Draft Report on Climate Change

Posted in case the Administration “disappears” the draft:
LINK

Here is Figure 1.1 from the document.

See NYT.

For a previous suppression effort (G.W. Bush Administration), see this post.

38 thoughts on “Draft Report on Climate Change

  1. Anonymous

    1. Thanks I guess. I wonder how much this individual draft or even completed report matters? Aren’t there a plethora of previous reports. Deemed conclusive and case settled?

    2. For what it’s worth, I think of climate as an extremely complicated system and one difficult to model. Definitely trickier than localized flux in a low power reactor (which is a very complex problem). That doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. But for me as a Bayesian, things that carry more with me (than super finite element models) are just the trend itself in 1900s or the physical arguments on CO2 absorption and reradiation (somewhat similar to the neutron “reflector” of water surrounding a nuclear core).

    I guess you could try to think about what sorts of problems are more/less complex. For instance results of different firms (perhaps an individual one or perhaps a general observation on business strategy versus results). Of interest, you could consider the multi-dimensional problem of oil price prediction (with a lot of changes in supply and demand factors and varying levels of knowledge on how them). I wonder if you think that problem is harder or easier.

    I think it is also important to consider personal biases and be on the watch for them. For instance, I like deniers more than warmers. I like Republicans more than Democrats. Like the free enterprise system. Like farm boys (and girls!) from Nebraska more than the coastal intelegentsia. But my biases actually don’t matter to the physics. Those molecules are going to do what they are going to do whether it proves the warmers right or the deniers. (And over sufficient time, the complex transport system is going to do what it does…regardless of who it benefits, the externality lovers or externality haters.) But you have to look at your own bias as well. I have had friends who were less technically capable than me (both in a nitty gritty sense and in general across disciplines) lustily vex on climate change. But they were clearly just repeating NPR speak and living in a bit of Dunning Kruger land. (And I see the same all the time from my farm boy friends.)

    I

    Reply
  2. PeakTrader

    This is junk science designed to alarm people to do something, but what? I doubt humans can do anything significant. Eventually, the population explosion will turn into a decline, e.g. in a hundred years, and fossil fuels, a depletable resource, will slowly be replaced with other forms of energy in the 21st century. We can slow population growth and speed-up replacing fossil fuels, but it will likely be insignificant. We don’t know how much of global warming is caused by natural forces, which over earth’s history have proven to be very powerful. Why forgo countless trillions of dollars of income to achieve something insignificant? And, it should be noted, cold weather kills 20 times more people than hot weather. We should be thankful we’re not heading into a major ice age.

    Reply
    1. PeakTrader

      The power of nature:

      “During the Last Glacial Maximum, much of the world was cold, dry, and inhospitable, with frequent storms and a dust-laden atmosphere. The dustiness of the atmosphere is a prominent feature in ice cores; dust levels were as much as 20 to 25 times greater than now. This was probably due to a number of factors: reduced vegetation, stronger global winds, and less precipitation to clear dust from the atmosphere. The massive sheets of ice locked away water, lowering the sea level, exposing continental shelves, joining land masses together, and creating extensive coastal plains. During the last glacial maximum, 21,000 years ago, the sea level was about 125 meters (about 410 feet) lower than it is today.”

      Reply
    2. baffling

      Peak, did you read the report before calling it junk science? Or did you just jump right into the conservative talking point and respond with ignorance? I am sure a failed banker is utterly qualified in passing judgement on a scientific report.

      Reply
      1. PeakTrader

        I read the article of the government report you’re citing. Perhaps, you can explain based on hundreds of millions of years of data, which scientists don’t have, how they can conclude with certainty and precision humans will raise the earth’s temperature 0.5 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit within a hundred years? And, if true, how much GDP do we have to forgo, over the next hundred years, to cool the earth 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit? It’s ignorant to focus on one report, and your liberal/socialist/big government bias doesn’t help. I don’t know if failed bankers are more skeptical or closed minded. It’s possible, a natural cooling trend will more than offset any human warming trend, and within a few hundred years, human activity on climate will be like “a sparrow’s belch in the midst of a typhoon.”

        Reply
        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          PeakTrader: Gee, I dunno. How do scientists know about fission, or how semiconductors work?

          I think it’s called science. I think there are also uncertainty bands surrounding estimates — are there not?

          Reply
          1. PeakTrader

            Menzie Chinn, with little human activity data, along with little understanding of natural data, there’s a lot of uncertainty.

          2. Mike

            Poor comparison. The understanding of Fission and semiconductors are the result of many controlled physical experiments. Our understanding of climate derives from some rudimentary physics, some statistics, assumptions, incomplete models and zero controlled experiments.

            how we’ll have models, including their uncertainty bands, performed against reality?

            FYI – I agree global warming is occurring, however, I agree with the majority of scientists in that no one can agree as to how much.

        2. baffling

          So peak did not read the scientific report, but is able to call it junk science. That helps to explain how a failed banker such as peak trader contributed to the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression. He makes decisions and passes judgement based on ignorance. I can now understand your affinity to the current president.

          Of course, we could consider your “natural cooling trend” if the data suggested that were happening. It does not. in case you didn’t notice, you are practicing junk science peak!

          Reply
  3. PeakTrader

    There are various lengths and magnitudes of warming and cooling cycles. And, there are many natural factors influencing those cycles. The Little Ice Age ended around 1850, and it seems a mini ice age will begin around 2030, because of sun spots.

    Reply
  4. 2slugbaits

    PeakTrader it seems a mini ice age will begin around 2030, because of sun spots.

    There is some (inconclusive and highly disputed
    (https://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/a-solar-scientist-rebuts-a-cool-sunspot-prediction/ ) )

    evidence that we might enter another Maunder Minimum in the next 20 years, but it’s highly implausible that the cooling effects would be enough to offset global warming by more than 0.3 degrees.

    https://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/archive/2010/weakening-sun-would-hardly-slow-global-warming

    In other words, you’re grasping at straws.

    You also misunderstand the economics here. The relevant approach is to look at net domestic product, not gross domestic product. Net domestic product (properly understood) tells us how much consumption we can enjoy today without subtracting from tomorrow’s consumption. Consuming fossil fuels today that generate CO2 unquestionably increases current consumption as measured by GDP, but not if you measure things by a proper understanding of NDP. For the proper understanding of NDP, let me recommend “Natural Resources, National Accounting and Economic Depreciation”, by John Hartwick, Jan 1990, Discussion Paper #771. It’s an excellent application of optimal control theory applied to macroeconomics.
    http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_771.pdf

    So if you correctly understand NDP, then you should be able to figure out the error of your ways. Basically, you’re making an argument for a free lunch. News flash. There are no free lunches.

    As to the science. Surely you must know that CO2 warms the atmosphere. The relationship has been known for at least a century. The only real uncertainty is the ability of the oceans to hold off the day of reckoning. The bad news is that every year we find out that the Earth’s ability to hold off runaway global warming looks shakier and shakier. Given the consequences of guessing wrong, the smart play is to cut back on consumption today in order to give future generations a break…and a chance. And speaking of chance, no one is particularly concerned about the modal temperature forecasts. What we should worry about are the tail probability forecasts. A 5% chance of 11 degrees F by the year 2200 would be catastrophic and would almost certainly end civilization (unless Trump ends it for us).

    Reply
    1. Corev

      2slugs, you typify the worst of the alarmist fears: “The bad news is that every year we find out that the Earth’s ability to hold off runaway global warming looks shakier and shakier.” In nearly 4 billion years, with atmospheric CO2 levels as high as ~7,000 PPM, there is no evidence that this planet can have runaway global warming.

      Reply
      1. 2slugbaits

        CoRev, The fact that the Earth recovered from very high levels of CO2 zillions of years ago is not terribly relevant for today. The surface of the Earth was very different. The output of the sun was different. Lots of differences. The key factors that held back runaway warming are no longer available. I know you hate Hansen, but in one of his books I think he does a pretty good job of explaining why past CO2 histories are largely irrelevant to the current concern with runaway warming.

        Reply
        1. CoRev

          2slugs, the physics of CO2 is unchanged whether today or million/billions of years ago. Isn’t CO2 the driving factor of AGW? Just which Key Factors holding back runaway warming are affecting CO2 physics. That is extremely relevant to today’s conditions. Beware, the changes in those key factors must be man kind caused. Because, if other Key Factors not caused by man kind are over riding the impacts of CO2, then AGW is absolutely wrong.

          Reply
    2. PeakTrader

      2slugbaits, technological progress in energy will gradually replace fossil fuels. However, fossil fuels are important now to produce GDP. The U.S. is lucky to be abundant in fossil fuels, unlike some countries, e.g. Japan. I doubt there’s an accurate general equilibrium model to predict climate change.

      Reply
      1. 2slugbaits

        Peak Trader,

        Did you understand any of what I said? My point was that talking about GDP was a wrongheaded way of looking at the problem, so when you talk about how important fossil fuels are to GDP….well, you’re just talking nonsense. When looking out over the long term the relevant flow rate in optimal control theory is to use NET, not GROSS product.

        I’m pretty sure there isn’t a general equilibrium model to predict climate change. By definition climate change is a disequilibrium model. That’s why climate scientists worry about runaway global warming!

        Technological progress would be a lot faster if we actually taxed carbon to reflect its true cost. Today we are effectively subsidizing fossil fuel production and passing the costs along to future generations.

        Reply
        1. PeakTrader

          2slugbaits, the U.S. has made enormous progress in reducing pollution, since the 1970s. It’s not nonsense both U.S. GDP and NDP increased substantially. Also, fracking increased our abundant natural resource assets, while even cleaner forms of energy are being developed.

          I think, there is a human bias to overestimate the human variable, and discount natural variables, in a general equilibrium model. Climate change is something we know little about. Just because humans may have a positive effect on the warming cycle, estimates could be as high as your 11 degrees within a hundred years. The human effect is likely tiny compared to natural forces, and will decline soon with alternative energy.

          Reply
  5. joseph

    PeakTrader: ” it seems a mini ice age will begin around 2030, because of sun spots.”

    Brilliant contribution. Climate scientists seem to have completely forgotten about sunspots! Without your help they would be totally lost.

    Contrary to your mistaken belief, climate scientists include the solar cycle in their calculations. They have records going back several hundred years. The contribution of sunspots to global temperature variation is very tiny.

    As for the Little Ice Age, that is a misleading weather anomaly that deniers have seized upon but has little factual basis. The IPCC has studied that period extensively and it seems that the Little Ice Age was a period of local weather anomalies primarily affecting the North Atlantic region, particularly the UK. It was not a global phenomena of any significance. It just so happens that most of the western historians and writers lived in Europe — surprise.

    It is rather ironic that you disparage climate as too complicated to understand at the very same time as you confidently declare that a mini ice age will occur in 2030 — due to sunspots, no less, which you believe climate scientists completely forgot about.

    Reply
    1. Corev

      Joseph, do more reseach: “…the Little Ice Age was a period of local weather anomalies primarily affecting the North Atlantic region, particularly the UK. It was not a global phenomena of any significance.” I realize “primarily affecting” and “any significance.” are your value judgments, but from memory we are past 100 peer reviewed studies showing the LIA on nearly every continent. That’s pretty firm evidence it was world-wide.

      Reply
      1. 2slugbaits

        Wrong. Certain parts of Asia actually saw warming temps. The LIA did cover a large portion of the globe, but it was by no means global in the same sense that today’s warming is global.

        Reply
        1. CoRev

          2slugs, as i said you epitomize “blind belief”. “LIA did cover a large portion of the globe…” then “but it was by no means global in the same sense that today’s warming is global.” You, like Joseph, need to do more research in where, when and how much warming is occurring. Once you know that you might look into mathematical concepts of averaging and how it affects “global”.

          Reply
    2. Beeker25

      The little ice age we had in the past were caused by big volcanic activity. I heard a story about the 1816 New England being in the year without summer where snow fell in July and other anomalies (like drawings of Washington crossing the Delaware River in the middle of the coldest year with huge boulders of ice).

      I’ll agree with your statement that Peak Trader does not understand climate issues compared to scientists because he made the prediction of a mini ice age occurring in 2030. If he is wrong, we’ll have a banner year telling him he’s wrong.

      Reply
    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Steven Kopits: Yes, that was a mistake. But the question remains, will the document remain on government websites, and more importantly, will it ever be released. The corrections do not change at all the relevance of that question.

      Questions from a survivor of many interagency reviews.

      Reply
  6. CoRev

    Menzie, you bit on the NYT fake news: Scientists Fear Trump Will Dismiss Blunt Climate Report. What most skeptics believe is that the science and especially the reporting is based upon exaggerating the extremes Anthropogenic Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Weirding (AGW/CC/CW).

    The NYT article is more fake news because they chose a previous version of t5he report, draft 3, even though the final version draft 5 was available. The article has since been updated referencing the latest draft , indicating more fake how poor was the reporting, while fostering more fake news.

    BTW, one change between draft 3 and 5 is the dropping of these embarrassing graphs: https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/image53.png Note panels 2 and 4 which show cooling extremes temps in the US and that the 1930s were in fact the warmer decade.

    Now, why would this science be dropped? Perhaps because it shows a negative message.

    And, you wonder why skeptics call it fake science.

    For Baffled who believes there is no evidence of cooling in the referenced draft: “Of course, we could consider your “natural cooling trend” if the data suggested that were happening. It does not. in case you didn’t notice, you are practicing junk science peak!” Clearly he did not read the draft nor understand the data included. Please note those 2 panels pointed out above.

    Reply
    1. baffling

      corev, you do know that the graph you pointed out indicates the coldest temps are less cold over time? in addition, these are measurements of the single peak temp from an entire year of measurements. it is better a measure of max high and low scatter in the data than any indication of average temp values. it is a poor measure, which is probably why it was removed. plot of such data can be used in a misleading way-your use is an example. one would better present the data with the average superimposed on the scatterbar to better understand the data.

      peak has argued, without data support, that we should now be worried about global cooling event. and apparently, you seem to support such an unsubstantiated position. which is why neither of you would ever be considered a scientist.

      Reply
      1. CoRev

        Baffled, the only change in the graph I showed was the location in the report between drafts 3 and 5. Maybe you should consider calling those 13 Federal Agency writers non-scientists.

        Baffled, you do know that the graph I pointed out indicates the coldest temps are less cold over time, and that these coldest temperatures were mostly Winter? Also, did you note that the Summer highs were fewer and lower? So this report shows warming Winters and cooling Summers over time.

        Since cold temps kill more and more often than warm, the Climate Change described in this report is beneficial to mankind.

        Do you and Joseph and the many others here understand why this Report is Fake Science and the exaggerated claims of ?anonymous? sources of the NYT article Fake news?

        Reply
        1. baffling

          “Since cold temps kill more and more often than warm, the Climate Change described in this report is beneficial to mankind.”

          seriously, do you actually believe the stuff you write?

          Reply
          1. CoRev

            Baffled, see my comment below at 6:39: . It starts with: “AGW is based upon the false premise that warming is bad. This report actually disproves this premise.”

            Few, do not realize and accept warming has occurred since the LIA. Only AGW “alarmists” believe that warming to be bad. The Report referenced in this article actually shows the importance of that level of warming matters.

            You even unwittingly admit the value of Where, How and Why in your response: “corev, you do know that the graph you pointed out indicates the coldest temps are less cold over time? in addition, these are measurements of the single peak temp from an entire year of measurements.” without a glimmer of understanding of its meanings. Extremes in Winters are warmer and Summer extremes are cooler, which are indicators of more stability in temperature changes. Stable temperatures reduce weather (not just temperature) extremes.

            If you disbelieve that Winter deaths due to weather are greater than Summer, do a little research. I repeat my assertions: ““Since cold temps kill more and more often than warm, the Climate Change described in this report is beneficial to mankind.”

            Make a cogent argument otherwise, instead of just emoting. Emotion is not science, and yet emotion is mostly what we see with little understanding of the actual science.

          2. CoRev

            To clarify: “Stable temperatures reduce weather extremes (not just temperature) extremes, and it is weather extremes that kill.

  7. joseph

    I don’t know why you would classify the Times story as FakeNews. The Trump administration has not officially released the drafts of the National Climate Assessment as reported in the story.

    The draft had been unofficially uploaded anonymously to the non-profit organization Internet Archive in January. Since December, government scientists have been quietly uploading over 300 terabytes of scientific data and reports from government servers to preserve them in case Trump administration officials attempt to delete or suppress them. These are non-classified documents that the public has a right to see.

    No one would know to look for the draft document at the Internet Archive. It was simply placed there for safekeeping. There was no announcement of its availability. While technically “public”, if no knows about it in a cache of 300 terabytes, is it really public?

    Seems to be a lot of kerfuffle when the only complaint is that the Times said they published it first. It is true that the New York Times was the first to bring its availability to public attention.

    Reply
    1. CoRev

      joseph, again think!!!! These are dafts of a report and there have been announcements associated with each draft to the reviewers, and for several of these drafts versions they are from experts not associated with the creation. BTW, there is currently a PUBLIC call for expert reviews of draft 5. Do you think the reviewers will be given access to this draft?

      Evidently, you think the IPCC releases openly its draft versions. No they do not, and they scream bloody murder when they are leaked.

      BTW, your comment is ludicrous: ” Since December, government scientists have been quietly uploading over 300 terabytes of scientific data and reports from government servers to preserve them in case Trump administration officials attempt to delete or suppress them. ” Many skeptics outside Government have been downloading the ?official? scientific data for archiving. So that the undocumented changes can be tracked.

      Reply
  8. CoRev

    AGW is based upon the false premise that warming is bad. This report actually disproves this premise.

    This report shows that much of the warming occurs during the Winter and science has shown that it occurs at night. Science also shows that night time warming is associated with human land use, primarily Urban heat Island (UHI) effect. UHI is indisputably man made. Winter warming occurs primarily in the near Polar regions. near equatorial regions are much less effected. That’s supported in the temperature records, surface and satellite.

    Winter warming is not bad as it reduces deaths due to cold. There are many other positive non-anthropocentric beneficial effects. Changing UHI is going to be extremely costly, and potentially catastrophic as the underlying concern is the growth of humanity. Reversing that is not a solution.

    Just what is bad about this level of warming. How could it be changed? How does changing ACO2 help? At what costs?

    Menzie, since this is an economics blog, that last question is critical. If you believe as does 2slugs (and others) that it is to reduce possible risk based upon stat5itical models, then I pose another question. How accurate are the assumptions and description of the variables and their effects? if the predictions from AGW/CC/CW science as represented by their scientific models are incorrect, then how accurate can the statistical models be?

    Note: these scientific models do not reach the level of being able to predict. They produce projection, and that is what is going on, projecting FEAR of warming, a wrong premise.

    Reply
  9. joseph

    I’m still failing to see the outrage about the Times article. Notably the outrage isn’t about the substance of the National Climate Assessment. It is some sort of who-cares outrage about process.

    The Times made a mistake claiming that they were the first to publish the text of the draft report. It turns out that the report had been quietly uploaded for archival protection to a public server that almost no one knew about. The Times was correct in that they were the first to bring the document to the attention of the general public. That’s the outrage?

    Reply
  10. CoRev

    Joseph, for Menzie’s article the outrage is against the NYT article. For me it is because of the unsupported claim in the title: “Scientists Fear Trump Will Dismiss Blunt Climate Report”. All article references to the claim are from anonymous sources. Are they scientists? Are they actually associated with the report? etc.

    Furthermore the NYT article makes contradictory statements: “Worldwide, the draft report finds it “extremely likely” that more than half of the global mean temperature increase since 1951 can be linked to human influence.” To a skeptic this translates to maybe a little more than half of the warming is directly from human influence. From that statement it goes on for several paragraphs implying the human influence is from carbon dioxide. Human influence is far more expansive than just carbon dioxide. Land use is one of those major influences. So can you tell us or more importantly can climate scientists tell us how much of that “than half of the global mean temperature increase” is from carbon dioxide? They have not done so yet with any clarity.

    And yet they quoted EPA Director ” The agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt, has said he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming.” A little more than half of the warming is directly from human influence, does not equate to CO2, let alone the anthropogenic part of the total contribution.

    There are more contradictions which are obvious if you know about the subject, but the real issue with the article is the hyperbolic unsupported claims of the science contained in the Report and the Trump reaction.

    How many major errors does it take to discredit this article?

    Reply
  11. CoRev

    Let’s be clear this article, the fake issue of suppression of the Report it cites is more a factor of the political cycle versus science. This Report is the last from the Obama administration which was dominated by the “consensus” Climate scientists. The next review of draft 5 is open to more AGW “skeptic scientists. Their review inputs can and probably will change some of the meaning(s) of the Report, thereby threatening the standing and credibility of those “consensus” Climate scientists.

    Furthermore, the change in attitude toward AGW in the current administration also threatens the standing and credibility of AGW, one of the pillars liberal/progressive politics resulting in a further weakening of their politics.

    Under this administration the science is likely to shift with more input from skeptical scientists. Skeptics hope it will be a dramatic shift, but only time will tell.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.