Climate tipping point early warning system

While the press release says University of Exeter, this slide show by Tim Lenton from the University that brought up ClimateGate, UEA, sees tipping worry in every event.

Click for the full slide presentation in PDF form - a transcript follows below

Source: http://www.slideshare.net/Stepscentre/tim-lenton-early-warning-of-climate-tipping-points

From Eurekalert:

Climate change disasters could be predicted

Climate change disasters, such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, dieback of the Amazon rainforest or collapse of the Atlantic overturning circulation, could be predicted according to University of Exeter research.

Writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, Professor Tim Lenton of the University of Exeter shows that the ‘tipping points’ that trigger these disasters could be anticipated by looking for changes in climate behaviour.

Climate ‘tipping points’ are small changes that trigger a massive shift in climate systems, with potentially devastating consequences. It is already known that climate change caused by human activity could push several potential hazards past their ‘tipping point’. However, it is often assumed that these ‘tipping points’ are entirely unpredictable.

Professor Lenton argues that a system of forecasting could be developed to enable some forewarning of high-risk tipping points. The approach he outlines involves analysing observational data to look for signs that a climate system is slowing down in its response to short-term natural variability (which we experience as the weather). This characteristic behaviour indicates the climate is becoming unstable, and is a common feature of systems approaching critical thresholds known as ‘bifurcation points’.

Professor Tim Lenton of the University of Exeter said: “Many people assume that tipping points which could be passed as a result of human-induced climate change are essentially unpredictable. Recent research shows that the situation is not as hopeless as it may seem: we have the tools to anticipate thresholds, which means we could give societies valuable time to adapt.

“Although these findings give us hope, we are still a long way from developing rigorous early warning systems for these climate hazards.”

###

Early warning of climate tipping points by Professor Timothy Lenton (University of Exeter) is published in Nature Climate Change volume 1, issue 3, July 2011 and online on Sunday 19 June at 18.00 BST. Copies available on request.

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Here is the transcript for the slide show above.

Tim Lenton – Early warning of climate tipping points – Presentation Transcript

  1. Early warning of climate tipping points Tim Lenton School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich With special thanks to Valerie Livina, John Schellnhuber, Frank Kwasniok
  2. Outline Tipping elements Risk assessment Early warning
  3. Two types of tipping point Bifurcation
  4. Two types of tipping point Bifurcation No bifurcation
  5. Policy relevant forcing range IPCC (2007) = High growth = Mid growth = Low growth
  6. Tipping elements in the climate system Revised from original in Lenton et al. (2008) PNAS 105(6): 1786-1793 October 11, 2010
  7. Estimates of proximity Lenton & Schellnhuber (2007) Nature Reports Climate Change Results from literature review and workshop
  8. Likelihood of tipping Kriegler et al. (2009) PNAS 10.1073/pnas.0809117106 Imprecise probability statements from experts Atlantic formally combined Under 2-4 °C warming: Greenland >16% probability of passing at least one of five tipping points Antarctica Under >4 °C warming: >56% probability of passing at least one of Amazon five tipping points El Niño
  9. Impacts of tipping Lenton, Footitt & Dlugolecki (2009) http://assets.panda.org/downloads/plugin_tp_final_report.pdf Populations exposed to 1-in-100-yr flood events Allianz / WWF report: Increased sea level rise +$25,158 billion exposed assets in port megacities Indian summer monsoon disruption Amazon dieback and drought Aridification of southwest North America October 11, 2010
  10. Tipping element risk assessment Tipping element Likelihood of Relative Risk score Risk ranking passing a tipping impact** of (likelihood x point change in state impact) (by 2100) (by 3000) Arctic summer sea-ice High Low 3 4 Greenland ice sheet Medium-High* High 7.5 1 (highest) West Antarctic ice sheet Medium* High 6 2 Atlantic THC Low* Medium-High 2.5 6 ENSO Low* Medium-High 2.5 6 West African monsoon Low High 3 4 Amazon rainforest Medium* Medium 4 3 Boreal forest Low Low-Medium 1.5 8 (lowest) *Likelihoods informed by expert elicitation **Initial judgment of relative impacts is my subjective assessment Impacts depend on human responses hence are more epistemologically contested than assigning likelihoods to events (Stirling 2003 ‘Risk, uncertainty and precaution…’) October 11, 2010
  11. Prospects for bifurcation early warning Held & Kleinen (2004) Geophysical Research Letters 31: L23207 Lenton et al. (2008) PNAS 105(6): 1786-1793 Generic early warning signals: Slowing down Increasing variability Skewness of responses Flickering between states System being forced past a tipping point October 11, 2010
  12. Model test of early warning method Held & Kleinen (2004) Geophysical Research Letters 31: L23207 CLIMBER-2 intermediate complexity model Linear increase in CO2 from 280 to 800 ppmv Stochastic perturbation of freshwater forcing
  13. Fully 3-D dynamical model test Lenton et al. (2009) Phil. Trans. A 367: 871-884 Atlantic meridional overturning circulation Early warning indicator from autocorrelation function Early warning indicator from detrended fluctuation analysis October 11, 2010 GENIE-2 model
  14. Paleo-data test of early warning method Livina & Lenton (2007) Geophysical Research Letters 34: L03712 Greenland ice-core regional temperature record Early warning indicator from detrended fluctuation analysis Early warning indicator from autocorrelation function October 11, 2010
  15. Detecting the number of system states Livina, Kwasniok & Lenton (2010) Climate of the Past, 6: 77-82 New method; „potential analysis‟: Assume polynomial potential and random noise Estimate number of states (i.e. order of polynomial) Estimate noise level Derive potential coefficients and hence shape of potential Number of states: 1, 2, 3, 4 October 11, 2010
  16. Changing number of climate states Livina, Kwasniok & Lenton (2010) Climate of the Past, 6: 77-82 Number of states: 1, 2, 3, 4
  17. European monthly temperature anomaly (1659-2004) Livina et al. (in revision) Climate Dynamics Number of states: 1, 2, 3, 4 October 11, 2010
  18. Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (1856-present) Livina et al. (in revision) Climate Dynamics Number of states: 1, 2, 3, 4
  19. Conclusion Tipping elements in the climate system could be triggered this century by anthropogenic forcing The Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets probably represent the largest risks Some tipping points can be anticipated in principle, but sufficiently high-resolution, long records are often lacking A change in the number of climate states can be detected, in a noisy climate system that is moving between states Improved understanding is needed to help policy makers “avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable” October 11, 2010
  20. Find out more http://knowledge.allianz.com/climate_tipping_points/climate_en.html October 11, 2010
  21. Example of transition (but not bifurcation) Livina, Ditlevsen, Lenton (submitted) Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics Sigmoid function with red noise, fluctuation exponent 0.7 ACF-propagator (without detrending) is more sensitive to transitions

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I’ve yet to see a “climate change disaster”. I would suppose that the closest thing that qualifies would be the Vikings getting frozen out of Greenland as the MWP ended. Lenton’s study assumes that Earth’s climate will become more chaotic due to AGW, rather than establishing some new equilibrium point.

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147 Responses to Climate tipping point early warning system

  1. Chris F says:

    Some folks just insist on seeing monsters under every bed. I’m glad I grew up and those things don’t bother me any more..

  2. Ross says:

    I think there is a very good project for a good investigative journalist —have a long hard look at the history and development of the CRU. It is not just those that are there now , but so many of the “leaders” in the AWG machine haves links back to the UEA.

  3. Duncan says:

    So… the greening of the Sahara is a tipping point, or an early sign that we’re approaching a tipping point?

    Yes, this is the bogeyman stalking the world – if we don’t do something about fossil fuel use quick, the Sahara could become arable land again! LOOK OUT! Crop yields might increase around the Mediterranean too!

    Hard for me to see how that could cause permanent change on a global scale.
    Hard for me to see why they bothered mentioning it, since it doesn’t seem like a bad thing.

  4. George Kominiak says:

    Good grief!! Who pays for thus stuff??? (And why???)

  5. Physics Major says:

    Nature Climate Change – the name says it all. You know what to expect.

  6. Robert M says:

    It would be nice if those guys could actually predict something. But so far the only sure thing is that if they say it will happen, the smart money is on the opposite.

    Climate “Science” is batting 0 for 1000. Someday they will get something right, by accident more then anything, and then just look out!!!

  7. DirkH says:

    I think it already bifurcated here, i mean the weather is really lousy. Surely some serious climate disruption. Hope it doesn’t spread to non-Kyotoland.

  8. Graeme says:

    They forgot to add some “Skulls” and “Fish skeletons”, and maybe some “Polar Bear Skeletons” to the graphic to indicate the massive loss of life, diebacks and species loss…

  9. Olen says:

    They can’t accurately predict the weather very far out but can identify small changes as tipping points that have devastating results.

    This sounds a lot like the butterfly effect.

  10. NikFromNYC says:

    “I think there is a very good project for a good investigative journalist —have a long hard look at the history and development of the CRU. It is not just those that are there now , but so many of the “leaders” in the AWG machine haves links back to the UEA.”

    The CRU’s building is named after its original founder, Hubert Lamb, who was the grandfather of the MWP and LIA.

    Here he is in a news clipping from 1972, a year after CRU was founded, predicting a slow decent into a new ice age: http://climategate.tv/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/deseret2.png.

    His book “Climate History and the Modern World” was updated in ’94 and included faint praise of AGW theory:

    “Changes in the amount of carbon dioxide and other ‘greenhouse’ gases in the atmosphere, as well as variations of the water vapor content, and of cloudiness, must also be expected to affect the climate. It now seems necessary to admit – though this is seldom mentioned in recent literature – that none of these variations explains the timing of the general warming and cooling phases altogether satisfactorily, certainly not as well as widely claimed. In particular, the sharp warming phase around 1700, and the mid-twentieth-century cooling from about the 1940s to the early 1980s, are not well accounted for. Nor is the magnitude, nor the distribution, of warming and cooling over the Earth in good agreement with most global warming model predictions. Even the great warmth of the years 1989-91, hailed in some quarters as proof of the reality of the predicted global warming due to the enhancement of the greenhouse effect by increasing carbon dioxide and other effluents, requires the usual adjustments.”

  11. Mark T says:

    I don’t mind… the more predictions these idiots make, the less likely the hoi palloi will be to believe them when their predictions fail.

    Mark

  12. Andrew30 says:

    Old news, Tims been flogging this since…

    Washington, DC November 24, 2009

    World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the leading insurer Allianz SE released a report today warning that sea level rise could dramatically increase risks to buildings, transportation infrastructure and other assets exposed to severe storm surges in coastal areas of the U.S.

    The report, ‘Major Tipping Points in the Earth’s Climate System and Consequences for the Insurance Sector’ was written by Tim Lenton and Anthony Footitt at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research; and Andrew Dlugolecki at Andlug Consulting (all in the U.K.).

    “As an insurer and investor, we must prepare our clients for these scenarios as long as we still have leeway for action,” said Scott Steinmetz, PE, AVP Corporate Risk Governance, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, a company of Allianz. “Setting premiums risk-appropriately and sustainably is of vital interest to everyone involved, because this is the only way to ensure that coverage solutions will continue to exist.”

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/sea_level/weather_storms/prweb3250634.htm

    Follow the money, or in this case the perception of threat risks which increases insurance premiums.

    PS.These insureance companies fund the CRU
    Norwich Union
    Reinsurance Underwriters and Syndicates

    See Also:
    “From Risk to Opportunity” Evan Mills, Ph.D. April 2009
    …”Enabling Customers to Acquire Carbon Offsets”
    Another initiative brings together a set of insurers that, for every vehicle or travel policy bought through online broker Climatesure, contribute a percentage of the premium to the company Climate Care, which operates carbon-offsetting projects and provides a100% offset for the customer’s travel (including up to 40 flight hours per policy) with no price premium (Osborne 2006). Among the insurers offering policies through Climatesure are AXA, Norwich Union, Groupama Insurances, and Premier Underwriting; premiums are lower for fuel-efficient cars. Allianz also is offering certified carbon offsets for drivers, and plans to augment this with some sort of premium incentive (Allianz 2007b). RSA’s More Th>n Green Wheels automobile insurance provides a 15% discount for qualifying vehicles, including 100% carbon offset for the first 3,000 miles driven each year, with an option to the customer to purchase offsets for the remaining amount.
    http://www.climate-insurance.org/upload/pdf/Mills2008_risk-to-opportunity.pdf

    The Money, follow the Money.

  13. jcrabb says:

    He left out rapid Methane release from East Siberian Sea.

  14. sky says:

    I suspect these blokes know more about university-town tippling points than about dynamic tipping points.

  15. Lord Jim says:

    Might as well just stick to the chicken entrails…

  16. charles nelson says:

    Buy property in Timbuctoo – now!

  17. tom t says:

    They say human induced climate change causes these tipping points. Presumably naturally occurring climate change, no matter of what magnitude could never cause these tipping points to be reached.

  18. Hartog van den Berg says:

    I am happy to see that Australia is not the home of a coloured ‘tipping point’. Maybe we can still save the rest of the world?

  19. johnnyb says:

    Ok, so the SW USA is supposed to dry out, while the Sahara is greening up, eh? Isn’t the reason that both these regions are dry is due to the fact they lie in the “horse latitudes”?

  20. johnnyb says:

    Ok, so the SW USA is supposed to dry out, while the Sahara is greening up, eh? Isn’t the reason that both these regions are dry is due to the fact they lie in the “horse latitudes”? So, if one area is greening up shouldn’t they all be?

  21. dave v says:

    I see a Josh cartoon here. ‘changes in climate behavior’? Sounds like looking for warning signs for teenage delinquency. Will El Nino start hanging around street corners acting tough?

  22. to look for signs that a climate system is slowing down in its response to short-term natural variability

    Silly me, I would expect the second derivative of any change to become MORE positive near a tipping point.

    Watts:I’ve yet to see a “climate change disaster”.

    Oh, come now. What do you call the IPCC and company?

  23. Brian Hall says:

    They happen all the time, but are in all different directions and cancel each other out, so we don’t notice them.

  24. earthdog says:

    After all the dire predictions that these people have made (none of which have come true nor are they likely to), they come up with more. What is wrong with these people? I really do not understand. It’s like talking to a five year old. It doesn’t matter to them in the least if they’re proved wrong — they simply start up right back where they left off as if nothing happened or was said. You would think that eventually they would step back and reevaluate their position. Look at the data and make some observations. See what’s going on in the world. It’ very frustrating. These are supposed to be learned people steeped in the ways of science and method. Instead, they’re more Orwellian, speaking the New Speak, telling the Big Lie over and over again until they make it the truth.

    I’m all for keeping it clean. I don’t want a polluted planet. I want to be able to take my young children on month long sojourns through the redwoods and up to Glacier. But lying to people or advancing an agenda isn’t going to save anything. And regulating me to the point where that trip would be illegal won’t make me happy, either. Nor will frightening my science-starved neighbors and making them think that they are somehow doing The Right Thing by voting in laws that will strip us all of our right to own a vehicle to make the trip I just spoke of.

    Carbon dioxide is not a poison unless it’s the only gas in the room. Full stop. The climate has always changed and it will until the sun burns out — and I think we can all agree it will be fairly static thereafter. Will they be happy then? All their predictions will come true, then. It will be like shooting fish in a barrel.

    Jeez, I’m frustrated by these idiots. Can you tell? Sorry for the rant. It wasn’t really like that when it was rolling around in my head. Something high jacked me between my brain stem and fingers.

  25. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Did you see that volcano article that the iceland volcano has special chrloine emissions, maybe that’s why the ozone hole went bad in the northern hemisphere

  26. Dr. Dave says:

    Gotta keep that ol’ Gravy Train a-rollin’! Activist climate scientists make their living off the government teat…governments that are increasingly running out of money. If you already believe in this BS why is “more study” needed? If you don’t believe in this crap, “more study” is unlikely to change your mind. The climate science community were the first ones to hop aboard the Gravy Train and they might very well be the first ones to be kicked off. Scarce government funds are likely to be more urgently needed to fund crony capitalism projects that enrich special interests and politicians.

  27. Robert says:

    With so many predictions and them being rather vague you should be able to get at least something right. Hey people look one of the climate tipping i predicted, repent now sinners.

    The equivalent of discharging your shotgun on the broadside of a barn, you should be able to hit something. As long as the spread is wide enough that is.

    The Nostradamus of our age.

  28. timetochooseagain says:

    Horror of horrors! The greening of the Sahara!

    No that’s not actually frightening. What’s frightening is that I have just realized that we have all stepped into the Twilight Zone, for that is the only place any human being, sane or otherwise, could consider that a bad thing.

    Pretty soon our glasses will fall off our faces when we are the last men on Earth, and the flight attendants won’t see the evil gremlins on the aircraft wings and we’ll be in this place where we seemingly are in heaven, but what on earth made us think that; this is the other place!

    Bonus points for those who can name every episode I just referenced.

  29. Philip Bradley says:

    There is no evidence these tipping points exist.

    And if they did exist why weren’t they triggered by past warmer climates, such as the Holocene Optimum (5,000 years ago), which was at least 2C warmer than present.

    Some tipping points can be anticipated in principle, but sufficiently high-resolution, long records are often lacking

    Which means the effects to date, if they exist, are too small to measure. Probably the valid statement in the whole thing.

  30. Jaye Bass says:

    ManBearPig

  31. rbateman says:

    To Serve Man: turned out to be a cookbook.
    Eyeballs floating in space, shattered windows, mesmerizing striped tops, and a storyline that made us cringe.
    The good news is that it was just a show, and it ended.
    Or did it? Some appear to have slipped into the shadows.

  32. rbateman says:

    “and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge.”
    Yeah. That’s what this tipping point stuff is all about.

  33. philincalifornia says:

    Fortunately for humanity and the environment, the climate change/disruption/crisis fake science gravy train is going to reach a tipping point real soon ……

  34. NikFromNYC says:

    earthdog said: “It’s like talking to a five year old. It doesn’t matter to them in the least if they’re proved wrong — they simply start up right back where they left off as if nothing happened or was said. You would think that eventually they would step back and reevaluate their position.”

    There is professional wresting and then there is the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) “pro” wrestling. The fake one has no desire to reevaluate their position exactly because they are not real participants in the world of wrestling.

  35. ZT says:

    From a historical perspective, was there a time when British scientists were respectable?

  36. F. Ross says:


    “… It is already known that climate change caused by human activity could push several potential hazards past their ‘tipping point’. …”

    Assumes facts not in evidence. Appeal to authority. In a word, hogswill.

  37. Maurice J says:

    Hey ROBERT….These Clowns could not HIT A BARN….even if they were IN IT.

  38. davidmhoffer says:

    Odd. They’ve been predicting disasterous tipping points for years that haven’t happened and now they’ve “discovered” that with enough research they should be able to predict them? What exactly has been the basis of their predictions up till now?

  39. jorgekafkazar says:

    Utter nonsense.

  40. DirkH says:

    Tomorrow: Partly sunny. Chance of isolated to scattered bifurcation; in the afternoon chaotic multistability.

  41. John F. Hultquist says:

    Olen says:
    June 19, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    “This sounds a lot like the butterfly effect.

    Insofar as this post is about Tim Lenton’s fictions then a link to fiction by a pro might be okay. If you are not familiar with Ray Bradbury —

    “The idea that one butterfly could eventually have a far-reaching ripple effect on subsequent historic events seems first to have appeared in “A Sound of Thunder”, a 1952 short story by Ray Bradbury about time travel (see Literature and print here) although Lorenz made the term popular.”
    Plot summary in this link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Sound_of_Thunder

  42. crosspatch says:

    What we need is a “climate kook early warning system”

  43. Mac the Knife says:

    I believe I’ve found the knack of this ‘tipping point’ thing…. I’m tipping one now!
    Killian’s…….. Mmmmmmm!!!!!!!

  44. Richard111 says:

    Information fatigue…

  45. Blade says:

    Chris F [June 19, 2011 at 6:44 pm] says:

    “Some folks just insist on seeing monsters under every bed. I’m glad I grew up and those things don’t bother me any more..”

    Ain’t that the truth! Surely some psychiatrist can offer insight into this phenomenon that plagues so-many alleged grown-ups.

    Duncan [June 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm] says:

    “So… the greening of the Sahara is a tipping point, or an early sign that we’re approaching a tipping point?”

    timetochooseagain [June 19, 2011 at 8:24 pm] says:

    “Horror of horrors! The greening of the Sahara!

    No that’s not actually frightening. What’s frightening is that I have just realized that we have all stepped into the Twilight Zone, for that is the only place any human being, sane or otherwise, could consider that a bad thing.”

    Well said! This is clearly a mental disorder, and if I may offer a theory:

    When a child or adolescent is incessantly bombarded with negative propaganda about how their entire history is corrupt, their ancestors raped and pillaged the planet, their inventions and advancements came with the immoral high cost of savaging the environment, the only possible result is a joyless contemptible adult. Consequently, there should be no surprise that such ‘adults’ will spend every waking moment trying to undo all these significant achievements regardless of the clear damage to common sense, and let alone the cost of human lives in the process.

    We can easily laugh at the amazing disconnect that a greener Sahara or semi-thawed Tundra is a bad thing, but nonetheless, these people do exist and are highly placed in many fields of science and academia. Furthermore, there is a large bumper-crop of these malcontents currently in the pipeline. Remember, the retiring generation managed to get through school and life with a relative small dose of toxic propaganda. The next few waves have it from childhood on, from morning cartoons, to day-school political correctness, to after-school televised media and of course the internet itself. Lenin’s Marxist chickens are coming home to roost.

    So to me, surprise is rarely warranted these days. Every possible variation of stupidity, insanity, irony and hypocrisy will be outdone by succeeding examples. Things are pretty much right on schedule.

  46. Mike Jonas says:

    Stephen Rasey beat me to it. But it’s worth repeating:

    They “look for signs that a climate system is slowing down in its response to short-term natural variability (which we experience as the weather)

    Huh?????

    You can tell that a tipping point is approaching because the climate response slows down???
    The climate responds to weather???
    Or do they mean the weather slows down in its response to short-term variability, and if so, variability in what???

    And this after the warmists have been telling us for eons that all the bad things (temperature, arctic ice loss, ocean heat content, etc) have been accelerating?
    …..
    OK, OK, et’s suppose that this is science, in which case it can be tested: All Tim Lenton has to do is to apply his hypothesis to make some specific predictions – fully documented of course. We can then all check to see if he was right.

  47. Common Sense says:

    Oh, a tipping point like a winter storm warning tonight for the central and northern Colorado mountains with 3-6 inches of snow predicted? On June 19th?

    The high for Denver tomorrow is supposed to be 61.

    Not that snow and cold are unusual in June here, but this definitely continues the cooler trend we’ve seen for the past couple of years.

  48. John Mason says:

    I think this is a very foresightful article. From their point of view it’s a massive move of the goalposts.

    As the AGW theory and predictions are being shown to fail as models and reality continue to diverge, with this new study the focus has shifted to minor events that precursor the failed predictions.

    Don’t look at the failed premises, but look – just look – at these variable predictors of these failed premises. Since even the precursor to tipping points do not actually occur, but just the very signs of them can now magically be proven to exist, it will not matter what the climate actually does or is going to do. Money and governments must step up to the plate before it is too late.

    I can’t even come up with a sentence to explain the madness of all this, it’s become so convoluted. I’m sure they’ll use computer models to justify and find proper pre-cursor evidence leading to tipping points.

    We live in amazing times. Sad, but amazing.

  49. R. Gates says:

    All systems that exhibit spatio-temporal chaos have tipping points. The most recent was the onset of the Younger Dryas period. It came on in the mere blink of an eye and ended just as fast in geological terms.

  50. Michael Lewis says:

    “Professor” Tim Lenton.

    Do University of Exeter and University of East Anglia give out academic appointments to those who “profess” the correct climate religion? Is “professor” a higher grade than adherent, in the “Church of Climate Divining”? Is he a devine in divining?

    It surely is not being used here to describe a leader in scientific method and the quest for knowledge and understanding, as “the science is all in”!

  51. Christopher Hanley says:

    The greening of the Sahara signals a climate tipping point?

    “…From about 9000 B.C. to 2500 B.C., the Sahara had a much wetter climate during the Neolithic period which was quite habitable for humans and animals, similar to the savannah of East Africa today…”
    http://www.suite101.com/content/prehistoric-saharan-rock-art-a185287

    Of course, like the Viking settlements of Southern Greenland c 900 – c 1300 AD, that period of a ‘Green Sahara’ was purely a local phenomenon (ahem) and anyway was not due to “human induced climate change” and therefore was never likely to be “dangerous”.

  52. Paul Vaughan says:

    The mathematically abstract offers infinite possibilities which are irresistible to those disconnected from reality.

    Lots of fun to be had by these numerous adventurous folks on an infinity of red herring chases. The aspect of nature that most fascinates the group is the creative potential of human imagination.

    Art? Or science?

  53. sophocles says:

    Anthony said:
    I’ve yet to see a “climate change disaster”.

    Could a global plague epidemic be regarded as a “climate change disaster”? They usually (historically) occured during the cold times (starting with Justinian’s Plague during the Dark Ages—6th Century—and the various Black Death bubonic plagues which swept through Europe after the MWP—14th Century etc).

  54. pat says:

    Tipping is for the wait staff. The Tipping Point is usually about 15% when alone, 20% with my wife. If some one is playing the accordian we don’t tip at all.

  55. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    And they want how much money to do this?

  56. Marcos Cantu says:

    i cant wait to see what horrible climate disaster awaits us because of the Sahara becoming more green…!!

  57. Steeptown says:

    Exeter University, UEA, Reading University, Tyndall Centre, MET Ofice. They are all linked together as part of the climate change disaster propaganda tool. There are no proper scientists in any of them.

  58. KenB says:

    It might be this, it might be that, then again, it might be worse than we thought? We think we know the signs but we are worried about the “tipping point” when the tea cup is inverted and the leaves fall out!!

    I shudder to think what sort of “fix” might be dreamed up if these fruitcake mixers are let loose on the world – Alkaline solutions dumped in the oceans, black soot spread over ice, pavements painted white, volcanoes induced to erupt, disruption of atmospheric layers, seeding upper atmosphere with silver sprinkles, towable clouds and ice bergs, magnetic disruption, atomic concussion to shift the axis of the earth or merely killing off all the old sick and poor to appease the climate gods and what do they do when the run out of witches!!!

    Akin to drawing ducks on a Climental cell wall with charcoal and “believing” the ducks will eat and be happy when a crumb is tossed to them. Mutual madness as an end result of “oofall bird” science perhaps.

    Best tipping point, would be to tip them all out of a job and start again.

  59. Jordan says:

    THC shutdown was predicted s few years ago. A tipping point caused by freshwater influx in the North Atlantic that would, ironically, cause NW Europe to become much colder – so the AGW catastrophe theory was shown to not cause uniform warming.

    That one had lots of gullible people running around in circles, worrying.

    Now quietly forgotten.

  60. Magnus says:

    “Although these findings give us hope, we are still a long way from developing rigorous early warning systems for these climate hazards.”

    or…

    Although these “findings” give us hope, we are now asking for much more money to develop this and that to be ever more wild in our assumptions about climate in the far future.

  61. Al Gored says:

    So many tipping points actually makes it rather balanced. Or maybe Mayan.

    Are we approaching the CO2 levels that make Earth more vulnerable to a rogue black hole yet?

    How high can the parabolic wolf-crying hockey stick go before it snaps?

  62. The bifurcation of the global climate is very interesting as it shows how different climates on earth can not be added up to make an actual estimate of temperature.

    Where I live we have a climate that has been gradually cooling over the past 4+ years for a fact, but if figures were added to the average temperatures from warmer climates to temperatures from my part of the world then temperatures here would be diluted to the point where the bifurcation of that data is utterly useless.

    It seems we can now deal out recorded global temperatures and geographically assign an artificial climate based on the break down of where we think the morphed statistical average temperatures should, this is a break through in science!! Wow!

  63. Bob Ryan says:

    What you have to realise is that the CRU at the University of East Anglia lies perilously close to sea level. For those who have never been there it lies in a region of the UK which resembles in terrain (but sadly not attractiveness) its near neighbour over the North Sea – Holland. So, its interest in climate shifts, rising sea levels and its own potential inundation is not driven by large sums of money from multiple benefactors but out of a desperate desire to remain afloat. What is definitely true is that the university would have been swept away except for the large sums of ‘research’ funding flowing into the CRU. The university lies around about 28th in the UK league table and in the global rankings doesn’t even rate an honourable mention. It’s other research income is rather pitiful and would be insufficient to kit out the vice chancellors office with emergency snorkels. So you see the denizens of the CRU have their fingers in the UEA’s financial dyke and their preservation is the university’s top priority. I think it is only reasonable to point these issues out so that you all understand the damage that attacks on this beacon of intellectual excellence might bring about.

  64. Verity Jones says:

    University of Environmental Alarmism

  65. Mooloo says:

    The Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets probably represent the largest risks

    Seriously? The HUGE mass of ice represented in those two places is teetering on the edge, to melt in a flash, with no chance of reforming? I call BS on that.

    Nor can forest die back have a tipping point. If forests retreat a bit they can grow back again if conditions revert. The Amazonian rain forest is not actually very ancient anyway, despite what the Greenies would have you believe. It was savannah over much of its current extent only 21,000 years ago. So much for that “tipping point”.

    I don’t think he knows what a tipping point is actually. He’s using a buzz-word and hoping no-one notices.

  66. John Silver says:

    It’s the Sahel that is greening, not the Sahara.

  67. UK Sceptic says:

    He left out the mountainous columns of super-heated steam and gas blasting out of the string of BS volcanoes named after certain universities; e.g. PSU, UEA and Exeter.

  68. Beth Cooper says:

    Tim Lenton’s Early Warning of Climate Tipping Points is short on evidence,
    ‘..tipping points can be predicted in principle but sufficiently high resolution long records are often lacking.’
    but is itself part of a long, historical,( sometimes hysterical? ) tradition of doomsday predictions.

    Early Christian texts like The Revelation of St John the Divine, claimed an early end to the World. WRONG.

    In the 1520s translations of the Jewish Talmud of Babylon included the Prophecy of Elias that the world would end around the year 2000. At this point in time, WRONG.

    Malthus in the 18th century,Ehrlich among others, in the twentieth century, predicted disastrous global famine brought on by overpopulation. INCORRECT.

    In the 1970s The Club of Rome published a powerful tract based on modelling by the new computer technology to predict catastrophe in the 21st century from over population and development. About ot go into its 12th reprint, it was found to contain significantly erronious statistics. SOUND FAMILIAR?

    Every Millenium has had its disaster prophecies. Professor Geoffrey Blainey, economic historian, in his book, “The Great Seesaw,” examines the swings of optimism and pessimism in western history that have been shaped by political and economic events but also by subjective factors, primarily, our lack of collective memory, ‘a feeble and imperfect knowledge of the past and its relevance to the present.’

  69. Blade says:

    Verity Jones [June 20, 2011 at 12:34 am] says:

    University of Environmental Alarmism

    Nice one! And all too accurate.

  70. coturnix19 says:

    Some of those tipping-points are actually very desirable, like greening of sahara and deicing of arctics

  71. coturnix19 says:

    yes, and also there is no reason why forests must die back – all the paleodata tells us is that forests are much better off in warmer climates, especially mid-latitude forests. Boreal forests may retreat northward, replacing tundra and permafrost, but that is also a good thing!

  72. pat says:

    let’s face it, homo sapiens sapiens are a mix of biophiles and necrophiles, and i prefer sharing my time with the biophiles on WUWT and other sceptic sites. best wishes everyone.

  73. Alan the Brit says:

    It is already known that climate change caused by human activity could push several potential hazards past their ‘tipping point’. Oh really???

    And the band played “believe it if you like”, as my dear old mother used to say!

  74. Ryan says:

    Can we go the whole hog and include:-

    Robots taking over world
    Asteroid colliding with Earth
    Comet colliding with Earth
    Terrorists releasing superbug
    Nuclear armageddon
    Aliens taking over world
    Zombies taking over world
    The Rapture
    Vampire invasion
    Return of bubonic plague
    Mega-tsunami caused by Canary Islands dropping into ocean
    Mega-volcano caused by Yellowstone park exploding

  75. Mike Jonas says:
    June 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    OK, OK, et’s suppose that this is science, in which case it can be tested: All Tim Lenton has to do is to apply his hypothesis to make some specific predictions – fully documented of course. We can then all check to see if he was right.

    Good luck with that. If I read it right, bullet point 10 appears to move the target date to the year 3000 … nicely in the future with no danger of falsifiability within anyone’s lifetime.

  76. John Marshall says:

    Good news is no news. Bad news is good news.

    Unless we predict catastrophe none will listen.

    I thought a tipping point was a point from which it was impossible to recover from. If it is not then there are tipping points every year.

    Exeter University trying for more taxpayer pounds.

  77. richard verney says:

    Duncan says: June 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm “So… the greening of the Sahara is a tipping point, or an early sign that we’re approaching a tipping point? Yes, this is the bogeyman stalking the world…”
    ////////////////////////////////////
    I agree that the warmists perpetually see threats of global doom where in fact no such threat really exists. This is often because they have no regard to past history.

    There are some studies/suggestions to the effect that between about 7,000 BC – 3,000 BC (extending into the golden age of Egypt) East Africa enjoyed a fertile climate (or at any rate a more fertile climate than that prevalent today). These studies/suggestions postulate that during this period the Sahara had significant areas of green savanna of such fertility that it was habited with elephants, giraffe and other grassland/woodland animals.

    These studies/suggestions postulate that Lake Turkana drained into the Nile River basin. Lake Chad covered a surface area of some 400,000 square kilometers with a surface level some 30 meters or so higher than the level seen today. There were also some shallower lakes and river systems that existed in the subpluvial era that have since then disappeared entirely, and are detectable today only with the aid of radar and satellite imagery.

    If these studies/suggestions are correct, then there was no tipping point brought about whatever was the cause for a green Sahara in the recent historical past.

  78. Pete in Cumbria UK says:

    Let’s read their conclusion….

    Tipping elements in the climate system could be triggered this
    century by anthropogenic forcing

    Notice the word could
    Translate= We haven’t a clue

    The Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets probably
    represent the largest risks

    Notice the word probably
    Translate= It might or might not

    Some tipping points can be anticipated in principle, but
    sufficiently high-resolution, long records are often lacking

    Notice the word some & lacking
    Translate= We admit that there’s no data to suggest anything much about anything else

    A change in the number of climate states can be detected, in a
    noisy climate system that is moving between states

    Notice the words can be
    Translate= Can be, could be, may be Maybe the sky will fall down, maybe it won’t

    Improved understanding is needed to help policy makers
    “avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable

    Notice the words Improved, understanding, policy makers
    Translate=Not necessary because we all know what that means, don’t we?

  79. P Wilson says:

    It looks like the hysterical drama short-list from my perspective.

    At least it is frank presentation of AGW – Nothing but panic.

  80. Jack Simmons says:

    Common Sense says:
    June 19, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Oh, a tipping point like a winter storm warning tonight for the central and northern Colorado mountains with 3-6 inches of snow predicted? On June 19th?

    The high for Denver tomorrow is supposed to be 61.

    Not that snow and cold are unusual in June here, but this definitely continues the cooler trend we’ve seen for the past couple of years.

    If recent Denver weather is a ‘tipping point’, bring it on.

    This nice wet and cooling weather is a delight for the plants and trees in my gardens. Also, free water. It saves on our water bill.

    Could do without the hail we had though.

    I think we’re experiencing the same sort of weather we had in the early 70s. I recall a lot of wet and cold back then. We also had predictions of Ice Ages from the MSM.

  81. KnR says:

    Its simple approach really ,by calling anything a ‘tipping point ‘ you therefore you can claim any event as proof of AGW becasue anything can be claimed to be a ‘tipping point ‘ . To much rain , to little rain just the same amount, to hot to cold to just the same , there is simple no weather nor climate events that can not be put to service to support the AGW faith in action.
    Its like the good old days where good events where signs of gods work and bad ones the signs of the devil at work , for it was clear they could not happen otherwise !

    Now normal in science there is the idea of ‘falsification’ that if it can’t be disproved it likes scientific rigor , but this is climate science where the normal rules just don’t apply . So no problems .

  82. View from the Solent says:

    ZT says:
    June 19, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    From a historical perspective, was there a time when British scientists were respectable?
    —————————————————————————————————————
    Ah, c’mon. Appleton, Dirac, Bragg (the younger), to name but a few. Not to mention Faraday, Maxwell. But then they were scientists, not “scientists”.
    And we certainly don’t have a monopoly on deranged propagandists.
    (I’lll leave out Newton; he was weird, but respectable for his time)

  83. sleeper says:

    R. Gates says:
    June 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    All systems that exhibit spatio-temporal chaos have tipping points. The most recent was the onset of the Younger Dryas period. It came on in the mere blink of an eye and ended just as fast in geological terms.

    Since we weren’t around to cause it, how the hell did that happen?

  84. Dropstone says:

    Interesting…..

    The tipping point slide names a certain John Schellnhuber.

    ‘John’ is also known more famously as Hans – Joachim Schellnhuber . Direktor of PIK.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Joachim_Schellnhuber

    Hans recently intoduced us to his world government master plan and the suspension of Democracy for the greater good.

  85. Jimbo says:

    Those were the days of steady climate. /sarc

    The observed data so far does tell us that we are at a ‘tipping point’, but not in the way they think. ;>)

  86. Kasuha says:

    I guess the author omitted one another tipping point – continental drift. I guess we should immediately start planning strategies how to stop it before it’s too late.

  87. Roger Knights says:

    Why’s Guam not on their map?

  88. coldlynx says:

    There is a climate tipping point.
    17 November 2009

    Climategate.

  89. Jimbo says:

    jcrabb says:
    June 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm
    He left out rapid Methane release from East Siberian Sea.

    I think it’s all a lot of hot air.

    NOAA – Methane
    “Are there any trends in the data?

    Methane was steadily increasing in the 1980’s, it’s growth rate slowed in the 1990’s, and it has had a near-zero growth rate for the last few years.”
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/obop/mlo/programs/esrl/methane/methane.html

    Head for the hills! The climate shift has begun!

  90. RGH says:

    This is the online version of the report “Major Tipping Points in the Earth’s Climate System and Consequences for the Insurance Sector” conducted by scientists at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia and Andlug Consulting.

    The report is commissioned jointly by Allianz, a leading global financial services provider, and WWF, a leading global environmental NGO.

    Tip: “if your sales strategy is predicated on fear and pressure, you’ll be always be running against the clock, because people will abide fear and pressure for only so long.”

  91. Jimbo says:

    Here are some potentially disastrous tipping points. / sarc
    Methane rate rise flat
    Rate of sea level rise – flattening
    Temperature rise – flat
    UK snow – back
    Forest fires – down
    Lake Powell – rising fast
    and so on………………….. Yet these suckers now ignore the evidence of their failed predictions and continue to spread scare stories.

    Whatever happened to global warming?

  92. wayne Job says:

    The greening of the Sahara may indeed be a sign of the future, as the last time it was a green well watered paradise was the last ice age. It slowly turned to desert during the course of this interglacial, the Egyptian empire and those around them faded as the climate changed. These people should be careful what they wish for, it may come true and it will not be warming. Have these people no knowledge of history or geology or archaeology, do they have any clues at all, I fear not. They seem to have their heads in the clouds,or in a trough, or in the sand or in some other dark place that I would rather not explain.

    Do these people in any way shape or form actually do science, that is recognisable as such, and, will benefit mankind, or are they Merlins apprentices without the skills and magic? This self full-filling prophecy of climate doom, pumped up with ever increasing amounts of improbable conjectures, is on a collision course with reality.

    Poor old Sol misunderstood and neglected.

  93. Oscar Bajner says:

    NikfromNYC posted a link earlier: “in a news clipping from 1972,..”
    Aside from the ice age prediction, there was another fragment bewailing the poor, who are always with us.

    plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,

    with one exception, back in ’72 you could get your car painted for just $29.95

  94. R. de Haan says:

    We sell you any hubris to put the Green shackles on humanity.
    The entire lot belongs behind the steel doors of a closed mental institution.

  95. KenB says:

    The dreaded tipping point is the drying up of climate funds for alarmist fudgers!!

  96. tallbloke says:

    A lot of this cr@p depends on the ‘chaotic climate’ idea.
    Climate change is not as chaotic as the alarmists make out. It just takes a bit of effort to understand how the system works.

    Chaos theory has its place in weather modelling, but there is a danger that chaos gets overused as an excuse for taking no notice of the organising principles which have been discovered both inside and outside the mainstream of climate science.

    I sometimes wonder why instead of bemoaning our inability to predict weather better due to ‘chaos’ some of these scientists don’t make a bit more effort to try out the tools in the box which have been developed to help reduce it.

    Look for example at this response I got from a mainstream hydrologist on my blog the other day. He hasn’t bothered to respond to my reply:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/06/12/the-timing-of-el-nino-in-relation-to-the-solar-cycle/#comment-7000

  97. Man I can’t keep track of all these things to be afraid of… and they didn’t even mention the Yellowstone supervolcano or the Cascadia subduction zone or, er, any of those rare but actually historically recorded and regularly occurring disaster events…. Guess I’ll just have to take a few reasonable precautions and live a normal life…

  98. RockyRoad says:

    They should look outward–toward the sun; that’s the REAL tipping point. Rather, they look inward at natural phenomena that are responding to the sun’s behavior. Will they ever get it right? No, because they can’t do squat when it comes to dealing with the sun–there’s absolutely no money in it for them.

  99. Jimbo says:

    It is already known that climate change caused by human activity could push several potential hazards past their ‘tipping point’.

    Oh really! Where is the evidence for “already known”? I call BS on this one. This crap is just an appeal for more funding from their funders in the oil industry, coal industry, insurance industry and gas suppliers.
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/about/history/

    These people should be stripped of their funding, [snip ~jove, Mod]

  100. Robert of Ottawa says:

    I would describe “boreal forest dieback” (dieback???what kind of word is that?) as “temporal forest growback”

  101. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Chaos theorey is applicable to digital computer models only, not analog real life. It describes the uncertain and contradictory outcomes of compuer models due to the finite precision of initial conditions.

  102. jack morrow says:

    I read this and immediately ordered on of those co2 meters advertised..LOL

  103. Gary Pearse says:

    “a system of forecasting could be developed to enable some forewarning of high-risk tipping points. The approach he outlines involves analysing observational data to look for signs that a climate system is slowing down in its response to short-term natural variability (which we experience as the weather). ”

    Nothing has diabled them from forwarning of tipping points before – now they are going to do it with short term natural variability, which they didn’t believe in pre-climategate.

    R. Gates says:
    June 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm
    All systems that exhibit spatio-temporal chaos have tipping points. The most recent was the onset of the Younger Dryas period. It came on in the mere blink of an eye and ended just as fast in geological terms.

    Tornadoes do this every day. Your example is more interpretable as an event that shows the earth has a strong equilibrium tendency, like a pendulum. In several billion years, it seems, we can’t swing things much further off than 10C or so. A fossil record of over 1 B years is pretty good proof that the conditions for life haven’t been breached in all that time – i.e. ocean temps, acidity, etc. etc. This tells me that we haven’t had a real tipping point yet, so how long do we have to wait., It also tells me that what we mean by chaotic is that it is too complex for climate science to figure out adequately. Chaotic and tipping points are okay for explosions, boiling of water, rapids in a stream but even these are bounded by equilibrium conditions. A tipping point to me is one past which things irretrievably rip off in some extreme, unpredictable way, never to come back.

  104. Alicia FRost says:

    It would seem that there about 20 individuals responsible for this absolute drivel and waste of human resources and money costing billions start with Pachauri, Mann, Hansen, Jones ect….

  105. Gary says:

    Actually, preparedness is a good thing and knowing the range of natural climate variation is certainly a gap in our understanding. But here is the essential bifurcation: collecting observational data or modeling it. The former choice is rational standard science; the latter is magical thinking.

  106. tonybr says:

    Stephen Rasey says: June 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    to look for signs that a climate system is slowing down in its response to short-term natural variability

    Silly me, I would expect the second derivative of any change to become MORE positive near a tipping point.
    *********************************
    Exactly my thoughts too.
    This reminds me of an acrimonious exchange that I had with a particularly obnoxious AGE believer in the BBC Greenroom blog, a couple of years ago. He was absolutely convinced that positive feedbacks were desirable in climate systems. Well, positive is good, yeah?

    These people are so utterly clueless, you wonder what they could possibly do if they had to get a proper job.

    Time for an update from the producers of The Great Global Warming Swindle…..what happened to them? They were so on target with the original programme, we just need them to investigate the money trail

  107. Latitude says:

    I’m beginning to believe in reincarnation…………..

    It has to be the same people making the same predictions for thousands of years……………

    World ends at 10:00…
    …film at 11:00

  108. Monroe says:

    I counted 15 times the word “tipping” was used in this post. The real tipping is the borrowed public money going to fund these fraudsters.

  109. Vince Causey says:

    This is good news indeed. If the alarmist brigade can claim to identify when a tipping point is reached, they are in effect, making a prediction. This is something that can be borne out or refuted (probably the latter) by actual data.

    Looks like they are finding more rope with which to hang themselves.

  110. jaypan says:

    Mr. Schellnuber is one of their advisors. He’s the one who had explained in youtube.com how easy nature makes for us to understand global warming. “There is a direct linear relationship between CO2 and global mean temperature”.
    And he predicts the world to “explode”, if all people want to have a decent lfestyle as today’s developed world.
    There really is a complete religion built on top of the small AGW theory.
    By adding more and more “science” like this one, they hope we won’t see the shabby fundament anymore.

  111. They remind of nothing other than the Uri Geller and his spoon bending trick where we were all supposed to look very carefully and imagine the spoon was bending.

    Of course the spoon did eventually bend … but only after it had been rigorously “tested to destruction”.

  112. don penman says:

    AGW believers assume that the global temperature will rise by a large amount ,3-6 deg c by the end of the century,they see their task as getting the rest of the world to share their assumption even though we see no evidence that such a large rise in global temperatures is going to occur because of rising co2 level in the atmosphere.The idea of a global average temperature is becoming meaningless because some people want to interpret that metric for us by using their computer models,Global temperatures have in the recent past risen higher and faster than we are seeing today.They believe that all skeptics are supporters of the smoking lobby but if governments believe that smoking is harmful why don’t they ban it instead of taking a large amount of tax from those who smoke,it is not like alcohol because no one can smoke in moderation and be sure of not dying from it,If it was a new product it would not be allowed to be sold.

  113. Martin Rey says:

    WHY i dont read NOTHING about NABRO?

    http://earthquake-report.com/2011/06/12/unusual-series-of-moderate-volcanic-earthquakes-in-eritrea-and-ethiopia/

    Nothing about:
    “According to NASA, the volcano spewed ash and large amounts of sulfur dioxide gas—the highest levels ever detected from space, according to preliminary estimates from researchers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.”

    Nothing about SO2:
    http://sacs.aeronomie.be/nrt/index_NRT.php?InstruGOME2=1&InstruOMI=2&InstruSCIA=3&InstruIASI=4&InstruAIRS=5&obsVCD=1&obsAAI=0&obsCCF=0&horaireIASI=1&horaireAIRS=1&modeONE=0&modeADD=1&Region=000

    High concentrations and alerts:
    http://satepsanone.nesdis.noaa.gov/pub/OMI/OMISO2/Alert/alert.html

    Or 240 MT of SO2 (240.000.000 T) in a day!
    http://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/pix/daily/0611/loopall2.php?yr=11&mo=06&dy=17&bn=afar

  114. Mike McMillan says:

    The real tipping point would be the appearance of an atmospheric hot spot at 10km above the tropics, the one that all the models have been predicting but faulty instrumentation in sounding rockets and radiosondes have been unable to detect.

    I do still worry about that ozone hole over the Antarctic and all the penguins getting skin cancer from the UV.

    That, and polar bears.

  115. Ellen says:

    There is a marvelous book called “When Prophecy Fails”.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_Prophecy_Fails
    In short, when prophecies fail, the true Believers double down on them. The AGW folk are a splendid example.

  116. Missing from the candy-hued map of tipping disasters are the supposedly retreating glaciers, particularly the Mt Kilimanjaro and the Himilayan ones. No mention of rising oceans either.

  117. Ric Werme says:

    timetochooseagain says:
    June 19, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    … Twilight Zone …

    Pretty soon our glasses will fall off our faces when we are the last men on Earth, and the flight attendants won’t see the evil gremlins on the aircraft wings and we’ll be in this place where we seemingly are in heaven, but what on earth made us think that; this is the other place!

    Bonus points for those who can name every episode I just referenced.

    I’m not real good with Twilight Zone episode names (I used to be able to look at Star Trek teasers at the start of a show and come up with the title before the commercial.)

    I did see all these, though. With help from Google:
    Time Enough at Last: (Burgess Meredith) a nuclear war give a bookworm enough time to read, but then he breaks his glasses.
    A Nice Place to Visit – Hell is where you always win and have everything you want.
    Nightmare at 20,000 Feet – William Shatner is recovering from a nervous breakdown and sees a gremlin damage an airplane engine while in flight but no one else sees it.

  118. Khwarizmi says:

    The only “tipping element” on the entire map that could potentially bifurcate is the “Antarctic ozone hole.”
    In September of 2002 the ozone hole did, in fact, bifurcate:
    http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/51992main_hires_ozone_2002_09_24_web.jpe

    A tipping point was not reached, catastrophe did not ensue, and the event was subsequently labeled “anomolous.”

  119. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    ZT says:
    June 19, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    From a historical perspective, was there a time when British scientists were respectable?

    Merlin was wizard for a spell.

  120. John F. Hultquist says:

    Robert, Mooloo, coturnix19, others . . .
    Are you looking for something about forest advance and retreat? Here is one such:
    http://arctic.synergiesprairies.ca/arctic/index.php/arctic/article/viewFile/2786/2763
    by HARVEY NICHOLS

    “ABSTRACT: From palynological studies it appears that northernmost dwarf spruces of the tundra and parts of the forest-tundra boundary may be relicts from times of prior warmth, and if klled might not regenerate. This disequilibrium may help explain the partial incongruence of modern climatic limits with the present forest edge. Seedlings established as a result of recent warming should therefore be found within the northernmost woodlands rather than in the southern tundra.”

  121. biddyb says:

    Has Timbo just moved from UEA to Exeter? Must be on the hunt for funding – probably a pre-condition of his appointment. Not that I’m cynical or anything………….

  122. Beesaman says:

    I guess that is what one would call covering all eventualities…

  123. biddyb says:

    The Google ad that comes up is asking me if I want to make 42% returns on the world’s next trillion $ market. Invest in Carbon Credits, it screams. From http://www.greeninvestmentservices.com.

    Talk about flogging a dead horse, especially at this site. But if it pays Anthony a couple of cents, I’ll go and press their button. The irony of it!

  124. JohnH says:

    George Kominiak says:
    June 19, 2011 at 7:03 pm
    Good grief!! Who pays for thus stuff??? (And why???)

    As a UK taxpayer I do, Why??? To waste money and scare more money out of Ministers.

  125. ferd berple says:

    So basically anything that changes is evidence of a climate tipping point. Its even worse than we thought.

  126. Robertvdl says:

    Hartog van den Berg June 19, 2011 at 7:52 pm
    “I am happy to see that Australia is not the home of a coloured ‘tipping point’. Maybe we can still save the rest of the world?”

    How big has to be the meteor impact to have a ‘tipping point ‘ in Australia ? iI is a natural event..
    (just making fun Hartog) Nederlander of Nederlandse ouders?

  127. P Wilson says:

    why do you? Well the first factor is that standards are not to be expected from British universities, which have become mediocre degree factories, as opposed to the seats of learning that the used to be.

    That press release from Exeter University is just a farrago of nonsensical word[play

  128. Robert Austin says:

    R. Gates says:
    June 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    “All systems that exhibit spatio-temporal chaos have tipping points. The most recent was the onset of the Younger Dryas period. It came on in the mere blink of an eye and ended just as fast in geological terms.”

    Assuming that the existence of tipping points can be gleaned from the paleological record, it would seem that the conjectured tipping points only function in the flip between cold regimes (ice age temperatures) and warm regimes (Holocene temperatures). Where in the paleological record is there evidence of tipping points between a warm regime and a super warm regime?

  129. Richard M says:

    Looks to me like the good professor has made an entire career on studying non-existent tipping points. I wonder how it feels to have wasted your entire life on this crap.

  130. HankHenry says:

    The thing I would like the AGW crowd to communicate better about is models. They seemed to be referenced as a the authority in many important questions without much explanation of how they work.

    I can think of a model I’d like to see. Set starting conditions of the total ocean at 15 C – uniformly distributed. Then using only properties of seawater, ocean arrangement, seafloor topography, radiation, and perhaps using average air temperatures and wind conditions as they are found on earth; demonstrate that the model will produce deep ocean cold temperatures. It shouldn’t be all that hard to do if you simplified the model to a two dimensional cross section. It would be interesting to contrast a Northern Hemisphere model to a Southern Hemisphere one since the thinking seems to be that the cold of the deep ocean primarily comes from currents originating with down welling in the Arctic. Maybe there are already papers on the subject.

  131. Billy Liar says:

    I couldn’t get Bing translator to auto-detect Mumbo-Jumbo…

    Did anyone define ‘tipping point’? No thought not…

    What, exactly, is a ‘climate state’? Anyone…

    This study is perfect example of Post-Modernism; a pile of obfuscatory nonsense.

  132. KnR says:

    Vince Causey accept of course when they fail to happen they can just claim its the events is merely delayed but still oncoming , think of the way the ‘rapture’ was dealt with and you get the idea. But to be safe its always best to make you doom predictions for events a long time in the future ,so there is little chance you having to claim ‘delay ‘ anytime soon .

  133. John A says:

    Can I ask anyone here what the heck is “Monsoon Chaotic Multistability”?

  134. SteveSadlov says:

    Here’s the MSM picking up on this:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/green/detail?entry_id=91403

    Now we know which “market” the so called “researchers” intended their product to be launched into.

  135. IAmDigitap says:

    Hey HERE’S a TIPPING POINT you could USE, to determine any upcoming CATACLYSM:

    find an INSTRUMENT which was SPECIALLY DESIGNED, to MEASURE the AMOUNT of INFRA-RED in the ATMOSPHERE, and see if it records RISING I.R. as CO2 LEVELS RAGE.

    Because WHEN ATMOSPHERIC I.R. is REDUCING as CO2 + whatever fictitious kitchen sink gases are fictitiously claimed to be doing magic fictitious things, are

    RAGING UPWARD unCHECKED,

    you HAVE a PROBLEM indicating there is A.N.Y. EFFECT A.T. ALL.

    Also if you could find an OPTICAL TELESCOPE which RECORDED a RISE in MANDATORY M.O.T.I.O.N. on ATMOSPHERIC GAS, motion being the DEFINITION of H.E.A.T,

    then you’d have an effective MICROSCOPE which MULTIPLIES the EFFECTS of ATMOSPHERIC MOTION due to HEAT

    showing that AS FICTITIOUSLY CLAIMED G.H. GASES RAGE UPWARD, there is a DISCERNABLE DIFFERENCE in the amount of MANDATORY MOTION in such OPTICAL TELESCOPES’

    VIEWING & PHOTOGRAPHY.

    You would have ADDITIONAL DAYS the TELESCOPES COULD NOT WORK due to OBJECTIONABLE CLIMB in ATMOSPHERIC DISTORTION

    due to WHAT?
    the MANDATORY M.O.T.I.O.N. of GASES holding more – what? H.E.A.T.

    If you could FIND an INSTRUMENT which was SHOWING RISING I.R. or HEAT SIGNATURES

    you could use T.H.A.T. to DETECT your FICTITIOUS TIPPING POINTS.

    But SINCE there IS NO SUCH THING as a G.H.G. EFFECT and you can LOOK at the ATMOSPHERE through a MAGNIFYING INFRA-RED TELESCOPE to CHECK on THAT,

    I guess you don’t HAVE ANYTHING.

    Err

    to worry about.

    Wow. How many instruments do you have to hold up to that atmosphere before you realize THERE IS NOT ONE DISCERNABLE EFFECT which CORRESPONDS to the MAGIC GASES claimed to BE so.

  136. nevket240 says:

    Different day, same old shyte.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/21/3249755.htm?section=justin

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/20/3248032.htm

    Isn’t it remarkable that the biggest AGW scam propaganda outlets are related to the repective Governments.

    regards

  137. nevket240 says:

    Billy Liar says:
    June 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm
    Did anyone define ‘tipping point’? ))

    Billy. I can tell you from experience that the tipping point is positively reached when the blood alcohol level is exceeded by the bar stool inclination by several degrees. Therefore it should be a “Hansen” that the climate tipping point is several degrees.

    cheers.

  138. and where does the sun / solar come into play?

  139. arthur clapham says:

    Did’nt the Professor’s mother ever tell him, if you tell stories like that you’l be sent to bed with no supper boy!

  140. timetochooseagain says:

    Ric Werme-We have a winner! The points are not really worth anything but you do get my praise for earning them.

  141. SteveSadlov says:

    The mid US arctic blast I mentioned earlier in the week has really harmed the Chicago area. Hundreds of thousands without power after a storm more fitting of April than June.

  142. SteveSadlov says:

    Meanwhile here out West, the “great Solstice Heat Wave” is fading rapidly with the onset of yet another East Pacific Trough, filling in from the Bering Sea. A weak summer (on the heels of last year’s exceptionally weak summer) may be in the offing:

    AT THIS TIME IT IS DIFFICULT TO BUY OFF ON A RAIN SCENARIO FOR OUR CWA FOR THE LAST WEEK OF JUNE…BUT IT IS NOT ENTIRELY OUT OF THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY.

    !!!!

    We’re talking cold front rain here, not summer time Southwestern Monsoonal rain … !!!!

  143. manicbeancounter says:

    The climate is enormously complex, general trends difficult to discern and measurement errors are large. Given that there have been a number of false prophesies of late (Disappearing coral islands, Arctic Sea Ice, Himalayan Glaciers, Mass extinctions etc.) the first step is to isolate the false positives.

    Having read the 2008 Lenton et. al PNAS article “Tipping elements in the Earth’s climate system” some time ago, I would be surprised if the new article is little more than a public relations tool. Why? The Lenton 2008 sought to broaden the definition of a tipping point FROM
    “when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause”

    TO include much slower changes, or long-term changes beyond the political time horizon, and to include features that are extremely controversial and speculative even within the alarmist community (“state-of-the-art models differ as to whether the transition is reversible or irreversible”)

    In other words, it can include any possible change in the weather.

    See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2538841/

  144. SteveSadlov says:

    More problems from that big north central storm. Minot’s going under along with lots of land all around there.

  145. SteveSadlov says:

    It’s only in the low 60s right now in Sioux Falls. I wonder if there will be frost in the Northern Plains tonight?

  146. SteveSadlov says:

    Models are further developing possible NorCal rain scenarios for mid next week. Some solutions now depict a closed Low, just west of SF, with a cT tap out of central Mexico. This would be a normal scenario – in mid October!

    So … is climatic Fall already knocking on the door?

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