How fast is the world warming? Is it burning?

Summary: Let’s take a break from political bickering to see how fast the Earth is warming. Just the facts, please.

Burning World - dreamstime_108149276
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The world has been warming since the middle of the 19th century. Human-caused warming has become the dominant cause of warming since roughly WWII. The core consensus of climate scientists, proven by a bizarre number of studies (pouring more water on a rock doesn’t make it wetter), was clearly stated in the Summary of Policymakers by Working Group I of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report.

“It is extremely likely (95 – 100% certain) that human activities caused more than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature from 1951 to 2010.”

Alarmists slap the “95% of scientists believe” label on all sorts of claims, many quite delusional. But as somebody said, “God is in the details.” So is science. How fast is the world warming? Journalists eager for clickbait headlines, seldom give us this vital information. Fortunately, in the 21st century this information is easily available at NOAA’s invaluable “Climate At A Glance” website.

Global warming from NOAA's "Climate at a glance" website.

Fiddling with the controls tells us the warming rate over different periods of time. Left and Right pick random periods that suit their needs. The most recent month is July 2019.

  • 0.08°C/decade (0.14°F) – 1880-2019 – The full instrument record. Of course, the earlier data is much less reliable.
  • 0.12°C/decade (0.22°F) – 1918-1950 – The instrument record for the pre-anthro era for those skeptical of global temp. data before WWI.
  • 0.14°C/decade (0.25°F) – 1950-2019 – The anthropogenic era, per the finding of the IPCC’s AR5.
  • 0.19°C/decade (0.34°F) – 1989-2019 – The past 30 years, the period for climate metrics defined by the World Meteorological Organization.
  • 0.16°C/decade (0.29°F) – 1998-2016 – What an economist might use: the warming rate from peak to peak (18 years) of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

Whatever we choose, there are two obvious and incontrovertible conclusions. First, the rate of warming is very slow. It is small compared to natural intra-annual variations and those over decades – and small compared to natural variations over centuries and millennia. This puts a big burden of proof on those saying that we have already seen severe weather changes from anthropogenic warming. So far it has not (a subject for a future post).

Second, the rate of warming has accelerated in the anthro era (i.e., due to us).

The seas are equally important!

The eminent Roger Pielke Sr. (see Wikipedia) has long said that the focus on the surface air temperature was inappropriate, and that…

“The spatial pattern of ocean heat content change is the appropriate metric to assess climate system heat changes including global warming.” (Source.)

This, along with his many other now accepted insights, earned Pielke smears by climate activists (“denier”), such as those at Skeptical Science (Dana Nuccitelli’s launch pad, which should be called “skeptical of science”). See this note for more detail about that pitiful story. The “pause” or “hiatus” in warming brought recognition that he was correct (see links to papers in section 7 here). So what are the oceans, Earth’s giant heat reservoirs, doing?

Again we turn to NOAA’s invaluable website. Ocean heat measurements became quite accurate after roughly 2004 with data from the ARGO float network (after implementation of the OW quality control method). See the graphs here. The oceans warm more slowly than the atmosphere due to their vastly larger thermal inertia. The ocean’s top 100 meters have warmed approximately 0.12°C (0.22°F) over 2004-2018 – or ~0.09°C/decade (0.16°F). Similar to the long-term change (since the Little Ice Age) in the surface temperature record. This warming affects the oceans’ ecosystems as much or more than warming affects the surface world.

The top 700 meters have warmed more slowly than the upper ocean: ~0.04°C/decade (0.07°F).

Conclusions

The most obvious one: the world is not “burning”, despite the thousands of hysterical screams by climate activists. But the warming warrants policy action. The RCP’s provide a basis for that analysis and planning. But that science is insufficient to push the public to support climate activists’ goals. Hence the current propaganda barrage. Science is exaggerated and misrepresented. Normal extreme weather is attributed to anthropogenic climate change. (See links below for examples.) This makes effective policy action more difficult. It is the big reason that we do so little to prepare for climate change.

But anthro warming is cumulative, and we will see big changes – certainly unpleasant – if warming continues at this rate during the 21st century. Taking the logical warming rate (and highest recent rate) – that is, using the WMO standard, the past 30 years – global temperature would increase by 1°C (1.8°F) roughly every 50 years. That does not mean an Apocalypse would arrive in 2070 or that climate change is the most serious problem we face (e.g., continuing to wreck the oceans might create an apocalypse by 2070).

That rise of 1°C (1.8°F) becomes likely if the centuries-long trend in technological progress slows and if fertility stops falling. Those are key assumptions in RCP8.5, the worst-case assumption in AR5. A large body of research shows that under RCP8.5 the results would be terrible by 2100. Such a slowdown in tech seems unlikely since a new industrial revolution appears to have begun – including, among other things, radical changes in energy tech (perhaps even fusion). There is no evidence that global fertility is stabilizing, nor have I seen any plausible case for that happening in the next decade or so.

But even smaller increases in global temperature would be unpleasant, and are worth avoiding. Especially since the logical path is reducing emissions from fossil fuels through improved efficiency and use of cleaner energy sources. For instance, replacing coal, which is especially polluting to mine and burn, with natural gas. Also effective would be continuing research to produce less expensive electric vehicles and providing reasonable incentives for their purchase.

America’s cities were wired for electricity and telephone over two decades, a radical change beyond anything we have seen since. We can make such jumps today. We need only invest in the necessary research and the will to make it happen.

Examples of climate misinformation

  1. Activists hope that fake news about droughts will win.
  2. The North Pole is now a lake! Are you afraid yet?
  3. A look at the workings of Climate Propaganda Inc.
  4. New climate porn: it forces walruses to jump to their death!
  5. Another heartbreaking story of climate doom! – About the Okjökull glacier in Iceland.
  6. An example of climate activists at work that shows why they lost.
  7. Terrifying predictions about the melting North Pole!

Normal weather becomes evidence of a Climate Apocalypse!

  1. 90% of the biggest Yosemite glacier has melted. Did we do it?
  2. What we learned from the freak storm that “melted the North Pole” on December 30.
  3. This El Niño is not Godzilla. What can we learn from the 2 years of hype?
  4. Lessons learned from the end of California’s not so “permanent drought.”
  5. The Texas drought ends; climate alarmists wrong again!
  6. Daily stories of climate death build a Green New Deal!
  7. Weather porn about Texas, a lesson for Earth Day 2019.
  8. Wildfires and climate change: fake news in action.

For More Information

Ideas! See my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information see all posts about doomsters, about peak oil, about The keys to understanding climate change and especially these…

  1. Let’s prepare for past climate instead of bickering about predictions of climate change – Doing something is better than nothing.
  2. Focusing on worst case climate futures doesn’t work. It shouldn’t work.
  3. The Extinction Rebellion’s hysteria vs. climate science.
  4. “Climate’s Uncertainty Principle“ by Garth Paltridge.
  5. Listening to climate doomsters makes our situation worse.

To help us better understand today’s weather

To learn more about the state of climate change see The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters & Climate Change by Roger Pielke Jr., prof at U of CO – Boulder’s Center for Science and Policy Research (2018).

The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters and Climate Change
Available at Amazon.

56 thoughts on “How fast is the world warming? Is it burning?”

  1. This is a great article: succinct, to the point, factual and puts things into perspective. There is a little bit of political content, but not enough to detract from its value as a summary of the facts. One claim that is made without supporting documentation, however, is that warming of the climate rate at the current, moderate rate, or even a lesser rate, is a bad thing or will lead to bad things. What is the basis for that claim? (Not saying there isn’t one, I’m just not aware of what it is, especially when we strip out all the exaggerated, and frankly often hysterical or even “fake newsy” claims pervasive in popular media.)

    1. Tony,

      “One claim that is made without supporting documentation, however, is that warming of the climate rate at the current, moderate rate, or even a lesser rate, is a bad thing or will lead to bad things.”

      There is a massive body of research showing this (for a few dozen examples, see the link going to research about RCP8.5). One degree of warming every 50 years will have ugly effects eventually. As usual in science, the question is when. 25 years? 50 year? 150 years?

      Hence the public policy question requires research evaluating this, and allocating scarce resources to appropriately respond (in addition to responding to all the other serious threats out there).

      1. CO2 remains a weak greenhouse gas, only capable of changing the surface temperature tenths of a degree. The necessary feedback effects from water vapour for a larger temperature rise have never been observed, and much less quantified (other than in computer models). Likely will never be – athmosphere is chaotic, which the IPCC used to acknowledge (and admit that no credible long term prognostics can be made. 2001). There is no strong correlation between CO2 levels in the athmosphere and surface temperature.

        The proposed actions to ‘keep temperature rise below 1.5C’ will cost trillions of $. None of the proposed actions has gone through a cost-benefit analysis. Meaning, we don’t know what we will get for our money, if anything.

        We have real problems to focus on, and should spend our resources wisely. Such as global heatlh and education, food security, sustainable agriculture, fishery and forestry. Five billion people need access to safe and cheap energy. Remember, just one degree of cooling would take us back to the 1880s.

        Those were miserable times with poor harvests and recurring mass famines, like in Ireland. In Sweden, 1/3 of the population left. REAL climate refugees – today there are none. This is making the case for focusing on resilience, in the face of changing climate (whether warming or cooling) and other challenges.

        BTW, if you followed the A$AP Rocky trial, you should have noticed something about the independence of Swedish courts. And the varying quality of prosecutors – whoever happens to be on duty will be assigned the case, even if it is a case with international and political repercussions. Assange would have been wise to go back to Sweden to stand trial here.

      2. priffe,

        “There is no strong correlation between CO2 levels in the athmosphere and surface temperature.”

        Since you think you are right and almost every single climate scientist is wrong, write up your paper. A Nobel Prize awaits!

        “The proposed actions to ‘keep temperature rise below 1.5C’ will cost trillions of $.”

        True, but there are more sensible policy responses. See the proposals in this post.

        “today there are none”

        If you bothered to read the IPCC’s reports, you would learn that the danger lies in the future. Due to the long lead time for effective responses, we need to take action now.

        “just one degree of cooling would take us back to the 1880s.”

        Why is that relevant? Who says that there is any substantial odds of that in the foreseeable future?

      3. Man you are sounding like Joe Romm. Almost.

        And you think you are talking to clueless amateurs?
        None of the scientists I know believe we are headed for a climate based disaster. None.
        Including geologists, glaciologists, physicists, chemists….
        Some use careful wording, like “there could be”…”there are indications that” etc.
        They want to keep their jobs, see.
        No one who is serious about science should quote the 97% claptrap, or even suggest there is a majority among scientists who believe in it.

        And there are no nobel prizes in sight for this branch of science.
        Al Gore was the one exception.

        To give you something else to ponder, look at this graph. I think it will have great propagandistic effect, in all its simplicity.
        https://twitter.com/EcoSenseNow/status/1121555829042421761?s=20

      4. priffe,

        (1) “Man you are sounding like Joe Romm.”

        This isn’t 6th grade baseball, skins vs. shirts. Try a rational comment.

        (2) “None of the scientists I know believe we are headed for a climate based disaster.”

        So few words, so many errors.

        (a) There is nothing in this post or my comments saying that we’re “headed for a climate disaster.” When giving rebuttals, please do so to direct quotes – as I do. Making stuff up, attributing it to me, then giving a rebuttal – that’s a common tactic of climate alarmists. It’s shadowboxing (or perhaps, debating the voices in your head).

        (b) “Disaster” is a vague term. Surveys show a large majority and increasing majority are worried about the effects of climate change.

        (c) Only scientists specializing in climate (whatever their background) have expert opinions. Despite what you learned watching the Scientist on “Gilligan’s Island,” no scientist is a generic master of all sciences. For example, see this very dry comment from Scientists Confront Velikovsky, about I. V.’s totally crazy theories.

        “I am not expert in the cultures or languages of any of these peoples, but I find the concatenation of legends Velikovsky has accumulated stunning. It is true that some experts in these cultures are less impressed. I can vividly remember discussing Worlds in Collision with a distinguished professor of Semitics at a leading university. He said something like, “The Assyriology, Egyptology, Biblical scholarship and all of that Talmudic and Midrashic pilpul is, of course, nonsense; but I was impressed by the astronomy.” I had rather the opposite view. “

        (3) “there are no nobel prizes in sight for this branch of science.”

        Certainly none for you, since you’re just makinjg stuff up. Just as the climate alarmists do. I’ve long suspect that both groups are cousins under the skin – both chaff in the nation’s public policy machinery.

        (4) Historical CO2 levels

        As I said to Gregory: an analogy from economics might help you understand. Economic effects largely result not from the kind of change, but the rate of change. A low rate of inflation over two decades is easy for an economy to adapt to. The same change over two years is destabilizing. We have adapted to the current climate: where we live, what we farm, the design of our infrastructure. Rapid climate changes could be expensive and painful.

        To use your historical graph: we are at 400 ppm CO2. Rapidly going to 1250ppm – half that when flowers first bloomed – would be nothing unusual historically but the apocalypse for us!

  2. Your overall point is very well taken. I would dispute your adoption of the IPCC stance on man-made warming driving temps over the last century or so and your contention that it began 150 years ago. There are a LOT of scientific and historical records showing that the warming trend that we are in actually began in the late 17th century in the depths of the Little Ice Age. The first 150 or 200 years of that warming were 100% naturally-driven and look quite similar to the warming we see since we started adding CO2 in the mid-20th century.

    1. Geogory,

      The Little Ice age was a diverse and complex event (or perhaps events), occurring at different times in different places. The causes of its start and end are poorly understood. But the consensus is that it ended as a period in the early 19th C.

      Its last phase was marked by a series of volcanic eruptions that produced severe cold. See “Last phase of the Little Ice Age forced by volcanic eruptions” by Stefan Brönnimann et al. in the August 2019 issue of Nature Geoscience.

      “The first 150 or 200 years of that warming were 100% naturally-driven and look quite similar to the warming we see since we started adding CO2 in the mid-20th century.”

      That makes no sense. How could warming “look different” by its cause? Different flavor or color?

      1. Gregory Wrightstone

        Rate of warming is similar during early naturally-driven period as the last 70 years. Did the natural drivers suddenly cease functioning in the mid-20th century?
        There are lots of oddities that make me question the “consensus” opinion.
        Why did we go into a 33 year cooling period just as we started adding CO2 in earnest after WWII?
        For the last 8,000 years, CO2 was gradually rising (pre-Industrial Rev) while temp was gradually falling?
        For the last 800,000 years temperature changes preceded CO2 changes, not the other way around and now that has all changed?

      2. Gregory,

        “Rate of warming is similar during early naturally-driven period as the last 70 years. ”

        No. The warming during the pre-anthro 70 years was 0.04°C/decade (1880-1950). During the anthro 69 years (1950-2019) was 0.14°C/decade. That a 3.5x difference.

        “Why did we go into a 33 year cooling period just as we started adding CO2 in earnest after WWII?”

        Natural variability swamped warming from the slow rate of emissions growth after 1950.

        As for your other questions, the IPCC’s AR5 discusses those issues in extreme detail – with ample citations for your further reading. No need for your amateur guessing.

  3. Perhaps the most annoying thing about climate panic is its complete lack of temporal and spatial perspective. The Earth is a really big, really old, system, and its major processes work verrrryyy slowly from the human standpoint. Those fretting about Antarctica melting in their lifetime are completely delusional.

    With massive ice caps at both ends of the planet and 400-ish million cubic miles of ocean at an average temperature of 39 degrees F, we are a long, long way from hothouse conditions. To reach said conditions would require the net inflow of gargantuan amounts of heat energy. The paltry 1 point something Watts per square meter of additional heat energy supplied by enhanced CO2, at a wavelength that penetrates water very poorly, means that the transition from the current icehouse state to some future hothouse state could only take place over geologic time. The current interglacial will likely end long before this can happen.

    Balance this against the very rapid drawdown of CO2 by natural processes, e.g. the rapid greening taking place in every life zone on the planet as plants gobble up the windfall of “extra” CO2, alarmingly scarce since the onset of the current ice age 2.5 MYA.

    Human-caused CO2 is a blip, hardly noticeable, on an enormous, ancient system that has routinely handled vastly larger traumas. There is no need to panic.

    1. Scott,

      “Perhaps the most annoying thing about climate panic is its complete lack of temporal and spatial perspective.”

      You are playing chess. Alarmists are playing darts. Propaganda can only be evaluated in terms of its effectiveness.

      “Human-caused CO2 is a blip, hardly noticeable, on an enormous, ancient system that has routinely handled vastly larger traumas.”

      Perhaps to God. But in terms of our little lives, it might be a big deal. To help you better see this, here is a story about the famous scientist James Lovelock discussing end-of-the-world scenarios with Charles Sheffield (from the essay “Unclear Winter”).

      “A detached attitude to such calamities is hard to achieve, but possible. I was driving with James Lovelock, originator of the “Gaia” concept down to the Museum of Natural History in Washington. We were discussing all-out nuclear war. Locklock surprised me by remarking that it would have very little effect. I said “It could kill off every human.” He replied, “Yes it might do that; but I was thinking of the effects on the general biosphere.”

  4. Of importance is the geologic time frame of CO2 changes. We have added roughly 130 ppm of CO2 since the Industrial Revolution and are now a bit over 400 ppm. When the flowering plants we rely on first evolved levels were 2,500 ppm. We have seen a 2,100 decrease since then. And we are to be worried about a 130 ppm increase that barely shows up as a blip on the longer term viewpoint??? Not me. Not me at all.

    1. gregory,

      This post is focused on one narrow issue. As you note, there are a host of other dimensions to this. The “greening” effect of more CO2 is a big one.

      “we are to be worried about a 130 ppm increase that barely shows up as a blip on the longer term viewpoint???”

      The historical range provides a useful perspective, but is not the only one. This is important in economics: econ effects are largely results not of the kind of change, but the rate of change. A low rate of inflation over two decades is easy for an economy to adapt to. The same change over two years is destabilizing. We have adapted to the current climate: where we live, what we farm, the design of our infrastucture. Rapid climate changes could be expensive and painful.

      To use your historical note: we are at 400 ppm CO2. Rapidly going to 1250ppm – half that when flowers first bloomed – would be nothing unusual historically but the apocalypse for us!

  5. Given the facts you lay out here your call for “taking action” on climate via reducing emissions with improved efficiency and using less co2 intensive energy sources makes sense. I can see a call for achieving this through public policy. I’m curious if you see any role for individual action here.

    1. JJ,

      “I’m curious if you see any role for individual action here.”

      That’s worth some thought!

      I’m skeptical of individual action in such things – but could be wrong! IMO, the strong play is – as always – collective action through politics. This is one of those “tradjedy of the commons” problems, where our free markets don’t price a public good (the environment) – and esp don’t efffectively price future events.

  6. I’m glad you posted this, FM. I’ve been quoting this study (and similar previous studies) from the IPCC to online climate change believers and haters for the last 5+ years. The depressing thing is that the first response (both from the left and right) is almost always the same (“that doesn’t sound right”). Then I always send them the same linked information to get the IPCC and offer to discuss it with them if desired after they’ve had a chance to look at it.

    The response to the link is also always the same, they never respond to my statements again. I cannot prove that they read the IPCC information or that they believe it is accurate, but my suspicion is that they refuse to follow their curiosity and be informed, which bothers me a lot. It is one thing to argue a point of view when you cannot find information that confirms or denies that point of view. It is quite another thing to argue it when you have been given information from a usually very reliable source (the IPCC, not me) and you choose to ignore it on the grounds that you do not want to change your beliefs in response to the facts.

    That behavior leads to madness in my opinion. We’ve got lots more serious things to worry about if we just behave halfway intelligently on reducing the likelihood of climate change.

    Good luck in spreading the data from the IPCC! If my experience is any indicator, you’ll need it, and the world will greatly benefit from any success you can achieve!

    1. Pluto,

      You go to the heart of the madness! I’ve noticed the same thing. I’m not surprised that those on the far right don’t believe the IPCC. In their minds, authorities are only those that are ideologically pure. Anti-vaxers are welcome, anything the military says is gospel (despite their history of lying like rugs) – but not the IPCC.

      But the Left considered the IPCC to be the “gold standard” for climate science. Now quoting them gets an authomatice dismissal as “they’re too conservative.” When asked how they know, they quote studies or scientists who are well outside the consensus (when skeptics do so, they’re “deniers”).

      This is modern America – in ClownWorld! We have to either get used to it, and enjoy the slide into the toilet – or change it.

      1. Gregory,

        (1) I didn’t connect you with your book, and realize that you were a geologist (I have your app on my iphone). Hence “amateur” was incorrect, for which I apologize.

        (2) “Amateur” is a factual description, not an insult, when accurately applied. Probably half or more of the 66 thousand-plus comments here about climate science – and everything else – are by people giving opinions on matters about which they have no training and experience. Most of them are unmoved by – and usually uninterested in – facts or expert opinion. That’s one reason our public policy machinery has collapsed into the current Clownworld mess. Everyone has their own facts (the great sociologist, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, saw this coming). It is, imo, among our most serious problems (and a direct result of our abandonment of citizenship).

        (3) These things you mentioned are not “oddities” in the usual sense of the word. There are explanations, theories which may or may not be correct. If you disagree with the analysis of the IPCC’s work, it would be nice to say so and, if your book discusses that, point us to your book. That would make the comment more useful. And sell a few copies (people buy several hundred books per month from the posts and comments here).

  7. As china and india modernize and start driving , consuming, and using power at Western standards, today’s CO2 numbers will look like rookie numbers.

    1. Sven,

      I doubt that. The population density of most provinces in India and China is mind-blowing. The assumption that they’ll follow the mad transportation policy of the US is hubris on stilts. Not everybody in the world thinks that we the wonderful model for them to follow.

      1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automotive_industry_in_China#1990_to_present

        The number of registered cars, buses, vans, and trucks on the road in China reached 62 million in 2009, with cars accounting for two-thirds of that number, according to the traffic bureau of the Ministry of Public Security. At that time, it was expected to increase to 200 million by 2020.[13] In fact, by March 2017, there were 300.3 million registered vehicles.[57] A 2018 analysis published by the University of Californiapredicted that up to 419 million vehicles would be registered by 2022 and over 500 million by 2030.[58]

      2. FM, I find the numbers produced in the article to be reasonable (with some caveats to be explained below). For example, I have MAJOR problems with the timeliness and accuracy of information coming out of China in general.

        If we accept 2009 numbers (very likely to be accurate) and the 2017 numbers (likely to be in the general range of accurate), the University of California’s numbers seem reasonable. Having the number of vehicles more than triple in 8 years is incredible. Having the numbers go up by roughly 66% in 13 years after that is not at all unreasonable.

        On the other side of the coin, the same article noted that is China is the world’s leading producer and consumer of alternative energy vehicles and that is likely to continue in the future. Twenty million vehicles powered by electricity gathered by solar panels are not likely to add significantly to world pollution levels.

        The relative accuracy of the two above paragraphs is a key issue and the possibilities boil down to the following three options:
        1. If China uses gasoline to power nearly all additional vehicles, we might have a big problem.

        If the balance of vehicles becomes increasingly tilted towards less polluting vehicles as time goes on, we have a smaller problem that is essentially being solved by current methods.
        If, by some quirk of future technology, they go exclusively with non-polluting vehicles, they become part of the solution as the old gasoline cars are replaced with the new non-polluting tech. The Chinese leadership would REALLY like this for a number of reasons but they also are realistic about the amount of resources they can put into this issue given the other problems their society faces.

        My best guess is door #2 but I also estimate the odds of me being right are about one in three.

      3. Pluto,

        “I also estimate the odds of me being right are about one in three.”

        Recommendation from a retired bookie: never ever give odds about things in which you have neither expertise or reliable data. All that does is give you a false feeling of having knowledge.

      4. LK: “All that does is give you a false feeling of having knowledge.”

        Do you mean the reader or the writer gets a false feeling of having knowledge? My original post was going to say one in ten thousand but I decided that was a bit melodramatic.

        The intent of my post was to state that even when people who try to predict the future make accurate predictions (which is extremely rare), the consequences of their predictions are unpredictable because of factors that could not possibly be known at the time of the prediction.

      5. Pluto,

        “Do you mean …”

        I respond to exact quotes so that you know exactly to what I am replying.

        “The intent of my post was to state that even when people who try to predict the future make accurate predictions (which is extremely rare)”

        It is not “very rare.” Most expert predictions are about things quite predictable, and are quite right. Talk to farmers, engineers, doctors, and physical scientists – people who build buildings, handle epidemics, smash atoms, and send space probes across the solar system. Look at the short-range predictions of meteorologists and economists.

      6. Larry, you are, of course, correct about short-term predictions. I was speaking more towards predictions 20+ years into the future but did not clearly state that. My apologies.

  8. It seems that you and your commenters are unaware that nearly every major automaker in the world has publicly committed themselves to producing an all electric fleet within ten years or so? This means that the alarmist position on AGW has been accepted at the highest levels of capitalism. While you wasted your time chasing online radicals, capitalism surrendered to them. Your writings on the subject have been rendered less than meaningless by the real world actions of capitalism.

    1. Gloucon X: {N}early every major automaker in the world has publicly committed themselves to producing an all electric fleet within ten years or so…

      So what! Businesses predicting 10 years out is based on so many assumptions, it is highly unlikely to occur. It is for public consumption. To think that this is an acceptance of the alarmist position on AGW is naive, which means “without much explanatory power.” One can find numerous examples in the WSJ and other news, such as the litany of vaporware titles for computers.

      A better explanation is that businesses are preparing for getting a piece of the crony capitalism from mandated electric cars. Electric cars will take over when the money is right, with or without such public statements. That’s what makes them capitalists. Having been in manufacturing, I can tell you business generally loves these monies from the public.

      Having been part of development over the years, I can share with you that even five year plans were built of the most optimistic forecasts and rarely happened. The plans were for public consumption by the stockholders used by the business as a vehicle to show stockholders and potential stockholders that management was ready to make more money for them.

    2. Gloucon,

      My guess is that you are just making stuff up.

      “It seems that you and your commenters are unaware that nearly every major automaker in the world has publicly committed themselves to producing an all electric fleet within ten years or so? ”

      What is the source of your information? Look at GM.

      Electric cars are coming. We can only guess when, if ever, they will dominate the new vehicle fleet. I doubt the supply of lithium could be expanded to meet your goal in ten years.

      “This means that the alarmist position on AGW has been accepted at the highest levels of capitalism.”

      Again, what is the basis for that claim? Electric cars have many advantages over internal-combustion vehicles. If manufactured for an equivalent cost, they would be far superior in terms of operating costs, pollution (the old-fashioned kind) and noise.

    3. Follow-up to Gloucon,

      More info!

      (1) GM’s announcement in 2017 of an “all-electric” future

      Note the details. It’s a PR stunt. If they don’t have a date, there is no plan.

      “Reuss did not give a date for the death knell of the GM gas- or diesel-powered car, saying the transition will happen at different speeds in different markets and regions. The new all-electric models will be a mix of battery electric cars and fuel cell-powered vehicles.”

      (2) Toyoto

      You misread the press-release. Here is their 2017 announcement. They plan to have electric or hybrid versions of all models by 2025. They plan to sell internal-combusion vehicles thru 2050.

      That’s a plan! And to this amateur, it looks reasonable to have an all-electric fleet by 2050. It is a bold goal.

      1. Daniel,

        Good point. A switch to low-carbon (coal to nat-gas) or no-carbon grid power (nukes or, eventually fusion) AND mostly electric vehicles (eg, for urban use) would “break the back” of the GHG emissions problem.

        A intermediate stage solution set. Not first or late stage.

  9. Matthew Janicki

    Great article.

    I’ve been interested in the whole climate issue only for little over a year.
    The amount of exaggeration in the media is staggering.
    Hopefully, sanity will come back into fashion.

  10. Pingback: How fast is the world warming? Is it burning? | Watts Up With That?

  11. “and we will see big changes – certainly unpleasant – if warming continues at this rate during the 21st century.”

    I’m not sure the evidence supports this statement. As the planet has warmed, we’ve actually seen a decrease in extreme weather, which is counter to what we’ve been told will happen as CO2 and temperatures increase. Of course, these things are cyclical. At some point, there will be an uptick in severe weather, but that’s not what we’ve seen over the last couple of decades. We’re just not there yet.

    1. Joz,

      “As the planet has warmed, we’ve actually seen a decrease in extreme weather”

      Most studies I’ve seen show that most forms of extreme weather have remained stable. The ones that have not – grown worse: some of those related to tempertaure and precipitation.

      But the temperature rise has been small during the period in which we have good records.

  12. “How fast is the world warming?”

    It isn’t. The record shown is little more than urban land temperature, which can’t be separated from urban development.

    Is the earth’s average temperature a bit warmer today than it was half a century earlier? Yes. Is the earth’s temperature changing systematically? NO. See the lecture by Professor Salby at 16:00:

    https://youtu.be/b1cGqL9y548

    1. Cat,

      “The record shown is little more than urban land temperature, which can’t be separated from urban development.”

      The data unequivocally shows that you are wrong. Areas other than “urban land” are warming. The poles are warming the fastest (as expected, polar amplification). The oceans are warming on the surface and in terms of ocean heat content.

      Look at the NOAA website of surface temperature stations, the ocean heat data from the Argo floats, and the satellite data on lower troposphere temperatures. They measure different things, but all show warming trends.

      “Is the earth’s average temperature a bit warmer today than it was half a century earlier? Yes.”

      I don’t know what “a bit” means. That’s not in my Dictionary of Science terms. The world is warming at a rate that will cause some degree of trouble if not changed, mostly due to anthropogenic factors. Fortunately we have time to take action, using long-term relatively easy policy tools on this long-term problem.

      1. We cannot control the Earth’s temperature.

        One of the greater cases of hybris in science history, to think we can.

      2. priffe,

        “We cannot control the Earth’s temperature.”

        Please stop making stuff up, making statements for which you lack the necessary expertise and knowledge.

        Even before industrialization, people changed the local ecology (and weather) over large regions. Forests became plains, plains became deserts.

        Now we have the tools to drastically alter Earth’s climate. It would be expensive, but could be done. See the many proposals for geo-engineering. Whether we have the wisdom to use these tools is a separate question.

      3. “priffe,

        “We cannot control the Earth’s temperature.”

        Reply: “Please stop making stuff up, making statements for which you lack the necessary expertise and knowledge.”

        Making stuff up? So we can control the Earth’s temperature. :)) No hope for you then. Your scientific chops appear to be on the level of your understanding of the Swedish legal system. Which means, not much. Therefor, insulting those who know better than you do without understanding who they are. A pity, since some of your writings were pretty good.

        So I came here to be informed. Bye.

      4. priffe,

        (1) “So we can control the Earth’s temperature. :)) No hope for you then.”

        You need to listen to experts, not the deniers who lie to you. Google is your friend. Start here.

        (2) So I came here to be informed.”

        Obviously not. You show zero evidence of learning anything. You appear to have come for validation of your beliefs. You have been unable to provide the slightest evidence for them. No surprise, since most are false.

        (3) “Bye.”

        That’s for the best. There are many websites with lies about climate that you will find more congenial. In this, as in so many things, you are quite similar to the climate alarmists that you despise. Cousins under the skin, all chaff in America’s public policy machinery. But I am confident that we will work though this successfully despite both groups of you.

      1. Armando,

        “I am sure you read the lot……….”

        I assume you are either kidding or trolling us (my guess: the latter). Nobody has the time to read every climate science paper published in a p-r journal.

        I look at (not reading in full, of course) Nature and Science, the studies in Dr. Curry’s weekly links, the highlighted papers in the monthly list from the American Meteorological Society, and the articles referred to me by climate scientists I know. That gives me an adequate feel for the flow of climate science research, and is more than I can absorb.

  13. Pingback: See how climate science becomes alarmist propaganda | Watts Up With That?

  14. Larry,

    “the logical path is reducing emissions from fossil fuels through improved efficiency and use of cleaner energy sources.”

    I agree. Here is an example of a path not to follow, like learn from another nation’s failure.

    Wind Power Is Collapsing In Germany
    By IER
    August 20, 2019

    https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/international-issues/wind-power-is-collapsing-in-germany/?fbclid=IwAR22cAN6tk_p87tY1j5GAx91xjNUscuURzDLUkdrgOBQCyMvoxGrzHgSv_E

    1. Ron,

      Wind power is a legitimate energy source. But their ecological damage has been ignored – shredders of insects and birds.

      As bad or worse, its cost has been grossly underestimated. Glowing estimates ignore the relatively short life of turbines, their maintenance costs (sometimes assuming no maintenance cost – its “Free!”), and the cost of the back-up power sources needed when the wind fades (including the sophisticated grid systems needed to handle intermittent power sources).

      Wind is a fine example of the fraudulent nature of Geens’ analysis – and their corrupt alliances with manufacturers.

      1. Larry,

        After reading the IER story, it’s even worse than I thought. Green monuments to stupidity.

      2. Ron,

        “Green monuments to stupidity.”

        That’s one face. But these things are always like the Roman god Janus, with two faces. The other is the profits of wind turbine manufacturers and (sometimes) operators – fueled by government taxes and consumer’s electric bills.

  15. Pingback: How journalists helped wreck the climate debate | Ubuntu News

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