October 2nd, 2016 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.


81 Responses to “2+2=4”

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  1. Is that model output, or actual data?

  2. admrich says:

    I note that’s a somewhat constrained claim given there are only integer values shown without being declared..

    As I understand it, larger non integer values of 2 will result in (2 + 2) equalling values approaching & even exceeding 5!

  3. Bob Tisdale says:

    This should be a fun thread.


  4. Robin pittwood says:

    Hmm. No units mentioned. If the units are km and we add 2km north to 2km east, we get 2.828km north-east.

  5. Edward Caryl says:

    For all values of 2!

  6. Francisco says:

    I must ask first, given your assertion. Which measurement scale are you using?

  7. fonzarelli says:


  8. crakar24 says:

    Two Victorian coal fired power stations plus two South Australian coal fired power stations equals 4

  9. crakar24 says:

    Roys joke here is we dismantled the two in SA, by the way what did socialist use before candles?………………….electricity tish boom

  10. Perhaps true if you’ve not included one of my custom “convenience initialisation” FORTRAN libraries that e.g. redefines 2 as 2.4.

    [Implementation-dependent hack where a subroutine is called with a constant where the function expects a variable; and updates the value of the variable internally.]

  11. Mark Ping says:

    I hear that 2+2 = 5 for sufficiently large values of 2.

    • Erik Aamot says:

      no .. one can round down to the lower integer only and get 4.9999999.. *just* shy of 5 . close enough for a consensus

  12. Mike Flynn says:

    Dr Spencer,

    That’s normal mathematics.

    Climatological mathematics redefines 2 to be anything at all, depending on who’s asking the question, and why.

    So, in climatese, 2 + 2 = whatever you want!

    Good for forecasting yesterday’s weather.


  13. Ed Bo says:

    Roy says, “Just trying to stimulate debate on a potentially contentious topic.”

    How about this one:

    Does 0.9999999… = 1?

    There’s been a great Wikipedia editing war over that one!

  14. Ric Werme says:

    In base 3, 2 + 2 = 11.

    In base e, 2 + 2 = 1.102001. I think. I may have never converted a number to an irrational base before.

    >>> e = 2.718
    >>> divmod(4, e)
    (1.0, 1.282)
    >>> divmod(1.282*e, e)
    (1.0, 0.7664759999999999)
    >>> divmod(.766*e, e)
    (0.0, 2.081988)
    >>> divmod(2.082*e, e)
    (2.0, 0.2228759999999994)
    >>> divmod(.2229*e, e)
    (0.0, 0.6058422)
    >>> divmod(.6058*e, e)
    (0.0, 1.6465644)
    >>> divmod(1.646*e, e)
    (1.0, 1.7558280000000002)

  15. Boyan says:

    After this shocking comment, I am really anticipating the September T records…

  16. RossN says:

    Good to see the occasional light-hearted thread, to break the heaviness and monotony of the unsettling climate story!

    P.S. If any deniers of climate realism are reading this, go forth and multiply (with yourself).

  17. ren says:

    Mathematics is needed when you can not make observations.

  18. coturnix says:

    with enough feedback, it is possible to have 2+2=5 or even 2+2=7

  19. MikeN says:



    multiply both sides by 0

    0*(2+2) =? 0*4
    0*2+0*2 =? 0
    0+0 =? 0

    yes, you are correct.

  20. Wim Rost says:

    I suppose “2+2=4” is just an introduction. As sure as ……

    I am curious.

  21. Entropic man says:

    Richard Werme failed to mention that near the poles 2+2=2.

    Start at the South Pole Walk two miles North then two miles West.You are still two miles from the pole.

  22. alphagruis says:

    As wrong as GHE.

    Somewhat less contentious is 1 + 3 = 4.

    Might be true because every even integer seems to be the sum of two primes.

  23. crakar24 says:

    I’ve got it…….1984…….-2016 equals 3 plus 2 or 5.

    PS the war with East Asia is going well

  24. OleKlemsdal says:

    I’m sure Exxon new about this 30 years ago, and yet did nothing!

  25. Luboš Motl says:


    I think that you are way too provocative here. I don’t want to see the looming avalanche of criticisms and whining and attacks on RealClimate.ORG, AlGore.org, 350.org, and elsewhere.

  26. skeptikal says:



    I hate to ask for proof, but for all I know you could be just making this stuff up.

  27. Martin says:

    I have found empirical evidence that 2+2=1, disproving the theory presented above. If you take two piles of apples (using units recommended by Dr Spencer) and add them together with two other piles of apples then you will end up with one pile of apples.

    Indisputable empirical evidence that elementary school mathematics is a hoax!

    Although to be fair, like in all experiments, the outcome of course depends on how the experiment is set up and how the entities used are defined. So claiming that this single experiment disproves Dr Spencer’s theory would likely need to go through proper scientific vetting before being accepted or rejected. Might also be worth to look at other experiments that have investigated the same phenomenon before drawing too far-reaching conclusions.


    • Richard says:

      The same result has been observed with piles of bullshit (private communication).

      • Martin says:

        Great come-back actually! 🙂
        And great to hear it works for bullshit as well, I wouldn’t know myself. But then again, I might be a bullshit denier and maybe I have never really tried to be critical of things I say or write or think so I should try to be humble with my revolutionary results. After all, 2+2=4 is the consensus among skilled mathematicians. Although they might be corrupt, as my experiment clearly indicates.
        Just remember what prof. Richard Feynman said:”It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong”.
        Probably best to stick with my empirical evidence after all.


  28. Tim Wells says:

    Learn a lesson from Brexit, the establishment will gang together and lie like anything to prove a false statistic. Since Brexit Britain is booming and all the establishment are now singing a different tune. I haven’t believed in Global warming by man since 2006, its just a matter of time before the evidence becomes apparent, trouble is we have no plan for lower food production.

  29. jimc says:

    Only if you can find two twos.

  30. Peter F Gill says:

    Two piles of sand plus two piles of sand makes one pile of sand i.e 2+2 = 1

  31. mcraig says:

    The mathematical proof for this is actually not that straightforward: http://www.cs.yale.edu/homes/as2446/224.pdf

    • Ha! I’m glad that someone took the time to check it out, even as late as 2010! A true skeptic.

    • Christopher Game says:

      2 is the successor of 1.
      Therefore 2 = 1 + 1.
      Therefore 2 + 2 = 2 + 1 + 1.
      3 is the successor of 2.
      Therefore 3 = 2 + 1.
      Therefore 2 + 2 = 3 + 1.
      4 is the successor of 3.
      Therefore 4 = 3 + 1.
      Therefore 2 + 2 = 4.

  32. David L. Hagen says:

    Is that in the British, American, Metric or SI system?
    PS NASA “only” lost a $125 million Mars orbiter because of that confusion.

  33. Mike Flynn says:

    I put two ice cubes in my drink. I added another two. A short while later, without touching the drink, there were no ice cubes at all. Two ice cubes plus two ice cubes seemed to equal no ice at all!

    It seems that no matter how seductive your hypothesis is, a single experiment can prove it wrong.

    On occasion, 2 + 2 != 4.


  34. daniel obrien says:

    On the other hand, I read in a book by a well known author, that 2 + 2 = 5!

  35. Tim Folkerts says:

    Let a=b.

    Multiply by a
    a^2 = ab

    Subtract b^2 from both sides
    a^2 – b^2 = ab – b^2

    (a+b)*(a-b) = b(a-b)

    cancel the (a-b) from both sides
    a+b = b

    Let a=2. Then b=2 (from the first line)
    2+2 = 2

    I guess Roy was wrong after all!

  36. Jacozz says:

    You’re all wrong!
    This should explain the false logic used here.

  37. lehnne says:

    Everyone knows the outcome of 4 is the result of somebody’s privilege imposed by the will to power, the truth is 4 identifies as 3 and the attempt to impose 4 is a violation of numeral rights

  38. Glow_Tube says:

    then later

    Sounds like the algorithm for a hockey stick graph. Presented for my peers to review.

  39. SkepticGoneWild says:

    That’s trick mathematical proof of the GHE:

    2 W/m2 solar insolation + 2 W/m2 of back radiation = 4 W/m2 of downward surface flux.

    mpainter told me so.

  40. Kent says:

    No no no. You are all wrong. It’s the 2nd law of thermal dynamics. You have this 2 that is floating around and when it comes close to another 2 floating around, they react with each other in such a way that causes them to join together yielding a 22!

    Read about it on my website bs.gov

  41. Confused_Jane says:

    In reality 2+2 = 2+2

    RS says “it looks increasingly like 2016 might be a new record-warm year (since the satellite record began in 1979) in the UAH dataset.”

    What, no more Hiatus. Where dat little sucker go?

  42. KennyDub says:


    Have you cleared this with your legal advisor?

    A good lawyer says 2+2=4.

    A climate change lawyer says “2+2? What do you want it to equal?”

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