Climate Change during an Energy Transition

An Open Thread for Petroleum comments is below this post.

My previous post on an energy transition promised to consider the level of climate change that might be associated with such an Energy Transition. Rather than use Webhubbletelescope’s CSALT model in combination with a simplified Bern Carbon Model, I have chosen to use the MAGICC 6 climate emulator.


Three different values for equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) were chosen, with the median of 19 CMIP3 global climate models at 2.88 C based on the analysis (see table B3 on page 1453 of the PDF) of the creators of the MAGICC 6 model. Eighteen of the models have an ECS between 1.9 and 4.15 C, with one outlier with an ECS of 5.5 C, if the outlier is ignored the median ECS is 2.72 C, 73.6% of the models (14 of 19) have an ECS between 2.24 and 3.23 C. Two models are below this range and 3 are above. A description of the MAGICC 6 model can be found at the link provided.

For the chart above, the parameters for the median model are used and only the ECS is changed for the ECS 2.2 and the ECS 3.6 “models” shown in the chart above.  The scenario used (RCP4.5b) can be downloaded here.

The Energy Transition scenario was modified from my previous post. Population peaks in 2070 at about 9.15 billion and then declines, so GDP is somewhat lower, the assumption of 1.45% per year per capita real GDP growth remains the same. Energy intensity continues to decline at 1% per year until 2060 and then slows to 0.5% per year, in the earlier scenario energy intensity stopped decreasing after 2050 which was not realistic. I also consider exergy rather than energy and assume coal provides 37% of its primary energy as exergy, natural gas 45%, and oil 30%. Wind, solar, nuclear, hydro, and other (geothermal and biofuels) are each considered separately. After 2025 all non-fossil fuel growth is assumed to be wind and solar power and after 2033 wind and solar grow at 8% per year until 2060. Long term oil and natural gas growth was 7% per year for over 60 years (1910 to 1970 average growth rate in output of oil and natural gas).


The chart above shows the exergy output of these various types of energy in exajoules.

By 2059 all exergy is provided by non-fossil fuels in this scenario and total carbon emissions from all sources (fossil fuels, cement production, land use change, and natural gas flaring) is 939 Pg from 1800 to 2200. The RCP 4.5 scenario is only modified for fossil fuel and other carbon emissions, as well as reducing SOx emissions after 2060 reaching very low levels of about 1 million tonnes of sulfur per year consistent with long term average volcano emissions for the past 200 years.

As a comparison to the scenario above I created an average scenario between the RCP2.6 and RCP4.5 scenarios where the average of carbon emissions (fossil fuel and other) from the two scenarios is used, all other emissions follow the RCP2.6 scenario, a significant difference is the methane emissions are 2 times higher after 2100 in the RCP4.5 scenario. An ECS of 2.88 C is used and total carbon emissions for this “RCP3.6” scenario are 1096 Pg from 1800 to 2200 (160 Pg more than the scenario for the energy transition).  Scenario can be downloaded here.



The scenario above changes the methane emissions from the RCP4.5 level to the lower RCP 2.6 level from 2100 to 2250, everything else is unchanged from the initial energy transition scenario.  The scenario can be downloaded here.

If we focus on transition from fossil fuels to other types of energy, climate change may be much less of a problem based on the CMIP3 models. The latest GISS Model E2 (CMIP5) also suggests a scenario between RCP2.6 and RCP4.5 may keep global temperatures under 2 C. Keeping global temperature change under 1.7 C may be difficult, if ECS is 3 C, the sooner we get started he better off we will be.

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353 Responses to Climate Change during an Energy Transition

  1. Verwimp says:

    Dennis, Apologise if I ask a stupid question. Is the left hand scale of the graphs increase in global temperature? So we are heading for +2°Cwithin the next decades? Globally?

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Verwimp,

      Yes the vertical scale is in degrees Celcius, zero on the scale is pre-industrial temperature.

      If the model is correct with an ECS of 2.88 C and the scenario is correct, then we will hit 2 C before 2100.

  2. Oldfarmermac says:

    Hi Dennis,
    Obviously you have to use some limiting assumptions in doing this kind of work, or else it would be impossible to ever finish the job.

    But I am wondering what you, and others here, think the odds are that some other non fossil fuel energy sources other than wind and sun may be a substantial portion of the mix at some point?

    My guess is that wave and geothermal power will likely always be more expensive than wind and solar power, except maybe at a few locations. But otoh, both wave and geothermal would be very good base load power supply, and so it might turn out to be worthwhile to build quite a bit of both.

    This might be cheaper than overbuilding the wind and solar farms to the extent necessary to deal with the intermittent nature of wind and solar power. Batteries of some sort might eventually be cheaper than either wave or geothermal, but there is no way of knowing how much any of the three will cost going forward.

    And for what it is worth, I don’t think going one hundred percent, or close to one hundred percent renewable is actually going to be necessary, or politically easily achievable, for as long as there is still affordable gas available that can be burnt in ( existing ) peaker plants in case the wind and solar industries come up short during periods of unfavorable weather. This observation is not intended as a criticism of your modeling work, but rather as a comment on what people are actually likely to do, in terms of cutting deals to get the sausage made.

    So – If we can get down to using ten or fifteen percent of the gas we currently use as generating fuel to provide back up power, there is probably enough economically recoverable gas to last for a long time, assuming it is not all spoken for as industrial feed stock to manufacture other stuff such as nitrate fertilizers and plastics.

    Taken all around, your work encourages me to think that maybe the odds of a successful transition to renewable energy are actually fairly decent.

    The real question in my mind is whether we get after it, and stay after it, before shortages of fossil fuel and other resources make it impossible to scale up the wind and solar industries. .

    Politicians are more interested in keeping people happy short term, so as to remain in power, than they are in risking their positions by advocating austerity today in order to ensure better times decades down the road.

    If the shit is ever once and truly in the fan, on the global scale, a timely successful global transition will be impossible, or at least very unlikely in my estimation.

    But a few fortunate countries such as the USA and Canada might still manage local transitions without too much disruption. The rest of the world could eventually catch up, but not without first going thru a few decades of hell.

    Don’t get caught in Egypt.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Old Farmer Mac,

      Anything that works can be used. Nuclear is not cheap, geothermal is limited and wave power is unproven. Probably pumped hydro makes the most sense for backup. Natural gas will deplete and become expensive and wind and solar will decrease in price to the point that natural gas cannot compete. There is also the issue of climate change so we should limit natural gas burning when it is feasible. By 2060 this will be the case based on my scenario. Impossible to know how things will really play out. Crystal ball is in the shop. 🙂

      • Nick G says:

        Probably pumped hydro makes the most sense for backup.

        Mac is thinking of seasonal shortfalls – a week or two in January when both wind and solar are low. Pumped hydro is far too expensive for that, because it requires amortization over many charge-discharge cycles while seasonal backup may have only one cycle per year, or even less.

        There are, of course, many solutions including overbuilding, geographic averaging & long distance transmission, DSM, V2G, etc., but if a “hard” backup is desired the straightforward solution is hydrogen produced during periods of cheap surplus power, stored in cheap underground caverns, and burned in cheap peaker plants.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          My gut tells me that some hard backup is going to be a hell of a lot cheaper, and so easier to build and operate, than over building, or long distance transmission, or just about any other possible solution or combination of solutions involving random intermittent power production.

          The hard backup won’t be needed very often, once the hoped for wind and solar build out on the grand scale is finished, but in the meantime, we are going to have to have solid backup capacity for thirty or forty years, and maybe longer than that.

          It wouldn’t bother me at all to keep a lot of the more recently built and thus cleaner coal fired plants in running order, so as to fire them up in an emergency, such as a really long lasting winter storm. The cost of keeping them in running order, not hot, but ready to be fired up, on a day’s notice, so as to be producing shortly afterward, would be trivial in comparison to building an equivalent additional amount of wind and solar farms that might not produce much anyway, due to unsuitable weather conditions.

          And since these old plants would run only in emergencies, the total amount of CO2 , etc, emitted would be of no consequence. Gas would be better of course, but coal is easily stored in giant piles, no problem at all. Getting gas to such plants on short notice might be a hell of a problem due to over loaded pipelines.

          Manufacturing molecular hydrogen is technically no big deal, but suitable storage locations are probably few and far between. I have not checked into the round trip efficiency of this option, but I know it is far less efficient than pumped storage, and it may be less efficient and more costly than giant batteries a couple of decades down the road.

          My crystal ball is in the shop, same as Dennis’s. 😉

          The one thing we all seem to keep forgetting in this discussion is that we can get by with maybe as little as a third of the electricity we use per capita currently, by way of using it more efficiently and simply not just wasting it by for instance keeping an empty house cool or warm all day.

          A lot of people who live one or two in a house and don’t use a lot of hot water spend more KEEPING their hot water hot than they do on actually using hot water. That problem can be easily solved by wrapping another six inches of insulation around the hot water heater.

          The amount of juice we waste boggles the mind. I could spend a few thousand bucks and cut my own daily average use in half without any inconvenience at all, other than spending the money.

          But electricity is still so cheap I have better use for the money, and I have already cut my domestic use by close to half anyway.

          I will replace my old appliances with new ones that are more energy efficient when they need work, but not before. Five years from now a new refrigerator will be noticeably more efficient today’s models, dollar for dollar, and a better deal for me.

          • Ulenspiegel says:

            “My gut tells me that some hard backup is going to be a hell of a lot cheaper, and so easier to build and operate, than over building, or long distance transmission, …”

            It depend on the power duration curve for backup. The last few percent are expensive with transmission, the first half very likely not, here one has to keep in mind that transmission lines not only connect areas with not correlated electricity demand but also areas with not correlated back-up demand. 🙂

          • Nick G says:

            Manufacturing molecular hydrogen is technically no big deal, but suitable storage locations are probably few and far between.

            That’s an important question. The wikipedia article on underground hydrogen storage gives the impression that storage locations may not be hard to find, but there’s no specific data. I suspect that most underground nat gas storage would work.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Nick,

          Would the hydrogen solution be cheaper than pumped hydro? One could use existing hydro and just install pumps, get the electricity to the pumps with the existing grid, it might not be more expensive than fuel cells, batteries, etc. The widely dispersed assets is already assumed, even in that case there will be some periods where there is not enough supply, demand pricing will also help.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Here is how one New Jersey guy produces and uses hydrogen. Runs his house and his car, plus makes a good profit.


            • Bob Nickson says:

              Eleven large propane tanks!

              Seems a bit unwieldy for a basic residential application.

              • GoneFishing says:

                He is making $7000 to $11,000 a year on extra energy. A typical electric bill is less than $1000 for a house and he is running his car. Seems like he has a lot of excess capacity.

                But the system does not have to be purely residential, it could be a nearby solar farm with hydrogen storage for a group of houses or a village. Just gas up your car at the nearby solar farm.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Capital costs for pumped hydro appear similar to natural gas turbines systems. Turn-around efficiencies can be up to 90 percent.


            Yards Creek hydro pumped storage has 400,000 kW rating and cost $15.000,000. Making it $37.50 per kW generating capacity. I take it that is 1965 money. So still sounds as good or better than gas turbine costs, plus no pollution.

          • Nick G says:


            Would the hydrogen solution be cheaper than pumped hydro?

            It varies dramatically depending on the application: pumped hydro at about $100 per kWh is cheaper for diurnal/daily variation. Amortize the $100/kWh over 10,000 cycles and you get a penny per kWh charge/discharge cycle.

            But, amortize it over 30 cycles (one cycle per year for 30 years) and you get a cost of $3 per kWh!!!

            If you need to cover a worst case scenario of 2 weeks of demand, for the US that’s 450GW x 24 x 14 days = 151 terawatt hours, or $15 trillion for storage!!

            That’s the key to the underground H2/”wind gas” solution – very cheap capacity, very cheap capex. Round-trip cycle efficiency is far, far less important for *seasonal* backup.

            One could use existing hydro and just install pumps

            Existing hydro doesn’t have that much capacity. Besides, hydro really can’t be varied that much, or you destroy river systems.

            there will be some periods where there is not enough supply, demand pricing will also help.

            Absolutely, hard backup should be the last resort, as it’s relatively expensive compared to DSM, V2G, long distance transmission, etc, etc.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      But I am wondering what you, and others here, think the odds are that some other non fossil fuel energy sources other than wind and sun may be a substantial portion of the mix at some point?

      Work on Fusion engines powered by Dilithium Crystals is ongoing 🙂

      And if you thought that was just science fiction think again…

      Disclaimer: I haven’t checked up on this research. and I don’t know the EROEI but I suspect it is much better than fossil fuels. 🙂

      Star Trek fans will definitely get a kick out of this: researchers are working on a fusion impulse engine that runs on real “dilithium crystals” to cut the travel time to Mars from six months to just six weeks.

      A team from the University of Huntsville in Alabama said it is focusing on deuterium, a stable isotope of hydrogen, and Li6, a stable isotope of lithum, as fuel, according to a report on BusinessInsider.

      “The fusion fuel we’re focusing on is deuterium (and) Li6 in a crystal structure. That’s basically dilithium crystals we’re using,” said team member and aerospace engineering PH.D. candidate Ross Cortez.

      They added this is the kind of engine needed to propel humans outside low-Earth orbit and to Mars and beyond.

      Of course it will take oodles and oodles of latinum to pay for all of that…

      The Known Ferengi Rules of Acquisition
      Number Rule
      53 “Never trust anybody taller than you.”
      54 “Rate divided by time equals profit.” (Also known as “The Velocity of Wealth.”)
      55 “Take joy from profit, and profit from joy.”
      57 “Good customers are almost as rare as latinum…treasure them.”

      • GoneFishing says:

        We have not learned how to not destroy life on our own planet yet. So given warp drive we will just leave a trail of cemetery planets across the galaxy.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Given what I know about the effects of radiation alone, on humans enduring long term space travel. I highly doubt we are even going to be living on Mars any time soon. Elon Musk’s claims and plans notwithstanding! So let’s just say I’m not overly concerned about humans laying waste to the galaxy. With or without warp drives… 😉

          • GoneFishing says:

            So you think space is self-sterilizing? Not from the likes of us.
            With warp drives will come dense EM shielding, so there.

            Silliness aside, this is not anything new, radiation in space has been known for a long time.
            An article from 2006.
            ” In science fiction, the worst threats
            to space travelers are large ones: careening
            asteroids, ravenous creatures,
            imperial battle cruisers. In reality,
            though, the scariest menaces for humans
            in space are the tiniest: fast-moving elementary
            particles known as cosmic rays.
            On a long journey, they would give astronauts
            a dose of radiation serious
            enough to cause cancer. Unlike most of
            the other challenges of venturing into
            deep space, which engineers should be
            able to solve given enough time and
            money, cosmic rays pose irreducible
            risks, and dealing with them involves
            fundamental trade-offs. They could be
            the show-stopper for visiting Mars.”

            And from the 1990’s a more technical paper discussing radiation, shielding and moon/Mars expeditions.


            When one thinks about it, the dangers of space radiation are relatively long-term and benign compared to exploring the earth.
            Deadly ocean storms, angry natives, poison snakes and spiders, foreign diseases, pirates, scurvy, just getting lost, mutinous crews, starvation, lack of fresh water were just some of the dangers involved wandering the oceans and lands of the earth. And nobody thought to carry any sunscreen.

            Even early railroading was extremely dangerous where 70 percent of railroad workers would be injured within 5 years and many killed. Then there were the large numbers of deaths and injuries building the railroads.
            In New Jersey the canal builders died like flies.

            Any new endeavor has lots of danger, but is it more dangerous than hanging around on the earth? Live long enough and one is almost guaranteed of cancer.
            But isn’t radiation supposedly used to cure cancer? Or are many of the secondary and tertiary cancers caused by the treatment? Hmmm.

            Once on a planet or moon, the radiation levels drop because the planet itself acts to block about half the volume of radiation by it’s bulk alone. So they could hide underground most of the time. If they get there alive.
            Sounds so exciting and fun, doesn’t it.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              When one thinks about it, the dangers of space radiation are relatively long-term and benign compared to exploring the earth.
              Deadly ocean storms, angry natives, poison snakes and spiders, foreign diseases, pirates, scurvy, just getting lost, mutinous crews, starvation, lack of fresh water were just some of the dangers involved wandering the oceans and lands of the earth. And nobody thought to carry any sunscreen.

              Pshaw! I hung out with pirates and natives drinking their local rums and ventured into the favelas of Rio with the locals. I’ve wandered around the Brazilian Amazon catching poisonous spiders and venomous snakes and I dove the coral reefs of various stormy seas, swimming with sharks and getting stung by Portuguese Men of War, never once used any stinkin sun screen, still don’t, it’s bad for the corals and as far as I’m concerned I think it is for sissies and fair skinned damsels in distress!

              Disclaimer: I have nothing personal against sissies or fair skinned damsels in distress! Just don’t want any of them along on any of my adventures, they aren’t very useful… my bias is based on extensive personal experience 😉

              • Doug Leighton says:

                Well, I ran into a barracuda in New Zealand and a sea snake off Thailand and decided I’d be safer cavorting with damsels (fair skinned or not) – until my wife gave me the evil eye. Maybe a few cosmic rays aren’t so bad after all.

              • GoneFishing says:

                Fred, I didn’t know you were around in the 1500’s. I deduce you found the Fountain of Youth and are really Ponce de Leon.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Fred, I didn’t know you were around in the 1500’s.

                  Damn, did you have to blow my cover and reveal my true age?!

                  Ponce de Leon is really a galactic particle physicist born on Europa, stardate 47457.1 and he was working on time travel back in the late 1400s CE in Florida not far from where I live today.

                  His photonic time machine just happened to resemble a water fountain when seen from a certain distance but it was actually a stream of photons circulating in a closed time loop… as you know: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic…”

                  He is actually a really cool dude!

                  I met him once on one of my expeditions while collecting blastoid echinoderms in the shallow reefs off Pangea in the Panthalassa sea. Man, ‘TIME’ sure does fly! 😉


  3. Global surface temperature graph from Hansen, Oct 2016

    ” Global temperature: the 12-month running-mean temperature is now +1.3°C relative to the
    1880-1920 average in the GISTEMP analysis (Fig. 2 in above paper or alternative Fig. 1 below).
    We suggest that 1880-1920 is a good choice for “preindustrial” base period; alternative choices
    would differ by only about ±0.1°C, and 1880-1920 has the advantage of being the earliest time
    with reasonably global coverage and reasonably well-documented measurement technology.”

    ” The growth of the three principal human-caused greenhouse gases (GHGs: CO2, CH4, N2O)
    are all accelerating. Contrary to the impression favored by governments, the corner has not been
    turned toward declining emissions and GHG amounts. The world is not effectively addressing
    the climate matter, nor does it have any plans to do so, regardless of how much government
    bureaucrats clap each other on the back.”

    “Global temperature is already at the level of the Eemian period (130,000 to 115,000
    years ago), when sea level was 6-9 meters (20-30 feet) higher than today (Fig. 2). Considering
    the additional warming “in the pipeline,” due to delayed response of the climate system and the
    impossibility of instant replacement of fossil fuels, additional temperature rise is inevitable. ”

    “Earth’s history shows that the lag of sea level change behind global temperature change is 1-4
    centuries for natural climate change (Grant et al 2012, 2014)2
    . It is unlikely that response would
    be slower to a stronger, more rapid human-made climate forcing; indeed, Hansen et al (2016)
    infer that continued high fossil fuel emissions could lead to multi-meter sea level rise in 50-150
    years. The desire to avoid large ice sheet shrinkage and sea level rise implies a need to get global
    temperature back into or close to the Holocene range on the time scale of a century or less.”

    ““Negative CO2 emissions,” i.e., extraction of CO2 from the air is now required, if climate
    is to be stabilized on the century time scale, as a result of past failure to reduce emissions. If
    rapid phasedown of fossil fuel emissions begins soon, most of the necessary CO2 extraction can
    take place via improved agricultural and forestry practices, including reforestation and steps to
    improve soil fertility and increase its carbon content. In this case, the magnitude and duration of
    global temperature excursion above the natural range of the current interglacial (Holocene) could
    be limited and irreversible climate impacts could be minimized.”

    “Continued high fossil fuel emissions place a burden on young people to undertake
    massive technological CO2 extraction. Quietly, with minimal objection from the scientific
    community (Anderson, 2015, is a courageous exception), the assumption that young people will
    somehow figure out a way to undo the deeds of their forebears, has crept into and spread like a
    cancer through UN climate scenarios. Proposed methods of extraction such as bioenergy with
    carbon capture and storage (BECCS) or air capture of CO2 imply minimal estimated costs of
    104-570 trillion dollars this century, with large risks and uncertain feasibility. Continued high
    fossil fuel emissions unarguably sentences young people to either a massive, possibly
    implausible cleanup or growing deleterious climate impacts or both, scenarios that should
    provide incentive and obligation for governments to alter energy policies without further delay.”

    • George Kaplan says:

      That temperature looks to be slightly above the worst case grey curve, and the emissions seem to be following RCP8.5 at the moment, so the issue isn’t bounded within the scenarios presented as far as I can see.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi George,

        RCP8.5 is running above actual emissions in 2014 and 2015. My scenarios are based on reasonable estimates of fossil fuels that will be extracted. In fact in the scenarios presented I used the high fossil fuels scenario, which still results in lower output than total energy demand if non-fossil fuel energy output does not expand. The need to fill the shortage in energy that would result if we rely mostly on fossil fuels requires wind and solar to expand relatively rapidly though only a 1% higher growth rate than oil and natural gas over the 1910 to 1970 period average growth rate in output of those two fuels.

        In the case of oil and natural gas, prices were relatively low over much of this period suggesting low demand relative to plentiful supply. In the case of wind and solar there will be plenty of demand through at least 2040 (unless there is a depression due to energy shortages). I expect fossil fuel demand will decrease as cheaper wind and solar and EVs for transport take over from 2030 to 2060.

        The RCP8.5 scenario is not consistent with your outlook for petroleum output, the coal resource is not as large as some believe.

        Read Steve Mohr’s PhD Thesis to get realistic estimates of the coal resource, then add to Laherrere’s or your preferred estimate of petroleum resources. You will find it does not add up to 5000 Pg C from 1800-2200 which is the RCP8.5 scenario.

        Chart below shows RCP 8.5 scenario (carbon emissions only in Pg C per year) where I take the natural log to show the growth rate of carbon emissions per year.

        From 1960 to 2060 it is steady growth of 1.77%/year. Does that seem realistic?

        In my view a realistic scenario is between 900 and 1100 Pg of total carbon emissions from all sources from 1800 to 2200.

        • George Kaplan says:

          Dennis – the chart below is the RCP numbers and seasonally adjusted June (mid year like the RCPs) ppm for CO2. We are following RCP8.5 and currently hitting about 3 ppm per year increase. If you are going to present a range of curves they should span the actual data to carry some conviction, and as Feynman said if theory doesn’t match experiment you need a new theory (or something like that). RCP8.5 is closest to reality at the moment so the explanation needed is not why that may be wrong but why the actual temperature and CO2 levels are not matching the RCPs you are using. I don’t see it matters much where the CO2 comes from (coal, oil, land use or other) the actual level in the atmosphere gives the forcing.
          (Note in the graph RCP4.5 CO2 is above RCP6 in the years shown but fall lower later on).

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Feynman also said: “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”

          • What is the “seasonally adjusted CO2? Where is it being measured?

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi George,

            The fact is that CO2 in the atmosphere fluctuates and does not increase by the same amount each year. So do you think that emissions will rise from 2015 to 2060 following the RCP 8.5 scenario? My high scenario used the exact emissions through 2015, the RCP 8.5 scenario has emissions that are too high from 2013 to 2015, but more importantly unless one does not think fossil fuel output will peak before 2060, RCP 8.5 is not consistent with a peak fossil fuel scenario. Chart below compares RCP4.5 with my “high” scenario through 2060. Doug Leighton kindly refers to this as a fantasyland scenario and I agree, I used it to see if climate change would be out of control. As long as we attempt to “fill the gap” of declining fossil fuel energy output with wind, solar, nuclear, hydro, geothermal, wave, and fusion power (joking on fusion) and are successful (which may well be too optimistic), climate change may be manageable (under 2 C above pre-industrial if Hansen’s central estimate of 3 C for ECS is correct.

            In addition the cumulative carbon emissions from 2001 to 2060 for the High and RCP4.5 scenarios are 609 Pg and 601 Pg respectively, for RCP 8.5 C emissions are 873 Pg over the 2001-2060 period.

            Chart below compares the 3 scenarios, vertical axis is Pg of fossil fuel carbon emissions.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi George,

            We don’t have final atmospheric CO2 data for 2016 yet, so that 2016 data point is a bit pre-mature. Though 404 ppm looks like a good guess for the global data. In 1998, another strong el nino year global CO2 also increase by 2.8 ppm or 0.75%, this year was a 0.9% (last 12 months)increase.

    • GoneFishing says:

      I am fairly sure that Hansen’s message will be mostly ignored and the mass media will continue to more interested in Trump’s hair and Hillary’s e-mails than to do anything meaningful about future climate change from global warming. Mass self-delusion is the order of the day, we have come to the point of maximum problems at all levels of society and the only thing to do is put head in sand.

      To assess this level of delusion one only has to look at the assigned poverty levels in the very rich USA. A single person living alone is considered in poverty if they make less than $11,800 in a year. A family of three less than $18,500.
      Rents are higher than that around here. Combine that with fact that as soon as the poor person on assistance starts to make any money, the benefits are reduced. Don’t even think about buying health insurance.
      From 1959 the poverty line has gone from $1500 to $12,000. That is only an increase of a factor of eight. Way behind actual inflation. Good way to make the stats look better, less poor people. But then the poor get poorer and the rich get richer.

      Can a $10 and hour job lift a family out of poverty? Will just one problem or one illness put them right back into a state of financial decline? Are they constantly paying more for many things and services because they are poor and have a low credit rating? Are they essentially not part of society anymore?

      • Hansen has zero credibility with me. I’ve found his recent papers to be a pastiche of baloney. This was confirmed when one of them was rejected.

        • GoneFishing says:

          Fernando, promoting the mass self-delusion syndrome?

          • No, merely stating Hansen has no credibility with me. My distrust of Hansen arose when I read a very long paper he wrote in which he blew the timing for India’s collision with Asia. Because I’m in the oil racket I used to work with heavy duty geologists, and the collision timing is important when exploring in some regions.

            Anyway, Hansen likes to use examples from the past, gets involved in writing about geólogy, and I’ve seen his work get turned into rubble. One paper he submitted last year had so many holes it was rejected for publication. I saw that paper during the review period, before it was rejected, and indeed it was as if he cherry picks and forces data to fit whatever he wants to believe.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Ok, I would like to see those papers if you have the time to look them up for me.

            • Anyway, Hansen likes to use examples from the past, gets involved in writing about geólogy, and I’ve seen his work get turned into rubble. One paper he submitted last year had so many holes it was rejected for publication. I saw that paper during the review period, before it was rejected, and indeed it was as if he cherry picks and forces data to fit whatever he wants to believe.

              Massive amounts of psychological projection on your part, Nando. Maybe you should get yourself a mirror.

            • Nathanael says:

              Get a mirror, Fernando. You’ve been babbling about things outside your area of expertise, as if you knew what you were talking about, for years now, and you’ve refused to listen even when debunked very carefully.

            • Lightsout says:

              Hi Fernando

              The tanker counters watching floating storage are claiming that Venezuela has made 11.6 million barrel draw from floating stock.
              Just wondered if you herd anything about production.

  4. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    a sharing community

    ” The Pumpiumpe Association stands up for a conscious use of our consumer goods and wants to improve social interaction in urban neighbourhoods. We therefore promote the sharing of our rarely used personal belongings.

    In every household you can find tools, kitchenware, products for leisure and entertainment etc., you rarely need and would like to loan a nice fellow every once in a while. At the same time you would be glad if you could easily borrow things that you only need on rare occasions.

    The aim of the project Pumpipumpe is to make sharing-friendly neighbours and their objects visible and so to promote the sharing of consumer goods. With Pumpipumpe this does not happen on the Internet, but with little stickers on the letterbox, where neighbours and local residents walk past every day.That way you are able to directly contact each other to borrow a bike-pump, drill or a fondue set, get to know each other better and have to buy even less equipment.”

    Check out their map.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Jeez, Caelan, sounds like you are promoting and advocating for one of the key ideas behind the ‘Circular Economy’… sharing!

      Check out these horrible evil people using technology to reduce industrial waste and promoting community in Denmark without going back to live in a cave without electricity…

      For a monthly subscription fee, € 48, the customers will always have at their disposal 20 pieces of VIGGA clothes in their right size
      When the clothes are becoming too small, they will be replaced by a new package of clothes one size bigger
      After a strict quality inspection the returned clothes are washed at a professional laundry
      The clothes are subsequently delivered to another baby, and the circulation process is now in action The concept motivates the textile companies to produce in as high a quality as possible. The higher the quality, the more children can make use of the same piece of clothes and the better the profit become, and the textile waste is reduced by 70-85%.
      VIGGA was born as a circular concept. The basic idea of the company is to create a whole new way of consuming, based upon sharing and circulating high quality products. Earlier this year VIGGA launched a new, sustainable and high quality designer kids wear brand, and a circular IT platform that can handle the circulation between the subscribers. At the moment VIGGA is working with Design School Kolding to create design solutions to extend the life of the clothes.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        As I recently mentioned about people’s values; with regard to ‘economies’, there’s a certain degree of overlap. I’d be cautious about fixating too closely on them and missing the forest for the what? The trees, that’s right.

        It is important to understand that ‘industry’, as it is currently configured, is inequitable and operates on and within the usual coercive, violence-based legal confines and apparatus that is so-called ‘government’.

        Trump? Clinton? The vote? Circular economy? They don’t matter, at least not in a good way. Why? Because they are based on the wrong foundation. When they become based on the right foundation, rather than as a rotten one, hidden under a deceptive paint-job, is when they will matter.

        “The circular economy is a generic term for an industrial economy…” ~ Wikipedia

        There appears nothing on that page that talks about equability and/or pure/direct democracy, anarchy, permaculture’s fundamental principles of Care of Earth and Care of People, and/or stuff like that, is there?
        Show me where and we may have something, otherwise it’s just more force-/status-/elitist-driven hand-wavey pixie-dust unicorn stuff, wrapped in sparkley white-and-green paint-jobs that dupe the likes of you.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          It is important to understand that ‘industry’, as it is currently configured, is inequitable and operates on and within the usual coercive, violence-based legal confines and apparatus that is so-called ‘government’.

          Really now Caelan, could you please explain to me how this small woman owned Danish business, Vigga, fits into your explanation? I’d like to hear it! Because from where I sit it seems to be the antithesis of what you claim.

          Hey, maybe their plan is to enslave those babies or harvest their organs for nefarious uses…

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Leasing babies’ clothes? And maybe the same ones multiple times?
            That doesn’t sound like sharing to me…

            As far as is understood, Pumpipump, which defines itself at the top of its website as a sharing community, is system that facilitates a direct lending/borrowing exchange of items between locals. (I think the locals could figure out that by themselves, but maybe less easily in larger-scale areas.)

            The difference between Vigga and Pumpipump could be somewhat nutshelled in the difference between one company owning the clothes and leasing them out; and helping out the entire community that owns the clothes, pass them around.

            And indeed, you help support my formative sense about ‘circular economy’ as being merely a green-and-white-washed rebrand of the current pseudoeconomic/pseudoecologic train-wreck.

            So, kudos, and thanks for sharing. I can use it.

            “I can sum up the matter here in a single sentence: the point of money is that it makes intermediation easy.

            Intermediation… is the process by which other people insert themselves between the producer and the consumer of any good or service, and take a cut of the proceeds of the transaction. That’s very easy to do in a money economy, because—as we all know from personal experience—the intermediaries can simply charge fees for whatever service they claim to provide, and then cash in those fees for whatever goods and services they happen to want.” ~ John Michael Greer

            “… So money goes toward those who will create even more of it. But, basically economic growth means that you have to find something that was once nature and make it into a good, or was once a gift-relationship and make it into a service. You have to find something that people once got for free or did for themselves or for each other, and then take it away and sell it back to them, somehow. By turning things into commodities, we get cut off from nature in the same ways we are cut off from community.” ~ Charles Eisenstein”

            • Fred Magyar says:

              By turning things into commodities, we get cut off from nature in the same ways we are cut off from community.” ~ Charles Eisenstein”

              LOL! So does your buddy Charlie give his seminars and retreats for free? As far as I know, he generally charges two arms and a leg.

              But if you think that a business model such as Vigga’s, who design and make very high quality products locally, is just the same as buying Chinese made baby clothes at Walmart and throwing them away every few months when they are outgrown, then there is probably not much I can say to convince you otherwise.

              Enterprises such as Vigga’s are IMHO just baby steps toward change, no pun intended! We need to crawl before we can stand up and walk, let alone run. My impression is that you want to throw the baby out with the bath water.

              Though what really comes across in any attempt to engage you in a conversation is that you are just a contrarian for the sake of being a contrarian, good luck with that!

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Baby steps by an infantilistic culture. The blind leading the blind. Which way does baby go? Does baby know?

              A service that loans baby clothes is fine of course, just not within the current crony-capitalist plutarchy, which we all seem trapped in, including Eisenstein, Greer, you, me, and Vigga.
              Maybe you by the head especially.

              David Korowicz might call that ‘lock-in’.

              Perhaps we can help BAU (business-as-usual) take baby steps toward a faster decline by ‘skewing the curve’ toward something more like a Seneca Cliff.

              So one question would seem to be, what kind of baby steps are worth taking and what kind won’t really get us anywhere and just prolong the agony while feeling good about it?

              Shall we baby-step toward continued economic disparity? So we’re not even owning our own clothes anymore? Where are we getting the money for it? Who and what are we working for and why?

              Why stop with baby clothes?

              How about we continue to have corporations all own our asses from cradle to grave?

              Won’t Get Fooled Again

              “There’s nothing in the street
              Looks any different to me
              And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
              And the parting on the left
              Is now the parting on the right
              And the beards have all grown longer overnight…

              Meet the new boss
              Same as the old boss.” ~ The Who

              • GoneFishing says:

                It’s worse than that Caelan, for those who want to go backward.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Thanks for sharing, listening to it as I type…

                  Plenty of fodder for music, but it’s been a long time, and by now, I think we can safely say that those who play the music are unlikely going to be digging us out of our holes anytime soon. Some, though, like CRASS and Killing Joke have, for example, put some of their efforts where their music is and done the ecovillage and/or permaculture thing.

  5. Watcher says:

    Why is this not in the non petroleum thread

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      Is this the non-petroleum thread?

      There is an ‘open’ petroleum thread now.

      So maybe you can talk about petroleum and be all open about it this time. Cool ay?

      In any event, I think we should be getting out of the rat race and into the permaculture, transition and/or rewilding movements (and related activities) very quickly and start planting a whole lot of C02-guzzling, edible and native vegetation to kill more than one bird with one stone.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      All threads are petroleum threads! Resistance is futile and you will be assimilated, har!

    • Watcher says:

      My mistake. peakoilbarrel has the petroleum thread subordinate. imagine that

  6. Nancy Gebauer says:

    After reading a good many scientific observations about climate change in my mind the only presidential candidate for this year’s election who got it all right was Ted Cruz. His main point was that the politicians spinning the most doomsday scenarios about climate change are earning billions from the research industries supporting it, all the while our utility bills climb into the high heavens. Then you’ve got to remember failures like Solyndra. After receiving $millions in bailout money they went bankrupt. In other words they wound up a very good example for Cruz to use in showing the real agenda behind what all the climate change research is about. Then Cruz suggested asking some of the scientists how much they make in research grants to come up with new climate change theories. The honest scientists do not support the analysis of the more partisan scientists on the issue to say the least!

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Hi Nancy,

      When it comes to climate, and science, you remind me VERY MUCH of my many family members who really do believe Jonah was eaten by a whale, and coughed up alive and well, and of my liberal acquaintances who really do believe Clinton set up her secret email system for convenience rather than to hide her influence peddling ways and fast accumulating material fortune, etc.

      If you are just utterly and absolutely convinced that something is true, no amount of evidence will ever ever be enough to change your mind, lol. Great Right Wing Conspiracies, Seven Days of Creation, you name it, if it suits your agenda, you will happily swallow it whole, no questions asked, lol.

      I grew up in a hard core fundamentalist/evangelical church, and I am personally sickened by some portions of the current day liberal agenda, and scared of some other portions of it, so I really do know where you are coming from.

      But the science is real. I know, I went to a good university, and majored in agriculture, which is all about biology, chemistry, physics, and geology, meaning I took almost all my courses in these fields, plus math.

      You are hearing this from a basically conservative person. The D’s have got it right on the climate.

      The real question is whether you are real. The odds seem to be about ninety nine point nine percent that you are a troll, perhaps a paid troll, or not even that. Maybe you are just a computer program, that would make you an “it”, lol.

      That’s Fred Maygar’s opinion, and Fred is well acquainted with such programs.

      Post something to prove you are real, a reply to this comment will do.

      Now if it happens that you ARE real, here’s something for you to chew on.

      One of the biggest reasons the R party is running Trump, who will lose, and who is the WORST candidate in major party history by a mile, is that ignorant people such as yourself fell for the R party line that climate science is bogus.

      Fortunately there are enough people in the country these days who know a little basic science that that particular dog won’t hunt any more, not at the national level any way.

      Incidentally how many of your younger relatives have criminal records because they smoked a little pot, while the old folks get stoned on alcohol, which is a thousand times more dangerous? While you are at it, do you want to tell us how dangerous pot is, maybe even as you have a little nippy ?

      If you are real, I apologize for implying that you are an alky. Prove your reality.

      • VK says:

        Not so sure on the Clinton landslide, with the FBI bombshell yesterday, Trump looks like he’s going to win. (Climate change is something that’s never going to be taken seriously until the effects become truly deleterious and that could take years more.)
        AI which has predicted last 3 elections, says Trump will win.
        A professor who has predicted every single election since 1984 also predicts Trump win
        ABC/Wapo poll showing the Clinton lead has shrunk from 12 points to just 2 (within the margin of error) and two polls have him leading.

        • I’m worried by Clinton’s amateurish performance as Secretary of State, her dishonesty, and her health. On the other hand Trump is a nutty millionaire with a really disgusting populist political approach. This proves my point that USA is a nag which ain’t what she used to be. The nation is simply mired with a decayed political system which in this century delivered poor candidates and awful presidents.

          • Lloyd says:

            You’re trying to set up a false equivalency here, and it’s bullshit.

            Re: Hillary’s “dishonesty”: Yes indeed. Bring on more of that ol’ Bush /Cheney truthfulness to get you into another war in the Middle East based on lies, that Regan truthfulness to get you into a mess in the Middle East and South America, that ol’ Nixon truthfulness to get you into trouble in your own damn country. Jeez, even Lincoln had to weasel to get into power.

            Lying’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

            Those Republican paragons of virtue, of course, don’t come close to Trump’s volume of lies or outright disregard for the nature of reality (though disregard for the nature of reality has become a feature to the right-wing base in the intervening years.)

            But Hillary….her efforts to avoid intractable IT problems (to put the best possible spin on it ( ) and deal with a sexual/marital/political relationship that may be unconventional (assuming some combination of open marriage/bisexuality, etc.) are issues that make her unsuitable for government? I say, once again, feature, not bug. Deal making and dissembling to play the long game is not part of the job, it is the job. Anyone who says different is just trying to sway the stupid.

            As for her health, you’re just another no-evidence fear-mongerer. I mean, what about Trump’s syphilis? (And yes, I have just as much evidence for that claim as you have for Hillary’s general health. 🙂 ) Trump is older and fatter, and less disciplined: I’d give you three to one odds on Hillary being in better shape after 8 years as President (even assuming that Hillary did the actual work and Trump did some kind of Bush/Cheney “nap while the surrogate does the work.”)

            You’re correct in your description of Trump, of course 🙂 … though I notice you weren’t effusive in calling out his flaws (what about Trump’s dishonesty, since you see fit to mention Hillary’s?), his health, or describing just why his political approach was “disgusting”. “Nuttiness” is not really descriptive, either. You might as well talk about his “Madcap” antics. Give me useful words like “Narcisist” and “Sociopath” if you want to convince me you’re impartial.

            (Note: heavily re-edited after posting…took me awhile to figure out that I was having too much fun ranting and that I should state my thesis at the top.)

            • Presidents are elected for four year terms.

              As I wrote I think both candidates are terrible. I also happen to think Bush II was awful, while I’d say Clinton was only bad (a lot of what Clinton got done was thanks to having a GOP congress, back in the days when the GOP was much more responsible and mature).

              I can’t decide which of those two is going to cause less damage, each of them brings unique dangers. But I’m leaning towards Trump because he’s going to get less cover from the GOP, while I see the democrats backing whatever idiocy Hillary gets in her head.


              • Lloyd says:

                Presidents are elected for four year terms.

                That’s your complaint?

                They can serve for eight years, and the incumbent has an advantage going for the second term. I know that, and I’m not even a US’er.

                But I’m leaning towards Trump because he’s going to get less cover from the GOP, while I see the democrats backing whatever idiocy Hillary gets in her head.

                Please. I lived through four years of Rob Ford, who is the closest analogue to Trump in recent history. And I can say from experience: elect stupid, and you get stupid.

                Once you’re down the rabbit hole, nothing makes sense or can be predicted. The smallness of all politicians- their self-serving need to feel important and to get re-elected- makes them take the path of least resistance. The fact that Republicans are still supporting him tells us that they are not going to put the brakes on him. Your argument is not about good government: it is a purely ideological turd that you are trying to sugar coat.

              • Fernando said:

                “But I’m leaning towards Trump “


        • Oldfarmermac says:

          I have been ninety nine point nine percent sure Clinton will win for some time, barring some extraordinarily unlikely new surprises.

          These new emails are that sort of surprise, but too little to late imo to matter now.

          SURE she wants to get to the bottom of it, which is why all her people went to be questioned lawyered up like bankers and Mafia king pins, with some them taking the Fifth to avoid answering questions, and Clinton herself pleading ignorance and amnesia, the level of ignorance she professed being adequate to justify refusing to hire a clerk or janitor in an environment where sensitive materials and data are handled. Let’s not forget she is supposedly well educated in respect to the law. Really.

          She’s still going to win. More people are scared silly of Trump than Clinton, and that’s the key to this election.

          Trump is worse, ethically, and a damned conceited self centered egotistical fool on top of that.

          But if he had been smart enough to hire good campaign people, and he had listened to them, he probably could have won, since so many people detest Clinton.

          There are more than a few people who believe he is deliberately sabotaging himself and the R party for any or all of several possible reasons. I am tempted to believe this myself, but it’s a little too far over the top for me.

          The more likely explanation is that he is just a damned fool- unless he wins, in which case he will have made a fool out of me, for being so sure he will lose.

          There is, in my opinion, a serious possibility he will bolt the R party and take a good sized chunk of the foot soldier core with him. If this happens, the R party is more or less history.

          But the D party might suffer quite a bit as well, because some of the more conservative Democrats and middle of the road voters might join up with the more liberalish or less conservative Republicans, and form a new hybrid party that might be competitive.

          My opinion though is that the D’s are going to come out of this election holding the high ground for the easily foreseeable future. The D core is younger and growing in numbers and influence, whereas the R core is older and mostly headed for the nursing home or the cemetery.

          It’s going to take a generation for the smell of Trump to dissipate sufficiently that a typical young woman or minority voter will even consider voting R, regardless of what the R party platform might be in future elections.

          • VK says:

            The latest polls aren’t going in Hilary’s favour, Trump has the clear momentum and enthusiastic support, ABC/WaPo lead has been cut from 12 points to 1 point for HRC in a week and that with a skew of +10 for the Dems in the likely voters category.

            “METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Oct. 26-29, 2016, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,165 likely voters. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 37-27-30 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.”

            Roughly 34-40% of voters likely to vote for Hilary are now LESS inclined to do so from a Fox poll and a Rasmussen poll, after the FBI bombshell. People still trust the FBI, a potential president under indictment charges for criminal conduct is not appealing.

            Also early voting data analysis by the NY Times shows that her voting base isn’t enthusiastic at all, millennials and black voters are staying home compared to the Obama campaigns –

            Heck, Trump is leading in the polls amongst Latinos in Florida by a spread of 10 the last I checked.

            • VK says:

              HRC has achieved the unenviable record of becoming even more unpopular than Trump amongst the electorate –

              Out of HUNDRED’s of potential democratic presidential nominees, the dem party shot itself in the foot by choosing her. Someone with far less baggage like Elizabeth Warren could’ve done waaay better.

              • Nathanael says:

                HRC was, certainly, the worst possible candidate for the Dems to nominate. (There’s a reason I campaigned for Bernie, and it was hard-headed practicality.) She’s still overwhelmingly likely to win because Trump is so awful and shoots himself in the foot so impressively. Even with dirty tricks being played by Comey, who’s breaking the law by releasing “leaks” against Clinton, while Comey simultaneously is covering up some really nasty stuff linking Trump to Putin and the Russian Mob — it’s unlikely to be enough.

      • CameronB says:

        From the pov of under educated conservatives, the environmental movement in general (nvm the whole climate change issue) is a pinko commie liberal plot with roots in taking over the economy and controlling all aspects of peoples life. To this side, it is a completely rational conclusion, since they think they caught some people in the research lying their a$$ off, in which case they reason everything else those people in the research say is also probably a lie.

        • GoneFishing says:

          The constant confusion between environmentalists and political parties is quite disheartening.
          A liberal is interested in human liberty and equality.
          An environmentalist is interested in nature, animals and their having a place in the world to live and grow. Any destructive or toxic activity is fought against.
          Liberals want you to live better , environmentalists just want you to go away.
          Conservatives want your money and your effort to improve their lot. They also want to do as they wish without much responsibility while making you believe it’s good for you so you don’t burn down their castles.

          See the difference. totally different mind sets.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      His main point was that the politicians spinning the most doomsday scenarios about climate change are earning billions from the research industries supporting it, all the while our utility bills climb into the high heavens.

      Ok Nancy, I’ll bite, show us the numbers please!

  7. Oldfarmermac says:

    Musk and Tesla are still on a roll.

    They showed off their new style of solar panels that will pass muster from an esthetic point of view last night, and they are going to go over big in my opinion, at least among people who can afford Tesla S automobiles, lol.

    And of course the price per kWh of the associated battery backup system is coming down too.

    In 2040 the patents will have expired.

    With a little luck I might live to see the average new house in this country built to net zero energy specs, or at least very close.

    If an entire roof, or at least one half the roof of a house properly oriented to the sun is built from such panels, right off the rafters, it could be that a new roof will not be needed for the lifetime of the original owner, although the panel output might drop off by half or more in fifty years.

    Tempered glass is incredibly durable stuff.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Not such a good idea Old Farmer Mac. Having panels supported on frames above a roof allows air to travel behind the panels keeping them cooler and more efficient during the summer when the most light is available. Placing them as the roof exposes them to the hot air space of an attic and allows no air flow for cooling.
      Also the external panels act as a sun shade for the house, reducing needs for air conditioning. As part of the roof they would transmit heat directly into the attic space.
      Losing 10 to 15% efficiency due to heat in the best part of the year is not great idea, unless the panels are so inexpensive that extra area can be covered.
      I see it appealing to the richer set who are hide bound to have the “aesthetic” look of shingles.

      • GoneFishing says:

        I do wonder how Tesla measured the efficiency of the roof shingle panels. PV has the ability to use diffuse radiation. With the shingles being opaque at lower angles of view, that implies less diffuse radiation entering the PV array.
        Maybe the efficiency was measured using direct radiation. Something to check into.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi GF,

        I agree. Standard roofing practice on framed houses has the attic air space cooled with vents as needed in the soffit and eaves, or thru the roof sometimes, so as to keep from over heating the house. Sometimes fans are used to augment natural circulation in the attic space.

        There would necessarily be an air space, for circulation. It would most likely be located between the rafters and the panels, except for one thing. That route would still require a watertight roof underneath the panels, and replacing that would most likely require r and r of the solar panels.

        My impression, looking at the pictures provided is that the panels will be installed in such a way that they themselves serve as the roof.

        Your point about cooling still stands. If the panels are mounted directly to rafters or other framing materials, such as metal trusses, there will have to be adequate air circulation underneath to keep them cool.

        My guess is that having fans to force feed adequate air thru the attic space will be the most practical solution, assuming the panels CAN pull double duty as the roof. The panels themselves would be directly exposed from the inside.


        Too much guesswork and not enough information. 😉

        • GoneFishing says:

          I doubt if the panels are the roof structure itself, probably attached directly to the roof sheathing or through the sheathing to the rafters.
          Like I say though, one would need careful examination of their testing methods or test the panels independently to see if they actually are up to snuff in efficiency. They may be close, but even a 10 percent loss is significant over time.

      • Ulenspiegel says:

        “Losing 10 to 15% efficiency due to heat in the best part of the year is not great idea, unless the panels are so inexpensive that extra area can be covered.”

        I am completely ignorant in respect to US building costs. However, if the PV panels (1 kW(p) are 7 sqm, 1400 EUR) substitute 250 EUR roof tiles in Germany, 10-15% loss of generated electricity during a few summer days would still be considered a good deal.

        A modern German roof would have a thick thermal insulation under the roof tiles, the shading factor of the on-roof PV system is quite limited.

        • GoneFishing says:

          No insulation under the roof shingles here in the US where Tesla is located. Except in certain fire prone areas, roofing shingles are fairly cheap here. However, that still does not cool the panels, in fact it might make them hotter to have insulation under them.
          Losses in places like Arizona or Southern California (and most southern states) would be year round and even greater loss of efficiency.
          I guess if you don’t mind losing about a month’s worth of electric a year or spending several thousand dollars more to cover more roof area, it’s OK. Might age the panels faster too.

          • I got an idea, we can put a fake roof with these solar shingles on top of the real roof, leave a two foot crawl space between them with a wide open air circulation path, and use that space to install a set of pipes connected to sprinklers needed to wash the roof on a weekly basis.

            The extra solar energy can be stored in a giant battery placed in a subbasement located under the regular basement, which will store electricity for up to two weeks just in case it starts storming and snowing in winter time, when sunlight is available less than 10 hours a day even on clear days.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Very funny but perceptive Fernando.
              I do take your point about having too little sun for too long a period of time. That did happen here once, a phenomenal 7 week period that was very cloudy, had heavy rain storms here from August into Sept. Got more than a half year’s rain over that period.
              There will occur rare times when weather patterns do not allow for normal use.

              PV will gather diffuse light, but if one was depending only on PV, emergency cut-back of usage would be needed to get through those rare circumstances unless the system was way overbuilt.
              Wintertime is not a problem even as far north as Great Britain.
              Up there they use a lot of wind power.
              Storing power as hydrogen would get one through the low times. No need for huge batteries.

              • Nick G says:

                a phenomenal 7 week period that was very cloudy, had heavy rain storms here from August into Sept.

                Those storms produced a lot of wind. Wind and solar have a nice inverse correlation.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  I only tracked the precipitation so don’t know how much wind there was. There was so much rain and so little light my second planting failed that season.

  8. Doug Leighton says:


    “The research, based on a new climate model taking greater account of cloud changes, shows that as the planet gets warmer, fewer clouds will form. This means that less sunlight is reflected back into space, driving temperatures up further still. This study breaks new ground twice: first by identifying what is controlling the cloud changes and second by strongly discounting the lowest estimates of future global warming in favour of the higher and more damaging estimates.

    “Climate skeptics like to criticize climate models for getting things wrong, and we are the first to admit they are not perfect, but what we are finding is that the mistakes are being made by the models which predict less warming, not those that predict more.”

    • Fred Magyar says:

      “Climate skeptics like to criticize climate models for getting things wrong,

      I’m betting 8.98 out of 10 climate skeptics can’t even understand basic algebra… how are they even remotely qualified to criticize climate models?

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Fred, I refer mostly to reactionary people (like Dennis) who are hung up on CO2 and not giving sufficient attention to feedback as climate drivers. Any high school student should be able to calculate CO2 warming. BUT, it’s the loss of Arctic ice which is of of particular concern, ice which is disappearing fast. Not only is albedo decreasing but its loss triggers various positive feedbacks. For example, humidity increases so water vapour, another powerful greenhouse gas, quickly comes into play. More ice melts, which exposes more water, which melts more ice from underneath. This is, in fact, a really good example of positive feedback. And, increased water vapour has another effect: to increase the amount of cloud. Clouds increase albedo (a negative feedback), but also warming (a positive feedback). These are the kind of areas where research needs to be concentrated, not CO2 which has been discussed ad nauseum.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Sorry for the rant Fred: I realize you know this stuff as well a anyone.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Doug, the albedo changes are happening without changes in cloud cover. They will be enough to feedback the loss of much of the ice and snow on earth. Decreased levels of clouds will add to the total radiation input, thus exacerbating the darkening earth that is happening now.

            I don’t like the use of 2100, makes it sound impossible to stop, doesn’t it? Makes it too personal.
            I look at a 3 year old boy in the neighborhood and think, that boy will reap the rewards we have set in motion. That little highly active person will be living in a world we helped make, one mostly unrecognizable to us or at least one that is changing so fast naturally that our heads would spin. Maybe he will be wondering why his children are all dead or dying. Why the animals have disappeared.
            And yet the petty, stupid arguments keep going on and on. Exponential Lilliputians.
            God help us, can we ever forgive ourselves.

            • Doug Leighton says:

              “God help us, can we ever forgive ourselves.”

              No, we can’t, but we don’t have to: it’s God’s fault. Actually He realized 2000 years ago His children were screwed up: bad brain wiring. Rather than rewire and then reprogram thousands (of us) He decided to start over on new planet at Alpha Centauri. Big concern now is we’re going to somehow screw that planet as well. If that happens will He ever forgive Himself?

              Bad planning and engineering I’d say.

              • GoneFishing says:

                Unless, we actually have the correct wiring and this is the plan all along.

                • Doug Leighton says:

                  There’s that possibility in which case God is a cruel, evil and conniving son of a bitch: pretty much what I concluded by my 10th birthday.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Listen to Tim, I think he addresses both the wiring and the cruelty issues quite well here:

                    Tim Minchin, Thank you GOD!

                    BTW, What kind of lousy designer or optical engineer would come up a human eye?!

                    Problem: The photoreceptor cells in the retina of the eye are like microphones facing backward, writes Nathan Lents, an associate professor of molecular biology at the City University of New York. This design forces light to travel the length of each cell, as well as through blood and tissue, to reach the equivalent of a receiver on the cell’s backside. The setup may encourage the retina to detach from its supporting tissue—a leading cause of blindness. It also creates a blind spot where cell fibers, akin to microphone cables, converge at the optic nerve—making the brain refill the hole.

                    Fix: Poach the obvious solution from the octopus or the squid: Just flip the retina.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Fred, good song choice. Gives anecdotal proof of the human group ability to heal maladies through chanting. Or the Devil just pulls our strings once in a while, small acts of healing and an occasional hole in one or lottery win to give us false hope. Then back to the normal disease, war, murder and horrors of family life.

                    Just blame all that detachment on TV or computers.
                    Most likely though the person belonged to the wrong church and hundreds of people did not pray for that person and the Devil was busy elsewhere helping someone ruin their life by making bad choices they thought were good.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          BUT, it’s the loss of Arctic ice which is of is of particular concern, ice which is disappearing fast. Not only is albedo decreasing but its loss triggers various positive feedbacks. For example, humidity increases so water vapour, another powerful greenhouse gas, quickly comes into play.

          Ok, point taken.

          Granted, to be able to read most of the good papers you probably need to either be affiliated with a professional or academic entity or be willing to pay to read the papers.

          Case in point:


          Arctic amplification dominated by temperature feedbacks in contemporary climate models

          Felix Pithan & Thorsten Mauritsen

          Though one can also find free access to other papers often by the same scientists.

          Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems

          Select strengths and biases of models in representing the
          Arctic winter boundary layer over sea ice: the Larcform 1 single
          column model intercomparison.

          Anyways, I totally agree that at this point focusing exclusively on CO2 emissions and ignoring feedbacks is to totally miss the elephant in the room.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            “Granted, to be able to read most of the good papers you probably need to either be affiliated with a professional or academic entity or be willing to pay to read the papers.”

            You also need to be able to look at equations and decide if they’re there to make “science” look creditable or actually contribute to the analysis. Looking at the Bern Carbon Model I saw a string of differential equations without any apparent connection to actual physical conditions. If I’d done this on a university exam my mark would have likely have been a C minus with a caustic comment thrown in designed to humiliate me (and rightly so). Far too much of published material is clouded by pseudo-science in the form of iffy equations with a poor connection to the real world. BTW, Most studies suggest that at the global scale, warming leads to a release of CO2 from the land/ocean system to the atmosphere. I’d be interesting to know where that ends.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Looking at the Bern Carbon Model I saw a string of differential equations without any apparent connection to actual physical conditions.

              Which is why I referred to the papers in the links I posted and not the Bern Carbon Model.

              Disclaimer: To be fair I haven’t spent a lot of time studying the Bern Carbon Model. I’m reading up on it now.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Doug,

              I guess you would have to talk with Joos about that. He would tell you that you need to read the papers that are referenced.

              There are many different carbon models and the most recent paper by Joos et al tries to emulate them using a simple set of exponential equations, this is just a simplification so that one can simulate changes in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with out using a more complex model.

              So it seems you don’t think the scientists know what they are doing. Where have I heard that before? 🙂

              Try this paper by Archer, which I thought was good, but I may not be as sophisticated as you at picking out pseudo-science. The paper is widely cited (but perhaps all the pseudo-scientists have cited it). Note that Euan Mearns thought it was bunk, but I often disagree with Euan.


            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Doug,

              Eventually the ocean approaches an equilibrium in temperature relative to the radiative forcing, much of the CO2 released is due to an increase in the ocean temperature and reduced solubility of CO2 at higher temperature. Eventually the mixing with the deep ocean reaches an equilibrium and then CO2 gradually gets absorbed (at this point global temperatures have reached their peak. Also the concept of CO2 continually being released is under an assumption of continued emissions, once emissions decrease below a certain threshold CO2 is absorbed by the Earth system, but the warming ocean will reduce the rate the CO2 is sequestered.

              • Doug Leighton says:

                Great, now I can relax even though the geologist in me retains doubts about the equilibrium part. 🙂

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Doug,

                  I thought I said as it approaches equilibrium. That is theoretical (assuming all else remains equal, which is always incorrect in the real world), I agree equilibrium is unlikely to be reached, ever.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Fred,

            You do realize of course that much of the warming is caused by the changes in CO2 in the atmosphere and the associated feedbacks, at least since 1850. So when one makes the simplification of using the equilibrium climate sensitivity(ECS) and its relationship to changes in radiative forcing. I often use changes in carbon dioxide for simplicity, clearly there are other greenhouse gases (though many of them do not remain in the atmosphere for as long as CO2, methane for example) and the ECS is often define in terms of the change in equilibrium global temperature in response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2.

            The models consider much more than carbon and the various RCP scenarios include carbon, methane, SOx, NOx, VOC, Black carbon, and many other Montreal Protocol and other HFCs. I take the values of all these “other” green house gases and “other” carbon emissions from cement production and land use change for the RCP4.5 scenario and then change only the fossil fuel emissions to match my scenarios and put it in the MAGICC 6 emulator. This simplified climate model (and earlier versions of the model) has featured prominently in IPCC reports.

            Note that the default carbon model is the median of 9 different carbon models that are emulated by MAGICC (which is what I use).

            Do you guys all think the climate models are pseudo=science?

            I do not.

            In fact based on a paper covering the GISS Model E2 for future climate based on RCPs, I decided to look at the average of RCP2.6 and RCP4.5 which looked like it may keep us close to 2 C. One thing I missed was that the methane emissions are very different in the two scenarios so I should have averaged those as well. The “RCP3.6” scenario is slightly low because the RCP 2.6 scenario’s methane emissions were used. The future methane emissions are difficult to predict, any emissions from natural gas production may decrease but natural emissions may increase due to polar amplification, the net result is unclear.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Do you guys all think the climate models are pseudo=science?

              No, Dennis of course not, quite the contrary!

              I don’t want to put words in Doug’s mouth since I get the impression he can defend himself quite competently.

              However if I grasp his main point, with which I happen to agree, that simply focusing on the long term CO2 emissions trends, will not give us an accurate picture of the risks we face due to multiple feedbacks and forcings already in the pipeline.

              As such these are not adequately captured and addressed in some of the more simplified models. I happen to think that his concerns and criticisms are well founded.

              Therefore I tend to be rather more pessimistic regarding our future climate outlook than you. And I won’t even get started addressing either marine or land based ecosystem tipping points.
              such as the ones identified in a study by Professor Sybren Drijfhout from Ocean and Earth Science at the University of Southampton.


              Scientists have identified potential ‘tipping points’ where abrupt regional climate shifts could occur due to global warming. The scientists analyzed the climate model simulations on which the recent 5th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports are based. They found evidence of 41 cases of regional abrupt changes in the ocean, sea ice, snow cover, permafrost and terrestrial biosphere. Many of these events occur for global warming levels of less than two degrees, a threshold sometimes presented as a safe limit…
              … “This illustrates the high uncertainty in predicting tipping points,” says lead author Professor Sybren Drijfhout from Ocean and Earth Science at the University of Southampton. “More precisely, our results show that the different state-of-the-art models agree that abrupt changes are likely, but that predicting when and where they will occur remains very difficult. Also, our results show that no safe limit exists and that many abrupt shifts already occur for global warming levels much lower than two degrees,” he adds.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Fred,

                You would need to look at the paper on MAGICC 6,, it emulates 19 of the cmip3 aogcms. All the feedbacks except ice sheets are included.

                Are they perfect? No!
                Just the best I have easy access to.

                Doug is not concerned with carbon emissions, but they are the main cause of the problem and an appropriate focus.

                I follow David Archer ‘s view on that point, he is one of the Real Climate contributors.

                • Doug Leighton says:

                  “Doug is not concerned with carbon emissions…”

                  I presume that’s a joke; of course I’m concerned with emissions. What concerns me are simplistic projections together with dismissal of complex feedback mechanisms increasingly coming into play all triggered by a HUGE pulse of CO2. Give me a fucking break Dennis.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Doug,

                    You said reactionary people like me are too concerned with carbon emissions and not enough with feedbacks.

                    I am concerned with carbon emissions because there are feedbacks, which is fairly well understood (cloud feedback, not that well, but water vapor, lapse rate, and albedo feedbacks pretty well).

                    The MAGICC 6 model emulates 19 atmospheric-ocean coupled global climate models used in AR4 and 9 carbon models that are coupled to the AOGCMs to emulate earth system models. The output simulates the A1B SRES scenario (similar to RCP6) quite closely.

                    Those models include the feedbacks, so I am unclear on your criticism. There is uncertainty which I attempt to show by the different equilibrium climate sensitivity used from 2.2 to 3.6 C which covers most of the range of 19 AOGCMs emulated (range from 1.9 to 4.1C), one model was an outlier with ECS=5.5C. The model mean ECS was 2.88 C with all 19 models and 2.7 with 18 of 19 models (when ECS=5.5 C was dropped).

                    I agree with you that the knowledge of how big the feedbacks will be is imperfect.

                    I also agree they are important, which is why I use a model to include them rather than hand wave.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  I don’t see any ice and snow parameters in MAGICC 6. No albedo change parameters. Also the CH4 inputs fall very quickly, which implies no increase in natural CH4 inputs as temperature rises.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Dennis, I think we seem to be fast approaching a tipping point in our posts on this topic 🙂

                  To be fair, I think you are mischaracterizing Doug’s position when you say he is unconcerned with CO2 emissions.

                  Since you bring up Real Climate perhaps we would all do well to revisit this post from way back in 2006 regarding ‘Tipping Points’ in papers on Climate Science.


                  Runaway tipping points of no return
                  Filed under: Climate modelling Climate Science Reporting on climate — gavin @ 5 July 2006

                  I’m sure all of us, myself included, would find support for our own theses on climate modeling in this post. While at the same time we would also find some opposing thoughts to our concerns.

                  In my own case, as I have very frequently mentioned, I am most concerned with unknown unknowns and black swan tipping points in ecosystems experiencing climate change! I therefore strongly feel that my view is strongly vindicated. The rest of you unwise blind men examining other parts of the elephant are just plain wrong! 🙂

                  By far the most common examples of tipping points though are in relation to ecosystems. The extremely complex web of interdependencies that keep ecosystems dynamic and healthy give rise to plenty of potential thresholds and it is extremely difficult to predict consequences of external changes. The myriad influences on the health of ecosystems (habitat loss, logging, urbanization, species introduction etc. as well as climate change) means that it is most likely here that the tipping point concept will be most applicable. Examples such as a rise in minimum winter temperatures that allow a new insect species to gain a foothold in a new ecosystem (pine bark beetles in Alaska), or warming that leads to movement upward in altitude of ecosystem zones that end up reducing the area of existing alpine biomes. As the planet warms, it is easy to imagine an increasing number of ‘tipping points’ being passed, each related to some different sub-system of the climate or biosphere.

                  Who cares about CO2 emission trends, super cooled cloud boundary layers or the microphysics of ice particle formation. We all know the models are flawed anyway! And the only thing that might sway the opinion of true ‘Skeptics’ is when we start seeing microcephalic Inuit babies because mutant Zika spreading mosquitoes start breeding in what used to be the frozen tundra!

                  Until then, lets just keep burning as much fossil fuel as possible. Our country and the economy; Uber Alles!


                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Fred,

                    Doug said I focus too much on carbon emissions, my thesis based on this comment was that I should not focus on carbon emissions in Doug’s opinion.

                    Clearly Doug doesn’t think that, I guess he meant less focus on carbon emissions.

                    In any case, the feedbacks are included in the model. The MAGICC emulator tries to match the output of the CMIP3 models using a less complex program.

          • Synapsid says:


            The site EurekAlert is a good start. It’s abstracts and public releases from a range of research bodies. It’s hosted by AAAS and funded by the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). There are no ads.

            There’s also PLoS, the Public Library of Science, and, I believe, Nature Communications is now open access; I saw something a few days back.

            Abstracts are all that’s read in most cases so the above will take you a long way.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Doug,

          I understand that all very well as do the people who develop the climate models.

          As I have said many times, the changes in water vapor are included in the models, the changes in sea ice, also included, changes in snow cover are also included as is the effect that the change in albedo has on radiative forcing.

          there are many more articles at

          Just scroll down to general documentation.

          I know you think it’s very funny to say it’s all included in the models.

          Most stuff is included, ice sheets are not yet but they are working on it.

          In the Northern hemisphere ice sheets are currently one tenth the size of Northern hemisphere ice sheets during the last glacial maximum so albedo effects from changes in the size of ice sheets are likely to be one tenth as large as the transition which occurred from 22,000 BP to 8000 BP, where temperature changed by roughly 3.5 C based on Shakun at al 2012. About 1.5 C of temperature change would be expected due to the change in CO2 and the associated fast feedbacks as water vapor increases in the atmosphere due to warming. The other 2 C would be due to changes in the ice sheets and vegetation and their affect on albedo and the associated feedbacks (water vapor due to warming). As ice sheets are now 10 times smaller and most of the change in ice sheets size was in the Northern hemisphere we might expect a change of 1.7 C from a similar change in atmospheric CO2 (on a logarithmic basis). That would be like going from 280 ppm to 400 ppm. Also note that the 3.5 C change in temperature is to the Holocene Climactic optimum which was 0.4 C above the 1961-1990 average temperature based on Marcott et al 2013 and about 0.8 C above pre-industrial. We do not know how quickly the Greenland ice sheet will melt, it might be tens of thousands of years, by which time atmospheric CO2 will have fallen to lower levels.

          I base my views on the science and reasonable estimates of available fossil fuels.

          I have asked before and I believe you have chosen not to answer.

          Do you think scenarios with 5000 Pg of carbon emissions (3 times higher than my “high” scenarios) are reasonable?

          That is the level of carbon emissions from the RCP8.5 scenario from 1800 to 2200.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            What I believe Dennis is that you focus too much on carbon emissions which have almost become a secondary issue. And it’s a joke to say that feedback has been included in the models because feedback is poorly understood — at best. What happens in the Arctic (and with clouds and possibly things not yet properly envisioned) will determine our future. But, feel free to play with simplistic models if it turns your crank and helps you project a rosy future for one-and-all.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Doug,

              I choose to focus on what we have control over.

              You really think the Global climate models are simple?

              I follow the lead of scientists such as David Archer, who suggests the focus should be on carbon emissions.

              Your claim that it is all determined by the Arctic, perhaps is true, but I do not believe scientists are agreed on that point.

              So yes I will stick with simple models that include all of the feedbacks you have mentioned. Some feedbacks such as the amount of methane emissions as the Arctic warms are not well known. From 1984 to 2015 the average rate of increase in global methane in the atmosphere has increased at 0.28% per year. As natural gas production peaks and declines this may peak and decline as well, especially when global population peaks and declines after 2070 as agricultural emissions may be reduced.

              All we can do is try to counteract the damage done, we cannot go back in time.

              The scenario is not rosy, it is a plan for what might be achieved.

              Focusing on what is wrong with no plan for improving things is a waste of time in my opinion.

              What do you propose we do, if we are to set carbon emissions aside (as you seem to think they are not important)?

              • Fred Magyar says:

                What do you propose we do, if we are to set carbon emissions aside (as you seem to think they are not important)?

                Of course they are important and we should be leaving fossil fuels behind even faster than we originally thought might be necessary. The risks which current models are not good at showing might be far greater than what we have imagined in the past.

                What we need to do is much more research and build even better models and develop more realistic risk assessment!

                The bottom line is that the artificial 2C safety threshold might not be safe at all due to feedback mechanisms and possible domino effect of multiple cascading tipping points.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Fred,

                  Keep in mind that the Holocene climactic Optimum was about 0.8 C above “pre-industrial” temperature (usually 1850-1880 or 1850-1900 average temperature). The Eemian interglacial was somewhat warmer, maybe 1.5 C above “pre-industrial”. The mid-Pliocene warm period was warmer still at about 2 C above “pre-industrial” temperature. We will see much higher sea levels, though it is not clear how quickly ice sheets will melt, we need better ice sheet models, on that we likely agree. There may be tipping points, the science is not very clear on where these are.

                  Should we be cautious because of this uncertainty?


                  Should we give up on trying to find solutions to the problems we have created?

                  Absolutely not!

                • GoneFishing says:

                  I see no evidence of ice/snow or H2O vapor increases when I run the MAGICC6 model. Almost all of the forcing by 2100 is CO2 and a small forcing for other GHG’s. That leaves albedo and H2O as having no radiative effect in the model
                  CH4 also falls off dramatically by 2100, so no inclusion for natural CH4 release with increases in temperature.
                  I will take that model as below baseline for actual temperature and radiative forcing results.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    In the initial model, methane falls very little, even though natural gas output falls to zero by 2060 and population peaks in 2070 and starts to fall after that (so agricultural emissions would tend to be less).

                    In the scenario at the end of the post methane emissions are similar to the RCP2.6 scenario from 2100 to 2500.

                    The thinking here is that even though there are no emissions from natural gas output, there will continue to be some agricultural emissions plus an increase in natural emissions due to warming. As the warming is lower in my scenario, one would expect the methane emissions from warming would be lower as well( relative to the RCP4.5 or higher scenarios).

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    The increased water vapor and reduced snow and ice due to feedbacks are not made explicit in MAGICC, the radiative forcing includes all of the radiative forcing (including the feedbacks) that results from the increase in greenhouse gases over preindustrial levels.

                    In the case of RCP6 we get 5.7 W/m^2 in 2100, with a temperature increase of 3 C in 2100. Note that the RCP6 scenario is not very realistic as fossil fuel carbon emissions from 1800-2100 are 1541 Pg of Carbon. By contrast my high fossil fuel scenario has 1148 Pg of fossil fuel carbon emissions over the same period. RCP4.5 is more realistic (if one believes fossil fuel resources are relatively high compared to the medium estimates of Steve Mohr and Jean Laherrere) with fossil fuel carbon emissions of 1105 Pg.

                    More conservative estimates of fossil fuel availability (consistent with Steve Mohr’s low case) are closer to RCP2.6. My low case is 839 Pg of fossil fuel carbon emissions and RCP2.6 is 660 Pg from 1800-2100. The average of the RCP2.6 and RCP4.5 scenarios is about 873 Pg of fossil fuel C emissions from 1800-2100. The average of these two scenarios (“RCP3.6”) is fairly close to the fossil fuel C emissions in my medium scenario (967 Pg from 1800-2100).

                    For RCP4.5 the temperature is 2.4 C above pre-industrial in 2100 and RF from GHG is 4.4 W/m^2 based on MAGIC 6 using the best model parameters, see the paper from the MAGICC website Table B3.


                    Also the following paper is of interest


                    I can only access the supplementary information.

                    The paper below discusses RCP emulation by magicc 6


                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Ok, so the 4.5 scenario gives 2.4 C rise which would cause an RF of 4.8 w/m2 just from increased water vapor. The result of 4.4 w/m2 from GHG shows that no water vapor component is included. Did you access the amount of RF due to CO2 in that model scenario?

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gonefishing,


                    Table 1 in the paper above on the GISS Model E2 (CMIP5) model suggests about 2.9 C above preindustrial (PI) in 2100 for RCP6, similar to the MAGICC 6 emulation (average of 6 different models run). For RCP4.5 (a more realistic scenario in my view than RCP6) temperature above PI is 2.35 C (average of 6 different models).

                    The following paper


                    suggests that the E2-R model may match historical temperature from 1979-2005 better than the E2-H model, it also does better over the longer 1850-2012 period. See figure 7 and table 7 in that paper.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Gone Fishing,

        The IPCC covers radiative forcing at link below

        You may notice that on the water vapor feedback (FAQ8.1) they say that tropospheric water vapour (typically below 10 km altitude) is not considered to be an anthropogenic gas contributing to radiative forcing.

        In the stratosphere an extra 1 K of temperature can result in 7% more water vapor being retained by the stratosphere . Note that you seem to be using surface temperatures to find the amount of water vapor (because the MAGICC model does not give us stratosphere temperature). The IPCC says water vapor at the surface has little effect. They also say:

        Although an increase in atmospheric water vapour has been observed, this change is recognized as a climate feedback (from increased atmospheric temperature) and should not be interpreted as a radiative forcing from anthropogenic emissions.

        That is why you do not find it in the MAGICC output under RF. They go on to say:

        Therefore, although CO2 is the main anthropogenic control knob on climate, water vapour is a strong and fast feedback that amplifies any initial forcing by a typical factor between two and three. Water vapour is not a significant initial forcing, but is nevertheless a fundamental agent of climate change.

        They also explain that without the increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere, temperature and water vapour levels would fall, for this reason the increased RF due to water vapor feedback is included under the WMGHG RF and/or ERF.

        In 2005 they estimate both the RF and EFR of WMGHG was 2.83 W/m^2.
        For MAGICC 6 the value is 2.65 W/m^2 in 2005. For total anthropogenic effective radiative forcing from 1750-2011 the AR5 estimate is 2.3+/- 1.0 W/m^2. For MAGICC 6 from 1765-2011 the estimated total anthropogenic radiative forcing is 2.02 W/m^2, slightly less than the most recent IPCC estimate. The AR4 net anthropogenic RF was estimated to be 1.6 +/-0.8W/m^2 from 1750 to 2005, MAGICC 6 has 1.8 W/m^2 from 1765 to 2005, well within the uncertainty. In AR5 no estimate of radiative forcing due to water vapor/lapse rate feedback is made. In AR4 an estimate of 0.9 to 2.5 W/^m2/K for water vapor/lapse rate feedback was given, for water vapor feedback alone it was about 1.2 W/m^2/K see

        The MAGICC 6 emulator does a fine job of reproducing temperatures from 1850 to 2015 using the model mean, and it simulates the CMIP3 AOGCMs quite nicely.

        Perhaps all those climate scientists have no idea what they are doing, but I don’t think so. 🙂

    • SRSrocco says:


      Hello…. been a while. I see you are still spreading that global warming conspiracy.

      Didn’t you read what Nancy Gebauer wrote above?

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Hi Steve,

        Yes, my co-conspirators and I keep working to advance the global warming plot and no I didn’t read Nancy Gebauer’s comment. Is she related to Javier?

        • Lloyd says:

          Don’t mention his name! You’ll jinx it. He’s not around and it’s reduced my scrolling by about 50%.


        • SRSrocco says:


          I highly recommend you to read Nancy’s comment. She seems to have an excellent grasp on the situation.


          • Fred Magyar says:

            Steve, I think she is not even a real she. I suspect that is just an automated comment bot programmed to recognize the words ‘Climate Change’ and then launch a canned statement.
            If you ask it a direct question or request a citation or actual numbers to back up what it says, it never responds and just goes silent for a few weeks or so. If she is human then she is likely just a paid troll.
            I’m hoping your suggestion to read her comment was just sarcasm.

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              Hi Fred,

              I agree, Nancy is a bot.

              You will never get a reply from her / it, even by insinuating she /it is a drunk, lol.

          • Juergen Heil says:

            The climate conspirators are very extreme today. The conspired 6.03 °C departure from normal in the Arctic today. If it would not be a conspiracy it would be quite scary.


            let’s be serious should be obvious to anybody that we are in trouble.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Nice site, thanks.
              Looks like large portions of the Arctic are twice that anomaly.

              Much of the US is having a heat anomaly also. About 20F above normal here today.

              • GoneFishing says:

                The warming anomalies are taking place at the same time as solar surface radiation is falling globally. SSR is -0.45 watts/meter2/year. Most of it happening in the southern hemisphere.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                Much of the US is having a heat anomaly also. About 20F above normal here today.

                It’s 48F in Hell today… still not good for snowballs. And considering that only yesterday it was 72F and by Tuesday it will be 72F again… well, not much hope for snowballs, I’m afraid.


              • George Harmon says:

                GoneFishing, have some free time? If so I’d like somebody to investigate this one for me, when I was a child summer temperatures routinely would hit the 100 mark in late June and be there until late August maybe even into September. Again this was when I was a child in the 70’s. Nowdays summertime temperatures are mostly only in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and this is in Kansas! Something is going on and I got theories but want a second opinion first.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Doug,

      That piece is from 2013. It does not tell us which piece by Sherwood they are referencing, there is a paper in Nature in 2012 focusing on black carbon and ozone, but not much on clouds and there is a piece in Nature Geoscience which focuses on tropical precipitation, the latter piece uses RCP8.5 as its basis, which is not likely to be applicable for realistic quantities of fossil fuels.

      The amount of fossil fuels that are burned will have an effect, and yes there is much to be learned on clouds, aerosols and their interactions and how they might be affected by a warming World, we also have much to learn on ice sheets, and the carbon cycle. Of course the feedbacks are important, I don’t pretend to understand this better than the climate scientists, who clearly understand that it is important and incud it in their models to the best that it is understood.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Heh Dennis, I don’t have a single quibble with any of that: amazing! You do realize that when I agree with you — we’re both wrong. 🙂

        • GoneFishing says:

          Wow Doug, you certainly initiated a fire-storm when you published that poorly written article on cloud variation with temperature. But you still have not breached the Wall of Low Climate Response. Time for you to bring up the Ark of the Climate and let loose the Priests of Climate Alarmism.

          The atmosphere controls about 70 percent of the radiation to and from earth. Which would make any changes in the atmosphere very important to the global warming scenario.

          If cloudiness reduces to any degree that means there is more clear sky which allows more peak insolation (about 1000 w/m2) to occur. The two major effects of increased light both involve water. First, evaporation increases which controls the longwave infrared and secondly snow melt and sublimation occurs earlier or snow disappears entirely from an area, which controls albedo (short wave optical and infrared).
          What is needed is the reflective clouds to reduce or disappear to make an effective increase in insolation. The difference between clear air and thick cloud insolation can be over 900 w/m2.

          The final factor that is generally excluded or forgotten is the reduction of the aerosol effect as coal and oil burning are reduced. That could amount to a 1 C increase on it’s own due to increased insolation.

          Looking at Venus, which reflects most of it’s incident light due to cloud cover, yet maintains a very high atmospheric temperature, I think controlling longwave infrared is just as important or maybe even more important than optical energy input. Venus is an upper boundary in both albedo (0.75) and in atmospheric capture of infrared radiation through a dense CO2 atmosphere.
          The irradiance at Venus is 1.9 times that of Earth but it’s reflectivity is 2.5 times that of earth so it actually receives less light than Earth into the atmosphere. Yet it still is far hotter due to it’s thick atmosphere of CO2.

          Thus the role of water vapor is an important factor on Earth, one which rises with increased temperature. CO2 seems to play a trigger role and is also released with higher temperature but the water vapor and albedo changes due to snow/ice cover have a much greater role on Earth as far as radiative forcing.

          Apparently the forces that sequester CO2 on Earth must not operate on Venus. So we are left primarily with H2O and a small amount of CO2 as the GHG’s keeping the planet from freezing. However the regional albedo can vary dramatically because of phase changes in H2O thus reducing the amount of heating or increasing it.

          Then we come along, release large amounts of CO2 and some water vapor into the atmosphere quickly. That in turn increases water vapor levels due to small temperature changes, which in turn increases temperature. The higher temperatures reduce the average snow/ice cover which further increases temperature and reduces snow/ice cover.

          If greater temperature reduces cloudiness (decreases albedo) then we have one more feedback to include and everything happens faster than expected.

          BTW water vapor feedback is about (2 w/m2)/C.
          So four degrees C increase adds another 8 watts/m2 just from increases in atmospheric water vapor.

          Ooops, all those factors go in the same direction now that cloudiness decreases with temperature.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            You make it sound so complicated. Think I’ll go and play marbles with my Grandson. 🙂

            • GoneFishing says:

              OK, here is the simple version.

              It’s springtime for Earth.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Doug you happened to mentioned super cooled liquid water the other day… well I was just reading this from my previously posted link:


              Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems

              From the Results and Discussion

              3.1. Existence or Lack of the Cloudy State
              We here investigate in more detail why some models (CAM5.3, GISS std, and a high vertical resolution version
              of WRF called WRF-200l) do not represent the cloudy state of the boundary layer and have virtually no cloud
              liquid water throughout the experiment. Pithan et al. [2014] showed that for most of the climate models investigated
              in that study, the lack of a cloudy state could be explained by mixed-phase cloud microphysics not
              allowing for cloud liquid water to exist at cold enough temperatures. However, this explanation did not hold up for CAM4, the predecessor of CAM5.3, which allowed cloud liquid water to exist down to -40C but still did not generate a cloudy state of the boundary layer. Caldwell [2012] reports that CAM5 underestimates cloud liquid water because of an issue in the coupling between cloud macro and microphysics.


              • Doug Leighton says:

                Heh Fred,

                “…but still did not generate a cloudy state of the boundary layer…”

                What the hell does that mean? I just noticed a paper of potential interest to OFM. This water-ice stuff you’ve tossed in my direction is too highbrow for me man (just tell me if it’s going to rain tomorrow, or not). 🙂

                BTW When it comes to esoteric physics, all my grey cells really seem care about these days are phase changes in pulsars, and maybe magnetic field generation in same, otherwise it’s single malt (no ice).


          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Gone fishing,

            In my scenarios I reduce SOx emissions to very low levels, so that is accounted for. The suggestions that clouds may be reduced in a warming world, requires 5000 Pg of carbon emissions, that model used the very unrealistic RCP8.5 scenario. Do you agree with George Kaplan that that is a reasonable scenario?

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Gonefishing,

            None of those feedbacks are forgotten in the AOGCMs. The RCP2.6 scenario has pretty low SOx levels (most of the aerosols from fossil fuel are in the form of SOx). It also includes methane emissions, though possibly at too low a level, we don’t really know how much of the increased methane is natural at the World level, by natural, I mean not from natural gas output and resulting pipeline leaks, venting etc.

            The emissions from natural gas output will fall as output falls. The natural emissions will increase, but we don’t know how much they will increase.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Dennis, the feedbacks may not be forgotten but they do not respond to temperature increases in the model, so are essentially not there.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Gonefishing,

                Sure they do. The model steps through time evaluating all variables including temperature as inputs to the next time step. In short, I disagree with your assessment of how the models work. Have you read any of the papers on the models?

                And your view on RCP8.5? I will assume you think it is reasonable by your lack of answer.

                5000 Pg of carbon emissions, really?

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Apparently you are not reading what I wrote and just coming back with your typical copy statements.
                  I did not mention or use 8.5. I used 6.0 for testing purposes. Test it yourself and see what the forcings are. If the Arctic Ocean is not melted with 3C increase by 2100 and the average snow cover affected I don’t know what would. Also just the increased water vapor would give the total amount of forcing that the model came up with, so water vapor increases (which are well known) were not included.
                  Basically it only measures the anthropogenic factors and gives small or no effect to other changes.
                  Look at the list, all the forcings and levels are there. Test it out yourself and add up the individual forcings. It’s easy to do.

                  What lack of answer? ??

                  • Doug Leighton says:

                    “…Basically it only measures the anthropogenic factors and gives small or no effect to other changes……”

                    Which has essentially been my gripe from day one though I’ve grown tired of talking about it: the only people who listen (or care) are you and Fred.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Which means at least twice the rate and twice the warming. At least.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing

                    Why does the water vapor increase?

                    It is a response to the af.

                    So the rf may be assigned to the forcing that caused it, in other words the feedbacks are included. How do you think the models can reproduce warming from 1850 to 2010 if feedbacks are not included?

                    Read the papers.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Dennis, do the math.
                    Doesn’t matter what you think the models are doing, the results speak otherwise.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    One last try, water vapor adds 2 watts/m2 with every degree C of temperature increase according to NASA AIRS data.

                    MAGICC produced a rise of 3C by 2100. Radiative forcing total was 5.3 watts/meter2 of which 5 was attributed to CO2. So the model gave every other forcing a 0.3 value even though just increased water vapor would be an additional 6 watts/m2.
                    See the problem?
                    So how much radiative forcing at 2100 do your scenarios produce, other than CO2?

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Doug,

                    The models include all these factors (though imperfectly no doubt), Gone fishing is looking for reports of the radiative forcing of the feedbacks, typically those are not reported, if CO2 doubles and causes a positive feedback due to changes in albedo and water vapor in the atmosphere, both the change in radiative forcing due to the CO2 alone and any increase in rasiative forcing due to the positive feed backs are reported as CO2 radiative forcing. Gone Fishing is confused by this and thinks water vapor and lapse rate feed backs and albedo feed backs are not included in the model. I believe he is incorrect. Note in AR5 Chapter 8 they have a FAQ on water vapor feedback on page 666


                  • GoneFishing says:

                    “Gone fishing is looking for reports of the radiative forcing of the feedbacks,”

                    No, I was looking for the total radiative forcing versus the CO2 radiative forcing of the models, not the natural feedbacks. I know those results from when I ran the model, but was interested in your results. You gave me half an answer.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gonefishing,

                    The reported radiative forcing includes the feedbacks. Have you read Chapter 8 of the AR5 IPCC report on radiative forcing.

                    What level of radiative forcing do they report for water vapor feedback in table 8.6 on page 696 of Chapter 8 of the IPCC report?

                    Also in the IPPC report on land use change in section on page 688 they conclude:

                    It is very likely that land use change
                    led to an increase of the Earth albedo with a RF of –0.15 ± 0.10 W m–2, but a net cooling of the surface—accounting for processes that are not limited to the albedo—is about as likely as not.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    The estimate of 2 W/m^2/K for water vapor feedback is not well agreed upon.

                    From AR4 at


                    In AOGCMs, the water vapour feedback constitutes by far the strongest feedback, with a multi-model mean and standard deviation for the MMD at PCMDI of 1.80 ± 0.18 W m–2 °C–1, followed by the (negative) lapse rate feedback (–0.84 ± 0.26 W m–2 °C–1) and the surface albedo feedback (0.26 ± 0.08 W m–2 °C–1). The cloud feedback mean is 0.69 W m–2 °C–1 with a very large inter-model spread of ±0.38 W m–2 °C–1 (Soden and Held, 2006).

                    Note that at link below


                    They say (I have put the part of interest in bold):

                    The radiative effect of absorption by water vapour is roughly proportional to the logarithm of its concentration, so it is the fractional change in water vapour concentration, not the absolute change, that governs its strength as a feedback mechanism. Calculations with GCMs suggest that water vapour remains at an approximately constant fraction of its saturated value (close to unchanged relative humidity (RH)) under global-scale warming (see Section Under such a response, for uniform warming, the largest fractional change in water vapour, and thus the largest contribution to the feedback, occurs in the upper troposphere. In addition, GCMs find enhanced warming in the tropical upper troposphere, due to changes in the lapse rate (see Section 9.4.4). This further enhances moisture changes in this region, but also introduces a partially offsetting radiative response from the temperature increase, and the net effect of the combined water vapour/lapse rate feedback is to amplify the warming in response to forcing by around 50% (Section The close link between these processes means that water vapour and lapse rate feedbacks are commonly considered together. The strength of the combined feedback is found to be robust across GCMs, despite significant inter-model differences, for example, in the mean climatology of water vapour (see Section

                    So when we consider water vapor feedback and lapse rate feedback together as suggested by the IPCC, we get 1.8-0.84=0.96 W/m^2/K or about half the estimate you are using.

                    So for RCP6.0 in 2100 I get 4.6 W/m^2 for CO2 RF in 2100 and about 3 C of global warming. Total anthro RF is 5.2 W/m^2 in 2100. GHG RF is 5.66 W/m^2

                    The water vapor/lapse rate feedback would be about 3 W/m^2 and the other 1.6 W/m^2 would be due to the CO2 alone plus any other feedbacks besides water vapor/lapse rate feedback). Thus about 65% of the CO2 RF would be due to the water vapor/lapse rate feedback, based on the AR4 estimates. The AR5 report does not give an estimate for water vapor/lapse rate feedback as far as I can tell.

                    I also found this


                    This seems to be where you got your estimate and it was reported in 2008, after AR4, but in AR5 it seems they were not convinced of this estimate. Though if the lapse rate feedback is ignored it would be roughly correct, the lapse rate feedback offsets the water vapor feed back reducing the combined effect to 1 or maybe 1.1 W/m^2/K.

                    On that page it suggests the water vapor would amplify the carbon dioxide warming by a factor of 2, it is well known that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide would cause a warming of 1.2 C with no feedbacks from water vapor (or anything else). So a doubling of this effect would lead to 2.4 C when water vapor is included, other feedbacks from changes in sea ice and snow cover would increase the equilibrium climate sensitivity further, though the size of this effect is less clear.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    You said:

                    One last try, water vapor adds 2 watts/m2 with every degree C of temperature increase according to NASA AIRS data.

                    You may have gotten that here:


                    They said:

                    We now think the water vapor feedback is extraordinarily strong, capable of doubling the warming due to carbon dioxide alone.

                    Carbon dioxide alone results in 1.2 C of warming for a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere, if we double that it’s 2.4 C, maybe another 0.6 C is added from other feedbacks (snow and sea ice albedo changes), of course at the global level the warming of the ocean will take quite a long time 500 years or more. In the mean time carbon dioxide levels will fall, possibly offset by rising emissions of methane, though the future emission rate is unknown.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Sure Dennis, only got a short time to doubling, so I guess we will find out. Or somebody will.
                    Tell me though, we are already at about 1C and rising, with a 40 year time lag and the Arctic is just starting to kick in, so that is about 6 watts/m2 currently, what is the outcome when it is 15 watts/m2 later this century? 12C?

                    6 from water vapor
                    6 from loss of ice and snow
                    3 from other GHG
                    Not even counting extra CO2 or methane from natural feedbacks.

                    Maybe the sensitivity is really lower. Hope for 6C.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gone fishing,

                    Water vapor times 2
                    2.4 C for a doubling of CO2
                    other fast feedbacks =0.6
                    Total equilibrium climate sensitivity 3 C for a doubling of CO2.

                    Under reasonable scenarios with carbon emissions between 900 and 1100 Pg of carbon emissions from all sources (cement and land use change included), temperature rises to 1.8 C above pre-industrial by 2100. CO2 equivalent will be at around 450 ppm in 2250. Eventually temperatures would rise to 2 C above preindustrial (1850-1900 average).

                    It would be necessary to reduce other green house gas emissions below the RCP4.5 scenario emissions levels to keep temperature increase close to this level, otherwise Earth system effects (lower albedo mostly) may raise temperatures further.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Doug,

          But I am wronger 😉

    • Two recent papers on cloud feedback you won’t find very easily using Google – they help me conclude the subject is up in the air, and other interesting tidbits

      SCIENCE, 2016

      Nature, 2016

  9. Doug T. says:

    Most of the popular models ignore or discount the impact of our sun – which seems quite daft IMHO. A better approach is actively being developed and tested down under; details here:

    long reading, but a nice counterpoint to all the doomsday stories out there.

  10. Nicholas Schroeder says:

    A few more climate modeling points to consider:

    Earth’s carbon cycle contains 46,713 Gt (E15 gr) +/- 850 Gt (+/- 1.8%) of stores and reservoirs with a couple hundred fluxes Gt/y (+/-) flowing among those reservoirs. Mankind’s gross contribution over 260 years has been 555 Gt or 1.2%. (IPCC AR5 Fig 6.1) Mankind’s net contribution, 240 Gt or 0.53%, (dry labbed by IPCC to make the numbers work) to this bubbling, churning caldron of carbon/carbon dioxide is 4 Gt/y +/- 96%. (IPCC AR5 Table 6.1) Seems relatively trivial to me. IPCC et. al. says natural variations can’t explain the increase in CO2. With these tiny percentages and high levels of uncertainty how would anybody even know?

    Mankind’s modeled additional atmospheric CO2 power flux (W/m^2, watt is power, energy over time) between 1750 and 2011 (261 years) is 2 W/m^2 of radiative forcing. (IPCC AR5 Fig SPM.5) Incoming solar RF is 340 W/m^2, while albedo reflects 100 W/m^2 (+/- 30), 160 W/m^2 reaches the surface, latent heat from the water cycle’s evaporation is 88 W/m2 (+/- 8). Thus mankind’s 2 W/m^2 contribution is obviously trivial, to be lost in the natural fluctuations.

    One popular GHE theory power flux balance (“Atmospheric Moisture…. Trenberth et. al. 2011 Figure 10) has a spontaneous perpetual loop (333 W/m^2) flowing from cold to hot violating three fundamental thermodynamic laws. (1. Spontaneous energy out of nowhere, 2. perpetual loop w/o work, 3. cold to hot w/o work, 4. doesn’t matter because what’s in the system stays in the system) Physics can’t be optional for climate science. What really counts is the net W/m^2 balance at ToA which 7 out of 8 re-analyses included in the above cited paper concluded the atmosphere was cooling, not warming (+/- 12.3 W/m^2). Of course Dr. Trenberth says they are wrong because their cooling results are not confirmed by his predicted warming, which hasn’t happened for twenty years. (To quote the paper, “All of the net TOA imbalances are not tenable and all except CFSR imply a cooling of the planet that clearly has not occurred.”)

    In conclusion, every year the pause/hiatus/lull/stasis continues (IPCC AR5 Box TS.3) IPCC’s atmospheric and ocean general circulation models diverge further from reality.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Nicholas,

      With overly simplified explanations, sometimes the physics might seem incorrect, typically it is a matter of leaving things out of the explanation.

      The people who design the models are geophysicists, there are parts of the models which have difficulty predicting climate precisely due to uncertainties about clouds. Just as a weather forecast has difficulty with accuracy past 7 days, a global climate model spun up from 1500 to 1900 (to get model ocean near a 1900 state) and then run to 2015 is unlikely to get the climate precisely correct. The “hiatus” is essentially a matter of the models not being in sync with natural variability of various ocean cycles. We do not know what the state of the ocean and atmosphere was in 1500 or 1900 so this is in part a problem with initial conditions as well as the chaotic nature of climate.

      Nonetheless the models from AR4 and AR5 do a fairly good job matching global temperature from 1951 to 2015. The chart below sets the 1951-1980 average anomaly to zero for both models and BEST land ocean temperature data (from Berkeley Earth). One model (both using MAGICC 6) has an ECS of 2.9 C and the other an ECS of 4 C. The trendlines of the ECS 2.9 model and BEST data for the 1951-2015 period (using annual data) are pretty close suggesting the global models reproduce temperature fairly well.

  11. SatansBestFriend says:

    Outstanding analysis Dennis!

  12. Watch it tonight, commercial free, on the National Geographic Channel.

    Before The Flood


    National Geographic will premiere the Leonardo DiCaprio-led documentary feature film Before The Flood commercial-free across digital and streaming platforms around the world this Sunday in a bid to get the film in front of a wide audience in advance of the U.S. presidential election, the network has confirmed.

    Calling the release strategy “unprecedented”, Nat Geo will make the film, which is produced and directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens alongside DiCaprio, widely available beginning on the same day as the films’ global TV premiere Oct. 30 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on National Geographic channels in 171 countries and 45 languages.

    “This unprecedented release across digital and streaming platforms is not only a first for our network, but also in our industry, underscoring how exceptional we think this film is and how passionate we are about it. We are committed to ensuring as many people as possible see this film as we head into U.S. elections,” said Courtney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks in a statement.

    In case you were wondering, this film is about climate change and has nothing to do with religion as the title might suggest. All science deniers should watch this film.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Tks, for the tip Ron, I’ll try to watch it.

      However all I have to do is walk down to the drawbridge over the intracoastal on Hollywood Blvd., at high tide to see the effects of sea level rise for myself. I can make my own movie!

      The attached picture is about two weeks ago at high tide. No wind no Hurricane no heavy rain. Yet the salt water is flowing underneath the separation barrier between the intracoastal and the adjoining street.

      You can get a sense of perspective and scale from the person standing atop the barrier and from the bottom of the drawbridge. The water in the intracoastal is almost to the top of the barrier. That’s almost two feet above street level.

      When I moved to Hollywood a mere 20 years ago this was not happening. And yes I do know about subsidence in Florida, this is sea level rise happening today.

      Can you imagine what will happen in a CAT 5 hurricane at high tide with the accompanying storm surge. I took these pictures standing in front of multi million dollar homes across the street behind me. I wonder why a lot of them have for sale signs…

      Maybe some of those climate change and sea level rise denialists would like to buy some of these homes, I’m sure they can get some really good deals.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Fred, the pics are too small and the camera angle could have been wider to get a better appreciation of the context. Is that you in the middle?

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Is that you in the middle?
          LOL! No, it is a woman, a friend of mine.
          The pictures were taken with a cell phone and I had to reduce them so I could put them together in one image and still stay under this site’s file size limitation. If you hit ctrl+ a few times you should be able to zoom in…

        • GoneFishing says:

          Yes, using the magical keyboard CTR+ it definitely is a woman.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            In fact, that’s why I asked, ‘Is that you in the middle?’.
            (And it got a ‘LOL’ out of Fred. Who says I have to always drive him to drink?)

            There’s a method to my madness, Gonzo. ‘u^

            (Incidentally, depending on your setup, you can use Ctrl and your mouse scroll wheel for that too. My new mouse works even better with that. Ah, technology…)

            A Strange Kind of Love

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Fred,

        Forgive me for blatantly displaying my redneck conservative stripe, but one reason I can’t think of myself as a ( gasp ! ) liberal is the mommy complex problem.

        I fully recognize the necessity of having a big and POWERFUL government in order to manage numerous problems, especially environmental problems that do not exist merely within state lines. Virginia can’t do much, if anything at all, as a state, about the air pollution that blows here from coal fired plants farther west.

        But those homeowners don’t have anything to worry about, not for now at least, because we are all so devoted to fattening up at the public trough that my mountainous area congress critters can be counted on to cut a deal with Florida congress critters to guarantee insurance for those houses, in order to get something done here. That something might be useful to the public , or it might not. (The odds on that are about even, in my knowledgeable opinion as a local observer. About half of such “somethings” tend to be for the enhancement of the welfare of a very small minority of rich folks. )

        Food stamps GOOD , for people who need them. Welfare insurance for million dollar houses on sand at sea level NOT GOOD.

        Label me a firebrand populist on this particular issue, but the rich bastards who own those houses want a crooked coin tossed, privatized profits heads and socialized losses tails.

        The mommy complex virtually guarantees that the rest of us who pay taxes are on the hook for the reputed market value of those houses, or the cost of rebuilding them.

        If there has ever been a good example of the welfare state running wild, it’s guaranteeing insurance on houses built on sea level seaside sand.

        We are gut hooked, and the bait we swallowed whole is our own stupidity.

        Governments should be like an army, big enough to get the ESSENTIAL jobs done, but no bigger.

        Once we went down the path of adding one more responsibility after another onto the shoulders of government, we more or less guaranteed that some of the ESSENTIAL work that ONLY government can accomplish will go undone.

        Luck and happenstance have a hell of a lot to do with what happens at all scales, from our own personal lives to the course of world history. I met my first wife because I saw her in a line of girls dancing in a talent contest, and wangled an introduction. If I had arrived five minutes later, I would have never met her, never have laid eyes on her.

        As things have turned out, the environmental question, on the grand scale, has VERY unfortunately gotten to be inextricably entangled with the cultural war that has been raging in this country since I was a long haired dope smoking ACLU card carrying sort of guy with a student deferment, lol.

        The average conservative foot soldier is no more willing to consider the possibility that the scientific establishment, and incidentally the D establishment, is RIGHT on the climate issue, etc, than the average D foot soldier is to consider the possibility that Clinton is a flip flopping ethical train wreck who has displayed an appalling lack of good judgement on occasion. We’re tribal creatures, and the tribe comes first, especially if we are less than well educated on an all around basis.

        If it weren’t for the culture war, I would have it MUCH MUCH easier convincing my working class friends, neighbors, and relatives that the climate science establishment has got it right, or that we NEED to be building wind farms and solar farms, etc, for lots of excellent reasons having nothing to do with climate.

        Note that I was the first and remain the foremost ( in my opinion at least ) advocate in this forum of the power of the sovereign state, Leviathan, to tackle problems such as air and water pollution, the spread of contagious diseases, etc.

        While I advocate small government as a guiding rule, in terms of good sense, one must have brains enough to recognize that the government must nevertheless be big enough to do the big essential jobs. And that’s very big indeed.

        BUT no bigger.

        We should be careful what we wish for, because we may get it, and along with IT, there are always unintended consequences and strings attached.

        Now a few days back I was DEAD SURE Clinton will win, but now with the latest news, I am only reasonably confident she will win.

        If anybody is wondering WHY the R party is running that all time champion idiot spoiled rich kid Trump, here is WHY, in a nutshell.

        The liberalish leftish portion of the American people got what they wanted by passing new laws, and abolishing old ones, and changing the cultural and social and economic landscape of this country to suit THEIR vision of what the country ought to be.

        The unintended but natural consequence is the backlash coming from the rightish and more conservative leaning portion of the country.

        Now I am REASONABLY sure Trump will lose, but I just haven’t got that old dead sure gut feeling that he will, it comes and goes.

        If he wins, well, that’s the price the country will pay for moving too fast culturally. The R establishment itself hates Trump’s guts with a passion, but the enraged little people, the conservative foot soldiers, who feel betrayed and shit on, by both the R and D parties, were so pissed off that they actually figuratively rose up with their pitchforks and scythes and torches and went for the landlord’s manor house, figuratively speaking, and burnt it to the ground, and tarred and feathered him, and put Trump up in his place.

        It might have been better to have moved more slowly. I have often pointed out that the foot soldier core of the R party alliance is well down the road to the nursing homes and cemeteries. That way these changes could have taken place more gradually without running the risk of electing a REAL and really scary clown.

        Oh well, in the last analysis, it’s a Darwinian world, and the planets, including this one, will be traveling undisturbed in their orbits billions of years after we are gone. 😉

        But there might be places on this one that are STILL emitting a LOT of short wave radiation in the event any little green men happen by looking for new worlds to exploit. ; -)

        And it might look a lot more agreeable to them if they happen to have anaerobic metabolisms.

        • Nick G says:


          You’re reversing reality. Subsidies for wealthy homeowners isn’t a “liberal” problem, it’s a “lack of democracy because the wealthy have too much power” problem.

          Liberals & progressives want more democracy and transparency, not less. The wealthy think we have way, way too much democracy and and want to hide their influence – think Citizens United, courtesy of Republicans.

          If he wins, well, that’s the price the country will pay for moving too fast culturally.

          The forces of reaction will always say that. Change is always too fast, no matter how slow it is.

          Most of the fury about social issues like abortion is manufactured by conservative political activists.

          Poor southern whites have been the victim of misinformation and manufactured fear since the beginning of slavery, when poor whites greatly outnumbered slave owners, and had to be turned into allies by tactics of division and fear-mongering. So, this is nothing new.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          “The liberalish leftish portion of the American people got what they wanted by passing new laws, and abolishing old ones, and changing the cultural and social and economic landscape of this country to suit THEIR vision of what the country ought to be.”

          Do you mean like a Supreme Court Justice who the current president has the right to chose. That the right in the senate will not even look at.

          Please name the “cultural and social and economic landscape” your talking about.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            10/31/2016 at 9:45 am


            You’re reversing reality. Subsidies for wealthy homeowners isn’t a “liberal” problem, it’s a “lack of democracy because the wealthy have too much power” problem.”

            Well, that opinion, and my own, are each a matter of perspective. I think and comment from a position WAY farther back from the trees than you ever have or ever will, as I see it, so I see a forest sometimes where you see trees.

            Most of the things that governments do are subject to mission creep. The people who are on the outside looking in search for ways of getting to be on the inside, collecting rather than paying, and when you give it time enough, the whole concept of government operated charity can be turned on its head. Rich people get subsidies. Subsidies are essentially welfare, whether needed and justified or not.

            You can call it too much power in the hands of the rich, that’s fine. I can just as easily , and justiafiably, call it welfare for the rich, when rich people collect subsidized insurance this way, which is pretty close to the concept of privatized profits but socialized losses.Ya wanna argue with THAT ?

            Incidentally , you probably have heard the term “artistic license” and and know what is meant by hyperbole. Nobody gets excited when a real estate agent says a property has the greatest view in the world.

            If you trouble yourself to read a little more carefully, you will find plenty of reminders in my comments that indicate that they are best read as food for thought, rather than pronouncements from a soap box.

            “Liberals & progressives want more democracy and transparency, not less. The wealthy think we have way, way too much democracy and and want to hide their influence – think Citizens United, courtesy of Republicans. ”

            Coming from a self declared liberal when your current presidential candidate has been running a secret personal email system to conduct government business at the highest level, that’s good for a real hoot, but yes, I agree with you in general.

            But this particular point is sort of off to one side, peripheral to the broader point that the concept of government intervention into private affairs has in some cases, such as providing insurance for beach front houses, has gone too far, and I CHOOSE to call this welfare for the rich.

            Bringing up the failings and shortcomings of the opposition DOES NOT justify the shortcomings and failings of ones own party, clan, country, or whatever. That’s the same argument kids use when saying their siblings did it too.

            I have never commented in favor of Citizens United, and you will have to look pretty hard to find anything I say that favors the R party in general, excepting on a very few and very specific issues such as busting up the teachers monopoly.

            So this paragraph I will not argue with, at all, except at the extreme limits. I ain’t no stinking Republican, but otoh, I am not a naive or cynical D partisan, so far as that goes. I go where the facts as I see them lead me.

            I agree that enough money can buy elections, and that the Republicans have bought elections in the past. OTOH, the D’s have stolen a few elections voting dead people, etc.

            And it’s not just the R party these days that has big money, and at some point, if we go to public financing of election campaigns, one party or faction or another will eventually gain control of the budgetary process, and after that……….. welcome to the one party world for a good long while, until there is a revolution.

            If he wins, well, that’s the price the country will pay for moving too fast culturally.”

            “The forces of reaction will always say that. Change is always too fast, no matter how slow it is.”

            You could make a pretty decent case that Trump is NOT the result of political backlash on the part of the foot soldier R core, but I doubt if it will be as convincing as the argument to that effect.

            I understand that pov, but as they say, everything is relative, and if you really do believe that the Trump phenomenon is not the result of political backlash, then I must lower my high opinion of your intellect. If you believe the R PARTY AS SUCH WANTED Trump, you are a politically a lost child, pure and simple. The backlash is against both the R party establishment, and the D establishment, and the recent and current liberal social paradigm.

            NOW IF TRUMP WINS, you may have to do JUST A LITTLE HARD THINKING about the changes that will result. THEN you may think, as I do, that MAYBE ,and NOTE that I said maybe in my original comment, it would have been a little better, or maybe a LOT better, in terms of the BIG PICTURE, if these changes had come about a little slower, as I pointed out, because the hard foot soldier core of the R party is headed for the grave, whereas the D party core is growing.

            I think in the long term, in geological, biological and historical terms, as a rule. Your reply in this case indicates short term thinking, and you take the thoughts I throw out as givens or absolutes, whereas I present them as a possibilities to stimulate thought.

            Most of the fury about social issues like abortion is manufactured by conservative political activists.

            This is true, but this does not change the fact that there are literally tens of millions of people who believe that abortion is murder. If you cannot put yourself in their intellectual shoes, so as to UNDERSTAND THAT, well, you are not as smart as I thought. I know quite a few people who personally believe abortion is murder, and for that reason, they are single issue R voters.

            But abortion is another issue that is fading away, and will be mostly off the radar within another ten or fifteen years. It JUST MIGHT, in the abstract, turn out that the abortion issue is the one that puts Trump across the line, in the event he wins by a razor thin margin in a couple of swing states.

            And if that idiot gets us into a nuclear war, or some other mess almost as bad, or manages to sabotage a large portion of such good environmental law as we have, and solidify the hold of the rich ( and MOSTLY but not exclusively R party establishment ) on the levers of power, then most of the well justified current day social safety net, which was mostly put in place by liberal Democrats, by the way, will be at risk as well.

            Now you may not REALLY thing Trump is a truly dangerous demagogue and idiot, but I DO. If you did, you would not be at ALL complacent about risking his election.

            “Poor southern whites have been the victim of misinformation and manufactured fear since the beginning of slavery, when poor whites greatly outnumbered slave owners, and had to be turned into allies by tactics of division and fear-mongering. So, this is nothing new.”

            I am a southerner, but I am neither poor, nor ignorant, and I have lived in the big city, and spent a great deal of time once upon a time in places such as New York, while married to a Jewish woman from that city. So every body else please pardon my language, but for you Nick, fuck you, for implying I am a simpleton being lead around by my nose. .

            Nick, I have never yet seen you post a single comment that criticizes any part of the current day D party platform, etc, which is more than ample proof you are a partisan, and either naive enough to believe it is without fault, or cynical enough to simply stay on message perfectly, which indicates a possible professional background in public relations or sales, etc.

            I criticize the hell out of the whole establishment, but when one side or the other seems to have it right, I point that out as well.

            I regularly comment that the environment is the overriding key issue, and that the D party is WAY the hell better on that issue, etc. I comment in favor of a Western European style health care system, etc.

            But when I see problems, I don’t go around pretending they don’t exist.

            A nice day to you, Sir.

            I would tug my forelock for ya, but unfortunately I am mostly bald.

            • Nick G says:


              I was not intentionally insulting you. I was making a general intellectual argument that there is a great deal of misinformation (aka propaganda) out there. The “mommy complex” meme is clearly a part of that: it’s primarily the corporate world trying to protect itself from regulation.

              I do have respect for you – otherwise I wouldn’t (mostly!) take the time to read your long comments, and reply.

              I don’t discuss the Democratic platform in great detail because it simply doesn’t interest me all that much. I don’t think of myself as either a Repub or a Demo – I try to go with ideas and issues…like you.

              Similarly, I don’t care about the personal faults of candidates: if W avoided the draft, or his father had an affair, or Bill had affairs, or Hilary lined her wallet…I don’t care. As long as they meet a very low minimum of intelligence and ethics, that’s enough. Trump’s truly the first in the last 100 years I couldn’t vote for, if their positions lined up perfectly with issues (I want the Bull Moose party…).

              So…nothing personal. Just calling a spade a spade: many of the memes in politics are manufactured or absurdly exaggerated: propaganda. And, sadly, the Old South and the rural West are the areas where these unrealistic ideas have flourished.

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                Hi Nick,

                I am sorry and beg your pardon. I should have reread my comment before posting it , but sometimes I forget to do so. If I had, I would have used MUCH softer words, or none at all about your southern remark.

                It is perfectly true that the south has historically been behind the times, in relation to the rest of the country, and I understand that your comment was not necessarily aimed at me personally, although I was in a foul mood and took it that way. That’s an explanation, not an excuse of course.

                But it is equally true that circumstances are largely determined by accident, both current and historical, and that individual southern people are not to be held accountable for their circumstances, when those circumstances are beyond their control.

                Now as for the mommy meme, it is also true it is partly partly corporate propaganda, but there is a real element of truth in it too.

                I actually live in and among poor barely literate, economically underclass people, and not as an observer or social worker or reporter, but as a neighbor who visits and is visited, etc. I loan tools, I loan small sums, I accept such gifts with real thanks as are offered, such as some home grown or home brewed and distilled, or wild picked mushrooms, or help with a fourhanded job.

                Such people are not to be looked down on, from a truly objective pov, because they are doing what Mother Nature DESIGNED them to do, namely live as best they can, reproduce, and die. The guy who gets the subsidized welfare is not personally culpable in ethical terms, but it really pisses me off when people born with major advantages criticize those who lacked those advantages as being responsible for their own low status because they are lazy or stupid.

                The dope dealing kid on the corner might be a med school student if he had been adopted by a middle class family as an infant, and and if all the students at Harvard had been born in the slums, most of them would be living slum lifestyles.

                I personally know people who think it is the schools job to socialize their kids, and that sort are common all over the country. I personally know people who would rather game the welfare system, and work part time under the table, than to hold regular jobs. They take their kids to the same doctors at the Health Department clinic, at my expense and yours, that you ( presumably ) and I pay to see.

                So- while I hold them in contempt to a certain extent for not sharing my work ethic, intellectually I understand they are not to be blamed for their lifestyles.

                This whole concept of the government being responsible for economic problems started small, but it has grown the point it encompasses corn farmers and moonshiners getting rich out of it, and big banks getting privatized profits but socialized losses. It is insanity to think multimillionaires should get highly subsidized insurance on houses that will surely sooner or later be destroyed in a hurricane, at public expense.

                We all know about mission creep. Politicians and bureaucrats are always eager to eager to find new ground to plow, promising now, paying later at somebody else’s expense.

                Corporate welfare is still welfare, unjustified but still the same thing, a gift from one person or persons to another, to help with a real or imagined problem.

                Now these comments are also my working notes ,in part, and part of my game is to get as many replies as I can, so as to incorporate them into a book, which I wish I could title Life, the Universe, and Everything, but somebody beat me to it, lol.

                So -Here’s some more stuff, as viewed thru the jaundiced eye of a southern white Christian male, lol.

                • Nick G says:

                  I am sorry and beg your pardon.

                  Well, thanks.

                  individual southern people are not to be held accountable for their circumstances

                  One of your major themes is respect and compassion for others, regardless of income, educations, etc.

                  I agree. Period.

                  Now, some people have been hurt by bad parenting, bad schools, bad media/information, etc. That’s not their fault, even if they present with a disrespectful and angry attitude. Does make it a little hard to do the respect and compassion thing…

                  But, they’re distributed throughout all groups. In fact, car price seems to be correlated with road aggression, and income seems to be associated with Repub affiliation. So…idiocy is everywhere. And, gaming the system is certainly universal.

                  As humanity gets a little wiser, and a little less scared, we begin to cooperate more and more, and the more we cooperate the better we all do. THAT’s progress!

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Hi HB,

            I would think it should be perfectly obvious even to a freshman college student, but I will lay it out for you, in a nutshell.

            It consists of various elements such as gay marriage, high immigration levels, people insulting Christians, failure to prosecute any banksters, jobs being sent overseas ( backlash agianst both parties in this case ) attempts to restrict firearms ownership, small businesses being regulated out of existence in some cases, PERCEIVED environmental overreach, and any and most other similar social changes.

            I am not arguing either way, in this particular case, about any of these factors, but rather just pointing out that they are real, and that they have led to the nomination of Trump, and that if Trump DOES win, the consequences of his winning may be far worse than a delay of a decade or two or three in terms of these hot button social issues.

            NOTE that I have often said that the R party foot soldier core is headed for the grave, and that the D party foot soldier core is young, and growing. In a few more years, there will no longer BE enough hard core R type voters to nominate such an idiot and demagogue as Trump.

            Given the current political situation, it makes partisan sense for the R party to stall on a SC nomination, in hopes that the R’s will win the election, and also to keep the hard core party foot soldiers in line and voting. You have a good point, but it is not relevant to my primary point, which is all about backlash. Pointing out the shortcomings of the opposition does not constitute justification of ones own party’s shortcomings.

            AND if you are willing to take a minute to THINK about it, I have NOT referred to these changes as shortcomings on the part of liberals and liberal Democrats, but as UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES of their successful imposition of these changes.

            That puts my whole argument in an entirely different light, if the reader is possessed of the intellectual skill commonly referred to as reading comprehension.

            Of course if you LACK this skill, then it is likely indeed that you will misinterpret my original comment as an ATTACK on those changes.

            I support gay rights, I am a libertarian at the personal level, and I very strongly support current environmental laws and hope to see them strengthened. I support Western European style health care, etc. I support welfare where it is needed and justified, but this does not blind me to the fact that quite a few people game the system, including numerous rich people who have managed to get corporate welfare funded at levels a thousand times higher than what we spend on food stamps, etc.

            If you think the D’s wouldn’t be doing the SAME thing, if they were in the same situation………… well, surely you are not so naive as to think the D’s would allow the R’s to nominate one of their own this close to election time, if there were an R in the White House.?

            When they would be CHOOSING the nominee , shortly , if they were to win, in a few short months?

            Now I will give the D’s this, they are far smoother operators, and would have managed to stall the actual confirmation, if they didn’t like the candidate, without making themselves look utterly foolish by refusing to even hold a hearing.

            The R party establishment has been doing all it can, for a good while, to shoot off its own feet, long term, in pursuit of short term wins, and it is true in my opinion, and factually true I am sure you will agree, that the beneficiaries of these wins have mostly been fat cats of one description or another.

            But the country is gradually getting to be better educated, and growing more liberal in general, and so R party policies such as forced climate change denial, restrictions on abortion, restrictions of personal rights such as choice of same sex marriage, etc, are GUARANTEED long term losers.

            Note that I frequently say the country is headed, barring bad luck such as economic collapse, or the election of a TRUMP, towards a political and social consensus similar to the ones that prevail in Western European countries. There is a slim chance I might even live to see it myself. That would suit me just fine.

            I am not a partisan, ya see, and I not only don’t mind admitting it, I forcibly point it out, when the R’s are wrong, which is QUITE often.

            If the D’s are wrong, in my opinion, I say so in that case too. The actual facts matter to me, believe it or not.

            Of course since the membership here is uniformly liberal , I come across as a redneck R type, some of the time, depending on the topic.

            When I go into conservative forums, where I use different handles, as a rule, I am occasionally called a tree hugging whale loving, pink panties wearing queer, a communist, a mongoloid idiot, or worse.

            As I see it, you need to examine the issues from all points of view if you really want to understand what is going on politically and culturally, and understanding is one of my primary goals.

            I also really enjoy a figurative dog fight, and like to poke a sharp stick in unseeing eyes, at intervals, because the reactions either amuse me or help me see into one of my own blind spots, or both.

            I am more Irish than Scot, and they do say we Irish are never happy unless we are in a losing fight against overwhelming odds, lol.

            So you guys do your best to refute my arguments, and if you come up with some good stuff, I will not only put it in my book to be, I will give you personal credit for it, lol.

            In the meantime, here’s another firebrand aimed at the liberal haystack, in a manner of speaking.

            I am thinking about composing a little essay, and posting it here, accusing environmentalists of intellectual cowardice if they refuse to address the immigration question, considering the obvious and obviously acknowledged facts that our population is already large and still growing fast, that we are already running short of some critical non renewable resources, etc.

            If somebody else does so first, then I will argue the opposite case, that immigration is GOOD for our environment, and muster some GOOD reasons why this is so.

            Some football guy famously said winning is the ONLY thing.

            For me, the argument, the intellectual game, is THE thing.

            • HuntingtonBeach says:

              Hi Mac,

              “elements such as gay marriage, high immigration levels, people insulting Christians, failure to prosecute any banksters, jobs being sent overseas ( backlash agianst both parties in this case ) attempts to restrict firearms ownership, small businesses being regulated out of existence in some cases, PERCEIVED environmental overreach”

              “A wedge issue is a political or social issue, often of a controversial or divisive nature, which splits apart a demographic or population group. Typically, wedge issues have a cultural or populist theme, relating to matters such as crime, national security, sexuality (e.g. gay marriage), or race. The well known mantra “God, guns and gays” typifies Republican wedge strategy crafted along other famous wedge issues beginning in the Nixon era which aided winning the South from the Democrats.”


              “people insulting Christians” – Do you mean like this? – “Sky Daddy”

              “I am not arguing either way, in this particular case, about any of these factors, but rather just pointing out that they are real”

              This statement seems to make it pretty clear you realize conservatives are standing on the wrong side of the “wedge issues”. Your Republican one percent leaders have been conning their party constituents for 50 years and the mad as hell deplorable are starting to figure it. Just wait until they figure out religion is the biggest con of all.

              “but for you Nick, fuck you, for implying I am a simpleton being lead around by my nose”

              Mac, taking Nick’s statement personal towards yourself says more about you than anything Nick said about you. I’m guessing you have a lot of controversy inside between your up bringing and your learned real world you live in.

              So much more, but I don’t have time to write a book right now.

            • Nick G says:

              that our population is already large and still growing fast, that we are already running short of some critical non renewable resources, etc.

              What do you mean “we”, white man?

              (From the Lone Ranger joke)

              Translation: net immigration for the world is zero. IOW…this is very US centric. Finally…it’s not true lately – net immigration from Mexico to the US is negative for the last several years!

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                Back atcha Nick,

                DAMNED RIGHT , I am USA oriented, because this is where I live, and where almost all my friends and relatives live.

                If I were a German, I would be more concerned about Germany than about the USA.

                I will go so far to explain my self in this respect as to say that I believe the larger part of the world is headed for some extremely tough times, due to overshoot, and that we are collectively going to be in a situation SOMEWHAT analogous to the people who have abandoned a sinking ship for the lifeboats.

                It’s going to be up to the people in each individual lifeboat, or country, to a substantial extent, to make it to safety on their own.

                I make no apologies for having professional training enough, and common sense enough, to understand that while we are not at the MOMENT really having problems with overpopulation in this country, WE ARE like rats in a corn crib, eating thru our one time endowment of non renewable resources at an ever accelerating rate, even as the endowment shrinks at an even faster rate.

                I have no objection at all to doing what we can to help other countries and people, so long as doing so does not substantially harm this country.

                I realize you are an incurable optimist, or at least give that impression, and it’s easy for me to conclude that you may really believe everything is going to turn out ok for EVERYBODY.

                Well, my OPINION differs RADICALLY in this respect, lol.

                It’s a Darwinian world old buddy, and singing kumby ya is not going to change this fact.

                And for what it is worth, I fully acknowledge being a partisan member of subset of the people of this country who have suffered ENORMOUSLY as the result of lots of immigration.I was lucky enough to escape my economic background, and have lived and continue to live very well, and at times I have made one percenter money, and could have had a one percenter career.

                I do not have a lot of money, just to make that clear, but I have had and continue to have more free time than almost anybody I ever met, excepting rich kids, and early on decided to make the trade off in favor of the time, since you can’t take money with you when your time is up.

                I notice people who are very liberal spend a LOT of time peeing and moaning about the troubles of various people who have for one reason or another gotten the short end of the stick in life, but I can’t remember hearing any one of them ever consistently standing up for the millions of poorly educated ( thru no fault of their own) people who USED to make good livings doing the things they COULD do.

                And yes, I am NOT stupid, and I know that mechanization took a lot of those jobs, but my point remains valid.

                Show me any easily identifiable group of people, and I will show you a group dedicated above all else to looking after its own security and prosperity, even down to nuns in convents. They put the convent first, good works second. It necessarily has to be that way, that’s the way nature works.

                I do what I can to support global solutions, but the coming troubles are going to have to be AVOIDED, or DEALT with, to a very substantial extent, on a regional or national basis.

                I have heard the same about the Mexican balance. It might be correct. There are literally hundreds of them within ten miles of me in a very rural community. Salt of the earth, most of them.

                I own property adjacent to two Mexican families, and we share almost all our cultural interests in common, as well as a common work ethic. I couldn’t ask for better neighbors, BUT otoh, I don’t NEED a job in a manufacturing plant, or mowing lawns,etc.

                Lots of my neighbors who were BORN here long ago DO need such jobs.

                Within a generation, if I live so long, I will have some cute new little nieces and nephews and cousins with Spanish names, lol. By then these families will have assimilated.

                But if you aren’t TOO culturally blind, TOO wrapped up in your vision of the world, I suggest you take a while to read the news, and think about what is happening in many European countries as the result of excessive immigration these days.

                • Nick G says:


                  It’s not immigration that hurts the working class, it’s the current immigration system, which is used to lower wages and destroy unions.

                  The Trumps of the world want to make things worse for immigrants, because that makes them more insecure, lowers their wages and hurts all workers.

                  They hate the idea of citizenship for immigrants, because that would make them more secure, raise their wages, and help other workers.

                  Similarly, the Trumps of the world love to hurt countries like Mexico, because that…makes them more insecure, lowers their wages and hurts all workers. If Mexico and other Central and S. American countries are in chaos, it only hurts the US. But…it helps employers.

                  The Trumps of the world want to divide workers in various countries, and make them compete and hurt each other. If wages in China and Mexico rise, that helps US workers, and vice versa.

                  • Oldfarmermac says:

                    Hi Nick,

                    There is a LOT of truth in your 10;24 am comment, and I hope to get back to have more to say about it before this thread goes stale.

                • Nick G says:

                  A key idea: wages are not set by supply and demand! If they were, wages would fall to the marginal cost of “supply”: in other words, unskilled workers would live at the edge of starvation!

                  No, wages are set by political power: by unions (which exist at the pleasure of government) and minimum wages (which are created by democratic government). Unions and minimum wage laws are hated by the Trumps of the world. Hated deeply.

                  • Oldfarmermac says:

                    Back again, Nick

                    There is a substantial amount of truth in your 10;41 comment as well, but methinks you are overreaching a bit.

                    More later if I get to it before the thread goes stale.

                  • HuntingtonBeach says:

                    Which rises the question:

                    How do you help the poorly educated in the south? Who take pride in their right to work states and vote against their own self interest.

                  • Nick G says:

                    How do you help the poorly educated

                    Two key elements are schools and media.

                    If you have the money…buy a newspaper. They’re cheap at the moment…

                    If you don’t, get politically active. For instance, run for your local school board.

                  • HuntingtonBeach says:

                    Fair answer Nick, but in the South when you walk into a MacDonald’s the monitor has FoxNews on it. The FM radio stations are dominated by hate political hosts and religious nonsense. The newspapers are mostly Conservative rags. Oh, don’t forget home schooling is a favorite choice for education and the local 5 o’clock news is about the Black guy arrested for stealing something. Good luck

                • HuntingtonBeach says:

                  “What do you mean “we”, white man?”

                  I mean my” truth, justice and the American way” Superman, 1950’s

                  I have San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles to the north of me. Santa Ana and San Bernardino to the east of me. San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano and San Diego to the south of me. Now what may you ask do all these cities have in common? They were all part of Mexico’s Alta California before president Polk invaded Mexico.


                  I believe any Mexican citizen should have the right to immigrate to the United States at any time now and in the future.

                  Mac, how many native Appalachian Cherokee did your ancestors murder to acquire your land ?

                  “ever consistently standing up for the millions of poorly educated ( thru no fault of their own)”

                  WRONG- Your next president, HRC wants to make higher education free or affordable for all Americans. Mac, but I guess you didn’t realize that because you can’t get past your hatred for her.

        • HuntingtonBeach says:

          Here Mac is a link I believe you need to read and watch:

          DON’T BE A MORON

        • Nathanael says:

          FWIW, the country moved about as slowly as was possible culturally. We were waaaaay behind on race relations even compared to Russia; this was a dam which had to break, and broke in the 1960s. Women who grew up with the right to vote in the 1920s weren’t going to tolerate the lack of equal rights, so the increase in women’s rights in the 1970s was equally predictable and guaranteed and unavoidable. There is no “slower”.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Hi Nathanael,

            You are very badly mistaken when you say the Russians of the twentieth century were ahead of us in race relations, although it is true they were marginally better in some minor respects.

            They were more equal opportunity racists, stomping on the rights of virtually minority in their empire, lol.

            Women’s status, compared to men’s status, doesn’t matter much when BOTH men and women are deprived of their basic rights.

            The old USSR made a regular practice of forcibly uprooting people by the hundreds of thousands and millions and moving them to other places so as to maintain the commies draconian power and control, by setting the newcomers of different ethnicity against the locals.

            When we Yankees forcibly moved our so called Indians onto reservations, we did so to get them out of our way, rather than to destroy the lives of people ALREADY living on the lands set aside as reservations.

            I am not arguing that we Yankees are without sin, but rather that the old commies were WORSE sinners by far than twentieth century Yankees. We were pretty bad sinners though, everybody knows that much at least.

            The Russian commies deliberately starved many millions of people.

            They put Sky Daddy alone knows how many in slave labor prisons in Siberia for what were effectively life sentences in half the cases, for the most trivial of offenses, or no offense at all, if an informer had a grudge against the victim.

            Show me just one picture of a Russian USSR era woman in a position of real power, taken prior to the sixties, maybe even thru the eighties. Yes, there were females in engineering, medicine, etc, female cosmonauts, etc. But there were none in positions of real power that I can remember.

            I have moved on, necessarily, in order to investigate other subjects, and no longer spend any significant time on Russian affairs, but I am having a hard time thinking of even one woman in a truly powerful position today in Russia.

            Apparently somebody fed you a substantial dose of kool aid mixed to the former hard left /liberal recipe in this respect, although times have changed and nobody with a lick of sense defends the old USSR anymore, excepting a smattering of senile tenured professors of the socialist persuasion. The last of them may have died or retired by now, but I think a couple at least are still doddering around.

            Now I never had a conventional career, in the sense that I worked consistently in a professional field, or trade, or as an academic, but I did spend more than half of the last forty or fifty years reading very widely and very extensively indeed in the sciences, and in history, etc.

            I have read at least a dozen books, books that have withstood the test of time, about the history of the USSR.

            I can never remember how to spell his name, but I suggest you start with the works of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, I hope I have the spelling right.

            He is or was a brilliant writer, a superb scientist, and a victim of the system you apparently know so little about.

            I apologize for being so BLUNT, but the truth matters.

            I don’t give a flying xxxx where the chips fall.

            I hope anytime I am WRONG on the facts, as opposed to opinions, somebody will set me straight, before I incorporate such mistakes into a book I have been working on for a long time and may finish someday, with luck.

            If I do, you will most likely be able to read it free on the net, lol.

            Nobody will want to print it, because I am badmouthing just about every body and every faction, in one respect or another, to some extent.

            Incidentally I have not argued that the recent changes in our culture are mistakes, in my comments in this thread.

            I have been talking about UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES resulting from these changes, and speculating on the fact , (or my opinion, if you please, since nobody can prove this either way, in a laboratory, like doing a physics experiment) , that the nomination of Trump is a consequence of political backlash on the part of the republican foot soldier core voter.

            I expect I could drum up a few dozen articles supporting this argument, if I wanted to, but I am utterly confident in my own thinking in this respect.

            I am also speculating about the negative consequences of a Trump victory for the environment, the economy, our personal rights, etc. He is dumb enough in my estimation that he might manage to set off WWIII.

            Anybody who thinks these things CAN’T happen, if he does win, hasn’t read enough history, or enough novels.

            But hopefully he will lose, and I have a small bet down giving up four to one odds that he WILL lose.

            Things could have changed more slowly, or even faster. A lot depends on circumstances, on historical accidents, when it comes to how fast social and cultural change takes place.

            I agree that given circumstances on the ground, the prevailing conditions, in this country, that it is unlikely that change would have come much slower, and it might well have come faster.

            But that’s not my point. My point is that changes generally generally generate some unintended consequences , in this case one of them being the nomination of Trump.

            I am going to have to give it up for a while, because I do have things to do, other than work on the book. All these comments are in essence work on the book.

            You guys are my fact checkers, and my devil’s advocates, and while it might seem strange hearing me say so,

            I thank ya all for helping me, even if you are not aware you are doing so, lol.

            I have a thick skin, well covered with scars already anyway, so feel free to pile on.;-)

            The more the merrier.

            I think maybe I will go murder Bambi this afternoon, since hunting season is open now, and I enjoy venison, especially if it comes from a tender young doe.

            We have a major deer overpopulation problem locally, but getting Bambi lovers to understand that they are going to die soon, in greater numbers, while suffering more, if hunters don’t thin them out, is nearly impossible.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Thanks Ron, was well done. It’s available on YouTube.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        I watched it and I agree!

        One of the people who figure in DiCaprio’s film is Dr. Piers Sellers, Climate Scientist and Astronaut. Unfortunately he is not long for this world due to having stage 4 pancreatic cancer. This is a great video interview with him. His optimism is quite contagious!
        Astronaut Piers Sellers on Climate Change, Space, and Life on our Pale Blue Dot

  13. Richard Mastromatteo says:

    Hi: I’ve seen data that shows both that we have had higher levels of Carbon Dioxide than now if you look far enough back in History, and also we have had higher temperatures than now or even forcasted, if you look back far enough. I also have seen data that plots temperature against carbon dioxide content and there is virtually no correlation. And, I have seen science that says due to cycles on the Sun that emit various levels of radiant energy over time that these variations are more in tune with climate temperature change than anything else. Also, there is a balance between increased carbon dioxide and vegetation growth. The more vegetation growth, the less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In fact if the trend continues we will have a shortage of carbon dioxide way out in the future. And Carbon Dioxide provides all the carbon for vegetation and animals including us. Without it we wouldn’t exist. It is natural and originally came from the earth’s core. So, nature is a complex thing and we should be careful of trying to understand it on a simple premise as in more Carbon Dioxide will lead to Global Warming.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Richard,

      Modern humans have been around for 50,000 years (time of development of language and lithography), archaic humans (just fire and tools) between 250,000 and 400,000 years ago.

      From 800,000 years before the present (BP) where present=1950 to 1750 CE (common era) atmospheric CO2 was between 180 and 280 ppm and global temperatures were between -3.2 C and 1 C from the 1961-1990 CE average temperature. The high point was during the Eemian interglacial about 125,000 years when global temperatures may have been 1-2 C higher than pre-industrial temperatures (which are about 0.5 C lower than the 1961-1990 average). The global temperatures are not well known during the Eemian, most estimates are based on ice cores.

      Certainly temperatures have been influenced by carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but if global temperatures were 1 C above the 1961-1990 average during the Eemian it is cause for concern as CO2 levels were only 285 ppm at most for a short 1000 years during the Eemian.

      If we assume an earth system sensitivity of 6 C for a doubling of CO2 (this includes all feedbacks), the change in atmospheric CO2 from 260 ppm (Holocene optimum) to 285 ppm implies only 0.7 C of global warming. Today ice sheets are much smaller than during glacial maximums, but during the Eemian and Holocene climactic optimum ice sheets may have also been quite small. Note the 0.7 C of warming would be compared to Holocene optimum temperatures so about 1.1 C above 1961-1990 temperatures during Eemian.

      In 2100 global CO2 levels are likely to be 450 ppm and remain above 425 ppm for thousands of years. An ESS of even 4.5 C would lead to 3.2 C of temperature change relative to the Holocene climactic optimum (260 ppm), relative to preindustrial CO2 (278 ppm) a 2.75 C temperature increase is implied (ESS=4.5), we can hope ESS is smaller (due to small ice sheet size and lower albedo effect), maybe 3.9 C which would suggest a 2.4 C rise in temperature over thousands of years. The relatively low estimates of mid-Pliocene global temperatures of roughly 2 C above preindustrial suggest an ESS of about 4.


  14. Fred Magyar says:

    To be frank I’m not the biggest fan ever of The Huffington Post, but they have a piece today about climate change titled: ‘Guessing Wrong on Climate Change’.

    I thought it might be appropriate to raise a question they raise and discuss in the article here in this thread, and it is aimed squarely at the so called climate change skeptics. The question is simply this: “What if you are wrong?”

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Fred,

      Lots of potential to be wrong, perhaps there really is much more fossil fuels than I believe.

      Note that my views on fossil fuel availability are higher than many others who like to call my scenarios “fantasy land scenarios”, except when I then use them to show that lack of fossil fuel is likely to lead to an expansion of non-fossil fuel energy. It doesn’t really matter if this is wind, solar, nuclear, hydro, or something else, some kind of energy output is likely to grow to fill the supply gap left by declining fossil fuel output. As non-fossil fuel energy continues to grow at 7 or 8% per year, eventually fossil fuels will be replaced entirely, perhaps by 2060, but certainly by 2080.

      A lower fossil fuel availability scenario, more in line with Laherrere for oil and natural gas and Rutledge for coal would make “filling the gap” more challenging, but make it more likely that fossil fuels will be replaced sooner rather than later.

      In any case, when these ideas are then extended to the standard IPCC models used in the IPCC AR4 (the CMIP3 models emulated by MAGICC 6), somehow otherwise very intelligent people refuse to believe it could be true.

      The claims by some that MAGICC 6 is flawed are wrong.

      Meinshausen, M., S. C. B. Raper and T. M. L. Wigley (2011). “Emulating coupled atmosphere-ocean and carbon cycle models with a simpler model, MAGICC6: Part I – Model Description and Calibration.” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 11: 1417-1456. doi:10.5194/acp-11-1417-2011.

  15. R Walter says:

    Melt extent in Greenland was above average in 2016, ranking tenth highest (tied with 2004) in the 38-year satellite record. Melt area in 2016 was slightly greater than in 2015, which ranked twelfth. However, near-average to below-average coastal snowfall levels that exposed bare ice earlier in the melting season, combined with warm and sunny conditions at lower elevations, led to high overall ice loss from runoff.

    Seasonal surface melt began early in 2016, with extensive melt events in southwest Greenland in the second and fourth week of April. Greater than average melt was observed in western and northeastern Greenland, as was also seen in 2015. A few areas along the eastern and southeastern coast near Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq glaciers, saw frequent melting in 2016, resulting in increased ice exposure. Dark ice, typical along the central western Greenland coast, also appeared near Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq glaciers. Common during any melt season, a series of warm events caused brief spikes of high melt area during the summer. Summer daily melt extent rarely fell below the 1981 to 2010 average. Peak melt extent occurred on July 19, when our passive microwave analysis method mapped surface melting on 43 percent of the ice sheet.

    There is too much ice on Greenland, there needs to be a war on ice. Old Man Winter can chill. Half of Greenland’s ice could melt, a new land rush would occur, Greenland would be a more livable place.

    August of 2015 had several days of record high temps above 100°F, this year, the thermometer never touched 100 all summer long, not as much rain either.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Or, you could just say: “The Greenland ice sheet mass is expected to decrease quadratically in time.” thus clarifying the matter for one-and-all. 🙂

    • GoneFishing says:

      Greenland could only contribute about 22 feet of sea level rise, not enough to even get near me at 500 feet amsl.

      Delaware and Jersey have some worries though, NYC and nearby too.

      “62,000 acres of land lie less than 5 feet above the high tide line in Delaware. Some $1.1 billion in property value, and 20,000 homes, sit on this area. These figures jump to more than $2 billion and nearly 40,000 homes on 104,000 acres of land under 9 feet.

      More than 19,000 people are residents in the homes below 5 feet, and more than 41,000 are residents below 9 feet. Greater than half of each group are in high social vulnerability areas – more than two-and-a-half times the expected proportion based on statewide vulnerability patterns – meaning that those with the least ability to cope with coastal flooding will be disproportionately exposed to it.

      The state has 428 miles of road below 5 feet; 9 houses of worship; 2 power plants; and 87 EPA-listed sites, such as hazardous waste dumps and sewage plants. At 9 feet, these numbers grow to 782 miles of road; 36 houses of worship; 4 power plants; and 135 EPA-listed sites.’ ”

      Highest point in Delaware is about 75 feet.

      Now for the rest of them. Worst affected are listed, but links lead to all the coastal cities with views of 10 feet of sea level rise.

      Beyond all the infrastructure such as ports and bridges, residences and business will be gone to. The skyscrapers and high rises will cease functioning when the underground support systems (electricity, gas and water) go.
      I am sure that levees and dams will be built around important cities and towns, making the inundations catastrophic when breaks occur. Storm surges of 10 to 20 feet on top of even a few feet of sea level rise will make many places uninhabitable.
      Probably better to slowly withdraw where possible.

      Of course the worst storm surges and death/destruction occur elsewhere in the world but you can look that up.
      US record storm surges

  16. Oldfarmermac says:

    I have not yet been able to discover any details about the way the Tesla solar roof will be constructed, but blowing up the pictures works well, the resolution is still good.

    So far as I can see, they will really look like somewhat odd colored roofing tiles or shingles, and they appear to be fitted in such a way that they can actually be water tight. They look a little cutting edge and old folks might not like them, but they look great to me.

    Musk claimed ninety eight percent of ordinary ( not camouflaged) panel production, and while he is often a day, or a year late, he has so far apparently made all his claims good, so I am willing to accept that figure.

    These panels if supported with sufficient framing, properly spaced, might not actually need a water tight membrane underneath. If they can be attached directly to rafters, and there is no LAW that says rafters can’t be spaced at eight or ten inches rather than the customary sixteen, then even sheathing might be unnecessary.

    There has been simply enormous progress in simplifying a lot of products over the last few years, progress which the average person, or even an engineer, is going to be mostly or totally unaware of unless he works on a lot of different things with his hands.

    It used to take me an hour to disassemble a typical “weed eater” and fix some very minor problem, and put it back together. I can do the same job on a new one in as little as ten minutes, no joke.

    A new washing machine has some electronics that old ones don’t, but it also has about half as many fasteners and braces, and other parts, and weighs about half what a similar sized one thirty years old weighs. And so long as those magic little black boxes are available, it will last as long or longer as well.

    The only thing that bothers me about electronic appliances is that there are so many dedicated little parts in them that there will be few or no aftermarket or generic parts available, and manufacturers are not notable for keeping parts available on their old models once they are more than ten or twelve years old.

    The progress in building materials and techniques, at least for residential work, has not been nearly as great, on average, but some processes and materials are twice as time efficient and easy to work with as they were three or four decades back.

    I am willing to bet that these panels have been designed to make the total job run efficiently at a reasonably low cost.

    • VK says:

      There are an estimated 10 Billion individual SKU’s (Stock Keeping Units) to maintain the global manufacturing and consumer base. The system is too complex to maintain. Hope dies hard but die it must.

      There’s this as well, US life expectancy is now dropping.

      Americans Are Dying Faster. Millennials, Too –

      Once again the signs of decline and collapse are all around us with falling living standards, an ungovernable political system and now falling life expectancy.

      • Nick G says:

        Look closely at the article – you’ll see that the rate of improvement for longevity has only slowed down. Oddly, enough, due to “fudge” factors used by actuaries to estimate the future rate of improvement, it has the effect of reducing the projected lifespan of young people.

        But, in reality, it’s just a small decline in the rate of improvement. Things are not getting worse, except for a minority of middle aged males who are drinking and drugging themselves excessively. And, we already know about them from Trump…

        The latest numbers, however, aren’t pretty: From 2000 to 2009, American death rates improved1 at 1.93 percent for men and 1.46 percent for women annually. From 2010 to 2014, that plunged to 0.6 percent for men and 0.42 percent.

    • scrub puller says:

      Yair . . . .
      OFM. I agree with most of you sentiments but . . . .

      That forty-five year old washing machine of ours is still going strong, likewise our fifty year old completely automatic two slice toaster and my mates 1965 Falcon on our 2016 roads with modern lubes will last another fifty years with reasonable maintenance.

      I’m just pointing out that although things might appear to be better it is not necessarily so.

      I regularly “keep my hand in” on a 1963 Cat D6 that still makes its owner a living.

      I venture to say none of the Cats built in 2016 will be viable in fifty years.

      In many ways we are going backward in machinery design by including electronics in places they have no business to be.

      The dirt and rocks and trees remain the same but we are devising ever more complicated, fragile and expensive ways to move them on the altar of so called “efficiency”.

      In particular, the misguided emissions regulations and the dumbing down of machinery to the extent the skills of a Catskinner or proper truck driver who can run two sticks and float a shift have largely disappeared. (grins)

      End of rant and Cheers.

      • GoneFishing says:

        “the misguided emissions regulations ”

        Yessir, I agree. Forget regulation, just outlaw polluting machines.

        • scrub puller says:

          Yair . . .

          Yes, “misguided emissions regulations”.

          To mandate earthmoving equipment to same regulations as road vehicles is hugely expensive nonsense.

          Conventional diesel injection can be made to run clean enough for this application with out all the electronics, regen, and burn off crap foisted on the industry.


          • GoneFishing says:

            Diesel engines are notorious NOx producers. Advances in reduction of this noxious gas has been pushed by regulation and is now fairly under control, though still high compared to gasoline engines. Without all that electronic and other control it’s back to the 70’s.
            NOx emissions were regulated by the US Federal government for heavy duty diesel on-highway engines as follows:

            1974 – 16 g/hp-hr (grams per horsepower-hour)
            1979 – 10 g/hp-hr
            1988 – 6 g/hp-hr
            1991 – 5 g/hp-hr
            1998 – 4 g/hp-hr
            2004 – 2.5 g/hp-hr
            2007-2010 (phased in by 2010) – 0.2 g/hp-hr

            While diesel engine exhaust has historically contained more NOx, advances in aftertreatment and regulations in recent years have greatly reduced the amount of NOx (and particulate matter) that come out of the tailpipe of the newer diesel engines.
            By their nature diesel engines run hotter and have excess air in the mixture, prime NOx formation conditions.

            • scrub puller says:

              Yair . . .
              I too can Google up the numbers . . . the point is if all construction equipment was mandated to run as clean as a Mine Spec Deutz the world would be in no worse shape and contractors, the small contractors I care about would be in better shape.


              • GoneFishing says:

                Yes, you can look up the numbers. But do you understand the ramifications of the numbers.
                The Deutz is electronically controlled and after cleaned.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Hi Scrub,

            I like the old straight up mechanical stuff myself, far better than the newer electronic stuffed machines, because I can work on them and finesse a repair even if the proper parts are not available.

            So my seventy two vintage Ferguson tractor is now equipped with the exhaust pipes from a wrecked car, and runs quieter than ever, lol. The old pipes and muffler were shot, burnt out after fifty plus years, and new ones would have cost quite a bit. Those from the wreck- nothing but an hour adjusting the fit with torch, grinder and welder.

            I still have some old equipment running breaker point ignition, and I remember well going under the hood of fifties and sixties vintage vehicles as many as fifteen or twenty times replacing points, condenser, rotor button, and spark plugs, which over fifteen or twenty years ownership ran into a substantial sum for parts as well as a substantial amount of time.

            I have replaced the spark plug wires a couple of times on my ninety one Chevy truck, and the spark plugs maybe eight times in a quarter of a million miles. Never yet have I touched the distributor itself, and that electronic spark is so hot it will jump bright blue a full half inch.

            When the black boxes work they really are magic. When they don’t, and you can’t get the exact same replacement, well, you suddenly realize you are experiencing some involuntary sex.

            I have replaced the fuel pump on the ninety one once in that quarter million miles, and otherwise I have never touched the fuel injection system at all. It was a rare thing for a carburetor to last more than ten years or twelve years without a rebuild except for the really simple ones from the sixties and older.

            And even the rather basic electronic ignition and fuel injection on my old truck gets me at least ten percent better fuel economy, plus far easier cold weather starting, than even a brand new carburetor and brand new old mechanical ignition.

            The world has passed me and you by, old friend.

            I am dickering with a neighbor for his old D7, which is of uncertain vintage, but it has the pony motor, so it’s old enough to get social security, at least.

            It still runs, and as you say, can be kept running.

            He wants three thousand bucks for it, and if I can keep it running for ten full days, it will pay for itself easily. A dozer is one hell of a big boy’s toy, and one I have always wanted to own. I have some overgrown land that can be worked up into pasture with it, and can justify the purchase.

            My maternal grandfather back sometime in the seventies or thereabouts told me that if he could buy a new pickup like his 1950 Chevy, he would do so in a flash.

            So would I.

            A blacksmith could fix almost anything on a fifty model Chevy, and a machinist could fix anything the blacksmith couldn’t. You could tote enough tools in a one hand sized tool box to fix anything on the truck,assuming you had a strong hand and arm, lol.

            But the engine was worn out at seventy five thousand miles. And you had to grease about two dozen fittings on it, whereas a new truck Chevy has few or none.

  17. GoneFishing says:

    Pennsylvania Medical Society calls for moratorium on fracking.

  18. GoneFishing says:


    Naom Chomsky: After the Electoral Extravaganza

    This talk, presented at Harvard-Epworth Church, Cambridge, MA on May 12, 2016, was the second presentation in Massachusetts Peace Action’s Distinguished Peacebuilders Series.

  19. GoneFishing says:

    Shades of the 1930’s when the future looked futuristic and streamlined, with flying cars and a whole new world seemed waiting just around the corner. So it’s back to the past in the future. Electric flying taxis from Uber.

    Don’t disappoint again, we can get quite cranky.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Shades of the 1930’s when the future looked futuristic and streamlined, with flying cars and a whole new world seemed waiting just around the corner.

      And we got WWII, with the likes of Hitler and Stalin trying to impose their visions of the future on the whole world…

      Anyways while most of the plebes are still stuck in commutes on the ground the rich having been buzzing around in their helicopters in most big urban centers for a while now. I think that telecommuting will eliminate a lot more traffic than flying cars… just a hunch though.

      • GoneFishing says:

        You are a pragmatist Fred. No sense of romance.
        Telecommuting, possible for some. Most jobs will be filled by computers and machines in the future anyway. Traffic will fall off naturally.
        I got a phone call about “free” PV for my house, sounded just like a real person. I managed to confuse the computer though and it finally got confused and started repeating itself. Soon it will be difficult to tell if you are talking to a computer or a person.

        On the practical side
        VSTOL aircraft and STOL aircraft along with long range aircraft will eliminate much of the highway system, thus saving huge amounts of energy and money. I could care less about the parasitic urban centers or how they get around. Aircraft and trains, the way to go. Sailing ships for the long ocean voyages.
        And we will stop running over so many wild animals.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Hi GF,

          Have you given much thought to the possibility that we will collectively really localize our lives ?

          I am confident there will always be some people with the time and money to travel, and so will not predict the demise of air travel, but it’s altogether possible in my opinion the air travel industry will shrink to a rather small fraction of its current size.

          The culture , prodded along by high liquid fuel energy costs, and a less than vigorous economy, might change so that we are content to stay at or near home, and spend most of the money we formerly spent on travel on other things.

          By way of example, I would rather see a local athletic contest where some of my neighbor’s kids are on the teams, or hear a local band play a few sets while enjoying a brew out with friends, than to go to a big league game or concert by a well known band.

          • GoneFishing says:

            Sure some people will localize, they already are doing that. But most people live in big city/town complexes with densities of thousands of people per square mile. Intercity travel could be by short hop VSTOL and trains. Certain areas would allow vehicle intra-city surface travel, but most of it would be foot and very light electric vehicles on the surface.
            Further out in the more rural supporting areas (cities cannot support themselves) larger vehicles resembling cars or trucks would move to local transport centers of air and train travel. So roads would be local.

            How much fully localized a high tech civilization can be is unknown, probably more than currently but since most people live in cities and dense towns they are on average fairly localized now. A lot of businesses have moved from cities to towns, suburbs and edges of rural areas.
            The environment of cities and the huge financial gradient keep people from living in them, as well as the saturation point where there are few or no places to live available. So people commute, fill up the businesses that day then travel home. Not everyone can live where they work or telecommute.
            More and more jobs will fall to computers and robotics, so travel may decrease because of that factor. Even the medical field will slowly succumb to that.
            The major highway and other highways may become a thing of the past. Just one less drag on the system. The long range car is not mandatory when there are enough other ways to get around and distances are short.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Certain areas would allow vehicle intra-city surface travel, but most of it would be foot and very light electric vehicles on the surface.

              I think we are seeing the beginning of a trend along those lines already, with electric bicycles worldwide!


              Global electric bike sales outstrip electric car sales 70 fold in 2015
              August 9, 2016 Mark Sutton

              Earlier this year, the Electric Bike World Report – the most comprehensive of its kind – revealed global electric bike sales in 2015 to be around 35 million units, some 70 times more than the 500,000 electric cars sold in the same period.

              The authors anticipate two billion pedal-assisted bikes will be in circulation by 2050, up from the 200 million said to be in circulation at present. Furthermore, it suggests that the US market will soon begin to mimic European demand having shown similar growth trajectory in recent times.

              I fully expect small personal EVs based on electric versions of velomobiles such as the Elf to become ubiquitous for short trips in urban centers. I could easily imagine a service similar to ZIP car’s where you could rent them for short trips.

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                Hi Fred,

                That Elf doesn’t look as if it would be fast enough to get you from the ‘burbs to downtown on a daily basis, but if fully electric or plug in hybrid cars at least as big as today’s compact cars don’t work out economically on the grand scale, I believe we will still be driving to work, most of us, from the burbs to wherever, including to another suburb on the far side of town.

                A fully equipped ordinary automobile can be shrunk down to half it’s width, two thirds it’s height, and half it’s weight, maybe less than half, no problem at all, except convincing the new car customer to actually buy it.

                No new technology at all is needed to build such a car, a fore and aft two seater powered by the functional equivalent of a lawn mower engine. It would still go the speed limit, except up a steep hill.

                A battery a quarter the size of one in the first generation Leaf would easily suffice for commuting purposes, charging in the carport or curbside at night.

                The death of the suburbs has been greatly exaggerated in my opinion, credit Twain.

                An informal poll of my personal acquaintances who live in the burbs indicate that virtually all of them would rather drive such a car as their daily commuter than to give up their mcmansions with lots of space and lawns for apartments in town.

                And considering that those mcmansions often cost them well into six figures, they aren’t going to walk away from them, no siree.

                The folks who are electric car naysayers who keep bringing up the lack of charging stations at apartment buildings apparently don’t know much about landlords, lol.

                Let an apartment building owner see his best prospective tenants moving in down the street at a building with plugs for the individual dedicated parking spot that goes with each apartment, and he will be on the phone pretty quick, calling electrical contractors for quotes.

              • GoneFishing says:

                Cute electric trike. Totally illegal here, would have to get a motorcycle registration and license, if the state cleared it.

                Needs a closed floor to protect from rain, slush, snow etc. Or one would end up soaked and frozen around here.

                Nice step forward toward lightweight EV’s though.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Definitely needs a cup holder or two along with a water bottle holder. 🙂

  20. Nathanael says:

    Nice work. Obviously we don’t know all the feedback loops, so the situation could be worse than this, but based on the model you’ve got… nice work.

    Let’s transition faster. 🙂

    I have to ask about your assumed growth rates for the near term (pre-2030). Solar and wind deployment are growing on fast exponential curves, and I’m not sure what rates you’ve used to model that. It’s actually very important as it determines the date at which the fossil plants get retired and therefore determines the total warming.

    It looks from your previous energy transition post as if you are assuming that fossil fuel demand will keep up with fossil fuel supply. It won’t. This is too pessimistic a model. Wind and solar are already undercutting fossil fuels on price, and this will accelerate.

    A correct model needs to model wind and solar growth as being production-constrained (how fast can they build the factories?) and model the fossil fuel demand as the residual. This is once they cross the critical price threshold in each market.

    The tricky bit is that the cost of production of fossil fuels is very different for “new wells” and “old wells”. Solar & wind have already rendered new wells & mines uneconomic, but have not yet done so for *old* wells & mines. (Well, they have done so for some of the more expensive ones, but not for all.) This means that a supply model for fossil fuels could be used to estimate fossil fuel demand, provided it only considers supply to exist from *old* very-low-cost wells and mines (assuming new exploration ends and the higher-cost existing stuff is shut down).

    Your oil shock model simply doesn’t take price into account, which causes it to overestimate supply. When solar is cheaper than new wells/mines, there is (after an adjustment period) no new exploration. The oil shock model assumes new discoveries. Assume they don’t happen (because there is no exploration, and/or any new discoveries would cost more to produce than building a solar farm) and you get a much lower “supply from existing fields” model.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      It’s actually very important as it determines the date at which the fossil plants get retired and therefore determines the total warming.

      While it may determine the rates at which fossil plants get retired it doesn’t follow that that will automatically determine total warming, let alone tell us the true consequences of even the relatively small amount of warming we are already seeing at 0.85C. What is missing in that assumption is that we don’t know what kinds of feedbacks and tipping points we have already set in motion.

      Do we have any idea what might happen if let’s say ice melt from Greenland shuts down the Gulf Stream? How about if we start seeing significant releases of CH4 from melting permafrost? What are the long term ecological consequences of coral reef die off in the Great Barrier Reef system? How about drought and biodiversity loss in the Amazon rain forest. Or the continuation of deforestation for cattle ranching and monoculture of soy bean farming in that same region?

      • Nathanael says:

        Oh yeah, none of us really know the feedback loops. But that’s our lack of information.

        The rate at which the fossil fuel plants get retired *does* determine the overall CO2 emissions and therefore the total warming; it seems that effects like cattle ranching deforestation are negligible by comparsion. Retire them earlier == less warming, or at least buying more time to reverse warming using extract-CO2-from-the-air techniques (there are many).

        I didn’t say that we actually could calculate the warming from the retirement dates, however! Because we don’t know how many of the feedback loops work. The warming is determined by the retirement dates, but it is determined by a function which we do not actually know. This makes sense, right? Because of the lack of knowledge about that function, we want to retire them ASAP.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Right on Nathanael,

          The precautionary principle rules, if you have good sense, when you are messing around with dangerous things you don’t fully understand.

          Even illiterate country bumpkins understand the precautionary principle, if you explain it to them in terms they can comprehend.

          I am still a bumpkin, but not illiterate, and learned this lesson very early on, by way of making some very serious mistakes.

          One was to adjust the carburetor on my Dad’s new chainsaw, the very first one in the immediate neighborhood.

          After I turned one of the screws, she ripped and screamed and sawed like never before, for a couple of hours.

          Then the engine seized up because the fuel mix was too lean for proper lubrication.

          We have a few pertinent easily understood sayings out in the boonies, one of them being that you never open a gate unless you know what does or does not live on the other side. Bulls and stallions kill people once in a while.

          Most of the fatal accidents involving guns happen with “EMPTY” guns, etc.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Just the forcings form snow loss , Arctic Ocean ice loss and increased water vapor in the atmosphere will be two to three times the eventual maximum forcing caused by CO2.

        Loss of the AMOC would force heat more southward and heat the ocean surface more, though a slow down some of the albedo effects in the north. It depends somewhat on when that happens, if it is already so warm up north that the cooling (which is regional) only brings that area back down to near current temps if won’t have much negative effect.

        All the rest are unknowns so far. Humans are the biggest unknown right now, can go either way. They are fast losing out to natural forcings.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Gonefishing,

          One thing you often miss is that the temperature change due to CO2 only would be 1 C without the other feedbacks. You also realize, I assume, that this would be the equilibrium climate sensitivity when the ocean has stopped warming after 500-1000 years if CO2 was stabilized at 560 ppm.

          You seem to be double counting the feedbacks if you believe that there will be 3 C of warming from a doubling of CO2 without adding the water vapor, lapse rate, cloud, and snow and ice cover feedbacks to the radiative forcing from CO2 alone. In addition when looking at temperature changes in MAGICC one needs to be careful to distinguish between a transient climate response and equilibrium climate sensitivity and to also be aware that climate scientists include the fast feedback response to an increase in CO2 (water vapor feedback for example) in the radiative forcing estimate.

          That is why water vapor feedback radiative forcing is not found in the IPCC tables of estimates for overall radiative forcing, they did not forget about it, nor did the developers of the MAGICC reduced complexity model.

          • GoneFishing says:

            What you are saying is that doubling of CO2 has only about 2 watts/m2 radiative forcing and the factors including water vapor and albedo are not properly modeled.

            The way you describe radiative forcing it is a multiple dependent variable. As CO2 increases, water vapor increases and albedo decreases. But as temperature increases from each of them, more CO2 is released from the ocean and earth which increases water vapor and decreases albedo further.. and so on.
            MAGICC gives about 5 W/m2 for RCP 6.0. Total radiative forcing (which should include all the fast feedbacks and other things undefined) is just slightly higher than that. The H2O value at 3C which is 6 W/M2 alone (2100 AD value) . So none of that adds up if the total is less than the forcing from water vapor alone. CO2 and all the other forcings would have a negative value.

            So it appears to be that the models do not properly account for water vapor and albedo changes, let alone the natural feedbacks of CO2 from ocean temperature increase and land temperature increases.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Gone fishing,

              You are forgetting the lapse rate feedback which is a negative feedback which partially counteracts the water vapor feedback.

              This reduced complexity model emulates the more complex AOGCMs. Do you think that the GISS Model E2-R model ignores albedo and sea ice?

              I have repeatedly provided links showing the results of the most recent GISS models which agree pretty closely with the results from MAGICC 6.

              MAGICC 6 also agrees with estimates for RF from AR4 and AR5 pretty closely in 2005 and 2011.

              Have you read the paper on MAGICC?

              The model works just fine, the reported radiative forcing includes the feedbacks. And those feedbacks are not as large as you believe.

              The model definitely does include feedbacks from CO2 as the planet warms.

              Take a look at the file below which has some of the parameters in the model


              Then read the papers on the model




        • GoneFishing says:

          NASA has determined an increase of 10 w/m2 in the Arctic due to changes in sea ice.
          Snow cover trends are negative in the northern hemisphere. Snow does not have to fully melt to become an absorber, surface melt will reduce the albedo of snow from 0.8 down to 0.4 -0.2.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Gonefishing,

            The snow melt albedo change applies mostly to places where there is glacial ice, in other areas the snow is seasonal. In the Earth System Models, these effects are considered, it is possible the CMIP3 models which MAGICC 6 emulates are deficient in this regard, but they certainly include the water vapor/ lapse-rate feedback which is about 1 W per meter squared per degree C (see Chapter 9 of IPCC AR5).

            The RCP6 scenario would require about 1540 Pg of fossil fuel Carbon emissions for the mean CMIP ensemble simulated by MAGICC from 1800-2100, so it is not very realistic. Based on reasonable estimates of fossil fuel availability and no attempt to reduce fossil fuel use, I would expect no more than 1150 Pg of fossil fuel carbon emissions (see Steve Mohr’s Phd Thesis) from 1800-2100, which is fairly close to RCP4.5.

            On the global scale albedo decreases in the north may be offset by desertification in other areas, the increased GHG flux from permafrost melt may be included in the carbon models emulated by MAGICC.

            The Earth System Models from CMIP5 include the snow cover and sea ice. Snow cover has not changed all that much on an annual basis in the Northern Hemisphere since 1967 see


      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Fred,

        Many of the consequences you suggest might affect regional warming, but the only one that is likely to have a significant effect is methane release, we can look to the mid-Pliocene warm period to get a rough idea of what might happen as atmospheric CO2 was about 380 to 405 ppm (I have seen those two estimates and a range of 350-450 ppm, we don’t have ice cores from 3.3 My BP). The feedbacks are fairly well known with the exception of cloud albedo feedback and the water vapor feedback is not precisely known (the 2 W/m^2/K estimate is on the high end of the estimates I have seen).

        As I have said before the uncertainty is reason to be cautious. One needs to be careful not to overstate the case for two reasons, one is that it is in contrast to what mainstream scientists are saying (as in the IPCC), and second the response may be oh well things are so bad there is nothing we can do so party on.

        With the best guess of the climate scientists we might avoid a catastrophe if we work at it (note that I agree that 2 C of global warming is too high) and if the ECS central estimate of 3 C is correct we might manage 1.7 C above 1850-1900 temperatures under reasonable scenarios. Note that around 5000-8000 BP during the Holocene Climactic Optimum (HCE) global temperatures were about 0.4 C above 1960-1990 average temperatures or about 0.8 C above pre-industrial (PI) temperature (1850-1900 average). So if we manage 1.7 C above PI it would be about 0.9 above HCE average temperature and 0.4C above to the Eemian interglacial (122 ka BP) and similar to the mid Pliocene warm period (3.1 Ma BP). So the earth’s history suggests keeping within 2 C above 1850-1900 average global temperatures may not lead to tipping points on a global basis.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Many of the consequences you suggest might affect regional warming, but the only one that is likely to have a significant effect is methane release,

          I think that may be incorrect! Case in point:

          “The effects of tropical deforestation on climate go well beyond carbon,” says Professor Deborah Lawrence, “[it] causes warming locally, regionally, and globally, and it changes rainfall by altering the movement of heat and water.”

          We know that global warming destroys coral reefs. Do we have any idea how dead reefs affect the carbon cycle?

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Fred,

            Based on paleoclimate, species will adapt and evolve. Often there are effects which counteract to some degree. A warmer world will have more water vapor in the atmosphere and it is likely there will be more precipitation. I do not disagree that we should do all we can to reduce our impact on the environment, reducing carbon emissions is a start even though some might claim it is of secondary importance relative to (your choice) the Arctic, water vapor, planetary albedo, tropical forests, or coral reefs.

            I believe they are all important, but think that higher atmospheric CO2 is the source of many other problems so I choose to focus on that less important problem. 🙂

            • notanoilman says:

              “species will adapt and evolve”

              YaBut, the changes are happening too fast, adaption cannot keep up. This is even more worrying when the species is a primary food crop.


              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Not an oilman,

                No doubt more species will become extinct. We have already seen a rapid rise in temperature of 1 C in 150 years, this is likely to continue for another 50 years and may level off at around 1.8 C above pre-industrial if we make a rapid energy transition with 940 Pg of total carbon emissions, based on CMIP3 models used in MAGICC 6.

                Food crops may need to be grown in different areas as climate changes.

                Humans will also have to adapt to the mess we have created.

                • notanoilman says:

                  I find “Food crops may need to be grown in different areas as climate changes.” rather glib. It assumes that there will be sufficient ‘different areas’ of sufficient quality. Australia seems to be set to moving production to new areas about 1/3 the size of the existing and moving crops north, in North America, may be a loosing deal when the new land is peat bog that had once been permafrost.


                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Notanoilman,

                    Just looking for solutions. If you are saying we should reduce emissions I agree.

                    We cannot undo what has been done.

                    The point of this post was that it is possible to keep warming at about 2 C or less.

                    It does not mean there won’t be problems.

                    What do you propose?

                  • notanoilman says:

                    Unfortunately I am tending to Misha’s conclusion – “we’re fucked”. What can we do, well do this NOW (if you are USAnian)

                    Vote for politicians who believe in climate change.

                    Sorry, I can’t vote in that one.

                    What more? Everybody needs to look at each part of our lives and see what can be changed to reduce impact. Specifics have all been thrashed out, here, many times so I won’t re-hash. For my part I need to make changes, over the next year, to support myself. Each change will take into account the climate change impact. For example, I need to improve lighting so I am looking at what LED lamps can do for me both mains operated and a simple PV system. (!Jevons Paradox as the requirement for better light, more light, comes first but then I plan to do it in the most carbon efficient way.)


    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Nathanael,

      I assume wind grows at 11%/ year from 2016-2021, 9%/year from 2022 to 2032, and 8%/year from 2033 to 2060 (end of fossil fuel demand due to adequate non-fossil fuel supply). For solar growth rates are higher 23%/year from 2016-2021, 16%/year from 2022-2027, 10%/year from 2028-2032, and 8%/year from 2033 to 2060.

      I assume that any excess non-fossil fuel supply (above my demand estimate) replaces fossil fuels and the demand estimate is in exergy where I have already excluded the energy lost in thermal conversion to electricity in power plants and engines so oil exergy demand is assumed at 30% of oil primary energy, coal at 37%, and natural gas at 45% [this roughly works for both electric power and natural gas heating if we assume heat pumps (COP=2.1) replace natural gas heat (95% efficiency).]

      So this energy transition is more optimistic than the first scenario I presented in July. The efficiency improvements in appliances and better buildings are included by progressively lower exergy intensity in my demand estimates for exergy. The scenario is rough and no doubt could be improved, I tried to make it somewhat realistic, but I believe it is on the optimistic side rather than the pessimistic side of a realistic estimate. You may be looking for what is technically possible, rather than what is politically and socially possible.

      Of course nobody knows how this will play out, or surely it is not me in any case.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Dennis did you estimate increasing energy demand due to increasing population as well as lifestyle increases in developing countries?

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Gone fishing,

          I assumed population increased at the average of the UN low fertility and medium fertility scenarios and that real GDP per capita (based on market exchange rates) continued to grow at the 1970-2015 average rate of 1.4% per year.

          I also assumed that Energy intensity continued to decrease at the 1982-2015 average rate until 2060 (about 1%/year) and after 2060 decreased at 0.5% per year. Energy intensity times real GDP (population times GDP/capita) gives the energy demand and I dropped this by 36.86% to convert primary energy to exergy. Chart below with World Exergy demand in exajoules in the scenario from 1980-2100.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Dennis,

        Personally I think your models are as realistic as anybody else’s, if a little less refined. And more refinement would be like working out a problem to a couple of decimal places past the point justified by the known or possible errors in your initial data.

        I do think the coal endowment is larger than you acknowledge, from having read about some large coal fields that located out in the remote boonies, but if renewable energy scales up at the rates you propose, these coal fields may never be developed.

        I am somewhat of a pessimist and cynic based on experience, and worry that there may well be a generation or two or three generations of very tough times ahead, due to the depletion of non renewable resources, etc.

        Overshoot is no joke, and we are at high risk of a very hard crash.

        If things go wrong, this keeps me from being surprised and depressed, lol.

        BUT it is a mistake, given recent developments, to ASSUME things will not work out well. Some of the other guys here seem to be operating on that assumption, and I fear they may be right, but they have no way of KNOWING they are right.

        The developments I am referring to involve the extraordinarily fast fall in the cost of renewable electricity, the unexpected huge decline in birth rates, breakthroughs in genetics which WILL be applied to farming, etc, etc,

        Your modeled scenarios are real possibilities, in my estimation, barring plain old bad luck.

        Yogi sez predictin’ is hard.

        Personally I am organizing my own affairs around the precautionary principle, to the extent I can, while still taking advantage of things such as diesel fuel so long as they remain plentiful and cheap.

        A paper dollar can decline to near zero value, but a silver dollar will always be worth its silver content. People ought to keep this fact in mind when making long term decisions about their affairs. I am not advocating stockpiling silver, but remembering the principle involved.

        You can stretch out on a nice sofa for fifty years, if you live so long, but spend the money on eating out, and next month you will have a hard time remembering where and what you ate.

        Barring bad luck, I will be spending the remainder of my years in a park like setting I own myself, superior to the settings that lots of people with lots of money seek out on vacations.

        You and any of the other regulars have a standing invitation to visit, if your business brings you thru my neck of the woods.

      • Nathanael says:

        Hi Dennis. You wrote:
        “I assume wind grows at 11%/ year from 2016-2021, 9%/year from 2022 to 2032, and 8%/year from 2033 to 2060 (end of fossil fuel demand due to adequate non-fossil fuel supply). For solar growth rates are higher 23%/year from 2016-2021, 16%/year from 2022-2027, 10%/year from 2028-2032, and 8%/year from 2033 to 2060.
        “I assume that any excess non-fossil fuel supply (above my demand estimate) replaces fossil fuels and the demand estimate is in exergy where I have already excluded the energy lost in thermal conversion to electricity in power plants and engines so oil exergy demand is assumed at 30% of oil primary energy, coal at 37%, and natural gas at 45% [this roughly works for both electric power and natural gas heating if we assume heat pumps (COP=2.1) replace natural gas heat (95% efficiency).]”

        OK, thanks, this is a pretty solid model! Thanks for the details on the assumptions.

        There’s a lot of complicated guesswork involved in these. For instance, the weighted average COP of heat pumps is a very tricky one because COP depends on the external temperature, but heating demand also depends on external temperature.

        I do think your growth rate assumptions for wind and solar are too low — far too low. The historic growth rate for wind (last 5 years) is between 19% and 25% per year, depending on how you measure it (kw rated or kwh), and the growth rate for solar (last 5 years) is in the ballpark of 45% per year. As they are now crossing the threshold where the unsubsidized prices for wind and solar are cheaper than all alternatives, there is no plausible reason why the growth rates would *slow down* in the near term.

        Try running a very conservative model (well, I consider it very conservative) with annualized 19% growth rates for wind and 34% growth rates for solar in the 2016-2021 period, and see what you get. I believe it will change the model *dramatically*.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Nathanael,

          I don’t think your “conservative” model is realistic. Those high growth rates are unlikely to continue. I measure the growth rate based on electricity output as reported in BP Statistical Review of World Energy. A growth rate of 30% per year is unlikely to continue as the share increases, there is not enough production capacity to accomplish it. One quickly runs into the limits of manufacturing capacity which cannot be expanded without limit. It is unprofitable to do so.

          • Nick G says:

            My observation is that maximum sustainable industrial growth rates are roughly 40% per year – roughly doubling every two years. We’ve seen that in several different industries – Tesla’s production is a good example.

  21. Dennis Coyne says:

    Hi Gone Fishing,

    You said:

    I don’t see any ice and snow parameters in MAGICC 6. No albedo change parameters. Also the CH4 inputs fall very quickly, which implies no increase in natural CH4 inputs as temperature rises.

    The MAGICC model is a reduced complexity global climate model which reproduced the results of the CMIP3 AOGCMs quite well. I find no inputs for albedo change, but for reasonable scenarios such as RCP2.6 or RCP4.5 (or the average) the albedo effect will be relatively small at century time scales.

    One needs to consider both lapse rate feedback and water vapor feedback together where the proper estimate is about 1 W/m^2/C, you have been leaving out the lapse rate feedback.

    I found this interesting piece (not really related to water or lapse rate feedback) on the Greenhouse effect. It is a little different from the usual models I have seen.

    A shorter summary of that piece at Real Climate.

    • GoneFishing says:

      The albedo change is already significant.
      No I did not leave out anything, NASA did. 🙂

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Gonefishing,

        I believe you misinterpreted what NASA meant, it is well understood that water vapor feedback roughly doubles the warming that would be caused by an increase in CO2 in a world without water (though CO2 might not be a problem on such a planet). The radiative forcing of a doubling of atmospheric CO2 would be only 1.2 W/m^2/C without the water vapor feedback and other fast feedbacks (such as changes in the lapse rate, albedo, clouds, etc).

        I found a discussion of feedbacks in chapter 9 of AR5, water vapor feedback is estimated at 1.6 W/m^2/C and lapse rate feedback at -0.6 W/m^2/C.

        Yes the albedo has changed and it is included in the full Earth System Models. Though the model mean does underestimate September sea ice in the Arctic, it also under estimates Southern hemisphere sea ice. From Chapter 12 of AR5 for model mean of CMIP5, add 0.6C to temperature change to get change from pre-industrial (1850-1900) T (Table 12.2). I think it is likely that carbon emissions will be midway between RCP2.6 an RCP4.5, which is about 1000 Pg C (including all sources of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions).

        • GoneFishing says:

          OK let’s do some simple math Dennis.
          NASA says 2 (w/m2)/C for water vapor.
          You say lapse rate (which is very limited and possibly positive in the Arctic) is -0.6 (w/m2)/C

          2*3C – 0.6 *3C = 4.2 w/m2 from increasing water vapor.
          Albedo changes will be at least 2 w/m2 by 2100. So that is 6.2 w/m2 (global average).
          Add another watt for carbon that makes 7.2 which gives a final temp of 5.8 C rise which will increase the water vapor even higher and decrease the albedo further.
          In the meantime natural CO2 and methane sources are being released as the temperature rises, more forest fires, etc. which raises the water vapor even further.
          So a rough guess of 8C final global temperature rise.
          With no orbital forcings to reduce the temperature, I don’t see temperatures falling for a long time. Greenland is toast and Antarctica is probably melted for the first time in a long time.

          Don’t take this or the models too seriously, it’s all just educated guesses. Changes in cloudiness can push the temps either way.
          It’s just a few degrees C, what’s the big deal? 🙂 .

          If we are lucky carbon outputs will be even lower than your estimate and the feedbacks might just peter out, but that is hope and not what I really think. I don’t see carbon output falling yet, probably won’t see it falling or peaking by the time I turn to fly food.
          If we see a drastic cutback in carbon output by 2030, I will drop my estimate of final global temperature rise. But I have no faith that when push comes to shove and energy problems occur that the human race won’t go right back to digging out the fossil fuels as fast as they can get them. Heck, somebody might find a way to turn them directly into food instead of wasting time and space on more farming. That would put a bend in the carbon model. We might be eating trees (converted) by then too.

          My new bumper sticker “Hippos in the Thames”
          if we haven’t eaten all the hippos.
          But just think how interesting it will be, as what is left of the human race migrates back and forth from northern Canada or Russia in summer back to the temperate zone in winter, like birds. We are too stick in the mud now anyway and afraid of migrations. How dull.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Gonefishing,

            AR5 (published after the 2008 NASA blurb you found) has water vapor as 1.6 and lapse rate as -0.6 for a total of 1 W/m^2/C for the planet.

            For a 3 C temperature change it would be a feedback of 3 W/m^2.

            You are overestimating the contribution from albedo change.

            From the last glacial maximum(LGM) to the HCE average temperature changed by about 3.5 C globally. Average CO2 during HCE was 260 ppm and 188 ppm at LGM. A doubling of CO2 corresponds with an increase of radiative forcing of 3.7 W/m^2 (including fast feedbacks). So using the numbers above the CO2 change results in a 1.4 W/m^2 change in forcing and total forcing would be about 4 W/m. This implies the change in forcing due to decreased albedo was about 2.6 W/m^2.
            The ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere during the LGM were about 10 times larger than current Northern hemisphere ice sheets and I will assume the size was similar during the HCE, that implies about one tenth the radiative forcing at most (as I doubt the entire Greenland ice sheet will melt by 2100, though snow cover extent may be somewhat lower than the HCE). So maybe 0.3 W/m^2 due to albedo change globally rather than the 2 W/m^2 you assume.

            So the total from the feedbacks is about 3.3 W/m^2. Most of this is already wrapped into the GHG forcing which includes the forcing from the feedbacks. Total GHG forcing in 2100 is 5.7 W/m^2 and about 58% of this is from feedbacks. This is for the RCP6 scenario.

            I agree we do not know this precisely these are best estimates based on the most recent IPCC report. I do not know the literature well enough to make an expert judgement on every new paper that is written. Also I am not an expert on the subject so my judgements are often incorrect.

            You seem to favor higher estimates of ECS.

            Comparing model with temperature data for a MAGICC model with ECS=2.9C and ECS=4 C suggests the lower ECS is a better match with BEST temperature data from 1951-2015, anomaly is zero at the 1951-1980 average temperature. The trendline for the ECS=2.9C matches the slope of the BEST trendline more closely (0.0124 vs 0.0119) than the ECS=4C trendline (0.0147).

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Gone fishing,

            We are unlikely to emit more than 1100 Pg of carbon based on my fossil fuel estimates. Carbon emissions will decrease when peak fossil fuels is reached, likely before 2030. Not that in my scenario I purposely used my high fossil fuel scenario as a starting point. Demand for fossil fuels will fall as non fossil fuel energy reaches a critical mass around 2040 and will quickly replace all fossil fuel use by 2060.

            RCP6 is not going to happen and even RCP4.5 is probably higher than realistic, because the lack of fossil fuel will lead quickly to its replacement after the peak. High fossil fuel prices will make it happen, carbon taxes would make the transition easier and quicker.

            It still won’t be good, but not 8 C above pre-industrial. RCP6 requires about 2000 Pg of total carbon emissions by 2200, that is not going to happen.

  22. GoneFishing says:

    Climate models have underestimated Earth’s sensitivity to CO2 changes, study finds

    “Equilibrium climate sensitivity is a measure used to estimate how Earth’s surface temperature ultimately responds to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Specifically, it reflects how much the Earth’s average surface temperature would rise if CO2 doubled its preindustrial level. In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated climate sensitivity to be within a range of 2 to 4.7 degrees Celsius.

    The Yale team’s estimate is much higher: between 5 and 5.3 degrees Celsius. Such an increase could have dramatic implications for climate change worldwide, note the scientists.”

    One more crack in the climate model world.

    • Doug Leighton says:


      “Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have identified a mechanism that causes low clouds — and their influence on Earth’s energy balance — to respond differently to global warming depending on their spatial pattern. The results imply that studies relying solely on recent observed trends are likely to underestimate how much Earth will warm due to increased carbon dioxide.”

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Gone fishing,

      The abstract says up to 1.3 C higher ECS, which would be 4.5 C based on the AR5 estimate of a 3.2 C mean ECS for CMIP5 climate models.

      Another piece on the paper

      I note they say:

      the team’s model had predicted a global temperature rise of 2.0°C to 4.6°C, which agreed with most climatologists’ expectations. With the revised impact prediction for mixed-phase clouds, the model’s estimates increase by as much as 1.3°C, Tan and her colleagues report.

      I don’t have access to the paper, but the mean estimate is more important. “As much as” seems to imply a 90% upper bound.

      In addition, Gavin Schmidt suggests in an email that:

      the new cloud data should be tested with other constraints and other models. “This is one extra ingredient that needs to go into the hopper,” he wrote.

      There is always more to learn.

  23. GoneFishing says:

    Climate Science Predictions Prove Too Conservative

    Checking 20 years worth of projections shows that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has consistently underestimated the pace and impacts of global warming

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Gone fishing,

      In some areas they have gotten it wrong, on temperature, the mean model temperature response of the AR4 models (CMIP3) was pretty good, actually pretty much spot on through 2015.

      Some of the CMIP5 models such as GISS Model E2-H predict less arctic sea ice than observations, but the model mean remains too high for arctic sea ice compared to observations.

  24. GoneFishing says:

    Abrupt Non-Linear Climate Change, Irreversibility and Surprise
    Unfortunately, most climate change assessments rarely consider low-probability, but highconsequence
    extreme events. Instead, they primarily consider scenarios that supposedly “bracket the
    uncertainty” rather than explicitly integrate unlikely events from the “tails of the distribution.” Not even
    considered in the standard analytical works are structural changes in political or economic systems or
    regime shifts such as a change in public consciousness regarding environmental values. Although
    researchers may recognize the wide range of uncertainty surrounding global climate change, their analyses
    are typically surprise-free. Thus, decision-makers reading the “standard” literature will rarely appreciate
    the full range of possible outcomes, and thus might be more willing to risk adapting to prospective changes
    rather than attempting to avoid them through abatement than if they were aware that some potentially
    unpleasant surprises could be lurking (pleasant ones might occur as well, but many policymakers tend to
    insure against negative outcomes preferentially).

  25. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Shrinking the Technosphere: Getting a Grip on Technologies that Limit our Autonomy, Self-Sufficiency and Freedom

    “Over the past two centuries we have witnessed a wholesale replacement of most of the previous methods of conducting both business and daily life with new, technologically advanced, more efficient methods.

    What exactly is progressive or efficient about this new arrangement is hardly ever examined in depth: if the new ways of doing things are so much better, then we must all be leading relaxed, stress-free, enjoyable lives with plenty of free time to devote to art and leisure activities. But a more careful look at these changes shows us that many of these advances are not weighing favourably in a harm/benefit comparison. The harm to the environment, society, and even to our own personalities, on an individual level, is plain to see, but is brushed off with hollow claims about efficiency and progress.

    Shrinking the Technosphere guides readers through the process of bringing technology down to a manageable number of carefully chosen, essential, well-understood and controllable elements. It is about regaining the freedom to use technology for our own benefit, and is critical reading for all who seek to get back to a point where technologies assist us rather than control us.”

  26. Oldfarmermac says:

    Hi GF,
    My own gut feeling is that the risk of abrupt and possibly catastrophic fast change is very very real, but I don’t have any way of quantifying the risk.

    Personally I lack both the access to the bulk of the professional literature, and the mathematical and statistical chops to REALLY appreciate it, in detail.

    But sometimes, a generalist, a person interested in everything, has an easier time seeing the really big picture than a well qualified professional, who may be inhibited from letting his thinking run free by his professional training. Professionals of all sorts are rightly and properly very cautious about leaping to unjustified conclusions.

    Since I have no reputation or professional status to worry about, other than maybe one as a gadfly among a small circle of cyber acquaintances, I can look at the big picture without any inhibitions at all.

    And a deep appreciation of history and folk wisdom or culture can help immensely in being able to see the big picture. There are countless instances of bold but still not reckless professionals underestimating the dangers of risky enterprises, and losing their lives as a result.

    For my part, I have near zero trouble putting myself in the intellectual shoes of other people, and I can talk street trash with a dope dealer so that he never suspects I am not one of his own kind, sharing his values and his world view. I can go to a meeting of the local people who are big time Trump fans, and hang with them all afternoon, and never say a word that gives any one of them a reason to think I don’t share all their basic beliefs and values, and from there to meeting of Sanders kids at the nearby community college, and fit right in , just as easily.

    So- my point is that I have no problem whatsoever in considering the possibility that the climate models produce results that are many times less troublesome than what the physical world may actually throw at us.

    I am not culturally conditioned to be distrustful of scientists, lol.

    There aren’t going to be very many linear changes associated with climate change, neither physically linear, nor economically and culturally linear.

    A consistently warmer late winter, such as we have experienced recently all to often where I live is not going to reduce apple and peach production. It’s going to wipe us out. We will still be able to farm of course, but the apple and peach industries will have to move northward, barring genetic manipulation of the trees. My guess is that most of the orchard land in this area will be devoted to cows and grass within two generations. Most of the land is not really suitable for producing field crops with modern machinery on a commercial scale, the fields are too small, and the topography too rough.

    Just four or five inches less rain out of an average forty or fifty annually is going to SERIOUSLY disrupt the work of farmers in major bread basket areas, especially if combined with just a couple more degrees of heat about the same time. The consequences? Civil war and mass migration of people fleeing famine are among them.

    It’s here, and it’s real.

    Wipe out a woodland or wetland near an area where crops are grown,or a thousand miles away, and the loss of bird habitat may mean that a bug we hardly even notice now may be tomorrows major new pest.

    Wipe out a coastal wetland environment, and you may well wipe out a commercial fishery, and the loss of that fishery may mean the rise of another problem a thousand miles away, because the fish hatched in that wetland may be eating something that will run wild THERE……….

    It’s real.

  27. GoneFishing says:

    You seem to have a very good grasp of the situation despite your claiming lack of science and math skills.
    Truly we don’t know what is coming, we can only see where we are probably headed. It is fairly sure that the Arctic Ocean will have total ice free periods soon. A climatologist recently stated that just staying at this temperature the Greenland Ice Cap would melt, didn’t say how fast.
    Just a couple of big volcanos blasting off will chill things enough to cause Trump to trumpet his idiotic statement again “It’s cold here, where is the global warming. We could use some now.” But just for a few years or months.
    The annual average snow cover is 16 million km2, bigger than Antarctica. At it’s yearly maximum it resembles the area of the largest glaciation. Losing that snow cover in late winter on average would double the heat forcing of the earth. It is slowly happening so far. As that accelerates it will mean that even reducing atmospheric CO2 will have little effect.
    Without snow cover the roots of plants are not protected from sub-freezing temperatures and winds, thus causing plant death.
    The less talk and more real action now, the more time we have to prepare for the new world coming over the horizon like the Langoliers eating up the past.

    So when you feel like you are living in northern Florida or Southern Georgia, you won’t be surprised.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      “So when you feel like you are living in northern Florida or Southern Georgia, you won’t be surprised.”

      Why wouldn’t you feel like you’re living in SOUTHERN Florida? Or is that because of the estimate that we are committed to a sea-level rise of about 2.3 metres per degree Celsius of temperature rise (within the next 2,000 years)?

      • GoneFishing says:

        I was thinking more of temperature than aquatic anxiety. I guess living in southern Florida now could cause a bit of worry in the back of the head. All we need is one sizable portion release of West Antarctica ice sheet to release and southern Florida will have much less real estate.
        “2000 years” Doug said. Maybe much sooner according to some new model research incorporating the loss of protective ice shelves and face instability.

        “The great ice sheet, larger than Mexico, is thought to be potentially vulnerable to disintegration from a relatively small amount of global warming, and capable of raising the sea level by 12 feet or more should it break up. But researchers long assumed the worst effects would take hundreds — if not thousands — of years to occur.

        Now, new research suggests the disaster scenario could play out much sooner.

        Continued high emissions of heat-trapping gases could launch a disintegration of the ice sheet within decades, according to a study published Wednesday, heaving enough water into the ocean to raise the sea level as much as three feet by the end of this century.”

        So it is possible that some little tyke running around now will see the demise of Southern Florida and many parts of the coastline. It’s possible it might happen after 2100. We should know more within the next decade or two as the protective ice shelves break out. The predicted instability will be measurable then and probably taken seriously. In any case, someone will probably have to deal with the results.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Why wouldn’t you feel like you’re living in SOUTHERN Florida?

        I guess we’re on our own down here as we have already been written off, eh?

        That’s ok, I prefer to hang out with dolphins anyway!


        • GoneFishing says:

          You are pretty much done at 6 feet of rise. So here is 8 feet, doesn’t look much worse than 6.
          Buy property in northern Florida, will be worth several times what it is now.

          Meanwhile cities are expanding out into the sea around the world. Are they thinking it will happen soon?

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Heh! I already own property on that dry spot on future Hollywood Island. All I have to do is sit tight… 😉

            • Doug Leighton says:

              Fred, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that sea level will only rise by 50–100 cm by 2100 but only Dennis would believe that. As you are no doubt aware, owing to bad geology southern Florida is particularly vulnerable. So, yes, either learn to live among your dolphins or move north: life with dolphins may be the better choice! BTW, a sea level rise of two metres may be alarming, but compared to the Pliocene, when levels were 40 metres higher, it’s small change.

              • GoneFishing says:

                ” but compared to the Pliocene, when levels were 40 metres higher, it’s small change.”

                We are always being outdone by our past. Our global warming efforts will probably fall short of the record too. We might even not do a proper extinction event, probably mess that up too.
                Look at us, can only produce a civilization during the best of times and climate. We are messing that up too while things are still good, go figure.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Doug,

                No I expect there will be some sea level rise, but I do not pretend to know what it will be. IPCC says about 450 cm for RCP4.5 by 2100, longer term it will be more maybe a couple of meters by 2300.


                • Fred Magyar says:

                  IPCC says about 450 cm for RCP4.5 by 2100,

                  Great! No worries then, luckily I’m an excellent swimmer and can tread water for hours at a time! Because I’m only 183 cm tall. That’s roughly 6 ft, for the metrically challenged out there.

                  450 cm = 14.76 ft.


                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Fred,

                    Yes as Nick points out the estimate for RCP4.5 is about 45 mm or 0.45 meters from the 1995 sea average level by 2090.

                    The 50-100 cm estimate is for a wider range of scenarios from RCP2.6 to RCP8.5 and probably is just the range of the mean estimates, even just for RCP4.5 (which is at least a plausible scenario) the range in estimate is 35 to 65 cm. Perhaps the estimate will be revised up as we learn more or we could assume the high estimate will be correct.

                • Nick G says:

                  Did u mean 45?

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Nick,

                  Yes it should have been 450 mm or 45 cm, it is 0.45 meters or about 1.5 feet. And about 1 meter by 2300 if greenhouse gases remain under 500 ppm CO2 equivalent, my scenario for an energy transition has CO2 equivalent at about 450 ppm in 2300.

                  Sea level will continue to rise as ice sheets melt over thousands of years, though the rate that this will occur is an area of active research. In the mid-Pliocene warm period sea level was 25 meters higher than today, but this probably happened over a roughly 5000 year period. In the 1910 to 2010 period, sea level rose by about 180 mm, but the rate of rise has been faster since 1960, at about 200 mm per century, the IPCC expects the rate to accelerate.

                  I naively believe the scientists have made their best estimate based on the evidence, I don’t think I know more than the experts.

                  There is wide uncertainty on the sea level estimate for 2081-2100 ranging from a 0.35 to 0.65 meters of sea level rise from the average 1971-2010 average sea level.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                …the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that sea level will only rise by 50–100 cm by 2100…


                Piers Sellers launches the Priestley International Centre for Climate

                Starting @ 2:00 min he talks about the amount of ice Greenland is losing by melting into the ocean on a yearly basis. Imagine an ice cube with a volume of 1 cubic kilometer, that’s 1 GT of ice, now multiply that by 300. That is the amount of ice Greenland is losing into the ocean every year!

                Think about that.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Sellers says that the Arctic is heating up 2.5 times faster than the rest of the globe because of the ice albedo feedback. No wonder Greenland is falling apart.

                  • Fred Magyar says:


                    Someone should come up with a little ditty similar to ‘ Dry Bones (Dem Bones)’ that makes it clear how everything is all connected.

                    ‘The ice melt is connected to the Gulf stream.
                    The Gulf stream is connected to the Jet Stream.
                    The Jet Stream is connected to the water stream.
                    And it’s all flowing down to the Sea!

                    Or something like dat…


                  • GoneFishing says:

                    But as we lose the beauty of the glaciers, what mysteries will be unveiled in and under them?

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Doug,

        The mid-Pliocene (3.15 My BP) has sea levels 25 meters higher than today. In the past 20,000 years we saw about 100 meters of sea level rise. Let’s assume for simplicity we could get 25 meters sea level rise in 5000 years, the mid Pliocene was probably no more than 2 C higher than today (Hansen estimates only 1,5C, but I have seen estimates of 2.5 C so I am averaging the two). So we could potentially see as much as 12.5 meters per degree celsius of temperature increase over a 5000 year period and if we assume linearity (I agree not a good assumption) this might be more like 5 meters over 2000 years. There would be wide uncertainty on this estimate maybe 2.5 to 7.5 meters of sea level rise over 200o years, if we manage to keep temperatures within 1 C of 1986-2005 average temperature, it seems 1.5 C above that is more likely so 3.7 to 11 meters seems a reasonable guess. Better ice sheet models would be helpful.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Dennis, that summary might make a useful footnote, or margin note, to a lecture for a Geology 101 class.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Doug,

            In this case, maybe we both are correct. And I know you know this better than me, but there might be some readers that know even less than me. 🙂

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Hi GF,

      I have an excellent understanding of the major hard sciences at least thru the level at which they are USED TO BE taught to students majoring in these fields in their freshman and sophomore years, plus basic calculus. I got this understanding the hard way, by taking the courses, lol, in the same classrooms as the kids majoring in biology, or math, or whatever. As a freshman, I took math with the math majors and engineers, chemistry with the chemistry majors, and biology with the biology majors, including the labs. Nobody other than a few ag students normally took all three of these courses during their first year.

      I also have a LOT of credits at the higher level, junior and senior , as well as some graduate credits, but these are not so much pure biology for instance as APPLIED.

      When I took a year of anatomy and physiology, the principles were covered in the same way as in the equivalent biology class, but the details and examples were mostly based on domestic species, and the manipulation of those species for our purposes.

      But I have forgotten most of the calculus, and I am sorely behind the times in some aspects of biology, etc.

      I can’t make heads nor tails out of modern physics, but then Feynman himself said if you think you understand it, you are fooling yourself, lol.

      So I couldn’t sit down with you and discuss the particular details of a climate model in detail because the math, statistics, and computer programming are over my old white half bald head.

      Nevertheless my own professional field is all about the application of technology to natural systems. If you don’t understand natural systems reasonably well, you simply aren’t a pro in my professional line of work.

      • GoneFishing says:

        I have seen large forested areas that are fairly devoid of animal life. After logging once or twice, it appears much of the food system was broken and the animals never came back in any numbers. Weird wandering miles through forest devoid of sound of birds, no signs of animal trails. There are flies and mosquitos. Forests are more than trees, they work from below the ground on up.

        Makes me wonder about a lot of the reclaimed areas, what they are really like after the mining industry gets done with them.

      • Synapsid says:


        Check out the site EurekAlert. It’s run by AAAS and funded by the DOE, NIH, and NSF. It’s mostly abstracts from the professional literature and public releases from research entities. Each topic has its own section; I read the Archaeology, Earth Science, Space and Planetary, and Biology sections, which have lots of cross-listings among them.

        No ads, either.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        “I can’t make heads nor tails out of modern physics, but then Feynman himself said if you think you understand it, you are fooling yourself.”

        Mac, To be fair, Feynman was referring to Quantum Mechanics rather than physics in general. I believe what he said was: “I think I can safely say that nobody understands Quantum Mechanics.”

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Doug,

          Often introductory Quantum physics is called “Modern physics” in the US, so as not to scare too many students away. 🙂 At least, 35 years ago they did it that way at my university, things may have changed.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Good point, you’re probably right. I always thought of Relativity as the start of “Modern Physics” but may be wrong. Guess it’s not important.

            • GoneFishing says:

              It’s mostly a matter of being able to imagine statistical population changes that relate to Newtonian changes. Instead of gross physical movements or spins, it’s changes in populations of energy states.

              • Doug Leighton says:

                That sounds like garden variety Fermi–Dirac statistics to me.

                • GoneFishing says:

                  Spin up, spin down, versus spin all around.
                  I watched too many FID’s in my time.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                The Most Beautiful Equation: How Wilczek Got His Nobel

                • Doug Leighton says:


                  I must say, you come up with the most beautiful videos. Watching Wilczek was like listening to my dear wife talking about her work: thank you ever so much.


                • GoneFishing says:

                  Just like Doug makes quantum spin populations sound plain and not very amazing, the equations of the strong force Wilczek formulated has become just another piece of the puzzle to be used to move onward.
                  I guess once we think we understand something it loses it’s glamour and interest because we can explain what once was unexplainable. From mysterious to commonplace in so short a time.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    I guess once we think we understand something it loses it’s glamour and interest because we can explain what once was unexplainable. From mysterious to commonplace in so short a time.

                    Well, even though I, a mere ignorant piece of carbon, can grasp the physics involved in creating a rainbow, whenever I see one, I’m still in awe at its beauty….

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Yes Fred we appreciate the beauty in nature. However, the mystery is gone. When we were more ignorant, life was mysterious as well as beautiful and ugly. Things just were, we didn’t know why.

                    You are right, the beauty is still there for us mortals. A different subject though. Totally different word.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Doug,

              You are correct, and I probably should have said intermediate level course. The first course in “modern physics” covered special relativity and very basic concepts of quantum mechanics, the next “modern physics” course focused more on quantum mechanics (but still at what I would consider a very introductory level), I don’t think the course was actually called quantum mechanics, but it was long ago, I may be wrong.

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              I just used the term “modern” in relation to physics to mean all the stuff newer than classical Newtonian physics, which I do understand, at the freshman level at least. I didn’t know the term modern is used to refer to quantum mechanics, lol.

              From the Einstein era on, I am basically lost, in terms of being comfortable in my mind with the theories.
              I can tell you basically what any informed layman can tell you about them and what they predict, and which predictions have been borne out, etc, but as far as REALLY physics from relativity on, I must admit I am a child in the woods.

              I doubt if any body else does, for that matter, unless they have devoted at least a couple of years of serious study to these the field at the university level, meaning they also took the requisite math courses, statistical courses, etc.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Gone fishing,

      Winter snow cover has not changed much since 1967 through 2015 in the Northern hemisphere.

      Plot of northern hemisphere March snow cover at link below.

      For all months 1966-2016 the trend as been -2.73% per decade for northern hemisphere snow cover extent. Over the 1967 to 2013 period northern hemisphere land temperatures increased by 1C (BEST data), probably more than this in the snow belt. By 2060 northern hemisphere land temperatures may increase another 1.5 C from 2013 temperature levels, so if the response is linear ( and it may not be) with temperature maybe the rate of decrease will increase by a factor of 1.5. Hard to know for sure, it’s in the models 🙂

      • GoneFishing says:

        Dennis, if you say so.
        However, looking at the snow cover departures over the 1967 to 2015 time period I see a decided reduction in the right hand half of the graph as compared to the earlier left hand graph. See graph below.

        Snow cover range, if one looks at all months, has a departure range of almost +-100 percent. A very wide variability from year to year, i.e. sometimes large regions of low albedo are left exposed.
        The changes are not linear, and the snow cover extent is not even a good measure of albedo of snow. Some warming events change the surface of the snow and it’s albedo can drop as low as 0.4 even though the ground is fully covered. So as more warming events occur and generally higher temps occur even areas with snow cover will absorb more radiation.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Gone fishing,

          Yep the weather varies year to year so looking at long term averages is more relevant in my view. The melt pools you are talking about affect only areas with perennial ice, for most of the area the snow melts each year and melt ponds are not that big an issue. For sea ice and ice sheets it is relevant and you are correct.

          Looking at your chart it seems thing have been relatively stable since 1995, I agree snow cover extent has decreased, the melt areas mostly applies to the low points of the chart below, about 12% of the average snow cover extent or 3 million km^2. That’s about 0.5% of the area of the planet.

          • GoneFishing says:

            I was talking about snow surface not melt pools. Did not mention melt pools. Melt pools drop it down to 0.2. Stop making thing up.
            Your graph is not very meaningful since you look at the peak, the real information is in the area of each peak and when that area occurs during the year. Other very important information is not in that graph, actual albedo changes in snow. Norway has done some fine work in that area.
            Keep plugging, the models will eventually converge somewhere near reality. Maybe 2050 or so.

  28. Oldfarmermac says:

    I don’t think anybody has posted this link yet.

    A truly big time HVDC line will run almost a thousand miles from big wind country to Tennessee, where the juice can flow into an eastern grid.

    According to the link, the routes are already approved, and no public financing is needed, so the odds are very good it will be built.

    Every job of this nature that is finished tends to make the next one easier, with more engineers and construction and manufacturing guys having experience in the work.

    Barring BAD luck, and given a little good luck, meaning things go reasonably well with the economy, etc, I think Dennis’s projections about the long term growth rate of wind and solar energy sound quite reasonable.

    ASSUMING “normal” times of course.

  29. Nick G says:

    Lest anyone think miracles can’t happen, or that a brighter future is impossible…

    The Cubs have won!!

  30. Doug Leighton says:


    “The report finds that by 2030 the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere will be some 25% above that mark… While the report notes that the growth of emissions from fossil fuel use and industry is slowing, this scale of carbon would put the world on track for a rise in temperatures by the end of this century of between 2.9 and 3.4 degrees C.”

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Doug,

      No doubt they assume there is no reason why carbon emissions cannot continue to increase forever because as everyone knows fossil fuels are unlimited in supply. 🙂

      • Doug Leighton says:

        No, it’s more likely they assume God has worked things out so His children will run out of affordable carbon fuel timed specifically to save us (His children) from sizzling Earth. Isn’t that more-or-less your scenario? 🙂

        • GoneFishing says:

          What about the rest of us?

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Come on bro!
            Surely you can find something or some being to worship amongst the nearly four thousand weird and wonderful Gods, Supreme Beings, Demons, Spirits and Fabulous Beasts from all over the world…
            You can’t be in non believer of all of them, can you?!

            BTW, I just took a look at the top 10 most popular gods and three of them are Norse Gods. #1 Odin, #2 Loki and #10 Thor. That must make Doug somewhat pleased… 😉

            • Doug Leighton says:

              Well that’s good but how could they miss Freyja? After all, can’t forget love, sex, beauty, fertility, gold, war, and death. Actually Odin could (can) be a tad irresponsible on occasion but Thor 10th? Whoever made the list must be Crazy; that’s sacrilege,

              • Nick G says:

                Don’t we celebrate her every Friday?

                • Doug Leighton says:

                  ‘Course we do and so we should…sheesh

                • Bob Nickson says:

                  Tīwesdæg, Wōdnesdæg, Thunresdæg, Frīgedæg

                  Tiw, Woden, Thor & Frigga.

                  Chalk this up under obvious things that I’d never realized. Thanks guys. Amazing the things one can learn here.

                  Where’s Skaði though?

                  • Doug Leighton says:


                    But Skaði is with you from dawn to dusk, your shadow. Apart from when she sneaks away once and awhile to kill something (with with her bow).

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Doug,

          No I just follow the evidence. There is much that is not known so I think we should be cautious.

          We don’t know how much fossil fuel will be extracted, so I make an educated guess.

          You tend to make fun of my guesses, suggesting that much less fossil fuel is likely to be extracted than my rosy scenarios.

          If your criticism is justified, then one might expect my “low” fossil fuel scenarios would be the scenarios that are more realistic in your view.

          That scenario would result in about 1100 Pg of carbon emissions from 1800-2200 (from all sources including land use change and cement production) which is almost exactly between RCP2.6 and RCP4.5 total carbon emissions.

          Note that this would be if there is no increase in non-fossil fuel energy and the World managed to reduce its energy use as fossil fuel output declined, by whatever means (including starvation and population decline from lake of food).

          So I ask the question, what would need to happen to prevent the catastrophe that results if there is not enough energy? (I use the high fossil fuel scenario to make the job easier, even though that would be likely to result in more climate change.)

          I find the minimum energy which might be required to permit slow real GDP growth with a population peak in 2070 and see how much non-fossil fuel energy is needed to fulfill energy needs. Then I assume once those needs are met that non-fossil fuel energy will continue to grow at the previous near term rate of 8% per year, remembering that global growth in oil and natural gas averaged 7%/year growth for 60 years (1910-1970).

          That is technically possible as long as non-fossil fuel prices remain above fossil fuel prices. An assumption that this will be the case seems reasonable as fossil fuels will continue to deplete (making them more expensive over time) and economies of scale (think computer industry during the 1980s) will make non-fossil fuel energy relatively less expensive than fossil fuels.

          Clearly there is no way to know what will actually happen, it is possible that only the worst possible outcome will occur in every case, though I think statistics suggests this is unlikely. 🙂

          Of course it is equally unlikely that the best possible outcome will occur in every case.

          That is why I typically create a high and low case to bound the possibilities and assume reality will be somewhere in between.

          There are some who like to choose the high case for fossil fuel availability (say RCP6, which is a factor of 1.43 higher than my “high” fossil fuel case) and the high estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity (say 4.5 C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2) and believe that is the most likely scenario.

          Some even like the RCP8.5 scenario best, which is a factor of 3.2 higher cumulative carbon emissions from 1800-2200 than my “high” fossil fuel scenario.

          To me, peak fossil fuels is not consistent with any scenario higher than RCP4.5 (that scenario has 105 Pg lower carbon emissions than my “high” fossil fuel scenario, 1462 Pg vs 1567 Pg).

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Hi Doug,

      I am personally worried and pessimistic because of the possibility ( likelihood imo and yours ) that positive feed back effects will bring about faster and more severe warming than the models predict.

      But……. maybe not.

      I don’t think anybody has posted this link yet.

      Management at Shell has projected that peak demand for oil may come about within just a few years. Exon disagrees. Expertise is in my estimation all that useful in predicting such things, because there are too many variables, an unknown number of them unknown, that are apt to change value wildly, in either direction.

      Personally my own seat of the pants thinking is that the depletion of the old giant and super giant oil fields, the ever smaller new fields being brought into production, the higher per barrel cost of producing these smaller fields, economic nationalism aka hoarding, etc, may all taken together result in a considerably sharper decline in world wide production than Dennis and some others expect.

      If so, a decline in demand might mean the price doesn’t go up a whole lot.

      My own opinion is that ten to twenty years is not long enough for most well off people to change their lifestyles to any real extent, unless forced to do so by circumstances.They will NOT move from the ‘burbs to the city, voluntarily, in significant percentages, if they can afford to commute,etc. Commuting costs a hell of a lot, but it’s still dirt cheap compared to the alternative, considering the sunk cost of suburbia and the lack of available desirable urban housing.

      So people will change to the extent they will drive REALLY small cars, and they WILL buy electrics and plug in hybrids, with the range consideration issue out the window, if they can only afford one that will get them to work and back reliably, without worrying about getting to Grandma’s house, or a vacation trip.

      Bottom line, I don’t think I can predict what will happen, except maybe in the most general terms.

      But anybody who has given any real thought to such matters should readily understand that when and if circumstances FORCE suburbanites drive pure electric and plug in cars, OR give up the mcmansion,well, they will opt for electrified personal transportation.

      Now here is a possibility that I have not seen seriously discussed, namely that the supply of good used conventional cars will be huge, if electric car sales really do take off. As Dennis and others point out, robust electric vehicle sales could reduce the demand for oil enough to keep gasoline cheap a long time, thereby enormously increasing the incentive for people to drive an existing conventional car that can be bought for a rather low price, compared to a new or relatively new used electric.

      • Doug Leighton says:


        I share your concerns respecting unpredictability of outcomes owing to feedback, etc; of course I don’t have the faintest idea how things will play out because there are so many variables.

        I too lack of confidence that humans will act soon enough to avert catastrophe. I was in Norway recently, EV capital of Europe and a very wealthy country. Norwegians are well educated, especially concerned about emissions, and rich enough to do something constructive: even Norway is not really changing all that quickly. So I agree when you say ten to twenty years is not long enough for most well off people to change their lifestyles to any real extent; this may be the biggest problem of all: inertia.

        Besides, I have about ten neighbors who I know relatively well. I think all of them are “environmentally aware” and concerned about habitat etc. I doubt one of them has modified his/her environmental behavior respecting fossil fuels or has plans to do so. Much higher fuel costs, sustained, would certainly help.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Doug,

          I agree there has not been much change. A key assumption that I make is that fossil fuel output will peak and prices will rise, perhaps by a lot. Will this affect demand for fossil fuels? I think so because there will be a forced reduction of demand to match available supply, it will be created by rising prices to the point where demand and supply match.

          A faster reduction of fossil fuel supply means even higher fossil fuel prices and a faster ramp up in efficiency and non-fossil fuel energy supply would be needed or reduced real GDP growth. It will probably be all three at once.

          Note in my “rosy” scenarios I assume real GDP per capita continues to grow at the 1970-2015 average rate (1.4%/year), reducing that rate means lower energy demand which makes the transition easier (I was purposely trying to make the task difficult). It is very possible that real GDP per capita might grow at 0.7%/year especially as population peaks, lower growth rates would help keep carbon emissions lower and give us a better shot at avoiding dangerous climate change so one might accuse me of too rosy a scenario by assuming lower GDP. Of course nobody would do that. 🙂

  31. R Walter says:

    Lots of sunshine today, comfort zone warmth in the air, better warm than cold.

    These nutjobs predict Greenland will accumulate more ice and glacial area.

    What a laugher, a kneeslapper.

    What could be funnier?

    I know!

    Next Tuesday the murkan sheep will be led to slaughter, either by the Judas Goat chosen by the chosen Democrats or the Judas Goat chosen by the chosen Republicans. Not only that, the American sheeple will be sheared, fleeced, taken to the cleaners. The story behind the news.

    What a hoot.

    You get what you vote for! Nothing! And… it’s gone.

    Today’s recommended culinary indulgence: Waffles.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Speaking of the election, I am still of the opinion that Clinton will win, but I am not nearly so sure of it as I was a week or longer ago. I spoke of being sure with the caveat …….. no surprises . There have been some, and it’s possible there could still be more.

      I presume all the regulars here think she will win as well, but if anybody thinks otherwise, I would like to hear WHY he thinks the polls are off so far.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        I suspect a large number of Americans have watched the absurdly wealthy become even more so while their own circumstances have stagnated, or become worse, and they think Donald Trump will champion their cause. That’s just one non-American perspective of course. Maybe the poles wouldn’t reflect this effect accurately?

        • Nick G says:

          A large number of Americans are aware that their own circumstances have stagnated, or become worse. Period.

          They’re not clear on the causes, and Trump and Republicans in general blame immigrants, minorities, China, women…..everyone but the wealthy.

          That’s the great con game.

          • HuntingtonBeach says:

            “the great con”

            All tax cuts are good for you and government is your enemy. The mantra of the wealthy and has been bought by the poor Republicans by means of wedge issues.

  32. Fred Magyar says:

    Curtis Marean at Nobel Conference 44

    “Today, the climate changes are driven by human behavior, and once again we must learn to adapt. The past holds lessons for us both on how the environments may change and on how we may adapt to these changes.”

    Curtis Marean

    Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change and the associate director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University. He is interested in the relation between climate and environmental change and human evolution, both for its significance as a force driving past human evolution, and as a challenge to be faced in the near future.

  33. R Walter says:

    I don’t want Greenland’s ice cap to increase, you will remove too much water from the hydrological cycle, not enough rain and snow for the rest of the planet. We need more rain, not less. The world needs more food production, not less, nobody should starve. If you live in Africa and need a small solar panel to charge your cellphone so you can FedEx your parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme to White Horse in the Yukon Territory, Canada, then it is a wise investment to provide the means to obtain a solar panel and a cellphone. FedEx can always use some more wampum. har

    When the Laurentide Ice Sheet melted, it left clues about glacial melt, the ice melted down to a size about that of Greenland, so the study of that part of the ice sheet covering what is now parts of Quebec and Labrador is of interest.

    The areas of melt, the eastern edge, the southern, and then western melt.

    Paleoclimate researchers study past climates in hopes of developing a better understanding of our current and future climates. Similarly, understanding past ice sheets will aid in future prediction of ice sheet change. At the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, roughly 20,000 years ago, much of Earth in the northern hemisphere was covered in vast ice sheets. The largest of these ice sheets was the Laurentide Ice Sheet (Figure 1), covering much of Canada and the northern United States with a mass of ice that was nearly 4 km thick in some places. After 20,000 years ago, Earth started to warm, and the Laurentide Ice Sheet began to disappear.

    Baffin Island contains the last remnants of the Laurentide Ice Sheet.

    The Laurentide Ice Sheet was almost 3 kilometers (2 miles) thick and covered North America from the Canadian Arctic all the way to the modern U.S. state of Missouri. Glacial retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet created such features as the Great Lakes. The glaciers on Baffin Island, Canada, are remnants of the Laurentide Ice Sheet.

    And now for something completely different:

    And it is a good thing the earth warmed, the ennui would be unbearable, a 4 km thick ice sheet hanging around for a couple of million years would get old fast. Also, the amount of oil and coal required to keep everything warm would deplete those resources faster. lol

    A warmer earth is preferred, not of the Hadean kind though.

    Just more water, not fire and ice.

  34. Oldfarmermac says:

    Utility scale solar farms that produce the juice for three cents per kWh are now a reality in the super sunny Middle East.

    It’s easy to see countries such as Saudi Arabia, with a shortage of money but plenty of oil to burn, continuing to burn the oil, because people and countries are prone to take the easiest and least painful route in the short term anytime,and especially prone to do so in tough times.

    BUT for oil and gas importing countries, the security and money incentives to get on with building out solar power are now getting to the point that they are irresistible.

    The storage issue can be just about one hundred percent discounted in such countries, because they will be able to use every last solar kWh to good effect, for air conditioning if nothing else.

    And if they don’t yet have an extensive FF fired grid, they will be able to get by building out far fewer ff generating plants, since night time demand is generally lower, especially in such hot climates, and in countries with few heavy industries that typically run around the clock.

    It won’t be much of a problem for Middle Easterners who are not already spoiled by near perfect access to unlimited 24 hour electricity to organize their day to day affairs around solar power. Buying a refrigerator that has few kilos of built in ice storage easily solves the problem of the fridge not running at night. There are many ways to play the solar power game and come out a winner with little or nothing in the way of actual electrical storage capacity.

    And while that part of the world is very short of fresh water, and relatively short of mountains near the sea, there are probably some places near the shore where pumped storage can be built.

    Just how much effect this coming grand scale solar build out will have on the total oil supply is hard to say, but at first glance it looks as if it will be enough to wipe out at least a few million barrels equivalent a day of demand for oil and gas that is now devoted to generating electricity, just in the Middle East, probably within the next decade, if politics don’t prevent it happening.

    I guess the oil and gas will still be burnt elsewhere, or manufactured into petrochemicals and fertilizers, etc, but it’s a given that ramping up production of solar power equipment on this scale will force the price of the panels and associated equipment down lower than ever, so that soon it will be a no brainer, on a dollars and cents direct cost basis, to build big solar farms anyplace with a sunny climate.

    Before too long it won’t be necessary to emphasize the public health and environmental protection aspects of solar power.

    Technologically illiterate republican pundits and Koch Brothers mouthpieces will have forgotten screaming “Solandra!” and be bragging about American ingenuity and the majesty and magic of the free market.

    One thing such people have in common with Trump and Clinton is that they are incapable of embarrassment or shame, lol. You would never guess what they were against, just last week, figuratively, and for today, unless you have a good memory for such things. They ALL understand very well that the attention span of the public is actually best measured in seconds rather than minutes.

    The Koch Brothers will own a hogs share of the solar industry in due time, and sooner than econuts would ever guess. They will find fools to buy them out of some near exhausted old coal mines, etc, and put the money into solar equipment factories and solar farms.

    I hope RW sees this comment, and reworks it for a belly laugh.

    That old KJB has all the science all wrong, but the guys who wrote it nailed the behavior of mankind perfectly. Our leaders and businessmen behave the same way now same now as they did a thousand or two thousand years ago.

    Incidentally I think it is ok for an acknowledged Christian ( nominal in my case, but still a Christian culturally, I am certainly not a Muslim, etc ) to use terms like Sky Daddy in a forum such as this one, without offending anybody, given that it is now considered ok by most folks for black guys to use the N word, where as the rest of us are ( quite justifiably ) severely tongue lashed, or worse, for doing so.

    I don’t remember any body getting excited about various anti religion rants that appear here occasionally.

    And while I am at it, it seems as if there is a rule book that says it is forbidden to make fun of any ethnic or cultural or racial subdivision of naked apes, with ONE exception, that exception being Southerners in general, southern whites more specifically, southern Christian whites in particular, and MOST ESPECIALLY southern white Christian men.

    Making fun of US ( I am one ) is not only ok but actually gets you lots of bonus points. Most of the time I laugh about the failings of my species , but once in a while when I am in a less than tolerant mood, this particular one pisses me off.

    And since I really don’t give a damn about where the chips fall, so long as the facts are considered, I will add that it is noteworthy that while technically well educated liberal types frequently make fun of white southern Christians as ignoramuses, or worse, their lips are sealed when it comes to the beliefs ( and ignorance of the sciences ) of the one single most reliable block of D party voters, namely black folks who thump their Bibles even more enthusiastically than my white relatives and neighbors. I know, since I have been living here all my born days, and I have been inside more than a few black gatherings for weddings and funerals, and an regularly scheduled occasional worship service as well.

    I am solidly on record as an environmental advocate, supporter of the Western European health care model, etc, which ought to be proof enough I ain’t no stinking Republican, but I will point out cynical partisanship wherever I find it.

    In the long run, Trump might actually turn out to have been a good thing for the country, so long as he loses. He may leave the party , and start a third one, which will free up the R party to be reborn as one that is suited to the times, one that recognizes scientific and technical realities, the gravity of the environmental crisis, the failure of our current health care system to deliver the goods, etc.

    Having two dominant parties in tune with the times and the realities of our times would be a very good thing, but the R party will have an extremely hard time remaking itself so as to attract the younger voters coming along these days.

    And at least once a month on average I hear about the funeral of another coworker or class mate or neighbor or relative.

    As Faulkner IIRC put it the past is never past in the South, and up until along about the sixties, he was dead on. The Old South still lives in small isolated pockets and in the hearts of a few gray beards, but in one more full generations time, it will for all intents and purposes be gone.

    I have snow white relatives who are married to blacks and while they are not ALTOGETHER welcome by EVERYBODY at family functions, they are not ostracized , they are more than tolerated. In twenty more years here, it’s unlikely anybody even will notice if your girl or guy is a different color, unless he or she is yellow or red, those colors being scarce in this neck of the woods.

    This part of the country, probably the whole country, will likely be light brown in less than a century.

    But I think it is either idealistic or naive, take your pick, to think countries such as China are going to go multiracial, at least anytime in the easily foreseeable future. They will keep their borders shut, due to being sensible about overpopulation, etc, and there are simply too many of them for the racial or ethnic dilution to come about in less than several generations even with open borders.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      But I think it is either idealistic or naive, take your pick, to think countries such as China are going to go multiracial, at least anytime in the easily foreseeable future. They will keep their borders shut, due to being sensible about overpopulation, etc, and there are simply too many of them for the racial or ethnic dilution to come about in less than several generations even with open borders.

      Well, yes and no. Perhaps it would indeed be a bit of a stretch to suggest that the Chinese ethnic minorities would be able to put a dent in the impact of the significant majority of the Han Chinese, however there are of course many ethnic minorities already living in China.

      As a matter of perspective, I’m of Hungarian descent and the entire population of Hungary is only 10 million inhabitants and some of the ethnic minorities in China such as the Zhuang, Uyghur, Hui, and the Manchu have populations in excess of that number.

      The Han Chinese are the largest ethnic group, where (as of 2010) some 91.51%[1] of the population was classified as Han Chinese (~1.2 billion). Besides the Han majority, 55 other ethnic groups are recognised in China by the PRC government, numbering approximately 105 million people, mostly concentrated in the northwest, north, northeast, south, and southwest but with some in central interior areas.
      The major minority ethnic groups in China are Zhuang (16.9 million), Uyghur (11.5 million), Hui (10.5 million), Manchu (10.3 million), Miao (9.4 million), Yi (8.7 million), Tujia (8.3 million), Tibetan (6.2 million), Mongol (5.9 million), Dong (2.8 million), Buyei (2.8 million), Yao (2.7 million), Bai (1.9 million), Korean (1.8 million), Hani (1.6 million), Li (1.4 million), Kazakh (1.4 million), and Dai (1.2 million).

    • Nick G says:

      with ONE exception, that exception being Southerners in general, southern whites more specifically

      Not that I’ve noticed. I certainly haven’t made fun of Southerners. I have pointed out, *with no disrespect*, that the South, as well as other rural areas, have a *relatively* low level of education, and high level of anti-intellectualism. This is due to the nature of agriculture, which historically hasn’t needed education. Up until the last 100 years education was frowned upon by farmers *everywhere* in the world, as putting harmful ideas in the heads of children.

      The US South is a special case, as slaves were not allowed to be educated, the antebellum economy was intensely agricultural, and violence and fear were at unusually high levels due to slavery. That certainly left a lasting impact on both whites and blacks.

      We also see this in what I would call the “poverty culture” of the Middle East. Where people are extremely poor, education and “free thinking” is a threat to farm families who need to keep their kids on the farm, doing the “right” thing.

      I’m glad to hear that in your experience things are changing. But you only have to look at the electoral map to see where the “know nothing” party is succeeding.

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      “Incidentally I think it is ok for an acknowledged Christian ( nominal in my case, but still a Christian culturally, I am certainly not a Muslim, etc ) to use terms like Sky Daddy in a forum such as this one,”

      “Making fun of US ( I am one ) is not only ok but actually gets you lots of bonus points. Most of the time I laugh about the failings of my species , but once in a while when I am in a less than tolerant mood, this particular one pisses me off.”

      Sounds like Bubba the good ol’ boy can dish a little out, but can’t always take it. So are you admitting “Sky Daddy” is a derogatory term ?

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