Global Warming *** New Rules ***

NEW RULE: Adults need to stop catering to whiny babies.

At the recent G7 conference, responsible world leaders from major economies got even more serious about climate change. Funny how adults want to protect their kids, and everybody else’s kids too. But not Donald Trump; petulant children don’t care about anything but themselves, and it’s useless to try reason — especially when their level of sophistication can’t even match PeeWee. Or pee.

When a baby throws a tantrum, too many adults respond by giving it the attention it craves. What it needs is a spanking.

… Or does Trump love a good spanking with his golden showers?

NEW RULE: Judith Curry has to obey Patrick Swayze.

In a recent “debate” on global warming she showed this graph of sea level data:

which makes it look like this particular set of data tops out at about 170. But when you look closely (always a good idea when Judith Curry shows something)

you can see just a hint of that sharp uptick at the end, cleverly hidden from view by being shoved over far enough into the corner to get clobbered by the box around the graph. Oh — and Curry’s graph only goes up to 200 but the data go above 210. In case you can’t handle the math, Dr. Curry, 210 is higher than 200. Here’s all of it:

Judith, next time you’re tempted to clip data you don’t like, think of it as “Baby”

NEW RULE: Three strikes and you’re out.

Lead-off hitter Mo Brooks, congressman from Alabama, tried to blame sea level rise on rocks and dirt filling up the ocean. The idea is so stupid, even climate deniers aren’t buying it.

Then S. Fred Singer tried to confuse the issue by suggesting increased snowfall was building up more ice on Antarctica so we don’t have to worry about the thermal expansion of seawater. Turns out Antarctica is losing icetwice as fast as we once thought.

Finally, Roy Spencer took sea level rise up to 1950 and called it entirely natural (which it isn’t), then said sea level rise since then was mostly natural (which it isn’t) because that “natural” trend would keep on going, and going, and going, like a sopping wet energizer bunny. Yet he also warned that “… it is dangerous to extrapolate any short term trends far into the future,” when that’s exactly what he did.

How many more times do they have to swing and miss until we wise up?

Climate deniers: time to leave the field.

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15 responses to “Global Warming *** New Rules ***

  1. Michael Sweet

    I noticed that Curries’ graph of amount of carbon dioxide starts at 0 in 1800. Ruddiman has shown that humans have been adding carbon to the atmosphere through agriculture for thousands of years before 1800. In the USA alone most of the area East of the Mississippi was clear felled to use the timber for energy or clear land for farming.

    It is easy to prove there is no problem with CO2 if you fake the data.

    [Response: She doesn’t graph atmospheric CO2, she graphs emissions. But it’s concentration that counts. Does she not know this? If so, she should stop calling herself a scientist.]

    • Judy “Blog-Mom” Curry actually doesn’t plot emissions. The air-head plots FF emissions which in ~1860 when she considers SLR began (painfully leaning on Jevrejeva et al 2014 to make this bold assertion) were about ~10% of human CO2 emissions. Hell! Why bother digging a deep hole in the ground to obtain coal when there are so many trees that just need cutting down!!
      The comment she made to accompany her SLR slide would be interesting. The slide is titled with a question “Is CO2 the “control knob” for global sea level rise?” What wisdom does she bring to bear on this question? While follow-on slides in her presentation give some indication, the true level of her non-scientific denialism is difficult to judge properly.

  2. thefordprefect

    funny, but that G7 picture reminds me of Homer Simpson listening.

  3. I get your point.

    But–OT alert!–not this:

    “When a baby throws a tantrum, too many adults respond by giving it the attention it craves. What it needs is a spanking.”

    Er, no. Spanking “babies” is counterproductive, dangerous and often illegal. Small children are mostly non-verbal, and their crying is quasi-instinctive; the purpose of crying indeed to get the attention of adults, because adults are at least theoretically capable of reason, which they then theoretically use to check things out, in case something is bothering the kid that really does merit urgent attention. (Kids aren’t that well-equipped to differentiate between serious and merely uncomfortable–especially really young ones.)

    And if by some chance the thing that is bothering them is not immediately determinable, the most pragmatically effective tack is to comfort them. If they can’t be comforted, a visit to the pediatrician may in fact be in order; that discomfort may just have a medical cause!

    So don’t ignore crying, and don’t punish crying. Check out what’s causing it, and fix it if it needs fixing. There is some point to not going overboard with fussing behavior, or indulging in parental anxiety because, yes, it is possible to teach over-dependency and helplessness by reinforcing overattention to minor discomforts. But watch a skilled parent: they walk that fine line by offering comfort that is efficient and matter-of-fact in nature.

    And they are typically rewarded; their kids learn realistic perspective about what is serious and what is not, and they learn that life’s little challenges can usually be taken in stride. They are also usually the kids that are the quickest back to the playground, or game, or whatever. /OT

    “Babies” like Trump are quite different from the real thing, of course–except, perhaps, the inability to differentiate between minor discomforts and serious problems.

  4. Steven Howell

    I don’t like the dismissal of the “rocks filling the ocean” as ridiculous. It could be a perfectly commonsense question, revealing ignorance of the scales involved. Yes, I rather doubt Brooks asked in good faith and if I were asked I’d probably stammer out something about orders of magnitude too small to matter. But I’d like to think I would have said:

    “If that was your idea, Rep. Brooks, then congratulations–you’re starting to think like a scientist, dreaming up possible explanations. The next step is to quantify them to see whether the explanation works. I’m absolutely sure this question has been examined–that’s exactly the sort of thing we look for–and the corresponding rates are far too small to explain the sea level rise we are experiencing. I don’t have the numbers on hand at the moment, but I’d be happy to work with you to make a rough estimate.

    Now if you’re just repeating a question you received from an advisor, shame on them; it’s easy to evaluate in this era of Google and they clearly are not interested in your knowing the facts.”

    Of course, doing this sort of thing just invites a Gish Gallop scenario, but the point is that scientists actually try to think of everything, even apparently silly and minor effects.

    So a quick Matlab session that demonstrates that all terrigenous inputs added together could only be ~1% of sea level rise.

    >> % from
    ocean_area = 3.619e8; %km^2
    % from
    % sea-level-data-church-white-or-jevrejeva-et-al
    rise_rate = 1.58e-6; %km/year (never mind that recent rates are double that
    required_volume = ocean_area*rise_rate

    % from % slide 11
    river_mass = 18.3e9; %expressed as 10^9 tons
    glacier_mass = 2e9;
    aeolian_mass = 0.6e9;
    coastal_erosion_mass = 0.25e9;
    volcanic_debris_mass = 0.15e9;
    groundwater_mass = 0.48;

    sediment_mass = river_mass+glacier_mass+aeolian_mass+coastal_erosion_mass+volcanic_debris_mass+groundwater_mass

    % Sediments are largely silicates, which have density near 3 g/cm^3
    density = 3e9; %metric tons per km^3

    sediment_volume = sediment_mass/density
    sediment_fraction_of_total = sediment_volume/required_volume

    required_volume =
    sediment_mass =
    sediment_volume =
    sediment_fraction_of_total =

    • Sorry, I don’t agree. Had Rep. Brooks been serious in his inquiry and had he wished not to appear a fricking imbecile, he could have easily done a calculation. Hell, had he even fricking been familiar with the fact that 3/4 of the planet is oceans, he could have dismissed his idea. The only possible rationale for bringing up such a question in a hearing is to simply stun the witness with one’s stupidity. And of course his constituents, being just as stupid as he is and getting their info from Faux News simply lap it up.

      Perhaps there are no stupid questions, but sometimes “Just Asking Questions”—aka JAQing off is stupid. This is what we are up against. We have to convince not just the C students, but the D students, the F students and the fricking students who never even showed up for class that the National Academy of Sciences knows what it is talking about and isn’t a front for the goddamned Illuminati!

      • “Had Rep. Brooks been serious in his inquiry and had he wished not to appear a fricking imbecile, he could have easily done a calculation.”

        A priori, I doubt it.

        *You* could have easily done it. Steve Howell could have easily done it. I could have done it, with effort and some online research (though I intuitively knew already why the argument was silly.)

        Rep. Brooks? Could well be in the ‘teaching an elephant to make a vegetable omelette’ category.

      • Doc, merely observing that 3/4 of Earth’s surface is covered with water and that the oceans extend down to depths of miles should give all but the most geologically illiterate/innumerate morons a clue. Oh… wait

      • I think a lot of people have trouble with the scaling problem (which I now call brooksing), but almost no scientists are among those people. I think it’s a math literacy issue and will regularly arise with questions where the scale is quite large in comparison to direct human experience.

      • “Doc, merely observing that 3/4 of Earth’s surface is covered with water and that the oceans extend down to depths of miles…”

        Yeah, that’s a pretty good summary of why I intuitively knew Brooks was saying something Vewy, Vewy Siwy. As to the rest, well, chalk it up to my native Canadian reticence.

  5. That Curry graph is a pretty low trick. Hard to conclude that that’s not done on purpose. The woman is supposed to be an actual scientist (OK, retired, but still).

  6. OT: but I’ve started a new ‘graphic blog’ in protest of the Sessions ‘zero tolerance’ policy, which I regard as frankly evil, as well as hyprocritical and cruel. One image per day for the 14 days.

    Please share as you see fit.

    • Thanks to those who took a look… in retrospect, I probably should have included a trigger warning for those who are allergic to Scripture. But I haven’t heard of a run on Epipens, so maybe it’s all good. (Well, except for the evil Mr. Sessions is doing, of course.)

  7. David Bindoff

    The median readings of sea level for all the altimeter readings from NASA for the past 9 years are as follows;
    2009 50.01
    2010 53.05
    2011 52.55
    2012 63.86
    2013 65.2
    2014 69.19
    2015 80.34
    2016 82.34
    2017 83.13
    2018 (to date) 86.47

    The reported rate of annual total sea level rise at around 2009 was 3mm or so.

    If one accepts the trend of sea level rising one must be able to account for the trend in terms of the known components giving rise to sea level rise. These can be assembled as the sum of distinctly delineated contributions, usually formulated as follows;
    Thermal Expansion
    Net land water storage/decline
    Contribution from Greenland
    Contribution from Antarctica
    Contribution from land ice other than Greenland and Antarctica

    My previous reading from IPCC reports gleaned figures, assumed to be approximately constant over an extended period, of .76mm for net land storage and .38mm for other glaciers. Also from IPCC and others Thermal Expansion was approx. 1.1mm in 2009 and growing in a slow linear fashion. From Velicogna we have 2009 estimates of contributions from Greenland of .71mm and .61mm pa from Antarctica.

    Given these initial conditions in 2009, and the sequence of median sea level measurements , it would seem to be a numerically straightforward path to infer the trend of relevant contribution to sea level rise from Greenland and Antarctica for each of the years since. The result requires strong acceleration of the Greenland and Antarctica contributions ( say 17 and 19%)

    One example of resultant trend figures are;
    2010 3.56 53.57
    2011 3.81 57.38
    2012 4.10 61.48
    2013 4.45 65.93
    2014 4.86 70.79
    2015 5.36 76.15
    2016 5.94 82.09
    2017 6.62 88.71
    2018 7.42 96.13
    If you consider 88.71mm for 2017 is out of whack when compared to the median for 2017, note that the final measurements in 2017 were 88mm or so. As I read the situation, SLR is currently far more intense than commonly believed and the implications for massive sea level rise in the coming years is inescapable. I can see no other conclusion.