Been There, Exceeded That

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Much angst has been expended on a very vague climate threshold, the so-called “2 degrees Celsius limit”, sometimes called the “2° global warming tipping point”.  I find it all quite hilarious, for a reason that will become clear shortly. First a bit of prologue. Here’s the New Republic from 2014 about the two-degree limit:

This Is What Our Hellish World Will Look Like After We Hit the Global Warming Tipping Point

BY REBECCA LEBER

December 21, 2014

The de facto assumption of climate change policy is that the world must limit the increase in global temperatures to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) above pre-Industrial levels, or risk hitting a tipping point where the impact becomes irreversible. The figure dates back to 1975, when economist William Nordhaus suggested that more than 3.6 degrees [F] of warming would “take the climate outside of the range of observations which have been made over the last several hundred thousand years.” By the 1990s, 3.6 degrees [F] gained traction in the scientific community and then in politics, when the European Council argued in 1996 that 3.6 degrees [F] should be the United Nations’ red line for global warming. It wasn’t until four years ago, at a climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, that countries finally committed to “hold the increase in global average temperatures below” 3.6 degrees [F].

Here’s another, from “The Conversation” in 2017, along with its obligatory accompanying heartbreaking graphic (emphasis mine):

the conversation two degree limit

BY DAVID TITTLEY

August 22, 2017 10.04pm EDT

If you read or listen to almost any article about climate change, it’s likely the story refers in some way to the “2 degrees Celsius limit.” The story often mentions greatly increased risks if the climate exceeds 2°C and even “catastrophic” impacts to our world if we warm more than the target.

Recently a series of scientific papers have come out and stated that we have a 5 percent chance of limiting warming to 2°C, and only one chance in a hundred of keeping man-made global warming to 1.5°C, the aspirational goal of the 2015 Paris United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference. Additionally, recent research shows that we may have already locked in 1.5°C of warming even if we magically reduced our carbon footprint to zero today.

And there’s an additional wrinkle: What is the correct baseline we should use? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) frequently references temperature increases relative to the second half of the 19th century, but the Paris Agreement states the temperature increases should be measured from “preindustrial” levels, or before 1850. Scientists have shown such a baseline effectively pushes us another 0.2°C closer to the upper limits.

Be afraid … be very afraid … the IPCC says that we shouldn’t go warmer than 2°C above the temperature of the late 1800’s. The Paris agreement says that we shouldn’t go warmer than 1.8°C above the temperature of the late 1800’s (which they say is 2°C above “preindustrial”).

Or else, we’ve been warned over and over … or else we’re facing Thermageddon, the fabled end of times. More floods. More droughts. More heat waves. More cold waves. At 2°C of warming, we’re supposed to be in deep trouble. Plants and animals curl up their toes and die. Birds fall off the perch, parrots are pining for the fjords. Stick a fork in the globe, we’re toast.

Now, there’s kind of a truism in the study of the global climate. You can’t set up a controlled experiment with respect to the global climate. And it’s a fact. There’s no other planet to use as a control … plus you can’t vary the experiment, you can’t dial the global barometric pressure up a ways and see what happens.

However, noticing this lack of a control should not make us give up experiments. Although there are no controlled experiments, there are “natural experiments”. I first came across this term a while ago in the 1998 paper by Sherwood Idso. It’s available at Warwick Hughes’ site here.

So … what natural experiment might we look at regarding the dreaded 2 degrees Celsius lime?

Well, we have the Berkeley Earth global average surface air temperature record, available here. As with all datasets, it has its problems, one of which I discussed here. But it’s arguably the best we have, and not a whole lot different from the others … so with all that as prologue, and without further fanfare, below I give you the Berkeley Earth global average surface air temperature anomaly. The light blue line is the monthly temperature anomaly. The yellow and black line is a six-year Gaussian smooth of the monthly temperature anomaly.

the great two degree warming

… there is our natural experiment. I’m sure you can see the problem …

We are already two degrees warmer than the 1850’s … more than that since the early 1800’s.

So my question to the assembled masses is … now that we’ve breached the all-important two degree Celsius climate limit, where are the corpses? Where are the unusual disasters? Where are the climate-related catastrophes? Why are there no flooded cities? What happened to the areas that were supposed to be uninhabitable? Where are the drowned atolls? We were promised millions of climate refugees, where are they?

In short, where are any of the terrible occurrences that we’ve been warned would strike us at the 2 degree Celsius limit?

Seriously, we’ve just done the natural experiment. The world has warmed up the feared amount, and there have been no increases in any climate-related disasters.

Why no increases? Good question. Part of the answer is that much, perhaps most of that warming has occurred a) at night b) during the winter c) in the sub-polar and cold-temperate regions of the planet. And call me crazy, but I don’t think anyone in Boston or Vladivostok will complain if midwinter nights are a degree or so warmer, particularly the poor …

Another part of the answer is that in general, warmth is a good thing for both animals and plants. Longer growing seasons, less ice on the rivers, warmer soil, less frostbite for the homeless, less need to insulate and heat, every bug is happy … there is a reason that life grows riotously and quickly in the tropics, and sparsely and slowly near the poles.

I guess the best news is that the worst has happened, nothing we can do, we’re doomed. We’ve lost the war on the thermometer. We’ve gone over the climate tipping point, we’ve surpassed the 2-degree climate limit, been there, exceeded that … so perhaps, at last, we’re now free to go attack some real problems.

But … where are the corpses?

w.

PS—Sadly, this mad preoccupation with changes of tenths of a degree obscures the astounding stability of the Earth’s climate system. It is this ever-surprising stability which first attracted my attention and led me to study the climate. Looking at that stability let me know immediately that the temperature of the system was governed by some combination of thermoregulatory phenomena. You don’t get that kind of stability by accident.

So let me leave you with the exact same data that you see in the graph above, but this time in engineers’ terms, looking at the climate as a planet-wide heat engine.

the great two degree warming kelvin

Best to you all in this most awesome world of marvels, stars, and northern lights,

w.

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201 thoughts on “Been There, Exceeded That

  1. Tbe 2 °C limit fails because the resolution of proxy-based temperatures over most of the Holocene is 100-400 years. Prior to the Holocene, the resolution is much lower.

    2 °C warmer for a few decades is not analogous to 2 °C warmer for thousands of years.

    • “2 °C warmer for a few decades is not analogous to 2 °C warmer for thousands of years.”

      True, for that we’ll need to go back before the last set of ice ages.

      Yeah, around 15°C higher, sustained for millions of years. No cataclysm.
      [Temperature after C.R. Scotese http://www.scotese.com/climate.htm%5D

      • “Yeah, around 15°C higher, sustained for millions of years. No cataclysm.”

        Well of course there wasn’t … as there wasn’t 7+ bilion peeps on the planet.
        No one is saying the Earth is in danger … just human civilisation in it’s present configuration and many of the creatures on it (a century or so from now).

        Oh, and that graph does not take account of the Sun’s decreased output back in time.
        In short it is a classic “contrarian” myth.
        This is a more correct one….

      • “After correction and modelling, voila! Data fits theory.”

        Yes, we don’t want any newly found data and models to shatter the myh, do we?

      • @Toneb
        “No one is saying the Earth is in danger … ”
        Well, people pushing “save the planet” meme do, don’t they? Are they “No one”?

        “just human civilisation in it’s present configuration”. You mean, the current configuration the whole purpose of the meme is precisely to destroy? Looks like “let’s suicide ourself lest we’ll be killed later”

        “and many of the creatures on it (a century or so from now)”. Few of them have a century lifespan, so most will die, indeed, “in a century or so”. Do you intend to save them? Or do you intend to save their “specie”? Well, don’t be afraid, then. The famous T Rex specie was man-created millions of years AFTER the last of its kind died. Specie are just abstract labels, that appear and disappear at will.
        Anyway, humans do not need to change the climate to threaten other creatures. In our cities, the only animals weighing more than 5 kg are our pets,

      • @Toneb
        A thing with correction is not data. “CO2 radiative forcing” is not data, and is even meaningless, because there is just NO WAY to attribute radiative forcing to each GHG; that’s why what is talked about is not CO2 radiative forcing but CO2’s increment to radiative forcing.

        And a model just cannot “shatter a myth”, you need hard fact, hard data, to do that.

        Your graph may, or may not, have better explanation value that pure data (corrected value often do), but the simple fact that you call them data when they are not is hint it is just tortured data, that is known to confess what you want.

      • Toneb, I think we would have more confidence in the “data” if after correction they occasionally produced ” its NOT worse than we thought” result.

      • Look it’s Toneb, the warmist who won’t discuss the physics of global warming he quotes so often.

      • Toneb:

        According to that chart in the early Paleogene the Earth was three degree warmer. At that time:

        – there were bald cypresses, tapirs and alligators in Northern Greenland
        – You could bathe in the Arctic Ocean in summer
        – There were Southern Beech forests in East Antarctica

        Is three degrees really enough for that?

      • Toneb,

        The Royer pH adjustment was derived from CO2. He used CO2 to adjust the temperatures to better match the CO2.

      • As always, tonedeaf drags up complete irrelevancies.
        The sun has only warmed up a couple of percent over the last 600 million years.
        Exactly how is warming by a couple of degrees going to make civilization come crashing down?
        Longer growing season’s are a bad thing?
        Having more land available for cultivation is a bad thing?
        CO2 fertilization of plants is a bad thing?

        Come on, dig deep in your pile of propaganda for an actual claim so that it can be refuted again.

      • “Toneb January 9, 2018 at 12:24 am
        “Yeah, around 15°C higher, sustained for millions of years. No cataclysm.”

        Well of course there wasn’t … as there wasn’t 7+ bilion peeps on the planet.”

        Interesting pure confirmation bias introduction.
        It’s all mankind’s fault.
        No proofs, no evidence, zero valid science…
        Alarmists ignore the regular and very frequent falsification of their predictions. Which makes that belief pure religion.

        “Toneb January 9, 2018 at 12:24 am
        No one is saying the Earth is in danger … just human civilisation in it’s present configuration and many of the creatures on it (a century or so from now).”

        Which news do you find such lovely friendly warm climate predictions? Which makes your anti-human bias even odder.
        One also wonders why alarmists espouse loud hate talk towards people questioning climate dooms?

        There is no moral high ground for warmists to claim. The pit they’ve dug is deep enough to experience how hot deep Earth is.

        “Toneb January 9, 2018 at 12:24 am
        Oh, and that graph does not take account of the Sun’s decreased output back in time.
        In short it is a classic “contrarian” myth.
        This is a more correct one….”

        Straw man distraction, without merit or validity. A baseless criticism.

        “GEOCARBSULFvolc, solar evolution + CO2 radiative forcing only”?
        Isn’t that a main basis for the climate models running wild? Fudged models doped to multiply warm based on CO2 forcings and misunderstood aerosols?

        In short; dubious highly questionable models. Let us know when they fix the climate models, first.

      • “The Royer pH adjustment was derived from CO2. He used CO2 to adjust the temperatures to better match the CO2.”

        OK
        So you have nothing to say about the lack of acknowledgement that the Solar output 500 mya was less than now?
        And it would have therefore have required a higher GHG concentration to maintain the same temp.

        Further would you like to comment upon ….

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/03/can-we-make-better-graphs-of-global-temperature-history/

        “The ‘temperature’ record is a hand-drawn schematic derived from the work of Chris Scotese, and the CO2 graph is from a model that uses tectonic and chemical weathering histories to estimate CO2 levels (Berner 1994; Berner and Kothavala, 2001). In neither case is there an abundance of measured data.”

      • “Toneb
        Please explain how an outbreak of mildness can possibly cause the problems you describe?”

        You mean where I said…
        “… just human civilisation in it’s present configuration and many of the creatures on it (a century or so from now).”

        Did you not notice the “a century or so from now”

        It’s called thermal inertia and feedback.
        (if at the top end of the IPCC stated range of 1.5 to 4.5C per x2 CO2)

        There is a wealth of science that looks at the “problems”.
        And I do know that 90+% of denizens dismiss them.
        So I will certainly not change minds
        No matter, I just try to counter the echo-chamber, as ignorance should be denied.
        There is much on here.
        And not just from the D-K afflicted Sky-dragon slayers.

      • What if it is at the bottom end, Toneb? Or even lower, as recent studies suggest?

        Or should we just scare the kiddies into throwing away a few more trillion?

      • “Interesting pure confirmation bias introduction.
        It’s all mankind’s fault.
        No proofs, no evidence, zero valid science…
        Alarmists ignore the regular and very frequent falsification of their predictions. Which makes that belief pure religion.”

        I was responding to the apples to oranges comparison of a lack of “disaster” millions of years ago when mankind didn’t exist – to now when there over 7 billion of us.
        A disaster by definition must involve humans.
        Without them there’s no one to care

        No he didn’t give any proofs did he?

        The predictions haven’t had time to be falsified as they are well into the future yet. Disregarding the odd idiot who shot his mouth off and/or had his words twisted.
        Religion does not need evidence.
        Yours refutes it all unless it promotes cooling.
        I call that “Religion”.

    • I think it still hasn’t been revised that the high northern latitudes, which are expected to warm the most, were 2-6 °C warmer for thousands of years in summer and possibly 9 in winter.

      • During the previous interglacial temperatures in Eastern Siberia were about 10-15 degrees (Celsius) warmer than now. Forests expanded and permafrost melted, yes, but no methane escaped and nothing terrible happened.

      • tty

        There was something terrible that followed the last interglacial when it was much warmer than now – the next ice age! Soon we will hear that the ice ages are inexorably triggered by an inexorable rise in the average global temperature.

    • When it comes to proxy temperatures I wonder about how most of the have been calibrated given that the thermometer records are adjusted so frequently. Do they recalibrate them? (Ha, ha, just joking, we know the answer). Even without that issue, most of them seem to suggest e have a long way to go before we reach Holocene Optimum temperatures.

      • My point is that the entire instrumental record would be a single data point at the resolution of Holocene-scale proxy-based time series.

      • David Middleton: If your a climate scientist, you can apply climate statistics and “jitter” that one point into a bunch of points, make it look very sciency. Learned that from Climate Audit!

    • @Nick
      you do no better. “Faint sun paradox” is well known, but not currently explained. no amount of CO2 can account for it as of now. the GHG theory fails, so far (as usual; it always fails).

  2. One of my favorite questions is: Show me an engineering quality study that proves we will get runaway warming if we exceed a 2 Deg C rise.
    I am still waiting for Griff to respond.
    Waiting……………….

    • Something becomes engineering when public safety is at risk. That means that engineering work entails certainty. When an engineer signs off on a design that means everyone can be certain that the design will be safe. 99.999% of the time, that’s the case.

      In light of the above, “engineering quality study” is an oxymoron when we’re talking about the climate. The IPCC dolts who insist that their work is accurate to 1% should be prosecuted for practising engineering without a license.

    • “Show me an engineering quality study that proves we will get runaway warming if we exceed a 2 Deg C rise.this one up for our ancesters.
      But no doubt we could built a better plane, train, car or whatever your “engineering study” was of.

      • Try again….

        “Show me an engineering quality study that proves we will get runaway warming if we exceed a 2 Deg C rise.”

        And how could we possibly do that – beings as we are living in the “study”.
        We don’t have a spare Earth if we f**** this one up.
        And whatever piece of “engineering” was involved in your “study” would be a tad easier to fix.

      • @Toneb
        He asked for a “engineering quality study”, not a geoengineering experiment, you dummkopf.

        “We don’t have a spare Earth if we f**** this one up.”
        but but but….You wrote “No one is saying the Earth is in danger … “, and now you are telling the Earth is in danger of being F**** by “we”.
        Make up your mind.
        And stop using “we”. If you include yourself, just stop f***** the Earth, to begin with. If you don’t, use “they” or “you”, depending if you include readers in the Earth-f***ers.

      • Toneb
        Re engineering quality study:
        Are you related to Griff??
        What I am looking for is a REAL study, in case you do not understand. In case you have not noticed, the “pseudo-scientists”, politicians, and media all state that we must keep warming below 2 Deg C. Did YOU bother to ask them where they got this figure of “2 Deg C from? I bet not. As I noted elsewhere, the new Canadian Minister of Environment (and Climate Change), Catherine McKenna, went to Paris with 300+ followers and made a motion to decrease this abstract figure to 1.5 Deg C.
        So have you found a “study” of any kind?

      • Gerald

        It is hard to find a bandwagon Canada does not want to climb on. We are very sensitive to being passed by/overlooked for greatness. If there is a 2-degree bandwagon, we want to be leading it. If there is a 1.5-degree bandwagon, we want to lead that too. If someone invented a “1.25 degrees or bust” tattoo fashion on shaved heads, we want to be in the first row.

        If there was a Cause that we could join that holds the universe was caused by an initial effect which had No Cause, we would join that Cause for Causeless Causes as founding members. It is much more important to be on a bandwagon than to make sense.

      • Mr. Machnee, as Willis stated, the 2 degrees is taken from the statement “take the climate outside of the range of observations which have been made over the last several hundred thousand years” made by economist William Nordhaus. I assume he included proxies, because our observations haven’t been recorded for anywhere near that long.
        Regardless, that implies that the setting of new records implies a catastrophe. I don’t get that. This is a stable environmental system – not a static environmental system.

      • “He asked for a “engineering quality study”, not a geoengineering experiment, you dummkopf.”

        For the reason I cited my friend …. there cannot be.
        Do try to use what reasoning powers you may have at your disposal.
        As that is a fail.

      • And I also not the Ad Hom.
        Classy
        But actually not allowed under the website posting rules.
        Now If I’d said that?

      • Toneb January 9, 2018 at 12:24 am “No one is saying the Earth is in danger”

        Toneb January 9, 2018 at 2:08 am “We don’t have a spare Earth if we f**** this one up.”

        Oh dear…

    • Gerald, asking for impossible levels of certainty doesn’t convince anyone. I do agree that there is no real evidence for a runaway, and the existence of life on the planet indicates that there is not a tipping point in that direction for a very large space (one does exist around the boiling point of water, but we are a huge distance from that).

      However, by your definition, there are no “engineering quality” studies on the temperature of tomorrow. Or even yesterday. That’s essentially saying that planning cannot be done. It’s a straw man to ignore the question.

  3. w,
    The temperature anomaly is 2 degrees warmer as the graph shows. Q1: Are the warmists referring to the anomaly or the global average temp as the 2 degree threshold?., and Q2). Since the average temp regularly goes over the 2 degree mark how long a period do the warmists say the 2 degree threshold must be exceeded before Armageddon?

  4. Another way to look at a 2 deg C temperature change is to consider the standard lapse rate of temperature with altitude – it is 2 deg per thousand feet. One might ask, “Is the climate vastly different 1000 feet below the altitude that I am at currently?” My experience tells me the answer is no, not really.

    • One might ask, “Is the climate vastly different 1000 feet below the altitude that I am at currently?” My experience tells me the answer is no, not really.

      Well Gary,

      I have to disagree. Let me take you on a trip. I leave the green of the Rocky mountain foothills and the Boulder Valley and drive eastward. First the Boulder Turnpike, then I-270, then on to I-70. By the time I reach Limon, CO, I’ve dropped 1000ft (our 2 deg C limit) and life becomes tenuous at best. I mean, seriously, have you been to Limon? Then, as I hit the Kansas border, dropping in altitude another 1000ft (4 deg C total), suddenly the climate barely supports life. Anyone who has driven I-70 in western Kansas can see that. There’s the proof–2 deg C and we’re barely hanging on. Another 2 deg C and we’re dead man walking.

      /sarc

      P.S. Before all you Kansans start attacking, I’m kidding. I was born in Kansas. I have the moral authority to write disparagingly about my native state (actually I really enjoyed growing up there and visit the farm regularly).

      • . . . have you been to Limon?
        Of course. And on the highways you describe, in the same direction.
        I think we stopped in Limon for an hour or so to visit with someone.
        All those big cities look alike to folks raised in the woods, so I don’t recall much.

      • Wizard: Here. Well, you force me into a cataclysmic decision. The only way to get Dorothy back to Kansas is for me to take her there myself!

        Dorothy: Oh, will you? Could you? Oh — but are you a clever enough Wizard to manage it?

        Wizard: Child, you cut me to the quick! I’m an old Kansas man myself born and bred in the heart of the western wilderness.

    • Cities have ~3K higher temperature than surrounding land, and you can indeed feel it when commuting, and that obviously doesn’t prevent people to flock to cities. Of course, people DO complain a lot about cities, but temperature higher than in the surround never make it in the long list of complains.

  5. In the 1850s and before, temperature measurements had an uncertainty of +/- 2 C. It’s impossible to say what the “global average temperature” is today compared to then to within less than that band.

    • And that’s just the uncertainty for individual measurements.
      There’s also the problem that the number of data points is way, way short of the number needed to adequately describe the surface temperature for the entire planet. You need to add 5 to 10C to the uncertainty.

      • To adequately describe the SURFACE temperatures I suggest sticking thermometers ABOVE the ground would be a silly idea. Looks like EVERYTHING is too high.

      • Doesn’t matter how many data points. Averaging readings from different locations is meaningless.

    • Thank-you Michael.

      And I have it on direct personal experience that the Berkeley Earth people do not understand that air temperature sensors have finite resolution.

  6. Since 1850 to today, the world population has increased from 1.2 billion (est) to 7.6 billion (est). That’s a lot of hot air and CO2 being expelled. No wonder it’s hot today. :-)

  7. There might be some question over the health of Schrodinger’s Cat or the Monty Python Parrot but the Parrot of Global Warming-Climate Change is certainly dead.

  8. Sorry, but the moons average temperature is NOT ~200K, but about 276-277K. Arithmetic averaging does not allow for Boltzmanns law, and will yield a huge error in the case of extreme temperature variations, as on the moon. Just one of those fundamentals…

      • In Climate Science you are allowed to average anything and then throw Central Limit Theorem on it I have seen Nick do it repeatedly.

      • An engineer should not take the temperature of the moon dust as the temperature of the moon.
        Best regards,

      • I wrote elsewhere that the moon is not a blackbody because the night temperatures are not the same as mean. Its also not a surface of small blackbodies because after 14 days, the night temperatures would be closer to zero. Some heat is stored at the surface so only places that never get irradiated are as low as 20K.
        I also presented a simpler argument ( less realistic but easier to follow) of how a surface of temperatures 0-30C could have the same outgoing radiation as a surface of -280 to 90C spread ( moon’s equator) but would be something like 50C warmer. Just the result of oceans spreading the heat around and the Earth being more like a blackbody.

      • That only shows that Nick has never had to prove the Central Limit Theorem, including when it does and does not apply. It only applies to independent, identically distributed, random variables, which is hardly ever the case in climate.

      • I started to make a joke and then realized it might be useful. Using a single temp for the moon makes it look even more stable than the earth. :) However, it you graph it as the daily or monthly ranges, it would show the stabilizing effect of our atmosphere I would think.

      • “That only shows that Nick has never had to prove the Central Limit Theorem”
        I do know quite a lot about the Central Limit Theorem. Enough certainly to distinguish it from the Law of Large Numbers. The CLT is rarely needed in climate science; the LoLN is quite often useful. I doubt that I have ever cited the CLT except to point out this common error.

      • Large Number theory won’t help you average the moon temperature, do you actually understand what the problem with trying to average it is?

  9. We are now in the coldest ten percent of the past 10,000 years. About warming. We been there, done that, four times since the end of the Ice Age, and the warmest period was the Holocene Climatic Optimum 8,000 years ago. It’s been a gradual cooling trend since, with warming hiccoughs for brief periods – the Minoan, Roman, and Medieval – ever since. We should be thankful for, not frightened of, the pittance of warming we are now experiencing. The Ice Age cometh.

    • Yes – THAT. Pick your period, pick your “trend.” The CAGW nonsense is like measuring the rate of the rising tide at the beach and telling us, based on that “trend,” how soon the whole country will be inundated.

      If you’re not talking about CYCLES, you’re not talking about CLIMATE. “Trends” in a space of time that constitutes a geologic EYE BLINK are MEANINGLESS.

  10. I have not seen anyone make a case for the optimum average global temperature of Earth. What is the probability that after 4.5 billion years, Earth just happened to be at the optimum temperature prior to the Industrial Revolution? Yet, that is what the alarmists are implying with suggesting that the temperature should be held to preindustrial levels.

    • There is no optimum temperature but if you are going to build cities for 100 million people close to
      the current high water mark then you better hope that sea levels aren’t going to suddenly start to rise.

      More generally we have a global population of over 7 billion and rising and have built almost no resilience
      into our global food system. 90% of fish stocks are over-exploited for example and we are degrading the top soil faster than we are replenishing it. And in global warming and it risks becoming the straw that broke the camel’s back.

      • The sea levels are rising at a slower rate than medieval Dutch had to deal with.
        It might rise 2 feet if certain Antarctic basins collapse in 200-900 years as predicted. Extrapolation to the rest of West Antarctica is not a scientific prediction but BS that seems to be kosher when talking to the media.

      • “if you are going to build cities for 100 million people close to the current high water mark then you better hope that sea levels aren’t going to suddenly start to rise. ”
        I surely would build anything on “hope”. Wise people rather organize themselves to cope with the situation, which is often easy and cheap, and in any case cheaper than facing it unprepared (and safer that to try to prevent it in the first place, too)

        “More generally we have a global population of over 7 billion and rising and have built almost no resilience
        into our global food system. ”
        ~Half of our crop are fed to animals, so we can eat meat, and to industrial use (the most talked about –but not the most important– being biofuel).
        If crops were divided by 2, worldwide, all of a sudden, we would still have enough food for everybody.
        Also, ~1/3 of the production is wasted. A few control-freaks, whose plan is to restore war period restriction, worries about that; reasonable people don’t, because cutting the waste is economically nonsensical (it would cost more than producing), but is some food shortage loomed, the economic equation would shift to less waste.
        The food system is a very competitive business, easy to enter, and easy to get ruined in. Again, in case of food shortage, their are vast room for quick ramping up of production, because, nowadays, the limiting factor is consumption (hence the biofuel scheme in USA, a sort of “save the farmer’s vote for me” attempt)
        Looks pretty resilient to me.

        “90% of fish stocks are over-exploited for example”. Tragedy of commons. Fishing is prehistorical food gathering, and very hard and dangerous work. the sooner it disappear, the better for everyone.

        “we are degrading the top soil faster than we are replenishing it”.
        “we”? I am not. You are not. And,actually, no farmer is stupid enough to do that. So, who are the “we” ?

        “global warming and it risks becoming the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
        Again, it would be foolish to depend on a straw, especially a straw that is known to have occurred in historical time: Vikings grew barley in Greenland http://sciencenordic.com/vikings-grew-barley-greenland , we still cannot. But I guess we MUST, at all cost, prevent such a disaster to occur again, don’t we?

      • re paqyfalyc
        ***“we are degrading the top soil faster than we are replenishing it”.
        “we”? I am not. You are not. And,actually, no farmer is stupid enough to do that. So, who are the “we” ?***
        Yes, the soil is being degraded. Farmers use fertilizers, but that mostly boosts yields. The soil’ important trace minerals have decreased. These are essential for our health and it shows in our decreasing quality of health and increase in diseases.

      • We are farming less than 80% of the land that is currently capable of being farmed.
        We could increase farm output by at least a third if we just brought everyone up to current best practices. (Farm technology continues to improve.)
        If the world does warm a degree or two, vast new lands will become capable of being farmed.
        CO2 fertilization is enabling us to grow more food on less land.

      • Gerald; so the fact that our populations have gotten older and fatter has nothing to do with our health. It’s all do to a lack of trace minerals in our food?
        Let’s not mention that a significant portion of the population pops vitamins every day.

      • Re MarKW
        ***Gerald; so the fact that our populations have gotten older and fatter has nothing to do with our health. It’s all do to a lack of trace minerals in our food?
        Let’s not mention that a significant portion of the population pops vitamins every day.***
        You should try understanding a little. Trace minerals are ONE on the essentials we need. “Fatter” results from poor diet, too much food, too much bad food, lack of exercise, etc.
        We may be educated, but we are not getting better at our diet.
        We pop vitamins, but not all the purchased ones are absorbed – depends on how they are formulated.
        Google Trace Minerals and start reading. Here is a sample:

        What Exactly Are Trace Minerals?

        So what are some examples of trace minerals? While you might be more familiar with minerals like iron, zinc, fluoride, and iodine, other trace minerals include copper, selenium, molybdenum, chromium, and manganese. All trace minerals are necessary for the body, especially the ones listed above. I will start with iron, as there are some major issues that lack of iron and iron overload can have on the body. iron deficiency is one of the most serious problems today.

      • Germonio, the human race has never been as healthy, food more available etc etc. But lets get the hair shirts out and do some self-flagellation , you know it makes you FEEL better, and what’s more important than how YOU FEEL. Your pious self righteous rubbish is actually a sign of mental instability that you and your like are trying to impose on the rest of us.

      • Just checking. Human life-expectancy is higher than at any point in history? Particularly in the west?
        Perhaps all you idiots, so abstractly terrified of extinction (and paradoxically so loathing of the human species), should stop enforcing policies that promote it.

      • Geronimo. Did you know that weve been predicting disasters for a millennium or two and none have ever happened? Even Hiroshima as the biggest manmade disaster returned to background radiation within a year and the place was rebuilt. Chernobyl exclusion zone is now the Serengeti Wildlife park of Europe but the thought police won’t let people go there, though only 90 year old babushkas in excellent health have been going there to pick wild mushrooms for about 20 yrs or so.

        With the amazing resilience of the planet and its biosphere, the fact that it has absorbed the effects of huge bolides, upthrusts of mountain chains through collisions of continents, massively destructive terrestrial and solar storms, ocean floor spreading, multi 100k yr glacial epochs. drops and rises of 500 feet of oceans (with puny corals keeping pace with it all by the way).

        Anyway, this supports an axiom that its impossible for mankind to do other than localized short duration damage that heals up quickly. The thermodynamics we can muster with even the worst of intentions is too small a scale to threaten the planet. Didn’t someone point out that the sun gives us millions of Hiroshimas of energy every day?

  11. “where are the corpses?”

    Willis, one of your old posts that had this title – or something very close to it – looking at the “Mass Extinction!!!” story was a real beauty.

    For those who may have missed it, check it out. So many alleged extinctions, yet so few extinct species, and most of them gone more than a century ago.

    In the meantime, the ‘conservation biologists’ have been busy out there inventing new ‘species’ so there can be more ‘endangered’ ones for their industry to manage and for their collaborators to use to block developments or in other political circuses.

    And, of course, all species are now threatened even more due to the ‘Climate Crisis.’

  12. Where I live, last night was around 27 C colder than it was in August. 2 C warmer than it “should” have been? I don’t give a monkey’s!

  13. Nice post Willis!

    I guess the ultimate question would be where has the weighted increase been tabulated the most for the globe? Perhaps the Arctic region?

    This whole global temp thing is quite, well not quite. If a given region influences an average over time, does that really count in the long term?

    I did like Bob’s Tisdale’s recent book. If you have not read it, for less than 4 bucks, it is worth it for the basic exposure to understanding cycles if nothing else. Just sayin,,,,, Where is your book Willis? C’mon man!

  14. “now that we’ve breached the all-important two degree Celsius climate limit, where are the corpses? Where are the unusual disasters? Where are the climate-related catastrophes? Why are there no flooded cities? “
    My usual request, please quote the people who actually said those things would happen, so we can see what they really did say. We do have two quotes here. The first says that something could be irreversible. That doesn’t mean immediate corpses. It just means further rises could be unavoidable. In fact the article talks about possible bad consequences following a 4°C rise.

    The second doesn’t offer corpses either. It does say you might hear talk about catastrophic consequences. But it doesn’t tell us who actually says these things either, so no actual cprpse-spruiker. And it sure doesn’t sound as if Mr Tittley is taking responsibility for the claims.

    In fact the 2°C figure is usually presented as a target, not as a catastrophe.

    • The first says that something could be irreversible.

      I would like to see something in climate that is irreversible … you do get that all the physics runs both ways .. ALWAYS.

      • Thermodynamics is all about reversible/irreversible processes. And there is a lot of that here. It is easy to put CO2 into the air, but hard to get it out.

      • @Nick

        Well it would be tough to get CO2 out of the atmosphere without photosynthesis. And of course without photosynthesis there’d be no fossil fuels either. Have you ever wondered how all of that carbon came to be in fossils in the first place?

      • @Nick Stokes
        “irreversible” in thermodynamics just means that entropy is forever produced, and never destroyed.
        Doesn’t mean “irreversible” in the mundane sense of the word, actually just means the very opposite: you CAN have things back, provided you pay the Entropy price.

      • As stated Nick getting CO2 out of the atmosphere is rather easy photosynthesis, water absorbs it and countless other natural process all manage that Nick difficult task :-)

      • Nick Stokes January 9,2018 at 12:12 am

        “Thermodynamics is all about reversible/irreversible processes. And there is a lot of that here. It is easy to put CO2 into the air, but hard to get it out.”

        In real life you have to make many decisions, which lead to irreversible results. So most people don’t care about your argument. Business as usual is “Trial and error” and you have to find the errors.

      • “is rather easy photosynthesis”
        Nothing is easy on this scale. We’ve burnt over 400 Gtons carbon. That is comparable to the mass of C in the plant biosphere. With land and water limitations, doubling the mass of plants isn’t easy.

      • @Nick

        Gosh imagine burning 400GT of carbon. From memory C + O2 = CO2. Imagine all the Oxygen being sucked out of the atmosphere to burn all that carbon.

        It’s a wonder that hasn’t caused a shortage of breathable oxygen. It’s a good thing oxygen is a product of photosynthesis!

        Seriously Nick. Give the hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil, you got nothing on me copper thing a rest.

      • An irreversible process:

        The electromagnetic radiation from the sun at the top of the earths atmosphere is equivalent in strength to that from back body at (x) K. Yet this low temperature source enables the surface of the earth to attain temperature (y) K .

        y>x

        How does that happen?

      • Nick … 400G tonnes sounds really scary … until you realize that the atmosphere has around 3000G tonnes of CO2 currently that is why it’s only changed by a couple of hundred ppm. If we really wanted to remove it out of the air emission control would be the last way you would do it but then you don’t get all the other lunatic green policies that go with emission control.

      • “400G tonnes sounds really scary … until you realize that the atmosphere has around 3000G tonnes of CO2 currently that is why it’s only changed by a couple of hundred ppm”
        A muddle of numbers there. 400 Gtons C is 1470 Gtons CO2, so it is a substantial addition. And the change in ppm has been from about 280 to 407. So again, substantial.

      • Yet this low temperature source enables the surface of the earth to attain temperature (y) K .
        Actyally, x>>y. The point is that the Sun sends out parallel beams from a tiny fraction of the sky. It is effectively a current source; virtually none of the radiation goes back to the Sun. It can heat to well over 1000°C (as in a solar furnace; Venus is pretty hot too). The temperature reached depends on the resistance (opacity) of the return path.

      • @Nick
        “The temperature reached depends on the resistance (opacity) of the return path.” to some extend, yes… but this explanation just doesn’t work. I challenge you to explain this way how Venus can be hotter than earth, while it’s opacity is only less then ~10% higher than Earth’s (Earth leaks only 10% of surface radiation to space, already 90% is stopped) and it’s surface receive ~half as much energy from the sun.
        My bet: you will pretend not having see the challenge, and jump to some other irrelevant topic.

    • Nick, As Andy shows below there are a multitude of sources that claim the 2C will be catastrophic and they even quote “peer-reviewed” papers that suggest it. I agree with Andy that you seem to spend much more of your time correcting what skeptics say than correcting nonsense spouted in the media and by environmental activists or Michael Mann. Perhaps I just haven’t seen or don’t remember the occasions when you have done so.

      • I meant to include the headline of the link in the above post; “Well below 2 °C: Mitigation strategies for avoiding dangerous to catastrophic climate changes”

      • That isn’t the NAS. That is a paper in PNAS. having a paper in PNAS doesn’t mean you are writing NAS policy.

        But OK, what does it say? The headline mentions 2°C but doesn’t say that in itself would be catastrophic. In the paper they seek to define .1.5C as “dangerous”; 3C as “catastrophic”. That 3C could be seen as alarmist, but it isn’t 2C.

      • Nick, please define:

        1) “dangerous”

        2) “catastrophic”

        3) Whatever else applies to a 2 C increase.

        Failure to do so, otherwise allowing others to look at the underlying science, is misdirection/misinformation.

  15. And what, exactly, is the problem with our species going extinct somehow, somewhen? What makes us so special? Does any other creature have this o’erweening hubris? Does it really have to be all about us?

  16. Indeed, Willis, where are all the corpses? And the tipping point alarmism becomes even more ludicrous when you consider the ongoing hysteria over exceeding the 400ppm atmospheric CO2 level. I was at a drinks n’ nibbles party in the UK on Saturday bursting at the seams with 60 and 70-year-olds (good party by the way) and talk turned to the ‘weather bomb’ in the States. In relation to tipping points I mentioned that during the Triassic, about 250 million years ago, CO2 was around 1000ppm and then pinched the skin on my wrist. “Ouch! Oh look, we’re not dead yet”.

    While on this subject, I was recently contributing to an online discussion in the Daily Telegraph newspaper about CO2 levels and was challenged by a warmist to prove that CO2 concentrations really had reached those levels in the Triassic because, he pointed out in a very sarcastic manner, that no human beings were alive to do the measuring. I replied with a link to carbon nitride research carried out at Bristol University – and less than five minutes later he had deleted his original post and, of course, the whole thread including the link. They just don’t like it up ‘em.

      • Hi Warren – Apologies, I am away from home at the moment so can’t access my files. However it is pretty easy to find using your search engine of choice. Put in Bristol University + carbon nitride + research + CO2 ppm and you should find the research easily enough. It’s not pay walled.

  17. “Why no increases? Good question. Part of the answer is that much, perhaps most of that warming has occurred a) at night b) during the winter c) in the sub-polar and cold-temperate regions of the planet. And call me crazy, but I don’t think anyone in Boston or Vladivostok will complain if midwinter nights are a degree or so warmer, particularly the poor …”
    I have been asking where the average is being driven up – and I believe you’re correct. Freeman Dyson has made this point.
    I have yet another question – is it really “getting hotter” or “warming” if we’re just not getting quite as cold? Is it “warming” in Antarctica if the average down there goes from -51F to -50F as they reported a number of years ago?

    • Yes its an outbreak of mildness. Maximum temps are going slightly down, but minimums are going ever so slightly more up, so the average is going ever so slightly up. Terrifying isn’t it!

  18. A whole article about the mistake or confusion on the 2 degrees/century rate claimed to be mainly caused by human activity? This is of course meant on top of “quantified” natural variability. And also since ~1850, that’s indeed what the supplied graph implies: increasing from ~1 degrees per hundred years, inching closer to 2. This has nothing to do with some absolute difference of two degrees, it’s the rate *on top* of what is assumed to be normal (modeled) climate values.

    The point made here seems meaningless. It would be better to talk about sudden Medieval warming to make a point. This is all looking more like rather distracting sophistry.

    • Actually, that was the point… why so many scare-mongering articles, and faux statecraft hours wasted over something so meaningless?

    • John Dowser, maybe you’ve been away for a bit. “it’s the rate *on top* of what is assumed to be normal (modeled) climate values.” 1. Assumed? Right there tells me you are not choosing your words with any care at all. 2. “quantified” natural variability? Has that been quantified apart from “man-caused” warming? ‘Cause I missed the memo on that. “On top of”? You appear to assume that “natural variability” is warming, otherwise what is man-caused warming “on top of”? I seem to recall both N. Stokes and S. Mosher telling us AGW is, like, 110% of warming because nature was cooling. No, they didn’t explain how they knew this, nor did they show us the memo where AGW and natural variability had been measured and separated. Maybe you could ask them for us? Or do you have a copy?

  19. Looks like the sputtering Climate Crisis and its endless warnings just aren’t working anymore:

    “WASHINGTON — Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist… will spend $30 million to help Democrats retake the House in 2018…

    His group spent $74 million to back Democrats that year [2014], and $87 million in the 2016 elections.

    But most of the candidates he backed in those elections lost. This time, he said, his strategy will shift. Rather than focusing on climate change as an issue to rally young voters, as he had tried since 2010, he will focus on whatever issues will help Democrats win… ”

  20. The Germans have ther own interpretation on the invention of the Two degree target.

    Back in 2010, the left leaning German news mag “Der Spiegel online” in its online English edition had a series of 8 articles on the then so called and yet to be seen;

    “Climate Catastrophe”
    “A Superstorm for Global Warming Research”

    The last of these 8 articles was titled ‘;

    “Part 8: The Invention of the Two-Degree Target”
    ———–
    [ http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/climate-catastrophe-a-superstorm-for-global-warming-research-a-686697-8.html ]
    —————-
    Quote extracts;
    .

    Climate models involve some of the most demanding computations of any simulations, and only a handful of institutes worldwide have the necessary supercomputers. The computers must run at full capacity for months to work their way through the jungle of data produced by coupled differential equations.

    All of this is much too complicated for politicians, who aren’t terribly interested in the details. They have little use for radiation budgets and ocean-atmosphere circulation models. Instead, they prefer simple targets.

    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.
    .
    &

    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.”

    As tempting as it sounds, on closer inspection this approach proves to be nothing but a sleight of hand. That’s because humans are children of an ice age. For many thousands of years, they struggled to survive in a climate that was as least four degrees colder than it is today, and at times even more than eight degrees colder.
    [end of quotes ]

    Considering the left wing media source, some of the commentary in these 8 “Der Spiegel” online articles “A Climate Catastrophe” are surprsingly scathing of the claims being made back in 2010 by Climate scientists.

  21. Experiments: Although, as Willis points out, it’s not possible to do a controlled experiment with a second earth it is possible to do some useful experiments . Proper laboratory and field experiments in the area of atmospheric physics have not properly explored all the ideas relating to AGW, CO2, etc.

    Large and small scale experiments concerning the transmission of electromagnetic radiation through laboratory atmospheres containing various gas mixtures and very large scale (e.g. 1 – 2 km length) similar set ups in earths atmosphere may well yield further useful insights.

    There is still a polarised debate between those who think the selective frequency response of gases will in an atmosphere result in “trapping” of heat (i.e. surface warming) and those who think it won’t (no effect or possibly cooling). Many engineers and scientists who work in areas where heat radiation is important (e.g. design of thermal elecricity generating plants) think the latter.

    The “talking” can be persuasive on both sides but proper modern experimental work to decide the issue is severely lacking. Too much reliance is based upon thinking involving photons as if they were actual physical particles whizzing up and down (or sideways sometimes but you can ignore them /s) and “containing” energy. The atmosphere is not a mixture of tiny ping pong balls. The important bit to understand is the electromagnetic radiation and the interaction is has with matter of all types.

    • The “talking” can be persuasive on both sides but proper modern experimental work to decide the issue is severely lacking.

      It seem to me that in Climate field we are still in a pre-scientific age. We have many books but few, if none, experiments!

  22. If you say we have reached the 2 degree limit, they will just say the same thing they ever did: we should do more yesterday, it’s worse than we thought, the rate is ever-accelerating, it’s happening now, the tipping points are close to being reached unless action is taken, we are getting colder winters and warmer winters, the sea level rise is already drowning small island nations etc etc.

    Revolutions devour their children. The above is an example, such reveals minds devoured by ideology.

  23. “most of that warming has occurred a) at night b) during the winter c) in the sub-polar and cold-temperate regions of the planet”

    And this is the crucial point, GH gasses reduce extremes of temperature.

    With the additional CO2 we see the planet responding with ~20% increased leaf area since juts the 80s. (NASA LAI data)

  24. If there is an Earth2 in a parallel universe identical in all respects to ours except that CO2 is 100 ppm higher, the Earth2 global warming scientists would have a decreed a 2C limit. And if there is an Earth3 identical in all respects except that CO2 was 200 ppm higher, the Earth3 global warming scientists would have decreed a 2C limit. Etc.

  25. The earth’s climate is not stable for if were there would be no glacial and inter glacial periods.

    The reason why is because the earth’s climate system is in a delicate balance and any change to the balance can cascade the climate of the earth into a different regime. This has happened many times in the past as evidenced by the glacial and non glacial periods of time and will happen again.

    Meanwhile the very low solar is effecting overall sea surface temperatures now +.175c down from around +.35c this past summer. They will still be going lower, as will the global temperatures as we move forward.

  26. Part of the answer is that much, perhaps most of that warming has occurred a) at night b) during the winter c) in the sub-polar and cold-temperate regions of the planet.

    Which says to me that there is some regulatory mechanism limiting the upper end of the heating range. The only place for “stored” heat is at the low end. Even there it is flowing away from those places as fast as physics allows. It’s just that there is a little more that needs to hustle through the exits.

    • Yup, it’s called convection. More IR back to the surface evaporates more water and very light water vapor increases. This reduces the density of the surface air prompting faster convection. This leads to more clouds. Since this occurs mainly during the day and days are longer in summer that is where this negative feedback is strongest.

  27. I was looking at maps around the north pole a couple days ago and something struck me – the concentration of ice is not symmetric. The Bering Strait inhibits the flow of water between the Pacific and the Arctic. If you really want to cool the earth by a couple degrees the solution is fairly simple (and probably cheaper than CO2 regulations). All you would need to do is move enough dirt to expand the Faroe Islands until they are roughly the size of Iceland. You would block the movement of ice out of the Arctic, ensure that the entire Arctic remains frozen basically year round, and likely get to the point where London is colder than North Dakota is currently. Cooling the planet actually isn’t that hard.
    However, the good folks who live in London might object. That’s the problem – nobody actually wants it to be colder, because it sucks to be cold.

  28. Willis, your last graph doesn’t seem to show the 4 degrees C annual fluctuation of the average temperature. Instead you seemed to have tacked on the seasonally adjusted temperatures to a baseline temperature.

    • Ehm, the concept of a planetary temperature is somewhat dubious as it is very far from the annual over 20K swing we have with max fluctuations more than double that during one year.

      • The average temperature of the earth changes throughout the year due to the differences of land mass between the northern and southern hemispheres. I have not been able to locate any information on the size of the difference between the high and the low. I only find anomalies and not actual monthly temperatures, just annual anomalies.

        Can anyone tell me how much the earths annual temperature changes from its high to its low in one year?

  29. By the alarmist logic, a tiny bit of harmless global warming is supposed to vastly increase the frequency of extreme events. But then, when it was truly much much warmer in the past, such events must therefore have been going on pretty much 24/7/365. But they didn’t. Variance and variability do not increase with increasing temperature, they decrease. This is the primary dishonesty they took on board when they decided to change the name of the game from global-warming to climate-change.

    • Yup. Somehow, they delude the true believers to believe that a warmer world, with less temperature differential (even according to their own AGW religion) between the equator and the poles, “bad weather” will increase, when it actually means LESS turbulent and violent weather, not more. This only makes logical sense – the most violent weather occurs when air masses of vastly different temperatures collide.

      “According to any textbook on dynamic meteorology, one may reasonably conclude that in a warmer world, extratropical storminess and weather variability will actually decrease.”
      — Richard Lindzen

  30. Willis, that was so good!
    Now I will go observe and comment on what 97% of all Canadians express many times each year……..”It’s COLD………it’s REALLY cold!”

  31. The human element in global warmingdate back15,000 years.
    We killed off the Siberian Musk Ox. Their main diet was Birch trees which grow in Northern climates
    With Musk Ox gone the Birch trees in the Artic Circle are flourishing. They shade the snow.
    The result is heat absorbed. Heat which would have been reflected by white snow.
    JOHN ROSA. BERNICE LOUISIANNA.

    • John Rosa January 9, 2018 at 7:40 am

      The human element in global warmingdate back15,000 years.
      We killed off the Siberian Musk Ox. Their main diet was Birch trees which grow in Northern climates
      With Musk Ox gone the Birch trees in the Artic Circle are flourishing. They shade the snow.
      The result is heat absorbed. Heat which would have been reflected by white snow.

      Thanks, John. First, the area where the Siberian Musk Ox lived gets only about 20 W/m2 of sunshine, a trivial amount. Most of the energy up there comes from downwelling longwave, about 200 W/m2. So the change in energy from the supposed loss of birch trees would be too small to affect much of anything.

      Next, their diet is not mostly trees. From the National Geographic:

      Musk oxen live in the frozen Arctic and roam the tundra in search of the roots, mosses, and lichens that sustain them. In winter, they use their hooves to dig through snow to graze on these plants. During the summer, they supplement their diet with Arctic flowers and grasses, often feeding near water.

      During the winter they will dig through the snow for the shoots of willow and birch. However, I can’t find anything that says that they extirpated the birch trees, and I doubt it because it’s only a small part of their diet.

      Best regards,

      w.

  32. Berkeley Earth is the best dataset we have? Then we don’t have very much. I downloaded their data and recreated their published plot of the ever increasing temperature anomaly. It is the worst kind of tripe. They literally are throwing a bunch of unrelated data together, which is 100% wrong. Yes, if I measure the temperature of the oven and the freezer I am doing the same thing. However, you can’t average the two together just because they are both temperature measurements. That is what they are doing. Hell, some 30% of the stations they use for their data supplied data covering one year or less. Most of the stations supplying data after 1999 provided no data prior to 1990. There are very few stations supplying complete annual data from 1900 to 2004. They have no clue how the temperature in 2000 actually compared to the temperature in 1936.

    If you doubt me look at the very first graphic in this post from my blog. I copied their curve straight from their website using a snipping tool. Having recreated their curve with their data and having examined their data in depth I can tell you they are not using any homogenization technique what so ever.

    http://bubbaspossumranch.blogspot.com/2017/07/2016-was-hottest-year-evah-or-was-it.html

      • Hey Nick, how are your anomalous anomalies going today?
        I love the red spot over Siberia that was supposed to balance the blue over N America. It was really hot , yes MINUS 15c rather than MINUS 17C ( based on some arbitrary 30 year average of data points that don’t exist).
        How about some real temperatures, you know, the stuff we really experience? How about showing how maximums have really behaved , and how average temperatures are really formed, and why its really all about very slight increases in minimums?
        How about telling the truth!

      • “yes MINUS 15c rather than MINUS 17C ”

        Seems some people think that when the thermometer is below zero it doesn’t count as a temperature.

        When it’s winter in the coldest parts of NH that’s the size of it.

        From Nick’s website…..

      • Toneb, you have just proved my point. The only thing you can do is reproduce meaningless anomalous anomalies. I don’t think there is any proof at all that Siberia is warmer right now than it has been over the last 30 years at this time of year. There are just not enough real data points to prove that. But more to the point the real temperatures are minus 15C and below. If the poor citizens of Siberia have got slightly warmer nights, ie not minus 49C but minus 40C so giving an arbitrary average increase of 2C , well I guess they will be sacrificing themselves on the alter of AGW to return to colder nights.
        Tell the truth, quorte real temperatures, night, day, winter, summer, tell it as it really is, not hide behind stupid ‘anomalies’.

      • “Toneb, you have just proved my point. The only thing you can do is reproduce meaningless anomalous anomalies. I don’t think there is any proof at all that Siberia is warmer right now than it has been over the last 30 years at this time of year.”

        My friend anomalies are all we have in terms of data of trends.

        As is ever my expectation from denizens here….
        There will never be proof.
        The Goal-posts are ever shifting.
        If it makes you happy …. if you say so.

      • ” If the poor citizens of Siberia have got slightly warmer nights, ie not minus 49C but minus 40C so giving an arbitrary average increase of 2C , well I guess they will be sacrificing themselves on the alter of AGW to return to colder nights.”

        You really are conflated.

        The point is NOT that in Siberia, warmer in winter is better.
        But that there is a warming trend.
        No more. No less.

      • The graph that Toneb shows bases the anomolies on a cherry picked base period.If the series starts in 1850 and ends in 2017 why pick a colder period for your base rather than the average of the whole period I wonder – could it be to show even warmer anomolies by any chance? At least explain the use of 1951-80 as a base line please., Or show the same anomolies with a base of 1979 – 2017 or one of the other warm periods covered by the data series. What relevance has the anomaly base line to a temperature in Dec 2017 that finished 37 years ago

      • “At least explain the use of 1951-80 as a base line please.”
        I made the graph, and I chose 1951-80 to match the GISS period. I matched the GISS colors too. It’s all so that they can be compared. In fact, choice of anomaly base makes no difference to plots; it just shifts them by a constant amount, and the colors should change accordingly.

        GISS uses 1951-80 because it started in the 1980’s. There is no reason to change, and it just causes confusion. For all the old data and graphs, you then have to explain carefully whether it is old base or new base. It would be abit like changing US from F to C.

      • Thanks for the explanation, I get that and fair enough. However in isolation you perhaps could accede that the illustration as a result uses ‘hotter’ colours than would have been used if the base was represented by a warmer 30 year period and therefore claims of cherry picking without a balancing or control illustration to back up this single example are not unreasonable. I have the greatest of admiration for collators of data and I expect them to display them in a manner that represents their point of view – not to explain the base for the anomalies, however, is to allow misinterpretation of the results. But thanks again anyhow.

  33. Definitely more than +2 degrees C. since the late 1600’s
    maunder Minimum low solar energy period.

    I’d say at least +3 degrees C. from the coldest
    point during the Little ice Age.

    Did the people in the 1600s like the cold?

    No they hates it, and there were some famines.

    Did the people love the warming that followed.

    Anecdotal evidence says they did.

    Of course the +2 degrees is meaningless nonsense.

    The claim that CO2 controls the climate is meaningless nonsense.

    The claim that CO2 could cause runaway warming is meaningless nonsense.

    The IPCC “95% confidence” is meaningless nonsense.

    The “97% consensus” is from bogus surveys.

    What else would you expect
    from stupid leftists
    who support:

    Socialism,

    Open borders,

    Islam as a religion of peace,

    Israel as the only evil nation
    in the Middle East,

    $15 minimum wage
    to help low skilled workers,

    Free college for everybody,

    Banning GMO foods,

    Nominating world class liar Hillary Clinton?

    Leftists are stupid people
    who take commands from their leaders
    and do no independent research.

    They are 99% emotions,
    and 1% logical thinking.

    Leftists are mind numbed robots — the borg.

    Minds closed to skepticism.

    Consider character attacks to be “debate”.

    So I am now speaking to them
    in their own language !

    And that Tonedeaf poster
    is Exhibit A.

    End of rant.

    http://www.elOnionBloggle.Blogspot.com

  34. “And that Tonedeaf poster
    is Exhibit A.”

    Actually you are my exhibit “C”
    You come close but there a more extreme versions on here.
    Oh, and BTW: if you say so.

      • As Monckton would say …..

        “And your scientific point is?”
        As you seem only to denigrate me rather than the science I link.

    • Tonedeaf
      Your links are to junk science.

      The exact causes of warming are not known

      CO2 is certainly not the climate controller.

      Your links all think it is the controller.

      So they are all junk science.

      If CO2 really controlled the climate
      the so-called models would provide
      accurate predictions.

      They don’t.
      Not even close.
      Case closed.

      Your links are just as bad
      as your comments.

      You spout about
      meaningless global warming religion
      that can never be proven wrong
      in your mind like all junk science.

      Real science can be falsified.

      I’ll wait here while you
      look up that word
      in a dictionary!

  35. As an Australian, where do I apply as a climate refugee immediately?
    We have just been informed by our Bureau of Meteorology ‘s head of climate monitoring, Dr Karl Braganza, that the national mean temperature for 2017 was 22.75C, making it 0.95C warmer than the 1961-90 average.
    But that’s way hotter than the global average of 16C. And this month we have had some temperatures above 40C. Please think of me as I lie on the beach and wade into the ocean, waiting for climate change salvation.

    • My house has very cold things in it (freezer), very hot things (cooker), quite hot things (kettle, central heating pipework), rooms at different temperatures , a cat and 2 humans. If I were to take temperature reading of various things and average them (carefully, scientificaly and with the correct weightings) what does;
      a) The result represent AND
      b) what significance does it have.

      Extend procedure to cover
      1) house+ garden
      2) 6 neighbours
      3) village
      4)nearby town
      5)district
      6)country
      7)continent
      8)whole globe

      In each case answer a) & b).

      Do you notice anything interesting?

    • We’ll be open to your immigration to Western Canada. Had you been here the last three weeks you would have enjoyed -30C+ temps with wind chills much lower. Red TV screens warning of -40C+ are delightful. I’m sure you would be happy here. Shovelling snow definitely beats laying on a HOT Aussie beach.

  36. The 2 °C limit fails because it is a figure pulled out of a hat with no connection to the real world. This limit was adopted to avoid dealing with the problem all says is important, but no one wants to deal with: CO2.
    A mean temperature and an anomaly tells allmost nothing of the conditions at the Globe.
    You can also calculate a mean telephone number, but gives it any meaning?
    The weather gives the climate by averaging over some time, but you can not go back, the climate figures can not tell about the weather here and now, and not at all in the future. The temperature is only a small part of weather and climate, so they lost the battle when they only focused on temperature.

  37. ‘It wasn’t until four years ago, at a climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, that countries finally committed to “hold the increase in global average temperatures below” 3.6 degrees [F].’

    They use a decimal point to show they have a sense of humor.

  38. Willis, this is the sort of work for which you receive so much adulation from climate worrier and sceptic alike! The sober business of actually looking at the numbers is not kosher climate science and I just know the Team is grateful you draw these things to their attention.

    Another huge experiment that worriers are keeping mum about these days and which I think is a bigger existential threat to the worrier meme than the dreaded ‘Pause ‘, is the Great Greening event – the 14% and counting increase in planet forest cover, not to mention fattening of existing stock of all other plants , crops, plankton, and even creatures in this growing habitat are probably experiencing a
    obesity issues.

    This paradigm change in the cost of carbon moves it unequivocally into big number benefit. A realistic outlook is for a Garden of Eden Earth with population peaked, prosperity spreading and peace (sorry no error bars on the latter) by mid century. It also would mean the end of the Malthusian neurosis and all the ugly byproducts of that including climateering.

    Oh, and scientists will be back to looking at the numbers dispassionately and following where they lead instead of leading them to follow the theory.

  39. Any chance you can publish a higher resolution version of the last graph? As an engineer, I would like to post a print out on my office wall . . . Helps stop my physicists-in-training from bloviating . . .. .

  40. So sorry to be late to the debate, but this…this is idiocy: Nick Stokes January 9, 2018 at 12:12 am “…It is easy to put CO2 into the air, but hard to get it out….” I wonder how many trillion tons of CO2 now exist in the form of rock, forever excluded from bringing sustenance to plants, from which they make oxygen for us to live. CO2, after water, is God’s greatest gift to life (at least as we know it). It’s precious. Maybe we should form a religion around it.

    • “I wonder how many trillion tons of CO2 now exist in the form of rock, forever excluded from bringing sustenance to plants, from which they make oxygen for us to live. CO2, after water, is God’s greatest gift to life (at least as we know it). It’s precious. Maybe we should form a religion around it.”

      And how long does it take for CO2 to be weathered out of the atmosphere?

      Point is there is an optimum atmospheric content for maintaining the biosphere in the balance humankind has flourished during this inter-glacial.

      • Toneb said
        “Point is there is an optimum atmospheric content for maintaining the biosphere in the balance humankind has flourished during this inter-glacial.”

        This sounds an awful lot like opinion and speculation to me. What exactly is the optimum CO2 content for the global biosphere? What physical and not modeled evidence do you have that it is optimum? How can say with any confidence that adding a bit more CO2 will not be even better for life on Earth?

      • “This sounds an awful lot like opinion and speculation to me. What exactly is the optimum CO2 content for the global biosphere? What physical and not modeled evidence do you have that it is optimum? How can say with any confidence that adding a bit more CO2 will not be even better for life on Earth?”

        “What physical”

        Just what I said.
        To whit…..

        “in the balance humankind has flourished during this inter-glacial.”

        No opinion.
        Just a basic fact.
        We did.
        Evidence for the harm any more CO2 (already 40% greater) is abundant.
        But woe betide anyone rattling the echo-chamber’s cage by pointing that out.
        Mankind has flourished with CO2 levels of around 280ppm for the majority of that time.
        With which the carbon cycle matched sink and source.
        Now it doesn’t.

      • “Point is there is an optimum atmospheric content for maintaining the biosphere in the balance humankind has flourished during this inter-glacial.”

        Really…

        And you are totally certain of that WHY, precisely?

        That looks much more like an article of faith than a scientific statement to me – but there again articles of faith are all that your idea of “climate science” is based on anyway, aren’t they?

      • “Evidence for the harm any more CO2 (already 40% greater) is abundant”
        Nice statement but no proof of this other than computer model projections….and your borderline religious beliefs.
        “Mankind has flourished with CO2 levels of around 280ppm for the majority of that time.”
        I am sure they might argue against this statement during the cold, droughts and famines that have peppered this interglacial. The most prosperous periods in this current interglacial have been when it has been the warmest similar to today (Roman, Medieval warm periods), not when the earth was cold. So why is a warmer planet such a risk?

        “With which the carbon cycle matched sink and source.
        Now it doesn’t.”
        The carbon cycle has fluctuated back and forth for millions of years meaning at times they are out of balance until a new equilibrium is reached. Why is now any different and such a disaster?

        Look I get it. You believe we should not be messing around with mother nature and the planet..This is a noble and honest cause. However, if you were to put your scientific hat back on for just a moment…you would step back and look at the observations and say..so far…the observed changes from recent warming have been mostly beneficial…not detrimental…

        Putting all your faith in a computer model prediction 100 years from now when observations here and now are showing no major concern from a warmer planet and even potential benefits…then this is no longer science thinking, but a blind belief.

      • “Look I get it. You believe we should not be messing around with mother nature and the planet..This is a noble and honest cause. However, if you were to put your scientific hat back on for just a moment…you would step back and look at the observations and say..so far…the observed changes from recent warming have been mostly beneficial…not detrimental…”

        Thank you for that.
        We have not gone long enough to know the models are far wrong. Basic principles give a very similar result. Obs still lie within the individual GCM realisations of random NV.
        “Beneficial” will not last though.
        Detrimental will take over.

        “Putting all your faith in a computer model prediction 100 years from now when observations here and now are showing no major concern from a warmer planet and even potential benefits…then this is no longer science thinking, but a blind belief.”

        But I’m not putting all my faith” in them.
        It’s just a matter of reasonable probability.
        I am of the view that it’s sensible from many angles to move away from fossil burning.
        And that anyway all the world is (slowly but surely) even the US (on a State by State basis) despite the current POTUS.
        Do you have house insurance FI?
        it’s call the precautionary principle.
        And the odds are well beyond the chances of your/my house burning down.

  41. Willis,

    Well done. You have stated clearly and with great humour that the emperor really does have no clothes …

    Where I live in Central England, the Met Office (for indeed it is they) predicts for tomorrow, Thursday, a max temperature of 4C. By next Spring the typical daily max temperature might well be a heady 16C. Sometime during the Summer (but this is England, so nothing is guaranteed) a day or two might even warm to a max of 28C.

    I can cope! Everyone can cope! So a hypothetical permanent worldwide 2C upward shift would be as of nothing compared with the temperature ranges that almost all humans conveniently and efficiently deal with every day of their lives, wherever they live.

    In a rational world your revelation would be the end of climate alarmism. Unfortunately we do not live in such a world. The populace has been indoctrinated too long with incomprehensible sciency stuff from politicians and their many fellow travellers. So the lack of understanding is not because it is complicated but because it is truly incoherent and illogical.

    So we must all press on with simple truths. Keep up the good work.

  42. Willis,

    Well done. You have stated clearly and with great humour that the emperor really does have no clothes …

    Where I live in Central England, the Met Office (for indeed it is they) predicts for tomorrow, Thursday, a max temperature of 4C. By next Spring the typical daily max temperature might well be a heady 16C. Sometime during the Summer (but this is England, so nothing is guaranteed) a day or two might even warm to a max of 28C.

    I can cope! Everyone can cope! So a hypothetical permanent worldwide 2C upward shift would be as of nothing compared with the temperature ranges that almost all humans conveniently and efficiently deal with every day of their lives, wherever they live.

    In a rational world your revelation would be the end of climate alarmism. Unfortunately we do not live in such a world. The populace has been indoctrinated too long with incomprehensible sciency stuff from politicians and their many fellow travellers. So the lack of understanding is not because it is complicated but because it is truly incoherent and illogical.

    But we must all press on with simple truths. Keep up the good work.

  43. We are already two degrees warmer than the 1850’s … more than that since the early 1800’s.

    Using linear regression in Excel, the total warming since 1850 in the Berkeley data linked to is +1.55 C. Over the whole series, or since 1753 anyway, when continuous monthly data starts, it’s smaller, at +1.30 C (the late 1700s were relatively warm, according to Berkeley.)

    Sure, current temperatures are over 2.0C warmer than they were for relatively brief periods in the past, such as the first decade or so of the 1800s. But that period isn’t representative of typical ‘pre-industrial’ temperatures. It was considered unusually cold even at the time. According to the Berkeley data, global temperatures have not yet risen to the full and sustained +2.0C above average ‘pre-industrial’ temperatures that the IPCC and co are talking about.

    • Temp data in 1850 has error bands well in excess of the 2C you are trying to show in a meaningless trend line.
      Also tell the truth. Average Temps, not anomalous anomalies, have increased ever so slightly because minimums have increased ever so slightly more than maximums have declined. Its an outbreak of mildness.
      And why, well having many many more humans living in cities that are ‘open’ 24/7 is bound to increase minimums. This has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with a trace gas in the atmosphere.
      TELL THE TRUTH!

  44. Toneb,

    You seemed to have missed the point about the criticism of your first graph. The correlation cannot be considered meaningful because the “correction” to the T proxy was derived from the CO2 data (as CO2 lowers oceanic pH), which means that there is a “bootstrapping” problem of comparing a trend built partly from CO2 data (the O-18 T proxy) with another trend partly based on this CO2 data (the total forcing estimate). Correlation is virtually guaranteed regardless of the causal structure of the system, so the graph has low evidentiary value.

    It is also worth noting that this “pH corrected” T proxy contradicts the “pH corrected” version in you second graph, the former having a range of about 8 degrees compared to about 5.5 degrees for the latter, along with quite different positioning of the range.

    A bigger problem for your second graph is that, if the revisionist T profile is to be believed, with its much lower maximum ancient temperatures, we also have a 100 My period with lower temperatures than the lowest of our recent glaciation-friendly conditions and a continental distribution (a quite Southerly supercontinent, Gondwana) that would have favoured the spread of ice-sheets at least as much as recently, yet no extensive glaciation! Also, periods when there was virtually no glaciation, even at the poles, and the vegetative biosphere was astonishingly more productive, don’t show up as much warmer than today. Thus, this revisionist graph is implausible geologically.

    Finally, as another internal inconsistency in the evidence you present, the second graph is partly meant to show how uncertain past CO2 is, but the revisionist pH correction to the O-18 T proxy is dependent on a given CO2 trend!

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