The Problem with Climate Chicken Littles

Michael Walsh writes The Late Great (Again) Planet Earth in PJ Media. Excerpts in italics with my bolds. (Indented text is from George Monbiot, infamous alarmist).

Unexamined Premises

George Monbiot, the man who gave his name to the term “moonbat,” is back, like some hair-shirted lunatic screaming on a street corner, saying that we’re all doomed:

It was a moment of the kind that changes lives. At a press conference held by climate activists Extinction Rebellion last week, two of us journalists pressed the organisers on whether their aims were realistic. They have called, for example, for UK carbon emissions to be reduced to net zero by 2025. Wouldn’t it be better, we asked, to pursue some intermediate aims?

A young woman called Lizia Woolf stepped forward. She hadn’t spoken before, but the passion, grief and fury of her response was utterly compelling. “What is it that you are asking me as a 20-year-old to face and to accept about my future and my life? … This is an emergency. We are facing extinction. When you ask questions like that, what is it you want me to feel?” We had no answer.

Softer aims might be politically realistic, but they are physically unrealistic. Only shifts commensurate with the scale of our existential crises have any prospect of averting them. Hopeless realism, tinkering at the edges of the problem, got us into this mess. It will not get us out.

Now that there is some prime moonbattery, even by Monbiot’s soaring standards. What a 20-year-old female knows about anything is moot, but her notion that she is “facing extinction” is beyond delusional; in fact, it’s the product of having her head stuffed with the most self-evidently arrant nonsense of the modern era: “climate change.”

Since at least 1970, when the not-yet-late great Hal Lindsey told us we were all going to die in The Late Great Planet Earth, snake-oil salesmen and Chicken Littles around the world have joined forces to convince the rubes and the suckers that the Earth is, so to speak, on her last legs unless we do something right now. Lindsey’s book employed Bible “prophecy” to limn our destruction at the hands of the Antichrist and the return of Jesus sometime in the 1980s.

Well, you can’t go wrong betting against religious crackpots, and while the climate-change freaks are ostensibly secular, their approach to their unalterable dogma has all the hallmarks of a particularly nutty faith. Never mind that the data to which they so fearfully cling is either bogus or misinterpreted; combine that with the natural human tendency to think that the world as we know it began, and will end, with us — that everything is, to use one of their favorite words, “unprecedented” (if you pay no attention to history) — and you have a rich field for superstition wedded to calls for (what else?) immediate governmental action.

How Have Predictions on Catastrophic Climate Change Held Up Over the Last 30 Years?

So this was a bummer:

Researchers with UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Princeton University recently walked back scientific findings published last month that showed oceans have been heating up dramatically faster than previously thought as a result of climate change.

In a paper published Oct. 31 in the journal Nature, researchers found that ocean temperatures had warmed 60 percent more than outlined by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. However, the conclusion came under scrutiny after mathematician Nic Lewis, a critic of the scientific consensus around human-induced warming, posted a critique of the paper on the blog of Judith Curry, another well-known critic.

“The findings of the … paper were peer reviewed and published in the world’s premier scientific journal and were given wide coverage in the English-speaking media,” Lewis wrote. “Despite this, a quick review of the first page of the paper was sufficient to raise doubts as to the accuracy of its results.”

Co-author Ralph Keeling, climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, took full blame and thanked Lewis for alerting him to the mistake. “When we were confronted with his insight it became immediately clear there was an issue there,” he said. “We’re grateful to have it be pointed out quickly so that we could correct it quickly.”

Keeling said they have since redone the calculations, finding the ocean is still likely warmer than the estimate used by the IPCC. However, that increase in heat has a larger range of probability than initially thought — between 10 percent and 70 percent, as other studies have already found.

In other words, never mind. But that won’t stop the moonbats from flapping ever more vigorously. I just shoveled six inches of global warming off my patio here in rural New England, while California continues to burn — but all weather and weather-related events are of a piece with the Unified Field Theory of Everything: evil mankind (white, male, middle-aged) is killing Mother Gaia. Hence, the calls for “environmental justice,” which like all modified forms of “justice” equals punishment and payback.

Guru Monbiot again:

Public figures talk and act as if environmental change will be linear and gradual. But the Earth’s systems are highly complex, and complex systems do not respond to pressure in linear ways. When these systems interact (because the world’s atmosphere, oceans, land surface and lifeforms do not sit placidly within the boxes that make study more convenient), their reactions to change become highly unpredictable. Small perturbations can ramify wildly. Tipping points are likely to remain invisible until we have passed them. We could see changes of state so abrupt and profound that no continuity can be safely assumed.

Only one of the many life support systems on which we depend – soils, aquifers, rainfall, ice, the pattern of winds and currents, pollinators, biological abundance and diversity – need fail for everything to slide. For example, when Arctic sea ice melts beyond a certain point, the positive feedbacks this triggers (such as darker water absorbing more heat, melting permafrost releasing methane, shifts in the polar vortex) could render runaway climate breakdown unstoppable. When the Younger Dryas period ended 11,600 years ago, temperatures rose 10C within a decade.

Okay, George, who’s to blame?

The oligarchic control of wealth, politics, media and public discourse explains the comprehensive institutional failure now pushing us towards disaster. Think of Donald Trump and his cabinet of multi-millionaires; the influence of the Koch brothers in funding rightwing organisations; the Murdoch empire and its massive contribution to climate science denial; or the oil and motor companies whose lobbying prevents a faster shift to new technologies.

Sort of gives the game away, doesn’t it?

Two tasks need to be performed simultaneously: throwing ourselves at the possibility of averting collapse, as Extinction Rebellion is doing, slight though this possibility may appear; and preparing ourselves for the likely failure of these efforts, terrifying as this prospect is. Both tasks require a complete revision of our relationship with the living planet.

Because we cannot save ourselves without contesting oligarchic control, the fight for democracy and justice and the fight against environmental breakdown are one and the same. Do not allow those who have caused this crisis to define the limits of political action. Do not allow those whose magical thinking got us into this mess to tell us what can and cannot be done.

In other words, the sky is falling so we need nothing short of a Leftist political revolution to save ourselves, and even then it may be too late. As I often say on Twitter, I never take political advice from small children, and certainly not from 20-year-old hysterics. Besides, the world has weathered worse patches than this before: (from Harvard professor Michael McCormick )

Bubonic plague, famine, war and flu pandemics have made some periods of human history infamous for death and suffering but one year stands above the rest in terms of misery; 536 AD. According to research from a Harvard professor, it is a prime candidate for the unfortunate accolade of the worst year in the entirety of recorded history.

Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia were plunged into 18 months of solid darkness by a mysterious fog. It caused snowfall in China, continental-scale crop failure, extreme drought, famine and disease throughout most of the northern hemisphere. The bleak year was triggered by a cataclysmic Icelandic eruption, scientists say, and was an ominous omen for a bleak century of suffering and death.

The eerie fog created a drab world with darkness residing over the northern hemisphere for 18 months, with an unrelenting dusk persevering through day and night. Effects on the climate were so severe that the Irish chronicles tell of ‘a failure of bread from the years 536–539’. Temperatures in the summer of 536 fell between 1.5°C (2.7°F) and 2.5°C (4.5°F), initiating the coldest decade in the past 2,300 years.

And nary an SUV or a fossil fuel to blame, unless you count wood and turf. The blackout seems to have been caused (as subsequent, similar events like the 1816 “year without a summer” were) by a volcanic eruption, this one in Iceland. Amazing what climatological havoc Gaia can wreak when she puts her mind to it.

God knows whom or what the poor sods living in the ruins of the Roman Empire in the 6th century blamed for the weather — probably God, possible cow farts — but today’s True Believers no longer believe in God; rather, they believe in Man, as both the root of all evil and the last best hope of Earth, if only Man would have the decency to kill himself. Or at least kill the conservatives, so that poor little Lizia Woolf may thrive without fear of imminent extinction or another Orson Welles documentary.

See Also Climate Horror Show


Culture War: Victimhood Vs. Honor and Dignity

Bradley Campbell writes insightfully at Quillette The Free Speech Crisis Is Worse than People Think  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

A new moral culture

If you were a time traveler from 10 years ago—maybe even five years ago—you’d probably have trouble following some of that. What’s a microaggression? What’s woke? And how could a New York Times op-ed lead to that kind of uproar on campus? But if you’ve been around, and if you’ve been following the happenings on American college campuses, you’re familiar by now with conflicts like this and the new moral terminology guiding the campus activists. In the last few years we’ve seen professors such as Nicholas Christakis at Yale and Brett Weinstein at Evergreen State College surrounded by angry, cursing students, with Christakis and his wife, Erika Christakis, soon leaving their positions as the masters of one of Yale’s residential colleges and Weinstein and his wife, Heather Heying, leaving Evergreen entirely. We’ve heard about microaggressions, said to be small slights that over time do great harm to disadvantaged groups; trigger warnings, which some students demand before they are exposed to course material that might be disturbing; and safe spaces, where people can go to be free of ideas that challenge leftist identity politics. We’ve heard claims that speech that offends campus activists is actually violence, and we’ve seen activists use actual violence to stop it —and to defend this as self-defense—when administrators fail to do so.

These are all signs of a new moral culture. In our book The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars, Jason Manning and I discuss how a new culture of victimhood differs from cultures of honor and dignity, and we discuss how the new culture threatens the mission of the university.

In honor cultures men want to appear formidable. A reputation for bravery, for being willing and capable of handling conflicts through violence, is important. In a society like the pre-Civil War American South, for example, a gentleman who allowed himself or his family members to be injured or insulted might be thought a coward, someone with no honor, and lose his social standing. To avoid this, men sometimes fought duels. In honor cultures men are sensitive even to minor slights, but they handle such offenses themselves, possibly with violence.

In dignity cultures, though, people have worth regardless of their reputations. Because an insult doesn’t take away your worth, your dignity, you can ignore others’ insults. For serious injuries you can go to the police or use the courts. In dignity cultures, then, people aren’t as sensitive to slights—they’re encouraged to have thick skins—and they’re not as likely to handle offenses themselves, certainly not violently—they’re encouraged to appeal to the proper authorities.


But the new culture of victimhood combines sensitivity to slight with appeal to authority. Those who embrace it see themselves as fighting oppression, and even minor offenses can be worthy of attention and action. Slights, insults, and sometimes even arguments or evidence might further victimize an oppressed group, and authorities must deal with them. You could call this social justice culture since those who embrace it are pursuing a vision of social justice. But we call it victimhood culture because being recognized as a victim of oppression now confers a kind of moral status, in much the same way that being recognized for bravery did in honor cultures.

Like dignity culture, though, victimhood culture is a moral culture. Moral concerns and moral emotions inspire the campus activists. Their behaviors might appear immoral to those who don’t share their moral assumptions, but it would be a mistake to think the activists see it that way, or to think they’re in some way hypocritical or insincere. Recognizing their moral concerns helps us understand better what Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt call vindictive protectiveness, whereby activists are simultaneously protective toward some people and vindictive toward others. This is not a contradiction, but rather a consequence of seeing the world through the lens of oppression. Just as in an honor culture people show respect for the honorable and disdain toward the cowardly, in a victimhood culture people have empathy for victims of oppression and wrath toward their oppressors.

The optimistic critics are right about a lot, but their optimism seems like wishful thinking. The “grievance studies” that Lindsay, Pluckrose, and Boghossian targeted are still entrenched in the universities, and those sympathetic to the fields simply dismissed the hoax as pointing to the vulnerabilities of peer review generally. Meanwhile, people come up with novel ways to undermine the norms of scholarship in the name of social justice.

grievance studies

And what about free speech and academic freedom? The recent attacks on Abrams at Sarah Lawrence College, and the initial failure of the college president to condemn them and support Abrams, are as egregious as any of the others, especially considering the actual content of his op-ed.

What about microaggressions? The term has continued to spread. Just in 2018 are some of the ways administrators have continued to fly off the rails a bit:

  • The National Science Foundation gave a grant to researchers at Iowa State University to study microaggressions in engineering programs.
  • The University of Utah placed posters of microaggression statements around campus to raise awareness.
  • At the University of Buffalo, microaggressions were the theme of the bullying prevention center’s annual conference.
  • At Harvard University’s School of Public Health, students are now asked on course evaluation forms about microaggressions. Last Spring, in 43 of the 138 courses evaluated, at least one student reported hearing “verbal or nonverbal slights/insults.” Administrators said they were investigating the seven professors whose courses received three or more such reports.

And even while activists and administrators concern themselves with possible minor slights against those they perceive as victims, they engage in or tolerate insults and hate speech directed toward those they perceive as oppressors. There was the professor who said that a white college student tortured and killed by the North Koreans for allegedly stealing a poster “got what he deserved,” and that he was just like the other “young, white, clueless, rich males” she teaches. Another professor from Rutgers wrote on Facebook, “I now hate white people.” And after a group of Stanford students put “no crackers” on their community’s residential bus, a staff member defended them, saying, “I hope we have no crackers here.”

What’s more, victimhood culture is already spreading beyond the universities, making the case for pessimism even stronger. Corporations and government agencies, even NASA, have begun doing their own microaggression training. In Multnomah County, Oregon, a recent contract between the county and the municipal workers union guaranteed that “the County and union won’t tolerate any form of ‘microaggression.’” And the Times recently hired Sarah Jeong to its editorial board despite her history of tweeting slurs against whites and men—things like “#CancelWhitePeople” and “White men are bullshit,” the kind of things that are common among campus activists but were not previously part of the mainstream. And while the Times did distance itself from the tweets, writers at Vox and other left-of-center outlets defended them. Ezra Klein, for example, said tweets like “#CancelWhitePeople” are simply calls for people to challenge the dominant power structure. And Zack Beauchamp says that “White men are bullshit” is a way of pointing out the existence of a power structure favoring white men.

Of course, the danger of pessimism is that it leads to despair, which isn’t really warranted either. For one thing, none of us have a crystal ball. The critical optimists could be right. Maybe things will turn around. Or maybe our efforts are ultimately doomed, but are helping preserve the academy for a little while longer. For all the problems with universities, they’re still doing a lot of good. The natural sciences continue on, not yet wholly captured by the identitarian Left, and as bad as the attacks on scholarship and free speech are in the social sciences and humanities, they aren’t all pervasive. The randomness of the attacks is part of the problem, making them difficult to avoid even if one tries to comply with the latest leftist orthodoxy. But the randomness also means that even the most maverick thinkers aren’t attacked as a matter of course. Part of what’s strange about the Abrams incident is that he’s been writing similar things for some time without incident. At universities all over the country, people are discussing and debating ideas — with more trepidation, perhaps, but it’s usually still possible to do so. If there’s any chance of preserving that, even temporarily, we should do so. We’re unlikely to be successful, but it makes sense to try.

As we try, though, we need to recognize what we’re up against. Misunderstanding victimhood culture has led critics of its various manifestations to underestimate its strength.  One reason victimhood culture is strong is that those who embrace it are sincere and zealous. Simply condemning them, or worse, calling them names or trying to trigger them, won’t help anything. Neither will simply ignoring them until things get out of hand, as at Sarah Lawrence University. If you want to save the academy, you’ll need to start by offering an alternative moral vision.

Bradley Campbell is an associate professor of sociology at California State University, Los Angeles.

In the video, Two incompatible sacred values in American universities” by Jon Haidt, Hayek Lecture Series, he addresses the sacredness of victimhood directly starting about 25 minutes into the talk.

Arctic Update: Hell Freezing Over

The title of this post is over the top, but was provoked by the repeated claims last summer earth was going to hell right now.  For example,

The world’s summer of hell.  Hot, hot, hot: Summer of extremes setting heat records around the world, July 2018, CBC

Summer 2018: On the highway to hell? August 2018, Beyond Ratings

Earth at risk of becoming ‘hothouse’ if tipping point reached, if we can’t stop it we’re in a hell of a mess..August 2018, CNN

The Summer of Hell.  Climate change is here and we are living in its embers.  August 2018 The Week (US)

Meanwhile, back in reality, Arctic ice is spreading everywhere.  The image below shows the European side in the last two weeks:

Laptev and East Siberian in the middle are frozen solid. On the right Kara has added 400k km2 ice extent up to 700k km2, 75% of March maximum.  Below is the freezing proceeding on the Canadian side.

Baffin Bay in the center next to Greenland is extending south and added 300k km2.  Hudson Bay on the left added 400k km2, with the western coastline freezing all the way down into James Bay.  The graph below shows 2018 is matching the 11-year average after being down in October.

Both MASIE and SII have 9.9M km2 ice extents matching the average for day 320, Nov. 16.  2007, 2012 and 2017 all recovered from their September lows, while 2016 was much slower to refreeze.

Region 2018320 Day 320 
2018-Ave. 2007320 2018-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 9937017 9942096 -5078 9824193 112824
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1069588 1064590 4999 1059182 10406
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 615028 667249 -52222 519486 95541
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1085198 1077597 7601 1055581 29617
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 897648 197 897845 0
 (5) Kara_Sea 701192 655668 45524 774297 -73105
 (6) Barents_Sea 65798 167138 -101340 149482 -83684
 (7) Greenland_Sea 378273 482289 -104016 533946 -155672
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 711715 555346 156369 545899 165816
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 853337 851902 1435 852539 798
 (10) Hudson_Bay 426092 261863 164228 244531 181560
 (11) Central_Arctic 3107467 3186378 -78911 3163043 -55576

Deficits in Chukchi, Greenland and Barents Seas are offset by surpluses in Kara Sea, Baffin and Hudson Bays.

Meanwhile, in Nunavut, it is a great time to be a polar bear, even more of them than people want.

When Hell Freezes Over (Eagles Reunion Tour)


Historic Revision of Weights and Measures

Today 16 November 2018, representatives from 60 nations agreed unanimously to an historic revision of the International System of Units (SI). The press kit for the 26th General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) provides the details and implications. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Why is the SI important?  The name International System of Units, with the abbreviation SI, was given to the system in 1960. The SI units form a foundation for measurement across the world to ensure consistency and reliability. They are the basis of trading, manufacturing, innovation and scientific discovery around the world.

SI units can provide new opportunities for innovation. Some examples where greater accuracy is supporting better methods and understanding with a positive impact on society include:  The accurate measurement of temperature: This will support the ability to identify and measure reliably very small changes across large time periods with greater accuracy. Therefore, it will allow for precise monitoring and better predictions for climate change.  The accurate administration of drugs: The pharmaceutical industry needs to use a standard for very small amounts of mass in order to make dosages of medication even more appropriate for patients.

SI units can help us support innovation into the future. As our ability to measure properties improves, the standards we have for measurement will need to keep up. The accuracy of services like the Global Positioning System (GPS) are limited by our ability to use standard units, in this case the second to measure time. We can track our locations effectively because we can establish time using the SI definition of a second, which can be realized by an atomic clock. This advancement was made possible because society had defined the second more accurately well before we had even discovered what it could be used for. The atomic clock was made before computing really took off. Now, accurate timing is a fundamental part of the industry; without it, the internet, mobile phones and other technologies could not work reliably.

How are the units of measurement defined? Originally, measurement units were defined by physical objects or properties of materials. For example, the metre was originally defined by a metal bar exactly one metre in length.

However, these physical representations can change over time or in different environments, and are no longer accurate enough for today’s research and technological applications. Over the last century, scientists measured natural constants of nature, such as the speed of light in a vacuum and the Planck constant, with increasing accuracy. They discovered that these are more stable than physical objects, and fixed numerical values to the constants. These natural constants do not vary, so are at least one million times more stable.

This revision of the SI will, for the first time, see all base units in the SI defined by the constants of physical science that we use to describe nature. Using the constants we have found in nature as our universal basis for measurement allows not only scientists, but also industry and society, to have a measurement system that is more reliable, consistent, and scalable across quantities, from very large to very small.

There are two key ways the SI will change to create a more stable and future-proof basis for measurement:

It will take physical artifacts out of the equation: the kilogram is still defined by a physical object equal to the mass of the International Prototype of the Kilogram (IPK), an artifact stored at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) in France. This revision will finally remove the need for this last artifact.

For over a century, a kilogram has been defined by a lump of metal held securely in a Paris vault (AP)

For the first time, all the definitions will be separate from their realizations: instead of definitions becoming outdated as we find better ways to realize units, definitions will remain constant and future-proof. For example, the ampere is currently defined as “the magnetic force between two wires at a certain distance apart”, which means that it uses the realization of a measurement to define it. However, advancements like the advent of the Josephson and quantum Hall effects, have revealed better ways of realizing the ampere, making the original approach obsolete.

Which are changing?
The kilogram (kg), ampere (A), kelvin (K), and mole (mol) will have new definitions.
The new definitions affect four of the base units:
The kilogram in terms of the Planck constant (h)
The ampere in terms of the elementary charge (e)
The kelvin in terms of the Boltzmann constant (k)
The mole in terms of the Avogadro constant (NA)

Defining the kilogram in terms of fundamental physical constants will ensure its long-term stability, and hence its reliability, which is at present in doubt.

What about the definitions of the other units? The definitions of the second (s), metre (m), and candela (cd), will not change, but the way the definitions are written will be revised to make them consistent in form with the new definitions for the kilogram (kg), ampere (A), kelvin (K), and mole (mol). These new wordings are also expected to be approved at the 26th CGPM in November 2018 and to come into force on 20 May 2019.

What impact does the redefinition have on the realization of the kilogram? The kilogram will be defined in terms of the Planck constant, guaranteeing long-term stability of the SI mass scale. The kilogram can then be realized by any suitable method (for example the Kibble (watt) balance or the Avogadro (X-ray crystal density) method). Users will be able to obtain traceability to the SI from the same sources used at present (the BIPM, national metrology institutes and accredited laboratories). International comparisons will ensure their consistency.

The value of the Planck constant will be chosen to ensure that there will be no change in the SI kilogram at the time of redefinition. The uncertainties offered by NMIs to their calibration customers will also be broadly unaffected.

What impact does the redefinition have on the realization of the ampere? The ampere and other electrical units, as practically realized at the highest metrological level, will become fully consistent with the definitions of these units. The transition from the 1990 convention to the revised SI will result in small changes to all disseminated electrical units.

For the vast majority of measurement users, no action need be taken as the volt will change by about 0.1 parts per million and the ohm will change by even less. Practitioners working at the highest level of accuracy may need to adjust the values of their standards and review their measurement uncertainty budgets.

What impact does the redefinition have on the realization of the kelvin? The kelvin will be redefined with no immediate effect on temperature measurement practice or on the traceability of temperature measurements, and for most users, it will pass unnoticed. The redefinition lays the foundation for future improvements. A definition free of material and technological constraints enables the development of new and more accurate techniques for making temperature measurements traceable to the SI, especially at extremes of temperature.

After the redefinition, the guidance on the practical realization of the kelvin will support its worldwide dissemination by describing primary methods for measurement of thermodynamic temperature and equally through the defined scales ITS-90 and PLTS-2000.

What impact does the redefinition have on the realization of the mole? The mole will be redefined with respect to a specified number of entities (typically atoms or molecules) and will no longer depend on the unit of mass, the kilogram. Traceability to the mole can still be established via all previously employed approaches including, but not limited to, the use of mass measurements along with tables of atomic weights and the molar mass constant Mu.

Atomic weights will be unaffected by this change in definition and Mu will still be 1 g/mol, although now with a measurement uncertainty. This uncertainty will be so small that the revised definition of the mole will not require any change to common practice.

Will there be any change to the realization of the second, the metre and the candela? No.
The second will continue to be defined in terms of the hyperfine transition frequency of the caesium 133 atom. The traceability chain to the second will not be affected. Time and frequency metrology will not be impacted.
The metre in the revised SI will continue to be defined in terms of the speed of light, one of the fundamental constants of physics. Dimensional metrology practice will not need to be modified in any way and will benefit from the improved long-term stability of the system.
The candela will continue to be defined in terms of Kcd, a technical constant for photometry and will therefore continue to be linked to the watt. Traceability to the candela will still be established with the same measurement uncertainty via radiometric methods using absolutely-calibrated detectors.


The new definitions will use ‘the rules of nature to create the rules of measurement’ linking measurements at the atomic and quantum scales to those at the macroscopic level. As science and technology progress, the demands for measurements to underpin new products and services will increase. Metrology is a dynamic branch of science and the steps taken by the BIPM and the wider metrology community to advance the SI in 2018 will underpin these requirements ensuring that scientists can study it and engineers can improve it. And, since science and engineering play an important role in our lives, measurement matters for everyone.


For an informative and also a whimsical look at measuring units see Origins of Science

Latest Results from First-Class Climate Model INMCM5

Update February 14, 2021

Forecasts to 2100 based on IPCC scenarios required for CMIP6 models.

IPCC Scenarios Ensure Unreal Climate Forecasts

Update February 4, 2020

A recent comparison of INMCM5 and other CMIP6 climate models is discussed in the post
Climate Models: Good, Bad and Ugly

Updated with October 25, 2018 Report

A previous analysis Temperatures According to Climate Models showed that only one of 42 CMIP5 models was close to hindcasting past temperature fluctuations. That model was INMCM4, which also projected an unalarming 1.4C warming to the end of the century, in contrast to the other models programmed for future warming five times the past.

In a recent comment thread, someone asked what has been done recently with that model, given that it appears to be “best of breed.” So I went looking and this post summarizes further work to produce a new, hopefully improved version by the modelers at the Institute of Numerical Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences.


A previous post a year ago went into the details of improvements made in producing the latest iteration INMCM5 for entry into the CMIP6 project.  That text is reprinted below.

Now a detailed description of the model’s global temperature outputs has been published October 25, 2018 in Earth System Dynamics Simulation of observed climate changes in 1850–2014 with climate model INM-CM5   (Title is link to pdf) Excerpts below with my bolds.

Figure 1. The 5-year mean GMST (K) anomaly with respect to 1850–1899 for HadCRUTv4 (thick solid black); model mean (thick solid red). Dashed thin lines represent data from individual model runs: 1 – purple, 2 – dark blue, 3 – blue, 4 – green, 5 – yellow, 6 – orange, 7 – magenta. In this and the next figures numbers on the time axis indicate the first year of the 5-year mean.


Climate changes observed in 1850-2014 are modeled and studied on the basis of seven historical runs with the climate model INM-CM5 under the scenario proposed for Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, Phase 6 (CMIP6). In all runs global mean surface temperature rises by 0.8 K at the end of the experiment (2014) in agreement with the observations. Periods of fast warming in 1920-1940 and 1980-2000 as well as its slowdown in 1950-1975 and 2000-2014 are correctly reproduced by the ensemble mean. The notable change here with respect to the CMIP5 results is correct reproduction of the slowdown of global warming in 2000-2014 that we attribute to more accurate description of the Solar constant in CMIP6 protocol. The model is able to reproduce correct behavior of global mean temperature in 1980-2014 despite incorrect phases of  the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation indices in the majority of experiments. The Arctic sea ice loss in recent decades is reasonably close to the observations just in one model run; the model underestimates Arctic sea ice loss by the factor 2.5. Spatial pattern of model mean surface temperature trend during the last 30 years looks close the one for the ERA Interim reanalysis. Model correctly estimates the magnitude of stratospheric cooling.

Additional Commentary

Observational data of GMST for 1850-2014 used for verification of model results were produced by HadCRUT4 (Morice et al 2012). Monthly mean sea surface temperature (SST) data ERSSTv4 (Huang et al 2015) are used for comparison of the AMO and PDO indices with that of the model. Data of Arctic sea ice extent for 1979-2014 derived from satellite observations are taken from Comiso and Nishio (2008). Stratospheric temperature trend and geographical distribution of near surface air temperature trend for 1979-2014 are calculated from ERA Interim reanalysis data (Dee et al 2011).

Keeping in mind the arguments that the GMST slowdown in the beginning of 21st 6 century could be due to the internal variability of the climate system let us look at the behavior of the AMO and PDO climate indices. Here we calculated the AMO index in the usual way, as the SST anomaly in Atlantic at latitudinal band 0N-60N minus anomaly of the GMST. Model and observed 5 year mean AMO index time series are presented in Fig.3. The well known oscillation with a period of 60-70 years can be clearly seen in the observations. Among the model runs, only one (dashed purple line) shows oscillation with a period of about 70 years, but without significant maximum near year 2000. In other model runs there is no distinct oscillation with a period of 60-70 years but period of 20-40 years prevails. As a result none of seven model trajectories reproduces behavior of observed AMO index after year 1950 (including its warm phase at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries). One can conclude that anthropogenic forcing is unable to produce any significant impact on the AMO dynamics as its index averaged over 7 realization stays around zero within one sigma interval (0.08). Consequently, the AMO dynamics is controlled by internal variability of the climate system and cannot be predicted in historic experiments. On the other hand the model can correctly predict GMST changes in 1980-2014 having wrong phase of the AMO (blue, yellow, orange lines on Fig.1 and 3).


Seven historical runs for 1850-2014 with the climate model INM-CM5 were analyzed. It is shown that magnitude of the GMST rise in model runs agrees with the estimate based on the observations. All model runs reproduce stabilization of GMST in 1950-1970, fast warming in 1980-2000 and a second GMST stabilization in 2000-2014 suggesting that the major factor for predicting GMST evolution is the external forcing rather than system internal variability. Numerical experiments with the previous model version (INMCM4) for CMIP5 showed unrealistic gradual warming in 1950-2014. The difference between the two model results could be explained by more accurate modeling of stratospheric volcanic and tropospheric anthropogenic aerosol radiation effect (stabilization in 1950-1970) due to the new aerosol block in INM-CM5 and more accurate prescription of Solar constant scenario (stabilization in 2000-2014) in CMIP6 protocol. Four of seven INM-CM5 model runs simulate acceleration of warming in 1920-1940 in a correct way, other three produce it earlier or later than in reality. This indicates that for the year warming of 1920-1940 the climate system natural variability plays significant role. No model trajectory reproduces correct time behavior of AMO and PDO indices. Taking into account our results on the GMST modeling one can conclude that anthropogenic forcing does not produce any significant impact on the dynamics of AMO and PDO indices, at least for the INM-CM5 model. In turns, correct prediction of the GMST changes in the 1980-2014 does not require correct phases of the AMO and PDO as all model runs have correct values of the GMST while in at least three model experiments the phases of the AMO and PDO are opposite to the observed ones in that time. The North Atlantic SST time series produced by the model correlates better with the observations in 1980-2014. Three out of seven trajectories have strongly positive North Atlantic SST anomaly as the observations (in the other four cases we see near-to-zero changes for this quantity). The INMCM5 has the same skill for prediction of the Arctic sea ice extent in 2000-2014 as CMIP5 models including INMCM4. It underestimates the rate of sea ice loss by a factor between the two and three. In one extreme case the magnitude of this decrease is as large as in the observations while in the other the sea ice extent does not change compared to the preindustrial ages. In part this could be explained by the strong internal variability of the Arctic sea ice but obviously the new version of INMCM model and new CMIP6 forcing protocol does not improve prediction of the Arctic sea ice extent response to anthropogenic forcing.

Previous Post:  Climate Model Upgraded: INMCM5 Under the Hood

Earlier in 2017 came this publication Simulation of the present-day climate with the climate model INMCM5 by E.M. Volodin et al. Excerpts below with my bolds.

In this paper we present the fifth generation of the INMCM climate model that is being developed at the Institute of Numerical Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (INMCM5). The most important changes with respect to the previous version (INMCM4) were made in the atmospheric component of the model. Its vertical resolution was increased to resolve the upper stratosphere and the lower mesosphere. A more sophisticated parameterization of condensation and cloudiness formation was introduced as well. An aerosol module was incorporated into the model. The upgraded oceanic component has a modified dynamical core optimized for better implementation on parallel computers and has two times higher resolution in both horizontal directions.

Analysis of the present-day climatology of the INMCM5 (based on the data of historical run for 1979–2005) shows moderate improvements in reproduction of basic circulation characteristics with respect to the previous version. Biases in the near-surface temperature and precipitation are slightly reduced compared with INMCM4 as  well as biases in oceanic temperature, salinity and sea surface height. The most notable improvement over INMCM4 is the capability of the new model to reproduce the equatorial stratospheric quasi-biannual oscillation and statistics of sudden stratospheric warmings.

Climate model blocksThe family of INMCM climate models, as most climate system models, consists of two main blocks: the atmosphere general circulation model, and the ocean general circulation model. The atmospheric part is based on the standard set of hydrothermodynamic equations with hydrostatic approximation written in advective form. The model prognostic variables are wind horizontal components, temperature, specific humidity and surface pressure.

Atmosphere Module

The INMCM5 borrows most of the atmospheric parameterizations from its previous version. One of the few notable changes is the new parameterization of clouds and large-scale condensation. In the INMCM5 cloud area and cloud water are computed prognostically according to Tiedtke (1993). That includes the formation of large-scale cloudiness as well as the formation of clouds in the atmospheric boundary layer and clouds of deep convection. Decrease of cloudiness due to mixing with unsaturated environment and precipitation formation are also taken into account. Evaporation of precipitation is implemented according to Kessler (1969).

In the INMCM5 the atmospheric model is complemented by the interactive aerosol block, which is absent in the INMCM4. Concentrations of coarse and fine sea salt, coarse and fine mineral dust, SO2, sulfate aerosol, hydrophilic and hydrophobic black and organic carbon are all calculated prognostically.

Ocean Module

The oceanic module of the INMCM5 uses generalized spherical coordinates. The model “South Pole” coincides with the geographical one, while the model “North Pole” is located in Siberia beyond the ocean area to avoid numerical problems near the pole. Vertical sigma-coordinate is used. The finite-difference equations are written using the Arakawa C-grid. The differential and finite-difference equations, as well as methods of solving them can be found in Zalesny etal. (2010).

The INMCM5 uses explicit schemes for advection, while the INMCM4 used schemes based on splitting upon coordinates. Also, the iterative method for solving linear shallow water equation systems is used in the INMCM5 rather than direct method used in the INMCM4. The two previous changes were made to improve model parallel scalability. The horizontal resolution of the ocean part of the INMCM5 is 0.5 × 0.25° in longitude and latitude (compared to the INMCM4’s 1 × 0.5°).

Both the INMCM4 and the INMCM5 have 40 levels in vertical. The parallel implementation of the ocean model can be found in (Terekhov etal. 2011). The oceanic block includes vertical mixing and isopycnal diffusion parameterizations (Zalesny et al. 2010). Sea ice dynamics and thermodynamics are parameterized according to Iakovlev (2009). Assumptions of elastic-viscous-plastic rheology and single ice thickness gradation are used. The time step in the oceanic block of the INMCM5 is 15 min.

Note the size of the human emissions next to the red arrow.

Carbon Cycle Module

The climate model INMCM5 has а carbon cycle module (Volodin 2007), where atmospheric CO2 concentration, carbon in vegetation, soil and ocean are calculated. In soil, а single carbon pool is considered. In the ocean, the only prognostic variable in the carbon cycle is total inorganic carbon. Biological pump is prescribed. The model calculates methane emission from wetlands and has a simplified methane cycle (Volodin 2008). Parameterizations of some electrical phenomena, including calculation of ionospheric potential and flash intensity (Mareev and Volodin 2014), are also included in the model.

Surface Temperatures

When compared to the INMCM4 surface temperature climatology, the INMCM5 shows several improvements. Negative bias over continents is reduced mainly because of the increase in daily minimum temperature over land, which is achieved by tuning the surface flux parameterization. In addition, positive bias over southern Europe and eastern USA in summer typical for many climate models (Mueller and Seneviratne 2014) is almost absent in the INMCM5. A possible reason for this bias in many models is the shortage of soil water and suppressed evaporation leading to overestimation of the surface temperature. In the INMCM5 this problem was addressed by the increase of the minimum leaf resistance for some vegetation types.

Nevertheless, some problems migrate from one model version to the other: negative bias over most of the subtropical and tropical oceans, and positive bias over the Atlantic to the east of the USA and Canada. Root mean square (RMS) error of annual mean near surface temperature was reduced from 2.48 K in the INMCM4 to 1.85 K in the INMCM5.


In mid-latitudes, the positive precipitation bias over the ocean prevails in winter while negative bias occurs in summer. Compared to the INMCM4, the biases over the western Indian Ocean, Indonesia, the eastern tropical Pacific and the tropical Atlantic are reduced. A possible reason for this is the better reproduction of the tropical sea surface temperature (SST) in the INMCM5 due to the increase of the spatial resolution in the oceanic block, as well as the new condensation scheme. RMS annual mean model bias for precipitation is 1.35mm day−1 for the INMCM5 compared to 1.60mm day−1 for the INMCM4.

Cloud Radiation Forcing

Cloud radiation forcing (CRF) at the top of the atmosphere is one of the most important climate model characteristics, as errors in CRF frequently lead to an incorrect surface temperature.

In the high latitudes model errors in shortwave CRF are small. The model underestimates longwave CRF in the subtropics but overestimates it in the high latitudes. Errors in longwave CRF in the tropics tend to partially compensate errors in shortwave CRF. Both errors have positive sign near 60S leading to warm bias in the surface temperature here. As a result, we have some underestimation of the net CRF absolute value at almost all latitudes except the tropics. Additional experiments with tuned conversion of cloud water (ice) to precipitation (for upper cloudiness) showed that model bias in the net CRF could be reduced, but that the RMS bias for the surface temperature will increase in this case.

A table from another paper provides the climate parameters described by INMCM5.

Climate Parameters Observations INMCM3 INMCM4 INMCM5
Incoming solar radiation at TOA 341.3 [26] 341.7 341.8 341.4
Outgoing solar radiation at TOA   96–100 [26] 97.5 ± 0.1 96.2 ± 0.1 98.5 ± 0.2
Outgoing longwave radiation at TOA 236–242 [26] 240.8 ± 0.1 244.6 ± 0.1 241.6 ± 0.2
Solar radiation absorbed by surface 154–166 [26] 166.7 ± 0.2 166.7 ± 0.2 169.0 ± 0.3
Solar radiation reflected by surface     22–26 [26] 29.4 ± 0.1 30.6 ± 0.1 30.8 ± 0.1
Longwave radiation balance at surface –54 to 58 [26] –52.1 ± 0.1 –49.5 ± 0.1 –63.0 ± 0.2
Solar radiation reflected by atmosphere      74–78 [26] 68.1 ± 0.1 66.7 ± 0.1 67.8 ± 0.1
Solar radiation absorbed by atmosphere     74–91 [26] 77.4 ± 0.1 78.9 ± 0.1 81.9 ± 0.1
Direct hear flux from surface     15–25 [26] 27.6 ± 0.2 28.2 ± 0.2 18.8 ± 0.1
Latent heat flux from surface     70–85 [26] 86.3 ± 0.3 90.5 ± 0.3 86.1 ± 0.3
Cloud amount, %     64–75 [27] 64.2 ± 0.1 63.3 ± 0.1 69 ± 0.2
Solar radiation-cloud forcing at TOA         –47 [26] –42.3 ± 0.1 –40.3 ± 0.1 –40.4 ± 0.1
Longwave radiation-cloud forcing at TOA          26 [26] 22.3 ± 0.1 21.2 ± 0.1 24.6 ± 0.1
Near-surface air temperature, °С 14.0 ± 0.2 [26] 13.0 ± 0.1 13.7 ± 0.1 13.8 ± 0.1
Precipitation, mm/day 2.5–2.8 [23] 2.97 ± 0.01 3.13 ± 0.01 2.97 ± 0.01
River water inflow to the World Ocean,10^3 km^3/year 29–40 [28] 21.6 ± 0.1 31.8 ± 0.1 40.0 ± 0.3
Snow coverage in Feb., mil. Km^2 46 ± 2 [29] 37.6 ± 1.8 39.9 ± 1.5 39.4 ± 1.5
Permafrost area, mil. Km^2 10.7–22.8 [30] 8.2 ± 0.6 16.1 ± 0.4 5.0 ± 0.5
Land area prone to seasonal freezing in NH, mil. Km^2 54.4 ± 0.7 [31] 46.1 ± 1.1 48.3 ± 1.1 51.6 ± 1.0
Sea ice area in NH in March, mil. Km^2 13.9 ± 0.4 [32] 12.9 ± 0.3 14.4 ± 0.3 14.5 ± 0.3
Sea ice area in NH in Sept., mil. Km^2 5.3 ± 0.6 [32] 4.5 ± 0.5 4.5 ± 0.5 6.1 ± 0.5

Heat flux units are given in W/m^2; the other units are given with the title of corresponding parameter. Where possible, ± shows standard deviation for annual mean value.  Source: Simulation of Modern Climate with the New Version Of the INM RAS Climate Model (Bracketed numbers refer to sources for observations)

Ocean Temperature and Salinity

The model biases in potential temperature and salinity averaged over longitude with respect to WOA09 (Antonov et al. 2010) are shown in Fig.12. Positive bias in the Southern Ocean penetrates from the surface downward for up to 300 m, while negative bias in the tropics can be seen even in the 100–1000 m layer.

Nevertheless, zonal mean temperature error at any level from the surface to the bottom is small. This was not the case for the INMCM4, where one could see negative temperature bias up to 2–3 K from 1.5 km to the bottom nearly al all latitudes, and 2–3 K positive bias at levels of 700–1000 m. The reason for this improvement is the introduction of a higher background coefficient for vertical diffusion at high depth (3000 m and higher) than at intermediate depth (300–500m). Positive temperature bias at 45–65 N at all depths could probably be explained by shortcomings in the representation of deep convection [similar errors can be seen for most of the CMIP5 models (Flato etal. 2013, their Fig.9.13)].

Another feature common for many present day climate models (and for the INMCM5 as well) is negative bias in southern tropical ocean salinity from the surface to 500 m. It can be explained by overestimation of precipitation at the southern branch of the Inter Tropical Convergence zone. Meridional heat flux in the ocean (Fig.13) is not far from available estimates (Trenberth and Caron 2001). It looks similar to the one for the INMCM4, but maximum of northward transport in the Atlantic in the INMCM5 is about 0.1–0.2 × 1015 W higher than the one in the INMCM4, probably, because of the increased horizontal resolution in the oceanic block.

Sea Ice

In the Arctic, the model sea ice area is just slightly overestimated. Overestimation of the Arctic sea ice area is connected with negative bias in the surface temperature. In the same time, connection of the sea ice area error with the positive salinity bias is not evident because ice formation is almost compensated by ice melting, and the total salinity source for these pair of processes is not large. The amplitude and phase of the sea ice annual cycle are reproduced correctly by the model. In the Antarctic, sea ice area is underestimated by a factor of 1.5 in all seasons, apparently due to the positive temperature bias. Note that the correct simulation of sea ice area dynamics in both hemispheres simultaneously is a difficult task for climate modeling.

The analysis of the model time series of the SST anomalies shows that the El Niño event frequency is approximately the same in the model and data, but the model El Niños happen too regularly. Atmospheric response to the El Niño vents is also underestimated in the model by a factor of 1.5 with respect to the reanalysis data.


Based on the CMIP5 model INMCM4 the next version of the Institute of Numerical Mathematics RAS climate model was developed (INMCM5). The most important changes include new parameterizations of large scale condensation (cloud fraction and cloud water are now the prognostic variables), and increased vertical resolution in the atmosphere (73 vertical levels instead of 21, top model level raised from 30 to 60 km). In the oceanic block, horizontal resolution was increased by a factor of 2 in both directions.

The climate model was supplemented by the aerosol block. The model got a new parallel code with improved computational efficiency and scalability. With the new version of climate model we performed a test model run (80 years) to simulate the present-day Earth climate. The model mean state was compared with the available datasets. The structures of the surface temperature and precipitation biases in the INMCM5 are typical for the present climate models. Nevertheless, the RMS error in surface temperature, precipitation as well as zonal mean temperature and zonal wind are reduced in the INMCM5 with respect to its previous version, the INMCM4.

The model is capable of reproducing equatorial stratospheric QBO and SSWs.The model biases for the sea surface height and surface salinity are reduced in the new version as well, probably due to increasing spatial resolution in the oceanic block. Bias in ocean potential temperature at depths below 700 m in the INMCM5 is also reduced with respect to the one in the INMCM4. This is likely because of the tuning background vertical diffusion coefficient.

Model sea ice area is reproduced well enough in the Arctic, but is underestimated in the Antarctic (as a result of the overestimated surface temperature). RMS error in the surface salinity is reduced almost everywhere compared to the previous model except the Arctic (where the positive bias becomes larger). As a final remark one can conclude that the INMCM5 is substantially better in almost all aspects than its previous version and we plan to use this model as a core component for the coming CMIP6 experiment.


One the one hand, this model example shows that the intent is simple: To represent dynamically the energy balance of our planetary climate system.  On the other hand, the model description shows how many parameters are involved, and the complexity of processes interacting.  The attempt to simulate operations of the climate system is a monumental task with many outstanding challenges, and this latest version is another step in an iterative development.

Note:  Regarding the influence of rising CO2 on the energy balance.  Global warming advocates estimate a CO2 perturbation of 4 W/m^2.  In the climate parameters table above, observations of the radiation fluxes have a 2 W/m^2 error range at best, and in several cases are observed in ranges of 10 to 15 W/m^2.

We do not yet have access to the time series temperature outputs from INMCM5 to compare with observations or with other CMIP6 models.  Presumably that will happen in the future.

Early Schematic: Flows and Feedbacks for Climate Models

Is “Emotional Intelligence” an Oxymoron?

Warning: This post will express sincere thoughts that are politically incorrect, for example accepting that males and females have differing predominant behaviors and traits.

The title refers to a notion that came up in the fields of management science and industrial psychology, coincidental with increasing numbers of women practicing in those disciplines. I am prompted to write about this upon realizing that our present social divide is more fundamental than many think. This century, we see increasing numbers of people choosing to operate from emotions rather than intelligence. This pattern is in contradiction to the trajectory of Western civilization placing reason as primary and individual rights and freedoms as essential.

In a recent article thread (to be excerpted below) a comment caught my attention. “It has been said men rank, women exclude, and that is very true imo. All-female groups are very exclusionary to anyone who does not fit in.” That expression of Ranking vs. Excluding was new to me, and it may be changing this century, what with women competing with other women in sports, and with men as well in the workplace. Still, it points to our present social struggle whereby “diversity” is employed to divide a nation into identity groups to protest prejudice and claim reparations against grievances. The US as usual is the leading example of this culture war. Ironically, tribalism is rearing its ugly head in precisely the nation-state that so successfully created an American tribe that included any and all ethnic and religious groups.

Ranking vs. Excluding also explains such recent events as the Senate hearings on Judge Kavanaugh. Clearly his opponents sought to exclude him not only from the Judiciary, but to banish him from the human race. Their fierce and unrelenting animus to this day is frightening for the republic. Ironically, Kavanaugh prevailed in the process only by an emotional outburst, his outrage finally waking others up to the enormously evil beheading underway. This was out of character for a man by all accounts extremely reasonable and unprejudiced, and even in this testimony his intelligence was evident and in control.

It also shows up in the warfare between Trump and the leftist media. From the moment of Trump declaring candidacy, the left has been focused on excluding Trump from legitimacy, not only as President, but as an human being. Meanwhile, he is focused on the ranking: Winning is what matters, coming in first place. And despite the media’s attempts to paint him racist and sexist, I see no evidence that he excludes losers in a contest. On the contrary, he and Senator Rubio are on the same side pushing back against election fraud in Florida. The media can not recognize Trump is driven by intelligence despite his determined actions pursuing rational policy goals, and unbowed by social pressure and disapproval.

This modern tribalism emerges from the academic world and is now spreading into the wider society as graduates gain employment in private and public sector institutions. However, many of them carry a virus along with whatever knowledge and skills they have been able to acquire in their studies. A recent interview with Camille Paglia offers insight into the conversion of normal Americans into social dissenters. The article in Quillette is Camille Paglia: It’s Time for a New Map of the Gender World written by Claire Lehmann. Excerpts below in italics with my bolds.

Post-structuralism, along with identity politics, made huge gains in the 1970s, as the old guard professors proved helpless against a rising tide of rapid add-on programs and departments like women’s studies and African-American studies. The tenured professoriate seemed not to realize that change of some kind was necessary, and thus they failed to provide an alternative vision of a remodeled university of the future.

Most established professors in the 1970s probably believed that the new theory trend was a fad that would blow away like autumn leaves. The greatness of the complex and continuous Western tradition seemed self-evident: the canon would surely stand, even if supplemented by new names. Well, guess what? Helped along by a swelling horde of officious, overpaid administrators, North American universities became, decade by decade, political correctness camps. Out went half the classics, as well as pedagogically useful survey courses demonstrating sequential patterns in history (now dismissed as a “false narrative” by callow theorists). Bookish, introverted old-school professors were not prepared for guerrilla warfare to defend basic scholarly principles or to withstand waves of defamation and harassment.

The poisons of post-structuralism have now spread throughout academe and have done enormous damage to basic scholarly standards and disastrously undermined belief even in the possibility of knowledge. I suspect history will not be kind to the leading professors who appear to have put loyalty to friends and colleagues above defending scholarly values during a chaotic era of overt vandalism that has deprived several generations of students of a profound education in the humanities. The steady decline in humanities majors is an unmistakable signal that this once noble field has become a wasteland.

As an atheist, I have argued that if religion is erased, something must be put in its place. Belief systems are intrinsic to human intelligence and survival. They “frame” the flux of primary experience, which would otherwise flood the mind. Another persistent proposal of mine has been for comparative religion to become the undergraduate core curriculum, an authentically global multiculturalism.

My substitute for religion is art, which I have expanded to include all of popular culture. But when art is reduced to politics, as has been programmatically done in academe for 40 years, its spiritual dimension is gone. It is coarsely reductive to claim that value in the history of art is always determined by the power plays of a self-referential social elite. I take Marxist social analysis seriously: Arnold Hauser’s Marxist, multi-volume A Social History of Art (1951) was a major influence on me in graduate school. However, Hauser honored art and never condescended to it. A society that respects neither religion nor art cannot be called a civilization.

But politics cannot fill the gap. Society, with which Marxism is obsessed, is only a fragment of the totality of life. As I have written, Marxism has no metaphysics: it cannot even detect, much less comprehend, the enormity of the universe and the operations of nature. Those who invest all of their spiritual energies in politics will reap the whirlwind. The evidence is all around us—the paroxysms of inchoate, infantile rage suffered by those who have turned fallible politicians into saviors and devils, godlike avatars of Good versus Evil.

The headlong rush to judgment by so many well-educated, middle-class women in the #MeToo movement has been startling and dismaying. Their elevation of emotion and group solidarity over fact and logic has resurrected damaging stereotypes of women’s irrationality that were once used to deny us the vote. I found the blanket credulity given to women accusers during the recent U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh positively unnerving: it was the first time since college that I truly understood the sexist design of Aeschylus’s Oresteia, whose mob of vengeful Furies is superseded by formal courts of law, where evidence is weighed.

What I see in both the Women’s March and #MeToo is an atavistic rediscovery by Western women of the joy of their own mutually nurturing solidarity—a primary feature of daily life during 10,000 years of the agrarian era that has been lost over the past two centuries of industrialization. As I have often noted, the sexes throughout human history actually had very little to do with each other. There was the world of men and the world of women, each with its own spheres of influence and activity. Women didn’t take men that seriously, and vice versa. I know this because I am the product of an immigrant family (my mother and all four grandparents were born in Italy), and it wasn’t that long ago that we were tilling the stony soil of the earthquake-prone motherland.

Second, the nuclear family as a standard unit of social life is a relatively new and isolating phenomenon. Wives returning from work to an apartment or house are expecting their husbands to fulfill all the emotional and conversational needs that were once fulfilled by other women of multiple generations throughout the agrarian workday in the fields or at home (where the burdens of childcare and eldercare were group shared).

What I see spreading among professional middle-class women is a bitter resentment toward men that is in many cases unjust and misplaced. With divorce so easy since the sexual revolution, women find themselves competing with younger women in new and cruel ways. Agrarian women gained power as they aged: young women were brainless pawns whose marriages, pregnancies, childcare, cooking, and other chores were acerbically supervised and controlled by the dictatorial crones (forces of nature whom I fondly remember from childhood).

In short, #MeToo from a historical perspective is a cri de coeur from women who are realizing that the sexual revolution that many of us had once ecstatically embraced has in key ways devalued women, confused their private relationships, and complicated their smooth functioning in the workplace. It’s time for a new map of the gender world.

Camille Paglia is the University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her eighth book, Provocations: Collected Essays, was released by Pantheon in Oct. 2018.


A previous post quoted an historian saying that the US civil war erupted because of two mutually exclusive definitions of justice.  One side said all people had equal rights and freedoms, while the other side said all people except slaves had equal rights and freedoms.  That war was fought and won to defeat the exclusionary principle.  Yes, the practice has not always lived up to the principle of inclusion.  But there is progress, and social justice warriors’ demands for racist examples exceeds the supply of such behavior.

Present day Americans are torn over the primacy of patriotism or multiculturalism
Details at Patriotism vs. Multiculturalism


Tom Wolfe wrote a book in which he skillfully dissected the descent of rationality and objectivity at the hands of modern academia. And I began to see the connection to climate change hysteria. The ruling force is “political correctness”, which translates into going along to get along in your tribe. And in the extreme, it means subordinating science and rationality to instincts of the herd, their fears, disappointments and desires ruling the day. My synopsis with links is Warmists and Rococo Marxists.

See Also:  Head, Heart and Science

Campus Thought Control

Will the Courts Shut Off Energy Supplies?

Numerous posts here have reported on efforts by climate lawyers to stop use of fossil fuels (FF) to prevent imaginary global warming. The failure of rising CO2 to cause warming in the atmosphere is confirmed yet again by a detailed study of the last 40 years of satellite measurements. My synopsis with links is Atmospheric Observations Contradict Global Warming Theory.

Despite no apparent global warming, climatists (alarmists/activists) are determined that fossil fuels be “left in the ground.” Actually, everyone knows it is not illegal to sell and use fossil fuel products. Of course there are attempts to change that, the current example being the kids lawsuit, destined eventually to go before the US Supreme Court. See Kid’s Climate Lawsuit Update Nov. 5.

Even before that long-shot case started in 2015, climate lawyers have been busy applying another strategy. Since it is legal (still) to sell and use FF, the idea is to prevent the transport of such energy by pipelines, thereby blocking sale and usage and eventually making extraction and production of FF uneconomic. Hence, numerous legal actions have been mounted to prevent or shut down gas and/or oil pipelines.

An insight into their thinking is provided by the recent Montana District judge stopping the Keystone pipeline project that was expressly approved by President Trump. The District Court Order is published at Sierra Club website, since they are a major employer of climate lawyers. (SEIS means the final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement; ROD means Record of Decision by the Department authority (State Dept. In this case)). The order (here) is written by Judge Brian Morris, excerpts in italics with my bolds.

2. The Department’s Conclusions on Climate Change

The 2014 SEIS determined that the pipeline would not affect significantly oil extraction in Canada. As a result of this determination, the 2014 SEIS reasoned that the emissions associated with transporting 830,000 bpd of tar sands crude oil (Keystone’s capacity), would occur regardless of the pipeline’s existence. To reach this conclusion, the 2014 SEIS analyzed numerous factors, including the price of oil, transportation costs, and supply and demand for oil.

The Court must limit its review to determining whether the 2014 SEIS took a “hard look” at the effects of Keystone on oil markets. The Department met this “hard look” requirement in its market analysis and its conclusion that Keystone would not impact the rate of tar sands extraction. The Department provided sufficient analysis that went beyond mere assumptions of the rate of oil sands extraction rates in 2014. The Court finds no error in the Department’s 2014 analysis of the rate of tar sands extraction and its impact on climate change.

The Department denied the permit in its 2015 ROD. The Department relied heavily on the United States’s role in climate leadership.

[My Comment: That 2014 Keystone project SEIS statement proved embarrassing to then-President Obama, who was gearing up for the 2015 do-or-die Paris Accord conference. He directed State Dept. to reconsider, and they did in the 2015 ROD.]

The Department issued a new ROD in 2017. The new ROD noted that “there have been numerous developments related to global action to address climate change, including announcements by many countries of their plans to do so” since the 2015 ROD. Moreover, the new ROD suggested that “a decision to approve [the] proposed Project would support U.S. priorities relating to energy security, economic development, and infrastructure.” The Department argues that this about-face constitutes a mere policy shift, and that on its own, cannot be found arbitrary and capricious.

The Department possesses the authority to give more weight to energy security in 2017 than it had in 2015. Kake and State Farm make clear, however, that “even when reversing a policy after an election, an agency may not simply discard prior factual findings without a reasoned explanation.” The Department did not merely make a policy shift in its stance on the United States’s role on climate change. It simultaneously ignored the 2015 ROD’s Section 6.3 titled “Climate Change-Related Foreign Policy Considerations.” Section 6.3 of the 2015 ROD determined that the United States’s climate change leadership provided a significant basis for denying the permit. The Department acknowledged science supporting a need to keep global temperature below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels Id. at 1182-83. The Department further recognized the scientific evidence that human activity represents a dominant cause of climate change. The Department cited transboundary impacts including storm surges and intense droughts. And finally, the Department accepted the United States’s impact as the world’s largest economy and second-largest greenhouse gas emitter.

[My comment: Note that President’s Obama’s personal desire to be a global leader on climate change is referred to as a “factual finding” and President Trump’s alternate policy is called “capricious.” President Obama’s personal beliefs then serve to justify introducing a bunch of UN-IPCC assertions to override US sovereignty.]

The 2017 ROD initially tracked the 2015 ROD nearly word-for-word. The 2017 ROD, without explanation or acknowledgment, omitted entirely a parallel section discussing “Climate Change-Related Foreign Policy Considerations.” The 2017 ROD ignores the 2015 ROD’s conclusion that 2015 represented a critical time for action on climate change. The 2017 ROD avoids this conclusion with a single paragraph. The 2017 ROD simply states that since 2015, there have been “numerous developments related to global action to address climate change, including announcements by many countries of their plans to do so.”

Once again, this conclusory statement falls short of a factually based determination, let alone a reasoned explanation, for the course reversal. “An agency cannot simply disregard contrary or inconvenient factual determinations that it made in the past, any more than it can ignore inconvenient facts when it writes on a blank slate.”

Blaming FF Pipelines for Global Warming/Climate Change

The Trump administration will be considering the most effective response to the above latest judicial creativity.  Meanwhile, a look into the saga of the Sabal Trail pipeline shows how climate lawyers are beavering away to undermine and blockade FF energy infrastructure. Overview and current pipeline status is from RBN Energy Northeast Gas Pulled South By Florida Power Plants And Sabal Trail. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Florida’s electric utilities are turning to natural gas-fired power and renewables for all their incremental generation needs and as replacements for the older coal units they’ve been retiring. The state’s big bet on natural gas has been spurring the development of new pipelines. And, because of big shifts in where gas is being produced and where it’s flowing, the Sunshine State will soon be receiving an increasing share of its gas needs from the Marcellus region. Today, we discuss the slew of new gas-fired power plants that have come online, the additional plants planned, and gas flows on Sabal Trail, the first new gas mainline into the state in almost two decades.

Open image in new tab to enlarge.

With more than a year of Sabal Trail operational history in the books and Florida’s seasonal weather as hot and humid as modern man and woman can bear, we decided it was time for an update. As we said in Part 1 of this two-part series, Florida is a leading generator of electricity — second only to Texas, in fact — and in recent years its electric utilities have been particularly aggressive in their shift from coal (and nuclear) generation to gas. That spurred the development of the 1.1-Bcf/d Sabal Trail Pipeline, which runs more than 500 miles from an interconnect with Williams’s Transcontinental Gas Pipeline (Transco) in west-central Alabama to the Orlando-area gas hub (black dot in Figure 1). A related pipeline called Florida Southeast Connection delivers gas from that hub into South Florida. Sabal Trail — in service since May 2017 — increased to three the number of gas mainlines serving the state, the other two being the 3.1-Bcf/d Florida Gas Transmission and the 1.3-Bcf/d Gulfstream Natural Gas System.

Obstructing Sabal Trail

Climate lawyers have opposed and obstructed Sabal Trail pipeline for years, and their arguments are seen in the most recent ruling by FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, August 10, 2018 Order Denying Rehearing. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Sierra Club claims that the Commission has entirely ignored downstream emissions. This is not true. The Commission fully considered GHG emissions in the Final SEIS by quantifying them and providing information that put the GHG emissions in context. In this case, having confirmed, following review of the Final SEIS, that the SMP Project remains an environmentally acceptable action, the Commission has no need to effectively re-open its balancing to determine whether the environmental consequences outweigh the previously-identified benefits. The fact that, explained above, the Final SEIS was unable to determine whether the quantified GHG emissions were significant, does not vitiate the fact that we analyzed them and concluded that the identified quantity of GHG emissions does not support a finding that the SMP Project is environmentally unacceptable.

Sierra Club further states that nothing in the NGA (National Gas Act) precludes consideration of downstream emissions. This is correct. We have never suggested to the contrary. Whether such consideration is required by law and whether such consideration compels an outcome of denial of pipeline infrastructure, is a different question. The Commission’s public interest balancing includes a wide-range of factors, but the “principal aim” of the NGA, as determined by Congress, is to “encourag[e] the orderly development of plentiful supplies of . . . natural gas at reasonable prices,” and “protect[] consumers against exploitation at the hands of natural gas companies.” As the Commission explained in the Remand Order, “the public interest that the Commission must protect always includes the interest of consumers in having access to an adequate supply of gas at a reasonable price.”

It is within the policy framework established by Congress in the NGA that the Commission determines whether a proposed project is “environmentally acceptable.” As we explain herein, that determination included consideration of downstream GHG emissions and their secondary effects. We acknowledge that there may be disagreement with the policy choice expressed in the NGA; however, the Remand Order correctly found that “it is for Congress or the Executive Branch to decide national policy on the use of natural gas and that the Commission’s job is to review applications before it on a case-by-case basis.”

57.Congress has not granted the Commission the responsibility to affirmatively establish federal climate policy. Accordingly, we believe the Commission’s proper role is to implement federal climate policies—as established by Congress and those Executive departments to which Congress has delegated the requisite authority—in discharging its duties under the NGA and other statutes the Commission administers, including the Federal Power Act (FPA). The D.C. Circuit has explained that, “[a]s a federal agency, FERC is a ‘creature of statute,’ having ‘no constitutional or common law existence or authority, but only those authorities conferred upon it by Congress.’”

Whether Congress’s directive for the Commission “to encourage the orderly development of plentiful supplies of . . . natural gas at reasonable prices,” is outweighed by the need to address the problem of global climate change is “a question of deep ‘economic and political significance’ that is central to this statutory scheme; had Congress wished to assign that question to an agency, it surely would have done so expressly.” The lack of such an express grant does not necessarily preclude the Commission from considering the impacts of climate change in its assessment of the public interest. But it does mean that the Commission may not flip the NGA on its head, by using it as a vehicle to regulate climate change—and the numerous upstream and downstream activities that contribute thereto—rather than the transportation and sale of natural gas in interstate commerce.

The rehearing requests filed by Sierra Club, G.B.A. Associates, and K. Gregory Issacs are hereby denied. (B) The request for stay filed by Sierra Club is dismissed as moot.

A more precise explanation of the issues in play is provided by a dissenting opinion written by Judge Brown at the DC Court of Appeals in 2017 regarding Sabal Trail pipeline.

Overview of the August 22, 2017 Ruling on Sabal Trail Florida Pipeline Project

Media Report: Activists won a huge victory when a Washington, D.C. appellate court panel sided with the Sierra Club, saying the federal agency that reviewed the project had made a huge error. In the narrow 2-1 decision, U.S. Circuit Judge Thomas B. Griffith wrote that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) should have considered the impact of the pipeline’s added greenhouse gas emissions.

BROWN, Circuit Judge, concurring in part and dissenting in part (in italics with my bolds)

I join today’s opinion on all issues save the Court’s decision to vacate and remand the pipeline certificates on the issue of downstream greenhouse emissions. Case law is clear: When an agency “‘has no ability to prevent a certain effect due to’ [its] ‘limited statutory authority over the relevant action[],’ then that action ‘cannot be considered a legally relevant cause’” of an indirect environmental effect under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”).

Here, FERC declined to engage in an in-depth examination of downstream greenhouse gas emissions because there is no causal relationship between approval of the proposed pipelines and the downstream greenhouse emissions; and, even if a causal relationship exists, any additional analysis would not meaningfully contribute to its decision making. Both determinations were reasonable and entitled to deference.

Regarding causation, the Court is correct that NEPA requires an environmental analysis to include indirect effects that are “reasonably foreseeable,” Freeport, 827 F.3d at 46, but it misunderstands what qualifies as reasonably foreseeable. The Court blithely asserts it is “not just the journey,” it is “also the destination.” Maj. Op. at 18. In fact, NEPA is a procedural statute that is all about the journey. It compels agencies to consider all environmental effects likely to result from the project under review, but it “does not dictate particular decisional outcomes.”

While the Court concludes FERC’s approval of the proposed pipelines will be the cause of greenhouse gas emissions because a significant portion of the natural gas transported through the pipeline will be burned at power plants, see Maj. Op. at 19, the truth is that FERC has no control over whether the power plants that will emit these greenhouse gases will come into existence or remain in operation.

Even if the Court is correct that the Commission has the power to deny pipeline certificates based on indirect environmental concerns, such a denial represents the limit of the Commission’s statutory power. Nothing would prevent the Florida Board from independently approving the construction or expansion of the power plants at issue. In fact, the record shows the Board has already approved some of these projects prior to the Commission reaching a decision on the proposed pipelines. JA 910–11. Moreover, there is also nothing preventing the Intervenors from pursuing an alternative method of delivery to account for the same amount of natural gas. Practical considerations point in the opposite direction. Both the Board and the Commission have concluded Florida has a need for additional natural gas, and nothing in today’s opinion takes issue with those holdings.

Thus, just as FERC in the DOE cases and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in Public Citizen did not have the legal power to prevent certain environmental effects, the Commission here has no authority to prevent the emission of greenhouse gases through newly-constructed or expanded power plants approved by the Board.


Climate lawyers funded by Sierra Club and other activists are attempting to load upon pipelines the guilt by association with fossil fuels. That their global warming fears are unfounded does not deter them. And they attempt to twist regulatory statutes to their purpose rather than what was congressional intent. As Judge Kavanaugh put it in a different DC Court of Appeals ruling: They are jamming a square peg (addressing climate change) in a round hole (eg.limiting ozone-destroying chemicals).

Ocean SSTs Keep Cool

globpopThe best context for understanding decadal temperature changes comes from the world’s sea surface temperatures (SST), for several reasons:

  • The ocean covers 71% of the globe and drives average temperatures;
  • SSTs have a constant water content, (unlike air temperatures), so give a better reading of heat content variations;
  • A major El Nino was the dominant climate feature in recent years.

HadSST is generally regarded as the best of the global SST data sets, and so the temperature story here comes from that source, the latest version being HadSST3.  More on what distinguishes HadSST3 from other SST products at the end.

The Current Context

The chart below shows SST monthly anomalies as reported in HadSST3 starting in 2015 through October 2018.


A global cooling pattern is seen clearly in the Tropics since its peak in 2016, joined by NH and SH cycling downward since 2016.  2018 started with slow warming after the low point of December 2017, led by steadily rising NH, which may have peaked in September.  The Tropics have risen steadily since July, and along with a small bump in SH pulled the Global anomaly up slightly.

NH is now slightly higher than 2017, but is still nearly 0.2C lower than 10/2015. The rise in the Tropics is likely due to the weak El Nino, maybe also affecting the SH. Both are still much cooler than 2015 and 2016.

Note that higher temps in 2015 and 2016 were first of all due to a sharp rise in Tropical SST, beginning in March 2015, peaking in January 2016, and steadily declining back below its beginning level. Secondly, the Northern Hemisphere added three bumps on the shoulders of Tropical warming, with peaks in August of each year.  Also, note that the global release of heat was not dramatic, due to the Southern Hemisphere offsetting the Northern one.

A longer view of SSTs

The graph below  is noisy, but the density is needed to see the seasonal patterns in the oceanic fluctuations.  Previous posts focused on the rise and fall of the last El Nino starting in 2015.  This post adds a longer view, encompassing the significant 1998 El Nino and since.  The color schemes are retained for Global, Tropics, NH and SH anomalies.  Despite the longer time frame, I have kept the monthly data (rather than yearly averages) because of interesting shifts between January and July.


Open image in new tab to enlarge.

1995 is a reasonable starting point prior to the first El Nino.  The sharp Tropical rise peaking in 1998 is dominant in the record, starting Jan. ’97 to pull up SSTs uniformly before returning to the same level Jan. ’99.  For the next 2 years, the Tropics stayed down, and the world’s oceans held steady around 0.2C above 1961 to 1990 average.

Then comes a steady rise over two years to a lesser peak Jan. 2003, but again uniformly pulling all oceans up around 0.4C.  Something changes at this point, with more hemispheric divergence than before. Over the 4 years until Jan 2007, the Tropics go through ups and downs, NH a series of ups and SH mostly downs.  As a result the Global average fluctuates around that same 0.4C, which also turns out to be the average for the entire record since 1995.

2007 stands out with a sharp drop in temperatures so that Jan.08 matches the low in Jan. ’99, but starting from a lower high. The oceans all decline as well, until temps build peaking in 2010.

Now again a different pattern appears.  The Tropics cool sharply to Jan 11, then rise steadily for 4 years to Jan 15, at which point the most recent major El Nino takes off.  But this time in contrast to ’97-’99, the Northern Hemisphere produces peaks every summer pulling up the Global average.  In fact, these NH peaks appear every July starting in 2003, growing stronger to produce 3 massive highs in 2014, 15 and 16, with July 2017 only slightly lower.  Note also that starting in 2014 SH plays a moderating role, offsetting the NH warming pulses. (Note: these are high anomalies on top of the highest absolute temps in the NH.)

What to make of all this? The patterns suggest that in addition to El Ninos in the Pacific driving the Tropic SSTs, something else is going on in the NH.  The obvious culprit is the North Atlantic, since I have seen this sort of pulsing before.  After reading some papers by David Dilley, I confirmed his observation of Atlantic pulses into the Arctic every 8 to 10 years.

But the peaks coming nearly every summer in HadSST require a different picture.  Let’s look at August, the hottest month in the North Atlantic from the Kaplan dataset.
AMO August 2018

The AMO Index is from from Kaplan SST v2, the unaltered and untrended dataset. By definition, the data are monthly average SSTs interpolated to a 5×5 grid over the North Atlantic basically 0 to 70N. The graph shows warming began after 1992 up to 1998, with a series of matching years since. Because the N. Atlantic has partnered with the Pacific ENSO recently, let’s take a closer look at some AMO years in the last 2 decades.

AMO decade 102018

This graph shows monthly AMO temps for some important years. The Peak years were 1998, 2010 and 2016, with the latter emphasized as the most recent. The other years show lesser warming, with 2007 emphasized as the coolest in the last 20 years. Note the red 2018 line is at the bottom of all these tracks. Most recently October 2018 is 0.29C lower than October 2016, and is the coolest October since 2011.


The oceans are driving the warming this century.  SSTs took a step up with the 1998 El Nino and have stayed there with help from the North Atlantic, and more recently the Pacific northern “Blob.”  The ocean surfaces are releasing a lot of energy, warming the air, but eventually will have a cooling effect.  The decline after 1937 was rapid by comparison, so one wonders: How long can the oceans keep this up? If the pattern of recent years continues, NH SST anomalies will likely cool in coming months.  Once again, ENSO will probably determine the outcome.


In the most recent GWPF 2017 State of the Climate report, Dr. Humlum made this observation:

“It is instructive to consider the variation of the annual change rate of atmospheric CO2 together with the annual change rates for the global air temperature and global sea surface temperature (Figure 16). All three change rates clearly vary in concert, but with sea surface temperature rates leading the global temperature rates by a few months and atmospheric CO2 rates lagging 11–12 months behind the sea surface temperature rates.”

Footnote: Why Rely on HadSST3

HadSST3 is distinguished from other SST products because HadCRU (Hadley Climatic Research Unit) does not engage in SST interpolation, i.e. infilling estimated anomalies into grid cells lacking sufficient sampling in a given month. From reading the documentation and from queries to Met Office, this is their procedure.

HadSST3 imports data from gridcells containing ocean, excluding land cells. From past records, they have calculated daily and monthly average readings for each grid cell for the period 1961 to 1990. Those temperatures form the baseline from which anomalies are calculated.

In a given month, each gridcell with sufficient sampling is averaged for the month and then the baseline value for that cell and that month is subtracted, resulting in the monthly anomaly for that cell. All cells with monthly anomalies are averaged to produce global, hemispheric and tropical anomalies for the month, based on the cells in those locations. For example, Tropics averages include ocean grid cells lying between latitudes 20N and 20S.

Gridcells lacking sufficient sampling that month are left out of the averaging, and the uncertainty from such missing data is estimated. IMO that is more reasonable than inventing data to infill. And it seems that the Global Drifter Array displayed in the top image is providing more uniform coverage of the oceans than in the past.


USS Pearl Harbor deploys Global Drifter Buoys in Pacific Ocean


Atmospheric Observations Contradict Global Warming Theory

Update Nov. 13, 2018  H/T Yonason for linking to Blair Macdonald’s discussion of CO2 behavior in the atmosphere.  At the end is a video and link to his paper and website.

This paper just published Has global warming already arrived? by C.A.Varotsos and M.N.Efstathiou (H/T Dennis Bird) Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

•  The global warming during 1978–2018 was not more enhanced at high latitudes near the surface.

•  The intrinsic properties of the lower stratospheric temperature are not related to those in the troposphere.

•  The results obtained do not reveal the global warming occurrence.


The enhancement of the atmospheric greenhouse effect due to the increase in the atmospheric greenhouse gases is often considered as responsible for global warming (known as greenhouse hypothesis of global warming). In this context, the temperature field of global troposphere and lower stratosphere over the period 12/1978–07/2018 is explored using the recent Version 6 of the UAH MSU/AMSU global satellite temperature dataset.

Our analysis did not show a consistent warming with gradual increase from low to high latitudes in both hemispheres, as it should be from the global warming theory. In addition, in the lower stratosphere the temperature cooling over both poles is lower than that over tropics and extratropics. To study further the thermal field variability we investigated the long-range correlations throughout the global lower troposphere-lower stratosphere region. The results show that the temperature field displays power-law behaviour that becomes stronger by going from the lower troposphere to the tropopause.

This power-law behaviour suggests that the fluctuations in global tropospheric temperature at short intervals are positively correlated with those at longer intervals in a power-law manner. The latter, however, does not apply to global temperature in the lower stratosphere. This suggests that the investigated intrinsic properties of the lower stratospheric temperature are not related to those of the troposphere, as is expected by the global warming theory.


From the analysis presented above the following conclusions could be drawn:

•  The temperature trend shows a decreasing warming from the lower troposphere up to the tropopause level and then reverses to cooling in the lower stratosphere. This trend at the tropopause can be considered almost zero. The latter can not support the increase in the height of tropopause, a fingerprint of global warming.

•  At the lower stratosphere there is a negative temperature trend which is lower over both poles (compared to tropics and extra-tropics) with the lowest value over the North Pole.

•  In the lower and mid-troposphere the temperature trend decreases with height and latitude

The above-mentioned three results do not agree with the global warming theory, namely, the gradual increase of tropospheric warming with latitude.

The DFA and MDFA analyses conducted on the possible association of warming in the global troposphere with cooling in the global lower stratosphere showed the following:

•  The temperature fluctuations in the global troposphere exhibit power-law behaviour with an exponent gradually increasing with altitude reaching the unity at the tropopause.

•  The global lower stratospheric temperature anomalies do not exhibit long-range correlation behaviour. In particular, the lower stratospheric temperature anomalies over tropics obey power-law behaviour, while it is not the case for the low stratospheric temperature anomalies over both poles. This may be attributed to the ozone dynamics in this region.

The two above-mentioned results lead to the main conclusion that the intrinsic properties of the thermal regime in the lower stratosphere are not associated with the thermal regime in the troposphere.In summary, the tropospheric temperature has not increased over the last four decades, in both hemispheres, in a way that is more amplified at high latitudes near the surface. In addition, the lower stratospheric temperature did not decline as a function of latitude. Finally,the intrinsic properties of the tropospheric temperature are different from those of the lower stratosphere.

Based on these results and bearing in mind that the climate system is complicated and complex with the existing uncertainties in the climate predictions, it is not possible to reliably support the view of the presence of global warming in the sense of an enhanced greenhouse effect due to human activities.

Update Nov. 13, 2018

MacDonald’s paper is Reinterpreting and Augmenting John Tyndall’s 1859 Greenhouse Gas Experiment with Thermoelectric Theory and Raman Spectroscopy 

Climate science’s fundamental premise – assumed by all parties in the great climate debate – says the greenhouse gases – constituting less than 2% of Earth’s atmosphere, first derived by John Tyndall‘s in his 1859 thermopile experiment, and demonstrated graphically today by infrared spectroscopy – are special because of their IR (heat) absorbing property. From this, it is – paradoxically – assumed the (remaining 98%) non-greenhouse gases N2 nitrogen and O2 oxygen are non-heat absorbent.

This paper reveals, by elementary physics, the (deceptive) role thermopiles play in this paradox. It was found: for a special group substances – all sharing (at least one) electric dipole moment – i.e. CO2, and the other greenhouse gases – thermopiles – via the thermoelectric (Seebeck) effect – generate electricity from their radiated IR. Devices using the thermopile as a detector (e.g. IR spectrographs) discriminate, and have misinterpreted IR absorption for anomalies of electricity production – between the sample gases and a control heat source.

N2 and O2 were found to have (as all substances) predicted vibrational modes (derived by the Schrodinger quantum equation) at 1556cm-1 and 2330cm-1 respectively – well within the IR range of the EM spectrum and are clearly observed – as expected – with Raman Spectroscopy – IR spectroscopy’s complement instrument. The non-greenhouse gases N2 and O2 are relegated to greenhouse gases, and Earth’s atmospheric thermoelectric spectrum was produced (formally IR spectrum), and was augmented with the Raman observations.

It was concluded the said greenhouses gases are not special, but typical; and all substances have thermal absorption properties, as measured by their respective heat capacities.

No, CO2 Doesn’t Drive the Polar Vortex

Simulation of jet stream pattern July 22. (

We are heading into winter this year at the bottom of a solar cycle, and ocean oscillations due for cooling phases. The folks at Climate Alarm Central (CAC) are well aware of this, and are working hard so people won’t realize that global cooling contradicts global warming. No indeed, contortionist papers and headlines are warning us all that CO2 not only causes hothouse earth, overrun with rats and other vermin. CO2 also causes ice ages when it feels like it.

For example, a recent article by alarmist Jason Samenow at Washington Post is Study: Freak summer weather and wild jet-stream patterns are on the rise because of global warming. Excerpts in italics with my bolds

In many ways, the summer of 2018 marked a turning point, when the effects of climate change — perhaps previously on the periphery of public consciousness — suddenly took center stage. Record high temperatures spread all over the Northern Hemisphere. Wildfires raged out of control. And devastating floods were frequent.

Michael Mann, climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University, along with colleagues, has published a new study that connects these disruptive weather extremes with a fundamental change in how the jet stream is behaving during the summer. Linked to the warming climate, the study suggests this change in the atmosphere’s steering current is making these extremes occur more frequently, with greater intensity, and for longer periods of time.

The study projects this erratic jet-stream behavior will increase in the future, leading to more severe heat waves, droughts, fires and floods.

The jet stream is changing not only because the planet is warming up but also because the Arctic is warming faster than the mid-latitudes, the study says. The jet stream is driven by temperature contrasts, and these contrasts are shrinking. The result is a slower jet stream with more wavy peaks and troughs that Mann and his study co-authors ascribe to a process known as “quasi-resonant amplification.”

The altered jet-stream behavior is important because when it takes deep excursions to the south in the summer, it sets up a collision between cool air from the north and the summer’s torrid heat, often spurring excessive rain. But when the jet stream retreats to the north, bulging heat domes form underneath it, leading to record heat and dry spells.

The study, published Wednesday in Science Advances, finds that these quasi-resonant amplification events — in which the jet stream exhibits this extreme behavior during the summer — are predicted to increase by 50 percent this century if emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases continue unchecked.

Whereas previous work conducted by Mann and others had identified a signal for an increase in these events, this study for the first time examined how they may change in the future using climate model simulations.

“Looking at a large number of different computer models, we found interesting differences,” said Stefan Rahmstorf from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and a co-author of the study, in a news release. “Distinct climate models provide quite diverging forecasts for future climate resonance events. However, on average they show a clear increase in such events.”

Although model projections suggest these extreme jet-stream patterns will increase as the climate warms, the study concluded that their increase can be slowed if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced along with particulate pollution in developing countries. “[T]he future is still very much in our hands when it comes to dangerous and damaging summer weather extremes,” Mann said. “It’s simply a matter of our willpower to transition quickly from fossil fuels to renewable energy.”

Mann has been leading the charge to blame anticipated cooling on fossil fuels, his previous attempt claiming CO2 is causing a slowdown of AMOC (part of it being the Gulf Stream), resulting in global cooling, even an ice age. The same idea underlay the scary 2004 movie Day After Tomorrow.

Other scientists are more interested in the truth than in hype. An example is this AGU publication by D.A Smeed et al. The North Atlantic Ocean Is in a State of Reduced Overturning Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Figure 3
Indices of subsurface temperature, sea surface height (SSH), latent heat flux (LHF), and sea surface temperature (SST). SST (purple) is plotted using the same scale as subsurface temperature (blue) in the upper panel. The upper panel shows 24 month filtered values of de‐seasonalized anomalies along with the non‐Ekman part of the AMOC. In the lower panel, we show three‐year running means of the indices going back to 1985 (1993 for the SSH index).

Changes in ocean heat transport and SST are expected to modify the net air‐sea heat flux. The changes in the total air‐sea flux (Figure S4, data obtained from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction‐National Center for Atmospheric Research reanalysis; Kalnay et al., 1996) are almost all due to the change in LHF. The third panel of Figure 3 shows the changes in LHF between the two periods. There is a strong signal with increased heat loss from the ocean over the Gulf Stream. That the area of increased heat loss coincides with the location of warming SST indicates that the changes in air‐sea fluxes are driven by the ocean.

Whilst the AMOC has only been continuously measured since 2004, the indices of SSH, heat content, SST, and LHF can be calculated farther back in time (Figure 3, bottom). Over this longer time period, all four indices are strongly correlated with one another (Table S5; correlations were calculated using the nonparametric method described in McCarthy et al., 2015). These data suggest that measurement of the AMOC at 26°N started close to a maximum in the overturning. Prior to 2007 the indices show variability on a time scale of 8 to 10 years and no trend is evident, but since 2014 all indices have had values lower than any other year since 1985.

Previous studies have shown that seasonal and interannual changes in the subtropical AMOC are forced primarily by changing wind stress mediated by Rossby waves (Zhao & Johns, 2014a, 2014b). There is growing evidence (Delworth et al., 2016; Jackson et al., 2016) that the longer‐term changes of the AMOC over the last decade are also associated with thermohaline forcing and that the changed circulation alters the pattern of ocean‐atmosphere heat exchange (Gulev et al., 2013). The role of ocean circulation in decadal climate variability has been challenged in recent years with authors suggesting that external, atmospheric‐driven changes could produce the observed variability in Atlantic SSTs (Clement et al., 2015). However, the direct observation of a weakened AMOC supports a role for ocean circulation in decadal Atlantic climate variability.

Our results show that the previously reported decline of the AMOC (Smeed et al., 2014) has been arrested, but the length of the observational record of the AMOC is still short relative to the time scales of important decadal variations that exist in the Atlantic. Understanding is therefore constantly evolving. What we identify as a changed state of the AMOC in this study may well prove to be part of a decadal oscillation superposed on a multidecadal cycle. Overlaying these oscillations is the impact of anthropogenic change that is predicted to weaken the AMOC over the next century. The continuation of measurements from the RAPID 26°N array and similar observations elsewhere in the Atlantic (Lozier et al., 2017; Meinen et al., 2013) will enable us to unravel and reveal the role of ocean circulation in the changing Atlantic climate in the coming decades.

graphic20-20polarvortex_explained_updated2001291920-204034x2912-1Regarding the more recent attempt to link CO2 with jet stream meanderings, we have this paper providing a more reasonable assessment.  Arctic amplification: does it impact the polar jet stream?  by Valentin P. Meleshko et al.  Excerpts below in italics with my bolds.

Analysis of observation and model simulations has revealed that northward temperature gradient decreases and jet flow weakens in the polar troposphere due to global climate warming. These interdependent phenomena are regarded as robust features of the climate system. An increase of planetary wave oscillation that is attributed to Arctic amplification (Francis and Vavrus, 2012; Francis and Vavrus, 2015) has not been confirmed from analysis of observation (Barnes, 2013; Screen and Simmonds, 2013) or in our analysis of model simulations of projected climate. However, we found that GPH variability associated with planetary wave oscillation increases in the background of weakening of zonal flow during the sea-ice-free summer. Enhancement of northward heat transport in the troposphere was shown to be the main factor responsible for decrease of northward temperature gradient and weakening of the jet stream in autumn and winter. Arctic amplification provides only minor contribution to the evolution of zonal flow and planetary wave oscillation.

It has been shown that northward heat transport is the major factor in decreasing the northward temperature gradient in the polar atmosphere and increasing the planetary-scale wave oscillation in the troposphere of the mid-latitudes. Arctic amplification does not show any essential impact on planetary-scale oscillation in the mid and upper troposphere, although it does cause a decrease of northward heat transport in the lower troposphere. These results confound the interpretation of the short observational record that has suggested a causal link between recent Arctic melting and extreme weather in the mid-latitudes.

There are two additional explanations of factors causing the wavy jet stream, AKA Polar Vortex.  Dr Judah Cohen of AER has written extensively on the link between Autumn Siberian snow cover and the Arctic oscillation.  See Snowing and Freezing in the Arctic  for a more complete description of the mechanism.

Finally, a discussion with Piers Corbyn regarding the solar flux effect upon the jet stream at Is This Cold the New Normal?

Video transcript available at linked post.