Friday, July 3, 2015

Judith Curry's solution to extreme heat

Sou | 2:23 AM Go to the first of 69 comments. Add a comment
Judith Curry has a solution to the extreme heat that lots of people are suffering right now. And the even more extreme heat that we'll be suffering as global warming gets worse.

Burn more fossil fuels and speed up global warming.

That's right. Judith wrote - let them buy air conditioners. Much as Pat'n Chip and Anthony Watts have advocated in the past. What she actually wrote was:
Does it make more sense to provide air conditioning or to limit CO2 emissions.  I vote for more air conditioning in these susceptible regions.

Good luck with that when the power gets rationed or quits completely from excess demand.

Good luck with finding an air-conditioner for your home that's rated for much above 43°C (110°F). You might get lucky and get one rated to 46°C (115°F). Or you might be out of luck.

Good luck with the even greater global warming as all that extra CO2 is spewed into the air making it even hotter.

And I agree with Greg Laden. If you're going to be utterly insensitive to people's suffering, the least you can do is wait a decent interval until the suffering is behind them.

Further reading

Judith isn't the first to tell everyone in Pakistan, India and the rest of the world to shape up and buy an air-conditioner. (Many if not most of the people killed in the Indian heat wave didn't have a home to house the air-conditioner Judith told them to buy.) Here are some other instances of deniers wanting to solve heat waves by adding to global warming, from the HotWhopper archives - with a couple of other articles on heat extremes thrown in:


turboblocke said...

Thanks to the heat, there was a black out lasting 9 hours in France the night before last... How's does air-conditioning cope with that? And as water temperature rises, conventional plant has to reduce production otherwise the outlet water is too hot and sterilises the river or sea nearby.

Sou said...

We've had electricity rationed in recent heat waves. Odd numbered houses one day off, even numbered the next. Plus complete power cuts. Fires burning down power lines don't help either, though then air conditioning are the least of our worries.

Then there are the train and tram stoppages from either power cuts or buckled lines. No getting home to a maybe partly-functioning air conditioner if you're lucky enough to have one (and lucky enough to have a home).

That's Australia - in a town that generates hydro-power. Think about India where power cuts are more the norm than the exception. Think Brazil that relies on hydro power but runs out of water. Think France that can't keep all its nuclear power plants cool enough.

Sometimes I wonder if delayer-deniers like Judith have all their marbles.

Sou said...

If this page is correct, it might go some way to explaining things:

Judith may never have felt a day hotter than a relatively balmy 40C (105F). Wait till it gets to 49C (120F) for a few days in a row, and she might sing a different tune (or probably not - she'll simply deny it)

Millicent said...

"Sometimes I wonder if delayer-deniers like Judith have all their marbles."

Losing one's marbles - in a manner convenient to polluting corporations - seems to be a common problem among all those associated with the Marshall Institute.

Anonymous said...

She seems to spend the summer in the Lake Tahoe area with a relative.


We caught up with her during her summer break, which she takes far from the sticky Atlanta heat. Her daughter lives in Reno, Nev., which means the cool mountains overlooking Lake Tahoe are a quick drive.

Bert from Eltham said...

Sou it is worse than you thought.
It is a simple law of thermodynamics that as the temperature difference between the cold and hot ends of a heat pump increases the efficiency goes down. Depending on the working fluid the system will definitely fail to pump any heat if this temperature differential gets too high. Once this point is reached the heat pump dissipates its electrical energy as heat.
It is always better to have a heat pump that has a far larger capacity than recommended. This way the failure temperature differential is higher.
Back in the eighties we had a laboratory that we used to house our x-ray equipment and temperature sensitive protein crystals. Even a small rise in temperature would dissolve some of our very valuable crystals. We designed the split systems to cope with an outside temperature of 50C.
One of these systems was a water chiller that cooled the x-ray generator. This x-ray generator could have an anode loading of up to 4 kW.
Our solution was brute force. Both the water chiller and air conditioning had a rating of a bit over two times the so called recommended. About fifteen kW from my fading memory. This was for one room about 5x15 m.
The real test came in a sequence of four days of 42-45C maximums. Our systems coped well. The cooling systems in the rest of our main building completely failed as they did all over Melbourne.
There was a lovely heat island of 50C+ outside near the condensers or hot ends. This also happens in large cities with air conditioned high rise buildings.
There is no reason that a few billion poor people cannot do this. Is There?
Before air conditioners my grandparents used to go from their valley plantation to their summer house in the mountains of Indonesia. This is another viable? alternative for the hot billions. Just move to the mountains!
I am sure this is what the so called rich deniers intend to do.

Magma said...

I registered with Word Press just so I could express my... contempt is the word that keeps coming to mind. But let's say, stunned disagreement instead.

What a stunningly lightweight, simplistic, dismissive conclusion from someone who attempts to position herself as the moderate voice of reason and careful science.

Like Watts, Curry has her staunch defenders who stand by her through thick and thin.

But mostly thick, I'd say.

Bert from Eltham said...

During and after the heat wave my boss said after thanking me for saving his crystals 'how did you know?'.
By the way each few mg of pure protein enzyme came from about ten thousand inoculated chicken eggs. This then had to be laboriously purified.
My answer was this.
Plan for the worst possible scenario and hope it never happens!

Lionel A said...

Recently Judith came to the UK beckoned by the GWPF to push uncertainty, taking over from Richard Lindzen:

UK Climate Deniers Invite American Sceptic Judith Curry to Speak in the House of Lords.

Maybe Judith is shortly to join CATO too.

One only has to note the economy with the actualité of Peter Lilley (supposedly the Right Honourable which is a stretch on its own) in a number of statements presented in this exchange: Fracking debate: Lilley and Lucas.

Lilley is famous for 'throwing his toys out of the pram' during a climate hearing in UK parliament awhile back when trying to interrogate Dr Emily Shuckburgh, Emily was having nothing of it and put Lilley down by telling him his question was ill formed. I'll find the video if interested.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

In Hotlanta the humidity is what kills you. It might be 90 but the RH will be 70%, with a dewpoint around 80. Out here in the west the heat is more tolerable -- it might be 95, but the RH is 17% so a swamp cooler will work most of the time.

Rattus Norvegicus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prince Mishkin said...

Please do. I'd like to see it. It was a wonderful video of Richard Alley in congress that really piqued my interest in tackling climate change deniers.

Bert from Eltham said...

I must admit we gamed the system. In order to get the money for a chiller we 'claimed' the generator had a 4 kW load. We ran it at 2kW. We ordered a six kW chiller.
We then 'claimed' that the room had a heat load of at least 4 kW because of the generator plus all other electronics so the heat load was in excess of 7 kW. So we ordered an air conditioner of about 10kW.
Both these orders were carefully separated in time and space. We scientists are sneaky bastards are we not. We just did this for our own comfort.
It is hard to explain than 10mg of pure protein is worth more than $100k!

Magma said...

It may not be riveting fare. It occurred during the Energy and Climate Change Committee meeting, February 11, 2014.


Peter Lilley's questioning runs from 9:42:30 to 10:00:20 AM. The exchanges in question are around 4, 11 and 18 minutes after the start.

Lars Karlsson said...

Idiot tracker: Air conditioners all the way down.

Anonymous said...

As an inhabitant of one of the countries Curry is referring to (Spain), she appears totally oblivious to Spanish electricity prices (ie, the fact that prices have risen 60% in just 6 years time and that electricity prices in Spain are among the highest in Europe while wages are amongst the lowest in Europe).

While in theory solar could be a cheap solution, the current Spanish rightwing government is basically taking direct orders from Spain's largest traditional utilities and plans to tax the sun and fine anyone who dares to use solar for self-consumption and storage. Just to show how ridiculous the proposed new law is, fines could be as high as € 60 million, double the amount for the release of nuclear waste.

Nick said...

After an article in which she muses not unreasonably on heat distributions on maps that have been scanned at too low a resolution for the reader, she cannot resist that vacuous comment at the end. Totally puzzling in its pointlessness...except I guess as a nod to a certain class of Climate Etc. reader

Sou said...

Great article, thanks Lars.

Sou said...

It's not really puzzling. Judith tells deniers what they want to hear. Her standard message is to adapt and not to mitigate. Her main argument seems to be that mitigation won't *drop* surface temperature while she's alive so why bother. What she doesn't tell her denier fans is that without mitigation it's going to get a whole lot hotter. Which given she must know this, is quite dishonest of her.

It's the stock standard position of delayers and an ongoing message from CATO and other denier lobby groups.

Bernard J. said...

CUrry says in the comments "... i’m about trying to understand the climate system..."

If her conclusions as presented on her blog and on Twitter are anything to go by, she's not having much success in her endeavour.

Perhaps she should speak more to her scientific colleagues and clear up some of the many misapprehensions under which she is labouring - the only affirmation I see for her pronouncements comes from the non-scientific echo chamber on her blog. It's telling that she is silent on their many false claims - Salvatore del Prete especially regurgitates a Gish marathon of rubbish, and Curry is totally silent in correcting his nonsense, apparently because it reinforces her sympathy for denying the science.

Sou said...

I saw that and agree with you. She's been doing a great job of not understanding science for the past few years.

Judith is also coming across as very defensive, isn't she. Still trying to argue that advocating "do nothing" is not advocating. Actively advocating and promoting denier nonsense is about all she does in deed and word.

Bernard J. said...

If Curry did the same job of not understanding science as a student in any decent undergraduate degree subject she would fail the course.

Sou said...

From the first time I came across her she was spouting wrong denier memes, just like any fake sceptic at WUWT. No fact checking in sight. She strays outside her area of competence a lot and goes to denier blogs for answers, not science. And for all her talk about uncertainty, she seems to not understand it at all (nor risk).

Matt M said...

I'm reminded of when she admitted she did not realise AR5 was attributing more than 100% of warming to human activities (despite it being quite clear). Meanwhile she had been arguing with others that it was 50:50, cos... uncertainty.

Mind-boggling how she can argue so confidently against the mainstream, yet puts in so little effort in understanding the literature. Did she skim AR5 or just a bit slow?

Magma said...

I noticed that with Curry a while back. It's a rather common dodge among feigned neutral parties. Picture two sides (A and B) arguing, with statements marked T: clearly true, t: probably true, f: probably false, and F: clearly false. C is a self-styled neutral moderator/observer.

A:T t T T T t T T T t T T f T t T T t t T
B: F F F f f F F F t F F f f f t F F F F f

C: I couldn't help noticing that your statement 13 is false, A. We'll spend the rest of the session discussing how this undermines your entire argument.

I-beam said...

'understand the climate system ...' ? Really???

For some reason, Upton Sinclair's quote 'It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.' comes to mind.

Everett F Sargent said...

Hey, come on now, I might not be the 1st, but I sardonically suggested AC for the entire world, like six weeks ago:

"I think ... that we should ... AC the entire planet ... specifically SE Asia, the Middle East, all of Africa, and most of South America using only 100% renewables.

Though we might have to slightly tighten up the corrugated metal shanty towns and thatched huts.

We gotta install microwave ovens custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators we gotta move these color T.V.'s.

They want their MTV."

Who knew that Curry, et. al. would take that as a serious solution, sans the 100% renewable energy part and the thick as tin walls parts. Not to mention drafty building infrastructures, unimaginable costs involved and inabilities to pay for said utility and infrastructure bills. . .

Sou said...

I just revisited and saw that the usual lot of deniers and delayers are focused on the air-conditioning suggestion, saying what a great idea, it'll save lives and isn't Sou horrible for depriving the homeless Indians and African villagers of their air conditioners that they can't plug in because "coal".

Missing the whole point of course, that Judith is not only advocating "do nothing" to reduce CO2 emissions, she wants to increase them - hugely. Air condition the world and treble the CO2 emissions and heat things up. Always chasing the tail.

The way they are going, the Moshers and Currys and other deniers will end up being the ones to recommend geo-engineering when it gets too hot. And probably military solutions to the inevitable civil unrest that results from climate change, food and water shortages etc. And they'll also probably turn around and try to pin the blame on the scientists and climate hawks for not reducing CO2 enough.

The minds of delayers and deniers aren't geared for solutions. They are the "we can't" people. I prefer to associate with "can do" people.

Harry Twinotter said...

Dr Curry has a "let them eat cake" moment. It has to be one of the silliest things I have heard in a while. Would you call this a typical right-wing comment?

Pity if you have to work out doors.

I read as much of the back-pedalling in the comments as I could stomach, then gave up. I removed Climate Etc from my reading list a couple of months ago. I do still read WUWT for entertainment value :-)

PG said...

Harry, I'll tell you what's silly. Mosher's desperate contortions in the rewriting of Judith's activist history.

Sou said...

Steve Mosher's stuck between a rock and a hard place. He yearns to be seen as "serious". Few scientists would forgive him easily for publishing the stolen emails. Deniers class him as a "warmist" and a know-it-all who speaks in riddles and can't write whole sentences. He might see himself as closest to Judy, because of BEST - even though she disowned it. (Though she prefers it to NOAA's latest, even though it has a steeper warming trend during the so-called "pause". I don't think she ever checked the numbers - too busy telling scientists that they don't know nuffin' and are "fudging". Another case of talking before thinking - or checking.)

Nick said...

I suppose that comment of Curry's is what fossil fuel money buys you. You can almost hear the coins go into the tin when she reduces herself to such glibness.

Harry Twinotter said...

I almost choked on my barbecue shapes when I saw Dr Curry's response to Greg Laden. Is she even aware she being ironic? And it was such a lame attempt to divert the discussion elsewhere.

"Hey Greg, guess what. I’m not about ‘messaging’, i’m about trying to understand the climate system and discuss with interested individuals, which isn’t easy in the midst of all this political ‘messaging’ by scientists."

PG said...

Sou, no significance implied, but am I correct in thinking that Mosher joined BEST post Curry?
I was very surprised when she announced that she favoured BEST (although we all know that Christy's troposphere tropes are Judith's perfect fit )

Tim said...

In the mind of a social Darwinist someone who cannot afford an AC has no right to live.

Catmando said...

Or they could be put to an alternative, environmentally friendly, carbon neutral use (I hope I don't give some in the Deep South any ideas):


Sou said...

PG I don't know when he joined as a team member. He and Judith (and Zeke Hausfather) were listed in the acknowledgements of the first paper, published in December 2012. They released that before it was published - back in July 2012 (which prompted Anthony Watts to "release" his "US temperature is all wrong" paper)

So he's been involved since early 2012 I'd say, and maybe earlier than that - which would mean they'd have overlapped.

Lionel A said...

Magma, that link failed, for me, but thios one works for me and maybe others too:


tonyb said...


This from Poptech (who may or may not be right as he has some issues it appears with both Willis and Mosh.)

'He (Mosher) first appeared on the Berkley Earth website in July of 2012 as a "Consultant" but an online profile he posted claims he started in January of 2012 as an "Open Source Volunteer". It seems once professional scientists climatologist Dr. Judith Curry and statistical scientist Dr. David Brillinger left the team in early 2013, he was quickly promoted to the title of "Scientist"

So there seems to be overlapping.

Mosh is a bit of an enigma it is true but always worth reading. Although we sometimes clash I have always found him to be helpful when he is in the mood and in endeavouring to add to our knowledge of historic and modern temperatures is performing a worthwhile function. .


Prince Mishkin said...

Link failed for me to but I found it using the date. Thanks for the heads up.

Millicent said...

I am wondering if Ms Curry isn't competing in some bizarre competition for the most pig ignorant idea since Marie Antoinette recommended cake as a substitute for bread.

FLwolverine said...

Curry is simply an Eco-modernist! Here's a nice summary of that position by that prominent advocate for the poor, Matt Ridley:

The Ecomodernist Manifesto promises a much-needed reformation in the green movement. Its 95 theses should be nailed to the door of the Vatican when the pope’s green-tinged encyclical comes out next month, because unlike the typical eco-wail, it contains good news for the poor. It says: no, we are not going to stop you getting rich and adopting new technologies and leaving behind the misery of cooking over wood fires in smoky huts with no artificial light. No, we do not want you to stay as subsistence farmers. Indeed, the quicker we can get you into a city apartment with a car, a phone, a fridge and a laptop, the better. Because then you won’t be taking wood and bushmeat from the forest.


You can't make this stuff up.

cRR Kampen said...

Shows how truly criminal climate revisionism has become.
As year after year thousands die pre-monsoon in India partly because of power fails by sheer heat Curry is treading over the dead and openly calling out for many more.


cRR Kampen said...

She sits by the airco. So what does she care.
Anyway, Atlanta will get a deluge sooner or later.
Then she can tread over the drowned like Ted Cruz did recently over those of Oklahoma and Texas.

Magma said...

And it failed for me when I retried it; it must have be one of those uniquely assigned, single use cookie-style URLs.

cRR Kampen said...

More like the 'FU' people.

adelady said...

Power cuts? Recently?

I have to say I'd almost forgotten such things. We haven't had to do that blacking out of selected areas for a few hours at a time or any of the other jiggery pokery with power supply in hot weather now for several years. I suppose that's due to the uptake of rooftop PV. Wind is a bit less reliable on hot but not diabolically windy days. Of course, some country areas have to have occasional power cuts when fire danger hits the catastrophic benchmark because that usually means high winds therefore power lines and trees are not a good mix.

(At our previous house, we occasionally lost power because of branches falling on overhead lines during storms. Now we're in an area with mostly underground wires on many streets that's not an issue.)

adelady said...

That confirms it. We need to replace our extremely antiquated air conditioner. I've looked at the specs and my instinct - for want of a better word - was to go well over the likely recommendation. The time we'll need it most is the time it will be operating at full strength/capacity. I still remember the record-breaking heatwave of 2008 - 13 consecutive days above 38C. I don't know whether we'll exceed the 13 days very soon, but we can be sure of at least one instance of 4 to 7 consecutive days of 38 to 43 in any given 3 years.

AnOilMan said...


In South Africa, we had little air vents near the floor and ceiling which we would open in summer and close in winter. (Many per room.) That enabled natural convection which kept the house livable.

If you look around, you'll see a similar pattern of ventilation with many older buildings. In North America, the classic 1920's (and earlier) store had window vents near the ground on a door, and a window which opened near the ceiling.

I myself have air-conditioning for sociological reasons beyond the scope of this discussion. (Loud Neighbors) However, quite a few people in Western Canada have mentioned that they don't have air-conditioning and wonder why its not more prevalent...

Nasa's official title for this image is "Baked Alaska"

In the mean time I would like to point out that I've been loosing a lot of sleep since I've been woken up to the dulcet sounds of my air-conditioner at 7am in the morning. And in this part of Canada we pride ourselves on winter being a dry cold. *sigh*

bratisla said...

currently looking at the hearing : Lilley followed quite correctly the denier textbook for official committees. Rohrabacher would be proud. Same reckless disregard of the complete picture, same asshattery. I didn't follow to the end, but I bet he has also thrown sexism into the mix.

Bert from Eltham said...

Adelady the other thing that most people do not do is turn up the thermostat to 24C. This is far more efficient and uses far less power.
On Black Saturday my recording thermometer in the observatory had a maximum of 48.7C for outside temperature. My thermostat was set at 27C and the AC just coped. My AC is 2.5hp and far larger than the recommended. If an air conditioner is not cycling (compressor off and on) it is overloaded and barely pumping any heat. Bert

PG said...

New South Wales Local Environment Plans specify cross ventilation must be designed into all new apartment buildings.

PG said...

Agreed Bert. When Sydney hit 47 C in the summer of 2013 we ran the house at 25 C. Relative to what was happening on the other side of the windows, it was Arctic.

Bert from Eltham said...

PG I used to stay in a fancy hotel in Chicago next to the Synchroton. In winter the room thermostats were set at 24C and in summer 18C.
This was madness of the type because we can.
The 'maids' used to reset the thermostat after I adjusted it in my absence. I resorted to removing the control knob, locking the shaft and leaving a note that I will replace it before I leave and please leave the current setting alone. I was lucky as I had my full tool kit with me to operate on any sort of equipment.
The shock of walking into a room at 24C when I had just walked for about a kilometre in winds of thirty knots and -20C was a big ask. Bert

looʞ oɹez said...

Ah yes, Cruz Control, the entire field of Republicans and their supporters resemble psychopathic puppets named 'Chucky' to me anymore.

So what to do to escape all the heat is to go down to Big Chico Creek Park, if it's not on fire, and jump into the Sacramento River that more resembles a creek these days.

Ed Marten

Bert from Eltham said...

Termites in the NT of Australia worked this all out a long time ago. The mounds aligned North South are a good example. They keep a constant temperature within the mound by regulating airflow from the cooler ground into the mound. Unlike climate scientists these termites do take the Sun into account! Joke! Bert

PG said...

Bert my coldest winter was Chicago in 1987/88. Just going outside was a major life decision.

looʞ oɹez said...

Sorry if I gets a bit carried away sometimes, just tell me to tune down and I will... Sou... young'n it happens when ya gets too, too, too hot!

Edward Merten

looʞ oɹez said...

I used to go over there and they sit around and talk about their million and multi-million dollar homes, farms and ranches. I don't think she knows how many houses she has, like Senator John McClown from Arizona forgets how many he has. Got to where it was too much trouble, too much maintenance of the barf bag you have to have.
When you put Ms Curry, Marie and a pig in same sentence like that all I can think of is this.

looʞ oɹez said...

Well that was a reply to Millicent down below, don't know how it wound up here... oops... V

metzomagic said...

For posterity, I think we should dub this little Curry episode: "Let them eat ice cream".

adelady said...

Good thinking. I confess it hadn't occurred to me to run at refrigerated temps. But I'll bear that in mind.

I'm still getting used to using air conditioning as much as we need to here. The paltry ceiling height and small roof space in this house compared to the previous 3 metres plus with enough room above the ceiling for 2 or more largish rooms means that a fairly ordinary hot day of 35 or so will heat up the whole house rather than lasting 2 to 3 days at that temp before it affected living conditions inside at the old house - there was always at least one south- or east-facing room that stayed livable even without aircon. One advantage here is the direct line of sight to the sea 4 kms away giving us a nice cooling sea breeze on that sort of evening after one or two hot days.

PG said...

Judith Curry has been dealt a blow in her interlocutory action before Supreme Court Justice Tamino
Following further argument on a point of law brought by the appellants, Justice Tamino again found in favour of the respondents.

PG said...

In today's NYT Enduring Summer’s Deep Freeze


Bert from Eltham said...

PG it all looks like nothing exceeds like excess! A bit like these drone missiles that cost a few tens or hundreds of thousands to take out a goat herder because he looks like a terrorist.
It must have been the hotels policy to have these absurd temperatures to show how they could beat the environment into submission. Bert

David Sanger said...

It's always interesting to see the number of new hot records in the US compared to the number of cold records. So far in 2015 there have been nearly 14K daily high records and half that number of daily low records. Monthly high temp records broken: over 800, with about 300 monthly low temp records.


numerobis said...

The US borders one of the few places on Earth that's been getting colder. I'll go out on a limb and assume that most other places are seeing a much greater ratio of warm:cool records.

David Sanger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Sanger said...

You can select the global records on the same page. So far in 2015 there have been over 24K daily high records and about 10K daily low records. Monthly high temp records broken: over 1350, with about 400 monthly low temp records.