TV Meteorologist: How I Learned About Climate Change

August 30, 2016

Dan Satterfield – Dan’s Wild, Wild Science Journal:

Two politicians: one right-wing, and one left wing, made stunningly ignorant statements about climate change in the past two weeks.

A U.S. Senator from Wisconsin (Ron Johnson) claimed the globe is not warming and actually is cooling, while Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for President claimed we will see “yards of sea level rise” in 50 years.

First let’s talk about the sea level rise. This is a serious issue, and the last IPCC report indicated that we are likely to see somewhere around a 1 meter rise by 2100. Dr. Michael Mann at Penn. State Univ. tipped me to a Nature paper earlier this year that shows it might be as much as 2 meters, or around 2 yards by 2100. This will change the face of the world’s coastlines, and cause billions to mitigate. If you are going to run for President, you should be science literate, and Ms. Stein fails the test here.

Next, the myth that the planet has stopped warming. This claim has been shown (over and over) to be nothing but silly propaganda. I’ll let some graphics below show you why.

hotmonth2hotmonth1 the way, 2016 now has a 99%+ chance of beating 2015 and becoming the hottest year on record globally. That pretty much puts an end to that piece of propaganda. Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy did a nice piece on how silly this is here.


John Cook at Skeptical Science put together a nice graphic that shows where these conspiracy theories come from, and it pretty much speaks for itself.


Facts matter, and these two candidates seem to be seriously short of them when it comes to science literacy. I had a chance to chat with Neil de Grasse Tyson a few years back, and I’m reminded of something he said that stuck with me. I paraphrase: “I like to vote for people who are smarter about the issues than I am.” Now, I doubt any candidate knows more about physics than he does, but I think a basic level of science literacy is not too much to expect of someone aiming for high office.

Most disappointing is lack of discipline from the purported “Green” candidate, Jill Stein. As Dan points out, “yards of sea level” – while probably locked in at this point for the next century, is not something even the most pessimistic scientists predict for mid-century.

I interviewed James Hansen, who has made some of the most dire, but conditional, sea level predictions, last year.  Dr. Hansen describes how, if mass loss trends were on a 10 year doubling time – which is far from clear at this time – we could get a meter of sea level rise by mid-century – but not the “yards” or 9 feet that Stein has talked about in recent statements.

25 Responses to “TV Meteorologist: How I Learned About Climate Change”

  1. earl Says:

    I think you’re nit-picking about Stein. A meter is more than a yard and mid-century is only 30 years away – and Hansen himself says if we get one meter of SLR by then, that this would be indicative of an accelerating sea level rise… so yards plural could be seen within 50 years – if Hansen is right. We’re also becoming accutely aware of the fact that projections are consistently well underestimating the observed data. I’m all for Stein. Looks like the only party that isn’t in the pockets of the corporations from this side of the pond.

    • neilrieck Says:

      While I am not a scientist, I can tell you the current rate of sea level rise has been measured by satellites as “3.4 mm per year” since 1993. Or you can use the average of ~ 2 mm per year since 1870. Here is a brief article for the layman:

      These numbers translate to anywhere between 200 mm and 340 mm per century. Americans are not yet on the metric system so let me say that these numbers are close to 20% and 33% of a yard, and these ball-park numbers are guaranteed minimums.
      1) comparing “2 mm since 1870” to “3.4 mm since 1993” is interpreted by may (most?) as acceleration.
      2) most of the arctic is already at sea level so melting ice there will probably not do much to sea level rise (with the exception of reduced albedo). The melting of the Greenland ice sheets (which are above sea level) is another matter. Oh, and then there are the troublesome issues surrounding the release of methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) when the permafrost melts.
      3) most of the antarctic is above sea level so the melting of any ice already above the water will be problematic.
      Summary: Humanity’s future appears worrisome.

  2. Tom Bates Says:

    The globe is not warming and is cooling per the RSS data so the politician who said that was correct. The Giss data set for your graft is 66 percent plugs, usually higher than the actual and a lot of those plugs fill holes in the data as the Giss folks fix what they describe as anomalies. . Current sea level rise is 3 inches in 100 years from tidal data on land not moving up of down. Hansen used to run NOAA and is basically a nut. He claimed the world has been warming suddenly from mans activities when he knows it was warmer than today for much of the past 4000 years except for the little ice age and warmer than today in 1000 AD unless of course trees under that glacier in Alaska grow under ice which is unlikely. The little ice age is not over and we have been warming from the coldest period for 400 years off and on. One could go on but the believers simply will not google the data and look at it themselves like many commenters on this blog who are well meaning but cannot evaluate the data for themselves so blame corporate conspiracy and worship at the feet of the “self described experts” like Hansen and Stein. Here is an example, Hansen and the one meter of rise which is 39 inches. In 30 years when current rise is 3 inches in 100 years. That would be 39 X 3(rounded)= 117 inches a rate 117/3 =39 times faster than the present. Unless the sun blows up that number is impossible.

    • ubrew12 Says:

      Nice hatchet job on NASA GISS, but its hardly the only surface temperature record out there and it falls right in line with the others. Here is the graph since 1980, which includes GISS, Hadley MET, NOAA, Cowtan and Way, and BEST:

      It also includes the IPCC model predictions for that time period (note the excellent agreement). You could claim a ‘slowdown’ since 1998 by cherry-picking your start date until a few years ago. Now you cannot even do that.

      So, I guess you are left hiding out with the Satellite data (RSS). Among those Scientists who don’t agree with your conclusion of ‘cooling’ from the RSS data, you’d have to include the guy in charge of the RSS data. BTW: please explain why the Satellite data indicates Stratospheric cooling over the last 40 years (see graph, below). Any solar effect would influence the Stratosphere in the same direction as the Troposphere. The only way to get Stratospheric cooling in the face of Tropospheric warming is through a build-up of Greenhouse gases in the Troposphere. So, ironically, your precious Satellite data is actually the final nail in your coffin:

      veni vidi vici

      • Lionel Smith Says:

        So, I guess you are left hiding out with the Satellite data (RSS).

        Yes the J Curry gambit, ‘…we must look at the satellite data it’s the best data we have…’. How she thought she could say that at a hearing and not lose credibility is a sign of how far into the spiral of decline she has fallen and Master Bates has followed her down.

    • miffedmax Says:

      Oddly, the RSS website does not agree with you:

      Over the past 35 years, the troposphere has warmed significantly. The global average temperature has risen at an average rate of about 0.13 degrees Kelvin per decade (0.23 degrees F per decade).
      Climate models cannot explain this warming if human-caused increases in greenhouse gases are not included as input to the model simulation.

    • Tommy-Poo,

      I’m back — let me remind you that every time you show up at climatecrocks, I will to be here to insist that you retract your lies about NASA/GISS.

      So for the thirteenth time at least, here goes…

      In an earlier comment thread, you made this claim — do you remember it?

      …and only shows warming after that when they plug 66 percent of the data with estimates which are higher than the actual temperatures they replace.

      I proved you wrong by showing that the NASA warming trend can easily be replicated with raw data (no adjustments/estimates/etc.) Link here:

      When you continued to post without retracting that completely false claim, I followed up here:

      You also ignored that second request to retract your claim.

      And a third.

      And a fourth.

      And a fifth.

      And a sixth.

      And a seventh.

      And an eighth.

      And a ninth.

      And a tenth.

      And an eleventh.

      And a twelfth.

      So I’m following up with yet another request (this one is at least the thirteenth). Will you admit that you were wrong about NASA and how it processes temperature data?

      Every time you show up here, I will ping you about this.

      Every. Single. Time.

      And I won’t stop until you acknowledge that you were wrong.

      (Actually, I don’t really expect Bates to man up and admit that he was wrong; I’m simply using him as an example of how deniers are utterly and completely incapable of admitting error, even after they tell the most egregious whoppers).

  3. Tom Bates Says:

    that would be Mann, me bad. Mann left out 80 years of one proxy and used a proxy of one tree in Siberia to get his hockey stick so he fits the self described expert category.

    • Gingerbaker Says:

      Sure, sure, Tom. Thanks so much for that completely full of sh*t misinformation. You are a treasure. Really helping the world. What a fine fellow you are.

      • Paul Whyte Says:

        The work of John Cook of Skeptical Science seems to show that a self defining internal denier loop exists where the ideological faithful (to the fossil fuelled business as usual) are (il)logically prevented from engaging in a discussion about the data currently except for the small bits of “their” data that they love to go on about.

        Science only has data. There is no sub set of data unless you are a denier. There can be conflict in the literature that needs to be resolved with further research but this was done with global warming and the literature I’ve read gives examples of the deniers theories just not fitting with the climate data. After that published debunking, the deniers double down on the now shown to be false claims.

        The big picture is quite clear that the planet is warming from human caused emissions and the over view of the data for that has been changing to be ever clearer since the first IPCC report in 1992.

        Most of the heat from enhanced human cause global warming is being trapped in the oceans and with natural variations gets put into the lower troposphere. The least heat from global warming is going into the mid and upper troposphere.

        Of cause the deniers want to talk about the mid troposphere temperatures as this is where the planet is warming the least. If you go high enough in the atmosphere the planet is cooling due to the out of balanced nature of the energy imbalance from human emissions.

        The deniers will be in the future forced to go higher and higher in the atmosphere or to the cool pools in the higher latitudes to keep to the denier faith of looping like a broken record to the dwindling areas of the planet that are not warming.

    • schwadevivre Says:

      Master Bates,

      Your nonsense has been debunked by caerbannog666 above. Please stop contemplating the bend sinister you have added to Monckton’s Coat of Arms (for your personal use) and respond.

      You won’t, you’re too scared of facts

      Sorry for the Wonkette style snark but Master Bates deserves it. Please delete if you so desire

  4. Peter – will the “thousands” of supraglacial lakes appearing in Antarctica this year, make a difference to that sea level rise prediction?

  5. Satterfield … why does that name sound familiar? Oh, yeh, when I attempted to post a short article at The DailyKos, my topic was on Satterfield, and they deep-sixed it. No matter, I just turned it over into something longer at WUWT ( ), where I could use it as an example of how the far-left screens out material they don’t like. There’s one small glitch in the formatting at the WUWT version, a dotted line was supposed to appear before the fourth-to-last paragraph that starts with “Perhaps best encapsulating the entire situation”, indicating the end of the verbatim part I submitted to DailyKos.

    Of course, I appreciate how Peter Sinclair allows me to place comment material here. He’s said on more than one occasion that he does so to illustrate what “deniers” are like, but as most of you know, he offers no specifics on what that is with regard to me. On November 11, 2014, he told me in a comment to “Rock on. Just keep it clean, bro.” A request I which I have respected all along. Now, cue resident commenter “dumboldgoy” to once again use either disguised or outright profanity, as he has demonstrably used in the past on various occasions, calling for me to be banned.

  6. Gingerbaker Says:

    “stunningly ignorant statements about climate change: … Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for President claimed we will see “yards of sea level rise” in 50 years.”

    Two very highly-placed officials at NOAA, supposedly expert and well-informed on the topic say the same thing. They say this is based not just on Hanson, but also upon very recent but unpublished data.

    Little premature to call Stein’s statement “stunningly ignorant”.

  7. Paul Whyte Says:

    From memory Hansen talked about eventual possible sea level rise (SLR) being metre per ten years if it does turn out to be a doubling time ice loss event and gave years depending on if it a 7 year, 10 years etc doubling time.

    Its way to early to be sure but the bind is that by the time we are sure it will be too late to gain control over the process. Business as usual will have pushed us over the feedbacks that need to be prevented to keep SLR low moving forwards.

    We are seeing a start of those feedbacks with the fresh water lensing around antarctica reported on currently and the expansion of winter sea ice in antarctica. Also the slow down of the gulf stream leading to cold patches at the surface but not to the layers below. This fresh water lensing prevents heat loss of warmer deeper salt water’s access to the surface near the poles and instead has it melt glaciers and ice sheets with deep ocean access.

    Its plausible to control the SLR if we go to a war footing against CO2 emissions now and stay below 1.5 C average global temperature rise and then draw down CO2 for a very long time till we are below 350 ppm.

    While I agree that multi yards SLR is a stretch for 50 years its not that much of a stretch for 70 years if Hansen is right about a doubling time ice loss process into the next century.

    There has been a tendency to just look at the next 50 years and a silent implication that after that we don’t talk or have concern. The IPCC predictions for the next few hundred years all focus in on end of civilisation event scale changes once the positive feedbacks really kick in. When ever that is.

    So that means that there are really no plausible multi hundred years predictions that include civilisation as we know it, being complex and planet wide and any form of business as usual.

    Getting picky about the US Green candidate about 50 years being yards of SLR instead of 70 to 100 does not seem that big an issue. Unless we quickly kick the fossil fuel habit we say good by to civilisation in the life time of current young humans.

    Which decade it happen in does not really matter that much as how we get to shut down coal then oil and then gas and keep what we have for the future generations.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      Critically Important for candidates like Stein to maintain credibility. It’s easy to make the case that climate is a critical issue with out opening one’s self to charges of alarmism.
      A meter of SLR by mid century is the absolute worst case scenario that any credible scientist has proposed, and that’s only with some fairly big assumptions about how rapidly melt progresses in Greenland and Antarctica.
      Stein is either sloppy or is getting bad advice, probably both, based on what I’ve seen.

      • Gingerbaker Says:

        Margaret Davidson, NOAA’s senior advisor for coastal inundation and resilience science and services, and Michael Angelina, executive director of the Academy of Risk Management and Insurance, offered their take on climate change data in a conference session titled “Environmental Intelligence: Quantifying the Risks of Climate Change.”

        Davidson said recent data that has been collected but has yet to be made official indicates sea levels could rise by roughly 3 meters or 9 feet by 2050-2060, far higher and quicker than current projections.”

        So, Peter, are you saying that Davidson and Angelina are making a “stunningly ignorant” statement? Is NOAA that untrustworthy now?

  8. dumboldguy Says:

    I missed this one when it came out. Lots of good comments (that does NOT include those from Master Bates and Russell Kook). By the way, I use profanity and vulgarity when speaking to or about Russell because he is the biggest POS and AH presently visiting Crock and deserves no better—-I do it so others don’t have to (and IMO he most definitely HAS outlived his usefulness as a bad example and should be sent to join Dave Burton in exile—-let him post on WUWT where he belongs).

    Our ongoing problem here is that we remain in a state of denial and continue our wishful thinking about SLR and all the other evidences that AGW is continuing and accelerating. 2050-2060 is 34-44 years away, and nearly every study and bit of evidence that comes out is just more bad news—-how can anyone state so strongly that we will NOT pass some as-yet-unknown tipping points and see rapid SLR?. No one wants to suffer the fate of Guy McPherson and be labelled a “doomer”, but mindless bright-sidedness is even worse in that it lulls us into a state of complacency—-i.e., “There’s always hope (until there isn’t)”. Gingerbaker’s 8/31 8:08 AM post is a case in point—-some very worrisome “projections” there.

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