“There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models.”

Global warming: Our best guess is likely wrong

Published: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 – 11:45 in Earth & Climate
A new study suggests scientists' best predictions about global warming might be incorrect.

Rice University/Photos.com

No one knows exactly how much Earth’s climate will warm due to carbon emissions, but a new study this week suggests scientists’ best predictions about global warming might be incorrect. The study, which appears in Nature Geoscience, found that climate models explain only about half of the heating that occurred during a well-documented period of rapid global warming in Earth’s ancient past. The study, which was published online today, contains an analysis of published records from a period of rapid climatic warming about 55 million years ago known as the Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum, or PETM.

“In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record,” said oceanographer Gerald Dickens, a co-author of the study and professor of Earth science at Rice University. “There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models.”

During the PETM, for reasons that are still unknown, the amount of carbon in Earth’s atmosphere rose rapidly. For this reason, the PETM, which has been identified in hundreds of sediment core samples worldwide, is probably the best ancient climate analogue for present-day Earth.

In addition to rapidly rising levels of atmospheric carbon, global surface temperatures rose dramatically during the PETM. Average temperatures worldwide rose by about 7 degrees Celsius — about 13 degrees Fahrenheit — in the relatively short geological span of about 10,000 years.

Many of the findings come from studies of core samples drilled from the deep seafloor over the past two decades. When oceanographers study these samples, they can see changes in the carbon cycle during the PETM.

“You go along a core and everything’s the same, the same, the same, and then suddenly you pass this time line and the carbon chemistry is completely different,” Dickens said. “This has been documented time and again at sites all over the world.”

Based on findings related to oceanic acidity levels during the PETM and on calculations about the cycling of carbon among the oceans, air, plants and soil, Dickens and co-authors Richard Zeebe of the University of Hawaii and James Zachos of the University of California-Santa Cruz determined that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased by about 70 percent during the PETM.

That’s significant because it does not represent a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Since the start of the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide levels are believed to have risen by about one-third, largely due to the burning of fossil fuels. If present rates of fossil-fuel consumption continue, the doubling of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels will occur sometime within the next century or two.

Doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide is an oft-talked-about threshold, and today’s climate models include accepted values for the climate’s sensitivity to doubling. Using these accepted values and the PETM carbon data, the researchers found that the models could only explain about half of the warming that Earth experienced 55 million years ago.

The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of the heating during the PETM. “Some feedback loop or other processes that aren’t accounted for in these models — the same ones used by the IPCC for current best estimates of 21st Century warming — caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM.”

Source: Rice University

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241 thoughts on ““There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models.”

  1. What else was going on 55 million years ago?
    What about the extinction that occured 65 million years ago that is in a layer all over the place?

  2. If they are missing it this badly on a scale that makes all of the multidecadal oscillations moot, they have no hope of appeasing those that expect model results to validate against any real-world current data.

    Thank You Rice researchers…now if only you could get the readership of the latest Discover mag so you counter the Pelosi-approved message mailed to millions a couple of weeks ago. (I sure am canceling my subscription)

  3. So either our data on the climate millions of years ago is wrong?

    Or Co2 should be causing much more warming than we are seeing and models predicting? So something unknown has been stopping the warming from happening and we don’t know whether this something may stop – making things much warmer sudenly. Or get stronger to make things cooler.

    Or there was an unknown something back then that caused earth to get warmer for a given CO2 that isn’t happening now?

    Which are we more likely to be wrong about? The climate millions of years ago? Or the climate between 100 years ago and 100 years in the future?

  4. So, geologic record says…

    70% increase in Atmospheric Carbon…
    …with a 7 degree C temperature rise.

    Today we have a 33% increase in Atmospheric Carbon…
    …with a ~1 degree C temperature rise…?

    This is clearly “worse/faster than expected.”

  5. I can hear it now… the models must be re-jiggered to give more warming to account for PETM…

    Maybe they will figure out that one is not causal of the other?… Nahhh..

  6. Just wondering. Is there any chance that the elevated carbon levels in the atmosphere during PETM could have been the result of warming and not the cause?

  7. “No one knows exactly how much Earth’s climate will warm due to carbon emissions…”

    This statement isn’t saying what it seems to be saying. It’s true no one knows exactly how much. But it has been narrowed it down to be a small, irrelevant amount. To find exactly what that small amount is, to measure it precisely, at this point, is basically inconsequential. The money spent studying co2′s effect on climate could be far better spent studying the sun, clouds, and ocean currents.

  8. From the commentary on this paper by David Beerling in the same issue:

    “The upshot of the study by Zeebe and colleagues is that forecasts of future warming could be severely underestimating the extent of the problem that lies in store for humanity as greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere. Understanding warming feedbacks that were triggered by rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations in the past constitutes a pressing scientific challenge. However, if we are to avert irreversible long-term warming, prudence dictates that we urgently cut greenhouse-gas emissions, primarily through phasing out our dependence on coal-fired power stations, unless fitted with carbon capture and sequestration technology. But the global energy demand is rising, and there is no technological ‘magic bullet’ to solve the alternative-energy challenge. Unremitting release of CO2 into the atmosphere therefore looks set to continue in the coming decades, and evidence from Earth’s history suggests that humanity is in danger of entraining feedbacks that will accelerate the arrival of a much warmer planet.”

  9. “In addition to rapidly rising levels of atmospheric carbon, global surface temperatures rose dramatically during the PETM. Average temperatures worldwide rose by about 7 degrees Celsius — about 13 degrees Fahrenheit — in the relatively short geological span of about 10,000 years.”

    Maybe 55 million years ago our primitive pre-human ancestors learned about the magic of FIRE! The idea spread around the uncivilized globe over a period of about 10,000 years as fire migrated with our primitive pre-human ancestors.

    At least that’s a better hypothesis than others I’ve heard.

  10. “There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models.”

    This isn’t news to most of us here – it’s what we’ve been trying to tell everyone for 20 years now.

  11. I would like to know how they determined that temperatures went up 7 degrees C 55 million years ago. Occam’s razor would suggest that whatever proxy they are using for the temperature is wrong.

    I’m also curious about what mechanism they suggest for a 70% increase in CO2.

  12. snip – same exactly worded comment posted as:

    andy stoffers

    with the same exact ip address

    I don’t allow people to have multiple identities here – Anthony

  13. Well wat they are not saying is that since the temperature rise is proportional to the log of the CO2 rise, then 70% rise is not so much more than 38% rise logarithmically, so howcome they got a seven drgree rise back then, and we got almost nothing.

    And of course we know the earth’s orbit was exactly the same as it is today, and the solar constant was 1366 W/m^2 just like now; so absolutley nothing has changed except the climate sensitivity.

    Maybe if the modellers used a bigger clmate sensitivity they may get an answer more like the result they are looking for.

    How many million years ago did they say this was ?

    Yeah these proxies for real data, are just a joy to work with; the biggest problem is trying to convince your Professor, that is isn’t just all guess work.

  14. snip – same exactly worded comment posted as:

    alex karpath

    with the same exact ip address

    I don’t allow people to have multiple identities here – Anthony

  15. E.M.Smith (17:49:58) : “I can hear it now… the models must be re-jiggered to give more warming to account for PETM…Maybe they will figure out that one is not causal of the other?… Nahhh…”

    If you read it closely, the write-up is really postulating another, hitherto unknown positive feedback. [But, again, the relevant question is whether CO² led or trailed on the upswing and the downswing.] I suspect this is just another “worse than we thought” setup. The other shoe will be dropped in a month or two.

  16. I have charted the temp vs CO2 data over this period and there is really a poor correlation between the two. This chart also shows the important continental drift timelines which are fundamental to understanding this climate period.

    [I added the new CO2 data at 1700 ppm during the short PETM 55 million years ago (there are other CO2 estimates which are lower and some people prefer to talk about the Eocene Thermal Maximum as lasting 5 or 6 million years rather than the short spike that this paper is about)].

  17. Carbon dioxide concentration was high during the PETM, true; however, it was declining since the Early Cretaceous. For the transition Paleocene-Eocene, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was about 340 ppmV, lower than during the Miocene, which could explain only 0.8 °C from the total effective fluctuation of 13 °C; nevertheless, the temperature was sustainably increasing since the end of the last Ice Age during the transition Middle-Late Jurassic. The dramatic rise of carbon dioxide during the transition Paleocene-Eocene could be easily explained when considering the release of this gas from the oceans and the dry sand by the increase of surface temperatures.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V61-49567JH-3&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=957579875&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=52c5af9622535b34fb667c4606561759

  18. i’d be interested to see if they have been able to look at this occurrence at a fine enough timescale to see which came first, the warming or the CO2 rise. everyone assumed that CO2 was driving temperature in the vostok cores until they examined them on a decadal level and realized that in every glaciation, temperature started rising 6-1200 years before CO2 did.

    increased CO2 is a RESULT of a warmer world. this is very well understood chemistry. heat water and it can hold less dissolved CO2. so when the world warms, oceans outgas. note that mistaking an effect for a cause can ofter look like positive feedback.

    THAT is the real problem with the current models. they assume that CO2 drives climate in a meaningful way. this has NEVER been proven or even demonstrated. CO2 is a lagging variable to temperature on any reasonable timescale. the mid troposphere (where the greenhouse effect takes place) has warmed less than the surface in direct contradiction to all of the predictions of these GCM’s. the “fingerprint” that was expected has been shown to be absent by both satellites and radiosondes.

    i am absolutely astounded that models that have been so thoroughly discredited and have so utterly failed to predict climate are still being used as the basis for predictions upon which to base legislation.

  19. “Eric Naegle (17:55:24) :

    Just wondering. Is there any chance that the elevated carbon levels in the atmosphere during PETM could have been the result of warming and not the cause?”

    Good question….. Because as we all know, CO2 lags behind temperature rise. The Ice cores dating around 400 thousand years show at least an 800 year lag.

    It would be a good assumption to say the same was true 55 million years ago.

  20. Hansford: If what you say is true, then we can expect CO2 rising for at least the next few centuries even if the alarmists are successful in shutting down economic activity worldwide, certainly sounds like nothing can be done about the majority of CO2 emissions.

    If you mean 800 years, then we may see the CO2 rising now in response to the Medieval Warm Period and then maybe a drop in a couple centuries due to the Little Ice Age.

  21. andy stoffers (18:11:38) :

    So seven degrees warming in 10,000 years produced one of the worst mass extinctions in the history of the world.

    One of the five worst massive extinctions occurred in the transition Cretaceous-Tertiary (65 million years ago) and it is attributed to flood volcanic eruptions of basalt from India’s Deccan Traps which were accompanied by massive emissions of volcanic toxic gases. The fluctuation of temperature and climate change occurred 10 million years after the massive extinction occurred.

    As I have said in my previous post, the rise of carbon dioxide occurred millions of years after the warming started. It seems that the volcanic activity is related in some way to warming.

  22. The can of coke heated was used to prove runaway warming on NOW.
    If the Earth was the can of coke, something had to have heated it to cause it to release so much CO2.
    Passing dwarf star?
    Hot arm of the Milky Way?
    Intense cloud of radiation?
    Nearby Supernova?
    Big slowdown in Earth rotation rate (releasing stored energy)?
    Incendiary comet swarm torching planet?
    Highly elliptic orbit dwarf star getting close in (the Sun’s unknown companion)?
    Sun in massive active overdrive?

    Whatever it was 55 million years ago, we were NOT around.
    Not even close by a factor of 10.
    No mass extinction 55 million years ago, so an impact event is way down of the list. Maybe a swarm of meteorites, but then the evidence would be the layer along with the carbon.
    How’s about a Carbon Meteorite?

  23. 2 things:

    1) DUH!!
    2) I expect RC to be in FULL DEFCON 1 RETALLIATION/DAMAGE CONTROL tomorrow….

  24. Let’s see what scientists believe happened during this horrible time 55 million years ago. I am wondering where the now Arctic was during that time .. At any rate, it appears life made some major strides back then.

    From: http://www.sdnhm.org/exhibits/mystery/fg_timeline.html
    (San Diego Natural History Museum)

    “Eocene Epoch
    55-34 million years ago Plate tectonics and volcanic activity form the Rockies in western North America. Erosion fills basins. Continental collisions between India and Asia culminate in the Alpine-Himalayan mountain system. Antarctica and Australia continue to separate and drift apart.
    The climate is subtropical and moist throughout North America and Europe. Early forms of horse, rhinoceros, camel, and other modern groups such as bats evolve in Europe and North America. Creodonts and ruminant ungulates evolve.
    Archaic whales (archeocetes) evolve from terrestrial meat-eating ungulates. Sirenians (dugongs and manatees) first evolve in the shallow Tethys Sea.
    Paleocene Epoch
    65-55 million years ago During the Paleocene, the vast inland seas of the Cretaceous Period dry up, exposing large land areas in North America and Eurasia. Australia begins to separate from Antarctica, and Greenland splits from North America. A remnant Tethys Sea persists in the equatorial region. Mammalian life diversifies, spreading into all major environments. Placental mammals eventually dominate the land, and many differentiated forms evolve, including early ungulates (hoofed animals), primates, rodents, and carnivores. “

  25. Isn’t this just the same point that can be made from the ice core data?

    The temperature changes in the Vostok ice core cannot be explained by the change in CO2 if 2CO2 leads to 3K.

    Either 2CO2 is larger than 3K or… CO2 is not the main driver of temperature.

  26. But…but…but!!! They told us the Science is Settled!!! [sarcasm off]

    I love this one. Nothing like a good rebuke from a top-notch university.

    Rice University is where the smart guys go.

  27. The paleoclimate record of Temp vs CO2 tells us something very important about our climate and CO2. That is that CO2 is not a very sensitive driver of temperature and that in fact if anything it is temp that drives CO2. Of course though the alarmist will tell you that we are entering a dangerous period of CO2 driven warming. That is that our earth can tell the difference between natural CO2 and anthropogenic CO2 and it will react differently to smit us for our evil ways.

  28. If I didn’t know any better, the conclusion one might draw is that if climate models only predict half the actual warming due to CO2, then the effect of AGW would be twice what is predicted…

  29. Lot’s of ‘Death-trains” even back then…how dare they unsettle the settled science?

  30. Jim (18:53:56) :

    NPR are citing this as a mechanism to heat the arctic. I think we can see how this will play out in the media …

    Those people are “greenhouse” gases-obsessed. They cannot think in the real causes of warming, but only in their fabulous-“greenhouse” gases.

  31. rbateman (18:50:20) :

    How’s about a Carbon Meteorite?

    ——————————-

    You’re giving AlGore’s some new ideas now, be careful… imagine having to pay taxes for ever single lil stone that lands on earth.

  32. Smokey (19:18:00) :
    Leif, That was my first thought, too.
    so, why are people so happy about this? It would seem that AGW worse than anybody imagined is awaiting us…

  33. 55 million years ago eh ?

    Just proves Fred Flintstone did drive a Hummer through that Drive In restaurant for those giant ribs.

  34. Leif Svalgaard (19:14:39) :

    If I didn’t know any better, the conclusion one might draw is that if climate models only predict half the actual warming due to CO2, then the effect of AGW would be twice what is predicted…

    Vaya! You’re right… I haven’t seen it that way. Perhaps they will adjust their models so the predicted temperature by doubling CO2 given by the models would be twice. It’s another AGW trick!!!

    The same it’s happening with the NPR article cited by Jim (18:53:56)… They are cleaning the road before the race.

  35. Leif,

    It only shows how wrong their models are. Bill Illis’ chart makes clear that CO2 is not a causative agent regarding temperature.

  36. Whatever caused the ancient warming,Could we be looking at the fact that the
    warmer seas could hold less Co2?

  37. I find it hard to compare the anomalies of NOAA, Unisys, and the SST of Marine Weather. NOAA shows us that the warmest anomaly is on the west coast of South America with the anomaly droping off the the west. While Marine Weather shows us Cooler water off the coast with warmer water off to the West. It looks like the wind is pushing water to the west not to the east like I thought El Nino is reported to do. Cooler water is still moving north in South America and lots of winter left down south.
    While at it, what is up with all that cool water between Labrador and Greenland? It is 2-4 degrees below normal and Marine Weather shows it at 2-4 degrees C. Hudson bay is siting around 1 degree C on we are nearly halfway through July.

  38. We are so happy, Leif, because it says that the Earth’s temp should be .7 C hotter than it is now…or was in 1998. It means they are looking at thier models closely and discovering that in order to force the feedback, the CO2 has to act like a one-way filter, and the Earth should look like Venus.
    But it’s not.
    So much for the global warming.
    The PETM came and went. Whatever caused it left no traces (so far).
    Which is why I would primarily suspect an interplanetary interloper of unknown origin, and secondarily suspect that the Sun went wild with high activity.
    We have no better answer than a list of suspects then, and now.

  39. The problem with rejiggering the climate models to show more sensitivity is that they will be in more trouble when it comes to explaining the current cooling.

    The warmists are so…. (begins with an “S”)

  40. the_Butcher (19:20:40) :

    Ask not for whom the Carbon Meteorites fall, they fall for you.
    Ideas for Gore? No, but if it’s true, I have some advice for Gore: Dump the luxurious mansion and get a cave.
    Hmmm….. as I have wondered before. Why exactly were they in caves?
    Didn’t know how to make huts? I doubt it.
    Only hermits and monks live in caves.
    Nobody lives in caves. So what were they doing in there?

  41. Leif,
    Read the last Paragraph! It states:

    The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of the heating during the PETM. “Some feedback loop or other processes that aren’t accounted for in these models — the same ones used by the IPCC for current best estimates of 21st Century warming — caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM.”

    Especially the first sentence! “Something other than carbon dioxide caused much of the heating during the PETM.

    So Climate Models are not getting the TOTAL picture in their runs. Which means inaccuracies galore! Something Us “Realists” have been trying to say for some time!

  42. Bill Illis (18:20:27) :

    I have charted the temp vs CO2 data over this period and there is really a poor correlation between the two. This chart also shows the important continental drift timelines which are fundamental to understanding this climate period.

    [I added the new CO2 data at 1700 ppm during the short PETM 55 million years ago (there are other CO2 estimates which are lower and some people prefer to talk about the Eocene Thermal Maximum as lasting 5 or 6 million years rather than the short spike that this paper is about)].

    Gee. I wonder why the ever-so-qualified “peer-reviewed researchers” at Rice didn’t think to do that simple little analysis> /sarcasm

  43. 2) I expect RC to be in FULL DEFCON 1 RETALLIATION/DAMAGE CONTROL tomorrow….

    And who would notice?

  44. Many major mammalian orders – including the Artiodactyla, horses, and primates – appeared as if from nowhere and spread across the globe 13,000 to 22,000 years after the initiation of the PETM.

    Ruminants arrived on the scene and ate all the vegetation, releasing CO2.

    Although Wikipedia also says major ocean currents reversed during this time and ocean currents wouldn’t be linked to a biological evolutionary event.*

    Which makes me think the CO2 rise and temperature rise are a coincidence.

    * I can think of one reason. Previously separate land masses joined like the way S America got joined to N America a few million years ago changing ocean circulation. The ruminants which had evolved on one land mass migrated to the new land mass.

  45. Smokey (19:26:18) :

    Here’s the money quote:

    “The researchers found that the models could only explain about half of the warming that Earth experienced 55 million years ago.”

    Like you, my take on this is that modern AOGCMs are NOT skillful both for today’s climate AND for the climate the earth experienced 55 million years ago! However, this is still surprising given that this is a hindcast and climate models can usually perform fairly well when you know the answer beforehand…

  46. Speaking of which, thanks mostmuch, Mr. Illis, for posting that chart; very interesting.

    And that was what crossed my mind, Lief Svalgaard. Earth during the Eocene WAS different geologically and climatologically than now (it was a warmer world in general, Gondwana hadn’t completely disintegrated so the oceanic currents were different, etc.), but even so it wasn’t different enough that there wouldn’t be similarities between how the climate responded then and how the climate will respond now. Which, if this paper’s conclusion holds up, is somewhat frightening. Comforting in an odd way as well, though, because although the Eocene thermal maximum was nasty for a lot of life, (and Yes, I know, after it there was a lot of diversification among mammalian life. That’ll happen after an extinction; the survivors radiate out to fill the vacated niches) it certainly doesn’t rank up there as on of the Big Five mass extinctions–and we’re only about halfway to a 70% increase in CO2, as well, although feedback mechanisms might drag the concentration up to ~500 ppm without any further help from us, in any case.

  47. RE: Leif Svalgaard (19:14:39) :

    If I didn’t know any better, the conclusion one might draw is that if climate models only predict half the actual warming due to CO2, then the effect of AGW would be twice what is predicted…

    Come on, Leif, didn’t you read the whole thing? The salient point is below.

    The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of the heating during the PETM. “Some feedback loop or other processes that aren’t accounted for in these models — the same ones used by the IPCC for current best estimates of 21st Century warming — caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM.”

  48. George,

    A 70% increase in CO2 gives 77% of the temperature rise associated with CO2 concentration doubling, not 38%. This gives the 3.5 degC rise calculated in the paper assuming an upper value of climate sensitivity, DT, of 4.5 degC per doubling of CO2, leaving 1.5 to 5.5 degC unaccounted for.

    This looks as if it might be quite a large error, but I’m not as sure as the authors of this paper that there is a serious discrepancy here. The larger the climate sensitivity, DT, the greater the uncertainty in its value. This is because there needs to be a lot of positive feedback to cause such a high value of sensitivity. If the reference sensitivity without feedback is DT0, as the feedback factor, f, approaches 1 the sensitivity given by DT = DT0/(1-f) becomes large and highly responsive to small changes in f (see Roe and Baker, Science 318, p629 (2007)).

    Using the accepted value of DT0 = 1.2 degC, f only needs to change from 0.73 to 0.82 to produce a 5 degC rise, or 0.92 for a 9 degC rise. Hence a value of the feedback factor, f, of 0.8+/-0.1 would be consistent with both current models and this paper. It would also indicate that climate sensitivity is at the top of expected range.

    The analysis here is not dependent on whether CO2 injection from say volcanoes started the warming or CO2 was released and then amplified the warming from another initial source, and the paper offers both as possibilities.

  49. The problem with rejiggering the climate models to show more sensitivity is that they will be in more trouble when it comes to explaining the current cooling.

    Actually, the bigger problem would be that the carefully plotted synchronization between low CO2 and temps over the last millennium would go all meshugenah on them.

  50. Was there a major sea movement 55 million years ago, like the Mediteranean filling up from the Atlantic fairly quickly? Wouldn’t such a sea movement churn up the CO2 from the bottom, causing a spike in atmospheric CO2?

    As the event “passed” the calmer seas might re-sequester the CO2 fairly quickly, which would explain the spike up and then back down, as shown in the chart previously linked at:

    Would such an even affect temperature, with the change of the water’s potential energy into kinetic?

    (just the musings of a layman)

  51. Oh dear, all your science chaps are doing it again. You’re looking at proxies and jiggling formulae when you should be seeking out direct evidence.

    If we want to know what happened back then all we need to do is ask someone who witnessed it. Does anyone have Raquel Welch’s phone number?

  52. Leif says:

    so, why are people so happy about this? It would seem that AGW worse than anybody imagined is awaiting us…

    Why indeed!?! I suppose that one can be an optimist like Smokey and imagine that this somehow means that the KNOWN radiative forcing due to a given change in greenhouse gases had nothing to do with the warming and there was some way more monstrous forcing around so that the climate sensitivity turns out to be rather small.

    However, it is rather disturbing when most of the paleoclimate evidence seems to be pointing in the direction of a climate system that is more sensitive, not less sensitive, to perturbations!

  53. Of course what happened 55 million years ago is relevant to present day and is as well known especially at the 150 years scale or even 5,000 y scale… we are in full delirium here.
    Notwithstanding, the North Atlantic is barely existing, the Himalayas are still an ocean, and the Alps are just starting to be formed… Anyone with knowledge of atmospheric circulation must understand that this is a fundamentaly different pattern and aerological domains than those of todays, with consequences as to the climates experienced in various places.
    So models cut off from the physical reality of meteorological phenomenons are as inept now than they are when applied to a 55million year old world. Who is reviewing these papers? Who is allowing that stuff to pass for science?

  54. Denny (19:38:16) :
    The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of the heating during the PETM. “Some feedback loop or other processes that aren’t accounted for in these models
    So, there must be something els out there to bite us, perhaps the AGW will turn out to be even worse than we thought…

  55. Maybe Al Gore can start a company that profits from the anti global warming point of view. Maybe subsidies to Al Gore enterprises for new coal plants? The poor guy has only made a $100 mil on the GW scam. Give him a break.

  56. The Herald Sun’s Andrew Bolt (on his website) has just accused al gore of lying on an interview with ABC telivision Australia.

  57. The world at the time of the PETM looked dramatically different than the world of today. Different geographic locations for all land masses, different ocean systems. Apples and oranges.

  58. They don’t need to adjust their models. They’ll just get NOAA to adjust the temperatures from 55 million years ago.

  59. Now all they need to do is publish an article on how increased levels of CO2 actually suppress the mechanisms for measuring temperature and we are really 3 degrees warmer than what we thought we were.

  60. moron (20:33:44) :

    Cause Effect – Which is Which?
    What comes first? Temp or Carbon?
    A timely concept!

  61. Also from wikipedia

    On the other hand, there are suggestions that surges of activity occurred in the later stages of the volcanism and associated continental rifting. Intrusions of hot magma into carbon-rich sediments may have triggered the degassing of isotopically light methane in sufficient volumes to cause global warming and the observed isotope anomaly. This hypothesis is documented by the presence of extensive intrusive sill complexes and thousands of kilometer-sized hydrothermal vent complexes in sedimentary basins on the mid-Norwegian margin and west of Shetland [30][31]. Further phases of volcanic activity could have triggered the release of more methane, and caused other early Eocene warm events such as the ETM2.[10]

    The methane caused the warming and the CO2 just resulted from its decay in the atmosphere.

    We can’t assume CO2 caused any of the warming until we know what happened in the PETM. Until then what is cause and what is effect is just speculation.

  62. Denny (19:38:16) :

    Leif,
    Read the last Paragraph! It…

    Denny, the last paragraph is ambiguous. I think Leif is correct in his observation, if I correctly interpreted what he said. I have bolded the important words from the last paragraph of the article:

    “Some feedback loop or other processes that aren’t accounted for in these models…”

    A feedback loop, or creation of energy from nothingness; AGWers could well attribute the feedback loop to CO2 paranormal thermal powers.

    The phrase “other processes” includes a wide range of situations, the desertification, for example.

  63. This from physicsforums.com strikes me as plausible

    Andre et al, (2006) Understanding the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum, a reconstruction

    Keywords Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum clathrate Pangea PETM

    Abstract

    The Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum is characterized by enigmatic proxy evidence suggesting warm climates, and, as inferred by numerous publications, massive marine methane hydrate (clathrate) destabilization events. The recent discovery of a near-tropical Arctic ocean however requires a review of existing hypotheses, including greenhouse forcing, to check for the trigger and the cause of events of the PETM.

    Here we propose that alternately the same proxy evidence, in toto, could have been caused by another mechanism. After the breakup of the Pangaea supercontinent some 200 million years ago, North America moved in a semicircle clockwise towards the north, hinging around the Greenland – Svalbard area until Alaska and Beringia made contact. Thus the Arctic Sea became isolated and no longer had contact with open oceans. Then the evaporation of the Arctic inner sea exceeded accumulation for a prolonged period causing a significant sea level lowering in comparison with the rest of the oceans. Furthermore, the tectonic movements of the plates may have enlarged the Arctic basin as North America continued to move progressively to the southwest, lowering sea level iin the Arctic basin further.

    At the start of the Eocene, 55 Ma ago, the Turgai Strait, splitting Siberia from North to South may have connected the virtually empty Arctic basin and the near-tropical Tethys sea, resulting in an Arctic basin which would have started to fill rapidly with the warm surface water of the Tethys sea, not only transporting alien biota towards the Arctic but also warming up the area. The resulting abrupt sea level drop of some 15-30 meters in a very short time would have caused a secular destabilization of the marine methane hydrates, which would then explain the remaining proxy evidence pertaining to isotope excursions and the Elmo. Hence the empty-Arctic-basin-hypothesis appears to be backed by the evidence, challenging the case for the Palaeocene Eocene Thermal Maximum to be explained primarily as an enhanced Greenhouse forcing scenario.

    That’s how you get tropical algae at the North Pole

  64. In the founding work of atmospheric radiation, there was NEVER any physics or the use of any of the radiation equations that suggested CO2 could control the radiative emission from the earths surface.

    It has been known for years that only water vapor and clouds have the radiating ability as “greenhouse” constituents to do this.

    What has happened is that modelers have incompletley and incorrectly supplanted the founding physics with unworkable and unsolvable solutions that project an incorrect cause and effect relationship to CO2 and temperature in a water vapor and cloud mix. There is no excuse for the bad applications. The hype and gross exaggerations have enriched these selfish few at the expense of the masses. If these sorts of mistakes were happening in a private setting, those responsible would be fired. Many in government and academia seem to have insulated themselves from such retributions.

  65. I just read that GISS has a huge June anomaly of 0.63 Celsius !!!

    Global warming is really getting bad now!!

  66. I find all of this very disturbing. In a hilarious way.

    Because Jane Lubchenco, head of NOAA, says the climate models are robust enough to predict wind patterns 100 years into the future and that will help cities know where to locate wind farms.

    Honestly , we’re witnessing the revenge of the nitwits.

    They’ve taken over so many things at so many levels that stupidity is now an admirable trait.

  67. “The Eocene global climate was perhaps the most homogeneous of the Cenozoic; the temperature gradient from equator to pole was only half that of today’s, and deep ocean currents were exceptionally warm. The polar regions were much warmer than today, perhaps as mild as the modern-day Pacific Northwest; temperate forests extended right to the poles, while rainy tropical climates extended as far north as 45°. The difference was greatest in the temperate latitudes; the climate in the tropics however, was probably similar to today’s.”

    Stanley, Steven M. Earth System History. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1999. ISBN 0-7167-2882-6.

    “There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess. … Even if there were, the projections are based on model results that provide differences of the future climate relative to that today. None of the models used by IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate. In particular, the state of the oceans, sea ice, and soil causing it.”

    Dr. Kevin Trenberth, IPCC Global Modeller, Nature Blog, June 2007.

  68. From the article: “During the PETM, for reasons that are still unknown, the amount of carbon in Earth’s atmosphere rose rapidly.”

    Well, no kidding, Jack: ‘For reasons that are still unknown.’ But everyone knows with certainty the culprits 100% responsible for causing the current CO2 rise. #1 culprit: the evil, CO2-spewing COAL! Just hearing the word coal sets an enviro’s pulse racing. King Coal must be destroyed!

    Coal, which supplies half of our national energy consumption, is extremely inexpensive. But when coal companies are hounded out like the purveyors of tobacco, be prepared to pay a lot more for your power. And everything else.

    No pay raise, though. Deflation and all. Sorry. But you can be proud to be so green with your new taxes. You’re very patriotic!

    [OK, got carried away there...]

    Anyway, the article conjectures that the planet might warm by 7° C — in ten thousand years! Think you can handle it? Or is this just more climate alarmism?

  69. Leif Svalgaard (19:14:39) :

    Or, one could assume a much more active solar forcing. Or one could assume that CO2 and temperature do not have the ‘understood’ relationship they do now. Or one could assume that we should be much colder than we are now, and that the only thing preventing an advance in glacial coverage is AGW.

  70. This 7ºC warming over 10,000 years also yields an impressive .007ºC/decade trend. Scary stuff.

  71. rbateman (19:38:14) :

    “the_Butcher (19:20:40) :

    Ask not for whom the Carbon Meteorites fall, they fall for you.
    Ideas for Gore? No, but if it’s true, I have some advice for Gore: Dump the luxurious mansion and get a cave.”
    Hmmm….. as I have wondered before. Why exactly were they in caves?
    Didn’t know how to make huts? I doubt it.
    Only hermits and monks live in caves.
    Nobody lives in caves. So what were they doing in there?

    Ha

    http://www.images.com/image/439680/north-africa-tunisia-matmata-a-troglodyte-underground-dwelling/?&results_per_page=1&detail=TRUE&page=49

    Caves are cool in hot climates? underground it is 18 degrees up it is 45?

    In addition for the same reasons they protect from cold. That 18 degrees is great when all winter is below 0. In Finland they have a whole conference and museum center underground.

    Our ancestors were conservationists :).

    My direct ancestry comes from Kappadocia in what is now Turkey, where there are villages that can be visited, all underground, down to seven levels. It is a plateau at 2000m bitterly cold in the winter.

  72. This provides further proof of my non-scientific and yet common-sensical view that an increase in a trace gas in the atmosphere cannot drastically or even moderately alter the climatological equilibrium of the earth.

    I’m not a scientist. I’ve studied history and literature. It just seems outlandish to suppose that miniscule changes in the gaseous content of the atmosphere can produce cataclysmic results in the earth’s climate.

  73. http://www.turizm.net/cities/cappadocia/underground.htm

    The first mention of these subterranean sites occurs in the works of Xenophon written around 400 BC. Xenophon was a Greek mercenary who took charge of the Ten Thousand after the death of Cyrus, marching across Cappadocia with them:

    The houses were built underground; the entrances were like wells but they broadened out lower down. There were tunnels dug in the ground for the animals wkile the men went down by ladder. Inside the houses there were goats, sheep, cows and poultry with their young [...]
    There was also wheat, beans, and barley wine in great bowls [...] When one was thirsty, one was meant to take a reed and suck the wine into one’s mouth. This barley wine is exceedingly strong and is best mixed with water; but any man who is accustomed to it and drinks it undiluted enjoys its flavor to the full.

    In my father’s time, before the 1922 exchange of populations, there were second level basements connecting all houses to the church with underground tunnels and hence to an old higher mountain village site , again through tunnels. They were a defense against the arab invasions in the 1o0th century. These tunnels by my father’s time were in disuse and disrepair.

  74. Leif Svalgaard (22:19:23) :

    “Hey, let’s have some more of it. Warm is better than cold…”

    Agreed! You work for NASA, so have them shoot off another satellite. Wait until fall, so we can get those GHGs during the winter time, when we need them most. Ohio gets cold in the winter. Not as cold as MA, where I used to live, but cold enough.

  75. Louis Hissink (18:48:10) :

    Is there any observational evidence that temperature lags CO2 at any scale?

    ***************************

    Bravo Louis – That is the Question!

    And I’ll bet the answer is NO – CO2 lages temperature at all measured time scales..

  76. ” 10,000 years to rise 7C? Linearly? ”

    which is only 0.07C per century!

    and we’ve done 1.0C in the last century! 14x as much!

    OMG, the warmists will kill us with this information. It’s a good thing you never forget how to ride a bike, because that will be the only transport left to us (as long as we don’t fart).

  77. You know, the answer I always get when criticizing model sensitivities is “GEOLOGY DENIER! What are you some kind of young Earth Creationist? The Paleo-record SUPPORTS our models FLAT EARTH HOLOCAUST DENYING POOPYHEAD!”

    Oops, so much for that…

  78. anna v (22:20:59) :

    It’s not the modern civilization that I wonder about. I know what they are doing with underground dwellings (escaping heat & cold, making wine and cheeses, etc.).
    It’s the prehistoric hunter/gatherers.
    You can’t take a cave with you to follow the herds.
    Living permanently in a cave says affluent.
    They were either doing really well, or were seeking shelter from somthing.
    But, it was only a thought.

  79. Call me a simpleton, but:

    Freshman chemistry shows that increasing the temperature of carbonated water will cause an outgassing of CO2. In an open system, reducing the atmospheric pressure will have the same effect. On this, all will agree?

    For the AGW folks, increasing atmospheric CO2 will increase temperature, which (presumably) wll cause more outgassing of CO2.

    If both these theorems are true, is seems the Earth would long ago have assumed room temperature- the room temperature of Venus.

    This hasn’t happened, so it follows logically that both cannot be true. The AGW folks want their premise to be true, no matter how self-evident the alternate explanation may be. Does it follow that if the first is true (and it undoubtedly is), the second cannot also be true? Just asking.

  80. Bill Illis’s chart (18:20) showing newer research re CO2 levels versus temperature definitely does not suggest any correlation between CO2 and temperature. However, there is an interesting CO2 spike (up to ~1700 ppm) sometime around 54 Ma. In looking for volcanic eruptions for that time I found an article by Hans Egger and Ewald Brucki (2006) on the North Atlantic Igneous Province. “The most powerful single eruption of this series took place at 54.0 million years ago (Ma) and ejected ca. 1,200 km [cubed] of ash material, which makes it one of the largest basaltic pyroclastic eruptions in geological history.”

    In a little further reading the NAIP eruption seems to have released a large amount of seafloor methane hydrate which apparently oxidizes into CO2 (non-scientist writing). Don’t know what to make of it, although spikes are always interesting. This province was erupting from 62-58 Ma (phase 1) when the temperature was cooling and again from 56-54 Ma (phase 2) when the temperature began its “steady rise” to the Eocene Thermal Maximum.

  81. Hi L.

    Key point. If the climate is sensitive to CO2, why haven’t we had runaway global warming in the past 500 million years…

    Yeah it never get’s answered by the AGW Alarmists.

  82. If CO2 lags temperature in all measured time scales…then CO2 is not a driver of temperature, but a lag indicator of temperature.

    C02 changes because temperature changes and not the other way around.

  83. About an EARLIER paper by the same authors (2008):

    A particular concern over the long run is the potential for positive feedback that could amplify the initial warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions. For example, one possible cause of the PETM is the decomposition of methane deposits on the sea floor, which could have been triggered by an initial warming. Methane hydrates are frozen deposits found in the deep ocean near continental margins. Methane released from the deposits would react with oxygen to form carbon dioxide. Both compounds are potent greenhouse gases.
    “We have some new evidence that there was a lag between the initial warming and the main carbon excursion of the PETM…It’s consistent with the notion of a positive feedback, with an initial warming causing the hydrates to decompose,” he said.

    However, methane hydrates are not specifically mentioned in the current paper’s Abstract:

    …We conclude that in addition to direct CO2 forcing, other processes and/or feedbacks that are hitherto unknown must have caused a substantial portion of the warming during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Once these processes have been identified, their potential effect on future climate change needs to be taken into account.

  84. What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.

    Jane Austen (1775-1817) English novelist, author of “Sense and Sensibility

    One need only think of the weather, in which case the prediction even for a few days ahead is impossible.

    Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-Swiss-U.S. scientist.

    When will the madness end?

  85. morganovich (18:23:28) :

    The heating came about 3,000 years before the CO2 rise during the PETM. See here for example:

    http://igitur-archive.library.uu.nl/dissertations/2006-0906-200913/index.htm

    Bill Illis (18:20:27) :

    You are conflating two different processes, the long-term paleocene/eocene climate warming and the short-term PETM excursions. The interesting thing is that after the PETM temperatures went back to where they started, and the long-term rise went on just as before, suggesting that two independent mechanisms were involved. Incidentally there is evidence that PETM and a couple of similar though smaller eocene temperature excursions are related to orbital cycles which suggests that insolation chanes arte somehow involved (surprise!).

  86. rbateman (23:02:07) :

    anna v (22:20:59) :

    It’s not the modern civilization that I wonder about. I know what they are doing with underground dwellings (escaping heat & cold, making wine and cheeses, etc.).
    It’s the prehistoric hunter/gatherers.
    You can’t take a cave with you to follow the herds.

    Fair enough, but you are thinking of the prehistoric as a modern. They would not be able to follow herds in the cold of winter. They would need a winter village and a nomadic tent herd following village during the temperate times. Shepherd clans still do that in Greece and I am sure the rest of the Balkans, a permanent base for winter and nomadic life with their herds in the summer.

    To go back to the thread I would agree that the gradual rising of temperature/CO2 shown in this study, would be easy for humans to adapt to any time with caves in the picture or not.

  87. If you build models to look for anthropogenic influences then you will get models that do just that. What has been clear for some time is that the influences on climate are way more tricky than the simple forcing the AGW folk seem so attached to. I still reckon Joe Weizenbaum had it spot on (he wrote his book Computer Power and Human Reason after witnessing the behaviour of humans in using a simple model of a Rogerian counselor) when he wrote:

    What is important in the present context is that models embody only the essential features of whatever it is they are intended to represent. … What aspects of reality are and what are not embodied in a model is entirely a function of the model builder’s purpose. But no matter what the purpose, a model, and here I am concerned with computer models of aspects of reality, must necessarily leave out almost everything that is actually present in the real thing. Whoever knows and appreciates this fact, and keeps it in mind while teaching students about the use of computers, has a chance to immunize his or her students against believing or making excessive claims for much of their computer work.
    (Weizenbaum 1984, xvii)

    Weizenbaum, J. (1984). Computer Power and Human reason. From Judgement to Calculation. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin.

  88. Could the sudden upsurge in temperature have been caused by a massive release of methane hydrates caused by tectonic/volcanic activity (or whatever)?

  89. The reason is because there were no climate models during te PETM. Mann and Schmidt et. all would have worked the numbers into shape had they been around to do so.

  90. Whether or not the “Global Warming” models are correct is clearly debatable. What is not debatable is that human society has allowed far too much burning of fossil fuels in a dirty way, and the world population growth without a way to sustain it is a terrible tragedy.

  91. “gtrip (23:51:05) :

    What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.

    Jane Austen (1775-1817) English novelist, author of “Sense and Sensibility”

    What a nice way to say ‘sweating like a pig!

    cheers David

  92. UK Sceptic (01:11:44) :

    There are other mechanisms at work. It is more complex than methane and co2.

    You may like to watch the 5 part series in YouTube to see one mechanism that is recently becoming very interesting.

  93. Mal (01:39:56) : What is not debatable is that human society has allowed far too much burning of fossil fuels in a dirty way, and the world population growth without a way to sustain it is a terrible tragedy.

    Why is this not debatable?

  94. This is what is wrong with the models:

    The article says this :

    “A climate that is highly sensitive to radiative forcing (i.e., responds very strongly to increasing greenhouse gas forcing) by definition will be unable to quickly dissipate global mean temperature anomalies arising from either purely natural dynamical processes or stochastic radiative forcing, and hence will have significant internal variability. The opposite also holds.”

    I wholly concur but what do we see ?

    Despite huge changes in the rate of energy emission from the oceans and consequent attempts by the oceans to change global humidity the hydrological cycle keeps global humidity almost stable by altering the speed of it’s activity through adjustments of the sizes and positions of all the main circulation systems.

    The climate is therefore seen to be highly INsensitive to attempts at forcing by huge changes in the primary greenhouse gas.

    Applying the same logic it must also be highly INsensitive to attempts at forcing caused by extra CO2.

    The same mechanism would apply in both cases but to deal with CO2 the necessary adjustments would be too small to measure in the face of natural variability because the real forcing agent is the oceans and not the air.

  95. Rob (20:23:02) :

    None of this matters.
    It’s settled.
    Al Gore simply wants global governance.

    And why would Al want that? First President of the World? I suppose it would make him feel better about coming second in the US a few years ago.

  96. Mal (01:39:56) :
    Whether or not the “Global Warming” models are correct is clearly debatable. What is not debatable is that human society has allowed far too much burning of fossil fuels in a dirty way, and the world population growth without a way to sustain it is a terrible tragedy.

    The universe is essentially a creative process. Simply being alive is a creative process. And billions of humans are a creative process. Part of creativity is destruction and transformation and unexpected leaps forward. Some people were against the industrial revolution. Some people were against the Enlightenment. Some people were against the new religions. Some people would rather be pagans living in small tribes, for the “community” spirit.

    We do have problems, but we’re also in a creative process. It is not that nobody realises the problems of world hunger and population. The problem is those who believe you solve overpopulation by reducing population. The problem is those who believe you solve energy shortages by making energy more expensive, and limiting its supply.

    You’ve heard the old joke about how the medical procedure was a complete success but the patient died?

  97. Mal (01:39:56) :
    human society has allowed [...] the world population growth without a way to sustain it

    And just to add, we don’t have the right to tell Africans that they can’t have children, or to tell Indians that they can’t have children, or cars, or whatever it is they want. We do no have the right to tell them to stop developing.

    Once they have developed enough, they will in their own time change their needs and wants, and nobody is going to make them do otherwise.

  98. “2) I expect RC to be in FULL DEFCON 1 RETALLIATION/DAMAGE CONTROL tomorrow….

    And who would notice?”

    Excellent point, Gene….

  99. As several posters have pointed out, it all comes down to cause and effect. The 70% increase in CO2 may well have occurred simply because the oceans warmed and released vast quantities of CO2. By the way, does anyone know how much additional atmospheric CO2 would be caused by a 7 degree rise. There are indications that the CO2 increase occurred several thousand years *after* the temperature increase started. Just as with the ice cores, this strongly suggests something very simple and yet extraordinarily important: that CO2 changes are primarily an effect and not a cause.

    Many dramatic climate changes (e.g. the end of Snowball Earth) have been attributed to CO2 (in the case of Snowball Earth, the assumption that large volcanic eruptions released enough CO2 to warm the earth). But is there any *proof* that the CO2 caused the warming and not the other way around? Probably the only way to prove it is to demonstrate that the CO2 increased *before* the warming started. The ice cores clearly show that CO2 was an effect, and not a cause, but it must be far harder, if not impossible, to achieve the same time resolution for events tens or hundreds of millions of years ago.

    If this evidence does not exist, then probably the simplest assumption is that changes in CO2 were largely driven by temperature changes. Therefore, to explain the temperature changes we need to look elsewhere.

    As far as I can see, this study is consistent with the anti-AGW hypothesis: that carbon dioxide has a negligible effect on the climate.

    Finally, I’ll repeat a question I’ve asked several times before. So far there’s been no answer.
    Is there any period in earth’s history when it can be proven that the global temperature was driven by carbon dioxide? (and not the other way around).
    Chris

  100. Hi Chaps;_)

    I am getting rather tired of saying this, but you’re next! I know this is OT, but thought you would like a wheese at the nutty fruitloop UK, or Disney Land as I like to call it. I have received in this morning’s post a document from a company called Z-led, based in Nottingham, UK. They provide design solutions to ground gas migration. I suspect you’re ahead of me on this one, but yes dear old CO2 is catagorised under new Government guidelines as a “Toxic” and “asphyxiating” gas! Now I know the context in which they are operating as I have worked on radon/methane protection systems in the past & still occasionally do, but this is how it will go for you. We have an organisation paid for by the Building Industry called the National House Building Council (NHBC). We also have a prtofessional group know as the Building Research Establishment (BRE) part industry part governemnt funded. They have obviously been re-doing their little courses & now include CO2 in the tables. It has a maximum allowable safe volume of 5%!!!!!!!!!!! not 0.04% as it is inthe atmosphere. However note 3 does say higher levels are permitted should the Site Model (whatever that is?) says it is safe to do so!

    Now we’ve known about CO2 in this instance for ages, but it is just the way it is presented here (www.z-led.com) that makes me suspiciously laugh.

    AtB

  101. Francis, UK Sceptic,

    From the paper:

    “Different sources for the carbon input have been suggested, which has led to speculations concerning the mechanism. Some, such as volcanic intrusion, imply that the carbon drives the warming. Others, such as the destabilization of oceanic methane hydrates, imply that the carbon release is a feedback that can exacerbate warming.”

    The results in this paper do not depend on the initial source of the release and do not rely on any climate modelling. As I showed, though, they appear consistent with the upper range of equilibrium climate sensitivities seen in the current models. It appears that a CO2 release 55 million years ago, of the similar order of magnitude as that seen from anthropogenic sources over the last fifty years, produced a 5 to 9 degC rise in temperatures.

    “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

  102. Forgot to add, the 5% limit is calssified as the GREEN safe traffic light zone in the tables!

  103. Leif, check TTY´s link about PETM:

    http://igitur-archive.library.uu.nl/dissertations/2006-0906-200913/index.htm

    “Hence, sea surface conditions characteristic of the PETM, including extreme warming, initiated significantly prior to the injection of 12C-enriched carbon. This implies that this injection likely occurred as a result of global change, rather than the other way around, and invokes the dawn of the next challenge: solving the question how global change, including warming, could occur without a change in the isotopic composition of the exogenic carbon pool . ”

    Another thing, pointed out above is, that PETM heating was linear around 0,07 Kelvin/century and this was with 70% CO2 increase, we only have 33% CO2 increase today.
    So less than 0,07 K / century, how does it fit models predicting 2 – 7 Kelvin?

    Ive heard that due to Earths fuels deposits, we should no be able to get higher than 485 ppm CO2. If so, we will max get a level around the 70% increase seen in PETM.

    K.R. Frank

  104. so what’s the problem, you guys would not be arguing if you ‘knew’ you were correct. to stay the same is impossible, the world is changing with or without your blessing. No amount of skepticism can ‘stop’ the reality of what really happens. so what if politics can’t solve the issue, the earth will, like or not.

  105. “Whether or not the “Global Warming” models are correct is clearly debatable. What is not debatable is that human society has allowed far too much burning of fossil fuels in a dirty way, and the world population growth without a way to sustain it is a terrible trage”

    The 2 foundation stones of the Enviormental Left in recent decades has been Anthropological Climate Change and Unsustainable Population Growth. These 2 issues have driven not only pop science but much of our international and domestic politics. In recent years, both subjects have come under more and more scrutiny, and lo and behold, the Left is wrong on both counts.

    Funny how reality usually sets in after policies have been put in place. In Europe, the governments there are finally realizing that they don’t have enough people to sustain neither thier generous social welfare state nor thier standard of living. In the US, where were are about to officially tackle Antrhological Global Warming, we are finally realizing that there has been no warming for about a decade (this despite the antics of GISS and NOAA. Both are becoming irrelavant).

    As the globe slowly but steadily cools, and much of Europe, Russia, and Asia begins to depopulate (North America is not too far behind in that respect), more and more people are finding out that a)It is much more pleasant and efficient to live in a warm world, and b)society actually needs people to if it wants to improve its way of life.

    I know farmers here in Northen Indiana aren’t especially happy with the propescts of lower crop yields this year, and a few pundits around here are even calling 2009 a year without a summer. The last time we had such a cool June-July was 1992 (the year after Mt Pinutumbo went off). This could be the first year since 1901 that this area will see a summer where the temperature failed to reach 95, and had less than 5 days with temperatures above 90.

  106. Mal (01:39:56) :

    Whether or not the “Global Warming” models are correct is clearly debatable. What is not debatable is that human society has allowed far too much burning of fossil fuels in a dirty way, and the world population growth without a way to sustain it is a terrible tragedy.

    Please exactly specify any single measureable “bad thing” that increasing the CO2 levels in the atmosphere actually has done. Can do. WIll do.

    Please name any members in a free population measureably worse off with our recent increase in affordable energy over the past 120 years. Please name the members of the world (of a free society!) worse off now compared to 120 years ago. (Note: You cannot include despostic, ignorant and tribally-led corrupt dictators in free societies. At worst however, even these tribally-led, communistic and corruptly-led peoples are still better off than before.)

    240 years ago.

    480 years ago.

  107. I imagine the geologic positions of the continents played a part in this overall time period.

    At the south pole, the deep ocean was able to circulate all the way to the pole (or very near to it). This allowed warm and cold water to be exchanged at a maximum rate and kept the south pole in a maritime climate.

    At the north pole, the smaller Arctic ocean seems to be nearly completely cut-off in the reconstructions. The north Atlantic was just starting to open at this point.

    It is possible that this Atlantic opening happened in a way that allowed the oceans to completely enter and exit the Arctic efficiently (and/or perhaps the Pacific side also opened at the same time) and this took the Earth from having a warm south pole and a cold north pole to a world which had both a warm south pole and a warm north pole. Any other time this has occurred in geologic history, the earth has been quite warm.

    Earth 50 million years ago – a little after this event.

  108. (Likely redundant, but I can’t help myself…)

    “There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models.”

    DUH!

  109. RE: Leif Svalgaard (19:14:39) :

    If I didn’t know any better, the conclusion one might draw is that if climate models only predict half the actual warming due to CO2, then the effect of AGW would be twice what is predicted…
    ——————————————-

    That is how the alarmist end of the media are playing this. Their argument is along the following lines:

    “Our computation of carbon effect on climate accounts for only half of that rapid warming, so there is some terrifying effect that we do not understand yet that means that our current contribution of dirty, polluting, poisonous greenhouse gas may have twice as bad an effect as our models predicted.”

    Funny how the alarmists can only ever accept that their models are wrong when they think that the outcome could be worse. Never the other way round. They only accept error when they think the models could be underestimating the carbon effect.

    IF there was such a dramatic carbon effect, then why have we not seen much greater increases over the last 30 years? We are currently closer to the average over that time than we are to the cataclysmic predictions of the alarmists.

    I mean we have only had 0.6 degrees of warming over a century and that is if you take the “anomolies” and piss poor recording of temperatures. It has likely been rather less than that in reality. Probably closer to 0.3 degrees. That level of climate change is actually, remarkably still. In historical terms, that is as close to stasis as you are going to get, so I really do not see a lot to be getting all steamed about.

    The massive changes in temps back in the PETM are way outside of what we are getting all steamed up about now.

    Could it not be that actually, most of the massive increase in temps back then had nothing to do with carbon? What was the sun doing? how about volcanic activity under the oceans? Was there any super massive meteorites hitting the earth then? What about the orbit of the earth, was that any nearer the sun back then? What about cloud cover? what about conditions which may have existed naturally back then that no longer exist and we have no clue about?

  110. Grumbler (02:29:00) :

    “gtrip (23:51:05) :

    What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.

    Jane Austen (1775-1817) English novelist, author of “Sense and Sensibility”

    What a nice way to say ’sweating like a pig!”

    Recommended reading:

    “Jane Austen’s Irony as Received in Film Adaptations” (Sorboe, M.N., Doctoral Thesis, Institute for Litterature, Oslo University 2008)

    Trial Lecture: “Your haven in a world programmed to misunderstand obsession with things Austen’: Austen, film, and reception on the World Wide Web.” (Oslo University, 9 January 2009).

    I believe Jane Austen would see and quite elegantly express the irony of the present day obsession with man-made climate politics.

  111. This should come as no surprise to readers here. Afterall the difference between a water vapour positive feedback to temperature (in the models) and a negetive feedback (most likely in reality) is a massive difference in outcome.
    In the models doubling of CO2 (worth 1 to 2 C of warming) gets positive feedbacked to anywhere between 4 and 8 C .
    In the real world the feedback works the other way and we will mostly likely see around 1C of warming.

    No-one can say for sure what caused the 7C of warming 55m years ago. One thing is certain it wasn’t caused by CO2. CO2 would have lagged the temperature rise , but still caused 1-2 C of warming due to its positive feedback.

    So where does the initial temp rise come from?

    Solar output variation has been suggested, but where is the evidence for this?

    Ocean currents warming the arctic. There was no Ice at the poles 55m years ago so getting 5C of warming from this seems unlikely.

    This event lasted 20,000 years so what is left. Some kind of albedo related event, making the Earth’s surface darker? To get the required temp increase would mean dropping the albedo from 0.3 to 0.26 , that’s a lot of stagnant algal bloom in the sea?

  112. Frank Lansner (04:10:27) : I have a far out hypothesis. We have been observing stars for only a few hundred years. Maybe thousands if you include naked eye observations. We certainly don’t have data on stars going back millions of years and that is the point. What if the Sun is an irregular variable star? I suspect the increase in brightness wouldn’t have to be a lot in order to cause the inferred warming. I hate to go here, but what proxy could we look for? Increased melanin, assuming we can find any? Anything?

  113. John Edmondson (06:02:35) :

    This event lasted 20,000 years so what is left. Some kind of albedo related event, making the Earth’s surface darker? To get the required temp increase would mean dropping the albedo from 0.3 to 0.26 , that’s a lot of stagnant algal bloom in the sea?

    So ,how about this?

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/environment/story/71842.html

    ” Hunters from Wainwright first started noticing the stuff sometime probably early last week. It’s thick and dark and “gooey” and is drifting for miles in the cold Arctic waters, according to Gordon Brower with the North Slope Borough’s Planning and Community Services Department.”

  114. Clearly from the above article and subsequent comment there is not one single person on the planet who has any idea why our climate changes in this way or that, basically Mother Nature doesnt do sums and behaves exactly as she wants to at any given time and trying to make sense or logic of it is an absolute waste of time and energy. We may reduce Co2 and whilst in the process Mum might just decide that what we really need to give us some excitement is to allow Yellowstone to erupt, turn the sky black and push us into another ice age, then we all get to freeze to death and maybe after reading all of the guff above that might not be such a bad idea. There appears to be zillions of idiots who would prefer to argue the toss about a subject they clearly do not understand or ever have a chance of understanding that just getting on with their lives in the sure knowledge that one way or the other at some point in time you will be no more than dust. With a population of 6.77 billion and rising at some point there will just be insufficient habitat for anyone to exist. Common sense says that Co2 can never be the answer as to why our climate changes, it just does, it is chaotic, there is no formula and no reason and certainly throughout all of the magnificent catastrophies that have occurred with or without us there is no logic and no reason that can be attached. Earth is a lump of rock spinning through space, we are no more than a quirk of nature, get used to it and stop trying to find reason where non exists, enjoy whilst you are here because you really dont know – and never will know – just how long you have. We will all go to hell in a handbasket because a population of 10 billion is clearly unsustainable whichever way our climate goes hot or cold, out of preference a few degrees higher is more agreeable, 2 degrees cooler and you get no food whatsoever!

    David Wells

  115. According to a BBC Horizon prog some years ago now, I understood that one theory of mass extinction c500MYA, was volcanic Basalt lava eruptions in what is now Siberia that lasted for million(s) of years, when the Earth was in Pangea, raising Earth’s temp by 5°C. This then allowed (theoretically) methane clathrates (another scary story) to melt in the oceans & seas raising the Earth’s temp a further 5°C, which theoretically killed off 95% of the life on Earth! Question, now why could it not be anything to do with CO2 raising temp, but simply the massive heat exchange into the atmosphere from billions of tons (or tonnes if you prefer) of molton rock spewing out causing the CO2 to be released from the seas & oceans, as well as that from the eruptions themselves & from subsequent mass eruptions? The heat had to go somewhere & do something & the outgassing must have been significant! Or am I too simple & dumb?

  116. David Wells (06:40:56) :

    “We will all go to hell in a handbasket because a population of 10 billion is clearly unsustainable”

    How did you arrive at this conclusion?

  117. Why not give the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Reconstruction data to the people at GISS. Chances are they can adjust it to be in line with the current models.

  118. rbateman (23:02:07):

    It’s not the modern civilization that I wonder about. I know what they are doing with underground dwellings (escaping heat & cold, making wine and cheeses, etc.)… It’s the prehistoric hunter/gatherers. You can’t take a cave with you to follow the herds.

    There were not humans on Earth 55 million years ago. The first hominids lived in Africa ~ 8 million years ago, during the Pliocene. Anthropoids appeared during the Eocene, when the fluctuation of temperature was 13 °C. The first hunters’ communities appeared around 500 thousand years ago. Prior to this date, meat-eaters hominids were scavengers.

  119. I don’t see what the fuss is about.

    The man-made global warming hypothesis is dependent on current warming being caused by CO2. The fact that previous warming is half an order of magntude higher for a period with a 70% CO2 rise is irrelevant. It is obvious that either the temperature measurement is wrong or there was another force at work. There is no evidence beyond “we can’t find anything else” that CO2 was the cause of the PETM warming. Whether CO2 aided, hindered, or sat idle while that other cause warmed the Earth is unknowable from this data.

    In short, this isn’t evidence for either side of the debate, and anyone who brings it as evidence for or against the CO2-Temperature link is misconstruing evidence and deserves to have their degree revoked.

    Now, one thing that I can say is that it does show that large-scale warming doesn’t necessarily cause mass extinctions. That’s all it shows.

  120. Frank Lansner (04:10:27) :
    solving the question how global change, including warming, could occur without a change in the isotopic composition of the exogenic carbon pool .
    I’m a bit lost about the relevance of this. The topic is about that the models only predict half of the change that was observed during PETM. My observation was that if so, the models might also underpredict the current rise, and if so, that even larger rises may be in store for us, either from unknown causes or because the models are wrong and the real changes are twice the predicted ones. The scenario need not be linear, the unknown causes or the error in the models may not have hit yet. I have not verified [don't know if I even can] the statement that ‘the models only predicts half the rise’, so perhaps all this is just fluff. My point is that I don’t see how this paper can be seen as a debunking of AGW. Rather the opposite, it seems to me.

    Robert Kral (20:04:24) :
    Come on, Leif, didn’t you read the whole thing?
    The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of the heating during the PETM. “Some feedback loop or other processes that aren’t accounted for in these models — the same ones used by the IPCC for current best estimates of 21st Century warming — caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM.”

    Some over-interpretation of much and substantial. As I read it ‘half’ was CO2, the other half is then ‘much’ and ‘substantial’. So, the authors seem to concur that IPCC is half-right, and if so AGW is a huge problem [double of what Al Gore and IPCC claim].

    Much more likely the PETM just shows that large fluctuations occur naturally and that we can’t [and therefore shouldn't try very hard to] do much about it.

  121. By the way, all this issue of CO2 and global warming will surely be forgotten , even temperature records will get back to normality if everbody accepts to pay a bit more for the energy we use.

  122. Leif Svalgaard (08:26:06) : I’m not getting your logic. The fact that the models only predict half the warming does not prove CO2 is the cause of any past warming. One logical conclusion is that the models don’t work. But the fact that the models don’t work in no way implies any temperature changes past or present are anthropogenic. Explain yourself.

  123. Energy can be released as movement also, as in this morning’ s big earthquake in New Zealand, so, what if accumulated heat (energy) is released as such?

  124. Jim (09:18:46) :
    The fact that the models only predict half the warming does not prove CO2 is the cause of any past warming. One logical conclusion is that the models don’t work. But the fact that the models don’t work in no way implies any temperature changes past or present are anthropogenic.
    Suppose that the models explained 99% of the warming. Then you could say that they work. If they explained 90%, you could still say that they work, but that they are missing a tiny bit. If the explain 80%, they still work, but are missing a bit more. As long as that explain a significant fraction, they still work but are missing some additional factor (maybe volcanism, methane, whatever). If they explain X%, etc. One can quibble about what X should be. Normally in science, a model that explains 50% is not too bad, one just has to identify the additional factor [which should be easier since we can now remove the 50% explained by the model and look at the residual]. If one posits from the outset that the models don’t work, or the data is wrong, then there really can be no scientific discussion. My problem with the paper is that I don’t see where they state that that the models were run with the [some of them unknown] conditions back then.

  125. Leif Svalgaard (10:10:22) :

    1. From what I have read, the models don’t do a very good job of explaining recent temperatures, so I’m not ready to say they are working. AFAIK, the models as they stand don’t prove the recent climate changes are due to man-made CO2.
    2. If I knew the models were based 100% in physics with no adjustable parameters and one could input the appropriate initial conditions and replicate a past temperature dataset for some, even if small, amount of time; then I might rely on the model to tell me how the climate works. But since climate is chaotic, such a model would not allow me to predict longer term temperatures.
    3. You have to assume the models are working in order to do as you describe. That assumption seems invalid.

  126. Jim (10:25:42) :
    3. You have to assume the models are working in order to do as you describe. That assumption seems invalid.
    Based on what? No model is perfect. A model explains a certain amount X of the variance [or change]. To posit that the model is wrong you are saying that X is zero. That has to be justified. I’m saying that X is greater than zero, and that the model explains that part. If X is small, the model is not very useful. So it comes down to what X is. It could well be 50%, I don’t think we know. What is your estimate of X?

  127. The Missing, forgotten and Only Factor: The Sun.

    That inconvenient, “invisible” for many, oil-painted fireball on heavens’ spheres. Heh! ;)

  128. Are there any proxies for solar irradiation indices which can be measured in a similar way for the PETM? Would be interesting to know, wouldn’t it??

  129. Leif,

    The paper did model the PETM climate – the climate sensitivity is directly extracted from the derived values of CO2 injected into the atmosphere and the temperature change from the isotopic ratios.

    There is no big discrepancy between this value of climate sensitivity and the values from current models – it’s just at the upper end of the range. It’s not even obvious that there should be good agreement – the climate was several degrees warmer then than now and there was 1000 ppm of CO2 even before the injection event. Hence the climate sensitivity could have been substantially shifted from today’s values.

  130. The perfect model of a wood fire would, presumably, be an identical wood fire. So if I lay two identical fires and light them identically, can I reasonably expect the burning of the wood to be identical 30 mins. later?
    Seems to me that a perfect model of our climate wouldn’t be able to reproduce itself from identical inputs, let alone model the climate.
    So if a perfect model gives us pretty possibilities but piss-poor prophecies by its very nature, how come they expect us to buy simplistic rubbish?

  131. Nasif Nahle (10:48:17) :
    The Missing, forgotten and Only Factor: The Sun.
    Well, the orbital elements of the Earth and the distribution of land and oceans [including ocean currents depending on that] are very important factors, even assuming an absolutely constant Sun. Solar variations cannot explain a change in temperature a hundred times larger than the effect of the solar cycle today.

  132. Rhys Jaggar (10:50:41) :

    Are there any proxies for solar irradiation indices which can be measured in a similar way for the PETM? Would be interesting to know, wouldn’t it??

    Of course, there are some; for example, 10Be, Ca-II, 14C, 36Cl, HSG, Shells, diatoms, foraminifera, teeth, etc. However, it’s not opportune to use them now when sciences as paleontology, paleobiology, paleoclimatology, and paleo-etc., are being “adjusted” through a solipsistic way.

  133. Leif Svalgaard (10:41:41) : I could model warming over the last century with a linear equation, increasing slope, but less in magnitude than any given temp series. I could say my model accounts for part of the warming, but that does not mean my linear model is a good one.

  134. Leif Svalgaard (11:07:23) :

    Nasif Nahle (10:48:17) :
    The Missing, forgotten and Only Factor: The Sun.
    Well, the orbital elements of the Earth and the distribution of land and oceans [including ocean currents depending on that] are very important factors, even assuming an absolutely constant Sun. Solar variations cannot explain a change in temperature a hundred times larger than the effect of the solar cycle today.

    I consider those factors just as modifiers; nonetheless, the Sun is the only patent source of energy for climate. Factors like volcanic ash that obstructs the path of sunbeams towards the surface and the modification of albedo by ecological succession are factors which modify climate, but do not produce it. The Sun produces climate. I have said it many times that the external operator of climate on Earth is the Sun; the other factors are just distributors, like the carbon dioxide, and internal modifiers.

    Just for comparison, Mercury, the planet, has a very tenuous atmosphere composed of hydrogen and helium which has not an appreciable effect on Mercury’s climate. However, Mercury has an intense climate driven almost exclusively by the Sun, although factors as those that you mentioned modify it. On Earth the thing is different because it has an atmosphere and, most important, water.

  135. @Leif…

    On the other hand, if you only could determine and define what the “other” sources of energy besides the Sun or, at least, what the internal producers (not modifiers) of climate are, perhaps the idea on a fixed, static Sun which has nothing to do with Earth’s climate would be more credible.

  136. Tom P (10:52:06) :
    The paper did model the PETM climate – the climate sensitivity is directly extracted from the derived values of CO2 injected into the atmosphere and the temperature change from the isotopic ratios.
    Then there is the usual confusion about what a ‘model’ is. One type [the one you describe] is a simple determination of or ‘fit’ to [if you will] the sensitivity of the climate to changes of basic parameters. The other type [and that is the one many get confused about] is the ‘general circulation models’ where they run the model decades into the future trying to simulate the evolution of the climate. The latter ones don’t work, the former ones are not too bad.

  137. Nasif Nahle (11:40:40) :
    the idea on a fixed, static Sun which has nothing to do with Earth’s climate would be more credible.
    The other way around: before you can discount or accounted for all the other sources, you cannot claim that the variable Sun is solely responsible, as you did.

  138. Leif Svalgaard (11:44:08) :

    Nasif Nahle (11:40:40) :
    the idea on a fixed, static Sun which has nothing to do with Earth’s climate would be more credible.
    The other way around: before you can discount or accounted for all the other sources, you cannot claim that the variable Sun is solely responsible, as you did.

    If it just were my claim, your assertion would be valid; however, it’s not just an idea, but what nature exhibits. Now I will say what you much hate: Turn off the Sun and see what happens with climate, distributors of energy, internal modifiers, and internal operators. :)

  139. Me thinks we need to reissue 5th grade science books. Remember the chapter on on-shore flow of ocean breezes? And then what happens to the moisture in the air as it rises and builds up against the first mountain range it comes to? And then what happens on the other side of the mountain range? Finally, remember what happens when the precipitation returns to the oceans? This process goes a long way in predicting and modeling temperature swings. Any model used to compare with proxy temperatures during these ancient times would have to model this basic weather pattern circulation of what it was BACK THEN. Where where the land masses, what were they like, where were the rivers, where were the cold and warm oceanic currents back then, what was the Coriolis like and how did the trade winds work? Where were the jet streams? Finally, what were the various oscillations like? Then and only then would you even consider adding CO2 levels, methane levels, volcanism, etc to your model of ancient climates and weather pattern variation.

  140. rbateman
    “You can’t take a cave with you to follow the herds. Living permanently in a cave says affluent.”

    Animals (horses at least) follow great circle routes. Paleolythic Indian hunter-gathers were found to improve the plants they gathered by selective breeding! Yes that is correct Hunter-Gathers planted the seeds from the best to be available to gather next year when they visited the same spot.

    If there were caves available I imagine they would be used as shelter and possibly improved. You may not be able to take it with you but you can use it as a vacation home until you hunter out that area.

    (from my long time ago anthro course in college)

  141. Nasif Nahle (11:32:41) :
    The Sun produces climate.
    This is the same, old, tired, worthless argument [turn off the Sun and see what you get]. The Sun produces the energy that allows climate on ALL the planets. The important question is what causes climate variability, and that is hardly the Sun, as already on the Earth orbital changes and surely volcanism produce much larger changes than can be ascribed to the Sun. In fact, we have a hard time proving [to the satisfaction of the AGW crowd - and if we can't convince them, we don't have compelling proof] that solar variability has any significant impact.

  142. Gene Nemetz (02:32:58) :

    Mal (01:39:56) : “What is not debatable is that human society has allowed far too much burning of fossil fuels in a dirty way, and the world population growth without a way to sustain it is a terrible tragedy.”

    I strongly suggest you take a good hard look at Maurice Strong, oil billionaire, and his connections to the Banksters (Rockefeller) who back Greenpeace and Sierra club and the rest. The bankers/oil are manipulating Activists to do their dirty work and will institute a form of Feudalism if they can. If you want to be a serf to the Banksters go find some other country. The USA has close to a zero population growth and we are a heck of a lot cleaner than the socialist country CHINA. A friend in Alaska complains the pollution from China has ruined Alaska’s clean air.

    These are examples of your friendly socialist banker advisors such as Maurice Strong at work. He was a top advisor to the World Bank and Rockefeller meets with the World bank often. Actually he trained the World Bank president at Chase.

    SAP The globalization of poverty   http://www.doublestandards.org/sap1.html
    Structural Adjustment Policies http://www.whirledbank.org/development/sap.html
    Mr. Budhoo’s Bombshell: Former employee Breaks Code of Silence on IMF of crimes: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/IMF_WB/Budhoo_IMF.html

    Info on Bank crimes:

    http://freedomprime.blogspot.com/2008/08/money-is-created-by-banks-evidence.html

    According to Congressional record the U.S. Government can buy back the FED at any time for $450 million.  That’s about half the amount of money we pay them daily. http://www.libertyforlife.com/banking/federal_reserve_bank.html

    Actual copy of the act (confiscated all US citizens gold) http://www.fame.org/PDF/Emergency%20Banking%20Act%20of%201933.pdf

    As an Activist I would hate the thought I was a shill for the corporate/banking ellite.

  143. At first I thought Leif Svalgaard (who is one of the main reasons for me to come to WUWT on a daily basis) was being ironic, but seeing later on in the discussion that he isn’t, has left me feeling a bit uneasy.

    I know everybody here is cheering because all they interpret from this article is that models aren’t perfect (as if anybody who means anything has ever said that), and that it’s being said by a respected source, never mind the context. Heck, that’s probably why Anthony placed it.

    But there’s another interpretation that casts an entirely different light on this article, the one expressed by Leif Svalgaard. If AGW isn’t a hoax – and if anyone is sure it is, he cannot by definition be a skeptic – then the implications of this article could potentially spell trouble, big trouble. I haven’t read a lot of pieces here at WUWT that debunk the permafrost-and-methane-clathrate-melt scare stories.

    What IS this article doing here, Anthony? Have you turned alarmist? ;-)

  144. Co2 rising back then was due to the warming, hence the models explain NONE of the natural warming! Outgassing of the sea etc…

    As I have always maintained, if the models can not replicate iceages and long term variation they are useless for making projections. They cant even explain why the co2 rose back then in their models! Thats the key, why did the sea warm in the first place, before the co2 rose?

    Models need to be tested and proven before used. When people test the GCM’s they fail the test – hence they are of no worth.

    Will they now stop using them? I doubt it!

    All they need to do is double the climate sensitivty again and factor up the strength of aerosols and they will be happy again, just fudge it. Then they can declare even more drastic warming now predicted based on past historical data! Models are calibrated ever better!

  145. If the authors are thinking that the climate is MORE sensitive to CO2 than thought, based on this article, it should even be able to overcome cooling. In other words, human emission CO2 should be stronger than natural climate variation. Problem is, the current observations do not show that this is the case. If anything, it is showing that natural variability is stronger than human emission CO2. This article and the current cooling trend, in spite of increasing CO2, cannot be reconciled if this super-sensitive response to CO2 is the unspoken meaning of the research.

  146. Leif,

    To determine the climate sensitivity at the PETM it is only necessary to divide two numbers, the increase in temperature and the increase in CO2 concentration. This can by no stretch of the imagination be described as running a model or even a fit, so where is the confusion?

    Another important point is that the 5 to 9 degC increase in temperature seen at the PETM is likely to have been close to an equilibrium value, with thousands of years to equilibrate to the injection of CO2. The current climate has only had a few decades to respond to most of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions. We could be seeing our future by looking back into the past.

  147. Perhaps the answer to the rapid warming Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum and our recent cooling can be easily explained .. LUN

    Many thanks to Al Gore’s sister.

  148. Leif Svalgaard (12:06:59) :

    This is the same, old, tired, worthless argument [turn off the Sun and see what you get]. The Sun produces the energy that allows climate on ALL the planets. The important question is what causes climate variability, and that is hardly the Sun, as already on the Earth orbital changes and surely volcanism produce much larger changes than can be ascribed to the Sun. In fact, we have a hard time proving [to the satisfaction of the AGW crowd - and if we can't convince them, we don't have compelling proof] that solar variability has any significant impact.

    And what if the response is gradual, that is, not instantaneous but cumulative? We have observed at least four bodies of the solar system which simultaneously are undergoing climate changes. The local conditions are different for each body, including composition of atmospheres and land surfaces; the effect is there. I am sure you will not evade answering the problem by trying to unlink one planetary climate change from the others referring to local particular planetary conditions. Simultaneity is a hint which guides us to a common cause, whether the changes are identical or not in each planet, planetoid or natural satellite. The only common source of energy for climate in this solar system is… the Sun.

  149. Here’s a theory for the increase in CO2 back in the Paleocene – all those dead and rotting dinosaurs…

    (Note too that pollinating plants first eveolved in the early Tertiary – Paleocene. A mate of mine at University had the theory that dinosaurs were killed off by hay fever…)

    Come to think about it, maybe that’s were a some of the increase is from these days. Not only are there more people living on the planet than there ever has been, there are more people dying – and hence being converted largely into CO2 – than ever before…

  150. Bill Illis’ graph (18:20:27) does demonstrate a geological disconnect between CO2 and temperature, with only two exceptions: Antarctic Glaciation, and PETM.

    From ScienceNOW:

    …Zeebe…ran carbon-cycle simulations…They even simulated what would happen to global temperatures when they increased the atmosphere’s sensitivity to doubling CO2 levels…

    “It’s possible that other greenhouse gases such as methane could have contributed to the (PETM) warming,” Zeebe says…

  151. Neven,

    Indeed. I’ve had a look at the site from time to time but since Stephen Goddard sublimated I haven’t seen too many forays into the mainstream science arena.

    This article is rather an exception and might indicate the risks of posting on the basis of a press release before perhaps reading the journal article itself.

  152. Leif, Neven, Tom P et al

    “In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record,”

    Remember: ‘it’s just a model’. (Monty Python and the Holy grail.)

    There is a lot of methane, as hydrates, reservoired in shallow ocean sediments – I’ve seen them in wells I’ve worked on offshore in various places around the world. But it’s all natural. Even if it did all escape and cause a climate change it would still not be AGW.

    ‘And there’s the rub’… (Willie Shakespeare. Was it ‘Hamlet’?)

  153. “Even if it did all escape and cause a climate change it would still not be AGW. ”

    Well, that’s a relief!

  154. I ran across a reuters article on this study, and promptly popped over here to see if it was already noted or to mention it if not because reuters interviews lead author Zeebe. Headline is reasonable (knowledge gap). Unfortunately article is anything but reasonable and distinctly uses the faulty logic “tipping point” chicken-little ‘this means things are far worse for us than the worst we’ve considered’ tact. It puts this forward as only possible interpretation, no mention of any alternative view. http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-41050320090715?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=11584

    I know here at Wattsup I’m not alone in this, but I don’t anger easily and yet this stuff utterly infuriates me. A major component of that is how grossly flawed an idea the general public winds up with regarding what is or isn’t science and what can or can’t be CONCLUDED or even reasonably speculated on from any particular study.

    It FLOORS me that the authors of this study would speculate on the tipping point ‘its worse’ scenario and yet not emphasize just as strongly at the same time that it may also mean that CO2 may not be driving temperatures as commonly believed AT ALL. Floors me enough that I very VERY much hope they did/do, and its the reporters who are skewing the picture. If not, can we immediately revoke those scientist’s licenses and ban them from practice entirely please?

    I hope that I might impose on everyone’s knowledge here a little, for some brief answers of things that I fully realize have full books written about them….and a couple of ignorance of the day types.

    There’s enough solid science on both sides to argue either that CO2 leads OR lags temperature changes, correct?

    If a large number of temp. monitoring stations record data that is at best +/- 2 degrees, and some worse than that, how do they justify 0.x outputs (referring to both post data manipulation and model calculations)?

    It seems that the degree of debate over how the base temperature data should be handled/manipulated ought to be more than enough in and of itself to say the science on the issue isn’t far enough along to draw ANY conclusions yet, let alone talk public policy….. am I off base here?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

  155. Oops, I missed two inter-related ones in additon to the others I already posted, sorry!

    The other thing I’d meant to ask was about ‘warmer’ temperature conditions. My understanding was that it during historical time periods when the earth was warmer than present day, flora and fauna seemed to flourish — .e.g., almost certainly more life, plants, and animals on average than during cooler periods. IF that’s correct, how is the IPCC et. al, justifying all the claims of deserts, water shortages, decreased life overall, etc.

    Next, for warmer temperature effects…. suspect I’ll feel very silly when someone answers this one for me… but doesn’t one have to look to the tropics and see rain forests and massive amounts of life and diversity? Seems an apparent disconnect to me, present day warm often results in vastly more life, but theoretical warm = death and drought? Obviously location relative to oceans, mountain ranges, atmospheric jet stream etc., have huge impact on the issue, but in general….. ??

  156. Help please? (15:16:57) :

    The other thing I’d meant to ask was about ‘warmer’ temperature conditions. My understanding was that it during historical time periods when the earth was warmer than present day, flora and fauna seemed to flourish -e.g., almost certainly more life, plants, and animals on average than during cooler periods. If that’s correct, how is the IPCC et. al, justifying all the claims of deserts, water shortages, decreased life overall, etc.

    During geological eras biodiversity reaches higher numbers than during cooling periods. As the surface is warmed up by the incident solar radiation, evaporation and cloudiness increase, so in general rainfalls tend to increase. I see all climate changes are natural until present. I have talked about ecological succession many times; some species are displaced by other species, but that does not mean “extinction” but change, i.e. succession. I think the term has been extremely abused by environmentalists for scaring people through showing them local “extinctions” of such or that species, when in reality those species are fluorishing abundantly at other locations.

    For example, after fire in a taiga, the land finishes almost devastated. In the natural way of recovery, there will not be production of conifers immediately after the devastation, but organisms which can prosper under extreme conditions like drought, low levels of nutrients in soil, dragging by winds and water, etc.; for example, lichens and photosynthetic bacteria. Lichens and photosynthetic bacteria restore the best part of fertile soil which had been lost by the fire until ferns and mosses. When soil restoration has almost concluded, some weeds start populating the area; grass, herbs and scrubs for example. The humus layer must have been restored completely so that trunk plants can grow there. If there are survivors of native trees, their seeds could be transported by currents of air or water, or carried by animals, so the same species of trees could appear again populating the area. This can be completed in decades, centuries or millennia.

    Next, for warmer temperature effects…. suspect I’ll feel very silly when someone answers this one for me… but doesn’t one have to look to the tropics and see rain forests and massive amounts of life and diversity? Seems an apparent disconnect to me, present day warm often results in vastly more life, but theoretical warm = death and drought? Obviously location relative to oceans, mountain ranges, atmospheric jet stream etc., have huge impact on the issue, but in general….. ??

    Unfortunately, tropical rainforest is the most easily broken biome in terms of recuperation.

  157. This type of conclusion happens when rising CO2, an effect, is confused as a driver and modeled as such.

    As the measured radiation from the SUN is insufficient to explain the Earth Temperature observations, something else is at work.

    The Earth’s temperature (not the temperature of the thin film of atmosphere) is modulated by the electrical currents entering it from the sun and solar system. The electrical force is the one force totally ignored by mainstream geoscience and climate as having any contribution to make to Earth dynamics.

  158. Ammendment: “During geological eras biodiversity reaches higher numbers than during cooling periods.”

    It should have said:

    “During periods of warming through geological eras biodiversity reaches higher numbers than during cooling periods.”

  159. Tom P (10:52:06) :
    The paper did model the PETM climate

    Tom P (13:29:52) :
    This can by no stretch of the imagination be described as running a model or even a fit, so where is the confusion?

    The confusion is showing in the discrepancy between your two statements.

    Neven (12:48:29) :
    At first I thought Leif Svalgaard (who is one of the main reasons for me to come to WUWT on a daily basis) was being ironic, but seeing later on in the discussion that he isn’t, has left me feeling a bit uneasy.

    What I’m saying is that the article can be read two ways: as many here did [cheering] and as support for AGW [the paper does support a significant increase (half of the total) due to CO2].

    Typical example of the blindness caused by people with an agenda [or strong opinion], where they only can see what supports their own view, combined with the confusion about what a model is [see above]. As I indicated in an earlier comment there is a big difference between the GCM that people run a century ahead [which may be silly], and the simple sensitivity modelling [which is perfectly sensible - although one can quibble over details]. So when people say ‘the model don’t work’ are they sure they know which of the two they are talking about.

    To me, the [partly unknown] differences between the conditions back then and now makes it dubious that one could expect an agreement to better than the factor of two they mentioned, and probably not even that good.

    Nasif Nahle (13:44:46) :
    We have observed at least four bodies of the solar system which simultaneously are undergoing climate changes.
    I had my little granddaughter just now throw a coin, it only took her three trials to get four heads in row [slightly better than predicted]
    The only common source of energy for climate in this solar system is… the Sun.
    Same old tired argument. We are not talking about turning off the Sun, but about the variations of the climate.
    And the simultaneous [and presumable in the same direction] climate changes on four planets is somewhat of a myth. Perhaps it is time to look at this in detail by digging up links to them. As far as I remember, the change in Uranus has to do with the polar axis lying in the orbital plane, so what we are seeing is a seasonal change [not a climate change]. the same for Neptune: “The relative “hot spot” is due to Neptune’s axial tilt, which has exposed the south pole to the Sun for the last quarter of Neptune’s year, or roughly 40 Earth years. As Neptune slowly moves towards the opposite side of the Sun, the south pole will be darkened and the north pole illuminated, causing the methane release to shift to the north pole” [wiki].
    So, produce links/papers/evidence that what we see are climate changes and not seasonal changes [seasons on the outer planets are very long in Earth years].

  160. I swear, I am not drunk. It’s just another correction:

    “Lichens and photosynthetic bacteria restore the best part of fertile soil which had been lost by fire until ferns and mosses can grow again there.

  161. This event lasted 20,000 years so what is left. Some kind of albedo related event, making the Earth’s surface darker? To get the required temp increase would mean dropping the albedo from 0.3 to 0.26 , that’s a lot of stagnant algal bloom in the sea?

    It’s a unique event in the geological record. It is also extraordinarily short on geological timescales. Which means we have to look for something that could have only occured once.

    The filling of the Arctic basin with relatively warm water through a narrow gap fits the bill. This happened to both the Black and Red Seas in recent geological times. So we know this kind filling of a previously empty below sea level basin is a regular occurance. The difference would have been the size of the Arctic basin and the fact it is at the N Pole.

    Which leads to a paradoxical conclusion.

    What appears to be an abrupt warming of the climate was caused by an abrupt cooling of the climate. As warm water poured into the Arctic Basin (and note this would have been warm surface water), massive quantities of heat and water vapour would have been dumped into the atmosphere.

    For a short period the Earth’s atmosphere would have been much warmer and wetter with a large increase in the water vapour greenhouse effect. Plant growth would have increased dramatically. However, when the Arctic Basin filled and equilibrium was reached, the result would have been the Earth’s climate had lost a great deal of heat. The oceans and the atmosphere would become much colder (and much drier). A massive plant die off then occurs giving the CO2 spike.

    This fits all the evidence I have seen. Also note the 20,000 years is due to the precision of the geological record. It could have happened in 1,000 years.

  162. @ Leif…

    You have left the kings of the story behind, Mars and Titan. Those bodies, a planet and a satellite, are not undergoing seasonal changes but climate changes. RC has overreacted before the news on the melting of polar caps on Mars because it is not a myth, but an “inconvenient” real thing. I never thought you could consider reality is a myth:

    http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mgs/newsroom/20050920a.html

    Regarding Titan, its liquid methane is melting, like in the old good times:

    http://www.astrobio.net/index.php?option=com_retrospection&task=detail&id=2194

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20227115.400-will-summer-never-end-in-titans-south.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=saturn-and-its-moons

  163. RE: rbateman (17:32:17) :

    What else was going on 55 million years ago?
    What about the extinction that occured 65 million years ago that is in a layer all over the place?

    =========================

    Indeed. That extinction resulted in a massive explosion of fungi. The fungi, combined with the sudden exposure of soil in areas with humid climates that were previously heavily covered by green plants, would have liberated a massive amount of methane and CO2 not to mention water. That incident is instructive in another way. Just prior to the extinction, CO2 levels were quite low … on par with what we currently have. I consider this a grave threat. Any serious interruption in photosynthesis at this low level of CO2 and we may have another great extinction on our hands. A big bolide may be all that’s required to crash the system. We have almost no margin right now, CO2 is so low green plants must be stressed and low functioning, relatively speaking.

  164. Nasif Nahle (17:52:33) :
    RC has overreacted before the news on the melting of polar caps on Mars
    So Mars is getting warmer and the Earth is cooling all due to the Sun.

    Regarding Titan, its liquid methane is melting
    Hardly climate, as the Titan ‘year’ is 30 years long. This is just weather, and as your links suggest are due to Titan causes.

    So, all in all, there is no good evidence for the myth that all planets change their climate in sync because of changing solar activity.

  165. Leif alternative point of view seems rather shaky to me.

    The climate models fail to predict even the most basic aspects of today’s climate, let alone thousands of years ago. The heating profile with altitude is wrong, the precipitation rates are wrong. Some effects like net forcing of clouds are likely the wrong sign entirely, the role of dust and soot and other factors like biological influences in the biosphere are almost entirely neglected. One just has to look at the past performance of future predictions to illustrate this point. I’m entirely on the side of Freeman Dyson with my confidence that these models are very poor at describing the climate.

    And thus, here we are. Instead of seeing this for what it is – yet another illustration of how over-simplistic climate models fail to model the exceedingly complex biosphere, we instead try to claim that these flaws could be a sign that climate change is going to be far worse. Its amazing…while we accept that the predictions are 50% out, we never waiver in our believe of their validity but instead suggest scaling things up.

    Fortunately, we still have empirical evidence to take heart in. There are many past CO2-temperature reconstructions that illustrate the same facts. Temperatures rise and fall in many cases irrespective of CO2 levels.

    * The Cambrian period had CO2 levels at over 7000ppm with no runaway effect.
    * The Ordovician period has CO2 levels at 4200ppm and a temperature varying from todays up to +7C.
    * Carboniferous period…800ppm…temperature varying between +8C and todays.

    Lots of variation, relatively weak forcing.

    Then obviously you have the time delays in the icecores with temperatures leading CO2 which gives another clue on how significant CO2 is. Then you have the lack of correlation between temperatures and Co2 levels in the present century with temperature warming and cooling periods while CO2 levels are always increasing.

    Why is it so hard to accept that CO2 effects on global temperatures have been drastically overstated by the likes of the IPCC?

    I also wonder about the logic. We are at an age where in the past few hundred thousand years, the global climate has been on average bitterly cold. We have had many oscillations from iceage to a relatively short warm spell and back to ice age. We are at the tail end of a warm spell right now according to the Vostok data for example. It is very likely that we would of eventually dove back into an iceage. If anything, I wish global warming was true because a 4C rise is vastly more attractive than the long term icy alternative.

  166. Privet Ein (19:41:16) :
    The climate models fail to predict even the most basic aspects of today’s climate, let alone thousands of years ago.
    I think you, too, are confusing the two kinds of models

    are 50% out, we never waiver in our believe of their validity but instead suggest scaling things up.
    The model referred to in the paper is NOT the silly GCMs that people use to ‘predict’ the climate, but the other kind of model, that just is used to determine the sensitivity of the climate system to forcings.

    As I now have said umpteen times, people’s blindness arising from their viewpoints allow this paper to be interpreted both ways, and on balance, the paper thus is not a useful contribution to the debate.

  167. Leif Svalgaard (19:36:40):

    So Mars is getting warmer and the Earth is cooling all due to the Sun.

    The note on Mars’ climate change was released in 2005.

    Hardly climate, as the Titan ‘year’ is 30 years long. This is just weather, and as your links suggest are due to Titan causes.

    Weather all over a hemisphere of the satellite? Here a fragment from the article:

    “These southern clouds are thought to be caused by convection in Titan’s atmosphere, driven by the heat of the sun. They were expected to disappear as Titan’s southern summer draws to a close, before reappearing in the northern hemisphere soon after.” (bolds are mine)

    However, they didn’t disappear and the southern summer prolonged beyond model predictions:

    “However, the latest analysis of Cassini observations shows that the southern clouds have not budged. “Titan’s meteorology is still active in late summer, which does not agree with climate model predictions…”

    So, all in all, there is no good evidence for the myth that all planets change their climate in sync because of changing solar activity.

    There are not observations on all planets, only on four planets, including Earth, one planetoid and two satellites, which does not exclude the fact that other bodies’ climates are changing.

  168. Neven (14:59:16) :

    “Even if it did all escape and cause a climate change it would still not be AGW. ”

    Well, that’s a relief!

    Absolutely! You get my point though? All this carfuffle – and how Gore has made his $100 million so far and counting fast – is on the premise that humans are causing global warming. Most of the contributors here on WUWT don’t think that we are. But also most of us do not argue that climate changes. It’s never stable.

    I’m a geologist and I grew up looking at rocks in Scotland which are more than 1 billion years old which were deposited when Scotland was a hot and arid desert. I can’t say where ‘Scotland’ was relative to the equator 1 billion years ago but it was hot and dry. (At one of my favourite localities in the north west highlands of Scotland there are some lacustrine mudstones which have desiccation cracks in them and also raindrop impressions. I like to think that the raindrops fell at 14:37 on a Tuesday afternoon, 17th October , 1,000,000 Before Present.) Climate also isn’t just about temperature. There are many more factors that make up climate and weather. The weather forecast shouldn’t just be : “it will be 20C (70F) tomorrow. It should also state that it will be 20C tomorrow, there will be 80% cloud cover, the humidity will be 80%, the wind will be from the north east at 18 mph backing northwest and increasing to 25mph, the pressure will drop from 1000mb to 990mb from midnight to midnight – and at an increasing rate.

    I can look at pretty much any sample of a sedimentary rock and give you my opinion of in which of a myriad of depositional environments it was deposited – subaerial – submarine – shallow marine – deep marine – intertidal – storm deposit – swamp – etc. etc. Now – I could bullshit you. Were I to do so, I wouldn’t be the first geologist so to do. But I, personally, could not do that out of personal integrity. Furthermore, I can look at – say 1 metre – of sedimentary rocks and say how the depositional environment changed over that 1 metre – or 100 metres or kilometers… I may also be able to say whether or not there had been a major volcanic eruption, earthquake, ice age, possibly even meteorite impact event, during the deposition of the said 1 metre, 10 metres, 100m, 1 km or whatever. I’ve seen lots of good examples in sedimentary rocks of where sea level has risen by appreciable amounts – say up to at least 50m – over a very short (geologically) space of time. Likewise I’ve seen where sea level has fallen – although this is less common in the rock record as sea level fall is usually accompanied by erosion. The thing with rocks is that we can always go back and look at them again and confirm – or change – the interpretation.

    One of the best tools in dating rocks, or in correlating rocks of similar age in different parts of the world, is by biostratigraphy. Biostratigraphic analyses also show that depositional environments change over time – sometimes extremely rapidly. Species abundance and biodiversity also changes in response to changes in depositional environment. And it is all natural. We are njust one species on this earth – we have adapted in the past and will adapt in the future. At some time we will become extinct.

    And what really gets me going is that politicians, con men and pseudoscientists have been getting away with this scam of AGW for so long and now they want us to pay even more of our hard earned money so as they can continue to feather their own nests.

  169. Nasif Nahle (20:24:39) :
    The note on Mars’ climate change was released in 2005.
    And pertains to the change since 2002. You call that climate? And how much did the Sun [TSI] increase from 2002 to 2005?

    However, they didn’t disappear and the southern summer prolonged beyond model predictions
    Just shows that we don’t understand seasons on Titan yet. And again, how much did the Sun’s output increase to ‘explain’ the melting?

    So, all in all, there is no good evidence for the myth that all planets change their climate in sync because of changing solar activity, and, in particular, that the scattered observations of weather and seasons on some of them support such a view.

  170. Bill Illis (18:20:27) :

    I have charted the temp vs CO2 data over this period and there is really a poor correlation between the two. This chart also shows the important continental drift timelines which are fundamental to understanding this climate period.

    http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/2464/tempvsco267m.png

    Thank you for this. It shows that CO2 starting levels were 800ppm and end levels also 800ppm. In the “spike” temperature changed by 2.5 degrees, at least in this plot.

    What guarantees that the functional relation of CO2 to temperature ( either lagging or leading) is linear and the absolute value has no effect? Out gassing from oceans I guess is linear, but am no chemist and am not sure, at least the function is known. All other possible CO2 sources come chaotically from highly complex systems and will be chaotic in output, that is highly non linear.

    To get a sensitivity relevant to our value of 384 or so ppm doubling we would need that functional form .
    The only known functional form is for out gassing from the heating oceans and is worthless for supporting an AGW argument as it lags. If use is to be made of this paper’s sensitivity in favor of AGW to bring it down for use to 300ppms it will be pure guess work. Of course climatologists excel in guesswork. They also excel in seeing the world as linear and ignoring logic.

    I guess geologists have caught the linear bug from climatologists.
    Doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide is an oft-talked-about threshold, and today’s climate models include accepted values for the climate’s sensitivity to doubling. Using these accepted values and the PETM carbon data, the researchers found that the models could only explain about half of the warming that Earth experienced 55 million years ago.

    Even if the sensitivity used in the GCMs were correct, which it is not as the last ten years temperatures vs CO2 show, the only conclusion could be that no linear extrapolation of current guessed sensitivities can explain the PETM CO2/tempearature maximum. No conclusion can be made for our current sensitivities for the same reasons.

  171. Nasif Nahle (20:38:25) :
    If you have the time and a fast connection, verify that the warming on Mars started off in 1998; coincidence?
    Then the warming goes against the cooling that skeptics posit has happened on Earth the last decade…

    So, all in all, there is no good evidence for the myth that all planets change their climate in sync because of changing solar activity.

  172. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere cannot affect the temperature of the oceans (except through some effect it may have on cloudiness, although surely water vapour is a more important factor here – by an enormous amount). The thermal state of the oceans determines the “average” temperature of the atmosphere and “on average”, aka, “crudely”, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 concentration can never effect the average temperature of the atmosphere for anything more than a short time, slowing, as it clearly does by a small amount, the amount of heat that can escape from the oceans into the cold vacuum of space. But it is the heat content of the oceans that matters (leaving out plate tectonics over millions of years but CO2 is irrelevant here, too), and no-one has ever described a mechanism by which CO2 concentration in the atmosphere can effect this. This is a very simple argument. Why are we bothering with this C02 nonsense? It is only “good” at this point, as it may inhibit the onset of the next glacial period for a short time by slowing the loss of the heat that has, through an unknown process, been pumped into the oceans since the LIA. This, the terrifying reality of the ice age, is the only climatic change we should be thinking about. Can we stop the onset of the next glacial period of the current ice age? If we could, this would be the greatest boon to life on earth! We would then, truly, have saved the planet – at least in the sense of preventing a decline in the biomass of, what, 60-70% ?

  173. Leif,

    You missed my correction (11.11.12). This paper did NOT model the PETM climate.

    As for Martian climate change, this is primarily driven by Milankovitch cycles, which due to the increased eccentricity and lack of lunar stabilisation have a stronger effect than on Earth.

  174. anna v (21:16:07) :
    What guarantees that the functional relation of CO2 to temperature ( either lagging or leading) is linear and the absolute value has no effect? Out gassing from oceans I guess is linear, but am no chemist and am not sure, at least the function is known. All other possible CO2 sources come chaotically from highly complex systems and will be chaotic in output, that is highly non linear.

    Anna, the paper you brought to my attention earlier (thank-you) indicates that oceanic CO2 evolution is highly non-linear and chaotic, remember?

    http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=12457&tid=282&cid=45946

    The plankton try to protect themselves by producing a chemical compound called DMSP, which some scientists believe helps strengthen the plankton’s cell walls. This chemical gets broken down in the water by bacteria, and changes into another substance called DMS.
    DMS then filters from the ocean into the air, where it breaks down again to form tiny dust-like particles. These tiny particles are just the right size for water to condense on, which is the beginning of how clouds are formed. So, indirectly, plankton help create more clouds, and more clouds mean that less direct light reaches the ocean surface. This relieves the stress put on plankton by the Sun’s harmful UV rays.
    DMS levels peak from June through the end of September. Surprisingly, plankton levels are at a minimum during this time. That means that the number of plankton does not affect how much DMS they produce. During the summer, the study found that a whopping 77 percent of the changes in amounts of DMS were due to exposure to UV radiation. The researchers found it amazing that a single factor could have such a big affect on this process.

    And how much does the Sun’s UV production vary?

    Two carbons/DMS: then conversion of DMS to DMSO then to CO2

    http://umbbd.msi.umn.edu/sulf/sulf_map.html

    Other DMS data

    http://gradworks.umi.com/33/02/3302968.html

    http://www.msmaustralia.com.au/articles/mainmsm.html

    Although I am still not at liberty to discuss this in detail due to ongoing proprietary considerations, DMSO has a positive growth regulatory effect on terrestrial plants, as does polyvinyl pyrrolidone.

  175. Anthony

    Somebody above mentioned the limited number of posts on Roger Pielke Jr’s web site.

    I have tried to post and I am not sure which account to use? It may be standard in the US but in the UK it is either like your site or Climate Audit’s or you register. It may be helpful if Roger placed and explanation for dummies like me.

    Best Regards

  176. Tom P (00:26:12) :
    You missed my correction (11.11.12). This paper did NOT model the PETM climate.
    So that takes care of the criticism that ‘the models don’t work’.

  177. Leif Svalgaard (21:24:38) :

    So, all in all, there is no good evidence for the myth that all planets change their climate in sync because of changing solar activity.

    Leif… You could have an individual explanation for a climatic change in one planet alone if there were not other bodies undergoing the same process. Something is happening in the whole solar system. I am not saying it is something “atypical”, but it is something cyclical… normal, natural.

    Regarding the recent stabilization of the atmospheric temperature (cooling), I am not adhered to the hypothesis of a next ice age or another little ice age. As I have said before, the earth is entering into a warmhouse after a prolonged icehouse. That a cooling has happened, yes, it has happened in the last 10 years; however, we cannot unlink the climate from the bigger modifier of climate, the ocean. Ocean is a thermoregulator which amplifies or moderates the effect of solar radiation. We have observed this through centuries.

    Please, remember that Mars has not oceans of water, so the effect could not be well modified by a mere conveyor of heat (the carbon dioxide).

  178. Nasif Nahle (06:47:46) :
    You could have an individual explanation for a climatic change in one planet alone if there were not other bodies undergoing the same process. Something is happening in the whole solar system.
    You have provided no evidence for that. Seasonal variations and ‘weather’ over a few years [e.g. Titan], do not constitute Climate. If anything, solar activity has been decreasing the past few decades, and if you want to ascribe climate change to solar activity, one would expect a cooling in the whole solar system, but the observations are not there to support such a claim either way.

  179. Leif Svalgaard (07:05:59) :

    You have provided no evidence for that. Seasonal variations and ‘weather’ over a few years [e.g. Titan], do not constitute Climate. If anything, solar activity has been decreasing the past few decades, and if you want to ascribe climate change to solar activity, one would expect a cooling in the whole solar system, but the observations are not there to support such a claim either way.

    Mars, Titan and Earth are melting. I cannot provide evidence from the other bodies because our observations are not too close as for the cases of Earth, Mars and Titan.

    It is a matter of time. Some gullies on Mars are recovering their ice sheets, for example.

    I hope NASA soon releases updated data on the climatic conditions on those bodies. Perhaps they are cooling already in the same way it is happening on Earth as the solar activity is diminishing?

  180. @Leif…

    I don’t know what kind of evidence you require if you don’t accept observations from nature made by astronomers and astrophysicists.

  181. Tim Clark (04:41:02) :
    “During the summer, the study found that a whopping 77 percent of the changes in amounts of DMS were due to exposure to UV radiation.”

    And how much does the Sun’s UV production vary?

    The energetic [short wave length] UV flux is absorbed high in the stratosphere, and the near UV that reaches the surface varies very little, as far a the Sun is concerned. The actual amount is not determined by the Sun, but by local meteorological conditions [less UV when overcast, for example].

  182. Nasif Nahle (08:36:43) :
    I don’t know what kind of evidence you require if you don’t accept observations from nature made by astronomers and astrophysicists.
    I’m not aware of any such evidence of climate change anywhere in the solar system except on Earth. The links you have provided were not evidence of climate change.

  183. @ Leif…

    Coincidentally, two super-cyclones appeared in 1999: one in the Northwest on Mars and another in the Indian Ocean on Earth. The momentum delay between the two planetary events was eight months, which clearly suggests that another solar factor, besides the electromagnetic radiation, generates changes of planetary climates. My speculation is that the gravity field of planets is a sink-reservoir of energy which is picked up by matter particles and carried back to the atmosphere. Something similar to the production of muons as from ICR. Of course, Leif, it is just speculation.

  184. I think Nasif Nahle has a point. I think we should give NASA billions of dollars (perhaps stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to be able to finance this) and send satellites to every celestial body in our solar system (and beyond) to monitor the warming due to the sun.

  185. Neven (09:41:31) :
    send satellites to every celestial body in our solar system (and beyond) to monitor the warming due to the sun.
    A comparison of ice cores from Earth, Mars, Europa, and elsewhere would throw light on many of these questions. Unfortunately we don’t have any [yet] so there is not evidence for any similar climate changes.

  186. Leif Svalgaard (09:30:47) :

    Nasif Nahle (08:36:43) :
    I don’t know what kind of evidence you require if you don’t accept observations from nature made by astronomers and astrophysicists.
    I’m not aware of any such evidence of climate change anywhere in the solar system except on Earth. The links you have provided were not evidence of climate change.

    That is why I asked what kind of evidence you need. I cannot go to Mars or Titan, Uranus, Pluto, etc., to plant thermometers, radiometers, hygrometers, etc. all over the surface of those bodies. I have to rely on the data released by NASA from satellite-sensors measurements, so I am limited to revise few records gotten up to date; those which NASA wants to release whenever they wish to make them public. With the few data, the conclusion is that the change is occurring at least in seven bodies of the solar system; thus it is probable that the change is happening in the whole solar system, including the Sun.

  187. Leif Svalgaard (09:50:10) :

    Neven (09:41:31) :
    send satellites to every celestial body in our solar system (and beyond) to monitor the warming due to the sun.
    A comparison of ice cores from Earth, Mars, Europa, and elsewhere would throw light on many of these questions. Unfortunately we don’t have any [yet] so there is not evidence for any similar climate changes.

    At least the ice cores of Mars started melting in 1998, perhaps before, and in Titan the methane ice is melting, similarly to the Arctic ice melting on Earth.

  188. Which means that wearing a hat on a sunny day does not necessarily mean that you will have less UV than say on a cloudy day without a hat. Reflected UV from around you is just as bad on skin as “direct from above” UV. Wearing Sun protection ON THE SKIN of the entire face area, ears, neck, and eh em, bald spot, is essential at all times when out in the Sun for more than 10 minutes. Folks should take Vitamin D supplements if they stay out of the Sun or swath themselves in Sun screen. Skin cancer, even the less scary kind, should be taken seriously when they appear on these highly and shallow vascularized areas. Any rough whitish spot or mole-like dark spot should be looked at as soon as can be arranged by a dermatologist specialist in oncology.

  189. We don’t need to wait for ice core data from Mars. Images of the Martian northern polar layer deposits correlate well with orbital forcing:

    Nature 419, 375 – 377 (2002)

    Orbital forcing of the martian polar layered deposits

    Jacques Laskar, Benjamin Levrard & John F. Mustard

    Since the first images of polar regions on Mars revealed alternating bright and dark layers, there has been speculation that their formation might be tied to the planet’s orbital climate forcing… Here we use a combination of high-resolution images of the polar layered terrains, high-resolution topography and revised calculations of the orbital and rotational parameters of Mars to show that a correlation exists between ice-layer radiance as a function of depth (obtained from photometric data of the images of the layered terrains) and the insolation variations in summer at the martian north pole, similar to what has been shown for palaeoclimate studies of the Earth…

  190. Nasif Nahle (09:58:27) :
    I cannot go to Mars or Titan, Uranus, Pluto, etc., to plant thermometers, radiometers, hygrometers, etc. all over the surface of those bodies.
    And that is why you have no evidence of climate changes except on Earth. The other things you quote are either clear seasonal changes or just weather based on a few isolated reports.

  191. Tom P (10:12:00) :
    the insolation variations in summer at the martian north pole, similar to what has been shown for palaeoclimate studies of the Earth…
    This is was was to be expected, and we’ll find similar things on other bodies when we get to them. But has, of course, no relevance to whether changing climate caused by intrinsic changes in the Sun occurs or has been observed [on Earth or elsewhere].

  192. Leif,

    I don’t know why you say there is no relevance. Laskar and colleagues are clearly saying that the insolation changes due to orbital variations, the Milankovitch cycles, are the dominant effect on the stratigraphy of the polar layer deposits.

    Nasif,

    Perron and Huybers certainly make the earlier work on the stratigraphy less certain in its attribution, but note the alternative explanations offered:

    “Three possible explanations for why the PLD spectra fail to show a distinct orbital signal are: (1) the orbital influence is negligible, (2) our image-based reconstruction of the stratigraphy contains biases, or (3) the relationship between orbital variations and the stratigraphy is non linear and is not detectable with the linear spectral techniques we employ. Given the large amplitude of orbitally induced variations in insolation and the predicted sensitivity of polar ice to these variations, we expect orbital variations to influence the stratigraphy, and thus expect that explanation 1 is insufficient. Given the demonstrated effects of our estimated jitter and of noise, explanation 2 alone could be sufficient. We expect that explanation 3 is also sufficient to explain our inability to detect a distinct orbital signature.”

    Hence the paper questions the detectability of the Milankovitch cycles in the PLD, but does not dispute their influence.

  193. Tom P (14:06:49) :
    I don’t know why you say there is no relevance. Laskar and colleagues are clearly saying that the insolation changes due to orbital variations, the Milankovitch cycles, are the dominant effect on the stratigraphy of the polar layer deposits.
    There are two kinds of climate change that can be ‘related’ to the Sun: solar insolation and solar irradiance [+ whatever else is associated with solar activity]. Solar insolation has to do with the Earth [or Mars] and its orbit and orientation [and thus will vary even if the solar output were absolutely constant]. There is no doubt that solar insolation [on Earth and on Mars] as a result of orbital changes has a GREAT impact on climate. This is not the debate [for once, the time scale is so long that on a century scale there are no detectable changes in solar insolation due to orbital changes].
    The debate is about whether solar irradiance [solar activity] has any influence. And here the jury is still out. In my opinion, there are certainly such changes, but they are small [a tenth of a degree] and thus of no practical interest [although of great scientific and theoretical interest]. The issue then is that if there were such solar changes they should then be the same for every body in the solar system. We have had a hard time to show that such changes are significant [if they were, we would not be discussing this] on the Earth, and there is not enough data to show that they have occurred elsewhere and in sync with either solar or terrestrial [caused by the Sun] variations. As usual, you’ll find all manner of claims for this, both pro and con. IMHO, there are none that are clear, direct, and compelling. Speculation is fine, if labeled as such, but to call it ‘evidence’ is just plain wrong.

  194. Nasif Nahle (09:58:27) :
    I cannot go to Mars or Titan, Uranus, Pluto, etc., to plant thermometers, radiometers, hygrometers, etc. all over the surface of those bodies.

    This is exactly the reason I suggested to throw trillions of dollars at any scientist who claims he can set up a space program to do exactly this. Hasn’t Al Gore already set up some company to profit from this?

    But this is all very logical and consistent for a true skeptic. The real question, Nasif Nahle, is: What do we do once it is established that the Sun is heating up the whole solar system? And would a possible solution be scientific, considering the fact that science is not able to explain the solar mechanism responsible for the HSSW (heliogenic solar system warming)?

    God, it was nice trying my hand at some WUWT humor for just this once. That sarcasm just felt great. I can’t wait till I’m 50 years older than now and get the real sarcastic juices flowing! ;-)

  195. Tom P (14:06:49) :

    Perron and Huybers certainly make the earlier work on the stratigraphy less certain in its attribution, but note the alternative explanations offered:

    “Three possible explanations for why the PLD spectra fail to show a distinct orbital signal are: (1) the orbital influence is negligible, (2) our image-based reconstruction of the stratigraphy contains biases, or (3) the relationship between orbital variations and the stratigraphy is non linear and is not detectable with the linear spectral techniques we employ. Given the large amplitude of orbitally induced variations in insolation and the predicted sensitivity of polar ice to these variations, we expect orbital variations to influence the stratigraphy, and thus expect that explanation 1 is insufficient. Given the demonstrated effects of our estimated jitter and of noise, explanation 2 alone could be sufficient. We expect that explanation 3 is also sufficient to explain our inability to detect a distinct orbital signature.”

    Hence the paper questions the detectability of the Milankovitch cycles in the PLD, but does not dispute their influence.

    I stand corrected.

    Explanation 3 is near to what is happening today with climate and solar irradiance. We have not completely understood how the solar irradiance affects the climate of Earth, although we are able to observe the correlation.

    Leif Svalgaard (14:56:11):

    But has, of course, no relevance to whether changing climate caused by intrinsic changes in the Sun occurs or has been observed [on Earth or elsewhere].

    I have thought on many alternatives. A three-dimensional model of Higg’s fields and our current knowledge on how a system can slip from high energy density to low energy density fields could explain some important aspects about the effect of solar radiation on the Earth’s climate which you have not seen until present.

    However, the terms have been taken so many times for supporting pseudoscientific ideas that any work which mentions it is discredited immediately. When talking about pseudoscience I am referring to those “thermal loops” creators of energy from the nothingness in the AGW idea.

    My hypothesis is quite different to those AGW “thermal loops” because the energy provided by the Sun would only be passing through a quantum tunneling, which for other particles is experimentally demonstrable and has been demonstrated by experimentation. The solar photons would be transposing quantum barriers through a process similar to Schrödinger wave-equation. For example, the photon leaving the photosphere of the Sun towards the Earth would carry an initial load of energy; as the quantum transposes the Solaris Coronae, it would be carrying the same amount of energy, but its amplitude would have changed when entering to space. The particle as it is leaving the photosphere would have a total energy density higher than its potential energy. Nevertheless, its total energy density would be lower than its potential energy as it has transposed the quantum barrier.

    Well… That’s speculation, but it is a superb explanation. Isn’t it? :)

  196. I suspect this study of the PETM has been carefully placed to allow the end of “anthropogenic global warming” to begin. From here on, slowly and carefully controlled studies will allow the skeptical view to be heard. And with the half-right claim, the global warmists can say “See, CO2 causes half the warming!”

    My theory is this paper sets the nail in the AGW coffin. Now to hammer it home.

  197. Leif Svalgaard (21:46:35) :

    Nasif Nahle (19:58:45) :
    Well… That’s speculation, but it is a superb explanation. Isn’t it? :)
    no, total nonsense.

    It happens in other systems of the real world. What is needed is to apply it to solar irradiance, not mathematically, but by instruments. If it is feasible, then the mechanism would be elegantly and scientifically explained. The Sun is the largest particle collider in the solar system, after all. At least quantum tunneling occurs in the real world and it does not violate thermodynamics laws, while those “climatic loops” start wrong since the starting dismissing the three laws of thermodynamics.

  198. The readers of this blog understand neither basic logic nor modeling. Let’s think this through logically. A study comes out that says that massive global warming in the past was caused by a smaller increase in CO2 than what we see today, and you draw the conclusion that… that means global warming isn’t caused by CO2? The only logical conclusion is the exact opposite of that–that models UNDERestimate CO2′s impact on climate!

    Your line of reasoning is “models say that CO2 causes global warming, the models are wrong, therefore CO2 doesn’t cause global warming.” Well there’s a missing link in that logic chain, because the model can be wrong in BOTH directions. Sure, models could overestimate CO2′s impact on climate, but in this case the models have been UNDERestimating the impact, because they didn’t give enough weight to positive feedback mechanisms. Namely, as CO2 causes the planet to warm, permafrost melts, releasing methane (an even more powerful GHG) into the atmosphere, causing more warming, causing more methane to be released. It’s what we call a “runaway greenhouse effect.” If the models are wrong in this case, it lends MORE evidence to global warming’s reality, and MORE cause for concern. It amazes me how deniers’ religious zealotry is so strong that they can find proof of their case in something that says the exact opposite.

  199. Andrew (20:29:55) :
    It amazes me how deniers’ religious zealotry is so strong that they can find proof of their case in something that says the exact opposite
    That was my sentiment too: 14.07.2009 Leif Svalgaard (19:14:39)

  200. Andrew,

    Here’s a previous post that seems a little more logical:

    ” Robert Kral (20:04:24) :

    RE: Leif Svalgaard (19:14:39) :

    If I didn’t know any better, the conclusion one might draw is that if climate models only predict half the actual warming due to CO2, then the effect of AGW would be twice what is predicted…

    Come on, Leif, didn’t you read the whole thing? The salient point is below.

    The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of the heating during the PETM. “Some feedback loop or other processes that aren’t accounted for in these models — the same ones used by the IPCC for current best estimates of 21st Century warming — caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM.”

    This point is made over and over again; the premise is flawed. Doubling the premise is doubling the flaw and attributing every discrepancy to aerosols is silly.
    If you tell me you’re a sharp-shooter and you can’t hit the target, whether you undershoot or overshoot is immaterial. Your credibility suffers.

  201. Oliver and Robert,
    Starting with the first point, it’s irrelevant whether the entire warming trend was directly attributable to CO2 or to something else–all that matters is how much warming was triggered by an INITIAL rise in CO2. From the blog post: “Average temperatures worldwide rose by about 7 degrees Celsius — about 13 degrees Fahrenheit — in the relatively short geological span of about 10,000 years.” So a portion of that is still very large. And if you’d actually read the study’s summary, the conclusion is that 3.5 degrees C (half of the warming, and a BIG number) was due to CO2. The rest happened as CO2-caused warming led to additional feedback loops. And remember, those initial 3.5 degrees C were caused by LESS CO2 than we’re currently emitting, and over a time period 100 times longer. So yes, this study proves we’re in dire straits.

    As for the second point, it actually does matter which direction the model is wrong in, and it matters what exactly caused the model to be wrong. In this case, most of the models were leaving out an important feedback loop that would have predicted even stronger warming. The logical response isn’t to discount the concept of modeling – it’s to isolate the flaw in the model and correct it. To use the archery analogy, if the wind keeps blowing your shot off target, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad shot – it means you need to change the parameters of your shot (by adjusting for wind); it matters whether you were over or undershooting, because that tells you how to adjust.

  202. Oliver Ramsay (21:26:07) :
    Here’s a previous post that seems a little more logical:
    “The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of the heating during the…”

    What he is saying is that CO2 caused half of the heating…[if you believe his model and analysis], so CO2 is capable of serious climate change [according to the paper].

  203. Leif Svalgaard (20:51:06) :

    Andrew (20:29:55) :
    It amazes me how deniers’ religious zealotry is so strong that they can find proof of their case in something that says the exact opposite
    That was my sentiment too: 14.07.2009 Leif Svalgaard (19:14:39)

    I reached to the same conclusion about the paper after Leif Svalgaard made his observation: (19:25:43) and (21:15:31); however, I don’t see the reaction from bloggers like “religious zealotry” but like a misguiding conclusion from the authors. It’s an AGW trap.

    On the other hand, the carbon dioxide does not possess the thermophysical properties enough as to cause any climate change. The climate is always changing. By the time referred by the authors of the paper, the carbon dioxide was diminishing, not increasing. The change of temperature was not 7 °C, but 14 °C and it was included into a long period of warmhouse which had started off during the early Cretaceous, some 150 million years ago. The authors cherry picked a small period and made it to appear like something unusual for the period; however, high temperatures were quite normal during the Cretaceous, the Paleocene, the Eocene and the first third of the Miocene.

    Conversely, if you wish we can sustain a scientific dialogue about the thermophysical properties of carbon dioxide obtained through experimentation so you can verify that the carbon dioxide is not a primary source of heat and that the carbon dioxide is incapable of causing any warming. My weapons are all scientific stuff.

  204. Andrew,
    “Some feedback loop or other processes that aren’t accounted for in these models …”

    I think we’re familiar with the putative positive feedback of water vapor, that IS accounted for in these models. It is clear that we cannot simply amplify that feedback, in his opinion, to account for the discrepancy.
    You elect to ignore ” …or other processes” when deciding what was meant.
    I choose to disregard “Some feedback loop…” in part, because I’m unimpressed by the arguments already advanced for the water vapor feedback and, in part, because the lack of clarity is strongly indicated in the language.
    The claim that “it must be aerosols because we can’t think what else it might be…” is not very convincing.
    Continuing with our shooting analogy; if you fail to adjust for wind, you’re a bad shot! I never was much of a pool player, but I’ve always admired the masse shot that curls the cue-ball around the eight to reach its target. Not being able to perform that feat, I don’t represent myself to be a good player.
    My point was that one’s credibility suffers when extravagant claims cannot be lived up to. It also suffers when one resorts to gratuitous ad hominem comments, such as “Andrew (20:29:55) :
    It amazes me how deniers’ religious zealotry is so strong that they can find proof of their case in something that says the exact opposite “.

    Leif,

    “What he is saying is that CO2 caused half of the heating…[if you believe his model and analysis], so CO2 is capable of serious climate change [according to the paper].”

    Yes, he said the first part, and the second part is a reasonable inference. However, that’s not all he said and this does not render other inferences the irrational product of religious zealots; a sentiment you said you subscribe to.

  205. Oliver Ramsay (08:31:28) :
    this does not render other inferences the irrational product of religious zealots; a sentiment you said you subscribe to.
    I fully agree that basic logic and common sense are uncommon qualities in today’s irrational, pseudo-scientific, ‘demon-haunted’ world. I would put ‘religious’ between quotes [as I think you would too].

  206. Irrational, pseudoscientific, solipsist world is a reality nowadays. I hope these trends won’t progress quite apart from the non-returnable borderline.

  207. Andrew (20:29:55) :
    Sure, models could overestimate CO2’s impact on climate, but in this case the models have been UNDERestimating the impact, because they didn’t give enough weight to positive feedback mechanisms. the models are wrong in this case, it lends MORE evidence to global warming’s reality, and MORE cause for concern.

    Let’s think the above through logically. You are correct that one possible interpretation is the models underestimate historical positive feedback. So, the logical solution is to increase positive feedback in the models to meet the historical data. Logically, we must also increase the feedback to increasing CO2 occurring now and in the future . Otherwise your corrupt the association, unless you can establish a physical mechanism allowing differential temp response to the feedback effect. Oh, except…… global temps are lower than IPCC predictions based on the positive feedback already incorporated into the current models. Therefore, logically, CO2 does not cause warming, there are no positive feedbacks and the statement “Some feedback loop or other processes that aren’t accounted for in these models” refers to something other than CO2.

  208. Tim Clark (11:17:59) :

    Therefore, logically, CO2 does not cause warming, there are no positive feedbacks and the statement “Some feedback loop or other processes that aren’t accounted for in these models” refers to something other than CO2.

    Those “feeback loops” were invented just to fill the hollows of the idea. If they would have said “quantum loops”, then the mistery would have been opened because they are inventions for evading to include those “other” drivers of climate into the agenda which definitely are the real cause of climate change, especifically the Sun, not the essential-for-life carbon dioxide.

  209. Light oxygen – one of the bellweather indicators of ice ages – tracks far more consistently with temperatures than carbon. Light oxygen is not only an indicator of how much water was locked up in vast glacial stades, it also shows how humid the planet is – more humid and hotter during interglacials, drier and cooler during glaciation.

    A year ago I plotted prehistoric temperatures against both CO2 levels & light oxygen levels. The temperature & light oxygen plots tracked far more consistently than temperature & CO2 levels.

    Light oxygen represents the amount of available water in the Earth’s atmosphere. During ice ages the great stades lock up a great deal water, resulting in a more-arid global climate, a trend reflected by the light oxygen levels from ice core data.

  210. The obvious choice for the missing three or four trillion tons of C13 depleted carbon is the methane hydrates. There are several trillion tons of methane stored in the methane hydrates (also known as methane clathrates), deposited in a zone of stability beneath the ocean floors and in the Arctic.

    So, what they’re saying, I think, using scientifically cautious terminology, is that the Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum was likely a mild to moderate methane catastrophe. Essentially what they seem to be saying is that the “clathrate gun” or “methane catastrophe” theory seems to be correct, and that CO2 alone is insufficient to explain the temperature rise.

    We are not safe from a methane catastrophe, ourselves, by the way. On February 26,2009, Stanford climate scientist Chris Field talked about the sort of runaway vicious cycle feedback effects, such as melting Arctic permafrost (containing 1.5 trillion tons of carbon), that could very easily trigger dissociation of the oceanic methane hydrate deposits.

    Many of the comments on this thread seem to miss that point. This paper implies we could have a methane catastrophe with less than a doubling of CO2 levels.

  211. Oh, on edit, Chris Field spoke on Democracy Now! on February 26, 2009. I suggest skeptical readers of Watts Up With That go and take a look at a real climate scientist, and what he’s afraid of – vicious cycle feedback effects.

  212. From Chris Field, DemocracyNow, Feb 26, 2009:

    And what we increasingly see is that with temperatures at the upper end of this warming range, we begin to get a large series of very dangerous feedbacks from the earth’s system. In particular, we see tropical forest transitioning from taking up large amounts of carbon to taking up very little or even releasing carbon. And it looks like there’s an increasing risk that high latitude ecosystems that are characterized by these frozen soils called permafrost may release some of the organic matter that’s stored in this permafrost to the atmosphere. So you end up in a situation where, instead of having ecosystems storing large amounts of carbon, their storing very little or releasing large amounts.

    The calculations to date are that tropical forests—and this is something that is explored in the IPCC—could, at the higher ranges of temperature forcing, release anywhere from a hundred billion to 500 billion extra tons of carbon to the atmosphere by 2100. And that should be put in the context of understanding that during the entire period from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution until now, all of the world societies have only released a little over 300 billion tons of carbon to the atmosphere….

    …AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask not only about what’s happening in the Southwest, but a vicious cycle you talked about that could do everything from ignite tropical forests to melt the Arctic tundra.

    CHRISTOPHER FIELD: The idea of these vicious cycle feedbacks is that once warming reaches a certain point, the amount of assistance that we’re getting in terms of carbon storage from the land and oceans tends to go down. And this is quite clear from the IPCC models, and it’s clear from a number of other more recent lines of work. In the IPCC, the models characterize a future in which tropical forests at the high range of warming have a potential to release large amounts of carbon to the atmosphere.

    One of the new numbers that’s a great concern to me is that we’ve been doing studies of how much organic matter is stored in these frozen soils in northern latitudes, permafrost soils, and the new numbers are that approximately a billion tons [he meant trillion tons, and the latest estimates are actually 1.6 trillion tons of carbon - Leland Palmer] of carbon is stored in the organic matter in these high latitude soils. Climate model projections indicate that at high amounts of warming large fractions of the permafrost could melt, and some of the projections have that at from 60 to 90 percent of the permafrost melting.

    And the surprising thing about these permafrost soils is that the organic matter that’s contained within them is not this incredibly stabilized, difficult-to-decompose stuff; it’s basically frozen plants that have been sitting there for, in some cases, tens of thousands of years. And when the permafrost is thawed, these plants decompose quite quickly, releasing their carbon as CO2 to the atmosphere or as methane to the atmosphere, which is a greenhouse gas that, on a molecule per molecule basis, is about twenty-five times as powerful as CO2.

    The basic risk is that if we reach a certain point in the warming, what we’ll end up with is a vicious cycle, where the warming causes additional permafrost melt, which causes additional CO2 to be released to the atmosphere, which causes additional warming, which creates this vicious cycle.

    What they’re saying in this paper is that Chris Field was basically right, and what he’s afraid of, these runaway positive feedbacks, appear to have occurred during the Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum.

    An even bigger methane catastrophe was likely the Permian/Triassic extinction event, which killed approximately 95 percent of all species on earth.

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