CO2, Soot, Modeling and Climate Sensitivity

Warming Caused by Soot, Not CO2

From the Resilient Earth

Submitted by Doug L. Hoffman on Wed, 07/15/2009 – 13:19

A new paper in Science reports that a careful study of satellite data show the assumed cooling effect of aerosols in the atmosphere to be significantly less than previously estimated. Unfortunately, the assumed greater cooling has been used in climate models for years. In such models, the global-mean warming is determined by the balance of the radiative forcings—warming by greenhouse gases balanced against cooling by aerosols. Since a greater cooling effect has been used in climate models, the result has been to credit CO2 with a larger warming effect than it really has.

This question is of great importance to climate modelers because they have to be able to simulate the effect of GHG warming in order to accurately predict future climate change. The amount of temperature increase set into a climate model for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 is called the model’s sensitivity. As Dr. David Evans explained in a recent paper: “Yes, every emitted molecule of carbon dioxide (CO2) causes some warming—but the crucial question is how much warming do the CO2 emissions cause? If atmospheric CO2 levels doubled, would the temperature rise by 0.1°, 1.0°, or by 10.0° C?”


Temperature sensitivity scenarios from IPCC AR4.

The absorption frequencies of CO2 are already saturated, meaning that the atmosphere already captures close to 100% of the radiation at those frequencies. Consequently, as the level of CO2 in the atmosphere increases, the rise in temperature for a given increase in CO2 becomes smaller. This sorely limits the amount of warming further increases in CO2 can engender. Because CO2 on its own cannot account for the observed temperature rise in the past century, climate modelers assume that linkages exist between CO2 and other climate influences, mainly water vapor (for a more detailed explanation of what determines the Global Warming Potential of a gas see my comment “It’s not that simple”).

To compensate for the missing “forcing,” models are tuned to include a certain amount of extra warming linked to carbon dioxide levels—extra warming that comes from unestablished feedback mechanisms whose existence is simply assumed. Aerosol cooling and climate sensitivity in the models must balance each other in order to match historical conditions. Since the climate warmed slightly last century the amount of warming must have exceeded the amount of cooling. As Dr. Roy Spencer, meteorologist and former NASA scientist, puts it: “They program climate models so that they are sensitive enough to produce the warming in the last 50 years with increasing carbon dioxide concentrations. They then point to this as ‘proof’ that the CO2 caused the warming, but this is simply reasoning in a circle.”

A large aerosol cooling, therefore, implies a correspondingly large climate sensitivity. Conversely, reduced aerosol cooling implies lower GHG warming, which in turn implies lower model sensitivity. The upshot of this is that sensitivity values used in models for the past quarter of a century have been set too high. Using elevated sensitivity settings has significant implications for model predictions of future global temperature increases. The low-end value of model sensitivity used by the IPCC is 2°C. Using this value results, naturally, in the lowest predictions for future temperature increases. According to the paper “Consistency Between Satellite-Derived and Modeled Estimates of the Direct Aerosol Effect” published in Science on july 10, 2009, Gunnar Myhre states that previous values for aerosol cooling are too high—by as much as 40 percent—implying the IPCC’s model sensitivity settings are too high also. Here is the abstract of the paper:

In the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report, the direct aerosol effect is reported to have a radiative forcing estimate of –0.5 Watt per square meter (W m–2), offsetting the warming from CO2 by almost one-third. The uncertainty, however, ranges from –0.9 to –0.1 W m–2, which is largely due to differences between estimates from global aerosol models and observation-based estimates, with the latter tending to have stronger (more negative) radiative forcing. This study demonstrates consistency between a global aerosol model and adjustment to an observation-based method, producing a global and annual mean radiative forcing that is weaker than –0.5 W m–2, with a best estimate of –0.3 W m–2. The physical explanation for the earlier discrepancy is that the relative increase in anthropogenic black carbon (absorbing aerosols) is much larger than the overall increase in the anthropogenic abundance of aerosols.

The complex influence of atmospheric aerosols on the climate system and the influence of humans on aerosols are among the key uncertainties in the understanding recent climate change. Rated as one of the most significant yet poorly understood forcings by the IPCC there has been much activity in aerosol research recently (see Airborne Bacteria Discredit Climate Modeling Dogma and African Dust Heats Up Atlantic Tropics). Some particles absorb sunlight, contributing to climate warming, while others reflect sunlight, leading to cooling. The main anthropogenic aerosols that cause cooling are sulfate, nitrate, and organic carbon, whereas black carbon absorbs solar radiation. The global mean effect of human caused aerosols (in other words, pollution) is a cooling, but the relative contributions of the different types of aerosols determine the magnitude of this cooling. Readjusting that balance is what Myhre’s paper is all about.


Smoke from a forest fire.
Photo EUMETSAT.

Discrepancies between recent satellite observations and the values needed to make climate models work right have vexed modelers. “A reliable quantification of the aerosol radiative forcing is essential to understand climate change,” states Johannes Quaas of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany. Writing in the same issue of Science Dr. Quaas continued, “however, a large part of the discrepancy has remained unexplained.” With a systematic set of sensitivity studies, Myhre explains most of the remainder of the discrepancy. His paper shows that with a consistent data set of anthropogenic aerosol distributions and properties, the data-based and model-based approaches converge.

Myhre argues that since preindustrial times, soot particle concentrations have increased much more than other aerosols. Unlike many other aerosols, which scatter sunlight, soot strongly absorbs solar radiation. At the top of the atmosphere, where the Earth’s energy balance is determined, scattering has a cooling effect, whereas absorption has a warming effect. If soot increases more than scattering aerosols, the overall aerosol cooling effect is smaller than it would be otherwise. According to Dr. Myhre’s work, the correct cooling value is some 40% less than that previously accepted by the IPCC.

Not that climate modelers are unaware of the problems with their creations. Numerous papers have been published that detail problems predicting ice cover, precipitation and temperature correctly. This is due to inadequate modeling of the ENSO, aerosols and the bane of climate modelers, cloud cover. Apologists for climate modeling will claim that the models are still correct, just not as accurate or as detailed as they might be. Can a model that is only partially correct be trusted? Quoting again from Roy Spencer’s recent blog post:

It is also important to understand that even if a climate model handled 95% of the processes in the climate system perfectly, this does not mean the model will be 95% accurate in its predictions. All it takes is one important process to be wrong for the models to be seriously in error.

Can such a seemingly simple mistake in a single model parameter really lead to invalid results? Consider the graph below, a representation of the predictions made by James Hansen to the US Congress in 1988, plotted against how the climate actually behaved. Pretty much what one would expect if the sensitivity of the model was set too high, yet we are still supposed to believe in the model’s results. No wonder even the IPCC doesn’t call their model results predictions, preferring the more nebulous term “scenarios.”

Now that we know the models used by climate scientists were all tuned incorrectly what does this imply for the warnings of impending ecological disaster? What impact does this discovery have on the predictions of melting icecaps, rising ocean levels, increased storm activity and soaring global temperatures? Quite simply they got it wrong, at least in as much as those predictions were based on model results. To again quote from David Evans’ paper:

None of the climate models in 2001 predicted that temperatures would not rise from 2001 to 2009—they were all wrong. All of the models wrongly predict a huge dominating tropical hotspot in the atmospheric warming pattern—no such hotspot has been observed, and if it was there we would have easily detected it.

Once again we see the shaky ground that climate models are built on. Once again a new paper in a peer reviewed journal has brought to light significant flaws in the ways models are configured—forced to match known historical results even when erroneous values are used for fundamental parameters. I have said many times that, with enough tweaking, a model can be made to fit any set of reference data—but such bogus validation does not mean the model will accurately predict the future. When will climate science realize that its reputation has been left in tatters by these false prophets made of computer code?

Be safe, enjoy the interglacial and stay skeptical.

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

ADDENDUM BY ANTHONY

I’d like to add this graph showing CO2’s temperature response to supplement the one Doug Hoffman cites from IPCC AR4. here we see that we are indeed pretty close to saturation of the response.

CO2_temperature_curve_saturation

click for larger image

The “blue fuzz” represents measured global CO2 increases in our modern times.

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209 Responses to CO2, Soot, Modeling and Climate Sensitivity

  1. Jimmy Haigh says:

    It just shows that the huge amount of money that is going in to all the climate research is having the result that the more they find out the more they realise they don’t know.

    Welcome to real science, climatologists.

  2. Rhys Jaggar says:

    This sounds a bit like a football coach whose greatest asset is a withdrawn striker whose skill will set up a striking partner with pace and shooting accuracy with reams of goals.

    Unfortunately, the manager bought a ‘traditional English centre forward’ who was big and strong, could head the ball beautifully but had a bit of a leaden first touch.

    Normally in such cases, either the star departs, the manager realises his mistake and replaces the striker or the board fire the manager.

    Any chance of any of that happening in the climate change circles??!!

  3. UK Sceptic says:

    Lies, damn lies and climate modelling…

  4. tallbloke says:

    Nice graph Anthony. Please can we have the equations for each of the three curves.

  5. Juraj V. says:

    I do not buy this aerosols alchemy. Warmists still claim aerosols are responsible for 1940-1978 temperature stagnation/decrease, even the real reason – oceanic oscillations – have been discovered since. The only ample effect of aerosols is for me Pinatubo or El Chichon, causing a temperature drop for few following years.

  6. Richard111 says:

    “No wonder even the IPCC doesn’t call their model results predictions, preferring the more nebulous term “scenarios.””

    Yeah, right!

    “”All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players, They have their exits and entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, …””

  7. Allan M R MacRae says:

    We covered this point on June 28, 2009.

    Science is SO last season. :^)

    Regards to all, Allan

    *********************************************
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/27/new-paper-global-dimming-and-brightening-a-review/#comments

    28June2009

    Leif Svalgaard (13:21:18) :

    Allan M R MacRae (12:54:27) :
    “There are actual measurements by Hoyt and others that show NO trends in atmospheric aerosols, but volcanic events are clearly evident.”
    But increased atmospheric CO2 is NOT a significant driver of global warming – that much is obvious by now.

    Leif: But what has that to do with aerosols?

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

    Leif, I did say:

    The sensitivity of global temperature to increased atmospheric CO2 is so small as to be inconsequential – much less than 1 degree C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2. CO2 feedbacks are negative, not positive. Climate model hindcasting fails unless false aerosol data is used to “cook” the model.

    Connecting the dots, to answer your question:

    The fabricated aerosol data allows climate model hindcasting to appear credible while assuming a false high sensitivity of global temperature to atmospheric CO2.

    The false high sensitivity is then used to forecast catastrophic humanmade global warming (the results of the “cooked” climate models).

    What happens if the fabricated (phony) aerosol data is not used?

    No phony aerosol data > no credible model hindcasting > no artificially high climate sensitivity to CO2 > no model forecasting of catastrophic humanmade global warming.

    Regards, Allan

    Supporting P.S.:
    Earth is cooling, not warming. Pass it on…

  8. Hans Erren says:

    Anthony would you mind plotting the logarithm of CO2 in your graph on the x axis?
    The nearly saturated argument is a well known red herring.
    It is exactly this logarithmic relationship why climate sensitivity is expressed per CO2 doubling:
    No feedback 1.2 K/2xCo2
    Strong postiive feedback 1.5-4.5 (IPCC range)
    Strong negative feedback 0.3-0.6 (eg Lindzen and Miskolczi)

  9. h.oldeboom says:

    German (Dr. Heinz Hug) and American scientists already reported about the very little influence of CO2 in the 80’s and 90’s of the past century. Now it becomes true! Why? I think our miserable politicians are fearing the possible coming colder times and are confronted with an ill economy.

  10. Allan M R MacRae says:

    Posted earlier on June 28

    Allan M R MacRae (10:41:55) :

    Allan M R MacRae (03:23:07)

    FABRICATION OF AEROSOL DATA USED FOR CLIMATE MODELS:

    The pyrheliometric ratioing technique is very insensitive to any changes in calibration of the instruments and very sensitive to aerosol changes.

    Here are three papers using the technique:

    Hoyt, D. V. and C. Frohlich, 1983. Atmospheric transmission at Davos, Switzerland, 1909-1979. Climatic Change, 5, 61-72.

    Hoyt, D. V., C. P. Turner, and R. D. Evans, 1980. Trends in atmospheric transmission at three locations in the United States from 1940 to 1977. Mon. Wea. Rev., 108, 1430-1439.

    Hoyt, D. V., 1979. Pyrheliometric and circumsolar sky radiation measurements by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory from 1923 to 1954. Tellus, 31, 217-229.

    In none of these studies were any long-term trends found in aerosols, although volcanic events show up quite clearly. There are other studies from Belgium, Ireland, and Hawaii that reach the same conclusions. It is significant that Davos shows no trend whereas the IPCC models show it in the area where the greatest changes in aerosols were occurring.

    There are earlier aerosol studies by Hand and in other in Monthly Weather Review going back to the 1880s and these studies also show no trends.

    ___________________________

    Repeating: “In none of these studies were any long-term trends found in aerosols, although volcanic events show up quite clearly.”
    ___________________________

    Here is an email just received from Douglas Hoyt [my comments in square brackets]:

    It [aerosol numbers used in climate models] comes from the modelling work of Charlson where total aerosol optical depth is modeled as being proportional to industrial activity.

    [For example, the 1992 paper in Science by Charlson, Hansen et al]
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/255/5043/423

    or [the 2000 letter report to James Baker from Hansen and Ramaswamy]
    http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:DjVCJ3s0PeYJ:www-nacip.ucsd.edu/Ltr-Baker.pdf+%22aerosol+optical+depth%22+time+dependence&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    where it says [para 2 of covering letter] “aerosols are not measured with an accuracy that allows determination of even the sign of annual or decadal trends of aerosol climate forcing.”

    Let’s turn the question on its head and ask to see the raw measurements of atmospheric transmission that support Charlson.
    Hint: There aren’t any, as the statement from the workshop above confirms.

    __________________________

    IN SUMMARY

    There are actual measurements by Hoyt and others that show NO trends in atmospheric aerosols, but volcanic events are clearly evident.

    So Charlson, Hansen et al ignored these inconvenient aerosol measurements and “cooked up” (fabricated) aerosol data that forced their climate models to better conform to the global cooling that was observed pre~1975.

    Voila! Their models could hindcast (model the past) better using this fabricated aerosol data, and therefore must predict the future with accuracy.

    That is the evidence of fabrication of the aerosol data used in climate models that predict catastrophic humanmade global warming.

    And we are going to spend trillions and cripple our Western economies based on this fabrication of false data, this model cooking, this nonsense?

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

  11. Nick Stokes says:

    Mr Hoffman clearly doesn’t understanding the usage of scenario. It is not another word for prediction. It’s an input that is determined by human decisions, and can’t be predicted scientifically. In Hansen’s 1988 paper, it referred to future CO2 emission. He said CO2 emission might, depending on governments, increase exponentially (scenario A), linearly (B) or tail off (C). He calculated a projection for each scenario.

    As it turned out, CO2 did not increase exponentially. It was close to linear (scenario B). It is thoroughly misleading to plot the scenario A case as if it was Hansen’s projection. The projection for scenario B, the CO2 emission that did occur, was very good.

  12. Mike McMillan says:

    His statement that the CO2 frequencies are already saturated pretty much confirms my belief that there isn’t much energy left for CO2 to absorb, no matter how much CO2 is added to the atmosphere.

    Looking at the absorption bands
    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Atmospheric_Absorption_Bands_png
    it’s easy to see that the only band CO2 has that isn’t covered by the 100 times more plentiful water bands, is the one at 4 microns. Going up to the blackbody curves, that band just doesn’t have much to give.

  13. John Edmondson says:

    To tallbloke

    Look here:-

    http://brneurosci.org/co2.html

    for your equations regarding CO2

    Also the water vapour feedback in the climate models is just plain wrong. There is a massive difference between a positive feedback and a negetive feedback , at least 5C . This is the difference between an ice age and now.

  14. dearieme says:

    What would happens if one were to repeat the calculation using not the adjusted data for measured temperatures, but instead a set of honest, competent temperature observations?

  15. Mike McMillan says:
  16. Supercritical says:

    Tell me, does the term ‘aerosols’ include clouds?

  17. Thomas J. Arnold. says:

    When we studied climate models in the late 70s, it was a given that all models were imperfect, we knew we were only human, but it was fun and quite harmless. No individual thought that the models would be able to predict with any accuracy future trends, computers got bigger, Nasa wanted more accurate results, people believed in computers, enter Jim and the rest is history(and now hopefully is the IPCC).
    I am no luddite but people and machines should know their limits, or else we start to believe in our own divinity.

  18. Bernie says:

    I would like to know if the GCM’s use a curve such as Anthony’s blue fuzz graph for the system response to CO2 or do they cheat and straight line the response from the 0 ppm point to the current point and keep going straight up after that?

  19. DJ says:

    Hansen published 3 scenarios (http://www.pnas.org/content/103/39/14288.full). Why show just one which is FAR too high in its CO2 emissions? This tactic has been used before (http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/01/steve_mcintyre_defends_pat_mic.php).

    >The absorption frequencies of CO2 are already saturated, meaning that the atmosphere already captures close to 100% of the radiation at those frequencies.

    This is wrong.

    Harries, J.E., H.E. Brindley, P.J. Sagoo, and R.J. Bantges, 2001: Increases in greenhouse forcing inferred from the outgoing longwave radiation spectra of the Earth in 1970 and 1997. Nature, 410, 355–357.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v410/n6826/abs/410355a0.html

    Finally, the last number on the graph should be +0.62C.

    Given 2 of 3 comments have been gagged today – don’t anticipate this one to get through the fact filter.

    REPLY: Given that you routinely use a BoM IP address to post comments, I’d suggest that if you want to speak on behalf of BoM use your full name there. See the policy page. – Anthony

  20. tallbloke says:

    Given there is no visible decadal or multidecadal reduction in the earth’s outgoing longwave radiation, this admits the possibilities that:

    1) The theoretical forcing due to co2 of 1.7W/m^2 is overstated, due to a failure to allow for other climate influencing factors such as the positive phases of oceanic cycles, and the overestimation of the effect of aerosols as described here. This seems highly likely.

    2) The Earth has compensatory mechanisms we had not hitherto considered which can mitigate any effect of a 30% change in the atmospheric concentration of a trace gas. For example, Stephen Wilde’s idea that the latitudinal polewards boundaries of the temperate zone Hadley cells wouldn’t have to move very far to alter the radiative balance of Earth’s climate. This would reduce the scare story to “Oh no, the seasonal rains moved two hundred miles north.” Since the boundaries of the cells and the jet streams wimble around anyway due to known cyclic and incalculable chaotic factors and semi-periodic inter-annual variabilities, we could probably live with that without to much upheaval and panic.

    3) Given that there is no visible co2 forcing signal in the observational OLR data it would seem likely that (1) or (2) or both is the true situation.

  21. astronmr20 says:

    Rhys,

    We call that soccer. And we have no idea what you are talking about.

    (:

  22. DaveF says:

    Moderator: This ought to be snipped!

    WARNING: Extremely old Swedish Pharmacist joke.

    Customer: I vant a deodorant.
    Pharmacist: Yes sir. Ball or Aerosol?
    Customer: Neider, I vant it for my armpit.

    [Shame on you! ~dbstealey, moderator]

  23. An Inquirer says:

    “DJ (01:51:27) : Hansen published 3 scenarios (http://www.pnas.org/content/103/39/14288.full). Why show just one which is FAR too high in its CO2 emissions?”

    You are wrong, DJ. Scenario A is not FAR too high in its CO2 emissions. In fact, emissions have exceeded the 1.5% growth used as an assumption. However, there are a couple of points that helps your side. First, Hansen underestminated (or ignored), how increased CO2 levels would be mitigated by increased flora. Therefore, actual CO2 levels have been close to his Scenario levels. Second, Scenario A (Business-as-Usua) had high levels of ozone-depleting gases which definitely have exceeded reality. (Hansen emphasized Scenario A in his presentation even though the Montreal Protocol had already been implemented.)

  24. Mike Ramsey says:

    DJ (01:51:27) :

    “Given 2 of 3 comments have been gagged today – don’t anticipate this one to get through the fact filter.”

    Oh don’t worry, none of what you said made it through the fact filter.

  25. Shihad says:

    @DJ (01:51:27)

    Have you read this post at CA? http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3354

    Scenario B, according to Hansen, is the most likely case and Scenario C requires “draconian measures”.

  26. Adam Gallon says:

    Re Nick Stokes (00:44:05)
    That “Unreal Climate” thread is dated May 2007, the first graph looks like it ends in c 2003, so extrapolate it out to 2009 & see where it is now.
    Reading it carefully, it also doesn’t seem to plot any temperatures, it’s just “scenarios” with/without various forcings.
    So the second chart is the one to look at and to me it would seem that we’re below even Hansen’s Scenario C.
    The models are junk, something(s) important is/are missing from them and until that/those missing factor(s) are identified and included, their predictive value is worthless.

  27. Joachim says:

    I was guessing that the RC crowd would simply say the author was wrong, even though it is published in Science. Lo and behold…..

    Now that they have hyposethized that global warming prior to 1998 was the normal AGW rate, “the climate system overshot the target”, we’ll just have to wait another 15-30 years for this new idea to be proven wrong, if it is wrong. I don’t think AGW prophesizing scientists will be convinced of anything other than their own work.

  28. MattN says:

    Excellent entry and reinforces what I’ve said for years now. Thanks.

    If soot is indeed the issue, we need to look no further than China who spews more unchecked coal emissions than the US every thought of. Our coal burning practices, by comparison, are as pure as a mountain stream….

  29. Chris Wright says:

    This is fascinating stuff. I have little doubt that the IPCC has grossly exaggerated future global warming for the obvious reasons. However, I think the sceptical case is best served by not exaggerating the truth and by not presenting misleading data. We should leave that to the warmists.

    I think Nick Stokes has a point. If, as he says, Hansen Scenario A was for exponential CO2 growth, that plainly didn’t happen and, if so, to display Scenario A in that context was misleading at the very least.
    I wonder if WUWT could comment on this and also show the equivalent graph for Scenario B. If Hansen got it right twenty years ago then he should have credit for it. But on the other hand I would be surprised if his model correctly predicted the pause in global warming that started ten years ago.
    Overall, I think WUWT does a great job – but, as in all walks of life, occasionally things do go wrong!
    Chris

  30. Leon Brozyna says:

    After reading through this, I was struck by the way so much of modeling is based upon assumptions … modelers assume certain values for cooling by aerosols, then assume certain values for GHG heating, assume for this, assume for that, etc. etc.

    From my 20 year sojourn in the intellectual atmosphere of the Big Green Machine, I picked up this succinct descriptor [vulgarity level filtered]:

    Assumptions are the mother of all foul ups.

  31. Miles says:

    Climate models are a colossal waste of time and money.

    Until climatology is a better understood science, research, time and money could be put to better use trying to understand the basic fundamentals of earth’s climate instead of trying to predict something on which we’re basically guessing at.

    Shouldn’t there be a basic law of climate science anyways, like the laws of thermodynamics ?

    1) The system will stay at equilibrium until an external forcing changes it’s current equilibrium ( or something like that )

  32. cbullitt says:

    Richard III

    You forgot the best line relative to Hansen et al; “it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

  33. Ron de Haan says:

    If we want real answers, we need to open up to all possibilities and with all, I mean all.
    Before this publication we had similar publications about black soot, black carbon, aerosols etc.

    I think we should have a much broader perspective and involve much more factors and combine them, where possible with real world observations.

    If we look at this season with continuing cold anolomies in the northern hemisphere,
    we have experienced at least 4 volcanic eruptions, that started with Mt. Redoubt and ended with Sarychev Peak sending a lot of ash and gases, water vapor and SO2 high into the atmosphere, penetrating the stratosphere. (Sarychev Peak eruption reached an altitude of 21 km)
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/category.php?cat_id=12

    We also have observed real massive dust storms. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/category.php?cat_id=7
    This month for example a gigantic amount of Sahara dust as big as the entire USA
    crossed the Atlantic, with a huge impact on Atlantic Storm formation.

    Joseph D’Aleo, in his current publication (see http://www.icecap.us) about the sun effecting weather events, tells about the droughts in Africa and Argentina which always seem to happen during a solar minimum. These droughts are a major cause for dust storms, expanding the area’s of source material besides the usual deserts.

    At the same time we observe real gigantic forest fires.
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/category.php?cat_id=8
    Especially impressive the sat image of Central Africa.

    Several posters here made simple experiments with their photo camera to conclude
    there is a significant dimming of the sun. I believe figures like 18% were mentioned.
    This in my opinion is very significant.

    Some time ago I read a publication about cloud forming.
    The usual condensation nuclei consist of ice but this article described they found bio materials, plant pollen and even spider eggs were found in their air samples the took during several flights at different altitudes.
    We know that fine dust and smoke also function as condensation nuclei.

    Than we have the theory of Svensmark about the inter galactic particles crashing into our atmosphere responsible for seeding clouds.

    Just to make my point, I think there is a trend where scientists tend to compact a very complex climate system, involving the sun, the oceans the land, the atmosphere with single one liners.

    I can perfectly understand this because most scientist are specialized and perform long years of research on a single phenomena.

    But if we want to understand the huge puzzle that is called climate, we should take good notice of their research but at the same time we must realize that what we are looking at is only a single (small) piece of that puzzle.

    We already know that CO2 is not a climate driver and it is a logical step that people
    look for arguments to debunk settled science that states the opposite.
    The fact that the CO2 argument is blown out of proportion and high jacked by politics dies not make it easy.

    But I think we should try to generate a view of the entire puzzle and make a direct link between real world observations and implement (check, test) the available science.

    We have to fit the pieces in order to finish the puzzle and see what’s missing.

  34. Ric Werme says:

    Confusing typo alert, 2nd sentence.

    Unfortunately, the assume greater cooling has been used in climate models for years.

    It took a couple attempts (e.g. the->they), but perhaps it should have assume->assumed, i.e.

    Unfortunately, the assumed greater cooling has been used in climate models for years.

    It would’ve helped if I had read the first sentence first. :-)

  35. Dave in Delaware says:

    re DJ (01:51:27) :

    Following the Harries, J.E., H.E. Brindley, P.J. Sagoo, and R.J. Bantges link –

    The press release for the 2001 paper tells us about the methodology –
    “The team examined the infrared spectrum of long-wave radiation data from a region over the Pacific Ocean…”
    “The effects of cloud cover were effectively removed by using a cloud-clearing algorithm.”

    ——
    There were a number of related papers by these authors.
    In an earlier paper on this same time snapshot comparison (1970 and 1997 data)- H.E. Brindley*, P.J. Sagoo, R. J. Bantges and J.E. Harries conclude –

    “By comparing spectrally resolved observations from
    the IRIS and IMG instruments we have identified clear
    signatures due to long term changes in trace gas
    amounts. Although these strongly affect the OLR the
    atmospheric temperature and humidity response cannot
    be unequivocally determined owing to the snapshot
    nature of the observations.”

    ————————————————————————-

    And in a later paper, adding 2003 to the 1970 and 1997 data, authors Jennifer A. Griggs and John E. Harries tell us about the percentage of clear sky data over that portion of the Pacific.

    “The cloud clearing process removes 99% of IRIS spectra, 67% of IMG spectra and 76% of AIRS spectra.”

    —————————

    My conclusion from this is:
    * They saw a composition change in the atmosphere between 1971 and 1997.
    * They were not able to draw conclusions about atmospheric temperature and humidity (they wanted to but the data didn’t support that conclusion)
    * What they observed represents only 1% to 24% of a typical day over that portion of the Pacific. What was happening the other 76% to 99% of the time was governed in some way by cloud cover.

    Again, from the 2001 press release,
    “Professor Harries described the next challenges for the team: “The next step is to assess whether these data can provide information about changes in not only the greenhouse gas forcing, but the cloud feedback, which is a response of the cloud field to that forcing. ”

    My comment –
    We have good news Professor Harris.
    Since water vapor and clouds account for an estimated 90% of the ‘greenhouse’ affect, and it appears that the Pacific had cloud cover more often than not, and more recent studies suggest that clouds have a moderating affect on climate, then the OLR shift in the other 10% of ‘greenhouse gasses’ may not be a climatic catastrophe.

  36. Murray Carpenter says:

    O.T.
    I was thinking about sea level rise in the last 100 years and was wondering wether at least some of it could be atributed to construction, in terms of sea defences, Docks, piers, pipelines, Bridges, land reclamation from the sea, man made land in places like Dubai, even ships and boats (including wrecks!) displace water. Maybe you think all this would amount to only a few grains of sand in a bucket of water, but perhaps we are up to half a brick by now!! Your thoughts….Thanks

  37. Ron de Haan says:

    After reading the comments, I think this subject is closed!

    In the mean time:
    Chain of cold records continues:
    http://www.examiner.com/x-11224-Baltimore-Weather-Examiner~y2009m7d14-Record-low-temperature-tied-this-morning-another-on-the-way

    Observations of noctilucent clouds come in from all over the world (dimming?)
    see http://www.spaceweather.com

    And it is already five days ago that the last sun spot was seen.
    If the sun was a car, it would need a new engine and a new battery.
    “Ramp up” becomes an entire different meaning.

  38. Pofarmer says:

    Thank you for that last graph, I’ve been looking for something like that for some time!

    So, does this mean that we could run CO2 to 1000 ppm and simply generate larger crop yields? I wonder what it would replace in the atmosphere?

  39. Peter Taylor says:

    A plug for my own analysis of this issue in CHILL: a reassessment of global warming theory (June, 2009, Clairview Books) – I reviewed a number of papers published in Science in 2005 when it was shown very clearly from an assessment of satellite data on the flux of radiation to the earth’s surface that the pollution aerosol explanation for the trough in global temperatures was wrong – the global dimming was a worldwide phenomenon, but it happened also in unpolluted regions of the earth, and hence was a combination of changing atmospheric transparency (aerosols) and cloud cover. I show convincing evidence that the dimming began to reverse BEFORE the major clean-up of sulphur in western Europe or the collapse of the economies of Russia and eastern Europe. In IPPC4 (2007) in amongst the technical reports, they admit this new science BUT do not state the implications for the models – which as Hoffman rightly points out, had been validated by ‘hindcasting’ or replicating this trough. As we know the 30 year trough coincided with the PDO and other ocean cycle phases.

    I also pointed out that the models were DOUBLY unreliable because they also relied upon ‘warmth-in-the-pipeline’ as accumulated heat in the ocean surface waters was transferred to land – as we know in WUWT, that heat estimate was cut by half in 2006/2007 by Willis/Lyman/Gouretski’s work, BUT this was not reported in IPCC4.

    The UK MetOffice are aware of this latter (if not the former) and have been revising their model projections. BUT they have a separate team, as yet unpublicised, working on the medium-range projections (to 2030) – and they expect cooling. The other team – the long range to 2050/2080 has just received maximum publicity by the government, because of course, the long term trend will be dominated by the unreconstructed models and predicts – wait for it – 4 dgrees C of warming in the UK by 2050 unless we reduce emissions by 80% – which our government has just announced it will do. It is now very busy ‘streamlining’ the planning system to remove ‘bottlenecks’ – a euphamism for people who get in the way of the very destructive wind, tidal and biofuel projects.

  40. Ron de Haan says:

    Well, we can now tell that this posting about CO2, Soot and Climate Modelling did not stop Boxer:

    http://climateprogress.org/2009/07/15/boxer-planning-sept-8-rollout-for-climate-bill/

    One republican is in support of her new bill.

    Keep them “warm” with your calls so they can make a “cool” decision.

  41. Pofarmer says:

    it’s easy to see that the only band CO2 has that isn’t covered by the 100 times more plentiful water bands, is the one at 4 microns. Going up to the blackbody curves, that band just doesn’t have much to give.

    So, in the bands where water vapor is dominate, does the CO2 concentration even matter? Are those bands already at 100% absorption even without CO2?

  42. Pofarmer says:

    Holy smoke. I just looked at our forecast. Lows in the 50’s for Friday and Saturday night. That’s in the Missouri in JULY????? I don’t ever remember lows in the 50’s in July.

  43. MattN says:

    Can anyone tell me if solar activity increases, will the energy availible in the band that CO2 absorbs also increase? If so, could *that* be what we’re seeing?

  44. Nogw says:

    DJ: How do you explain the fact that CO2, being a trace part of the air (3.85 per ten thousand) and, worst, the air having a VHC of 0.001297 J cm−3 K−1 can keep any heat (compare it with that of water=4.186 J cm−3 K−1)?
    And the oustanding physicist Niels Bohr said about the so called “Green House effect”
    the absorption of specific wavelengths of light didn’t cause gas atoms/molecules to become hotter. Instead, the absorption of specific wavelengths of light caused the electrons in an atom/molecule to move to a higher energy state. After absorption of light of a specific wavelength an atom couldn’t absorb additional radiation of that wavelength without first emitting light of that wavelength. (Philosophical Magazine Series 6, Volume 26 July 1913, p. 1-25)
    And precisely is what Anthony´s graph above clearly shows (“saturation”, you know..).
    That is why the following words are anything but science:
    We conclude that global warming of more than ≈1°C, relative to 2000, will constitute “dangerous” climate change as judged from likely effects on sea level and extermination of species.
    And, for sure, its author/s will be totally forgotten except for psychiatry books.

  45. Jim says:

    Supercritical (01:03:54) : My question also! Water is the chameleon in the workings of climate, and clouds certainly are aerosols. Who knows how the “climatologists” define aerosols. But clouds are a suspension of liquid water particles in air and meet the definition of an aerosol. No one has explained why a cloud aerosol should behave differently than a sulfate-based aerosol, for example. Of course there are many different kinds of clouds. The bigger ones seem to reflect all visible frequencies. It seems some of the thinner, higher ones would behave as sulfate-based aerosols.

  46. Jim says:

    DJ (01:51:27) : To read the Nature paper, you have to pay for it. This is OT, but it will be nice when sci papers are published on line and are truly public.

  47. Ron de Haan says:

    h.oldeboom (00:10:58) :

    “German (Dr. Heinz Hug) and American scientists already reported about the very little influence of CO2 in the 80’s and 90’s of the past century. Now it becomes true! Why? I think our miserable politicians are fearing the possible coming colder times and are confronted with an ill economy”.

    h.oldeboom
    Unfortunately these politicians currently represent a minority.
    Everything now depends on the US Senate.
    If they reject the new climate bill that is prepared right now, we have a slight chance.
    If they pass this bill we are put in “Green Shackles”, see book Vaclav Claus.

  48. Mike Monce says:

    DJ,

    I just went through the Nature paper you referenced. Two points: the satellite data the authors use has an uncertainty of .45-.75 degree K, which by normal practice I assume to be 1 sigma. They state they see a signifcant change in the CO2 absorbtion over the 27 year period which from their graph is about 1 degree in brightness temp. However, that must be put in context with the uncertainty of 0.75 degrees (1 sigma). So, at most the change is more like .25 degrees, and is perhaps even less if the uncertainty is carried to 2 sigma. After almost 30 years in the science business, I still don’t understand how journals like Nature let authors get away with not explicitly putting error bars on their graphs.

    Second, the authors state they don’t really know what the aerosol factor really is in the data, and the above post now speaks to that directly.

    I will give you that the Hansen projection presented above is just one of the three.

  49. Bill Illis says:

    There was another recent paper which used actual mass spectoscopy measurements of the atmosphere which showed that soot (which produces slight warming) and sulfate aerosols (which produce cooling) combine quite rapidly chemically in the atmosphere to produce a net warming affect.

    This is more consistent with the temperature experience of areas which should have been the most affected by sulfate aerosols. The areas which have been the most affected and which should have seen the greatest cooling effect from sulfate aerosols, have actually increased in temperature at a faster rate than areas not affected.

    So generally, I think we need more actual measuring and less made-up theoritical forcings in the models.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/07/02/0900040106.abstract

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629200808.htm

  50. @DJ…

    The “gagging” might be due to links. When that happens to me, I post a note to the mod’s asking that they check to see if that’s why the Spam filter grabbed my post because of the links.

    On Hansen’s models… All three of his scenarios overshot the actual temperature data… Badly overshot in the case of the satellite data and IIRC even over shot the HadCRUT surface temp. series.

    On CO2 radiative saturation… The main frequencies are saturated and most of CO2’s bandwidths over-lap the water vapor bandwidths. That’s why CO’s greenhouse effect is logarithmic. Marginal CO2 warming occurs on the side-lobes of its bandwidths.

    If CO2 and temperature had a linear relationship, it would be a lot hotter now than it was in the last two interglacials. When in fact the last two interglacials were warmer than it is today, despite having significantly lower atmospheric CO2 levels.

  51. Jim says:

    Hans Erren (00:08:35) :I think it is more appropriate to graph CO2 the way it is shown here. The concentration is increasing almost linearly with time, it isn’t doubling with time. Therefore the chart makes clear the behavior as a unit of CO2 is added. Anyway, the behavior is the same no matter how you chart it.

  52. Brad Culver says:

    Bernie and Anthony,

    How does the saturation relate to the global imbalance of CO2?
    Does the animation (you have shown it many times) from the NOAA site indicate that the earth “breathes” almost exclusively in the northern hemisphere?
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/globalview/

  53. Syl says:

    Nick Stokes and DJ

    Thanks for the criticism of elements of the posting, but please give the courtesy of also addressing the main issue re aerosols. Otherwise some might get the impression that you are merely using a diversionary tactic.

  54. Nelson says:

    Anthony, I very much appreciate the chart. I have frequently heard about the decreasing impact of increasing CO2, but had never seen how close we were to nil effect. The graphic will help me in my personal battle against warmists and starry-eyed 20-somethings that think Lord Obama can do no wrong.

    As a layman (and businessman, not scientist), this would seem to fit nicely in what one could observe if China has been the source of more heat-absorbing soot. While natural or man-made forces are still not well understood, the warming of recent decades corresponds nicely to the rise of China’s coal-fueled manufacturing prominence. We all recognize the irony of unilaterally punishing the US economy by forcing more manufacturing to China under cap-and-trade, but this lunacy would be even more severe than our leaders in the US politburo could ever imagine if the relative soot emissions from our coal plants are only a fraction of that from China whereas our CO2 emissions are more similar.

    Can anyone point me to a study of relative soot emissions from major economies?

    If soot is a bigger driver than marginal CO2 in warming the climate and China’s soot emissions are much greater than those in the US, shouldn’t we be doing everything in our power to INCREASE the US manufacturing base and slow the growth of China’s? Cap-and-trade (and other policies of our Dear Leader) have us barreling in the opposite direction.

    God help us.

  55. MikeN says:

    If the cooling effect of aerosols is lowered, then that leads to more warming, not less! Look for climate modelers to move their predictions higher as a result of this.

    Also, to use that graph to evaluate Hansen’s model, you need to establish that Scenario A matches what actually happened. Steve McIntyre concluded Scenario B was the most likely(Post 2645).

  56. AnonyMoose says:

    Please rephrase “the assume greater cooling” so we know whether they assume greater cooling, they assumed greater cooling, the assumed greater cooling, or theta sum greater cooling.

  57. Ron de Haan says:

    Remarkable: Despite higher CO2 levels!

    Record challenging cool wave, temperatures to drop 23 degree below normal!

    The high temperature at International Falls, Minn., Thursday will be a mere 56 degrees; this is an incredible 23 degrees below normal. This very cool air mass will impact the entire Midwest and Great Lakes over the next 72 hours. The turn to cooler weather will be felt as far south as Mississippi and Alabama this weekend. The northern parts of those two states will have highs barely above 80 with sunshine Saturday, which is almost unheard of in July. From northern Tennessee into Kentucky, readings in the upper 70s will be the rule this weekend, and some 50s will show up at night. In both Chicago and Detroit the temperature will do well to reach 70 Saturday afternoon.

    The cool wave can attributed to a large southward undulation of the jet stream which is drawing polar air out of central Canada. Normally, the jet stream is much weaker and much farther north this time of year.

    Story by AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist John Kocet.

    http://www.accuweather.com/news-story.asp?partner=rss&article=4

  58. AnonyMoose says:

    Climate modelers used aerosol cooling as their explanation of the cooling in the mid 20th century. This is going to screw up their whole century.

  59. Sam the Skeptic says:

    I worked hard to understand this since it struck me as a reasoned and reasonable and very important contribution to this subject. Combined with the Nature Geoscience paper and RealClimate’s less strident stance, as well as Richard Courtney’s comments:
    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/1979/UN-IPCC-Scientist–Global-warming-propagandists-have-recognized-that-their-natural-climate-change-denial-of-the-last-decade-is-not-sustainable-anymore
    I saw something that might allow a proper debate between the serious scientists on both sides of the argument.
    Unfortunately not. Before we have any chance to consider the implications we have DJ complaining that he is being censored (something I am not aware of happening on this blog) and doing his best to pick holes in Hoffman’s contribution (for which many thanks, by the way).
    Is there any possibility that common sense will eventually surface and those who currently take pro- or anti- views on the science can come to a common view at least as to how the research should be carried out?
    I realise that fanatics like Hansen, Gore, Holdren, Monbiot et al are probably so deeply mired in their belief systems that they are beyond salvation but there must be some rational scientists left out there who are still prepared to admit that there might be “more things in heaven and earth then are dreamt of in [their] philosophy”.

  60. Stoic says:

    DJ (01:51:27) :

    Please note that I am not a climate scientist nor a modeller, but scientifically educated to be sceptical.

    It seems to me that whilst you complain correctly about the cherry-picking of Hansen’s Scenario A to compare with subsequently measured lower temperatures, you are yourself being disingenuous. This is why it seems to me that Hansen et al were attempting to predict the future:

    In the paper reference http://www.pnas.org/content/103/39/14288.full which you cite, Hansen wrote, “The congressional testimony in 1988 (13) included a graph (Fig. 2) of simulated global temperature for three scenarios (A, B, and C) and maps of simulated temperature change for scenario B. The three scenarios were used to bracket likely possibilities.”

    If the three scenarios were used to bracket ‘likely possibilities’, that says to me that Hansen was predicting that future temperature would fall within the range projected by scenarios A (higher) to C (lower). If Doug L. Hoffman had included Scenarios B and C in the graph which (you complain) contains only Scenario A, the measured, recently experienced temperatures would be seen to be dramatically below those projected by A, significantly below those projected by B and approximately up to the whole bracket range below the temperatures projected by C.

    The likely possibilities predicted by Hansen have failed to materialise.

    I should appreciate your comments.

  61. urederra says:

    Nick Stokes (00:44:05) :

    Mr Hoffman clearly doesn’t understanding the usage of scenario. It is not another word for prediction. It’s an input that is determined by human decisions, and can’t be predicted scientifically. In Hansen’s 1988 paper, it referred to future CO2 emission. He said CO2 emission might, depending on governments, increase exponentially (scenario A), linearly (B) or tail off (C). He calculated a projection for each scenario.

    As it turned out, CO2 did not increase exponentially. It was close to linear (scenario B). It is thoroughly misleading to plot the scenario A case as if it was Hansen’s projection. The projection for scenario B, the CO2 emission that did occur, was very good.

    First, The ones who don’t understand the terms ‘scenario’ and ‘projection’ are the global warming alarmists. After all, they are the ones using climate model outputs as they were the word of God. You cannot dictate world politics based on projections, but apparently, you can if you believe they are accurate predictions.

    And second, for a good study of Hansen 1988 scenarios A, B and C versus reality, check out Lucy Skywalker’s Blackboard:

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2008/temperature-anomaly-compared-to-hansen-a-b-c-giss-seems-to-overpredict-warming/

    You’ll find out that the projection for Scenario B was far from good. Projection C is the closest to what actually happened. It is really simple to figure out by using your link too, actually, since Scenario B projects an increment of temperatures during the last 10 years, increment that didn’t happen.

    Supercritical (01:03:54) :

    Tell me, does the term ‘aerosols’ include clouds?

    You beat me on that.
    Clouds are aerosols.

  62. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Dave in Delaware (05:29:28) :

    re DJ (01:51:27) :

    “The effects of cloud cover were effectively removed by using a cloud-clearing algorithm.”

    Another Al Gore ithm.

  63. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Murray Carpenter (05:33:17) :

    Good question.

    I would think we might be “up to half a brick by now!!” But I haven’t done the math(s).

    What must have an effect on sea level though must be the thousands of miles of ever erupting submarine volcanoes along the mid ocean ridges. And also the thousands of miles of subduction zones.

    The boxing day 2004 tsunami earthwquake was caused by the east Indian Ocean plate being uplifted by about 10m if I recall. The plate is about 1000km long by a couple of hundred kilometres wide. That’s a fair sized brick!

  64. Sonicfrog says:

    Nick Stokes wrote:

    Mr Hoffman clearly doesn’t understanding the usage of scenario. It is not another word for prediction. It’s an input that is determined by human decisions, and can’t be predicted scientifically. In Hansen’s 1988 paper, it referred to future CO2 emission. He said CO2 emission might, depending on governments, increase exponentially (scenario A), linearly (B) or tail off (C). He calculated a projection for each scenario.

    As it turned out, CO2 did not increase exponentially. It was close to linear (scenario B). It is thoroughly misleading to plot the scenario A case as if it was Hansen’s projection. The projection for scenario B, the CO2 emission that did occur, was very good.

    Actually, the CO2 growth rate has increased in recent years faster than expected, bringing the emission levels closer to scenario A than B.

  65. Sonicfrog says:

    Ooops, the second paragraph also should have been quoted.

  66. bob paglee says:

    If SO2 is one of the cooling sulfates, is its cleanup from our smokestacks and tailpipes, done to mitigate “acid rain”, now going to be exploited by the proponents of AGW?

    Bob

  67. Oliver Ramsay says:

    DJ said: “Given 2 of 3 comments have been gagged today – don’t anticipate this one to get through the fact filter.”

    There are numerous ways of complaining about censorship but it’s interesting that you chose a completely irrational one. Without a computer model I can’t really anticipate something that has already happened. I assume that you didn’t anticipate your comment getting through the fact filter, so, your recommendation that we not anticipate it was addressed to the ether (or the ethereal moderator).
    As for scenarios A and B; they are not that far apart at 2010. Observations, on the other hand, are not very close, even when only brought to 2005.

  68. kent says:

    I don’t recall where I saw them, but when searching for CO2 absorbtion frequencies escaping to space the only areas that had this IR radiation being picked up in space was at the poles. I wondered at the time if this was due to polar temperature.

  69. James says:

    OT — According to weather.com Ann Arbor, MI has set a MONTHLY low temperature record for both the month of June and July of this year:

    http://www.weather.com/weather/monthly/48103?month=0
    http://www.weather.com/weather/monthly/48103?month=-1

    It reached 33 degrees on June 5th and 42 degrees and July 14th, both records for their respective month. It has been a very mild summer so far here, to say the least.

    Obviously, file under weather not climate.

  70. Jeff Alberts says:

    What warming? What sea level rise (we’re not even close to the highest sea levels reached during the early Holocene)? What catastrophe?

  71. bill says:

    One should remember that the spectral absorption lines are much narrower than potrayed in most of these. CO2 absorbs at many discrete wavelengths not just a block for example from 4 to 5 um A more detailed transmissio plot of the atmosphere is given below:
    http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/278/atmtransmwave.jpg

    A research paper showing the narrowness of the bands for water/ch4/co2 is available here:
    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA039380&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf
    Note that as pressure increases absorption increases (i.e. more nearer ground)
    Note that as temp changes from 245 to 310 the absoption peak changes from 13.86um to 13.89um which will mean high level co2 will absorb a different wavelength to ground level. As DJ said in DJ (01:51:27) : CO2 is not saturated. it is nearing saturation!

  72. geo says:

    I’m somewhat confuddled now on Hansen’s three scenarios. My understanding is that Scenario A was what Hansen expected if there were no effective efforts to reduce C02. He called it “Business as usual” and assumed C02 growth rates of the 1970s and 1980s would continue indefinitely. Scenario C was described as “draconian measures”.

    If people are saying that we’re really on “Scenario B” now, isn’t that the same as admitting there has already been significant effective reduction of the growth of C02 in the atmosphere?

  73. Andrew says:

    geo, that was my take exactly. It shows that we don’t in fact, need draconian measures (such as moving the world to centrally planned socialism/communism economies)…

  74. “Scenario A assumes continued exponential trace gas growth, scenario B assumes a reduced linear linear growth of trace gases, and scenario C assumes a rapid curtailment of trace gas emissions such that the net climate forcing ceases to increase after the year 2000.”

    Abstract

    Hansen et al. 1988

    Hansen, J., I. Fung, A. Lacis, D. Rind, Lebedeff, R. Ruedy, G. Russell, and P. Stone, 1988: Global climate changes as forecast by Goddard Institute for Space Studies three-dimensional model. J. Geophys. Res., 93, 9341-9364, doi:10.1029/88JD00231.

    We use a three-dimensional climate model, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) model II with 8° by 10° horizontal resolution, to simulate the global climate effects of time-dependent variations of atmospheric trace gases and aerosols. Horizontal heat transport by the ocean is fixed at values estimated for today’s climate, and the uptake of heat perturbations by the ocean beneath the mixed layer is approximated by vertical diffusion. We make a 100-year control run and perform experiments for three scenarios of atmospheric composition. These experiments begin in 1958 and include measured or estimated changes in atmospheric CO2, CH4, H2O, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and stratospheric aerosols for the period from 1958 to the present. Scenario A assumes continued exponential trace gas growth, scenario B assumes a reduced linear linear growth of trace gases, and scenario C assumes a rapid curtailment of trace gas emissions such that the net climate forcing ceases to increase after the year 2000. Pricipal results from the experiments are as follows: (1) Global warming to the level attained at the peak of the current interglacial and the previous interglacial occurs in all three scenarios; however, there are dramatic differences in the levels of future warming, depending on trace gas growth. (2) The greenhouse warming should be clearly identifiable in the 1990s; the global warming within the next several years is predicted to reach and maintain a level at least three standard deviations above the climatology of the 1950s. (3) Regions where an unambiguous warming appears earliest are low-latitude oceans, China and interior areas in Asia, and ocean areas near Antarctica and the north pole; aspects of the spatial and temporal distribution of predicted warming are clearly model-dependent, implying the possibility of model discrimination by the 1990s and thus improved predictions, if appropriate observations are acquired. (4) The temperature changes are sufficiently large to have major impacts on people and other parts of the biosphere, as shown by computed changes in the frequency of extreme events and comparison with previous climate trends. (5) The model results suggest that some near-term regional climate variations, despite the fixed ocean heat transport which suppresses many possible regional climate fluctuation; for example, during the late 1980s and the 1990s there is a tendency for greater than average warming in the southeastern United States and much of Europe. Principal uncertainties in the predictions involve the equilibrium sensitivity of the model to climate forcing, the assumptions regarding heat uptake and transport by the ocean, and the omission of other less-certain climate forcings.

  75. Hansen’s 1988 Abstract…LINK

    Hansen’s 1988 Full Text…LINK

  76. MattN says:

    I think Scenario A and B are the same with the a different volcanic forcing. I think Hansen said “B” was “most likely”.

  77. Stephen Wilde says:

    I would guess that due to the movements of the air circulation systems and the patchy geographical operation of the hydrological cycle the rate of energy transfer from air to space is irregular.

    Put that on top of the longer term irregularity and patchy geographical variation of the rate of emission of energy from oceans to air and there is plenty of scope for discontinuities in the energy flow through the depth of the air.

    As per my general climate description the oceans introduce irregularities in the energy flow from sun to ocean to air.

    It is then left to the air to try to arrange that energy leaving the system in radiated longwave is much the same as energy coming in as solar shortwave.

    Irregularities in the rate of energy transfer from air to space work to smooth out irregularities in the rate of energy transfer from oceans to air.

    The mechanism is the latitudinal positions of the air circulation systems which in turn controls the speed of the hydrological cycle. As a fortuitous by product that mechanism also neutralises the climate effect of ANY changes in the composition of the air alone whether it be CO2, water vapour, other GHGs or indeed aerosols.

    It must be so for oceans of water on our planet to exist at all. If any significant imbalance were ever to have occurred then the oceans would have long gone.

    Nothing in current climatology considers irregular flows of energy between sea and air and between air and space underpinned by another level of irregularity in solar input. The models currently work backwards from meteorolgical observations rather than forward from measurements of net energy flow in and out of the different sections (oceans and air) of the system. It’s like trying to work out how a car engine works by watching the driver.

    I am suggesting an entirely new perspective.

    I think I’ve nailed it but the Earth will verify or rebut what I say over time now that everyone’s attention is so closely focused on these issues.

    The work of Arrhenius, Tyndall et al relates only to the air in isolation. It has no climate significance because the equilibrium temperature is set by the oceans and not by any characteristic of the air. Indeed the air circulation systems always work back towards ensuring that the surface air temperature matches the sea surface temperatures whatever attempts are made by ANY changes in the air to cause a divergence.

    Their work has been misapplied to the climate system as a whole so that our models are entirely out of synchronisation with reality.

  78. @ geo (08:24:11) :

    There are three scenario’s, A, B, and C. A had an increasing rate of CO2 emissions, B had constant rate of CO2 emissions, whereas scenario C had reduced CO2 emissions rate from 1988 levels into the future.

    And guess what, the global (even GISS) are below the prediction made for scenario C wich is pretty amazing since we are still following scenario A when it comes to CO2-emissions.

  79. urederra says:

    @geo

    Hansen’s Scenario A was expected an ‘exponential’ rise on CO2 levels, (or at least higher rise than what is really happening). Scenario B shows a linear rise on CO2 levels, more or less similar to what really happened (with CO2 rise, not temperature rise) and Scenario C shows stagnant or slow declining CO2 levels.

    As a set-up, the experiment was nicely designed, it reminds the Goldilocks tale, one scenario shows what the models say if the CO2 levels rise too much, the other if the CO2 levels don’t go up, and the middle one turned out just right.

  80. Phil's Dad says:

    geo (08:24:11)
    “If people are saying that we’re really on “Scenario B” now, isn’t that the same as admitting there has already been significant effective reduction of the growth of C02 in the atmosphere?”

    Only measured against predicted growth – i.e. the prediction was wrong. Actual growth in CO2 has been steady.

  81. Phil's Dad says:

    The point being that CO2 has continued to grow at “business as usual” levels and tempratures have not. By a long way.

  82. Jim says:

    Stephen Wilde (09:22:55) : I have seen people claim that air currents determine ocean currents. I don’t see how that’s possible given the difference in density between air and water. It seems the two systems would be mostly independent WRT movement. The spinning of the Earth will put into play forces on the oceans just as it does the air. The effect of the spinning will affect each system independently. Then, warming from the Sun will affect both systems. There will be some interaction between the two WRT heat, but how can wind drive the ocean currents?

    WRT to high altitude CO2, it is very sparse. It seems photons of any frequency could escape that upper layer. Then there is the line broadening due to pressure for lower CO2. The photons from the “wings” won’t even get absorbed by the upper level CO2 which will have narrow absorption band.

    I just don’t understand the great emphasis by climatologists on the upper atmosphere CO2 – there’s just not much of it per unit volume due to the low pressure.

  83. Adam from Kansas says:

    I don’t know why DJ chose an 8 year old paper, so much has been learned between now and then, perhaps some AGW believers just feel like it’s convienent to think it’s just CO2 warming the climate without any other variables.

    Since getting CO2 to 1000 PPM (greenhouse levels) isn’t going to cause much of a rise in temps. maybe we should get it there and cap the level there, imagine all the increased plant productivity ;-)

    It seems like the reported study that aerosols cause much less cooling than believed really does seem to damage the AGW based argument of the 1970’s global cooling scare.

    About Sea Level rise caused by man-made water displacement, that may have a grain of truth, considering the ocean being full of stuff like super-tankers displacing the water, it’s like when you put a boat in your bathtub and the water rises.

  84. ralph ellis says:

    >>>Observations of noctilucent clouds come in from
    >>>all over the world (dimming?)

    I was flying back across Europe just three days ago, and the noctilucent clouds were so bright they made midnight zulu look like a pre-dawn glow.

    Not seen high-level cloud cover like this for a long time.

  85. Methinks the AGW’ers doth protest too much about their ABC’s to make sure we don’t read this little jewel:

    “As Dr. David Evans explained in a recent paper: “Yes, every emitted molecule of carbon dioxide (CO2) causes some warming—but the crucial question is how much warming do the CO2 emissions cause? If atmospheric CO2 levels doubled, would the temperature rise by 0.1°, 1.0°, or by 10.0° C?”

    —-

    OK. so the democrats’ ENTIRE 1.6 trillion dollar global socialist boondoogle for the UN consists of:

    Assume a forcing multiplier (a constant) for a doubling of CO2.

    Assume a future CO2 trend.

    Extrapolate that CO2 trend 1000 years.

    Multiply.

    Plot a graph for the next 100 years based on an old 30 year trend from 1970 to 1998.

    Extrapolate the graph for 600, 800, or 1000 years as required.

    Assume xxx or yyy (very bad) effect from the extrapolated temperatures.

    Promote assumed zzzz and wwww (very bad) results of the (very bad) effect from the extrapolated temperature based on the extrapolated graph based on the assumed constant for the assumed CO2 extrapolated for 400, 600, or 800 years.

    Propagandize the wwww and zzzzz results for all to see, but allow nobody to criticize or debate your process.

    Allow 2 hours to pass an incomplete, unread bill regulating the country’s economy for 800 years, because you have to leave for a four week vacation.

    From his comments, Hansen’s actual “program” merely consists of assigning that single assumed forcing variable for CO2, assigning the assumed constant for aerosols and soot to fit the 1940-1970 downward temperature trend, then printing a temperature rise for the next few years.

  86. Nogw says:

    Jim (06:19:16) : In clouds water is ionized, as OH- H+. When there is CO2 it reacts with water, in an endothermic (sucking heat in) reaction forming H2CO3 (carbonic acid). SO2 it is also as SO2-, when reacting with ionized water in clouds form H2SO3, sulphurous acid. Both after reacting are already droplets which not having electric charge cannot “float” any longer in clouds and fell down.
    BTW : I would like to see if someone, any world environmental organization can impose or enforce any penalties or sanctions whatsoever or even close a VOLCANO for breaking environmental laws.
    Any Volcano can produce trillions more SO2, even HCl (as last year a chilean volcano) than all world refineries taken together.

  87. George E. Smith says:

    Well I’d like to start by giving both Doug Hoffman, and Anmthony a full pardon for the material in both the paper Doug presents,a nd Anthony’s graph.

    You two chaps are held quite blameles; and earn kudos for exposing this chicanery.

    Lets get rid of that silly CO2 triple graph first. Note that it starts at 255Kelvins at zero CO2 in the atmosphere, and also note that absolutely nobody has ever observed the mean global temperature whent he atmospheric CO2 was 250 ppm or lower; I’m being generous; I could go up to 280 ppm.

    So that puts the global temperature at 285K.

    Now that 255K for zero CO2 just happens to be the equilibrium black body temperature for an object at earth’s orbital location, with no atmospheric warming. I believe the normal earth 0.357 or whatever albedo is assumed.

    So that zero CO2 starting point is also for zero water vapor.

    So clearly those three curves, are computations and not observations and they obviously are total Balderdash; because water vapor on its own is going to run the temperature up to that 285Kelvin mark, with no CO2 or any other form of GHG.
    The earth is in its present comfortable temperature range because of water vapor; not because of 250 ppm of CO2. If you look at the atmospheric absortion bands; even the Wiki ones at:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/Atmospheric_Transm,ission.png you will see that water is alread absorbing in the same spectral locations as CO2, and a whole bunch of other places as well.

    So Nyet to that triple CO2 graph; it’s a total phony.

    Back to Doug’s SCIENCE paper; I have SCIENCE piled all over my desk looking at other rubbish so I will have to find this paper too.

    There’s a lot of information in there; and a lot of information that is not in there but hidden between the lines.

    Am I the only one who thinks these “Scientists” are just making stuff up as they go along.

    Did you notice how they explained in so much detail, how “aerosols” and particulates such as black soot, and dust, and microbes too, act as nucleation centers for water droplets to form clouds; no they waffle on about how thoise things scatter the sunlight to cause cooling, and then absorb it to cause warming; but nary a word about cloud formation. Now I don’t know a lot about cloud chemistry; I’m not a chemist, and I know it is a complex subject; but just go bacl and take a peek at that beautiful Volcanic eruption cloud of dust and black soot, and aerosols of all kinds; and the beautiful cloud forming right on top of the volcanic muck; not to mention the beautiful fairy circle burnbed in the clouds by the hot gases escaping from the mountain; hey I have it as my screen wall paper.

    Every member of the US Congress should be forced to read this paper that Doug has exposed to us; and then they should be asked to write a four page essay, on what they leasnred about the state of “climate science”, or what passes for science in theis weird world where ancient astrology and economic science are close neighbors.

    Thanks Doug, and Anthony; it’s a great way to start my day with a great laugh. If it wasn’t such a seriosu matter; it would be hilarious.
    I don’t thin ther’s enough room on my hard drive for me to write a full criticism of the gobbledegook in this revelation that doug presents here.

    It’s time for some of the big names in “Climatology” like Prof Lindzen, Roy Spencer etc to start screaming for this so-called science discipline to clean up its act, and start creating models that mimic the laws of Physics, instead of curve fitting a bunch of highly suspect and controversial raw “data”

    George

    PS for those who don’t read Scientific American Magazine; be informed that Anthony Watts hit the big time, and got a whole article written about him and his phony owl box expose.

    Sorry I didn’t bring this latest issue in but they are reall y trying to do the CYA job; and failing badly; they try to excuse away the phony ice and temperature data that Anthony has been alerting us too, and essentially vclaim that fudging the data is pretty much normal operating procedure. Way to go Anthony !

    REPLY: Hi George. I don’t see anything on the SciAm website. Is this the print edition only? If they wrote an article about me, I’m unaware of it. You’d think if they had any journalism skills they would at least call me and ask a question or two first. – Anthony

  88. George E. Smith says:

    One question about soot, which the paper declares causes warming. Hey it may warm the soot by absorbing solar energy; but then that energy doesn’t reach the ground so it would cool the fround; And by catching the solar energy high in the atmosphere, those black partilces can then radiate IR from the upper atmosphere, and send that energy back into space.

    I know I have read articles that were all over the place around the last Olympic Games that claimed that China is experienceing globale cooling (for their part of the globe) because of all of their dirty coal fired power plants, they put out so much soot that it swamps any CO2 caused warming.
    That’s waht these articles claimed.

  89. Nogw says:

    Soot it is not an areosol properly, these are carbon particles suspended which as soon as there is enough wind or rain fell down to ground.

  90. John Silver says:

    DJ (01:51:27) :

    “Hansen published 3 scenarios (http://www.pnas.org/content/103/39/14288.full). Why show just one which is FAR too high in its CO2 emissions? This tactic has been used before”

    So why did Hansen show it? Scare tactic?

  91. Bill Marsh says:

    I’m not sold that Hansen’s Scenario A isn’t what is happening, or worse. If the rate of increase was ‘exponential’ on the order of 1.5%/yr (doing a quick BOE calculation) — if the amount of CO2 added to the atmosphere (if you are willing to assume 100% of it is anthropogenic in origin) in 1988 was 1.5ppm then an increase of 1.5%/yr means that by 2006 the amount would be around 1.94ppm/yr, which is right about where we were in 2006.

    So I think we are closer to scenario A than B.

  92. Bill Marsh says:

    While I think Dr Hansen is correct in that that rate of increase is not sustainable over the long run, I think that the continued increase in CO2 generation by India and China will keep it close for the next 10 years or so.

    Moderator – can you add this to my previous comment — thanks if you can

  93. George E. Smith says:

    “”” bill (08:20:57) :

    One should remember that the spectral absorption lines are much narrower than potrayed in most of these. CO2 absorbs at many discrete wavelengths not just a block for example from 4 to 5 um A more detailed transmissio plot of the atmosphere is given below:
    http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/278/atmtransmwave.jpg

    A research paper showing the narrowness of the bands for water/ch4/co2 is available here:
    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA039380&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf
    Note that as pressure increases absorption increases (i.e. more nearer ground)
    Note that as temp changes from 245 to 310 the absoption peak changes from 13.86um to 13.89um which will mean high level co2 will absorb a different wavelength to ground level. As DJ said in DJ (01:51:27) : CO2 is not saturated. it is nearing saturation! “””

    Bill, are those absorption spectra you linked to actual measured atmospheric transmission spectra, or are they calculated theoretical spectra ?

    All the data sources I have on such spectra, which are for military equipment IR purposes, have only calculated spectra, and they say that Doppler and Collision broadening end up smudging the real world spectra into continuous bands.

    As for the temperature shift going from 13.86 up to 13.89 microns for CO2, I think you will admit, that that shift of the actual molecular resonance, is totally negligible compared to the very much larger Wien’s displacement shift in the thermal emission spectrum of the atmosphere, with temperature.

    For the earth’s surface temperature range from -90C to +60C, the emission specrum peak shifts from about 15 microns down to 8.6 microns; so the CO2 temperature effect is irrelevent.

    George

  94. Jim says:

    George E. Smith (10:30:23) : More and more, I appreciate your comments. One difference between CO2 and H2O is the liquification point. CO2 is a gas even at the poles, so it is always in the atomosphere to add some heat. I have wondered if CO2 isn’t like a pilot light on a gas water heater whose function is mainly to keep the air hot enough to keep water vapor in play. I wonder what would happen if there were no green house gasses. Would water liquify, then the entire Earth turn into a Snowball? Maybe we could model it?? :)

  95. PaulHClark says:

    Nick Stokes (00:44:05) :

    Have you now been tasked with commenting on non-pro AGW blogs in the run-up to Copenhagen?

  96. Bobn says:

    How come the graph contains only scenario A and not scenario B which was the one the greenhouse forcing followed more closely. Why omit the correct line? Doesn’t this throw the rest of the article into doubt. I can’t trust it now on matters I don’t know much about when a matter I do know about isn’t presented correctly.

  97. George E. Smith says:

    “”” MattN (05:55:02) :

    Can anyone tell me if solar activity increases, will the energy availible in the band that CO2 absorbs also increase? If so, could *that* be what we’re seeing? “””

    Matt, there is very little interraction between CO2 and the solar spectrum.

    The lowest CO2 band is at about 1.9-2.0 microns, and the total solar energy longer than that wavelength is only a few percent, and only a small piece of that is taken out by CO2 There’s a 2.9 micron CO2 band bu5t only about 1% of solar energy is longer than that and the 2.9 band is quite narrow so doesn’t get much of that.

    Besides, anything that absorbs some incoming solar energy results in cooling, because that energy doesn’t reach the ground; and the higher up in the atmosphere it gets absorbed, the quicker it can be radiatied back into space.

  98. Jim says:

    Nogw (10:22:42) : I find it hard to believe all the water in a cloud is ionized. The only thing necessary for the cloud particles to stay aloft would be a small particle size. Updrafts hold some larger particles up. Do you have a reference for the assertion that the water in a cloud is completely ionized? I wouldn’t think it would be even .001% ionized.

  99. John F. Hultquist says:

    Murray Carpenter (05:33:17) : Jimmy Haigh (07:36:47) :
    “half a brick”

    Consider too sedimentation from the major rivers. At least in the USA this would have increased with settlement and farming practices. Also, consider levees along the Mississippi and tributaries that send more of the sediment into the Gulf. Then there are the channels cut through the Gulf coastal areas causing additional erosion. Forestry and construction in California, Oregon, and Washington states have added major sediment loads to the rivers flowing to the Pacific Ocean.

    Now, maybe, you have a full brick.

  100. anna v says:

    Jim (09:55:35) :

    Stephen Wilde (09:22:55) : I have seen people claim that air currents determine ocean currents. I don’t see how that’s possible given the difference in density between air and water. It seems the two systems would be mostly independent WRT movement. The spinning of the Earth will put into play forces on the oceans just as it does the air. The effect of the spinning will affect each system independently. Then, warming from the Sun will affect both systems. There will be some interaction between the two WRT heat, but how can wind drive the ocean currents?

    It is called waves? Transferubg kinetic energy?
    I hear that in the oceans they can be ten meters high and worse. Surface currents can be and are set up by steady winds. So things are not as independent as you are guessing,

  101. Vincent says:

    This is, on the face of it, a very significant finding. However, the question on my mind is – what’s the bottom line?

    I mean, the assumed negative forcing of aerosols has been reduced from
    -0.5 W/M2 to -0.3, which has been billed as a 40% reduction. And so it is. But the difference is -0.2. In other words, if the negative forcing is less by 0.2, then the CO2 forcing must also be less by 0.2 to maintain the same model output. But if the CO2 forcing was believed to be 1.7 before, it would now be revised to 1.5.

    In my simplistic opinion, this does not seem like a large revision. How much would that effect temperature sensitivity of CO2?

  102. John F. Hultquist says:

    Nick Stokes (00:44:05) : wrote:
    “Mr. Hoffman clearly doesn’t understanding the usage of scenario. It is not another word for prediction. It’s an input that is determined by human decisions, and can’t be predicted scientifically. ” … and so on ….

    Translation: In 1988 Hansen did not know what was happening, hasn’t learned anything since, and still doesn’t have a clue.

    However, I agree with the point that all should attempt not to be misleading, such as by selecting a chart to push an issue when an equally available chart is not used. As none of the suggested charts are based on good science I’d prefer just saying so and not keep posting them for their visual effect. Translation: A scenario based on poor logic and bad science is useless, unless you are an activist/politician.

  103. Bobn (10:59:42) :

    How come the graph contains only scenario A and not scenario B which was the one the greenhouse forcing followed more closely. Why omit the correct line? Doesn’t this throw the rest of the article into doubt. I can’t trust it now on matters I don’t know much about when a matter I do know about isn’t presented correctly.

    Let’s ask Hansen…Jimbo, why should we use Scenario A to evaluate your model?

    Hansen said…“Scenario A assumes continued exponential trace gas growth, scenario B assumes a reduced linear linear growth of trace gases, and scenario C assumes a rapid curtailment of trace gas emissions such that the net climate forcing ceases to increase after the year 2000.”

    Based my rough visual estimates…It looks to me like Scenario A grossly exaggerated the increase in atmospheric CO2…But Hansen himself described Scenario A as representing the “continued” trend. Well…the trend of CO2 emissions has actually accelerated since 1988.

  104. Vincent says:

    Bobn: “How come the graph contains only scenario A and not scenario B which was the one the greenhouse forcing followed more closely. Why omit the correct line? Doesn’t this throw the rest of the article into doubt. I can’t trust it now on matters I don’t know much about when a matter I do know about isn’t presented correctly.”

    The article is about the effect of soot in aerosols, being higher than previously thought which means the negative (cooling) effect of aerosols is also less than previously thought. This leads to the conclusion that the climate models have overstated the temperature sensitivity of CO2 in order to hindcast the 20th Century climate. The research was carried out by Myhre. Myhre did not write this article and has nothing to do with the graph that has so unsettled you.

    So no, that little graph does not throw the rest of the article in doubt.

  105. George E. Smith says:

    “”” tallbloke (23:36:52) :

    Nice graph Anthony. Please can we have the equations for each of the three curves. “””

    Y = e^(-1/x^2)

    That pretty much fits all three; and all three are phony in any case.

    In normal Optical absorption in a uniform medium, the transmission follows an e^-az formula, z being the distance covered, and a (alpha) the absortptin coefficient. This result assumes the energy is captured permanently; and not re-emitted due to some liminescence effect. Of course there will still be thermal radiation due to the temperature.

    In the case of very low concentrations the absorption is linear with number of absorbing molecules or propagations district.
    Remember e^-x = 1-x/1! +x^3/3! -x^5/5! etc

    In the case of CO2 or water GHG absorption; the spectrum region being captured by the active molecules, is pretty much in hte same wavelength as the thermal emission spectrum of the atmosphere itself simply due to its temperature, so this thermal IR is constantly being captured; transmitted to the atmosphere in collisions, and the re-emitted as new thermal radiation (so it is not a photon capture to an excited state, followed by a re-emission and return to some ground state, as in atomic spectra)

    And since the atmosphere is variable density and temeprature, the biggest effect is near the ground.

    But the notion that atmospheric temperture rise is proportional to the log of CO2 concentration, is totally phony; there is simply no physics that causes that. It certainly isn’t linear, and it does follow a curve whose equation is : “It’s gonna take a lot more CO2 to cause the next temperature increment, than the last one; and then wait till you see how much it takes for the following one !” But that equation does not prescribe a logarithmic function.

    Every mathematician knows that if you plot anything on a log/log graph paper, you get a nice straight line, which hides what really happens.

    And the whole “climate sensitivity” notion is pretty silly anyway, because the “radiative forcing” that allegedly causes the warming due to thermal IR capture by CO2, depends completely on the radiant emittance of the earth surface in the location where the climate sensitivity” is being measured; and that emittance is known to vary by more than an order of magnitude depending on the local surface temperature, from place to place on the planet, and there is no global sampling network for collecting climate sensitivity values to eneble computation of a global average. So “climate sensitivity” is just another part of the ancient astrology that is climate science.

    The IPCC view of climate is a house of cards built out of layer upon layer of unsubstatiated mathematical assumptions; and as they say ” assume makes an ass out of U and ME. “

  106. Nogw says:

    Jim (11:15:14) :
    You are right as far as “settled” science, but as far as water droplets are electrically charged they could be considered as ionized. Water is, as you know hydrogen hydroxide (as “clouds” in a solution of zinc when neutralized as white fluffy zinc hydroxide). It rains after, not before, lightnings discharge clouds.

  107. AnonyMoose says:

    Using a cloud-clearing algorithm is an educated guess, not an experiment. To experiment, use a hydrogen bomb to remove clouds. Timing and placement of your instruments can be important when using this experimental procedure.

  108. a jones says:

    Yes

    Water waves in the oceans are produced by the action of the wind on the water in a way that is only imperfectly understood. Because these waves can travel huge distances, hundreds of miles, no part of the open ocean is ever completely free of them.

    We can model the amplitude produced by a given wind force acting over a long distance, the fetch, by the means of the Darbyshire one dimensional wave equation. We can also observe the difference in the train velocity of a group of waves and how larger waves work their way forward through the train which no doubt is basis of the myths about every seventh breaker being higher etc.

    In general open ocean wave heights do not exceed 10 to 15 metres because at these heights the force of the wind becomes so great that it topples much of the crest over flattening the sea. This effect on the peak of the crests is seen when wind speeds rise above 4 to 5 producing the famous white horses, but at force 10 or above the sea is described as becoming heavy and shocking as the whole wave crest tumbles.

    Also when two wave trains cross each other at an angle then sometimes two large wave crests are superimposed on each other for brief period producing a freak which can have enormous amplitudes but these are seldom encountered because they are so very short lived.

    Sea wave action is circular in nature and the surface shape of a wave in deep water is described as trochoidal. This circularity is seen in breakers such as those surfing enthusiasts love to ride under. It is also seen in test tanks used for demonstration where at some depth the circularity of the motion can be shown using a neutral density float.

    It is the difference between the trochoidal form at the sea/air boundary and the circular motion below it that causes the wave train to impel some of the water along its line of travel. This is seen as the increase change in mean sea level when the wave train reaches land when, if the waves are large enough, they are said to cause the sea to pile up. To what extent it does so depends on the contours of the land.

    It is this selfsame action that drives the great surface currents, such as the Gulf Stream where the direction of the winds is fairly constant as is their veloity hence the effects, and importance of the trade winds.

    It is supposed that deep return currents are driven by convection and changes in density of the water with temperature and salinity but recent research suggests that unlike surface currents they are very diffuse, so much so that the description current, in the usually accepted sense of the word for water currents, hardly seems a proper description.

    Kindest Regards

  109. Alexej Buergin says:

    The important question about the Hansen scenarios concerns not the rise in the CO2-content of the atmosphere; that in itself is not a problem.
    The real question is whether the corresponding RISE IN TEMPERATURE took place, or not.
    That is why they used to call it AGW.

  110. Nogw says:

    There is a huge lack of common sense in all this GW concocted fallacies…and There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    Only noaa colorful imagination set seas on red fire. Only intended IPCC demagogy imagines a blazing atmosphere.
    Back to earth, our friendly CO2, the gas we all exhale and plants enjoy breathing is harmless as a blossoming flower. When it goes up in the sky, if warmed, then rapidly goes down after giving off its heat to limitless space, as it is heavier than air,..and if reacted with water on its downward journey, falls down as refreshing carbonic acid in mother nature’ s water diluted.

  111. Philip_B says:

    There is a crucial error being made here.

    The article focuses on the effect of aerosols on the climate. Whereas the real problem is the effect aerosols have on surface temperatures as they are measured, specifically on Tmin.

    The surface record (on land) is comprised of Tmin and Tmax measurements with the assumption that these 2 measurement when averaged give an accurate measurement of the average temperature.

    Since the late 1800s the average Tmin has been rising and accounts for most of the claimed warming. This is assumed to the ‘signature’ of GHG warming. It isn’t. It is the signature of reduced early morning aerosol pollution (smoke) in the developed world.

    Some of you, like me, will be old enough to remember the morning ritual of lighting a fire in winter and how much smoke was produced in the process. This produce a surge in low level aerosol pollution at the the time Tmin usually occured (shortly after dawn) by reducing early morning sunlight and allowing a few more minutes of radiative cooling to bring Tmin down.

    When this early morning smoke was removed by various clean air measures and the introduction of gas and electrical heating, Tmin was no longer delayed and consequently rose.

    Not only does this explain most of the rise in Tmin. It explains why it has stopped in the last decade or so – early morning smoke has been pretty much eliminated in the developed world, so the effect on average Tmin stopped.

    Note that while smoky fires are still widespread in the developing world, the time profile is different because in places like India and Africa they are used for cooking and not heating. Hence the smoke isn’t concentrated in the early morning.

  112. Phil. says:

    Robert van der Veeke (09:24:45) :
    @ geo (08:24:11) :

    There are three scenario’s, A, B, and C. A had an increasing rate of CO2 emissions, B had constant rate of CO2 emissions, whereas scenario C had reduced CO2 emissions rate from 1988 levels into the future.

    And guess what, the global (even GISS) are below the prediction made for scenario C wich is pretty amazing since we are still following scenario A when it comes to CO2-emissions.

    But we followed scenario C as far as methane, CFCs and other trace gases were concerned which were expected by Hansen to have a larger contribution than CO2 over this timeframe, also the CO2 trajectory hasn’t been as high as A. Hansen quite clearly indicated B as the most likely scenario. The graph shown above looks very like the one Michaels used when he erased lines B & C to make Hansen’s calculations look bad.

    Nogw (11:46:20) :
    Jim (11:15:14) :
    You are right as far as “settled” science, but as far as water droplets are electrically charged they could be considered as ionized.

    Very weakly, in pure water 2×10-7 moles/l of ions vs 55moles/l of H2O!

    Nogw (10:22:42) :
    Jim (06:19:16) : In clouds water is ionized, as OH- H+. When there is CO2 it reacts with water, in an endothermic (sucking heat in) reaction forming H2CO3 (carbonic acid). SO2 it is also as SO2-, when reacting with ionized water in clouds form H2SO3, sulphurous acid. Both after reacting are already droplets which not having electric charge cannot “float” any longer in clouds and fell down.

    The H2SO4 will be completely in the form 2H^+ and SO4^2-
    H2CO3 is slightly more complicated because it is a weak acid but the following will be present:

    H^+, HCO3^-, CO3^2-, and H2CO3

  113. MattN says:

    George: “Besides, anything that absorbs some incoming solar energy results in cooling, because that energy doesn’t reach the ground; and the higher up in the atmosphere it gets absorbed, the quicker it can be radiatied back into space.”

    But that’s not how I’m under the impression CO2 works. I thought CO2 absorbed radiation coming back from the earth’s surface…..

  114. MikeE says:

    My brother has done some work on climate models… and this is how my skepticism was born… to quote his own words “i have enough variables to get any climate scenario i want, water world, can do. Snow ball Earth, no problem.”

    He’s a bit o a purist. He also told me, for the models too accurately predict future climate would require them too accurately predict the weather at every location around the globe for the duration of the time series. Just because its a chaotic system, so errors will compound, and each event effects the next. Butterfly effect and all that eh.

    Obviously he wasn’t talking about a basic black body model, but predictive models.

  115. Jim says:

    anna v (11:19:42) : Thank you Anna. I was just doing a sort of mental comparison of the momentum carried by ocean currents vs. momentum carried by wind. I’m (again guessing) that the wind’s momentum is negligible compared to that of the ocean. I can see how wind and waves could impart some energy to the ocean, but how much compared to the total energy carried by the ocean?

  116. Ryan C says:

    Can someone please help me out. I found an article that is REALLY REALLY making me angry and I want to write a huge reply to it, but my account wont log in and it won’t let me create a new account at the National Post.

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/07/16/john-moore-one-world-government-and-global-warming-climate-change-whatever.aspx

    This is the most insane pile of religious attacks I have ever heard and it angers me that no one has told this guy where to go. Thank you so much, Ryan!

  117. Nogw says:

    AnonyMoose (11:48:52) :

    Using a cloud-clearing algorithm is an educated guess, not an experiment. To experiment, use a hydrogen bomb to remove clouds
    It seems a bit noisy and disgusting procedure. Why not trying discharging them?. Take a kite, a conductive string and try Franklin’s simple experiment and, please, forget Al..goreetms.

  118. Phil. says:

    George E. Smith (11:44:49) :
    In the case of very low concentrations the absorption is linear with number of absorbing molecules or propagations district.
    Remember e^-x = 1-x/1! +x^3/3! -x^5/5! etc

    Correct

    But the notion that atmospheric temperture rise is proportional to the log of CO2 concentration, is totally phony; there is simply no physics that causes that.

    Not true George it’s due to line broadening for which a physical description exists. After starting out with a linear response for weak absorption you pass through ~log response at medium absorption to square root response at high absorption.

  119. stumpy says:

    There have of course been other issues highlighted, the observed sensitivity is far lower than the IPCC’s. Evaporation is grossly underestimated in the models. The manner in which clouds cool the earth and help moderate temperature is not replicated in the models, resulting in an incorrect positive feedback and then none of the natural cycles are predicted correctly. Oh and the models only hind cast back to 1850, go back further and they fall over.

    So :

    a) if the natural is not explained, there is no way of knowing if there is any anthropogenic effect in the temperature record (if thats reliable).

    b) the models are pointless unless used instead for sensitivity analysis – which they arnt, they are only used to predict dire warming with stupidly high confidence values that are political spin

    c) the IPCC need to be more clear about the uncertainty and try and save some face before the public and policy makers loose trust in them and tarnish science.

    As an engineering modeller I know too well you can fudge a model to hind cast well, but it doesnt mean its right or has any predictive ability. Something I have picked up other engineers on before. And it does often happen when modellers are not experianced or just lack common sense.

    Having a model that represents the correct operation of a system is more usefull than one that does not but looks nice when hind cast in my opinion.

  120. Nogw says:

    Phil. (12:58:45) :
    Niels Bohr said about the so called “Green House effect”:

    the absorption of specific wavelengths of light didn’t cause gas atoms/molecules to become hotter. Instead, the absorption of specific wavelengths of light caused the electrons in an atom/molecule to move to a higher energy state. After absorption of light of a specific wavelength an atom couldn’t absorb additional radiation of that wavelength without first emitting light of that wavelength.

    And modelling it is just gaming/gambling, not serious experimental science.

  121. Phil. (12:40:13) :

    [...]

    But we followed scenario C as far as methane, CFCs and other trace gases were concerned which were expected by Hansen to have a larger contribution than CO2 over this timeframe, also the CO2 trajectory hasn’t been as high as A. Hansen quite clearly indicated B as the most likely scenario. The graph shown above looks very like the one Michaels used when he erased lines B & C to make Hansen’s calculations look bad.

    From Appendix B, pg. 9361 of Hansen’s 1998 paper…

    “Specifically, in scenario A CO2 increases as observed by Keeling for the interval 1958-1981 [keeling et al, 1982] and subsequently with a 1.5%/yr growth of the annual increment.”

    “In scenario B the growth of the annual increment of CO2 is is reduced from 1.5%/yr today to 1%/yr in 1990, 0.5%/yr in 2000 and 0 in 2010; thus after 2010 is constant, 1.9 ppmv/yr.”

    “In scenario C the CO2 growth is the same as scenarios A and B through 1985; between 1985 and 2000 the annual increment is fixed at 1.5 ppmv/yr; after 2000, CO2 ceases to increase, its abundance remaining fixed at 368 ppmv.”

    If I take the average annual increment from 1958-1981 and increase it by 1.5% per year until 2008, I get 385.35 ppmv. Keeling’s value for 2008 is 385.57 ppmv.

    If my math is right (and that’s often a big if)…Hansen’s scenario A matches the CO2 trend pretty well.

  122. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Phil. (12:58:45) :

    George E. Smith (11:44:49) :
    In the case of very low concentrations the absorption is linear with number of absorbing molecules or propagations district.
    Remember e^-x = 1-x/1! +x^3/3! -x^5/5! etc

    Correct

    But the notion that atmospheric temperture rise is proportional to the log of CO2 concentration, is totally phony; there is simply no physics that causes that.

    Not true George it’s due to line broadening for which a physical description exists. After starting out with a linear response for weak absorption you pass through ~log response at medium absorption to square root response at high absorption. “””

    Well Phil, I understand what a log function is; and every log function I’ve ever met was valid for real arguments from -infinity to + infinity, not counting the two end points.

    So either the curve is a log function or it isn’t. And I understand the usual explanation that when you get the center of the transmission down to zero, the band starts to get a little wider.

    I’m perfectly willing to accept that a logarithmic curve can be fitted to the real curve within certain error bands, over some finite argument range; that does not make the real funtion logartihmic.

    Remember that the log function can also be represented by an infinite power series, and I am sure some finite power series can be curve fitted to some finite range of CO2 absorption. That does not make the real function logarithmic.

    I’m sure the very same curve can be expressed as a series of Legendre Polynomials; or Tchebychev polynomials or any other orthoganal set of functions; but that does not make those functions a true physical description of the processes behind the measured values.

    Linear-log-sqrt-??

    I’m sorry, but to me the integral of (1/x) is a log function, but the relationship between mean global temperature rise, and atmospheric CO2 abundance isn’t, although I am sure the two curves can run alongside each other for a distance.

    But that is just my opinion you understand.

    The Planck Radiation Law is a mathematical expression that describes the real world measured values of black body radiation, and does so over the entire spectrum of values for which it has been tested; that is my idea of a true representation. Polynomial or Fourier fits over some limited argument range; are just that; fits, and almost any continuous function for which a set of sampled values exists, can be represented by a mathematical expression that contains fewer parameters, than the number of samples; to within some speciefied error bands. That doesn’t make those forced fits into explanations for the phenomenon represented.

    So what functional regime was the :climate sensitivity” in back in the preCambrian when CO2 was up in the 8000 ppm range ?

  123. KW says:

    So greatest X factor, or unknown…is?

    H20 vapor?
    Clouds?
    CO2 forcing?

    If indeed temperature vs. CO2 graph is close on…than at worse…is our greatest increase of temperature ~2.5*C?

    That’s assuming it is more than 95% confidence levels? Hah.

    It would be so nice if a climate modeler would consider some of these viewpoints, and lend some credibility to our point of view, rather than feeling as though we are trying to attack them.

  124. Frank Lansner says:

    Figures illustrating CO2 absorbing effect:
    http://www.klimadebat.dk/forum/vedhaeftninger/radi4.jpg
    Fig 1: Co2 abs spectra
    Fig2: Water abs spectra
    Fig3: combined, Earh emits radiation under the black line (Planck)
    – the white area under the black line is the “open window” where radiation goes out like a hole in a bucket.
    Fig4: Higher up in the atmosphere, Simplyfied: Co2 abs lines are slightly changed. This might increase CO2´s role when combined with water.
    But, high in the atmosphere, the water content is low, so this effect is questionable. The hole in the bucket, “the open window” is HUGE and radiation should be able to escape quite easy.

    Buttom line: What Nature tells us very clearly is – as reported by Lubos Motl recently – that the higehr atmosphere teperature has stagnated for 15 years. If Co2 could anything, the primary place we should we warming was higher atmosphere.

    But it aint happening. Co2 is dead.

  125. MikeN says:

    Dave, you are right Scenario A is the best match for CO2 trend, however, the other trace gases have a very large effect in scenario A, and overall B could be the better match.

  126. Hansen’s Scenario B yields a 2008 CO2 value of 379.6 ppmv and Scenario C a value of 368.4 ppmv…If my math’s right.

  127. Nogw says:

    Those who as Adam ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge or the computer model from the processor hardware, got confused be it in words or in binary algorithms.

  128. George E. Smith says:

    “”” MattN (12:43:36) :

    George: “Besides, anything that absorbs some incoming solar energy results in cooling, because that energy doesn’t reach the ground; and the higher up in the atmosphere it gets absorbed, the quicker it can be radiatied back into space.”

    But that’s not how I’m under the impression CO2 works. I thought CO2 absorbed radiation coming back from the earth’s surface….. “””

    Well you are right there; and I believe I did say, that CO2 is very little involved in incoming solar radiation absorption; water vapor on the other hand absorbs quite a lot of incoming solar radiation, and thereby can contribute to surface cooling.

    But both water vapor and CO2 do absorb some of the earth surface emitted thermal (long wave) radiation, and water vapor absorbs far more than CO2 does; which is why it is water vapor that is the major green house gas in the atmosphere; not CO2.

  129. Nick Stokes says:

    Dave M and all,
    On Hansen’s prediction, you can argue about whether scenario B is exactly how it turned out, or maybe it was a bit like A as well. This was all hashed out when Pat Michaels did what the poster has done here in testimony to congress. Steve McIntyre argued for scenario A, but couldn’t defend this style of presentation. He said:

    To clarify, I do not agree that it was appropriate for Michaels not to have illustrated Scenarios B or C, nor did I say that in this post. These scenarios should have been shown, as I’ve done in all my posts here. It was open to Michaels to take Scenario A as his base case provided that he justified this and analysed the differences to other scenarios as I’m doing.

    And yet, it keeps happening.

  130. Lida says:

    The real question is whether the corresponding RISE IN TEMPERATURE took place, or not.
    That is why they used to call it AGW.

  131. brazil84 says:

    It’s fun to watch this whole global warming hoax slowly unravel. I’m pretty confident that the AGWer estimates of aeresol cooling will turn out to have been estimated by asking “what do we need to make our models work?”

  132. Bill Illis says:

    In terms of Hansen’s Scenario ABC, here is the actual GHG concentrations that Hansen used.

    http://www.realclimate.org/data/H88_scenarios.dat

    Actual CO2 to date is just slightly lower than Scenario A and just slightly higher than Scenario B but Methane and CFCs are quite a bit lower than both.

    The different total forcings in watts/m^2 is here.

    http://www.realclimate.org/data/H88_scenarios_eff.dat

    The total forcing of Scenario B is just slightly higher than the climate scientists/modelers estimate the forcing is at now, so Scenario B is the one to use.

    Here are the actual temperature predictions for each Scenario.

    http://www.realclimate.org/data/scen_ABC_temp.data

    Scenario B was to be at +0.841C in 2008 but GissTemp was only +0.44C in 2008 so one could say the projections were off by about half.

  133. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Jim (10:57:56) :

    George E. Smith (10:30:23) : More and more, I appreciate your comments. One difference between CO2 and H2O is the liquification point. CO2 is a gas even at the poles, so it is always in the atomosphere to add some heat. I have wondered if CO2 isn’t like a pilot light on a gas water heater whose function is mainly to keep the air hot enough to keep water vapor in play. I wonder what would happen if there were no green house gasses. Would water liquify, then the entire Earth turn into a Snowball? Maybe we could model it?? :) “””

    Jim,

    Not to worry, there is always plenty of water vapor in the atmosphere; more than enough to stop us becming an ice ball.

    Suppose the whole earth surface were cooled down to zero deg C; except for those places which are now colder than zero; we’d let them stay where they are. Well the oceans are saline, so they won’t freeze at zero, so still plenty of liquid water out there.

    The Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, gives the vapor pressure of water at zero deg C as 4.579 mm Hg. This is from the copy of the Handbook that I got off Noah’s ark with; so I’ll let you do the conversion to Pascals; in any case it’s about 0.6% of atmospheric pressure; so still vastly in excess of any CO2 vapor pressure.

    Let’s drop down to -15 C; and please don’t ask me to explain why we would still have liquid water at -15 C, but we would still have 1.436 mm Hg vapor pressure; about 1/3 of the zero C value, and still way more than any CO2.

    Even at -90C over ice at the coldest places on earth, there is 0.00007 mm Hg of water vapor pressure over the ice. Now CO2 is ahead.

    The long and the short is that no matter what the earth temperature was at the equilibrium black body temperature or higher, there is more than enough atmospheric H2O to start the water vapor positive feedback warming; even if there were no CO2 in the atmosphere at all. The notion that water vapor needs CO2 to trigger its positive feedback warming (without which CO2 becomes a non-entity); is quite falacious; the water can do it all by itself.

  134. Mark Miller says:

    Hoffman’s article pointed to something Dr. John Christy talked about a couple years ago in “Global warming – What do the numbers show?” (you can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WWpH0lmcxA), that back in the 1990s the model predictions seemed to track right along the mean of the actual results. The problem was the modelers “knew the correct answer ahead of time”. In other words, they had looked at the actual data, saw where the trend was going and adjusted their models to fit the trend. Circular reasoning indeed. The models fit the results (until around 2001) because the modelers wanted them to fit the results.

    The scientific approach would have been for the modelers to attempt to create models in an almost total data blackout. In other words they’d know about the mathematics, have their knowledge of the current scientific theories, the geography of the Earth and general properties of the atmosphere, but would be totally ignorant about past atmospheric data. Maybe they’d be able to make their own observations just to test out some theories for their models, but other than that they should’ve been shown nothing. Michael Crichton talked about this, that at the FDA researchers in different teams are not allowed to talk to each other about anything having to do with their work for fear of contaminating each other’s results.

    People who reverse-engineer computer technologies are supposed to be “virgins”, ignorant of the technology they are trying to figure out. This is done for legal reasons. They are not allowed to look at the computer code. All they can do is poke and prod at their source technology to see what it does, and from that create their own work-alike model based on what they’ve observed. Sounds something like what the climate modelers should’ve been doing all along.

    To tell you the truth digital computers may be inadequate to the task, simply because their fundamental design is for discrete processes, things that happen in chunks. Analog computers would probably be better tools for this sort of research.

  135. George E. Smith says:

    To Anthony.

    It’s the latest print edition Anthony; I’ll try to remember to bring it in tomorrow. Maybe that is the August edition; seems too late to be July since I just got it yesterday
    The front cover article is about how the Neandertals got extinct; it wasn’t Anthony’s fault. The author is someone I never heard of; which doesn’t mean much; but it is a whole CYA description of how climate researchers are always fudging things, and “weaking” them and how that is all legitimate; and how we ordinary mortals just don’t understand the way it works;

    If I were you, I would ask SA to give you a page or two to respond as to how we view this chicanery; well at least how you view it; you’re becoming a Banyan tree Anthony, and just putting down roots in all sorts of places; pretty neat I would say.

    George

    REPLY: I went out and bought the print copy and yep there it is. Funny, for years as a kid, I tried to get into the “Amateur Scientist” column they used to run and never succeeded with any of the projects I built. Now I get in the magazine and don’t even try or evn know about it. – Anthony

  136. George E. Smith says:

    And now I need to make a “weak” and add a (t)in front up there.

  137. I used Hansen’s CO2 scenarios from Appendix B of his 1988 paper to construct a chart of his projected annual atmospheric CO2 concentrations vs. the actual annual values from Mauna Loa. His scenario A matches the actual values almost exactly…

    Hansen vs. Mauna Loa

  138. Smokey says:

    James Hansen made three very different predictions covering a wide range of future temperatures [from a low of ~0.5°, to a high estimate of ~1.5° -- 300% more], and he used vague “what if” weasel words to explain the overlap.

    Now, Hansen’s defenders pick the cherry they like the best: the chart that most closely matches the current climate: click

    The difference between a temperature rise of 0.5° and 1.5° is enormous. Just about anyone could have predicted a temperature rise within those wide parameters.

    It’s like predicting the July 2010 unemployment rate with three charts: one “scenario” predicting 9% unemployment, one predicting 11% unemployment, and one predicting 13% unemployment. Then, to show everyone how smart I was, next July I get to pick which chart made the best prediction.

    I call shenanigans.

  139. AlexB says:

    Skeptics are always quoting ‘research’ from dodgy backdoor journals like Science. :P

  140. rbateman says:

    Shrunken outer atmosphere = less time/distance for outgoing radiation to achieve escape.
    Which might make room for the ocean heat to escape:
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/changes_in_the_ocean.pdf
    Pielske, Loehle, Willis have done the math on the ocean heat (stored energy).
    Has nothing to do with rising CO2 levels letting it escape, the water under the bridge is gone by. Maybe Hansen could re-invent himself as the “Oceans are Catastrophically Cooling” dude. Al Gore could make a new agenda out of saving the Suez and Panama Canals which are threatened by sea levels dropping faster than we thought.
    If the Oceans drop faster than they can deepen those vital canals, Global Trade will take a pounding.

  141. Jim says:

    George E. Smith (14:33:01) :
    Thanks, George. In that light, it is difficult to see how a snowball Earth could come about. Unless, of course, the Sun is more variable than we know from our limited observation time of it. If the Sun did dim and cause a snowball Earth, it appears from your data that it would have a means to recover. I’m beginning to believe the Sun may be more variable than we think. I know there are proxies for solar output, but there also appears to be doubt about their fidelity.

  142. Phil. says:

    Nogw (13:29:55) :
    Phil. (12:58:45) :
    Niels Bohr said about the so called “Green House effect”:

    the absorption of specific wavelengths of light didn’t cause gas atoms/molecules to become hotter. Instead, the absorption of specific wavelengths of light caused the electrons in an atom/molecule to move to a higher energy state. After absorption of light of a specific wavelength an atom couldn’t absorb additional radiation of that wavelength without first emitting light of that wavelength.

    And modelling it is just gaming/gambling, not serious experimental science.

    Well we know a bit more now than when Bohr made that statement and it’s not correct. For rovibrational transitions in say CO2 then if it absorbs one quantum of energy to be promoted from v=0 to v=1 it can absorb a second quantum to be promoted to v=2 without first emitting light. In fact in the case of CO2 in the lower atmosphere light is usually not emitted because so many collisions with other molecules occur before the molecule has time to emit.
    What in fact happens in the atmosphere is that CO2 absorbs IR and is vibrationally excited and within nanoseconds this energy is collisionally exchanged with other molecules (heating them up) and dropping back to the ground state. In that case of course it does follow Bohr’s description (but not via radiation) but it doesn’t need to.

  143. tallbloke says:

    rbateman (14:54:52) :

    Shrunken outer atmosphere = less time/distance for outgoing radiation to achieve escape.
    Which might make room for the ocean heat to escape:
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/changes_in_the_ocean.pdf

    Thanks, I’ll take a look at that. Were you making an oblique reference to my post on the GISS for June thread you commented on? It seems relevant to the modeling debate, so I’ll repost it here.

    tallbloke (14:23:17) :

    I think I’ve cracked it. I calculated the other day that the ocean heat content must have risen 14×10^22J to account for the sea level rise seen by the satellite altimetry, less the melted chunks of Greenland and other ice melt. This is over twice the estimate of ocean heat content given by Levitus the Lead IPCC author in his 2009 paper. I’m sure he’s wrong. His figure matches the co2 radiative forcing, but that’s too convenient…

    14×10^22J is equivalent to 4W/m^2

    That matches the 4W/m^2 upswings in Outgoing Longwave Radiation from the Earth which happen in antiphase to the solar cycle. It’s the ocean emitting heat when the sun is quiet.
    http://s630.photobucket.com/albums/uu21/stroller-2009/?action=view&current=ssn-olr-1974-2009.gif

    Dunno where this is going to lead yet, but I think the implications are far reaching.

    Open Source Climatology, for open minded climatologists.

  144. Phil. says:

    Smokey (14:49:51) :
    James Hansen made three very different predictions covering a wide range of future temperatures [from a low of ~0.5°, to a high estimate of ~1.5° -- 300% more], and he used vague “what if” weasel words to explain the overlap.

    Now, Hansen’s defenders pick the cherry they like the best: the chart that most closely matches the current climate: click

    The difference between a temperature rise of 0.5° and 1.5° is enormous. Just about anyone could have predicted a temperature rise within those wide parameters.

    It’s like predicting the July 2010 unemployment rate with three charts: one “scenario” predicting 9% unemployment, one predicting 11% unemployment, and one predicting 13% unemployment. Then, to show everyone how smart I was, next July I get to pick which chart made the best prediction.

    I call shenanigans.

    So do I, by Smokey in this case, because Hansen identified at the time which of the scenarios would be the most likely. Hansen’s scenarios depended on whether certain policy decisions were made in the future which at the time were undecided, for example the Montreal Protocol.

  145. tallbloke says:

    Figures relate to 1993-2003 for sea level rise and ocean heat content rise.

  146. old construction worker says:

    George E. Smith (10:42:08) :

    One question about soot, which the paper declares causes warming. Hey it may warm the soot by absorbing solar energy; but then that energy doesn’t reach the ground so it would cool the fround; And by catching the solar energy high in the atmosphere, those black partilces can then radiate IR from the upper atmosphere, and send that energy back into space.

    ‘One question about soot, which the paper declares causes warming. Hey it may warm the soot by absorbing solar energy;’ Isn’t soot capable of being but then that energy doesn’t reach the ground so it would cool the fround;’

    You mean to tell me soot (solid), which gets “heated” by income radiation, when it reradiate long wave radation, that energy does not reach the ground but CO2, high in the atmosphere, which is “heated” by long wave redation from the ground and any energy it reradiate does reach the ground! All I can say is wow. I guess CO2 has some magical power I don’t know about.‘

    ‘And by catching the solar energy high in the atmosphere, those black partilces can then radiate IR from the upper atmosphere, and send that energy back into space.’

    Wouldn’t this cause “The Hot Spot”?

    I’m stund, I tell you, just stund.

  147. bill says:

    George E. Smith (10:57:50) :
    The plot is a calculated spectrum.
    The Paper if you read it is measured transmittance of gasses under varios temps and pressures.

  148. MikeE says:

    Jim (15:26:35) :

    As i understand it, the snowball earth hypothesis is more based around the increasing reflectivity of the earths surface, no long wave radiation, no greenhouse. The ole tipping point, once enough of the earths surface is reflective it will cause ever increasing negative feedback’s. Earth would have an average temp of around -18C.

    The hypothesis has come about due to glacial sediment at latitudes close too the equator… which cant all be explained by continental drift. But just a hypothesis.

  149. Francis says:

    I don’t know the intervening formulas…But I worked as an estimator once…

    “In the (IPCC) the direct aerosol effect is reported to have a radiative forcing estimate of -0.5 Watt per square meter…offsetting the warming from CO2 by almost one-third.”
    At -0.3 Wm-2, the warming offset is reduced to (3/5 x 33%=) 20%.
    So (33%-20%=) the model CO2 warming must be reduced by about 13%.

    The resulting sensitivities haven’ been mentioned.
    From an estimator’s seat-of-the-pants point of view…this isn’t the end of AGW.

  150. Jim says:

    MikeE (15:51:51) : But according to George’s data, there would be enough water vapor in the air to prevent that. There would be enough water vapor to act as a greenhouse gas to re-heat the system. In fact, as long as the Sun’s output was mostly steady, a snowball Earth would not happen at all. If there has been a snowball Earth, and I’m not saying there was, one way to account for it would be for the Sun to dim enough to allow the Earth to freeze. I’m sure there are other ways. My hypothesis of a variable Sun to account for the temperature excursions alluded to by some of the proxies over the past millions of years, is only that. Some reliable proxy for Solar output would have to be found.

  151. Jim says:

    MikeE (15:51:51) : I re-read what you said. So the snowball Earth hypothesis rests on a white surface reflecting incoming radiation – not absorbing it and re-radiating so a greenhouse gas could retain heat. Ahhh …

  152. MikeE says:

    Jim (16:51:17) :

    Yup, im personally of the opinion continental drift would be the most likely mechanism for this scenario too play out… this current ice age was caused by Antarctica drifting over the south pole, and the disrupted hydrological exchange over the North pole due to the location of the land masses around it… Im personally interested as to why this interglacial has played out differentially than previous interglacial s. And if i was to wildly speculate on a possible mechanism, i would be thinking along the lines of subsidence/erosion of the Alaskan Siberian land bridge. The sun may have an effect on a short term basis(tens and hundred year variability rather than million year era scales). But im not totally sold on it yet…

  153. MikeE says:

    MikeE (17:35:58) The sun may have an effect on a short term basis(tens and hundred year variability rather than million year era scales). But im not totally sold on it yet…

    Thats exclusive of orbital influences obviously!

  154. Graeme Rodaughan says:

    Allan M R MacRae (00:02:54) :

    We covered this point on June 28, 2009.

    Science is SO last season. :^)

    Ha. Ha…

    Of course, who needs science to help determine what the facts might be – we’ve got Politics for that………

  155. Bill Illis says:

    Snowball Earth has a very good explanation now. All the continents were locked together at the time with the majority of them being right over the south pole. Think Antarctica times 20.

    Glaciers build up, spread out over the available land, albedo changes produce more cooling, more glaciers build-up and so on. Soon, the glaciers are 5 kms high in the central area and spread out covering all the available land surface. Sea ice extends right to the tropics.

    Snowball Earth ends when the continents split apart and move back towards the equatorial region. The Supercontinent build-up and split apart cycle has happened several times in Earth’s history. The next supercontinent is scheduled for 250 million AD according to Scotese.

    Continental positions during Snowball Earth.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/15/SnowballGeography.gif

    Resulting Climate.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/dc/SnowballSimulations.jpg

  156. Donald says:

    This site is fabulous but as someone who is not a scientist trying to develop a better understanding of the controversy I have a question. I hope it is not too dumb.

    Why can’t CO2 radiate absorbed energy and then become less saturated and thus able to absorb and radiate more energy?

    Thanks,

  157. old construction worker says:

    Phil. (15:34:08) :
    ‘What in fact happens in the atmosphere is that CO2 absorbs IR and is vibrationally excited and within nanoseconds this energy is collisionally exchanged with other molecules (heating them up) and dropping back to the ground state. In that case of course it does follow Bohr’s description (but not via radiation) but it doesn’t need to.’

    I’m I missing something, aren’t the other molecules just as “hot” as CO2 molecule when they collide? And what molecules are you talking about?

  158. Smokey says:

    Here’s another long-term view of the climate: click

    That’s a drastic change from the mild climate we’re used to: click

  159. jamilsoni says:

    Yeah. When I am skeptical about climate change because of emissions of Co2, people laugh. But we will see.
    =)

  160. JET says:

    The geological record suggests abrupt shifts – tens of years rather than thousands – from glacial to interglacial conditions. What consideration has been given to the ‘dustiness’ of space through which the Solar System orbits?

    Rather than worrying about sudden changes in solar energy out-put that may be difficult to explain from the perspective of the behaviour of the Sun itself, perhaps we should consider the conditions in space through which the Solar System passes. While it is probably much more complicated than the ‘dust’ analogy, passing through extra-Solar System ‘conditions’ that reduce transfer of solar energy to the Earth could explain the apparently abrupt switches from glacial to interglacial or to and from interstadials.

    In respect to influences on the Earth’s climate, we have learned to look outside the mental box that contains only the Earth to consider influences originating within the Solar System. Do we need an even bigger box?

  161. Retired BChe says:

    Referring to an earlier comment, there is a difference between water being ionized or in the form of electrically charged particles. Ionization normally refers to liquid water, usually with some contaminant that is acidic or alkaline. The water dissociates to hydrogen ions and hydroxyl (oh) ions. The measurements are referred to as pH, related to the hydrogen ion concentration. In a cloud of water particles, electric charges of static electricity build up on each particle, in the same way that you build up an electrical charge when you shuffle across a nylon rug on a cold, dry day. I’m not an expert on what happens in the upper atmosphere, but ionization of water there would have to be caused by some phenomenon that I am not familiar with.

  162. An Inquirer says:

    There are four basic documents that should be a prerequisite for those who desire a fruitful discussion of Hansen’s 1988 scenarios.
    1. Hanson’s paper
    2. Hanson’s testimony
    3. Gavin’s posting of input variables years later.
    4. McIntyre’s analysis of the role of gases other than CO2. (Rather impartial.)
    I do not have the links on this computer, but if no one posts them in a day, I likely will dig them up. One important thing to note: What Hanson says he did in the model is not necessarily what he did — for example at one point, he seems to say that growth in CO2 stops in Scenario B, but what he probably meant was that growth was linear. Neverheless, the CO2 inputs via exponential growth in A and linear growth in B are virtually identical for decades. He labeled Scenario A “Business as Usual” but he said that Scenario B was more likely. (Again, relative to Scenario A, actual CO2 emissions have exceeded Scenario A assumptions, but CO2 accummulated levels are a titch below Scenario A assumptions. Moreover, the deciding difference between A & B are rare trace gases linked to ozone depletion.)

  163. MikeE says:

    JET (19:38:03) :

    Interglacial’s mostly nicely coincide with the malkovich cycles… wobbles of earths orbit, every 100k years or so.. normally only lasting 10k years, this one is past the 10k mark. But hasnt peaked as highly as recent past interglacials, and seems to be persisting at this stage, which isnt really a bad thing as far as humanity is concerned.

  164. anna v says:

    Jim (12:57:07) :

    anna v (11:19:42) : Thank you Anna. I was just doing a sort of mental comparison of the momentum carried by ocean currents vs. momentum carried by wind. I’m (again guessing) that the wind’s momentum is negligible compared to that of the ocean. I can see how wind and waves could impart some energy to the ocean, but how much compared to the total energy carried by the ocean?

    Well, this partially, as a wind view, covers me
    a jones (12:10:22) :

    Partially because for the complete current view one needs to take into account the great shifts of energy from the tides, which happen with clock regularity all over the waters to the bottom, like a heartbeat.

    I am a simple physicist living in Greece, not a climatologists, but I live next to the sea half the year.
    The winds raise the sea level even in our temperate corner by maybe 40 cm. It is a sea lake, the the water is pushed up as if in a soup plate. That is as much as the tides, and tides carry a lot of energy.

    We get different weather if the wind comes from Siberia, or if the wind comes from the Atlantic and Africa. Weather develops in the wind.

    So in my opinion it is a correlated and interdependent system: Oceans affect wind currents, highs and lows, and wind currents affect oceans.

  165. anna v says:

    Dave Middleton (14:47:55) :

    I used Hansen’s CO2 scenarios from Appendix B of his 1988 paper to construct a chart of his projected annual atmospheric CO2 concentrations vs. the actual annual values from Mauna Loa. His scenario A matches the actual values almost exactly…

    Hansen vs. Mauna Loa

    Thanks, I had a good laugh. You should have put QED at the bottom.

    The way pro AGW are telling it, one picks the temperature prediction from one scenario, and the CO2 curve from another !!

    Consistent with their logic and their grasp of physics and statistics ( as in error propagation) of course. I would not mind excusing them, correct science rights itself eventually, if they were not using politicians to stampede the west into self immolation economically.

  166. MikeN says:

    DaveM, the CO2 numbers are not the whole scenario.
    There is also methane, nitrous, CFC, and other trace gases.
    Scenario A has very high numbers of these other trace gases and CFCs.
    This is why scenario B may be closer. Steve McIntyre ran the numbers in post 2645 at climateaudit.org. See if you can get similar numbers or something different.

  167. Alexej Buergin says:

    “George E. Smith
    Well Phil, I understand what a log function is; and every log function I’ve ever met was valid for real arguments from -infinity to + infinity, not counting the two end points.”

    Didn’t you intend to write 0 instead -infinity ?

  168. Chris Wright says:

    @ Dave Middleton (14:47:55)
    Many thanks for the graph, that makes it a lot clearer. On the basis of this graph, it was appropriate to show the graph of Scenario A, as it almost perfectly matches the actual emissions.
    One can draw a couple of conclusions. Hansen did a good job of predicting business-as-usual emissions over the next two decades. But his temperature prediction is hopelessly wrong, which leads to a further conclusion: that carbon dioxide has an almost negligible effect on global temperatures, both in the 20th century and in the preceding billion years.
    Chris

  169. @Mike N,

    That’s certainly possible…But CO2 is the “Big Kahuna”. Even if CH4 has 20X the greenhouse effect of CO2. 1800 ppb is 0.46% of 390 ppm…20 X 0.46% = 9.2%.

    When I get the time, I’ll see if I can reconstruct Hansen’s trace gas concentrations relative to the actual data.

  170. Bill Illis says:

    Back to what this study is really saying.

    It says the best estimate of the direct effect of aerosols is -0.3 watts/m^2 (multiply this number by 0.32 to arrive at the temperature C impact).

    I note that GISS Model E is using -1.05 watts/m^2 in its model.

    This best estimate of -0.3 watts/m^2 of the direct effect for aerosols would only translate into -0.1C of temperature impact (or -0.2C if the indirect effects are included versus GISS Model E which has -0.6C for the direct and indirect effect of aerosols).

    That means the GHG forcing estimates are way too high (and/or the warming in the pipeline provided by the oceans is even longer than the currently used).

    http://img58.imageshack.us/img58/855/modelaerosolsforcingp.png

  171. Phil. says:

    old construction worker (18:51:03) :
    Phil. (15:34:08) :
    ‘What in fact happens in the atmosphere is that CO2 absorbs IR and is vibrationally excited and within nanoseconds this energy is collisionally exchanged with other molecules (heating them up) and dropping back to the ground state. In that case of course it does follow Bohr’s description (but not via radiation) but it doesn’t need to.’

    I’m I missing something, aren’t the other molecules just as “hot” as CO2 molecule when they collide? And what molecules are you talking about?

    No because the excited CO2 molecule has just absorbed ~0.28 eV of energy which is then collisionally transferred to the neighboring molecules (predominantly N2 and O2). So immediately after absorbing a photon the CO2 has a higher vibrational temperature.

  172. Ashby Lynch says:

    To Dave Middleton,

    Brilliant, great graph. I think this graph needs its own thread, so it can be thoroughly vetted. If it is what it seems to be, then more publicity needs to be given to the Hansen projection and actual temperatures.

  173. Bill Illis says:

    Correction to my post at 6:26:41

    I guess I have to add the black carbon and aerosols impact together to be consistent with this paper.

    The temp impact from both together would be about -0.35C in GISS Model E while this paper is saying it should be about -0.18C.

    So, the models are still off by what would be considered a large amount – 0.2C versus the total temp increase of just 0.6C or so.

  174. Ashby Lynch says:

    If the Middleton graph is right, doesn’t it still demonstrate that CO2 is not the problem.
    If the trace gases caused the increase, then they are the thing that needs to be regulated, not CO2. Either that, or the model is completely useless and has been falsified.

    Can Hansen’s model be run right now, using the exactly correct emissions data for all gases, and see what happens?

  175. Phil. says:

    Dave Middleton (03:40:32) :
    @Mike N,

    That’s certainly possible…But CO2 is the “Big Kahuna”. Even if CH4 has 20X the greenhouse effect of CO2. 1800 ppb is 0.46% of 390 ppm…20 X 0.46% = 9.2%.

    When I get the time, I’ll see if I can reconstruct Hansen’s trace gas concentrations relative to the actual data.

    Not only possible but it was what Hansen’s calculations showed.

  176. @ Ashby Lynch (07:35:18)…

    1) I threw the graph together in Excel in about 15 minutes… It should have PRELIMINARY stamped on it.

    2) I haven’t examined Hansen’s trace gas scenarios, beyond just a cursory look.

    The CO2 trend data that have been collected since 1985 fit Hansen’s scenario A to a tee. The CH4 data look like they fit scenario C. I don’t really have a good guess on the CFC data at this point.

    Just “eyeballing” it… I think the actual total GHG data since 1985 would total about 70% of the radiative forcing that scenario A depicts. If Hansen over-estimated the cooling effect of aerosols, then scenario A might be the best comparison… If his aerosol estimates were good… Maybe scenario B is best.

    The data are available and Hansen’s methods are spelled out in the paper; so it ought to be pretty easy for the professional climate science people to figure this out.

  177. @ Phil. (08:09:59)…

    I think it really depends on how his aerosol effects compare to the real world data since 1985.

    If his aerosol effects projections match the data acquired since 1985… Scenario B would be the best choice. If he over-estimated the aerosol cooling effects… Scenario A or something between A and B might be best.

  178. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Dave Middleton (03:40:32) :
    @Mike N,

    That’s certainly possible…But CO2 is the “Big Kahuna”. Even if CH4 has 20X the greenhouse effect of CO2. 1800 ppb is 0.46% of 390 ppm…20 X 0.46% = 9.2%.

    When I get the time, I’ll see if I can reconstruct Hansen’s trace gas concentrations relative to the actual data. “””

    Well CO2 isn’t even the little Kahuna; it has to compete with H2O which easily wins the top prize. As for the silver medal, I wouldn’t give it to CO2 either, since CO2 is competing for the same spectrum with water vapor.

    But there right in the middle of the major atmospheric window, you get Ozone. So why is that in an important slot ? Well because the major radiative cooling of the earth’s surface is going on in the noonday tropical deserts, and at those temperatures, the peak of the emission spectrum is Wien shifted to right on top of the ozone band, and well away from CO2.

    But of course we can’t make Ozone a bad guy since we need that to stop the sea level from rising due to too much UV heating.

    George

  179. Jim Masterson says:

    >>Alexej Buergin (01:47:52) :

    “George E. Smith

    Well Phil, I understand what a log function is; and every log function I’ve ever met was valid for real arguments from -infinity to + infinity, not counting the two end points.”

    Didn’t you intend to write 0 instead -infinity ? <<

    I don’t know what George intended to write, but you can take the logarithm (and anti-log) of any number in the complex plane (which includes the real numbers out to minus infinity).

    For example: ln(-e) = 1+pi*i. It’s a unit vector pointing from the origin to -1 on the real axis. The angle is 180 degrees or pi radians (which is why it’s pointing in the negative direction). You can take the square root of this number (divide by two) = 1/2 + (1/2)*pi*i. The anti-log = (e^0.5)*i. Adding 2*pi*i to the logarithm doesn’t change its effective value, and we get the other root = 1/2 + (3/2)*pi*i. The anti-log of the second value = –(e^0.5)*i.

    Jim

  180. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Phil. (07:23:11) :

    old construction worker (18:51:03) :
    Phil. (15:34:08) :
    ‘What in fact happens in the atmosphere is that CO2 absorbs IR and is vibrationally excited and within nanoseconds this energy is collisionally exchanged with other molecules (heating them up) and dropping back to the ground state. In that case of course it does follow Bohr’s description (but not via radiation) but it doesn’t need to.’

    I’m I missing something, aren’t the other molecules just as “hot” as CO2 molecule when they collide? And what molecules are you talking about?

    No because the excited CO2 molecule has just absorbed ~0.28 eV of energy which is then collisionally transferred to the neighboring molecules (predominantly N2 and O2). So immediately after absorbing a photon the CO2 has a higher vibrational temperature. “””

    Phil I sense there is a general lack of understanding that the CO2 (or other GHG) molecule, acts simply as a transfer agent, capturing the energy in photonic form and then transferring it to the far more abundant ordinary air molecules as thermal (mechanical) energy.

    In some sense it it like the role of Helium, in the He-Ne gas Laser, although the transfer mechanism is different. Each CO2 molecule has a 13-14 layer pad of N2 and O2 around it to prevent it from seeing another CO2 molecule.

    And because the eventual thermal emission from the atmosphere itself is roughly the same spectral range, as the original CO2 captured radiation, there is this cascade of contiuous absorption, and re-emission, that greatly complicates the whole absorption process.

  181. George E. Smith says:

    I’m lost for an explanation of why CH4 is claimed to have 20 times the greenhouse effect of CO2. Based on the CH4 absorption spectra I have been able to find, It would seem that methane is of no consequence.

    I have two tiny narrow bands for CH4, one at about 3.5 microns, and one at about 8 microns; and both of those are sitting right on top of big fat water vapor bands.

    So I don’t get the methane thing at all, and I was also under the impression that methane doesn’t persist for very long before it becomes just CO2 and water.

    Hopefully, someone else can make the case for CH4 ?

  182. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Alexej Buergin (01:47:52) :

    “George E. Smith
    Well Phil, I understand what a log function is; and every log function I’ve ever met was valid for real arguments from -infinity to + infinity, not counting the two end points.”

    Didn’t you intend to write 0 instead -infinity ? “””

    Hooray ! I was actually hoping that somebody would catch that little snafu.

    But I will dodge that one by suggesting that pi = -sqrt(-1). Ln(-1)

    Now I didn’t say that the logs had to be real; just the arguments.

    Sometimes the quickness of the typing fingers outruns the brain.

    George

  183. MikeN says:

    DaveM, focus on the CFCs and other trace gases when you do your analysis.
    Steve says scenario A had an effect from those that was higher than CO2, due to the exponential growth.

  184. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Donald (18:49:12) :

    This site is fabulous but as someone who is not a scientist trying to develop a better understanding of the controversy I have a question. I hope it is not too dumb.

    Why can’t CO2 radiate absorbed energy and then become less saturated and thus able to absorb and radiate more energy? “””

    Donald, short answer is it can and it does. When the CO2 molecule captures and infrared photon, it starts the molecule vibrating in a particular fashion; which in the case of interest, is a simple bending in the middle. That “excited state” is a bit like having your coffee cup suddenly filled to the brim with really hot coffee, and you are in the middle of a packed ballroom with thousands of people you don’t even know; and all the compatible “chicks” are already surrounded by other guys. If it wasn’t so crowded, you would get time to actually drink that coffee; which eventually leads to you “radiating it” out in the men’s room.

    But instead some clumsy clod is ging to jostle your elbow and make you spill most of that coffee; which will get it all over some person close to you.

    The atmosphere is a bit like that cocktail party physics. The excited state (cup full of hot coffee) has a natural “lifetime” (better drink it before you spill it), and in less crowded circumstances, the CO2 molecule would eventually re-emit a photon pretty much like the one it absorbed; but because of the gas density (too many party goers), and the temperature (they’re all juiced up) the CO2 is going to undergo a collsion with an N2 or O2 molecule, and on occasion one of those Argon loners will knock your elbow.

    So bottom line is that in most of the atmosphere all the coffee gets spilled rather than drunk.

    At very high altitudes, where the air gets more rarified, and colder the mean free path between collisions gets long enough that the CO2 can now radiate (re-emit) .

    But down below in the inhabited atmosphere, that coffee cup gets spilled and refilled ad infinitum, and that’s what makes it so hard to figure out exactly what is going on.

    Hope that helps.

    George

  185. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Jim Masterson (09:21:16) :

    >>Alexej Buergin (01:47:52) :

    “George E. Smith

    Well Phil, I understand what a log function is; and every log function I’ve ever met was valid for real arguments from -infinity to + infinity, not counting the two end points.”

    Didn’t you intend to write 0 instead -infinity ? <<

    I don’t know what George intended to write, but you can take the logarithm (and anti-log) of any number in the complex plane (which includes the real numbers out to minus infinity). """

    Slip of the fingers there Jim; and I didn't really intend to venture into the realm of weird numbers; but as you say, if you can live with negative numbers having square roots; then you are primed to tolerate logs of negative numbers via the pi = – sqrt(-1).Ln(-1) relationsship. If we ever needed proof that all of mathematics is pure fiction; and we made it all up in our heads; that definition of pi oughta do it.

    I also like the function: y = exp(-1/x^2)

    It has the value zero, at x = 0, and so does it derivative; in fact every derivative is zero at x = 0.

    So (y) starts out at zero, with zero velocity, and zero acceleration, and zero rate of increase of acceleration; and so on; and yet somehow it manages to claw its way up to 37% at x = 1. Nobody ever started out in life with a bigger handicap, then exp(-1/x^2) !

  186. Phil. says:

    George E. Smith (09:34:28) :
    I’m lost for an explanation of why CH4 is claimed to have 20 times the greenhouse effect of CO2. Based on the CH4 absorption spectra I have been able to find, It would seem that methane is of no consequence.

    I have two tiny narrow bands for CH4, one at about 3.5 microns, and one at about 8 microns; and both of those are sitting right on top of big fat water vapor bands.

    So I don’t get the methane thing at all, and I was also under the impression that methane doesn’t persist for very long before it becomes just CO2 and water.

    Hopefully, someone else can make the case for CH4 ?

    George, as I said before you can’t use that cartoon version of the spectra, if you look at the water and CH4 lines you’ll see that the spectra don’t overlap rather the lines are interposed between each other.
    It’s atmospheric mean lifetime is about 12 years so it’s contribution to GW is high for about 20 years then falls off.

  187. George E. Smith (09:16:16) :

    [...]

    Well CO2 isn’t even the little Kahuna; it has to compete with H2O which easily wins the top prize. As for the silver medal, I wouldn’t give it to CO2 either, since CO2 is competing for the same spectrum with water vapor…

    George,

    I agree… CO2 is next to irrelevant in the real world. I was making the point that CO2 was the Big Kahuna in Hansen’s model.

    I’m trying to “reverse engineer” Hansen’s model to see which (if any) of his scenarios matches the actual atmospheric chemistry chronology since 1985.

    George E. Smith (09:34:28) :
    I’m lost for an explanation of why CH4 is claimed to have 20 times the greenhouse effect of CO2. Based on the CH4 absorption spectra I have been able to find, It would seem that methane is of no consequence…

    That’s a good question. I’ve always just accepted the assertion that CH4’s greenhouse effect was about 20X CO2’s… Particularly since CH4, like CO2, competes with H2O over much of its bandwidth.

  188. My last post should have ended with…

    That’s a good question. I’ve always just accepted the assertion that CH4’s greenhouse effect was about 20X CO2’s… <Maybe CH4 is not so potent… Particularly since CH4, like CO2, competes with H2O over much of its bandwidth.

  189. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Phil. (10:31:31) : “””

    I’ll take your word for it Phil. I’m totally at the mercy of the people who publish these purported spectra. Given the billions of dollars that US taxpayers have given to “climate scientists”, I would think that the least we could have gotten out of the deal would be some real measured spectra of real world absorption by all these EPA poisons that the government is telling us they are going to tax us up the wazoo to get rid of.

    I read a statement that methane is 20 times as potent as CO2, and I can’t find a single piece of data that shows why that is claimed to be true; all I can get is some IPCC table of misery indexes that they seem to have assigned to each of the vermin; with no scientific precedent for those claims.

    It can’t be rocket science; you go to Edmunds scientific, and you buy a spectrometer that goes from 0.1 to 100 microns wavelength, and you get some gas cells and you measure the darn absorption, once and for all; and publish the data where people can get access to it.

    Instead we get reams of papers on increasingly obstruse statistical mathematics trying to create data out of thin air; and the varmints that are supposed to be responsible for all of this aren’t even examined in detail once and for all to establish exactly how they function.

    We can get believable scientific data, from 15 billion light years out into the dim distant past of the far universe, and we can’t seem to compile basic data on important ingredients of our immediate environment.

    Somewhere I was reading a peer reviewed paper on somebody doing some “very careful” lab measurments of the absorption of some GHG; maybe it was CO2; and they described how they made up out of pristine isotopically pure gases a sample of standard atmosphere, including the CO2, so they could make some absorption measurments. And then they went and added in some obligatory amount of water vapor, before making the measurments. Seems insane to me; separation of the variables must be the single biggest headache in experimental design.

    By the way; if you want to take the earth’s mean surface temperature rise as being proportional to the logarithm of the CO2 concentration; that’s ok with me; but it seems that experimentally, we don’t even have so much as a single octave of observational data to work with, in order to arrive at the IPCC’s value with its 3:1 fudge factor uncertainty; and I would think that you can approximate it just as closely as that uncertainty with straight line segments. I don’t see any virtue in assuming a log function, if it isn’t logarithmic over at least several octaves.

    But if CH4 is that obnoxious, and it is spewed out constantly from decaying vegetation; I don’t understand why the arth hasn’t already fried to a crisp.

    Clearly something is overriding all of those things; and clouds get my vote; and I absolutely refuse to refer to clouds as aerosols; cloud is a shorter word.

    George

  190. a jones says:

    Yes

    Tides are amongst the most fascinating of all water waves.

    Essentially the tide is a forced unidirectional wave of great velocity and enormous wavelength but tiny amplitude produced by the gravitational attraction of the heavenly bodies on the water and the rotation of the earth.

    So great is the wavelength and so small the amplitude that to a casual observer a tide does not appear to be a wave at all: although it is.

    Although the wave eventuates on its greatest scale in the open ocean where the depth is great and moreover the natural forces involved are enormous the actual net motion of the water impelled by the wave is surprisingly small.

    In relatively small bodies of water, even when favourably aligned, i.e. east/west, the scale of the effect is much reduced as in the Baltic or Mediterrean seas.

    It is possible to model these wave effects from first principles but the results whilst interesting are of little practical use.

    The reason is that the chief effects of this wave action occur, and are observed, close to land and are not only affected by the contours of the land but the also subsea terrain as well.

    Some of the minor effects are interesting curiosities such as the double high water, useful for deep water vessels, experienced at Southampton. Others such as the Severn Bore, one of many around the world, and by no means the largest but the best recorded in historical terms, show how funnelling the incoming tidal flow can create a solitary wave crest or soliton, solitons exist in other media and have special properties not well understood, which can then run up river for many miles.

    On a larger scale the wave can also drive huge coastal currents which transport warm or cool water over great distances along the edge of a land mass, examples include the currents along the Eastern side of South America and past Africa via the Mozambique channel etc.

    It cannot be doubted that these actions have powerful influences on local climate and weather. Yet despite the enormous energies involved, perhaps on the scale of those produced within the core of the earth itself, I personally doubt they have much overall effect on Global climate: if of course such a thing really exists in any meaningful way.

    Which I also beg leave to doubt.

    Kindest Regards

  191. Jim Masterson says:

    >> George E. Smith (09:40:39) :

    But I will dodge that one by suggesting that pi = -sqrt(-1). Ln(-1) <<

    Your posts are always fun.

    By definition, ln(-1) = pi*i, -pi*i, 3*pi*i, -3*pi*i, 5*pi*i, -5*pi*i, . . . , and sqrt(-1) = i, -i.

    If we pick the usual suspects from this list, (i, pi*i) or (–i, –pi*i), then your identity is correct. Considering the full range of values for sqrt(-1) and ln(-1), it’s not exactly an identity.

    I’ll amend my previous statement about taking the logarithm of any number on the complex plane–I should have excluded the origin.

    Jim

  192. Phil. says:

    George E. Smith (11:40:27) :
    “”” Phil. (10:31:31) : “””

    I’ll take your word for it Phil. I’m totally at the mercy of the people who publish these purported spectra. Given the billions of dollars that US taxpayers have given to “climate scientists”, I would think that the least we could have gotten out of the deal would be some real measured spectra of real world absorption by all these EPA poisons that the government is telling us they are going to tax us up the wazoo to get rid of.

    I read a statement that methane is 20 times as potent as CO2, and I can’t find a single piece of data that shows why that is claimed to be true; all I can get is some IPCC table of misery indexes that they seem to have assigned to each of the vermin; with no scientific precedent for those claims.

    It can’t be rocket science; you go to Edmunds scientific, and you buy a spectrometer that goes from 0.1 to 100 microns wavelength, and you get some gas cells and you measure the darn absorption, once and for all; and publish the data where people can get access to it.

    You’d be better off using an FTIR spectrometer, the one I used to use had a variable pathlength cell up to 10m. There are compilations of spectra out there or you can subscribe to HITRAN (your tax dollars at work since the 60s). Here’s an example of a portion of the CH4 spectrum in the 8μm band you referred with the appropriate portion of the water spectrum above it.

    http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn107/Sprintstar400/WaterCH4.gif

    Instead we get reams of papers on increasingly obstruse statistical mathematics trying to create data out of thin air; and the varmints that are supposed to be responsible for all of this aren’t even examined in detail once and for all to establish exactly how they function.

    We can get believable scientific data, from 15 billion light years out into the dim distant past of the far universe, and we can’t seem to compile basic data on important ingredients of our immediate environment.

    Somewhere I was reading a peer reviewed paper on somebody doing some “very careful” lab measurments of the absorption of some GHG; maybe it was CO2; and they described how they made up out of pristine isotopically pure gases a sample of standard atmosphere, including the CO2, so they could make some absorption measurments. And then they went and added in some obligatory amount of water vapor, before making the measurments. Seems insane to me; separation of the variables must be the single biggest headache in experimental design.

    By the way; if you want to take the earth’s mean surface temperature rise as being proportional to the logarithm of the CO2 concentration; that’s ok with me; but it seems that experimentally, we don’t even have so much as a single octave of observational data to work with, in order to arrive at the IPCC’s value with its 3:1 fudge factor uncertainty; and I would think that you can approximate it just as closely as that uncertainty with straight line segments. I don’t see any virtue in assuming a log function, if it isn’t logarithmic over at least several octaves.

    But if CH4 is that obnoxious, and it is spewed out constantly from decaying vegetation; I don’t understand why the arth hasn’t already fried to a crisp.

    Clearly something is overriding all of those things; and clouds get my vote; and I absolutely refuse to refer to clouds as aerosols; cloud is a shorter word.

    George

  193. old construction worker says:

    George E. Smith (09:26:46)
    Thanks for the explanation. I assume (there’s that word again) Phil was talking about the exchange of energy between GHG.
    So if water vapor spilled a little coffee, the great coffee server (long wave radiation) would refill the cup before CO2 could make it across the ball room to share his coffee.

  194. Phil. says:

    I tried to post this earlier George but it went missing.

    George E. Smith (11:40:27) :
    “”” Phil. (10:31:31) : “””

    I’ll take your word for it Phil. I’m totally at the mercy of the people who publish these purported spectra. Given the billions of dollars that US taxpayers have given to “climate scientists”, I would think that the least we could have gotten out of the deal would be some real measured spectra of real world absorption by all these EPA poisons that the government is telling us they are going to tax us up the wazoo to get rid of.

    I read a statement that methane is 20 times as potent as CO2, and I can’t find a single piece of data that shows why that is claimed to be true; all I can get is some IPCC table of misery indexes that they seem to have assigned to each of the vermin; with no scientific precedent for those claims.

    It can’t be rocket science; you go to Edmunds scientific, and you buy a spectrometer that goes from 0.1 to 100 microns wavelength, and you get some gas cells and you measure the darn absorption, once and for all; and publish the data where people can get access to it.

    Basically yes, I got an FTIR with a variable path length cell up to 10m.
    There’s plenty of data out there but it can be hard to find, the best place is HITRAN (your tax dollars at work since the 60s).
    Just to give you an example below is a portion of the CH4 absorption band at 8 μm with the appropriate portion of the water spectrum above it.

    http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn107/Sprintstar400/WaterCH4.gif

  195. Phil. says:

    old construction worker (17:42:02) :
    George E. Smith (09:26:46)
    Thanks for the explanation. I assume (there’s that word again) Phil was talking about the exchange of energy between GHG.
    So if water vapor spilled a little coffee, the great coffee server (long wave radiation) would refill the cup before CO2 could make it across the ball room to share his coffee.

    It’s a bit more like trying to cross the crowded ballroom with a cup of coffee without it being spilled and going back for a refill whenever it spills. The more crowded the more attempts needed for success. The GHG is the one carrying the coffee, everybody else on the floor are the N2/O2 molecules.

  196. Phil. says:

    George E. Smith (11:40:27) :
    “”” Phil. (10:31:31) : “””

    I’ll take your word for it Phil. I’m totally at the mercy of the people who publish these purported spectra. Given the billions of dollars that US taxpayers have given to “climate scientists”, I would think that the least we could have gotten out of the deal would be some real measured spectra of real world absorption by all these EPA poisons that the government is telling us they are going to tax us up the wazoo to get rid of.

    I keep trying to answer this George but my posts aren’t being accepted, sorry.

  197. Mark Miller says:

    George E. Smith:

    “Instead we get reams of papers on increasingly obstruse statistical mathematics trying to create data out of thin air; and the varmints that are supposed to be responsible for all of this aren’t even examined in detail once and for all to establish exactly how they function.”

    I share your frustration! I recently saw an opinion column written in the Daily Camera, the local paper of record for Boulder, CO., whose author attempted to use a purely statistical analysis to show that CO2 has caused all of the warming we’ve seen since the Industrial Revolution. You (plural) probably don’t remember this, but in an earlier post on this blog I asked about the statements of a “professor” (that was my operating assumption) that were along the same lines. The guy who wrote the column is one and the same. I found out more about him, and I was wrong. He’s not a professor. He’s a blogger “who studies climate change as a hobby”. He is not a scientist, and yes, he has a regular opinion column in Boulder’s paper…

    You can read the column I’m referring to here:
    http://www.dailycamera.com/news/2009/jul/05/global-warming-whodunit/

    Get this. He loaded global average temperature and CO2 data sets into Excel, shifted the temperature data set around for a bit and found an AMAZING correlation between CO2 and temperature (I’m being sarcastic). This is the paragraph that got steam rising out of my head. His method was so amateurish I was surprised the Camera let this garbage get in the paper:

    “Still not convinced? I loaded as much publicly available data as I could into Microsoft Excel. The result? An 88 percent correlation between global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentration. The temperature correlation peaks about 12 years after the CO2 stimulus, and falls off slowly over decades. This is huge evidence that CO2 drives temperatures, and that the oil we burn today causes the most warming 10 to 15 years from now.”

    Yes, you read right. He actually asserts from his statistical analysis alone that there’s a 10-15 year relationship between changes in CO2 levels to a temperature response, and that this entirely explains the temperature fluctuations from the Industrial Revolution onwards. Why are the alarmists playing around with sophisticated computer models when all you’ve got to do is load these two data sets into Excel and SEE the answer right in front of your face?? My goodness, we’ve been wasting billions of dollars studying this! (sarcasm off)

    I and others asked the author how he arrived at this conclusion and he gave links in the comments that follow the article to a blog posting of his own which asserts the same thing, and which also shows the charts he generated in Excel, whereby he came to his conclusion. He could point to no scientific source of information for the assertions he made. Talk about an insult to our intelligence. This article isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on!

    I’ve been corresponding with the opinion editor of the Camera, complaining about the low quality of this piece. So far she hasn’t been persuaded by my argument… It’s difficult to believe this is happening in the same town where NCAR and NIST are located. Personally I think it’s embarrassing.

  198. Mark Miller says:

    I should add to my previous comment some words from Alan Kay, a prominent computer scientist who has worked for years to design and develop computers that can be used in educational environments, and whose contributions to how we use computers today are legion.

    I looked this up when I saw the Daily Camera article. Kay gave a presentation several years ago called “What is Squeak?” (Squeak is an operating/programming system he designed that’s based on software work he did 30 years ago) Most of what he talked about was teaching real math and real science in schools, using computers, and how to go about that, but what he said has bearing on the use of computers in science. In the Q&A session afterwards the first question from the audience was on using computers to teach students about pseudo-science (the difference between it and real science). Interesting question! He said:

    “You can’t do science on a computer or with a book, because [with] the computer–like a book, like a movie–you can make up anything. We can have an inverse cube law of gravity on here, and the computer doesn’t care. No language system that we have knows what reality is like. That’s why we have to go out and negotiate with reality by doing experiments.”

    A questioner asked about a simulation he had running up on the screen, asking if it was pseudo-science. He said, “This is a model. If you present it to the kids as fact, it is pseudo-science.” Does this not say it all? We can even ignore the context that he’s talking about an educational situation. He’s talking about the context in which models should be used generally, if you think about it. He did not get into the subject of AGW at all. He just stated the “nature of the beast”–computers. He stated repeatedly that the correct use of models was to have the students construct them after making observations of actual phenomena, and that their models should reflect what they observed. The idea is through the process of making their models they’ll learn more about what they observed. Shouldn’t scientists use computer models the same way?

  199. @Phil…

    It looks like the Spam filter might be holding up your posts because of the links. When I make a post and it doesn’t immediately show up as awaiting moderation, I follow it up with a post like this…

    Mod’s – I think the Spam filter grabbed my last post because of the links it included.

    It sometimes takes a little while, but the posts are almost always allowed.

    It also seems that by using the Href HTML Code, the Spam filter is more likely to allow a post.

  200. Bruce says:

    What is the source of your final graph, please?
    Can you point me to a derivation from first principles of physics that a doubling of CO2 concentration will increase the surface temperature by about 1degree celsius before any feed back effects? which is often mentioned?

  201. Jim says:

    Phil. (18:49:51) : These spectra appear to be taken at low pressure. It would be interesting to see a series at different pressures.

  202. Pragmatic says:

    Mark Miller (01:54:58) :

    “You can’t do science on a computer or with a book, because [with] the computer–like a book, like a movie–you can make up anything. We can have an inverse cube law of gravity on here, and the computer doesn’t care. No language system that we have knows what reality is like. That’s why we have to go out and negotiate with reality by doing experiments.

    …the correct use of models was to have the students construct them after making observations of actual phenomena, and that their models should reflect what they observed.”

    This is an excellent comment Mark. This is indeed the nature of the beast. And what there is so much resistance to. Offering computer model projections that fail to meet observations is not even pseudo-science. It is computer gaming.

    (an old Kaypro fan)

  203. Mark Miller says:

    Pragmatic:

    “Offering computer model projections that fail to meet observations is not even pseudo-science. It is computer gaming.”

    I remember Bob Carter saying this about a computer model projection, that it was “Playstation 4 stuff”.

    I’ve been wondering though, since I watched Kay’s presentation, about the use of computer models for projections, and this seems to get into a different area. I was talking about a different context because it seems to me the AGW promoters have been using computer models in an attempt to carry out scientific investigation, which is deeply flawed.

    Meteorologists use atmospheric models to help them make projections, but they do not use them to make projections. It used to be that economists used computer models of the economy the same way, but given what we learned in the latest economic collapse it sounds like they’ve been used to make economic projections, which is scary, and this situation shows how wrong they were.

    It seems to me that it depends on what kind of phenomenon you model. For example, if one were to construct a gravity simulator, one could use it with reasonable accuracy to project the paths of comets and asteroids, with the understanding that some error will be introduced by the model. We can think of the model as a scientific instrument for making projections, and as with all instruments, some error is introduced into observations. It seems to me the reason this can be done is that a gravitational system can be modeled in a linear deterministic fashion, despite the fact that there will be multiple forces acting on any one object. It’s always important, even in a model like this, to inspect its internals for what, if any, assumptions are being made.

    The atmosphere (and an economy) cannot be modeled this way, because the element of chaos comes into it. We cannot project exactly the way a clump of molecules will interact, and the error grows, probably exponentially with time.

    I think if one is doing projections they are not doing science. They are rather (hopefully) using what science has found in order to enhance our ability to respond to something. I refer to my earlier comments about how climate models have been constructed. If I were to assume the best of intentions behind their methodology it would still be flawed: that they use the assumption that just because they’ve tweaked a model to accurately predict climate in the recent past, even though their model does not contain a complete set of atmospheric influence factors, it will do so in the future. That’s wishful thinking.

  204. Phil. says:

    Jim (09:31:25) :
    Phil. (18:49:51) : These spectra appear to be taken at low pressure. It would be interesting to see a series at different pressures.

    Those spectra are at atmospheric pressure and 296K.

  205. Fred2 says:

    Do we remediate soot any differently from C02? I guess we burn fossil fuels more efficiently, turning it into CO2.

    Is the heating from soot more or less than CO2?

  206. Jim says:

    Phil. (12:40:35) : I was basing that on the fact that they look so sharp.

  207. Phil. says:

    Jim (15:52:40) :
    Phil. (12:40:35) : I was basing that on the fact that they look so sharp.

    Just high resolution, you need that to see the overlap (or lack thereof), the water spectra are rather sparse as is apparent when you look at high res.
    The lines get narrower as you get higher in the atmosphere.

  208. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Phil. (19:06:58) :

    George E. Smith (11:40:27) :
    “”” Phil. (10:31:31) : “””

    I’ll take your word for it Phil. I’m totally at the mercy of the people who publish these purported spectra. Given the billions of dollars that US taxpayers have given to “climate scientists”, I would think that the least we could have gotten out of the deal would be some real measured spectra of real world absorption by all these EPA poisons that the government is telling us they are going to tax us up the wazoo to get rid of.

    I keep trying to answer this George but my posts aren’t being accepted, sorry. “””

    Well Phil. I digest everything that makes it through the system; that bears your logo.

    My “Infra-Red Handbook” has high resolution spectra for the atmosphere; but since the book is mainly for military applications such as weapons targetting and such, for some reason they measure through a horizontal layer of air, and not through the vertical atmosphere.

    I can’t tell whether computed spectra, properly deal with all the real world isotopic species of atmospheric gases. Given that you have C12/13/14, and O16/18, as well as H and D, and all the possible combinations of those in the existing GHGs, i would think a computed spectrum could get very complicated.

    And then when you throw in the emitted spectrum; well it gets even crazier; and of course including the emitted spectrum form all levels of the atmosphere, as well as the surface emission.

    But although it would be nice to know; I’m still convinced it is totally irrelevent, since I believe that the cloud negative feedback simply wipes out any changes due to GHGs or any other perturbations; except major orbital changes of course.

    When the history of all of this is finally written 100 years from now, if we survive on this planet that long; people are going to puzzle over why we thought it was all so complicated.

    Perhaps if more climatologists were physicists; instead of statisticians, they would get to the answers sooner. Planet earth knows how to calculate the effetcs; and does so with complete accuracy; we should attempt to do likewise, instead of writing ever more arcane computer video games.

    George

  209. Phil. says:

    George E. Smith (11:07:46) :
    “”” Phil. (19:06:58) :

    George E. Smith (11:40:27) :
    “”” Phil. (10:31:31) : “””

    I’ll take your word for it Phil. I’m totally at the mercy of the people who publish these purported spectra. Given the billions of dollars that US taxpayers have given to “climate scientists”, I would think that the least we could have gotten out of the deal would be some real measured spectra of real world absorption by all these EPA poisons that the government is telling us they are going to tax us up the wazoo to get rid of.

    I keep trying to answer this George but my posts aren’t being accepted, sorry. “””

    Well Phil. I digest everything that makes it through the system; that bears your logo.

    Eventually it got through, for some reason my spectra caused problems?

    My “Infra-Red Handbook” has high resolution spectra for the atmosphere; but since the book is mainly for military applications such as weapons targetting and such, for some reason they measure through a horizontal layer of air, and not through the vertical atmosphere.

    Yes I recall doing some consultancy work for the RAF on IR transmission through clouds, the cloud lab was situated underground near a runway (I forget why). Part way through the experiment there was a huge roar above, is was the nuclear bombers on standby warming up their engines!

    I can’t tell whether computed spectra, properly deal with all the real world isotopic species of atmospheric gases. Given that you have C12/13/14, and O16/18, as well as H and D, and all the possible combinations of those in the existing GHGs, i would think a computed spectrum could get very complicated.

    The spectra I showed have all the possible isotopologues in their appropriate proportions, e.g.:

    Molecule No. Name Formula Isotopologue No. Formula Abundance
    1 water H2O 1 H(16)OH 0.997317
    1 water H2O 2 H(18)OH 0.00199983
    1 water H2O 3 H(17)OH 0.000371884
    1 water H2O 4 HD(16)O 0.000310693
    1 water H2O 5 HD(18)O 6.23003e-07
    1 water H2O 6 HD(17)O 1.15853e-07
    2 carbon dioxide CO2 1 (16)O(12)C(16)O 0.984204
    2 carbon dioxide CO2 2 (16)O(13)C(16)O 0.0110574
    2 carbon dioxide CO2 3 (16)O(12)C(18)O 0.00394707
    2 carbon dioxide CO2 4 (16)O(12)C(17)O 0.000733989
    2 carbon dioxide CO2 5 (16)O(13)C(18)O 4.43446e-05
    2 carbon dioxide CO2 6 (16)O(13)C(17)O 8.24623e-06
    2 carbon dioxide CO2 7 (18)O(12)C(18)O 3.95734e-06
    2 carbon dioxide CO2 8 (17)O(12)C(18)O 1.4718e-06
    2 carbon dioxide CO2 9 (18)O(13)C(18)O 4.446e-08

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