Dilbert Sunday Funny


Ocean Climate Ripples

Dr. Arnd Bernaerts is again active with edifying articles on how humans impact upon the oceans and thereby the climate. His recent post is Global Cooling 1940 – 1975 explained for climate change experts

I and others first approach Dr. Bernaerts’ theory relating naval warfare to climate change with a properly skeptical observation. The ocean is so vast, covering 71% of our planet’s surface and up to 11,000 meters deep, with such a storage of solar energy that it counteracts all forcings including human ones.

As an oceanographer, Bernaerts is well aware of that generalization, having named his website Oceans Govern Climate. But his understanding is much more particular and more clear to me in these recent presentations. His information is encyclopedic and his grasp of the details can be intimidating, but I think I get his main point.

When there is intense naval warfare concentrated in a small, shallow basin like the North Sea, the disturbance of the water structure and circulation is profound. The atmosphere responds, resulting in significant regional climate effects. Nearby basins and continents are impacted and eventually it ripples out across the globe.

The North Atlantic example is explained by Bernaerts Cooling of North Sea – 1939 (2_16) Some excerpts below.

Follow the Water

Water, among all solids and liquids, has the highest heat capacity except for liquid ammonia. If water within a water body remained stationary and did not move (which is what it does abundantly and often forcefully for a number of reasons), the uppermost water surface layer would, to a very high percentage, almost stop the transfer of any heat from a water body to the atmosphere.

However, temperature and salt are the biggest internal dynamic factors and they make the water move permanently. How much the ocean can transfer heat to the surface depends on how warm the surface water is relative to atmospheric air. Of no lesser importance is the question, as to how quickly and by what quantities cooled-down surface water is replaced by warmer water from sub-surface level. Wind, cyclones and hurricanes are atmospheric factors that quickly expose new water masses at the sea surface. Another ‘effective’ way to replace surface water is to stir the water body itself. Naval activities are doing just this.

War in the North Sea

Since the day the Second World War had started naval activities moved and turned the water in the North Sea at surface and lower levels at 5, 10, 20 or 30 metres or deeper on a scale that was possibly dozens of times higher than any comparable other external activity over a similar time period before. Presumably only World War One could be named in comparison.

The combatants arrived on the scene when the volume of heat from the sun had reached its annual peak. Impacts on temperatures and icing are listed in the last section: ‘Events’ (see below). The following circumstantial evidences help conclude with a high degree of certainty that the North Sea contributed to the arctic war winter of1939/40.

Climate Change in Response

On the basis of sea surface temperature record at Helgoland Station and subsequent air temperature, developments provide strong indication that the evaporation rate was high. This is confirmed by the following impacts observed:

More wind: As the rate of evaporation over the North Sea has not been measured and recorded, it seems there is little chance to prove that more vapour moved upwards during autumn 1939 than usual. It can be proved that the direction of the inflow of wind had changed from the usually most prevailing SW winds, to winds from the N to E, predominantly from the East. At Kew Observatory (London) general wind direction recorded was north-easterly only three times during 155 winter years; i.e. in 1814, 1841 and 1940[6]. This continental wind could have significantly contributed to the following phenomena of 1939: ‘The Western Front rain’.

More rain: One of the most immediate indicators of evaporation is the excessive rain in an area stretching from Southern England to Saxony, Silesia and Switzerland. Southern Baltic Sea together with Poland and Northern Germany were clearly separated from the generally wet weather conditions only three to four hundred kilometres further south. A demonstration of the dominant weather situation occurred in late October, when a rain section (supplied from Libya) south of the line Middle Germany, Hungary and Romania was completely separated from the rain section at Hamburg – Southern Baltic[7].

More cooling: Further, cooling observed from December 1939 onward can be linked to war activities in two ways. The most immediate effect, as has been explained (above), is the direct result from any excessive evaporation process. The second (at least for the establishment of global conditions in the first war winter) is the deprivation of the Northern atmosphere of its usual amount of water masses, circulating the globe as humidity.

Rippling Effects in Northern Europe and Beyond

Next to the Atlantic Gulf Current, the North Sea (Baltic Sea is discussed in the next chapter) plays a key role in determining the winter weather conditions in Northern Europe. The reason is simple. As long as these seas are warm, they help sustain the supremacy of maritime weather conditions. If their heat capacity turns negative, their feature turns ‘continental’, giving high air pressure bodies an easy opportunity to reign, i.e. to come with cold and dry air. Once that happens, access of warm Atlantic air is severely hampered or even prevented from moving eastwards freely.

The less moist air is circulating the globe south of the Arctic, the more easily cold polar air can travel south. A good piece of evidence is the record lack of rain in the USA from October – December 1939 followed by a colder than average January 1940, a long period of low water temperatures in the North Sea from October-March (see above) and the ‘sudden’ fall of air temperatures to record low in Northern Europe.

The graph above suggests that naval warfare is linked to rapid cooling. The climate system responds with negative feed backs to restore equilibrium. Following WWI, limited to the North Atlantic, the system overshot and the momentum continued upward into the 1930s. Following WWII, with both Pacific and Atlantic theaters, the climate feed backs show several peaks trying to offset the cooling, but the downward trend persisted until about 1975.


The Oceans Govern Climate. Man influences the ocean governor by means of an expanding fleet of motorized propeller-driven ships. Naval warfare in the two World Wars provide the most dramatic examples of the climate effects.

Neither I nor Dr. Bernaerts claim that shipping and naval activity are the only factors driving climate fluctuations. But it is disturbing that so much attention and money is spent on a bit player CO2, when a much more plausible human influence on climate is ignored and not investigated.

On the Hubris of Climatism

Canadian Michael Hart speaks out on climatism in his new book, Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics, and Politics of Climate Change (link to interview with Hart at Tallbloke’s Talkshop)

The wide-ranging interview contains many insights, including this one that IMO gets at a deep, underlying motive:

Alarm over a changing climate leading to malign results is in many ways the product of the hunger for stability and direction in a post-Christian world. Humans have a deep, innate need for a transcendent authority. Having rejected the precepts of Christianity, people in the advanced economies of the West are turning to other forms of authority. Putting aside those who cynically exploit the issue for their own gain – from scientists and politicians to UN leaders and green businesses – most activists are deeply committed to a secular, statist, anti-human, earth-centric set of beliefs which drives their claims of a planet in imminent danger from human activity.

To them, a planet with fewer people is the ultimate goal, achievable only through centralized direction and control. As philosopher of science Jeffrey Foss points out, “Environmental science conceives and expresses humankind’s relationship to nature in a manner that is – as a matter of observable fact – religious.” It “prophesies an environmental apocalypse. It tells us that the reason we confront apocalypse is our own environmental sinfulness. Our sin is one of impurity. We have fouled a pure, ‘pristine’ nature with our dirty household and industrial wastes. The apocalypse will take the form of an environmental backlash, a payback for our sins. … environmental scientists tell people what they must do to be blameless before nature.”

Hart says that unfortunately society has gone a long way down the wrong road, but the outcome can be changed.

I remain cautiously optimistic. Popular support for climate change action peaked a few years ago. In Europe, which has gone furthest in implementing climate change policies, politicians are beginning to look for ways to moderate earlier initiatives. In North America, rhetoric has far outstripped actions while the Obama administration has relied on stealth to implement its climate change agenda. At the same time, climate change has added to the momentum of the broader secularization of society and the pursuit of anti-human policies and programs. We are, sadly, farther down that road than we have ever been before.

Again, it will take a determined effort by people of faith and conscience to convince our political leaders that they have been gulled by a political movement exploiting fear of climate change to push a utopian, humanist agenda that most people would find abhorrent. As it now stands, politicians are throwing money that they do not have at a problem that does not exist in order to finance solutions that make no difference. The time has come to call a halt to this nonsense and focus on real issues that pose real dangers. In a world beset by war, terrorism, and continuing third-world poverty, there are far more important things on which political leaders need to focus.

Read the first chapter here: http://compleatdesktops.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Hart-Hubris-ch.-1.pdf

From the Preface:

The world will be a better place

  • when governments agree to tame this monster and refocus their energies on issues within their competence;
  • when religious leaders and other elites accept that they have fallen prey to a movement whose motives are much darker and more damaging than they realize;
  • and when the media adopt a more balanced approach and provide the public with the critical assessment that is often missing from their reporting.

It is time for all three to accept that the UN is pursuing a path that can only result in a less prosperous and more divided world.

Climategate Redux?

The AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) sent a letter on June 28, 2016 urging the US congress to act on climate change:

There is strong evidence that ongoing climate change is having broad negative impacts on society, including the global economy, natural resources, and human health. For the United States, climate change impacts include greater threats of extreme weather events, sea level rise, and increased risk of regional water scarcity, heat waves, wildfires, and the disturbance of biological systems. The severity of climate change impacts is increasing and is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades.

Those of us with short memories need to be reminded that the Climategate emails were triggered by an appeal to congress in 2009 by the AAAS. Dr. Arnd Bernaerts provides the background and the historical context.

On October 21, 2009 the AAAS letter included this:

Moreover, there is strong evidence that ongoing climate change will have broad impacts on society, including the global economy and on the environment. For the United States, climate change impacts include sea level rise for coastal states, greater threats of extreme weather events, and increased risk of regional water scarcity, urban heat waves, western wildfires, and the disturbance of biological systems throughout the country. The severity of climate change impacts is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades.
Full text provided by Dr. Bernaerts here, along with his response.

The Climategate Emails

2011 Report here
More than 5,000 documents have been leaked online purporting to be the correspondence of climate scientists at the University of East Anglia who were previously accused of ‘massaging’ evidence of man-made climate change.

Following on from the original ‘climategate’ emails of 2009, the new package appears to show systematic suppression of evidence, and even publication of reports that scientists knew to to be based on flawed approaches. 

The leaker of the emails “FOIA” said this in a comment at the time, Nov. 17, 2009:
We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps.
We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents.
Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it.

Dr. Bernaerts comments on the current situation:

I had hoped that the “endorsement” by “FOIA said” would give a helpful impulse to my complaint about a science which is not able to define what they are talking about, namely CLIMATE. Those not happy with the AGW discussion should have pressured WMO, IPCC and consorts to demonstrate that they are capable to do what every academic is trained to do, to provide reasonable and workable definitions. Unfortunately that did not materialize. The definition matter remains neglected by AGW supporters and sceptics alike. A great pity. A further conference paper from January 2010, available at: http://www.whatisclimate.com/ explains this in more detail.

What has changed in the world of AAAS and in the field of supporting and opposing views: Much too little. A pity that we cannot ask FOIA what would be his view today.

The Climate Lemmings
h/t Beth

Cooling Outlook

The RAPID moorings being deployed in North Atlantic. Credit: National Oceanography Centre

In the comments on a previous post (here) ren points to the declining NAO, with the implication that a cooling phase is underway in the North Atlantic SSTs.  The cold blob in the North Atlantic was subject of a post here and elsewhere, and Paul Homewood posts today (here) on the increasing cold water, not only surface but coming from below.

Dr. Gerard McCarthy is a lead researcher on the RAPID array project measuring the AMO heat transport and provides a good context on their observations and the implications for the climate cooling in coming decades.

Our results show that ocean circulation responds to the first mode of Atlantic atmospheric forcing, the North Atlantic Oscillation, through circulation changes between the subtropical and subpolar gyres – the intergyre region. This a major influence on the wind patterns and the heat transferred between the atmosphere and ocean.

The observations that we do have of the Atlantic overturning circulation over the past ten years show that it is declining. As a result, we expect the AMO is moving to a negative (colder surface waters) phase. This is consistent with observations of temperature in the North Atlantic.


The Atlantic Ocean’s surface temperature swings between warm and cold phases every few decades. Like its higher-frequency Pacific relative El Nino, this so-called “Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation” can alter weather patterns throughout the world. The warmer spell we’ve seen since the late 1990s has generally meant warmer conditions in Ireland and Britain, more North Atlantic hurricanes, and worse droughts in the US Midwest.

However a colder phase in the Atlantic could bring drought and consequent famine to the developing countries of Africa’s Sahel region. In the UK it would offer a brief respite from the rise of global temperatures, while less rainfall would mean more frequent summer barbeques. A cold Atlantic also means fewer hurricanes hitting the southern US.


Implications for Arctic Ice

A 2016 article for EOS is entitled Atlantic Sea Ice Could Grow in the Next Decade

Changing ocean circulation in the North Atlantic could lead to winter sea ice coverage remaining steady and even growing in select regions.

The researchers analyzed simulations from the Community Earth System Model, modeling both atmosphere and ocean circulation. They found that decadal-scale trends in Arctic winter sea ice extent are largely explained by changes in ocean circulation rather than by large-scale external factors like anthropogenic warming.

From the Abstract of Yeager et al.

We present evidence that the extreme negative trends in Arctic winter sea-ice extent in the late 1990s were a predictable consequence of the preceding decade of persistent positive winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) conditions and associated spin-up of the thermohaline circulation (THC). Initialized forecasts made with the Community Earth System Model decadal prediction system indicate that relatively low rates of North Atlantic Deep Water formation in recent years will result in a continuation of a THC spin-down that began more than a decade ago. Consequently, projected 10-year trends in winter Arctic winter sea-ice extent seem likely to be much more positive than has recently been observed, with the possibility of actual decadal growth in Atlantic sea-ice in the near future.


Beliefs and Uncertainty: A Bayesian Primer

Those who follow discussions regarding Global Warming and Climate Change have heard from time to time about the Bayes Theorem. And Bayes is quite topical in many aspects of modern society:

Bayesian statistics “are rippling through everything from physics to cancer research, ecology to psychology,” The New York Times reports. Physicists have proposed Bayesian interpretations of quantum mechanics and Bayesian defenses of string and multiverse theories. Philosophers assert that science as a whole can be viewed as a Bayesian process, and that Bayes can distinguish science from pseudoscience more precisely than falsification, the method popularized by Karl Popper.

Named after its inventor, the 18th-century Presbyterian minister Thomas Bayes, Bayes’ theorem is a method for calculating the validity of beliefs (hypotheses, claims, propositions) based on the best available evidence (observations, data, information). Here’s the most dumbed-down description: Initial belief plus new evidence = new and improved belief.   (A fuller and more technical description is below for the more mathematically inclined.)

Now that doesn’t sound so special, but in fact as you will see below, our intuition about probabilities is often misleading. Consider the classic Monty Hall Problem.

The Monty Hall Game is a counter-intuitive statistics puzzle:

There are 3 doors, behind which are two goats and a car.
You pick a door (call it door A). You’re hoping for the car of course.
Monty Hall, the game show host, examines the other doors (B & C) and always opens one of them with a goat (Both doors might have goats; he’ll randomly pick one to open)
Here’s the game: Do you stick with door A (original guess) or switch to the other unopened door? Does it matter?

Surprisingly, the odds aren’t 50-50. If you switch doors you’ll win 2/3 of the time!

Don’t believe it? There’s a Monty Hall game (here) where you can prove it to yourself by experience that your success doubles when you change your choice after Monty eliminates one of the doors. Run the game 100 times either keeping your choice or changing it, and see the result.

The game is really about re-evaluating your decisions as new information emerges. There’s another example regarding race horses here.

The Principle Underlying Bayes Theorem

Like any tool, Bayes method of inference is a two-edged sword, explored in an article by John Horgon in Scientific American (here):
“Bayes’s Theorem: What’s the Big Deal?
Bayes’s theorem, touted as a powerful method for generating knowledge, can also be used to promote superstition and pseudoscience”

Here is my more general statement of that principle: The plausibility of your belief depends on the degree to which your belief–and only your belief–explains the evidence for it. The more alternative explanations there are for the evidence, the less plausible your belief is. That, to me, is the essence of Bayes’ theorem.

“Alternative explanations” can encompass many things. Your evidence might be erroneous, skewed by a malfunctioning instrument, faulty analysis, confirmation bias, even fraud. Your evidence might be sound but explicable by many beliefs, or hypotheses, other than yours.

In other words, there’s nothing magical about Bayes’ theorem. It boils down to the truism that your belief is only as valid as its evidence. If you have good evidence, Bayes’ theorem can yield good results. If your evidence is flimsy, Bayes’ theorem won’t be of much use. Garbage in, garbage out.

Embedded in Bayes’ theorem is a moral message: If you aren’t scrupulous in seeking alternative explanations for your evidence, the evidence will just confirm what you already believe. Scientists often fail to heed this dictum, which helps explains why so many scientific claims turn out to be erroneous. Bayesians claim that their methods can help scientists overcome confirmation bias and produce more reliable results, but I have my doubts.

Horgon’s statement comes very close to the legal test articulated by Bradford Hill and widely used by courts to determine causation of liability in relation to products, medical treatments or working conditions.

By way of context Bradford Hill says this:

None of my nine viewpoints can bring indisputable evidence for or against the cause-and-effect hypothesis and none can be required as a sine qua non. What they can do, with greater or less strength, is to help us to make up our minds on the fundamental question – is there any other way of explaining the set of facts before us, is there any other answer equally, or more, likely than cause and effect?

Such is the legal terminology for the “null” hypothesis: As long as there is another equally or more likely explanation for the set of facts, the claimed causation is unproven.  For more see the post: Claim: Fossil Fuels Cause Global Warming

Limitations of Bayesian Statistics

From the above it should be clear that Bayesian inferences can be drawn when there are definite outcomes of interest and historical evidence of conditions that are predictive of one outcome or another. For example, my home weather sensor from Oregon Scientific predicts rain whenever air pressure drops significantly because that forecast will be accurate 75% of the time, based on that one condition. The Weather Network will add several other variables and will increase the probability, though maybe not always in predicting the outcomes in my backyard.

When it comes to the response of GMT (Global Mean Temperatures) to increasing CO2 concentrations, or many other climate concerns, we currently lack the historical probabilities because we have yet to untangle the long-term secular trends from the noise of ongoing, normal and natural variability.

Andrew Gelman writes on Bayes statistical methods and says this:

In short, I think Bayesian methods are a great way to do inference within a model, but not in general a good way to assess the probability that a model or hypothesis is true (indeed, I think ‘the probability that a model or a hypothesis is true’ is generally a meaningless statement except as noted in certain narrow albeit important examples).

A Fuller (more technical) Description of Bayes Theorem

The probability that a belief is true given new evidence
the probability that the belief is true regardless of that evidence
the probability that the evidence is true given that the belief is true
divided by
the probability that the evidence is true regardless of whether the belief is true.
Got that?

The basic mathematical formula takes this form: P(B|E) = P(B) * P(E|B) / P(E), with P standing for probability, B for belief and E for evidence. P(B) is the probability that B is true, and P(E) is the probability that E is true. P(B|E) means the probability of B if E is true, and P(E|B) is the probability of E if B is true.


The application above shows some important facts to remember about Beliefs and Uncertainties:

Tests are not the event. We have a cancer test, separate from the event of actually having cancer. We have a test for spam, separate from the event of actually having a spam message.

Tests are flawed. Tests detect things that don’t exist (false positive), and miss things that do exist (false negative).

Tests give us test probabilities, not the real probabilities. People often consider the test results directly, without considering the errors in the tests.

False positives skew results. Suppose you are searching for something really rare (1 in a million). Even with a good test, it’s likely that a positive result is really a false positive on somebody in the 999,999.

Climate Smoke and Mirrors

(C) SERGEJ SVERDELOV sm7@rambler.ru

What really went down at the Paris climate conference? What are countries signing up to at the UN HQ since April 22? What is actually in the Paris agreement?

Let’s hear from a Professor of Contract Law, David Campbell of Lancaster University Law School, U.K.

Excerpted from his post at GWPF

Neither 2°C nor any other specific target has ever been agreed at the UN climate change negotiations.

Article 2 of the Paris Agreement in fact provides only that it ‘aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change … including by the holding the increase to well below 2°C’. This is an expression, not of setting a concrete limit, but merely of an aspiration to set such a limit. It is true that Article 2 is expressed in a deplorably equivocatory and convoluted language which fails to convey this vital point, indeed it obscures it. But nevertheless that is what Article 2 means.

Far from being an agreement to reduce global emissions, it was an agreement to allow their unbounded increase.

No emissions caps have ever been, are, or can be set on the developing countries, for the good reasons that this is what the Framework Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and now the Paris Agreement provide.

In the Paris Agreement, this disastrous position is actually strengthened by being made explicit. . . Article 4(4) of the Paris Agreement confines ‘absolute emissions reduction targets’ to the developed countries and distinguishes them from the ‘mitigation efforts’ the developing countries might undertake, which will not involve absolute reductions. This provides an explicitly legal permission for developing countries not to make any CO2 reductions and will be the legal basis of continued immense increase in China’s and India’s CO2 emissions.

Only developed countries are expected to limit absolute emissions. All others expect to grow economically to reduce their carbon intensities.

Carbon intensity is a measure of the amount of CO2 which must be emitted to obtain a certain increase in GDP. Broadly speaking, absolute emissions and economic growth are strongly correlated, but, with increasing sophistication of technology, the rate at which growth requires emissions, that is to say, carbon intensity, falls.

China’s growth targets, stated as its ‘strategic goals’ in the INDC, are such that Chinese reductions in carbon intensity will be made, not despite but because of a growth in absolute emissions. China will not retire existing generating capacity and replace it only with an equivalent or smaller capacity generated by lower intensity plant. It will retire older capacity in the course of an immense expansion of overall capacity. China’s extremely ambitious and apparently positive intensity targets actually represent a statement that the increase in its emissions will be vast.


Those committed to environmental intervention and those who believe Global Warming has been exaggerated can agree on one thing:

Stop wasting time and energy on treaties to mitigate CO2 emissions, and put the resources into adapting to effects of future climate and weather.

Campbell provides more context here:

The major industrialising countries (MICs), such as China and India, are classified as developing countries, which has effectively made global reductions impossible.

Article 4(7) of the UNFCCC provides that ‘the extent to which developing country parties will effectively implement … the Convention … will take fully into account that economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of the developing country parties.’ Since emissions reductions involve immense economic costs, this essentially means that no limits can be placed on the emissions of developing countries. Their responsibility to reduce emissions isn’t ‘differentiated’ so much as non-existent. Subsequent climate change negotiations have reinforced this position, and it is stated as forthrightly as it ever has been in China’s INDC. When the MICs’ refusal to adopt reductions targets became clear at the Copenhagen conference in 2009, people began to realise that directing criticism solely at the developed countries, particularly the US, as a result of its failure to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, was fruitless. But all the MICs have done is stick to what was agreed in 1992.

By insisting once again that they don’t have a responsibility to reduce emissions, China and India have ensured that the Paris conference will not reach the hoped-for agreement. Global emissions reductions have been impossible for more than a quarter-century and will continue to be impossible, for the very good reason that this is what was agreed in the original convention. Numerous near irrelevant agreements and declarations of intent will no doubt be made in Paris, obscuring the failure to reach any agreement on global reductions. International policy has so far been based on the premise that mitigation is the wisest course, but it is time for those committed to environmental intervention to abandon the idea of mitigation in favour of adaptation to climate change’s effects.


Donald and Hilliary in Grease!



Opening this summer, the new production of the classic American musical Grease.  Features Donald Trump and Hilliary Clinton in the entertaining match between the prim and proper cheerleader and the rebel hot rodder from New Jersey.

Judith Curry had good one featuring the leads from Harry Potter:

N2 is IR-Active: This Changes Everything!

E.M. Smith (Chiefio) has new post (here) presenting the evidence showing how Nitrogen, the dominant gas in the atmosphere, also radiates in the infrared, and thus participates in the “greenhouse” effect.  This information was measured and reported as long ago as 1944, but the implications have been ignored in the recent obsession with CO2.

This Changes Everything.

Footnote:  The original discovery of this effect from Nitrogen (here) attributes the IR to N atoms present in the upper atmosphere.