What “Science” is “Telling Us” About Climate Damages to Canada

Just before leaving for Paris, the Canadian government, like many others,  stated that “science” was “telling us” that climate change was “one of the greatest threats of our time”.

The scientific evidence is clear: climate change is one of the greatest threats of our time. The Government of Canada recognizes that global temperature increases must be limited to at most two degrees Celsius, and Canada’s way forward on climate change is being informed by what the science is telling us.

The Canadian government posted up a briefing by “renowned climate scientists Dr. Gregory Flato (Environment Canada) and Mr. Alain Bourque (Ouranos)” to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Cabinet Ministers, and provincial and territorial Premiers – see here.

I was particularly interested in their argument on how the “threat” to Canada manifested itself.  How exactly does “science” show that a modest increase of temperature would severely damage Canada?

Too often, expositions of supposed climate damage amount to little more than loud assertions that the science is settled, with occasional interjections of “Look, polar bear!!” (to modify a phrase from And Then There’s Physics). The Flato and Bourque presentation is in this tradition. Its exposition of damages consists of only a few slides accompanied by very short explanatory text.

In today’s post, I will parse the first such slide and will try to parse other slides in future posts.

“How a Changing Climate Can Impact Canada”

As part of their attempt to show a “changing climate can impact across Canada”, Flato and Bourque  presented a slide containing six pictures: a lopsided building purporting to illustrate “loss of permafrost”, a forest fire across a lake, a somewhat geometrically abstract of cracked earth, children playing in fountains, a culvert washout on a secondary highway and ocean waves crashing on a small town. The slide is shown in full below, together with the covering text from the presentation webpage (in italics below).


This image shows current examples of how a changing climate can impact across Canada. In Canada’s North, there is a picture of a lopsided building, which illustrates how warming permafrost is affecting building foundations. From West to East, other images depict forest fires, drought, infrastructure failure, heat waves and storm surges

In the past,  from time to time, it’s been amusing to track down original images used to supposedly enliven institutional presentations. Readers may recall the photoshopped polar bear used in the illustration of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences petition led by Peter Gleick. (Gleick will be familiar to readers as the former Chairman of the AGU Ethics Committee, who was involved in the forgery of Heartland documents.

The “Lopsided Building”

Proceeding counterclockwise from 12 o’clock. The lopsided building is the former Third Avenue Hotel, built cheaply and quickly during the Klondike Gold Rush. The facade at the front is false, as shown in the view at right.  The Canadian government picture is from Alaska Photoworld here, which says that the “damaged building in Dawson City shows what can happen when the warm interior of a building causes the permafrost underneath to thaw”. In other words, nothing to do with climatic melting of permafrost, as claimed by the Canadian government.  One commenter below says that the building is south of the permafrost line and that its tilt is more likely due to poor construction rather than permafrost melt in any event.

The tilt of the building occurred long before recent Arctic warming. In the collection of the University of Iowa (see here), there is a 1988 photograph showing that the building was already in its present disrepair – which had undoubtedly occurred long before that.  The building was of cheap construction in the first place; it looks like the building has been abandoned for many years and, to that extent, the owner of the building incurred little damage from the subsidence.  To the extent that the photo is intended to show that changes in permafrost create risk of building subsidence, it seems to me that modern building practices could engineer the issue relatively economically.


Earlier in the presentation (under the caption “Impacts have been observed globally…”, they stated that “climate change has had a minor contribution to impacts on wildfires” – a phenomenon that existed long before European settlement in North America.

excerpt 5

wildfiresDespite already telling Trudeau and the premiers that climate change has had a “minor contribution to impacts on wildfires”,  a picture of a family somewhat placidly watching a wildfire across Lake Okanagan in the large 2003 fire (see here h/t George Applegate ) was included in the Flato montage.  I wasn’t able to track the provenance of this specific wildfire picture.   If anyone can locate the original provenance of this or the other pictures, I’d be interested.

Later in the presentation,  they showed a graphic entitled “Summary of number and magnitude of wildfires in British Columbia”, showing that there were more wildfires in 2012 than in 1999.  This would seem to be somewhat beside the point, if climate change has only had a “minor contribution”, but nonetheless was a key point of the presentation to Trudeau.

Drying Vertisols in the Altai Mountains, Russia

droughtThe mudcracks image in the Canadian presentation (h/t Pete Holzmann for lead) was taken in the Altai mountains, Russia in August 2001 by German photographer Stefan Kühn. It is located on the German wikipedia here.  Tracing further back, it is located in Kühn’s Altai 2001 portfolio here.

The prior picture in the portfolio (shown on right) shows the mudcracks in a wider perspective, one which does not show a drought, though it does show mud drying, as mud does. Mudcracks in the Altai were noted as early as the 19th century e.g. here.  The phenomenon of mudcracks appears to be a widespread phenomenon associated with drying of mud, rather than drought. There is an interesting discussion of the phenomenon of mudcracks here in which it is explained that such mudcracks tend to form in “vertisols”, which have “very high water retention capacities, allowing them to hold moisture even during dry seasons: “There’s a type of soil that exists all throughout the world, known as vertisols. They are low in area globally, but they dominate arid and semi-arid regions, with 80% found in Australia, India and East Africa [Virmani et al., 1982]. They’re super useful to these environments because they have a high clay content and cation exchange capacity, making them very fertile soils, and they have very high water retention capacities, allowing them to hold moisture during the dry seasons. But they shrink and swell extensively, and can generate massive crack networks, making them very tricky to use. ” cracked earth

There are dozens of such pictures
in the Google image search (see right), but all or nearly all such pictures coming from outside Canada, e.g. Mexico here.  Conversely, images of drought in Canada tend to have a different appearance.

Actual pictures of drought in Canada have an entirely different appearance. For example, the two pictures below from the Canadian Encyclopedia show the effects of an actual drought in Canada in the 1930s.  Had Flato and Bourque shown Trudeau and the premiers (black-and-white) pictures of actual Canadian drought, one presumes that even the politicians would have noticed that the pictures came from long ago and might have questioned the attribution to anthropogenic climate change. But Flato and Bourque precluded that option by showing them pictures of drying mud in the Altai instead.


Ironically, IPCC AR5 did not claim that drought arising from anthropogenic climate change was a “threat”, let alone a “serious threat” for Canadians. In the WG2 chapter on North America (WG2 Chapter 26), they expressly stated that it was “not possible to attribute changes in drought frequency in North America to anthropogenic climate change”.   Or for flood events, for that matter, a point that I’ll return to, though they warned that other anthropogenic changes e.g. land use and urbanization, had impacts on flood magnitude and frequency.

Children Playing in a Fountain in Paris, France
To illustrate the impact of heat waves on Canada, Flato and Bourque showed an excerpt from a picture of children and teenagers playing merrily in the Trocadero Fountain in Paris, France in 2003.   Perhaps Flato and Bourque chose an image from Paris rather than Canada in homage to the hosts of the forthcoming climate conference.  But surely Flato and Bourque could have located an image of Canadians at the beach – they are easily accessible on Google.

It is puzzling to me why Flato and Bourque believed that this image demonstrated that “adverse impacts from climate change will far outweigh the benefits” (to borrow a phrase from Eric Wolff and his fellow critics of Matt Ridley).  Or, for that matter, why Trudeau and the premiers were so troubled by this particular image.   The only explanation that I can think if is that Trudeau, who is famous within Canada for his “good hair” (indeed, aside from his surname, his hair seemed to be his most obvious qualification for office), was concerned that falling water on unprotected hair could cause untold damage to their hairdos.  Trudeau knows that a haircut is only worth what you pay for and he has clearly not attempted to make foolish economies on such an important issue.  Trudeau must have recognized that even the most pessimistic climate scientist had not fully considered the impact of climate change on unregulated and unprotected hair care.

The Culvert Washout


One of the operating costs of the Canadian highway system in remote northern regions is that culverts occasionally wash out, forcing detours for a few days while the washout is repaired.     I wasn’t able to spot the specific incident illustrated here, but the sort of washout is familiar. For example, CBC reported here that a somewhat larger highway washout in New Brunswick would cost $300,000 to repair and take about 30 days to repair, and, in the meantime, a 12 km detour would be required.  In a similar incident in Newfoundland, CBC reported that a washout would cut off access to the rural communities of road access for Burgeo, Ramea, Grey River and Francois for six days. Most worryingly, the local member of the provincial literature “said he was told that the break provided a rough moment for a civil servant who happened upon it”.  I presume that it would have been somewhat more tolerable if it had been a member of the public who had been inconvenienced, but the incident clearly escalated when it inconvenienced a civil servant.

Storm Surge

surgeThe top picture shows waves breaking over a town that looks like it’s in the Maritimes. I located a similar picture (at right) in a news story here, which reported “wind knocking out power for several Nova Scotia homes and businesses” and that “waves also crashed over the roads in Beaver Harbour, N.B”.   The news article added that “motorists in Moncton say the road conditions were less than ideal” “Big gusts of wind you can see it, a lot of rain, it kind of slows you up but besides that it’s just a nice day in the Maritimes,” said resident Andrew Jaintner.”

The lower picture on the left is from the announcement of a conference presentation in Sherbrooke, Quebec by François Morneau and Ursule Boyer- Villemaire on erosion by the St Lawrence River on the Gaspé and North Shore. The authors ask:

The figures are alarming : 69% of the coastline of the Gaspé and 60% of those in the North Shore undergo erosion. What for? What are the processes involved ? They are natural or anthropogenic climate change related ?

If the photograph in question comes from along the St Lawrence River (as appears likely), then there is an additional irony.  Locations along the St Lawrence are experiencing glacial isostatic uplift: recent uplift is reported (see here Table 2) at 3.1 mm/year in Rimouski on the south Gaspe shore and 3.5 and 4.6 mm/year in Quebec City and Sept-Iles on the North Shore, resulting in negligible or even negative relative sea level rise.  In Hudson Bay in the Canadian Arctic   (see NASA GRACE at right), isostatic uplift is over 10 mm/year – the largest in the world.  (As land rises in Canada due to isostatic rebound,  it results in land subsidence along the U.S. East Coast, which accordingly experiences relative sea level rise from isostasy, quite aside from overall changes in world sea level.

If the undermined cottage is on the St Lawrence River, one may regret the damages incurred by its owner, but still cannot the attribute the damages to anthropogenic global warming.  Ouranos, co-presenter Bourque’s institution, have recently published “Economic evaluation of the potential impacts of the erosion of Quebec’s maritime coasts in a context of climate change” (see here),

There are other reasons why Canada has not experienced damages from hurricane storm surge remotely commensurate to the U.S.  Hurricanes dissipate and go seaward as they move north and are attentuated by the time that they affect Atlantic Canada. Second, the Canadian coasts are much less settled than the corresponding U.S. coasts.  People apparently prefer warm beaches to freezing cold beaches. 


Flato and Bourque evidently alarmed Trudeau and the premiers with these apocalyptic images. Using these images, “science” “tells us” that we, as Canadians, face the following “threats”:

  • children playing in the Trocadero Fountain in Paris, France;
  • subsidence in a long-depreciated and abandoned building from the Klondike gold rush;
  • routine culvert washouts in northern highways;
  • drying mud (vertisols) in the Altai Mountains of Russia
  • erosion of its shoreline by the St Lawrence River in an area of isostatic uplift
  • heavy weather delaying traffic in Atlantic Canadian towns.

And even though IPCC concluded in respect of wildfires and drought, that it was either “not possible” to attribute changes in magnitude or frequency to anthropogenic climate change or only a “minor contribution”, Flato and Bourque added these bogey-men to their montage.

This was not the only slide purporting to show damages in the Flato and Bourque presentation.  I plan a similar post on a second slide which falls literally into the “Look, polar bear!!” tradition.


  1. George Applegate
    Posted Dec 7, 2015 at 10:13 PM | Permalink

    The wildfire picture is here:

    Steve: thanks. Noted up in post.

  2. AntonyIndia
    Posted Dec 7, 2015 at 11:20 PM | Permalink

    The same new Trudeau government joined the elite club of big CO2 emitters in Paris trying to clamp down on low (per capita and historic) emitters like India: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/07/paris-climate-talks-biggest-polluters-back-tougher-warming-target
    Breathtaking hypocrisy from a “central left” party.

  3. MrPete
    Posted Dec 7, 2015 at 11:24 PM | Permalink

    The cracked ground is here: http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/509063/why-does-nature-prefer-hexagons

    (I downloaded your image, removed the title, then uploaded into Google Image Search.)

    • bernie1815
      Posted Dec 7, 2015 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

      Neat example of the power of that Google tool. Well done.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 1:29 AM | Permalink

      Thanks, Pete. BTW I was able to follow the image further: it’s from the Altai Mountains in Russia.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 9:21 AM | Permalink

      The mudcracks image in the Canadian presentation was taken by German photographer Stefan Kühn in the Altai mountains, Russia in August 2001. It is located on the German wikipedia as https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Duerre.jpg. Tracing further back, it is located in Kühn’s Altai 2001 portfolio as
      http://www.webkuehn.de/fotos/altai2001/047.htm. Mudcracks in the Altai were noted in the 19th century here.

      The prior picture in the portfolio
      shows the mudcracks in a wider perspective, one which does not show a drought, though it does show mud drying, as mud does.

      There is an interesting discussion of the phenomenon of mudcracks here in which it is explained that such mudcracks tend to form in “vertisols”:

      4. Agronomy: this is where my interests primarily lie as a soil scientist. There’s a type of soil that exists all throughout the world, known as vertisols. They are low in area globally, but they dominate arid and semi-arid regions, with 80% found in Australia, India and East Africa [Virmani et al., 1982]. They’re super useful to these environments because they have a high clay content and cation exchange capacity, making them very fertile soils, and they have very high water retention capacities, allowing them to hold moisture during the dry seasons. But they shrink and swell extensively, and can generate massive crack networks, making them very tricky to use. If we can better understand the physical chemistry of these materials, we can better manage these soils.

      There is even a Wikipedia article on mudcracks, which links the phenomenon with soils that had been saturated with water:

      Naturally occurring mud cracks form in sediment that was once saturated with water. Abandoned river channels, floodplain muds, and dried ponds are localities that form mudcracks.[6]

      Vertisols are apparently excellent at retaining water.

      • MrPete
        Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 12:53 PM | Permalink


    • Don Newkirk
      Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

      I thank you as well, Mr. Pete, for drawing my attention to Google. I haven’t tried it for myself, thinking that it must be a silly pipe-dream to find a image file in web-space (though, I realize how much Google stores, and that it is in their data repositories that they do their searching).

  4. MrPete
    Posted Dec 7, 2015 at 11:34 PM | Permalink

    Heat waves: That’s an AP photo from 2003 in France. http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/climate-change/changing-atmosphere/heat-waves

    If the rain in Maine falls mainly on the Seine, perhaps pretend precipitation in Paris provides pleasure in Pickering?

    (Note: my search for the “surge” and “washout” photos was unsuccessful…)

    • Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

      The second “surge” picture was used to announce a conference “Érosion – Quand l’eau gruge notre territoire” at UQàM last year.


      Doesn’t say where the picture was taken.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

        Nice spotting.

        The original image is http://murmitoyen.com/events/images/thumbs/source2/546128ef47c3c.jpg. The conference announced presentations by François Morneau and Ursule Boyer- Villemaire on erosion by the St Lawrence River on the Gaspe and North Shore.

        Les chiffres sont inquiétants : 69 % des côtes de la Gaspésie et 60 % de celles de la Côte-Nord subissent de l’érosion. Pourquoi? Quels sont les processus en cause? Sont-ils naturels, anthropiques ou encore liés aux changements climatiques?

        Ironically, locations along the St Lawrence are undergoing glaciostatic uplift in excess of eustatic sea level rise (see here) and so relative sea level is going down at Quebec City, Rimouski and Sept-Iles along the St Lawrence.

        If the photograph in question comes from along the St Lawrence River (as appears almost certain), it is experiencing uplift and will not be impacted by sea level rise. Erosion of shorelines by rivers is part of nature.

        An analysis entitled “Economic evaluation of the potential impacts of the erosion of Quebec’s maritime coasts in a context of climate change by Bourque’s group (Ouranos) is here.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

      The Trocadero Fountains are near the Eiffel Tower. Here’s another picture illustrating the Trocadero Fountain threat that Flato and Bourque so alertly identified.

      I guess Flato and Bourque figured that a picture with an Eiffel Tower backdrop wouldn’t look authentically Canadian.

      • Greg
        Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

        Sorry to be o/t, wanted to let you know the MM03 link is broken. Please delete this as desired.

  5. Posted Dec 7, 2015 at 11:41 PM | Permalink

    I can’t get over the impression the authors of the briefing had very little respect for the intelligence of the recipients when implying the construction of a building (which presumably was then inhabited and heated) on permafrost, and then seeing the building subside as the foundation then melted over many years was in some way a sign of global climactic events. Sherlock Holmes might have reached a different conclusion. Thanks to Steve for producing a website that consistently exceeds by many fold the intelligence of the average federal climate lackey.

    • Phil R
      Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

      I can’t get over the fact that they prepared a professional presentation with unattributed photographs from areas that have nothing to do with Canada to present a misleading story of doom and gloom. Had I done that in a college report I would have failed, and possibly disciplined for plagiarism.

    • Jeff Alberts
      Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

      “global climactic events”

      Is this Freud wearing a slip?

      • Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

        You have a sharp eye, and yes I did envision the authors wetting themselves in glee.

    • chris moffatt
      Posted Dec 10, 2015 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

      Dawson is well south of the line of continuous permafrost. This means that building may have never been on permafrost as many buildings in the Yukon are not. Sure the ground freezes in winter and thaws out again by summer but builders know how to build for that. When I lived up on the Labrador (Lab City/Wabush area) we didn’t have building collapsing. If the problem is as Dr Flato implies there’d be a lot more than this one decrepit old building falling down. Far more likely is that its wooden foundation on one side finally rotted out.

      I note Dr Flato’s climate expertise is pretty much all in modelling. ‘Nuff said.

      • mpainter
        Posted Dec 10, 2015 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

        Googling “permafrost yukon” yields maps which show that Dawson is in the zone of “discontinuous permafrost at 50%-90%” extent. So there’s a good chance that the building was sited on permafrost.

      • clipe
        Posted Dec 12, 2015 at 10:54 PM | Permalink

        That’s funny. My brother worked for the City of Dawson operating a truck designed to melt permafrost for ditch digging.

        Q: What’s blue and sleeps two?

        A: A city truck.

  6. Catfish
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 12:06 AM | Permalink

    Their temperature analysis is suspect. They started in 1948 and went to 2012 to show how we are warming. They ignored the warmer 1930’s and early 1940’s which would have given a lower slope. they came up with “Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world.” They did not show what stations they used in their analysis.
    In the snow cover department they said the area in summer has decreased but ignored the fact that it has increased in the winter.
    I do not remember if they used the 2 degree tipping point. that should be noted as I think it may have come from economists – was it pulled out of the air?

  7. Joe Prins
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 1:31 AM | Permalink

    This may not be definitive, but this is as close as I got:

  8. EdeF
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 2:23 AM | Permalink

    That drought picture is actually a close-up of my left heal, I am out here in the Mojave and it gets pretty dry out here most of the time.

  9. kim
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 6:31 AM | Permalink

    ‘By the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates, especially as regards the colder regions of the earth, ages when the earth will bring forth much more abundant crops than at present, for the benefit of rapidly propagating mankind.’

    Arrhenius, with the Force.

  10. Craig Loehle
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    If there are no trends in flooding it is hard to see how one could have more roads washing out. And of course the picture is purely anecdotal, with no data and no trends.

  11. Craig Loehle
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

    Older buildings built on permafrost tended to sink regardless of climate change because heat from the building melts the permafrost. Once the permafrost melts and it all settles out, building anything becomes much easier. They act as if permafrost is some sort of “good thing”. Probably 98% of Canadians do NOT live on permafrost anyway, just remote mining towns, military bases, stuff like that.

    • Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

      I would be more concerned if the building didn’t sink. We could have a situation where climate change causes minor reductions in gravity or something that hasn’t been vetted to the high standards of alarmists.

    • Caligula Jones
      Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

      A friend of mine made a very good living flying into remote places in Canada, including the Arctic, to fix concrete problems. Seems that too many buildings skipped that whole “pour it deeper than the frost line” idea…

    • Posted Dec 13, 2015 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

      Recent practice has been to put several feet of foam insulation down to greatly slow rate of permafrost melting under the building or runway.

      (Load has to be spread out to what the insulation can take, layers of gravel etc. do that.)

      I suspect many buildings were slapped down to get something in place, then long-term needs forgotten.

      Years ago I was at Hay River NWT as part of a group looking at the waviness developing in the paved runway there. Suspicion was that “ice lenses” were melting.

      Aircraft like business jets and 737s were pitching significantly due to the dynamics of landing gear struts and wavelength of the runway surface. I don’t know what was done, perhaps filling and re-paving in the short term, deep excavation and rebuild in the long term. (Or even removing the pavement and regarding, the airline’s 737s could land on gravel.)

      Along the way a colleague and I drove out of Hay River a ways, sights included a low waterfall of brownish water (peat moss in it).

      Horseflies were bad on July 2, on the runway.

  12. eloris
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for the laugh.

  13. jimm
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    Thank you for this post. Having read the Flato et al presentation on Environment Canada’s website, I now understand why Harper “muzzled” scientists – it was to prevent them from embarrassing themselves in public!

  14. Craig Loehle
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    Worried about increasing forest growth? Kauppi et al. (2014) studied total wood volume increment across Finland over 1961 to 2012. They found that over all regions there were strong increases in growth related linearly to growing degree days (warming). They project that this effect should be general across the boreal forest, which includes Canada.
    Kauppi PE, Posch M, Pirinen P. 2014. Large impacts of climatic warming on growth of boreal forests since 1960. PLoS ONE 9:e111340, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111340.

    Fires? Yang et al. (2014) found a declining trend in burned area globally over 1901-2007 and no trend at higher latitudes.
    Girardin et al. (2009) reported that boreal fire activity decreased over the past 150 years, noting a reduction in fires even on lake islands without fire suppression activities. [somewhere I have reference for declining 100 yr trend for Canada]

    Girardin MP, Ali AA, Carcaillet C, Mudelsee M, Drobyshev I, Hely C, Bergeron Y. 2009. Heterogeneous response of circumboreal wildfire risk to climate change since the early 1900s. Global Change Biology 15:2751-2769, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.01869.x.
    Yang J, Tian H, Tao B, Ren W, Kush J, Liu Y, Wang Y. 2014. Spatial and temporal patterns of global burned area in response to anthropogenic and environmental factors: Reconstructing global fire history for the 20th and early 21st centuries. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 119:249-263, doi: 10.1002/2013jg002532.

    • kozlowksi
      Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

      “Worried about increasing forest growth? Kauppi et al. (2014) studied total wood volume increment across Finland over 1961 to 2012. They found that over all regions there were strong increases in growth related linearly to growing degree days (warming). ”

      That’s puzzling. My limited understanding is that it was generally cooling from 1961 to about 1980. Then warming from about 1980 to about 1998. Then no temperature trend from 1999 to present.

      The above statement implies it was warming that caused ‘wood volume increment.’ But if it only warmed for less than a third of the time frame, what exactly was the cause then?

      • Leo Morgan
        Posted Dec 11, 2015 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

        I would presume increased CO2.

  15. Matt Skaggs
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    There is perhaps another level of irony here. Canada would face potentially serious impacts from permafrost melting, although as Craig points out, not because a significant number of citizens will be affected. It is rather that many of the highly lucrative diamond and gold mines that have sprung up in the far North do most of their hauling in the winter over the permafrost. But I cannot imagine that a picture of one of those monster haulers wallowing in the mud in a vast expanse of pristine tundra sends the message they were seeking.

    Steve: can you identify the “highly lucrative” gold mines that have sprung up in the far North. It’s a hard business. Gold mining is much easier in the tropics. To my (unrefreshed) recollection, here are only a couple of marginal operations.

    • Matt Skaggs
      Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

      I suppose I should have refreshed my knowledge, it’s been 11 years since the Giant Mine closed! You are right, its all about the diamonds now.

      Steve: Giant Yellowknife wasn’t a “lucrative” mine even when open.

  16. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 11:16 AM | Permalink

    I revised the post to incorporate commentary on pictures identified by readers (h/t George Applegate and Pete Holzmann).

  17. Ken Robinson
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    Typo in the washout discussion. “…the local member of the provincial literature…” should be “provincial legislature”. Unless he’s a particularly erudite individual with a unique title.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the presentation.

  18. Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

    “CATFISH” wrote: “I do not remember if they used the 2 degree tipping point. that should be noted as I think it may have come from economists – was it pulled out of the air?”

    I asked three sources for their information on this question and a popular response was:

    But we are not sure who invented the 2 degree limit; Jones only popularized it.

    Ian M

    • Phil R
      Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

      Here’s a Spiegel Online article from 2010 that claims that Hans Joachim Schellnhuber “is the father of the two-degree target,” and quotes him as saying, “Two degrees is not a magical limit — it’s clearly a political goal,”


      (Hope linky works.)

      • Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 7:56 PM | Permalink

        I thought it was Nordhaus, saying that was what should be the limit because temps hadn’t been higher in the ‘history’ of modern humanity. Maybe I’m wrong.

        • Phil R
          Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

          It may have been Nordhaus, I don’t really know. The above link is just one I saved a while ago, but just supports the fact that the 2 °C limit was pulled out of thin air for political purposes and has no real scientific justification.

        • Cassio
          Posted Dec 11, 2015 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

          In a comment on a recent blog post Denis Ambler identifies Nordhaus as an earlier source, perhaps the earliest:


          “the first suggestion to use 2C as a critical limit for climate policy was made by economist, W.D. Nordhaus, in a Cowles foundation discussion paper (Nordhaus WD (1977) “Strategies for the control of carbon dioxide”), Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics at Yale University.”

          And I recall another attribution, to a meeting held in Stockholm in 1982, but cannot locate its source.

        • Posted Dec 11, 2015 at 7:48 PM | Permalink

          The Internet is wonderful. The Nordhaus(1977) paper can be found here, discussing costs and effects of limiting pCO2 to 1.5x, 2x, and 3x its pre-industrial concentration. In its figure 1 (repeated at figure 11), a line is drawn 2°C above the 1880-1884 mean, labelled “estimated maximum experienced over last 100,000 years”. He wrote,

          As a first approximation, we assume that a doubling of the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is a reasonable standard to impose at the present state of knowledge. First, according to the estimates of the effect on temperature, the ensuing temperature changes would be somewhere between one times and four times the change observed over the last century. Although we do not know exactly what the effect is, we are probably not changing the climate more than has been associated with the normal random variations of the last few thousand years, although we are raising the mean.

          [Note: Nordhaus cited sensitivity of “between 0.6 and 2.9 °C” and used 2°C in his model.]

          Nordhaus wrote an earlier (1975) paper found here, with the following:

          As a first approximation, it seems reasonable to argue that the climatic effects of carbon dioxide should be kept well within the normal range of long-term climatic variation. According to most sources the range of variation between distinct climatic regimes is in the order of ±5°C, and at the present time the global climate is at the high end of this range. If there were global temperatures more than 2 or 3°C above the current average temperature, this would take the climate outside of the range of observations which have been made over the last several hundred thousand years. Within a stable climatic regime, the range of variation of ±1°C is the normal variation: thus in the last 100 years a range of mean temperature has been 0.7°C.”

        • Posted Dec 12, 2015 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

          Richard Tol claimed to have heard of sixth candidates for ‘father of the 2 degree target’ based on a tweet from highly warmist Labour MP (and old friend of mine) Barry Gardiner eight days ago:

    • Phil R
      Posted Dec 11, 2015 at 10:46 PM | Permalink

      Hah, I’m so saving this thread (although may be slightly OT). I have a son who just started college this fall and a younger son who is a sophomore in high school. Don’t know how much they have been exposed to the public education of global warming yet, but this will be an antidote showing how different aspects of an issue can be discussed and how different understandings can be put forth and supported by references, and still have a civil conversation. I think the consensus (dare I say 97%?) is that the 2°C limit is bogus, was pulled out of thin air (or somewhere more gaseous), and is nothing more than a political bogeyman to scare the masses.

      (Having tried to reread, sorry if it’s a little confused. Commenting after a couple vinos.)

  19. twr57
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

    The 2 degree temperature rise goal is clearly quite arbitrary. But that’s not a fundamental objection to it. If you want to encourage action, it helps to have a goal, even if it’s arbitrary (suppose: my weight loss target – to lose 5 kilos by Christmas, so as to reduce my chances of heart attacks and strokes). A bigger problem, to my mind, is the misplaced confidence – always displayed but never justified – that by cutting down CO2 emissions the desired target can and will be reached. Compare my proposing to reach my weight target by cutting out carbohydrates – I’m unlikely to do that, and even if I do, I need great faith to suppose it will have the desired – or any useful – effect.

  20. Bravius
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    Origin of wildfire image:

    “People gather near Kelowna, B.C. to watch flames across Lake Okanagan creeping closer to Mission area homes on Aug. 21, 2003. At its peak, the Okanagan Mountain Park forest fire was a rank-six firestorm, forcing over 33,000 people to be evacuated from the area. ((Gary Nylander/Kelowna Daily Courier/Canadian Press)”


    • Bravius
      Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

      Oops, sorry for my redundant info above… I must have been replying to an older cached version of this article.

  21. eloris
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    I don’t profess to be an expert, except for being from Wisconsin which is pretty close, but it seems fairly obvious to me that Canada would benefit rather significantly from a couple degrees of warming. It’s kinda cold. Kind of a short growing season. Might be nice to take the edge off a couple of those things, despite the awful threat of people playing in fountains in Paris.

    Or is it that if that happened, too many people might come to Canada? That could explain it.

  22. Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    Their drought concerns are understandable, as this paper came out only a few days ago:

    •Over 1½ million monthly precipitation totals observed at 1000 stations in 114 countries analysed.
    •Data record much longer than 3 recent conflicting studies that analysed a few decades of data.
    •No substantial difference found for stations located at northern, tropical and southern latitudes.
    •No substantial difference found for stations experiencing dry, moderate and wet climates.
    •No significant global precipitation change from 1850 to present

  23. Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    I have been, and photographed, the building in Dawson City, Yukon. It is used locally as an example of what happens when there is insufficient height about the permafrost, combined with insufficient floor insulation.

    It is an old building, built quickly and without either understanding of perrmafrost or heat flow below buildings. Fuel costs were neglibible, too, so there was no concern at the time of heat/energy loss.

    Permafrost has been disappearing since the end of the ice age. Outside of Calgary, in the Highwood area, we are still getting blocks of buried ice suddenly melting at 7000′ ASL. The melting produces pits, round holes, typically along the valley floor and connected by ragged surface streams. They appear suddenly, but not because of climate change, but because of what happened locally 12,000 years ago, but is still taking its time to conclude.

    The ice age ended.

  24. Phil Howerton
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    These guys are “scientists?” My God! If this was an annual report to stockholders, these guys would be on their way to prison.

    Idiots briefing an idiot.

    • Caligula Jones
      Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

      Yes, its almost as if someone wanted to point out how badly funded they are, and need some sort of media expert. This is truly amateurish in the extreme, and I don’t mean just the politics.

    • Robert Austin
      Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 10:53 PM | Permalink

      A clear demonstration of the reason why former Prime Minister Harper muzzled free speaking government scientists.

      • Caligula Jones
        Posted Dec 10, 2015 at 1:47 PM | Permalink

        And a clear demonstration of the reason why current “Prime Minister” Trudeau unmuzzled free speaking government scientists: fact-free politics aimed right at the gut of his low-information voters.

  25. Craig Loehle
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    This slide show reflects “present future tense” where people are so fixated on the future that they think it has already happened. So plagues of locusts are already happening–didn’t you see that locust?

  26. John F. Hultquist
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

    Regarding the photo of the blue over white house (lower one, Stormsurges), look at this one:

    Washaway Beach is, well, washing away. The photo above is number 8 in a series by Erika Langley. Google Earth will locate Washaway Beach, WA for you. A couple of years ago the erosion took a few houses and so was much in the news, but this has been an on-going problem for many years.
    The name is not new.

  27. clipe
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 10:04 PM | Permalink

    Figure 3. This damaged building in Dawson City, Canada, shows what can happen when the warm interior of a building causes the permafrost underneath to thaw.
    —Credit: Andrew Slater

    Steve: yes, but this is subsequent to the University of Iowa image.

    • clipe
      Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 10:09 PM | Permalink


      • RPT
        Posted Dec 11, 2015 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

        Interesting to see that the left and right side of the building are collapsing toward each other. I have 4 simple explanations:

        1) It is a sinkhole underneath the center of the building.

        2) There is a frozen methane deposit underneath the center of the building, and the entire Dawson is going to blow up.

        3) The building is sinking into a hitherto not known gold mine.

        4) The photographer is using a wide angle lense.

        Personally I believe in the 3rd one, because I read Jack London as a kid, but I fear the 2nd one is “correct” and a good story always wins over a true one, but rarely over a political correct one!

        And forget the 4th, how boring!

        • carbon bigfoot
          Posted Feb 14, 2016 at 8:55 AM | Permalink

          The building is a POS construction. Anyone with half a brain will recognize it. All construction deteriorates due to settlement and some is accelerated by geological shift and lack of proper drainage. It looks like pre-1930 throw it up and pray construction. Having personally built many buildings, commercial and residential in many environments, all still looking like the day they were completed.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 10:56 PM | Permalink

      This reference contains the following interesting observation, which says that the building itself causes the melting of permafrost (as opposed to climate causing it).

      Building on permafrost is also challenging. Buildings that are heated from the inside give off heat. The heat can thaw the permafrost underneath the building. Once the permafrost thaws, it sinks, damaging the building it supports (Figure 3). Engineers sometimes solve this problem by preventing the ground under the building from getting warm. They put the building on top of a steel frame, a few feet above the ground, so cold air can flow under the house. The cold air stops the permafrost from thawing. Another way to stop damage from thawing permafrost is to thaw the ground first. This method makes the ground more stable to build on. Then there is no danger of the ground beneath the new structure refreezing, because the structure keeps the ground from freezing.

      • jferguson
        Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 8:05 AM | Permalink

        Problem of thawing under warm buildings is the reverse of freezing under indoor ice rinks and large freezers. Solution there is some insulation under slab, layer of rocks with pvc pipe grid through which air is circulated to keep temperature above freezing. In the scheme of things, keeping soil warm seems easier than cold.

  28. BallBounces
    Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 10:59 PM | Permalink

    Canada is burning up; we’ve absorbed all the heat we can take. If it gets any hotter, we’ll have to abandon our homes and move up north to get away from all this heat. it’s too hot. Can’t… breathe. Send help.😉

  29. Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

    Apparently it’s simply a failure to communicate:

    I guess, eh?

  30. Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 11:56 PM | Permalink

    Just remembered this one….

    As the world warms, adaptation becomes a fool’s paradise

    So claims Thomas Homer DIxon.

    This is a post that should warm an alarmist’s heart…


    “Thomas Homer-Dixon is the CIGI chair of Global Systems, Balsillie School of International Affairs, and a professor at the University of Waterloo.
    Climate skeptics may not be out for the count, but they’re definitely on the ropes. As Earth’s atmosphere warms and severe droughts, storms, and wildfires sweep the planet, those arguing that climate change isn’t a grave danger have had to bob and weave to stay on their feet.”

    Again, it’s nothing but a failure to communicate — otherwise those “batty” skeptics would fall into line.

    “Only a couple of years ago, some mainstream skeptics were still saying that the planet hadn’t warmed since the late 1990s, or that carbon dioxide wasn’t the main cause of any warming actually observed. They could be heard asserting that climate change was a scam concocted by a cabal of corrupt scientists to generate grant money and that attempts to introduce carbon pricing were a plot by closet socialists to expropriate people’s wealth and extend government’s reach.

    Now just people on the fringes openly espouse such views; they’re seen as slightly batty, like birthers, truthers, and anti-vaxxers. Scientific evidence from around the world has been accumulating relentlessly, and this evidence points to a clear conclusion: climate change is real, humans are causing it, and it’s an enormous threat.

    In response, the skeptics have fallen back to another argument, which goes like this: Despite nearly 30 years of climate policies and gabfests, the world’s carbon emissions are still soaring. This trend won’t stop for decades, because global energy systems can’t be changed fast. If we do try to cut emissions sharply, they say, the result will be economic
    calamity. In any case, warming’s impacts won’t be nearly as serious as alarmists suggest. So the sensible plan is to adapt.

    This argument starts with a truth, adds a dose of fatalism and two falsehoods, and then mixes in wishful thinking to produce an utterly misguided and shortsighted conclusion.


    But it’s false that modern energy systems can’t change fast or that pursuing such change will cause calamity. Skeptics making these claims often cite the work of scholars like Vaclav Smil at the University of Manitoba and organizations like the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris. Yet Mr. Smil’s conclusion that past energy transitions took many decades need not apply in the 21st century, when new technologies can be invented and deployed faster than ever. And even in the past, big shifts in key technologies sometimes happened quickly, as when city transportation flipped from horses to cars.”

    Perhaps I misunderstand the science.

  31. Posted Dec 8, 2015 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

    Apologies — corrected link for above:



  32. Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 1:05 AM | Permalink

    Dr. Richard Tol is the author of the FUND integrated assessment model. The model assesses the impact of climate change in 16 major world regions, one of which is Canada. Tol’s recent book on Climate Economics shows that Canada benefits by emissions by 1.9% of gross domestic product by 2100,Figure 6.3. The model calculates that climate change will have only positive impacts in Canada. Tol writes, “The impact is positive throughout the 21st century, as are incremental impacts so that there is no incentive to reduce emissions.”

    • Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 8:57 AM | Permalink

      A climate model (IAM) which confirms what common sense tells you. How peculiar.

  33. Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 1:46 AM | Permalink

    Excerpt from US Senate testimony of Dr. John Christy 12-9-15 page 2 of appendix A:

    Indeed, I urge you in the strongest terms to engage Stephen McIntyre in your
    deliberations [particularly on the fabled Hockey Stick] at a high level as he has accurately documented specific failures in the IPCC process, some of which I can attest to, as I was there.

    Dr. Christy endorsed a funding set-aside for “red team” analysis. Of course, we’ll all do it for free until then.

    • Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 1:50 AM | Permalink

      Christy’s testimony 12-9-15

    • maureen
      Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

      Exactly we are having a lovely warm winter in Saskatchewan, my heating bills are pretty low and I have not fallen once while walking the dog. This time last year i had taken two tumbles, on ice packed snow, 1 requiring a day off work and the other a trip to the doctor and an x-ray

  34. maureen
    Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 7:37 AM | Permalink

    This is the natural result of letting scientists /bureaucrats freely speak about stuff. They let loose a pile of garbage

  35. dabbio
    Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 8:52 AM | Permalink

    I’m confused. Is someone saying that Canada is better off cold?

  36. Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 8:53 AM | Permalink

    …one which does not show a drought, though it does show mud drying, as mud does.

    And unlike this post, which managed to make one slide from “renowned climate scientists” republished by the Canadian government highly amusing, reading reports from the Paris Summit itself is as exciting as watching mud dry.

  37. Rick
    Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

    We visited Dawson City last year and saw the ruined buildings shown in the picture. They should be taken down but I suppose there is hope that some of them might be restored some time in the future. The newer buildings seem to be standing just fine. Any tour of Dawson City would be incomplete without a look at Dredge #4.

    • paullinsay
      Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

      Fantastic. It reminds me of the time I was in Butte Montana and saw the Anaconda open pit copper mine. There was a power shovel at the bottom that would scoop up 100 tons of dirt in its bucket and deposit it in a waiting truck. The scale was gigantic. It wasn’t clear until I saw one of the trucks coming up to the rim of the mine. It was huge close up but tiny compared to the shovel.

  38. Curt
    Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    Leaning building in Dawson City.
    In the spring of 1979 the Yukon River overflowed its banks. Dawson City was flooded out and damage was caused to a number of the original buldings. I remember looking at that building and asking about it in September.

    • Curt
      Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

      Holy cow my memory is good.
      Google spring flood 1979 Dawson City. Look at the pictures and tell me what you see.
      And to think I spent most of my time in Diamond Tooth Gerties!!!

      • Curt
        Posted Dec 21, 2015 at 10:58 PM | Permalink

        I was in Dawson in early September 1979 and I am 99.9 per cent certain that the tilted building was impacted by the major flood that went through the town in May.

  39. Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    Trudeau, who is famous within Canada for his “good hair” (indeed, aside from his surname, his hair seemed to be his most obvious qualification for office), was concerned that falling water on unprotected hair could cause untold damage to their hairdos. […]

    Steve! How could you omit the famous Trudeau dimples – evidence of which may well be fading (or being air-brushed) into the fog of official photographic history. But, that aside …

    It’s difficult to know whether or not Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna – a lawyer who has a very impressive resumé, which does include experience with the UN’s WHO in East Timor, but does not appear to include anything remotely related to “climate change” – might have familiarized herself with this material prior to jumping onto the 1.5 degrees C bandwagon in Paris, at least according to the CBC. See: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/mckenna-cop21-paris-goal-1.3355409

    I would agree that it’s not entirely reasonable to expect a Minister of the Crown to be an instant “expert”, particularly with absolutely no prior experience in the field, after such a short time on the job.

    OTOH, I do think one has a right to expect considerably more than the plethora of cheerleading inanities uttered via various (and for the most part mercifully short) videos produced and posted on behalf of one who has taken on what seems to be such a high profile responsibility. See: http://www.climatechange.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=223B9415-1

  40. Withheld
    Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

    The taller building in the Dawson picture is the former Third Avenue Hotel built in 1899. http://www.thestar.com/life/travel/2015/06/03/one-cool-thing-abandoned-hotel-complex-in-dawson-city.html

  41. Burton
    Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    We’ve elected a child – and not unlike most children who want to act grown up…there’s usually an adult around to advise him or her.
    In this case its Gerald Butts – past President and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund Canada.
    We’re F’ed.

    • Mark Luhman
      Posted Dec 15, 2015 at 9:25 PM | Permalink

      It always seems like Canada lags behind the US in things, as far as a child running your government all I can say is welcome to the club. Presently is seems the inmates are running the asylum. God help us all. PS that God statement is coming from and agonistic.

  42. ES
    Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    That leaning building is known as the Third Avenue Hotel Complex in Dawson City. Because it leans into each other it has not collapsed.

    The last tenants left in 1944, and the buildings have been empty since then. While numerous historic Dawson structures have been restored, the Third Avenue Complex has pretty much been left alone, to show visitors what this tough climate can do. In 1989 they were added to the Canadian Register of Historic Places


  43. Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 2:25 PM | Permalink

    I was curious about the temperature map….

    This was the best match I could find:

    Does this look like it is the same as the temperature map in the presentation?

    Just askin’

  44. Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    The Link I gave for the temperature map is the link for Nov. 16th:

    Don’t know who to paste the image — but do a google image search — it looks to me like that image shows up as an “Air Quality” image — not a temperature image.

    UPDATED 9AM Air Quality Advisory Issued for next 3 days.



    (November 26, 2015 – Port Alberni, B.C.) The Ministry of Environment in collaboration with Island Health has issued an Air Quality Advisory for Port Alberni because of high concentrations of fine particulates that are expected to persist for the next 3 days.

    Persons with chronic underlying medical co

  45. Posted Dec 9, 2015 at 9:47 PM | Permalink

    What you see there is gross negligence, lousy highway engineering.

    The corrugated thing, may be more than one, is a drainage pipe under the road.

    Done properly, if this blocked or was insufficient the water spills over the road, not leakage through the foundations. What is shown seems to be cheap rough road building, throw in the pipe, probably without due consideration of how large, throw stuff over it, the road foundations, then surface.

    The real world finds you out, the bridge falls down.

    Steve: there are thousands of miles of highway in remote Canada and zillions of beaver dams and creeks. At whatever level of engineering is appropriate, culvert washouts are surely nothing more than an operating cost, rather than an existential crisis.

    • mpainter
      Posted Dec 10, 2015 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

      Googling “permafrost Dawson city” yields a photo series of this building, including the one in the brochure, with attribution.

      • mpainter
        Posted Dec 10, 2015 at 10:34 AM | Permalink

        Thanx, WordPress.

  46. mpainter
    Posted Dec 10, 2015 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    The Photo of the Dawson building from the U of Iowa is a different photograph from the one given as from the government, at the top of the post. The sky is different, for one thing.
    Googling “permafrost yukon” will yield a series of photos which include 5-6 different photos of this building taken from the front.

    Steve: yes, that seems right. The Iowa picture shows that it was dilapidated in 1988. It’s from http://www.alaskaphotoworld.com/alaska365/2011/02/09/dawson-city-heart-of-the-klondike/

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Dec 10, 2015 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

      I’ve amended the text on the Dawson building to reflect this more accurate identification.

  47. EdeF
    Posted Dec 10, 2015 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    Here is a prosperous mining town from the lower 48…………the high altitude ghost town of Bodie in SE Calif. Once had 12,000 people at its hey-day. There are lots of these in the west, Skidoo, Rhyolite, Silver City, Randsburgh and Jo-burg. All very similar to their Canadian cousins. Many of the Cal miners headed north to Alaska and Canada when gold was discovered there.


    Steve: some of these ghost towns were discussed in very early CA posts on bristlecones. Access to Graybill’s samples seemed to be via 19th century mining roads.

    • Mark Luhman
      Posted Dec 15, 2015 at 9:28 PM | Permalink

      Here in Arizona the towns name is Jerome, once over ten thousand now less than five hundred.

  48. Posted Dec 10, 2015 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    Excellent crowdsourcing. Or rather host-then-crowd-sourcing.

  49. Posted Dec 10, 2015 at 10:19 PM | Permalink

    First — the CBC ran this — then the conference seemed to take hold of the idea…


    “Canada’s new Liberal government has upped the ante on its promises to help slow global warming, joining other countries at the Paris climate talks that say a previously agreed upon global target falls short of protecting everyone’s interests.

    Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna endorsed limiting rising average temperatures to within 1.5 C of pre-industrial levels, The Canadian Press reported, scrapping the country’s previous stance of working towards a 2 C target.”

    So now it’s a 1.5 degree target?

    Hold that Thought — think of … Camelot! Where “Le Dauphin” controls the very weather…

    • Catfish
      Posted Dec 10, 2015 at 11:29 PM | Permalink

      Well, we are showing leadership. we are the first to go for 1.5 deg.

    • eloris
      Posted Dec 11, 2015 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

      So how much of that “1.5C” have we already burned through, with no serious impacts unless you count children playing in fountains in Paris?

      • Catfish
        Posted Dec 12, 2015 at 8:41 AM | Permalink

        It depends on who is speaking – anywhere from about half to 1.4 deg.

  50. Posted Dec 10, 2015 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

    Camelot, Camelot? What was I thinking — Oh Yes… Richard Burton!

    It’s true! It’s true! The crown has made it clear.
    The climate must be perfect all the year.

    A law was made a distant moon ago here:
    July and August cannot be too hot.
    And there’s a legal limit to the snow here
    In Camelot.
    The winter is forbidden till December
    And exits March the second on the dot.
    By order, summer lingers through September
    In Camelot.
    Camelot! Camelot!
    I know it sounds a bit bizarre,
    But in Camelot, Camelot
    That’s how conditions are.
    The rain may never fall till after sundown.
    By eight, the morning fog must disappear.
    In short, there’s simply not
    A more congenial spot
    For happily-ever-aftering than here
    In Camelot.

    Camelot! Camelot!
    I know it gives a person pause,
    But in Camelot, Camelot
    Those are the legal laws.
    The snow may never slush upon the hillside.
    By nine p.m. the moonlight must appear.
    In short, there’s simply not
    A more congenial spot
    For happily-ever-aftering than here
    In Camelot.

    Yes those really are the words — no effort on my part.

    I saw this on WUWT — I thought it fit in perfectly!


  51. Stacey
    Posted Dec 12, 2015 at 7:28 AM | Permalink

    Another example of damage caused by climate change

  52. Stacey
    Posted Dec 12, 2015 at 7:30 AM | Permalink

    Oops forgot picture I hope this works

  53. Stacey
    Posted Dec 12, 2015 at 7:42 AM | Permalink

    It worked:-)
    The Norman Castle in the picture is one of the finest examples of a concentric castle in Europe. The damage was caused by cannon shot during the Civil War. As everyone knows the civil war was as a result of major climatic changes which took place in the British Isles.

    • mpainter
      Posted Dec 12, 2015 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

      Yes, it is well known that climate change leads to civil war and decapitation oh heads of state. That’s why prinny is all beside himself, maybe, especially with such a name as he has.

  54. markbul
    Posted Dec 14, 2015 at 10:40 AM | Permalink

    I’m in the process of reading Daniel Boorstin’s great book The Discoverers. Boorstin tells that when Christopher Columbus’ report of his voyages was first published in book form, the publisher used woodcuts from a previously published book as illustrations.

    Apparently, this sort of thing has a venerable history.

  55. Posted Dec 14, 2015 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

    Reblogged this on I Didn't Ask To Be a Blog.

  56. Kan
    Posted Dec 17, 2015 at 10:32 PM | Permalink

    I am so glad they included photographs of the damage caused by AGW. Made it much easier to understand that…

    Canada looks like hell.

  57. Posted Feb 17, 2016 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    “In Hudson Bay in the Canadian Arctic (see NASA GRACE at right), isostatic uplift is over 10 mm/year – the largest in the world.” While tiny by comparison, GIA at Glacier Bay hits a max of 24mm/year (fig.3): https://www.researchgate.net/publication/238086544_Post_Little_Ice_Age_Glacial_Rebound_in_Glacier_Bay_National_Park_and_Surrounding_Areas


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