The hottest decade ends and since there’s no Maunder mininum — sorry deniers! — the hottest decade begins

2009 ends with a “sunspot surge” as solar cycle 24 revs up, though the sun is increasingly a bit player in the global warming trend

The figure is from, in its “Sunspot Surge” post.

The 2000s were  the hottest decade in recorded history by far — even though we’re at “the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century.”  The 2000s were a full 0.2°C warmer than the 1990s, which of course had been the hottest decade on record, 0.14°C warmer than 1980s (according to the dataset that best tracks planetary warming).  Hmm.  It’s almost like the warming is accelerating.

There’s little doubt the 2010s will be the hottest decade on record, barring multiple supervolcanoes.  Yet when the anti-science crowd isn’t perversely spending their time trying to stop all efforts to cut global warming pollution that might slow warming, they are perversely trying to convince the public and policymakers we’re not warming at all.  That’s why many of them have been rooting for this deep solar minimum to become a Maunder Minimum, to mute the warming signal and hence the motivation for action for a few more years.  Yes, they have a self-destructive streak.
In fact, even if total solar irradiance (TSI) never recovered, we wouldn’t have entered a period of cooling since, “the negative forcing, relative to the mean solar irradiance is equivalent to seven years of CO2 increase at current growth rates,” as NASA noted in January 2009.  Heck, even with a La Ni±a and an unusually inactive sun, 2008 was almost 0.1°C warmer than the hot decade of the 1990s as a whole.  And 2009 now seems likely to be the second hottest year on record after 2005.  Changes in the sun just ain’t the big dog anymore when it comes to driving climate change (see below).

When we last looked at the sun [please, don’t try that at home], NASA was reporting that the sunspot cycle was about to come out of its depression, if a newly discovered mechanism for predicting solar cycles “” a migrating jet stream deep inside the sun “” proved accurate (see National Solar Observatory, NASA say no “Maunder Minimum”).

It now appears TSI is well on its way to recovering, as NASA and others had predicted.  Leif Svalgaard recently put up this figure (click to enlarge): says of its sunspot figure at the top of the page:

The dark line is a linear least-squares fit to the data. If the trend continues exactly as shown (prediction: it won’t), sunspots will become a non-stop daily occurance no later than February 2011. Blank suns would cease and solar minimum would be over.

If the past two years have taught us anything, however, it is that the sun can be tricky and unpredictable. Stay tuned for surprises.

Even as Solar Cycle 24 picks up, it won’t affect global temperatures quickly.  Again, as  NASA explained in January:

Because of the large thermal inertia of the ocean, the surface temperature response to the 10-12 year solar cycle lags the irradiance variation by 1-2 years. Thus, relative to the mean, i.e, the hypothetical case in which the sun had a constant average irradiance, actual solar irradiance will continue to provide a negative anomaly for the next 2-3 years.

Also, Solar Cycle 24 has recently been predicted to be on the wimpy side.

A change in the forcing by the sun simply isn’t a big player in driving recent warming.  As a major 2009 study found (see Another long-debunked denier talking point is debunked again: Changes in the Sun are not causing global warming):

According to this analysis, solar forcing contributed negligible long-term warming in the past 25 years and 10% of the warming in the past 100 years.

And a major 2007 study concluded:

Here we show that over the past 20 years, all the trends in the Sun that could have had an influence on the Earth’s climate have been in the opposite direction to that required to explain the observed rise in global mean temperatures.

Related scientific studies on the subject can be found on the excellent debunking website, Skeptical Science.  Here’s but a few:

  • Erlykin 2009: “We deduce that the maximum recent increase in the mean surface temperature of the Earth which can be ascribed to solar activity is 14% of the observed global warming”
  • Benestad 2009: “Our analysis shows that the most likely contribution from solar forcing a global warming is 7 ± 1% for the 20th century and is negligible for warming since 1980.”
  • Lockwood 2008: “It is shown that the contribution of solar variability to the temperature trend since 1987 is small and downward; the best estimate is ˆ’1.3% and the 2σ confidence level sets the uncertainty range of ˆ’0.7 to ˆ’1.9%.”
  • Lockwood 2008: “The conclusions of our previous paper, that solar forcing has declined over the past 20 years while surface air temperatures have continued to rise, are shown to apply for the full range of potential time constants for the climate response to the variations in the solar forcings.”
  • Ammann 2007: “Although solar and volcanic effects appear to dominate most of the slow climate variations within the past thousand years, the impacts of greenhouse gases have dominated since the second half of the last century.”
  • Lockwood 2007: “The observed rapid rise in global mean temperatures seen after 1985 cannot be ascribed to solar variability, whichever of the mechanism is invoked and no matter how much the solar variation is amplified.”
  • Foukal 2006 concludes “The variations measured from spacecraft since 1978 are too small to have contributed appreciably to accelerated global warming over the past 30 years.”

By one recent estimate, human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for “80 to 120% of the warming” in recent decades (see “What percentage of global warming is due to human causes vs. natural causes?“)

Human-caused emissions are simply driving climate change to dangerous levels with forcings that dwarf previous natural forcings both in speed and scale (see “Humans boosting CO2 14,000 times faster than nature, overwhelming slow negative feedbacks“).

And that’s why the time to act is now, so every decade this century isn’t the hottest decade on record, with unimaginably catastrophic consequences for the health and well-being of our children and grandchildren and their children and grandchildren.


115 Responses to The hottest decade ends and since there’s no Maunder mininum — sorry deniers! — the hottest decade begins

  1. Steve L says:

    I was hoping for another Maunder minimum, not because of self-destructiveness, but because it might buy us some more time.

  2. mike roddy says:

    Maybe it’s time to go on offense. Here’s my contribution, though the illustrations are better than my text: Pants on Fire

    This magazine is popular on campuses. The young are more frustrated and angry than a lot of people realize.

  3. Leif says:

    William commented on another post and he has great graphs and pictures on his site. I would like to give a shout out.

  4. From Peru says:

    A new Maunder Minimum would be a great thing:


    What can they say to conter something like:
    “The Warmest decade(2010-2020) ocuured during a protracted Solar Minimum”?

    They will have trouble with all the nonsense they have said in those years!

    [JR: No scientific evidence can convince the anti-science crowd.]

  5. Steve Bloom says:

    Sorry, From Peru, and I suspect Leif will agree with my assessment, the people who have been pushing and believing in the “new Maunder Minimum” meme will have no trouble at all shifting to the next line of argument.

  6. T Lehman says:

    2009 is the 9th year of this decade. The 10th year of the decade is starting off very cold. Things are not the same after Climategate.

  7. Old Chemist says:

    “Hottest decade in recorded history so far” …!!!!
    Ha Ha Ha Ha — you are just too much —
    GIGO: (global temperatures based on ‘homogenized’ data aren’t worth s***t. Whatever happened to rigor in science.

  8. PeterW says:

    With your pathetic schoolyard taunting, perhaps Old Chemist, you should rename yourself Adolescent Chemist.

  9. caerbannog says:

    GIGO: (global temperatures based on ‘homogenized’ data aren’t worth s***t. Whatever happened to rigor in science.)

    Well, it turns out that “homogenization” doesn’t do much to the global temperature numbers. Average raw data all over the globe, and you get an answer very similar to what you get when you average the homogenized data. It is only on local scales that you will see significant differences between “raw” temperatures and “homogenized” temperatures.

    See for more.

  10. TomG says:

    T Lehman…
    When did the 2000’s decade start?
    Would you agree January 1, 2000?
    Would that not make the year 2000 the first year of the decade?
    Making 2001 the second year of the decade?
    Would you consider someone born June 1, 2000 to be born in the 1990’s decade?

  11. Kent says:

    “Hottest Decade in Recorded History” is hard to put into context without knowing what is meant by recorded history. You link to a graph going back to 1850. Recorded history goes back to maybe 4000 BC. So is this the hottest decade in the last 160 years? That is less concerning than if it were the hottest decade in the last 6000 years.

    I have the same quibble with “lowest level of summer arctic sea ice ever recorded”, which appears regularly. We only have 30 years of satellite data, so that trend line is always shown. I’ve always been a little puzzled about how you can make a huge deal out of 30 years of ice decline, when you regularly tell deniers that you need decades worth of data to establish a meaningful temperature trend.

    So continue to make the case. But be specific, and be consistent about what time frames are needed to establish a meaningful trend.

  12. Leland Palmer says:


    Even if the sun/climate connection was real and significant, what happens when solar activity returns to normal? Wouldn’t the masked warming due to CO2 forcing kick in with a vengeance?

    I was also hoping for a new Maunder Minimum, to gain us some time, even though I know better.

  13. K. Nockels says:

    Joe you asked the question once, I can’t remember if it was in 2008 or 2009, What did the readers of CP think it would take to convince everyone that Global Warming/Climate Change was happening now and get us all on the same page for solutions remember? Until we have a great big very bad event that is beyond doubt caused by climate change I can’t see hardcore deniers changing their tune. Like I say all the time just keep up the good work of getting out the facts, and try to help with the messaging. Thanks for all the information and heads-up on the ongoing denial sphere.

  14. Jay Alt says:

    Kent #11
    Yes and satellite pictures of the Arctic ice cap exist only since 1978! However this ignores the fact that since the 16th century sailors and merchants tried to sail over the top of North America. Oddly enough, not one succeeded – until a Canadian supply ship last November.

    Scientists are studying new sets of seabed cores to identify the plankton varieties in the Arctic. They’ll be able to tell when the cores contain open water vs. under ice types. Those studies have the potential to extend the record of the ice cap coverage far back in geologic time. And I’d be surprized if they don’t.

    In an Alps glacier, Otzi man was found in the late 1990s after having been buried for 5,200 years. His body was fully preserved, never rotting or suffering exposure or thaw. And there are many examples of vegetable matter recently exposed from receeding glaciers. Radiocarbon and cosmogenic techniques and the lack of decay show the age and history (ice covered) of these plants and stones.

  15. Lou Grinzo says:

    Someone linked above to Richard Alley’s AGU presentation. I highly recommend it. It’s a devastatingly effective treatment, and he’s also a very animated and interesting speaker.

    As for the question of what kind of event would it take to wake up the mainstreamers and/or shut up the deniers: Don’t bet the house on it, because there’s almost no chance it would happen. Any one, gigantic event–e.g. hurricane levels Houston or Miami or Washington DC–would be dismissed as a fluke and simply cause another round of arguments. Any long-term trend, like Australia being all but destroyed by drought, or the Himalayan glacier melting enough to create half a billion climate refugees, would take so long to unfold that it would be a clear signal that we were already screwed beyond belief and had lost the PR war.

    Never forget that the deniers are playing by a radically different set of rules. We’re trying to build something (an understanding among non-experts of the basics of climate change and the ramifications of our emissions), and they’re doing anything they can to destroy it. While we try to educate people about a lot of counter-intuitive details, they’re telling people to be selfish and myopic.

  16. GFW says:

    Jay Alt, I’ll say it before some denier does. The Canadians were successful twice back in the 40s – google “St. Roch”. However, on the West-East try it took 3 seasons. The subsequent East-West try only took one season, so deniers like to point to that. However, everything I learned about the St. Roch when I was a kid (I’ve walked around it in the Vancouver maritime museum) suggests they were moving pretty slowly and following thin “leads” in the ice – ice that would be considered pretty solid from space, had there been any satellites at the time. So just because the St. Roch went through the NW passage, doesn’t mean the passage was open the way it was in 2008. If memory serves, the St. Roch is just over 100 ft long, 20 or less across at the beam, and had a really shallow draft. This is a wooden ship we’re talking about, BTW.

    So while it’s certainly possible that the 40s had a little less ice than the 60s, you are correct to say that there is no reason to believe there has ever been less ice than now, in the recorded history of humans visiting the arctic region. I suspect that despite the “green”land propaganda, the records of where the vikings actually reached would agree with this overall picture.

  17. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    Our leaders need to speak directly to the people. Do an address to the nation. That is the only way to get past the denier press. Our leaders need to spell out each and every nasty little detail doing the cheap chemistry tricks, detailing the history, point out the horrors that are inevitable and the horrors that might be.

    When Barak spells out the cost of preparatory adaption, and the far greater cost of failing to adapt, mitigation costs do hot seem so bad. Go and say it, New Orleans will have to be abandoned.

    If our leadership does not show the people that plans are in place, the big distaster of 2012 could be that the rest of the people finally get what is ahead and over react. For example if we shut down the coal power generation without any alternative in place, that would be a little more damaging to the economy than a small carbon tax.

    Forget the paleoclimatological evidence for the last 800,000 years, what is already inevitable is well out of that box. We are are in trouble deep. Our leadership is fast asleep.

  18. gofer says:

    How many hundredths of a degree “hotter” was the “hottest”? Why is it that nobody ever states the actual temperatures? Maybe because they are insignificant? How HOT was it??

  19. TomG says:

    It’s in the first paragraph.

  20. Dano says:

    Not sure what happened above, but that was me at 21

    Starting over:

    What Lou and caerbannog said. If you still have low-wattage relatives who think that GLOBUL WARMINS A SCAY-UM, watch the lecture and go forth. Very well said.



  21. Leif says:

    How about a required reading list to get government subsidies or contracts. Lobbying privileges.. Bailouts… Big tax benefits. Hell, give me a few minutes and I can get a long list.

  22. David Harrington says:

    If you truly believe that we have just lived through the warmest decade then your powers of self-delusion know no bounds Joseph.

    Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

  23. Bob Wallace says:

    David Harrington – by your measurements what was the warmest decade since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and where might we find the data you used?

    Voices in your head do not count as legitimate datasets….

  24. Logic Deferred says:

    David Harrington: For the record, there is a reason why they call it GLOBAL warming rather than “your backyard” warming. It has to do with the fact that it has to do with the entire planet — you know, the “GLOBE” rather than just and only your back yard.

    The reason thinking people believe they’ve just lived through the warmest decade on record is because it is a fact that they have. This fact is not refuted by the seasonal reappearance of winter, or the fact that it snows or rains today. It is established by the careful, meticulous and methodologically sound procedures of logically valid and scientifically robust procedures of inquiry.

  25. Gail says:

    STOP talking about the temperature.

    Talk about the destructive effects of toxic fossil and biofuel emissions. They are LETHAL to humans, animals, and plants, those on land and those in the sea.

    This is already well documented and proven – if ignored. You don’t need any computer models to demonstrate that burning coal, oil, gasoline, and ethanol KILLS people and animals and fish and plants. Not in the future, or somewhere far away – HERE and NOW.

    We should scream at the Environmental Prostitution Agency and the Department of Environmental Prostitution and the liars and the USDA and the US Forestry Service and the Department of the Interior, and all the state and local greenwashing agencies who are not fulfilling their missions.

    Scientists should stop being cowering minions and get over their own denial – they should be telling people that we are destroying our planet at an unbelievably rapid rate and if we don’t all want to end up being cannibals, we should reconsider our entire political, social, and economic paradigms.

    Happy New Year!

  26. Lore says:

    David Harrington:

    You’re right, there are warmer ones to come.

  27. Biko Lang says:


    you need to write about this , BIKO


    No Rise of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Fraction in Past 160 Years, New PAID PR PRESS RELEASE SAYS

    ScienceDaily PR website puts out this PR lie today: (Dec. 31, 3009) — Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by female and male human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. Oh yeah? Says who? In fact, only about 45 percent of emitted carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere. Oh yeah? Says who?

    Adapted from materials provided by American Geophysical Union, via EurekAlert!, a PAID PR service of AAAS.

    Journal Reference:

    Knorr, W. Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing? Geophysical Research Letters, 2009; 36 (21): L21710 DOI: 10.1029/2009GL040613

    Need to cite this piece of PAID PR bullshit crap story in your blog essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:


    MLA American Geophysical Union (2009, December 31). No rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide fraction in past 160 years, new research finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 1, 2010, from­ /releases/2009/12/091230184221.htm

    Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

  28. riverat says:

    On the decade argument, technically the decade started in 2001 and ends next year. This is because there is no year zero. It went from the year -1 to the year 1. So the 1st decade starts in 1 and ends in 10, the 2nd decade starts in 11 etc. But it’s more natural for most people to think the decade is 2000 to 2009 and if all you’re doing is counting 10 year periods for comparison with each other it doesn’t matter where you start as long as the counting is consistent. I think we ought to just add an imaginary year zero between the years -1 and 1 and make is easy on everyone.

  29. Bob Wallace says:

    Well, the lack of a zero is true for the Gregorian calendar, and its predecessor, the Julian calendar.

    But astronomical year numbering does include a year zero. On the Gregorian calender the astronomical year zero is 1 BC. So, I think we can easily count 2010 as the start of the decade.

    Furthermore, common usage sets the start of a decade when the last digit changes from 9 to 0….

  30. Mike says:

    Tom G #10

    I’m not who you directed this to, but so what

    When did the 2000’s decade start? 01/01/2001
    Would you agree January 1, 2000? No, I would not
    Would that not make the year 2000 the first year of the decade? No
    Making 2001 the second year of the decade? No, the first
    Would you consider someone born June 1, 2000 to be born in the 1990’s decade? Yes I would

    I don’t know where you went to school, but I was taught to start counting with 1. I also realize that my viewpoint is overwhelmed by popular culture. Oh well, no biggy

  31. Chris Dudley says:

    Biko (#28),

    There is nothing controversial in the Science Daily report. One finds the fraction of emissions that remain in the atmosphere by measuring the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and comparing that to the amount of carbon dioxide that is emitted. About half of the original emissions remain and the rest are absorbed. There is some evidence that some large carbon sinks are starting to get saturated but apparently that is not yet clearly seen in the global measure, at least on the timescales examined there.

  32. artesian says:

    Climategate Forecast…
    “• What is the current scientific consensus on the conclusions reached by Drs. Mann, Bradley and Hughes? [Referring to the hockey stick propagated in UN IPCC 2001 by Michael Mann.]
    Ans: Based on the literature we have reviewed, there is no overarching consensus on MBH98/99. As analyzed in our social network, there is a tightly knit group of individuals who passionately believe in their thesis. However, our perception is that this group has a self-reinforcing feedback mechanism and, moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that they can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility.”
    AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORT ON THE ‘HOCKEY STICK’ GLOBAL CLIMATE RECONSTRUCTION, also known as The Wegman report was authored by Edward J. Wegman, George Mason University, David W. Scott, Rice University, and Yasmin H. Said, The Johns Hopkins University with the contributions of John T. Rigsby, III, Naval Surface Warfare Center, and Denise M. Reeves, MITRE Corporation.

  33. Jim Eager says:

    Biko, you might try reading the linked Sciencedaily article for comprehension instead of for confirmation of your preexisting belief.

    Oh, right, that would be expecting you to actually understand what was written.

  34. Jim Eager says:

    Those obsessing over when a decade starts and ends are engaging in pure distraction. Ignore them.

    The fact is the 10 year period 1/2000 through 12/2009 was warmer than the 10 year period 1/1990 through 12/1999, which was in turn warmer than the ten year period 1/1980 through 12/1989.

    It is also a fact that the most recent ten year average temperature was warmer than the highest temperature found in EVERY proxy record covering the last 2000 years. I.E. take out tree rings and the hockey stick remains unchanged.

    It is also a fact that current atmospheric CO2 is higher than it has ever been in at least the last 3 million years, and possibly the last 20 million.
    [Tripati et al, Science 4 December 2009]

    In other words, atmospheric CO2 is currently higher than it has been for all of the current glacial-interglacial era, AND higher than it has ever been during all of human evolution.

    Kind of shows how utterly stupid arguing about when a decade starts and ends is.

  35. David Harington says:


    “You’re right, there are warmer ones to come.”

    I’ll stock up on my sun block then.

  36. David Harington says:

    Logic Deferred

    How can surface temperature datasets from GISS, NOAA and Hadley be considered as GLOBAL when they are concentrated in the main in the continental USA? What do the satellites say? you know the ones that actually measure GLOBAL temperature anomalies?

    There will be no deal on global emissions now anyway after the debacle of Copenhagen so we will find out what Mother Nature has in store for us.

    [JR: Huh? That is so funny. You do know that “Satellites do not measure temperature as such,” as Wikipedia explains. And GISS/NOAA, Hadley are NOT concentrated in CONUS. And yes, the satellites show warming throughout the past decade, as NOAA reports every friggin’ month. Another decade, another bunch of people duped by the disinformers. Thanks for the all caps display of ignoreance, tho.]

  37. PurpleOzone says:

    #2 Mike Roddy’s link — Great skewering Mike! Thanks, lovely summaries.

  38. David Harington says:


    “As Wikipedia explains”, are you seriously quoting Wikipedia as a source?


    [JR: I actually quoted it to show how you could avoided a silly comment by spending 30 seconds on the net. And yes, Wikipedia, undergoes a tougher scrutiny by editors than most every other website. Since you keep spewing questions and misinformation that you could find in seconds, please go to the disinformer sites where that is the preferred mode of discourse.]

  39. Jim Eager says:

    Artesian, you might want to read up on how The Wegman report itself bastardised the science to mesh with it’s preconceived assumptions:

  40. David Harrington says:

    OK JR

    I am well aware of what satellites measure.

    First you say that satellites don’t measure temperature but then go on to say they recorded a warming anyway. Make your mind up.

    The continental USA forms about 3% of the Earth’s land mass. Are you seriously telling me that measurements from the quoted datasets only have 3% of their readings from the CONUS?

    In no way can the quoted datasets be considered GLOBAL.

  41. Logic Deferred says:

    Wikipedia is evidently as accurate as Britannica:

  42. Brewster says:

    Biko (#28)

    Knorr’s research paper was well done, and will take a bit of work to reconcile with other work. It cannot be ignored.

    But even if it turns out to be 100% correct, he is not claiming there’s no CO2 buildup, only the RATE may be slower than feared. It simply means that CO2 will build in the atmosphere a little more slowly than has been thought so far. And some of the worst effects of Warming may take a little longer.

    Knorr is no Denier, and has made no claims it disproves the science in any way.

    Deniers have tried to twist his words, as they do everything else.

  43. Daniel J. Andrews says:

    You just know that in the coming decade half of the deniers are going to claim things are so warm because solar activity picked up (It’s the sun!). The other half will simply continue with their global warming stopped in [1998, 2005, pick a year] meme. And about half of those in each of the two groups will alternate between “it’s still cooling” and “it’s now warming but it’s the sun”, depending on their audience and what argument they think they’re trying to win.

  44. Mike says:

    35. Jim Eager says:
    January 1, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Those obsessing over when a decade starts and ends are engaging in pure distraction. Ignore them.

    The fact is the 10 year period 1/2000 through 12/2009 was warmer than the 10 year period 1/1990 through 12/1999, which was in turn warmer than the ten year period 1/1980 through 12/1989.

    I agree 100%

  45. unreal2r says:

    This thread is a perfect example of why huge segments of the population are confused, indifferent, or unconvinced of the reality of climate extinction. You guys are arguing about calendars and satellites and the finer points of statistical anomalies. Nobody really gives a red rat’s ass about that stuff – all you are doing is shooting yourself, and the rest of us, in the proverbial foot. Gail is right. Stop talking about temperature. It’s not a cause – it’s an effect. Talk about the other, easily-observable-by-the-average-joe, effects. Dying trees. Reef collapse. Ocean and soil acidification. Desertification. And disease. Talk about disease. Connect the dots between toxic fossil fuel aerosols and cancer, or Alzheimers, or Autism. The temperature argument isn’t going to persuade enough people fast enough. And, besides, you are doing a horrible job of even making that case.

  46. Wit's End says:

    Hi Jim Eager #35,

    I am continually astonished that there is so little understanding about the tree ring anomaly, which was removed from the proxy record. I’m going to post to an email exchange between scientists at the end of this comment, that is one of many links at that website about WHY the tree rings weren’t increasing in width in response to warming – which has to do with a slowing of growth over many decades, thanks to toxic greenhouse gas emissions. Recently, it has gone beyond slow growth, past negative growth (literally shrinking) to just plain dead in an increasing number of specimens.

    You would think with all the ludicrous broohaha over the “climategate” controversy, some experts would take note that scientists have been publishing studies about the destructive effects of acid rain and ozone on forests for years.

    However from what I can glean from research and correspondence, the scientific investigation of such effects has been deliberately hobbled and stifled – intimidated, even – by interests such as the government and logging companies, not to mention fuel industries.

    If you trouble to read the report, click on the link at the end for a classic example of how paid shills have effectively quashed discussion of the role of poisonous emissions and attempted instead to blame forest decline (and that is a little problem coming soon to agriculture near you!) a variety of insects, fungi, and diseases – all of which require – ta da! – copious applications of petroleum based fertilizers and pesticides!!

  47. Mike#22 says:


    Earth’s surface area: 510,072,000 km2
    Land: 148,940,000 km2
    Water: 361,132,000 km2
    48 contiguous states and D.C.: 8,080,464 km2

  48. TomG says:

    Mike and Jim…
    You’re right.
    I should not have been baited.
    It really doesn’t matter when a decade starts, it’s the comparison to past decades to each other that’s important.
    Without doubt the temperature trend is up.
    My apologies for being sidetracked.

  49. Leif says:

    Mike, #22: I have been trying to put the heat imbalance of the earth into a readily understandable concept. . The thought occurred to me to melt something big. I picked Aircraft carriers. 100,002,000 short tons. My first attempt was quick and dirty and I need t check my work. Right away I think I see a mistake. Lets see?
    I agree that the surface area of the earth is 510.072,000 km2. However below on my source it said ~120 trillion m2. If a km is 1000 m2/ side than a a km2 is 1,000 x 1,000 = 1 x 10/6 and earths surface is
    5.1 x 10/8 . 1x 10/6 or 5.1 x 10/14 or 510,000,000,000,000 or 510 trillion m2

    Can I have confirmation on that from someone. Using the 120 trillion number I came out with 4,000 aircraft carriers per day melted. If the new number holds, we will be off by ~4 so now it would be 16,000 / day.
    So lets pin this number down and then move on.

  50. Jim Eager says:

    Wit’s End, yes, there hasn’t been much serious discussion in the climate change blogs of the CAUSE of the observed tree ring anomaly. Acid rain was almost certainly part of it (through soil nutrient leaching and root damage) but aerosol dimming likely played a role as well, as did insect, fungal and other pathogen response to rapid warming, but I’m not at all well informed on the current science.

  51. Pete Ridley says:

    unreal2r, QUOTE: the population are confused, indifferent, or unconvinced of the reality of climate extinction UNQUOTE and about the global climate change issue because of the political propaganda being thrown at them rather than the facts. The politicians within the UN are using climate change, which is a perfectly natural process, by blaming it on our use of fossil fuels in order to achieve three major objectives:
    – redistribution of wealth from developed to underdeveloped economies,
    – establishment of a framework for global government,
    – enhancement of the status, power and finances of the privileged few.
    Thousands of scientists are sceptical of the claimed “consensus” but find it more difficult to get their message across to the general public because of political influence and media interest in market share (a scare or horror story sells far better than anything else). “Climategate” has exposed much of what has been going on behind the scenes and hopefully the investigations going on in the UK and the USA will be open and honest (which they won’t be if politicians are in charge).
    That miserable failure, the Copenhagen COP15 fiasco, was the latest in numerous efforts by the UN since its inception to force its agenda.

    Your QUOTE: You guys are arguing about calendars and satellites and the finer points of statistical anomalies. UNQUOTE is absolutely wrong. What is being debated is the politicisation of science which has thrown doubt upon the integrity of all scientists who support The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis. It is not the “finer points” but the validity of the statistical methods used in attempting to prove The Hypothesis that has been found suspect, thanks to “Climategate”.
    QUOTE: .. temperature. It’s not a cause – it’s an effect. UNQUOTE is meaningless nonsense without explaining what it is an effect of.
    If you want to QUOTE: Talk about the other, easily-observable-by-the-average-joe, effects. Dying trees. Reef collapse. Ocean and soil acidification. Desertification. And disease. Talk about disease UNQUOTE then go ahead, but what does all of that have to do with our use of fossil fuels?. The onus is on you to provide the evidence (if any) than can QUOTE: Connect the dots between toxic fossil fuel aerosols and cancer, or Alzheimers, or Autism. UNQUOTE. Go ahead and provide substantiation of your position with evidence – if you can).

    Wit’s End, I fully support wehat you say. Have you used the site that I linked to?> It has an excellent search facility if you wish to check up on any particular individual’s involvement.

    TomG, no, the trend is not UP as you claim. The trend over the past 150 years appears to have been upwards but over the past 10 has remained pretty well static (if we can depend upon those statistically manipulated temperature measurements). Indications are that the future trend could well be down, but we just do not know, because there are too many scientific uncertainties surrounding global climate processes and drivers.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley, Human-made global climate change agos(cep)tic

  52. unreal2r says:

    Pete Ridley:

    QUOTE You are more full of crappe than a Christmas goose UNQUOTE.

    Do your own research. There is a vast amount of peer reviewed information out there that, by way of just one example, links soil acidification caused by fossil fuel emissions to forest decline. If you look a little harder, you will also find studies correlating increases in cancer rates with increases in the use of ostensibly eco-friendly fuel additives like ethanol. Et cetera.

  53. Leif says:

    Another typo correction in above aircraft carrier melt down.. I above stated that the displacement at 100,002,000t. That is late night senior moment. The real number and the one I used in my original calculations, for a Nimitz class aircraft carrier is 102,000t. We will get there in a while.

  54. Leif says:

    Well I just ran the numbers a couple of times and it looks like ~5.1 x 10/ 14th is a workable number for the area of the earth. Corrections are still welcome folks.
    Moving right along…
    What is the current energy imbalance? gives us a number of the current mean energy imbalance of ~0.75 w/m2

    So: 5.1 x 10/14 x 0.75w/m2 =
    3.825 x 10/14 watts

  55. Leif says:

    Now for my next “trick”! ( I just had to do that for any A-S folks that might be looking.)
    We have from above: 3.825 x 10/14 watts. How many kWh for a day. Pay attention here folks as I do not understand all I know some time and senior moments can strike randomly. Big numbers and lots of zeros.

    3.825 x 10/14 (times) 24 hr/day (divided by) 1000 kw/hr = 91.8 x 10/11th kWh

  56. TomG says:

    Okay, just for Pete.
    The decadal temperature trend is up.
    Read the first paragraph!

  57. Wit's End says:

    Jim Eager, and anyone interested in the tree ring controversy, I recommend this Science Daily article about reduced forest growth from greenhouse gas pollution:

    published March, 2005

    “This study, conducted near St. Petersburg, Russia, showed that, in about 50 years, acid rain had severely degraded a previously fertile soil to the point at which spruce trees could no longer maintain healthy growth rates. Poor growth rates such as these generally precede high mortality rates in the near future. The declining tree health has occurred despite a warmer and wetter climate in this region that would be expected to improve growth.
    These results have direct relevance to the United States, where large areas of eastern forests, such as the Adirondack and Catskill regions of New York, have soils that are likely to be more sensitive to acid rain than those studied in Russia.”

  58. Leif says:

    #58 Try saying something with substance for a change… See how that works!

  59. Leif says:

    OK: back to google: How much energy to melt a ton of steel?
    We learn that it takes about 400 kWh to melt a ton of steel and ~440 kWh /metric ton. We also learn that ~300 kWh is the minimum amount of energy per ton of scrap steel.
    Finally the fun part…

    To melt 102,000 tons of steel, (one aircraft carrier, Nimitz Class) we multiply by 400 kWh and get
    = 4.08 x 10/7th kWh / carrier

    Almost there folks! Now divide:
    3.825 x 10/14 kWh/day / 4.08 x 10/7 kWh to melt
    = 9.375 x 10/6 aircraft carriers / day.

    Good grief. Somebody please see where I went adrift this time. My first attempt came out at ~4,000 per day which astounded me but I felt within the realm of possibility. This time thru I come up with
    9.375 million a day! Obviously some peer review is warranted. Perhaps we need something bigger than Aircraft Carriers… Perhaps H-bombs!

  60. Leif says:

    Come on guys, help me here. We might even come up with a tweet fact, If we can agree.
    How many H-bombs are going off each day with out the burden of radioactive waste to confuse the issue.
    That might even get on FOX!

  61. Jim Eager says:

    Thanks for the link, Wit’s End.

  62. Leif says:

    # 58, Wit’ End: Not you in my # 59 comment. Looks like Joe deleted the original #58 A-SS Hole that I was referencing.
    Best wishes and keep up the good fight. Leif

  63. Wit's End says:

    You’re welcome Jim, here’s another I just read that demonstrates the global nature of this problem and describes the process quite succinctly:

    Leif, I’d been thinking numbered comments were a good idea but now I’m not so sure! Maybe Joe should let the numbering stand and just *snip* the offensive part (although I hadn’t noticed until you brought it up).

    What I would love here (JR?) is the option to be notified by email of new comments on a thread, it would eliminate so much scrolling.

    I wish I could help you with your calculations but I can’t even balance my checkbook. Maybe you should use more visceral units as I’m not even sure how bit a battleship is. How about Rush Limbaugh? Or Anthony Watts? How many of one of THEM do we send into the atmosphere every day, I wonder??

  64. DT says:

    Has a decade changed to 11 years now or are you just trying to match up decades with Sun spot cycles? Must be the heat.

    From Peru says:
    December 31, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    A new Maunder Minimum would be a great thing:

    What can they say to conter something like:
    “The Warmest decade(2010-2020) ocuured during a protracted Solar Minimum”?

    They will have trouble with all the nonsense they have said in those years!

    [JR: No scientific evidence can convince the anti-science crowd.]”

  65. Leif says:

    Keep the “numbers” just don’t get too sensitive if “comments” get jumbled. Ask for clarification if need be.

  66. Leif says:

    Here is today’s progress report in my continued quest to get my mind around the energy imbalance currently caused by excess greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Richard Brenne and partner have agreed to check my math and facts. Some people have questioned my choice of melting aircraft carriers. Fair enough. When we get a confirmed kWh number per day, (currently ~ 91.8 x 10/11th kWh/day) we can divide any load into it we like. I expect a response before too long. The math is not hard. Just when they get around to it. Anyone can join in as well. Peer review is just that. This morning I tried Nuclear power plant output. I used a 1,000 MW plant which appears to be a bit stronger than average and came up with all the energy produced by 9,180 plants, each and every day! Since we have only managed to heat the earth 0.5C degrees with this “heater” you can plainly see that we are talking a LOT of energy. However, currently it is not the heat pre say that is the main problem but the excesses ENERGY that is in the system. Energy is what drives the weather! Melts the ice. Dries the ground. (Think clothes dryer). Evaporates the seas, lakes and rivers and puts that moisture in the air to fall someplace… floods in the summer and guess what, snow in the winter. What goes up must come down. Does any of that make sense Anti-Science folks? Again take all this with a grain of salt as this data has not been peer reviewed and is currently just the product of one over the hill retired boat builder in the North West. However the error bars on the math, thou large at the moment are squeezing together. Stay tuned…

  67. Leif says:

    New correction… I think.. Clearly I am out of my league here especially early in the morning. I neglected to multiply the 1,000 MW by 24 hours a day before dividing into that big number. So now the heat imbalance is equivalent to all the energy produced by 382.5 Nuclear power plants. See what happens with a rush to publish before peer review “Supperfreaks.” Still this is close to the output of all the Nuclear power plants in the world! (~400)

  68. Mike#22 says:

    Leif asked: “How many H-bombs are going off each day”

    …”radiative forcing from increased greenhouse gases (IPCC, 2007) is estimated to be about 1.3% (1.6 PW), and the total net anthropogenic radiative forcing once aerosol cooling is factored in is estimated to be about 0.7%”

    Call it 1 PW (petawatt) for this calculation—one PJ (petajoule) every second. The largest H-bomb ever detonated had a yield of 210 PJ.

    So a net energy imbalance of 1 PW is equivalent to the biggest H-bomb ever detonated going off every 210 seconds. Using the current US W87 warhead with a yield of 1.3 PJ, one every 1.3 seconds. 66,000 W87s every day.

    To vaporize a JFK class aircraft carrier weighing 73,000,000 kg would require 0.56 PJ (vaporize 1 kg iron requires 7.63 MJ)(melt 1 kg iron requires 1.28 MJ). So a net energy imbalance of 1 PW is enough to vaporize two JFK class aircraft carriers every second, or melt eleven every second, if you prefer. Oops, ran out of aircraft carriers.

  69. Leif says:

    Way to go Mike #22. Looks like the error bars are tightening. That is about mid way between my attempts. Any one else want to weigh in. The fun is just starting. Mike, want to make a stab at worlds Nuclear power facilities? (~ 400 … ~1,000MW)

    Also it is important to remember that is 50 k short of a million carriers a day, yesterday and tomorrow…. and getting worse.

  70. Leif says:

    To be filed under, “What goes up must come down” heading:
    So if the excess energy accumulated EACH day is enough to melt 1,000,000 aircraft carriers, (+/-) a day, how many Olympic swimming pools worth of water can we evaporate?. Note to A_S folks. This is extra water that would not be there were the air not warmer to hold it and energy not available to evaporate it! I will try the math sometime but not at 4 am. Suffice it to say for this discussion, a BIG BUNCH. In the billions??? So eventually that vapor cloud bumps against a cold front, mountain range or just cools and guess what, RAIN or if it happens to be winter, SNOW! AND LOTS MORE OF IT THAN YOU MIGHT BE ACCUSTOMED TO. Also known as floods or record snow falls.

  71. Martin says:

    Hmm well now. The last two years were certainly colder, and the artic ice has recovered. Lets hope the sun spots recover could do with a little warmth. I wonder if lake ontaria will freeze over this year. I believe it is the deepest and least likely to freeze over. Last time it froze over was 1913 I’m pretty sure. All the other lakes froze over last year will have to wait and see.

    [JR: Uhh, the Arctic ice hasn’t recovered. Try reading this blog before commenting!]

  72. Carddan says:

    My observation is that the prevailing opinion expressed on this website is that global warming is being caused by human activity. If this is an accurate assessment, I have two questions. To what extent do you believe you could be mistaken, and, what if anything would cause you to change your opinion?

    [JR: The first question is ill-posed, since you haven’t defined it enough to answer. In any case, I focus on the scientific understanding not “opinion.” Were the scientific understanding to change, my “opinion” would change. In the specific case of human-caused global warming, that outcome is doubly unlikely because the preponderance of evidence — which is vast — links recent warming (which is unequivocal) to human activity and to falsify it you’d have to not only come up with an alternative explanation that would explain the unequivocal warming, but you’d also have to come up with a viable explanation for why human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases hadn’t caused the warming. Since you seem to hold an anti-scientific opinion, I will not bother asking you what would cause you to change it.]

  73. M. Simon says:

    What I am wondering is how we can convince the Chinese they are wrecking the planet just to stave of a revolution.

    And why isn’t India listening to Pachauri? It is not just American denialists that we need to be concerned about.

    Can we get the UN to declare war on China and India?

  74. Carddan says:

    JR, thank you for your prompt response. In reference to your conviction of beliefs, I believe you are expressing that your opinions are rooted in science and that you have faith that the science is accurate. You are satisfied that science has proven recent warming is caused by human activity until “unproven”.

    I do take strong exception to your belief that I have an unscientific opinion. I posed the identical question to another blog with the word “not” inserted before the word “caused”. I will say that I have much less confidence in the science than you do. Statistics and data can be manipulated to indicate many things and they frequently are by both sides in this discussion. I’m still searching, studying and exploring for the truth. I do not believe that mankind has come close to understanding the underlying physics of the universe or the ability to predict a mechanism as complex as global climate. To believe that the answers are already known is “unscientific” in my mind.

    And yes, I will respond in a similar manner to that other website given the opportunity.

    [JR: You sentence — To believe that the answers are already known is “unscientific” in my mind — is the classic loaded sentence of the anti-science crowd. They key element of what is “known” with high certainty is that if we take no action to restrict greenhouse gas emissions we will destroy a livable climate. The uncertainty really only arises as to whether the impacts will be imaginably catastrophic or unimaginably catastrophic.]

  75. Leif says:

    Thanks for taking my back, Joe. Key words-“if scientific understanding were to change…”, Then mine would to. With the understanding that should I become aware of a “SINGLE FACT” and could replicate it… established dogmas would tumble. And the best part, usually it happens bloodlessly.
    That alone puts it head above other dogmas that I could name.

  76. Dave says:

    “The hottest decade ends and since there’s no Maunder mininum — sorry deniers! — the hottest decade begins”

    Hi. I’m a Denier. And because I’m in such denial, I’m willing to bet you $10 000 (seriously, I promise this is no joke) that the next decade will NOT be the hottest on record, and will certainly be cooler than the last one.

    Care to put your money where your mouth is? If so, send me an email and we can talk business.

    Oh by the way, you are not the first person I have offered this bet to. But maybe you’ll be the first to have the courage of his convictions. Feel free to club together with others of your belief if you wish and pool the money (if you don’t quite have enough courage on your own!). I will still happily take all of the bet.

    [JR: I’ve been pretty clear that I follow the Nate Silver rule of talking bets with folks who have a presence on the blogosphere. I have bets on this already, and I can’t imagine you’d pay up, since the bet is a rock solid loser.]

  77. Gary P says:

    “The sun simply isn’t a big player in driving recent warming.”

    You may wish to rewrite this to something like, “There have been no measured variations in the sun that would explain the recent warming change in the Earth’s temperature”

    The sentence as is stands invites ridicule.

    The upper atmosphere has contracted and cooled as there have been large decreases in the x-ray and extreme UV radiation from the sun. Does anybody have a model of how this effects radiation transport from the lower atmosphere?

    [JR: Sentences whose meaning is clear from the context do not “invite ridicule.” But I have changed it nonetheless.]

  78. AdderW says:

    If the sun (theoretically) would suddenly be “turned off” what climate would the earth have? Just wondering, since the opinion seems to be that the sun couldn’t possibly be involved in changing the climate.

    [JR: Is that your opinion? It’s certainly not that of anyone here. But a dozen major studies in the last half dozen years make clear that the sun has not been a significant contributor to the unequivocal warming in the climate system in recent decades.]

  79. AdderW says:

    Does anyone have a climate model that actually proves something?

    [JR: Uhh, yes, pretty much every major climate science group. Next question.]

  80. Leif says:

    Gary P: I am sure someone has done same. It may even have measurable effects but if the sun activity comes back, (likely), it will represent a blip in the readings. If sun activity does not return we receive a fortuitous “breathing space.”

  81. Logic Deferred says:

    79. AdderW says:

    Just wondering, since the opinion seems to be that the sun couldn’t possibly be involved in changing the climage.

    I am struggling to imagine what you might have said above that could have more grotesquely and willfully misrepresented what people have ACTUALLY said on so many occasions, and with such meticulously clarity, that the possibility of simple error is entirely null. However, nothing is coming to mind.

    Nothing more exotic than basic reading skills is required to see that what has been (as previously noted) repeatedly and clearly stated, is that the sun’s influence is something that has been subjected to careful measurements for a significant number of decades now, and the influences that it does exert have been rigorously noted and monitored. Because of this careful, logically sound and empirically robutst work, we are in a position to say — with a very high degree of confidence — that the sun is not responsible for the contemporary warming trends. Note that, in point of absolutely irrefutible FACT, no one has ever denied that the sun is a primary influence in Earth’s climate. What is being observed is that the sun is not the primary agent in the currently measured changes.

  82. Leif says:

    AdderW, #80: Not what we are saying at all. What we are saying is that the preponderance of scientific evidence shows that the observed and noted fluctuations of the sun DO NOT account for observed and noted fluctuations in earth’s climatic systems… To the best available science, the world over! What part of that do you not understand?

  83. espiritwater says:

    Rabid Doomsdayer, I agree with you so completely! Just saw pictures of what’s happening in the arctic and it is so heartbreaking! We are getting closer and closer to a cliff and the driver is asleep at the wheel! Now I know why Jim Hansen said, “we can’t lose the arctic!” This is OUR planet too, darn it, not the fossil fuel industry’s! Wish we could all get together and figure out a way to simply STOP using their poisons!

  84. Leif says:

    The way to stop using Fossil fuels is to charge to pollute. That cost should reflect the cost of mitigation to society. All else is subservient.

  85. Bill Hunter says:

    “The uncertainty really only arises as to whether the impacts will be imaginably catastrophic or unimaginably catastrophic.”

    I might even be able to believe the physics but now that you have traveled beyond the physical sciences into stock market prognostication; I am afraid to tell you thats not a science. If you think it is you ought to take your skill there to prove it.

    Change is not always bad, its just always psychologically bad for those who are heavily invested. But the truth is for everybody losing money there is somebody else making it. Thats the way nature operates. Into every vacuum comes somebody or something opportunistic. It might be the guy living across the street from you.

    [JR: Funny how I cite scientific literature to back up my assertions on my blog and folks like you just assert that your opinions are science.]

  86. Leif says:

    Just thinking here… What is the total kW energy consumption for the year for the United states? Like wise, what is the total, paid in full, cost of all US social services. Including War effort. Divide A into B and just what is that cost? $0.50/ kW. That would make my monthly electric bill about $110.00 but no taxes or insurance! And incentive to use a lot less energy!

  87. Ed Murphy says:

    So Dr. Leif Svalgaard, can you guys calculate how many unmelted aircraft carriers it takes to produce the volume of ice it takes to bust up or lay over all the timber in a 175 mile wide swath from McAlester, Oklahoma up to Fayetteville, Arkansas and across to Charleston, West Virginia? Like what happened in January, 2009.

  88. espiritwater says:

    A really depressing video– called, “6 Degrees”, put out by NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: 65 million yrs. ago, during the Crutaceous era– age of dinosaurs, extreme volcanic eruptions, spewing tons of carbon into the atmosphere. eventually, nature scrubbed the air clean, buried all this carbon in the ground, buried deep, absorbed as fossils, etc.

    The irony of this whole situation is that now humans are digging it all up and putting it back into the atmosphere, creating the conditions that make possible the environment dinosaurs lived it… Screwing our ownselves out of what nature had made possible for us… a livable climate for humans!

  89. Leif says:

    Bill Hunter: “But the truth is for everybody losing money there is somebody else making it. That’s the way nature operates.”… NOT. That is the way that the stock market works and they like it just like that because they have the deck stacked. Think not? Who has the most money? It is time for humanity to force capitalism to function for the good of humanity! “Revolution is societies method of dealing with compound interest.”

    You really think that they will let ME within ear shot of Wall Street? Fat chance!

  90. espiritwater says:

    Leif, you hit the nail on the head! India wanted her freedom. Blacks demanded equal rights. We need to demand taxation against fossil fuels! That’s the only way everyone will stop with the fossil fuels. But isn’t it too late? The arctic sea ice is almost gone!!!

  91. Leif says:

    Ed Murphy: For what purpose? You do not make ice with heat you make it with energy. Ever hear of a refrigerator. Your monthly bill reflects energy to make cold. We melted Aircraft carriers because that was a way to visualize energy. If you have a need we could use that energy to make ice but the comparison would be confusing. It appears that you are confused enough as is.

  92. Leif says:

    espiritwater: Is it too late? You are still kicking are you not? You got kids? You got kin-folk? You tell me!

  93. Leif says:

    Ed Murphy: If you restate your question thus:
    “The energy required” to produce the volume of ice it takes to bust up or lay over all the timber in a 175 mile wide swath from McAlester, Oklahoma up to Fayetteville, Arkansas and across to Charleston, West Virginia? Then the question is easy. The current energy imbalance of the earth is equivalent to ~35.000 Nukes a day popping off. The United State’s share is about 7,000 each and every day. If I gave you a thousand of them for a day do you think you could pattern them tight enough to give you satisfactory results?

  94. espiritwater says:


    Blacks demanded equal rights. India wanted her freedom. We must demand, “Save the arctic! Taxation against fossil fuels!”

  95. MrCannuckistan says:

    Ummm… correct me if I’m wrong but our calendar is based on the birth of a person (Jesus Christ). As we don’t become 1 year old until after we have lived that year, technically a person’s first year of life is year zero. If your birthday was 01/01/2000 you will have lived one day less a decade on 31/12/2009, the next day being your tenth birthday and the start of the second decade of your life.

    I watched the Richard B. Alley video and it makes a very compelling case for CO2. The logic still breaks down when lagging CO2 is seen as both a cause and a feedback. To use the similar credit card interest analogy, if CO2 is the equivalent to interest charges the overspending is the cause and there can be no interest charges without it. Without a means of ‘paying down’ the principal, the CO2 caused by the initial force will compound ad infinitum.

    I am unaware of this every happening in the past but perhaps I am just not well enough read. It also doesn’t seem consistent with the balance and stability that has allowed our planet to provide millions of years of incubation to such a divers range of plant and animal species.

    I’m far from a denier but my scepticism says that just because we can’t find anything else to explain the warming doesn’t mean what’s left over has to be the cause. Maybe we just haven’t found it yet. Post hoc ergo propter hoc requires proof, otherwise it’s just another logically fallacy.


  96. Leif says:

    MrCannuckistan: I do not see where you are trying to go with your statements. Like wise I do not see how your credit card analogy works either. The best I can do is take a wild perry and see If I draw blood so to speak. Nothing Personal.

    The earths CO2, bank?, balance has been stable for many millions of years, additions equalling withdrawals. We have been living on the interest. Then we learned to tap into the carbon that was sequestered many millions even hundreds of millions of years ago. (Oil, coal, etc) Burning that carbon produces excess CO2 at a rate that exceeds earth’s capacity to assimilate in harmlessly back into the account. Build up accrues. ~280 ppm long term average to ~ 385 ppm today and climbing. This “extra blanket” causes heat build up. Think two blankets is comfortable but a third is too hot after a while. That imbalance is equivalent to about 35,000 Nukes a day popping off without all that radio active stuff to confuse the issue. That represents the 0.5C increase observed today in the earth temperature. For background read:

  97. Leif says:

    mkurbo: With the international scientific community signed off on the subject and decent coming from vested interests of the status quo I am in fact accepting the hypothesis. Show me a peer review with one fact and you have my attention.
    You might read that last sentence of yours again yourself.

  98. Barry Foster says:

    mkurbo. Indeed, decades DO start with ‘1’. It’s a fact most of the world has forgotten. Billions of people started the new millennium a year too early. But as with the science of climate, why let facts get in the way? For those who haven’t yet worked it out, we use the Gregorian calendar. It DID NOT start with a zero, it started with ‘1’. Hence, counting back from when it was revised in 1582 the first day would have been 01/01/01 NOT 01/01/00. To understand it look at your fingers and start counting. You don’t start with zero, do you, or you would only count to 9! (Apologies to those with a digit missing)

    As for the issue at hand, although firm warming sceptic that I am, I don’t put too much store in the activity of the Sun and its effects on climate. First of all, I don’t see much warming anyway, and the idea that we have a large effect on it totally preposterous. Any warming is natural variance due to global ocean circulations that we don’t understand. It explains why what little warming there is, is primarily in the northern hemisphere. CO2-induced warming doesn’t explain hemispheric difference to my knowledge, but I’m all ears if someone does have an explanation. Have fun.

  99. MrCannuckistan says:

    Forgive me Leif, it was Richard Alley from the AGU video that used the original credit card/interest analogy. (see comment #12 – ~34:50 into the video)

    Why don’t you have a look and, after re-reading my original comment, I hope it will make a little more sense. If not, please feel free to ask me a more direct question.

    *MrC checks his shirt for blood* Whew!! None, thank Gawd!! *wink*


  100. A real environmentalist says:

    What happened? How did it happen? Why have all the well educated Environmentalists been so easily diverted? Can we please stop playing into the hands of global governance and trade rackets propagated by Money Power and get back to saving the earth. For instance the daily poisoning of the land and water with heavy metals, chemical pesticides, and fertilizers. The environmental momentum has been diverted from accomplishing real change and has been set up for fools.

    WAKE UP!!!!!!

  101. Tom in Florida says:

    espiritwater says: January 7, 2010 at 9:25 pm
    “But isn’t it too late? The arctic sea ice is almost gone!!!”

    What flavor of kool aid is your favorite?

  102. Leif says:

    Barry Foster, above: You state that you are a sceptic because “you” do not see much warming.
    I feel that fundamentally you are looking at the wrong part of the equation. Try this please. The earth has warmed an average grand total of about 0.5C degrees! Look at the data. Think a moment. That means that on average your “today” temperature has risen from -20F to -19F in Minnesota someplace, or at my house +38F to+39F. Clearly nothing to catch your attention. On the other hand, an effort by some of us CP contributors to get a better understand of the “energy “required to achieve that warming, (0.5C world wide) produced numbers that blew me away. (Our attempt above, #50+++) Clearly these are not numbers to take to the bank but are “ball park”. Daily energy imbalance = ~35,000 W87 standard Nuclear bombs exploding the world over! US share = ~7,000 Nukes/day! Cumulative for the last 50 years = ~300,000,000+++ ( yes, that is over 300 million nukes popping off without the mess of radio active waste confusing the issue of course. )! Given that much “energy” to play with, Most of which is stored in the OCEAN, (think battery) it is clear that weather destabilization could be in the works. This is getting long and I apologize but one more point if I may. If a small portion of that “energy” were to evaporate Olympic size swimming pools? How many? My guess would be multi-billions! That excess water vapor is now in the air looking to condense as rain here in the NW, SNOW in Minnesota, or floods in Texas. That energy is also available to maybe tweak a “jet stream” to carry an Arctic out flow a bit further south or more vigorously than usual.

    Happy Global Climatic Disruption ALL!

  103. Paul says:

    Since you contend that Carbon Dioxide is the driver and the sun has no effect, what possible difference could it make whether there is a grand minimum starting or not?

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the tiny variations in the sun’s output have a large climate effect but it appears from your headline that you do.

    Just to be a smart alek I want to point out that I am strongly in favor of global warming at the moment. There is a lot more land North of me than South of me in the Northern Hemisphere and I am freezing my ____ off. The current warming which is causing millions of people to flee Florida and Texas and Southern California and all jam into Northern Minnesota and the UP of Michigan is, I am sure, causing huge problems. Some of those areas have more than half the population they had 50 years ago!

  104. Leif says:

    One more point to the above post if I may.

    The evidence points out that the lions share of the “energy” imbalance has manifested it’s self at the Poles. That means that the majority of those ~35,000 popping Nukes are up there. A large portion of those 10/second melting aircraft carriers are dropped in the Polar Sea! Any wonder why we are loosing Polar ice? Get real.

    Sweet dreams,

  105. Leif says:

    Paul, #104: I am quite sure that I have never said that “..the sun has no effect.” It is the stored solar energy in the coal and oil that we use today that powers the world. In fact every year man uses about one million years worth of stored energy from the past!
    The more important fact that you continue to over look is the relative minimal amount of energy needed to produce MASSIVE weather anomalies as proven in the past. Big Volcanos, etc. Then put that awareness against the fact that the current energy imbalance is in the neighborhood of ~35,000 +or-, Nukes a DAY! popping off around space ship earth. Still think we may not be adversely altering the course of civilization here?

  106. Barry Foster says:

    Leif. Thanks, but in order to say that either warming or cooling HAS occurred you have to choose a date. So, Leif, would you be so kind as to choose a date that you started measuring this warming from. Thanks, and look forward to your reply with great and genuine interest…

  107. Leif says:

    Barry: It would seem that to set a date that would have any meaning scientifically would take more resources than I have available. So instead I arbitrarily went back 50 years and called it good. I suppose that scientifically one would be correct in saying that the warming “started” the moment CO2 from~280 ppm to 281 ppm. That would not change the total amount of “energy” in the system, as it takes “X” amount to increase “Y” mass, “Z” degrees. Starting earlier or later only changes average number of Nukes a day, not how much 0.5 W/m2 represents and are popping off today. ~ 35,000/day with the best availably computations so far. Better proofs may in fact be in the pipeline and that number may need to be revised but hay, that’s science!

    BUT- any way you cut it that is a LOT of energy!

  108. MrCannuckistan says:


    I finally understand the nukes/aircraft carrier calculations posted in these comments. I have a question you might be able to help me with. While I am a math junkie, I’m sure you have a far better handle on the conversions between units and energy stats than me. So here’s my question:

    If pre-industrial temperatures are presented by ‘X’ and today’s temps are (uncontested) X+0.5c and the 0.5c is represented (per your calculations above) by ~35,000 standard nuclear bombs per day(?), how many nuclear bombs does it take us to get us to X (14c/287k)?

    Any help would be much appreciated.


  109. Leif says:

    MrC: I am a retired boat builder with a captains license. A couple of years of collage in the early 60’s. A tenuous grasp of reality, and plagued by “Senior Moments.” If you have red the above “proof” you can plainly see that my math attempt, as pointed out, has “error bars” big enough to throw your hat thru. Never the less with the help of Mike 22 we were able to instigate insights. You say you are a math junkie, I am quite sure your skills out shine mine by a long shot. In my defense thou, I reiterate, it is not the math as much as understanding the science.

  110. Barry Foster says:

    Leif. Thanks, but first of all you know that I am bound to point out that the first part of your answer is incorrect – as warming clearly didn’t begin in 1960 But more than that, neither did it begin when CO2 went from 280ppm to 281ppm, as I’m also bound to say ‘what about 279ppm?’ As you must surely know the ramifications of saying that ‘warming’ began at the Industrial Age. As you are evidently a believer in ‘warming’ then I’d be most grateful if you would actually put a date on when you think warming began. For you, surely, there must have been a time in history when you wouldn’t have been alarmed at the global temperature, and thus there must be a point in time when a rise concerns you. As you can see from the data I provide, it could not have been 50 years ago. Thank you.

  111. Barry Foster says:

    Leif, I forgot to add that it isn’t correct to say, “scientifically one would be correct in saying that warming started the moment CO2 rose from 280ppm” as that pre-supposes that ‘additional’ warming of the atmosphere by CO2 has been empirically proven.

  112. Leif says:

    Barry: You are picking at straws to no avail. Since you obviously do not accept the fact that “.. additional warming has… not been proven” you give me NO foundation to work on. I suggest that you spend more time reading and learning and less attempting to “justify your existence” on this site.
    In addition it is not important to define the very exact “top” of the hill when currently riding a runaway truck, one must concentrate on looking for an “off ramp” to minimize bodily injury. (It is a good idea to actually realize that you are on said “truck” as well!)
    Finally,as I have said previously, the current energy imbalance of 0.5 W/m2 is a number that is arrived at by empirical means. Wholly independent of land based influence. If that is “todays” number then that is equivalent to ~35,000, (+ or-) NUKES popping off TODAY! If tomorrow you could say that the new “today” number is 0.00…~ W/m2 then that would be equivalent to ZERO NUKES for that day.

  113. Barry Foster says:

    Leif, I appreciate your evident discomfort due to the question. However, it remains a very simple one, and one which all the other readers on here can see that you are refusing to answer on the grounds that it will draw you into a checkmate position. To tell someone to ‘go away and read’ is puerile and not worthy of further comment, and neither do I need nor require to ‘justify my existence’ here. You must appreciate now that you can either answer the very simple question or try and bow out again with a put-down that will further undermine your credibility. So, once more then: would you please be so kind as to choose a date from which you believe warming began. To make it somewhat easier I’ll accept a decade. If you choose to try and avoid the question again then I’ll bow out of this conversation – as it will be evident to everyone exactly why. Thank you.

    [JR: Your question is ill-posed, in part since you haven’t defined your terms precisely. The warming in the climate system in recent decades is “unequivocal,” so are you challenging that? The science predicted this warming based on GHG forcings, and it is very likely humans are the cause of most of it as the science makes clear. But there are lots of forcings, many of which aren’t manmade. They’ve all been drowned out by GHGs in recent decades.]

  114. Tom says:

    So, there is still hope for a death to winter in my lifetime? Bring it on!

    [JR: How old are you? It ain’t the death to winter that’s the issue — it’s the death of a livable climate.]