What a difference 20 years makes

Recently, Dr. James Hansen of NASA GISS gave his 20 year anniversary speech before congress, in which he was restating the urgency of the global warming crisis we now face. Warnings of tipping points,  and a call for putting “energy executives on trial for crimes against humanity and nature” were parts of that speech.

Here are the just published global temperature data sets for UAH (University of Alabama) and RSS (Remote Sensing Systems) and the 20 year time-line. Dr. Hansen if you are reading can you kindly point out where in the time-line the crimes occurred and tipping points are?

Click for larger images

I would have thought the CO2 enhanced warming would have been further along by now. Maybe the graphs are inverted?

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118 thoughts on “What a difference 20 years makes

  1. Shouldn’t that first graph have the June 2008 anomoly at -0.114 degrees, instead of +0.114?
    REPLY: yes thanks, missed the – sign, fixed

  2. On the UAH graph, shouldn’t the June value be shown as -0.114°C?
    REPLY: yes thanks, missed the – sign, fixed

  3. Yabut, things were going swell at the 10yr point. Extrapolation CAN be fun, but is not for the amateur. 😉

  4. I see the next 12 months as being critically important with respect to my personal skepticism of AGW. Should we begin to see -0.4 anomalies or greater, then in my opinion the likely correlation with sunspot activity has been reaffirmed. On the other hand, if the anomaly begins to elevate, then the AGW position gains validity. These are interesting times!
    With respect to CO2’s role as a greenhouse gas vs. H2O, have studies looked at the extent to which human activities are directly increasing humidity levels? e.g. dams, agricultural & residential irrigation in formerly arid climes, etc. as opposed to the CO2 induced humidity theory?

  5. Anthony,
    if you add the a.m. feature to your website, I’ll boost my monetary contributions whenever you undertake another trip, like the last one. You got it in writing!

  6. Even the 12-month running means make Hansen’s forecast look bad. The 12-month running means to June were…
    Year UAH RSS
    1988 0.135 0.148
    2008 0.090 0.122
    The current RSS 12-month running mean of 0.122 is below the RSS 12-month running mean of 0.129 for the 12 months ended December 1987.
    The current (unofficial) UAH 12-month running mean of 0.090 is below the UAH 12-month running mean of 0.098 for the 12 months ended September 1980. No, that’s not a typo.
    At the rate things are going, Hadley’s 2008 annual mean temperature should easily be below the 1995 value, and possibly the 1990 value. Even the GISS annual mean has a shot a being below its 1995 and/or 1990 values. The reason I’m thinking about annual values is that they should be coming out around the time the next US president takes office in mid-January.

  7. May I be the first to express my appreciation to all the movie stars and politicians for flying their private jets between their various mansions. Thanks for doing your part in preventing HGC (Heliogenic Global Cooling)!

  8. Off Topic: I love finding data from reconstructions that apparently never got any press, or maybe I missed it.
    http://i25.tinypic.com/2hgv0nb.jpg
    REFERENCE: Linsley, B.K., G.M. Wellington, and
    D.P. Schrag, 2000, Decadal Sea Surface Temperature Variability
    in the Sub-Tropical South Pacific from 1726 to 1997 A.D.,
    Science v.290, pp1145-1148, 10 Nov 2000.
    Overview
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/linsley2000/linsley2000.html
    Data
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/coral/east_pacific/rarotonga_sr-ca.txt

  9. I feel sure the humidity factor will be studied and found more alarming even than CO2 was, just as soon as we’ve switched to a hydrogen-based economy.

  10. Anthony:
    I would love to see somebody correlate the number of AGW news stories with these graphs. I’m willing to bet the most will be seen (perhaps with some lead) in 1998 and 2006.
    Where are all the alarmists now?

  11. bsneath,
    Given the now negative correlation between temperature and CO2 over the last 10 (maybe 20 years), it doesn’t say much for the ‘CO2 is the overwhelming AGW factor ‘ crowd. There is AGW, if you define AGW as human induced warming from all sources (land use changes, CO2, UHI), not just human produced CO2, its just the effect is not particularly worrisome and all the currently proposed policies to control the climate will not have an effect and will be a huge waste of resources.

  12. Oh, I forgot a really large human contribution to ‘warming’, particulate matter (soot) from burning fossil fuels, wood, dung (both still a major source of ‘power’ in India, China, and Africa). 94% of Arctic melt may be caused by this source. It is most likely a larger influence than human produced CO2 and a major reason I am in favor of shifting to nuclear (which has its own problems) and other sources of power generation.

  13. bsneath: Should we begin to see -0.4 anomalies or greater, then in my opinion the likely correlation with sunspot activity has been reaffirmed.
    I think that leap is much too great. There is no evidence that such a cooling is caused by the lack of solar activity.

  14. “There’s nothing that gets more under my skin than hypocrites telling me how to live.”
    I’ll believe there may be an emergency when Hansen abandons his daily, ~85 mi one-way commute. Until then, it’s all alarmist nonsense.

  15. bsneath, yeah, he’s touched on the humidity levels before – the humidity at most elevations is dropping or is flat. If I remember correctly, there was only one elevation range that had a slight rise in humidity.
    From all indicators, people aren’t significantly impacting humidity on a global scale. If we are making any increases in humidity, those increases are being massively overwhelmed by other forces which affect global humidity levels.
    You might be onto something though. If the AGW crowd ever relinquishes their bizarre claims that CO2 is a greenhouse gas ‘pollutant’ by which humans are going to destroy the earth, I would not be surprised to see them move over to try claiming that people are causing GW by cranking out too much H2O into the atmosphere. The money/power movements behind the CO2 crazies can latch onto anything.

  16. bsneath:
    With respect to CO2’s role as a greenhouse gas vs. H2O, have studies looked at the extent to which human activities are directly increasing humidity levels? e.g. dams, agricultural & residential irrigation in formerly arid climes, etc. as opposed to the CO2 induced humidity theory?
    It wouldn’t matter. Waters has a very transient presence in the atmosphere, and the concentration of water vapor can vary dramatically over short periods of time and over short distances, both vertically and horizontally. Furthermore, “humidity” is a bit of a misleading term; in the colloquial sense, humidity refers to “relative humidity,” which is analogous to “how much more water can the air hold before it is saturated.” What’s important in absolute humidity, which is a function of air pressure, and the factor which determines the total amount of water which can be held as a vapor in the air. If the total amount water held increases, then the H2O feedback loop can initiate and amplify temperatures.
    But, again, the key thing is that water vapor has a very short residency time in the atmosphere. It goes up then comes out a very short while later, on the order of minutes to hours (as opposed to CO2, which has a residency time of around a decade). Having a large man-made reservoir could enhance the relative humidity on the windward side of the body of water, but this really just means that it’ll be more likely to rain on that side of the reservoir. Remember that, for the most part, it rains when the air becomes saturated with water vapor (yeah yeah, you need CN’s and the BF process to initiate, but this is still a general rule). It is unlikely that these things could have an effect which translates to the global scale.

  17. Bill Marsh, don’t be an ignorant. Even from the blog post’s graphs, it is evident that the temperatures have generally increased in the last 20 years. The first half of those years are generally under the blue line, whereas the last few years are generally above it. This is more about making marketing statements which signify nothing, as in “today is colder than the same day 20 years ago, GW disproven, FACE!!1!
    It’s quite childish. But it does provoke some brief chuckles. Science = 0, Entertainment = 0.2

  18. David C. Smith said :
    Where are all the alarmists now?

    They are in denial. I heard one (on FNC) admit to a cold January 2008, but claim temperatures were warmer through the rest of this year.
    Who is the denier, now?

  19. In regards to increased water vapor in the atmosphere due to dams, agriculture, etc….
    As water evaporates, water vapor concentrations increase in the atmosphere and then when a certain saturation level is reached it drops out. That is all well and good but we are talking about temperature and temperature recordings. In general I would think that the time it takes for water vapor to reach a saturation level in the atmosphere is a lot longer then the time it takes for it to drop out so to speak.
    Temperature recordings are taken daily, hourly and even every minute and those temperature recording are manipulated by tricky Jimmy H and his tricky secret temperature upward adjusting software algorithms so my question is would this relationship of more water usage and slowing increasing water vapor and temperature recording gymnastics lead to higher temperature recordings in general by tricky Jimmy H and his lap dog buddy Gavin.
    Just wondering!
    Love and Kisses
    😉 .

  20. It is unlikely that these things could have an effect which translates to the global scale.
    You are correct, but assume there is a global scale effect that needs to be explained. The evidence says all we have to explain is local and regional effects and water vapour is a good candidate for much of these effects.
    Show me persuasive evidence that we are dealing with a global effect and I will change my mind.

  21. I think bsneath asks a pertinent question and I’m not sure all of you answered the implications of what he asked. Consider the recent WUWT post re Tucumcari; it seems clear that local land use differences (irrigation) messed with the local RH at the station at some point in time and affected the temp calculations. Multiply this effect of land use etc with a number of stations worldwide and you could conclude that the *global* temp is rising despite no real change in *global* RH. This to me is what the surfacestations project seems to be proving.
    Overall what the AGW stand appears to me as is overly simplistic — take a lot of local temp readings that appear to be rising (for various local reasons) and run the data through a computer program that’s designed to figure the effect of rising CO2 and –surprise! — CO2 looks like the reason. (I’m surprised nobody really twigs on this: a program designed to model and otherwise concentrate on CO2 is going to think in terms of CO2. It can’t think in terms of local temps being artificially buggered via changes in land use or irrigation or…) The reason I say this is that it seems to me that the major GCM milestones predicted (e.g. oceanic warming) are proving to be incorrect, which says that the premise (CO2 is responsible) is incorrect.

  22. i’m very interested as to why the Satellite and land-based surface temps have been diverging lately. It’s not something mentioned in this post but I’ve noticed it playing with graphs at woodfortrees and so have many others.

  23. H2O or CO2?
    Some observers have noticed in desert cities like Las Vegas that the relative humidity has increased over the decades and attribute this to land use changes, such as planting lawns and non-native plants which must be watered regularly. This amplifies the UHI effect for those cities.

  24. Of course, “CO2 enhanched warming” has just been temporarily overwhelmed by natural (!) factors. It is simply on hiatus right now, taking a bit of a breather, if you will. Where’s your faith Anthony? It will return, and with a vengeance. And just watch that Arctic ice disappear – that will prove it – unless it doesn’t, in which case it won’t mean a thing. And, stop looking at the sun – don’t you know it can blind you to the Emerging Truth of manmade global Alarmism? (Sarc OFF).

  25. Bruce, although you’re unconvinced by this logic, it really is appropriate and plausible. Think about it in terms of the superpositioning of waves, as on a vibrating rope:
    The amplitude of a wave at a point is equal to the sum of both the wave patterns’ individual magnitudes at that point. If we posit that there is a linear, positive trend signal for climate temperature, and suggest that there might be a cyclical feature which causes a negative temperature anomaly every once in a while, then we can analyze what happens when both signals meet. Depending on relative magnitudes, the warming signal could appear to “cancel out” for a brief period of time, until the negative-anomaly-inducing feature enters the opposite phase of its cycle. Factor in the variance and short term noise in the signals, and you have a situation which could very likely describe what’s going on right now.
    So in short, even if you choose to deride this hypothesis, it is still completely rational and valid, and is even supported by the data (if you accept the presence of a long term PDO which can greatly impact temperatures). Of course, the safe thing would be to keep a tight lip to see if this “cooling trend” really does continue, or whether it turns out to be nothing more than cooler-than-“hot air.”

  26. Kind of makes you wonder what Hansen’s claim in 1988 that current temperatures were the warmest ever. Was it based on the warmer months of Dec87 and Jan88? Or was he committing perjury before a congressional committee?

  27. Leif writes:
    There is no evidence that such a cooling is caused by the lack of solar activity.
    —-
    There is no evidence that the previous warming was caused by CO2 either, but I notice you are quite vocal in your support of that theory.

  28. I’ll believe there may be an emergency when Hansen abandons his daily, ~85 mi one-way commute.

    How about when Al Gore turns off the heater to even one of his rather large swimming pools.
    REPLY: Actually it turns out Hansen has an aparment in NYC and drives to the farm on weekends. But yes Gore does like his pool 24/7

  29. Daniel Rothenberg (06:50:01) :
    While it’s true that H20’s residency time is much shorter than that of CO2. It’s also true that the areas around most of the temperature sensors have seen an increase in absolute humidity because of human activity. If an irrigated field is only a few miles from the sensor, the H20 only has to be in the air a few hours to make a difference.

  30. I see Daniel is another one of those who believes that when natural “waves” are on the cool side, it is possible for them to cancel out global warming. However, when those same waves are on the warm side, they have no affect on global temperature, because everyone knows that the warming of the last century is 100% the fault of CO2.

  31. Mark:
    Regarding hydrogen fueled cars, that was my first thought – that hydrogen fueled cars will boost the humidity of our atmosphere which will cause the temperatures to climb. I got a lot of guffaws from the AGW crowd.

  32. Tip O’Neill said “All politics is local”. The same applies to weather. Local influence appears to far override anything else. Irrigation or sewage treatment, concrete buildings, land use in general. Hard to describe an elephant if you only look at one small part.
    H2O’s atmospheric duration doesn’t really change it’s effect if there is a continuous source of it. If the source varies, then the effect can be all over the place.
    A question: Several threads back, we had graphs showing absorption of light of CO2, H2O, and overall, with reradiated levels as well. It looked like everything that CO2 can get is already ‘got’. More CO2 can’t really do anything. Hansen and crew have to have this information, so where are they coming from? This isn’t a ‘startling new revelation’. RJ’s question of perjury is a valid one.

  33. Mark W: There is no evidence that the previous warming was caused by CO2 either, but I notice you are quite vocal in your support of that theory
    As if that was a bad thing. But, as usual, you are mistaken. Nowhere have I advocated that theory. It does not follow that if the Sun is not doing it, CO2 must.

  34. Factor in the variance and short term noise in the signals, and you have a situation which could very likely describe what’s going on right now. Interesting hypothesis, Daniel, but completely wrong, unless you continue to believe C02 can, or indeed ever has driven climate change. To my knowledge, no one has ever proven that C02 can ever, on the simple basis of physics, drive climate change. Perhaps you can, though. You could be the next Nobel prize winner.

  35. This is running on the Drudge Report right now. Ack!
    Due to pending disasters predicted because of global warming, government scientists are urging the creation of a new Earth Systems Science Agency — by merging the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey…
    ‘The United States faces unprecedented environmental and economic challenges in the decades ahead,’ the group warns. ‘Foremost among them will be climate change, sea-level rise, altered weather patterns, declines in freshwater availability and quality and loss of biodiversity’… Developing…

  36. Mark (03:47:56) :
    “I feel sure the humidity factor will be studied and found more alarming even than CO2 was, just as soon as we’ve switched to a hydrogen-based economy.”
    In order to scare people away from using Hydrogen, perhaps we shoud use the more ominous sounding technical name Di-Hydrogen Monoxide.
    Perhaps we should start putting limits on Di-Hydrogen Monoxide emmisions.
    As pointed out, Di-Hydrogen Monoxide is actually the most prevelent Greenhouse Gas and is actually a byproduct of burning fossil fuels also.
    After All Di-Hydrogen Monoxide is a very deadly substance. Di-Hydrogen Monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death in children, as breathing in too much of it causes pulmunary disfunction and death.
    Di-Hydrgogen Monoxide causes flooding, and is the primary cause of recent levee failures in the midwest and has extremely destructive force in causing erosion, and massive property destruction.
    Also Di-Hydrogen Monoxide was a major factor in the Tsunami deaths a few years back.
    Di-Hydrogen Monoxide can be very deadly too in its solid and crystalized states contributing to thousands of automobile deaths each year.
    Perhaps we shoud all join together to demand that the UN and Congress immediately enact restrictions on Di-Hydrogen Monoxide.
    ;>)

  37. Leif:
    You forgot land use changes… Roger Pielke, Sr has been advocating more study to determine the real effects of land use changes (irrigation, dams, UHI, etc) and that CO2 isn’t the only reason why the temperatures have been climbing.

  38. MarkW (09:59:20) :
    > Leif writes:
    > There is no evidence that such a cooling is caused by the lack of solar activity.
    MarkW replied:
    “There is no evidence that the previous warming was caused by CO2 either, but I notice you are quite vocal in your support of that theory.”
    Richard deSousa (11:07:42) :
    [To Leif]
    “You forgot land use changes…”
    MarkW and Richard deSousa both forget that Leif generally sticks to his area of expertise, namely solar physics.

  39. Dell (11:03:15) :
    “In order to scare people away from using Hydrogen, perhaps we shoud use the more ominous sounding technical name Di-Hydrogen Monoxide.”
    See http://www.dhmo.org/
    Also, http://www.dhmo.org/environment.html claims that “DHMO contributes to global warming and the “Greenhouse Effect”, and is one of the so-called “greenhouse gasses.”
    For some reason, they advertise Klein bottles there, http://www.kleinbottle.com/ even though mine isn’t the best thing for restraining DHMO.

  40. Leif,
    All warming of this planet comes from the sun. If the sun increases it’s radiative output then objects in the path of that output will indeed get hotter, which has been observed on other planets in the solar system.
    Sun Spots are a measure of the suns energy output. More sunspots occur during periods of greater energy output. Conversely, fewer sunspots indicate lower energy output. Less energy output means less energy striking this planet, thus the planet will get cooler.
    Thank fully we have H2O to regulate the temperature swings from night to day and season to season and from periods of high output to lower output.
    This cooling will take place some are predicting on the order of the little ice age.
    Only time will tell, but it seems these two factors far outweigh anything CO2 could ever do, regardless of the concentration.
    Matthew R. Epp P.E.

  41. Yeah there is the whole Di-Hydrogen Monoxide but I blame the real hysteria on the US Science education and Carbon Monoxide.
    In school every kid in the 70s was taught that Carbon Monoxide was bad. It’s poison. Now the Global Warming lobby starts talking about Carbon Dioxide and all the averge adult hears is exacly what they remember from school…
    “carbon….oxide” and they don’t pay attention to the middle. Half of them couldn’t tell you the difference in terms of how it effects plants – ‘we were taught Carbon Monoxide is bad for plants so this Carbon Dioxide stuff must work just like it. If we could just stop air pollution…’ Once you finally get through to people that Carbon DiOxide isn’t bad for plants then comes the fun part.
    Read a study once where they exposed the plants to increased CO2 during the day, then at night they took away the increased CO2 and left the plants uncovered. Plants with increased CO2 showed they could sustain more water and grew more – all expected. But the trick was the night you see one night there was frost (now think about it the plant has spent the day absorbing extra H2O but now it’s been put in a carbon deprived environment – it’s going to shed some of that extra CO2. So when a frost hit guess which plants took more damage – that’s rights the ones being CO2 deprived and sheding water. It’s not a surprise that a plant moved from a CO2 rich to a CO2 poor environment will take more frost damage until it acclimates to the new environment. On the other hand such swift changes in CO2 volume don’t occur…

  42. So….does this mean that global warming is a non-event?
    If so let’s move onto and address peak oil.

  43. MarkW:
    You re-iterated what I was saying about the effect of man-made reservoirs. They induce a micro-climate change that could influence a local climate, but only due to micro-scale changes and micro-scale circulations (for instance, if the reservoir is big enough, you could induce sea breezes). However, this application of terraforming would likely not have an impact on the overall global circulation nor the overall global climate, which was my point. This entire thought experiment, however, must remain separate from the notion that CO2-induced warming could cause a water vapour feedback, amplifying the warming.
    As to your false assertion that I blame cold spells on natural cycles, you obviously should read more of my comments. Why do I harp on the illegitimacy of analyzing trends beginning in 1998? Because a natural cycle (ENSO) greatly impacted the temperatures in that year, causing a rather large and anomalous bit of warming. I do advocate an in-depth analysis of climate trends that takes this and other anomalous positive readings into account. Perhaps in the future you should worry less about trying to deride my view that CO2 is the major player in global warming, and more about making sound arguments (of which you didn’t actually propose any here).
    Philip_B:
    If you honestly believe that CO2 cannot possibly act as a greenhouse gas, then I’m not going to waste my time conversing with you. I have no desire to waste my time arguing with someone who denies a basic principle which, since its first proposal over a hundred years ago, has yet to be discarded, and has revolutionized our understanding of paleo-climate, modern climate, and exo-climate.
    Keep it civil gentleman.~jeez

  44. “If you honestly believe that CO2 cannot possibly act as a greenhouse gas, then I’m not going to waste my time conversing with you.”
    Oh yeah, if my atomic raison de etre is fallacious then “I take zie ball and I march to zie haus!”.
    How about an insignificant GHG? Do you stay and play? MarkW is beginning to impress me with his olfactory sensitivity.
    Keep it civil gentleman.~jeez

  45. Say, Daniel, show us who/when/where anyone here has ever said that C02 wasn’t a greenhouse gas? The whole point in fact is that C02 simply isn’t much of a player, and most of the warming effect occurs in the first 20 ppm. Any additional now will have negligible warming effect. And, on top of everything, man’s contribution to C02 is only about 3%, so our contribution to warming via C02 is miniscule – not even worth bothering about. But you seem to believe that C02 can and does drive climate change. So, you should be able to prove it. We’ll wait.

  46. Pingback: Ravalli County News » Blog Archive » Global Temperatures Show Cooling Trend

  47. Question from an amateur, Anthony.
    Your “blue line” in the above post…is that a best-fit line of monthly data points from June 1988-June 2008? If not, could you please post such a line?
    REPLY: Its a level line to compare 1988 level to 2008 level, it is not a fitted line.

  48. I do not really understand the big issue here. When we look at the data, the average trend is still up. For long periods in the past the temperature has gone below the June 1988 level, it went below that level in 2008. But for long periods the temperature went above the June 1988 level also. So I am not sure why this is made to be so significant, when we should be looking at the average trends.

  49. Re: your reply above. Do you mean 1988 level to 2008 level? Also, could you post a best-fit, to be fair? I don’t have the technology.
    REPLY: Yes fixed, phone rang while I was writing that. Sure I’ll add it to my list of thousands. Or you could look at the may other graphs with best fits on the blog, it has been covered a few times already. Just go back a few days.
    I don’t know what you are implying with the “to be fair” comment. The post was about comparing 1988 and 2008 levels, not trends. We’ve done trends ad nauseum here.
    UPDATE: I’ve added the plots with curve fits on the main page.

  50. Matt: you are quite right, our warmth comes from the Sun and sunspots make the Sun hotter. Since the Little Ice Age, the Earth’s temperature has indeed gone up by 0.01 degrees due to increased solar activity, and should solar activity fall to the same low level, the Earth will indeed cool by the same one-hundredth of a degree.

  51. Leif,
    Where do you get 0.01 degree since the LIA due to increased solar activity? Is that based on a minuscule estimate of increased solar irradiance since then?
    Basil

  52. Just eye-balling the graphs with my tired old eyes it looks as if since 88 to present the average has been flat with nearly equal ups and downs. I would think that might be slightly significant since the trend since the LIA has been up. It may be that it is time for us to have a spell of cooler times. I hope not as during the LIA the death toll from food shortages was terrible along with the death from disease. It has been warming since the early 1800’s the vast part not due to CO2. If the models are correct the past 20 years should have been much warmer but they haven’t been. I accept that we have been warming. I have my doubts that CO2 is the major cause of that warming.
    What we need now is old style unbiased scientific study using empirical data. Good observational discipline and reporting with archived data open for study by all concerned scientists.
    I am tired of this name calling that your expert isn’t a climate scientist, he is a known denier, he is owned by big oil, and so forth. I care less who pays for the science as long as the data is properly gathered, properly archived and willingly shared with other scientists. When hypothesis are proven incorrect they are not used later as a point of reference. The days of hiding the data and the method used to reach a conclusion must end. If the study is good enough to be used to guide public policy, it must be good enough to stand up to complete audit of method and duplication/replication of work. Any thing less is a waste of time. This should be done at the time of the publishing of the study or paper.
    When you are trying to effect a change of public policy there is no proprietary ownership. the data and methodology must be available for full audit and replication / duplication.
    Just my 2 cents from a non-scientist.
    Bill Derryberry

  53. Jody First (16:09:18) :
    “I do not really understand the big issue here.”
    There is no big issue here, this is mainly a thread poking a little fun at someone who has spent 20 years muster support for his fears that world will fry up and blow away. 20 years to the month, and the temperature has only gone down.
    “So I am not sure why this is made to be so significant, when we should be looking at the average trends.”
    Absolutely, but we do need a little play time, though lately it’s been a bit more than I think is warranted. Not enough to complain about, but perhaps enough to put off new readers for a while. I also get the sense there’s a little giddiness that perhaps the tide is really changing and people are beginning to understand that there’s much more to climate than CO2. Hopefully we can fend off a crash program to reduce CO2 emissions before discovering the hard way that the unintended consequences may be worse than the cure.
    The problem with looking at trends always brings up the problem of how long a trend, over what time frame, etc. We can make a case for looking at just the last several months since the Pacific Decadal Oscillation went negative, in which case we see a rapid decline in global temps and signs of a return to winters like some of us remember from the 1960s and 1970s. And tornado outbreaks in the spring. Not hurricanes – those seem to march to a different drummer.
    Oh – speaking of Hansen – while his June data isn’t out, there is:
    May 1988: +0.37 C
    May 2008: +0.36 C
    Ordinarily I’d say his own measurements show no change, but for Jim I have to note its gone down. Of course, given the way he adjusts data, the May 1988 value might change this month.

  54. Philip_B:
    If you honestly believe that CO2 cannot possibly act as a greenhouse gas,

    Please don’t attribute statements to me, that I didn’t make. For the record, I think the basic physical calculations for the warming effect of increased CO2 are highly likely to be correct. Those calculations show about a 0.2C rise over the 20th century.
    The logic error that you and many others make is because we know CO2 causes warming (on a global scale), the observed warming is caused by CO2 (operating on a global scale).
    The latter most definitely does not follow from the former. Many effects determine how much warming or cooling occurs on local, regional and a global level.
    What I said was that there is no persuasive evidence of warming resulting from a global effect. That statement is entirely consistent with the statement, increased CO2 causes a global warming effect.
    Which means the CO2 effect is either too small to measure or is being counter-acted by another global effect causing cooling.
    I think the first is more likely, due to negative feedbacks.

  55. Leif Svalgaard is a genuine world authority on the sun and we should all pay careful attention to what he says as it represents our best current scientific understanding.
    Leif shows enormous patience and good grace in responding to sometimes ill-informed statements and questions. I have read many of the literally hundreds of comments he has made at Climate Audit and he always tries to answer questions with precision and without obfuscation or evasion.
    I don’t know why Lief does this, but he should be congratulated for doing it. Many people have learned a lot from him.
    I wish some leading climate scientists would follow his lead.

  56. Yes, Leif is okay.
    Gary: Yes, I know. Well, in Atlas Shrugged, anyway. I thought it amusing that one of the posters here would use the Galt handle.
    As for the question, I meant it sincerely (both in my immediate curiosity and also in the sense that Rand herself continually repeated it).

  57. Hmmm…. regarding my post on Michael Crichton’s speech, I should have said “… *science* on global warming.”

  58. Since the base line for the temperature anomaly numbers is already based on the coldest 30 years in the record; a drop to a sustained -0.4 would mean temperatures that are lower than before the rise in CO2 started. that would do a lot more than “reaffirm” the solar affect. It would mean the CO2 causing waring hypothesis was dead meat; if it isn’t already.

  59. Pardon me I of course mean the hypothesis that CO2 drives climate and will produce catastrophic warming.

  60. My source? Me.
    Or rather Stefan’s law: W = a T^4, where W is irradiance. From this we get:
    dW/W=4dT/T, with T = 300 K, W = 1361 W/sqm, we get:
    dT = T/4/W dW = 0.055 dW, which gives for various values of dW:
    dW = 2 W/sqm, dT = 0.11 K
    dW = 1 W/sqm, dT =0.055 K
    dW = 0.2 W/sqm, dT = 0.011 K
    I believe dW is 0.2 W/sqm. If you think it is somehi ng else, just insert your favorite number and get your own dT.

  61. Leif- That sounds too low. I think you are missing a factor of four in the irradiance W, since only a portion of the surface is exposed to the sun at any one time, but the entire Earth surface is emitting. The value for W should be 1361/4 = 340 W/m^2. Your sensitivity becomes 0.22 C/W/m^2.
    Another approach is to look at interseasonal variations that can easily be measured, as Sensitivity = (June T – January T)/(June TSI – January TSI). This comes out to about 0.1 C/W/m^2 (a little lower on the coast, a little higher inland). The advantage of this technique is that the differences calculated are large, so temperature errors of a few degrees C (due to badly sited weatherstations!) don’t make much of a difference. The data to do this calculation is available at the NREL site.
    Roy Spencer just posted a discussion of his recently submitted paper that argues a climate sensitivity of 0.12 C/W/m^2.

  62. Lief is as always correct – radiation heat transfer is simultaneously one of the most exact and most nebulous areas of heat transfer theory. Now, what can possibly drive planetary temperatures outside the range as stated in the basic equation as stated above may be the cosmic ray/cloud formation theory and the UV light theory. With changes in sunspot cycles, the largest change is in the ultraviolet range, which affect ozone by creating (and in the process of breaking 02 bonds releasing additional energy) which then can affect the rest of the atmosphere.
    But who knows? I told a buddy that ten years ago I would be a believer if I saw a significant increase in global temps. I haven’t. Now, lets see what happens over the next decade…

  63. Leif Svalgaard (19:56:45) :
    “My source? Me.
    Or rather Stefan’s law: W = a T^4, where W is irradiance. From this we get:
    dW/W=4dT/T,”
    I’m confused. I’m not familiar with some of your notation. What I am familiar with is something like:
    W = a T^4
    dW/dT = 4 a T^3
    dT = dW / ( 4 a T^3)
    a is Stefan’s Constant, per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan-Boltzmann_Law it’s 5.67 x 10^-8 in units watts/m^2/K^4. For T = 300K,
    dT = dW / [4 (5.67 x 10^-8) (2.7 x 10^7)]
    dT = dW / 6.12
    for dW = 0.2W/m^2
    dT = 0.033 K

  64. Leif,
    I haven’t done calculus for a while but I believe if you take the derivative of T^4 you get 4T^3.

  65. I think no one is giving enough consideration to the thermostatic effect of water vapor. As the air gets warmer, the water vapor has to travel higher before it condenses to give back off the heat of evaporation it collected on the surface. The convection of that change of state energy goes up unimpeded through any and all GHGs. With the radiation occuring at higher altitudes in a warmer atmosphere, there is less atmosphere above it to block it. As for the chart, it is clear that Hansen and the IPCC are disproven. Their models predicted a rise that never happened … perioid. It is frightening to see continued political carping to limit CO2 on the basis of faulty computer models. Compared to geologic records, CO2 concentration today is very low. It’s been this low only once before ~280 MYA but jumped back to 5X what it is now. Does it actually matter whether the reason CO2 jumped was some huge volcano or some yet unbeknownst hominid species who industrialized on fossil fuel? The answer is .. No it does not. CO2 is CO2 and is good for life on the planet at 5X and even 10X concentrations of today’s. Life is all that should matter and it does better with more CO2. The affect CO2 has on climate on the other hand remains nebulous..

  66. I advise AGW skeptics that more carefully take into account all implications of Leif’s position. According to him it turns out that large temperature swings not only in last 30 years, but even in pre 20th century periods cannot be explained away by variation of sun energy output. So, we must think harder about natural modes of climate fluctuations to discover the way in which climate behaves, and consequently, changes.
    This position is much less attractive for AGW alarmists then conventional “it’s the Sun, stupid” paradigm. Their favorite storyline is “Sun was culprit of global warming from Big Bang until 1977, and then CO2 suddenly takes over, and we know that, because TSI has declined since that time, and we don’t have any other candidate”. If Leif is right, they are pretty much in cold water – whatever caused global warming and cooling in previous centuries, probably could be the culprit now as well. Only way to make Leif’s position consistent with AGW alarmism is to accept some very extreme Hockey Stick vision of pre-industrial climate stability, which is now widely discredited.

  67. Leif. Perhaps to save those of us who left school a long time ago some pain, you could have revealed the steps in your calculations that show the ‘a’ cancelled. Anyhow, here they are:
    W = a T^4
    dW/dT=4aT^3 or dW= dT.4a T^3
    Then dividing by W = a T^4 gives (dW= dT.a T^4)/(W = a T^4)
    The a cancels, and (4 T^3 dT)/T^4 =4dT/T
    Therefore, dW/W=4dT/T

  68. Sorry again. I am popping backwards and forwards between this site, and typing a thesis (Biotechnology, not climate!) with one hand, as the hand possessed of ‘cunning’ has severe RSI.
    That formula should be (dW= dT.4a T^3)/(W = a T^4)
    not, (dW= dT.a T^4)/(W = a T^4) or (dW= dT.a T^3)/(W = a T^4)

  69. I don’t know if this is relevant and I might be way off the mark, however I have never seen this (below) observation ‘published’ anywhere).. I feel it might well be important ….
    I look at the sky every day,( because I am interested, and just to see what the ‘conditions’ are). I live on the south west coast of
    England (and where I live is renowned for its ‘warmer’ climate, and ‘clean air’ (away from big cities)
    I have observed in the past, the sky looking ‘so blue’ and subtly going to ‘indigo’ towards the zenith, I would call this a truly ‘clear blue sky’.
    But I have not seen any ‘clear blue sky’s’ for a very long time (years),
    Instead, I see a blue(ish) sky that looks like it has a ‘wash’ of white over it. The blue looks like it has a ‘haze’ over it (milky), and this haze is ‘thicker’ some days and thinner others but is always
    there. Every ‘clear’ day for years has not been not truly ‘clear’
    Now, what I find interesting is that (my wife being a Coastguard) up until fairly recently she and her colleagues (all over the country) would take daily observations of cloud cover for the UK
    Met office. She did this for years, and became quite a cloud ‘expert… Anyway I asked her about her how she would have ‘logged the sky (as I see it ) and she said that it would be logged as a
    ‘cloud free sky ‘ . I cant disagree with that, but she does see what I mean about the thin ‘haze’ … Now the question Is how much sunlight is that Haze reflecting back to space ??? I’ll
    bet that it amounts to a lot! , And given that it is not ‘logged/recorded’… no ‘correlation’ to cooling and cloud cover is going to be possible (as I see It)

  70. Until the beginning of this year I had been completely morphed into a “green hippie” by the constant media stream and Gore’s science fiction flop.
    I am now converted 😉
    Whilst the debate about solar and CO2 impacts can continue into eternity this needs to be considered:
    The entire AGW theory upheld by Gore et al is based MAINLY on two graphs:
    A) The M. Mann “Hockeystick”
    B) The Vostok Ice core data
    A) This graph has been disproved and is now rubbished by many scientists. It must be noted that this graph, due to data errors, ommitted the Medieval Warming Period (which had notably HIGHER temperatures) and the Little Ice Age (which had notably lower temperatures). From this we can conclude that since 1000AD recordings we are at a reasonable temperature level compared with the two periods. This graph is still shown in textbooks and by the media, usually along with the population Hockeystick graph.
    B) AGW preachers use this graph to “prove” how increases in CO2 lead to an increase in temperature when in fact the superposition of these two graphs shows a CO2 LAG of up too 800years.( ie temp goes up FIRST and co2 goes up 800 years later), which makes sense with the current steady increase in CO2 (800 years ago…1208AD…Medieval WP…KACHING!).
    This means that in reality the EXACT OPPOSITE is occurring to this theory!
    The two fundamental arguments of the AGW theory are total lies! We must also note that Computer Models are USELESS as they cannot predict the past or future.
    This should be enough to destroy this dangerous movement. Yes, yes allright CO2 has warming potential…the sun is not the only component…Gore “loves polar bears”, etc etc but we cannot only dwell on detail! We must also take note of what is staring us in the face.
    Yep and so thats the two cents from a teenager…
    Great site Anthony, i sincerely Hope views do continue to increase!
    REPLY: Thank you for the kind words, and welcome to pragmatic science. -Anthony

  71. Brendan and Stargazer:
    Anthony had a post last year (Nov. ?) on the Big Bear Earthshine project to measure the albedo.
    Haven’t seen new data since, but the trend since ca. ’98 was sharply higher.

  72. About factors of 4 and the albedo, etc. All of these factors are subsumed into my constant ‘a’. So: dW = 4a T^3 dT. Now, 4a T^3 = (4a T^4)/T =4W / T, hence dW =4W/T dT, or dT = (T/4/W) dW = (300/4/1361) dW = 0.055 dW.
    So, my ‘a’ is a = s*(1-A)/4, where ‘s’ is Stefan-Boltzmann’s constant, ‘A’ is the albedo, and ‘4’ is because the Earth is round. But because ‘a’ cancels out, none of these complications matter.
    I left these details out because 1) they are well-known [or should be! at least in this crowd] and 2) to make people think about what is going on.
    About climate sensitivity: my dW is dW outside the atmosphere. It is not always clear what dW people are referring to when they talk about sensitivity. In any event, the point was that the changes in direct solar output are too small to account for the climate changes we have seen.

  73. It occurred to me that I forgot to take emissivity into account. An alternate derivation becomes:
    Given W = a T^4,
    then a = W / T^4, where a is now emissivity times Stefan’s Constant.
    The derivative: dW/dT = 4 a T^3
    Substituting a: dW/dT = 4 (W / T^4) T^3 = 4 W / T
    Solving for dT: dT = dW T / 4 / W [Which is what Lief said]
    Using T=300 and W=1361: T / 4 / W is 300 / 4 / 1361 = 0.055
    So dT = 0.055 dW
    and for a dW of 0.2, dT would be 0.11 K.
    Which is just what Leif said. Ah well, most posts disagree with Leif, I suppose a few that agree with him can’t hurt. [No smiley here, not with what WordPress did to my eight-followed-by-close-paren in my last post. Grr.]

  74. bsneath says this above about atmospheric temperature dependancy on water in the atmosphere:
    ————————–
    It wouldn’t matter. Waters has a very transient presence in the atmosphere, and the concentration of water vapor can vary dramatically over short periods of time and over short distances, both vertically and horizontally. Furthermore, “humidity” is a bit of a misleading term; in the colloquial sense, humidity refers to “relative humidity,” which is analogous to “how much more water can the air hold before it is saturated.” What’s important in absolute humidity, which is a function of air pressure, and the factor which determines the total amount of water which can be held as a vapor in the air. If the total amount water held increases, then the H2O feedback loop can initiate and amplify temperatures.
    ——————————————-
    With logic like this we can conclude that drunken driving has no affect on the number of deaths on the highway. It is transient. Drunk drivers are mostly only around in the evening.
    What’s up with that??

  75. This post (and many others here) got me to wondering…
    A while back I came across a book called The Counter-Creationism Handbook by Mark Isaak, in which the author deals with hundreds of claims made by creationists and gives scientific rebuttals to all of them, complete with references to the scientific literature. The book is similar in style to an encyclopaedia, in that each point from the creationists is given its own heading (and a code for good measure), and is followed by its rebuttal and references.
    Given the increasingly large body of evidence against AGW, does anyone know of a book or web site that treats climate change in a similar fashion? There are of course many web sites and books that state the case for those of us who don’t believe in AGW, but I’ve never seen a book that deals systematically with the claims of the warmists and provides rebuttals, complete with scientific references, to all of them. It would be extremely useful in conversations I have with zealots from time to time. (Probably the closest I’ve come to this is Michael Crichton’s novel State of Fear in which one character who doesn’t believe in AGW has conversations with believers and does provide rebuttals, complete with scientific references – yes, in a novel – to these points. But Crichton’s book isn’t a complete treatment of the subject, and besides, it’s a novel…)
    Thanks for any suggestions. (If there isn’t such a book, I’m retiring in a few months so maybe this would make a good project…)

  76. Leif Svalgaard (06:54:23) :
    “Ric: you surely mean 0.011 K …”
    Oops. Of course. Double oops – I also meant to say Leif throughout.

  77. The earth is part of a closed system – it has its own energy output (nuclear fission based) and a constant energy input from the sun. (I am going to ignore the long term cycle that may be responsible for true ice ages). Now, we see volcanos blowing their lids every so often, and they have an impact on climate that is measurable. We know where all the land based volcanos are, and have in fact been able to correlate climate patterns with them. We cannont easily assess historic undersea volcanic eruptions, and are only begining to assess these hidden energy/particle sources. (Like, maybe the underice volcanos in Antartica?)
    Leif is correct when he sums the energy from the sun and says it only varies by x, and x can’t account for the changes in temperature. We know (because its stated ad infinituum) that CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas, trapping more heat inside the eath’s atmospheric blanket. In other words, CO2 restricts energy cooling through radiation heat transfer during the night time. Now, I think this is one of the better explanations for that process (http://brneurosci.org/co2.html) that I’ve seen. But it can be agreed that increases in atmosoheric CO2 can lead to an increase in temperature, no matter what physics you ascribe to (I do not buy a linear correlation). The arguement then becomes, “how much?” Despite all this, CO2 does not explain the swings associated with the little ice age. We have good sunspot correlations for that – I assume the Leif would say (see the assume!) solar energy output even then would not be significant to have an effect on world temperature.
    So, its not the heat. But as seen above, in discussing CO2, we are not a hot plate – our atmosphere also has an impact, large or small as you take it. Therefore, exluding sources of volcanos that we are unaware of, the LIA must result from some atmospheric interaction. The best theories I have seen have been cosmic ray theory and the UV upper atmosphere theory. Both may have an impact – the direction of that impact can in fact be correlated to sunspot activity. So, there may be a solar connection, even if it is unrelated to solar heat flux to the planet.
    If you can think of other input variables that could cause temps to drop, I would like to hear it.

  78. Oops – I started writing this post in response to the change in albedo. I haven’t looked closely at that, but that works in well with atmospheric interactions with solar energy. I had meant to mention Roy Spencer’s work on cloud formation as an ameliorating factor to massive temperature swings in the atmosphere. His work fits in well with how I understand heat and mass transfer to work (I did my master’s in that area). The increase in albedo could be directly related to his theory.

  79. Leif- Agreed. I confused changes in solar output with forcing changes due to greenhouse gases.

  80. I echo Pierre Gosselin’s comments. And, by the way, when you graph where the supposed green house gases are eminating from, isn’t it true that the man-made quantity is significantly LESS than the naturally occurring quantity, i.e. produced by nature and/or natural events? So, then, how do we harness the harmful natural emissions or, if one thinks this forward, could harnessing naturally occurring green house gases have unintended consequences that we might not yet understand? Just trying to think proactively.
    “Mac”

  81. OK, if sun fluctuations are not causing yearly temperature variations, and CO2 doesn’t seem to work either, what is causing yearly “climate”?
    Perhaps we aren’t measuring in enough places and temperature is “stable.”
    We don’t really have complete temperature data on the atmosphere do we? Do we understand how much the land and oceans absorb and release heat, and when? Do we know whether the migration of heat from inside the earth is constant?
    I suppose albedo could vary year to year as others here imply. But why?
    In terms of effects on life, should we talk about surface temperature as the temperature of a patch of ground or sea, or is the surface atmosphere the better gauge?
    My guess is we don’t know the answer to any of these things. Ergo, don’t try to solve a “problem” we don’t understand.

  82. Pingback: 20 Years of Global Warming? « The Spagnola Report

  83. antioxexpress (11:01:43) :
    unintended consequences
    Lets say CO2 climate models that predict we will have hotter dryer climate in the next 20 years. Commercial seed providers develop seeds for that type of climate. The goverment demands that 30% of our fuel come from plants. Water lines only have to be buried 24″ instead of 48″ deep. Low and behold we enter into another little Ice age. We would end up with the wrong type of seeds and the wrong mandate and a whole lot of frozen water lines all based on flawed climate models.
    Personal, I would want a couple of people tared, feather and thrown to the polar bears.

  84. This whole global warming hypothsis has gotten out of controle. I’m no expert but it has feed the green machine to a frenzy. and now the whole world must buy a new car as if it is a pair of shoes. Has anyone ever written anything on the reprecusion of what would happen? Trucks cars and ships run on oil and feed the world they keep people working and paying for you to make this hypothisises. If we all move back to the caves and club eachother over the head for food will people like al gore who has made 100 million dollars off thhis hypothasis be happy as he flys above in his gas guzzleing jet? I have come to realize that it is oil the practical and now fuel that we do have against an unproven hypothasis that threatens our way of life getting food to the stores and medicine to the hospitals and people aquiering wealth to go to those places.
    It has elevated into crazies on the left and practical people on the right. while i don’t mind buying a new car when i need it right now the world runs on oil. People shouldnt have to afford a whole new way of life to make the far left loons rich on their global warming fanatisisums and investments.
    Everyone wants a cleaner world when they can afford it. People shouldnt have to struggle over this b.s. To the rich its like buying a new pair of shoes to the poor its a decieding factor of should i eat macaronie for 20 years or be forced to buy a new car heating system and on and on. This whole thing is inane.

  85. Pingback: The Strata-Sphere » 2007 Coolest Year In 3 Decades: After 20 Years Of Global Cooling James Hansen Still Screams “Fire”!

  86. Until the beginning of this year I had been completely morphed into a “green hippie” by the constant media stream and Gore’s science fiction flop.
    I am now converted

    Welcome home. You now join the growing ranks of liberals who give a damn about empiricism.
    This graph is still shown in textbooks and by the media, usually along with the population Hockeystick graph.
    Ugh. First off, birthrates have plunged since 1990, even in the less developed countries. In the developed world, birthrates are well under the replacement rate. The only reason world population has not hit the top of the inevitable S-curve is increasing life expectancy, and the only reason the developed world’s population is not in severe decline in immigration.
    Furthermore, we can house 10 people today using less real estate and with FAR more individual “elbow room” than we could house 1 person a hundred and twenty years ago.
    If you want to see what’s really going on, check out the gross world product and wealth per capita deltas over the last couple of centuries. THERE’S your hockey stick! (With the blade geometrically curved skyward.)
    These neomalthusian futurephobes ought to read a little history for a change!
    Given the increasingly large body of evidence against AGW, does anyone know of a book or web site that treats climate change in a similar fashion?
    Funny you should mention that. I am working on a point-by-point pro-and-con project. But with the avalanche of evidence over the last year (not only temperatures, but AquaSat, ArgoBot data, etc.), it’s looking a lot more con than pro!

  87. So, then, how do we harness the harmful natural emissions or, if one thinks this forward, could harnessing naturally occurring green house gases have unintended consequences that we might not yet understand? Just trying to think proactively.
    If AGW is true, we don’t harness, we sidestep. We put up a set of satellites to support a high-tech-tinfoil-in-space setup. This would be flexible and adjustable. It is estimated to cost about $1 trillion, i.e., much cheaper than capping CO2.
    If, instead, we are at the start of an extended cooling, however, we could be SOL. Technology could and would adapt, but at much greater cost in both blood and treasure.

  88. Evan….
    “Welcome home. You now join the growing ranks of liberals who give a damn about empiricism.”
    I am Not American. In fact I am South African and so I do not really care with regards to the arguments between “liberals” and “republicans”. In RSA we see Gore as a plain 1st World politician not as a Liberal politician. I am here to discuss the science not the politics. I am not American and therefore will not engage in debates about which party is destroying democracy, expanding empiricism etc etc. Given the fact that I am 17, I will only be able to vote in the South African election in 2009. The point is by being ‘converted’ it has been to a more open-to-real-science type person who readily questions theories and ‘ scientific consensus’ not a “liberal…epiricism”
    “Ugh. First off, birthrates have plunged since 1990, even in the less developed countries. In the developed world, birthrates are well under the replacement rate.”
    Nowhere in my statement did i say that the hockeystick population curve is an accurate portrayal of the current population status of Earth. Please do not assume so. I merely included it because this is what we as the schoolkids of today are shown these two graphs together to show a “possible correlation”.
    I agree that the population curve is innacurate. Birthrates may have plunged since my year of birth but survival rates have not. I assume you are an American (correct me if i am wrong) and I assume (living in 1st world) that unless you have lived in a developing country you are able to make such statements? In fact in South Africa both survival and birthrates have increased shifting our pop from 45mil (2004) to 48mil(2008 ) despite mass migration of skilled labourers.

  89. The silver lining in the over the top concern for co2 is that some will now favor nuclear because it produces very little co2.
    For those of you concerned about nuclear safety and waste products there is a much better alternative. Thorium based (rather than uranium based) nuclear power. This technology was demonstrate in the 50’s and 60’s but was abandoned because it was much harder to produce weapons grade material (compared to uranium). The military considerations favored the uranium fuel cycle.
    More specifically LFTR (liquid fluoride thorium reactors) compared to uranium reactors burn fuel 100x more efficiently without reprocessing, result in ~100x less waste and are inherently safer and should cost less to build.
    In addition, since LFTR is a high temp low pressure process it can use water or air cooling. Thus Ut/Nv etc, where water is scarce, could replace it’s coal fired plants with low cost, clean thorium power plants. Much more cost effective and reliable than the wind and solar plants that California is building. (fyi, California’s electricity currently costs 2x Utah’s and they are on a path to keep it that way.)
    Comparison: Uranium vs Thorium Based Nuclear Power
    Uranium LWR /// Thorium LFTR
    Fuel Reserves (relative) __________________ 1 /// 100
    Fuel Mining Waste Volume (relative) ____ 1000 /// 1
    Fuel Burning Efficiency _______________ 95%
    Radioactive Waste Volume (relative) ______ 40 /// 1
    Radioactive Waste Isolation Period __10000yrs /// 80% 10yrs, 20% 300yrs
    Plant Cost (relative) _____________________ 1 /// <1
    Plant Thermal Efficiency _____________ ~33% /// ~50%
    Cooling Requirements _______________ Water /// Water or Air
    Plant Safety _______________________ Good /// Very Good
    Weapons Grade Material Production ____ Yes /// No(very hard)
    Burn Existing Nuclear Waste ___________ No /// Yes
    Development Status _______ Commercial Now /// Demonstrated
    for more info see
    http://www.energyfromthorium.com/
    http://www.energyfromthorium.com/ppt/thoriumVsUranium.ppt
    charlesH (BS Physics)
    Orem, Utah

  90. Nowhere in my statement did i say that the hockeystick population curve is an accurate portrayal of the current population status of Earth.
    Yes, I know. My reply was by way of agreement, not disagreement. I am sorry if that was unclear.
    BTW, my “liberal” ref was not a political party one. Nor an “American” one. Liberalism is a universal philosophical approach. And, of course, empiricism is a key to the scientific approach, particularly in the case of climate science, as dependent as it is on observation.
    If, as you say, you are interested in the science and not the politics, that, in and of itself, defines you as a liberal empiricist (openminded and observant of data), quite regardless of nationality or politics.

  91. Alex: I got curious and started checking out South African stats and am amazed at how much different sources contradict each other. Some claim pop is as high as 49.7 mil. and rising. Others (incl. the US CIA) claim it as under 44 mil. and declining by half a percent/year. It’s all very confusing.
    So I’ll take your word on it. (But offhand would you know any reason for the large variations in the reported numbers?)

  92. Hmm now that’s a different explanation, never looked at it that way! I see, now i understand, thanks

  93. “Dr. Hansen if you are reading can you kindly point out where in the time-line the crimes occurred and tipping points are?”
    I’m not sure about crimes and tipping points, but the graph shows that the majority of points above the blue line occurred after 1998. I understand this to mean that average global temperatures post-1998 are not only higher, but more consistently higher, than average global temperatures pre-1998.
    And yet many people insist that global warming stopped in 1998. How can this be?

  94. Pingback: Its all quiet on the solar front - Blogopoly

  95. Alex: You have the right idea. Check it out, decide for yourself, keep an open mind. It’s the experts’ job (on both sides) to explain the basic theory. Yes, the theories themselves (ultimately) get technical, but they are easy enough to understand without a huge pile of numbers. Anyone (expert or not) who says different is blowing smoke.
    It’s ALL of us who get to decide these issues in the end, directly or indirectly via our voting power. Scientists are our expert witnesses, but they don’t get to decide policy–they only get one vote each just like the rest of us.

  96. Ah I see!! Diverse figures there…well according to South African census the current population stands at 47.9 million as of 2007…
    http://www.southafrica.info/about/people/population.htm
    That is impossible as i clearly remember that an earlier census declared it to be around 45/46million and around 2004 when there was mass media portrayal of South Africa’s “ten years of democracy” and how many people were now in the nation. While numbers may vary slightly the pop is definately no less than 46million. While we do have high HIV/AIDS prevalence rates and migration, there has been a general increase in standard of living for people who were previously confined to rural areas pre-1994. Given that population pyramids show us that we are a “second world” developing country , it means that the population will increase but the increase will begin to slow down soon as costs of living will begin to rise due to our electricity and water crisises not meeting increasing demand…the AIDS infection rate has also dropped slightly. It is interesting to see such figures…it depends because there is largely negative growth among white minority population (migration) but there is a definite increase in the black majority. From a eye-level point of view the city I currently live in is expanding at a high rate, both high and low income government and private housing estates are booming with complexes dotting previously bushy areas. Generally as foreign investment is growing due to the 2010 world cup the population will increase as more shopping malls are being built. Come to think about it it is actually frighteneing how fast SA is growing considering our fuel and water crises.
    True but policies aren’t usually designed on facts! Unfortunately science and politics cannot agree on certain things…the more i read about it the more complex it becomes although the general motives/ideas are clearly visible.

  97. I think the reason is that ceratin sources may account for certain parts of the population although that is unlikely…or maybe they just haven’t updated their stats! Perhaps they used the 2001 census numbers or even the 1996 census! The 2007 estimate is “relatively” new and the next census is planned for 2011. But since each successive census shows a higher number it would surely indicate growth? According to stats SA there has been growth since 2001…we will only know for sure in the 2011 census.
    I don’t know the exact status of the population growth but from what I know and from what i have been told it is increasing… I find that US CIA stat interesting…Do they mention reasons for decrease?? Do they say which demographic/racial/age group is decreasing?

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  99. A little off the topic but still of relevance: Here’s an interseting little bit of random information which I have discovered.
    Recently Wikipedia has been accused of bias on climate change and also accused of promoting a one-sided argument, praising climate hysteria. Tragic,,, but if we search “Sun” here’s what we see in the first paragraph:
    “Energy from the Sun, in the form of sunlight and heat, supports almost all life on Earth via photosynthesis, and drives the Earth’s climate and weather.”
    Well there you have it ladies and gentlemen! Wikipedia THEMSELVES acknowledge the sun as the driver of climate! 😀
    And here we were thinking that Wikipedia is biased! Well that’s definately an interesting point to note 🙂

  100. Pingback: Agmates Rural News » Blog Archive » Bulls**t Watch - Governent Spends $9m to re-educate Australia.

  101. Alex, now that you have pointed it out I wonder how long it will take for the wikis to adjust the paragraph?

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