clear, though, is that driving coral reefs to extinction is *not* in our best interests. So whether it is ethical to do so--and I can't imagine a system under which that is unambiguously the case, but 'your mileage may vary'--it isn't very smart.

      I have nothing against coral reefs. Just using it as one example of the environmental agenda.

      "I will do my best to save the planet and clean air and clean water and animals on brink of extinction...but I will stop short of going the extra mile of sacrificing our standard of living for these extreme positions."

      At the end of the day, you will lose 'our standard of living' anyway if you lose the former. But many commentators see the choice as a false dichotomy, that rational use of the technology and resources we have would mean that we could live well and still destroy less of our planet.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      You see, this is the stuff I am talking about. What does AGW have to do with coral reefs?

      Would you agree that if man was not here on earth and the climate changes over the 100000 year cycle...as it does on a regular basis, wouldn’t it affect the coral reef just the same?

      It will experience warming and cooling....and will adapt ot it will go extinct as many other species...

      Why is it our fault or even our responsibility to maintain the status quo at 1970 temperature levels?

      I have nothing against coral reefs. Just using it as one example of the environmental agenda.

      I will do my best to save the planet and clean air and clean water and animals on brink of extinction...but I will stop short of going the extra mile of sacrificing our standard of living for these extreme positions.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Thanks for the encouragement, Jack.

      I think that when you say "It is the activists like Al Gore and his minions that are exaggerating the threat," you may be conflating style and substance a bit, though. Though climate scientists in general naturally tend to speak in a measured way, their published results offer ample reason for concern--or should I even dare to say, "alarm."

      As a more-or-less random example of what I mean--albeit one that's relevant to one of our 'prediction' topics, the threat to coral reefs worldwide--I offer up the example of biologist and coral specialist Dr. Mark Eakin. A PhD in "Biological Oceanography," (U. Miami, '91) he has worked for NASA since 2005:

      https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-eakin-245b6319/

      Quotes:

      "This bleaching event has been devastating, and people who have been working on reefs around the world have just been heartbroken by what's occurred," he tells Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson. "But I haven't given up on coral reefs yet."

      "The important thing, though, is for the last decade we've been saying that the two things we have to do is, No. 1, we have to get climate change under control. And that's a matter of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere — not just reducing emissions, but reducing carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases.

      "No. 2, we need to reduce those local stresses, and this is where their work on nutrients and other pollutants is very important, where the crown-of-thorns starfish is important. Dealing with overfishing, habitat destruction — all really important. But now we've waited so long to really do anything about these, people are looking at very dramatic, radical conservation steps."

      Although, as he says, he has some hope, he is very clear that the threat to coral is a global one, and that it has severe consequences:

      "So it's all of our coral reefs. And these are amazing places that, you have a billion people around the world relying on them for fish, they protect shoreline from storms and tsunamis and they're very important economically."

      Source:

      http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2018/05/09/great-ba...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, do reach out to the scientists and ask questions. I find them in general to be less political and radical. It is the activists like Al Gore and his minions that are exaggerating the threat.

      Some of the academics like the moderator at the last talk I attended was close minded. As soon as I ask any serious questions, he cut me off. It is a tribute to DB that he was willing to engage me afterwards. Most of the times, these people just hide behind their offices...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      I would agree with what db told you in his response. I'm glad you continue to ask questions and explore. I'd love to have some of the resources here that you do there!

      However, we do have the University of South Carolina, which may not be Harvard but is a solid research university nonetheless. At some point I do want to reach out to some of the relevant faculty and learn from them, if they are willing to do a little public outreach.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, I attended a talk at the LEDO a week ago and David Biello was the speaker. He is not a scientist but report on science and works at TED talks.

      I followed up with him via email after his talk...

      Here is content of exchange.

      All good questions. I'll deal with them in turn:

      (1) Why can't scientists predict the weather when they claim to be able to predict climate? Basically, it comes down to weather is what you get and climate is what you expect. So, for example, you can reliably expect summer to be warmer than winter due to natural conditions and yet you can have a very hot day in winter or a very cool day in summer (and you may not get much advance notice, though weather prediction is certainly improving.) So with climate change, essentially CO2 (and the other greenhouse gases) trap more of the heat the Earth would otherwise radiate into the cold of space, raising average temperatures (also known as global warming.) Now exactly *how much* a given addition of greenhouse gases will raise average temperatures over time is still uncertain. That's called climate sensitivity and it's still a big area of research in climate change science:

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-mos...

      Unfortunately, the research suggests we have less time than we thought (2050 versus 2100, etc.) Average global temperatures have already warmed roughly a degree C, with more warming in store due to the long-term nature of the CO2 impact. To give some sense of what that means climate-wise, a degree C of cooling is roughly where temperatures were when Manhattan was under ice in the Pleistocene. And what happened over millennia in the geologic past is now happening in a matter of decades.

      (2) Certainly we can have air pollution reduction without ever mentioning climate change. Even if such reductions will help combat climate change! No need to mention it. Remember the example of farmers in the Midwest:

      http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_te...

      (3) I agree that scare tactics are not the right method but of course I can't control Al Gore or any other person, really, who's communicating about climate change. And I agree that the discussion we should be having is about what is the "best" solution to increasing CO2 levels in the air. After all, this gets tricky fast. Svante Arrhenius, one of the folks who discovered climate change more than a century ago, thought it would generally be a good thing, because he was from Sweden and warming might improve the weather there. You can see similar attitudes from the Russians today if you attend international climate change negotiations. The climate may change but human attitudes (seemingly) don't change that much...

      (4) I have good news for you! Literally everything you're proposing is being done. Climate change research hasn't stopped, nor is it static. Climate models are continually improved and already incorporate things like sunspot cycles and the like. In fact, the real frontier here is in the modeling of clouds, which remain a challenge though improving. And we know the timeframe for sea level rise, etc., it's now:

      https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sealevel.html

      The questions are by how much, by when? And that comes down to what we do. The single largest uncertainty in climate model projections is the assumptions made about what "we" (human civilization) do. Will we switch from coal to gas? Drive electric cars? Eat less meat? How many of us will there be in 2050? No one can say for sure and that's a huge source of uncertainty for what will happen in the future.

      (5) Finally, to your comments about energy, alas, no country has ever allowed there to be a truly free market in energy. It's simply too important to the functioning of a modern society that no politician seems willing to run that particular risk. So, here in the US, we subsidize to one degree or another, every single form of energy we use: fossil fuels, nuclear, renewables, even wood (!) and other biofuels like ethanol. Your tax dollars at work.

      Phew! Hope that helps. - db

      Thanks for getting back to me.

      My “big" question is why do scientists believe they can predict the future of climate change for decades into the future when we can’t predict the weather accurately and we can’t predict earthquakes and we can’t predict volcano eruptions…?

      If anything the other three are much easier when you consider they are localized where as climate change is global in nature.

      My second point is why does climate change tie itself to environmentalism? the two are separate issues in my opinion.

      We can have environmental protection like back in the 1970s where we reduced air pollution and had nothing to do with CO2 or fossil fuel usage. We can clean our exhausts and power plants without being tied to renewable energy production.

      In fact, CO2 as classified by the EPA is not a pollutant gas.

      Finally, why use scare tactics like what Al Gore did in his documentary An Inconvient Truths to scare children thinking our world will end if we don’t do something about CO2?

      The answer is not clear. The science is not settled and we need better climate models to get to the bottom of this.

      If the models are better, and we have a verifiable prediction about the CO2 emissions as cause and effect to global warming, then the next step is to look for the “best” solution to mitigate. In order to do that, we need a better handler on the timeframe of how soon thing will get ugly…

      My idea as a skeptic in 2018 is to do the following:

      1. Continue to do research on all the aspects of climate change because it is complex…

      2. Improve current climate models by combining all these various components including the natural elements such as solar sunspot cycles…

      3. Do calculations on the time frame of when the expected rise in oceans can occur, assuming worst case scenario, how much time do we have.

      I have asked scientists who studied this stuff and they can’t tell me if it is decades or hundred year or a thousand years? how come?

      Until we have a better means of dealing with this, I say we stop scaring children and also stop penalizing oil and gas companies and stop giving tax credits to solar and wind energy production. Our government has a terrible track record of picking winners and losers of new technology.

      Why not let the experiments and private researchers pursue their goals and let the best technology win in the market place. The cheapest technology should win out in a free enterprise system.

      Sorry for this long winded response and questions.

      I await your answers.

      - Jack

      Hello sir! Thanks for reaching out via my website. Would be happy to continue the discussion as I didn't get the chance to fully answer your questions. Feel free to ask away and thanks for coming out to the talk. Hope you're inspired to read the book too!

      --

      David Biello

      Science Curator

      TED

      330 Hudson St, 11th Floor

      New York, NY 10013

      @dbiello

      Order my book: The Unnatural World

      --

      David Biello

      Science Curator

      TED

      330 Hudson St, 11th Floor

      New York, NY 10013

      @dbiello

      ph: 1.646.535.2485

      Skype: david.biello

      Order my book: The Unnatural World

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      I don't see any predictions; just quibbling about the rates of observed SLR. I do seem to see a correlation between SLR and global temp, though. As we know, the latter is affected by GHGs but not *only* by GHGs.

      Some discussions of SLR from statistician 'Tamino':

      https://tamino.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/recent-sea...

      https://tamino.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/sea-level-...

      https://tamino.wordpress.com/2018/05/08/sea-level-...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Sure enough, the discussion over Lewis & Curry is now full on. Andrew Dessler, Thorsten Mauritsen, and Bjorn Stevens had a paper on the Lewis/Curry approach to ECS estimation, which they term an 'energy balance approach.' (The recent paper by Lewis & Curry was only the most recent example of the genre.)

      From the Dessler et al. abstract:

      "...we test the method using a 100-member ensemble of the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model (MPI-ESM1.1) simulations of the period 1850–2005 with known forcing. We calculate ECS in each ensemble member using energy balance, yielding values ranging from 2.1 to 3.9 K."

      I presume that such a wide spread for the same time period and constrained forcings is here considered to demonstrate a serious model shortcoming.

      They continue:

      "The spread in the ensemble is related to the central assumption in the energy budget framework: that global average surface temperature anomalies are indicative of anomalies in outgoing energy (either of terrestrial origin or reflected solar energy). We find that this assumption is not well supported over the historical temperature record in the model ensemble or more recent satellite observations."

      In other words, surface temperature is not the best metric from which to work. Interestingly, they suggest a better one:

      "We find that framing energy balance in terms of 500 hPa tropical temperature better describes the planet's energy balance."

      To find out how it's better, unfortunately, you would need to get behind the journal paywall.

      There is a little more information available on Twitter, though:

      https://twitter.com/AndrewDessler/status/952972171...

      (I gather scientific Twitter debates are now a thing--though they are accessories to the professional literature, not replacements for it.)

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      There's a pre-print PDF of the study available here, if you want to take a look:

      https://niclewis.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/lewis...

      It's about 30 pages of fairly dense writing, so it's a task to read, especially for laypersons such as ourselves. I've done a quick scan, but haven't read it through yet.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      I can't tell from the story; I'd have to go back to the study and do my best to follow the original. The story is just too vague in specifying what is meant by "not as bad." Given the hints contained in the story, I suspect that they are talking about a lower climate sensitivity.

      If so, that 'not as bad' really doesn't set a boundary on how bad the actual *effects* of climate change could be, since crudely put the effects--'impacts', if I use the jargon--are the product of the sensitivity times the forcing. So if we end up doing less to limit the forcing, we could conceivably end up with similar effects, even if sensitivity does turn out to be "30 to 45%" lower than the current best estimate.

      [Taking a quick look...]

      Yes, there's a brief summary and commentary here:

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2018/04/new-lewis-curr...

      As you may know, Dr. Spencer, like Dr. Curry, is firmly in the 'lukewarmer' camp--the group who recognize that the warming effect of CO2 and other GHGs is undeniable, but hold that the mainstream estimates of its effect are too high.

      Short version: yes, my guess that this is about sensitivity is correct, and Dr. Spencer likes the study, going so far as to call it 'seminal'. We'll see how it fares in the normal process of evaluating and building on research.

      He says that:

      "Basically, the paper concludes that the amount of surface and deep-ocean warming that has occurred since the mid- to late-1800s is consistent with low equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) to an assumed doubling of atmospheric CO2. They get a median estimate of 1.66 deg. C (1.50 deg. C without uncertain infilled Arctic data), which is only about half of the average of the IPCC climate models. It is just within the oft-quoted range of 1.5 to 4.5 deg. C that the IPCC has high confidence ECS should occupy."

      So this result is not in conflict with previous IPCC conclusions, it simply adds a piece of evidence suggesting that the low part of the range may be the correct one.

      (Oddly, Dr. Spencer goes on to argue that there are multiple uncertainties not dealt with by the study, some of which may be 'unquantifiable', which would also affect sensitivity estimates. Apparently he's tending assume that they could only cut one way, but that is not the case; some, such as aerosol forcings, might raise estimates of ECS instead.)

      It's interesting to note that there are a lot of denialist/lukewarmer sites promoting this result--I had a lot of sources to pick from right at the top of my search results. Of course, that happens every time that a result comes over the transom that might challenge (or appear to challenge) the mainstream perspective.

      But there will be much more said about this result, I think. Stay tuned to see what the ongoing impact of this work turns out to be.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 months ago from Yorktown NY

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Yes, such things have been of interest to me for a while.

      I know you'd prefer not to reduce fossil fuel use (and clearly you're not the only one who feels that way), but I don't think that's an option. To get to net zero emissions, we're going to need to drastically reduce fossil fuel use AND use some sort of active draw down techniques to reduce CO2 concentrations.

      Current CO2 levels are already comparable to or higher than those of the mid-Pliocene, when:

      "The global average temperature in the mid-Pliocene (3.3–3 mya) was 2–3 °C higher than today, and carbon dioxide levels were the same as today, global sea level 25 m higher and the Northern hemisphere ice sheet was ephemeral before the onset of extensive glaciation over Greenland that occurred in the late Pliocene around 3 Ma."

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pliocene#Climate

      Modern continental topology is pretty close to the Pliocene, so chances are that the return to Pliocene CO2 levels which we've already accomplished will lead in due course to Pliocene climatic conditions as well. That would be highly damaging to human interests as well as to the planetary biota--particularly since the rate of change is likely to be much faster than most past climatic transitions.

      True, it would also almost certainly put a stop to the cycle of glaciations we've experienced during the Quaternary, which would be a benefit to humanity. But to enjoy that benefit, we'd have to endure the more immediate crisis of adaptation first, as well as essentially permanent biological impoverishment.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 months ago from Yorktown NY

      doc,

      I see you are studying up on these new developments. If there is an economical way to reduce CO2 from the atmosphere, I would prefer that method than reducing our fossil fuel usage.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Interesting, Jack, thank you.

      I think the proposal is potentially valuable. As we discussed previously, increasingly the proposed pathways to avoid 1.5 C warming--the aspirational goal of the Paris Accord, and a much safer number than the formal target to avoid, 2 C--involve the artificial drawdown of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The problem has been that while there are experiments and pilot projects, there really isn't a technology that we know can work and also be economically feasible. There's a few plants doing CO2 reclamation from flue gases and sequestering the CO2, as the Boundary Dam project in Saskatchewan is currently doing at industrial scale, but the economics there are not encouraging. And there are more experimental approaches being piloted on smaller scales, like this Canadian synfuel startup, Carbon Engineering:

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/car...

      http://carbonengineering.com/technical-updates/

      "...this equipment will give us the ability to produce gasoline and diesel fuel, using only air, water, and renewable electricity as inputs.

      "We call this concept “air to fuels” (or A2F). It allows us to use clean renewable electricity – which is quickly becoming the lowest cost source of energy in the world – to remove CO2 from the air, split water into hydrogen and oxygen, and then combine the CO2 and hydrogen to produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels like gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel."

      The first technology can be carbon-negative if combined with biomass burning: the carbon in biomass comes from the atmosphere, so if burnt for energy with a significant fraction of the resulting CO2 sequestered, you create a flow from atmosphere to sequestration *and* produce energy. This is usually termed BECCS, but the economics aren't encouraging.

      The second is attractive in that it untethers carbon capture from thermal power plants, and gives us a carbon-neutral liquid fuel option to supplement electric drive transportation. (And of course it should be possible to use direct air capture and couple it to sequestration rather than synfuel manufacture--but that is currently uneconomic.) But it's early days in the commercialization process yet even for the syfuel option, and the time is short to mitigate.

      So if rapid drawdown could be accomplished via the professor's approach, it could be a valuable tool. But it sounds like there is a lot of development ahead to find out if it is practical.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, I just updated this hub with a new entry. It is a summary of a talk I attended yesterday at the Lamont Dogherty Earth Observatory by Peter Keleman. I would be curious in your reaction to his proposal.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      4 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      LIkewise.

      "What if after all that, very little effect results?"

      I think the odds of that are very small. It would be nice to know 'beyond a reasonable doubt', but in life one must often make decisions with incomplete information, if they are to be effective in the required time frame. No use complaining about it!

      (Actually, I think the case *has* been proven to that standard, but clearly not everyone agrees with me.)

      "The earth is huge and climate science is still a work in progress..."

      There is no doubt that not only the Earth, but the problem of understanding its many systems and their interactions, is huge. Nor is there any doubt that climate science--like all science--is a work in progress. But that's not to say that what we do know is unhelpful in guiding our decision-making.

      "...what if the earth will do what it always does..."

      I'm really not sure what you mean by that in detail and specificity. If you mean 'what if the temperature trend we observe just goes away randomly', then I think that what we do know is more than enough to assure us that that will not happen without drastic changes in our carbon emissions to the atmosphere. While we can't say whether climate sensitivity is 1.5 C per doubling of CO2, or 3, or 4.5, we are very sure it is not 0.

      "...just go back in history for a few hundred years and you will have to admit that nature has the upper hand."

      Nature, writ large, *always* has the upper hand. That's what should scare us the most: she doesn't care about our hopes, aspirations, or even basic needs. She will respond to atmospheric CO2 concentrations just as she always has--whether the emissions come from volcanoes (as in the end-Permian warming), gradual solar-induced warming (as in recent interglacial cycles), or human industry.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      4 months ago from Yorktown NY

      I respect your opinion and that is why I ask of it in the first place. What if after all that, very little effect results? The earth is huge and climate science is still a work in progress... what if the earth will do what it always does... just go back in history for a few hundred years and you will have to admit that nature has the upper hand. If stopping all this is within our powers, I would support it. It will have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. I am more pragmatic and tends to go with the simplest solutions. If the results are small, I would conclude it is not worth it.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      4 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      What would I *like* to have happen? I'd certainly like to see the deceptive and untruthful PR campaign of which Exxon, at least, is guilty penalized with a hefty fine, which I'd be quite happy to see go into the city coffers of SF and Oakland. (They are certainly going to have to be spending money on flood control and recovery measures, and Oakland in particular needs all the financial help it can get.) I don't think that a corporation should be allowed to willfully mislead the public on a matter of vital importance. However, as I said already, that may be a tough case to make, since speech is (rightly, IMO) protected under the Bill of Rights.

      Nobody is suggesting that oil production be shut down tomorrow--though we are going to have to drastically cut oil consumption as soon as we practically can if we wish to limit the damage we suffer to our health, wealth and security. In the US, transportation is now the biggest CO2 emitter. We have just a couple of decades to complete the transition, which means we need to 'get cracking.' (A saying replete with irony in this context, as it would seem to derive from horse-and-buggy days.)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      4 months ago from Yorktown NY

      You guessed right. This suit is going to have major problems. The oil companies serve a purpose. They are producing needed products that we all use. What do you want to see as outcome? They can't shut down or stop production. They can only penalize them with large fines... At the end of the day, it will have zero impact on climate.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      4 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Which one? There's the 'children's suit', in which a group of young Americans are suing the Administration:

      https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/12/11/kids-lawsui...

      Then there's the suit by San Francisco and Oakland against oil companies:

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/2...

      I'd guess the latter, as you've probably--based on past bibliography--been seeing stories like this one from James Dellingpole:

      http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/03/31...

      What do I think? I think Dellingpole is either meretricious or deluded, for starters. He thinks that somehow mainstream science is going to be refuted; the reality is that the lawyer for Chevron cited the IPCC as his main source, and *praised* the mainstream science, while pointing out that the carbon problem is much bigger than oil companies. Those amicus briefs from faux 'skeptics' have now been heard all that that they are going to be heard in the context of this trial, and will now sink without a trace.

      On the merits of the suit, I think that the harm is real and that Exxon, at least, has indeed behaved deceptively. (A point that is not treated honestly in the Dellingpole piece, which conflates that claim with the claim of conspiracy.)

      However, the suit is probably a pretty long shot for the plaintiffs. While the harm of sea level rise is real enough, the causes are many and the chain of causes and effects long--and tort law doesn't like that. It introduces too much possibility for doubt. The joker in the deck is the now-documented deceptive behavior of saying in public that 'we don't understand the link between carbon emissions and climate change' and in private that that link is sufficiently clear to become a danger to the business.

      I really have no idea what Judge Alsop is going to make of that, in a legal sense.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      4 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, what is your opinion of the trial starting in San Francisco on climate change?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      4 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Yes, that's the 'cash flows' piece. The crash is relevant because by affecting 'image' it affects stock price--down 5%, reportedly--which of course also affects valuation, if there's no rebound, and eventually credit rating.

      The worst case is a death spiral of mutually-reinforcing negative feedbacks. I hope it doesn't come to that, but it could, IMO.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      4 months ago from Yorktown NY

      I was referring to the downgrade of their credit rating and the potential for a bankruptcy.

      https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/27/moodys-downgrades-...

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