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What Is The Earth’s Ideal Temperature?

January 18, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Nuttercelli is at it again in the Guardian:



In an interview with Reuters last week, Trump’s EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said,

The climate is changing. That’s not the debate. The debate is how do we know what the ideal surface temperature is in 2100?

Pruitt’s goal is to sow doubt on behalf of his oil industry allies in order to weaken and delay climate policies. Shifting the ‘debate’ toward ‘the ideal surface temperature’ achieves that goal by creating the perception that we don’t know what temperature we should aim for. It’s in line with his boss’ recent ignorant tweet suggesting that “Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming.”

I spoke with a number of climate scientists who agreed that to minimize the risks associated with rapid human-caused climate change, from a practical standpoint the ‘ideal temperature’ is as close to the current one as possible.


I think we can take it then that Nuttercelli and his band of “climate scientists”, who include the ever reliable Stefan Rahmstorf, Katharine Hayhoe, Michael Mann and Naomi Oreskes (who is not even a climate scientist), would agree that they don’t want to go back to the cold climate of the Little Ice Age.

Yet, presumably if they had been asked the same question 200 years ago, they would have said the same as they are – let’s keep things the same.

But has it not occurred to any of these geniuses that people in 100 years time will be perfectly happy with their climate then, just the same as Katharine Hayhoe is now?

Why do they have so little faith in the ability of human kind to adapt to whatever conditions they are faced with at the time?

After all, people throughout the world have to cope with far greater day to day, and year to year, variability in their weather than the tiny amounts of warming they may have to contend with over many decades.

Floods and drought, hot and cold, rain or snow, people have always coped, and always will. Furthermore, human ingenuity being what it is, they usually end up better off than before.

It is economic and technological development that makes societies better off, and more resilient in the face of weather and other natural disasters. Not a return to the dark ages.

  1. Colin Brooks permalink
    January 18, 2018 12:57 pm

    The question they are as\king is not phrased correctly; what they are really looking for is ‘the ideal temperature/climate for humans to thrive. However it is a pointless question because we have totally no control over global temperature.
    A question they are not asking is ‘what is the ideal amount of atmospheric CO2 for both the planet and for humans. The answer is that the planet does not give two hoots but human/animal life and vegetation will all disappear if levels fall any further whereas they will all flourish if levels increase.


    • Colin Brooks permalink
      January 18, 2018 1:00 pm

      Actually life disappears at about 180 ppm but you get the message ^.^

    • David Richardson permalink
      January 18, 2018 1:26 pm

      Quite so Colin.

      During the last glaciation they reckon CO2 fell as low as 180ppm. I read somewhere that nothing on Earth grows below 150ppm. We all know that another glaciation will happen, it is just when.

      Technically we are still in an Ice Age but enjoying an Interglacial (the Holocene). I always like to point out to the CAGW worriers amongst us that the warmest part of the Holocene was 8k years ago and each peak in the cyclic changes since has been colder. We are at the cold end of an interglacial. The Little Age (LIA) of the 17th/18th century was one of the coldest periods of the Holocene.

      They reckon that at the start of the Holocene there were around 1million souls on the planet and as we know their live was pretty primitive. All the development and expansion of Mankind we see today has been during this period of relative warmth. When the Holocene ends that is when climate will threaten the Human race, when eventually the only really habitable parts will be between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

    • Colin Brooks permalink
      January 18, 2018 2:11 pm

      Totally agree David 🙂
      However although everything you say is easily verified, it is certainly not understood by most people (particularly politicians hehe).
      The things that seems to unite ‘deniers’ are the willingness to ask questions and the desire to understand more. There is certainly a case to make that working people just do not have the time to research these things but I also think that they are just not interested and with today’s politicians they seriously need to be.

  2. Joe Public permalink
    January 18, 2018 1:01 pm

    ” ….. from a practical standpoint the ‘ideal temperature’ is as close to the current one as possible.”

    Cold weather kills 20 times as many people as hot weather.

    From The Lancet’s “Mortality risk attributable to high and low ambient temperature: a multicountry observational study”

    “We analysed 74,225,200 deaths in various periods between 1985 and 2012. In total, 7·71% (95% empirical CI 7·43–7·91) of mortality was attributable to non-optimum temperature in the selected countries within the study period, with substantial differences between countries, ranging from 3·37% (3·06 to 3·63) in Thailand to 11·00% (9·29 to 12·47) in China. The temperature percentile of minimum mortality varied from roughly the 60th percentile in tropical areas to about the 80–90th percentile in temperate regions. More temperature-attributable deaths were caused by cold (7·29%, 7·02–7·49) than by heat (0·42%, 0·39–0·44). Extreme cold and hot temperatures were responsible for 0·86% (0·84–0·87) of total mortality.

    [My bold]

  3. January 18, 2018 1:06 pm

    When I saw the title: “What Is The Earth’s Ideal Temperature?”, I immediately said, “There is no such thing.”

    I am looking out the window behind my monitor right now. The Rhododendron leaves are drooping and curled due to the 11 F temperature this morning. We have about 6″ of snow on the ground. Today, many might find June having more “ideal” temperatures, but skiers (and I used to be one) have been finding Canaan Valley and Snowshoe in eastern mountains of West Virginia “ideal” at this time.

    For the coal deposits in WV, and even under the ice in Antarctica, temperatures in those ancient swamps would have mirrored today’s Indonesia. What if the “wizards of smart” had questioned those coping with the European and American glaciers 15,000 years ago? Would they have said it was ideal? Likely not as life was very difficult with the cold, but less so with warmth. During the Medieval Warming (which Mann expunged from the historical record) England was warmer than today.

    It is interesting they chose the oil industry to accuse Pruitt of pandering. However, the recent cold in New England, widely covered on this post, might have led Reuters and The Guardian (of what?) to their chosen fossil fuel demon.

    They accuse Scott Pruitt of insincerity? How else would a cognitive, fully functioning human being answer it? The media also cannot grasp Donald Trump’s wicked sense of humor which is displayed in his reported “Tweet.” As a final comment. In his recent yearly physical as President, Donald Trump requested what is the best cognitive test be administered to him. He aced it with 30 out of 30 cognitive skills. Watch out for methane blasts–the media is having a cow.

  4. rckkrgrd permalink
    January 18, 2018 2:15 pm

    From where I sit (Canadian prairies approximately 52 degrees North) a 5-degree C increase in average temperature at this time of year would not make a significant difference. But then neither would a 5-degree decrease. For the 6 months of summer, the ideal would be 22-degree daytime temperature, 18 nighttime, about an inch of rain each week only at night, occasional light wind, and sunshine all day.Now if that kind of climate change was possible it would be really welcome. I could put up with cold and snow for the winter. Oh, I forgot, cold beer should be free.

    • rckkrgrd permalink
      January 18, 2018 2:18 pm

      Oh, and at the same time, about 1100 ppm of CO2 would be nice to help things grow.

    • AZ1971 permalink
      January 18, 2018 4:58 pm

      Oh, I forgot, cold beer should be free.

      It should not only be free but grown on a tree. That is GMO progress I could really, really get behind. 🙂

  5. Broadlands permalink
    January 18, 2018 2:44 pm

    According to NASA’s James Hansen, the ideal temperature was back in 1987 when CO2 was 350 ppm, 50 ppm lower than now. He has been distressed about the Paris Accord and our lack of resolve to quickly use risky, untested at scale the negative emission technology to capture those 50 ppm and store them somewhere, geologically. Should be easy? 50 ppm is “only” 100 BILLION metric tons of oxidized carbon and we can stuff it where we took it from? Cost per ton? Don’t ask. Safety? Don’t ask.

  6. John Peter permalink
    January 18, 2018 2:55 pm

    I had hoped that Scot Pruitt would have asked the question, what would a temperature record look like without all the “adjustments”? I am really disappointed that he has not instructed the EPA to analyse the temperature records they are using for their determinations to make sure that the current warming is not truly “Mann made”.
    I am also disappointed the a true scientist has not been appointed as Administrator for NOAA.
    I have never seen what happened to the GWPF’s proposed analysis of global temperature records as announced a few years ago.
    As far as I am concerned there are two unresolved issues. How accurate are the temperature records such as NOAA, GISS, Berkeley and our own University of East Anglia?
    Where is the conclusive evidence of attribution – i.e. the amount of warming caused by CO2 if any?

    • Broadlands permalink
      January 18, 2018 3:13 pm

      John… Actually there is some unadjusted evidence to support that. It was carefully gathered, analyzed and published in 1938 by Guy Callendar who wrote on the greenhouse effect. The problem for him was his timing. 1938 turned out to be a “tipping point” and temperatures dropped for 40 years while CO2 continued its rise. Rather “inconvenient”, as Al Gore might say.

  7. January 18, 2018 3:51 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  8. Athelstan permalink
    January 18, 2018 3:58 pm

    how long is a piece of string?

    ………………… stupid can it get what planet are they from?

    The man who lives his life in Yakutsk might well dream of the Termperatures of Madras in the middle of winter, would the bloke living in Singapore be dreaming of winter in Yakutsk – I doubt it.
    Britain has a mild and very changeable seasonal weather pattern, not so in the tropics where it’s either hot and humid or a little less hot and humid, in Arizona it’s dry and cold and dry and very hot.

    Nutters like Mann and the rest seem to think that the world’s thermostat is somehow being influenced by mankind – that’s the biggest joke and in that, exhibiting their utter fatuousness of pontificating concerning a terrestrial ‘ideal temperature’. tis but a charade, it’s the sleight, to make the more gullible public think that – Mann, Vermicelli, Oreskes, Rahmstorf, caroline lucas, the UN george soros, mother coal mines of Berlin, the EU, goldman sachs, UN and NWO – they can manipulate the Earth’s thermostat………….to what degree?

    • HotScot permalink
      January 18, 2018 7:39 pm


      there is only one obvious answer to the climate debate.

      We heretic deniers are eternal optimists. To us, the future offers opportunities, not threats. It provides the chance to explore and develop. Without optimists the human race would still be living in caves, too frightened to venture out when its raining in case we melted.

      Alarmists are eternal pessimists, Scrooges if you like, without any of his endearing qualities. Greedy, selfish, averse to change, frightened of the future, frightened of change, with no imagination of what might be over the next hill. Had we relied on pessimists for mankind’s future, we would still believe the world is flat.

      We are politically managed, and scientifically influenced by cowards, and it will take the usual mavericks to demonstrate the king has no clothes before progress into the future can be made.

      To my mind, and being a recent Trump convert, it seems he’s the only man for the job. He’s the only one to have rolled the dice in the Middle East in, probably, 100 years and declared Jerusalem as the Jewish capital. He’s also told the Palestinians to come to the peace table or have vast amounts of American aid withdrawn. He’s the only one to have stood up to N. Korea and threatened to spank Kim’s little bottom for him, and now the North is about to talk to the South.

      He’s made more progress in the middle and far east in a year than successive governments have made in my lifetime.

      And the man’s heinous methods to achieve these aims? Twitter. No bombs, no guns, no stand off’s, just Twitter.

      And the man’s condemned for this?

      I reckon there’s more peaceful, effective Capitalism in his methods than any previous POTUS.

      There is, of course, the Paris accord as well, which has put the cat amongst the scientific pigeons, precisely where it should be.

      • Athelstan permalink
        January 19, 2018 7:39 am

        I do believe that, sincerely hope that, Mr. Donald Trump as president will dismantle the warmunist apparatus, to that end I wish him Godspeed and perpetual fair wind.

      • HotScot permalink
        January 19, 2018 10:06 pm


        Heard a comment on the new Churchill movie on the radio today.

        The commentator mentioned the disdain Churchill was held in during his early days as PM, which is similar to the manufactured Trump persona.

        Churchill was a military man, a warrior first, then a politician. When the challenge of war presented itself, he alone stood up to meet it.

        Now the challenge of peaceful trading is presenting itself, and Trump has, in the same way, grasped the nettle few would dare.

        Any decision is better than no decision. Churchill and Trump seem to share that underlying quality.

        Trump comes from the environment of peaceful competition. Perhaps he can reignite that spark amongst the people of America.

  9. January 18, 2018 5:03 pm

    ‘What Is The Earth’s Ideal Temperature?’

    First there’s another question: Why aren’t all solar cycles identical?

  10. Bitter@twisted permalink
    January 18, 2018 5:18 pm

    Nutticelli, Mann, Hayhoe et al are not scientists as most people would understand, rather pseudoscientists, who crave, publicity, power and money.
    They are serial liars who should be in prison for fraud.

  11. January 18, 2018 6:57 pm

    Ideal? Sounds like someone is looking for a fictitious Utopia.

  12. diogenese2 permalink
    January 18, 2018 6:58 pm

    This concept is pure pseudoscience as Joan Gibson @ 1.06 points out. The Earth’s temperature is a virtual or imaginary entity, a metric derivative of the temperature records from which a time series could, and has been, constructed. Its only meaning is that conferred by its derivation. The earth continuously has a temperature distribution from approx. 50C to – 100c and the metric involves substantial area weighted averaging which inevitably destroys information on amplitude. i.e an average of 15 is the product of 10 -20, 12 -18 or even 1- 29. The derivation involves thousand or millions of data points. It follow that there are very many possible variations producing the same end result. This means that the algorithm is irreversible. Thus if a projected increase from 15c to 17c is made this cannot be run backwards to determine the input figures , as this would be one of a near infinite number of possibilities
    It is not for me to suggest that the IPCC WGII (and, by implication WGIII) are complete BS but it is worth asking how they and, for that matter, the designers of climate models and anybody else suggesting that they know the future climate, have addressed this basic issue.

  13. HotScot permalink
    January 18, 2018 7:56 pm

    The ideal temperature. What a laugh.

    That’s why they hold the winter Olympics in places with snow and ice. the summer Olympics in Athens and the Football world cup in Quatar, or whatever 40 degree C country they held/are holding it in.

    Swimming in frozen lakes is a Finnish and Russian pastime, sunbathing in Spain is a British national obsession, and Safari holidays to baking African tourist spots are the preserve of the wealthy.

    Meanwhile a substantial area of the planet’s surface in Canada and Russia is devoted to permafrost, instead of crop producing, lush prairies impossible to irrigate, whilst the Egyptians mastered that particular art several thousand years ago, in hot deserts.

    And what have frozen poles ever done for humanity, or the planet in general. Other than being a source of ice in a G&T, absolutely nothing.

    • January 19, 2018 12:04 pm

      Actually, those tundras with their permafrost are significant carbon sinks.

  14. Harry Passfield permalink
    January 18, 2018 8:19 pm

    Nutticelli et al are not bothered one way or the other what the ideal temperature is or should be. They have absolutely no intention of contributing to such a conversation except to prod it every now and again to keep sceptics discussing ephemera.

    He and his legions do not care about the temperature, they are only in the game for political ends. They are the drones who will do the groundwork for their controllers so that the socialist politicians can use their (drone) labours to justify all sorts of ‘environment’ taxes.

    If they hadn’t invented AGW they would need some other scare to generate their socialist income stream. We are already seeing alternative strategies taking form as they worry that AGW will not deliver: how did particulate pollution from diesels suddenly take off? Why is the emphasis subtley switching to land use and farming? Above all, why all of a sudden, plastics? It’s all part of the – I hesitate to use the phrase – UN/World Government plan to control the people on this planet.

    It is always, always about the money – and control.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      January 18, 2018 8:35 pm

      interesting that you see reds under every bed, when the UK and USA certainly do not have left wing governance …. nor do France, Germany etc. I think that you are mixing your wingers and hope that you do not manage a football team!

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        January 18, 2018 8:50 pm

        Jack, don’t categorise me as a conspiracy nut. I’m not that naive.
        You may well think we don’t have socialist/left wing governments but I assure you that if we could get the details of the make up of key depts in the Civil Service (I tried FOIA but it was declined) we would no doubt find they were employing a load of Greens and other fellow travellers.
        Anyway, as I said, it is always, always the money – and there are many extremely wealthy ‘socialists’.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        January 19, 2018 12:58 am

        Perhaps not the USA under Trump, but the others are certainly not Right wing by any stretch of imagination, softish Left at best and the EU is in fact Corporatist.

        However, these days, anything not to the Left of Vladimir Illich Lenin is considered Right wing.

      • Colin Brooks permalink
        January 19, 2018 11:37 am


        We certainly do have a left wing government right now whatever it decides to call itself, it is throwing our money at every problem just as a Labour government would do.

  15. jim permalink
    January 19, 2018 3:10 am

    This is just nuts!
    The house I am in right now has a temperature difference greater than those being discussed.
    If I step outside, its 10deg cooler, and I’m in SW Florida!
    The planet ‘Earth’doesn’t have an ‘average’ temperature, its a complete nonsense.
    When are we going to stop pandering to this stupidity?
    Stop writing articles that don’t call a spade a spade. These people are completely mad.

    • January 19, 2018 12:07 pm

      Plants do not “care” about average temperature. It is the high and low, especially the low temperature which makes the difference.

  16. Phoenix44 permalink
    January 19, 2018 11:16 am

    Both the question and the response are meaningless. Both seem to mean the average, but nobody experiences the average, ever. Do I want say an annual average of 20 degrees? Not if that means freezing cold in the winter and boiling hot in the summer.

    I want it hot enough to grow bananas and coffee in places I don’t live and cold enough for plenty of snow to ski on in places where I don’t live. I want a Mediterranean climate to go to for my summer holiday but not I’ve where I have to travel by a Tube to work every day.

    If I was poor in a hot or cold climate I would probably want it yo be cooler and warmer.

  17. HotScot permalink
    January 19, 2018 10:25 pm


    Carbon being what? Diamonds?

    If it’s CO2 you’re referring to, so what?

    The only observable manifestation of increased atmospheric CO2 is that the planet has greened by 14% in 30 years.

    So, CO2 is released from thawing tundra’s, and we get, well……..more global greening.

    No one has empirically demonstrated that CO2 causes the planet to warm. It’s all hypothesis, laboratory experiments and computer simulations.

    But billions of acres of food producing land might lie frozen because of the irrational fear that a trace gas can change the destiny of the planet.


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