Climate Change is not a problem: Unless we make it one.

Guest Post by Martin Capages Jr. PhD PE

INTRODUCTION

As long as humans have been on Earth, they have been adapting to changes in regional climates. A regional climate is the average of the weather for a relatively long period of time, usually 30+ years, at a particular location on the planet. The natural periodicity of prolonged regional weather variations has been documented in various ways by humans for eons. For a comparison of human civilization in the northern hemisphere to Greenland ice core temperatures for the last 18,000 years see here. Some of the means of documenting changes in long term weather patterns, i.e. climate change, include crude prehistoric cave drawings of the animals and plants, paintings of frozen rivers (see Figure 1 of ice skating on the River Thames in 1684), and archaeological digs. There are also written records of climatic conditions as early as 5,000 years ago, perhaps even earlier. Ice, subsea, peat and lake bed cores are also used, for a more detailed discussion of the methods used see here and the links therein.

Figure 1. Ice skating on the River Thames in London in January 1684, during the Little Ice Age. Museum of London, link.

Most geologists agree that we are currently in an extended ice age. Technically we are in an “icehouse” condition (see here). When ice caps exist on one or more poles year-round for an extended period of time, the Earth is said to be in an icehouse. Global temperature may decrease further if the solar activity remains at its current low level (see here). But geologists deal in massive time increments of thousands, millions even billions of years. The general public makes its observations in decades, perhaps a generation and maybe even in a century, but not much more than that. Such a myopic view of the Earth’s climate can be misleading.

CLIMATE SCIENCE

Climate science is a combination of many scientific specialties such as geology, geophysics, astrophysics, meteorology, and ecology just to name a few of the larger branches. Some of these scientists are working to develop computer models of the climate using atmospheric physics, chemistry, actual data, proxy data, empirical variables and assumed constants. The models include statistical tools to present the results in the form of projections of measurable parameters, one of these is the global mean temperature. These projections are presented in time increments that mean something to the public. Dr. Judith Curry has written a good overview of computer climate modeling that can be downloaded here.

To gain an understanding of the regional climate that preceded humankind, we have to get creative. That means using proxies to determine the average temperature and perhaps life conditions in earlier years. The two most cited proxies are ice cores and tree rings, but there are other lesser known proxies. In addition, we can also make reasonable assumptions about the prehistorical past with observations of regional geology. For example, glacier movements are revealed by the scars and strange debris fields that are left with each glacial expansion and retreat. Great boulders are left in the middle of grassy plains as glaciers melt. Gravel placed by high velocity melt water rivers can even reveal the dynamics involved, perhaps even provide a timetable for the events. These points are made just to illustrate the importance of the geological perspective in understanding why the climate changes. It is, after all, the physical record.

Many scientists, across many disciplines, have made their career goals the understanding of these worldly and sometimes outer-worldly events. Some of these scientists have developed hypotheses that they defend with great vigor which is, of course, understandable. There is peer admiration, public recognition and research funding available when one’s hypotheses prove to be correct. But there is a danger in pushing any hypothesis beyond its limits. And that may be the case of the proponents of the singular CO2 driven global warming hypothesis.

THE DISAGREEMENT

 Instead of following more traditional methods of analyzing data acquired through research, noting some phenomenon, developing an hypothesis that might explain the phenomenon, then publishing the research and the scientific conclusions to get the scrutiny of peers in that particular field of research, the CO2 warming proponents appear to have started with an hypothesis. The hypothesis was that “humankind’s accelerated use of fossil fuels had led to an increase in average global temperature by adding more CO2 to the atmosphere and enhancing the Green House Gas effect.” This is easily seen in the stated objective of the United nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC):

“UNFCCC’s ultimate objective is to achieve the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system.” (link)

In other words, they assumed that stabilizing the atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration would prevent climate change, they did not prove this assertion first. The previous hypothesis had been that aerosols would cause a cooling of the average global temperature and lead to a new massive glacial advance or “Ice Age.” The media sometimes calls a major glacial advance an “ice age,” but we are already in an ice age and have been for millions of years. Some say the new ice age predictions in the 1970s were in the minority and erroneous. They claim there was no consensus on global cooling (link). Others say there was a consensus (link).  Then the impact of chlorofluorohydrocarbons (CFCs) on the ozone layer became the new major focus. A damaged ozone layer could increase solar radiation and lead to more cancer, animal blindness and plant withering (link).

Consensus among scientists means nothing. Proposing that a consensus exists by distilling published papers means absolutely nothing. Getting scientists together for an open discussion, presenting one’s hypothesis, showing the proof, then having a robust debate followed by an open show of hands may be a better way to define a scientific consensus, but even that could be biased by the quality of the presentations and the presenters involved.

 ROOT CAUSES FOR DISAGREEMENT

Research funding has always been the result of patronage, both private and governmental. An individual researcher must have some sort of sustenance to survive. If successful in the research, that scientist will attract more funding than the competition in the same field. The attraction to the funders of that successful research may be in public prestige received or there may be a purely economic or even military advantage for the patron, politician or governmental entity. Most research is performed by academia. Many, if not most, of the governmental agencies funding research, are pressured by political entities to fund research that supports a political agenda. Government funding injects politics into scientific research and can make research outcome oriented. Today, there is little research based on scientific curiosity. Most research is agenda-driven and based on the biases of the funding source and the biggest source is the government. That has led to the climate change debacle the world now faces. 

The actual climate change that will occur will be revealed at the pace that nature allows. Unfortunately, adapting to these changes takes time and resources. Understanding the causes of climate change may lead to decisions to take measures to mitigate the change or to adapt in advance of the climate change. The underlying assumption is that the projected climate change will have a negative impact on humans or even end humankind. So, the research has been directed at mathematical models of the climate centered on producing projections of global average temperature over time and comparing temperature to CO2 concentrations. These projections have actually been of the positive or negative deviation of the temperature above or below a selected historic baseline. While this is a valid and well accepted manner to display projections, the selection of historic baseline can distort the public’s perception of the change. 

These dynamic, mathematical models must use the power of digital computer programming to produce temperature projections in a reasonable time frame. There are many constants and variables that are fed into the models. Both the equations, the input constants and variables can be “tweaked” to generate projections until the projections can hindcast the majority of the historical record with some accuracy. Typically, data samples are not absolute but introduce a range around some point of reference. This departure from the norm requires the introduction of probability and statistics to represent a range of values. Temperature varies with latitude and elevation, so temperature anomalies must be computed at as many places around the Earth as possible and then the anomalies are averaged. Each projection consists of bands of departures from the specific reference point. The plots are not absolute temperature versus time but the “temperature anomaly” above and below as many base lines.  But matching history requires controls and record keeping on the tweaks to the constants, variables and the equations themselves.

Figure 2. The upper graph shows the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) projections of temperature (red and blue lines) without any man-made CO2, just natural forces. The lower graph shows projections (again in red and blue) including man-made CO2. The black line in both graphs are the observations. The blue and yellow very fine lines are the individual model runs that are averaged to make the blue and red lines. Source, IPCC WG1, AR5, FAQ 10.1, page 895, link.

In Figure 2 we see the result. The IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, uses models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP3 in 2010 and CMIP5 in 2014). The computed uncertainty in these estimates of global temperature change since 1860 are shown in blue and yellow. As the graphs show, the uncertainty range is larger than the deviation since 1860. The lower bound in 2000 overlaps the upper bound in 1860 in the lower graph. Since 2000, the observations have been fairly flat, as shown by the black line. In the upper graph, which is supposed to show only natural influences on climate change, the projections are flat, except for large volcanic eruptions, which decrease global temperatures. The authors want us to believe that none of the global warming in the past 150 years is natural? Did they assume this? Or do they know this? It is unclear. For a fuller discussion of Figure 2, see here.

The data itself must be distilled down. To then develop a projection of the results and keep it clear of bias, probabilistic techniques such as a Monte Carlo methodology are employed. These are computational algorithms that rely on repeated random sampling to obtain numerical results. The underlying concept is to use randomness to solve problems that might be deterministic in principle. Many climate change scientists have relied on Monte Carlo methods in the probability density function analysis of radiative forcing. Unfortunately, the actual data set adjustments and model “tweaking” have raised concerns about possible bias in the projections.

 Furthermore, the equations used in the millions of lines of software code may contain errors. Computer simulations provide a means to test hypotheses but do not provide “proof.” That is why computer projections must never be considered “settled science” or confused with observations. It is dangerous to do so. (Curry 2017).

 CARBON, CARBON DIOXIDE AND “BIG OIL”

The problem we have today is the divisive manner used by the scientists who are proponents of the “CO2 control knob” for global mean atmospheric temperature. Their computer models yield results that show a significant increase in the average global temperature by 1.1 to 4.2 degrees C (See figure 1, here) by the year 2100. That could be a problem perhaps, if it actually occurs. While the actual effect of a 4-degree temperature rise is unknown, it is assumed that it would be a bad thing and that assumption is widely believed. The “CO2 control knob” proponents (see here for an example), henceforth called “Alarmists” have declared that the doubling of the level of CO2 in the atmosphere could cause a global temperature increase of 4.5-degrees C (Link) by the end of the 21st Century, 80 years from now. They have recommended reducing, or even eliminating the use of fossil fuels which they believe is the primary cause of the rise in atmospheric CO2 from around 300 parts per million or 300 ppm at the beginning of the Industrial Age to today’s level of over 400 ppm.

Fossil fuels have always been referred to in the media in the pejorative and associated with “Big Oil”, another pejorative reference. The truth is that the use of fossil fuels has exponentially improved the ability of humans to flourish and Big Oil has been the means for that flourishing to take place. Big Oil has done some wasteful and selfish things and deserves some criticism. But Big Oil is not an evil entity, it is a business, a business of large and smaller corporations with shareholders, executives and employees, just like the Silicon Valley technical giants. Even the real Big Oil, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC, performs in the manner of a large corporation. The problem with Big Oil is that it has never been able to “stick up for itself.” It has even needed the help of “outsiders” to voluntarily join the battle on its behalf. Luckily, a few outsiders have decided to do that; however, it may be too late to change public perception of the fossil fuel energy industry (Epstein 2014). On the other hand, Silicon Valley has no such handicap as yet, but there is some negativism building with respect to privacy concerns and monopolistic behavior of the Tech Giants. 

THE UNITED NATIONS EFFECT

The United Nations has exploited the negative view of fossil fuels to enhance its role and power in global affairs. Others have supported the CO2 argument to enhance their opportunistic investments in alternative energy sources with the exception of nuclear and hydro-electric power. Hydro-electric is a non-carbon, reliable renewable while nuclear is non-carbon and near-renewable due to its availability and energy density. These two alternative sources have been opposed by anti-humanity environmental extremists. These combined negative forces have generated very slick UN Proposals for Policy Makers that are based on the singular premise that the global temperature is increasing at an alarming rate, the root cause is the increase in atmospheric CO2 due to the use of fossil fuels, and that the entire world should participate in reducing human-caused CO2 emissions to zero.

But what if the temperature increase is not due to increased human generated CO2 levels? What if the computer models projecting an increasing global average temperature are wrong? Are all the computer models based on the same general hypothesis? If so, are they just tweaking constants and variables to match the history? And, what exactly does a 1 degree or even 3 degree C temperature rise mean?

 RESEARCH ANSWERS

We need to get the answers to these questions. Who can provide these answers? There are many scientists and engineers who are knowledgeable in the physics and the chemical processes that set the boundaries for climate science. Many of the scientists are retired members of academia with years of experience in research, others are retired from large corporations that have their own research organizations. There are also scientists and engineers that have performed advanced research in government facilities, including military research. Current climate research is being performed at the public and private universities, corporations and in government laboratories. In the United States alone, the GAO estimates the government has spent over $107 billion dollars on climate research from 1993 to 2014 (Link). By far, most of the funding originates with governments. The government-academia research complex and rotating door has coopted research. Projects that fit social agendas are approved while more practical research languishes. Private research is denigrated by the government supported researchers. 

Scientists in academia keep a scorecard on their performance called peer-reviewed publications. Successful publications lead to more funding for more research as well as increased faculty prestige. High performers are rewarded and protected by their employers, primarily the universities. High performers are also recruited by the university alumnae since this maintains the prestige of the institution, their alma mater. These are all normal and understandable factors. Competition between universities and even between corresponding researchers in the different institutions generally leads to an increased understanding of the science.

 Unfortunately, the proponents of the “CO2 control knob” theory, the “Alarmists”, are dominant in mass media communications and on social media platforms. They have also established control of the research publications issued by various scientific organizations by serving as subject matter expert editors. For a discussion of these problems see The Center for Accountability in Science here. There are even specialized websites and blogs that provide only the “Alarmists” view and that launch attacks on questioners of the orthodoxy, the “deniers.” “Deniers” is a pejorative term that should not be used in this context, it would be better to use the term “Skeptics.” The “Skeptics” have less organized funding than the “Alarmists.” Both of these terms, Skeptics and Alarmists, have about the same level of negative connotation so they will be used in the following paragraphs, no offense intended to anyone. 

The nature of the current disagreement is unfortunate, and it is seriously affecting scientific discourse. Science advances through hypotheses, research and experiments to test the hypotheses, and a robust defense against the skeptics of the hypotheses. But today skeptics are attacked through insidious means, including personal attacks, limitations on publications, and media blitzes. Even the very best scientists, emeritus professors from prestigious universities, some even experts in the field of climatology, are demeaned by the Alarmists if they even comment on a particular hypothesis or question the physics in the computer models. There are also many retired scientists including geologists and geophysicists, who have questioned the hypothesis but have few resources now as they have left academia or the corporate world. Some of these skeptics have organized to counter the United Nations effort by organizing the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change and publishing skeptical reports, see here.

 WAIT A WHILE

The overall solution to this climate conundrum may be to just “wait a while.” Today we have satellites continually measuring both surface and atmospheric temperatures 24/7 all over the globe. We also have detailed records of regional weather events in many parts of the world that can be used to infer climatic change. And it is changes in regional climates that effect humans. Regional climates have been changing for eons. And, we know the impact on humankind, in the past, as a result of those changes. We can use common sense to determine what to do to adapt to possible future climate changes.

We should also wait until we know if additional CO2 is good or bad. There is a lot of evidence that additional CO2 is currently a benefit and surprisingly little that it is bad, see here for a discussion.

 ALL CLIMATE CHANGE IS LOCAL

So, what causes a regional climate to change? It is likely not completely due to the amount of CO2 added to the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. A regional climate is just that, climate that is specific to a region. A change in wind and ocean currents can change the humidity over any particular region, making it wetter or drier. If it is over a cold area, perhaps there will be more snow and ice for longer periods or just the opposite. It may expand a desert or create a rain forest. We have a fairly lengthy record of regional climate changes. The causes of these changes are much more complex than the effect of a minor greenhouse gas on the average global temperature. The wind and ocean current changes are driven by uneven heating, not a single digit global temperature increase. The uneven heating is due to clouds, the amount of water vapor, the earth’s changing elliptical orbit around the sun, the earth’s obliquity and rotational precession, and the earth’s rotation itself (which creates night and day). The sun even has a variable output. For a discussion of these long-term effects on our climate see these posts by Javier (here and here)

We also know that humanity has and will continue to have an impact on the world’s environment, mostly through agriculture and development that both require massive sources of energy. As the population continues to increase, the production of food must also increase. This brings up the subjects of population control measures, genetically modified crops, land use and many more. Without GMO measures, we would not be able to feed the current world population. That is just a fact. Unsound environmental policies that restrict the removable of dead shrubs and undergrowth as well as irrational restrictions on irrigation have contributed significantly to the wildfires in California and Australia and have reduced crop production. Continued residential and commercial developments in the flood plain and along coastlines are going to increase the adverse effects of any sea level rise, regardless of the amount of the rise or “apparent” rise. Sea level rise and land subsidence look the same to the casual observer but subsidence of land due to tectonics and water mismanagement are very real. The latter may be something we can do something about.

Mitigation (reducing CO2) is not the only way to combat climate change and it may not even work. Each community has its own climate change threats, sea level rise, changes in precipitation, storms, etc. These climate changes may be natural or man-made or both, we just don’t know. Each community can use modern technology and fossil fuels to adapt. They can build sea-walls like Galveston or The Netherlands. They can store water or improve drainage. Local adaptation is easier, cheaper and less risky than trying to change the whole world economy.

RECOMMENDATION

What we need to do is wait a while. Work together and stop the scientific infighting. The CO2 level in the atmosphere is going to continue to increase because China and India are burning more fossil fuels. Africa will be next. They have to in order to feed their populations. And if the temperature continues to rise a little more, it will most likely be beneficial to the planet in general, so long as China and India control the real problems of fossil fuel combustion, SO2 and NOx (and a few others, but not CO2). If it gets colder, not warmer, then we will have to burn more carbon-based fuel to stay warm and that might also raise the global temperature, or so I’ve heard.

References

Epstein, Alex. 2014. The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. New York: Penguin Group. Link.

May, Andy. 2018. CLIMATE CATASTROPHE! Science or Science Fiction? The Woodlands, Texas: American Freedom Publications LLC. Link.

The Center for Acountability in Science. “Government-funded Science.” accountablescience.com. Accessed February 4, 2020. Link.

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81 thoughts on “Climate Change is not a problem: Unless we make it one.

  1. I categorically reject the data series in figure 2 that represents the earth’s temperature through time. It is a manipulated series that fails basic logic and we have concrete evidence that scientists deliberately altered data to introduce warming.

    • Figure 2 is simply an example of “predicting the past.” Run through a supercomputer simulation to look “sciency.”

      IOW, when you know the answer to the past, it’s easy to look smart to the knave who doesn’t realize he’s being had.
      As in “Let’s play last Saturday’s Lotto!
      You (the tax paying public) put up $100 Billion, and I’ll “guess” which numbers were drawn. Deal?”

    • What you are rejecting, is the graphical REPRESENTATION of manipulated data, which is fair enough.

      HOWEVER the point is that EVEN USING THE ALARMISTS’ OWN DATA, that data shows that the projections are unreliable due to the size of the error-range.

      Which was the context in which it was posted.

    • I agree. It’s a pretty good article, with the exception of the graphs. I actually find them pretty offensive. They represent probably the most common “proof” that all the warming was caused by CO2. In reality it is so bad that it is close to fraudulent.

      The second graph implies that the computer models have been pretty good at predicting future temperatures. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Over the long term (e.g. 30 years) the climate models have turned out to be hopelessly wrong. They predicted far more warming than actually occurred (up to three times too much). It’s hardly surprising, as even the IPCC admits that long term forecasts are impossible due to the chaotic nature of weather and climate.

      So, how can this graph appear to be so accurate? Here’s where the trickery comes in. As it’s a climate model, many people will assume it’s an actual forecast. Of course, it isn’t. Most of the graph covers the past, before the models were run. In other words, when the models were run they already knew the answer. The models are full of arbitrary adjustments (parameterisation) which are clearly used to make the models match the past – in other words, a sophisticated version of curve fitting.

      There’s only one way to test the accuracy of a climate model: do the runs and then sit back for at least 30 years. Then compare the prediction with what actually happened. Of course, we have done that – we have serious super computer model runs from the eighties. Needless to say, they have turned out to be hopelessly wrong. The claimed proof based on those graphs above is pure fraud.
      Chris

      So how can a

  2. Andy comments that consensus among scientists means nothing, but this is hardly true in the current context. The peer review system (failure) is a large part of the chaos driving climate alarmism.

    If we posture a system where acceptance, publishing and grant money follow the consensus view, the scientific method (“I hear you, but I’ll think for myself and test your hypothesis”) fails in it’s goals.

    • Enginer01, I posted and edited this article, but it was written by Martin Capages. I see your point, but I think Martin means that in science, as it is supposed to be practiced, consensus means nothing and I agree with him. In our world today, government funding of research has injected politics into science to such an extent, that “consensus” is driving science, which is wrong. Not speaking for Martin, but for myself, I would prefer that government funding of research go away completely, it is corrupting science.

      • Andy
        There is different types of research. Pseudoscience research is different to engineering research.
        The US government funding for research into highways and drainage in the 50s and 60s has been invaluable for engineers worldwide.

        • Waza, Anyone could cherry pick some projects from the past 60 years that turned out to be useful. We could also cherry pick some that are incredibly stupid. The main thing is the person funding the research should have skin in the game, he or she should benefit if it turns out well and hurt if it fails. We don’t need government bureaucrats, with nothing to lose, spending $3 million of our money watching shrimps run on a treadmill (true story). Or spending $300,000 to figure out how humans ride a bicycle, another true story.

          • Andy
            Agreed.
            There is a type of climate research that is needed but lacking or hidden ( if outcome not fitting alarmist narrative).
            More detailed local studies are required to assess actual damages or benefits.
            I am engineer involved in civil infrastructure mainly flood mitigation.
            For nearly twenty years I have been reading, ” more droughts and more floods” or ” some parts of the state will experience a 5% reduction in stream flow….and some parts of the state will experience 5% more intensive rainfall ….but we need to do more local studies….”
            If climate change is so important why is no one doing local research?

          • Detailed health research. scenario – The New York health system assesses climate related illness. Additional costs x% needed for increase in hot weather illness to be offset by reduction of y% costs for cold weather illness. Florida does same but gets different results.
            If climate change is so important why a local damage studies not being done ( or hidden)

          • You should vet your examples more thoroughly. The first version of the shrimp treadmill cost $47 out of the researcher’s pocket. The later fancy version was $1,000. The $3 million wasn’t for the shrimp study alone, but spread across numerous projects related to seafood species.

            https://www.npr.org/2011/08/23/139852035/shrimp-on-a-treadmill-the-politics-of-silly-studies

            https://www.chronicle.com/blogs/conversation/2014/11/13/how-a-47-shrimp-treadmill-became-a-3-million-political-plaything/

            Don’t be as lazy as our opponents.

          • D. J. Hawkins, I’m sure every scientist accused of wasting government research dollars has a plausible excuse for his expenditure, my point is still the same. If the study were worthwhile to the shrimp industry, the shrimp industry would pay for it. You, I and NPR (not a reliable source these days) cannot judge the study’s validity or value, only someone with skin in the game. The government is not a proper source of funding, and this is especially for an industry specific study.

          • Andy;

            If the study were worthwhile to the shrimp industry, the shrimp industry would pay for it.

            OK, I”ll ride this hobby horse with you. Sadly, the industry is likely to say, “Well, that’s what government funding is for!” I, too, forget that until the 40’s and 50’s, government was not the major well-spring for research funding. I applaud your sentiment but I don’t know how we get there from here. Science is now addicted to government money, as mercilessly as any drug addict.

      • The first sentence in what author wrote (below) should be revised to read, “There are ‘engineered’ consensuses and there are real consensuses.” Real consensuses definitely mean something. The current alarmist consensus isn’t real because:

        1. Its members are all self-selected students of the subject matter because they feel it’s important (the field hardly existed before the alarmist hypothesis was floated). Those who feel it’s important are persons who typically view Man’s intrusion on Ma Nature as a sort of rape—i.e., Greenies. (A survey of the consensus’s membership in Green organizations and voting records would likely support my claim.) They would like to find something alarming to blame on Man and/or on inconsiderate economic systems (i.e., capitalism).

        2. Graduate programs in climatology indoctrinate students in the CO2 control-knob theory. They are not exposed to criticisms of it. Skeptics tend to be filtered out in such an environment. (Non-alarmist textbooks would not be selected often by the Greenie top faculty in climatology departments.)

        3. Extremist-mindset members of the artificial consensus have set themselves up as mind-guards, enforcing by social and economic pressure “groupthink” on members and MSM commenters. GROUPTHINK DOESN’T MAKE A “CONSENSUS”. (Feel free to use this phrase whenever the current engineered consensus is cited as authoritative.)

        4. Funders of climate research and climatology as a whole are almost entirely alarmist: trusting do-good foundations, academia, and ideologically influenced (world-saver-types—e.g., Al Gore) government-funded cash-dispensers.

        5. Journals have been intimidated into applying stricter standards on skeptical papers than on alarmist ones; the latter are “waved through,” with less regard to merit—sometimes with much less regard. And editors feel safe in selecting alarmists as peer reviewers—as they are likely “encouraged” to do.

        6. The peer-reviewed literature’s consensus isn’t thus necessarily authoritative—especially if that consensus is further engineered by selectivity on the part of the organization that reviews and summarizes it, namely IGPOCC (a better abbreviation than “the IPCC”).

        7. The issue has not been debated in an open forum, such as a science court, or even much in the Dutch government’s now-defunct (because of alarmist unwillingness to participate) Climate Dialogue site. Scientific journals do not like to host such debates—they focus on new Findings (supposed) and literature reviews. (Print media are anyway not really the best location for the thrust and parry of debate.) Importantly, free-range (blog-posted) material that would be excluded from peer-reviewed journals can be introduced into such debates.
        ==============

        “Consensus among scientists means nothing. [Too strong] Proposing that a consensus exists by distilling published papers means absolutely nothing. Getting scientists together for an open discussion, presenting one’s hypothesis, showing the proof, then having a robust debate followed by an open show of hands may be a better way to define a scientific consensus, but even that could be biased by the quality of the presentations and the presenters involved.”

        • PS: The 60 or so “world’s scientific bodies” that have endorsed alarmism have not done truly independent investigations, I suspect. Most likely what happened is that those societies followed their normal procedure and called for volunteers to join an ad hoc committee to study the matter. This would have had the (intended?) effect of filling them with zealous Greens, eager to do their bit to further the cause.

          Even unbiased members would lean toward alarmism, since the peer-reviewed literature contains few of the pointed, awkward questions raised by contrarians outside the academy.

  3. “Climate Change is not a problem: Unless we make it one.”

    This is literally true.

    Based on whatever definitions are employed for Climate and Change, there’s hardly a limit on what the mind might concoct.

    Andrew

    • If anyone REALLY thought CO2 was causing anything deleterious, every wealthy country would be building next-gen nuclear power plants as fast as the investment could be made. The fact that they aren’t tells me all I need to know about the true motivations; which are now out of the bag for the world to see.

      • Salute!

        Not so sure, Gold. I feel many pols are ignorant and actually believe the evil gas is gonna kill us all.

        I feel the anti-nuke actions are also the result of ignorance.

        The problem is the pols appeal to hysteria and are of the same ilk, for the most part.

        A bonafide nuclear power engineer surprised me on a camping trip near one of the first nuke plants in the U.S. He related that the worst nuclear particles fissioned really quick into harmless isotopes, like days and months. He also noted that recycling the “spent” fuel was not as cheap as storing it somewhere out west – you know, ” flyover country”. In short, he was laying out a basis for a comprehensive nuclear energy policy but not addressing the hysteria that ignorant folks promote when an evil gas that all life depends upon is an easy target.

        Nukes are the way to go, IMHO. Just gotta show that more folks die from poisonous gases resulting from the manufacture of solar cells than from radiation we saw and documented at the four famous episodes.

        Gums sends…..

        • Anti nuke people base their opposition more on irrational fears based on horror stories from the time of Dr Curie’s experiments and some of the nuclear accidents. It is irrational because it is extremely unlikely – one is far more likely to suffer long term damage in a car or bus accident on a freeway but folks take that risk all day, every day.

    • Man can live in and near desert, in rain forrest, at the poles. I don’t see a problem to adapt. On the other hand, while warming, the deserts are greening, the climatic timberline is increasing to the north, in the mountains to the height, new places to live and grow.

    • From this article:
      “Climate Change is not a problem: Unless we make it one.”

      Close enough.

      The following two statements were published by my co-authors and me in 2002 and are clearly correct-to-date:

      “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”

      “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”

      In contrast, all the CAGW alarmists’ scary climate predictions have failed to materialize. The global warming/climate change alarmists have a perfectly negative predictive track record, and thus perfectly negative credibility. Nobody should believe them – about anything.

  4. “geologists deal in massive time increments of thousands, millions even billions of years. The general public makes its observations in decades, perhaps a generation and maybe even in a century, but not much more than that. Such a myopic view of the Earth’s climate can be misleading. ”

    There it is—in a nut shell

    • Right on, John VC, and Martin Capagesj! As a geologist your comment about time scales is close, however, I personally utilized a timescale starting at 30 days, and I called it “the payday cycle”.

    • So it seems that Earth had the incorrect temperature and incorrect CO2 level for most of the last 300 million years. So it must have had the wrong climate too with extreme acidic oceans where no life would be possible.
      We also know that during the Holocene trees have been growing much closer to the poles and much higher up the mountain than today is possible.

      So what is the correct climate and when is the last time we lived in that Utopian world?

    • “ Such a myopic view of the Earth’s climate can be misleading.” I would go a step further and call it ‘dishonest’. It’s like sitting on the top of the cliffs above Dover and claiming that because you can see Calais you understand the whole of Europe.

  5. See my blogpost at
    https://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-co2-derangement-syndrome-millennial.html
    Here is the last paragraph:
    ” The establishment’s dangerous global warming meme, the associated IPCC series of reports ,the entire UNFCCC circus, the recent hysterical IPCC SR1.5 proposals and Nordhaus’ recent Nobel prize are founded on two basic errors in scientific judgement. First – the sample size is too small. Most IPCC model studies retrofit from the present back for only 100 – 150 years when the currently most important climate controlling, largest amplitude, solar activity cycle is millennial. This means that all climate model temperature outcomes are too hot and likely fall outside of the real future world. (See Kahneman -. Thinking Fast and Slow p 118) Second – the models make the fundamental scientific error of forecasting straight ahead beyond the Millennial Turning Point (MTP) and peak in solar activity which was reached in 1991.These errors are compounded by confirmation bias and academic consensus group think.
    See the Energy and Environment paper The coming cooling: usefully accurate climate forecasting for policy makers. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0958305X16686488
    and an earlier blog version at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-coming-cooling-usefully-accurate_17.html See also https://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-millennial-turning-point-solar.html
    and the discussion with Professor William Happer at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2018/02/exchange-with-professor-happer-princeton.html

  6. “but even that could be biased by the quality of the presentations and the presenters involved.”

    Not to mention the funding needs of those doing the voting.

  7. Great discussion of a rational approach to an almost completely irrational fad in progressive politics.
    In my overly simple summary there are two sides. If one is on the side of healthy human society and its continued progress paired with a healthy world environment then truth is the only valid currency. The world can’t afford billions of people acting on false information.

    If one is part of the climate alarmist cult then the answer is different. If one is a climate scare cultist and seeking prestige, money, power and influence then the truth is a luxury they can’t afford, and they will do everything possible to bury it deep out of sight.

  8. I am not sure that it helps unravel the climate debate about the role of fossil fuel emissions in the current warming period by backing out into airy fairy ice age talk. The issue is that it has been warming since the end of the little ice age and that this change coincides with the rise of the industrial economy. One side of the debate says that the industrial economy with its fossil fuel emissions has a hand in this. The other side says there’s no evidence of that. This is the climate debate, NOT whether there are ice ages and glaciation cycles.

    • “The issue is that it has been warming since the end of the little ice age and that this change coincides with the rise of the industrial economy. One side of the debate says that the industrial economy with its fossil fuel emissions has a hand in this. The other side says there’s no evidence of that. This is the climate debate, NOT whether there are ice ages and glaciation cycles.”

      I have to agree. The warm periods in human history such as the Medieval Warm Period and the Roman Warm period are important indicators of climate and history in general, but we can make this CAGW/No CAGW argument by focusing on the Little Ice Age going forward. For this time period we have all the records both temperature-wise and written records to prove that CO2 is at best a minor player in the Earth’s atmosphere.

      All we have to do is show that it was just as warm in the recent past, before human-caused CO2 was considered a significant issue (by the IPCC) as it is today and that fact alone destroys the “unprecedented warming” required by the CAGW speculation.

      It wamed up just as much in the first half of the 20th century, without the assistance of human-caused CO2, and it has warmed today, so that tells us something other than CO2 is causing the warming. It tells us we have nothing to worry about from CO2.

      And it is easily proven that it was just as warm in the recent past as it is today. We have all the regional temperature charts we need to prove it and we have written records that descibe the weather and how it behaved at the time.

      We just have to ignore the bogus, bastadized Hockey Stick chart that makes the false claim that we are experiencing the hottest weather in human history now. It’s a lie. Actual temperature records from the past demonstrate it is a lie.

      A bastardized Hockey Stick chart is the only thing the alarmists can hang their hat on, and it is as fraudulent as anything can be.

      Yeah, let’s discuss the Early Twentieth Century Warming (ETCW) period and why it destroys the CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) speculation all by itself.

    • “The other side says there’s no evidence of that.” But aren’t most climate skeptics in the middle? I think most believe there is some warming and some of that is due to carbon emissions, but quite likely to other causes too- and that because we don’t know for sure, there is little value in a drastic, revolutionary change in our energy systems.

  9. The problem we face is over consumption due to over population. That’s all of it really. Less people = less consumption.

    • It seems that where people no longer have to worry about daily survival population numbers go down or become negative.
      So more and cheaper energy and more freedom = less people = less consumption.

      Of course the Western Climate Jugend will have no kids at all with just 10 years left to go.

    • Bob
      You are right about consumption but it is not fully linked to population.
      It’s how the consumption per person increases as the country develops.
      The late Hans Roslin video s on population growth are very good at illustrating this.
      IMO the best way forward is to bring as many people as possible out of poverty ASAP.
      This is likely to significantly increase resource consumption over the next few generations but also reduce population growth.

  10. From the article: “Both the equations, the input constants and variables can be “tweaked” to generate projections until the projections can hindcast the majority of the historical record with some accuracy.”

    The problem with this is they are not hindcasting the historical temperature record, they are hindcasting the historical temperature record after it has been bastardized by computers and changed into a completely made up temperature profile.

    The should try tweaking their models to accurately hindcast the actual temperature readings. Obviously, their current models are wrong because they don’t accurately hindcast the actual temperature readings of the past.

    • Other problems are that things like yearly aerosol production is not known with any degree of accuracy. The further back you go, the fuzzier the numbers get.
      As a result “modelers” are free to put in any number that makes there model work best.
      They aren’t tuning the models, they are tuning their data.

      Aerosol’s are not the only input that is not known with any degree of accuracy.

  11. As long as there is money to be grifted and power to be accumulated and exercised by making it a “problem,” “climate change will be a “problem.”

  12. What if Earth would not have come out of the Little Ice Age. Where would glaciers be right now ? Would Greta still have a place she could call home in Sweden?

  13. The painting by Abraham Hondius showing many large tents pitched on the frozen Thames (probably sheltering merchants at the Frost Fair), with horses and carriages on the ice, indicates that about 340 years ago, the Thames must have frozen at least a foot thick in order to support all that weight, and people would feel safe venturing out on the ice. The fact that the Thames did not freeze as much even in the 1800’s shows that the warming since 1684 was due to natural causes, not excessive human emissions of CO2.

    Observed temperatures, according to Figure 2, have been rather flat since 2000, while the CO2 concentration has increased by over 40 ppm, or about 11%, since 2000. If rising CO2 concentrations causes global warming, why didn’t the climate warm over the past 20 years?

    There are natural forces, many of which we don’t completely understand, which are driving changes in the climate, which we cannot control. We can only adapt to the changes, like the Londoners who abandoned the Frost Festival but can now cross the Thames by ferry during the winter. If some coastal cities are threatened by slowly rising sea levels, they can build sea walls, which are much cheaper than everyone doing without the benefits of fossil fuels.

    Besides, the Londoners who participated in the Frost Festival back in 1684 probably heated their homes with wood fires, which emit much more CO2 per unit heating value than oil or natural gas, and cutting trees for heating reduced the removal rate of CO2 by photosynthesis. If the United Kingdom gave up fossil fuels now, there wouldn’t be enough trees to heat the homes of today’s population, especially if the climate became as cold as it was in 1684. Is that what today’s climate alarmists want?

  14. The best temperature summary of model vs reality is the graphic by Christy and Spencer, in testimony to the U.S. Government, it shows the IPCC delusion that the models are able to represent a future temperature reality, the opposite is true. Every politician and bureaucrat should have that graphic displayed prominently on his /her desk to remind them of the UN UNFCCC IPCC climate change scam.

  15. Transient extreme weather events are not climate change.
    For climate change to occur, changes in weather need to be persistent. (Some define it over a 30 year period.)
    Although empirical evidence may suggest changes in global temperatures of the order of 0.1C per decade, (ignoring the cause), this does not explain how climate change will occur.
    While Chaos Theory and the butterfly effect can explain how small changes in initial conditions can induce large changes, it is unable to forecast what will happen, where it will happen, and when it will happen.

  16. “The CO2 level in the atmosphere is going to continue to increase because China and India are burning more fossil fuels.”
    Even this “fact” comes from the assumptions that underlie the AGW hypothesis. That assumption is falsified Salby, Harde, Berry an others as well as common sense. Before humans, CO2 flowed into and out of the atmosphere with a residence time of about 4-10 years. There were periods with lots more CO2 than now and others with a little less. Some of those high CO2 periods were warmer and some cooler than present. There were many sources of CO2 flowing into the atmosphere and, if each could have been quantified it could have been been represented as a percentage of the atmospheric CO2. Human sourced CO2 is no different from any other source that flows into the atmosphere and just like any other source it cannot “build up” in the atmosphere. It mixes with all the other sources and is absorbed at the earth’s surface with them in the ratio it came into the atmosphere. That is currently about 3% of the flow. If China and India triple there CO2 production human percentage of the total flow will hardly change. Until the 97% of the flow changes the concentration will continue to rise. We have no control over that part and the part we can control is inconsequential.

    • DMA, We know how much CO2 we are putting in the atmosphere because we keep track of fossil fuels sold. We also know how much CO2 is in the atmosphere and how quickly the concentration is changing. From this we can reasonably assume some of the CO2 increase we are observing is from burning fossil fuels. What is in doubt is how much of the additional CO2 is being absorbed and how quickly the absorption is increasing. We do know that a lot of the additional CO2 is absorbed and that the CO2 absorption rate is increasing. At some point the increase in CO2 will level out, how quickly or at what level is not known for sure. Dr. Roy Spencer has written about this: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2020/02/nature-has-been-removing-excess-co2-4x-faster-than-ipcc-models/

      • Andy
        I think it is incorrect to think of human emissions as “additional”because that implies that other sources are constant. The correct analysis using the conservation equation sees that our emissions, although more than the increase in concentration, is only about 3% of the inflow so it can only amount to about 3% of the concentration.

      • The greatest and most influential deception of the IPCC is the claim that it could nail down changes of natural carbon emissions, which represent 95% of overall emissions. Unlike human emissions, there are no global measurements of natural emissions or, for that matter, of natural absorption. Without such measurements, claiming that 5% of total emissions is the controlling factor is nonsense.

  17. That’s right. Over a multi-decadal period, the Profits have brayed that change is positive, and progressive. Now, they feign concern that the processes are divergent, and catastrophic (i.e. monotonic).

  18. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you,then they fight you, then you win. Mahatma Gandhi Go back in time to Dr Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 book “The Population Bomb” he stated “By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people …- Dr.Paul Ehrlich (1971) Ehrlich’s math is impeccable,what he was missing was a lack of understanding of human creativity, best exemplified by Lincoln’s favorite stump speech, known as his” discoveries and inventions speech”.
    Moving on to our current history, an academic directly deployed by the British Crown since 2004 ,Hans Joachim Schellnhuber has become the German Merkel government’s and now Pope Francis climate guru. He asserts that ” scientific consensus” puts Earth’s population potential at below 1 billion people. Unless you fancy your self as one of the 1 billion.Where do the rest of us go?

  19. Detailed health research. scenario – The New York health system assesses climate related illness. Additional costs x% needed for increase in hot weather illness to be offset by reduction of y% costs for cold weather illness. Florida does same but gets different results.
    If climate change is so important why a local damage studies not being done ( or hidden)

  20. “If it gets colder, not warmer, then we will have to burn more carbon-based fuel to stay warm and that might also raise the global temperature, or so I’ve heard.”

    Through the looking glass anything is possible Martin. But what is probable is that we see a continuation of warming at least for the next decade as a result of CO2 emissions from the last decade – given the 10 year lag. And given that CO2 emissions are still rising exponentially there is no reason to believe the 30s, and most likely the 40, 50s and 60s too, will be any different…or so I’ve heard.

    • I’m still waiting for evidence that CO2 is the primary source of warming over the last 150 years.
      Models are not science and they are not evidence.

      The Medieval, Roman and Minoan warm periods were much warmer than it is today, and CO2 didn’t cause it.
      90% of the last 10,000 years has been as much as 3 to 5C warmer than today, and CO2 didn’t cause it.

      Until climate science can explain why those periods were so much warmer than today, they have no credibility when they try to proclaim that CO2 must be the cause of the modern warm period.

        • ”How do you know this?

          Stupid question. No one literally ”knows” anything about the past unless it was recorded somehow, however we can use various proxies against each other to make a summation. This has been done many times and accepted as valid evidence. You have no evidence to refute these findings.
          What you rely on is predictions of a future based on nothing that has exceeded a hypothesis.

      • ” 3 to 5C warmer than today”

        “How do you know this?” Silence

        What “valid evidence”? What “findings”? Crickets

        • For a start, look up the ice core reconstruction of R B Alley in Journal of Quaternary Science Review vol 19 pp 213-236, 2000. Although I think 3 – 5 oF would be the correct range rather than 3-5 oC.

          But if you’d bothered to do some research before sounding off, you’d know that.

        • Try R B Alley’s ice core reconstruction in the Journal of Quaternary Science Reviews vol 19, pp 213-226, 2000. Although I would say the range is more like 3 – 5 oF than 3 – 5 oC. The reconstruction has been discussed on WUWT

    • “Loydo February 11, 2020 at 4:18 pm

      …– given the 10 year lag.”

      What 10 year lab would that be?

  21. If you don’t like the weather, wait around awhile, it’ll change. It’s as true today as it was many decades ago.

    Just sayin…

    • Thank you Andy for a response that at least wasn’t just a concoction as MarkW’s obviously was.

      Your graph suggests “globally most of the last 10,000 years was warmer than today, but by 0.1 to 0.4 degrees”. I would draw your attention to the fact that the graph you link to ends in 2000. Since then we’ve experienced upwards of 0.3°C increase and that means today is certainly warmer than the MWP and RWP and probably warmer than the vast majority of, if not the entire Holocene. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that the modern warming trend will falter any time soon, so in a decade that contest will be well and truly over.

      A broader question about the quality of the information at this site.
      How is it possible that someone who seems to spend most of his spare time at the “world’s most viewed website on climate” can repeatedly claim that any part of the Holocene was 5°C warmer than today and it takes an “alarmist troll” to challenge him?

      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f8/Global_Temperature_Anomaly.svg/800px-Global_Temperature_Anomaly.svg.png

  22. Needless to say

    When ice caps exist on one or more poles year-round for an extended period of time, the Earth is said to be in an icehouse –> When ice caps exist on one or both poles year-round for an extended period of time, the Earth is said to be in an icehouse.

  23. “The two most cited proxies are ice cores and tree rings, but there are other lesser known proxies.”

    Ice cores aren’t proxies. Ice cores are “the frozen real thing”.

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