Earth’s Optimal Temperature?

By Robert Vislocky, Ph.D.

From the “whatever happened to the 1.5* C tipping point” school of climate, researchers have identified 24 planets that are likely to be more suitable for life than Earth.

Here is news release from Washington State University and accompanying journal article:


https://news.wsu.edu/2020/10/05/planets-may-better-life-earth/

The paper:
https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/ast.2019.2161

What is especially eye-catching is the criteria behind why these planets are considered super-habitable:  “older, a little larger, slightly warmer and possibly wetter than Earth.” Say what? How can warmer & wetter be better for life on Earth? Aren’t we near a tipping point where another 0.5* C of warming becomes an existential threat to humanity, as claimed by certain climate scientists, news outlets, and politicians?

Even more intriguing is what the researchers (the lead author of which is a geobiologist) consider to be “slightly warmer”. This is clarified farther into the article where it states “a mean surface temperature of about 5 degrees Celsius (or about 8 degrees Fahrenheit) greater than Earth, together with the additional moisture, would be also better for life.” Wow!!

That certainly blows away the so-called 1.5* C tipping point, which we all know is a number picked out of a hat for political reasons. More importantly, their research begs the deeper question on exactly what is the optimal temperature for life on this planet. This is certainly a question which should be addressed before implementing any public policy (such as the Green New Deal) that could significantly impact the economy and quality of life.

158 thoughts on “Earth’s Optimal Temperature?

  1. LOL! I was just about to deposit this story into the tips section. Noticed the higher temps also.

      • Some people believe the cold vacuum of space causes a slow down of molecular motion.

        Unlike them, I got A’s in all my physics/astronomy courses, so I know matter can only cool to other matter. If that matter is 378,000 km away then it will barely cool, and hence the small steady state geothermal heat flow.

        Thank Hatter. I will keep on rockin’ in the free world.

        • So, I looked at your profile and I don’t see any physics or astronomy degrees.
          Where did you get your economics and finance degrees?

          • I went to a top 30 university with a full free scholarship. I didn’t get a degree in physics/astronomy. I merely took 5 classes. I also got a 7/7 on the Physics IB exam in high school, and got to skip Physics I&II.

            That makes 7 semesters, or 3.5 years of physics. Is that not enough time?

            I never stopped learning.

            I like math. It’s easy for me. Now I manage a ton of money.

        • So a warm body won’t radiate out in to the vacuum of space? Besides conduction and convection, there is also radiative heat transfer.

          • “So a warm body won’t radiate out in to the vacuum of space?”

            Only if there is colder matter somewhere down the line. And inverse square law still applies.

            There is no evidence of photons going from something to nothing. It’s some type of erroneous philosophy.

        • Zoe,
          You’ve heard of black body radiation, have you not? You are aware of the cosmic background radiation, supposed remnant radiation from the big bang? The earth warmed by solar radiation and cooled by long wave radiation to outer space. Maybe you should revisit those physics and astronomy courses.

          • Thank you for sharing your philosophy, Robert.

            I prefer hard science. The sun makes molecules vibrate in real-time. When the sun goes down they slow down and stop (excluding geothermal here).

            If you want to imagine the sun shooting particles at Earth and then the Earth spitting them out, that’s up to you. I’ll focus on the vibrations of molecules. I don’t believe that molecules will dance from the sun and then spit out their energy via photons. that’s twice the energy.

            Obviously there is energy conservation. The sun makes molecules move in real time!

            Generating photons drains internal molecular energy, i.e. makes molecules vibrate less.

            So to say that solar photons in and out actually happens means the molecules don’t vibrate at all (again, excluding geothermal).

            Do molecules vibrate from the sun in real time? Of course, we feel temperature because of it. Then they are not emitting photons at same rate.

            Photons in and out leaves no room for motion.

            This analysis excludes the fact that a monitoring satellite will be heated by radiation from Earth. A satellite is matter.

          • Black Body Radiation?

            I remember being taught about that in High School back in the day.

            Over the course of a lesson it was built up… then brutally torn down.

            Also, in your own words, would you like to explain what ‘long wave radiation’ is and how it’s ability to transfer heat differs from say ‘medium wave radiation’?

          • Craig,

            Outgoing longwave radiation emitted from Earth includes the bands in which both water and CO2 absorb photons. It falls within the infrared portion of the spectrum, with typical wavelengths of 4 to 30 micrometers (within a broader 3 to 100μm range).

      • Zoe Phin
        “There is no evidence of photons going from something to nothing. It’s some type of erroneous philosophy.”

        Photons don’t “know” where they are going when an atom or molecule happens to emit one. There is no feedback from surroundings to stop a photon emission because it depends solely on how the electric field in the emitter behaves. It is not 100% stable internally.
        That beautiful picture of a galaxy above: do you really think the photons that made it up called ahead to see if there was room for them in the Hubble’s receptors?
        Not a chance.

      • We don’t have to wait until interstellar travel is cracked to start filling the Climate Crisis life boats. Judging from the hysteria, the greens seem to think Mars has the perfect climate. Still too difficult you say? Well the rocket engineering gets much easier when you factor in that it only needs to be a one way trip…

    • Well, Zoe, there’s gotta be some serious climate problems on those distant planets, caused by beings other than human, because look – they have crossed that magical tipping point to runaway disaster hurricane/drought/tornado/sea level rise/famine. Maybe we have it better here than we realize. If the past is any indication, our point of no return will continually be pushed forward, and a hundred years from now, nay, a thousand, we will still be at the last possible moment to avoid disaster!!!

      • If those other beings have no resources to rob, they can’t be causing climate change on those planets.

        Only those from whom money/resources can extort cause all the climate change.

        Got money? You’re guilty!

        That’s how it works, you see?

        • ZOE
          Of course that’s politics, not science.

          After 4.5 billion years of ONLY natural causes of climate change, the UNs IPCC was set up to IGNORE all natural causes of climate change. These natural causes apparently disappeared during the 20th century, but a search party is looking for them.

          There’s no need to tell us how smart you are because we will consider your science opinions even if you never graduated from high school.

          Plenty of science Ph.Ds make no sense at all with their wild guess climate predictions.

  2. “Say what? How can warmer & wetter be better for life on Earth?”

    He says “life”, then bait and switches to “humanity”.
    Is Mr Vislocky, PhD a
    A. Moron?
    B. Manufacturing doubt for political purposes?

    “…what is the optimal temperature for LIFE on this planet. This is certainly a question which should be addressed before implementing any public policy (such as the Green New Deal) that could significantly impact the economy and quality of (HUMAN) life.”
    (My bold)
    Irrelevant question then double bait and switch, nice job.

    Thats right he’s both; just another politically motivated moron whose kindergarten fakery should be completely disregarded.

    • The real “moron” is you, Loydo. Sounds like you had a bad breakfast and couldn’t handle the truth once again.

    • So your theory is that while “Life” in general is better off on a warmer planet, a particular lifeform that came out of the tropics and has to wear clothes to survive anywhere else is worse off an a warmer planet? Show your work.

      • When there are over 100 million people living close to sea level warmer temperatures are a big threat. Similarly there are close to a billion people
        who rely on regular monsoons to water their crops and allow them feed
        themselves. A changing climate would again be life threatening.

        A warmer earth might be a global optimum but we are stuck on a local
        optimum and the chances are there is no way to get to the global optimum
        (assuming it exists) without descending down a long way before going up again.

        • Monsoons don’t go away in a warmer world. They shift and generally are rainier, as during the Green Sahara of the HCO. Warmer and wetter is better for agriculture.

          Sea level has been rising at about the same rate for 300 years. Should it continue, then coastal cities will build barriers. At 200mm per century, at some distant time parts of low-lying cities might have to be abandoned, but that’s a common occurrence in history. At present, land subsidence is more of a risk than rising seas.

        • Big threat, no they can walk away from the threat, like humans did when we had real rapid sea rise when the glaciers melted not so long ago in geological time.

          • Mark,
            Where exactly do you think 100 million people are going to walk to?
            Which countries are going to let them in?

          • Izaak Walton

            Canada is the 2nd largest continent with only 30 million people that live within 200 miles of the U.S. border because the North is too cold. 97% of the land is unpopulated pristine forests.

          • Still dreaming of empty nothings, hey Izzy.

            Dreaming of things that aren’t..

            All you have is delude fantasy.

            ” but we are stuck on a local optimum and the chances are there is no way to get to the global optimum (assuming it exists) without descending down a long way before going up again.”

            What a load of scientifically unsupportable garbage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrWoG8IckyE

            Optimum would be warmer and lots more CO2.

            Climate always changes, NATURALLY….. do you DENY that fact

            In what ways has the global climate changed in the last 50 years , that can be SCIENTIFICALLY proven to be of human causation?

          • “Where exactly do you think 100 million people are going to walk to?”

            Only “climate” refugees so far are those emigrating from cold to warm.

            or escaping from socialist “greenie”climate agendas.

            Sea level rise is really only around a SCARY 2mm/year

            Are you PETRIFIED WITH FEAR yet ?

          • Izaak,

            Most would go inland in their own countries, such as China and India.

            But there won’t be enough sea level rise in this century to force such a mass exodus.

            Besides, under Biden, the US will have open borders.

          • People pretend that they are concerned with the lives of others … then everything they say shows that they want to take away the chance of potential lifelong improvement for others.

            Scuzzy Izzak

          • Izaak writes

            Where exactly do you think 100 million people are going to walk to?
            Which countries are going to let them in?

            I dont think you have a good grasp on the time frames for sea level rise.

            You make it sound like it’ll happen quickly enough that people will even notice the changes. Sea level changes happen over generations. People move homes multiple times and have kids, grow old and die and all in the time it takes to rise a few inches.

          • Izaak at 2mm/year, they don’t even need to walk, they can crawl and still make it out with plenty of time to spare. You seem unable to grasp the time frame of any supposed “exodus”. we’re talking decades and centuries not hours and days. Those 100 million will have died of natural causes long before their descendants will have needed to consider moving away.

        • The anomaly has risen ~1C since the last half of the 19th century, and the threat level to sea-level people has gone *down*, due to the advantages of fossil-fueled technology in reacting to the threat from *sudden* sea level rises (storm surge and tsunamis) which happen in any climate. The tiny rise in mean sea level is trivial and insignificant. This will continue to be true as climates change, as they always have.

          Neither late 19th century nor today represent any sort of “local optimum” we are stuck on. The interglacial itself could be seen as a local optimum between the devastation caused by ice ages, and if CO2 release will prevent us from slipping us into another one it will be a dramatic benefit both to humanity and life in general. The idea that a further warming of 0.5C or 1C presents some catastrophic threshold which should not be exceeded was invented by politicians, not at all proven by science.

          • If scientists were clear-headed they would regard any warming from CO2 as beneficial – as did the originator of the CO2-warming idea: Svante Arrhenius!

            Soon the alarmists will stop shrieking about the end of polar bears and penguins and start decrying the over-population of them due to Climate Change TM, and that they had predicted that all along.

            I’m stuck, do I go on hoping and praying for more warming so the Earth can continue greening and becoming more fertile, or hope for a cold, decades-long down-turn to shut the freaks up?

        • No matter the sea level, billions of people will always live close to it.

          They won’t be “running up that hill”.

        • All climate optimums, local or global, are temporary, and there is proof that humans are changing the climate.

          • Correction: there is no proof humans are changing the climate.

            Yes and no. There is no proof that humans are changing the climate of the entire planet via emitting CO2. There’s plenty of proof of humans changing their local climate through land use changes (Cutting down a forest, Damming a river, Irrigating a desert, Building cities of concrete, glass, and steel etc are just some example of things mad does to alter the climate on a local level).

        • Global warming from greenhouse gases mainly affects colder latitudes, during the six coldest months of the year, and mainly at night.

          Not summer daytime highs in tropical humid areas.

          A single global average temperature is VERY deceptive.

          • Hurray Richard Greene- you are an observant client here. I’ve been trying for years, even here, to get some recognition of what Edward Lorenz’ work on climate change and modelling means.

            The climate works at the very edges, sub-millimeter interactions that pile up into clouds, pressure gradients, etc. We only see the gross effects and seem to think they drive weather(i.e short term climate). Just like a climate model is sensitive to the last few places in a calculation, the climate(weather) is sensitive to the sub millimeter effects long before the hurricane blows.

            It’s laughable to me that the models treat the surface of the earth as a flat plate with no interaction with the darkside, which is where the biggest effects are being seen.

            One critical factor, which it seems only Willis Eshenbach has recognized, is that the tropics simply cannot(due to the characteristics of water and air) get much higher that about 30degC.

      • I don’t think you would be able to see his work as the crayon on the screen does not transpose to the interwebs.
        Fortunately for us

        People who read know warmer means wetter, and warmer is better for us, and plants.

        It continually amazes me that alarmists will fight to the end to try and regress to a colder more lifeless world.
        How stupid do you have to be?

    • Unless you don’t consider humans as being alive, anything that is good for life is also good for “humanity”.
      There’s no way you would work so hard to make a fool of yourself, unless you were being paid to do so.

      • MarkW
        Of course you are correct but it is also settled science that the climate was perfect on June 5, 1750, at 3:05pm, and any change from that, in either direction, is an EXISTENTIAL climate crisis, only preventable with a full leftist government, led by hidin’ Joe Biden, whose mind is slidin’, with his son Hunter as the Secretary of the Treasury.

        These are well known climate science facts, verified by AL “the climate blomp” Gore, who invented the Internet in his spare time, and made a lot of money on the alternative energy stocks he promoted. On Al’s advice, I have bought an option for the first southern Manhattan gondola service to get Wall Street tycoons to work when Manhattan streets are completely flooded from the oceans rising.

        We are also working together on nuclear powered fans for windmills, and nuclear powered spotlights for solar panels at night. We plan to make millions. I have a 1 percent share of the profits.

    • He says “life”, then bait and switches to “humanity”.

      I think I got you now. So you’re argument is that this moron is subsuming “humanity” under the logical domain of “life,” when speaking about “life on Earth,” and that’s a misuse of the language.

      Is that it?

      • Not really.

        Loydo belongs that pitiful class of people who are obsessed with interpreting every obscure quirk of nature as an existential threat to mankind.

        They can often be observed in a state of panic with the words – “Oh the humanity” about to escape their cakeholes.

    • Warmer and wetter is definitely better. During the warmer than now Holocene Climate Optimum, 8.2-5.2 Ka, the Sahara was green, featuring lakes with hippos and crocs. Agriculture spread. Sea ice was lower, yet polar bears survived.

      The previous interglacial, 130-114 Ka, was even hotter. Hippos made it all the way to London. Early H. sapiens left Africa for the Levant. Life was good.

      • Hi John. As a metals exploration geologist I have walked extensively through the Cretaceous sedimentary rocks of the Neuquen Basin in Argentina. The reason being redbed copper, vanadium, uranium, and cobalt deposits. While doing this walking/exploring I examined the fossilized flora and fauna, partly because dinosaur bones are fascinating and partly because the fossilization process leaves behind activated carbon, such that any water passing through deposits whatever metals when there is contact with the bone, or tree, or whatever carbon (bitumen also works great). Here’s the punchline: these fossilized records of the extra warm Cretaceous show abundant, robust, spectacular life forms. So, count me inthe warm it up and increase the CO2 plant food opinion group.

        • Yup! The mid-Cretaceous shows what exuberant abundance of life Earth can support with enough heat and resulting high CO2, from Pole to Pole and in the giant reptile-teeming epicontinental seas from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans and between islands in the European archipelago.

          We can’t know exactly what current global average temperature is, let alone during the HCO, Eemian or previous interglacials, but definitely more than 1.5 degrees C balmier. Maybe double that during the Eemian peak, if not more.

      • No that sounds like a climate optimum!

        Marxism causes stupidity – they shout and shout scaring the masses into the Climate Crisis, and yet people almost instinctively head to warmer, even hot climes at the first chance.

        Is it a thought crime to hope that one day Southern Ontario might resemble Bali? I met my Love in Indonesia and brought her here (see loves the free ‘air conditioning’) but I still feel home-sick for the beaches and all the green stuff, even though it wasn’t really my home.

    • I’m pretty sure that life on this planet originated in a much warmer place than that slimy rock you live under.

    • Loydo

      Eventually you and others who fear “carbon” will get it:
      Happiness is a Warm Planet!

      When the Earth has been warmer, much warmer, life was more abundant and diverse. Human’s are THE adaptable animal. If life in general is thriving, humans will thrive.

      When the Earth has been cold (read Ice Ages), there have been great die offs and for humans life was more Hobbesian—-nasty, poor, brutish, and short.

    • Atlas Pro has a video on Youtube that purports to examine this question. He states that the optimal temperature for humans is approx. 20C. Of course, humans evolved in the tropics and evolved the loss of their fur there and acquired the ability to sweat so that we could be adaptable across a wider range of (mostly higher) temperatures. The 20C number might apply fairly nicely to humans in their clothed form, and even then about 80% of the globe is too cold most of the time. If the Green Goofs have their way we will return to this mode of living, killing animals with rocks so we can wear their skins. This will suit them as there will be no need of the math that the greens are utterly incapable of. Perhaps there will be a few old copies of the Guardian blowing around with which to start fires.

      • Yes, we are a tropical and low subtropical African species adaptable enough to go global.

        Primates evolved in a Hothouse world, whether we arose in the Late Cretaceous or Paleocene Epoch. We thrived across PETM and Eocene heat. From its Eocene peak, Earth began cooling, especially in the Oligocene, after deep oceanic channels opened between Antarctica and South America and Australia, leading to polar ice sheet formation. Grasslands were replacing forests on the cooler, drier planet.

        Our superfamily, the apes, has been around since the early Miocene, and our family, the great apes, evolved later in that long epoch. In response to shrinking woodlands, our bipedal australopithecine ancestors evolved in the still relatively balmy Pliocene, and our genus, as now recognized, in the chillier Pleistocene.

        As noted, taking Earth’s temperature is fraught with difficulties, even with satellites and thermometers rather than paleoclimatological reconstructions. But modern global average temperature is probably around 14.5˚C (58˚F). Average global temperature for the last 540 million years is ~20˚C (68˚F), but it has fluctuated between 25˚C (77˚F) in Hothouse intervals and 10˚C (50˚F) under Icehouse conditions. During the Permian-Triassic Extinction, global temperature spiked above 28˚C (82˚F). So we’re still very much on the frigid side, despite enjoying an interglacial. Five degrees toastier than now wouldn’t even get us up the Phanerozoic Eon average.

    • Poor Loy, hates warmth.. Lives in the Antarctic. obviously.

      Talk about a non-brainer. !

      Yet to graduate from pre-school !

      Where petulance is paramount !

      Packed a whole heap of tantrum into yet another waste of space.

      Making a total FOOL of itself as always.

    • ““a mean surface temperature of about 5 degrees Celsius (or about 8 degrees Fahrenheit) greater than Earth, together with the additional moisture, would be also better for life.” “

      Yep, warming in winter in the coldest parts of the world would open up VAST tracts of land for food and habitation.

      More moisture to water that food supply.

      Earth’s capacity for supporting life would increase by a huge amount.

      Wouldn’t you agree, Loy !

    • And of course, we are already seeing large benefits for Arctic land and marine life from the slight warming we have fortunately had since the LIA

      Not only is the land surface GREENING, but the seas are also springing BACK to life after being TOO COLD and frozen over for much of the last 500 or so years (coldest period of the Holocene)

      The drop in sea ice slightly toward the pre-LIA levels has opened up the food supply for the nearly extinct Bowhead Whale, and they are returning to the waters around Svalbard.

      https://partner.sciencenorway.no/arctic-ocean-forskningno-fram-centre/the-ice-retreats–whale-food-returns/1401824

      The Blue Mussel is also making a return, having been absent for a few thousand years, apart from a brief stint during the MWP.

      https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0959683617715701?journalCode=hola

      Many other species of whale are also returning now that the sea ice extent has dropped from the extreme highs of the LIA. Whales cannot swim on ice. !

      https://blog.poseidonexpeditions.com/whales-of-svalbard/

      Great thing is, that because of fossil fuels and plastics, they will no longer be hunted for whale blubber for lamps and for whale bone.

      Hopefully the Arctic doesn’t re-freeze too much in the next AMO cycle, and these glorious creatures get a chance to survive and multiply.

    • Speaking of morons:
      (My bold)

      No, your CAPS (there was no bold in your post other that your bold assertions). bold looks like this (assuming I didn’t screw up the html tags, which would be embarrassing).

  3. WUWT as identified yet another totally fluff piece of writing that is masquerading as science.

    Sara Zaske, WSU News, writes above in the text beside the artist rendition of an Earth-size extrasolar plant:
    “Researchers have identified two dozen planets outside out solar system that may have conditions more suitable for life than our own.”

    Really? You know, I MAY win the Powerball lottery this week. An asteroid MAY hit Earth next year. Etc, etc.

    Also, NOBODY can define all the “suitable” conditions for life here on Earth simply because life continuously evolves and adapts to long-term environmental changes . . . how else does one find humans and other life forms thriving from Earth’s equator to its poles, from the depths of the oceans to the very high land elevations?

    And if she is instead making reference to extraterrestrial life in that statement, how can she possible comment on what is “suitable” for it?

    And what the **** (heck) does she mean by her statement: “Some of these orbit stars that may be better than even our sun.”

    What scientifically defines the goodness/badness ratio of a given star that is in the same main sequence category as the Sun?

    That’s in just the first paragraph . . . no need to read further.

      • mkelly,
        Is “ilk” the new Word-of-the-Week for all the trolls at WUWT?
        Perhaps, when you try to criticize someone with ad hominem attacks about their supposed lack of science you might want to include some of the aforementioned science in your comment so as not to seem like a moron who doesn’t care to make any assertions that can be torn apart by the numerous commenters here who have much greater knowledge and expertise than you exhibit!

        • So are you saying Gordon made an ad hominem attack on the writer of the post. If you do not know what ilk means I feel for you. Does the word “moron” you used count as an ad hominem?

          And just to be clear since I only mentioned what he or they DO that is not an ad hominem.

          • mkelly, as the subject of your post immediately above, I can only gently request that you specifically identify where anybody has accused me of making an “ad hominem” attack, or alternatively where in my OP above I made an “ad hominem” attack.

            Lacking your ability to do such, you have then advanced for all to see what is known as the logical fallacy of a “strawman argument”.

      • I’m pretty sure that the “fluff piece” being identified by Gordon, is the one written by Sara Zaske.

        A small mis-spelling has caused confusion:

        “WUWT (h)as identified yet another totally fluff piece of writing that is masquerading as science.”

      • mkelly, all sorts of alarm bells go off when someone uses the phrase “your ilk” in a statement. Thank you for making it so easy to give your post all the value that it deserves.

    • “WUWT as identified yet another totally fluff piece of writing that is masquerading as science.”

      Gee Gordon, you are a tough critic of the number one science site on the internet! Care to flesh out your thinking? The the observation of folk spending half a century looking for life on extraterrestrial planets appear to opine that 5C warmer and wetter is better. Why is this not apropos of the Global Warming zealots ‘fears’ for our planet under much more modest projected warming? I think Vislocky’s find is a good one.

      Regarding the better wetter planets, the U of W is one of the “all-in” end-of-worlder climate doomer institutions so it’s even more apropos a subject for discussion that they are not on the same page in their science culture.

      Now, I’m a geologist and I, too, find the better warmer wetter planet a way off base logically. Our own planet has been even hotter and wetter, and colder and drier many many times. I will say that warmer and wetter clearly was a boon to life and colder and drier a threat to it. These conditions on one and the same planet are the complete falsifiers of the envisioned silly niggling changes that are supposed to destroy our
      planet and its lifeforms.

      The likelihood of a planet turning from warmer and wetter to colder and drier while we are on our rocket to paradise is something to be thinking about. It shows that both the climate wroughters and the searchers for intelligent life are under the impression that planetary systems are static. Both groups didnt do enough searching for intelligent life to staff their departments

      • It would be nice (wouldn’t it?) if the author of that article had done just a tad’s worth of research and taken into account the Earth temps back in the Carboniferous epoch. It’s sad that her (and those other disgruntleds ) had some vague idea about that kind of history.

        As keen as I am on dragonflies, I would really NOT one to have one dropped in my lap. So when she’s referring to “life”, she either doesn’t understand what “life” means (billions of species that have come and gone, or something like that), or she’s ignoring it just to get something published.

        That narrow view (and Gordon’s and Loydy’s up there) is just sad.

        • Sara:Dragon flies in steamy hot renditions of our earth had wingspans of 2 to 3 feet! Now that would be something to be dropped on your lap!

      • Gary Pearse, there was a typo in my post . . . It should have read “WUWT has identified yet another . . .”

        Your thinking about “Vislocky’s find” is duly noted.

        You state “I will say that warmer and wetter clearly was a boon to life and colder and drier a threat to it.” Hmmm, ever heard of the diversity of life that lives in and under permafrost? Ever hear of snow/ice lichen, or Arctic seals and polar bears, or Antarctic seals or penguins, or the other birds and animal life that thrive at both poles? And how did life survive the “colder and drier” five major Ice Ages of Earth?

        • A lot of life didn’t survive the Phanerozoic ice ages.

          Compare the number of species in the Amazon with Antarctica. Which is better for life, warm and wet, or cold and dry?

          Cold and wet is however good for krill in the Southern Ocean, and the whales who love them.

        • Gordon, while some life may survive in the harsher colder/drier areas/times on the planet/in the planets history, the fact remains that life absolutely flourishes in the warmer/wetter areas/times (as John Tillman points out, compare the variety and abundance of life in the Amazon with that of the Antarctic) So yes, over all, warmer/wetter is better for life as we know in on this planet in general, even if there are a few exceptions that would survive in a colder/drier environment.

    • Gordon, cranky much this morning? I think you’ve missed the point – wherein one puff science piece contradicts the whole global warming genre, substantiating the nonsense of all this puffiness.

    • But I bet you don’t see the weasel words that fill up the ‘scientific’ articles of climastrology. There it is totally allowed. Could, may, might and so on… that transform into total certainty of doom when communicated to the brainwashed blind believers of the climastrological religion.

  4. Anyone who has lived in a hot semi-desert area knows that heat is not the big problem but a lack of water. Where irrigation becomes possible, the desert blooms and produces some of the best and sweetest fruit. A desert area does not have problems with pests to anywhere near the same extent as wetter areas.

  5. The biggest flaw in the climate doomsday frenzy seizing large tracts of the world’s pseudo-intelligentsia for the last 30 years, is the assumption that some past climate was the ideal one, and that it MUST be recaptured or reconstructed.

    It’s chasing a chimera, but doing a lot of damage mental and physical, in the meantime.

    • Meanwhile, people living in cold climates are mostly happy with an extra degree C. Here in central New England, I don’t hear many people complaining about too much heat. Just turn up the AC on a very hot summer day- and watch your garden grow. This year was great for some of our veggies.

    • “it MUST be recaptured or reconstructed”

      I’m seeing more and more of that— that, not only must we stop emitting CO2, but we must rapidly bring the number back to what it was in pre- industrial times.

      The alarmists are getting crazier by the day. The worse site of all is Skeptical Science web site- their motto is “getting skeptical about global warming skepticism”. A year ago I posted a comment there asking if it was also OK to get skeptical about those who are skeptical about global warming skepticism. That got me a warning to never post something like that again or get locked out. I occasionally post a comment there- being circumspect- and always a few of the regulars there pounce on me. What would be fun would be if the regulars here all went there and shook the place up. :-}

      The regulars there think anyone who doesn’t agree with them is either a moron or on the take from the fossil fuel companies- they can’t bare the thought of anyone challenging their religion- which it is because it’s clearly not “settled”. If they could only admit that it’s not settled- we might all be able to get along better- but to admit to that is like a born again religious person saying that maybe- just maybe there is no god. Not gonna happen.

      Here in Massachusetts- climate change skeptics are as rare as ivory billed woodpeckers- so having read only the local media- I had no idea that there are smart skeptics. Reading WUWT thanks to a friend who told me about it has been an eye opener- that indeed, there are some very bright people who are not on the take from fossil fuel companies and who do understand science very well who don’t think it’s settled by any means. Especially the engineers here. When you build something- it had better work- so engineers are likely to be realists and great skeptics.

      • “it MUST be recaptured or reconstructed”

        I’m seeing more and more of that— that, not only must we stop emitting CO2, but we must rapidly bring the number back to what it was in pre- industrial times. – J Zoran

        Well, see, that’s the problem. The people who want this think they can control it. They also think (and believe) that the “past” was some idyllic warm period when it wasn’t, that life was so MUCH easier then (hogwash), and that they only have to pick the Fruit of The Tree and everything will be fine, just fine, all the bad stuff will go away.

        “Bad stuff” means days that are not perfectly sunny, clear blue skies with a few puffy clouds. “Bad Stuff’ is storms, cold, hail, rain, tornadoes, snow (unless they ski), and no TV or interwebs connections.

        Unfortunately, that isn’t how Nature and the Real World work, which disappoints the naive people who think they can control it when they can’t.

    • The biggest flaw in the climate doomsday frenzy seizing large tracts of the world’s pseudo-intelligentsia for the last 30 years, is the assumption that some past climate was the ideal one, and that it MUST be recaptured or reconstructed.

      Worst than that, they never identify or define what this supposed ideal past climate was, just claim that were continually moving further away from it to the detriment of all life on the planet.

  6. It’s an interesting paper if you take the time to read it. But, like a lot of science now and for the forseeable future, it comes down to speculation based on dubious assumptions based on minimal data e.g. they assume that exposed land is necessary for complex life. Water worlds need not apply. They think that a large moon is needed to stabilize axial tilt notwithstanding that Mars’ 25 tilt might well be stable. etc, etc, etc.

    Anyway, it is nice that someone out there recognizes that life can and has thrived at typical temperatures substantially warmer than those of the current terrestrial interglacial.

  7. The envisioned better-than-earth planet revolving around a smaller-than-the-sun star has a small problem. Such suns are likely to be more violent, with greater surface activity and mass ejections. This is not good for the atmosphere of the envisioned planet.

    • DHR,
      Nor for any civilization advanced beyond 18th Century technology; whether a human civilization or not!

    • Yet, there are countless trillions of planets out there- maybe an infinite number if the current consensus (dare I use that word?) among astronomers that the universe is infinite- so there must be a vast number of planets with very rich ecosystems- more so than the Earth- perhaps with few deserts and few glaciers, due to higher CO2 levels. 🙂

      • Do astronomers believe the universe is infinite? I thought the more common belief is that the universe is finite but unbounded.

        • No one can say. The universe might be infinite. Or it might be one among an infinity of universes. But the farthest that we can see doesn’t look like an edge.

          We can’t see farther back in time than shortly after the Big Bang, since which light has traveled for around 13.8 billion years. But the universe (space-time) has expanded, so objects whose light headed our way 13.8 Ga now lie some 46 billion light years distant.

    • Wait a minute, I thought the smaller stars than our Sun would be quieter and longer lived than ours, sticking to the main sequence of course, no one is going to think orbiting a neutron star is going to be safe.

    • Okay, well, what about double star systems, like the double star pairing that Tatooine orbits?

      Why is Tatooine a desert? Where did all the water go? Was it the fault of those big Banthas?

      • Well, Tatooine is sci-fi – a real two-star system is just next door, Alpha Centauri A and B – oops forgot Proxima! Ok 3-star system. One is a bit bigger and the other a bit smaller than our ball of fun, but they are as far apart as Sun and Neptune, give’r’take. Each could easily have a litter of planets orbiting up to the orbit distance of Jupiter and be roughly the same as our system. Lots of fun in the middle between the two of them, but it wouldn’t that habitable zone planets would be forced on crazy orbits, or that all the planets would be too hot for life.

      • Well, and you see that brings up the subject of how a binary system like Alpha A & B can be balanced when there is a proximate probability that Proxima Centauri may disturb the other two systems and grab those planets in close proximity for itself. (Am I going overboard with the “proxi-“?)

    • Small, cool red dwarfs (M-type) are numerous (an estimated 3/4 of Milky Way stars) and practically immortal, but they emit flares and superflares liable to sterilize their planets.

      https://www.universetoday.com/140302/a-red-dwarf-blasts-off-a-superflare-any-life-on-its-planets-would-have-a-very-bad-day/

      The sun is a G-type star, separated from M-type by the orangish Class K, slightly cooler than Sol. K-type stars (about 12% in our local area of the galaxy) are arguably optimal for developing life as we know it on their orbiting planets, thanks to a wide habitable zone, yet with much less harmful emission than red dwarfs.

  8. “Researchers have identified two dozen planets outside our solar system that may have conditions more suitable for life than our own. Some of these orbit stars that may be better than even our sun….”

    Um. Do I hear the military reading this? Do you know what the military’s first thoughts are going to be?

    • Oh yes there is, but it is all over the place, let’s take the today’s global temperature: it was anywhere between -66.5°C in Concordia (Antarctica) and +44.5°C in Poxoreo (Brazil), i.e whole of 111C of global temperature in just one day.

        • But not the hottest ever recorded. The official highest recorded temperature is currently 56.7°C (134°F) at Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley, California. It had been a 58°C record from Libya that had stood for 90 years before recently being decertified in 2012. There’s a push to decertify the Death Valley record (which is from 1913 – before man caused CAGW) which would make the record high 54.4 °C (129.9 °F), recorded at Death Valley’s Furnace Creek on 16 Aug 2020

          • Amazing how anyone would care about decertifying decades old temperature records, just to help settle the science!

  9. Since earth is the only planet we know to have life, how did they determine the criteria that makes a planet “better” for life? Wouldn’t you need to know of at least two planets with life in order to make that claim?

    • And all life on this planet are unique products of ONLY this planet.

      Won’t survive in natural conditions anywhere else.

  10. “why these planets are considered super-habitable” Because the scientists making the assessment are not rent seeking climate sciencists. with a self promtional and political agenda. Humans are not going to colinise these attractive planets any time soon it would seem, at least until warp drives, Dune type ‘fold space’ or simiular technology is developed, so no big money available to tap into.

  11. Before this climate change hysteria, the historical periods known as Viking Aga around 800-1100 and the warm Roman Age were called Optimum climate conditions. Temperatures were a little bit higher than today.

    There has been so-called Atlantic warm period after the Ice Age and then the temperatures were 2-3 C degrees higher than today in Scandinavia. During that time sturdy pine forests grew in whole Finland up to the Arctic Ocean. Nowdays there are no pine forests in the northernmost Finland. As we know, humanity spread over the globe after the Ice Age.

    • Curious G.,
      Don’t despair! Intelligent life isn’t impossible here on Earth; it’s just highly unlikely until humanity can wrest the education system away from the religious zealots who fill their victims’ heads with nihilistic garbage and Soviet-style agitprop!
      When school kids learn critical thinking instead “critical race theory” we will have turned the corner. Until then it seems best to keep pushing the rock onward and pray for others waking up to the truth, and some friends in high places!

    • If you sent 5 “climate scientists” to Mars, you would lower the average IQ of the whole planet.

  12. I agree with the fluff piece. If Earth was 5°C warmer we would have plenty of rain and Life Itself would benefit. It would be similar to Mid-Miocene climates, which were not all that warm. Antarctica was covered by a continental ice sheet, for instance. I’ve always favored the Mid-Miocene as the ideal global temperature, but many would say that 8°C warmer would be closer to normal for this planet.

  13. Maybe we should do a trade off study. Say a doubling of CO2 causes a massive increase in biomass due to CO2 fertilization. Say the doubling causes a 1.2 to 1.5 degree C temperature increase. This results in about a meter of sea level rise over a hundred or 2 hundred years. Does the cost of moving cities or building dikes offset the value of the increase in biomass? My gut feeling is that the doubling of CO2 is beneficial.

    • Lowell
      Rarely, if ever, is a cost/benefit analysis done with respect to the claim of anthropogenic ‘heating.’ This is an indication of the lack of objectivity on the subject. The unstated assumption is that ALL changes will have negative impacts on the environment, and it is presented to the public as such.

  14. Isn’t “biogeologist” an oxymoron? 🙂 Is that supposed to be a synonym for “paleontologist?”

  15. I see that I’m being a little dyslexic this morning. But, I’m not sure what a “geobiologist” is either. Is it someone who studies rock gardens, or mineral flowers?

    • Geobiology is the study of earth’s biota through geologic time. Biogeology is the study if the interactions between the biota and rocks/minerals.

      • Geobiology sounds like a synonym for paleontology.

        Biology and geology have been linked since before either term was invented, in the early 19th and late 18th centuries, respectively. At least since 17th century Steno, “founder of modern geologic thought”, and among those early modern anatomists who recognized that fossils came from mineralized living things.

  16. I think it it simplified. Would Earth be better if Sahara Desert was Sahara grassland.
    Instead of area larger US was not a dry desert.

    Also if we caused the Sahara Desert to be grassland, the result would be “some” global warming. Or making Sahara Desert into grassland would cost a lot money, and it would cause global warming. I think the aspect of it costing a lot money is a more important aspect than the part of it, that the results of it causing some global warming.
    But anyhow, Sahara desert was grassland when in the past, Earth had a higher average temperature.
    And generally an Ice Age has more desert regions, and we have about 30% of land areas which are deserts. And we are in An Ice Age- but there has been times in our Ice Age, when it has been much warmer.
    But I would pick 3 C rather 5 C warmer. And it doesn’t look like we going get 3 C warming within couple centuries. Or don’t see us merely getting 3 C anytime soon, though we could do stuff, which cause to happen sooner.

  17. The geobiologist are not taking into account that these 24 planets might already have humanoid life forms and they have been driving around in their CO2 spewing vehicles for hundred of years longer than we have. Unless they have a crystal ball or a CO2 measuring device on those planets, they can’t tell if those planets have already went into greenhouse effect and killed all the alien polar bears.
    Oxford University just a few years ago already said that it is unlikely that there are life friendly planets anywhere in the universe due to what is called the goldilock zone and many other variables. our suns position in a safe zone free of burst of cosmic rays.
    I can only rely on science if the science isn’t disagreed with, unless the disagreements are back up with solid facts.
    Therefore, it
    is likely that the Hubble Deep Fields are completely devoid of habitable planets (except
    possibly for a few nearby foreground galaxies). https://cds.cern.ch/record/490517/files/0103165.pdf

    https://www.astrobio.net/news-exclusive/galactic-habitable-zones/

  18. From the article: “Aren’t we near a tipping point where another 0.5* C of warming becomes an existential threat to humanity, as claimed by certain climate scientists, news outlets, and politicians?”

    Well, we are currently 0.3C cooler than the “hottest year evah!” of 2016.

    So the temperatures would have to climb by 0.3C to match the 2016 high point, and if it climbed 0.4C higher than that, it would reach the high point of 1934, which would equate to a 1.5C increase over the 1850 to present average. So 1934 was right at the so-called 1.5C tipping point.

    Nothing tipped over in 1934. Instead, the temperatures started cooling down and they cooled down for decades until we reached the cool “Ice Age Cometh” 1970’s.

    So how long do people think it will take us to climb by 0.3C to equal the 2016 high?

    How long do people think it will take us to climb by 0.7C to equal the 1934 high?

    My guess is it will be a while.

  19. And why is a planet with a larger mass considered “Earth-like”?

    Earth-like to me means a human could move from one world to the other without having to adapt to the other world’s gravity.

    They seem to be confusing “Earth-like” with “habitable”.

    • Gravity felt at the surface doesn’t scale directly with mass, since distance from the barycenter has to be factored in.

      • If world was only made of H20, it have to bigger than Earth, and if had same mass as Earth, it would have lower gravity. Or a world less mass as Earth could have more gravity than Earth.
        We might imagine Earth is denser than normal/typical- but I don’t know if this is actually true. If was true, then it seems it’s even more of Femi paradox.
        Socialism and Earth’s gravity, seems to me, to make it hard or even impossible to be a spacefaring civilization. And our having our Moon, makes it easier.
        Could one have a better moon than the Moon?
        It seems like an interesting question.

          • Exaggerated, in what sense?
            In terms of becoming spacefaring?
            To date, I agree.
            One could argue Apollo in terms helping towards getting to point of being a spacefaring civilization is at best dubious.
            And I would say only driver in such a direction up to this point in time has been Earth’s satellite market.
            {“During 2019, overall global space economy grew to $366 billion”]
            The problem with the Moon is price/cost of electrical power on the Moon.
            And currently that related to high launch costs- which have lowering due to satellite market for decades.
            But if solely dependent on satellite market, launch cost may not lower enough within the next several decades to lower lunar electrical costs enough.
            Or lunar electrical power is currently somewhere around $100 per kW hour.
            Whenever it reaches somewhere around $20 per Kw hour, the Moon would become significant in terms making us a spacefaring civilization.
            This is why NASA should explore the Moon to determine if it has mineable water.
            If rocket fuel is commercially produced it would lower electrical price on the Moon- it will create a demand for more electrical power and for cheaper electrical power.
            And whenever lunar electrical power can bought at $1 per Kw hour {ten times earth prices} within say, a decade, you should be getting Earth Space Power Satellites {requiring electrical power at Earth orbit to be cheaper than Earth’s electrical power- because you have the additional costs of somehow getting electrical power to the Earth surface].
            Around that time when say 1/2 of earth surface electrical power is coming from Earth orbit- then, humans will be a spacefaring civilization.
            It might centuries before traveling to stars, but eventually, we probably will. But if you count star travel as making very large telescopes- then should already doing that.

    • size alone isn’t the only factor that determines gravity. It also depends on how dense the mass is at that size. In other words, you can have two objects of the same size with different gravity, or two objects of different gravity at the same size.

      That said, they likely are using “Earth-like” and “habitable” interchangeably here.

  20. Summer or winter, the optimal temperature in my house is always dictated by my wife despite me paying the bill.

  21. Today’s current weather is Brisbane 20.8C and partly cloudy and Adelaide 9.8 and it is raining.

    If higher temps cause wetter weather, why is the rain falling here but not in Brissy?

    /sarc

  22. I’m closer to 70 than 60.
    The weather hasn’t been the same each year I’ve been alive.
    The all-time recorded low for my little spot on the globe occurred in 1994 (-22 F), the all-time recorded high occurred before I was born. My parents lived about a hundred+ miles south of here (106 F for “here” in 1934) when that happened. I was born so they obviously survived.
    “Life” continued here in 1995 and in 1935.
    The weather “changes” naturally.
    Get used to it and don’t panic.
    (And ignore those who claim they can do something about it! … particularly when their “something” is at you expense, in cash and freedom!)

  23. Globally the Holocene Climate Optimum was at least two degrees C warmer than now, and in double digits in the polar regions, where the ice is mainly located. Based on highstand data from eastern Australia, not subject to much if any rebound or subsidence from glacier loss, MSL was then 1.0 to 1.5 meters higher than now. One anomalous site found 1.84 m.

    Most coastal cities could adapt to that amount of sea level rise in the next century, assuming MSL even continues to rise, let alone accelerate.

    The amount of CO2 doesn’t matter, rather the temperature, which depends on many variables besides GHGs.

  24. Although we don’t know of a mechanism, a climate 5 C (or 9 F) warmer than today’s would enable vast areas of northern Asia and Canada to have a longer growing season, and be more hospitable to human and animal life.

    In a post a few months ago, Willis Eschenbach postulated a theory (backed up by data) that thunderstorm activity over the tropical oceans increases when the water temperature exceeds about 27 C (80.6 F). If the overall average temperature were to increase, the thunderstorm activity would probably increase (due to increased evaporation), and some of the thunderstorms would move further inland in land areas near tropical oceans. This could lead to increased rainfall over the southern Sahara and the Arabian peninsula, possibly leading to increased area suitable for food production there.

    Then there are all the woolly mammoth skeletons that are found in Siberia. The woolly mammoths probably had appetites similar to today’s elephants, which only live in the wild in tropical areas of Africa and southern Asia, where trees can thrive year-round. When the woolly mammoths lived in Siberia in the distant past, the climate there was probably much warmer than today’s, in order to provide enough food for them.

    • Woollies evolved from the steppe mammoth in response to a much colder climate. They ate low vegetation of the steppe-tundra.

      In Africa, the savanna or bush elephant is larger than the forest species.

      • We find not just skeletons, but preserved soft tissue of woollies because their bodies are preserved in permafrost.

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