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Catching Up

Back home now, just trying to catch up on the energy news of note. Four stories that I want to highlight. First was POET’s announcement on their progress on cellulosic ethanol:

Poet hits ‘long shot,’ cuts cellulosic ethanol costs

WASHINGTON – The head of the world’s largest ethanol producer, Sioux Falls-based Poet, said Wednesday that his company has drastically cut its cellulosic ethanol production costs.

It is a breakthrough that will allow cellulosic ethanol to compete with gasoline within two years.

Jeff Broin, Poet chief executive, told reporters during a roundtable discussion that the company has reduced its cellulosic ethanol production cost during the past year from $4.13 a gallon to $2.35 a gallon.

Andrew Leonard of Salon asked me for some comments, which he included in a story on the news:


Who cares about peak oil when you have corn cobs?

In addition to what made it into the story (and those comments were specifically about the kinds of risk factors POET faces), I said that I thought the guys at POET had done a nice job on this (that comment did make it into the follow-up story at Salon). One thing that isn’t clear to me is whether the production cost includes any capital recovery. If not, then they still have some distance to go to get that $2.35 into an economic range with ethanol presently trading at about $2.00 a gallon. [Edit: A comment from Nathan Schock of POET over at Green Car Congress indicates that this is in fact the total production cost – including depreciation]. Another question I would have is how their version of the process performs with other sources of biomass.

One other thing I said to Andrew (that didn’t make it into the story) is the really big challenge is in getting those ethanol titers up. Low titers mean lots of energy is spent in getting the water out. This is why I have always favored gasification technologies over hydrolysis technologies: You don’t have water to deal with, and thus the BTU efficiency is potentially going to be higher. (Probably your capital costs as well will be higher for gasification – depending on what you are producing from the syngas). If biomass costs rise in the future – as I expect them to – then there will be added incentive for maximizing BTU efficiency.

The second story was sent by a reader. In light of the amount of corn we produce, this could have significant ramifications:

Amaizing: Corn Genome Decoded

A team of scientists led by The Genome Center at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis published the completed corn genome in the Nov. 20 journal Science, an accomplishment that will speed efforts to develop better crop varieties to meet the world’s growing demands for food, livestock feed and fuel.

The United States is the world’s top corn grower, producing 44 percent of the global crop. In 2009, U.S. farmers are expected to produce nearly 13 billion bushels of corn, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The next story is about a trend that I think will continue. In my presentation in Orlando, one of the trends that I pointed out is that more refineries are being built closer to the source of the oil. Saudi produces crude, but would like to capture more of that value chain by refining it as well. There are a number of very large refinery projects underway – especially in Asia and the Middle East – and in a world with stagnant oil production that means some refineries are going to shut down. In the U.S., our refining capacity is more than three times greater than our oil production rates. I see a dismal outlook for refining in the U.S., with a lot of refiners going out of business in the U.S. Valero just announced another refinery closing:

Valero refinery in Delaware City to close permanently

DELAWARE CITY, Del. — Valero Energy said this morning it plans to permanently close its Delaware City Refinery, eliminating hundreds of high-paying jobs, because of weak economic conditions, high local costs and chronic troubles at the 210,000 barrel-per-day complex.

Company spokesman Bill Day said that a plantwide maintenance shutdown, announced late last month, was already under way, and will convert to a final closing. Plant employees will continue on the payroll for 60 days under federal rules for large-scale layoffs.

Day said the plant — which produces about 70 percent of the gasoline sold on the Delmarva Peninsula— has lost $1 million a day since the start of 2009.

About 550 full time workers will be put out of work by the decision. Valero (VLO) also has notified companies that work closely with the refinery, Day said, but effects on those operations were not immediately available.

People forget that refining is a very tough business. They remember when refiners make money – as they were doing a couple of years ago – but forget that most of the time they aren’t making money. Plus, when they do make money they are subjected to accusations of gouging and calls from politicians to tax their windfall.

Finally, readers know that I have consistently avoided wading into the debate over global warming. It takes enough of my time just trying to keep up with the latest energy news, and I decided long ago to sit out the debate on climate change. It is far too politicized and people get too emotional over the issue. However, I do think it is important that the debate takes place, and I don’t like to see people trying to shut it down. Attaching labels like “denier” to people who question the science is an attempt to shut down debate, and I don’t care how right you think you are – in my view the debate needs to go on.

A couple of days ago it was announced that some e-mails from a climate research outfit in England had been hacked:

Global Warming Research Exposed After Hack

A climate change dust-up

I have to say that some of the e-mails I have seen posted are troubling. Whatever history ultimately shows, some of those e-mails appear to be agenda-driven and not science-driven. There is no place for that.

Let the debate carry on, and let science – not agendas – determine the outcome.

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November 22, 2009 - Posted by | cellulosic ethanol, genetic engineering, global warming, greenhouse gases, oil refineries, POET, refining, Salon, valero

118 Comments

  1. As for the hackers, why would you find it troubling? Why would you trust what a thief says as accurate?

    Comment by takchess | November 22, 2009

  2. To me both extremes on the global warming issue are full of 'stuff'. Lots of conjecture and the science is still a work in progress. Many of the comments on global warming on virtually all blogs belong in the comic section rather than with anything concerning serious thought.Has mankind made a mess of the environment? Yes but how bad is yet to be agreed on. Mercury is released when coal is burned – I thought that was a given and not a good thing but even that seems to be in question for some. The whole Hack thing seems to be a big farce and a bit of who can tell lies the loudest.

    Comment by russ | November 22, 2009

  3. I have never liked the term denier and have never used it.Skeptic would be more appropriate for some, conspiracy theorist nutballs for others.I read a lot of history. Scientists, like all other professions, are always trying to put themselves on a pedestal, but scientists are just people. The history of science is rife with despicable behavior. The cure for scurvy was found and lost repeatedly, costing the lives of tens of thousands of sailors.Scientists steal (ideas, data) lie, cheat, self-deceive, and connive just like everyone else.Rules have been created to control this typical human behavior. Plagiarism laws, the peer review process, combined with techniques like double blind studies and replication of results in independent labs were all invented to circumscribe human nature in an attempt to find the truth. Newton was a nutball but we still use his equations to guide our spacecraft.The theft of these emails are an example of our human nature, as is the content of the emails.It's utterly asinine to somehow assume that global warming science is any different from any other field and that it alone has managed to circumvent the scientific method to hoodwink the world into providing climate scientists with grant money.

    Comment by Russ Finley | November 22, 2009

  4. I am not so sure it was a hack. I think it is more like inside whistle blower. To assemble a focused info package like that takes insider knowledge and access. I don't see anyone being able to pull that stunt in the short time it would take to both make the intrusion and detect it.If it was a hack to move it outside the firewall, then I still doubt it could have been done without inside help.

    Comment by David | November 22, 2009

  5. Nice counter, David …Deflect the illegality of the crime by insinuating a "whistle blower" inside the climate science circle did the deed, making the climate researchers victims of a climate researcher.The emails do not alter any of the science that has been done. They only expose researchers for what they are. A similar hack into any research institution's personal emails (or any global warming skeptic group's servers) would expose the exact same behavior.It is classic human nature to try to vilify your enemy in an attempt to gain the moral high ground. The reality is that all human beings are potential villains by nature. RR has been called a shill for big oil countless times.

    Comment by Russ Finley | November 22, 2009

  6. As for the hackers, why would you find it troubling? Why would you trust what a thief says as accurate?The center has verified that the e-mails in question are accurate, but say they are taken out of context.RR

    Comment by Robert Rapier | November 22, 2009

  7. David is right — the so-called "hack" is clearly the action of a whistle-blower. Someone on the inside of an academic institution became so disturbed by the actions of the professors that he/she/they posted a bunch of material prepared for a Freedom of Information request, but never released.It is funny to see the kind of person who was so avid to get "leaks" from the Bush & Blair Administrations on Iraq become all huffy about a whistle-blower leaking scientific data on alleged Anthropogenic Global Warming!Anyway, the answer is clear. Global warming alarmists should simply behave like real scientists — release the data that the taxpayer paid for, and the codes used to do the statistical manuipulation too. That is called SCIENCE. The failure of the warm-mongers to behave like scientists has been one of the issues that got many of us concerned about them in the first place.'The world will come to an end unless you do what we tell you — but you have to trust us; you can't see the data'. That kind of attitude sets off the BS detectors.Maybe we can now let commons sense into the discussion. Does it make sense to worry about both Peak Oil and alleged Anthropogenic Global Warming?

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | November 22, 2009

  8. Whether the hack was theft or presented to the world on a silver platter matters little–it is veracity of the science that is being questioned.Science is not law. In law, if police illegally search your house, then yes, that evidence it not admissable in court, and for good reason, Then police would search anybody's house anytime they wanted. But in science (I hope) we look at the evidence, however it was obtained. If I stole papers from the old USSR, you bet your bottom dollar the science value of those papers would be examined. The fact that it was theft, or the science of a communist regime would mean nothing. One question the global warming backers never answer–are we not prone to Ice Ages? And would not an Ice Age be a little setback for mankind? As in a one-mile thick sheet of ice over Wisconsin? As in Europe in the deep freeze for a few thousand years? Maybe the Neanderthals will make a comeback. TIf we are able to avert an Ice Age, I am all for it. Kinu: Morever, we have people saying that Peak Oil will skyrocket prices and cause a permanent depression. At the same time.Well, why not? I just read an ad for a diet in which I can eat all I want, whatever I want, and still lose weight.Makes sense to me.

    Comment by Benny "Boom, No Doom" Cole | November 22, 2009

  9. $2.35 a gallon for cellulosic ethanol? This is going to take a while to sink in.

    Comment by Maury | November 22, 2009

  10. "Morever, we have people saying that Peak Oil will skyrocket prices and cause a permanent depression."Not if cellulosic ethanol can be produced for $2.35 a gallon. If true,it's game over. No more peak liquid fuel. No more food or fuel debate. There's no limit to the amount of cellulosic ethanol that could be produced. Even with a 30% energy penalty,we're talking a gasoline equivalent price of what, $3.00 a gallon? I could live with a cap like that.This is huge.

    Comment by Maury | November 22, 2009

  11. “Mercury is released when coal is burned” The $64k question is what is the environmental impact. What many do is look at the environmental impact of man on the planet outside of the context of the environment itself. Mother Nature is no sissy. Periodically, the ground shakes, lava flows, winds blow, and water freezes. Only man has the concept that the planet does not change. Living things that do not adapt to change well will become extinct. Ignoring change is a receipt disaster. Building a city on the mud flow of an active volcano is stupid. So we can skip what people who live in Seattle think. Building a big city in arid climate is stupid. So we can skip what people who live in LA think. Building where it flood during interglacial periods, during an interglacial periods climate is stupid. So we can skip what people who live in Florida think. Building a big city on a sinking river delta is stupid. So we can skip what people who live in New Orleans. The problem with alarmist is that they are too stupid to come up with solutions. Taking mercury alarmism. I can cite many of the cases of environmental mercury poisoning in the past. Solutions were put in place and now there are now cases of environmental mercury poisoning. Of coursed the alarmism continues.While I am skeptical of AGW, I am not skeptical of those who have a policy that claims natural gas is a solution and nuclear is not. This just another example of stupid policy.

    Comment by Kit P | November 22, 2009

  12. Never mind global warming. Or peak oil. Or food or fuel. If cellulosic ethanol can be produced for $2.35 a gallon,we don't have to worry about any of that crap. It's carbon neutral,after all.It's no coincidence the largest producer of ethanol made these breakthroughs. As I said many times when we were debating the merits of an ethanol policy,it's a long road ahead. Corn ethanol is just the start. If it leads to energy independence,the nickle a gallon subsidy for E10 will turn out to be one hellified bargain.

    Comment by Maury | November 22, 2009

  13. Ho-Hum, POET claims they can produce $2.35 ethanol. How can their claim be verified except by building a commercial scale plant and proving it? DuPont said this week that their Genera project with U. TN has dropped their corn cob celluosic production costs to $2 – http://tinyurl.com/ydbrggo . And of course, Coskata has been claiming $1 gal for 2 years. I'll remain hugely skeptical until someone can actually build one of these plants to scale and demonstrate profitability for a couple of years. That ain't happening anytime soon of course, and by the time it does I think it's likely that companies like Virent or LS9 or Amyris will be producing 3rd generation biofuels that blow away cellulosic ethanol. And the algae crowd will be right on their tails too. Who'd want to invest $300 million in a cellulosic plant if your assets might get stranded in <5 years? Ethanol has been a great 'starter' biofuel, but I doubt it will have much staying power.

    Comment by OxyMaven | November 22, 2009

  14. Oxymaven,Poet has been producing cellulosic ethanol for the last year. They have no reason to blow smoke here. They aren't out raising money. They're profitable,even with the ethanol bust. If they cut the production cost from $4.13 to $2.35 a gallon in one year,who knows how low they can go? You can bet Robert would be doing cartwheels if gasification could be done for $2.35 a gallon. This is big. Huge. A game changer.

    Comment by Maury | November 22, 2009

  15. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/11/poet-20091118.htmlThis article lists a more detailed cost breakdown. There is a mention of reduction of capital expenses.

    Comment by takchess | November 22, 2009

  16. If they cut the production cost from $4.13 to $2.35 a gallon in one year,who knows how low they can go?We know that there are two fundamental limitations, which are: 1. The price they have to pay for the biomass; 2. The cellulose content of the biomass. If you plug those in, it is pretty far-fetched to presume they will knock a whole lot off of that number.Further, my guess is that they don't have any capital recovery in there, and it takes more capital to produce cellulosic ethanol than it does corn ethanol.Still it is a noteworthy achievement. Time will tell on this one, but there are a number of questions that still have to be resolved. Most importantly is whether it works well with other biomass sources.You can bet Robert would be doing cartwheels if gasification could be done for $2.35 a gallon.Gasification can be done for even cheaper than that. It is what you stick on the back end that drives the price up. But remember that Coskata is doing gasification (as is Range Fuels) and they are claiming costs of less than $2.35.RR

    Comment by Robert Rapier | November 22, 2009

  17. Further, my guess is that they don't have any capital recovery in there, and it takes more capital to produce cellulosic ethanol than it does corn ethanol.I just went over to the Green Car Congress link that takchess provided, and there is a comment from Nathan Schock that says that the cost does include depreciation:I work for POET and appreciate the post as well as the comments. Ken, the $2.35 cost includes everything: interest & depreciation, wages & benefits, maintenance, insurance, etc. It also does NOT include a tax credit or any other government support. This is the cost of production, including feedstock.That is pretty impressive. Now I just need to calculate how many tons of corn cobs are out there to be processed.RR

    Comment by Robert Rapier | November 22, 2009

  18. No worries then Robert. Figure in capital recovery,a reasonable cost for the plant material,and a decent profit. I still doubt the price would jump over the $4 a gallon we paid for gas in '08. We could be nearing the point where we could put tariffs on imported oil…..and do away with it altogether.

    Comment by Maury | November 22, 2009

  19. "Now I just need to calculate how many tons of corn cobs are out there to be processed."That's the beauty of cellulosic Robert. If it can be done with corn cobs,it can be done with any plant material. Material costs might be higher,but they couldn't be THAT much higher.

    Comment by Maury | November 22, 2009

  20. I still doubt the price would jump over the $4 a gallon we paid for gas in '08.It all depends on whether competition for biomass drives up the costs. That is going to have the largest impact on what happens with costs going forward.RR

    Comment by Robert Rapier | November 22, 2009

  21. That's the beauty of cellulosic Robert. If it can be done with corn cobs,it can be done with any plant material.That is far from true, Maury. There are specific inhibitors that are present in different sources of biomass. Corn cobs are probably pretty innocuous, but other biomass sources have things in them that will deactivate the enzymes.RR

    Comment by Robert Rapier | November 22, 2009

  22. Well,if corn can be grown for .08 a lb.,as Rufus is fond of saying,how much switchgrass could farmers be motivated to grow at .04 a lb.? I'm excited. I just knew we'd be paying $10 a gallon for gas 10 years down the road. Can't see that happening now. This might even deal a death blow to PHEV's. Time will tell.

    Comment by Maury | November 22, 2009

  23. Maury, Iogen has been producing cellulosic ethanol for 6 years, Celunol / Verenium for almost as long, but producing at pilot scale gives no certainty that you can do it at commercial scale for the same price. If there was, then there would be a lot more investment money pouring into POET and cellulosic, and clearly that's not happening. And of course, yes they are trying to raise money, and are expecting loan guarantees from DoE or USDA for building their 'Project Liberty', even after getting the initial $80 million grant. POET also indicates they are paying $55 ton for cobs, and farmers are also qualifying for the USDA biomass subsidy of $45 / ton, so that would mean to me that maybe POET will eventually have to pay $100 / ton for feedstock, and there are credible analyses out there that suggest that is a reasonable feedstock price even for energy crops like switchgrass. POET's current $2.35 / gal price assumes $55/ton feedstock. There is no certainty that feedstocks can be provided that cheaply. Hey, I like POET, and think they are probably most likely to make this work out, but they still blow some smoke. When they first announced Project Liberty in late 2006, they were going to get it built in 30 months, by mid-2009. Now they are just hoping to begin construction in 2010, so their crystal ball isn't all that reliable.

    Comment by OxyMaven | November 22, 2009

  24. "but producing at pilot scale gives no certainty that you can do it at commercial scale for the same price."Don't prices normally drop when manufacturing is scaled up? If anything,we should expect LESS than $2.35 when it's scaled. I would be just as excited if they had said $3.00 a gallon. Even $4. C'mon guys,this is huge. Who really expected a breakthrough like this in the next decade or two? I sure didn't.

    Comment by Maury | November 23, 2009

  25. Competition for biomass is already heating up:"..The leftover plant material — also called corn stover — is being bought by some energy companies. They turn it into pellets and sell it to coal-fired power plants.Some companies will pay up to $20 a ton for long-term contracts. At an average of 3 tons per acre, a mere 100-acre field could yield a gross profit of $6,000.But University of Nebraska-Lincoln farm experts say that residue is even more valuable to the farmer by adding nutrients and lending structure to the soil.Experts say the nutrient value of corn residue ranges from $17 a ton to $46 a ton.Without that residue, the farmer will have to add more fertilizer, raising input costs.."Source"..Our research with industry insiders shows that UK biomass supplies will only meet small-scale demand, typically within a 60-mile radius of the biomass facility.."Source

    Comment by Russ Finley | November 23, 2009

  26. Geez Maury, you need to get out more often. Is POET's $2.35 / gal 'breakthrough' any more 'huge' than Coskata's $1 gal or Genera's $2 gal? DoE had been predicting these drops in cellulosic costs for almost a decade now. They have been indicating for a number of years that 'nth' generation plants could be constructed to produce $1.76 / gal ethanol by 2012. We'll see what POET can actually do, and I wish them the best. I'm not an engineer, and can't speak to the inevitable success you predict for any scale-up, but I'm especially skeptical about the robustness of 1st generation large scale biological processes where feedstock quality is critical. Feedstock logistics is something that gets more complicated at scale – it's easy to work a pilot that only needs 1 ton/day, but scaling to 2,000 tons per day is different, and there are storage / quality issues etc that are likely to complicate the processing. All I'm saying is that we won't really know which of these technologies might actually work until we can see these 1st generation plants operate successfully for a couple of years. That's 4 years from now for POET and the BP-Verenium energy cane project in FL. We'll see how successful Range is in a couple of years, assuming they actually start production next year. I find it hard to believe that every unique cellulosic technology currently be pursued will be successful – clearly many / most will fail or at least be uncompetitive with other cellulosic technologies.

    Comment by OxyMaven | November 23, 2009

  27. This link – http://tinyurl.com/yzjrsmp – to a NDSU article suggests that POET's cob harvest was getting about 1 ton per acre of cobs, plus maybe 25% of other biomass, e.g., leaves and husks. They are not trying to get stalks too, just the stuff that unavoidably comes along with the cob. The article also notes possible moisture problems with cobs being at 35-40%. How will that complicate storage issues at scale? Cobs will all be harvested in the fall, but will need to be utilized 12 months of the year. POET will need to contract cob harvest on about 250,000 acres to feed a 20 MMGY plant, and it will be interesting to see if they can find that many farmers and harvesting equipment to make this work.

    Comment by Anonymous | November 23, 2009

  28. "Geez Maury, you need to get out more often. Is POET's $2.35 / gal 'breakthrough' any more 'huge' than Coskata's $1 gal or Genera's $2 gal? "Oh yeah. Poet makes a lot of ethanol. These other companies make a lot of claims. Just look at the title of the article. Poet hits "long shot",cuts cellulosic ethanol costs.

    Comment by Maury | November 23, 2009

  29. On leaks: either side in a fight will take whatever than can get, even it comes right from the Devil's ISP 🙂 I also suspect that what we have been allowed to taste is merely the tip of the iceberg. Ie., this is only the first move in a big chess game.Maury, on ethanol, I doubt PHEVs will go away, if the prices can continue to be brought down: if you have cheap fuel, and you can save that too, then you save even more money.I do fear our fresh water supply, and land quality. How much "junk" plant parts can we quit putting back into the ground before the land turns on us!I'd much prefer batteries that can deliver gasoline level power, than killing the food supply, no matter how much I like the sound of a V8. Food & water, in the end, is still more important than fast cars

    Comment by David | November 23, 2009

  30. I also apologize for any punctuation and grammar defficiencies in this and my immediately previous post. I nearly whacked off a digit this weekend, carrying a bucket of water & soap of all things…

    Comment by David | November 23, 2009

  31. "I'd much prefer batteries that can deliver gasoline level power, than killing the food supply"Then we would have to find a source of power to charge the batteries — which brings us back to nuclear fission.Interesting that no-one seems to want to take up the topic of Net Primary Productivity — the sum total of photsynthetic activity that takes place on Planet Earth. I don't know much about it, but the numbers thrown about suggest that we humans are already using a very large share of planetary NPP, and that the total NPP is far below what would be needed to supply the entire human race with a First World standard of living.In short, it is not clear that biofuels can ever be more than a niche source of power, even if the requisite technology breakthroughs are achieved.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | November 23, 2009

  32. “it is not clear that biofuels can ever be more than a niche source of power”Actually, biomass is already more than than a niche source of energy since it is a significant source of world energy supply. The technology breakthrough to achieve this is the Franklin Stove, or air tight wood stoves. The technology breakthrough for making electricity is the fluidized bed boiler. I will worry about supply of biomass when we take care of all the wasteOf course the real question is can biomass be used to make transportation fuel. Again we have a long history of doing that. Currently my gasoline has 10% ethanol. That is significant since a few years ago it was zero.

    Comment by Kit P | November 23, 2009

  33. It is hard to argue global warming with people who produce crap like this: Polar Bears But of course, they are ALL about the science and not into frightening or misleading people. Several areas with the leaked emails bother me. First, the ends that Michael Mann and others are willing to go to ensure that only one side gets published in peer reviewed journals. The climate science crowd runs their operation like some exclusive country club where people who look and think differently are not allowed entrance. Then they mock researcheres because they CAN'T get published in peer reviewed journals. That is NOT what science is about. I've taken some time to look at the computer code in the general circulation models (GCM) used to model global climate and temperatures. I was deeply troubled by what I saw. In a past life I spent 2 years as the lead Fortran programmer for my companies in-house heat and material balance simulator. The GCM code looks like it was written by amateurs. It is poorly documented and uses comments sparingly. If there is any coding standards – they were haphazardly applied. PhD climate scientists appear to have personally written much of the code. In industry the analysts are not allowed to code, rather they pass their work on to professional programmers who then implement the work according to established norms and standards. I've read that the HD-DVD software for the XBOX 360 ran some 4.7 million lines of code. And the XBOX itself something like 50 million. Yet here we trust the future of the planet to some 150,000 lines of poorly written Fortran 77 and Fortran 90 code? Now it appears that the temperature data, which is the input to the poorly written GCM programs is suspect too?

    Comment by KingofKaty | November 23, 2009

  34. Washington Post yesterday did a nice job of showing Mann and Jones conspiring to make sure AGW skeptics don't get published: In the trenches on climate change Now what part of these exchanges were taken out of context?

    Comment by KingofKaty | November 23, 2009

  35. Phil Jones, Michael Mann, Keith Briffa, and the rest of the gang need to start archiving data and honoring freedom of information act requests.I can't believe the true believers who are willing to excuse any conceivable unscientific behavior as long as it supports their dogma.Grow up or get out of the way, you unscientific religious climateers.

    Comment by Anonymous | November 23, 2009

  36. "In industry the analysts are not allowed to code, rather they pass their work on to professional programmers who then implement the work according to established norms and standards."I know first hand that every airliner you ever flew on was analyzed by engineers using the programs they wrote themselves, me being one of them. Maybe you should stop flying.That's the beauty of blogs. You can't believe anything you read, which frees you to believe anything you want.That's why peer reviewed publications in reputable journals are necessary.Calling climate science a hoax is calling the journal Science, and the journal Nature, and a host of many other journals hoaxes as well.

    Comment by Russ Finley | November 23, 2009

  37. What somebody needs to do is crack the servers of several of the skeptic sites so we can dig through their dirty laundry.Self-righteousness can be a dangerous thing. I would suggest that anyone not willing to make public a record of two decades of their own emails should resist critiquing those who have now had one forced upon them.

    Comment by Russ Finley | November 23, 2009

  38. I am not a fan of biofuels. I think CNG and PHEVs make more sense. I believe in letting the market rule. Nevertheless, there is some jumbo investing going on, by Brazil–in Africa.By Fred KaterereNov. 20 (Bloomberg) — Mozambique has signed two accords with Brazil for a $6 billion investment in biofuel exploration, the daily independent O Pais reported, citing António de Godoy, chairperson of the Brazilian confederation of biofuel companies Arranjo Produtivo Local do Alcool (APLA). Some of the biofuels produced from sugar cane will be exported to Brazil to cut its dependence on petroleum based fuels, de Godoy told the Maputo-based newspaper. About $256 million has been invested in the Mozambique biofuels sector covering 83,000 hectares, according to Roberto Albino, the director of agriculture promotion centre Centro de Promoção da Agricultura." To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Katerere in Johannesburg at fkaterere@bloomberg.net $6 Billion in bio-fuels, in Africa?The world is passing the USA by.Other countries are financing economic development, and we are financing a trillion-dollar war in Iraqistan. Fought by a permanently mobilized mercenary military. A long, long way from what our Founding Fathers envisioned.China making huge investments in lithium batteries and energy. Brazil. Europe going hard into conservation and nukes. We rule Kabul–for now.

    Comment by Benny BND Cole | November 23, 2009

  39. $6 Billion in bio-fuels, in Africa?The irony is that I just sent that link to someone about 2 minutes before you posted it here. It has been suggested that I make a trip down to Mozambique to check things out, but that is still under discussion.RR

    Comment by Robert Rapier | November 23, 2009

  40. $6 Billion in bio-fuels, in Africa?Food-to-Fuel madness at its height. The average Mozambican is dirt poor. That sugar cane could do a lot to address local hunger, especially in neighboring Zimbabwe (assuming you could get it past corrupt Zimbabwean prostitutians).It is the oddest thing: Africa is quietly getting re-colonized. By China mainly, but apparently also by Brazil. As long as the colonizers aren't Europeans (or those evil Americans) no African leader seems to be the least concerned.This will not end well…

    Comment by Optimist | November 23, 2009

  41. RR-I wonder where the $6 billion number comes from. Obviously, a big number–especially in Africa. Tons of labor can be bought for that.Hope you can shed light.Optimist: There is some truth in your sentiments. And yet, is not working on a sugar cane field better than no work at all?

    Comment by Benny BND Cole | November 23, 2009

  42. I would like to hear the global warming enthusiasts opinion on these emails. Are they OK with fraudulent data? To me, it is becoming clear the whole GW agenda has been an attempted power grab and a cover for the real crisis, declining fossil fuels. With that being said, I am no way saying we are not trashing the planet in other ways. All one needs to do, is look up the massive floating garbage blob in the ocean to see that our impact on nature has been huge & disgusting.

    Comment by OptimisticDoomer | November 23, 2009

  43. "I am not a fan of biofuels. I think CNG and PHEVs make more sense"We could use all three Benny. CNG for heavy trucks. And PHEV's running on E85. That's all we need for energy independence. Corn cobs can provide 5 billion gallons of fuel annually. That would boost our ethanol output by 50%. And keep about 70 million dollars a day from going overseas.

    Comment by Maury | November 23, 2009

  44. Our host wrote about the whistle-blower's leak of data: "I have to say that some of the e-mails I have seen posted are troubling. Whatever history ultimately shows, some of those e-mails appear to be agenda-driven and not science-driven. There is no place for that."Spot-on, RR. One of the great weaknesses of the Anthropogenic Global Warming crowd has been their unwillingness to police the excesses of their own fellows. That has cost the whole concept a lot of its scientific credibility.What we need to hear right now from the Warmers is a roar of righteous anger directed as those who have betrayed science, even if they have said the politically correct things.Unfortunately, the world is still waiting.Most of what the whistle-blower leaked was long-hidden data & code — it will take some time to sort out just what all that means for the supposed 'scientific concensus'. But sticking to the e-mails, how can anyone who supports the scientific method not get angry when reading things like the following despicable e-mail? (It is about a Warmist's proposed response to a published peer-reviewed scientific paper which did not support Warmism):E-mail #1051190249"From: Tom Wigley [wigley@xxxx]To: Timothy Carter [tim.carter@xxxx]Subject: Re: Java climate modelDate: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 09:17:29 -0600Cc: Mike Hulme [m.hulme@xxxx], Phil Jones [p.jones@xxxx]…Note that I am copying this view only to Mike Hulme and Phil Jones.Mike's idea to get editorial board members to resign will probably notwork — must get rid of von Storch too, otherwise holes will eventually fill up with people like Legates, Balling, Lindzen, Michaels, Singer, etc. I have heard that the publishers are not happy with von Storch, so the above approach might remove that hurdle too."For those who are keeping score, a number of editors of the journal in question were indeed 'persuaded' to resign. Score — Dogma 1, Science 0.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | November 23, 2009

  45. Benny or any other electric vehicle enthusiasts, have you taken a look at the Nissan Leaf? Nissan claims it can do 100 miles per charge and has a top speed of 90 mph. That is pretty amazing, if true. My family could go a week or more on a single charge. I ask, would this be considered a disruptive technology? leaf

    Comment by OptimisticDoomer | November 23, 2009

  46. OD-Yes, I have read about the Leaf. Remarkable–only two years after the window of higher oil prices(2004-2008), a major manufacturer has an appealing e-car on the market. GM coming with the Volt next year.The question is not who is afraid of Peak Oil, but what will OPEC do with all that black gunk in the ground?

    Comment by Benny BND Cole | November 23, 2009

  47. I know first hand that every airliner you ever flew on was analyzed by engineers using the programs they wrote themselves, me being one of them. Maybe you should stop flying. Not the same thing. Those same airliners were then subjected to rigorous testing to confirm the design and output of the programs written by engineers. I can guarantee you that the software in the avionics and control systems were written by professionals and subject to strict quality control. The Therac-25 incident happened during the time I was a programmer. This shows what can happen with bad software design. Having looked at the GCM code, I would say that like Therac-25 much of it is cobbled together, reused, poorly documented, and poorly designed.If we are going to reorganize the world economy around this theory, is it too much to ask that the computer code justifying it be a little better designed than my son's video game.

    Comment by KingofKaty | November 24, 2009

  48. Benny Cole wrote: Yes, I have read about the Leaf. Remarkable–only two years after the window of higher oil prices(2004-2008), a major manufacturer has an appealing e-car on the market.The Leaf campaign does look remarkable, but Benny has this way of using the present tense for future possibilities. The Nissan Leaf is not on the market today. The Leaf is not in production and won't be available for purchase and delivery for another year, assuming there is no slip in the schedule, and I wouldn't bet against a slip in schedule. No MSRP has been announced. We don't even know for sure that they'll sell the car and not just lease it. If they just lease it, in a few years we may get a replay of "Who Killed the Electric Car?"

    Comment by Clee | November 24, 2009

  49. BEV are MIA. PHEV are DOA.

    Comment by Kit P | November 24, 2009

  50. Now the Wall Street Journal weighs in: Global Warming with the Lid off Where Phil Jones says he would destroy data rather than respond to a FOIA request. Unbelievable.

    Comment by KingofKaty | November 24, 2009

  51. How exactly does a BEV differ from a PHEV? Is that along the lines of a fuel cell or am I totally clueless here? OD

    Comment by Anonymous | November 24, 2009

  52. Cobs have one significant advantage. The Combines are going through the fields, anyway. Two companies have now introduced cob harvesting equipment. Several more are on the way.Poet has one other advantage. Being an ethanol producer with 26 biorefineries right in the middle of the corn belt, they will just add on to their present locations. As a result, they can use the lignin from the cellulosic process (and, from the kernels) to supply process energy for the whole shebang (corn refining, and cellulosic refining.)Cost of Feedstock is a really big thing. I think they Really, really want to keep that down in the $55.00 – $60.00/ton range. I think Jeff Broin is pretty much a "class act." He hasn't let his partners, and shareholders down, yet; and the last couple of years have been "challenging." I'm inclined to believe that his $2.35 is probably pretty close to the mark.

    Comment by rufus | November 24, 2009

  53. Anon, your BEV is a "straight battery" vehicle. Your PHEV is a "Hybrid/electric (it has a liquid fuel motor for sustainable operation after the battery runs out of juice) That can be Plugged In to "Charge" the battery.Personally, I like the combo of E85 Flexfuel, and Batteries in a PHEV (ala, the Volt.)

    Comment by rufus | November 24, 2009

  54. BTW, I went over to Poet's website (rhapsodyingreen) and was looking around. They are getting 3 gallon of ethanol/bu of corn. And, they use less energy doing it. They use very little heat, from what I understand, in the fermentation process.

    Comment by rufus | November 24, 2009

  55. Was just watching the CEO's keynote address Rufus. According to him,there's enough idle farmland around the world to replace gasoline AND provide everyone on the planet with 5 lbs. of protein per day. I don't doubt the claim about the corn plant being able to provide everything a barrel of oil currently does. Or,that farmers will be in a world of hurt if we DON'T increase ethanol production drastically in the next 20 years. What else do we do with all that corn when yields double? Loved the part about replacing gasoline entirely in 20 years,with a price cap of $1.70 or so a gallon.

    Comment by Maury | November 24, 2009

  56. He's an impressive young man, Maury. Of course, being optimistic Is part of his job title. :)One other HUGE advantage he has is that his family Built all of those refineries. They've been in the business 30 years, or so. As a result, if Anybody can get the Capital Costs down, quickly, it should be them. They know how to put stuff together.

    Comment by rufus | November 24, 2009

  57. I would like to hear the global warming enthusiasts opinion on these emails. Are they OK with fraudulent data? To me, it is becoming clear the whole GW agenda has been an attempted power grab and a cover for the real crisis, declining fossil fuels.In the same way that I don't disbelieve in evolution just because of a bigoted crackpot, militant atheist, and supremely unqualified peasant philosopher like Richard Dawkins, I don't rule out global warming because there are militant zealots in the warmist's ranks.In both cases I try to let the science do the talking while accepting that the public debate will be largely hysteria-driven.

    Comment by PeteS | November 24, 2009

  58. Rufus is correct. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, far away; the state of California mandated BEV. I lived in there and worked in the electric industry. At a presentation, I asked an official with the Southern California Air Quality Control district where the electricity was going to come from. What I learned was that the official was either lying or clueless. The reason BEV are missing in action is that the mandate was poorly thought out. Not the first nor the last poorly thought out and failed California energy policy. The problem here the folks who created a bad thing in California are now running congress.PHEV being dead on arrival is more of an opinion about the future although as Clee points out it is currently a fact. While my opinion is based on engineering judgment, I do not see a day where there are 20 year old PHEV on the road with 250 miles on it. As a consumer, I do not have to make a choice to get E-10.

    Comment by Kit P | November 24, 2009

  59. PeteS you do understand that Darwin's theory has been around 150 years and he published compelling evidence to support it?AGW is a very recent theory based on environmental models. Furthermore, theories about natural climate variation are still being debated. So when PeteS can explain the cause (not various theories of the current ice age) and the fugacity of CO2 in seawater; I will consider PeteS belief systems. The language of science does not include the word 'belief' but terms like 'confidence interval'. So when the models show AGW to be within the 'confidence interval' of natural climate variation, it would seem that it is a wild leap of logic to get to the alarmism that we are hearing. I support prudent policy to protect the environment. However, extreme policies that appear to be more about raising taxes that protecting the environment will not get by support. It is pretty simple really, if you want to reduce burning coal you need to build a lot of new nuke plants.

    Comment by Kit P | November 24, 2009

  60. The CRU hack is a tempest in a teapot. It reveals that, lo, scientists are human just like everyone else. That's not likely to be a popular perspective: the public wants scientists to be elevated, objective non-humans, but there's nothing here that is surprising to anyone who's seen research — in any field — from the inside.Ars has a good perspective.To put it another way: imagine that the emails from your last difficult, contentious project were published and subject to public scrutiny. How good would YOU look in that light?

    Comment by GreenEngineer | November 24, 2009

  61. It's Not how good the "players" look, GE.It's how good the "Science" looks.And, right now, it's not looking too spiffy.

    Comment by rufus | November 24, 2009

  62. Wall Street Journal posts a number of interesting emails here: Climate Emails: Science and Candor AGW warming theory rests on rather dodgy proxy temperature records and poorly written computer models. The whole discussion of uncertainty has been left out of the debate. It seems that the theory is always "right" and that the climate scientists attempt to bend or manipulate the data to support the theory, rather than the other way around.

    Comment by KingofKaty | November 24, 2009

  63. Clee-Good points. Yet, the advancements being made in lithium batteries seem to be reaching a critical mass. Dan O'Neil, LA Times auto reviewer, and a toughie, drove Leaf and liked it. Like everyone, he says the acceleration is terrific and smooth. E-cars can out-accelerate ICE's, and without a transmission. Vroom–without the noise.I suspect e-cars (BEVs-PHEVs) will rule in Japan and Europe in 10 years. The USA? Friends, I think our empire is falling behind the world. We are spending money on a permanently mobilized mercenary military, and a huge subsidy economy in our rural areas. China, Europe and Japan are building economies for the future. China is implementing a massive industrial mobilization, and equally massive energy programs.The recession is over in Asia already. France could migrate to a nuke-PHEV-BEV model with little problem–and save billions on oil imports along the way.We have our military, our rural subsidy class, a fleet of low mpg ICEs, a dying industrial base and rundown cities.I sure hope Detroit is not the future of America.

    Comment by Benny BND Cole | November 24, 2009

  64. To put it another way: imagine that the emails from your last difficult, contentious project were published and subject to public scrutiny.Sorry, but that reasoning is not going to fly. My emails are not being used to set new laws and push things like cap and trade through.

    Comment by OptimisticDoomer | November 24, 2009

  65. Benny, you're possibly being a little "too rough" on us. I mean, we Are the No 1 Manufacturing Country in the World, AND the No 1 Agricultural Country in the World.And, I guess No 1 in just about any "technology" that you can name.We might have a leetle life left in us.

    Comment by rufus | November 24, 2009

  66. Benny, I don't think your comparisons are very fair. The fact that France uses a lot of nuclear power means little. The US produces the most nuclear energy, by far. If the US had a population as small as France, I think it would be fair to say we could get 100% of our electricity from nuclear power. Also, several European countries are in talks of phasing out nuclear all together, although I doubt it will happen.I find your comments on China interesting. I don't believe they are on sustainable path at all. It is like watching the US in the 1920s on steroids, with a hell of a lot more people. We'll see if the end result is better in China than the US, i'm not holding my breath :/

    Comment by OptimisticDoomer | November 24, 2009

  67. That Mozambique story referenced a two hundred thousand acre deal.Remember, Africa comprises over 7 BILLION ACRES. That's a lotta "acres," folks. Three and a half times the size of the U.S.A Lot (most) of that land used to be considered, worthless (like Brazil's Cerrado,) due to aluminum toxicity, and acidity. Now, with the new seeds, and farming techniques it should yield very well. All they need is some money, and decent governance.

    Comment by rufus | November 24, 2009

  68. Remember, Africa comprises over 7 BILLION ACRES. That's a lotta "acres," folks.Rufus~Don't forget a little thing called the Sahara desert which is ~3,500,000 square miles. (About 2.2 billion acres.)Then there is the Kalahari, another 350,000 square miles.

    Comment by Wendell Mercantile | November 24, 2009

  69. Rufus-Hey, on some days, even I can get gloomy.I don't think the US is first anymore on many technologies, such as lithium batteries, Seems like Korea, Japan and China are leading.The Leaf is not made in the USA.China will leapfrog us as largest industrial and economic power within a few years. We will have the best aircraft carriers and largest overseas deployment of troops. And we are the world's biggest debtors. Europe is bar better positioned to slough off any oil price shocks, should there be more. They use half the BTUs per capita we do.True, Germany is going to the solar, wind route, not nukes, and it is expensive. Nevertheless, in 20 years they can go solar, wind and PHEV, and shrug off oil. I suspect Japan will be heavy into nukes and BEVs and PHEVs in just 10years. Can you can take comfort from the above trends, as an American?

    Comment by Benny BND Cole | November 24, 2009

  70. "I don't rule out global warming because there are militant zealots in the warmist's ranks."The problem, Pete, is that there now is hard evidence that there are militant zealots in the warmist's LEADERSHIP.As the old saying in Washington DC goes — it's not the crime that gets you, it's the cover up. The warming crowd are in the process of blowing a great opportunity to show that they have some concern for science and truth. All they have to do is disavow the leaders who have let them down. But what do we hear? [Sound of crickets]Unless warm-mongers can force some of these so-called "professors" to resign, the Alleged Anthropogenic Global Warming Scam is over.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | November 24, 2009

  71. China will leapfrog us as largest industrial and economic power within a few years.Don't be so sure, Benny. Autocratic societies being what they are. The future being unknown, as it is.About 15 years ago I was told matter-of-factly that Japan was about to overtake the US and leave the US behind permanently. How did that work out?The US has a LOT of strengths, in spite of the prostitutians' best efforts to screw things up.As far as renewable energy goes, the US may not be in the lead right now (sorry Rufus, moonshine does not count), but the race is far from over.

    Comment by Optimist | November 24, 2009

  72. *Hic*Shure it ishAs long as the Good Lord keeps making sunshine, and rain moonshine is renewable.

    Comment by rufus | November 24, 2009

  73. As long as the Good Lord keeps making sunshine, and rain … and the feedstock from which to make synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.Rufus~You wouldn't get much corn with just sunshine and rain. Next April spread a bag of seed corn out on the sunniest part of your driveway. Water it all you want, but it won't grow and make a crop.

    Comment by Wendell Mercantile | November 24, 2009

  74. Optimist-You are right. China is a fascist state, though pro-business, and populated with smart people who have a work ethic.They may pollute themselves to death. They may ossify–success will result in more stability, then ossification.On the other hand, they may just roar right past us. Japan? They have passed us in some regards. Internet download speeds, and quality of manufactured goods. Civility. But they are small island nation, less than 100 million people.China is 1.5 billion people. Time will tell.

    Comment by Benny BND Cole | November 24, 2009

  75. Whatever, Wendell.BTW, once you subtract the area of the Sahara you still have Six Billion, One Hundred and Fifty Million Acres. (6,150,000,000 acres.)

    Comment by rufus | November 24, 2009

  76. Wendell, you can get 100 bu/acre without nitrogen fertilizer just by rotating your corn with beans.Of course, you can also use the methane from the manure of the cattle that eat the corn to make nitrogen fertilizer.And, of course, you can use the ash from plants like the one Poet is building to enhance the soil's ability to retain nutrients.Or, you can just sit around and throw feces at the people that are trying to work.

    Comment by rufus | November 24, 2009

  77. you can get 100 bu/acre without nitrogen fertilizer just by rotating your corn with beans.Of course you can. But then why have so many farmers stopped rotating crops and instead now plant "corn on corn" relying on "better living through chemistry" instead of wise land stewardship?

    Comment by Wendell Mercantile | November 24, 2009

  78. BTW, once you subtract the area of the Sahara you still have Six Billion, One Hundred and Fifty Million Acres. (6,150,000,000 acres.)Not quite.Subtract the 2.2 billion acres of the Sahara from seven billion and I get 4.8 billion.Subtract the 22.8 million acres of the Kalahari from that and you're down to 4.78 billion acres.Still that is a lot of land, although it would take a massive infrastructure investment to get to it with the kinds of ag equipment and chemicals that would be needed to make it fruitful.

    Comment by Wendell Mercantile | November 24, 2009

  79. Africa = 7,500,000,000 acresSahara Desert = 1,800,000,000 acresSahara DesertMy bad, it's 5,700,000,000 acres.Almost 3 times the size of the U.S. (including all the desert states.)There wasn't a lot of corn on corn this year. And, a Lot of farmers did cut way back on their fertilizer. Still got an All-Time World Record Yield. Looks like about 163 bu/acre.

    Comment by rufus | November 24, 2009

  80. Kit P said… "PeteS you do understand that Darwin's theory has been around 150 years and he published compelling evidence to support it?"Yes, I understand that, although the appeal to antiquity doesn't particularly impress me, and Darwin himself highlighted all sorts of holes in the theory at the time (some of which have been plugged since)."AGW is a very recent theory based on environmental models. Furthermore, theories about natural climate variation are still being debated. So when PeteS can explain the cause (not various theories of the current ice age) and the fugacity of CO2 in seawater; I will consider PeteS belief systems."The appeal to non-antiquity doesn't impress me either. Nor does the cheap put-down about "belief systems" which doesn't relate to anything I said. Arguably, AGW has a more "scientific" basis than evolution did in Darwin's time. Darwin knew nothing about the mechanisms of heredity and inter-generational variation — one of the holes he admitted was his lack of explanation for why traits were not "smeared out" among populations over time. It took Mendelian genetics to explain that the units of heredity are essentially digital.AGW starts from a point where we already have a vast store of knowledge about the behaviours of gases, the absorptive and radiative properties of the earth and its atmosphere, mean and local insolation, and so on. Both evolution and AGW attempt to synthesise an explanation for a broad range of observations. One difference with AGW is that is makes some relatively specific and short term predictions — Darwinian evolution produced no easily falsifiable predictions (other than the one about the paucity of the fossil record which Darwin predicted must be filled in, and hasn't been). You can check a summary and an update of those AGW predictions (against their 2001 and 2006 versions) in the "Copenhagen Diagnosis" issued yesterday, and decide for yourself if the theory is a dud."The language of science does not include the word 'belief' but terms like 'confidence interval'. "Indeed. I'm not sure if you are attributing such language to me?"So when the models show AGW to be within the 'confidence interval' of natural climate variation, it would seem that it is a wild leap of logic to get to the alarmism that we are hearing."That is a misinterpretation. AGW theory does not say that natural variation could not have produced the observed warming, it says that it did not, based on analysing all the various factors that could have been involved. Personally I don't find this entirely convincing — the role of anthropogenic CO2 is supposed to be so crucial because of its potential to cause large positive feedbacks (i.e. its effect on the main greenhouse gas, H2O). I don't doubt that such a tiny contribution as mankind's addition to atmospheric CO2 can have a large effect, but then so also might some overlooked or misunderstood natural factor.Kinuachdrach said… "The problem, Pete, is that there now is hard evidence that there are militant zealots in the warmist's LEADERSHIP… Unless warm-mongers can force some of these so-called "professors" to resign, the Alleged Anthropogenic Global Warming Scam is over."Like I said, the existence of militant zealots doesn't disprove a theory. Personally I didn't find the leaked e-mails that I've read particularly damning in any case. I would be very, very concerned if there were data and models that were not being shared around the scientific community. Coming up with the goodies is all that separates, say, Watson and Crick (even if they stole the goodies) from say, Pons and Fleischmann.

    Comment by PeteS | November 25, 2009

  81. Rufus do you have a link for..Still got an All-Time World Record Yield.because that's basically the exact opposite I have been reading from the doomsquad. Thanks.

    Comment by Anonymous | November 25, 2009

  82. Robert Tracinski sums it up nicely: ClimateGate: The Fix is In I don't know where these people got their scientific education, but where I come from, if your theory can't predict or explain the observed facts, it's wrong. PeteS – If these guys were just complaining about others research that would be one thing. But the emails clearly show they were deliberately witholding data. Worse yet they dismissed skeptics because they weren't published, while actively working to ensure that they NEVER got published. Note the circular logic employed here. Skepticism about global warming is wrong because it is not supported by scientific articles in "legitimate peer-reviewed journals." But if a journal actually publishes such an article, then it is by definition not "legitimate." And this isn't damning enough for you Pete?

    Comment by KingofKaty | November 25, 2009

  83. Anonymous, 162.9 bu/acreA new record, in spite of the most horrible growing/harvesting season imagineable.With decent weather, I wouldn't be surprised to see 170 next year.

    Comment by rufus | November 25, 2009

  84. "China will leapfrog us as largest industrial and economic power within a few years."To match our GDP,China would have to maintain a growth rate of 8% or so for the next 20 years while the US economy froze in its tracks. Even if that happened,the average American would still have three times the wealth of the average Chinese. China won't be catching up economically,industrially,or in any other fashion anytime soon Benny. Not during our lifetime,at any rate.

    Comment by Maury | November 25, 2009

  85. PeteS wrote: "I would be very, very concerned if there were data and models that were not being shared around the scientific community."Then, Pete, as King's links show, you should be very concerned indeed. Withholding data and models has been part & parcel of the operational techniques of too many of the 'leading lights' in the Alleged Anthropogenic Global Warming movement (scam?).The information about warm-mongers withholding data & models is not new. Just look into the history of the obviously implausible "Hockey Stick" temperature profile — the one that 'denied' the historically-reported Medieval Warming period. The US Congress had to intervene to get those 'scientists' to release data which had been paid for by the taxpayer. Bad! Bad! Bad!

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | November 25, 2009

  86. KofK and Kinu — I take those points. I don't think the case is closed yet by any means though.Richard Dawkins gets away with being bombastic, hotheaded and downright inflammatory because he allegedly has to deal with creationist loons. This apparently gives him a free pass to blast anyone with legitimate questions about holes in evolution.Why then, is there no slack for Jones et al. to be bombastic about anti-AGW loons? That such a beast exists seems obvious to me from the preponderance of political right-wingers among AGW dissenters — evidence-based opposition would presumably span all political ideologies.I am not saying yea or nay; the timing (pre-Copenhagen) and the obvious delight with which this leak has been received in certain quarters is suspicious. I have read defences of the hockey-stick graph that belie the charge that it uses data selectively. I'm also remembering that governmental scientific advisers of forty countries have agreed with IPCC conclusions. Are they all wrong (and did they gullibly accept conclusions without supporting evidence)? At the end of the day I'm not in a position to know one way or another until cooler heads prevail and some sort of consensus is achieved.

    Comment by PeteS | November 25, 2009

  87. "until cooler heads prevail and some sort of consensus is achieved"There's the rub Pete. If the e-mails are true,the deck is being stacked. A scientist must belong to the right side of the political debate in order to be published. Sleight of hand is being used with statistical data. I don't like scientists playing politics. Not with my tax dollars. What happens to science when our scientists become politicians? We stop trusting it,that's what.

    Comment by Maury | November 25, 2009

  88. "Why then, is there no slack for Jones et al. to be bombastic about anti-AGW loons?"Pete, they can be as bombastic as they want. As long as they are bombastic SCIENTISTS.The charge which the warm-mongers are trying to ignore is that they have not followed the scientific method — you know, lay out the data; lay out the calculation methods; lay out the conclusions, and the limitations to same; and be open to new data & alternative explanations.Appeals to consensus are not science, and never have been. The more we learn about how few people were directly involved in the UN's IPCC, and how grants to the larger group of 'scientists' around them were politically controlled, the worse this Alleged Anthropogenic Global Warming scam becomes.Even though it is becoming increasingly obvious that the Alleged Anthropogenic Global Warming Scam is not scientifically supportable, that does not mean humanity has had no effect on the planet. Of course we have! Just look at the Australians so-called aborigines, who wiped out most of the large mammal species on the continent within a few millenia of arriving there. Those people certainly had an impact!Human beings may well be influencing the planet and its climate in many ways — think of the scale of agriculture. But the silly theory that anthropogenic CO2 is warming the whole planet seems increasingly threadbare.Genuine science has policy implications. Maybe we should be more concerned about the impacts of biofuels (through agriculture) than of fossil fuels (though CO2)? We need real science to provide a basis for significant decisions that will affect all of us. That is where the politically-motivated warm-mongers have let the whole human race down.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | November 25, 2009

  89. Maury – I agree. I don't think we should be surprised though. Scientists, like the rest of us, have always played politics. The scientific method works in spite of scientists because of openness, transparency, peer review etc. Without those essential ingredients a scientist is no more to be trusted than your average snake oil salesman.

    Comment by PeteS | November 25, 2009

  90. Kinuachdrach, I am more cautious about agreeing with you."Human beings may well be influencing the planet and its climate in many ways — think of the scale of agriculture. But the silly theory that anthropogenic CO2 is warming the whole planet seems increasingly threadbare."If we are influencing the planet in many ways and some of those ways are deleterious, then surely we want to know about them in detail and take preventative action if it is possible and cost-effective. You sound like you are arguing that there are so many potential problems we might as well throw our hands in the air. Alongside this you poo-pah the idea of CO2-induced warming. But while this is a constant theme of yours, your only two offerings of counter-evidence so far have been entirely threadbare.On the other hand I agree entirely with you about policy implications. Even were we to establish a conclusive link between anthopogenic CO2 and warming, I'm not sure it directly follows that we should be taking the proposed broad brushstroke, economy-stifling measures.

    Comment by PeteS | November 25, 2009

  91. There wasn't a lot of corn on corn this year. And, a Lot of farmers did cut way back on their fertilizer.Rufus~Based on my personal observation here in the Upper Midwest, I'd have to question that. I've seen the same fields planted corn-on-corn the last five years, the roads were full of trucks and tractors pulling anhydrous tanks, and the co-ops did a booming fertilizer business.Are there any reliable national stats of how many corn-on-corn acres are planted each year?

    Comment by Wendell Mercantile | November 25, 2009

  92. "I'm not in a position to know”PeteS is an example of why I do not like to debate AGW who those who do not have much knowledge of science. I am not a climate expert but I am an expert on ways to mitigate AGW. A while an ago engineer with a new masters in nuclear engineering was surprised that I was a AGW skeptic. He then proceeded to bombard me with a about 35 links to newspaper articles. Later this really nice young person came by to see if I was still a skeptic. I pointed to my book shelve. Beside the standard nuclear physics, heat transfer, fluid flow test are many environmental text books. I asked him how many times he reference USA Today in his thesis. Well none he said. Then why are you forming an opinion base on what English majors write. The reason I am a skeptic is AGW is a very lame doomer theory. So far they have all been wrong. Second, people know the answer before it is possible to know the answer. The evidence is still be presented and the jury is still out. How can Hansen and Gore have know these things 15 years ago. And pardon me, if you spend most your time traveling promoting your cause, I do not think you care about evidence.Second, I have seen long term environmental modeling. For example, the fate and transport of spent fuel from the geological repository to the ground water over several ice ages. These model require huge computing power. There is a whole room of people dedicated to the models. Then there is a whole group of people who verify and validated the models (V&V). Next, if the public pays for the work or it affects the public. That information belongs to the public. For Yucca Mountain, that information is available on line. One of my expectation is that such documents should be written so that it can read by the public. Maybe it will take a lot of work for Rufus to understand it, but the information is there in plain English and he will be able to figure it out. While I would be mortified if the public found stupid stuff, really smart people say stupid things but not in documents that I sign. So far the public has not found any mistakes that got by me. However, I have seen lots of things taken out of context. For example, the design of Yucca Mountain can not rely on engineered features only geological features. Comments were made that the model took credit for some engineered features. So the model was run without engineered features and the results were the same. I make a practice to read reports and form an opinion before listening to journalist. When I reference a model at work, there are some things I need to know about a number. If the requirement is 50, is the range 48 to 52 or is it 35 to 65. Someday, a guy with a clipboard is going to read a gage that says 50. If the accuracy of that calibrated gage is 10% then it is not acceptable for the first range but is fine for the seocnd.How does this apply to AGW, When the NAS came out with their report, I managed to have read the executive summary when I turned on the news. Maybe the journalists were faster readers. The first journalist proclaims with glee the debate is over. AGW is caused by man. My eyes roll and yell idiot at the TV. The second journalist holds up a sheet of paper and ask did you read the second paragraph? I am an engineer, I want to see numbers. When I look at the numbers, AGW is small and the evidence is weak. When PeteS starts talking about Darwin and not numbers, I am thinking I can not have a scientific discussion with him. PeteS, I am in a position to know. I know to be skeptical.

    Comment by Kit P | November 25, 2009

  93. Wendell, I saw a number on this, "Somewhere;" but I have no idea where. I'm pretty sure USDA publishes it, but I hate trying to navigate their website.Your observations are every bit as meaningful as my vague recollections, of course. The whole thing is pretty subjective. Let's say the number is 15%. One person might say that's a pretty "significant" number, and the other might say, "Heck, it Only 15%."My whole argument on ethanol always has been that "It's here, It's Now, It Works." If the S really did hit the F next year, or the year after, we'll at least have ethanol to help us get through the rough patch. Will we be powering 50% of our cars with ethanol in 30 years? I doubt it. 30%? Maybe. 20%? Probably. Am I sure of any of this? Nope? But, worldwide we're using something over 1.5 Million barrels of ethanol/day, and I imagine that's having some effect on the price at the pump.In short: I think it's a pretty good thing, and I'm fer it.

    Comment by rufus | November 25, 2009

  94. But it is still very dependent on fossil fuels:Gov. Jim Doyle has declared a state of emergency to help alleviate a shortage of propane.Doug Caruso of the Wisconsin Farmers Union says the demand for the fuel is higher than normal because it’s needed to help dry a high-moisture corn crop.Doyle’s declaration will expand the hours that propane terminals are open during the next two weeks.

    Comment by Anonymous | November 25, 2009

  95. Kit P said: "PeteS is an example of why I do not like to debate AGW who those who do not have much knowledge of science."Not a very balanced start. You have no idea how much "knowledge of science" I have. I would be pretty surprised if mine was less broad than yours, but that's just me, and I've no interest in a pissing contest."I am not a climate expert but I am an expert on ways to mitigate AGW."So right off the bat (well, after the standard put-down) you are admitting you are no more expert than the next man?"The reason I am a skeptic is AGW is a very lame doomer theory."Now, you may put this down to me not having much knowledge of science, but that doesn't sound very scientific to me."Second, I have seen long term environmental modeling… These model require huge computing power. There is a whole room of people dedicated to the models."Sounds like a weak appeal to authority. Is this supposed to have some relevance to climate modelling?"How does this apply to AGW…"Short answer — it doesn't."I am an engineer, I want to see numbers. When I look at the numbers, AGW is small and the evidence is weak."So you say. However, the point of AGW is not the mere observation that the temperature has risen by 'x' since 1950, but that the effects of climate change will continue to become more extreme in the future. For that you need models, which require your proverbial huge computing power. Have you run those models too, Kit P? Have you looked at their parameters? We have one observation on this thread that the code that runs one of them isn't very well commented. Forgive me for observing that that's not a strong argument against its reliability. Do you have any information that actually bears on the reliability of the models, or do you just have a vague concern that they sound lame and doomerish and too readily accepted by journalists?"When PeteS starts talking about Darwin and not numbers, I am thinking I can not have a scientific discussion with him."That was in the context of a discussion about whether the existence of zealots on either side of an argument have any bearing on the science. The reason I'm not talking numbers is because … I don't have 'em. Never claimed to have them. You may have mistaken me for some kind of global warming advocate. My position is that there are a bunch of scientists (who might also be zealots) who claim to know that AGW represents a future threat. I'd prefer to trust that they haven't conjured the numbers out of thin air, but I'm keeping an open mind. On the other side there are a bunch of zealots who think AGW has to be wrong because it sounds lame and doomerish and smells of a left-wing conspiracy. So far you haven't put up an argument that places you outside that camp."PeteS, I am in a position to know. I know to be skeptical."Another appeal to authority. Fine, I'm all ears. Let's hear it. Just to warn you I can smell a bullshitty pseudo-scientific argument from a hundred paces (like our other friend's one about oceans "starved of CO2", LOL).

    Comment by PeteS | November 25, 2009

  96. That's why we want to capture the methane from manure.

    Comment by rufus | November 25, 2009

  97. That's why we want to capture the methane from manure.Roger that. Plus, cows are a relatively fast way of producing natural gas. No waiting around tens of thousands of years for Mother Nature to turn biomass into gas.The EROEI of using cattle to keep our gas supplies replenished, might even be better than the EROEI of using high-pressure water to hydro-frac shale formations.

    Comment by Wendell Mercantile | November 25, 2009

  98. Pete – the big scientific question hanging over Alleged Anthropogenic Global Warming is the lack of correlation between atmospheric CO2 and global temperature (however defined). That lack of correlation is obvious on the recent timescale, on the historical timescale, and on the geological timescale. Correlation does not prove causation, but lack of correlation comes close to rejecting a hypothesis entirely.But back to the thread — we all have to take a lot on trust, all the time. It is obviously completely unscientific to talk about 'consensus' and use appeals to authority. On the other hand, very few of us are in a position to validate independently the temperature records extracted from 18th Century sailing ship logs — which is the sort of record that the East Anglia boys have prepared. The crux question is should we have more confidence or less confidence in the Hadley establishment today, in the wake of the whistle-blower's revelations? The answer to that question is obvious.The net effect of the whistle-blower's release of data is that there now exists a reasonable doubt about the scientific validity of anything coming out of the Alleged Anthropogenic Global Warming establishment. I would not support any big intrusive government policy based on Alleged Anthropogenic Global Warming because I do not trust that the science is correct. You would not support it because you are not sure the policy is necessary or appropriate. Our reasons may differ, but we agree on what does not need to be done.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | November 25, 2009

  99. “You have no idea how much "knowledge of science" I have.”Sure I did, I read what you wrote.“I've no interest in a pissing contest.”Sure you do, I read what you wrote. It is 100% pissing contest and zero discussion of science. If you do not seen the relevance of environmental models, it hard to have a discussion with you about AGW. For example,“but that the effects of climate change will continue to become more extreme in the future.”There is no reason to believe that since human civilization thrived during periods when has been warmer than today. There have been several such periods in this interglacial warming period. It would apprear that climate will be more mild. Of course it depends on where you live.I listen to a presentation by PNNL (you tax dollar at work) discussing what the ramifications of a warmer PNW. Mainly spring runoff would occur earlier reducing hydroelectric production. More reservoirs will be needed to maintain irrigated agriculture. Wait a second! When Lewis and Clark first travel through the area the indigenous were called fish eaters, there was no large agricultural base. L&C documented some very harsh conditions that the indigenous folks survived. Areas of the semi-arid PNW was a natural dust bowl where glaciers repeated removed top soil. Wind erosion prevent prevent top soil from being formed. With agriculture wind erosion is greatly reduced. Man has adapted to a harsh environment and made it less extreme.The point here is that in this case PeteS's use of 'extreme' is not a scientific description. Describe the hypothetical change, quantify it, and then evaluate the effect (based on the geology studies of the last 20k years ago). PeteS, this is where you defend you position with a scientific discussion about a place where you have lived or studied the environmental. Tell me how variation of the climate since the glaciers started to recede 20k years ago.The modeling at Yucca Mountain did consider how the climate would affect the geologic repository over the next few 100,000 years by studying the last few 100,000 years. While I am not the expert, I know a lot more about the climate of the Great Basin than I used to. Even know something about the fugacity of CO2 in surface water migrating to groundwater through fractured tuff. This is of course how I got to the fugacity CO2 in in seawater. There is just so much cool stuff that we do not know about our planet.So PeteS bring it on, I would love to a debate on the scientific basis of AGW. Are you up to it?

    Comment by Kit P | November 25, 2009

  100. Man has adapted to a harsh environment and made it less extreme.Kit P.They sure have. Where I live was under 5,000 ft of ice only 12,000 years ago. That didn't stop us from thriving.What I don't understand about the AGW faction is their view that climate change will take us past some tipping point and will be the end of humanity as we know it. It has been both warmer and cooler in the past than it is now, and people adapted. It will be both warmer and cooler in the future than it is now. People will adapt.There is no natural law that says the climate in 1966, or 1976, or 1986 is the golden mean and how the climate must remain forever after.Sea level rise? Of course it will rise (or fall). If you travel through Utah and Wyoming you will find plenty of evidence that part of the world was once a vast sea and under water. (Sea levels must have been pretty high then. I guess there were no prehistoric Gore and Hansen to warn people and stop it.) Of course climates change, they always have, they always will.

    Comment by Wendell Mercantile | November 25, 2009

  101. ClimateGate has now attracted the mainstream media attention: CBS News I told you to look at the computer code. The GCM code looks bad. The CRU code for assembling the global temperature appears to be even worse! Again, from my perspective as a former programmer, these sorts of comments in the code are a huge warning sign. Please can we stop the comparisons of skeptics to the creation theory bunch. They are not even close. The theory of evolution doesn't rely on collecting and processing thousands of datasets and running complicated computer models, and forecasting into the future.

    Comment by KingofKaty | November 25, 2009

  102. “(like our other friend's one about oceans "starved of CO2", LOL).” “Fugacity is a measure of a chemical potential in the form of 'adjusted pressure'. It reflects the tendency of a substance to prefer one phase (liquid, solid, or gas) over another, and can be literally defined as “the tendency to flee or escape”.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugacity

    Comment by Kit P | November 25, 2009

  103. Kit P said … "If you do not seen the relevance of environmental models, it hard to have a discussion with you about AGW."And if you were trying to make an honest argument, you would educate me about the alleged relevance, instead of adopting such a superior pose. I told you I can spot a bullshitter. Was your environmental model a climate change model? No, of course it wasn't, since there is no earthly point in having it generate climate change scenarios using real inputs to merely assess the effect of weather. That would be a ridiculous waste of resources. So your environmental model has no more relevance to a global climate model than does an N-body gravitational model (I just thought I'd throw that in gratuitously since I've created [and not just rubberstamped] several of those … whizzz! was that peeing high enough for you? 🙂 But please feel free to correct me rather than tell me (again) how hard it is to have a discussion with mere mortals."So PeteS bring it on, I would love to a debate on the scientific basis of AGW. Are you up to it?"Earth to Kit P! How many times do I have to tell you I am not a global warming advocate, nor have I ever claimed to be any kind of expert. I'm not interested enough to study the detail. You were the one casting aspersions, so presumably you ARE interested in the detail. Have you even read the Copenhagen Diagnosis I mentioned. It's only 60 pages and seems like a reasonable layman's summary of climate change predictions past and present. That's good enough for a mere mortal like myself. There are links to 250 or so research papers containing the detail. Feel free to say which ones you disagree with and why.

    Comment by PeteS | November 26, 2009

  104. Kinuachdrach said — "The crux question is should we have more confidence or less confidence in the Hadley establishment today, in the wake of the whistle-blower's revelations? The answer to that question is obvious."So, I followed up on your implication that the folks at Hadley have some sort of exclusive access to models, their parameters, and their outputs. What I learned was that for the IPCC 4th Assessment Report in 2007 there were seventeen groups around the world creating their own independent models. What's more, they compiled all the model outputs into a "publically" accessible archive called the PMCDI IPCC AR4 archive. I say "publically" in scare quotes because the data ran into terabytes and was shipped on hard disks rather than being downloadable online. Nevertheless, over a thousand groups and organisations signed up to receive the data.So I am having a hard time reconciling this with your idea of some cosy establishment of ivory tower academics closing ranks to pull the wool over the world's collective eyes. Not quite as hard, I'll grant you, as reconciling Kit P's statement that "When I look at the numbers, AGW is small and the evidence is weak" –'cos I didn't hear him mentioning any terabytes of data that he'd analysed. But nevertheless it still smacks of desperately wanting the AGW folks to be exposed as frauds.

    Comment by PeteS | November 26, 2009

  105. “Have you even read the Copenhagen Diagnosis I mentioned.”I have now. Not what I would call science. Nice graphics for those who like pictures. . “25% probability that warming exceeds 2°C, even with zero emissions after 2030.”“Over the past 25 years temperatures have increased at a rate of 0.19 °C per decade, in very good agreement with predictions based on greenhouse gas increases.”Well so there is 75% chance that 100 years from now that temperature will be have increased less than 2°C. While it is possible that this will happen:“displacing hundreds of millions of people worldwide”I think that there is a 100% probability that 6 billion will die in the next 100 years. The reason I am a skeptic is documents like the Copenhagen Diagnosis.

    Comment by Kit P | November 26, 2009

  106. Kit P wrote: While I would be mortified if the public found stupid stuff, really smart people say stupid things but not in documents that I sign. So far the public has not found any mistakes that got by me. However, I have seen lots of things taken out of context. Oh that's rich. But apparently blogs don't count in the context of documents that he signs. In http://thefraserdomain.typepad.com/energy/2007/12/ausra-building/comments/page/2/#comment-94974266 Kit P wrote: wind and solar will never be more than 1% of US generation. This is based on the practical limitations of project development and maintenance. While the context may have been about storage of electricity, context still doesn't make him any less wrong about wind never being more than 1% of US generation. Just one year later he was proven wrong when 2008 US wind generation accounted for 1.26% of 2008 US electricity generation, and 1.25% of the higher 2007 US generation. All his engineering judgement in making electricity, his area of expertise, to the contrary. Or maybe that was his "belief", since he didn't give any "confidence intervals". If one never give a confidence interval of 100%, then one can never be so absolutely proven wrong.What is the confidence interval of Kit P's claim that PeteS does not have much knowledge of science? But "not much" is not precisely measurable and is a matter of opinion, so it's just a pissing match.(As rufus pointed out in a different context, even if you could get a number, Let's say the number is 15%. One person might say that's a pretty "significant" number, and the other might say, "Heck, it Only 15%.")

    Comment by Clee (AGW fence-sitter) | November 26, 2009

  107. PeteS wrote: "… they compiled all the model outputs … the data ran into terabytes …"Pete, don't be obtuse. You know as well as anyone that MODEL OUTPUT is not DATA!The issue in this scandal is the underlying observational data — the inputs on which those models are based — and how those measured points were collected, smoothed, averaged, and extrapolated. But you knew that.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | November 26, 2009

  108. Kinu – yes I realise there are limitations to what I wrote. I didn't have any easily accessible info to hand. Presumably the 17 modelling groups had access to the various inputs. Did they all come from a single (possibly dodgy and opaque) source? I don't know. I'll make it my business to find out.On the other hand, I dispute that the output of modelling runs is "not data". Of course it is — a simulation can be "postdictive" as well as predictive: do the simulated results for past dates correlate with observables not used as inputs? That is definitely one of the things that was scrutinised for the IPCC AR4 data.

    Comment by PeteS | November 26, 2009

  109. “Oh that's rich. But apparently blogs don't count in the context of documents that he signs.”That is correct, there is no federal penalty for making making material false statements in blogs Furthermore, there are no consequences that I am worried about if I found I was found to be wrong.It is interesting that after I worked on YMP that there was an email gate because a geologist said he was making up stuff. The FBI investigated. A couple years before, I did have a pissing contest with five geologist. They could address my comments to or find some one else to sign their documents. Another geologist wrote the report, this time without making up stuff. It was easy, my comments included the reference and needed calculation. It was simple high school chemistry once you had the physical property value from the reference. It took me a ½ hour. Clearly, Clee thinks I am wrong. Well there are those who do and those teach. Then there are those who explain why others are wrong.So Clee put on your doing hat. Do you think think wind and solar will be a significant part of the electricity supply in the US? How would define significant? Science is not a matter of consensus or opinion. If you do not know how data is presented, I can explain it to you. Copenhagen Diagnosis is an example of how not to present scientific data. This is a fact. The purpose of the Copenhagen Diagnosis is to present data in an alarming manner to those who are ignorant of the scientific process.

    Comment by Kit P | November 26, 2009

  110. Kinu – I went and read up online on who the modelling groups are, where the data came from and to what extent the inputs, outputs and the code itself for the various models are generally available. I have to say that it all smacked of an impressively participative process — not one that would be easily subverted by some left-wing kooks in one research centre in the UK. There are lots of independently-developed models, and different data, but (naturally) all used the same IPCC-specified inputs when producing their contributions for the most recent assessment report (AR4). The outputs were all merged into a giant generally available dataset to allow for cross-model checking of results and weeding out of model-specific anomalies. There were control runs against "pre-industrial" data, and 20th and 21st century simulations. Obviously, temperature rise is one of the outputs of utmost interest, so equally obviously temperature data is not an input to the models. So the question of whether the famous hockey-stick graph is a stitch-up is not germane to the plausibility of these models.Here's a couple of links, followed by a "Who's Who" list of organisations you can Google, from where you can probably navigate to pretty much all the stuff I read:1. The CCSM 3.0 model (see my "Who's Who" later), one of the major contributors to the IPCC 4th Assessment Report (AR4), including downloadable inputs, outputs, and code:http://www.ccsm.ucar.edu/models/ccsm3.0/Some of the IPCC-specified model parameters:- Time-varying concentrations of GHGs, including sinks from chemical reactions – Prognostic sulfate, with time-varying emissions of SO2. – Time-varying concentrations of carbonaceous species scaled by population and/or SO2 emissions – Time-varying concentrations of stratospheric volcanic aerosol – Time-varying solar constant – Time-varying concentrations of tropospheric and stratospheric ozone2. The PCMDI (see my "Who's Who" later) 2004 invitation to any interested person or group to participate in model output analysis and contribute to AR4 (includes an overview of the the models run and how to access the data):http://www-pcmdi.llnl.gov/ipcc/about_ipcc/subproject_announcement.pdf

    Comment by PeteS | November 27, 2009

  111. Who's Who in Climate Modelling (not remotely exhaustive, just supporting my two references above).1. The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) was established in 1980, under the sponsorship of International Council for Science, the World Meteorological Organization, and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO since 1993. It is a component of the World Climate Programme. Its objectives are to develop the fundamental scientific understanding of the physical climate system and climate processes needed to determine to what extent climate can be predicted and the extent of human influence on climate.2. The Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI) was established in 1989 at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California, funded by the Climate Change Research Division of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program. 3. The Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP) is a standard experimental protocol for global atmospheric general circulation models (AGCMs). It provides a community-based infrastructure in support of climate model diagnosis, validation, intercomparison, documentation and data access. Virtually the entire international climate modeling community has participated in this project since its inception in 1990. AMIP is endorsed by the Working Group on Numerical Experimentation (WGNE) of the World Climate Research Programme, and is managed by the PCMDI with the guidance of the WGNE AMIP Panel.4. The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) is the analog of AMIP for global coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation models. CMIP began in 1995 under the auspices of the Working Group on Coupled Modeling (WGCM), which is in turn under auspices of CLIVAR and the Joint Scientific Committee for the World Climate Research Program. The PCMDI supports CMIP by helping WGCM to determine the scope of the project, by maintaining the project's data base, and by participating in data analysis. CMIP has received model output from the pre-industrial climate simulations ("control runs") and 1% per year increasing-CO2 simulations of about 30 coupled GCMs.5. CLIVAR is the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) project that addresses Climate Variability and Predictability, with a particular focus on the role of ocean-atmosphere interactions in climate. It works closely with its companion WCRP projects on issues such as the role of the land surface, snow and ice and the role of stratospheric processes in climate. The International CLIVAR Project Office (ICPO), is located at the UK's National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS). 6. The Community Climate System Model (CCSM) is developed as a freely available global atmosphere model for use by the wider climate research community. It is a collaboration of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), NASA, the DOE, and multiple US universities. The CCSM project was a major contributor to the 4th Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in three ways. First, the CCSM 3 was used to produce control runs, and an ensemble of 20th and 21st Century runs. In fact, the CCSM project contributed more years of integration and results to the AR 4 than any other climate project or center. Second, several scientists heavily involved in the CCSM project were Contributing Lead Authors and Lead Authors on several important chapters, and so made very important contributions to the AR 4. Third, the CCSM community influenced the 4th Assessment significantly through numerous individual research papers using the CCSM that defined the scope of key scientific questions.

    Comment by PeteS | November 27, 2009

  112. Oops. Probably should've mentioned on the comment before last that one of the links there has a subsequent link to a schema for the model outputs with metadata on all the output variables, which include temperature. (I wasn't just making up that point about temperature being an output ;-).

    Comment by PeteS | November 27, 2009

  113. And for what it's worth, all this stuff raised some new questions for me about the models … not to do with the trustworthiness of the inputs, but possible systematic limitations in the whole approach.

    Comment by PeteS | November 27, 2009

  114. "So the question of whether the famous hockey-stick graph is a stitch-up is not germane to the plausibility of these models."Pete, thanks for doing the slog through the various modelling groups. We are all aware that the US taxpayer has spent literally Billions of dollars on alleged anthropogenic global warming research — interesting to see what we have been getting for it.All any model can do is tell us the implications of the assumptions. The main way to tell if those assumptions are correct is to demonstrate that the model can "predict" known history. From what I have read, that is the great weakness of Global Circulation Models.Thus, it is critically important to have a good understanding of what has actually happened, and for the models to demonstrate that they can match it. The politically-correct hockey stick that denies the Medieval Warming Period (and subsequent cooling) is therefore very important. As is the GCM's ability to match it.Bottom line is the old saying — Garbage In, Garbage Out.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | November 28, 2009

  115. Thank you PeteS,for your patience and for educating our resident armchair climatologists.

    Comment by Russ Finley | November 28, 2009

  116. The latest scandal from CRU: Climate change data dumped So now we have to accept the word of people who were trying to deny others being published and saying "hide the decline". Sorry, we dumped the raw data. The world is warming just take our word for it. Nothing to see here. Phil Jones should retire and they should tear down the CRU and just start over someplace else.

    Comment by KingofKaty | November 29, 2009

  117. "Jones was not in charge of the CRU when the data were thrown away in the 1980s, a time when climate change was seen as a less pressing issue."

    Comment by Anonymous | November 29, 2009

  118. Ok, Anon, then just toss out the adjusted data. If you don't have the raw data then you can't verify nor reproduce the results. Russ – nice bit of circular references there. Your appeal to authority arguments have been rendered even less credible by ClimateGate.

    Comment by KingofKaty | November 30, 2009


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