July 29, 2010
NOAA: Past Decade Warmest on Record
Figure 1: Source: NOAA.
The 2009 State of the Climate report released today draws on data for 10 key climate indicators that all point to the same finding: the scientific evidence that our world is warming is unmistakable. More than 300 scientists from 160 research groups in 48 countries contributed to the report, which confirms that the past decade was the warmest on record and that the Earth has been growing warmer over the last 50 years.
Based on comprehensive data from multiple sources, the report defines 10 measurable planet-wide features used to gauge global temperature changes. The relative movement of each of these indicators proves consistent with a warming world. Seven indicators are rising: air temperature over land, sea-surface temperature, air temperature over oceans, sea level, ocean heat, humidity and tropospheric temperature in the "active-weather" layer of the atmosphere closest to the Earth's surface. Three indicators are declining: Arctic sea ice, glaciers and spring snow cover in the Northern hemisphere.
The entire document is here.
The authors of the report said people shouldn't draw conclusions that all is well from periods of cool weather.
"A warming climate will still have cold spells, though they will become less frequent and less intense," according to another NOAA statement. "For example, in the winter of 2009- 2010, a warm air mass moved into Canada and pushed cold air south. Canadians experienced a mild winter, but the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States was extremely cold and snowy."
While snow records were set in the U.S. from Dallas to New York, the rest of the Northern Hemisphere had "one of the warmest winters on record," the agency said.
More than 300 authors from 48 countries contributed to the report, according to a NOAA statement.
The data came from more than 7,000 weather stations, according to the report. The editors for the report come from the National Climatic Data Center, and the American Meteorological Society provides scientific reviewers and publishes it.
Update: 7/29, 8:14 Pacific:
Posted by Menzie Chinn at July 29, 2010 12:01 AMdigg this | reddit
Posted by: Luis H Arroyo at July 29, 2010 03:43 AM
Menzie, yup! It's been warming. Few deny it, many do disagree with many of the catastrophic predictions. The fraction of 1C observed is way less than the predictions of 3-5C or the 5-7C increase in the next century we see in many of the more hyperbolic predictions.
Posted by: CoRev at July 29, 2010 04:12 AM
Krugman got his Nobel for actual economics work, before he became a partisan shill.
Probably easier to go the Al Gore route to the Nobel instead. Can you do this post in PowerPoint?
Either that, or get elected President on a Hopey Changey campaign. That'll do it, too.
Posted by: W.C. Varones at July 29, 2010 04:28 AM
The data are obvious fabrications by Marxist Obama political appointees to the NOAA. The fact this bogus chart was posted without editorial comment on this blog is a clear sign that Chinn is part of their newly reconstituted journo-list. Any mention of how f'ing hot it is out there is an obvious hysterical leftist grab at taking over another 60% of our economy, contrary to those serious academics who post pictures of snow in the winter and har har har about how it's all a big hoax.
Posted by: Tired of the BS at July 29, 2010 07:22 AM
Ole BS, yup! That's what it's all about! :-))
Menzie, BTW, why are you putting up these articles? Few, disagree with the chart. Please note what the past decade shows on the chart.
If the trend continues for another decade, what does that say about the CO2 theory? If the trend actually goes down for the next decade it will show correlation with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and perhaps Sunspots (if their minimum continues).
More importantly if the trend cools for the next couple of decades as many are predicting, hope that the low is higher than the previous. Because, that will indicate that the warming trend continues, otherwise we will definitely not like that long term trend.
The alternative to warming is much more scary than warming, and that appears to be an inevitability.
See, we skeptics can make catastrophic predictions also. If you want proof of the inevitability take a look at any of the ice core charts
Posted by: CoRev at July 29, 2010 07:47 AM
CoRev, of course what we have seen so far is less than what is expected to happen over the course of a century. Actually what we have seen so far is going faster than most of the models had predicted. The positive feed back loops (like the Albino effect of less sea ice, and the methane released from melting permafrost) are just getting started.
W.C. As far as I could see, Krugman was not mentioned in the post, so why do you bring him up. He is still one of the best economists around. It seems to me like you are the partisan shill.
The potential costs of climate change FAR exceed the potential costs of any terrorism attack, and that includes if Osama gets his hands on a Nuke. Taking out a little insurance in the form of reducing our output of fossil fuels and moving toward renewalble based power, and encouraging energy efficency is just common sense. However since you seem to like to quote ex govener Bimbo, it's pretty clear you don't have any.
Posted by: Dirk at July 29, 2010 07:49 AM
"More than 300 scientists from 160 research groups in 48 countries contributed to the report, which confirms that the past decade was the warmest on record and that the Earth has been growing warmer over the last 50 years."
Not according to climatologists. There were many periods warmer in the past. The NOAA conflates dates and confuses the issue. It is the warmest since the Mini-Ice Age but that should not be a surprise.
Notice that their own graph shows a virtual flatening over the past 5 years or so. Climatologists are actually expecting temperatures to begin to decline. When that happens hold on to your hats. The global cooling crowd will crawl back out from under their rocks and begin to pester us once again.
Posted by: RicardoZ at July 29, 2010 07:59 AM
The atmospheric temperature is only a small part of the story (~ 1/8). The oceans ability to absorb heat is 7 x's as great as the atmosphere's. We really need to measure the total heat energy uptake of the combined Earth surface (ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere and land surface).
To the extent that the different components are in stable equalibrium, we can use the temperature of the atmosphere as a proxy for the entire system's heat content. But with the temperature rising rapidly, that one proxy potentually has temporal leads/lags.
Thus the strategy of some denialists to hang their analytical hats on short term trends in atmospheric temps and ignore any systematic analysis of the entire surface of the Earth is very defective reasoning.
Posted by: GregL at July 29, 2010 08:15 AM
RichardoZ: Let me say again -- the gradient is as important as the level in this regard. Rapid changes are typically associated with higher adjustment costs. We assume this in most of our economic models (e.g., quadratic adjustment costs). Why is it such as strange concept for you?
CoRev: Well, I'll stop when Senator Inhofe and his followers  revise their views.
In addition, on 3/30/2008, you wrote in response to d_rumsfeld's assertion about recent decades being the warmest:
They have been warm anomalies, but not the necessarily the, warmest years, the 1860s and 70s, have their own share, 1934, 1998, etc. It is really difficult to tell since the raw data and the publicly available data sets are smoothed, adjusted and those algorithms and values are mostly withheld from public view.
This sounds like you are a recent convert to the belief that temperatures are unambiguously rising.
Posted by: Menzie Chinn at July 29, 2010 08:22 AM
I guess we'll have to move to Canada after all,
Posted by: kart at July 29, 2010 08:30 AM
GregL said: "Thus the strategy of some denialists to hang their analytical hats on short term trends in atmospheric temps and ignore any systematic analysis of the entire surface of the Earth is very defective reasoning." And I answer how does one claim the temp. trend as long term when we are looking at a mere 130 yrs in a ~ 1M Yrs (longer if you wish to use even less secure proxies) record.
Menzie, look closer. I am responding to even another claim of the warmest ...!!?? You have to look hard between those lines to make your claim about my beliefs.
BTW, what happened to the warm 1930s in your NOAA chart? How did it go from the hottest or near hottest depending on the dataset, to what we are seeing there?
Furthermore, if you look closely at your NOAA chart you can see the PDO ~30Yr warm/cold cycle effect.
Posted by: CoRev at July 29, 2010 09:53 AM
Menzie misquoted what I said over two years ago, and still missed this comment of mine in that same thread.
"For the record, most skeptics agree that there is Global Warming, AND some may be caused by "Man." What is most often argued is represented by your article. Alarmists, Al gore et. al., are just too far over the top, and their solution(s) are going to cost way too much for a scientific issue still under serious debate. An iceberg, even a big iceberg, is still just a single event. Don't overinterpret a few observations,"
Posted by: CoRev at July 29, 2010 11:32 AM
CoRev: We now have multiple big iceberg breaks. Does that alter your "single event" criticism?
Posted by: Menzie Chinn at July 29, 2010 11:46 AM
The periods are not even comparable. The latest one has had the benefit of massive, yes massive, weather manipulation (cloud seeding to cool the earth). The conclusion is very scary.
Posted by: flow5 at July 29, 2010 12:49 PM
Menzie, are you talking about the Antarctic's Wilkin's ice Shelf? If so, absolutely not. The Antarctic ice has been growing well above average. See here: http://climateinsiders.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/s_timeseries-1.png
Wilkins is a glacial shelf that regularly breaks off as it slides into the warmer water. If you are talking about the Arctic, then no also.
In the Arctic we are approaching the end of the melt season. There is some indication the melt has slowed already, and that would be earlier than usual. But, we have to wait for another month to see where we stand in regards to the Arctic Sea Ice and how much further it is reduced.
Posted by: CoRev at July 29, 2010 01:19 PM
Menzie, here's a review of last months predictions: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/29/reviewing-last-months-forecasts-of-doom/#more-22699
I hope you know of this site. If not, it is the largest Global Warming/Climate Change site in the world. It happens to be a skeptical site, but has quite a few balanced and even a few pro-AGW articles.
Posted by: CoRev at July 29, 2010 01:31 PM
The term "global warming" seems to me a poor choice of nomenclature. To a non-expert on climate like myself, it gives the impression that an increase in temperatures by a couple degrees cannot be that bad.
However, in order to grasp the consequences of "global warming" perhaps thinking about climate along the lines of a risky asset would be more useful. What I mean is that behind the term "global warming" there are really several things to consider: first, second and third moment effects. The one that is picked up most often in casual conversation (and in the press) is the average effect on temperatures globally (the first moment). But this effect is very heterogeneous, which brings us to the "second moment" of climate change: the variance in temperatures across regions and time. For example, if Hawaii experienced Siberian style winters and Middle-Eastern summers, it is possible that the average temperature in Hawaii would not change, but it would no longer be possible to cultivate pineapples and coffee, for example. And a similar variance effect is probably at work across regions as well -- some that were wet and mild have turned to dry and hot and others have experienced the reverse effect. Even if such changes are not cataclysmic, they induce considerable economic costs as regions have to adapt their economies to the new characteristics of their local climate. And as climate becomes less predictable, the costs of hedging against climate variation naturally increase.
The final feature one considers in pricing any risky asset is long-tail risk, or a crash state if you will (negative skewness for those more statistically inclined or the third moment). And here one has to consider, for example, whether the variation of temperatures in the poles can be so large (even if globally the average does not change much), that it would melt a big proportion of the ice caps, initiating a self-sustaining cycle of raising water levels, temperatures and further inducing large changes in climate patterns.
I don't know what a good term would be but how about the climate's Sharpe Ratio?
Posted by: Oscar Jorda at July 29, 2010 01:38 PM
You know, after reading the comments, can I to get on the Exxon Money Machine?
After all, the science is settled, it's the Politics that's in play. And If you guys are getting big checks from BP, Exxon and Massey, then it's time to share a little. Do you know what the Job Market is like? I could use a Few Grand to help smooth over a few things too. I could SELL Out my son's future just like You!
We've got a Global Glacier Melt, and along with the 1-2 C temperature increase, we've got Peak Water, and a world wide Drought, plant, bacteria and fungus invasions, plus massive species die off.
But here's the real kicker. Your Oil, and Coal Wealth will be worth Toilet Paper if the Arctic Methane Bomb goes off. You guys keep score with "Money", will You will make your "Money" worthless.
This is another example of the "right" wing's inability to do anything but kiss their corporate masters bottom. There is NO Risk Management here, Let the Public take the Risk.
Posted by: MikeRINO at July 29, 2010 02:00 PM
Oscar, as someone who studies climate, you should know that, while there are small regional exceptions, greenhouse warming reduces variability.
Posted by: aaron at July 29, 2010 02:04 PM
CoRev: I suspect Menzie was talking about the rapid disintegration of the now long gone Larson B iceberg. It is true that there has been a temporary cooling over parts of Antarctica with high snowfall. But the reasons for this temporary cooling hardly support your argument, and I think you know that. There appears to be an expansion of Antarctic ice relative to the 1990s. But you are completely wrong about the sea ice in the Arctic. See here:
Once again you are all over the ballpark as to whether or not there is global warming. One minute you agree that there is global warming, but that it might be natural and not manmade; and then the next minute you're denying that sea ice is melting, going on about how you can't trust the data, throw in a few lines about urban heat islands, blah blah blah. You can't agree that there is global warming (even if it is not manmade) and then try and maintain that none of the evidence for warming is true. That's inconsistent. It's downright Tea Party thinking.
W.C. Varones Most of Krugman's posts have been about the economics of global warming; specifically, he has been focused on the appropriate "policy ramp" for escalating the price of carbon permits. Krugman isn't attempting to make an argument for global warming; he's just assuming that it's true and then focusing on the economics of cap and trade.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at July 29, 2010 03:05 PM
Aaron, thanks for your reply. When you say that greenhouses reduce variability, can you expand a little more on what you mean for my own education? Do you mean that temperatures become more homogeneous across regions? Or do you mean that there is less variation in temperatures within a region? Or both?
Posted by: Oscar Jorda at July 29, 2010 03:27 PM
CoRev: "...many do disagree with many of the catastrophic predictions. The fraction of 1C observed is way less than the predictions of 3-5C or the 5-7C increase in the next century we see in many of the more hyperbolic predictions.",
The temperature anomaly has gone up about six-tenths of a degree over the last 30 years, which works out to about 2 degrees over the next century ceteris paribus; but there is absolutely no reason to believe that other things will be equal, so temps will almost certainly increase more than 2 degrees. A 2 degree warming is kind of a lower bound estimate. CO2 concentrations are increasing at an increasing rate. You can take MIT's handy-dandy formula for estimating CO2 increases on temperature and given any plausible range of CO2 concentrations we are easily at 4-5 degrees warmer in 100 years. Do the math. And remember, those are just "most likely" ranges. As Oscar Jorge said in an earlier comment, you have to look at the tail risk because when you're talking about uncertainty (and above all else global warming is definitely uncertain), the relevant statistical parameter is not the mean it's the 5 percent and 1 percent tails. Unfortunately some of the truly human species ending scenarios fall within that tail range.
Have you noticed how you and many conservatives are always against any action today that might benefit future generations? It's true. During the healthcare debate it was old geezer conservatives who protested the loudest against fixing healthcare for future generations but demanded that Medicare be left alone. And it was old geezer conservatives who demanded an unfunded Part D entitlement. And it's old geezer conservatives who are demanding deflation today (it helps those on a fixed income) at the expense of permanently higher structural unemployment tomorrow. And it's old geezer conservatives who are screaming the loudest about higher tax rates in the near future as part of a longer term fix to the fiscal situation. And it's old geezer conservatives who are in denial about global warming...and these are the very same folks who won't be around to face the bad news when global warming really starts to kick in. One thing we know from the NY Times survey of Tea Party supporters is that they're old, white, and conservative. This is not exactly a demographic that one normally thinks of as future oriented.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at July 29, 2010 03:40 PM
Welcome back 2slugs. i see you are up to your usual tricks by bringing in your own strawman then arguing that strawman. For instance: "But you are completely wrong about the sea ice in the Arctic." In what way am I wrong? did I not reference most of those current graphs? Instead of just one graph, take a look at nearly all. http://wattsupwiththat.com/sea-ice-page/
You see earlier in the year we were told we were on a collision course for Arctic Sea Ice loss greater than that seen in 2007. Therefore my comment: "In the Arctic we are approaching the end of the melt season. There is some indication the melt has slowed already, and that would be earlier than usual." Certainly you are not objecting to my comment re: nearing the end of the melt season? Or is it the indication that the melt has slowed. Even your provided chart shows that the melting earlier in the year has slowed compared to 2007. Which was the point of your chart, comparing this year to the scary 2007, but the rate has changed.
Posted by: CoRev at July 29, 2010 04:49 PM
Now 2slugs, stop that ole cherry picking: "The temperature anomaly has gone up about six-tenths of a degree over the last 30 years, which works out to about 2 degrees over the next century ceteris paribus; but there is absolutely no reason to believe that other things will be equal, so temps will almost certainly increase more than 2 degrees." Last 30 years????
Lessee, PDO in its warm phase for the past wait for it ... are you still waiting ... 30 years. thank for the patience.
So from one suspect (best possible guess) field you are moving to expertdom in another suspect field, climatology. Good move!
As to your CO2 calculation, I refer you, and any others wishing a layman's/engineer's description of how the Green House effect actually works, to John Eggart: Layman’s guide to the greenhouse effect. This, Part 2, is copyrighted material so will only reference it: http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/john-eggart-laymans-guide-to-the-greenhouse-effect/#more-723
Posted by: CoRev at July 29, 2010 05:07 PM
2slugs said: "...the relevant statistical parameter is not the mean it's the 5 percent and 1 percent tails. Unfortunately some of the truly human species ending scenarios fall within that tail range."
I would appreciate it if you would provide a link to a study (peer reviewed or not) for those numbers for warming. I have little doubt that it could be found for cooling/cold.
Posted by: CoRev at July 29, 2010 05:16 PM
I wasn't referring to Krugman's global warming views. I was referring to Menzie's apparent desire to follow Krugman out of economics and into political cheerleading.
Posted by: W.C. Varones at July 29, 2010 06:00 PM
CoRev: The point of the chart was that it showed a pretty clear trend towards less sea ice. Yes, 2007 was an especially bad year and relative to that year things aren't quite as bad, but so what? Things are still bad enough and the trend is clear: arctic sea ice is retreating.
Although I've read a few books on the physics of climate, I am certainly not an expert in climatology; but then again neither are you... since you can't do freshman calculus then you surely cannot understand the coupled nonlinear differential equations in most physics of climate textbooks. My interest is primarily the risk management angle of global warming, and presumably that is Menzie's deeper motivation for posting global warming charts. And here I do have a fair amount of professional expertise in risk management (afterall, I am an ORSA guy). That expertise makes me very concerned about fat tail probabilities. I agree with you that there is a lot of uncertainty about global warming and that uncertainty makes it very difficult to measure confidence.
You asked for an example of a paper that cited those kinds of temperature ranges. Try this:
The next section argues that, were one forced to specify a ï¿½best guessï¿½ estimate of the extreme bad tail of the relevant probability density function (PDF) of what might eventually happen if only gradually ramped-up remedies are applied, then mean global surface temperature change relative to pre-industrial-revolution levels will in two centuries or so be greater than 10ï¿½C with a ballpark probability estimate somewhere around 0.05 and will be greater than 20ï¿½C with a ballpark probability estimate somewhere around 0.01.
As to the CO2 calculations...I recommended MIT's formula and you recommended a "laymen's guide". 'Nuff said.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at July 29, 2010 06:06 PM
2slugs, if you are talking about the Weitzman papers, this is what he did: "Without going into detail, Weitzman assumes that uncertainties over values higher than 4.5 degrees Celsius can yield fat tails of catastrophic climate change."
He: "Consequently, Weitzman spins out scenarios in which there could be a 5 percent chance that global average temperature rises by 10 degrees Celsius (20 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2200 and a 1 percent chance that it rises by 20 degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit)."
He assumes a condition set that has not ever happened in a million years. Peak to low we see changes in the ~4.5C range. 1 or 5% is nonsense.
Posted by: CoRev at July 29, 2010 06:36 PM
Posted by: aaron at July 29, 2010 07:54 PM
Aaron, thanks again. In that case the importance of a Sharpe ratio type of assessment becomes even more important. What is more desirable, warmer but more stable climate or cooler but more variable? I am still not sure about extreme events (are we getting more hurricanes/typhons?).
Posted by: Oscar Jorda at July 29, 2010 09:18 PM
CoRev said: "how does one claim the temp. trend as long term when we are looking at a mere 130 yrs in a ~ 1M Yrs (longer if you wish to use even less secure proxies) record."
When one does actual analysis, one builds a model of the system, applies historical inputs to a starting condition and observes the model's response. One then modify's the model as required to account for observed error term. That is responsible analysis.
The trend of the 20th Century was accellerating warming. The acceleration is explained by the inputs of natural processes and human activities with the change explained by the human inputs.
You CoRev do no thinking about what you post. You throw around text as if it has merit when it doesn't. For example, what is the significance of 1 million years? Why not 10 million or a billion? Your use of one million of analicically untethered.
Posted by: GregL at July 30, 2010 03:14 AM
2slugs, this reference??? "You can take MIT's handy-dandy formula for estimating CO2 increases on temperature and given any plausible range of CO2 concentrations we are easily at 4-5 degrees warmer in 100 years."
Had you just glanced at my "layman's" explanation article you would have been aware of how MIT research is actually used in the real world.
Reading a couple of books is enough to understand atmospheric physics, especially if one is just another WAG at what might happen? Atmospheric physics is clearly not well understood or we wouldn't even be having this discussion.
BTW, Govt ORSA's that lock in on the extreme alternatives are providing useless professional services, since they are ignoring the more likely alternative sets.
Reading Weitzman's works is an amazing jump into unreality. Just by looking at any of the long range charts any thinking person can judge the likelihood of his events and their fat tails happening. He claims one and five percent? Never! And you believe that? As someone earlier said: "'Nuff said."
Posted by: CoRev at July 30, 2010 03:39 AM
Here are two interesting articles describing what is going on in the Arctic and predicting the short term effects of the la Nina. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/28/giss-arctic-vs-dmi-arctic-differences-in-method/
Take a look at this year's Arctic temp pattern.
and here is Joe Bastardi's latest video discussing temps versus Sea Ice.
Bastardi also has a video discussing the June warmest claim, but I can't get it to work since I first played it. You folks can try it here:
For those who do not know Joe Bastardi, he is an Accuweather "guesser" whose seasonal forecasts are gaining a great deal of veracity.
Posted by: CoRev at July 30, 2010 05:17 AM
Cooler seems to be worse for diseases and economy. Disasterous cold event are also more common in our history, decreasing the frequency benefits us more.
Posted by: aaron at July 30, 2010 05:33 AM
So far, there's no relationship with extreme events that I'm aware of.
Cost of extreme events has risen, but only because we're builing expensive stuff in riskier areas.
My guess is that warm will reduce the frequency of extreme events, but will increase the intesity.
Posted by: aaron at July 30, 2010 05:50 AM
RichardoZ: Let me say again -- the gradient is as important as the level in this regard. Rapid changes are typically associated with higher adjustment costs. We assume this in most of our economic models (e.g., quadratic adjustment costs). Why is it such as strange concept for you?
I guess I just have a problem living my life in the aggregate, and it seems like I am forever deviating from the mean in my life. It is just hard for me to live my life based on the computer model.
Posted by: RicardoZ at July 30, 2010 07:30 AM
Every time I decide to give this blog another look, I immediately run into a partisan throw-down like this, with Menzie up front demonstrating that even a highly intelligent and educated individual cannot be trusted to provide cogent input on an ideologically-tainted issue.
Posted by: MPO at July 30, 2010 07:47 AM
CoRev: It is nothing short of sad how much time you dedicate to denounce science that isn't really all that fundamentally complicated and ethical decision-making which should be even less complex. Do emissions from fossil-fuel based sources contribute to water or air pollution? Yes. Can emissions from fossil-fuel based sources have negative implications-- regardless of the extent--to public health, water access, shocks to ecosystems? Yes.
It doesn't matter to me that a volcano can spit out more CO2 than 100 coal plants operating over its useful life. As a society, we can only change what we can control. And it just baffles me that you spend so much time and energy in being an obstacle for a "cause" or "agenda" or whatever you claim to be my motivations for seeing a cleaner planet. People die, children lose access to water, and ecosystems shrivel as a result of our planet's ridiculously inefficient energy policy. And all the while, you can sit comfortably on your high horse and make logical fallacy after logical fallacy, blind repudiation after blind repudiation.
I don't know you, but I hope you are young enough to witness the blood on your hands.
Posted by: Rick at July 30, 2010 07:59 AM
GregL asks: "For example, what is the significance of 1 million years?" I explained quite clearly, that is what we have some semblance of reasonable proxies (ice cores) for measuring. If you wish we can use longer time frames, but you won't like the conclusions of them either.
Rick said: "It is nothing short of sad how much time you dedicate to denounce science that isn't really all that fundamentally complicated and ethical decision-making which should be even less complex." Not fundamentally complicated? Then why are we and the rest of the world debating it? And, your ethics is my anathema. Your solutions to clean the planet or preserve some portion of its life have already been proven to cause immense loss of life and/or lowering of living standards.
BTW, I agree with the truth of your beginning comments. I also agree with your ending comments. But, why are you trying to fix these unrelated problems by limiting CO2?
Fix the pollution (CO2 is not). Fix the access to water. Clean the existing water, and above all make more food available. It does not make sense to take available arable land to create a bio-fuel. It does not make sense to limit access to inexpensive energy by taxing the energy raw components and wrong by-products. These decisions kill people, 40K in the UK last winter due to energy poverty.
But, those kinds of facts you do not want to discuss. IF YOU ARE THE TYPICAL FAR LEFT ENVIRONMENTALIST, you believe that man is the worst parasite on the planet. Do you? Any of you?
Posted by: CoRev at July 30, 2010 08:58 AM
I've looked into taking atmospheric science classes for personal enrichment, but my math and physics isn't up to it. Climatology is a very technical field.
The people who do actual research in climatology have way better street creds than some guy who posts stuff on the Internet. Yet the guy on the Internet says stuff that a certain segment of the population want to hear.
Understandable, but not reliable science.
Posted by: Anonymous at July 30, 2010 09:34 AM
Do you really believe that astrophysicist, oceanographers, glaciologists, atmospheric chemists, climatologists, geophysicists, meteorologist, biologists and paleontologists are all secretly colluding?
The US national academies of science, engineering and medicine have written numerous studies and reviews on this issue over that past several decades and they have consistently concluded that global warming is real?
Should we have ignored their advice in early 1941 when they recommended ramping up atomic research based on a theoretical risk?
Posted by: CB at July 30, 2010 11:17 AM
Global warming is real. And it's a good thing.
Posted by: aaron at July 30, 2010 12:11 PM
"It does not make sense to take available arable land to create a bio-fuel." Red Herring
"IF YOU ARE THE TYPICAL FAR LEFT ENVIRONMENTALIST," - Ad hominem
"IF YOU ARE THE TYPICAL FAR LEFT ENVIRONMENTALIST, you believe that man is the worst parasite on the planet. Do you? Any of you?" - Non sequitur, straw man, another red herring
Case and point.
Posted by: Anonymous at July 30, 2010 12:11 PM
There's lots of tail out there. While it's healthy for an individual to stick to one piece, it's also healthy to look at some-other tail. Bad things happen when everyone goes after the same piece of tail. ;)
Posted by: aaron at July 30, 2010 12:23 PM
The science is settled.
The politics and the payoff is the only question, who is paying "CoRev", if that's your real name.
What are we supposed to be, a bunch of fools?
- 7 Billion People
- China and India rapidly Industrializing
- Peak Oil and Water
- Massive Coal Pollution
- Every lake and Stream in the US polluted with Mercury
- Insane Roberts Court, judicial capture, allows a Corporate Takeover of our Democracy.
- Carbon 390 PPM
Exxon, BP, Massey Energy spending Hundreds of Millions of dollars on Politics and Propaganda, instead of Clean Energy and Clean Jobs.
What are we supposed to be a bunch of fools?
Posted by: MikeRINO at July 30, 2010 12:59 PM
Paul Krugman has the practical take on matters. He says that regulation of carbon emissions as either a national or worldwide effort ended with the scuttling of cap and trade in the Senate.
So one of two alternative futures awaits us. The first is that temperatures will continue to rise until the worldwide effects on the human race become apparent to even the most obstinant folks, or else temperatures will not rise, because somewhere along the way our scientists messed up.
In the first case we have one of two alternate scenarios. One scenario has Earth becoming inhospitable to humans. The other has Earth becoming more hospitable.
Assuming that Earth becomes inhospitable, at the point when this becomes apparent, we will need to implement some measures very rapidly. Anyone with an engineering mindset knows that switching energy technologies around takes time and money and has the risk of serious unplanned side effects. The faster you try to do it, the less likely it is that you will succeed and the more likely it is that you will run into serious trouble.
Anyone with a horticulture background knows that planting trees or preventing the cutting of trees is relatively easy. It takes money, labor, legislation and police power. $12 trilion can buy a lot of labor, legislators and land use cops.
The Stern Review estimated that the effects of global warming could cost the global economy $12 trillion a year. So given that the title of this blog is Econbrowser, it might be worth estimating the annual cost of mitigating carbon emissions through changing the vector of deforestation to forestation. The numbers relating trees to carbon are available, in that the UN already estimated the amount of increase in atmospheric carbon due to tropical deforestation minus the amount of forestation taking place in temperate climes. All that would be necessary would be to put a dollar value on the needed actions. It is true that over a matter of centuries we cannot rely on trees to bail us out, but it was only less than 70 years ago that we didn't have such a thing as nuclear power. Trees are a tunable resource. We can set whatever level of atmospheric carbon we want by increasing the net input of vegetation.
If there is any other cost-effective means of implementing short-term emergency action with so few potential side effects, I would like to know about it.
But what interests me even more than looking at feasible solutions (feasibility being the sweet spot at the intersection of technology, cost and politics) is the unwillingness of others to stop the futile practice of name calling and allusions to Holocaust denial. If there is a problem and it admits of a feasible solution, why is everyone spending so much time avoiding discussing it? I posit that it is because there are some unspoken economic agendas underlying the debate, like which of the two members of the oligopoly (D or R) will select the directors of the world's largest customer of goods and services (USG Corporation) or whether it is better economics to have more or less regulation or more or less government industrial policy. Krugman would agree that these are the real issues, and he has stated his preferences clearly.
Posted by: colonelmoore at July 30, 2010 01:09 PM
MikeRINO said: "The science is settled." And that's why we are having this discussion. There can be no other views?
CB asks: "Do you really believe that astrophysicist, oceanographers, glaciologists, atmospheric chemists, climatologists, geophysicists, meteorologist, biologists and paleontologists are all secretly colluding?" Nope! But climategate clearly showed that a handful of leaders were colluding. Restricting or trying to restrict access too the science journals, and colluding to leverage supporting docs into the IPCC Reports and keeping contrary docs out.
And yes, warming is real. I have not said otherwise.
Colonel Moore said: "I posit that it is because there are some unspoken economic agendas underlying the debate, like which of the two members of the oligopoly (D or R) will select the directors of the world's largest customer of goods and services (USG Corporation) or whether it is better economics to have more or less regulation or more or less government industrial policy." I would add also take a look at the enormous funds passed through the "Carbon Exchanges" and then look at who are the controlling interests.
Yes, a great deal of corruption is possible and has already been identified in the existing markets.
Posted by: CoRev at July 30, 2010 01:35 PM
With my final paragraph I created a second topic for people to argue about and I suspect that this would be the primary point that people would bring up in response. My other interest is what people think of Krugman saying that in practical terms there is no point in debating the issue because there will not be any meaningful action, courtesy of the Senate. And given that, is it worth discussing whether managing forests can become the agreed upon way of regulating carbon emissions, should the postulated planetary catastrophe arise? If so, why not actually discuss it in lieu of what I think to be wasted effort demonstrating to the audience that your opponent is a fool or a knave? My only explanation is that no one really wants to solve the problem in a feasible way, because demonizing your opponent is so much more emotionally satisfying.
Posted by: colonelmoore at July 30, 2010 01:53 PM
Colonel Moore, you miss the point of the skeptics argument. It's not that we deny warming, but that we deny it is a problem. There is far more diversity in the warm climes than in the cold. Living is far easier for nearly every living creature in the warm climes. Most of human advancement occurred during warm/warming periods, but yet we get the opposite view from the catastrophists. (Did I just create a new word?)
Our human population is growing dramatically. Do you think it will do better as the planet warms or cools. I have to always add that later alternative, because there is little doubt that it did and will re-occur.
So trying to start a discussion on how to solve the "postulated planetary catastrophe" makes no sense to us.
We look at the claims of "postulated planetary catastrophe" and cringe. Commentary like Weitzman's trying to protect us from temp increases that we have never seen in the life time of humanity, and actually in the many, many hundreds of millions of years from which we can postulate temperatures from proxies is to us nonsensical.
Posted by: CoRev at July 30, 2010 02:31 PM
CoRev: There is far more diversity in the warm climes than in the cold. Living is far easier for nearly every living creature in the warm climes.
This is quite possibly the dumbest argument you've put forward yet. First, we're not comparing Siberia with Kentucky; humans and crops do best in temperate climates...not too hot and not too cold. Sudden increases in temperature are just as bad as sudden drops in temperature. Second, we're not talking about the world everywhere becoming a little less like Minneapolis and a little more like Atlanta. We're talking about places like Atlanta and Dallas becoming more like Baghdad and Pakistan. Third, it's simply not true that warm climates always do better than cooler or even temperate climates. Theres actually a fair amount of empirical economic work on the subject. It turns out that there is a fairly robust negative relationship between income growth and temperature. This is true even within countries and within areas that are otherwise similar economically. Fourth, you forget that prior to air conditioning the American south was a political and economic backwater. Maybe they didn't teach you this in school, but there used to be such a thing as slavery. Slavery was very common in hot cultures. Although the American south is still backwards politically, it has advanced economically but only because of air conditioning. Oh...and you might want to compare 17th century England's cool climate with 17th century Spain and think about which economy was more robust. Finally, most agricultural crops do not do well in hot weather. For example, corn yields drop 1 percent per day with each daytime high over 90 degrees F. Rice yields suffer during warm nights. Soybeans do not tolerate heat. Red wheat does not tolerate heat. And even cotton yields fall in the heat. But you should know all this because I've provided you with lots of NBER papers on this.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at July 30, 2010 03:04 PM
CoRev: The guy at Reason magazine who reviewed the Weitzman paper doesn't have a clue. For starters, he has badly misunderstood what Weitzman is putting on the horizontal axis of the PDF. The uncertainty is not in the temperatures per se, but in the climate sensitivity factor, which Weitzman defines as uncertainty over the temperature response to a doubling of CO2. So it's not standard deviations of temperature, it's standard deviations of the sensitivity factor. Quite a difference. Second, Bailey never really addresses why he thinks Weitzman is wrong about using a fat tailed distribution. This is a bit strange because even critics of Weitzman generally agree that the tails of climate change variables are best modeled as polynomially decreasing tails rather than exponentially decreasing. And that makes them fat tailed. This is not an uncommon way to manage risk in which there is a lot of uncertainty (I'm not talking variability...I'm talking uncertainty, so know the difference). For example, insurance companies frequently use Bayesian priors with fat tails. That's basically what Weitzman did.
Bailey is also a bit confused over the debate between Nordhaus and Weitzman. Weitzman's point is not that cost benefit analyses aren't useful, it's that CBAs depend upon quantifiable variability (as opposed to extreme uncertainty) and with fat tails we simply do not have any relevant experience. Nordhaus' DICE model is fine as long as you're willing to restrict potential outcomes to within a few degrees; but the parameters break down at the tails.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at July 30, 2010 03:50 PM
colonelmoore I think Krugman is wrong in saying that the issue is in limbo because of what the Senate did. First, we still have the EPA and they can use rules to regulate CO2 emissions. Second, at the margin keeping the topic alive is likely to motivate companies to look for greener solultions. And I don't think the GOP would object to tax breaks for green investment. Third, there are a lot of protectionist Republicans out there and they could probably be persuaded to go along with tariffs against countries that did not adhere to IPCC carbon rules...think China. And let's keep in mind that 2010 is likely to be the highwater mark for conservative Republicans. Long run demographics are simply against the Republicans. One political scientist (Peter Hart) even estimates that by ~2020 Texas will be a blue state. And many of the most vocal deniers of global warming simply won't be around that many more years. That's just a biological fact.
As to planting trees...I'm all for it, but that is not a long (very long) run solution because even though trees trap CO2, trees eventually die and all that carbon goes back into the atmosphere. But planting trees would definitely be a good way to buy some time and planting more trees is a good way to cool houses, so less electricity demand.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at July 30, 2010 04:07 PM
I feel that it is pointless to talk about energy policy because the anti-science political hacks will always deny the science.
And I've found that it is impossible to argue peak oil because 50 years is forever, and forever is so long that magic bullets will be invested by some greedy conservative that will allow everyone to fill their gas tanks with water and just keep on trucking, because nature is not a constraint on conservative science and technology.
I'm not even sure that the jobs and trade arguments win traction because conservatives will pay for all the oil they import with books about the liberal conspiracy to enslave all conservatives, and oil fields supply will increase to meet the demand and the size of the earth or its geology is no limit on the supply of oil fields to drill and deplete. Why, if needed, oil companies will find ten thousand Ghawar equivalent oil fields with advanced technology.
I am convinced that most conservatives would declare today that the Hoover dam can not be built today, so it wasn't built by man in the 30s, but was placed there by God and liberals just fabricated pictures and data to hide that fact that God did it.
But, then again, I'm old enough that I've experienced half my life with rational Republicans and the other half with the insane Reagan Republicans.
Posted by: mulp at July 30, 2010 04:56 PM
2slugs, the crop temperature studies are becomeng tedious. You live in an area where optimum temps for the crop yields are seldom reached, BUT BECAUSE OF THE EXTENDED GROWING SEASON THEY PLANT TWO CROPS. Each will overlap the optimum growing temps. It's not about the optimum as much as the wide range of good enough. If you were a farmer you'd understand that temps are the least of your worries to make a cost effective crop unless they are at the extremes.
As to Weitzman, my complaint is mostly about his 1 and 5% estimates of 20 and 10 degrees temp rises. Never happened, Won't happen, is therefore nonsense. some of the more recent estimates show a possible 1C rise for a doubling of CO2. That has and is likely to happen again.
So the nuanced discussion: "Nordhaus' DICE model is fine as long as you're willing to restrict potential outcomes to within a few degrees; but the parameters break down at the tails." Makes no sense. Our temps are very near or even at the previous peaks before sliding into a glaciation. Worrying about a 1-2 degrees higher rise is whistling past the graveyard, since not are we only at the peak inter-glacial temp, we are at or near the temporal peak in the inter-glacials. Oh, the likelihood of another glaciation is nearly 100% versus a 1-5% chance of the extreme temps Weitzman needs to make his case.
Posted by: CoRev at July 30, 2010 05:35 PM
2slugs said: "First, we still have the EPA and they can use rules to regulate CO2 emissions." I agree that is the fallback position, but that is a high risk path. They were almost restricted by a Senate resolution this year, but the reality is the science will be fought in the courts, issue by issue and regulation by regulation. Years will go by before anything can be implemented by EPA. Moreover, if EPA pushes too hard they may feel the wrath of the newly elected Congress. That would not be pretty.
Otherwise, I pretty much agree with the remainder of your comment to Col Moore.
Posted by: CoRev at July 30, 2010 05:47 PM
CoRev said: "I explained quite clearly, that is what we have some semblance of reasonable proxies (ice cores) for measuring. If you wish we can use longer time frames, but you won't like the conclusions of them either."
But what does the past tell us about the present? I'm asking about reasoning, not conclusions.
Posted by: GregL at July 30, 2010 09:46 PM
The reality is that CoRev attempts to say that he's not a denialist even as he consistently links to web sites dedicated to denialism. Anthony Watts is a retired weatherman who doesn't even have a degree in that field, much less any credentials as a climatologist or even a scientist in a related field. OTOH, Bastardi is trained in meteorology but not climatology and no matter what some people want to believe (Including Bastardi, apparently.), they are not close to being the same thing.
Things ignored by those who do admit to warming but attempt to make it seem benign are that heat is energy and among the ways that energy imbalances in our environment are "evened out" produce storms, droughts, floods and other catastrophic events.
Posted by: Jim Satterfield at July 31, 2010 01:27 AM
CoRev: You're right, I'm not a farmer, but my wife comes from a family of northern Iowa farmers and I'm sure my father-in-law would find your comments amusing. Oh wait, actually, I guess technically I am a farmer because we have some land that where we get two cuttings of hay a year. The hay market was pretty good a couple of winters back. You could actually make money trucking hay halfway across the country. Anyway, to your comment "...the least of your worries to make a cost effective crop unless they are at the extremes"; well, we are talking about the extremes. That's what it means to talk about tail probabilities. The problem isn't just that things get a little warmer; the problem is that you don't know whether they will get just a little warmer or a lot warmer. It's not a problem of estimating variability around a mean; it's a problem of not knowing what the mean is likely to be. That's what creates fat tails. And because there is extreme uncertainty about the climate, there is also extreme uncertainty about what measures to take to deal with it. You can try hybridizing new more heat tolerant crops, but what if there is only moderate warming? Uncertainty doesn't mean certain knowledge that temperatures will be higher; it means that you have no idea whether temperatures will be only a little higher, a lot higher or (in some scenarios) a few degrees cooler. That means you've got to invest a lot of resources to cover a wide range of scenarios, and that is very expensive.
As to Weitzman, my complaint is mostly about his 1 and 5% estimates of 20 and 10 degrees temp rises. Never happened,
You mean just like it being impossible for the derivatives market to collapse because it could never happen under the assumption of thin tailed PDFs (which is what were used)? In any event, those kinds of temperatures have happened, just not during human history. And one reason is that climate changes have largely been endogenous and in an endogenous model there is a tendency towards convergence, otherwise systems don't survive. But we're now entering an age of exogenously driven changes, so past history is not a reliable guide. For example, ice cores tend to show CO2 levels lagging temperature increases by about 800 years; but since 1880 that has clearly reversed and temperature change now lags CO2 increases. Evidence of exogenous rather than endogenous change.
As to glaciation. Sure, given a long enough time horizon glaciation is sure to happen. But there's a reason why we use the phrase "at a glacial pace" when we talk about slow moving government action. Glaciation is a problem several thousand years down the road; global warming is a much more immediate problem facing humans only 5 or 6 generations down the road.
Posted by: Anonymous at July 31, 2010 06:08 AM
JimS, hey, havn't heard from you in many moons. Saying this forgets just one minor thing: "Things ignored by those who do admit to warming but attempt to make it seem benign are that heat is energy and among the ways that energy imbalances in our environment are "evened out" produce storms, droughts, floods and other catastrophic events."
Radiant loss into space.
Other wise you are absolutely correct. The most common effect is benign air and sea currents as the heat is transferred. The bigger differences cause weather. Some is even severe, but nearly all is way below catastrophic.
Posted by: CoRev at July 31, 2010 06:44 AM
The only real question is:
1) How do we get the SEC to prosecute the FRAUD listed on this page. Clearly, this is propaganda, corporate propaganda to influence shareholders from dumping their stock or forcing current management from actually investing in Long Term Sustainable Energy Solutions.
The consequences of global warming, global water shortages, species die offs, and invasive species modifying or destroying eco-systems are evident today.
One thing that needs to be done is to FORCE Roberts off the Supreme Court. Then role back Citizens United. Third, shut down the biggest and dirtiest coal plants. Fourth, review the spending of Oil and Coal and Inflict Big Expensive Propaganda Fines. Fifth, a CARBON TAX is needed yesterday. Sixth, kill all oil and coal subsidy money. Seventh, make a 10 X increase in Solar and Wind energy research and build real projects Now.
8th: Double the Federal Gas Tax Yesterday.
Ninth) We need to Force all US News organizations to be owned by US Citizen's ONLY. We need to break up all media monopolies.
Posted by: MikeRINO at July 31, 2010 09:58 AM
Ummm, CoRev, radiant loss into space is what's affected by CO2, methane and other GHGs. Also, the reduction of ice coverage in the Arctic along with increased building of nice dark rooftops, parking lots and roads also help decrease our planetary albedo.
Posted by: Jim Satterfield at July 31, 2010 10:15 AM
JimS, agree completely!
Posted by: CoRev at July 31, 2010 04:02 PM
The claims of the warmest decade do not hold up very well. For one, the satellite data shows that 1998 was much warmer than any subsequent year and shows that there has been no statistically significant warming for about a decade and a half.
The surface data does not show unusually high temperatures because the raw readings still trail the 1930s. The claimed warming comes from adjustments made to the raw data and unless those adjustments can be justified cannot be accepted as scientifically valid. The problem is that the global data set is not accessible because Phil Jones has admitted to destroying some of the raw data that was provided to CRU. That leaves us only with the value added set but that is not useful because CRU has not allowed access to the code and metadata so that independent reviewers can check for data. Given all of the major errors exposed recently and the inability of AGW proponents to support their case by providing access to their data it is doubtful that CO2 emissions have much of an effect.
In fact, the ice cores still show that changes in CO2 concentration follow changes in temperature trends, not the other way around. I guess Mr. Gore forgot to mention it in his movie and that the IPCC has not explained how it could have confused cause with effect.
Posted by: Vangel at July 31, 2010 04:35 PM
Wow, Vangel. You make an impressive presentation of "skeptic" arguments that have been debunked. The whole 1998 kerfuffle was a huge deal only in denialist circles. See this article that mentions it in a discussion of 2009 temperatures.
Phil Jones did not destroy any raw data because CRU didn't create the raw data. It was all data that they received from other locations and they did not sneak into the labs of those other scientists and destroy their data. All code and metadata has in fact been made public. CRU has been found innocent of the virulent accusations of the denier community, though guilty of some bad judgement and statements, largely as a result of their exasperation with the foolishness of those non-skeptics.
As far as CO2 concentration increases following warming, that has been debunked over and over again as an argument (It does in fact follow warming in a purely natural cycle but here is a fairly simple explanation of why the claim that this fact disproves AGW is wrong.
Posted by: Jim Satterfield at July 31, 2010 08:30 PM
Vangel: For one, the satellite data shows that 1998 was much warmer than any subsequent year and shows that there has been no statistically significant warming for about a decade and a half.
That depends on what you mean by "statistically significant." If you mean p=.05, then yes, that's true. If you mean p=.10, then no, your statement is not true. If you're a research scientist looking to publish something in a referred journal, then you will test to p=.05. If you're a policymaker, then a p=.10 criterion is probably more appropriate. And if you're a baseball manager, then you'll probably decide on a left-handed vs right-handed relief pitch on a p=.25 criterion. Context is everything.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at August 1, 2010 07:55 AM
Last post? 2slugs doing his best misdirection. Bravo! Bravo, 2slugs. :-))
Actually reading his post, no statistically significant warming in the past ??? years.
Posted by: CoRev at August 1, 2010 10:10 AM
The "no significant warming" sound bite is past the date where it could, or should, be put to rest.
Regressing monthly temperature anomalies on elapsed date, 1996 through most recent, you *do* see a statistically significant (p
Even cherry-picking a start date from longer time series, or one dataset among five, apparently doesn't work to hide the warming any more.
Posted by: Ambler at August 1, 2010 02:42 PM
Ah, can't use the "less than" sign or it's taken for HTML. My second sentence in the post above should end with "statistically significant (p less than .001)."
Not .10, .05, or even .01.
Posted by: Ambler at August 1, 2010 05:06 PM
Pathetic that this appears in news and is considered science.
How many stations existed in 1900 to not even go to 1880. How many in Africa? Asia? Pacific? Siberia? Other Oceans that are 70% of whole earth.
How many stations exist today in Pacific almost 1/3 of whole earth?
And this "scientists" can see 0,XºC of difference?
Scammers, nothing more than dishonest persons.
Posted by: lucklucky at August 1, 2010 07:04 PM
Pretty much any thread in which the so-called "CoRev" gets heavily involved turns into worthless garbage. However, I shall make two points.
1) Weitzman's argument is as relevant as that of those pointing out that financial market analysts have been slow to deal with the reality of fat tails (kurtosis) in fin markets. Sure, practitioners attempted to deal with it via certain rather simple copulas, but it did not work. As it is, we have people like Cochrane claiming that Fama knew about fat tails and therefore so did he, but you won't find them anywhere in his classic grad text on Asset Pricing. Gosh.
2) According to "climate skeptic," Patrick Michaels, we should expect a linear increase in global temps as a baseline not accounting for all those nonlinear feedbacks. The big picture globally is this: CO2 up exponentially, but direct impact of CO2 on global temp is more like logarithmic. Outcome? Straight line, which is more or less what we have seen with some wiggles and wobbles since the mid-1970s.
Posted by: Barkley Rosser at August 1, 2010 09:22 PM
Here is a nice analysis that proves the rate of increase in global temps for the most recent warming cycle (1970-2000) is statistically indistinguishable from the prior warming period (1910-1940).
Most shocking is the fact that the 2 periods are separated by 60 years of man-made carbon emissions, yet the trend increase is statistically identical.
Posted by: tj at August 2, 2010 08:08 AM
tj There is something obviously fishy about this guys argument. Think about what he is saying. His first claim is that there is a 30 year cycle (actually, he should have said 60 year cycle, but nevermind). And according to his cyclic theory the period beginning n 2000 should be a cooling era. Okay, for the sake of argument let's just accept that. But does the data show that? No. The data shows increasing temperatures in the first decade of the 21st century. And here's where he slips in a fast one if you're not paying attention. He subtly shifts his previous claim that we should be in a cooling era to new claim that because the rate of increase has slowed, therefore we are in a cooling phase. In other words, he went from talking about the first derivative for the period 1880-2000 to talking about the second derivative in 2000-2010. That's a dishonest argument meant to trip up folks with weak backgrounds in math.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at August 2, 2010 03:46 PM
In other words, 60 years of man-made carbon emissions had 0 effect on the rate of change in the temp anomaly.
Posted by: tj at August 2, 2010 07:22 PM
A new working paper by Ross Mckitrick. A must read for anyone that wants a better understanding of the problems associated with measuring climate change.
Posted by: tj at August 3, 2010 05:48 AM
tj In other words, 60 years of man-made carbon emissions had 0 effect on the rate of change in the temp anomaly.
Ummmm...no. Exactly the opposite. If you don't understand why, then try a little example with Excel. Set up a sine curve and then try and keep the last downward part of the cycle from going downward. Try and keep it flat.
As to the McKitrick (McK) paper, this is just a recycling of some of his old complaints. Nothing new. At one point many, many years ago he made some useful criticisms; but that was a long time ago. And that was back when there was reasonable doubt about manmade global warming. Even CoRev agrees that there is global warming; his argument is that it's just not manmade but is part of a natural cycle. McK can't even bring himself to admit that much...he's still in denial mode about warmer global temperatures. Over time McK has become personally invested in denying global warming. Today he's viewed as something of a crank who won't admit that he was on the wrong side of the issue many years ago. Sort of like the old man in the bathrobe yelling at the neighborhood kids to stay off the lawn. Pathetic really. As to some of his specific criticisms:
(1) Sample size has dropped. Fine. But he interprets this as corrupting the data. A smaller sample size is not necessarily a bad thing if the quality of the observations is better. And there is good reason to believe it is. For example, the Russians are doing a lousy job of maintaining the weather stations...and the integrity of the historical Soviet era observations is suspect. Some of the Russian stations are no longer part of the sample...stuff like erroneously repeating prior year observations. He just doesn't make a convincing case that a smaller sample size is a bad thing.
(2) He points out that the average latitude is lower, which he interprets as biasing the temperatures. Sounds reasonable...but think about it for a minute. Because the northern latitudes are experiencing a lot of smow melt those latitudes are also experiencing relative warming. Last summer temps in Alaska were higher than in the northern plains. So lower latitudes actually biases temperature change (as opposed to temperature levels) downward. It's exactly the opposite of what he claims.
(3) He also talks about the influence of airports. It is true that concrete retains heat...but it's also true that airports are in open spaces and there is a lot more wind. Just about everyone agrees that the effect of wind overhwhelms any effects of concrete. And that is also why he's got it wrong with urban heat islands. Early temperature records tended to be in cities along low lying river valleys because that's where the town was. Newer stations tend to be on ridges and are exposed to more wind. And that is why the adjustment for urban heat islands is exactly the opposite of what he thinks it should be.
(4) None of his statistical claims actually support the view that there is no global warming. At best they question whether the parameter estimates are statistically significant. In a way that's the last refuge of a desperate argument. That's especially true in light of the heteroskedastic nature of the error terms. Heteroskedasticity does not bias the mean estimate, but it does make it harder to prove statistical significance. In fact, it's interesting that you won't even find the word "heteroskedastic" in his paper. Revealing omission.
I could go on, but pretty much everything he complains about has been answered many times over. None of this is new. He's pretty much of an irrelevance anymore.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at August 3, 2010 03:06 PM
The satellite-based indexes, UAH and RSS, just posted July numbers. RSS reports (just barely) the hottest July on record, while UAH reports (just barely) the second hottest. This despite La Nina and a quiet sun, which should have caused cooling; and there is no "urban heat island" excuse for lower-troposphere trends!
As for McKitrick's rehashed arguments against surface stations, the indexes derived from those surface stations show the same trends as the satellites. Global warming is real.
Regressing monthly anomaly on year 1979-present (the period of satellite records), one sees the following.
UAH: +.14C/decade, p lt .0005
RSS: +.17C/decade, p lt .0005
GISS: +.17C/decade, p lt .0005
NOAA: +.17C/decade, P lt .0005
CRU: +.16C/decade, p lt .0005
Just for 2slugs, those p-values refer to tests using heteroskedasticity-robust standard errors, and models with AR(1) disturbances.
Posted by: Ambler at August 3, 2010 04:41 PM
Ambler: Thanks. White's correction? FWIW, if you run a very simple 2x2 Choleski decomposition VAR of temperature and CO2 concentrations you'll find some interesting impulse/response charts. Basically a CO2 shock has a decaying but very persistent impact on temperature, but not the other way around.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at August 3, 2010 05:48 PM
In response to the claim in the cited study that data show 60 years of man made carbon emissions have had zero effect on the trend and you say, Ummmm...no. Exactly the opposite.
What's the opposite of zero? I guess you are saying enough of a change so that the increase in the man-made component of CO2 emissions was sufficient to maintain the upward trend. Can you provide a breakdown of the man-made vs not man-made proportions in the CO2 change for the period in question? It would also be helpful to see a comparison of the changes in solar/volcanic/decadal oceanic oscillations/UHI/etc for the periods in question.
(1) I agree that redundancies can be eliminated, but redundancy does not create a problem. It matters little if you have 1 station reporting +1 or 2 stations reporting +1, the average is the same. However, the problem lies in extending the results of a single station to several hundred square miles after 'nearby' stations have been removed.
(3) Your conjecture that wind negates heat is flat out wrong.
Take your thermometer to your local beach and stand between the asphalt parking lot and the water. On days when the wind blows toward you from the ocean your thermometer reads lower than days when the wind blows toward you from the asphalt parking lot.
See Parker (2004, 2006 "that the strength of the UHI effect could be measured by comparing temperature trends on calm nights versus windy nights. Parker did so and found that while temperature levels were lower on windy nights, the trend over time was the same as those on calm nights, indicating that the UHI did not bias the trend.")
and Johnson et al. (1991),
"as the basis for his premise (that wind negates UHI) is Johnson et al. (1991). But they do not actually state that wind obliterates the UHI under all circumstances, they only state that calm conditions are ideal for forming the largest gradient between urban and rural temperatures. " - p.44 in the McK paper.
(4) You are wandering off point when you state,
"None of his statistical claims actually support the view that there is no global warming."
This view suggests you do not grasp the main arguement put forth by the 'skeptics'.
That is, the man-made component of CO2 change is not a major driver of global warming. McK is simply demonstrating that if the temperature anomaly is overstated, then man-made CO2 plays a smaller role that previously claimed.
It's obvious you agree with President Obama that the U.S. government should unilaterally impose a large tax on energy in order to reduce man's influence on climate; a tax that will do very little to reduce man-made CO2 emissions on a global scale. A tax that is based on questionable data and an immature science (climatology).
I doubt there is a cost benefit analysis out there that supports a unilateral U.S. carbon tax.
Posted by: tj at August 3, 2010 07:06 PM
Notice that their own graph shows a virtual flatening over the past 5 years or so. Climatologists are actually expecting temperatures to begin to decline. When that happens hold on to your hats. The global cooling crowd will crawl back out from under their rocks and begin to pester us once again.
I hate to tell you this but many of the current warming alarmists were the same people who were telling us that we would all freeze to death in the 1970s. They are not really scientists but political activists with an agenda.
Sadly, the cooling crowd will be right. Observations are now showing us that a combination of a quiet sun, a negative phase for the PDO, a reversal in the AMO, and a developing La Niña will likely lead to a very cold NH winter that matches or exceeds what we are now observing in the SH. The cooling should continue for a further 20 years of so giving us about 35 years without the predicted warming trend that the alarmists were up in arms about. That means a great deal of hardship for people about to be hit with higher fuel and food costs and investors in alternative energy companies that only survived due to subsidies that were justified by the AGW hype. The misallocated capital will have to be written down and academics, politicians, and consumers will have to adjust to the new reality.
I look forward to the knives coming out and seeing people in the hard sciences take on the frauds who were behind the AGW hype. We have seen many of the warmers move to the skeptic camp and expect many more to abandon ship once the raw data and algorithms are made available for independent review.
Posted by: Vangel at August 4, 2010 05:34 PM
Any mention of how f'ing hot it is out there is an obvious hysterical leftist grab at taking over another 60% of our economy, contrary to those serious academics who post pictures of snow in the winter and har har har about how it's all a big hoax.
Where exactly is it so "f'ing hot?" We have seen the SH go through a very cold winter where record low temperatures were reached in a number of countries. That followed a very cold NH winter that had fish, plants, animals and people die of exposure to extreme cold as far south as Florida and Texas. We just saw ski resorts open some of their runs in California in June and July. And if you look at a map showing the 2010 temperature anomalies in the United States, you will find that around 60% of the country is experiencing below normal conditions for the year.
A more clear picture can be seen here with the blue pixels showing below average and the red above average temperatures.
That leaves us with an interesting question. If the actual measurements are not showing us record highs just where is the claim coming from? The answer to that is obvious. GISS uses computer algorithms to interpolate data in a number of areas, particularly the polar regions, Africa, and northern Canada and northern Russia. This is why GISS and NOAA can claim a very warm Arctic while the actual temperature measurements coming from actual stations show below average conditions.
So who do we trust; NOAA, which claims a very warm Arctic thanks to computer algorithms that average readings taken from stations as far as 1000 km away or the Danish Meteorological Institute, which has used real stations to measure real temperatures for more than half a century. Many people who read this blog prefer the model derived temperatures. Personally, I prefer the readings taken by the thermometers.
Posted by: Vangel at August 4, 2010 05:49 PM
Nir Shaviv has a good post up. In it, the case for solar affects on temperature are better described.
The second type of mechanisms is indirect, through the solar modulation of the cosmic ray flux and the effect that the latter may have on the climate. Cosmic rays are high energy particles (primarily protons) which appear to originate from supernova remnants (the leftovers from the explosive death of massive stars). A possible climatic link through cosmic rays was first suggested by Edward Ney already in 1959. It was well known that the solar wind decreases the flux of these high energy particles and that these particles are the primary source of ionization in the troposphere (which is the lower part of the atmosphere). Ney proposed that the changing levels of ionization can play some climatic role.
In the 1970's, Robert Dickenson proposed the possibility that the atmospheric ion density could play a role in the formation of cloud condensation nuclei. When air reaches saturation, that is, 100% humidity, the preferred equilibrium state is that of liquid water. However, if the water vapor has nothing to condense upon, it will not do so. In fact, under very clean environments, it is possible to reach 400% humidity before the vapor condenses spontaneously. In order to get clouds at 100%, as we see in nature, we need cloud condensation nuclei (CCNs). Over land, there are many natural sources for CCNs, however, this is not the case over the oceans, were the CCNs must be grown out of something. Dickenson suggested that this growth process of CCNs could be affected by the amount of atmospheric charge.
In the 1990's, Henrik Svensmark and his colleagues found empirically that clouds, and in particular low altitude clouds, appear to vary in sync with the solar activity (see fig. 6). The change in the energy budget associated with this change in the cloud cover is consistent with the amount of heat we find enters the oceans every solar cycle.
Figure 6: The correlation between cosmic ray flux (orange) as measured in neutron count monitors in low magnetic latitudes, and the low altitude cloud cover (blue) using ISCCP satellite data set, following Marsh & Svensmark (JGR, 108 (D6), 6, 2003).
Since Svensmark’s work, more evidence was found to support this link, the full picture of which is the following. When the sun is more active, it has a stronger solar wind. The stronger wind slows the cosmic rays as they propagate into the inner solar system. As a consequence, the amount of atmospheric ionization is reduced. Less ions reduce the efficiency with which new cloud condensation nuclei can grow, especially over the oceans, such that the clouds that later form have fewer but larger droplets. These clouds are less white, they reflect sunlight less efficiently and therefore cause more warming.
Figure 7: The cosmic ray link between solar activity and the terrestrial climate. The changing solar activity is responsible for a varying solar wind. A stronger wind will reduce the flux of cosmic ray reaching Earth, since a larger amount of energy is lost as they propagate up the solar wind. The cosmic rays themselves come from outside the solar system (cosmic rays with energies below the "knee" at 1015eV, are most likely accelerated by supernova remnants). Since cosmic rays dominate the tropospheric ionization, an increased solar activity will translate into a reduced ionization, and empirically (as shown below), also to a reduced low altitude cloud cover. Since low altitude clouds have a net cooling effect (their "whiteness" is more important than their "blanket" effect), increased solar activity implies a warmer climate. Intrinsic cosmic ray flux variations will have a similar effect, one however, which is unrelated to solar activity variations.
The evidence to this particular link comes from experimental results and from correlations between independent cosmic ray flux variations and climate changes on different time scale. Just by itself, a cosmic ray climate correlation over the 11-year solar cycle does not necessarily imply a causal link. One could imagine that the solar activity affects both the cosmic ray flux and the climate, making it appear that there is a causal relation between the latter two. Nevertheless, there are indications that it is not just an apparent link. For example, the dependence of the relative cloud cover variations with the magnetic latitude is the same as the latitudinal dependence of the relative change in the atmospheric ionization, over the solar cycle. Another important fact is that the full solar cycle is not that of 11-years, but 22-years instead. It takes 11-years for the magnetic field to flip, but 22-years for it to return to the original state. However, all the solar activity proxies are “blind” to the polarity of the magnetic field, all except the cosmic ray flux which exhibits a clear asymmetry between odd and even solar cycles. This asymmetry is seen in the change of the low altitude cloud cover, implying that the cloud cover variations originate from cosmic ray flux variations.
On short time scales, the sun can undergo flaring activity which is caused from the reconnection of magnetic loops. These flare are accompanied by a strong solar wind “gust” which later causes a decrease in the cosmic ray flux for several days. If the cosmic ray flux has an effect on clouds, then cloud properties should change following these events, known also as Forbush decreases. Several results indicate that clouds are affected during Forbush decreases. In particular, recent results by Bondo et al. have shown the cosmic ray mechanism at work. Not only was a cloud signal observed, the intermediate step of affecting the aerosol size distributed was detected as well.
Posted by: aaron at August 4, 2010 08:16 PM
Barkley, thank you for the personal attack. I always count coup with them. Another scalp gained from a believer who can not argue the points.
2slugs, you're trying. The arguments are getting better even though most are wrong, and worse, just personal opinion. Know how I can tell their personal? No refs. Example: "Today he's viewed as something of a crank who won't admit that he was on the wrong side of the issue many years ago."
Posted by: CoRev at August 5, 2010 11:00 AM
I am forever amazed when we get into these discussions how often believers in CAGW fix on a nonexistent problem, SKEPTICS/(to them) DENIERS DO NOT BELIEVE IT IS WARMING. NO, that is not true. We do question the validity of the man-caused portion of temp increases.
Even again we saw 2slugs, claim the Ross McK did not believe it was warming. No, again, he makes his views quite clear and tries to answer some of concerns of how much NOT WHETHER. The overall conclusion in his paper was:
"The overall conclusion of this report is that there are serious quality problems in the surface temperature data sets that call into question whether the global temperature history, especially over land, can be considered both continuous and precise. Users should be aware of these limitations, especially in policysensitive
Unless you are willing to suspend all rational thought, his conclusion does not mention anything about "whether it is warming."
Posted by: Anonymous at August 5, 2010 02:22 PM
CoRev: Strange statement in light of the "climategate" emails in which McK was lampooned as being a crank. What was the name they gave him? Oh yes, McKritic. You can almost see the golden arches. He's a crank who is very frustrated about not being a member of the club.
tj: McK has not demonstrated that the temperature anomalies are overstated. What he has done is suggest that the data is not perfect and then jumps to the conclusion that it is being deliberately and sytematically biased in one direction. For example, clinging to the thin reed that it hasn't been totally proven that wind "obliterates" heat islands is a stupid argument. McK's argument comes down to this: the data isn't perfect and until someone can prove beyond any doubt (even unreasonable doubt) that the data is snow white pure, then we must assume that it has been manipulated and biased in a certain direction. Strip away all of the mumbo jumbo and that's basically McK's argument. The problem is that nowhere else do we apply that standard. McK is supposed to be an economist so presumably he should have learned how to deal with dirty data many years ago. And one way to doublecheck things is to see if the surface temperature warmings are consistent with other proxies, such as sea temperatures, satellite temperatures, vegetation drift, ice melt, etc. It's always possible that any one of those metrics could be biased in some way, but when they all point in the same direction then maybe it's time to accept reality.
As to Obama wanting to unilaterally impose a tax on energy, what planet are you living on? Obama went to Copenhagen to try and get a broadbased agreement on climate change from all countries. Where do you get this unilateral stuff? The only people talking about unilateral action are Republicans who refuse to join the rest of the world in adopting a cap & trade system. What Obama is trying to do is to minimize the pain across generations. What you and CoRev and the Republicans are trying to do is what you recommend for every tough problem...kick the can down the road and leave it for some future generation to deal with.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at August 5, 2010 03:45 PM
2slugs said to TJ: "McK's argument comes down to this: the data isn't perfect and until someone can prove beyond any doubt (even unreasonable doubt) that the data is snow white pure, then we must assume that it has been manipulated and biased in a certain direction. Strip away all of the mumbo jumbo and that's basically McK's argument."
And that is after quoting McK's conclusion just prior.
If you haven't caught on to 2slugs and many other contrarians approach, it is to cite a new modified argument and then argue the merits of their position of their own argument. Cute, but merit less.
BTW, citing the emails of the bad-actors in climategate as serious reviewers of McK's and McI's work which has devastated those same bad-actor's positions is truly strange.
Just another example of how it's not science but a religion.
Posted by: CoRev at August 5, 2010 04:10 PM
CoRev Let me remind you that even you agree that there is global warming. Let me remind you of what you said just the other day:
"Menzie, yup! It's been warming. Few deny it..."
Well, McK is one of those who does deny it. His claim is that it's all a fake because a dastardly cabal at Hadley and East Anglia are all conspiring to bias the data. Read McK's paper. He clearly sees himself as a lone voice in the wilderness trying to rescue science from ignorance. And he's got a persecution complex. Again, read his snarky comments about emails he received from CRU assuring him of this or that. The sarcasm practically drips off the page. That's why he's a McKrank.
Look, if the surface temperature data were wildly at odds with sea data and satellite data and ice melt data and tree migration data and animal hibernation data, then maybe people would take McK a little more seriously.
We know that the globe is warming. Even you agree that the globe is warming. We know from quantum mechanics that CO2 is excited by infrared radiation and this radiates some heat back down to the surface. What we don't know with any certainty is the climate response factor to CO2 and other GHG increases. It might be low (if we're lucky) or it might be very high (in which case our grandchildren will not be so lucky). I don't know for sure, you don't know for sure and McK doesn't know for sure. That's why it's uncertain. McK is supposed to be an economist, so you'd think that he'd be more interested in studying the economics of global warming risk. But instead he's decided to indulge himself in the fantasy that he's a climate scientist.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at August 5, 2010 05:44 PM
You are correct, the proxies you cite do suggest warming. The problem is that most of the proxies suggest less warming than the models upon which cap and tax is based. The point being, global warming is progessing at a slower rate than predicted, man's contribution to global warming is unproven, and perhaps inconsequential.
The proof is in the data. The models upon which the global warming scare is based are projecting temperature increases that are 2 - 4 times higher than the actual data.
You always seem to fall back on the old progressive trick of asserting that anyone that disagrees with big government is against any solution at all. All we are saying is that cap and tax is the wrong solution to air pollution. The progressive big government solution is akin to a professional baseball pitcher amputating his throwing arm to cure a blister on his pinkie.
Posted by: tj at August 5, 2010 07:31 PM
TJ, good response to 2slugs.
2slugs, I actually do not disagree with HARDLY anything you said, with exception to the characterization of RMcK. He, with SMcI, disproved the validity of the tree ring findings (Hockey stick graphic) who do not follow this issue.
Citing the purveyors of that misguided picture as open and able to act professionally towards them is just bizarre. You obviously have not read the emails.
BTW, have you followed the discussion of the 80-90N temp differences between GISS/(NOAA) calculated temps versus Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) measured temps? You can find a chart here: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php
Note the lower than average temps! I think this does confirm Ross McK's findings/conclusions.
Posted by: CoRev at August 6, 2010 04:30 AM
Some have been counting/accounting for the large number of mistakes/misrepresentations/exaggerations from the climate is warming (and that's sooooo bad for us) community. At this writing he has listed 94 "gates", but if you read the comments you can see how fast he has progressed to/past 100. The first ten are below.
"1. Acceleration of sea level rise-gate
Claims of accelerating sea level rise are misleading.
2. African agriculture claim-gate
IPCC wrongly claims that in some African countries yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent by 2020.
3. AIT-gate and British High Court
35 errors or gross exaggerations are found in Al Gore’s Oscar winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
4. NEW! Alaskan glaciers-gate
Loss of glaciers in Alaska was grossly exaggerated.
5. Amazon rainforest-gate and here (NEW!) and here (NEW!)
IPCC cites “robust” source: green activist organisation WWF. WWF’s source was merely an anonymous brief on forest fire risks posted in 1999 and taken down four years later.
6. Antarctic sea ice-gate
Antarctic sea ice underestimated by 50%.
7. NEW! Authoritarian science-gate
The science says… Science is increasingly used as an instrument of authority to impose public policy.
8. NEW! Australia-gate Australia temperature adjusted upwards to show more warming.
IPCC inflates Bangladesh doomsday forecasts in 2007 4AR.
10. NEW! Biofuel-gate
Efforts to save the planet by using bio-fuels are in fact rapidly destroying it."
The original list on his site actually have links which did not transfer when copying. The CURRENT remainder can be found here: http://pgosselin.wordpress.com/2010/08/03/climate-scandals-list-of-94-climate-gates/
Posted by: CoRev at August 7, 2010 04:26 AM