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another kick at the climate change cat ...
34

another kick at the climate change cat ...

another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
i think the problems with burning fossil fuels are that we're returning carbon to the atmosphere at an unnatural rate, and that there was a very long interval between when the carbon was deposited from the atmosphere and when it's getting returned to it.

the second problem is meant to say that bio-fuels, which take from and return to the atmosphere over a short timescale, probably won't have the same effect on the global climate as compared to fossil fuels. Though, of course, once we start doing this on a global scale and derive meaningfull amounts of energy this way then there'll be unforeseen side effects.

i think it's reasonable to say that the global climate is changing; and that this would be happening even without mankind's contributions.

i think it's reasonable to say that atmospheric CO2 levels change with climate. i think the record shows that previously (say before the 20th century) that CO2 increased sometime after the global temperature increased.

i think it's reasonable to say that the amount of carbon we putting into the atmosphere has the potential to affect global climate. this is i think too wishy-washy "for the masses" so we're being told carbon is changing the climate ... maybe a simple message but one that has divided those wanting more explanation.

once you say that then i think it's reasonable to ask is this a bad thing, ie do we want to change ? We have to acknowledge that energy is the means to developing our economies. adding hydro, geo-thermal, wind and solar power aren't bad things ... there's a cost and a benefit associated. clearly there are some places that can really benefit for these (because of sustained sunlight or wind or water resources or etc). becoming more efficient in our energy consumption is clearly a good thing, though i suspect that won't gain us significant relief. i worry that developing economies are progressing along the same energy path that the developed countries have used, and that maybe there are "better" choices today.

we can't (won't) stop burning fossil fuels, we need the cheap energy. we can be a little smarter and make power stations more efficient but essentially we're dependent on fossil fuels. we're reluctant to persue the nuclear option, though i wish more research money was being directed at fusion power which i see as the only truly long term option.

it is IMHO nonsense to talk about reducing CO2 production to 1990 (or 2000 or whatever) levels principally because developing economies (China in particular, and probably India as well) are going to be burning more and more fossil fuels. carbon sequestration is also IMHO a nonsense technology unless you're talking about growing trees (and biomass). it is also IMHO nonsense to talk about sustainability ... truly sustainable energy would mean using energy resources at the same rate as they're being created (ie no fossil fuels or nukes) or available (solar, wind, hydro, geo-thermal). but then maybe that's one answer to the question, and we'll make truly huge investments in these "green" energies so that we'll increase the fraction of energy we derive from these sources, maybe enough to significantly reduce the carbon output.

if we're going to pay taxes on carbon (through whichever scheme you choose) ... where's the money going ? what's it doing to fix the "problem" ?

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

About the best thing we can do is export energy reducing technology. Although I hate those swirly light bulbs, if they save energy over other light producing technology, and the price is competive, they should reduce the demand for energy in third world countries.

Another thing we can do is export efficency technology in power production so that less fuel in burned in third world countries to produce each kW.

At the point we are at, reducing our lifestyle, or asking anyone else to not attempt to develop to our life style is asking for a war. The best way to reduce energy consumption is advances in technology. We will then have to accept some carbon until the technology advances.

Here's the sticky part. Goverment demands on car milages and smog reductions, has only seemed to create smaller cars to meet those standards. The demand for technology is exceeding the supply resulting in consumer unhappeness, as measured from the unpopularty of those smaller cars, and the increase in the life times of cars. People don't want smaller cars (in general), at least in the US.

There are ways to provide more efficent transportation (buses and trains) however the high price coupled with the crime and grime factors, and the inconvience of the schedules and stops makes this an issue that they can't live with.

Here's a novel idea, fix the problems, not force people into things they don't want. After all who buys shoes that don't fit?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
"asking anyone else to not attempt to develop to our life style" is in response to "developing economies (China in particular, and probably India as well) are going to be burning more and more fossil fuels". rather than telling not to develop (which would be either futile or destructive) i was thinking more along the lines of developing as an electricity based energy source which is at least more efficient from a carbon perspective. and if that costs more, then that is something that could be funded by taxes (so long as the money flowed to where it was needed). eg better coal powerstations pollute less (but cost more) ... i'm willing to bet that China's new crop of powerstations isn't "cutting-edge", more like cheap Walmart "made in china" knock-offs.

i hadn't (in Canada) noticed your issue about car sizes. i'd've thought the main buying segment today was SUVs (which seem to be big enough for anyone ?).

i think we're all cynical enough to see how carbon taxing isn't going to fix much. oh, there'll be some new wind turbines and the such, but on the most of it a few people will get richer and lots of people will get slightly poorer and the "problem" will remain !

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

When talking about "renewables" it is very important to isolate "wholesale" from "retail". I use solar panels and small wind turbines all the time on individual well sites that are remote from the power grid and I only need power for calculations, control, and valve actuation. Great technology for that, but I would never consider a windfarm or solar array to run a downhole pump. On the other hand when I see wind-turbine farms or solar-panel arrays that cover square miles I want to strangle our federal representatives. A wind farm or a solar array is unlikely to ever generate as much power as went into manufacture, assembly, and transportation of the raw materials and finished products and the only reason that these inefficient technologies are so widespread is the Federal subsidies.

It takes me about 4 workdays a month to pay for the energy I consume (heat, power, transportation, and food). I read an article in an ASME magazine last week that contended that approximately half the people on the planet spend over half of their time (more than 12 hours a day) getting fuel and food, tending fires, cooking, etc. If someone had a goal of lowering the average effort required to acquire energy from 360 hours each per month per person down towards the 24-80 hours we spend in per month in the west, then they would be doing a good thing. Just don't try to force the change through hysteria about the "climate changing", the guy in the hut in Borneo couldn't care less.

I understand that it is becoming common for farmers to capture the methane and heat off of digesters used to process biological wastes and use the methane to run gensets and the waste heat to warm barns and greenhouses. What a fantastic trend. It has nothing to do with reducing the methane in the atmosphere, it is all about improving profit margins (and thereby lowering the effort required to acquire fuel on the days-of-labor scale).

It is absolutely possible for the developing world to leapfrog the west. Hell, it is essential and inevitable if governments don't muck it up. So when you bring electricity to a hut in Borneo or a village in Kenya, screw in LED lights instead of incandescent. Instead of resistance cooktops use induction. Instead of mega-powerplants use community-sized co-gen plants.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I would tend to disagreed about the assumed value of bio-fuels. It is true that the CO2 released by the burning of the fuel is "young" carbon that was captured within the past few years. The problem is that this is not the only CO2 released. Specifically, corn based ethanol is an energy disaster. By the time you put the ethanol into your fuel tank, the equivalent of almost a gallon of diesel fuel has been burned to produce it. It takes a lot of energy to make ethanol from corn. And, it takes incredible amounts of water. If you add in the fact that using corn to make ethanol drives up the cost of food, it is generally destructive, economically and environmentally. Corn based ethanol is not part of the solution. It is part of the problem.

I don’t know if the same points are valid for soy based bio-diesel. It is possible that ethanol made from cane sugar or algae is a better choice. But, I would doubt that they are much better without solid evidence.

I really don’t see cars getting smaller to comply with the fuel economy requirements. The technology has made great improvements. But, most of the improvement has not been directed into reduced fuel consumption. Instead, they have used that efficiency to drive up horsepower. Watch the TV ads for new cars. They brag about engine horsepower more than economy. One of the first new cars I ever purchased got 30 miles per gallon with a 1.6 liter engine rated for about 100 horsepower. Now, you can buy cars that get 30 miles per gallon with 2.5 liter engines and more than 200 HP.

Johnny Pellin

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
"Instead of resistance cooktops use induction." ... looking into induction stoves, the couple i looked at weren't Energy Star rated which surprised me if this is the reason (being more energy efficient) that they have a $1000 premium ?

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

The standards for "Energy Star" on cooktops are all about reducing the power load of a hugely inefficient technology. The power consumption on induction cookers is really impressive and the standards have not caught up yet.

They are expensive right now. The place I bought mine sells 10-15 resistance cooktops for every induction unit they sell. Three years ago it was 50-100 resistance cooktops for every induction, so they are moving up in consumer awareness. The one I bought two years ago was cheaper than the previous year's model by about $1,500 (but it was still over $2000). I always ask in omelet lines at hotel breakfasts what kind of hot plate they're using. The answer for nearly 4 years has been "induction". I'm starting to hear that professional kitchens are installing them instead of gas (blaspheme). The hotplate I bought to see if my wife and I liked the technology was under $300. I just looked on Google and today they run from $80 to $250 for homeowner models and up to $1500 for commercial models. The one I paid nearly $300 for is similar to the $80 one. That is in 3 years. At that rate of change, in another 3 years the high end will be under $100 and the low end will be around $50. I keep thinking back to my $3000 VCR (the first one I bought) and the one that a car dealer gave me for doing a test drive (the last one I acquired). I think induction cooking is on that path.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
isn't all tech ?

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

So far

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Induction hobs are great for most cooking. I've had one for about seven years, replacing a totally useless halogen type which was installed when we bought the house. Deep down I'm a gas die-hard but there isn't a gas service in the kitchen and the destruction which would be required to install it isn't likely to occur for another five to ten years when the current kitchen is replaced, so for now my choice is constrained to electric types.

I love the controllability of the induction type and ease of keeping it clean. It is more limiting in terms of certain cooking styles than gas, which is my reference point: a proper wok simply won't work on an induction hob because the induction coupling can't deal with the curved base and the thin metal of the wok. I have bought a cast-iron wok which is ok on the induction hob and it is nice to cook with one you adjust to it, but it doesn't behave like a conventional one due to the much larger thermal mass.

Perhaps the biggest downside is that spare parts are expensive. I bought mine on ebay and it blew up within about half an hour of use. Ebay were very good about it and I got a partial refund because I said I would get it repaired, but a new power output module for two of the four rings was about £280 at the time. Since then it has been flawless in operation, but I don't look forward to next time something breaks.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

JJPellin: it does not take the energy equivalent of a gallon of diesel to produce a gallon of corn ethanol.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(oops- hit the send by accident!)

You're forgetting about a major co-product of corn ethanol production which is the distiller's grain plus solubles, which is used to feed cattle. That's like saying that 5 barrels of crude oil are required to make a barrel of gasoline- forgetting about the diesel, naphtha, jet fuel, fuel oil, bunker etc.

All the reasonable, validated analyses I've seen of corn ethanol production show it to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at least a little relative to burning fossil gasoline. And for emissions reasons, we do want oxygenates in gasoline. Ethanol is a better choice than MTBE for environmental reasons, even ignoring GHG.

All the other things you said are true. Corn ethanol does drive up the price of corn, which is great if you're a farmer and a disaster if you're a poor person in Mexico. There are significant environmental impacts associated with intensive agriculture that cannot be ignored. And those ethanol stills are being fired mostly with natural gas, rather than using corn stover etc., because natural gas is so cheap at present. If you can't make it economical to burn corn stover to produce heat to run a distillation, it's idiotic to think that you're going to use corn stover to make cellulosic ethanol by any process I can imagine.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Molten, ethanol plants all over the upper midwest (US) are having their output throttled down because it is such a good idea and cashflows so well in its manufacture. Not. The political correctness and warm fuzzy of this boondoggle is beginning to wear off, and people are seeing it for what it is, a product of the green and farm lobbies. Without the subsidies, the thing would have been dead before it left the drafting board.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Moltenmetal,
What you are saying doesn't jibe with my research so I went looking for another source. A Cornell Study doesn't seem to support your position. The article had a lot of very good points, but really like:

Quote:

* Ethanol from corn costs about $1.74 per gallon to produce, compared with about 95 cents to produce a gallon of gasoline. "That helps explain why fossil fuels -- not ethanol -- are used to produce ethanol," Pimentel said. "The growers and processors can't afford to burn ethanol to make ethanol. U.S. drivers couldn't afford it either, if it weren't for government subsidies to artificially lower the price."

Basically, if corn ethanol were such a great idea, they would be using it as a fuel source instead of importing natural gas to the process. I really like his last point, if we went to 100% corn ethanol we would have to plant 97% of the land area of the U.S. in corn to meet demand. That doesn't leave much space for living, food crops, and Starbucks or McDonalds.

The big issue in this discussion is "boundaries". When you read the Wikipedia whitewash you get the feeling that ethanol returns between 1.06 and 1.6 times the energy input. Like so many of these studies, the line is drawn around the still. No consideration is given to the energy to produce the fertilizers, insecticides, pumping water to the crops, maintaining infrastructure, transporting workers, etc. There is a good paper at Harvard Study that draws the boundaries further out. It condemns this process based on economics, energy balance, land use, public health, air emissions (including a discussion of increasing so-called greenhouse gases due to ethanol production), and diverting arable land from food production. The quote below is germane:

Quote:

These farm subsidies required that farmers raise only a single crop, like corn. This led farmers to sell off their livestock and end their production of a diversity of crops. Removing livestock from grain farms and placing them in feedlots constitued a major mistake as livestock manure could no longer be recycled effectively in crop production on the farm. This has resulted in a major pollution problem in the United States. More people are now exposed to livestock wastes than ever before. Earlier this year, the Center for Disease Control reported that there are 5,000 people, primarily children, die each year due to exposure to livestock wastes. Subsidization of corn crops has created further environmental difficulties. With corn production forced to be a continuous corn on corn production system, soil erosion increased dramatically from only 5 tons/ha/yr to 17 tons/ha/yr. The soil erosion problem costs the nation more than US$40 billion per year, and valuable cropland is degraded at the same time. Furthermore, weed and disease problems increased in corn production as farmers were forced to abandon growing corn in rotation with other crops. The most serious problem was the increase in the corn rootworm problem, leading to the high use of insectices. If farmers grew their corn in rotation with other crops, they could abandon the use of insecticides and also increase corn yields. Wheat, for instance, could be grown in alternation with corn, but the lower market value of wheat would lead to a reduction in economic benefit for farmers. Another problem associated with reducing crop rotations in corn production is that farmers are required to use more nitrogen fertilizer. As mentioned, corn uses more fertilizer today than any other crop grown, and the heavy use of nitrogen fertilizer in corn production results in nitrogen leaking from cornfields, the prime reason for the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The result has been a serious reduction in fish and shrimp production. Corn ethanol subsidies are contributing further to the pollution and economic problems in the US. Currently US$6 to US$7 billion is spent each year subsidizing corn ethanol

As to "better than MTBE" that conclusion I don't know enough about it to be able to contribute, but I do know that MTBE does not have the unpleasant of sucking water out of the air and then releasing it into the bottom of a tank like ethanol does.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Corn based ethanol was created with three rather large assumptions. They believed that the production of ethanol would become more and more efficient, lowering the price. They believed that gasoline production from crude oil would become more and more expensive as crude oil became scarce. They believed that growing the corn would provide great benefit to the farmers. Only the last assumption proved to be true. Even when the price of gasoline shot up close to $5 (US) per gallon, ethanol could still not compete. That is primarily because the production of ethanol uses so much fossil fuel. If the cost of gasoline goes up, so does the cost of other fossil fuels. This drives up the cost of making ethanol. It is a race you can never win. Gasoline could go up to $10 per gallon and ethanol would still not be competitive. Ethanol producers are able to improve their competitive position by selling a by-produce that can be fed to cattle. But, this does not change the energy balance significantly.

I believe that if you consider all energy used to produce ethanol, from the farm to the gas tank, it produces a negligible benefit for global warming. And, any small benefit that might exist is not justified based on the increased food costs. By the way, it is not just poor people in Mexico who suffer. Corn is in almost everything we eat. It drives up the cost of food for everyone.

In the name of full disclosure, the company I work for owns and operates six ethanol plants in the US Midwest. I would have preferred that they did not get into that business.

Johnny Pellin

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Modern engines don't need mtbe or ethanol. They do prefer 95 octane to 92, but that particular cat can be skinned several ways. I can see little positive advantage in putting partially burnt hydrocarbons in the fuel tank.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I think you will find that MOST modern automobile engines, at least here in North America, are designed to run on 'regular' gas or 87 octane (using the AKI rating scheme). Of course, if you're using the RON scheme that could account for the difference in your claim.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
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Cypress, CA
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To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Depends on the calibration. Typical engines expecting higher octane will run on lower octane fuel, but they'll pull spark in order to prevent knock, and so they will run slightly worse pre-cat emissions and economy.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I don't know about "most", but the last vehicle I purchased that ran on regular was a 2003 model. I'm doing good to find 91 octane gas at the pump (the minimum on the sticker in my gas door), I can't remember the last time I saw 95 octane in the States.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I'm NOT an advocate for corn ethanol. I'm merely pointing out the ERROR in the statement that it takes a gallon of diesel to produce a gallon of ethanol. It doesn't- it's not even close- and even if it were, the farmer would still be ahead the DG+S. DG+S replaces animal feed that it would take diesel to produce.

Pimentel's study has been discredited widely. It's in fact a case study in how misleading such studies can be. All you need to do to prove your point is to draw the system boundary at a different place, forgetting certain inputs or outputs etc., and the study will tell you what you'd already concluded.

The points in the Harvard study that have been quoted are absolutely correct, and are a criticism of intensive agriculture in general and of the distorting action of market subsidy. If you were concerned about those issues and wanted to correct them, you should be going after the consumption of meat just as vehemently as against the use of corn for fuels ethanol production.

Corn ethanol definitely doesn't make economic sense without subsidy- again something which is true of much of intensive agriculture these days. I am utterly AGAINST the subsidization of energy production or consumption of any kind. I am vehemently against governments being in a position of selecting economic winners and losers amongst competing technologies, "green" or otherwise, since they have done and continue to do such a woefully pathetic job of it.

What I am for is a system by which the users of energy pay the full costs of that consumption, including a tipping fee for fossil CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, as well as for the vast quantities of emissions which are known to be harmful rather than merely being strongly suspected of being harmful. Should that include a ban on the use of food for fuel? Probably.

There is no way that any particular biofuel, cellulosic or otherwise, is going to replace even our transportation uses of fossil fuels. Even all of them together would have a very tough time of it. There just isn't enough energy returned per unit energy invested from any imaginable process to make that happen, though the EROEI is better for their use for stationary energy generation by far. It would be tough to replace our transport fuels uses with biofuels if we all gave up eating entirely, and impossible unless most of us gave up eating meat.

If we are ever to kick the fossil monkey off our backs, we're going to have to change how we consume energy. And I'm not holding out much hope that we ever will- it's pretty much a political impossibility. And that depresses me, because these fuels ARE finite. We will need to wean ourselves from them eventually, even if the planetary carrying capacity at no significant harm for their CO2 effluent and other effluents is infinite- which I cannot image could possibly be true.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I would be fine with eliminating both energy and agri subsidies completely. The marketplace will decide what is important. But then the EPA comes along and mandates a technology, and research into [possibly better] alternatives stops.

The EPA must stop telling people how to reach goals, tell us the damn targets and get the hell out of the way. EPA mandates ethanol (or a hundred other technologies), farmers say that they can't meet the mandated demand without serious capital investment so Congress gives them a subsidy, the refineries have a mandate to add ethanol and it just doesn't matter that they have another oxegenator that costs less and does a better job without the side effects of a hydrophillic liquid, but the EPA has mandated corn-ethanol.

In a rational world, the EPA would just go the hell away set CO and NOX limits at vehicle tailpipes and let the marketplace meet the limits or face sanctions. If ethanol was the answer, then the price of ethanol would become an incentive to make it, and so on. If ethanol were absolutely the best chemical to use for this function, then I'm betting there is a way to synthesize it from natural gas instead of from farmland. The marketplace would have done that without the subsidies if the playing field were level.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I don't personally think that CO2 is the only source of warming. Possibly not even the primary source. But if it is, then we already have a highly technically advanced way to generate carbon neutral fuel from nothing but sunlight, water, and atmospheric carbon, without spending any energy to produce it.

They're called trees.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Regrettably we could never grow enough trees to satisfy our current energy demand, even for stationary uses. Remember that both coal and the car were solutions to environmental problems originally. Coal reduced deforestation from firewood demand, and cars took away the horse effluent and dead horses from the major cities.

We can definitely reduce our energy demand- drastically. But we won't do it unless and until energy costs more. I agree with most of David's post above- except that I think we need to add an effluent tax to deter wasteful consumption and to provide a fund to help people reduce their consumption. People don't actually like spending a significant fraction of their income on energy, but they do like what energy does for them. We need to help them achieve their desired results with less energy, since all energy production and consumption has effects on people not involved in either the production or consumption.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I am more than willing to try to work from home (and not drive so much), however the communications system is not available at a reasonable cost. Just maybe if I wasen't still paying for the Spanish-Ameriacn war the cost of communications would be in a more reasonable price range.

Here's the problem: Any new power source, communications source, or way of making money that dosen't incure enough taxes, will soon be over taxed to the point it is of no advantage over the other technologies.
Basically said, I burn fossel fuels because it is of no advantage for me to not do so. The cost of working from home, and educating my children at home is more than the fossel fuels.
To have an impact on my consumption you need lower taxes and more availability on and of communications. But the goverment can't support that because it needs the money to give to other people.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Moltenmetal,
I think that this is the closest you and I have ever come to agreement. Guess we both had to make an effort to leave out loaded terms.

In principle, we are already paying effluent taxes (my water bill has a line item for waste disposal, it is tied to water usage and is not a small number since the majority of my water usage is irrigation).

In Oil & Gas we generate a LOT of water associated with production, some of it is discharged directly into rivers (it meets EPA effluent standards). This water came from formations inaccessible by agriculture or municipalities (too deep and too much associated hydrocarbons), so adding it to the rivers is actually creating a resource that benefits the biosphere. Sometimes we have to spend considerable money to get the water to an appropriate quality (we can't inject ultra-pure water, we can't inject hot or cold water, etc). Would an additional tax benefit the planet or would it drive people to do the less expensive deep-well injection? I don't know that answer to that question, but I always ask it in projects. The answer is often "if I'm going to be vilified for anything that I do, what do I have to do to exactly meet the EPA requirements and nothing more?" Not my favorite answer, but certainly an understandable answer. I would like to see an accommodation between the interested parties that would allow solutions to these problems that have both longevity and sustainability. The biggest roadblock in the way of rational behavior is the e-NGO's hard-line position. In too many cases the e-NGO's seem to be fighting the battles of the 1960's and not adjusting to the huge strides that have been made in the last 60 years. So much more could get done if we could talk to each other without the threat of a law suit hanging over every conversation.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Some how I think it more a matter of, we don't like the answer, so we will ignore the facts. Yes I choose to ignore the fact that traffic colming is better for me (however those fact drtails have never been offered).

Why is it that the hard line positions seem to come from people who have no idea how to solve a problem. The rest of us are concerned about where we live, but we are willing to make a trade off for a better living position. And it is true we need to reevaluate it from time to time, but the solutions always seem to be some goverment croney getting richer.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
"Regrettably we could never grow enough trees to satisfy our current energy demand" ... i wasn't suggesting that trees would solve (or even contribute significantly to) out energy needs. i was suggesting trees as a means to reduce atmospheric CO2; although i thought that bio-mass contains only a small portion of the earth's carbon.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

David, we agree more than you think. I'm an escapee from environmental engineering, and like you I now work on front-end solutions. For me personally I am absolutely assured that I do more good for the planet as a result of my front-end work than I ever did working at the end of the pipe or dealing with historical contamination.

There are many environmental issues which are politically impossible to solve despite having perfectly reasonable, feasible technological solutions. The "do nothing" approach is always viewed as zero risk against any "do-something" approach that involves the use of a technology such as incineration. Shockingly, this seems to be less true in Europe on some issues: for instance, they permit the incineration of chlorinated wastes in cement kilns there, which to me makes excellent sense. The poor bastards exposed to PCBs after the Ste. Basile la Grande warehouse fire in Quebec learned that one the hard way: local people fought the incineration of the PCBs, but storage in that case was far worse in terms of impact to people than it would have been to use even 1950s incineration technology to destroy those materials.

There are other instances where the do nothing approach is absolutely the most sensible thing- fortunately, that applies to a great many petroleum-impacted sites now, whereas 20 or 30 years ago we spent billions trying to remediate them- a process which in many cases was happening naturally anyway. A friend of mine recently showed me a calculation which compared the 1/1,000,000 cancer risk from a particular contaminated site against the risk of increased traffic fatalities associated with the truck traffic required to haul the impacted soil offsite- the road risk was over 4 orders of magnitude worse.

The e-NGOs are definitely part of the problem, but the problem is broader than that. The prevailing public attitude is that all technical people are fundamentally suspect. There's a long social memory out there on these issues, and there are of course occasional instances of gross negligence or worse that reinforce the underlying suspicion.

I've seen several anti-fracking documentaries that are so distorted in their point of view on the issues that I literally couldn't finish watching them. When I consider the (tiny) risks associated with the hydraulic fracturing of shales for natural gas, against the rather obvious and enormous environmental impact of mining and burning coal, it just makes my blood boil.

We do have effluent taxes for many wastes- sewage, landfill etc., but they're only really intended to recover the costs of treatment (or storage in the case of landfill)- they're not intended to deter emissions, though they do to some degree as do all costs. We don't have emission taxes on water or air emissions per se: instead we set limits on the concentration of particular harmful contaminants. We can't set a limit on CO2 concentration in emissions, so we need to do something else, and a tax on the source fuels is the simplest and the hardest to cheat. Government should gradually put those taxes in place, gradually increase them, and then let the market sort out the best way to solve the problem. If the new tax revenue is spent helping people and businesses make the capital investments necessary to reduce their fuels consumption, all the better.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

The whole problem with any tax based solution is that the goverment always wants more tax revenue, so the taxes always end up unfairly balanced. The schools need more money so that test scores can be made lower. The whole problem is accountability in the goverment. I pay road taxes here, and the money is spent on the governers driveway.

I don't disagree that fracking has some risk, or that natural gas is a lower carbon fuel. If anything I disagree with is that the issues that have developed with fracking have not been fixed properly, because if they had we would not be hearing the issues in the public. The fact with fracking is the few issues that develop are being swept away as minor, and not being fixed.

Coal does have it's issues also, but the coal companies seem to be doing a better job of fixing the issues at the mining sites (in the public perception). However coal is also used in the manufacture or some plastics, and the production of some steel (like used for wind farms), as well as most of it used for power generation. It's not all bad, so a hard line position is just mistaken.

What needs to happen is better technology, however the public does not trust it, and if you look at the public outcry agenst nucular energy, it would be the same for any new technology.
The public is agenst new technology, but look at the rise of cell phones?? Makes one wonder.

Here's a suggestion, if coal plants can be refitted with new burners, many can burn gas, but at the present time coal is less expencive. So maybe we need cheeper gas so it can compete.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

"Here's a suggestion, if coal plants can be refitted with new burners, many can burn gas, but at the present time coal is less expencive. So maybe we need cheeper gas so it can compete."

I thought gas was competing quite well lately in the US.

I still kind of feel large scale use of NG for stationary power generation is a bit of a waste, and it would be nice if the US could look at what happened with the 'UK dash for gas' though there are definite differences.

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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Moltenmetal,
If Jimmy Carter's response to the Oil Embargo had been a small tax on motor fuels that escalated with inflation (without Congressional posturing every year), then the US would look much different today. Back then there were a dozen out-of-control sprawls in the country that probably were not salvageable, but the next tier of city size were at a cusp where they could build freeways or light rail. The low cost of motor fuel made that decision easy, and wrong for the long term. It made mega-malls economic. It created super markets. It created Wal-Mart style shopping. It made suburbs "reasonable". It killed inner cities and made the concept of walking to the market impossible. Instead we have an economy absolutely dependent upon motor fuels to an extent that would be impossible to unravel at this point. We are not going to put that genie back into that particular bottle. Today motor fuels in the U.S. are so inexpensive that the problem just keeps getting worse and the suburbs keep getting farther out (I talked to a guy a while back who was commuting from Chula Vista [south of San Diego] to Downey [LA Basin] every day to work). Gasoline should be around $10/US gallon and we are bitching about $4. I would prefer for the extra $6 to go to producers, but could live with it going into the insatiable Federal maw (if the producers got $200/bbl, drilling would explode and drive prices back down, unfettered supply and demand doesn't care about "energy policy", but then neither does Congress).

As to taxing effluent to control GHG, I'm currently working with the API to help companies comply with the new SubPart W of the Clean Air Act. My read is that the last inventory (that the regulation was based on) had an uncertainty band of something like +/-75%. Complying with the new law should push that to something like +/-90%. No one in the EPA will ever be able to process the terabytes of data they are requiring and the producers are not able to develop a format that is consistent from division to division within a single company let alone across a company or an industry. I'm pretty good at dealing with large data sets, but the preliminary data I'm looking at is incomprehensible to me, so I expect the EPA to grab the 20% that is usable and develop policy based on that. Oh yeah, the only people that know there is a deadline in February, 2014, are the large companies that participate in organizations like API. I have clients that are a lot smaller that have never heard of it, don't want to hear it from me, and will wait until they are caught to anything at all.

Cranky108,
There has never been a case of frac fluid contaminating an aquifer. The case in Pennsylvania that Josh Fox made such a big deal out of was fabricated data. Made up out of whole cloth. When the EPA took several samples over a year with a proper chain of custody the water met all potable water standards. When the EPA asked for a copy of the report that was referenced in Fox's propaganda film they were thrown out of the people's house. The case in Wyoming was the same thing. Unscrupulous environmental fanatics (there are several redundancies in that phrase) fabricated a story, Thieves with cameras broadcast the fabricated data without verification, but with a lot of volume. The media knows that controversy sells papers and advertising so they ran with it. Whores in Congress pandered to the lie and we have a "controversy" around 70 year old technology that is well developed and safe.

The government could do two things: (1) stop the insanity around frac'ing; and (2) repeal the STUPID anti-export regulations on hydrocarbons that arose from the oil embargo. Those two things would eliminate the trade deficit in the first year, eliminate the budget deficit within 2 years, pay off the national debt within a decade. Simple right? Not going to happen because it would increase the cost of domestic natural gas from around $4/MSCF at the wellhead to something like $7/MSCF at the wellhead, and increase home heating by 40% and electricity by 15% (while motor fuel costs would go down). Our Congress-whores lack the political will to allow that so it takes 20 years to permit an LNG terminal, and then another 10 years to get an export license.

KENAT,
I looked up "Dash for Gas" (I'd never heard of it) and can't see the problems in a quick read. Care to elaborate.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Zdas so it seems the term 'dash for gas' might be getting re used but I was referring to the massive increase in NG power plants during the 90's in the UK. If I recall/understand correctly (possibly too big of an assumption) the dash for gash took off just as North Sea/ domestic gas production was starting to peak and increased demand essentially led to Britain needing to start importing NG. This at a time when coal industry was being run down in what was perceived by many as at least in part revenge for the miners strike of the 80's. There are a bunch of factors including pollution and AGW concerns over coal and the effect of privatization of the Electrical utilities.

Basic implication is that the people making the decisions were mainly looking short term not long - medium term.

A quick google search now has me a bit less confident in what I originally implied, though using so much NG for stationary power generation when there are alternatives still seems potentially a little wasteful.

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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Would it be childish of me to titter at KENAT's unfortunate typo?

- Steve

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

zdas, good to know. That is exactly the type of information that should be in the other media.
My experence is not with fracking to speak of, but more of failures in natural gas storage facilities (not experences but cases I know of). One in the middle of Kansas where the gas seeped into the water table, the other had to do with gas explosions in Hutchinson Kansas from over pressure of equipment and seepage.

In the first case the solution was the company bought out most of the town. Sort of looks strange now, two houses, a grain elevator, and the gas storage facility.

The second case from what I read was from failure to inspect, and keep records of equipment, and with a rush to increase capacity.

KENAT, most of the newer natural gas generation plants being built today are of a shorter life design than the older coal, or simular made natural gas generation. And with current accounting practices they will be kept on the books for the same 30 years, so I believe we will have a problem in a number of years with generation on the books, but can't perform.

While true enough gas turbins are more efficent, and are quicker to build, they just don't have the life expectency of the old steam plants. The other problems in part of the US is that the derates for other than sea level operation, and very cold tempeture can really have an impact. We go through that yearly as to what is the real capacity that we can expect.

Another factor is the rush for land fill gas, which is of a lower quality because of the sulfur compounds, tends to eat generation equipment very quickly.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Temperature has risen but leveled off. Ice caps shrinking. No mention of latent heat?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

A movie called Fracnation was produced to try to bring out the facts about Frac'ing that "GasLand" glossed over, misrepresented, and outright lied about. It was on an obscure TV channel in January 2013. You can buy it at the link above. It is amazingly well done. The impact of that outstanding movie has been approximately zero (HBO even commissioned Josh Fox to do "Gasland II" which made me consider canceling my HBO subscription). I wish I knew how to get the facts out. Anything from API or SPE would be ignored as "industry propaganda". Truth doesn't have much access to the mainstream media unless you have film of people dying.

Pretty much any class of industrial accident that has ever happened in the world has also happened in the Oil & Gas industry. We've done some amazingly stupid things in the last 150 years. Some [hopefully different] amazingly stupid things are still going on to this day. But frac'ing is not one of them.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

KENAT,

"... the dash for gash took off..."

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”
-Dalai Lama XIV

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
"the dash for gash" ... i liked it too ...

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

http://news.yahoo.com/secret-dirty-cost-obamas-gre...

The push started long before Obama, to be fair, but he was a very strong proponent of it, as well. And now I saw in another unrelated article that he is receiving counsel from former pres Clinton on BEING HONORABLE. I don't know whether to laugh or cry, it's too much. What kind of person do you need to be in order to receive counsel from Mr Clinton on honor ?!?!?! Apologies to all of the die-hard democrats out there . . . I'm really sorry that you can't come up with better people.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

3
Firstly, this has been a really great thread to read through. Rb1957 started things off with an inquisitive and amicable tone that invited conversation and the following posters, on both sides of the debate, have reciprocated in kind. I hope my post, although certainly contentious, can be seen as in a similar light.

Beej67,
I don’t see how that link, with no subsequent thoughts (literally not a letter outside of the link), is relevant to the topic. Models were never mentioned in any of the previous posts. (Also, using a blog post from Cato as a reference for a global warming debate is a little like using The Nestle Institute for a Healthy and Free America (fictitious...hopefully) as a reference for a debate on the effects of excessive sugar intake in children. Although there may be some valid points here and there, the ideological and direct financial bias of the source raises serious questions over the objectivity of the research.)

Orenerynorsk (and in general),
MovingOn (pun) past the political commentary, the concept behind the article you post raises an interesting question, one that I’ve struggled with: Can a truly sustainable, environmentally conscious culture exist within the current capitalist framework? Furthermore, the concept of sustainability extends beyond CO2 to issues such as drinkable water, cultivatable land, deforestation, etc. The crux of sustainability is conservation with smart (limited) consumption. This seems to be the antithesis of the consumption centric, infinite growth paradigm of the current capitalist zeitgeist.

It appears to me that arguments against this point fly in the face of recent, real-world examples. The first example is that, unsurprisingly, some corporations are doing whatever they can to ensure that culture and legislation does not trend towards curbing consumption (Cato being an appropriate example). Less consumption = less sales. This is expected and companies shouldn’t be vilified for it nor should they be trusted to have your/the countries best interest at heart (they don’t). It’s purely the result of corporate Darwinism; those that feel their survival threatened lash out in self defense (and like most forms of Darwinism applied in an anthropogenic sense, it sets a terrible ethical foundation).

The less obvious, and I’d say more malignant, example of the incompatibility of sustainability in current Western-style capitalism comes from what appears to be the “other side” of the debate, namely the profiteering behind apparent “green” products/companies. An example, which was alluded to in the article, is corn for fuel. Agribusiness smells a nice cash cow in the form of ethanol and plows head first into it. They tear up sensitive ecosystems to plant more and ignore nutrient replenishing crop rotation practices to capitalize on short term gains (and subsidies). To ensure they maximize profit margins, they’ll use the cheapest and (usually) least environmental friendly pesticides and fertilizers. But they will stick a green leaf next to their product so that we feel good about it while filling up our SUV. That is the capitalist notion of “green” (there’s a pun in there somewhere). What’s more frustrating about this is that the companies in the first example will parade the obvious failings here as an argument against sustainability or the “green movement”. They will attack the environmentalists that pushed for it and the politicians that gave out the subsidies. Certainly both groups deserve part of the blame for their short-sightedness but what gets lost in the shuffle is this:
The issue wasn’t with the “sustainability movement”, the issue was with the “sustainability movement” when it gets hi-jacked by profiteering.

Another example, one that is near and dear to many here, is the evils of cap-and-trade (again, seen as a “green” initiative). And, as what may come as a surprise, I agree with the that fear. Goldmann Sachs, who has been so successful at the commidification of (and profiting off) aspects of the environment, could finally get to commidify the environment et large. They could, almost literally (ok, hyperbolically), control, charge for and profit off the air we breathe. People are right to fear what exploitations this could lead to. Furthermore, it’s likely that it won’t have as large of a environmental impact as other systems.

It is the disconnect in current Western capitalism between corporations and social responsibility that leads to these sorts of issues. To make matters worse, the amorality of corporations is actually legally defensible thanks to Dodge v. Ford. We as shareholders, employees and consumers are also to blame. We demand great interest rates on our investments, increasing wages and non-increasing prices of goods. But how could we not with constant bombardment of advertisements for contrivances that we “can’t live without” and the ramming down our throats of the material aspects of the “American Dream”? So how, within this framework, can we develop and encourage a culture around sustainability and environmental responsibility?

If we go back to the example of cap-and-trade, I believe a better alternative (if you believe, like molten and I do, that a more “reflective” cost of CO2 is required) is revenue-neutral carbon taxes. However, this is by its very nature a non-capitalistic approach. Furthermore, if you look at B.C., which is a fairly large scale, real-world example of revenue-neutral carbon taxes, the system has been doing quite well, both economically and environmentally. The only major criticism of the system is that people are circumnavigating it by buying gas in border towns (the magnitude of this effect is debatable). Even if there is merit to that argument, it is as much an argument against the tax system as it is a neat little microcosm of globalization. People, within a capitalist society will go to great lengths to search out lower costs even if its cumulative net benefit is mute/negative (in this case: time, emissions and possibly when you include all expenses, money). This appears to further emphasis the fact that a culture of sustainability and environmental responsibility is incapability in current western capitalism.

TL;DR
- Can a truly sustainable, environmentally conscious culture exist within the current capitalist framework?
- Obvious resistance to the environmental movement by those companies that could see reduced profits by cultural/legislative changes
- Less obvious example of the incompatibility is when “green initiatives” are hi-jacked by profiteering
- Example, ethanol production. Leads to unsustainable farming practices to keep production costs down, increase in food prices to keep sales high. Could be bad for both the people and the environment.
- Part of the issue is with short-sighted politicians and environmentalists but the root of the problem is with the exploitative practices to maximize profits
- Corporations are not immoral but amoral (see Dodge v. Ford) in current western capitalism
- Agree that cap-and-trade is bad because it leads to the commidification of the environment which could be exploited by profiteering to the determent of both the people and the environment
- Revenue-neutral carbon tax is a better option. Very non-capitalist concept that has some problems working within a predominately capitalist society

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rconnor,
Up to this point we have had a reasonably balanced and civil discussion. No one takes well to being lectured. The thing that annoyed me most in your tirade is the tacit implication that corporations and other business structures are inherently immoral, and the further implication that that is a bad thing. A corporation cannot have "social responsibility", and if it could have that human manifestation of deviate behavior, you would have to ask "who defines 'social'?". An action that measurably improves the lot of one segment of society will often cause significant harm to another segment. For example, a company could see its "social responsibility" as sending all of its third quarter profits to help The Philippines recover from the recent typhoon instead of paying dividends or doing scheduled capital improvements. This action would make headlines all over the country and be lauded by the liberal press. It doesn't matter that a retiree from the company who has all of their retirement in the company's stock might go hungry for the next few months. It doesn't matter that it will default on commitments made to suppliers that could very well put the suppliers' workers on the street.

Every single action that can be taken has a flip side. When a company exhibits some form of "social responsibility" the costs due to unintended consequences can be incalculable. The only protection any of us have from this kind of stupidity is a profit motive of the people running the company. Unfettered capitalism is really the last best hope for the survival of our species. It makes me sad to see you sneer at it.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

2
A corporation is not a person, regardless what the law says. It's a mechanism- an algorithm - for maximizing the profit from the activities of the organization, and hopefully increase the shareholder value of the organization over time. The people working for a corporation are not independent moral actors- they're parts of the algorithm, working within its confines.

The way you affect the behavior of a corporation is to set limits to its activities (by regulation) and to tax either its inputs our outputs. Regulation sets bounds within which the algorithm may work, and taxation affects the profit/loss calculation. Corporations in all democracies to some degree or another, also lean back - they use their money and influence to affect tax law and regulation via lobbying. Most democracies realize this and have at least some limits on what sort of lobbying is permitted, under what conditions it happens, and setting a dividing line between lobbying and outright bribery.

Expecting a corporation to behave in a "socially responsible" fashion is to imply that a corporation will generate more profit or more shareholder value over time if it behaves in a certain way- generally one which is contrary to its calculated short-term financial interest. But unless the means by which the corporation will make more money (at least in future) by behaving that way is clear and calculable, basically what you're expecting is that the directors will allow the management and employees to wilfully violate their responsibilities to the organization because it makes them feel good. As a shareholder, I don't think I would grant that right willingly, because when it is granted it may be just as easily be used for "social irresponsibility" of all sorts.

What troubles me is that lobbying has been so successful that many, many people in Western democracies now see taxation as evil- not even a NECESSARY evil- and regulation as mere "red tape". When government abdicates its role, corporations are allowed to run rampant, and that's not only bad for society at large, it's also not in the long-term interests of the corporations themselves or of their shareholders.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote:


Unfettered capitalism is really the last best hope for the survival of our species.

Quite honestly, that's likely the most bizarre statement made in this whole forum. Unfettered capitalism? No government regulation or laws of any kind? You think that's a solution for our survival as a species? I don't want to survive in that kind of world, you can have it. But I'm willing to bet that you wouldn't survive for long either.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

2
(OP)
"Unfettered capitalism is really the last best hope for the survival of our species." ... really ? were banks really held accountable for their role in creating the GFC ? the sub-market mortgage fiasco ? the various episodes of financial looting and then saying "i'm sorry" ??

companies are just like people, they try to act in their best interest. focusing on short timescales invites companies (and people) to lose sight of the long term consequences/costs for short term gains. really large companies (like really rich people) can affect the political environment. Sure they (companies and people) can do "morally correct" things ... cynics will say they these are jestures; i believe some (companies and people) are well-meaning and sincere.

for me "fettered" capitalism is a reasonable approach (but then i'm from north of the 49th). absolute capitalism, and absolute socialism, like absolute power, corrupts (to paraphrase Lord Acton). balancing corporate power with social/community/political power hopefully minimises the excess of either.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I think what rb1957 means by unfettered capitalism is a free, open, and competitive marketplace.

==> The way you affect the behavior of a corporation is to set limits to its activities (by regulation) and to tax either its inputs our outputs.
Or, you can affect the behavior of a corporation by establishing a free, open, and competitive marketplace so the consumer has a choice.

==> Corporations in all democracies to some degree or another, also lean back - they use their money and influence to affect tax law and regulation via lobbying. Most democracies realize this and have at least some limits on what sort of lobbying is permitted, under what conditions it happens, and setting a dividing line between lobbying and outright bribery.
That is very true, and that is the real crux of the problem. Government is too involved with business and business is too involved in government thus creating an environment where those in power, both in government and business, use each other to stay in power, thus stifling competition. That works in favor of corporations at the expense of consumers.

==> When government abdicates its role
That too is very true. Too many governments have abdicated their role which I believe, should be to ensure that the marketplace is free, open, and most importantly, competitive. Overwhelmingly, the government regulations we have today, under the guise of limiting corporate power or controlling corporate behavior, actually limits competition. The imposed regulatory hurdles make it harder and harder to enter the marketplace, thus limiting consumer choice. I think government should focus on regulations that allow, and in fact, encourage free and open competition.

Good Luck
--------------
As a circle of light increases so does the circumference of darkness around it. - Albert Einstein

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Do you guys really see government as part of any solution? The current U.S. president has increased his net wealth 10 fold since he was first elected to the office. That "blind trust" is pretty effective I guess. Nancy Pelosi's husband is the only bidder on a multi-billion dollar project to consolidate post offices. The horrible monopolies that Teddy Roosevelt was famous for busting up were caused by the government creating laws that few were able to capitalize on. Dodd-Frank was touted as the end of derivatives [when the only way to end derivatives is to convince people to stop buying them, not going to happen], but three years later enforcement still hasn't been funded. Expectations are that it never will be. Every bill that reaches the house or senate floor is piled high with cronyism, nepotism, pork, and various other forms of malfeasance. State governments tend to be just about as bad (less money involved so fewer opportunities to create instant billionaires of your children, spouses, and friends). Local governments tend to be more into retail thievery than wholesale (city council critters are more apt to accept a bribe in the form of a trip or vehicle than a direct payment).

Every evil you can point to that was perpetrated in the name of a corporation can be traced to some enabling legislation. Yep, unfettered (and unaided) capitalism is the hope of humanity. The alternatives all fail much quicker than informed self-interest.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Corporations must focus on short term profits when long term goverment requirements (and taxes) are not stable or predictable. And that all goes back to the fact we don't elect leaders, but instead we elect big mouths (smile big so you can be elected).
Or as they say, you get the goverment you deserve. Elections have effects that result in problems you may face.

And don't forget, other than bloggers, the media is also a group of corporations, that also have an agenda.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
would "unfettered" capitalism be similar to Victorian England ? (ie slums, not nice pretty cottages)

sure government policy is full with unintended (possibly sometimes intended) negative outcomes. monopolies ... would those industries (eg, phone) have been created without massive private investment ('cause back in the day there wasn't government investment) and who'd invest without some return (created by the monopoly protection) ?

but is all government policy bad ? i think a problem is that policies are linked to special interests, and so immediately you have people for and against them, and only extremely occasionally does the majority see a policy as "in the best interest of the nation as a whole".

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Heinlein said "Nothing is more damaging to the public interest than good intentions" [I may not have gotten the words exactly right, but that was the sentiment, it was in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress]. Every single thing the government does has people who benefit and people who are harmed. The people in government know this, and the worst of them actually believe that they are appropriate designators of "good".

Congress said that the "good" was served by building the Glen Canyon Dam, but environmentalists say it is leading to species extinction and increased pollution. Fighting wildfires is "good" until so much fuel builds up that a wildfire sterilizes the ground. In the minds of Congress building incentives for banks to get too big to fail was "good", removing restrictions on what banks could invest in was "good" (even though it increased risk of failure in the to-big-to-fail banks), bailing out banks without requiring them to split up into entities that are not too-big-to-fail was "good". Every single regulation has "winners" and "losers". In my mind a competent federal government would be one that limited its activities to those few things that should not be done by states (like the military and relations with foreign governments) and let everything else filter down to the lowest level (or better yet not be legislated at all).

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I would like to recommend Frederic Bastiat's essay entitled "The Law" at the link below. It is a long but extremely well thought out essay (in my opinion) on the purpose of law, and I believe it supports what David is saying about how capitalism is supposed to work with little to no government regulation necessary. In any case, it will provoke all of us who read it to ponder our premises and process our thoughts, which is something typical engineers can do very well. I know every time I read it I find gems of ideas I missed previously.

http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I'll leave the politics discussion to others - I don't think that there is much common/middle ground to find agreement.

However, since last year's post about the globe not warming in 16 years (thread730-331715: (can of worms alert) Globe hasn't warmed in the last 16 years), we've managed to have 457+224+51 (and counting on this thread) more replies. And guess what? The warming is still stopped +1 year. The divergence between the GCM predictions and ACTUAL MEASUREMENTS grows every day. There are papers being published that say that the GCMs have failed at the 95% confidence interval.

The notion in the late-80's to early 2000's was that temperature increased (at least the increase from the late-70's to the late-90's) coincident with rising CO2. Some scientists claimed a cause-effect relationship. With continued rising concentrations of CO2, and a halt to the temperature rise, that cause-effect relationship seems to be broken. We're learning every day about natural effects and cycles that affect global temperature that are not at all related to CO2.

So, folks like moltenmetal can talk all that they want about carbon [sic] taxation, but the whole idea of a "sin" tax is to modify behaviour to reduce a "harm". Again, I ask - what harm? ENSO continues in La Nada phase, the solar cycle peak is or has passed, PDO is continuing its turn to the negative, AMO appears to have reached its peak and is tending downwards, so the cyclic climactic aspects are all trending to cooler. There doesn't appear to be any hockey stick of temperatures trending upwards - only flat to cooler. So what, pray do tell, would a carbon [sic] tax accomplish climatically? Do you even have an idea of the price elasticity of carbon-based fuels? Some people can point to Canada's BC as an example - but guess what - their CO2 emissions have INCREASED, coincident with their GDP - in spite of this tax. Well, that accomplished, ummm, nothing...

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote (zdas04)

The thing that annoyed me most in your tirade is the tacit implication that corporations and other business structures are inherently immoral, and the further implication that that is a bad thing

Quote (rconnor)

Corporations are not immoral but amoral

Quote (rconnor)

This is expected and companies shouldn’t be vilified for it nor should they be trusted to have your/the countries best interest at heart (they don’t)

I made the distinction between immoral and amoral very clear. Humans can be moral or immoral, machines can’t. Machines or, to use molten’s great analogy, algorithms are amoral and can be nothing else. I’m not saying that corporations ought to be socially responsible because, as others have detailed, axiomatically (and I’d argue legally) they can only be socially responsible if it is in the best interest of the shareholders. Molten outlined it perfectly.

Although I’d love to continue on about the role of corporations in society and whether or not they have the duty or even the capacity to reflect some form of social responsibility and the benefits or issues of unfettered capitalism, that is not the point of this thread nor was it the point of my post. As I can be blamed for derailing the conversation, I’ll try to get things back on topic.

My question, which I believe is relevant to the thread and past posts, was not addressed.
- Can a truly sustainable, environmentally conscious culture exist within the current capitalist framework?

The rest of my post was to establish why I feel that it cannot and cultural changes are required. Furthermore, I tried to outline why the current Western zeitgeist turns many “green movements” into things that are destructive to people and the environment. I feel this is an important point as many times it is not the core concept (the sustainability aspect) that causes the problem but the aggressive and short-sighted extent it is taken to, mainly when there is a way to profit from it.

One of the best examples of this is the green and blue revolutions in India (and other developing nations), which were the developing of industrialized agriculture and fishing, respectively. Both had enormous benefits to the people; it saved thousands from starvation and raised the standard of living in those areas. However, both developed so rapidly and so aggressively, with little control, that now they are dealing with economic, sociological and environmental blow backs.

There has been wide scale arsenic contamination of well water caused by fertilization and irrigation. Clean wells are painted green, contaminated ones painted red. If you grow up in a village around a red well, you become a social leper, unable to marry (or be wed). Overfishing has destroyed the coastal ecosystem and, thusly, the fishing industry. Substantive farmers were pushed off their land to make way for industrialized farms, who had better access to credit, and actually widened the economic disparity, especially in rural areas. This actually led to mass suicides amongst many small-scale farmers. (There was also ample Western profiteering but let’s ignore that).

The Green and Blue Revolutions were immensely positive changes, even when factoring in the negative aspects – I do not want to be misunderstood on this point. However, many of the negative aspects were preventable and primarily the result of short-term, profit seeking motives. We need to unpack the concept of Globalized Agribusiness from this example into the technology/fundamental concepts and the application. The technology and fundamental concept is where the benefits come from. The application and extent thereof, done in the framework of quick, short-term individually focused gains under the delusion of the infinite growth paradigm, is where the problems occur.

Replace Globalized Agribusiness with any other example you wish and I believe the sentiment still holds. That framework is, to me, what the problem is and the reason I can’t see an effective and mutually beneficial sustainable movement being able to flourish therein. That framework has to change before that is possible.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

That is really worth reading. I love the quote:

Quote:


The Complete Perversion of the Law
But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.

How has this perversion of the law been accomplished? And what have been the results?

The law has been perverted by the influence of two entirely different causes: stupid greed and false philanthropy.

Stupid greed and false philanthropy. That encapsulates my entire argument.

I also like:

Quote:

This fact, combined with the fatal tendency that exists in the heart of man to satisfy his wants with the least possible effort, explains the almost universal perversion of the law. Thus it is easy to understand how law, instead of checking injustice, becomes the invincible weapon of injustice. It is easy to understand why the law is used by the legislator to destroy in varying degrees among the rest of the people, their personal independence by slavery, their liberty by oppression, and their property by plunder. This is done for the benefit of the person who makes the law, and in proportion to the power that he holds
"universal perversion of the law", priceless

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

David, I am glad you enjoyed it. From many of the arguments you have made on this forum, I have always assumed you to be familiar with this essay. I posted it so others could see why you came to some of the conclusions you arrive at. I would prefer that Bastiat be mandatory reading in the law schools of the United States, but that would seriously reduce the hold that politicians can generate over the masses so I am not holding my breath.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Bastiat's concept of "legal plunder" is his most captivating theme, in my opinion.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
i tried to break the linkage between increased CO2 and climate models.

i think climate models are at best compromised by our limitations of computing technology and our limited understanding of the complex inter-relationships that influence our climate; at worst the models may be corrupted (in its technological, and not ethical, sense).

i think the record shows that in the past CO2 levels have increased some hundreds of years after global temperatures.

i'm quite prepared to say that CO2 levels affect the climate ... everything affects the climate !

i'm less sure that the increased CO2 levels due to burning fossil fuels are solely responsible for the change in our climate.

then the question in my mind is how will the increased CO2 levels affect the future climate. we are returning CO2 to the atmoshpere in some pretty astounding rates, in a few decades we're returned carbon deposited millions of years ago ... giving rise to carbon non-neutrality.

if the effect is secondary then changing our behaviour won't significantly affect the outcome (inspite of the pain inflicted upon ourselves).

if the effect is significant then we should change our behaviour now; stop burning fossil fuels, let the economy (and the human population) collapse and return (if we're lucky) to the middle ages. maybe it's enough to carefully ration burning ff, and adopt other sources of energy rapidly (though this'll still need a boat-load of money, which'll impact the global economy).

i suspect that we'll make some small change in our behaviour (the "gains" from the developed economies acting more "green" will be swamped (IMHO) by the emerging economies trying to develop as quickly as possible). I suspect we'll see some goverment action that will (IMHO) be ineffective in solving the problem (whether you express the problem as "increased CO2 levels" or as "increased global temperatures"); probably the largest impact will be to make a few people wealthier. I suspect that the future will deal with whatever CO2 level it has and make the best of it, considering it as another component of global climate.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I think there are more people who like what they have today, than there are people who want to return to the middle ages. The genie is out of the bottle, and asking people to live with less is just asking for a riot.

If that isen't establishment enough that we can't go back, consiter that as human knoledge has increased our water consuption per capita has decreased, and at some point our energy consumption should also start to drop. The problem is goverment can't seem to get there part right. Mass transit run by goverment dosen't work very well.

New technology is the answer, but to stiffle it and say caplitalism is the problem is nothing but a method of controlling people.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

2
The imperfect regulation and taxation of a democracy are preferable to no regulation and no taxation, and are greatly preferable to the arbitrary regulation and taxation of an autocracy.

No regulation creates and propagates economic and environmental injustice and eliminates any possibility of a functioning market. No taxation means no government and hence neither regulation nor any rule of law.

A market where there are inputs or outputs to a transaction which have associated costs to individuals or to broader society (i.e. the environment) which are in economic terms "free of charge" to either the buyer or seller, is not really a free market. You need government regulation and/or taxation to deal with those circumstances. Otherwise, you can't complain about the results, whether those be monopoly, collusion, oligarchy, damage due to pollution or any number of other things that this can cause.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

moltenmetal,
I've often conceded that point, but the article that debodine linked above changed my life. Not quite, but it did de-fuzz many of the concepts I've held for years. When laws facilitate (or even force) the formation of monopolies, then the laws written to prevent monopolies are likely to be watered down tripe that publicly bust up AT&T while allowing Wells Fargo to get bigger than AT&T ever was. I have a near-reverent love of the US Constitution. My wife and I read it to our sons before they started school. If we adhered to the Constitution and forced the Federal Government to stay within its bounds, the money involved in this stuff would not be big enough to the attract top-tier thieves that have populated Congress since the early 1800's. There is no way to unravel the harm that these people have done in a generation, but if we don't start returning to the Constitution in our generation the country cannot survive the next generation.

A market where neither side has an advantage provided by bought-and-paid-for legislation ends up being fair in the long run. A government organized to prevent plunder (in Bastiat's terminology) facilitates fair markets (I would say that price fixing is "plunder).

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

moltenmetal - so, in this debate about CAGW, what, where, and when is the damage (that wouldn't have otherwise occurred - i.e. the null hypothesis)? I'm all for preventing damage/harm. I just don't see the damage/harm from CO2 emissions. I definitely appreciate the harm from SOx and NOx, heavy metals, etc. Just not CO2.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
if you accept the damage due to SOx and NOx presumably due to an appreciation of smog and acid rain, then imagine yourself back in the 50s ... would you be as knowledgable and therefore concerned ?

i wonder if this is how the global warming crisis got started ... i think some scientists thought "if we keep burning ffs, then CO2 will increase, and that will (or may) cause GW in the future". i think politicans got involved and thought "the message needs to be more direct and more imminent if we're to get the proles to do anything" and the message changed to "CO2 for ffs is causing the climate change we're seeing today".

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

If you can't assert the cost or value of what you are regulating, then exactly how do you determine the cost or value of the regulation? In other words, tell me the damage that will be caused for each ton of CO2 that is being released, and then we can asses if the taxes that will be imposed are in the correct range.

There inlies the problem, no one has determined the value of the CO2, because there is no problem. If it has no value there is no problem.

I mean honestly, we can calculate the tax drag of having so many people looking at this, but where are the real results other than graphs and charts. Put a dollar value on it that reflects something real.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Presumably these guys are the ones who predicted this year's rather enjoyable summer in the UK. It's a pity their predictions didn't make it into the news before it happened.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Daily Express.
I guess this means there's no Royal news to print today.

- Steve

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

The predicters of climate and weather need something to keep them occupied. Some of the AGW proponents were predicters of global cooling some 40 years ago. I prefer the Farmer's Almanac.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

hokie - that's why the mantra is now "climate change" instead of "global warming." The climate has always changed and will always change (at least until the Sun blows up into a red giant...) It's a lot easier for the proponents of AGW to defend that "the climate is changing!"

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

"We think it is actually quietening more rapidly than at any time in the last 10,000 years."

Based on well documented observations, of course.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I think people are mixing terms.

Free Markets are markets where nobody is interfering with anyone making a transaction, and all transactions are made by rational actors with complete information. Free Markets have the unique feature of being completely self controlling related to COST. The only thing a Free Market does is reduce market price of goods to the margin, making it so the least profit is made, and the consumer saves the most money. Free Markets don't protect the environment at all, unless you are able to somehow directly tie all the impacts someone makes to the environment in producing that product back to the product itself, with a direct dollar value equivalent, and you have some mechanism whereby that dollar equivalent is utilized with 100% efficiency to clean up the impact that product created.

Capitalism is sometimes lumped in with Free Markets in common speech, but really Capitalism is a different thing. It has to do with loaning money and expecting a return on that money. It is the engine that drives our modern western economy, but it really has nothing at all to do with marketplace controls, and even less to do with the environment. The thing most people don't realize about Capitalism, is it's all predicated on growth. The moment the world economy stops growing, the whole thing collapses on itself, because there's no return on loaning money. It's the best way to do what we do today, but there may come a time when it completely unravels.

Ron Paul advocates a kind of free market environmentalism, that while I like conceptually, I don't think would work. He seems to think we could handle the whole deal through litigation instead of regulation - just sue the polluters for the dollar value of their impact to the environment, and then use those dollars to clean up the impact. This position has obvious flaws when the polluter has less resources than the impact, or when the polluter uses their better lawyers to weasel out of the suit.

To address the overall point of the thread .. no, I don't think you can manage pollution in general in the sort of sense that most of you are trying to do, without one centralized world government. And the very thought of one centralized world government terrifies me, and should terrify all of you. Big socialist secular governments have a tendency to mass murder their people, historically speaking.

I also present the following link, with no further commentary, other than to say that Poisoning The Well is a highly inappropriate response to Cato, who are widely regarded as rational, nonpartisan, independent thinkers:

http://www.cato.org/blog/or-without-pause-climate-...

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

That is why we are having this discussion. No form of taxes is fair to everyone. And the litigation method is just another form of lumpy taxes.

Regulation is what we are willing to accept (as a socity, not each and every one of us maybe), to try to make the playing field fairer.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

The best way to protect the environment, world wide, it that we all get rich. Concern for the envornment is a luxury enjoyed by affluent people.

Regards,

Mike

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote:

Concern for the envornment is a luxury enjoyed by affluent people

Hogwash

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”
-Dalai Lama XIV

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Defining "harm" is the slipperiest slope of all. Where I live there is a lot of federal land "managed" by the BLM. The motto of the BLM is "Land of many uses". One of the uses is hiking. Another is riding horses. Another is riding mountain bikes. Another is motorcycles. Another is 4WD rock crawling. Each of these groups feels "harmed" by all of the others (e.g., the mountain bikers complain that the hikers won't get out of their way and that the motorbikers make too much noise). Environmentalist have sued the BLM on many occasions for the damage that horses, bicycles, motorbikes, and 4WD vehicles do to the pristine ecology. The other groups have sued the BLM for closing too much territory to wheeled vehicles. So which is "harm" and which is "recreation"?

There is absolutely nothing that the EPA or BLM or DOE or MMS can do that will not cause harm to someone. Our current system of proscriptive and contradictory regulations is simply not working. I don't know what will work, but the system of 25 years ago worked much better than what we have today. In the past, the regulations set limits (i.e., you couldn't emit more than X tonnes of Y chemical without a penalty up to and including plant closure). Today the regulations require certain activities (e.g., the latest EPA clean air regulation requires dry shaft seals on centrifugal compressors instead of limiting the amount of gas that can be leaked through a shaft seal) that may occasionally (but not often) actually be the "Best Available Controls Technology", but what does it do to innovation? In most cases it stops it. If someone is precluded by law from installing better technology, then what incentive do companies have to develop better technology?

Regulations that cap category emissions combined with a free market would have a much better chance of some level of success than our current system. I'm not going to purchase a widget that exceeds the emissions limits, so people selling non-compliant stuff would tend to go under. Liquid effluents exceeding clear limits should cause pain to the polluter.

Basstiat defines "law" as "the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense". Collectively, we have the right to prevent someone from actions that make our air or water a threat to our health. We do not have the right to clean air or clean water, we have the right to prevent others from harming what we have. Laws that fit that definition would work. Today's laws and regulations do not fit that definition.


David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
litigation makes money for lawyers,
regulation makes money for politicans and lobbyists.

people vote with their money. if they like organic food, they'll pay the extra for it. if they like monster SUVs, they'll buy them and pay (and probably gripe too) the taxes associated. if people think CO2 is the worst thing since sliced bread, then they won't drive (or use public transport) and will get their power for "renewable" sources (ie not from the grid, powered by ff burning powerstations) and maybe buy "carbon bonds" to "help" reduce the carbon footprint of the rest of us.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Hogwash? Hardly. The world tells us otherwise.

Regards,

Mike

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

By concern, I don't mean just wishing it well, I mean doing something about it.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Casting more bait into the climate change sea...

Arctic ice is shrinking. As a result, shipping lanes are opening. Russia is posturing for firmer control of the Arctic and its resources. China is planning for more trans-Arctic shipping to Europe.

Greenland's ice is shrinking, and nigh-autonomous Greenland has more access to its untapped mineral wealth.

Antarctic ice is shrinking. How long until countries start claiming pieces to exploit?

Call it what you will. The natural world is changing, and the political and economic world is not waiting to find out why.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Guys,
Am I the only one having strange feeling like somebody is manipulating you into never-ending CO2 discussion?
One would expect engineers to be aware of other aspects of pollution besides elusive global warming.
With all due apologies, this is how I see never-ending climate-change arguments on this forum:

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

You know, CheckerHater, if there is a discussion underway that you find pointless, ridiculous, or ill focused you always have the option of not opening it. I do that pretty often and find that it either: (1) continues with the same pointlessnes without me; (2) dies; or (3) changes direction into something that is either more or less pointless. If I stop cranking, the dang world does actually keep spinning. Please leave the rest of us to our pointlenssness. We seem to enjoy it.

If you want a discussion of "real" problems, there is a button for that called "start a new thread". Try it, it often leads to interesting and worthwhile discussions. You can also stay in the GD&T forum and avoid non-tech discussions altogether. Most eng-tips.com users take that option.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

SnTMan,
Does lack of wealth let you dump your oil after an oil change, or even through your cigarette butt out of the car window? I realize that there are laws regarding these examples, but would you do it if there weren't a law against it? Concern for the environment can be reflected in many more ways than using your wealth to show it.

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”
-Dalai Lama XIV

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

zdas04,
It wasn't me who used the word "pointless", but I agree wholeheartedly.
With your permission I will pick forums to participate it all by myself, thank you very much.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

ewh, I do not throw my butts out the window :)

No I was not speaking of individuals so much, all I really mean is that until a population, however you define it, has basic needs assured it is not really able to expend resources on hopes, dreams, causes, hobbies, etc. For example, you have to have a sufficient supply of food of any kind before you really worry about "healthy" food.

Using rich in relative terms, too much of the world is not rich enough.

Regards,

Mike

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Tick, Thank-you! Why do people always see climate change as a BAD thing?!?!

So we lose New York City and Miami. Oh well.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

CheckerHater,
OK, how's this, no one is manipulating me into a never-ending CO2 discussion. I don't speak for anyone but myself and don't care what forums you choose to frequent.

Many of us here are very much aware of pollution in its broadest definitions. The current state of pollution-control activities and regulations seems to be a very delicate balance between sources and regulations and there really is not a huge area of disagreement.

Where there is a disconnect is between people who see CO2 as a pollutant and those that don't. Plenty of room for a discussion in that arena. It looks like COP 19 in Warsaw has dissolved into shouting, walkouts, and hunger strikes. I think there is room for discussion, finally.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

ewh, lack of wealth means you can't buy a car that has oil, and you can't buy cigarettes. So you can't afford to have those problems.

The issue is if you can afford those things, how do you choose to despose of the waste? Education is the answer, not taxes. But because the education is so poor here, we can't see what it really is.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Carbon Tax,

Quote (TGS4)

Some people can point to Canada's BC as an example - but guess what - their CO2 emissions have INCREASED, coincident with their GDP - in spite of this tax. Well, that accomplished, ummm, nothing...
Not true.
- Fuel consumption has fallen 17.4% per capita (Rest of Canada grew 1.5% per capita) in the period of the tax
- GDP is out pacing the rest of Canadian (-0.15% for BC, -0.23% for Canada – note: recession)
- In 2010, fuel consumption dropped 2.4% while the GDP grew 1.64%
- In 2011, fuel consumption dropped 7.1% while the GDP grew 1.92%
- Source

It can be argued that part of the reduction can be attributed to people crossing into Washington State to fill up. The number of same-day trips has increased since 2008. However, how many of those trips are purely fuel related is unclear. Furthermore, it’s a fairly large jump to connect the increase in same-day trips to Washington to a substantial portion of the 17.4% reduction – keep in mind that those trips have to be for the sole purpose of filling up. Even still, if I’m being very generous and saying that 50% of the reduction in fuel consumption is offset by people buying gas in Washington, you are still left with a 3.55% reduction in fuel consumption for a 1.92% increase in GDP in 2011.

The Pause,
I’ve already discussed this here (see my posts at 24 Sep 13 17:28 and 26 Sep 13 14:10). I’ve got 15+ links to papers and articles and my thoughts on the issue.

But I can now add the following research paper to the pile: Cowtan and Way 2013. See the video explanation of the paper here and an article from Real Climate. Yup, Curry has had her say and here is a pretty neat response to her criticisms and the paper in general.

La Loi/The Law,
I’ll truncate my first draft but I can’t let it go without a comment. It’s very relevant to my original question because embracement of La Loi puts you in direct ideological conflict with sustainability. You can’t have maximum liberty and be “forced”, through taxes or regulations, to consume less. This is a priori to any talk about the science (or even economics). I really liked zdas comments on regulating the what not the how but even that is a violation of Bastiat’s liberty.

La Loi also seems to have some fuzzy logic at the core of its argument. It states:
1) Mankind’s [sic] natural faculties lead him [sic] to be self-interested (“When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others”. “This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man — in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain.”)
2) Anytime the law is used to force man [sic] to be philanthropic, it is plundering and should not be done (“it must not be said that the law may be philanthropic if, in the process, it refrains from oppressing persons and plundering them of their property; this would be a contradiction”)
3) Man [sic] should be allowed use his [sic] natural faculties to choose to be philanthropic (“And it is under the law of justice…that every person will attain his real worth and the true dignity of his being”)

Therefore, Bastiat must conclude one of the following:
1) The logical paradox that humans are naturally self-interested but, if there are no laws forcing them to be otherwise, won’t be
2) That divine intervention will clean up the paradox (his final sentence suggests that this is his answer)
3) A truly just and fair society is one that is apathetic and self-serving

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Rconnor,
I've read several counterpoints to Bastiat's paper since I was pointed to the paper last week. I find them all to miss the fundamental concepts and put their own words into his mouth with interpretations that are exactly counter to his actual words (as translated).

I certainly don't have a problem with people saying that my ideology is in conflict with "sustainability". Every fiber of my being is in conflict with the myopic and twisted way that that concept is being shoved down our throats. The idea of "consume only what you can produce" implies static technology mix, static production methods, and a static mix of raw materials required. In 1900 Gallium had no known use and was not bought or sold. In 1970 people were starting to think about such things as solar panels and it sold for around $0.40/gram. Today it is $15/gm. A "sustainability" analysis in 1890 would not have included that mineral at all. Who's to say what will be the next generation of compound that goes from "no market" to "shortage". When England ran out of trees near London to use as fuel, they figured out that they could use coal. When they found that they couldn't breathe in the high sulfur smoke, they used different coal and brought in methane. Sustainability (as the concept has been perverted today) would have said that they all would just freeze to death in the dark when the trees ran out.

I don't see any of the concepts that you cherry picked as being "fuzzy" at all. Government cannot be philanthropic without taking the money from people unwilling to provide it. Government philanthropy is a failed concept that should be driven from society with extreme prejudice.

It is pretty arrogant to conclude that a guy that has been dead for 170 year "must" do anything. I'm in no way competent to speak for him, but I can give you my take on your last three points.
  1. The paper was very clear on this point. The purpose of the law is to create disincentives to plunder. Self interest is a good thing. Stealing from others to satisfy your own self interest is a bad thing. The law creates consequences to that plunder
  2. I don't see any call to divine intervention in the document at all. The call is for society to act only in those cases where one party is plundering the person or property of an individual. That "plunder" could be dumping industrial waste into rivers. The law should create penalties for that class of activity.
  3. The document does not say that at all. It says that a truly just and fair set of laws is limited to the prevention of plunder. The law should be apathetic and non-philanthropic. Plundering me to improve the lot of farmers, oil companies, the city of New Orleans, the Jersey Shore, or "welfare moms" is not a role that should be included in the law. If the law were fair and just, then people would have a significantly larger portion of their income in hand to show their philanthropic nature. People can have that characteristic, governments can't and shouldn't try.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rconnor - re BC carbon tax - you seem to be talking right past me. I never claimed that per capita fuel usage increased, I said that total CO2 emissions increased. You have presented nothing to refute that statement. And your further analysis confuses per capita with total fuel consumption - a common error (I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here - I don't think that you are a charlatan playing a thimble and pea game...). Besides, isn't it total CO2 emissions that are supposed to damn the world to Thermageddon, not per capita emissions? And the population is increasing, so unless you have a plan for reducing population, small per capita decreases (to 2011 - what happened in 2012 and this year??) won't do anything.

So, please answer my question: what is the price elasticity/sensitivity of carbon-based fuels? What level of carbon [sic] tax will actually result in a net decrease in total emissions.

And: What, where, and when is the damage (that wouldn't have otherwise occurred - i.e. the null hypothesis) from CO2-driven higher temperatures? I'm all for preventing damage. I just don't see the damage from CO2 emissions that wouldn't have otherwise happened. Now, the benefits of higher plant productivity, that is certainly a positive.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Price inelasticity is an interesting concept. Preliminary EIA data is showing that we imported less crude in October than we exported (it is preliminary and subject to change, should not have been released, may not be true, the release was totally political). Response to that rumor was a $0.50/gallon drop in pump prices in several major markets (prices dropped $0.35/gallon here compared to Monday). The White House is taking credit for this great thing (lowering per gallon price). They don't seem to care that lower prices will reverse the conservation that was a component in the shift in import/export balance. The White House doesn't seem at all upset about the increased CO2 that will result from the lower price just before the holidays (one radio station was asking people in a mall if it changed their plans and about half of the people interviewed were going to take trips over Thanksgiving that weren't in the cards just last week).

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

zdas, I'm really not trying to cherry pick but he does say humans are inherently self-serving ("live and prosper at the expense of others") and then says that, in the absence of laws, humans will behave in the best interest of society, does he not? These two statements are in direct odds with one-another. The only solution to humans inherent selfishness that I see from him is mention of embracing his god's will (read the very last sentence again). I find this monopoly on morality by his religion both unconvincing and rather insulting (but I know it was a product of the era it was written in).

I do agree with the premise behind the corruptibility of the law, and it is a very good point, but I don't take it as far as he does (any law that reduces liberty or takes property is plundering). Basically, you can't tax anyone and therefore cannot provide any public services. He explicitly states that education should not be paid for by taxes (nor any form of welfare...or support to the needy/disenfranchised).

Quote (TGS4)

I never claimed that per capita fuel usage increased, I said that total CO2 emissions increased. You have presented nothing to refute that statement. And your further analysis confuses per capita with total fuel consumption - a common error (I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here - I don't think that you are a charlatan playing a thimble and pea game...)

Darn, you caught me in a web of lies! I was using per capita fuel usage to mask the truth! Alas, I shall come clean.

Here you go, from the original paper:
Total GHG Emissions per capita from sources subject to BC Carbon Tax (2008-2011): -10%
Please note the nefarious use of per capita in the paper.

From BC Gov, the population of BC was:
2008: 4,349,412
2011: 4,499,139
Change: +149,727 (3.4% increase)

As for the GDP, from Statistics Canada (CANSIM tables 379-0025 and 379-0026) (in million of 2002 $):
2008: $151,695
2011: $157,525
Change: +$5,830 (3.8% increase)

So, from 2008 to 2011:
GHG Emissions per capita: -10%
BC Population: +3.4% (emission reduction outpaced population growth almost 3:1)
BC GDP: +3.8%

Or from Gov of BC 2010 Emissions Report (the latest report):
Total GHG Emissions (*all sources*) (kt CO2e)
2008: 65,417
2010: 61,993
Change: -3,424 (5.2% reduction)

So, as I said before:

Quote (TGS4)

Some people can point to Canada's BC as an example - but guess what - their CO2 emissions have INCREASED, coincident with their GDP - in spite of this tax. Well, that accomplished, ummm, nothing...
Patently false.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rconnor - thank you for the data (and the links to the courses). I do indeed stand corrected, based on your data sources. However...

Let's focus for a moment on motor fuels (gasoline as an example). In-province sales from 2008 to 2012 is as follows:
2008: 4,467,255,000 litres
2009: 4,536,112,000 litres
2010: 4,560,666,000 litres
2011: 4,537,496,000 litres
2012: 4,348,707,000 litres
(source)

Also, same day trips to the US looks like this (I apologize for the formatting):
2008
January February March April May June July August September
400,746 418,588 446,849 407,328 407,792 421,665 420,424 405,062 407,015
October November December
364,892 338,425 289,879
2009
January February March April May June July August September
326,022 358,178 329,991 342,921 348,014 362,421 360,379 387,233 404,059
October November December
410,860 430,834 442,420
2010
January February March April May June July August September
517,042 470,223 533,901 543,440 551,601 558,498 589,743 595,939 597,915
October November December
632,344 645,227 695,904
2011
January February March April May June July August September
702,832 705,620 756,696 750,889 767,268 782,428 777,407 794,429 820,175
October November December
860,661 867,305 880,266
2012
January February March April May June July August September
819,616 884,500 867,729 875,721 889,901 873,214 858,567 827,101 860,696
October November December
871,553 862,129 859,166
2013
January February March April May June July August September
899,714 920,243 881,351 829,622 869,735 894,504 914,116 873,188 882,287

(source)

From 2008 to 2013, the monthly average number of day-trips increased from 394k per month in 2008 to 789k per month (in 2011) up to 885k per month (average of monthly values up to Sept 2013). So, let's assume that each day trip is filling at an average of 70 litres (just a swag), that's an additional 12*(885,000-394,000)*70=412,440,000 litres.

So, adjusting the above annual fuel sales by cross-border shopping (not including those who buy from Alberta):
2008: 4,798,261,200 litres
2009: 4,851,354,680 litres
2010: 5,045,890,320 litres
2011: 5,200,114,040 litres
2012: 5,073,199,440 litres

So, total gasoline consumption is up from 2008 to 2011, by about 8.4% (it's obviously less to 2012), while, as you say, GDP went up 3.8%.

The carbon [sic] tax didn't reduce consumption, it just exported sales increases. Indeed CO2 emissions of bought-in-province motor fuel sales went down. But CO2 emissions of out-of-province motor fuels has seen a huge increase.

However, in the grand scheme of things, even using the CO2-temperature values from the IPCC, we're arguing about thousandths of a degree.

Assuming that you could impose a world-wide tax scheme on CO2 emissions (so there would be no cross-border leakage), again I ask: what is the price elasticity/sensitivity of carbon-based fuels? What level of carbon [sic] tax will actually result in a net decrease in total emissions, even as GDP increases?

And: What, where, and when is the damage (that wouldn't have otherwise occurred - i.e. the null hypothesis) from CO2-driven higher temperatures? I'm all for preventing damage. I just don't see the damage from CO2 emissions that wouldn't have otherwise happened. Now, the benefits of higher plant productivity, that is certainly a positive.


RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rconnor said:

"zdas, I'm really not trying to cherry pick but he does say humans are inherently self-serving ("live and prosper at the expense of others") and then says that, in the absence of laws, humans will behave in the best interest of society, does he not? These two statements are in direct odds with one-another."

I would like to suggest that Bastiat actually implied something just a bit different. The typical person, according to Bastiat, will live and prosper at the expense of others when that causes less pain than applying their faculties to resources to develop what they need. He also implied that in the absence of all laws EXCEPT THOSE LAWS NECESSARY TO PREVENT INJUSTICE, humans, by behaving in their own self-interest (avoiding the pain of punishment for unjust activities) will be acting in the best interest of society. It is a similar argument to Adam Smith's "invisible hand" concept.

Any way, that is how I interpret Bastiat on those issues. Of course as zdas indicated, we have a translation of his thoughts and he is no longer around to correct any mistakes we make in reading his ideas.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Self-serving or behaving in the interests of society? These statements aren't at odds with each other. Someone should dust-off their copy of The Selfish Gene.

- Steve

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

The Selfish Gene, simply states that I can keep my more of my money if I pay less taxes, right? Wrong.

With that logic, I can save money by not having a washing machine, or dish washer, however I have both, not because they save money, but because they save time.

The Selfish Gene is more like if it makes me more confortable, reproductive, healthy, or gives me a higher status, or makes me live longer.
So do taxes do any of that? Do dirty air and water do that? Do regulations that don't have a good basis do that? Where is the motovation?

Example: I don't recycle because it costs me extra to do so. However I burn wood to heat my home, because I have to despose of the wood anyway.

If the values you wish people would follow, are important, then make them fit peoples needs.

Develope reneable energy to fit peoples needs, like the solar calculators.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
"If the values you wish people would follow, are important, then make them fit peoples needs."

nah it's more like "If the values you wish people would follow, are important, then mould them (the people) to fit."

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

So you are a fan of the public school system?

At least you did not say crack the whip.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
no ... people generally have a low ductility and are not very malleable.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

SomptingGuy, it has been a while so I don’t recall what aspect of the Selfish Gene you are referencing. However, Dawkins has made it abundantly clear that he feels that a “survival of the fittest” mentality that is natural in our genetic (and memic) makeup is an abhorrent base for anthropogenic morality, if that is what you were getting at. My point was to “live and prosper at the expense of others” (which is analogous to a “survival of the fittest” mentality) is at odds with behaving in the interest of society. And if humans have the natural tendency to do the former, you can’t expect them to do the latter without some form of restriction. Now, this doesn’t have to be through legislation but The Law offers little in the way of alternative solutions (besides accepting his god’s will).

Debodine, fair enough. Despite my opposition to much of what is said in The Law, I think it is a good look at the core of libertarian ideology. As it takes us even more off topic, I’ll leave it there.

TGS4,

Thanks for taking the time to do the analysis. The increase in day-trips is huge, I’m astounded at the jump from 2010 to 2011 (it’s around +35%). Your link didn’t work for me and I couldn’t recreate your numbers using Table 427-002 on CANSIM (Is that the same table you used? what filters did you use? I couldn’t get same day trips to generate results). Either way, with the filters I used (BC, Total Canadian vehicles returning (not US entering), All trip durations), the number of trips was up substantially: 2008 average = 323,472, 2012 average = 627,352, Increase = 303,880. However, this number is lower than what you used. Sorting out which filters will help.

I also don’t agree with your 70 L/trip number but, as you said, it’s a WAG and anything I would rebut with would be a WAG, even with reasons such as not 100% of vehicles would refill completely or need to refill at all in the US and a quick search on average vehicle tank capacity is 55 L (sketchy number off wikianswers). As I will show, taking whatever number we want for either the L/trips or number of trips/year, the conclusion is the same.

Regardless of whether these trips are for saving on the carbon tax or shopping, CO2 emissions are CO2 emissions. So here’s the real test: how has Washington’s CO2 emissions faired in the life time of the BC carbon tax? If Washington’s emissions have gone up, we still have the difficult task of separating out what percentage is related to the effect of the BC carbon tax and what isn’t. If Washington’s emissions have gone down, then we have a far simple conclusion: the displacing of CO2 emissions in BC by purchasing fuel is Washington is mute.

From the EIA – Total Emissions – Carbon Dioxide data for Washington (in Million Metric Tons of CO2):
Grand Total 2008: 79.6 (note 2007 was 81.8)
Grand Total 2010: 76.1 (latest data)
Grand Total Difference: -3.5

Transportation – Petro Products 2008: 43.0 (note 2007 was 47.8)
Transportation – Petro Products 2010: 41.6
Transportation – Petro Products Difference: -1.4

So, if both BC and Washington have reduced both their total CO2 emissions and fuel usage, there is no way that the positive effects of the BC carbon tax, in BC, are being offset by purchases in Washington. It could be argued that if Washington is reducing their CO2 emissions without a carbon tax then the carbon tax isn’t the driver. This is grasping at straws and is immediately counter by the comparison of CO2 emission reduction in BC relative to the rest of Canada: 10% reduction in BC, 1.1% in the rest of Canada (Original Source). I think it’s fair to conclude that the BC Carbon tax has been effective at changing consumer behavior and reducing CO2 emissions. This is not a trivial conclusion as many people argue against it, but now I believe we can say, through many different lines of statistical evidence, they do so incorrectly.

We can then move onto the question, “is reducing CO2 emissions really necessary”? This is a multifaceted problem not nearly as either to prove or disprove as the BC Carbon tax. I think it is necessary. I’ve presented many papers and arguments on these forums indicating why I think so. You and others have offered competing theories or standpoints. As specific ones are brought up (such as the Pause), I’ll try to provide counter-points (as I have). We may not be able to completely sway each other but I think much can be learnt through the discussion.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

RE the ductility of people. There is a very fine line between outright coercion and leadership. I think it's safe to say that the line has been trodden to where it is no longer visible or even apparent, and that society in general seems to willingly accept it right up to the point of submission to the fascist state. We've very little choice in most matters nowadays, to the point of even being dictated what we will and will not be allowed to have for lunch. (transfats, drink sizes, etc).

Good intentions gone awry have toppled many empires. Why do we think we're exempt from natural law?

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rconnor - good thinking to check the Washington data (it was late the other night when I put that together... Not sure if I could recreate the info from the CANSIM data. smile )

So, it appear that, in the short term, the BC carbon tax is coincident with a reduction in emissions. I am not ready to make the leap to cause-effect (you know, the whole correlation=causation thing), but the data is interesting. At least it is data/facts. Thank you for that.

Several years ago (during that last Canadian federal election) I ran some numbers based on some proposed carbon [sic] tax values. If I recall, if the true desire is controlling run-away temperature, then each degree Celsius of warming "prevented" was worth around $4 quadrillion dollars - with a whole lotta assumptions on price elasticity and climatic sensitivity. I may try to dig that up one of these days - the math was interesting... The biggest question is to understand the cause-effect relationship between carbon dioxide pricing and consumption/emission reduction (price elasticity).

I agree that we need to move to the same question that you asked. Because I think that adaptation is much cheaper than mitigation, when you account for the existing "damage" done to humanity by weather/climate.

Anyway - tip of my hat to you. I would certainly discuss this with you over a BEvERage or two any day.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
whatever the rationale, a carbon tax is expected to give the government revenue that hopefully will be used to fund environmentally friendly projects. this could subside "renewable" sources or improve efficiencies or plant trees.

interestingly, it is a self defeating tax ... the more temperature increases are avoided, the less tax is raised, the less revenue is available for improvement projects.

of course the problem with nation-based taxes is that they put the nation involved at a competitive disadvantage, at least on the face of it. of course the counter to that is that ethical investors will be attracted to ethical nations.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

When returns drop, it is amazing how quickly the "ethical investors" run to better returns. The whole "reinvest carbon taxes into renewables" concept is such a trap. Our Congress-whores apportion the money to contributors, family, friends, and shell companies that they control. None of those activities has a very high possibility for success (measured in producing an integer multiple of the energy than the energy it took to create and transport the product).

The ethanol/wind-farm/solar-array crowd would say that throwing money at them is just good environmental policy, they are incorrect, and the dead eagles would attest, if they weren't dead. It really makes me sick that if a sparrow gets into a reserve pit and dies from the oil or brackish water I get fined tens of thousands of dollars, but a wind farm has a budget of hundreds of dead endangered species a year that they don't even have to report. We really are not capturing the whole cost of these eyesores.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

This is for your anti-Green post, David.  Sustainable!

http://xkcd.com/1007/

 

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I think that cartoon nails the issue, thanks for sharing.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

The others are good as well. Click the one with the windmills.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
i got as far as "kerning" ... had to look that up !

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I hadn't seen that, my reference was to the story linked on the page you linked ( Wind Farms Get a Pass on Eagle Deaths). One quote from that story kind of says it all

Quote:

"What it boils down to is this: If you electrocute an eagle, that is bad, but if you chop it to pieces, that is OK," said Tim Eicher, a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement agent based in Cody

The article goes on to mention that BP paid $100 Million in fines under the Migratory Bird Act, without any evidence that they harmed any endangered species. Duke's $1 million fine for killing 14 golden eagles seems kind of wrist-slappish. The wind farm in Northern California that they mention in the article that has killed 60 eagles without any consequence is also illuminating. As always the administration (whichever one is in power) gets to cherry pick the laws it is going to enforce.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

TGS4,

I greatly appreciate the acknowledgement. I tip my cap right back at you. I find you to be a true skeptic: requires and appreciates hard evidence or careful, rational thought to support theories, presents evidence of similar quality to support own counter-theories and shows a willingness to change or alter opinions if the former is stronger than the latter. This makes debating with you a worthwhile exercise.

Your correlation/causation point is well taken. It’s always possible, and sometimes very reasonable, to be agnostic on the causation of effects at a societal level, such as this, due to the inherent complexity and interdependency of the wide range of influences. However, when statistical evidence and control examples are used, a theory gains weight from moving from mere correlation to causation. Furthermore, when competing theories falter in light of statistical evidence, the causation appears stronger. As far as I see it, that is the case here. I certainly could be wrong; there could be another factor that I’m not thinking of that explains away the causation or time will show that the first 4 years were merely noise.

For the rest, I thought it would be useful to run through a summary of the BC Carbon Tax. I found 2011 BC Emissions data so I’ve updated some of the numbers (BC Gov .xls file from here).

Correlation: BC has reduced CO2 emissions from sources influenced by the tax by 10% per capita since the carbon tax was enacted
Causation Theory: The carbon tax has altered consumer behavior resulting in reduced CO2 emissions
”Controls” that Support the Theory
(1) Rest of Canada:
BC CO2 emissions/capita by sources affected by taxes (2008-2011)= -10%
Rest of Canada CO2 emissions/capita by sources affected by taxes (2008-2011) = -1.1%
(2) BC Prior to Carbon Tax:
2008 to 2011 (with Tax) Total CO2 Emission Change (in kt CO2e) = -4,618 (-6.9% or -2.3%/year)
2005 to 2008 = -907 (-1.3% or -0.4%/year)
2003-2008 (5 year) = +1,215 (+1.85% or +0.37%/year)
1998-2008 (10 year) = +4,099 (+6.53% or +0.65%/year)
(Also see Figure 1 at the first source for fuel consumption/capita trends for BC and the Rest of Canada from 2000-2012, which illustrates both controls)

Counter-Theories/Arguments and Statistical Refutations
1) Population growth means the total emissions are actually higher – BC’s population has grown 3.4%, lagging behind CO2 reductions ~3:1 (also total emissions from all sources is down 4,618 kt CO2e)
2) GDP reduction is the cause – BC’s GDP has grown 3.8% since the tax
3) The rest of Canada is reducing emissions as well – the rest of Canada has reduced emissions/capita by only 1.1% (8.9% difference)
4) Any reduction in emissions in BC are offset by increases in Washington – Yes, boarder travel to Washington has increased significantly but Washington’s emissions, both total and from vehicle petro, have decreased by 3.5 and 1.4 Million Metric Tons of CO2, respectively
5) The CO2 reductions are coming from aspects not affected by the Carbon Tax – the 10% reduction is on sources subject to the carbon tax but total CO2 emissions have also been reduced by 6.9%
6) It may be effective at emissions reductions but people hate it – approval of the tax went from 54% (15% strongly, 39% somewhat approve and 28% strongly oppose) in Feb 08 to 64% (25% strongly, 39% somewhat approve and 17% strongly oppose) in Nov 12 (note: the tax increased incremental in that time) (Source)
7) Climate taxes like this will adversely affect the poor – Part of the revenue from the tax goes to providing $115.50 + $34.50/child to low income families
8) The time span is too short to establish significant conclusions – I understand this point and why people may choose to remain agnostic about the causation but, to me, 4 years of significant reductions that outpace all controls and account for other metrics (population, GDP, off-sets in Washington) gives me confidence in the causation.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

So it seems the tax (fines) on bird kills is biased away from alternative energy, and more at fossil energy providers, and utilities. Is this the same type of bias we can expect from a carbon tax? So what would reason would we want another unfair tax, let alone that not every one agrees with the science?

Why not just require the end of such fuel wasting accessories in cars, and homes? Air-Conditioning, water heaters, automatic transmissions, dish washers, etc. The reason is clear, that the people will riot. So the desired goal is to yell there is a problem, and slowly ratchet up the regulations.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Interesting thought cranky. I've often thought that a barbaric, strength-based system would fare well for the brutish, intolerant types (me included, I'm not proud to admit). But then, after considering, that is essentially what we are coming back to as society devolves. I really believe we are approaching a flashpoint. People will only put up with so much regulation and nonsense before declaring "enough is enough". We see it oft repeated throughout history. We're not on an inclined plane, we're on a sine wave. The ups are pretty nifty for society, the downs not so much.

Don't particularly want to start any debate on this thought, it's just a Monday morning musing.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Sine wave? Well maybe sort of. Like the wave of in-sourcing, then out-sourcing. I really thought it was a way to remove the debre from the corportion. Maybe this is the same sort of thing.

Intolerant types? It sort of cuts both ways, because there are people like that on both sides. My perspective is more like, why should I change? Give me a good reason (Al Gore dosen't do it for me).

I contend that with so many laws, we are all guilty of something, so all the goverment needs to do is arrest us for some law we never heard of. The laws should be simple to understand, and taxes too.

Just to make a point, how much energy did we save with the 55 MPH speed limit? Does anyone have that number? What did it prove, except that the goverment has power over us?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

There are statistics in existence that show that there was a non-trivial reduction in motor fuel consumption during those years, but the number is so politicized that it is really hard to put much credence in it. One study (based on a computer model of course) tries to show that the savings were the same as would have happened with a 0.5 cent increase in the motor fuel tax. I think the price elasticity in that model was really optimistic, but the paper is out there. Motor-fuel use per capita did decrease measurably (according to EIA which is less immune to political manipulation than they should be) during the years that the Federal Government threatened to withhold Federal highway funds (our money) from any state that failed to follow the 55 mph mandate. The decrease was not enough to change the direction of the crude-oil import numbers that it was trying to impact.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

So figures don't lie, but liers can figure, is what I am hearing. That's why many of us are not sure of climate change studies. We can't seem to believe what we read, or hear.

So renewables sound like a good idea, if the price is right. I just don't see them as being in the right price, and there take the energy when it available, dosen't fit with the existing produce energy when you need it (electrical energy). The renewables are causing added wear and tear on existing power production assets, as they are not constant and dispatchable.

Calforinia seems to be taking a step to make renewables more stable with energy storage. However, the leader, in this case, is going to pay a cost for being a first. It's worth watching, but I don't want to put my money there.

There was a recent article in TRAINS magizene about the railroads looking into other fuel sources, like CNG, LNG, and gassified coal, but the leader is still diesel. This seems to be a trend to look at other fuels because of CO2 concerns and cost, for several power sectors (at least transportation, and electric energy).

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

There is a narrow gauge railway in Durango, CO that takes sightseers to Silverton, CO and back. It is fueled by coal. Durango is a hotbed of environmental extremism. When Amoco proposed converting the train to LNG (Durango sits on the edge of the San Juan Basin and has huge gas resources available), the environmentalists protested, sued, and disrupted city council meetings because somehow the coal was "natural" and the LNG would be man made. The economics were good (they could shift the guy shoveling coal to a different job, the LNG was available for slightly less per BTU, and the black cloud that the train spewed could be replaced with a steam cloud for ambiance).

Renewables are mostly pretty good retail technology. Power a remote cabin with solar panels and/or wind turbine, power a remote wellsite with solar panels, power your landscape lights with tiny solar panels, etc. Great use of technology. Not very energy efficient, but great life cycle costs (since you don't have to build grid power to those sites the capital goes way down). If I'm powering a city (or a man camp), then I don't want to pay the efficiency hit and I'll install real generation capacity that has decent carnot efficiency, and it is going to be powered by fossil fuels.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Zdas04,

That story about Durango environmentalists suing over the conversion from coal to LNG seemed a little odd, so I looked it up. I couldn’t find anything close to your story (one lawsuit in the Durango area) against Amoco over unpaid royalties, some complaints by local residence over coal emissions from trains idling overnight). I’d like to read about the story if you could remember where you read about it.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Didn't read about it. I was one of the Engineers on the feasibility project working in the back room to support the people negotiating. I saw the protests. I saw the disruption of the council meeting. I've seen the Durango Herald fail to report anti-social behavior by the environmental wackoos. I heard about the lawsuit from one of the negotiators when we shut the effort down.

I must say that if you only found one lawsuit against Amoco in La Plata County, Colorado then you didn't look very hard. I provided technical support to several dozen suits, and we were threatened with lawsuits on a daily basis.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

As I recall, most steam locomotives do exaust there steam through the stack so they can increase the air flow in the fire box. So the steam in the exaust is no new thing.

I would think there is more localism there than enviromentalism.

Most modern power plants, other than steam locomotives, don't produce a visable cloud from the stack. What we see here is complaints of polution from the cooling towers (dumb to think that recycled water evaprated into the air as polution). I don't think the public can notice the difference between coal and gas being burned (except if you want a black cloud).

Why is my car consitered inefficent, and receration activies are not? (by receration I mean the Drango train, RV's, and NASCAR). Would going to the movies in any way other than human powered way be consitered inefficent? What about going to visit family, or giving political speeches?

I think there is just to much hipicratical activity in the whole debate.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Ok, the reason why I asked, zdas04, is because it reminds me of when <insert anecdote>. It’s just another great reason why you can’t trust deniers. Now, of course you won’t be able to find any articles on this because the Big Oil Lobby controls the local media.

(In the event that the satire is lost on anyone, this was satirical in nature)

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
speaking from experience, greg ?

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

As someone who is often in the misunderstoon catagory, I woulden't worry about it.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

It was cold here last night. -14, where is the warming?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
was it -20 the previous night ? (any previous night ...)

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

cranky, that's why they quit calling it that :)

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Two years ago we set a record high, yesterday we tied a record low/ high tempeture.

I don't see warming or cooling, just a wider range from the normal.

Seems to me if you want to measure the earth's tempeture, why not measure at some distance below the frost line. It should be a little more constant.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

The Altamont wind farm in CA has less than 1% of the US wind power capacity, yet manages to have more than 80% of the eagle kills.

If CA were really environmentally sensitive, that's the one farm which would be shut down. The turbines are tiny by modern standards, and the placement is horrible from a bird-kill standpoint.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

On the other hand, it goes towards showing how good CA is at keeping eagles alive - that there are enough of them flying around to run afoul of windmills. Places with zero eagle kills might be due to the widespread use of DDT or regular issuing of eagle hunting liscenses?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
i didn't think we were still using DDT ?

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

DDT was banned in the USA in 1972. Try again.

"Overall there has been an 80% decline in golden eagles in Northern California, with no golden eagles nesting near [Altamont Pass Wind Farm], although it is a prime habitat"

Paul Driessen (22 December 2012). "DRIESSEN: Big Wind tax credit exterminates endangered species". Washington Times. Retrieved 29 December 2012.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Has it ever been shown that DDT kills eagles? No don't start that debate again, just send the study that shows the conclusions.

DDT isen't used in the US, but has been shown as an effective method for reducing maleria. And if used correctly it has a much lower side effect than when it was used in the US.
So I can't fault the continued use of it, although in the past it probally was misused here.

Call me a pessimest, but I don't believe everything I hear.

Birds and bats seem to be victoms of wind power, and power companies get fined for the birds flying into statonary power poles. Goverment picks winners and losers, again.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

btrueblood, quit trying to look at this issue in more depth! If this newspaper article said there’s been an 80% decline than of course 100% of that is because of the wind farms!

While we are on the subject of banning wind farms to protect avian species, I suggest that we also ban the top three killers of birds: cats, power lines and houses/buildings (or hunting depending on which study you look at) (link)!

Oh by the way, oilfield waste pits/waste water pits kill more birds than wind farms, but you know, whatever (oil pits = 0.5 to 1 million, wind farms = 0.440 million). Some other facts here

This is not to say that 440,000 bird deaths a year is a good thing or that the exemption from killing gold/bald eagles is right but, please, do a bit more research before forming much strong opinions.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

The oilfield waste article is dated 2003. In 2003-2008, oil producing states were passing very restrictive legislation that eliminated new pits after 2008 and required all existing pits to be remediated by 2010. Eliminating pits has significantly increased costs and many wells that would have been slightly better than marginal have become sub-marginal when you add the cost of closed loop drilling. The end result is that today it is exceedingly rare for a bird to be injured by oil & gas activities.

I've just spent an hour trying to find more current statistics and have been unsuccessful. Statistics on bird kills seem to be mostly made up. One [undated] article said the "at least 2 million" birds of prey are killed by oil & gas "activities", but doesn't cite any studies, another says "100 million birds are killed by running into windows each year" again without any citation. I think that authors in this field are prone to making stuff up.

I can't remember the last time I personally saw an oily pit, probably it was around 2011 and I noted it because oily pits had gotten rare enough to be remarkable. I've checked with several of my clients and they all report that they have not had to report a dead bird in several years (prior to 2003 it was a monthly occurrence for each of them).

Environmentalists have been reluctant to give any industry credit for improving their act. This is no exception.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

You don't go to Alberta, I guess.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rconnor - I'm rather unconcerned about wind power-related bird deaths, except for the apparent single bad area in Altamont, CA.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I believe most industries, at least the electric, is required to report rapter deaths. So if the numbers are not available, then it mustbe a govermental problem, or not worth printing the numbers.

I know internally we can site rodent, bird and rapter deaths, as well as equipment failures, and car accedents that cause outages.

We can also site MgCl caused outages and pole fires, but that dosen't stop the DOT from saying it dosen't cause any of these.

An issue here is everyone that has a message will state it, and ignore the facts that disagree with it. The Califorina bird kill problem should have little effect on the bird population here. But someone hipacritical of the few bird kills we have here will ignore the numbers in Califorina. That's what bothers me (fix your own problems before you ask me to fix mine).

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
oh, it much easier to fix other people's problems ...

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

"widespread use of DDT or regular issuing of eagle hunting liscenses"

"DDT was banned in the USA in 1972."

Sheesh, you took that part seriously, and totally ignored the other? What does a guy have to do to get a laugh around here?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I used to be pretty common for ranchers to just shoot eagles (and well after 1972) - federal protection or not.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
it's pretty common for ranchers to shoot up pretty much anything, isn't it ? and being contray to fed reg's, well either that's completely unknown, or possibly an incentive ?

as for the DDT comments ... why comment today on something that was banned 40 years ago ? sorry, it doesn't seem relevant or humourous ? (and ask greg about having sarcasm missread)

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Kenat: ayup. Tilting at windmills.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

TomDOT – My comment wasn’t directed at you in particular but at the “wind turbines are bird killers” topic in general; your comment was just the last that I saw in a string on the topic and so it caused my knee-jerk reaction (actually, there are a few mitigation studies about that wind farm in particular if you’re interested).

Avian mortality related to wind farms is of some concern, however it has been hi-jacked by many of those that don’t agree with anthropogenic climate change in an attempt to give the environmental movement a black-eye. It has little to do with concern over avian mortality and much to do about vilifying wind energy.

This is an obvious reaction to the continued vilification of O&G by environmentalists (and zdas04 I agreed completely with your comment that environmentalists are reluctant to give industry credit). Although this reaction is understandable (and, to some extent, well-deserved), it does nothing to push the debate forward. From both sides, this denigration is purely meant to obfuscate. It frustrates me when topics such as this, especially when anecdotal or when statistical evidence is mute (or supports the converse), are extended to “support” grandiose conclusions (i.e. wind farms killed eagles = wind power is evil. Every major storm = climate change is the sole cause. Some environmentalists are extreme = the entire environmental movement is irrational.).

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

So we have estabilished that wind farms are bird killers. What does that mean? Do we need more wind farms, or less, or to just be more selective?

Do you trust the "leaders of today" to make that decision, or do we become the adults in this debate?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
i thought we'd "established" that wind farms contributed only a small %age of total avian mortality ?
though to be honest, i really thought we hadn't "established" anything !?

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

cranky,

I think we have established that wind farm bird kills are pretty negligible in the USA except for Altamont, and they are (slowly) pursuing mitigation measures. Negligible compared to overall bird kills anyway. O&G bird kills appear to be pretty negligible in the USA as well.

I think it is good to have (modern) wind farms as part of the energy production mix. Other than the fairly critical need for fly ash in concrete, we should probably wean ourselves away from coal - it's the dirtiest method we use to produce electricity, including mining, stack emissions (somewhat controlled, in newer plants anyway) and the disposal of the bottom ash.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I think that we have "established" that the "statistics" are made up nonsense. The only quote I saw in my reading that had the ring of truth was the guy that said in general wind turbines kill 60-70 birds and bats a month each. I do know that if an Oil & Gas entity killed "60-70" birds a year the e-NGO's would be up in arms.

As to weaning ourselves from coal, I have to ask "why?". If you had said that we need to develop scrubbers and processing to reduce SOx, CO, or NOx I'd be on board. To ban that energy source because some vague notion that it is "the dirtiest method we use" is just irrational.

As to wind farms (not wind turbines) they have zero place in the electrical grid. Nothing about their use, their density, or their return on energy used in their fabrication makes sense compared to a natural-gas fired co-gen. Individual turbines probably make sense for one-off applications, but the farms are just pandering to the eNGO's.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Dirty how? Because of SO2, NOx, Hg, CO2? The SO2 and HG come from the fuel, agreed. NOx, comes from the burn tempeture, and is also a problem with natural gas and even wood. CO2 is from all sources, including you.
Hg can be removed by using chemestry. NOx and SO2 can also be removed by chemestry converting it into a possible fertlizer.

To midigate CO2, start with placing this pipe in your mouth so we can fix that. Besides if it was a real problem we should see increased growth of plants, which we have not seen much evedance.

One big problem with fly ash, is people keep calling it a waste. It is not, it is a resourse material.

Explain how it is dirty? What is the concern?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Don't power lines kill a lot more birds than wind turbines?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Power lines don't move as fast as wind turbine blades.

It's been a struggle to remove, or change those places where birds could get between phases or phase and ground, but there is an effort.

Strange how birds will find a favored place and keep coming back. Like the wood pole with 50+ wood pecker holes.

The incedence of birds hitting power lines is no more that with birds hitting anything else.

Most of the struggle is on the distribution system, not the transmission. We seem to have more problems on the transmission system with helium filled birds, with long tails, and long metal arm creatures.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

The statistics on bird kills seem pretty much made up on the fly. There are a (very few) places where you can count carcasses (using that data you get a couple of thousand dead birds a year and a true population explosion in the avian world), but mostly it is an extrapolation from some imaginary plane. For example a cat gets a bird, bones and feathers from one wing is over there, a foot is somewhere else, the beak is in the back 40--three bird kills right? Also a bird hits a window (an occurrence that happens somewhere between a dozen and a hundred million times a year), it is stunned but not killed. Falls to the ground and a cat eats him. That will be counted as at least one window strike kill and 2-3 cat kills. Some birds really get around. Everybody seems to be fine with a guy making numbers up and all the media outlets "reporting" the made-up number as factual. Much like AGW reporting in general.

I would expect that more birds are killed by other birds than all other causes combined. I don't have a single statistic to back that up, but it "feels" right. Please quote me.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

"For example a cat gets a bird, bones and feathers from one wing is over there, a foot is somewhere else, the beak is in the back 40--three bird kills right?"

One would have to think that someone claiming to be a qualified engineer would have some consideration for professional methods that reputable wildlife experts use when doing studies. The use of ridiculous statements such as the above simply confirms that some people will use every ridiculous method possible to denigrate and discount anything that disagrees with their paid position on an issue.


RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
the "professional methods that reputable ... experts" is exactly why we have so many threads regarding the professional methods of climate experts.

i also think there was just a little tongue in cheek with the previous post.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote (David)

The statistics on bird kills seem pretty much made up on the fly.
Yukcensored Two point penalty for an unacknowledged pun.

Quote (TenPenny)

One would have to think that someone claiming to be a qualified engineer would have some consideration for professional methods that reputable wildlife experts use when doing studies.
The field wildlife experts likely are reputable. However, 92%* of the office drone management - the ones that formulate policy that determines the official group output, are not. Of course, the other 8% are among the esteemed colleagues here.

David could be over reacting, tongue-in-cheek, or correct. I go with more correct than not. Personally, I highly suspect the groups publishing the kill rates have a dog in the hunt. That doesn't help their creditability.

No, I don't have a paid position. I just happen to think that most forms of "green" energy are expensive and counter productive.

*The "92%" is an exact statistic, well known, throughly vetted by me and, certainly not made up ... ahh, "on the fly".

ice

Harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Would anyone just believe everything that is told to them? I don't think so. Wild life experts are like every one else. I have to believe there are some good ones, and some who are just liers.

Because we don't know we should question the methods.

The people who should have a good idea are the people who issue hunting licences. However the larger birds are not on the list to be hunted. But there should ba a good accounting of ducks, goose, and phesants.

And who cares about cat kills anyway. Cats are more likely food for eagles.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Tenpenny,
I've gone back and looked at a number of your posts and they all simply attack someone (usually me). You call yourself a "mechanical", that covers a lot of ground. If you've ever done piping or worked with an architect on a building project (2 of the 3 major branches of ME) then you've heard of an Environmental Assessment (EA). One of the required chapters in an EA is Threatened and Endangered Species Evaluation (T&E). I've been responsible for assembling upwards of 40 EA's and the T&E reports are done by licensed biologists. Many of them were done quite competently with adequate field work. Others were done via cut and past without ever actually visiting my project site. It is about 50/50. The 50% who cut and paste information about endangered coastal birds on a report on a project located on a mountain top 1.5 miles above sea level and 1100 miles from the nearest coastal habitat also prepare bird kill statistics the same way. I talked to a decent field biologist from one of the bad companies a couple of years ago and he told me that his company just completed a bird-kill "study" for one of the large e-NGO's and their marching orders were specifically to call the example that you took exception to 3 bird kills and not to worry if the three bits were "identified" as separate species. That is from a biologist.

The field of "wildlife" is so successful at raising money based on the next catastrophe, that I feel that "reputable wildlife experts" is a serious contradiction in terms, there is just too much money involved to allow "reputable" wildlife experts to stay in the field. I talked to several in South Africa a couple of years ago and they say that I've been very lucky with my 50/50 experience. More common in 2011 is 80% shysters and thieves, and 20% looking for work in zoos and wildlife preserves to get out of the political spin.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I seem to recall hearing a good saying that the plural of anecdotes is data, or something along those lines…

Putting aside anecdotes being used to reach grandiose conclusions (again), I think we should have stopped this trite “wind farms are bird killer” topic with TomDOT’s post. He nicely wrapped things up and then zdas04’s comment on questioning why we should wean ourselves off coal brings us back to the crux of not just the wind vs coal debate but the entire climate change debate – CO2.

At the end of the day, the reason why wind power is being pursued so aggressively is because of its low GHG emissions/kW. So if you don’t feel that GHGs, primarily CO2, are an issue then it’s hard to see the value in wind (besides small gains in diversifying your energy portfolio – which is of some importance). So, where do people feel that the theory behind anthropogenic CO2 induced climate change falls apart? Let’s try to hone in on a debatable aspect of the theory.

1) CO2 is a green house gas
2) The increase in GHGs has caused an energy imbalance on Earth
3) The increase in GHGs comes, primarily from anthropogenic sources
4) This energy imbalance is affecting the global climate
5) Change in climate, caused by the energy imbalance, will adversely affect humans
6) Changes in the behavior of humans can reduce the adverse effects of anthropogenic climate change

Clearly illustrate your main contention with the theory along with supporting statistics or research. If you do so, counter arguments should be required to follow suit. It would be best if we could keep the conversation on one specific element at a time.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

At the end of the day the reason that wind power is being pursued so aggressively is absolutely not because of low GHG emissions/kW. That (even if true, which is debatable) is just so much window dressing. The reason that the so-called "renewables" are being pursued so aggressively is that the backroom deals between the e-NGO's and their puppet politicians has made it so profitable to pretend to be "green". The tax breaks, direct payments, research grants, regulation exceptions, etc. available to wind farms are simply obscene when you compare costs (to the taxpayers) to benefits (to the taxpayers). The intermittent nature of wind requires that there is a fully redundant conventional plant for all of the wind power generating capability. This "backup" is never allowed to steady-out because it is idled then rapidly brought on line when the wind dies down, consequently the emissions/kW of these backup plants is significantly higher than the plants would emit if just allowed to operate without the existence of the wind farms. It is such a shell game. I did some work in Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) last year, and the guy I was working with was working on a problem that hadn't hit the left-wing media (yes, here comes yet another anecdote, which still is not data, but in this field data is sorely lacking)--wind passing a wind turbine creates an environment that can tear downstream turbines off of their foundations. It happens a lot. According to the researcher I talked to upwards of 20% of the turbines in any array are broken or have damaged foundation bolts at any given time from this effect. When you get past the hype, these things are simply not ready for prime time.

As to the Greenhouse Effect, or Greenhouse Gases, all that exists are hypotheses and computer models to indicate that this phenomena is even a contribution to global climate. There is no data that unequivocally shows CO2 as a leading or lagging indicator. With the last 16 years of nearly constant average temperatures and steadily increasing CO2, in any other field the data would cause the whole AGW hypotheses to be put into the bin along with eugenics and the earth-centric universe. But not AGW. AGW has legs. The legs are political. Al Gore gets the Nobel prize. Well, it really is an Inconvenient Truth that he (like far too many) was in it for the money. The UN is in it for the power (and opportunities for graft) that the subject can, has, and will continue to create. No one is in it for the planet. Again, that is window dressing.

Most of what I have on this subject is the result of conversations with people in the field, work that I've done in the field, and the very few web sites (which I will not link to because I refuse to read the supercilious condemnation of referencing "those sites") that look at the data objectively. Not many unassailable (spelled "liberal") articles that keep getting posted in support of this insanity, because the other side does not get much ink.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Ohhhh, so the climate change theory is all a giant conspiracy involving pretty well every head of state from global powers to under-developed nations and pretty well every major scientific body! And the evil, all powerful and insatiably greedy e-NGO’s are behind it all, in their quest for world domination! Oh, and the greenhouse theory is also made up – NASA faked all that stuff about Venus I guess! Got it, without any actual evidence to support any of the preceeding, it all makes sense now!

(If people actually want to discuss things, I'm still open to it...TGS4, you around?)

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
'k ... let's step back from the edge.

i've read the the geological record shows CO2 increasing after a significant temperature increase, some 800 years after (a blink in geological time).

i dispute that the CO2 we've put into the atmosphere has caused the temperature changes that are being attributed to it. My opinion is based on what i've read about the Mann "hockey stick".

i believe that the sun is having a major impact on global climate. i'm willing to worry about what the CO2 might do to the future climate, since clearly we (the human race) are a factor in global climate. we've long been a factor in local climate (the US dust bowl in the 30s comes to mind); now with so many countries industralizing i think it fair to say we impact the global climate.

the thing that i detest about the CO2 debate is that there seems to be very little effort to slow the use of FF in the developing economies. yes, i know we can't say "don't do what we did", but we can say "this approach is better". my opinion is that "renewables" will be little more than fringe players, we're wedded to cheap FF and nobody is prepared to Stop (no one wants to pay the prenup). and don't get me started in carbon trading !

personally i wish we'd spend more on fusion research and, for the interim, safer fission reactors.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

What a wide divide in those two ways of thinking. But I have to agree it's more about money and power, and less about saving the planet.

Not to say the studies are wrong, but is it possible some of those are also about the money. After all many of us can develope a conclusion for any point that you are willing to pay for.

The study always seem to follow the thinking of the person paying for it.

As they always say, follow the money.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

In other news: PAID professionals are doing what they are PAID to do. Government pays prosecutor to put you in jail, you pay defense attorney to not go there. In perfect world in the competition between the two the justice or the truth should emerge. In real one… we will not go there now.

People crying about real world not being perfect are called pundits. Many of them make a good living. Unfortunately, they are counter-productive. They have a lot to say, but nothing to offer.

At least the scientists write REPORTS. They create paper trail, so they can be traced and called on. In the imperfect world they are the lesser evil. The one of necessary kind.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rconnor - I'm still here smile

Quote (rconnor)

1) CO2 is a green house gas
2) The increase in GHGs has caused an energy imbalance on Earth
3) The increase in GHGs comes, primarily from anthropogenic sources
4) This energy imbalance is affecting the global climate
5) Change in climate, caused by the energy imbalance, will adversely affect humans
6) Changes in the behavior of humans can reduce the adverse effects of anthropogenic climate change
1) Agreed. So, too is H2O, and a whole host of other variety of well-mixed and not-well mixed gases.
2) Uncertain. And likely not within our ability to measure energy imbalance. The latest flux-balance diagram that I saw (sorry, no link, but I'll look for it) had the ± measurement error at between 14-15 W/m². Any to-date CO2 contribution has been claimed to be on the order or 3-4 W/m². We can't measure it directly, because it's within the error of the system measurement.
3) There does seem to be some correlation in that regard - both in quantities and with respect to isotopes of carbon. However, such calculations make assumptions about CO2 residence time that are unproven. The atmospheric atomic-bomb tests seems to have provided us with an opportunity to evaluate CO2 residence time via decaying C-14 (artificially elevated by the nukes). I think the jury is still out on this.
4) We don't have anywhere near enough of a clue about natural cyclic and non-cyclic phenomenon that say one way or the other. From a simplistic thermodynamics model, yes an energy imbalance will lead to increasing temperatures. The emphasis here is on simplistic models (and I don't even mean computer models). What about emergent phenomenon such as thunderstorms?
5) Increasing CO2 is most certainly increasing productivity in the biosphere (greening), by increasing the efficiency of photosynthesis (which includes, BTW, making plants more drought-tolerant). Food production is still increasing (despite Ehrlich's constant refrain of doom), due to higher CO2, slightly longer growing seasons, increased mechanization, increased fertilizer use/effectiveness. Most papers that I have read about harm due to global warming shows a net benefit up to an additional 2°C. Any incremental harm after 2°C is due to assumptions about food production. There is also harm from rising sea levels - which we have successfully mitigated over the past 300 years, so I don't see how we won't be able to in the future.
6) I don't know what you mean by this. In my opinion, if we spent 1/10th the amount of money that we are currently spending on "climate research" on poverty reduction or food distribution or even educating girls around the world, most of the real problems of the world could be eliminated in fairly short order.

Just an anecdote about temperature/climate that I am familiar with... The current temperature in Calgary, Canada (where I live) is -15°C with a windchill of -23. I would gladly pay ~$3,000/person in my family to go travel to a location where the temperature is between 40°C and 50°C warmer than here. And this is only for a one or two week reprieve. And somehow, I am being asked to pony up an equivalent amount so that, on average, the globe doesn't get any warmer than 2°C above the temperature of some past arbitrary date?

You want to find agreement on some general principles, you need to start putting numbers to it. Assign real (future) costs, and compare that to future mitigation costs. My person philosophy on this is:
A) We really don't know much about how our climate system works. The next few solar cycles should be very interesting and provide some additional insight into how things work. Getting through a full PDO or AMO cycle should also prove very enlightening. I remain open to the CO2-temperature hypothesis.
B) Warmer is better than colder.
C) We have time to figure things out.
D) Future mitigation is more cost-effective than current prevention (even assuming pessimistic "numbers").
E) Any current prevention proposals involve making me poor (ok, less rich), and keeps the really poor still poor; and a few oligarchs who would become even more fantastically rich beyond my comprehension...
F) I don't see any conspiracy, just "noble cause corruption", a few chicken littles, and some useful idiots, and very few scientists asking the needed questions out of fear for their livelihood (See American president Eisenhower's speech).

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

1) CO2 is a green house gas
2) The increase in GHGs has caused an energy imbalance on Earth
3) The increase in GHGs comes, primarily from anthropogenic sources
4) This energy imbalance is affecting the global climate
5) Change in climate, caused by the energy imbalance, will adversely affect humans
6) Changes in the behavior of humans can reduce the adverse effects of anthropogenic climate change

1 correct
2 Shocking phrasing, but yes that is a possibility
3 No, most GHG is water vapour, and most of it comes from natural sources, and man's direct contribution is small
4 Possibly
5 Not according to the IPCC, for the next 60 years GW of up to 2 deg C is positive.
6 Possibly

As usual you are making far too many assumptions.

Here's an exciting one to think about. If the global average temperature drops over the next 20 years while CO2 increases by 40%, will this entire debate cease? We are 17 years into a pause in the increase in temperature.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
the linkage between CO2 release and climate change is very undefined. what we release into the atmosphere today won't change the climate tomorrow, maybe next week or next month.

short term climate changes (up or down) prove nothing. neither side in the debate should crow that today's reading support their case, for i'm willing to bet that tomorrow's readings will support the other side.

i don't know how much we can separate man-made effects from natural ones. the sun clearly influences things in a big way. Natural heating can affect the permafrost, releasing CH4. Natural changes will alter the CO2 uptake/release from the oceans. we are clearly pushing a bunch of CO2 into the atmosphere, increasing the %age (is doubling significant ?) and i think this has at least the potential to affect climate in the future. however "having the potential to affect future weather" is way too wooly a statement to ask (direct?) people to change their lifestyles; so i think the politicans/lobbyists went for the more direct "manmade CO2 is causing today's higher temperatures".

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Thank you for the replies. Before we head into other points (both TGS4 and rb1957 brought up some good ones), we need to discuss the reoccurring argument regarding “the pause”.

If it isn’t the core reason why people are skeptical of the anthropogenic climate change theory then it certainly appears to the most widely repeated reason. This is about the fourth time it’s been brought up and for the fourth time I’ll outline why it’s an argument from ignorance. Hopefully, it won’t be completely ignored for the fourth time. You are welcome to disagree but you need to actually engage in the debate, not just ignore it and then regurgitate it again 20 posts later.

The anthropogenic climate change theory states that there is a radiative energy imbalance, primarily caused by increased forcing of CO2 (See Figure SMP5 from AR5), and that imbalance results in more energy being accumulated within our planet. To the layman, we think that this increased energy accumulation must result in continued surface temperature increases or the theory falls apart. This is an incredibly over simplified stance and, for people with some knowledge on the subject, is rather ignorant. There are numerous factors that explain why surface temperatures could hold steady for a period of time while, at the same time, CO2 levels increase.

Ocean Heat Content
The planet contains a lot of water (this appears to come as a surprise to some). The oceans can act as a giant heat sink and, according to AR4 – 5.2.2.4, absorbs 93.4% of the increased heat due to radiative imbalances. The atmosphere takes up 2.3%. Therefore ocean heat content, including both upper and deep ocean, is a very important consideration. To ignore it is to ignore 93.4% of the issue.

Measurements of upper ocean heat content (0-700 meters) has shown very little warming since 2003, despite being notable higher than the 1993-2012 average (source). However, 700 meters presents 16% of the average ocean depth (average being 4300 meters). A fairly interesting study, Palmer et al 2011, shows there is a weak relationship between sea surface temperature (alone) and top-of-atmosphere radiation balance (TOA) but a very strong relationship between total ocean heat content and TOA. This suggests that by only taking temperature near the surface, you don’t get the full picture.

Studies by Balmaseda et al 2013, Abraham et al 2013 and Levitus et al 2012 show that there is significant uptake of heat in the deep ocean. I encourage a read through of the article on this subject at Real Climate. A very interesting take away is that during the recent slowdown in the upper ocean (0-700m) warming, the deep ocean (0-2000m) warming rate has be quite steady. This corresponds nicely with another important point that we have been in a double-dip La Nina during the upper ocean slowdown (and global temperature “pause”), which brings cooler water to the surface. So a cooling (or lack of warming) of the upper ocean would be expected in a La Nina dominated period, all the while, the oceans as a whole continues to gain heat at a steady rate.

(More information and graphs on OHC can be found here)

ENSO
Which brings us nicely to a conversation about ENSO, which is likely the most significant factor in short term global temperature trends (again, this appears to come as a surprise to some). It should not be surprising that when you take a sample period starting with one of the strongest recorded El Nino events (1998) through a period ending with a double-dip La Nina (2011, 2012), that you’re going to get a non-standard picture (but apparently it is). Further analysis of the time frame shows that there were 5 La Nina years and 3 El Nino years (one being during the first year) and the last El Nino event, 2010, resulted in the hottest year in the modern record (source for ENSO years).

The effect of ENSO on global temperatures is an area where there is a lot of research being done lately. Foster and Rahmstorf 2011 removed the effects of ENSO, volcanoes and solar activity, which produce short term noise (ENSO having the greatest effect), from historical temperature records and determined that you are left with a consistent increase in temperature, even during the last decade. Further studies have been conducted by Kosaka and Xie 2013, which attempts to isolate the effect of ENSO. A good analysis of this paper can be found here. It also cleans up the mistaken interpretation by Judith Curry.

The Real Climate article posted in the OHC section also provides commentary on the research into ENSO.

Solar Activity
At this point, some may be protesting that surely the Sun is the single greatest influencing factor on global temperatures. In an absolute sense, of course that is true but in a decade-to-decade comparative sense, not as much as one would think. Studies by Meehl et al 2004, Stone et al 2007, Lean and Rind 2008 and Huber and Knutti 2011 all calculate that changes in solar activity account for less than 17% of global warming (and the first three calculate it to be less than 10%). A good illustration comparing global temperatures, CO2 and solar activity can be found here.

The relatively small impact that solar activity has on global temperatures could also be used to argue against the “pause” being the nail in the coffin of the CO2 theory, not support it. Since 2000, solar activity declined to around 2009 and then up slightly to a much lower peak, compared to 2000, in 2013-2014. Therefore, with lower solar activity it would be expected that temperatures would decrease (if solar activity is the predominate influence on temperatures) but the fact that temperatures have very slightly continued to rise suggests that another cause is contributing to maintaining the warming. Combine this with the fact that ocean heat content has continued to rise despite low solar activity and we begin to see that low solar activity as of late really adds weight to the CO2 theory.

(Regarding GCR Cloud seeding, the following papers suggest there is little to no correlation – Kazil et al 2006, Kristjansson et al 2008, Sloan and Wolfendale 2008, Kulmala et al 2010 and Calogovic et al 2010.)

Lack of Coverage in Artic
A new paper by Cowtan and Way 2013 aims to fill in the missing data around the Arctic. They developed tests for the various reconstruction approaches to determine their accuracy. There is also a YouTube video by the author that explains the paper and can be found here or a the Real Climate article here (and a good response to the various climate skeptics arguments against the paper can be found here).

I highly recommend this great article that does a good job at discussing temperature trends from Real Climate, that can be found here. It discusses “the pause”, the arctic gap, climate models, etc. Or this humorous tongue-in-cheek article from Tamino here which depicts the weakness of the “pause” argument.

If you’re still in search of more information, look at my other posts on the subject at 20 Nov 13 15:12 in this thread or 24 Sep 13 17:28 and 26 Sep 13 14:10 on another thread found here. GregLocock, I’d refer you to the 26 Sep 13 14:10 post because it was specifically directed at another comment you made about “the pause” (and models). You failed to offer a rebuttal but saw no problem in repeating the exact same argument again.

While on the subject GregLocock, this is your second post in a row where you take a jab at my critical thinking skills. If you take issue with my thought process, I suggest you stay awhile and engage in the conversation rather than dropping in a pithy comment here and there. I can’t learn and improve from your wisdom if you don’t point to the specific areas where I’ve erred.

To answer your question about whether the debate will be over if we go another 20 years without surface temperature warming, it depends. As I’ve illustrated here, although there is an absence of surface temperature warming, there is plenty of evidence to suggest why that is. In fact, the “pause” has resulted in research into areas, such as OHC, that have only helped further solidify the anthropogenic climate change theory. We still have a radiative imbalance and we still have increased heat accumulation on the planet.

As a closing note: nit-picking one study or one point from above does not invalidate my argument (or validate the “pause”). Ocean heat content, ENSO, Solar Activity and Arctic Coverage are relatively independent arguments (OHC and ENSO have some tie-ins but also stand up on their own), which when brought together create a strong argument against the “pause”. You’ll also note the number of references to peer-reviewed papers (or articles which discuss and directly link to peer-reviewed papers), I’d appreciate if others responded in kind.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

"The anthropogenic climate change theory states that there is a radiative energy imbalance, primarily caused by increased forcing of CO2 "

well yes. But if that is the foundation of your argument it falls over right there. You are assuming the theory is fact. It is only provable to date by the same computer models that don't predict the pause, ie they fail to predict the future when they run free over a term of two-three decades, never mind a century. So it seems very likely that those models are significantly flawed. So their predictions about CO2 sensitivity are probably flawed as well. I agree the oceans are a huge effect but the GCM models can't currently take them into account except as boundary conditions. Which is cheating, if you know much about physics based modelling.

Sorry you spent so much time typing the rest, I didn't actually read it since one of your assumptions was so naive.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rconnor - I look forward to your discussion about my points.

W.r.t. the pause - there is indeed a pause in atmospheric temperatures - the length depends on the specific metric. The alarm from the warming in the 1980's and 1990's came from rapidly rising atmospheric temperatures (we didn't have reliable measurements of ocean heat content over that time frame) - anyone who was alarmed about these rapidly rising temperatures should be ecstatic about the pause. That the prior alarm was about atmospheric temperatures and now has shifted to ocean heat content is a pea-thimble scam: there was no prior alarm in OHC, but now there is - there was prior alarm in atmospheric temperatures and now there is not.

W.r.t. ocean heating - I fail to see any alarm about oceanic heating on the order of 0.01-0.02°C - even if it is 10^22J. There's no catastrophe there - unless I am missing something. Thank whatever deity you believe in for the difference in specific heat capacity!

This radiative imbalance exists in computational models only. It is not a measured value, because of the measurement error overwhelming the "signal". It's unfortunate, but our observational capabilities are exceeded by our computational abilities. Maybe we should get some of these computer jockey's out of the office and out into the real world. And in-filling actual measured data from a mix of remote sensing and computer models (Cowtan and Way 2013) is somewhat interesting, but it is not data, and should not be presented or suggested as anything resembling data. Heck, it doesn't even reach the level of anecdotes. winky smile

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote (GregLocock)

I didn't actually read it since one of your assumptions was so naïve

This just perfectly illustrates the stubborn, ignorant responses that I’ve come to expect. What’s even more absurd is the VERY NEXT sentence after the one that you took issue with explains your exact stance.

Quote (rconnor)

To the layman, we think that this increased energy accumulation must result in continued surface temperature increases or the theory falls apart
I then go on to describe why that is an incredibly over simplified stance, in detail and with many references.

My entire post is dedicated towards providing evidence as to why this flippant (and ignorant) dismissal of the anthropogenic climate change theory is unfounded but you use that exact same flippant (and ignorant) dismissal to “justify” ignoring it. My post included:
1) Stating the predictions that the theory makes (radiative imbalance --> increased energy accumulation)
2) Stating the contention to the theory (if increased energy accumulation --> increased surface temperatures. If no increased surface temperatures --> no increased energy accumulation --> no radiative imbalance --> theory falls apart)
3) Explain why this is an overly simplified view point (ignores OHC, solar activity, short term effects of ENSO, heavily biased time frame, etc)
4) Conclude that when you take into account these other factors, the theory still stands

But you read (1) and then stop reading, ironically for the exact reasons described in (2). Then, because of this, you missed my argument for why (2) is not appropriate. It is fine to argue point (4) by providing counter arguments to what I say in point (3) but that’s not what you have done. You’ve read the premise, which you didn’t agree with, and then ignored the supporting evidence. And you accuse me of making a priori assumptions?

TGS4,
”Shifting the Goal Posts”
I’ll paraphrase your first point as the “shifting the goal posts” argument. I disagree, I feel this is more an example of developing a better understanding of the science. As non-experts, we perceive information through the lens of public communication of science. We get a simplified, bare-bones version of the actual research. Part of this simplification is that global temperatures are portrayed as the be-all, end-all metric of climate change as it is the easiest to understand. In the long term, that is somewhat true but given that there is so much noise in the data (ENSO, solar activity, volcanoes, etc.), it can mislead people in the short term. There are plenty of statements like “well it’s -20 here, so much for global warming” in the non-scientific community.

The true concern is over increased energy accumulation within the planet that is estimated to produce a host of changes, a rise in global temperatures being only one of them. So the recent discussion of OHC is not a shell game but the scientific community educating the public on the issue in more depth. OHC has been an area of focus for decades but is more recently brought to the foreground of discussion in the non-expert community because of claims regarding the “pause”.

Furthermore, "shifting the goal posts" is not really an argument against the thoery. Nothing said about global surface temperatures is invalidated whne bringing in OHC. In fact, you require both concepts to review the situation accurately. No one is saying “ignore surface temperatures now”, we are saying “interpret surface temperatures alongside OHC (and ENSO)”

Ocean Temperature Rise
I partly agree that the absolute temperature rise of the ocean isn’t necessarily an issue (it does affect sea levels though). However, heat in the ocean doesn’t stay in the ocean forever. Especially during El Nino events, some of the heat in the ocean is transferred to the atmosphere. If you look at the temperature trends, you see spikes during El Nino events and dips during La Nina (and volcanoes). From NOAA, here is a look at the temperature trend per year with El Nino and La Nina years highlighted (my early statement is false – looks like in that period it contained 8 La Nina Years and 2 El Nino years, the starting year and 2010 – the hottest year on record):



Think of the oceans as a storage tank, the sun as a compressor, global temperature as the system pressure and ENSO as a control valve. During a La Nina, the control valve is closed so while the tank pressure increases, the system pressure stays steady or drops. But when we switch to an El Nino, the valve opens and air from the tank drives the system pressure up.

To continue the analog, as ENSO is stochastic (as far as we can tell), the opening and closing of the valve is random. Therefore, the storage tank cannot be used as a means to control or regulate system pressure (i.e. claims that ENSO is responsible for global warming are incorrect as ENSO is about the temporary storage and release of energy). The only aspect that can control the system pressure in the long term is either (1) the compressor output or (2) the balance between air allowed to enter the system versus leave the system. Although solar output is variable, its average luminosity varies little over time and historical temperature vs solar activity correlations seem very weak. See below from the Stanford Solar Center:


Radiative Imbalance is Too Difficult to Measure
I do appreciate the fact that the error of radiative imbalance measurements is high and that a number is difficult to calculate. That is why the “pause” has weight because people that disagree with the TOA numbers look at surface temperatures and say “the TOA numbers are wrong because if they were right, we’d see consistently increasing surface temperatures”. My response is that is an over simplification – the imbalance can show up in other places, namely the ocean. So even if you don’t agree with TOA numbers, we can ignore them and still look to the finger prints of an energy imbalance – surface temperature increases, ocean heat content increases (upper and deep ocean), etc. As we’ve seen a steady increase in surface temperatures up until ~2000 and now we’ve seen a slowing in surface temperatures and upper ocean temperatures but an increase in the heat accumulation in the deep ocean, I believe we have empirical evidence that there is some form of energy imbalance. This, by itself, doesn’t prove that it is CO2 but if you can name another physical mechanism that does a better job at explaining these events and other changes in climate, then you are likely to get a Nobel Prize.

I suggest going through Cowtan and Way in a bit more detail (it’s free to the public now). The tests that they applied to the reconstructions may change your opinion. Even if it doesn’t, we can ignore their paper and that does very little to resurrect the “pause” as an argument with any weight. (I did chuckle at your last line. As a result of some of claims being made, I’ve been rather aggressive in my posts, so I appreciate adding in the humour to try and soften the tone of the discussion…I’ve actually softened my opening from what I first wrote)

To conclude, although there has been a slowing of global temperatures as of late, the “pause” does not invalidate the anthropogenic climate change theory. In fact, with our current understanding of global climate, you’d expect a temporary halt to surface temperature warming if studying a period that starts with a strong El Nino event and ends with a double-dip La Nina. You’d also expect that deep oceans appear to be warming faster than the upper ocean during La Nina events. And that is what we are seeing. No shifting the goal posts, no shell game, no reliance on evil climate models – just surface temperatures, OHC and ENSO.

I’d also like to (re) bring up the main point from this Tamino article. The warming rate from 1992 to 2006 for was 0.28 dec C/decade, which is faster than the warming from 1975 to now and faster than the IPCC models had predicted.

Did the corrupt climate scientists, bowing to their alter of profits, parade this as a dooms day warning? Did the alarmist IPCC, in an attempt at furthering their mission of world dominance, exploit this to force citizens to surrender more power to them?

No, the authors of the paper stated:
“The first candidate reason is intrinsic variability within the climate system” (Rahmstorf et al 2007)

As good scientists do, they attempted to understand the reason behind the data not force it to fit their assumptions. The fact that GregLocock and others have accused me (and the vast majority of the scientific community) of doing the latter by actually doing the latter himself is rather ironic.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Since you are trying to communicate it may be an idea to actually consider the reader's response to your words.

It is not flippant to ignore supposedly logical arguments if an axiom is wrong. As one mathermatician used to do when presented with another proof of some famous theorem, he would repsond with something along the lines of "the first error is on line X and I read no further".

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Either you don't understand what an axiom is or you wrongly believe that the radiative imbalance is an axiom.

If the radiative energy imbalance was presumed to be true (i.e. an axiom), NASA would not have sent a satellite into orbit FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF MEASURING THE ENERGY BUDGET.

Nor would the following papers need to written if they were studying axioms:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.2165...
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009JD0...
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/201104...
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/e...
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EnergyBa...
http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/wxwise/homerbe.html
And a just a few more from the ERBE team...and by a few I mean 416 publications

So no, the radiative energy imbalance is not an axiom; it's being studied, rigorously.

Furthermore, I don't assume a radiative imbalance to be true anywhere in my post; I think you are confusing my outline of the theory with me assuming all those points to be true. But, you see, I don't just assume - I've provided numerous links to references that support this point of a theory (which you've outright ignored). Again, I don't think you know what an axiom is because you don't provide supporting evidence to axioms in an attempt to validate the axiom - they are just assumed true by their nature.

The closest thing to a false axiom in this thread is the stance "16 years of steady surface temperatures invalidates the anthropogenic climate change theory". Although, I think it's more of an ignorant belief than an false axiom. You've offered no evidence to support it and I have provided ample to discredit it (which you've outright ignored). Yet you continue to cling to it as the foundation for your beliefs.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I am amazed more every day by humans ability to corrupt their rational thinking based on what they want to be true.
Even high intelligence cannot diminish the effect by itself.
To think clearly requires a person to recognize their wishes with respect to an issue and be constantly vigilant
against their biasing ones opinion.

I think so many in the climate debate want to believe it isn't true because of their vocation, or they have religious beliefs that are challenged
by the idea that we could harm our global environment. When discussing the issue with them they cycle back to the start and begin their arguments
all over even though they have been challenged successfully in their recent history. This must mean that the challenges are just not registering
even though presented well and no return argument is put forth at the time by the person who is skeptical of MMGW.

And yes those 'concerned' about MMGW have an interest in supporting the position they have staked out so they too must be ready to
consider biases in their though process.

It cannot be achieved completely, only Spock could do that.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

"I think so many in the climate debate want to believe it isn't true because of their vocation, or they have religious beliefs that are challenged by the idea that we could harm our global environment"

Or, perhaps, it's because no adequate, conclusive proof has been offered yet. Once conjecture, belief, and will become forms of concrete evidence, the AGW folks have their case made. Until then, the jury is still out, my friend.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Religious Beliefs that are challenged?? You won't win that one. That is why it is a religious belief, or what some people would call your belief in all this data.

I learned a long time ago "trust, but verify", so can this data be verified by some group that is not associated with the goverment and those who want to tax co2?

You see I just follow the money to find out where this came from.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Except you're looking at it backwards. Climate scientists not associated with the gov or making money off the issues (except being paid to study it) determined that there is a notable upward trend when they started compiling the best data we had. This led to some increases in spending to study the effect, like the improved weather satellites, and refinements of techniques to get more accurate data in places where it couldn't be directly measured as easily.

Only then did the government decide that taxing CO2 emissions might be a way to dissuade excess pollution, and promote greener thinking. Yes, follow the money, but do it chronologically as well as just looking at where the money trail is now.

Also, as I have seen asked before, there is a form of Pascal's Wager here that I think is appropriate: What if we're wrong about MMGW? We'll still wind up with cleaner air, cleaner water, a better environment overall, and possibly some nice new tech to make our lives better. If we're right, and we don't do anything (and it may be too late), the next generation(s) will be paying for it for a long time.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Chronologically??? Tax the effect, instead of the cause. Makes perfect sense to a bureaucrat, I suppose. I think it has been at least somewhat established, or open for discussion at the very least, that CO2 increases follow temperature rise, and not the inverse. Let's tax cancer, and car accident victims, and people who lose their homes in floods and other disasters. Hell, let's just sign all of our property over to the state and get it done with straightaway.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
"Climate scientists not associated with the gov or making money off the issues" ... Mann is one of these virtuous poeple, eh?

"Only then did the government decide ..." ... well, i'd suggest that Al Gore got involed pretty early on, and his masterpiece "Inconvenient Truth" is a realistic portraital of the future of the world?

"What if we're wrong about MMGW?" ... i'd say that then we'd've spent a lot of money making a few people quite rich and having next to no impact on the climate.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

We've also changed CO2 from being a benign gas into being an evil pollutant. Marketing people, politicians and newspaper hacks can't help themselves.

- Steve

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I'm working on a guidance document for the implementation of the EPA's GHG Reporting Rule in Oil & Gas (Subpart W). I have wanted to use your sentiment SomptingGuy a half dozen times today but I didn't have the words. Thanks for providing them.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

"What if we're wrong about MMGW? We'll still wind up with cleaner air, cleaner water, a better environment overall, and possibly some nice new tech to make our lives better."

True, for rich first world countries, but economists such as Lomberg would argue that the costs of doing so outweigh the advantages, and that a better approach /globally/ would be to carry on without extra taxes and prohibitions, and fund the adaptations necessary if GW turns out to be real (whether AGW or not) from the increased resulting global prosperity. Frankly solar and wind power are a rich people's solution, and there are 5 billion poor peole who want a/c and fridges, and will (and are) burning coal in order to get them.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Worldtraveller, folks here don't take kindly to that sort of sense.

I actually love your first point because it implicitly points to how a lot of "climate skeptics" formed their opinion - in reverse chronological order. The situation goes like this:
1) Scientists develop anthropogenic climate change theory
2) As the theory gains weight, politicians become concerned over the predictions it makes about future effects
3) Emission taxes/regulations are discussed as possible ways of subverting those effects
4) Skeptics don't like the sound of emission taxes/regulations
5) They begin to pick through the theory, looking for holes
There is nothing inherently wrong with 4 or 5, as long as the skeptics acknowledge the bias and attempt to minimize it when reviewing the evidence (such as understanding that a 15 year period that begins with the strongest El Nino event on record and contains 8 La Nina years and only one other El Nino year - that just so happens to be the hottest year on record - might be a rather biased time frame to draw conclusions from) *cough*. Or don't accuse people that agree with the anthropogenic climate change theory as being blinded by religious-like dogmatic ideology *cough*.

However, I don't love the use of Pascal's Wager as I think it does a disservice to the amount of research and evidence in support of the theory. Although I do agree with the premise of the point you make by bringing it up, to me it's an oversimplification of the problem. Although perhaps it's a better route to take as many have built up a resistance to hearing research or evidence:

Anything from the IPCC - biased research in order to scare politicians into creating a one-world government
Anything involving models - the models are wrong
Anything from peer-reviewed journals - biased research that is let through by the dishonest gatekeepers of the major journals
Anything involving temperature data - the temperature data is corrupt (except if it's the "pause" then it's ok...and it should be interpreted in isolation from any other data)

This resistance is used to "justify" a priori rejections of arguments by stating the argument makes a priori assumptions (without ever having actually read the argument).

Speaking of the "pause", I either want to hear further rebuttals to my points (OHC, ENSO, solar activity, lack of coverage in the Arctic and 20+ papers/articles in the 4+ posts I've made on the topic) or I don't want to have it regurgitated again. After that, I will go back to TGS4's points from Dec. 18.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rconnor,
There is a couple of points in your post that I have to take exception to.

I am a modeler. Computer models are useful tools. Models cannot prove anything, they are only able to project an hypotheses within the limits of the author's knowledge, bias, and abilities. They are very good for illuminating areas that need further study. In "climate science" they are simply taken as proof. Yep, you can spell that as "wrong" in my expert opinion.

There is no unadulterated temperature record. The reason that we "deniers" are willing to quote the pause in temperature change is because the pause is evident in an adulterated data set that includes all of the bias of the researcher's agenda. If they hadn't urinated all over the data, you have to wonder what the curve would look like. Even when they've done their worst, they can't force the data to be what it isn't.

As to "peer reviewed journals", there are just too many stories about papers that were rejected, modified, or re-spun to the party line to accept that the peer review is any more than a check for political purity that the KGB would have been proud of.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
"Anything from the IPCC - biased research in order to scare politicians into creating a one-world government
Anything involving models - the models are wrong
Anything from peer-reviewed journals - biased research that is let through by the dishonest gatekeepers of the major journals
Anything involving temperature data - the temperature data is corrupt"

... yep, just about sums it up. note i carefully didn't include your comment about the "pause" ... i believe short term trends show nothing about the long term ... i believe a short term heating trend in the 90s caused much of today's problems, much as a short term cooling trend in the 80s caused predictions of a new ice age.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I am curious how my peers judge this article:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/01/m-how_lefti...

Of course the word "leftist" used in a perjorative manner in the title tells you the author's perspective. However, I would like to know if my peers generally believe this person supported their thesis with facts or simply spread BS. I have my own opinion but I also learn much when my peers discuss issues that are important to me.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I don't know how members of the Church of AGW will react, but I liked that article a lot. He makes one of my points far better than I ever did:

Quote:

Much of the controversy about the question of man-caused global warming really has to do with the black box emulations that climatologists have created. It is important to recognize that such computer models are tautologies. They tell us the consequences of the assumptions that are built into them -- nothing more. If a model's prediction diverges from measured reality, we know that something is wrong with one, or more, of its assumptions. This divergence does not tell us which assumptions are wrong -- simply that at least one of them is wrong. That is all one needs to know to judge climate models.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

The good thing about the dialog between the skeptics and the enthusiasts is that it is flushing out issues, and forcing good science to be done. That may have happened without the skeptics, we can't tell.

I suspect that in 40 years time we'll actually have a good idea of CO2's contribution to global temperature, and an analytical understanding of the mechanisms by which that occurs.

However, what won't have happened is any stabilisation in fossil fuel usage by the majority of people on this planet. The USA, Europe, Japan and a few outliers may have indulged their consciences and switched to non fossil energy, but China and India between them will more than compensate. China is already a greater source of CO2 than the USA (not unfair, there are 3 times as many people there), and Asia without Japan already emits more in total than NA+Europe+Japan.




Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

zdas04 and rb1957, sounds like my view wasn’t misrepresentative then.

Skeptics seem to sit somewhere between a mistrust (TGS4 put it well with “noble cause corruption”) to accusations of a conspiracy against the experts in the field of climate science. Although many skeptics like to think of their noble fight against the majority of experts as analogous to Einstein/relativity vs. Newtonian physics or Heisenberg (and others)/quantum mechanics vs. classical physics, it’s actually closer to another “debate” still “active” in science – vaccinations.

Amongst experts in the medical field, the vast majority are in support of vaccinations. There is piles of peer-reviewed research that shows the positive effects of vaccinations. However, a few fringe papers (continually discredited – like the “pause”) and non-experts with anecdotal evidence attempt to cast doubt on the body of knowledge that supports vaccinations. They make similar claims to “follow the money” to illustrate a corrupt bias in the medical community. Vaccination manufacturers heavily influence the research and create “gate keepers” that only allow pro-vaccination research to be published. Furthering the analogy, the anti-vaccination crowd didn’t form their opinion through independent research, they heard about the “link” between vaccinations and autism and then combed through the research looking for holes or areas that supported this view (reverse chronological order, as stated before). They too accuse the pro-vaccination crowd as being “blind to the truth”.

In both cases, the skeptic camp shares the same views – don’t trust the peer-reviewed research, don’t trust the experts, don’t trust the data but do trust the non-expert opinion on the matter. This creates a mindset that becomes very difficult to debate with as the person feels justified in categorically rejecting most research/evidence from the other side while allowing non-expert, non-reviewed statements to be accepted with little skepticism. Again, I think the “pause” is a perfect example of this (and I very much so appreciate your sentiment on that topic, rb1957).

Debodine, re: the article
Yep the author’s viewpoint is quite clear, so is his expertise in the area of climate science. Chet Richards may be well reserved in statistical modeling for strategic defense purposes but, like many other modellers with experience in unrelated fields, he incorrectly assumes it makes him an expert on climate models.

His opening point on black boxes is a good one but then it seems to fall apart with the statement “It is important to recognize that such computer models are tautologies”. He then rushes to the grandiose (and tiresome and oversimplified and incorrect) conclusion that if models haven’t correctly modelled the short term “pause” that they cannot be trusted. I’ll explain both aspects in more depth:

How Climate Models Work – From People Who Model Climate
To start, some history on Climate Change Science from AIP.

History of GCM Models from AIP.

(For those interested, history of temperature trends from AIP – NASA talks about changes to GISSTamino on temperature records)

Real Climate’s article on models vs temperature trends (2012). (note: Gavin Schmidt runs Real Climate and is an active, published climate scientist)

Real Climate’s article on “Is Climate Modelling Science?”

Real Climate’s FAQ on Climate Models

Gavin Schmidt “On Mismatches Between Models and Observations”

And if you want to review the models themselves, most of it is open source and can be found under “Model codes” here

Climate Model Accuracy and “The Pause”
Well, here we go again...the “pause” gets brought in once again!

As far as we know, ENSO is stochastic – we cannot predict what ENSO condition we will be in 3 years from now or 4 years or 5, etc. However, as ENSO is all about the short term storage (La Nina) and release (El Nino) of heat from the ocean into the atmosphere, it’s long term effect will balance. So models don’t attempt to predict what specific year will have which specific ENSO event, they blend out over the course of various model runs. In the long run, it doesn’t make a difference. If you disagree with this and think that ENSO has some regulating effect, then publish that theory – climate science would love to hear it.

So, when we enter a period that starts with the strongest El Nino event on record and includes 3 ENSO neutral years, 1 El Nino (hottest year on record) and 8 La Nina years (oh ya, and a weak sun and increased deep ocean heat content) – you are going to get irregularly cool temperature trend. The models can’t predict this because, as stated above, ENSO is stochastic. If in the next 15 years, with a few El Nino’s, a few La Nina’s and a few neutral years, we still see steady temperatures THEN climate models have a problem.

Furthermore, when removing the effects of ENSO from the temperature record show, models do incredibly well at estimating temperatures. For the 5th time, look at these papers:
Balmaseda et al 2013
Abraham et al 2013
Levitus et al 2012
Foster and Rahmstorf 2011
Kosaka and Xie 2013 ( Tamino Article on the paper)
Cowtan and Way 2013 (RC article on the paper)
General Discussion on “the pause”

Other Naïve or Incorrect or Misleading Statements in the Article
----“Solar wind, interacting with the Earth's magnetic field, may be a cause of the Little Ice Ages, or so some people hypothesize. In any case, solar wind effects are not built into the climate models -- so their absence may be one of the faulty assumptions.”

The LIA may have been caused by the Milankovich cycle, increased volcanic activity, altered ocean current flows (thermohaline circulation), reforestation following decreases in human population OR solar activity.

Solar activity and global temperatures (again):

Meehl et al 2004, Stone et al 2007, Lean and Rind 2008, Huber and Knutti 2011, and IPCC
Oh and this great history of the relationship of Solar activity and climate science from the AIP. The long and short is that solar activity has a weak effect on temperatures but absolutely is considered in climate modeling. Chet should have done some research.

---“Climatologists assume that this relatively constant solar irradiance is true for all time, but it may not be so”
Again, see the history of climate science and solar activity. Chet should have done some research (I mean really, all you need to do is search “solar activity climate models” on Google).

----“Which of these competing cloud effects is dominant? Negative feedback, obviously. Let me explain:… The resulting random walk process would eventually push the Earth's temperature to a hot or cold extreme, and the Earth would be dead…I note that the Earth is alive”

He says that because the Earth hasn’t snowballed into a runaway state (in the cold or hot direction) that there is a balancing act that regulates temperatures. Without any real evidence, he says this is “obviously” due to clouds! No need to worry – clouds will save us! This absurdly silly argument gets a silly (but appropriate) retort – ask the Dinosaurs why you don’t need a runaway effect to seriously threaten the survival of a species (or the 99.9% of species that are now extinct on a planet that is still “alive”). Why do I have to explain this to educated people? And don’t reply saying “those are natural cycles, so it proves that earth’s climate changes naturally” – yes it changes naturally but his point is that there is a balancing force that prevents earth’s climate from snowballing. Sure, but that doesn’t mean that the fluctuations in temperature over short GEOLOGICAL TIMES can’t royally screw over a species.

Furthermore, climate scientists know that we are likely not to have a runaway temperature rise like Venus because of anthropogenic CO2. If Chet did a bit of research, he would know this – “runaway greenhouse effect – analogous to Venus – appears to have virtually no chance of being induced by anthropogenic activities” (IPCC) or “A runaway greenhouse could in theory be triggered by increased greenhouse forcing, but anthropogenic emissions are probably insufficient” (Goldblatt et al, 2012. But that doesn’t mean it won’t adversely affect humans.

Chet really should have done some research…

Concluding Points on the Article
The article speaks to what I said early about oversimplified, un- to under-researched, un- to under-referenced opinions by non-experts being taken as valid by “skeptics” that don’t apply the same form of skepticism to opinions that reinforce their viewpoint. Look at the number of references – zero. Look at the number of quantitative facts – zero (you can’t really count his rough emissitivity numbers as they contain nebulous qualifiers and no references). How you can attempt to argue climate science without either, I don’t understand. But it sounds quasi-reasonable (as long as you don’t look at it too closely…like, you know, using google), so people will gobble it up. (I made the mistake of reading a few comments…just wow…).

I appreciate you sharing this article and opening it up for criticism because I think it’s a great example of the point I’m trying to make – for many “skeptics”, their skepticism only works in one direction.

still waiting on hearing some rebuttals towards my arguments against the pause

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

3
rconnor,
I promised myself I wouldn't do it again, but I did. I read all of the links (and followed the links within links) in your post and I find the reverence that the articles hold the term "climate physics" to be amazing. One of the elements of that "physics" is fluid mechanics. I have spent my life in that field and claim a bit of knowledge there. In that field there are a half dozen closed-form equations, thousands of special cases that converge to a closed form equation if you ignore inconvenient truths like body forces, rigid body rotation, swirl, and friction. Ignoring any of those real forces in a model really and truly turns the "physics" into "random number generation". Article after article after article claimed "physics" like a Viking claimed "the hand of Odin". Presenting deviations in model behavior as "proof" that the model is working is more than slightly disingenuous. Like any religion, the list of readings that you provide over and over again are only going to convince current members of your faith.

While the words of many in this field say that "it isn't really a positive feedback loop", they all bow to Mann's almighty Hockey Stick which is nothing but the result of a positive feedback loop.

Your "in depth explanation" really and truly added no value. Sorry, I've read those hymns before. The explanation that you put forth for the pause in warming feels very much like a cat scratching on a tile floor. 100 years from now scientists will look back at this nonsense and file it away with other pseudo-sciences of the past. They all feel so real while you are living them, and look so very ridiculous in retrospect.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
isn't the ENSO condition pretty central to the climate state ?
then if "we cannot predict what ENSO condition we will be in 3 years from now or 4 years or 5, etc" what's the value of the predictions ?
and saying "it’s long term effect will balance." and "In the long run, it doesn’t make a difference." is just what you're saying others are saying ... unsupported self-proclaimed "facts".

if ENSO is responsible (at least in part) for heat transfer between the ocean and the atmosphere, surely it's relevant and not to be dismissed 'cause we don't understand how it works.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
"The long and short is that solar activity has a weak effect on temperatures" ... really? that big glowing ball in the sky has little effect of global climate (or temperature) ? i guess that's where we part company.

as for disinterested scientists seeking only truth, how did Mann (presumably a disinterested scientist seeking truth) allow himself to produce a graph that produced the same result with a white noise input? and where was the peer review that questioned his results and revalidated his curve? Why was his "corrupted" curve only revealed when a non climate scientist asked those questions? IMHO the curve was the result desired and all questioning stopped there.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rb1957, yes - ENSO is very central to the state of climate on a year to year basis. I suggest reading on ENSO in more detail. You’re welcome to go back and look at my compressed air system analogy (at 23 Dec 18:23) if that helps. Another very good run down by Tamino can be found here. I strongly recommend reading it as, like you said, ENSO is an important aspect. You may also review NOAA’s FAQ on the topic.

Again, ENSO is about the storage (during La Nina’s) and release (during El Nino’s) of heat in the oceans. This is caused by changes in atmospheric pressure and trade winds which brings warmer water that normally pools deeper in the ocean near Indonesia to the surface and across to the west coast of South America (during El Nino).

As far as the research shows, it has no significant effect on climate in long term as it is (1) temporary, with ENSO events lasting ~1 year to 18 months, (2) stochastic, with the norm being (roughly) oscillating between El Nino and La Nina events, and (3) does not impose any long term change in forcing (cloud coverage and precipitation change during these events but no research I’ve seen demonstrates a significant, lasting effect).

To your two quotes that you took exception to, replace ENSO with volcanoes and you’ll see why your argument is rather thin. Can you predict, in the long term, when we will have major volcanic eruptions? No, neither can any expert on the planet. However, aerosols will go into the air, cool the planet for a few years, dissipate and then the climate goes back to normal trends (unless it is a super massive eruption that flips the stability of the climate).

The same applies for ENSO. We have an El Nino – the planet experiences a slightly warmer year. We have a La Nina – the planet experiences a slightly cooler year. Neither La Nina or El Nino events have any notable effect on climate after the event. No trends have been changed in either case. A great illustration of this lack of effect on long term temperature trends by ENSO is when you compare all El Nino years with each other, all La Nina years with each other and all ENSO neutral years with each other. Here is what you get (graphs by me in excel (file attached) usingGISS data (black line) with 3 trend lines for El Nino years (red line), neutral years (green line) and La Nina & Volcano years (blue line), from NOAA data):

First graph - GISS Surface Temperature Anomalies °C from 1950 (start of ENSO data from NOAA) – Present:

Here we see a linear warming trend of 0.162 °C/decade for the Total Data set. This is very closely matched by the warming trend of El Nino years (0.164 °C/decade), neutral years (0.175 °C/decade) and La Nina years (0.0176 °C/decade). The R^2 is pretty consistent across all 4 trends, which shows a good comparative relationship between the 3 separated trend lines and the total data set. As expected, the ENSO neutral years line is in between the El Nino and La Nina years lines. The total trend line is also very close to the ENSO neutral years line. We can conclude, unsurprisingly that El Nino years are hotter than normal, La Nina are cooler and neutral years are pretty standard.

An important thing to note is that the average of model runs will tend to track the Neutral years trend. As can be seen here, in the long term, the effect of short term El Nino’s and La Nina’s averages out and the Neutral years trend is very close to the total data set.

Second graph – GISS Surface Temperature Anomalies °C from 1983 – Present (30 year period):

Same trends apply to the most recent 30 year period, however we see faster warming rates. Note that this period is heavy on the La Nina years, mainly due to the two major volcanic eruptions (El Chichon which affected 1983-1984 and Mount Pinatubo which affected 1992-1993), as well as the La Nino dominated period of the early 21st century. This is the reason why the Neutral years trend appear to be a little hotter than the total years trend.

The R^2 for this period are still strong when comparing the 3 separated trends against the total trend. Again, this supports the hypothesis, that (1) ENSO is short term noise and (2) when you account for it, the trends are very clear and very positive.

Third graph - GISS Surface Temperature Anomalies °C from 1998 – Present (The “Pause”):

The R^2 of course goes down due to the small sample set we have to work with. It would be the height of hypocrisy for anyone that spews the “pause” as reason to falsify the theory to claim that the sample set in this graph is too small to draw any conclusions from. Either it’s too small both or it’s adequate for both. Although I’d learn towards the former, in which case we can stop the conversation here and the points above still apply. However, as the “pause” keeps getting brought up, we’ll analysis this period assuming the latter.

The El Nino years only contain two points but still sit at the top end, Neutral in the middle and La Nina at the lower end. The Neutral years and La Nina years show positive warming close to that of the 60 year period and we can’t really say anything about the El Nino years trend when it only has two data points. The total data is rather flat but this is expected due to the dominance of La Nina years during this period (as well as low solar activity). The neutral years, which attempts to ignore the short term effect of ENSO and matches most closely model predictions, has a warming rate on par with the 30 year trend.

To conclude, when separating out ENSO years, you see El Nino years at the hot end, Neutral in the middle and La Nina years at the cool end. In the long term, there is no pattern to the ENSO events but El Nino, Neutral, La Nina and Total Data have very similar trends. During short term periods, where one ENSO event dominates the other, the Total Data trend is dragged down if dominated by La Nina and it could be projected to be dragged up if dominated by El Nino years. However, the Neutral years trend maintains a consistent and steadily increasing trend. Therefore, I feel this analysis validates my stance that “The Pause” is merely the result of a taking a short term trend that is dominated by La Nina years (and low solar activity) and it is not a valid argument against the anthropogenic climate change theory. Furthermore, this analysis validates my stance that ENSO is (1) temporary (La Nina dominated periods don’t affect Neutral years nor do El Nino/La Nina dominated periods last for very long), (2) stochastic (no apparent predictable metric to estimate ENSO events in the long term other than the fact they tend to oscillate) and (3) does not impose long term changes in climate forcings (again, Neutral years remain unaffected when reviewing 60 year, 30 year or 15 year trends).

rb1957, herein lies the difference between me and others which I criticize – my opinion on ENSO and the “pause” comes from review of the published literature on the subject, which I’ve referenced in each of my posts. When I’m challenged, I address the criticism and provide references or do my own analysis. No categorical rejections – instead I use references and analysis to support my viewpoint. Furthermore, I attempt to establish a narrative to my viewpoints and then compare that to multiple independent lines of evidence.

I am more than open to seeing research that links ENSO to long term climate forcing or a “regulating” mechanism within ENSO that causes more La Nina events during warmer periods and more El Nino events during cooler periods (but even that would be short term regulation and couldn’t do anything to effect climate trends) – and so is the field of climate science. If someone could demonstrate a link, it would be a very important improvement in our understanding of global climate. I’ve never seen anything published on the subject but, again, would be very interesting if you knew of anything I’ve missed. I’ve read a few of Bob Tisdale’s blog posts on the subject but he fails to explain how a short term, quasi-oscillating storage and release of energy can cause any long term climate trends. If he did, he would have a very interesting argument (which would be easily published...instead of insulating it from criticism by only promoting it on biased blog sites).

For stark contrast, look at zdas04’s last post (which at this point has 3 stars). His response to my post which makes a point-by-point critique of the paper by Chet Richards using links to peer-reviewed papers and articles from actual climate scientists and major scientific institutions is:
“I don’t agree with your references [with no specific explanation as to why nor where exactly the references are wrong]. You are wrong [with a bunch of garbage relating the theory to a religion spliced in...again with no explanation as to why the analogy is appropriate]“. I can’t respond to it because, as it is content-less dribble where no rational arguments are even attempted, there’s nothing to respond to. How he gets 3 stars and I get accused of making a priori assumptions, I’ll never understand – I’m really flabbergasted.

...and rb1957, I’ve been over the Sun before but I’ll repeat it again. Of course the sun is the largest driver for the climate on earth in an absolute sense...of course! However, can variations in solar activity explain the variations in global temperatures? My research on the subject says no. Your intuition might say otherwise but that means very little to me. For the third time, from the Stanford Solar Center:



...and re: Hockey Stick see here

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
i'll reserve comment on your GISS data ... i'll have to look into what "anormality" means; but looking at your first graph ... there seems to be a reasonable trand through 50+ years of different ENSO events.

for me the sun's effect on climate is more than sun spots ... i've read that Milanovich cycles (ie variations in the earth's orbit) account for much of the heating being observed.

as for the hockey stick, i've already read your link ... not impressed. Mann's analysis has in my mind been completely refuted. Now if other researchers come up with the same conclusion, why is their work irrefutible ? in my mind they tainted with the same smear (if one report prepared by an honest scientist, peer reviewed, is clearly "flawed" why not the others ?) if someone took the time (as McIntyre did for Mann) and validated the findings then that'd be something. Sorry, Mann's report shows clearly that peer review is only as good as the questions asked ... clearly the process failed in Mann's case.

a fundamental problem i have with the proposition that the heating observed is due to CO2 produced over the last 100 years is that this time response is very quick; compared with predictions that even if we stopped CO2 production (all held our breaths?) that gloabl climate would continue along the path for a long time to come (a very long time response).

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I have to admit that the amound of research rconner submits is quite extensive and supports his thesis. However, when I read articles such as this one below, I find myself wondering about all the underlying data and assumptions built into the research? Of course I have never met the writer of this article and have no valid means of verifying the integrity of his data except to retrace his steps and I do not have the expertise to do that. So I throw this out to others better qualified than I so that I can continue to learn from the responses.

And to all who are taking the time to respond, I greatly appreciate your efforts. I will never be a world class expert on this subject, but I do (like all members of humanity) have a vested interest in the public policy decisions that may result from this area of research.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/06/the-original...

And to be open about my biases, I am firmly in the skeptic camp until someone can say they have obtained the world-wide original raw temperature data prior to any adjustments by any other entity. As an engineer, I know all too well the results of a well executed design and installation that is based upon assumptions or information that has been "adjusted" by others.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rconnor,

As always, you have provided an wealth of information and references to the peer-reviewed literature (or pal-reviewed, but that's another discussion).

I would like to re-enter this discussion by talking about energy. I really wish that I could believe you that (what I was talking about w.r.t. shifting the goalposts) scientists have started talking about OHC and total energy only because the science has started to advance. I think that both of us can agree that, in this context, the "science" is certainly not settled.

Anyway... Ii think that we agree that energy, in the form of fluxes and storage, are really THE issue here. Good. Let's address them, shall we. Most of the information, metrics, etc that you have shared are all based on something either called or akin to a global average temperature. That's an interesting mathematical construct, but as engineers I think that we can agree that it is meaningless. The key is energy, or enthalpy, if you will. An average temperature can be useful in this context only if the specific heat capacity of air is constant for that range of temperatures creating said average. So, let's examine that assumption:
  • For dry air, cp varies from 1.005 to 1.009 [kJ/kg*K] (http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-properties-d... for temperatures in the range of -50°C to 60°C). That's a pretty small variation - so far so good.
  • For non-dry air (i.e. real world conditions), the specific heat capacity will range from 1.005 (cold, where total moisture content is virtually zero) to 1.095 [kJ/kg*K] (40°C @ 100% RH - http://www.coolit.co.za/airstate/airmoistobject.ht...). Of course, moist air has a higher mass, so the difference in volumetric heat capacity are even larger.
That is at least a 9% difference in energy capacity. Considering that we are talking about a purported heat flux variation (for an anthropogenic fingerprint w.r.t. CO2) of less than 1% of the total flux, such an error in assumption for the non-changing nature of specific heat capacity of moist/dry air is unacceptable.

So, from my perspective, any correlation/computation/metric that uses some averaged temperature over time is pretty much useless. So, unfortunately, I think that we can reject, out of hand, almost all of those lovely references that you provided. They are somewhat interesting, but because they lack any sort of engineering rigour, in my opinion they fail.

Next, let's talk OHC (ocean heat content). Again, we have a measure of temperature of the water, but the issue should really be energy. Water's specific heat capacity varies from 4.210 to 4.179 [kJ/kg*K] (http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/water-thermal-pr... - granted, that's water, not sea water, but for the sake of argument, let's go with that). That's a variation of 0.74%. That's certainly better than for air. And, let's also run with the assumption that, when the OHC content numbers are calculated, that the temperature-specific specific heat capacity is used for each measurement. Our only reliable OHC measurements have come from the ARGO floats system. They have been providing us with very good data. The ARGO floats were started to be deployed in 2000 and achieved a float-count of 3000 (the desired number for reasonable coverage) in 2007. They currently have 3589 floats (http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/About_Argo.html). So, from an engineering perspective, I think that we can have confidence in the global nature of the OHC data from 2007 onwards. That's a whopping 6 years of data - not even half of a solar cycle. It's great that we have this data, and I look forward to figuring out what we can make of this data in 50-60 years.

With respect to models, I would also like to share a post from Dr. Robert G. Brown at Duke University Department of Physics. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/18/the-ensemble... For all you haters, suck up your dislike for the site and read the post. Then, tell me how you like your models.

W.r.t. "the pause", it's actually less about the pause in global warming of average air temperatures (which I just demonstrated to be more than a bit sketchy), it's the divergence between the models (see the Dr. Brown post above, though, for some additional context) and actual measured temperatures.

When the models are "tuned" to have high sensitivity to CO2, with a myriad of positive feedbacks, they have overshot the actual air temperature over the last 15+ years. So, either (a) the equilibrium sensitivity to CO2 is wrong, (b) the feedbacks are incorrect, (c) there are other processes not simulated/understood that are overwhelming, or (d) all of the above. None of those answers bode well for the catastrophic anthropogenic-CO2-generated thermageddon hypothesis.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Those are very good points, and the article is excellent. When speaking of averaging model results, the author makes a great point:

Quote:

So why buy into this nonsense by doing linear fits to a function — global temperature — that has never in its entire history been linear, although of course it has always been approximately smooth so one can always do a Taylor series expansion in some sufficiently small interval and get a linear term that — by the nature of Taylor series fits to nonlinear functions — is guaranteed to fail if extrapolated as higher order nonlinear terms kick in and ultimately dominate? Why even pay lip service to the notion that R^2 or p for a linear fit, or for a Kolmogorov-Smirnov comparison of the real temperature record and the extrapolated model prediction, has some meaning? It has none.

Let me repeat this. It has no meaning! It is indefensible within the theory and practice of statistical analysis. You might as well use a ouija board as the basis of claims about the future climate history as the ensemble average of different computational physical models that do not differ by truly random variations and are subject to all sorts of omitted variable, selected variable, implementation, and initialization bias. The board might give you the right answer, might not, but good luck justifying the answer it gives on some sort of rational basis.

This statement applies to every single graph in rconnor's post above. They are all an abuse of statistics, physics, and even simple logic.

He even made my point about physics

Quote:

We cannot solve the many body atomic state problem in quantum theory exactly any more than we can solve the many body problem exactly in classical theory or the set of open, nonlinear, coupled, damped, driven chaotic Navier-Stokes equations in a non-inertial reference frame that represent the climate system.
but he made it far better.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
ocean thermal energy measured by surface temperature ? i accept it's the best we can do, but i'm willing to bet that it (surface temperature) won't tell us much about the temperature at depth, and so not much about the ocean's thermal energy. typical science ... the more you know the more questions you have !

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rb1957 - ARGO measures ocean temperatures (and salinity) down to a depth of 2000m. The data is pretty good - there's just so little of it temporally.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
damn, knew i should've looked into that !!

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

From Robert G. Brown

""Note the implicit swindle in this graph — by forming a mean and standard deviation over model projections and then using the mean as a “most likely” projection and the variance as representative of the range of the error, one is treating the differences between the models as if they are uncorrelated random variates causing >deviation around a true mean!.""

He first notes that the model end results look like " it looks like the frayed end of a rope "
Then he chastises the use of these end results which are frayed as he says to choose a mean result likely error based on
the supposed correlation between the results. Seems contradictory to me right at the start.

So this 'correlation' is not evident in the graphs so where is the source of the correlation. Of course there is some
but it would have to be significant to invalidate expecting the mean result of the models. They do this predicting
the most likely landfall of a hurricane and in Monte Carlo simulation.

One frequent method of the skeptics is to dump reams of graphs and isolated data sources along with comments that really only raise doubt
when nothing has been provided to raise the doubt. Random cherry picked charts and trends do not make data. And no I do not believe
climate scientists are doing this.

Regarding the placement of temperature sensors along the coastlines. Which location is more likely to capture a temperature closer to the real average
temperature of a zone of air. Up in the wind blowing from the Ocean or down in a valley out of the prevailing wind and sheltered from sun.

My position statement in short.
I do not believe the scientists are all involved in a conspiracy, nor are they stupid.
The data fusion methods are too involved for most people who do not specialize in this area.
We have observed an unusual warming in the last 2000 years that just so happens to occur at the same time unusual CO2 emissions were released.
The theory of greenhouse gasses is established and over 100 years old which is long before anyone though seriously about MMGW.
Gov probably is salivating at an opportunity to tax for its own benefit.
The lack of reliable peer reviewed research taking on MMGW from the skeptical side is revealing given the money surely available to anyone who could seriously cast doubt on MMGW.
Nothing will be done because people will listen to what they want to hear and someone will always tell them there is no MMGW.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
i think a monte carlo simulation is quite different to averaging different climate models.

monte carlo varies inputs in a known, orderly manner, trying to determine a range of possible outcomes, allowing you some confidence/probability that the outcome will be in a particular range.

reading his story about modelling electrons, i think he's saying the models aren't comparable ... they attempt to be "better" than previous models by adding in more interactions, influences, etc. i think if the models were derived in isolation then you might have something you could average ... each being a reasonably equal depiction of the real world

as for skeptics "cherry picking" ... well, everyone does, there is too much material to refer to all of it. everyone picks data that supports their proposition.

why do you think there's no peer review of skeptic reports ? i'd've thought that all reports published have peer review. mind you i don't think that that is a guarrantee of quality.

and "nothing will be done" ... well, i think too much has been done already ! I fear more will be done in the future with little positive impact on what they're trying to "fix".

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Consiter that when it cold, we make heat. But when it's hot we don't always make cold.

Not that it means anything.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

KENAT - the amount of "heat" that we add to the global system directly (by converting all man-made energy - fossil fuels included - completely to heat) is less than 0.01% of the amount of energy that we get from the sun.

We used, in 2008 (ref) 144e15 W*hr. Or, in convenient engineering unit: 5.184E20 J. Based on an average solar irradiance of 341.5 W/m², and a global surface area of 510,072,000 km², the annual solar energy input to the planet's system is ~5.5e24 J. So, man's energy generation contribution is 9.43e-3% of the total solar input.

Perhaps this small little calculation can show why some people have a difficult time believing that we can have a huge impact on the global climate...

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

debodine, thank you for the head nod. I also greatly appreciate your humility on your expertise and you opening articles you find interesting to criticism. This kind of attitude is great to see, I really applaud you for it. If you are interested in learning about temperature data from both sides, I've already listed a few places to begin researching the viewpoint of supporters of the climate change theory. WUWT seems to be the most popular place to go for the other side (I'll avoid making any more comments...note: I read WUWT on a weekly basis). Also, see the story about Richard Muller below under the "Temperature Data Sets" section.

TGS4,

Temperatures Trends are "Useless"
I'm confused as to your argument that short term fluctuations in temperature and humidity can vary the cp of air, therefore global average temperatures over decades are "useless". Some times/places are a bit hotter, some are a bit colder. Some times/places are a bit less humid, some are a bit more humid. But the data that shows that, across all of those locations, the average temperature trends warmer helps minimize that worry. It's a weird argument.

Same with OHC. I've presented the data, it shows warming. Warming = more kJ. Increased heat content = more kJ. So, what's your point?
Graphs from NOAA




So you say the concern is about energy - like the increased heat content in those images? I'd agree, it's a bit of a concern!

You feel it's more appropriate to talk about fluxes? Fine. Wait, that sounds familiar...oh right, I can't say anything about fluxes because the data is too imprecise! So, if I pander to your assertions, I can't argue from either side! But if you want to talk fluxes, see my post where I had to tell GregLocock what an axiom is:

Quote (rconnor)

If the radiative energy imbalance was presumed to be true (i.e. an axiom), NASA would not have sent a satellite into orbit FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF MEASURING THE ENERGY BUDGET.

Nor would the following papers need to written if they were studying axioms:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.2165...
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009JD0...
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/201104...
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/e...
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EnergyBa...
http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/wxwise/homerbe.html
And just a few more from the ERBE team...and by a few I mean 416 publications

There's a new paper that just got released on the subject. It also discusses water vapor, which you brought up before. Worth a read (Sherwood et al, 2014 or a watch).

The "Pause" is About Models, Not Temperatures
Did you read what I said about ENSO?

Quote (rconnor)

rb1957, yes - ENSO is very central to the state of climate on a year to year basis. I suggest reading on ENSO in more detail. You’re welcome to go back and look at my compressed air system analogy (at 23 Dec 18:23) if that helps. Another very good run down by Tamino can be found here. I strongly recommend reading it as, like you said, ENSO is an important aspect. You may also review NOAA’s FAQ on the topic.

Again, ENSO is about the storage (during La Nina’s) and release (during El Nino’s) of heat in the oceans. This is caused by changes in atmospheric pressure and trade winds which brings warmer water that normally pools deeper in the ocean near Indonesia to the surface and across to the west coast of South America (during El Nino).

As far as the research shows, it has no significant effect on climate in long term as it is (1) temporary, with ENSO events lasting ~1 year to 18 months, (2) stochastic, with the norm being (roughly) oscillating between El Nino and La Nina events, and (3) does not impose any long term change in forcing (cloud coverage and precipitation change during these events but no research I’ve seen demonstrates a significant, lasting effect).

To your two quotes that you took exception to, replace ENSO with volcanoes and you’ll see why your argument is rather thin. Can you predict, in the long term, when we will have major volcanic eruptions? No, neither can any expert on the planet. However, aerosols will go into the air, cool the planet for a few years, dissipate and then the climate goes back to normal trends (unless it is a super massive eruption that flips the stability of the climate).

The same applies for ENSO. We have an El Nino – the planet experiences a slightly warmer year. We have a La Nina – the planet experiences a slightly cooler year. Neither La Nina or El Nino events have any notable effect on climate after the event. No trends have been changed in either case. A great illustration of this lack of effect on long term temperature trends by ENSO is when you compare all El Nino years with each other, all La Nina years with each other and all ENSO neutral years with each other. Here is what you get...
Why is it important to get 100% right something that has a large effect on year-to-year temperatures but no possible mechanism for effecting long term trends? If you're worried about short, term cherry picked trends, it matters a lot. If you're worried about long term trends, it has very little impact (as my analysis demonstrates clearly - but which you've danced around by dismissing temperature data "out-of-hand"). Again, if you can show me reviewed research that says a physical mechanism inherent with ENSO has long term effects on climate, I'd be all ears. It would go a long way to support your point.

Temperature Data Sets - One Skeptics Search from the Truth!
While on the support of temperature data sets, let me tell you a story about one of the most vocal voices against temperature data sets - Dr. Richard Muller. Muller was very critical of the whole anthropogenic climate change theory. In particular, he was critical of the temperature data sets and was likely a supporter of (or even quoted in) many of the blog posts that convinced you that they were all rubbish. So what did Muller do? Well, he developed his own data set at Berkley to eliminate all the forms of bias or "corruption" in the data.

And what did his own data do to his opinion? Completely inverted it. From Muller himself, is a piece in the New York Times on his conversion. From the article,

Quote (Richard Muller)

CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.
Some more great snippets from the article,
"These findings are stronger than those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations group that defines the scientific and diplomatic consensus on global warming"
A skeptic validating the results of the evil IPCC, blasphemy!

"...it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases."
That's not very "skeptical" of him to say. How dare he let data influence his opinion!

" We carefully studied issues raised by skeptics: biases from urban heating (we duplicated our results using rural data alone), from data selection (prior groups selected fewer than 20 percent of the available temperature stations; we used virtually 100 percent), from poor station quality (we separately analyzed good stations and poor ones) and from human intervention and data adjustment (our work is completely automated and hands-off). In our papers we demonstrate that none of these potentially troublesome effects unduly biased our conclusions."
Oh boy...kinda looks like when you're skeptical of the science but then actually review the science, you see it's pretty solid. Solid enough to completely and publicly change one of the most prominent skeptic's mind.

Let's compare this to another vocal "skeptic", blogger Anthony Watts. When discussing the upcoming BEST results in 2011, Watts [link http://web.archive.org/web/20110309024818/http://w... the following[/link]:

Quote (Anthony Watts)

I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong....the method isn’t the madness that we’ve seen from NOAA, NCDC, GISS, and CRU....That lack of strings attached to funding, plus the broad mix of people involved especially those who have previous experience in handling large data sets gives me greater confidence in the result being closer to a bona fide ground truth than anything we’ve seen yet. Dr. Fred Singer also gives a tentative endorsement of the methods....Climate related website owners, I give you carte blanche to repost this.

Oh, so did Anthony Watts convert with Muller? Did he accept the results as he said he would? Nope, just lots of back tracking and "explanations" about this stance.

Grant Foster has a nice rundown of the whole situation at his blog.

zdas04, re: linear trend lines
Yup, my analysis was a rough linear approximation of trends. I'm not a full-time climate scientists but it still is appropriate enough to support my earlier statements and is in-line with research by actual full-time climate scientists. If you want in-depth analysis of the trends and ENSO, look back at the following papers posted before:

Quote (rconnor)

Balmaseda et al 2013
Abraham et al 2013
Levitus et al 2012
Foster and Rahmstorf 2011
Kosaka and Xie 2013 ( Tamino Article on the paper)
Cowtan and Way 2013 (RC article on the paper)
General Discussion on “the pause”
Regarding smoothing and trend analysis (using high-order polynomial fits), Tamino (aka Grant Foster, published statistician in the area of climate science) speaks to this at this blog. His post was so strong, he forced an apology out of the blogger who made similar claims to the one quoted in your post. Foster, promised to do a series on "smoothing" if he apologized and, keeping to his word, is currently doing a multi-part series on the topic.

It's funny that you accuse those in my camp of shifting the goal posts when I keep having to repeat the same thing as you jump between the issue du jour.
1) The "pause" disproves the theory (temperatures)
a) No it doesn't - OHC, low solar activity, ENSO.
2) Temperature trends can't prove anything, it's about fluxes
b) Ah, ok. OHC (still), radiative imbalance
3) The radiative imbalance is too imprecise to mean anything. The models use them and they are failing to predict the "pause" (re-introduce the "pause" in circular reasoning).
c) The "pause" is due to a short term, La Nina dominated period. Nothing can predict ENSO events as they are stochastic but they oscillate and are shown to have no long term impact on trends. Therefore, models aren't proven wrong because they don't track this short term biased time frame.
4) I don't believe that, period.
d) Ok, look at all the research on ENSO. If you can show me reviewed research that says otherwise, I'd be happy to entertain it.
5) (Nothing on ENSO) Temperature data sets are wrong! Models are wrong!
e) Both have already been discussed. It seems you're jumping from point to point, in a circular fashion, and not actually addressing my criticism of each point.
6) ...(randomly bring up models, temperature, "pal-review", the "pause")...(the circle continues)

Now that I feel like a broken record, continuing to have to repeat the same thing against the same argument, I think it's important to look back at the discussion to see how are the "skeptics".

"Skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches as opposed to him who asserts and thinks he has found" - Miguel de Unamuno

A great definition of the term. Which are you; the "asserter" or the investigator? Which one was Richard Muller? I know that everyone posting here thinks they are an investigator but, recursively, asserting it doesn't make it so. Look back at the posts - there is clear divide between the "asserters" and the "investigators".

But with baffling stubbornness, the "asserters" claim the investigators are the "asserters" by asserting that the investigator's research can be dismissed out of hand.

Once again, I'd like to run down what I'm not allowed to do:
(1) I can't use climate models because they are wrong (sic)
- Ok, I'll use temperature data
(2) I can't use temperature data because it is corrupt (sic)
- Ok, I'll use empirical measurements
(3) I can't use empirical measurements because the error is too large
- Ok, well peer-reviewed literature
(4) I can't use peer-reviewed literature because it is "pal-review" (sic)
- What else is there? Seriously, what am I suppose to do? At this point, through a priori rejections, I literally have no means of providing evidence if playing by your rules.

But certainly these rules need to work both ways. In which case, you have no means of supporting your position. You must, at best, be absolutely agnostic. Yet, agnosticism isn't about shutting your ears; its about keeping them open. So, it isn't agnosticism but carefully designed ignorance. You have systematically shut yourself off from any form of evidence.

But it's worse than carefully designed ignorance, it's about hypocritical inversions of the standards of evidence:
(a) You can use temperature data to describe the "pause" and then extend it to undermine the entire theory
- Despite the fact I've used temperature data (GISS trends), empirical measurements (OHC) and peer reviewed research (ENSO and in general) to disprove that stance
- Oh wait but only you can use temperature data. Right!
(b) You can use a single blog post to undermine the enterity of peer-reviewed data on the subject
- I've countered with peer-reviewed literature from experts in the field
- Oh wait, blog posts by a weatherman carry more weight! Right!
(c) You can use unsupported statements with NO supporting evidence to prove whatever point you want to
- I've used all 4 sources of evidence to show otherwise
- Oh wait, none of that matters. You're unsupported statements are a trump card against any form of evidence! Right!

Despite the many accusations to the contrary, I don't assume I'm right. If I'm challenged on something, I'll support it with the best evidence available. But when the other side can dismiss it "out-of-hand" or with a single blog post and claim victory, the debate devolves.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
i guess it's "peter pan advice" but it'd be more helpful i think if we didn't take posts as personal attacks (i can't use ..., but you can use ...).

IMHO there's lot's of evidence for both sides ...

it is getting warmer and models say it's due to manmade CO2,
but the models are a coarse (inaccurate) representation of the real world,
but we are adding a lot of CO2 to the atmosphere which could (will?) affect future climate.

there are lots of temperature data showing the warming,
but many of these are corrupt,
and why keep the raw data "secret", not available to the public,
and why "correct" it ?

but we've got only one earth, can we afford to be wrong ?
maybe man isn't the cause, but shouldn't we act as though he is ('cause we can't afford to be wrong) ?

but what if all our actions have negligible effect on the global climate
('cause we're not addressing the key drivers),
what a waste that'd be !

IMHO, neither side can prove their case, both sides believe they're right (and that the other side is a heretic).

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rconnor - you completely missed my point about "average" temperature. Please see my new post: thread730-357845: Climate Metrics - Temperature Averaging

And w.r.t to OHC, do you NOT pay attention to my discussion about the ARGO data? Of the graphs that you show, I have confidence in each of them from 2007 onward. Before that, whatever "data" is there is garbage from this engineer's perspective.

What's most interesting, in your (almost exasperated) two lists at the end of your latest post, is actually one of my points - we don't know near enough, we can't measure our planet with any sort of accuracy to say one way or another, and we cant simulate what we don't understand (and even if we could, the discretization error alone, at today's computing power, overwhelms any "signal").

I'm willing to bend on the whole "air temperature pause invalidates the models" meme if you can tell me what time scale would be necessary to validate them? What timescale is necessary to remove the supposedly-stochastic ENSO effects? The "pause" really didn't become an interesting topic until Benjamin Santer, in this paper said

Quote:

Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature
. Depending on the metric that you use (and I have a huge problem with all of the global averaging metrics, BTW), we are close to this time frame.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Timely article: Link

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

What a snotty, supercilious piece of garbage that link was. The basic premise was that the "Denier's" don't publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals, so they must be afraid of the heat of peer-review. There are three reasons for the one-sided population of papers in these journals: (1) the "peer group" that the journals draw from is made up of the high deacons of the AGW religion; (2) Mostly the "deniers" are asking the researchers to demonstrate ANY proof of their claims ("proof" is not encapsulated in a computer model output, ever) and any papers are asking questions instead of providing conclusions; and (3) it is nearly impossible to prove a negative so research that is counter to AGW doctrine is simply rejected as not being "compelling" or "definitive".

This is exactly like doing an analysis of Christian publications and concluding that there are no Muslim learned papers.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

"out of 13,950 articles, 13,926 supported the reality of global warming"

But, in a democratic society, isn't this proof enough? (sarcasm intended)

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
only 13950 articles ... cherry picking !

of course, only a minor part of the debate is about "is warming happening", i think the more important question is "is man causing the warming"

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
and the third question (as i started this thread) ... "could we be creating climate impacts in the future ?"

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

From that article "out of 13,950 articles, 13,926 supported the reality of global warming."

Straw man. Didn't bother reading the rest. The skeptics main issue is does anthropogenic CO2 affect global temperatures significantly, not whether the global temp has increased since the last ice age or the little ice age or whatever you want as a baseline.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

A man only hears what he wants to hear and disreguards the rest. Nothing new.

Why are people who clame to be for progress, always fighting to slow it down? Is all progress in a class of destrictive?

Why stop with electric cars? Why not go back to the horse? At least that would reduce the number the goverment has in holding pens.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
the boxer, eh?

not sure of your point about progress,
nor horses, governments, and holding pens ...

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Not really cranky, I have to skim 20 or so technical articles every day. That encourages a rather brutal way of reading. If they lead with a good abstract of what they are going to discuss, and it makes sense, then I'll probably carry on reading. If instead they lead with a silly argument, I turn to the next one. I do the same with posts.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
greg, you must be brutal going through resumes !
(much like myself)

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote (GregLocock)

Straw man. Didn't bother reading the rest.
Just perfect...

Quote (GregLocock)

The skeptics main issue is does anthropogenic CO2 affect global temperatures significantly
Like this?


Also, I have addressed TGS4's point in detail at his new thread. It doesn't matter what metric you choose to look at, they all show signs of increased energy in our climate and are all consistent with the anthropogenic climate change theory.

Quote (TGS4)

I'm willing to bend on the whole "air temperature pause invalidates the models" meme if you can tell me what time scale would be necessary to validate them? What timescale is necessary to remove the supposedly-stochastic ENSO effects?
I've already answered this. It's not about durations, it's about having a complete understanding of the temperatures in that period.

Quote (rconnor)

If in the next 15 years or so, with a few El Nino’s, maybe one La Nina and a few neutral years, we still see steady temperatures THEN climate models have a problem

Quote (rconnor)

To conclude, although there has been a slowing of global temperatures as of late, the “pause” does not invalidate the anthropogenic climate change theory. In fact, with our current understanding of global climate, you’d expect a temporary halt to surface temperature warming if studying a period that starts with a strong El Nino event and ends with a double-dip La Nina. You’d also expect that deep oceans appear to be warming faster than the upper ocean during La Nina events. And that is what we are seeing. No shifting the goal posts, no shell game, no reliance on evil climate models – just surface temperatures, OHC and ENSO.
Or furthermore, if my analysis of the different ENSO years showed a decrease in the temperature of Neutral Years over a significant period of time, that would also have caused problems for the models. I really didn't know what was going to come of that analysis but the data and analysis showed it not only isn't a problem but further strengthens the theory.



Quarendo Invenietis.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Well I don't want to bore you, but you may have heard the old saw correlation does not imply causation. I'm sure you have seen the equally amusing plot of the number of pirates vs global average temperature.

More seriously, at a lab scale one can predict the effect of CO2 on a greenhouse effect, but for the GCM programs that were championed, but that have recently been ignored, by the IPCC, it is necessary to multiply the effect of of CO2 by a rather large scaling factor to get things to work. One might assume that the recent increasingly large disparities between the temperature gradient and the CO2 concentration might cause a bit of a rethink, and to some extent it has. The EU has just dropped its regulations concerning CO2 quite significantly, whilst Germany is building 12-30 new coal fired plants and the UK is going to reduce its windpower subsidies to a mere token.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
you have to admit, rconnor puts a lot into his posts.

we've seen the "temperature, CO2, sunspots" graph many times. to me it seems extremely unlikely that CO2 deposited into the atmosphere in 1990 changed the global climate in 1990. sure they are highly correlated in the short term, but surely the time lag of the overall system of global climate would take some time to respond ? Further we are talking about a small portion of the C budget when we look at CO2 produced by man (from FF and wood) .... the rest of the biosphere is happily adding and removing C from the atmosphere, you'd think that the population increase over the years and the change in land use would have a significant effect.

i think (as i said starting this thread) that it is unreasonable that propose that CO2 being added now is affecting the climate now. As i understand the ice core record, there is a repeatably observed 800 year lag between temperature increase and CO2 increases. this (why the lag?) i think is an excellent topic from climate science to investigate and to show the mechanism of global climate.

i think it is more reasonable to ask will today's CO2 impact the future climate (since we adding CO2 into the atmosphere in an "unnatural" way) ? if we understood the answer to the previous question we might be better positioned to answer this one.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

..."the population increase over the years and the change in land use would have a significant effect"...

Maybe a huge portion of observed temperature rises over recent decades is due to increased deforestation. I had this thought when reading about the island of Niihau (whose rainfall levels have increased in concert with reforestation efforst) and some other tropical islands (typically displaying the same correlation but in the opposite direction) and desert/near-desert areas. We know clouds moderate global temperatures, and if the best source of continental moisture evaporation and cloud formation is trees...

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=n...

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rb1957 - I can discern some amount of warming over the 35 years demonstrated in that graph. Lots of ups and downs that speak well to non-trivial amounts of "natural variability". The only anthropogenic fingerprint I see, though, is in the ingenuity of the people who developed and maintain such remote sensing systems. (I still maintain my objection to this temperature-averaging scheme, as with all temperature-averaging schemes that don't include for humidity effects).

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Here's the issue. Over the past 16+ years according to hadcrut3 data, the average temperature gradient is zero. If we ignore 1998 for some reason that sounds a bit non scientific to me, then the pause is 12 years.

If you look at the deviation of the average of the GCM models from the historical record


First chart here

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


it is pretty clear that there is a strong divergence between the two starting in 2004. If we have a process P and a model of that process M, and randomly distributed noise N with a mean of zero, and P=M+N,then the probability of getting 7 consecutive results of either M>P or P>M in a row is 2^-6, so we are getting 98% confidence that there is a strong effect unaccounted for in the GCMs. I expect this is the ocean. However rather agin' that is the chart further down of Ocean Heat Content, which shows a decrease in gradient in the 2000s when according to the 'hiding in the ocean theory' the gradient should be INCREASING. Well there's a puzzle a real scientist could work on instead of endlessly recalibrating failed atmospheric models.






Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Hmmmm, the oceans have warmed by 0.1 deg C since 1980. The atmosphere has warmed by 0.5. The heat capacity of the oceans is approximately 800 times that of the atmosphere. Perhaps more sensible models woud regard the atmosphere as a very thin layer of jam in a sandwich between the oceans and space.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
wouldn't jam be a better conductor ? bigsmile

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

So if; heat content + solar heat + heat generated on earth - heat lost = new heat content, so the solution is so simple, tax carbon. One would tend to think increase heat loss, but no one knows how to do that.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rb1957 and GregLocock, I’ve answered this question about “where the warming went” aka the “pause” so many times already (in reverse chronological order):
1. 16 Jan 14 1:50 (second half)
2. 13 Jan 14 2:26 (“The “Pause” is About Models, Not Temperatures”)
3. 8 Jan 14 17:23 (directed to you, the majority of the post)
4. 7 Jan 14 18:08 (“Climate Model Accuracy and “The Pause””)
5. 23 Dec 13 18:23 (“”Shifting the Goal Posts”” and “Ocean Temperature Rise”)
6. 19 Dec 13 18:10 (the entire post)
7. 20 Nov 13 15:12 (“The Pause,…”)
8. 26 Sep 13 14:10 (on another thread)
9. 24 Sep 13 17:28 (on another thread)

Greg, since you’ve brought up a “new” point on 0-700m OHC not accelerating during the “pause”, I guess we can count the following as the 10th time…

Deep OHC (…again)
It’s not really new at all. I’ve already explicitly discussed how 0-2000m OHC has increased at a faster rate than near surface OHC during the “pause”. Palmer et al 2011 discusses the importance of deep ocean heat content when examining climate change. The graphs below shows this clearly.
From NOAA:
See above posts

From Abraham et al 2013:


This is supported by other studies such as Balmaseda et al 2013, Meehl et al 2013 and Meehl et al 2011; they directly disprove GregLocock’s claim. They show that during “hiatus” periods, which are dominated by La Nina’s, that OHC increases more rapidly, especially in the deep ocean.

From Meehl et al 2011:


This matches, quite closely, what we know about ENSO. Namely, in La Nina events, which have dominated the “pause” period, warm water pools deeper in the ocean near Indonesia. So, we would expect a La Nina dominated period to (1) have cooler surface temperatures and (2) deep ocean OHC would continue to rise, likely faster than the upper ocean. That is exactly what we are seeing.

A study (Kosaka and Xie 2013), done after the article you referenced, does an excellent job at explaining the effect the La Nina dominated period has had on global temperatures. As the mechanism surrounding ENSO occurs in the Pacific Ocean, the paper looks at that area in particular. Kosaka and Xie have simulated how global temperatures would have responded to a consistent sea surface temperature in the Pacific (i.e. No ENSO), “HIST”. They ran the same simulation using actual temperature for the Pacific (i.e. what actually happened), “POGA-H”. They are examining what temperature trends would look like had there been no ENSO events (either El Nino or La Nina). This is what I was demonstrating with my analysis of separated ENSO years but just much more thorough and detailed.

The following is a graph of their results. Again, “HIST” represents temperature trends if there were no ENSO effect, “POGA-H” represents the actual temperature trend.


“POGA-H” data should match the observed data, if the simulation is accurate. Here is the comparison:


All three together:


Not only does their analysis matches observed trends extremely well (demonstrating the accuracy of their simulation) but it also, when the effects of ENSO are negated, shows continued warming throughout the “pause”. This is consistent with other similar studies, such as Foster and Rahmstorf 2011. My analysis of separated ENSO years and these studies all show the same conclusion– “neutral” ENSO conditions show steady, continued global warming both in the long term (30+ years) and in the short term (the “pause”).

Although ENSO cannot contribute to a long term climate trend (30+ years) because it has no mechanism to influence radiative imbalances, it has been the cause of the recent hiatus in warming. However, as the radiative imbalance still exists (which is evident on multiple independent lines of evidence from OHC, humidity, global ice, snow coverage, etc), when the La Nina dominated period ends (some may refer to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation), the warming will resume.

Lack of Arctic Coverage (…again)
Furthermore, the Arctic is one of the regions heating the most rapidly on the planet as of late. It is also the area with the very little coverage in most data sets. A new study (Cowton and Way 2013), done after the article you referenced, addresses the lack of coverage. The study determines that when accounting for the coverage gap in the Arctic, global temperature trend from 1998-2012 becomes 0.12 °C/decade – this exactly matches the trend from 1951-2012. More details on the paper and the method used, can be found here.

This demonstrates that the issue is actually a cool bias in the observations, not so much a warming bias in the models.

Low Solar Activity (…again)
Although not a major factor in changes in global climate trends, the sun is in period of low solar activity which would reduce the rate of warming. REMEMBER: I’ve already discussed that the sun is, of course, the main driver of our climate but changes in solar activity have been demonstrated to have only a small effect on changes in global temperature trends. The effect is also oscillatory and the short term cool trend soon becomes a short term warming trend.

Conclusions (…again)
This is the 10th time I’ve had to say this:

Quote (rconnor)

To conclude, although there has been a slowing of global temperatures as of late, the “pause” does not invalidate the anthropogenic climate change theory. In fact, with our current understanding of global climate, you’d expect a temporary halt to surface temperature warming if studying a period that starts with a strong El Nino event and ends with a double-dip La Nina. You’d also expect that deep oceans would continue to warm even during La Nina events. And that is what we are seeing. No shifting the goal posts, no shell game, no reliance on evil climate models – just surface temperatures, OHC and ENSO.
.

Again, as climate models cannot predict ENSO events (because they are inherently stochastic), a period dominated by El Nino’s will have climate models run cool and a period dominated by La Nina’s will have climate models run hot. As ENSO is about the temporary storage and release of energy from the oceans, it has no effect on long term climate imbalances. I’ve demonstrated this, quite clearly, with my analysis of the separate ENSO years and backed it up with various peer-reviewed studies - which all show a very consistent warming trend amongst ENSO neutral years that is consistent with long term observed trends and climate models.

10th time’s the charm?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Good, we agree, the oceans are likely to be far more important. I see no particular sign of a gradient change since 2000 but it is a little hard to get excited about 0-2000m data when the /average/ depth of oceanic water is 3700m.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote (GregLocock)

Good, we agree, the oceans are likely to be far more important
...I’ve talked about OHC in pretty well all 10 of my arguments against the “pause”. You’ve ignored them up to this point and now act like you’ve made a novel point, which I’ve been forced to concede...

But ya, we agree the oceans are important. You can’t talk about global warming without discussing oceans. Once you factor in oceans, it becomes apparent the “pause” is not a valid argument. Thanks for reinforcing that point.

Quote (GregLocock)

I see no particular sign of a gradient change since 2000
...look at the graph from Meehl et al 2011. Hiatus periods show increased warming in the ocean below 350m - exactly in line with what we would expect during La Nina dominated periods (heat storage). Non-hiatus periods show accelerated warming in the ocean surface (0-350m) - exactly in line with what we'd expect during El Nino or neutral periods (heat release). But regardless of the ENSO period, the oceans continue to warm at all depths - which means it's either MAGIC! or we have a continued radiative imbalance.

Quote (GregLocok)

but it is a little hard to get excited about 0-2000m data when the /average/ depth of oceanic water is 3700m.
1) ...and my side gets accused of shifting the goal posts...your last post talked about the lack [sic] of accelerated warming in 0-700 m being a knockdown argument against my deconstructions of the “pause”. Then I explain you need to look deeper into the problem (pun). So you go, "well that’s not deep enough!"
2) It's also warming.

Purkey and Johnson 2010 concluded that global abyssal OHC is increasing at a rate of 0.027 ± 0.009 W/m2. Or a more complete tabulation of their results:

Kouketsu et al 2011 concluded that below 3000 m, oceans gained heat at a rate of +0.8x10^22 J/decade
Johnson et al 2007 concluded "The abyssal section-mean Δθ values range from 0.004° to 0.01°C"

As I said, it's also warming. Certainly not at the rate of the upper ocean, it's ~1/7th the rate, but that is expected. It is certainly not the case that the increase in upper OHC can be accounted for in a decrease in abyssal OHC - both are increasing in heat content. Again, this is either MAGIC! or a radiative imbalance.
Abyssal ocean coverage isn't as complete as 0-700m or 0-2000m coverage, so it isn't discussed as often. But it is warming and the warming is statistically significant. So, I'm assuming you're in support of spending more money on improving abyssal ocean coverage then? I agree because, as the studies also show warming, it would be important to get a better understanding of yet another aspect of climate that disproves the "pause" as a valid argument. Thanks for reinforcing that point.

Make it 11.

Give the "pause" a fitting end, bury it at sea.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
we've seen the attach global temp record going back millions of years.

i'll buy the end-of-glaciation story ( a small change, orbital?, initiates warming, which is then accelerated by natural CO2 and H2O).

but looking at the graph two other things leap out ...
1) there is certainly a hot steady state, consistently over millions of years, over serval glaciation events. what caused the warming to stop ? and
2) what initiated the glaciation events ? what triggered the cooling ?

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

The new theory is that the change in the earths magnitic field is the cause of warming. It goes on to say that the decline in the field allows more energy from the sun to cause additional warming of the earth.
This is thought to be part of the process of the earths pole reversal, which is over due. This decline is thought to be happening for the last 150 to 200 years, and would cause large holes in the ozone layers bigger than what has been seen to date.
This increase in high energy particals is also expected to increase cancer rates, and disrupt the power grid, and communications world wide.

So what are you going to do about it?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Here is some relevant news about corruption at the EPA.

Wall Street Journal excerpt:
Last month we told you about John Beale, the Environmental Protection Agency employee who bilked taxpayers out of almost $900,000 by pretending to be a secret agent. Telling EPA colleagues that he was a CIA operative, Beale was paid for long absences while on imaginary missions for "Langley." Now there is a disturbing new question about John Beale that goes to the heart of the EPA's mission. What was he doing when he actually showed up for work?

In September, Beale pleaded guilty to theft of government property and agreed to pay $886,186 in restitution and to forfeit another $507,207. On Wednesday he was sentenced to 32 months in federal prison.

The Beale affair is a classic story of government waste, fraud and mismanagement. But it is much more than that, because Beale was no low-level bureaucrat, unknown to senior officials and operating in the depths of the agency. He was among the EPA's most senior, most highly paid officials, one entrusted with formulating the agency's most controversial policies. Thus the consequences of his EPA tenure go far beyond the specific fraud for which he will now go to prison.

The whole article is here: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB100014240527...

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

cranky108,
My induction hob certainly generates a lot of heat quickly. Magnetism works.

rb1957,
I look at graphs like your attachment and wonder, what the heck does a 540 million year old thermometer look like? I'm thinking that that data is the output of a computer model with the sketchy input of the fossil record. We really don't know what the temperature was anywhere prior to some fairly recent date. We have models. We have ice cores that don't go much beyond the last ice age. We have carbon dating that needs some carbon to remain (technique limited to about 45,000 years or so) to give us a range of greater than +/- a decade.

So much of this field of discussion is building one unproven hypotheses on the top of a hundred other unproven hypotheses. If it weren't for the politics, I'm pretty sure that I would be looking at this house of cards as an amazingly elegant piece of work that may lead to useful conclusions in a millennium or two. To use it for the State of the Union address tonight is simply irresponsible. To use it to effectively ban the use of coal is criminal.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
the temperature data comes from ice cores and ocean sendiments, i believe ... i haven't dug any deeper (yet).

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Talking of dodgy thermometers, I saw a brief comment by a tree person who was pointing out that the major component of tree ring width is not temperature but liquid water availability.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rb1957,
Good luck running that down.

Five times in the last 67 million years the place I currently live (elevation 5,300 ft) has been a sea shore. Finding a place that has been ocean for 540 million years would be a challenge.

The very deepest ice cores only go back 800,000 years (and there are more than a few millennial gaps when you compare one location to another).

It is computer models and wild guesses about the fossil record.

Greg,
I've seen that too, a cold drought year looks much "warmer" than a warm moist year. The "historical record" (think Galaxy Quest) is mostly some amazingly inventive creative writing. Again, if it hadn't gotten political, I would be fascinated by the creativity that has gone into creating the historical temperatures.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
i think this has gotten past the "med wrestling with a pig". I doubt the argument is amenable to rational discussion. This is no longer a scientific issue, but a political one.

In our democracy the majority determine what happens, and the minority complain about it. i think the best we can hope for is that the government uses our tax money wisely (yeah, right!), that not too much is diverted into deadends (and other people's wallets); and that in the fullness of time the truth (whichever outcome ... catastrophic climate change, realised or "avoided", or pointless exercise in futility) will be revealled.

or possibly the masses will revolt over the results of this new taxation, paying too much for not enough, and policy will change.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
yeah, I know ... it's a crappy job (being the optimist here) but someone's gotta do it !

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I'll be the pessimest then. Your all wrong. The climate is changing, but not because of man, and no amount of taxes will fix it.

Now having said that, I feel much better.

If you trust the goverment, then give them your wallet. If you don't trust the goverment, then hide your wallet.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

The President proclaimed that "The science is settled" on AGW in the state of the union last night. Last time he said that phrase we got Subpart W to the Clean Air Act that cost the O&G industry upwards of $100 billion in 2013 trying to conform to the "mandatory greenhouse gas reporting requirements". Wonder what this year's pronouncement is going to cost? Probably $0.10/kW-hr on our electric bills. A poor person with air conditioning (isn't that a contradiction in terms?) will need welfare and/or minimum wage increases to keep up. I don't think I can afford very many state of the union pronouncements like that.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
personally i agree with you cranky, but that ain't getting us nowhere. (ok, someone point out the double negative and we can all move on)

the discussion/debate/whatever is moving away from the scientific frame of reference (i mean, the science is settled ... right?) to the political. Arguing/discussing scientifically is a waste of time, IMHO, 'cause every single piece of data is disputed and contray examples can be found (and accusations of "cherry-picking" abound) and this should be expected.

The majority opinion is clearly behind "man-produced CO2 is causing the climate change we're witnessing" ... if only because the politicans are on board and most clearly even politicans who weren't now are (IMHO they dare not to be seen not to be on board). and so policy (and taxes) will follow; QED.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

"The President proclaimed that "The science is settled" on AGW in the state of the union last night."

Which leads to one of my favorite quotes, which I may have already used somewhere in this post, because memory does not serve correctly much of the time:
"Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled." The author of the quote escapes me at the moment.

Off topic, but I also find it unamusing that we (US) are shipping arms to "moderate" rebels in Syria that are not permitted to be owned by US citizens, with the backdrop of further restricting the 2nd amendment however possible. Apparently it is OK for the citizens of some other country that we arbitrarily deem to be the bad guys to attempt to overthrow their standing government. This double-standard, conniving, and meddling is growing very old. AGW will be nothing more than an additional piece to the macabre jigsaw puzzle being built by those in power.

Sorry for the tangent, everyone.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

ornery,
I think that may have been Michael Crichton. He said something like that.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote (rb1957)

This is no longer a scientific issue, but a political one.
I both (reluctantly) agree and disagree.

Within scientific circles, I disagree. There is a lot of good science being done every day on this topic. The vast majority of which supports the theory, I might add. Although the scientific community, backed with results from their research, are informing politicians, they keep an arm’s length away from the policy. Here the sequence is: 1) The scientific community develops an understanding of the science based on data and research and then 2) Policy is formed based on the science. However, some non-experts go 1) I don’t like the policy and then 2) I should find flaws in the science. Again, it is ok to comb through the science but you need to address your bias when drawing conclusions. Otherwise, you end up with foolish false conclusions such as the “pause” invalidates the theory or the IPCC is engaging in “terror-mongering” (I laughed when I say that term). There are a few that can comb through the science, keeping their bias in check.

There are a few great examples of this at this forum. The attempt to develop scientifically defensible holes in the theory. This is important in science and can really help shape our understanding. Thus far, none stand up to scrutiny by experts in the field or from observable data.

Within the public realm, I reluctantly agree with you. People that don’t understand the science default to one side or the other based on ideological grounds. Furthermore, some would have people believe that even within scientific circles the issue has become political. This is untrue and is a common tactic used in the skeptic camp to spread doubt over the data/theory.

There are a few great examples of this at this forum. Post after post, they spews unsupported claims of corruption and rarely (if ever) actually engage in the science. Look back, their only “scientific” points are to make broad claims that the science is inaccurate, without developing a convincing and/or logical argument as to why. The goal is to shift the conversation away from the science (where they have little support) and into some nebulous politico-ideological realm where conjecture can reign supreme.

Speaking of which…

Quote (cranky108)

Your all wrong. The climate is changing, but not because of man, and no amount of taxes will fix it.
It’s settled folks! Ignore all the data and research!

Or zdas04’s post - imaginary future situation used to scare you into agreeing with him (…the similarities between this and his views on climate models just perfectly demonstrates his double standard)

Regarding taxes destroying the economy and ravaging the poor - look at the statistical evidence from BC’s carbon tax at the beginning of this thread.

rb1957 next post – yes every single piece of data is disputed…but that doesn’t mean any of those assertions carry any merit (I’ve shown they don’t). As I’ve said before, Young Earthers dispute every piece of data…do you give any credence to their assertions? (I hope not)

orenerynorsk, re: your quote – look at my posts, am I avoiding debating the science? Has anyone else, besides TGS4, attempted to debate the science with me? Saying “you’re wrong” isn’t debating the science. I mean just look at the number of times anyone, besides myself or TGS4, uses referenced quantitative values. That’s not debating the science – it’s talking out your you-know-what. (…I’ll bit my tongue as hard as I can on the off topic conspiracy theorists statements)

As I said rb1957, the only reasons why this debate devolves into a talk on politics and ideology is because one side of the debate refuses to engage in a scientific argument. But because they are the vocal majority here, they can drown out opposition.

It’s becoming more and more apparent people here don’t want to have a discussion on the science – they want a place they can make unsupported, broad sweeping claims and not be challenged on them. Many have attempted to discuss the science before me but become quiet over time (moltenmetal being one that comes to mind) – I now realize they do so because it’s not only exhausting to fight against self-supporting ignorance but also pointless.

rb1957, your genuine effort to understand the science is noble. Unfortunately, I don’t believe this is the forum to do so.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

If you think that about my views, then you don't understand my position at all and it really isn't worth either of our time to try. Why don't we just ignore each other on this topic.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Hokie66, you are correct. Thank-you.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
"but that doesn’t mean any of those assertions carry any merit" ... well, that's your opinion presumably because you consider that the science is settled.

Al Gore mentioned that global temp and CO2 went in lock-step based on ice cores.

Then some others (Tim Ball) say yes but the CO2 lagged the temperature by some 800 years.

Then there's some video (i haven't seen a paper) that "refutes" this; mind you 800 years is a pretty small number compared to the 100,000s years of the temperature scale.

Then there are questions about the temperature reconstructions from x00,000 years, something to look into ... ice cores go back only so far.

Some papers calculated the effect of solar influences (no, not just black spots) to be significant, some say it's insignificant.

and what of predictions in the 70s of a coming ice age ?

and still there are questions about causality ... ok, you can map out a process but how long does it take ? i find it hard to accept that yesterday's CO2 is causing gloabl temperature change today. yep, my uninformed opinion, worth nothing to nobody except me, and not being forced on anyone.

but for me the real kicker is the predictions that if CO2 output continues to increase then death and destruction will follow. well i guess we're going to get death and destruction 'cause CO2 output is continuing to increase, and some countries are allowed to increase their CO2 output and some are allowed to sell their unused CO2 to other CO2 producers ... what a farce ! if burning FF will cause death and destruction then we should cease and desist. any country that continues should be labelled criminal and an international embargo enforced (and possibly sterner measures to follow). developed countries are making minor steps to use more renewable energy sources (some, like iceland, are lucky to get most of the energy from these sources but these are the minority); most energy comes from nukes and FFs. But now Germany, one of the most green governments, is building coal fired power stations and the UK is planning to reduce wind turbine subsidies.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Maybe I misunderstood your point, but it sounds like you are saying that only more taxes will fix global warming. Is that correct?
Way are more taxes the only answer? Why isen't some specific action a better solution?

And maybe part of the answer is that poor people should be without AC in the simmer. But I haven't heard anyone from Washington say that. And why not?

As far as I can see the science isen't settled. You don't have models that work, and scientests who disagree are not funded.

After all you haven't provided any data disproving what I sugessed above, just the same old hocky stick. You also haven't shown that any of the alternitives I have suggested will not work.

Just another drone to the goverment dance.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

A 2005 UN report said

Quote:

A UN report by Norman Myers: “Environmental Refugees, an Emergent Security Issue,” presented at the 13th Economic Forum, in Prague, May 23-27, 2005, predicted: “The environmental refugees total could well double between 1995 and 2010,” and, “When global warming takes hold, there could be as many as 200 million people overtaken by disruptions of monsoon systems and other rainfall regimes, by droughts of unprecedented severity and duration, and by sea-level rise and coastal flooding.” His report was accompanied by a map, indicating areas to be impacted by sea-level rise.

The fastest growing areas on earth are exactly those areas on the map that showed flooding and evacuations. His report mentioned 50 million "environmental refugees" by 2010. Malibu will be underwater. The Florida Keys will be gone. Amsterdam will be evacuated. Venice will be a few upper stories of buildings way offshore. London will be untenable.

This hogwash got wide play in 2005, primarily because of the urgency and short fuse--5 years from utopia to global catastrophe. That period ended 4 years ago without a single one of the predictions coming close to true. Our politicians are making policy on this nonsense.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

This is "just weather", I saw that on a warmist site. I hope the rhetoric following every tornado and every warm day in 2014 is toned down a lot from 2103 because every time a warmist says "this tornado is caused by global warming and it is the worst tornado ever to hit Oklahoma" (which many of them said after every single tornado or warm day in 2013) that they will remember that this horribly cold winter was "just weather" in all of their writings.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
damnit ... we nearly made 2 weeks without a single GW posting!

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

…that article…just…wow…

This is not “the nail in the anthropogenic global warming theory”. This is not “just weather”. This is a climatic event.

Scientific research on the subject suggests that the warming of the Arctic is the cause of the polar vortex dipping over North America. Rather inconclusive whether anthropogenic climate change can be said to be the cause of cold snap but it certainly is not an argument against the theory.

(Speaking of scientific research, England et al, 2014. Sheds even more light on “the pause”.)

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

You have to give one thing to the AGW researchers...they are masters at ducking and weaving.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Polar Vortex. New buga-boo. Going to explain the cold weather. The arctic is warming. Nonsense. Temperature at the North Pole is currently -13°F and it is expected to get to -25°F "overnight". Long term forecast is a warming trend to +11°F by the end of the month. So we have several months of dark accompanied by sub-freezing weather and that is creating unusual "polar vortex" conditions? Every year the Arctic gets dark early in December and the sun comes up in March. Every year. Not affected by Humvees or coal-fired plants. Sometimes the pressure is high, and this cold air heads south. Sometimes the pressure is low and the "warm" air of Ft. McMuarry, BC (their high today was +8°F, the Banana Belt) screams north. Sometimes the differential is so great that the wind blows right across the frozen waste"land" blows into the U.S. (or Siberia, or Norway, etc.) and it gets cold and stays cold for days on end. It is called "weather".

The phenomena with the pseudo-scientific name of "polar vortex" has been around for a while. Typically it has been called things like "Alberta Clipper" or "Nor-Easter" depending on how far east it hits (but those terms aren't nearly as scary). Exactly the same weather pattern that George Washington saw at the Battle of Trenton. There are two things going on here: (1) weather; and (2) irresponsible fear mongering to further an agenda that is way more about politics than climate.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote (hokie66)

You have to give one thing to the AGW researchers...they are masters at ducking and weaving.
Ya, I mean really, what kind of a fool attempts to study physical events in more detail in order to understand the underlying mechanism behind them! Ducking and weaving at its finest! None of that for us, all we need is gut feeling reactions and uninformed opinions!


Quote (zdas04)

The arctic is warming. Nonsense.
Firstly, to clarify: not only is the Arctic warming, it has warmed more than any other region on the planet. From NASA GISS:


Quote (zdas04)

So we have several months of dark accompanied by sub-freezing weather and that is creating unusual "polar vortex" conditions?
You don't know the science and, instead of attempting to learn about it, you cling to your uniformed opinions. As I've said before: self-supporting ignorance.

While, yes, the lack of sunlight during the winter months does create the "polar vortex", that does not explain why it dipped as low and lasted as long as it did during this (northern hemisphere) winter. The current understanding is that this is due to a warm arctic and a weak jet stream which allowed the cold air mass to drop southward and remain there for longer than normal.

Research suggests that this is linked to sea ice loss and reduced snow cover in the Arctic (Tang et al, 2013. Francis et al, 2012 or Cohen et al, 2013 as examples). As these factors decrease, so does the strength of west-east component of the jet stream. This causes more north-south variability and more stagnant weather patterns.

This is certainly still a hot topic within scientific circles and more research into the subject is needed. To reiterate:

Quote (rconnor)

Rather inconclusive whether anthropogenic climate change can be said to be the cause of cold snap but it certainly is not an argument against the theory.

Lastly, although a buzz term in the media, "polar vortex" has been a name tagged to this climatic event for a long time; the term dates as far back as 1853. It's not an "invention of the liberal media" as some Fox News talking heads have suggested. The reason why most of us have only heard about it just now is that this vortex dropped much further south this year than it usually does. The first evidence of these more southern dips was found in 1952 (Sherhag et al, 1952).

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

So we're finally back to models?

Yay.

I admit to not reading the giant wall of posts above. Has anyone mentioned how the IPCC's best and most complicated global warming models have R^2 values no higher than simply plotting carbon and temperature in Excel and doing a best fit curve?

Or how you can get similar (sometimes better) R^2 values from plotting temperature vs human population, irrespective of carbon?

Those facts tie in nicely with history, given how mankind tends to turn our environments into deserts. We create microclimates, which aggregate into macroclimates, but the IPCC does everything they can to ignore this in their Chase for Carbon Credits.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
we do have a track record of sucking the life out of something, then looking surprised when we've killed it (re Newfoundland Cod fishery).

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

So when do we get back to more taxes will solve all our problems?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
give it about 5min ...

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

zdas04
The north pole temperature are balmy compared Purdhoe Bay, AK. Currently it is -37F with a high of -25F.

I've see Fargo, ND have the high temperature of the lower 48 states before at 100F.

Temperature are a fickle thing.

Bill

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Beej67, huh? I don’t believe models were mentioned. Nevertheless, I wanted to discuss models in light of knowledge on the “pause”, so I guess this is a good time.

You’ve admitted to not reading the conversation on the science around the “pause” and yet that doesn’t stop you from drawing conclusions on climate models. The science behind the “pause” and recent climate model accuracy are closely linked; to not understand this leaves you vulnerable to believing silly conclusions from “skeptic” blogs.

However, as my aim here is to try and shed as much light on the science as I can, I’ll provide you with a summary of my previous 11 posts on the subject. I’ll also specifically link how those points are important to consider when discussing model accuracy.

The “pause” is not a valid argument against the anthropogenic climate change version for the following reasons:
Reference Period/ENSO
- The “pause” starts during the strongest El Nino year ever recorded (it was an anomalously hot year)
- Following the strongest El Nino year ever recorded, the period turned to a La Nina dominated period, ending with 2 straight La Nina years
- The only other significant El Nino year during the period was 2010 (which was the hottest year in the modern record)
- When reviewing El Nino, La Nina and ENSO neutral years independently, all three separated trends show continued warming throughout the “pause”, on par with the 30 and 60 year trends

Ocean Heat Content
- Some have argued that global surface temperature trends are not the best metric for understanding climate change (or lack thereof) and I would agree (with some caveats). About 2.3% of heat is absorbed in the atmosphere, while 93.4% is absorbed in the oceans
- Ocean Heat Content has continued to rise during the “pause” at all depths, with the most rapid increase occurring in the “deep ocean” (700 m – 2000 m). See NOAA data.
- This agrees with what we know about ENSO dynamics. During La Nina events, which dominate the “pause”, warm water tends to pool deeper in the ocean as cool water sits at the surface, causing cooler surface temperatures. When we switch to an El Nino period (or positive PDO/IPO), the warmer water is brought to the surface causing warmer surface temperatures. Changes in the trade winds are an important aspect of this mechanism. See England et al 2014.
- Studies have shown that during historic “hiatus” periods, such as the one we are in now, deep OHC increased faster than near-surface OHC. The opposite is true for non-hiatus periods. See Meehl et al 2011.
- So, although surface temperatures have not raised that much, OHC has. This is in keeping with what we know about ENSO. When we switch back to a positive PDO/IPO, expect that stored heat to be released into the atmosphere, causing increased warming – as it has in previous cycles.
- Furthermore, this directly dispels any notion that the radiative energy imbalance has disappeared.

Lack of Arctic Coverage
- Most data sets have very sparse coverage of the arctic; much of it isn’t even included in the global average
- The arctic has been shown to be warming faster than any other region on the planet (by NASA GISS)
- When you account for the warming in the arctic, global temperatures continue to rise throughout the pause. See Cowtan and Way 2013 for an example.

Low Solar Activity
- Although research indicates that solar activity has no discernible correlation with long term temperature trends, the short term solar cycles do have an effect (albeit not a huge one).
- Again, I’ll note that of course the sun is the largest driver of our climate in an absolute sense but changes in solar activity have only a small effect on changes in global temperatures.
- The “pause” occurred during a period of low solar activity, so it would be expected that temperatures would be slightly lower than during high solar activity.

Bringing it All Together
- All four aspects are independent reasons. There is some play between ENSO and OHC but both reasons can be taken in isolation; they just have more weight when considered together (as they should).
- When you understand the complete picture, you’d EXPECT relatively steady surface temperatures during this period. In fact, without some other driver (CO2), you’d EXPECT temperatures to show a statistically significant drop.
- Because you don’t and the fact OHC continues to rise, it not only is not a valid argument against the theory, it actually supports it

As the discrepancy between model predictions and observations has occurred over the period of the “pause”, understanding what is causing the “pause” and how it relates to model predictions is crucial. I will now discuss the links between the previous 4 points and their effect on climate model predictions.

Reference Period/ENSO
- The current understanding of ENSO events are that they are stochastic
- Therefore, models cannot (and don’t attempt to) predict these El Nino/La Nina dominated periods (some may refer to them as PDO/IPO)
- As ENSO is about the temporary storage and release of heat and these PDO/IPO periods oscillate, in the long term, the effect balances out
- ENSO/PDO/IPO events have no known internal mechanism that can affect long term climate trends/energy balance
- PDO/IPO is becoming more well understood and it’s possible that models could be developed to predict them. However, this is not likely to have any major effect on their long term trends.
- When you account for these short term, stochastic events (and others such as volcanoes), temperature trends mirror model predictions very closely. See Foster and Rahmstorf 2011, Kosaka and Xie 2013 for examples.

Ocean Heat Content
- Although ENSO events and the exact dates of PDO/IPO switches are impossible to predict, the fact that they will switch is very predictable
- When this switch back to a El Nino dominated period occurs, the heat stored in the oceans during the current “pause” will be brought to the surface, increasing global surface temperatures
- This cycle of global temperatures going through flat periods followed by sharp increases has occurred throughout the industrialized era. Models don’t attempt to perfectly match the exact time frame of flat periods and sharply increasing periods, they aim to predict the average between the two.
- An excellent example of the opposite side of this coin (models running cool during El Nino dominated periods) and the lack of hand-waving in the scientific community is illustrated in Rahmstorf et al, 2007. The warming rate from 1992 to 2006 was 0.28 deg C/decade which is much faster than the IPCC models had predicted. Did the climate scientists scramble to use this as proof the models were running too cold? No, they actually understand the science and knew “the first candidate reason is intrinsic variability within the climate system”. That’s skepticism vs. “skepticism”.
- So, although models appear to be running hot as of late, that is because people are expecting it to do something it was never designed to do - predict ENSO events.

Lack of Arctic Coverage
- When accounting for Arctic regions, the temperature trends are much warmer over the “pause” and are closer to model predictions. See Cowton and Way 2013 for an example.
- So, it’s not purely that models are “running hot”, it’s also that recent temperature trends are cooler than they should be

Low Solar Activity
- This cannot be used to describe the discrepancy between model predictions and observations as the 11-year cycle is included in model calculations

Bringing it All Together
- Energy accumulation has continued to increase throughout the “pause”
- Models aren’t designed to perfectly predict specific ENSO events because they are stochastic
- Models are designed to predict the average warming between both La Nina and El Nino phases
- When you separate out the effect of individual ENSO events, models do a very good job predicting temperature trends over the past decade

This is the science folks. If you choose to ignore it or categorically reject it, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. However, if you do, it means your opinion on the matter is baseless and meritless. If, instead, you choose to review the science (the actual science not WUWT’s take on the science) and develop a counter-argument using quantifiable, scientifically defensible points, then an actual scientific debate can be had.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
"The warming rate from 1992 to 2006 was 0.28 deg C/decade which is much faster than the IPCC models had predicted. Did the climate scientists scramble to use this as proof the models were running too cold? No, they actually understand the science and knew “the first candidate reason is intrinsic variability within the climate system”. That’s skepticism vs. “skepticism”." ... i thought the general albeit political reaction to this news was "worse than previously thought".

"When you separate out the effect of individual ENSO events, models do a very good job predicting temperature trends over the past decade." ... can you show this please? because what you're saying (well, what i understand you to say) is that there is no pause; that the models are consistent with the recent short term lack of warming, which i find to be "odd". i haven't seen models predict the "pause".

still i ask if scientists are confident in their model predictions, how much will they bet on them ? and i don't mean what'll the temperature be in toronto at 12:00 on th e24th July (cause models don't predict local events well), i'd take the global average temperature (measured thusly) will be Xdeg. i expect i'd take low odds for the counter bet "whatever your prediction, it won't be that".

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Beej67,
You wouldn't be suggesting that the most important hockey stick is the population one? Taxation won't solve that one, but perhaps the plague or famine will.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Yes, the double whammy of population growth and economic/social progress in the third world will totally overshadow any attempt by the first world to reduce their CO2 output, even as there looks less and less evidence that it is a politically achievable outcome.or even scientifically worthwhile. AT some point the estimates of temperature sensitivity to CO2 will drop to the level measured in the lab, and we'll all look at each other and wonder what the fuss was about. Rather like the story of electron charge measurements, the GCMs are slowly being revised to fall towards planet earth.

In my own CO2 budget the biggest single contributor is transport. The biggest single contributor in that is air travel. I see no sign that mass air transit will achieve 50-75% improvements in fuel efficincy, which is roughly what would be needed. Similarly I can't see cars improving by 50-75% unless we wean our power grid off fossil fuels, which given the uselessness of wind energy, the aversion to nuclear, and the investment required for solar, seems a bit unlikely even in a country as rich as Australia. For other countries read "Without Hot Air" for an analysis for the UK which would also apply to much of the Northern hemisphere.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Hokie66: Actually, it's the opposite. Get the childhood mortality rate down low and/or get televisions widely available and the reproduction rate drops.

If lots of children die, parents are much more likely to keep having many additional children. When parents are reasonably assured their children will grow up, they tend to have fewer children. The Gates Foundation vaccination initiatives are probably the single biggest factor in bringing down population growth in the developing world.

If you sit around watching TV, you are spending less time thinking about (and trying to) get into someone else's pants.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I was thinking that most of TV is about watching someone try to get into someone else's pants.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
... or kill them ...

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Just maybe we are going about this wrong. Maybe we should be encurging bad behavior. Things like smoking, and auto-dueling, etc. Things that will decrease the human life span, but not to the extent that we increase infant mortality.

And if you believe statistics, a betterment of education, but not the system we have in the US, because it sucks.

To my first point, selling people on really small cars that kill there owners on even minor accedents (or is that what the enviromental movment is about and we can't see it)?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rb1957,

re: “worse than we thought” – that’s why I try to stick to peer-reviewed papers and avoid posting op-ed pieces from non-experts.

re: calculated temperature trends with ENSO effects removed – no, that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that when you remove the short term effects of ENSO from the temperature trends (i.e. what would the temperature trend have been with all ENSO neutral states), that trend lies right in the heart of model runs. Again, this makes sense as models cannot and don’t try to predict individual ENSO events but do estimate the average between the various events.

As per your request, please see the results of Foster and Rahmstorf 2011. The red line is the calculated trend with ENSO and volcano effects removed. The pink is the observed trend and the green is the IPCC model runs. Note that this is based off AR4 model runs.


Unfortunately, Kosaka and Xie 2013 doesn’t overlay their results on the IPCC model runs but we can eye-ball a comparison. First, the results from Kosaka and Xie 2013. Black – observed temperature trends, red – modeled temperature trends, purple – modeled temperature trends with ENSO effects removed. Note the great match between the modeled temperature trends (red) and the observed temperature trend (black).


Let’s take 2010 and 2012 as examples.
2010 observed: 0.35 deg C
2010 ENSO Removed: 0.56 deg C
2010 Difference: 0.21 deg C

2012 observed: 0.24 deg C
2012 ENSO Removed: 0.55 deg C
2012 Difference: 0.31 deg C

Now let’s apply these adjustments to the AR5 graph of model runs vs observed temperature trends. Below is figure 1.4 from AR5. I should note that without any adjustments, the observed trend sits well within the confidence intervals of the model runs. They are on the cool end but this is expected given the short term, stochastic cooling effect of the recent La Nina dominated period. When we remove the effects of ENSO, by adding the adjustment factors taken from Kosaka and Xie, we will see that the temperatures sit on the hot end of the model runs. Note that the actual temperature anomaly values between KX2013 and AR5 are different because they take two different baseline points; hence why I’m using the difference for the comparison.


Admittedly, this is a very rough analysis (but given the effort put in by others, I’m not too motivated to do anything more in-depth). However, the results, plus or minus a few tenths of a degree, illustrate the point nicely.

As I’ve stated, models do not attempt to predict what specific ENSO event will occur in each specific year. Given that ENSO events oscillate between El Nino dominated periods and La Nina dominated periods, the average effect between the two is what is important and that is what models attempt to predict. In other words, you can say that models track the ENSO neutral year average.

This is the reason for my analysis a while ago on the separated ENSO years (El Nino years, La Nina years and ENSO neutral years). If the analysis showed that the temperature of ENSO neutral years were in decline, then you could question the validity of models predicting an average increase between PDO/IPO positive and negative periods. However, given that the trend during the “pause” of ENSO neutral years was both positive and on par with the 30 and 60 year trends, it strongly supports the theory and the validity of models. Numbers from the analysis:

1950-2012 Observed Trend (GISS): 0.16 deg C/decade
1982-2012 Observed Trend (GISS): 0.21 deg C/decade
1998-2012 Observed Trend AKA The “Pause” (GISS): 0.09 deg C/decade
1998-2012 ENSO Neutral Years: 0.193 deg C/decade

Re: climate bets – I really don’t understand why you think this is important but, yes, there are bets on temperature trends. A simple Google search will let you know all about them.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
climate bets ... yes, i know you can place bets on the climate (as well as on practically anything else imaginable); the point was which scientists have the confidence in their predictions. ok, i can hear a reply "that would cheapen the science". maybe, but it would also show confidence in their work.

as for removing impacts of natural events ... i haven't read the papers but i reckon i could adjust curves to get a monotonic increasing result.

i don't get the consistency in your figures ... figure 1 shows a monotonic increasing trend, figure 3 shows static for 2000 decade?

the cynic in me notes the faint lines in figure 3 increasing through the 2000's which are predictions from models run in the 90s (and models run in the 2000's show a "pause" ...

and i dislike the term "termperature anormaly" ... what's normal and what's anormal ?

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I think there is a couple of good points. What is the age of the graphs, and data provided? Have the models been updated since they were published?

If these scientests are correct, and smart, they should have invested in solar, and wind farm companies, and they should have big retirement sums by now.

I know my investments in oil companies are paying well, sorry about your investments in solar firms.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Climate bets – I believe there’s a $10,000 bet between a climate scientist and a skeptic but, as I’ve said, I don’t understand why you’d care. The “confidence” is demonstrated by publishing a paper with your name attached to it. Do you place bets that your designs won’t blow up? No, you put your seal on it – that’s your confidence.

Removing natural events – well the difference would be one would have a scientific basis and one would not. Of course, you need to understand the scientific basis to be able to spot the difference…

Consistency in figures – read the description of what each line represents. You’re confusing what’s an observed temperature trend and what’s a calculated trend with ENSO removed. You should also note that AR5 Fig 1.4 has a much larger scale than RF2011 or KX2013.
Fig 1 (using your references) (FR2011)

Quote (rconnor)

the results of Foster and Rahmstorf 2011. The red line is the calculated trend with ENSO and volcano effects removed. The pink is the observed trend and the green is the IPCC model runs
Fig 2 (KX2013)

Quote (rconnor)

the results from Kosaka and Xie 2013. Black – observed temperature trends, red – modeled temperature trends, purple – modeled temperature trends with ENSO effects removed
Fig 3 (AR5)
AR5 Fig 1.4 (from graph): green (HadCRUT)/blue (GISS)/yellow (NOAA) lines – observed temperature trends with a smooth function (3-year smooth I believe). Faint, squiggly lines – model runs. Red dot (2010) and green dot (2012) - observed temperature + the adjustment from removing the effects of ENSO as per Kosaka and Xie.

Fig 1 Red, Fig 2 Purple and Fig 3 Red/Green dot are the calculated temperature trends with ENSO removed. They all show continued warming throughout the “pause”.

Fig 1 pink, Fig 2 black, Fig 3 green/blue/yellow are the observed temperature trends. They all show steady temperatures throughout the “pause”.

No inconsistencies when you compare the trends properly.

Observed temperature trends look like a staircase, with steady periods during La Nina dominated periods and sharp increases during El Nino dominated periods. However, when you look at the trend with a smoothing function of 30 years (where the temperature is averaged over both El Nino and La Nina dominated periods), the trend shows a very steady increase. Such as:

When you remove the short term noise of ENSO (such as Fig 1 Red and Fig 2 purple), the temperature trend increases steadily even throughout the pause and it very closely matching the 30-year smooth observed trend. This is not a surprise if you understand how ENSO events work.

Anomaly – difference between the base line for that data point/station and the actual temperature for that data point/station. For example, station #12345 reads a monthly average temperature of -12 deg C for February 2014. Using a 1961-1990 “Baseline” (as per the AR5 image), the reference point would be the average February temperature at station #12345 from 1961-1990, let’s say that’s -14 deg C. Therefore, the “anomaly” would be +2 deg C for that station, for that month.

Changing the baseline doesn’t change the trend, it merely changes how the y-axis is shifted (all points shift the same amount of course). This is important to understand when reviewing temperature “anomalies”. The actual value for the anomaly of any one point is meaningless without knowing what the baseline is. However, as the trend is more important than any one point, the baseline is usually up to the author. The most common baseline I’ve seen is 1961-1990.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

However one of the claims that the models must be good is the way that they visually track the historical record, in the hindcast (calibration) period. Yet, if the models do not account for ENSO type cycles, with cycle lengths of 10-30 years or so, the fidelity should not be that good an an annual basis. Therefore I suspect that the models have been optimised as a best fit on an annual basis, to make them look good, and as every engineer knows, tracking the noise in a process leads to worse outcomes. Therefore in an effort to increase their apparent fidelity they have actually made them less accurate.

Anyway, we appear to agree, the enormous effect of slight changes in temperature in the oceans has a far bigger effect on the energy balance than a few atoms banging about on the edge of space, so until the models can accurately model the future temperature of the oceans then they are just idle fantasies. They are modelling a symptom, not the process.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote:

You wouldn't be suggesting that the most important hockey stick is the population one?

Yep.

Humans do many things to change our environment. Burning coal is just one of many. The only reason the climate guys focus on CO2 and only CO2 while intentionally doing their best to disregard the rest, is that certain people are positioned to make a huge amount of money off of the intentionally confusing and arbitrary "Carbon Trading" market. The same people who were responsible for the last market crash, by the way.

It would be just as foolish to say that humans have no impact on the environment as it would be to say that the only impact is from CO2, or even that the primary impact is from CO2. The reason the models predict well is because they've been calibrated against historic data to predict well. That calibration is against a correlation, and causality has never been proven from that correlation.

CO2 concentration tracks upward just as urbanization tracks upward, and just as agriculture tracks upward. All of these things effect microclimates, and the macroclimate is just a composition of microclimates. But the IPCC year after year puts out highly spurious studies intended to disregard the effect of microclimates on the macroclimate, because they don't want people to realize there's more than one boogy man in the room. It is "science" that's intentionally backing in to a particular solution.

And that's not science at all.

Hey, look, I found the Warming:



My greatest fear is that when this all comes to light, and it will, that the near religious fervor of the CO2 Blamers is going to tarnish the environmental movement as a whole, and do far more damage than merely getting climate science wrong. We're in the middle of the Sixth Great Extinction right now, as we systematically destroy the planet, and it's got nothing, nada, zero to do with carbon. It has to do primarily with habitat loss and the real pollutants, which are heavy metals and exotic chemicals used in industry.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I'll redact one thing in my post above. CO2 does have one serious environmental impact right now, in the acidification of the oceans as all the coral reefs dissolve. And that is indeed a real problem. But you're not going to fix that with "carbon trading," "carbon taxing" or anything else unless China decides they're going to play along. And they're not.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
"as all the coral reefs dissolve" ... i think that many reefs are growing (probably just as many as are shrinking).

i think it's a problem with CC, that there are no absolute statements, and so the true situation is too complicated and fuzzy for most of the general public (and politicans).

to the replies about betting ... "Do you place bets that your designs won’t blow up?" ... why, yes, i do; it's called insurance and i'm maore concerned about things falling down. i believe that's a good indicator of your assessment of risk and consequence. How much auto insurance coverage to you have $10m (very high premium)? $1m (more typical)? none (just the legal minimum; if i cause an accident, i'm responsible to pay for it)? personally i opt for the typical coverage because it's a premium i'm prepared to spend for an event that is IMO pretty unlikely.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

rconnor, I am actually employed because things blowup. I actually am in the business of reducing damage from blowups. So I do bet on things going wrong (the great pessimest).

My concerns are that you may be wrong about CC, and I am stuck with taxes, and projects that don't fix anything.

Yea I get that we need to clean things up. But what solutions will work weather you are wrong, or right. I support those.

The solutions that only work if you are right, are as much a risk, as you believe are doing nothing. Because I think there is a chance you are wrong.

If you aren't willing to risk your money on your position, then I don't feel I should put my tax money on it.



RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote:

"as all the coral reefs dissolve" ... i think that many reefs are growing (probably just as many as are shrinking).

No, read up on it. It's a big deal, and it's basic chemistry. Just like dissolving your tooth in a glass of Pepsi as a kid, because soda is carbonic acid. So changes in atmospheric carbon concentration lead to changes in oceanic pH, and then the reefs dissolve to counter the pH change. The reefs themselves are a natural buffering system. What's even worse, is the effects oceanic acidification are having on diatom shells and other microscopic ocean organisims that are crucial links in the food chain.

Of course the idiots in the media are claiming that the reefs are in decline because of Climate Change. Nitwits. It's like everyone in the world has completely forgotten the difference between correlation and causality, including apparently most of the scientists bogged so deep in computer models they can't look around and see what's going on.

So I do think carbon is a big problem, but not for the reasons the IPCC says, and nothing in the Kyoto Treaty is going to remotely fix it while China's over there doing this:

http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140213/chinas-...

There are no solutions to managing the widespread changes the human race are causing to the Earth. The only thing we can do is preserve what we've got as best as we can while preparing for what the world's going to look like in a hundred years. Sucks, but that's life. And Carbon Credits do neither.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
go to NIPCC, search for "reef" and there're plenty of papers of current research into what's happening on the reefs.

i understand the acidification argument, and the nice simple analogies, but the research shows that reefs are responding in unexpected ways ... possibly increased dissolved CO2 > increased marine plant growth > increased marine animal populations > reef building (in places).

and yes, i know this site has an agenda (as every site does), and this one in anti-CO2. so i suspect they're selecting papers to emphasise their side of the argument (that reefs are growing) as a counter to the other sites selecting papers saying reefing are being destroyed. thus my assessment that as many reefs are growing as are declining.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Moore has a PhD in ecology. He is a paid denier with no training, experience or expertise in climate science.

Johnny Pellin

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Johnny,
What type scientist do you have to be to have an opinion on climate science? Does it have to be a 'climatologist'? If so, I submit that there are a lot of the 'experts' who don't have a formal qualification in that field. Seems to me that competence in physics, geology, and some branches of engineering are just as relevant as some of the mathemeticians and computational experts who attempt to prove by models. These models show association, but not proof. Much like many of the medical statistical research efforts which show various associations, but not proof of cause and effect.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

J pellin

O well in that case we might as well just drink the Kool Aid, as none of us are qualified climatologists. Instead of attacking the man, why not fault his arguments?

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

The article by Moore is a case study in logical fallacies. He is not expressing an opinion. He is attempting to provide a scientific basis for global warming denial. He uses more straw-men than I have ever seen in a single document. I could spend a week going through the article point by point to show that almost every point he makes is invalid and a gross misrepresentation of the scientific data. But, I do not have a week to spare for such a futile effort. Moore and other paid deniers know this. It takes a few seconds to tell a lie and a few hours to disprove it.

I will give one example to demonstrate Moore’s straw-men. Moore claims that climate scientists are using global warming and climate change as if they are the same thing. Then he sets out to show how they are very different things. No climate scientist has ever claimed that global warming and climate change are the same thing. They claim that climate change is a consequence of global warming.

Rconnor has already done a fine job of providing the hard, peer-reviewed scientific data to disprove the major points Moore makes.

Johnny Pellin

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Solution 49: Tax climate studies and use the proceeds to buy everyone a new car.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
i read the article as saying in the media the terms "climate change" and "global warming" are used inter-changeably.

from waht i've read he records references for his data (eg public survays, survey of weather presenters, ...); i haven't seen "gross misrepresentation of the scientific data" or "more straw-men than I have ever seen in a single document" though certainly he is "expressing an opinion".

maybe we read two different articles ?

but then i guess i'm an unpaid denier, and should be ignored ?

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Many of us believe (and we are all dealing with beliefs, not proofs) that AGW is itself a "case study in logical fallacies".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_...

Moore has as much right to his opinion as any other scientist. I don't think there are many disbelievers that the climate is changing.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

The fundamental issue is that nobody has come up with a falsifiable theory as to why CO2's effect on global temperature should be a high multiple of what is measurable in a laboratory. Until a testable theory is tested, it is just one giant pre-scientific brainstorm. Now, it does seem quite reasonable that heat storage in the oceans is responsible for some of the effects seen in the record, but again, you don't know until you have tested it. Given the huge lack of data it seems likely to me that ocean effects will remain a boundary condition on the atmosphere rather than an explorable theory.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
"why CO2's effect on global temperature should be a high multiple of what is measurable in a laboratory" ... I thought that it was because increased CO2 induces increases in H2O; but then I'm sure if also read the opposite, and increased H2O causes increased clouds that decrease/increase the GH effect.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Most of the runaway climate models consider water vapor to have an exacerbating effect on the warmth of the globe, because they count the chemical effects while ignoring the albedo effects. The fact that Earth isn't Venus should have led them to the opposite conclusion, but hey, there's no money in the conclusion that the globe is somewhat self correcting.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

You people have way too much free time and should be working.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

All that I will say about the article is that it’s an unscientific opinion on a scientific issue which Moore is far too uninformed to comment on.

I did find it humorous that GregLocock was calling for an in-depth critique of the article (he presented) in the same thread as these gems:

Quote (GregLocock)

Sorry you spent so much time typing the rest, I didn't actually read it

Quote (GregLocock)

Straw man. Didn't bother reading the rest.

Correlation/Causation – the anthropogenic climate change theory predicts the following:
  • Less heat exiting the atmosphere along wavelengths associated with CO2 – correct – solar activity would have no effect on this
  • Increased downward infrared radiation along wavelengths associated with CO2 – correct – solar activity cannot explain why it would increase under specific wavelengths
  • Nights warming faster than the day – correct – if it was solar activity, the opposite would be true
  • Cooling stratosphere, Warming surface – correct – if it was solar activity, both would be warming
  • Rising tropopause – correct – solar activity would not affect this
  • Cooling and contracting ionosphere – correct – solar activity would have the opposite effect
  • Many others but these are the main predictions that are contrary to other theories, all of which are proved by empirical evidence
So ya, I agree correlation/causation is important. So remind we again, what is the argument for a correlation between “it’s changed before” or “it’s the sun” and the empirical observations noted above? Or are we chalking it up to MAGIC!?

Quote (GregLocock)

The fundamental issue is that nobody has come up with a falsifiable theory as to why CO2's effect on global temperature should be a high multiple of what is measurable in a laboratory
Feedbacks. Read up.

Quote (GregLocock)

Until a testable theory is tested
What test are you talking about? Build two copies of Earth, pump a bunch of extra CO2 into one and then, magically, speed up time to watch the response? That might be a tad physically impossible. But what if there was some way we could replicate the scenario in a simulation, say on a computer! That would be much less expensive and we could have much more control over monitoring the inputs/outputs. Hmmmmm……

Quote (beej67)

The fact that Earth isn't Venus should have led them to the opposite conclusion
Again….

Quote (rconnor)

He says that because the Earth hasn’t snowballed into a runaway state (in the cold or hot direction) that there is a balancing act that regulates temperatures. Without any real evidence, he says this is “obviously” due to clouds! No need to worry – clouds will save us! This absurdly silly argument gets a silly (but appropriate) retort – ask the Dinosaurs why you don’t need a runaway effect to seriously threaten the survival of a species (or the 99.9% of species that are now extinct on a planet that is still “alive”). Why do I have to explain this to educated people? And don’t reply saying “those are natural cycles, so it proves that earth’s climate changes naturally” – yes it changes naturally but his point is that there is a balancing force that prevents earth’s climate from snowballing. Sure, but that doesn’t mean that the fluctuations in temperature over short GEOLOGICAL TIMES (let alone in 2 centuries) can’t royally screw over a species.

Furthermore, climate scientists know that we are likely not to have a runaway temperature rise like Venus because of anthropogenic CO2. If Chet did a bit of research, he would know this – “runaway greenhouse effect – analogous to Venus – appears to have virtually no chance of being induced by anthropogenic activities” (IPCC) or “A runaway greenhouse could in theory be triggered by increased greenhouse forcing, but anthropogenic emissions are probably insufficient” (Goldblatt et al, 2012). But that doesn’t mean it won’t adversely affect humans.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

As I explained, if you are presenting a logical argument step by step and one step breaks, I don't need to read the rest. If your arguments aren't logical I suppose that doesn't apply. Your call.

Testable means testable. Who would have thought that from one insignificant location in the universe we could test so many theories about stars and the formation of the universe? Instead of computer boys playing with toys the whole field of climate prediction needs a lot of thought and actual careful experiment. There is no /proof/ that the climate sensitivity to CO2 is greater than the lab figure, merely conjecture based on the computer models and trend following. Hence any untested explanation of that conjecture is just an idle fancy.













Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

So the assumption is that CO2 is bad, so coal is bad. While CH4 is being released at an alarming rate due to oil drilling, and natural gas is clean.

Wind farms kill birds, but power lines are bad.

Solar panels convert light to heat, and they are good, while white sand reflecting light back into space is unimportant.

And the only solution for climate change is more taxes.

This still looks like a political agenda, and not a science.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

So wait, let's recap.

CO2 has a laboratory tested greenhouse effect, provable by hard science.

The climate models show warming is tracking a lot more severely than CO2's laboratory tested greenhouse effect should be.

And the climate scientist response is to claim the laboratory tests aren't applicable, while simultaneously devaluing and disregarding all the other effects mankind may be having on our environment as unimportant, in order to hang 100% of the blame on carbon.

Hrmm.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
last time i checked, the world wasn't a test tube.

the way i see it, CO2 is something we can control and so if we're to control the climate we control the things we can (though possibly not the things having the most impact).

climate forecasts are like Nostradamas' predictions ... once they've happened to can align an event to a prediction.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Yes we can control CO2 to an extent. We can also control the earth's albedo to an extent, however we aren't talking about that. So why is that so unimportant?

We can also control food production, but there are people starving. We can control bus route, and bus fares, but people still don't seems to like them anyway.

We can also contol public school education, but that never seems to improve.

So why do we think we can do a good job of controling carbon as a way of controlling the enviroment?

Don't get me wrong we can reduce the carbon foot print in this country today, just decide which third of the country should go into the dark.
My point is wishing, and demanding things that are not realistic will only get you run over by the people who have to do without. Only rich people can afford the tax levels you are proposing.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
yes greg, i see that's how it will work in the real world. my point was if we stop burning FFs we stop introducing CO2 into the atmosphere so we can "control" how much CO2 we add. i'm not saying it's real, only what i thought they were/are thinking.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

beej67 – Let’s go through this line by line:

Quote (beej67)

CO2 has a laboratory tested greenhouse effect, provable by hard science.
So far, so good

Quote (beej67)

The climate models show warming is tracking a lot more severely than CO2's laboratory tested greenhouse effect should be.
Models and temperature trends will show more warming in response to CO2 in the real world because of feedback effects that aren’t part of the straight CO2 greenhouse tests in the lab which don’t include other factors in our climate system. Outgoing solar radiation is reduced by amounts similar to the lab tests.

Quote (beej67)

And the climate scientist response is to claim the laboratory tests aren't applicable
What are you talking about? No they don’t. People that have a basic understanding of the science know that the actual climate system is much more complex than the basic CO2 absorptivity/emissivity lab tests. They take the absorptivity/emissivity lab test results, compare it to satellite data and use those values in the climate models. The test results are not thrown out in place of models, they are used in models.

Quote (beej67)

while simultaneously devaluing and disregarding all the other effects mankind may be having on our environment as unimportant, in order to hang 100% of the blame on carbon.
Again, what are you talking about? Have you ever glanced over anything that the IPCC puts out? Land use change, deforestation, aerosols, other pollutants, etc. are ALL studied and their effects are included in the reports. That statement is just so blatantly wrong.

GregLocock, if you want to design a lab experiment which captures ocean/atmosphere dynamics, prevailing wind patterns, changes in prevailing wind patterns, ocean currents, changes in ocean currents, cloud formation, changes in albedo, etc… and find a way to speed up the rate of reaction, then be my guest. Even if you could design an experiment conceptually, good luck getting the billion dollars to build it. Even if you get the billion dollars to build it, it still will be considered “not robust enough to prove anything” by “skeptics”.

This is part of this silly game by “skeptics” to push the standards of evidence far beyond whatever we currently have. It’s nonsense. We have so much empirical and model driven data that supports the theory, yet this is ignored or considered “not good enough”. A great example of this is how all the subsequent posters have ignored the 6 lines of empirical evidence that are in agreement with the predictions of the anthropogenic CO2 theory while, at the sometime, disproving counter-theories such as solar activity or orbital cycles. But now they’ve moved on to CO2 taxes…

metengr, I understand your post was an attempt to inject a bit of humour into the discussion but it is the utter disregard for one of, if not the, most important issues facing us that bugs me. I’ll have you know that I write these posts on my free time between work and the ~15-20 hours per week of coaching I do for various youth soccer programs in my city. So, no, I don’t have too much free time but the small amounts that I do have, I spend trying to learn about and/or educate people on an important issue. The fact that you would waste your time commenting on a thread you have, seemingly, no interest in indicates that you may be the one with too much free time. If you don’t care about the topic, then don’t read the thread (the same goes for whomever gave you a star).

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote:

What are you talking about? No they don’t. People that have a basic understanding of the science know that the actual climate system is much more complex than the basic CO2 absorptivity/emissivity lab tests. They take the absorptivity/emissivity lab test results, compare it to satellite data and use those values in the climate models. The test results are not thrown out in place of models, they are used in models.

They stick it into the model and calibrate the model to match the data. Yeah, I get that. That's the whole problem. Here, let me spell it out for you very simply. If CO2 is one third of mankind's warming effect, but CO2 scales linearly with all other effects mankind has on warming, then your models still look great if you ignore the other effects and triple the CO2 effect.

And that exact thing, I'd contend, is what's been done. You can tell it's been done because the R^2 values of their modeling predictions are no better than plotting global mean temperature vs human population on an Excel scatter diagram and telling it to best-fit the curve.

Quote:

Again, what are you talking about? Have you ever glanced over anything that the IPCC puts out? Land use change, deforestation, aerosols, other pollutants, etc. are ALL studied and their effects are included in the reports. That statement is just so blatantly wrong.

I have, in fact, in some detail.

The IPCC's treatment of the issue of global albedo change is a scientific travesty, from what I've read. Their published papers indicate that a soy bean field is cooler than a deciduous forest, and that the changes mankind has wrought on our planets surface, including urban heat islands and the like, should have had a net cooling effect if it weren't for the oh-so-horrible carbon we're emitting. That is wrong, wrong, wrong. Every paper I read was a near-intentional whitewash of everything mankind might be doing to our environment outside of CO2, and the papers were written by atmospheric chemists trying to protect their honey pot.

Don't talk to me about bad science. The IPCC has already determined the answer they're looking for, and any new work exposing that answer as questionable would be simply disastrous to their funding and credibility. They epitomize lack of impartiality. Now I will completely agree there is some seriously bad science on the 'skeptic' side of this argument. Maybe more bad science, in fact, than on the CO2 side. But that doesn't make this correlation-causality leap that the atmo chemists have made any more defensible.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Let me start off by saying that I am in agreement with you that humans are doing damage to the planet outside of CO2 emissions. Land use changes affect the environment greatly, such as with loss of habitat, but when it comes to long-term climate changes, the effect is minor in comparison to CO2. These are two different issues and the IPCC focus is on the latter.

Got any references to back up anything you just said?

Any comments on the 6 lines of empirical evidence that demonstrate the correlation-causality leap? Explain to me how albedo changes could cause those.

Also, you mentioned urban heat islands, so I will (again) mention the story of a true skeptic, Dr. Richard Muller:

Quote (rconnor)

Temperature Data Sets - One Skeptics Search for the Truth
While on the support of temperature data sets, let me tell you a story about one of the most vocal voices against temperature data sets - Dr. Richard Muller. Muller was very critical of the whole anthropogenic climate change theory. In particular, he was critical of the temperature data sets and was likely a supporter of (or even quoted in) many of the blog posts that convinced you that they were all rubbish. So what did Muller do? Well, he developed his own data set at Berkley to eliminate all the forms of bias or "corruption" in the data.

And what did his own data do to his opinion? Completely inverted it. From Muller himself, is a piece in the New York Times on his conversion. From the article,

Quote (Richard Muller)

CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.
Some more great snippets from the article,
"These findings are stronger than those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations group that defines the scientific and diplomatic consensus on global warming"
A skeptic validating the results of the evil IPCC, blasphemy!

"...it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases."
That's not very "skeptical" of him to say. How dare he let data influence his opinion!

" We carefully studied issues raised by skeptics: biases from urban heating (we duplicated our results using rural data alone), from data selection (prior groups selected fewer than 20 percent of the available temperature stations; we used virtually 100 percent), from poor station quality (we separately analyzed good stations and poor ones) and from human intervention and data adjustment (our work is completely automated and hands-off). In our papers we demonstrate that none of these potentially troublesome effects unduly biased our conclusions."
Oh boy...kinda looks like when you're skeptical of the science but then actually review the science, you see it's pretty solid. Solid enough to completely and publicly change one of the most prominent skeptic's mind.

Let's compare this to another vocal "skeptic", blogger Anthony Watts. When discussing the upcoming BEST results in 2011, Watts said the following:

Quote (Anthony Watts)

I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong....the method isn’t the madness that we’ve seen from NOAA, NCDC, GISS, and CRU....That lack of strings attached to funding, plus the broad mix of people involved especially those who have previous experience in handling large data sets gives me greater confidence in the result being closer to a bona fide ground truth than anything we’ve seen yet. Dr. Fred Singer also gives a tentative endorsement of the methods....Climate related website owners, I give you carte blanche to repost this.

Oh, so did Anthony Watts convert with Muller? Did he accept the results as he said he would? Nope, just lots of back tracking and "explanations" about this stance.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

If you think that Richard Mueller is a "skeptic" in the true sense of the word, then I have some ocean-front property in Alberta to sell you. Perhaps you need to read a little bit more about it from something other than a Kool-Aid dispenser. (BTW, exactly what publication is that article from, again - you seem to have only credited yourself...)

In your list of six, you forgot the tropical tropospheric hotspot. Why? Because it doesn't exist as predicted by "the models". How do we know it doesn't exist? It has been measured:
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/06/epic-fail-73-c...

Besides, your list has nothing to do with Anthropogenic Climate Change of Global Warming or whatever the flavour of the week is to call it (I recall seeing Global Weather Weirding...). They are some potential aspects of higher greenhouse gases (of which we can't differentiate between water, CO2, methane, or whatever. Have temps gone up? Yup. Why? Good question - we don't know. Have greenhouse gases gone up? At Mauna Loa we have been measuring it and using it as a proxy for a uniformly-distributed gas. So, possibly. So, from all of this, how do we make the leap in logic to catastrophe? For that, I actually will defer to Dr. Moore, One of the Founders of Greenpeace, who had THE inside track on the green movement as it was assimilated by the wanna-be communists from the fall of Eastern European communism. I think that you would be hard-pressed to find a more committed environmentalist than Patrick Moore. And yet all he merits from the Kool-Aid crowd is a predicable avalanche of ad hominems.

Daily there are new papers that keep revising the equilibrium constant relating CO2 concentration and temperature. And we keep slowly walking away from even a potential catastrophe. And that's pretty much the point here, right? If there's no catastrophe, then there's no need for any intervention (taxes, restrictions on emissions, etc). And really, that there is going to be no catastrophe should be reason to rejoice. Instead, the warmists double down and imagine some other catastrophe. After seeing this repeat ad nauseum for more than a decade, I am left with the conclusion that these people just really want the intervention, and keep looking for and catastrophe (real or imagined) that brings about their "solution".

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Muller's Conversion
The "Kool-Aid dispenser" you speak of was a crazy environmental extremist paper called the New York Times; it was in the quote, look again. The link to the actual article, who Muller authored himself, didn't transfer from the fist time I posted it but here it is again. I'm sorry it wasn't from WUWT, the paragon of truth and reason.

So what's your definition of skeptic, anyone who doesn't agree with the anthropogenic climate change theory? Well, Muller was just that and was supported by true "skeptics" like Anthony Watts and co. But he, unlike true "skeptics", actually engaged in independent and unbiased research. The results of his own research changed his mind. And as for Watts, well he remained a true "skeptic".

Tropospheric Hotspots
Drat! You caught me trying to sweep the lack of tropospheric hotspots under the rug! Alas, I shall come clean.

If solar activity increased, you'd expect to see tropospheric hotspots as well, unlike a cooling stratosphere. Tropospheric hotspots is not a great argument for CO2 being the driver in climate change, so I'm not sure why you're talking like the anthropogenic climate change theory hinges on tropospheric hotspots. Well I do know the reason why, "skeptics" like Monckton, not understanding the science, incorrectly assumed that a tropospheric hotspot was crucial to the theory. The spread there misunderstanding far and wide to places like WUWT, the paragon of truth and reason. Monckton, like on so many other things, was wrong. See the image below which illustrates the predicted changes by +2% in solar activity vs. 2x CO2. The tropospheric hotspot is pretty well the same but the stratospheric temperature is where the difference is.


Furthermore, there is the question of the data sets used in the comparison by Spencer. "Skeptics" love to be skeptical about temperature data sets - except when they can be used to their advantage, like the "pause". However, like the "pause", their "advantage" really disappears as soon as you start to examine the issue in more depth - as seen above.

Radiosonde measurements, used to calculate the temperature of the troposphere, have a well documented history of problems with uncertainty. Some of this comes from a cooling bias caused by interference of the cooling stratosphere (ironically) in the measurements. When this is accounted for, as in the three papers linked before, the data shows an increased in tropospheric temperatures.

So not only is the lack of tropospheric hotspots not an argument against the anthropogenic theory, it's also unclear whether it even exists.

Water Vapour
How do you get long term increases in water vapour content in the atmosphere? Increased atmospheric temperatures. How do you get increased atmospheric temperatures? Some say MAGIC! and I say CO2. Either way, water vapour is a feedback not a driver. So when we see an decrease in outgoing longwave radiation and an increase in downward infrared radiation, both with significant changes along the wavelengths associated with CO2, then it does point to CO2 being the driver. If you know of any other theory that does a better job of explaining those observed changes, I'm very open to hearing it - but it ain't solar activity or orbital cycles.

CO2 Sensitivity
I'm in full agreement with the sentiment that CO2 sensitivity is still being studied rigorously and we our continuing to improve our understanding. An example of this is the new paper Sherwood et al 2014. A nice summary from the author can be viewed here.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote (rconnor)

The "Kool-Aid dispenser" you speak of was a crazy environmental extremist paper called the New York Times
Truer words have not been written - although I know that you meant it fascitiously.

Perhaps if you wish to slag Watts, maybe you should read about his thoughts from him directly. I know that reading WUWT is anathema to you - although I don't know why. Mueller double-crossed Watts in a couple of key points, which, if I were in his position, I would be furious, too. But, I guess that ethics is not something that goes too well with noble-cause corruption (cough, Gleick!).

I didn't actually link to anything w.r.t. the tropical tropospheric hotspot from WUWT - I didn't see an actual rebuttal to Dr. Spencer's post - I take it that you agree? It's not the existence of it that's the problem, it's the magnitude. Actually, it's the same problem with surface temperatures - they models are extra-hot compared to reality.

Let's shelve this discussion for about 60 years, and then when a "winner" is declared, we can look at policy decisions. Until then, any clamouring for policy is for policy-sake and not actual observational science. This whole exercise would be mildly amusing from a science history perspective, if not for the policy implications.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
@rconnor ... tropospheric hotspots ... your two pic don't IMHO show the issue. you're comparing 2x CO2 with +2% solar input, but i'd've thought the valid comparison was between 2x CO2 and 1x CO2. as i understand it, greenhouse theory and the models biult from it predict increased warming specifically in the troposphere ... a hard prediction as far as i know it not borne out in fact. that's a problem for the theory, no?

i find the statement "How do you get increased atmospheric temperatures? Some say MAGIC! and I say CO2. ... but it ain't solar activity or orbital cycles." quite simplistic. I've read journal articles investigating the impact of solar contributions, and their conclusion was that it was significant. In support of that conclusion I also offer what caused climate change before we started burning FFs like they were going out of style ?

i don't think there's any proof for either side with "the pause". it's just a short term trend. the most you can say about it is that it shows the difference between (certainly the earlier) climate models showing monotonic increasing temperatures and the real world ... but then models can't mimic the real world.

for me models are still in their infantancy. we still don't know all the climate factors and processes and interactions. so we add influences into the models so that they can produce the historical data, something meant to collect a bunch of interactions we don't model. surely that's just playing with numbers. I can appreciate scientists doing this in their labs, trying to develop a model, but that's where they belong. they're not ready to be the basis of policy and taxation.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote:

Let me start off by saying that I am in agreement with you that humans are doing damage to the planet outside of CO2 emissions. Land use changes affect the environment greatly, such as with loss of habitat, but when it comes to long-term climate changes, the effect is minor in comparison to CO2. These are two different issues and the IPCC focus is on the latter.

Got any references to back up anything you just said?

Yeah, sure do. Everywhere that has had continuous human civilization on the planet for the last 2000 years is now a desert. Go check a map.

Got any references to what you just said, that it's "minor" compared to CO2? People keep saying this, but as I say, the IPCC studies are full of really, really bad science when it comes to analysis of albedo and the changes man makes to the global hydrologic cycle, which is the exact mechanic that the earth uses to bleed excess energy. When you interrupt that cycle, you're turning off the Earth's Air Conditioner, and that's exactly what urbanization does. Not studied at all by the IPCC, and when it is studied, it's clearly a whitewash. Go read some of the papers. They're ridiculous.

As far as your quote goes, it's not applicable to my case at all. Most of the 'disbelievers' contend that urban heat islands have tainted the data set and there isn't any actual warming. I don't care a lick one way or another about the data set. I think there's definitely warming, and all you have to do to prove it is look at mean ocean level and glacial recession. I think the effect that global agriculture and urban heat islands have on the macro-climate is being ignored, or worse, intentionally downplayed by the IPCC, in their attempt to paint CO2 as the *only* problem.

Check this little image out from one of my favorite comics last week:



Are you seriously going to tell me that the only effect mankind has on our environment is CO2?

Come on. Get real. The only reason a scientist would seek to paint CO2 as the *only* problem was if the scientist already decided what sort of "solution" he was pushing. And that's what we have with the IPCC.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote:

Yeah, sure do. Everywhere that has had continuous human civilization on the planet for the last 2000 years is now a desert. Go check a map.
Yup - totally agree. That wasteland that is Rome is atrocious. Same
for Paris. And Beijing.

I agree with you that there are lots of other environmental effects other than CO2. What even better than your cartoon is if you superimpose that on top of the mass of the world's insects. The mammals would be dwarfed.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I'm reasonably sure if you pull a thermal satellite image of Rome it's going to look something like the one above for Atlanta.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Ok, this is ridiculous. Let’s recap how “skeptics” review sources of information:

New York Times – crazy environmental extremist paper
Nature (the journal) – biased journal that blocks all real science from being published
Science (the journal) – part of the cult of global warming and nothing they publish should be trusted
Data Sets (that show agreement with anthropogenic climate change theory) – corrupted data
Data Sets (that show disagreement with the theory) – trustworthy data (even if from the same source as above but used a different way)
IPCC – evil entity bent on world domination through climate taxes
NIPCC – defending the rights of the people from the evils of the IPCC
National Science Academies (from 34 countries) – A bunch of idiots that “drank the Kool-aid”
CATO – Unbiased and not ideologically driven. Smarter than those other guys.
Blogs (that agree with the theory) – nothing but uneducated liars, anything quoted from such a source can be dismissed prior to reading
Blogs (that disagree with the theory) - the paragons of truth and reason. No other source carries more credibility.

If you say I’m drinking the Kool-aid, then I say you’re sniffing the gas.

(BTW, I read WUWT regularly and, yes, I’ve already read Watts’ take on the whole BEST data issue. I don’t slag Watts, I slag the quality of the content on his site.)

Spencer’s post and Tropospheric Temperatures
I listed 6 sources of empirical evidence that both agree with the anthropogenic climate change theory and disagree with solar activity/orbital cycles. You then paraded Spencer’s post as some knock-down argument against the predictions of the theory, implying, incorrectly, that tropospheric hotspots are a key prediction to the theory. I stated that tropospheric temperatures are not central to the theory as it is not a distinguishing feature between it and any counter theory.

As to the implication that it disproves the accuracy of climate models, I stated that there is a known cooling bias in tropospheric temperature data which is partly due to stratospheric cooling. So, explain to me how I didn’t address his post and your comments?

A 2006 Report, which John Christy was a co-author, states the following:
  • “It is likely that a net spurious cooling corrupts the area-averaged adjusted radiosonde data in the tropical troposphere, causing these data to indicate less warming than has actually occurred there”
  • ”[Model-Observation disagreement] may arise from errors that are common to all models, from errors in the observational data sets, or from a combination of these factors. The second explanation is favored”
I’ll add that a great argument was put forth by Glenn Tamblyn in the comment section of the very blog post you referenced. It’s well worth the (short) read. Spencer never responded.

So, as I said, it’s not an argument against the anthropogenic theory only, as it applies to solar activity as well. The issue, if it exists, lies with the understanding of lapse rate feedbacks. But that issue might not even exist.

But what if it does? Does the theory fold like a house of cards? Well, lapse rate feedback is a negative feedback. So, if our current understanding of the physics is overestimating the effect then it is also overestimating the effect of a negative feedback. The lack of hotspots, if they exist, would suggest a higher sensitivity than previously thought.

rb1967, re: solar activity
You spliced together that quote from two different sections that were talking about two different things. The first part was talking about atmospheric temperatures, the second part was talking about the list of 6 lines of empirical evidence in support of the theory. You cannot have a cooling stratosphere and warming surface caused by increased solar activity (or decreased for that matter). So, while solar activity can possibly provide an explanation to some aspects of climate change, it is directly contradicted by other changes. There may be an explanation that could salvage the sun theory from aspects like a cooling stratosphere but I haven’t seen it. CO2, on the other hand, does a very good job at providing a causal relationship to most climate changes we see.

“Models are still in their infancy” – about 10 years ago, I would have completely agreed with this statement. Models, in lockstep with our physical understanding of climate science, are improving each and every year. There are still areas that require some fine-tuning, feedbacks being one such. Sherwood et al 2014, linked above, is a good example of this.

However, our physical understanding of climate science and, subsequently, models have improved to the point that the foundational science is solid. Could it be up-ended by future discoveries? Sure but the probability gets less and less with each passing paper or line of evidence that pushes the science further toward, instead of away from, the conclusion that humans are the primary driver behind the recent change in climate. I’d love for the theory to be up-ended, I would sleep much better at night knowing that the problem facing future generations isn’t as bad as we previously thought. However, I don’t argue based on what I’d like the outcome to be, I argue based on what the science shows. This is quite contrary to most “skeptics” who argue based on an opposition to the taxes/regulations and force or filter the science to fit that opinion.

beej67, I’m really not going to bother with this too much. I’ve included references to forcings from various different sources, albedo and CO2 were both on it. You’ll have to provide a reference to a paper that says albedo is a stronger forcing than CO2 because it flies in the face of every paper I’ve ever read on the subject (that was the reference I was asking for).

If all you are trying to say is that our levels of consumption are effecting the environment, I completely agree. If you are saying that albedo or land use changes have a greater effect on the climate than CO2, I disagree (again, you’ll have to provide a paper that agrees with your stance because it’s contrary to all the papers I’ve already linked that discuss forcings). However, we can solve BOTH issues related to land use changes and CO2 emission by curbing consumption, so let’s work together on that.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Curbing consumption is indeed the answer to lots of problems with the Earth today. In order to curb consumption, the Earth's population must be curbed. But yet, we humans insist on increasing populations, and in increasing the life span of those already here. Are there any workable solutions, or just more problems?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote:

beej67, I’m really not going to bother with this too much. I’ve included references to forcings from various different sources, albedo and CO2 were both on it. You’ll have to provide a reference to a paper that says albedo is a stronger forcing than CO2 because it flies in the face of every paper I’ve ever read on the subject (that was the reference I was asking for).

I never said it was a stronger force. I said it's a force. And the IPCC papers I've read, which I won't bother to link, actually have the bald faced gall to pretend that global albedo change, global interruption of the hydrologic cycle, and the kinds of global heat generation that we can see from space, provide a net cooling effect. Cooling. Really.

Quote:

However, we can solve BOTH issues related to land use changes and CO2 emission by curbing consumption, so let’s work together on that.

I agree with you that we can go a long way to solving the environmental problems of the world by murdering 80% of the human population. But there is no legitimate climate model in the world that shows that some countries adopting the Kyoto Treaty in a piecemeal fashion would do diddly squat to affect warming.

I agree that the world's got problems. We're smack in the middle of the sixth great mass extinction. But these clowns who think that carbon "trading" is going to stop it have their heads up their rears, and there's nothing I've seen proposed scientifically that can 'fix' this problem short of unleashing military grade biological warfare on the human population. I'm green, but I ain't that green.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

A little over 320 posts into this thread before the Malthusians show their true colours. If you think that population is a problem, what have you personally done about it? And Paul Ehrlich has been wrong so many times, warning of catastrophes that just never seem to occur - I believe that his batting average is exactly zero.

Sigh.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Just thinking about the whole testable hypothesis thing, if a community of scientists wishes to test an expensive hypothesis they can get their acts together and do so eg CERN, say 10 billion dollars.

But of course, they have to actually /want/ that to happen.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

"We're smack in the middle of the sixth great mass extinction" Yes I see that on the news every night. Another shooting, another person run over by a hit and run, another auto accedent. And most of it because we don't take the time to slow down and think.

We all seem to be to busey with schedules, TV, cell phones, and my car is faster than yours.

If you really want to do something, then consiter growing something in your backyard other than grass. I mean really just look at how much energy we use just to grow grass, then we cut it and throw away the cuttings.

That's just the tip of the iceburg. The real problem is keep following the same stupid ideas because we don't know any better, and we don't have time to think for ourselves. We as engineers should be attempting to lead in this change of society, but we don't.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

(OP)
we're just spatting at each other like cats.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Thus the title of this thread, rb?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Well, since we admit we are spatting like cats, let's paws and see if this discussion has gone too fur. Some of us would like to see a claws added to the tail of the IPCC report admitting the models don't match reality, while others think the IPCC report is the cat's meow. In my opinion, one of those positions is superior to the other by a whisker. And with that I will bid ciao ciao ciao to this frisky bunch of crispy critters!

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

What? How did “curb consumption” translate to reduce the population for some of you? Would it not be ethically more appealing to live with less than have less of us live?

Despite my interest in this aspect of the discussion, I believe it takes us away from the science. I feel, given the level of understanding of the science by some, it’s more important to keep the conversation there. But that’s just my opinion.

GregLocock, you saying you’d support a $10 Billion project to construct a physical experiment capable of simulating our climate? Assuming that you do, we have a slight problem of how it would work. See my previous post about all the aspects of climate you’d have to incorporate. How would you speed up the interactions? Again, even if you could conceptualize and build such an experiment, it would still be a simplified simulation of our climate system. I guarantee that if such a system was built and agreed with the theory, that “skeptics” would still say “it’s a simplified model and tells us nothing about how our actual climate system works”.

Now herein lies the problem: any physical experimental sufficiently complex to accurately simulate our climate system would be realistically impossible to build as it would need to be a near copy of Earth, maybe not in size but certainly in complexity. While, any physical experimental simple enough to be realistically possible would be inherently incomplete in its ability to accurately simulate our climate system and, therefore, would be dismissed by “skeptics”. It is analogous to the Godelian problem – any system sufficiently powerful is defeated by its own power, while any system insufficiently powerful is, tautologically, insufficient. Thus, the proposition of constructing a physical experiment that could simulate our climate system is an attempt to stick climate scientists with a self-defeating quest.

Meanwhile, we’ve got model simulations that are more robust and can be more easily reviewed and tweaked than any physical simulation can. Small scale physical simulations are already used to study specific aspects of the physics and then that understanding is taking into the models. This is the most effective and most practical way of studying the complex interactions inherent in our climate system.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

That's sort of the problem with most so called solutions. How much is enough, and how much is too much. Population decline, do with less, increase taxes, etc. where is the limit. What is too much.

However, with a solution that has limits, and is less of a problem where it becomes too much would work better.
Like paint roofs white. There are only so many roofs. However taxes don't have a natural limit, and in theory could increase almost for ever (assuming the goverment keeps printing money).

Also simple things work better than gross things like reducing the population by any means other than natural decline.

Curbing consumption of what? If it is food, than that is also reducing the population (in the extreem), but again where is the limit.

Look at simpler things, not complex things that can be driven by ego maniacs.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

The model simulations are calibrated to produce the answer that the modelers are looking for. Let me state this again, so we're all clear what's going on.

Quote (beej67)

Here, let me spell it out for you very simply. If CO2 is one third of mankind's warming effect, but CO2 scales linearly with all other effects mankind has on warming, then your models still look great if you ignore the other effects and triple the CO2 effect.

And that exact thing, I'd contend, is what's been done. You can tell it's been done because the R^2 values of their modeling predictions are no better than plotting global mean temperature vs human population on an Excel scatter diagram and telling it to best-fit the curve.

And on top of that, exactly zero of these models predicted the temperature would be flat the past 15 years.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-221...

The models have serious, scientific flaws, that stem from an unsupported presumption of causality from observed correlation. Some warming is due to carbon, but how much has been grossly overstated, and nobody knows what the real amount of warming due to carbon is. Even if we did know this, no amount of "carbon trading" could stop anthropogenic warming unless we did away with all fossil fuels entirely.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote (rconnor)

Meanwhile, we’ve got model simulations that are more robust and can be more easily reviewed and tweaked than any physical simulation can.
I'm assuming that you are referring to the CIMP5 computer simulations that are now outside of the 5% confidence interval as compared to actual observations? That's not exactly what I would call robust. However, I completely agree with you that they can be (and obviously are mostly) "tweaked". Now, only if that tweaking were somehow related to actual science...

Sorry - your faith in the climate models are just that - blind faith. They are not useful for predictions (or whatever the code-word the IPCC uses these days that gives them plausible deniability when the predictions fail). The claim of catastrophe relies entirely and solely on these models. When the models fails, so do the claims of catastrophe.

House of cards falls down.

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with most of the observational science of greenhouse gases (I think that the "Slayers" are completely off their rockers) - I mostly disagree with the claim of future catastrophe. There is just no basis for it.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Lets see if I can post some links without someone trying to poison the well...

http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2014/02/Ove...

http://www.cato.org/blog/climate-insensitivity-wha...

Punchline:

The IPCC claims equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C, and assumes 3°C for the purposes of it's projections, but a detailed review of their own literature indicates that it's most likely to be 1.75°C, meaning they've overstated the impact of CO2 by a factor of two.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Perhaps I am a "Malthusian", although Malthus himself did not say some of the things attributed to him. But to me, population control is central to our way of life, rather than this carbon dioxide nonsense. When reading Dan Brown's latest novel "Inferno", I found myself sypathizing with the villain.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Do you people suffer from short-term memory loss? The “pause” gets brought up, I break it down, the conversation changes. The “pause” gets re-brought up, I break it down (again), the conversation changes. The “pause” gets re-re-brought up…(at least 12 times in this thread!).

This rare form of selective memory loss appears to be a problem that specifically targets “skeptics”. Maybe it arises from sniffing the gas?

The argument that the “pause” disproves the validity of climate models, the crux of most “skepticism”, stems from a foundamental misunderstanding of climate science and climate models. The interdependency of the climate system has to be understood prior to being able to make any broad conclusions. Stagnate temperatures alone prove nothing. When you understand the science and account for ENSO events, the temperature trend sits right in the heart of the model runs. The opposite is also true, when you input ENSO events into the models, they match observations. I’ve demonstrated this by referencing papers, displaying figures and doing my own analysis – 12 times.

Although I’ve already stated this a couple times before, I will re-outline what would constitute a valid argument against the validity of climate models.
  1. If ENSO neutral years showed a notable decline in temperature trends over a significant time-span --> it doesn’t, they show a very consistent warming trend, even during the “pause”
  2. If both ocean heat content and surface temperatures showed a notable decline over a significant time-span --> it doesn’t, OHC shows an increase, especially in the deep ocean, during the “pause”. This is exactly what you’d expect to happen in an La Nina dominated period.
  3. If during the next positive PDO/IPO period, the temperature trend does not resume warming --> we’ll see
What you call “blind faith”, I call reviewing the data and literature on the subject. I’ve done my homework. Whether you bring up the “pause”, humidity, OHC (surface, deep or abyssal), CO2 taxation, tropospheric hotspots, forcings, solar activity, etc - I have had answers from empirical data and peer-reviewed literature. That isn’t from “blind faith”, that’s from there being a pile of research to support my side. Heck, I use to be a “skeptic”. I believed what Watts and co had to say. But then I studied the subject in more detail and I realized it was nothing but cherry-picked arguments and blatant misdirection.

What do you have to support your view? A misunderstanding of the data stemming from accepting what you read on blogs mixed with a conspiracy theory to “validate” why you don’t have much of any peer-reviewed research to support your side?

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Well you do go on a lot. No, you don't have to simulate the entire Earth's climate in a 10 billion dollar rig. What you do is you take a few aspects of the new religion and test whether they have the effect that the believers say. This is called science. It may not be tweakable, in your cute little phrase, but it can be meaningful. I'd be looking at water vapour myself, if I were interested in atmospherics and heat inputs.

Incidentally I think it was the warmisti who moved the goalposts when it came to the pause. For twenty years global average temperature has been the comparator, suddenly it's net heat input (which I actually agree with).

In some more exciting news a group of ex NASA guys reviewed the literature and think that on a trend based argument we are in for DECADES of divergence between the average GCM model and the real world's temperature, so I suggest you get those goalposts moving as quick as you can otherwise the entire climate religion is going to get laughed out of court. They also found that the climate sensitivity to CO2 is right at the bottom end of the scale.

If as you suggest the climate community has always been interested in a heat based model then why has every single IPCC report emphasised a global temperature sensitivity?

Here's my analysis of a heat based model, better get going on those 10 billion dollar rigs

Consider a control volume around the earth at an altitude of 100-200 km (for example)

Over any given period of time the following equation must be true

Energy incoming-energy radiated+energy generated internally+change of internal energy=0

Now, confusingly most of the first 3 end up as heat, more often than not, but not always. For instance some incident light is absorbed by some molecules and reradiated as heat. But some incident light is reflected directly. So you have to be a bit careful.

The first two can be measured via satellites. The first can also be predicted fairly well, on average.

The second relies on two things. The albedo, greatly affected by cloud cover and snow cover, and the effective average black body temperature of the Earth, which approximately relates back to global average temperature. Small changes in average cloud cover have a big effect on albedo.

The third is easy, just all the man made and natural sources of heat and EM waves that get converted to heat.

The fourth consists of

4.1)Other
4.2)KE and temperature of oceans
4.3)KE and temperature of atmosphere
4.4)KE and temperature of molten core of earth
4.5)strain energy in crust
4.6)PE of various system components
4.7)Chemical/radioactive (fuel) energy of various system components

4.6) and 4.7) we can handle
4.3) we can measure but don't seem very good at predicting

4.5 is not important at a guess
That leaves 4.1 4.2 and 4.4 which are unknown, huge and poorly measured and not modellable, and huge and not measurable or modellable respectively.

Therefore a heat based model will require much more research and will be useless for predictive purposes until 4.2 and 4.4 are sorted, and 4.1 is understood.





Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote:

Whether you bring up the “pause”, humidity, OHC (surface, deep or abyssal), CO2 taxation, tropospheric hotspots, forcings, solar activity, etc - I have had answers from empirical data and peer-reviewed literature.

I definitely missed the peer reviewed study that said CO2 taxation would stop global warming. Would you mind relinking that one? I bet it's a hoot.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

I think the CO2 taxation would stop global warming is a leap of faith myself. It's a requirment of every religon (blessed be the mighty gas cloud).
And I base this on the fact that no other solutions seem to be acceptable.

I also think this is a splenter group of all goverment is good, and higher taxes are better.

And yesterday I was reminded of the book 'Silent Spring' which has never been shown to be anything other than fiction, and was statest to be one of the corner posts of the enviromental movement.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

beej67, if you want to argue semantics, with regards to “CO2 taxation” in the list, it should have been “and/or”. It’s inclusion was referring to the conversation regarding BC’s carbon tax, where TGS4 stated:

Quote (TGS4)

Some people can point to Canada’s BC as an example – but guess what – their CO2 emissions have INCREASED, coincident with their GDP – in spite of this tax. Well, that accomplished, ummm, nothing…
It was flat out wrong. I provided an analysis of the real world data to prove it. I suppose you forgot about my post at 27 Nov 13 15:37 where I ran through a summary of the figures and provided statistical refutations against counter arguments. Read up.

GregLocock,
Well, I’ve got some good news for you! We can save that $10 billion dollars because your ideal physical experiment is exactly what climate science is doing already.

Quote (GregLocock)

If as you suggest the climate community has always been interested in a heat based model then why has every single IPCC report emphasised a global temperature sensitivity?
I don’t suggest, it’s how it’s done already. It’s a “heat based model” where the output chosen to present to people is global average temperatures. It could be kW gained/year or whatever energy metric you want.

Quote (GregLocock)

Consider a control volume around the earth at an altitude of 100-200 km (for example)…Energy incoming-energy radiated+energy generated internally+change of internal energy=0
Right away your talking about a model (or at least a computer program used to calculate an output when feed specific inputs) using empirical data from physical testing as it’s input. That’s how it’s done already.

Quote (GregLocock)

The first two can be measured via satellites. The first can also be predicted fairly well, on average.
That’s how it’s done already.

Quote (GregLocock)

The third is easy, just all the man made and natural sources of heat and EM waves that get converted to heat.
That’s how it’s done already. It’s negligible in comparison to the first term.

Quote (GregLocock)

4.1)Other
4.2)KE and temperature of oceans
4.3)KE and temperature of atmosphere
4.4)KE and temperature of molten core of earth
4.5)strain energy in crust
4.6)PE of various system components
4.7)Chemical/radioactive (fuel) energy of various system components

That leaves 4.1 4.2 and 4.4 which are unknown, huge and poorly measured and not modellable, and huge and not measurable or modellable respectively.
4.1 - Any guesses as to what it would be? Some massive heat sink or source that we are unaware of? Maybe there’s a teapot orbiting the far side of Mercury that is causing all this extra heat to show up? Without any plausible hypothesis on what this massive heat sink or source might be, it’s an argument ad ignoratiam.

4.4 – What would this have to do with the recent changes in climate? Not much changes in the molten core on the time scales we’re talking about. As stated in term 3, any heat addition to the system is negligible in comparison with term 1. Maybe this article from NASA would help? Volcanoes, if that’s what you’re getting at, have a short term effect on climate change. Explain to me how you’d propose constructing a physical experiment that would help with our ability to predict volcanoes?

4.2 - Remember when you were talking about OHC and you talked about surface (0-700m) OHC and I gave you data for deep (700m-2000m) OHC? Then you said, deep OHC isn’t deep enough, so I gave you data for abyssal (2000+) OHC? Remember that? Argo floats, ring a bell? We have good data coming in from OHC.

As for ENSO, it is short term and has no observed mechanism that could act as a long term forcing. All research and observations into ENSO events leads us to believe it is inherently stochastic yet oscillates between positive and negative periods. So, yes, it’s not predictable but long term effects on climate trends are weak. Furthermore, how would/could a physical experiment of a short term, oscillating, inherently stochastic event help with our ability to predict it?

So not only have you just described how we currently measure and simulate our climate, you offered nothing with regards how you’d want to create a physical experiment to study the INTERACTIONS between the different aspects. This is the tricky part. We currently do this with models and then compare that with observations. When we see discrepancies, we don’t toss out the models, we look for a scientific explanation behind the difference. Once we understand that, we adjust the models and re-review the validity of the theory. That’s how science works.

Are there discrepancies? Of course. Do any of these discrepancies, when we understand the reason behind them, offer a knock-out blow to the anthropogenic climate change theory? No - if you disagree, name one; keep in mind the “pause” has been discussed 13 times. Actually, the best scientific explanation for the discrepancies usually helps solidify the theory more. The “pause” is a great example of this.

RE: another kick at the climate change cat ...

Quote:

beej67, if you want to argue semantics

No, I don't want to argue semantics, that's what you're doing. I want you to link me to a "peer reviewed study" that says carbon trading or carbon taxing will arrest or reverse global warming. I anxiously anticipate the entertainment value of reading it.

I also want you to acknowledge that a climate model that erroneously doubles the net effect of one warming source, while erroneously halfing the net effect of another warming source, can give "good" results if the two sources are in reality equal contributors to warming. And since this sort of error is inherent to the "calibration" process in modeling, the models cannot be used to prove causation from a correlation simply because their results are "good."

I'll leave whether or not the current results are "good" for someone else to argue, but I would like to point out (again) that the equilibrium climate sensitivity shown in AR5 is actually about half what the IPCC says it is, purely based on an objective analysis of their own studies.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

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