Open Thread

This is a page for your use, to try out html tags and see what they look like, to post new ideas, to pass along interesting information, to suggest future topics for discussion, to reach out and contact me directly, the floor is yours.



287 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Hi Willis,

    I’m a crazy Aussie who likes playing with climate data. I’ve found an interesting correlation recently, and I’m happy to share it with you. Send me an email if you want something new to chew on.

    J J


        • They aren’t “blue flashes of light”. if you freeze the frame you can see –extremely clearly– the streak is a launch FROM the fire upward (and I believe toward the camera) toward the sky. Not uncommon with overheated aerosols.

          In real life I run high energy lasers and this isn’t a laser beam or any directed energy. No laser in the world would can make a curved trail like that, leave a visible ‘smoke’ beam, or be so enormously wide. Anyone claiming these videos as lasers is ignorant (probable) or simply lying. Or lying to take advantage of the ignorant; which seems more probable.


          • This is in reply to hooodathunkit November 24, 2018 at 7:37 pm , down below, because the reply button has been turned off.

            “Solid state for less weight
            While slab lasers deliver the hottest burn, solid state lasers are most likely to be chosen for use aboard aircraft because of their light weight. General Atomics is developing a single High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS) 150 kW laser for DARPA, with the first due for field testing this year, integrated with an existing US Air Force ground-based beam-control system. Lockheed Martin could also be in the running to develop a laser weapon to work with ABC – the company has been working on high-energy lasers for 30 years, alongside supporting technologies such as precision pointing and control, line-of-sight stabilisation and adaptive optics, and high-power fibre lasers.

            “The reality is that you would need a laser something like 20 to 30 times more powerful.”
            So if effective lasers to use with ABC have not yet been developed, does the programme risk being dropped by the DoD as another YAL-1 farce? By working on accurate aiming first, it may have already stolen a march on its predecessor; as more powerful lasers come online, ABC will be able to maintain its target for as long as it takes to burst into flame, much like LaWS. No more “beam misalignment” problems.

            Subsequent flight tests of ABC over the next year will demonstrate the turret in increasingly complex operations, and tests with a laser weapon against aerial targets could follow shortly afterwards. It remains to see whether this airborne laser weapon project will set the world alight or slowly smoulder into obscurity like YAL-1.”


    • I doubt that people are making crop circles with microwaves or lasers. The burn pattern would be evident, the patterns would be far less regular, and the danger to humans would be great.

      The other stuff is interesting, though.




  2. Willis , Thank’s for not making reference to “Tinfoil Hat” None of the above info is theory, it is real tech and can be carried out as we speak. My question is, is it. Are we being attacked by IS’S, or a satellite group. Back in 83 Reagan made this announcement.


      • Hi again W,
        The Reagan video is just in reference to how long ago the military has been working on laser tech’s as weapons.
        Willis said,
        “I doubt that people are making crop circles with microwaves or lasers. The burn pattern would be evident, the patterns would be far less regular, and the danger to humans would be great.”

        On page 74 of this PDF Figure 56: Illustration of the HILPB Test Rig, if you were to place a design @ the Beam Trimmer I think you could achieve a pattern in a field of crops. and re the temp’s, on page 106 it gives temperature profiles of around 60 C, which to me would achieve the desired outcome without any burn marks.


        • jmorpuss – Please educate yourself a bit more. Pictures can lie as well as words, so look behind the ‘cropped shots’ and animated sales videos being pushed for shock value or conspiracy crap. Lasers in that class (or even remotely near it) can’t fly. I’m sure there will be improvements, but it will be decades before laser weapons can do anything useful except from land or sea-based platforms.

          What you see in the video is just the head of the laser, the tiniest part of the system. Even then it takes many seconds to damage (not destroy) a slow speed, extremely low-flying drone. Plastic quadra-copters may be even more vulnerable. Who knows, but a shotgun would be more effective from what I see.

          Here is the laser itself, A FULL FLATBED TRAILER’S WORTH and that doesn’t include the million watt generator or industrial electric power line connection necessary to power it.


          • hooodathunkit, It appears your the one that needs some more education, so here you go, start learning. That laser your pictured is so 20th century, now step into the 21st.

            “Inside a cramped laboratory in Shanghai, China, physicist Ruxin Li and colleagues are breaking records with the most powerful pulses of light the world has ever seen. At the heart of their laser, called the Shanghai Superintense Ultrafast Laser Facility (SULF), is a single cylinder of titanium-doped sapphire about the width of a Frisbee. After kindling light in the crystal and shunting it through a system of lenses and mirrors, the SULF distills it into pulses of mind-boggling power. In 2016, it achieved an unprecedented 5.3 million billion watts, or petawatts (PW). The lights in Shanghai do not dim each time the laser fires, however. Although the pulses are extraordinarily powerful, they are also infinitesimally brief, lasting less than a trillionth of a second. The researchers are now upgrading their laser and hope to beat their own record by the end of this year with a 10-PW shot, which would pack more than 1000 times the power of all the world’s electrical grids combined.”

            And then your got this little high powered laser the size of an American penny.

            “An international team of scientists has produced the first high-powered, randomly polarised laser beam with a “Q switch” laser, which typically emits pulses of light so brief that they’re measured in nanoseconds. Lasers are a critical part of modern technology—they’re used in everything from our automobiles to medical equipment to the satellites orbiting Earth. Now, researchers are broadening the potential applications of even smaller and more powerful lasers.”

            Read more at:


          • Note: ‘Reply’ is disabled for jmorpuss comment below, so this is the reply:

            hooodathunkit, It appears your the one that needs some more education, so here you go, start learning.

            Industrial lasers is what I do for a living, please don’t lecture me about what I live everyday —and as can be shown— know full well and will prove.

            That laser your pictured is so 20th century, now step into the 21st.

            No, that is the picture that you posted. Your’s was a ‘cropped shot’ of the discharge head trying to make it look small and capable of being airborne; I posted a photo of the complete laser on the flatbed trailer bed to show its true size.

            Inside a cramped laboratory in Shanghai, China, physicist Ruxin Li and colleagues are breaking records with the most powerful pulses of light the world has ever seen.

            1) Again, size is the problem. The actual laser takes up two large buildings, NOT including the power supplies and conditioning. The Shanghai folks have a nice easy to understand presentation about the laser, and the buildings’ layouts are on page 16 of this PDF. It will not fit on any aircraft ever built.

            2) The lasers aren’t actually powerful, they are trading off lower continuous power by ‘spiking it’ or time-compression into tiny pulses. They are gaming the definition of power (the watt) which is 1 joule per second. Your own cite shows a single pulse, peak power of ~1,400 watts for 25 nanoseconds. 1.4kW is a very low power industrial laser, suitable for cutting plastic film or cloth. I operate lasers of the exact same NdYAG type, and it would take about 1/4 second for a 1.4kW continuous laser to pierce a piece of paper; 10 million of these ‘powerful’ pulses.

            But because the pulse is so short it’s rated by ‘what it would have been IF it lasted for one whole second’, which means the power is multiplied by 40 million as if it lasted one second. That makes the ‘rated output’ of this laser ~56GW (56 billion watts) when in reality it put a hole in a piece of paper. LOL The Shanghai laser has attained even shorter pulses about 20 femtoseconds, so it’s actual peak power is multiplied by 50,000,000,000,000 to get the headline of “5.3 million billion watts” when the peak power is actually about that of a 100 watt light bulb. The power rating is a shorthand for the pulse length (not so much the power) and as the name Shanghai Superintense Ultrafast Laser Facility implies, the main goal is incredibly tiny pulses.
            All this is based on direct cites by jmorpuss who has implied these enormous buildings are orbiting above California to ‘laser blast’ people’s houses or make crop circles. IMO you’re falling for sensationalist clickbait because you don’t understand the technology behind it.


          • hooodathunkit, Thanks for your comment below, This section isn’t really for this type of discussion. BUT I will provide another TIP. The blue laser at end of clip is only 5 watts and hand held, with a focusing lens for distance.

            And if Willis see fit to open up a thread on the topic, I would love to go into it further.


          • Hoodathunkit, thanks for your clear exposition showing the gaping holes in jmorpuss’s theories about lasers making crop circles and the like.

            jmorpuss, truly, you need to turn up the sensitivity on your skepticism meter. If something seems too good to be true … it is.



  3. Hi Willis, What’s your thoughts on putting this together ?

    “GUANGZHOU, China — A crisis over a mysterious ailment sickening American diplomats and their families — which began in Cuba and recently appeared in China — has widened as the State Department evacuated at least two more Americans from China on Wednesday.”

    “During the Cold War, the Russian Embassy
    microwaved the United States Embassy in
    Moscow with low-level microwaves for many year
    s from across the road; why and how is outside
    the scope of this Declaration. After changes
    of staff for serious neurological impairments,
    miscarriages, multiple cancers / leukemia and other illnesses to both male and female
    employees and their children, the late John R. Goldsmith, M.D., was invited to investigate this matter. His investigative report
    on this incident showed that continuous, long-term low-level
    microwaves were responsible for those illnesses. Goldsmith, J. R.,
    Radio frequency Epidemiology
    Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol 105, at 1585, Supp 6,
    Table 8, Dec (1997). Dr. Goldsmith
    held 11 Professorships and was the
    World Health Organization (WHO) representative for Europe. Interestingly, the power of the microwaves used by the Russians in some cases was less that the power used by modern-day transmitters ”


  4. Hi Willis, I see your haven’t left any comments for the video above, so I thought this may encourage a response.
    Hundreds of Birds Fall From the Sky During 5G Test in The Netherlands.


    • jmorpuss, when I see something like that I look for some reputable media outlet telling the story. I looked and looked, and all I found were sites called things like “consciouslifenews” and “dcclothesline” and “gumshoenews” and the like, with headlines saying things like “New 5G WIFI Coming And It Will KILL US All” and “How 5G Will Kill the Birds, Bees, and Your Loved Ones” …

      Pass … all of them are just repeating the same story, no further news, nothing solid at all.

      I have enough of a struggle fighting real science. I don’t have time for stuff out on the fringes. If it is real it will make it to the center. Until then, I’ll let people on the fringes discuss the stuff on the fringes.

      Best regards to you and yours,



      • Willis,
        A couple of old sayings sprang to mind as I was reading your reply.
        1. You can’t teach a old dog new tricks, and
        2. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.
        Anyway, I won’t bother you anymore with stuff you don’t believe in, It only wastes my time, I will leave you with these couple of videos. Because “pictures paint a thousand words”

        Cheers and stay well.


        • Bro’, comparing me to an old dog who can’t learn anything new? You can stuff that excrement where the sun don’t shine.

          I learn new things every day. When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do? But I don’t believe every new claim that comes past my face. I do what I did with your claim about the dead birds. I look for corroborating evidence.

          I found none, so I let it go … and you want to insult me over that?? Sorry, but that dog won’t hunt.



    • jmorpuss, you claimed that birds were being killed by 5G microwaves. I said that’s fringe. In response you send me an article on where birds go when they die … an article which says, in its entirety:

      “It’s rare to see a dead bird on the ground, but it is also rare to see a dead mouse or rat – which are generally much more numerous. We don’t question this because we don’t see rodents much when they are alive – they are secretive and nocturnal.

      It’s only because living birds are so conspicuous that it seems strange not to see them when dead. Birds don’t usually drop dead in mid-flight – they die in their nest or are caught and eaten, much like other small animals.”

      I have no clue what that has to do with anecdotal reports of bird deaths from 5G … all of which seem to be feeding off of each other, none of which seem to have checkable facts, and all of which are reported in fringe websites.



  5. Here’s a tip for you, Willis: Have a happy, healthy, prosperous New year, you and all your loved ones, in-laws, and outlaws.

    (Same tip applies to all the denizens here. 😁)


  6. Today’s Chronicle: Latinos account for nearly half of 172 people killed by police in California in 2017. Any comments on the report?


  7. Good day from England, Willis! I don’t know if you have watched or heard any of Scott Adams’ recent discussions on the climate change debate, but I would suggest that there is a golden opportunity there for someone like you to open a dialogue with him. He does a good job of questioning the assumptions and evidence both sides present, and attempts to comment honestly on the persuasiveness of each side’s current arguments. His daily podcast is available on Periscope and YouTube, and directly from his Twitter account.

    In my experience, you do an impressive job of providing clear, concise reasoning and avoiding personal attacks and obfuscation in your writing. I suggest that it would be ideal to provide Scott with a succinct ‘Top 5 best arguments for skepticism about catastrophic climate change’. A series of ‘elevator pitches’ may be helpful. Scott has already identified problems with the reliability and alteration of historical temperature data (especially as highlighted by Tony Heller), but does not yet seem to have discovered compelling arguments against the ‘worrying’ rate of recent temperature change as put forward by the alarmist camp.

    Thanks for many an hour of reading pleasure!


    • Phil, you are more than welcome. I’ve thought about writing to Scott Adams, but I’m a heretic, not a skeptic, so explaining my position takes time. Worth more thought, though.

      Welcome to the blog,



  8. I recently read an article at that you wrote about a study from Rice University That article sent my mind to wondering about the wind generation in Texas. Here in Texas we have more wind generators than any other state (I read that 2 or 3 years ago so it might be dated). We also have our own electric grid that is more or less isolated from the rest of the nation. To find out the state of wind generation in Texas, I went to and downloaded the 2017 data for the grid. This is the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas web site.

    What I found was interesting and I believe it could make a good follow on article. Here are the factoids that prove wind generated electricity will NEVER run any grid.

    • Texas had over 21,000 MW of name plate capacity wind generators installed at the end of 2017
    • Texas grid in 2017 had a high load of 69,599 MW and a low load of 25,476 MW
    • Non AC/heating load is about 33,000 MW during the day (not really relevant but interesting)
    • The ERCOT data is a snapshot of grid load once an hour 24/7. There were 43 points recorded in 2017 where the wind generation was <1% of the total load.

    As a good approximation of cost of wind generators is $1M per MW. That would mean that over the past 20 years there has been over $20Billon spent on wind generators in Texas. Now think about this… they could have spent 100 times that much and still not covered the load 24/7. Try saying that out loud.

    Two Trillion dollars won’t buy enough wind generators to power Texas.

    While I’m technical writer and my readers are always forced to read the stuff that I write, I feel that this information needs to be put in front of people in a way that most can understand. I don’t have that ability. I hope that you might.

    If you need any other information let me know.

    Russell Duke
    Operations Manager
    EnergyClean by MTI Services, LLC.


  9. Hi Willis, there is a lot of media interest in the ‘Expert’ and “Lancet” report published by EAT.
    Thinking it read a bit smelly I checked out the ownr of eat is owner of $20mill. private jet and the team who designed the worlds future diet has only one Dr. nutritionist in Indonesia and the rest range from geologists to a Phd in landscape and ecology.
    Would be keen to seen you take it further.
    Beef farm in Lincolnshire


    • My thought is, I hate videos. They move far, far too slow for me, and they rarely have citations or links to underlying data or sources.

      Given that, I read his website, and I gotta say his claims seem unlikely. If he could actually make it rain where and when, seems like he’d be world famous …

      In any case, I’ll keep an ear open …




  10. Mr. Eschenbach,

    Here is a video from Aeon showing a year’s worth of weather radar covering CONUS.

    What surprised me is the “mushrooms” that appear and disappear on or near the surface and seem unaffected by the higher level winds. I expect the images represent local thunderstorms.
    They are quite uniformly distributed over the midwest and appearing almost universally at the same time each day and in the same places. They subside for a time, and reappear a few months later. Could this be evidence of your thermostat, the central CONUS breathing out heat day after day? But why so uniformly placed? Why so perfectly timed? Very curious to me.



  11. Willis Eschenbach November 19, 2018 at 9:15 pm
    I always figured that the HAARP theories were tinfoil hat stuff … and I’ve seen no reason to change my mind.


    Hi Willis , To me science is about observations and interactions .
    These experiments are created to observe mans interactions, so they can recreate man made simulated solar disturbances.
    I hope the provided link will change you mind about you so called tinfoil hat stuff.

    It’s not a question if man can manipulate atmospheric temperatures. The question is are they heating the atmosphere to create changes in weather patterns, like deflecting the jet stream and stearing atmospheric rivers .


  12. Hi Willis, I always enjoy your thought provoking insights.

    Here is a topic that I thought you might find interesting: How accurately can we really measure the height of the sea surface by bouncing a satellite signal off it?

    A flat sea surface seems straight forward to measure: Bounce the signal off it and calculate the distace from the satellite.

    However the sea surface is seldom flat. If there is no wind and there are sinusoidal swells you can just take the median or average between the signal that reflects off the crests and off the troughs. I assume that the signal reflected off the slope of the waves does not return in the direction of the satellite so this seems fairly straight forward as well.

    Now comes the hard part. We want to measure sea surface height within millimeters but the sea surface is seldom flat or sinusoidal. When the wind blows it seems to me that there is very little flat horizontal reflective area at the crest of the wave, but significantly more in the trough. This would seem to skew the average reflected signal being received by the satellite and bias the measured surface to appear lower than it really is. Even if the satellite can detect the location of the crests and troughs of non-sinusoidal waves accurately how does the satellite know the average height of the water in a non-sinusoidal wave? It seems to me that you can’t get an accurate measurement of the average height of even a slightly rough sea in this way.

    Do they just take the strongest signal and call it the sea surface height? Do they throw out the data if the signal is weak dute to scattering from rough seas or a large distance between crests and troughs? Are more storms in a year what creates the noise spikes on the graphs that show sea level measurements?

    These thoughts have been sloshing around in my head. Maybe you will find them interesting too.


    • Thanks, Bill. I’ve written a bit on the question. I suspect it is good enough for measuring relative heights, and we know that the system can e.g. see the big eddies that form off the tip of Africa.

      But what I don’t think it’s accurate enough to do is long term sea-height trends.

      Best regards,



  13. HI Willis!

    I’ve been looking into the CMIP5 model accuracy from a machine learning perspective–treating them as if they were time series models being used for prediction in a Kaggle contest. Importantly, I want to evaluate each model separately for its predictive skill.

    I saw this post at WUWT and see that you have potentially saved me a ton of data wrangling:

    However, all the Dropbox links are stale. Do you have current ones? Or some other location where the spreadsheets are available?

    Also, what surface temperature data set would you compare the tas variable to? I was thinking of averaging GISS, HadCrut, and Berkeley. If you knew of Excel versions of those, that would be another huge help.

    And since you’ve been in those files, any general pointers for how I could avoid making mistakes with this data would be most welcome..

    Thanks in advance!



    • Kevin, welcome to the blog. I’ve gone over it and updated all the links … at least I think so. Please let me know if any are still not working.

      For TAS, averaging GISS, HadCRUT, and Berkeley Earth is as good a method as any.

      All the best to you, please keep us posted about your results.



          • I’m trying to score the different models on how useful they are for predicting future temperature, for the purpose of informing climate change policy. It seems like I’d want to cover both land and sea. But I don’t know if there’s any weirdness in the SST datasets that would worsen the comparison. (Yes, I know there’s plenty of weirdness in the land datasets, but I think I have a handle on what that is and it seems tolerable for evaluation purposes.)


  14. Kevin, I see no problem with using either the land or the sea data, other than the usual lack of data and spotty results. You might be interested in the KNMI website, where they have a whole host of model results, as well as daily and monthly observations, climate indices and a host of others.



  15. NetCDF files are the greatest thing since files. They contain not only the data, but metadata as well. If you are working in the R language they’re easy to import and extract the data.

    And if you’re not working in R … you should be. Best computer language ever, free, cross-platform, with a killer user interface called RStudio.



  16. Willis, I note that you have not posted from some time. Being the same as you I realize that health can be an issue. So how are you doing?


    • Thanks for the concern, overboots. I have a rule about writing. I never write until I can’t stand not writing … until the words bouncing around in my head just insist on coming out.

      Plus I just got back a few weeks ago from working in Alaska …



  17. Willis,

    My wife and I had several of our friends over for dinner last night. One told our daughter and her husband that they should move from where we live on the Gulf Coast to Detroit. He had several rationales for it, but his biggest point is that Detroit will have a “temperate climate” due to climate change and global warming. To my chagrin, I mocked him a little harshly (my only excuse is I overreacted because I do not want them to move that far away). The average annual temperature difference between Detroit and the Gulf Coast is about 20 degrees. I said that they could only reap that benefit if they lived to be 400+ years old, assuming (1) increase of 5 degrees Fahrenheit of warming per century, and (2) the warming continues at that rate in the future. If the temperature increases at 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit of warming per century, they have to live over 1,300 years. I said it is utterly ridiculous to base ANY personal decision affecting them over the next 30 years on climate projections because the incremental changes are so small. Today I went looking for some projections people are putting out of temperature changes, and stumbled across this one from Vox on July 19, 2019:

    They use RCP 8.5 to say that in 30 years it will be like you moved two states south in average temperature. I enjoy reading your posts on WUWT and your blog think it would be interesting if you had time to analyze this article, or something like it, for errors in analysis. To me, the big mistake to be made economically is to make a personal decision today, or by analogy, allocate trillions of dollars of resources today, to something that is much easier and less costly to simply adapt to, EVEN IF IT IS TRUE.



  18. Willis,

    Is there a way I could correspond with you directly and privately? I’m working on a project under a non disclosure agreement and would like to have your input as a paid consultant. Do you do any work of this sort?

    Bob David


  19. Hi Willis, I always enjoy your analysis and commentary. I have a suggestion for some data analysis that you might find interesting. I bet there are some things hidden in plain sight in the sawtooth graph of rising CO2 levels. Each tooth has a large rise and a smaller fall.

    If you only took the falling section of each tooth and added them all together, how long would it take for the CO2 level to approach zero? It seems to me that this could be used to say something about residency time of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    It also seems to me that as the CO2 level rises the size of the fall on each tooth should get bigger in absolute terms. Is this the case? Can this be used to show that in a higher CO2 atmosphere CO2 is taken up faster by plants and the ocean? Can the greater CO2 takup be quantified?

    Maybe there is other information hiding there too.

    I hope that some of this piques your interrest.

    Bill Thomson,
    Ottawa Canada


    • Thanks, Bill, most interesting thoughts. My issue with this is that different phenomena cause the seasonal variations on the one hand, and the slow increase in background levels on the other hand.

      Seasonal swings are caused by the seasonal growth/decay cycles, highest in May, lowest in October.

      The slow increase, on the other hand, is due to an excess of CO2 emissions over sinks.

      As a result, adding the falling cycles would only be relevant if there were only biological growth (lowers CO2), and never any biological decay (raises CO2) … and that will never happen.

      Best regards,



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