2016: A year in blogging

Since the year is almost over, I thought I would summarise some of what has gone on here.

January was a rather quiet month. I wrote about a poignant essay by Piers Sellers, who sadly passed away just before Christmas. I also discussed the whole attribution issue, which I may cover again.

February was mainly about the statistical forecast, that not even the author believed.

March saw me writing about some of my own research and pointing out that the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) doesn’t get that “no warming since 2016/2017” is meant to be a joke, not a suggestion.

April included a post in which I argued that the TCR-to-ECS ratio probably can’t be above 0.8 (which might have relevance for energy balance estimates) and, of course, had a lengthy thread about consensus on consensus (if I ever want a lengthy comment thread, I know to just write about the consensus).

May saw a couple of posts about consensus messaging, including one where I point out that I don’t really like it either (but that’s not necessarily an argument for not using it).

June included a post about a very nice paper that largely reconciles the various climate sensitivity estimates. I also wrote a post about how we don’t even agree on the basics which then had a comment thread that largely illustrated the point.

July’s highlights were probably pseudoscience at UCL (the meeting moved somewhere else, eventually) and the furore over Gergis et al..

August saw me write, again, about some of my own research. The post that caught everyone’s attention was probably the one about Reiner Grundmann’s article calling for more Social Science.

September was again fairly quiet with a post about arguing online and a post about carbon taxes (discussing a Joseph Heath post that I found very useful).

October saw my finally write a post with some details about ocean CO2 uptake (I learned a lot writing it), discussing the Royal Society renting space to the GWPF for a meeting, and a post about Matt Ridley’s lecture at the GWPF meeting.

November included a follow-up of my ocean CO2 uptake post and the start of a my posts about David Rose and his it woz El Nino Wot dunnit.

December included David Rose going further down the rabbit hole (for someone who appear to hate being called a science denier he seems to have no idea about how to not sound like one) a post commiserating with Roger Pielke Jr (okay, not really), and a discussion of why anyone should care about the (scientific) views of sociologists who don’t understand science.

Guest posts:

I had a number of Guest posts (thank you to those who write them). Richard Erskine discussed if we can end the antagonistic climate debate. Steven Mosher had a post about the surface and satellite discrepancy. Lawrence Hamilton, had a post about post-factual perceptions of weather and one on a Tipping Point. Willard also contributed a number of posts. I think that is all, but if I have forgotten someone, let me know.


2017 looks to be a rather interesting year, possibly for all the wrong reasons. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with the blog, but then I’ve never been entirely sure, so nothing particularly new there. I think I’m starting to better understand the various issues with how to communicate this topic, but I don’t think that there’s much that I can do that’s different to what I’m currently doing. There’s also only so many times one can explain the scientific evidence, but sometimes it is worth repeating. Will just have to wait and see. I am potentially open to suggestions, but with the proviso that I’m not really trying to take this too seriously, and that there is only so much time I can commit to this.


There is also now a year in Stoats.

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27 Responses to 2016: A year in blogging

  1. I am deeply appreciative of what you do with this blog, even as you express continuing uncertainty about the purpose. Thank you for your time working on this project. It is part of my daily read. Warm regards, Mike

  2. semyorka says:

    Its not our fault the debate is repetitive.
    Same as creationism, its the same points in slightly different wrapping paper ad infinitum.

  3. Jim Cliborn says:

    Also appreciative! Going forward I would recommend relentless rigorous demonstrations of how mankind has disturbed the climate. The new leadership needs some firm guideposts to hang on to and not tweeter science!

  4. In a post from last July, cited above, Joseph Heath asks semi-rhetorically, “Why are [proposed] carbon taxes so low?” and, then, he and commenters go on and answer that, essentially, the cost of damage is discounted to the present to obtain estimates of the Social Cost of Carbon.


    Except that none of these methodologies I see incorporate the full cost of perhaps someday needing to not only decarbonize but to do clear air capture of carbon dioxide and sequestering it (effectively) permanently. They are making estimates of damage from climate disruption.

    However, the costs of clear air capture includes an up-front cost of decarbonizing first, since capture is doubly and triply more expensive if we continue to pollute.

    See my blog post where the estimate for one exercise puts the price at US$1800 trillion in constant 2010 dollars. Even if not only is there no inflation in the price, but one additionally applies a discounting rate of 4%, after 100 years that’s still US$3.6 trillion. Worse, the scenario is sensitive at when we start, where we want to reduce to, and whether or not emissions are first zeroed, let alone invoking a technology we do not yet have. This is why my view has now aligned strongly with those of Glen Peters and Kevin Anderson.

  5. Pingback: The year in Stoats: 2016 – Stoat

  6. Pingback: Okay, Jan, so what’s your view on climate change? | Hypergeometric

  7. Susan Anderson says:

    Didn’t you have some guest posts by Michael Tobis? Was that 2015?

  8. John Hartz says:

    ATTP: Thank you for all that you do!

  9. russellseitz says:

    2016 must be joyfully remembered as the year in which the income of climate researchers passed a million dollars a day, in the estimation of infallible Breitbart Journalist James Dellingpole:


  10. Morbeau says:

    Thanks Anders! I wish you and your family a safe and happy 2017.

  11. angech says:

    Thanks for 2016 postings.
    Please keep going.
    “There’s also only so many times one can explain the scientific evidence, but sometimes it is worth repeating”
    New studies will come along and you put them up for discussion.
    That’s very worthwhile.
    The topical nature of your blog is what keeps people coming.
    Thanks to your usual commentators here and sincere apologies to those upset by my denseness on most topics. I will post less and listen more.

  12. Windchaser says:

    Angech, by all means, still post your questions. We should all do that! We’re here to learn from each other.

  13. Susan Anderson says:

    Thanks aTTP for your unflagging thoughtfulness and patience, and have a successful New Year!

  14. BBD says:

    A good year. At least *something* went well in 2016…

    All the best for 2017.

  15. BBD says:

    Oh look, it’s chewing through the ropes. This is deeply troubling. Pelosi sums it up:

    Republicans claim they want to ‘drain the swamp,’ but the night before the new Congress gets sworn in, the House GOP has eliminated the only independent ethics oversight of their actions. Evidently, ethics are the first casualty of the new Republican Congress.

  16. Andrew Dodds says:

    BBD –

    Well, if there is no one to prosecute corruption, then there won’t be any convictions for corruption, therefore the corruption rate will be zero! Swamp Drained! Big stuffed brown envelopes all around!

    (disturbingly similar to the new approach to climate science.. if you fire all the climate scientists and stop all the measurements, then global warming goes away! Problem solved! Why are my feet wet?)

  17. Similar to fossil-fuel-funded Lindzen’s exhortation to DT that “climate science funding should be cut 80%-90% until the field cleans up.” Thing is, after it “cleans up,” and, assuming DT and company can tell the difference between “climate science” and just plain science (I can’t), the alteration is not reversible. Scientist will find employment elsewhere, and the assets which were shut down may not be recoverable, especially if shutdown was done quickly and by people who really don’t know what they are doing or don’t care. And the break in continuous measurement with the same instrument is perhaps the most severe damage, scientifically.

  18. BBD says:


    This was planned. Look at the timing. This is how Money disables the CCTV so that it cannot be seen flowing into the pockets of Power (inside bulging brown envelopes, per tradition).

    I think we just lost.

  19. BBD says:

    In other news, Curry goes emeritus:


    Well, she tries. Sez she ‘requested emeritus status’. It will be interesting to see if that request is granted by her institution.

  20. Susan Anderson says:

    Scientists are working to archive and transfer data, they’re not stupid. The search I used ( https://www.google.com/search?q=holthaus+on+saving+data ) turned up a range. In addition to WaPo, I see NPR, Baez, ClimateCentral (based in Princeton, particularly good at weather-climate connections) which is useful, asking for help:

  21. verytallguy says:

    I think we just lost.

    Apparently not. You’ve won, thanks to an injury time intervention from your new teammate: teh Donald, no less.

    Happy New Year!


  22. Magma says:

    @ BBD: “one funeral at a time”

  23. BBD says:

    Maybe I’ve been rendered too cynical by recent events, but I didn’t believe Teh D when he claimed not to approve of the reptiles’ attempt to turn off the CCTV. I think he was just playing the game.

  24. Magma says:

    Donald knows the best way to drain a swamp is to flood it first, then fill it with boa constrictors. Only once you’ve persuaded all the alligators to leave (or plan B, made them too fat to move) can you proceed with draining it.

    (Although I have to say this wetlands destroying attitude reeks of early 20th century thinking.)

  25. Andrew Dodds says:

    Magma –

    Already happening in the Everglades, although with Burmese pythons instead of boa constrictors. And they eat the alligators.


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