#globalwarming Feed

Stefan Rahmstorf on Twitter Earth is anomalously warm today but North America is cold A huge blob of icy Arctic air usually corralled up north by the polar vortex has escaped and moved south You can check the data here https t co

Stefan Rahmstorf: "Earth is anomalously warm, but North America is cold. A huge blob of icy Arctic air, usually corralled up north by the polar vortex, has escaped and moved south. You can check the data here: http://cci-reanalyzer.org/wx/DailySummary/#t2anom Is this becoming more common, and why?... Marlene Kretschmer... has just finished her PhD thesis... has found that over the last decades, the stratospheric polar vortex has become weaker and less stable, so Arctic air masses can escape more easily towards the North American and Eurasian continents...

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Dealing with Global Warming Needs a Carbon Tax Starting Now

Global warming Google Search

It would have been smart to do it 26 years ago, when Al Gore was first pushing it—and we got it through the House and fell short by two votes in the Senate: George Akerlof et al.: Economists’ Statement on Carbon Dividends: Bipartisan agreement on how to combat climate change: Global climate change is a serious problem calling for immediate national action. Guided by sound economic principles, we are united in the following policy recommendations...

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Monday Smackdown: What Tobin Harshaw of the New York Times Wants to Be Remembered For: "I Am Not Authorized to Explain Why I Am Not Authorized..."

Clowns (ICP)

Monday Smackdown: What Tobin Harshaw of the New York Times claims he wants to be remembered for. From 2007. No quality control at the New York Times whatsoever. Let us take him at his word, and remember him for this:

Hoisted from 2007: As you may recall, last Friday there was a lot of discussion about revisions to the GISS global warming series of estimated average temperatures in the United States—a revision that changed the hottest year to date in the U.S. from 1998 (which in the old data was 1/100 of a degree hotter than 1934) to 1934 (which in the new data is 2/100 of a degree hotter than 1998) https://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2007/08/why-oh-why-ca-1.html. One surprising thing was that the New York Times's Opinionator weblog https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/... went way overboard on the story:

Among global warming Cassandras, the fact that 1998 was the “hottest year on record” has always been an article of faith.... James Hansen, the climate scientist who has long accused the Bush administration of trying to “silence” him.... [A] Y2K bug played havoc with some of the numbers.... Michael Ashe... explains.... "The changes are truly astounding. The warmest year on record is now 1934. 1998 (long trumpeted by the media as recordbreaking) moves to second place.... [T]he effect on the U.S. global warming propaganda machine could be huge...

This surprised me: "effect... huge," "havoc," the scare quotes around "silence," "data meltdown," et cetera seemed very out of place for a three-one-hundredths of a degree shift--either complete mendacity or total innumeracy, or both.... The Opinionato... Tobin Harshaw, wh... [had] also served as an enthusiastic stenographer for last Friday's Stupidest Man Alive nominee, Tom Nugent of National Review, who slipped a decimal points and wrote a totally off-the-rails piece... overestimating how much money such a tax might raise by a factor of ten. It seemed that Harshaw had failed to do the slightest amount of quantitative due diligence on either story before he committed fingers to keyboard and thus electrons to the nöosphere.... So I called Toby Harshaw.... It seems to me that he and the New York Times have much bigger problems than simple innumeracy:

Brad DeLong: Good afternoon. I'm Brad DeLong, an economics professor calling from UC Berkeley. I read your Cassandra post about global warming data revisions, and had a couple of questions. Can you help me out?

Tobin Harshaw: Certainly.

Brad DeLong: Did you eyeball the data--either in a graph or a table--before you wrote your "Cassandra" post about GISS global warming data revisions?

Tobin Harshaw: Are you writing something about this?

Brad DeLong: I will be, yes.

Tobin Harshaw: Then no, I cannot speak to you. You will have to speak to our public relations department.

Brad DeLong: Why won't you talk to me?

Tobin Harshaw: Because I am not authorized to speak to the press.

Brad DeLong: Because?

Tobin Harshaw: Because that is our policy. Our policy is that editorial staff are not allowed to speak to the press.

Brad DeLong: Seriously? Why is that your policy?

Tobin Harshaw: I am not authorized.

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Tweed Jackets and Natural Disasters: No Longer Fresh at Project Syndicate

Harris tweed Tweed cloth Wikipedia

No Longer Fresh at Project Syndicate: For Whom the Climate Bell Tolls: As I began my first lecture this fall here at the University of California at Berkeley, I immediately realized that I was too hot: I desperately wanted to take off my professorial tweed jacket.

A tweed jacket is, in many ways, a wonderful albeit peculiar costume. For one thing, it is the closest thing you can get to Gore-Tex if all you have for raw material is a sheep. Thus it is perfect for a cloudy climate with frequent fog and drizzle. For another, it is surprisingly warming—wet or dry—for its weight. Hence in the world as it was before central heating, it—and the rest of what we today think of male formal and semi-formal attire—were effective and comfortable garb in the Oxfords and Cambridges, in the Edinburghs and Londons, in the Bristols and Norwiches where they were originally devised.

Blame the British Empire for the spread of these garments around the globe.

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Development and Security

Battle of crecy froissart 58bf04d43df78c353c2c2e0f jpg 768×650 pixels

Not what I said at the Blum Center Development Lunch today: more what I wish I had said—albeit it is still incoherent and disorganized:

Let me begin with three direct responses to points Michael Nacht made. Let me then try to—briefly—propose a framework, perhaps a framework for analysis, perhaps merely a framework for convincing people in the national security community that they should take issues of economic development seriously, and so give large grants so that the Berkeley development community can do more things—things closely related to what we would be doing anyway.

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Hurricane Florence

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Hurricane Florence Update Statement

Hurricane Florence Tropical Cyclone Update
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL062018
900 AM EDT Thu Sep 13 2018


Data from an Air Force Reserve Unit Hurricane Hunter aircraft and
NOAA Doppler weather radars from Morehead City and Wilmington,
North Carolina, indicate that Florence has changed little. Maximum
sustained winds remain near 110 mph (175 km/h). The latest minimum
central pressure based on data from the aircraft is 957 mb (28.26

LOCATION...33.2N 75.2W

Forecaster Stewart

Ask Not For Whom the Global Warming Bell Tolls...: Live at Project Syndicate

Hurricane olivia pictures Google Search

Project Syndicate: Ask Not For Whom the Global Warming Bell Tolls...: Scarcely had I begun my first lecture of the fall semester here at the University of California, Berkeley, when I realized that I was too hot. I desperately wanted to take off my professorial tweed jacket. A tweed jacket is a wonderful but peculiar costume. If all you have for raw material is a sheep, it is the closest thing you can get to Gore-Tex.... Over the past 20 years, professorial garb has become increasingly uncomfortable, even here on the east side of the Bay. The climate now feels more like that of Santa Barbara.... The problems associated with global warming will be neither mere inconveniences, nor as far off as we would like to think. There are currently two billion near-subsistence farmers living in the six great river valleys of Asia, from the Yellow all the way around to the Indus. These farmers have limited means and few non-agricultural skills. It would not be easy for them to pick up and relocate.... The snow melt from the region’s high plateaus has always arrived at precisely the right moment, and in precisely the right volume.... Another billion people depend on the monsoon arriving at the right time, and in the right place.... Cyclones in the Bay of Bengal.... 250 million people living at or near sea level in the greater Ganges Delta, the world will face a long train of catastrophe. The international community is in no way prepared....

“No man”—nor nation, region, or country–“is an island entire of itself.… And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” Read MOAR at Project Syndicate

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Nils Gilman: The Toba Eruption, by Spawning the #Transformationofthehuman Known as Behavioral Modernity...: "'Never before have I encountered someone so gleeful about catastrophe. When we discussed the risk that the Yellowstone supervolcano might blow at any time, Keller’s eyes twinkled. "It’s a fun idea", she said' https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/09/dinosaur-extinction-debate/565769/...

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On Removing My Tweed Jacket at the Start of Lecture...

Observing Drought in California with Remote Sensing LP DAAC NASA Land Data Products and Services

A word about this peculiar costume—the closest thing you can get to goretex if all you have is a sheep—that I am now taking off...

Because of central heating, these male formal and semi-formal clothes aren't comfortable these days even in Oxford and Cambridge, England, where they were originally developed. They are really only comfortable in Scotland. That is well-and-good if you teach at the University of Edinburgh or in Glasgow—or, perhaps, in Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki, or maybe in Washington or Oregon.

It used to be that these clothes were comfortable here in Berkeley. But, because of global warming, the climate here these days is a lot like what I remember Santa Barbara being like half a century ago when I was a child. When I got a job here at Berkeley in the mid-1990s, I looked forward to living in a place in which tweed jackets and such were comfortable both inside and out. The fact that these clothes were actually comfortable here was a factor—a small factor, but a factor. Increasingly, however, that is no longer the case. A problem resulting from global warming, albeit a small problem.

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Potsdam this year is 7F warmer than it averaged in the century before 1980. Berkeley is now Santa Barbara: Stefan Rahmstorf: Europe’s freak weather, explained: "Naive.... The smoothed curve shows... global warming... the scattering of the grey bars... random variations of the weather.... Slightly more than half of the 4.3 degrees would be due to global warming, the rest to weather. That... likely underestimates the contribution of climate change...

Europe s freak weather explained POLITICO

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Nick Stern is right: Discount rates are highly endogenous to scenarios—and go way, way down in true catastrophe scenarios in which insurance is not possible. Nick Stern is right: Societal discount rates cannot be read off of imperfect capital markets. Climate change studies that start from either the assumption of a pure positive real intertemporal discount rate or from financial market perfection are, I think, as close to worthless as anything on God's Green Earth: Nicholas Stern: Public economics as if time matters: Climate change and the dynamics of policy https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2018.03.006: "Subjects such as the dynamics of innovation, of potentially immense and destabilising risks, and of political economy, together with technicalities around non-linearities and dynamic increasing returns...

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Riccardo Colacito, Bridget Hoffmann, Toan Phan, and Tim Sablik: The Impact of Higher Temperatures on Economic Growth: "What happens to the economy when it gets hot outside? Despite long- standing assumptions that economic damage from rising global tempera- tures would be limited to the agricultural sector or developing economies, this Economic Brief presents evidence that higher summer temperatures hurt a variety of business sectors in the United States...

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Should We Pity the Poor Global Warming-Denier Fools?

I pity the poor global warming-denier fools who were deluded by Fox News and the Koch Brothers into ignoring—or pretending—not to notice that El Nino events temporarily boost measured global temperatures and volcanic eruptions temporarily retard it:

Global Warming

Data GISS GISS Surface Temperature Analysis Analysis Graphs and Plots

Carr fire

On second thought, I do not pity them: I pity the rest of us...

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Sacramento, Galveston, Houston

California Megaflood Lessons from a Forgotten Catastrophe Scientific American

I suspect that somewhere out there—somewhere with a quantum wave function amplitude perhaps as large as ours—there is a well dredged Sacramento Ship Channel extending from the busy Port of Sacramento—second busiest on the West Coast behind Long Beach—down to the Golden Gate.

In that branch of reality, Sacramento was not buried under ten feet of water in January 1862:

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Monday Smackdown: Hoisted from the Archives: Levitt and Dubner's "Superfreakonomics": The Parable of Horseshit

Outsourced to: Elizabeth Kolbert: Hosed: "One commentator predicted that by 1930 horse manure would reach the level of Manhattan’s third-story windows...

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Global Warming: Time to Call the Bad Intellectual Bets...

Eric Holthaus: @EricHolthaus: "Now that it's over, we can say for sure: 2016 was the warmest year we've ever measured on Earth." https://t.co/zmL9tEwWkA

Eric Holthaus on Twitter Now that it s over we can say for sure 2016 was the warmest year we ve ever measured on Earth Image andyskuce https t co zmL9tEwWkA

We need to remember who the deniers and the skeptics have been over the past 30 years: bad judgments and corrupt arguments need to be remembered.

First of all: I'm looking at you, Steve Dubner and Steve Levitt...

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Monday Smackdown: Carbon Tax Revenue Reversal Department

2016 Arctic Sea Ice Wintertime Extent Hits Another Record Low NASA

Back in 2009, Greg Mankiw was opposed to any [carbon-tax/cap-and-trade] proposal that did not use "most" of the [revenue raised by the tax/money earned by auctioning the permits] to cut marginal tax rates.

Today Greg Mankiw is in favor of a carbon tax proposal that does not use any of the revenue raised to cut marginal tax rates.

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Hoisted from the Archives from Nine Years Ago: Monday Smackdown: New York Times and Tobin Harshaw Global Warming Denialism

Hey! New York Times! Why don't you take some of those journamalistic resources desperately writing misleading articles about Donald Trump's pivot and do a deep dive explaining to us how this happened?

RealClimate Gives the "New York Times's" Tobin Harshaw the Coveted "Worst Journalist" Award: Gavin at RealClimate writes:

1934 and all that: However, there is clearly a latent and deeply felt wish in some sectors for the whole problem of global warming to be reduced to a statistical quirk or a mistake...

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Must-Read: This seems to me to be not quite right. If, say, individuals' utility is logarithmic in lifetime wealth, then Negishi welfare weights construct the social welfare function by weighting each person's utility by their lifetime wealth and then adding up individual utilities.

This produces policies that are different from those that would "be optimal only in a world in which global income redistribution cannot and will not take place". It is the case, even if global income distribution cannot and will not take place, that good government policies maximize the benefit weighting their effects on each person's utility equally. But with Negishi welfare weights government policies are evaluated by multiplying their effect on an individual's utility by that individual's wealth before performing a utilitarian sum:

Elizabeth A. Stanton: Negishi Welfare Weights: The Mathematics of Global Inequality: "The importance of making transparent the ethical assumptions used in climate-economics models cannot be overestimated...

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Agriculture the Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race?: Today's Economic History

Egypt tribute Google Search

Consider Jared Diamond's 1987 paean to hunter gatherers. While I find his article provocative and insightful, I also find it annoying. It seems to me that it mostly misses the most important parts of the story.

For one thing, it misses the importance of the dominant Malthusian mechanisms. The invention of agriculture and the domestication of animals provide an enormous technological boost to humanity both in terms of the number of calories that can be harvested by an hour of work and in terms of the ability of a society to make durable investments of all kinds that further boost its productivity. It is an absolute living-standard bonanza for the generations that discover it, and the generations that come after.

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Pre-Monday Smackdown: Why Is There Still a New York Times?

Live from the New York Times Journamalists' Self-Made Gehenna: Yes. Reading the New York Times is like drinking bilgewater. Why do you ask?

Steve M.: "Jacob Weisberg and Walter Shapiro have spotted a piece...

...of bad journalism:

Jacob Weisberg: NYT again with the mistake of trying to figure out Trump's views, in this case on climate change. He has no views.

Walter Shapiro: This is the danger of false equivalence in fall campaign: Hillary's position papers vs. Trump's irrational ad libs.

I'm not sure they've pinpointed the problem, but they're right to complain about the story, which is here: [Erica Goode] "What Are Donald Trump’s Views on Climate Change? Some Clues Emerge"....

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Live from the Banks of the Wide Missouri: I adopted a "block and ban on sight" policy on Twitter and in my comments section for racists, misogynists, Stalinists, and BernieBros.

Since then both of these feeds have become of much higher quality--and not just with respect to those groups' particular hobbyhorses.

Wingnuttery in one area appears to greatly raise the chance of offensive wingnuttery in other areas...

Monday Smackdown: Superfreakeconomists Are Back!

Across my twitter account comes a tweet reminding me that, to the best of my knowledge, I never got any answers to the six questions I asked of Stevens Dubner and Levitt seven years ago.

It really would be nice if one of them responded--they have had seven years to do so, after all. All they have to say is: "1. No, you are not wrong. 2. No, he did not say that. 3. You can't--that was a pure arithmetic error on our part. 4. We are not clear on what definition of 'economic suicide' we were using, but we were wrong. 5. Yes, it is a small fraction. 6. No, you are not wrong':

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(Early) Monday DeLong Smackdown (Perhaps?): Carbon Pricing, Coal, Free Trade, Comparative Advantage, and Technology Transfer

Over at Equitable Growth: Typically smart thoughts by Paul Krugman on carbon pricing:

Paul Krugman: 101 Boosteris: "I see that @drvox is writing a big piece on carbon pricing...

...I don’t want to step on his forthcoming message, but what he’s said so far helped crystallize something I’ve meant to write about... ‘101 boosterism’... a takeoff on Noah Smith’s clever writing about ‘101ism’, in which economics writers present Econ 101 stuff about supply, demand, and how great markets are as gospel, ignoring the many ways in which economists have learned to qualify those conclusions in the face of market imperfections. His point is that while Econ 101 can be a very useful guide, it is sometimes (often) misleading.... My point is... even when Econ 101 is right, that doesn’t always mean that it’s... the most important thing.... Economists... delight in talking about issues where 101 refutes naïve intuition, but that doesn’t... mean... these are the crucial policy issues.... Read MOAR

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(Early) Monday Smackdown: The Washington Post as a Waste of Electrons

So chasing a link to a piece by the very sharp Anat Admati called "In banking, it’s all other people’s money", I wind up seeing:

In banking it s all other people s money The Washington Post

Yes. It's George F. Will.

Sorry, Anat: You really shouldn't be publishing in this outlet. I will look for your stuff elsewhere.

Sorry Monkey Cage, sorry Wonkblog: you do good work, but it seems to me that your first-order impact is to add to the Google-fu of a very bad and misleading place, and you shouldn't be doing that.

So please find someplace else to publish, OK?

CanadianSpaceAgency on Twitter: "Arctic sea ice has reached a record low wintertime maximum extent: https://t.co/1f0OEmv3As. https://t.co/1iZuB0DYUL"

Live from the North Pole: Canadian Space Agency: "Arctic sea ice has reached a record low...: