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Deep warming

From: Larry Hamilton and Merijn Knibbe

Following a twitter discussion between him and me about the question if the 2013-2015 warming of the first 700 meters of ocean was above trend or if 2016 was below trend, Larry Hamilton (@ichiloe) produced the next graph (which shows consistent and relentless warming not just of the surface of the earth but also of the first 700 meters of the oceans). These series are as far as I know measured in a totally independent way. ‘2017’ are partial data. We do not rest our case.

both.png

  1. patrick newman
    May 1, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Recent data tends to show the curve steepening but as there is a sinusoidal element in the time series it is too early to be conclusive. The question is not only is the curve steepening but is there a tipping point where rising global temperatures release additional gases (e.g methane trapped in perma frost) and an adverse feedback loop accelerates the rise in global temperatures. Then at some point vast areas of the globe will be unable to sustain human life precipitating huge migrations that not even Trump’s wall will hold back!

  2. Daniel Linotte
    May 1, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Reversal seems almost impossible.

  3. May 1, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    So is the water warming the air, or the air warming the water?… I came across a seemingly irrefutable argument recently, that the only plausible explanation for correlation between ocean temperatures and air temperatures would be a case of warming the air by water, since water has 3300 higher specific heat than air, and the mass of water on Earth is orders and orders of magnitude greater than that of air.

    Link: http://principia-scientific.org/chemistry-expert-carbon-dioxide-cant-cause-global-warming/

    • merijntknibbe
      May 1, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      Dear Michael,

      IT IS GETTING WARMER.

      • May 2, 2017 at 11:00 am

        Yes, agreed Merijn, but does that not mean that the ocean temperature rise, on this interpretation, is Sun driven, not Greenhouse warming? And warming of water would then almost immediately be transmitted into air, like a hot bathtub warming a cold bathroom. This seems to be at odds with the dominant climate model.

    • antireifier
      May 1, 2017 at 6:30 pm

      Not sure why those questions matter. Likely both are occurring and developing feedback loops. Pavement gets pretty hot! Stays hot for awhile too. When that energy dissipates it goes into the atmosphere unless it rains when it goes into the ground water and those temperature changes are not noted here.

      • May 2, 2017 at 4:18 am

        The argument implies that a feedback loop is not even plausible, at least not on the times scale we are taking about here. The reason: if atmospheric temp was elevated by 1C, it would take 32000year to raise the ocean temp by 1C, like trying to warm bathtub water by raising temp of the bathroom air to a desired temp. But the opposite way works very fast.

        So, if the argument is correct, it is impossible for greenhouse effect to account for the increase in observed ocean temp. And if that is the case, the source of warming must be entirely different to what the dominant model suggests.

        Regarding your hot footpath example, thenfootoath is now warmed by greenhouse effect but by direct action of the sun, and that is precisely the point: air temp has negligible effect on temp of the footpath, considering the time it would take to warm the footpath that way.

        Might help to read the cited article again.

      • merijntknibbe
        May 2, 2017 at 7:39 am

        Dear Michael,

        the ocean is not just or even mainly warming because the air above it is getting warmer. The ‘energy in’ is overwhelmingly from the sun. it is a question fo the balance between ‘energy in’ (which increases as arctic sea ice melts but which might decrease because of more cloudy circumstances) and ‘energy out’.

        Merijn

  4. Helge Nome
    May 1, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    My question is: What kind of temperature data were collected in 1955 as compared to 2015?
    Huge generalizations, as made in the graph above, should be taken with a cupful of sea salt!
    C’mon economists, get on the ball!

    • May 1, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      what do these words mean? Specifically.

      • Helge Nome
        May 1, 2017 at 4:05 pm

        I believe the language above is plain enough to be understood

    • patrick newman
      May 1, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      Help us understand what these “huge generalisations” are.

  5. Helge Nome
    May 1, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    As soon as you use the word “global” involving temperatures in the air and oceans across the whole globe, with sampling techniques varying across the years, you are essentially operating in la-la land.
    How do you extrapolate from the data to create some simple numbers on a time axis?

    • patrick newman
      May 1, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      la-la-land. So just to clarify are you agnostic about global warming or are you very sceptical about it? I am not familiar with the expression “la-la-land in terms of scientific method. How the scientists come to draw such a graph is by using a sophisticated method of weighted averages but you can be sure the method has been peer reviewed many times over. If it is of any help even Trump accepts there is global warming – he is only in denial about the causes.

  6. Helge Nome
    May 1, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    I am not arguing for or against global warming. And I am not accepting a graph like the one above based on authority of peer reviews.
    If I was that way inclined, I would probably believe the pontifications of a classical econo-missed.
    The problem with a lot of people today is their fondness for sheep pastures. Then they call each other names across the fence.

    • patrick newman
      May 1, 2017 at 8:40 pm

      This is not a conversation I recognise as to contributing to the debate. They are not economists but climate scientist. You are obviously a climate change denier and a sneaky one at that!

      • Helge Nome
        May 1, 2017 at 9:57 pm

        Slapping labels on people is taking the easy way out

    • Risk Analyst
      May 1, 2017 at 9:22 pm

      If one is not skeptical about information from experts and the government, then you are not paying attention. A couple of decades ago, if you do not believe in Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, you are unpatriotic and putting the country at risk. A decade or so ago, the chairman of the Federal Reserve was assuring us that there is no real estate bubble while others smirkingly pointed out you cannot create more land so if you think prices are not justified then you are clueless. Same with free trade where uncle Milton labeled anyone who questioned it as uneducated and clueless. How many times has the government or experts pursued their own agenda at the expense of truth? Tobacco. Tonkin Gulf incident exaggerated to get us into the Vietnam War. Pentagon Papers. The list is very long.

      I do believe either in global warming, or that given the enormous and disastrous consequences, we probably should act as if it is true. But to trust any of this information that no one here has any real knowledge of is wrong. I once did a deep dive into the statistics of a medical procedure being recommended for a relative, and I just could not believe how amateurish and ridiculous the collection and reporting of the statistics were. So, Mr. Nome, please keep questioning.

      • Helge Nome
        May 1, 2017 at 9:59 pm

        Indeed I will

  7. merijntknibbe
    May 1, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    The point is here: these are two sets of *unrelated* measurements which show the same pattern of warming=>plausibility enhanced.

    • Helge Nome
      May 1, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      We have had a long cold winter here on the Canadian prairies, Merijn.

      • Ed Seedhouse
        May 1, 2017 at 10:52 pm

        They had an unusually *warm* (to understate badly) winter around the north pole, and that lead to changes in circulation which generated a cold winter in much of southern Canada.

        If you want to refute *global* warming you don’t do it by citing *local* cooling.

        *Global* sea ice is at its lowest level in many decades. It’s unchanged where I live (South West coast of Canada), remaining at zero just like it’s always been. So by your “logic”the reduction in global sea ice extent can’t be happening because it’s not happening where *I* live, eh?

  8. Helge Nome
    May 2, 2017 at 12:36 am

    Ed, the “logic” of which you speak is your own creation, not mine. I simply presented a personal observation. I have been tracking the temperature on the North Pole for some time this winter and it has been hanging around -30 degrees C to -35 degrees C. Bearing in mind that this is sea level temperature.
    Right now it is about -20 degrees C. The South Pole right now is at -56 degrees C at a much higher elevation: https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=temp/orthographic=-97.12,-107.68,371/loc=84.316,-86.914

    • Ed Seedhouse
      May 2, 2017 at 3:12 am

      I call that B.S. The only plausible reason for citing local temperature is to discredit the actual measured global temperatures. You didn’t just make an “observation” for random delight. And I see you are too dishonest to admit why you did it, but you aren’t fooling anyone.

      The temperature at the North pole in December was as much as 30 degrees above normal and it remained well above normal most of the month, with several days >0degrees C. Yeah, it was still cold, because it’s the frikkin north pole and the sun goes away in winter. That doesn’t change the observed fact that it was much warmer than normal in December and that this changed weather patterns in southern Canada.

      And so far in 2017 the arctic sea ice extend has been the lowest ever recorded in the first three months of a year.

  9. Helge Nome
    May 2, 2017 at 4:25 am

    North Pole now, from the Weather Network. Don’t bring your swimming suit:https://www.theweathernetwork.com/ca/weather/nunavut/the-north-pole

  10. patrick newman
    May 2, 2017 at 8:05 am

    This blog has obviously been taken hostage by the climate change deniers. Even Trump does not deny global warming. The interesting question is the deniers motivation in the face of the overwhelming conclusion by the environmental science community that there is global warming and it is man made.

    • merijntknibbe
      May 2, 2017 at 8:13 am

      Another set of independent data are the satellite measurements, which show the same pattern of warming and (contrary to wat skeptics say) the same magnitude of change. See the (sceptical) site of Roy Spencer http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

    • May 2, 2017 at 11:15 am

      I feel the degree of representation of opposing viewpoints is balanced on this thread, and that’s great, makes for a critical discussion instead of an echo chamber of confirmation.

      As for motivation… Models can be wrong. Complex system models are usually wrong. And considering how politicised and emotionally loaded this issue is, the associated science may be unreliable, even intentionally false. I keep my mind open to all possibilities, but can’t help being sceptical, especially since the underlying claims about the asserted causal relationship cannot be verified by direct measurement. In circumstances such as these one ought to be sceptical.

      For what it’s worth, my only observation, for the place where I live, is showing significant local cooling. I agree that this might not be representative of the global trend: just one datapoint in a complex system. I am working here on the assumption that warming is factual, both of the air and of the oceans, but even then some legitimate doubts arise like the one I have explained above.

  11. Helge Nome
    May 2, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Thank you for the new data, Merijn. It is a major improvement upon the first graph, trying to incorporate all of the complexities of both global weather and measurement techniques used.
    A major problem being consistency of measurement over a long time span.

    This information was published on the website as well:

    “Global warming” refers to the global-average temperature increase that has been observed over the last one hundred years or more. But to many politicians and the public, the term carries the implication that mankind is responsible for that warming. This website describes evidence from my group’s government-funded research that suggests global warming is mostly natural, and that the climate system is quite insensitive to humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions and aerosol pollution.

    Believe it or not, very little research has ever been funded to search for natural mechanisms of warming…it has simply been assumed that global warming is manmade. This assumption is rather easy for scientists since we do not have enough accurate global data for a long enough period of time to see whether there are natural warming mechanisms at work.”

    • patrick newman
      May 2, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      A more subtle form of denial. Scientist have been able to demonstrate the actual process of how fossil fuel CO2 creation is affecting the environment. Describe to us what those natural processes are and why they are occuring over a period of just 100 years – unusual for ‘natural’ processes unless there is some kind of cataclysmic event took place like a large asteroid colliding with the earth. Perhaps I have missed it but I cant recall such an event in the last 100 – 50 years or even in the last million years!

      • Helge Nome
        May 2, 2017 at 3:22 pm

        I stand before the Inquisition! (Groan) Pre-judged and ready for sentencing.

      • Ed Seedhouse
        May 2, 2017 at 3:39 pm

        Well, to be fair we had two “city buster” impacts early in the last century. If either of these had hit a major city it would have been “goodby city”. Fortunately they impacted well away from any cities. However a “city buster” is not big enough to affect the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere significantly.

        I believe the current evidence is that these happen once or twice in any century on average. And there are a lot more cities available these days…

    • Ed Seedhouse
      May 2, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      CO2 in the atmosphere is a greenhouse gas, and currently the most important greenhouse gas. That may change as the planet warms and clathates melt and release methane which is a much more potent greenhouse gas, but not so long lived.

      We know from the isotope distribution that the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 is from the burning of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels come from – wait for it – fossils. Fossils were once alive.

      The natural CO2 in the atmosphere is about an equal amount of carbon12 and carbon 13. Both are long lived, but living cells preferentially use carbon 14 and their tissues have an unequal concentration of carbon 14 and 13. When burned, anything living or once living releases more carbon14 than carbon 13 and when we measure the atmospheric carbon dioxide regularly over many years we see that the levels of carbon 14 have risen faster than the levels of carbon 13. That is, this CO2 comes from living or once living matter being burned.

      The signal is clear and the conclusion robust and unambiguous – most of the new CO2 in the atmosphere was once part of living organisms and the amounts are so high as to have certainly come from the burning of fossil fuels since natural burning such as forest fires do not produce enough CO2 to be responsible for this signal.

      Now you are saying that the warming is “natural” (a weasel word if there ever was one). So where is this “natural” warming coming from? We know that the amount of water vapour (another greenhouse gas by the way) is pretty well unchanged over the years and the methane which is currently mostly from “natural” processes has not changed enough to warm the planet significantly. So again I ask. If it’s not CO2, water vapour, or Carbon dioxide (mostly from human activity) what is it? Where is this “natural” warming coming from?

  12. Ed Seedhouse
    May 2, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    I mixed up my carbon isotopes. Where I said carbon 14 read carbon 12.

    • patrick newman
      May 2, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      The interesting question is where did these deniers come from and how did they know there was a discussion on this site because clearly they have not been here before. Perhaps they have the crawler softeware that seeks out such discussion which begs the question what is their motivation. Are they organised?

      • Ed Seedhouse
        May 2, 2017 at 4:47 pm

        Oh, they are organized, you betcha. And well funded by the large fossil fuel based energy companies, too. It’s just the old argument about whether and how cigarettes cause cancer revisited with the same denial techniques.

  13. Helge Nome
    May 2, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    I can answer your question, Patrick: I consist of a group of exactly 1, with a primary interest in Political Economy.
    However, since the editor saw fit to throw a questionable global warming graph onto his page,
    I decided to ask some questions.

    Here is another bone for you, if you like:
    Presuming that global warming is real and caused by human activity and given that our craving for cheap energy will continue along the present trend, I am suggesting that Nuclear Power generation needs to be substantially increased in order to slow down/halt global warming.
    Wind mills and solar collectors just won’t cut it.

    As a matter of interest to those of you who, like me, are primarily interested in Political Economy, China is aggressively pursuing the development of Nuclear Power in order for their population to stop choking in the foul local air. They really have no choice any more.

    That means that China will develop an edge in this technology, both for power generation and weaponization. This could have a major downstream impact on the rest of us, both politically and economically.

    • patrick newman
      May 2, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      I am not opposed to nuclear energy but we all need to understand all the costs – building, running and decommissioning (particularly nuclear waste). Ever thought of energy conservation?

  14. Risk Analyst
    May 2, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    And not that you need my input, but I’ll throw out my opinion anyway. The climate change denier label is a politically correct hot button intended to eliminate all debate. As I pointed out earlier, I recall the weapons of mass destruction proven to exist with Colin Powel’s prime time TV lecture using a pointer to a mobile weapons lab, which later turned out to be a fertilizer truck. But if you questioned it at the time, you were un-American, dangerous, and otherwise marginalized and condemned just as in the clumsy attempt to deal with Mr. Nome here.

    This is an interesting situation of the hot button thing. There has been a large number of postings over this on an “economics” website. And exactly zero postings on Steve Keen’s new book. His Debunking Economics was brilliant and successfully dismantled orthodox economics brick by brick. After that destruction, writings from Davidson, Lavoie, Chick and others show the path to a new world. But, that is not discussed here. Lots of anger about questioning of NASA data, lots of hate over Trump’s win, lots of anger over income distribution. There are all sorts of things going on. The current lack of wage pressure due to the lack of militancy among workers in the face of the decade long hangover of the financial crisis and global competition and power grab by the capital owning/management class is fascinating. And you guys want to complain about data you have zero knowledge about in an field none of you are in.

    • patrick newman
      May 2, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      You cant compare the work of literally thousands of environmental scientists with the corrupt twisting of information about WMD. It’s bizarre!

      • Risk Analyst
        May 2, 2017 at 6:54 pm

        Yes, I absolutely can. How many examples of being lied to do you need to go through? How many times have people with an agenda misstated or misrepresented data or situations to achieve a purpose. How many times are experts simply wrong. But somehow it is different this time? No, it is not.

        One incredibly important lesson just never seems to be learned is that data and experts are frequently wrong. The frustrating thing for me (and I believe Mr. Nome) is that productive people in one subject area (economics) just assume they know things in other fields of study, and may have based their strong conclusions on an issue of Scientific American with a whole bunch of confirmation bias thrown in because they like the peer group it is associated with.

      • patrick newman
        May 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm

        So should you be admitted to hospital for an apendicitis you will tell the staff “I dont want an expert operating on me” If that should happen do invite me to witness it!

      • Risk Analyst
        May 2, 2017 at 7:10 pm

        Great example. I was admitted for appendicitis, and did go through the operation. The bill ended up being as I recall about $125,000 of which, if I understand it correctly, the surgeon got less than $1,000 or so. Now, ask me again about the lying involved.

      • patrick newman
        May 2, 2017 at 7:16 pm

        So you took the scientifically trained expert at face value and they lied to you- there was no appendicitis. Sorry to hear that so I can now see why you dont believe all the experts on global warming – stands to reason – eh?

      • Risk Analyst
        May 2, 2017 at 7:26 pm

        No, while I have no way to judge it since I was mostly asleep at the time, I do believe I had appendicitis. The lying I’m talking about is the gross overcharging of the patients behind the front of a emergency. They take advantage. There were complications and I stayed a while there, but the $125,000 is not any where near proportional to the cost. Anyway, we are getting off topic. People throw out this global warming data and I have no way of judging it any more than others here do. My point is that data should be questioned. Others here seem to think it is too important to question. There are also people who get very testy if you deny that the earth was created six thousand years ago.

      • patrick newman
        May 2, 2017 at 7:36 pm

        So your appendicitis was only a belief – like the resurrection! By all means question the data. Do you have something of substance to say?

      • Risk Analyst
        May 2, 2017 at 7:50 pm

        Substance? A lesson unlearned from the last few years is that experts and data are frequently wrong.

  15. merijntknibbe
    May 2, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Dear Riks analyst, three sets of independent data (surface data, ocean data, satellite data) show the same pattern. This pattern is consistent with more granular regional data on warming (which do show relatively more warming on the northern hemisphere): relentless warming. These data are assembled by scores of scientists during decades of time. Calling this all a lie is preposterous. Another independent, albeit regional, series is the date at which cherries blossom in Japan: look here http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/04/daily-chart-4

    By the way – you might want try Mexico for medical services. As long as your rich, medical services in South America are excellent.

    • Risk Analyst
      May 2, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      To paraphrase myself earlier, I either believe in global warming or believe that the consequences of inaction are potentially disastrous enough that we should act as if it is true. The interesting hot button seems to be anyone who questions the data is immediately condemned. It is the suppression of dissent that bothers me.

      • patrick newman
        May 2, 2017 at 7:51 pm

        Exactly how is your dissent being suppressed. You have not been moderated out of expressing your views on this site.

      • Risk Analyst
        May 2, 2017 at 7:57 pm

        Never said I was, but to quote Mr. Nomes: “I stand before the Inquisition! (Groan) Pre-judged and ready for sentencing.”

      • Ed Seedhouse
        May 2, 2017 at 10:14 pm

        “The interesting hot button seems to be anyone who questions the data is immediately condemned”

        Who here has condemned you? No on that I can see. What we have done, apparently, is to *disagree* with your views because they are wrong when they are not nonsensical.

        Apparently you equate disagreement with “condemnation”. That this sort of paranoid thinking is common among climate change deniers I conclude from plentiful evidence over many years. There is nothing new nor interesting in what you have to say, trust me.

  16. Helge Nome
    May 2, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    This discussion is leading into the general area of credibility and political correctness.
    The existence of this blog is largely based on the total lack of credibility of the main stream economics profession.
    And the mainstream media fits into the same mould: Licking the boots of the banksters.

    Having been around for a long time I have discovered that, we the people, are always presented with some kind of bogeyman to be scared of by the powers that be:

    Back in the sixties it was communism and later on pollution of the air to the point where we would not be able to breathe.
    The nuclear threat was front and center.
    Now we have terrorism and global warming: Our costal cities are going to drown! (Which, incidentally, has been going on for some 10,000 years)
    And now we add Islam into the mix for good measure.

    There is always something put in front of us to divert our attention from the real issue:

    Our collective freedom is being robbed from us by stealth using a debt based financial system serving the interest of a few self chosen, self serving a..holes that should be parked on a melting ice floe.

    • merijntknibbe
      May 2, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      I think I have simply more trust in the measurements than you do

    • Ed Seedhouse
      May 2, 2017 at 10:21 pm

      Just because most economists are wrong, it does not follow that physics is wrong. If physics is wrong you better not get into your car and drive it because your safety and your life depend upon physics being right.

      Physics (and climate science is a branch of physics) is generally trustworthy because every new discovery is subject to critical examination *before* being accepted. Physics does not pretend to provide you with absolute truth, but it can give you truths upon which you can, and regularly do, safely risk your life.

      Climate scientists, unlike economists, are subject to this same critical examination of *every* study that they do. And they have reached a consensus about climate change and it’s cause that you can safely bet your life upon. Or you can deny it and cause a whole multitude of needless early deaths a few decades from now. Your choice, but think on what your descendants may feel about it.

  17. May 2, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Back to deep warming … ocean heat content and surface temperature datasets graphed together in the original post are global and reasonably definitive. It *is* striking how well they align, I hadn’t thought of graphing them together until Merijn suggested it a few days ago. Other iconic datasets include the Keeling curve of course, and some based on Greenland or Antarctic ice cores.

    One large though non-global realm I watch is the Arctic, where sea ice decline has been dramatic. Here’s an unusual graph of those familiar data, showing decline (over the satellite era) in each month of the year.

  18. Helge Nome
    May 2, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Thanks for the chart. I have some problems interpreting your graph:
    What is the difference between “extent” and “area”? (The Y axis of your graph is designated in “Million square kilometers”)

    I’m curious about Antarctica? From other information I have seen it appears that most of the perceived warming is taking place in the Northern Hemisphere.
    And Greenland is another one. I heard somewhere that a Cold War nuclear power station built into the Greenland glacier by the Americans, is being gradually exposed as the ice melts.
    (I actually saw a movie that was made as it was being built)

    In regards to interpreting data, one problem is linear extrapolation: I.e. the observed trend will continue unless some kind of action is taken to change it. The graph above covers the period January 1979 to April 2017.
    With what degree of accuracy can we predict what will happen down the road based on this data, knowing about major changes in weather patterns over recorded history?

    And, by the way, speaking of “climate change” based on observations over a hundred years or less is highly misleading. We should be speaking about changes in weather instead.
    “Climate” in the English language deals with long term trends (thousands or millions of years)
    Welcome to Newspeak.

    • May 3, 2017 at 12:17 am

      HN: Thanks for the chart. I have some problems interpreting your graph:
      What is the difference between “extent” and “area”? (The Y axis of your graph is designated in “Million square kilometers”)

      “Extent” in this context is defined as the area covered by sea ice with at least 15% concentration. “Area” refers to the area covered by ice only, with open water subtracted.

      HN: I’m curious about Antarctica? From other information I have seen it appears that most of the perceived warming is taking place in the Northern Hemisphere.

      Both hemispheres are warming, although North is warming faster, and the Arctic fastest. Antarctic ice sheets are melting from beneath, due to warmer waters of distant origin; hence the concern among scientists that sea level impacts could be faster than IPCC expected.

      Antarctic air temperature, sea ice and wind conditions have been erratic. Regarding Antarctic sea ice for example, several years with high minimum extent were followed by the lowest recorded minimum in 2017 (not shown in this graph).

    • May 3, 2017 at 12:36 am

      HN: And Greenland is another one. I heard somewhere that a Cold War nuclear power station built into the Greenland glacier by the Americans, is being gradually exposed as the ice melts.

      The Greenland Ice Sheet is definitely losing mass, at a faster rate than expected just a few years ago.

      HN: In regards to interpreting data, one problem is linear extrapolation: I.e. the observed trend will continue unless some kind of action is taken to change it. The graph above covers the period January 1979 to April 2017. With what degree of accuracy can we predict what will happen down the road based on this data, knowing about major changes in weather patterns over recorded history?

      My graphs involve no extrapolation, linear or otherwise. Also, I made no predictions. Climatologists who do make predictions are basing them on much firmer grounds than extrapolation.

      HN: And, by the way, speaking of “climate change” based on observations over a hundred years or less is highly misleading. We should be speaking about changes in weather instead. “Climate” in the English language deals with long term trends (thousands or millions of years). Welcome to Newspeak.

      Before accusing me of being highly misleading, or using Newspeak, you might slow down, set your politics aside, and try to learn about the topic. Climate is longer-term than weather, yes, but for many purposes that means decadal instead of annual or shorter scales. For example, here is NASA answering What’s the difference between weather and climate?
      “Some scientists define climate as the average weather for a particular region and time period, usually taken over 30-years. It’s really an average pattern of weather for a particular region.”
      https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/noaa-n/climate/climate_weather.html

      For paleoclimatologists the time scales are longer, but they converge on similar conclusions about the direction and speed of recent change.

  19. May 2, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Thank you:

    Michael Kowalik,
    Helge Nome ,
    Risk Analyst,
    ” How many times are experts simply wrong. But somehow it is different this time? No, it is not.”
    This premise is incorrect because it assumes ‘the experts’ are simply wrong. However should the premise be restated: When experts
    assume causality; how many times are experts simply wrong?
    Quote from “Super Freakonomics”(Levitt & Dubner 2009), “The headlines have been harrowing, to say the least.’Some experts believe that mankind is on a treshold of a new pattern of adverse global climate….(New York Times).
    Newsweek article cited,’a National Academy of Sciences report warned that climate change ‘would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale.
    Who in his or her right mind woudn’t be scared…? of global warming?
    But that’s not what these scientist were talking about-these article were published in th mid-1970’s predicting the effects of global cooling.

    Please keep questioning:
    PLEASE: “Believe nothing merely because you have been told it…But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis,you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit,the welfare of all beings – that doctrine believe and cling to,and take it as your guide.”- Buddha

    Please,
    “There is always something put in front of us to divert our attention from the real issue:
    Our collective freedom is being robbed from us by stealth using a debt based financial system serving the interest of a few self chosen, self serving a..holes.”(Helge Nome)
    Read the proof that shows this premise to be correct.
    Free download-“The Role Of Money” by Frederick Soddy
    https://archive.org/stream/roleofmoney032861mbp/roleofmoney032861mbp_djvu.txt

  20. Helge Nome
    May 3, 2017 at 12:45 am

    Interesting data, and thanks for the comments above.
    Our planet is a very complex being indeed with fluids, gases and molten and semi molten substances constantly moving about.
    To predict future characteristics and of these, and their interactions with any degree of accuracy make predictions in political economy seem like child’s play.

    When a bandwagon comes by, it is all too easy to jump on it.
    That is not to say that we shouldn’t dump our fossil fuel addiction and get serious about developing the power of the atom for our use, without fear.

    • Ed Seedhouse
      May 3, 2017 at 6:25 pm

      Climate change is not a “bandwagon” it is an observation based on hard data. Millions of measurements have been taken. Unlike economics, the laws of physics and chemistry that govern this are established beyond reasonable doubt, and to an extraordinary level of accuracy.

      So well established that, for example, Arrhenius (a very famous scientist who actually has a lunar crater named after him) was able to predict how adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere would affect the temperature of the earth’s surface back in 1896.

      And the change we have measured fits his equation very well. He predicted it based on first principals long before the data was good enough to confirm it, but subsequent events have affirmed him very well.

      The laws of physics and chemistry don’t care what you believe.

      The “bandwagon” is all in your head.

      • patrick newman
        May 3, 2017 at 7:45 pm

        Ed are you sure we are not debating against some very sophisticated algorithms!

  21. May 5, 2017 at 8:47 am

    In the last few days twitter, face book, and many of the science blogs are filled with very negative reviews of the first two columns of the NYT’s new opinion writer, Bret Stephens. The columns dealt with climate change. Stephens presents himself as having no position on the subject but these two columns berate and dismiss the science and the policies proposed from it. Stephens’ failure stems from a complete misunderstanding of science, accidental or intentional. Stephens wants certainty and precision from science on which no risk policies can be based. This simply is not possible. Science is an extension of how humans have always learned. The farmer frames the seasons based on observations from her/his farming work. The scientist frames the seasons based on observations from the land, above the land, inside the land, from the mountains, from boats, etc. using every tool (telescope, compass, sextant, mathematics, clocks, etc.) available and goes on to invent and use others. After hundreds or even thousands of observations the scientist publishes her/his conclusions about the seasons. Scientists review one another’s findings. Then develop theories about these findings to explain things like the movement of the sun north and south, the presence or lack of water vapor, the cycles of the moon, etc. More observations are made and shared based on these theories. And the process continues. The result is findings of tendencies or how things might be. As the process continues scientists either reach a consensus on what the findings are and what they mean, or they do not. There is a scientific consensus on climate change. It presents tendencies and what’s likely to happen. For humans, this is the most accurate and secure knowledge on the physical world possible. Stephens dismisses all this because in his view it’s not certain or unassailable. This is foolish since other possible explanations are even less certain and more assailable. At this stage of human biological evolution and cultural development for questions like climate change science is the best possible source of knowledge and understanding. So, on climate change policy it’s science for policy or nothing. Unfortunately, many like Stephens, Exxon, Koch, Heritage Institute, etc. prefer nothing. It’s cheaper in terms of money. But it will cost the human species dearly in terms of survival chances.

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