Monday, April 30, 2018


My mom used to say that you became an adult when you began to like the taste of seltzer water. It took me until well after college, but I still remember her pride when, on a visit home, I took it upon myself to put an unopened Polar in the fridge to chill. It wasn’t even the proactive kitchen maintenance that got her; it was her youngest child crossing her last tracked milestone into adulthood...
But as my obsession grows alongside the rest of America’s, I’ve started to experience some dismay at my habit...
Because that’s really what it is, isn’t it? ...
The point is, though, that somehow, over the years, seltzer’s delightful bubbles have completely scrambled my own personal ethical code. I am an environmental studies major who spent years not eating meat because it was better for the planet. I reflexively scoff at bottled water, probably because it was used in my classes to illustrate the importance of considering the entire life cycle of a product when calculating carbon footprint...
my seltzer habit... reaffirms my belief that the only way we are going to make real progress on the largest systemic environmental issue of our time—climate change—is through massive, systemic change
And yet, as soon as it’s carbonated and anointed with a slight hint of a citrus, all of that flies right out of my head. ...The more I think about it, the more an ugly truth makes its case. I suspect my love of seltzer goes beyond my physical desire to have carbonation bounce off my tongue. I think it is one part actual enjoyment, and one part something else... the complicated self-loathing I have come to feel about my seltzer habit has ended up serving another point of self-interest: It reaffirms my belief that the only way we are going to make real progress on the largest systemic environmental issue of our time—climate change—is through massive, systemic change, not individual choices. Is seltzer really so terrible that it’s going to spin us into a deeper climate doom than we already face? No, probably not. Which is exactly the problem. 


  1. Lewis and Curry, again

    I should probably say something about the new Lewis & Curry paper. It’s mostly an update to their earlier paper that I’ve discussed before. Bottom line; there are reasons to be cautious. 
    The basic formalism is that one can use an energy balance approach to estimate the transient climate response (TCR) and the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS). Given the change in forcing, \Delta F, the change in surface temperature \Delta T, and the change in system heat uptake rate, \Delta Q, we get
    TCR = F_{2 \times CO2} \dfrac{\Delta T}{\Delta F},
    ECS = F_{2 \times CO2}\dfrac{\Delta T}{\Delta F - \Delta Q},
    where F_{2 \times CO2} is the change in forcing due to a doubling of atmospheric CO2.
    If new estimates suggests that the change in forcing is slightly higher, and the change in system heat uptake rate is slightly lower, than previously thought, then the estimates for the TCR and ECS go down, which I think is the main difference between the new paper and the old one.
    As I’ve already mentioned, there are reasons to be cautious about these results
    niclewis says:
    Do you at least accept that internal variability can indeed lead to a range of temperature pathways for a given pathway;
    That doesn’t make sense. I assume that you mean “for a given forcing pathway”? 
    Of course I accept that. If you had read and understood the new Lewis & Curry paper, or the earlier one, you wouldn’t ask such an odd question. Both papers make proper allowance for internal variability in both surface temperature and radiative imbalance/heat uptake.

  2. Nic,
    That doesn’t make sense. I assume that you mean “for a given forcing pathway”?
    Well, yes, that is what I meant. 
    If you had read and understood the new Lewis & Curry paper
    Thanks, I see that your attempts to avoid condescension are failing, or you’re not even trying (the latter, I suspect). 
    Both papers make proper allowance for internal variability in both surface temperature and radiative imbalance/heat uptake.
    I realise that you choose your starting and end points to try to account for variability, but I do not think you can compensate for all possible impacts of internal variability, which is essentially Andrew’s point. 
    So, my question was whether or not you accept Andrew Dessler’s point. If you do, then you should be willing to acknowledge that your results may not be indicative that climate sensitivity is probably lower than other estimates suggest. It may simply be as Andrew suggests; the method you’ve used is imprecise and that the ECS values that you infer from this method could be far from the actual value. 
    If you disagree and think that your results are accurate/reasonable estimates of the system’s true values, then you don’t accept what I asked and should acknowledge this. Ideally, you should explain how the pathway we’ve followed is precisely determined by the forcing pathway and largely insensitive to internal variability.

It is interesting that Judith has, in the past, argued that internal variability could explain a lot of the observed warming, but now authors a paper essentially suggesting it plays no/little role.
Joshua says:
Climateball (IMO) is very frequently about pricing the ignorance if one’s interlocutor.
If what they say “doesn’t make sense” or if they “don’t understand,” one doesn’t have to actually be correct. Someone arguing “nonsense ” is also very useful (Nic hit a twofer above). Someone bring an “advocate” or “alarmist” – or in all fairness, a “denier” – is an effective shortcut. And it’s certainly good that Nic, Judith, and Roy can be proven to not be activists.
Andrew E Dessler says:
I agree with several previous commenters that the terms people use our causing some confusion. We wrote our ACP paper carefully to be as clear as possible, but I have not been as clear in my tweets and in blog comments (because to be honest I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about them before I post). I said several times that the Lewis and Curry method is biased, but I should’ve said it is imprecise. Our ACP paper shows that the method would give us an accurate estimate if we had 100 different realizations of the 20th century. However, The imprecision of the method means that with only one realization (the historical record), it is possible that you could get an answer that is far from true. Several other papers that have come out recently have also suggested that the pattern of warming that we experienced during the late 20th century causes energy balance estimates of ECS to be lower than the climate system’s true value.

Steven Mosher says:
“Dessler’s study is just showing that the observational estimates of ECS are plausibly estimates from the bottom of the spread and that the difference between observational and ensemble based estimates is plausibly the effects of internal variability on the observational estimates.”
I like the plaussibility language much better than other descriptions.
Now if we did the Dessler study with a different model and found the observational estimate in
the top of the spread, what would we conclude?

Andrew E Dessler says:
Note to Mosher: no ensemble study can tell you where the historical climate trajectory would fall within the ensemble. that’s really an ill-posed question. rather, the ensemble tests tell us that the methodology produces imprecise answers.
other papers (e.g., Marvel et al., Zhou et al.) show using different methods that the existing surface pattern is causing energy balance methods to yield too low of an ECS. 
combine all of these results and you arrive at a reasonably robust conclusion that L&C’s ECS estimate (and others derived the same way) is biased low.

Sunday, April 29, 2018




The Presidential family fortune began with  grandfather Fred  joining the Alaska gold rush in 1898, and investing his proceeds in real estate in then-suburban  Queens.  Fred  did  far  better  than most miners, by catering to the needs of greenhorns, and those who struck it rich, with a non-family restaurant & bar featuring rooms to rent by the hour, on the Klondike's chilly prequel to the Las Vegas Strip:

As with Washington's outstanding new Trump Hotel, the service and cuisine of this pioneering establishment drew mixed reviews- even from its owner, witness what the admirably candid Fred Trump wrote:

As the Arctic Hotel's name implies, it was rather cold up there with temperatures bottoming out in the minus fifties. But the muskeg has been thawing mightily in the Great White North, for anthopogenic radiative forcing increases with latitude. 

So with temperatures rising several times faster in White Horse than Washington, D.C.  Trump Hotels  might considered reopening The Arctic  as a retreat for swamp dwellers in a hurry to experience what 2.5 degrees or more of AGW might be like:

Saturday, April 28, 2018


            The White House altered an official timeline to show that a required review of a proposed EPA science rule was finished one day before agency Administrator Scott Pruitt signed it this past Tuesday.
The site had previously shown that the proposal cleared Office of Management and Budget on Wednesday, indicating Pruitt went forward with the signing before the interagency review was complete.
OMB backdated that to Monday after E&E News reported the discrepancy yesterday (Greenwire, April 26).
Coalter Baker, a spokesman for the budget office, would not provide an on-the-record explanation as to the reason for the untimely change in transparency rules
EPA, spokeswoman Liz Bowman had earlier said in a statement that the review was finished before the signing, adding that "any questions about the management" of the site should be addressed to OMB.
"This is all highly irregular. Either it speaks to a significant lack of competence at EPA or OMB, or there is some sort of  funny business or cover-up going on."  Said  Paul Billings, senior vice president for advocacy at the American Lung Association, which has been critical of the proposal.
The proposed rule, which has already sparked considerable controversy, would effectively bar EPA from using scientific research in crafting new regulations unless the underlying data are made public.

Friday, April 27, 2018

                            DEPLORE  REPUBLICAN  REPTILES ?

Gavin Schmidt writes at RC: 

The Silurian Hypothesis (preprint) is the idea if industrial civilization had arisen on Earth prior to the existence of hominids, what traces would be left that could be detectable now? As a starting point, we explore what the traces of the Anthropocene will be in millions of years – carbon isotope changes, global warming, increased sedimentation, spikes in heavy metal concentrations, plastics and more – and then look at previous examples of similar events in the geological record. What is unique about our presence on Earth and what might be common to any industrial civilization? Can we rule out similar causes? 

Gavin's title seems rather odd given its illustration, , as  the Silurian period ended a hundred million years before the dinosaurs evolved.  Since climate warriors often write more science ficTion than they are given credit for, one hopes Gavin’s story will inspire  a  primeval tale of Green dinosaurs committed to staving off The 0.6th Extinction.

It  could  be  parsed  as  a  Pangaean Affairs  article  by  an editorial collective of ammonites critical of the elitist vertibrate policy debate between   Coprolite  Carbon  Sequestration  advocates,  and  radical therapods  demanding more  tree  fern  peatbeds  to  fuel posterity’s struggle to power through Snowball Earth episodes in epochs to come.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

                           MY,  DON'T  THEY  LOOK  FAMILIAR !


Wednesday, April 25, 2018



The EPA has given notice to dozens of scientists that they will not be renewed in their roles in advising the agency...Members of the EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) whose terms end in August will not see them renewed, says The Washington Post... five meetings of subcommittees of the board, planned for the late summer and the fall, will now be canceled because of lack of membership...

“It effectively wipes out the BOSC and leaves it free for a complete reappointment,” said Deborah Swackhamer, the current chair of the board’s executive committee and an emeritus professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Minnesota.

Per §102-3.55 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment (Committee) charter expired on August 20, 2017. The Department of Commerce and NOAA appreciate the efforts of the Committee and offer sincere thanks to each of the Committee members for their service.

Ms. Maxine Burkett, Professor of Law, University of Hawai'i William S. Richardson School of Law
Dr. Riley Dunlap, Regents Professor of Sociology and Dresser Professor, Oklahoma State University
Dr. Kim Knowlton, Senior Scientist, Science Center Deputy Director, Natural Resources Defense Council and Assistant Clinical Professor, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Dr. Richard Moss, Senior Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Joint Global Change Research Institute at the University of Maryland, Committee Chair
Dr. Jessica Whitehead, Coastal Communities Hazards Adaptation Specialist, North Carolina Sea Grant
Dr. Susan Avery, President Emerita, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Ms. Jan Dell, Vice President - Clean Energy, Water & Climate, Wood Group
Mr. Paul Fleming, Climate Resiliency Group Manager, Seattle Public UtilitiesDr. Jerry Melillo, Distinguished Scientist and Director Emeritus, The Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory
Dr. Michael Prather, Professor of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine
Ms. Ann Marie Chischilly, Executive Director, Northern Arizona University-Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
Dr. Lucas Joppa, Lead Environmental Scientist, Microsoft Research
Dr. Maria Carmen Lemos, Professor of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment
Ms. Kristen Poppleton, Director of Education, Climate Generation - a Will Steger Legacy
Mr. Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director, Climate Policy and Programs, and Chief Resilience Officer, New York City Office of the Mayor

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


Will the White House retaliate for President Macron's 
'Make Our Planet Great Again' hat,

and  Madame Macron's  critique of  California  goat  cheese?

Diplomats  fear a  démarche  recalling Ambassador McCourt 

from Paris, and dispatching  National Security Adviser Bolton
to Vichy in her stead.

The chevre was as cold as the freedom fries

                              FOX  UNLEASHES  THE  HOUNDS



Has named EPA administrator Scott Pruitt among 2018's 100 most influential people

George W. Bush’s EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman explains why

Sunday, April 22, 2018

                           KEEP  YOUR  STICK  ON  THE  ICE


                     THEY'VE  GOT  TO  BE  CAREFULLY  TAUGHT

My recent article “Two CO2 climate change myths” has generated an unprecedented 4,400+ comments here at CFACT… I want to describe some of the features of the “Two myths” article, as a guide that others can use in their writing. We need a lot more writing that supports teaching that is skeptical of climate change alarmism.

This article is what I call a “gate breaker,” which means it can be used to get around gatekeepers who want to just teach alarmism. In many cases this will be the teacher.

The article is such that a skeptical student can introduce it, in order to create a proper debate.
To begin with the article is short … brevity is important because class time can be very limited. A lot of proposed educational material is far too long to be useful.
Second, the article is focused …it is easy to bite off more that the class can chew on. Each session must be confined to a few very narrow issues. Mentioning a lot of different issues is useless.
Third, the issues focused on are fundamental. In this case, CO2 is often described in the press as “heat trapping pollution” and the point of the article is simply that this is false.
This issue is the starting point for really understanding the science… it is very important to correct the most common alarmist falsehoods.
Fourth, what is said is nontechnical…Which technical concepts you use will tend to determine which readers will not be able to fully understand the article. For example I use the concept of long wave radiation to explain the greenhouse effect and why CO2 does not trap heat. In most states this concept is first taught in middle school physical science, so that may set a lower limit to the readership.
… the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) …move a lot of climate change science that is traditionally taught in high school into middle school. This means that many relevant high school level concepts will not yet have been taught when the climate science is.

Fifth, while nontechnical, what is said has to be scientifically accurate. This is something of an art, but it is very important. Since the content is nontechnical, a lot of scientific nuance and special conditions have to be left out.
In sum ... A lot of teachers want to question climate change alarmism and they need good material to help them do it. But many want to teach alarmism and here it is the questioning student that needs support. Either way we need more good stuff in the classrooms of America.
Journalist & PR analyst David Wojick “scientific advisor” for the now-defunct Greening Earth Society  created by the Western Fuels Association, now works for  the Heartland Institute. His  fossi; fuel clients have included AES Corporation & Allegheny Energy,which  generates 95% of its power from coal. [12][1] He owns He was a  columnist for the Electricity Daily, a now-defunct electrical industry trade magazine, and a “founding member” of  Clexit (Climate Exit) whose  founding statement says : “Global warming has occurred naturally many times in the past and is not to be feared – it is not controlled by carbon dioxide or humans.” 

Friday, April 20, 2018


Oklahoma  Attorney  General   turned   Environmental Protection Agency Administrator  Scott Pruitt  has yet   to respond to the lethal Rhea Fire, which The National Weather Service in Norman says continued its spread across the state Tuesday, having so far burnt through nearly 400,000 acres, and claimed at least two lives.

The NWS issued a fire warning at the request of the Rhea Fire Incident Command and the Dewey County Sheriff's Office asking  residents  along  Highway 60  and east toward Chester to evacuate north and northwest toward Woodward.

The U.S. Drought Monitor  lists conditions in western Oklahoma as “exceptional” the highest ranking on its drought intensity scale.  Some areas have gone more than  185 days without more than one-quarter inch of rain.

Oklahoma's  Department of Emergency Management requested the air support assistance of the Oklahoma National  Guard  to  help  fight  the rapidly spreading wildfire Tuesday.

The NWS issued a fire warning at the request of the Rhea Fire Incident Command and the Dewey County Sheriff's Office asking residents along Highway 60 and east toward Chester to evacuate north and northwest toward Woodward.

The U.S. Drought Monitor lists conditions in western Oklahoma as “exceptional,” the highest ranking on its drought intensity scale. Some areas have gone more than 185 days without more than one-quarter inch of rain. 
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management requested the air support assistance of the Oklahoma National Guard to help fight the rapidly spreading wildfire Tuesday. 

                       THE  PALAEO  DIET  EXTINCTION

Researchers  led by  University of New Mexico biologist Felisa Smith report in  Science  that on all continents, large mammals started to die out  around the same time  humans first showed up.  According to Scientific American :

modern elephants, rhinos, giraffes, hippos, bison, tigers and many more large mammals will soon disappear as well, as the primary threats from humans have expanded from overhunting, poaching or other types of killing to include indirect processes such as habitat loss and fragmentation. The largest terrestrial mammal 200 years from now could well be the domestic cow …  
In the time line of mammalian extinctions, large animals started to disappear only after humans or their hominid cousins showed up. But could that be a coincidence? Others have argued the main culprit behind these die-offs was the changing climate. 
In their new study Smith and her team compiled a database of all terrestrial mammals that lived from 65 million years ago until today. They divided that time line into one-million-year chunks, and analyzed extinction trends for each of them.
 "We found absolutely no effect of climate on mammalian extinction over 65 million years"  she says.
But starting around 125,000 years ago and continuing until today, large-bodied mammals have been more likely to go extinct than smaller ones, the researchers found. The average size of surviving mammals has decreased as a result... 
In North America the average mammal weighed around 98 kilograms before the ancestors of humans showed up. Today the average size is closer to eight kilograms… 
This finding does not mean climate-related changes could not have stressed some wildlife populations, enabling humans to more easily bring about their eventual downfall