More wailing hothouse claims – Humans are pushing the Earth closer to a climate cliff

From the doom and gloom section of the Guardian today.

Humans are pushing the Earth closer to a climate cliff

A new study examines potential climate feedbacks that could push Earth into a ‘hothouse’ state

A new paper, just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has received a lot of media attention. The attention is justified because the paper paints a very grim picture of the climate and what humans may be doing to it. In particular, the authors of this study tried to determine the trajectory that the Earth is on so we can predict what the future climate will be.

There are many really important insights from this paper. The authors wanted to know how feedbacks in the Earth’s climate will play a role in shaping the climate in the future. By feedbacks, we mean a change in one part of the climate that then causes another change, which in turn may cause another change, and so on, potentially setting up chain reactions.

Continue reading…

The author, John Abraham, is a climate activist, and part of the whole Skeptical Science wailing alarm crew. He hasn’t the ability to detect he’s been duped by his own confirmation bias. The article was written to pander to the alarmist base of readers at The Guardian.

His viewpoint is a lot like this:
For a more sensible take on “hothouse Earth”, read this.
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August 16, 2018 9:55 am

You can’t push the Earth off a cliff. It’s on a turtle.

Hey that’s no dumber than the article.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Hal
August 16, 2018 10:01 am

Maybe it’s cliffs all the way down.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 16, 2018 10:35 am

No, elephants, on giant turtles, on cliffs, and the turtles will fall first, dragging down the elephants, dragging down the Earth. “Down to where?,” you ask. Firey hell, of course. The only things keeping Earth from going to hell are the elephants on the turtles on the cliff, and the only reason we haven’t gone to hell before now is because turtles move so damn slow.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 16, 2018 11:58 am

Tom in Florida

You mean we’re on the back of Cliff Richard?

comment image?w=1920&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=6e81d67d5fd027c7fdb0b898b0b92e31


Reply to  HotScot
August 16, 2018 11:59 am


Reply to  HotScot
August 16, 2018 12:13 pm
Reply to  HotScot
August 16, 2018 5:06 pm

Better than living on the back of Keith Richards:
comment image

August 16, 2018 9:56 am

The only thing falling off a cliff is the integrity of science.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
August 16, 2018 10:36 am

I think it already hit bottom.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
August 16, 2018 10:37 am

fallING ? It’s already gone.

Tom Monfort
Reply to  co2isnotevil
August 16, 2018 11:55 am

I think they believe it’s a shortcut to Utopia and lots of free stuff and Trump Free!

August 16, 2018 10:01 am

So this fine fellow who gets paid to write what amounts to drivel is unable or unwilling to recognize seasonal changes and weather from one place to another.

Okay. He’s doomed. But I’m not. Neither are you. In fact, none of us are doomed.

However, there are those who want desperately to be doomed and will slowly stalk their way toward you like those dodos in “Ice Age II” chanting ‘doom on you, doom on you!’

Will they be completely disappointed when Doom Does Not Arrive? Will they weep and wail and gnash their teeth and rend their clothing? (Eeeeewwww!) Just askin’ for a friend.

Reply to  Sara
August 16, 2018 10:04 am

Sounds a lot like a Zombie Apocalypse. Thanks to the “Living Dead” series we all know how to handle them. /sarc

Hans Erren
Reply to  Sara
August 16, 2018 10:09 am

No, doom will always be five years in the future.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Hans Erren
August 16, 2018 10:19 am

Oh no! Paul Ehrlich was right in 1968, and we are all someone’s dream.

Reply to  Sara
August 16, 2018 10:34 am

What if doom does arrive as a new mini ice age? It’s looking more and more like we’re heading into a new grand solar minimum, so another mini ice age is far more likely than the catastrophic warming the doomsayers are pinning their hopes on. How are they going to spin this one so they can blame it on CO2?

Reply to  co2isnotevil
August 16, 2018 10:38 am

If that happens, then I think we need to convince all of the enviros that the only possible hope for the Earth’s temperature salvation is for humanity to dig up and burn as much coal as we possibly can, to warm things back up.

Reply to  wws
August 16, 2018 10:53 am

But that would also be a lie …

Reply to  co2isnotevil
August 16, 2018 12:01 pm


Nailed it!

Bill Powers
Reply to  co2isnotevil
August 16, 2018 11:24 am

They have all those bases covered for the morons churned out of our Public School systems. Global Warming causes droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, hot, cold, snow, forest fires, earthquakes, hang nails…I’m sure I have omitted some of the dire consequences of CAGW but is is an open ended lists.

Reply to  Bill Powers
August 16, 2018 12:04 pm

Bill Powers


Beyond even the devils most despicable curse on humanity, so they must be caused by climate change.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
August 16, 2018 1:50 pm

Not meaning to change the subject, but fall may be coming early here in my part of the Midwest.
Leaves on tress are turning color and starting to drop. I thought it was lack of rain, but we’ve had plenty when it was needed to soak into the ground, and have gotten it about once a week since the middle of July, which is very average.
However – and this IS the important part – the nights are much cooler than usual. Instead of dropping to low 70s, the overnight temperatures are in the low to mid-60s. This is NOT what we usually get.
Now I have to get photos of this. If it were a brief drought, the grass would look half-dead. Instead, it is lush and green, looks like velvet.
Mark the date: mid-August, northeastern Illinois, chillier than usual at night, even with cloud cover.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Sara
August 16, 2018 4:03 pm

It’s been chillier at night than the usual Summer here in Palo Alto, too, and all summer long, Sara.

This morning was cool, grey and overcast, and had me thinking of Autumn as I got out of my car at work.

Reply to  Pat Frank
August 17, 2018 9:24 am

I’m on my way to ski in the Sierra back country this weekend (if the smoke doesn’t chase me away …). Unfortunately, the Donnell fire is creeping close to my summer snow fields. The snow, being above the tree line, is safe, but melting a little quicker owing to all the soot deposited on the surface.

Reply to  Sara
August 16, 2018 5:07 pm

I have a friend in Arizona who sent me photos of snow on the roads where he lives, at the end of July.
So, it IS spreading. It isn’t just isolated spots.
I keep checking the national Doppler weather radar (no, not Accuweather!) and have occasionally seen the blue coloring the means snow here and there in the Rockies.
Well, we may have an early, wet, chilly autumn, a prolonged, wet winter (but not necessarily bitterly cold, just wet), and late cold, wet Spring again.
I’m keeping track. The temperature swings mean more than just heat and cold.
It’s like a pendulum clock, isn’t it? The pendulum swings wide, and the arc is very slowly reduced until it finally hits dead center and stops.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Sara
August 17, 2018 2:42 pm

My noticed a tree in Waterloo that is tuning as well. Not sure why. It is very wet but plenty-warm.

Johne Morton
August 16, 2018 10:03 am

The problem I’ve always had with these “feedbacks will be the end of us” claims is that such climate “feedbacks” aren’t observed in the present day and can’t be found in natural history. Basically, if these feedbacks existed, the planet’s climate would be complete chaos. Every flap of a butterfly’s wing WOULD cause a typhoon, etc.

Eustace Cranch
Reply to  Johne Morton
August 16, 2018 11:18 am

The definition of “feedback” in the article is just flat WRONG. Feedback is not a “chain reaction,” nor does it cause one. And of course there is negative as well as positive feedback, which the article ignores completely. The whole thing is ignorant beyond belief. Well, actually easy to believe, since it’s the Guardian after all.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Eustace Cranch
August 17, 2018 3:05 pm

There is such a thing as a feedback leading to run-away-something, but not for the climate. It has far too many conteracting (negative) feedbacks. A very simple one is that as the temperature of an object rises, its energy radiation is dramatically enhanced.

(New Temp [K] / Old Temp [K]) ^4 x 340 Watts/m^2 (average)

A rise from 25 to 26 C increases emitted radiation by 1.35% of 4.6 W/m^2 continuously.

25 to 27 deg: 2.72% increase (9.25 W/m^2)
25 to 28 deg: 4.09% increase (13.9 W/m^2)

No water vapour feedback is going to overcome that. A 2 degree increase in the daytime would lose almost 40 W/m^2 more than before at the equator. That is ten times the supposed increase from CO2 doubling.

The average global temperature is the consequence of a self-regulating mechanism with strong negative feedbacks.

Reply to  Johne Morton
August 16, 2018 4:36 pm

The only “tipping point” around is the one at 273.15 ( only about 5c above the gray body temperature in our orbit ) and that is “smeared” by latitude and salinity and other factors .

That is the tipping point we have crossed repeatedly and the one which is worthy of fear .

Hans Erren
August 16, 2018 10:06 am

Sounds a lot like limits to growth. The closer in time the prediction of doom, the faster it will be refuted.

Eustace Cranch
August 16, 2018 10:14 am

From the article:

“Right now, humans control the climate through our emissions of greenhouse gases…”

Good grief. I stopped reading right there.

Reply to  Eustace Cranch
August 16, 2018 10:39 am

Anthrotisticle, isn’t it? [combination of “anthropocentic” and “egotistical”]

Reply to  Eustace Cranch
August 16, 2018 11:22 am

No, you should have stopped at “from The Guardian.”

August 16, 2018 10:15 am

We’re back to Hansen’s boiling oceans again……Sigh……..

August 16, 2018 10:23 am

This is NOT a study or research. It is little more than the scribblings of an activist sucking the end of the pencil. What is this so called National Academy of Sciences? Where on earth have standards gone?

Reply to  Alasdair
August 16, 2018 10:42 am

Standards?! Clearly, you are a racist.
[no /sarc needed, but just in case …]

Pat Frank
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
August 16, 2018 12:43 pm

Standards are the hegemonic tool of the white male patriarchy, Robert. Social determinism is all, objectivity is oppression. Get your intersectionality abuses in order. 🙂

August 16, 2018 10:34 am

if that is science….

could my measurements not also be considered science?

August 16, 2018 10:37 am

I have been thinking about this a bit. What if the Sahel region continues improving land management, sand fences get installed in greater number, and CO2 concentrations increase? It would imply that the region would green, evapotransporation would be recycled allowing further greening. It is possible then that the constant high pressure region over the Sahara would be disrupted allowing a greening of the Sahara. Do any of our climate models include the intentional efforts to green the Sahel?

Keith Rowe
August 16, 2018 10:48 am

Perhaps the cartoon is apt. Lemmings going over cliffs is a myth perpetuated by Hollywood and sometimes the news without much hard evidence that this does occur, but is a testament to “loving ideas without checking if it might be true” that the myth has lasted so long.

Reply to  Keith Rowe
August 17, 2018 6:19 am

‘As such, the crew actually had to employ a snow-covered turntable to make it appear that they were “migrating” when they were really just running in circles. After the crew had a sufficient number of these migratory shots, the animals were herded over to the bank of a nearby river and unceremoniously chucked into the water, where they drowned. Thus the myth of suicidal lemmings was born.’

August 16, 2018 11:03 am

“Fig. 1 shows a simplified representation of complex Earth System dynamics, where the physical climate system is subjected to the effects of slow changes in Earth’s orbit and inclination……We emphasize that Stabilized Earth is not an intrinsic state of the Earth System but rather, one in which humanity commits to a pathway of ongoing management of its relationship with the rest of the Earth System.”

We simplify complex but can engineer it?

“There is much uncertainty and debate about how this can be done—technically, ethically, equitably, and economically—and there is no doubt that the normative, policy, and institutional aspects are highly challenging. However, societies could take a wide range of actions that constitute negative feedbacks, summarized in SI Appendix, Table S5, to steer the Earth System toward Stabilized Earth.”

I would not hire an engineer who believed this. There are examples of failures.

Has anyone counted the number of hypothetical doomsday papers relative to the total pool are open access? They sure seem to crop up more often at least in some journals.

M__ S__
August 16, 2018 11:05 am

The greater the number and urgency of unsubstantiated claims and predictions, the weaker the science.

August 16, 2018 11:10 am

How many times have we gone over the cliff now?

The Deplorable Vlad the Impaler
Reply to  John
August 16, 2018 12:42 pm

I’ll have to check my Cliff’s Notes version, and get back to you … … …

Reply to  The Deplorable Vlad the Impaler
August 17, 2018 9:00 am


Leo Smith
August 16, 2018 11:56 am

If at first you don’t succeed, scare and scare again.
The little boys keep crying ‘Wolf’.

Steve O
August 16, 2018 12:06 pm

If there is such a thing as “hothouse earth” then how can that be anything but the equilibrium state?

August 16, 2018 12:22 pm

*The attention is justified because * and then they don’t really give a reason at all. Pathetic.

Pat Frank
August 16, 2018 12:36 pm

I just scrolled through the article, looking for the analytical part (materials, methods). There isn’t any.

The entire article is no more than a dooms-day polemic with fancy science-like figures.

The Appendix, which is supposed to give further information, doesn’t. It is just more tendentious polemic.

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber is the chief instigator. For those who have been reading here at WUWT for awhile, and so have a well-honed cynicism detector, his name ought to be warning enough.

Marcia McNutt ought to be ashamed (but certainly isn’t) for publishing that abuse.

The day will come when all the co-authors will wince to see their names there.

Reply to  Pat Frank
August 16, 2018 5:13 pm

The day will come? Oh, puh-leeeeeze, let it be within my lifetime!!! Puhleeze!!! I really do need a good laugh!

If there were any way to created highly localized snow storms that dumped 9 feet of snow on each of their houses, I would happily support research into that.

It’s their fear mongering that I object to. Unfortunately for them, enough of it makes people tune out, turn deaf and go on about their business.

August 16, 2018 12:55 pm

Lets face it, leftists are going to keep coming out with new papers every month on terrifying climate changed induced scenarios that might/could/may/possibly happen or on what bizarre bad things climate change might/could/may/possibly cause or may be causing now.

They aren’t going to stop until we cave in because global socialism is one of the goals of leveraging AGW ‘solutions.’

The more I dig into this ‘issue’ of climate change, (and population, and resources, these are related to it), the more I see that its backed by rich leftists. I think these rich leftists are actually terrified of them and their offspring losing out on their immense wealth if world stability goes awry and that this is why they are leveraging AGW ‘solutions’ to implement a global socialist government. They probably believe this political system is the best way to ‘control’ world stability.

You can bet a global socialist government would push global small arms confiscation (where applicable) and round the world 24/7/365 electronic monitoring of all of us to make sure we have the appropriate (“healthy”) thoughts, ideals, and politics. What could go wrong?

Johann Wundersamer
August 16, 2018 12:58 pm

we mean a change in one part of the climate that then causes another change, which in turn may cause another change, and so on, potentially setting up chain reactions.

Continues reading… in his wildest dreams. …

Donald Kasper
August 16, 2018 1:04 pm

We only have to listen to another month of this, then summer will be over.

August 16, 2018 1:11 pm

The Grubber Alert is flashing red now. Step back from the headline and think and critique. Fortunately, the over reach squad is not around to run with it.

Peta of Newark
August 16, 2018 2:16 pm

I quite like, in my bizarre Monty Python way, that cliff cartoon.

It demonstrates so many things, especially how cause and effect get confused – and as someone said about the Gaurdian’s attempt at a feedback loop.
What A Mess

Because, sheep create deserts. They eat the grass soooo close to the ground.
Goats are even worse, they just eat everything.
And *you* thought wildfires were bad. At least they leave some ashes and soot.

Reading the cartoon becomes a matter of perspective. Everyone thinks that the sheep are moving towards the cliff edge and falling off.
The sheep are standing still and the cliff is moving backwards.

The human animal cannot lie, we do actually know what is happening not least as its happened dozens of times before. It is burned into our genetics.
Native North Americans know it just as well as the Aborigine. They know about soil and dirt and plants and weather and climate. But they are stupid and thick and don’t have science or supercomputers or Nobel prizes or smartphones or ………..

The cartoon is a beauty, especially as no-one reads it properly. That’s the joke.

Welcome to the world of Olympian Conclusion Jumping and not least, the reality of soil erosion.
We are ‘Cryptic Creatures’ are we not…..

August 16, 2018 3:02 pm

“The attention is justified because the paper paints a very grim picture of the climate and what humans may be doing to it”


August 16, 2018 3:11 pm

Lemmings will only jump off of cliffs if chased/pushed off by Disney producers. Yup a Disney aminal show from the 50 had producers shoving lmings off cliffs and that is where the myth originated.

Wiliam Haas
August 16, 2018 4:51 pm

The previous interglacial period, the Eemian, was warmer than this one with more ice cap melting and higher sea levels yet no tipping point was ever crossed and the last ice age ensued. The Earth’s climate has been stable enough for at least the past 500 million years for life to evolve, the evidence being that we are here. CO2 levels have been more than 10 times what they are today and during that time there were both ice ages and warm periods and no tipping points were ever crossed. So you can rest easy tonight knowing that your exhaling CO2 will not cause a climate disaster.

August 17, 2018 2:12 am

I seem to recall that the authors of this abomination of a paper based all their work on existing climate models. Ergo for their paper to have any validity the models would have to have some degree of correctness -which they do not. Still they managed to make even more money out of them which is after all the whole purpose of the AGW movement. For them it is a success.

August 17, 2018 2:50 am

As long as they put it in print and put a date on it, all good. Just add it the the long list of failed predictions. Sea level, arctic, children knowing what snow is etc etc

August 17, 2018 8:54 am

The climate obsessed are now denying reality.
There is no physical pathway for humans to cause a runaway climate catastrophe.
The entire revisit to scary scifi movie plot land is anti-science.

August 17, 2018 2:41 pm

If positive feedbacks drove climate then we wouldn’t be here now.

August 18, 2018 8:23 pm

Humans are pushing the Earth closer to a climate cliff

“Closer” ?!? We have been told over and over again that the tipping point was near and then passed.

Embrace the horror. We are already doomed already.

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