How bad will climate change be? Not very -‘consequences for human well-being will be small’

An interesting take on the issue from warmist Will Boisvert, Progress and Peril, h/t to The GWPF

How bad will climate change be? Not very.

No, this isn’t a denialist screed. Human greenhouse emissions will warm the planet, raise the seas and derange the weather, and the resulting heat, flood and drought will be cataclysmic.

Cataclysmic — but not apocalyptic. While the climate upheaval will be large, the consequences for human well-being will be small. Looked at in the broader context of economic development, climate change will barely slow our progress in the effort to raise living standards.

To see why, consider a 2016 Newsweek headline that announced “Climate change could cause half a million deaths in 2050 due to reduced food availability.” The story described a Lancet study, “Global and regional health effects of future food production under climate change,” [1] that made dire forecasts: by 2050 the effects of climate change on agriculture will shrink the amount of food people eat, especially fruits and vegetables, enough to cause 529,000 deaths each year from malnutrition and related diseases. The report added grim specifics to the familiar picture of a world made hot, hungry, and barren by the coming greenhouse apocalypse.

But buried beneath the gloomy headlines was a curious detail: the study also predicts that in 2050 the world will be better fed than ever before. The “reduced food availability” is only relative to a 2050 baseline when food will be more abundant than now thanks to advances in agricultural productivity that will dwarf the effects of climate change. Those advances on their own will raise per-capita food availability to 3,107 kilocalories per day; climate change could shave that to 3,008 kilocalories, but that’s still substantially higher than the benchmarked 2010 level of 2,817 kilocalories—and for a much larger global population. Per-capita fruit and vegetable consumption, the study estimated, will rise by 6.1 percent and meat consumption by 5.4 percent. The poorest countries will benefit most, with food availability rising 14 percent in Africa and Southeast Asia. Even after subtracting the 529,000 lives theoretically lost to climate change, the study estimates that improved diets will save a net 1,348,000 lives per year in 2050.

A headline like “Despite climate change, rising food production will save millions of lives” isn’t great click-bait, but it would give a truer picture of a future under global warming as envisioned in the Lancet study. That picture is typical of the scientific literature on the impacts of climate change on human welfare. Global warming won’t wipe us out or even stall our progress, it will just marginally slow ordinary economic development that will still outpace the negative effects of warming and make life steadily better in the future, under every climate scenario. What the doomsday prognostications of drought and flood, heat-stroke and famine, migration and war miss is that climate change is not the only thing going on in the world, or even the most important thing.

It’s not even a new thing. Throughout history humans not only weathered climate crises but deliberately flung ourselves into them as we migrated away from our African homeland into deserts, mountains, floodplains and taiga. Global warming pales beside the climatic challenge surmounted by the Inuit when they settled the Arctic with igloos and kayaks, revolutionary technologies that improved their ability to travel and hunt. Theirs is just one example of the human capacity for finding better ways to get food, shelter, energy and resources from the hostile environments we embrace. “Adaptation” is not quite the right word for that process, which is so ubiquitous—and so fundamental to progress—that it is the essence of development.

This latest episode in humanity’s ongoing conquest of extreme climates will likewise amount to just another problem in economic and technological development, and a middling-scale one at that. Although clean energy will play a significant role by slowing and perhaps moderating global warming (as well as reducing pollution and easing resource constraints), contrary to the decarbonize-or-die doomsayers our main response to climate change will be other kinds of development that make climate change irrelevant. We will grow more food, harness more water, cool ourselves more vigorously, move to new lands and build—and-rebuild—new cities. We will exploit technological breakthroughs, but mostly we will improve familiar technologies and deploy them more widely. We will do all this not because of global warming but because of more pressing challenges like population growth and the demand for higher living standards. The means by which we will overcome specific problems posed by climate change look less like the pristine “sustainable development” envisioned by greens and more like the ordinary development that has always sustained us.

Read the entire essay HERE


94 thoughts on “How bad will climate change be? Not very -‘consequences for human well-being will be small’

  1. Just another installment of crystal ball gazing from soothsayers quarterly under the title “Then again, this might happen.”

    • And a very shallow, ignorant one at that! What a ridiculously narrow view of the consequences of climate change. But that’s to be expected from GWPF. How convenient to have a warmist on staff who is so clueless (or pretends to be) he helps out the deniers!

      • Oh, sorry, error – I don’t know that this guy’s on staff at GWPF, I guess not. What does h/t stand for, anyway?

      • @Kristi
        Stands for “hat tip”:

        Hat Tip
        A hat tip is an act of tipping or (especially in British English) doffing one’s hat as a cultural expression of recognition, respect, gratitude, or simple salutation and acknowledgement between two persons.

        “…it’s not kosher to give the impression that you’re the discoverer of content that someone else led you to. The h/t is a way of acknowledging a source. You didn’t stumble upon the interesting article on your own; someone steered you to it.”

      • It’s actually a very good tactic. Acknowledge that your opposition is right on some major part of their argument, but then state that even despite this, they are wrong on another part. This makes them far more receptive to your argument. As most people are rational, it’s not hard to find good arguments that they have made.

        In this case, the only thing that I disagree with is the “Cataclysmic but not apocalyptic” sentence. The evidence seems pretty clear that changes will be closer to the “annoying” or at worst “troublesome” side. Cataclysmic results are just not supportable outside of scenarios that just aren’t reasonable.

        However, as the author said, even if we acknowledge the worst case scenarios for warming, the effects are still underwhelming. People have been often been told outright and easily falsifiable lies such as the claim that India will become uninhabitable. Calmly rejecting these claims is easy, and this enables to put forth more reasonable interpretations that will actually be listened to.

      • Fascinating view you got there.
        Anyone who doesn’t agree with you that climate change is the worst thing that has ever happened to this planet, is just helping the deniers.

      • ‘What a ridiculously narrow view of the consequences of climate change.’

        So… Kristi… at what point has stasis/equilibrium ever been achieved in Earth’s climate?

        Let’s skip to the end: never.

        After all the research I’ve put in on this subject, I would still break down the entire issue to the following statement, spoken by Professor Richard Lindzen, considered one of the world’s premier atmospheric physicists, one of the primary authors of the original IPCC Report on Global Warming – and since then, one of the primary skeptic/realist voices:

        “Stated briefly, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.”

        And that’s it. Extremely understated, but that’s it. That’s not ‘denial’ – that’s brass tacks.

        For all the hype, they have barely demonstrated an effect, let alone a detrimental one.

      • Thanks, Leafwalker. Strangely enough I learned that just a hour after posting. Someone had spelled it out. I never would have guessed it.

        “So… Kristi… at what point has stasis/equilibrium ever been achieved in Earth’s climate?”

        This is an interesting question. It can only be answered if one first defines “equilibrium.” It’s not the same as statis – of course climate has never been static. But to discuss dynamic equilibrium, there has to be an external reference point. One might argue that the Earth as a whole has been in something approaching equilibrium for much of its existence. It’s had some great changes but there is always something that brings it round. Things like asteroids disrupted that equilibrium, causing rapid changes that it took the planet millennia to overcome.

        OTOH, that whole idea is an approximation anyway because the changes in the external energy supply and our relationship to it are important drivers in the Earth’s climate. The abrupt transition from glacial to interglacial periods is one of the most fascinating puzzles in paleoclimatology, I think, and one could argue there’s some kind of feedback mechanism inherent to the system, interacting with the sun.

        …But then there’s plate tectonics and all the resulting changes and disruptions to climate.

        So…Joel Snider…I think yes and no, depending on how one looks at it. How’s that for wishy-washy? It’s a question I’ll give more thought to.

        Richard Lindzen, infamous contrarian. He published some research that was rebutted by three papers within a year! “The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming HOW MUCH IS “VERY LITTLE”? WHAT EVIDENCE?, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal.WHAT DOES HE MEAN BY CATASTROPHES? The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.”

        If he is referring to things like hurricanes and tornadoes, it’s true that there is little evidence (so far) that they are tied to climate change, and climate models aren’t good at predicting their influence because of the scale of the weather conditions that combine to make them possible. Some predict greater intensity/duration of hurricanes, but that’s hard to demonstrate statistically for lack of data. Alarmists in the media don’t always reflect what the scientists say. Evidence is better for intense precipitation events, drought and heat waves. Some of these things are events that are so closely tied to natural variation that it’s been hard to get a statistical signal from climate change, but that’s getting better.

        But is Lindzen talking about the future, too? How does he know – on what is he basing his evidence about what the future holds? “They are sometimes overtly dishonest.” Oh? Easy claim to make. Lindzen’s quote is not overt dishonesty. He could slip out of any challenge. The way it’s worded, is just vague enough to say very little concrete but send a definite message. It’s all about interpretation of things like “catastrophe” and what “very little” temperature change is. The contrarian literature seems to be full of this kind of stuff. Sounds convincing.

        In any case, both this and the main article are oversimplifying the whole issue, discussing only the superficial and ignoring countless indirect costs to human well-being. We are not separate from our environment. Relying on ever-increasing technology and management to remove ourselves from negative effects is itself costly and requires investment.

        Overtly dishonest, eh?

        Here’s a research paper about the methodological errors in papers by contrarian scientists, discovered through replication. (This is a more readable article written by one of the authors:

        One interesting bit is about the improper peer review procedures that seem to plague contrarian science:
        “It is well known that there have been some glitches in the peer review: a paper by Soon and Baliunas (2003) caused the resignation of several editors from the journal Climate Research (Kinne 2003), and Wagner (Wagner et al. 2011) resigned from the editorship of Remote Sensing over the publication of a paper by Spencer and Braswell (2010). Copernicus Publications decided on 17 January 2014 to cease the publication of PRP to distance itself from malpractice in the review process that may explain some unusual papers (Benestad 2013; Scafetta 2013)

        PRP is Pattern Recognition in Physics, a journal that lasted less than a year. The publisher withdrew, wanting to distance themselves from “malpractice regarding the review process.” The editor-in-chief worked for the Algerian Petroleum Institute.

        “This is what CRU scientists were referring to when they talked about preventing papers from being used in the IPCC, and talking to publishers. They knew that the science itself was not up to the standard for publication and that something fishy was going on in the review process. They were standing up for scientific integrity, but by cherry-picking the emails people make it look like they were suppressing quality research. Context is everything.

        Cherry-picking quotes out of 1000s of stolen emails in order to ruin others’ careers is not just dishonest, it’s slimy, desperate and despicable propaganda. If there is something to it, the whole conversation would have been publicized. Publishing them along with commentary misinterpreting them is pretty bad, too.

        Funny how oil keeps coming up when one looks at contrarian networks and funding. I wonder whether the “skeptic” community is aware of all the connections and the propaganda campaigns and how they think about them. Are skeptics aware that they are saying exactly what was planned?

        Believe what you want, Joel Snider. Lindzen’s quote means nothing to me. It’s just a lot of empty, vague assertions, much like the denial movement generally. There is so much hard evidence from so many different quarters, so much that I’ve seen personally in the way some contrarians present their cases, that it speaks poorly of the “movement ” as a whole – and disjointed as it is, it does seem to be a movement, with lobbyists and books and a community. A very strange community that believes a wide range of things but doesn’t seem to debate them with each other.
        MarkW seems to have some kind of fantasy version of me giving him bizarre and erroneous ideas about what I think.

  2. As I’ve repeatedly pointed out in this forum, IPCC AR5 says pretty much the same thing. It goes into substantial detail as to what things will affect humanity’s well being in a warming world, and concludes that climate change will be a minor factor.

    • That coclusion comes from an indepth reading of the body of AR5. The politically written Summary for Policy Makers supports an alarmist position of doom. Its the IPCCs attempt to have its cake and eat it too. It can claim by referencing the chapters being faithful to the science while pointing to the SPM for alarmist rhetoric to support the COP’s world socialism agenda.

      • “The headline doesn’t match the text of the full story but we’ll write laws and impose taxes based on the headline only. Great idea, high fives all around!”

      • claim by referencing the chapters being faithful to the science while pointing to the SPM for alarmist rhetoric

        And I think this is a classic Mott and Bailey tactic.

      • It can claim by referencing the chapters being faithful to the science while pointing to the SPM for alarmist rhetoric

        Precisely. But Richard Tol, lead author on the body of the science, resigned in protest from the SPM specifically because of their alarmist position. Good to know when someone cites the SPM, and any government official responsible for making national decisions would be derelict in their duty to simply read the SPM and recommend government policy on that alone. I expect they HAVE read it to tell you the truth, it is simply politically expedient in order to raise taxes and achieve other goals for governments of all stripes to simply pretend the SPM is all there is.

    • Unfortunately, normal folk like us are usually not cynical enough to understand what machinations are put in play by those who seek to rule over us. Politicians and bureaucrats know that you never commission a study unless you know beforehand what it is going to say. That is exactly why the two stage process was put in place with the IPCC .
      The SPM is the stage which allows the policy makers to determine what they’ll be justified in doing. They make sure to maximize their own power.

  3. you know…..our weather is supposed to change….it’s the main driver of evolution….odd to me that the same people that believe in evolution..don’t want it to change…goldilocks
    We’re living in the best, most benign, period in history…..relax and enjoy it…it’s less than one degree

      • Hmmm, 1880 to 2016. This is one of my favorite graphs and it looks like it has been updated thru 2016. The CAGW warmists don’t like or ever comment on this graph…or just say it’s not true.

      • Yes, but the chart is not based on true thermodynamic zero (i.e. absolute zero). A proper chart would use either Kelvin or Rankine and show absolute zero. The trends of the last 200 years are just about invisible on such a chart.Throw in the proper error bars and you are left with just a meaningless fringe.

      • The chart seems to be based on “normal temperature ranges humans live in”. However, I think the bottom end of that should be -50° or -60°F. Most years, cities in the far north have lows below -40°F.

    • Right on! Knowing the climate WILL change why is there this insistance that it must remain exactly where it is right now. Alarmist idiots!

    • “We’re living in the best, most benign, period in history…..relax and enjoy it”. That’s not goldilocks, that’s Dr. Pangloss, Candide.

      T. Gannett

  4. “Human greenhouse emissions will warm the planet, raise the seas and derange the weather, and the resulting heat, flood and drought will be cataclysmic.”
    That claim right there makes the author an idiot. Stopped reading.

    • So the author acknowledges that even IF “human greenhouse gases” did that, it still wouldn’t be a big deal. Since “human greenhouse gases” WON’T do that, it’s much ado about nothing.

  5. Human greenhouse emissions derange the weather, and the resulting heat, flood and drought will be cataclysmic.

    Human greenhouse emissions not derange the weather, and there will be no resulting heat, flood and drought

    There – fixed it!!

      • Human fossil fuel use, of course. It’s always been about blaming what allows control of energy, which by extension allows control of EVERYTHING. Just see the “global cooling” scare of the ’70s – it was a slightly different postulated intervening mechanism, but it was those evil fossil fuels what dun it.

  6. Food production being reduced by climate change will only be true if the warmists are wrong and the climate cools. If we are lucky enough to get a warming climate that will increase food production.

    Also, man made CO2 will increase food production directly.

    So if we keep producing CO2 and if the warmists are correct, there will be 2 effects raising food production.

    However, if we get a serious solar minimum, or the climate cools for another reason, then even with CO2 improving plant growth, we will be in trouble.

  7. Alarmists always seem surprised that sceptics don’t share their concern at the warnings, yet this post is a prime example of the way that small problems are hyped up and why sceptics are more likely to just shrug.

  8. The obvious question is:

    If agricultural development dwarfs the effects of climate change, will taking resources away from agricultural development dwarf the effects of climate change?

    The obvious answer is:

    So climate change will not be apocalyptic.
    But expensive green policies will be.

    • That is what I think. Climate change policy will be cataclysmic. Trying to control climate of earth is nuts.

      • Trying to control the climate of Earth is nuts. Assuming that humans CAN control the climate of Earth, or even have a meaningful effect upon it, is pure hubris and delusion.

  9. It seems like 500,000 hypothetical deaths in a world population 4 orders of magnitude larger is not something that could be measured with any precision, much less calculated.

  10. Human greenhouse emissions are not raising the seas, at least not significantly.

    Since the last seventy years of heavy GHG emissions, and the arguably-consequent warming, haven’t caused any detectable increase in the rate of sea-level rise, there’s no good reason to suppose that the next seventy years will of GHG emissions will cause a significant increase in the rate of sea-level rise, either.

    • Great graphics!!

      Looks like the SLR plot slope has not changed for a very long time regardless of what we drive or burn.

      Gums opines…

    • Note that in Honolulu, the sea level in about 1921 was higher than in most of the recent years.
      And also note the difference between the lowest and highest peak appears to be around 30 centimeters…less than a foot.
      And there have been plenty of times when consecutive years had a swing almost as large as the total range.

      • Does the measured sea level in Honolulu have anything to do with the fact that the Hawaiian islands are sitting on top of a large magma chamber?……(you know…..volcano stuff?) Sea level might be steady, but the islands could be rising.

      • There are similarly unscary tide charts from every part of the world, some going back in time 150 years or more and 100% continuous for that entire span of time.
        Yes, changes in the level of the land happen for many reasons, so it must be considered.
        However, I think Honolulu sits on a place where the hotspot was a long time ago and is no longer geologically active.
        Correct me if I am wrong.
        The Big Island is the one over the hotspot now, an so is the newest and the one with active volcanoes.
        The pattern and rate of rise in those two graphs is similar to what is seen in many other locations, although I am not so sure that those records have not been subjected to some adjustment.
        We know they have been smoothed and had the “seasonal component” removed, because it says so right on the graphs, if you look at the source site.
        The thing is, back before sea level change became integral to CAGW, graphs of sea level over time in textbooks and scholarly articles did not show a monotonic rise over that span of time.

      • Menicholas wrote, “I think Honolulu sits on a place where the hotspot was a long time ago and is no longer geologically active. Correct me if I am wrong. The Big Island is the one over the hotspot now…”

        You are not wrong. Oahu is very tectonically stable.

        Peltier’s ICE-6G(VM5a) estimate is that Honolulu is experiencing just 0.10 mm/yr uplift. Ref:

        As you can see, the CORS plot is flat as a pancake:

        SONEL’s analysis indicates that Honolulu is subsiding (rather than rising), but just 0.23 ±0.18 mm/yr:

        All those numbers are tiny: +0.1 and -0.23 are opposite sign but not far apart. In other words, the models and measurements agree that Oahu is very tectonically stable.

        That’s because the age of the Hawaiian Islands runs from newest & least stable at the SE end of the chain to oldest & most stable at the NW end, and Oahu is an old, stable, island.

        Of course, for purposes of detecting acceleration it doesn’t matter whether Honolulu is experiencing a minuscule amount of uplift (per Peltier) or a tiny amount of subsidence (per SONEL), since in either case the rate should be expected to be very nearly constant. Peltier’s estimate is that the rate of vertical land motion there is changing by about 0.01 mm/yr in 500 years, which means it has no significant effect on sea-level acceleration.

        The only thing atypical about Honolulu’s sea-level measurement record is that it is particularly high quality. The trend is perfectly typical.

      • Menicholas wrote, “And also note the difference between the lowest and highest peak appears to be around 30 centimeters…less than a foot.”

        I should mention that the data used in those plots is of monthly average mean sea level, and that average “seasonal cycles” have been removed, and that I additionally enabled 3-month “boxcar” smoothing.

    • Hmm. Strange that satellites measure an increase in global mean sea level of 3.2 mm/yr =/- 0.4 mm. On what basis did you pick your graphs?

      • Kristi, I picked those two graphs because of their especially long, high quality measurement records, their tectonically stable locations, and their very typical trends. Also, they are very far apart (about eleven time zones), and one is temperate and the other tropical.

        In the case of Honolulu, it additionally has the advantage of a central Pacific location which is little affected by ENSO “slosh.” (That’s in contrast to, for example, San Diego, which has a good measurement record, but sees its sea-level rise with each El Niño and fall with each La Niña, and in contrast with the tropical western Pacific, which sees the opposite pattern.)

        However, I encourage you to peruse the “data” section of my website, where you can make graphs like those for any location you wish.

        As for the satellite altimetry data, it is very low quality, compared to coastal (tide gauge) measurements.

        Most obviously, satellite altimetry measures sea-level in the wrong place. The satellites cannot measure sea-level at the coasts, at all — and the coasts are the only places where sea-level change matters.

        Also obviously, the satellite measurement records are extremely short. Their longest single-instrument measurement record is only about a decade. In contrast, many coastal measurement records (including both Wismar and Honolulu) are well over a century in length, and quite a few (including Wismar) are over 1.5 centuries.

        Proof is of the poor quality of the satellite altimetry measurements is to be found in the many revisions to already-measured “measurements.” Trustworthy measurement data does not require endless revision and correction, after it has been collected!

        Even though the satellite measurements show no acceleration in sea-level rise, changes in how the satellite data is processed and adjusted have greatly increased the amount of sea-level rise which U. Colorado reports (h/t Steve Case):

        Do you see it? That’s two quite dramatically different interpretations of the same measurement data by the same U.S. group from the same satellite radar altimeters! If that doesn’t smell fishy to you, you need to have your nose examined.

        Here’s an even more dramatic example, from Europe. Envisat measured sea-level by satellite altimetry for ten years. Here are two different interpretations of the same measurement data by the same European group from the same satellite:

        The small graph is the original version, showing 0.76 mm/year SLR — and it would have been even less if they hadn’t omitted the first 18 months of data.

        The large one is the “corrected” version, showing 2.33 mm/year SLR.

        After ten years of collecting and reporting data they discovered a problem, the correction of which approximately tripled the “measured” rate of sea-level rise!

        Just last month, Nerem et al claimed to have discovered “acceleration” in the satellite sea-level data. But when you read the details you discover that the “acceleration” they found was created by slowing the rate of rise of sea-level rise “measured” by Topex-Poseidon prior to 2003, thereby creating the appearance of acceleration when the early Topex-Poseidon data is compared against the newer satellites’ data (even though the new Jason-3 measurements show little sea-level rise, so far).

        (That drastic revision of the Topex-Poseidon rate also lowered the average rate from the previously reported 3.4 mm/yr to the currently claimed 3.1 mm/yr.)

        What such revisions really show is how malleable and unreliable the satellite altimetry “measurements” of sea-level are, compared to tide gauge measurements.

        So why is the satellite altimetry data so bad?

        There are many different factors which can affect reported trends from satellite altimetry, but which are difficult to quantify with certainty, so such measurements are subject to substantial and often mysterious “corrections.”

        One of the major problems is simply determining where the satellites are, and how their orbits change, with sufficient precision. Unlike tide gauges, the satellites are not referenced to geodetic markers. In 2011 NASA proposed (and re-proposed in 2014 / 2015) a new satellite mission called the Geodetic Reference Antenna in SPace (GRASP), to address that problem. The proposal and its implications for measuring sea-level have both been discussed extensively, here on WUWT. The Europeans are apparently considering a similar mission (E-GRASP). Unfortunately, none of those proposed missions have flown, and it is not clear whether they ever will.

        Here is an excellent discussion of the problems with measuring sea-level via satellite altimetry:

        So, given the very high quality and long duration of the coastal measurement data, and the very low quality and short duration of the satellite altimetry data, why would anyone ignore the former in favor of the latter? That’s not just cherry-picking, it’s picking the rotten, wormy cherries!

        When people do that it’s a sign of bias: they’re picking the studies which come closest to confirming their prejudices. They’re trying hard to find what they want to find, and ignoring contrary evidence.

        You see the same sort of behavior when people cite GRACE studies and ignore ICESat and ERS, w/r/t Antarctica ice mass balance.

        That sort of behavior is mainly useful for identifying scientists whose work you should not trust.

  11. Since temperature drops about 0.1 Deg c per meter, all you have to do is go 100 meters higher in altitude, and the temperature would be the same as it was before the 1 deg temperature rise that is supposed to kill us all. As a side effect you would now be much higher than the sea level rise.

      • Manhattan does not twitch if temperatures rose 5 degrees over night. They couldn’t care much, though the weather were more pleasant. But if sea level rose by 1 metre over night, I’m sure somebody would sue Exxon for not telling their basement is underwater.

    • This is one of those ‘you haven’t been to Denmark, have you’ moments. /grin

      1 degree is something that distinguishes ground level and 2m height, or frontyard and backyard, or 10km and 100km from the beach. So yes, while 1 degree does make a small difference, it is swamped by temporal and spatial variation in multiple scales.

      The doom is based on far-fetched theories, or more accurately, mxing things up very badly.

    • stephana , Typo alert [ 0.1 Deg C x 100 would = 10C ] it’s~ 0.01 Deg C

      Dry air temperatue drops with about 1 degrees C per 100 meter and saturated moist air, at about 0.5 degrees C per 100 meter.

      The perfect day has a gradient of somewhere around –0.5° to –0.6°/100m at lower levels, increasing to –0.8° to –0.9°/100m up higher. Around cloud base the gradient should decrease again, to around –0.4°/100m

      Peter, stephana is talking about temp, not sea level

    • The amount the entire globe is said to have warmed over the past hundred and some-odd years is less than the amount of change that can be detected by an average person sitting quietly indoors.

    • One tenth of a degree per meter?
      Uh, nope.
      Off by a factor of about 50, IIRC
      It varies of course, depending on atmospheric conditions, which is why some days are clear and sunny and other days are cloudy and stormy.
      But the average ELR is about 1.9 C/km.

      • I think the average lapse rate between sea-level and the tropopause is about 6.5 °C / km altitude (more where & when it’s very dry, less where & when it’s very humid). So for a 1°C cooler climate you can climb about 1000/6.5 = 154 meters = 505 feet. (One tenth of a degree per fifteen meters.)

  12. Based on the paleoclimate record and the work done with models, on can conclude that the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific reasoning to support the idea that the climate sensivity of CO2 is zero. Of course more CO2 actually improves food production. If future food production per capata is a serious problem and we cannot significantly increase food production then we will have to decrease capata. If we do not control our own population then Nature will, catastrophically.

    • willhaas, I agree with you about food production. But climate sensitivity cannot be zero. If negative temperature feedbacks dwarf positive temperature feedbacks then it might be very small, but it can’t be zero.

      We know from the physics of how CO2 works as a GHG that it causes warming, and the direct warming effect can be roughly calculated. It is usually calculated that doubling atmospheric CO2 (e.g., an increase from 400 ppmv to 800 ppmv) would be a climate “forcing” equivalent to about a 3.7±0.4 W/m² increase in ground level irradiance, before feedbacks, though atmospheric physicist Will Happer has found evidence that CO2’s forcing is commonly overestimated by about 40%, which, if correct, reduces the 3.7 W/m² figure to about 2.6 W/m².

      So there is some disagreement about the size of the direct effect of CO2 on temperature, but not a huge disagreement. The bigger argument is over feedbacks. The only way to get to the IPCC’s high sensitivity numbers is if net temperature feedbacks are very strongly positive (amplifying).

      It is calculated that a uniform global temperature increase of 1°C would increase radiant heat loss from the surface by 1.4% (variously estimated to be between 3.2 and 3.7 W/m²). (It should probably have a similar effect on other surface heat loss mechanisms.) So without feedbacks, equilibrium climate sensitivity should be between about 0.7 °C and 1.3 °C — i.e., nothing to worry about.

      What’s more, TCR sensitivity is thought to be only about 2/3 of equilibrium sensitivity, so TCR would be even less.

      That’s not worrisome, but it’s not the same as zero, either, and no amount of negative feedback can make it equal to zero.

      That’s not how feedbacks work. Feedbacks act on a change in the system’s input (i.e., temperature, in the case of temperature feedbacks). If there’s no change at all (i.e., sensitivity = zero), then there’s nothing for the feedbacks to act upon.

      My best guess is that net temperature feedbacks are at most only weakly positive (not enough to worry about).

      What’s more, it is indisputable that very strong negative CO2 feedbacks further reduce the effect of carbon emissions by more than half (AR5 estimates it’s by 55%).

      So the bottom line is that the hand-wringing over CO2 emissions is foolish.

      • Don’t see how feedbacks *can’t* reduce the temperature effect of CO2 to zero; the feedback could be to the IR radiation, as opposed to temperature, which temperature effect never materializes if water vapor related IR is reduced in response to CO2 IR effect increasing, nullifying any potential temperature effect.

        The fact that CO2 level and temperature show no “CO2 drives temperature” effect in the paleoclimate data (i.e., NO correlation on geologic time scales (geocarb reconstructions) and REVERSE correlation on shorter time scales where there is correlation (ice cores, where temperature drives CO2 levels, NOT the other way around, AND where temperatures begin to DECREASE when CO2 levels are at their HIGHEST levels, again refuting any notion that CO2 “drives” temperature) would appear to support this non-effect of CO2 on temperature, and refute any assertion that CO2 “must” cause “some” warming.

      • The initial radiametric related calculations of the climate sensivity of CO2 neglecting feedbacks came up with a value of 1.2 degrees C. One researcher has found that these initial calculations neglected the fact that a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere will cause a slight decrease in the dry lapse rate in the troposphere which is a cooling effect. The change in the dry lapse rate will reduce the climate sensivity of CO2 by more than a factor of 20. So that instead of 1.2 degrees C, a better value is less than .06 degrees C. Including the observation that the initial calculations should be 40% less yields a number of less than .043 degrees C.

        The AGW conjecture is that CO2 based warming causes more H2O to enter the atmosphere which causes more warming because H2O is the primary greenhouse gas with LWIR absorption bands. They like to asume a gain associated with H2O related feedback or roughly 3. However, what is totally ignored is the fact that besides being the primary greenhouse gas, H2O is a primary coolant in the Earth’s atmosphere, transporting heat energy from the Earth’s surface which is primary some form of H2O to where clouds form via the heat of vaporization. The over all cooling effect of H2O is evidenced by the fact that the wet lapse rate is significantly lower than the dry lapse rate in the troposphere. So that rather than enhancing CO2 warming by a factor of 3, H2O retards CO2 warming by a factor ot 3 yielding a climate sensivity of CO2 of less than .0143 degrees C.

        A climate sensivity of less than .0143 degrees C is an amount too small to be measured and that is in keeping with the fact that IPPC related researchers have, with more than two decades of effort, failed to measure the climate sensivity of CO2. I would agree that .0143 degrees C is greater than .00 degrees C but there is still more to consider.

        Some feel that the lapse rate lowering effect of CO2 is really greater than stated above and the net effect of adding more CO2 to the atmosphere is a cooling effect so that the climate sensivity of CO2 is really slightly negative. In the troposphere, heat transport is dominated by convection, conduction , and phase change transport and not LWIR absorption band radiation. CO2 does not trap LWIR absorption band radiaton because good absorpers are also good radiators. More CO2 make the Earth’s atmosphere a much more efficient radiator to space so more CO2 should provide a net cooling effect as evidenced by the fact that more CO2 decreases the dry lapse rate in the troposphere.

        The AGW conjecture is based on only partial science. Fundamental to the AGW conjecture is that trace gases provide a radiant greenhouse effect. A real greenhouse does not stay warm because of heat trapping greenhouse gases. A real greenhouse stays warm because the glass reduces cooling by convection. So there is no raiative greenhouse effect that keeps a real greehouse warm but rather it is a convective greenhouse effect. So too on Earth. Gravity along with the heat capacity of the atmosphere act to reduce convective cooling and hence provide a convective greenhouse effect. Derived from first principals, the Earth’s convective greenhouse effect keeps the surface on average 33 degrees C warmer than it would otherwise be. 33 degrees C is the number derived from first principals and 33 degrees C is what has been observed. Additional warming caused by a radiant greenhouse effect has not been observed. A radiant greenhouse effect has not been observed in a real greenhoiuse, on Earth, or anywhere else in the solar system. The radiant greenhouse effect is science fiction as is, hence. the AGW conjecture. Without a radiant greenhouse effect, the climate sensivity of CO2 cannot be more than zero.

      • willhaas wrote, “a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere will cause a slight decrease in the dry lapse rate in the troposphere which is a cooling effect. The change in the dry lapse rate will reduce the climate sensivity of CO2 by more than a factor of 20.”

        Do you have a reference for the claim that lapse rate feedback reduces climate sensitivity by more than a factor of 20?

        Are you sure that isn’t supposed to be “more than 20 percent” (which is more in line with the estimates I’ve seen)?

    • Hey Dave!!

      Although I learned what “taiga” was/is long go from our geography class, most folks around me down here in the deep south think “taiga” is a large feline.

      Gums……, out

      [And y’all ain’t lyin’ ’bout dat. .mod]

    • Blame Frank Zappa for not knowing what taiga is.
      Originally, his song about the kid who eats the yellow snow had the line:
      “Trudging across the taiga, mile after mile
      Trudging across the taiga
      Right down to the parish of St. Alphonzo”

      But he changed taiga to tundra, and thereafter the word became commonly known to the whole country.

      True story.

  13. A MUST READ ==> The original full Boisvert [which might be translated as ‘Green Woods’] found HERE is an absolute delight and a definite must read. Well worth your time. You won’t agree with every detail, but the overall approach is exactly what has been being said here since the inception of WUWT.
    It is worth printing out and making available to your friends and family still worried about Climate Change.
    I suspect I will be quoting sections for years to come.

    • The above study just simply shows that on all levels the alarmists are wrong. The only thing that anybody has proved is that the CO2 levels in the atmosphere are at 408ppm higher than preindustrial level of 280. However I consider that a good thing. Plants love more CO2 up to around 1200 ppm. At the present rate of change it will take 196 years to reach the plant optimum. Dont forget dangerous levels of CO2 for human breathing are at 8000 ppm. Any other measure of AGW is unsettled science including any temperature change.

      • Another statistic that no one can deny is that in the last 37 years, CO2 has increased in the atmosphere from 339 to 408. Which represents an increase of a little over 20%, However CO2 fossil fuel emissions in that time have increased from 20 billion metric tons to 35 billion metric tons which is an increase of 75%. The AGW crowd has no valid explanation for this.

      • I’d say they haven’t even “proved” that the change in CO2 level is as big as the “280ppm pre-industrial” level suggests, because that is a proxy-derived level that is probably understated, which makes the comparison with modern atmospheric measurements meaningless and scientifically incompetent, “appls vs. oranges” comparison.

        And you make a good point about the MEASURED CO2 level change being a lot less than the increase in human CO2 emissions (which may themselves be understated ^cough* China and Russia *cough*), underscoring the fact that there is no good scientific basis for claiming that the CO2 increase is due to human fossil fuel use, when the only CO2 “source” actually being “measured” IS human fossil fuel use, and its amount is minuscule compared with natural CO2 sources which are only estimated.

  14. “Human greenhouse emissions will NOT warm the planet, NOT raise the seas and NOT derange the weather” – Fixed it for them.
    We are about to have the greatest science experiment of all time. Well maybe not that dramatic but still pretty darn cool.
    All the natural cycles scientists are saying the next 20 years will be cold. The CO2 scientists are saying it will be warm. Now I can’t follow the science too deeply, as most people can’t, but I can follow the predictions easy! Yes I want to see temperature numbers and dates attached.

    The IPCC has predicted/projected 0.5 – 1.5 C increase over the next 20 years.
    The Natural Cycles group says 0.25 – 1.0 C decrease over the next 20 years.

    They both can’t be correct. Will CO2 overwhelm the natural cycles or vice versa or will it be a wash? Popcorn time!

  15. ” … consider a 2016 Newsweek headline that announced “Climate change could cause half a million deaths in 2050 … ”


    And common garden-variety mortalness will “kill” at least 100,000,000 people during 2050.

    What about that then? Who’s gonna fix that?

    * crickets *

    • Like the prediction they made that many Asian port cities would be underwater by 2000 and that there would be 50 million climate refugees. We need to keep asking them about that and their other predictions.

  16. Don’t even give them the bandwidth.
    Which is not to say that I don’t enjoy watching the cry-babies on CNN, deploring the Deplorables.

  17. I’m very confused. What is the mechanism whereby increase levels of greenhouse gas fertilizer will thwart food availability? Hasn’t much the opposite been shown?
    This is a serious question. Is there any clarification of their claim other than the assume climate chnge will only be bad, but less bad than they thought?

    • Oldthinkers unbellyfeel coalgod. Sad!

      I imagine the thinking is to some extent that regional droughts, heat waves, and so on could lead to declines in crop productivity, even if additional CO2 would be beneficial.

      • Yes, I get they are saying that. There are not more droughts, and crops are not declining. So what is their actual basis? Those points they are making are all not even hypothetical.

      • They have no basis in reality whatsoever.
        Everything they claim we need to be worried about is made up out of thin air, and ignores everything known to the contrary.
        Crop yields increasing steadily year by year is one of the more glaring contradictions to their prophesies of doom.

  18. Peoplekind ( I am Canadian after all) could not survive today (I mean 1 day) where I live without technology. Clothing, housing, fuel deliveries, food storage and deliveries are just some of the necessary technologies.
    Today is actually a rather nice day for the time of year. It got above freezing for an hour or two.
    The point is we have spread to nearly all the climate zones of the planet with the aid of ever increasing and improving technology. My neighbors and I are actually very comfortable in an environment that would be nearly instantly deadly if we were dropped here naked and without tools.
    I see no reason why technology will not save us from almost any climate change short of a major glaciation. I am pretty certain I would have to move South if there was a mile of ice over my house.
    That is likely to happen sometime in the next 100,000 years or so.
    Should I worry or will CO2 save my bacon? Hmmm, I think I will make a sammich.

    • It would be interesting to read well reasoned speculative fiction for what will happen as the next major glaciation happens. Would be interesting to see what ‘they’ would come up with.

  19. With responsibility for 120,000,000 deaths in the 20th Century, Socialism is likely far more deadly than any global warming.

  20. Rubbish…

    World crop yields have increased from 1,400kg/hectare in 1960 to almost 4,000kg/hectare in 2016; almost a 3 FOLD increase…

    North America’s crop yields have increased from 2,203Kg/kectare in 1960 to 7,318kg/hectare in 2016.

    Oh, the humanity:

    Most of this incredible crop-yield increases are due to agricultural technological advances in: seed genetics, cheap fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides derived from “evil” fossil fuels, improved irrigation, improved farm machinery, improved infra-structure, mechanization, cheap fossil fuels, CO2 fertilization, etc., etc., etc…

    Wasting $10’s of TRILLIONS on this Fake CAGW ho@x will only suppress future agricultural technological advances, and will especially adversely affect 3rd-World countries who desperately wish to move from primitive agricultural-based economies to industrialized ones.

    CAGW’s doom-and-gloom predictions are always 30~100 years out– long after these prognosticating “scientists” retire… How convenient…..

    • Yes, but they can’ regulate/tax to death/control the Sun, so it’s the fossil fuel boogyman they will keep preaching about.

  21. You mean to tell me weather will continue to happen and be extreme at times? Oh please, tax me to make it better. And take away my freedoms too. Thanks!

  22. The model is statistically significant to 0.5 calories in 2050. /sarc

    The model is more significant for its creators at generating a published paper for the volume-based publication mill. Their subsequent wealth gain will contribute to increased carbon-intensive travel and consumption. It will be like the butterfly effect……… by 2050.

  23. Have you ever noticed that the more specific the alarmists are about exactly what we are supposed to be worried about, and what the effects will be, and how this will impact human society, the more incredibly inane they become, and the more obviously it becomes they are just making stuff up?
    To be an alarmist or even a run of the mill warmista, it is necessary to have the most abjectly dopey tunnel vision imaginable.

  24. Hi Kip!

    I’m afraid your “must read” left me, too, rather unimpressed by his arguments.. I read the original.

    Boisvert apparently believes third-world development is imminent and best if on the same lines as that of the West. It doesn’t seem like he has a clear (or even vague) idea of the issues facing the developing world. Who will pay for all this development?

    Nor does the potential hardship and loss of life due to climate change faze Boisvert. Because model-projected increases in food production save lives, more than half a million lives lost due to climate change are immaterial?

    One interesting aspect of this research is that they forecast 1,877,000 lives would be saved through the middile-of-the-road developmental model, but 2,712,000 through the sustainable development one, but he never advocates for sustainability.. (In that scenario 590,000 lives would be lost to global warming.) So why isn’t he pushing a sustainable development model? (I don’t give a lot of weight to this model, anyway. Too many assumptions.)
    1.2% of CA’s GDP is an acceptable cost for water??? But my take is that 58 cents/cL is the cost of the desalinization process itself. Building the plants and pumping ocean water to the agricultural areas of California would take an immense investment in energy and infrastructure. And what about non-coastal states – giant pipes for water? Why are these costs more acceptable than mitigation of climate change?

    Didn’t he start with an article saying half a million people were going to die for diet-related reasons due to climate change? (I wonder if this considers the potential effects on the ocean food web, from which billions benefit)

    ” The technology is banal: machinery that can harvest fields quickly when destructive weather threatens; plastic bags and metal silos to keep insects out of grain; roads and trucks to take produce quickly to market, plastic crates to keep it from getting crushed en route, refrigerated warehouses to keep it fresh and canneries to preserve it. [20]

    “Global warming won’t crimp the world’s food supply much and decarbonization won’t safeguard it. Preserving and expanding the food supply to meet rising demand will rely on hum-drum investment in growing and processing food—doing what we do now, only more and better. Unfortunately, misplaced environmental priorities may undermine that program by demonizing important technologies like GMOs and championing organic farming and other low-input, low-yield models as replacements for industrial agriculture. To feed the world we will have to question that vision of sustainability.”

    He makes the same mistake again and again. Where are the residents of developing countries going to get the capital for all this? Farming equipment isn’t even a “hum-drum” investment for American farmers, one reason small farms can’t compete. One major problem with GMO seeds is that it is often patented, so every year new seed has to be purchased. There are geographic, social, environmental, political and economic considerations he ignores.

    It’s is not “misplaced environmental priorities” that makes people resist forcing the American model of agriculture on the third world, it’s also what is possible, desirable and sustainable, as well as recognizing the sovereignty of other nations.

    The Green Fund has over 40 adaptation projects planned to help people in developing nations.. We are now the One and Only country in the whole world that did not sign the Paris aagreement. We’ve already given a billion. It would have cost less that $6 a person for the rest of our pledge, and we could have signed. It’s shameful to be standing alone in our selfish unwillingness to take responsibility, and instead watch the rest of the world carry the burden when we have contributed more CO2 to the atmosphere than any other nation. It’s not about socialism, that’s a straw man; it’s a political and ethical question. A country that isn’t involved productively in global issues cannot be a leader of nations. .

    ..Then this guy says climate warming will be fine because people can use AIR CONDITIONING? Really? This is the answer to places becoming uninhabitable? A/C? Wearing a bubble to go outside? Has he no idea how much energy it takes to run A/C? Who will pay for it? Where will it come from? This is by far the most absurd idea I’ve come across in a while.

    Sea Level
    In short: disastrous, catastrophic, will necessitate the displacement of hundreds of millions, but really no big deal because people are already dealing with disaster, war and displacement, and technology will be there to fix the problems for those who can afford it. IOW, the rich will be fine so who cares if countless poor will die? That’s modernity!

    Boisvert apparently has little concept of the problems facing the developing world and completely leaves the natural world out of the picture. That’s not just an environmentalist issue, it’s also an economic and social one, and it’s consistently ignored. People think superficial measures of human well-being are all that will affect us. Few models take into account things like expansion of pest and weed ranges, the relative competitive responses of weeds vs. crops in high co2 regimes, how high co2 might affect oceanic algal blooms, what early budding might mean for forest water regimes, how longer growing seasons could enable more generations of insect disease vectors per season… Of course, there are benefits, too, and simplification is bound to happen.

Leave a Reply - if your comment doesn't appear right away, it may have been intercepted by the SPAM filter. Please have patience while our moderation team examines it.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s