Oh Noes!!! "Crocodiles and Palm Trees in the Arctic? New Report Suggests Yes."

“It’s the most dire prediction yet”!!!

Guest post by David Middleton

Featured image borrowed from here.



In even the bleakest climate change scenarios for the end of this century, science has offered hope that global warming would eventually slow down. But a new study published Monday snuffs out such hope, projecting temperatures that rise lockstep with carbon emissions until the last drops of oil and lumps of coal are used up.


Global temperatures will increase on average by 8 degrees Celsius (14.4 degrees F) over preindustrial levels by 2300 if all of Earth’s fossil fuel resources are burned, adding five trillion metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere, according to the research by Canadian scientists published in Nature Climate Change. In the Arctic, average temperatures would rise by 17 degrees C (30.6 degrees F).


Those conclusions are several degrees warmer than previous studies have projected.

If these temperatures do become reality, greenhouse gases would transform Earth into a place where food is scarce, parts of the world are uninhabitable for humans, and many species of animals and plants are wiped out, experts say.


“It would be as unrecognizable to us as a fully glaciated world,” says Myles Allen, head of a climate dynamics group at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Allen was not involved in the new study, but his research has focused on carbon’s cumulative impacts on climate.


Noting that it took less warming, 6 degrees C (10.8 degrees F), to lift the world out of the Ice Age, Allen said, “That’s the profundity of the change we’re talking about.”





What croc of schist!

First off, we haven’t been lifted “out of the Ice Age.”  Earth has been in an ice age since the Oligocene.  We are fortunate enough to be living in an interglacial stage of an ice age.


Cenozoic Average Global Temperature (older is to the right).

The current atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide doesn’t even break out of the Cenozoic noise level…


Cenozoic CO2 (older is to the left).


This latest bit of nonsense from NatGeo is based on Katarzyna et al., 2016.  Here’s the abstract


The climate response to five trillion tonnes of carbon

Katarzyna B. Tokarska, Nathan P. Gillett, Andrew J. Weaver, Vivek K. Arora & Michael Eby

Nature Climate Change (2016) doi:10.1038/nclimate3036 Received 29 July 2015 Accepted 21 April 2016 Published online 23 May 2016

Concrete actions to curtail greenhouse gas emissions have so far been limited on a global scale1, and therefore the ultimate magnitude of climate change in the absence of further mitigation is an important consideration for climate policy2. Estimates of fossil fuel reserves and resources are highly uncertain, and the amount used under a business-as-usual scenario would depend on prevailing economic and technological conditions. In the absence of global mitigation actions, five trillion tonnes of carbon (5 EgC), corresponding to the lower end of the range of estimates of the total fossil fuel resource3, is often cited as an estimate of total cumulative emissions4, 5, 6. An approximately linear relationship between global warming and cumulative CO2 emissions is known to hold up to 2 EgC emissions on decadal to centennial timescales7, 8, 9, 10, 11; however, in some simple climate models the predicted warming at higher cumulative emissions is less than that predicted by such a linear relationship8. Here, using simulations12 from four comprehensive Earth system models13, we demonstrate that CO2-attributable warming continues to increase approximately linearly up to 5 EgC emissions. These models simulate, in response to 5 EgC of CO2 emissions, global mean warming of 6.4–9.5°C, mean Arctic warming of 14.7–19.5°C, and mean regional precipitation increases by more than a factor of four. These results indicate that the unregulated exploitation of the fossil fuel resource could ultimately result in considerably more profound climate changes than previously suggested.


In summary:

  1. Make a WAG as to the total fossil fuel resource potential (presumably the authors know the difference between reserves and resources).
  2. Assume mankind will burn all of it over the next 284 years.
  3. Apply RCP 8.5 “The stuff nightmares are made from”.
  4. Issue “most dire prediction yet.”

I will give them “credit” for not using the phrase “business as usual.”  However, the following quote from the abstract is just a wordy version of “business as usual.”

In the absence of global mitigation actions, five trillion tonnes of carbon (5 EgC), corresponding to the lower end of the range of estimates of the total fossil fuel resource, is often cited as an estimate of total cumulative emissions.


RCP 8.5 is bad science fiction…

Based on a real world “business as usual” emissions scenario, with natural gas displacing oil at its current pace and no carbon tax, I come up with a CO2 right about inline with RCP 6.0, “a mitigation scenario, meaning it includes explicit steps to combat greenhouse gas emissions (in this case, through a carbon tax)“.


Figure 6. QED

Then I took my real world “business as usual” relative concentration pathway and applied three reasonable climate sensitivities to it: 0.5, 1.5 and 2.5 °C per doubling of atmospheric CO2, starting at 280 ppmv (TCR 0.5, TCR 1.5 and TCR 2.5).  HadCRUT4, referenced to 1850-1879 is clearly tracking very close to TCR 1.5…


Figure 7: A real world (this world, not Venus) “business as usual” scenario would barely nudge the dreaded 2 °C limit by the year 2100… Assuming that all of the warming since 1850 is due to greenhouse forcing… Which it isn’t.

Since it is generally assumed that at least half of the warming since 1850 was natural, the actual climate sensitivity would have to be significantly lower than 1.5 °C per doubling.  Therefore, RCP 8.5 should never be described as “business as usual,” “expected” or a “baseline case.”  Since its assumptions are mind mindbogglingly unrealistic, it shouldn’t be used in any serious publication.  It is bad science fiction.

143 thoughts on “Oh Noes!!! "Crocodiles and Palm Trees in the Arctic? New Report Suggests Yes."

    • An 8 deg. C increase in global temperature would according to Wentz et al, increase the rates of evaporation and precipitation by 56% and also increase the total water content of the atmosphere by 56%.
      It is also likely that would increase the total global cloud cover by 56%, from 60% now, up to 93.6% then.
      So the total clear skies would be reduced from 40% to just 6.4%, which would cut ground level solar insolation by a factor of 6.25.
      I dare say, it would be pretty damn cold on the ground, if that happened.
      Do we even have enough total fossil fuel to raise the Temperature by 8 deg. C if we burnt it all at once.
      PS Although Wentz et al found 7% water increase for a 1 deg. C rise in global temperature, they did not address the consequences of an absurd 8 deg. C rise.

      • Now, now. You know all of this is done using a hypothetical partial differential equation solution holding everything else constant. And here you go insisting that partial of T wrt partial CO2 is effected by the values of other variables and that those will not remain constant. Gosh, do you want to turn the entire world into a state of chaos?
        If I were teaching a class in meteorology, physics, or mathematics, the escathological cargo cult of the cagw adherents would get a solid Fail.

      • So you see if the Temperature gose up enough, it is going to get really cold on earth.
        In the mean time, I predict a Nobel Physics Prize for the climate scientist who finally discovers that the input terminal of the climate feedback amplifier, is NOT the atmospheric CO2 abundance, but is actually the TSI, which is relatively constant, apart from its ellipticity factor. So if you connect the cloud feedback signal to the solar input rather than to the atmospheric CO2, you will see why it can’t go up 8 deg. C.
        Meanwhile the climate continues to refuse to follow the CO2 increase, which we know tracks perfectly with world human (only) population.

      • I continue to amaze myself, with what I say, without putting any of it into words.
        So NOwhere in my post did I even mention CO2, let alone assert any differential equation relating Temperature to CO2; which clearly from the data of the last 150 years are not related in any way.
        And I don’t think I mentioned holding anything stationary, anywhere in my post.
        Wentz et all MEASURED the global mean Temperature (and its change) and they MEASURED the global total evaporation rate, AND the total global precipitation rate, and they MEASURED the total global atmospheric water content, so they did not grab a hold of any other climate variable and manipulate it, including holding it constant.
        So they directly measured the results they reported on; nothing was modeled and nothing was referred to CO2, which was aloud to do whatever it wanted to do, of course to no avail, since we know from the data that CO2 doesn’t really have anything to do with the climate.
        At the North pole CO2 can drop 18-20 ppmm in less than five months.
        And anybody who plots 40 years of measured data, and the APPENDS 85 years of extrapolated baloney beyond that, needs to be tarred and feathered, and held up to public ridicule.

      • The 7% water increase for a 1 deg. C rise in global temperature is the increase in saturated vapor pressure of water, tabulated in the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. This 7% rise would also be true if all water vapor pressures were at 50% relative humidity, not 100% (saturated). The Handbook also tabulates values for 8 deg. C rise, or much more, allowing one to calculate boiling points at various external pressures. Because vapor pressure is roughly an exponential function of temperature, this 7% rise is roughly true for any relevant starting temperature, from -10 to 40 Celsius. This is so because exp[K(T+1)] = exp(KT).exp(K) = constant.exp(KT) for any T, since K and therefore exp(K) are constants. For a 0.6 degree climate sensitivity (which I estimate to be the best value not including water vapor and cloud feedbacks), the water vapor increase is only 4%, so that even giving water vapor a weighting factor of 2 (to account for the fact that water vapor is twice as powerful as CO2 in absorbing infrared emitted from the Earth’s surface), the positive feedback due to increased water vapor is likely only 8%, not 200%, so the literature uses a massively unrealistic value of 1+2 = 3 degree for climate sensitivity. Since the net cloud feedback is strongly negative, the likely true climate sensitivity will be less than 0.6 degrees on doubling CO2.
        For a reference to the exponential 7% increase in water vapor pressure for a 1 degree C rise in temperature, see near the end of the article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clausius-Clapeyron_relation .

    • Mine should have been on the [Leicester] Foxes.
      5000-1 at the start of the season . . . .
      Auto, suffering severe hindsight problems.

      • PS – England Premiership Soccer [and they won by ten point out of about eighty=one!!!
        Shocker for pundits.

      • Well I’m sure that it is getting to be not Kosher to be using the name of Foxes in vain, or any other blood sport. Izzat Association Football or just Rugger. Maybe they should change their name to the Leicester Larches of something less controversial.
        Is Leicestershire pronunciated the same way Worcestershire is, more or less ??
        Are they cleaning up or have they stalled ??

  1. NatGeo is simply proselytizing for the new climate religion of the Leftist movement. No science involved.

  2. Desperate people must put into effect outrageous scenarios for attention. It does work, obviously.

  3. I like this one: “…where…parts of the world are uninhabitable by humans…” Ummmm….aren’t parts of the world now uninhabitable by humans? *sigh*
    I wonder what the odds of a devastating Solar flare are in the next 284 years. Or asteroid impact. Or….

    • Yeah and the ice sheets are well known for their high primary productivity and booming human populations.

    • Well just think of all of the ocean depths that are now inhabited by humans, mostly Jack Cousteau offspring, busily teasing sharks into feeding frenzies, for their violent movies that they use to con gullible people into funding their world trips.
      And then there are all the folks in outer space, living hand to mouth with life support from the Russians.
      Come to think of it, there is damn little of planet earth that is inhabitable even now. Fortunately for us, very little of the inhabitable parts of the planet, are actually inhabited now. You can put everybody in Texas, and give each person their own personal 150 square feet.
      So don’t sweat it Mates; she’ll be right; it will all come out in the wash !

      • ~7 billion people / 269,000 sq miles = 26,000 people per sq. mi.
        27,878,400 sq feet per sq mile / 26,000 people per sq mi = 1072 sq ft per person.
        Maybe you meant square meters rather than feet, as 1072 sq ft = ~100 sq meters.
        The 269,000 sq mi might include water.

      • Well Gabro the rest of that thou-seventy two is taken up by all the lawyers, and the politicians; maybe golf courses, leaving just 150 for the peons.
        And thanx for doing the math, so we know how uncrowded it really is.

      • When vegetarians, discover that plants have a soul, and feelings, and that they don’t like their offspring being ripped from them and devoured right in front of their leaves, then the vegans will have to start making food the old fashioned way, like Mother Gaia does; out of rocks and water.
        They probably could take some CO2 out of the air to use for cooking up their stone soup food.

    • Oh! Don’t do that! Giant man killing triffids stalking the Earth!
      Remember these guys were raised on lefty ‘mankind is doomed and good riddance’ stories ! Unfortunately lacking any scientific education, they never understood that these were works of impossible fiction.

  4. ..It is so sad to see that such a great learning tool in my childhood has become a simple mouth piece for the Anti-Human crowd !

  5. The report states that certain areas of the earth will become uninhabitable. To the best of my knowledge certain areas of the earth are presently uninhabitable. I’m referiring to the north and south polar regions. The area in the far north of the Northern Hemishere, the tundra, is virtually uninhabitable. All we would be doing in essence is exchanging uninhabitable regions. Remember, the earth has gone through many climatic changes in its long history and most occurred before mankind was ever on the scene.

    • For some crazy reason people come to Florida to retire. When it gets too hot here, there will be a new-Florida that arises somewheres north of here. If you can figure out that particular geographic spot before anyone else, there will be massive financial potential. Start buying those upland lots in flyover country and planning the next big retirement destination. Must be sure to accurately calculate the sea level rise and temp; it’s gotta be 90s and seaside. Some enterprising AGWers out there should jump on this!

  6. I’m happy. Ive been hammering at RCP8.5 since I saw the AR5 draft report. I’m still seeing about 630 ppm peak CO2. Oil exploration results in 2015 seem to confirm the amount of oil left to find is fairly small, and the light oil from tight rock resource plays aren’t yielding any upsides.

  7. Crocodiles can’t even make it in middle GA. The world would have to warm up at least 30C to enable crocodiles to survive in the Arctic.

      • You have to factor in how a different distribution of the continents back then affected the distribution of heat around the planet.
        Also the fact that the Antarctic wasn’t as far south back then.

      • PS: Dinosaurs and crocodiles are two entirely different evolutionary lines. They don’t have a lot in common.
        Most dinosaurs had a form of feathers for covering to help them keep warm. Crocodiles never did.

      • Crocodilians and their relatives did indeed live above the Arctic Circle in the past, during the Cretaceous Period (last of the Mesozoic Era) and the first two epochs of the following Paleogene Period (first of the present Cenozoic Era).
        Cretaceous climate was equable, that is, it showed less drastic temperature variation from the equator to the poles. Ocean currents ran around the planet, carrying warm water to high latitudes. Antarctica was still connected to South America and Australia, or separated by shallow seas. The Arctic Ocean wasn’t as isolated as now, then later was fed by a warm current.
        Crocodiles are more closely related to birds (and other dinosaurs) than to lizards and snakes. Their ancestors were probably warm-blooded, since like birds, they have four-chambered hearts. In modern crocs, these have been derated by the evolution of a hole, to adapt them to their now semi-aquatic lifestyle.
        It’s not clear that all Arctic and Antarctic Mesozoic dinosaurs had feathers. The most common herbivores in those environments were ornithischians, which might have had spiky protofeathers on some parts of their bodies, but otherwise no insulation. Their fossil skin impressions show a pebbly kind of scale. Some at least of the predatory dinosaurs (theropods) there were however feathered for part or all of their lives.
        Not just higher GHGs but high volcanic activity as the continents were drifting apart kept sea level high and SST warm. In fact, remarkably hot in the tropics. Skies were also less cloudy.

      • The key period of Arctic warmth was the Cretaceous. The middle of North America was flooded and it appears that the Gulf Stream itself, would have actually flowed up this channel all the way to the Arctic ocean. Sea level was 265 metres at the time which was probably just enough to allow a full Gulf Stream flow. Besides that, this was a shallow sea which meant it would have been warm with no deep cold ocean to keep it cold.
        Crocodiles follow the inland sea north which also contained giant Mosasaurus reptiles. No CO2 needs to be involved in this explanation.

      • Bill Illis
        May 24, 2016 at 11:51 am
        All true, although CO2 was a lot higher both during the Cretaceous and the early Cenozoic.
        Even after the inland sea receded in the Maastrichtian Age at the end of the Cretaceous, however, dinosaurs, croc-relatives and turtles still lived in or at least visited the Arctic. Of course they still do, in the form of birds.

      • It’s interesting that some species of these same animals have very long life spans – at least compared to the life span of humans.

      • Yes, the giant sauropods could live a long time, like whales today.
        It used to be thought that Arctic dinosaurs must have migrated, and maybe they did a bit, like caribou. But now there’s good evidence that they stayed in high latitudes year-round, being physiological incapable of long-distance migration. Not even today’s land mammals migrate the distances that would have been required to avoid the months of darkness at their paleolatitude. There is other evidence as well.
        Arctic and Antarctic dinosaurs often had large eyes to help them see during the long nights.

      • Gabro,
        “Even after the inland sea receded in the Maastrichtian Age at the end of the Cretaceous, however, dinosaurs, croc-relatives and turtles still lived in or at least visited the Arctic. Of course they still do, in the form of birds.”
        Birds are obviously not dinosaurs, anymore than they (and all the creatures you listed there) are fish, simply because someone thinks they evolved from dinosaurs. Calling everything thought to have evolved from creature type X, creature type X, is just plain silly, to me.

      • “Calling everything thought to have evolved from creature type X, creature type X, is just plain silly, to me.”
        That’s what I think about Americans who call themselves “Irish” just because they have an Irish ancestor or two.
        Though with better punctuation, of course.

    • There were actually alligators (which are incidentally the most cold-tolerant crocodiles) in the arctic (Ellesmera land) once. Briefly. During the Eocene temperature peak 50 million years ago.
      But the tropics don’t seem to have been much warmer than now, though probably quite a bit wetter.
      And there wasn’t any mass extinctions. Contrariwise most important groups of birds and mammals originated and dispersed during that warm peak.
      And the fraction of the Earth’s land surface that is uninhabitable to humans and other complex life forms during the present glacial epoch is almost certainly the largest for at least 250 millon years.

  8. As the sc@m falls apart, they alarmists have to keep making more and more bizarre claims in order to get attention.

    • I think I can see those five islands that just disappeared under sea level rise, just up there to the NW of Greenland.

  9. You cannot burn resources. You can only burn techincally recoverable reserves. Ignorant nonsense from the gitgo. RCP8.5 is logically flawed and physically impossible, let alone extrapolating it to 2300. Pure science fiction.

    • Yep. You have to convert the resources into reserves by drilling wells and digging mines. Then you have to convert the proven undeveloped reserves (PUD) into proved developed producing reserves (PDP). Then you can sell it to the consumers who actually burn the fossil fuels.

  10. Not unusual for Andrew Weaver – Green Party Member in the British Columbia Legislature, long time CAGW activist from the University of Victoria, BC, attended Cambridge, University of New South Wales in Australia, contributor to the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. Very well schooled. His name immediately throws cold water on any “climate” article in which his name appears but that shows my bias. Still, why do so many of these folks have such similar educations and backgrounds? There is an interesting “social engineering” study for someone.
    Interestingly, his work on ocean circulation (without the drama of CAGW) is likely very important. Too bad alarmism takes precedence.

    • People who are essentially intellectual “specialists” (highly knowledgeable in one field) think that makes all their opinions about anything whatsoever pure gold. Give such people a title and a university position and that’s “confirmation” of their superiority. They “know” exactly how to run the world (and your lives). This is why you get such silly nonsense out of our universities. Our universities are populated by “idiot savants”.(Well, since socialism has taken over at our universities, maybe mostly idiots and few savants.)
      Eugene WR Gallun
      PS — As all well know it is poets who are “the unacknowledged legislators of the world”. That was said by Percy Bysshe Shelley and rightly proclaims poets as our only true universal geniuses. Sadly for humanity Shelly was drowned when, despite dark clouds and lightning he choose to go sailing in a small boat on Lake Geneva.

    • Wayne , Weaver might be well educated and as Eugene said might think everything he says is gospel, it still embarrasses me to know that he is a Canadian.

      • . . it still embarrasses me to know that he is a Canadian.

        Hey, don’t feel too bad. He attended University of New South Wales in Australia after all.
        Crikey, we have Tim Flannery; an ‘expert’ in dead wombats . . and we built half a dozen desalination plants on his say-so that rainfall would never be the same again.
        I think we use the one in Western Australia but, for the others, we pay $millions a year just to keep their mothballs fresh.
        Labor’s desal plant is costing Melbourne households about $1.8m a day for 27 years

    • It’s a generalization of the old saw; “The blind leading the blind”, or in other words; “monkey see, monkey do.”
      Very simple.
      Remember when we used to teach Latin in schools, to ensure a continuous future supply of Latin teachers.

  11. 1) There’s not a chance in heck that we could burn through all of the earth’s coal in a mere 284 years.
    2) Since all recent studies point to a CO2 residency time in the atmosphere much shorter than is assumed by these “studies”, that would make CO2 levels at any point in the future lower than the amount assumed.
    3) There is nothing reasonable about a TCR of 2.5.

    • TCR estimates above 2.0 °C are totally unsupported by anything other than pure alarmism. Almost all estimates based on actual instrumental era observations put it in the range of 0.5 to 1.8 °C.

      • Correct. I doubt that humanity will be able to double CO2 to 800 ppm, but most plants would thank us if we could.
        Such a doubling might raise average planetary temperature by a degree C, which would also be a good thing.

  12. I believe NatGeo TV had a special in December 2012 about when, not if, the earth stops spinning. To say they are scientific imbeciles would be an insults to all imbeciles everywhere.

    • I don’t remember that one, but I do remember one about “what if there were no moon”.
      I started watching hoping to see some discussion about how lack of a moon would have affected the development of life on the planet.
      Instead they gave us a cheap disaster flick. They had the moon just vanishing, instantaneously. Massive flooding from the collapsing tidal bulge and other nonsense.

    • Well just remember that when the earth stops spinning, there will in fact be no moon anywhere hereabouts.
      We are watching a slow movie of the conservation of angular momentum, as the earth’s rotation is being converted into the moon’s orbital radius from earth.
      Physics in the raw.

    • Especially when some are claiming the oceans have “eaten half of all emissions”, the deep oceans are hungry, Heidi Cullen’s homework and the heat from the pause didn’t satisfy them

  13. “……An approximately linear relationship between global warming and cumulative CO2 emissions is known to hold up to 2 EgC emissions on decadal to centennial timescales7, 8, 9, 10, 11; however, in some simple climate models the predicted warming at higher cumulative emissions is less than that predicted by such a linear relationship8. Here, using simulations12 from four comprehensive Earth system models13, we demonstrate that CO2-attributable warming continues to increase approximately linearly up to 5 EgC emissions…….”
    I’m not a scientist (just an amateur trying to understand), so forgive me my lack of understanding here.
    I thought the relationship between CO2 and temperature was only linear up to about 200 PPM and was logorithmic beyond that. Why are they talking about a linear relationship between the two going into the future when we are already at 400 PPM?
    Thanks in advance to all here who reply and clear up the cobwebs.

    • This is from one of their references…

      The radiative forcing from an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration is close to a logarithmic function of concentration (Wigley 1987). The equilibrium surface temperature response to a change in radiative forcing has been shown to be approximately proportional to the magnitude of radiative forcing (e.g., Hansen et al. 1997). However, the response of the global average surface temperature to cumulative emissions of CO2 has been shown to be roughly linear in simulations of historical and future climate (e.g., Matthews et al. 2009). A relationship that Earth system models suggest will hold until approximately 2000 Pg of carbon (Pg C) have been emitted to the atmosphere (e.g., Matthews et al. 2009; Allen et al. 2009; Zickfeld et al. 2012; Gillett et al. 2013; Allen and Stocker 2014). This linear relationship, the slope of which has been designated the transient climate response to cumulative CO2 emissions (TCRE; Collins et al. 2013; Planton 2013), is a highly convenient metric for climate policy, as it establishes a simple relationship between the cause of warming (CO2 emissions) and the expected magnitude of warming that is independent of when carbon is emitted (e.g., Matthews et al. 2009; Allen et al. 2009; Zickfeld et al. 2012; Gillett et al. 2013; Allen and Stocker 2014). In addition, the rate independence of warming (implicit in TCRE) allows for simple path-independent budgets of cumulative carbon emissions to be established for the climate system to stay below a chosen threshold of warming. For these reasons, TCRE features prominently in the Working Group 1 Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5; IPCC 2013; Collins et al. 2013).

      The actual science and observations say that the relationship is logarithmic. The relationship is linear in climate models (simulations of historical and future climate).
      Since we all know that models are superior to observations and empiricism …

    • By using the word “known” in conjunction with climate science’s claims they reveal themselves to be either charlatans or idiots.
      No such thing is “known”, it may be (as the IPCC puts it) that: “Multiple lines of evidence indicate a strong, consistent, almost linear relationship between cumulative CO2 emissions and projected global temperature change to the year 2100 in both the RCPs and the wider set of mitigation scenarios analysed in WGIII (Figure SPM.5b).”
      Multiple lines of evidence indicating something projects a certain way doesn’t make it known.
      When I was a kid there were multiple lines of evidence that Santa visits on Xmas mornings would keep me in toys for the rest of my life.

      • LMAO! Yep. Consilience clearly pointed to the existence of Santa Claus back in the day.

    • There IS a linear relationship (near nuff) between global CO2 and mean global Temperature.
      Over the last 16 years or more, global CO2 has climbed catastrophically by more than 25 ppmm about linearly, and over the same time, global mean Temperature has climbed statistically by about 0.0 deg. C also more or less linearly so the relation is linear with a constant of proportionality that is about 0.0
      Fairly simple observation really.

    • Let’s hope they like the taste of Burmese pythons. Ummm, vice versa would work too.

      • I’d rather have the Nile crocs than the Burmese pythons, if you don’t mind. One of them is controllable; the other one is totally out of control.

  14. 6oc to lift the world out of an ice age??
    I think not. The interglacial warming was 12oc as measured at the poles, but only 3.5oc as measured in the tropics. So where does their 8oc warming apply to – tropics or poles? It makes a big difference.

      • The global Average is 8 but what the heck is “oc” ??

        That is the problem with superscripts. I would write 8 C or 80 C, depending on whether I wanted 8 or 80. But a lower case o was obviously meant to be a superscripted degree symbol that did not end up being superscripted. So I would say 8oc should have been written as 8 C.

      • >>The global Average is 8 but what the heck is “oc” ??
        Degrees centigrade. I can do the superscript on a laptop, but not on my iPad.
        As to 8 oc, that figure is meaningless. The very cold poles skew the temperature down way too much. The average temp decrease for the habitable tropical and extratropical regions was only 3.5 oc. Look at the PMIPS charts online.

  15. Hello Mr. Middleton
    First off, we haven’t been lifted “out of the Ice Age.” Earth has been in an ice age since the Oligocene. We are fortunate enough to be living in an interglacial stage of an ice age.
    Your opening statement in your argument in this article (as selected above) is not quite correct and creates confusion.
    As per the terminology and its reference to the climatic periods, an Ice Age is actually not an ice age, it is a glacial period, the last one that ended ~18K years ago.
    Colloquially an ice age some times is used in an argument or a conversation as to mean a glacial period.
    The other way around is a fallacy………
    Colloquially the Ice Age and a glacial period could be expressed as in the term of ice age, so you can say ice age and mean the Ice Age or a glacial period, but make sure that you stay in the terms of a glacial period.
    Like the other day when a poster, Ira I think her name was, in her article referred to the last glacial period, the Ice Age, by using the term “ice age” and then clearly showed that she was actually referring to an ice age instead…….and the end of the last glacial period by default and automatically became the and of an ice age and the next glacial period therefor by implication of that reasoning (a confusing one I think) will start hundred of thousands of years later when the supposed next ice age will start.
    I know the terminology is a real mess, but that is how it is…….till it will get better hopefully.
    Please consider that when you could be not correct with your first sentence, your second one shows that Ira (hopefully got her name right) was wrong in her argument the other day.
    Both of you contradict each other in the main point of argument, as per “ice age” versus glacial period (the Ice Age)…..

    • I’m a geologist. I don’t speak colloquial-eese.
      The geological definition of “ice age” is a period in which at least one of the polar regions has year-round ice or snow cover.

      Ice age
      An ice age is a period of long-term reduction in the temperature of Earth’s climate, resulting in an expansion of the continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers.
      Glaciologically, ice age is often used to mean a period of ice sheets in the northern and southern hemispheres; by this definition we are still in an ice age (because the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets still exist).

      The alternating advances and retreats of Quaternary continental ice sheets are referred to as glacial and interglacial stages.
      The Phanerozoic Eon (last 540 million years has experienced at least four ice ages…
      The current ice age began during the Oligocene, or possibly late Eocene…

      Middle Eocene to late Oligocene sediments recovered at Ocean Drilling Program Sites 689 and 690 on Maud Rise in the southernmost Atlantic Ocean and at Sites 738 and 744 on Kerguelen Plateau in the southernmost Indian Ocean were analysed in order to study the depositional environment and the palaeoclimate. Special emphasis was placed on the reconstruction of the formation of a cryosphere on the Antarctic continent. The investigations include quantifications of carbonate and opal contents, grain size analyses and studies of clay mineral assemblages. The sedimentary sequence at all sites under investigation is highly pelagic, with nannofossil oozes and chalks dominant. The first indication of probable glacierization at sea level is in the form of isolated gravel and terrigenous sand grains, which indicate ice-rafting from middle Eocene time at c. 45.5 Ma.

      • It’s not certain the Mesozoic “Ice House”, ie a long interval of cold climate, actually included an “ice age” with permanent ice or snow at low elevation high latitudes. There was definitely snow at the poles, but whether it remained all year or not is unknown. Ice of course even less so.
        But maybe you have more recent information.
        The other Phanerozoic ice houses, such as the present one, did however definitely have ice ages.

      • The key point is Antarctica. Its ice sheet has been present since at least the Oligocene. While it almost certainly shrank during the Miocene and Mid-Pliocene, there is no indication that it totally melted.

        2. Pre-Quaternary glacial history of Antarctica
        The Antarctic ice sheet has existed for about 35-40 million years, since the mid-Tertiary, and it is widely believed that in East Antarctica it reached continental proportions by the latest Eocene-Early Oligocene (Hambrey et al., 1989; Birkenmayer, 1987, 1991; Prentice & Mathews, 1988; Barrera & Huber, 1993; Barrett et al., 1991; Denton et al., 1991). The nature and timing of the initial glaciation of Antarctica is not well known, and the evolution and nature of the WAIS remains controversial (Wilson, 1995). Existing reconstructions of pre-Quaternary Antarctic ice volumes and ice-extent rely heavily on interpretations of Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) data from offshore cores, such as oxygen isotope (d18O) concentrations, ice-rafted detritus (IRD) concentrations, sediment type and clay mineralogy, microfossil assemblages and occurrences of hiatuses (Fig. 3). The geological literature on Antarctic pre-Quaternary glacial history and palaeoceanography is vast, and the following review relies heavily on overviews by Denton et al. (1991), Kennett & Hodell (1993) and Anderson (1999).

        Year-round polar ice cover has been the exception, rather than the norm over the Phanerozoic Eon.

      • David Middleton
        May 24, 2016 at 2:22 pm
        I’m a geologist. I don’t speak colloquial-eese.
        Thank you for the reply.
        First, no every one reading and commenting here is geologist.
        Second if you do not speak and do not consider colloquial-eese than you by default accept that putting an equal sign between the Ice Age and an ice age, or a glacial period and an ice age is not correct,and a mistake,,,,,,,,, what actually is and constitutes as the “jumping” platform of your article.
        In the paper you picked at, “out of the Ice Age ” means “out of the last glacial period”. (the Ice Age = the last glacial period, not colloquially , properly)
        glacial period = ice age only colloquially, otherwise these two kind of periods different to each other in meaning.

      • I agree completely that the current ice house has suffered an ice age. With waxing and waning ice sheets in both hemispheres for almost three million years and a massive ice sheet in the southern hemisphere for about 34 million years, this is the biggest ice age since the Carboniferous-Permian monster of the Paleozoic.

      • Yep. We are still in an ice age. The only debatable point is whether or not ice age conditions persisted throughout the Miocene.

      • As I was taught back in high school, when communicating (either written or oral) you must always keep your audience in mind.
        If you are writing to other scientists, avoiding colloquialisms is required.
        If you are writing to lay people, avoiding the use of colloquialisms may result in misunderstandings.
        Your desires to remain pure, while they may seem noble to you, can be counter productive if they result in your target audience not understanding what you are trying to get across.

  16. They adopt the missionary position from the first words, with prim and prurious missionary bossyness uttering policy prescriptions with delusions of grandeur. “You bad boys have carbon-sinned, here’s a lovely new hell I’ve got cooking just for you”. I’m astonished how fast we are falling backwards culturally to an environmental Victoriana.

  17. Does fossil fuel use actually accelerate global continental drift? Because, it seems to me that the only possible way to get a 14.4 degree Fahrenheit increase in temperature is for Antarctica to glide on northward so that year round, brilliant white, South Pole albedo gets replaced half a year by dark seawater. Burn baby, burn!

    • Well for six months of the year that brilliant white South Pole is a beautiful ebony black .
      Albedo on the other hand remains about constant at 0.35, as has been verified from at least the last 16 years of observation of moonshine; excuse me, that’s earthshine.
      There is one number for earth albedo; you don’t get to pick and choose your own local albedo, just as you don’t get to choose your own local Global mean Temperature.

  18. These passages from the published paper instantly caught my attention:
    “An approximately linear relationship between global warming and cumulative CO2 emissions is known to hold [for] up to 2 EgC emissions on decadal to centennial timescales” and “Here, using simulations
    from four comprehensive Earth system models, we demonstrate that CO2-attributable warming continues to increase approximately linearly up to 5 EgC emissions. These models simulate, in response to 5 EgC of CO
    2 emissions, global mean warming of 6.4–9.5◦C.”
    Two obvious questions arise. First, if the modeled output has a 3 degree range of uncertainty centered around an 8 degree anomaly, how can the output of the model be used as a basis for the assertion that the response is linear? I can fit a lot of different types of curves in that band. Second, and more broadly, wouldn’t the linearity of the response be something that was forced via the computer’s programming? Aren’t they really just saying, in an oblique way, that up to now climate models have been programmed with a logarithmic response to CO2 omissions, but what if we programmed in a completely linear response – oh, look at that warming! WOW! We’ve got crocodiles in the Arctic.

    • I noticed ” projecting temperatures that rise lockstep with carbon emissions”. Have temperatures ever risen in lockstep with “carbon” emission? And why is it so hard to write “carbon dioxide”?

  19. “Palm Trees in the Arctic”?!?!?!
    And National Geographic reports this, “A New Study Suggests Yes”!?!?!
    Does this study get into the details of just how burning fossil fuels will result in hydroponically grown palm trees?
    Won’t burning fossil fuels also cause sea levels to rise flooding lots and lots of beachfront and miles-from-the-beachfront properties? (I’m sure the flooding where there is no land anyway will be even worse!)
    Are they saying that burning fossil fuels is also responsible for plate tectonics? Burning fossil fuels is going to move Mount Everest to the North Pole?
    Do any of the editors at National Geographic still read what they publish?
    Or are they just out to make a “splash”?

  20. ptolemy2
    May 24, 2016 at 1:57 pm
    Hello ptolemy2
    Thanks for the reply.
    Some times the problem is not with extremely exaggerated and foolish claims about the AGW impacts, but actually with the arguments against such claims…
    In both cases of Mr. Middleton and Ira, as named in my comment above.
    In principal they both wrong, as clearly contradicting each-other…..and therefor creating more confusion.
    When crazy claims of CAGW can be at times silly and short term bubbles, with no any real effect in the progress of climate knowledge, the impact of the arguments against such claims could be at times very counterproductive.
    Case in point to show this is the argumentative approach of Mr. Middleton and Ira…….
    Both saying and telling every one subjected to their articles clearly one thing:
    Be free and energetic, and hopefully fruitful in challenging the orthodoxy of climate science but as long as it covers the AGW part of it, but stay away from challenging the same orthodoxy when it comes to natural climate, the long term one.
    Middleton’s argument forces the point that the knowledge about glacial – interglacial periods is good enough for it not to be challenged and questionable (problems may be minor but not a real problems) because you see we have data and know well enough for even bigger periods like the ice age periods.
    And Ira has even a better “suggestion” that makes go away like magic the problem the data show about our interpretation of climate and climate change when it comes to the actual present interglacial, which for the lack of better word is shown to be an “alien” one when compared to previous ones in record.
    Ira simply suggest that it could be acceptable (the anomaly) because you see this present interglacial is not in an ice age period as the previous ones actually were……
    So is acceptable that it could be so much different and “deformed” when compared to the previous ones.
    It could be acceptable that this interglacil happens to be ~2-3C warmer in its ~7K cooling trend because you see this one happens to be not in an ice age period as the previous ones in record….
    So both points do suggest and offer support to the orthodoxy, indirectly and most probably unintended and unconsciously (not in purpose or motive )..
    A 100K years of glacial period versus 15K years of interglacial periods by default increase the RF effect in climate……and an ~30ppm/1C relation (as per the “scientific” orthodox projections) versus 90ppm/1C relation (as per GCMs projections) increases even more the effect of RF in climate… In a 5-7C temp climatic swing versus ~3C the AGW is more plausible and easier to push it through the numbers and the extent of CAGW fiction becomes more imaginative.
    There is a lot of problems with the understanding and the “certainty” of climate science in whole its aspects, anthropogenic and natural, long term and short term…..
    Whole of it is still challengeable, as far as I can tell

    • Science relies on words and phrases having specific definitions. Colloquialism is the antithesis of scientific nomenclature.
      The colloquial use of the phrase “ice age” has no geological significance. Referring to the most recent glacial stage (the Wisconsin Stage in North America) as “the Ice Age” is the equivalent of referring to yesterday as “the Day.”
      On the chart below, you can see that East Antarctica was glaciated throughout the Miocene. This places the Miocene in an “ice age.” The sea level and oxygen isotope curves depict glacio-eustatic changes in sea level; most likely glacial-interglacial stage, albeit with a much lower amplitude as Late Pleistocene cycles.

      • If you are writing for WUWT, then you aren’t writing to other scientists.
        [??? And who are the other “scientists” writing for? Their politicians, and the bureaucrats who provided their next year’s funding increases? .mod]

  21. “In the Arctic, average temperatures would rise by 17 degrees C.”
    It would have to do WAY better than that for the crocs to like it. I’ve lived in the Northern Territory (Australia) where the “norm” is around 30 C. and crocs abound. They don’t like the cold. If the arctic is normally somewhere around or below 0 C. (freezing point), no way are they going to like 17 C. (17 C. up from freezing = 17 C). In the tropics if it gets down to 25 C (Dry Season), we get the jumpers out! 17 C and we’d want to light a fire!!! No joke. 17 C is freezing cold when you’re used to the tropics.

    • Good point. Crocs clearly wouldn’t like the Arctic year-round even if 17 degrees C warmer.
      The average high temperature in the Canadian Archipelago, for instance, in summer approaches 10 °C, while the average low temperature in July is above freezing, though temperatures below freezing are observed every month of the year. While crocs might tolerate 27 °C in summer, they’d have to swim away to balmier climes for the rest of the year.
      Besides, the killer whales would probably eat them, at least the females. Would they all be of one sex, due to the cold climate?

      • In the Top End, as it’s known (Northern Territory), it’s usually 32 or 33 C. In the Dry Season (equivalent to Winter) it drops below 30 C., but never below about 25 C. Barramundi (fish) are all one sex while young. Not so with crocodiles, though. The cold wouldn’t influence that as they keep their… er… equipment tucked away inside their bodies.

    • the key word is “average”. Both dinosaurs and crocs could have hibernated during the winter.

      • “Could have” doesn’t mean they did. One half of the year the temps remain at 32 or 33 C. day and night, the other half they drop to around 27 C in the Northern Territory, which is why I used the “average” of 30 C. It’s still a long cry from 17 C.

    • Freezing cold at 17C? You guys are wimps! Here in Rockford, Illinois we have experienced -32.77C. We have also experienced +44.44C. Daytime highs occasionally fail to reach -20C.
      As I realize you already know day length, snow cover and great distance from an ocean cause our extremes. Still, I envy your temps during winter
      Seriously now: How much heat would it take to melt the world’s ice? And warm the ocean (more correctly prevent the transfer of oceanic heat to the atmosphere)? Might slow warming a bit. Add in evaporation to “absorb” heat and the timeline is fake.

      • I’m in the cold now, John – moved to Victoria’s mountain region which gets snow in Winter (I love it). We get -10 C here, so yes, to me now 17 C might seem like a heat-wave! 🙂 The thing with the tropics is the humidity. Throughout the world you’ll find crocs in tropical and sub-tropical regions, usually where “Winter” means the Dry Season when there is no rain, and “Summer” is the “Wet” when it rains all the time.
        Further south, the heat changes and yes, I’ve experienced heat in the mid 40s C. I’ve never experienced your cold though – we’re going to need better housing down here for that! 🙂

      • Exactly! And think of the people who never -ever- see 26 C., living in the cold. And idiotic Gang-Green think we should all be getting our knickers in a twist over 1 C. It’s an insult to ANY level of intelligence.

  22. ‘adding five trillion metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere’
    Oh, noes !!!
    The atmosphere has a mass of about 11,350,000,000,000,000,000,000 lbs.
    Five trillion metric tons of carbon seems rather trivial.

  23. They entirely skip mentioning that the half-life of atmospheric CO2 is about 5 years. It would be very hard to maintain the high CO2 they predict as the oceans and photosynthetic lifeforms would be sucking CO2 up faster and faster as the world greened like crazy. This would also mean much more transpired water vapor and more rain in many regions. The truth is in the details that they leave out.

    • Thanks!
      Love the line about not having any cares and turning or our snow shovels into lawn chairs.

  24. This hurts my head. Perhaps the only way to rationalize this report is that they assume a weather machine as depicted on the Underdog cartoon See link below.

  25. After skimming through the whole paper, it appears that the weasel language that makes the results pointless are that there is an asserted “approximately” linear “relationship” between temperatures and “cumulative” CO2 emissions. They get an exponential rise in temperatures in the future based on assumptions about how fast emissions rates will grow in the future.
    Several problems with this. First, given that they only postulate a linear “relationship” between temperatures and cumulative CO2 emissions, I’d like to know how they came up with the slope of this linear relationship. Since their charts indicate that from pre-industrial times to date, we haven’t yet emitted 1,000 trillion tons on their 5 trillion scale, and the total observed temperature rise to date is only a mere fraction of a degree centigrade spread over that 1,000 trillion tons, it’s hard (no, truly impossible) to believe that we have observational evidence of this slope that is accurate to within a half degree C, especially since we have no way of telling what portion of the observed temperature rise from pre-industrial times was due to CO2 and what was natural fluctuation (or due to other unknown factors).
    Add to that the fudge factor about the relationship being “approximately” linear – which I’m taking to mean something that could be either somewhat exponential or somewhat logarithmic (sinusoidal is probably out of bounds), well that could throw the end point all over the place.
    And anyone thinking that these unknowns are reflected in their 6.4C-9.5C range of outcomes is in for disappointment. That merely reflected the spread of the different models they used. God knows what unfounded assumptions were baked into the models.
    Finally, they acknowledge that the emissions scenarios they consider extend “well outside the range” within which the parameters of model are observationally valid, but then just say that this defect is counterbalanced by using four different models. The stupidity of that assertion is just astounding. If you run the models outside the range within which the assumptions that went into the model can be empirically verified, you can’t trust the model’s output. Period.

  26. “projecting temperatures that rise lockstep with carbon emissions until the last drops of oil and lumps of coal are used up.”
    And therein lies the problem, since when have temperatures risen in lockstep with co2, except for very brief periods?

  27. ” returning the climate to 52 million years ago ” finally a return to normal !!! The way it should be. The poor alligators are now suffering in limited areas. ( sarc)

  28. Palm trees in the Arctic is a tropical paradise. Better than a glacial period. We have to burn all our fossil fuel reserves at the onset of the glacial period to raise atmospheric CO2 to 1,000 ppm and mitigate the cooling. If not enough, burn the forests to release more CO2. Glacial period is not pleasant. Canada and the northern states will be under a kilometer thick ice sheet. Burning fossil fuels and forests is our salvation.

  29. For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, there’s already a palmetto plague washing ashore on Long Island, NY. Before you know it, backyard gardeners there will be growing bananas & coconuts commercially and running Honduras and the Philippines out of business. Next thing you know, Maine will be a haven for sugar cane, and Nova Scotia will go into large scale avocado production. Here on Cape Cod coral reefs are already encroaching on harbor entrances, as the yearly average water temperatures climb into the 70s. Life is getting tough, I tell you!

  30. We need DINOSAURS in the Arctic!
    Nothing less!
    Settle for crocs? No earthboiling way!
    Crocs in the Arctic is so, kind of, like, DONE….
    Dozens of old climate papers, dozens.
    I mean, where’s the novelty in that?

  31. In 2009 in Copenhagen, Ed Miliband was speaking about global warming bringing crocodiles in Stockholm.
    By now.
    What else is new?

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