2 Deg C Global-Warming Limit in the News – Recent Comments by James Hansen, Godfather of Climate Alarmism

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale

The 2 deg C global warming limit, above pre-industrial temperatures, is back in the news.  That limit was first proposed in the 1970s by an economist, not a climate scientist, according to the article Two degrees: The history of climate change’s ‘speed limit’ at TheCarbonBrief.  Authors Mat Hope & Rosamund Pearce note:

Perhaps surprisingly, the idea that temperature could be used to guide society’s response to climate change was first proposed by an economist.

In the 1970s, Yale professor William Nordhaus alluded to the danger of passing a threshold of two degrees in a pair of now famous papers, suggesting that warming of more than two degrees would push the climate beyond the limits humans were familiar with:

“According to most sources the range of variation between between distinct climatic regimes is on the order of ±5°C, and at present time the global climate is at the high end of this range. If there were global temperatures more than 2° of [sic] 3° above the current average temperature, this would take the climate outside of the range of observations which have been made over the last several hundred thousand years.”

Back in February 2015, The Guardian revealed “EU climate chief and UN’s top climate official both play down expectations that international climate talk pledges will help hit 2C target” in its article Paris climate summit: missing global warming target ‘would not be failure’.   It provided the quotes:

“2C is an objective,” Miguel Arias Canete, the EU climate chief, said. “If we have an ongoing process you can not say it is a failure if the mitigration [sic] commitments do not reach 2C.”

And:

In Brussels, meanwhile, the UN top climate official, Christiana Figueres, was similarly downplaying expectations, telling reporters the pledges made in the run-up to the Paris meeting later this year will “not get us onto the 2C pathway”.

WITH UN AND EU OFFICIALS DOWNPLAYING EXPECTATIONS FOR THE PARIS CLIMATE SUMMIT, THE CO2-OBSESSED HAVE TURNED TO THE GODFATHER OF CLIMATE ALARMISM

Of course I’m talking about James Hansen, retired former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS).  Expectedly, global warming enthusiasts have turned once again to him for sound bites.

Hansen was recently quoted in the article Paris 2015: Two degrees warming a ‘prescription for disaster’ says top climate scientist James Hansen at The Age.  The article by Peter Hannam begins:

The aim to limit global warming to two degrees of pre-industrial levels is “crazy” and “a prescription for disaster”, according to a long-time NASA climate scientist.

The paleo-climate record shows sea-levels were six to eight metres higher than current levels when global temperatures were less than two degrees warmer than they are now, Professor James Hansen, formerly head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and now at Columbia University in New York, said.

“It’s crazy to think that 2 degrees celsius is a safe limit,” Professor Hansen told RN Breakfast on ABC Radio on Tuesday, adding that this would lock in several metres of sea-level rise by the middle of the century,

Someday, probably not soon, alarmists like James Hansen will realize they’re undermining their arguments when they make statements like the “paleo-climate record shows sea-levels were six to eight metres higher than current levels when global temperatures were less than two degrees warmer than they are now.”

Those claims confirm a sad reality.  If sea levels were higher in the past than they are now, then solar panels and wind generators will not stop the oceans from invading our coastal towns, villages and cities.  Global temperatures have been above the threshold needed to melt glaciers and ice sheets since the end of the last ice age.  Sea levels will not stop rising until global surface temperatures drop and we head back toward another ice age.

Figure Intro-6

Figure Intro-6 from my upcoming book…hopefully available early in 2016

For additional recent quotes from James Hansen, see the full article Paris 2015: Two degrees warming a ‘prescription for disaster’ says top climate scientist James Hansen at The Age.

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181 thoughts on “2 Deg C Global-Warming Limit in the News – Recent Comments by James Hansen, Godfather of Climate Alarmism

  1. When I set out on my journey to climate change scepticism, the first steps were based on my belief that the Earth had been several degrees warmer in the past. If warmer temperatures then had not led to a run away greenhouse effect, there was nothing new to suggest that we could expect that outcome in the future.

    • ‘If warmer temperatures then had not lead to a run away greenhouse effect…”

      ?? Warmer Temperatures don’t cause the Greenhouse Effect! Where did you dredge up that idea?

      • CO2 makes it a little warmer….which increases humidity…..which leads to a run away greenhouse effect

        That is what was originally proposed….

        and obviously, that doesn’t happen

      • Its fundamental to the IPCC predictions of a 2degree + rise. Without positive feedbacks CO2 alone cannot possibly cause rises of this magnitude. The positive feedbacks claimed include reduced high altitude clouds, increased water vapour and methane releases from melting permafrost all being a result of warmer temperatures.

      • Warren, temperatures were much higher in the past and CO2 was very much higher (over 20x) than at present, with no CGW destroying all living things. That we are currently debating the subject makes it apparent to me that Hansen is talking yet more nonsense!

      • Tell me, are you paid to make yourself look dumb? If so, you need to ask for a raise, you are really good at it.
        If you should be familiar with the claim that warmer temperatures will drive more water vapor into the atmosphere which is the basis for the runaway feedback claims by your friends.

      • I am going to have to post this again. Warren seems to “miss the point”, at every point…

        Earth calling Warren…

      • Missing the point seems to be about the only thing warren is good at.
        That and hijacking conversations.

      • The warming effect of adding more CO2 is shown in this chart:

        The chart clearly shows why the recent rise in CO2 has not caused any measurable global warming. Look at the chart to see what the rise would be for a further increase in CO2 (from the current 400 ppm.)

        We can see that even a 30%, or 40%, or 50% rise in CO2 will not cause any measurable global warming. This is the “painted window” analogy: the first coat of paint has the most effect. Subsequent coats of paint do not have a noticeable effect. Thus, “carbon” alarmism is a baseless scare. Real science does not support the runaway global warming narrative.

        If global temperatures rise by 2ºC, it cannot be due to human CO2 emissions.

      • Actually water vapor itself is perfectly capable of doing any “greenhouse warming”, without needing any help at all from CO2 or anything else.

        If every single molecule of H2O was removed from the atmosphere; there would be NO clouds, which currently shade about 60% of the earth from the sun (according to NASANOAA).

        There would also be no water vapor to absorb a significant part of the solar spectrum energy starting at about 700 n wavelength.

        So ground level insolation would increase from its current level of about 1,000 Wm^-2 by 15-20% and do so over the whole planet instead of just the 40% not shaded by clouds.

        I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if that wouldn’t create a perceptible “forcing” that would result in some water evaporating from the oceans.

        No body has ever suggested or claimed that CO2 warming by GH effect increases the net input of solar energy and the retention of outgoing LWIR by anything remotely approaching even the 15-20% of energy blocked by CAVU water vapor in the atmosphere.

        So not a single molecule of that CO2 would need to be there in the atmosphere to start the evaporation of H2O. It is simply not needed.

        And if you do a google search you can probably find the paper by Peter Humbug, where he did exactly that experiment on his X-box (removed all the water) and he got every bit of it back in just three months.

        CO2 is not any kind of kindling wood that starts evaporation of H2O.

      • [snip . . why not put up your own reasoning rather than just attack the person? . . mod]

    • Well Bloke, 2 deg.C is my absolute limit. Go beyond that and I’m off to colonize another planet.

      And here I thought we were aok between -94 deg. C and +60 deg C.

      Good thing is we wont need all these seasonal clothings, with everything in Kevin Trenberth’s favorite color.

      g

    • @Latitude
      Agreed. But what Scientist says water vapor feedback is strong enough to cause a runaway GE on Earth?

      @Keith Willshaw
      Agreed, but that’s not the runaway situation Bloke alludes to.

      @Harding
      ‘2°C of 21st century warming will shift the Earth’s global mean surface temperature into conditions which have not existed since the middle Pliocene, 3 million years ago. More than 4°C of atmospheric heating will take the planet’s climate back, within a century, to the largely ice-free world that existed prior to about 35 million years ago. The average ‘species’ lifetime’ is only 1 to 3 million years. So it is quite possible that in the comparative geological instant of a century, planetary conditions will be transformed to a state unlike anything that most of the world’s modern species have encountered.’

      @MarkW.
      You’re proficient at insults, but not at thinking. The IPCC includes water vapor feedback in it’s projections –none of which project runaway warming.

      • Have you ever seen the products of the GCMs? If that is not a projection of runaway global warming then I do not know what would be.

      • The world was more than 2 degrees above preindustrial average just 8,000 years ago. 8,000 < 3,000,000 just in case you were wondering. The rest of that paragraph is so far off base I don't know where to begin.

      • Warrenlb responded: “But what Scientist says water vapor feedback is strong enough to cause a runaway GE on Earth?”

        Here is a bit from an alarmist Guardian piece from a couple of years ago:
        ‘Hansen and his co-authors calculate that there is “more than enough available fossil fuels” to generate emissions capable of unleashing “amplifying feedbacks” that could trigger a “runaway” greenhouse effect “sustained for centuries.”‘
        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/jul/10/james-hansen-fossil-fuels-runaway-global-warming

        Here is a picture of Hansen’s “runaway” predictions:
        http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c01b8d0761e32970c-pi

      • Part of the issue here may be due to ambiguity in how the term “runaway greenhouse effect” has been used in popular press. Hansen et al. (2013) explain: http://arxiv.org/abs/1211.4846

        “Runaway greenhouse effect” has several meanings ranging from, at the low end, global warming sufficient to induce out-of-control amplifying feedbacks such as ice sheet disintegration and melting of methane hydrates, to, at the high end, a Venus-like hothouse with crustal carbon baked into the atmosphere and surface temperature of several hundred degrees, a climate state from which there is no escape. Between these extremes is the “moist greenhouse”, which occurs if the climate forcing is large enough to make H2O a major atmospheric constituent (Kasting, 1988). In principle, an extreme moist greenhouse might cause an instability with water vapor preventing radiation to space of all absorbed solar energy, resulting in very high surface temperature and evaporation of the ocean (Ingersoll, 1969). However, the availability of non-radiative means for vertical transport of energy, including small-scale convection and large-scale atmospheric motions, must be accounted for, as is done in our atmospheric general circulation model. Our simulations indicate that no plausible human-made greenhouse gas forcing can cause an instability and runaway greenhouse effect as defined by Ingersoll (1969), in agreement with the theoretical analyses of Goldblatt and Watson (2012).

        Emphasis added. When I discount “runaway global warming” it is based on my understanding of the highlighted statement. I would prefer that literature and scientists communicating to the public limited the “runaway” term to the Venus hothouse scenario to avoid this ambiguity, but that’s not likely to happen.

      • Brandon,
        I notice that you managed to overlook Hansen’s predictions as compared to the observational record. By any reasonable standard, this man should now be a laughing stock, and utterly without credibility.

        You seem to be arguing that your own “Venus hothouse” runaway definition is sober and reasonable, but CO2 alone will never “runaway” with anything. The only way to make “runaway” happen is to incorporate an open-ended water vapor positive feedback mechanism. Hansen is still doing that. He runaway scenario may not be quite as drastic as Ingersoll’s, but it is ridiculous nonetheless, as inspection of his predictions illustrates.

      • TYoke,

        I notice that you managed to overlook Hansen’s predictions as compared to the observational record.

        Which predictions, and which observational record?

        By any reasonable standard, this man should now be a laughing stock, and utterly without credibility.

        I look forward to reviewing your dead-nuts accurate climate predictions.

        You seem to be arguing that your own “Venus hothouse” runaway definition is sober and reasonable, but CO2 alone will never “runaway” with anything.

        What “runaway” means to me is a feedback gain > 1. Hansen et al. (2013) notes: Baked-crust hot-house conditions on Earth require a large long-term forcing that is unlikely to occur until the sun brightens by a few tens of percent, which will take a few billion years (Sackmann et al., 1993)

        A few billion years exceeds my policy planning horizon by a fairly wide margin.

        The only way to make “runaway” happen is to incorporate an open-ended water vapor positive feedback mechanism.

        Any feedback gain > 1 would do it. That isn’t what Hansen is talking about, and why I wrote earlier that I wish that “runaway” was not used to describe non-linear feedback processes brought on by sudden events like ice sheet collapse or rapid methane releases.

        His runaway scenario may not be quite as drastic as Ingersoll’s, but it is ridiculous nonetheless, as inspection of his predictions illustrates.

        What predictions, specifically? I invoke the Willis rule: if you disagree a statement, please quote it directly so that it’s clear to everyone what you are rebutting.

      • Warren, My point was that despite much higher global temperatures in the past and much higher CO2 concentrations, the point where GW became CGW did not occur. 99.9% of all species that have ever existed are now extinct I doubt very much if this figure is purely either directly or indirectly as a result of GW. Another point I would like to make is that all predictions and computer models are all hopelessly wrong and the given reasons they are wrong are so unscientific as to defy belief (heat disappearing from the atmosphere into the ocean depths for instance)

      • Brandon,
        What do you mean, “What prediction”? I prominently linked , TWICE, to the prediction I meant. What else do you expect from me? Apparently you didn’t even bother to click on the link before responding.

        Hansen can’t get to a long term positive feedback without using water vapor, and he does do that.

      • TYoke,

        I prominently linked , TWICE, to the prediction I meant.

        Hansen (1988) contains three “predictions” based on three assumed forcing scenarios:

        I’ve included a 4th series, “F_GISS” which is the observationally based estimates of actual forcings (excluding volcanic) through 2011 used in GISS Model E: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/

        Hansen considered B most realistic, and in terms of CO2 emissions it was almost spot on. C ended up being most correct in terms of net effective forcing by pure coincidence since C called for CO2 emissions stabilizing in 2000. You tell me how anyone is supposed to know 20-30 years in advance what all the relevant radiative factors are going to be.

        Hansen can’t get to a long term positive feedback without using water vapor, and he does do that.

        It isn’t just Hansen. I don’t consider this a problem. It’s well established that water vapor is the single largest contributor to the so-called greenhouse effect on an instantaneous basis, and that higher surface temperatures result in higher levels of wv in the lower atmosphere.

      • Brandon,
        I’m including another link addressing Hansen’s 1988 predictions.

        HERE IT IS. LINK LINK LINK LINK LINK LINK LINK LINK LINK LINK
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/20/how-well-did-hansen-1988-do/
        HERE IT IS. LINK LINK LINK LINK LINK LINK LINK LINK LINK LINK

        As you can see if you CLICK ON THE LINK, Hansen’s prediction was almost FOUR TIMES the actual observed warming. By four times I mean that the actual observed CO2 increase was between that used to make his scenario A prediction and his scenario B prediction. Consequently, he thought there would be an 0.8C increase by now when the observed result is more like 0.22.

        That is a spectacular error by any possible stretch. Nonetheless, you are blandly waving it away. Nothing to see here.

        Now, I’m a physicist too, and god knows that everyone, including me, makes mistakes. The fact that Hansen made a huge error, is not in and of itself a bad problem. Shit happens.

        The problem is Hansen’s response, and the response of other “settled scientists” to this spectacular screw-up. If the science is settled, they should live and die by their settled science predictions, right? If the science is NOT settled, then the skeptics deserve a respectful hearing, right?

        However, that is not what has happened. The settled scientists are not merely denying that there was a huge screw-up, though they certainly are doing that. Their behavior towards the skeptics who pointed out their gross errors is abominable.

        Here is a section of Hansen’s June 2008 testimony to Congress:
        “CEOs of fossil energy companies know what they are doing and are aware of the long-term consequences of continued business as usual. In my opinion, these CEOs should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.

        But the conviction of ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal CEOs will be no consolation if we pass on a runaway climate to our children. Humanity would be impoverished by ravages of continually shifting shorelines and intensification of regional climate extremes. Loss of countless species would leave a more desolate planet.”

        HANSEN is the guy who “knows what he is doing” yet continues to act as though it is the skeptics who ought to be punished.

        BTW way, I see that even in the short clip I’ve quoted, Hansen uses the word “runaway”. Once again, there is no runaway unless there is an open-ended positive feedback (>1). You seem to have some mis-understanding on this point as well. Runaway means only that the feedback is positive (>1), and that it continues to be >1 for the indefinite future. That is all that is necessary to cause an exponential increase in temperature to occur. The only feedback anyone has suggested that might have that effect is water vapor, and that is Hansen’s idea. It is in fact the root of his extreme alarmism, and his lousy predictions. Just because he has not signed on to the “oceans boiling” does not mean he has backed away from a draconian prediction, as the above quote shows.

      • TYoke,

        As you can see if you CLICK ON THE LINK, Hansen’s prediction was almost FOUR TIMES the actual observed warming.

        As I wrote previously, there are THREE “predictions” based on three different SCENARIOS. There is no one prediction.

        By four times I mean that the actual observed CO2 increase was between that used to make his scenario A prediction and his scenario B prediction. Consequently, he thought there would be an 0.8C increase by now when the observed result is more like 0.22.

        Here’s the plot from that post:

        Notice that the dashed yellow “trend” lines converge to the same point in 1988 and that “now” is 2012 which was a relatively cool year.

        Now, I’m a physicist too, and god knows that everyone, including me, makes mistakes.

        Whoever made that plot made a “mistake” doing “trend” analysis in the way that guarantees the highest possible sensitivity to endpoints. And an even worse “mistake” by not making the 1988 starting point a true zero.

        If the science is NOT settled, then the skeptics deserve a respectful hearing, right?

        When “skeptics” don’t play fast and loose with the numbers, I’m more inclined to give them a fair hearing. Least squares regression for 1988-2012 gives the following:

        0.15 1.00 Observation (GISTemp)
        0.29 1.89 Scenario A
        0.29 1.89 Scenario B
        0.17 1.12 Scenario C

        First column is trend per decade. Second column is the ratio of prediction to observed.

        Climate sensitivity for that model was ~4 °C/2xCO2. These days, 3 °C/2xCO2 is the generally accepted best estimate. Some folks understand that we know more in 2015 than we did in 1988.

      • Brandon Gates

        Hansen was wrong. Anybody who checks the matter can see Hansen was wrong.

        Live with it.

        Richard

  2. Given that we simply do not know what the global temperature was prior to industrialisation, and we simply did not have any idea what it might be until after 1979, how can these people claim we need to limit any rise by 2C? It’s purile nonsense!

      • Warren, since you seem to know. What was the global average temperature (please include the 3-sigma confidence interval) prior to the industrial revolution? Let’s say the 30 year period before (1730 to 1760). Also what is the current global average temperature (please include the 3-sigma confidence interval) for the past 30 years 1984 to 2014? Please make sure you pull the numbers from consistent measuring methods and that those methods are truly have global coverage.
        …I’m waiting…
        …….I didn’t think so!

        Now just what did you find “amazing” about Patrick’s statement.

      • In warren’s world, his masters have declared that 200 years ago we knew what the temperature of the earth was to within a few hundredths of a degree.
        That’s all he needs to know, indeed, it’s all he wants to know.

      • Warren, other than proxy data, which is largely inferred…best guesses, we can’t actually construct a climate profile for the earth in all its wonderful layers. We have never owned the technology to accomplish a palm to the earths forehead. Its akin to staring at a 3 pixel image of a human face, then claiming to know exactly who the picture represents, knowing the exact time the photo was taken, as well as knowing the color and length of the individuals socks. Almost everything is inferred. Yes the image gets clearer as we gain tech advantages, and as we are able to compile data from a variety of sources…but its not knowing, its taking an educated stab at the material.

    • Me, why? Hansen needs to justify his statements. Do you have evidence of a global termperature pre-industrialisation? Really? Please provide that evidence. No, wait! I know you are talking nonsense!

    • Basic physics. There aren’t enough ground based stations and the quality control on the ones that do exist are non-existent.
      This is first year stuff here, please try to keep up.

      • Actually not much wrong with Physics; it’s really a problem in pure mathematics; specifically the Nyquist sampling theorem.

        The Nyquist sampling theorem is perfectly valid without ANY connection to any physical system.

        But yes it is a problem of not enough samples, and not in the right places or times.

    • In the NYC suburbs this morning it was 18 degrees cooler than NYC. What is two degrees?

      We really don’t know the range of natural climate variability. Natural climate variability under the present atmospheric conditions could be 10 or 15 degrees. So 2 degrees is nothing. Then there are the positive and negative feedback mechanisms that we really don’t have a good handle on that can negate any large scale warming they are predicting from a few ppm of CO2. Plus the atmosphere is always in a battle to maintain an equilibrium state. Evaporative cooling will counter balance any warming by CO2. That’s why the climate models are projecting a 4 degree warming today and the reality the planet has warmed by only 0.5 degrees (with all the data fudging to boot). The pause is indicative of the power of evaporative cooling.

  3. It is important to note the ‘baseline’ for the 2 degree limit. This is with respect to the temperature in pre-industrial times, a period known as the ‘little ice age’. (Although from where I live, I would prefer 2 degrees warmer than the little ice age to be a target to be aimed at, not avoided).
    Professor Nordhaus quotes 2 or 3 degrees above the current average temperature, i.e. the temperature in the 70s. So, this is not the same limit as Hansen’s.

    By the way, Hansen has already said that a CO2 level above 350ppm will have catastrophic consequences for lif eon Earth. Since we passed that some while ago, don’t spend too much time worrying about the 2 degrees.
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2008/TargetCO2_20080407.pdf

    • Professor Nordhaus quotes 2 or 3 degrees above the current average temperature

      Absolutely a very notable thing. Hansen is talking about half of what Nordhaus suggested.

    • 1) So you both acknowledge the earth has warmed since pre-industrial times?

      2) Hansen didn’t say 350ppm will have immediate catastrophic consequences. He knew about flywheel effects in the climate system. Do you?

      • Which pre industrial times ?

        Its clearly warmer today than during the Little Ice Age but its equally clear that its colder than during the Mediaeval warm period or the Roman warm period. We know from historical records that vineyards flourished in Britain during those periods. Recent investigations have shown that Northamptonshire and North Yorkshire had large scale viniculture in the roman period and again in the middle ages. You need to grow grapes in walled gardens or glass houses today.

      • If he knows about “flywheel effects in the climate system” I would most definitely like to hear more about it since it is a completely unknown phenomernon.

      • 1) Everyone does, it has been both warmer and cooler during the history of the Earth before per-industrial times.
        2) Since CO2 will not drop below 350ppm for many generations it does not matter, we have already passed his limit.

      • YES, The little Ice Age ended before the Industrial age. Are you lacking any knowledge of history, or do you subscribe to the propaganda that the Little Ice Age never existed?

        From Wikipedia (The AGW Propaganda bullhorn)
        “The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron …. “

      • The only way for warmistas like warren to make themselves look credible, is by lying about what others believe.

      • Warren

        I don’t think Hugh or I said anything about actual warming having occurred, we were just discussing the 2 degree limit beyond which the world will melt. Your statement is what we call a non sequitur and it is normally associated with a lack of reading skills, comprehension, logic or critical abilities.
        Consequently, would I be right to assume you believe uncritically in all this catastrophic stuff?

      • Dearest Warren, the temperate at the widely spaced temp gauges in Central England increased by more than 2 Deg C from 1659 over 40 years during the pre-industrial time. So CO2 wasn’t the cause. Why would the rise since then be all due to CO2? On a linear trend basis over 350 years these gauges are only showing a rate of warming of 0.26 Deg C per century. The contribution of warming by CO2 is very small.

      • “So you both acknowledge the earth has warmed since pre-industrial times?”
        The Warmists decided to use the words ‘Since Pre Industrial Times’ in all their [propaganda] as it sounds better (for their cause) than ‘Since the end of the Little Ice Age’. For the time frames we are talking about, they are the same.

        So, your question can be rephrased as “So you both acknowledge the earth has warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age?”

        Which is quite a silly question….

    • Hansen also testified, in 1986, before the US Senate that temperatures would rise 2 to 4 degrees in the first decade of the 21st century.

      Well, we passed that, with no warming whatsoever, in spite of CO2 emissions increasing massively over that period. Hmmm…..

      So I wouldn’t worry what Hansen says, he has a track record of being hopelessly wrong.

      • So true, and yet they keep projecting massive warming. These climate alarmist should be held accountable for their words. This article was written back in 1986 and Hanson was projecting a 1 degree rise by the year 2000 and I would assume following his logic by 2015 we should have added at least one more degree. None of this happened yet the SCAM and historical climate data tampering continues. This is madness.
        I live in NYC and this was the latest I can say in my life that the trees budded their leaves. How many cold winters does it take for people to see this is a Scam. Three years ago Texas, and the SW and the SE were in a drought, today they almost near normal. Calfornia will likely see much needed rain and snow in the next 12-18 months with the onset of the El Nino. None of this has any thing to do with CO2. Wake up people.

      • I think we all should get very serious about this 2 deg C target. The way the global temperature is going at the moment, we simply aren’t going to meet it, not even close. I think we should start a campaign on the 2 deg C target, urging people to do everything they can to get the global temperature up to that mark so that we can reap the benefits of greater plant growth, greater plant resistance to drought, greater food production, etc. At present, the only way of meeting the target appears to be increasing emissions of CO2 while cutting pollution. Depending on how it’s done, that could have the side benefit of more reliable cheap energy. But if we start a global campaign, I’m sure that some really good ideas would start coming in.

      • Hansen’s Powerpoint presentation where he “showed” that back radiation form CO2 and the water vapor feedback could cause the oceans to boil has been conveniently disappeared from the internet.

        I wish I’d downloaded what is probably the biggest miscalculation in the history of science – what 50 or a 100 orders of magnitude wrong ? Warren’s hero ha ha ha ha.

      • Hansen’s Powerpoint presentation where he “showed” that back radiation form CO2 and the water vapor feedback could cause the oceans to boil has been conveniently disappeared from the internet.

        http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2008/AGUBjerknes_20081217.ppt

        Not knowing what you mean, it is not this one?

        Runaway Greenhouse Effect?

        1. Unprecedented Speed of +Forcing
        2. Negative Feedbacks (e.g. Increased Weathering Rate) of Little Help
        3. Solar Irradiance has Increased

        My [Hansen’s] Opinion:
        All Coal -> ?? (Runaway Possible)
        Coal + Tars -> !! (Dead Certainty)

        I think we can safely say Hansen appears to be afraid of runaway warming, which is in my opinion, a highly controversial idea in the light of historic CO2 and temperature development.

      • I’m interested where that newspaper cutting comes from since as far as I’m aware Hansen’s senate testimony was in 1988? Also the ‘quotations’ appear to be at variance with what the official transcript says.

    • MikeB writes-

      “Hansen has already said that a CO2 level above 350ppm will have catastrophic consequences for life on Earth.”

      Indeed. Many times, in variegated and gloomy ways.
      But Rasool and Schneider, while working at NASA GISS (!), published the following asked-and-answered settled science in, of all places, Science:

      “More importantly, is it possible that a continued increase in the CO2 and dust content of the atmosphere at the present rate will produce such large-scale effects on the global temperature that the process may run away, with the planet Earth eventually becoming as hot as Venus (700 K) or as cold as Mars (230 K)?”

      “It is found that even an increase by a factor of 8 in the amount of CO2, which is highly unlikely in the next several thousand years, will produce an increase in the surface temperature of less than 2 degrees K.”

      They included positive feedback from increased water vapor. Three doublings giving 2 C is about 0.7 C per CO2 doubling with positive water vapor feedback.
      That is, 0.5 C per doubling of CO2 without water vapor feedback, according to renowned scientists at NASA GISS…

      Rasool et al., “Atmospheric Carbon dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate,” Science 173, July 9, 1971, pp 138 – 141.

  4. Its surely all about the speed at which it happens. At the current pace, SLR is not noticeable. The total change amounts to maybe a few inches per century. Problems only occur if there is a massive acceleration in SLR – and so far such an acceleration only exists in dodgy computer models with no credible predictive skill.

  5. Some clarity please. Are they saying we need to limit temperatures to 2C above “pre industrial levels” or 2C above today’s temperatures?
    If pre industrial then they are claiming an extra 1.2C will spell disaster, which is a bit hard to swallow! If 2C above today then the track record of CO2 and temperatures of the last 160+ years makes it impossible to believe man can achieve it.

    • It appears to me that they are claiming that the pre-industrial temperatures were already ready half way through what they claim this current climate regime can support and that a 2C increase from pre-industrial temperatures will cause a transition to a new climate regime.
      So yes, they are claiming that an increase of 1.2C will cause disaster.

      On a side note, according to their figures, the depths of the LIA should have been enough to cause one of these regime changes, but didn’t.

  6. Sea levels, on average, tend to rise due to sedimentation from river discharge. This rise is very small and swamped by the odd ice age, with great falls, and warmer periods could lead to an increased rise.
    Past sea level rises, measured from raised beaches and wave cut platforms, are more likely from tectonic movement of some kind. Not all wave cut platforms/raised beaches correlate in time and do not correlate to known warm periods or, more importantly, increased temperature or CO2.

    • RE Sea level rise don’t forget that the space debree that covers land also falls in the oceans. The entire Earth probably grows.

      Max

  7. Steven Goddard made the following comment a couple of years ago concerning Hansen’s late 1980’s temperature rise predictions, especially scenario C where anthro-CO2 emissions are shut off 15 years ago-

    “Hansen has been talking about catastrophic warming, hottest year ever, multi-metre sea level rise, death trains, extinction, end of the world as we know it, etc.
    Yet, by his own measures temperatures are below scenario C – which he considers safe. How can the climate be both catastrophic and safe at the same time?”

    Steven Goddard, 3/28/2013

    • Steven Goddard seems to be a borderline nut job:

      Goddard first became well known when he wrote an article in The Register asserting that the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s (NSIDC) graph of Arctic sea ice was flawed.[3] Ten days later, however, Goddard acknowledged that the data on which the graph was based was accurate.[4] In 2012, another of Goddard’s blog posts attracted attention. The post argued that increases in Antarctic sea ice balanced out decreases in Arctic sea ice, and accused the NSIDC of being “dissonant” about the topic.

      Mark Serreze, director of the NSIDC, responded to the post by saying that the increases in Antarctic sea ice were “not a surprise to us”.[5]

      In June 2014, Goddard attracted considerable media attention for his claims that NASA had manipulated temperature data to make it appear that 1998 was the hottest year in United States history. In fact, he claimed, it was 1934, but NASA had started incorrectly citing 1998 as the hottest year beginning in 2000.[6] Goddard had been promoting these claims for years before this, including in a chapter of a book by Don Easterbrook,[7] but the mainstream media had not paid significant attention to it before then.[8].

      The claim was dismissed by Politifact.com, which rated it as “pants on fire”—its lowest possible rating. Politifact contacted Berkeley Earth scientist Zeke Hausfather, who told them that the problem with Goddard’s analysis was that it ignored the changes the network of U.S. weather stations had undergone over the last eighty years.[10] Goddard’s claims were also criticized by fellow climate skeptic Anthony Watts, who argued that his assertions of data fabrication were “wrong”, and criticized him for using absolute temperatures rather than anomalies in his analysis.[11]

      ……Judith Curry characterized Goddard’s analysis of NASA’s data as “bogus.” [13]

      3. Goddard, Steven (15 August 2008). “Arctic ice refuses to melt as ordered”. The Register.
      4. Romm, Joe (25 August 2008). “A new Olympic record for retraction of a denier talking point”. Think Progress.
      5. Wolchover, Natalie (21 September 2012). “While Arctic melts, Antarctic ice hits record. Is warming debunked?”. Christian Science Monitor.
      6. Fredericks, Bob (24 June 2014). “Global-warming skeptic says government manipulated temperature data”. New York Post.
      7. Easterbrook, Don (2011). Evidence-Based Climate Science: Data opposing CO2 emissions as the primary source of global warming. Elsevier. pp. 146–156.
      8.Taylor, James (24 June 2014). “NASA Activists Caught Claiming Fictitious Warming”. Heartland Institute.
      10. “Foxes Doocy: NASA fudged data to make the case for global warming”. Politifact. 24 June 2014.
      11. Bailey, Ronald (23 June 2014). “Did NASA/NOAA Dramatically Alter U.S. Temperatures After 2000?”. Reason
      12. My Rebuttal To Politifact
      13. Judith Curry (28 June 2014). “Tweet Number 483006570876243968”. Twitter. “@VariabilityBlog @th3Derek I agree what Goddard did to the data was bogus, I say this in my post”

      • In short, you have nothing to say about Goddard’s truthful comment about Hansen, just the usual ad hominem, followed by some hatchet job on Goddard you probably cut-and-pasted.
        Nice work. Give yourself a round of applause.

      • We get it. The nut jobs you worship don’t like Goddard, therefore nothing Goddard says can be right.

      • Steven Goddard seems to be a borderline nut job:

        All the people cited in this comment criticize Steven Goddards analysis and conclusions,
        But WLB thinks it correct to attack the man himself.
        All Ad Hominem fallacy.

      • warrenlb says:

        Steven Goddard seems to be a borderline nut job

        Words fail. There must be no mirrors in warrenlb’s house.

        warren should look up the term: ‘psychological projection’.

      • @warrenlb,

        You need to dig a little deeper. (And, BTW, Jon Greenberg of Politifact.com never bothered to contact Steve Goddard directly at the time for a comment or explanation, which I thought odd for a professional journalist claiming Goddard’s pants were on fire. Nor did he contact NOAA.)

        That said, here is what Judith Curry wrote in “Skeptical of skeptics: is Steve Goddard right?”. Your analysis above of Goddard’s claims are hand-waving over an issue that Curry says NOAA needs to respond to. Be sure you read the Paul Homewood excerpt Curry included below: Homewood goes to the data.

        The data

        OK, acknowledging that Goddard made some analysis errors, I am still left with some uneasiness about the actual data, and why it keeps changing. For example, [Australian scientist] Jennifer Marohasy has been writing about Corrupting Australian’s temperature record.

        In the midst of preparing this blog post, I received an email from Anthony Watts, suggesting that I hold off on my post since there is some breaking news. Watts pointed me to a post by Paul Homewood entitled Massive Temperature Adjustments At Luling, Texas. Excerpt:

        So, I thought it might be worth looking in more detail at a few stations, to see what is going on. In Steve’s post, mentioned above, he links to the USHCN Final dataset for monthly temperatures, making the point that approx 40% of these monthly readings are “estimated”, as there is no raw data.

        From this dataset, I picked the one at the top of the list, (which appears to be totally random), Station number 415429, which is Luling, Texas.

        Taking last year as an example, we can see that ten of the twelve months are tagged as “E”, i.e estimated. It is understandable that a station might be a month, or even two, late in reporting, but it is not conceivable that readings from last year are late. (The other two months, Jan/Feb are marked “a”, indicating missing days).

        But, the mystery thickens. Each state produces a monthly and annual State Climatological Report, which among other things includes a list of monthly mean temperatures by station. If we look at the 2013 annual report for Texas, we can see these monthly temperatures for Luling.

        Where an “M” appears after the temperature, this indicates some days are missing, i.e Jan, Feb, Oct and Nov. (Detailed daily data shows just one missing day’s minimum temperature for each of these months).

        Yet, according to the USHCN dataset, all ten months from March to December are “Estimated”. Why, when there is full data available?

        But it gets worse. The table below compares the actual station data with what USHCN describe as “the bias-adjusted temperature”. The results are shocking.

        In other words, the adjustments have added an astonishing 1.35C to the annual temperature for 2013. Note also that I have included the same figures for 1934, which show that the adjustment has reduced temperatures that year by 0.91C. So, the net effect of the adjustments between 1934 and 2013 has been to add 2.26C of warming.

        Note as well, that the largest adjustments are for the estimated months of March – December. This is something that Steve Goddard has been emphasising.

        It is plain that these adjustments made are not justifiable in any way. It is also clear that the number of “Estimated” measurements made are not justified either, as the real data is there, present and correct.

        […] Homewood’s post sheds light on Goddard’s original claim regarding the data drop out (not just stations that are no longer reporting, but reporting stations that are ‘estimated’). I infer from this that there seems to be a real problem with the USHCN data set, or at least with some of the stations. Maybe it is a tempest in a teacup, but it looks like something that requires NOAA’s attention. As far as I can tell, NOAA has not responded to Goddard’s allegations. Now, with Homewood’s explanation/clarification, NOAA really needs to respond.

        NOAA never did. Reread Homewood.

        Several people take Curry to task in the comments about her “bogus” tweet. You should read her explanation.

      • Focus Warren Focus. The article was about Hanson’s statements. Do you agree with the specific statements cited or not? Do you feel Hanson’s predictive abilities exemplar, or easily proved extraordinarily poor?

        Do you agree with Hansen concerning catastrophic warming, multi-metre sea level rise, death trains, end of the world as we know it, etc, all of which have no basis in reality regardless of whether Goddard said this or someone else?

        BTW if 2 degrees Celsius warming is catastrophic, how about 2C cooling? Which is worse?

        Even though anomalies is the accepted method for determining global temperatures and trends, absolute temperature is the only way to claim a specific temperature is perfect and another catastrophic. In global history how often has the perfect temperature occurred? Explain each time how the earth achieved this perfect temperature so we can train the earth to do it again.

    • Environment Canada’s [outdoor] Air Quality Index for May 8, 2015. Shown for Fort McMurray (where the Oil Sands are), Windsor ON, Toronto ON, and Montreal. The Montreal listing is about 130 miles from where Bill McKibben lives.

  8. at 1.9 °C we will be safe, at 2.001 °C the catastrophe is unavoidable.
    Don’t worry about the reference value from which it is counted, it’s scary enough,

  9. I hope that Mr Hansen lives a very long life…long enough that he is forced to face the folly of his predictions and admit he was wrong.

    • Back in the 70’s, Hansen was busy predicting a new ice age. He’ll never admit he’s wrong, he’ll just move on to another crisis that only he can save mankind from.

    • He’s already lived that long, but like Harold Camping he keeps on moving the day of Rapture because Constantine was wrong in setting the year 0. There’s nothing wrong in his calculations.

  10. The pre-industrial era is gone. This ought to be known to anyone who hasn’t lost the sense for reality and facts. And the times they are a-changing, we are now living in a completely diffrent era. With the times changing, climate will change as well, as it always did and always will. Climate has never been static. Yet some narrowminded scaremongers think it right to try to sell their climate change crap most dearly. The answer to changing times and climate is simple: adaptation. Period.

    • Its better than that , there is fact no agreed date for when the industrial era even started , and of course this varies from country to country , for the USA it came after Europe, and then there is Russian , Japan , Indian etc etc its a rather glib term that is no where near has well defined as some think.
      Meanwhile it is rather myth that industry is relatively a ‘new thing ‘ , the Romans hand plenty of industry 1,500 years ago. Iron and bronze require an ‘industry ‘, has does making charcoal, the scale may be different but its been a very long time indeed since their was no ‘industry ‘

      • Pre-industrial means before the Industrial Revolution which is generally considered to be 1750 to 1850

      • @knr, Don’t forget the Chinese , India, Japan etc . They all had industries, burned wood and coal for making steel and iron, cooking etc & MikeW you are so right and the only way those countries are going to get there is with fossil fuels and advancement!

      • @ knr re-read your statement you had already said what I commented on (apologies, got you mixed up with another poster)

      • The pre-industrial, or as it may now be described, the era of space-flight, computers and IT is a description of the pool of knowledge available on this planet. It does not necessarily mean that this pool is open or available for all. Some societies do not even know how to read and write, yet they are a part of this, mainly past-industrial, era. China and india are in transition, from the industrial era with coal and steel and large factories to more sophisticated technology. And they are doing extremely well.

      • And just what did everybody do without any industry during the bronze and iron ages. I wonder what they dynastic Egyptians did for a pastime, without any industry.

        I assume that the great wall of China just happened by accident, maybe with all those stones just falling from a volcano, and piling up like that. We are so lucky to have industries that earlier folks never had.

        I wonder if there was any fig gathering industry back in the days of Lucy’s ancestors ??

        Yeah I know; silicon valley invented the concept of industry; I know because I was there when it happened.

    • Everyone’s favorite source, Wikipedia says the Industrial Revolution began about 1760.
      So “Pre-industrial could mean – every year before 1760, Too broad. So I’ll .call 1759 “pre-industrial”
      Wiki also says that during the Little Ice Age there was an exceptionally cold period.in 1760.
      So it would seem the optimum temperatures of “pre-industrial” times were far lower than the nice warm climes of today.
      Why would anyone claim pre-industrial climate was correct?
      Oh yeah, It’s all part of the big scare that only taxes can repair.

      • Why would anyone claim pre-industrial climate was correct

        The argument goes like this:

        Today is warmer than ever during the instrumental period, and the warming has been unprecedentedly fast, and it is going to continue because of the committed warming. So 2 to 4 degrees warming is expected before 2100, and, to my knowledge, that would be quite a lot.

        So 1760 would not be good, today’s temperature is surely very much OK, it is the future committed warming that will kill us.

        Now somebody might not totally swallow the chapter above, but the point is they don’t claim 1760 was optimal. They just use it to increase panic awareness so that decarbonisation bs sold better. If CO2 sensitivity were really as high as feared, I’d be rather hopeless, since there is no easy ways to decrease CO2 emissions without seriously ruining the economy. Germany is going to show what happens; they have tried heavily to subsidy wind and solar, and I guess the results will be inefficient.

  11. In 1981, Hansen relied on 15 years of temperature change as his ‘dramatic evidence’ of global warming-

    “They have found that the Earth’s average temperature rose 0.2 degrees Centigrade from the mid-1960s to 1980.”- Eleanor Randolph, in The Pittsburgh Press, August 15, 1981

    There are several problems with this. First, from 1965 to 1980, according to WFT, HadCRUT4 gives 0.06C rise, GISTEMP LOTI gives 0.12C rise, ‘BEST’ gives 0.14C rise, and HadSST3 gives 0.02C DROP. So, Hansen hung his hat on a temperature increase that is smaller than the noise in the measurement.

    Second, we now have 18 years of no temperature increase, while annual CO2 emissions are almost twice as high.

    Hmmm….

    • Don’t forget the temperature DROP that occurred from 1945 to the late 60’s. He cherrypicked the endpoints of the interval nicely and failed to mention the fact that the temperature had dropped in the teeth of supposedly rising CO_2 for well over 1/2 of the previous 40 years.

      I can cherrypick too!

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1940/to:1981/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1940/to:1981/trend

      Hmm, looks like a negative trend of around 0.06 C over that period, but truthfully, this is pretty much null.

      It’s easy to get an exaggerated positive trend, though. Just pick a start year (like 1965) where the climate’s ~5 year 0.3 to 0.4 C natural oscillation is minimum, then pick an end year (like 1981) where one is at or near its five year maximum. Then don’t actually fit the data to a linear trend:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1965/to:1981/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1965/to:1981/trend

      because that is too small to be alarming, less than 0.1C/decade, but rather just subtract the end value from the start value to claim “0.2C” of warming. And never, ever actually give error bars on the temperature estimate, which right now are around 0.13 C for HadCRUT4, increasing (too slowly!) as one goes further into the past.

      The real question is — did Hansen flunk his statistics course in college? Did he ever take one? Has he ever heard of statistical analysis as a mathematical art with some bloody rules that one ignores at one’s peril unless one is trying to sell something?

      rgb

      • And anyone with even just an introductory statistics class knows how to purposely cherry-pick end points to fabricate a desired trend. So when things like this:

        http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/images/AR4WG1GlobalMeanTemp.jpg?12c4eb

        show up in an IPCC report what are we to assume? Do we assume A) these people are –for lack of a better word– dumb, B) they are purposely misleading policy makers, or C) they are dumb and purposely misleading. With a history of them making contradictory statements which undermine their agenda, without them even realizing it, I think C is quite possibly the correct answer.

      • Well statistics as you say is a mathematical art; just like non linear partial differential equations are.

        The whole problem with statistical results (same gose for NLPDEs) is that people believe that they actually mean something.

        They DON’T !

    • Um, do you mean NOT to laugh out loud? Because I find it very easy. Or well, I would if it weren’t for the fact that the “humor” is akin to dead baby jokes.

      The tragedy of Hansen’s humor is that the measures he proposes would, in fact, kill many babies. Arguably, this is already happening in a statistical sense, as the additional cost of coal based electricity generated by the artificial CO_2 panic has a direct impact on the world’s poorest people.

      rgb

  12. Thanks for being a realist and showing the data, Bob.
    “Sea levels will not stop rising until global surface temperatures drop and we head back toward another ice age.” This is nature, we either adapt or perish. We cannot commit suicide to avoid the future. Also, we cannot lower global temperatures by lowering our puny CO2 emissions.

  13. We do not know how much sea level rise is the result of plate tectonics, how much land ice/glacial melt, how much is displacement via land erosion (whether due to silt carried down stream by rivers, or by cliffs/sea shore erosion)

    Think about:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2528892/Volcanic-island-coast-Japan-TRIPLES-IN-SIZE-fresh-undersea-eruptions.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/nasa-releases-images-of-new-island-formed-in-pakistan-earthquake-8849087.html

    This is happening all the time. We do not get to see these Atols until they breakwater, but there is ongoing geological activity which all the time is changing the sea bed and coastlines. and we do not know whether this has a significant bearing on sea level rise.

    What we do know is that even if the globe continues to warm whatever the cause (natural or manmade) there will be some expansion of ocean and some land ice/glacial melt with the latter being a very gradual process.

    The Arctic may be warming but that is sea ice so no problem there. Antartica appears to be cooling, or at any rate there is no evidence of any warming and ice extent has been growing these past 30 or so years. All these esstimates of 4 to 10 metre rise in sea level never mention a realistic time scale over which there could be such a substantial rise.

    Rising sea level is an inconvenience and nothing more than that. The more gradual the rise the less inconvenient it will be. As far as I see matters this is the only negative behind a warming world. All other factors appear to be strongly positive.

    The globe is far too cold for us as a species; don’t forget that we come frm out of Africa and can only inhabit a few places (Amazon rain forest and the like) without the need to adapt ourselves or our environment. Bio diversity is far greater in warm and wet environments and far less in cold and arid environments, and this suggests that life in general would benefit from a warmer world (there will be winners and losers but overall we could expect greater bio diversity).

    CO2 levels are obviously low. Pre industrialisation they were boardering critically low. Plants developed in much higher CO2 conditions and the world is responding positively to the rise in Co2 from about 260ppm to 400ppm. No doubt it would flourish even more if CO2 levels were to double again.

    The real problem with the mitigation argument is that (i) it is liiking increasingly the case that climate sensitivity to CO2 is low if any at all, (ii) that all our efforts to date have not resulted in the reduction of any CO2 emissions, in fact it is more than BAU, (iii) to cut CO2 means to cut energy to the bone and thereby bring down the standard of living (and life expectancy) in the developed world to that seen in the developing world, and not allow the developing world the benefits (and greater life expectancy) that development would bring; and (iv) the only viable option is to go nuclear using existing nuclear technology.

    It is clear that as matters presently stand, the only viable option to reduce CO2 emissions is the en mass role out of nuclear in all countries. If the Greens do not like that then they will need to live with CO2, because there is no other realistic and workable way of reducing CO2 emissions..

  14. ““It’s crazy to think that 2 degrees celsius is a safe limit,” Professor Hansen”

    I note with interest that no one is challenging Hansen’s expertise on crazy.

    /grin

    • Well, I did note above that his boiling oceans calculation may be the greatest miscalculation in the history of science. You have to be a bit crazy to achieve such an award.

    • Said by Homer Simpson during a cold snap in Springfield:
      “Global Warming was supposed to save us from all this. Can’t Al Gore do anything right?”
      He’s a wise sage, that Homer.

  15. I would be comfortable with the idea that an economist came up with the 2 degree threshold. That type of cost/benefit policy evaluation is outside the competency of an atmospheric physicist.

    What interests me more is how it was arrived at. It seems to be just a number plucked from the air.

  16. If we are at the “high end”, does that mean that the Little Ice Age wasn’t really cold, we were just a little closer to normal?

  17. Two degrees higher than what? A rough planetary average? There is a two degree difference between average temperatures in Edinburgh and London; the latter has not been scorched to ash, nor been levelled by tornadoes. The average difference in temperature between London and Athens is greater than two degrees but again the latter is still there; economic woes permittting. So beyond the shattered expectations of the climate cassandras, where exactly will this two degrees actually affect?

  18. How does this mesh with what was stated in this 2010 article in Spiegel about the origin of the 2 degree target?

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/climate-catastrophe-a-superstorm-for-global-warming-research-a-686697-8.html

    “For this reason a group of German scientists, yielding to political pressure, invented an easily digestible message in the mid-1990s: the two-degree target. To avoid even greater damage to human beings and nature, the scientists warned, the temperature on Earth could not be more than two degrees Celsius higher than it was before the beginning of industrialization.

    It was a pretty audacious estimate. Nevertheless, the powers-that-be finally had a tangible number to work with. An amazing success story was about to begin.

    ‘Clearly a Political Goal’

    Rarely has a scientific idea had such a strong impact on world politics. Most countries have now recognized the two-degree target. If the two-degree limit were exceeded, German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen announced ahead of the failed Copenhagen summit, “life on our planet, as we know it today, would no longer be possible.”

    But this is scientific nonsense. “Two degrees is not a magical limit — it’s clearly a political goal,” says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). “The world will not come to an end right away in the event of stronger warming, nor are we definitely saved if warming is not as significant. The reality, of course, is much more complicated.”

    Schellnhuber ought to know. He is the father of the two-degree target.

    “Yes, I plead guilty,” he says, smiling. The idea didn’t hurt his career. In fact, it made him Germany’s most influential climatologist. Schellnhuber, a theoretical physicist, became Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief scientific adviser — a position any researcher would envy.

    Rule of Thumb

    The story of the two-degree target began in the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). Administration politicians had asked the council for climate protection guidelines, and the scientists under Schellnhuber’s leadership came up with a strikingly simple idea. “We looked at the history of the climate since the rise of homo sapiens,” Schellnhuber recalls. “This showed us that average global temperatures in the last 130,000 years were no more than two degrees higher than before the beginning of the industrial revolution. To be on the safe side, we came up with a rule of thumb stating that it would be better not to depart from this field of experience in human evolution. Otherwise we would be treading on terra incognita.””

    • If that is what the German Advisory Council said, unfortunately they got it very much wrong.

      Climatic conditions in the early Holocene were significantly warmer there than today …. the mean July temperature along the northern coastline of Russia may have been 2.5 to 7.0 ºC warmer than present.

      From the IPCC Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (2005), Section 2.7.4

  19. In the last Eemian interglacial 125,000 years ago, temperatures from the ice cores say that Anatrctica was 4.5C higher than today and Greenland was 8.0C higher than today (although the Greenland ice cores are likely miscalibrated and the Antarctic number is probably more accurate).

    Given polar amplification, we interpret that Global average temperatures were 2.25C higher than today in the Eemian. Sea level was also 4 to 6 metres higher.

    CO2, however, only reached 285 ppm at the time, the normal level of an interglacial and obviously CO2 did NOT cause the higher temperatures of the Eemian. What most likely happened is that the summer sun was a little stronger in the high latitudes and a little more ice melted and the planet’s albedo was lower.

    ————-

    I also dispute that an economist from the 1970s came up with the 2.0C limit. This is just climate science re-writing history again which they seem to do over and over again.

    The 2.0C limit comes from a proposal to limit CO2 to 450 ppm from a 2009 UN climate summit in Copenhagen. The 450 ppm CO2 limit was transposed to 2.0C some time later because it has better saleability to the gullible. The global warming theory predicts that 450 ppm will lead to 2.0C of warming at equilibrium.

    Again, the last time 2.0C was reached, CO2 contributed 0.00000001C to that rise.

    • ….temperatures from the ice cores say that Anatrctica was 4.5C higher than today

      That doesn’t seem right Bill, have you got a link?

    • “The global warming theory predicts that 450 ppm will lead to 2.0C of warming at equilibrium.”?
      The last 50ppm have not caused any warming. Are they saying that the next 50ppm will produce 2.0C?

      • I believe they are using 280ppm as the base line. Going from 280 to about 350 caused 0.7C. going from 350 to 400 had no impact, and the next 50 will cause 1.3C of warming.
        If that makes sense to you, you probably earn your living working with climate models.

      • Surely there can be little doubt that some proportion of that 0.7degC increase (whilst CO2 rose from 280 to 350ppm) was of natural origin and not all driven by CO2.

        As you note, 350 to 400ppm appears to have resulted in no increase in temps, but now the warmists wish to argue that that warming was masked bynatural variation working against the CO2 forcing.

        In fairness to the warmists given the annual rise in CO2, it is probable that between now and the end of the century there will be more than an extra 50ppm but not as much as a further 160 ppm. A doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels of about 280 would require us to add an extra 160ppm and it seems very unlikely that about 560ppm will be reached by the end of the century.

        However one looks at it, it is difficult to see how a rise of 1.3degC can be reached between now and the end of the century, especially as it now appears probable that climate sensitivity (if any at all) is below 1.7 degC. As the ‘pause’ continues, climate sensitivity will be seen to be lower and if the ‘pause’ is still on when AR6 is being prepared, it will be difficult to see how the IPCC with a straight face will be able to claim a range exceeding 1.4 to 2, with the probability distribution favouring the lower end.

        And if cooling starts……!!!

        The wild scare of CAGW to any rational person is over. Whether the ‘theory’ has legs on a non catastrophic level remains to be seen and will no doubt be tested over the next 5 to 15 years with a quiet sun (should that continue) and with negative ocean cycles.

  20. CAGW alarmist now realize CO2 induced warming per doubling will never come even close to 3C~6C by 2100 as they’ve tried so desperately to scare people into believing. It’s not even going to readh 2C, which was the original target, at the cost of $76+ trillion (UN estimate).

    Rather than admitting CAGW is a complete bust, alarmists must now try to convince the gullible that even 1C of CO2 warming by 2100 is catastrophic…

    It’s pathetic.

    • My gut feeling is that the sensitivity will be in the range 0.3C to 0.7C, with a bias towards the lower end of that range.

  21. “..observations which have been made over the last several hundred thousand years.”

    No doubt humans have been observing the climate for the” last several hundred thousand years”, But for most of that time, they didn’t write it down.

    • We’ve had that some 25million years ago in Antarctica – Gondwana. And look: what have we done to that once fertile and warm continent? I want Gondwana back and its rainforests and crocodiles. Warmer is better.

  22. Hansen’s easy comparison of ‘this temperature leads to this much sea level rise’- actually leaves out a very significant point.
    Several decades ago I heard it claimed that the ocean floor is sinking at the rate of a millimetre a year due to the extra weight of all the water that had been ice that melted at the end of the last ice age. The rate was said to be slow and ongoing because of the fact the plasticity of the mantle is slight, with solid rock being pressed down into molten rock because of the weight of this water.
    That’s a slight amount, but after a millennium it equals a metre. After ten millennia, it’s ten metres; greater than the sea level rise Hansen reports and forecasts. Now since the warmest part of an interglacial is typically early on in the period, there has been the potential of several thousand years sea floor sinking, adding up to several meters fall of the ocean floor and therefore sea level, at our late stage in this Interglacial, compared to whatever period Hansen is alluding to.
    Thus we get same temperature, same amount of melted ice, but different sea level heights; more benign in our era than in Hansen’s precursor example. Of course it’s more complicated than that; I don’t expect the rate to be invariant, and I don’t know when the period Hansen is referring to actually occurred compared to the end of it’s ice age. Included in the complexity is that Hansen and I are both treating the average amount of water on Earth as a constant, when we actually lose more by photo-dissection each year than we gain from space. There’s more, but that’s enough.

    tl;dr Hansen is comparing apples with 10,000 year old oranges.

  23. This is how it works in the alt universe of climate predictions. If you’re wrong you still get to keep your supplemented retirement cash pile and expensive rooftop solar install on your otherwise enlarged estate. Where is the Green Guilt to go with the gilt?

  24. From a 16th century Hansen?

    For seven days and seven nights
    Man will watch this awesome sight.
    The tides will rise beyond their ken
    To bite away the shores and then

    A fiery dragon will cross the sky
    Six times before this earth shall die
    Mankind will tremble and frightened be
    for the sixth heralds in this prophecy.

    The great star will burn for seven days,
    The cloud will cause two suns to appear:
    The big mastiff will howl all night
    When the great pontiff will change country.

    Michel Nostradamus

    • @ Tim

      I’ve considered Nostradamus to be debunked since I heard about his prophecy “Three brothers will hold the highest office in the land, and the third will be the greatest of them all”, but Trevor Chappell turned out to be a dud.
      For Australians and much of the world that’s the whole of the joke, but the cricket challenged might need to know. Trevor’s brothers Greg and Ian were each in their time captain of Australia’s International cricket team.
      Damn, *I* know this is a joke; if he ever read the words *he’d* know it was a joke, but my conscience compels me to acknowledge that on my best day I was never as good as him on his worst day.(Trevor, not Nostradamus.) Damn consciences.

  25. Isn’t the modern world weird? Here we’ve gone from an average life expectancy of about 45 years in 1900 to about 75-80 years today. A whole number of diseases that terrified our ancestors tend to be fairly easily cured or prevented today: pneumonia, malaria, polio, leprosy [also referred to as Hansen’s disease (I couldn’t resist)], tuberculosis, and so on. (True, something will always kill us, but then something always will, and at least it takes a lot longer these days.) Our forebears, who, if they left for new horizons knew they’d never see their loved ones again, would marvel at the ease, speed, and safety with which we can return to visit. And, on those occasions when schedules do not permit these travels we can hear our loved ones voices and converse in real time rather than waiting weeks for a letter. Preindustrial serfs rarely traveled more than 3-5 miles from their homes, if they traveled at all, and then it was an all day undertaking. Today, we simply get in our cars and are afforded the free choices, opportunities, and new vistas that automobility provides us. And that travel, protected from exposure to heat or sub freezing temperatures, protected from highway robbers (although photo traffic enforcement has reintroduced that phenomenon), protected from mishaps, is far safer then previous forms despite the truly small, and oftentimes avoidable, risks imposed. We can sleep in cool comfort during periods of sweltering heat. We can sleep in warmth during bitter cold. In the Western world true epidemics (not the false kind) are largely forgotten. Famines simply do not exist; nobody starves. And these successes over the capriciousness of nature have allowed us to extend rights to formerly persecuted minorities. Merit, not raw strength, becomes a determining factor. Compassion is no longer an unaffordable luxury. We can even extend that compassion to the animals: to all creatures big and small.

    Yeah, James Hansen, let’s throw that all away. Let’s throw it away for the discoveries you’ve made (NOT), for the new treatments you’ve developed (NOT), for the inventions you’ve produced (NOT), for the insights you’ve provided that will make life richer, larger, healthier, happier, and more humane (NOT). Yeah, let’s throw it all away for your banal fears.

  26. Dr. Hansen’s as any other pseudo science (some would add including my own) was and it is still beneficial to human advance of knowledge.
    If in his early pronouncement he turned against rather towards the ‘anthropogenic warming’, and let’s face it, he had ability and intellect to do it, the ‘anthropogenic warming’ would have been long forgotten. In the process lot of scientific research would never happen, and for me, I would never found that 60 year pulses come from the Earth’s interior and they are synchronised with the even numbered sunspot cycles.
    It is unfortunate and regretful that on a large proportion of humanity, has been and may well be for years to come, inflicted unnecessary hardship.
    Was and is the price worth paying?
    Certainly not, but it is not possible to turn clock back, now and in future we have to do all we can to show that Hansen was and is wrong, hoping that the powers to be, may sooner rather than later (hopefully not when it is too late) come to their senses.
    Ah yes, the 60 year pulses, here they are:

    • I don’t entirely agree… Geologists have been studying climate change for over 100 years and continue to study it today. Much of the foundational work the warmists base their research on was provided by geologists – specifically petroleum geologists. And the fossil fuel industry happily promotes further research today through grants to geology programs without any expectation of what the results of the research will be.

      Sea level falls – sea level rises.

      • Hi
        Thanks for your comment. I know a geologist, who would entirely agree with your comment. My point is that the true experts in the field easily distinguish between good and bad science. Bad science is questioned and sooner or later someone will undertake the task to prove it wrong, often in the process new discoveries will emerge, moving the science another step forward.
        I am an engineer and have considerable doubt about various proxies. One proxy I use more often than any other is the localised secular magnetic field variation. I believe that geologists use it too.

  27. Global temperatures have been above the threshold needed to melt glaciers and ice sheets since the end of the last ice age. Sea levels will not stop rising until global surface temperatures drop and we head back toward another ice age.

    Good to know. I see a frequent argument elsewhere, “This planet has never had CO2 this high before and had (stable/permanent) polar ice caps” and for “proof” they throw out the “800,000 year ice core record” (although at best they just link to a single text file).

    If the seas are going to keep rising regardless, which I should have realized is logical as being in an interglacial means not being a period favorable for storing water as ice on land, and we have another 20 to 30 feet to go before matching the previous interglacial, then there is clearly even less reason to worry about the CO2 atmospheric concentrations.

    Although I still find interesting they’ll drone about “polar ice caps” when Antarctica could warm up before notable melting for longer than we’ve had civilization, and I don’t recall ever hearing about which previous interglacials had (stable/permanent) Arctic ice caps.

  28. The previous interglacial period got about 2 degrees C warmer than the 1961-1990 average, or a little more than 2 degrees C warmer than the time just before the Industrial Revolution, according to:

  29. Actually, I have Hansen to thank for the many enjoyable and informative hours I have spent on this site. Dr. Spencer was on Coast to Coast, and mentioned Hansen’s work. Being a complete gentleman, as always, he simply outlined Hansen’s methods, and expressed concern that they were not entirely valid. Looking for more Spencer work, I hit Joe d’Aleo’s site, which had a linked story on WUWT. So now, when I read some new Hansen lunacy, my blood pressure only spikes about 5 points.

  30. One of the nature’s great thermometers says 2015 spring temperatures are DOWN !
    Yes DOWN, no warming, but COOLING ! Yes cooling.
    English strawberry season is 10 days late.
    Experts say it is to do with colder nights than normal.
    I wonder if the good old English strawberries are telling us the LIA is in the way back.

  31. Hansen ignores the fact that the last interglacials were 1C to 2C warmer than the current Holocene interglacial yet atmospheric CO2 has only 290 ppm in the past.

    The CO2 forcing mechanism saturates. There are periods of millions of years in the deep paleo record when CO2 is high and the planet is cold and periods when CO2 is low and the planet is warm. The higher and lower temperatures in the past were not caused by atmospheric CO2. The paleo observations disproves CAWG. The paleo record shuts ‘THE CO2 MECHANISM SATURATES !!!’.

    Back in the real world. 18 years without warming. Fastest increase in sea ice in recorded history.

    P.S. What is currently happening to the sun and the planet has happened before. Big surprise, there was a physical reason for what happened in the past. Sun is changing in the same manner as it did in the past. Planet is about to abruptly cool. There will be an unbelievable increase in volcanic activity and earthquakes, in addition to scary cooling.

    Oh well, enough about climate science, solar physics, and earth science.

    The cult of CAGW goes on and on about warming that will not happen, ignore the money issue. What the heck is the money issue?

    The public wants more money for health care, more money for parks/green space, more money for schools, more money for make work programs, more money for social security, more money for government employees, more money for early education, more money for secondary education assistance, more money for roads, more money for poverty reduction, and so on and so on (list does not end money does)

    The public will not support the spending of trillions of dollars on green scams that do not work to triple their cost of electricity and reduce the money to spend on other things.

    Has anyone seen the cult of CAWG’s plan? How much is it going to cost and how will it change our living standard to reduce CO2 emissions by let say 60%. Cost benefit analysis?

    Why are all of the developed countries deeply in debt? Big surprise politicians get elected based on promises and silly talk. What happens when the politicians can no longer kick the can down the road? Has anyone noticed what is going on? Yup, someone has.

    http://www.amazon.com/When-Money-Runs-Out-Affluence/dp/0300205236
    When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence

    … economist Stephen D. King warns, and the current stagnation of Western economies threatens to reach crisis proportions in the not-so-distant future. Praised for the “dose of realism” he provided in his book Losing Control, King follows up in this volume with a plain-spoken assessment of where the West stands today. It’s not just the end of an age of affluence, he shows. We have made promises to ourselves that are only achievable through ongoing economic expansion. The future benefits we expect – pensions, healthcare and social security, for example – may be larger than tomorrow’s resources. And if we reach that point, which promises will be broken and who will lose out? The lessons of history offer compelling evidence that political and social upheaval are often born of economic stagnation.

    • he future benefits we expect – pensions, healthcare and social security, for example – may be larger than tomorrow’s resources.

      Pensions, healthcare and social security are not dependent on “tomorrow’s resources.” They are a political decision.

      The real “economic stagnation” we face is the public’s lack of understanding and education about how the federal fiscal economy really works. This is fear-mongering at its worst.

      • “the federal fiscal economy”

        Which federal fiscal economy? The Australian one? The American one?
        I think you will find that King is talking about the West as a whole, not just one country.

      • Hey-ya Roha. I was talking about the American one, but Great Britain, Canada, Japan, and Australia all behave basically the same. But it can’t be the West as a whole. The European countries that gave up their sovereign currencies for the Euro cannot denominate their debt in their own currencies; the Euro is a foreign currency for them. They behave like the 50 US states that are not allowed to create their own currency.

    • Inflation is the elixir for national debt. If a dollar becomes equal to 1/1000th of a dollar, Whats 17 Trillion in debt? A paltry 60 billion, in today’s dollars. The US could put that amount of gold aside then de-value the currency (inflation does that) and pay off the national debt in gold.
      Of course everyone”s savings are destroyed in the process.

      • @RobRoy,

        Here is the US Treasury’s daily checkbook statement for Thursday, May 14, 2015. Friday’s will be out at 4 PM EST today.

        Please open it up. Note that it says all amounts are in “millions.”

        Scroll to page 2: “TABLE III-A – Public Debt Transactions.”

        The left side are issues. The right side are redemptions.

        So far this year the US federal government has created, or sold, ~$44.8 trillion in treasury securities (or newly-created money) that does not have to be paid back.

        So far this year the US federal government has redeemed ~$44.5 trillion in treasury securities.

        The difference for the Fiscal Year To Date is $328,367,000,000. That’s what we’ve been allowed to keep so far this fiscal year. This amount is in everyone’s USD bank accounts. Otherwise known as the “National Debt.” The National Debt is the National Equity. Also known as the Public Debt. It’s what the public owns, not what it owes.

        “Public Debt” is not the same as debt incurred by businesses or households. It is the accounting term used by the US Treasury to account–after the fact–for creating new currency.

    • How much is it going to cost and how will it change our living standard to reduce CO2 emissions by let say 60%. Cost benefit analysis?

      The point.

      But I’m of the view that the 1% has figured out what Nixon taking us off the gold-standard internationally on August 15, 1971 really meant. It should have produced untold prosperity for all Americans. Instead, they used a false scare to nab the dough for themselves and impoverish the rest. And they’re doing it by running this scam out of Geneva, out of US jurisdiction. Just check out UNEP’s “Financial Initiative.” TPP, TTIP, and the other one that involves “Services,” are the legal framework they’re trying to shove through to accomplish it.

  32. “If you leave us at 450ppm for long enough it will probably melt all the ice – that’s a sea rise of 75 metres,” Hansen told the Guardian on April 7, 2008. If one assumes that Hansen is referring to the 1,000 years it will take to melt the Greenland ice cap, then that is an average sea level rise of 75 mm/year, which is more than a factor of twenty higher than currently observed.

  33. Interestingly enough, I used to live in Maine, USA, where the temperature variability from summer to winter was on the order of -35c to +35c. I now line in Arizona, USA, where the spring and fall variability of the daily temperature goes from about 20c to 40c. Somehow, since all my life I have seen as much as 70 degrees variability in temperature over a 6 month period, I find it truly difficult to be overly concerned with a 2 degree increase, and would guess that given the chance to vote on it, 99+% of all species that are mobile would probably say the same thing. When there is a lot of “for profit” research, and you can bet that the thousands of papers written in support of climate change are paid for through grants, thus for the authors, “for profit,” you can generally be certain that either the cause is already known and not disclosed, or there is no supportable cause in the first place.

  34. ” Global temperatures have been above the threshold needed to melt glaciers and ice sheets since the end of the last ice age. Sea levels will not stop rising until global surface temperatures drop and we head back toward another ice age.” THANK YOU

  35. I guess I’m dense. I still fail to see how a global mean temp increase of 2 degrees will melt anything where it’s below freezing.

    • This is one the Great Mysteries that only fully trained and initiated Climate Scientists understand. You and I think that (STP) ice only melts at 0, so if the temp. goes up from -4 to -2, ice still won’t melt. Fully trained and initiated Climate Scientists know better.

  36. How much of the projected 2 degrees represents the recovery from the little ice age?

      • Toneb

        It is warmer now than 200 years ago. That is recovery from the LIA. Indeed, until about ~1950 man’s emissions could not have contributed to that recovery.

        You could claim that the recovery has stopped because warming stopped nearly two decades ago, but it remains to be seen if the recovery from the LIA will resume.

        And wicki is not a reliable source.

        Richard

      • See how AGW enthusiast disregard data if it does not agree with AGW theory. Almost every data source shows the same temperature trend for the globe from the Holocene Optimum to present as the chart you have presented Toneb , from wiki shows.

      • In your opinion, there are only two things that affect temperature, the Milankovitch cycle, and CO2?
        Please tell how increasing CO2 caused temperatures to start rising over 100 years before it was released?

  37. The problems regarding 2 degree C are plenty.
    – Where is the proof that CO2 is the culprit of the rise of temperature with about 1 degree C since 1910? To make due predictions, it is essential to record all causes of the past rise and fall of temperature.
    – Is the proposed maximum rise of 2 degrees scientifically well founded? Where are the scientific reports to prove these statements? Why is the maximum acceptable value not established at 1.5 degees or 1 degree? Why is the 2 deg C the best option among the many other elaborated possibilities?
    – These 2 deg C statements are in general made by politicians. Scientists are even urged by politicians to make these theorems acceptable by the mainstream. Never in history heads of government were so indulged in “science” to reach political aims. Never in history, the scientific basis to put them in the right was so small.
    – It shows a great megalomania to pretend that humans can adjust the temperature on earth. Planet earth has no human induced thermostat.
    – Some time ago, it was said by some scientists that it was already too late to hold the temperature between acceptable values. But now again, with full conviction, politicians argue that the 2 deg C maximum is within reach. It is not so much the statement itself which is surprising (that politicians don’t always speak the thruth is a known fact) but the way these statements are told without showing any glimpse of laughter or shame.
    I hope His Holiness will not add an eleventh commandment to the religious doctrine: “Thou must believe that the current rise of temperature is caused by CO2 and mankind. A temperature rise of 2 deg C is the maximum the Earth can effort. Thou shalt take all measures to prevent the 2 deg C rise of temperature on Earth, in total humility to your governments.”
    I suspect that the 2 deg C thesis is at this state of inquiry only a belief. The gradient of temperature on earth has to be investigated on a scientific way. To impose undue measures which were likely in the Middle Ages is outdated.

    • “And wicki is not a reliable source”

      So you don’t believe Wiki is reliable re a correct explanation of the HCO and the roll of the M Theory in that and any recovery from the last IA?
      Interesting…..
      More intersting would be (in your eyes) what is a reliable source for same.

      • My apologies …. I incorrectly referred to the IA and not the LIA.
        Still no “recovery” as the LIA is adequately (scientificially but not of course by “sceptics”) by low solar causing down-welling stratospheric effects (-ve winter AO) and feed-backs of regional wind/ocean current regimes, along with volcanic episodes during that period. It takes no time to recovery from a solar cycle, even of the Maunder min. type as it is barely any greater reduction in TSi than the normal ~11 yr solar cycle (~0.1%).

      • The test is coming now. We shall see what the global temperature trend will do from this point on. If it declines in the face of rising CO2 concentrations even as little as .1c -.2c over the most recent 30 year trend(1980-2010) ,AGW theory will be proven wrong, solar will be in play to a much greater extent.

        This would take into account the PDO/AMO phase, ENSO variability and volcanic activity, all of which have been the factors that have governed the temperature trend against a backdrop of increasing CO2 concentrations and high solar activity for the past century. CO2 and Solar acting in concert on their possible effects on global temperatures up to year 2005.

        From 2005 through the present and going forward CO2/SOLAR have been acting in opposition to one another and we shall see if the trend in global temperature goes down taking into account the PDO/AMO phase, ENSO and VOLCANIC ACTIVITY.

        Will the trend post 2015 be .1c to .2c or greater lower then it was from the average global temperature from the period 1980-2010? If it is, then solar is going to have to be realized as a player and CO2 as a non player.

        NOTE – a strong case can be made for solar /volcanic activity correlations and to a lesser degree for ENSO correlations, which is part of the case to be made for solar/climate connections.

        I will add I am quite confident the global temperature trend going forward will be down. To what degree is the question.

        Toney, I might add it is not total TSI that matters but rather UV light variations which act in opposition to visible light and obscure the total variability of solar activity due to small TSI changes which are due to visible light /UV light being in opposition to solar activity at least when the sun is in a 11 year rhythmic cycle.

    • Toneb

      I refuse to swallow your red-herring about the C0nn0lly-ised wicki.

      And you don’t get to provide your own definition of the Little Ice Age (LIA) then claim victory by demolishing your own ‘straw man’.

      I think you may like this definition of the LIA because it is provided by the execrable Michael E. Mann.

      The term Little Ice Age is, instead, reserved for the most extensive recent period of mountain glacier expansion and is conventionally defined as the 16th–mid 19th century period during which European climate was most strongly impacted.

      The LIA is the most recent cool phase of the global temperature variability with apparent periodicity of ~900 years. It is warmer now than in the LIA, and that warming is recovery from the LIA. Prior to ~1950 human emissions were too small to have had any effect on that recovery.

      Richard

      • Also quite important is the fact that mankind has been able to adapt to the somewhat changed circumstances during the LIA. Even during th IA mankind just refused to go extinct. Mankind is much more intelligent and adaptation-prone than those “We-are-all-doomed” scaremongers want to make us believe.

  38. george e. smith
    May 18, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    And just what did everybody do without any industry during the bronze and iron ages. I wonder what they dynastic Egyptians did for a pastime, without any industry.

    I assume that the great wall of China just happened by accident, maybe with all those stones just falling from a volcano, and piling up like that. We are so lucky to have industries that earlier folks never had.

    I wonder if there was any fig gathering industry back in the days of Lucy’s ancestors ??

    Yeah I know; silicon valley invented the concept of industry; I know because I was there when it happened.

    What this is about here is not “an industry” but periods of history.
    These periods have names. One ist named “pre-industrial”. A definition of “industry” is given here:

    http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/industry.html

    1.The manufacturing or technically productive enterprises in a particular field, country, region, or economy viewed collectively, or one of these individually. A single industry is often named after its principal product; for example, the auto industry. For statistical purposes, industries are categorized generally according a uniform classification code such as Standard Industrial Classification (SIC).
    2.Any general business activity or commercial enterprise that can be isolated from others, such as the tourist industry or the entertainment industry.

    The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, improved efficiency of water power, the increasing use of steam power, and the development of machine tools. It also included the change from wood and other bio-fuels to coal. Textiles were the dominant industry of the Industrial Revolution in terms of employment, value of output and capital invested; the textile industry was also the first to use modern production methods.

    That’s what Wikipedia has to say about industrial revolution

    There has never been a “pyramids industry” or a “wall industry” although the required limestones or bricks were manufactured in a sort of industrial process.

  39. Has anyone done psych research on group responses to climate issues based on manipulating the room thermostat?

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