Is climate alarmist consensus about to shatter?

Foreword by Paul Driessen

A new study by climatologists Nicholas Lewis and Judith Curry concludes that Earth’s “equilibrium climate sensitivity” (ECS) to more atmospheric carbon dioxide is as much as 50% lower than climate alarmists have been claiming. That their paper was published in the Journal of Climate  suggests that the asserted “97% consensus” of climate experts may be eroding.

Or as Cornwall Alliance founder Cal Beisner puts it (paraphrasing Winston Churchill) it may not be the beginning of the end of climate alarmism. But it could be the end of the beginning of alarmism as the dominant, ever-victorious tenet of our times.

Indeed, say other noted climatologists, there are good reasons to think ECS and alarmist errors are even greater than 50 percent. For one thing, there is no persuasive reason to assume our planet’s climate system and deep ocean temperatures were ever in “energy balance” back in the late 1800s – so we can’t know whether or how much they might be “out of balance” today. Moreover, solar, volcanic and ocean current variations could be sufficient to explain all the global warming over the period of allegedly anthropogenic warming – which means there is no global warming left to blame on carbon dioxide.

If this is indeed the case, there is no justification for the punitive, job-killing, poverty-prolonging energy policies that “climate consensus” and “renewable energy” proponents have been demanding.

Is climate alarmist consensus about to shatter?

Is this the Beginning of the End – or at least the End of the Beginning?

E. Calvin Beisner

On November 10, 1942, after British and Commonwealth forces defeated the Germans and Italians at the Second Battle of El Alamein, Winston Churchill told the British Parliament, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

In The Hinge of Fate, volume 3 of his marvelous 6-volume history of World War II, he reflected, “It may almost be said, ‘Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat’.”

The publication of Nicholas Lewis and Judith Curry’s newest paper in The Journal of Climate reminds me of that. The two authors for years have focused much of their work on figuring out how much warming should come from adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. In this paper they conclude that it’s at least 30% and probably 50% less than climate alarmists have claimed for the last forty years.

In fact, there are reasons to think the alarmists’ error is even greater than 50 percent. And if that is true, then all the reasons for drastic policies to cut carbon dioxide emissions – by replacing coal, oil and natural gas with wind and solar as dominant energy sources – simply disappear. Here’s another important point.

For the last 15 years or more, at least until a year or two ago, it would have been inconceivable that The Journal of Climate would publish their article. That this staunch defender of climate alarmist “consensus science” does so now could mean the alarmist dam has cracked, the water’s pouring through, and the crack will spread until the whole dam collapses.

Is this the beginning of the end of climate alarmists’ hold on climate science and policy, or the end of the beginning? Is it the Second Battle of El Alamein, or is it D-Day? I don’t know, but it is certainly significant. It may well be that henceforth the voices of reason and moderation will never suffer a defeat.

Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming was edited 13 years ago by climatologist Patrick J. Michaels, then Research Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and the State Climatologist of Virginia; now Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies at the Cato Institute. Its title was at best premature.

The greatly exaggerated “consensus” – that unchecked human emissions of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases would cause potentially catastrophic global warming – wasn’t shattered then, and it hasn’t shattered since then. At least, that’s the case if the word “shattered” means what happens when you drop a piece of fine crystal on a granite counter top: instantaneous disintegration into tiny shards.

However, although premature and perhaps a bit hyperbolic, the title might have been prophetic.

From 1979 (when the National Academy of Sciences published “Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment”) until 2013 (when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its “5th Assessment Report” or AR5), “establishment” climate-change scientists claimed that – if the concentration of carbon dioxide (or its equivalent in other “greenhouse” gases) doubled – global average surface temperature would rise by 1.5–4.5 degrees C, with a “best estimate” of about 3 degrees. (That’s 2.7–8.1 degrees F, with a “best” of 5.4 degrees F.)

But late in the first decade of this century, spurred partly by the atmosphere’s failure to warm as rapidly as the “consensus” predicted, various studies began challenging that conclusion, saying “equilibrium climate sensitivity” (ECS) was lower than claimed. As the Cornwall Alliance reported four years ago:

“The IPCC estimates climate sensitivity at 1.5˚C to 4.5˚C, but that estimate is based on computer climate models that failed to predict the absence of warming since 1995and predicted, on average, four times as much warming as actually occurred from 1979 to the present. It is therefore not credible. Newer, observationally based estimates have ranges like 0.3˚C to 1.0˚C (NIPCC 2013a, p. 7) or 1.25˚C to 3.0˚C – with a best estimate of 1.75˚C (Lewis and Crok 2013, p. 9). Further, “No empirical evidence exists to support the assertion that a planetary warming of 2°C would be net ecologically or economically damaging” (NIPCC 2013a, p. 10).” [Abbreviated references are identified here.]

However, most of the lower estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity were published in places that are not controlled by “consensus” scientists and thus were written off or ignored.

Now, though, a journal dead center in the “consensus” – the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate – has accepted a new paper, “The impact of recent forcing and ocean heat uptake data on estimates of climate sensitivity,” by Nicholas Lewis and Judith Curry. It concludes that ECS is very likely just 50–70% as high as the “consensus” range. (Lewis is an independent climate science researcher in the UK. Curry was Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology and now is President of the Climate Forecast Applications Network.)

Here’s how Lewis and Curry summarize their findings in their abstract, with the takeaways emphasized:

“Energy budget estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) and transient climate response (TCR) [increase in global average surface temperature at time of doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration, i.e., 70 years assuming 1% per annum increase in concentration] are derived based on the best estimates and uncertainty ranges for forcing provided in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Scientific Report (AR5).

“Recent revisions to greenhouse gas forcing and post-1990 ozone and aerosol forcing estimates are incorporated and the forcing data extended from 2011 to 2016. Reflecting recent evidence against strong aerosol forcing, its AR5 uncertainty lower bound is increased slightly. Using a 1869–1882 base period and a 2007−2016 final period, which are well-matched for volcanic activity and influence from internal variability, medians are derived for ECS of 1.50 K (5−95%: 1.05−2.45 K) and for TCR of 1.20 K (5−95%: 0.9−1.7 K). These estimates both have much lower upper bounds than those from a predecessor study using AR5 data ending in 2011.

Using infilled, globally-complete temperature data gives slightly higher estimates; a median of 1.66 K for ECS (5−95%: 1.15−2.7 K) and 1.33 K for TCR (5−95%:1.0−1.90 K). These ECS estimates reflect climate feedbacks over the historical period, assumed time-invariant.

Allowing for possible time-varying climate feedbacks increases the median ECS estimate to 1.76 K (5−95%: 1.2−3.1 K), using infilled temperature data. Possible biases from non-unit forcing efficacy, temperature estimation issues and variability in sea-surface temperature change patterns are examined and found to be minor when using globally-complete temperature data. These results imply that high ECS and TCR values derived from a majority of CMIP5 climate models are inconsistent with observed warming during the historical period.

A press release from the Global Warming Policy Forum quoted Lewis as saying, “Our results imply that, for any future emissions scenario, future warming is likely to be substantially lower than the central computer model-simulated level projected by the IPCC, and highly unlikely to exceed that level.”

Veteran environmental science writer Ronald Bailey commented on the new paper in Reason, saying: “How much lower? Their median ECS estimate of 1.66°C (5–95% uncertainty range: 1.15–2.7°C) is derived using globally complete temperature data. The comparable estimate for 31 current generation computer climate simulation models cited by the IPCC is 3.1°C. In other words, the models are running almost two times hotter than the analysis of historical data suggests that future temperatures will be.

“In addition, the high-end estimate of Lewis and Curry’s uncertainty range is 1.8°C below the IPCC’s high-end estimate.” [emphasis added]

Cornwall Alliance Senior Fellow Dr. Roy W. Spencer (Principal Research Scientist in Climatology at the University of Alabama-Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for NASA’s satellite global temperature monitoring program) commented on the paper. Even Lewis and Curry’s figures make several assumptions that are at best unknown and quite likely false. He noted:

“I’d like to additionally emphasize overlooked (and possibly unquantifiable) uncertainties: (1) the assumption in studies like this that the climate system was in energy balance in the late 1800s in terms of deep ocean temperatures; and (2) that we know the change in radiative forcing that has occurred since the late 1800s, which would mean we would have to know the extent to which the system was in energy balance back then.

“We have no good reason to assume the climate system is ever in energy balance, although it is constantly readjusting to seek that balance. For example, the historical temperature (and proxy) record suggests the climate system was still emerging from the Little Ice Age in the late 1800s. The oceans are a nonlinear dynamical system, capable of their own unforced chaotic changes on century to millennial time scales, that can in turn alter atmospheric circulation patterns, thus clouds, thus the global energy balance. For some reason, modelers sweep this possibility under the rug (partly because they don’t know how to model unknowns).

“But just because we don’t know the extent to which this has occurred in the past doesn’t mean we can go ahead and assume it never occurs.

“Or at least if modelers assume it doesn’t occur, they should state that up front.

“If indeed some of the warming since the late 1800s was natural, the ECS would be even lower.”

With regard to that last sentence, Spencer’s University of Alabama research colleague Dr. John Christy and co-authors Dr. Joseph D’Aleo and Dr. James Wallace published a paper in the fall of 2016 (revised in the spring of 2017). It argued that solar, volcanic and ocean current variations are sufficient to explain all the global warming over the period of allegedly anthropogenic warming, leaving no global warming to blame on carbon dioxide.

At the very least, this suggests that indeed “some of the warming since the late 1800s was natural” – which means the ECS would be even lower than Lewis and Curry’s estimate.

All of this has important policy implications.

Wisely or not, the global community agreed in the 2015 Paris climate accords to try to limit global warming to at most 2 C degrees – preferably 1.5 degrees – above pre-Industrial (pre-1850) levels.

If Lewis and Curry are right, and the warming effect of CO2 is only 50–70% of what the “consensus” has said, cuts in CO2 emissions need not be as drastic as previously thought. That’s good news for the billions of people living in poverty and without affordable, reliable electricity. Their hope for electricity is seriously compromised by efforts to impose a rapid transition from abundant, affordable, reliable fossil fuels to diffuse, expensive, unreliable wind and solar (and other renewable) as chief electricity sources.

Moreover, if Spencer (like many others who agree with him) is right that the assumptions behind ECS calculations are themselves mistaken … and Christy (like many others who agree with him) is right that some or all of the modern warming has been naturally driven – then ECS is even lower than Lewis and Curry thought. That would mean there is even less justification for the punitive, job-killing, poverty-prolonging energy policies sought by the “climate consensus” community.

Regardless, we’re coming closer and closer to fulfilling the prophecy in Michaels’ 2005 book. The alarmist “consensus” on anthropogenic global warming is about to be shattered – or at least eroded and driven into a clear minority status.

E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., is Founder and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

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John Garrett
May 2, 2018 4:05 am

Hope for the best, expect the worst.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  John Garrett
May 2, 2018 8:33 am

The MSM enablers of the “consensus” in the media are in trouble.
The old media is dying (CNN has had a porn star’s lawyer on 29 times in less than a month).
The new media is dying. Getting clickbait articles written for free by starry-eyed interns while you rake in the advertising bucks is so 2017.
So, yes, there is hope. The last frontier will be social media, and more and more people are logging off that.
All they’ll have left (so to speak) is late night “comedy”, and eventually that will turn on them.

Reply to  John Garrett
May 2, 2018 8:46 am

yes – I would say that this will have no effect on the movement at all. Because the movement is not about “Science” it has never been about science. That was just the vehicle to advance a political agenda, and this is a purely political fight. No numbers on paper will have even the slightest effect on the politics of this issue. The political wing has advanced far enough to not need the supposed “scientific” excuses it used at the beginning to empower it.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  wws
May 2, 2018 9:00 am

We have to change a good number of politicians first.

Reply to  wws
May 2, 2018 10:16 am

I have just finished rereading ‘How To Lie With Statistics’ by Darrell Huff. Originally published in 1954 it is well worth reading. A quote gives an example of how he shows the need to be wary of statistics
“Even the man in academic work may have a bias (possibly unconscious) to favour, a point to prove, an axe to grind. This suggests giving statistical material, the facts and figures in newspapers and books, magazines and advertising, a very sharp second look before accepting any of them.”

Reply to  wws
May 2, 2018 10:30 am

I once read that although figures do not lie, liars figure.

Phil R
Reply to  wws
May 2, 2018 11:49 am

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”

Reply to  wws
May 2, 2018 11:53 am

“No numbers on paper will have even the slightest effect on the politics of this issue. The political wing has advanced far enough to not need the supposed “scientific” excuses it used at the beginning to empower it.”
True enough; however, when enough constituents realise they’ve been taken for an expensive ride and their voting preferences swing accordingly, the political wing either adapts (by jumping clear of the train wreck about to happen) or they cling ever tighter to their gravy train as it derails and become an unelectable irrelevance in the process (just as the cheer squad in the lame stream media who can’t let it go are already are losing relevance).

Kristi Silber
Reply to  wws
May 2, 2018 11:58 pm

There are two political wings. One uses science to support its claims, the other spreads distrust of science to support its claims.

Reply to  John Garrett
May 2, 2018 2:34 pm

The worst I expect… Alarmists are nearly all progressives/leftists, as such they never admit they’re wrong about anything. So no, the consensus is not about to shatter.
The best I hope for… I’m wrong and the alarmists admit they’re wrong.

Santa Baby
Reply to  John Garrett
May 2, 2018 3:03 pm

Just get rid of the policy based climate science? And UNFCCC and IPCC.

May 2, 2018 4:08 am

AGW has taken on the properties of a religion, or at the very least a belief system, so the scientific consensus doesn’t matter any more.

Reply to  rh
May 2, 2018 4:36 am

Scientific consensus has never mattered before for scientific progress. Science is (or should be) a meritocracy, not a democracy.

dodgy geezer
Reply to  Javier
May 2, 2018 8:07 am

Actually, progess is pretty much the opposite of consensus….

Reply to  Javier
May 2, 2018 8:38 am

To use an old quote: Science advances one funeral at a time.

Reply to  MarkW
May 2, 2018 8:45 am

Max Planck’s words. The old guard always resists change because their curriculum and their mental frame rests on the old science.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Javier
May 2, 2018 10:39 am

Or as Michael Chricton put it, “If it’s consensus, it isn’t science; if it’s science, it isn’t consensus.”

Reply to  rh
May 2, 2018 4:38 am

In fact, it was never about science to begin with. It was was about Earthday values merged with huge rent seeking opportunity and globalist cronyism.

Tom in Denver
Reply to  cwon14
May 2, 2018 7:36 am

I agree, Years ago, globalists found AGW to be the perfect means to the ends of creating a global government. In Michael Crichton’s book about the Global Warming Scam he had collected a bunch of data in the appendix at the end of the book. He conducted a Nexus search on when certain global warming keywords (such as unprecedented) had started appearing in literature. Surprisingly these keywords had suddenly began appearing within a year after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Ya think there might be a connection?

Tom Gelsthorpe
Reply to  rh
May 2, 2018 4:40 am

Well said.

Reply to  rh
May 2, 2018 5:33 am

As someone else indicated last week, AGW is a cult. It demands unquestioning obeisance to its rules, or else – OUTCAST!!!
I hope Lewis & Curry are heading in the right direction, and that “others” will pay attention.

Reply to  Sara
May 2, 2018 6:20 am

Unfortunately, Curry has been branded a heretic. Heretics are often proven right, but not usually until long after they’re dead.

Reply to  Sara
May 2, 2018 7:08 am

Right direction; wrong strategy.
The ‘others’ will only pay attention if the legitimate scientific community realizes that they also must play by the P/R dogmas that are being used against them –
Keep the message simple and keep repeating it / Make it emotional / Don’t allow debates / Demonize the opposition.

Reply to  Sara
May 2, 2018 7:24 am

Sara, I ment to post this comment in here, but it dropped to the botton of page.
WXcycles on May 2, 2018 at 7:20 am

Reply to  rh
May 2, 2018 5:55 am

I have long contended that CAGW is a full-on religion. It has a dogma, followers, a heirarchy of experts that will tell the followers what to believe. It even excommunicates followers that transgress against the dogma.

Reply to  Hivemind
May 2, 2018 6:17 am

There are also climate sins, redemption, tithing, the inquisition, and every other aspect of a religion. We “deniers” are as likely to change minds as an atheist at church.

Reply to  Hivemind
May 2, 2018 7:36 am

They still need to scourge and crucify Mann though.

dodgy geezer
Reply to  Hivemind
May 2, 2018 8:08 am

…And they have a large bowl for donations…

Reply to  Hivemind
May 2, 2018 9:28 am

I would say ‘cult’ over religion – it displays exactly the same characteristics and tactics designed to keep the faithful in line, hostile and impervious to any outside reason. The principal of these is to control the narrative inside the organisation. A paper from an established, well regarded scientist (albeit a ‘denier’) likely stands more chance of penetrating the faithful’s consciousness if left rumbling away outside the the walls.
Call me cynical, but if you publish the paper, you can do a more effective (and controlled) hatchet job on it – maybe complete with false apologies, editorial resignations and a retraction..

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Hivemind
May 2, 2018 9:53 am

I believe in the scientific method Test a hypothesis with well measured data. Climate science has not done that . Instead they have used computer models to push their religion. Science is dying because of it.

Reply to  rh
May 2, 2018 6:05 am

Unfortunately, the people who set policy don’t have a clue when it comes to understanding even the most basic concepts of climate science. They simply accept the so-called “consensus” as gospel and never bother to question any of it. Religion 101.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  rh
May 2, 2018 6:06 am

The well meaning concern of a few environmental worryworts was co-opted by Socialists to destroy Capitalism.

J Mac
Reply to  John Harmsworth
May 2, 2018 9:02 am

Just so, John! +100!

Reply to  rh
May 2, 2018 7:31 am

Yep. When actual science contradicts its cherished beliefs, the liberal left is extremely anti-science. link
If it could be conclusively demonstrated that burning fossil fuels was completely beneficial to the environment with no harms at all (I know this isn’t the case), the liberal left would turn against, or at best ignore, the science in an instantaneous step function. It would be like throwing a switch. BAM!

Caligula Jones
Reply to  rh
May 2, 2018 8:26 am

That’s about it.
In science, you eventually have to show your work. If your science is truly science, your projections will get better, not (like climate “science”), worse.
Only religion accepts things on faith.
Kinda reminds me of this guy (yes, may be a coincidence, but still…)

Reply to  Caligula Jones
May 2, 2018 8:42 am

Even in religious debates, you are expected to ground your arguments in Biblical passages, and then show why your interpretation is the correct one.

Reply to  Caligula Jones
May 2, 2018 8:50 am

“In science, you eventually have to show your work. If your science is truly science, your projections will get better, not (like climate “science”), worse.
Only religion accepts things on faith.”
That’s one of the big reasons the Left hates Scott Pruitt and is trying to manufacture a “scandal” to take him out. He’s directed that the EPA only be allowed to use studies for which the data are published and can be examined.
The Left demands that the conclusions of any “Study” they support be taken on Faith, and that NO ONE be allowed to see the actual data used.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  rh
May 3, 2018 5:27 am

Not a religion, an excuse.

May 2, 2018 4:11 am

All it will take to bring alarmism into prominence again is a really hot summer on the east coast. The media doesn’t like to sweat 🙂

High Treason
May 2, 2018 4:13 am

Even more suspect is the way debate is crushed. If there is a hint that the science is flawed, it must be reviewed. REAL science does not let anything just go through to the keeper because some refuse to debate.
The “consensus” is very shaky- it relies on semantic manipulation and suspect questions.

Reply to  High Treason
May 3, 2018 1:17 am

More over you mean avoiding the hard questions. You see it with classical physics when it confronts Quantum Mechanics and it’s all shown to be wrong. I bet if we ran a consensus survey on classical physics it would get up.
There used to be a consensus that Earth is flat and the centre of the universe and those arguing against it were physically burned alive. Nothing much has changed in Climate Science.

Tom Gelsthorpe
May 2, 2018 4:19 am

Short answer: No, the climate alarmist consensus is NOT about to shatter. It’s taken on many aspects of a new religion, with aggressive proselytizing, a list of sins to avoid — or pretend to avoid — and hideous scenarios for everything from Rocky Mountain rodents to walruses to New England suburbanites, if the sinning continues.
The climate change priesthood is making too much money and garnering too much adulation to quit their schtick. There is a chance, however, that the marginally interested public will get doomsday fatigue and stop listening. But with 7 billion people in the world and most Western media sympathetic, the alarmist elite can continue to run their show at a juicy profit for quite some time. Half a billion in perpetual panic are enough to keep Al Gore, Bill McKibben, James Hansen, Naomi Klein, et alia in clover.

Reply to  Tom Gelsthorpe
May 2, 2018 4:54 am

They can and will continue but it is becoming clear that their influence and ability to drive policy with their meme is wanning.
For example here in the US Ford recently announced it’s ending production of most of it’s midsized sedan and compact models because people want larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs. Honda’s Accord sales are miserable despite the boost of being named car of the year. Tesla most likely won’t have the cash to make it through this year.
I look on those developments and many others as evidence that the scam is in decline and that the indoctrination of mellinials by academia has not stuck.

Reply to  Rah
May 2, 2018 5:06 am

Hey mod. No reason to hold my post on vehicle sales indicating the decline of the alarmist meme.

Reply to  Rah
May 2, 2018 8:43 am

The word “sc@m” will always send your post into moderation.

Reply to  Tom Gelsthorpe
May 2, 2018 5:00 am

As long as it keeps a cap on the wasted money invested in the scam maybe that is all we can hope for. Labour banged away around 12 billion on a wasted NHS computer system a few years back so where ever you look there are cranks wasting money.

Reply to  richard
May 2, 2018 6:51 am

Good point on the NHS computer system.
It also illustrates that spending on renewable’s won’t stop for a long time. Politicians can have their noses rubbed in the facts for a long time before they take any notice.
Part of the problem is, of course, that they have awarded contracts and promised subsidies for decades to come just to attract industry to provide what is otherwise a wholly unprofitable means of power generation.
Nor will the current government, nor the current opposition want to admit they were both wrong during their continuing political tenure. The breakthrough will come when the scientific case proving AGW is nonsense gathers support from the public and the media and an enterprising political candidate spots that and makes it central to a run for political leadership. This is pretty well true across Europe.
The USA already has that leadership candidate and as they say, when America sneezes, Europe catches a cold (paraphrasing).
The BBC published a report: ‘Rising levels of ‘frustration’ at UN climate stalemate’ which demonstrates the chaos the Paris Treaty is descending into.
Once again, a climate agreement heading for the rocks, and with growing awareness across the western world of the cost of renewable’s to the individual, expensive, lavish, international climate conferences may become a thing of the past quite soon.

Reply to  richard
May 2, 2018 8:12 am

According to Charles Ortel, a financial tax fraud investigator, who is exposing the Clinton ‘Climate Initiatives’ as part of a series(now more than 70 episode) on Jason Goodman’s ‘Crowdsource the Truth 2 on youtube’, there is plenty of evidence to warrant full investigations. Check out ‘Green Regs and Scam’. He’s just started this series and there’s much more to come. Charles Ortel thoroughly presents solid evidence for those who could use it to further the cause of putting an end to such fraud.

4 Eyes
May 2, 2018 4:27 am

Shattering is almost instantaneous. Given the stakes – private capital, government capital, private reputations and political reputations – nothing about the consensus will shatter, unless someone can come up with a class action for damages or similar.

Thomas Homer
Reply to  4 Eyes
May 2, 2018 8:04 am

4 Eyes: “Shattering is almost instantaneous”
I’m curious how the practice of bloodletting fell out of favor. I saw some reference that it was still practiced to some degree about 100 years ago. But I imagine there must’ve been some lingering believers. It has to be good for you, it’s been settled science for thousands of years!
Now when we consider that Carbon Dioxide is the lifeblood of life, we can compare the restriction of CO2 emissions with bloodletting. It is exactly the wrong thing to do.

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  Thomas Homer
May 2, 2018 11:55 am

The ongoing treatment for Polycythemia is a phlebotomy – removal of blood (a procedure very similar to donating blood). I am related to two people who each require a phlebotomy several times a year.

Justin McCarthy
Reply to  Thomas Homer
May 2, 2018 3:33 pm

That would imply that the UN et al are “leeches”. LOL

May 2, 2018 4:32 am

That their paper was published in the Journal of Climate suggests that the asserted “97% consensus” of climate experts may be eroding.

It can be argued that Lewis and Curry are from the 3% camp, so no erosion from that.

For the last 15 years or more, at least until a year or two ago, it would have been inconceivable that The Journal of Climate would publish their article.

Inconceivable to whom? To you? Judith Curry has published previously several articles at The Journal of Climate. Your opinion about The Journal of Climate is unsupported.
I don’t think you can make the point from their article that climate alarmist consensus is eroding. To start there is no consensus on alarmism among scientists to be eroded. Some consensus scientists are very alarmist while others are not. I think that what Patrick J. Michaels meant with “Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming” is that there has never been a consensus, not that there is one that is predicted to break.
The consensus is just propaganda that some people believe and others don’t. The promoters of the global warming scare are not going to dissolve and go home because Lewis and Curry have published a new paper. They’ll just ignore it as they did with the previous one.

Reply to  Javier
May 2, 2018 4:37 am


Reply to  Javier
May 2, 2018 5:03 am

Can’t erode something that never existed. What has erroded is the belief in the veracity of that lie.

Reply to  Rah
May 2, 2018 5:08 am

You mean that the people that believe it actually read Lewis and Curry 2018 and stop believing?
You have a lot of faith.

Reply to  Rah
May 2, 2018 5:13 am

No I mean that most of the general public has figured out that it was a lie.

Reply to  Rah
May 2, 2018 5:36 am

Or maybe some of us knew all along that it was baloney and have acted accordingly.

Reply to  Rah
May 2, 2018 5:46 am

Yes, those of us that are engaged did. But it took the majority of those not engaged some time.
It was acutully the 97 percent claim which got me engaged in the climate wars and set me on the path to learn about the science and arguments. Because In my experience you couldn’t get that percentage of any segment of the population to agree that the sky is blue on a clear sunny day.

Reply to  Rah
May 2, 2018 6:32 am

No I mean that most of the general public has figured out that it was a lie.

That statement is unsupported. You have your beliefs. Other people have theirs.
There is no evidence that things are changing in that respect.
The thing is that people think their beliefs are supported while other people’s beliefs are unsupported. That isn’t going to change.

Reply to  Rah
May 2, 2018 7:01 am

My beliefs are supported by what the general public DOES. They are buying large vehicles and not compacts. They aren’t buying electric cars once the artificial financial incentives are removed. They aren’t buying homes using alternative energy sources even with artificial encentuves. And mutiple polls over time have made it abundantly clear that “climate change” is at or very near the bottom of the list of their concerns and that they are unwilling to spend any significant proportion of their income to fight climate change.

Javert Chip
Reply to  Rah
May 2, 2018 7:28 am

Rah v Javier: I think Rah (and big SUVs) wins this one.

Reply to  Rah
May 2, 2018 9:34 am

My beliefs are supported by what the general public DOES.

People consuming habits are not a good guide. Otherwise you must be a strong believer on the goodness of junk food.

Reply to  Rah
May 2, 2018 10:15 am

If the people took the 97 percent consensus seriously they would change. And their answers on multiple surveys, including even one by the UN make it clear they don’t!

John Endicott
Reply to  Rah
May 2, 2018 11:22 am

“People consuming habits are not a good guide. Otherwise you must be a strong believer on the goodness of junk food”
Sorry, you analogy falls flat. Peoples junk food habits alone says nothing about the “goodness” of junk food. People do lots of things that aren’t good for them and if asked they readily admit to those not-good habits being not good. Now if you could couple that junk food habit with polls that consistently show consumers think eating junk food is a key part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, then you might have an analogy worth listening to.
Consumers rejection of “green” “planet saving” alternative-energy vehicles in favor of CO2 spewing gas guzzlers combined with poll after poll consistently showing CAGW as being very low on their list of priorities does suggest that they aren’t buying into the green narrative that the planet is in imminent danger from their SUVs.

Reply to  Javier
May 2, 2018 7:57 am

Javier, do not underestimate what so called “scientific consensus” means in the world of politics and bureaucracies. Sitting before a legislative committee the members really hate when they cannot get “a straight” answer. Having several “experts” before them preaching apparently totally different views of the world drives them nuts. So when someone tells them, and it is repeated regularly in the news media, that there is 95% consensus among scientists on an issue they buy in or at least take the easy way out and do not oppose the consensus. That so called consensus is then supported by radical lobbyists. The elected officials, often in the minority even in their own party, who stand up and say “wait a minute, what the heck is scientific consensus?” is a brave politician. Imagine a Democratic candidate speaking in opposition or just expressing doubts about CAGW. They would cut themselves off from millions of campaign funding from leftist billionaires.

Jeff in Calgary
Reply to  Javier
May 2, 2018 12:41 pm

Based on the definitions used in their “consensus” study, I’m fairly sure that this paper would have qualified as part of the 97%.

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
May 2, 2018 1:02 pm

I’m fairly sure that this paper would have qualified as part of the 97%.

Me too. 100% sure.

Richard M
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
May 3, 2018 7:06 am

I’ve already seen people claiming the paper supports AGW. So yes, it will be deemed supportive of the consensus.

May 2, 2018 4:36 am
May 2, 2018 4:36 am

Since the consensus is based on deep cultural politics and not observable science to begin with there is little chance for change. Failure to link the impact of Green culture to the climate enclave borders on obtuse.
A few consensus liberals will leave the reservation over generations but by preserving the facade of “mostly science” instead of focusing on the political culture driver is distracting at best. Climate consensus is driven by a globalist, high government mediation world view (leftist) steeped in Earthday rooted anti-industrial anti-individual collectivism. The war will be won or lost on this point and social acknowledgement.

Shawn Marshall
May 2, 2018 4:38 am

And then its possible the Skydragon people have had it right all along……it was reported by one of them that Dr. Curry, in answer to his challenge, decided to audit a thermo course and gave it up as — too frustrating or something?

Reply to  Shawn Marshall
May 3, 2018 2:00 am

The problem is there are very few in the field of climate science that have the hard science educational background to actually explain it. The whole argument these days is actually stupid because there are now dozens of meta-materials using the QM effect just google “radiative cooling metamaterial” or “radiative heating metamaterial” it can go either way and you can make or buy them if you want to test it.

May 2, 2018 4:49 am

The cabal of alarmist activist scientist know that the Earth is entering a cooling period and are now positioning themselves accordingly.
We have Jennifer Francis who promote the idea that the supposedly warm Arctic makes the Jetstream to become wavier, while we know from weather/climate history that it is solar inactivity and cold period which cause wavier jet streams.
Michael Mann and Stefan Rahmstorf have recently published research on Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) which they claim now has a slowing trend which started around the beginning of the 19th century caused by the start of the industrial revolution. Give me a break! The cause is a supposed rapid melting of Greenland fresh water. This of course is soon going to cool Europe and North America.
Their results are then promoted by the MSM as facts.

Reply to  Per Strandberg (@LittleIceAge)
May 2, 2018 5:40 am

Hey, those guys have to keep their cash flow going somehow! And you can be sure that if things happen that countermand their CAGW predictions, they will either remove their previous Alarmist CAGW stuff and replace it with Alarmist COLD stuff.

Reply to  Sara
May 2, 2018 5:57 am

That would deja Vu all over again.

May 2, 2018 4:51 am

there is no persuasive reason to assume our planet’s climate system and deep ocean temperatures were ever in “energy balance” back in the late 1800s – so we can’t know whether or how much they might be “out of balance” today.

balance : the very term evokes ‘organic’, ‘sustainable’, ‘renewable’, harmony or equality. Almost as if a designer has hard-wired the alarmist brain to seek a mythical harmony, perfect state, or Utopian moment to which they must home back to. Like birds coming home to roost; from which they are alarmed at every being separated.

Leo Smith
May 2, 2018 4:52 am

My gut feeling from exposure to many academics is that at least on the science side, they vast majority ‘dont want to talk about it’ and a large number use it to get funding, but reserve their opinions.
Most retiredscientists are on the skeptical side. The more they know about the issues, the more skeptical they seem to be.
The main drive for alarmism comes from politically oriented commentators – mainly of the broad left leaning ‘liberal’ persuasion where it is just another part of the virtue signalling they clothe themselves on to justify their rank abuse of the privilege they accuse others of having, and commercial marketing who exploit environmental issues to render last years model de facto or de jure obsolete (the European union spent a huge amount of time persuading us to buy ‘green’ diesel cars and now is spending its time telling us how polluting they are and taxing them back to oblivion, so we must now buy petrol instead).
It is academically interesting to argue about the science, but it’s not where climate alarmism is at.
The real battle is between monolithic global organisations who are using ‘social justice’ and ‘the environment’ as an excuse to dismantle nations states and cultural constructs that have stood the test of time – half because they want increased profits and half because they want more power to cement their privileges.

May 2, 2018 4:56 am

Here are two emails I sent to the co-authors recently.
From: Allan MacRae
Sent: April-28-18 6:51 AM
To: Nicholas Lewis and Judith Curry
Subject: Questions re you recent paper
The impact of recent forcing and ocean heat uptake data on estimates of climate sensitivity
Nicholas Lewis and Judith Curry
Hello Ms Curry and Mr Lewis:
Thank you for your recent paper in Journal of Climate.
Apologies for these questions. Kindly answer if you have the time.
Regards, Allan MacRae, Calgary
Questions re your recent paper
1. Methodology: How does your methodology differ from that of Christy and McNider (2017), which assumes that ALL observed warming (using satellite data from 1979 to mid-2017) is due to increased atmospheric CO2? As such, it seems to me that Christy and McNider are providing an “Upper Bound” of Lower Tropospheric (LT) TCR of 1.1K/(2xCO2), since some or all of this observed warming could be due to natural causes. I see you are using a 1869–1882 base period and a 2007−2016 final period, which must involve Surface Temperature (ST) measurements. Are your results (e.g. 1.66 K for ECS (5−95%: 1.15−2.7 K) and 1.33 K for TCR (5−95%:1.0−1.90 K)) an Upper Bound or an estimated average?
2. What confidence do you have in the ST data and from what source is it? How have you managed the recent data “adjustments” as described by Tony Heller?
3. Would your results be affected if you were to account for the observed close relationship between dCO2/dt and global average temperature, as approximated here?
This relationship when integrated shows that atmospheric CO2 trends lag global average temperature trends by about 9 months.
My original January 2008 paper on this relationship is here:
Spreadsheet at
I later observed a similar correlation between Mauna Loa CO2 and Surface Temperatures back to 1958.
Humlum et al reached similar conclusions in 2013 here:
– Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 11–12 months behind changes in global sea surface temperature.
– Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 9.5–10 months behind changes in global air surface temperature.
– Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 9 months behind changes in global lower troposphere temperature.
– Changes in ocean temperatures explain a substantial part of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 since January 1980.
– Changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions.”
I do not subscribe to the hypo that this data means that most or all of the observed CO2 increase is due to temperature change. Other sources of CO2 such as fossil fuel combustion, deforestation etc could contribute and could predominate, but still the clear dCO2/dt vs temperature relationship remains.
I do suggest that this data proves that temperature drives atmospheric CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature – otherwise the clear dCO2/dt vs temperature relationship would be drowned out. This leads me to conclude that ECS and TCR must be very low, probably much less than 1K/(2xCO2).
Thank you in advance for your comments.
From: Allan MacRae
Sent: April-29-18 9:02 PM
To: Nicholas Lewis and Judith Curry
Subject: RE: Questions re you recent paper
The Equatorial Pacific Ocean has a natural temperature cycle averaging about 36 months peak-to-peak.
Equatorial average air temperature and humidity follow Equatorial Pacific Ocean temperature – about 3 months after the Nino34 SST Anomaly and about 5 months after the East Equatorial Upper Ocean Temperature Anomaly.
Global average air temperature follows Equatorial average air temperature and humidity about 1 month later.
The rate of change atmospheric dCO2/dt varies ~contemporaneously with global average air temperature, and its integral the atmospheric CO2 trend lags the air temperature trend by ~9 months.
Here is the relationship between the ~9-month CO2 lag and the average 36-month cycle in the Equatorial Pacific.
Observations and Conclusions:
I proved in 2008 that dCO2/dt varies ~contemporaneously with global temperature, and its integral CO2 lags temperature by ~9 months.
The integral of the sine curve lags the sine curve by 90 degrees, which equals 1/4 of the 360 degree full cycle.
CO2 lags temperature by about 9 months, therefore this “short” cycle time is about 36 months.
Hypothesis: This approx. 36 month cycle is the Equatorial Pacific -> Global Temperature cycle.
Conclusion: Based on UAH LT peaks, the mean cycle is 36.3 months and the lag is 9.1 months vs the 9 months in my 2008 paper.
(The reason why your big comments goes into moderation are the large number of links) MOD

May 2, 2018 8:16 am

Understood – so many links – but I prefer to provide references – thank you for your hard work, mod.

May 2, 2018 4:58 am

I’d like to correct one misconception. Lewis & Curry 2018 does NOT assume that the climate system, and in particular the ocean, was in equilibrium in the mid/late 1800s. Our primary climate sensitivity estimate uses an estimated (downwards) radiative imbalance of +0.15 W/m2 during 1869-1882, as the ocean continued to warm up from a prevously colder period.

Reply to  niclewis
May 2, 2018 5:02 am

Nic and Judith – thank you for this paper. My above question is in moderation – I look forward to your response, if you have the time.

May 2, 2018 5:00 am

I agree with Javier in that the ‘climate consensus’ never existed to begin with and that it’s purely been a propaganda device. It just so happens that the propagandists have nearly complete control of the public megaphone and they use it to their advantage. My guess is that even if the Earth began the descent into another LIA the propagandists would transform their message to fit the changing scenario and that the practitioners of the AGW cult/religion would follow along without missing a beat. We’ve already seen that in action with the change in terminology from ‘Global Warming’ to ‘Climate Change’. Think of all the times throughout history that some charismatic conman who has attracted a huge following by predicting the end of the world. Even when their predictions fail to materialize the followers are slow to give up their beliefs. In short, there’s really no reasoning with unreasonable people and people who are susceptible to cultist thought are unreasonable.
I’ll also assert that any reasonable person should have known that the whole issue was suspect from the beginning because A) A professional politician/conman (Al Gore) became the public face of AGW B) That the assertion that the science, or any science for that matter, was ‘settled’ and C) The ‘debate’ was over. In other words, another end-of-the-world doomsayer preaching the same old song and dance. Even after EVERY PREDICTION has failed to materialize as prophesied the true believers’ faith is unshaken.
The latter two points should have set off the alarm bells for anyone that has even the most modest training in science or even critical thinking! And as far as debating goes, if the science is so solid, robust and undeniable why not accept the challenge of the open debate? If I had a theory that I knew was air tight I’d take on any qualified person willing to debate the topic just to show how solid it really is. In reality, what we have is the exact opposite.

Reply to  JamesWaldo
May 2, 2018 5:09 am

Very good points James.
I was convinced that global warming alarmism was a false alarm when I first heard about it circa 1985. My initial skepticism was based on my two engineering degrees in Earth Sciences. I then studied the science for 17 more years before writing my first article circa 2002.
I am convinced that it is not only false but fraudulent – global warming alarmism is the most expensive scam in the history of humanity.

May 2, 2018 7:56 am

Thanks, Allan
I’ve been a geologist since the mid-1990’s. Before then AGW wasn’t quite on my radar screen, but once Al Gore came out as a champion of the theory after losing the presidential election I both became aware of it and knew it was a con. Then they gave Al the Nobel Peace prize for it I suppose in an attempt to give the whole thing credibility, which it did not do. What it did do was destroy the credibility of the whole Nobel prize.

May 2, 2018 10:45 am

I have to say that although I have no scientific background beyond the routine college courses, I was pretty sure that the CO2 claims were a scam right from the beginning. My experience shows that organized causes never die; they simply find new dragons to fight. Think of the March Of Dimes created to fund Polio research but still going strong despite Dr. Salk’s vaccine in the early 1950’s. They should have declared victory and folded their tents, leaving the field… but they didn’t. The Anti-pollution crowd found themselves in the same situation by the 1980’s. Pollution had pretty much been defeated or was being defeated in the U.S. from a practical standpoint. Chasing trace levels can only get you so much funding.
So I was in awe of the audacity in proclaiming CO2 – something every human exhales and the life-breath for plants- as the enemy. They chose a Devil that could never be defeated as long as a single Human breathes. Genius. No going out of business this time.
Naturally, they chose to ignore the natural sources of CO2 and instead hooked the all blame to Humankind and particularly to capitalism, as condemning human desire for a more pleasurable and comfortable life has been winning formulation for religions for millennia. Guilt fills collection plates. Forget dancing as a sin – now the very act of breathing is a mortal sin.
Great stuff….

Reply to  JamesWaldo
May 2, 2018 10:13 am

” …. It just so happens that the propagandists have nearly complete control of the public megaphone and they use it to their advantage. …..”
James , you left out the most important point. Those very propagandists have been in control of the grant streams and have attempted to destroy the careers of any that have questioned their ‘wisdom’ or grant streams, not to mention their “elite so-called “climate scientist” status”.
There should be prosecutions in many, many cases for fraud. Therein will lie their conundrum, do they claim ignorance or a party to major fraud.

Reply to  eyesonu
May 2, 2018 11:07 am

You’re right, eyesonu! I forgot to add the purse-strings in with the megaphone!

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  JamesWaldo
May 2, 2018 12:20 pm

I disagree.
The climate consensus that is “97%” was clearly articulated by Dr Judith Curry in her congressional testimony.
The consensus is, “Warming of the Earth’s surface due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions is real”.
That is also where the consensus also ends.
That says nothing about climate sensitivity to additional CO2 forcing, or what percentage of the 1950-2000 period was due to mankind’s CO2 emissions. Despite claims by politicized scientists to contrary, there actually is little consensus there on climate CO2 sensitivity.
The politicized science of climate change though argues that climate sensitivity is above 2 K per doubling of CO2, making it dangerous. All the observational evidence is increasingly making projections above 2.5 K untenable, creating a credibility problem in the Age of Trump and Pruitt at the EPA for the alarmists.
Sensitivity projections in the 3.0 – 4.5 K range are outright laughable at this point, and those who still try to invoke a tuned model output to make that claim are losing any remaining credibility they might have with mainstream science.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 4, 2018 11:21 am

Joel you lose your credibility card whenever you refer to the fake 97% concensus stat that was derived in the first place. Don’t even reply to this comment until you can accurately state what “methodology” that 97% figure was concocted from. It’s beyond laughable.

May 2, 2018 5:00 am

The calculation and maintenance of these parameters is wrongly taken to imply CO2 causes them.

Reply to  Bob Weber
May 2, 2018 5:33 am

Hi Bob,
Please see my Question 1 in my above post, currently in moderation. In summary:
I believe, correctly or incorrectly, that several such papers (e.g. Lewis and Curry 2018, Christy and McNider 2017) ASSUME for the sake of argument that ~ALL* observed warming is due to increased atmospheric CO2. As such, they are providing an “Upper Bound” or Maximum climate sensitivity.
[* exceptions are the impacts of major volcanoes and possibly a few other major external forcings).
My belief is that mean climate sensitivity is less than ~1.0C/(2xCO2) and probably much less, closer to 0.0 that to 1.0.
Best personal regards, Allan

Alan Tomalty
May 2, 2018 10:35 am

I agree . my calculations are 0.4

May 3, 2018 5:22 am

I think sensitivity is 0 (zero). Especially if the below is true.
In 1954, Hoyt C. Hottel conducted an experiment to determine the total emissivity/absorptivity of carbon dioxide and water vapor11. From his experiments, he found that the carbon dioxide has a total emissivity of almost zero below a temperature of 33 °C (306 K) in combination with a partial pressure of the carbon dioxide of 0.6096 atm cm. 17 year later, B. Leckner repeated Hottel’s experiment and corrected the graphs12 plotted by Hottel. However, the results of Hottel were verified and Leckner found the same extremely insignificant emissivity of the carbon dioxide below 33 °C (306 K) of temperature and 0.6096 atm cm of partial pressure. Hottel’s and Leckner’s graphs show a total emissivity of the carbon dioxide of zero under those conditions.
The numbers after certain words are the reference publication numbers in the linked article.

May 2, 2018 5:03 am

Victory for science in the end.
The rules upon which they tried to build their consensus are the same rules which must lead to its downfall.
These rules: Defining simplistic, formulaic terms upon which they demand agreement (97%, ‘climate change’, ‘carbon pollution’). Redefining those terms in practice by trying to dominate the debate. e.g. Such that ‘climate change’ morphs into various projected, man-made, catastrophes. The consensus ‘worked’ because they policed the debate. Taking control of the editorship of journals, the distribution of grants (which itself depends upon previous publication, finding a novel angle to climate change, etc.). Selecting peer-reviewers to make sure papers from ‘our’ consensus side are sympathetically reviewed and papers from the ‘skeptical side’ get hostile reviews. Harassing the media, especially science journalists to blackout skepticism, so, in practice, only alarmism is reported. Recruiting an army of self-styled progressives from Green NGOs and the left to harass everyone in a debate. In practice, they behave like yahoos, not progressives.
Science and scientists, by their nature, reject such policing attempts.

Reply to  mark4asp
May 2, 2018 12:49 pm

Who did I say those yahoos were? Perhaps I should widen the accusation?

A veteran Ph.D. meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) was physically assaulted by NWS Director Louis Uccellini for mentioning “cooling” during a talk about the Earth’s climate in 2014 according to an account provided to CFACT.
“Don’t ever mention the word cooling again,” the agency’s Director warned.

May 2, 2018 5:24 am

The real problem is that governments incentivizes climate alarmism because it suits their goals of centralizing more power in themselves. Scientists will continue to look for (and find) more support for alarmism as they are rewarded financially and professionally for the behavior. Until this symbiotic relationship is broken, I expect more advocacy dressed up as science for the foreseeable future.

Adam Gallon
May 2, 2018 5:27 am

No, it’s not about to shatter. Only a prolonged (it’ll need over 20 tears) temperature stasis, or cooling, will shatter it. Already repositioning has occurred, “ocean acidification”. No change in temperature, but still a harmful effect of our sinful ways.

Reply to  Adam Gallon
May 2, 2018 5:53 am

Hello Adam,
Global temperatures already declined for about 37 years, from ~1940 to ~1977, even as fossil fuel combustion and atmospheric CO2 accelerated.
Furthermore, John Christy and Richard McNider concluded in their 2017 paper that the upper bound for LT TCS was 1.1C/(2xCO2) [+/- confidence limits], and their credibility is not exceeded in the scientific community.
This so-called “global warming consensus” is a multi-trillion dollar scam, and it will not be abandoned quickly or easily.

May 2, 2018 5:28 am

I think it would be correct to state that the “consensus” has just been fracked!

May 2, 2018 5:36 am

From my perspective there is no hard evidence of a dominant human contribution to changing climate, no way to separate the “natural” and human signals; and there is no evidence that a warming trend is bad for us.
What we have are a lot of claims, bad science, and fear mongering——just like the witch doctors (and other shaman) used to do to gather power and prestige for themselves when blaming people for making the spirits angry.

Kristi Silber
Reply to  MS
May 2, 2018 11:43 pm

Well, that’s from your perspective, as you point out. There are other perspectives out there that are based on more information.

Don B
May 2, 2018 5:38 am

No, the alarmism consensus is not about to shatter. The activists have too much invested in their cause to suddenly change their minds – they will be dragged, kicking and screaming.
 “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

May 2, 2018 5:45 am

Is climate alarmist consensus about to shatter?
No. The consensus enforcers are out, rubbishing the new paper and declaring that climate sensitivity is high.
See for example this tweet from Reto Knutti
“Excellent synthesis by Caldwell et al. of 19 modeling studies relating observations to climate sensitivity. Conclusion: climate sensitivity is very unlikely to be low, i.e. future warming from CO2 will not be small.”

Reply to  Paul Matthews
May 2, 2018 5:50 am
Reply to  Paul Matthews
May 2, 2018 6:38 am

Dresssler wrote: “So let’s do something simple…”
If you do something simple, such as Christy and McNider (2017) did, you conclude that there is NO evidence that climate is highly sensitive to increasing CO2. Christy and McNider’s calculated LT TCS for the satellite era was 1.1C/(2xCO2), which means that the global warming crisis does NOT exist, except in the fevered minds of extremists.
The warmists will stand on their heads to get another grant or justify another worthless green energy scheme.

Reply to  Paul Matthews
May 2, 2018 8:37 am

Dessler’s critique has already been thoroughly rebuted by Nic Lewis over at Climate Etc.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Paul Matthews
May 2, 2018 10:38 am

What do 19 modelling studies prove? NOTHING

Reply to  Paul Matthews
May 2, 2018 6:23 am

Knutti comment – very knutti – climate models prove nothing = GIGO. Total nonsense.
“Excellent synthesis by Caldwell et al. of 19 modeling studies relating observations to climate sensitivity. Conclusion: climate sensitivity is very unlikely to be low, i.e. future warming from CO2 will not be small.”

May 2, 2018 8:43 am

Wow Allan, you are on a roll today starting about 4 AM, the effort you put into your Lewis//Curry letter warmed the air all the way up here to Airdrie…

May 2, 2018 10:56 am

Hello DMackenzie,
A warmer world is a kinder, gentler world.
Best, Allan
Twenty times more people die from cold than die from heat – about 2 million Excess Winter Deaths every year worldwide – one hundred thousand of them in the good ol’ US of A! That’s two 9-11’s per week for 17 weeks every year!

By Joseph D’Aleo and Allan MacRae, September 4, 2015

May 2, 2018 5:59 am

I don’t think you’ll ever be able to put an end to the climate change hysteria with facts and logic. It’s now deeply entrenched in leftist political ideology, which has always been impervious to facts and logic.

Reply to  DGP
May 2, 2018 6:10 am

It is a political tactic/movement and in the end must be defeated in the realm of politics.

May 2, 2018 5:59 am

Okay, well, what if the Little Ice Age didn’t really “end”, after all, and the “pause” we’ve been living in and expanding in all areas (population, agriculture, science, etc.) is slowly coming to a Kalte Ende?
If my grandfather recorded a blizzard in his journal in 1875 (I don’t have a later one, for 1878) and there were subsequent blizzards that followed and buried cities (NYC, e.g.), and we’re having the same things now – yes, it’s weather. But weather is the short term and “climate” is the long term (as so many note) and a short warm pause between colder weather periods COULD be more significant than you think.
I do have Grandpa’s Klondike journal, when he was up in the Great Frozen North digging for gold for four years. He paid close attention to things like blizzards and an avalanche at Chillicothe Pass, and how cold it was in the cabin he shared with three other gold rushers (-6F). (I guess I’ve inherited that watchful streak.)
However, if you will recall, Alaska and that area went through a warming period a few years ago in which highways were buried by avalanches from melting glaciers. Shocking! And Chillicothe Pass was completely bare of snow and ice.
So isn’t is possible that this “warm period” we’ve been in was just a pause in the Little Ice Age, instead of the end of it? In my view, anything is both possible and plausible.

May 2, 2018 6:19 am

I see all types of excuses, and explanations of where this paper ‘goes wrong’, including statements like, ‘we have models that prove..,’ and, ‘clearly there has been a downward (probably man-made) forcing of global temperatures, masking the true effect of carbon dioxide. When those forcings end, as they will, then we will suddely see catastrophic warming. With no time to adapt, the future will be worse than we thought.’
This charade will not end until we have experienced three decades of undeniably cold weather. I will not see that in my lifetime. The only other way this could end would be worse: the successful establishment of totalitarian world governments dismissing science altogether, doing as they wish, and destroying all who oppose. Hopefully I won’t live to see that,

Jeff in Calgary
Reply to  Jtom
May 2, 2018 1:00 pm

I think it will end like so many other political stories, just kind of slowly loose steam as people get sick of hearing about it. Already, most people I talk to treat it like an old joke.

Mumbles McGuirck
May 2, 2018 6:25 am

I think that faith in any belief system is a catastrophic system:
People will continue to have faith in something until, all of a sudden, they don’t. The transformation is rather sudden. I like to use the example of England’s Glorious Revolution of 1688. The English nobility were solidly behind James II until William of Orange landed his troops. Support for James evaporated like snow in a snow drift in a chinook.
We also have to distinguish between the ‘consensus’ among scientists and public opinion. The latter has been eroding as show by various opinion polls. People just aren’t seeing the catastrophe they had been promised. For many scientists, especially those who have not studied the evidence on climate, they’ve been sold on on the concept that skepticism is an “attack on science”. Their instinct is to rally ’round the flag and not look too closely at which side they are actually on. That is the consensus that is beginning to ‘crack’ as more scientists become aware of the arguments from other scientists that ‘global warming’ ain’t what it ever was.

May 2, 2018 6:26 am

Is there a climate sensitivity?
For sensitivity to exist it must be shown that temperature is responsive to changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration at an annual time scale. This responsiveness is not found in the data.

May 2, 2018 6:29 am

Anyone who believes there ever was a 97% has never read the methodology on how that farcical number was manufactured. Lewis and Curry are just part of the 50% of scientists that never believed the made up hype.

Reply to  Steve
May 2, 2018 6:42 am

Even warmist scientists quote the 97% papers. Metholodology matters not to any of them. Scientists protect their own standing—years and thousands of dollars for a PhD means you back all PhD’s, lest you get attacked. Lay people—too lazy to bother to check methods. If scientists voted that the theory is right, good enough for most. Good scientists will fight back, but the number willing to sacrifice to fight back is quite small. That’s why made up hype, enforced with humiliation, tormenting and ridicule of dissenters, sells so well and is so hard to overcome.

Reply to  Steve
May 2, 2018 7:12 am

97% was also Joseph Stalin’s favourite percentage of votes in every election.
Given the politics of the Greens it is rather fitting.

John Endicott
Reply to  Ve2
May 2, 2018 11:31 am

well, since most greens are watermelons, its not only fitting but also not surprising.

May 2, 2018 6:38 am

If the comment sections on blogs is any indication, no, it’s not shattering. Not a bit. The Lewis and Curry paper is already being brought up and vilified. Yes, if pushed, the commenter usually resorts to nasty insults, but that’s what always happens. I see no difference at this point. The belief remains strong. (Trolls give up faster, but that’s in politics, global warming, all topics. Not sure why. I don’t know that it even means anything.)

John Endicott
Reply to  Sheri
May 2, 2018 11:33 am

Since most of the “consensus” backing blogs block/delete comments that go against the party line, I don’t think you can use that as a gage of any reliability

Coach Springer
May 2, 2018 6:46 am

About consensus and percentage of certainty. Internet weather services list 100% chance of precipitation 3 days out and later change it to 0%. So, how does one arrive at 100% when it can not be 100%. Same goes for 97%.

Reply to  Coach Springer
May 2, 2018 8:41 am

Well, that’s the kicker right there: even the weather service can’t make accurate predictions ore than three to four days ahead, and they seldom take into account variables like a push of cold air coming down from the north, or a heat wave coming up from the south.
Not one weather forecaster in Chicago predicted the February 2, 2011, blizzard. Not one. Many people were stranded in their cars on the Outer Drive because of a bus breakdown and limited access and NO ONE predicted gale force winds off Lake Michigan during that storm.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Sara
May 2, 2018 11:13 am

When you consider that the forecasting errors consist of false-positives and false-negatives, I am loath to even credit them for accurate predictions one day in advance. Recently here in central Ohio the forecast was for overcast skies and no precipitation. Yet, it snowed lightly all day. For places like California, with a Mediterranean Climate, forecasters do a pretty good job of picking between “Sunny with blue skies,” or “Overcast with light rain.” However, it is my impression that even with the GOES satellites, Doppler radar, and super computers, I can’t trust the weather forecasts any more than I could 50 years ago. I still look out the window to make my final decision on how to dress before leaving the house.

Dr. Strangelove
May 2, 2018 7:04 am

The consensus among climate scientists is the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. It still is. The consensus among alarmists is catastrophe in 2100 if we don’t reduce CO2 emission. No, it’s not about to shatter.

Reply to  Dr. Strangelove
May 2, 2018 8:55 am

The consensus among alarmists is catastrophe in 2100 if we don’t reduce CO2 emission.
I think it’s useful to point out that “consensus” among alarmists in EVERY century, in EVERY civilization, has always been “REPENT YE, O REPENT YE, OR YE SHALL ALL PERISH IN FLAME, YE EVILDOERS!!!”
Nothing has changed. There’s always a group that gets off on the attention they get by proclaiming that.

May 2, 2018 7:07 am

In this study it maintains that even if the CO2 level rises by a factor of 8 the temperature rise with not exceed 2C.

May 2, 2018 7:09 am

The Lewis and Curry ECS estimates make minor adjustments to the IPCC forcings but use the same forecasting paradigm and thus fall outside the likely range of the real world. Like them, to the detriment of the reputation of science in general, establishment climate scientists made two egregious errors of judgment in their method of approach to climate forecasting . First, they based their analyses on inherently untestable and specifically structurally flawed models which included many questionable assumptions. Second they totally ignored the natural, solar driven , millennial and multi-decadal quasi-cycles. Unless we know where we are with regard to, and then incorporate, the phase of the millennial cycle in particular, useful forecasting and ECS estimation is simply impossible.The climate models on which the entire Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming delusion rests are structured without regard to the natural 60+/- and more importantly 1000 year periodicities ( observed emergent behaviors) so obvious in the temperature record. The modelers approach is simply a scientific disaster and lacks even average commonsense .It is exactly like taking the temperature trend from say Feb – July and projecting it ahead linearly for 20 years or so beyond the annual peak and inversion point.The models are back-tuned for less than 100 years when the relevant time scale is millennial.
It is fashionable in establishment climate circles to present climate forecasting as a “wicked” problem. I would by contrast contend that by adopting the appropriate time scale and method for analysis it becomes entirely tractable so that commonsense working hypotheses with sufficient likely accuracy and chances of success to guide policy can be formulated. See
Here are some excerpts from my blog
Friday, March 18, 2016
The Imminent Collapse of the CAGW Delusion
“The modelling approach is inherently of no value for predicting future temperature with any calculable certainty because of the difficulty of specifying the initial conditions of a sufficiently fine grained spatio-temporal grid of a large number of variables with sufficient precision prior to multiple iterations. For a complete discussion of this see Essex:
…….Section IPCC AR4 WG1 8.6 deals with forcings, feedbacks and climate sensitivity. It recognizes the short comings of the models. The conclusions are in section 8.6.4 which concludes:
“Moreover it is not yet clear which tests are critical for constraining the future projections, consequently a set of model metrics that might be used to narrow the range of plausible climate change feedbacks and climate sensitivity has yet to be developed”
What could be clearer. The IPCC in 2007 said itself that it doesn’t even know what metrics to put into the models to test their reliability (i.e., we don’t know what future temperatures will be and we can’t calculate the climate sensitivity to CO2). This also begs a further question of what erroneous assumptions (e.g., that CO2 is the main climate driver) went into the “plausible” models to be tested any way.
Even the IPCC itself has now given up on estimating CS – the AR5 SPM says ( hidden away in a footnote)
“No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies”
Paradoxically they still claim that UNFCCC can dial up a desired temperature by controlling CO2 levels .This is cognitive dissonance so extreme as to be irrational. There is no empirical evidence which proves that CO2 has anything more than a negligible effect on temperatures.comment image.
Fig 12 Comparative Temperature Forecasts to 2100.
Fig. 12 compares the IPCC forecast with the Akasofu (31) forecast (redharmonic) and with the simple and most reasonable working hypothesis of this paper (green line) that the “Golden Spike” temperature peak at about 2003 is the most recent peak in the millennial cycle. Akasofu forecasts a further temperature increase to 2100 to be 0.5°C ± 0.2C, rather than 4.0 C +/- 2.0C predicted by the IPCC. but this interpretation ignores the Millennial inflexion point at 2003/4. Fig. 12 shows that the well documented 60-year temperature cycle coincidentally also peaks at about 2003.Looking at the shorter 60+/- year wavelength modulation of the millennial trend, the most straightforward hypothesis is that the cooling trends from 2003 forward will simply be a mirror image of the recent rising trends. This is illustrated by the green curve in Fig. 12, which shows cooling until 2038, slight warming to 2073 and then cooling to the end of the century, by which time almost all of the 20th century warming will have been reversed.If the real outcomes follow the near term forecasts shown above I suggest that the establishment and Lewis and Curry estimates will be untenable past 2020.This is imminent in climate terms.

Reply to  Dr Norman Page
May 2, 2018 7:26 am

The hadsst3 data shows global SST temperatures are now below the pre El Nino trend.comment image

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Dr Norman Page
May 2, 2018 11:22 am

You touch on an important point that few seem to be aware of. That is the constructive and destructive interference of cycles that are out of phase. There are known lunar cycles of up to 20 years that those preparing tide tables take into account. However, those focused on sea level change apparently ignore those cycles or are unaware of them. So, similarly, cycles in solar insolation have to be examined in terms of amplitude, period, and phase, to properly assess their potential impact. Yet, it seems that little concern is expressed for other than the sunspot cycle, and some on both sides of the aisle question the importance of that.

May 2, 2018 7:10 am

The historical record from 1850 to today shows that global temperatures have risen 0.8 +/- 0.1 degrees. During this same time period, CO2 increased from 280 to 400 ppmv. Assuming a linear relation, then doubling CO2 from 280 to 560 ppmv should produce (0.8 +/- 0.1)(280/120) = 1.87 +/- 0.23 degrees warming. This is only 62% of the IPCC’s “best value” of 3 degrees! This simplest calculation automatically means that Lewis & Curry are right!
And it gets worse due to “saturation” effects on CO2 absorption of infrared (IR) radiation emitted from the surface of the Earth. Even the IPCC assumes that the relation is not linear, but logarithmic. If radiative forcing is given by “delta F” = 5.35 ln(C/Co), then doubling CO2 means C/Co = 2, and “delta F” = 5.35 ln2 = 3.7 W/m^2. If C/Co = 400/280, “delta F” = 5.35 ln(400/280) = 1.91 W/m^2 . Therefore if the IPCC value of 3K for equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) were true, this would correspond to 3K(1.91/3.7) = 1.55 +/- 0.19 K warming, which is 1.55/0.8 = 1.94 (almost 2) times the actual warming! Note that the predicted 1.55 K is way outside the error bars of the actual warming of 0.8 +/- 0.1 degrees. Any alert beginner to climate studies should have been able to make this calculation.
Alternatively, the ECS cannot be greater than
(0.8 +/- 0.1)[ln2/ln(400/280)] = 1.55 +/- 0.19 K (only 52% of the IPCC “best value” of 3K, which is not needed in this calculation), in agreement with Lewis & Curry.
The three El Nino spikes in the last 20 years and the recovery from the Mt. Pinatubo eruption show that the time constant for warming is of the order of a few years or less. There is no decades- or centuries-long time constant (if there were such a lag, then temperatures would have continued to increase, even if CO2 had remained constant instead of steadily increasing in the last 20 years when there was no major volcanic eruption).
The above calculations still assumed that ALL of the observed 0.8 +/- 0.1 K warming was due to CO2 and related feedbacks. The radiative forcing of 3.7 W/m^2 can be used to predict 1 degree warming on doubling CO2 (not including feedbacks). But the value of 3.7 W/m^2 comes from computed spectra necessarily assuming a cloudless troposphere.
Clouds are made of liquid water droplets or ice crystals which act as near-perfect (emissivity 0.98 or greater) Planck black bodies peaking at IR frequencies. This means they absorb nearly all IR emitted from the Earth’s surface and re-emit according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law, depending on the temperature of the cloud top which will be lower than the Earth’s surface. Doubling CO2 will have no effect on the absorption below the cloud top, because you cannot increase absorption which is already 100%. Therefore doubling CO2 will affect only the absorption in the shorter path length from cloud top to 10 km, the top of the troposphere, and there are fewer total CO2 molecules per unit area in the column. The marginal increase in absorption occurs from the v=1 first excited state of CO2 bond-bending vibration, and the population of these absorbing molecules decreases exponentially with decreasing temperature (increasing altitude). Therefore when the 62% of the Earth’s surface that is cloud-covered is considered, the amount of warming on doubling CO2 (not including feedbacks) is reduced to 0.6 to 0.7 degrees. Even if my calculated water vapor feedback in an infinite geometric series results in 50% net feedback, equilibrium climate sensitivity will be increased to only 0.9 to 1K. And if increased water vapor also leads to a slight increase in cloud cover, this will decrease the ECS back to below 0.7 degrees. The difference between this value and 1.55 +/- 0.19 K must be due to natural factors other than CO2 and related feedbacks.
When theory does not match experimental measurements, the theory is WRONG. It doesn’t matter how smart the theorist, or who the theorist is, or how many Nobel Prizes she has won. This simple scientific truth is stated in the first 60 seconds by Richard Feynman at (if the link doesn’t work, Google “Feynman scientific method”).
For more details on the above calculations, email me at .

May 2, 2018 7:20 am

The fact is Sara we need to be using the term “GREENHOUSE EFFECT” and “Greenhouse Warming” once again to drive it home because that’s what this whole masquerade is about.
We have let them off the hook by moving away from “greenhouse effect”, and let them and the totally corrupt media to change the subject into the completely nebulous and faked term of “Climate Change”, so that they can claim that any detectable change will do as ‘evidence’ of such changery-ness.
Any old change won’t do. It has to be the predicted greenhouse effect or it’s totally false, and the public must understand that temperature rise above natural variability is the only measure of actual change.
And it has to be due to CO2 alone, not some other convenient gas substitute.
Plus a measured T rise ‘change’, has to be consistent with human CO2 emission—alone.
We can’t call it AGW, CAGW or “climate change”. We’ve got to stop playing along in their propaganda memes, and nebulous word games.
It is either human emitted CO2 inducing a physically predicted greenhouse-effect or there is nothing—The END.
Else, we’lll be talkng about AGW drivel until the end of this century and the public will still be reacting to their propaganda nonsense.

Reply to  WXcycles
May 2, 2018 7:39 am

As I recall the claim that “the science is settled” became prominent during the same period when the lables if “green house effect” and AGW were the preferred meme. So your right. They were let off the hook.

Reply to  WXcycles
May 2, 2018 8:31 am

We could start by ending the tax-free part for donations and grants. That might put a crimp in their style.

Killer Marmot
May 2, 2018 7:45 am

For a few decades, climatologists were in the grip of a political reign of terror.
But nothing lasts forever, and scientists generally loath being told how they must think and having their conclusions prescribed for them. As time goes on, more and more will dip their toes in the waters in climate apostasy.
I suspect that a few decades from now, the typical view will be that global warming is a problem, but that it is not the immediate catastrophe made out by some today — in other words, the Luke Warmers were right. The alarmists will be have decreasing credibility. That trend has been apparent for a while now.

Reply to  Killer Marmot
May 2, 2018 8:37 am

Yes, but the politicians have brainwashed the children at the cost of the parents, to lever CO2 greenhouse warming effect, as long as possible.
The teaching profession as a whole has just as much to answer for as the corrupt media does, in enabling the politician’s perverse undermining of society in this way, for as long as possible to contrive.
The ‘teachers’ are mostly just dishonest cowards, and this must also be made plain to all before there is any recouperation from what they’ve done, with the money we’ve paid them, to get this perversion of education.
The whole misguided and misguiding system of govt and taxation has put us in this position. Where are all the mythical checks and balances?
AWOL, or else effectively non-existing in more than wishy shameless platitude.

Killer Marmot
Reply to  WXcycles
May 2, 2018 10:18 am

Teachers are not all powerful. Youth have a natural skepticism of established beliefs. Often that skepticism is destructive, but in this case it is not.

Reply to  WXcycles
May 2, 2018 7:12 pm

Yes, sort of, but many young are not like that at all, they are open, not skeptical (and may never become so), they are empty vessels with impressionable minds.
Why do you think the alarmists and politicians focus on them, with the CAGW climate-changery messaging drumbeats, and avoid CO2 greenhouse-effect warming, compared to natural variability?
They do it because what is taught IS formative. Children of catholics tend to becone Catholics, especially as they age. When quedtion it all, they revert to what they know, and become more ‘conservative’ We scientists tend to forget that us a common dynamic, and offering a counter argument to once Catholic children does not generally work. They stick with the initial Sunday School fables over facts, they don’t even want the complexity and exustential funk of questioning accepted mesages, and entertaining disenfranchising relations with others.
The children are all taught the ciriculum and get assessed on compliance with their understanding of that ciriculum. That’s what matters at school, they are kept in line by fear of the life implications of failing to consolidate the approved knowledge.
You would be surprised by what lefty economic ignoramous’s teachers generally are. I have known dozens of them, as an adult, girlfriends, many close friends, etc. I was shocked to discover they really had no clue how business, investment and employment occur, what the point is, how and why it functions. They think their salary comes from a taxation office’s State Treasury, and will forever. With no implications emerging from what they ‘teach’ children—or the standing ignorance they impart. My experience of teachers, and also Uni Professors, has had made it clear to me that this is a major source of education failures and resulting national and social trajectories.
Why do you think countries like Australia have become so self-impairing, and loonie-left, and not even realise it?
This is all a product, not just the cause.

May 2, 2018 8:29 am

This caught my attention,, “At the very least, this suggests that indeed “some of the warming since the late 1800s was natural . . .”
That suggests that most of GW – since the late 1800’s – is man-made? It seems that even the consensus among the alarmists only suggest that it’s only since mid-20th Century, or since the 1970’s, that most of GW is caused by AGHG increases. In fact, on NASA’s home Climate page – – (though it says at the top, “over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities”), they list a slew of science orgs and academies, and their summary statements on AGW, all but two (ou8t of 18)referencing any period of time before 1950, and most limiting the wording to statements like these:
American Geophysical Union (ACS): Humanity is the major influence on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years.
American Meteorological Society: that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases . .
The Geological Society of America : . .that human activities (mainly greenhouse‐gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s.”
International academies: Joint statement from 11 academies: It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities (IPCC 2001).
U.S. Global Change Research Program: “The global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change : “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely* due . .
CO2 was about 290ppm back in the late 1880’s, at 310ppm at mid-20th century and about 400pppm today. If CO2 is the driver (and don’t believe that it is) then warming should be much more dramatic since the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere really took off – not before.

May 2, 2018 8:29 am

There is too much inertia by vested interests for anything significant to happen in the near (think years) future. Check back in the next decade.

May 2, 2018 8:49 am

Is climate alarmist consensus about to shatter?
Sadly, no. The climate alarmism is like the fake Trump investigations — there’s a psychotic aspect to it that regardless of any facts, it will continue because the money/power gravy-train would otherwise be threatened.

Steve Borodin
May 2, 2018 8:57 am

There never was a consensus to shatter. If there had been, it would not have been necessary to misinterpret (possibly fake or fraudulent may be more appropriate here) the various surveys and papers that have made the 97% claim. As there is only a fake consensus it will remain until the money runs our or it becomes obviously unsustainable to the scientifically illiterate claimants.

Reply to  Steve Borodin
May 2, 2018 9:32 am

Indeed. By defining an imaginary consensus, and moving the discussion only the complex plane, simple arithmetic can be used to create spin.

Tom Anderson
May 2, 2018 9:59 am

I have posted the following comment to Andy May’s essay nearby. I believe the following to be standard, even pretty dated, quantum mechanics relating to radiant solar energy. And I think it is a threshold question to be addressed to every study of climate sensitivity to CO2 forcing. Seems to me it is a question that has not been asked, not to say left unanswered, in popular forums.
What is lacking in most if not all analyses of climate sensitivity is “at what temperature exactly is CO2 interacting with solar radiant energy?” After all, photons are packets of energy, but their energy (temperature) ranges from ultraviolet, which for all I know might vaporize steel, down to radio waves measured in meters, which are probably scarcely above the universe’s background temperature.
So, HOW HOT is the infrared radiation that CO2 interacts with to warm the atmosphere?
My first thought about infrared light is the heat lamp at the feed store to warm the chicks. I don’t think that wraps it. As I understand, at about the time Max Planck discerned quantum mechanics in the classical-physics curve of radiated energy, which most of us are familiar with, Einstein and Planck derived a formula for measuring energy based on frequency times a proportionality constant, the Planck constant, h. That is,
E = vh, with v the frequency, h the Planck constant, and E the energy, that is, temperature.
Since frequency relates inversely to wavelength (λ), “v” may be written as the speed of light divided by peak wavelength, or c/λ, which is Wilhelm Wien’s peak displacement law. It was written before Planck’s general framework then modified for quantum mechanics. It is also called the Wien approximation. It states that wavelength (λ) for each black-body frequency peaks at a maxi¬mum, given by λ = b/T, with T in Kelvins and b the displacement constant (b ≈ 2900×K) applied to the wave¬length. Higher energy photons at higher frequency are at shorter wave¬lengths, so wave¬ length relates inversely to temperature. By that it is possible to calculate the peak energy or temperature for radiation with which CO2 is active.
If you divide 15μm into 2900°K you get 193°K or -80°C.
Also as I understand it, the Earth directly emits its highest energy IR photons, at 8-12μm wavelengths, through a window to space without interacting with any gases. Wien’s law shows that the 8μm photons exit the atmospheric window at 89°C and 12μm photons exit at -31.7°C, spanning a temperature drop of 120.7 Celsius degrees. By comparison, the peak wavelength at which “catastrophic” GHG, CO2, at a peak 15μm wavelength (in a spread from 13.5 to 17 μm), absorbs and emits photons at a -80°C temperature. That is, by established normal physical calculation, CO2 is interacting with radiant energy at minus 80 degrees Celsius. It raises the question how a gas interacting with radiation at 80 degrees cooler than ice threatens to warm the atmosphere at all.
I am nowhere near QM’s cutting edge, but I doubt the above relationship has been significantly altered from Einstein’s, Planck’s and Wien’s time. Even if it doesn’t exactly apply, it should be addressed and properly reckoned with. Better stick around to see how alarmism worms its way out of this. There should be a great deal of bootstrapping.

Dr. Strangelove
Reply to  Tom Anderson
May 3, 2018 4:54 am

“at what temperature exactly is CO2 interacting with solar radiant energy?”
CO2 absorbs long-wave IR from the surface not from solar radiation.
“HOW HOT is the infrared radiation that CO2 interacts with to warm the atmosphere?”
Infrared is electromagnetic waves. It doesn’t have a temperature. Matter emitting EM waves has a temperature according to Stefan-Boltzmann law.
“If you divide 15μm into 2900°K you get 193°K or -80°C”
It makes no sense to divide temperature by wavelength. The shape of the black body curve depends on temperature. Total energy is the area under the curve or the integral of the entire range of wavelengths. You cannot cut temperature into pieces. You can cut energy per wavelength. Since the premise is wrong, the rest of the argument is wrong.

Joel O’Bryan
May 2, 2018 10:37 am

The reality for the “consensus” is the 4.5 K upper bound has become an untenable value for the alarmists.
Add in the fact that after 5 Assessment Reports in 23 years, the ECS range never decreased, never reducing uncertainty. Another untenable position.
Expect AR 6 to try to spin the fallback of the upper ECS bound into, “we are now more certain than ever…” blather.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
May 2, 2018 4:20 pm

“It’s wose than we thought…robust…yatta-yatta…”

Thomas Graney
May 2, 2018 11:16 am

This will just cause the alarmists to double down on alarmism. They will not be moved away from their true agenda- eliminating the use of fossil fuels.

Reply to  Thomas Graney
May 2, 2018 4:16 pm

Their true agenda is the establishment of a world-wide Socialist paradise hell.

May 2, 2018 4:11 pm

Has the consensus been shattered? Or just plain shat?

May 2, 2018 4:16 pm

To debate the magnitude of ECS is scientifically nonsensical as this magnifude is not observable.

May 2, 2018 4:25 pm

So can I finally switch over the air in my tires from the winter blend to the summer blend? Because Michigan…

richard verney
May 2, 2018 4:50 pm

Unfortunately, there is only one way whereby the consensus will quickly shatter, and that is if Arctic Ice expands over the course of the next 10 years.
What is needed is something very stark and visual that runs contrary to the AGW mantra, and which cannot be subverted by data manipulation and homogenisation.

Reply to  richard verney
May 2, 2018 8:24 pm

The climate change scare is political and the majority of the populations of most countries take little notice as they are to busy getting on with life .
Climate change is at the bottom of their worry list.
When left leaning governments start applying pressure with taxes and levies to alter peoples behavior to stop them driving their cars and forcing the price of every thing up from energy to food .that is when they wake up and start protesting and vote them out.
Politicians promise the world to get elected and spend our money to keep them selves in power .
The story has to be scary to frighten people into believing that they have to make sacrifices to secure a safe world for their grandchildren .
The modern world runs on fossil fuel and it is not about to change .
Populations are not about to return to serfdom .
The theory of dangerous global warming is but a theory and it is unproven and every paper that chips away at it helps bring some reality to the debate but a decade of icy weather would bust the scam wide open .

Reply to  gwan
May 3, 2018 5:48 am

Good comments, thank you Gwan.
Re some of your words:
“The story has to be scary…”
Agreed – many great thinkers have observed that politicians too often scare the populace with false fears, in order to implement their desired policies.
Politicians love a big scam, because that is where they can siphon off the most graft. Global warming alarmism, and its objective to replace fossil fuels with so-called ‘green energy” is the most expensive scam in the history of humanity. Tens of trillions of dollars have been squandered on green energy schemes that are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy.
“The modern world runs on fossil fuel and it is not about to change.”
Correct. Fully 85% of global primary energy is fossil fuels – oil, coal and natural gas. The rest is mostly nuclear and hydro, with about 2 percent being largely non-dispatchable wind and solar nonsense, supported by tens of trillions in subsidies.
“The theory of dangerous global warming is but a theory and it is unproven…”
Correct, and more: The theory of catastrophic man-made global warming was disproved by the global cooling period from ~1940 to ~1977, even as fossil fuel combustion and atmospheric CO2 concentration strongly accelerated, and by the ~20-year “Pause” in global temperatures, which has recently re-established itself after the last major El Nino. In the past 78 years since 1940, there have been about 57 years of cooling or no-net-warming, and only about 21 years of warming, all as CO2 increased.
“… a decade of icy weather would bust the scam wide open.”
Agreed, but the aforementioned almost-four decades of icy weather already did – we do not have to wait for the next natural cooling period to re-prove what we already know.
Furthermore, we need to ensure that populations have access to cheap, reliable, abundant energy before more cooling sets in, because humanity suffers and dies in greater numbers during global cooling periods.
Again, thank you for your good comments.
Regards, Allan

May 2, 2018 7:01 pm

first. see i told you so many years ago.
just put all your energy behind nic.
did you listen..nope.
“or the last 15 years or more, at least until a year or two ago, it would have been inconceivable that The Journal of Climate would publish their article. That this staunch defender of climate alarmist “consensus science” does so now could mean the alarmist dam has cracked, the water’s pouring through, and the crack will spread until the whole dam collapses.”
this is hogwash. Nic got published because he does good science. no crazy sun nuttery.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 3, 2018 7:45 am

Nic got published because he does good science. no crazy sun buttery.
Yes, of course.
Neither is it the ridiculous fake skeptic’s and physics illiterate bullshit such as “GHE violates second law of thermodynamics”, “CO2 increase in air is natural”, “GHE does not exist” or merely stubborn and laughable denying of a possible influence of mankind on climate.
How many idiotic “articles” relevant to this bullshit have been published on this and other similar sites ?
Maybe, what is about to shatter is rather the idiocy promoted in this way ?

May 2, 2018 7:57 pm

Another factor often overlooked is that while emissions may increase by 1% per year, hence about 70 years to double CO2, the actual increase rate of CO2 concentrations is only about 0.55% because of absorptions of the ocean and trees. So, the time to double CO2 is much higher, about 127 years. If the ECS is off 2, for example, the warming per year is less than 30% estimated by IPCC and others.

Roger Knights
May 2, 2018 9:15 pm

The next IPCC report will have to give weight to the two Lewis / Curry papers. That’ll temper the ammo alarmists can use,
Climatologists aren’t uniformly high-alarmists. There’s a spectrum in the consensus, from alarmist to mildly concerned, as revealed by the surveys by G. Mason U. ten years ago and by von Storch. Also, the L&C papers should give the less alarmist members of the fraternity “cover” to be more forthright. (This was what was happening toward the end of the Pause—the alarmists got new life and prominence after the El Niño. As its effect fades, alarmist headlines about “warmest year ever” will recede.)
So a Shift (in the midpoint of the bell curve of the consensus spectrum) to a new, less alarmist location. Not a shattering, but an erosion.

Kristi Silber
May 2, 2018 11:37 pm

“That their paper was published in the Journal of Climate suggests that the asserted “97% consensus” of climate experts may be eroding.”
In the very first paragraph! A foolish, biased, prop’ganidist assertion! It implies that the publication is somehow extraordinary, and that it signifies a change in the editorial “climate” of the journal, and therefore of the consensus in general.
All it really means is that
– the quality of the research and presentation is up to the standards of the journal
– the journal is willing to publish quality research regardless of its political implications
That’s all. It’s just normal scientific professionalism, not the eroding of consensus. It doesn’t change the consensus at all. Curry has published hundreds of papers, just as other skeptic scientists have.
Why should I believe anything this guy writes when he starts off like that? And why should you?
” For one thing, there is no persuasive reason to assume our planet’s climate system and deep ocean temperatures were ever in “energy balance” back in the late 1800s – so we can’t know whether or how much they might be “out of balance” today. Moreover, solar, volcanic and ocean current variations could be sufficient to explain all the global warming over the period of allegedly anthropogenic warming – which means there is no global warming left to blame on carbon dioxide.”
Has this guy not read ANY of the literature?
It doesn’t matter at all because it is his GOAL to spread doubt. Maybe even his job.
“If this is indeed the case, there is no justification for the punitive, job-killing, poverty-prolonging energy policies that “climate consensus” and “renewable energy” proponents have been demanding.”
More victim verbiage. So many people suffering at the hands of climate scientists and their endless policy demands! Just think how much widespread suffering increased during Obama’s regulations! Mass unemployment! Um, well, no, not really. Poverty-prolonging? Huh. Not sure about that, either. Increased cost of electricity certainly isn’t the rule, as I know from my own participation in a solar scheme.
As for other countries, it’s their decision how to proceed. Many developing nations are feeling (and even acknowledging!) the effects of climate change, and have incentive to minimize their increase in CO2 emissions as they develop, or wish to go to renewables for other reasons. They are sovereign nations, and it is not for us to say they should follow the American model. They haven’t our unique history or land, and need to decide what is sustainable in their own nations. If they are wise, they will take from it the pieces they can use, and leave the rest.
Suburban housing developments full of 4000 sq ft McMansions on huge weed-free lawns are not practical for most residents of most nations.
When people talk about demanding huge sacrifices (often “costing trillions of dollars”), and being totally against all fossil fuel, it’s a safe bet that it’s skeptics characterizing some totally off-the-wall calculation one of them made, and that they are making erroneous assertions about what the majority of warmists want in order to portray them as heartless totalitarians. Either they are spouting the prop’ganda they heard, or they are intentionally spreading it themselves.
I get a kick out of this:
“Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming was edited 13 years ago by climatologist Patrick J. Michaels, then Research Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and the State Climatologist of Virginia; now Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies at the Cato Institute. Its title was at best premature.”
Now, why does Driessen go into Michaels’s background in such detail, yet leave out the fact that he was a spokesman for the Edison Electric Institute as part of a campaign to spread misinformation? That’s going back to 1991, though – maybe he has since changed his ways.
Oh, and this is interesting: “If Lewis and Curry are right, and the warming effect of CO2 is only 50–70% of what the “consensus” has said, cuts in CO2 emissions need not be as drastic as previously thought. That’s good news for the billions of people living in poverty and without affordable, reliable electricity. Their hope for electricity is seriously compromised by efforts to impose a rapid transition from abundant, affordable, reliable fossil fuels to diffuse, expensive, unreliable wind and solar (and other renewable) as chief electricity sources.”
Apparently, this is saying that if Lewis and Curry are wrong, then CO2 cuts have to be drastic. Either way, there have to be cuts. But then it gets attached to this emotional plea for the “billions” of people without affordable, reliable electricity, placing the blame squarely at the foot of renewable energy. It doesn’t matter than a village off the grid can more easily afford a few electric panels than a coal-fired power plant, or that those countries without ample fossil fuels might not want to become totally dependent on markets for them, or the air pollution caused by fossil fuel refining and burning.
I could go on and on with one example after another of the ways in which this post is meant to manipulate opinion. That’s it’s only goal. Beisner is either a fanatic spreading the Word of demonization, doubt and distrust or he’s paid for this – I’m betting the latter. Just look at the host of scientists making comments! All familiar names. Why aren’t there responses from the rest of the scientific community if the consensus is crumbling?
Open your eyes, people! Start seeing the hyperbole, the unsupported assertions, and especially the mixing of policy with science. Start being the skeptics you say you are! If you are going to moan about warmist prop’ganda, look also at what is fed to skeptics. And for goodness sake, stop whining about CAGW political power when you’ve got not only the President, but the head of the EPA on your side, looking after industry interests.
Oy, I read the comments and it just seems hopeless. So many are convinced that there’s a conspiracy – and with such self-righteousness! It’s so sad, so wrong, that millions of people have been led to view science as they do.
PLEASE NOTE that I make not a single assessment of Lewis and Curry’s conclusions, and don’t hassle me about any perceived attack on their work.
PS I honestly don’t wish to offend anyone through this post, and I’m sorry if I do. I’ve very blunt, I know. Frustrated.

Reply to  Kristi Silber
May 3, 2018 6:11 am

Hello Kristi.
Please read my summary comment at
If you are interested in more technical information, read my comment at
I will not impugn your motives and you should not impugn mine. I will simply say that, based on the evidence, your concerns are technically incorrect – there is no real global warming crisis. Increasing atmospheric CO2 is beneficial to humanity and the environment, and any moderate warming that may result is also beneficial.
Cheap, abundant, reliable energy is the lifeblood of society – it IS that simple. Increasing the costs of energy and reducing its reliability simply results in more Excess Winter Deaths – currently totaling several million souls per year.
I have children and grandchildren, and hope for their future just as much as you do for those you love. This is not a debate about right vs left – it is a debate about right vs wrong – and I am saying, with respect, that you are technically wrong in your beliefs on this subject.
Regards, Allan

May 3, 2018 8:13 am

Beware of false logic.
It is not because there doesn’t exist (at least not yet and possibly forever) a real solution to power a civilization of 7+ billion people with renewable energy and so ensure them a decent life that mankind cannot and does not influence (possibly adversely and in a catastrophic way) Earth climate.

May 3, 2018 12:02 pm

gammacrux – your statement does not reflect my logic – at all. Yours is called a “straw-man” argument.

Reply to  Kristi Silber
May 3, 2018 7:55 am

Kristi says: PS I honestly don’t wish to offend anyone through this post, and I’m sorry if I do. I’ve very blunt, I know. Frustrated.
Curious what you’re frustrated about — whether it’s the fake stuff or real issues. If it’s the real issues, I can sympathize.

Kristi Silber
Reply to  beng135
May 4, 2018 12:45 am

“Curious what you’re frustrated about — whether it’s the fake stuff or real issues. If it’s the real issues, I can sympathize.”
It’s not so much about the issues of climate change itself as about the way mainstream science is distrusted and considered corrupted by so many. The same people may use scientific research to argue a particular point when it suits them and it never crosses their mind how hypocritical it is.
It’s frustrating that there is no argument I can make for any position because scientific evidence has no authority anymore. It makes linking to evidence seem like a waste of time.
Also frustrating is seeing the prejudicial way ideas are presented here. The site not only caters to skeptics, but promotes animosity toward the mainstream scientific community.
But what is most frustrating – no, that’s not the word. What is tragic is reading original memos in which the energy industry describes the ideas they want to convey to the public through their prop’ganda campaigns, and realizing how successful they were.
I want people to understand what it means to be a skeptic, and practice skepticism. I want them to question where they get their ideas, and what the evidence is. Explore what others say and why (NOAA and NASA have heaps of info.) Look up the citations people give and see if they agree with the argument. Look at the full press releases, rather than excerpts. If you see a quote, and then an interpretation of that quote, QUESTION IT IMMEDIATELY! Say, What are other ways this could be interpreted? Anyone who needs to interpret common English for you wants to convey a message beyond or different from what was actually said. Why else would he do so? Why should you listen?
The wisest and greatest thinkers are those who know the vastness of their own ignorance and are comfortable with it, even grateful for the impetus it provides to think and learn.
Certainty and self-righteousness are enemies of the pursuit of truth.

Reply to  beng135
May 4, 2018 6:04 am

Thanks for responding. It’s doubly unfortunate that your frustrations seem to be all about the fake stuff. Let us know when you wake up to the REAL frustrations such as the current marxist attempt at a coup d’état here in the US.

John Endicott
Reply to  beng135
May 4, 2018 7:54 am

“It’s not so much about the issues of climate change itself as about the way mainstream science is distrusted and considered corrupted by so many”
There’s a reason that mainstream science has become so distrusted – because too many so-called scientist (like your hero Mikey Mann) are untrustworthy with their “tricks”, ‘hiding of declines”, gatekeeping, politicizing of science, non-transparent “secret science” (which you defend), etc. In short you are part of the very problem that is causing you so much frustration whether you wish to acknowledge it or not. You want science to be trusted again, then insist on transparency, insist that data and methods be available for all to examine and attempt to reproduce and reject those that refuse to do so, insist scientist stick to science and stay out of politics (you can either be a scientist or a political activist, its a total conflict of interest to be both).

Reply to  Kristi Silber
May 3, 2018 8:58 am

“I could go on and on with one example after another of the ways in which this post is meant to manipulate opinion.”
Kristi I’m absolutely convinced that you could indeed go on and on and at the same time am truly saddened to bring you this unwelcome piece of information – but that is the unique and sole purpose of both verbal and written communication,

Kristi Silber
Reply to  cephus0
May 4, 2018 12:55 am

“…that is the unique and sole purpose of both verbal and written communication,” By this I assume you mean manipulating public opinion?
Not so of science. Science doesn’t seek to manipulate, it seeks to inform. I know that’s not a popular belief around here, but that has no bearing on the truth. (Of course, there are exceptions, especially when industry gets involved.)
Apart from that, your idea is extremely cynical and downright bizarre, if I’m interpreting you correctly.

John Endicott
Reply to  cephus0
May 4, 2018 8:01 am

you’ll find that many here agree that science shouldn’t seek to manipulate and should seek to inform. Sadly, too often (particularly in the realm of climate science) that isn’t the case in practice. The bogus 97% consensus, gatekeeping (as detailed in the climate gate e-mails) calling those who don’t fall lock-step with the party line as “deniers” etc are nothing but manipulations. and that even before we get into the manipulations of statistics (such as practiced by your hero) and data (adjustments that consistently keep going in one direction) to fit a political narrative. And you wonder why science is so distrusted by the masses.

May 3, 2018 2:56 pm

I fear that it’s too late for Oz. The conservative ( I use that term lightly) government has drunk the AGW Koolaid and is sending us back to the dark ages. Subsidies for renewable energy, on top of what has already been wasted, are forecast to be another $25B to 2030. Coal fired power stations being shut down and destroyed. Electricity prices continuing to climb. From 9c/kWh 10 years ago to over 30c/kWh today.

May 5, 2018 8:52 pm

All of this is based on an assumption that CO2 creates warming. We no that CO2 does not create warming. Warming causes CO2. It is not the other way around. The cause can’t be the effect. CO2 has been lagging temperature for the past 1 million years by approximately 1,000 years. The greenhouse effect is a myth: The Shattered Greenhouse: How Simple Physics Demolishes the ‘Greenhouse Effect’. Timothy Casey B.Sc. (Hons.). CO2 has a net zero effect: An Updated Review About Carbon Dioxide and Climate Change Fleming, 2018. Greenhouse gases cause cooling not warming: SURFRAD Data Falsifies the “Greenhouse Effect” Hypothesis Published on October 6, 2017 Written by Carl Brehmer. CO2 fell to 180ppm during the last ice age. That is just 30ppm short of all plant life going extinct. Our food comes from plants so we were 30ppm short of human extinction. We need more CO2 in the atmosphere not less to restore the balance. THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF HUMAN CO2 EMISSIONS ON THE SURVIVAL OF LIFE ON EARTH BY PATRICK MOORE | JUNE 2016.

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