Friday Funny: Grister David Roberts says Earth to roast at 180 degrees F by year 2300, film at eleven

Steve Milloy at posted this yesterday, and even though it is a few months old, it’s too funny to pass up. It is so ridiculous that it reminds me of Al Gore’s famous claim that the Earth’s mantle is “millions of degrees” on national television.

Even the worst case scenario computer models pushed by IPCC don’t come close to this, and they only go out to to the year 2100, because the uncertainty beyond that is so great.


The Grist writer who made the ridiculous statement, David Roberts, is famous for regularly making wacky claims, such as his suggestion that climate skeptics should undergo Nuremberg style war crime trials.

My question is: How does somebody who makes claims like that get cleared for a TED talk? Watch the video and note all the emotional video and image insertions to go with his rhetoric, then note the graphs.

Junkscience writes:

Nuremberg-Trials-for-Skeptics-Guy says Earth’s surface temp may reach 180-degrees F by 2300 without emissions curbs

But the Earth only re-radiates so much radiation for CO2 to absorb and there’s already a surfeit of CO2 in the atmosphere.

The clip starts at about 10:15 into the video.

Note: watch until 11:08, where he makes the 180F claim. – Anthony


Gotta love the FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE at the end with the music.

Assuming somehow Earth could get the extra energy from the sun needed to sustain such an increase, and assuming somehow CO2 manages to overcome its limits related to LWIR response in the atmosphere at band saturation, it still falls short if we take the worst case IPCC model path at project into the future to 2300.

Depending on who you ask, the average surface temperature of the Earth now is anywhere from 57F to 61F. For the purpose of this demonstration, I’ll choose 60F. I’ve taken the IPCC  worst case projection and extended the line all the way into the year 2300, getting a anomaly value of 18.6C (65.5F -32F for zero line of anomaly= 35.5F) and adding that to our current average Earth temperature of 60F,  (or his comment on “places of the Earth that have an average of 80F”) it STILL comes up short.


Here’s why it can’t continue in a straight line, nearly straight up as Roberts claims.

The LWIR response of CO2 is logarithmic, not linear. We don’t get much more heating for a doubling of CO2.

click for larger image

click for larger image

And then there’s Earth’s own thermostat…and the demonstrated low climate sensitivity:

…there have now been several recent papers showing much the same – numerous factors including: the increase in positive forcing (CO2 and the recent work on black carbon), decrease in estimated negative forcing (aerosols), combined with the stubborn refusal of the planet to warm as had been predicted over the last decade, all makes a high climate sensitivity increasingly untenable. A value (slightly) under 2 is certainly looking a whole lot more plausible than anything above 4.5.’ – James Annan

Wild temperature increases like the Roberts 180F by 2300 claim, and the more recent uptick hockey schtick by Joe Romm:


…look increasingly laughable.


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a temperature of 18.6 deg C is a temperature of 65.48 deg F
a temperature difference of 18.6 deg C is a temperature difference of 33.48 deg F
REPLY: Ah yes, right, anomaly not absolute, I fixed that typo thanks, refresh to see it. – Anthony

Luther Wu

For a moment there, I thought it said; Grifter David Roberts.


Wow, he is an incredibly poor speaker. I found it interesting that this bouncing of the energy was responsible for evaporation and precipitation. Quite a profound analysis. Most of the slides looked like ones that a 3d grader would use in a presentation.


We are all going to die of “hotness”. ROTFLMAO!!

Jeff L

Clearly another case of increasingly desperate alarmists trying to be “alarming” & get the attention of the public in the face of real world data that clearly isn’t cooperating with their beliefs. Sorry guys, it isn’t working – you are only making fools of yourselves.


180F? Now that is hot! I am sure glad I will be gone. My great-great-great-…….-great-grandkids will probably never forgive me for the decadent, carbon-prolific, environmentally-criminal lifestyle that I lived in the 20th and 21st centuries.


That was one reason to take TED talks with a grain of salt.


Is there a “blow up” of the rightmost century on a legible scale. Haven’t seen one so far, but would like to. A reliable value for the slope of the apparently linear section would be instructive.

Mike H

That’s a Tedx talk which according to this, (
TEDx was created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.” The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.
I don’t believe they are put through the same level of quality control TED talks are put through before going in front of an audience. They better hope so, because from what little I saw, that was a whole lot of crap. It scares me there is a large enough audience, even in Granolaville, Wherever, they could fill even a home theatre to listen to that tripe. TED should rethink the idea of TEDx if they are going to bring out crap like that. If that quality level becomes the norm, their brand equity will begin to erode quickly. At least I would hope so. Things that make me go hmmm.

He also made a mistake at the very beginning of his talk. Without GHG’s it would be about 30 C colder, but he describes it in such a way that it would be about 280 C colder. Anyone else catch that mistake?


But the real question is: how long will the Mississippi river be in 2300?

chris y

Keep in mind that Roberts is being much more conservative than Hansen, who wrote this with a straight face:
“After the ice is gone, would Earth proceed to the Venus syndrome, a runaway greenhouse effect that would destroy all life on the planet, perhaps permanently? While that is difficult to say based on present information, I’ve come to conclude that if we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty.”
Hansen, Storms of My Grandchildren
For Hansen’s House of Hades to become a reality, all of the oceans must be boiled off and maintained as water vapor or lost to space. Since the boiling point increases with increased pressure, the surface temperature will be considerably higher than 212 F.
Compared to Hansen, David Roberts is a bastion of reason and calm…

Rick Bradford

The video shows him to be one weird guy.
Shortly after his 180F claim comes a shot of Nazi stormtroopers marching down the street, with a side order of Panzers.
Indulging his secret Green fantasies, maybe.


Some how “jumped the shark” just isn’t enough.


Let me see now, a rise of 120 F is equal to 67 C. If we take the IPCC high sensitivity of 4.5 C per doubling that means about 15 doublings are required, i. e. 2^15 times as much CO2 as today. 2^15 = 32768 times as much CO2 as today. That means that the atmosphere will have to contain about 1310 % carbon dioxide (that’s something like 200 pounds per square inch!). Unfortunately there is only 21 % oxygen, so even using up all oxygen in the atmosphere to make CO2 won’t get us anywhere near.
On the other hand if we are content with just turning all oxygen in the atmosphere into CO2, then about 9 doublings are possible, which would require a sensitivity of about 7.5 C per doubling. In that case temperatures since 1950 should have risen something like 4 degrees (7 degrees Fahrenheit). In that case we should be growing oranges in Sweden by now, and I’m fairly sure I would have noticed that.


OT but on the Junkscience site I see a dangerous situation in the UK. For US folks gas in UK is the type used for heating homes & cooking. 😉

“Almost maxed out”: Britain on the brink of running out of gas with just TWO days left in reserve
Gas stocks have been drained in recent weeks due to the unseasonably cold weather – pushing demand up to a fifth higher than normal
Daily Mirror

Also reported in the Daily Mail [36 hours gas left].

William McClenney

An ice age should take care of this subspecies rather neatly.

Hah…”The Goalie Stick”


“But the Earth only re-radiates so much radiation for CO2 to absorb and there’s already a surfeit of CO2 in the atmosphere.”
What on earth does that mean in English?


Ah yes, the fiction of extrapolation.


Well, there goes 15 minutes of bandwidth (and my life) I’ll never get back again. And here’s a minor funny… Now that YouTube has noticed that I watched this drivel, YouTube is recommending “9-11 truther” videos along with assorted crackpot-alarmist CAGW videos. Ha!

Jumped the shark, then came back to beat the shark with a hockey stick…


TEDX have recently pulled several videos that “didn’t live up to review” by their scientific advisory board. Perhaps if we all emailed them questioning this bogus bit of “science” they would do the same? It would definately tell us if they value the scientific method at all.


Oh no. The goats will kill us all.

David Wells

What is really worrying is that to many people this guy is sufficiently plausible – his presentational style not the content – for the more gullible amongst us to believe him. Think he is genuine need of care and protection, somewhere remote like the South Pole where he can ponder his conclusions at minus 92C, without gloves or boots or maybe he would like to be in the UK in West Yorkshire with blizzards and howling winds and drifts and it was the first day of spring two days ago. These guys live in a parallel universe and clearly never connect with what they see out of the window, bizarre.

John Tillman

Crazy, yes, but still 32 degrees less zany than NASA’s own Jim Ted Hansen’s “boiling oceans”.

Bill Illis

Here is a Zoom-in on the Log warming which goes out to the year 2300 (as Roberts apparently thinks he is doing) under the IPCC’s RCP 6.0 scenario where CO2equivalent reaches 805 ppm (or nearly two doublings) by the Year 2300.
This is then compared to the IPCC AR5’s forecast track and to the actual Observations to date which only gets to about +1.3C by the year 2300.
Climate scientists has always had a problem with the math.

Gail Combs

Mean while Mother Nature is up to her usual tricks with snow in the UK, US and Germany.


I have to wonder- what are these people smoking ingesting ? How many are Vegans?
Or have a deficiency in B12/amino acids? This is irrational. I have seen better 9th grade
science fair presentations…

chris y

Of course, Paul Ehrlich, who predicted that we already reached surface temperatures of 212 F around 20 years ago, makes Hansen look like a CACC denier-
““We must realize that unless we are extremely lucky, everybody will disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years.”
Paul Ehrlich, 1972


Is there an exercise going on at WUWT to print as many April the First qualifying stories as possible so as to soften us up so that we won’t recognize the real spoof when it comes shortly?

Phillip Bratby

This is a hockey stick with the blade and handle reversed.

Steve C

You’ll have to stop saying, “The stupid, it burns”. They’re starting to take you literally.

John Tillman

Human “popullution” proponent Ehrlich was talking about breeder reactors in 1972. Now he’s worried about fossil fuel burning (with a brief excursion into “nuclear winter” en route). Don’t know his opinion on windmills, but as a biologist, he should be horrified at their affect on wildlife. Hard to say how the world would be powered if he were dictator, but billions of dead humans might be just what he’d like. No apocalypse too loopy for him.


At least half the Warmists I talk to, talk exactly like this. A mixture of credulous hysteria, bad science, less knowledge, mixed in with a lot of anger. It seems to give them a sense of importance.


Garymount said: …Without GHG’s…30C…not 280C…
Not defending him, but he opened up discussing an atmosphere, then he started discussing the makeup of atmosphere incluuding GHG’s…all those GHG’s and we’re still waiting for Spring

Bruce Cobb

pat – you talk to warmists? You must have the patience of a saint. Ten seconds in, an I’d want to hit them upside the head with a hockey stick.

At about 10:00, “Climate change will literally take on a life of its own.” Say what? Climate change hasn’t always had a life of its own?
This is currently my biggest complaint about the debate–the incredible carelessness/shameless dishonesty of the CAGW crowd. CAGW, AGW, global warming, and climate change are all used interchangably. This linguistic slight of hand is consistently used by CAGW believers to twist the debate to their advantage.
Even on this blog I’ve seen “climate change” used Where CAGW is meant. The skeptic community needs to be more vigilant in making sure the proper terms are used. I believe real headway could be made simply by policing the conversation better.


chris y says:
March 22, 2013 at 9:06 am
Of course, Paul Ehrlich, who predicted that we already reached surface temperatures of 212 F around 20 years ago, makes Hansen look like a CACC denier-
““We must realize that unless we are extremely lucky, everybody will disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years.”
Paul Ehrlich, 1972
Interesting, steam is normally white under natural lighting conditions. I wonder where the blue is supposed to come from?

Nuremberg trials for skeptics? What about the carbon policy wonks in the UK that killed 30,000 people from hypothermia in the UK this year? CAGW hysteria is MASS MURDER.
I say to the AGW freakos – show me one instance in which a skeptic killed anybody.


How long will it be before there is fusion of the lighter elements of the planet, leaving only iron.

Richard M

We’re already capturing about 80% of the outgoing LWIR. That only leaves about 20% more. This is the 40 w/m2 that escapes at the moment. If we could capture it all we would increase the temperature to around 22C (right around 80F). This dude is claiming we can violate the laws of physics. The only way to get to where he claims we are heading is to add multiple steel shells. I don’t think that’s going to happen.
I wonder if anyone in the audience realized they were being fed a bunch of bull.

Mean while Mother Nature is up to her usual tricks with snow in the UK, US and Germany.

Heard on BBC early this AM that the RCMP had to shut down the main road outside Edmonton in Alberta, Canada because of the snow and 100-vehicle multi-car/truck pile-ups as a result. Called my friend who lives up there, and she said she got 16 inches overnight, and that it had been snowing for a week.

Meanwhile GISS figures are out for Feb, and are lower than the 2012 average.
More significantly, the Dec-Feb anomaly is a mere 0.1C higher than the 1981-2010 average. (And how much of that is “adjustment?)

Another guy who uses “climate change.” I tend to disregard immediately someone who uses that because I’m not sure if they really think they can control the climate so it is static.

John Bell

And after the talk I bet he got in his SUV and drove home…


Lance says: October 20, 2011 at 3:40 am
As I step away from my computer I accelerate to 3 m/h in 1 second. Extrapolating from these “actual measurements” I will break the sound barrier in a little over 4 minutes.
I better button my pajamas.


I think I found the source of the Ehrlich “Blue Steam” quote. He seems to be speaking about population and not breeder reactors:
Note I can only read the grey text all the way at the bottom of the web page; I can’t view the photo of the newspaper for some reason.


Chad Wozniak says:
March 22, 2013 at 9:58 am
Nuremberg trials for skeptics? What about the carbon policy wonks in the UK that killed 30,000 people from hypothermia in the UK this year?
Hi Chad, I’ve seen this troubling claim a few times recently but have not found a source for it. Can you (or another reader) supply one? Thanks!


He states that the temperatures we are experiencing now are a result of the green house gasses we put into the atmosphere 50 to 100 years ago and that current gasses being released will affect the temperatures 50 to 100 years from now. How does that work? Why doesn’t CO2 have an immediate effect when it enters the atmosphere? Does it go to sleep for 50 years? Even if he assumes it would take that long for the oceans to warm up, wouldn’t it still have to increase air temperatures first to warm the oceans? I just don’t get where they come up with the 50 year lag.