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T_Rat • 1 year ago

There are two errors in the authors initial arguments against climate change. The author correctly describes climate change as a positive feedback loop but then questions its validity because he cannot find a similar positive feedback loop in nature. The problem here is time scale and location.

Unending positive feedback loops are impossible because they would eventually change their environment and the mechanism of the feedback. But there are many short term positive feedback loops. The avalanche he mentions is at the level of the snowflakes within the fall a positive feedback loop, a layer of snowflakes slides down, which reduces friction of adjacent layer which slides, which reduces friction of adjacent layer... but, in the end, the system is exhausted as the author points out, no more snow layers, no more hill. Climate change is no different but the time span is much larger and the resources greater. A hill has only so much snow and elevation. The word has only so much CO2 and methane. The problem is that civilization and comfortable modern life is not compatible with the changes that will have occurred long before CO2 and Methane are maxed out.

The second error the author makes is the local compensation metaphor, water is heated and evaporates producing local cooling. Climate change is not a local affect, it is a global one. Thus one cannot excuse the changed of he entire system by the compensatory effects locally.

Rashid Ahmed • 1 year ago

Climate change prevention requires definite engineering solutions not endlessly overlapping techno-scientific debates which are imposing further impossibilities. There are three simultaneous actions to be dared for positive outcome. These include diversion to renewable options, carbon capture and storage, and control over stray bio-degradation. Water vapor need not be worried for action despite being dominant GHG simply because it is not outside the natural hydrological cycle while other GHG members are.

IskurBlast • 3 years ago

Its been my experience on eng-tips that despite engineers being skeptical as is the case with all such internet forums the "progressives" have weaseled their way into moderation.

Brian • 4 years ago

Good article! A well rounded and complete review of the global warming debate. Or maybe I'm supposed to call it climate change.. Tomato tomato..

Guest • 4 years ago

Arrhenius warming does not exist.
Atmosphere is warmed, not from below, but from above,
where there is more energy/molecule (kinetic+potential)

Bob The Guy Thats Bored • 4 years ago

Ah global warming, arguing and complaining at its finest. :)

IskurBlast • 4 years ago

I first started to question it when I first read about teleconnections. The claim that because a proxy like a tree in Wyoming correlates for a short calibration period to a temperature record on the other side of the world like say Shanghai. That the tree in Wyoming is really a proxy for Shanghai and can be used to reconstruct temperature for Shanghai for its whole record. This was the most unscientific crap I had ever read and I couldn't believe that it had made its way into the literature. It kind of reminded me of antipodes. It was at that point I realized that if that could make it in the climate literature any bull could.

Mark Bofill • 4 years ago

BTW all,

Regarding the "science" and doubts concerning it, I'd like to explain where and when I started seriously questioning our understanding of AGW. For those who are not familliar with AR4's SPM, Projections of Future Climate Change:

---snip----
For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected. {10.3, 10.7}

Since IPCC’s first report in 1990, assessed projections have suggested global average temperature increases between about 0.15°C and 0.3°C per decade for 1990 to 2005. This can now be compared with observed values of about 0.2°C per decade, strengthening confidence in near-term projections. {1.2, 3.2}
Model experiments show that even if all radiative forcing agents were held constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming trend would occur in the next two decades at a rate of about 0.1°C per decade, due mainly to the slow response of the oceans. About twice as much warming (0.2°C per decade) would be expected if emissions are within the range of the SRES scenarios. Best-estimate projections from models indicate that decadal average warming over each inhabited continent by 2030 is insensitive to the choice among SRES scenarios and is very likely to be at least twice as large as the corresponding model-estimated natural variability during the 20th century. {9.4, 10.3, 10.5, 11.2–11.7, Figure TS.29}
---snip----

I've heard the excuses. Oh, the heat is going into the oceans. Oh, we underestimated natural variability. So on. All of that may well be so. But, as an engineer, I don't care what the excuses are. Either you understand the system well enough to predict it's behavior or you don't. The IPCC demonstrated that the recognized best science we had could not predict the behaviour of the system correctly. Worse, they didn't even know they couldn't ahead of time. They even went so far as to say 'Even if the concentrations..had been kept at year 2000 levels, a further warming of 0.1C per decade would be expected.'. They were ~spectacularly~ wrong.

You know, I don't need to like the results. I don't even have to understand the science to accept it. I don't like quantum physics ~at all~. Makes no sense to me. I wish it weren't so. Still, you don't find me disputing quantum physics. Why? Because it works - because it has been demonstrated that it can be used to make useful and accurate predictions about things in reality that we care about.

Get back in touch with me when the science can make predictions or projections that have been verified for a couple of decades after the fact and I will take you very seriously indeed. I REALLY mean that. I will. But it's not my fault that the IPCC shot its wad early in AR4 and made claims it shouldn't have, and I'm not about to blindly trust that those guys know what they're talking about again until they demonstrate it. If anybody thinks that makes me some sort of anti-science denier, so be it. In my view, it's called not being gullible, and it's part of my professional responsibility as an engineer to avoid being gullible, regardless of whether or not anybody likes it.

dave peters • 4 years ago

David -- You were rolling along there quite even-handedly, until paragraph #6.. As a devout warmist, I would rather put the gist of the feedback, as: Clausius-Clapeyron. Not the Mann, Bradley, Hughes tree ring assessment.

Without Clapeyron feedback, there ain't a problem. Course, there ain't no Pleistocene, neither. No Yosemite.

And, on the MBH graph, you ought realize that what we now know, but did not when it was published, is that more than a third of that "blade" evolved from the Pacific within 12 months (9/97 thru 8/98, year over year increase in anomaly of 0.55 F., as per NASA GISS). Still, it sure looks like something has changed on the Earth. Not the sun, cause we measure it to a one-permill variance, post 1979, yet an already heated surface warms faster. And all those mid-century flat decades put the knife to your dismissal of MBH. So, have you any suggestion what that abrupt reversal of nine centuries of cooling was caused by? You offer none.

Most of the rest of your writing is re-hashed Heartland riffs. The heart of the matter is Clausius Clapeyron. And the observed warming. Factually undermine the former, or find reasons for dismissing the latter, and I'm all ears.

Jeff Norman • 4 years ago

david peters,

Clausius-Clapeyron! Of course that explains everything. Not.

Perhaps you might explain what you think you are saying when you invoke this incantation. I am familiar with the Clausius-Clapeyron equation (a model of phase changes) but I am curious how you think this applies to the atmosphere.

At one point it was thought the missing heat had gone into creating more water vapor, but try as they might they could not find any evidence of this, hence the newer deep ocean idea.

And, on the MBH graph, you ought to realize that we now know, but did not when it was published, is that ALL of the blade is annual northern hemisphere temperatures based from thermometer measurements at weather stations, while ALL of the stick is alleged proxy temperature indications for the northern hemisphere averaged over decades and centuries. It is also known that these proxy indications stopped increasing in the post 1979 period but this fact was concealed by the IPCC in their assessment reports.

What percentage of the total spectrum of the Sun’s emissions do you believe has been continuously measured since 1979?

dave peters • 4 years ago

Jeff -- If you are aware of ANY published interpretation of Pleistocene glaciation, which does not rely upon the inherent amplification of a warmed atmosphere holding elevated water vapor during the interglacial epochs, and the chilled atmosphere holding far less vapor during glacial periods, please forward a citation. Perhaps you doubt that Milankovich is rather firmly established geophysics? If not, it is difficult to engineer the phase shift without BOTH vapor feedback, per Clapeyron, & CO2 + CH4 radiative assistance. By themselves, the astro cycles are too weak.

My faith that the world is warming is perversely personal. Where my Great-grandmother drove her sleigh to market in rural Ohio at Thanksgiving, in the 1890's, I experienced it to snow each winter, by New Years, and for the snow to endure until the spring thaw. That in the 1950's. By the 1980's, there was no lasting snow cover, and seldom frozen ground. Also, in 1977, my girlfriend's Dad explained how he skippered the first N-sub under the Arctic Cap in the mid-fifties--creeping carefully for days in search of rare spots near the pole where they could surface. Now, 2/3rds of that ice has melted away (PIOMAS).

You don't find the Academy believable, but place your faith in the Heartland minimalists, whole hog? Let's say that runs contrary to my experience, and folks I worked with in research, at the Department of Energy, and those they interacted with at the Academy of Sciences, who really did posses superior minds. Their perspicacity, intuition, intelligence, and lifelong curiosity distinguished them in an unmistakably obvious manner, from the likes of Fred Singer and What's Up With Watts. Sorry.

MichaelO • 4 years ago

David, thanks for a great read. It was refreshing, and, I felt reinforced to finally hear someone besides myself say that this has become religion. Unlike so many of your very learned commenters, and I read them all as of 3:30 am, August 20th GMT, okay, I admit, I started breezing over some of warren's--but only because he was repeating his arguments and I found his attacks on the provenance of the fellow from the House of Lords distasteful. Anyway, unlike so many here, I'm not a scientist, just a lowly BSEE. Worse yet, I mostly stopped formal practice of my trade about 5 years ago, when my health degenerated significantly and it was found that I'm genetically unsuited to sitting all day in windowless offices. I do miss it, but if I'm going to be around to be a father to my son, I need to work that requires much more physical activity. Now I work on boats. The sunshine is nice; the rain is not. Winter is tough, and, the money, well, there isn't any. But, back to your commenters, thank you all! It was a great read. Some of you really nailed your points. Some of you, I think were way off, but were mostly corrected by others so, you are all spared my sophomoric attempts at debate (not that my comment will likely be read--the nature of a reddit like voting system requires one to be prompt to be heard).

Being just a lowly Control Systems Engineer, what do I know? I'm less stressed about ACC than most--fools are so often at peace, not smart enough to worry. But, I do know a little about systems. One thing I know is that the ones that have been running for a long, long time are resilient. The idea that some new circumstance will suddenly spin them into wreckage is unlikely, as history demonstrates. They are well damped. A little asteroid here, a little man-made greenhouse gas there, they'll likely find a new equilibrium, not far from the last.

I feel some simpatico with you, David. I recall making myself quite unpopular years ago, when the CEO of our parent company, at the end of my presentation on the current status of the fuel cell program I had inherited a couple years before, asked me, "do you think this technology will ever be useful to us?"

"For marketing value? Sure. As far as generating a product that is profitable and useful to our customers? No. Never."

He could have asked me to elaborate, and I could have told him about the fact that hydrogen doesn't store well, or that the methanol versions exhausted a bit of methanol, which would eventually result in blindness to the user, or that some of the material used in the construction was incredibly rare (coming from a single mine in Russia controlled by a gangster, as a NASA Phd informed me), or that the need for a compressor on the liquid fueled types would always result in a noise level that precluded use in our market, or that the military's requirement for a version that ran on some variant of diesel or jet fuel was impossible, or other arguments that escape me now. But, lucky for me, unlike you, I wasn't asked to back up my assertion. What a fool I was. I could have lied and kept the funding while continuing to produce nothing useful! We both know that's a lot less work than generating objects with utility. I'm not sure many engineers would have done what I did. Like you said in one of your replies, companies are run by people. Did you add that people tend to do what is in their own best interests? I can't recall. It was fun for cocktail parties though. Folks were quite impressed that I was developing fuel cells, and had working prototypes at my disposal. They appeared quite deflated when they asked when they'd be able to buy a fuel cell powered car and I'd reply, "in Connecticut? In the winter? Never." They really wanted to do their part to save the planet--and I was pooping on that parade.

I'm not suggesting we shouldn't be concerned about ACC. I do think it is worthy of continued research. But, I think the focus is far, far too great. And the alternatives recommended are terrible. Batteries, for instance, which seem to be an integral part, an industry where I spent a decade, are an environmental nightmare. Recycle you say? Uh-huh. And where is that happening? Did they start up that plant in Ohio yet? Because I think that will be plant numero uno here in the USA. It isn't a technology issue. It's the energy required, and worse yet, the impossible regulatory hurdles to do it, make it not actually viable. Some Africans and South Americans are doing alright smashing open car batteries with hammers and getting the lead. I understand their children are ill. Is that considered recycling? Technically, they are recycling the batteries. Battery technology does continue to improve though. I think we'll get there--eventually. Should we discuss the manufacture of photovoltaic arrays? That's not exactly environmentally benign work there. Windmills are a little better: I'm sure we'll stop making them out of amines and polystyrene soon, or did folks think those blades were made of pixie dust and good will?

I think you left yourself open in a few spots. You didn't source or prove a few points. Then again, a blog that generates dialog is far more useful than one that does not. And educated responses save a lot of front end research if writing a paper. It seems you did just fine.

That was nice work on the 97% bit. I felt that had to be malarky.

I've enjoyed the dialog on the economics. One of my siblings once said to me, "the problem with a conspiracy theory is it gives the conspirators far too much credit." But, I'm going to go out on a limb here...when in Rome and all that. A green economy is just a vote-getting proposal. Germany tried it already. I don't think it's a stretch to say, they've got some good engineers over there, and, they aren't averse to buying domestic products, nor exporting quality manufactured goods. I understand they are moving to coal now. So, I must conclude, either Harvard Law School was graduating dingbats 25 years ago, or, actively reducing the global influence of the USA will not provide the leverage to force the world to legislate required environmental changes that would allow the USA to to become an economic powerhouse of green technology, and hard product production, by manufacturing in an increasingly stiff regulatory environment with increasing energy costs. It's got all the logic of believing that not building a pipeline will better the environment by shunting oil refining to China rather than the American Middle West. I'm sure China will refine that oil in a much more environmentally sound way. Facetiousness aside, I don't think the President actually thinks this will work. I think he thinks it will tug emotions, polarize, and get votes for his party.

The boats I work on live in salt water. Every system is experiencing an accelerated deterioration due to corrosion. If I went aboard and panicked about just one, and placed all of the owner's resources into trying to make it like new as quickly as possible, I would exhaust the resources and the craft would still quickly become undependable and unsuitable. We've got a lot going on, economies, energy, the water, the air, we've got to take a balanced approach. We can't exhaust all resources in just one area.

Also, your remarks about mankind's solutions often making things worse, wasn't MTBE a failed experiment, making the fuel burn cleaner and poisoning the water supply? I shudder to think about the pilot program for ethanol in the marine environment. It was done here in my home waters. The federal government decided not to inform us the marine fuel was now 10% ethanol, and mislabeled the pumps. The fuel sucks up so much water, that before the old engines mostly all failed, I watched boater after boater dump fuel filters half full of water and half gasoline right into the sea, replace them and motor away. Yes friends, it is still going on. 1000s of gallons of raw gasoline are dumped into sea water by commercial and recreational boaters due to the ethanol and its water problems. This is not better for the environment, no matter how much that 10% ethanol spares us a temperature rise. Of course, that's just the opinion of an engineer. I'm sure my scientist friends predicted such practicality issues in their research--or maybe folks who think scientists and engineers could somehow generate good results in isolation are drunk on ethanol, high on natural gas, and spewing greenhouse gas.

Mark Bofill • 4 years ago

David Simpson,

Nice article, good summary. I enjoyed it.

CIHR • 4 years ago

I know this sounds simplistic, but it's at moments like
this my suspicions rise such that the image of a too educated community hammering on each other using accepted protocol, scientific method, empirical data and peer reviewed hypothesis amounts to little more than intellectual masturbation out behind the gym.

DFordPE • 4 years ago

I've always been a believer in "follow the money"; how much money is being spent on at least investigating the opposite of ACC. I have personally been involved in alternative energy, electric vehicles and shady energy conservation programs. Were it not for government mandates and grants, none of them would exist.

JimCA • 4 years ago

No climate scientist anywhere believes that added CO2 will trigger an unrestricted positive feedback of temperature increases. That's a weird strawman argument for you to begin with.

The Stephan-Boltzman law (emitted radiation increases as the fourth power of temperature) is the fundamental dampening mechanism that ultimately prevents such runaway increases, no matter what else is going on.

What the physics DOES show, and has been known since the 19th century (even before quantum mechanics explained how) is that added CO2 in the atmosphere traps energy at the surface. That explains Fourier's initial conjecture in the 1820's that something in the Earth's atmosphere likely accounts for its much higher temperature than the moon, which has essentially the same very high altitude insolation.

If you don't think that raising CO2 levels will increase global temperatures, you have the likely insurmountable problem of explaining why the earth's surface is already on average about 60F warmer than the moon's surface. No one has ever presented a plausible explanation that doesn't include a dominate controlling role by CO2, with H2O as the dominant feedback amplifier.

Many scientists have tried (and without exception have failed) to produce some kind of negative feedback mechanism that would allow CO2 to increase without the obvious concomitant temperature increases already predicted form the very basic 19th century theory. There is no deus ex machina to save the day.

The models you decry are mainly involved in tracking the distribution of this energy, not its existence. Yes, that is a fantastically difficult problem, especially for predictions at small temporal/regional resolution. But it doesn't mean that the large scale results are meaningless or that we can ignore them without peril. Each year they get better. but they are already far, far beyond the predictive level needed to demand our attention. Waiting for perfection is a recipe for suicide.

Jeff Norman • 4 years ago

JimCA,

The physics does not show what you think it shows.

Additional CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere (almost certainly put there by burning fossil fuels) slows down the radiative heat transfer from the troposphere resulting in higher temperatures in the troposphere. This expectation was presented in the earlier assessment reports with colorful charts showing warming in the mid-tropospheric atmosphere. This was supposed to be the finger print of anthropogenic global warming.

Higher temperatures in the troposphere were then supposed to slow down the radiative, convective and conductive heat transfer from the surface. This results in higher temperatures at the Earth’s surface.

The heat energy is not trapped, the emission of heat energy is slowed down.

At least that was the hypothesis. This tropospheric heat was supposed to be the finger print of anthropogenic global warming.

Since then the mid-troposphere hot spot has failed to materialize and it has generally disappeared from the assessment reports.

Also failing to materialize is the continuous heating of the Earth’s surface. This has necessitated a change in the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming. Now the Earth is continuing to warm but the missing heat energy (and climate scientists generally agree that it is missing) is said to have entered into the oceans.

Part of my training as an engineer was years of thermodynamics: heat and mass balances, heat transfer and fluid mechanics. I also trained in process engineering learning how to control mass and energy flows to achieve desired ends. I was also trained in the use of instrumentation for monitoring and controlling these processes.

While the suggestion that the missing heat energy has gone into the oceans holds some appeal to some people, I have yet to hear a reasonable explanation of how this heat energy got into the oceans and how they think they were able to measure the fractions of degrees over numerous decades necessary to measure the change in enthalpy. Reading the papers where this is being suggested is not at all helpful. The general hand waving offered by people who accept this idea as fact only reinforces my skepticism.

JimCA • 4 years ago

Jeff, my replies keep vanishing. No idea why. If this one sticks around, I'll try again later..

Sergio • 4 years ago

Hi Dave,
Wanted to interject a quick "thanks" for an informative piece. I found your page while researching why ACC (when did it change from AGW?) isn't yet classified as a scientific "theory" in the same vein as evolution and gravitation. I bristle at every mention of "consensus" and the notion that the "science is settled" and immediately regard it as suspect. All the best.

David A Simpson • 4 years ago

About a decade ago people started noticing that the climate wasn't really warming. So the true believers started claiming that the blizzards were caused by greenhouse gases. Everybody laughed at them over that (it really is difficult for most of us to accept that "warming" leads to "colder winters") and the literature started evolving from "Global Warming" to "Climate Change". In this article I felt much like my DI in boot camp when he said "we will pronounce your name however you want us to pronounce your name, that is the only decision you get to make over the next 12 weeks". I knew the article was going to raise some hackles, so I gave in on a point I didn't care about.

monckton • 4 years ago

Mr Simpson has done an excellent job summarizing some of the questions that any true scientist would raise about the Party Line on climate. The rate of global warming in the near term is half the rate predicted by the IPCC in 1990. And the cost of mitigating global warming, even if it were to occur at the predicted rate, is 10-100 times the later and lesser cost of adaptation to its (probably few) adverse consequences.

There are many errors in the models, not least the misguided attempt to use probability density functions in a futile attempt to circumvent the actually insuperable Lorenz constraint on the reliable, very-long-term prediction of the evolution of a chaotic object such as the climate.

Furthermore, the Bode system-gain relation is manifestly inapplicable to a dynamical system - such as the climate - in which the output (i.e. temperature change) is not reversible if the loop gain exceeds 1, and in which the output is itself the instrument of equilibration following the action of forcings and feedbacks, rather than a bare consequence of that action. During the past 810,000 years, notwithstanding forcings far greater than the trivial perturbation caused by changing CO2 concentration, absolute global mean surface temperature has varied by little more than 1% either side of the period mean, confirming empirically what one would expect theoretically: that the climate object is thermostatic rather than feedback-driven.

Based on an irreducibly simple climate model, I should expect global warming of little more than 1 K this century, and little more than 2 K (at equilibrium) after all affordably-recoverable fossil fuels have been exhausted.

In any event, after approaching two decades without any global warming distinguishable from the measurement, coverage and bias uncertainties, three conclusions follow. First, that the models (not one of which predicted this outcome as its central estimate) are wrong and consequently unreliable, which is why the IPCC has all but halved its central estimate of near-term warming compared with its 1990 estimate; that no recent extreme-weather event may legitimately be attributed to global warming, for the good and sufficient reason that there has not been any; and that there is no hurry. We can safely wait and see how global temperature unfolds without fear of doing any significant harm.

Let cooler heads prevail! However profitable the Party Line may have been for the academic and scientific communities over the past couple of decades, it is time to recognize that any further climate extremism may permanently damage the reputation of true and sound science. Taxpayers will no longer tolerate the canting profiteers of doom.

dave peters • 4 years ago

Mr. Monkton -- You just gave a speech in Las Vegas emphasizing what reasonable follows all you minimalists were. Yet here you are praising a writer who questions the causality behind Keeling's climbing trace! So, which is it? Part of that tribe that fully acknowledges the simple inference that man's combustion at twice the exhaust volume which is measured at Mauna Loa, is settled, or one who attacks any and all lines of inconvenient evidence?

And that 1% meme. When Manhattan was overlain by two thousand feet of ice, was the globe less than 2% cooler? Doubled carbon, at empirical warming rates, will take us to half the temp change registered between the Pleistocene's glacial to interglacial modes.

As to the pause, the world measurably warmed by 1.5 hundredths F. per year, on average, between the beginning of discernible warming in 1907, and your fave El Nino in 1997-98. From 9/97 thru 8/98 it warmed by 0.55 F., year against year. A ratio of 35 to one. By September of '98, its surface longwave radiation, compared with 1907, was elevated nearly half a percent (0.43%). The past 100 days have been the warmest on record. So, far from your point about "two decades w/o warming," the Earth has not only sustained the elevated infrared bleed, it has reattained trend warming in half the time one would expect, from the peak of that extreme aberration, based upon the observed long term rate from the last century.

Finally, that "10 to 100" mitigation to adaptation ratio is a bunch of stuff. The French enjoy nearly carbonless residential power at two/thirds the average cost of Germany, Britain, Spain, Netherlands, Denmark & Italy. On the mobile fuel side, the resources are self-limited, and require no near term political suppression.

monckton • 4 years ago

While it is always fascinating to nit-pick about tenths or hundredths of a degree, Mr Peters should realize that it is not only I but also the IPCC that has accepted that the models were wrong and that the rate of global warming since its first prediction in 1990 has been half its then central estimate. To get the warming back on the predicted track would require a warming rate unprecedented in recent centuries. IPCC, therefore, has scaled back its projections of near-term warming. If Mr Peters disagrees with its having done so, then he should address his complaint not to me but to the Secretariat.

In answer to Mr Peters' question about global temperatures during recent ice ages, he may like to refer to the paper by Jouzel et al. (2007) that sets out the variations in global mean surface temperature over the past 810,000 years. Allowing for polar amplification, the world was indeed less than 2% cooler in absolute terms at the nadir of the ice ages than it has been at the peaks of the interglacials. Indeed, global temperature is still rather below the peaks of each of the past four interglacials. The climate is near-perfectly thermostatic in modern conditions, making the exaggerated feedbacks posited by the models most unlikely. Indeed, the Bode system-gain equation is manifestly inapplicable to the climate, for several fundamental reasons: yet that equation is the sole basis for the tripling by the models of the actually small and harmless direct warming that one might expect from a doubling of CO2 concentration.

In answer to Mr Peters' point about the cost of mitigation, it is of course possible to emulate the French, who sensibly went nuclear in a very big way and have been generating some of the cheapest electricity in the world as a result. But how many "Greens" would endorse widespread nuclear power as the answer to the supposed threat from global warming? They usually recommend "renewables", which are indeed 1-2 orders of magnitude costlier than simply adapting to global warming. Indeed, recent calculations by my indicate that the UK subsidy to electric autos is 75 times costlier than letting global warming happen and paying the cost of adaptation to its net-adverse consequences, if any. It is a shame that this subject has become so politicized, since at present there is no rational scientific and still less economic case for doing anything at all about global warming.

Warren • 4 years ago

Where does one start with a post such as yours?
1) The change that the IPCC made to its Climate Sensitivity estimate was to reduce the lower bound of the distribution of its estimates from 2C to 1.5C; the center remains at 3C, and the upper bound at 4.5C. Any other changes would have come from changes in GHG emission projections, not from changes in Climate Sensitivity or in the basic Science. Nice try at misleading the reader.
2) Your claim that the cost of mitigation is 10-100 times the cost of adaption is preposterous. Not only do you cite no source for your claim, but one of the most thorough analyses, one you have quoted from before, I believe, 'The Climate Casino' by Yale's William Nordhaus. shows exactly the opposite -- that mitigation, properly done via the embedding of the cost of carbon in economic transactions by means of a carbon tax, globally, has a positive net economic return.
3) Making your oft-repeated claim that the models are wrong and a source of the IPCC's incorrect conclusions does not make it any more correct than the many other times you've made the same distorted claim. You justify such nonsense by asserting accuracy claims about the models that the modelers themselves never made. Readers can read for themselves the IPCC 4th Assessment section on the topic, or Nordhaus's essay 'Why the Climate Skeptics Are Wrong' for comparisons of the models outputs with and without Mankind-caused Climate Forcings. And as you well know, they show the models follow the multi-decade trend lines of planetary warming quite well with man's emissions, and show a continuation of the pre-industrial age cooling trend without them.
4) Your claims about Climate Sensitivity are manifestly incorrect. Data from multiple epochs of Earth's ancient past place show distributions of values centered at 3C, with a lower bound of 1.5C, and an upper bound of 4.5C+.
5) And finally, you raise the red herring argument that no extreme weather event has ever been tied to AGW. You know full well that the IPCC makes no such claim -- they are often made in the media, but not by Scientists. As you also know, extreme weather trends must be looked at over decades and treated statistically to determine any such relationship. One-offs don't count.
You continue to make these misleading arguments in spite of your close following of Climate Science; it seems a piece with your repeated claims, publicly refuted by the House of Lords, that you are a member; or your earlier claims to have found a cure for AIDS and the common cold.
None of which impresses.

monckton • 4 years ago

"Warren" makes several elementary errors. First, he confuses near-term with equilibrium climate sensitivity: it is the near-term sensitivity that the IPCC has all but halved since 1990, as my original comment explicitly stated. Indeed, the uncertainty intervals between the IPCC's 1990 and 2013 near-term projections barely overlap.

"Warren" asks for my evidence that mitigation costs 10-100 times adaptation. He will find it in Monckton of Brenchley, Is CO2 mitigation cost-effective, Annual Proceedings, Seminars on Planetary Emergencies, World Federation of Scientists, 2013. Dr Nordhaus' analysis fails to apply the IPCC's principal climatological methods and results, producing results that are inappropriately generous to mitigation.

"Warren" inappropriately takes me to task for saying that the models were wrong, in that not one of them predicted as its central estimate that there would be little or no global warming distinguishable from the combined measurement, coverage and bias uncertainties for approaching a couple of decades. There has been considerable agonizing in the literature - and in the IPCC's latest assessment report, for which I was an expert reviewer - over the manifest fact that the models are running very hot and are, in this crucial respect, unquestionably wrong.

"Warren" inaccurately says I make "claims" about climate sensitivity, and that my "claims" are incorrect. I make no claims. On the basis of an irreducibly simple climate model, I make a cautious prediction that 1 K global warming would occur this century. That prediction may or may not prove correct. In the six years since I first made that prediction in the reviewed literature (I have repeated it, with further evidence, in several subsequent reviewed papers), global warming has occurred at a rate equivalent to 0.25 K/century. So far, then, my prediction appears to be on the high side, wherefore, a fortiori, the IPCC's prediction of up to 5 K/century is on the extremely high side.

"Warren" inappropriately cites estimates of climate sensitivity based on paleoclimate data reconstructions, which are, however, subject to error margins far wider than those he mentions. Nor does he cite his sources. He also inappropriately fails to mention the paleoclimate evidence pointing to low sensitivity. For instance, in the Neoproterozoic era, 750 million years ago, glaciers came and went, twice, at the equator and at sea level. Yet at that time the atmospheric CO2 concentration constituted at least 30% of the atmosphere, three orders of magnitude above today's 0.04%.

"Warren" fails to address any of my explanations of the reasons why the models have grossly overestimated climate sensitivity.

Finally "Warren" resorts to ad-hominem irrelevancies that are also inaccurate. He inaccurately accuses me of claiming I can cure AIDS and other diseases. I make no such claim, though I am engaged in research in this field. Likewise, "Warren" is no more expert on peerage law, for instance, than the ignorant and politicized Clerk of the Parliaments, one Beamish, who says I am not a member of the House. In the narrow sense imagined by the 1999 Act that took away most hereditary peers' right to sit and vote, I am self-evidently not a member of the House, and I had made the fact of my ineligibility to sit or vote explicit in the answer to a radio interviewer that Beamish whined about without having bothered to take the elementary precaution, required in the interest of natural justice, of hearing my side of the case first. However, a legal Opinion that I obtained after that cringing, custard-faced Clerkling's unlawful remarks makes it plain that "The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley is a member of the House of Lords, and he is fully entitled to say so."

Seriously • 4 years ago

To David Simpson: Excellent article and I get what you're saying! Please ignore those trying to validate opposition with no proof or evidence...just wait until they write their papers and then they'll show you! <chuckle>
To Everyone Posting Garbage About David's Article: I can't wait to read your papers! You'll need to do your homework.

conservativeprof • 4 years ago

I appreciate the analysis and comments. For the most part, the comments were cordial and thought provoking. Some of the comments from ACC supporters were not professional. ACC supporters seem to have thin skins with their distasteful attacks on skeptics especially their usage of the label "deniers" and frequent reference to big oil. My biggest complaint about ACC supporters is their disdain (arrogance) for anyone who questions their beliefs. The subject of climate change is immensely complex, more complex than any subject I have studied during my 31 years as a business professor. To call the science settled seems preposterous. The economics of ACC is not settled in any sense. Forecasting methods simply do not work for the time periods, uncertainty, and number of factors involved. Economic analysis indicating that global temperatures can be controlled with precision with carbon taxes and some small GDP impacts have no validity. Comparisons of acid rain remediation and climate change remediation are nonsense.

Warren • 4 years ago

I see snark and thin skins on both sides -- they're human failings. But I'm sure you don't claim those are arguments either for or against the conclusions of Scientific Research. Instead, lets consider the published conclusions of ALL 200 of the top Science Academies and Scientific Professional organizations of the World: 'Earth is Warming, Man is the Cause, and the Net Effects are Likely to be Strongly Negative.'-- and by the IPCC summarization of 10s of thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers published by independent researchers from all over the world, which arrives at these same conclusions.
The claim 'the Science is settled' is incorrect in the sense that there is much to learn about ACC, and that is why there is a tremendous amount of research still occurring, just as there is on the details of Evolution, Plate Tectonics, or particle physics.
However, the operation of the Greenhouse Effect on Earth's atmosphere is a well-established relationship in Physics, discovered in the 1800s, and verified many times in the laboratory. The operation of this Greenhouse Effect on Earth's atmosphere is also well understood, and confirmed by data from dozens of sources showing the earth's climate has warmed since the 1800s due to an increase in the Earth's Greenhouse Effect caused by a 40% increase in atmospheric CO2, due to the burning of fossil fuels, since the early 1800s.
Furthermore, the Pentagon, Exxon, Chevron, and an increasing number of corporations (including mine) incorporate the anticipated effects of ACC in their long range planning.
"Proof" is for mathematics, evidence is for Science. That's why the IPCC never uses the word proof, but rather indicates probabilities for its conclusions,. The conclusions outlined above are cited by the IPCC in the 90%+ range, more than enough in my opinion to warrant action by policy makers in order to avoid ACC's worse consequences for our Grandchildren, and theirs.

conservativeprof • 4 years ago

You make some good points. I certainly agree about the terms "proof" and "evidence". The blog author has raised some interesting points about the scientific evidence. Others have responded with countering opinions and interpretation of the evidence.

My comments focused on the economics. I reject conclusions that global climate can be controlled in the manner suggested by the IPCC and supporting politicians. There is no credible scientific evidence that global climate can be controlled with any level of intervention. The claim that global temperature increases can be limited to some level with some small level of GDP impact are just speculation.

This debate is policy not science. Supporters of massive government intervention are trying to browbeat opponents to accept massive government intervention. Renewable energy mandates, carbon taxation, and other intervention schemes have been massive failures. These schemes have the effect of creating artificial energy shortages and redistribution of wealth. The carbon taxation schemes reward non economic development. I would support subsidies to develop technologies to remove carbon but I see uncertain payoff. Technologies developed may have very high cost to deploy and large, unintended side effects.

Ray • 4 years ago

Disappointed that this media outlet gave Simpson's POV as much space as it did.

Robert DeLong • 4 years ago

As others are disappointed that you bothered with your POV and used any space at all..

Jeff Norman • 4 years ago

Ray,
Apparently this media outlet will give you as much space as you want to demonstrate why David's opinions are unjustified. Please, educate us.

tomsatch • 4 years ago

David, Very interesting the facts which you brought out about the sloppy surveys and the bias in selecting papers which lead to the incorrect statement that, "97% of climate scientists agree....blah blah." If you stay on this topic alone for future papers, the point will be obvious to many.
I think you dwelled too long on the opinions of non-random people in this eng-tip website.The statistics of opinions from an engineering chat-room, as though a small group of engineers who are passionately either pro or con ACC has any statistical meaning at all, doesn't mean much to me.
To keep your credibility up, you could probably remove many of your bias comments like, since you don't know any skeptics which have changed to warmests, this implies there aren't any. You're smart enough to see the non-valid argument there.
On the subject of inaccurate temperature measurements before modern equipment, I wonder if the fact that there were a large number of these +/-2.5C measurements could be averaged into a more precise total +/-0.1C estimate. I invite future readers here who are good at probability & stats to give their take on this. (my 2 cents: most engineers I've worked with have a poor understanding of probability and statistics.)

dam_engineer • 4 years ago

ExxonMobil: “There is growing recognition that addressing the risk of climate change will require significant efforts by both the developed and the developing world.”

BP aims to manage its operational GHG emissions through operational energy efficiency, reductions in flaring and venting, and by factoring a carbon cost into our investment appraisals and the engineering design of new projects.

Shell Oil: “Climate change remains a serious concern. At Shell, we use human ingenuity, innovation and technology to unlock the energy our customers need to power their lives in the years ahead, while aiming to limit our impact on the environment.”

David A Simpson • 4 years ago

I used to work for BP. I wrote a paper while I worked for them (in 2001) on an environmental project. In that paper I used the phrase "so-called greenhouse gases". The VP of Environmental Compliance would not sign off on the paper until the "so called" was removed. Companies are made up of people. People have their own beliefs, biases, and blind spots. Sometimes those beliefs exist in someone high enough in the organization to not be subject to review by a superior or a peer.

I won't assume to speak for any of those companies. In documents that I've written for an Industry group I have refused to admit that ACC was a threat or even real. Some of those documents retained my name and retained that refusal. Others became work output of the group and some of them were modified to include acknowledgement of ACC as a threat. All of them are available on the EPA docket on NSPS Subpart OOOO and Subpart W.

What individual companies allow to be said in their name is up to them and their stockholders. When I saw some of the statements you've referenced I sold the little bit of stock I had in those companies. None are currently on my list of clients.

dam_engineer • 4 years ago

Your strong bias on this topic is coming through more and more clearly. You can't even admit there is such a thing as a "greenhouse gas." Stunning.

Here's the US MIlitary's take on ACC. They have assessed the risk, see it as a current and future threat to national security, and are taking aggressive action on alternative energy solutions.

"Climate change poses another significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating. The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world.

The Department [of Defense] will remain ready to operate in a changing
environment amid the challenges of climate change and environmental
damage. We have increased our preparedness for the consequences of environmental damage and continue to seek to mitigate these risks while taking advantage of opportunities."

- 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review

dam_engineer • 4 years ago

Glad to see someone admit their obvious bias and write with care not to inflame a hot topic. What you've done is emphasize the uncertainty of a large body of good science that points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that humans are changing the physics of our atmosphere and oceans. Uncertainty cuts both ways, things could be better than what the science predicts, or it could be worse.

In the end it comes down to one thing:

1. Are we managing risk in an acceptable manner for future generations?

Doing nothing to reduce the burning of fossil fuels is clearly unacceptable in that regard. Luckily progress is being made and new solutions are being developed as people like Mr. Simpson continue to banter about uncertainty. It's called paralysis by analysis. The business world has already moved past that, time for us engineers to do the same.

Jeff Norman • 4 years ago

dam_engineer,

You ask; “Are we managing risk in an acceptable manner for future generations?”

The best way to manage risk in an acceptable manner for future generations is to ensure those future generations have enough resources to respond the best possible way to any possible emergency.

The best possible way to illustrate this is to compare the results of the 2004 Indonesian tsunami and the 2011 Japanese tsunami. In Japan, advanced tsunami warning systems were used to save thousands of lives. In Japan immediately available aid (clean water, food, shelter, medical treatment, etc.) vastly reduced the number of deaths after the event. These were not available in Indonesia resulting in vastly higher death rates. Japan is a rich developed country. Indonesia is a less rich developing country. Even in the aftermath of their massive seismic event and subsequent tsunami, Japan was able to rally the resources to mitigate the problems resulting from the breakdown of the Fuhushima nuclear power plant safety system.

The “solutions” being proposed to mitigate the effects of a purely hypothetical ACC will result in developed countries being less wealthy and worse in developing countries being less wealthy. Wealthy is the mainstay of our technological culture. Undermining our wealth undermines our ability to respond and adapt to future challenges.

The best way to manage risk in an acceptable manner for future generations is to ensure they are wealthy enough to respond to any contingency.

Mark Bofill • 4 years ago

"The best way to manage risk in an acceptable manner for future
generations is to ensure they are wealthy enough to respond to any
contingency."
Bravo sir.

Jeff Norman • 4 years ago

dam_engineer,

You raise an aspect of this discussion that David did not fully develop in his essay: uncertainty, risk and the precautionary principle.

It is clear (to me) that your perception of these issues is colored by your declared area of expertise. In dam construction and maintenance the safety of the people living downstream of the dam is of paramount importance. There are too many historical examples of dam failures resulting in significant loss of life and property.

As a result of this most modern dams are over engineered to ensure that the waters contained are kept contained in the event of the worst possible seismic or weather related event. And then a bit more safety is engineered in just to be sure. Some computer modeling is required to help specify the degree and costs of this over engineering.

Even with these massively engineered structures continuous maintenance and monitoring processes are implemented to the dam, the sluices the forebays, the tailraces and ancillary systems to ensure dam safety.

Let’s say a group of soil physicists have expressed a growing concern about erosion in earthen irrigation ditches and in Montreal implemented an international agreement to phase out earthen irrigation ditches and replace them with concrete lined ditches. While the protocol has been embraced in North America and Europe there is only limited implementation in the developing world.

Emboldened by their success with irrigation ditches the soil physicists start gathering data on earthen dams and express growing alarm that the rate of leakage through earthen dams has been increasing by 1 cms/year. They have developed computer models that show the leakage rate increasing exponentially resulting in the failure of all earthen dams disastrously inundating everything down stream. These results have been published in Nature and Science. They are now lobbying to have all earthen dams replaced by concrete dams because this would be the best approach to mitigating all risks and uncertainties.

Would you be somewhat skeptical of their plans? Would you want to see how they calculated the leakage? Would you be concerned if they refused to share their data? Would you want to see how their computer models worked so you could compare it to your understanding of dam structures and safety? Would you be concerned if they refused to share their code because you are just an engineer and not a soil scientist? Would you be concerned the costs of replacing all earthen dams with concrete dams would be prohibitive and undermine private companies’ ability to maintain and monitor their other structures? Would you be concerned when geologists point out that earthen dams have successfully contained water throughout geological time but are ignored because these too are not soil scientists (they only know rocks, not dirt)?

Or would you ask “Are we managing risk in an acceptable manner for future generation?”

dam_engineer • 4 years ago

Jeff, my point is simple, the consequences of climate change could be so severe that action is justified to reduce risk. Risk management is based on probabilities of things happening, and the potential consequences. There's just too much at stake with this to do nothing.

This article does a great job pointing out problems and uncertainties with the science. But its not good enough to just question the science, you have to be able to prove that the opposite is true, that the models are dead wrong, in order to justify doing nothing. You have to be virtually certain that the predictions are wrong in order to justify taking no action.

DET • 4 years ago

It is curious to me that with all the modeling research and the billions of dollars spent, no one questions why their predictions don't agree with Nature. And, they don't. In math modeling, one can run time forward or backwards, and we could start our model at any point in the past, and run it forward ... thus being able to check our model's accuracy. We could also start our model today and run time backward for decades to again test the validity of the model. None of this works. And, it cannot as I will explain below.

The reason for this disparity is that the climate is a chaotic system. The principle driving function for the climate is solar irradiation. If one looks at the sunspot record (an indication of the energy production by the Sun), it is obvious that the Sun itself is a chaotic system. So, the climate is a chaotic system driven by a chaotic system. Basic knowledge of nonlinear mathematics tells us that one cannot predict the behavior of a chaotic system. That's it, pure and simple. While there will be a period where model and Nature agree (termed the radius of convergence), the definition of a chaotic system is that an infinitesimal change in the initial condition will cause the model to diverge from reality. The only question is how quickly.

I know all about limit cycles, strange attractors, Poincare' sections, etc, but basic nonlinear mathematics tells us that we will never be able to predict the behavior of a non-deterministic system. I taught graduate courses on the modeling and analysis of nonlinear systems for years, and even wrote a textbook on this subject. Thus, the whole argument foisted on us by the ACC crowd is not based on rigorous mathematics and proven science. At best it is a theory that doesn't seem to be valid. And it certainly is NOT a settled science.

Eventually, the truth will come out, and ACC will be forced to morph into some other wild catastrophe theory. Interestingly, the last one was global cooling. And actually, that might be more of a concern than global warming. We appear to be nearing the end of an interglacial warming period (with total cycles of around 100,000 years). And that would be really devastating for humanity.

David A Simpson • 4 years ago

Thank you for sharing that. Engineers say "models cannot prove anything" all the time and it gets blown off. To have an academic with relevant experience support that conclusion with his own terminology is very useful.

DET • 4 years ago

David - There are some different issues at play here

A math model has two features that are seldom mentioned: (a) the basic assumptions and theory behind the model, and (b) the purpose of the model. It appears that the purpose of the ACC modelers is to demonstrate man-made global warming. The problem is that their theories aren't working out so well. In fact, some of their sensitivities have the opposite sign of natural behavior. This is perhaps best explained because that best fits the model's purpose in predicting elevated temperatures. So, is it error or purposeful? I don't know, but the hackles on my neck have tingled.

I should also mention that proving a math model is a bit tricky. For example, I could generate a mega-parameter polynomial model of the climate, and then fit all the known climate data. If I'm clever, I might be able to fit every data point, pretty much exactly. However, predicting the future with that polynomial is pretty much guaranteed to fail big-time. Plus, there is no real attempt to "model" Nature. It's just an enormous polynomial. One can also argue that the same is true of a model that DOES attempt to mimic Nature. Just because it fits the data doesn't mean that the theory behind the model is correct. But, over time, as more is learned about the different aspects of the theory, one can gain confidence in the model and its results. I should interject here that a model (and theory) that doesn't predict the behavior exhibited in Nature is probably going to be declared a failure at some point.

A good example is the First Law of Thermodynamics. Actually, it works pretty well, but there is no absolute proof that it is complete. It is certainly not a LAW! In point of fact, it works really well for every known case, but someone might come along tomorrow and demolish it for a more perfect model which fits some new data.

I posit that it is rather silly to continue to attempt to predict the future by exhaustively hammering on ACC models. The climate is chaotic. At the beginning of the Little Ice Age, for no explicable reason the Sun's sunspot activity dropped to effectively zero for decades. Why did the Sun do this? We don't know, it's a chaotic system. But it appears that this is the reason the global Earth climate cooled so rapidly for such a lengthy period. Amazingly, near the end of the Little Ice Age, the Sun resumed its normal range of sunspot activity and the Earth warmed back up. Hmmm. In recent history, solar activity has been elevated, but about 20 years ago, solar activity dropped slightly, and the global Earth's temperature stopped climbing. Hmmm.

Finally, thanks for a great summary article. Keep up the diligence!!!

wiseaftertheevent • 4 years ago

David -- thanks for writing. I profoundly disagree, and am not interested in spending the time, but I think you did a very nice job of presenting your point. If all discussions were like this, we'd be making progress.

One passage did disturb me, and since you've been pretty careful to have evidence behind most of your conclusions, I'd like to hear what's behind this statement:

"Much of Europe is "doing something" about global warming and the price of electricity is so high in some countries that people are required to choose between having food and using the power to cook it. Forests are being depleted at alarming rates to provide heating fuel, economies are being damaged."

Europe is weathering the financial storms we've largely created far better than us. What's your cause-and-effect for this statement?

E. Swanson • 4 years ago

David, I too am an MS engineer, but one who has studied the problem of global warming for more than 35 years. My professional background includes years of building and using numerical models, so I do agree that modeling problems abound.

That said, I think your piece has numerous errors. For example, you claim that the so-called "hockey stick" graph represents a positive feedback. Temperature is a measure of the energy state at the point of measurement. Thus, the average temperature as shown in the graph represents the effective energy balance at the surface, ie, the result of the energy flowing from the sun thru the atmosphere and back to deep space. That the temperature appears to be increasing only indicates that the energy at the surface has changed, most likely due to the insulating effect of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. That's not a feedback.

You calculate the volume of the atmosphere, when the important variable is the mass. As a compressible gas, half of the atmosphere lies below about 5km and 3/4 is below 10km altitude (mol). If the atmosphere were a liquid as dense as water, it would only be 10 meters (34ft) deep. The oceans represent a much larger thermal mass than the atmosphere and below the thermocline, the water temperature is near freezing. The result is that the surface temperature is buffered by the mass in the oceans, so there's a large time lag between humanity's changes to the atmosphere and the resulting changes in temperature and climate. Half of all the greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere were added in (roughly) the past 40 years. The entire climate system is seriously out of equilibrium, as the deeper oceans are warming slowly. Perhaps the largest problem found in model experiments are the result of changes in the ocean circulation, aka, the thermohaline circulation (THC), which has operated since the end of the last glacial maximum to warm the land areas around the subarctic North Atlantic, especially Northern Europe. If the THC stops or if it's location changes, both of which appear to have occurred in the paleo record, the local climate would change dramatically.

Of course, you also fail to consider that there is a very real limit to the rise in temperature, one which humans have faced since civilization began about 10,000 years ago . That is, humans can not long survive with dew point temperatures above around 35C (95F). That's because we cool our bodies by evaporating sweat and high dew point temperature results in deadly body temperatures. Such may not be of much concern in temperate latitudes but in tropical areas, outdoor activity may become impossible. That means hand agricultural work in some latitudes, such as harvesting sugar cane, coffee or rice, will become very difficult or stop.

There's so many other points to which I would take exception that I would need hours to write a proper reply. Sad to say, I've got to mow the lawn, since I don't have enough money to pay someone from the Third World to do it. That's because my last engineering job ended 20 years ago after I expressed some environmental concerns in a paper which my engineering boss did not agree with as he listened to Rush Limbaugh every afternoon. My conclusion is that you, like Limbaugh and many of the other engineers who have replied here, are dangerously ignorant of ecology and science...

Al Rodger • 4 years ago

I'm not entirely sure why this post is telling us that "the hypothesis of ACC" rests on there being "sustained positive feedback." Such a view is fundamentally misunderstands the position presented by the climatology.

Al Rodger • 4 years ago

Lacking any offered explanation for these statements in the post leaves the reader nothing but the error they contain. And do take onboard - this is the first point presented in a 7,500 word-long thesis and it is fundamentally wrong. The rest of the thesis will not recover from such a howler.

Al Rodger • 4 years ago

Of course there are important feedbacks present within the climate system. To quote the IPCC AR5 WG1 SPM "The ... magnitude of global climate change is determined by radiative forcing (and) climate feedbacks..." the feedbacks adding 50% to 350% to the strength of a forcing. There is still great uncertainty in the strength of these feedbacks but no serious commentator argues that they are "sustained positive feedbacks" and "without a dampening effect." Yet that is how they are characterised here.

Bart • 4 years ago

Well written, which makes it especially sad that it's so poorly thought through and riddled with confirmation bias and invalid argumentation.

Computer models make up about 2% of the evidence of just the temperature aspect of ACC; the World Meteorologic Organization names over four dozen other equally valid essential climate variables, all of which have at least as strong an ACC case as global mean temperature trend.

Mitigation is calculated to save more in every year than adaptation in any decade.

Some results of failed mitigation cannot be adapted to at any price, and result in wholesale write-off.

Pretending there is a dilemma pivoting on if ACC is real is like pretending there is a dilemma about if gravity is real. The evidence for ACC is stronger by far than the evidence behind the Higgs Boson, extrasolar planets, or DNA.

In short, this is a failed engineering project. Please let me know of any bridge designs you had a hand in, that I may arrange alternate routes.