Glenn Rudebusch on “Climate Change and the Federal Reserve”

It doesn’t get much more real than this, when the Fed has to take into account the implications of global climate change. Glenn D. Rudebusch,  senior policy advisor and executive vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, lays out the issues in this letter.

The well-known threats posed by global climate change are briefly reviewed. Regarding the Fed’s role, Rudebusch writes:

Given the role of government in addressing climate change, how does the Federal Reserve fit in? In particular, how does climate change relate to the Fed’s goals of financial and macroeconomic stability? With regard to financial stability, many central banks have acknowledged the importance of accounting for the increasing financial risks from climate change (Scott, van Huizen, and Jung 2017, NGFS 2018). These risks include potential loan losses at banks resulting from the business interruptions and bankruptcies caused by storms, droughts, wildfires, and other extreme events. There are also transition risks associated with the adjustment to a low-carbon economy, such as the unexpected losses in the value of assets or companies that depend on fossil fuels. In this regard, even long-term risks can have near-term consequences as investors reprice assets for a low-carbon future. Furthermore, financial firms with limited carbon emissions may still face substantial climate-based credit risk exposure, for example, through loans to affected businesses or mortgages on coastal real estate. If such exposures were broadly correlated across regions or industries, the resulting climate-based risk could threaten the stability of the financial system as a whole and be of macroprudential concern. In response, the financial supervisory authorities in a number of countries have encouraged financial institutions to disclose any climate-related financial risks and to conduct “climate stress tests” to assess their solvency across a range of future climate change alternatives (Campiglio et al. 2018).

Some central banks also recognize that climate change is becoming increasingly relevant for monetary policy (Lane 2017, Cœuré 2018). For example, climate-related financial risks could affect the economy through elevated credit spreads, greater precautionary saving, and, in the extreme, a financial crisis. There could also be direct effects in the form of larger and more frequent macroeconomic shocks associated with the infrastructure damage, agricultural losses, and commodity price spikes caused by the droughts, floods, and hurricanes amplified by climate change (Debelle 2019). Even weather disasters abroad can disrupt exports, imports, and supply chains close to home. As a much more persistent factor, Colacito et al. (2018) found that the current trend toward higher temperatures on its own has slowed growth in a variety of sectors. They estimated that increased warming has already started to reduce average U.S. output growth and that, as temperatures rise, growth may be curtailed by more than ½ percentage point later in this century.

On top of these direct effects, climate adaptation—with spending on equipment such as air conditioners and resilient infrastructure including seawalls and fortified transportation systems—is expected to increasingly divert resources from productive capital accumulation. Similarly, sizable investments would be necessary to reduce carbon pollution and mitigate climate change, and the transition to a low-carbon future may affect the economy through a variety of other channels (Batten 2018). In short, climate change is becoming relevant for a range of macroeconomic issues, including potential output growth, capital formation, productivity, and the long-run level of the real interest rate.

Nevertheless, some view the economic and financial concerns surrounding climate change as having either too short or too long a time horizon to affect monetary policy decisions. Indeed, at the short end, monetary policy typically does not react to temporary disturbances from weather events like hurricanes or blizzards. However, climate change could cause such shocks to grow in size and frequency and their disruptive effects could become more persistent and harder to ignore. At the long end, most of the consequences of climate change will occur well past the usual policy forecast horizon of a few years ahead. However, even longer-term factors can be relevant for monetary policy. For example, central banks routinely consider the policy implications of demographic trends, such as declining labor force participation, which have long-run effects much like climate change. In addition, prices of equities and long-term financial assets depend on expected future conditions, so even climate risks decades ahead can have near-term financial consequences. Climate change could also be a factor in achieving and maintaining low inflation. It took a decade or two—a relevant time scale for climate change—for the Fed to achieve its inflation objective after the Great Inflation of the 1970s and the Great Recession. Finally, the economic research that quantifies optimal monetary policy routinely uses a very long-run perspective that takes into account inflation and output quite far out in the future.

For an assessment of what the Federal government as an entity can do, see James H. Stock‘s report written in 2014 while he was a member of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers:

…any short run gains from delay tend to be outweighed by the additional costs arising from the need to adopt a more abrupt and stringent policy later.7 An analysis of the collective results from that research, described in more detail in Section II, suggests that the cost of hitting a specific climate target increases, on average, by approximately 40 percent for each decade of delay. These costs are higher for more aggressive climate goals: the longer the delay, the more difficult it becomes to hit a climate target. Furthermore, the research also finds that delay substantially decreases the chances that even concerted efforts in the future will hit the most aggressive climate targets.

The paper presents a meta-analysis of costs and delays:

…The data set for this analysis consists of the results on all available numerical estimates of the average or total cost of delayed action from our literature search. Each estimate is a paired comparison of a delay scenario and its companion scenario without delay. To make results comparable across studies, we convert the delay cost estimates (presented in the original studies variously as present values of dollars, percent of consumption, or percent of GDP) to percent change in costs as a result of delay.20 We capture variation across study and experimental designs using variables that encode the length of the delay in years; the target CO2e concentration; whether only the relatively more-developed countries act immediately (partial delay); the discount rate used to calculate costs; and the model used for the simulation.21 All comparisons consider policies and outcomes measured approximately through the end of the century. To reduce the effect of outliers, the primary regression analysis only uses results with less than a 400 percent increase in costs (alternative methods of handling the outliers are discussed below as sensitivity checks), and only includes paired comparisons for which both the primary and delayed policies are feasible (i.e. the model was able to solve for both cases).22 The dataset contains a total of 106 observations (paired comparisons), with 58 included in the primary analysis. All observations in the data set are weighted equally.

Analysis of these data suggests two main conclusions, both consistent with findings from specific papers in the underlying literature. The first is that, looking across studies, costs increase with the length of the delay. Figure 2 shows the delay costs as a function of the delay time. Although there is considerable variability in costs for a given delay length because of variations across models and experiments, there is an overall pattern of costs increasing with delay.

cea_stock_2014

For example, of the 14 paired simulations with 10 years of delay (these are represented by the points in Figure 2 with 10 years of delay), the average delay cost is 39 percent. The regression line shown in Figure 2 estimates an average cost of delay per year using all 58 paired experiments under the assumption of a constant increasing delay cost per year (and, by definition, no cost if there is no delay), and this estimate is 37 percent per decade. This analysis ignores possible confounding factors, such as longer delays being associated with less stringent targets, and the multiple regression analysis presented below controls for such confounding factors.

The entire report is here. See also this post. The usual skeptics of anthropogenic climate change can refer to this post.

In light of the recent flooding of US Air Force bases in the midwest, it is of interest to consider the military-strategic implications. A recent Department of Defense report covers this topic (Effects of a Changing Climate to the Department of Defense, January 2019). Other material, here.

 

 

82 thoughts on “Glenn Rudebusch on “Climate Change and the Federal Reserve”

  1. 2slugbaits

    As discussed in earlier posts, the Fed might have to get used to dealing with an MMT world as a response to climate change.

    The impact of climate change on DoD installations has been an active concern for a while. Two examples. Several years ago I worked with the NOAA folks in Norman, OK as part of a project to look at the 50 year risk of floods and tornadoes on ammunition plant infrastructure. I also worked on stochastic discrete event simulations to model the effects of storms on helicopter pilot training. The Army trains its helicopter pilots at Ft Rucker, AL (in the corner of AL, GA and FL), which is prone to lots of storms and those storms have been getting more frequent as a result of all the heat in the Gulf of Mexico. Training schedules are very tight, very unforgiving, and very expensive to adjust.

    This spring’s floods have been a disaster for farmers and will likely impact food prices. Barges are stalled along the Mississippi because the locks and dams are closed due to high water levels. Those barges are carrying fertilizer. And the floods killed 1 million calves and God only knows how many broilers and egg layers.

    1. Moses Herzog

      @ 2slugbaits
      What we really wanna know is, while you were in Norman Oklahoma did you meet climate change denier and local TV rube Gary England?? He’s now retired, half-senile, and gets off reading his own Twitter posts.

      random off-topic remark
      Here’s the style humor I need today—in the absence of David Letterman we need more chicks like this Karavani—-
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TafqVykK0zI

      The wall “that Mexico paid for” is really a “marvel” of modern engineering, is it not?? MAGA illiterates must lose their breath when they see this emblem of modern American architecture. How did donald trump make those magical gaps in the fence that people can have 3 hour long conversations at, while a U.S. border patrol agent threatens to scratch his butt and fart as you giggle at him. donald trump really is the “VSG”.

  2. sammy

    “when the Fed has to take into account the implications of global climate change.”

    They don’t have to. Only some nut jobs think they do. BTW when you say “climate change” is it getting warmer, or colder? Drier or wetter? Or is it whatever it is doing is cause for government taking over the day to day activities of individuals?

    1. pgl

      For our comic relief! After reading these important contributions so early in the morning I needed a good belly laugh. And what better than some absurd statement from a climate change denier! Thanks Sammy!

      1. CoRev

        Pgl, please define Climate Change, and what Sammy denied. I’ll just await your next erudite (sorry misspelled RUDE and IGNORANT) comment.

        1. pgl

          You need a definition of climate change? Hey CoRev – we suspected you were stupid. Thanks for the confirmation!

    1. Moses Herzog

      @ Not Trampis
      When donald trump is your nation’s “leader” you’ll happily settle for “copy cats of the Aussies” with a forced smile on your face. See what extreme desperate times Americans have come to??

      P.S. Allies aren’t supposed to rub salt into an open wound. That’s like making fun of your friend because they got stuck with hepatitis B for 4 years. Come on man!!!

      1. Not Trampis

        rub salt?? I am applauding this, Rudebusch is one of your best and brightest. I remember him long ago absolutely destroying john Taylor on what the Taylor rule actually was.
        As you can guess I am a big fan of his

        As for getting a Trump no chance. We have both compulsory voting and preferential voting which means there is no chance of a Trump winning government

        1. Moses Herzog

          It was meant mostly in good fun.

          “When donald trump is your…..” I was disparaging America. Most of the time I’m ribbing you on this anti-Aussie stuff. I think I’ve said before I would trade you leaders in a heart-beat and that part of my nonsense is very sincere.

  3. CoRev

    Menazie, and all ACC believers, I have asked in the past for you to define what your definition of Climate Change is. NASA says Climate is: “…The climate of a region or city is its weather averaged over many years. …The climate of a city, region or the entire planet changes very slowly. These changes take place on the scale of tens, hundreds and thousands of years.” https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/features/nasa-knows/what-is-climate-change-58.html

    What I often see is confusion over climate and weather, as 2slugs did above. “This spring’s floods have been a disaster for farmers and will likely impact food prices.” or his unsupported claim: “… which is prone to lots of storms and those storms have been getting more frequent as a result of all the heat in the Gulf of Mexico.” NASA also defines the difference between them: “What Is the Difference Between Weather and Climate?
    Weather is the short-term changes we see in temperature, clouds, precipitation, humidity and wind in a region or a city. …”

    Since climate change is a longer period difference from the norm, weather can change, sometimes significantly from that norm for short periods, within that period defined for climate. That period is typically defined at 30 years.

    So what period, its length, and which or all of the climate conditions do these studies cover?

    1. 2slugbaits

      CoRev Yes, that is the high school definition of climate. And it is pretty good at giving the basic intuition. A more precise definition of climate is:

      …climate can be defined as the joint probability distribution describing the state of the atmosphere, ocean, and freshwater systems (including ice). Each of these systems is itself an extraordinarily high-dimensional system, so it is appealing to work with summary statistics such as global mean surface temperature or temperature distributions for major cities. Indeed, global mean surface temperature is intimately tied to the fundamental physics of planetary energy balance that explain global warming. However, consumers of climate science should recognize that such simplifications, while sometimes useful, do not capture the entire picture.
      https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jep.32.4.3

      The rationale for looking back 30+ years is that you need multiple observations to describe each of those probability distributions.

      And 2slugs is not confused about the difference between climate and weather. Weather is a data point that informs a probability distribution. Regarding flooding in the upper Midwest, data from the mid-19th century up until the late 1990s showed the chances of a 4 inch rainfall event happening within a 24 hour period was roughly once per decade. Currently that probability is a little over once per year. Pretty strong evidence of climate change in the upper Midwest. Or you might want to compare the climate zones in seed catalogs today with the climate zones in seed catalogs from 50 years ago. Pretty strong evidence of climate change. Or you might want to compare the southern boundary of the sugar maple tree line today with the southern boundary 50 years ago. Pretty strong evidence of climate change…and I don’t think you can accuse the trees of being politically biased.

      1. pgl

        CoRev is hanging his hat on artfully shifting the definitions of things like climate change? Seriously? OK – his hat won’t hang on his tiny little brain so HEY!

        1. CoRev

          Pgl, that;’s what I thought, you don’t even recognize a definition of Climate Change, and yet you questions others. I gues the NASA definition, the high school version, is beyond your ken.

          Just what was wrong with Sammy’s comment?

          1. pgl

            I know what climate change is. And I also recognize a pointless argumentative idiot like you. Move on or actually trying to make an honest point for a change.

          2. Willie

            Go back to practicing law. Pre-Platonic Sophist hair splitting to obscure proven facts is encouraged in that field. Destructive beetles in Colorado do not care and forests there are retreating to higher altitudes as a result. Winter is no longer cold enough to keep the beetles in check.

          3. CoRev

            Pgl, your erudite (rude and ignorant) responses indicate the opposite of your claim: “I know what climate change is.” Just what was wrong with Sammy’s comment? Or what was wrong with the NASA definition I provided?

            Please show us the depth of your wisdom on this subject.

      2. CoRev

        2slugs, I like simple definitions over the more complex, and so often no definition as we so often see here. We agree for the reasoning of the 30 year recommendation minimal period.

        Why have you ignored my request for you prior claim: “those storms have been getting more frequent as a result of all the heat in the Gulf of Mexico.” Some empirical data would be nice. You then doubled down with another unsupported claim: “Regarding flooding in the upper Midwest, data from the mid-19th century up until the late 1990s showed the chances of a 4 inch rainfall event happening within a 24 hour period was roughly once per decade. Currently that probability is a little over once per year. ”

        What makes you think I, or most of us skeptics, deny the climate changes? What we are skeptical of its causes and the effects assigned to those causes. For instance, the current mid-west flooding is due to heavy snow, something Climate Scientists claimed that was supposedly being reduced. And, yet it has been increasing.

        1. pgl

          “I like simple definitions over the more complex”.

          First you try to make basic things absurdly obscure but now you admit you are a simpleton! OK!

        2. 2slugbaits

          I like simple definitions over the more complex

          I know…that’s why I go to extreme efforts to dumb things down as best I can. Sometimes I’m more successful than other times.

          Why have you ignored my request for you prior claim: “those storms have been getting more frequent as a result of all the heat in the Gulf of Mexico.” Some empirical data would be nice.

          The detailed historical data on scrubbed training flights by sortie by day due to weather (there is a code for it) is FOUO. Submit a FOIA request.

          What makes you think I, or most of us skeptics, deny the climate changes?

          Good. For the record then, you agree that the climate is changing. We’ll bookmark that for the next time you throw up all those specious arguments about how it isn’t really changing because of (fill in the blank).

          What we are skeptical of its causes and the effects assigned to those causes

          No, you just suffer from willful ignorance because you don’t want to admit that your life’s mission to deny manmade climate change is beyond defensible, so you have resorted to a kind of pretend skepticism. It’s pretty transparent. What you should be asking yourself is how it is physically possible to increase GHGs without causing climate change. You can argue about the rate of change or how long we have before we reach a tipping point, but you can’t argue against the proposition that GHGs cause climate change. It’s scientifically impossible for GHGs not to cause climate change. The only open question is whether you want to condemn your grandchildren or great-grandchildren to a hellish planet. Not that you’ll care…

          1. CoRev

            2slugs, how many memory failures in this comment? You provided another non-answer by shifting from climate data to canceled flights, Tsk, tsk.

            How many times must I repeat, that I believe that climate (all its factors) changes. I’ve also said we should be happy that temperatures have gone up since the start of the record, and we have warmed out of must be happy that we recovered from the little ice age. I believe you’ve used that book mark line in the past, but continue to forget the many, many times i have repeated it. What you take is denial of climate change is questioning liberals latest climate misunderstanding

            You also forget I have not denied man made climate temperature impacts. I list them nearly every time you make the same mistake, UHI, and man’s land uses have HUUGGE impacts on temperature records.

            You are big on generalizing: “What you should be asking yourself is how it is physically possible to increase GHGs without causing climate change.” Without defining what you mean. I’ll repeat my prior NASA definition just because it is shorter: “Climate is: “…The climate of a region or city is its weather averaged over many years. …The climate of a city, region or the entire planet changes very slowly. These changes take place on the scale of tens, hundreds and thousands of years.” So define how GHGs effect each portion of the climate and how much. Magnitude of effect is and has alwasy been the unsolved question.

            Please give us a 2slugs scientific break through right here.

            BTW, the Green New Deal failesd 57 to 0 in the Senate. How hypocritical are the Dems?

          2. 2slugbaits

            CoRev My reference to cancelled sorties was linked to Menzie’s comment about DoD taking climate change seriously. The Army has observed that the number of sortie cancellations due to storms near the Gulf coast has been increasing. Is that alone proof of climate change? No. Is it additional evidence of climate change? Yes. Pile up enough evidence and you end up with proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

            You failed to answer my question as to how it is possible to have increasing GHGs without affecting the climate. Instead you just bobbed and weaved with some stuff about regional effects. So you either don’t know how increasing GHGs affect climate or you do know and just don’t want to publicly admit that you’ve been wrong about climate change lo these many years. So I’ll be generous and assume that you just don’t know how GHGs affect the climate. And since you like to keep things simple, I’ll skip the math. In a nutshell, the basic physics tells us that some sunlight that hits the earth is radiated back into space (about 30%), but some of it enters the atmosphere and warms the surface (about 70%). If you doubt this then I invite you to walk across a blacktop parking lot in your bare feet on a bright summer day. I think you’ll be convinced. Warm bodies radiate heat as infrared light. Some of that infrared light radiates back into space, but some of it is absorbed by certain kinds of molecules, with CO2 being one of the principal absorbers of infrared. Some of that infrared is radiated back down to the surface, causing it to further warm. If there were no GHGs in the atmosphere, the equilibrium temperature of the earth would be about 0F. But because we do have GHGs in the atmosphere, the radiating level is not the earth’s surface but rises such that the radiating balance is reestablished at 0F (i.e., where it would be without GHGs). There is a precise relationship between temperature and atmospheric height, so the current radiating level is about 3.5 miles above the earth’s surface. As GHGs are added to the atmosphere, the first effect is to increase the height of the radiating level, which means more infrared is prevented from radiating out into space. The more CO2 you add, the higher the radiating level. There are second and third order effects, but I’ll spare you.

            You asked about the magnitude. Well, the textbook physics tells us that a 1% increase in CO2 levels radiates back to the earth’s surface about 0.05 watts per square meter. But the earth is big, so that works out to about 27 trillion watts. To put that in perspective, it’s the energy equivalent of exploding one Hiroshima bomb over the earth’s surface every 2.3 seconds…forever. Eventually that accumulates to significant warming. None of this is controversial. It’s well established physics. And it’s also not climatology. The climate part is all about what the earth does or doesn’t do with all of that energy. Much of it is absorbed by the oceans. Much of it goes into phase changes to melt ice caps. That’s the part of all this that is difficult to model. No one knows for certain where or when we’ll reach a tipping point, but we do know that releasing GHGs into the atmosphere cannot go on forever without going over the cliff. For those of us who don’t spend our lives solving coupled differential equations to model climate change, we simply have to listen to the experts and ignore the cranks and Big Oil. We can also look at some flashing red warning signs that things are changing. The earth is warming. We can all read a graph. The mystery of the “hiatus” (that last refuge of climate deniers) has been solved and the solution is not comforting. There’s plenty of evidence. And those trends are true even if you correct for el Nino and la Nina years. The intercepts shift, but the slopes are the same.

            So to sum up, you have to tell us how increasing GHGs could do anything other than warm the earth. If you want to argue that you have super powerful math skills and you own thousands of parallel mainframes to model the climate and your estimate is that we have 100 years before reaching the tipping point rather than less than a generation, then fine. Show us your work. Publish it. We’d all love to hear about it.

            We have long learned to accept a division of labor. We let highly trained experts model the climate and trust their best collective judgment about how much time we have. They might be wrong, but the smart money assumes they’re in the ballpark. That same division of labor tells us that economists should take those climate forecasts and try to integrate them into an economic model. That’s tough, but I’m pretty sure a few Nobel economists (and the Fed) are more capable of doing this than Donald Trump or problem solver extraordinaire Jared Kushner. Managing climate change without tanking the economy is going to be a difficult job, but pretending that climate change isn’t real won’t make the job any easier. You can mock the GND or resist a carbon tax, but let’s see your plan. How do you plan on dealing with the problem of stranded capital investment? How much current consumption are you willing to divert to green infrastructure spending?

          3. baffling

            and 2slugs gives corev another beatdown. but i bet that scrappy corev will still get back up and say something stooopid, only to invite another beatdown. it is fun to watch him stagger around after each beating. obviously no brain damage will occur to the little critter, but his nose sure looks strange.

          4. CoRev

            2slugs, first let me correct your description of the Green House Effect (GHE), and then let me explain my understanding.
            “In a nutshell, the basic physics tells us that some sunlight that hits the earth is radiated back into space (about 30%), but some of it enters the atmosphere and warms the surface (about 70%). (We agree, but you ignored that reflective factors can change and have changed. A major factor is clouds, which are at best poorly understood and handled in the models. If they are handled at all, too often they are input as an constant. ) Warm bodies radiate heat as infrared light. (You ignored the other two transfer mechanisms, conduction and convection. Both are critical for moving heat in the atmosphere and especially at the surface. Ignoring them has caused a focus on radiant transfer. Infrared light is a light photon vibrating within a specific frequency range. A photon is a form of energy. Some of that infrared light radiates back into space, but some of it is absorbed by certain kinds of molecules, with CO2 being one of the principal absorbers of infrared. CO2 is not the principal GHG. Water vapor is. https://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/atmos_gases.html Water vapor makes up the largest percentage and has widest infrared absorption band of the GHGs in the atmosphere. Nearly all, perhaps as high as 99+% of the radiant energy (photons) escape immediately to space. ( I will ignore their interaction of non-GHG components of the atmosphere.) Of the small percent captured by a GHG molecule, only a small percent of those photons are returned to the surface. If it does not encounter another GHG molecule the photon will escape to space. What happens to those returned to the surface depends on several factors, type of surface (land/water), land’s water content at the surface, and the surface temperature at the point of return. Water (seas, oceans rivers, etc) will collect and store the photon’s energy for a long time, seconds, minutes, days to millennia. Some of that infrared is radiated back down to the surface, causing it to further warm. No. It will depend on the temperature of the receiving surface. If the photon returns to land and does not hit a water molecule, it will add or detract from the energy (heat or COOL) the specific molecule with which it collided. Accordingly, the temperature of the surface molecule impacted by the returning photon is important to defining the temperature impact. If the photon is captured by a water molecule it can reside for long periods and its energy is usually released by conduction in the land based water and conduction and convection in the oceans, seas, etc.
            If there were no GHGs in the atmosphere, the equilibrium temperature of the earth would be about 0F. No, the equilibrium temperature of the earth would be about 33C lower than that occurring at the surface point being measured. Planet equilibrium temperature is a theoretical construct for a black body planetary body being warmed by its sun. Earth is not a black body.But because we do have GHGs in the atmosphere, the radiating level is not the earth’s surface but rises such that the radiating balance is reestablished at 0F (i.e., where it would be without GHGs). There is a precise relationship between temperature and atmospheric height, so the current radiating level is about 3.5 miles above the earth’s surface. You are trying to define the effective radiation level – The lowest level of the atmosphere where infrared radiation on average escapes to space without being reabsorbed by a GHG molecule, a free path to space. There is no PRECISE relationship nor is the level preciseley 3.5 miles but ranges from just below 4 to above 6 miles. As GHGs are added to the atmosphere, the first effect is to increase the height of the radiating level, which means more infrared is prevented from radiating out into space. The more CO2 you add, the higher the radiating level. We agree. Eventually all the emitted IR reaches space, but due to energy transfers in the process it will likely beat a different frequency than at what it started its journey. ALL OF THIS OCCURS AT THE SPEE3D OF LIGHT, AND EXPLAINS WHY WATER WHI9CH CAN TRAP ENERGY FOR LONG PERIODS IS SO IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE GHE.

            More later.

          5. CoRev

            I see Menzie has lost another of my posts.

            Baffled, is that all you have? You’re getting worse than pgl with no value added.

          6. Menzie Chinn Post author

            CoRev: Please read time stamps for the various posts that I have just approved. You are not being singled out; I just approve posts when I can (I do have a day job).

          7. baffling

            corev, my contribution is about the same as your contribution, but in far fewer wasted words. your responses to 2slugs are simply a joke. since you are such an expert on this field, why not publish a book? heritage may sponsor you.

          8. CoRev

            Baffled, actually I was thinking of you while writing it expecting you to take my comment apart. No technical comment? I’m truly surprised.

          9. baffling

            “Baffled, actually I was thinking of you while writing it expecting you to take my comment apart. No technical comment? I’m truly surprised.”
            corev, your technical commentary is simply copy and paste from a bunch of web sites. it lacks coherence in its arguments. you provide a competent, coherent argument and i will respond technically. if you bounce all over the place, i am not going to chase you down a rabbit hole.

          10. CoRev

            Baffled, so you have nothing. I’m just shocked! I referenced just one site to show the percentages of GFHGs. Do you have a roblem with them? Or did you have a problem citing convection and conduction for heat transfer. Perhaps you didn’t understand my reference to water as the main method for storing long term the Sun’s energy?

            That last question baffles me, since you tried to convince me of just how rising OHC didn’t support the SURFACE TEMPERATURE PAUSE.

          11. baffling

            once again corev, your comments are simply incoherent. make a firm, concrete statement and if it is incorrect i will correct you. make incoherent statements and there is no need to respond-it is a waste of time and energy.

  4. Manfred

    @sammy:

    You are not allowed to ask those questions. You are not allowed to ask any questions, especially regarding climate change. Get with the program, Sammy.
    Genuflect, obey, kiss the ring, absorb without arguing, because otherwise, you will be sent to the gulags for re-education.

    1. JBH

      Manfred and Sammy: How right you are. Without laying out a foundation both sides can agree on, very little of productive discussion will result. Rudebusch starts out: Climate change describes the current trend toward higher average global temperatures and accompanying environmental shifts such as rising sea levels and more severe storms, floods, droughts, and heat waves. In coming decades, climate change—and efforts to limit that change and adapt to it—will have increasingly important effects on the U.S. economy. His predictive second sentence and the entire rest of his piece can be dismissed out of hand if there is not firm scientific agreement on all the main parts of the first.

      About the first, many scientists have strong reservations. That temperature has risen in recent decades is reasonably well agreed upon. But why has it risen? Cook et al. (2013) found that over 97 percent of the papers he surveyed endorsed the view that the Earth is warming and human emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause. But when the Cook study was challenged by economist David Friedman, one observer calculated that only 1.6 percent explicitly stated that man-made greenhouse gases caused at least 50 percent of global warming. So the central point to the whole argument is hardly scientifically settled. Just how much of the 0.8 degree C rise over the past 150 years was due to industrial era man? And how much was due to the sun and a multitude of other factors? No one definitively knows. At this point it’s guesswork. There is no consensus.

      A seminal paper by Li et al. (2017) studied the voluminous data set China collected over the past two millennia, not just over a few decades or centuries. Bottom line: For the first time, to the best of our knowledge, precipitation (67.4%) has been demonstrated to be more important than temperature (32.5%) in causing the overall agro-ecological and macro-geopolitical shifts in imperial China’s central ruling region and agricultural heartland over the last 2200 years. On the Iberian Peninsula, solid data from tree-rings show the max temp around 1625 was as high as it is today. Then came the Maunder minimum. Then around 1800 – predating the Industrial Revolution – max temp was again where it is today. Then the Dalton minimum. Since then the rise in temp has been steadier. With reasonable inference that man had at least something to do with it. But of course as the past history of the earth makes abundantly clear, the sun always did and always will hugely affect temp and climate. And Rudebusch doesn’t have the foggiest clue as to when and by how much. Evidently he ignores increasing predictions of a coming ice age. As well, climate models have hardly been successful. Predictions have been mostly way off. The scientists he relies on for his initial premise are hardly reliable if they can’t predict. Hence Rudebusch is operating as much on faith as he is on solidly grounded science.

  5. CoRev

    Menzie, regarding the temperature graph you displayed. The main arguments for these long range temperature reconstruction is based upon the horrible condition of these data, in particular relative to the locale and equipment changes during the life of these, especially long lived stations. Of these changes locale is perhaps the most important, because it raises doubt as to how much is local change influencing the temperature change?

    To solve this, in 2005 the US implemented a new set of automated weather stations in pristine locales. After a 13+ year history we are getting results to compare against the remaining stations data. https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn/ These stations show very little change or a gradual decline in temperatures since their inception. (Short term data like this can be sensitive to the end point values. We may be at the beginning of minor el Nino.) https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/national-temperature-index/time-series?datasets%5B%5D=uscrn&datasets%5B%5D=climdiv&datasets%5B%5D=cmbushcn&parameter=anom-tavg&time_scale=12mo&begyear=2005&endyear=2019&month=2
    What the data show is the impacts of ENSO, el Nino and la Nina on temperature peaks and valleys.

  6. joseph

    Geez, CoRev. Do you even understand the graph you linked to? As explained in the Background tab, the graph shows that the old stations and new stations give almost the same results. That is why the red, green and purple lines are coincident. This completely contradicts your “heat island” theory which has been a favorite (and thoroughly debunked theory) of the denialists for years.

    And perhaps you didn’t notice but the plot is not absolute temperature but the temperature anomaly. What it shows is that temperature has been anomalously high for 12 of the last 15 years, where normal is defined as the 30-year average from 1981 to 2010. Which means the last 15 years have been warmer than the previous three decades.

    1. pgl

      “Geez, CoRev. Do you even understand the graph you linked to?”

      BAHAHAHA! CoRev has never understood any graph he has ever seen or linked to.

    2. CoRev

      Joseph, shows his ignorance wit this: “And perhaps you didn’t notice but the plot is not absolute temperature but the temperature anomaly.” Almost all temperature data is shown as anomalies, and not absolute temperatures.

      You also totally ignored the point I made: “These stations show very little change or a gradual decline in temperatures since their inception. (Short term data like this can be sensitive to the end point values.” Where’s that warming in light of CO2 rising 6-7% during the same limited period?

      You might have missed the several el Nino peaks in the temperature graph. Do you remember all the claims of high temperature records in 2015-16, the largest el Nino on record. Lest you missed the meaning where’s the warming?

      BTW, creation of the USCRN has established to remove UHI influence and to a new CLEAN baseline for comparing the older thermometers. Yes, there was an adjustment to those older sites’ data to bring them into compliance.

      O2

      1. 2slugbaits

        CoRev Did you know that your link was to data for the continental US only? Mighty strange for a discussion of global warming. Oh wait…I forgot that as far as you’re concerned the rest of the world doesn’t exist.

        Where’s that warming in light of CO2 rising 6-7% during the same limited period?

        Here it is. Hiding in plain sight.
        https://www.climate.gov/maps-data/data-snapshots/data-source-monthly-sst-anomaly-global

        Of course, no one ever said that sea and surface temps rise contemporaneously and linearly with CO2 concentrations.

        One extraordinary piece of environmental economics idiocy coming from Team Trump is their decree that all government studies of climate change must assume a carbon cost of only $3 or $7 per metric ton, depending upon the discount rate used in the study. It was as close to zero as they could get. It doesn’t get a lot of attention in the media, but given the level of economic sophistication shown here by the usual suspects (sammy and CoRev, I’m talking to you) I can’t say that I’m surprised. Casting one’s pearls before swine.

        1. CoRev

          2slugs asks: “Did you know that your link was to data for the continental US only?” Absolutely! How could you have missed this in my explanation why: “Of these changes locale is perhaps the most important, because it raises doubt as to how much is local change influencing the temperature change?

          To solve this, in 2005 the US implemented a new set of automated weather stations in pristine locales…”? Sometimes you amaze me.

          And finally, a thank you for this admission: “Of course, no one ever said that sea and surface temps rise contemporaneously and linearly with CO2 concentrations.”, because that is what you implied with this: “What you should be asking yourself is how it is physically possible to increase GHGs without causing climate change. ” Finally you admit that sea and surface temps do not directly respond to (not GHGs) but CO2. Only CO2 is the magic bullet as so many of you try to convince us, but can not explain in comments as this comment.

          I hope you realize that your graph is for monthly averaged SSTs derived from satellites, ships, and buoys. In what way does this graph improve or contradict on my graph?

          You finally closed this comment with a snarky reference to Trump requiring a cost benefit analysis using a value to which you disagree, but completely ignore the latest liberal attempt at legislating climate change The Green New Deal has no benefit analysis at all. Yet the climate ignoranti tout its benefits to climate economics.

          And you folks can not understand how rational people perceive your goals and attempts to reach them. To confirm the ignorance and hypocrisy of your attempts, I’ll repeat the Senate vote count on the Green New Deal resolution 57 to 0 against.

          1. 2slugbaits

            CoRev “Of these changes locale is perhaps the most important, because it raises doubt as to how much is local change influencing the temperature change?

            Please take a stat course. You badly need one.

            In what way does this graph improve or contradict on my graph?

            It explains that the heat did not just disappear. It went somewhere. The issue is GLOBAL warming, not idiosyncratic variations in LOCAL warming. Reminds me of Big Tobacco’s old canard about how smoking doesn’t cause cancer because not everyone who smokes comes down with lung cancer. But then again, it’s not a coincidence because Big Carbon is modelling its climate “skeptic” campaign along the lines of Big Tobacco’s campaign.

            a snarky reference to Trump requiring a cost benefit analysis using a value to which you disagree

            Reasonable people can disagree about the optimal carbon tax, but no reasonable person thinks it’s $3/metric ton. The low end estimates put it at $46/metric ton, and that assumes some fairly rosy climate responses. Trump directed that it be set to zero but for technical reasons regarding the way EPA’s models handle discount rates the lowest value was $3/metric ton. Trump is only interested in ignoring the costs of GHGs.

            The Green New Deal has no benefit analysis at all

            I agree. The GND is not detailed enough to make a reasonable cost/benefit analysis. Also, only a fraction of the GND has anything to do with mitigating climate change. Most of it is associated with Old New Deal issues. We do need economic models to inform climate change policies; but denying manmade climate change is not a good way to begin the discussion. The GND advocates may not be right about the details, but they’re much closer to the mark than climate change “skeptics” when it comes to the big picture. They also have a lot more skin in the game than old retirees who won’t be around to face the consequences of unbridled GHG emissions. So let’s hear your approach to managing the shift to a greener economy. A carbon tax? Cap-and-trade? Are you opposed to the Fed taking climate economics seriously? After all, that is the subject of Menzie’s post.

      2. CoRev

        2slugs, provides another set unsupported claims about atmospheric physics.
        1) Local temperatures are impacted by locale, but that statistics corrects that. UHI, UHI, UHI, airports changing from SMALL grass fields to HUGE complexes of asphalt and concrete, removing rural stations in better environmental conditions, loss of stations at higher altitudes, and worse, but are all corrected by the astute use of statistics. NO! They are corrected by creation of USCRN, a set stations adhering to the best standards. Why was it created? Because In the late 90s a private citizen noticed that some of his local surface stations were extremely poorly located and triggered a crowd sourced review of nearly all of the US stations. One of the latest attempts to document is: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/29/press-release-2/
        2) “It explains that the heat did not just disappear.” In 2slugs world that ole heat sensed at a mid-western weather station miraculously moved to the oceans’ SURFACES. That’s after giving us his simple , error filled , and incomplete explanation of the GHE and how the miracle molecule moved that sensible heat to SPACE ?and perhaps? the ocean’s surfaces. NO! The miracle of statistics does not over ride the physics of energy transfer.
        3) “Reasonable people can disagree about the optimal carbon tax, but no reasonable person thinks it’s $3/metric ton.” Except that’s what his President wishes, while ignoring whether it more reasonable to calculate the costs of carbon over the costs of (long list of elements appears here) or even molecules – water, all the carbon based, and even atmospherics aerosols, etc.

        2slug’s you have a tendency to over simplify complex subjects and assign in ordinately high values to the many areas you THINK you understand while forgetting your understanding is woefully incomplete. Statistics is a tool not the end all.

  7. sammy

    pgl,

    To believe governments should enact policies fight CO2 caused “Global Warming” er “Climate Change” (why to you think they changed the name, hmmmmm?) you have to buy some pretty low probability stuff. That:

    A) The Earth is warming: https://financialpostcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/fp0624_global_temps_c_mf-1.png (global temps since 1997)
    B) C)2 is the driving force https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1600/0*3Vm0copgT8K-pcRm.gif (CO2 vs. Temp)
    C) Man is a significant contributor to atmospheric CO2 https://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/PageMill_Images/image270b.gif (percentage of manmade CO2)
    D) Man can significantly reduce the amount of [email protected] in the atmosphere https://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/PageMill_Images/image270b.gif
    E) A warmer is a worse than a colder earth http://www.myweb.wwu.edu/dbunny/pdfs/CO2_past-climate-chg-lessons.pdf (Medieval Warm Period)

    If we assign a 50% probability to each of the items (considerably higher than I would assign) you get .5 x .5 x .5 x.5 x.5 or .03125 probability. How much do you want to bet on a 3% chance that you are right?

    1. pgl

      CO2? Carbon monoxide dumbass. And you fret over simple definitions.

      Actually I should not call you a dumbass as I bet you know you are lying. It is what you do!

    2. pgl

      C)2? C02?

      Sammy is a monkey banging incoherently on his typewriter thinking he is writing Shakespeare!

    3. pgl

      Sammy’s research abilities are even worse than those of PeakIncompetent. Look at his last link. No one seems to claim this silly nonsense but the link suggests it was written by “dbunny” on his myweb page. Yes – American Economic Review quality – NOT! It seems that dbunny does teack at Western Washington University. MIT quality – not!

      http://myweb.wwu.edu/dbunny/

      Come on Sammy – are you really this incredibly incompetent at figuring out who you alleged sources are?

  8. pgl

    “BTW, the Green New Deal failesd 57 to 0 in the Senate. How hypocritical are the Dems?”

    Another blatant lie from CoRev. There was a procedural “vote” aka a McConnell stunt:

    https://nypost.com/2019/03/26/senate-rejects-ocasio-cortezs-green-new-deal-in-57-0-vote-blasted-as-a-sham-by-dems/
    “The Green New Deal failed to pass a procedural vote in the Senate Tuesday, with Democrats slamming the GOP motion as a “sham” and with two exceptions voting “present” in protest.”

    I would ask CoRev why he lies here 24/7 but I get it. This is his day job for Team Trump and if he did not do this – he would be homeless.

    1. CoRev

      I see another erudite (rude and ignorant) comment from our in-house professional troll. You appear to have a problem with McConnell testing the depth of Democratic support for a proposal which has been laughed at as rainbow colored unicorn, the Green New Deal before going any more forward. Apparently Dem support was less than just shallow. Hypocrisy is rampant with Dem law makers, and our designated troll.

      1. pgl

        Ah CoRev – until you acknowledge that your dbunny expert on climate change is a complete fraud – nothing you write has a shred of credibility. CoRev – paid by the lie.

    1. pgl

      ‘From a climate scientist who has been vilified as a “denier” and “Koch operative” and other such idiocies’.

      WTF? She teaches at Georgia Tech and has tried to contribute to this issue. She is not one of the insane deniers that Sammy and CoRev parade as their experts. And she is not villified in the way that the actual deniers are. So for you to suggest she has been so attacked is a really absurd distraction from all of this. Not that a distraction from the intellectual garbage being peddled by Sammy and CoRev is necessarily a bad thing.

      1. Bruce Hall

        pgl, “And she is not villified in the way that the actual deniers are.” Okay, then….

        From DeSmogBlog:
        Dr. Judith Curry, a former professor at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who has since resigned to focus on her private business, Climate Forecast Applications Network. Curry has admitted to receiving funding from fossil fuel companies while at Georgia Tech, and she is frequently cited and quoted by climate skeptic blogs and fossil fuel-funded politicians for her stance that the climate is “always changing.”. https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/03/29/house-science-committee-hearing-lamar-smith-michael-mann-climate-consensus-deniers

        From Sourcewatch:
        Judith A. Curry was chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology unti she retired in 2017. She runs a climate blog and has been invited by Republicans on several occasions to testify at climate hearings about uncertainties in climate understanding and predictions. Climate scientists criticize her uncertainty-focused spiel for containing elementary mistakes and inflammatory assertions unsupported by evidence. Curry is a regular at Anthony Watts’ denier blog, as well as Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit, another denier site. She has further embarrassed herself (and her university) by using refuted denier talking points and defending the Wegman Report, eventually admitting she hadn’t even read it in the first place.[1] Curry has agreed with Trump’s description of climate change as a “hoax”, writing in 2016 that the UN’s definition of manmade climate change “qualifies as a hoax”.[2] https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Judith_Curry

        From Democratic Underground:
        For his part, Mann said climate science would be stronger without Curry. He said she routinely engaged in character attack, “confusionism and denialism” and eroded scientific discussion. “She has played a particularly pernicious role in the climate change denial campaign, laundering standard denier talking points but appearing to grant them greater authority courtesy of the academic positions she has held and the meager but nonetheless legitimate scientific work that she has published in the past,” he said. “Much of what I have seen from her in recent years is boilerplate climate change denial drivel.”
        https://www.democraticunderground.com/1127107351

        More quotes of this ilk are unnecessary.

        From Dr. Curry:
        Funding disclosure: Funding sources for my research have included NSF, NASA, NOAA, DOD and DOE. Recent government contracts for CFAN include a DOE contract to develop extended range regional wind power forecasts, a DOD contract to predict extreme events associated with climate variability/change having implications for regional stability, and a NOAA contract to improve sub seasonal forecasting. CFAN contracts with private sector and other non-governmental organizations include energy and power companies, reinsurance companies, financial companies, other weather service providers, NGOs, development banks and government agencies. https://judithcurry.com/about/

        1. pgl

          Wow – they all documented their problems with her. Thanks for this as her reputation is pretty shady after all. Which is why Bruce Hall thinks she is an expert? Go figure!

    2. 2slugbaits

      Bruce Hall There is a real concern about how alarmist scientists should be. If not alarmist enough, then people won’t be motivated to do anything about it. Too alarmist and people will just give up and say there’s nothing we can do so we might as well party like we’re the last generation. So it’s a tough balance getting the tone right. But it’s not tough getting the risk assessment right. The mean and modal forecasts for temperature increases over the next century are probably manageable given some willingness to shift out of current consumption and replace “dirty” capital. But that’s bad policy if the tail probabilities are economic catastrophe. Insurance companies don’t pay actuaries to predict mean or modal outcomes; they pay them to describe fat tail events. A seven standard deviation event is impossible with a thin tailed normal distribution; a seven standard deviation event is quite possible with a fat tailed distribution. And everything we know about climate science tells us that we should be looking at fat tailed distributions. If you treat all generations equally, then it’s better to over react to climate change than under react.

      1. Bruce Hall

        2slug, I understand the concerns that Apocalyptic visions of an uninhabitable world create; however, one must look at the body of predictions and model forecasts over the past 30 years. Nearly all models have projected far greater warming than has actually occurred and the notion that “we might have been a bit alarmist, but now this is for real” is difficult to accept. It’s the old “crying wolf” tale.

        It doesn’t matter what you or I think individually. What matters is how the general population perceives the threat… minor or existential… and to what extent they are willing to sacrifice trillions of dollars to become “green” when 90% of the rest of the world is increasing their level of fossil fuel usage. The notion that we must prepare for a “seven sigma event” is unrealistic and counterproductive. We might as well be preparing for the Yellowstone Cauldron to blow its top.

        The Manhattan Institute just released their analysis of the “green” economy. https://media4.manhattan-institute.org/sites/default/files/R-0319-MM.pdf. The Executive Summary is worth reading even if you don’t want to go into the details.

        1. 2slugbaits

          Bruce Hall Nearly all models have projected far greater warming than has actually occurred

          This is an often repeated falsehood. There are lots of models and each one of them forecasts conditioned on a specific scenario. For example, in 2000 the IPCC presented 40 different temperature projections based on all kinds of scenarios. What I typically see in the “climate skeptic” literature is a upper tolerance limit that gets misrepresented as a central forecast, and then the skeptic does an “AH-HA!” to discount all climate forecasts. Did you ever look at the forecasts of climate skeptics? You might want to ask CoRev what his forecast from 10-15 years ago. I’ll tell you. He was promising with near certainty that we’d be seeing falling global temperatures. He warned of an impending global cooling. He had all kinds of reasons, all of which have been proven wrong. Show me a prominent climate skeptic who has even gotten the basic direction of climate change right.

          The Manhattan Institute link is pretty much what I would have expected from that organization. It’s a good example of why engineers should not do economics. The only piece of proper economics that you’ll find in the entire article is a botched reference to the discount rate. What he presented was the most braindead approach to managing GHG emissions and then misrepresented it as not only mainstream, but the only approach. Where was the economics? Where did he include any economic incentives to change behavior and shift demand? Nowhere. Instead we got some current trends that get extended out forever. And where did he adjust for the future costs of hydrocarbons? Nowhere. He just assumed the relative trade-offs would be the same in 2100 as they are today. The problem is that if we aren’t willing to use economics to change consumption and production incentives, then eventually the only option available will be the kind of braindead approach he sets up as a strawman argument. The reason economists advocate a carbon tax is to change behavior through the market. Hydrocarbon technology creates negative externalities because only a small fraction of the total cost is internalized in the price. Externalizing the cost does not make that cost go away, it just shifts it someplace else. In the case of GHGs it shifts most of the costs to future generations. Look at Figure 2 in Menzie’s post. It’s an example of how delaying abatement costs only makes things worse, similar to when a lifelong smoker ignores that chronic cough pretending that it’s just a lingering winter cold. If you want to get a flavor for the kind of economic approach that real economists have in mind, then try this nontechnical primer:
          https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/jep.32.4.53
          James Stock is a real economist with real econometrics chops.

          1. Bruce Hall

            2slug, in 2000 the IPCC presented 40 different temperature projections based on all kinds of scenarios….

            Well, that’s helpful for developing policies; especially since they were still off. How about a coin toss?

            As for engineers commenting about the technical viability of “green” energy schemes… no, leave that to the politicians or the economists who understand engineering and physics far better. The points that were being made about energy conversion, storage, and comparative costs are quite valid. Just because you can distort the economics of energy through taxes and prohibitions doesn’t mean it makes good economic policy. And just because you can envision a different scenario doesn’t make it plausible. Some engineering and physics principles are not easily wished away.

            The automobile is more sophisticated than it was in 1900, but it functions in pretty much the same way. The zipper is virtually unchanged in 100 years. Electrical power generation is essentially the same as it was 50 years ago with the exception of the crawling introduction of wind and solar energy as a minuscule portion of the total. What you can say is that you can mandate changes, but at significant costs in terms of reliability and support needs without changing the output: electricity. And it is that perception of no benefit from significant cost increases that will be reiterated each month as the bills come in. The invisible gas that you are so concerned about will continue to be pumped out of Africa and Asia at ever increasing rates more than nullifying whatever ghastly expensive efforts are made in the U.S. to reduce it. And I’m sure you are aware that there is just a weak positive correlation between CO2 in the atmosphere and temperature changes… and physical limits to that as well. In other words, the greatest impact is noticed initially with diminishing impact as more CO2 is added (simplified explanation here: https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/ed_hoskins_co2_concentrations.pdf)

            Oh, as to “dangerously rising sea levels”… how old are those dikes in The Netherlands? Amazing how well they work. And they didn’t cost $100 trillion. I’m certain that we could improve on that with today’s or tomorrow’s technology to keep our vulnerable areas safe at a fraction of a fraction of that cost.

  9. Bruce Hall

    Good reading: https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/archive/aeo18/pdf/electricity_generation.pdf

    Note that wind (onshore) power generation is competitive with natural gas (CC – combined cycle) and shouldn’t need the ~18% taxpayer subsidy. However, I believe these costs do not include the costs of backup power generation for wind (massive battery installations or CC installations). When working, however, wind power is able to generate electricity in line with natural gas. Wind and solar power for electricity generation does have significant regional variation. Wind might work well on the northern Great Plains, but solar would be a boondoggle, whereas the opposite would be true in Arizona.

    It would be interesting to examine the ecological impact of solar/wind versus natural gas for electricity generation. Natural gas requires pipelines; wind and solar require vast tracts of land.

    1. pgl

      I guess you have not been paying attention – Pelosi is leading. OK – you think AOC is hotter but this is not some high school locker room.

    2. Barkley Rosser

      Mose,

      Pelosi has again called it. She said impeachment not a good idea. She is right, given what has come out of Mueller and Barr. When will you figure it out that she is the smartest person in the Congress?

  10. 2slugbaits

    CoRev Yes, conduction and convection are important ways of transferring heat, and those are important in describing how the earth manages heat build-ups. But conduction and convection only redistribute heat, they don’t add to it. The focus on infrared radiation is important because that’s what is responsible for the accumulation of heat. All three are important for climate science, but they are important in different ways. For purposes of describing how heat builds-up it’s the radiative that’s important.

    And you’re right that clouds play an important role in regulating the reflectivity of sunlight, but they also play an important role in trapping heat. Clouds work both ways. But clouds are local events. Over a 14 day period the global cloud coverage is about the same, so the net effect on the earth’s energy balance comes to a wash. It’s cloudy in Nebraska today, but tomorrow Nebraska will be sunny and Ohio will be cloudy. So it’s not wrong to treat clouds as a constant….with one important qualification. Over many years as the earth warms there will be a tendency for the atmosphere to hold more water vapor. That means more clouds over a long time trend; but it also means warmer temperatures because, as you rightly said, water vapor is the single most dominant GHG. We ignore water vapor as a GHG and treat it as a constant over the relatively short timeframe because the total amount of water in the atmosphere is about the same. But as the earth warms because of CO2 and other manmade GHGs, there will be a tendency for higher water vapor in the atmosphere. Including water vapor into the discussion only increases the rate at which the earth warms. Water vapor is one of those reinforcing factors.

    Planet equilibrium temperature is a theoretical construct for a black body planetary body being warmed by its sun. Earth is not a black body.

    Right. The point is that the temperature of the earth absent GHGs is entirely determined by the intensity of the sun, the distance to the sun and the reflectivity of the earth’s surface. Absent GHGs the earth’s equilibrium temperature would be colder than it is, and the more GHGs you add to the atmosphere the warmer the earth must get. The earth is not a uniform sphere with a constant surface reflectivity, and warmer oceans only make the earth less reflective. Yet another reinforcing feedback effect we need to worry about.

    You wrote a lot of stuff, but you still didn’t answer the question how it would be possible to increase GHGs without warming the earth.

    1. CoRev

      2slugs claims: “But conduction and convection only redistribute heat, they don’t add to it.” Convection and conduction move the heat in the atmosphere up until it reaches the “effective radiation level – The lowest level of the atmosphere where infrared radiation on average escapes to space without being reabsorbed by a GHG molecule, a free path to space. ” (from my response to your treatise).

      Another unsupported claim: “Over a 14 day period the global cloud coverage is about the same, so the net effect on the earth’s energy balance comes to a wash.” You make an assumption that most of the climate modelers will. Instead they admit models still can not handle clouds well. Please stop the 2slugs assumptions.

      If this is what you meant then say it: “Right. The point is that the temperature of the earth absent GHGs is entirely determined by the intensity of the sun, the distance to the sun and the reflectivity of the earth’s surface.” Please stop the 2slugs assumptions.

      Because of you r lack of understanding or will ignorance you missed the explanation: “No. It will depend on the temperature of the receiving surface. If the photon returns to land and does not hit a water molecule, it will add or detract from the energy (heat or COOL) the specific molecule with which it collided. Accordingly, the temperature of the surface molecule impacted by the returning photon is important to defining the temperature impact.” Look again at conduction and what happens when photons collide when they are at different frequencies.

      There is so much more to add, but you still can not past the radiative physics

  11. CoRev

    In my response to 2slugs mis-focused, incomplete and simplistic definition of the GHE I promised to provide my explanation later. This is later, and will take a different tact for explaining climate Change.

    Our beautiful BLUE planet’s surface is slightly more than 70% water. Water is both a GHG and a long term energy reservoir, trapping energy for seconds to millennia. GHGs are not energy reservoirs, except in the shortest context of nano to milliseconds duration.

    Nearly 100% of that energy arriving on the planet originates and arrives from the Sun! Of the 340 watts per square meter of solar energy that falls on the Earth, 29% is reflected back into space, primarily by clouds, but also by other bright surfaces and the atmosphere itself. About 23% of incoming energy is absorbed in the atmosphere by atmospheric gases, dust, and other particles. The remaining 48% is absorbed at the surface. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/features/EnergyBalance/page4.php

    Absorption of the 70% water actually accounts for nearly all the long term energy storage of the incoming energy. The remaining energy absorbed by is stored for much shorter periods, fractions of a second to days to months, accounting for a daily and seasonal temperature differences. Because I am only discussing this at a high level, I won’t get into the physics of heat transfer except to say that heat is transferred through conduction, convection and radiation, and these occur continuously and simultaneously. The important point to remember is that heat energy is NATURALLY and continuously trying to reach equilibrium.

    Slowing of this process results in the sensible change indicated by thermometers, and is measured in the longer time frames, minutes to millennia.

    What effects the slowing of these processes resulting in the thermometer reading changes.
    1) Perhaps more important is change affecting the amount of energy reaching the surface. Increases in clouds and their density can be extensive affecting that relatively large, 29% reflection of atmospheric percentage. Of course we can not forget the increase of GHGs, which can absorb some of that energy, but these changes are amount to a fraction of a percent of a smaller total value,23%, versus the greater changes of clouds 29%. So it is safe to say that cloud changes over whelm the impact of GHG changes.
    2) Surface locale changes are critical to describing the impact of energy storage on land. UN-developed grass land versus developed concrete and asphalt areas have huge differences in heat storage capabilities and lengths. I will remind you again of the importance of water in theses environments. UN-developed grass land has immensely larger portions of water content in both the vegetation and land than its concrete and asphalt counterparts. Water stores for longer periods., so that a thermometer in these locations will read cooler temperatures for longer cycles, days to months than the developed counterpart where the heat storage is for shorter periods where thermometers in these locations will read higher but show more abrupt changes, hours to days. That is defined as the Urban Heat Island effect.
    3) Oceans have immensely larger heat storage potential than land, up to millennia in length. Heat transfer within the oceans are typically via convection and conduction. Heat transfer at the oceans’ surface to the atmosphere is typically via conduction and evaporation. So once in the oceans the Sun’s energy may well stay for much longer periods than are sensed by thermometers and much longer than man has been keeping records. In fact oceans can transfer heat huge distances on the planet’s surface, pole to pole, and from the top to bottom via convection currents. Oceans also have cyclic actions Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillations, Pacific Decadal Oscillations, El Nino Southern Oscillations, and many others some still to be defined or discovered, where ocean stored heat can be sensed at the surfaces for atmospheric transfer.

    To clarify the difference between 2slugs’ incomplete description of the GHE and mine, his focused on the shortest cyclical period, radiative transfer and GHG interactions lasting from a nano-second to a second or two (given multiple absorptions while escaping to space), versus my description of solar energy storage lasting from seconds to millennia with the bulk being the longer time frames. Within both these descriptions are embedded cyclical energy pulses. 2slugs’ description pulses range from daily to annual in length. My description includes all of those included in 2slugs’ description but temporally expanded pulse from period of years to millennia. These well known and recognized longer cyclical pulses were never even recognized by 2slugs. I do believe these long term cycles drive climate, examples include seasons, up to glaciations. To ignore them is to ignore the natural history of the planet.

    Neither 2slugs nor I discussed anthropogenic impacts, except for my commentary of the concrete and asphalt environments where too many of our thermometers reside. The reason for that omission is because there is little actual empirical evidence which can numerically define them. A major failing of the AGW theory.

    1. 2slugbaits

      CoRev You killed a lot of innocent electrons just to obscure the question I keep asking you. The question:
      how it would be possible to increase GHGs without warming the earth.

      And you might want to quit digging yourself into a deeper hole. All of your comments about second and third order effects only reinforce the potency of GHGs on global temperature.

      These well known and recognized longer cyclical pulses were never even recognized by 2slugs.

      True. Because they are irrelevant to the current situation. There are natural cycles, but the things that produced those warming cycles are not relevant today. In fact, many of those factors would suggest that the earth should be cooling, not warming. You have a failing memory, but it was precisely those long run factors tilting towards global cooling that informed your previous statements about global cooling being the big threat.

      1. CoRev

        2slugs, this the the most ignorant statement I have seen you make:P “These well known and recognized longer cyclical pulses were never even recognized by 2slugs.

        True. Because they are irrelevant to the current situation. There are natural cycles, but the things that produced those warming cycles are not relevant today.” That’s even more i8gnorant than you prior comment re:adjusting ANNUAL temperature ANOMALY data for seasons. Which of the tree cycles, AMO, PDO and ENSO, are no longer relevant today?

        Here’s a hint. 2016 set temperature highs due to one of these irrelevant cycles. Which one was it?

        This downplaying comment must be the opposite of your: “There is a real concern about how alarmist scientists should be.” I guess statistics tells you that nature has no place in Climate Change.

  12. CoRev

    This paper, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308043423_A_Hiatus_of_the_Greenhouse_Effect kinda shows how wrong was 2slugs with his comment: “There are natural cycles, but the things that produced those warming cycles are not relevant today.” RIGHT!

    This paper “A Hiatus of the Greenhouse Effect” and actually many other papers explain cyclical impacts: “..two monthly gridded atmospheric and surface greenhouse effect parameters (Ga and Gs) are estimated to represent the radiative warming effects of the atmosphere and the surface in the infrared range from 1979 to 2014. The atmospheric and surface greenhouse effect over the tropical monsoon-prone regions is found to contribute substantially to the global total. Furthermore, the downward tendency of cloud activity leads to a greenhouse effect hiatus after the early 1990 s, prior to the warming pause. Additionally, this pause in the greenhouse effect is mostly caused by the high number of La Niña events between 1991 and 2014. A strong La Niña indicates suppressed convection in the tropical central Pacific that reduces atmospheric water vapor content and cloud volume…”

    Remember 2slugs earlier explanation of how clouds both warm and cool the atmosphere and surface? also remember my list of cycles which included ENSO (2slugs seemed to forget there are tow peaks in ENSO), and how la Ninas are cooling events, especially on tropical SSTs. Remember my description of how these radiatiion changes far over power the impacts of GHGs?

    I guess those many papers, with this one just throw cold water on 2slugs blind belief and wishful confidence in the magical powers of that ole CO2 molecule.

    Please, please, some scientist actually estimate the heating impact of

  13. 2slugbaits

    CoRev Are you drunk? Your incoherent ramblings are worrisome. You sound desperate, all in a vain effort to avoid answering the one simple question that you know you don’t want to answer: Please explain to us how it is possible to have increasing GHGs without increasing global temperatures. Rant all you want about natural cycles, la Ninas, pauses, blah, blah, blah. Those are all just obfuscations to avoid having to answer the question. They may or may not be interesting topics in their own right, but they don’t have a damn thing to do with the original question about GHGs warming the earth. And it’s obvious why you don’t want to answer it. Because if increasing GHGs can only increase global temperatures, then we’re no longer arguing about whether manmade global warming is real, only the rate at which it’s warming the globe. Now, to be sure, I don’t actually expect you to answer that question. After all, you have a well known reputation across the blogosphere for constantly shifting your stories and trying to throw up lots of smoke in order to keep weaseling out of uncomfortable positions. When people talk about “pulling a CoRev” we all know what that means.

    Oh, your memory is failing you again. I’ve repeatedly corrected your comment on those seasonal anomalies. As I’ve mentioned several times before, I did not use annual CO2 and temperature anomaly dated (as you continue to misremember), but monthly data. So please make a note of it this time…and try not to forget where you put the note.

    1. CoRev

      2slugs, I see you’re pulling a 2slug in misremembering of being questioned on your request to adjust for seasonality of annual anomaly temperature data. Your credibility is now worse than your memory. You can claim you used monthly data all you want, but you are wrong, again. BTW, it was my annual anomaly data not yours you questioned. Bob and weave all you want, but the egregiousness of that error is seared into my memory. You’ve now added another nearly as bad.

      I will repeat my answer to your repeated question. Because of your lack of understanding or willful ignorance you missed the explanation: “No. It will depend on the temperature of the receiving surface. If the photon returns to land and does not hit a water molecule, it will add or detract from the energy (heat or COOL) the specific molecule with which it collided. Accordingly, the temperature of the surface molecule impacted by the returning photon is important to defining the temperature impact.” Look again at conduction and what happens when photons collide when they are at different frequencies.” You do understand that is the core explanation of the GHE, don’t you?

      It’s obvious you are incapable of understanding your question is answered. Please take a basic physics class to understand some fundamental energy transfer concepts. Or perhaps begin to get your Climate Science from sources other than Economic Studies from which you drew your definition. Your Climate Science is woefully incomplete and full of errors.

      Please explain how that miracle molecule raised the annual temperature by ~1C in 2016-16. I’ll wait while you google.

  14. 2slugbaits

    Bruce Hall You’re trapped into think that the only way to manage global warming is through engineering marvels. The stuff presented in your Manhattan Institute link assumed that the central problem was finding ways to continue consuming energy in the same old way. A lot of taking current trends and extrapolating into the future. That’s the climate skeptics version of alarmist thinking…throw up a scary trendline. Economics is all about changing incentives, which will cause people to change behavior, which will change the way we use energy. A carbon tax that captures the externalized cost of GHGs will motivate people to adjust behavior. Just to take an extreme example. Suppose the govt imposed a $10/gal tax on each gallon of gasoline or diesel. Think that might change your driving behavior and choice of vehicles??? I’m gonna say yes. People respond to economic costs and incentives. Looking to technology and engineering solutions is all fine and even necessary, but those solutions will only work if they are aligned with changes in behavior.

    You mentioned something like $100 trillion cost for GND. I’m assuming you read some nonsense about the GND costing $93 trillion. That was a big scary number that some GOP politicians were throwing around. First, that number was completely made up and the “think tank” that came up with it was unable to back it up…largely because the GND advocates have never advanced a plan anywhere near detailed enough to make any cost estimate. But that’s not the only problem with that number. The $93T guesstimate was over 10 years, but more to the point, only $14T of that had anything to do with reducing GHGs. The rest of the $93T was some think tank’s guess as to what things like free college education and a guaranteed job and Medicare for All, infrastructure spending and a bag of other stuff. So even if that $14T for GHG abatement number is right (and who knows if it is), it’s pretty clear that we’re going to spend something close to that in economic losses over the next decade. The costs of global warming are not like some option on a car that you can add or ignore. It’s not like saying that heated leather seat would be nice, but it’s just too expensive. You don’t have a choice whether or not you’re going to pay for global warming. Those costs are unavoidable. That’s the point of Figure 2 in Menzie’s post.

    Finally, in an earlier post you said that forecasts of global warming have been consistently wrong. Well, not quite. Columbia University researchers have a new paper that shows how markets (i.e., people with real skin in the game instead of just political BS) agree with consensus climate forecasts.
    http://ceep.columbia.edu/papers/n2.pdf
    We analyze a direct measure: prices of financial products whose payouts are tied to future weather outcomes. We compare these market expectations to climate model output for the years 2002 to 2018 as well as observed weather station data across eight cities in the US. All datasets show statistically significant and comparable warming trends. Nonparametric estimates suggest that trends in weather markets follow climate model predictions and are not based on shorter-term variation in observed weather station data. When money is at stake, agents are accurately anticipating warming trends in line with the scientific consensus of climate models.
    There are some nice charts in the appendices that show NOAA forecasts and actual forecasts as well as futures market forecasts. The consensus climate models (like NOAA’s) did very well. Well enough that futures markets are convinced they’re right.

  15. CoRev

    Yes! Mankind does influence warming, and give an estimate of amount. What it doesn’t say tha the warming is from GHGs. This paper https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/asl.896 provides well supported estimates: “A significant increase in monthly, seasonally and annually averaged ΔT min is observed in areas of higher urban fraction. For annual average ΔT min, an urbanisation effect of 1.90 ± 0.88 K is found (Figure 3). Stronger relationships are found for ΔT min in the summer months where the maximum UHII reaches 2.17 ± 0.78 K in May.

    Why is this estimate significant? Climatologist have been telling us for years that warming has occurred both at night and in the winter months. With this paper we can estimate the urbanization effect on these min/max temperatures, and they are significant.. The paper’s importance is reinforced by a couple of dozen references of other papers it CITED with similar findings.

    What this paper doesn’t do is explain why the heating is also carried to the poles, but there are many others that do explain this phenomenon. This paper also does not try to claim all warming is due to urbanization, but confirms its importance and how the variability can be better used in calculating a more valid temperature. This paper also does not compare the number of urban to rural stations, but many other sources do. They show the comparison is heavily weighted to urban areas around the world.

    Someone might do their own independent analysis to estimate how the miracle molecule impacts these urban/rural station cite issues. Or they could do another analysis to explain the economic value of the Green New Deal to this station citing issue.

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