Pielke Sr. on Climate Change from Natural Causes

Just a very short note to say that this article:


Is well worth a read.

It is fairly short, though “link rich”, and basically points out that “natural variation” is far higher than previously allowed for, and thus, we do not need CO2 to account for the known changes in temperatures.

Natural cycles are sufficient.


About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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5 Responses to Pielke Sr. on Climate Change from Natural Causes

  1. P.G. Sharrow says:

    I remember back in the late 1970s and early 80s that climate research people felt that they needed use of the best super computers to model CLOUDS to model climate behavior. I guess they decided to ignore the effect of clouds as it was too difficult for them to figure out. TOO bad, clouds are the key to the energy flow in and out of the system.

  2. GregO says:

    P.G. –

    There’s merit to your message. I just finished Dr Roy Spenser’s book and clouds is what the AGW crowd doesn’t get.

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    Long ago (about 1990) I ran a supercomputer center. Then I was tasked to shut it down. (The folks using it were let go, so next on the list was the center… including me.) So we’ve got this idle supercomputer and a guy from Stanford calls up. He’s begging for just an hour or two of time to model a cloud. One Single Cloud. At that time, an hour of Cray time was measured in a couple of thousand dollars… (about $40 Million / ( 4 x 360 x 24) plus overhead and staff allocation. Figure $2000 / hour.) So this was not exactly a ‘small’ request.

    He was working on his Ph.D. thesis and had run out of “computer budget” at Stanford and still did not have enough to get an idea how clouds formed… Bad news when your entire future career is hanging on getting that thesis done…

    Well, I agreed (though on the proviso that I run the code and my staff got to inspect everything for security issues before it ran – i.e. a source code review). He was very happy.

    Then, since the machine was nearly empty, I proceeded to tell him that he could have pretty much all the time he wanted ;-)

    You could practically hear the astonishment over the phone. “You mean, I could have 2 or 3 runs?”. Me: “No, I mean you can have 20 or 40 runs, maybe more.” Him: “Wha… I… You mean… When can I start?”.

    The bottom line was that instead of modeling ONE cloud, he was able to model about a dozen, with variations in starting parameters, to see what looked most physical. About 2 weeks elapsed time and probably 40 hours of Cray time? Call it $80,000 in round numbers. Maybe $100,000 including the misc. bits of set up. (No, not a cost to anyone really, we were shutting down at it would have just gone to the idle daemon instead). And he got his paper done AND he got his Ph.D.

    I’ve often thought I ought to look up who he was and were he ended up. (Somewhere in the archives I have the name and email address, but it’s a large archive to search and on tape…) Not too many folks get that kind of “gift” for the purposes of their research / degree…

    The point? If you want to model ONE small isolated cloud with modest resolution, it takes about 400 Megaflops for a couple of hours or so for one run. If you want to model a million of them globally AND their interactions AND their interactions with the rest of the climate system… Well, it will be up in the Teraflop to Petaflop range. Do-able, but not cheap.

    And that is why they ignore clouds. It would suck up all the computes they could possibly muster and then some, and still not yield a trustworthy answer on a global basis.

    There was also that wonderful moment, kind of like when a starving person has been stuffed to the gills with a full on Thanksgiving Dinner when, at the end, I asked if he would like another 40 or so hours of Cray Time ;-) Got that “Um, er, thanks, but I’ve got all I can use and need to write the paper now” response I was looking for… About 2 weeks? later the machine was shipped out for sale…

    So I like to say that our supercomputer ended its days daydreaming about clouds in the sky and looking for interesting shapes / faces in the clouds…

  4. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Yes, one would wonder what he learned or if he learned anything of value. His paper probably was filed very deeply.:-(

  5. pyromancer76 says:

    Uh Oh, I wanted to go slow. It is probably too late! Any good news on those oil companies with high dividends? Or are there too many unknowns given what might happen politically after the Gulf Oil Spill?

    REPLY: [ There are two things working at cross purposes. Yes, now would be a good time to load up on high dividend oil trusts. Small problem, the “Canadian Ministry of Stupidity” decided to change the laws on oil trusts, so they are mostly converting to other corporate forms. Who knows what the result will be. So PGH and PWE (two of my favorites) are changing into “some other kind of company”… with different tax treatments. PWE is becoming an E&P company (Exploration and Production). So in normal times, an established oil trust away form the gulf would be a great buy. But with E&P companies about to be spanked big time, who knows…

    So you could go domestic, like Prudhoe Bay up in Alaska with BPT and a 9% dividend… Oh yeah, that BP is British Petroleum… who are likely to be sued to death by the US Ministry of Stupidity… so who knows how good the legal barrier is between the two.

    The bottom line is that the two countries with the best Oil Trusts to choose from have both got Ministry of Stupidity problems… and I can’t recommend that folks stick their necks into the noose when the Ministry of Stupidity has their hands on the ropes…


    There are quite a zoo of oil trusts (and I did a “special” on them in one of the WSW postings a couple of months ago), some with quite nice dividends. HGT is paying 13% (on a monthly payout too! BUT: with what political risks?

    So I’ve been loading up on TGP (8.9% dividend and no oil price volatility) that is a liquified natural gas shipper. They enter 20 to 30 year contracts, so their revenue is pretty well guaranteed for decades to come, but for completely stupid reasons folks sell them down when the oil price drops. Go figure… They are much more like a natural gas pipeline company than an oil company.

    At any rate, I’d go for it (even with the smaller dividend) rather than a Canadian Oil Trust at this point. (And in fact, I’ve added to my TGP and reduced my PWE a little). If I was going to have an oil trust now, I’d do a small HGT like fund (a US trust) and then add some TGP to it for better aggregate safety. (and, in fact, that’s what I’m in the middle of doing… though I haven’t settled on the exact oil trust target… )

    But I think there is still some time. There will be “bad news flow” for a couple of months off of the BP spill, the Ministry of Stupidity having show trials, er, “committee testimony”; and the rumors of complete financial meltdown / destruction of the global economy and expectations that no one will ever use oil again… So I think you have a few months to find the old “oil trusts” special and review it… -E.M.Smith ]

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