Doomed Planet

Believe, Kiddies, or the Tipping Point Will Bake You Alive

Hype levels in the blogosphere about the cryosphere and biosphere reached their highest point in recorded history, just before the annual United Nations annual climate conference, COP25, kicked off in Madrid this week. Getting the world to dance to an eco-globalist tune is no easy gig, even when you have been at it for a quarter of a century. This time, however, the mood – early-onset 2020 blues as climate reparations fail to materialise on schedule – is more desperate.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Emboldened by a year of street activism and the rise of Greta Thunberg and her schoolie squadrons, the “climate-protection” racketeers and their media cheer squads are trying new tactics to sway public opinion: promote speculation as fact and stamp out any sign of heresy against the alarmist orthodoxy, all in the name of “scientific precision”. 

It’s time to act: We will use language that recognises the severity of the crisis we’re in. In May 2019, the Guardian updated its style guide to introduce terms that more accurately describe the environmental crises facing the world, using “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” and “global heating” instead of “climate change” and “global warming”. We want to ensure that we are being scientifically precise, while also communicating clearly with readers on the urgency of this issue. — The Guardian’s WE BELIEVE Climate Pledge

The Guardian is right. Climatespeak is all about language and the black art of persuasion. (The paper’s ‘we believe’ Climate Pledge eerily resembles the Catholic Climate Covenant’s St Francis Pledge: “I pledge to pray, live, and advocate Laudato Si and zero carbon (dioxide) emissions, so help me Gaia” – but that’s another story.)

Yet something is needed to keep the climate-emergency scare running at this time of the year. What about the gift that keeps on giving: “climate tipping points”?  Surely the perfect present for any alarmist, from anxious woke to full-blown apoplectic Climate Rebellion acolyte. So, dear reader, come tiptoe through the TPs with me.

First, consider ABC RN’s latest contribution to this scaremongering genre. Here is The World Today’s take , as presented last week, on a “particularly alarming report”: “Ice melt, Great Barrier Reef near climate change ‘point of no return’” (The World Today, November 28, 2019).

In a report published today in the journal Nature, scientists suggest that some of the signals that indicate that Earth has reached a “point of no return” may already have been reached. The scientists say that the melting ice sheets in Antarctica have reached a “tipping point” – where the melting will get exponentially worse.

And they warn that ‘tipping points’ are still not widely understood.

TPs are indeed “still not widely understood” – by the experts, the media or the public — but don’t let that cramp the hyperbole. As revealed in the transcript below, ABC RN’s two selected experts for this segment — Emeritus Professor Will Steffen, a climate scientist at the Australian National University, and Dr Sue Cook, of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania – did not let uncertainty hold them back.

The Nature paper that was the hook for the segment has seven authors, Professor Steffen one of them, and it goes for the big headline. Its title: “Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against: the growing threat of abrupt and irreversible climate changes must compel political and economic action on emissions.”

Is there empirical evidence to support such a claim, or are the paper’s activist-scientists using “risk management” rhetoric under the Nature imprimatur? Dig deeper and you will discover, as I did, that this is a propaganda piece timed to coincide with COP25, one built on a shaky foundation: data-poor modelling and apocalyptic anxiety.

Its purpose is clear:  “… consideration of tipping points helps to define that we are in a climate emergency and strengthens this year’s chorus of calls for urgent climate action — from schoolchildren to scientists, cities and countries.” In today’s post-normal world of climate catastrophism, merely considering TPs is sufficient to provoke a global panic, certainly and inevitably in the MSM. Note too that the polemic was not what Nature calls an “original research article”, but a comment commissioned by the journal.

Eleanor Hall, ABC RN: Now to a particularly alarming report on climate change  published today in the journal Nature. In it, scientists suggest that some of the signals that indicate the Earth has reached a point of no return may already have been reached. The scientists say that the melting ice sheets in Antarctica have reached a tipping point where the melting will get exponentially worse. And they warn that tipping points are still not widely understood. Isobel Roe has our report.

Isobel Roe, ABC RN: The concept of a tipping point in climate is best explained with an analogy, according to Australian National University climate scientist, Will Steffen. 

Professor Steffen, ANU: A good analogy that most people would understand is a kayak, when you’re paddling out on reasonably flat water. When you tip it little bit, it comes back, then it comes back. It’s stable. But if you tip it just a little bit more it goes all the way over.  

Isobel Roe, ABC RN: It’s a concept that’s been debated by climate experts for twenty years. Today, Will Steffen is one of a group of scientists which has released a paper in the journal Nature warning that tipping points for many key climate indicators are closer than first thought. Others may already be happening. Will Steffen worries the Great Barrier Reef is one. 

Professor Steffen, ANU: The latest information is they are not being restored by the larvae of the remaining coral, so we could have crossed a tipping point for half the Great Barrier Reef. It may not come back. We don’t know for sure, but there’s a real worry that we’ve pushed that way too far (1.30min.) 

Isobel Roe, ABC RN: The research also warns that Antarctic [Arctic] sea ice melt may have already reached its tipping point.  

Professor Steffen, ANU: That’s the ice that floats over the North Pole and the surrounding sea. And it has its own inbuilt tipping mechanism, which is true for many of these [tipping points]. Basically as that melts, as it gets warmer up there and it melts in the summer that exposes more ocean water. So it’s warming more than it otherwise would and [eventually] gets to a point where that process is unstoppable (2.0min.) 

Isobel Roe, ABC RN: Dr Sue Cook studies the movement of Antarctic ice sheets at the University of Tasmania. She explains the process of melting ice shelves. 

Dr Cook, UTAS: If you start retreating from the edge, you start exposing thicker and thicker ice, which will move faster outwards towards the edge. And so you get kind of an accelerating positive feedback process.” 

Isobel Roe, ABC RN: And do you think that point has been reached yet? 

Dr Cook, UTAS: We’re not entirely sure. There are a number of complicating factors, but what we’re definitely seeing at the moment is rather rapid retreat in West Antarctica, which is one of the regions where this process can happen. So we think it already has reached a tipping point in that region.” 

Isobel Roe, ABC RN: The paper also says reducing greenhouse gas emissions can slow the process. The research paper joins thousands of others with the same warning. Emeritus Professor Will Steffen admits he is often concerned that the influx of information can be overwhelming, but he thinks the message is starting to get through. 

Professor Steffen, ANU: We’ve had the student strikes for climate change. Extinction Rebellion has come up very recently. They’re moving very vigorously towards getting action on this, so it’s possible we could be approaching a social tipping point as well.

The world’s media, of course, is more like Professor Steffen’s kayak than the climate. If you excite it just a little it goes into sensational and seemingly irreversible alarmist overdrive.

More than half of the climate tipping points identified a decade ago are now “active,” a group of leading scientists have warned. 

This threatens the loss of the Amazon rainforest and the great ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, which are currently undergoing measurable and unprecedented changes much earlier than expected. 

This “cascade” of changes sparked by global warming could threaten the existence of human civilisations. 

Evidence is mounting that these events are more likely and more interconnected than was previously thought, leading to a possible domino effect. — Science Daily

The ABC constantly reminds its audience that it operates “without bias and agenda”. It seems reasonable, therefore, to expect it’s reporters to at least have read the aforementioned Nature paper before trumpeting an impending global TP catastrophe. For it is obvious – at least to me — its authors are making highly speculative claims that wither into mere assertion and scaremongering under even low-level scrutiny. Consider the following thought-bubbles:

Ice collapse: We think that several cryosphere tipping points are dangerously close, but mitigating greenhouse-gas emissions could still slow down the inevitable accumulation of impacts and help us to adapt. 

The latest data show that part of the East Antarctic ice sheet — the Wilkes Basin — might be similarly unstable. Modelling work suggests that it could add another 3–4 m to sea level on timescales beyond a century. Thus, we might already have committed future generations to living with sea-level rises of around 10 m over thousands of years.

Act now: In our view, the evidence from tipping points alone suggests that we are in a state of planetary emergency: both the risk and urgency of the situation are acute … the stability and resilience of our planet is in peril. International action — not just words — must reflect this.

Such claims are risible when juxtaposed against their following qualifications:

# Researchers need more observational data to establish whether ice sheets are reaching a tipping point, and require better models constrained by past and present data to resolve how soon and how fast the ice sheets could collapse.

# Researchers need to improve their understanding of these observed changes in major ecosystems, as well as where future tipping points might lie. Existing carbon stores and potential releases of CO2 and methane need better quantification.

# Some early results from the latest climate models — run for the IPCC’s sixth assessment report, due in 2021 — indicate a much larger climate sensitivity (defined as the temperature response to doubling of atmospheric CO2) than in previous models. [MK: How convenient.] Many more results are pending and further investigation is required, but to us, these preliminary results hint that a global tipping point is possible.

# To address these issues, we need models that capture a richer suite of couplings and feedbacks in the Earth system, and we need more data — present and past — and better ways to use them. Improving the ability of models to capture known past abrupt climate changes and ‘hothouse’ climate states should increase confidence in their ability to forecast these.

Yet the authors — and millions like them – have the chutzpah to demand wholesale societal upheaval and a restructuring of the global energy system in a single decade, based on nothing more substantial than unspecified “preliminary results” from dodgy models with no verifiable “forecasting” ability, models that merely “hint a global tipping point is possible.

If only they had read the many things the IPCC admits it doesn’t know. Extraordinary claims, said Carl Sagan, require extraordinary evidence. Where is it?

The only certainty about TPs and their spruikers: when there is such doubt about the future behaviour of a complex natural process like the climate, try sleight of hand. Assert that more computer games will confirm your preferred scenario. Either that or evoke the precautionary principle.

If anything is “in peril” today, it is the “stability and resilience” of science itself.

In any case, the authors are clearly very attached to their storyline, even while conceding “however limited our understanding might still be”.

Some scientists counter that the possibility of global tipping remains highly speculative. It is our position that, given its huge impact and irreversible nature, any serious risk assessment must consider the evidence, however limited our understanding might still be. To err on the side of danger is not a responsible option. 

If damaging tipping cascades can occur and a global tipping point cannot be ruled out, then this is an existential threat to civilization. No amount of economic cost–benefit analysis is going to help us. We need to change our approach to the climate problem.

Some scientists do indeed have a different perspective. They baulk at the notion that if humankind does not reduce the level of carbon dioxide emissions, the only factor which it can possibly manage, there will be total destruction of the ‘climate system’. We will get  the fabled “runaway’ climate change” and all the disasters fertile imaginations can conjure. This is all to do with alarm, not science, for they  admit they do not know the time scale.

Scores of TPs have been forecast since Jeremiah and other end-of-the-world prophets. They came and went without the predicted disasters happening. When TPs fail to tip, their promulgators are unrepentant. Like cargo cult priests, they craftily move the date to a new TP.

In The World Today archives there is another interview on TPs . On September 26, 2019, two posts appeared under the heading: “Climate change threat from the sea”:

# IPCC warns sea level rise could have catastrophic effects (4mins 46secs)

# Oceans may already be at warming tipping point, expert warns   (5 mins 11 secs)

The latest IPCC warning about the “catastrophic impact of climate change,” the site’s homepage declared, “concentrates on oceans and coastlines — and one expert says it may already be too late.” One expert is sufficient when the end-game is alarmism. In this instance it was Professor Matthew England, Deputy Director of the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre, and a contributing author on two earlier IPCC Assessment Reports.

Professor England, “one of the world’s top oceanographers and climate scientists, warns we may be reaching a tipping point on that now,” related Ms Hall, the program anchor. “He says the IPCC warning of ‘catastrophic’ sea level rise is very unusual for a conservative organisation, and must be taken seriously.” It was a “very confronting finding”.

 Professor England baulked, however, at Ms Hall’s TP suggestion, like a wary horse in a steeplechase. It was a hurdle too far on the day: “We don’t know how close we are to these tipping points,” he admitted. They apparently can be “discovered” only when we have passed them. In other words, they are unpredictable. Oops!

Eleanor Hall: One scientist calls the Arctic sea ice decline unprecedented in at least a 1,000 years. Are we getting closer to some of the feared tipping points for climate change at the Earth’s poles?

Professor England: Yes, potentially, [but] We don’t know how close we are to these tipping points. Unfortunately, they are only discovered once we’ve passed them. 

Eleanor Hall: So you’re saying that even scientists are often not aware of when we’re approaching a tipping point? 

Professor England: Yes. Tipping points come about due to the non-linearity of the [climate] system. What I mean by that is you get a small change triggering a larger impact. You can get breaking up of an ice sheet and a rate of sea-level rise that we are [initially] comfortable to adapt to. At the moment, we have had only 15 cm of sea-level rise over the last 30 to 40 years. That has already caused a lot of damage to the coast. But 15cm is a very tiny fraction of the five metres being forecast by 2300. (3.55min.)

I should say 2300 does sound like a long, long time away but it’s only six or seven generations. That’s why we’re seeing all these protests from students today. They’re recognising the fact that we’re leaving them with a huge debt.

Yes, he said it. Scientists are never aware of an “approaching” tipping point precisely because tipping points are “unpredictable”. Assertions to the contrary should be taken with a large measure of salt, given the “non-linearity of the [climate] system”.  Paradoxically, the IPCC used to call it “a coupled non-linear chaotic system”, hence “long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” (IPCC 3rd Assessment Report; Section 14.2.2.2, p. 774, 2001).

The real mystery here is not the climate. It’s why so many researchers remain silent on the veracity of model “forecasts” — years, decades and centuries ahead — even when the consequence is today’s global climate hysteria.  Self-reservation or self-interest?

Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, spoke to the media before the COP25 climate conference opened in Madrid. “Our war against nature must stop. We know that it is possible. We simply have to stop digging and drilling and take advantage of the vast possibilities offered by renewable energy and nature-based solutions to drastically slow climate change.”

Yet another TP, one that can be solved only by pricing and trading an invisible trace gas, carbon dioxide, at least according to the climate racketeers and carbon cowboys.

Mark Carney, current head of the Bank of England has been appointed the UN’s new Special Envoy for Climate Action. Once an investment banker, he is just the chap to get the job done. The Secretary-General, ironically, is right on the money:

We are in a deep hole and still digging. Soon it will be too deep to escape.

So be careful what you wish for in Madrid, folks.

30 comments
  • Ian MacDougall

    “Some scientists do indeed have a different perspective. They baulk at the notion that if humankind does not reduce the level of carbon dioxide emissions, the only factor which it can possibly manage, there will be total destruction of the ‘climate system’. We will get the fabled “runaway’ climate change” and all the disasters fertile imaginations can conjure. This is all to do with alarm, not science, for they admit they do not know the time scale.
    “Scores of TPs have been forecast since Jeremiah and other end-of-the-world prophets. They came and went without the predicted disasters happening. When TPs fail to tip, their promulgators are unrepentant. Like cargo cult priests, they craftily move the date to a new TP.”
    .
    Michael Kile clearly believes that any uncertainty in the hugely complex atmosphere-hydrosphere-cryosphere-lithosphere-biosphere system that runs the Earth’s climate is grounds for inaction on GHG emissions. Where the chemist-turned-British-PM Margaret Thatcher advocated that we “give the planet the benefit of any doubt,” on such emissions, and rein them in, KIle advocates giving the same benefit of any doubt to the Coal and fossil-carbon industries. We should mine and burn until every last tipping point has been passed and tipped, and only then will we know whether or not we should have done things differently.
    KIle has clearly missed his historic time. His true place was in Neville Chamberlain’s cabinet as Hitler was gearing up his war machine. He could have joined Chamberlain there as he waved a scrap of paper with Hitler’s signature on it shouting “peace in our time.!” Kile could have added a chorus of “uncertainty! Uncertainty! How dare Churchill talk of war with Germany…!? Uncertainty !!!! Not proven..!”
    Meanwhile of course, over in Berlin, Hitler and his cronies were cacking themselves laughing at Chamberlain. But I am not sure whether or not they would have done the same for Kile.
    Possibly, they would have regarded him as a ‘useful idiot’: a term Lenin used for some of his own opponents.

  • ianl

    Ah, the trollster … the lowest of childish sarcasm, content-free, vacuous, pompous, scientifically illiterate, mathematically innumerate and loudly silly.

    Meanwhile:

    http://www.antarctica.gov.au/news/2014/antarctic-ice-cores-tell-1000-year-australian-drought-story

    Cooling oceans cause drought (less evaporation). Australia experiences drought on the aperiodic basis of ENSO (eastern side of the continent) and the IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole, western side). Drought primes the forests for burning. The eucalypts evolved for that quite a long time ago. Yet it’s unprecedented. Of course it is.

    IPCC: coupled, chaotic, non-linear, time scales unknown, predictive sense non-existent. As was the bolide that did the dinosaurs in at the end of the Cretaceous. A major parameter in risk management is “best guess” at the *results* of mitigation. Economic destruction, guaranteed to cause immense damage and suffering, will prevent floods, fires, cyclones in nearly the numbers seen since … when ? … and how ?

  • Ian MacDougall

    Ianl (or whatever your real name is):
    “Ah, the trollster … the lowest of childish sarcasm, content-free, vacuous, pompous, scientifically illiterate, mathematically innumerate and loudly silly.”
    .
    And a merry Christmas to you, too.
    If you can blather on like that about me, you can do so as well for the CSIRO, the AAAS, the Royal Society and in all 198 scientific organisations around the world which endorse AGW. That includes the American and Australian Geological societies; your field as I recall.
    Denialists are in a decreasing minority both politically and scientifically. The coal industry itself is splitting on the issue, and is in damage control.
    ‘Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques used the keynote speech at last week’s London Metal Exchange annual forum to make the case that global miners need to do more to address climate change and community concerns over their operations.
    ‘Rio Tinto’s largest division, iron ore, is anchored in Australia and the company is the nation’s biggest exporter of the steel-making ingredient.
    ‘Jacques told the Oct. 28 forum that mining needed to do more on the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) front in order to remain relevant and profitable as the world deals with climate change.
    “Lots of people are talking about it, but I’m not sure there is action,” Jacques said.’
    That I suggest was more than cosmetic noise, ianl (or whatever your real name is..)
    So with all the respect I can muster in your case, I suggest you pull your head in.
    .
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-column-russell-mining-climatechange/australias-threat-to-outlaw-mining-protests-highlights-industry-split-russell-idUSKBN1XE003

  • Peter OBrien

    ‘Some early results from the latest climate models — run for the IPCC’s sixth assessment report, due in 2021 — indicate a much larger climate sensitivity (defined as the temperature response to doubling of atmospheric CO2) than in previous models.’

    The ‘estimated value’ for Climate sensitivity has been parked in the range 1.5C to 4.5C for 30 years. All the resources thrown at ‘climate research’ have failed to narrow that yawning uncertainty gap. Observed temperature puts CS at the lowest end of that range (or even lower). Warming of 0.8C since 1880, most of which occurred prior to the 21st centur.y. Warming has been slowing as CO2 has been rising.

    Climate models (GCMs) are designed to predict global warming under various scenarios. The estimated value for Climate Sensitvity is an INPUT to climate models not an output from them as suggested above. The only way a figure can be put on Climate Sensitivity is by reverse engineering based on observed temperature.

    Yes, I know that ‘climate scientists’ now say that it’s not the global average temperature that is important but regional variations. That is the exact opposite of what they were saying before ‘climate change’ replaced ‘global warming’. But they still trot out the ‘hottest year on record’ (generally by less than 0.1 of a degree) whenever it suits them.

  • Ian MacDougall

    Peter,
    Which is why I pay very little heed to temperatures, atmospheric or oceanic. The is too much room for dispute over ‘urban heat-island effects’ and such, as set out in that bible of AGW denialism, ‘Heaven + Earth’ by the geologist Ian Plimer. But IMHO it is high-school physics (possibly primary school these days): as long as there is ice at both poles, and on the ‘third pole’ of the Himalayas, the melting of that will stabilise temperatures overall, and hold them within fairly tight limits. (As long as there is ice in the glass of scotch and soda, it will not warm up. )
    But as the overall mass of glacial and polar ice diminishes, look out. Jump aboard the Venus Express.
    Which is why I think a seasoned real-estate operator like Donald Trump is keen on a US purchase (maybe conquest; who knows with Trump?) of Greenland. While being an AGW denialist himself (or should that be AGW ignoramus?) he might just be hedging his bets.
    And next on his list, Patagonia..?

  • Peter OBrien

    Ian McDougall,

    As usual you miss the point. ‘Climate change’ as defined by alarmists means nothing without warming. Warming necessarily involves temperature. You cannot ignore it. If you can’t measure temperature accurately then your whole case for CO2 driven climate change falls apart. It is nothing more than speculation

  • STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    Boys! Boys! An end to the one-upmanship debating between the MacDougalls,the OBriens and the Ianls. You are approaching the tipping point.

  • Peter OBrien

    Further to my last, had the empirical evidence viz observed warming in the 20th and 21st century, supported a higher value for Climate Sensitivity you can bet your house that the uncertainty range of 1.5C to 4.5C would have been narrowed towards the higher end in a heartbeat.

  • Ian MacDougall

    Peter,
    “Warming necessarily involves temperature. ”
    Ever heard of ‘latent heat’.? Liquid water at 0 degrees C contains more heat than does the same mass of ice at 0 degrees C. It is also why a steam scald is far more serious as a rule than one from boiling water. From memory, there are 540 more cal/g in steam at 100C as against water at 100C.
    Latent heat is why sea-level rise, indicating ice-melt, tells us that the planet is warming; even without rise of temperature.
    There is no indisputably accurate way to measure temperature on a local, national or global basis. But satellite altimetry gives us sea-levels relative to the geographic centre of the Earth, to an accuracy of +/- 0.4 mm.
    Thus the Earth is its own thermometer, in which the ‘mercury’ is the global mean sea level.
    Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) Rates
    CU: 3.3 ± 0.4 mm/yr
    AVISO: 3.3 ± 0.6 mm/yr
    CSIRO: 3.3 ± 0.4 mm/yr
    NASA GSFC: 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr
    NOAA: 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr (w/ GIA)
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    Coal shills of course try to dispute this. (Paraphrasing the immortal Mandy Rice-Davies of Profumo scandal fame, they would, wouldn’t they?)

  • Peter OBrien

    If atmospheric CO2 is causing warming, it must first necessarily manifest itself in the atmosphere.

  • pgang

    STJOHNOFGRAFTON, mate, that point was passed long ago.

    Ha ha, I don’t usually read MacDougall’s nonsense (or whatever his real name is). But I got suckered in by STJOHN and anyway that last one was worth it. Sure, latent heat, nice one.
    But what about the unique phase change between water and ice, which causes ice to float? If you convert ice to water the density actually increases, and the total volume decreases (unlike other solids), but the water level remains the same due to Archimedes’ principal of displacement. So… why are sea levels rising again? Does this mean I can now safely store beer bottles in the freezer?
    Hmm, more latent heat….. that would mean…. more evaporation. But that would mean… that ocean levels should be decreasing…..
    Or maybe this whole nature thing is a little bit more complicated than you’re making out. Look , I’m sorry if the coal mining company want’s to carry out some exploration near your bit of land, but this tactic ain’t working. Go and get some compensation instead.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    “Meanwhile of course, over in Berlin, Hitler and his cronies…possibly, would have regarded him as a ‘useful idiot’: a term Lenin used for some of his own opponents.” Ian MacDougall – 2nd December 2019

    Useful idiot: “In political jargon, a derogatory term for a person perceived as propagandizing for a cause without fully comprehending the cause’s goals, and who is cynically used by the cause’s leaders.”

    Here’s one:https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/12/01/delingpole-greta-the-teenage-climate-puppet-goes-full-marxist/

    Delingpole: To anyone familiar with the workings of the green movement, Greta’s statement will come as no surprise whatsoever.
    That’s why I called my book on the subject Watermelons.
    Environmentalists are often green on the outside, red on the inside. Their movement is essentially a global socialistic redistribution exercise hiding behind a mask of green righteousness.
    Meanwhile, the consequences of little Greta’s hissy fits are being felt across Europe and hitting ordinary people hard.

  • Ian MacDougall

    pgang:
    “But what about the unique phase change between water and ice, which causes ice to float? If you convert ice to water the density actually increases, and the total volume decreases (unlike other solids), but the water level remains the same due to Archimedes’ principal of displacement. ”
    You are right there. Archimedes’ Principleis behind the fact that the melting of sea ice does not raise the sea level. However, when land ice such as alpine glaciers and the mass supported high-and-dry by the Antarctic Continent starts melting, it is a vastly different story. (The South Pole is at 2,835 metres [9,301 ft] ie over 1,000 ft above the summit of Mt Kosciuszco.) Likewise, the vast snowfields of the Himalayas and the Andes. Meltwater runs down to the oceans thanks to gravity, and raises the sea level. Conversely, sea level rise shows us that the ice and snow are melting.
    Moreover, as the soils of the Arctic tundra warm, they are releasing methane, CH4, which is around 40x more powerful as a greenhouse gas than is CO2, though it oxidises to CO and CO2 over time. So we head in the direction of runaway greenhose and AGW.
    This is the only planet we have, though Venus shows us what could happen. And this is the very first time through the uncontrolled CO2 experiment.
    Ian Plimer, a professor of geology, coal shill and a leading denialist, gave himself some assurance on this point by invoking God. The very last sentence of his magnum opus ’Heaven + Earth’ says: ‘Human stupidity is only exceeded by God’s mercy, which is infinite.’
    For some reason I can’t put my finger on, I do not find that at all reassuring.

  • Biggles

    The message from all the ‘experts’, from Professors down to a Swedish high-school dropout, is simple; “BE AFRAID PEOPLE, BE VERY, VERY AFRAID”. As Socialist regimes have shown repeatedly, engendering constant fear in the population, whether by regular random murders or otherwise, is the ONLY way the regime can be sure of maintaining control. Repeated threats of run-away temperatures, sea-level rise, ‘tipping points’ and so on through a compliant, mindless, leftist mass-media is just a warm-up, (pun not intended), for more punitive action against ‘climate deniers’ yet to come.

  • Ian MacDougall

    Ah, so THAT”S what’s going on…!
    Biggles, (or whatever your real name is) thank you very so much for that information. Forewarned is forearmed.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    Dr Judith Curry (from Madrid): 2 December 2019

    https://judithcurry.com/2019/12/02/madrid/

    “Fossil fuel emissions as the climate ‘control knob’ is a simple and seductive idea. However this is a misleading oversimplification, since climate can shift naturally in unexpected ways….

    We still don’t have a realistic assessment of how a warmer climate will impact us and whether it is ‘dangerous.’… Land use and exploitation by -[an increasing number of] – humans is a far bigger issue than climate change for species extinction and ecosystem health. Local sea level rise has many causes, and is dominated by sinking from land use in many of the most vulnerable locations.

    Predictions of 21st century climate change are characterized by deep uncertainty.

    The monomaniacal focus on elimination of fossil fuel emissions distracts our attention from the primary causes of many of our problems and effective solutions.

    We don’t know how the climate of the 21st century will evolve, and we will undoubtedly be surprised. Given this uncertainty, precise emissions targets and deadlines are scientifically meaningless.”

  • Biggles

    Dear Alice,In saying that “Predictions of 21st century climate change are characterized by deep uncertainty”
    you have taken the bait, the hook, the line and the sinker in one gulp. Can’t you see that that is precisely what the climate alarmists are pushing in propagating ‘climate uncertainty’?. As I said above, their mantra is BE AFRAID ALICE, BE VERY, VERY AFRAID. Could I suggest you look at Valentina Zharkova’s very level-headed scientific work on Earth’s climate cycles as being governed by the Sun? It is the Sun, Alice, it is the Sun!

  • Alice Thermopolis

    Dear Biggles

    We indeed live in strange times. You are right. Thank you.

    How fortunate we are to have Lew’s Law – “the future is certainly uncertain” – to guide us through the mess. And yes, of course greater uncertainty about climate change does not support “arguments that mitigation is unnecessary or too costly.” That would be heresy of the worst kind.

    “Such arguments are flawed because, if anything, greater uncertainty about the future evolution of the climate should compel us to act with even greater urgency than if there were no (or less) uncertainty” (Professor S Lewandowsky, cognitive psychologist, 8 May, 2017).

    Santa: “Ho, ho, ho.”

  • Doubting Thomas

    Donna Laframboise is always worth reading. It was she who belled the IPPC cat back when Pachauri was celebrating “his” Nobel Prize. Nothing’s changed.

    https://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2019/12/04/10-years-ago-today/

  • rod.stuart

    The UN climate ‘change nonsense’ has finally come to its eventual end.
    https://youtu.be/5GNDyBlKdxg

  • Alice Thermopolis

    When the climate-protectors meet at COP20, COP30, COP40, COP50, etc., to review the failure of their flawed zero-carbon (dioxide) obsession, expect we will be told to be patient and try harder; for there are “long and variable lags” in the transmission of their climate policies to the actual climate.
    That’s what central banks are telling us today, in a desperate attempt to mask the failure of their own monetary experiments, which are based on similarly problematic assumptions and modelling.
    Santa: “Ho, ho, ho.”

  • T B LYNCH

    Now children pay attention and I will tell a story youve never heard before [MacDougall can get back in his crib – this is for intelligent kids only].
    TIPPING POINT has been and gone 3 billion years ago.
    Earth and Venus were cloaked in CO2.
    Earth developed early life forms which ignored the CO2 cloak.
    Temperatures started to rise.
    Earth evolved an organism which invented an antenna that turned light into electricity: this was the turning point.
    This life form also invented RUBISCO to store the electricity in Natures battery = it split CO2 into sugar and oxygen.
    CO2 on Earth tipped onto a downhill slope and so did temperature.
    Meanwhile any life on Venus was cooked to death.
    RUBISCO was so good it ran out of CO2.
    Snowball Earth @ -15C developed [black body temperature].
    @-15C RUBISCO in the deep freeze, stopped working.
    Volcanoes took the opportunity to pump CO2 up to 13%.
    13% was only just enough to melt the ice.
    RUBISCO likes CO2 @ 0.5%.
    We have to do our bit, get CO2 up to 0.5% & keep RUBISCO happy.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    A fine story for all seasons, T B Lynch. Thank you.

    Photosynthesis, n., 1. The process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize nutrients from carbon dioxide and water, often generating oxygen as a by-product. 2. Climate-craft: a natural activity (rare) whereby green disciples are converted into climate sceptics. See green.

    Sing along with Cliff and The Cliffhangers

    CO2 and H2O and sunlight,
    Are the reasons we can eat our daily bread.
    CO2 and H2O and sunlight,
    Without that CO2 we’d all be dead.

    For plants store energy by making sugars,
    And other foods that bring us great delight.
    It’s the basis of all life upon the planet,
    CO2 and H2O and light.

    Photosynthesis is what they call it,
    Photo puts the emphasis on light.
    Synthesis means putting it together,
    CO2 and H2O and light.
    Etc.
    (copyright: Cliff Ollier, 2011)

    Green, n., 1. The colour between blue and yellow on the visible spectrum. 2. Climate-craft: any disciple or coven that has adapted to the environment by using green as camouflage, esp. one whose original colour was red. 3. Green Blob: an indistinct or shapeless mass of influence, esp. one with a deep green hue and a harsh manic tone after sunset. See photosynthesis.

    The gradual subversion of “green” to mean the opposite as originally intended is quite an amazing journey. Rather than pristine forest wilderness photosynthesising away and excreting oxygen, it now means the suppression of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, Photosynthesis, using its evolved catalysing green chlorophyll, is now to be denied one of its essential ingredients. (Blog comment, 19 October, 2017) Reference
    (Devil’s Dictionary of Climate Change, G Lexicon, Athena Books, 2018)

  • Biggles

    Lord Monckton’s address at COP25 shows the immorality of the anti-CO2 movement. Do you want to kill and starve millions? Go for attempted CO2 reduction! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZhcnRe3qd8

  • rod.stuart

    A rebuttal to the retarded Swedish teenager.
    Brainwashed however to “believe” in the imaginary nonsense of ‘climate change’ as ‘proved’ by ‘the science’.

  • rod.stuart

    A rebuttal to the retarded Swedish teenager.
    Brainwashed however to “believe” in the imaginary nonsense of ‘climate change’ as ‘proved’ by ‘the science’.
    https://youtu.be/NxaKn6JYMqc

  • Ian MacDougall

    rod.stuart
    “A rebuttal to the retarded Swedish teenager.
    “Brainwashed however to ‘believe’ in the imaginary nonsense of ‘climate change’ as ‘proved’ by ‘the science’… ” (scare quotes in original).
    You might have added: AND endorsed by those 198 scientific organisations around the world, including the CSIRO, the Royal Society and the AAAS.
    And as well, this “retarded” (your term) young woman, still in her teens, has managed to build a global mass youth following, and to get invited by the UN to address the General Assembly.
    Indeed. You must be a nasty piece of work.
    Prowl the streets at night, do you?

    (Ian, read the editor’s note on the reply to your comment. That advice applies to you as well — roger)

  • Doubting Thomas

    What a ******** ***** of ***** you are, MacDougall.

    (above comment edited by moderator. Please, let us avoid personal abuse. We’re not leftoid slur slingers at Quadrant Online, most of us. Disagree as vigourously and vehemently as you wish, but let’s present as gentlemen and ladies by spurning salty language and unoriginal insults.)

  • Ian MacDougall

    I have no idea what DT’s offensive words over-ruled with asterisks could have possibly been; and I’ve drunk in rougher pubs than this.
    Roger: I was merely defending a lady’s honour, and I believe that in that cause, I would have your or any other gentleman’s support..
    And DT: If you read the text above a bit more objectively, I think you just might see that your righteous indignation has been directed at the wrong target. Unless of course, you are wearing (ideological?) blinkers.

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