Disclaimer

Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. These days I'm retired, and I can't by law give you advice. I do make mistakes, but I try hard to do my analysis thoroughly, and to make sure my data are correct. Remember: the unexpected sometimes happens. The expected does too, but all too often it takes longer than you thought it would.

The Goddess of Markets punishes (eventually) greed, folly, laziness and arrogance. No matter how many years you've served Her. Take care. Be humble. And don't blame me.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I was wrong

The difference between a skeptic and a denialist is that a skeptic will change his/her mind if he/she finds new evidence that shows he/she was mistaken.  This is what happened to Dr Richard Muller. (I mentioned him before in this post.)

Dr Richard Muller doubted the reality of climate change.  So he started a new research  body to go back to the basic data and recalculate global temperatures from scratch.  Here's an interview with him where he discusses his findings.




And here's the chart showing the 10 year average of average land global temperatures compared with a simple regression fit based on CO2 levels and volcanic activity.  Note: this is not the temperature anomaly relative to some average base period--it's actual temperatures.

Source

Muller's model has carbon dioxide driving a strong upward trend and sulphate emissions from vulcanism causing short-lived downward spikes.  Sulphate emissions from volcanic eruptions temporarily cool the atmosphere. As Dr Muller says, it's a very good fit.

 Dr Muller was the darling of the Right until he said that global warming was real and caused by man, and even received funding from the Koch brothers.  In the end, his analysis produced a similar pattern to what other groups had calculated, while calculating a longer record allowed his group to show more precisely the negative effect of sulphate emissions.

I suppose we could simulate volcanic eruptions by pumping sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere if temperatures keep on rising.  But I have no idea how much that would cost, or whether the cure would be worse than the disease.  We stopped emitting sulphates from our industrial chimney stacks because of acid rain.  Matters would have to be dire indeed to go back to that.

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