We did it and it’s going to get worse, but it’s not (yet) too late: IPCC AR5 science report summary released

Aafter all the leaks and attempted spin, the final version of the IPCC’s Summary For Policymakers of the Working Group One report on the physical science basis for our current understanding of climate change has just been released. Download the PDF from the IPCC site here. The full report will follow on Monday — a massive 3,000 page tome that summarises 9,200 scientific papers published since AR4 was released in 2007. The bottom line is clear enough:

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.

The Science Media Centre asked Professor Dave Frame, Director of the NZ Climate Change Research Institute at VUW to explain the key points:

  • It is extremely likely that human activities caused more than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature since 1950;
  • It is virtually certain that natural variability alone cannot account for the observed global warming since 1950;
  • Global mean temperatures will continue to rise over the 21st century if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated;
  • The principal driver of long term warming is the total cumulative emission of CO2 over time;
  • To limit warming caused by CO2 emissions alone to be likely less than 2°C, total CO2 emissions from all anthropogenic sources would need to be limited to a cumulative budget of about one trillion tonnes of carbon, emitted as CO2, over the entire industrial era, about half of which have been emitted by 2011.

The emphasis on carbon budgets is new for this report, and makes the emissions reduction challenge we face only too clear. Here’s Fig 10 from the SPM:

The black dots on the bottom left represent historical carbon emissions up to 2010. The various coloured lines show what various emissions pathways — new for AR5 (see Skeptical Science’s explanation) — mean for global temperatures by 2100. Only the most aggressive emissions pathway — RCP 2.6, the purple line — gives us a chance of staying under a 2ºC target, but assumes that we are actually reducing atmospheric CO2 by the end of the century. It remains an uphill struggle, in other words, and the hill gets steeper the longer we leave starting out on the climb.

372 thoughts on “We did it and it’s going to get worse, but it’s not (yet) too late: IPCC AR5 science report summary released”

  1. This all sounds pretty familia. More of the same propaganda based on faulty models. This report will not change anything. The climate scientists had their chance and blew it with exaggerations and manipulated data. Now nobody is listening.

    1. You carry on with your head under a stone if it helps you to deal with it, Flatearth2013.

      On a general note, I’m pleased that the IPCC are now not just concentrating on the quality of the science, but also ensuring that they also head off some of the denial memes that they know will be generated by their report. So for instance they say “x will happen” and then put ‘very high confidence’ in parenthesis. They also add, for instance, after a strong ‘will happen’ statement, “…though there may be regional exceptions”. This makes it much less easy to wilfully distort their words. They’re learning that how they communicate facts is as important as the facts themselves if they want to generate solutions. We have progress.


    2. Well, Flathead, this does all sound pretty “familia”; you simply parrot the same fossil fuel industry script that Republican strategist Frank Luntz laid out for George W Bush in 2002:

      The scientific debate is closing [against us] but not yet closed. There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science…. Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate, and defer to scientists and other experts in the field.

      FYI, here are the basics of climate change, as established in the 19th century:

      1) Greenhouse gases absorb infrared radiation in the atmosphere and re-emit much of it back toward the surface, thus warming the planet (less heat escapes; Fourier, 1824).

      2) CO2 is a greenhouse gas and thus has the capacity to warm the planet (Tyndall, 1858).

      3) By burning fossil fuels, humans activities are increasing the greenhouse gas concentration of the Earth (Arrhenius, 1896).

      4) Increased greenhouse gas concentrations lead to more heat being trapped, warming the planet further (Arrhenius, 1896).

  2. Co2 may very well have a warming effect on the planet. The problem is climate scientists still don’t understand exactly how the climate works, they just wait for something to happen then predict it. What about all the feedbacks like clouds? Until its all completely understood nobody can predict future temperature trends. Sun cycles are predictable, if they are helping cause this slowdown as suggested, why wasn’t it predicted then??? First the UK was meant to fry, now they are talking cooling of 1 deg. NZ was meant to get more cyclones, but not many have arrived so they are now only predicting them to be stronger. I bet the old US hurricane predictions has been tuned down too, they didn’t play ball either. Don’t you find it amusing that the predictions are always changing to match actual data?

    What happened to the story that we only had until 2013 to save the world before we are all doomed anyway? Yes the same year the Arctic was meant to be completely ice free. How is that going?

  3. Until the models and the IPCC give a satisfactory explanation for the slowdown in warming, they cannot say with any certainly (although that wont stop them) that it will start again. They just don’t understand what is going on and who can blame them. The climate is extremely complicated.

    1. The IPCC does appear to say something like that;-

      Significant lines from the report:-

      ” Most MODELS simulate a small DOWNWARD trend in Antarctic sea ice extent, albeit with large inter-model spread, in CONTRAST to the small UPWARD trend in OBSERVATIONS……”

      “There is LOW confidence in the scientific understanding of the small observed INCREASE in Antarctic sea ice extent due to the INCOMPLETE and competing scientific explanations for the causes of change and LOW confidence in estimates of internal variability in that region.”

      “Models do NOT generally reproduce the OBSERVED REDUCTION
      in surface warming trend over the last 10 –15 years.”

      But it doesn’t really matter now; the horse has bolted. It’s like Tony says; unless something unprecedented actually happens , nobody is going to act. It’s impossible to adapt to something that has’nt happened; that’s just a truism.
      What we can do is increase our adaptability; increase resilience; flexibility; reserve capacity etc.
      The problem in agriculture is that the indebtedness and unprofitability are such as to prevent that. It’s all hand to mouth. If there’s high production , then the price goes down. If the price goes up it’s usually because less is being produced (ceteri paribus).
      It does take a disaster to induce profound change. I bought this farm a month before the 1987 crash with interest rates at 26%. It was a steep learning curve , but it was a question of survival.

      1. You don’t get it Bio Farmer. Just like your alter ego, Mr. Flat, you close your eyes when the truth is held in front of them, then carry on to squeeze another spin doctor comment into the blogosphere… wonder who sent you and Flat here on the eve of the IPCC report release?? But that’s besides the point.

        Now again LOOK with both eyes wide open:
        This is the graph showing the change in heat content for 90% of the planetary thermal mass over the last half a century. Any hiatus in the last decades? Any mismatch with predicted rises?
        Earth is tucking away an extra 4 Hiroshima bombs in heat every second. It is roughly equivalent to the W/m2 that our alteration of the radiation heat transfer of the atmosphere would expect us to see.
        Decadal fluctuations of the Atmospheric temperature trends are no indicator of any change of the heat balance of Earth or its trend.

        When you carry on proclaiming that “It’s impossible to adapt to something that has’nt happened” you lie shamelessly. Simple as that.

        So stop making stuff up! Global warming is here. It is effecting millions already and its just the tip of the iceberg of the consequences we will face. Nobody gives a rats tail about your cows today my friend. What is at stake is a planet that our children and their children can call home without living in a Mad Max world. But that seems to be lost to you and Flat and Co.

  4. Here’s the bottom line. If you are so sure about the global warming theory how about betting $100,000 the planet will resume warming by 2020? If you are not willing to make this gamble, why should our government gamble billions on the same theory? Why not just take a wait and see approach? That money will be better spent on health and education until there is actual proof there is a problem.

    I can set up a charity account for you and anyone else prepared to put their money where their mouth is.

    1. You lost your bet already. You said: “The planet will resume warming”….
      The problem is Flat, even though many people have pushed your nose into it like a naughty dogs nose into its own excrement, that the Planet never stopped warming in the first place. The Planet Flat, in the terms of the thermal energy budget of the biosphere, is mostly ocean. Water has a very high heat specific capacity and stores the vast majority of the excess heat retained due to our warming. The measurements (not theory, models or predictions, but actual measurements) of the ocean heat content, and thereby over 90% of the entire thermal energy budget, has gone up relentlessly over time, and especially also over the last 15 years. The energy gain is equivalent to 4 Hiroshima bombs per second, every second! And if you were able to take pen to paper and had some high school science in the back of your mind, you could estimate this to be just around the amount estimated in Watt/m2 for the climate forcing of AGW and CO2.

      So here we go again: Nose pushed into the turd:
      So your bet is lost and toasted from the get go. There isn’t and never was a hiatus in Planetary warming.
      Send your $100,000 check please…

  5. Sorry Flathead. Its you who pretends to not understand anything. The so called ‘global warming pause’ is nothing but a mirage.

    Here is an article that sums it up for you rather eloquently:

    Let me cite for you from the article: (emphasis mine):

    Yet before the ink is even dry [on the IPCC report] critics are trying to obscure this stark message behind a mirage: the supposed halt in global warming over the last 15 years. This willful idiocy is based on the fact that air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have more or less plateaued since the record hot year in 1998.

    What critics choose to ignore is that of all the extra heat being trapped by our greenhouse gas emissions – equivalent to four Hiroshima nuclear bombs every second – just 1% ends up warming the air. By choosing to focus on air temperatures critics are ignoring 99% of the problem.

    So, ‘willful idiocy’ sums your point of view up rather well I think.
    Now go back as suggested earlier to play with your Flintstones toy collection. They need a troll to play with…. 😉

    1. And of course there is no reply to be made to ignorance. – or flathead’s version of a gish gallop. I’ve been trying to remember if there has ever been an occasion in my experience when a denialist has followed up on references given or demonstrated growth in understanding of climate science.

  6. I am so excited to see one of my brethren chiming in here and speaking The Truth about the ridiculous notion that the climate is changing and we’re causing it.

    I am the Honourable President of the NZ Flat Earth Society for Climate Skeptics, and I want to thank you, Flatearth 2013. For indeed, the Earth is Flat. I’ve been on a quest for a while to join forces with the climate skeptic movement, not least because we share a common understanding:

    * a global conspiracy of governments and scientists against us
    * a small band of TruthTellers standing up to the Might of NASA and other such heretic institutions

    Global warming is not real.
    And the Earth Is Flat.

    get used to it, heretics. Our arguments will win out because we are right.

    ps. just got a message from the turtles holding up our Earth – they are very worried that everyone says the Ice Wall will melt. I’ve told them it’s just a conspiracy.

        1. Irony is usually serious. Cindy suggested that the poster is not serious.
          If it’s not serious why bother? Irony can be quite effective.
          Who was it aimed at?

  7. Well you warmists would take that approach. This is the kind of attitude that the Flat Earth Society has been dealing with for centuries, and we’re fed up with it.

    This is why we’ve joined with what seems to be a highly successful campaign by climate skeptics who are facing the same problems as us.

    If we’re lucky, maybe the Koch brothers or ExxonMobil will sling us some money in the process! We really hope so.

    1. I would be truly alarmed if the Flat Earth Society endorsed the findings of the IPCC. I’m remembering that back in the days of Krushchev the Russians always said Nyet to any proposal from USA in the UN. One day they said yes!

  8. ” a highly successful campaign by climate skeptics who are facing the same problems as us. ”

    If the problem that you are referring to is the need to get the public onside, then I agree; the skeptics appear to have won that one.. But I’m not convinced that it was the efforts of the skeptics that swung it, or any money that might have been thrown at it..
    My observation is that if you spend most of your effort on ad hominem ; ad vericundiam; etc. then you lose. The public is not stupid , have little respect for what appears to be arrogance, and have quite sensitive bullshit detectors.
    I suspect that this is the actual problem that you are encountering. In the vernacular – “nobody likes a smart-arse”

    And the last thing that you need is a sensationalist media repeatedly crying “Wolf”.

    1. Bio: “the [skeptics] deniers appear to have won that one..” what?
      The deniers have risen to power in OZ, now they bare the responsibility for the countries actions! Do you mean that?
      What has been won? Has the science changed? Did the Skeptics discover a secret remedy to AGW or an alternative explanation that exonerates CO2? No, you guys simply gobbled up an oversized chunk of the airwaves and paper inches in the gutter press.

      BTW: Would you call it a victory of sorts if the “sinking skeptics” on the Titanic somehow prevented the crew from lowering the lifeboats? Nice one Bio!

      1. Recrimination is pointless. The vox populi says the government should do nothing about climate change. That was all that I was saying.
        Other countries will now follow Australia’s lead.
        Sooner or later the polarisation needs to stop. That begins with individuals.

        1. Actually, I don’t think that’s entirely true. Most opinion surveys in most countries – even the US and Australia – show a majority believe in the reality of climate change and accept the need for action. Translating that into political action is another matter – but can be done.

          1. I agree . I was simply saying that the majority do not want political action on this matter at this time. There are probably several reasons for that , not least being the growing distrust of all politicians.
            But my point is that believing in climate change and the need to act is a very different thing from wanting political action.

    1. Yes Flat, now back to your toy collection. This IPCC stuff is over your head.
      BTW I await your $100,000 check in the mail for your lost bet from above. Hope you are flush. The debt collectors will be knocking at ya door soon!

  9. You seem a little high strung Thomas. A clear sign that you are not winning the argument. I just don’t understand why the IPCC didn’t build this ocean trapping heat thing into their models. Then they could have the world cowering in fear right now because of the proven accuracy of their models. They failed to predict the tempreture slowdown so are now left struggling to explain why we should still be listening to them. How the mighty have fallen.

    1. “A clear sign that you are not winning the argument.” LOL! 🙂

      1) were are my $100,000 from your lost bet on planetary warming you waged above? I would like you to name a charity to which you will pay this and will let you know if its acceptable to me. So come on, where is the dosh?

      2) “I just don’t understand why the IPCC didn’t build this ocean trapping heat thing into their models.”
      But they have Mr. Flat, they have! Why don’t you look before you spout out falsehoods. Don’t they have the ‘Google’ in FlatEarthLand?

      “Observations since 1961 show that the ocean has been absorbing more than 80% of the heat added to the climate system, and that ocean temperatures have increased to depths of at least 3000 m (9800 ft).”

      IPPC 4th report, 2007, the one before this one.

      If you are in denial about the ongoing and relentless heat increase in the Earth system, just look at these graphs (IPCC 5th report)

  10. Interesting article and follow-up comments over at PopSci about their decision to stop allowing comments on their offerings.

    Tracking the relentless crud from Flat et al here, I can see merit in their decision. It would make PopSci (& Hot Topic) less entertaining but perhaps more informative by not providing the mis- & dys- informers a platform. As much as I dislike censorship, there are some who perhaps should have been censored at birth.

    1. Kiwiano: Check the link to PopSci you posted. I clicked it and was showered with dozens of spam tabs spawning in my browser!
      Your link must have been compromised somehow.

  11. Can you please direct me to where the IPCC stated that global air temperatures will stay static for the next 15 years because the heat will mostly be adsorbed into the ocean? That would be helpful thanks.

    1. Nonsense Flat. The IPCC would have to possess magic powers to predict atmospheric temperatures accurately on decadal scales. In order to do so they would have had to predict: Volcanic eruptions, the depth of the solar minimum to come and especially the duration and extent of the ENSO. What the models can predict are averages. And if you were to understand what the graphs of the planetary heat content and its relentless rise tell us to which you have been pointed, then you would agree that the observations are in line with what is expected. Relentless increase of the heat content in our planetary system.
      Furthermore, if you put the actual volcanic eruptions, solar flux and ENSO into the models, the models concur with the observations rather well. So nothing wrong with the models.

      Btw here is a graph comparing the 1995 IPCC predicted atmospheric temperature trend to the observed atmospheric temps:
      Hmm, now what is your point?

      If you are still hung up about the so called ’15 year warming hiatus’ you have understood nothing so far in this discussion whatsoever.
      Perhaps this summary will help you further.

      BTW where is my $100,000 from your lost bet? Which charity did you chose?

  12. Why would the IPCC state that? The slowing of air temperature rise was related to prolonged La Ninas that brought more cold water to the ocean surface, cooling the air above. Or should we say sucking the warmth out of the air into the ocean, which is what the Argo buoys have been recording. As Thomas noted the IPCC can’t make year by year predictions but they can say that if we keep dumping CO2 into the atmosphere, we’ll recreate the Great Extinctions of the End-Permian and End-Cretaceous, etc. You or your grandchildren wouldn’t want to be around if that happened. Not nice.
    Actually, I’ll rephrase that: You or your grandchildren won’t be around if that happened. That’s what great extinctions are all about.

  13. I think that this is an appropriate reaction to the IPCC report:

    “Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist who has covered weather for the Wall Street Journal, tweeted that he will no longer fly on planes after a grim climate-change report left him in tears. Holthaus, who now writes for Quartz, was reacting to findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a well-respected body that includes 195 member countries, which released a report on Friday that found it is “extremely likely” that humans are causing warming trends seen in the last several decades. Holthaus took the news hard, and vowed to reduce his carbon footprint by giving up on air travel.” http://t.co/pVvwpEdd2c

  14. Lol, you have completely undermined your own position. If natural variability can explain a 15 year period of no statistically significant warming than it can also explain a 15 year period of warming. Therefore it will need to warm for many decades before we can be certain that its not just natural variability. You can’t have it both ways. Although I bet if it begins to warm rapidly over the next 5 years you will say this is proof of global warming.

    The bet was a way of making the point you can’t be certain when or if warming will start again. The data still says none since 1998.

    1. Flat, how many times do people have to hit you over the head with the truth:

      1) The planet has continued to warm relentlessly over the last 15 years. Over 90% of the energy is being stored in the oceans.

      2) If you look at decadal averages, the atmosphere as continued to warm relentlessly too.

      3) No models say they attempt to predict natural variability from random causes. Models predict the trend, blue line in the graph below.

      Flatearth, where is the $100,000 from you lost bet?

    2. Flat, please be warned that you are running into the buffers of HT’s comment policy. Simply repeating denier memes without taking the trouble to read the references you’ve been given does not count as arguing in good faith.

      That said, you misunderstand the role of variability and GHG forcing. To put it simply: if a period such as the last ten years can only deliver a slowdown in surface temp warming, then when we get natural factors operating in the other direction, we’ll get very rapid warming indeed. The underlying upwards trend caused by the ever- increasing GHG forcing makes that inevitable.

    3. Flatearth’s first deduction is quite correct. The natural variability referred to is primarily ENSO though the 11 year solar cycle, this time including a solar minimum and a few other influences maybe also in play. Over the long term none of the instances of natural variability have any trend. Yet over about 30 years the trend is evident. Now if he had followed the links I gave him and endeavoured to understand what he then saw and read he would not have needed this little lesson. The trend is there.

      Understand too that this variability is detected in the surface global temperature, only 2.3% of the total heat content. The continuing addition of GHGs traps 60 times more heat than the total output of humanity. If we account for all that heat then we can comprehend the climate scientists’ assertion that global warming is not only continuing but accelerating! This is measurable in two things mainly (1) the sum of all the heatcontent: soil, air, melting glaciers and warming oceans, argo floats helping, and (2) the seal-level rise which is the sum of the volume of melt water reaching the sea plus the much larger volume of sea water expansion due to additional heat, less the increase water vapor in the atmosphere. Thus an estimate can be made of the total heat imbalance at the top of the atmosphere.

      Now when I said measurable I acknowledge I really mean pretty good estimates for there are still wobbles, notably heavy rains taking time to feed back into the sea as happened recently with respect to Australia. Also not every part of the earth and oceans are as well served with instruments as the more densely inhabited and travelled regions, nor are we totally certain of the exact mechanisms by which heat is conveyed to the deep ocean for another instance. These kind of things account for the defined uncertainties in the reporting, yet they do not take away from the main conclusions climate scientist present.

      Play has been made by denialists that this ocean heat content thing is a recent thing. Why did we not have it in the modeling way back, or even during the “climategate” con by so called sceptics. The answer is that we have been measuring sea-level rise for a while now and had to deduce that the “missing” or unmeasured heat was going into the deep oceans. Back at “climate gate” I waited 48 hours and then tested each of the email quotes that were being bandied around and was able to put them back into context and thus discover that Trenberth’s “travesty” was that we were not at the time directly measuring deep ocean heat content except by inference from sea-level rise. As we all know the measring system was then put in place hence climate scientists are able to come to a much greater precision which is refected in the latest IPCC report even though the most recent papers relevant to this discussion have not been taken into consideration.

      It will be discovered, as it always has been in the past, that the IPCC is overly conservative and whatever they project into the future is most likely to err on the low side. The big issues are how we can adapt to long lasting climate change and the procession of extreme weatherevents and mitigate climate change so these events are not as catastrophic as they could be – the issue is not the integrity of climate science.

      1. ” The big issues are how we can adapt to long lasting climate change ”

        re. mitigation. it was interesting to hear the task of global agreement being described on the radio news as “terrifyingly difficult”.
        Some would argue that it is something of an understatement. I can’t think of a single global agreement; is there a precedent?

        1. You are saying that something can only happen for the first time if it has already happened before? Interesting. So Neil Armstrong wasn’t the first man on the moon after all…

          1. “You are saying that something can only happen for the first time if it has already happened before? ”
            No. You made that up. But your post is a good illustration of how difficult an agreement is going to be.

        2. biofarmer
          The people who negotiate on climate change are mostly the same year after year. Each time they agree to have another junket …oops1 conference … to decide something. They are present to guard the interests that rule their nations, to gain advantage if possible and to block what would not be profitable to the interests they serve – with few exceptions they do not come to serve humanity or to really achieve a working strategy. Of course a global agreement is “terrifyingly difficult” when the will to do is not there. Omar Khayyám described the situation well:

          “Myself when young did eargerly frequent
          Doctor and Saint and heard great argument
          About it and about: but evermore
          Came out by the same Door
          as in I went.”

          I’v learned that when people meet in goodwill, determined to achieve whats necessary, then obstacles tend to dissolve, things get done.
          What ever they come up with, whatever the faults, if people get behind it, it tends to work, whereas however perfect a plan, if approached with selfish intent, will work poorly, if at all.

          So in what spirit do we approach the issues of climate change?

          I often think, in this context, that the initial meeting in San Francisco to set up the United Nations had that required spirit. All those I’ve personally talked with on this point, and sometimes worked with later, who participated in that conference spoke of the inspiration of that occasion, and I confess missed it a great deal in their later work. If you have read the preamble to the Charter of the United Nations you may have caught on to that of which I write.

          I have observed before that if the government sets the climate then people get to work and come up with all manner of helpful practices. I have admired all my life the ingenuity of farmers in solving problems but this genious is not restricted to farmers. Indeed, in the absence of government initiatves people as individuals and groups, not forgetting the researches of scientists, have managed to put us in a position where we can act, can find ways to go. I am very grateful to them,

  15. Don’t throw your toys at me. The UK met office has acknowledged the warming standstill and expects it to continue to at least 2017. Maybe you guys should argue with them and James Hansen would has also acknowledged it rather than pretend it doesn’t exist by moving the goal posts all the time. Next it will be ‘ well this century is still warmer than last century’. The world has warmed since the last ice age, the warming is not accelerating though as models said it would. I am far from the only one who has noticed this.

    Gareth, I understand why my voice of reason is viewed as a threat here, but lets be fair. People here are still claiming the hockey stick graph is not faulty! Ok why was it withdrawn from IPCC reports? I have read the links but its still all theory. You can’t promise me the climate graphs don’t contain adjusted data. I have seen plenty of other graphs which don’t show anywhere near as much warming.

    If the science is so convincing please explain why there is so little interest in a global climate agreement? Saving the would and creating all those green jobs should be a vote winner. Yes?

    1. Flat, you have no rime nor reason! So much is clear!

      Flat, do you actually comprehend anything that is explained to you?
      There is no global warming standstill!!. There never has been. There has been a ‘plateau’ of surface temperatures if you cherry pick 1998 as a start. These surface temperature plateaus happen regularly, they are part and parcel of the natural climate cycles of the planet.

      In fact, in the absence of an underlying AGW trend, we would have had decadal or multi-decadal cooling periods followed by warming with no overall long term trend. This is what the natural cycles produce.

      But due to the clear and predicted and measured underlying AGW trend of about +0.12 Deg/decade we no longer have cooling cycles, we have instead sideways cycles in the surface temps followed by more warming. And this, has has been explained to you ad infinitum is only the atmospheric and surface part of the rising heat content!!! But over 90% of the excess heat our planet currently accumulates is stored in the Oceans anyway. These over 90% have shown relentless and heating over especially the last 15 years! Hello, are you listening this time? The heat content of our planet has been rising relentlessly! The surface temps represent only a single digit percentage of the planets heat budget!

      The UK Met Service has not said that the planet is no longer warming, they have in fact on their website published a series of papers targeting just this issue. I cite for you from the UK Met Service Papers:

      The recent pause in global surface temperature rise does not materially alter the risks of substantial warming of the Earth by the end of this century. Nor does it invalidate the fundamental physics of global warming, the scientific basis of climate models and their estimates of climate sensitivity.

      First, periods of slowing down and pauses in surface warming are not unusual in the instrumental temperature record. Second, climate model simulations suggest that we can expect such a period of a decade or more to occur at least twice per century, due to internal variability alone. Third, recent research suggests that ocean heat re-arrangements, with a contribution from changes in top of the atmosphere radiation, could be important for explaining the recent pause in global surface warming.


      And here, just for you again, the climate escalator showing all this in action, nicely animated for you:

      Flat, where is my $100,000 or your lost bet?? I am waiting still!

  16. “If the science is so convincing please explain why there is so little interest in a global climate agreement? Saving the would and creating all those green jobs should be a vote winner. Yes?”

    There are Billions of reasons why there is no concerted effort by Governments to curb GHG emissions – all of them US $ from vested interests.. If you think that our current political structure have anything to with democracy and corporates have no influence whatsoever then you are an even bigger fool than you appear to be! Furthermore the public are treated by this cartel of greed as mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed bullshit, by a mainstream media that act as handmaidens to the corporates. In the US alone, a shocking 80% of climate stories from Murdoch’s select papers mislead readers about global warming. So is it any wonder that the public (including you) don’t understand.
    You can do something about that by signing a petiton here:
    If the truth was allowed to be told then yes.. Clean tech would make extra jobs and reduce the pressure on finite resources, but we live in a world where vested interest predominates. And there are useful idiots – such as yourself to – to do the work for them.

  17. You just spent the last few comments telling me that the warming has not stopped, then you post met office statements talking about the pause in warming. Which one is it?

    All the talk was once about rising air temperatures, now it’s about the trapped heat units. The goal posts will just continue to shift when the data doesn’t match predictions.

    1. Flat: Planetary warming = all of the planet = 90% Oceans + 10% rest (surface warming + ice melt etc).

      Therefore: Surface Warming = some part of 10% of the overall energy imbalance. Got it Mr. Flat???

      Decadal fluctuations of the Surface Warming are not indicative of changes in the trend, the reasons for them are all well understood but we can’t predict their timing (we would need to employ magic to do so!)

      Flat: You are stuck in a dying meme. Perhaps, if you go west long enough, you will fall of the edge of the planet….. And perhaps that would be something we could all celebrate….

      But before you leave us (or Gareth turns your spigot of nonsense off and relegates your sock puppet to the dust bin) : Where are the $100,000 from your lost bet? Which charity will you pay it too? Debt collectors will be knocking at your door….!

  18. So what magic was the IPCC using when it made its predictions oh sorry ‘projections’ of the global tempreture increase. They stated the trend and set 90% confidence limits that the trend would stay within that range. This will not happen so and all the excuses in the world will not change this. Maybe heat is going into the deep ocean, that’s not the issue. The issue is the IPCC air tempreture projections are wrong, at least 90% wrong.

    And please tell me what scientific method the IPCC used to come up with their 95% confidence? This should be good.

    1. You are making all this up. The IPCC predictions from the last report have a range that matches where we are today. In fact the temperature is roughly where Hansen predicted it would be from 1987. The temperature went higher than predicted for twenty years and then slowed down for ten putting it back on target. Where you deniers go wrong is that you get your forecasts from Fox News and Wattsupwiththat who make it up in the first place, The next thing is you will be quoting the Daily Mail.

    2. Flat you are talking total tosh, and deliberately so I must assume as you can’t be That Daft!!!

      What don’t you get about the fact that projections necessarily are about averages, about the trend, not about the wiggle around that trend? Even the 1995 projections of that trend were rather accurate don’t you think?
      Do you actually ever look at anything people put your nose to?

      If you are interested in the huge stack of science papers underpinning the IPCC report, I suggest you read the entire set of papers. Might do you some good! But then again I seriously doubt your ability to digest any of it.

  19. Flathead / Biofarmer, if global surface temperatures are experiencing a “hiatus”, then why has each of the last three decades been warmer, on average, than the previous decade?

    Also, do you understand the difference between termperature and heat? For instance which is has the most heat: 1 kg of water at 0 C, or 1 kg of ice at 0 C?

    Now, if you think really, really hard, you should be able to answer this: Earth’s average surface global temperature peaked in 1998, 2005 and 2010, but for which of these years was there the most heat in the entire Earth system?

    1. No they don.t show IPCC projections and neither do you. You make it all up. People are going to die in big numbers and your grandchildren will be among them. Rich peoples and those from the wealthier countries will suffer with the rest. This is not a localised event like World war 2. Food production is going to be very tough and a lot of people are going to be on the move. I might just live long enough to see the start of it but younger people will not.

    1. Why don’t you educate yourself by reading the IPCC report, Flathead?

      Ooops, sorry, for a moment there I thought you might be a genuine enquirer, rather than a willfully ignorant, lazy, denialist troll…

  20. Yeah I guess I will have to wait. It’s just Judith Curry was saying something about it being a negotiated figure and nothing to do with scientific method. Surly she is wrong. No way would such an important scientific report resort to closed doors vote to assign confidence. Would they? We will see.

    1. Is Flathead merely a a robo-troll, i.e. a software construct ?

      As evidence, please note the repetitive sentence structure, the severely limited conversational skills and the dull, humourless presentation.

      Presumably, this is the beta version. When can we have an upgrade?

  21. Food for thought.

    Piers Forster, Leeds University’s Professor of Physical Climate Change, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘If it does get beyond 20 years, that would get very interesting.

    ‘We would have to revisit the models. As it goes on, it would get more and more peculiar.’

    He added: ‘We are right on the edge of the probability distribution now. We have to accept that if we are going to come up with projections, they have to be correct.’

    Even this marks a big change from earlier statements by eminent climate scientists.

  22. You can’t let it go can you Flatty? Nit-picking over a discrepancy in only 2% of the Earth’s heat accumulation. Yes, the prolonged La Ninas are an interesting sideline, but meanwhile the drumbeat of rising CO2 and other GHG continues. They won’t go away and each year we procrastinate and avoid prompt response we increase to cost of ultimately dealing with climate change.

  23. In just three months, the 2013 temperature data will be added into the record. The way trend-measuring works, this will then increase the period of the “pause” or “hiatus” to 18 years.

    There will have been no statistically-significant warming since mid-1995. For those who have no time for statistics, the (non-significant) cooling period will extend to 12 years.

    I’d counsel not spending too much energy on excoriating cherry-pickers who start their trends from the super-heated 1998. That argument will be gone very shortly – unless that long-awaited El Nino finally arrives!

  24. You mean the growing ones in the Antarctic? Or the stubborn ones in the Arctic that refuse to going away when they are told? Sadly life will go on guys.

    And remember that other scare — peddled by Tim Flannery, Al Gore, The Age and our ABC — of an ice-free Arctic by this year?

    In fact, the IPCC says only one of its four scenarios suggests the Arctic might be nearly ice free in summer by mid-century at the earliest. The rest have no confidence of that this century.

    1. How can I frame this?
      North Pole not same as South Pole. North Pole op-en wa-ter with land all round, South Pole BIG ice block with wa-ter all round. Not same.

      Al Gore make guess, not right. But not bad. North pole ice come and go, most-ly go. Ice wide but thin and mush-y. BAD!

  25. Guessing the arctic would be ice free by 2013 was a ‘not bad’ guess? Ok.

    It seems if you read the guardian the models are correct and the mail they are not. If you look at the range in the gardian graph they pretty much cant be wrong. I could guess the climate within that range and save everyone a few million dollars.

    I am interested in the science behind the heat being trapped in the deep ocean. Did the IPCC suggest this might be the case in AR4? Can you link it please? Do we have deep ocean tempreture records going back a few decades? How do we know the tempreture down there has changed significantly?

    This seems to be to focus of the debate now. Lets explore the reasoning.

    1. Flat, the rock under which you live has ruined your memory capacity.
      I cite from my own comment above, referring to the 4th report of the IPCC:

      “Observations since 1961 show that the ocean has been absorbing more than 80% of the heat added to the climate system, and that ocean temperatures have increased to depths of at least 3000 m (9800 ft).”

      IPPC 4th report, 2007, the one before this one.

      If you look at the trends of the sea ice volume by month you can pretty well estimate when the summer volume will reach zero. We are getting close.

      Flat the fact that you keep repeating the same questions as before proves that you are not here to learn or discuss anything. You simply hope to spill some mental dirt here and there over the carpet to hope the occasional passer by will misread your comment for an honestly held opinion. You are a little troll, nothing else. Its time you make an exit!

  26. The global cooling scare came after 1961 so references from back then are not very relevant. Can you give me the section in AR4 where they said this was happening?

    So when does AR5 say the Arctic will be ice free? Then trend has changed a bit since.

    1. Flat: Do you ever actually read the links people provide you with??? Here we go again:
      Scroll down to about the middle of the page, bullet points. My quote is verbatim from their text.
      Here are NOAA’s data http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content2000m.png
      I put your nose to it many times by now.

      Do you see any hiatus to planetary warming in the last 15 years in this graph?

      Stop repeating the same nonsense over and over!

  27. Observations since 1961 show that the average temperature of the global ocean has increased to depths of at least 3000 m and that the ocean has been absorbing more than 80% of the heat added to the climate system. Such warming causes seawater to expand, contributing to sea level rise (see Table SPM.1). {5.2, 5.5}

    Ok, but where is the part that says this might lead to a pause in the increase of air temperatures for 15 years? They are using the oceans as an excuse for failed projections. And no point trying to claim the pause does not exist when the met office and even James Hanson say is does.

    According to Hansen et al. the Nasa Giss database has 2012 as the ninth warmest year on record, although statistically indistinguishable from the last 12 years, at least.

    I think it’s fair to say the IPCC are just making it up as they go. There was not real talk of all the heat disappearing into the ocean until recently. Why is everyone here so convinced of out of control warming? The IPCC could be wrong, and it will not be for the first time either.

    1. “I think it’s fair to say the IPCC are just making it up as they go.”

      Quite right to a point, but do you know why? The answer is that science cannot answer everything. The big problem is that we are now in unchartered territory, which means that we can be subjected to a lot of surprises along the way, many of which science cannot pre empt. I’ve been involved in the biological sciences for years, and the biosphere is a highly unpredictable system, all the more reason we shouldn’t mess with it!

      It’s like if we sent you to Afghanistan or Syria, doesn’t mean you will get killed, but also doesn’t mean that its a good idea.

    2. Flat, you are stubborn like a goat and probably have a similar mental capacity:

      AGW causes the climate system to retain some of the solar energy input as the outgoing radiation no longer balances the input. This leads to a rise in temperature. We know that about 90% of the energy imbalance ends up as rising temperatures in the oceans. The oceans heat capacity is enormous when compare to the atmosphere and land surface. We pointed that out to you more times than I can count. We showed you the graphs we showed you the links to the science.
      The atmospheric temperatures fluctuate around a rising average. We showed you the graphs. The fluctuations are caused to no small part by oscillations of the oceans. We showed you the links to the science. In La Nina years cold water upwelling is enhanced, presenting colder surface waters and leading to more heat being introduced into the oceans at the expense of the air temps. In El Nino years the effect reverses.
      However, and this is the important part, all the time the total heat content of the planet is rising. The ocean temps show this and the decadal averages of the air and surface temps show the same.

      The IPCC is making nothing up at all. They faithfully report on data from measurements and projections of the future trend from highly sophisticated climate models. They do not project short term fluctuations. We told you why that is so.

      Scientists are convinced of the dangers to humanity and the planets eco system from continued warming along the projections made by scientists. If we do get to a 4Deg C (average) warmer world, this would be a total catastrophe for all of us so much is certain.
      Here is a link to a Discussion of the matter by the World Bank, not a ‘greeny’ organization one would think.

      The people making stuff up are you and your friends from the denier voodoo-junkscience club. You make stuff up in each and every comment you posted.

      BTW: Where is my $100,000 from your lost bet?

    3. Flatearth2013 wrote: “I think it’s fair to say the IPCC are just making it up as they go. There was not real talk of all the heat disappearing into the ocean until recently.”

      Completely untrue, on both counts.We’ve long known that the oceans take up heat associated with surface warming. The early energy balance papers (Steve Shcneider’s stuff from the late 70s, Hansen’s stuff from 1985, etc etc) make that very clear. In Levitus’s 2000 paper he puts numbers on the heat capacity of the system (effectively). Those are all very consistent with modern arguments about the energy balance.

      It’s pretty clear you’ve never read any of this stuff and and are just making it up to wind people up, and (I suspect) to mislead people visiting this blog that there’s a real debate where there isn’t. Time to do something, Gareth, I think…

  28. You don’t need to repeat the fact 90% of the heat ends up in the ocean, I never disagreed with that. This idea that heat is disappearing into the deep ocean will have to be proven though, otherwise the IPCC has not other explanation for the lack increase in air tempreture.

    So when we had a hot year did you say ‘ this is more proof of global warming’ or ‘this means nothing, only long term trends are important’?? Does it go both ways?

  29. Flat: it’s not enough to nit-pick over short-term variability of atmospheric temperatures, you have to provide a coherent, all-encompassing explanation for ALL the observed effects of increasing CO2. The changes to ice at higher latitudes and altitudes, the shifting seasons and migratory patterns, the decreasing upper atmospheric infra-red emissions as measured by satellite and increased night temperatures, changes to atmospheric winds, the increasing oceanic temperatures from Argo buoys, the upward creep of ocean levels and downward creep of pH, the decadal average temperature increases, the increased tendency for abnormal droughts, rain & snowfalls, floods, even the abnormal cold snaps, the more frequent record high temperatures and less frequent record low temperatures and more.
    Only when you can refute ALL of the evidence provided to the IPCC or find valid alternative explanations can you earn any respect here.

  30. My explanation covers all of this. The earth is in a long term warming trend since the last ice age. The co2 will have an effect on ocean pH although it is still very basic. The science behind global warming is correct but maybe is only accounting for 10% of the warming. The rest is natural and primarily driven by the sun. That is my honest view of what’s happening. The sun is entering a quite phase so I suspect the earth might cool for the next 30 odd years. The tempreture data backs this theory with its slowdown.

    1. Could you please provide the links to where to you set out the evidence and analysis that underpins your explanation/assertion that natural causes are causing this warming. Specifically the evidence that shows that total insolation has increased over the Holocene period. Also could you please identify what other natural forcings are resulting in long term warming.

  31. Good grief Flatty, do you really honestly believe that the scientific community haven’t studied the solar performance, cosmic rays, little green men and every other even vaguely possible explanation for the observed accumulation of heat? Have you never read anything on the subject?

    Given the quiet sun over the last decade or so, the temperatures should have been falling slightly. In fact, the oft-touted belief that we are headed for another ice age may well have been correct (at least over the next few millennia) until the sudden up-turn in temperatures and a succession of new record high temperature decades coinciding with the release of vast, mind-boggling quantities of known greenhouse gases by humans.

  32. Swiss scientists now say that the Little Ice Age most certainly could have been triggered by variations in solar activity.
    There’s been criticism for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) over its latest AR5 report from many quarters for many reasons. But today there’s new research focusing on one particular aspect of that criticism.

    The particular part of the IPCC’s science in question is its accounting for the effects of changes in the Sun on the climate of planet Earth. Many climatologists have long sought to suggest that the effects of solar variability are minor, certainly when compared to those of human-driven CO2 emissions. Others, however, while admitting that the Sun changes only a very little over human timescales, think that it might be an important factor.

    This is part of the latest article on the subject. I am far from the only one that thinks solar plays a larger role than the IPCC give it credit for. Why are you so scared of my views? Seems odd to me. Some of your friends on this site can admit the science is not settled. Can you? I put forward my genuine view and that gets you kicked out of the debate? What is wrong with you people? No wonder your theory is dying a slow cold death. Stop thinking that your view is the only correct one! If we always had your attitude people would think the world is still flat. The view of the day can change in time, and its not done by a vote.

    1. Swiss scientists now say that the Little Ice Age most certainly could have been triggered by variations in solar activity.
      Quite possibly, just as the Ice ages are linked to Milankovich Cycles and the End-Perminan extinction to massive volcanic eruptions in Siberia. But what has that to do with the current Anthropogenic Extinction?

      ” I am far from the only one that thinks solar plays a larger role than the IPCC give it credit for.”
      Why do you think that when the measurements of solar radiation can’t account for the heat gain? Wistful thinking? Make the bogeyman go away? Lalalalalalalalaaa?

      “Why are you so scared of my views? Seems odd to me. Some of your friends on this site can admit the science is not settled. Can you?”
      “The Science is Settled” is a straw man put up by denialists so they can demolish it. No science is ever ‘settled’, suggesting that it can’t be refined further, but a helluva lot of it has very high confidence levels.

      “I put forward my genuine view and that gets you kicked out of the debate? What is wrong with you people? No wonder your theory is dying a slow cold death.”
      Your “genuine view” is riddled with errors and if our “theory” is dying it sure as hell isn’t a slow cold death. A rapid hot one more likely, alas.

    2. Could you please provide the reference as I have access to the literature.

      Again where is the data on long term trends in total insolation to support these views. Without supporting evidence this is nothing more than supposition and gut feeling.

      1. Doug,

        This is the Register putting their spin:


        On these reports:



        The solar cycle has been considered ad nauseum, and turns out the maunder minimum was a only a tiny segment of the little ice age:


        Flatus is just spouting out like a parrot what he picked up from the Register, yet another lame attempt from the Heartland at muddying the waters for the gullible.

        Methinks that Flatus should be given some seeds, some cuttlefish and sent to the twilight zone. He has no interest in learning anything here.

        1. Tony thank you for providing the link which Flatearth didn’t. Despite his stated desire to discuss the science fairly he appears not be capable of doing this in good faith. I categorise him as troll and will ignore.

  33. Is this place a cult or something? It’s a bit odd to refuse other people the right to their own view.

    If you are so right, why don’t governments do anything about it? Doom is just around to corner but no one seems to care. Saving humanity has got to be a vote winner, it just makes no sense. The majority of people don’t buy into catastrophic climate change or they would vote out anyone not taking action. Is it all Fox new’s fault? Clearly the science is not as convincing as you suggest. Are we all just happy to ruin our grand kids future? No, we just dont think at bit of carbon dioxide will lead to the end of days! Why do so few people care anymore? Partly because of people like you who think you own the truth telling too many scare stories that turn out to be false.

  34. I have read all your posts and looked at the links. Is it a crime to not agree with you? If anyone should be getting kicked off its the name callers and bullies. I have made some good points worth discussing. Just debate the issues and stop the bullying for a change. I am actually interested in other people’s views, are you? My last point stands. No one here can explain why so few people believe in catastrophic global warming anymore.

    1. What a lie from flatty:

      I am actually interested in other people’s views, are you?

      The only views he is interested in are the dishonest views coming from denier sites which he frequents. All his “knowledge” of climate science is gleaned from these sources. He has not read a science paper in his life yet he thinks he knows better than anyone else. He is ignorant, arrogant and selfish. I am not “name calling” as he thinks but just giving a description of his fetid character.

      Good riddance would be welcomed by all.

    1. It would be a brave man who linked to Forbes as a font of reliable information regarding climate change, their track record for screwing it up is formidable.
      The article linked is also by Scafetta which also sets alarm bells ringing, she’s one of “the usual suspects”.

      To quote from Sceptical Science
      But the whole premise seems to follow along the lines of other recent flawed works tendered by Roy Spencer and Craig Loehle & Nicola Scafetta. That is: find some tenuous statistical relationship between two sets of data, and use these to assert the mainstream scientific establishment is wrong. The fact that there is no physical basis for the statistical relationship, or it doesn’t fit within the well-established scientific framework, or is contrary to numerous other sets of data, never seems to warrant attention by “skeptic” scientists.

      Sorry, Flatty, you HAVE to come up with arguments that satisfy ALL the different aspects of climate change. Too much evidence is accumulating to cherry-pick.

  35. Goodness Flatman: The ocean heat uptake is NOT A THEORY to be proven. It is simply measured:

    Ok, since the scientists know so much about it, why didn’t they deduct that ‘measured’ amount of warming from the air temperature models? Then the models would be more accurate. The more you say they know leads to even more questions.

    1. Goodness Flat, you simply don’t get it: The amount of energy being stored in the oceans is over 90% of the total energy the planetary system accumulates at present.
      The ‘missing heat’ in the atmospheric surface trends due to the current sideways period of the surface temps is a fraction of a % of that total! It is a minor amount of energy we are talking about. And that fraction of a % of the total is the result of natural fluctuations of the ocean circulation system which is too complex still to predict in such detail as to predict the fluctuations in our surface air temperatures.
      We can well measure and predict the overall heat uptake of the oceans and the IPCC and the scientists contributing are fully aware of this.
      If it was not for the huge heat capacity of the oceans our surface temps would have risen much steeper by now!

      Flat, your continued difficulty to comprehend this is staggering. You keep repeating the same misconceptions again and again. You are a prime example of the ‘Dunning Kruger’ syndrome that befalls opinionated individuals who have just enough comprehension in science to digest bits and bytes here, selecting what matches their strong confirmation bias, and then believes that they have made a ‘discovery’ or gained an ‘insight’ superior to those experts and their institutes who have been working in climatology for the main part of their careers.

  36. IPSO the International Program on the State of the Oceans has also just published its report. A guardian article comments on it here

    In the starkest warning yet of the threat to ocean health, the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) said: “This [acidification] is unprecedented in the Earth’s known history. We are entering an unknown territory of marine ecosystem change, and exposing organisms to intolerable evolutionary pressure.

    This report finds the situation with the oceans is “much more dire” than the climate scientists have portrayed in the IPCC report. It has a lot to say on acidification, oxygen depletion, over fishing and pollution. The Guardian story goes on to say:

    The IPSO report also found the oceans were being “deoxygenated” – their average oxygen content is likely to fall by as much as 7 per cent by 2100, partly because of the run-off of fertilisers and sewage into the seas, and also as a side-effect of global warming. The reduction of oxygen is a concern as areas of severe depletion become effectively dead.

    Rogers said: “People are just not aware of the massive roles that the oceans play in the Earth’s systems. Phytoplankton produce 40 per cent of the oxygen in the atmosphere, for example, and 90 per cent of all life is in the oceans. Because the oceans are so vast, there are still areas we have never really seen. We have a very poor grasp of some of the biochemical processes in the world’s biggest ecosystem.”

  37. I have done a literature review on climate change at University and read plenty of papers on the subject thank you. Much of what I found contradicts the theory, you just have to look deeper than flashy Gardian headlines to find it.

    You own the truth……..I get it now.

    1. I will probably regret this, but I will ask you again

      1 You claim that the long term temp trend since the end of the ice age has been increasing. You must have data/evidence as the basis of this claim. Will you provide links to the study or studies that provide this information?
      2 You claim that this warming has been driven by the sun (long term increase in insolation). Again provide the link/s.

      3 You claim that there are other natural forcings contributing to this long term warming. Please provide links to the literature.

      Finally you claim that your review of the literature has lead to doubts about the consensus view. Could you please indicate the studies that led you to these conclusions. For extra credibility you may wish to explain why you place more weight on these studies than others in the field that support the consensus view.

      Please take the time to refer to your notes so as to provide a succinct and accurate reply.

  38. FYI

    Gareth invited me on here to share my views and debate the issues which is what I’m doing.

    What I was really interested in was if the people on this side of the debate would show any willingness to review their position given the changing dynamic of the debate, ie actual data not matching projections etc. I don’t expect you to change your views, but I was expecting I bit more questioning and discussion around some of these developing issues. No such luck. On this evidence the hiatus could go another 10 years and you will still be calling people deniers.

    The debate is just starting globally, you wont win by trying to shut it down.

    1. Congratulations on the way you have conducted yourself here. It would be interesting to go back through the thread and count the number of times the “D” word was trotted out. Ironic really.

      The reality is that , as far as the public is concerned , (and that is quite some way) the whole thing is over.

      My earnest suggestion to those who habitually populate this site is to get on with making the necessary changes in your personal life that will help to ensure a cleaner future in Godzone, regardless of what the climate does.
      One thing is sure , and that is that the climate will continue to change. It would be a good thing if , accepting that fact, people here could find in themselves a reason to change .
      And be thankful that we live in such interesting times.

      1. Well said Bio.

        I think we can all agree to that. Some of us are devoting all our spare time and energy to making the necessary personal changes, as change first must come from within. It is a massive learning process, and in future, hopefully the information will spill out to others by rapid osmosis.

        I think that if there was a collective will, society would improve from an environmental/ecological view as well as a social perspective. If we think about the camaraderie during the war, where people united to defeat a common enemy, society was far less dysfunctional.

        One can only wonder in dismay, why people like Flat choose to be the enemy in respect to what is clearly the common/greater good for anyone with a sense of morality. A decarbonised economy would benefit New Zealanders now and in the future. Importing billions of dollars of fossil fuels is crippling the economy despite what Flat might want to believe.

        1. A decarbonised economy would benefit New Zealanders now and in the future. Importing billions of dollars of fossil fuels is crippling the economy despite what Flat might want to believe.
          Not as much as having a wee “Oops!” while drilling for oil off-shore. Pity those zillions the Gummint is prepared to spend couldn’t go to finding alternatives.

    2. Under a nom de plume you certainly can’t claim any respect for academic background or any other kind of association. We can only go on the merit of what you actually write, which is as it should be. I use my own name and accept responsibility for what I write and responsibility to correct myself when shown – that does occur.

      You appeared first as a troll, then in case it was just innocence and an unfortunate background we tried explaining things to you and gave you references which you say you have read. Yet you have shown no comprehension of climate science, You have never entered any discussion in good faith. With good faith goes a willingness to think together. After any argument received you simply changed the goal posts and did not attempt to follow through. You have stuck closely to the current denialists playbook with one exception (you have nothing against solar power – I wonder how you go on wind power). Your representations of climate science, projections, the IPCC reports has been rather false. Your so called data mismatches are fake, they simply represent a one eyed view unable to put together the apropriate elements. For example you should be able to relate ocean heating to depth, ocean expansion, planetary energy imbalance, planetayy surface temperature, the evolution of science and data collection, You do not. You claim reason but your premises do not give you anything to go on.

      To date there is nothing in your conduct to distinguish you from a merchant of doubt, a class whose behaviour collectively constitute a crime against humanity insofar as it is an effort to mislead, to cast doubt, to prevent action on mounting issues humanity must face – for what gain?

      Perhaps you are a psychology major exploring denialist behaviour and the responses it gets – futile in the face of willful ignorance. If so don’t claim any sympathy for the repercussions inevitable in the role you have cast for yourself. You have introduced yourself into the bias of your data.

    3. Yeah yeah yeah, you acted in good faith, others were unkind to you, you only came here to demonstrate how unkind we all are, everyone else doesn’t get it like you do, your repeating multiply-debunked points and demanding we go over them again and again is perfectly reasonable behaviour; this is merely the ‘Seeker After Truth Troll’ phase, that follows your ‘Troll Troll’ and ‘Tone Troll’ schtick.

      This stuff is old; we’ve seen it all before.

      Let us know when you find a ‘hiatus’ in the total energy accumulating in the system, land and ocean; otherwise get off your tedious high-horse, you’re dull.

      If you were half as clever as you apparently think you are you might achieve something in the real world. You won’t.

  39. ….’Dunning Kruger’ effect….. CLASSIC!!
    “The Foole doth thinke he is wise, but the wiseman knowes himselfe to be a Foole.” As You Like It

    Actually I had pondered that maybe Flatty is Gareth’s sock puppet, calculated to drive up hits for Hot Topic ;^) ….except that there’s no advertising to speak of, so there wouldn’t be any point. He certainly has done that!

  40. New paper finds global warming since the Little Ice Age explained by natural processes, not man-made CO2

    On the Present Halting of Global Warming
    Syun-Ichi Akasofu
    International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA;

    My point is there is science to support both views. What nobody here has yet explained to me is if your theory is right, you are saying humanity is willfuly destroying our grand children’s futures. You and your fellow believers have explained your science to governments and most of the public are now familiar with your theory….yet next to no action! ( I think we can agree a few wind farms amounts to lip service). The predictions are pretty dire so either people are happy to destroy their families futures OR people just don’t think your dire predictions will actually happen. It has to be either or doesn’t it?

    1. Something odd about Syun-Ichi Akasofu….he is Emeritus Professor (Physics) @ IRAC but the first sentence of the abstract contains a blooper. “The rise in global average temperature over the last century has halted since roughly the year 2000, despite the fact that the release of CO2 into the atmosphere is still increasing.” It is now well-established that there has been no halt, only in the average SURFACE temperatures. Unless the paper dates back to out-of-date data???

      On the lack of action: valid query. Humans are adapted to rapid response to immediate danger. Any ancestor who wasn’t was eaten by sabre-tooth tiger. But we are poorly adapted to dealing with long term danger. How many people happily build or buy houses in known flood plains? Or smoke? We should be cutting our carbon feetprints to about 12% of what we have taken for granted (that’s TO not BY!!), but any politician who stands on that principle can expect little or no votes. Imagine the furore if we were asked to reduce our car usage to half as far/half as often/half the speed/half the size of car. Or permutations to fit. The Industrial Revolution and fossil energy brought us all wealth and luxury beyond even the most fevered imaginations of the wealthiest of our ancestors. Travel, medicine, communications, entertainment, reliable food supplies, the list goes on & on. But it came with a pact with the Devil. It will eventually poison the planet, perhaps even rendering it uninhabitable if you don’t use it wisely. Which we are profoundly NOT!! We are releasing carbon into the biosphere 100 to 300x faster than the natural CO2 sources, billions upon billions of tonnes every year, year after year. Utter debauchery! But if we don’t cut our profligacy back and learn to find alternatives and/or go without, the Devil must eventually call us to account. Unfortunately, just as John Key wants to wait until everyone else cuts back, we all are waiting, hoping, for someone else to make the move.

      1. We are all familiar with the claims that we are emerging out of the LIA and that is the cause of the warming. They have all failed completely as science exercises. I took a look at this one. It seems to be another exercise exploiting the correlation is causality fallacy. In such exercises of which there have been a number recently commented on by Taminao, a correlation is claimed to show the cause of whatever, in this case warming, yet no actual link in the phenomena to the warming is shown. A little common sense would discredit some. Further, the authors of those pretend science papers fail to account for what is known and extensively researched and observed – the relation between greenhouse gasses and the earth’s energy imbalance..

        Those attached to the notion that the warming has natural causes also seem to have no idea of the billions spent by NASA using satellites to observe and quantify natural forcings yet nothing has been found that can come even close to explaining the temperature rise observed. Their substitutes are the illusory correlations that keep get thrown up.

        Hanging on to a unsupportable notion simply prevents apprehension of climate science.

    2. Flat, no and no again: Some contrarian minds (most of whom are in the pay of Heartland money which came from Koch & Koch and other oil interests) are bleating discredited ‘papers’ and occasionally get them through into some journals. But these few guys are not representative of ‘The Science’ at all. There will always be some contrarian minds bleating stuff, especially as the Koch & Koch Billionaires are desperate to hear any old tale they can spin and happy to pay for the ‘favor’.

      Desmog Blog has an interesting section on the syun-ichi-akasofu chap: http://www.desmogblog.com/syun-ichi-akasofu
      His connections to far right circles of Heartland and CATO “institutes” are well documented.

  41. For the record.

    I support renewable energy when it is not subsidised by taxpayers

    I am pro environment, I plant many trees, I want our rivers and streams cleaned up (a real issue)

    I don’t want us to spend any more money on fossil fuels then is required to keep our economy going. Yes I am pro oil and gas exploration though. When a cheaper more efficient energy source comes along we can change then.

    I think there is some basis to the global warming theory but I think most of the current warming is natural. Also a bit of warming (if it starts again) is going to be a net positive to humanity.

    Seems reasonable to me.

    1. ‘I support renewable energy when it is not subsidised by taxpayers’.

      How much of the current electric generation capacity in NZ do you think has been constructed that was not subsidized by the taxpayer?

    2. Flat said: “I support renewable energy when it is not subsidised by taxpayers”….
      You should note that global subsidies of fossil fuels are in the order of $1.9 Trillion Dollars annually. Source IMF: http://www.imf.org/external/np/pp/eng/2013/012813.pdf
      This includes about half a trillion US$ of direct cash subsidies and the rest is subsidized emissions by not taxing the consequences of these emissions as they should be.
      Of the half a trillion US$ in tax subsidies for fossil fuels, Faith Briol, the head of the IEA (International Energy Agency) had this to say recently:

      Fossil fuel subsidies – which amounted to half a trillion US Dollars worldwide in 2011 – are effectively an incentive to pollute and as such are “public enemy number one to sustainable energy development,” Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency said at EWEA’s 2013 Annual Event in Vienna on Monday.

      You will agree that the IEA is not a greeny loony agency at all. The acknowledgement of the scale of tax subsidies to fossil fuels is highly significant.

      The global subsidies for alternative energy however is a miniscule fraction of this gargantuan amount of tax subsidies for the very problem of AGW and constitutes a very unfair advantage of the established fossil energy providers over sustainable alternatives!
      This graph Flat shows the relationship (Bloomberg data).

      Now when you picture the bad bad clean energy subsidies in your mind, multiply by at least an order of magnitude to get the dirty fuel subsidies and then start ranting against these please.
      As a libertarian I expect you to be, you should be appalled by the fact that our governments give these massive tax subsidies to the wealthiest companies in the world. Why don’t you start doing something about that for a change?

    1. A problem I have at the moment is the server does not respond to any request for interpretive data from NASA on CERES. I suspect it is much more complex and less informative than supposed by the author of that WUWT exercise. Climate scientists, including the NASA people who nurse that baby tend to regard clouds as providing positive and negative feedbacks with a slightly positive bias. The problem is obtaining the data. So far satellites tend only to see the topmost layer of clouds. I tend to wait and see what Tamino has to say about data manipulations appearing via WUWT.

      1. If it’s a NASA server, it may be a victim of the US Administration Shutdown. You may have to wait until they’ve finished playing their silly games.

      1. What has that to do with the experiment in question?
        That is obviously a rhetorical question.
        The writer is Willis Eschenbach, but that fact too is completely irrelevant to the subject matter.

        1. Bio, the fact that the writer is Willis Eschenbach is kinda relevant, given that his sole scientific credentials are a
          California Massage Certificate and a B.A. in Psychology.

          Nevertheless, perhaps he is an autodidactic savant and has researched and published in the field?

          Nope, and nope again; it seems that poor old Willis is just another industry hireling:

          Willis Eschenbach has worked as a Construction Manager at Taunovo Bay Resort in Fiji, a Sport Fishing guide in Alaska and more recently as an Accounts/IT Senior Manager with South Pacific Oil.

          So, why should anyone waste time on his ramblings at WUWT?


          1. Well science is where you find it. I fail to see what the author has to do with it. It is science or it is not.
            What am I missing ?
            Did you read Willis’ post and dismiss it? That’s fine.

            1. BF asks:

              What am I missing ?

              He is missing any basic understanding of science since he thinks that WE and the mob of ignorant AGW deniers at wattsuphisbutt are scientists discussing science.

              He is either a fool or a dishonest person.

              I wish he would come clean and let us know which it is.

              It is interesting how people such as flatty and BF claim to be undecided and just want to view all sides and learn. However, they only quote the dishonest AGW deniers and their blogs. Thus it is obvious that they are not here to learn but to use typical denier tactics of spreading doubt and misinformation. Get lost, the two of you, you are just a couple of despicable people who have no regard for what will happen to future generations because of your disgusting tactics.

            2. Your foolishness is exceeded only by your arrogance. I could be wrong though; your ignorance has a place in there somewhere., not to mention your obvious paranoia. You really are a most unpleasant person. I’m more than happy to leave you to your angry little world.

            3. Bio: The sad reality is: after a century of deep understanding of Physics there are still self anointed ‘experts’ dabbling in perpetual motion ‘research’ and the promotion of all sorts of wired apparatuses. Some of them even take investors funds into their wicked schemes.
              The same type of characters with the same general disposition are popping up in the dungeons of climate science denial. This Eschenbach guy is one of them. The fact that the denier scene has to resort to citing their confused ramblings as evidence against the established body of climate science tells it all: Climate science denial is clinging onto the last straw. Trying to force Science to be ‘open minded’ towards hobby dabblers such as Eschenbach is simply borne from ignorance. If Eschenbach had something real to say, he should submit it to one of the established journals for peer review. If its not passing peer review than this is not a sign of conspiracy but simply a sign of junk science and pseudo science being rejected as it should.

            4. You know I’m not sad about it at all, and I suspect that neither are you.

              You say;
              “Some of them even take investors funds into their wicked schemes.”

              The old saying is “A fool and his money are soon parted ”

              That’s the way the world is; it will never change.
              There have been prophets crying in the wilderness:- “Doesn’t anybody want The Way?” since humans began.
              Today there is deep suspicion of anyone who claims to have the answer.
              I doubt that anything can be done about that fact. Ian’s approach is rather novel, but will fail because masochism is not so common.
              Rapprochement is not a word that you hear much these days; so it goes.

  42. As I have said the IPCC has plenty of flaws and an obvious agenda, but as you guys mentioned it does not change the science. The devil himself could be funding climate science what difference does it make? If you think it’s wrong pull the paper apart scientifically.

    No I do not support any energy subsides for generators. Clearly when the industry was government owned it was subsidised, we are moving to private ownership so let the market sort the wheat from the chaff.

    I’m not sure I buy into the view that we are not wired to care about long term dangers. If the climate follows some predictions we will have significant negative affects within some of our lifetimes. People stop smoking, stay out of the sun and avoid food with chemicals etc to save their lives and way of life many years into to future. Many of us live with a view to help shape our distant future. Yet no real action on climate change? Why are so few people worried?

    1. Australians who are concerned about climate change are outnumbered 2:1 in a vox populi yesterday.
      A similar result was obtained in Godzone last week re governmental involvement in climate matters.

      Prognostications of alarm invariably become part of the “mediascape” if repeated often enough, and are subsequently ignored.
      The media has frequently made use of AGW to sell copy ; that’s what they do- shock-horror-probe!!!.

      And of course , if it’s not on Faecebook, Twatter etc. then it’s not relevant.
      Welcome to the third millenium.

      1. Got links to those surveys Bio? The trouble with interpreting Australian public opinion is that everything is filtered through the Australian media, Murdoch etc etc. What questions did they ask, who did they ask? There are more ways to kill a cat than stuffing its neck with canaries.

        1. Vox populi is not science Kiwiiano. You could probably find those surveys if you wanted to.
          But the issue is that politicians will not move because voters don’t want them to. End of story.

          1. BF said:

            But the issue is that politicians will not move because voters don’t want them to because of the lies people like me and flatty spread around

            There fixed it for you.

            1. You certainly made a fool of yourself; but you didn’t fix anything.
              You couldn’t even find a quote to back your assertion.

          2. But the issue is that politicians will not move because voters don’t want them to.
            I suspect that a survey in October 1939 would not have supported a frenzied if surreptitious waste of money re-arming the British Armed Forces, after all, that nice Mr Chamberlain had a signed agreement with Mr Hitler that “our two nations would never again be at war”. But that didn’t stop the politicians who had the foresight and courage to do what was needed. People still denigrate Chamberlain for his “peace for our time” speech, but he was playing along with the Nazis to gain the time they desperately needed. Which was just as well, because our ancestors only just held off the Luftwaffe as it was.
            Pity we don’t see similar backbone in the current lot….but perhaps we get the politicians we deserve.

    2. Two aspects I believe, Flatty. One is that the appropriate changes needed are MASSIVE. Bigger than the war-time footing in 1939. And with the ostrich approach from Our Glorious Leaders, we have no pressure to change from above. On personal levels we face our own pressures. If I went ahead and did everything I thought necessary, I would have to factor in a messy divorce that would cripple any changes I made. Being the coward that I am, I just whitter on on fora like Hot Topic.
      We also have the problem of significant pressure from the One Percenters, in the Fossil Fuel Industry in particular, who are so focused on making money they can’t or won’t see the harm they are doing. They will lie and cheat and do anything to protect their incomes even though they will ultimately only be the richest corpses in the graveyard.

  43. I never said I was undecided, I have made my views quite clear I thought. What you and I decide to believe will not make a lick of difference to the climate anyway, it will just do its thing regardless of what we decide the truth is.

    If the surface warming starts again and accelerates over the next 10 years your view will gather support. If the well publicised hiatus continues, or cooling starts then the solar theory will look like a better bet. Myself along with most of the global population dont feel a need to waste billions of dollars on a theory at this point. Humanity is thriveing since the world warmed up the last 2.2 deg, its hard to see how a further 2 deg will finish us off. If we have too we will adapt, we are very good at that.

    Stop living in fear, it will be ok. Our grand kids are going to laugh at the fact we made such a fuss about climate change.

    1. Similarly , I did not say that I came here to learn; I promulgated no lies ; and I have not expressed a view , nor said that I was undecided.

      Ian said “Get lost, the two of you, you are just a couple of despicable people who have no regard for what will happen to future generations because of your disgusting tactics.”

      Ian do you not see the irony of your position?
      This is an all or nothing situation right. The whole world has to agree to act on climate ; if China and India say no then nothing happens.

      And from what I have seen of your efforts here , you do everything within your power to abuse , alienate , and marginalise the very people that you wish to bring onside. Now how does that work?
      I say that it doesn’t , which is why I assert that there will be no agreement , and we had better just learn to adapt.
      Every thing that you have said has reinforced my view , but I have also gained the impression that you are more than comfortable to keep doing it. This tells me that the last thing that you want is to have some global agreement.
      That’s an issue for you, and you alone.

      1. Bio, the truth is, for many years people have come to this blog who insert fabrications and distractions into the climate debate based on strongly held and never questioned beliefs or based on a missionary zeal to fight against any political development towards regulation and intervention by society through our governments into the course of our civilization. Not even in the face of AGW.

        If you were just for argument sake to agree with me for a minute that AGW poses an existential threat to the future of humanity and large parts of the ecosphere, then you will also agree that this threat would need to be met by global action through governments and international treaties (United Nations). You would then also agree that this would pose an unacceptable development to the core of the libertarian movement (small government, minimal social nets, everybody for themselves, minimal regulations).

        It is therefore no surprise that this core of the libertarian movement with massive financial help from very wealthy fossil fuel interests has taken on a fight against the messenger: Science in general and Climate Science in particular. Assisted by right wing press outlets (Australia’s New Corp, Fox and many others) they have used any opportunity that opens itself to pick a fight. They do not care really about the Science or about the future, but they do care about fighting against anything that ‘stinks’ liberal (read social justice, ecological justice, sustainability through limits to growth…. etc.)

        The usual tactics are:

        Repetition of nonsense assertions at infinitum in the hope to tire out the other side.

        Playing the role of the innocent truth seeker, yet steadfastly rejecting any opportunity to learn from the debate or actually commenting on the evidence provided.

        Playing the true ‘Scientist’ who must be skeptic but forgetting that skepticism without adequate knowledge is nothing but conjecture.

        Playing the ‘science is unsettled’ card with reference to fringe scientists (who are inevitably found out to be under pay by Heartland et.al.)

        Playing the ‘you treat us so unfairly card’ when people finally have enough of them… and so on.

        You and Flat arrived at the same day here. I suspect that is no coincidence. Your ‘work’ here bares a lot of the fingerprints of designated activism to troll a blog as an exercise in spreading misinformation and misappropriation of the airwaves at the time of the IPCC release. How sweet: A self declared Flat Earther and a Bio Farmer (suggestive label in order to sell denier memes under the guise of an ecologically minded person) show up to ‘play’ the site….

        Btw: Check this out: The Denalists’ Deck of Cards is a humorous illustration of how libertarian policy groups use denialism. Download the PDF full paper from the link.

        It is a framework of denial applicable towards any situation or topic where libertarian lobby groups try to wrestle the public debate towards inaction, disengagement and postponement of action.
        Simply enter ‘AGW’ as the issue and voila, you have your recipe for your mission.

        Bio: the IPCC and their reports are a synthesis, not an extreme position. The views of many Scientists are a lot more alerting than the IPCC report allows for. If we can not even agree on the IPCC report as the factual basis for our deliberations towards policy for mitigation and avoidance of AWG, then indeed there is no basis to talk with you or Flat as you claim somehow a right to a reality quite different from the facts without any basis to stand on but perhaps your instinct.

        1. “You and Flat arrived at the same day here. I suspect that is no coincidence. ”
          That’s pretty funny. In a way. It’s weird in another way.

          But just because you’re not paranoid , doesn’t mean they’re not watching you right?. I’m sorry , I can’t help you; I have no idea who is here. You’d have to ask Gareth maybe (that’s not a conspiracy theory).

          I think that the media hysteria is what has screwed it; in this country the NZ Listener has been positively rabid.

          From Chapter 2 IPCC;

          “Current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century …

          No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin.”

          “In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.”

          “In summary, there is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale severe weather phenomena such as hail and thunderstorms because of historical data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systems.”

          “Based on updated studies, AR4 [the IPCC 2007 report] conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated.”

          “In summary, confidence in large scale changes in the intensity of extreme extra-tropical cyclones since 1900 is low.”

          None of that will be reported anytime soon ; the opposite has been blown all over front pages for years.

          1. Hmm, do I see somebody cherry picking on statements from the IPCC that show its cautious and non-alarmist approach overall? Good and good on the IPCC to stay away from statements that would otherwise be attacked by the denilerati!

            However, the frequency of extra-tropical cyclones is low anyway. And any statistics over events with a low frequency gives low-confidence statements as any scientist knows. It is simply how science works. If you double the frequency of a low frequency event, you still must be cautious. You might be looking at a natural variation and not at a trend even if your basic climate science says that you should expect an increase in the frequency of such events.

            Further the IPCC does frequently ignore the latest research results as they are too late for the report and also have not had the time to consolidate enough. We know that the IPCC has therefore drastically underestimated the speed of the Arctic sea ice decline for example.

            Overall however a trend seems to emerge that shows that extreme events have become more extreme and more frequent. While proven causality with ‘high confidence’ is evading us (and possibly for a decade or two yet due to the statistical issues I mentioned above), on the balance of probabilities we can attribute the loaded AGW weather dice as growing component in these events. It fits well with the theory for these events.

      2. BF is wrong again:

        you do everything within your power to abuse , alienate , and marginalise the very people that you wish to bring onside.

        I have no wish to bring people like you onside because you are so ignorant of the science and have so deep rooted political convictions that you will never see the problems your views, if acted upon, will bring. No, my point in responding on this blog is to expose the anti-science sentiments and dishonesty shown by people like you so that lurkers will be able to judge who is doing the best for future generations.

        People who get their science from blogs such as wattsuphisbutt, bishop shill, climate despot etc are to be shown for what they are, ignorant and arrogant and a danger to society just as the tobacco shills were before them. As a farmer, if you really are one, you should be aware that most of our staple crops are very, very close to their upper temperature limits with no place to go for better conditions.

        1. “I have no wish to bring people like you onside ”

          That’s what I said ; that’s why there will never be agreement. You are tilting at windmills , and come across as a seriously disturbed person. No wonder that the public is not buying in to your world.

          1. Knock off the cod psychology, please. Shall we have a look at your own behaviour, little troll?

            Third-rate, ineducable, overweeningly arrogant Dunning-Krugerite conflict-entrepreneurs are scarcely in a position to be accusing others of being ‘seriously-disturbed’. I could have sworn on a quick scan-through the tosh above you’d promised to flounce; why don’t you do so? What is it about your personality disorder that keeps you here?

    2. Sorry Flat, your opinion is just that, an opinion of one vocal private citizen with a well established (evidence all over this blog) lack of basic understanding of science. In other words, its simply at the level of the usual tosh uttered over the beer table in the pub…
      Of cause you can’t admit that. You are caught in the Dunning Kruger trap, poor lad.

      In contrast to that stands the united message of the best scientists working in their respective fields, who tell us an entirely different story. A story that is well understood by many.

  44. Thomas. Have you even followed the conversation at all?

    What part of ‘ I don’t support ANY energy subsidies’ don’t you understand? You carry on a lot like this Flatulance guy I hear all about.

    1. … then stop putting alternative energy developments down on the basis that they might have been subsidized to get them into mass production. (btw any private company does the same: Initial investments of many millions subsidize the development of a new product and the establishment of its mass production so that eventually after a break even is reached, profitability comes…. )

      But I am glad to hear that you are against fossil fuel subsidies. How about we abolish these foremost because the constitute by far the largest part of the subsidies globally for energy. Then the current cost of energy from Wind and Solar will probably look even more favorably than it already does.

  45. Bio. I looked into that milking robot. Seems interesting, will it have the capacity to milk large herds though? Will you actually get one or is it just an idea?

    1. Tell me this : why would you want to milk large herds? My farm has a turnover of ~ $3M, and an EBIT of $4500/Ha on just over 200 Ha.
      I milk 100 cows , 365 days a year , for a daily production of ~ 2500 litres. You can work out from those figures that my payout is in the region of $20/Kg MS.
      Now what’s the problem? In the past , farmers have made a comfortable living from 50 cows; it’s all about the price, and the margin.

      But which herds of 1500-2000 cows do not have about 100 lame cows at any one time?
      In truth there are several reasons why the concept works for me- wasted energy on walking to and from milking; sore feet in winter; effluent disposal ; cost of a new rotary cowshed ( mine was built in 1972); the low cost of applying high-tech hardware for only two sets of cups; the ability to individualise the milking process; and not least , the ability to carry on milking anywhere when a repeat of the 2004 Manawatu River flood comes around.

      Did you see this ?

      1. biofarmer – I guessed from the clues you posted that you were in the Manawatu, possibly close to Palmerston North and maybe doing town milk supply. I’ve been meaning to ask you how you fared in the 2004 floods? I’ve just been looking through a photo record of those floods. I also wondered how you got by in the last two storms from north and south overlapping in area the Manawatu, one of the areas in NZ where increased rainfall with climate change is forecast. Today I’ve been crawling round in tight spaces reparing the hotwater header pipe after recent high winds cracked a bit of brazing.

        1. Well let me just say that the Manawatu River forms three of my boundaries; most of my farm is outside the stopbank; the part of my farm inside the stopbank is a ponding area for the nearby city. For all that , mine was the only dairy factory operating in the lower Nth Island that day, and I didn’t lose a single animal, not even a lamb. But I wasn’t sitting on my arse that day. Getting to the farm from Bluff Road in Hopelands that morning was EPIC. Unforgettable. But I was the first to get through and it only took three hours. 🙂

          1. Not Palmerston North but on the other side near Woodville then. In the past whenever I’ve driven through there I always got a lift in spirit on your side of the range.

            1. No you had it right . We lived on a leasehold QEII Trust property at Hopelands but the “farm ” is in P.N.city, town milk forever (it was my grandfather’s farm).
              So on the day of the BIG flood I hit the road at about 3 a.m. at Hopelands and got to P.N. about 6 a.m.. It was normally a 25 min. commute.
              Every time that you successfully negotiate the Manawatu Gorge, you’re bound to feel better. Maybe it’s all that limestone on the Ballance side.

  46. Where did I put down alternative energy? Like I said, if solar is the best answer then we will all switch to solar anyway. Maybe the future of energy generation has not even been developed yet? True I don’t want to see the NZ landscape littered with wind farms though. Wind energy has been around for hundreds of years, it has shown no signs of being able to compete in the free market. I sence it will never get there.

    1. Flarearth2013 – “Wind energy has been around for hundreds of years, it has shown no signs of being able to compete in the free market. I sence it will never get there.” Fortunately we have economic tools available that are superior to your ‘sence’. Unfortunately some policy makers are keen to constrain wind power to pander to ill informed hunches and pejorative claims like ‘landscape littered with wind farms’.
      Where wind power is offered a financial incentive it is to ADD it to the existing grid. There is a policy to encourage this addition because the existing grid generator mix (perfectly adequate to meet peak demand with a healthy reserve) has very high CO2 emissions. Adding wind power reduces the CO2 emissions. Because investors are reluctant to add new generators to an existing crowded market (true of high marginal cost generators like gas, not just low marginal cost ones like wind) an incentive is offered to bring the needed additional renewable generation on to the grid. The incentive addresses an area of market failure, you know, the CO2 emissions not to mention the flue gas emissions and environmental impact of fossil fuel extraction. The investment also brings in low marginal cost generation (a good thing).
      Now, lets see if you can offer an advance on andyS petulance (bird choppers) and either back up or drop your wind power economics claims. – would it be rude of me to anticipate you now googling off to the Mail, Telegraph, Forbes (god help us) etc for some evidence?

    2. Flat, I just can’t comprehend why you never read and try to understand any of the links people send you? What is it? Are you afraid your preconceptions might be tested by the facts?
      If you follow the tables in the article you can compare various electricity sources by their cost. It turns out the onshore wind is very cost competitive with especially coal but also most other fossil fuel energy generators. With the cost of fossil fuels going up, and the wind remaining free, this will only improve.
      It is therefore understandable that we have in NZ overseas investors building wind farms despite the fact that NZ gives to my knowledge no subsidies to the investors.
      Why would China add wind power with abandon with the aim to produce the equivalent of 100 nuclear reactors by 2025 (if I remember the year correctly) if this was not in their economic favor??
      Your assertion that Wind Energy is unable to compete in a free market is total bunkum. And did you already forget that you conceded that the market is not at all free because it is fossil fuels who receive massive tax subsidies globally to the tune of $1.9 Trillion per year according to the IMF. So how can you even start to compare the ‘free market’ performance of anything against that of fossil fuels??

      No rime and no reason as usual Flat!

  47. I agree, it’s profit over production any day. Those are pretty good numbers, I assume you market your own product? I don’t agree with extra large herds either, but some economies of scale are helpful. Not everyone will be able to operate in a niche market either.

    I assume you follow the work of Kinsey? I have been looking into his work and how it could be applied to the NZ dairy industry.

    1. Yes I’ve read Kinsey, but I don’t apply it to any religious extent. It derives from Albrecht’s earlier work , and it does seem to give great results, going by the reports. But I’m getting those results anyway.
      Just keeping a reasonable balance in the cation saturation % seems to do the job. For me it’s about getting Base Saturation % for Mg high enough to counter the high soil K levels which give my cows some grief in winter.
      I don’t calve any cows between June and December , so avoid some of the worst metabolic problems.

      Yes my operation is 100% added-value; no milk powder. I don’t think that I agree that added-value, from clean , green and fresh , is a niche market though. Or putting it another way , affluent people are not so hungry for milk powder.
      But maybe “affluent consumer” is a niche market.
      Nothing to stop Godzone from being a niche dairy producer though, particularly of shelf-stable cultured foods.

  48. I understand organic farmers have really struggled financially in recent years, I’m not sure that’s the future. Using biological principles to cut costs and improve performance of a conventional system is in my view the way foward. You have done really well with the value added aspect but until Fonterra or another company can develop that market, most farmers will be stuck with $8/kgms (still pretty good). I like the biological theory, I’m just trying to find some high performance biological farms to compare against. The truth is well managed conventional farms do very well also.

    1. “organic ” is not a useful classification anymore . Once upon a time it was synonomous with “sustainable”.
      For a variety of reasons , seasonal dairying (spring calving) is much less sustainable than year-round production. It is regrettable that the NZ Milk Board was the first casualty of the Fonterra saga.
      I have no contact with “organic” farmers, but if they were maximising their sustainability , they shouldn’t have had any problems that were not shared by “conventional” farmers (like indebtedness, exchange rates , interest rates etc)

  49. I did not come on here to be a troll or change anybody’s mind. I was quite interested in how the other side think and if there was any willingness to question anything the pro AGW crowd came out with. My findings are far more scary than global warming. Some of you guys are really disturbed. Difference is I will get bored of this soon and move on. You create the fear by only looking at one view, then get all stressed about it! Strange.

    1. Ah….no, if you had done your homework, you’d know that no-one with any credibility would say that every flood or storm is global warming, they are very careful NOT to say that. What can be said is that the thermal blanket of increasing CO2 is part of every flood or storm, in fact part of every warm evening, sudden cold snap, thunderstorm, prolonged drought, 1°C frost and downpour. How much of a part is hard to say, unless you back off and simply say “more energy in the atmosphere will lead to more active weather and probably more high temperatures and less low temperatures.” Would that gentle spring rain have been a light drizzle but for the warmer ocean adding a little more heat and a little more water vapour? Would that cold snap have been quite so cold if changes to the circumpolar jetstreams hadn’t allowed unusual amounts of polar air to escape to higher latitudes? No-one can say. Ditto for everything.

    2. As usual Flat, you are completely wrong!

      Nobody right in their mind says: ‘every flood and storm is global warming’. No, what scientists clearly say is that the statistics over many floods and many storms is showing a disturbing trend.

      Scientists liken it to playing with a loaded dice. AGW loads the dice towards more frequent and more severe adverse weather events. The insurance companies see it in their data too.

      Just like the fluctuating surface temps you refer to again are fluctuating around a rising upwards trend in temperatures, so are extreme weather events fluctuating around a rising trend in frequency and severity. Both exhibit similar characteristics.

      No single storm can be blamed on AGW alone, nor can one hot summer. But the statistics over a large set of data is clear. AGW is making extreme weather events more frequent and more severe.

      Fore a more in-depth analysis and links to publications on the matter here: http://www.skepticalscience.com/extreme-weather-global-warming-intermediate.htm

    1. … probably that the loaded dice (loaded by AGW) of the weather roulette will serve us more and more severe weather events as time goes by. Don’t you think this is a fair statement? It would certainly be in agreement with the science at hand.

    2. There does seem to be a slight tendency toward more energetic weather of late. Record wind damage in Canterbury, heavy rainstorms, some quite spectacular thunderstorms in Waikato & Auckland…. not saying that proves anything, just a trend, perhaps. Nothing on the scale of the droughts, floods, firestorms, heatwaves, shrinking glaciers & icecaps, etc elsewhere on the planet of course. Watch this space.

      I have noticed that Christchurch no longer has the day after day -7°C frosts that we used to get back in the ’50s. We often skated on the still frozen gutters and puddles when we were coming home from school at 3.30pm. They seldom survive beyond noon these days.

  50. For a succinct (and enlightening for some, no doubt) evaluation of the IPCC Report see “Climate Breakdown”
    to quote:
    What the report describes, in its dry, meticulous language, is the collapse of the benign climate in which humans have prospered, and the loss of the conditions upon which many other lifeforms depend. Climate change and global warming are inadequate terms for what it reveals. The story it tells is of climate breakdown. This is, or so it seems, a catastrophe we are capable of foreseeing but incapable of imagining. It’s a catastrophe we are singularly ill-equipped to prevent.

  51. I think you will find china has installed far more coal power than wind power. Strange given the many advantages of wind power eh.

    Are you suggesting that wind energy has lowered power prices in the UK and Eurpoe? All the news and angry voters suggest otherwise. Taxing one type on energy to give to the other one is not free market.

    If you are correct I then wind power does not need subsidies, great.

    What is the comparison in subsides per MW produced I wonder? ………..I have a feeling you won’t like that stat.

    1. Of cause, China is the biggest coal producing and burning nation currently.
      But their wind energy target will see them produce close to 20% of all their power by Wind in 2050.
      They certainly don’t do this to please ‘greenies’ in the west, don’t you think? No, its simply a cost effective way to generate energy for them.

      In NZ for example Wind energy is not subsidized at all.

      Also, unlike some Eurpean countries, NZ is not subsidizing PV solar generation with feed-in tariffs. Still, private investment into PV solar grid tie systems is cost effective already!

      The world is well on the way to provide clean alternatives for dirty power. And once we tax carbon emissions according to the damage they cause and eliminate the massive subsidies they receive world wide, fossil fuels will become the most costly way to generate electricity.

      I spoke with an engineer at Huntly. He admitted that their cost of power production from coal is not longer competitive to wind in NZ.
      And for the record again: In NZ wind is not subsidized. This is one of the reasons Huntly is closing down one of their four main coal burners.

  52. Thomas I am dying to know in which country wing has been an economic success and does not require handouts? Wind is only competitive once other forms of energy are taxed into submission.

    1. “Wind is only competitive once other forms of energy are taxed into submission.”
      Or at least are no longer beneficiaries of staggering subsidies and tax concessions. The other enormous flaw in that claim is caused by our failure to account for the unlimited access industry has to “the commons”. For e.g. a farmer can reclaim a mangrove marsh on the edge of his property and the economist says his property value has increased by $200,000 but takes no account of the loss of coastline protection or fish hatcheries. Or a coal powered company has to pay for the coal to be dug up and transported to them, but don’t have to pay to dump the waste products into the same atmosphere that you and I breath, Flatty.
      How will we take that into account, put a value on something as ephemeral as a living planet?

    2. Flat: And we are all dying to know why you never ever read any of the references people link you to.
      Instead you pretend nobody ever said anything to you and keep bleating falsehoods. You simply repeat the same nonsense in the hope people give up pushing your nose into your own nonsense.

      For the record again: Wind is a cost competitive way of making power in many countries. It is already beating Coal.
      For the record again: The biggest recipient of energy subsidies is the fossil fuel industry with an estimated $1.9 Trillion in subsidies according to the IMF. Compared to this staggering amount of annual global hand-outs to the richest companies in the world any tax incentives to roll out clean energy projects pales into insignificance.
      You are simply in denial about all this as it seems.

    3. Flat: NZ is not subsidizing wind farms. Yet they are a very attractive investment to energy producers and challenge coal generation with their lower cost.

  53. Follow some news Rob.

    I see your point Kiwi, but co2 is perfectly healthy. Some other compounds are probably not but I would think this to be minor. It would be interesting to compare air quality in Huntly and down town Auckland. I think cars would be more harmful in general than power stations.

    If your AGW theory is 100% correct, then yes the CO2 cost should be factored in. My point is the jury is still out (as much as you feel otherwise) so we should not be including carbon in energy policy at this stage. The poor suffer most when we tax energy.

    1. “The poor suffer most when we tax energy.”….
      No Flat: Hundreds of millions of poor people will be the first to starve when the effects of AGW hit the food production hard, when the low lying lands of Asia get flooded and when the irrigation of the crops in China and India starts failing due to increasing water scarcity. The rich will be able to relocate to areas where food and water are ample. NZ is one of these destinations.
      Of cause you are totally in denial about the effect of rising the CO2 content of a planets atmosphere by 40% (today) and aiming for a doubling… without that giant experiment in planetary geoengineering having massive consequences….
      How can you seriously sit there and say the jury is still out on AGW? What a ridiculous stance indeed.

    2. Flatearth2013 “My point is the jury is still out” Who the hell is the jury if it is not the IPCC?
      “If your AGW theory is 100% correct, then yes the CO2 cost should be factored in.” OK then tiresome troll, as the jury is 95% certain (easily satisfying the balance of probabilities test and well into beyond reasonable doubt as there is no plausible alternative ‘culprit’) in what you call ‘your AGW theory’ how about we factor in 95% of the CO2 cost?

  54. Only after coal is taxed. Do you read your own links?

    While the 3-percentage point adjustment is somewhat arbitrary, in levelized cost terms its impact is similar to that of a $15 per metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fee

    What is the comparison in subsides per MWh produced I wonder? ………..I have a feeling you have looked it up but not not want to comment on that.

    We disagree on AGW. If you are saying wind can only compete when it is factored in then you are supporting my argument.

  55. NZ is the only country without direct subsidies yes, but the unpredictability of wind comes at a cost.

    What’s the biggest subsidy of all? Free backup. When their turbines must close down, for either too little wind or too much, they suffer no penalty, they make no refund and offer no compensation.

    Just because NZ can just about make wind break it does not mean its viable globally, the EU is a prime example.

    1. Flat: who is backing up Huntly when the main transformer blows and they can’t produce or if they have other technical difficulties? Is Huntly compensating anybody when that happens?

      Flat, you seem to be ignorant about how electricity distribution works in NZ. Retailers purchase power from whom they need depending on the conditions. They fill their production with the cheapest producers first of cause. Wind due to its competitive price is ranking very high.
      Wind output can these days be predicted within close margins well ahead of time so that power dispatchers can plan ahead. The wind does not suddenly stop.
      NZ is in the advantageous position to have hydro capacity as a cost effective energy buffer. Not just for Wind but also for coal and others.

      Lets produce as much of our energy from cheap clean renewable sources, why would you not agree?

    1. Sorry Flat, but the reality is that a $10,000 investment (installed) in a grid tie solar system in the ALK region will produce about $600 worth of power annually. The panels have a 25 year warranty (name any other industrial product with a similar length warranty). The $600 is a 6% return on your investment, tax free, in form of avoided purchase of power at your current rate of probably > 20c/kwh
      I call that break even at the consumer end. The $10K in the bank otherwise will earn you a pre tax 4% or so in interest… not much in comparison.
      Also, Vector has an interesting package on sale in AKL:
      if solar was so ‘expensive’ why would energy companies jump on the bandwagon?

  56. Still arguing with yourself on solar. I never bagged solar. Wake up.

    You are not worth debating with Thomas.

    If someone who can follow my arguments believes wind is cheaper than gas and coal without carbon taxes and subsidies feel free to debate. AGW is a global problem so lets look at it globally.

    1. Great we agree on solar! First agreement with Flat so far!

      “AGW is a global problem so lets look at it globally.”

      The vested interests in the status-quo on the global stage have so far proved to strong to provoke any meaningful action by the global community. Making changes against the interests of a trillion dollar industry that is also getting trillions in subsidies (Fossil Fuel Industry) was never going to be easy…. Their ability to pay for misinformation and lies is extraordinary. We have too many willing idiots and criminal minds to take their money and fight their dirty Machiavellian war against reason and against the future prospects of a liveable planet….

      Unless governments, companies and individuals don’t start acting locally now, the global problems will remain unsolved.

      1. “The vested interests in the status-quo on the global stage …”

        If you are not talking about China and India and every other nation which said it would not sign up, then you must be talking about some corporate interests . So what are you actually saying here? That it was not the above nations’ refusal to sign up that prevented a global deal? China and India took bribes?
        The way I saw it , these countries just said that they would act in their own best interests as they saw them to be i.e. build (clean) coal-fired electricity generation.

        1. “build (clean) coal-fired electricity generation” — in other words, carry on killing your grand children’s hope for a positive outlook and a stable world to live in.
          If there ever was an example for ‘Oxymoron’ then ‘Clean Coal Fired…’ would be one of them!
          The time will come when finally the nations will enter into binding agreements but by that time it may well be too late to prevent catastrophic climate change effects for our coming generations.

          But of cause Bio and Flat know much better than the experts who tell us that. For you guys true knowledge is coming from the gut as it seems, not from the brains of our experts. Welcome to the planet of the dumb and dumber….

          1. 1. – ” these countries just said that they would act in their own best interests as they saw them to be”

            2.- ” carry on killing your grand children’s hope for a positive outlook and a stable world to live in.”

            So you think you know better . China and India are not interested in what you think you know.

            That’s your (non) answers to my questions then. Three questions.
            One answer – these countries should listen to Thomas.
            What? They won’t listen to you?
            Then you must tell the king.

            I see that you don’t get it. You can rage all you want , but the majority is not listening right now, for whatever reasons, and may never do so .
            So what are you going to do?

          2. “The world’s first “clean coal” power plant went on-line in September 2008 in Spremberg, Germany. The plant is owned by the Swedish company Vattenfall and has been built by the German firm Siemens.[10] The plant is called Schwarze Pumpe power station. The facility captures CO2 and acid rain producing sulfides, separates them, and compresses the CO2 into a liquid. Plans are to inject the CO2 into depleted natural gas fields or other geological formations. This technology is considered not to be a final solution for CO2 reduction in the atmosphere, but provides an achievable solution in the near term while more desirable alternative solutions to power generation can be made economically practical.[10]”

            1. Two main problems with this approach – 1> only about half the emissions get trapped and 2> If there is a “suitable” place to sequester the CO2 it can only be a short term measure in that sooner or later that CO2 will escape, rather fast relative to the long tail of its heat capture. It also rates as one of the most expensive ways to produce energy. In NZ at the Waiuku steel mill another method of sequestering the CO2 is being developed, turning it into oils is part of the scheme for instance. However, as I see it the CO2 a little later returns to the atmosphere. I think the idea is, if you must burn coal (800,000 tons per annum) why not use its emissions as a substitute for other sources of the same products? Again only a part of the emissions is captured.

            2. We have economically practical solutions to increase green energy production through wind, solar and geothermal. So lets accelerate their deployment.

  57. Yeah good one. Way to win an argument with yourself lol.

    Fossil fuels get far less subsides per MWh produced so what’s your point?

    Struggling for info to back your claim wind is economic globally? Thought you might.

    1. “Struggling for info to back your claim wind is economic globally? Thought you might.”

      What utter rubbish. Even in Australia where there is abundant coal, wind energy is now cheaper to produce than electricity from coal.

      See the report from Bloomberg below:

      Unsubsidised renewable energy is now cheaper than electricity from new-build coal- and gas-fired power stations in Australia, according to new analysis from research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance


      And this does not at all account for:
      1) Liability for AGW damages by coal to the next umpteen generations. The damages just from one effect: rising sea levels, are beyond imagination, especially when you factor the significant losses in productive lands into the equation.

      2) A large factor in cost of coal are in the coal supply. In wind however the energy is free and the cost is in infrastructure and local employment which is giving a significant boost to local economies.

      You are on the wrong side of the argument concerning wind. You are fighting a loosing battle like Don Quixote on his donkey….

  58. According to that report wind can compete for new generation although partly because of increased finance costs associated with AGW policy risk. Not existing coal and gas though.

    One little problem though Thomas. Who pays for the backup capacity when the wind is not blowing? Coal and gas supply the base load, wind can’t. Your system requires coal and gas plants to sit at idle and kick in when the wind drops. That can’t be cheap and is not included in your costings. How will you get around this problem?

    1. you are simply spouting the well refuted mythology of the anti-wind lobby.
      How about you read this:

      One of the most enduring myths about wind power is that the expense of providing back-up for when the wind does not blow makes it a nonsensical choice of technology. Exploding that myth requires a basic understanding of how a reliable supply of electricity is achieved at a high level of efficiency for any power system.


      And from a UK perspective:

      All forms of power generation require back-up and no energy technology can be relied upon 100%. The UK’s transmission system already operates with enough back-up to manage the instantaneous loss of a large power station. Variations in the output from wind farms are barely noticeable over and above the normal fluctuation in supply and demand, seen when the nation’s workforce goes home, or if lightning brings down a high-voltage transmission line. Therefore, at present, there is no need for additional back-up because of wind energy.


      and to add: Low wind generation times are foreseeable and can be factored into the demand matching of the grid operator. Overall a wind farm with a large number of turbines is much more reliable with no single point of failure while a large thermal plant can go off line all at once taking a significant sector of production out. Backup capacity for this must be provided at very short notice and and is therefore especially expensive!!

  59. Your research just supported my argument, you are not very good at this are you.

    Wind requires thermal generation to go offline which is then used as backup for wind. Putting a working coal plant of line has an opportunity cost. You understand economics right? Are you saying coal plants should just switch off and on to work around unpredictable wind generation? Who pays to keep them on idle when they could be running on full and making lots of money?

    1. Flat, you are wrong again.

      Any country needs backup generation sitting idle, even a country with absolutely NO wind generation at all. This is the fallacy of the arguments of the anti wind lobby!!! For any new plant you put online you have to have a certain percentage of reserve generation capacity in place too. So if you build another 10GW of coal plant, you need to build extra plants to raise your reserve capacity too.

      Even coal plants do fail or go into maintenance mode. When this happens the entire plant is off, not just a few wind turbines of many hundred. For wind penetration % of up to about 20% no additional new thermal plants need to be build. And because unlike failures in large thermal generators that can suddenly remove a very significant % of generation capacity, wind is forecast with very good accuracy these days, allowing reserve capacity for wind to be switched on well in advance if required.
      For an economy such as Australia or any other it is cheaper to have coal plants at standby and use free wind energy than to pay for every kwh they produce with dirty coal.
      As wind replaces more and more generation capacity, ample coal plants are available as backup when needed. Some may be able to be decommission.
      You did again not read the articles I linked you to. Boring!

  60. I would just make the point that in New Zealand any generation that helps reduce consumption from lake storage must be a good thing. It means that in dry years, we depend on lake storage less. Put another way, if we use up lake storage at times of plentiful wind, then in dry years we can run into potential trouble. But, if we were generating at full capacity from solar, it is quite possible, that wind might become less of a necessity.

    I have a question though. If there was a magnitude 8 or 9 earthquake on the alpine fault near Manapouri, Benmore etc, could it potentially destroy those resources, or are they robust enough to withstand whatever earthquake hits? If not, what do we have in place as a back up? If the answer is little, then we need to get to work, as there is no point doing something after the event. Much like climate change really. There is no point in dealing with climate change after the worst hits, it will be well and truly too late!

    1. The earthquake risk is substantial in this country , but the risk of the failure of the DC Cook Strait link may be even greater.
      Yes NZ is in a wonderful position to utilise some of the best wind resources in the world , simply because most of our generation is hydro with increasing geo -thermal coming on.
      So we already have the storage that is necessary to make intermittent sources usable.
      But our power costs continue to rise. So the incentive to move to distributed generation at local levels is there. It is just not happening yet, because of capital cost. Grid connected local generation will not progress until the power companies pay a reasonable price for excess generation. I have been looking at a system for some time , but it is not economic just yet.

      here’s the vawt component


        1. Now that is one elegant verticle axis wind turbine! Have you determined a suitable site – the higher the better – and a wind profile? You may have argued that the time you most likely need it there is a storm about, lots of wind changing in direction and a vawt is the most likely form to withstand very strong gusts.

          I was a little surprised to see a large lead acid battery bank as I was expecting a more durable zinc based storage one form of which is a core product of that firm. What are the costs?

          1. The setup pictured has the Redflow Zn Br battery.
            I won’t be putting the VAWT on a pole; I’m close enough to the Manawatu Gorge to receive more than ample wind. And the beauty of VAWT is that the foundation is slight in comparison to HAWT which requires a pole.
            There is a medium size HAWT nearby , and in the lee of the Tararuas the thing spends all its time swivelling in the turbulent air. It looks like a waste of time .

            At the moment my backup is a 60KVA diesel, and I’m frequently pulling a steady 20 amps . The cost of the new setup looks like it will be in the region of $50, 000.

            1. I would be interested to hear feedback on your VAWT when you got it running. Generally, because VAWT harvest from a smaller m2 area of the flow than HAWTs their output is less and has often disappointed in the past. Especially as their blades only very briefly in each turn are positioned for optimal aerodynamic performance, they are generally far less efficient than HAWTs which hold the blades in optimal aerodynamic conditions and angle of attack through the entire turn.

              But your conditions might favor a VAWT if the wind is mostly turbulent.

              n general, the debate over HAWT vers. VAWT seems to have been decided by the investors decisions based on performance analysis.

            2. Biofarmer: I see what appears to be a 1.5 KW tracking (?) solarPV setup too. Seems to me that once you get that zn br storage in place the main hassle with offline solar is already taken care of so a mix would be a good scene. Have you considered that?

            3. The standard basepower module is solar + battery + diesel backup.
              Because most of my load is refrigeration , the load is higher during the day, so a reasonable amount of PV will be necessary. The more or less constant wind here will do most of the battery charging , and the solar should provide the additional grunt during the day.

            4. Re your choice of wind turbine, I appreciate that the VWAT is attractive in terms of its smaller foundation and potentially better response to turbulence. But it may well pay you to have this looked at in a bit more detail. A bank lending against a big wind farm would want to see an AEP (Actual Energy Production) report based on a mast at or near hub height for one year plus. Financing for a smaller (not multi million $) single turbine will not be so strict, particularly if you are self financing, but the information is likely to be beneficial in increasing KWh generated through turbine choice and location. Look up local independent contractors for their advise. A Lidar or Sodar on your site for a couple of months will not be cheap, but may be cost effective.
              VWAT and HWAT, this is an interesting example from an inner city trial, lots of turbulence. http://www.wind-power-program.com/Library/Performance%20of%20individual%20wind%20turbine%20installations/ashenden_turbine_trial_end_of_phase_II(QR5).pdf Neither turbine was great, but the VWAT was dreadful. Most small turbines in close proximity to a rough surface are going to disappoint. Wind farms go to the disproportionate cost of the biggest cranes and abnormal loads for larger turbines, not to minimise the number of turbines they put up, but to maximise generation. The HWAT you have seen swivelling may be a victim of ill informed turbine choice and/or location. I know of several such ones that have been stuck on buildings without any AEP assessment, and they are just the same.
              The bigger foundation for the HWAT keeps the business end away from the worst of the turbulence, in faster smoother wind flow. That equals more KWh. Rather than the image of the tulip on their website, sitting on the corner of a flat roof, you are probably going to be happier with something on top of a big stick.
              Aside from all that, good for you. As well as adding to renewable generation, you insulate your business from power price volatility

            5. The survival wind speed of the Tulip at 50 m/s may be critical.
              The mains power around here gets dodgy at wind speeds of about 140Km/h. And it’s usually overcast , dark and raining when that happens.
              That’s when the VAWT will be most needed to continue charging the battery.

      1. Check out the prices of grid connected systems:
        You can expect about $600 in annual power at your retail rate being generate by less than $10,000 in investment. That is a return of 6% on your investment, and its tax free as you avoid purchasing the power it generates at retail rates.
        Comparison of retailer buy back rates for the part of the power you don’t use is here:

      2. Biofarmer, I posted this link a while ago-http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2009/04/small-windmills-test-results.html
        about the dismal results for small windmills, especially vertical axis ones. These guys tested about a dozen models in a good site for a year, and the only ones remotely worth their cost were two that were big and horizontal axis. Vertical axis ones look different and get novelty points, but tend to put out a lot less power than advertised and to self-destruct from vibration in short order.Each blade of the rotor goes through the wind shadow of the other on every revolution, and the vibration destroys them. I helped a friend put up a Skystream, which he’s happy with, but his previous windmill threw a blade; another lady here had two windmills ( both horizontal axis ) wrecked by turbulence before she got a small yacht one. Reckons her PV is a lot more productive though.
        There’s a Scottish guy who does windmill maintenance on one of the outer Hebrides; if you can find his blog, he has lots of stories of windmills that couldn’t cut the mustard. I think he might have had a hand in designing the Proven, which is ugly but pretty sturdy.
        There was a TV program, I think ‘Grand Designs ‘, a while back, about a guy building a self sufficient house centred round a vertical axis windmill. After titanic battles with the neighbours for planning permission he finally got the thing up but found its production very underwhelming.

        1. I vaguely recollect that the VAWTs with the long spiralling blades were supposed to counter the windshadow effect. Must check….

          One thought: what if you made a VAWT with only one blade, counterbalanced of course. It may need some assistance for starting. Single-blade props are used in really high-performance racing boats without tearing themselves apart…..

          1. The main efficiency issue for VAWTs as I see it is that the blades only through a small part of their 360 turn face the wind in the optimal angle of attack, the rest of the turn the aerodynamic performance will be sub-optimal at best, and a net loss for part of it quite likely. The HAWT blades maintain optimal performance through the entire turn.

            1. You are talking “drag” type VAWT blades right? The HAWT all have “lift” type blades.
              The shape of the blades of the Tulip are a combination of lift and drag.
              But efficiency is not relevant except in the economic sense. The large batteries are what deliver the power to the load system. The VAWT and the PV are simply battery chargers. The wind resource is unlimited.

            2. Sure, as long as you balanced the daily load from the batteries against the expected daily charge from Wind and Solar and are confident that they balance with a decent overhead for losses in the system you will be right.
              The question however remains which wind charger is the most economical to get for the circumstances. I am sure you have done your homework on that.
              For many people going entirely PV is turning out to be the most cost effective solution in the long run. PV is getting really cheap now and has the lowest maintenance fuzz. But for people in a really windy place, Wind can be a good addition to the system.

          2. Unless the blade was cantilivered from the bottom, it would be going behind it’s own mast. If it behaved like my rotary washing line it would swing downwind and stay there.
            The vertical axis prototype that lost its blade here had a counterbalanced single blade
            They’ve changed the design since so the blade can swing right through, instead of hitting a stop. Don’t think they’ve managed to get into production yet.

  61. I find you guys fascinating though. I have never seen such obsession over something as mundane as weather.

    Thomas you are embarrassing yourself now. Are you saying that after you build a new power station you need to build even more as backup? That makes no sense.

    Thermal generation is much more reliable than wind. When was the last time Huntly went down? Now compare that to every time a High goes over NZ.

    Ok let’s say thermal requires 10% backup. Wind requires 100% as on a cold frosty morning, all NZ wind farms could be idle. Then, thermal to the rescue! And please don’t try to claim thermal also requires 100% backup, it doesn’t.

    1. Flattroll, you prove again that you never read what people show you. Blog trolls never read, its a waste of their time as simply making grand assertions is all they ever do…..You simply repeat the same mythology again and again. A true steadfast windbagging denier troll you are. How predictably shallow indeed.

      For those who like to inform themselves:

      Oh and from the Daily Telegraph, the home of the UKs own uber-Denier and wind energy hater Delingpole, this astonishing admission:

      Windfarms don’t need fossil fuel backup!
      The National Grid has studied what actually happens in practice, with explosive, if surprising, results,” the paper said. “Between April 2011 and September 2012…wind produced some 23,700 gigawatt hours (GWh) of power. Only 22 GWh of power from fossil fuels was needed to fill the gaps when the wind didn’t blow. That’s less than a thousandth of the turbines’ output – and, as it happens, less than a tenth of what was needed to back up conventional power stations.
      And it also blows another anti-wind argument out of the water – that emissions from back-up fossil fuel generation severely dent emissions savings from wind power in general. The Telegraph reported that “wind saved nearly 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over that 18 months [April 2011 – September 2013]; standby burning of fossil fuels only reduced this by 8,800 tonnes, or 0.081%,” the paper said.”

      (scroll down past the badgers to the bottom of the article)

      Lets summarize this again: In the UK only less then 1/1000th of the wind farm outputs was required as backup! And that backup required only 0.081% of the CO2 saved by the wind farms.

      Bygone you silly little flat earther troll….!

  62. Does the wind always blow In your world?

    It looks like the Telegraph ran an update on that article. Happy reading. 🙂

    We could soon be paying billions for this wind back-up …
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk › Earth › Energy
    Aug 3, 2013 – The National Grid’s latest plan is taking off into the weirdest scheme yet, thanks to our …

  63. For your reading pleasure

    There is no easy information available on the National Grid website to confirm these figures referenced in the Daily Telegraph article, and furthermore the paper’s final sentence — “Not surprisingly, given these figures, no new fossil‑fuel power station has been built to provide back‑up for wind farms, and none is in prospect” — seems to be in direct contradiction to a BBC News story published this week, reporting that two diesel power stations are planned to compensate for fluctuations in green energy.


    1. Flat, even if new diesel generators were build to address future fluctuations in green energy, the main point is that their operation is only required when the wind not blows or the sun is not shining. Without green energy concepts they would run all the time!

      However as stated before in many cases no extra generation capacity needs to be build as Wind replaces existing fossil fuel generation capacity. Research shows that most networks can handle a 20% wind component well. NZ especially due to our hydro generation acting as an energy store.

      Alternative energy is foremost about the avoidance of CO2 emissions and the avoidance of unsustainable fossil fuel consumption at this stage. Wind alone will save around 1.5Billion tons of CO2 emissions per year globally by 2020 if the current growth rate continues.

      Of cause the ranting wind baggers from flat earth land would rather down in their own CO2 excrement.

  64. This guy is the worst sort of troll. He gets his jollies playing the captious adolescent smartarse who feels he can’t be touched because he’s anonymous and, uh, ‘Democracy’ and ‘Libuurty’, which means, to this sort of personality, that he gets to do what he likes; everyone else has to suffer.

    Anyone surprised the ‘The Telegraph’ is his idea of a science journal? His run has gone on too long already, IMHO.

    And spare me the outraged Tone Trolling, pet, I literally do not care.

  65. Why the anger? It’s ok to lose an argument guys. What I find interesting is you obsessively pursue each and every pro AGW argument, regardless of how stupid they are. Fascinating behaviour.

    There are many great aspects to renewable energy, some solar generation, hydro and geothermal. Why try to defend wind when it’s many issues for base load generation are so obvious? It seems you guys just love to argue. Thomas needs to read some of his own material before accusing me of not reading it, he might get better informed.

    1. What I find interesting, Flatworm, is that you obsessively regurgitate each and every pro AGW argument, regardless of how stupid they are.

      BTW, there follows a link to a fairly complete list; you can save yourself (and us) time by just mentioning the number of the denier trope du jour, and leave us to look it up and check out the refutation.

      That’s what I call an efficient use of resources. ; > )

      Here it is:


    2. I asked you above to point out the ‘hiatus’ in the energy accumulating in the total earth system, both atmosphere and ocean. You have not done so. Therefore you have not ‘won’ anything; certainly not the admiration of anyone here.

      Feel free to provide such evidence, but note: neither the Mail nor the Telegraph is a science journal. WUWT doesn’t count either.

      Your arrogant, third-rate conflict-entrepreneur stylings are dull. I repeat, if you were actually as clever as you think you are you really would be dangerous.

      But then, you’d also be on the other side of this argument.

      1. For Frig’s Sake, it’s crickets again! Point it out. I insist.

        Seriously, pull your pointy head out of your sphincter for a moment and point out the hiatus in the energy accumulating in the global climate system.

        You came here, blowhard, making grandiose claims evidenced only by those well-known science journals, the Torygraph and the Daily Fail. You claim to be ‘winning’. You are a legend in your own lunchtime, inside that sleek little head of yours.

        But I see only another ridiculous clownshoe hopelessly out of his depth regurgitating Denier chum from wrecker websites set up only to facilitate the strategic muddying of the waters of this debate. Sadly this has been effective due you the army of unpaid useful idiots only-too-willing to further the cause. There are already far too many of you, about the most maladapted human-beings that have ever existed.

        The IPCC is the definitive body in this matter. Get over it. Given it’s structure, and the necessity to achieve such a broad consensus, it is also an inherently conservative body.

        Whereas you and your fellow travellers are simply the semi-witting tools of the Tobacco-lobby reborn.

        So, don’t plague us with your ridiculous gobbets of unsense – show us your papers. Now. Or sod off, and ponder on how you’re ever going to hope to atone for the truly appalling mistake you’ve made.

  66. Just to add a wee bit on backup and failures. I once upon a time used to instrument things on behalf of the government. One of my jobs was trying to determine why the Otara gas fired power station was periodically blowing up a sacraficial pipe in the cooling water discharge line in use. I worked out the solution before I put a single instrument in place, told my opposite number in the electricity department and after another blowup he implemented it, the fact of which I then detected with my instruments. However, the mucky part of the job was having to switch my gear because they kept switching to other generators for a variety of reasons. The point is the power station has its own backup generators.

    Pumped storage as backup to wind or solar generation or both has been implemented in local schemes, one in the pacific islands I learned about from the man who supplied my timber tank. He hoped to supply the big tanks for the job. Cool stores have also been trialed in conjunction with wind turbines and of course solar concentrators using molten salts are the basis of thermal power generation 24/7 with some schemes on the go. Efficiencies are rather greater than solarPV. Lastly I wanted a backup battery plan so my about to be installed 5kw solarPV could be used offline but my pension did not run to that.

  67. I’m not involved in the energy industry even if I have had jobs relating to it at times and have always been deeply interested. I have occasionally done well at mobilising human energy for some purpose but I am somewhat mixed as to the proper meaning of the word “economic”.

    However, two guys, Phil Scadden, and Oliver Bruce posted a series of articles on Hot Topic on “A SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FUTURE FOR NZ (WITHOUT THE HOT AIR) ” an update of a similar series in 2009. On wind they summarized their findings thus:

    “There is a pretty substantial resource in wind for New Zealand – it helps that we’re windy and have a relatively low population. We think there is a reasonable argument for around 30 kWh/d/p. Also, it works well that our other main form of renewable power is hydro, as this can be used to balance out the variability of wind.”

    Is there a way of linking back to these analyses? It would be valuable if we could.

    My own fundamental premise (with Oscar Wild in mind) is that reducing CO2 generation is a major priority and when the harm we are doing the biosphere that sustains us, in the present and the future, is taken into account the cost of any particular form of energy generation is not the same as its value. On this view coal is very expensive. (It takes the planet between 100,000 and half a million years to naturally pull back a high level of carbon dioxide in the system through crustal uplift and weathering). So I happen to be in favour of any scale-distributed zero emisions generation but to make it work well requires close attention.

    In South Australia at Victor Harbour the whole community went in for a combination of solar and wind generation tied together with their own smart grid. All they could manage back in 2008 was about a 1.5 KW installation per residence which would be laughably small now for the same money so I would not be surprised to learn that installations have been expanded since. Back then I did not believe I could afford a 1 KW installation so it is with a sense of wonder at myself that I anticipate 5KW arriving on my roof 4 days from now (no reindeer involved) :).

    When my Subaru Legacy died in January I debated repairing it at a cost probably equivalent to 8 of the panels about to be installed. I could have bought a new small. vastly more efficient fossil fuel burner but could not justify doing even that in the face of the need to reduce emissions, so my decisions are to do with value rather than cost or payback times and yes there are people who even run large businesses who are capable of facing issues and making such decisisions. I have a book by one such who planned on decarbonizing his international corporation by 2020. He is more than half way there and the measures taken to date have paid for themselves – been profitable.

    But back to the environmental cost of CO2 generation, which is what all this hot air is about. How can it be weighed? One way is to calculate the most likely amount of heat trapped by burning a litre of petrol over the whole of its life time in the atmosphere. My calculation would roughly have it that the heat trapped would be 110 terajoules – 1.65 times the energy of a Hiroshima bomb. This neglects the effect on ocean acidification brought about by the other half of that CO2 which is a big deal too.. I have a book and accessed a paper, both by Professor David Archer of the University of Michigan in which he describes efforts to arrive at the long term effect of our CO2 emissions – it’s complex – so my numbers are indicative rather than absolute, but put like that, the enviromental cost is huge – about 40 million times its value in immediate generation of energy. Of course no one could buy a litre of fuel if we put on such a huge tax but that is what we are doing to the biosphere over a 100,000 years to be optimistic.

    That said, how many litres of fuel do you use in a day?

    1. But back to the environmental cost of CO2 generation, which is what all this hot air is about. How can it be weighed? One way is to calculate the most likely amount of heat trapped by burning a litre of petrol over the whole of its life time in the atmosphere. My calculation would roughly have it that the heat trapped would be 110 terajoules – 1.65 times the energy of a Hiroshima bomb.

      Interesting that no-one has risen to challenge that thought, Noel. Crashing silence except faint echos of Lalalalalalalaa……
      Spread over 100k years it doesn’t sound like much but we are releasing over 30Gt a year…. that’s a lot of litres.

      What is the source of the math?

      1. It is a bit of a gut wrencher!

        I found the numbers at the end of David Archer’s Book, “The Long Thaw” where he estimated, with rounding, the result in heat capture of burning a US gallon of petroleum.. In a discussion re the Climate Show #34 Thomas furnished me with the output in terajoules of the Hiroshima bomb. I then posted the following”

        “When it is burned it yeilds about 2500 kilocalories of energy, but this is just the beginning. Its carbon is released as CO2 to the atmosphere, trapping earth’s radiant energy by absorbing infrared radiation. About three quarters of the CO2 will go away in a few centuries, but the rest will remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years.

        “If we add up the total amount of energy trapped by CO2 from the gallon of gas over its atmospheric lifetime, we find that our gallon of gas ultimately traps 100 billion (100,000,000,000) kilocalories of useless and unwanted greenhouse heat. The bad energy from burning that gallon ultimately outweighs the good
        energy by a factor of about 40 million.”

        That translated to 6.25 Hiroshima bombs which in turn is 1.65 bombs per litre. Multiply that by 67 TJ and we have 110.55 TJ.

        I enquired on Real Climate as to the background of that calculation and was referred to this paper (PDF) Read the conclusion.

        The shape of the curve is an initial spike during which the ocean absorbs about half the CO2 followed by a long fat tail diminishing to nothing if the very slow weathering process gets it all and we have not devised a speed up process as people are trying to do.

        The book was reviewed on Hot Topic by Bryan Walker here The subtitle is “How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years”

        1. The Real Climate/Archer link is 404, but I back-tracked along the url and found this: http://forecast.uchicago.edu/moodle/

          “Open Climate Science 101
          This class is starting on Coursera beginning October 21, 2013. It’s the same material but new, remade lecture videos targeted for on-line learning. This Open Climate 101 moodle site has suffered some bit rot resulting in lost images, and while I’ll try to straighten it out its future is unclear. If you’re interested, look for us on Coursera!

          Three thousand non-science major undergraduates at the University of Chicago have taken this class since 1996, and learned the science behind the forecast for a human influence on Earth’s climate. The story combines physics, chemistry, biology, and Earth and atmospheric science.

          The content of this class is now being served to the internet world at large. You can watch video lectures followed by quizzes to stimulate your understanding, and work your way through tutorial exercises letting you get hands-on with interactive models and simple mathematical ideas. You can work at your own pace, on your own time. You don’t get University of Chicago credit, but it’s free, and if you complete the exercises you can download a certificate of accomplishment signed by me.”

          Maybe Flatty could sign up……
          (Why is that little pink birdie up in the tree going “oink, oink!”?)

            1. I have that PDF here and the link is the same I used to download it but I did post the conclusion in the aforementioned discussion so here it is again:

              “The models presented here give a broadly coherent picture of the fate of fossil fuel CO2 released into the atmosphere. Equilibration with the ocean will absorb most of it on a timescale of 2 to 20 centuries. Even if this equilibration were allowed to run to completion, a substantial fraction of the CO2 , 20-40%, would remain in the atmosphere awaiting slower chemical reactions with CaCO3 and igneous rocks. The remaining CO2 is abundant enough to continue to have a substantial impact on climate for thousands of years. The changes in climate amplify themselves somewhat by driving CO2 out of the warmer ocean. The CO2 invasion has acidified the ocean, the pH of which is largely restored by excess dissolution of CaCO3 from the sea floor and on land and, ultimately, by silicate weathering on land. The recovery of ocean pH restores the oceans buffer capacity to absorb CO2 , tending to pull CO2 toward lower concentrations over the next 10,000 years. The land biosphere has its greatest impact within the first few centuries, which is when CO2 peaks. Nowhere in these model results or in the published literature is there any reason to conclude that the effects of CO2 release will be substantially confined to just a few centuries. In contrast, generally accepted modern understanding of the global carbon cycle indicates that climate effects of CO2 releases to the atmosphere will persist for tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of years into the future.”

  68. Doh! I googled

    And got most if not all of the posts. Watch the date 2012.

  69. Biofarmer: That is one sweet scheme. If it is in place when I drive by in my yet to materialize EV and I see a tulip vawt I will drop in for a zero emissions recharge and discover how it is going. 🙂

  70. Flat, even if new diesel generators were build to address future fluctuations in green energy, the main point is that their operation is only required when the wind not blows or the sun is shining.

    However as stated before in many cases no extra generation capacity needs to be build as Wind replaces existing fossil fuel generation capacity.

    Ok Thomas I think we have laboured this issue enough now. Just try to understand the opportunity cost of the backup generation. Wind may replace fossil fuel generation, but that fossil fuel generation has to be maintained and keep ready to step in when the wind stops. If the thermal plant is being kept offline when the wind is blowing then this also has a cost. A $200m power station sitting idle is not providing a return on investment. These costs are not included in many wind farm equations. Given NZ is small and a high can cover the whole country wind is not garenteed, this then requires wind to have 100% backup to garentee supply.

    The enviromental costs of thermal are a completely different argument to a pure economic argument. Who here is open to gas as a transition fuel? It has helped the US lower emissions while the EU has increased theirs taking the carbon tax and green energy approch. If lowering emissions is the goal it has proven success even if it isent the full answer. Thoughts?

    1. Flatworm, “wind requires 100% backup” is debunked denier meme # 130 in the SkS classification:

      A common myth is that because some types of renewable energy do not provide baseload power, they require an equivalent amount of backup power provided by fossil fuel plants. However, this is simply untrue.

      As wind production fluctuates, it can be supplemented if necessary by a form of baseload power which can start up or whose output can be changed in a relatively short period of time. Hydroelectric and natural gas plants are common choices for this type of reserve power.


      Anyone genuinely interested in this topic (which excludes you) may like to view the “Advanced” version, which links to a case study detailing how we can meet nearly 100% of global energy needs with renewable sources by 2050.

      Approximately half of the goal is met through increased energy efficiency to first reduce energy demands, and the other half is achieved by switching to renewable energy sources for electricity production


      See how easy that was? Come on, choose another one…

  71. Some thoughts for the Denialistas, from Rebecca Solnit see

    A resident in a town on the northwest coast of Japan told me that the black 70-foot-high wave of water coming at him on March 11, 2011, was so huge that, at first, he didn’t believe his eyes. It was the great Tohoku tsunami, which killed about 20,000 people. A version of such cognitive dissonance occurred in 1982, when NASA initially rejected measurements of the atmosphere above Antarctica because they indicated such a radical loss of ozone that the computer program just threw out the data.

    Some things are so big you don’t see them, or you don’t want to think about them, or you almost can’t think about them. Climate change is one of those things. It’s impossible to see the whole, because it’s everything. It’s not just a seven-story-tall black wave about to engulf your town, it’s a complete system thrashing out of control, so that it threatens to become too hot, too cold, too dry, too wet, too wild, too destructive, too erratic for many plants and animals that depend on reliable annual cycles. It affects the entire surface of the Earth and every living thing, from the highest peaks to the depths of the oceans, from one pole to the other, from the tropics to the tundra, likely for millennia — and it’s not just coming like that wave, it’s already here.

    It’s not only bigger than everything else, it’s bigger than everything else put together. But it’s not a sudden event like a massacre or a flood or a fire, even though it includes floods, fires, heat waves, and wild weather. It’s an incremental shift over decades, over centuries. It’s the definition of the big picture itself, the far-too-big picture. Which is why we have so much news about everything else, or so it seems.

    She also comments on the News Media’s inability to assign scale to their output, hence a major disaster gets as much exposure as some inconsequential starlet’s latest inanity. If Climate Change got total front page coverage, in fact the whole newspaper, the entire rest of the news would only get a tiny dot at the bottom of the back page that needed an electron microscope to read. It’s that big a deal.

        1. Yea, and funny that. I at fist posted ‘A – m – e – n to that’. But when the ‘A’ word is spelled in one, its rejected by the WP filter list and the comment went into moderation. What is WP on to?? I then edited that comment to ‘indeed’ and that still said it was in moderation. So I posted another one… 😉

  72. I don’t mean to be difficult here, but if the gas generator is running at full capacity as it was designed, where is this backup power going to come from? Will wind power not require gas generators to run at below optimum? Who pays for this?

    If the debate was actually 95% over, I would expect to see a little more action taking place. Why not just discuss the issues rather than claim the debate is over? It is just getting started really, sceptics are getting more and more air time at last.

    1. All difficulties are yours entirely, Remember the happy relation between wind and hydro, and incidentally another happy relation – or is it difference between wind and solar. Where these coexist there is also more opportunity for maintenance on the gas turbines and that is not a small matter. The ones I’ve experienced are essentially aircraft jets. They have to be rotated out of service for maintenance, quite apart from failures so a gas turbine station is not really designed to operate at full capacity 24/7.in the sense that every machine is wound up.What they call full capacity might only mean 4 out of 6 machines running at any one time.

      Incidentally if you are ever tempted to visit a gas turbine room while it is running, protective gear is not much help. The vibration is so intense it transmits through the bones of the body or so I was told by a guy monitoring the noise level.

    2. Gas is certainly a preferable fuel over Coal for many obvious reasons. This is why Huntly for example predominantly runs on gas.

      On the matter of thermal stations waiting in standby for times when they are needed: Yes there are cost and yes, they are factored into the power price. But wind also blows at times when otherwise peak demand would require the cranking up of very expensive emergency reserves. Look at the peak prices demanded at times in the market! Studies have demonstrated that the replacement of super expensive emergency generation by wind is bringing significant savings over the course of the year too!

      The general opinion by the experts is that adding about 20% of wind capacity to a national grid will not require the building of even one extra power station while replacing a significant amount of fossil fuels with free wind generation.

      But is it unfair that energy prices rise as we slowly wean us off the fossil fuel trap?

      No its not unfair at all!! See Flatearther, you strut about with your silly entitlement thinking that only fossilized brains of the right wingers are capable off.

      What you don’t realize apparently is the fact that humanity’s once in a planetary lifetime inheritance of our fossil fuel bonanza is running headlong into the second half of its stock. This means that not only production costs are rising markedly but especially the environmental disaster of unleashing the carbon into the system all at once (geologically speaking) is becoming evident to all. The damage bill will be unimaginable if we carry on. What is a livable planet worth to you?
      Now we have been used to abundant and cheep energy from gushing oil fields. A success trap like no other!

      We need to realize that the era of cheep and abundant energy is over. We have abundant energy in form of Solar, Wind and Geothermal, but the cost of providing these will be higher than the cost of fossil fuel energy in the bonanza days when nobody cared about the consequences.

      We need to make changes, and we need to make them as fast as we can, if we want to reach a sustainable and ecologically sound world before the collapse of the current system drags everybody down.

      A few older gas or coal plants producing perhaps only 25% of their capacity because the rest is done by wind and the additional cost this might cause – if any – to the consumer is a very small problem on the way towards a sustainable future.

      So get over it Flatearth, the future will be sustainable or bust and naysayers like yourself are of a dying breed (one way or the other… )!

    1. Oh dear, I thought your bio-framer sheepskin stood for something…..

      First off: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainability

      But lets make an example: if you farm in such a way that you year after year erode and deplete the soil of your land, than your practice would be unsustainable. I guess you don’t do this and would probably argue that your farming method is sustainable, i.e. your great grandchildren could do the same as you do today. We could then argue on your dependance on external unsustainable practices, fossil fuels etc. and link the sustainability of your farming to that of society in general, milk trucks and all….

      a) At the moment humanity is living entirely unsustainably. We can not sustain our current use of non-renewable resources (the sink for our detritus is one of these limited resources) and obviously we certainly can not grow the same. All the time however our current economic models are predicated by the need to grow, if not, our credit system collapses in an instant…. So our entire paradigm of existence is entirely unsustainable at present. It is a system evolved at the rising slopes our exponential expansion in the last century. It is not well suited to cope with decline or reverse.
      If you disagree with that statement, then you really have a comprehension problem of what it means to live in a ‘one planet society’ without any hope of Star Trek Technology… 😉

      But I suppose for a moment though that you agree with (a), then we need to work out what a sustainable model for our civilization would look like. Firstly, and that is the easy part, is not allowed to extract non-renewable resources without a clear exit strategy or with a plan that uses these resources to reach a state where their further extraction is no longer required. Secondly, we need to assure that we do not degrade the living web of the ecology that brought us here and that we depend on for our survival.
      How exactly we must define the opportunities and limitations to the civilization model that would be sustainable, this is an extensive and current debate with no easy answers. It is the very debate we must have in all honesty. We have little time left. As technology advances, the points of reference of this debate will certainly evolve, but we can not take technological miracles for granted (i.e. nuclear fusion).

      Is that clear enough? If you don’t like my ramblings, retreat to the Wikipedia entry for a start into the debate that will decide if we will survive the next 100 years as a viable civilization that can promise their children a future or not….

      1. You can’t help yourself can you? Oh so superior -yeah right :-).
        I know what sustainable means ; it was your syntax and choice of wording that made your meaning so obscure.
        I suspect from your literary style that you have been on this planet for fewer years than I have been practising sustainable agriculture.
        ” Rambling” barely covers it, but it will have to do.

        I’ve already referred to my non-dependence on the usual props used in modern agriculture. There is enough sulfur in Godzone to keep this farm happy for a millenium or two. And phosphorus used in minimal amounts about once every ten years does not look too problematic.
        I have to say that the customer base i.e. the urbanites does not look very sustainable , but I think that we farmers, with a little adjustment , can live with that 🙂

        1. When you made the “gem” I had a good laugh, being also reminded of an attractive young woman with a genius for “eye dancing” who in wide eyed innocence asked “Was the 19th century successful?” To howls of laughter from others present.

        2. Bio,

          You have come across as a person of high integrity, level headed, and shown some concern regarding the climate cliff we are potentially throwing our children/grandchildren over.

          With that in mind, would it bother your conscience if I told you that aside from the use of coal fired plants for milk processing, the amount of land used for dairy production is a tad excessive and possibly not sustainable. Fine if the human population was low, but we need to either depopulate or start becoming more efficient with the resources that we have, land being an important one..

          On top of that two thirds of dairy Calories i.e. dairy fat is highly atherogenic, full of saturated fat and cholesterol, condemned by the Heart Foundation among others. In other words dairy fat is to heart disease, what tobacco is to lung cancer, a major risk factor. Would that bother you assuming it to be the truth, that a high percentage of your produce is a health risk for many people? Or do you not accept the Heart Foundation recommendations?

          1. “the amount of land used for dairy production is a tad excessive and possibly not sustainable. ”

            I’ve been working in the dairy industry since 1969 at various levels, so don’t get me started on what this industry has done in Godzone , to the economy , the environment, and to society. I’ve made my views on the undesirable characteristics of this ” Industry” known on blogs around the world for some time. Ultimately though all I could do was set up an alternative model and become demonstrably “successful” – that’s how change comes about – very slowly at first!
            So that is what I have done.
            I’m less concerned about dairy fat , because I think that there is more to this cholesterol debate than meets the eye. Milk itself is a low -fat product by anyone’s definition – “full-cream” milk is about 4% fat.
            The lactose content might be more problematic for many adults , but it is not a problem for infants (human milk has a much higher % lactose).
            And I think that the positive effects of the Omega 6/3 balance in milk from PASTURE -FED cows is frequently overlooked. Of course , I myself do have access to raw milk and raw cream which is another area of concern. i.e. pasteurisation / homogenisation.

            Personally I think that whole fat /heart disease debate is far from over , and the killer role of simple carbohydrates is a story yet to be told.

        3. Sorry, I misread your ‘Gem’ comment as one of the usual under-belly kicks we get here form the denier scene who rant against the ‘sustainability’ agenda from their personal point of reference in cornucopia-world, where nothing humanity does will negatively affect the planet and technological miracles will pop up in the same just-in-time delivery style as the next crate of door handles in the Toyota assembly line….. 🙂
          BTW my literary style is slightly affected by the fact that English is not my 1st language…
          But never mind.

          As far as the sustainability of dairy farming is concerned, effluent management and fertilizer run-off are major issues for NZ as we all know. Globally the availability of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers will become increasingly an issue for those farming styles who depend on them, for reasons of energy cost (nitrogen) and depletion of mined resources (phosphate).

          Sustainable civilizations must embrace the ‘harvesting’ metaphor for their resources and move away from our current ‘mining’ enabled existence….

          1. ” effluent management and fertilizer run-off are major issues for NZ as we all know.”

            Yes , but the economic and social downsides are equally problematic. Have you noticed all those “ghost villages” throughout the Waikato and Taranaki ?
            When the Roman Catholic church sells its place of worship , you can know for sure that a lot of social capital has just been dissipated 🙂

  73. Ah, Barry Brill, one of NZ’s more, um, striking exports.

    The original, um, essay is truly priceless. Barry’s aaaaangry, people, and he ain’t gonna take it anymore!… Take that, Cook and Lewandowsky! Comments are, as usual, beyond parody.

      1. So where do you see yourself on the Brill scale Bio?
        I guess the ‘whats your Brill rating?’ question will from now on be an easy litmus test…. 😉

        ‘Brilliant’ really….

    1. What a find!

      Uh, I must be ‘Catastrophically Dangerous’! I guess I should put a bulls-eye on my roof so that Barry Brill’s imaginary drones can avoid incinerating the neighbors place by accident! 🙂
      Lets see: The planet is warming, tick; AGW yes, tick; ECS, well, the IPCC is conservative and there is significant risk we will get into >4.5 territory, tick; RCP, not sure but again the 8.5 value is within the range of probable outcomes and so far, sadly, nothing assures us that we won’t get there, especially as the denier circus is doing their best to prevent society from taking action, so reluctantly, tick; Lifestyle change, Absolutely! The lifestyle of our Western consumer society is for many reasons entirely unsustainable, even if AGW was no issue and unless society is willing and happy to consider lifestyle changes nothing will ever happen anyway, so big tick!
      See, I am catastrophically dangerous to Barry Brill and his denier brigades! So there! 😉

  74. On their respective blogs Anthony Watts and Roger Pielke, Jr. provide excerpts about extreme weather from Chapter 2 of the IPCC report. Among the findings:

    * “Current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century … No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin.”

    * “In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.”

    * “In summary, there is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale severe weather phenomena such as hail and thunderstorms because of historical data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systems.”

    * “Based on updated studies, AR4 [the IPCC 2007 report] conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated.”

    * “In summary, confidence in large scale changes in the intensity of extreme extra-tropical cyclones since 1900

    This is good news right?

  75. I reckon this is close to my position , but the Brill scale is a bit crude;-

    “In a century, we probably will be able to make quantitative climate predictions with some skill. In the current decade, we cannot.

    AGW is by no means disproven by the last 15 to 18 years of arguably flat temperatures, just as it was by no means proven by the temperature rise that occurred during the ENSO event or since the end of the LIA or the Dalton minimum.

    Temperature change cannot either prove or disprove the (C)AGW hypothesis, not without a full understanding of the climate system sufficient to predict what the temperature would be in the absence of extra CO2, which we utterly lack.

    All the more so since we have to understand it in the presence or absence of CO2, soot, various aerosols of anthropogenic or natural origin, with a variable sun, varying phases of decadal oscillations, and an unknown ocean sucking heat down or delivering heat up in a global circulation process with timescales ranging from years to centuries, with land use changes and pollutants in the waters that have visible global effects that we do not yet understand, all in a highly non-linear chaotic system with numerous feedbacks and spontaneous self-organizing stabilizing macroscopic phenomena with global impact, on a planet that is inexorably pursing an orbital cycle that completely changes the underlying “equilibrium” over time in ways we do not fully understand and cannot predict or compute.

    In the meantime, prudence suggests that we concentrate on the ongoing disaster of global energy poverty first as it is a certain disaster that is happening now and forces 1/3 of the world’s population to live in near prehistoric levels of poverty and misery.

    Even if CO2 were precisely as disastrous as the worst-case CAGW scenarios suggest — which few people believe any more, including climate scientists — the impact of a 2.5-3.5 C rise in global temperature by the end of the century will be smaller than the impact of a century more of global energy poverty, even if the ocean does rise a full meter or more, even if storms do actually get discernibly worse eventually, even if there is increased desertification, none of which are currently observable.

    Somewhere in the world, as I type this, not one but hundreds of millions of people are cooking a sparse day’s meal on animal dung or a small charcoal fire. Their children are breathing in particulates and smoke and suffering from malnutrition and diseases.
    Their clothes must be hand washed, if they are washed at all.
    They have neither fresh, clean water nor anything but the great outdoors as a sewer system.
    Some two billion people will light their homes — if one can call a tin shanty or mud or grass hut a home — with an oil lamp or nothing at all tonight. The children of those two billion people will not go to school tomorrow, cannot read or do simple arithmetic, and will go to bed hungry (indeed, live always hungry, as they do not take in enough food to support their growth).
    They will grow up stunted in stature and damaged in their brains, all because they lack access to cheap electricity, running clean water and sewer facilities and clothes washing and refrigeration and schools and houses and adequate supplies of fertilizer-grown food that electricity enables.
    Many will die young, or live to become “criminals” as they do what they must to stay alive, or will become cannon fodder for anyone who promises to give them a better life if they will fight and die for them.

    They, not the threat of a supposed apocalypse that might or might not happen in a century, are the moral imperative of the twenty-first century.
    There is no need for 1/3 of the world’s population to live in squalid misery — not any more.
    We have the technology, we have the wealth, to utterly eliminate global poverty within a few decades.
    What we lack is the will and the vision to do so.

    And we will never succeed in doing so at the same time we make energy more expensive and discourage its use.
    The poverty in question is energy poverty. Fundamentally.
    With enough, cheap enough, energy, we can make the deserts bloom, create jobs in the heart of Africa or India or South America, bring medicine and electric lights and running water to the world.
    Cheap, clean energy solves all problems; it is the fundamental scarcity.”

    1. On the assessment of AGW and CO2 we entirely disagree. But no need to rehash it. The science is there for all to read if you can avoid the smokescreen of the Heartland institute and others like it and all who help to put it up. The talk about ‘we don’t know enough’ is entirely unwarranted from the science at hand.

      “The poverty in question is energy poverty. Fundamentally.”
      Yes, all goods and services are predicated by energy. However, hooking the 3rd world up to the fossil fuel trap is absolutely no solution.

      To the contrary: In places where people live with minimal energy budgets already, solar energy especially can make all the difference.

      And here in NZ, if people are just willing to ‘wash their laundry on sunny days’ factually and metaphorically, we can provide ample for ourselves. I know a family who are net electricity exporters with a 3kW solar roof in the year average! And they don’t lack mod cons such as computers etc…

      On the matter of ‘lets grow our energy use to fight poverty…’ I suggest this paper, from the UK finance company Tullett Prebon, which has an excellent chapter on energy.

      Cheep clean energy would solve all our problems! But as a Physicist I am able to assure you that miracles as the first phase of the oil-age don’t come along easy, and nuclear fusion has been 50 years away into the future ever since my Physics degree in 1982….
      I bet on solar + wind + geothermal + hydro + tidal as our only options. And on much smarter use of what we will have to use. And on an end to the entitlement thinking that has become the norm to the Western affluent people….

    2. Bio: If you’re going to use direct quotes from somebody else, please indicate the source – which in this case seems to be a comment under an old post at µWatts. Given the source, I would have found your own words more persuasive.

      1. No problem . I found it on a Hard News blog called Fact and Fantasy, but it was clearly in quotation marks. And I did not claim originality. Do you have the author’s name to tidy that up?

      2. No problem . I found it on a Hard News blog called Fact and Fantasy, but it was clearly in quotation marks. And I did not claim originality. Do you have the author’s name to tidy that up?
        I see that the comment is signed rgb, and headed rgb at duke.

      3. ” Given the source, I would have found your own words more persuasive.”

        That’s an interesting comment ; can you elaborate.? Surely the site of publication is irrelevant to the subject matter and the sentiment expressed.

        1. Nope. The site of publication is directly relevant, as is the author’s expertise in the field upon which he is commenting. In this case, µWatts is a well-established anti-science propaganda site, quite happy to publish absolute rubbish by anyone as long as it fits its agenda. “rgb” may or may not be the proud possessor of a PhD in physics, but his views are only as interesting as any other layman’s because he lacks expertise in climate.

          Dealing with climate change is a matter of managing risk. Your position, if it really is the same as rgb’s, amounts to a gross misreading of what we actually know about the climate system, and how it is likely to react to continuing increases in atmospheric GHG loading.

          We know more than enough to know that we need to act to reduce emissions, and make urgent plans to adapt to inevitable warming. Arguing anything else is arguing politics, not science.

          1. “urgent plans to adapt ”
            My position is that I can do no more than the above. The quote was in the context of the Brill ratings and the inadequacy of such a classification approach.

            But I have gone further and said that Godzone should do the same. i.e. adapt because it involves almost the same set of actions as AGW would suggest as appropriate.
            The counter-argument is that the rest of the world looks to Godzone for a lead, and we should therefore do more than just look after ourselves.
            I’m not convinced of that. I think NZ is so unique as to have little application to the circumstances elsewhere.

            But then , I’ve never been out of Godzone and have no plans to ever do so. So what would I know?
            Sustainable agriculture is my interest, and that means adapting to whatever climate eventuates.

            1. You’ll get no argument from me about the need to be both sustainable and resilient to future changes. What NZ does in this field is important internationally, partly as a demonstration of willingness to face up to facts (sadly lacking in many places), and because some of the solutions we may adopt could be widely relevant – particularly in agriculture. We’re not so unique as you think – even if we are a “lucky country” in terms of expected climate changes.

              We do need our government to take this aspect of the climate issue much more seriously than it does. Our mitigation policies are weak, but at least still in place. But there’s been little systematic thinking on adaptation and resilience – mainly because it’s perceived as something for the future. We really need to get cracking now – it will be much cheaper, for one thing…

            2. “But there’s been little systematic thinking on adaptation and resilience “.
              Take last (farming) year’s dry summer. it was nothing out of the ordinary except in respect of its extensiveness. That meant that the usual temporary fixes , like moving feed supplies and livestock around were not available. That tells us that EVERBODY was unprepared , expecting to rely on someone else to provide the relief.
              On top of that was record indebtedness; complacency after a string of wet summers; policy advice against carrying reserves; continuing unprofitability for most ag. sectors (including seasonal dairy).
              How would you propose changing this?
              Individual farmers with a couple of clues and some experience had no difficulty. I expect my financial performance for y/e 31/8/2013 will be average or slightly above.
              Are most farmers already in a trap(s) from which there is no escape?

            3. Only slightly tongue-in-cheek, but maybe, just maybe, I should be driving a Maserati, or some such ostentatious display of financial success, to the Feilding sale every Friday. That would have a few farmers driving home past my place .
              But they probably wouldn’t be able to see what they were looking at ; they would most likely see only failure (in their terms).
              Or they would conclude that I was growing a funny sort of grass:-)

          2. ” we need to act to reduce emissions,”
            What concrete action do you propose and how would you ever enforce it, assuming that a voluntary regime is out of the question?

            1. “We” in this sense is global, as well as national and individual. I don’t assume that voluntary action is impossible – in fact many people already do act to reduce emissions without financial incentive. But when it comes to getting significant global action, then I’m with the secretary general of the OECD, who told a conference in London this week that the best course of action was a “big fat price on carbon”, with the goal of reaching zero emissions as soon as possible after 2050. (Reuters).

              I think that’s still possible – even probable, though we’re unlikely to be moving fast enough to avoid considerable climate damages. Mechanisms include ETS’s, carbon taxes, carrots and sticks, hopefully within an international framework that avoids the free rider problem. For that we need political will, and that will only come when it’s demonstrated at the ballot box or the impacts become so obvious and damaging that the politicians can no longer dissemble.

            2. ” hopefully within an international framework ”

              Necessarily, not “hopefully” , surely?

            3. Well, yes, but there could be many ways of doing a deal that didn’t include everyone but still had the desired result. My guess is that will happen very quickly once one of the big emitters decides that local impacts are getting too big to ignore. And that might be sooner than later…

    3. OK, I can’t stands no more: here’s the HTML for blockquotes:

      <blockquote>yada yada yada</blockquote>

      yada yada yada

      Will you be the first person in the ‘skeptic’ camp I’ve given this information to who’ll actually use it!*

      It’s polite to edit hard-returns out of your text – try dumping it in NotePad first!

      And, while we’re at it, here’s the HTML for text links:

      <a href="whateveryoufancy.com">linky text goes here</a>

      linky text goes here

      Insert a ‘ target="_blank" ‘ inside the brackets and it’ll load on another page, insert a ‘ rel="nofollow"’ and search spiders will stop there. WordPress does this automatically on this site anyway – we wouldn’t want to boost WUWT’s hit count, would we? – check the edit after you’ve pasted a link to see!

      *0/6 thus far! What does that say?

  76. It’s looking less and less likely the climate apocalypse is coming. Why not focus on energy efficiency and economically viable renewable energy. This is all positive stuff, we don’t need the threat of doom and regulation to do things that make practical sense anyway.

    Poor co2 spends most of its time helping plants grow and making life on earth possible. It’s not the deadly gas many claim it is. It may have a slight warming affect but this might not even be enough to override natural cycles. Let’s all put our money back in our pockets until there is more agreement on the science, the world will be better off.

    1. flatworm has no idea of what he is talking about:

      It’s not the deadly gas many claim it is. It may have a slight warming affect but this might not even be enough to override natural cycles.

      This is just rubbish spouted out by Dunning Kruger suffers who think that by reading and quoting denier blogs they know everything about AGW. They live in a fantasy world.. There are already many nasty things happening because of increased CO2 in the atmosphere.

      1. Increased acidity of the oceans interfering with the food chain there.

      2. Increasing night time temperatures reducing the yields of rice (http://tinyurl.com/d3fsvkx)

      3. High temperatures reducing yields of corn and soy beans in N. America (http://tinyurl.com/lmtkjho)

      4. Increasing sea level rise.

      5. Insurance losses due to severe weather increasing at an alarming rate (http://tinyurl.com/lycrqs5)

      These are things which are happening now, stop your lies flatworm!

  77. If the IPCC is not that certain about extreme weather events anymore, the whole climate change thing looks a lot less scary. Are people here going to continue with the extreme weather scare stories now given the IPCCs low certainty?

      1. Extremely scary reading at those links. I must say it is probably easier to program for the denier and right-wing side as their arguments while false are simple-minded and knee-jerk.

        1. Indeed, note that the deniers like flat very rarely if ever, cite any evidence! The tactic is to throw grand statements of denial into the blog and make the other side all the work to cite, to prove and to refute. It takes 20 seconds to post a nonsense assertion, it takes time to refute it with evidence.
          The manipulation of public opinion through dirty tricks, through the ownership of vast assets of the media and so on, allows the very rich to manipulate the masses. Seeding ‘doubt’ and proactively working to divide the people has been the a key strategy since the Roman Empire: “Divide et impera!”…… Why pay legions of soldiers if you can make drones and blog-bots do your dirty work!

  78. Why are you guys only interested in the scare stories? I posted some good news about the IPCC being less certain about extreme weather and no one here is interested. It’s as if you want the climate apocalypse to happen just so you can be right. Very strange.

    1. What you posted, from unreliable sources, is not news but cherrypicked quotes removed from context – the final report is due January, the final draft says “do not quote or cite”. However, what I read are statements of high confidence re character of extreme events in some regions because well covered by science studies, Australia for example, and a dearth of relevant studies from other large regions such as Africa. You are engaging in systematic misrepresentation.

    2. Flat: Extreme weather events are a for the purpose of statistics ‘rare events’. Statistics over these naturally do not provide the same level of technical ‘confidence intervals’ as frequent events or a large number of samples do. Therefore the ‘confidence’ as reported by scientists on the trend of these events is ‘low’.
      However those who pay for the damages these events are causing see the matter a bit less academic. The insurance companies loss statistics show a clear trend.

  79. You guys have been quoting from the IPCC report. Do you only discuss the bits you agree with?

    Hurricane Sandy was in the North Atlantic basin. This report suggests it was not tied to climate change as some hot topicers like to claim. I am amazed that people here are so focused on the negative and play down the good news. If the above extreme weather events are not tied to climate change then we should not expect an increase in their frequency.

    1. Really?

      In the first place we get to read the science as it happens.

      Your assertion about Hurricane Sandy is another piece of misrepresentstion, or is it misinformation? Weather is the product of the chaotic processes of the troposphere. All weather processes occur within a whole referred to as climate. As the climate is changing so are all weather processes changed proportionately. As the globe takes on more heat so the new normal curve shifts so what was extreme comes closer to the norm.

      So what is good news? – it is good news when we face the issues instead of ducking them. It is good news when we learn of people who have actually figured out what to do, and do it. It is good news when we increase our understanding of climate and ecology and the way all these various spheres relate so we achieve a sustainable relation with the biosphere. Every example of people doing so is good news. It will be good news when emissions come down steadily and not just because of perturbations in that collapsar Americans mistake for an economy!

    2. Flat, what good news? The IPCC did not say that extreme weather events are becoming less frequent. No, the statistics are clear that they have become more frequent, so have the losses we incur. What the IPCC said is that they can not be ‘very confident’ to attribute these statistics. And this is a result of working with data from generally infrequent events. Trends do not present themselves with the mathematics that allow high confident statements to be made at this stage. The IPCC speaks in very cautious terms.

    3. Flat: Read the comment policy at Hot Topic (the link is under “about” in the header). Reflect on what “good faith” means. Then engage with the discussion by reading the references you are given, and absorbing their meaning. If you continue to spam this blog with unreferenced counterfactual assertions you will be put on moderation and I will only pass comments that I deem meet the terms of the comment policy.

      In the meantime, you would do well to prepare a careful reply to Doug’s questions above. Failure to do so is also likely to get you put on moderation.

  80. Here’s an encouraging sign of rationality in the USA: the LA Times does not publish letters from climate change deniers, as they are factually inaccurate:

    I do my best to keep errors of fact off the letters page; when one does run, a correction is published. Saying “there’s no sign humans have caused climate change” is not stating an opinion, it’s asserting a factual inaccuracy.


    Time for Granny Herald to follow suit…

    1. California!
      You know that they don’t just have (or had ) Country Pet yoghurt (the finest) for cats and dogs; they also have Frosty Paws pet ice-cream!
      Perhaps not the finest example of sustainability in the US.

  81. Gareth, it appears you hold sceptics to a much higher standard, this hardly incourages open debate. I posted excerpts from the IPCC report, the pillor of science (apparently) and a link to the source of the article. Is that not enough? Interestingly you are allowing comments regarding drought and extreme weather which would appear counter to the IPCC position. Why the double standard?

    I also note you overlook the insulting comments made by some of the regulars here. Do you plan to start inforcing the politeness clause? I am happy to answer any questions that are asked with respect. Doug may have got overlooked because of this, he is welcome to repeat the question.

    1. I linked to Doug’s questions. Follow that link, and reply please.

      The comment policy allows for robust debate, but I do insist on “good faith” – that is, a willingness to discuss rather than posture. That’s your principal failing – along with repeated misrepresentation of the facts.

      Watts and Pielke’s careful selection of quotes does not represent the full range of information in WG1 on extremes. You could always try reading the full report…

  82. Out of interest, are you contesting the information on Watts blog? if these statments are in fact in the IPCC report then that would make many statements on this site unsupported by the science. I would think such important statements would warrant significant discussion, but not a peep……….interesting.

    1. Flat: Let me cite not from a bog but from the AR5 actual summary for policy makers:

      On Extreme Temperatures:

      These new studies show that there is stronger evidence for anthropogenic forcing on changes in extreme temperatures than at the time of the SREX assessment. New evidence since SREX includes the separation of the influence of anthropogenic forcings from that of natural forcings on extreme daily temperatures at the global scale and to some extent at continental and sub-continental scales in some regions. These new results suggest more clearly the role of anthropogenic forcing on temperature extremes compared to results at the time of the SREX assessment. We assess that it is very likely that human influence has contributed to the observed changes in the frequency and intensity of daily temperature extremes on the global scale since the mid-20th century.

      On Precipitation:

      Analysis of observed annual maximum 1-day precipitation (RX1day) over global land areas with sufficient data smaples indicates a significant increase in extreme percipitation globally, with a median increase about 7% per degree celsius GMST increase (Westra et al., 2013). CMIP3 and CMIP5 simulations project an increase in the globally averaged 20-year return values of annual maximum 24-hour precipitation amounts of about 6–7% with each °C of global mean warming, with the bulk of models simulating values in the range of 4–10% °C–1(Kharin et al., 2007; Kharin et al., 2013). Anthropogenic influence has been detected on various aspects of the global hydrological cycle (Stott et al., 2010), which is directly relevant to extreme precipitation changes.

      [SIC] the spelling mistakes ‘smaples’ and ‘percipitation’ are actually in the report…. a slight embarrassment… 😉

      Perhaps Watts and Pielke and the rest of the denier league argue based on cherry picked quotes from the report.

      As I said earlier, the IPCC is correct in saying the scientific confidence on the attribution of causes to relatively rare events such as extreme floods and droughts is difficult. The sample set is small and the causality chains between events as such are complex. Also historic baseline data are unreliable at times. It is therefore correct and conservative for the IPCC to caution that confidence in the attribution of causes tropical and extra-tropical cyclone events can not be made with regards to these with great confidence at present.

  83. 1. We are no longer in am ice age so I’m assuming it has warmed up

    2. I have already posted a link to a Forbes article which contains relevant information, I’m surprised Doug hasent read it already.

    Given I have cherry picked those IPCC statements, can you please post some IPCC information that supports (with high confidence) AGW increasing extreme weather events?

    1. Wow, what a detailed, well-thought-out, devastating reply! (/sarc)

      Boring. It’s very evident that the difference between you and, say, Thomas is that he’s read the AR5 report, while you’ve merely parked a few of the conveniently predigested gobbets provided by ‘interpreters of interpretations’ in your crop, then hoiked them back up over here.

      (And I must remember to add Bono’s own ‘Forbes’ to your list of notional Science Journals.)

      I’ll say it again. All mouth, no trousers. If there’s any ‘good faith’ there I don’t see it…

    2. The article (not even grey literature) does not address questions 1 or 2. since the data only appears to go back to 1996. It may sort of address question 3 but again the evidence as presented must be considered as weak.

      The article assumes as fact that GCRs have a meaningful effect on cloud formation is proven, but the literature indicates that this remains unproven. The article also assumes that increased clouds always results in warming, which is not always true. it depends on the type of clouds. it also assumes that the correlations are robust and not spurious. I would need to see the data and methodology before placing any weight on this.

      In addition the chart indicates that current temps are outside the uncertainties (95%) of the GCMs but they are not.

      Flatearth have you read any other of the literature in this area by other researchers? Do they agree with Dr Scarfetta if not why not? Have you actually read the original article and not just what some journo has written?

  84. I did not see anything there to refute what Watts was saying. Why have so many people been linking Hurricane Sandy and droughts to AGW when the IPCC is not confident there is a link? Is the media that ill informed? So what scary weather stories hasent the IPCC poured cold water on? A wider range in daily tempretures doesn’t seem that scary.

    This is an important point worth discussion and I am interested in the answer so save the troll talk too please.

    No word on the previous use of offensive language Gareth?

      1. Scafetta is like Ken Ring plus sophistry. When I discerned that he was claiming causality on the basis of correlation with no actual connection I had forgotten how slight and arbitrary that correlation was.

  85. The previous link provides the source of the research if you wish to try to debunk it.

    I don’t see how precipitation will increase but the IPCC is not confident of more floods? Seems like a contradiction to me.

    * “In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.”

    1. Precipitation is measured at thousands of places daily. Statistics over very large sample sets allow statements with high confidence.

      But even with a significant increase in extreme precipitation events as observed, extreme floods are still comparatively much rarer events. The statistics of these is taken therefore over a comparatively small data set which results in much larger uncertainties. With the IPCC being a conservative organization, their statements reflect this, Comprendo?

      What the statistics for heavy rain events in the US show is here:

      1. Btw, if anybody wants to see some hard data on global flood events, the Dartmouth Flood Observatory in the USA maintains a public register for events from 1985 to 2012.

        The graph of the data is rather staggering!
        It shows an over 5 fold increase of in magnitude>6 events, the most severe, and a 3 fold increase in magnitude>4 events over the time frame.

        The data are here: http://floodobservatory.colorado.edu/

        It would appear that the cautious words of the IPCC are indeed conservative.

  86. Flat: unless and until you answer Doug’s very reasonable questions (here, linked for the second time), you will be on moderation.

    And providing links to idiots posting at Forbes does not cut it as “evidence”.

  87. Certain sunward trees have been topped, my roof is now covered with solar devices, the inverter goes in tomorrow, I’m told it may be as much as 20 days before Contact puts in (for free) the required metering. I therefore predict, despite forecasts to the contrary, that the weather will be fine most of this period and I will lose ~ 400 kwh in the waiting 🙂

        1. A prelim report

          Today has at times had patches of blue but mostly increasing cloud with occasional showers. By 09:10 standard time PV production had risen to 5.010 kw from 2.18 kw at 07:25 though these are blue sky peaks. Cloud cover has been solid since 13:30 through to 15:35 when 1.485 kw was being reported and 22.88 kwh had been generated, or would have been if it had somewhere to go. This is better than I had expected on such a day. Some blue sky is back now so the figure is still growing. Normal usage is about 11 kwh over 24 hours. A nice graph parades across the screen while another readout keeps track in megawatt hours since switchon.

          OT I know but am celebrating.

          1. It is now a month after installation and yesterday when the two way meter was installed was 19 days after Contact received the completed form – a matter that could have been much improved had the form been in my hands during installation.

            Conditions have not been good for generation over the last two days. There has been a deepening windless gloom over Auckland since switchon which only lightened up in patches about midafternoon today so there were many hours during which the output barely rose above 250 watts. and only one hour in the last 28 when output rose towards 3 Kw.

            Import has been 4 Kwh – 3 overnight and another when I forgot I had left a ring on the stove on high this morning. Overall power exported till now has been 12 Kwh with 15 Kwh generated in very poor conditions.

            The electricity to the solar heated hot water cylinder has been switched off for quite a while but just now I was tempted to turn it on for the night but then I realised it would have been better to have done that during the day – one’s thinking has to change – use power during the day, hot meals, if any, at noon etc.

            Don’t worry! You won’t get a day by day record though I might comment again when some summer history has been built up.

            1. Well done. What is the make and type of your grid tie inverter? Some offer to host their own web page which you can open to public viewing so that anybody with an interest can see your data online.

            2. Its an SMA Sunny Boy 5 kw dual inverter but I will have to look closer tomorrow to see exactly what model. It is square in shape with a red case one should not touch and below it a black panel with a display. I’ve looked online but mine does not match exactly any I’ve seen specified. One is touted with “power protection” meaning it reroutes power to a dedicated outlet if the grid goes down. I did not know about it until I had a look around to answer your question.

              “Dual” refers to being able to divide the panels up into two unequal groups – or one group is partly shaded for a time say. I have 13 panels on the NW end of the roof and 7 panels on the SE end. The dual inverter can match voltages to maximise power output.

            3. Thomas there is no Bluetooth option installed on my inverter which would have been handy though I agreed with S4solar that once I had a handle on this thing I would probably ignore it for years as far as keeping a check on the numbers.

              There is a wall preventing me reading the Sunny Boy model number until I get to put a hole in it.

              As this is the first fine day I may as well report today’s numbers up to dark.;
              1. 7 visitors last evening, modem left on all night, use of a toaster and a couple of hours using a projector – import 5 Kwh
              2. Employed lots of machinery today using 6.78 Kwh – deduced from the numbers below..
              3. Generated 36.78 Kwh according to inverter
              4. Exported 30 Kwh according to the meter.

  88. Gareth , you said above:-
    ‘”But there’s been little systematic thinking on adaptation and resilience – mainly because it’s perceived as something for the future. We really need to get cracking now – it will be much cheaper, for one thing…”

    And I asked :- “how would you propose changing this?”

    Do you have some thoughts on this?

    1. As in all things political, you can attack it top down or bottom up – preferably both at the same time.

      Bottom up would be individuals taking actions that increase their personal and local resilience and adaptive capacity: your power system, for example, or me planting more trees. A lot of agricultural adaptation is just common sense – making yourself less vulnerable to things that already happen (like drought) that are expected to get worse. On a local level there are groups like Transition Towns working on this sort of thing. There’s probably much more going on at the grass roots (ahem…) level than we appreciate, because it’s not high profile, newsworthy stuff.

      Top down is persuading politicians and administrators to take actions that increase local and national resilience. In some respects, this is being done – more at local authority level than in central government. The big failing here is with political will. If the government is not thinking about strategies and policies in this area, then nothing much happens. This is not altogether surprising, given that some of what needs to be done runs counter to current political dogma. As long as parties of all colours are committed to economic growth at all costs, it will be very hard to build a truly sustainable and resilient economy that can deliver a good quality of life for everyone in NZ.

    1. Nice!
      Gareth, I always wanted a public pin-board for climate graphs. Not many words, just the important graphs to speak for themselves with links to their original sites or papers from which they come. Grouped by: Temp graphs, Sea level, Ocean Heat, Ice, floods, etc…. It could be a great point of reference to send people to. Images speak more than a 1000 words they say.
      Perhaps something to ad as a feature to HT?
      The graphs would be updated from time to time to visualize the progress in the data as time goes on.

  89. Am I still in the naughty chair for asking difficult questions?


    [No, you are on moderation for ignoring HT’s comment policy by deliberately misrepresenting the facts (ie repeating nonsense after it’s been pointed out to you that it’s nonsense) and for failing to engage in good faith (by failing to answer reasonable questions in any sensible manner). Either go away, or provide properly linked references in your answer to Doug’s three questions. Anything other than that will not pass moderation. GR]

  90. The link provided answers all three questions. [Snipped]

    [You provided no link. And you need to answer Doug’s patient questions in your own words, not by simply linking to something, or viua a long cut’n’paste. GR]

    1. BTW: I am writing for a local rag on environmental issues.

      In next month’s article I will mention ‘The Election’ (sorry) over in your end of the sticks:

      Conservation thinking and the science that informs the same have not had a good run lately. Over in Oz the people elected a libertarian government led by Tony Abbott. Predictably one of his first actions in office was to disestablish the Australian Climate Commission and to disestablish the position of the Minister of Science in his cabinet. This has logic of course. A man who knows by reason of his unfailing instinct that “Climate Science is Crap” and “Human causes for climate change are a myth” (Abbott), clearly would have no use for either. Who needs the council of experts and wise people, when the truth can simply be decreed from the far end of the gut?

      Thought it might evoke a chuckle… 😉

  91. Sorry Doug, I can explain specific points when asked, but to answer your 3 questions in detail would require a very long-winded response. Waste of time while on moderation.

    [You are clearly suffering comprehension difficulties. You are on moderation because you won’t reply to Doug’s questions. If you do so in an appropriate manner, you will no longer be on moderation. GR]

    1. A highly convenient incomprehension of a point no-one else is even slightly confused about, methinks! As any glance through the above ‘discussion’ will show, explication – rather than regurgitation – ain’t likely to be a Flatty forte…

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