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In a recent discussion here, SandyS claimed there was evidence that the climate was significantly warmer at the time of the great Minoan or Roman civilizations, among others. He claimed that the success of these civilizations points to the fact that warming due to climate change will be beneficial. Even evidence that the downfall of some ancient civilizations may have been brought on by drought fails to dampen his ardor.

Wherever I've been in the area it has been too hot for me, but I'm a cool-weather type. But perhaps the Bishop's flock, much of which lives in France, might like to identify which Mediterranean countries would benefit economically or ecologically from being still hotter.

Dec 2, 2015 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Why don't you tell us what terrible things will happen to them, and then we can pick holes in it.
Rather than you asking us to do it, and taking the fact we ignore you as lack of evidence.

Dec 2, 2015 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

The key question is "How does average Temperature affect the adaptability of society?"

If higher temperature improves adaptability then communities will be more robust and (almost) everyone will prosper.
If higher temperature impedes adaptability then communities will be less robust and (almost) everyone will start becoming desperate and more prone to disaster.

In the great Minoan and Roman civilizations transport was by boat and on un-metalled roads. And the main industry was agriculture by manual labour.
Warm weather would seem to benefit robustness. Especially as we can drain water but can't necessarily make it rain.

In a modern technological society that robustness may well be less influenced by weather. But parts of the Third World would still benefit greatly from Global Warming.

And even in the rich North, few people are advised to head to the colder climes for their health when they retire .

Dec 2, 2015 at 3:48 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Raff it's an interesting question that you pose. "being still hotter". Well France is unquestionably a Mediterranean country because it borders the Mediterranean. But I'm not sure the inhabitants of anywhere North of the Loire would consider it a hot country (and likewise many to the South of the Loire also), so "being still hotter" is a bit off the mark for much of France.

Philippe Verdier's was formerly head of weather for Tele 2 TV. Apparently he has no doubt that the climate is warming and will continue to do so.

In his book "Climate Investigation", his "Alert N° 36" is: Climate scientists and politicians have concealed at great lengths the many positive consequences of global warming for France.

He lists these as:
- Reduced mortality
- Enhanced tourist industry
- Reduction of cold weather shut-downs for the building industry
- Reduced electricity bills
- Water reserves conserved
- Wine and Champage production improvement
- Increased agricultural yields
- Reduced forest fires
- Winter storms less costly
- Air transport freed-up (reduced losses due to iced-up airports)
- Reduction in devastating heat waves
- Reduction in tornadoes

Dec 2, 2015 at 6:10 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin, you are right, France is unlike most other countries in the Med. But I wonder about your (Verdier's) list. Some seem likely but quite a few are counter-intuitive. And how many would apply to poor countries around the Med?

- Reduced mortality - probably
- Enhanced tourist industry - it would extend the summer season and reduce the skiing season.
- Reduction of cold weather shut-downs for the building industry - maybe
- Reduced electricity bills - in winter, yes, in summer more cooling.
- Water reserves conserved - why?
- Wine and Champage production improvement - I understood that vines were sensitive to changes in weather, so this item seems speculative.
- Increased agricultural yields - again, speculative. I imagine some areas will gain and some lose.
- Reduced forest fires - why?
- Winter storms less costly - why?
- Air transport freed-up (reduced losses due to iced-up airports) - are these big?
- Reduction in devastating heat waves - why?
- Reduction in tornadoes - why?

Dec 2, 2015 at 8:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Raff, I think he was comparing 2014 which he said was France's hottest year, with previous years.

So in some cases it might simply be statistical fluke rather than what can confidently be expected in future.

- Reduced mortality - probably
He said that the annual flu epidemic was shorter and 'less intense' (fewer victims?). That could also be because the 2014 virus was less vicious and also the flu vaccination programme could have been more successful.

- Enhanced tourist industry - it would extend the summer season and reduce the skiing season.
He says that the mountain regions are popular with tourists even without snow. Not only would the summer season be longer, but people might start taking holidays on the Atlantic or Channel coasts, or the countryside, rather than jetting off to N. Africa or the Carribean as lots currently do. Normany summer dream

- Reduction of cold weather shut-downs for the building industry - maybe
He talks about concrete and wall cement (ravalment) not being usable below 5°C.

- Reduced electricity bills - in winter, yes, in summer more cooling.
Many (50%?) of houses have electric heating. I have seen but never been inside a house with air conditioning in France, even around Marseille.

- Water reserves conserved - why?
That's just how it happened. No protracted droughts in 2014.

- Wine and Champage production improvement - I understood that vines were sensitive to changes in weather, so this item seems speculative.
Generally vines like it warmer. Which is why you don't get vinyards in Normandy or Brittany. He said that in one region (Bordelais) production went up 50%.

- Increased agricultural yields - again, speculative. I imagine some areas will gain and some lose.
I think he is saying that is what happened.

- Reduced forest fires - why?
He said that relatively frequent rain was the cause. Propbably same reason as the water reserves being ok.

- Winter storms less costly - why?
Less ice/snow on the roads so less salting reducing spending from local taxes. (He says 300€ per tonne to buy the salt).

- Air transport freed-up (reduced losses due to iced-up airports) - are these big?
He says that in 2010 Air France lost 70M€ because of snow.

- Reduction in devastating heat waves - why?
That's how he said it was in terms of number of heat waves and death rates being far lower.

- Reduction in tornadoes - why?
He just says they were down 10% and two times less deadly.

I don't think he is making out that 2014 will be repeated without fail. Just that, despite being the warmest (he says) on record, it turned out to have had positive aspects. He makes it quite clear in that chapter "The positive balance sheet for France" that he is talking about France only with the list of things in that chapter.

Dec 2, 2015 at 9:44 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Not another thread on this Raff?
Having swapped central Perthshire for Central Limousin via the East Midlands I can say Limousin is a better climate for humans than Perthshire and is very similar to the East Midlands. I'd say the Massif Central is the divide between Mediterranean France and Northern France with a micro-climate all of its own. It takes a lot more energy to keep warm than it does to keep cool especially in old stone farmhouses..
As white fizzy wines are produced in the Loire Valley (Vouvray), Spain (Cava) and Italy(Asti Spumanti) there's no reason to worry about Champagne, the same goes for other wines, even if the average temperatures in France rise by more than 2'C

Globally the four main causes of flight delays (apart from strikes) are Fog, Snow, Wind, Storms (thunder) the first three are more likely in cold/cool conditions.

Most holidays are taken during the summer months in most countries in the world.
Check out the most productive agricultural areas in current climate conditions, not the far north or far south. As an example Sweden's agriculture is almost exclusively animal husbandry based the wheat belt in America stretches central Alberta, Can. (similar latitude to the UK), to central Texas, U.S. The maximum summer temperature in Dallas is rarely greater than 37'C and Limousin 30'C so for this part of central France there is a lot of leeway for grain production.

An Australian definition of inclement weather for the building trade.
35.4 Definition of Inclement Weather
Inclement weather shall mean the existence of rain or abnormal climatic conditions (whether they be those of hail, snow, cold, high wind, severe dust storm, extreme high temperature or the like or any combination thereof) by virtue of which it is either not reasonable or not safe for employees exposed thereto to continue working whilst the same prevail.

Without reading the book, I suspect the water and fire related guesses are based on the theory a warmer climate means increased atmospheric water vapour content leading to more precipitation.

I reckon you could tell us why tornadoes and the reduction in devastating heatwaves aren't likely, all we seem to do here is educate you and once your questions have been answered you start a new thread as Radical Rodent has pointed out previously.

Dec 2, 2015 at 9:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

I think Raff's question was really aimed at what would be the effect if hot countries got hotter.

I have a vague recollection that climate science speculates that if GAT increases, the increase will be greater in the temperate regions than in the already hot ones. Anybody know? [I means anybody know what climate science has to say on the matter.]

When the BBC was promising us a mediterranean climate in the Midlands quite soon, I don't remember them promising a tropical climate around the Mediteranean.

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:59 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

I'm Raff's brother. Together we make a vulgar team.

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterRiff


Dec 3, 2015 at 8:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Martin, one year means nothing, as you know. But I can't reconcile that statement

Climate scientists and politicians have concealed at great lengths the many positive consequences of global warming for France.
with the fact that his list is just for 2014. So all these great things happened in 2014 and wicked "climate scientists and politicians" have conspired to hide them? To exactly what "great lengths" do scientists go to do that (you posted it so I guess you think it has some legs)? How do they do it?

I didn't know that France has tornadoes and I don't know how much the Med/Middle East/Morth Africa will warm, but Sandy says it will be beneficial because... Minoans. So which countries could do with a bit more heat? Martin says France. Where else?

Dec 3, 2015 at 6:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Raff, pinning you down is like trying to pick up a bar of soap in the bath.

Ask a question and instead of answering you just ask another. Typical troll behavior.

- Reduction in tornadoes - why?
Dec 2, 2015 at 8:14 PM | Raff

I didn't know that France has tornadoes
Dec 3, 2015 at 6:41 PM | Raff

I don't know seems to be a standard answer in the Raff armoury.

Well arguing from a position of ignorance rarely gets you anywhere. So just to fill another gap in your knowledge here's a link to Wiki to help.
List of European tornadoes and tornado outbreaks
and a specific French Tornado

Now I'd ask that you'd list some Mediterranean countries which will be adversely affected by a warming, hang on I forgot your anwer will be I don't know .

This is what Herodotus has to say about Libya,

Above the Nasamonians, towards the south, in the district where the wild beasts abound, dwell the Garamantians, who avoid all society or intercourse with their fellow-men, have no weapon of war, and do not know how to defend themselves..
Their country and the remainder of Libya towards the west is far fuller of wild beasts and of wood than the country of the wandering people. For the eastern side of Libya, where the wanderers dwell, is low and sandy, as far as the river Triton; but westward of that the land of the husbandmen is very hilly, and abounds with forests and wild beasts.

Wiki on Carthage

Carthage practised highly advanced and productive agriculture

Circumstantial evidence suggests that Carthage developed viticulture and wine production before the 4th century BC

Finally grain, which was raised as a tax, was shipped to Ancient Rome (during the eponymous warm period) from Africa through the port of Ostia.

Dec 3, 2015 at 7:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Raff, I agree that for any one aspect, a years means nothing. But I think his point does have some force - If warming were bad in every aspect (as per the official line) then it would be bizarre that, in France's hottest year yet, so many things turned out to be better than over the ten year period he compared it to.

Sorry I don't have time to post a translation of Philippe-Verdier's book too busy trying to rebuild the hydraulic brakes on a 60-year old car.

( my translation of the back cover of his book )

In brief, he believes that the world is warming because of humans. He states forcibly that he is not a 'climate sceptic'. But he thinks that the IPCC with the enthusiastic backing of the French govt has misrepresented climate change as being nothing but bad and has exaggerated the dangers. For evidence of that you only have to compare the IPCC summaries for policymakers with its scientific sections.

The UN propaganda revolted him as a professional broadcaster whose objective was accuracy in weather forecasting.
WMO Weather Reports 2050 - France
He said: "The weather forecasts "Meteo 2050" are alarmist communications created and controlled by the UN with a purely political objective."
He said: "No reliable prediction can be made of the climate of France and of Europe from 2016 to 2050."

French tornadoes: three dead

So far as hot coutries are concerned, I don't think a few degrees more would make things difficult, provided that it was accompanied by rain.

What caused the Sahara to become desert? I'm sure Entropic could tell us.

Dec 3, 2015 at 8:13 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Sandy, I doubt the word of Horodotus has much bearing on modern climate change. Here is a map of the world according to him, in which by Libya he seems to mean Africa:

Anyway, you have now moved on, warming will now be beneficial because... Carthage. All Tunisia needs is a bit more heat and a new golden age will dawn.

The thing about my saying "I don't know" is that I really don't know. Will tornadoes become more or less common as the climate warms. If you or Verdier say anything other than "I don't know" you are just unaware of your own hubris.

The correct answer to my question "which Mediterranean countries would benefit economically or ecologically from being still hotter" is "I don't know". Even for France. My intuition is that making places that are already insufferably hot still hotter will not help, but that is because when I look at dry, sandy, treeless land I want to hide away in a cave. As Martin suggests, it all depends on rainfall. A warmer climate means more water vapour in the air, but if you can say with certainty where that water will fall or condensate, you are a fool.

You should try "I don't know" sometime as an act of humility. I know that is not popular here, but there is very little in life (beyond the trivial) outside of home, family and profession that one can truly not say "I don't know".

Dec 3, 2015 at 11:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

You should try "I don't know" sometime as an act of humility.

As a self-styled spokesman for the certainty of climate doom, I hope the irony is not lost on you.

Dec 4, 2015 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

I have to echo TBYJ, if you don't know why are you so certain of doom? Unless you don't want to know anything contrary to your belief? Normally people who don't know but challenge others do a bit of research to back up the challenge, so far I have seen nothing from you to challenge with data/research/astrology anything antone one has said or referenced.

Herodotus was reporting on the environment in Northern Africa during a warm period when the Sahara was a desert. His reports strongly suggest a more agriculturally productive time than currently, With a higher atmospheric CO2 content and a warmer climate there is a very possibility of a similar situation if the climate does warm. Humans will also flourish should that be the case. Having whinged about the Minoans I give you a couple more examples of regions doing well in the Roman Warm Period and you whinge about that. Having given several examples of how, in a warmer world, currently less than hospitable areas were productive and more friendly to human life I think that the evidence of history is on the side of warming improving the lot of countries around the Mediterranean Sea.

Apparently climate models can't model the African Humid Period of of 10,000 - 7,300 years ago. The only theory I have read is that the changes from dry to wet to dry were caused by Earth orbital changes.

Dec 4, 2015 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

James, don't be a dick. Nowhere will you see me talking about the "certainty of climate doom". Certainty is what you guys do.

Sandy, ditto. And with what you know (from historical examples of abrupt changes in climate) about the sensitivity of the Earth to changes in solar or other forcing, it is odd that you are sanguine about the prospect of provoking the system into new abrupt changes.

Dec 4, 2015 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

I thought we were talking about a 2'C increase in GAT caused by CO2, rather than a rapid return to the Iceage from our current interglacial? History of the current configuration of Earth and the Solar System suggests anything else is highly unlikely. Should Pangea reform in a matter of decades I might change my mind. I am extremely concerned that, if lucky, we're approaching either a Little Ice Age and a proper full blown Iceage if not.

You still haven't shown why you think 2'C rise in GAT is bad, merely moved onto to something else.

Dec 5, 2015 at 8:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Sandy, it is quite clear from the links you have provided that abrupt changes in climate have occurred over human history. The reasons for these changes are almost certainly unknown, but I imagine that you, as a true "skeptic", will happily argue that gradual changes in solar forcing and distribution (due to orbital change) could have led to sudden changes in rainfall over the Sahara. It seems fairly clear, if the latter is possible, that gradual changes in forcing due to increasing CO2 could also lead to other abrupt change in climate, tipping points if you will. Do you reject that conclusion? Or do you think any such abrupt changes can only be beneficial?

Dec 5, 2015 at 11:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Nowhere will you see me talking about the "certainty of climate doom". Certainty is what you guys do.
Considering you have been casting unsubstantiated aspersions around, willy-nilly, on almost every thread you infest, complete with your own certainties, that comment is a bit rich, Ruff.

You have asked for evidence that the global warming we have had so far has been beneficial; when presented with examples, you then declare that they are not valid, with no explanations as to why, nor any indications of what sort of evidence you might consider valid. The overall thrust of your comments are that we are heading for doom and gloom, all caused by us, and preventable by us, if only we would do something about it (though, naturally, you give no indication of what that doom and gloom is, or how it will present itself, or what that “something” might be), yet, when someone points this out to you, you swerve around that. You also provide us with ample evidence that you do not read what people have written – or, perhaps more accurately, you mis-read (whether intentionally or not is a mystery to all but you) what has been written (your reply to SandyS, above, being a good example). Exactly what are you trying to do, Snuff, other than waste the time of so many considerably more erudite and learned people than yourself (which, it would appear, is almost everyone on this site)? Or is that your sole aim? If so, then you are considerable more sad than even I had thought – most of us get involved in discussion to enhance our own knowledge and understanding; we share ideas and evidence, challenge and argue, sometimes in patient desperation (h/t TBYJ), but few of us are so entrenched that we are not prepared to consider another’s point. The only thing that is shared with you is our general scorn. You remind me very much of a spoilt child who just screams to get what it wants but, when asked what it is they want, cannot answer, and just screams some more.

As far as I am concerned, you can scream and scream and scream all you want, Raff, but this is the last piece of attention you will be getting from me, and I would recommend the others follow the advice given by Mike Jackson, early in the Tol 2009, 2014, 2015 and the Economic Effects of Climate Change discussion (Nov 24, 2015 at 5:52 PM).

Dec 6, 2015 at 6:23 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

before I answer why do you think warming will be a disaster? You seem to have moved on from warming to abrupt changes again asking me why I don't think they'd be harmful without telling me why you think they will. I get a similar set of questions from my grandchildren "Why Grandad?" when they don't like the answer then the come back is "No".

I await with interest and anticipation.

Dec 6, 2015 at 7:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Sandy, you have chastised me for saying "I don't know" enough to known better, As I said to James and you before, nowhere will you see me saying "warming will be a disaster". Certainty is what you guys do. The monsoon rains might return to the Sahara and turn it into lush forest. That would be lovely for the few people who live there. The monsoons in India might strengthen and cause widespread flooding, or cease and cause drought - that wouldn't be so great for the millions who live there. Maybe you think India can move to Africa...

So come on now, answer my questions of Dec 5, 2015 at 11:15 PM

Dec 7, 2015 at 12:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Air transport freed-up (reduced losses due to iced-up airports) - are these big?




Lots of glycol (been there, done that)


Dec 7, 2015 at 3:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

FPCN11 CWTO 062030
Forecasts for Southern Ontario and the National Capital Region issued
by Environment Canada at 3.30 pm est Sunday 6 December 2015 for
tonight Monday and Monday night.
The next scheduled forecast will be issued at 5.00 am Monday.

City of Toronto.
Tonight..Partly cloudy. Fog patches developing near midnight. Low
minus 3.

Early morning frost sprays at YYZ.

Dec 7, 2015 at 4:03 AM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

So you don't know that warmer will be bad and say I do certainty, yet you think I'm wrong about warming will be good, unable to answer the question of why warming will be detrimental and why using history is wrong you move sudden climate change as the next disaster facing man, although presumably you don't know for sure.

Well all I can say is the most rapid climate change in human history was the end of the last Iceage, which we survived. If the reverse happens we can say for certain in pretty short order there will be a huge number of climate refugees moving from North to South. This will be a problem because colder climates have been drier in the past and there is no reason to suppose that this will be different in the future. In human terms the onset of Little Ice Age and it's end were relatively rapid both of which we survived.

I really would appreciate something other than why or you guys do certainty or I do't know or you're wrong as an answer, even a few examples of global disasters rather than local ones like the demise of the Peublo People in New Mexico for example.

You still haven't come up with evidence for why I am wrong about warming being beneficial on balance so I'm not holding my breathe on this one either.

Dec 7, 2015 at 8:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS