Greenland Ice Sheet Melting 600 Percent Faster Than Predicted by Current Models

This Real News Network report focuses on one of what is becoming a large number of instances where climate models have underestimated the speed of climate change.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: This is Dimitri Lascaris for The Real News.

According to independent analyses by NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earth 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880. This makes 2016 the third year in a row to set a new record for global average surface temperatures. Heat records for the Arctic were also broken, and to a stunning degree. According to satellite data, the 2016 Arctic sea ice minimum extent, is effectively tied with 2007, for the second-lowest yearly minimum in the satellite records.

Climate scientists have been saying that, “What happens in the Arctic, doesn’t stay in the Arctic.” To help us understand why we should be very concerned about the dramatic shifts we are seeing in the far north, we are joined by Dr. David Barber. Dr. Barber is a specialist in sea ice and climate change, at the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Arctic System Science, and has over 30 years experience working in the Arctic. He leads a research group of more than 125 persons. He’s published over 140 papers in peer-reviewed literature, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and is also an Officer of the Order of Canada. Dr. Barber, thank you for joining us today.

DAVID BARBER: Nice to be here, Dimitri.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: I’d like to begin by asking you to describe for us, in general terms, the effect that the planet’s warming is having now on Arctic sea ice.

DAVID BARBER: Well, a good way to think about it is the planet, as a whole, as it changes temperature, as it increases in temperature, it has a disproportionate effect as a function of latitude of the planet. We’ve increased by about 1 degree Celsius globally across the entire planet. But in the Arctic, we’ve increased, on average, two to three times that, relative to the rest of the planet.

And the reason for that is, the Arctic is an ocean covered by sea ice, and that sea ice is white. So, when you have solar insulation on the surface, it reflects that energy from the sun back to space when the white cover is there; when there is no white cover there, it’s a dark ocean and it absorbs that energy from the sun into the ocean. You then have to get rid of all that energy for sea ice to form in the fall, and that is one of the main reasons why we’re seeing an amplification of this global warming signal in the Arctic.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: Now, the polar bear has become a symbol internationally for the dwindling ice floe. But as we all know, the Arctic and the areas adjacent to the Arctic are quite sparsely populated. Why should those of us living in the more heavily populated parts of the planet be concerned about what’s happening in the Arctic?

DAVID BARBER: Well, I think there are many different reasons. One, is that people are very concerned about the Arctic itself, so if you really like polar bears, you’re very concerned about that issue the polar bears are having relative to their habitat. But if you’re more, sort of self-oriented, you’re thinking about your own personal situation, there’s also growing evidence that the changes that are going on in the Arctic are affecting other parts of the planet.

There are a number of different kinds of effects, and we call these things tele-connections. So, what happens on one part of the planet doesn’t just stay there, it affects other parts of the planet as well. This is not so surprising, because we all live on this single blue planet orbiting out there in space. And so we have to be concerned about our overall habitat as a human species, and the effects that climate change is having on that habitat.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: It’s my understanding that at one point in the fairly distant past, after the melting of massive levels of ice in North America, there was a dramatic cooling in Europe as a result of a change in the temperature of the flow of waters in the northern Atlantic.

Is that a scenario, that kind of scenario, one with respect to which there’s a significant risk of a recurrence? That something along the lines of, for example, the melting of the Greenland ice sheet could have a dramatic effect on the climate in Europe, or other parts of the Northern Hemisphere?

DAVID BARBER: Yeah. What you’re speaking of is what happens with meridional overturning in the North Atlantic. This is the way that deep water is formed on our planet’s oceans. And sea ice plays a very important role in that overall process of how ocean energy is circulated around the planet.

Now, historically, we’ve always felt that the amount of fresh water that you introduce to the North Atlantic had to be a very large amount of fresh water, for you to be able to slow down this overturning of this North Atlantic circulation. And of course, that fresh water historically has done that. And there is evidence from a paleoclimate record.

Paleoclimate records are when we go back and study different proxies of how the climate is changing. We can see, very dramatically, shifts, and very dramatic changes, based on the historical evidence in the Greenland ice sheet, for example. But also from other ice sheets around the planet, that there have been occurrences in the past where very significant, and relatively rapid changes have happened to our climate system. So, as climate scientists, we’re very concerned about that because it basically tells us that our planet is capable of shifting to another stable state relatively rapidly.

Now, whether this will happen or not, based on our changing climate in the Arctic, we really don’t know. And a lot of scientists are working on this around the planet, to try to figure out how sensitive the climate system is.

I think the take-home message for the public is that, we should not be experimenting with releasing very large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere more quickly than anything our planet has seen before in its historical past, because the climate is very capable of changing to another stable state and, of course, that’s not a good thing for us as a human species.

The displacement of people due to climate is a very big concern for us, because there are so many of us on the planet. And we don’t have a whole lot of, just sort of free room, to go and move to, once we have a climate problem in one part of the planet. So, it is a big sensitive issue, and something we have to pay attention to as humans inhabiting this particular planet.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: And thus far, we’ve been talking about the effect on ice of global warming in the northern hemisphere. What are we seeing in Antarctica currently? What are the current trends telling us?

DAVID BARBER: Well, it’s complicated, just like it is in the Arctic. But the general thing you see in the media is that the sea ice in the southern hemisphere is not shrinking as quickly as the sea ice in the northern hemisphere is. And that’s very true. But it’s also very expected by us who work on sea ice. And the reason for that is, that the southern hemisphere is a very large land mass that’s covered with a very large glacier situated right in the center of the southern pole, and then surrounding it you have this sea ice.

So, you have this very large cold source, that is losing mass quickly to the oceans, which is increasing the amount of fresh water that goes into the marine system in the Antarctic. And that causes sea ice to actually grow more efficiently.

In the northern hemisphere, we have an ocean surrounded by continents, which is a much different scenario. As we lose that sea ice in the northern hemisphere, we go back to this issue of a dark surface, versus a white surface, and that dark surface speeds up the removal of more sea ice in the northern hemisphere. So, that’s why we’re losing so much sea ice in the North Pole, relative to the South Pole.

Both of them are giving us very strong signals that this global scale record that we have, this global scale increase in temperature, is affecting both poles very substantially. And of course, the other big thing in the southern hemisphere is all this land ice. It’s the removal of that land ice into the ocean system, which then eventually melts, which leads to sea level rise. So, these are very important issues, both for the southern hemisphere, and the northern hemisphere.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: I’d like to conclude by talking a little bit about sea level rise. As we’ve discussed previously on The Real News, and as many of our viewers will know, in late 2015, the global community came together in Paris to enter into an international climate accord. Which established, as an aspirational goal, that we keep the global temperature increase to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, and set a somewhat harder cap of 2 degrees Celsius.

However, the emission reduction targets that have been submitted thus far, by the states that have acceded to that treaty, the scientific community is telling us, will result — if those emission reduction targets are satisfied but not exceeded — will result in global warming in excess of 3 degrees Celsius, perhaps closer to 4 degrees Celsius.

If the global community satisfies its current emission reduction targets, but does not exceed them, what kind of sea level rise do you think we will experience in this century?

DAVID BARBER: Well, first of all, I’m not a specialist in sea level rise, so I’m a little bit uncomfortable with giving you numbers. I’d rather talk more about the implications of this. What we’re seeing in the Arctic with the current situation, is that the cryosphere — so those portions of the earth’s system that are frozen, so lake ice, sea ice, glacial ice –- all of them are being affected. They’re all melting.

The Greenland ice sheet, we’re losing mass from it about 600% faster than what we expected. And of course, it’s the glacial ice masses that are really causing the sea level rise issue to be such an issue.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: … you said 600% more than what you expected. Do you mean, what you expected taking into account warming trends resulting from the introduction of CO2 into the atmosphere? Or, are you talking about historical melting, before the fossil fuels era?

DAVID BARBER: That’s… mmm. I think the quote that I’m thinking of, is 600% faster than what current models project. That’s based on greenhouse gas effects on the Greenland ice sheet. So, the situation is a serious one. Now, we also used to think that the Greenland ice sheet, and the ice sheets in the Antarctic, for instance, were a much slower process to lose mass to the ocean. We’re finding that they actually lose mass quite quickly, when you have ice shelves in particular, where these glacial features grow out over an ocean.

This is an issue for us in the northern hemisphere, when we have these fjords that are covered with ice shelves that come out overtop of the marine system. And they’re a big concern in the Antarctic, where you have large ones that come out overtop the southern ocean.

Now, when you think about the sea level rise that results from that, our models right now, almost all the models we use in climate science, are conservative, relative to what we’re seeing when we go out and do field studies. That’s a general statement that’s true across both hemispheres. If we were to start… if we were to not meet our goals that we have, we will be in serious trouble if sea level rise within this century. One of the big concerns I have, is getting away from the very dirty fossil fuels.

So, the idea of coal, and how we’re going to use coal historically across our planet, transitioning to more greenhouse gas-friendly types of hydrocarbons, natural gas in particular. So, I think it’s a big concern and something we have to get the politicians to realize, is that they’re trying to set targets for things that appear to be happening much faster than our models are predicting. So, the models are giving us even a bit of a sense of optimism, when they really shouldn’t be, because the observations are much more dramatic than the models predict.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: Right. Well, that happens to be precisely why we at The Real News are establishing a new climate change bureau, because we think it’s… all the scientists, like yourself, we’ve had on the program, and we’ve had many, have emphasized the need for our policymakers, our governments, to achieve a level of seriousness about the climate crisis that they haven’t demonstrated thus far, because otherwise we will be in serious trouble.

And for that reason, we thank you for joining us today, Dr. Barber, and I’m sure we’ll have the opportunity, or hope to have the opportunity, to speak to you again.

DAVID BARBER: Nice chatting with you. Have a good one.

DIMITRI LASCARIS: You, too. This is Dimitri Lascaris for The Real News.

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  1. Jim A

    Hmm…I wonder whether that 600% change in rate imply a different equilibrium glacial ice to temperature, or just a more rapid adjustment to equilibrium. The latter might be better because it might imply that we see enough effects of climate change to get sufficient political will to really do something about it before we have locked in truly horrific levels of sea level rise.

    1. nonsense factory

      Probably a more rapid adjustment to a new equilibrium, i.e. the models underestimated the rate of change – but the long-term result will likely be conditions similar to greater than 3 million years ago, when sea levels were perhaps 25 meters higher – the real question is how long this will take. What the climate models didn’t seem to take into account is the dynamic response of the ice sheet to higher temperatures – meltwater lubricating the rock/ice interface and resulting in faster flow of ice into the sea, for example. Instead they have tended to treat the ice sheets like big stable ice cubes, which they are not. For example, see this massive ice breakup event, the size of Manhattan, from 2012:

      1. Thor's Hammer

        The equilibrium assumption is a faith-based construction not different in nature than the technocratic belief that human ingenuity will always find an answer to allow human society to continue to grow and prosper endlessly.

        Can you present a convincing science-based theory that demonstrates that burning millions of years of accumulated carbon in one or two centuries will not lead to runaway disequilibrium? For example, if you introduce a catalytic agent into a chemical reaction the end product is an irreversible change in chemical state. What do you base your belief that geologic history will repeat itself and that the “new equilibrium” will resemble the lush planet of three million years ago rather than the lifeless surface of Mars?

        1. nonsense factory

          Oh, the “lush planet of 3 million years ago” had a much higher sea level. And a whole host of different species – not including human beings. It’s the rapid pace of change, not change itself, that’s the problem.

          Go take a basic thermodynamics course; you won’t get Venus-style runaway effects because Venus’s atmosphere is 90 TIMES as dense as Earth’s atmosphere. Basic physics. We’ll just see massive disruptions of global climate normals, melting poles, rising sea levels, mass human migration. No worries, we can learn to live underground like termites.

          Or we can get off fossil fuels as soon as possible, replacing all energy demand with renewable energy technology, which is entirely feasible, if the robber barons running the fossil fuel system can be defeated. Time to go to war?

    2. Gaylord

      “Equilibrium” sounds so nice, but “extinction” is the proper term because the new “stable” climate won’t support most (if any) life on this planet. Scientists talk about a likely 3-4˚ C rise in average surface temps this century, but it’s much more likely to reach 10˚ C or more, and humans and other complex organisms won’t survive. It’s not just about sea level rise but also a plethora of catastrophic conditions that will be beyond our control.

      Does anyone think the ecocide and climate instability we are witnessing right now is not horrific enough? And what exactly could we “do about it”? The damage has already been done — the huge amount of CO2 we have emitted will remain in the atmosphere while we continue to emit vastly more, and this will bring continued acceleration of heating. Not even reverting to Stone Age technology would stop it. Not even the techno panaceas of engineers to generate clouds, sequester carbon, restore forests, etc., appear to be funded experimentally on a large scale, let alone being developed. If we were to stop all carbon emissions (which practically nobody wants to do), the immediate reduction in “global dimming” aerosol effect would jack up the temperature immediately.

      So much talk is about replacing fossil fuels with “renewables,” but we know that wouldn’t stop the heating trend, even if it were feasible. That is merely a diversion to mollify the public and channel money into the coffers of Rockefeller. Soon, our resources will be devoted in large measure to “mitigation” which basically means “mopping up the mess that nature made of our lives and property.”

      This interview falls short in so many ways, it’s hard to count them. Just one example: this scientist is from Canada — others have commented on the ridiculous suggestion of switching from coal to natural gas, but how come he talks about “dirty coal” but does not mention Tar Sands bitumen? We know the answer.

      How can they calculate or estimate “600% faster than models predict” but are unable to apply that rate of acceleration to a new prediction? I’ll venture a guess: it’s because they know it will again be worse in the future than they currently expect, and they don’t want to be criticized as being “too alarmist.” At the same frequency of re-evaluations of the models, it will be 700%, then 1000%, then 1500%, and so on. That is what acceleration means, which is precisely what is not being accounted for in the models.

      I think we as a society need a serious reckoning, devoid of fantasy and falsehood. As individuals, it would behoove us to learn more about climate science, not only to counter the vast wave of misinformation, but also to determine our own options in the time we have left. Many of the myths and our assumptions about the exceptionalism of humans will be laid to rest along with our fellow creatures. Dystopia is coming and it’s a scary thought, but we will have to confront it or find a more comfortable ending. That is all I have to say on this thread.

      1. Fiver

        If the scientist was from the US, he/she’d likely have pink slip stuffed in their mouth. And while I agree tar sands are a great Canadian shame, coal globally is by far the worst.

  2. Jim Haygood

    Why do they call it Greenland?

    From around 985, Vikings founded the Eastern Settlement and Western Settlement, both near the southern tip of Greenland. In the colony’s early stages, they kept cattle, sheep, and goats, with around a quarter of their diet from seafood. After the climate became colder and stormier around 1250, their diet steadily shifted towards ocean sources; by around 1300, seal hunting provided over three quarters of their food.

    If the global climate has historically featured cyclical temperature swings before the human population was large enough to affect it, it is really a good idea to try to stop a dynamic process?

    Ice core data shows that the last 400,000 years have consisted of short interglacials (10,000 to 30,000 years) about as warm as the present alternated with much longer (70,000 to 90,000 years) glacials substantially colder than present.

    With our current interglacial period already approaching its 12,000th birthday, Contrarianism 101 says that when the usual suspects are howling about global warming, we’d better start preparing for the onset of the next Ice Age.

    1. I Have Strange Dreams

      It’s well known that Greenland society collapsed when they abandoned the Gold standard and moved to sealskin fiat. This led to a massive increase in social welfare and health costs, and eventual hyperinflation (satire).

    2. PlutoniumKun

      As your figures show, we are about half way through an interglacial, but the next swing isn’t due for 5 millennia at least, so plenty of time for people to adapt. There isn’t enough time to adapt to anthropogenic change.

      The medieval climate changes in Greenland have been exaggerated. The coastal fjords are just at the fringe of the permanent ice cap, so even very minor changes in climate could turn them from pasture to permanent ice. Anyway, the viking were goods marketing, they persuaded every everyone at home that Iceland and greenland were much nicer places than they really were.

      Back in the 1980’s I studied quaternary geomorphology, which is basically ice ages. Back then we mostly had visual observations of glacial deposits and pollen cores, plus dendrochronology to study past climate patterns. What was obvious was that bar forcing from big volcanic eruptions or meteor strikes the world climate during an interglacial is remarkably stable. However, at the period of change it is enormously unstable. For a thousand years or so as the glaciers were melting there were periods of incredibly rapid and sudden changes, from balmy conditions to intensely cold shocks. The change could happen over just a few years, well within a human lifetime. The evidence is easily visible just by looking at a typical sand and gravel quarry wall anywhere in the northern hemisphere. the huge quartz sand fluvioglacial deposits in Wisconsin, now being torn apart to make fracking sands are one such area. The real fear for us should be not the warming of the climate, but that we are now forcing one of those periods of intense unstable change.

      1. jhallc

        My guess is that for the recent geolgical past (200K years) or so, the temperature has fluctuated around a mean threshold that allowed us to slip from one glacial period to another. Very likely the transition period can be relatively rapid once that threshold is crossed. My concern is that we are moving farther away from that equillbium threshold value to the warmer side. If this is what’s happening, then until we reach a stable new threshold things are likely to be a little rocky.
        On the bright side, at least the melting model for Greenland isn’t an order of magnitude off. 6x’s is not really that bad for a predictive model.

      1. gepay

        MtnLife The article I saw here at NC discussing this (changing of the Gulf Stream) said that could possibly happen around 2300. That was if you read to the end of the article. Did you notice the uncertainty honest scientists that other than climate alarmists acknowledge. “Now, whether this will happen or not, based on our changing climate in the Arctic, we really don’t know. And a lot of scientists are working on this around the planet, to try to figure out how sensitive the climate system is.” But the science is settled, isn’t it? Believers in man made CO2 is a pollutant forget the basic – correlation is not causation. Or computer models are not reality.
        this is the kind of mistake editing is supposed to catch. “And the reason for that is, that the southern hemisphere is a very large land mass… ” probably forgot in.
        Notice that David Barber says this is a quote – the 600% more melting than models predict – but nowhere in the article does it say where this quote comes from so one could check out the research but it’s in the clickbait title
        Basically the article had no facts but just suppositions about what is generally believed unless you count that ice free ocean water is darker than ice.

        1. pretzelattack

          the science is settled as far as
          1.we are causing the climate to change with fossil fuel emissions.
          2.this change will start to accelerate till we reach some kind of equilibrium.

          you posit, without any evidence, that there is a split between so called
          climate alarmism, by which you seem to mean anthropogenic global warming, and “honest science”. there isn’t. every major science organization recognizes the basics of the science.

          1. BeliTsari

            The likely reason for this acceleration has been known for half a century. We were taught it in the 50’s (thought it’s WAY ahead of schedule… jeepers, I wonder WHY?)

        2. steelhead23

          So, your basic argument is that because observations show that climate model projections are conservative, that is, the on the ground facts are harsher than the model would predict, that the entire theory of anthropogenic global climate change is unsupported? That’s quite a stretch.

          I see the issue quite differently. A growing body of research is showing that as differential warming takes place in the earth’s oceans, long established oceanic currents are changing in ways that could make the effects of climate change substantially more severe than current climate models suggest. This poses a significant threat to Europe, which is warmed by the Gulf Stream. Similar changes are taking place in the atmosphere as the polar jet stream becomes less organized and shows greater amplitude. As a result, storms tend to linger longer and in N. America and the polar gyre makes further and longer lasting incursions during the winter. Such changes is circulation systems are devilishly hard to model, so it is not too surprising that they have gotten it wrong. Bottom line is that the on-the-ground effects of ongoing global climate change may be worse than those ‘alarmist’ scientists expect.

    3. TheCatSaid

      Clif High has interesting speculation based on linguistic genomics. For some years he’s on record talking about coming a deep freeze period (not lasting millennia) with clear evidence in the form of sudden, highly localized deep freezes starting from 2025. He believes the new ice age will affect some parts of the globe much more so than others, and not the current temperature distribution.

      High recently spoke of the ice core samples used widely to estimate climate change, based on the assumption of the age of the earth and the assumption that certain area ice core samples were formed by tightly compressed snow/ice over hundreds of millions of years. He asked the question, what if we learn that the ice in these core samples was formed over a much shorter period–e.g., 75,000 years? It would reveal our current beliefs about historical climate and current climate change to be inaccurate.

      I don’t know if Clif High is accurate, but there are many gaps in our understanding about Earth’s history and climate.

      There’s no justification for resource extraction & burning fossil fuels. It’s damaging and stupid. Why burn up natural resources and pollute the atmosphere, land and oceans?! It’s come about because of greed and manipulation by various individuals who wanted to profit, and more recently by power plays of nations colluding with established economic major players.

      There are better ways to obtain energy on this planet. Nathan Stubblefield, Nicola Tesla, Win Keech and many others have pointed the way, for example regarding accessing electrical energy already stored in the surface crust of the earth like a capacitor, accessible at nodes about 6 feet apart from prior lightning strikes.

      The US Patent Office could contribute solutions if they wanted to. They capture patents on the basis of national security, but it’s really about maintaining existing power structures and, protecting existing economic interests, by limiting and tightly controlling our individual and collective vision and expression.

    4. mikkel

      I always find responses like Jim’s to be astounding.

      It shows how a break down of trust in our social systems turns into epistemological nihilism, where nothing has any grounding in truth other than contrarianism. Evidence is only valuable for seeing what opinion is and being reflexively against it. I’ve done a lot of studying about this mentality and have no idea how to address it.

      I mean, how the hell have glaciation cycles come to represent “evidence” against global warming?! CO2 feedback theory was literally conceived as an explanation for the cycles over 150 years ago. It was proven over 100 years ago that changes in solar flux is insufficient by itself, firmly cementing CO2’s role.

      And the accompanying “contrarian factoid” that CO2 lags temperature is another whopper, since that merely reinforces the theory. The Milankovitch cycles perfectly explain CO2 lag behind temperatures and how it is a feedback.

      It is literally impossible to explain glaciation without CO2 feedback and impossible that CO2 would lead temperature changes if the cycle is primarily solar driven! [CO2 leading temperature has been definitely proven in other warming periods that were volcanic driven of course].

      While this narrative is driven by paid propagandists, it’s obvious that Jim isn’t, but somehow he has been infected. I would bet anything he has read the very statements I just made many times and chooses to ignore them.

      Why Jim? Why??

    5. mikkel

      I always find responses like Jim’s to be astounding.

      It shows how a break down of trust in our social systems turns into epistemological nihilism, where nothing has any grounding in truth other than contrarianism. Evidence is only valuable for seeing what opinion is and being reflexively against it. I’ve done a lot of studying about this mentality and have no idea how to address it.

      I mean, how the hell have glaciation cycles come to represent “evidence” against global warming?! CO2 feedback theory was literally conceived as an explanation for the cycles over 150 years ago. It was proven over 100 years ago that changes in solar flux is insufficient by itself, firmly cementing CO2’s role.

      And the accompanying “contrarian factoid” that CO2 lags temperature is another whopper, since that merely reinforces the theory. The Milankovitch cycles perfectly explain CO2 lag behind temperatures and how it is a feedback.

      It is literally impossible to explain glaciation without CO2 feedback and impossible that CO2 would lead temperature changes if the cycle is primarily solar driven! [CO2 leading temperature has been definitely proven in other warming periods that were volcanic driven of course].

      While this narrative is driven by paid propagandists, it’s obvious that Jim isn’t, but somehow he has been infected. I would bet anything he has read the very statements I just made many times and chooses to ignore them.

      Why Jim? Why??

    6. craazyman

      when the whole thing melts and falls like an avalanche into the sea the wave will be so yuuuuuge you’ll see it from New Yawk when it’s off the coast of Maine.

      looking out from yer 40th floor office window at a white horizon like a cloud bank over Hell’s Gate.

      You’ll think “Oh man! This looks bad. I hope there aren’t any polar bears in the wave when it hits, because they’ll either be hungry or angry and neither is good.”

    7. Glen

      This time around we’ll name it Oh-$hitland.

      Humanity has long demonstrated the ability to ignore a problem until that problem beats humanity on the head with a baseball bat. Mama Nature’s swinging a big one this time.

    8. nonsense factory

      Regurgitated Cato / Heartland / American Petroleum Institute talking points, of the “cigarettes are not linked to lung cancer” and “HIV doesn’t cause AIDS” and “they faked the Moon landing” variety.

      1. craazyman

        If the models were off by 600% on this — assuming it’s even true — maybe that says something about the models!

        global warming is such a distraction. it’s the worst thing that could have happened to green energy. There are so many arguments for a clean & green marshall plan — ecosystem destruction from drilling and mining, particulate emiissions, metals emissions, smog, pollution etc.

        I don’t need global warming to be in favor of a yuuuuge Marshall Plan for green energy that clears the air, cleans the air, cleans and clears the water, repairs mountain scapes destroyed by coal mining, repairs ecosystmes and makes energy clean and sustainable for a planetary future.

        Why always the name calling and character assasination from the global warming crowd. If some serious scientist who knows the topic disagrees with the alarmist consensus — and there’s lots who do — well, they’re always a “shill for the energy industry / a Koch brothers lackey / a bought and paid for oil funded academic”. It’s always an immature character assasssination and attack on intellectual integrity by some foaming at the mouth zealot who probably doesn’t know a confidence interval from a glacier, or a mathematical model from the fine print on a toothpaste tube. Then it degenerates into a hopeless pile of name calling and hate.

        it’s not useful, it’s not necessary, it’s not helpful. If people wish to disagree about the models, the methodology, the measurements, the evidence — fine, that’s the job of scholars and they will disagree sometimes, with both conscience and integrity. One or the other may be wrong, for sure.

        But the name calling and mockery and defamatory name calling is so nauseating. I’m not saying YOU are doing it, I’m just ventilating and taking your comment as a point of departure.

        It’s truly is the western world’s ethical responsibility to produce a green power revolution and dramatic energy efficiency gains to help reduce energy used, since it was the one that created fossil fuels. The electric power industry has made enormous strides, largegly by state mandates and broad public and bi-partisan support. There’s a lot of progress there. There’s a lot of smart people working on this. it’s not hopeless at all. It’s somethign everybody should rally around whether they believe in CO2 warming models or not. It’s just the right thing to do. And if it ameliorates CO2 produced global warming, all the better.

        1. Skip Intro

          Deflecting/denying the proven existence of paid fossil-fuels-industry propaganda masquerading as science by calling it ‘character assassination’ is a great way to ignore the problem. The aggressive attacks on climate researchers by wingnuts and their lackeys lead them to be extremely conservative in their estimates, which is how they can underestimate the problem by 600%.

          But one has to respect that plucky band of oil companies with the courage to stand up to the vast wealth and political power power of the environmentalists.

        2. Aumua

          I suppose in some sense, that the discussion turning into a free for all melee means that the deniers are winning. What do you do when the same talking points that have already been thoroughly debunked keep coming back like zombies, over and over and over? After patiently explaining the solid scientific foundation for the greenhouse effect, supported by an overwhelming consensus that it is currently happening exactly as the science says it should, for the 18th time.. just to have another armchair expert come by and start over again from the beginning with the same laundry list of denier talking points, how do you respond to that?

          The fact that global warming has successfully been politicized is an indication the trolls are winning. Sure we should stop polluting our environment regardless, but like.. let me know when human civilization starts taking that seriously. I don’t see that happening under Trump, that’s for sure. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking, and obviously humanity is not going to pull it’s head out of it’s ass until things get bad enough that we HAVE to. It remains to be seen if we are going to survive the process or not.

          1. Gaylord

            What would it take to “stop polluting our environment” ? Every proposed solution is merely a different potential polluter that only addresses one aspect of the entrenched state of human industrial civilization. I suggest there is no answer to this conundrum, in part because humans are unable to evolve toward respecting the ecosystem and web of life. We have defective brains and are full of ourselves thinking we are exceptional so that we are entitled to exploit and destroy other life forms, because we can. We are a plague on the earth, an invasive species that Nature will dispense with, in due course.

          2. pretzelattack

            thank you, the same old same old about a fake scientific dispute. these zombie points never die.

        3. Grebo

          If some serious scientist who knows the topic disagrees with the alarmist consensus — and there’s lots who do

          There really aren’t, not amongst climatologists. And the consensus (of the scientists not the activists) is actually conservative. They don’t want to play into the hands of the denialists by making claims they cannot support. However, as alluded to by Barber, things seem to be developing more quickly than than they thought likely. You can be snide about the models but if they underestimate the problem that’s no source of comfort.

        4. UserFriendly

          The only time I’ve ever made any progress fighting with people who don’t believe in climate change is by pointing out most of those points and that there is only so much oil under the ground and emphasizing just how much energy it takes to build soil panels and wind turbines. Even if we started a full switch right now I’m not sure we would have enough oil in the ground to maintain consumption at the current level..

        5. Chauncey Gardiner

          R-E-S-P-E-C-T is a two-way street, and this is a very serious issue. Harsh criticism of science, political pressure, personal threats and even arrest of research scientists working on climate change and its effects by the “La-la-la, I can’t hear you” and “Global warming is a great hoax” defendants of the fossil fuels status quo, illustrated by Exxon’s suppression of Exxon scientist James Black’s work on climate change beginning back in the 1970s, has not been matched by the defendants’ own public presentation of a rebuttal in the form of either countervailing evidence or macroeconomic, social and geopolitical cost-benefit analysis. Seems to me that unless the trend is reversed, this could be an existential question for many.

        6. nonsense factory

          Okay, perhaps you’re not a sleazy dishonest PR monkey in the employ of the fossil fuel industry – perhaps you’re just a stupid idiot who has bought into their lies. I’ll accept that. But, really, what’s the difference?

          1. pretzelattack

            well, not everybody that has apparently bought into it is stupid or dishonest. it’s hard to question one’s assumptions once you’ve bought in. i look at how fervently some of my traditional democrat friends hang on to the myths they believe about the democratic party; they aren’t stupid, but it’s a very long process at best to get them to see another point of view.

    9. Vatch

      Jim quoted from Wikipedia:

      Ice core data shows that the last 400,000 years have consisted of short interglacials (10,000 to 30,000 years) about as warm as the present alternated with much longer (70,000 to 90,000 years) glacials substantially colder than present.

      That short quote is misleading, and we need to consult the Wikipedia Ice Core article on which this section is based for greater understanding; see this chart:

      In the past 420,000 years, note that whenever the concentration of carbon dioxide reached 300 ppm, the temperature would rise. Due to the scale of the chart, we can’t see the current temperatures or the current concentration of carbon dioxide. The current concentration of 400 parts per million is far above anything in the historical chart; see:'s_atmosphere

      What’s happening today is significantly different from what has periodically occurred over the past 420,000 years. We’re in deep trouble. See these charts for how far off the scale we are in both carbon dioxide levels and methane levels:'s_atmosphere#/media/File:Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png's_atmosphere#/media/File:Atmospheric_CO2_CH4_Degrees_Centigrade_Over_Time_by_Reg_Morrison.jpg

    10. Leslie Graham

      Dear Lord – not that wearsome ‘Greenland used to be green’ garbage – again!
      How many millions of times does this zombie nonsense have to be utterly debunked and falsfied before the shills will stop parroting it?

      If you’d had a basic north European education you would KNOW why Eric called it ‘Greenland’ because you would have learned it in school at about age 12 like everyone else. It’s basic schoolgirl level history.

      Eric the Red was banished from Iceland for three years so he sailed west to where he discovered what he called ‘Greenland’ – a land covered in over a mile thick ice over almost it’s entirely. Ice that is known to be 120,000 years old.

      He called this new land “Greenland” because he “believed more people would go thither if the country had a beautiful name,” according to the Icelandic chronicles (Hermann, 1954)

      Additionally, the land was not very good for farming.

      The Vikings settled in two sheltered fjiords in the extreme south west of Greenland in an area that is roughly on the same latitude as the Shetland Islands off north Scotland.

      This was made possible by changes in ocean currents that brought warmer water to the North Atlantic.
      Even then it was a continuous struggle to survive.
      Today Greenland temperatures are 0.8C warmer than even the warmest part of the MWP (which was a regional not global phenomenom) and the population is ten times higher than at the peak of Viking settlement.

      And, as has been repeatedly demonstrated by at least 75 studies now;
      “There were no GLOBALLY synchronous multi-decadal warm or cold intervals that define a worldwide Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age
      Recent warming reversed the long-term cooling; during the period ad 1971–2000, the area-weighted average reconstructed temperature was higher than any other time in nearly 1,400 years.”

      The rest of your tired old Gish-gallop of the same tired old thousand-times-falsified nonsense is not even worth my time debunking for the nth time.
      Now that the effects of climate change have become simply an obvious everyday reality all over the planet the last of the deniers just sound unhinged.

      1. Plenue

        “How many millions of times does this zombie nonsense have to be utterly debunked and falsfied before the shills will stop parroting it?”

        We’re talking about Jim Haygood here. A man who is well aware of the mountains of evidence for MMT, and essentially just ignores it and goes ‘nuh uh!’ And that’s a subject he (ostensibly) has some knowledge of. He seems to have no qualms about applying the same level of stupidity to subjects he has no expertise whatsoever in.

      2. different clue

        How many million times? Infinite numbers of millions of times. Every time it is refuted all over again, perhaps another bystander may hear and understand the refutation. Eventually all the bystanders will understand and the “Eric’s tropical Greenland” fakers will have no one to talk to but eachother.

    11. different clue

      Buy all the seaside land in South Florida you can afford. And then borrow all you can and buy some more.

  3. ex-PFC Chuck

    The time has come for the United States to change its national bird from the bald eagle to the ostrich.

  4. RUKidding

    It’s a Chinese hoax. Good thing we have Rex Tillerson & Steve Bannon to deal with this dastardly Chinese chicanery. Phew. I can sleep better at night now.

  5. timbers

    My gut is sea level will be 20-30 ft higher by 2100. That puts the coastal property I just sold under water and worthless long before that.

    The first blow to my former home may be the next FEMA flood map which I expect will force my former property onto the FEMA flood map for the first time. Around the same time the sea barriers will experience wave erosion requiring time and money to restore/maintain. I lived there 10 years and noticed these large cement blocks undergo noticable deterioration during that time. The plumbing in the area will face increasing stress due to rising water levels. Eventually it will not work at all.

    I am now in a house 127 feet above sea level. I expect to live my life in it without facing direct affects on my property from sea level rise but will live in world surrounded by people who are being affected.

    Based on forecasts, I expect my current property will be under water at some point long after I’m gone.

    1. nonsense factory

      Well that might take a couple hundred years, not eighty – but that looks like the long-term result. Today’s current best estimate for 2100 sea level is probably closer to 3-5 feet, really. Not that it will stop there. Here’s the best current scientific review of the forecast for sea level rise, even if we don’t go much past current CO2 levels of 400 ppm:
      “Sea-level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during past warm periods, Science 2015”

      1. Synoia

        Congratulations, you have just described a classic chaotic system.

        Apppears to be stable, then sudden changes based on stimili external to the system, followed by a new appearence of stability.

        By the way, ALL projections are too low if the 600% be true.

        Coastal areas will be extinguished at the rate of destruction of Sanitation (Sewage) processing plants. Based on my analysis with Mr Google, there are about 160 such coastal plants, serving between 100,000 to 200,000 people in the US.

        I predict a boom in building to protect Sewage Plants. Coupled with a steep rise in Bond issues and Property taxes, followed by a later complete collapse in the bond market as Sewage Plants and their tax base go underwater.

        1. Gaianne


          Well said. Direct, obvious inferences, but people literally refuse to think about them. Mitigation–building work-arounds for the inevitable demise of the sewage treatment plants–would need to start now. There’s a shovel-ready project!

          But people refuse to think about it, let alone do anything.


          PS It may not be legal but you can collect (and purify) your own drinking water when it comes to that. Waste can be composted rather than discharged into the nearest body of water. Also illegal, but keep it in mind when the time comes.

          Chances are, though, you will be surrounded by people drinking unclean water with waste going everywhere. Before the inevitable disease epidemic breaks out you will have to leave.

      2. timbers

        I understand, but do not agree.

        I think the rise will greatly exceed 5 ft by 2100 based on a combinations of considerations such as the event you linked above and factors like Greenland happening 6x’s faster than models. It ice is melting 6x’s faster than current models that say 3-5ft by 2100, it isn’t going to be 3-5ft it will much more.

        That’s just my opinion. I could be wrong but at present, that is my guess.

        1. nonsense factory

          That argument has some plausible facts backing it up – but one thing is scientifically clear, it all comes down to the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. I’ve been peripherally involved in this for many years – and I recall geophysical people in 1994 mocking the notion of rapid sea level rise and ice sheet breakup (because their models treated ice sheets like big ice cubes) – they were shocked when the ice sheets started flowing rapidly into the oceans. As someone one said, “I wouldn’t want to fly in a modeled airplane – I’d worry too much about what they left out.”

          What they left out back then was the dynamic response – ice cubes melt statically, ice sheets melt, then their flow rate increases. How fast, how far? Good questions. The general pressure on scientists has been to underestimate these trends, for political reasons. So, you may be right, it could be 10X greater than “conservative estimates.”

          1. skippy

            Oceans and seas are not evenly distributed, multiple forces are at play and regional variances will be significant.

  6. thoughtful person

    We know with fairly reliable certainty that the future looks bleak as far as the carrying capacity of the planet to support 9 billion humans. We don’t know for sure how soon the carrying capacity will begin to contract.

    As population and consumption of resources by humans continues to increase, we will hit a wall.

    Climate change speeds up the arrival of the wall, the limit to growth and to the level of consumption needed to support an ever growing demand for resources.

    Finally, some climate scientists think the IPCC is much too conservative and too slow to incorporate new data, such as the faster melt in Greenland discussed here. They may be right. Some say we may be facing a massive die off in the human population by 2025. More here:

    Either way not taking the inevitable extreme implications of our present polluting ways seriously (ie taking actions! ) is bringing on death and extinction for many species, perhaps ourselves included.

  7. juliania

    One of the comments at the real news site points out the interview makes no mention of renewables as the only realistic course of action to be taken (as of,say, last century) instead promoting natural gas.

    On the bright side, we’ll probably be back to using windmills, and watermills to grind our grain, soon enough.

    1. HBE

      Renewables are a pseudo bandaid for the real issue, because they will only make things worse in terms of confronting that issue.

      The planet is way over sustainable carrying capacity, the primary issue comes down to overpopulation.

      What I absolutely loathe about magical renewables is not their use in general (energy diversity is great), but the negative effects they have on the more pressing issues.

      Renewables allow people to externalize their lifestyle. (“I don’t need to make any lifestyle changes, just put up some solar panels.”) They are not a solution, and they dilute the primary issue which is overpopulation and personal lifestyle.

      The most environmentally beneficial thing one can do to fight global warming is to not have children or adopt.

      There is no magic renewable or scientific bullet.

      1. pretzelattack

        nope, it’s burning fossil fuels that’s the problem, overpopulation is a big problem, but it isn’t driving climate change. follow the science, as mikkel suggests above. mitigating population growth without addressing the basic problem leaves us open to runaway global warming.

        1. HBE

          What? Population directly drives climate change, lower population and you lower carbon emissions.

          Let’s imagine we have a major leap renewable implementation today, while population continues to grow. Increased deforestation for more agricultural land among many other negative ecological effects that renewables do nothing to mitigate, that decrease the ability to remove carbon from the atmosphere, leaving the world in the same position just with more solar panels and wind turbines in combination with increased ecological destruction.

          Besides the fact an individual cannot globally affect global renewable implementation, but they can help reduce population which directly effects carbon emissions, in addition to other lifestyle changes.

          Focus on renewables disempower and discourage individual efforts to decrease emissions.

          We should work towards renewable implementation to help diversify energy sources, but that should be secondary to reducing the primary driver of carbon emissions, which is people.

          1. pretzelattack

            no we could drastically reduce the population and still have to deal with increasing global warming, which is caused by fossil fuel emissions. the only way to deal with that (or overpopulation itself for that matter) in any kind of reasonable way is to switch to renewables via a worldwide effort. a sum of individual lifestyle changes is not going to work.

        2. polecat

          ‘Renewables’ will never scale to the degree petroleum (oil & gas) have (to date), so that everyone can live the present lifestyles that western societies have had available the last 80 to 120 years or so …. human societies would have to adapt to a reduced lifestyle of human + animal + ‘renewable’ power to achieve a less wasteful, but decent, way of living on this planet …… and ‘progress’ such as it is regaled in modern times, is not necessarily a linear process, always better, and always of good outcome ! Plenty of example there !! So a lot of what we think of as ‘normal’ will have to be jettisoned for a reduced, a simpler way of living. Getting there … well .. that’s gonna be the painful part …. especially for those who can’t think beyond the cage of progress we all find ourselves in.

          1. VietnamVet

            As long as there are books and libraries, mankind will not have to reinvent the wheel. The question is how to reach sustainability without destroying the earth first. The last 40 years of rising inequality and know-nothingness is frightening.

        3. Gaylord

          Overpopulation will greatly exacerbate social-political instability, which in turn will bring about all manner of misery, distress, violence and death — potentially including nuclear war (note: India – Pakistan), as resource scarcity (esp. inability to grow food) and sea water inundation cause mass migrations. We are already seeing it in the MENA and none of us can be immune from it.

      2. tongorad

        Renewables allow people to externalize their lifestyle. (“I don’t need to make any lifestyle changes, just put up some solar panels.”)

        It’s a lot easier for the well-off and comfortable to make changes, therefore we get the blame cannon directed at “people.”
        I would love to be able to walk or bike to work, to the grocery store, or to have access to a community garden or commons parkland. Instead, my life is 100% dependent on private car ownership, and I must contend with miles of congested roads and acres of parking lots and strip malls every day. I didn’t create the sprawl, am powerless to change it and lack the economic means to escape.
        Oh to be a hipster in some cozy urban abode with a menu of appealing “lifestyle” choices…

        1. HBE

          Not having children, the easiest and most effective lifestyle choice an individual can pursue to reduce carbon emissions is not effected by any location or economic condition people are forced to contend with.

          And again adoption allows those who desire parenthood to do so without increasing population.

          1. Dogstar

            “Children, phooey. You give them everything they want, and what do you get back in return? You get nothing! Why they’re just smaller versions of us you know, but I’m not so crazy about me in the first place, so why would I want one of them?”

            Poopdeck Pappy

        2. Gaylord

          None of us is powerless to make changes in our lifestyles, but it’s clear that individual efforts won’t make much difference in the inevitable progression of human extinction. Nevertheless, if we can help to minimize our impact and thus save some other species to enable the regeneration of life on earth down the line, maybe it’s worth the effort.

          Above all else, I advocate shutting down all nuclear power plants to prevent excessive corruption of the earth’s gene pool after we humans have bitten the dust.

          1. Synoia

            I advocate shutting down all nuclear power plants

            Good Idea. Pity about that lack of an “off” switch.

    2. integer

      Economic warfare is a big part of the problem imo. Rainforests are being decimated by corporate interests, yet in most cases, at least as I understand it, the surrounding populations are forced to acquiesce due to their dire economic circumstances. Cutting down huge expanses of rainforest while pumping massive quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is an extremely shortsighted plan.

  8. susan the other

    wondering about the air-conditioning dynamics of rain and snow… seems like after a round or two of snow storms the air dries out, gets warmer and more comfortable; but when it snows frequently for two or more months the air never seems to dry out and stays humid and colder than usual, like this winter. i’m curious to see what sort of weather we have this summer because i’ve never seen it like this – so many storms one after another across most of the continent, so that even on a day you would expect to be warmer it is still cold because it doesn’t dry out. and then there is the weird nighttime temperature pattern – it used to range from 20 below to 20 above in winter, now it stays close to 30 above all night and some days it doesn’t warm up at all. I realize this is weather, not climate – but weather has to change before climate changes.

    1. Synoia

      Climate is imperceptable, long term. We humans percieve weather, which is noise superimposed on climate.

      1. Gaylord

        Scientists have tools to gather data on large-scale and long-term changes, such as satellite instruments and ice core samples enabling them to document and analyze phenomena that individuals are unable to perceive. I’d say the problem is that most people are unwilling to learn about something that is so unpleasant in its implications. Their assumption that increasing frequency of severe weather events are “one-offs” due to nature’s unpredictability, leads them to ignore the glaring truth.

    2. Oregoncharles

      Higher temperatures mean more energy and more water in the atmosphere, so more instability – wilder weather. We’re having hotter summers (figures) and harsher winters, esp. this year. Wilder weather doesn’t show up in the averages, but it’s a big factor for daily experience. We’ve had 4 snows this winter; I think that’s unprecedented in my experience. But last year was very warm, on average.

      The immediate explanation seems to be that the warmer Arctic destabilizes the jet stream. That causes weather patterns to stall, and drags arctic air masses south.

  9. b

    Coal soot from Red China has reached such epic levels that it’s affecting glaciers half-a-world away.

    It lands everywhere, and changes the reflectance of sunlight.

    It also nucleates snow and rain — and fogs — which have warmed up Alaska to an astounding degree.

    It’s big news for Alaskans, the warm winters, while it rarely makes news in the lower 48 states.

    It’s even pushed a polar vortex down from the Arctic — driving Canada and America to shockingly low temperatures… at the same time lifting the Arctic to amazing highs. ( highs by Arctic standards.)

    London’s famous fogs were due to coal soot. Now that coal is not used for home heating, those fogs have lifted.

    Beijing is the same story in reverse… but on a drastically larger scale.

    1. gepay

      it’s really sad that this was known about coal burning before China did this to its people – but those at the top got rich. same ol same ol.

      1. Fiver

        Both you and ‘b’ forget the US essentially transferred a huge portion of its emissions to China, which wrongly gets tagged for all the emissions produced making the products the US consumes. Still, even though end users’ footprints do not include their proper share of of the emissions, it’s still obvious that blaming China alone is just ridiculous. The US, Canada and ‘the West’ are responsible for by far the lion’s share of the total load now in the atmosphere, oceans, soils etc., as we’ve been at it on an industrial scale for so much longer. We also have had the advantage of being in possession of the science, technology and money to address these issues for generations, but have instead quite knowingly and deliberately conducted our affairs like badly spoiled children.

        1. different clue

          No. It was not the “US” which transferred all this production to China. It was the International Free Trade Conspiracy, acting through traitors and agents such as Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, etc. The majority of Americans who still voted for Democratic Representatives right up to the time of Clinton’s Great DoubleCross reJECted the concept of exiling our production ( and its carbon emissions) to China. The China Gov was desperately eager to kidnap all our production ( and its emissions) to China.

          So it is just liberal moral-superiority stuff-strutting to try and tell disemployed Americans how guilty they should feel because the “US” transferred their jobs and production and emissions to China. The “US” did no such thing. It was traitors withIN the US, acting for the International Free Trade Conspiracy, who did that.

          The obvious solution would be the Abolition of all Free Trade Agreements, the withdrawal from all International Free Trade Conspiracy organizations such as the WTO, and the bringing back to America of our kidnapped production held captive in exile in China, Mexico, BanglaDesh, and etc.

    2. Gaylord

      Actually, you’ve got it backwards. The aerosol effect of coal emissions has a cooling effect! Thus, as coal is replaced by cleaner sources of energy, the effect will be significantly increased radiative forcing. That is one of the insoluble dilemmas. (That’s not to say there aren’t many other detrimental effects of coal burning.)

      Changes in the Polar Vortex are due to the slowing and greater modulation of the Jet Streams, not directly from “soot.” Get your facts straight, please.

      1. Gaylord

        I should mention that the another kind of soot — from forest fires and wildfires — is having a pronounced effect on absorption of infrared radiation in the Arctic region.

        1. Gaylord

          The loss of aerosols due to cessation of coal burning would have an instantaneous and continuous effect far greater than the absorption due to soot precipitation. From the article:

          However, the picture is more complicated than these raw figures might suggest. Unburned carbon particles and gases, such as sulphur dioxide, which often accompany soot production, can have an aerosol cooling effect, because in the atmosphere they can deflect heat from the sun back into space. This process, sometimes called global dimming, makes it hard to estimate the final effects of the pollution.
          While mercury, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl) and other pollutants persist for decades, soot is a less permanent problem.

          Eliminating GHG emissions of all kinds is probably a worthwhile endeavor, albeit a “palliative” measure in the larger scheme of things, since the CO2 already emitted will remain in the atmosphere for centuries. Some geoengineering proposals to sequester and store CO2 appear to offer the only hope to restore stability, but they are untested at scale and would consume fossil fuels and other extracted resources to implement (just as with solar, wind, etc.). There is no magic bullet.

          1. Oregoncharles

            The best available carbon-sequestration tool is proper soil management, since increasing carbon storage also increases fertility and drought resistance. I’ve written about it here before. Very appealing, since it’s a win-win.

            My source is a book called “Only the Soil can Save Us,” by Kristin Ohlson. It’s a matter of proper management of both grazing and agricultural land, so not simple and socially complicated. Commitment at the top could probably make it happen on a large enough scale, since it’s an available technique – or rather, toolbox. Farmers who adopt it generally profit, so it should be possible to spread it privately.

            1. TheCatSaid

              Yes! And Alan Savory’s amazing work, which I suspect Ohlson mentions.

              In general, working consciously with the intelligence in nature will be most helpful in finding appropriate responses for our unique situations. The Perelandra Nature Research Center does amazing work in making this information available.

              Individual choices can and will make a difference.

        2. blert


          There is a glacier downwind of a Chilean volcano.

          It made 20minutes on “60 Minutes.”

          It’s melting something crazy — regardless of the local climate.

          It’s the soot, the ash.

  10. Bernard

    Yes, do tell me that my peach trees blossoming for the last week or two isn’t a sign of “climate change.” Now that winter is over, the end of January, first week of February, I’m relieved to know climate change is just a “Chinese Hoax”. lol

    the willfull ignorance is what amazes me most. Now they call it “alt facts” or some such nonsense.
    no matter what they call it, the “my income means i must not believe what facts tell me” has won the day and ended our “reign” on this planet.

    Living in New Orleans, i have seen what Oil companies have done to the marshes, losing X football fields worth of acreage all the time, due to the destruction of and ingress of salt water to those same marshes the Mississippi Delta sediments took over 14,000 yrs to create.

    With weeks worth of 70* or above temperatures here now in January for our “winter”, i can hardly imagine what “Summer” will be like this “summer.” It might get as cool as “80*F” come August. Talk about Climate Change! lol well, we can’t, due to Trump, Republicans and other Business men whose “Profit” comes first, foremost and before the lives of the Planet and all those who live thereon.

    “Profits before People” or Capitalism will supply its’ own noose to strangle and destroy so-called “Civilization.” Some Civilization!!!! Killing itself for short term Profit!

    there isn’t enough sarcasm to reach the mindless zombies who bought into the “Profits before People” mindset. as we sow, so shall we reap.

    1. different clue

      If they call it alt facts, just counter-call it fake facts. If every non-member of the alt.right began calling it the altistic right . . . . I mean millions of people using the phrase “altistic right” . . . I wonder how the altistic right would respond?

      1. paul Tioxon

        Michigan GOP Official Calls For ‘Another Kent State’ For Campus Protesters
        “One bullet stops a lot of thuggery,” tweets Dan Adamini in the wake of Berkeley demonstration against Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos.

        The response of the altistic right goes something like that.

  11. Synoia

    What is not mentioned in sea level rise projections is the assumption that sea levels will rise uniformaly at all latitudes.

    I would postulate a zero rise at the poles, and a maximun rise at the equator.

    Sea level rise is a function of the cosine of the latitude, zero at the poles, maximum at the equator.

    Coriolis effect I believe, because the earth is spining.

      1. Synoia

        There is no centripetal force, only inertia. Making the oceans rotate requires an acceleration (force) towards the center of the earth. Moving objects move in a straight line. Making the oceans rotate around the axis of the earth’s spin requires a force perpendicular to the surface of the earth (Gravity)

        You are correct because the Coriolis effect is a force exerted on a fluid as radius of rotation expands.

        1. DH

          Temperature also plays a role. Warmer water occupies more volume and is less dense and so a warmer ocean becomes thicker,

  12. samhill

    If the models were off by 600% on this — assuming it’s even true — maybe that says something about the models!

    Maybe it says something about the career pressures the climate scientists are under. I’ve noticed a lot more alarmist voices, especially from he original ones from the ’60s-”70s. Maybe the delta is getting worse/faster, maybe the obstructionism finally pissed them off, but I think it’s because they are all retiring or very old now. They pulled there punches for 40 years and now that they no longer have career worries about being branded extremists, alarmist, commies etc and loosing their jobs, or funding, or begin marginalised, they are letting loose. This is why the models are suddenly proving so scary, they were intentionally much too modest to begin with.

    1. Gaylord

      Many of those “alarmist voices” have been sounding the alarm for many years, to no avail. Claiming they have “pulled their punches” I think is disingenuous. However, many more expert voices are being raised simply due to the fact that observed changes and previously unknown feedbacks have been much too slow to be incorporated in the models due to the lugubrious scientific process. BTW the demonization of climate scientists has been much worse than you describe — it has gone beyond character assassination and career risk, to the level of life threatening actions against them.

    2. DH

      I think there are many complexities to the models that are still not understood. The importance of soot in ice melt rates has only been started to be understood in the past handful of years. It is not just about average global temperature. There are lots of feedback mechanisms and other unrelated factors in play.

      1. Gaylord

        “Still not understood” — does that imply that we don’t know what is going on ?

        I will boil it down to my understanding:
        The heating is ramping up much faster than most of us (including expert climatologists) ever thought possible because the many feedbacks are accelerating it. It’s mainly a question of how much time we have before the earth will become uninhabitable. It could happen in a flash (methane burst firestorm consuming all the oxygen), or by slow demise (starvation from loss of arable land), but I think it is inevitable in any imaginable scenario.

        1. DH

          There is a difference between understanding the general mechanisms on a global scale and understanding the details of the many minor local feedback loops all over the place. Some of these feedback loops will be positive and some will be negative.

          In some cases, like soot on ice, there is only a loose connection between CO2 emissions and specific outcomes e.g. you can put scrubbers on power plants and eliminate soot without changing CO2, thereby slowing ice melt but not changing climate change. The impact of reducing soot would be very fast because a fresh snowstorm without soot coming down on it would immediately change the albedo to white reflective snow. This is similar to the speed of the air quality improvements in China when they shut down local industry for events like the Olympic Games.

  13. Gaylord

    Self-reinforcing feedbacks bring accelerated forcing and climate instability. The systematically delayed peer-reviewed publishing of scientific studies precludes the acceptance of more recent observations, which explains the consistent underestimation of the projected effects in modeling and policy recommendations. Scientists are constrained by the system and most are reluctant to risk their careers knowing there is fierce resistance to any recognition of the exponential change that is occurring.

    We use the term “denial” but there’s a more retrograde perception — “hubris” — that has taken hold of many people’s consciousness. (The same is true in economics.) The current US Administration thus far has exemplified hubris in nearly every aspect of governance, which will exacerbate the acceleration of both climate and social-political instability. The assumption that fossil fuel consumption and continued human reproduction must underlie human evolution is a basic deficiency in our thinking and behavior. I believe we have reached the stage where there are no solutions other than acceptance of our demise on this planet.

    1. thoughtful person

      The demise of humans may or may not come about (talking the next few decades to centuries here). In addition we share the planet with a myriad of other species, some of which we don’t even know about yet.

      I worry when people say”it’s all over but the shouting”, in some cases implying go ahead and maintain that jet setter lifestyle. IMHO, even if the human species is in severe jeopardy, we still should do whatever we can on any level (personal to global) to try to reduce our impact, given the rest of life on this planet.

    2. Fiver

      I agree with the thrust of your arguments, but refuse to accept nothing can be done until that time arrives – we have about 10 years within which to achieve all the major elements of the crash programs to re-make ourselves peacefully. Even if that fails, I can well imagine a desperate US power elite simply shutting down much of the rest of the world. Or even another State or sub-State actor with access to major skills and resources – what would one well-conceived bio-weapon do to change the equation? Plenty, I expect.

      It ain’t over ’til its over. I will say unequivocally, though, that I do not put human survival ahead of the rest of life on this planet. We simply have no right to make such a stupendous claim.

  14. Jack T.

    For the most part this is a very good and important interview, but Barber’s closing call to move to natural gas is completely misguided, and presumably because he is misinformed. Cornell climate scientist Bob Howarth has published vitally important research on this, guided in part by an EPA whistleblower who came forward a couple of years ago, and was asked to brief Obama’s White House last year on it; see here:

  15. DarkMatters

    DIMITRI LASCARIS: … you said 600% more than what you expected. Do you mean, what you expected taking into account warming trends resulting from the introduction of CO2 into the atmosphere? Or, are you talking about historical melting, before the fossil fuels era?
    DAVID BARBER: That’s… mmm. I think the quote that I’m thinking of, is 600% faster than what current models project.

    Let’s go through this. Absurdly, the discussion suggests that we should perhaps take the models even more seriously because the models have failed. Whether the above exchange justifies controlling CO2 is is unclear. On its face, the statement DOES state that the models are failing. There are 2 extreme interpretations. One is that model parameters (for example, the notorious positive feedback mechanisms) have been underestimated; this leads to the Chicken-Little conclusion: “Aaaah! Things are even worse than we thought!”. This is the politically-correct conclusion du jour. The second is that the models are faulty because they’ve gotten the mechanism all wrong, and that events are being governed by factors that have nothing to do with CO2. Between these 2 extremes lie beliefs that the models must be corrected by a mix of factors, some having to do with adjustments of CO2 sensitivity in the models, others having to do with introduction of heretofore neglected factors (see, for example, the discussion surrounding Svensmark’s hypothesis<>> involving astronomical effects on cloud albedo). On the face of it, there’s no information on the relative contributions of unconsidered factors and CO2. But the conclusion we should draw, along with the perils of failing to do so, are strongly implied.

    In case you missed it, you betcha I’m a skeptic. I began reading about climate to buttress my reasons for supporting renewable energy programs and CO2 reduction. My program backfired. I’d say I’m more of a climate adapter, along the policy lines suggested by Judith Curry<<>>.

    Politically, the scientific and political arena drip with the crassest of implied arguments and character assassination. Financial corruption exists not only on the parts of fossil fuel companies, but also on the part of scientific funding agencies; it’s been difficult for skeptical scientists to get financial support, and from what I can tell, the reasons have more to do with groupthink (usually sincere) than quality.

    Scientifically, I’m unable to tell even what reported data is true. Temperature plots change from one presentation to another. The best coverage of “adjustments” I’ve seen so far is by Tony Heller<<>. He is associated with the CEI, and I do find his snark off-putting, but if someone now asks me whether I believe official climate data, I now have the wit to ask them, “Which version?” For those who might watch the video, pay close attention to the plot at the 25 min mark, showing how instrumental errors for each year just happen to require shifting readings according to that year’s CO2 levels.

    1. Gaylord

      All of your feigned “concerns” and “suspicions” are easily answered if you take the time to study the available information. Your references to thoroughly discredited skeptics are absurd.

      1. DarkMatters

        You give perfect examples of rhetorical fallacies (specifically, ad hominem attacks) that should not be be confused with reasoned argument. Thank you.

        1. skippy


          Seems you only pop up on NC from MB to trot out Judith Curry and her Koch Mercatus Center disinfo….

          The faux concern bit is the most egregious imo, it reeks of psychopathy wrt manipulation to forward an ideological agenda – without regard – to the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

          Disheveled…. Merchants of Doubt covers this terrain in excruciating detail…. not a good look DM…. massive indicator of anything else you might have to say being compromised…

          1. DarkMatters

            “The faux concern bit is the most egregious imo, it reeks of psychopathy wrt manipulation to forward an ideological agenda – without regard – to the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”
            Egregious psychopath that I am, I guess I’m just not so overwhelmed.

            Judith Curry: Sure, I trot her out. I think she has the most sensible policy position and that it is worth considering.

            1. skippy


              I don’t confuse personal bias as a means of evaluation e.g. ideology before observation…. it can lead to a cognitive defect known as Fractal wrongness:

              Fractal wrongness is the state of being wrong at every conceivable scale of resolution. That is, from a distance, a fractally wrong person’s worldview is incorrect; and furthermore, if you zoom in on any small part of that person’s worldview, that part is just as wrong as the whole worldview.

              The condition of crank magnetism is a gateway into the wonderful world of fractal wrongness, as well as a relatively early warning sign of the risk of impending fractal wrongness.

              The term “fractal wrongness” may also be used to refer to someone who is consistently wrong on nearly everything they predict or claim. Repeatedly failing predictions is one of the best ways of revealing fractal wrongness, because while an idiotic worldview may work in someone’s head, it can be seen failing when actually put to the test. Hilariously, people who are consistently wrong tend to be quite confident in their position while championing it.

              Dealing with the fractally wrong

              Debating a person who is fractally wrong leads to infinite regress, as every refutation you make of that person’s opinions will lead to a rejoinder, full of half-truths, leaps of poor logic, and outright lies, which requires just as much refutation to debunk as the first one—kind of like a recursive Gish Gallop, where each point both surrounds and is surrounded by an equally wrong argument. It is worth noting that being fractally wrong can be handy for the losing side in a public debate, since you are likely to leave your opponent looking baffled and unable to deal with each level of wrongness.

              It is as impossible to convince a fractally wrong person of anything as it is to walk around the edge of the Mandelbrot set in finite time.

              While arguing with these people can be amusing at times, we suggest that if you ever get embroiled in a discussion with a fractally wrong person on the Internet—in mailing lists, newsgroups, or forums—your best bet is to say your piece once and ignore any replies, thus saving yourself time.
              [edit] “BUT IT FITS!”
              See the main article on this topic: shoehorning

              Professor Stephen Law has written about a form of fractal wrongness he calls “BUT IT FITS!” (otherwise known as “of course ‘they’ WOULD do that”), in which a lack of evidence for a crank idea, or even evidence that directly contradicts it, can easily be turned on its head to support the same crank theory.[3]

              People who are believers in over-arching conspiracy theories often display traits of being fractally wrong, as every time you refute one of their points it can be turned into further evidence that “they” are suppressing the truth. In these cases, a complete lack of evidence for something is easily explained away as part of the conspiracy, and the lack of evidence for that is also nicely hidden. The same can be said of some believers in young earth creationism who view evidence contrary to their position as evidence of God testing their faith. There is no evidence that could be produced to convince such people that they may be wrong, and every level is nicely buffered against reality by more points in the fractal.

              Law shows the problem with this kind of thinking when he tells the story of a man who believes dogs are alien spies from Venus. Any arguments his friends make as to why that can not be is turned around to work with the theory. For instance, when the man insists that there are transmitters in their brains his friends reply that transmitters have never been seen in dog brains. The man replies that the transmitters are “made of organic material indistinguishable from brain stuff”, so they are well hidden. Basically, “BUT IT FITS!” can be used to justify virtually anything.
              [edit] List of fractally wrong worldviews

              The following is a list of worldviews that are fractally wrong (and a brief example of why). Note that this is not meant to be exhaustive, and probably never will be, as any fallacious argument can be expanded into a fractally wrong worldview:

              Alternative medicine (postulating generally nonsensical mechanisms by which it claims to achieve its purported effects)

              The anti-vaccination movement (believing Andrew Wakefield and Jenny McCarthy over easily discernible historical facts and the entire world of medicine which gets derided as Big Pharma)

              Astrology (how exactly are the stars affecting/reflecting your love life or financial situation?)

              Christian fundamentalism (thinking that Noah’s Ark is a plausible plot device among many other things)

              Climate change denial (believing that a global “Big Climate” conspiracy is trying to convince the world to waste money in a scheme to get more and bigger research grants, apparently…)

              Almost all conspiracy theories (David Icke…)

              The Freeman on the land and sovereign citizen movements (the legal equivalent of “Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges!”Wikipedia’s W.svg)

              Holocaust denial claims that all the world’s scholars and politicians since World War II have agreed to present a false image of everything from European demographics to Nazi archives and soil conditions in Poland

              Homeopathy (because a belief in sympathetic magic and the idea that diluting something makes its effects more powerful just makes so much sense in 21st century medicine…)

              Islamic terrorism (all the same nonsense as Christian fundamentalism, just with a different religion, and added violence)

              Most New Age woo (general nonsensical incoherence)

              Racialism (still clinging to debunked pseudoscience decades out of date)

              Scientology (a religion written by an author of science fiction novels even worse than Ayn Rand’s books and a “theology” so nonsensical it could have been the plot of an Ed WoodWikipedia’s W.svg film)


              Disheveled…. sensible is not a word used in logical argument – ideological subjectivity makes it prone to shifting sands in a foggy bottom somewhere, sprinkle on some emotive pleas and Dawg can be anything and everywhere….

              1. DarkMatters

                Wow! I’m afraid this article is over my head. Unitl now, I had no idea what fractally wrong meant, and now I are one.

                Please, I’m no cognitive scientist, at best a simple logician. Wouldn’t it be easier to debate the technical issues?

                1. skippy

                  Not when you use people that have ideological agendas and track records of blatant intellectual dishonesty, not to mention ignorance is not a logical defense either.

                  You should also look up Crank magnetism –

                  The term “crank magnetism” was coined by physiologist and blogger Mark Hoofnagle on the Denialism Blog in 2007 to describe the propensity of cranks to hold multiple irrational, unsupported or ludicrous beliefs that are often unrelated to one another, referring to William Dembski endorsing both a Holocaust denier and one of Peter Duesberg’s non-HIV weird theories.[1] Blogger Luke Scientiæ has commented on the relationship between the number of unrelated claims that magnetic cranks make and the extent of their open hostility to science.[2] He has also coined the phrase “magnetic hoax” in relation to hoax claims that attract multiple crank interpretations.[3]
                  [edit] Examples

                  “”Kosher Food does not have any GMO in it?? Interesting isn’t it.
                  —Upvoted YouTube commenter “Zyzyzx Zyzer”[4]

                  Take your average tax protester in the United States. There’s a very good chance such a person will also be one or more of the following: a Christian fundamentalist, a white nationalist, an anti-Semite, a neo-Confederate, a sovereign citizen, a conspiracy theorist, a birther, a teabagger, a creationist, a climate change denier, a gun nut, an MRA, a Randroid, an Austrian schooler, a gold standard advocate, a homophobe…

                  Several other people follow the “crank magnet” mindset:

                  Alex Jones — You name it, Jones has already exposed it, developed an even crazier theory, and proven that every other crank talking about it is a disinfo agent working for Them. Wake up, sheeple! Jones has a “relationship” with President-elect Trump.[5][6][7]

                  Mark Dice — Might actually be crazier than Jones. Just take our word for it.

                  Mike Stars — Either the world’s greatest physicist and theologian, or some random dude who got dropped on his noggin’ in the bathtub as a kid. You decide.

                  David Icke — The anointed son of crank magnetism and of the grand unified conspiracy theory. The sum of humanity’s worst fever dreams contained in a single British vessel.

                  David J. Stewart — Biblical literalist, 9/11 truther, misogynist, Big Pharma lunacy, global warming conspiracy theorist, HAARP/NORAD, the Illuminati, has called Obama the Antichrist.

                  Jack Chick — Like David J. Stewart, except he can draw, muthafuckaz.

                  Glenn Beck — Conspiracy theorist, global warming denialist, young earth creationist.

                  Michelle Bachmann — Global warming conspiracy theorist, crypto-birther, creationist, thinks she can cure the gays, Islamophobe.

                  George Galloway — Darfur genocide denialist, excuse-maker for North Korea, believes in Zionist control of the press, admirer of Alex Jones and Gilad Atzmon.

                  Cynthia McKinney — Conspiracy theorist on multiple grounds.
                  Gary North — Austrian school follower, Christian Dominionist, conspiracy theorist.

                  Ron Paul — Gold Standard advocate, global warming denialist, creationist, Austrian school follower, racist, homophobe, conspiracy theorist.

                  Katie Pavlich — Conspiracy theorist, DDT nuttiness, global warming denier, gun nut.

                  Melanie Phillips — Promotes Intelligent Design, denies man-made global warming, and thinks vaccines cause autism.[8]

                  Andreas Ludwig Kalcker — HHO “water engine”, free “scalar” energy , MMS (Chlorine Dioxide) cure-all, Hulda Clark-esque hypothesis that autism is caused by parasites , “black salve” DIY skin-cancer treatment , alleges suppression by “Big Pharma”, (also a “pyramidiot” and interested in UFOs).

                  Gamergate — Anything that falls under the big tent of “Cultural Marxism”. Conspiracy theories! Antisemitism! Anti-feminism! 8chan used as a source! It’s got it all!

                  Roosh V — manosphere proponent, has argued for the legalization of rape, and also has embraced Kevin MacDonald’s anti-Semitic theories.

                  David Dees — Ostensibly a political cartoonist. Has endorsed every conspiracy theory known to humanity, and several that have not yet been documented. Ron Paul supporter.

                  Varg Vikernes — Once upon a time a black metal musician, but these days a neo-Paganist, huge racist, convicted murderer, anti-vaxxer, homophobe, prepper, etc. Doesn’t like democracy, capitalism or socialism; thinks we’d be a lot better off basically destroying society and living in tribes.


                  Debate is great, drama is when dealing with scientific or royal science, people distort the debate with metaphysical whimsy, under the guise of being scientifically critical.

                  Disheveled…. not unlike neoclassical (theoclassical) dogma dressed up with some bastardized maths and physics.

                    1. skippy

                      I would be careful with using terms like concisely in your case, as nothing you have presented is or could be confused with the meaning of the term….

                      Too’ be concise, I would put the interaction with yourself and whom you represent in this context….


                      I specifically stated –

                      “Not when you use people that have ideological agendas and track records of blatant intellectual dishonesty, not to mention ignorance is not a logical defense either.”

                      Please unpack the un-concise-ness in that paragraph, which then I back up with the psychological and sociological evidence provided above.

                      disheveled…. insinuations don’t cover it…

              2. pretzelattack

                whoa, nice post, especially on how difficult it is to debate somebody that is so ideologically committed.

            2. BINKY

              Sensibility is a bias. So is credulity.
              Choosing not to arrive at a logical conclusion is one of the steps of grieving.
              In the arctic, people are grieving as they lose their towns, villages, prey species. Not a lot of slack in Kaktovik. It is already underway.

      1. Gaylord

        Boilerplate copy-paste text for your denial posting ? (BTW the Heller link is no good — you didn’t even bother to check)

        The reason for “adjustments” is fully explained here

        1. DarkMatters

          Sigh; there you go jumping, to yet another conclusion: I did check the link before posting, but lost the last character while pasting. But I do apologize and and I hope it didn’t cause you too great an inconvenience:

          Reasons are given, but I’m afraid they’re NOT fully explained. Trouble is, if temperature readings were dropping over time because more “good” buoys were being added relative to “bad” ships, then removing the warmer “bad” ship readings would have lowered the readings closer to the real temperature. During this video, they focused on the issue that this adjustment might change ocean readings from a cooling trend to a rising trend. However, the larger point is, if model predictions were already too warm compared to a warmly-biased data set, then the appropriate data set correction toward the cool direction would increase the discrepancy even further, calling the models into further disrepute. And then there are statements like this:

          “The study also suggests two other widely-used sea surface temperature datasets, the Hadley Centre’s HadSST3 record and the Japanese COBE-SST record, have significant “cool biases” due to treating all measuring instruments equally.”

          Huh? Cool bias? If the “bad” ships were causing a warm bias, then where how did this cool bias arise “…due to treating all measuring instruments equally.”? And did they wind up shifting these data sets upward in the conveniently warmer direction?

          Nope, the the phenomena are NOT “fully explained” by the video. But take your time and think things through; there’s no need for alarm or agitation.

          1. skippy


            Tony Heller – ????? – this guy…..

            The blogger who won’t even tell us his real name, even though it is now open source, Steven Goddard, has been cited as an authority on climate.
            Kind of like citing Orly Taitz as an authority on Kenyan Birth certificates. Did I mention “Goddard” is a birther, too? (not unusual in denierville – see below)

            Media Matters:

            Fox News is reviving accusations that NASA’s peer-reviewed adjustments to temperature data are an attempt to “fak[e]” global warming, a claim that even a climate “skeptic” threw cold water on.

            Tony Heller, a birthed who criticizes climate science under the pseudonym “Steven Goddard,” wrote a blog post that claimed “NASA cooled 1934 and warmed 1998, to make 1998 the hottest year in US history instead of 1934.” After the Drudge Report promoted a report of this allegation by the conservative British newspaper The Telegraph, conservative media from Breitbart to The Washington Times claimed the data was “fabricated” or “faked.” On June 24, Fox & Friends picked it up, claiming that “the U.S. has actually been cooling since the 1930s” but scientists had “faked the numbers”.

            However, the libertarian magazine Reason noted that even climate “skeptic” blogger Anthony Watts said that Goddard made “major errors in his analysis” and criticized the implication that “numbers are being plucked out of thin air in a nefarious way.”


            disheveled….. mate when Reason mag calls you a hack that’s saying something….. wheeeeeee….

            1. DarkMatters

              Really, I don’t judge content too strictly by who is speaking, only on the evidence that they present, and the reason given behind it. If I took everything the devil said as a lie, he could deceive me simply by speaking the truth. So you’ll have to do better than simply citing people who only dimiss someone as a pariah.

              I’m not sure why you cited Reason; I’d agree it’s not particularly reliable one way or another, though that would extend to their assessment of individuals. Further investigation always needed. (BTW, thanks for the link: I would never have thought that anything could be more over-the-top than Reason).

              I did read the link, and Anthony Watts said in his letter, “the entire process from B91’s to CONUS creates an inflated warming signal”. Bottom line, Watts felt data had been corrupted, to the point of submitting a publication, but he didn’t think it was intentional, as did Heller. Maybe Heller did go too far, maybe he didn’t. But you can watch the video, and you’ll be able to explain to yourself what you think of him and why. Judge for yourself: whether you totally dismiss or categorically accept him, we really shouldn’t need to resort to censorship. I think we should understand the reasons why we think what we do.

              1. pretzelattack

                so far the evidence presented by “skeptics” has not been enough to convince one major science organization that there is even a reasonable debate in science. watts is a former tv weather presenter, that’s his expertise level. there is nothing substantive in your criticisms.

                1. TheCatSaid

                  The tone of this discussion is amazing and telling. There is so much groupthink these days–and yes, it infects our “major science organizations”.

                  I used to believe what I was told by “respectable” institutions. The more I looked into things first hand, the further down the rabbit hole things went.

                  The lengthy list of supposedly debunked issues/peoples upthread by another commenter was . . . remarkable. Quite a mix of rubbish and truth in there, all blended together.

                  I’d encourage anyone to really look into the details for themselves, notwithstanding social pressures from any direction. I, too, was dismayed when I discovered the state of the sensor technology & placement. Sure data has to be adjusted appropriately for such things–I have some professional first-hand familiarity with such things, in a different scientific field–but that doesn’t mean that the adjustments that were made were correct.

                  There are many omissions from the news about other things that affect both weather and climate. That includes scientific research that is not allowed to be carried out in the first place. Hidden in plain sight is the rule of the day. There are ostriches on all sides of the climate change issue.

                  I don’t know “the truth” (if there is such a thing) but if there is, I know that it for sure is not what we are being told.

                  I try to live my live in a way that is responsible and in synch with my values. I try to keep my mind open and alert for suppressed information–it does get out at times–regardless of whether it fits in with my expectations or desires.

              2. Fiver

                ‘I think we should understand the reasons why we think what we do.’

                You might start by asking yourself what possible bias would account for the overwhelming majority of climatologists, and a preponderance of scientists in the most closely related fields, as well as across the physical sciences altogether, we’re talking about people from all over the world with their own research and data to want to believe we are on a catastrophic course? Why would such a large percentage of these people keep being wrong, even though every single one of them has reviewed every serious criticism and just seem awfully thick-headed about it?

                I mean, isn’t that really it, DM? Or if not stubborn, what? What constituency out there is pounding the table demanding Climate Change? Or do you subscribe to the common Internet theme that it’s really a conspiracy of scientists just to keep money coming or their own jobs secure? Do you actually believe something as big as the global consensus on Climate Change is going to undone by a propaganda campaign? We know Trump wants to destroy the EPA (another bunch of losers who can’t see a half-full glass) and I can imagine all sorts of efforts to discredit it. Killing the science itself will be harder, because there is national capacity elsewhere. I don’t know, though, why so few of these bozo climate people have ever wised-up and none has ever tried to take the science down themselves and made themselves a fortune on it – maybe Trump will take care of that. Because really, there is no argument on this unless you impugn the motives of all the scientists in an area of science the knowledge of which is absolutely eating their souls away.

                And even if there was no such thing as Climate Change per se, total human impacts on the planet using fossil fuels and other resources at current rates will collapse our critical systems: oceans, air, soils, forests, fresh waterways, the entire food chain laced with toxins. Toast well before 2050, as there will almost certainly be a Final War first. There is not 1 good, realistic, extensively-grounded thinker on this planet that isn’t deeply pessimistic about our prospects. There are techno-wonder-farts, but they cannot be taken seriously.

                Wise up and join the side trying to avert a cataclysm, not cause one.

    2. different clue

      Dark Matters,

      Time for you to start buying all the land you can afford along the South Florida coast. If you can’t afford raw land, surely you can invest all lyour money in REITs focused on Greater Miami Area hotels and resorts.

  16. Olivier

    Not to be a right-wing troll but calling the models “too conservative” is putting a disingenuously benign spin on them given the enormity of the discrepancy. How about just plain wrong?

    1. Gaylord

      “Just plain wrong” means the evidentiary basis of the conclusions was faulty. That is not the case. It’s the interpretation of the evidence that resulted in underestimation of the severity of warming.

        1. pretzelattack

          the model was too conservative. now it has been corrected, agw is taking place faster than predicted. this does not mean that basic physics has been refuted.

  17. gepay

    but there is no proof that man adding 120 ppmillion of CO2 to the atmosphere will cause climate instability rather than the mild warming that has been observed. There is good evidence the medieval warm period was just as warm or more. There are no good explanations of the natural variability that caused drastic climate change in the past. This is not to say that the present economic system with the growth thesis of cancer doesn’t need to be changed.

    1. DarkMatters

      “There are no good explanations of the natural variability that caused drastic climate change in the past.”

      That’s the nub of the problem: you can’t really identify the exceptional without an understanding of the ordinary. Pre-industrial correlations of climate are with solar and galactic events have been recognized for some time, but that subject is still under study. I mentioned Svensmark, above, but in addition, the CERN CLOUD studies are looking into physical details and kinetics. And others like Shaviv are extending studies to a galactic scale.

      How the magnitudes of these effects compare with those of anthropogenic CO2 (i.e., the carbon sensitivity value) is at this time an open issue.

      1. Gaylord

        Svensmark got a very slick movie production, undoubtedly well funded by an oilco sponsor — could it also be yours? “Solar and galactic events” are a crock, fully debunked, not the cause of the radiative forcing that is well documented and supported by measurements. Climate scientists do not dispute the GHG effect of water vapor in the upper troposphere — in fact they know it’s a very powerful GHG, but its recent increase is due to increased evaporation caused by global warming. Basically, it is one of many feedback mechanisms but it’s not the primary cause of the warming, which without question is C02 concentration in the atmosphere. It is most certainly NOT an open issue as you claim.

        1. DarkMatters

          “undoubtedly well funded by an oilco sponsor — could it also be yours? ”
          How unpleasant. Now you’ve come to using guilt by association to denigrate views of both Svensmark and myself.

          If you had read the credits, you might have noticed that one of the corporate octopi contributing to Svensmark’s “very slick production” (one could even say professional) was the Danish Ministry of Science. As for myself, while I’m presently engaged in this activity without remuneration, I am open to financial corruption, I mean remuneration, like everyone else, and I’d be grateful for any recommended contacts you might have of your own. Both corporate and IPCG interests have their paid acolytes, so I see no reason I shouldn’t consider an sufficiently appreciative offer.

          “Basically, it is one of many feedback mechanisms but it’s not the primary cause of the warming, which without question is C02 concentration in the atmosphere.”
          Actually, my understanding of the models is that CO2 by itself has a relatively small direct effect, but it is amplified because its initially small warming carries much more H2O upward, which causes yet more warming, which is the feedback affect. CO2 small, associated H2O large. So the feedback is the dominant effect, without which, from what I understand, there would be some CO2 effect but much (several times) smaller. At present that (i.e., “carbon sensitivity”, can only be estimated.

          Changes in solar radiation are not part of Svensmark’s idea. His idea concerns whether water exists in the atmosphere as vapor, which is a strongly warming GHG, or contrariwise, as clouds (i.e., droplets), which reflect sunlight and have a cooling effect. His theory is that cosmic ray intensity has a lot to do with cloud nucleation, akin to the way cosmic rays are revealed by the droplets formed in a cloud chamber. And that solar wind (not direct solar radiation) affects cosmic ray intensity. So depending on cosmic ray intensity, as affected by the solar magnetic wind, atmospheric water can cause either warming, when in the GHG vapor phase, or cooling, when in the form of clouds which reflect incident sunlight and keep it from warming the earth. This makes logical sense to me. Can you explain where in this chain of reasoning you’d disagree?

          I’ve written part of this a little earlier, but it hadn’t been posted, so I fear it was lost. Please excuse any redundancy.

          1. Fiver

            When Einstein presented his proof just over a century ago, it overturned the entire scientific order as fast as the best minds had a chance to read it – with the exception of a tiny number too deeply entrenched in their own life’s work/career/stature who themselves were soon ignored. I beg you to call together all the world’s current top men and women in every conceivable field attached to this area of study and let you and them have at it.

            Why on earth would an expert in the field like yourself be wasting his/her time around here arguing to an audience you know is not likely to contain the particular expertise you believe would prove you wrong? Time to kick this one upstairs. Come on. Go for it. Get the word to Trump and demand the opportunity to put the case to the rest of science, to the world’s best brains for as long as it takes. You know your’re right, right, so like you say, what’s not to like? Bannon will hop right on this. Torture’s back in the toolkit just in case the stubborn bastards don’t go down as fast as the giants old Albert swept aside like so much cobweb. It ought to be a cakewalk though, given those Climate candy asses are all just a bunch of paid hacks anyway. Can’t wait to see you burn those freaking snowflake libtards.

    2. pretzelattack

      the evidence and the theory are enough to convince the royal society, the aaas, and every major science organization. some people are not convinced the moon landing took place. they are fractally wrong, too.

  18. Oregoncharles

    Yes, the models are very conservative, intentionally so, but it may be starting to bite.

    It’s going to be even worse than usually suggested, and much faster.

    The maximum sea level rise I’ve seen predicted is about 200 feet. Our house is at 220′ – within the margin of error, I’m sure. The entire Willamette would be an arm of the sea. We’re at least 200 river miles from the sea, on a tributary of a tributary. I recommend checking the elevation of your home, especially if you own it. Oh, and most of Florida would disappear, as would most of the center of the country.

    How long? No one knows – that’s the real implication of this article.

    1. DarkMatters

      “Yes, the models are very conservative, intentionally so, but it may be starting to bite.

      It’s going to be even worse than usually suggested, and much faster.”

      Whether the models are or are not conservative is open to discussion, but the history of their predictions is fraught with overestimates, showing one example of back-pedalling followed by another. Of course, like the boy crying wolf, it’s possible that the latest predictions are more reliable than past. One hopes that quality does improve.

    2. DH

      The melting of the big continental glaciers caused a sea level rise of 400 feet pretty quickly over about 10,000 years. Some sea level rises of 5 feet or so were very fast as ice dams etc. broke and released massive inland lakes. It has been speculated that the Noah-Gilgamesh flood stories come from these events.

      Much of the remaining ice is on Antarctica which is much more stable from a melting perspective than Greenland. Greenland is the wild card over the next century or so.

      1. Gaylord

        Ironic that Noah’s Ark Christian theme park in Kentucky got flooded. Unfortunately, the faux replica ark wasn’t seaworthy. The best laid plans…

        Antarctica much more stable? Two huge ice shelves have broken off and a third is ready to go. Famous last words…

        Make that melting timeline the next few decades and you’ll more likely be right.

    3. Gaylord

      We tend to look at AGW ill effects in isolation, but they are multi-faceted. Sea level rise in absolute terms is not the biggest concern, but rather storm surge during extreme weather. People may think they are safe on higher ground, but that’s a false conclusion. As abrupt climate change ramps up, more frequent extreme storms will cause inundation of coastal cities at elevations much higher than the existing sea level. The storms become ever more severe and affect inland areas, as well.

      Then we need to look at the implications of the loss of major port cities that are the centers of trade and commerce, and the migration of billions of people, bringing chaos and conflict. Nuclear power plants are mostly located in coastal areas — can they be shut down in time to avoid calamity? A geological effect of rising seas is increased earthquake activity due to increased asymmetric pressure on tectonic plates, which brings greater likelihood of tsunamis and the massive destruction they wreak. There will be a loss of potable and irrigation water as glaciers melt, causing crisis and mass death in the most populous areas of the planet.

      How long? Abrupt climate change is already happening. The obvious indication is from species die-offs due to habitat destruction, and the fact that the most destructive storms in history have occurred during this century. Sea level rise is about to go exponential due to the melting of Greenland and due to the imminent exposure of Antarctic land ice to the water after the major sea ice shelves are gone.

      And yet the deniers are still here, stuck in their contented, well-rewarded hubris. They are not immune.

      1. gepay

        The species die offs due to habitat destruction is a man made cause. These are happening whether CO2 is a pollutant or not. The most destructive storms appear to be happening this century because there are more man made objects to destroy along with more people living in more places along with more pervasive reporting. The record for most rainfall in the state I live happened in 1910 when it rained 10 inches in an hour in a small Virginia town. And how do you define history – since 1880? since 1500? since 1500 BC since 12.000 years ago? Satellite records only go back to 1979 which is when somewhat accurate accounts of Arctic and Greenland ice growth and melting could be made – not enough time to make a judgement on whether the warming that started with the end of the Little Ice Age and continuing is due to natural variation or man made CO.
        I have read several scientific publications on the effect of warming and the interaction of evaporation and clouds – and basically – there are no good models for how clouds will be affected and evaporation can only be modeled on clear days and cloudless nights.Of course models can be made but they aren’t accurate at all.

      2. DH

        There isn’t a lot of good data about storms before this century. Much of the destruction from the storms is because people all around the planet have locked in much of our most expensive infrastructure within just a few feet of sea level. It has no resilience.

        Many civilizations over the millennia have fallen due to long droughts. Global warming is likely to make the regions that have already been susceptible to this historically much more susceptible. Engineering of reservoirs etc. will help delay impacts for years or even decades but will not prevent the impacts of extreme droughts.

        Sediment and nutrient releases into rivers is destroying some of our most productive deltas and tropical reefs around the world. That is reducing resilience against sea level rise and climate change.

        Similarly, urbanization and industrial farming around the world is eliminating bio-diversity and corridors that species can follow to adjust to climate change.

        Keep in mind that our current planet eco-system is only about 10,000 to 20,000 years old as huge areas were covered by ice and then by massive lakes while the seas were 400 feet lower with significantly different water temperatures. So it can be very resilient, but only if we don’t get in the way too much.

  19. Francesco

    For the scientists at the Uppsala Global Energy Systems Group, lead by professor Kjell Aleklett, there are not enough fossil fuels to burn to realize the worst IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) scenarios. This also means that our industrial society will collapse within the next 20 or 30 years or earlier. Past forecasts from Aleklett were a great success for those who believe in the power of the scientific method and a nightmare for those who believe in “growth”.

    1. DH

      It was disastrous when we ran out of horses and hay in 1900 which is why we had to transition to oil-based cars then.

    2. Gaylord

      That report is an obvious obfuscation of the truth, which is that the CO2 we have already emitted is causing irreversible climate disruption and habitat destruction. Once the chaos of abrupt climate change gets into high gear, suddenly all the bigwigs will look for “solutions” to save their sorry stranded assets, but it will be too late to save our habitat (and theirs).

  20. George Job

    “There’s always one more time… “Until there isn’t.
    Are we missing something here? Witness a planet where mankind has been preying on mankind every since the last ice age, then have a discussion about climate change. You know what; nobody is going to kill this chicken because we all need the eggs. Until a sheet of ice falls out of the sky on top of our collective heads, I can’t see how this changes and even then there will be doubt.
    Here’s the thing about CO2 that is astounding. Most Scientists agree the Earth has undergone these climate changes in the past. The thing that is really freaking them out is how fast this warming trend is happening and are looking at rising CO2 levels that heat the planet up, but that’s not what get’s this out of control. Frozen methane hydrates, frozen in place ironically since the last ice age in the form of greenhouse gas CH4, is the real party pooper here. And yes, it is the CO2 gas that warms the Earth up and melts the ice sheet that releases a much more powerful, at least 20 times per molecule than is CO2 at accelerating global warming. Gotcha, suckas!

  21. Winslow P. Kelpfroth

    the Gini coefficient itself doesn’t convey enough information. A perfectly equal society could mean everyone is equally rich or everyone is equally poor. Might be more interesting to look at the change of the Gini coefficient with time provided that value is noted in conjunction with a mean or median per capita value. Moreover, the coefficient should specify whether a particular Gini denoted income, wealth, or some other parameter, such as education, health or happiness.

  22. Aumua

    On a meta level, please notice how much effort has been expended here today addressing only a couple of deniers. When one point is refuted, they simply switch to the next one, say watch this video, read this blog.. all day long. The goalposts have been moving from the very beginning. First, it was not happening. Then it was maybe happening, but definitely not human caused at all. Then it became it is happening, and might be human caused but we have no idea to what degree, what the effects might be, the climate has always changed, and anyway there isn’t anything we can really do about it. Do you think any of this has made any difference whatsoever? Not to the denier, they will be back in a few weeks with the same exact pile of do-do, possibly modified slightly to include the latest memes from the denyosphere, as if this discussion never took place at all.

    Unfortunately there are those in this thread who have indicated they might be on the fence, and so it becomes necessary go through this little game for their benefit. Hopefully those people are paying attention, and are able to hear what I am saying here.

    1. different clue

      Non-deniers should find a way to find eachother that the deniers can’t find out about. Or even imagine the existence of.

      Once the non-deniers have established secured communications methods among themselves, they should all share their best guesses as to how ongoing heating will change climate and how new types of weather extremes might show up and affect local areas. Then the non-deniers should work out what survival methods they can for all those possibilities . . . if those possibilities are survivable.

      Once the non-deniers have figured out how to survive whatever can be survived ( and given up all hope of surviving the unsurvivable . . . if the endpoint really is unsurvivable), then the non-denies should withhold their survival knowledge from the deniers. The best way to do that would be to deny any knowledge of such survival knowledge even existing. To allow deniers to survive the effects of what the deniers have helped to cause is a crime against the future, if there is to be one.

      Those who tried to prevent and destroy the future, have no right to exist in it and no right to survive to see it. Sharing survival knowledge with the people who made such knowledge necessary to begin with is evil and unforgiveable.

  23. JustKidding

    Given more and more notable groups and individuals recognizing the imminent threat of a runaway climate catastrophe, see Interfaith Power and Light,, John Brennan, via his suggestion to begin stratospheric aerosol injection, SAI (see below), etc, etc, I have come up with a simple solution that even Mr. Trump and Mr Tillerson can endorse, at least initially. WARNING: this is a satire.

    Given: The United States while only comprising 5% of the world’s population, is the second largest contributor to climate change. This IMHO is due to an economy that is wedded to fossil fuels in its infrastructure, its population distribution, its food production, its culture. The result of this will make this country the trailing force to climate change adaptation, and as a result a detriment to action.

    Step 1: The global south needs to borrow as much money as possible from the western banks and use it to buy patriot missiles and other border protection measures.

    Step 2: Mexico would agree to not only pay for the wall along its border, but also volunteer to man it.

    Step 3: Mexico and the south would heavily invest in the US fracking industry and convince the Trump Administration to frack Yellowstone National Park with abandon. This should please the Trump Administration no end.

    Step 4: Proceed to frack Yellowstone similar to the level of Okalahoma inducing an eruption of the super volcano. This should make the economies and political structures of the Northern Hemisphere collapse, obviating the need to pay back the loans; reduce the threat of nuclear war to zero; and hopefully induce an ice age in the Northern Hemisphere, stopping a runaway climate; and eliminate the second largest contributor to climate change, at a minimal population loss.

    The side benefits to this is a growth industry of charging wealthy Americans entry fees to flee to the south. The border wall will assure proper migration control and the Patriot batteries will assure no rogue aircraft enter Mexico without proper authorization. Additionally, cruise ships can be used for ferrying wealthy Americans to their new home at a cost. All of these will of course keep the resulting terrorists out of the country. Any unauthorized migrants fleeing across the Caribbean can be put to productive work in private prisons.

    It’s a win/win plan that should be cost effective and meet the ideological goals of the new American administration.

  24. Jeremy Grimm

    Though much remains unknown … I believe there are some things we know about Climate Change with certainty:
    1) The climate is changing — changing rapidly in response to forcing applied at a speed and by amounts not seen in eons.
    2) Human activities are responsible for this forcing.
    3) There is no point in arguing point #2 because no meaningful actions will be taken to mitigate the effects of human activities on our climate — which assumes there are such meaningful activities we might pursue.
    4) People will believe what pleases them claiming and ignoring evidence and arguments as pleases them — and vigorously encouraged by the manifold messages and statements emanating from the Neoliberal Thought Collective. (ref. Mirowski )

    There are some things we don’t know for certain but suspect may be the case.
    1) The rate of climate change shows evidence of accelerating.
    (ref. Hansen et al especially around 9:15 — However I lack Dr. Hansen’s optimism at the conclusion of this video.)

    Mankind grew-up during a period of relatively stable climate which makes it easy to think in terms of a shift to a new stable point. Humans tends to think of change as linear and prefer to think of things in linear terms.

    2) Some evidence which suggests to me the Earth’s future climate will be relatively unstable. (ref. also ref.

    We live in interesting times. Unless someone can start the mechanisms for “lowering the god” I don’t anticipate any meaningful concerted actions by governments or organizations. This leaves responses to Climate Change to each individual. I am still working on my own response. Unfortunately Climate Change isn’t the only interesting feature of our times.

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