Jim Hansen’s AGU presentation: “He’s ‘nailed’ climate forcing for 2x CO2″

I received this presentation of the “Bjerknes Lecture” that Dr. James Hansen gave at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union on December 17th. There are the usual things one might expect in the presentation, such as this slide which shows 2008 on the left with the anomalously warm Siberia and the Antarctic peninsula:

James Hansen, GISS

Source: James Hansen, GISS

Off topic but relevant, NASA has recently “disappeared” updated this oft cited map showing warming on the Antarctic peninsula and cooling of the interior:

Click for larger image

Here is the link where it used to exist:
(h/t) to Richard Sharpe and Steve Goddard

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/Images/antarctic_temps.AVH1982-2004.jpg

See the updated image here: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8239
(h/t to Edward T)

There is also some new information in Hansen’s presentation, including a claim about CO2 sensitivity and coal causing a “runaway greenhouse effect”.

Hansen makes a bold statement that he has empirically derived CO2 sensitivity of our global climate system. I had to  chuckle though, about the claim “Paleo yields precise result”.  Apparently Jim hasn’t quite got the message yet that Michael Mann’s paleo results are, well, dubious, or that trees are better indicators of precipitation than temperature.

hansen-agu-2xco2

In fact in the later slide text he claims he’s “nailed” it:

hansen-sensitivity-nailed

He adds some caveats for the 2xCO2 claim:

Notes:
(1)
It is unwise to attempt to treat glacial-interglacial aerosol changes as a specified boundary condition (as per Hansen et al. 1984), because aerosols are inhomogeneously distributed, and their forcing depends strongly on aerosol altitude and aerosol absorbtivity, all poorly known. But why even attempt that? Human-made aerosol changes are a forcing, but aerosol changes in response to climate change are a fast feedback.
(2)
The accuracy of our knowledge of climate sensitivity is set by our best source of information, not by bad sources. Estimates of climate sensitivity based on the last 100 years of climate change are practically worthless, because we do not know the net climate forcing. Also, transient change is much less sensitive than the equilibrium response and the transient response is affected by uncertainty in ocean mixing.
(3)
Although, in general, climate sensitivity is a function of the climate state, the fast feedback sensitivity is just as great going toward warmer climate as it is going toward colder climate. Slow feedbacks (ice sheet changes, greenhouse gas changes) are more sensitive to the climate state.

Hansen is also talking about the “runaway” greenhouse effect, citing that old standby Venus in part of his presentation. He claims that coal and tar sands will be our undoing:

hansen-runaway-ghe

Hansen writes:

In my opinion, if we burn all the coal, there is a good chance that we will initiate the runaway greenhouse effect. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale (a.k.a. oil shale), I think it is a dead certainty.
That would be the ultimate Faustian bargain. Mephistopheles would carry off shrieking not only the robber barons, but, unfortunately and permanently, all life on the planet.

hansen-agu-faustian-bargain

I have to wonder though, if he really believes what he is saying. Perhaps he’s never seen this graph for CO2 from Bill Illis and the response it gives to IR radiation (and thus temperature) as it increases:

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

It’s commonly known that CO2’s radiative return response is logarithmic with increasing concentration, so I don’t understand how Hansen thinks that it will be the cause of a runaway effect. The physics dictate that the temperature response curve of the atmosphere will be getting flatter as CO2 increases. Earth has also had much higher concentrations of CO2 in past history, and we didn’t go into runaway then:

Late Carboniferous to Early Permian time (315 mya — 270 mya) is the only time period in the last 600 million years when both atmospheric CO2 and temperatures were as low as they are today (Quaternary Period ).

Temperature after C.R. Scotese http://www.scotese.com/climate.htm
CO2 after R.A. Berner, 2001 (GEOCARB III)

There’s lots more in this paper to behold in wonderment, and I haven’t the time today to comment on all of it, so I’ll just leave it up to the readers of this forum to bring out the relevant issues for discussion.

Here is the link to the presentation (PDF, 2.5 MB):  hansen_agu2008bjerknes_lecture1

I’m sure Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit will have some comments on it, even though his name is not mentioned in the presentation. My name was mentioned several times though. ;-)

512 thoughts on “Jim Hansen’s AGU presentation: “He’s ‘nailed’ climate forcing for 2x CO2″

  1. That wasn’t me who pointed you at that graphic. That was someone else, I was simply pointing out that I got a 404 with one of the URL’s he offered.

    REPLY: You pointed out it was missing now, that is what I was referring to. – Anthony

  2. OK, I must have made a mistake. It was actually Steven Goddard who pointed out it was missing.

    I tried to point out that I got a 404 on one of the URLs he posted, but I might have screwed up or misunderstood what he meant.

  3. Yes, it was Steven Goddard who gets priority on pointing out the missing graphic.

    I misunderstood what he was saying. I clicked on the link he had already said was missing and confirmed it, but thought I had found a mistake in what he was saying.

    Sorry.

  4. Hansen is becoming a real embarrassment to NASA, but I don’t think he should be fired. He’s doing more to discredit AGW than anyone else, with the exception of AlGore himself, of course.

  5. After reading Hansen’s comparison of the Earth and Venus, I notice that he made no mention of the fact that Venus is much closer to the Sun than the Earth is. Or that Mars’ atmosphere is mostly CO2, and Mars is freezing cold.

    It really appears that Hansen has gone off the deep end. I’ve read a lot of of scientific journals, and I don’t recall any credible papers that intersperse pix of the author’s grandkids, and AGW protesters, and lots of pictures of melting glaciers, etc., supposed to be really scary. Those pictures are apparently intended to take the place of the science that Hansen believes he has “nailed.”

    This guy is crying “Wolf!” way too much.

  6. I have seen at least a half dozen empirical estimations of the climate sensitivity done by a variety of different methods, and their range runs from less than 1 to ~ 1.7 deg C for doubling. They use a variey of correlation techniques (e.g., Douglass and Christy) or estimates of the temperature relaxation time (Schwartz, Scafetta). Therefore the ‘consensus’ (ha, ha) is that the climate sensitivity is far less than Hansen’s claim.

  7. John (11:11:31),

    If he isn’t discredited among the movers and shakers, the folks with the agendas and the MSM it won’t matter if he’s discredited among the rest of us who have functioning BS meters no matter how numerous. There remain too many regular folks with the sensitivity of their BS meters dialed way back, turned off even.

  8. Off topic but relevant, NASA has recently “disappeared” this oft cited map showing warming on the Antarctic peninsula and cooling of the interior:

    It’s not disappeared, it’s here:

    http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view_detail.php?id=17529

    REPLY: Thanks for pointing out that link, which finally resolves to this URL:

    The point is that this graphic was removed from that server in my original URL.

    Which is part of the NASA “Newsroom”

    The one you cite is a completely different server, perhaps even at a different NASA facility.

    The antarctic graphic has come under attack recently by those that disagree with it. So why then should it be removed rather than either updated or with a caveat attached? As we’ve seen with the NANSEN sea ice graph recently, changing things with no notice is not conducive to building trust, nor is it good practice. – Anthony

  9. Hansen also fails to mention Venus’s atmosphere is 97% CO2… how he can jump from Earth’s atmosphere of .03% CO2 to runaway global warming is beyond comprehension… he’s completely an imbecile…

  10. Re: Grandkids in presentation — Reminds me of the old National Lampoon magazine with a dog on the cover “Buy This Magazine Or We’ll Kill This Dog” was the satirical headline (complete with dog looking at gun pointed at dog’s head) — so yeah, personalizing the Global Warming thing is playing to the heartstrings. Perhaps it was a toss-up between putting in pics of his grandkids vs pics of cuddly polar bears on shrinking ice floes.

    Re: Ocean heat issue: Funny, the only way the ocean can take up the heat is for some “Quick Mixing” of the warmth pulled in by the shallow ocean and the deep ocean, because there’s little evidence of the shallow ocean holding in this missing heat before it gets mixed with that deep ocean we have trouble monitoring. That’s a shame.

    Also, no chatter about the ocean expanding upon heat up. No more sea level issues to deal with?

    Re: Lack of atmospheric modeling success — Uh, where is that, because I missed that part. Hansen talks about the lack of ocean heat, where’s the talk about the lack of atmospheric heat, specifically in the equatorial regions? I’ll have to re-read the presentation. Or has Hansen nailed that atmospheric issue so well we no longer need to discuss things?

    To sum Hansen, there’s still a lot of missing heat out there, and the forcing of the carbon dioxide is being held in check by man-made aerosols. And the forcing we are witnessing is being hidden by the oceans so quickly we can’t actually trace the heat transfer. Do I have this correct?

  11. Web sites, such as WUWT, are dangerous and an impediment to political consensus of AGW.
    Read John’s commentary and then consider where the danger lies.

    John Holdren Commentary: Convincing the Climate-Change Skeptics

    http://www.hks.harvard.edu/news-events/news/commentary/climate-change-skeptics

    The extent of unfounded skepticism about the disruption of global climate by human-produced greenhouse gases is not just regrettable, it is dangerous. It has delayed – and continues to delay – the development of the political consensus that will be needed if society is to embrace remedies commensurate with the challenge. The science of climate change is telling us that we need to get going. Those who still think this is all a mistake or a hoax need to think again.

  12. He’s nailed the CO2 doubling climate sensitivity of 3.0C per doubling by calculating the following for the ice ages:

    -2.25C for the decline in CO2/GHGs from 280 ppm to 180 ppm.

    -2.625C for ice sheet albedo and vegetation.

    First, where is the solar reduction part of the equation due to the Milankovitch cycle. This formula says it doesn’t even play a part including kicking off the ice albedo in the first place.

    Second, his math is wrong if the sensitivity is 3.0C per doubling because a reduction to 180 ppm from 280 ppm only results in a decline of 1.9C (picky I know but he is the one who says he has nailed it empirically – the formula doesn’t even work).

  13. (with apologies to Ernest Thayer)

    Somewhere people laugh
    Somewhere people shout
    There is no joy in Warmville
    James Hansen has struck out

  14. Hansen’s grid maps have absolutely no credibility. First of all there is no integrity in the input data set. Stations go “missing”, data from stations that do report is incomplete causing all sorts of mathematical contortions to “backfill” the missing data with calculated “averages” (even though the “missing” values and data from the “missing” stations seem to be available for download from other sources).

    Hansen’s results are a prime example of “garbage in, garbage out” and should not be used as any representation of reality.

    To be fair, not all of this is Hansen’s fault as NOAA is the one providing the data and they are the ones providing incomplete sets. Stations go “missing” never to return even though data for those stations is readily available for download over the net. Stations the do report often have many missing values even though more complete data sets are available from other sources. So we seem to have a synergy of errors where sloppy data collection on NOAA’s part leads to sloppy calculation of missing values on Hansen’s part and the sum of all this sloppiness is output that is pretty to look at but doesn’t really mean much.

    Hansen could, if he cared for the integrity of his work, find the “missing data”. NOAA could, if they cared for the integrity of their product, do the same. But there is no incentive to do so because the current sloppy procedure provides the “desired” result and validates their hypothesis. Since the output looks exactly what they expect it to look like, the missing data must not matter. Right?

    One disturbing element is that most of the stations that have gone “missing” from the NOAA data set over the years are rural stations. This results in a greater influence of urban sites in the output. Missing data in stations that do report provide an opportunity for Hansen to manufacture values for the “missing” information.

    I am not going to say that Hansen’s output is a big lie, but it does appear to be “made up facts”.

  15. Lorne Gunter: Thirty years of warmer temperatures go poof

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/10/20/lorne-gunter-thirty-years-of-warmer-temperatures-go-poof.aspx

    In early September, I began noticing a string of news stories about scientists rejecting the orthodoxy on global warming. Actually, it was more like a string of guest columns and long letters to the editor since it is hard for skeptical scientists to get published in the cabal of climate journals now controlled by the Great Sanhedrin of the environmental movement.

    An analytical chemist who works in spectroscopy and atmospheric sensing, Michael J. Myers of Hilton Head, S. C., declared, “Man-made global warming is junk science,” explaining that worldwide manmade CO2 emission each year “equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration … This results in a 0.00064% increase in the absorption of the sun’s radiation. This is an insignificantly small number.”

    For nearly 30 years, Professor Christy has been in charge of NASA’s eight weather satellites that take more than 300,000 temperature readings daily around the globe. In a paper co-written with Dr. Douglass, he concludes that while manmade emissions may be having a slight impact, “variations in global temperatures since 1978 … cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide.”

    It may be that more global warming doubters are surfacing because there just isn’t any global warming.

  16. “Nailed it” – Is that a scientific term ????
    And if so, does Hansen supply the science.
    How does one empirically prove a state that doesn’t actually exist.
    I mean the CO2 hasn’t doubled yet, so how does one test the doubling
    empirically ?

  17. I quit reading Hansen’s junk a long time ago. It is a waste of time. He is simply an ex-scientist, who has turned into a looney politicial hack.

  18. Hansen opines:

    In my opinion, if we burn all the coal, there is a good chance that we will initiate the runaway greenhouse effect. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale (a.k.a. oil shale), I think it is a dead certainty.

    I wonder if he every thought of where the coal, tar sands and tar shale came from in the first place if not from the atmosphere/ocean?!
    Thus how could putting back into the atmosphere what came from the atmosphere cause a runaway greenhouse effect that was not there in the first place?

    He also states that:

    Estimates of climate sensitivity based on the last 100 years of climate change are practically worthless, because we do not know the net climate forcing.

    I wonder if he officially applies that to Mann’s work?
    Does he mean that “we do not know the net climate forcing”
    or
    that “we do not know what the net climate forcing was during that period”?

    The uncertainty in today’s climate, especially the contributions and feedbacks from water, is likely so large as to invalidate all his assumptions and models.

    All in all a very curious perspective.

  19. REPLY: That was a tongue in cheek reference to Steve McIntyre’s “he who must not be named” issue. My name is “Watts” which is sprinkled throughout the radiative forcings section.

    I think the description “peppered” more accurately describes the disbursement of your name in this case.

    Andrew ♫

  20. Although new to this site, I’ve been following some of the commentry for some time. Hansen is clearly one of the main champions of AGW and obviously believes he has some compelling evidence here! The claim by skeptics however, often relies heavily on the claim that there have been some major warming periods in the last 1000 years – a claim generally rejected by IPCC et al. One of the main corner stones of their contempt for such claims is the lack of sediment in ice core data.

    A little off topic I know but can anyone show me any science which challenges this ice core data? I am aware of the work of Prof Easterbrook where he clearly points to the activity of the sun being the main culprit behind climate change, but I would also like to find out if/where the challenge to ice core data exists.

    Ben

  21. When I was a young whippersnapper if you had ‘nailed’ something empirically it meant that you had indisputable data from a physically reproducable experiment which you could put before you colleaques with total confidence of confirmation and verification.

    Sorry Hansie, don’t see that here on anywhere else at NASTY.

  22. Hi,
    Forgive OT but I don’t know the protocol for posting stuff like this:
    I still would like Anthony or somebody to discuss the week or so oddity on the AMSR-E Sea Ice Extent chart. Unlike the other 5-6 years on the chart,2008 is now going sideways for the last week or so. Anna noted that thereis vulcanism in the region. Is there anybody talking about this, since it would seem to be a pretty big phenomenon to totally stop ice formation for over a week in the Artic, especially given the temperatures in the region as we speak: -18 degrees F at the North Pole

    Grant

  23. DailyKos reports on: Dr. James Hansen: “How do we make them understand how serious this is?” and gives links to other similar 2008 presentations.

    TI: Threat to the Planet: Dark and Bright Sides of Global Warming

    AU: * Hansen, J E
    EM: jhansen@giss.nasa.gov
    AF: The Earth Institute at Columbia University, 405 Low Library, 535 West 116th Street, New York, NY 10027, United States
    AU: * Hansen, J E
    EM: jhansen@giss.nasa.gov
    AF: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025, United States
    AB: Abstract. Earth’s history reveals that climate is sensitive to forcings, imposed perturbations of the planet’s energy balance. Human-made forcings now dwarf natural forcings. Despite the climate system’s great inertia, climate changes are emerging above the ‘noise’ of unforced chaotic variability, and greater changes are ‘in the pipeline’. There is a clear and present danger of the climate passing certain ‘tipping points’, climate states where warming in the pipeline and positive feedbacks guarantee large relatively rapid changes with no additional climate forcing. The fact that we are close to dangerous consequences has a bright side: we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a level that will minimize many impacts that had begun to seem almost inevitable, including ocean acidification, intensification of regional climate extremes, and fresh water shortages. Actions required to stabilize climate, including prompt phase-out of coal emissions, are defined well enough by our understanding of the climate system, the carbon cycle, and fossil fuel reservoirs. These actions would also yield cleaner air and water, with ancillary benefits for human health, agricultural productivity, and wildlife preservation. Yet the actions required to stabilize climate are not being pursued. Denial of climate change by the fossil fuel industry and reactionary governments has been replaced by ‘greenwash’. The policies of even the ‘greenest’ nations are demonstrably impotent for the purpose of averting climate disasters. I conclude that inaction stems in large part from ‘success’ of special financial interests in subverting the intent of the democratic process to operate for the general good. The consequence is intergenerational inequity and injustice, affecting negatively the young and the unborn. The defense of prior generations, that they ‘did not know’, is no longer viable. Indeed, actions by fossil fuel interests that served to deceive the public about the dangers of human-made climate change raise questions of ethics and legal liabilities. Youth, at least those who are not too young or unborn, have recourse through democratic systems, but continued failure of the political process may cause increasing public protests.

    The Dark and Bright Sides of Global Warming James Hansen August 13, 2008 YouTube

    The Threat to the Planet: Dark & Bright Sides of Global Warming PDF

    Jim Hansen, 3 October 2007, presented at conference: Heating Up the Energy Debate, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota

    What Hansen critically fails to realize is that liquid fuel is critical to our civilization – and his job. The looking decline in global petroleum production (“Peak Oil”) will enforce rapid reductions in available liquid fuels to fuel importing countries like the US. See:

    Robert L. Hirsch The Inevitable Peaking of World Oil Production

    Peaking of world oil production: recent Forecasts
    US Department of Energy/National Energy Technology Lab., NETL-2007/1263 |
    year = 2007, February 5, (The “Hirsch report”), and

    Mitigation of maximum world oil production: Shortage scenarios Vol 36 # 2, Feb. 2008, 881-889

    Our critical issue is not whether the ocean will warm 1 or 1.5 feet, but whether we will have the fuel to run tractors, trucks and to drive to work.
    Note especially the World Export Model. Khebab, Graphoilogy, especially slides 16 and 17.

    We can convert oil sands and coal to fuel. Sasol of South Africa has successfully been producing oil from coal since 1955.

    I would like to see how Hansen proposes to run cars or planes on sequestered CO2. It is our future and our children’s that Hansen is unwittingly destroying in his zeal. Obama’s buying into Hansen’s perspective means much worse economic times ahead in that the US will be even more unprepared for operating on 75% less fuel than we currently use!

  24. So what happend to “If it looks to good to be true than it probably is ?”

    Does he really think that the debate will be over now that he has nailed it? This is pure politics, and he knows it, its all or nothing now.

  25. Just reading the deep ocean response time section of the presentation (of interest to me) and I can’t believe all the “if, then” “on the other hand, if, then ..” over and over again.

    It does say most of the models predict it will take well over 1,000 years before the oceans fully adjust to the surface temperature.

    Then there is no answer to the question of if it take the oceans 1,000 years to adjust (or in other words, 1,000 years to absorb heat from the surface) what does that do to the surface temperature response time – does it also take over 1,000 years – no answer to that important question – just more “aerosols are masking the warming which has occurred.”

  26. It’s worth pointing out the essential fallacies represented in the two graphs presented in Anthony’s introductory post:

    (i) the Illis temp vs [CO2] graph of Bill Illes (who he?) is very misleading since it is dominated by the very large temperature changes occurring over the very low [CO2] ranges (0-50 ppm) never experienced on earth.

    It’s easy for anyone with the most basic graphing program (e.g. Excel) to see this for themselves.

    You can construct essentially the same graph presented by Anthony (Illes) using the equation:

    T = (3.0/log(2))*(log(C))-9.39

    where C is the CO2 concentration.

    So set up a column of X values ranging from 2-3000 ppm. This is C the atmospheric CO2 concentration

    In the above equation 3.0 is the climate sensitivity, the log(2) value refers to the fact that this is the temperature increase upon doubling, the log (C) indicates the logarithmic relationship between temperature rise and change in CO2 concentration, and the 9.39 “normalises” the earth’s temperature to 15 oC at at pre-industrial CO2 concentration (280 ppm).

    If you then expand the data to observe the relevant bits; i.e. CO2 concentration between 280 ppm and 1000 ppm (to give the extreme value that might be realized in the next 150 years if we didn’t address this problem at all) or 3000 ppm that might be realized under the Hansen scenario of burning all of the coal and tar shale, you can see that very dramatic temperature rise will accrue (and that’s without factoring in other potentially large feedbacks like recruiting all of the methane clathrates in the deep oceans).

    (ii) The “Scotese” “graph” is nonsense. Where has it come from? It bears no relation to our understanding of the earth’s temperature and atmospheric CO2 levels in the deep past. I think we all know, for example, that the earth’s temperature hasn’t drifted steadily downwards from ~22 oC 25 million years ago to 12 oC now! And are we really supposed to believe that the earth’s temperature “sat” at a rock-steady 22 oC for many 10’s of millions of years in the past? I think not, and that’s certainly not what the science shows.

    ..oh well….

  27. Alternative views (From New Scientist)

    http://www.newscientist.com/commenting/browse?id=dn16292&page=6

    The Consensus Is Fake – Scientists Do Not Agree
    Fri Dec 19 15:59:50 GMT 2008 by Benfranklin

    I am a skeptic.Global warming has become a new religion. – Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

    Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly.As a scientist I remain skeptical. – Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.
    Warming fears are the worst scientific scandal in the history. When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists. – UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

    The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesnt listen to others. It doesnt have open minds. I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,- Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet.

    The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC “are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity. – Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

    It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don buy into anthropogenic global warming. – U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

    Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will. – Geoffrey G. Duffy a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ.

    After reading [UN IPCC chairman] Pachauri’s asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it’s hard to remain quiet. – Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who specializes in the statistics of forecast evaluation, serves on the American Meteorological Society’s Probability and Statistics Committee and is an Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review.

    For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?” – Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.

    Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact. – Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in man-made warming to become a skeptic, is a former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee.

    Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined. – Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh.

    Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning.- Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, the founder of the Numerical Weather Forecast group, has more than 150 published articles.

    CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another. Every scientist knows this, but it doesn pay to say so Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver seat and developing nations walking barefoot. – Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan.

    The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds. – Award-winning Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, of the Committee for Scientific Research in Buenos Aires and head of the Paleontology Department at the University of La Plata.

  28. Slightly off topic…having a little but uncertain hope is worse than having no hope at all. Yet New Scientist, in an article on-line, first says we have reached a tipping point of no return and then says, well, there may yet be a little hope for the Arctic (summer) ice after all. It’s a very confusing article, all based on those infamous oh-so-reliable computerized models.

    As you can see from the link, the headline is: Arctic melt 20 years ahead of models. The question nobody seems to be asking, however, is: if this is so, why are the models so incorrect? Could it be that, one way or the other, we really still don’t understand how our complicated planetary climate system works? Like the ending of that tootsie pop commercial says, “the world may never know.”

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16307-arctic-melt-20-years-ahead-of-climate-models.html

  29. Ed Scott quotes Holdren:

    “THE FEW climate-change “skeptics” with any sort of scientific credentials continue to receive attention in the media out of all proportion to their numbers, their qualifications, or the merit of their arguments. And this muddying of the waters of public discourse is being magnified by the parroting of these arguments by a larger population of amateur skeptics with no scientific credentials at all.”

    I do not profess to have any grounding in specialist subjects related to AGW but I studied Geography and Geology and Meteorology in some depth at College to degree level. Ergo I am an ‘amateur’, the paranoia with which this site is vilified is interesting, can we not have serious debate? What are the pro man-made GW warming scientists worried about??

    If you do not have significant number of letters after your name, then your opinion does not count! Why is this? – can it be that if you do not believe, and are uneducated then it follows that you are not worthy of joining the debate.

    Some of us are just saying, “hang on a minute let us test the theory before we commit to these ideas” That surely is the essence of Scientific debate and whether or not you are qualified, this is not relevant. The jury is still out and because a lot of people think one thing, they are not always necessarily correct, just ask Gallileo.

    Tom.

  30. Hansen cites CO2 in some 16 pages, but only mentions water relating to melting glaciers or ocean level rise.
    Hansen fails to clearly show that H2O is 80% of greenhouse gas while CO2 only 20%. Furthermore, we know the least about H2O, especially the precipitation and the water heat conduction mechanisms, especially below the troposphere.

  31. Anthony,

    Could we then call Steve McIntyre the “Sauron of the Skeptics”? A little Lord of the Rings humor there, but fittingly appropriate. Characters in LOTR often use “the Enemy” or “the Unnamed One” when referring to Sauron. Steve “Sauron” McIntyre? Not a bad monicker.

    REPLY: I don’t think he’d appreciate the title, but I could be wrong. – Anthony

  32. Ben,

    When you refer to ice core data; just what “data” do you mean ? I would suggest that there is NO ice core data that is more famous world wide, tha the two graphs in Al gore’s “an Inconvenient Truth (p 66/67), and that is simply purported Temperature Data, and purported CO2 data. My understanding is that the CO2 data is actual measured CO2 composition in the samples, and that the “Temperature Data” relies on an O16/O18 proxy; which I don’t claim to understand. how O16 and O18 can simply transmute into each other (or from something else solely as a function of atmospheric temperature is beyond my understanding of atomic Physics (which I once taught0, but that was way back at the start of the space age.

    But I am constantly amazed at the ingenuity of scientists at sensing things remotely. My hat is off to Astronomers, who pretty much derive their entire science from the Electromagnetic spectrum for DC to Cosmetic Rays and beyond to unobservable parallel univerese, where any imaginable lwas of Physics can be found.

    Now I know those “ice cores” yield a whole lot more substance that just temperature proxies, and CO2 concentrations, and I also know there is a whole lot of skepticism/ debate about just how reliabl;e that stuff is.

    But regardless of doubts about the validity of these proxies; it seems to me, that the one thing you can probably count on with some level of credibility, is THE TIMING of whatever happens in those ice cores. They are very tree ring like in their Timing, although I never heard of one tree ring diffusing into otheres to scramble the data. But I generally believe the event timing; unless the lab technicians sometimes screw up.

    And therein lies the crux in my mind. In Al gore’s book he deliberately separated those two graphs vertically for the purpose of hiding the true relative timing of CO2 events, and Temperature events.

    Well OK he hasn’t had his day in court so maybe I shouldn’t accuse him of outright fraud; I mean it is also possible that he is just as dumb as a box of rocks, and didn’t realize that if he overlapped the curves, one could really see the relative timing of events; sort of what an 8th grade high school science student would do.

    Well I have to admit that I have seen the same data printed in peer reviewed journals and other so-called Scientific publications; and actually I have NEVER ever see them overlapped by any author; but I don’t deny that some author/s may exist who have done that.

    Bottom line is it is evidently irrefutable that the temperature changes precede the CO2 changes (that caused them) by intervals of from 500 -1500 years, with 800 years appaerntly yielding the highest correlation coefficient.

    So regardless of how hokey other ice core evidence may or may not be (I’m not competent to judge that); I don’t se how you get past the usually fatal conclusion that we don’t like our causes happening 800 years after the effect that they cause.

    I actually queried Spenser Weart on that point, in Physics Today for Jan 2005 (letters), and he basically changed the subject in his reply, and by e-mail declined to comment further.

    Explain the relative timing “anomaly” to me and I’ll die happy.

  33. There are some significant problems with ice cores that aren’t obvious. First of all, Southern Hemisphere ice going to present with a few problems. Antarctica is so huge (twice the size of Australia) and so cold and centered on the pole so it basically makes its own weather. The ice there has survived since long before we had the current cycles of glaciation in the Northern Hemisphere. Also, since it is already so cold there in winter, variations in global temperatures or Northern Hemisphere temperatures might not make that much difference at the South pole.

    There really isn’t any analog to Greenland in the Southern Hemisphere where you would have a relatively large land mass with long standing ice. Tropical ice cores would be ideal but there is a major problem with them in that when we go into a Northern Hemisphere ice age, the climate becomes so dry in places like the Andes that the ice disappears for lack of precipitation. The oldest ice core I have been able to learn about from the Andes goes back only 20,000 years and then you hit bedrock. So when we were at glacial maximum in the Northern Hemisphere, the Andes were likely free of snow because of a lack of moisture to produce adequate snow to survive through sunny periods.

    New Zealand Southern Alps would seem to be a good candidate but again, the ice doesn’t seem to go very far back in time, nothing found that I know of that goes back before the Holocene. So our ice core records are limited by the looking only at the local climate in Greenland and Antarctica which seem to have had very different local responses to global conditions. We can’t look at Antarctica cores and figure out what things are going to do in the Northern Hemisphere and we don’t have any Northern Hemisphere locations other than Greenland.

    That leaves the Himalayas but so far cores seem to give conflicting results in some cases. We just don’t have enough samples from that region to be able to say much. I did find this interesting though:

    First, major climatic events from deep sea cores were well recorded in the Guliya ice core. Secondly, the transition from warm to cold periods was abrupt. Third, the temperature fluctuations indicated by the Guliya record are closely related to insolation. It is, therefore, speculated that insolation might be a major driving force of the major climatic events recorded in this ice core.

    So here we again show insolation (amount of sunshine) a major driving factor but also we see “the transition from warm to cold periods was abrupt”. Which again would argue against gradual orbital changes being the cause of these abrupt changes. Something else needs to “kick” the system into the other state and the orbital mechanics might be a hysteresis mechanism that keeps it in that state.

    The hypothesis I am coming around to is that orbital changes cause a slow change in insolation. Our sun is a variable star. We sometimes have periods of low activity (Maunder, Dalton, etc) which seem to correspond to additional cooling. We also have ocean cycles that seem to be unrelated to these events but also cause some climate impact. When we get into a period of decreasing insolation due to gradual changes in orbit, it might be likely that a period of decreased solar activity might be enough to “kick” the system into a colder stable state. If the solar minimum happens while we are also in a “cold” ocean cycle, it might be even more likely to be a trigger that could switch the state of the system in an abrupt fashion.

    Things would then go along until we get into a cycle of increasing solar insolation and have a period of increased solar output, maybe combined with a cycle of warmer ocean climate at the same time and it “kicks” the system into the other state.

    This would also explain why we seem to “miss” some 40,000 year periods of opportunity when orbital conditions seem right to come out of the glaciation but don’t. Maybe you need all three conditions to be right. You need the right about of sunlight, the right general trend in sunlight, and be in the right cycle of things in ocean cycle. If we have increasing insolation, and an active sun but the Pacific is in a “cold” phase, it isn’t enough and things stay in the cold state until all three conditions line up again.

    The abruptness of the change suggests that something or some combination of things act to trigger a phase change between two stable states. It also seems that the cold phase is the more stable of the two states as the climate seems to stay in that phase 90% of the time and is in the warm state only 10% of the time. Also, overall the glaciation periods have been getting longer meaning it seems to be getting even more stable in the cold state and that might be caused by gradual changes in ocean currents caused by tectonics. As the positions of things change, ocean currents change. We could well at some point get to a situation where the isthmus of Panama opens back up again, we get more equatorial mixing, and the system goes more stable in the warm state as it apparently was some 3-5 million years ago.

    But I am just guessing.

  34. @Smokey (11:24:08) : On your point
    “After reading Hansen’s comparison of the Earth and Venus, I notice that he made no mention of the fact that Venus is much closer to the Sun than the Earth is. Or that Mars’ atmosphere is mostly CO2, and Mars is freezing cold.
    ….. ”

    (a) I’m not sure if you are suggesting that position from the sun is the dominant reason for the the temperature difference between Venus , Earth and Mars .

    Mercury is much closer to the Sun (58 million Km) than Venus (108 million km)
    Mercury has a temperature of that varies between about 430 C and -180 C. Venus has a temperature of about 450 C with not much difference between night side and sun side.

    This can be explained by a run away greenhouse effect on Venus
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus)

    (b) Since atmosphere is important ( comparing Venus and Mercury) …why is Mars cooler . Its atmosphere is so thin (about 100th that of the Earth) that even though the CO2 content is hight ( 95%) there isn’t enough to cause a runaway greenhouse effect or mask the effect of its distance from the Sun .
    (http://www-k12.atmos.washington.edu/k12/resources/mars_data-information/temperature_overview.html) . Although the CO2 content does appear to have some effect on Mars.

  35. It’s also curious when making the comparison to Venus, shouldn’t he mention Venus has no no planetary magnetic field? Because of that, the sun has stripped Venus’ atmosphere of most of the lighter gases, leaving an atmosphere of mostly the heavier CO2 and Nitrogen molecules.

    If you are going to do science why not do it completely, why not do it in the open?

    It’s as if he thinks no one knows what photosynthesis is. Come to think of it, I asked that very same question to a group of people (I won’t say who they really were) and not one in the crowd knew what it was. So obviously they didn’t have a clue what would happen if we were able and reduced the CO2 in the atmosphere to zero.

  36. George Smith:

    18O/16O in H2O in ice cores:

    This pretty much represents the effect of distillation. It takes more thermal energy to vapourize 18O water than 16O water, and during glacial periods with colder seas, the water vapour is depeleted in 18O water as a result. And as the vapour travels to the polar regions there is anadditional tendency for any 18O water to condense our before 16O water. So when polar precipitation (snow!) occurs, the water is more depleted in 18O(H2O) relative to 16O(H2O), and this can be measured in the ice cores using mass spectrometry.

    Timing of CO2 and temperature in ice cores:

    Yes, the temperature variations precede the CO2 variations throughout much of the ice core depths. That rresults from the fact that the temperature variations during these events were initiated by insolation changes resulting from the cyclic variations in the earth’s orbital properties. According to the Illes graph that is shown in the introductory article of this thread, rising atmospheric CO2 levels result in warming, and this equates to around 3 oC of warming per doubling of atmospheric CO2. So during ice age cycles the raised atmospheric CO2 concentrations from around 180 ppm to 270 ppm during a glacial to interglacial transition contributed a bit under 2 oC of warming to the total warming transition.

    Remember that during the ice age transitions these phenomena were slow, slow slow! So the last glacial to interglacial transition from around 15,000 to 10,000 years ago saw atmospheric CO2 levels rise by around 90 ppm over 5000 years. That’s less than 2 ppm per 100 years averaged ove rthe transition.

    Atmospheric CO2 levels are rising over 100 times faster now (of the order of 2.5 ppm per year).

    The essential point is that however atmospheric CO2 levels rise (a result of orbital-induced insolation changes during ice age cycles, or direct pumping into the atmosphere on a truly humungous scale now), the enhanced CO2 levels result in enhanced warming of the earth (near 3 oC of warming per dubling of atmospheric CO2 according to a whole load of analyses).

  37. PeteM:

    Did you even read Kasting’s 1988 paper where he uses the term “runaway greenhouse” occurs? Clearly not. He is specifically linking this term to solar activity during the early stages of planetary evolution causing all the water vapor to blow away into space.

    The water it seems, in his one-dimensional atmospheric model, acted as a negative feedback untill it dissipated into space.

    Try again Pete, but this time follow-up on your “proof”. Don’t just read the buzz words.

  38. Is it possible that Hansen believes nobody will bother to check on his work? Perhaps he believes people will blindly accept everything he says as fact, instead of wishful-thinking-based opinion?

  39. “the enhanced CO2 levels result in enhanced warming of the earth”

    And that is the point nobody has proved to my satisfaction. All we have are “models” created by people who already wanted to show this fact.

    We have no indication that CO2 has added any appreciable amount of warming to Earth. And you have the problem of diminishing return. If you get a certain amount of warming when you add 100ppm of CO2, you get significantly LESS warming when you add the next 100ppm. The response is not linear.

    Also I believe the models are completely bogus because they predict a hot spot in the middle of the atmosphere. You can’t do that in real life because they minute you warm air in a given location, it wants to rise and it rises above more of the CO2 in so doing and radiates any heat it gained into space. So an increase in CO2 would maybe increase convection but none of the models take convection into account. They seem to depend on a static and infinitely “deep” atmosphere.

    The models aren’t based on reality.

  40. Overall, I agree with the elder Pielke. We *are* causing warming but not in the way that Hansen would have you believe. Most measured warming is due to local land use changes. And I don’t mean to imply I think it can be ignored but I believe we are focusing on the wrong thing.

    When we cut down forest to build housing developments, turn the landscape from a shady green to a barren black (roofs, roads, parking lots) and fill it with a gazillion radiant heaters (cars sitting in the sun, etc) we do change the local temperature and precipitation patterns. Taken together in large urban regions such as the area between Washington and Boston, it can have a large regional impact.

    Replacing millions of acres of natural grassland with plowed fields changes things too, as does irrigating millions more acres out west. Climate can very well change due to human activities but I believe it is less about the cars we drive and the electricity we generate than it is the forests we cut and the land we irrigate and the pavement we lay. Increasing albedo by simply changing the color of roofs and pavements, shading areas with trees, can go a lot further in reducing local climate changes due to human activity. Changing the amount of CO2 isn’t going to amount to any change, really, because even if every single human being on the planet were to perish today, it would reduce global CO2 emissions by about 3%.

  41. deadwood (13:33:02) :

    You have missed the point – Smokey seemed to suggest that distance from Sun was a factor to explain differences in Earth Mars and Venus .

    The information I provided shows that is not always a dominant factor .
    Venus is suffering from a strong green house effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus)
    Mars doesn’t have a thick enough atmosphere to escape most of the implications of its distance from the sun .

  42. Anyone have the total world supply of coal numbers at their fingertips?

    I thought I read somewhere that at present consumption rates, there was enough coal in the U.S. alone to last 1,000yrs. I’m sure that China and Russia have some deposits as well…

    Doesn’t Hansen’s preso state that if we burn “ALL the coal”?

    JimB

  43. Pete M:

    To answer your question: yes, the proximity to the Sun is the dominant cause of the temperature differences between planets. Atmosphere is a secondary cause. Note that Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune — all gas giants with extremely thick atmospheres — become progressively colder as their distance from the Sun increases.

    Your Mercury example has unique problems because Mercury’s day and year are the same, and Mercury has essentially no atmosphere. Your implication that the day side and night side should be averaged is incorrect.

    So is the comparison with Venus, which has an atmosphere that is about 93 times denser than Earth’s atmosphere. It is laden with sulfuric acid, and it is completely covered with clouds. The atmosphere of Venus retains heat, but that is where any similarity ends.

    Mars has a thin atmosphere consisting of more than 95% CO2. Yet the average temperature is below -80 degrees F. If CO2 were the scary greenhouse gas that AGW proponents believe it is, then Mars, with 95%+ CO2 [compared with Earth’s tiny .038] would have an average temperature greater than eighty degrees below zero, despite its thin atmosphere. But as we now understand, the heat retention of CO2 begins to fall off logarithmically after the first 20 ppmv. So Mars remains a very cold place, and 95% CO2 does not make a difference.

    I understand that you’re avoiding my original point, which is that Hansen never mentions the close proximity of Venus to the Sun, as compared with the Earth’s distance. He simply points to Venus and says, “Runaway global warming!!” Why do you think he neglected to mention the basic fact that Venus is much closer to the Sun? Is it because he doesn’t want people to see the gaping hole in his conjecture?

    More to the point: why is Hansen so afraid to debate his beliefs?

  44. To foinavon

    “T = (3.0/log(2))*(log(C))-9.39

    where C is the CO2 concentration.”

    is not a correct representation of the theory.

    On page 8 of this paper by Raymond Pierrehumbert (a RealClimate contributor)

    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/papers/CaltechWater.pdf

    “Eliminating the 50W/m2 of tropical CO2 greenhouse effect would drop the tropical temperature by about 25 K, once amplified by water vapor feedback.”

  45. this post coincides with me being more aware of a localised possibly micro-climatic change that’s occurring in my freezer. Unfunded research reveals that the ice is disappearing!!! I blame a Scottish distiller . . .

  46. PeteM:

    This can be explained by a run away greenhouse effect on Venus

    Nothing to do then with the fact that: a) the atmospheric pressure of 90 atmospheres, b) it has no magnetic field and c) it rotates extremely slowly.

    If the runaway CO2 effect could exist on Earth then, by constructing huge glass domes, filling them with CO2 and using the resultant heat to generate electricity, we could solve the worlds energy problems and stop using fossil fuels altogether.

    Except for one small problem – it won’t work.

  47. Re Bill Illes:

    Yes it is. It reproduces the temperature response resulting from raised atmospheric CO2 according to a climate sensitivity of 3 oC of warming per doubling of atmospheric CO2. It essentially reproduces your graph. Of course I may not have got there in exactly the same way that you did, but it’s straightforward to derive an equation for the logarithmic relationship of temperature to raised CO2 according to a climate sensitivity of 3 oC. My graph gives the absolute surface temperature at equilibrium assuming that the earth’s temperature was 15 oC at a pre-industrial concentration of 280 ppm.

    The main point is that the representation in the introductory post is highly misleading since is is dominated by the very very large temperature response over the completely unrealistic region of the CO2 concentration (e.g. 0 – 50 or even 100 ppm).

    If someone wants to get a proper feel of the earth’s temperature response to raised CO2 during contemporary periods and in the future then the graph in the introductory post is pretty useless. Likewise if one wants to address Hansen’s scenario properly (that’s the point of this thread Ibelieve!), then one should use a proper representation of the earth’s temperature response over the range of CO2 concentrations relevant to the discussion.

    And your reproduction of Raymond Pierrehumbert’s statement is entirely compatible with my equation (and your graph). But it’s not very relevant. We’re considering the earth’s warming response to very large increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, not the effect of eliminating atmospheric CO2 entirely (we don’t want to go there either!).

  48. @Grant Hodges

    I agree with you. Mr Hansen’s activity may be sort of interesting but the “true” phenomena of our times went off from this site’s radar.

    Regards

  49. Smokey (13:59:44) :

    Your Mercury example has unique problems because Mercury’s day and year are the same, and Mercury has essentially no atmosphere. Your implication that the day side and night side should be averaged is incorrect.

    > I didn’t say they should be averaged — Mercury’s temperature varies like this because it has no atmosphere to avoid the consequences of its rotation and distance form the sun . Venus ( despite being further from the sun) achieves higher temperatures because it has an atmosphere.

    If CO2 were the scary greenhouse gas that AGW proponents believe it is, then Mars, with 95%+ CO2 [compared with Earth’s tiny .038] would have an average temperature greater than eighty degrees below zero, despite its thin atmosphere. But as we now understand, the heat retention of CO2 begins to fall off logarithmically after the first 20 ppmv. So Mars remains a very cold place, and 95% CO2 does not make a difference.

    > 95% of a much,much thinner atmosphere than Earth . On Venus high greenhouse gases make a difference because there is a much thicker atmosphere.

    I can’t speak for Hansen about why he didn’t mention it so I’m only responding to your point.

  50. “When you refer to ice core data; just what “data” do you mean ?”
    George E Smith

    George, thanks for your very comprehensive response. In my trawling over time, I cannot remember exactly which study, by whom or when…which isn’t very helpful I know.

    However the studies to which I refer make use of ice cores by measuring phylo-plankton sediment (or lack of it) as evidence of periods when polar regions were relatively ice free. As I understand it, the claim is that because there is little or no evidence of such sediment within ice cores over the past 10,000 years, this suggests that the northern ice cap has remained more extensive than it is currently over that period.

    I am aware that ice core measurements are used in a multitude of ways, but this one is of interest to me in particular because of the work of Prof. Easterbrook’s in proposing that there have been a number of warm periods with the last 10 millennia – or certainly since the end of the last ice age.

  51. That’s not really true crosspatch. The fact that enhanced CO2 concentrations result in enhanced warming of the earth has got very little to do with models. It’s the result of a whole load of empirical (and theoretical) analyses.

    In fact the role of CO2 in warming the earth has been known since the middle of the 19th century, and already by the end of the 19th century Arrhenius had established that the earth’s temperature rose as the logarithm of the enhanced CO2 concentration.

    There is a whole load of data that bears on the quantitative relationship between enhanced CO2 and enhanced temperature. This has been obtained by examining the temperature response during ice age cycles…. the relationship between atmospheric CO2 and temperature in the deep past (last 500 million years)…the analysis of ocean heat uptake….the temperature response following volcanic eruptions….the temperature response to the solar cycle and so on…

    …these generally give a result near 3 oC of warming (plus/minus a bit) per doubling of atmospheric CO2. Hansens’ recent analysis of the ice age cycles illustrated in his powerpoint presentation discussed on this thread is yet another example..

    That’s not to say that this isn’t also found by modelling. However that’s because the models are parameterized according to our empirical understanding of the real world. But it’s the empirical analyses, measurements and so on that inform the models and not the orher way round….

    And yes, we all know that the response is not linear. It’s logarithmic. You can make a very simple calculation of the earth’s temperature response to enhanced CO2 within a climate sensitivity of 3 oC of warming per doubling of atmospheric CO2 using the equation I dumped in my post above:

    see post at: 12:52:53

    and as Bill Illes points out (post at 14:00:54) in his reproduction of Raymond Pierrehumbert’s quotation from the paper he links to:

    “Eliminating the 50W/m2 of tropical CO2 greenhouse effect would drop the tropical temperature by about 25 K, once amplified by water vapor feedback.”

    it would be extraordinary to propose that raising atmospheric CO2 levels further (rather dramatically according to the “all the coal and tar shale’s burnt” scenario being discussed on this thread) wouldn’t result in a very large temperature rise (it would be at least 10 oC according to a climate sensitivity of 3 oC, without any rather unpleasant unforseen feedbacks like methane hydrate release and widescale deforestation…)

    I don’t think your point about hot spots in models is correct, and they certainly don’t depend on an infinitely deep atmosphere. In fact raising atmospheric CO2 levels results in an increase in height at which longwave radiation is radiated into space. That’s an essential part of the greenhouse effect, and as far as I’m aware it’s represented in models, predicted by theory and observed in reality…

  52. Smokey,

    Mercury’s day and year are *not* the same length. The tidal influence of the Sun is insufficient to prevail over the 3:2 resonance (sidereal day=58 Earth days, year=88 Earth days) to yield synchronous locking. This knowledge dates from the late 1950s.

    That said, the resulting longer solar day of Mercury 176 days (like the long solar day of Venus 117 Earth days) must militate against the establishment of a stable climate as you suggest.

  53. If this is OT I apologize, but it certainly is not off subject of the blog. The AGW hypothesis is based on a single premise, namely: Pre-industrial CO2 levels were approximately 280 ppm — present CO2 levels are apporximately 380 ppm, the increase “obviously” human induced. I do not know Ernst-Georg Beck, but he seems well respected in his field. His paper, “180 Years accurate CO2-Gas analysis of Air by Chemical Methods (Short Version)” makes the case that pre-industrial CO2 levels were approximately 355 ppm and temperature dependent, rather than forcing, seemingly blowing the entire AGW argument out the window. He further makes a very strong argument that the 280 ppm value was “cherry picked” by ignoring 90% of known research data. Any comments?

    A copy here: http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/archives/003818.html

  54. “Eliminating the 50W/m2 of tropical CO2 greenhouse effect would drop the tropical temperature by about 25 K, once amplified by water vapor feedback”

    The impact of water vapor certainly seems to be something that could cause a drastic change over a short period of time. From my reading of that paper, a reduction of oceanic evaporation rate could reduce atmospheric water vapor and result in a drastic cool down in a short period of time. And in fact we see severe drought in the equatorial region during Northern Hemisphere glaciations to the extent where rain forest is replaced by grasslands. That could be a self-reinforcing mechanism that keeps the system stable in the cold state.

  55. What!? Multiple references to Hades? Destroying creation? Preserve creation? This, in a lecture at a scientific conference? That’s not science! Pastor Jim is really going off the deep end now. Methinks he has reached his own personal “tipping point”.

  56. Dave Dodd,

    I suspect you’ll find with deeper investigation that Beck’s data is not a reliable atmospheric CO2 record, although it is interesting in the historical sense…

    Beck has complied all of the atmospheric CO2 measures that he has been able to find covering the past nearly 200 years. Unfortunately as acknowledged by many of the scientists that made these measurements, the data were often heavily contaminated by measuring in laboratories in cities (e.g. Vienna, Giessen, Kew gardens London, Frankfurt, Poona India, Belfast, Clermont Ferrand, Copenhagen, Paris, Bern, Rostock in Denmark, Ames Iowa….and so on).

    These values are woefully inadequate as measures of atmospheric CO2, since cities give very high CO2 levels as they’re close to emission sources. So, for example, one of the sets of data that Beck uses is that of W. Kreutz in 1939/40 in Geissen.

    Kreutz’s laboratory was not far from the railway station, and Kreutz himself pointed out that his data were affected by soil and industrial/urban sources. He found values that were 40 ppm higher in the afternoons than mornings, and higher CO2 on windless days than windy days (when high emissions were dispersed) and so on… That’s what we find today if we measure CO2 levels in cities.

    To put that into perspective, a 40 ppm change in 1/2 a day, is around the change in atmospheric CO2 occurring in 2000 years during an ice age transition…!

    Unfortunately Beck is misleading the unwary through assertions of “Accuracy” (as in his title). The measures he quotes are not accurate with respect to the atmospheric CO2 concentrations, even if they were precise with respct to a valid determination of local urban/industrial CO2 levels.

    Some early practitioners recognisied the problem of massive contamination of CO2 data from urban measurements and made great efforts to obtain data from uncontaminated sources. Jules Reiset, for example, made measurements in the late 19th century on the windy N. Atlantic coast, far from urban centres. His values were rather similar to those obtained from ice cores for that period (around 290-300 ppm). We can also be more confident of his data since he identified the clear cyclic variation in atmospheric CO2 resulting from N. hemispheric plant growth/decay cycles…

  57. Mars’ atmosphere is 90% CO2, and it is extremely cold there. Must be the runaway greenhouse effect caused by the dominant greenhouse gas.

  58. Alan Peakall, I appreciate your explanation of Mercury’s rotation.

    Dave Dodd:

    Beck… makes the case that pre-industrial CO2 levels were approximately 355 ppm and temperature dependent, rather than forcing, seemingly blowing the entire AGW argument out the window.

    And that is why the AGW contingent went absolutely ballistic when they understood what Beck was saying. They know that if Beck is even somewhat correct, their AGW hypothesis is defenestrated.

  59. @Smokey and Pete M

    Temperature at Venus:
    Not only is the temperature dependent on distance to the sun , it also a function of pressure:

    Temp = F(Distance to sun, pressure)

    See here the stunning similarities between planets, for pressures over 0,3 atm:

    And “ladies and gentlemen”, if you check the temperature at Venus at 1 atm pressure, you find 330 K.
    That is, just around 45 K more than earth at 1 atm. In K that is around 15% warmer af Venus, which is explainable by distance.

    Now – il grande experiment to show real-world effect of greenhouse gasses:

    Imagine a planet with no greenhouse gasses but still a thich atmosphere.

    Arrhenius gave greenhouse gasses all “blame” for the atmospheres isolation effect.
    So?
    Well, a planet without greenhouse gasses should then have a temperature profile with no isolation effect… This planet should have a temperature-pressure curve totaly vertical.

    The pressence of greenhouse gasses are very different from planet to planet. But they all have a quite similar slope in their temp-presseure graph. No planets seems to have different temperature characteristic due to atmosphere contents?

  60. My first point is that Hansen is backing off on coal and is now targeting shale sands.
    My second point is that PeteM has not thought much through when it comes to comparrisons involving Venus. Not only is Venus closer to the sun, it has a super rotating upper atmosphere of sulphur gases that act like a blanket. Venus also has no magnetic field so it is directly impacted by the solar wind. Nor does Venus have any water at the surface. Comparing Venus and Earth is like comparing an apple to a Mac Truck, there is no comparrison. Hansens efforts to the same, especially since he comes from that field, is idiotic.

  61. Some entertainment (from my CO2 Fevered imagination) – perhaps?

    Climate Zombie.

    Headline From the “The Herald” Newspaper, circa sometime in 2009.

    “Climate Zombie Haunts Town”…

    Meanwhile in the Sceptic household, Arthur and Martha prepare for battle.

    Martha: “Arthur, have you got the shotgun?”

    Arthur: “Yes Martha.”

    Martha: “Have you got the special shells that are effective against the Climate Zombie?”

    Arthur: “Yes Martha.”

    Martha: “Are you sure – let’s list them and make sure.”

    Arthur: “There’s the following shells”

    – Arthur reads from the blurb on the shell box.

    “1. Vostok Ice Cores show CO2 Trailing Temperature Rises SHELL.
    2. No Troposphere HotSpot AGW Fingerprint SHELL.
    3. Climate Models not Empirically Validated SHELL.
    4. One Fact Kills Consensus SHELL.
    5. Poorly Sighted and Calibrated Temperature Instruments SHELL.
    6. Data Mismanagement SHELL.”

    Martha: “Good – at least we are prepared with some real science.”

    Arthur: “And your’ve got the Razor?”

    Martha: “Occam’s best and at hand.”

    – Glass shatters loudly.

    Martha: “The back window…”

    – Arthur and Martha rush to the back room and burst through the door. The Climate Zombie is inside the house. They both gag from the reek of corruption that has filled the room. Arthur recovers first – and fires from the hip.

    Arthur: “Take that – fiend”

    – Arthur lets rip with 6 body shots from his pump action shot gun. The Zombie staggers backwards from the impact of the scientific arguments embedded into the shells. Then it lurches forward, with a leering grin.

    Zombie: “Ha, you fool – Science cannot refute me – I’m invincible”.

    – The zombie lashes out and throws Arthur against the wall where he crumples into a broken heap.

    Martha: “Art!”

    Martha leaps forward – Occams Razor firmly in hand, first feinting with a simpler hypothesis before going with a deadly “Climate Change by Natural Variation” Manoeuvre.

    The Climate Zombie, moves quickly with a “Stacking the Peer Review Board” counter and Martha’s Occams Razor clatters to the floor.

    Zombie: (Scornfully) : “Occam’s Razor – What next – will you quote Sir Karl Popper at me, or try a falsification manoeuvre?”

    – The Zombie seizes the now defenceless Martha, and drags her off her feet as he sneers into her face.

    Zombie: “Never mind… – the pain will not last for long.”

    Martha: (Defiantly) “Do your worst!”

    – Martha gives the Zombie the finger.

    – Zombie kills Martha.

    The Climate Zombie looks at the pair of lifeless sceptics. Nodding to himself and contemplating the feast of sceptic brains that is about to begin.

    Zombie: “They keep trying science – don’t they know that I am a multi-faceted Politico-Religious Meme backed by vested interests in Government, Industry and a host of NGOs seeking wealth and power.”

    – Then the Zombie shivered.

    Zombie: “Thankfully – they haven’t tried Parody – it’s my Achilles heel –it’s hard to be serious and frightening if people are laughing at you.”

    (end)

  62. “Now we can look at 800,000 years. The same sensitivity fits for the earlier times, even better. Bottom line: The fast feedback climate sensitivity is nailed. It is 3 C for doubled CO2, plus or minus half a degree.” (p7/39).

    Since it is nailed at 3C over all time periods under consideration it’s clear that Hansen is claiming a linear relation between T and CO2. That is,

    T = A + B*CO2

    where A and B are constants. If we take an arbitrary reference point as CO2 concentration C1 at temperature T1 and take Hansen’s sensitivity figure of 3C for a doubling of CO2 we get

    T = T1 – 3 + (3/C1)*CO2 [1]

    Check: take CO2 = 2*C1 we get T= T1+3.

    It seems to me that Hansen gets his sensitivity number from the CO2 and T estimates from the ice core data on p7/39 (eg C1=200ppm at T1 = -4C; C2=250ppm at T2 = -1C) but I get different results. Any suggestions?

    But taking Hansen’s result in the form of eq[1] all we need to do (following Hansen) to predict future temperature is to predict future CO2 (the data is so regular that a simple extrapolation would be enough) and substitute in eq[1]. Why bother with GCMs, forcings and all sorts of complications when it is a simple as this?

    Well, it seems that Hansen is referring here to an “equilibrium” or “fast feedback “sensitivity” and maybe the detailed modeling is needed to track the time-course of the approach to this equilibrium.

    My first question is: based on the proposed greenhouse mechanism wouldn’t the response of temperature to current CO2 concentrations be very rapid (a few days at most?)?. I know that long times are involved in recycling via the deep ocean, but that is irrelevant if we have a reliable estimate of CO2 “now”. If you want to predict the atmospheric CO2 resulting from current CO2 production it would be necessary to model those factors; but firstly, I don’t think that’s being done (anyone know?) and secondly the one data set that seems to be reliable and predictable (so far) is the recent CO2 rise. Much better to simply extrapolate.

    My second question is: why not use the same data as used for the sensitivity estimate to estimate lag-times. If the data he’s using is the Vostok ice core data I think I know why, that the change in T precedes the change in CO2 and the whole story falls apart. Is the sole reason for the GCMs, forcings etc, to estimate lag-times involved in approach to equilibrium?

    I know that what I’m saying here is a gross oversimplification of a complex issue, but it seems to me to be what Hansen is saying when he nails sensitivity at 3C per doubling (without reference to the many other potentially significant variables). What else is there to know?

  63. PeteM (13:54:55) :
    ‘The information I provided shows that is not always a dominant factor .
    Venus is suffering from a strong green house effect’
    Venus is suffering? It seems to me the green house effect on Venus is normal for Venus.
    You have to remember Hansen’s run-a-way green house effect on Venus is still an unproven theory.

  64. Smokey,

    I don’t think anyone went ballistic over the Beck stuff. It’s clearly nonsense, as a little bit of investigation and clear thinking will illustrate. In general it was noticed and essentially ignored.

    The aim in science is to establish supportable explanations for observations. That’s how we learn stuff and make progress (not to mention policy decisions). Things that are clearly erroneous do not need dwelling on.

  65. “Pre-industrial CO2 levels were approximately 280 ppm — present CO2 levels are apporximately 380 ppm, the increase “obviously” human induced.”

    One main problem the AGW crowd hasn’t addressed is why were temperatures decreasing during the period when CO2 levels increased the most between WWII and the 1970’s? And why have temperatures declined since 2000 while China and India have industrialized adding even more CO2?

  66. I’m still wondering where Hansen took the figure 3 for 2xCO2. If we increase the mass of carbon dioxide, but the heat source remains constant, then the CO2 would act like a cooler, not like a radiator. I think Hansen resorted to the “Solar Irradiance has increased” for making his fantasy sounds more credible from a scientific standpoint. For the carbon dioxide acted like a warmer, the solar irradiance had to increase, but it has happened just in the opposite way… Heh! On the other hand, sandy lands have always existed on Earth. Perhaps Hansen is trying to blame deforestation on global cooling.

  67. Mike C (16:31:11) :

    “My second point is that PeteM has not thought much through when it comes to comparrisons involving Venus. Not only is Venus closer to the sun, it has a super rotating upper atmosphere of sulphur gases that act like a blanket….”

    I think you are attributing to me points that I was not making .
    My point ( which it appears you are supporting) is that Smokey is incorrect to suggest distance from the Sun the why Venus is warmer than Earth and Mars
    It’s also strongly linked with the atmosphere ( or lack of it) , and the composition of the atmosphere ( including the greenhouse effect ).
    To think this through … you only have to wonder about the Earth and Moon which are at very similar distances from the sun to understand the issue .

    Lansner, Frank (16:30:07) – interesting charts .
    How is the data for the charts comparing various planets generated .

  68. David,

    No, Hansen certainly isn’t claiming a linear relation between CO2 and T…far from it.

    The relationship is logarithmic. I’ve dumped a simple equation in my post above (see 12:52:53), which can be used to calculate the temperature response to enhanced CO2 within a 3 oC climate sensitivity.

    Hansen’s analysis is more complex almost certainly. He’s presumably done a full fit of the ice age record incorporating insolation variations (these can be calculated from analysis of Milankovitch cycles), and the known feedbacks (water vapour, albedo), and optimised the climate sensitivty of the CO2 forcing….something like that.

    However if one wants to estimate the earth’s temperature response to enhanced CO2 within a particular climate sensitivity, the equation in my post above will allow you to do that (or you can change the climate sensitivity and see what happens)..

    Of course that doesn’t means that’s what’s going to happen! It’s possible that the sun might do something funny…or we might enter a weird volcanic/tectonic stage…or we might get hit by an asteroid…but there’s quite a lot of evidence that the earth’s temperature response to greenhouse gas forcing can be estimated to a first approximation using a climate sensitivity value. Hansens’ study reinforces a lot of other data suggesting that this is somewhere near 3 oC of warming per doubling of atmospheric CO2..

  69. Re; saving/destroying creation.. I thought the issue was global, not cosmic… Anthropogenic Cosmic Warming, anyone?

  70. “but there’s quite a lot of evidence that the earth’s temperature response to greenhouse gas forcing can be estimated to a first approximation using a climate sensitivity value”

    Can you demonstrate any such evidence using data other than Hansen’s? Can you show a temperature response that rises in step with CO2 rise? I haven’t seen one yet. I have not seen any temperature response that even remotely resembles the increase in CO2. Again, we had the most dramatic increase in CO2 while global temperatures were cooling. In 1998 we had much more CO2 than we had in 1933 yet temperatures during that PDO/ENSO warm cycle didn’t rise as high as they did in 1933.

    Sure there are a lot of theoretical models that demonstrate this relationship but none have shown to be an analog to reality.

  71. The thing that I find most troublesome about the updated map is this comment-

    “The scientists estimate the level of uncertainty in the measurements is between 2-3 degrees Celsius.”

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8239

    Why would they make a change to the map in the range of 0.3 degrees, when their precision is an order of magnitude lower than the adjustment? There is never any justification for doing that.

    Another very troublesome NASA “correction” article came out a few weeks ago.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/

    What could have motivated a bizarre “science” story like that? I’ve never seen anything like that before.

  72. crosspatch,

    Atmospheric CO2 levels rose relatively slowly after the war up through the mid 60’s:

    1944ish 310 ppm
    1962 320ppm
    1973 330ppm

    So in the 30 post war years CO2 levels rose around 20 ppm.

    In the next 30 years they rose 47 ppm (377 ppm in 2003; 386 ppm now).

    The earth’s temperature was pretty flat post war ’til the early 70’s. The evidence indicates that the massive release of very dirty fuels that gave us killing London smogs and acid rain and such like was sufficient to counter the small temperature rise expected from the smallish (in the grand scheme of things!) CO2 rise. As various clean air acts kicked in during the 1960’s especially, the “cooling” effect of our diry aerosols was somewhat diminished. We are still “protected” from the full whack of greenhouse-induced warming by a cooling aerosol effect.

    The temperatures haven’t really declined since 2000. As the earth’s temperature responds to enhanced greenhouse warming, the temperature trends slowly upwards (there is quite a large inertia in the climate system, and so it takes a considerable time for the earth’s temperature to eqilibrate with a new forcing). During this rising trend stochastic variations in the climate system may dominate for short periods. 2008 is going to be somewhat short of a record year due to the strong early La Nina, and we’re smack at the bottom of the solar cycle.

    it wouldn’t be surprising if the next record temperature year will occur at the next El Nino or two!

  73. foinavon @16:47:55

    Smokey,

    I don’t think anyone went ballistic over the Beck stuff. It’s clearly nonsense, as a little bit of investigation and clear thinking will illustrate.

    You’re new around here, so I’ll disregard your misplaced belief that you are the arbiter of clear thinking.

    In fact, there has been some very *ahem* lively discussion regarding Dr. Beck’s paper. You can simply search the keyword “Beck” on this page to find more threads and commentary on his work.

    It’s interesting that Beck has been completely open regarding his data and methodology. He answers questions and explains how he arrived at his conclusions.

    In contrast, Hansen, Mann and others refuse to publicly archive their taxpayer-funded raw data and “adjustment” methodology, which of course makes their claims highly suspect. How could it not?

    Rather than assuming that CO2 [which is entirely beneficial and nothing to get alarmed about] remained right at 280 ppmv prior to the 1900’s, it has been shown that CO2 concentrations can vary by two orders of magnitude in different parts of the ocean [see commentary in the Beck thread]. So by flippantly pretending that Beck’s 90,000 recorded measurements can’t be accurate because they vary widely, even over the open ocean, you have staked out your position and you fool nobody here.

    Beck’s work has some problems — which he has satisfactorily addressed to Keeling — but to simply disregard many years of work by numerous esteemed scientists like J.S. Haldane makes it clear that Beck’s new information is very unwelcome to some, as the attacks on him, similar to those on Monckton, clearly demonstrate.

    Dr. Beck will answer your questions, his contact information is in the link. But I’ll bet you don’t want to ask him.

  74. foinavon,

    Maybe he did all those things but if his sensitivity is a constant the end result is a linear relationship. If not, he should be saying that the sensitivity is a function of a whole range of parameters and variables, not a constant. For example, with your log relationship you would need to specifying the starting concentration of CO2 to be able to state the effect on T of a doubling. No?

  75. From 1933 to 1975 North America cooled at a rate of 2.5C/century. What was the rate of CO2 increase over that same period? And the cooling was fairly even throughout the period, pretty much a steady cooling while CO2 levels were in a steady rise.

    From 1998 to 2008 in the most recent 12 month period (December to November) temperatures in North America have been cooling at a rate of 2.1C/century.

    So we had 42 years of cooling, followed by 20 years of warming followed by another 10 years of cooling. In other words, we have had 52 years of cooling temperatures and 22 years of warming over a period of 74 years of monotonic CO2 increase.

    As of last month the trend from 1930 to today for the most recent 12 month period is a warming of 0.3C per *century*. I see no relationship between either the amount of warming or the timing of it in relation to CO2 increase.

  76. Whenever this gentleman’s name appears, an image of the muppets intrudes into my consciousness. At least with those creatures there’s an aura of innocence about their silliness.

    Did a quick scan of his lecture and one of the first thing I noticed is how he sets up a strawman of solar irradiance to dismiss solar influence on the climate. TSI, as I understand it, is a relatively stable element. Of more consequence is solar wind and solar/earth magnetic field interactions. To use TSI as he does is to place blinders on science.

    And the presumptive arrogance of the man — “to preserve creation.” Give me a break!

    And the examples he pulls out of his hat.

    Rongbuk glacier — probably less about temperature than a disruption of monsoonal precipitation patterns due to dumping of particulate matter into the atmosphere.

    Western wildfires — a consequence of repressing natural fires which resulted in an explosive growth of combustible tinder over the decades.

    Western drought with that picture of the Lake Mead pier far from any water — the infrastructure in the Western states was developed and built during an unusually wet period. Now that a more normal, drier period is upon us, there’s much hand wringing.

    And he goes on and on.

    I’ve saved the file so I can read some of it tomorrow morning to get my blood racing so I can shovel some of that +15″ of global warming {it’s still coming down}.

  77. Bobby Lane

    Please rethink your characterization.
    The one sending out the massive troops to enforce the decree was Sauron.
    Aragon was the one upholding the truth.

  78. davidc and foinavon… Yes, it is taken like a log correlation:

    ln(CO2x2/CO2 standard)

    Nevertheless, the question is: what the real standard atmospheric concentration of CO2 could be? Perhaps 280 ppmV is not the natural standard, but 300 or higher. Who knows?

  79. SOMEONE PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I’M WRONG, BUT…

    CO2 and temps were both higher in the past, so if the planet’s climate is on hair-trigger, how do we not see this happening in the past, and why once the temps go up due to feedback, do they ever come back down. I would thing that if the climate was so unstable that a slight tip could force it to get hot that it would be locked in at the high end, with cold spells being the anomaly. What reset it in the past when humans weren’t here to sacrifice themselves and their wellbeing for the greater good of Ma Nature?

  80. crosspatch (17:45:13) :

    I admire your facts and it’s important to keep presenting them – however the AGW religeous zealots aren’t listening.

    I think that it’s going to have to be a very extended cold period before it starts to sink in.

    And even then – this may all morph into “Man Made Emissions of CO2 cause Global Cooling.”

  81. Not really Smokey,

    You’ve brought all sorts of extraneous “political” stuuf that’s not really relevant. It’s all about the evidence, I hope we would agree!

    i’ve hardly disregarded “many years of work by numerous esteemed scientists like J.S. Haldane”… If you read my post above (16:11:33), you’ll see that i’ve been more than favourable to the early measurers of CO2. And if you read the primary literature on this subject (i.e. the papers of the likes of Kreutz in Giessen or Jules Reiset), you’ll see that they are quite open about the deficiencies of their measurements (Reiset went to great lengths to get relaiable data).

    Notice that Beck plays fast and loose with the word accurate. But we need to be clear about what the accuracy refers to. Measurements can be precise but inaccurate. Or they can be inaccurate but not representative of the subject at hand. That’s the case with many of the measurements that Beck complies while removing all reference to the qualifiers of the excellent scientists themselves.

    Basically a number of scientists made atmospheric CO2 measurements in heavily contaminated urban environments while developing the methodologies for CO2 collection and analysis. Their measurements were often precise. They were accurate measurements of the CO2 content in the air in the urban locations that they lived. But they were not accurate in relation to the well-mixed atmospheric CO2 levels.

    Some scientisits (like Rieset) took great efforts to measure atmsopehric CO2 in uncontaminated settings far from urban centres. Reiset took his apparatus to the windy N. Atlantic coast and obtained atmospheric CO2 values that are pretty close to the ice core data (290-300 ppm) for the late 19th century…

    Nobody said that “remained right at 280 ppmv prior to the 1900″

    Nobody is trying to “fool” anyone. You’re being overly defensive. It’s all about the evidence Smokey.

  82. Contrary to GCMs, empirical evidence shows that CO2 does not cause temperature rise:

    R-squared CO2/temp correlation of just 0.07. They don’t correlate. See?

    For a longer term look at CO2/temp non-correlation: click

    Please show us unclear thinkers how CO2 caused this.

    And an interesting graph on Beck’s work here. [Thanx to Bill Illis].

  83. No David you don’t actually need to state the starting concentration of CO2. That’s one of the essential features of a logarithmic relationship. It’s a little like the radioactive half life which is also an independent parameter in relation to the starting radioactivity.

    So if the atmospheric CO2 concnetration rises from 180-360 ppm the earth’s temperature response is a warming one equivalent to 3 oC

    And to get another 3 oC of warming the atmospheric CO2 concentration would have to rise from 360 ppm to 720 ppm.

    Or one could take any arbitrary value. 280 ppm (pre-industrial level) to 560 ppm gives 3 oC of warming within a climate sensitivity of 3 oC per doubling.

    …and so on…

  84. Nothing quite like NASA for honesty, integrity, and good honest science in the public interest.

    I am very glad nothing else is like them.

  85. Not only that, the cooling over this last 12 month period is the greatest since the Pinatubo cooling. We are 1.49 degrees cooler over the last 12 month period than we were over the same 12 month period ending in November 2007. The Pinatubo cooling was 1.87 degrees in one year. El Chichon cooling was even greater in N. America at around 2 degrees. So we have had cooling in one year that has only been matched in the recent past (since the 1970’s) by major volcanic events. And we have had no such major volcanic events.

  86. crosspatch, the earth’s temperature response is assessed globally. Obviously regional variations may be different within an overall warming (or cooling) trend.

  87. The global response is similar. More years of cooling than warming since WWII. The exact numbers differ but the trends are the same. North America accounts for most of the land area in the Western half of the Northern Hemisphere so accounts for about 1/4 of the world. Trends in N America should match global trends, and they do.

    The problem is in getting accurate data from the other half of the Northern Hemisphere. The data from China and Russia seem spotty and tends to go “missing”. And there is even less data from the Southern Hemisphere.

    The satellite global trends and NOAA’s North America trends match.

  88. Australia Network

    Television Program:- Heat

    “This 2 part series investigates how big businesses have manipulated the debate over, and response to, global warming in America and around the globe. As the reality and potential impact of a warming climate become increasingly clear, this production examines how pressure from shareholders and other financial partners may have the power to reshape the ways oil-and energy-related businesses approach environmental policies to transform into momentum for change.”

    This is scheduled to screen across Asia on Tuesday 23 Dec and Wednesday 24 Dec.

    For your regional program scheduled.

    http://australianetwork.com/guide/

    The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Siamese twin of the British Broadcasting Corporation and a publicly funded propaganda machine.

  89. Smokey, you seem to be linking to stuff that you haven’t really thought about.

    The “Scotese” graph is nonsense. I hope you can see what’s horribly wrong with it. Anyway, you’ve linked to this without apparently looking at the paper by Pagani that’s cited there. That paper addresses some of the issues you request guidance on. For example, it highlights the essential link between atmospheric CO2 levels and global temperaure, in this case the slow reduction in atmospheric Co2 (through weathering most likely) that, according to Pagani “likely allowed for a critical expansion of ice sheets on Antarctica”:

    Pagani M (2005) “Marked decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations during the Paleogene” Science 309, 600-603

    Abstract: The relation between the partial pressure of atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO(2)) and Paleogene climate is poorly resolved. We used stable carbon isotopic values of di-unsaturated alkenones extracted from deep sea cores to reconstruct pCO(2) from the middle Eocene to the late Oligocene (similar to 45 to 25 million years ago). Our results demonstrate that pCO(2) ranged between 1000 to 1500 parts per million by volume in the middle to late Eocene, then decreased in several steps during the Oligocene, and reached modern levels by the latest Oligocene. The fall in pCO(2) likely allowed for a critical expansion of ice sheets on Antarctica and promoted conditions that forced the onset of terrestrial C-4 photosynthesis.

  90. Venus has an atmospheric pressure of 92 bar at the surface consisting of 96% CO2. Compare to Earth at 1 bar and 0.039%. The lapse rates on the two planets are similar. Venus receives almost 4 times higher solar insolation due to its closer proximity to the sun, but its Albedo is also higher than Earth (0.65 versus 0.3 for Earth). Venus has much more atmospheric mass, a higher tropopause, and like Earth the atmosphere is a good absorber of infrared emission from the surface. There is no runaway effect required to explain the higher temperatures on Venus. It is all controlled by atmospheric pressure of an IR absorbing atmosphere, and solar insolation.

  91. Hansen has done no empirical work whatsoever. And, if he wants to deny that statement, he can call me for the coordinates of my lawyers.

    Hansen, you have no credibility. Come on; take me to court… if you can? I will defend; I have the money to do so. You, sir, are a charletan.

  92. Foinavon,

    you and other warmers appear to be getting pretty desperate in your level reasoned discourse. Of course, you are also becoming DENIERS!!!

    Would you please post the data and models that differ from the IPCC who presented graphs, argument, data, and models showing the infamous HOT SPOT in conjunction with tropospheric cooling and tropopause heightening as the ID of Anthropogenic Global Warming through Greenhouse Gasses??

    AR7 is what you must deal with to DENY the hotspot.

    I assume you do not agree with the games with models and wind speed measurements to tell us that we can’t EXCLUDE THE POSSIBILITY OF A HOT SPOT??

    Personally I am just fine with the IPCC science. They tell us that GG warming will cause the three mentioned data points. We do not have those data points. Therefore we either do not have GG warming (or ANY warming with no hot spot) or they are wrong.

    Since we apparently agree that they are wrong, I again urge you to post your theory and data!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  93. Nasif, it’s not obvious that the term “natural standard” has any real meaning with respect to CO2 levels.

    Clearly eons of contingent earth’s history has left a particular amount of accessible carbon in the short/medium term carbon cycle which equilibrates between the atmosphere, the land and the oceans. For the last 10 million years this has been near 280-300 ppm of atmospheric CO2 [*]. During ice age cycles this value drops to 180 (glacials) and then returns to around 280 ppm (interglacial). One might take that as the “natural” CO2 concentration. Obviously in the deeper past the “natural level” was often considerably higher.

    What’s “natural” at any one time is what the biosphere has accomodated itself to! There’s plenty of evidence from the deep past that rapid large changes are not good…

    [*]e.g. PN Pearson and MR Palmer (2000) Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations over the past 60 million years. Nature 406, 695-699.

  94. “And even then – this may all morph into ‘Man Made Emissions of CO2 cause Global Cooling.'”

    Actually, that is where Hansen got his start. His first climate models were used (by Rasool, 1971) to show that burning fossil fuel would plunge us into an ice age. Then when temperatures go the other way, his models show it will boil us alive.

  95. That can’t be right crosspatch. if the earth’s global temperature anomaly is 0.5-0.6 oC above the levels of the 1950’s-60s, then we’ve clearly had a lot more warming than cooling!

  96. And note that even in 1971 Rasool noted that:

    the rate of temperature increase diminishes with increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

    So even then they knew the response wasn’t linear. If you increase CO2 by 100ppm you might get some rise. You get less rise when you add another 100ppm and even less rise when you add another. So if we have added, say, 200ppm of CO2 to the atmosphere, adding another 200ppm will have less impact than we have already had. In other words, for a linear increase in CO2, you get a non-linear increase in temperature with a large initial rise that trails off as CO2 increases.

  97. And finally:

    “As a scientist and lifelong liberal Democrat, I find the constant regurgitation of the anecdotal, fear-mongering clap-trap about human-caused global warming to be a disservice to science,” Hertzberg wrote in Sept. 26’s USA Today. “From the El Niño year of 1998 until January 2007, the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere near its surface decreased some 0.25 C (0.45 F). From January 2007 until the spring of 2008, it dropped a whopping 0.75 C (1.35 F).”

    So “fighting” global warming might be rather silly considering there is no “global warming” to fight and hasn’t been since 1998. What I find so amazing is that Mann could take an El Niño temperature rise and project it continuing non-stop into the future and get away with it for this long.

  98. Looking for that missing image, I noticed there’s a copy in Wikipedia. The Talk page points out a discussion at “Satellite_pic” on an article about an “Antarctica cooling controversy” which now only shows the newest pic. So in an article about a controversy they dare not show images which are part of the controversy.

    And as for persons who must not be named, I prefer to not name Beetlejuice.

  99. Hansen and the rest… I concerned by the core of Fascism that haunts the AGW Meme like a cancer. After all, anything is justified if you are saving the planet.

    Some more pseudo-entertainment from my CO2 fevered imagination – story seems the appropriate vehicle for expressing my concerns with the AGW movement.

    When Green Chickens Come Home To Roost.

    Somewhere in the USA, Sometime in 2018…

    FADE IN.

    OUTSIDE: EARLY EVENING – NOVEMBER.

    – A weary group of men and women, chained into a gang, trudge along a city road. Their guards carry rifles, and short whips. A light dusting of snow is falling.

    – They pass a Primary (Elementary) school where the teachers and students have assembled to watch them pass. The Principle of the school turns and faces the assembled children and staff and raises her arms.

    Principle: (Stern Encouragement) “Now children all as one – Sceptics are Septics”.

    Assembled Children and Staff: (Chanting) “Sceptics are Septics… Sceptics are Septics… Sceptics are Septics…”

    – Some of the chained people steal glances at the children.

    Guard: “Eyes Front!”

    – The guard smashes his whip across the face of one of the chained men and bright blood splashes onto the snow.

    – One of the schoolchildren breaks ranks and staggers forward through the snow.

    Schoolboy: (Falteringly Disbelief) “That’s my Dad!?”

    – The principle turns abruptly towards the boy and signals to green frocked School Proctors, who leap forward and grab the boy before he can reach the road.

    – The struck man slumps to the ground, barely conscious, the man chained next to him, takes his arm and drags him to his feet.

    Principle: (Outraged) “Shocking behaviour. Samuel Taylor – A months detention. Proctors remove him to the holding room.”

    – The proctors drag the boy away.

    Assembled Children and Staff: (Continue Chanting) “Sceptics are Septics… Sceptics are Septics… Sceptics are Septics…”

    – Two school cleaners stand quietly to the side of the assembly, not being teaching staff or students they are not required to join in. They talk quietly together.

    Cleaner One: “So the Higgs Boson has been found at CERN?”

    Cleaner Two: “Yes, the Paper by Peebles gives an excellent demonstration of the existence of the Higgs Boson.”

    Cleaner One: “Do you miss the research at MIT?”

    Cleaner Two: “Of course – but at least I’m able to feed my little girl. – and what choice did I have, Particle Physics isn’t Environmental Science is it.”

    Cleaner One: “Same with Nuclear Engineering – now that all the reactors have been shut down – there’s just no more work for a PHD in Engineering in my field.”

    – Cleaner Two nods towards the steadily moving chain gang.

    Cleaner Two: “Still it’s better than what that lot are facing.”

    Cleaner One: “Which is?”

    Cleaner Two: “5 Years Hard Labour in the Pig Methane Plant.”

    Cleaner One: “Shovel Pig manure for 18 hours a day and get fed…”

    Cleaner Two: “Which would you prefer – that – or the alternative?”

    – Cleaner one shivered from more than the cold, and drew his coat more tightly around his thin frame.

    Cleaner One: “The fertiliser plant – but that’s just for capital crimes isn’t it?”

    Cleaner Two: “Apparently “Carbon Denial” is set to become a capital crime – rumour has it, that it’s to be the next Presidential Emergency Directive.”

    Cleaner One: (Quietly) “Oh my god… what have we become?”

    – Cleaner Two nods silently in agreement.

    – The Principle signals a halt to her students and staff.

    Principle: (Smug) “Now everyone – we have todays new mantra, lets chant it together for the benefit of these poor deluded people.”

    All: (Chanting in practised unison) “Man Made CO2 Causes Global Cooling… Man Made CO2 Causes Global Cooling… Man Made CO2 Causes Global Cooling…”

    FADE OUT.

  100. Hanson has taken a lot of taxpayers money as pay and grants… Can he be made to give it back if he is wrong?

  101. For those of you who believe that Algore/UN/IPCC/Pachauri are dangerous, I hope are now watching 60 Minutes and listening to the most scientifically ignorant governor ever to be wrongly elected to public office. It is clear that Californians will be lucky to survive this moron.

  102. Peter provides an interesting idea for an energy factory. Build a huge glass green house, fill it with CO2 and let the sun heat it up. Theory states that it should produce lots of heat. You’ve now got a steam generator, and you’ve used industrial waste to do it.

    REPLY: CO2 has no effect inside a greenhouse (except to hasten plant growth). Warming of a greenhouse is all about the structure and convection. The gas inside is a minimal component to the equation. – Anthony

  103. Crosspatch says:

    In other words, for a linear increase in CO2, you get a non-linear increase in temperature with a large initial rise that trails off as CO2 increases.

    We know that, and that is why they quote the climate sensitivity as the temperature increase for each doubling of CO2.

    I think you would be better off pointing out that with CO2 levels increasing at what looks like a linear rate (or the human contribution being linear), the time it takes for each doubling grows longer and longer.

    However, I also think that the increase in H2O in the atmosphere with temp increases causing an increased albedo (via clouds) is important as well.

  104. I’ve googled bill illis and all I can find is his posts on the various denialist sites. Any credentials? Expertise? Why is there no professional information on Illis?

    Cheers

    REPLY: On the flip side – Why is there no professional information or even a name for “Tamino”? Why is there no name or professional information from you?

    If Bill wants to respond I’m sure he’ll do so.

  105. Duhhhhh, read all the comments, and the thing that jumped out at me is that Mars atmosphere is +90% CO2, yet it’s colder than Hades, Venus atmosphere is sulphuric acid and hot, hot, hot. The difference between the two is distance from the sun. I keep reading that the only reason life exists on earth is because the orbit is at the exact correct distance from the sun to sustain the temperature range needed for life to survive. This leads me to believe that the distance from the sun is the thing controlling temperature, not CO2. Why is Mars not hotter with a whole helluva lot more CO2 than in earth’s atmosphere? I thought Mars was the planet most similar in size to earth than any of the other planets? Could it be it’s greater distance from the sun? Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles . Doesn’t this confirm that distance from the sun is the determining factor in the occurrence of ice ages? Duhhhhhh, I’m just sayin’. I guess the truth is just too obvious and the explanation too simple to be acceptable to highly-paid government climate scientists. They have to do something to justify all that high-powered training and education and research they did to get where they are, and to keep the grant money flowing. We are paying for this folly, folks, and the economy is tanking. What are you gonna do about it?

  106. Another problem with ‘doubling’ is saturation. A graph appeared many threads back that showed the diminishing return of absorbtion. (can’t remember the name, couldn’t find it) With CO2 somewhere above 97% of everything it can absorb, a doubling might get to 98.5%.

    That won’t have much effect. The real question is what level of that nasty stuff hit 95%? Or any arbitrary point. We just can’t get many more degrees C from any additional CO2.

    Barking up the wrong tree.

  107. apparently Jim hasn’t quite got the message yet that Michael Mann’s paleo results are, well, dubious

    How so? I know of no peer review that says so. Link?

    perhaps he’s never seen this graph for CO2 from Bill Illis and the response it gives to IR radiation (and thus temperature) as it increases

    It seems Illis is a garage scientist (Links to prof. qualifications appreciated.), so you are probably right. it is so easy to cook a graph, or just get it wrong, or, in the case of the denier folks, get what you are looking for instead of what is. This is why rigorous science is called for: while not perfect, since people aren’t, at least scientific method and review give some chance of objectivity. Denialism is just one big MAAS, unfortunately. Note: skepticism should be driven by generic desire for accuracy, not by ideology.

    It’s commonly known that CO2’s radiative return response is logarithmic with increasing concentration, so I don’t understand how Hansen thinks that it will be the cause of a runaway effect. The physics dictate that the temperature response curve of the atmosphere will be getting flatter as CO2 increases. Earth has also had much higher concentrations of CO2 in past history, and we didn’t go into runaway then:

    Why pretend CO2 is the only input? Methane? Clathrates? Etc.? Are these not part of the issue?

    Out-of-context nitpicking just makes the nitpicker look petty.

    Cheers

    REPLY: “ccpo” That’s quite a bit of lecturing and put down from a person who demands credentials from somebody that puts their name to their work (Bill Illis) while at the same time denigrating them as a “garage scientist”, yet doesn’t have the courage nor the integrity to even use thier own name in a post.

    If you want to continue to hurl insults at Mr. Illis while demanding his information, use your own real name, otherwise you don’t get to exist here. I have a low tolerance level for such cowardly arrogance.

    – Anthony Watts

  108. “, I also think that the increase in H2O in the atmosphere with temp increases causing an increased albedo (via clouds) is important as well.”

    Well, the bottom line is that there currently is no “global warming” and while we did get a period of about 22-23 years of warming that coincides with a positive PDO, the rest of the period since 1933 have been cooling years.

    There just isn’t any “global warming” to relate rising global CO2 levels to. I don’t doubt that CO2 is rising, you can clearly see that from the data. I don’t doubt that climate warmed from about 1976 to 1998, that is also clear from the data. What isn’t shown at all by the data is any relationship between that 22 year rise and CO2 rise when the 30 years prior and 10 years since directly contradict that hypothesis. 40+ years of declining temperatures and 22 years of increasing temperatures with CO2 climbing in a nearly linear fashion over the entire time does not exactly cause me to jump to any cause/effect conclusions.

  109. No David you don’t actually need to state the starting concentration of CO2 [in order to have a 3C. temperature increase for each CO2 doubling]./foinavon

    Of course you do. Or are you arguing that doubling CO2’s concentration from 1ppm CO2 up to whatever levels we have now would have induced a 3C. degree response each time? In addition, you are ignoring the [relatively small] amount of long wave radiation reflected from the Earth’s surface which is available to be captured only by virtue of CO2’s absorption characteristics – which isn’t very much in comparison to water vapor’s, and, of course the climatic mechanisms which dissipate heat energy, the same ones which have also already kept water vapor from performing at its untethered theoretical maximum here in the real world.

  110. I see that James Hansen is using that well-known form of scientific reasoning called “Proof by vehement assertion”.

  111. Another interesting factoid (I think) is that CO2 in the atmosphere increased by about 2.80 ppm in 1998, but only by about 1.30 ppm/yr in 1999, and 2000.

    And, only by about 0.95/yr in 92′, and 93′.

  112. crosspatch (18:38:58) :

    “And even then – this may all morph into ‘Man Made Emissions of CO2 cause Global Cooling.’”

    Actually, that is where Hansen got his start. His first climate models were used (by Rasool, 1971) to show that burning fossil fuel would plunge us into an ice age. Then when temperatures go the other way, his models show it will boil us alive.

    The technique of morphing the ideology to fit the available data – when swamped by that data – has been used once before. We can expect it to be used again in the future.

    In all three (2 past, 1 proposed Future) cases the target of restricting CO2 output as a means of constraining the development of Western Civilization remains invariant.

  113. ccpo (20:41:58) :

    I’ve googled bill illis and all I can find is his posts on the various denialist sites. Any credentials? Expertise? Why is there no professional information on Illis?

    I Googled ccpo and the best match seems to be
    http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/sectors/ccpo/index.html . Do you represent them? Do they approve?

    You can Google me – here’s a challenge: What’s the oldest reference to me on the web? Hint – it predates the Internet.

  114. Retired Engineer (20:50:19) :

    Another problem with ‘doubling’ is saturation. A graph appeared many threads back that showed the diminishing return of absorbtion. (can’t remember the name, couldn’t find it) With CO2 somewhere above 97% of everything it can absorb, a doubling might get to 98.5%.

    Is that the reason that the curve is a logarithmic one – i.e as the absorption spectra for CO2 gets saturated – CO2 faces a diminishing returns relationship for forcing warming?

    Just asking?

  115. The fact that Hansen refers to “Robber Barrons” in todays age says it all. The man is warped. He obviously is driven by politics, not science.

  116. This year looks pretty similar to 1981 when we did about 1.60 ppm CO2, so it seems likely we’re looking in the 1.50 to 1.60 range this year.

    If we averaged adding 1.50 ppm/yr, for the next 30 years (which seems reasonable) we could be looking at flat to lower temps for the cycle with 90 – 100 ppm CO2 added to the atmosphere. That would be roughly 90/340 or an addition of 26% increase in CO2 for the cycle with flat, to slightly lower temps.

    How does THAT fit in with 3o C for a double?

  117. ccpo (20:50:41) :

    apparently Jim hasn’t quite got the message yet that Michael Mann’s paleo results are, well, dubious

    How so? I know of no peer review that says so. Link?

    Check http://www.climateaudit.org for an extensive review of Michael Mann’s (MM) work.

  118. Foinavon,

    “The earth’s temperature was pretty flat post war ’til the early 70’s. The evidence indicates that the massive release of very dirty fuels that gave us killing London smogs and acid rain and such like was sufficient to counter the small temperature rise expected from the smallish (in the grand scheme of things!) CO2 rise. As various clean air acts kicked in during the 1960’s especially, the “cooling” effect of our diry aerosols was somewhat diminished. We are still “protected” from the full whack of greenhouse-induced warming by a cooling aerosol effect.”

    I’ve read all this before on the Realclimate website. What you’re saying may all be true of course, but certainly it is very convenient isn’t it? When the Earth isn’t warming, its due to the cooling effects aerosols. When the Earth is warming, the aerosols have apparently disappeared from the atmosphere? Are places like China and India burning very ‘clean’ fuels now as opposed to what was being burnt in Europe back in the 60’s? Could be so, I don’t know. But it’s a reasonable question to ask I think.

    You state: “the evidence indicates..”. If there is evidence and the research is pretty solid I’m happy to accept it as credible. Could you provide links please?

    One wouldn’t want to be lead to the conclusion that the aerosal claim is an ad hoc assertion used to save AGW. It seems to me that without invoking aerosols as a massive atmospheric coolant, AGW is in a lot of trouble. So presumably there has to be a lot of very solid science behind aerosols and their effects on the atmosphere and good data on historic atmospheric content. I would also expect that the data would tend to be showing significantly more cooling in those areas of the globe where aerosols were being mostly expelled? And all the empirical data supports this and is (reasonably) consistent with this?

    (One of the frustrating thing I find about reading Realclimate is that very very critical points such as this example tend to be lightly skipped over.)

    Thanks.

  119. I’d always thought that the largest two factors regarding Venusian temps were the total mass of the atmosphere (it has far, far more atmosphere than Earth, hence the far greater surface pressure, around 90 times that of Earth as I recall) and thus a far thicker, heavier “blanket”. The other is total solar insolation (just under twice that or Earth for a given surface area), due to being nearer to the sun. As for the CO2, on Venus it makes up 95% of the atmosphere, while on Earth it makes up a few hundred parts per million, a tiny fraction of one percent, which makes it a trace gas. Yet, Hansen seems to disregard all that and cites just the CO2?? Even to a layman like me, that sounds absurd in the extreme.

    I’ll admit it, I used to be a AGW believer. But then, I started looking into it, and found far, far to many holes in the theory. I think the biggest red flag for me was that the polar caps on Mars were seen to be retreating during the period when the earth was warming. Now, to be clear, I do believe that, until a few years ago, the Earth was getting warmer. I even think that mankind is responsible, via various activities, for one or two percent of it. When it comes to polar ice melting, I’ll go even further; I beleive that mankind’s activity accounts for some of the retreat. I’ve personally seen soot layers in Alaskan and Canadian glaciers (reportedly in large part from China’s very unclean coal plants). However, CO2? I think that has been pretty much shown to be a crock.
    My dark suspicion is that it’s seen by politicians as a lucrative new way to rob the taxpayers, and that’s the main driving force in official circles for this baseless hysteria.

    I hate to say it, but I’m rooting for a new Dalton minimum or similar. I know it would bring great hardship, but it would serve to debunk the CO2 hysteria, hopefully before the insane “carbon cap and trade” raid on our wallets is in place (or at least to get it repealed).

  120. 1. The graphic of Antarctica illustrates the period 1982-2004. What would the graphic look like if the period was ’82-’07? What will it look like in January, when we could include data from ’08???

    2. The problem with Hansen “nailing” his conclusions by including aerosols, albedo, and water vapor — the IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers rates our “Level of Scientific Understanding” (LOSU) for aerosols as “medium-low” for direct effect and “low” for cloud albedo effect. The LOSU is rated “medium-low” for surface albedo forcings. The chart I’m looking at in the report does not quantify the LOSU for water vapor forcing.

    My point is that if you have low or medium-low understanding of major components in the final calculation of anthropogenic radiative forcing, how can you claim to have “nailed” anything until you understand all the major factors with reasonable certitude? You can’t. It’s a logical impossibility. Even granting for the sake of argument that understanding of the CO2 factor is very good, you cannot approach certainty by adding in other uncertain factors. Duh!

    Dr. Hansen, sit in the corner and put on the dunce cap.

  121. Guys, this is off topic, but I m trying to gain a better understanding of what is going on. Based on what I have read, common sense and my gut instincts, I don’t believe the man caused global warming theory but I am not a scientist. I asked someone named Gavin a question on the RealClimate website after reading his comment that many if not most of the 650 scientists that Imhoff refers to in a senate report are not scientists. My questions and his answers follow. His answers are at odds with what I have read and heard elsewhere. On his website he maintains that he is objective without bias, but it is obvious from reading the questions and his answers that this is not true, – one doesn’t need to be a scientist to see that. He skirts my question regarding non scientists as members of the IPCC and seems to dance around the rest of my question. What do you think of his answers and comments concerning my questions.

    Lawley Says:
    21 December 2008 at 7:02 PM
    Gavin, With respect to comment 47, I have heard the same thing about IPCC. That many of the \scientists\ listed as members of the IPCC are not scientists and that some of the scientists listed have left the IPCC as a result of their disagreement with IPCC findings. The same source goes on to say that there is substantial disagreement among the scientists that remain members over the conclusions of IPCC studies.

    [Response: None of this is true in substance. I am aware of only two people (over 3 working groups and over the last two reports) who left the IPCC chapter they were involved in. That is not overwhelming. There is I think only one person on the IPCC author list who is also on Inhofe’s sceptics list (who hasn’t been horribly misquoted) (J. Christy). As for ‘disagreement’ where is it? Thousands of scientists reviewed the reports and were able to make as many critiques as they wanted. The basic fact is that IPCC is the mainstream – go to the AGU website and check the abstracts of last weeks meeting. Out of thousands dealing with climate, you’ll find maybe half a dozen that go against the ‘consensus’ with the vast majority trying to move beyond what’s already been found in order to tackle the remaining uncertainties. – gavin]

  122. I’d like to encapsulate some conclusions I have from looking at CO2 data, old and new.

    CO2 was decided by the present gurus that it should be measured where it is “stable” and at the specific time of day when it is the lowest.

    Why so? because it can vary enormously from location to location and height to height and time to time. The AIRS animation maps that show the CO2 bands and the earth breathing with the seasons are the tip of the iceberg, literally, since they are over 5000 meter high. Most of the biosphere is below 1000 meters. In data shown in http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html we can see variations of 100ppm depending on updrafts etc. Thus it is not surprising that the Beck compiled figures show all this diversity.

    What is surprising is why the “stable” choice is considered scientifically robust.
    Why not measure as one measures temperatures? hi/low average and thousands of locations avraged, as with temperatures? Because the rise would be smaller?

    Of course one might say that temperatures are not robust either. Maybe they should be measured like CO2, on top of Mauna Loa on the cooler time of day and 100 other sites hand picked for stability, all shown independently as confirmations of Mauna Loa temperatures. But then maybe the temperature rise, even when it does rise , would be less dramatic.

    There is a smell coming from the whole field as cultivated by AGW.

  123. crosspatch (18:38:58) :
    Actually, that is where Hansen got his start. His first climate models were used (by Rasool, 1971) to show that burning fossil fuel would plunge us into an ice age. Then when temperatures go the other way, his models show it will boil us alive.

    Actually you’re wrong, at the time you’re speaking of Hansen was working on a light scattering model for use in a project studying the Venusian atmosphere. Rasool needed a scattering model for aerosols in the Earth’s atmosphere, which Hansen gave him.

    By the way foinavon why did you have to use that name, it brings back bad memories! ;)

  124. Retired Engineer wrote:

    Another problem with ‘doubling’ is saturation. A graph appeared many threads back that showed the diminishing return of absorbtion. (can’t remember the name, couldn’t find it) With CO2 somewhere above 97% of everything it can absorb, a doubling might get to 98.5%.

    Check this post: A Window on Water Vapor and Planetary Temperature – Part 2 The graphs there look like what you describe.

  125. My 2c worth:

    “Thousands of scientists reviewed the reports and were able to make as many critiques as they wanted.”

    At the end of the day, because the empirical data is sketchy at best, and the prediction of 2-6C of warming of the IPCC is ultimately dependent on computer models, this means that the only people qualified to assess the validity of the warming claim are the atmospheric physicists.

    Everyone else – the “thousands” referred to – are not being asked to assess the validity of those scientific claims – they are just not qualified. What they are being asked to do is try to determine things such as: what is the impact on water resources if AGW is true? What is the impact on disease if AGW is true? What is the impact on hurricanes if AGW is true? In other words, AGW is assumed to be true for the vast majority of working scientists.

    Now I would like to know how many atmospheric physicists worked on the theory. (I think we should reasonably exclude computer programmers, etc., as they are plugging in the calculations, not working them out.) Are we talking about 10? 30? 300? That is the size of the real consensus, whatever that size is. Does anyone have the number handy?

  126. correction- That should have been “Venus receives almost 2 times higher solar insolation due to its closer proximity to the sun”.

  127. Anna V

    Agree with you that we should take min/max readings on Co2

    I know that poor mixing makes a difference of 20ppm but where are the variations of up to 100ppm mentioned on Ferdinands site?

    TonyB

  128. Phil. (23:17:26) :
    Actually you’re wrong, at the time you’re speaking of Hansen was working on a light scattering model for use in a project studying the Venusian atmosphere. Rasool needed a scattering model for aerosols in the Earth’s atmosphere, which Hansen gave him.

    Do you have a citation?

    The IBD original is at:

    http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=275267681833290

    Sustained emissions over five to 10 years, Rasool claimed, “could be sufficient to trigger an ice age.”

    Aiding Rasool’s research, the Post reported, was a “computer program developed by Dr. James Hansen,” who was, according to his resume, a Columbia University research associate at the time.

    I’d say a more accurate description would be that “a research associate provided the computer programs that lead to the claim of global cooling.”

    All is see is Hansen backpedaling from his earlier model to a newer model.

  129. “Thousands of scientists reviewed the reports and were able to make as many critiques as they wanted.”

    That doesn’t mean they agreed with the “reports” and/or the ipcc’s main hypotheses, predictions, and alleged solutions. Instead of hiding behind vague hand waving statements such as the above one, “scientists” should be asked whether they agree or disagree with specific statements involving the ipcc’s major contentions, including “don’t know”, and should sign their hands to it. Otherwise their numbers shouldn’t be mentioned. The fact that the ipcc honchos did not do it this way is telling.

    In addition, some substantial disagreements were either summarily dismissed or not given a full discription and documentation in the reports, in contradiction to the ipcc’s own operating rules – according to Steve McIntyre’s meticulous dissections.

    And need I point out again what happened when Steve McIntyre wanted to review Mann’s Hockey Stick data, as an official ipcc peer reviewer himself? Mann first said he didn’t have/couldn’t find the data, then finally gave data which excluded one very important proxy study, all of which McIntyre finally got hold of and then – along with Ross Mckitrick – managed to debunk Mann’s whole study.

    And, btw, if Mann couldn’t find his data and algorithims – the latter which Mann never did release, iirc – no one else had gotten to them either: no one else within the ipcc had actually reviewed his critical study.

    So much for ipcc Peer Review and the alleged “consensus” by hundreds of ipcc scientists!

    [“Peer Review” itself doesn’t really mean anything specific. Peers usually can do anything they want in doing their “reviews” and are rarely testifying as to the “truth” of the studies and papers they ok for publication. Many papers are actually published simply because they are “controversial”, not because they are “true”, and usually the authors themselves admit that further study is needed. Moreover, where I come from, Medicine, the real Peer Review starts after the paper or study is published.]

  130. If there is – according to Hansen – a “runaway global warming” on Venus, what “on earth” (English is a funny lanhuage ;) caused it – and again according to Hansen?

    Seems like the sun has nothing to do with anything anymore – oh, except with cancer, “of course”…

  131. REPLY: That was a tongue in cheek reference to Steve McIntyre’s “he who must not be named” issue. My name is “Watts” which is sprinkled throughout the radiative forcings section.

    Following up on another suggestion, and in view of your wordpress page view figures, maybe you should adopt the middle name “Giga”. :-)

  132. @Grant I’ve been watching that as well and wondering what to make of it, but it’s not entirely unusual. If you examine the chart, the 2004 data stepped sideways for a bit around the same time last year, as well as the 2003 data later in the month. The 2008 sideways step is lasting longer, however, than the other years depicted.

    What I find curious is that NSIDC hasn’t heralded the change in a new press release. They really like to point out warming changes whenever they can. Cooling changes are either ignored or downplayed as far as I’ve observed. If you look at the NSIDC chart (http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png) you’ll see that the growth has not only slowed, but lost mass by a degree.

    Anyone have an explanation for why this may be occurring? I was under the impression that this was a colder winter. Is that not the case up north?

  133. Using foinavon’s equation

    T = (3.0/log(2))*(log(C))-9.39

    and Total global warming, on a decadal average, is 0.8 °C since 1900 (IPCC 2007)

    We have
    Pre-Industrial (read: 1900) CO2 concentration @ 280 ppm:
    T(280) = (3/log(2)) * (log(280)) – 9.39 = 15

    Today’s CO2 concentration @ 380 ppm:
    T(380) = (3/log(2)) * (log(380)) – 9.39 = 16.31

    Delta(T) = T(380) – T(280) = 1.31 C > 0.8 C

    (God I hope I got the maths right and please correct my assumptions if they are wrong :) )

    So doesn’t that mean that the (3/log(2)) is likely to be biased too high or there must be some negative feedback at work here. Apparently we can’t use aerosols to explain the negative feedback required[1] so some other unexplained force would have to be at work here. [2] also come up with a much lower climate sensitivity than foinavon seems to imply.

    Further can we even assume that CO2 caused all the warming over the last 100+ years. I’m not sure the IPCC even claim that. In any event [3] claim that most of the warming since the 1970s can be explained by the oceans. This to me is the crux of the issue as the IPCC claim most of the warming is due to increases of atmospheric CO2. The reason they give is because they cannot think of any natural variation that could have caused the warming. Well now they have something … the oceans. Therefore, to me, the null hypothesis should still be most of the observed warming is due to natural causes with CO2 only playing a minor role

    [1] Chylek et. al. [2007]: Limits on climate sensitivity derived from recent satellite and surface observations
    [2] Douglas and Christy [2008]: Limits on CO2 Climate Forcing from Recent Temperature Data of Earth
    [3] Compo and Sardeshmukh [2008]: Oceans a main driver of climate variability.

  134. re to Will

    When you refer to what most of the IPPCC scientist are looking for in response to AGW please add the word negative. As the IPCC takes AGW for granted, they mainly look for negative and often doubtfull effects, and ignore postive effects of increased CO2.

  135. “Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.” D. Vader.

  136. Great thread. People actually discussing math and science.

    Question I have is that if the temperature response to CS (Climate Sensitivity) is logarithmic as Dr Hansen and most seem to agree then why:

    1) is the temperature increase primarily linear? Only way that happens I think is if CO2 growth is exponential, yes?
    2) Given the 2.5 – 3.5C temperature in response to doubling CO2 from 280ppmv and we are currently nearing 400 ppmv (about halfway there) should we not have already seen about 70% of the 2.5-3.5C temp increase?

  137. Question. If Venus has run away global warming, why is its temp not continuing to rise over time? Is that not the definition of “run away” temps?

    http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Venus&Display=OverviewLong

    this post by NASA seems to point to dense clouds, high atmospheric pressure and recent extreme global volcanic activity(on a universal timescale). Further it states that Venus holds trapped heat, yet reflects a large portion of the sunlight it gets back into space. For grins a few posts ago I asked if co2 was indeed a warming forcer, why wasn’t it warmer on Mars.. I got the Mars is further from the sun and its atmosphere is thinner explanation. I would like to point out that works both ways folks. Venus is closer to the sun and its atmosphere is denser:)

    Sure would be nice to have a scientist in his position that actually had a shred of professionalism or even a pretence of objectivity. He needs to be retired.

    I dont remember who posted this site http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/

    but theres one line in there that says it all ….

    ‘Since the revision, says Willis, the bumps in the graph have largely disappeared, which means the observations and the models are in much better agreement. “That makes everyone happier,” Willis says.

    Happier may not necessarily mean more accurate. Seems funny that the instruments both new and old had to be adjusted to fit the model temps. Seems like theres a lot of that going around, ocean temps, land temps, Ice mass… and yet it continues to get colder as the jet stream slams the northern hemisphere without the aid of La Nina. Dont worry tho, by summer this will be one of the hottest fall-winter seasons on record :P

  138. With regards to what I call the “Mysterious Trans-Siberian Heat Wave” that is “driving” global temps up and shown on the GISS map for 2008:

    Has anybody looked into calculating the average temp, sans Siberia?

    And if it weren’t for this Mysterious heat wave there, where would the global average be?

    Interesting that while the rest of the globe has been cooling down, the one place with the least number of actual weather stations, the least reliable past temp history (especially long term), and the coldest land on Earth, outside of Antartica, is the only place thats showing significant warming.

  139. Steve,

    Yes, your numbers are right. Within a climate sensitivity of 3oC (of warming per doubled CO2) we expect around 1.3 oC of warming at equilibrium for a CO2 increase from 280-380 ppm.

    Of course that’s the equilibrium response. Since the earth has a large inertia (largely from the oceans), it takes some time for the planet to come to a new thermal equilibrium with the forcing. So we still have a bit of warming “in the pipeline” even were CO2 levels to stop dead at current levels.

    We’re also still pumping out loads of aerosols and these are protecting us somewhat from the full whack of our greenhouse gas emissions. This has been reviewed recently by Ramanathan and Carmichael, who conclude that the 3 W m-2 excess greenhouse forcing is still being countered by around -1.5 W.m-2 of aerosol cooling.

    V. Ramanathan & G. Carmichael (2008) Global and regional climate changes due to black carbon; Nature geoscience 1, 221-227.

    That’s a costly paper to get hold of, but Ramanathan has made a detailed presentation of this work to the Wegman oversight committee which can be found here:

    http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20071018110734.pdf

    The papers you cite concerning climate sensitivity are an odd bunch. I couldn’t find this one:

    Compo and Sardeshmukh [2008]: Oceans a main driver of climate variability.

    Until I realized you’d changed the title! Were you trying to make it sound more interesting?

    It’s actually

    Compo, G.P., and P.D. Sardeshmukh, 2008: Oceanic influences on recent continental warming. Climate Dynamics, doi: 10.1007/s00382-008-0448-9.

    And in fact it’s not particularly controversial. The authors do some modeling and suggest that within their model they can calculate much of the land warming of recent years as a result of ocean warming. They don’t address the cause of the ocean warming, but the evidence is pretty strong that the oceans have warmed due to greenhouse enhancement. Some of the observations of the paper don’t accord with real world observations. For example they question the water vapour feedback to greenhouse warming (which they have eliminated from their model by design), particularly the prediction that the troposphere tends towards a constant relative humidity. However data that identify the predicted change in water vapour feedback and a tendency towards a constant relative humidity has recently been published:

    A.E. Dessler et al (2008) Water-vapor climate feedback inferred from climate fluctuations, 2003–2008. Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L20704,

    (a summary can be found here:

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/vapor_warming.html)

    The “paper” by Douglas and Christy is being prepared for a non-science polemical magazine. That’s unlikely to be very helpful!

    The Chylek paper seems O.K. I’ll read it when I get a chance…

  140. According to Hansen life is just about finished on this planet whatever happens. Ha says on p. 23 that 10-20 Wm-2 is sufficient to cause runaway warming until the oceans boil away. That is about a 1% increase in solar radiation, a figure that will be exceeded in another 100-200 million years.

  141. Hansen’s Venus comparison is utterly desperate and you’d think somebody working for NASA would actually understand the origins of that planet’s atmosphere. The idea that Venus is an example of ‘runaway greenhouse’ is a common misconception. Venus has always been hot and the reason there is so much carbon dioxide in its atmosphere has nothing to do with volcanic emissions as many people believe.

    It all began billions of years ago when Venus and the Earth were much the same; balls of ice and rock. Unfortunately for Venus, its proximity to the Sun meant its ice soon turned to steam and, if there ever were any oceans, they never would have been below boiling point. As the steam reached the upper atmosphere, UV light from the Sun broke the water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen floated off into space whilst the oxygen sunk back down to the surface and joined with carbon from the super-heated surface rocks thus creating carbon dioxide.

    Rather than getting hotter when the CO2 replaced the water vapour, Venus’ surface cooled quite significantly due to it being a much less effective ‘greenhouse’ gas. Venus has only managed to keep its heat due to its incredibly dense atmosphere and extremely slow rotation creating a pressure cooker effect. The atmospheric composition is largely irrelevant. One thing’s for sure though, Venus did NOT heat up as Hansen implies, it just never had a chance to cool down.

  142. PeteM:
    Was the article from New Scientist the only one you looked at?…there seems to be other articles that offer a different point of view.

    Perhaps they may be of interest…
    or not.

    “Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) allows access to coal resources not otherwise recoverable and could be used to double or even triple U.S. coal reserves, Julio Friedmann of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) energy and environmental security program”

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb5712/is_200803/ai_n25285308

  143. “foinavon (14:47:48) :

    That’s not really true crosspatch. The fact that enhanced CO2 concentrations result in enhanced warming of the earth has got very little to do with models. It’s the result of a whole load of empirical (and theoretical) analyses.”

    Foinavon,
    What is the difference between modeling and theoretical analysis?

    “In fact the role of CO2 in warming the earth has been known since the middle of the 19th century, and already by the end of the 19th century Arrhenius had established that the earth’s temperature rose as the logarithm of the enhanced CO2 concentration. ”

    So 1800s…this was “known”. I think there were quite a few things that were “known” then…but now, maybe not so much.

    “There is a whole load of data that bears on the quantitative relationship between enhanced CO2 and enhanced temperature.”

    And there’s a whole load of data that doesn’t.

    “But it’s the empirical analyses, measurements and so on that inform the models and not the orher way round….”

    I agree with this one. I think it’s been proven beyond any question that the models don’t inform the measurements, although some seem to be trying very hard to get them to do exactly that.

    “it would be extraordinary to propose that raising atmospheric CO2 levels further (rather dramatically according to the “all the coal and tar shale’s burnt” scenario being discussed on this thread) wouldn’t result in a very large temperature rise”

    Based on a 5 minute google of “u.s. coal reserves”, it’s pretty clear to me that there is no “consensus” on how much coal is available, so how is it possible to predict the result of buring it “all”. We have no idea what “all” is.

    ” Stefan (14:55:53) :

    How on earth can so many of these eminent scientists be wrong?

    Or are they just human like everyone else?”

    There is a part of human nature that makes some people seek data that only supports their belief systems. I don’t know anyone who ever got a “bad deal” buying a car…just ask them.

    JimB

  144. Graeme Rodaughan (22:20:35) :

    Retired Engineer (20:50:19) :

    Another problem with ‘doubling’ is saturation. A graph appeared many threads back that showed the diminishing return of absorbtion. (can’t remember the name, couldn’t find it) With CO2 somewhere above 97% of everything it can absorb, a doubling might get to 98.5%.

    Is that the reason that the curve is a logarithmic one – i.e as the absorption spectra for CO2 gets saturated – CO2 faces a diminishing returns relationship for forcing warming?

    Sort of. The IR absorption window _is_ saturated. Further increases in CO2
    can only eat away at the margins of the window, slightly widening it. There are probably some effects due to IR photons having a shorter “mean free path” before getting absorbed, but that may be 10s of meters already. (Don’t quote me, I may be wrong!)

    N.B. It’s important to keep in mind that the logarithmic relationship is primarily thanks to curve fitting and not theory. If falls down at low levels where the window isn’t saturated, and at high levels where the margins are virtually saturated too.

  145. Cannot help but wonder if some of you folks are related to the creationista/ID folks.

    What do ya alls think of comparison of the atmosphere to blood – specifically its function as a buffer? As with blood, it absorbs and absorbs and absorbs until a critical point is reached, whereby it all goes downhill from there.

  146. kuhncat:

    In relation to your comments:

    ——–
    kuhncat (18:33:59)

    Would you please post the data and models that differ from the IPCC who presented graphs, argument, data, and models showing the infamous HOT SPOT in conjunction with tropospheric cooling and tropopause heightening as the ID of Anthropogenic Global Warming through Greenhouse Gasses??

    AR7 is what you must deal with to DENY the hotspot.

    I assume you do not agree with the games with models and wind speed measurements to tell us that we can’t EXCLUDE THE POSSIBILITY OF A HOT SPOT??

    Personally I am just fine with the IPCC science. They tell us that GG warming will cause the three mentioned data points. We do not have those data points. Therefore we either do not have GG warming (or ANY warming with no hot spot) or they are wrong.
    ———–

    I’m not sure what you mean by “hot spot”. Can you enlighten us? It’s predicted that greenhouse warming will result in particularly strong warming in the high Northern latitudes due to efficient wind and ocean currents that transport excess heat from the equator, coupled with albedo feedbacks. is that what you mean?

    As for the other predictions, our understanding of the greenhouse effect and the consequences of its amplification include enhanced tropospheric water vapour, tropospheric warming, stratospheric cooling, an increased height for longwave radiation to space and so on. Each of these has been characterised by real world measurements.

    For example one of the many corrections of the early satellite temperature analysis describes the tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling;

    Q. Fu et al. (2004) Contribution of stratospheric cooling to satellite-inferred tropospheric temperature trends Nature 429, 55-58.

    A whole load of analysis has characterised enhanced tropospheric water vapour:

    Soden BJ, et al (2005) The radiative signature of upper tropospheric moistening Science 310, 841-844

    Santer BD et al. (2007) Identification of human-induced changes in atmospheric moisture content. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 15248-15253

    A.E. Dessler et al (2008) Water-vapor climate feedback inferred from climate fluctuations, 2003–2008. Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L20704.

    There doesn’t seem to be any substantive disagreement between predicted and measured tropospheric temperature trends (‘though accurate tropospheric temperature measurements are still difficult):

    B. D. Santer et al. (2008) Consistency of modelled and observed temperature trends in the tropical troposphere. International Journal of Climatology 28, 1703 – 1722.

    and so on…

    anyway, please give us some clarification with respect to the “hot spot”

  147. “It seems Illis is a garage scientist (Links to prof. qualifications appreciated.), so you are probably right. it is so easy to cook a graph, or just get it wrong, or, in the case of the denier folks, get what you are looking for instead of what is. This is why rigorous science is called for: while not perfect, since people aren’t”

    The first thing Alarmists resort to is the credentials of those who critique. If that doesn’t work, personal attacks are in order.

    How interesting that one of the world’s preminent statisticians (Wegman) is denergenated, and is reduced to a “garage scientists” becuase he failed to toe the line. CCPO, you seem blissfully unaware that Mann’s MBH9X temp reconstructions were nothing more than a statistical analysis of 1300 temp proxies. Those was no “science: involved in crafting the Hockey Stick, as it was purely an excercise in Principle Component Analysis. McIntyre and McKitrick are professional statisticians, and it didn’t take them and many others to find out what Mann was up to. Yet, not one of Mann’s “peers” discovered Mann’s mistakes. So much for Peer Review. Wegman was correct in affixing the label “Social Network” to Climate Science’s peer review process.

    BTW, keep a weathered eye on GISS and NOAA’s treatment of December’s Siberian temp anaomalies next month. Should be interesting as Central Siberia has had high temps ranging from -40 to -80 deg F for this month.

  148. Human-made aerosol changes are a forcing, but aerosol changes in response to climate change are a fast feedback.

    Oh Boy! A new magic fudge factor.

    For those of not inclined to sift through Hansen’s argument. In summary he says,

    Aerosols are a cooling forcing roughly half the size of CO2 warming over 20th century (although uncertainty is large and aerosols may be as large as CO2).

    Warming causes more water vapour in atmosphere which reduces aerosols and aerosol cooling. Aerosols are therefore a warming (positive) feedback.

    Hansen claims aerosol emissions have not reduced. On a global basis he may be right, but aerosols operate locally (mostly) and we know there have been large changes in local aerosol production (Clean Air Acts; Asian industrialization).

    The kicker is the overwhelming majority of the sites Hansen uses in his climate network (GISS) are in places where aerosol prodcution has changed substantially (mostly reduced).

    Another example of local changes averaged and extrapolated to show a spurious global effect.

  149. J Peden,

    You’re right that the climate sensitivity breaks down at very low [CO2] concnetrations, but these aren’t realistic anyway. Anything below around 100-120 ppm isn’t relevant to CO2 levels during any period in the earth’s history of the last billion years or more (except perhaps during the nasty ice house period(s))!

    And of course the climate sensitivity as defined in mine or Bill Illis equations doesn’t give the absolute temperature (mine does since I’ve normalised this to 15 oC at 280 ppm) , but the temperature increase above the blackbody (atmosphere-free) temperature of the earth supplemented with whatever residual warming that would exist in a CO2-free world. So as one continues to halve the CO2 concentration within the climate-sensitivity relationship, the temperature tends towards some horrible cold temperature (around 255K-ish?), rather than continuing to plummet with 3 oC of cooling per halved [CO2]!

    The point of my analysis ‘though and the equation that I produced (post at 12:52:53) is to highlight the extremely misleading nature of the Bill Illis curve in the introductory article here.

    The Scotese graph with a pseudo-“paleotemperature/paleoCO2 evolution” is also horribly incorrect, but that’s another matter!

  150. Phil, have you had a bad eperience with “foinavon” in the past? Is that something I might know about? Or did you have an accident on the mountain or something? ;-)

  151. Forgive me if this has already been said- I hadn’t time to read Hansen’s opus and all comments.
    Am I mistaken in my belief- since Hansen’s ignored it- that ice-age inceptions and terminations have everything to do with solar radiation input at over 65 degrees latitude (Milankovitch cycles) and nothing to do with CO2 (which lags temperature changes by up to 800 years).
    So let’s see whether I’ve “nailed it” Looking at slide 8 in Hansen’s lecture (We have good records of the long-lived atmospheric gases from ice cores, covering 400,000 thousand years, even 800,000 years.) there is a temperature change of about 7-8 degrees for roughly a 1.6 increase/decrease in C02, or about 4.5 degrees for a CO2 doubling. Dial in the logarithmic “response” and a few other non-solar “feedbacks” and there you are- about 3.5 degrees/CO2 doubling.

    Simple- as long as you ignore the big bright yellow ball in the sky.

  152. Hansen’s presentation (and foinavon) mention Pangini’s high resolution CO2 estimates covering the period from about 16 million years ago to about 45 million years ago.

    Hansen used this paper to say CO2 levels should stay below 450 ppm because that is the level Pangini got for the time period when Antarctica glaciated over about 35.5 million years ago.

    Except Pangini’s numbers are much higher than this for the time period, as high as 1,500 ppm 34 million years ago.

    The CO2 estimates vary greatly over the overall time period including some numbers as low as 181 ppm 16 million years ago (before Greenland glacatiated over.)

    Some CO2 enthusiasts might like to look at the actual numbers and see if one can build a CO2-temp correlation from this data.

    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/climate_forcing/trace_gases/pagani2005co2.txt

  153. re George E. Smith 13:00:45 on the fact that CO2 changes lag behind temperature change in the ice-ages record.

    Sorry if I failed to explain this to you–isn’t it obvious? The lag is not good news. Rather, it strongly confirms that the Milankovitch-cycle shifts in sunlight over tens of thousands of years regularly initiated a powerful feedback loop. I think essentially everyone agrees that the close of a glacial era comes when solar insolation in mid northern latitudes results in less snow cover in late spring and perhaps early fall, bringing a slight rise of temperature. The long-standing puzzle as to how this slight change could drive a glacial cycle is answered once we understand that the small temperature rise stimulates a substantial increase in gas levels (not only CO2 but also methane, which follows a similar path); this drives the temperature higher, which drives a further rise in the gas levels, and so forth. The process takes quite a few centuries. Ice ages are thus the reverse of our current situation, where humanity is initiating the change, setting the feedback in motion, by adding greenhouse gases — although far faster, and reaching a far higher level, than anything in the Pleistocene record.

  154. foinavon (16:11:33) :

    Dave Dodd,

    I suspect you’ll find with deeper investigation that Beck’s data is not a reliable atmospheric CO2 record, although it is interesting in the historical sense…

    These values are woefully inadequate as measures of atmospheric CO2, since cities give very high CO2 levels as they’re close to emission sources.

    Aren’t the current measures of CO2 from Hawaii close to emission sources, that is, volcanoes?

  155. Will (22:38:48)

    I don’t think it’s an “ad hoc assertion”! There’s a lot of data on aerosols and their cooling and warming contributions, and even though the errors associated with quantifying their effects are large, they certainly have to be included in consideration of the historical temperature evolution and future effects.

    There’s still a very strong aerosol load apparently, and this is protecting us somewhat against the warming effect of enhanced greenhouse gases. I described some of the data summarised by Carmichael and Ramanathan in their recent review in a post above. HereHere’s the source again:

    V. Ramanathan & G. Carmichael (2008) Global and regional climate changes due to black carbon; Nature geoscience 1, 221-227.

    Essentially the same data can be accessed from Ramanathan’s testimony before the Wegman oversight committee hearing last year:

    http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20071018110734.pdf

    Attribution of the contributions from aerosols can be found there. Likewise ice core data can be used to for determining black carbon and sulphurous aerosols in great detail, although the levels in ice cores likely give a localized measure:

    J. R. McConnell et al (2007) 20th-Century Industrial Black Carbon Emissions Altered Arctic Climate Forcing. Science 317, 1381 – 1384.

    more global scale analysis of emissions and their contributions have come from detailed fuel use statistics and suchlike:

    e.g. Novakov T (2003) Large historical changes of fossil-fuel black carbon aerosols, Geophys. Res. lett. 30,, art # 1324

    but I suspect these aren’t as precise as we would like, and it’s not an easy subject to quantitate. It does seem to be reasonably well established that the aerosol load is actually substantially greater now than through the 50’s-60’s, but then the greenhouse forcing from excess CO2 during this period wasn’t actually than large either (< 0.3 oC at equilibrium).

  156. Wow Hansen has “nailed it”! I don’t notice any data though, or even an explanation of a logical line of reasoning that doesn’t assume all the effects he is supposed to be measuring?

    Hypothesis is not theory, theory is not fact. The burden of proof is supposed to sit squarely on the theory in question.

    Computer model runs are not data, corrections to the temperature record also known as WAGs are also not data. I like foinavon waving away all the paleo data. In the past CO2 has clearly not been a major climate driver, nor is it even evident that it is a positive effect despite a prediction based on incorrect assumptions from Arrhenius.

    If you think Hansen has any credibility it isn’t because of science. Until he releases his raw data and his methods for doing his calculations the logical conclusion is fraud.

  157. Bill (03:55:54)

    re:

    Question I have is that if the temperature response to CS (Climate Sensitivity) is logarithmic as Dr Hansen and most seem to agree then why:

    1) is the temperature increase primarily linear? Only way that happens I think is if CO2 growth is exponential, yes?

    Good question. The temperature response in an ideal world with an instantaneous forcing (e.g. add 386 ppm’s worth of CO2 into the atmosphere as now and then stop and wait to see what happens!) would be something like a hyperbolic rise to a new equilibrium:

    e.g. T = Tmax*t/(t+k)

    where T is the temperature, Tmax is the temperature at equilibrium that will eventually result from the effect of the forcing, t is time and k is some constant that relates to the intertia in the system.

    This should give a hyperbolic change in temperature that tends towards Tmax.

    Even within this simple model the temperature change might appear linear since the early parts of a hyperbolic are near linear (t <k). Likewise as you say, the forcing is an ever increasing one since we are continuing to pump CO2 into the atmosphere. This will also tend to make the temperature trend more linear…

    2) Given the 2.5 – 3.5C temperature in response to doubling CO2 from 280ppmv and we are currently nearing 400 ppmv (about halfway there) should we not have already seen about 70% of the 2.5-3.5C temp increase?

    We can calculate the temperature rise expected within a 3 oc climate sensitivity (CS) (280-400 ppm change) as 1.5 oC, so yes, your value of around 70% is about right. However this is the change expected at equilibrium. It comes back to the inertia in the climate system defined by in the equation just above (in fact there are many different ‘s with different elements of the climate system equilibrating on different timescales). So we don’t expect to get the full “whack” of our current emissions until some decades into the future…

    It also seems that the earth’s temperature response to enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations is somewhat suppressed by our aerosol emissions:

    see, for example the testimony from V. Ramanathan before the Wegman oversight committee last year which is very informative on the current aerosol science:

    http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20071018110734.pdf

  158. foinavon (05:59:16)…

    You wrote:
    The Scotese graph with a pseudo-”paleotemperature/paleoCO2 evolution” is also horribly incorrect, but that’s another matter!

    I’m sorry, but the Scotese graph has been corroborated using other proxies (i.e isotopes and iron stained grains) and it is correct. If you read the references at the bottom of the diagram, you would find other authors who have found the same results.

  159. foinavon (05:59:16) :

    The Scotese graph with a pseudo-”paleotemperature/paleoCO2 evolution” is also horribly incorrect, but that’s another matter!

    You make sweeping comments like this, without any links.

    What is the correct ”paleotemperature/paleoCO2 evolution” according to you? Links please.

    And here are my links of why the whole caboodle of GCM as presented in the IPCC reports should be considered bad history.

    This is the third time I am putting these up on these boards, and I hope the regulars here will excuse me.

    A model/theory falls even if one datum disproves it, and there are at least four failures of the projected fits of the models to the data of the last ten years.

    1) Temperatures do not follow IPCC projections. Here is a plot to remind this:

    2) The fingerprint of CO2 in the tropical troposphere as set out in the AR4 report is absent in the data. Here are the links
    for models:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter9.pdf

    data:

    3) The oceans are cooling instead of warming and setting off a feedback loop of greenhouse warming: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025
    The spin is: global warming missing heat. The truth is, nature does not follow the GCM IPCC models.

    4) the specific humidity is not rising as it should in order to create the runaway feedback loop predicated in the models:

    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/Timeseries/timeseries.pl?ntype=1&var=Specific+Humidity+(up+to+300mb+only)&level=300&lat1=90&lat2=-90&lon1=-180&lon2=180&iseas=1&mon1=0&mon2=11&iarea=0&typeout=2&Submit=Create+Timeseries

    Here are plots of relative humidity, which also falls: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/GlobalRelativeHumidity300_700mb.jpg

    The basic premise of the models, that the tiny, (anthropogenic CO2 is a tiny fraction of the CO2 in the atmosphere:
    http://www.co2web.info/Icecap_CarbonDioxide.pdf) anthropogenic CO2 is the straw that breaks the camel’s back and starts runaway greenhouse warming is absolutely not supported by the data

    In addition there is no driving correlation between the rise in CO2 and global temperatures in this plot: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Correlation_of_Carbon_Dioxide_with_Temperatures_Negative_Again.pdf

  160. Anthony Watts says:

    Hansen makes a bold statement that he has empirically derived CO2 sensitivity of our global climate system. I had to chuckle though, about the claim “Paleo yields precise result”. Apparently Jim hasn’t quite got the message yet that Michael Mann’s paleo results are, well, dubious, or that trees are better indicators of precipitation than temperature.

    Since his argument isn’t based on Michael Mann’s paleo results, I don’t see that this message (assuming it to be true…another whole can of worms) is particularly relevant.

    Bill Illis says:

    First, where is the solar reduction part of the equation due to the Milankovitch cycle. This formula says it doesn’t even play a part including kicking off the ice albedo in the first place.

    Yes, changes in solar insolation kick off the ice albedo changes. However, these changes are in the distribution of solar insolation. The total amount of solar insolation hitting the earth does not change (or not appreciably).

    Second, his math is wrong if the sensitivity is 3.0C per doubling because a reduction to 180 ppm from 280 ppm only results in a decline of 1.9C (picky I know but he is the one who says he has nailed it empirically – the formula doesn’t even work).

    Your calculation includes only CO2. His presumably also includes methane(and maybe NO2?).

    Noblesse Oblige says:

    I have seen at least a half dozen empirical estimations of the climate sensitivity done by a variety of different methods, and their range runs from less than 1 to ~ 1.7 deg C for doubling. They use a variey of correlation techniques (e.g., Douglass and Christy) or estimates of the temperature relaxation time (Schwartz, Scafetta).

    Actually, Schwartz has revised his estimate in the reply to the comments on his original paper. His new estimate is something like 1.9 C and has large enough error bars to overlap with a good portion of the IPCC range. (And my guess is some of the commenters on his paper would argue his new estimate is still too low based on the problems they identified in his paper.)

  161. Phil, have you had a bad eperience with “foinavon” in the past? Is that something I might know about?

    Yes, my money was on Red Alligator! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foinavon

    My issue with Bill’s data fits is that he treats the baseline [CO2] as one of his parameters, in the latest graph it’s as high as 334ppm

  162. Richard deSousa says:

    Hansen also fails to mention Venus’s atmosphere is 97% CO2… how he can jump from Earth’s atmosphere of .03% CO2 to runaway global warming is beyond comprehension… he’s completely an imbecile…

    That is it’s composition now but the question would be what its composition was before the runaway greenhouse effect got going. In particular, all the water on Venus boiled into the atmosphere when it got very hot, dissociated and then I think it eventually escaped into space. It is also worth noting that although nitrogen only makes up ~3.5% of the current Venus atmosphere, this is not a small amount of nitrogen considering that the air pressure on Venus is currently 92X that on earth.

    Since Hansen is one of those responsible for understanding the greenhouse effect on Venus, I think he might know a little more about it than you do. (That said, I must admit that I am also surprised to hear him argue that a runaway effect could occur here on Earth, since most scientists that I know of, such as those at RealClimate, argue that a true runaway on Earth is not in the cards. I would like to hear the arguments on both sides.)

  163. “Philip_B (05:50:54) :

    Human-made aerosol changes are a forcing, but aerosol changes in response to climate change are a fast feedback.

    Oh Boy! A new magic fudge factor.”

    You don’t know how right you are. There is strong evidence that aerosols (dust) is a very important factor in the sharp swings between glacial and interglacial climate. What Hansen is trying to do is to claim that GHG is the one important thing and everything else (including aerosols) is feedback. That bit about “fast” feedback, is because dust levels change very quickly in ice-core records when the climate shifts, much faster than the CO2 levels, so for “fast” read “effect before cause”

  164. foinavon, would you perhaps indicate where in your opinion correct paleotemperature/CO2 level curves are to be found?
    By the way only the paleotemp curve is due to Scotese, as you would have seen if you had bothered to check. Incidentally the original has rather more detail during the Cenozoic, Anthony selected a simplified version.

  165. OT, but thought it was interesting anyway…

    Anyone in New England with access to the cable channel NECN, as part of their 30 minute “news loop”, they are reporting that even though THIS Christmas will be white, Global Warming is threatening to eliminate ALL white Christmases in the future…

    They can even tie it into the holidays.

    Wonder what Dickens’ Tiny Tim would have thought about that…

    JimB

  166. E.M.Smith says:

    Do you have a citation?

    ….

    I’d say a more accurate description would be that “a research associate provided the computer programs that lead to the claim of global cooling.”

    All is see is Hansen backpedaling from his earlier model to a newer model.

    Hansen explains here that what he gave Rasool was a code to do Mie Scattering calculations. Mie Scattering is something that was worked out around 1900, although the formulas are complicated enough that it would have been a non-trivial task to write code to calculate them back in 1971. (Today, with routines to compute Bessel functions and Legendre Polynomials more readily available, it is much easy to calculate Mie scattering and many people, including myself, have written our own codes.)

    To say that Hansen or his model predicted cooling because that is the result that Rasool got is not much different than saying that Newton predicted cooling because Rasool used calculus, invented by Newton, to get his result. (In fact, Newton actually invented, or co-invented, calculus whereas Hansen merely codified the theory already worked out by Mie, so Newton’s connection is more direct.)

    It is also worth noting that although the initial paper by Rasool and Schneider in 1971 did predict that cooling due to aerosols would win out over warming due to GHGs, the authors themselves admitted it was a first calculation…and, particularly in response to a comment on their paper, were very clear in noting that their calculation had a variety of potential inaccuracies. Within a few years, Schneider had done further calculations that made him realize that warming would likely win out over cooling. (It is also worth noting that in 1971 it was by no means clear that the U.S. and other Western countries would begin to sharply curtail their emissions of aerosols because of the Clean Air Act and other legislation…and thus that these emissions would not continue to grow exponentially.)

  167. As for the other predictions, our understanding of the greenhouse effect and the consequences of its amplification include enhanced tropospheric water vapour,…./foinavon

    Which is also not happening so far, consistent with the fact that water vapor alone has not produced the maximal theoretical “greenhouse” effect it otherwise should have, according in part to the very same energy wave absorption mechanism alleged to operate in the case of CO2 [coupled with water vapor’s increasing concentration per atmospheric temperature increase] – an effectively real damping regulation probably due to the operation of climatic mechanisms involving heat energy blocking and dissipation by means of cloud formation, release of latent heat during water vapor precipitation, and convection.

    And why these same mechanisms for regulating water vapor’s “ghg” effect would not also work in the case of CO2’s so as to further blunt the alleged large temperature effect from doubling [a small] atmospheric CO2 concentration, is certainly a mystery to me, again especially noting that water vapor concentration is not increasing, but even instead decreasing with increased CO2 concentration.

    Moreover, regarding any alleged correlation between CO2 concentrations and temperature over some range of CO2 concentration, if CO2 concentrations follow/lag temperature increases quickly enough, a relevant correlation between them of some significance could be present but not a CO2–> temperature causation. Apparently, previous concentrations of CO2 much higher than those of today have not abetted warming temperatures nor prevented atmospheric temperature decreases.

  168. Pk att says:

    Question. If Venus has run away global warming, why is its temp not continuing to rise over time? Is that not the definition of “run away” temps?

    No…Eventually, there are forces that come in that stabilize the temperatures. A definition of “runaway” that required such stabilization to never occur and the temperatures to run off to infinity could certainly be proposed but would not be very interesting since such a scenario would never occur. (In particular, I believe you’d be violating the laws of thermodynamics if the temperature of the atmosphere got larger than that of the surface of the sun.) I am not sure if a precise definition has been settled upon but I doubt that any scientist would argue that temperatures rising to the point where all the water in the oceans boils away should not constitute “run away global warming”!

    Bill Marsh says:

    1) is the temperature increase primarily linear? Only way that happens I think is if CO2 growth is exponential, yes?

    One thing that many people fail to realize is that all functions are locally linear over a small enough range unless you are right at a point of zero slope. So, over a small enough range, it is difficult to distinguish between logarithmic and linear or between linear and exponential. And, that range is not all that small: For example, if we assume a linear relationship for temperature for CO2 concentrations between 280 and 560 ppm, we get that our current concentration of ~385 ppm is 37.5% of the way there whereas if we assume the expected logarithmic relationship, we get that it is 46% of the way there, not that huge a difference.

    2) Given the 2.5 – 3.5C temperature in response to doubling CO2 from 280ppmv and we are currently nearing 400 ppmv (about halfway there) should we not have already seen about 70% of the 2.5-3.5C temp increase?

    I am not sure how you came up with the 70% number. My number of 46% is more accurate. Furthermore, you have to understand that the estimate you quote for a temp increase is the EQUILIBRIUM climate sensitivity…and we are pretty far outside of equilibrium…i.e., we haven’t yet seen the full response of the climate to the current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Best estimates for the transient climate response for a doubling CO2 levels are lower (and depend, of course, on the rate of CO2 increase). Also, without having good estimates for the other contributions to climate forcing during the 20th and early 21st century, such as aerosols, as well as internal climate variability, it is rather difficult to obtain very strong bounds on the estimated climate sensitivity by considering the temperature rise that we have seen over this time. Better estimates are obtained from other events (such as temperatures at the last glacial maximum vs now or response of the atmosphere to the major volcanic eruptions like Mt. Pinatubo).

  169. Citing Venus as an example is laughable. The Venusian atmosphere is hundreds of times denser than ours. This is like arguing that since the armor on an M1A1 tank can protect one from an RPG, a throw pillow should do the same.

    J. Peden,

    You are missing the obvious explanation that the CO2 travelled back in time to cause the warming. Surely this makes more sense than doubting global warming orthodoxy.

  170. The dead give away that Hansen is full of it is to try and drag Venus in to his claims.
    Venus, besides being composed of chemicals similar to Earth, has nothing to do with Earth’s climate. It is much closer to the sun, its rotation is practically nil, it does not have oceans, tectonics, and its atmophere is radically different and always has been. When AGW promoters use Venus as a bogey man to try and induce fear based belief, they are simply demonstrating the lack of proof behind their fear mongering.

  171. J. Peden,

    I’m surprised that you assert that our understanding of the greenhouse effect and the consequences of its amplification include enhanced tropospheric water vapour,… is not happening. That simply doesn’t seem to accord with the science:

    A recent experimental study presents further evidence for the water vapour feedback, and supplements a whole slew of studies identifying warming-induced enhancement of tropospheric water vapour (see following citations):

    A.E. Dessler et al (2008) Water-vapor climate feedback inferred from climate fluctuations, 2003–2008. Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L20704,

    a summary can be found here:

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/vapor_warming.html)

    see also:

    Soden BJ, et al (2005) The radiative signature of upper tropospheric moistening Science 310, 841-844

    Santer BD et al. (2007) Identification of human-induced changes in atmospheric moisture content. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 15248-15253
    Buehler SA (2008) An upper tropospheric humidity data set from operational satellite microwave data. J. Geophys. Res. 113, art #D14110

    Brogniez H and Pierrehumbert RT (2007) Intercomparison of tropical tropospheric humidity in GCMs with AMSU-B water vapor data. Geophys. Res. Lett. 34, art #L17912

    Gettelman A and Fu, Q. (2008) Observed and simulated upper-tropospheric water vapor feedback . J. Climate 21, 3282-3289

    etc. etc….

  172. AGW beleivers, when it is convenient, claim climate reposnes to forcings is swift, but when the evidence that the Earth climate is not radically changing, they make the pitiful dodge that ‘we are not seeing the full effect yet’.
    Just like Hansen’s contrivance of climaing that the Antarctic’s continued cooling and ice growth is a proof that it will later warm, this ‘delay’ dodge is just an effort to make the prophecy seem to be reliable.
    When Pinatubo or Krakatoa blew, the impact was immediate. If we were seeing someting anywhere close to what Hansen and the IPCC claim, it would alreadybe happening. It is not, so now we get slideshows of grandkids and ohter entertainments as distractions.

  173. Joel,

    “One thing that many people fail to realize is that all functions are locally linear over a small enough range unless you are right at a point of zero slope.”

    I don’t consider 118 years (1890 – present) to be a small range? Actually it’s pretty much the entire range so it can’t be ‘small’. Small would be 5-10 years, at least to me.

    ‘we get that our current concentration of ~385 ppm is 37.5% of the way there whereas if we assume the expected logarithmic relationship, we get that it is 46% of the way there, not that huge a difference.

    I’d disagree that it is ‘not that big a difference’, close to a 20% difference is big (46% is ~ 20% larger than 37.5%). Assuming 3C for doubling and accepting the 46% figure, doesn’t that mean that we should have already seen a 1.15 – 1.61C temp increase (and we clearly haven’t seen even the low end of that range). Further if we’ve seen .6C increase (not an accurate figure, it may be lower) over 46% of the range, then doesn’t that mean we might expect to see roughly a 1.3C total increase?

  174. foinavon
    ” If ” you are still with us in the New Year, it will be interesting to see what music you are playing.

  175. paminator (00:17:45) :
    correction- That should have been “Venus receives almost 2 times higher solar insolation due to its closer proximity to the sun”.

    But it reflects ~75% of that insolation back into space so that its atmosphere actually receives less light from the sun than the Earth’s does.

  176. I read through Hansen’s presentation, and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. He clearly has lost it, and crossed the divide from being a credible scientist to a political activist. What I find particularly disturbing is his defense of the vandalism perpetrated by the “Kingsworth 6″. In addition, he has in the recent years said some vile and repulsive statements in defense of his “climate tipping point” hysteria. The most egregious was this:

    “In his recent testimony to the Iowa Utilities Board, Rev. James Hansen argued that the construction of a new coal-based power plant is equivalent to the holocaust. The trains that bring coal to the new power plant are nothing else than the death trains that were moving the Jews to extermination camps:

    … If we cannot stop the building of more coal-fired power plants, those coal trains will be death trains – no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria, loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species …”

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/11/hansen-power-plants-extermination-camps.html

    I, for one, can no longer accept anything Jim Hansen says as anything more than political propaganda.

  177. Maybe it is because people are doing “out the backdoor” assessments of the validity of said global warming and are beginning to smell a contrived panic driven agenda.

    In the western part of the US we have this: Record lows at both minimum and maximum combined with record snow falls/liquid precip. The humidity is high yet the air temps are freezing my little behind. Until this month, I always thought colder meant dryer. Nope. I forgot my 5th grade lesson on precipitation circulation. The current weather reminds me much more of that little chapter in 5th grade science books about on-shore flow and mountain precipitation. Simple little model. So simple that it should make the current AGW models, that apparently are too complicated for one chapter in a 5th grade science book, literally short circuit and blow fuses on the computers used for said climate models.

    http://www.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=pdt

    This site = sanity

  178. Joel Shore,
    This is just more of the same from Hansen.

    He claimed to have had the smoking gun in 2005, but as it turns out it was a blank.

  179. The Scotese “graph”

    Nasif Nahle (07:13:30)
    anna v (07:19:27)
    tty (08:03:04)
    J Peden (08:19:15)

    The Scotese graph in the Introductory post should set the alarm bells ringing! Surely a “skeptic” should ask the question “where are the data?”

    The main problem can be put in a nutshell:

    A true determination of the relationship between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and earth’s surface temperature can only be obtained from paleodata under those circumstances where contemporaneous paleoCO2 and paleotemp data are available”

    What you can’t do is take a scattering of sparse data points (which we can’t see since they’re not represented on the childish sketch) and draw straight lines between these encompassing many 10’s of millions of years in some instances, and pretend that all the vast intervening periods are thus defined.

    The other problem is that the CO2 data is from Berners GeoCarb model in which a broad brush representation of the major elements of the earths CO2 history are modeled. It’s not really a proxy CO2 measure..it’s more of a proxy-based broad reconstruction.

    I have no idea where the sketched temperature data comes from. Does anybody know? It doesn’t seem to be described on Scotese’s site. In the context of Scotese’s rather nice site describing epochal climate histories, it’s perfectly satisfactory as a broadly educational sketchy indication of how things have changed in the past. But I’d be surprised if Scotese was thrilled at seeing his sketch used as historical temperature evolution to compare with modeled broad-brush CO2 evolution.

    There is a whole load of data on contemporaneous proxy CO2 and proxy temperature measures. These have been compiled quite recently in a review by Dana Royer and covers the data up to around 2005:

    D.L. Royer (2006) “CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic” Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 70, 5665-5675.

    since Royer’s review, quite a number of further studies have been done which continue to highlight a general link between atmospheric CO2 levels and earth’s temperature under conditions where contemporaneous proxy CO2 and proxy temp. relationships have been established:

    R.E. Carne, J.M. Eiler, J. Veizer et al (2007) “Coupling of surface temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the Palaeozoic era” Nature 449, 198-202

    W. M. Kurschner et al (2008) “The impact of Miocene atmospheric carbon dioxide fluctuations on climate and the evolution of the terrestrial ecosystem” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105, 499-453.

    D. L. Royer (2008) “Linkages between CO2, climate, and evolution in deep time” Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 105, 407-408

    Zachos JC (2008) “An early Cenozoic perspective on greenhouse warming and carbon-cycle dynamics” Nature 451, 279-283.

    Doney SC et al (2007) “Carbon and climate system coupling on timescales from the Precambrian to the Anthropocene” Ann. Rev. Environ. Resources 32, 31-66.

    Horton DE et al (2007) “Orbital and CO2 forcing of late Paleozoic continental ice sheets” Geophys. Res. Lett. L19708 (Oct. 11 2007).

    B. J. Fletcher et al. (2008) “Atmospheric carbon dioxide linked with Mesozoic and early Cenozoic climate change” Nature Geoscience 1, 43-48.

    and modelling studies of glaciation thresholds for CO2:

    DeConto RM et al (2008) Thresholds for Cenozoic bipolar glaciation Nature 455 652-655.

    Lunt DJ et al (2008) Late Pliocene Greenland glaciation controlled by a decline in atmospheric CO2 levels. Nature 454, 1102-1104

    etc…

  180. hunter says:

    AGW beleivers, when it is convenient, claim climate reposnes to forcings is swift, but when the evidence that the Earth climate is not radically changing, they make the pitiful dodge that ‘we are not seeing the full effect yet’.
    ….
    When Pinatubo or Krakatoa blew, the impact was immediate. If we were seeing someting anywhere close to what Hansen and the IPCC claim, it would alreadybe happening.

    Since the same models that accurately represent the effect on climate of the Mt Pinatubo eruption are the ones that predict that it will take a fair bit of time to see the full effect of the current forcings, you are not correct. Now, you could try to make the argument that the effective relaxation times in the climate models are not realistic and the actual times are much shorter (as Schwartz did, although he has now had to backpedal quite a bit in the face of evidence that his method of determining the relaxation time systematically underestimates it in model systems where the correct answer is known). However, to claim that one cannot both account for the effect of Mt Pinatubo and have a reasonably long relaxation time for the climate system is demonstrably wrong.

  181. Bill Marsh says:

    I don’t consider 118 years (1890 – present) to be a small range? Actually it’s pretty much the entire range so it can’t be ’small’. Small would be 5-10 years, at least to me.

    For an exponential or logarithmic function, the question of regarding the region of linearity is related to the FRACTIONAL change in the function over the time period in question. I don’t think you can determine anything one way or the other from your intuition on what is a short or long period of time.

    I’d disagree that it is ‘not that big a difference’, close to a 20% difference is big (46% is ~ 20% larger than 37.5%).

    Well, I won’t quibble with you on what constitutes a large or small difference but considering that you were originally claiming our current CO2 concentrations (being ~37.5% of the way between 280ppm and 560ppm on a linear scale) constituted being >70% the way to a doubling on a log scale, I would say that the fact that it actually is only 46% of the way to a doubling does mean that the linear-to-log conversion doesn’t make nearly the difference that you thought it did.

    Assuming 3C for doubling and accepting the 46% figure, doesn’t that mean that we should have already seen a 1.15 – 1.61C temp increase (and we clearly haven’t seen even the low end of that range)…

    See the rest of my post there. Given that we are out-of-equilibrium and given the large uncertainty in the value of the negative aerosol forcing, what we have seen is compatible with a very broad range of values for the equilibrium climate sensitivity. The simple fact is that the 20th and early 21st century temperature record just doesn’t provide us with very strong constraints on this value, which is why we have to look at other empirical evidence.

  182. Considering the “man made” increase in carbon dioxide (from the burning of fossil fuels and tuna casseroles), shouldn’t we be seeing a corresponding 2-to-1 reduction in oxygen levels in respect to current carbon dioxide levels?

    I’m at a loss to find any long-term data on the subject. Does anyone have any sources for such data?

    Thanks,
    -Uncle Larry

  183. I do not think that Ben Kellet needs ice-core evidence that the Northern Hemisphere has warmer than now during the last 1,000 years. Greenland (so called because of its fertility) was actively farmed from about the eighth century until the little ice-age in the fourteenth cetury. This is borne out not only by archeology but also by contemporaneous written documents. It is still not warm enough to support much farming now. So if the ice cores do not show this pattern of warmer climates one must question either the accuracy of the ice-cores samples or the science which translates ice core samples into historical temperatures.

  184. “Thousands of scientists reviewed the reports and were able to make as many critiques as they wanted.”

    Last time I checked, the critiques were locked up in IPCC headquarters and someone was having trouble getting permission to visit and view them. Anyone know of an independent examination of them?

  185. I love the 600-million year graph showing declining CO2 levels vs. temperature – my question would be, why are there apparent flat limits to temperature at 22C and 12C ? Since we’re at the lower limit, isn’t there only 1 direction to go? Temperature changes certainly weren’t caused by humans before.

  186. BREAKING NEWS..!!!
    ————————————————————————-
    Did Early Global Warming Divert A New Glacial Age?

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 18, 2008) — The common wisdom is that the invention of the steam engine and the advent of the coal-fueled industrial age marked the beginning of human influence on global climate.

    But gathering physical evidence, backed by powerful simulations on the world’s most advanced computer climate models, is reshaping that view and lending strong support to the radical idea that human-induced climate change began not 200 years ago, but thousands of years ago with the onset of large-scale agriculture in Asia and extensive deforestation in Europe.

    What’s more, according to the same computer simulations, the cumulative effect of thousands of years of human influence on climate is preventing the world from entering a new glacial age, altering a clockwork rhythm of periodic cooling of the planet that extends back more than a million years.

    “This challenges the paradigm that things began changing with the Industrial Revolution,” says Stephen Vavrus, a climatologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Climatic Research and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. “If you think about even a small rate of increase over a long period of time, it becomes important.”

    Addressing scientists on Dec 17 at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union, Vavrus and colleagues John Kutzbach and Gwenaëlle Philippon provided detailed evidence in support of a controversial idea first put forward by climatologist William F. Ruddiman of the University of Virginia. That idea, debated for the past several years by climate scientists, holds that the introduction of large-scale rice agriculture in Asia, coupled with extensive deforestation in Europe began to alter world climate by pumping significant amounts of greenhouse gases — methane from terraced rice paddies and carbon dioxide from burning forests — into the atmosphere. In turn, a warmer atmosphere heated the oceans making them much less efficient storehouses of carbon dioxide and reinforcing global warming.

    That one-two punch, say Kutzbach and Vavrus, was enough to set human-induced climate change in motion.

    “No one disputes the large rate of increase in greenhouse gases with the Industrial Revolution,” Kutzbach notes. “The large-scale burning of coal for industry has swamped everything else” in the record.

    But looking farther back in time, using climatic archives such as 850,000-year-old ice core records from Antarctica, scientists are teasing out evidence of past greenhouse gases in the form of fossil air trapped in the ice. That ancient air, say Vavrus and Kutzbach, contains the unmistakable signature of increased levels of atmospheric methane and carbon dioxide beginning thousands of years before the industrial age.

    “Between 5,000 and 8,000 years ago, both methane and carbon dioxide started an upward trend, unlike during previous interglacial periods,” explains Kutzbach. Indeed, Ruddiman has shown that during the latter stages of six previous interglacials, greenhouse gases trended downward, not upward. Thus, the accumulation of greenhouse gases over the past few thousands of years, the Wisconsin-Virginia team argue, is very likely forestalling the onset of a new glacial cycle, such as have occurred at regular 100,000-year intervals during the last million years. Each glacial period has been paced by regular and predictable changes in the orbit of the Earth known as Milankovitch cycles, a mechanism thought to kick start glacial cycles.

    “We’re at a very favorable state right now for increased glaciation,” says Kutzbach. “Nature is favoring it at this time in orbital cycles, and if humans weren’t in the picture it would probably be happening today.”

    Importantly, the new research underscores the key role of greenhouse gases in influencing Earth’s climate. Whereas decreasing greenhouse gases in the past helped initiate glaciations, the early agricultural and recent industrial increases in greenhouse gases may be forestalling them, say Kutzbach and Vavrus.

    Using three different climate models and removing the amount of greenhouse gases humans have injected into the atmosphere during the past 5,000 to 8,000 years, Vavrus and Kutzbach observed more permanent snow and ice cover in regions of Canada, Siberia, Greenland and the Rocky Mountains, all known to be seed regions for glaciers from previous ice ages. Vavrus notes: “With every feedback we’ve included, it seems to support the hypothesis (of a forestalled ice age) even more. We keep getting the same answer.”

  187. The absence of any scientific rigor in Hansen’s immodest claims is patently evident from his miscasting of CO2 as a “forcing” and from his reliance upon an entirely novel notion of “positive feedback” by water vapor leading to a “runaway greehouse.”

    CO2 produces not one calorie of energy; it merely absorbs and reradiates energy in a few narrow bands from a planetary surface thermalized entirely by insolation. It is thus a capacitance effect–a minor one, at that, compared to water vapor–and not any proper (i.e., energetic) forcing of the climate system.

    Evaporation and moist convection combined rival radiation as a surface cooling mechanism, redistributing surface heat into the atmosphere. That heat is subsequently partially exchanged back and forth with the surface through radiative transfer. There can be no magic multiplication of total thermal energy through any proper feedback, however, in violation of conservation laws. The salutary effect of this so-called “greenhouse” is an elevated surface average along with a low-pass filtering of variations, which results in far smaller diurnal range than is oberved at the Moon. The harsh extermes found there are avoided.

    At climatic time scales, the premise that increased CO2 concentrations lead to higher surface temperatures runs into a two-fold problem: temperature leads CO2 on millenial scales and the variables are virtually incoherent on multi-decadal basis. The weak millennial correlations are best expalined by outgassing from the oceans.

    The basic physical fact seemingly ignored by Hansen is that one cannot obtain higher humidities aloft without an attendant increase in evaporative cooling at the surface and in cloudiness. The usual GCM model assumption of constant relative humidities is simply unrealistic, as is their parameterized treatment of “average” cloudiness. The danger we’re plainly witnessing is a runaway deification of results from unproven models.

  188. foinavon ,

    from the link you provided about aerosols: Role of Black Carbon on Global and Regional Climate Change
    V. Ramanathan

    http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20071018110734.pdf

    VI.Major Source of Uncertainty: Emission Sources for BC
    Our ability to model the effects of BCs in climate models is severely limited. One of the
    main reason is the large uncertainty (factor of 2 or more) in the current estimates of the
    emission of the organic (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) (See Bond et al. 2004 and
    2007).. Furthermore, biomass burning contribute significantly to the emissions of OC
    and EC and the historical trends (during the last 100 years) in these emissions are
    unknown and models currently resort to ad-hoc methods such as scaling the current day emissions with past trends in population.

    So we are talking factors of two, now.

    I suspect all the references you give ( which unfortunately we cannot read since we do not subscribe to the publications) buried somewhere will be similar hedgings.

    Do not get me wrong. It is fine that people explore all possible avenues, publish and defend them. That is normal in a scientific environment.

    What is wrong is saying the science is settled, which you have adopted and shout loudly. The science is NOT settled. And trying to stampede the world politicians into disastrous energy policies on such flimsy and precarious arguments is unethical and immoral and downright dangerous.

    Maybe the gods will take pity on us an bring on a few more winters like this so that AGW hotheads cool off.

  189. Hey Foinavon,

    Yeah, sorry, I did change the title accidentally (I had no ulterior motive other than being lazy ;) ). I got it from this site without double checking properly and was in a rush.

    It is:
    Compo, G.P., and P.D. Sardeshmukh, 2008: Oceanic influences on recent continental warming. Climate Dynamics, doi: 10.1007/s00382-008-0448-9.

    I’m pretty sure in that paper they don’t claim what the main cause of the oceans warming was (and that’s what I’m interested in) . They say it could be GHG but that it could also be due to natural causes and is a matter of active investigation. Sure GHG may have warmed the oceans but to what degree and were they the main driver of that warming. If so what evidence do we have to show that. Also, do we know what the thermal equilibrium time between atmosphere and ocean? Obviously that is vitally important in our understanding of climate sensitivity to CO2.

    There was warming of the planet between say 1860 and 1940 and I find it hard to believe that that was due to CO2. If you look at the global mean surface temperature records, from 1860 to around 1915 the temperature goes up and then back down again even though there is very little change in CO2 (I think there might be a slight upwards trend in CO2). From 1860 to 1940 there is roughly a 0.5 degree change in temperature.

    From the SIple Ice core I get the CO2 concentration in 1860 at around 289 ppm and in 1943 around 307 ppm. The global mean temperatures show a rise of around 0.5 degrees but by my calculations and your formula I get CO2 only being able to account for 0.26 of that or roughly half even assuming the oceans have come to thermal equilibrium and CO2 has done all its warming. If it hasn’t then the warming due to CO2 is less than 0.26.

    Therefore, to me, there had to have been some natural (or other non CO2 forced) process at work and I’m still not convinced the IPCC (a Polemic of it’s own you’d have to admin) has enough evidence to claim that natural variation can’t have caused the warming of the latter 20th century. Claiming that increases in atmospheric CO2 was the main driver of temperature because you can’t think of any NV that could be responsible seems highly suspect to me because there have been these processes in the past, we may not know what they are and have fancy formulas for them but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

    Using aerosols for canceling the warming reminds me of Ptolemy’s earth centric model of the solar system and the mini cycles mars and other planets took, they’re necessary to uphold ones view. Surely there is also another plausible explanation, that climate is not as sensitive to CO2 as assumed (2C02 = 3C). Is that not possible?
    Chylek [2007] certainly seem to think it is. I think it would make more sense to me to assume that climate sensitivity is small until we are more sure of the effects of aerosols (i.e. uncertainties are reduced) and hence more certain of the climate sensitivity.

    Surely you must agree statements like “the debate is over” and “science is settled” don’t help in these situations and seems to imply more certainty to Joe public like me than there really is. Then again I guess no one has actually defined what the “debate” was and which “science” has been settled.

  190. If you assume that the temperature change is the result of CO2 and then compute the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 and then using that result to prove the temperature change is the result of doubling the CO2 then this is circular reasoniong. I do not see how Mr. Hansen’s calculations are any more than circular reasoning. Please indicate where I am wrong.

  191. Speaking of Hansen, when I look at his graph (C) on the second page of the following link, I see a regularly occurring temperature cycle.

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/meetings/arctic2007/pdf/aws_hansen.pdf

    And when I look at where we are right now on the graph (time wise), the slope of those two (red and blue) curves preceding the temperature increases are very similar to the other 3 that happened in the past.

    Unless I’m missing something, I see nothing abnormal in that graph for today’s time frame that hasn’t already occurred in the past 3 cycles.

  192. sauerkraut (05:46:13) :

    Cannot help but wonder if some of you folks are related to the creationista/ID folks.

    What do ya alls think of comparison of the atmosphere to blood – specifically its function as a buffer? As with blood, it absorbs and absorbs and absorbs until a critical point is reached, whereby it all goes downhill from there.

    And your bland generalisation adds “what value” to the conversation?

    Comparing the buffering properties of blood with the Atmosphere – have you heard the term “Drawing a long bow”.

    My commiserations for your recent loss.

  193. Mark (12:52:08) :
    Speaking of Hansen, when I look at his graph (C) on the second page of the following link, I see a regularly occurring temperature cycle.

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/meetings/arctic2007/pdf/aws_hansen.pdf

    And when I look at where we are right now on the graph (time wise), the slope of those two (red and blue) curves preceding the temperature increases are very similar to the other 3 that happened in the past.

    What you’re missing is the last 58 years of growth in CO2 (+~70ppm) and warming (~0.5ºC)!

  194. anna v,

    Yes there’s considerable uncertainty in the extent of the aerosol forcing. However the evidence indicates that it’s protecting us somewhat from the warming effects of hugely enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations. The nett aerosol contribution is a cooling one. As you have read in the paper that you’ve quoted from, Ramanathan is concerned about the possibility of removing the aerosol load since this will cause a significant enhancement of greenhouse warming (Ramanathan would like to find a means of selectively removing the warming contribution from black carbon).

    I’m not shouting. I may have used the odd exclamation mark (!) but you’re the one using cpitalised bold text! As for “the science being settled”, one needs to be specific. Some science is essentially settled, some less so, and some is still controversial……that’s science for you!

    It’s unfortunate that you don’t feel able to access the scientific literature (don’t you have a local University library?). It’s very easy to become mired in disinformation by resorting to blogs and other dodgy websites. If you use Google Scholar, you might be able to obtain downloadable versions of the papers. Or email the authors (email addresses obtainable with the free abstracts on journal websites. Some of the articles might be “Open Access”, and anything published by the major publicly funded research organisations (NASA Giss etc.) should be publically available free of charge.

    I wouldn’t say that the papers I cited are “hedgings” at all. That’s rather presumptious! They present evidence that informs our understanding…

    Just because the world is warming doesn’t mean that we don’t have winters. It’s quite a mild one over here in Blighty!

  195. To: foinavon

    “I’m not sure what you mean by “hot spot”. Can you enlighten us? It’s predicted that greenhouse warming will result in particularly strong warming in the high Northern latitudes due to efficient wind and ocean currents that transport excess heat from the equator, coupled with albedo feedbacks. is that what you mean?”

    “anyway, please give us some clarification with respect to the “hot spot”

    Let me try to fill the gap in your inconvenient memory loss. ;-)

    “Twelve IPCC climate model forecasts for the Fourth Assessment Report are shown at: http://ipccwg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/suppl/Ch10/Ch10_indiv-maps.html: see the column for Figure 10.7.
    These model experiments follows the ‘A1B’ emissions scenario, a medium-range emissions trajectory out to 2100. The global average surface warming as of the end of the century for the GISS model is about 2.3 C.29. The tropospheric average is twice that, reaching 5 C, and the focal pattern emerges at the beginning of the forecast period. The visual pattern shown in Figure 5 is found in all 12 climate model simulations done for the recent IPCC report.  In the Fourth Assessment Report Figure 9.1 (see http://ipccwg1.
    ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Pub_Ch09.pdf, page 675) a ‘hindcast’ is presented examining model-generated climate patterns for the interval 1890 to 1999. The Figure 5 pattern shows up in the greenhouse-only run (panel c) and, because the greenhouse forcing dominates the experiment,
    in the summed changes (panel f). The clear implication of this graph is that a strong warming trend in the tropical troposphere ought to be underway already and should be the dominant pattern of change in comparison with all other forcings. The Figure 5 pattern is also shown in a model-generated ‘hindcast’ that simulates climatic changes from 1958 to 1999 under the assumption of strong GHG-warming, which was done for the US
    Climate Change Science Program Report, Figure 1.3 Panels A and F, page 25, available at http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/default.htm. Again, the bright disc in the tropical troposphere is the dominant feature of the diagram.”

    Now that you know what we are talking about, would you care to explain your view of the discrepancy?

    More complete information here:

    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/files/documents/T3tax.VVedition.pdf

  196. Phil- you say “But it reflects ~75% of that insolation back into space so that its atmosphere actually receives less light from the sun than the Earth’s does.”

    Indeed I did mention the difference in Albedo between Earth and Venus in my previous post-
    “…but its Albedo is also higher than Earth (0.65 versus 0.3 for Earth).”

    More accurate numbers-
    Earth Albedo = 0.36, Venus = 0.65, Ratio V/E = 1.77
    Top of atmosphere insolation Earth = 1367 W/m^2, Venus = 2600 W/m^2, Ratio = 1.9

    Estimated surface insolation Earth = 1367*(1-0.36) = 875/m^2 at equator, noon sunward side
    Venus = 2600*(1-0.65) = 910 W/m^2 at equator, noon on sunward side.

    Pretty close to even by my estimates.

    Surface temperature average Earth = 288 K, Venus = 737 K.
    Biggest single difference between Venus and Earth- 92 times more total atmosphere on Venus (both atmospheres are good absorbers of infrared emission from the surface).

    No runaway greenhouse needed.

    Hansen is well aware of all of this, since I believe his PhD work involved modeling the atmosphere of Venus!

    *sigh*

  197. Hansen’s footnote (3):

    Although, in general, climate sensitivity is a function of the climate state,

    I made that point a while back on realclimate, here, here, here and here.
    .

    In fact, I used almost identical language:

    However, the feedbacks are a function of the climate state, which is a highly nonlinear function of T (only a few degrees separates us from the last ice age – a very different climate), hence the contribution to climate sensitivity from the feedback processes may be very different today than it was in the LGM.

    Of course I was roundly ridiculed for my heresy, but maybe Hansen gets his ideas from realclimate comments?

  198. apb, re your question:

    I love the 600-million year graph showing declining CO2 levels vs. temperature – my question would be, why are there apparent flat limits to temperature at 22C and 12C ?

    The answer is that there aren’t flat limits to temperature at 22C and 12C. It’s just some blokes sketch. No one seems to know where the “data” come from…it’s quite clearly incorrect….and yet it’s used as if it’s the last word on paleotemperature…..go figure!

    I love it too btw!

  199. Just because the world is warming doesn’t mean that we don’t have winters. It’s quite a mild one over here in Blighty!

    The BBC announced last week that the UK has had its coldest start to winter for 30 years. The government has already paid out £25m in cold weather payments. And another cold snap is on its way Boxing Day.

  200. Although, in general, climate sensitivity is a function of the climate state, the fast feedback sensitivity is just as great going toward warmer climate as it is going toward colder climate.

    Anyone understand what Hansen means by this? If it is meant to be an argument that climate sensitivity today is the same as in the LGM (Last Glacial Maximum), it makes no sense. If he is arguing that climate sensitivity is the same for doubling CO2 as it is for halving (except for the sign), then it is irrelevant in that it doesn’t tell us whether increased forcing today will have the same impact as increased forcing at the last LGM.

    If we don’t know the dependency of climate sensitivity on climate state, we can’t use glacial-interglacial temperature/CO2 changes to estimate today’s climate sensitivity, In other words, Hansen’s arguments are bunk.

  201. AnonyMoose asked about IPCC reviewers.

    300 reviewers posted comments. Only 30 posted comments on more than 3 chapters and only 5 on all 11 chapters.

    http://mclean.ch/climate/docs/IPCC_review_updated_analysis.pdf

    Many of the comments came from authors. Oddly enough, they tended to comment heavily in the chapters that they were authors of. This one was from chapter 9.

    “Reviewer – David Sexton
    Status – an author of this chapter
    section # 9.6 I think reads pretty well for the bits I understand.”

    http://mclean.ch/climate/Review_Update_summary.pdf

    It’s important to remember in all of this too that should not be lost in the conversation that the IPCC is the mechanism that provides a need for Carbon Credits. The worlds largest Carbon Offset Market (CDM) is run by the UN and like most things the UN touches is corrupt and inept.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/may/21/environment.carbontrading

  202. @Spencer Weart (06:24:32) :

    Hi Spencer, I have had a look at your website and there is no doubt that you have made some serious achievements in your field.

    Could you please try an answer the following questions.

    1. Would you hold that a well formed scientific theory would have clearly defined falsification criteria?

    2. If you hold that the theory that “Man made emissions of CO2 will cause Catastrophic Global Warming”, is a well formed scientific theory – what are the falsification criteria for the above theory.

    It is my understanding that what the IPCC are saying is the following.
    1. That Climate Change is happening. (no suprises there).
    2. That it is in the direction of Warming (Well supported until recently – now currently contentious)
    3. That Man Made emissions of CO2 are the primary cause of the Warming.
    4. That the warming will be catastrophic.

    Also – there is something that has deeply troubled me about the basis of the “evidence” for “Man made emissions of CO2 will cause Catastrophic Global Warming” which is encapsulated in the following posts on Climate Audit.

    Well, well. Look what the cat dragged in.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3393

    Bishop Hill: Caspar and the Jesus Paper

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3427

    These two posts and the attendent comments outline a set of practices by the purveyors of the “Hockey Stick” that could well be argued to be fraud.

    Spencer – could you please outline what your POV is with regards to the content of the above posts.

    Spencer – if the content of the above linked posts is valid – what do you have to say with regards to such practices occuring in science?

    In my own profession (Software Engineering), Bad Practices lead to Bad Results – why should I expect Bad Practices to lead to Good Climate science?

    Thanks. G

  203. Just imagine an actual greenhouse built with a thousand spaces to put glasses on them but just put the actual percentage of “CO2 glasses”, it would have only 3.8 glasses (a little less than four). Would that “greenhouse” , with 996 empty spaces, increase the temperature inside?

  204. John S:

    Without going through your entire post it’s worth pointing out that:

    CO2 is a forcing. It can also be a feedback (as in Milankovitch-induced recruitment of CO2 from terrestrial and ocean sinks during warming phases of insolation cycles). Whatever you call it, and however it gets into the atmosphere, it still results in a warming (equivalent to something of the order of 3 oC of warming per doubling).

    There’s nothing novel about the water vapor feedback to CO2-induced atmospheric warming, since this has been predicted for decades, and we can measure it in the real world.

    A blanket likewise produces not one calorie of energy. However that doesn’t mean that putting a blanket over your tootsies on a cold winter night doesn’t tend to warm them…(it traps thermal energy that would else radiate from your toes away into your chilly room).

    In spite of your arm chair argumentation, one can obtain higher humidities aloft without significant evaporative cooling at the surface. And despite your assertion of the unrealistic nature of roughly constant relative humidity, that’s actually what the measurements support:

    A.E. Dessler et al (2008) Water-vapor climate feedback inferred from climate fluctuations, 2003–2008. Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L20704,

    a summary can be found here:

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/vapor_warming.html

    etc. etc.

  205. Yes it was chilly for a while Stan. But now it’s pretty dismally grey and mild (last week or so) and we’re predicted the same through to XMas.

  206. Over on Climate Audit,
    From

    Bishop Hill: Caspar and the Jesus Paper

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3427

    To quote a post from Pat Keating:

    August 20th, 2008 at 7:39 pm
    Stolen from Harmless Sky (Robin Guiniere), with some additions:

    It seems that the climate alarmists’ views are increasingly complying with Nobel-prize-winning Irving Langmuir’s (1881 – 1957) “Laws of Bad Science” (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathological_science).

    These ‘laws’ are:

    • The maximum effect that is observed is produced by a causative agent of barely detectable intensity, and

    the magnitude of the effect is substantially independent of the intensity of the cause.

    • The effect is of a magnitude that remains close to the limit of detectability, or many measurements are necessary because of the very low statistical significance of the results.

    • There are claims of great accuracy.

    • Fantastic theories contrary to experience are suggested.

    • Criticisms are met by ad hoc excuses.

    About here right now

    • The ratio of supporters to critics rises and then falls gradually to oblivion.

    Man Made Emissions of CO2 Cause Catastrophic Global Warming – Is A Dead Meme Walking…

    Ref: Zombie (Ctrl-f) above.

  207. Adolfo Giurfa (13:39:42) :

    Just imagine an actual greenhouse built with a thousand spaces to put glasses on them but just put the actual percentage of “CO2 glasses”, it would have only 3.8 glasses (a little less than four). Would that “greenhouse” , with 996 empty spaces, increase the temperature inside?

    Off by a factor of 10 mate :-)… – it’s 385 Parts Per Million. That would be 3.8 glasses in 10,000 Glasses.

    Another visual analogy is 9996 White Ping Pong Balls in a Pool, throw in 4 Red ones and stir… – then spot the Red balls…

  208. Graeme Rodaughan (13:37:50) :

    @Spencer Weart (06:24:32) :

    Sorry to hit you once again – What’s your take on the following with regard to science.

    That Scientists should make their data, and methods freely available in formats that facillitate the analysis, test, reproduction and verification of results.

    What do you think the issue is, if scientists withhold their data and methods preventing independent scrutiny of results?

    With the caveat that the science is publically funded and conducted in the public interest – i.e where Climate Science would expect to fit.

  209. paminator (13:18:49) :
    Phil- you say “But it reflects ~75% of that insolation back into space so that its atmosphere actually receives less light from the sun than the Earth’s does.”

    Indeed I did mention the difference in Albedo between Earth and Venus in my previous post-
    “…but its Albedo is also higher than Earth (0.65 versus 0.3 for Earth).”

    More accurate numbers-
    Earth Albedo = 0.36, Venus = 0.65, Ratio V/E = 1.77

    You should use Bond Albedo, 0.75, 0.31

    Top of atmosphere insolation Earth = 1367 W/m^2, Venus = 2600 W/m^2, Ratio = 1.9

    Estimated surface insolation Earth = 1367*(1-0.36) = 875/m^2 at equator, noon sunward side
    Venus = 2600*(1-0.65) = 910 W/m^2 at equator, noon on sunward side.

    Pretty close to even by my estimates.

    Surface temperature average Earth = 288 K, Venus = 737 K.
    Biggest single difference between Venus and Earth- 92 times more total atmosphere on Venus (both atmospheres are good absorbers of infrared emission from the surface).

    No runaway greenhouse needed.

    That is the Greenhouse effect!

    Hansen is well aware of all of this, since I believe his PhD work involved modeling the atmosphere of Venus!

    Exactly!

  210. foinavon (13:15:28) :

    I am sure that if there is a real refutation of the paleoclimate shown in this thread, it will have appeared somewhere on the net. Since you are the one that does not accept and rather ridicules the links provided on this thread, and there was another link provided a few posts ago, you are the one that has to give a link that shows your position. After all this is the net age. If it is not on some web page somewhere it is probably marginal and iffy or theoretical handwaving.

    Sorry for all that bold, I only wanted to bold the “the science is NOT settled” but the notation ran away from me and there is no editing,

  211. sauerkraut (05:46:13) :

    Cannot help but wonder if some of you folks are related to the creationista/ID folks.

    Interesting you should raise the point. Bad science is bad science, regardless of political agenda. Personally, I tend to think of the AGW advocates sharing office space with Creationist/ID, anti-vaccination, anti-GM agriculture, flat Earth, “9/11 Truther,” etc. crowds. The common element is their consistent response with ad hominem arguments to simple requests for basic elements of science, such as a falsifiable hypothesis (for AGW, as an example).

    Here’s some suggestions. If you, and other AGW advocates, really are that confident that AGW is a real, current problem requiring an immediate solution:

    1. Include a detailed model of the Sun in your simulations. Share the details of the models. Reveal algorithms and data bases. Subject them to Independent Validation and Verification (IV&V). If we don’t see the impact of Solar activity (including X-ray, UV, IR, wind/particles and magnetic), good for you. Your case that the Sun isn’t affecting climate is bolstered by model generated information from a proved code.

    2. Share the raw data and most especially the algorithms used to process it. I have an open mind with regard to whether the global climate is warming, cooling or holding steady. I have an extremely suspicious mind when it comes to “hidden” data or “secret” equations to “adjust” it. There isn’t any good justification for it. And I think I can speak for all of us when I assert that repeatability, one of the touch stones of the scientific method, demands it. Besides, based on experiences I’ve had in previous jobs, that’s always been a key indicator of fraud.

    3. Engage in serious discussion. “Denier,” “denialist,” “skeptic,” threats, etc. don’t represent any mathematical, analytical or experimental technique I’m aware of. They do, however, lead a large majority of people to draw the inference that AGW advocates are hiding something, that they are being less than honest.

    4. Acknowledge that there are a great many people with excellent credentials on the other side of this issue. When the AGW advocates deny or downplay this simple fact, see point 3.

    So, up for the challenge?

  212. @Spencer – again (It’s just because your a historian of Science… Therefore you should know…)

    To Quote above: Will Nitschke (13:17:04) :

    “I’m not sure what you mean by “hot spot”. Can you enlighten us? It’s predicted that greenhouse warming will result in particularly strong warming in the high Northern latitudes due to efficient wind and ocean currents that transport excess heat from the equator, coupled with albedo feedbacks. is that what you mean?”

    The clear implication of this graph is that a strong warming trend in the tropical troposphere ought to be underway already and should be the dominant pattern of change in comparison with all other forcings. The Figure 5 pattern is also shown in a model-generated ‘hindcast’ that simulates climatic changes from 1958 to 1999 under the assumption of strong GHG-warming, which was done for the US
    Climate Change Science Program Report, Figure 1.3 Panels A and F, page 25, available at http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/default.htm. Again, the bright disc in the tropical troposphere is the dominant feature of the diagram.”

    Is the above a falsification criterion?

    Is it indeed falsified?

    What should be done with falsified theories?

    Thanks G

  213. (Whoops left the italics on)

    @Spencer

    Is the above a falsification criterion?

    Is it indeed falsified?

    What should be done with falsified theories?

    Thanks G

  214. Will Nitschke (22:38:48) :
    I’ve read all this before on the Realclimate website. What you’re saying may all be true of course, but certainly it is very convenient isn’t it? When the Earth isn’t warming, its due to the cooling effects aerosols. When the Earth is warming, the aerosols have apparently disappeared from the atmosphere? […]
    You state: “the evidence indicates..”. If there is evidence and the research is pretty solid I’m happy to accept it as credible. Could you provide links please?

    All that they are doing is hiding in the error bands of aerosols. They are wider than the imputed “forcing” from CO2 so you can waffle either direction as needed.

    A wonderful example (proof?) of the fact that we can’t know if net human ‘forcing’ is positive or negative is here:

    http://www.sciencebits.com/CO2orSolar

    The author uses IPCC data and shows that even if IPCC data is is accepted as true, the error band on the aerosols swamps the CO2 impact. You can’t even know the sign of the net human impact, never mind the magnitude.

    Never have your precision exceed your accuracy…

  215. Will,

    Yes, that’s fine. I didn’t know of that specifically, although I’m well aware that greenhouse-induced warming predicts somewhat higher tropospheric warming than surface warming. According to the models (reading and looking at the Figures on page 25 of the report you link to), models apparently predict near doubling of tropical tropospheric temperatures compared to surface temperatures.

    Of course the models might be be a bit out for the tropical troposphere (there isn’t any disagremeent elsewhere as far as I’m aware). But it also seems that the measurements of tropospheric temperatures, especially in the tropics, have been very problematic, and certainly not helped by a depressing litany of errors in the UAH analysis.

    However there doesn’t now seem to be any clear disagreement between the models and tropospheric temperature measures [***], and we really need more precise and accurate real world measurements before we can assume that there is something wrong with the models for the tropical troposphere.

    Note that if one uses other measures of tropospheric temperatures that aren’t plagued by the satellite and radiosonde measurement errors, there is apparently marked tropical tropospheric warming much as the models predict [*****].

    [***]B. D. Santer et al. (2008) Consistency of modelled and observed temperature trends in the tropical troposphere. International Journal of Climatology 28, 1703 – 1722.

    downloadable from here:

    https://publicaffairs.llnl.gov/news/news_releases/2008/NR-08-10-05-article.pdf

    [*****]Allen RJ and Sherwood SC (2008) Warming maximum in the tropical upper troposphere deduced from thermal winds. Nature Geoscience 1, 399-403.

    Abstract: “Climate models and theoretical expectations have predicted that the upper troposphere should be warming faster than the surface. Surprisingly, direct temperature observations from radiosonde and satellite data have often not shown this expected trend. However, non-climatic biases have been found in such measurements. Here we apply the thermal-wind equation to wind measurements from radiosonde data, which seem to be more stable than the temperature data. We derive estimates of temperature trends for the upper troposphere to the lower stratosphere since 1970. Over the period of observations, we find a maximum warming trend of 0.65 +/- 0.47 K per decade near the 200 hPa pressure level, below the tropical tropopause. Warming patterns are consistent with model predictions except for small discrepancies close to the tropopause. Our findings are inconsistent with the trends derived from radiosonde temperature datasets and from NCEP reanalyses of temperature and wind fields. The agreement with models increases confidence in current model-based predictions of future climate change.”

  216. Freezing Finn (01:35:10) :
    If there is – according to Hansen – a “runaway global warming” on Venus, what “on earth” (English is a funny lanhuage ;) caused it – and again according to Hansen?

    English has such gems as: Your nose runs but your feet smell. When your temperature is too high, you have a cold. Flammable and inflammable are the same thing. And the classic: Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.

    The perfect language for Hansen to use in his presentation…

    (I’ve been told that Finno-Ugraric languages like Hungarian, and I’d guess Finnish?, have a verb tense for ‘approaching but never quite reaching’. A language family with asymtotic built in. I’m jealous.)

  217. Foinavon:

    A blanket likewise produces not one calorie of energy. However that doesn’t mean that putting a blanket over your tootsies on a cold winter night doesn’t tend to warm them…(it traps thermal energy that would else radiate from your toes away into your chilly room).

    Nope, it traps the thermal energy by inhibiting convection – just as a real greenhouse does.

  218. sauerkraut (05:46:13) :

    Cannot help but wonder if some of you folks are related to the creationista/ID folks.

    What do ya alls think of comparison of the atmosphere to blood – specifically its function as a buffer? As with blood, it absorbs and absorbs and absorbs until a critical point is reached, whereby it all goes downhill from there.

    Hansen might a creationist, but he doesn’t post here.

    Atmospheric chemistry doesn’t include a pH buffer or any analog. The ocean does do buffering, but since blood plasma started out as sea water, that’s no surprise.

  219. foinavon,

    Your initial response to my post popped my BS filters into place! I’m an old data acquistion guy (not a scientist, but supported many of them!) I’ve built much electronic/computer hardware and a fair amount of software attempting to record data someone requested for their studies. That, without introducing undue instrumentation biases; a non-trivial endeavor. I agree that SOME urban sites dating from the 1800s might have produced anomalous levels of CO2, however the sheer number of sites Beck describes as producing similar results, introduce enough randomness that a fair profile of actual CO2 levels should emerge. I acknowledge “should” is not scientific, simply horse sense!

    As Beck further points out, Callendar and Keeling examined ~10% of available literature and considered <1% as accurate. IMHO their pompous attitudes are exceeded only by Al Gore himself!!!!! If a “denier” mentions that the earth has cooled for the past decade, they are accused of cherry picking data??? Give me a break!!

    My DA experience instilled not only sampling theory in me, but the necessity of achieving as high a signal to noise ratio as possible under given conditions. The Internet, unfortunately, suffers from a very low S/N ratio, requiring much sampling to eliminate as much random noise as possible. Beck is only one of many signal sources competing with noisy AGW hypothesis proponents! A clear signal begins to emerge simply by averaging out the random AGW noise from those clear signals. When Mann, et al become as accessible and open as Beck they will acheive more credence in the signal department!

    Many reagrds!

  220. foinavon (05:13:46) :
    We’re also still pumping out loads of aerosols and these are protecting us somewhat from the full whack of our greenhouse gas emissions. This has been reviewed recently by Ramanathan and Carmichael, who conclude that the 3 W m-2 excess greenhouse forcing is still being countered by around -1.5 W.m-2 of aerosol cooling.

    Great! So we can put the sulphur back into jet fuel used at high altitudes, and cure this puppy right now!

    Since large jets have multiple fuel tanks, we can have one with low sulphur for use in takeoff and landing, don’t want smog. And since the sulphate we add to the upper atmosphere is less than a decent volcano can produce, we even have a solution inside natural bounds. Dare I say it, since we’re mimicking a natural mechanism, we could even say it was a green solution!

  221. Uncle Larry “shouldn’t we be seeing a corresponding 2-to-1 reduction in oxygen levels ”

    Adolfo Giurfa “It really would be 8 to 3, as the real ratio is O2=32 and C=12″

    Good point… I was fudging the numbers to make it seem like a more urgent political problem, sorry.

    Actually, the real-world conversion ratio would be more on the order of 1.43 to 1 due to incomplete combustion (i.e. the mercury content of the tuna in the casserole, etc.) and other gases involved/released in the process.

    Nevertheless, even if biologic forces were to be 100% efficient in the conversion of carbon dioxide to oxygen, records should still indicate a oxygen deficit (since emmisions are all man made).

    And quite frankly, I’ve converted a great deal of carbon to keep from freezing due to this latest wave of global warming sweeping the country. It should be readily apparent in the graphs…

    -Uncle Larry

    ** Disclaimer ** Cold temperatures or the lack of hurricanes do not indicate a trend.

  222. foinavon:

    Firstly, let me say I appreciate your input. You have great patience and are generally polite which is appreciated. There is a tough crowd to please on this forum. ;-)

    But two issues I have with your reply:

    1. The general tendency to rubbish the data if it doesn’t support your argument. “Satellite data has too many uncorrected errors, is unreliable, etc.” Come on, let’s be grown-ups here. You can throw out ANY empirical data that doesn’t suite your argument by pointing to “measurement errors”. This is exactly what “deniers” do all the time, and it’s the fall back position of “alarmists” when they hit problems fitting their theories to the data. This is a touchy issue for the sceptical community and generally this argument will convince the ‘Realclimate crowd’ so to speak, but not the more jaded audience here. If you want to make the argument that “the empirical data is bad but my theory is good” (which may well be true,) you still need to argue this in some depth. You won’t get a free ride here on that issue.

    2. Quoting D. Santer et al. (2008), which is not accepted as a good study in the sceptical community. Santer doesn’t seem prepared to share his data and methods at this point in time, and is therefore not open to sceptical scrutiny. See the links posted above for more information on this. That sets off alarm bell one. Sceptics have seen this all before…

    Secondly, Santer ends his study in 1998 at the height of the super el nino. A little convenient perhaps? The cherry picking being done here is breathtaking. Alarm bell two.

    And finally it appears if you extend his analysis to include recent data, he falsifies himself. Again I refer you back to the links already posted.

    So your response remains unsatisfactory and evasive on the question of the “hot spot”, unfortunately.

  223. Joel Shore,
    What I think this means is that Hansen and pals simply developed an algorithm that shows what they want it to show.
    Hansen was here in Houston a few months ago promoting his apocalypse, and part of his presentation was to lie about the state of the sun spot cycle.
    He is just making this stuff up.

  224. JimB (05:36:20) :
    Based on a 5 minute google of “u.s. coal reserves”, it’s pretty clear to me that there is no “consensus” on how much coal is available, so how is it possible to predict the result of burning it “all”. We have no idea what “all” is.

    This is exactly correct. In fact, ‘reserves’ is itself a flexible word. Which reserves? Ultimate Reserves? Economically Recoverable? (there are about a half dozen terms of art in use for different quality of ‘reserves’. “Proven Reserves” is yet another one.)

    If the speaker does not say “Ultimately Recoverable Reserves” you have no idea what quantity they are talking about. Even “Ultimately Recoverable” can change over time as new technology is invented to turn “unrecoverable” into “recoverable” reserves.

    The basic problem, though, is that in typical usage ‘reserves’ often means economical to produce reserves. The quantity of ‘economically recoverable reserves’ increases as the price rises. Gold miners do this all the time. At $400/oz for gold, I shut my $500/oz mine, but work my $200/oz mine and reserves go down. When gold hits $800/oz, I raise my reserves and open my $500/oz mine (and my stock price goes up…)

    This is the same reason why we have had roughly 30 years worth of oil ‘reserves’ since about 1919 (I have an old book on oil in a box somewhere from 1919…) and will for the next decades too. Pump a bunch of oil and due to depletion, price rises, and then oil companies all look at the same dirt with newly economical to pump oil on it and ‘suddenly discover new reserves’. APC and APA are great at doing this. (Anadarko Petroleum and Apache Oil)

    This is also the fundamental flaw in all the gloom and doom “We’re running out of {foo}!!!” panics. We don’t run out because we keep finding ‘new’ ‘reserves’ that were there all the time… Like extracting a near infinite quantity of U from sea water. It is a few dollars a pound more expensive than the stuff on land (and far cheaper than it needs to be to make profitable electricity) but because yellowcake is cheaper, that ocean of U simply does not exist in ‘reserves’.

    Either Hansen does not know this and is speaking from ignorance, or he does know it and is choosing to obfuscate… “All Coal” is deliberately vague.

  225. sauerkraut (05:46:13) :
    Cannot help but wonder if some of you folks are related to the creationista/ID folks.

    Yes, as are you. All humans are related to each other since we all evolved from the same amoeba billions of years ago…

  226. foinavon –

    Here’s info on the bloke’s who sketched the temp graph – site has his methodology, no pure columnar content; but I wonder if his compilations are available – he’s authored quite a bit.

    http://www.scotese.com/

    Based on his analysis of the geographic record, can you insist this is just a sketch?

    Thanks for your 2 cents.

  227. Flaunting his awesome predictive powers before his humbled AGU listeners, Hansen says that “there will be an unambiguous new global temperature record during the first term of the Obama administration.” — — Get those GISS algorithms working overtime. — —

    You can read all about it at

    http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2008/12/nasa-scientist-warns-of-runawa.html

    Be warned — that post drips with the use of the “D” word.

  228. Mainly for Anna V

    1) Temperatures do not follow IPCC projections. Here is a plot to remind this:

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/ipccchart.jpg

    That plot is labelled an update of IPCC TS26, however it is no such thing; it has some significant differences from the IPCC graph, which is here. The main one being that the IPCC graph plots smoothed yearly averages for both the models and the observations [the actual yearly figures are the black dots] whereas the ‘update’ suddenly changes to monthly figures for the first half of this year only, which just happens to coincide with an El-Nino driven cool period. A more legitimate plot would be of this year’s overall average, but of course this would not show the desired wide apparent divergence between the model and reality. In my view this is a very poor and clearly biased presentation, I am surprised a ‘sceptic’ would cite it.

    James Annan shows that over the same period the models and the observations are consistent to the 95% level here.

    Or, equally valid, here are the models vs data since 1999… http://www.realclimate.org/images/2008_from1999.jpg

    2) The fingerprint of CO2 in the tropical troposphere as set out in the AR4 report is absent in the data. Here are the links
    for models:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter9.pdf

    data:

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/GHGModsvsReality.jpg

    No it is not, as patiently explained to Lucia by Arthur Smith here

    3) The oceans are cooling instead of warming and setting off a feedback loop of greenhouse warming: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025
    The spin is: global warming missing heat. The truth is, nature does not follow the GCM IPCC models.

    The radio interview cited is with Josh Willis, who works with the Argo data; here is Willis expanding on the ‘cooling oceans’. Again, I am surprised a genuine sceptic would rely on reports of a media interview as a primary source, but still…

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/03/31/josh-willis-on-climate-change-global-warming-is-real.aspx

    4) the specific humidity is not rising as it should in order to create the runaway feedback loop predicated in the models:

    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/Timeseries/timeseries.pl?ntype=1&var=Specific+Humidity+(up+to+300mb+only)&level=300&lat1=90&lat2=-90&lon1=-180&lon2=180&iseas=1&mon1=0&mon2=11&iarea=0&typeout=2&Submit=Create+Timeseries

    Here are plots of relative humidity, which also falls: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/GlobalRelativeHumidity300_700mb.jpg

    As others have pointed out, a recent paper from Dessler et al observed a very real increase in humidity, the existence of which means that projected business-as-usual greenhousegas emissions over the next century are virtually guaranteed to produce warming of several degrees Celsius. The only way that will not happen is if a strong, negative, and currently unknown feedback is discovered somewhere in our climate system.

    Just my view, but I find Geophysical Review Letters a slightly more credible source than Icecap.

    The basic premise of the models, that the tiny, (anthropogenic CO2 is a tiny fraction of the CO2 in the atmosphere:
    http://www.co2web.info/Icecap_CarbonDioxide.pdf) anthropogenic CO2 is the straw that breaks the camel’s back and starts runaway greenhouse warming is absolutely not supported by the data

    Actually, the hypothesis is that the positive feedbacks: primarily the increased water vapour, but also the release of methane from permafrosts, melting of summer sea ice, the die-back of the rainforests, etc that amplify the GHG forced warming and instigate the runaway scenario.

    So I fear we are still waiting for the ‘one datum’ to falsify the models, and the science tells us that time is running short…

    regards

    JP.

  229. Phil- Bond albedo versus Albedo is a better measure of total spectral reflectance, so I agree with your correction to my post. This makes the surface insolation at Earth 940 W/m^2 versus Venus at 650 W/m^2.

    Surface temperature average Earth = 288 K, Venus = 737 K.
    Biggest single difference between Venus and Earth- 92 times more total atmosphere on Venus (both atmospheres are good absorbers of infrared emission from the surface).

    Then you say “That is the Greenhouse effect!”
    No argument there. A concentration of IR absorbing gases (relative to 1 bar on Earth) of about 90,000,000 ppm results in a temperature increase of about 500 K.

    Still no runaway effect required.

  230. Foinavon:

    “and we really need more precise and accurate real world measurements before we can assume that there is something wrong with the models for the tropical troposphere.”

    Sorry, I should have added that I do agree with you on the above point. Time will ultimately tell. Lots of theories could not be empirically proven in a comprehensive way, immediately either. That didn’t mean the theory is disproven.

    Of course the cynic (as opposed to the sceptic) might point out that the climatological community perhaps should have invested more in making those required accurate real world measurements before declaring that the science was 100% settled. There is a certain disconnect when you declare that the problem is that these things can’t be measured accurately (yet) but atmospheric scientists are certain anyway about what is happening out there. It’s a difficult, complex field, though. Perhaps one side has over sold the certainty and as a consequence the other side has been making ‘unreasonable’ demands for proof of that certainty.

  231. Joel Shore (08:05:32) :
    “E.M.Smith says:
    Do you have a citation?”

    Hansen explains […]

    So your citation is a personal reference to Hansen himself… I thought so…

    Nice waving of hands, though. So I repeat, got a citation? You know, published, paper, words on it, publisher, that kind of thing?

  232. TallDave (08:47:16) :
    Citing Venus as an example is laughable. The Venusian atmosphere is hundreds of times denser than ours. This is like arguing that since the armor on an M1A1 tank can protect one from an RPG, a throw pillow should do the same.

    It also presumes that we know how much U and Th are in the core of Venus, how fast it has/is reacting, what the core temp is, and why the surface seems to remodel all at once, like it was sinking into a molten core just below. One theory is that the core has much more heat than ours, possibly from more nuclear reactions. And that just might have an impact on the air temp… (Please note: I’m not asserting that is true, but I am asserting that nobody, and I do mean nobody, knows.)

    Without that data, the rest of the Venus comparison is just more fantasy.

    TWC reporting “expecting a massive arctic outbreak”… God I hope this global warming ends soon, I’m about to freeze to death /sarcoff>

  233. Just so we can all be clear that temperatures are not keeping up with global warming theory, here are all the temperature observations (Hadcrut3, GISS, UAH and RSS using the same baseline) versus CO2 since the time each record started.

    Also conveniently included is the global warming model’s timeline that was originally predicted (it is a little lower than Hansen’s 1988 Scenario B and if you want to put the newest Hansen aerosol-fudge-factors into it, you just shift it out about 20 ppm.)

    I can take out some of the cyclical components if you like but it just smoothes the observations out a little like the big bump from the 1997-98 El Nino.

  234. Will Nitschke (16:02:24) :

    Foinavon:

    Perhaps one side has over sold the certainty and as a consequence the other side has been making ‘unreasonable’ demands for proof of that certainty.

    So why the “Certainty” if the “we really need more precise and accurate real world measurements before we can assume that there is something wrong with the models for the tropical troposphere”.

    Because you can’t sell a repressive CAP and Trade system to the general populace if the science is “uncertain”.

    Foinavon: The Models predict a Tropospheric Hot Spot – Which has not been found after years of looking for it. It’s a dead horse – stop flogging it.

    Or stump up real world evidence that the Tropospheric Hot Spot actually exists – come on – where’s the evidence.

    AGW = “Dead Meme Walking”.

  235. John Philip (15:54:27) :

    If CO2 engenders Positive feedbacks – why hasn’t the worlds climate system already moved to a massive and catastrophic stable greenhouse given that very large amounts of CO2 (relative to today) have been present in past atmospheres.

    In any system with positive feedbacks it will move towards a stable state as driven by the positive feedbacks.

    Systems with inbuilt negative feedbacks will oscissilate within a stable set of boundaries as the negative feedbacks work against each other.

    A relatively stable climate system as per the Earth would require strong negative feedback systems to maintain what has been inferred for past climates.

  236. Foinavon,

    The claim that CO2 is both “a forcing” and “a feedback” shows the utter lack comprehension not only about the role of capacitance elements in thermodynamic systems, but about the basic distinction between the two in quantitative analysis of systems. Yes, a blanket or any other insulator is a capacitor, but without body heat it assumes the ambient temperature. Yes, the atmosphere retards the escape of surface heat to space, but the surface heat comes from thermalized insolation in the first place. Capacitors simply store energy, relying entirely upon external sources for all energy.

    In any proper scientific sense, feedback constitutes the return of system output signal for algebraic summation with the input (i.e., forcing) signal–a basic concept wholly obscured in “climate science.” Insolation is the umistakabable source of energy in the climate system and the only feedback loop is the recirculation of LW radiation between surface and atmosphere, which elevates surface temperatures to mankind’s benefit. But the total amount of thermal energy in the system is unchanged by such redistribution. And any changes in downward LW radiation are balanced by countervening changes in moist convection from the surface, as the system seeks to re-establish thermodynamic equilibrium via maximum entropy paths by adjusting the moist adiabatic not just aloft, but also at the surface. Pray tell, where else does atmospheric moisture originate? And what do you think that precipitation does to specific humidity aloft?

    There are no credible in situ measurements to support your claims. Pointing to model-based papers (e.g., Dessler) is an exercise in circular reasoning that can only persuade the inexperienced true believers.

  237. Uncle Larry (11:45:24) :
    Considering the “man made” increase in carbon dioxide (from the burning of fossil fuels and tuna casseroles), shouldn’t we be seeing a corresponding 2-to-1 reduction in oxygen levels in respect to current carbon dioxide levels?
    I’m at a loss to find any long-term data on the subject. Does anyone have any sources for such data?

    http://www.rsbs.anu.edu.au/O2/O2_2_Atmosphere.htm#pg_globchange

    reports a 3ppm decrease over 7 years. Is that long term enough?

    TWC reporting Portland Oregon having record snow since 1968, 40 years. Snow expected along Gulf of Mexico again too… Houston, you have a problem? ;-)

  238. John Philip (15:54:27) :

    The Troposphere hot spot is the “specific” signature for CO2 Global Warming as espoused by the IPCC – the hot spot does not exist (i.e can’t be found after years of looking for it).

    Hence the underlying theory of CO2 Global Warming is wrong.

    Have you got any real causation evidence of,

    1. That CO2 will cause measurable Global Warming?

    2. That Man Made emissions of CO2 will cause measurable Global Warming?

    3. That Global Warming is – in fact – Catastrophic?

    4. That Increases in CO2 will not allow for a Global Cooling?

    Some more questions for you.

    1. What is the optimal atmospheric CO2 concentration for plant life?

    2. What is the optimal temperature for Planet Earth?

    3. What is the optimal method for measuring Planet Earth’s temperature?

    4. What is the optimal method for data management of the sciences?

    5. What is the value of openness and transparency with regards to data and methods in science.

    6. What are the specific falsification criteria for the hypothesis that “Man Made Emissions of CO2 will cause Catastrophic Warming”.

    7. If there are no falsification criteria for the hypothesis that “Man Made Emissions of CO2 will cause Catastrophic Warming” – how do you distinguish that hypothesis from the following one.

    … The world, and all in it was created 10 minutes ago. All memories are fake… — Which also has no falsification criteria as it explains all phenomena.

    8. If “Man Made Emissions of CO2 will cause both Global Warming and (now) Global Cooling” as some our now beginning to suggest. Is it still science?

    Thanks

  239. john Philip: your

    Or, equally valid, here are the models vs data since 1999… http://www.realclimate.org/images/2008_from1999.jpg

    That’s cherry picking. If you go back one year, to 1998, you get all but one model ABOVE the measured temperatures.

    But you are correct to say “equally valid.”

    Or invalid, as the case may be. Both are accurate descriptions.

  240. John Philip: your (from Dessler)

    The only way that will not happen is if a strong, negative, and currently unknown feedback is discovered somewhere in our climate system.

    You mean like Lindzen’s Infra Red Iris effect?

    Lindzen et al., 2001: Does the Earth Have an Adaptive Infrared Iris? Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 82:417-32.

    http://www.uah.edu/News/newsread.php?newsID=875

    Also, the NOAA data suggests that humidity has fallen over the last century.

    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/Timeseries/timeseries.pl?ntype=1&var=Specific+Humidity+(up+to+300mb+only)&level=300&lat1=90&lat2=-90&lon1=-180&lon2=180&iseas=1&mon1=0&mon2=11&iarea=0&typeout=2&Submit=Create+Timeseries

  241. What justifies anyone characterizing Venus as having once had an atmosphere like earth’s, but losing it due to some runaway greenhouse warming situation? A more likely scenario is the opposite, that Earth was once like Venus but developed a unique atmosphere due to the action of life processes over billions of years.
    Venus really should not be used as an object lesson in the global warming debate. It’s far too great a stretch. Earth’s carbon cycle or carbon system has a tremendous tendency to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, and the fact is that sometime in earth history there has been a tremendous amount of carbon dioxide in earth’s atmosphere. We are justified in saying this because of the tremendous amount of sedimentary material of organic origin in earth’s rocks. Not only in coal and petroleum but more significantly in limestone and dolomite rock.
    It seems reasonable to say that the reason earth has so little carbon dioxide in its atmosphere is because through the course of time it has been removed by biological activity to such an extent that only a tiny percentage remains. Furthermore, the demands both of plants and shell producing organisms continues to extract sufficient carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to regard it as a limiting nutrient in life’s carbon system (consider the meaning of seasonal oscillations in David Keeling’s graph of rising carbon dioxide)
    If humankind were extracting energy and releasing carbon dioxide from a significant portion of anciently sequestered carbon, perhaps one should feel alarm. The fact that most ancient carbon carbon dioxide has been chemically locked into carbonate rock and continues to do so, should give pause to any hysterical speculation on earth “running away” to an atmosphere like Venus’s.
    Certainly, atmospheric carbon dioxide is responsible for some degree of atmospheric warming just on theoretical principles, and the data on rising levels of carbon dioxide from David Keeling’s work at Mauna Loa bears consideration. To proclaim, though, that Venus gives us an example of what could happen to earth is wrongheaded, simple and misleading.
    The difficult task at hand is to judge the degree and significance of warming to expect in the future due to human influences. If James Hansen is telling us that Venus in any way signifies the magnitude of that degree, then I remain skeptical that he could have “nailed” anything.

  242. foinavon (14:20:28) :
    ‘Abstract: “Climate models and theoretical expectations have predicted that the upper troposphere should be warming faster than the surface. Surprisingly, direct temperature observations from radiosonde and satellite data have often not shown this expected trend. However, non-climatic biases have been found in such measurements. Here we apply the thermal-wind equation to wind measurements from radiosonde data,…………………………’

    Yea… rigth, the old wind chill factor in reverse.
    It’s -10 degree c outside but with the wind chill, it’s really – 5 degree c?
    Since when do temperature instruments measure wind chill?
    BTW foinavon
    I maybe wrong but the last time I checked oceans temperatures have either cooled or remained flat for the last 6 years.
    Maybe the ocean’s Hot Spot ran off with the troposphere’s Hot Spot and the heat trapping coulds went to look for them.

  243. There are times when I wax scientific in my postings here. But this isn’t one of those times! I just got through shoveling more global warming than I care to again anytime soon. But alas, more global warming is on the way and I will likely get to shovel about 9 more inches of it by Wednesday. It almost seems that the more the AGWers spread their Hansenized BS around, the more mother nature is spreading hers around. Can we put this to the test? If the GW BS gets toned down, maybe the global warming that is falling on my just shoveled sidewalk would decrease.

  244. Uncle Larry says:

    Considering the “man made” increase in carbon dioxide (from the burning of fossil fuels and tuna casseroles), shouldn’t we be seeing a corresponding 2-to-1 reduction in oxygen levels in respect to current carbon dioxide levels?

    I’m at a loss to find any long-term data on the subject. Does anyone have any sources for such data?

    Here is an article that talks about an on-going study to look at that: http://blogcritics.org/archives/2007/12/14/205855.php Presumably, with a little more work, you could track down more information on this study…and perhaps any papers that have come out of it.

    As for whether the expected ratio is 2:1 or 8:3, that would depend on whether you measure in terms of the number of atoms of the substances or the weight of the substances.

  245. John Philip,

    You have a great set of papers linked. I didn’t notice the new paper on the Arctic releasing the same amount of methane during winter as summer though. How does that fit with the theory that warming permafrost is going to release MORE methane?? Another inconvenient fact for your AGW collection.

    You should be able to find it easily, or, do you only depend on RC and similar sites for your info??

    The study was led by christensen and was published in nature.

    Makes you wonder how many other Assumptions scientists have that are not really true…

  246. So your citation is a personal reference to Hansen himself… I thought so…

    Nice waving of hands, though. So I repeat, got a citation? You know, published, paper, words on it, publisher, that kind of thing?

    What do you expect? You want a published paper describing what Hansen actually gave to Rasool and Schneider that they acknowledged him for?!?! Does that make any sense at all? And, what about your citation for the original charge? It is to a nutty political publication. And, in fact, Hansen’s statement does not even contradict any of the facts that the IBD diatribe actually presents: They admit that what Hansen aided them with was a computer program. Hansen just expands on what the computer program did. And, in fact, if you actually know something about the science involved, you would know that Hansen’s explanation makes perfect sense.

    But, okay, if you want a more specific indication of Hansen’s contribution, here is the original Rasool and Schneider paper: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;173/3992/138 (If you can’t access the full text online, you can get it in the library.) The full reference that they make to Hansen in their references says:

    J. E. Hansen, personal communication. We are indebted to Dr. Hansen for making these Mie scattering calculations for us, for suggesting the use of the two-stream approximation, and for checking the fluxes obtained by the two-stream approximation against some exact solutions (which agree to within about 5 percent) to the multiple scattering problem [see, for example, J. E. Hansen, Astrophys. J. 155, 565 (1969)].

    It indeed sounds like Hansen did what he says he did…i.e., that he helped them with some scattering calculations and that “the computer program developed by Dr. James Hansen” that your IBD cite talks about is the computer program to perform Mie theory calculations.

  247. Roy Sites says:

    If you assume that the temperature change is the result of CO2 and then compute the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 and then using that result to prove the temperature change is the result of doubling the CO2 then this is circular reasoniong.

    Yes…That would be circular reasoning. However, that is not what Hansen did. What Hansen did was computed the total difference in forcings in W/m^2 between the last glacial maximum and now due to various effects (the two largest being the difference in albedo because of the ice and the difference in CO2 and other greenhouse gas levels, although I believe there is also a small contribution due to a difference in aerosol loading in the atmosphere). He also used the available estimates for the difference in average surface temperature between then and now. So, he has a total forcing in W/m^2 and a total temperature change; dividing the first by the second gives him the temperature change per W/m^2 of forcing, which turns out to be about 0.75 C per (W/m^2). Then, using the well-accepted value for the forcing in W/m^2 due to a doubling of CO2, which is about 4 W/m^2 (even Richard Lindzen accepts this value), he multiplies the 0.75 C per (W/m^2) sensitivity by the 4 W/m^2 forcing to get the result that a doubling of CO2 produces approximately 3 C of warming.

    (As Hansen has pointed out elsewhere…don’t know if he does here…this is actually a sensitivity to warming that assumes that changes in ice sheets and the resulting change in albedo is a forcing, not a feedback. In the current “climate experiment” that we are embarking on by raising CO2 levels, it is actually a feedback…a fact that will tend to increase the climate sensitivity from the value that you get by assuming that it is a forcing. I believe that Hansen has argued that this could actually significantly increase the sensitivity still further from the 3 C value to something like 6 C, although other scientists feel that there are not enough ice sheets to melt to produce an albedo change large enough to increase the sensitivity by that much.)

  248. foinavon (14:20:28) :
    ‘Abstract: “…….. Surprisingly, direct temperature observations from radiosonde and satellite data have often not shown this expected trend….”

    I don’t know about you, but when an abstract of a scientific paper uses a word like “surprisingly” it raises red flags on my objectivity meter. Without the word, the sentence sounds quite “matter of fact”.

    I almost wonder if that word was included to mitigate any flak the writers are expecting from their peers?

  249. John S:

    you assert:

    There are no credible in situ measurements to support your claims. Pointing to model-based papers (e.g., Dessler) is an exercise in circular reasoning that can only persuade the inexperienced true believers.

    except that Dessler is an experimental paper comprising “in situ measurements”, and one of several that “supports my claim” (actually I’m not “claiming” anything. I’m pointing out the science that informs our understanding…)

    why not read it before making inappropriate assumptions about it?

    A.E. Dessler et al (2008) Water-vapor climate feedback inferred from climate fluctuations, 2003–2008. Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L20704,

    (a summary can be found here:

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/vapor_warming.html)

    And of course CO2 can be both a “forcing” and a “feedback”. In the context of climate science and the earth’s energy budget and greenhouse influences, CO2 can variously satisfy the terms “forcing” and “feedback”.

    If we pump CO2 directly into the atmosphere by digging up and burning fossil fuels, the raised CO2 levels constitute a “forcing”. They are not a “feedback” in the accepted sense of the word. Nor would they be a “feedback” if they were released in a catastrophic tectonic event.

    If insolation changes arising from Milankovitch cycles result in warming that induces the recruitment of CO2 from ocean or terrestrial sinks, then CO2 can be considered a “feedback” to the primary (MIlankovitch-induced) warming , which it amplifies.

  250. Actually I was being misleading in my previous post to jerk Philips’ chain. What the study actually stated is that methane is forced out of the soil by the refreezing of the permafrost during the fall with methane forced release rates peaking as high as during the summer. This is still an unexpected finding.

    This does, to a large extent, explain the increase in atmospheric methane during the Northern Hemisphere fall that was known. It does NOT indicate substantially more atmospheric methane. This DOES require rebalancing the Assumed sources of methane as a rather large chunk with a new source has been reasonably identified now and must be subtracted from the previous accounting.

    Here is another interesting article on methane production under the arctic ocean that increases the known period of methane production:

    http://www.iarc.uaf.edu/highlights/2006/arctic_ocean_methane/index.php

  251. Foinavon,

    “Water-vapor climate feedback inferred from…”

    You DO know what INFERRED means don’t you?????

  252. Bill Illis (16:29:13) :

    How did you determine the “original models global warming trendline” in this graph that you made?

    That “original models” trendline looks to me like the EQUILIBRIUM temperature for a CO2 sensitivity of 3.25C per doubling.

    We are not at temperature equilibrium now; that will not happen until CO2 levels stabilize for some years/decades.

    As long as CO2 levels continue increasing, temperatures will never reach that equilibrium line, but will increase along a line that lies below it- just as they are doing.

    I think this has all been pointed out to you before (several times).

  253. foinavon, apparently the Dressler study contradicts previous studies in regard to atmospheric specific humidity changes over time? Well, let’s just say for the sake of argument that the Dressler study is the correct one as to its empirical[?] finding of increased humidities with increased temperatures over some recent time interval.

    But then, concerning the untethered theoretical statement in the NASA/Katherine Hansen summary of the study, “Warming and water absorption increase in a spiraling cycle, ” what is causing the warming, which seems to have stalled, and where is the “spiraling”?

    Simply ignoring solar input and oceanic oscillation changes and claiming that this “warming” is due solely to CO2’s effect only manages to bring the number of scientific issues which are not anywhere close to being settled to at least six contained in this very post alone.

    And, of course, we still have the “temp. change/doubling of CO2 concentrations” issue hanging around , not to mention a lot of other very important issues, including, for example, the issue of whether GW will result in a net Global disaser – which was in effect not actually studied by the ipcc – and whether any alleged cure to this alleged “disease” would perhaps be worse than the “disease” itself – which was also intentionally not studied by the ipcc, according to its own statement regarding “costs” in the TAR.

  254. John W. (13:57:47) :
    2. Share the raw data and most especially the algorithms used to process it. I have an open mind with regard to whether the global climate is warming, cooling or holding steady. I have an extremely suspicious mind when it comes to “hidden” data or “secret” equations to “adjust” it. There isn’t any good justification for it. And I think I can speak for all of us when I assert that repeatability, one of the touch stones of the scientific method, demands it. Besides, based on experiences I’ve had in previous jobs, that’s always been a key indicator of fraud.

    Indeed. Most recent case? That $50 Billion that seems to have evaporated in the care of Mr. Madoff. Key factoid? Many hedge funds walked away when he declined to show his books and share something, anything of merit, about his method. Those who succumbed and decided to not do the due diligence got fleeced.

    Bottom line: No due diligence, fraud is to be assumed until proven otherwise. It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law. (Those ‘Fund of Fund’ managers who skipped the due diligence are now consulting with their lawyers about their liability… and they will lose the class action against them.)

    So count me on the side that says “No pasteurized processed data food product” for me, just straight natural data, minimally processed and organically certified…

  255. “If CO2 engenders Positive feedbacks – why hasn’t the worlds climate system already moved to a massive and catastrophic stable greenhouse given that very large amounts of CO2 (relative to today) have been present in past atmospheres.

    In any system with positive feedbacks it will move towards a stable state as driven by the positive feedbacks.

    Systems with inbuilt negative feedbacks will oscissilate within a stable set of boundaries as the negative feedbacks work against each other.

    A relatively stable climate system as per the Earth would require strong negative feedback systems to maintain what has been inferred for past climates.”

    It is my understanding that given sufficient time CO2 dissipates from the atmosphere. It is absorbed by the oceans and animal and plant life. That’s why so much carbon is locked up in the crust. So this is a nonsense argument. [snip, use of this as a pejorative will not be tolerated ~ charles the moderator]

  256. John Philip (15:54:27) :
    Again, I am surprised a genuine sceptic would rely on reports of a media interview as a primary source, but still…

    Why? A ‘warmer’ just did the same thing above (radio or tv interviewer report of an interview). I’d be happy with knowing what attribution was given to Hansen in the papers published using his software to claim ~’ice age soon’ in the ’70s, but those were not given, just a pointer to a media interview…

    Goose, meet gander.

  257. Pete M: “Venus is suffering from a strong green house effect”

    At least it isn’t infected with pesky carbon-based lifeforms polluting the air and chewing away at the rocks. There’s no point in empathizing with other planets or anthropomorphizing them. They really don’t suffer that much.

  258. Joel Shore:

    ” What Hansen did was computed the total difference in forcings in W/m^2 between the last glacial maximum and now due to various effects (the two largest being the difference in albedo because of the ice and the difference in CO2 …”

    So, Hansen already knew back then the exact size and sign of all the forcings and contributing issues??? Why have we spent billions of dollars on weather, climate, environmental, and Paleoclimate research since then??

    No, what Hansen did was make a semi-educated GUESSTIMATE that was biased to his agenda of activism. A certain respected scientist during the cold war PROVED Nuclear Winter and how it would kill everyone to scare the Politicians away from the use of nukes. It was BULL. Similar equations are used to PROVE there must be other intelligence somewhere in the universe. More BULL.

    Would you like to tell us when he received his letters in Climatology or Atmospheric Chemistry or…??

    B.A., Physics and Mathematics, 1963, University of Iowa
    M.S., Astronomy, 1965, University of Iowa
    Ph.D., Physics, 1967, University of Iowa

    Darn, only somewhat related. Yet, when we deniers bring up someone with a similar background, their education and experience are laughed at by AGW types.

    Here is U of Iowa’s page:

    http://www.uiowa.edu/

    State supported research and teaching university with a broad curriculum that has a strong liberal arts emphasis.

    Just for the heck of it I did a search on “University of Iowa cutting edge”. Apparently they are pretty good in biotech and health care.

    Now, I would like to say that this is not definitive. Many excellent scientists come from humble backgrounds and do excellent work in fields in which they were not directly trained. It is just that James Hansen isn’t one of them!!

    http://www.crichton-official.com/speech-alienscauseglobalwarming.html

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  259. Joel Shore (18:35:27) :
    And, what about your citation for the original charge? It is to a nutty political publication.

    Investors Business Daily a ‘nutty political publication’? A national non-political newspaper that is the main competitor to The Wall Street Journal.

    Sorry, you’ve just completely blown any shred of credibility possible. The rest of whatever you have to say is of no interest at all. If you can’t tell a real reputable paper from your fantasies then there is no hope for veracity.

  260. Foinavon,

    I have read Dessler et al. several times and my characterization of it stands unshaken. Their Eq. 1(which is nothing more than a crude empirical “sensitivity” calculation misrepresented as “feedback”) is taken as a given and is applied to a year’s worth of data–a cooling year at that–without any critical reflection upon system dynamics. By that token any covariation between two variables would constitute proof of “feedback.”

    By claiming that this is an “experimental” study and insisting that thermalized energy is amplified by CO2, you’ve convinced me that any further discussion with you would be scientifically fallow. Better luck in modern academia!

  261. hey foinavon,

    I agree with John W. Please present a falsifiable hypothesis for AGW such that it can be tested and it’s validity determined.

    We all know you believers are incapable of providing such hypothesis, so in order to save some time, lets ASSUME you have a falsifiable hypothesis. At this point the game is over, but I’ll spot you a BIG one just for fun…

    Let me ask you this:

    Does the fact that CO2 has increased yet the global temperature anomaly has decreased in the past decade falsify the theory?

    If not, Please state EXACTLY what would falsify the theory?

    Until AGW believers like yourself answer basic scientific questions like these, your relig.. err.. theory won’t be accepted.

    Reply: Tone it down please, all the above points could have been made without the religious comparison. ~ charles the moderator

  262. E.M.Smith (19:54:28) :
    I’d be happy with knowing what attribution was given to Hansen in the papers published using his software to claim ~’ice age soon’ in the ’70s, but those were not given,

    That was done about an hour and a half before you posted this, I suggest you go back and read it. Of course you could have read the paper itself and found out for yourself rather than recycle the misrepresentations (which are refuted whenever they are dragged up, to no avail apparently).

  263. Charles the moderator,

    I’d like to make this general observation: for convenience it’s possible to divide most parties interested in this topic into these broad groupings:

    “Denier”

    Posters who for political, emotional or other reasons tend to use simplistic arguments to dismiss AGW. A person who falls into this category generally deals in ad hominems, non sequiturs and other fallacious arguments designed primarily to appeal to one’s feelings and preconceived world view.

    “Sceptic”

    Someone interested in the technical arguments and logical form and structure of the theory. Sceptics come in different flavours but the majority of reasonable sceptics fall into the “luke warmer” category. That is, they accept that CO2 should cause some degree of minor warming, but don’t accept there is enough evidence to conclude that catastrophe is upon us.

    “Alarmist”

    Believes wholeheartedly and completely in AGW and focuses on worst case theoretical outcomes: tipping points, 1000 metre sea level rises, total destruction of the biosphere, etc.

    Many of the posts here, unfortunately, fall into the first category. While understandably many posters are critical of foinavon’s arguments, they don’t tend to be critical of equally bad arguments presented by those perceived as being on the “same side.” This is not a good position to adopt because it reflects badly on the serious sceptical position and its arguments, for which there are plenty. The fallacious reasoning is simply not needed and should not be welcomed here or anywhere else.

    Reply: Sorry, I was out for the evening, and since this was specifically addressed to me as moderator I will offer a reply inline, although normally inline comments are reserved for only moderation comments.

    1. There are more flavors of posters than you have noted above including non-alarmist pro-AGW posters who make cogent and quality scientific and technical arguments. They are welcome here as long as they behave courteously.

    2. While some anti-AGW posts may be of dubious quality, it is Anthony’s policy, which I agree with, that the term “denier” is specifically prohibited as a pejorative. It is a crude attempt to delegitimize any arguments which go against the “consensus” of AGW. Whether or not the person who takes an anti-AGW position is making a quality argument or not is irrelevant to the prohibition on usage.

    3. This site does not prohibit ill-informed people from posting simply because they are ill-informed. Hopefully some will learn from the responses. I myself have corrected ill informed posts myself in my role as poster (separate from moderator-I post as jeez) for people who may generally hold the same position as myself but who have made obviously fallacious arguments.

    ~ charles the moderator

  264. John Philip (15:54:27) :

    Mainly for Anna V

    1) Temperatures do not follow IPCC projections. Here is a plot to remind this:

    That plot is labelled an update of IPCC TS26, however it is no such thing; it has some significant differences from the IPCC graph, which is here.
    The IPCC chart that advises politicians is not that. It resides:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-spm.pdf

    Figure SPM.5. Even I had put in the data after 2000 by hand and saw that they diverged from the projections.

    In addition, the errors shown are not real errors ( I gave a link above from the horses mouth) We are honoring these by treating them as predictions that can be falsified.

    James Annan shows that over the same period the models and the observations are consistent to the 95% level here.

    Please. The only way one can treat the IPCC model scenaria seriously is accepting them as lines and seeing how far off they are from experiment by experimental errors. The theoretical bands are not errors, but bet hedging.

    In addition I am sure that when the model parameters are twigged to fit the recent data, the catastrophic predictions are off, and this is the reason we are not seeing a fit to the last ten year data.

    And it is La Nina that is cooling. El Nino heats.

    2) The fingerprint of CO2 in the tropical troposphere as set out in the AR4 report is absent in the data. Here are the links
    for models:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter9.pdf

    data:

    No it is not, as patiently explained to Lucia by Arthur Smith here…

    I am sorry. patient explanation does not turn black to white ( or red to yellow in this case)

    3) The oceans are cooling instead of warming and setting off a feedback loop of greenhouse warming: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025
    The spin is: global warming missing heat. The truth is, nature does not follow the GCM IPCC models.

    There are many sources. This was convenient.

    4) the specific humidity is not rising as it should in order to create the runaway feedback loop predicated in the models:

    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/Timeseries/timeseries.pl?ntype=1&var=Specific+Humidity+(up+to+300mb+only)&level=300&lat1=90&lat2=-90&lon1=-180&lon2=180&iseas=1&mon1=0&mon2=11&iarea=0&typeout=2&Submit=Create+Timeseries

    Here are plots of relative humidity, which also falls: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/GlobalRelativeHumidity300_700mb.jpg

    As others have pointed out, a recent paper from Dessler et al observed a very real increase in humidity, the existence of which means that projected business-as-usual greenhousegas emissions over the next century are virtually guaranteed to produce warming of several degrees Celsius. The only way that will not happen is if a strong, negative, and currently unknown feedback is discovered somewhere in our climate system.

    As others have pointed out and I read in the summaries available on the web, you are still talking of computer models. There is no hard tie of CO2 warming and humidity rising except through computer models which have been already falsified.

    No, I think the four points stand, and they are not the only ones, just the ones that struck me, an experimental physicist with 35 years experience of fitting models to data ( and not vice versa).

  265. p.s. Here is the quote from the http://www.ipcc.ch site which clearly acknowledges that the errors are an estimate of the modelers.

    this is from AR

    chapter 8
    Climate Models and Their Evaluation,8.1.2.2 Metrics of Model Reliability, partway in the second paragraph:

    The above studies show promise
    that quantitative metrics for the likelihood of model projections
    may be developed, but because the development of robust
    metrics is still at an early stage, the model evaluations presented
    in this chapter are based primarily on experience and physical
    reasoning, as has been the norm in the past.

    Note the “as has been the norm in the past”.

  266. foinavon:

    Thanks for posting the link to the V. Ramanathan & G. Carmichael (2008) Global and regional climate changes due to black carbon article.

    “Thus most if not all of the published estimates of black carbon are derived from models.”

    “There is a significant uncertainty (factors ranging from 2 to 5) in estimates of emission strengths”

    “…the estimated BC [black carbon aerosols] effect is subject to a threefold or larger uncertainty.”

    “The logical deduction from this estimate is that, if and when air pollution regulation succeeds in eliminating the emission of these particles, the
    surface warming can intensify by about 0.7 to 1.5 K, where the range is due to a range in assumed climate sensitivity of 2 to 4 K due to doubling of CO2. When this range is factored in with the threefold uncertainty in the aerosol masking effect, stopping the emission of anthropogenic aerosols, could result in a global mean warming of about 0.4 ºC to 2.4 ºC.”

    A paper that does computer modelling, used to defend computer models.

    So basically, all the evidence for the role and significance of aerosols is theoretical at present? Would that be a reasonable assumption?

  267. Hansen says, “the danger that we face is the Venus syndrome. There is no escape from the Venus Syndrome. Venus will never have oceans again.” That is, “If the planet gets too warm, the water vapor feedback can cause a runaway greenhouse effect. The ocean boils into the atmosphere and life is extinguished.”

    Now, that’s a fairly alarmist statement. In fact, that’s the MOST alarmist statement I have ever heard. It’s pretty far out there. Is that what the IPCC says? Is that what Gavin, foinavon, et al really believe?

    Hansen cribs a little. He says “Our model blows up before the oceans boil, but it suggests that perhaps runaway conditions could occur with added forcing as small as 10-20 W/m2.” Exploding models do not give confidence in either the models or their output. Should we rely on exploding models? Why does Hansen?

    Hansen also cribs, “There may have been times in the Earth’s history when CO2 was as high as 4000 ppm without causing a runaway greenhouse effect. But the solar irradiance was less at that time.” What? Is 4000 ppm a realistic prediction? And how does he “know” solar irradiance was less? Those are fairly speculative statements that both require some evidential support.

    Further, he says that “to preserve creation” CO2 must be reduced or constrained to less than 350 ppm.

    Again, that’s a fairly hyperbolic assertion, and in strong contrast to his prior statements and to reality. First, if, as Hansen claimed, CO2 levels actually were once 4000 ppm, it is quite evident that “creation” was not lost. Creation still exists. Indeed, if current CO2 levels are 385 ppm, and the oceans have not boiled nor has creation been eliminated, one wonders whether Hansen has lost his mind.

    But lo! the oceans won’t boil for a few years yet. The lag time is not specified, but one assumes it will be something less than 100 years, right? If we remain at 380 ppm for another century or so, poof, there go the oceans and creation along with them.

    This is science? The best available science? This is the consensus?

    The fellow is mad. Are Gavin, foinavon, et al in consensus with him. Are they mad, too?

    I had to laugh at his examples of global warming. He shows a dry pier many yards from the water on Lake Mead! It’s a reservoir! The water level on Lake Mead is controlled at the dam! By humans, not climate!

    He cites US wildfire acreage since 1960, another phenomenon controlled by humans! This may shock you, but people have a great deal to do with how big fires get and how many acres they consume. It is NOT a climate controlled phenomenon, any more than Lake Mead water levels.

    Hansen’s presentation is hysterical, in all the meanings of that word. I have enjoyed the discussions in this thread, but some central points have been missed. One, Hansen’s conclusions are insane, and two, warmer is better. The oceans are not going to boil away. Trust me.

  268. John Philip (15:54:27) :

    “Actually, the hypothesis is that the positive feedbacks: primarily the increased water vapour, but also the release of methane from permafrosts, melting of summer sea ice, the die-back of the rainforests, etc that amplify the GHG forced warming and instigate the runaway scenario.”

    First the rainforests aren’t experiencing ‘die-back’ they’re experiencing ‘cut-back’.

    second, you can forget the entire AGW theory, runaway warming or not, because the cut-back of the rainforests alone account for far more CO2 in the air (from loss of photosynthesis) than all our CO2 emissions.

    “Carbon emissions due to fossil fuel combustion represent less than 20% of the total human impact on atmospheric carbon levels. Deforestation not only contributes a relatively minor one off carbon emission of some 2.3 gigatons of carbon to the atmosphere, but an ongoing loss of photosynthetic carbon sequestration to around 38 gigatons per annum that is growing at the rate of 500 megatons every year. It is clear from the fact that this amount dwarfs the present 7.8 gigaton fossil fuel combustion contribution, that the cessation of fossil fuel combustion will not halt the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide because the loss of photosynthesising biota and the corresponding fall in photosynthesis is so much greater.”

    ( http://deforestation.geologist-1011.net/ )

    I think we are trying to solve the wrong problem.

  269. Random comment but seeing as I think Temperature drives CO2 I’d rather we write foinavon’s formula as

    Concentration(CO2) = Power(1/3*(T+9.39), 2)

    or make CO2 the dependant and T the independant :)

  270. Will Nitschke (21:41:19) :

    “Charles the moderator,

    I’d like to make this general observation: for convenience it’s possible to divide most parties interested in this topic into these broad groupings:……”

    Will Nitschke – I very much agree with this comment .
    (IMHO) This is the best thread I’ve read on this forum because of the informed debate (from all sides) – I am looking forward to more like this ..

    Perhaps I can suggest a fourth group – between ‘sceptic’ and ‘alarmist’ . This is someone still motivated by logical argument with supportable statements but inclined to ‘agree’ with the idea that there will be negative change (maybe not catastrophic). A ‘supporter’ group ?

  271. John Philip wrote:

    “2. Temperatures have increased substantially in the last 10 years.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/last:120/plot/uah/last:120/trend

    But it’s trending down for the last 8.5 years:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/last:102/plot/uah/last:102/trend

    All the time periods are too short, though. They are only suggestive of something if current trends continue for the next few years. Gone are the good old days when the MET office predicted with confidence that ‘next year’ would be the record year to beat all previous years. Hansen is very confident that all records will be broken with 2-3 years, as per his website.

  272. J. Peden (19:25:30)

    Really? Which studies does it contradict? In general there is an expectation that as the atmosphere warms under greenhouse forcing so the atmospheric water vapour concentration rises. That’s the essential point. Dessler’s paper is one of a substantial series of papers that confirm this (note that this also works in reverse of course..atmospheric cooling results in a drop in atmospheric water vapour). That’s all pretty much as expected.

    I don’t see the problem with the “untethered theoretical statement” (!) that you reproduce from the NASA info page. All this means is that as the atmosphere warms the water vapour feedback amplifies this warming, and because the amplification itself “recruits” more water vapour there is a bit more warming and so in. One could formalise this within an equation of the form T=T+x+x2+x3+x4……. where T is the primary temperature rise (from enhanced greenhouse forcing or solar change or whatever) and x is the temperature rise resulting from a temperature-dependent feedback (water vapour).

    Of course this works in the cooling direction to. Dessler et al use all of the data (warming and cooling events) to deduce a value for the strength of the water vapour feedback that is in fact rather consistent with a number of other studies.

    You state:
    Simply ignoring solar input and oceanic oscillation changes and claiming that this “warming” is due solely to CO2’s effect only manages to bring the number of scientific issues which are not anywhere close to being settled to at least six contained in this very post alone.

    But one needs to be much more relaxed about the science! Every paper doesn’t address every question! Our understanding of any particular phenomenon is the summation of a very large number of observations, measurements, theoretical understanding and so on. Dessler’s paper is essentially neutral about the cause of any warming (or cooling for that matter). They provide another piece of information about the way that the atmospheric water vapour responds to temperature variation.

  273. John S. (20:22:39)

    your comment:

    I have read Dessler et al. several times and my characterization of it stands unshaken. Their Eq. 1(which is nothing more than a crude empirical “sensitivity” calculation misrepresented as “feedback”) is taken as a given and is applied to a year’s worth of data–a cooling year at that–without any critical reflection upon system dynamics. By that token any covariation between two variables would constitute proof of “feedback.”

    But that’s doubly incorrect. Eq. 1 is not “misrepresented as a “feedback””. It is represented as the strength of the water-vapour feedback…in other words a “sensitivity”, if you wish to call it that.

    And it isn’t “applied to a year’s worth of data”. It’s applied to 5 years worth of data. Are you sure you read the paper “several times”?

    and this comment:

    By claiming that this is an “experimental” study and insisting that thermalized energy is amplified by CO2, you’ve convinced me that any further discussion with you would be scientifically fallow. Better luck in modern academia!

    Dessler et al take measurements of temperature, tropospheric specific humidity and relative humidity from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder mounted on the NASA Aqua satellite, and analyze these to establish relationships betwen temperature and relative and absolute humidity and to extract an estimate of the strength of the water vapour feedback.

    That’s an experimental study John (unless you’re suggesting that the only experimental study is one in which no analysis is made?)

  274. Bill Illis (19:52:14) :

    The Dessler humidity study found a decline in relative humidity as temperatures declined. This is not consistent with global warming theory in which relative humidity is supposed to stay generally constant.

    Read the study and see where it does not agree.

    Not really Bill. Global warming theory predicts that as the atmospheric temperature rises under an enhanced greenhouse forcing, so the atmospheric water vapour will rise as a feedback amplifying the warming.

    Of course this might occur with the retention of roughly constant relative humidity, and this has been observed in models. But the whole point of establishing the strength of the water vapour feedback through experimental analyses like that of Dessler, is to determine exactly how the water vapour feedback occurs and to quantitate this. Dessler et al. is just another of the studies that contributes to our understanding of the subject. “Global warming theory”, as you call it, doesn’t require that RH stays constant.

    In fact, Dessler et al actually found that the relative humidity did remain roughly constant averaged globally and at most altitudes. Of course it would be foolish to expect that local fluctuations in specific and relative humidities don’t occur such that in same cases the RH will drop or rise within a dynamic system (the atmosphere) that is continually locally being pushed away from equilibrium.

  275. OT, but related – from Science Daily: “Solar Activity Between 1250-1850 Linked To Temperature Changes In Siberia”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081219180532.htm

    I haven’t read the full paper yet, but the review is interesting: A study carried out by a Swiss-Russian team on ice-cores from the Altai reports a strong correlation between regional temperatures and reconstructed solar activity for the period of 1250 and 1850. A time lag of 10 to 30 years is observed between temperature and solar forcing, implying ocean mitigation. The authors point out that the temperature rise between 1850 and 2000 has to be caused by CO2 from anthropogenic sources, rather than by the sun as during the earlier centuries. They do not appear to discuss the reliability of ice core gas measurements as a function of pressure in the core and other sampling artefacts.

  276. John Philip answered:

    1. 10 years is too short, the WMO definition of ‘climate’ is 30 years.

    2. Temperatures have increased substantially in the last 10 years.

    to the question: Does the fact that CO2 has increased yet the global temperature anomaly has decreased in the past decade falsify the theory?

    If 30 years is the requirement for climate, how do you reconcile the 40-year decline in U.S. temperatures from the mid-1930s to the late 1970s when atmospheric CO2 levels were apparently monotonically increasing since 1958? Wouldn’t 40 years of cooling combined with increasing atmospheric CO2 levels support Hansen’s original model of man-made global cooling?

  277. John Philip (22:57:33) :

    1. 10 years is too short, the WMO definition of ‘climate’ is 30 years.

    2. Temperatures have increased substantially in the last 10 years.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/last:120/plot/uah/last:120/trend

    1) After the last PDO flip (late 1970s, negative to positive), there was a quick response. Therefore we should be looking for a quick reponse to the recent postive to negative flip.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1972/to:1982/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1972/to:1982/trend

    Note – I had to use HadCrut data to get a 10 year span.

    2) In the last 8 years, things look quite different, and that starts well before the PDO flip.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/last:96/plot/uah/last:96/trend

    Haven’t we been through this before?

  278. quote What Hansen did was compute the total difference in forcings in W/m^2 between the last glacial maximum and now due to various effects (the two largest being the difference in albedo (1) because of the ice and the difference in CO2 (2) and other greenhouse gas levels, although I believe there is also a small contribution due to a difference in aerosol loading (3) in the atmosphere).unquote

    1. We don’t even know the albedo at the moment, let alone during the last glacial maximum. The A train, a collection of climate satellites, is going to put numbers to the present, but the past is going to remain a mystery for a long time to come.

    2. CO2 levels in the past are contested, to put it politely.

    3. Aerosols are warming or cooling in the recent record — or at least so it seems when they are needed to make a particular scenario work out. I’ve seen the explanations for the post WWII cooling and I’ve seen hotspots explained by aerosols. Aerosols effect clouds: the IPCC states that our scientific understanding of clouds is very low.

    quote He also used the available estimates for the difference in average surface temperature between then and now.(4) So, he has a total forcing in W/m^2 and a total temperature change; dividing the first by the second gives him the temperature change per W/m^2 of forcing, which turns out to be about 0.75 C per (W/m^2). Then, using the well-accepted value for the forcing in W/m^2 due to a doubling of CO2, which is about 4 W/m^2 (even Richard Lindzen accepts this value), he multiplies the 0.75 C per (W/m^2) sensitivity by the 4 W/m^2 forcing to get the result that a doubling of CO2 produces approximately 3 C of warming. unquote (5)

    4. I would like to see confidence intervals for the measured now and the estimated past. Without them this is not science, it is handwaving. And with them it is an exercise in hubris.

    5. If we had some eggs we could have ham and eggs. If we had some ham. SF fans will remember here the Drake equation which, by making a whole chain of assumptions, ‘proved’ that alien civilisations exist. If you want ham and eggs, then begin by wishing for eggs…

    It’s tosh. It’s wishful thinking dressed up as science.

    Wait for the A-Train — the line of climate satellites still being assembled by NASA — to give a few years results and then we can do science on the climate. Until then there are too many unknowns, and too many things known but wrong, for this whole business to be anything but expensive speculation.

    Here’s my (so cheap it’s free and worth every penny) speculation just for Professor Holdren, the new presidential science advisor, who complains that there is no other over-arching theory of climate change which explains everything we are observing. I give Dr Holdren (fanfare) The Kriegesmarine Hypothesis: the isotope signal is nothing to do with burning fossil fuels, it’s down to plankton population changes caused by dust feeding silicaceous diatoms blooming in preference to C3 plankton (1); C3 plankton starving and switching to C4 metabolism dragging down heavy isotope more than expected (2); ocean warming because surfactant and oil pollution of the surface reduces production of cloud condensation nuclei which reduces maritime cloud cover(3); smoothed sea exhibits lower albedo and, when insolated, warms faster; smoothed sea has reduced emissivity so that at night it cools more slowly (4).

    1. The opal ocean.

    2. The light isotope signal begins too early to be caused by human CO2 emissions, but matches nicely our vast and reckless expansion of dryland farming and spillage of oil and surfactant.

    3. The Hadcrut SST graphs, minus the questionable ‘bucket correction’, show the effect of pouring millions of tons of oil onto the Atlantic and Pacific between 1939 and ’45. A graph of oceanic surface wind speed shows a similarly interesting blip at the same time.

    4. Arctic warming and the spill rates from the North Slope oilfield and the wells in Sakhalin may be connected.

    See? Handwaving for fun and profit. I leave the cod population crash on the Grand Banks as an exercise for the interested reader. My theory explains that as well. If, of course, you wave your hands a lot.

    JF

  279. Mike D. wrote:

    Hansen also cribs, “There may have been times in the Earth’s history when CO2 was as high as 4000 ppm without causing a runaway greenhouse effect. But the solar irradiance was less at that time.” What? Is 4000 ppm a realistic prediction?

    First, if, as Hansen claimed, CO2 levels actually were once 4000 ppm, it is quite evident that “creation” was not lost. Creation still exists.

    If you check the last graph Anthony posted above, based on the data of Berner, atmospheric CO2 reached 7000 ppm in the Cambrian period. That’s way higher than 4000 ppm and the oceans survived.

  280. Hi Steve (12:46:49)

    Yes, there’s pretty good evidence that the atmosphere has warmed the oceans. The ocean temperatures have been monitored for around 50 years, and the data demonstrate characteristics of warming via the atmosphere. So, for example, the warming shows a gradient from surface (most warming) to greater depth (least warming) through the top 700 metres…the warming depth distribution is consistent with what’s known about specific ocean mixing (e.g. the N. and S. Atlantic have deep convection and accordingly surface warmth is identified deeper into these oceans; the northern Pacific has a shallow meridional overturning circulation, and accordingly, surface warmth is not conveyed so deeply below the surface)……the N. Indian ocean shows little surface warming as a result of the aerosolic cooling effect of brown clouds – here greatest warming is sub-surface due to advection (warmth flowing from other warmed ocean regions, especially the S. Indian ocean…[***]

    All of these are consistent with a dominant atmospheric effect on ocean warming (rather than vice versa, for example). There’s quite a lot more data that that informs our understanding of this.

    I don’t think we do know very well the thermal equilibrium time between oceans and the atmosphere. I couldn’t agree more that this is vital for our understanding of climate sensitivity. That’s largely why most analyses of climate sensitivities aim to use periods in the past where the earth’s temperature is more likely to have come towards equilibrium (the extremely slow responses during ice age periods, and the paleo/temp/CO2 relationships in the deep past and such like), or from an analysis of transient responses (tropospheric temperature responses to the solar cycle…temperature responses to volcanic cooling etc.) to determine the strengths of feedbacks for including in the relatively well-characterised CO2 forcing.

    Your Siple core point about the temperature rise between the mid 19th century and 1940. Yes, I think it’s accepted that other factors than CO2 contributed to the temperature rise. The solar output as monitored by the sunspot cycles, for example, increased significantly up to around 1940, and this likely supplemented CO2-induced warming somewhat.

    Since we know that aerosols produce a nett cooling effect we have to include these in our considerations. Again, I think it’s pretty well recognized that trying to determine climate sensitivity by analysis of 20th century temperature is difficult (poorly constrained by uncertainties in the climate response time and the contribution of aerosols).

    I like your paragraph:

    Surely you must agree statements like “the debate is over” and “science is settled” don’t help in these situations and seems to imply more certainty to Joe public like me than there really is. Then again I guess no one has actually defined what the “debate” was and which “science” has been settled.

    since you answer your own point quite well! I agree with you that it depends exactly what the “debate” is about and which “science” one is referring to in relation to our understanding being settled. The main thing is to address the science in a relaxed, skeptical, and most-importantly, an honest manner.

    [***] e.g.:

    S. Levitus et al. (2003) Warming of the world ocean, 1955–2003 Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L02604 .

    T. P. Barnett et al. (2005) Penetration of Human-Induced Warming into the World’s Oceans Science 309, 284 – 287.

  281. Syl (00:49:58) :

    “Carbon emissions due to fossil fuel combustion represent less than 20% of the total human impact on atmospheric carbon levels. Deforestation not only contributes a relatively minor one off carbon emission of some 2.3 gigatons of carbon to the atmosphere, but an ongoing loss of photosynthetic carbon sequestration to around 38 gigatons per annum that is growing at the rate of 500 megatons every year. It is clear from the fact that this amount dwarfs the present 7.8 gigaton fossil fuel combustion contribution, that the cessation of fossil fuel combustion will not halt the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide because the loss of photosynthesising biota and the corresponding fall in photosynthesis is so much greater.”

    Or maybe we should twice as concerned about human activities …

  282. Yes…That would be circular reasoning. However, that is not what Hansen did. What Hansen did was computed the total difference in forcings in W/m^2 between the last glacial maximum and now due to various effects (the two largest being the difference in albedo because of the ice and the difference in CO2 and other greenhouse gas levels, although I believe there is also a small contribution due to a difference in aerosol loading in the atmosphere). He also used the available estimates for the difference in average surface temperature between then and now. So, he has a total forcing in W/m^2 and a total temperature change; dividing the first by the second gives him the temperature change per W/m^2 of forcing, which turns out to be about 0.75 C per (W/m^2). Then, using the well-accepted value for the forcing in W/m^2 due to a doubling of CO2, which is about 4 W/m^2 (even Richard Lindzen accepts this value), he multiplies the 0.75 C per (W/m^2) sensitivity by the 4 W/m^2 forcing to get the result that a doubling of CO2 produces approximately 3 C of warming.

    Let me see, we assume that all unexplained temperature change is due to CO2 and then compute the climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 and then we show that a doubling of the CO2 causes the temeperature change. Hmmmmmm, sounds like circular reasoning to me. If we cannot think of any natural causes then it must be caused by us humans. This is really good “science”.

  283. Your NASA Science in action. Raw data is out, and opinion rules supreme.
    From Science News, December 6, 2008: A letter, pasted without alteration.
    n “Cooling climate ‘consensus’ of 1970s never was” (SN: 10/25/08, p. 5), Science News includes a graph, attributed to NASA, that shows temperature deviations from the year 1880. The data clearly indicate a distinct warming trend throughout the period. Why is it that over the past two years I have very painstakingly researched the data from more than 200 weather stations from every continent, including more than 20 north of the Arctic Circle, and I haven’t found a single one that indicates a trend that even remotely resembles that represented by the graph in your article? The difference between my primary research and the data from NASA is disconcerting.

    As a high school environmental science teacher, I don’t know whether to teach my students of the threat of global warming or of the terrible hoax being played by the world’s scientists in whom we entrust so much. Will someone please provide the locations of specific weather stations that indicate the trend shown by the NASA graph, instead of just showing NASA’s compilation of weather station data?
    Edward Amatetti, Gaithersburg, Md.

    The NASA graph depicts a year-by-year estimate of average global temperature, not the temperature recorded at any individual weather station. That estimate includes data gathered at more than 500 land-based weather stations, says Reto Ruedy, a mathematician and climate modeler at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. Since December 1981, sea-surface temperatures have been estimated from satellite observations; before then, such data were gathered at sea by commercial and government research vessels. —Sid Perkins

  284. E.M. Smith says:

    Investors Business Daily a ‘nutty political publication’? A national non-political newspaper that is the main competitor to The Wall Street Journal.

    Well, their editorial page seems to be (as I would say is pretty true of WSJ’s editorial page). The reporting in WSJ is quite good though (and rumor has it that some of the reporters for WSJ agree with my characterization of the editorial page)…I am not sure about the reporting in IBD but then that piece was, I believe, on the editorial page.

    Sorry, you’ve just completely blown any shred of credibility possible. The rest of whatever you have to say is of no interest at all. If you can’t tell a real reputable paper from your fantasies then there is no hope for veracity

    How convenient that you have found an excuse to ignore the most substantive part of my post where I showed that you were clearly wrong and Hansen’s characterization of what he provided to the authors is supported by the reference that the authors gave to Hansen in their paper. Yes, very convenient indeed!! I guess that is how you can continue to believe the fictions that you do.

  285. Fred Gams asks:

    Let me ask you this:

    Does the fact that CO2 has increased yet the global temperature anomaly has decreased in the past decade falsify the theory?

    How can the fact that temperature sometimes decreases over some relative short periods of time falsify the theory when exactly the same sort of behavior is seen in the climate models forced with CO2?!? (See here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/langswitch_lang/fr ) That makes no sense at all. In fact, if this did not occur that we would be forced to conclude that the climate models were significantly overstating the variable component of climate relative to the forced component.

    And, by the way, whether or not the global temperature anomaly has increased or decreased over the past several years depends strongly on exactly which years you include and which data set. Since a 10 year period would no longer include the “El Nino of the century” in 1998, I rather doubt that the trend line for any of the surface temperature records actually shows a decrease over the past decade. (And, in fact for the ten-year period from 1998 to 2007, the trendlines for both the HADCRUT data set and the NASA GISS data set were positive even with 1998 there, although the error bars on the trends are still large over such a short period.) But, at any rate, the data for trends are very noisy from year-to-year and one data set to another (e.g., NASA GISS vs Hadcrut) until you get out to 12 to 15 years or so where trendlines become much more robust…which, interestingly, is basically just what the climate models predict to be the case!

  286. How about “realist”. Those that realize we are far from knowing exactly what factor(s) drives our climate. There are many clues but it is a very complex system, no? To me, history shows “tipping points” ( a term I disagree with) flop to the ice age side, not to catastrophic warming. Our planet seems to be able to recover from events (volcanic, ice ages,for example) without our assistance or intervention. Our contribution of Co2 is miniscule and quite clearly the atmosphere has recovered from much worse influx of GHG’s.

  287. Will (15:23:47)

    I don’t agree with your analysis Will. Looking at some of your points:

    Re Santer:

    Secondly, Santer ends his study in 1998 at the height of the super el nino. A little convenient perhaps? The cherry picking being done here is breathtaking.

    Except that that’s false, since Santer et al. in fact ended their study with data up through December 1999. This was a relatively strong La Nina (cool) year as it happens.

    See Methods section of Santer et al and Figures:

    e.g. Santer et al: Since most of the 20CEN experiments end in 1999, out trend comparisons primarily cover the 252-month period from January 1979 to December 1999, which is the period of maximum overlap between the observed MSU data and the model simulations.

    The general tendency to rubbish the data if it doesn’t support your argument. “Satellite data has too many uncorrected errors, is unreliable, etc.” Come on, let’s be grown-ups here. You can throw out ANY empirical data that doesn’t suite your argument by pointing to “measurement errors”.

    There are several people on this thread that seem to be doing that (see just above)! I’m not “rubbishing” anything. I’ve illustrated that the two graphs in the introductory post to this thread are incredibly misleading. That’s not “rubbishing”. I’ve described exactly what the problems are with reference to the science. Anyone is welcome to argue against my descriptions, but no-one has chosen to do so, at least in respect of the science. If one is interested in the science on this issues one may as well address the science as it stands.

    And my comments about the satellite/radiosonde data is in the same vein. The data simply isn’t sufficiently accurate and precise to establish whether there is a real discrepency between models and temperature in the tropics. It’s not “rubbishing” the data to point out the facts:

    Santer et al. say essentially the same thing:

    Santer et al: A number of national and international assessments have tried to determine whether this discrepancy [foinavon: Santer et al refer to apparent discrepancies between models and tropospheric temperature measurements] is real and of practical significance, or simply an artefact of problems with observational data (e.g. NRC, 2000; Karl et al., 2006; IPCC 2007). The general tenor of these assessments is that structural uncertainties in satellite- and radiosonde-based estimates of tropospherical temperature change are currently large; we do not have an unambiguous observational yardstick for gauging true levels of model skill (or lack thereof). The most comprehensive assessment was the first report produced by the US Climate Change Science Program (CCSP: Karl et al., 2006). This report concluded that advances in identifying and adjusting for inhomogeneities is satellite and radiosonde data had helped to resolve the discrepancies described above, at least at global scales.

    In the tropics, however, important differences remained between the simulated and observed “differential warming”.….and they go on to point out that the evidence indicates that the lack of precision and accuracy in the radiosonde and satellite measurements together with the known measurement problems that are very well highlighted in the scientific literature have precluded establishing whether it’s the models or the measurements that are “wrong” in the specific case of the tropics.

    It’s well established that there are problems with the measurements here. Perhaps you’re not familiar with the scientific literature. But if one wants to understand these issues, one should address the science warts and all…pointing out known problems is not “rubbishing” I hope we’d all agree!

    So your response remains unsatisfactory and evasive on the question of the “hot spot”, unfortunately.

    That’s sad. Pointing out what the science indicates is “unsatisfactory and evasive”!? In fact I’m complete agnostic of whether the models turn out to be correct or the measurements. I don’t share your need to throw my opinion on one “side” or the other. When we know we’ll know and will have learned something. Perhaps the models will have to be revised somewhat. Perhaps not. We’ll see.

    One should try to be more relaxed about the science. It isn’t necessary to take every bit of work that doesn’t agree with one’s position and try to trash it. Our understanding of these issues doesn’t depend on any single paper!

  288. Will Nitschke (00:14:39) :

    A paper that does computer modelling, used to defend computer models.

    So basically, all the evidence for the role and significance of aerosols is theoretical at present? Would that be a reasonable assumption?

    Of course not and one should be careful not to fall into the trap of considering that once an analysis (that might involve equations, computers or models) of real world data takes place, that the study thus becomes “theoretical”!

    Have a read of some of Ramanathan’s papers for example. There is a huge amount of empirical data that bears upon aerosols and their effects. A vast literature of surface measurements (the global dimming story of the 90’s was based on some of this), satellite measurements of aerosols and the effects on radiative forcings….Ramanthan’s recent approach is to use remote unmanned planes to fly through aerosolic regions to characterize their compositions…

    …once one has sufficient data on the types of aerosols and their effects, then efforts can be made to quantitate this in terms of forcing contributions to the earth’s energy budget (positive and negative) and so on. This involves computational analysis and the data can be incorporated into General Circulation Models as improved parameterization of aerosol contributions. But as with all models, the inputs are parameterized against empirical data.

    The specific point about black carbon that you refer to relates to the fact that black carbon often doesn’t exist alone. It’s mixed in with the generalized aerosolic load (sulphurous and organic particulates and so on). So to determine the specific contribution of black carbon within the overall aerosolic brown clouds, one needs to independently determine the forcing from black carbon (Ramanathan describes how he determines this in several of his papers), and then uses experimental measures of the aerosol composition to factor out the specific contribution from black carbon. He uses a model to do this.

    There are very large uncertainties in the of the aerosolic contributions as Ramanathan’s paper (the Wegman testimony submission that you read) indicates rather clearly. Hopefully the nett cooling effect of aerosols is at the low end of the estimates!

  289. Roy Sites:

    Let me see, we assume that all unexplained temperature change is due to CO2 and then compute the climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 and then we show that a doubling of the CO2 causes the temeperature change. Hmmmmmm, sounds like circular reasoning to me. If we cannot think of any natural causes then it must be caused by us humans. This is really good “science”.

    Your summary of what I said could not be more incorrect. I am afraid that you didn’t understand any of what I said. First, there was no assumption that all the temperature change in going from the last glacial maximum (LGA) to the current interglacial period was due to CO2. In fact, I believe the estimate is that only about 1/3 of it was due to CO2 (and maybe 40% or so to all the greenhouse gases). And, this is not an assumption but rather a value arrived at by estimating all the known changes in radiative forcing between then and now.

    Second, all of the changes between the LGA and the current interglacial period were assumed to be due to natural causes and not to humans. (This estimate of the sensitivity to the climate to radiative forcings in general…and to CO2 in particular…uses empirical data from a natural event and not from the current warming over the last century that is understood to be largely due to humans.) So, I have no idea what your statement that “if we cannot think of any natural causes then it must be caused by us humans” refers to in this context.

  290. John Philip: your

    2. Temperatures have increased substantially in the last 10 years.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/last:132/plot/uah/last:132/trend

    Actually, the trend is negative over the last 11 years, since May, 1997. The UAH trend is positive only if the la Nina years (1999-2000) are your start point. Like you did.

    If you take out the ENSO years, and the start point is 2001, the trend is negative. If you put in the ENSO years (1998-2000), the trend is negative.

    Nice cherry pickin’.

    Note that the start of the negative trend is moving backward in time, as the anomalies continue to fall.

  291. foinavon: your

    There are very large uncertainties in the of the aerosolic contributions as Ramanathan’s paper (the Wegman testimony submission that you read) indicates rather clearly.

    Which paper? The one that says that aerosols are masking warming, or the one from the previous year, that says that aerosols contribute 1/2 the observed Asian warming?

  292. David Ball says:

    Those that realize we are far from knowing exactly what factor(s) drives our climate. There are many clues but it is a very complex system, no?

    I don’t disagree with you on this but just because we don’t understand everything does not mean that we understand nothing. And, the fact is that we understand the climate well enough to know that it has responded quite dramatically to radiative forcings of estimated to be of a similar magnitude to the one we are currently in the process of applying. The fact that we don’t know exactly how it is going to respond to this significant perturbation is hardly very reassuring in my book.

    To me, history shows “tipping points” ( a term I disagree with) flop to the ice age side, not to catastrophic warming.

    I am not sure where you get this interpretation from. Actually, the evidence from the ice age – interglacial cycles (and basic reasoning) suggests that ice sheets can break up and sea levels can rise much faster than such ice sheets can build up and sea levels fall.

    Our planet seems to be able to recover from events (volcanic, ice ages,for example) without our assistance or intervention.

    Well, sure, particularly on timescales of millions of years, our planet can recover from lots of things. It has recovered from supervolcanic eruptions, large asteroid impacts, etc., etc. That hardly seems to be an argument for why we need be unconcerned about putting our planet, and our societies, through such events. After all, I doubt you would use this argument to argue against doing anything to prevent a large asteroid strike.

    And, by the way, if you want to talk about things affecting our planet, one can safely say that whether Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction or whether some terrorists blow up some buildings or whether our financial system falls apart is something that will affect the planet far less than any of the things that you mention and yet we still decide to do something about these threats to our society (in some cases even though they turn out to be non-existent threats).

    Our contribution of Co2 is miniscule and quite clearly the atmosphere has recovered from much worse influx of GHG’s.

    It hardly seems miniscule when we have already raised the level of CO2 over 35% and will likely more than double it by the end of the century. And, in fact, the rate at which this rise is occurring is extremely rapid compared to known historical analogues (such as the ice age – interglacial oscillations). Whether or not such rapid changes have occurred further back in time when we don’t have the good temporal resolution that we have from ice core data is unclear…But, again, even if true would hardly be a good argument for not being concerned about causing such a rise now.

  293. foinavon (05:53:07) :

    Yes, there’s pretty good evidence that the atmosphere has warmed the oceans. The ocean temperatures have been monitored for around 50 years, and the data demonstrate characteristics of warming via the atmosphere.

    That would be the sun’s energy passing into the oceans via the atmosphere wouldn’t it?

    Or are you talking about heat absorbed by the atmosphere from the sun being re-radiated into the ocean? Or Outgoing longwave radiation given off by the ocean being absorbed by the atmosphere and being re-readiated into the ocean?

  294. When asked about “Global Warming” russian astronomer Khabibulo Abdusamatov (Director of the Pulkovo observatory), said: “That´s hollywood science”.
    And a long time ago famous psychiatrist Karl Jung said: “Statistics is the science which demonstrates that the average weight of a pebble in a pebbles´beach is, say, 132 grams, but you can spend your whole life trying to find one pebble with such a weight”

  295. Arrhenius 1906

    We may find a kind of consolation in the consideration that here, as in every other case, there is good mixed with the evil. By the influence of the increasing percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates, especially as regards the colder regions of the earth, ages when the earth will bring forth much more abundant crops that at present, for the benefit of rapidly propagating mankind.

  296. Joel Shore:

    It hardly seems miniscule when we have already raised the level of CO2 over 35% and will likely more than double it by the end of the century. And, in fact, the rate at which this rise is occurring is extremely rapid compared to known historical analogues (such as the ice age – interglacial oscillations).

    Nobody says that the CO2 is not rising. I am becoming though more and more convinced that it has a very small role in heating up the planet, on the one hand, and on the other hand I have started questioning how the CO2 is measured and budgeted. There seem to be enormous holes in the knowledge of the latter and I look forward to the data from the new satellite that will give near ground measurements. It will probably do for CO2 measurements what happened with satellite temperature measurements: ground the observations to their real scale.

    This 35% may be mostly due to the warming of the oceans by the natural cycles of PDO ENSO and what not and might be there whether humans existed or disappeared from the face of the earth. There is not enough information to know this. There is enough information to know that the 1degree Celcius that might come by 2100 is not disastrous and people and the biosphere can adapt to the consequences, better than if a little ice age were to come.

    So we do not panic, but say there is enough time, centuries, to learn about the cycles better and to create real models that can have predictive power before we start claiming control of the climate, either involuntarily or by terraforming.

    Keep cool, and have a merry Christmas

  297. Les – Actually, the trend is negative over the last 11 years, since May, 1997. The UAH trend is positive only if the la Nina years (1999-2000) are your start point. Like you did.

    If you take out the ENSO years, and the start point is 2001, the trend is negative. If you put in the ENSO years (1998-2000), the trend is negative.

    Nice cherry pickin’.

    If I had chosen the timescale you might have a point, if you re-read the thread you will discover that I did not. It seems unsurprising that a trend that includes the most powerful El Nino event of the last century towards the beginning shows a negative slope, but given that absolutely nobody expects such natural variation to disappear in an AGW scenario I fear the relevance to the thread escapes me.

  298. Les Johnson (09:14:44),

    Careful with your reading! Ramanathan has identified black carbon as a nett positive contribution to warming with the overall aerosol load being nett negative.. If you look at the data extracted from Ramanathan and Carmichael’s review in Nature Geosciences last year reproduced below you can see the point (see table at bottom of this post)..

    Black carbon has a net warming contribution that is particularly high in the atmosphere (like other aerosols it cools the surface). The overall aerosolic contribution to the earth’s “energy budget” is a nett cooling, as a large amount of previous measurement has already established.

    Ramanathan has pointed out in at least one of his papers [Nature (2007) 575-578)] that regionally, and in the lower atmosphere 2-5 km above surface, the atmospheric warming contribution of local black carbon can be as large as the enhanced greenhouse warming. So he suggests that high altitude Himalayan-Hindu-Kush, for example, where particularly fast warming has occurred, may have a significant contribution from black carbon.

    But outside high altitude regional effects, the overall aerosolic forcing is a negative one. Ramanathan considers this to be a dilemma, since he would like to take steps to greatly reduce specifically the black carbon component of aerosolic emissions. He recognises that this can’t be done by reducing aerosolic emissions overall since this will enhance global warming:

    e.g. Ramanathan: “The logical deduction from Fig 2a,c,d is that elimination of present day ABCs through emission strategies would intensify surface warming by 0.4 to 2.4 oC.” (ABC being atmospheric brown cloud).”

    Clearly there are some large uncertainties in these numbers, since that’s a large range! Hopefully with the NASA Glory satellite scheduled for 2009 designed (partly) to assess atmospheric aerosols, this uncertainty will come down in the coming years…

    [*****] Forcings extracted from Figure 2 of V Ramanathan and G. Carmichael (2008) Nature Geosciences 1, 221-227.

    black carbon (BC):
    atmosphere +2.6
    surface -1.7
    total +0.9

    non BC man-made aerosols:
    atmosphere +0.4
    surface -2.7
    total -2.3

    all GHG’s (CO2, methane, N20, halons, ozone):
    atmosphere +1.4
    surface +1.6
    total +3.0 (W/m2 presumably)

    CO2:
    atmosphere +1.0
    surface +0.6
    total +1.6

    (this data is also in the Ramanathan’s Wegman testimony submission that you can access I believe.)

  299. Foinavon,

    When the issue is the imputation of climate system energy amplification via water vapor, nitpicking the difference between the terms “feedback” and “strength of feedback,” or the paper’s own “magnitude, ” just doesn’t cut it in any serious physical discourse.

    What makes Dessler et al’s entire excercise not a proper experimental study from the start is their premise that “water vapor feedback is one of the most important in our climate system, with the capacity to about double the direct warming from greenhouse gas increases.” And their Eq. 1, by which that strength is computed from field data, incorporates a partial differential term for radiative flux term “precomputed” by models. The ensuing results in their Table 1 scatter by a factor of more than two, depending on which year’s January is used relative to January 2008, the coldest of the decade. All of this scarcely inspires confidence that anything resembling an intrinsic response characteristic of the climate system has been established. When you have concomittant variables, all sorts of fanciful relationships can be derived empirically. The object of bona fide experimental science is to test premises–not to simply use the premise to bolster an argument that flies in the face of physical laws.

    “Climate science” would take a positive step toward credibility by acquiring a thorough grasp of the Second Law of Thermodynmamics and a proper understanding of feedback and stabilty in dynamic systems. Meanwhile, I’m off to re-read “Alice in Wonderland.” It offers fantasy that is far more amusing. Cheers!

  300. Joel Shore: It hardly seems miniscule when we have already raised the level of CO2 over 35% and will likely more than double it by the end of the century.

    Sigh.

    You really don’t get this.

    “WE” have raised the level of CO2? WE??? Can you actually prove this? Can you demonstrate how human activity has DEFINITELY and UNAMBIGUOUSLY raised CO2 levels? Not a theory, now, and not a model, but proof?

    See, you can’t. Our contribution to the carbon cycle is not enough. And this is one of the most basic parts of the whole thing.

    Almost everything else is moot. “WE” are not the sole cause of increased CO2. CO2 follows temperature. The cart goes BEHIND the horse. The sinks are not static, and grow as required (keyword: GROW) for the available CO2.

  301. –the evidence from the ice age – interglacial cycles (and basic reasoning) suggests that ice sheets can break up and sea levels can rise much faster than such ice sheets can build up and sea levels fall.–

    Joel, that was not a catastrophe, it was a enormous boon and blessing. As Martha Stewart says, “It was a Very Good Thing.” Before the Big Melt life was cold, brutish, and short. Afterwards civilization rose and flourished. You wouldn’t be here today if not for the Big Melt.

    Try not to freak out about the climate. The seas are NOT going to boil. Your boy Hansen is wrong about that, as wrong as wrong could be. Quell your panic attack. Irrational paranoia doesn’t suit you.

    –the rainforests aren’t experiencing ‘die-back’ they’re experiencing ‘cut-back’.–

    Syl, this is going to blow your mind so hang on to your chair, but people have been living in rain forest for thousands of years, and burning them, and deforesting them, and farming them. Humanity has had a huge impact on the Amazon and and all the other rainforests on Earth for millennia, and yet the rain forests are still there and the oceans have not boiled away! Imagine that! Creation still exists!!!

    The galloping doomsday paranoia expressed by the Chicken Little cacklers is NOT supported by science, not by good science anyway. The End is Not Near. We do not need to huddle in the cold and dark for fear the seas will boil and all life will be extinguished. That’s nutty nutbar talk.

    Alarmists, this is Earth calling. Please take some valium. Have a timeout. Seek professional help for your problem, which is psychological on your end, and not real in the sense of reality.

  302. Hey Foinavon,

    Thanks for your responses. I know I’m not an expert on climate and I may never know enough to really understand all of the science (then again does anyone) but I’m just not convinced we are heading towards some sort of crisis. I live in New Zealand and we try to represent our country as clean and green, it is but not as idealistically as we think. I almost feel NZ has jumped on this issue and accepted any and all catastrophic messages just to maintain our clean & green image in the international public eye. In some sense we are trying to out-green other countries. Our previous government passed an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) which included livestock emssions (e.g) methane. No other country in the world has done this. I would say for good reason because I believe livestock are carbon sinks not carbon sources. Methane has to come from somewhere and I would argue our livestock obtain the carbon in CH4 from the grass which in turn gets it from the atmosphere via photosynthesis. It’s a natural carbon cycle. Further not all carbon taken in is converted by livestock into methane, they also produce offspring and non-perishable goods, such as wool, leather etc. If we were to calculate the carbon out – carbon in (I know carbon is not representative of CO2 but then why am I to reduce my carbon footprint :) ) I’m pretty sure we would get a negative number.

    I like your statement:
    “The main thing is to address the science in a relaxed, skeptical, and most-importantly, an honest manner.”

    I am all for doing that but it seems to me that only one side appears, as in the media and the public eye, to be doing that, the “skeptics”. My workmates are constantly talking about the oceans turning purple with jellyfish dominating the water and the sky turning green. They talk about runaway tipping points and sea levels rising amounts that don’t seem plausible. They talk about the thermohaline conveyor belt shutting down and Europe freezing over. They talk about epic droughts, massive floods, destructive storms and the icecaps/Greenland melting completely. They basically paint a picture of hell on earth. To me it just seems bizarre. We’re playing a game of who can scare who the most by coming up with some highly improbable though “possible” scientific scenario.

    My workmates are good but they don’t hold a candle to our media. We’re constantly bombarded in the media with catastrophic messages and doom and gloom. Neither seems to have done much research themselves into the science but base their views on things like “An Inconvenient Truth”. I hardly see how that film is addressing the science in a relaxed, skeptical, and most-importantly, an honest manner. Yet our government is listening to people like Al Gore.

    I pity our politicians as it seems that the scientists that are shouting the most shrilly are the ones being listened to and, lets be real here, the politicians usually are the least capable to decide on the science, yet they will determine our future for better or worse.

  303. Will Nitschke (19:29:01) :

    It is my understanding that given sufficient time CO2 dissipates from the atmosphere. It is absorbed by the oceans and animal and plant life. That’s why so much carbon is locked up in the crust. So this is a nonsense argument. [snip, use of this as a pejorative will not be tolerated ~ charles the moderator]

    “Perjorative aside”. Will – What I’m trying to get at here is that some prominent members of the AGW Camp have stated that the world will pass a tipping point in the near future (say within 10 years) where global warming will become a run-a-way process due to positive feedbacks.

    Given a growth rate for CO2 of approx 2PPM per year and a current base of 385 PPM. That suggests that the tipping point is approx 400PPM.

    Hence what was stopping run-a-way global warming when CO2 was well in excess of 1000PPM – i.e during the Ordovician?

    Also once a run-a-way global warming has occurred – what could possibly get the system out of of the global warming state as CO2 will still be present and the “other factors” post tipping point such as the proposed increased humidity would also mitigate any change?

    Inquiring minds would like to know.

  304. @Will Nitschke (21:41:19) : Specifically.

    Here are some questions for you – if you would please consider them, I would like to know what the answers are.

    The Troposphere hot spot is the “specific” signature for CO2 Global Warming as espoused by the IPCC – the hot spot does not exist (i.e can’t be found after years of looking for it).

    Hence the underlying theory of CO2 Global Warming is wrong – is this correct?

    Have you got any real causation evidence of,

    1. That CO2 will cause measurable Global Warming? I.e a signal for CO2 induced warming can in fact be determined for the last 30 years, and the data that is used for that signal can be independently verified as correct. (i.e not fudged, obscured, manipulated or an artefact of a poorly sited measuring device).

    2. That Man Made emissions of CO2 will cause measurable Global Warming? I.e. that the component of CO2 attributable to human activity can be measured as a distinct signal for warming in the last 30 years. Same data caveats as the previous question.

    3. That Global Warming is – in fact – Catastrophic? I.e. Cold kills more people than heat. Crops do better in the warm, than in the cold, etc.

    4. That Increases in CO2 will not allow for a Global Cooling? I.e. that CO2 is a contributer to Global Warming – or are you trying to have CO2 increases force all weather events? If so, please refer to later questions, re Pseudo-science.

    Some more questions for you.

    1. What is the optimal atmospheric CO2 concentration for plant life?

    2. What is the optimal temperature for Planet Earth?

    3. What is the optimal method for measuring Planet Earth’s temperature?

    4. What is the optimal method for data management for the temperature data used in climate science? Specifically, wrt the surface temperature data?

    5. What is the value of openness and transparency with regards to publishing the raw data and methods in science. Specifically wrt the surface temperature data?

    6. What are the ,strong>specific falsification criteria for the hypothesis that “Man Made Emissions of CO2 will cause Catastrophic Warming”.

    7. If there are no falsification criteria for the hypothesis that “Man Made Emissions of CO2 will cause Catastrophic Warming” – how do you
    (a) distinguish that hypothesis from the following one.

    … The world, and all in it was created 10 minutes ago. All memories are fake… — Which also has no falsification criteria as it explains all phenomena.

    (b) Avoid the charge that “Man Made Emissions of CO2 will cause Catastrophic Warming” is a pseudo-scientific belief.

    8. If “Man Made Emissions of CO2 will cause both Global Warming and (now) Global Cooling” as some our now beginning to suggest. Is it still science, as per previous questions.

    NOTE: I accept that CO2 is a Global Greenhouse Gas, and it has a warming impact. My principle concerns are as follows.
    1. That climate science has been throughly politicised and is no longer objective.
    2. The lack of transparency and openness of both data and methods by prominent Climate Scientists is a blight on the practice of science and at the very least raises a suspicion of fraud.
    3. That the impact on climate of human emissions of CO2 has not been effectively distinguished from natural variation of the climate.
    4. That proposed mitigations, such as CAP and Trade will do nothing more than institute a regressive tax on human activity will creating a fake market for a fake product that will allow those who can participate in that market to profit at everyone elses expense.
    5. That the growing calls for dissenting voices against the AGW Orthodoxy be silenced is nothing more than an assault on western civilization, free speech and human liberty.

    Thanks

  305. As the temperatures tumble and the CO2 levels fall, I fear that it will be attributed to the world-wide recession. Meanwhile mankind suffers, while the elite continue to collect the CO2 taxes.
    Will anyone know what really happened, or will the media be in lockstep by then because of the Internet/Radio Fairness Act.

    Here is a graph of the skyrocketing CO2 levels:

  306. Joel,
    WE have done this? Why must YOU remain a part of this evil collaboration?
    Soon, I hope, you will tell me that you are off-grid, you only use human powered or solar/wind/electric propulsion for your transportation, and you buy all your food (vegetarian only) from local sources. In that way you can begin to say that you are not even a tiny part of the problem. Sorry, I missed one. You also must stop breathing.

    I suppose what you really want is to have these measures forced upon you.

  307. @Will Nitschke (21:41:19) : Specifically.

    Could you please try an answer the following questions.

    1. Would you hold that a well formed scientific theory would have clearly defined falsification criteria?

    2. If you hold that the theory that “Man made emissions of CO2 will cause Catastrophic Global Warming”, is a well formed scientific theory – what are the specific falsification criteria for the above theory?

    Also – there is something that has deeply troubled me about the basis of the “evidence” for “Man made emissions of CO2 will cause Catastrophic Global Warming” which is encapsulated in the following posts on Climate Audit.

    Well, well. Look what the cat dragged in.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3393

    Bishop Hill: Caspar and the Jesus Paper

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3427

    These two posts and the attendent comments outline a set of practices by the purveyors of the “Hockey Stick” that could well be argued to be fraud.

    Will – could you please outline what your POV is with regards to the content of the above posts.

    Will – if the content of the above linked posts is valid – what do you have to say with regards to such practices occuring in science?

    Thanks. G

  308. foinavon wrote:

    “Of course not and one should be careful not to fall into the trap of considering that once an analysis (that might involve equations, computers or models) of real world data takes place, that the study thus becomes “theoretical”!”

    That depends. If what is being modelled is well understood, it’s not theoretical. I.e., modelling the journey of a trip from Earth to Mars for a space probe is not theoretical. The physics are well understood. But as soon as you try to model something that is not well understood, the model becomes an expression of the theory. I know that, you know that. So I can’t help but feel that your reply was more about scoring a debating point than looking at the science in a balanced and fair way. (At least on that specific issue.)

    The rest of your post is a bit of a waffle about how the science of atmospheric aerosols is well understood. I’m sure the basic physics are well understood. Only cranks would call that into question. (I note a few of them posting here, unfortunately.) But how they effect the environment at large… well I remain less than convinced, because I note the complete absence of further links in your reply to actual research that goes to the heart of these questions. Possibly that’s indicative of a serious gap in our knowledge.

    Hope you don’t interpret my reply as too negative. I genuinely do enjoy reading what you post.

  309. As temperatures fall, sea-levels falter glaciers and sea-ice recovers, there appears to be a tendency towards creating even more fear.

    While the probability of these scenarios is becoming smaller with each month since the cooling cycle began, at least the (probability times danger) product may then be kept constant.

    However, it really makes me worry about the state of mind of some people from the AGW crowd out there.

  310. Graeme Rodaughan,

    I’m not exactly sure why you’re directing all these questions at me, but since you have I’ll offer a few opinions and observations. That’s the best I can do, unfortunately. I don’t get paid a large government research grant or get sent cheques in the mail from the oil cartels. ;-)

    “The Troposphere hot spot is the “specific” signature for CO2 Global Warming as espoused by the IPCC – the hot spot does not exist (i.e can’t be found after years of looking for it).”

    It does not exist, or is too slight to be measured relative to background “weather noise” or our instruments are not yet reliable enough to detect it. Admittedly, this is a big problem for AGW anyway you want to try to spin it.

    “Hence the underlying theory of CO2 Global Warming is wrong – is this correct?”

    It would not help the theory if the hot spot is not identified, as it would damage the credibility of the IPCC’s version of it. (Probably beyond repair, for other versions as well.)

    “Have you got any real causation evidence of,

    1. That CO2 will cause measurable Global Warming?”

    No, but I don’t have causal evidence of evolutionary theory but I accept that as very probably true. Causal evidence is always preferred but not necessarily possible in every scientific research field. So the next best thing is to look for ‘overwhelming’ circumstantial evidence in support of such a theory.

    “I.e a signal for CO2 induced warming can in fact be determined for the last 30 years, and the data that is used for that signal can be independently verified as correct. (i.e not fudged, obscured, manipulated or an artefact of a poorly sited measuring device).”

    It’s warmed, we know that. But I will point out that warming does not prove the theory, the warming is something a good theory is supposed to explain.

    “2. That Man Made emissions of CO2 will cause measurable Global Warming?”

    That’s almost certainly true, but the interesting question is, “by how much?”

    “3. That Global Warming is – in fact – Catastrophic? I.e. Cold kills more people than heat. Crops do better in the warm, than in the cold, etc.”

    The answer to that hinges on the “by how much?” question.

    “4. That Increases in CO2 will not allow for a Global Cooling? I.e. that CO2 is a contributer to Global Warming – or are you trying to have CO2 increases force all weather events? If so, please refer to later questions, re Pseudo-science.”

    That depends on who you talk to and what you read. Certainly, the last IPCC report gave the impression in some paragraphs in certain chapters, that CO2 would now overwhelm all other ‘forcings’. That hasn’t happened. But someone making a wrong or dumb statement here or there, does not demolish the entire theory.

    “1. What is the optimal atmospheric CO2 concentration for plant life?”

    I don’t know, but I presume you setup a green house and grow different types of plants under different CO2 levels, controlling for everything else, and you find out that way. I’d say people who run green houses have an approximate idea, so I would ask those people first.

    But also keep in mind what is optimal for planet life may not be optimal for non-plant life.

    “2. What is the optimal temperature for Planet Earth?”

    Could you be more specific? Do you mean, what is the optimal temperature for humans? If so, probably the temperature as it is right now. Possibly slightly warmer. Cities are built on coastlines, etc. Changing the climate dramatically in any way would not be a good thing for humans. (Not that we can *therefore* do much about that.)

    “3. What is the optimal method for measuring Planet Earth’s temperature?”

    My opinion: satellites, because they have good coverage of most of the entire planet, especially the oceans.

    “4. What is the optimal method for data management for the temperature data used in climate science? Specifically, wrt the surface temperature data?”

    To pay a contractor to gather it, and pay another contractor to audit what the first contractor is doing.

    “5. What is the value of openness and transparency with regards to publishing the raw data and methods in science. Specifically wrt the surface temperature data?”

    Absolutely critical and central to the principles of science.

    “6. What are the ,strong>specific falsification criteria for the hypothesis that “Man Made Emissions of CO2 will cause Catastrophic Warming”.”

    There are many: global averaged temperature, concentrated warming in specific regions of the Earth, such as the poles and the tropics. Since feedbacks are crucial to the theory, humidity should be increasing substantially also. (These are only a few I’ve picked out of the air.)

    “If “Man Made Emissions of CO2 will cause both Global Warming and (now) Global Cooling” as some our now beginning to suggest. Is it still science, as per previous questions.”

    There are regional effects. Some areas will cool and some areas will warm. But you can’t point to one area, i.e., Britain and complain about how hot the last summer was and blame it on AGW, and then next year point to the freezing cold winter in the same place, and blame it on AGW.

    “1. That climate science has been throughly politicised and is no longer objective.”

    Yes, true.

    “2. The lack of transparency and openness of both data and methods by prominent Climate Scientists is a blight on the practice of science and at the very least raises a suspicion of fraud.”

    Yes, true.

    “3. That the impact on climate of human emissions of CO2 has not been effectively distinguished from natural variation of the climate.”

    Yes, probably true (as the IPCC would say).

    “4. That proposed mitigations, such as CAP and Trade will do nothing more than institute a regressive tax on human activity will creating a fake market for a fake product that will allow those who can participate in that market to profit at everyone elses expense.”

    There is some confusion here I feel on what CAP and Trade is supposed to achieve. It’s there to encourage the development of new ‘greener’ sustainable alternate energy technologies. THESE will ‘save the planet’ (if it needs saving). CAP and Trade by itself is not meant to ‘save the planet’ directly as far as I can see. So the criticism of it on *that* front, is IMO misguided.

    “5. That the growing calls for dissenting voices against the AGW Orthodoxy be silenced is nothing more than an assault on western civilization, free speech and human liberty.”

    It’s a tactic that has worked well so far, apparently. It does run the risk of backfiring in a big way, though. Time will tell.

  311. Code Tech says:

    WE” have raised the level of CO2? WE??? Can you actually prove this? Can you demonstrate how human activity has DEFINITELY and UNAMBIGUOUSLY raised CO2 levels? Not a theory, now, and not a model, but proof?

    This is science, not mathematics. In science, nothing is ever proven because it is an inductive, not a deductive system. However, people who believe that the current rise in CO2 levels (or at least almost all of it) cannot be attributed to mankind are ignoring such an overwhelming weight of scientific evidence that frankly, I find arguing against them as useful as arguing against a young-earth creationist. Clearly, no amount of scientific evidence is going to convince such people of something that they don’t want to be convinced of. (There is more room to argue about how much warming this rise in CO2 will cause…so the sort of “skepticism” that argues for very low values of the climate sensitivity, while going against most of the current scientific evidence and understanding, is not nearly as out-there as arguing about who is causing the rise in CO2 levels.)

    Mike D. says

    The galloping doomsday paranoia expressed by the Chicken Little cacklers is NOT supported by science, not by good science anyway. The End is Not Near. We do not need to huddle in the cold and dark for fear the seas will boil and all life will be extinguished.

    It is interesting that in a diatribe against alarmism, you have talked about having to “huddle in the cold and dark”. That kind of talk is alarmism, even moreso than what you attack, since the evidence that the sort of measures being proposed would result in such a thing is based on no science that I know of whatsoever.

  312. You have Hanson stating ‘if we burn all the coal, there is a good chance that we will initiate the runaway greenhouse effect. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale (a.k.a. oil shale), I think it is a dead certainty.’

    This seems to give the impression that we are shoveling ‘tar sands’ into boilers like coal which is a nonsense statement. We are simply extracting the oil from sand deposits which contain oil. As traditional oil sources become more limited (although a lot of that is a matter of technological limitations) then how is replacing oil from that source with oil from tar sand extraction worse or better?

    And if you use that oil in non-polluting ways and potentially in ways that produce less carbon isn’t that a good thing? Not sure if anyone has ever totaled up the energy (and hence ‘carbon’) produced in traditional exploration and extraction of oil wouldn’t a process that uses electricity produced from non-carbon sources to produce oil be a good thing?

    This is a statement that seems more like a appeal to a common ‘environmentalist’ cause than science.

  313. Graeme Rodaughan says:

    Hence what was stopping run-a-way global warming when CO2 was well in excess of 1000PPM – i.e during the Ordovician?

    Well, I think that Hansen has addressed the reasons why he thinks this case is different than the cases of higher CO2 in the past in one of the slides that Anthony showed above. Basically, his argument is that the rate of rise of greenhouse gases is likely unprecedented and thus negative feedbacks that can occur over longer timescales when the rise is more gradual may not be able to come into play for so fast a rise. He also points out that over the lifetime of the Earth, the sun’s luminosity has gradually increased, so the solar radiation that we receive is higher today than in some past events (not sure if the specific past event that you are talking about is long enough ago for that to be a significant difference).

    Mind you, I am not saying that I believe that Hansen’s arguments in this regard are correct…But, I think those are the sort of arguments that you would have to address to show why he is wrong.

    The Troposphere hot spot is the “specific” signature for CO2 Global Warming as espoused by the IPCC – the hot spot does not exist (i.e can’t be found after years of looking for it).

    This is probably the most popular “skeptic” talking point (or maybe second after “the Earth is now cooling”) but that doesn’t make it correct. The “hot spot” in the tropical troposphere is a result of a very general piece of physics known as moist adiabatic lapse rate theory. It has NOTHING whatsoever to do with what specific process is causing the warming and applies equally if the warming is due to solar, reduction in aerosols, or even just to fluctuations up-and-down in temperature (for which it has been verified by both the satellite and radiosonde data).

    Your claim that the hotspot can’t be found isn’t quite true either. There are known problems with both the satellite and radiosonde data sets for investigating these long term trends (whereas, the data is much more reliable for the fluctuations on monthly to yearly timescales where the hotspot is clearly present in the data). As a result, there are significant differences in whether or not you get a hotspot and how pronounced it is depending on which analysis you believe. Most scientists seem to believe that the models are correct on this one and that those data sets that do not show the hotspot are incorrect…But, regardless of whether that is the case or not, whether or not the hotspot is there doesn’t directly tell us anything about the mechanism causing the warming because it is independent of that mechanism. (If the hotspot truly does not exist, it would of course tell us that some important piece of physics is missing from the models…But coming up with such a piece of physics that gets rid of the hotspot on the multidecadal timescales while preserving it where on the shorter monthly to yearly timescales where the data shows it to clearly be there is rather difficult. I have yet to even hear someone propose a hypothesis that seems like it is even a potential candidate to do this.)

    It is the cooling of the stratosphere as the troposphere warms that is a more specific signature that the warming is due to GHGs…and this is indeed what is observed.

  314. Will Nitschke (13:47:32) :

    Thanks for the effort with the answers. It appears that we agree on enough of the principles to have an effective conversation.

    Cheers G.

  315. Oh yeah, it is also worth noting that the most immediate first-order effect of the proposition that the “hotspot” is missing in the tropical troposphere is that a negative feedback known as the “lapse rate feedback” that tends to partially cancel out the positive water vapor feedback would no longer be present (at least in the tropics) and thus would seem to imply a higher climate sensitivity!

    [The reason for this is that, at the end of the day, the earth equilibrates to a new level of greenhouse gases by raising the temperature at the effective level it radiates from…which is rather high in the troposphere…to the new temperature needed to again restore radiative balance. If the warming is larger in the mid and upper troposphere than at the surface (as would be true if the hotspot exists), then the surface temperature doesn’t have to rise as high in order to produce the needed temperature in the mid and upper troposphere.]

  316. Joel: ignoring such an overwhelming weight of scientific evidence that frankly, I find arguing against them as useful as arguing against a young-earth creationist. Clearly, no amount of scientific evidence is going to convince such people of something that they don’t want to be convinced of.

    Ah. So you’re just going to write it off. Gotcha.

    Yep… no arguing with you, young man, you’re (insert petty insult here).

    Sure, absolutely. The Earth is flat, and young. God put dinosaur bones in the ground to test our faith. Yep.

    Funny definition of “science” you have there, Joel. In my definition, you have to have something more than a fervent desire to believe something in order to even make some sort of useful hypothesis.

    How about this: it is YOU who is ignoring such an overwhelming weight of scientific evidence that frankly, arguing against you is a waste of effort.

    Ah, no, you won’t get that, will you? Because you threw it out first, and you’re rubber and I’m glue, or something.

    Clearly, no amount of scientific evidence is going to convince you of something that you don’t want to be convinced of.

    Reply: Both of you, please reign it in, and like an irate parent, I don’t care who started it ~ charles the moderator

  317. William Ferris says:

    As traditional oil sources become more limited (although a lot of that is a matter of technological limitations) then how is replacing oil from that source with oil from tar sand extraction worse or better?

    I think his point is simply in regards to the total amount of CO2 released. He is not imagining that we use tar sands in place of some of the traditional sources of oil but rather that we use it IN ADDITION TO these traditional sources of oil.

  318. The topical talk by Hansen wherein he warns of the imminent threat of the seas boiling and Creation being extinguished from the Earth is NOT alarmism?????

    Gimeabreak. You propose to shut down the US economy with punative taxes in an attempt to avert a hysterically false proposition, the seas boiling for God’s sake, and accuse me of being an alarmist for opposing you.

    Sorry if I am alarmed at your less-than-sane and mutually debilitating paranoia. Perhaps it’s time to apply the Precautionary Principle to junk science.

  319. Joel Shore:

    “This is probably the most popular “skeptic” talking point (or maybe second after “the Earth is now cooling”) but that doesn’t make it correct…”

    Doesn’t make it wrong either. Sceptics look for predictions that AGW theories make and check them against reality as best they can.

    Now I don’t agree with the claim that AGW theory is “falsified” because a hot spot hasn’t been found yet. But it does need to be found. Or, AGW atmospheric physicists need to be more straight with the public on their level of certainty.

    If the hot spot is not found, the IPCC model ensemble that claims it is there is shown to be wrong. That’s not something I think anyone can spin. Even individuals as clever as yourself or foinavon. ;)

    And that creates a credibility gap for a scientific field that claims its forecasting is based on “100% settled” science.

    Does it disprove AGW? No.

    Does it support the notion that these atmospheric physicists have a solid grasp of what’s happening in the atmosphere? The answer is also no.

    “it is also worth noting that the most immediate first-order effect of the proposition that the “hotspot” is missing in the tropical troposphere is that a negative feedback known as the “lapse rate feedback”

    Sure, everything you say may be completely true. AGW might be solid, and it’s just that many of the underlying details are not currently understood very well. But even though the details and specific predictions may be wrong, the final outcome (somehow) remains correct. This is possible.

    I currently work in the field of software engineering. I would have to say that if a programmer who worked for me told me, after I found that his functions and methods were crashing, not to worry because the application was still going to produce the expected outcome, well I would have a bit of trouble swallowing that. Sceptics have this mental BS meter and sometimes it starts flashing red. ;-)

  320. Joel Shore (14:33:35) :

    Thanks Joel.

    Comments inline below.

    Hence what was stopping run-a-way global warming when CO2 was well in excess of 1000PPM – i.e during the Ordovician?
    Basically, his argument is that
    (1) the rate of rise of greenhouse gases is likely unprecedented and thus negative feedbacks that can occur over longer timescales when the rise is more gradual may not be able to come into play for so fast a rise.
    (2) He also points out that over the lifetime of the Earth, the sun’s luminosity has gradually increased, so the solar radiation that we receive is higher today than in some past events.

    Responses.
    (1) Rate of rise? – Distinguishing different rates of CO2 change – That will be hard to pin down empirically.
    (2) Could be a factor – granted.

    Mind you, I am not saying that I believe that Hansen’s arguments in this regard are correct…But, I think those are the sort of arguments that you would have to address to show why he is wrong.
    Agreed.

    The Troposphere hot spot is the “specific” signature for CO2 Global Warming as espoused by the IPCC – the hot spot does not exist (i.e can’t be found after years of looking for it).

    This is probably the most popular “skeptic” talking point (or maybe second after “the Earth is now cooling”) but that doesn’t make it correct. The “hot spot” in the tropical troposphere is a result of a very general piece of physics known as moist adiabatic lapse rate theory. It has NOTHING whatsoever to do with what specific process is causing the warming and applies equally if the warming is due to solar, reduction in aerosols, or even just to fluctuations up-and-down in temperature (for which it has been verified by both the satellite and radiosonde data).

    Your claim that the hotspot can’t be found isn’t quite true either. There are known problems with both the satellite and radiosonde data sets for investigating these long term trends (whereas, the data is much more reliable for the fluctuations on monthly to yearly timescales where the hotspot is clearly present in the data). As a result, there are significant differences in whether or not you get a hotspot and how pronounced it is depending on which analysis you believe.
    Please check reference below from David Evans wrt “signatures” – an comment

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2451051.htm

    Most scientists seem to believe that the models are correct on this one and that those data sets that do not show the hotspot are incorrect…
    Models trump data? I have a real issue with this. Ref Michael Crighton’s vigourous defense of empirical science at this link:

    http://www.crichton-official.com/speech-alienscauseglobalwarming.html

    But, regardless of whether that is the case or not, whether or not the hotspot is there doesn’t directly tell us anything about the mechanism causing the warming because it is independent of that mechanism.
    According to the IPCC – it’s the signature for CO2 Caused Global Warming. IPCC inform political policies across the world. If the IPCC get this wrong – a lot of people will be needlessly harmed.

    (If the hotspot truly does not exist, it would of course tell us that some important piece of physics is missing from the models…But coming up with such a piece of physics that gets rid of the hotspot on the multidecadal timescales while preserving it where on the shorter monthly to yearly timescales where the data shows it to clearly be there is rather difficult. I have yet to even hear someone propose a hypothesis that seems like it is even a potential candidate to do this.)
    Your assuming that the underlying hypothesis that CO2 is a strong increasing forcing agent GHG at concentrations above 350 PPM. Hence new physics would be required to explain a missing hot spot – perhaps it’s the underlying assumption that is false.

    On the previous point – try Occams Razor. What requires the least explanation.
    (1) That the assumption that CO2 above 350PPM matters and the hot spot has just not been found after years of effort, ie. our instruments just don’t work. Or,
    (2) That the assumption that CO2 above 350PPM matters is false.

    My premise is that CO2 above 350 PPM is a weak warming agent and facing diminishing returns. No Hot Spot, No Tipping Points, – just no detectable impact from now on in.

    It is the cooling of the stratosphere as the troposphere warms that is a more specific signature that the warming is due to GHGs…and this is indeed what is observed.
    I’ll need more info on this point.

    Thanks G

  321. Normally I would refrain from adding to a pileup this large (362 comments!) but the following cartoon seems somehow appropriate:

  322. As temperatures fall, sea-levels falter glaciers and sea-ice recovers, there appears to be a tendency towards creating even more fear.

    Actually if you click on the Sea Ice link above you’ll see that it is the ice ‘recovery’ that is faltering, the Arctic sea ice extent reached its lowest ever extent for Dec 20 and remains below the already remarkably low 2007..

  323. Joel Shore (07:19:23)

    “And, by the way, whether or not the global temperature anomaly has increased or decreased over the past several years depends strongly on exactly which years you include and which data set.”

    Well, duh.

    Nobody wants to give up their trend lines, their starting points, their averaging years. I want to look at detrended data. I want to forget anomalies exist and only look at absolute temperatures for a change. I know the charts will look a bit wierd because we’re so used to those nice, easy to read, pretty, curvy, trendlines that basically say LITTLE OR NOTHING because of those cherry-picking factors. But it’s time to get real and stop playing these games.

    Show me the actual temperatures!

  324. foinavon wrote:

    “Except that that’s false, since Santer et al. in fact ended their study with data up through December 1999. This was a relatively strong La Nina (cool) year as it happens.”

    The number I typed should have been 9 not 8. My mistake. A relevant quote:

    “By using current data, the value of the Santer d1 test (a t-test) increases to 2.232 (from the 1.11 reported in their Table III), yielding an opposite conclusion in this respect from the one reported in the article.

    These results are obtained not by doing the tests in a different way that I happen to prefer, but using the same methodology as Santer et al on up-to-date data.

    You can check results to end 2007, which would have been readily available to Santer et al at the time of submission of the article as follows, yielding a d1-value of 1.935, which would be significant against important t-tests.”

    “By using current data, the value of the Santer d1 test (a t-test) increases to 2.232 (from the 1.11 reported in their Table III), yielding an opposite conclusion in this respect from the one reported in the article.”

    “you’d think that Gavin Schmidt, Santer and so on would be curious as to what would happen with 2007 results. RC has not been reluctant to criticize people who have used stale data and you’d think that Schmidt would have taken care not to do the same thing himself. Especially if the use of up-to-date data had a material impact on the results, as it does with the H2 hypothesis in respect to the UAH data.”

    Full link here:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=4180

    You also wrote:

    “I’ve described exactly what the problems are with reference to the science. Anyone is welcome to argue against my descriptions, but no-one has chosen to do so, at least in respect of the science. If one is interested in the science on this issues one may as well address the science as it stands.”

    Could you provide some links please on published criticisms of this data? As long as the criticism have at least made it into published journals and have at at least some form of review as a starting point, then they do need to be taken on board and considered fairly by all sides of the debate.

    “Perhaps you’re not familiar with the scientific literature.”

    I cannot begin to tell you how much of this complex subject I have no knowledge of whatsoever. :-)

    Therefore I am completely dependent on the opinions of the relevant experts and reviews, together with my capacity for logical reasoning.

    “Pointing out what the science indicates is “unsatisfactory and evasive”!? In fact I’m complete agnostic of whether the models turn out to be correct or the measurements. I don’t share your need to throw my opinion on one “side” or the other. When we know we’ll know and will have learned something. Perhaps the models will have to be revised somewhat. Perhaps not. We’ll see.”

    My “evasive” remark was in respect to your ability to express a lot of opinion (not knocking it, I’m always interested in opinions) but your inability to point to any credible science to back it up in the form of links. Possibly that’s just an oversight and you’ll rectify that promptly.

    However, I do find it a little hard to swallow that you or Joel are “agnostic.”

    I suppose I’m being harder on you guys because you are obviously both knowledgeable on this topic. There are not enough hours in the day to be critical of every silly argument or crank posting made by unknowledgeable people. So I am holding you and Joel to higher standards of integrity here.

    Now let’s deconstruct a couple of statements to illustrate my concern:

    Joel:

    “It hardly seems miniscule when we have already raised the level of XXX over 35% and will likely more than double it by the end of the century.”

    (I’ve replaced CO2 with XXX to make the statement more neutral.)

    Is the above statement true or false?

    Well it depends. If we’re talking about nitrogen then that is a major constituent of our atmosphere so a 35% change would be enormous. If we were talking about some rare trace gas, then 35% of almost nothing is still nothing.

    How are statements such as these in any way neutral? You argue like this when you’re trying to win a debating contest, or a court case before a jury. You don’t argue like this if you’re trying to get to the truth.

    Or let’s look at your previous statement which I’ve already commented on:

    “Of course not and one should be careful not to fall into the trap of considering that once an analysis (that might involve equations, computers or models) of real world data takes place, that the study thus becomes “theoretical”!”

    Again, it sounds sensible, measured and reasonable.

    And in some contexts what you say is completely true, yet in other contexts it’s completely wrong. You can build a model of the human brain, or perhaps some aspect of it or the nervous system, and it can all be based on real world data collected from excellent studies and experiments. But the end product, that brain model, is still going to be highly theoretical.

    So the truth might go either way or be somewhere in the middle. You and Joel are very intelligent guys and obviously say many things I agree with. But I’m also wading through a lot of spin doctoring. This is unfortunate.

  325. FYI,

    on Venus and Earth comparisons, Al Gore latest video presentation, about six months ago, talks about this with graphics.

  326. “Most scientists seem to believe that the models are correct on this one and that those data sets that do not show the hotspot are incorrect…”

    I have to go along with Joel on this one. The sooner we get rid of, adjust, hide, homogenize or massage all the data, the sooner these models will be appreciated for their jaw-dropping awesomeness.

    Mike Bryant

  327. Syl, this is going to blow your mind so hang on to your chair, but people have been living in rain forest for thousands of years, and burning them, and deforesting them, and farming them. Humanity has had a huge impact on the Amazon and and all the other rainforests on Earth for millennia, and yet the rain forests are still there

    I have to agree with this one. Example A:

    “Where the rain forests of Guatemala now stand, a great civilization once flourished. The people of Mayan society built vast cities, ornate temples, and towering pyramids. At its peak around 900 A.D., the population numbered 500 people per square mile in rural areas, and more than 2,000 people per square mile in the cities — comparable to modern Los Angeles County.”

  328. Syl says:

    Well, duh.

    Nobody wants to give up their trend lines, their starting points, their averaging years. I want to look at detrended data. I want to forget anomalies exist and only look at absolute temperatures for a change. I know the charts will look a bit wierd because we’re so used to those nice, easy to read, pretty, curvy, trendlines that basically say LITTLE OR NOTHING because of those cherry-picking factors.

    I think you have missed my point. The reason that one can cherrypick is because one is looking at too short a period. If you carefully compute errorbars on the trendlines of around 5 or 8 or even 10 years like Tamino has done over on his blog, you find that they are large…So, the real answer is that the trend is simply too uncertain for short time periods.

    However, all hope is not lost. The simple solution is to look over long enough periods that the trend is robust to the exact start and end points and whose data set you look at. How long that period needs to be depends on how much precision you want in the trendline…but, roughly speaking, 12 to 15 years seems to be about the minimum period that you want to take seriously. This requires a little more patience than trying to discern the current trend in global warming (or not) from last month’s temperature anomaly…but it is the only meaningful way to talk about the temperature trends that are relevant.

    I don’t see how looking at absolute temperatures rather than anomalies will help you and it will just introduce other severe problems. There is a reason why people have chosen to look at anomalies.

  329. Mike Bryant:

    I have to go along with Joel on this one. The sooner we get rid of, adjust, hide, homogenize or massage all the data, the sooner these models will be appreciated for their jaw-dropping awesomeness.

    Cute. However, the actual fact is that in the real world, observational data can have lots of serious problems with it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: As someone who does computational modeling for a living, I would probably be fired (or deserve to be) if every time I was presented with data that contradicted my modeling I said, “Well, then my modeling must be wrong,” or on the other hand, if I always said, “Well, my modeling is correct so the data must be wrong.” It is my job to understand the strengths and limitations of the modeling and (with help from the experimenters) to learn about the strengths and limitations of the data and to arrive at an assessment of whether I think the modeling is correct or the observational data is correct. And, I don’t think anyone who works with me would say that I tend to oversell my modeling.

    However, there is sometimes good reasons to believe that the models are correct and (some of) the observational data is incorrect. And, my understanding of this problem suggests that this is indeed one of those cases. I’ve explained the reasons for this above.

    At any rate, I have a standing challenge to anyone who actually wants to argue that the models are wrong on this point to even come up with a plausible hypothesis for what might be missing from the models that could potentially “fix” the problem by getting rid of the “hot spot” over the multidecadal timescales while still preserving it over the shorter timescales over which the data and models are in good agreement. I have yet to have someone propose anything that would even plausibly do this…let alone demonstrating more convincingly that it does actually do this!

  330. Whoops…sorry for the sloppy coding on the above post. Only the first paragraph is Mike Bryant’s words; the rest are mine.

  331. Joel Shore says:

    I don’t see how looking at absolute temperatures rather than anomalies will help you and it will just introduce other severe problems. There is a reason why people have chosen to look at anomalies.

    A comparison between Young Earth Creationists and warmists, like Joel:

    Sitting here in my armchair I can’t see how evolution could happen.

    and:

    Sitting here in my armchair I can’t see how the models could be wrong.

  332. the Arctic sea ice extent reached its lowest ever extent for Dec 20 and remains below the already remarkably low 2007../John Philip

    Even if true, who cares? That is, unless we’d much rather be warmer than cooler. Especially given that sea ice area has remained unchanged over 30 years and the Antarctic is cooling. In that light, I’d view your claim as a positive! Is that your point?

  333. Mike Bryant (21:01:53) :

    Interesting data Mike – all from official, i.e. Government sources?

    Thanks. G

  334. There is a reason why people have chosen to look at anomalies.

    Right, perhaps because anomalies are not “normal”?

  335. Trust me, I’m laughing… the whole time.

    Yep – kinda reminds me of the days when I, too, believed. I just couldn’t imagine what mental aberration these “skeptics” were suffering from. I mean, it’s self evident, right?

    Watching someone defend the indefensible can be entertaining :)

  336. Joel Shore (20:23:07)
    ‘At any rate, I have a standing challenge to anyone who actually wants to argue that the models are wrong on this point…….’

    You may not like what they say but they do make some strong points that you and the IPPc needs to address.

    http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st/st308

    “Problems with Climate Models. Researchers who have examined long-term climate forecasts have concluded they are based on nothing more than scientists’ opinions expressed in complex mathematical terms, without valid evidence to support the chosen approach.11″

    “For example, when computer simulations project future global mean temperatures with twice the current level of atmospheric CO2, they assume that the temperature forecast is as accurate as a computer simulation of present temperatures with current levels of CO2.12 Yet it has never been demonstrated that temperature forecasts are as accurate as simulations of current conditions based on actual temperature data. Indeed, there are even serious questions surrounding model simulations of current temperature with current CO2 levels. According to the models, the earth should be warmer than actual measurements show it to be, which is why modelers adjust their findings to fit the data.”

  337. Will Nitschke (18:11:52) :

    Will, let me address just a couple of general points before addressing more specific points if I have time later (it’s XMas Eve, in case you didn’t know – I’d hunt down a link to inform you of that if I had time)

    You said on your mistake re the Santer paper:

    The number I typed should have been 9 not 8. My mistake.

    But actually your initial mistake was stated thus:

    Secondly, Santer ends his study in 1998 at the height of the super el nino. A little convenient perhaps? The cherry picking being done here is breathtaking.

    So it wasn’t a typo. You seemed to think that Santer’s study ended in “a super el nino” (and not a La Nina year). I’m not trying to “nail you” but this highlights a real problem with information, which might be that if you source information from sites designed to misrepresent the science, you are very likely to get the wrong end of the stick more generally.

    For you later state with respect to my straightforward higlighting of the profound errors in the graphic representations in the introductory “article” to this thread:

    Could you provide some links please on published criticisms of this data? As long as the criticism have at least made it into published journals and have at at least some form of review as a starting point, then they do need to be taken on board and considered fairly by all sides of the debate.

    But surely you can interpret the graphs in the same way that I can. I’ve described the problems in detail (I provided an equation for determining the temperature rise for a given CO2 concentration….I provided references to a detailed review on contemporaneous paleoCO2 and paleoT data together with around 10 further papers that address the issue further since the review was written and so on).

    Its a profound problem if you can only assess the science after it’s been “filtered” through some dodgy web site somewhere! Your going to end up with someone elses “view” of the science and they may have some rather smelly fish to fry….

    …and of course that attitude unwittingly politicises what should be an issue of science…a “beauty contest” in which you “choose” who has the most “convincing” propaganda on some web site…

    Better to focus more directly on the science (use Google Scholar..visit .edu sites and so on, email authors for copies of their papers, download papers from government funded organisations like NASA; go to your local Uni library).

    My “evasive” remark was in respect to your ability to express a lot of opinion (not knocking it, I’m always interested in opinions) but your inability to point to any credible science to back it up in the form of links.

    And yet I’ve provided equations, I’ve made interpretations with justifications, I’ve quoted at length from scientific papers and I’ve provided citations to dozens of scientific papers. Yet you describe my apparent “inability to point to any credible science to back it up..” Go figure!

    As for:

    However, I do find it a little hard to swallow that you or Joel are “agnostic.”

    I can’t speak for Joel, but I get the impression from reading his excellent posts that he is “agnostic” on this issue as I am. Speaking personally, I consider that it’s all about the science, which is all about the evidence. If the tropical tropospheric data, for example, becomes sufficiently validated to be confident that there isn’t the predicted warming in the tropopical troposphere then that will be just dandy. We will be that bit better informed and can reassess our view of that element of the climate system and its repsonse to greenhouse gases accordingly.

    Until then there’s no point in turning it into a cause celebre for denialism. We’ve been here before, of course (e.g. tropospheric water vapour). There are always areas of uncertainty and we should be rather more relaxed about these. An area of uncertainity doesn’t willy nilly mean that the science is wrong and the whole edifice is tumbling. It’s actually rather delightful since it provides a nice focus for directing research effort. And in case you might be one of those that disvalues “models”, the uncertainty around the rather specific area of tropospheric temperature in the tropics highlights one of the real value of climate models…

  338. Mike D

    “Syl, this is going to blow your mind so hang on to your chair, but people have been living in rain forest for thousands of years, and burning them, and deforesting them, and farming them. Humanity has had a huge impact on the Amazon and and all the other rainforests on Earth for millennia, and yet the rain forests are still there and the oceans have not boiled away! Imagine that! Creation still exists!!!”

    Well, you surely have me pegged wrong. Not difficult since I post very little. I’m no alarmist, have no fear of carbon and am what one might call a luke-warmer. I quite firmly believe the earth will be much better off when/if it warms.

    I was quoting from a page I ran across and found it very interesting. I have no idea if their figures stand up to scrutiny. These people seem to be activists in their own way (which means other factors aren’t taken into account when they make their claims), but I find the claim that the loss of the carbon sink by tropical deforestation far outweighs the additional CO2 supposedly pumped into the atmosphere by human sources a bit eye-opening. Which means that even if humankind by some miracle ended all our carbon emissions, it would make little difference. This is merely another way of viewing the picture.

    As for the deforestation itself, of course the rate has increased in the last few decades. What the long term impact may be, I know not, but I doubt it will be nothing. We still have so much to learn.

    Please, point your alarmist-peashooter elsewhere. Thanks.

  339. Will (18:11:52)

    The notion that sentences need “deconstructing” is rather sad! You brought this up in relation to a totally neutral statement of Joel’s. Since you addressed this to me let me address it here: Here’s what you said:

    Now let’s deconstruct a couple of statements to illustrate my concern:

    Joel:

    “It hardly seems miniscule when we have already raised the level of XXX over 35% and will likely more than double it by the end of the century.”

    (I’ve replaced CO2 with XXX to make the statement more neutral.)

    Is the above statement true or false?

    Well it depends. If we’re talking about nitrogen then that is a major constituent of our atmosphere so a 35% change would be enormous. If we were talking about some rare trace gas, then 35% of almost nothing is still nothing.

    How are statements such as these in any way neutral? You argue like this when you’re trying to win a debating contest, or a court case before a jury. You don’t argue like this if you’re trying to get to the truth.

    1. Joel’s statement is a pretty neutral one incorporating the fact that CO2 levels have increased by over 35% since pre-industrial times…

    100%*(386-280)/280 = 37.85%

    …and the truism that even if CO2 emissions weren’t to accelerate at all in the future but would level off at current rates, we’d reach a doubling of pre-industrial levels by 2100:

    emission rise of 2 ppm per year over 91 years = 182 ppm.

    386 + 182 = 568 ppm.

    2. A 35% increase in nitrogen would still be 35%. Of course that’s meaningless, since we’re not interested in nitrogen. We’re considering the greenhouse effect, and therefore we ignore non-greenhouse contributions and focus on greenhouse contributions. That’s obvious surely.

    CO2 is the dominant independently variable greenhouse gas, and we happen to be ramping its concentrations up massively. Nitrogen is a homo-diatomic molecule, and thus like oxygen cannot under a change in its dipole moment upon molecular vibration and so doesn’t significantly absorb electromatic radiation in the infrared (or visible thankfully!). So although these gases constitute the vast proportion of the atmosphere we essentially ignore them with respect to the greenhouse effect, at least in terms of their absorption properties.

    3. So considering the gases relevant to the greenhouse effect (in terms of absorption of longwave IR radiated from the earth’s surface and “trapped and re-emitted” in the atmosphere), a 35% increase in atmospheric CO2 is very large indeed.

    4. But we don’t need to rely on qualitative statements. We can calculate the effect of raising atmospheric CO2 according to our best understanding of the earth’s temperature response to raised CO2. Bill Illis’s graph in the introductory post, however misleading with respect to relevant CO2 concentrations, illustrates the large warming that CO2 provides. You can use the equation in my post [21.12.08 – (12:52:53)] to calculate the effect of the 35% increase in atmospheric CO2 or the effect of doubling it (according to a climate sensitivity of 3 oC).

    5. So joel’s statement contains within it some completely straightforward and non-controversial, and essentially neutral science.

    It’s the science we should be addressing…it’s a waste of time and rather futile to feel that one has to “second-guess” what individuals might be “meaning”. After all, if one wishes clarification on any point, one could always re-address the science inherent in the statements (as I’ve done here), or ask for clarification…

  340. Joel Shore

    “The reason that one can cherrypick is because one is looking at too short a period.”

    LOL

    That’s just plain false. One can cherry-pick when looking at longer periods as well.

    come on. What are you afraid of?

    Real temperatures please.

  341. Mike Bryant said:

    Those early modelers were real good:

    http://climate-skeptic.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54eeb9dc18834010535b4046b970b-pi

    No sooner had I said that Hansen’s prediction had been good enough that there was an industry dedicated to distorting it than you provide a perfect illustration of this! Hansen published three predictions based on future forcing scenarios (manmade emissions as well as whether or not there was a major volcanic eruption). If you look at which forcings scenario we have followed, it is close to Scenario B; in fact, apparently our forcings are a little below those of Scenario B. Yet, the comparison in that link is only to the highest forcing Scenario A, which is considerably different. See here: http://www.realclimate.org/images/Hansen06_fig2.jpg

    (Hansen’s climate model from 1988 also had a climate sensitivity that is at the upper end of current IPCC estimates…so we better hope that temperatures do not rise as fast as his model predicted. As it is, only in the past few years has the real world temperature deviated a bit low of his Scenario B and I don’t think the deviation is as of yet statistically significant.)

  342. the Arctic sea ice extent reached its lowest ever extent for Dec 20 and remains below the already remarkably low 2007.

    Even if true, who cares? …

    Well, our kind host seems to take an interest, writing posts headed Ice Reality Check: Arctic Ice Now 31.3% Over Last Year, and Arctic sea ice continues rebound earlier this year.

    Now that the ‘31% lead’ has evaporated (or should that be melted) and in fact gone negative perhaps we can expect a post on the new reality?

    Merry Christmas to those of all beliefs and of none.

  343. “Interesting data Mike – all from official, i.e. Government sources?”

    Isn’t it funny how you can make graphs scary if you want?
    Why does our government have to present common data in the most alarming possible light?

  344. John Phillip,
    You are implying Arctic ice has melted. Please post a link showing that anyone talking about the Arctic ice at this time claims it is melting at this time, other than yourself. The change in the thermal characteristics of water would certainly be worth noting further.

  345. And by the way, the pictures still do not lie, although it would appear taht AGW faithful do play with the algorithms and probably by this point, the actual raw data, when ever they get access to it.
    If in fact currents and winds are piling up the ice deeper and in a smaller area, the apocalypse believers should be even more concerned: This leaves more open ocean to radiate more heat longer, losing even more latent heat so that when the ice does form, it will last even longer than last year’s increase. Since this time of year sees very little solar input, it is the ability of water to cool uninsulated by ice that is likely more significant.
    But enough popping AGW dogma. What is actually happening?
    Clearly people, like all life on Earth, influence the environment. And like all life that takes up a lot of space and changes its environment, we can influence the climate. Climate forcings will ahve positive and neative directions. Changes in vegetation, urbanization, power generation, brning of transportation fuels, changes in river basins, all make an impact.
    What seems clear from the evidence is that the climate is not easily changed, and that the atmosphere and ocean interactions are far more complex and of a vastly larger scale than anything we are able to move around very much.
    After all of Hansen & co.s hysteria, what do we actually have?
    Practically nothing. Temperature movements over the past 100 years are nearly flat. It is very reasonable to point out that the ‘big’ changes claimed by the apocalypse promotion industry are not really outside the margin of error of instrument accuracy. And when that lack of accuracy is compounded with the normal range of variation in climate, it is clear not much bad is happening at all.
    We do know from satellite imagery that biomass is up,

    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003400/a003451/index.html

    And that would be a good thing.
    What would have been a better use of the billions spent on promoting a non-existant climate apocalypse woud have been to work towards a world standard on burning coal that yields less soot and toxins.

  346. Syl says:

    LOL

    That’s just plain false. One can cherry-pick when looking at longer periods as well.

    The fact is that once you go back 12 years or so, which year you choose to start from or whether you use Hadcrut or NASA GISS data set makes only a little difference in the trendline slope that you get. Once, you get out to about 18 years, the difference gets really tiny. I can see that because I have a graph in front of me that I made that shows me the linear trend as a function of start year. (I made this for the end year being 2007 but there is little reason to believe that the story will change when we make the end year 2008.)

  347. Will Nitschke says:

    Joel:

    “It hardly seems miniscule when we have already raised the level of XXX over 35% and will likely more than double it by the end of the century.”

    (I’ve replaced CO2 with XXX to make the statement more neutral.)

    Is the above statement true or false?

    Well it depends. If we’re talking about nitrogen then that is a major constituent of our atmosphere so a 35% change would be enormous. If we were talking about some rare trace gas, then 35% of almost nothing is still nothing.

    I agree with the very good points that foinavon made above. In particular, the two major constitutes of our atmosphere, nitrogen and oxygen, are essentially transparent to IR radiation, so trace gases that actually do absorb IR radiation play a very important role in the climate. Of course, the largest contributor to the natural greenhouse effect is water vapor…but CO2 and the other trace gases play an important role and together all the greenhouse gases, although making up less than 2% of the concentration of the atmosphere on average, keep the temperature about 30 C or so warmer than it would be if they were absent (assuming the earth had the same albedo as it does…which it wouldn’t exactly if the absence of water vapor was taken to mean that clouds were absent too).

  348. A general point about raised CO2 concentrations in the past. Several posters have brought this up in relation to the effects of raised CO2 concentrations in Hansen’s somewhat scary predictions about what would happen were we to return all the CO2 locked away in coal and tar shales back into the atmosphere.

    Have a look at the sketch of paleotemperature and paleoCO2 in the introductory post. Disregarding it’s rather ludicrous nature, one might look at the very high levels of CO2 in the Paleozoic, for example, and ask the question:

    If CO2 levels were apparently so high in the past, what’s the problem of sending them back up there in the near future?

    The answer has a lot to do with what the sun has done in the intervening 1/2 billion years or so. It’s got a lot hotter (Joel has alluded to this previously too).

    So, remembering that the greenhouse effect is a product of the greenhouse gas levels and the sun, we need to take both into account in determining the radiative forcing. In other words just as the world gets hotter if greenhouse gas levels rise at constant insolation, so the world gets cooler if the sun reduces its insolation while greenhouse gas levels remain constant.

    So, surprising as it may seem, the radiative forcing (CO2 + solar contribution) was very likely higher during the Mesozoic (CO2 levels around 1000-2000 ppm) than during the Paleozoic (CO2 levels 4000 ppm and above)[*****].

    How can this be?

    It’s because the sun was rather cooler in the Paleozoic than the Mesozoic (and it’s continuing to get hotter…we probably all know that at some time several billions of years in the future the oceans really are going to boil away!).

    How much cooler was it?

    If one starts from around 500-ish million years ago, the solar luminosity was around 94.5% of present day values. It increases roughly linearly through time.

    Is that a little or a lot?

    It’s quite a lot. The 11 year solar cycle encompasses an intensity range between around 1366.6 Wm-2 (solar max) to 1365.5 Wm-2 (solar min). That’s around 0.08%. We hardly notice this (perhaps 0.1 oC at the surface and 0.2 oC in the troposphere from max to min), but that’s partly because the variation is cyclic and the Earth doesn’t really have a chance to “keep up” with what is quite a rapid cycle.

    The decreased solar luminosity 500 million years ago is equivalent to the sun’s luminosity dropping more than 50 times the solar cycle range and staying there.

    That’s why we should be concerned about the effects of a really gung-ho effort at burning every last bit of fossil fuel we can lay our hands on!

    [*****]Data and analysis from Figure 2 of:

    D. L. Royer (2006) CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic
    Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70, 5665-5675.

  349. Joel Shore:

    The reason for this is that, at the end of the day, the earth equilibrates to a new level of greenhouse gases by raising the temperature at the effective level it radiates from

    Are you sure you’ve got that right?
    Surely if you increase the temperature at the effective level it radiates from, it will radiate more energy into space?

    Or am I missing something?

  350. Lucia said this about Hansen A, B and C:

    “Main Observation:
    When comparing Scenario projections A, B & C, to land-ocean type data, it appear Hansen et al. 1988 over-predicted the real world warming that occurred in years following publication of his paper. This is the main observation based on this data. The remaining discussion are details for those who wish to know more.”

    This was back in January perhaps she would like to chime in. As I understand it Lucia is a warmer, but a real sweet one that bakes brownies.

    Mike Bryant

  351. Joel Shore (05:21:06) :
    Mike Bryant said:

    Those early modelers were real good:

    http://climate-skeptic.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54eeb9dc18834010535b4046b970b-pi

    No sooner had I said that Hansen’s prediction had been good enough that there was an industry dedicated to distorting it than you provide a perfect illustration of this! Hansen published three predictions based on future forcing scenarios (manmade emissions as well as whether or not there was a major volcanic eruption). If you look at which forcings scenario we have followed, it is close to Scenario B; in fact, apparently our forcings are a little below those of Scenario B. Yet, the comparison in that link is only to the highest forcing Scenario A, which is considerably different.

    This graph is a well known distortion of Hansen’s data by Michaels who tried to portray the data scenario A as if it was the most likely (contrary to the statements in the paper) and exclude the data described as the most plausible (Scenario B). Not only that he did it ten years later when he knew that the emissions trajectories necessary for Scenario A had not occurred!

  352. Foinavon:

    If one starts from around 500-ish million years ago, the solar luminosity was around 94.5% of present day values. It increases roughly linearly through time.

    Then how come ice ages are relatively recent events in geological time? When the solar luminosity was low the earth was ice-free.
    Clearly, there are larger forces at work.

  353. Peter (09:06:07) :
    Joel Shore:

    “The reason for this is that, at the end of the day, the earth equilibrates to a new level of greenhouse gases by raising the temperature at the effective level it radiates from”

    Are you sure you’ve got that right?
    Surely if you increase the temperature at the effective level it radiates from, it will radiate more energy into space?

    Or am I missing something?

    He has it right, the effective level is a function of the GHG concentration, increase [GHG] and the effective level moves up, that level being initially cooler means that less energy is leaving the planet than is coming in so the temperature must increase until balance is reached. So at equilibrium the effective level is higher and at the same temperature as it was at the lower altitude.

  354. to Joel Shore, foinavon and the rest of the AWG crowd

    ‘Schneider (Stephen), among others, created the appearance that the Summary was representative of the Science Report. However, he provides an early insight into the thinking when speaking about global warming to Discovery magazine (October 1989) he said scientists need, “to get some broader based support, to capture the public’s imagination…that, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts we may have…each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective, and being honest.” The last sentence is deeply disturbing–there is no decision required.’
    http;//candafreepress.com/indexphp/article/7116

    Unless you address the concerns of the NCPA, Anthony,Tim Ball, Steve McIntyre and other who question of How the Science is done and resolve the issues then you and the other AWG crowd have little credibility with this old construction worker.
    BTW I let my tax paying peers and my elected representatives know my humble opinion. If it takes count orders to force complete openness needed on “how the science is done” concerning “CO2 Drives the Climate Theory”, paid for by us, the tax payers, so be it.
    Let the sun shine in.

  355. Peter (09:59:26)

    It seems to be largely down to greenhouse gas concentrations. They were generally far higher in the past and so they countered the effects of a dimmish sun.

    But not always. There were ice ages in the past. These correlate to periods in which greenhouse levels drifted below the thresholds that then limited cool or cold periods. For example there are two long-lived glaciation events in the Permian-Carboniferous period, one between 326-312 million years ago (MYA) and 302-290 MYA. The post glacial period up to around 270 MYA was still preety cold. These are very long periods of cold and are associated with drifts of atmospheric CO2 to around 500ppm and lower. Obviously with a weaker sun, the CO2-threshold for glaciation was much lower than now and cold or glacial periods could arise when CO2 levels drifted below around 1000 ppm.

    There’s also evidence for an earlier Carboniferous glaciation around 352-350 MYA and a brief late-Devonian event around 360 MYA. There are no contemporaneous CO2 proxies for these periods, but the nearest dated CO2 proxies show low CO2 (1000 ppm).

    There’s also evidence for a late Ordovician glacial event dated around 446-444 MYA. Unfortunately we don’t know what the atmospheric CO2 concentrations were at this point in time.

    There is evidence for several rather extreme glacial episodes during the Neoproterozoic era (1000-5550 MYA). Some of these were sufficiently extensive to give rise to the theory of a “snowball earth”. Whatever the extent to these glaciations, they are also linked to reduced greenhouse gas concentrations (during these periods all the continents were assembled near the equator promoting very efficient weathering-induced draw-down of atmospheric CO2).

    There is goodish evidence for dramatic glaciations during the Archaeon 3,200 MYA and later. This is proposed to be the result of the production of O2 which oxidised the atmospheric methane that was the dominant greenhouse gas during the earlier periods of Earth’s history…..

    …and so on.

    Data from:

    Kasting, JF and Howard MT (2006) Atmospheric composition and climate on the early Earth. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 361, 1733-1742.

    Royer, D.L. (2006) CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic
    Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70, 5665-5675.

  356. “Not only that he did it ten years later when he knew that the emissions trajectories necessary for Scenario A had not occurred!”

    Have the emissions trajectories necessary for Scenario C occurred?

    Aren’t the observed temperatures below Scenario C?

    Wattsupwiththat?

  357. Mike Bryant says:

    As I understand it Lucia is a warmer, but a real sweet one that bakes brownies.

    Well, I guess how you interpret her position might depend on your own. From where I stand, I would call her quite firmly in the “skeptic” camp, although she is one of the more reasonable and data-driven of the “skeptics”.

    old construction worker says:

    You may not like what they say but they do make some strong points that you and the IPPc needs to address.

    Unless you address the concerns of the NCPA, Anthony,Tim Ball, Steve McIntyre and other who question of How the Science is done and resolve the issues then you and the other AWG crowd have little credibility with this old construction worker.

    The NCPA is simply a highly-partisan political organization, not a scientific one. Asking me to respond to every piece of idiocy that they come up with is equivalent to asking you to respond to everything that Greenpeace says. But if you want to read what Schneider has to say in response to this attack on him by quoting him out-of-context, here it is: http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/199608/environmental.cfm

    As for addressing what Anthony (and the commenters here) have to say, well I suppose that is why I hang out here.

    I also hold no illusions that I will be able to convince everyone. There are people around (commenting on this very website, in fact) who still don’t believe that CFCs impact the ozone layer. However, eventually, the science becomes so overwhelming that even a lot of the organizations that one would expect to oppose action drop that opposition (as many of the petroleum companies like BP and Shell, automakers like Ford, and ppwer companies have done over the past decade regarding taking action to reduce our GHG emissions). Then, the political will slowly comes about to take effective action, despite the diehards who refuse to be convinced by the scientific evidence.

  358. Thanks to old construction worker for that informative link.

    And don’t you just love the typical argument tactic of folks like foinavon:

    It seems to be largely down to greenhouse gas concentrations. They were generally far higher in the past and so they countered the effects of a dimmish sun.

    But not always. There were ice ages in the past…

    They constantly frame and re-frame their arguments, until we hear something ridiculous like: “global warming causes global cooling.”

    Face it, the planet is laughing at the impotent hubris of the AGW/runaway global warming contingent.

    It’s cold outside! Global warming isn’t gonna getcha. Breezes from the frantic AGW hand-wavers help keep the planet cool. Stop it!

  359. Mike Bryant says:

    Have the emissions trajectories necessary for Scenario C occurred?

    Aren’t the observed temperatures below Scenario C?

    Within the error bars, I believe the trendlines would be compatible with both Scenario B and C. (And, the actual forcings are apparently a little less than was assumed in Scenario B.) As for whether Hansen’s prediction will eventually turn out to be a little high of reality, I certainly hope it will given that his climate model at that time had an equilibrium climate sensitivity of ~4.2 C, which is near the high end of the IPCC range and higher than his own current estimate of 3 +- 0.5 C that he notes in his presentation that Anthony linked to.

  360. Smokey says:

    And don’t you just love the typical argument tactic of folks like foinavon:

    Yeah…It is pretty annoying how foinavon keeps trying to inject some actual peer-reviewed scientific knowledge into these debates! What a low tactic!

    (And, foinavon, just to let you know, at least some of us do appreciate the wealth of knowledge that you bring to this discussion!)

  361. That’s illogical again Smokey. Attempting to ridicule by wilful misunderstanding (and selective quotation) is not skepticism!

    It’s not difficult to underatand Smokey. Here’s a short summary:

    In general greenhouse gas concentrations were much higher in the deep past and countered the effect of a weaker sun.

    But not always. Occasionally greenhouse gas concentrations drifted downwards below the then thresholds for widespread build up of ice from the poles and during these periods of reduced greenhouse gas concentrations glacial periods did occur.

    more details in my post just above (11:02:22)

  362. “As for whether Hansen’s prediction will eventually turn out to be a little high of reality, I certainly hope it will given that his climate model at that time had an equilibrium climate sensitivity of ~4.2 C, which is near the high end of the IPCC range and higher than his own current estimate of 3 +- 0.5 C that he notes in his presentation that Anthony linked to.”

    I hope so too. And the next time he evaluates the equilibrium climate sensitivity he can always adjust it down again.

  363. I find foinavon’s commentary always interesting. I wonder if he may have taken a course in physical chemistry and actually passed – I certainly never did. He also has an even way of presenting himself which is refreshing. None the less I find his commentary on percentages a little crafty. Anyone who works with numbers has run into this percentage issue before. I am certain he knows when discussing CO2 that “doublings” is how one typically refers to CO2 concentrations since there is a natural log in the equations. This tends to make the remark about percentages of the minuscule all that more pertinent.

    What I also find suspect is the statement “CO2 is the dominant independently variable greenhouse gas.” Notice that it is not said that CO2 is the dominant greenhouse gas, but the “independently variable” greenhouse gas. Water vapor not CO2, is the dominant greenhouse gas, of course, and it will take CO2 percentage increases in the thousand plus range (or several doublings) for it to be on a par with water vapor as a greenhouse gas. Also, I am not even sure what it means to refer to CO2 as an independent variable. CO2 is certainly a variable, but we also have a wildly uncontrolled variable known as water. As a skeptic I think a big thing that global warming proponents have to confront is the role of water. The way I reason: If the earth warms more, more water evaporates into the atmosphere; if more water goes into the atmosphere, more comes out as rain; if more comes out as rain, it is fair to infer there will be more clouds; and more clouds means cooling since clouds cool. And yes I understand that clouds also warm but I am pretty confident that the net effect is a cooling. I am old enough to remember the global cooling scare of the 70’s. At that time the story was exactly this – that clouds and snow cover would raise albedo and drive earth’s climate to what was called “snowball earth.”

  364. Hank says:

    I am certain he knows when discussing CO2 that “doublings” is how one typically refers to CO2 concentrations since there is a natural log in the equations. This tends to make the remark about percentages of the minuscule all that more pertinent.

    You have identified the exact reason why it is indeed pertinent to speak in terms of percentages: For a quantity where the dependence of the interesting variable (temperature) on it is logarithmic, what matters is the fractional or percentage increase in that quantity, not the absolute amount of the increase. So, I am not sure why talking in this way makes foinavon or me “crafty”…It simply means we are talking in the way that makes the most sense given the expected behavior of the climate on CO2 concentration.

    Also, I am not even sure what it means to refer to CO2 as an independent variable.

    It means that it is a variable that we (or some other process) can influence directly by injecting more CO2 into the atmosphere. Water vapor concentration, by contrast is (as you note) determined by the temperature. As a practical matter, we cannot at least at the present time inject water vapor into the atmosphere in sufficient quantities to significantly influence the global climate.

    As a skeptic I think a big thing that global warming proponents have to confront is the role of water.

    The role of water is something that has been understood to be important going all the way back to the first calculations of the greenhouse effect by Arrhenius around 1900.

    The way I reason: If the earth warms more, more water evaporates into the atmosphere; if more water goes into the atmosphere, more comes out as rain; if more comes out as rain, it is fair to infer there will be more clouds; and more clouds means cooling since clouds cool. And yes I understand that clouds also warm but I am pretty confident that the net effect is a cooling.

    Actually, the most direct effect of more water vapor in the atmosphere is a positive feedback because of water vapor being a greenhouse gas. The effects on clouds are actually even more complicated than your intuition suggests. First, as you note, clouds can have both warming and cooling effects. Second, it is by no means clear that the effect of higher temperatures is to produce more clouds. Because, although the warmer air will have more water vapor in it, it also has a higher saturation level, i.e., it can hold more water vapor before the water vapor condenses into clouds. To a first approximation, climate models tend to predict that the RELATIVE humidity (the absolute amount of water vapor divided by the amount the air at that temperature can hold) remains constant as the climate warms. And, people on this site are actually skeptical of this claim and often trying to argue that relative humidity is actually decreasing as warming occurs (since they want the positive water vapor feedback not to be there). If the relative humidity remains constant, then one might imagine to a first approximation that the amount of clouds would also remain constant…although admittedly it probably doesn’t have to be quite this simple. If the relative humidity decreases with warming, one might expect the amount of cloudiness to decrease.

    At any rate, the feedback effect due to clouds does remain the biggest source of uncertainty in climate modeling. However, our current understanding of empirical data from past events, such as the ice ages, major volcanic eruptions, etc. show that the climate system is quite sensitive to perturbations and thus that a strong negative feedback from clouds is unlikely.

    I am old enough to remember the global cooling scare of the 70’s. At that time the story was exactly this – that clouds and snow cover would raise albedo and drive earth’s climate to what was called “snowball earth.”

    First of all, while this may have been a “scare” in a few popular magazines like Newsweek and a popular book or two, there was never anything approaching such a scare in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, let alone any consensus that such global cooling was likely. In fact, throughout the 1970s, there seems to have been more papers discussing global warming than cooling and a National Academy of Sciences study in the mid-70s concluded that we did not yet understand climate well enough to predict which of the variously-identified warming and cooling forces would predominate. See here for more details: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/03/the-global-cooling-mole/langswitch_lang/in

  365. Hank,

    I’m not quite sure what you mean about percentages. As you say, the temperature dependence on CO2 is a logarithmic one. I gave a simple equation to calculate this within a given climate sensitivity in a post above [21:12 (12:52:53)], and the log is right in there, clear as day!

    But in relation to the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations that joel and Will were discussing (if that’s what you were referring to) , the issue was about the direct increase in the concentration of CO2 (not the increase in the forcing). Atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased from 280 ppm to 386 ppm, so it’s mathematically correct to indicate that this is a 38% increase. Does that address your point? If not, spell it out and I’ll try again. Note that atmospheric greenhouse gases are not “miniscule” in their effects, even if their absolute concentrations are small….

    Your comment starting:

    What I also find suspect is the statement “CO2 is the dominant independently variable greenhouse gas.” Notice that it is not said that CO2 is the dominant greenhouse gas, but the “independently variable” greenhouse gas.

    Yes, that’s what I meant to say. CO2 is independently variable. It rises due to major tectonic events, or over long periods if volcanic emissions outbalance atmospheric draw-down, or by massive release of long-sequestered greenhouse gases. It falls due to weathering (mainly).

    Water vapour is not independently variable. It’s a passive player who’s atmospheric concentration responds to other forcings (cooling or warming). There aren’t any processes that can significantly increase or decrease the water vapour concentration independent of other forcings that affect the atmospheric temperature. Of course it’s the dominant greenhouse gas in terms of its contribution to the greenhouse effect. But even then one has to be careful, since a good bit of the water-vapour forcing can be attributed to CO2 (and other independently variable greenhouse gases…and the sun of course!), since the CO2 that warms the atmosphere sufficiently for water to partition into the atmosphere to the extent that it does.

    I hope I haven’t been crafty again! I’m certainly not trying to be…

  366. really do not understand why there is this concerted pressure from the likes of Joel and foinavon to force upon us their interpretation of the effects of CO2 on temperature, other than this is the only thing that underscores the theology of AGW. (I also notice that whenever there is a thread on this website that in any way attacks Hansen there is also a fighting defense put up by the more persuasive and articulate believers).

    So we have increased CO2 levels from 0.03% to 0.04%, which means that we are safe at 99.97% of everything else but it is disastrous at 99.96% of everything else. To exaggerate, it is put the other way around, CO2 has increased, from whatever source, by 30%, whilst at the same time making no mention, or giving no credit, to the most powerful greenhouse effects provided by water vapour and clouds which completely swamp the CO2 effects. Both of these way outperform CO2 in the absorption of ultraviolet radiation. And please I am aware that moisture doesn’t stay in the atmosphere for very long but I am equally aware that it it is constantly replenished every minute of every day.

    As a chemist I really do have difficulty buying into your view of the so called disastrous consequences of CO2.

  367. Phil:

    He has it right, the effective level is a function of the GHG concentration, increase [GHG] and the effective level moves up

    Moving it up is not the same thing as increasing its temperature.

    that level being initially cooler means that less energy is leaving the planet than is coming in so the temperature must increase until balance is reached.

    ‘Initially’ cooler? Is that cooler yesterday? Or last year? Or a hundred years ago? Or is it an on-going process? How long does it take to warm a rarefied layer of atmosphere by a fraction of a degree?

  368. Pretending CO2 controls climate is fun and profitable but it is bs.
    Water vapor is, has and will be the dominant GHG, and works with positive and negative feedbacks. If CO2 was some sort of short cut that could ‘tip’ the climate one way or the other in anything like a dramatic fashion, I doubt if we would be here at all.
    Again: what Hansen & co. have been able to sell is the idea that their apocalyptic predictions are accurate to within small fractions of a degree utilizing instruments and data procedures that are only accurate to within large fractions of a degree.
    The lack of precision and the overwhelmingly subjective nature of their measurements have been well documented.
    Their lack of accounting for major non-CO2 positive and negative forcings means that their algorithms were designed with the answer already known.
    And the dodge about a cooler sun in the ancient past is only now being dragged out as yet more credibility of apocalyptic bs is stripped away.
    Hansen himself ridiculed the idea of a solar influence in a speech in Houston recently.
    We are influencing the climate as we always have: positive and some negative forcings, but neither in huge global scales.

  369. That “mold” which covers some spots on the earth, called humanity, can not force anything but confusion. Those guys against the friendly gas in familiar beverages muy try a coke or a beer without gas!

  370. foinavon (05:53:07) Wrote

    Yes, there’s pretty good evidence that the atmosphere has warmed the oceans.

    foinavon, that is impossible. Our planet’s ocean is far too large for that to happen. The heat capacity of the ocean is far, far greater than that of the atmosphere. Heat always flows from the ocean to the atmosphere, not the other way around. There is a terrific article here: http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=1562 that explains this in layman’s terms. It’s pretty tough to argue with basic physics.

    Merry Christmas to all!

  371. David,

    The notion that joel and I are “forcing upon” you our “interpretation of the effects of CO2 on temperature” is quite funny!

    I would hope that you and everyone here is sufficiently strong-minded to resist our “concerted pressure”…you should certainly come to your own decision on these issues.

    I think each of us is just saying it as we see it. joel seems to have a very good appreciation of the science and is indeed articulate (and very gracious with his earlier compliment which was appreciated btw). I work in somewhat related areas (I’m a chemist too just like you as it happens) and know some of the science.

    We’re really just presenting some of the relevant science, which one shouldn’t be afraid of. After all the natural world doesn’t defer to one’s prejudices and agendas (King Canute recognised that even if his misguided advisors didn’t), and it’s best to face the evidence on these issues, even if someone else’s false platitudes might appear more comforting.

    hunter,

    do be careful not to fall for the “dodge” of a cooler sun!

    Pretending is indeed fun and can be profitable, but only in the short term. In the end reality is likely to turn up and bite you on your cheeky bottom!

    Adolfo,

    as a Brit, I quite like flat beer…in moderation of course!

    Merry XMas to everyone!

  372. Peter (13:27:12) :
    Phil:

    “He has it right, the effective level is a function of the GHG concentration, increase [GHG] and the effective level moves up”

    Moving it up is not the same thing as increasing its temperature.

    Quite, it will actually decrease the temperature at the effective level.

    “that level being initially cooler means that less energy is leaving the planet than is coming in so the temperature must increase until balance is reached.”

    ‘Initially’ cooler? Is that cooler yesterday? Or last year? Or a hundred years ago? Or is it an on-going process?

    It is an on-going process obviously but the explanation was to illustrate how it works in a discrete step.

    How long does it take to warm a rarefied layer of atmosphere by a fraction of a degree?

    Not very long, the heating/cooling rate in the stratosphere is above 0.05ºC/hr.

  373. Joseph,

    It’s a very well written article. It’s also tosh unfortunately. It is tough to argue with basic physics, but there’s not much “basic physics” in the article.

    I expect it’s well written because Stephen Wilde is a lawer, and is thus well-practiced in presenting nonsense convincingly. He pretends that he’s a Fellow of the Royal Meterorological Society, but that would be unlikely since he doesn’t fulfill their credentials[***], and in any case he’s rather absent from their list of Fellows which can be perused here:

    http://www.rmets.org/about/people/fellows.php?pageNum_frmets=3&totalRows_frmets=360

    Mr Wilde asserts that the greenhouse effect is solely a result of atmospheric density, and that CO2 doesn’t play a significant role. Do you agree?

    Mr Wilde asserts that the climate is controlled by the “Hot Water Bottle Effect”. Do you agree?

    Mr Wilde asserts that it’s impossible to warm cold tap water in a bathroom to the temperature of a warm bath by heating the air in the bathroom. What do you think?

    etc. etc.

    In fact the atmosphere has warmed the oceans somewhat. A warmer atmosphere reduces the escape of surface thermal energy into space and thus the surface must warm in order to maintain an equilibrium between the incoming and outgoing radiation.

    [***]From the Royal Meteorological Society website page on “Fellows”:

    Becoming a Fellow normally requires a formal qualification (eg. a first degree in a science subject and/or post-graduate degree or an NVQ in a relevant discipline) and at least five years of professional experience within or directly related to meteorology. Exceptionally, long experience and performance at a high professional level, suitably attested by peer review, can replace the requirement for a formal academic or vocational qualification. MSc or PhD study in a relevant subject counts as one or two years experience respectively.

  374. Joseph (15:20:46) :
    foinavon (05:53:07) Wrote

    “Yes, there’s pretty good evidence that the atmosphere has warmed the oceans.”

    foinavon, that is impossible. Our planet’s ocean is far too large for that to happen. The heat capacity of the ocean is far, far greater than that of the atmosphere. Heat always flows from the ocean to the atmosphere, not the other way around. There is a terrific article here: http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=1562 that explains this in layman’s terms. It’s pretty tough to argue with basic physics.

    Indeed, however that article gets a lot of it wrong!

  375. hunter says:

    Their lack of accounting for major non-CO2 positive and negative forcings means that their algorithms were designed with the answer already known.

    What forcings do you believe have been left out and what are their magnitudes?

    And the dodge about a cooler sun in the ancient past is only now being dragged out as yet more credibility of apocalyptic bs is stripped away.
    Hansen himself ridiculed the idea of a solar influence in a speech in Houston recently.

    Do you understand the difference between saying, “The sun has varied enough over the past [30, 50 ,100] years to explain the warming we have seen” and “the sun has varied in strength enough over the past hundreds of millions of years to explain why things are different now than they were back then”? (Hint: One number has a lot more zeroes than the other!)

    Mind you, I am not saying that I endorse Hansen’s current view that there is a serious possibility that we could trigger a runaway greenhouse effect. However, if you want to effectively argue against it, you have to do so by actually presenting scientific arguments, not by attacking strawmen versions of Hansen’s scientific arguments.

  376. Joseph (15:20:46)
    Thanks for the link It make more sense to me than CO2 drives the climate theory

    foinavon (16:22:31)
    ‘Mr Wilde asserts that it’s impossible to warm cold tap water in a bathroom to the temperature of a warm bath by heating the air in the bathroom. What do you think?’
    Let’s take the bathroom example one step further. The bath water and the air are heated by two inferred heat lamps mounted in the ceiling 7 ft above water line. Both lamps are on a dimmer switch. After the lamps are turn on which would heat faster the air or water?
    After x amount of time the air and water are at the same temperature. If the switch is turned down little, witch would cool down faster air or water? Would it make a difference if there was a humidifier or a dehumidifier?

  377. foinavon (16:22:31)
    Heck, let’s take the bathroom example and add one more parameter. Triple amount of CO2 in the bathroom. Would it make a difference? What if I told you the bathroom is in depressurized portion of a plane cursing at 12,000 ft.

  378. The last ice age ended only about 10,000 years ago. Surely that is the most relevant comparison for any discussion of CO2/Solar forcing contributions?

  379. Foinavon:

    In fact the atmosphere has warmed the oceans somewhat. A warmer atmosphere reduces the escape of surface thermal energy into space and thus the surface must warm in order to maintain an equilibrium between the incoming and outgoing radiation.

    A warmer atmosphere also has more convection which: a) by the mechanism of surface wind, tends to cool the ocean surface, and b) aids in vaulting the heat energy to higher altitudes.
    Whether or not this effect is greater than the warming effect you mentioned is arguable.

    Merry Christmas to all

  380. The CO2-hypothesis, as i understand it:
    After Angstroms results 100 years ago, its clear to all that CO2 hardly has any effect. Well, that is, until in the 1950´ies results indicated that CO2 addition in theory might have an effect at much lower pressures. That is, in high altitudes. This was due to spectra changes of CO2 for lower pressures.

    In agreement with this, the IPPC was sure that we would see the famous “hot-spot” – an bubble of warmer air at 5 – 15 km altitude over the tropics.
    As everyone knows, we have not seen such a warmer area, and at this point, i wonder:

    Does anyone know: When the CO2 hypothesis does not include an CO2 effect at ground level, and there is no detectable effect in high alitude, well, where and how is CO2 today supposed to work???

    The only place it has gotten warmer is near the surface.. And here CO2 is shown not to have an effect (Angstrom).

    Another thing.

    I F CO2 should have had an effect as IPCC thought, in high altitudes, for instance at 10 km hight, and if we saw this hotter air bubble – what does physics say about a hotter air bubble?
    Wel normaly a such would tend to rise. Hot air rises rather than sinks.

    So how was the warmer air in 10 km hight supposed to melt the ice at ground level?

    To this central quesition i have seen the answer: “the warmer air at 10 km hight will affect the ground by stronger radiation”.

    hmm

    The thing is, Air at 10 hight is around -60 degrees Celcius. And if it had been 1 degree warmer we would have this “Warm bubble” of -59 degrees celcius.
    And this thin light extremely cold airmass, should be able to radiate the surface of the whole earth so tha ice melts etc?
    The thing is, the level of heat-radition from air, no matter if its -59 degrees or -60 degrees is so extreeemly tiny that this CO2 warming from high altitudes seems very hard to find in a real world.

    So to me, we have a CO2-hypothesis on the following ground:
    1) It is prooven not to work at ground level.
    2) Results from real world shows that no warming is seen at high altitudes.
    3) IF there had been a meassurable effect at high altitudes, any warming transferral to ground level should happend by “heat radiation” emitted by thin -59 degrees cold air.

    Or?

    Since this CO2-hypthesis seems to alk on water, there must surely be a realy good explanation for this JOKE of a hypothesis???

  381. After foinavon and others have spent a great deal of time crapping on my logarithmic global warming formula above, I thought it was now time to show how the warmers cannot see the forest for the trees:

    Foinavon gave the following formula for the global warming models.

    “T = (3.0/log(2))*(log(C))-9.39

    where C is the CO2 concentration.”

    “T” here is 15C or the average temperature of the earth. My formula deals with the Anomaly from average so we can restate Foinavon’s formula to:

    Anom T = (3.0/log(2))*(log(C)) – 9.39 (-15.0C)

    “3.0/log(2) = 4.3″ so the formula can again be restated to:

    Anom T = 4.3 * logC – 26.39

    But my formula was based on warming to be 3.25C per doubling, the average of the IPCC models for doubling so we can again restate foinavon’s formula to be:

    “3.25/log(2) = 4.69″

    Anom T = 4.69 * logC – 26.39

    Let’s replace C with 280 ppm in foinavon’s formula and one gets

    Anom T @ 280 ppm = +0.03C

    Which is wrong, of course, since temps are supposed to be about -0.4C or -0.5C in the late 1700s when CO2 was 280 ppm.

    So let’s restate foinavon’s forumla again to:

    Anom T = 4.69 * Ln(C) – 26.89

    Which, of course, is very, very far off my formula of:

    Anom T = 4.69 * Ln(C) – 26.9

    – funny how the warmers have made their theory so complicated they can only see it in terms of what Hansen tells them about it.

  382. foinavon

    The Scotese graph you repeatedly dismiss as bearing no relation to our known climate past is named for Chris Scotese PhD. He is a well known geologist who has been leading a project mapping the earth’s geologic past for many years. Your pretending this graph is fake or fabricated or generally not accepted widely is very odd as it agrees with other sources well.

    Quit trying to arm wave away the opponents, if you can’t disprove rather than smear you have already lost.

  383. Frank Lasner,
    You have completely discounted the GCMs, and we know how much time and effort has gone into making them even more trustworthy than ANY data that you would care to throw around. Sure, everything that you have said makes perfect sense, however you are missing the whole point. Scientists know so, so much more than we mere mortals could ever fathom with our tiny brains. And we all know that we will be much better off when the scientists rule us.
    If President Bush had listened to his science advisors eight years ago, we would now be living on a cooler planet. Oh wait, the planet IS cooler today, but Bush just lucky because of the negative PDO. Anyway, the ONLY proper role of data in the world today, is to back up the models and make sure everyone pays their fair share of CO2 taxes. To the extent that the data does NOT further these ends, it MUST be adjusted, massaged or “corrected”.
    Frank, I hope that this clears things up for you. Remember, together we can solve it.
    Mike Bryant :)

  384. foinavon

    The point I was considering is: granted that CO2 has risen between 25 and 45 percent, and further granted that some degree of warming will result from that CO2 rise just due to principles of physical chemistry; will that contribution be significant? When I see that water vapor is also a greenhouse gas it makes me wonder if the water vapor doesn’t dominate any effect contributed by CO2. Especially considering that there is so much more water vapor in the atmosphere than CO2. (The other interesting thing about water vapor is that its concentration varies so wildly – even on a single day.)
    As to independent and dependent variables. Sure you can call CO2 the independent variable, but this isn’t a designed experiment we are discussing. There are so many uncontrolled variables that someone else can come along and call anything they want the independent variable. And people do this. They blame La Nina for parts of their data, or they point to the sunspot cycle, or they point to aerosols, black carbon, clouds and on and on. Personally I have a hard time thinking about independent and dependent variables unless you have a designed experiment where extraneous factors are controlled. If you don’t control, us skeptics will look on it as auguring.
    I strongly disagree with you that water vapor couldn’t be considered an independent variable. It is certainly variable and it’s the design of the experiment that determines whether it’s the independent variable. Sure you can construct the argument where average temperature rises in lockstep with Keeling’s CO2 curve from Mauna Loa and say, “look CO2 is the independent variable, temperature is the dependent variable, and CO2 must be causing warming.” But, you can’t deny others the opportunity of saying, “but wait a minute; my experience of the world is different, and Keeling’s data is happenstance. By my reasoning cloud cover is the independent variable, temperature is the dependent variable and other factors are insignificant. Can you show me that average cloud cover wasn’t rising in the same time frame as Keeling’s data?”
    To me the problem is that there aren’t good simple experiments. We are all looking at a world of data and it is going to be difficult to extract what all the factors are and determine what weight to give each of them, and especially to describe how all the factors interact. I understand that Hansen and others are working on the model that will do this, but I’m a long way from seeing that it’s anything that’s accurate. So I remain skeptical.

    By my reckoning it’s the vagaries of water vapor in the atmosphere that causes the vagaries of weather. A complete climate model will only emerge when we can accurately describe the role of water in its various forms: as vapor in the air, cloud in the sky, and liquid in the ocean.

  385. Frank Lasner:

    Your whole post is rather confused. You are correct that much of the effect of CO2 on the earth’s radiation budget is manifest further up in the atmosphere where the air is thinner. Basically, at the end of the day, the effect of increasing CO2, as we’ve discussed above, is to increase the effective level from which most of the radiation is escaping back into space. Since the air is colder as you go higher in the atmosphere and the intensity of radiation goes as the fourth power of the temperature, this means that the earth is now radiating less energy…and less than it is receiving from the sun. This means it will warm up until such point that ithe upper atmosphere has warmed enough that the earth is now radiating as much as it receives.

    However, this all has essentially nothing to do with the prediction of the “hotspot” in the tropical atmosphere. Although greenhouse gases play an important role in the overall radiation budget, the atmosphere mixes heat well enough that the structure of the warming is not determined by where the greenhouse gases happen to absorb additional energy. Instead, in the tropical atmosphere, the temperature structure is dominated by convection in a saturated atmosphere. This means that the temperature structure is pegged to the “moist (or saturated) adiabat” (you can about the saturated adiabatic lapse rate here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapse_rate).

    It is this structure that leads to the prediction that when the temperature rises at the surface in the tropics, this rise will be magnified as you go up in the troposphere. This is true regardless of the cause of the warming. And, in fact, the data from both satellites and radiosondes confirm that this magnification occurs for temperature fluctuations that occur over periods of months to a few years (e.g., presumably due to things like El Nino and la Nina). Where there has been difficulty in seeing this magnification, i.e., the hotspot, is in the long term trends over the period since satellite measurements began, which is now approaching 30 years; however, there are significant problems in measuring these long terms trends both with satellite and radiosondes (weather balloons) as it is very easy for spurious effects due to things like better shielding of the radiosondes over time to contaminate the long term trends. As scientists have grown to better understand the corrections that need to be applied to the data, this data has come into better agreement with the expectation of a “hotspot” in the tropical atmosphere.

    But, again, its existence or non-existence says nothing about what is the cause of the warming that we have seen since its existence is expected independent of what caused that warming. Signatures that are more unique to warming by greenhouse gases are an increase in the height of the tropopause (the boundary separating the troposphere from the stratosphere) and a cooling of the stratosphere as the troposphere warms. Both of these have been seen.

    As for your question as to how a “hotspot” at high altitude could melt ice at lower altitude: As I explained above, with the addition of greenhouse gases, the entire atmosphere heats up until the layer from which most of the radiation is escaping into space is once again as warm as it was when it was at lower altitude. In fact, if the “hotspot” is not there, that means that the temperature at the ground has to heat up by the same amount as the temperature further up in the atmosphere whereas if the hotspot is there, the ground temperature doesn’t have to heat up as much. This effect is known as the “lapse rate feedback” and is a negative feedback tending to reduce the temperature rise at the surface. So, if the models are wrong in predicting the “hotspot”, that means they are also wrong in including this negative feedback, suggesting that they might be underestimating the amount of warming to expect.

    However, a more likely explanation is that the data that show the hotspot for the temperature fluctuations is correct and the data that have had a tendency not to show the hotspot for the longterm trends is not correct…And, the hotspot is really there.

  386. Joseph (15:20:46) :

    As others have pointed out, there is a lot wrong with the “basic physics” described in your link:

    http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=1562

    At one point, Wilde says this:

    “The warming effect is a single persistent phenomenon linked to the density of the atmosphere and not the composition.”

    Later on he says this:

    “The increased warmth allows the atmosphere to hold more water vapour so that total atmospheric density increases and the atmospheric greenhouse effect strengthens.”

    But the density of air does not increase as water vapor is added- it DECREASES.

  387. I’m trying to understand the water “feedback.” If the climate sensitivity is asserted to be 3°C per doubling of CO2, WITH water feedback, what is the climate sensitivity per doubling of CO2 WITHOUT water feedback supposed to be? Simplifying things, water vapor is apparently the principal “trapper of heat,” yet is it asserted to be wholly dependent on CO2. What is the formula that is asserted to describe the dependence of water vapor on CO2?

  388. Thank you, Bill Illis (05:37:46). I eagerly await foinavon’s response.

    Make sure to keep him specifically focused on his answer to your post above. Throwing out a few citations to the work of others won’t do in this case.

  389. I am with Joel on this one too, I believe that the hot spot is hiding wherever the extra heat is hiding… in the pipeline somewhere. It is SO obvious.
    Mike Bryant

  390. Re: foinavon (16:22:31)

    Stephen Wilde’s membership in the Royal Meteorological Society predates their adoption of a professional qualification requirement to become a Fellow. He is a “grandfathered” Fellow, but he cannot append the letters FRMetS to his name.

    At any rate, this is not an ad verecundiam argument, but a discussion of the physics of heat transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere. The atmosphere only absorbs about 20% of the incoming solar radiation. This is insufficient to raise the atmosphere to the temperature that it is. The remaining heat is provided to the atmosphere by the ocean in the form of latent heat released from water vapor (during precipitation events) that has evaporated from the ocean (mostly in the tropics) and to a much lesser extent infrared radiation from the oceans surface. This second component is very minor.

    The heat capacity of the ocean is approximately 1,100 times greater than that of the atmosphere. The atmosphere cannot contain enough heat of it’s own heat (absorbed from incoming solar radiation) to heat the ocean at all. A warmer (and therefore more humid) atmosphere can slow the cooling of the ocean, but it cannot add any heat to the ocean to warm it. The ocean warms the atmosphere, not the other way around.

    Our planet is most definitely NOT in radiative equilibrium, and that’s a good thing. If it were, the average surface temperature of our planet would be approximately 170 °F. Instead, the evaporative transfer of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere keeps our surface temperature habitable.

    A somewhat technical discussion of this can be found here: http://www.oco.noaa.gov/index.jsp?show_page=page_roc.jsp&nav=universal

    A more thorough (and technical) discussion can be found here: http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_01.htm

    I think Sections 5.2 and 5.6 in this second link are especially useful to our discussion.

    Cheers!

  391. Bill Illis (05:37:46) :

    3/Log (2) = 9.97, not 4.3.

    I think you’re mixing up log and ln.

    And the criticism of your “global warming formula” is not that it is wrong, but rather that it represents the EQUILIBRIUM TEMPERATURE.

    You can not use it to determine what the temperature should (or shouldn’t be) TODAY because the global temperature is not at equilibrium wrt current CO2 levels.

    We are not at equilibrium because the oceans take a long time (decades) to warm up.

  392. Chris V.

    It doesn’t matter if you put “Log” or “ln” in the formula, it is exactly the same formula.

    3.25/Log(2)*Log(280) = 4.69*ln(280) = 26.42

    3.25/Log(2)*Log(560) = 4.69*ln(560) = 29.67

  393. Chris V. – “You can not use it to determine what the temperature should (or shouldn’t be) TODAY because the global temperature is not at equilibrium wrt current CO2 levels.

    We are not at equilibrium because the oceans take a long time (decades) to warm up.”

    How long is going to take then Chris because it is time for the warmers to come clean on this now. We should know don’t you think.

    Above I noted “(12:42:43) Dec 21″ that Hansen’s presentation says that the other 3 models he consulted expect it will take well over 1,000 years for the oceans to catch up to the equilibrium.

    So what does that do to the surface temperature response? If you don’t know, someone at realclimate should be able to answer the question (I’ve asked and there are just vague answers).

    And when I was deriving the chart, I was pretty clear this was the original timeline and now it is expected that slow ocean response times have been pushing the line out (each time they do a new one that is).

  394. Phil says:

    Simplifying things, water vapor is apparently the principal “trapper of heat,” yet is it asserted to be wholly dependent on CO2.What is the formula that is asserted to describe the dependence of water vapor on CO2?

    More precisely, the concentration of water vapor is dependent on the temperature. So, as the direct effect of the CO2 causes temperatures to rise, the concentration of water vapor increases and you get additional warming (a positive feedback) from that. Of course, if something else other than CO2 (like an increase in solar irradiance) caused the initial warming, you would still get the same water vapor feedback effect…It is not specific to the cause of the warming being CO2.

    As for the formula, the amount of water vapor that the air can hold is given by the Clausius-Clapeyron Equation (see for example here). If one assumes that the average relative humidity in the atmosphere remains constant then the amount of water vapor as a function of temperature is proportional to the value given by the Clausius-Clapeyron Eqn. Global climate models do not make this assumption explicitly, but it has been noted that they do seem to at least approximately predict that the relative humidity remains constant (or perhaps drops a little) as the temperature warms.

    Joseph says:

    Our planet is most definitely NOT in radiative equilibrium, and that’s a good thing. If it were, the average surface temperature of our planet would be approximately 170 °F. Instead, the evaporative transfer of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere keeps our surface temperature habitable.

    Not sure where you get this from. It is an elementary physics problem to work out that the blackbody radiative temperature of the earth (having the albedo of ~30% in the visible that it does) corresponds to about -18 C (or 255 K). The reason why the average surface temperatures are significantly warmer than this (~15 C) is because of the greenhouse effect.

  395. There are two main strands of evidence that the increase in CO2 is due to human activity. The first is simple carbon accounting: we have inventories of greenhouse gas emissions and estimates of the amount of CO2 released by changes in land use sufficent to estimate by how much such emissions should have increased the atmospheric concentrations, and the answer is in excess of the observed increase – if all the CO2 we have emitted were still resident then the concentrations would be around 500 ppm – rather more than the actual levels, the difference being the amount absorbed by sinks in the oceans and biosphere. So unless there has been a contemperaneous increase in natural carbon production and a corresponding increase in the natural sinks, for which there is no evidence at all, all of the increase is due to anthropogenic sources.

    Secondly, CO2 from fossil fuel combustion has a different isotopic signature to that from natural sources, named the Suess effect after the Austrian chemist who discovered it. Careful analysis of the isotopic carbon ratios of atmospheric CO2 confirm the proportions are those that are expected if the increase has a manmade source.

    The increase in ocean heat content is not due to a conductive transfer of heat from the atmosphere; on average the sea surface is warmer than the air immediately above. The oceans are warmed by the absorbtion of sunlight and then lose heat back to the atmosphere by the loss of latent heat and some radiation. The increase in long wave radiation caused by the increase in GHG concentrations reduces the temperature gradient of the sea surface skin layer, which decreases the rate of heat loss to the atmosphere, causing more more heat to be retained.

    A positive peturbation in the planetary radiative budget does indeed takes decades to heat the oceans and so any simple model that implicitly assumes we achieve equilibrium temperature on shorter timecales (or immediately!) will give the incorrect answer for sensitivity and so lead to incorrect and too cool, future projections.

    JP

  396. Joseph (11:16:01)

    Stephen Wilde’s membership in the Royal Meteorological Society predates their adoption of a professional qualification requirement to become a Fellow. He is a “grandfathered” Fellow, but he cannot append the letters FRMetS to his name.

    on his dreary website it says rather clearly:

    Stephen Wilde has been a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society since 1968

    In fact he isn’t, and has never been, a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society. What he’s done presumably is to pay his dues and become a member just like anyone can. So he seems to be attempting to claim an authority that he doesn’t have. He’s not published anything in the scientific literature…he’s a lawyer

    the article of his that you linked to is nonsense, and Mr Wilde clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about, even ‘though he writes rather coherently and with quite a nice lawyerly faux “logic”. We could discuss his article in detail if you like. However I and others have already pointed out some of the howlers.

    Dealing with your own argument, it seems that you’re not quite on the same wavelength as i am, since you’re describing the relationship between the oceans and atmosphere within the climate system, whereas I’m describing the earth’s heat distribution under conditions of a radiative imbalance which is causing warming.

    Let’s go back to the beginning. You questioned my comment in a post [23.12.2008 (05:53:08)] describing some of the evidence (largely excess thermal distribution in the top 700 metres of the oceans) that the oceans are warming from the surface down:

    Yes, there’s pretty good evidence that the atmosphere has warmed the oceans.

    And that’s indeed what the evidence indicates. The enhancement of the greenhouse effect has resulted in a radiative imbalance resulting in warming of the earth’s surface during the last 40 years. Around 84% of this heat has gone into warming the oceans (see references cited in my post [23.12.2008 (05:53:08)]. That’s what I mean with the rather simple statement that “the atmosphere has warmed the oceans”.

    We could describe this very nicely by quoting directly from one of the two links you gave us in your post just above (the NOAA one) where they describe the effect of the radiative imbalance in warming the oceans in relation to sea level rise::

    http://www.oco.noaa.gov/index.jsp?show_page=page_roc.jsp&nav=universal

    Another major role of oceans in climate that has major impacts on multi-decadal time-scales is sea level rise. Climate models estimate that there is a current radiative imbalance at the top-ofthe- atmosphere of about 7 W m-2 owing to increases of greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere. This has increased from a very small imbalance only 40 years ago. Where is this heat going? Some heat melts glaciers and ice, contributing to sea level rise. However, the main candidate for a heat sink is the oceans, leading to thermal expansion and further sea level rise. Levitus et al. (2000) have estimated that the heat content of the oceans has increased on average at a rate of about 3 W m-2 over the past few decades.

  397. Joel Shoer wrote:

    “…I also hold no illusions that I will be able to convince everyone. There are people around (commenting on this very website, in fact) who still don’t believe that CFCs impact the ozone layer…”

    To convince others, you may have to rethink your attitude towards science.

    Recently, the first experiment to measure the CFCs impact on the ozone layer has demonstrated, that the previously assumed and computer simulated mechanism was at least one order of magnitude weaker than expected. It shurely takes more exerimental data to confirm this, but presently experimental evidence is not supporting previous consensus.

    The author of the peer reviewed papaer therefore stated, that scientific consensus was shattered and that science may have to to start all over again.

    Therefore I can’t follow your remark ridiculing others, who feel more comfortable with experimental evidence than computer models.

  398. Bill Illis (05:37:46) :

    You’ve misunderstood again. I’m not “crapping” on your formula at all. You should try to read posts carefully because very often the writers make an effort to say clearly what they mean! Go back to my post [21:12:08 (12:52:53)] and you’ll see that I pointed out that my equation was essentially the same as yours[***].

    The problem is with your representation of the data in the article at the top of this thread. It is highly misleading in relation to the issue at hand which is the effect of raising atmospheric CO2 levels by very large amounts. The only reason I can think of that anyone would represent the temperature variation expected with CO2 variations, starting from near 0 ppm is to create the impression that increasing CO2 from today’s levels would have little effect, since the data is massively dominated by the completely irrelevant range between 0 and 100 ppm.

    That’s very misleading. Therefore I included an equation so that anyone sufficiently interested could address this themselves, for example by calculating (in Excel, for example) the CO2/temp relationship (within a 3 oC climate sensitivity) over the range 280-600/700 ppm (e.g. to assess what might acrue during this century if we don’t make an effort to limit or sequester emissions), or the range 280-3000 ppm, if we seriously want to address Hansen’s “burning all the coal and tar-sands” scenario.

    The other problem with your graph has already been highlighted very well by Chris V, which is the extremely well-understood fact that the climate sensitivity relates to the temperature increase at equilibrium. You’ve chosen to ignore that in your red plot it seems.

    [***]my equation is rather better than yours (!) since it is transparent and versatile. I’ve kept the values for the climate sensitivity and the temperature normalization independently-defined, so that the equation can be used to assess the effects of any chosen climate sensitivity (3.0 below) and any chosen normalization (9.39 below which gives an absolute temperature of 15oC at 280 ppm). That doesn’t make it “complicated”!

    T = (3.0/log(2))*(log(C))-9.39

  399. Joel Shore:

    More precisely, the concentration of water vapor is dependent on the temperature. So, as the direct effect of the CO2 causes temperatures to rise, the concentration of water vapor increases and you get additional warming

    The temperature increase is from the total greenhouse effect of all greenhouse gases – including water vapor and CO2.
    Over the oceans, the water vapor is already there – its presence doesn’t depend on the presence of CO2 – and its greenhouse effect is very large compared to that of CO2, and even larger compared with the added CO2.
    So almost all of the greenhouse warming effect, from the time the sun rises and starts warming the ocean, is due to the water vapor itself.

  400. Wondering Aloud (07:22:50)

    I described the problem here [22.12.08 (10:47:01)]

    The truncated version of Scotese’s graph in the article at the top of this thread is an extremely crude and outdated sketch of temperature in the deep past. I don’t know where the data has come from. Do you? We’d surely like to know that, but I can’t find it on Scotese’s site. It’s O.K in the context of Scotese’s very nice site on paeogeology (the version on his site is somewhat better. But it doesn’t bear much relation to our current understanding of paleotemperature and it certainly shouldn’t be used alongside the CO2 model (time resolution of the model one data point every 10 million years) to “assess” the relationships between temperature and CO2 levels in the past. We can only do that where we have contemporaneous proxies for CO2 and temperature.

    There’s a wealth of paleotemperature data in the scientific literature. Even this version on Wikipedia is sufficient to illustrate that the truncated Scotese sketch is not very scientific (and we can see where the data comes from!):

  401. Joel Shore (14:28:34) :

    “More precisely, the concentration of water vapor is dependent on the temperature. So, as the direct effect of the CO2 causes temperatures to rise, the concentration of water vapor increases and you get additional warming (a positive feedback) from that. Of course, if something else other than CO2 (like an increase in solar irradiance) caused the initial warming, you would still get the same water vapor feedback effect…It is not specific to the cause of the warming being CO2.”

    Please help me understand this a little better. I understand that the amount of water that air can hold is dependent on temperature (by the way, the link didn’t come through). That much is clear. My question is: what is the formula that governs how additional CO2 puts more water vapor into the air and what is the mechanism by which that is asserted to happen? That is why I asked what the climate sensitivity is asserted to be for CO2 without water vapor, under the assumption (perhaps misunderstood) that there would then be a formulaic relationship that would add the water feedback in, thus resulting in the asserted 3°C per doubling of CO2. What are the intermediate steps expressed mathematically?

  402. foinavon, the formula is important at the lower end of the CO2 spectrum as well because it tells you something important about the expected relative humidity response of warming/GHGs.

    The formula at the extremes of the possible responses says that CO2/GHGs are responsible for nearly the entire greenhouse effect (when the secondary impact on water vapour is included).

    That says the assumptions included in the formulas and in the models is based on relative humidity staying broadly constant. If that is not expected to occur at the extremes, then maybe it is not accurate for the current spectrum of CO2/GHG values as well.

    If the formula does not hold through all possible values then how can we be sure it is valid for the current spectrum of values.

    What if relative humidity declines by 10% (4 percentage points) as GHGs reach their equilibrium forcing level. Warming then only amounts to 1.5C rather than 3.0C.

    I spelled this out in another chart more than a month ago (some of the values in the chart have changed since then.)

  403. Manfred (15:42:52) wrote:

    “Recently, the first experiment to measure the CFCs impact on the ozone layer has demonstrated, that the previously assumed and computer simulated mechanism was at least one order of magnitude weaker than expected.”

    I can’t find anything about this. Link?

  404. Rather confusingly Mr Wilde is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society however he is not entitled to use the FRMetSoc designation that indicates professional Meteorological experience or competence.

    The rules changed in 2003, before that it was possible for an enthusiastic layman or amateur to become a Fellow without any verified proof of Meteorological aptitude. Existing Fellows were not relieved of their title at the time of the rule change and may continue to use it as an honorarium.

    To be fair Wilde makes this clear in the first article of his series on CO2Sceptics site, yet still starts many subsequent pieces with Stephen Wilde has been a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society since 1968. which is bound to lead the casual reader to infer that they are reading a piece by a professional Meteorologist rather than an amateur.

    I too was struck by the contrast between this claim of Wilde’s academic recognition and the many errors of basic science in his writings, which led to an exchange with Mr Wilde on this very blog

    [Comments 09:02:38 onwards]

    Hope this unmuddies the waters a little.

    JP.

  405. <Re: Joel Shore (14:28:34) says

    Not sure where you get this from. It is an elementary physics problem to work out that the blackbody radiative temperature of the earth (having the albedo of ~30% in the visible that it does) corresponds to about -18 C (or 255 K). The reason why the average surface temperatures are significantly warmer than this (~15 C) is because of the greenhouse effect.

    ————————————————————

    No. That is incorrect. Your invocation of the blackbody radiative temperature of the earth concerns the radiation of our planet and the atmosphere, taken as a whole (the biosphere), radiating into space. That IS in radiative equilibrium, with the temperature of the system as you stated. My discussion with foinavon concerns the transfer of heat from the planet’s surface (the ocean) to the atmosphere, within that system, not our biosphere’s blackbody temperature, or radiation of heat into space. The transfer of heat from our planet’s surface to the upper atmosphere is mostly convective, not radiative.

    You are also mistaken concerning the nature of the greenhouse effect. Did you visit the links I provided? If there was no greenhouse effect to transport the heat away from our planet’s surface towards the upper atmosphere and the poles, primarily through convection, our planet’s surface temperature would average approximately 170 °F.

    Our biosphere is unequally heated by the sun. The greenhouse effect acts to transport heat from areas where there is more heat to areas where there is less heat, both horizontally across the planet’s surface and vertically within the atmosphere. The greenhouse effect also acts to ameliorate the difference between daytime highs and nighttime lows.

    Have you ever been to a desert area? The air there is very dry. It’s the reason why it can be blisteringly hot during the day, and still drop below freezing at night. Very little greenhouse effect.

    Cheers!

  406. Peter says:

    The temperature increase is from the total greenhouse effect of all greenhouse gases – including water vapor and CO2.

    Well, we are simply talking about different things. Looking back at the original post that I was responding to, it was talking about increasing CO2 levels and the water vapor feedback, not the original of the entire natural greenhouse effect. I agree that the large majority of the natural greenhouse effect is due to water vapor. (It is hard to ascribe a rigorous percentage of the effect to water vapor and CO2 because the effects are not additive.)

    By the way, I noticed in looking back at Phil’s original post that I never did answer this question of his:

    If the climate sensitivity is asserted to be 3°C per doubling of CO2, WITH water feedback, what is the climate sensitivity per doubling of CO2 WITHOUT water feedback supposed to be?

    Well, the “bare radiative effect” of doubling CO2 is to increase the temperature by about 1.1 C, give or take about a tenth of a degree. However, the water vapor feedback isn’t the only feedback effect to consider. There are other positive feedbacks like the ice-albedo feedback (land and sea ice melting makes the earth less reflective so it absorbs more solar energy), negative feedbacks like the the lapse rate feedback that I mentioned above, and then there is of course the feedback due to clouds. The cloud feedback is currently the biggest source of uncertainty and differences between the models.

  407. Re: foinavon (15:17:50)

    foinavon, I think you are confused. Atmospheric changes that result in a reduction of the transfer of the heat from the ocean to the atmosphere does not translate into; “Yes, there’s pretty good evidence that the atmosphere has warmed the oceans.”. Reduced cooling does not mean warming. The ocean is heated by the sun. Changes in the atmosphere cannot add additional heat to the ocean, it can only affect the rate at which heat is lost from the ocean, nothing more.

  408. Mind you, I am not saying that I endorse Hansen’s current view that there is a serious possibility that we could trigger a runaway greenhouse effect. However, if you want to effectively argue against it, you have to do so by actually presenting scientific arguments, not by attacking strawmen versions of Hansen’s scientific arguments.

    Actually Hansen needs to prove that it’s even possible. I don’t think he’s done that. Then he needs to explain why it hasn’t happened in the past.

  409. Re: foinavon (16:13:03)

    I have to agree with your assessment of Scotese’s temperature graph. I have searched (online only) for an explanation from him of this conclusion (his graph) and cannot locate it. I have read at various blogs and forums (sorry, no links) that what he did was to assume that if there was no evidence of ice at the poles, or continental glaciers, he assumed an average global temperature of 22 °C; with ice at the poles (or continental glaciers), he assumed an average global temperature of 12 °C. They were assumptions of the model that he used. The wiggles in between these temperatures were deduced from his analysis of the distribution of sedimentary rock types (and coal and fossils), their position on the planet, and the climatic conditions conducive to their formation. In other words, most of his temperature graph is modeled on assumptions, not data.

    If anyone is aware of information to the contrary, please post it.

  410. The temperature increase is from the total greenhouse effect of all greenhouse gases – including water vapor and CO2.
    Over the oceans, the water vapor is already there – its presence doesn’t depend on the presence of CO2 – and its greenhouse effect is very large compared to that of CO2, and even larger compared with the added CO2.
    So almost all of the greenhouse warming effect, from the time the sun rises and starts warming the ocean, is due to the water vapor itself.

    You mean tossing a lit match into a roaring fire won’t cause the fire to go runaway and explode??

  411. Joseph, you said:
    “Our biosphere is unequally heated by the sun. The greenhouse effect acts to transport heat from areas where there is more heat to areas where there is less heat, both horizontally across the planet’s surface and vertically within the atmosphere. The greenhouse effect also acts to ameliorate the difference between daytime highs and nighttime lows.”
    —————————–

    Does this suggest that a more complete greenhouse, with much more water vapor might actually make the deserts cooler during the day and warmer at night? Might the poles warm and open up areas for habitation? Might the increase of water vapor in the atmosphere lessen the sea level rise? Might any lands lost to sea level rise be replaced by more temperate regions being created? I know this is extremely speculative on my part. But nothing whatsoever is more speculative than catastrophic global warming.

  412. Joel Shore (18:41:44) :

    “Well, the “bare radiative effect” of doubling CO2 is to increase the temperature by about 1.1 C, give or take about a tenth of a degree.”

    Thanks. Do you have a source for that?

    Also, disregarding for the moment other factors,I would like to try to understand the asserted water feedback contribution specifically. How does that happen and what is the mathematical formulation that describes it?

  413. Joel Shore:

    It is hard to ascribe a rigorous percentage of the effect to water vapor and CO2 because the effects are not additive.

    But this is a fundamental point, as water vapor exists over the vast bulk of the earth’s surface – wherever liquid water exists,
    If you cannot ascribe a rigorous percentage to this then you cannot know with any degree of accuracy anything on which this depends.

  414. Sorry, that should have read, “If you cannot ascribe a rigorous percentage to this then you cannot know with any degree of accuracy anything which depends on this.”

  415. @Joel Shore
    you write:
    “Since the air is colder as you go higher in the atmosphere and the intensity of radiation goes as the fourth power of the temperature, this means that the earth is now radiating less energy…”

    I have read this more times, still not realy being able to understand your logic.

    and you write:

    “This means it will warm up until such point that the upper atmosphere has warmed enough that the earth is now radiating as much as it receives”

    Still, your logic, your point? The warmer the more radiation, as you know. Please rephrase, I don’t understand.

    You write:
    “Although greenhouse gases play an important role in the overall radiation budget, the atmosphere mixes heat well enough that the… ”

    Aha, so you thinkIPCC´s idea of a (not mixed!) hot spot is wrong?

    But then you write:

    “a more likely explanation is that the data that show the hotspot for the temperature fluctuations is correct and the data that have had a tendency not to show the hotspot for the longterm trends is not correct…And, the hotspot is really there.”

    :-) Now you believe that tere IS a hotspot ?!

    To be honest: My impression is that you realy believe in the AGW, and try to argue in east and west, im sorry :-)

    K.R. Frank Lansner

  416. @Mike Bryant :

    You write:
    “I believe that the hot spot is hiding wherever the extra heat is hiding… in the pipeline somewhere. It is SO obvious.”

    “I believe that the hot spot is hiding wherever the extra heat is hiding”
    And where is that?

    This reminds me of the opinion that we will see a jump in temperatures soon up to the predicted warming trend. Except the big buffer of heat, the oceans, have only been cooling. So where is the warming hiding?? On the moon?

    But IPCC predicted over the tropics, 5-15 km up. So if you believe that it will appear elsewhere, you are out of line with IPCC. Which for me is no problem, though.

  417. Phil says:

    Thanks. Do you have a source for that?

    I am sure that you can find it somewhere in the IPCC report. You can also derive it, approximately at least, by using the blackbody equation for radiation balance between the earth and sun plus the fact that doubling CO2 changes the radiative forcing at the top of the atmosphere by about 4 W/m^2.

    Also, disregarding for the moment other factors,I would like to try to understand the asserted water feedback contribution specifically. How does that happen and what is the mathematical formulation that describes it?

    Sorry that I forgot the link for the C-C equation. You can find it here: http://chemed.chem.purdue.edu/genchem/topicreview/bp/ch14/clausius.php

    As for any simple mathematical formulation for the complete water vapor feedback, I don’t think there is any that I know of. The computed feedback comes out of the climate models (and, even then, I think there may be a little bit of “play” in how you define a certain temperature change to this feedback since the feedbacks can interact with each other and so are not strictly additive or multiplicative).

    I once wrote up a simplified model of the water vapor feedback that assumed the fact that the dependence of temperature on CO2 concentration was logarithmic , the dependence of temperature on water vapor on concentration was logarithmic, and the dependence of water vapor concentration on temperature maintained constant relative humidity. It was useful to illustrate some basic principles of the feedback but it was clearly a simplified model and it had at least one parameter (the coefficient for the dependence of temperature on water vapor on concentration) that I didn’t have any good estimate for and just ended up estimating by working backwards from what I knew to be the approximate estimated strength of the water vapor feedback.

  418. Joseph says:

    You are also mistaken concerning the nature of the greenhouse effect. Did you visit the links I provided? If there was no greenhouse effect to transport the heat away from our planet’s surface towards the upper atmosphere and the poles, primarily through convection, our planet’s surface temperature would average approximately 170 °F.

    Our biosphere is unequally heated by the sun. The greenhouse effect acts to transport heat from areas where there is more heat to areas where there is less heat, both horizontally across the planet’s surface and vertically within the atmosphere. The greenhouse effect also acts to ameliorate the difference between daytime highs and nighttime lows.

    It is true that the number that I quoted of -18 C for the blackbody temperature of the earth assumes infinitely fast transport of heat across the earth so that it is at a uniform temperature. However, the effect of the temperature being non-uniform is actually to LOWER, not raise that average temperature. (This is because the heat radiated depends on the fourth power of the temperature. So, as a simple example, if half of the earth was at 0 K and the other half was at 510 K [double the 255 K, i.e., -18 C] then the average temperature would be 255 K but the amount of heat radiated would be much larger than if the entire earth was at 255 K…in fact, 8X as large, because of the strongly nonlinear dependence of heat radiated on the temperature…So, clearly the average temperature of such an unequal earth has to be lower.)

    So, I can’t see how you can possibly get the result that the AVERAGE temperature of the earth in the absence of the greenhouse effect would be 170 F, although depending on the assumptions you make concerning heat transport on a greenhouse-less earth, I see how you could potentially get a result that says that the temperature of the part facing the sun could be this high.

  419. In regards to Hansen’s runaway greenhouse possibility, if your model is based on unrealistic GHG impacts, one could see how a runaway greenhouse event could occur.

    As the final piece of evidence why the global warming models (and foinavon’s formula) are unrealistically high, consider what happens over geologic time when CO2 levels were as high as 3,000 ppm or 7,000 ppm for example.

    Hansen’s model and foinavon’s formula produce temperatures that are as much as 12C to 13C higher than current temps which does not appear to have happened in Earth’s climate history.

    While the warming to date Log or Ln formulas produce warming levels of 6C to 8C which more closely matches the temperature record – whether you use the Scotese chart or the more-up-to-date higher resolution ones from Wikipedia/global warming art

    – note that the Sun was a little weaker as you go back farther in time and the position of the continents over geologic time is important as well – the more the continents are weighted toward the poles, the colder Earth’s climate becomes – 600 million years ago and 300 million years ago, more than half of the continents were locked together over the south pole which created huge continental glaciers and cooled the planet – glaciers do not form on the ocean – ocean circulation patterns were much different when deep ocean currents could enter the Arctic through the Pacific or cross from the Atlantic to the Pacific between the America’s continents etc. etc.

    – Warming Models over geologic time:

    – Earth’s Temp history over the last 540 million years:

    – CO2 estimates over the last 540 million years (Berner’s GeoCarb III yellow-orange line is the most accepted):

  420. Joseph (18:42:52) :

    I think we’re completely on the same wavelength. My comment that you are questioning was made in a post [23.12.2008 (05:53:08)] illustrating that the evidence supports that the ocean surface is warming due to enhanced greenhouse forcing (rather than as inferred from ill-characterized ideas about redistribution of heat from the deep and so on).

    So it’s really an answer to the questions why has the ocean surface warmed during the last 40 years</i?…or why has the heat content of the surface layers of the oceans increased so much since the 1960’s

    The answer is that changes in the composition of the atmosphere has increased the radiative imbalance resulting in the accumulation of “excess” heat in the oceans. That’s the respect in which one can say it’s the atmosphere that has warmed the oceans. If one considers the mechanism my statement is lazy and your explanation (but not Mr. Wilde’s!) is fine.

    And “reduced cooling” does mean “more warming”, if during a previous nearer-equilibrium state (e.g. as described in the NOAA site you linked to) the cooling was more or less balanced by warming (heat input and output near equilibrium). That’s the only way one can accomodate your idea of “reduced cooling” with the extant reality of warming!

    However one swings it, enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations has resulted in a rather significant radiative imbalance which has resulted in a very significant penetration of warmth into the ocean surface layers which have warmed as a result (and I mean this in the same sense as [***]).

    [***] T. P. Barnett et al. (2005) Penetration of Human-Induced Warming into the World’s Oceans Science 309, 284 – 287.

  421. Frank. Lansner,
    You said:

    “This reminds me of the opinion that we will see a jump in temperatures soon up to the predicted warming trend. Except the big buffer of heat, the oceans, have only been cooling. So where is the warming hiding?? On the moon?”

    Well, so many people were jumping on Joel that I was feeling sorry for him so I thought I would help him out. It’s not his fault that the extra heat is so good at hiding from us.

    Mike Bryant

  422. Bill Illis

    As the final piece of evidence why the global warming models (and foinavon’s formula) are unrealistically high, consider what happens over geologic time when CO2 levels were as high as 3,000 ppm or 7,000 ppm for example.

    Hansen’s model and foinavon’s formula produce temperatures that are as much as 12C to 13C higher than current temps which does not appear to have happened in Earth’s climate history.

    That was explained already Bill (see [24:12:08 ((08:45:58)]). The radiative forcing is a consequence of both the solar irradiation and the greenhouse gas concentrations. If the greenhouse gas concentrations reach levels previously only realized in the Paleozoic, and the solar constant is some 5% higher now than then, the nett radiative forcing will be much higher now than then. So we expect temperatures to go higher (with very large CO2 concentrations as in the “all coal and tar-shale” we’re discussing here). Of course these are somewhat hypothetical, since we’re very likely not to be so foolish as to engage in a gung-ho oxidation of long-sequestered carbon on such a scale!

    Incidentally, of course temperatures were higher than 12-13 oC above current temperatures early in earth’s history…

    While the warming to date Log or Ln formulas produce warming levels of 6C to 8C which more closely matches the temperature record – whether you use the Scotese chart or the more-up-to-date higher resolution ones from Wikipedia/global warming art

    That’s illogical unfortunately. One can’t properly assess the earth’s climate sensitivity from “the warming to date” as seems to have been pointed out to you on a number of occasions! Of course climate models demonstrate that contemporary warming is consistent with a climate sensitivity (incorporating short term feedbacks) near 3 oC. But one can really only assess the climate sensitivity by analysis of periods where the earth’s temperature response has had “time” to come towards equilibrium with forcings. That’s what Hansen has done, along with many other analyses of cliamte sensitivity.

    It would be foolish to attempt to understand these issues with analyses that we know to be incorrect while ignoring/pooh-poohing the science! Stephen Schwartz’s misanalysis of heat capacity effects with arbitrarily determined time constants illustrates the mess one can get into.

  423. Frank Lasner says:

    I have read this more times, still not realy being able to understand your logic.

    Still, your logic, your point? The warmer the more radiation, as you know. Please rephrase, I don’t understand.

    I don’t know how I can explain it more clearly. What exactly is tripping you up?

    Aha, so you thinkIPCC´s idea of a (not mixed!) hot spot is wrong?

    No…That is not what I am saying. In fact, I am saying pretty much the opposite. The hot spot comes about because of what I said: You don’t get the structure of the temperature in the atmosphere by figuring out where the greenhouse gases absorb the heat (as you would if the atmosphere did not mix the heat around). The structure is instead determined by other things…In the tropical atmosphere it is determined by convection in air that is saturated at or pretty near ground level…and the implications of this is the hot spot because of the physics of moist (saturated) adiabatic lapse rate theory.

    :-) Now you believe that tere IS a hotspot ?!

    I’ve always believed there is a hotspot. It is a robust prediction of the models based on a very basic piece of physics. It is seen to occur for fluctuations on the yearly timescales. The only data that I know of for which there has been difficulty observing it (depending on what analysis of the data you believe) is for the trends over the multidecadal time period, over which there are known issues with the data.

    So, my prediction is that once all the “dust has settled” in regards to the observational data, the hotspot will be there. (Although, I have pointed out that if it is not there, it does not really have any direct implications for what the cause of the warming that we have been seeing is; It would of course have implications for how well we understand [and have codified in the climate models] some basic atmospheric processes in the tropics.)

    To be honest: My impression is that you realy believe in the AGW, and try to argue in east and west, im sorry :-)

    I get the impression that you are understanding very little of what I am saying and are misinterpreting what I say as a result.

  424. Not really Hank. “Signal” just means “indicator” or “pattern”. It’s a fairly common designation. e.g.:

    Palmer MD et al. (2007) Isolating the signal of ocean global warming. Geophys. Res. Lett. 34, L23610

  425. For those interested in a very thorough deconstruction of the AGW scam by an internationally esteemed scientist, see Dr. Pierre Latour’s “Author’s Reply” [second letter down]: click

  426. foinavon

    I understand what an advection signal is. My question is, what’s the quality of the signal. Probably it amounts to something like this: In the last 40 years there is some probability that there was not cooling but warming; provided temperature fluctuations of longer or shorter time frames have not muddied this signal. In other words it would be as worthwhile as a single tally mark which has been erased and repenciled til you can barely make out what state it’s in.

  427. Re: Mike Bryant (21:16:53)

    Does this suggest that a more complete greenhouse, with much more water vapor might actually make the deserts cooler during the day and warmer at night? Might the poles warm and open up areas for habitation? Might the increase of water vapor in the atmosphere lessen the sea level rise? Might any lands lost to sea level rise be replaced by more temperate regions being created? I know this is extremely speculative on my part. But nothing whatsoever is more speculative than catastrophic global warming.

    Mike, I’m not sure if I understand your question, but if you are referring to an increase in the average global humidity increasing the overall greenhouse effect (since water vapor is currently the most significant GHG) and raising average global temperatures, then I think some of those things could happen, as they did during the Medieval Warm Period, whatever the cause.

    Yes, more land could be rendered habitable. That’s what happened in Iceland during the MWP. There are property records there for farms that existed during the MWP that today are covered by glaciers. There is no farming at all in Iceland today. And Greenland was called that because it was green during the MWP. Trees grew there even, the roots of which can be found in the permafrost today. Yes, I think the increase in habitable land could offset any coastlines that are drowned should the ocean level rise. The net change for individual countries is a different matter.

    I don’t think the polar areas would become habitable, though. I don’t think water vapor is a strong enough GHG to accomplish that, among other reasons.

    I think the deserts would stay as they are. They are dry because of little to no precipitation and I don’t think an increase in the average global humidity would change that.

    In general, warmer is better for humanity overall. Humans have suffered the worst during the coldest periods.

  428. “The claim seems to be that heat forms a signal in the oceans analogous to sound or electromagnetic energy.”

    Hmmmmm, that IS a pretty good way to hide I guess. But I think I figured out where the heat is really hiding. On Jennifer Marohasey’s blog Janama asked this:

    “So why is the supposed CO2 induced warming only occuring in the NH and in the most unpopulated areas of it? i.e. Russia, Alaska and Canada.”

    Now that is a really good question. I propose that the published temperatures in these sparsely populated areas are actually being UNDERestimated by such a large margin that when the data is corrected we will need a really scary new color to paint all these unpopulated areas with. No one anywhere will be able to argue that Global Warming is a big hoax!

    I mean, think about it… if you wanted to really hide good isn’t an unpopulated area the best possible place to do it?

  429. Manfred (15:42:52) :

    Thanks for the link (re new research on ozone breakdown via CFCs).

    That lead me to this:

    http://www.ncas.ac.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=147&Itemid=9

    That’s the full article (partially quoted in your link).

    It’s a little bit different than you described it!

    Basically, some new lab results conflict with older lab results about the chemical mechanism for CFC breakdown. That means that ozone-depletion models (which are based on the older lab results) will probably have to be revised.

    It was not “the first experiment to measure the CFCs impact on the ozone layer”, as you stated.

    It does not put into doubt the current consensus that CFCs are responsible for ozone depletion; it does mean that the exact chemical pathway is still only partially understood.

  430. Joseph,
    I wonder if the atmosphere is capable of holding enough water vapor to bring practically the entire earth to one temperate climate. Also how much would it take?

  431. @Joel Shore, as I said, I did not understand your logic of your core point to begin with, you write:
    “Since the air is colder as you go higher in the atmosphere and the intensity of radiation goes as the fourth power of the temperature, this means that the earth is now radiating less energy…”

    The air is always colder further up in the atmosphere, so according to your sentence, earth should always radiate less energy. Im sure you don’t think like this, so you leave the reader to guess what your point might be.

    MAYBE you accept that temperatures in higher atmospheric layers have been cooling for years? And is now colder then decades ago? And it is this now relative cold air in upper layers that drives the warming? This however is not in compliance with your believe that there is indeed a hotspot up there ?!
    But IF my guess above is correct, then you believe that a colder thin outer atmosphere should be able to hold back the energy radiated from earth (by allowing less radiation from earth?). As you say yourself, the radiation changes from very cold thin air is extreeeemely small compared to radiation from much warmer ground level.

    Then your phrase: “This means it will warm up until such point that the upper atmosphere has warmed enough that the earth is now radiating as much as it receives”
    This suggest that my guess before was maybe correct.
    Tell me then: The cooling of the upper layers, that you think drives global warming (?)
    – When did it begin? When did it end?

    As it is the cooling of upper layers you believe drives global warming (?), now that you say that the upper layers are warming, the pace of global warming is taking of then?

    And further as I quoted earlier you write that the atmophere “mixes up” (as explanation for no hotspot) And later you write that you expect a hotspot. Im sorry, but its very very difficult to have good dialog when you have no CLEAR writing to deal with.

    Heres you explain NO HOTSPOTS, I believe:
    “the atmosphere mixes heat well enough that the structure of the warming is not determined by where the greenhouse gases happen to absorb additional energy.”

    So why did IPCC expect a hotspot?? And why do you??

  432. From Chris’ link:

    He said that he found it extremely hard to believe that an unknown mechanism could account for the bulk of observed ozone losses.

    The ozone holes were only discovered little more than two decades ago. Because the ozone layer can only be measured by satellites, historical data simply doesn’t exist. How then do they know that the holes haven’t always existed? How do they know that they aren’t a cyclical phenomenon?

    But they have their mechanism, their mechanism just has to explain things, and they aren’t looking for any other mechanism.

    A bit like AGW, isn’t it?

  433. Frank Lansner

    re your comments:

    @Joel Shore, as I said, I did not understand your logic of your core point to begin with, you write:
    “Since the air is colder as you go higher in the atmosphere and the intensity of radiation goes as the fourth power of the temperature, this means that the earth is now radiating less energy…”

    The air is always colder further up in the atmosphere, so according to your sentence, earth should always radiate less energy. Im sure you don’t think like this, so you leave the reader to guess what your point might be.

    Frank, It’s not the logic of joels points that you don’t understand. It’s the principles you don’t understand. And you seem to be misrepresenting joel’s rather clear exposition and then complaining about your own misrepresentation.

    joel’s “core point” as you put it, has an important preceding sentence and an important following sentence that you left out. Here’s what joel said:

    “…the effect of increasing CO2, as we’ve discussed above, is to increase the effective level from which most of the radiation is escaping back into space. Since the air is colder as you go higher in the atmosphere and the intensity of radiation goes as the fourth power of the temperature, this means that the earth is now radiating less energy…and less than it is receiving from the sun. This means it will warm up until such point that ithe upper atmosphere has warmed enough that the earth is now radiating as much as it receives.”

    so it’s you that is “leaving the reader to guess what” joel’s “point might be”. Happily we only have to go back and read what joel actually said to understand his point rather well. Here it is again in my words:

    1. Increased atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations result in increased absorption in the atmosphere of longwave IR emitted from the earths surface. At any particular level in the troposphere, less IR will be emitted to space.

    2. However the LWIR must eventually be dissipated to space. On average it will do so from a higher, and colder altitude where the radiation of energy is less efficient (inverse fourth power dependence on temperature).

    3. Therefore there is a radiative imbalance. Less energy is being emitted than is being received by the sun.

    4. The Earth and it’s atmosphere therefore tends towards a new thermal equilibrium. All of the layers warm up (including the surface), such that the temperature of the upper regions of the atmosphere where radiation is lost to space is sufficiently warm for radiative equilibrium to be restored.

    and you might want to consider how this admonishment….:

    Im sorry, but its very very difficult to have good dialog when you have no CLEAR writing to deal with.

    …looks in the light of this sort of gibberish:

    Frank Lansner:

    Heres you explain NO HOTSPOTS, I believe:”

  434. Peter

    About three months ago there was some work by a researcher working in America claiming the Ozone hole would be the largest ever in 2008 because of cosmic rays.

    That set me wondering about the subject along the lines of your post, that how do we know that the ozone hole hasn’t always existed and may actually be historically low at present?

    I contacted both the Max Planck institute and Cambridge University-world leaders in this field and got a reply from one. My question and their reply follows-names deleted for confidentiality

    My question;
    ” Firstly, how do we know that the ozone hole hasn’t always been there and it isn’t actually historically rather small compared to the past? In this respect I would mention I am an (amateur) historian and (amateur) climatologist, and there seems to be an analogy with satellite records of the arctic ice which enables commentators to proclaim 2007 as recording the lowest ice extent since records began. They omit that records only began in 1979- and also omit the numerous well documented records of the melting of the arctic ice through the ages which puts the current episode into historical perspective.

    Within that context I discovered the following item on ozone depletion dating from 2007;

    “As the world marks 20 years since the introduction of the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer, Nature has learned of experimental data that threaten to shatter established theories of ozone chemistry. If the data are right, scientists will have to rethink their understanding of how ozone holes are formed and how that relates to climate change.

    Markus Rex, an atmosphere scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany, did a double-take when he saw new data for the break-down rate of a crucial molecule, dichlorine peroxide (Cl2O2). The rate of photolysis (light-activated splitting) of this molecule reported by chemists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California1, was extremely low in the wavelengths available in the stratosphere – almost an order of magnitude lower than the currently accepted rate.

    “This must have far-reaching consequences,” Rex says. “If the measurements are correct we can basically no longer say we understand how ozone holes come into being.” What effect the results have on projections of the speed or extent of ozone depletion remains unclear.

    Other groups have yet to confirm the new photolysis rate, but the conundrum is already causing much debate and uncertainty in the ozone research community. “Our understanding of chloride chemistry has really been blown apart,” says John Crowley, an ozone researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry in Mainz, Germany.

    “Until recently everything looked like it fitted nicely,” agrees Neil Harris, an atmosphere scientist who heads the European Ozone Research Coordinating Unit at the University of Cambridge, UK. “Now suddenly it’s like a plank has been pulled out of a bridge.”

    ‘Checking further back I then find that the scientist concerned in this latest finding, Qing-Bin Lu, had also- whilst at a different University- researched this new ozone hole theory as far back as 2001. I am assuming that the scientist is highly competent or he would not have been given the facilities to research the theory for at least seven years.

    The ozone hole, though smaller than 2006, is still very substantial with possibly several more weeks before maximum dependent on the temperature in the stratosphere being conducive. Qing-Bin Lu had forecast this year would be the greatest depletion ever, so whether or not being very close to the record would be considered a success or a failure I can’t comment

    Consequently I am asking if your own research has confirmed or denied the theory, or whether you remain undecided on the subject?’

    Reply as follows;

    “Thank you for your email. Here are some replies to the points you raise.

    1 Measurements of ozone over Antarctica started in 1956 from ground stations and show that levels were roughly constant until around 1980. The satellite record started in 1970 and has been continuous since 1979. The two records are entirely consistent with each other and with other measurements such as the vertical distribution of ozone measured by ozonesondes and upper air temperature and wind measurements. The length of geophysical records is an important consideration in their interpretation, and it is always important to see how consistent our understanding (theoretical and related measurements) of the current situation is with the long-term behaviour. In the case of the Antarctic ozone hole, there is additional overwhelming evidence that the combination of atmospheric dynamics and the atmospheric chemistry related to CFCs causes the annual decline in ozone each year. Basically we can see that the annual decline is cause by chlorine chemistry and we know that stratospheric chlorine comes principally from CFC which were not present, say, a hundred years ago. The evidence is very well documented in a number of places and I will not repeat it here. The question as to whether conditions in the past could have led to an ozone hole by a completely different mechanism is an interesting one, but it does not affect our confidence in the fact that CFCs are responsible for the current ozone hole.

    2. The new laboratory measurement of Cl2O2 by Pope et al has received a great deal of scientific attention internationally over the last year. As discussed by Pope et al., the analysis of the raw laboratory measurements is tricky and has uncertainties associated with it. Four independent laboratory groups are making new measurements of the process with different techniques and I anticipate that the results will be known in the next few months. In the meantime, careful analysis of existing laboratory and field measurements shows that either we are missing an important constituent which behaves like Cl2O2 or the new measurement is in error. Only time will tell which is right.

    3. To the best of my knowledge, Qing-Bin Lu was not involved in any way in the Pope et al. study. He/she was certainly not involved as an author and is not mentioned in the acknowledgements. My views on the atmospheric relevance of Qing-Bin Lu’s work (completely different to the Pope et al work) are best described in my comment on his/her Phys Rev Lett paper in 2001 published subsequently in that journal. I have seen nothing in subsequent publications by Dr Lu to change my view that the atmospheric significance of the processes under consideration is small at most. I agree fully with R. Muller’s comment on Dr Lu’s most recent paper.”

    Peter, this is a complex subject and it appears the hole is caused by extremely low temperatures in the Stratosphere (ironically) and as such is thought to be only possible at the Antarctic- although no one has proof of this because records are so recent.

    As it turns out the ozone hole in 2008 was the second largest on record. Prior to three months ago I would have been 100% certain man was the cause because thats what everyone says-having looked into it and seen there is some debate I would now say I am only 80% certain. I haven’t seen any follow up from Dr Lu on the 2008 event.

    TonyB

  435. @foinavon
    You seem to interpret Joel understand than me. I understand

    “However, this all has essentially nothing to do with the prediction of the “hotspot” in the tropical atmosphere. Although greenhouse gases play an important role in the overall radiation budget, the atmosphere mixes heat well enough that the structure of the warming is not determined by where the greenhouse gases happen to absorb additional energy.

    As he writes that the greenhouse gasses are mixed, I get the impression that he means this would not lead to a specific “hot spot”.
    But later he does write that he believes in a hot spot.
    For you maybe this is all clear, I hope you have the same tolerance for all views.

    Joels writing originally was response to my words:

    “So to me, we have a CO2-hypothesis on the following ground:
    1) It is proven not to work at ground level.
    2) Results from real world shows that no warming is seen at high altitudes.
    3) IF there had been a measurable effect at high altitudes, any warming transferal to ground level should happen by “heat radiation” emitted by thin -59 degrees cold air. “

    You write:
    “1. Increased atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations result in increased absorption in the atmosphere of longwave IR emitted from the earths surface. At any particular level in the troposphere, less IR will be emitted to space.

    But… we do agree, that the effect of adding CO2 at ground level, ground pressure, is very very tiny?? If you think that there is an effect of adding CO2 in the atmosphere at ground level, the lower kilometers, could you provide this with documentation?
    Angstrom now proven wrong also at ground level?? Realy?

    If you cannot support this information we are left a fact, that the CO2-adding effect must reside in the upper layers of the atmosphere only. Just as predicted by IPCC with their “hotspot”.
    And this DOES leave my initial point 3) totally unanswered. Im waiting the answer.

    My point 2) : For a long time no one could argue that measurements said that the upper atmosphere had indeed only cooled. Then came i believe a version 1,4 of raobcore (if i remember correct) suddenly adjusted so that this dataset unlike UAH and more now shows a mixed story of what happened with temperatures in the upper atmosphere.
    So if we only look at data – the newest versions – the picture is mixed.
    The difference between you and me then is, that I believe more the not-adjusted data than the adjusted data.
    Your whole point is totaly dependent on the adjusted data.

    Does it never occur to you that whenever data sets are corrected strongly its always in favour of AGW. You must know that statistically this is not possible. Its not possible to throw a dice allways with the same result. Its just not possible. Does it ever make you hesitate for one second that the data you praise has this severe problem?

  436. It does not put into doubt the current consensus that CFCs are responsible for ozone depletion; it does mean that the exact chemical pathway is still only partially understood.

    Or how CFCs only affect the poles where they would have the LEASTconcentration.

  437. Frank Lansner,

    Yes, the basic mechanisms of the greenhouse effect are quite well understood.

    i’m not sure what you mean about the troposphere and its temperature measurements. The UAH analysis has had to be corrected repeatedly over the years, but that’s unfortunately just an indication of a long series of errors by it’s practitioners. The fact that they messed up doesn’t mean that the troposphere hasn’t warmed…

  438. @Foinavon

    Heres a link:

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps

    Now check it out for 400 mb (7,5km) 250 mb (11 km), 150 mb(14km), 90 mb (17km) etc.
    You will see that temperatures has a falling tendensy indeed. And yes i have seen several of UAH´s adjustments. But compared to typical pro-agw adjustments, they seem to me small and most of all random in their direction.

    So i believe that you and Joel should be more nuanced if you are claiming that temperatures at high levels are rising at high altitude. If you claim that the IPCC-hotspot is a reality. Because that version is not on thick ice.

  439. Chris V wrote:
    It does not put into doubt the current consensus that CFCs are responsible
    for ozone depletion; it does mean that the exact chemical pathway is still only
    partially understood.

    We have to wait and see what will come next.
    Your quote implies that there is a mechanism and it is simply not yet fully understood.
    A mechanism however has to be fully understood, otherwise it is no valid thesis that can be tested. I don’t know how far developped other mechanism are such as the cosmic ray mechanism but if a cosmic ray mechanism exists, it would currently be the only existing mechanism.

    Satellite and previous measurement may show a correlation between CFC and ozone depletion, but correlation may also be random. I think it is even unclear how long the ozone hole has to continue to exist, until the the CFC mechanism is proven or disproven.

  440. The conversation on this thread (bar a few examples) assumes that James Hansen is presenting science.

    I think that the assumption is wrong – and will remain wrong – until James Hansen is forthcoming with openly and transparently publishing the following.

    (1) Raw Temperature Data.
    (2) A clear description of the instruments used to gather the raw temperature data, their characteristics, calibrations, and current maintenance activities and maintenance schedules.
    (3) All computer programs and data handling algorithms used on the raw data.
    (4) A Design Description for the computer programs and data handling algorithms detailing the motivations for the programs and algorithms.
    (5) A Design Description for the temperature data archiving, and storage process.
    (6) A description and schedule for an independent audit process on the above elements to ensure that they continue to operate as described in the design descriptions.
    (7) All of the above kept up to date with the release of each new temperature results by GISS.

    Until I can be assured that the data is not being mishandled. How can I trust it.

    Also the open and transparent publishing of both data and results are prime characteristics of science. And there absence is indicative that James Hansen is not performing science.

    I am happy to be proven wrong – the challenge to the AGW Camp is there.

    To the AGW Camp – Please provide working links to the above, or provide a cogent argument that “open and transparent publishing of both data and results are NOT prime characteristics of science”.

    Obviously, science that is of military or commercial interest would not be affected by the openness and transparency characteristic.

    But we are talking about publically funded science that is meant to be generating a public good.

  441. Correction…

    “open and transparent publishing of both data and results”

    Should read ““open and transparent publishing of both data and Methods

  442. @Graeme Rodaughan (13:35:15) :

    You are correct. Your list below (perhaps with a little adjustment) should be a demand repeated again again again again again again and again.
    It would be so nice if a such “demand” could be posted as a seperate new subject here at WUWT. It should be in a way so that everyone could link to the article when they refuse to use GISS data.
    A “puplic demand to glasnost in GISS temperature data”.

    The list of what should be made puplic right away to restore trust in GISS:

    (1) Raw Temperature Data.
    (2) A clear description of the instruments used to gather the raw temperature data, their characteristics, calibrations, and current maintenance activities and maintenance schedules.
    (3) All computer programs and data handling algorithms used on the raw data.
    (4) A Design Description for the computer programs and data handling algorithms detailing the motivations for the programs and algorithms.
    (5) A Design Description for the temperature data archiving, and storage process.
    (6) A description and schedule for an independent audit process on the above elements to ensure that they continue to operate as described in the design descriptions.
    (7) All of the above kept up to date with the release of each new temperature results by GISS.

    I hope to see this demand more and more places :-) I certainly think this would not be want the GISS would like…. for a good reason. I think it would be the night mare for GISS.

  443. Frank. Lansner (15:30:44) & Graeme Rodaughan (13:37:57)
    The same should be said about the Paleoclimate Reconstruction Challenge.

  444. A few brief comments on the foinavon reply:

    “I’m not trying to “nail you” but this highlights a real problem with information, which might be that if you source information from sites designed to misrepresent the science, you are very likely to get the wrong end of the stick more generally.”

    How can you make such a vague response to the criticism that the Santer paper you are pointing to as “proof” has been discredited? A highly evasive response…

    I wrote: “Could you provide some links please on published criticisms of this data? …”

    Your reply: “But surely you can interpret the graphs in the same way that I can.”

    Translation: “No, I can’t”

    Your reply: “Its a profound problem if you can only assess the science after it’s been “filtered” through some dodgy web site somewhere!”

    That “dodgy website” is written by a well respected peer reviewed climate researcher. I suppose you mean it’s “dodgy” if it’s critical of your opinion. Don’t resort to rubbishing people you don’t agree with. Stick to the science please.

    You have written many long replies full of opinions but lacking in content or worthwhile referenced links. A reminder of some of the questions put to you that remain outstanding and which you have so far evaded:

    1. References to published criticisms of the temperate data in respected journals for the temperature data in which you’ve expressed the opinion that it’s “unreliable.” One wouldn’t want to think you are getting your information from “dodgy” websites. ;-)

    2. A non-evasive response to the Santer paper and its problems.

    3. Links to published papers on atmospheric aerosol effects in relation to past cooling events in the previous century. This is CRITICAL for propping AGW theory. You just can’t tip toe over it…

    You’ve made lots of bold proclamations. It’s 500+ postings so far. It’s time to stop posting opinions and provide some links to the key claims you’ve made.

    Thanks.

  445. If climate sensitivity is logarithmic as often surmised, then 3 deg C for 2 times CO2 depends on where you are on the graph of CO2. 100 ppm to 200 ppm is a different place to 300 ppm to 600 ppm.

  446. Geoff Sherrington (21:17:32) :
    If climate sensitivity is logarithmic as often surmised, then 3 deg C for 2 times CO2 depends on where you are on the graph of CO2. 100 ppm to 200 ppm is a different place to 300 ppm to 600 ppm.

    I’m afraid not Geoff, a y=log(x) plot shows the same increase in y for the same ratio change in x.

  447. Will,

    That “dodgy website” is written by a well respected peer reviewed climate researcher. I suppose you mean it’s “dodgy” if it’s critical of your opinion. Don’t resort to rubbishing people you don’t agree with. Stick to the science please.

    and

    : References to published criticisms of the temperate data in respected journals for the temperature data in which you’ve expressed the opinion that it’s “unreliable.” One wouldn’t want to think you are getting your information from “dodgy” websites. ;-)

    You’re confused here I think or just haven’t been paying attention. I have no problem with Scotese’s very nice paleogeology site as I’ve said several times. Unfortunately the paleotemperature sketch pulled from there, denuded, and dumped at the top of this thread doesn’t bear much relationship to what we know of paleotemperature. And as you well know, my reference to “dodgy website” refers to wherever you “sourced” the awesomely false interpretation about the time period of Santers tropospheric temperature analysis.

    I linked to a more up to date and properly sourced paleotemperature data set here [25.12.08 (16:13:03)]. It’s got all the scientific literature sources cited below.

    Your reply: “But surely you can interpret the graphs in the same way that I can.”

    Translation: “No, I can’t”

    Leaving aside the fact that I’ve linked to some rather more reliable paletemperature data [25.12.08 (16:13:03)], and listed around 10 scientific papers that address the relationship between paleoCO2 and paleotemp [22.12.08 (10:47:01), there must be some point at which you can make an independent judgement of data/arguments. Otherwise you’re hopelessly susceptible to being suckered by those with the most “convincing” propaganda/misrepresentation.

    This thread is about Hansens AGU presentation. He’s assessing climate sensitivity (the relation between the earths surface temperature and atmospheric CO2 levels), and the consequences of massive release of CO2 within scenarios that mankind oxidises all the carbon sequestered in coal and tar shale. If we wish to assess Hansen’s analyses reliably we should be considering appropriate CO2 concentrations (not a graph so heavily biased by the completely inappropriate 0-100 ppm range to give the impression that temperatures seem unresponse to CO2 above several hundred ppm); we need to be aware of the truism that Hansens scenarios can only be addressed in the knowledge that 3000 ppm CO2 gives a much higher forcing now than 450 million years ago when the solar constant was 5% weaker; if we want to understand the relationship between paleoT and paleoCO2 we can’t use a crude sketch of paleotemperature that bears little relation to the science, overlaid with a data-free model of paleCO (Berner’s very nice Geocarb model has a time resolution is 1 point every 10 million years). We can only assess the true relationships between paleoT and paleoCO2 in those specific circumstances where we have contemporaneous paleoT and paleo CO2 data [see 22.12.08 (10:47:01)]. And so on…

    These are all self-evident aren’t they Will? We don’t need to hunt around the web for some reassurance or “criticism”. We can decide for ourselves. After all that’s what well-informed policymakers and their scientific advisors are doing. We’re going to become increasingly divorced from informed-understanding of these issue if we’re unable to address the science without it first being “filtered” through someone else’s reinterpretation!

    A non-evasive response to the Santer paper and its problems.
    3. Links to published papers on atmospheric aerosol effects in relation to past cooling events in the previous century. This is CRITICAL for propping AGW theory. You just can’t tip toe over it…

    I’m not sure what you mean about Santer’s paper. It’s recently published and seems a rather detailed and considered piece of work. What’s your problem with it? I get the impression that you’ve found something on some dodgy website (that seems to be where you’ve got the wrong end of the stick over its temporal period). But I’m not interested in that. The blogosphere is an awesome fount of self-serving nonsense. Best to stick to the scientific literature. That’s what well-informed opinion that informs policymaking does.

    Perhaps if you could put your criticism of Santer in your own words (being careful to look at the papaer first so as not to make elementary errors of fact) we could address that. But I’m not going to waste time addressing nonsense on some website.

    There’s a large literature on aerosols. A good starting point in relation to effects on Earth’s temperature during the