New paper in Nature on CO2 amplification: “it’s less than we thought”

Amplification of Global Warming by Carbon-Cycle Feedback Significantly Less Than Thought, Study Suggests

http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003400/a003440/airsCO2_printres.0392_web.png

This image shows the global monthly average Carbon Dioxide in July 2003 as seen by Aqua/AIRS.

from ScienceDaily (Jan. 28, 2010) — A new estimate of the feedback between temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration has been derived from a comprehensive comparison of temperature and CO2 records spanning the past millennium.

The result, which is based on more than 200,000 individual comparisons, implies that the amplification of current global warming by carbon-cycle feedback will be significantly less than recent work has suggested.

Climate warming causes many changes in the global carbon cycle, with the net effect generally considered to be an increase in atmospheric CO2 with increasing temperature — in other words, a positive feedback between temperature and CO2. Uncertainty in the magnitude of this feedback has led to a wide range in projections of current global warming: about 40% of the uncertainty in these projections comes from this source.

Recent attempts to quantify the feedback by examining the co-variation of pre-industrial climate and CO2 records yielded estimates of about 40 parts per million by volume (p.p.m.v.) CO2 per degree Celsius, which would imply significant amplification of current warming trends.

In this week’s Nature, David Frank and colleagues extend this empirical approach by comparing nine global-scale temperature reconstructions with CO2 data from three Antarctic ice cores over the period ad 1050-1800. The authors derive a likely range for the feedback strength of 1.7-21.4 p.p.m.v. CO2 per degree Celsius, with a median value of 7.7.

The researchers conclude that the recent estimates of 40 p.p.m.v. CO2 per degree Celsius can be excluded with 95% confidence, suggesting significantly less amplification of current warming.

Journal Reference:

  1. David C. Frank, Jan Esper, Christoph C. Raible, Ulf Büntgen, Valerie Trouet, Benjamin Stocker, & Fortunat Joos. Ensemble reconstruction constraints on the global carbon cycle sensitivity to climate. Nature, 2010; 463 (7280): 527 DOI: 10.1038/nature08769

Full story here at Science Daily

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201 thoughts on “New paper in Nature on CO2 amplification: “it’s less than we thought”

  1. Are they trying to hide the overestimated rise promoted by their climate models?

    What about anthropogenic carbon dioxide has ZERO impact on climate?

  2. Maybe it is already clear to others, but how much of a reduction in the amplification does this indicate? Or to put it another way, based on this report, by what percentage have the IPCC-Gore-Hansen crowd been overstating the effect of warming due to CO2?

  3. Well of course it is. The weather/climate is not cooperating and not agreeing with their models.

    Just like Menne had to rush a paper out trying to disprove Watts/Pielke Sr, first, before Watts/Pielke Sr could get theirs out.

    They are just CYA.

    Now they can still say “see we were right”.

  4. Not quite an order of magnitude. Close as in horse shoes. This should have been in the state of the union message “crisis over we have solved the problem through bipartisan support and effort….” Shortly Mz Jackson will refund some of her EPA budget increase in sympathy with the job loss due to her threats oops findings.

  5. @Ray (12:27:35)

    The BBC article is more detailed: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8483722.stm

    “for every degree Celsius of warming, natural ecosystems tend to release an extra 7.7 parts per million of CO2 to the atmosphere (the full range of their estimate was between 1.7 and 21.4 parts per million).

    This stands in sharp contrast to the recent estimates of positive feedback models, which suggest a release of 40 parts per million per degree; the team say with 95% certainty that value is an overestimate.

  6. So for o.8 degrees C warming in the last 100 years we would have about 6 ppm increase in CO2 using their mid range estimate. I did a crude stab at such an estimate using ice core data a couple of years ago and estimated <10 ppm of the increase we have seen was due to warming. Seems reasonable, and hardly a cause for concern.

  7. Henry’s law already describes the relationship between water temp and CO2 in the atmosphere. This is just a way to claim humans are responsible for the CO2 increase rather than the fact that 95% of the increase is due natural ocean warming. For every 50 molecules of CO2 we produce, only one will remain in the atmosphere at equilibrium, which takes about ten years based on CO2 ocean atmosphere exchange.

  8. Since the response to CO2 is a log function it implies that the positive feedback effect will decline with increasing concentrations. And in any case it is a minor factor compared to water vapor.

  9. The authors derive a likely range for the feedback strength of 1.7-21.4 p.p.m.v. CO2 per degree Celsius, with a median value of 7.7.

    Two points emerge from this:

    Firstly, Hans Erren’s “quick and dirty” method using vostock ice core data produced an estimate ~10 ppm per deg C. Not bad for a 30 second calculation. See here:

    http://members.multimania.nl/ErrenWijlens/co2/howmuch.htm

    Secondly, this surely settles any debate about mankind’s involvement in the increase in 20th century CO2 concentrations. The CO2 increase cannot be due to higher temperatures.

  10. One major issue that I see is that the researchers are using proxy records to do their estimations. Skeptics cannot have it both ways. Either the proxy records are problematic or they are not.

    The only safe conclusion is that some people are way too certain about climate sensitivity.

  11. According to IPCC figure 9.9, anthropogenic contribution to temperature rise is about 90% in the seconde half of the XXth century, with CO2 being the main forcing agent.

    How would this paper change the anthropgenic/natural contribution to temperature rise ?

    Thx

  12. One is tempted to paraphrase:

    The science was right before, the earlier numbers misbehaved. “Bad. bad, numbers. Depart from us. Hence forth we will use different numbers.”

    More seriously. It sounds like careful work. I hope it holds up.

  13. The geologic record shows no correlation between CO2 and temperature.

    There was an ice age in the late Ordovician with CO2 levels 10X of current levels. Hansen et al are not interested in looking at geological timescales though, because it would nullify their raison d’etre.

  14. I have my doubts about this. Still haven’t had a chance to read through the whole paper, but the list of temperature reconstructions used should raise a few eyebrows:

    Jones199831 (blue 3), Briffa200032 (blue 2), MannJones200333 (blue 1), Moberg200534 (light blue), DArrigo200635 (green), Hegerl200736 (yellow), Frank200737 (orange), Juckes200738 (red), Mann200839 (maroon)

    There’s a fine collection of hockey sticks.

  15. The German Der Spiegel had a story on this yesterday. They did admit, that the feedback effect would be smaller than previously thought, but:

    There would be absolutely no reason to take back any previous warning, because:

    -human CO2 emissions would rise rapidly, anyway
    -the scientists could not simulate feedbacks which occur at larger temperature variations than we have seen the last 1000 years (e.g. because of the evil methane there could be unprevedented feedbacks)

    Furthermore other researchs would suggest that climate change would have been underestimeted so far (sic!), e.g. 5 Million years ago it was warmer than today, with CO2levels only slightly higher.

    The conclusion of the article was: Possibly an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 400-500 ppm is enough for a runaway warming…

    So still, even if climate feedback is lesss than we feared, it is still worth than we thought. Yes, repeat no…

  16. I’m a little confused about this AGW theory.

    From what I think they’re tell us, regardless of amplification:

    If the earth warms as a result of increased atmospheric CO2
    that warming results in a warmer ocean
    warmer oceans hold less CO2, thus expelling it to raise atmospheric CO2
    hence CO2 and temperature go up forever.

    According to the commonly discussed theory, why wouldn’t this continue to runaway?

    MikeEE

  17. At least they got the general flow right. If you increase temperature….. you increase as co2 as it comes out of solution from the ocean

  18. “Secondly, this surely settles any debate about mankind’s involvement in the increase in 20th century CO2 concentrations. The CO2 increase cannot be due to higher temperatures.”

    Probably so, but absent the warming fear we can strip CO2 of all of it’s undeserved bad press and accept it for it’s pro-botanical effects on the planet.

  19. There is a more complete explanation of the article by the BBC:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8483722.stm

    “Some climate sceptics have argued that a warmer world will increase the land available for vegetation, which will in turn absorb CO2 and temper further warming. This is known as a negative feedback loop – the Earth acting to keep itself in balance.”

    “But the Nature research concludes that any negative feedback will be swamped by positive feedback in which extra CO2 is released from the oceans and from already-forested areas.”

    “…”It might lead to a downward mean revision of those (climate) models which already include the carbon cycle, but an upward revision in those which do not include the carbon cycle.

    “That’ll probably even itself out to signify no real change in the temperature projections overall,” he said. “

  20. Mark this one on the calendar! Instead of “worse than we thought,” as is usually the case, it says “less than we thought.” I’m going out now to see if there are any pigs flying around.

  21. Excuse me if this is a dumb question, but what does this say about climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2?

    And does it have anything to do with carbon sinks (oceans, fauna) becoming saturated?

    Am I right in I thinking that from a warmist point of view this is good news, meaning there is more time to transition to a sustainable society?

  22. I am amazed at how in the picture the tropics (especially South America) absorb so much CO2 that they leave a visible trail of lower CO2. Does this mean that as the higher concentration in the northern hemisphere mixes and some travels to the southern hemisphere, that it all gets absorbed? Has this Amazon rate been studied?

  23. And yet another peer-reviewed paper that debunks the alarmist tongue wagging that skeptics have no science to back their arguments.

    The issue of feedbacks will make or break AGW.

  24. The BBC article seems to answer most of my questions. I think that for the sake of objectivity and impartiality it might be a good thing to add these lines to this blog entry:

    “The authors warn, though, that their research will not reduce projections of future temperature rises.

    Further, they say their concern about man-made climate change remains high.

    The research, from a team of scientists in Switzerland and Germany, attempts to settle one of the great debates in climate science about exactly how the Earth’s natural carbon cycle will exacerbate any man-made warming.

    Positive, negative

    Some climate sceptics have argued that a warmer world will increase the land available for vegetation, which will in turn absorb CO2 and temper further warming. This is known as a negative feedback loop – the Earth acting to keep itself in balance.

    But the Nature research concludes that any negative feedback will be swamped by positive feedback in which extra CO2 is released from the oceans and from already-forested areas.

    The oceans are the world’s great store of CO2, but the warmer they become, the less CO2 they can absorb. And forests dried out by increased temperatures tend to decay and release CO2 from their trees and soils. ”

    Source: BBC

  25. I was starting to get excited, and then I saw “nine global-scale temperature reconstructions” and said to myself “uh oh”.

    So. . .which nine GSTR did they use, and do any of them have the MWP at anything like a likely scale? And if they don’t, what happens to their results if a real MWP is included?

    I also wasn’t real clear (I think not, but I’m not sure) if this was a different issue that they were looking at than the positive wator vapor feedback thing? Same issue or different one?

  26. It seems that 40 (modelled) divided by 7.7 (probable) = a 5.2 fold modelling claim beyond the empirical values.

    Projecting 2.0 deg by 2100 / 5.2 = 0.4 which is close to a number of other opinions. The point about non-linear response above is noted. Perhaps 0.3 then, with a natural background variation of 3-4 (my opinion).

    Regards

  27. It’s nice that Nature is showing a willingness to publish some slightly contrarian info, but since the authors used Antarctic ice cores for CO2 which seem to be more than a bit problematic and compared them to paleoclimate reconstructions, which I’m unwilling to invest $32 to identify but in general I’ve never found to be confidence inspiring, I doubt I’ll be adding this to my reference file.

  28. Soller (12:35:17) :

    I was not talking about total CO2 but only ANTHROPOGENIC CO2… The anthropogenic part of the total CO2 is insignificant and will insignificantly contribute to any positive OR negative feedback. In other words: We have zero impact on global temperature change, 0. Of course, I am saying 0 with only 1 significant figure… I too have some uncertainly.

  29. The authors claim that based on Antarctic ice cores, increasing temperatures release less CO2 than previously thought. In other words, increasing temperatures cause CO2 concentration increases, not the reverse. It seems rather twisted logic to claim feedbacks based on such data.

  30. “The authors derive a likely range for the feedback strength of 1.7-21.4 p.p.m.v. CO2 per degree Celsius, with a median value of 7.7″

    Talk about impressive pinpoint accuracy.
    Is that like forcasting warming to be represented by anomalies of the same magnitude?

    With that wide fat range, they can’t be proven wrong.

  31. Am I correct in assuming that “co-variation” is the same as amplification?

    If that be correct then a co-variation of 7.7 is over 500% less than the co-variation of 40, which can be excluded with 95% confidence.

    What about “co-variation” factors that lead to negative amplification / acceleration, such as those that come into play when temperatures are falling while CO2 is rising as during the start of an ice-age, or in the last decade?

  32. John Finn (12:43:31) :

    Secondly, this surely settles any debate about mankind’s involvement in the increase in 20th century CO2 concentrations. The CO2 increase cannot be due to higher temperatures.

    1) The temperature rise is a lot less than slated.

    2)1940’s co2 levels were measured to be higher than 1975’s co2 levels.

  33. Neven:
    “The authors warn, though, that their research will not reduce projections of future temperature rises.”

    Neven, these people have to appear to be agreeing with the AGW narrative even while they are disagreeing with it. In many cases their research grants depend on it. The important thing is that the climate sensitivity number keeps getting walked down, little by little.

  34. There is no p.p.m.v. CO2 per C degrees of temperature. Nature doesn’t work in such a linear way. If you could make such linear predictions, or any predictions, about a chaotic non-linear system then we’d do the same with the stock market like so many charlatans try to convince people they can do.

  35. Is this paper saying that since warming itself is not the cause of as much of the observed C02 buildup as previously thought then the measured increase of atmospheric C02 must be coming more from anthropogenic sources? In other words, it’s worse than we thought!

  36. I presume that these 1000 year old “atmospheric” CO2 levels come from gas bubbles in Antarctic ice cores? CO2 is very soluble in water and diffuses very quickly through aqueous solutions. I find it very difficult to believe it hasn’t equilibrated to a very large extent with the air and must, therefore be a very poor reflection of the CO2 level at the time the bubble formed.

    Someone please tell me I’m wrong.

  37. Ok, from the world of crazy talk… quoting the BBC article above:

    ######################################

    ““…”It might lead to a downward mean revision of those (climate) models which already include the carbon cycle, but an upward revision in those which do not include the carbon cycle.

    “That’ll probably even itself out to signify no real change in the temperature projections overall,” he said. “”

    ######################################

    So explain this to me…. how can a model that doesn’t use the carbon cycle be affected upward, or AT ALL, by a correction to the CO2 sensitivity model? If it is affected at all by changes in CO2 sensitivity then by simple deduction it must include the carbon cycle in it’s model somewhere.

  38. before everybody gets all hot and bothered read the SI

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7280/extref/nature08769-s1.pdf

    When we get the whole paper we’ll have to see what role the previous studies
    (jones98, briffa, mann03, mann08, and others had in final answer

    The approach looks interesting, but you have to watch how studies that have questionable results get fed into new studies.

    this why its important to settle old issues rather than just “move on”
    as the team likes to do. The sensitivity is an important number
    ( especially for luke warmers)

  39. A couple of thoughts. First of it is saying the scientists’ orginal positive feedback was over stated by aprox 5.2 times.

    (This stands in sharp contrast to the recent estimates of positive feedback models, which suggest a release of 40 parts per million per degree; the team say with 95% certainty that value is an overestimate. ) vs their estimate of 7.7 ppm.

    Secondly though we are talking about the degree of feedback from 1 degree of warming. But we are still waiting for our first ONE degree. After 150 years of waiting. So it is pretty meaningless in that sense……Sincerely, John

  40. Tilo Reber (13:25:12) : I can hear Gavin Schmidt cursing now. This is another paper where he will have to find some way to trash it on RealClimate.

    I don’t think so. He will say, look, see, this is what real science does, real science is never settled, the skeptics have really got a bee in their bonnet about us, see how open and accountable and transparent we all are. Of course we have to change our science when new evidence contradicts current theories. psst, Jim, gimme a pay rise. I got you all out of that tight corner.

  41. I am going to put some concluding remarks up front, with support to follow (in case you do not want to read this long post).
    Conclusions:

    1) Satellite data over the last 30 +/- years suggest a low climate sensitivity to CO2 (see Spencer post Oct 2009)

    2) The historical surface termp data over the last 120 +/- years suggest a low climate sensitivity to CO2 (see my analysis posted on Spencer thread)

    3) Antarctic ice core data over a 750 year period suggest a low climate sensitivity to CO2 (this paper)

    Now for some analysis ….

    If I read this post right, they have reduced the feedback by a factor of about 5x (40/7.7 = 5.19).

    So instead of the IPCC forecast of a 4 deg C rise in temps over the next 100 years, we would be closer to 0.8 deg C …. right?

    As I recall from the post made by Dr. Spencer last October, I believe he came up with a sensitivity of 1.6 to 2.0 deg C per doubling. Let’s see how this compares :

    Current CO2 is 388 ppm (see climate widget above). IPCC says we are heading towards 600 ppm +/- by the year 2100. So, (600-388)/388 = 54% increase. 54% *(1.6 to 2.0) = 0.9 to 1.08 deg C expected increase. It would appear Dr. Spencer’s numbers based on recent satellite data are right in line with the numbers published in this paper – which are an independent data set over 750 years. The IPCC numbers seem completely out of line with these datasets.

    Let’s see how this compares to the historical database. I am going to copy / paste a previous post I made analyzing Spencer’s hypothesis :

    1) I think they key conclusion you have above is :
    “For a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the satellite measurements would correspond to about 1.6 to 2.0 deg. C of warming”

    2) From multiple sources, CO2 concetrations in 1880 were about 290 PPM
    So, a doubling of CO2 from that would be 580 PPM & that should correspond to net increase of 1.6 to 2.0 deg C warming according to the Spencer hypothesis.

    3) Temperature & CO2 concentrations are logarithmic function in theory, so we can use the two points above to construct a logarithmic funtion to predict warming from 1880 to 2000.

    4) CO2 concentration in 2000 was 369 PPM from Mauna Loa data

    5) Case 1 : 1.6 deg F increase per doubling

    A) data points : 290 ppm, 13.72 deg C (from graph at top of post)
    580 ppm, 15.32 deg C (= 13.72 deg C + 1.6)

    B) Curve fit : (where F(x) = temp & x = CO2 ppm
    F(x) = 2.308313*ln(x)+0.63214

    C) Solve for 2000 Temp (at 369 PPM)
    = 14.28 deg C

    D) Increase in Temp
    = 0.56 deg C (=14.28-13.72)

    6) Case 2 : 2.0 deg F increase per doubling

    A) data points : 290 ppm, 13.72 deg C (from graph at top of post)
    580 ppm, 15.72 deg C (= 13.72 deg C + 2.0)

    B) Curve fit : (where F(x) = temp & x = CO2 ppm
    F(x) = 2.885390*ln(x)-2.6399818

    C) Solve for 2000 Temp (at 369 PPM)
    = 14.42 deg C

    D) Increase in Temp
    = 0.70 deg C (=14.42-13.72)

    7) So based on the initial statement, we should expect to have seen between 0.56 and 0.70 deg C warming between 1880 & 2000.

    8) Based on the graph at the top of the post, the temp anom in 1880 was about -0.2 deg C and the temp anom in 2000 was about + 0.45 deg C (both 5 year running average).

    9) This is a difference of 0.65 deg C and right in the expected range of 0.56 to 0.70 deg C , thus it would appear to me that the observed data is right in line with the Spencer hypothesis of 1.6 – 2.0 deg C per doubling.

    So, the conclusions (again):

    1) Satellite data over the last 30 +/- years suggest a low climate sensitivity to CO2 (Spencer)

    2) The historical surface temp data over the last 120 +/- years suggest a low climate sensitivity to CO2 (my analysis)

    3) Antarctic ice core data over a 750 year period suggest a low climate sensitivity to CO2 (paper in this post)

    SO, 3 independent data sets over 3 completely different time scales all suggest a low climate sensitivity to C02.

    If this issue wasn’t so politicized, the argument would be over, the warmers would be on to their next research project & the world could get back to focusing on truly pressing problems that are killing people like world hunger, fresh water, diseases etc.

    If it were only so simple …..

  42. Richard Garnache (13:39:35) :
    All this discussion assumes we know what the temperature is and has been. We don’t!!

    Naw, apparently, we just need one thermometer that measures anomaly. Given that we all have a proximity from each other, we can extrapolate the warmer and colder stuff for the planet. Not very tricky if in the proper number changing hands. :-) /(sarc off.)

  43. given the temperature sets used for this paper, it hardly seems worth discussing.
    meanwhile, back at the carbon trading desks:

    NYT: Carbon Traders and Clean-Tech Companies Heartened by State of the Union
    by Joel Kirkland of Climatewire
    It was music to the ears of carbon traders and clean-energy company executives to hear President Obama urge Congress to pass energy and climate change legislation that places a cost on greenhouse gas emissions…
    Dirk Forrister, director of Natsource, a New York-based asset manager in carbon and renewable energy markets, said extending an olive branch to Republicans is critical to getting that bill passed out of the Senate, and Obama did just that…
    Forrister, former chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force under President Clinton, and Henry Derwent, CEO of the Geneva-based International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), urged Obama to focus on passing a cap-and-trade scheme this year, rather than jettisoning the House approach for a less comprehensive energy bill. They called on Obama to “establish a clear timeline for passage of an economywide cap-and-trade bill.”
    IETA represents some of the world’s largest investment banks and trading houses, most of which have carbon trading divisions poised to inject billions of dollars into a U.S. and European carbon emissions market…
    Ken Newcombe, CEO of C-Quest Capital, based in Washington, said the mere mention of “green jobs” should be a positive sign to the carbon trading and energy finance community.
    “If he mentions green jobs, that’s talking big that he’ll continue on the climate security bill,” he said…

    http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2010/01/28/28climatewire-carbon-traders-and-clean-tech-companies-heart-2348.html

    more than once in the past two months as the AGW meltdown gathered pace, the MSM has stated it is the economics, not science, that matters, with the Los Angeles Times quick off the mark on 22 November:

    LA Times: A climate change dust-up
    One side sees hacked e-mail as a sign of a ‘Warmist Conspiracy.’ The other says it’s being taken out of context. Analysts don’t expect it to have much effect on the Senate greenhouse gas bill.
    By Jim Tankersley and Henry Chu
    But advocates of action to curb global warming dismiss those claims, and political leaders and analysts say the Senate bill to limit greenhouse gas emissions will sink or swim based on economics, not science.
    “The scientists are going to fight about this for decades,” said Robert Dillon, a spokesman for Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, one of several Senate Republicans who say they are open to some form of a climate bill. “We should be doing something to curb our emissions that would not harm the economy, and could in fact boost the economy,” he said…

    http://articles.latimes.com/2009/nov/22/world/la-fg-climate-hacker22-2009nov22

    and this is the next ‘boom and bust’ bubble that needs to be stopped in its tracks.

  44. When water freezes, the gases dissolved in it will degas out. You might have experienced that if you ever froze a beer and opened the bottle/can. Not much fizz left in the liquid part. The same goes for liquid water in the atmosphere that would turn to ice (i.e. snowing). Moreover, as the Earth freezes, less plants vegetation will be able to transform the CO2 in the atmosphere back to O2. From these simple observations, you can bet that as the planet freezes, the concentration of CO2 will rise way up. But even this rise of CO2 is not enough to bring the sort of positive feedback they always talk about. If that was the case, there would never be ice ages.

  45. Micajah (12:54:17) wrote:

    “I’m going out now to see if there are any pigs flying around.”

    Speaking of which, I was about to do the same right after I came here to post the following from AP via the CBC (a virtually unbreachable bastion of AGW alarmism, if ever there was one):

    Slowdown in warming may be due to water vapour: study

    “The slowdown in global warming in the last few years might have been caused by a decline in water vapour in the stratosphere, a new report suggests.

    “While climate warming is continuing — the decade of 2000 to 2009 was the hottest on record worldwide — the increase in temperatures was not as rapid as in the 1990s.

    “Balloon and satellite observations show the amount of water vapour in a layer about 16 kilometres high declined after 2000. The stratosphere extends from about 13 to 48 kilometres above the Earth’s surface.

    “The reason for the decline is unknown, according to researchers led by Susan Solomon of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington, D.C. They report their findings in Thursday’s online edition of the journal Science.

    “Water vapour is a potent greenhouse gas, and its decline in the stratosphere would reduce the rate of global warming expected from other gases such as carbon dioxide, the researchers said.

    “According to the researchers, water vapour enters the stratosphere primarily from air rising in the tropics.

    http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/01/28/tech-climate-water-vapour.html

    And I wonder if that would be the same Susan Solomon who was the Co-Chair of WGI – and whose Feb 8/07 written testimony before the

    OVERSIGHT HEARING ON THE 2007 IPCC ASSESSMENT
    BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
    U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

    included the following:

    “The [IPCC] product is unique in many ways, not least the fact that it is not the view of any one scientist or a few scientists but rather reflects an extremely broad-ranging synthesis of scientific viewpoints”

  46. If I am not mistaken this is just one of several positive feedbacks the scientists use in their models to show such a large expected increase in Global Tempertures that are caused by increasing co2. And this feedback is a very small one. I see this as no game changer. But it is refreshing that the “Science is not Settled”!!!!!!!!!!……..John…..

  47. @Jeff L (13:58:40) :

    If I understand correctly, I think they only reduced 40% of the feedback by 80%. . .

    . . . as to someone else’s question about how climate models that don’t use the carbon cycle could now go up. . .I suspect the commentator was thinking they weren’t represented in those models because the modellers didn’t have confidence in the current carbon-feedback models. . . but now as a result of this study they might and thus might add them in.

    Tho one wonders what those non-carbon-cycle models were looking like up to now, and how they got them even close while ignoring that large a known factor (even if exactly how large was unclear).

  48. Tilo Reber (13:32:40) :

    “Neven, these people have to appear to be agreeing with the AGW narrative even while they are disagreeing with it. In many cases their research grants depend on it. The important thing is that the climate sensitivity number keeps getting walked down, little by little.”

    It’s a possible argument, though IMO far-fetched. This is actually not undermining AGW theory, it only claims that one enhancing feedback is not as big as previously thought.

    The point is that this is not about the climate sensitivity number. It’s about the amount of CO2 released by carbon sinks for every centigrade of warming. In other words, it has more to do with the projection of when the doubling of CO2 will occur. Unfortunately, the ScienceDaily article is rather vague and thus potentially misleading to lay readers such as me. That’s why I suggested the person who placed this WUWT blog post might want to add some quotes from the BBC article to make it clear what this research is all about. On the other hand, he might not want to do this. Why that is, is up to the eye of the beholder.

  49. Coals (13:38:54) : “Is this paper saying that since warming itself is not the cause of as much of the observed C02 buildup as previously thought then the measured increase of atmospheric C02 must be coming more from anthropogenic sources?”

    My thoughts exactly. It seems they are simply saying a temperature rise influences a rise in CO2 but not as much as was thought. So what does that imply about the the rise in CO2 influencing a rise in temperatures?

  50. “Using 200,000 data points, the study – believed by Nature to be the most comprehensive of its kind so far – compared the Antarctic ice core record of trapped CO2 bubbles with so-called proxy data like tree rings, which are used to estimate temperature changes.”

    I would like to know how this probabilistic analyses deals with the centuries long lag between global temperature and CO2.

  51. MikeEEE
    According to the commonly discussed theory, why wouldn’t this continue to runaway?

    In my simple mind…

    There are two different issues.
    One theory is about the ‘greenhouse’ effect.
    The other theory is about how much CO2 the Oceans/Ice give up when warmed.

    The greenhouse effect is best IMHO compared to tinted glass. At some point the glass becomes so dark no light comes in to begin with.

    There is scientific difference as to whether a doubling of CO2 will result in somewhere between a 1.5 degree rise in temperature or a 5 degree rise in tempurature

    If we assume that a double of CO2 from 200-400 ppm would result in a 2 degree rise in temperature and for each degree increase in temperature the oceans add another 40 ppm, then we can look forward to the oceans adding and additional 80 ppm and takes us to 480.

    If we assume that a doubling of CO2 from 200-400 ppm would result in a 5 degree rise in temperature and for each degree increase in temperature the oceans add another 40 ppm, then we can look forward to the oceans adding and additional 200 ppm(5 * 40) and takes us to 600. Halfway to yet another 5 degree rise in temperature.

    Atmospheric CO2 has been rising at about 2 ppm/year for quite some time. The oceans throwing in another 100 years equivalent of human CO2 spewing wouldn’t be helpful.

    The new study suggests that the oceans will most likely add another 7 ppm/degree of temperature rise. If we take the worse projection, 5 degrees per doubling then the oceans will only add 35 years of spewing. If we take the 2 degree estimate, then the oceans will add 14 years worth of spewing.

  52. “Brent (12:51:54) :

    At least they got the general flow right. If you increase temperature….. you increase as co2 as it comes out of solution from the ocean

    So the oceans become less acidic? It casn’t be dissolving into and coming out at the same time :-)
    cheers David

  53. Chris H (13:39:26) : I presume that these 1000 year old “atmospheric” CO2 levels come from gas bubbles in Antarctic ice cores? CO2 is very soluble in water and diffuses very quickly through aqueous solutions. I find it very difficult to believe it hasn’t equilibrated to a very large extent with the air and must, therefore be a very poor reflection of the CO2 level at the time the bubble formed.

    Someone please tell me I’m wrong.

    Chris, IMHO you’re dead right. I personally believe that the CO2 level in ice is way too low; Jaworowski (who has earned my respect by the reverse process of the bad press he’s had from warmists, as well as by his own science) has IMHO crucial things to say about the Ice Hockey Stick which we don’t hear about very often here although it is an essential pillar of the warmist cult. Namely, there are huge practical problems in the coring, extraction, transport, storage, and measuring of ice for CO2, so that it’s impossible to measure levels with certainty of accuracy. Yet they claim…

    Read my presentation of Jaworowski’s early paper.

  54. Well this whole question of “feedbacks” is quite hokey in my view.

    If you absorb radiant energy in some components of the atmospheric gases, whether incoming solar spectrum (short wave) or surface emitted (or atmosphere emitted) Thermal radiation (long wave), the net result is a temperature increase of the whole atmosphere (in the vicinity of such energy absorptions) as a result of molecular collisions.
    Trace gases like CO2 are so sparse, that a CO2 molecule, is not even aware that anything else like it even exists. It is about 13.7 molecular layers in any direction to the next CO2 molecule (on average), so CO2 collides ONLY with N2, O2, and Ar molecules, and the kinetic energy transferred to those gases raises the atmospheric temperature. Statistical mechanics, and quantum theory say that so long as the mean free path between collisions, is small compared to the distances, over which gross changes in atmospheric properties occur, such a s a temperature or compositional change; then the atmosphere is in a state of local equilibrium (with a photon flux) and under those conditions; the atmospheric gas mass (N2, O2, Ar ) has a Maxwellian statistics for particle momentum, and it emits black body like thermal radiation just the same, as a red hot lump of iron would.

    I don’t know why people keep insisting that gases don’t emit thermal continuum radiation. Yes they do have discrete line spectra both in the IR (moloecular) and shorter wavelengths for atomic transitions, and all the way out to RF frequencies, in fact porobably down to but not including DC; but those discrete quantum level transitions also exist in the solid state, but get smudged into “valence” and “Conduction” bands by the sheer density of states, and overlapping intrinsic line widths. The fundamental source of the continuum emissions is believed to be simply that due to acceleration of electric charge, due to the kinetic energy of thermal motion.

    It is one of the fundamental tenets of quantum Physics, that accelerated charges radiate. That is the whole reason why large electron particle accelerators are always linear accelerators; like the two mile long Stanford machine. If you try sending relativistic electrons round in a circle like what happens at CERN with heavier particles, the acceleration due to the circling causes the electrons to radiate; and if they radiate all the energy that they were goosed with on each revolution of the track; then they reach a limiting energy beyond which you can’t go withough building a bigger radius machine.

    In any case, as a result of atmospheric heating by any mechanism, at any altitude, you get thermal continuum radiation from the atmosphere solely due to its mean temperature (in the vicinity). Now at very high levels in the stratosphere, where the molecular density gets low enough so the mean free path is no longer short compared with gross variations in the atmopshere, then the GHG excited molecules or atoms do spontaneously emit a line spectrum, as they return to something like the ground state, or at least some non-fobidden transition level. By that time, the amount of mass we are talking about is so small, that that mechanism cannot be a very significant source of radiant energy. Yes because of the low local mass, even that miniscule amount of energy can significantly raise the local temperature, and at high enough altitudes, the temperature does eventually increase, rather than decrease.

    On the sun, the temperature in the near vaccum of the outer corona, can reach millions of Kelvins, compared to the 6000 odd K at the surface; and we can detect million degree black body radiation fromt he corona; but it is usually way down in the mud because of the small emitting mass.

    Well that is all Leif’s bailiwik, and I likely have already put my foot through several holes in the ice; but I am sure Leif can correct that.

    My point is that the radiation from the heated atmosphere, carries no signature of the prime cause of the heating; whether it was water absorption of incoming solar spectrum energy longer than 750 nm or whether it was LWIR emitted from the surfae, and absorbed by CO2, or H2O or O3. To me it is simply assinine to imply that the CO2 is the prime keeper of the temperature knob and it tells water in the ocean whether to evaporate or not. Same thing goes with CO2 emission froma warmer ocean.

    So they claim (in the present paper) that the “feedback” enhancement of CO2 emitted from the ocean, turns out to be less than THEY previously thought.

    I accented the THEY, because I never ever thought that.

    In fact I would like to collect a dollar from everyone; for each time that I have argued here, that the downward emitted LWIR from the warm atmosphere, is mostly absorbed in the top 10 microns of the ocean surface, and results in very prompt surface evaporation of kinetic energy enhanced surface molecules, which promptly adds to the water vapor content of the atmosphere, plus conveys huge amounts of Latent heat of evaporation (545 Cal/gm) back into the atmosphere to be convected back to higher altitudes and finally lost to space.

    And as I have also opined, the increasing solubility of CO2 in colder waters, results in aocncentration gradient of CO2 in the surface waters, which depletes the warmer surface waters of CO2 and pumps the excess CO2 to colder deeper waters because of that concentration gradient. So the warmer surface waters tend to be CO2 depleted, while trying to maintain Henry’s law equilibrium with the atmospheric CO2.

    So just how would you expect such an ocean surface to be a source of increased atmospheric CO2 solely due to downward LWIR from the CO2 GHG effect.

    Well as I have said, I DON”T EXPECT that to happen; and it is nice to see that the “ancient astrologers” are slowly coming to that realization.

    So NYET ! on the rate of CO2 feedback enhancement; that simply cannot be an operating process.

    The warming of the oceans is almost solely due to deeply penetrating solar spectrum radiation, that goes hundreds of metres deep; it is NOT due to LWIR absorption froma warmed atmosphere.

    What happens on land, may be something different, but it cannot happen in the oceans.

  55. Sorry this is OT but I had to comment on it.

    – the BBC’s latest bottom-line on AGW as set out by their Chief Science Advisor. I paraphrase:

    “Despite the recent revelations regarding the exaggeration of AGW by climate scientists, the fundamental Physics hasn’t changed.

    We know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and we know that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased.”

    YOU DON”T SAY!!!

  56. hro001 (14:02:45) :

    I think she has it around, just like the temperature-CO2 relationship…

    The Earth has been cooling down (first). When the air is colder, less water can be loaded into that water. It would then be normal to find less water in the stratosphere. This is why in winter it is dryer. In fact, the upper troposphere has declined by 17% from 1948 to 2008 at the 400 mb pressure level. The absolute humidity follows temperature and not the other way around. I would never be able to heat up my house by evaporating water in it, in fact it would cool it down.

    Where do these people get their diploma? boxes of crackerjacks?

  57. I note that the feedback effect is measured in ppm CO2 in the atmosphere per degree Celsius. It seems to me that this is only half the loop. I would think the degrees Celsius temperature increase per one ppm CO2 increase would be the other half. I am guessing that would be a multiplier on the order of .0026 (about 1/380) to calculate the open loop gain of the feedback system. This would yield a net sub critical open loop gain of about .02 — far below the greater than unity open loop gain required for a run-away effect with positive feedback. Is this correct?

  58. Chris H at 13:39, I have doubts about CO2 in ice cores as well. Where is the proof that the concentration of gas in a bubble trapped deep in ice is the same concentration as the atmosphere it was derived from? This seems to be the assumption of the scientists studying ice cores, but in the modern era, I don’t trust their assumptions without proof anymore.

  59. Little error in my previous post… it should read “When the air is colder, less water can be loaded into that AIR.”

  60. As can be seen on the image at the top CO2 varies with latitude. It is lowest at the poles mainly due to dissolution of CO2 into the oceans and no production of CO2 from terrestial sources. The ice core data is biased to towards low CO2. This is particularly shown by the disgraceful hockey stick like curve of Keeling. Beck,2007 showed (from actual accurate measurements) (see here http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/papers.htm ) that CO2 levels in the northern hemisphere around 1940 were similar to present levels, there also may have been higher levels a bit less than present around 1840. The recent paper by Massen and Beck,2009 (same source as above) shows how the past measurements relate to actual background CO2 levels which should silence any knowledgable scientific criticism of the 2007 paper. Proxies of CO2 or temperature can never match actual precision measurement made with all supporting data (such as wind speed, wind direction, temperature, pressure, time, location, insolence etc).
    If actual measurements are considered over some 180years it will be found that there is no measureable connection between CO2 and temperature. The fact that over the last 10 or so years that CO2 has been increasing while temperatures have been steady or declining should be proof of that.
    It will be very interesting over the next 10 years if sea surface temperature continue to decline to note if CO2 levels will decline which maybe expected from the natural cyclical variations of CO2 shown by past measurements.
    I suspect that authors of the letter to nature were actually looking for a proof of a CO2 -temperature connection. It is a pity they have not published there work on a blog where it would be available for public scrutiny

  61. Jeff L (13:58:40) :

    If I read this post right, they have reduced the feedback by a factor of about 5x (40/7.7 = 5.19).

    So instead of the IPCC forecast of a 4 deg C rise in temps over the next 100 years, we would be closer to 0.8 deg C …. right?

    I think probably – wrong. This isn’t the the main “feedback” effect. That comes in the form of increased atmospheric water vapour, i.e. CO2 warms atmosphere -> warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture. A result from the Climate models is that relative humidity remains constant. If correct concentration of IR absorbing water vapour in the atmosphere will increase.

    If there is a CO2 feedback factor incorporated into the models (is there??) it looks, from the numbers, to be at most about 20%-30% of the total.

  62. John from MN (14:16:00) :

    If I am not mistaken this is just one of several positive feedbacks the scientists use in their models to show such a large expected increase in Global Tempertures that are caused by increasing co2. And this feedback is a very small one. I see this as no game changer. But it is refreshing that the “Science is not Settled”!!!!!!!!!!……..John…..

    I think you have it about right. This study doesn’t seem to be of any particular significance either way.

  63. [quote Ray Boorman (14:48:55) :]
    Where is the proof that the concentration of gas in a bubble trapped deep in ice is the same concentration as the atmosphere it was derived from?
    [/quote]

    There’s also the the assumption that each layer of melting and refreezing seen in the ice cores equals “Winter/Summer”. Is this really the case? It seems to me that “Melt/Refreeze” = “Hot/Cold”, which isn’t necessarily the same as “Winter/Summer”. It can get hot and cold more than once per year.

    So these “800,000” year ice core records may not actually be 800,000 years. They may not even be close to that.

    I’d have to say that for Ice Cores, I agree with Tom Wigley that they’re nearly 100% useless as a climate proxy.

  64. After following the Science Daily link, I found this Related Story:

    Carbon Emissions Linked To Global Warming In Simple Linear Relationship

    ScienceDaily (June 11, 2009) — Damon Matthews, a professor in Concordia University’s Department of Geography, Planning and the Environment has found a direct relationship between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. Matthews, together with colleagues from Victoria and the U.K., used a combination of global climate models and historical climate data to show that there is a simple linear relationship between total cumulative emissions and global temperature change.

    These findings will be published in the next edition of Nature, to be released on June 11, 2009.
    (…)
    These findings mean that we can now say: if you emit that tonne of carbon dioxide, it will lead to 0.0000000000015 degrees of global temperature change. If we want to restrict global warming to no more than 2 degrees, we must restrict total carbon emissions – from now until forever – to little more than half a trillion tonnes of carbon, or about as much again as we have emitted since the beginning of the industrial revolution.

    Am I reading this right? Only about seven months ago, there was revealed a linear relationship between “carbon” and temperature, leading to a maximum amount that civilization should be allowed to release, for all time? And this really was published in Nature, as straightforward honestly-true science?

    ——–
    @ Lucy Skywalker (14:31:47) :

    I have read now how the models of carbon isotopes used for tree ring reconstructions should not be absolutely trusted. Then there is the idea that a trace gas in an air bubble in ice should stay at the same concentration for hundreds and thousands of years. And even in the recent past, we can see what was done to the thermometer readings.

    It is truly a testament to the utter weakness of AGW theory that we can tear it apart using their own data, even that which we can clearly see has been biased in their favor or should otherwise be considered far from perfectly accurate.

  65. MikeEE (12:51:41) :

    I’m a little confused about this AGW theory.

    From what I think they’re tell us, regardless of amplification:

    If the earth warms as a result of increased atmospheric CO2
    that warming results in a warmer ocean
    warmer oceans hold less CO2, thus expelling it to raise atmospheric CO2
    hence CO2 and temperature go up forever.

    According to the commonly discussed theory, why wouldn’t this continue to runaway?

    The gain is too small. There is a lot more gain from the CO2 -> warming -> water vapor –> warming –> water vapor –> … feedback loop.

    400ppm to 500ppm leads to thermal runaway? Not credible.

  66. kadaka (15:25:08) :

    “Matthews, together with colleagues from Victoria and the U.K., used a combination of global climate models and historical climate data to show that there is a simple linear relationship between total cumulative emissions and global temperature change.”

    In essence they might have just confirmed what the guys at CRU and GISS did in generating the hockey stick… If their relationship is based on the manipulated global temperature data, it is worth nothing.

  67. I haven’t had time to wander down to the library to read the original paper, but if they are using the unreasonably featureless temperature reconstructions of the various hockey sticks over the time period 1050 to 1800, then actual CO2 feedback could be zero or even negative.

  68. Talking about warming being exaggerated, we have fog in Wellington that has grounded planes and this is the second time it has happened in a week. Now fog in Wellington may not be unusual, but fog in Wellington at the end of Jan, when we are in the height of our summer? – I would imagine that is unusual.

  69. John Finn (15:00:45) :

    I have to admit I didnt have time to scrutinize the details of the paper so I might be somewhat off-base the magnitudes in my comment, but the author’s conclusion was that climate sensitivity to CO2 is much lower than used in climate models currently – that I am sure of.

    That being said, I do recall reading somewhere else ( I wish I could remember the reference, but I cant at this time – someone else feel free to post a reference) that forecasted temperature rises in the models were dominated by feedbacks – something like 3 deg C of the total 4 deg C temp rise forecast by 2100 was from feedbacks. So if we reduce that 3 deg C by substantial amount (need to review the paper in more detail to quantify), then you have eliminated the majority of the forecasted warming.

    My main point is that other independent datasets suggest exactly the same thing – the the climate sensitivity to CO2 is much lower than what is modeled thus the magnitude of any warming will be significantly less than represented

  70. As I see it the feedback effect relates to a global mean temperature. If we increase the CO2 in the atmosphere one part per million, then on the assumption that we get one degree Celsius global mean temperature increase per each doubling of the CO2 concentration, I am assuming that a one PPM increase will cause a .0026 degree Celsius increase in temperature.

    Given that we see a 7.7 PPM increase in CO2 concentration per degree Celsius, I am assuming we would see .02 PPM additional CO2 concentration increase caused by the resulting temperature increase.

    The closed loop feedback gain would be 1/(1-.02) or 1.0204 PPM net CO2 increase per PPM that we actually add to the atmosphere.

  71. “it’s less than we thought”
    I have no problems with this as long as it’s unprecedented.
    At least, it’s robust!

  72. According to the commonly discussed theory, why wouldn’t this continue to runaway?

    Because temperature, energy, and power are not a linear relationship. The amount of power in watts/m2 required to maintain a 1 degree rise in temperature increases with temperature in degrees K raised to the power of 4 multiplied by a constant. This is due to any object being heated up radiating energy back at its environment. The equation is for an ideal Black Body, which the earth isn’t, but close enough to make the point:

    273 K (0 degrees C) + 1 degree => 4.7 watts/m2
    283 K (10 degrees C) + 1 degree => 5.2 watts/m2
    293 K (20 degrees C) + 1 degree => 5.8 watts/m2
    303 K (30 degrees C) + 1 degree => 6.4 watts/m2

    So the system can’t run away because an exponential increase in energy is required to maintain a linear increase in temperature.

    At the same time, CO2 increases suffer a diminishing effect. The CO2 can only absorb the energy being radiated at it. Additional CO2 can only absorb with the original CO2 left behind. So increasing amounts of CO2 have steadily decreasing amounts of energy to absorb. If the relationship were strictly linear, you could absorb more energy than what is being emmited. Einstein would come back from the grave to see how you did it.

    Water vapor is slightly more complicated as it is a greenhouse gas and the amount the atmosphere can “hold” increases exponentially with temperature, about doubling for every 10 degree C rise in temperature. But is suffers from the same law of diminishing returns as CO2. The more it absorbs, the less is left to work on.

    At end of day ALL greenhouse processes hit an absolute max, while the amount of energy required to generate another 1 degree increase keeps going up. Hence no runaway or tipping point. UNLESS you have enough energy to boil the oceans. In which case humanity will have ceased to exist long before you got there.

  73. Ladies and Gentlemen, please! When someone on the world stage is attempting to leave the room by crawling on hands and knees on the floor, through an angry mob, and attempting to be as inconspicuous as they possibly can, do not kick and spit at them, think of their innocent loved ones and the fact that they’ll be working at Walmart for the nex thirty years under an assumed name.

  74. “Rudolf Kipp (12:51:30) :

    The German Der Spiegel had a story on this yesterday. They did admit, that the feedback effect would be smaller than previously thought, but:

    There would be absolutely no reason to take back any previous warning, because:[...]”

    Great! The more confused the reasoning becomes, the faster people will just refuse to believe it anymore! They’re arguing themselves into contradictions faster than you can say enough already.

  75. “”” Lucy Skywalker (14:31:47) :

    Chris H (13:39:26) : I presume that these 1000 year old “atmospheric” CO2 levels come from gas bubbles in Antarctic ice cores? CO2 is very soluble in water and diffuses very quickly through aqueous solutions. I find it very difficult to believe it hasn’t equilibrated to a very large extent with the air and must, therefore be a very poor reflection of the CO2 level at the time the bubble formed.

    Someone please tell me I’m wrong. “””

    Well the problem is that CO2, and other things like salt, is a whole lot less soluble in the solid phase of H2O; aka ice.

    When a typical liquid freezes, any minor impurities in it segregate into a portion in the liquid, and a portion in the solid phase, and typically the equilibrium greatly favors the impurity remaining mostly in the liquid phase. This is not unlike the way Henry’s law dictates the equilibrium between components of the gas phase (atmosphere) and the liquid phase (ocean, to set the solubility of CO2 in the ocean.

    This “Segregation coefficient” typically highly favors the impurity molecules remaining in the liquid phase.

    Now I am sure some PhD chemist Post Grad, will trundle out an example of where the impurities abhor the liquid phase, and clamor to climb aboard the soild side of the interface. Well all such inputs are invited; I love learning stuff all the time.

    Suffice it to say, that in the dim distant past, I used to work for a company that made multi kilograms of very high purity single crystal Gallium Arsenide by the so-called gradient freeze process, which is a variant of the Horizontal Bridgeman method of growing a single crystal out of a melt. And in the process, as the liquid/solid interface moved along the growing crystal; all of the crud in the compound, maybe as much as one part in a million, congregated in the liquid, which slowly got crudddier as the crystal grew, and the liquid phase shrank; but the solid crystal was amazingly free of impurities.

    And just for good measure; since we were very green even back there in the 1970s, we recycled all of our scrap Gallium Arsenide, and epitaxial Gallium Arsenide Phosphide wafer scraps to reclaim the raw Gallium, which is a normal by product of the Aluminium smelting business.

    And for the final clean-up of the reclaimed gallium, we purified it using a fractional crystallization process, whereby we froze the Gallium, to once again segregate out impurities into the remaining “slag” that was left over after freezing.

    The effect is so striking that the final crystallized raw gallium was 7-nines purity; aka 99.99999% pure Ga metal (which can be either solid or liquid at room temperature). That was even better stuff, than we could purchase from our industrial raw materials suppliers (who made really good stuff).

    So CO2 is not very welcome in water ice; and it is this high abhorence of the solid phase for such interloper molecules, that ensures (to the extent that it does) that the CO2 in the atmosphere bubbles contained in voids in the ice, diffuses so slowly through the solid ice, that it can be entombed for geological time scales with little loss.

    Now that still leaves the open question of just how good a job the undertaker did of embalming that CO2 in the first place, and preserving its character for long enough to build an ice casket around it.

    So yes I think it is fair to be somewhat suspicious of ice core gas compositions; but mostly as to the compositions and amounts; and less so to the actual timing of events.

    But thermal runaway from CO2; start worrying about that around the time when this planet gets rid of all of its oceans.

    Until then “It’s the Water; stupid !” (not directed at anyone in particular.)

  76. 273 K (0 degrees C) + 1 degree => 4.7 watts/m2
    283 K (10 degrees C) + 1 degree => 5.2 watts/m2
    293 K (20 degrees C) + 1 degree => 5.8 watts/m2
    303 K (30 degrees C) + 1 degree => 6.4 watts/m2

    Also, remember that the above is for an increase from THAT starting point. The amount of energy needed for the total temp change is cumulative. I was just making the point about the incremental. To look at it another way:

    273 => 283 = 49.5 watts/m2
    273 => 293 = 104.6 watts/m2
    273 => 303 = 165.6 watts/m2

    IPCC claim => doubling CO2 = 3.7 watts
    IPCC claim => results in tripling from water vapour = 11.1 watts
    IPCC claim => about a 3 degree rise

    But if you double it again, you do NOT get another 11.1, you will get something less, while the amount of w/m2 to get a 1 degree rise keeps going up.

  77. I forgot to say that when growing a single crystal out of a melt of high purity materials, it is a fact of life that the temperature at the liquid/solid interface is almost exactly equal to the freezing/melting temperature for that material. Hey I use the word “almost” to give myself some “wiggle room”

    What do I know, there may be some “work function” or the like in quantum mechanical parlance; that offsets by some amount; but basically, that is the definition of melting/freezing temperature; the temperature at which the two phases in contact are in equilibrium; neither growing nor shrinking.

    And as we all remember, a recent bunch of rocket scientists blowing gigantic holes in Antarctic floating ice, (using hot water or steam to burn the holes), to measure the water temperature; made the remarkable new discovery, that the water temperature adjacent to the ice was very close to the freezing temperature of salt water; who would ever have imagined that could be so.

    And they likely discovered that with help from a government grant , ultimately coming out of my tax dollars; or yours even.

  78. What this abstract doesn’t do is quantify the time scale in which such feedback takes place. It is famously (by now) known that CO2 lags temperature by 800 years. Not that it takes 800 years for the Henry’s Law constant to change when temperature changes — but that is roughly how long the global system takes to approach equilibrium when a radical change is wrought upon that constant by a temperature change.

    Assuming this feedback is derived from the correlated CO2 after the 800-year lag, then one has to moderate the feedback, on a short timeline, by even more than this. In 100 years only a fraction of the CO2 feedback will manifest. So, while a feedback of (let’s say) 8 ppm is the technical consequence of a 1 degree C increase in temperature, under the most basic linear interpolation (wrong I know, but this is only for discussion) perhaps only 1 ppm actually shows. The effect of 1 ppm versus 380 ppm of an extremely weak GHG is less than negligible — even the modellers can’t forcefully extract any significant warming from that!

  79. “”” M. Simon (12:42:56) :

    Since the response to CO2 is a log function it implies that the positive feedback effect will decline with increasing concentrations. And in any case it is a minor factor compared to water vapor. “””

    Can you cite a reference to any graph of Log (CO2) verus global mean surface temperature (T) that plots as a straight line.

    Well I mean a graphs that is a better fit to the data, than say a linear CO2 versus Temperature or even a parabolic fit (either way up).

    We have since the precambrian some 600 million years ago, some sort of proxy data for CO2 in the atmosphere covering a range from around 7000 ppm to a low of well below the recent 280 ppm which is considered sacrosanct. That si maybe five octaves of CO2 doubling, so that shoulkd yield a wing ding logarithmic graph verus temperature.

    So please SOMEBODY show us a plot of any such logarithmic relationship, ever having been observed.

    In recent decades, of actual measured data, we have so far seen less than 1/2 of one octave of CO2 doubling; so we are not in too good a shape to say it is a logarithmic relationship, rather than linear or any other ersatz mathematical function. Heck for all I know the relationship might better fit a Legendre Polynomial or maybe a Bessel Function or Tchebychev Polynomial.

    Let’s have a show and tell of people’s logarithmic relationship measured data.

    Otherwise, be done with this “climate sensitivity” mythology.

  80. In my example, it will not continue to run-away because a 2.04% increase is *all* you get from positive feedback. Using the values I have assumed, the open loop gain appears to be about 2% of the gain required to cause a run-away effect. Also, the logarithmic CO2 temperature sensitivity will reduce the open loop gain even more as the CO2 concentration increases.

    I am surprised that my calculated open loop gain works out to be a number 50 times less than the run-away point given the public worry about this.

  81. For the people pondering the water vapour “positive feedback”: This is pure fabrication. Higher GHG leads to heat trapped closer to surface. If the energy is closer to the surface, it cannot be at the same time higher up, in other words, heating below means cooling above, all other things being equal. This leads to the mysterious drying of the stratosphere that the good people at Nature are still pondering about. A reduction in water vapour caused by an increase in CO2. NEGATIVE feedback there. See Ferenc Miskolczi. Don’t have my link collection handy; search for Miskolczi in WUWT’s search box.

    As the feedbacks get discredited one by one, the GCM programmers will have a harder and harder job to make their models do a correct hindcasting and at the same time still project runaway meltdown for the future. Yes, i do assume that that is their explicit mission to preserve their funding. Probably they can only manage these conflicting goals by introducing more and more invention, i.e. fudge factors into the models.

  82. Water vapour a ‘major cause of global warming and cooling’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1246904/Water-vapour-responsible-slowdown-global-warming.html

    Water vapour a ‘major cause of global warming and cooling’

    By David Derbyshire, Daily Mail
    Last updated at 11:34 PM on 28th January 2010

    Climate scientists have overlooked a major cause of global warming and cooling, a new study reveals today.

    American researchers have discovered that the amount of water high in the atmosphere is far more influential on world temperatures than previously thought.

    Although the findings do not challenge the theory of man-made global warming, they help explain why temperatures can rise and fall so dramatically from decade to decade.
    Breakthrough: Scientists have discovered a link between humidity and the global temperature

    Breakthrough: American scientists have discovered a link between water vapour and the earth’s temperature

    The study, published in the journal Science, says a 10 per cent drop in humidity 10 miles above the Earth’s surface explains why global temperatures have been stable since the start of the century, despite the rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

    And a rise in water vapour in the 1980s and 90s may also explain why temperatures shot up so quickly in the previous two decades, they say.

    Water vapour has long been recognised as an important greenhouse gas. Like methane and carbon dioxide, it absorbs heat from the sun that would otherwise be reflected back into space, keeping the planet warm.

    However, most computer models that predict climate concentrate on the levels of water lower down in the atmosphere.

    Dr Susan Solomon, of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said: ‘Current climate models do a remarkable job on water vapour near the surface.

    ‘But this is different — it’s a thin wedge of the upper atmosphere that packs a wallop from one decade to the next in a way we didn’t expect.’

    Observations from weather balloons and satellites show that ‘stratospheric water vapour’ increased in the 1980s and 1990s and dropped after 2000.

    The changes took place in a narrow altitude region of the atmosphere where they would have the biggest impact on climate.

    The reasons why water vapour rises and falls remain a mystery, the scientists say. However, the study estimates that the drop in water vapour since 2000 caused surface temperatures to rise 25 per cent more slowly than they would have done otherwise.

    And the increase in stratospheric water vapour in the 1990s is likely to have accelerated the rate of global warming by around 30 per cent, the scientists say.

    The stratosphere is a region of the atmosphere from about eight to 30 miles above the Earth’s surface. Water vapour enters the stratosphere mainly as air rises in the tropics.

    Dave Britton from the Met Office said the study highlighted the complexity of climate science. ‘But it does not challenge the basic science that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released from human activity are warming the planet,’ he said.

    Dr Vicky Pope, head of climate science at the Met Office, said: ‘Whatever’s causing this change from decade to decade is having an influence at the surface. But it is a small variation on top of the long term increase in manmade greenhouse gases.’

  83. If Planet Earth had no carbon-based life, then C02 would have only geology to sequester and release it.
    But it does have carbon-based life, and any man-made attempts to sequester it also sequesters life itself.
    Has any of these anti-Carbon Dioxide bents ever stopped to consider just how little Carbon-Dioxide in now present in the atmosphere?
    Yes, it is less than they thought, in more ways than one.

  84. OK. So a doubling of CO2 may raise the actual temp about 1C. Where do we start?

    at 10 ppm?
    50 ppm?
    137 ppm?

    If my world starts at 10 ppm and yours starts at 100 ppm, by the time I get to your starting point of 100 ppm, my world should be about 4.2C higher then yours at 100!!!!

    Where does this CO2 doubling thing start?

  85. well no doubling CO2 concentration always gets you the same “radiative forcing” however the amount required to double is different.

    273->546
    and then
    546->1092
    see that?

    At least that’s how the theory goes.

  86. This obviously invalidates all current AGW climate models. They will have to go back to the raw data and start again. Oh….

  87. And now this: http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100128/full/news.2010.42.html

    “Water vapour could be behind warming slowdown

    Mysterious changes in the stratosphere may have offset greenhouse effect.

    A puzzling drop in the amount of water vapour high in the Earth’s atmosphere is now on the list of possible culprits causing average global temperatures to flatten out over the past decade, despite ever-increasing greenhouse-gas emissions.”

    This part is also very interesting: “In 1999, researchers at the University of Reading, UK, reported similar numbers to Solomon and her colleagues, suggesting that the increase in stratospheric water vapour could have boosted warming by 40% compared with carbon dioxide alone”

  88. After tens of billions of dollars spent on AGW research they now have cast iron evidence. Unfortunately cast iron is very brittle, especially in cold weather, and tends to fall apart if struck!

  89. Why not comment on the paper itself instead of articles based on the paper? This is not about climate sensitivity, but on defining the constraints on one feedback (carbon cycle sensitivity). It is based on temperatures and CO2 levels from the last millennium; reconstructions (and modeling) that seem to be reconstructions with which people here disagree. The caveat is that YMMV: release of CO2 may be different at higher temperatures. It is interesting to note that Knutti & Hegerl noted that sensitivity based on the last millennium tended to be on the low side, so maybe these results are consistent with the earlier papers.

  90. RE Leo G (18:16:11) :

    OK. So a doubling of CO2 may raise the actual temp about 1C. Where do we start?

    You can start anywhere.

  91. “Anticlimactic (18:20:34) :

    This obviously invalidates all current AGW climate models. They will have to go back to the raw data and start again. Oh….”

    Too expensive. You just patch up what you have and hope nobody will ever get hold of the source code.

  92. John Finn (15:00:45) :
    This isn’t the the main “feedback” effect. That comes in the form of increased atmospheric water vapour, i.e. CO2 warms atmosphere -> warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture. A result from the Climate models is that relative humidity remains constant.

    Which, according to observed data, hasn’t occurred.

  93. well no doubling CO2 concentration always gets you the same “radiative forcing” however the amount required to double is different.

    273->546
    and then
    546->1092
    see that?

    At least that’s how the theory goes>

    Uhm no. The feedback weakens as per your 2nd comment, but doubling doesn’t double the forcing. Let’s say earth is radiating an extra 40 watts to space. double the CO2 and it grabs 10% of that. 4 now being retained and 36 going to space. double it again. It grabs another 10% of what’s left which is…3.6. I don’t know how the exact math would work out (George E Smith where are you?) but you get the drift. As the amount of energy already absorbed goes up, the chances of any given co2 molecule intercepting it go down. Even if it WAS linear… there’s only 40 watts to go get in the first place.

  94. “davidmhoffer (18:43:44) :
    [...]
    Let’s say earth is radiating an extra 40 watts to space. double the CO2 and it grabs 10% of that.”

    Wrong. The CO2 greenhouse effect is nearly saturated; an LWIR ray is absorbed after 10m or so if it is in the absorption band of CO2. Practically no LWIR ray can pass the entire atmosphere without ever hitting a CO2 molecule. This is already the case with pre-industrial levels. The reasoning of the warmists re the extra “forcing” by CO2 increase is that more layers of absorption are added like more blankets on a bed and that makes the warming go up. And that might even be the case even though i never saw empirical evidence. They only got the waper vapour feedback wrong. The sign of it.

  95. Ohmygawd! CO2 is less filling? This is like chocolate lite! I am gobsmacked (like the word lots and lots but whatthehelldoesitmean)! Ya know that graph that shows CO2 as % part of the atmosphere? The one with the supposed line at the bottom of the graph (can’t even see it with cheater glasses on). Are they saying that CO2-caused global warming is just a light-weight? More like mousse compared to pudding?

    By the way, that new jello mousse, the decadent chocolate kind with only 60 calories? I know it’s just whipped filled-with-air pudding and I’m paying more for less, but gawdamighty it is good with red wine.

  96. Every day (every shift lol) I check out WUWT and thank my lucky stars I am surrounded by people such as Ed, George, Tilo, Jeff L, Steven, Leif, Lucy, Roger, davidmhoffer et al. Of course our host and the mods. The gloriously funny commentary. The wit and wisdom. The side issues, OTs and diversions.

    I would go stark staring mad(der) in the face of a seemingly relentless attack on my instincts by the mainstream and alarmists if not for the aforementioned’s capacity to explore and explain the manifold aspects of the nature of Nature’s most wonderful atom and the seemingly endless interactions and compound relationships it has with almost everything on this ball of rock.

    Having read as much as I can absorb, for as long as possible before asking; When did the very first, mythical if you will, doubling occur?

    I understand that of the $billions spent on investigating warming, thus far, there is such piffling return on investment regarding the real physics of CO2 in atmosphere, but surely, if it is of such pressing urgency that the world’s economy should be spavined and contorted so as to pivot about just this one of its qualities then it should be the only significant investigation ongoing – or am I missing something?

    TIA

  97. Wrong. The CO2 greenhouse effect is nearly saturated

    Won’t argue that Dirk. Was just trying to explain IF it wasn’t what the scenario would be. Point being that there IS a saturation point, and the closer you are to hitting it, the bigger the boost you need to get the same percentage of what’s left.

  98. Is it possible that the lower level of water vapor in the stratosphere could be the result of ‘seeding’ of water droplets in the lower reaches of the stratosphere (9–12 km) from commercial airliners?

    It would be ironic if air travel actually removed greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere.

    Wouldn’t that be a hoot!

    Come to think of it, they say:

    “Balloon and satellite observations show the amount of water vapour in a layer about 16 kilometres high declined after 2000. The stratosphere extends from about 13 to 48 kilometres above the Earth’s surface.
    “The reason for the decline is unknown, according to researchers led by Susan Solomon of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington, D.C. They report their findings in Thursday’s online edition of the journal Science.”

    So they don’t know.
    I bet they would rather drink hemlock then even suggest that the increase in air travel is actually cooling the planet.

  99. estimates of 40 p.p.m.v. CO2 per degree Celsius
    I don’t want to pay $30+ to read the paper [or do it on Stanford time], but isn’t this backwards? I would have thought the estimate should have been of degrees Celsius per ppmv of CO2. Is this just me getting it backwards?

  100. Actually amusing to see the mental gymnastics applied to try to say this work either has no effect on current theory or actually reinforces it. The world of spin has made it from the political to the scientific.

  101. By the way, the AO went negative again and Arizona got D-U-M-P-E-D on with snow! Mother nature check-mates CO2.

  102. “Leif Svalgaard (19:22:32) :

    estimates of 40 p.p.m.v. CO2 per degree Celsius
    I don’t want to pay $30+ to read the paper [or do it on Stanford time], but isn’t this backwards? I would have thought the estimate should have been of degrees Celsius per ppmv of CO2. Is this just me getting it backwards?”

    Two parts of a feedback loop, they only talk about CO2 here. More CO2 increases greenhouse effect and raises temperature. Raised temperature leads to more CO2 outgassing by a warmer ocean.
    This feedback (with a low gain and the new study even reduces that some more) probably even exists though it doesn’t do much. like a very faint echo.

  103. an LWIR ray is absorbed after 10m or so if it is in the absorption band of CO2.>

    sorry Dirk, misunderstood your point. I may be getting in over my head here, but… if an LWIR hits a CO2 molecule, the temperature of the CO2 molecule goes up. Now the CO2 molecule starts radiating energy because it is hotter than was before. The energy it radiates has two options. It can go downward, in which case it hits either another molecule in the atmosphere or else earth’s surface. The second option is that it goes sideways or up, in which case it will either hit another molecule or escape into space. If it hits another molecule…

    In brief, no matter how close to earth’s surface it is 100% absorbed, the retained energy must be propogated through the system with some energy heating up the atmosphere, some heating up the earth, and some escaping into space. It may have to be radiated and re-radiated a hundred times to escape into space, but some does. More CO2…. less does.

    Of course some gets transfered by conductance instead of radiance OH FOR GOSH SAKES MY HEAD HURTS I’M FINISHING MY WINE AND GOING TO BED.

    Oops – forgot to ask. any confectionists hanging around? My recollection is that Pamela’s chocolate mousse is whipped with CO2 to make it fluffy? So she’s eating the global warming?

  104. Pamela Gray (19:04:40) :

    If I wasn’t already spoken for…….

    8)

    Gobsmacked? Gob is UK slang for mouth, hence Gobby and other far less flattering concoctions. The image that the usage of gobsmacked is meant to produce is mouth slightly open as head is twisted sideways by A.N. Other’s fist meeting jaw. Eyes crossed, half closed, glassy. With a little dribble flying from the lip opposite the impact point. Possibly unflattering.

  105. Wait wait… so like increasing CO2 concentration makes plants grow? So like a planet that has survived millions of years might not have crazy positive feedback loops but in fact negative ones? :)

  106. Deech, are you saying that if we started at 1 ppm, doubling that would add approx. 1C warmth to the globe?

    So by the time we got to 356 ppm about 9C of our average temp of 15C would be solely from CO2?

    This doesn’t seem right to me.

    Or is that added to the 15C? then we should be on average about 24C.

    Arrgghh, this is why I refuse to get off the fence! I don’t understand this logic!

    there has to be a starting point. Gavin suggested maybe the first 50 ppm raised the temp 1C, then the doubling starts, but again, where is the research on this? How can we say how much effect a doubling of CO2 will have on this planet if we don’t know where the starting point is???

  107. Henry Galt
    When did the very first, mythical if you will, doubling occur?>

    funny thing that. Everyone assumes it already did. Skim the IPCC report and you get that impression. Read the detail…. and its up (their number, not mine) 38% over pre-industrial (last 90 years). Then they show a bunch of math to suggest that the rate of increase has accelerated, and then make the assumption that it will CONTINUE to accelerate. The supply of fossil fuels being infinite you see, and the number of oil wells we can drill going up by a factor of 10 every year, I can see how that might happen and get us to double in less than another 180 years or so. NOT!

  108. @ Jeff L (13:58:40)
    Thanks for taking the time to go through that exercise. What you did suggest is that Dr. Spenser, Sr. may be incorrect too as I am reading it. To fit using your exercise, it has to assume that CO2 is solely the cause for warming. It would also then have to assume that CO2 fell until the end of LIA.

    So, the real model refutation would be that if there was no corresponding drop in CO2 leading into the LIA, CO2 cannot be causal. I don’t remember seeing that graph of CO2 concentrations being higher before the LIA. Or is that too obvious?

  109. Henry! You devil! That isn’t unflattering! It kinda reminds me of…er…um…never mind (as she sips her red wine with just a touch of a faraway glimmer in er’ eyes).

    Mods, snip at will.

  110. >>
    Leif Svalgaard (19:22:32) :

    estimates of 40 p.p.m.v. CO2 per degree Celsius

    I don’t want to pay $30+ to read the paper [or do it on Stanford time], but isn’t this backwards? I would have thought the estimate should have been of degrees Celsius per ppmv of CO2. Is this just me getting it backwards?
    <<

    I see DirkH already answered. There are two black boxes in this feedback loop. One takes CO2 as input and outputs a temperature. This is the basic non-feedback response of the planet to CO2. The units are what you would think: degrees Celsius per p.p.m.v. of CO2. The feedback box takes temperature as input (the output of the first box) and outputs CO2 (adds to the input of the first box). It’s called gamma in the paper and the units are p.p.m.v. of CO2 per degree Celsius. They really don’t explain it well in the paper, so save your money.

    Jim

  111. davidmhoffer (19:37:13) :

    To be honest, i don’t know which part of the radiation goes where and whether the multiple-blankets-analogy of the warmist crowd has any merit. I stopped pondering the possibilities when i understood what Miskolczi says. Not that i understand his theory, i understand the consequences i think.

    What bolstered my confidence was the blunt assertion of Prof. Gerlich that “the greenhouse effect has no basis in thermodynamics.” If physicists talk like that, they’re usually on to something. Gerlich might be overly simplistic here, though. What matters is the distribution of the available energy, and he doesn’t really explain that.

  112. To repeat: Hypothesized anthropogenic global warming (AGW) due to “greenhouse gas” accumulations of atmospheric CO2 is mathematically and physically impossible.

    First, Edward Lorenz in 1964 postulated that due to “sensitive dependence on initial conditions” aka the Butterfly Effect, complex dynamic systems –those with three or more interacting variables– are non-random but indeterminate, that is, configuring “strange attractors” (qv) that render linear extrapolation an impossibility. Combined with Benoit Mandelbrot’s seminal “fractal geometry” (1974), Lorenz’s Chaos Theory guarantees that regardless of computing power or programming sophistication there can be no, repeat NO, valid model of planetary atmospheric processes, any more than Newton’s “three-body problem” is solvable regardless of spurious numerical precision.

    Second, physics’ fundamental thermodynamic Conservation Laws require that heat must dissipate from “open systems” while “closed systems” entail entropy, tending to thermal equilibrium by cooling rather than by warming processes. This is because heat is a form of energy, generated only by inherently inefficient “work” which itself requires energy input. Thus Climate Cultists, Warmists who posit escalating concentrations of atmospheric CO2, are classic Perpetual Motion charlatans. Though geophysical effects may alter climate conditions for extended periods, as a planetary “open system” Earth’s atmospheric heat-engine never can induce sustained “global warming”, anthropogenic or otherwise.

    What “Glaciergate” (sic) teaches is that Ban Ki-moon’s dysfunctional UN, with the peculating Pachauri as its IPCC climate guru, never so much as proofreads figures (2350 becomes 2035 without demur) while publishing prima-facie idiotic theses: Even if a 1,000-foot Himalayan glacier shrinks to nothing over twenty-five years at a rate of forty feet per year (completely implausible over an annual three-month summer season), where are the raging meltwaters flooding tens of thousands of square miles downstream? Twelve-year old Sixth Graders giggle uncontrollably– but not IPCC panjandrums promoting Statist agendas under cover of “settled science” propaganda-drives .

    Fire Pachauri. Abolish the IPCC and with it nihilistic Luddite sociopaths’ scarifying stab at global tyranny, Ban ki-moon’s Green Gang aka the utterly discredited UN. Prosecute Briffa, Hansen, Jones, Mann, Trenberth et al., beginning with their chief cap-and-trader in Thieves’ Markets, Big Al Gore. Maybe he could share a cell with Gordon Brown, Kevin Rudd, withal the U.S.’s reptilian Barak Hussein Obama/Soetoro with his Farrakhanist Black Muslin confreres. Can’t happen soon enough.

  113. Isn’t Hawaii under that yellow band in the Pacific Ocean? Doesn’t that mean that the Hawaii record is NOT representative of the planet (since there is all that blue…)? Doesn’t the picture state clearly that CO2 is “not well mixed” in the air? Isn’t that a fundamental assumption in a lot of the modeling being done?…

  114. davidmhoffer (19:52:17) :

    Yep. I got that impression also.
    I like 22ppmv as first doubling – I read a CO2 laser specialist’s paper on the subject when first I had the scales lifted from mine eyes.

    Pamela Gray (19:58:46) : Not once have you failed to bring a smile to my face whenever I’ve read your comments.

    It is 4AM and I must fly away home….

  115. Jim Masterson (20:03:55) :
    The feedback box takes temperature as input (the output of the first box) and outputs CO2
    So, when that is less than what was thought, then it really says that the warming observed is more due to the first box than to the feedback, thus in support of AGW, no?

  116. Henry Galt (19:05:28) :

    Having read as much as I can absorb, for as long as possible before asking; When did the very first, mythical if you will, doubling occur?

    My own theory on that is the first mythical doubling occurred after skeptics started throwing around “Popper” and “falsifiability”.

    Since somewhere between 90 and 100% of AGW experiments and conclusions are conducted in the future, it didn’t take a genius to marginalize Popper that way too. Let’s face it, it worked to some extent, as even Lindzen, Spencer and others have fallen into the “data from the future” trap by talking in terms of CO2 doubling.

    In other words – we follow all of Popper’s principles, but you will need to come back when CO2’s at 560 ppm, or 780 ppm, or …. ad infinitum to discuss falsifiability.

    Free beer tomorrow.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

  117. John Blake (20:10:06) :
    there can be no, repeat NO, valid model of planetary atmospheric processes, any more than Newton’s “three-body problem” is solvable regardless of spurious numerical precision.
    And yet, we solve easily Newton’s N-body problem [N much larger than three] to any desired high precision in our calculations of an Astronomical Ephemeris or of the orbit of a spacecraft. Be careful about drawing analogies like that [they better be correct...].

  118. >>
    Leif Svalgaard (20:21:57) :

    So, when that is less than what was thought, then it really says that the warming observed is more due to the first box than to the feedback, thus in support of AGW, no?
    <<

    They do mention the LIA and MWP, but the temperature reconstructions look like hockey sticks, I believe Mann’s reconstruction is present, lots of comments from the IPCC, and the usual references to anthropogenic carbon emissions. I would say the paper is in full support of AGW.

    Jim

  119. John Finn (12:43:31) :

    Secondly, this surely settles any debate about mankind’s involvement in the increase in 20th century CO2 concentrations. The CO2 increase cannot be due to higher temperatures.

    John, can you please elaborate on this point? How does this study show this?

  120. DirkH (16:51:17) :

    “The more confused the reasoning becomes, the faster people will just refuse to believe it anymore!”

    I’m just waiting for the climate modelers to introduce epicycles.

  121. Henry Galt (19:05:28) :

    “Every day (every shift lol) I check out WUWT and thank my lucky stars I am surrounded by people such as Ed, George, Tilo, Jeff L, Steven, Leif, Lucy, Roger, davidmhoffer et al. Of course our host and the mods. The gloriously funny commentary. The wit and wisdom. The side issues, OTs and diversions.”

    Agreed in spades, Mr. Galt. I became skeptical within 48 hours of first hearing the AGW scare, but not through science. History was my path, and I knew full well that earth was warmer 1,000 and 2,000 years ago, and furthermore that life was much, much better then than in the cold times which followed those warm periods.

    It was a lonely position to hold. I was considered a miserable nut-bar. But over the last couple of months I have become a far happier nut-bar. I smile, I even laugh, and I do not kick small children nearly as hard as before.

    This story with its very interesting comments has pleased me greatly. Except for one comment. Pamela Gray:
    “By the way, that new jello mousse, the decadent chocolate kind with only 60 calories? I know it’s just whipped filled-with-air pudding and I’m paying more for less, but gawdamighty it is good with red wine.”

    Ms. Gray, unaccountably you have omitted some all-important information. How is it with hair? Do finish that bottle of wine, dear, and run the experiment. Fine, eager minds here await your report.

    But only, of course, if it is peer-reviewed.

  122. Just for reference, in my comments up above, the only feedback effect I was considering was that referenced in the main article — the 7.7 ppm linear release of CO2 per degree Celsius, presumably from oceanic out-gassing. This is a positive feedback effect and as stated, it is a closed loop effective value rather than the open loop effect I assumed — same value, almost.

    I believe the nominal thermal gain is more precisely (1/Ln(2))*(1/380) at 380 ppm CO2 concentration assuming a 1 degree Celsius temperature increase per CO2 concentration doubling. The units are degrees Celsius global temperature increase per one ppm CO2 concentration increase.

  123. It took me a while to figure out what hair had to do with chocolate mousse! You must mean the kind of stuff one puts in ones hair to keep it in place! Something about Mary I suppose.

    [REPLY - Wooing the mousse? ~ Evan]

  124. KeithGuy (14:38:40) :

    Sorry this is OT but I had to comment on it.

    – the BBC’s latest bottom-line on AGW as set out by their Chief Science Advisor. I paraphrase:

    “Despite the recent revelations regarding the exaggeration of AGW by climate scientists, the fundamental Physics hasn’t changed.

    We know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and we know that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased.”

    YOU DON”T SAY!!!

    Thanks for the heartiest laugh I’ve ever had on the Internet!

  125. As lubos motl stated, this eliminiates 80% of the carbon cycle feedback, which makes up 40% of all feedback. In sum it means a reduction of the modeled temperature increase due to the elimination of this single previous error by 1/3.

    However, this is probably still an overstatement, as the authors used the discredited hockeystick reconstructions. these are known to underrepresent hoistorical climate variations what in essence means, feedback is still overstated.

  126. davidmhoffer:
    Oops – forgot to ask. any confectionists hanging around? My recollection is that Pamela’s chocolate mousse is whipped with CO2 to make it fluffy? So she’s eating the global warming?

    I wonder if it’s nitrous oxide. (That’s what’s used in cans of compressed whipped cream.) W00T?

  127. Bart (20:57:14) :

    Epicycles. Yes, of course, that’s it. How else is the sky supposed to fall out in chunks unless it’s held in place by a glass sphere that Anthropogenic C02 will inexorably weaken faster than previously imagined?

    Really, they should hire the writer’s of ABC’s Lost. At least they make the story a bit believable.

  128. I am beginning to grasp the science, I think. Temperature goes up by one degree every time the CO2 atmospheric level doubles. Ergo, if I back track then every time that CO2 halves, one degree is lost. Ergo, if carbon cap kicks in, and if carbon cap works much better than expected, then I shall be looking for volunteers to help me shovel more coal on to the fire.

  129. Ron Dean (20:56:48) :


    John Finn (12:43:31) :

    Secondly, this surely settles any debate about mankind’s involvement in the increase in 20th century CO2 concentrations. The CO2 increase cannot be due to higher temperatures.

    John, can you please elaborate on this point? How does this study show this?

    I’m not sure how I need to elaborate. There are a few who have speculated that the CO2 rise is a result of the temperature rise rather than from the burning of fossil fuels. As the temperature rise has been less than 1 degree then it cannot be responsible for more than, say, 20 ppm of the ~100 ppm rise we’ve seen since ~1850.

  130. It perhaps encouraging to see some literature published that opens new questions but the fact this paper relies on the very proxy data of Jones , Mann and the team that were used to “prove” the hockey stick , I instantly doubt its rigeur or value.

    If the amount of co2 released from natural sources due to temp rise is a fifth of what was previously guessed then they will conclude even more of the residue is anthropogenic; more of the global warming is AGW and cutting CO2 emissions can be even more effective that predicted.

    Here is a much less speculative approach to determine the natural / fossil ration of CO2:

    http://folk.uio.no/tomvs/esef/esef5.htm

    >>
    The isotopic mass balance calculations show that at least 96% of the current atmospheric CO2 is isotopically indistinguishable from non-fossil-fuel sources, i.e. natural marine and juvenile sources from the Earth’s interior.
    >>

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/isolate:60/mean:12/scale:0.2/plot/hadcrut3vgl/isolate:60/mean:12/from:1958

    Here is a plot of short term CO2 and temp variation (long term trend removed). There is a high correlation but the lag of about 1 year in the CO2 response shows that it is the effect and not the cause if the two are linked. (Equally this could show they are both effects of some other factor or its all just a coincidence).

    It is already accepted science that on the millennial scale CO2 lags by around 800 yrs and that CO2 rise is the effect and not the cause of temperature change. So on what time-scale is this relationship inverted to become the controlling factor of world climate?

    The other corollary of the paper at the subject of this thread is that if there is less quantity of CO2 emmitted as a feedback mechanism the climate sensitivity must be even higher. This contrary to most indications the all the climate models are currently (probably grossly) over estimating that sensitivity.

    Any way, in the coming months I think we will see a surge of papers showing diverging conclusions now that the taboo on critisising AWG has been broken.

    It also seems likely that Phil and Mickey will not be solicited quite so often to review journal submissions.

    Let the real climate science begin…

  131. One of the first things I noticed during my conversion was the relationship between global T and CO2 as seen here http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

    I never expect natural cycles to be in lockstep and was surprised at how close this comes (modulated, as ever, by my pet gripe of granularity);

    year ppm/yr

    1959 0.95
    1960 0.51
    1961 0.95
    1962 0.69
    1963 0.73
    1964 0.29
    1965 0.98
    1966 1.23
    1967 0.75
    1968 1.02
    1969 1.34
    1970 1.02
    1971 0.82
    1972 1.76
    1973 1.18
    1974 0.78
    1975 1.10
    1976 0.91
    1977 2.09
    1978 1.31
    1979 1.68
    1980 1.80
    1981 1.43
    1982 0.72
    1983 2.16
    1984 1.37
    1985 1.24
    1986 1.51
    1987 2.33
    1988 2.09
    1989 1.27
    1990 1.31
    1991 1.02
    1992 0.43
    1993 1.35
    1994 1.90
    1995 1.98
    1996 1.19
    1997 1.96
    1998 2.93
    1999 0.94
    2000 1.74
    2001 1.59
    2002 2.56
    2003 2.29
    2004 1.56
    2005 2.55
    2006 1.69
    2007 2.17
    2008 1.66
    2009 1.72

  132. I’m sorry, but this paper is no more acceptable than some of the work carried out by the ‘team’. There is still an awful lot of arm waving and very little empirical evidence.

  133. I am an ignoramus on climate matters but got interested in the claims of climate experts about the warming of the earth and the role of CO2 in that process and am left with some questions I cannot explain.
    Our atmosphere consists for 99% of nitrogen and oxygen, 0.93 % argon and besides that quite small permillages of other gases among which CO2 with 0.038 % that is 38 particles CO2 per 100,000 other particles. These 38 are considered responsible for the warming of the earth because they block the radiation of heat from earth to space. The impact of the sun and all the other 99.96 % gases are left out because man has no influence on them. Man is, however, accountable for only 6% of these 0.038 % that is 0.6 x 0.00038= 0.000228 so 22.8 particles per 1,000,000 other particles. An impact which is negligible. It is already very hard for me to believe that 38 particles per 100,000 could have such an enormous influence on temperature fluctuations on mother earth let alone that man with his paltry 22.8 particles per million can exercise any influence at all.
    Another issue: does CO2 increase cause temperature rise or does temperature rise cause CO2 increase? The formation of CO2 is a chemical reaction. Chemical reactions proceed faster in higher temperatures so that undoubtedly CO2 will increase with temperature and so there will be a correlation which does, however, not imply that CO2 is the primary source of (any possible but not certain) global warming.

  134. John Finn (02:59:43)

    John, what you premise here does not sound unreasonable but I do wonder how the el niño waters at 2°C and above affect these emissions of CO². Remember that most outgassing will be from the oceans and not the land, I am somewhat in the dark as to how ‘global temp anomoly’ can be used to define the rate and quatity of outgassing. What do you think ?

  135. “”” Leif Svalgaard (20:38:50) :

    John Blake (20:10:06) :
    there can be no, repeat NO, valid model of planetary atmospheric processes, any more than Newton’s “three-body problem” is solvable regardless of spurious numerical precision.
    And yet, we solve easily Newton’s N-body problem [N much larger than three] to any desired high precision in our calculations of an Astronomical Ephemeris or of the orbit of a spacecraft. Be careful about drawing analogies like that [they better be correct...]. “””

    There’s also no solution to the problem of the circumference of an arbitrary ellipse.

    Yet just as Leif says WRT the classical three body problem, the only thing lacking is a closed form solution. Anyonewho wants answers to an actual real situation can calculate one to any required level of precision..

    And Gaia doesn’t have any problem keeping the Trojan Asteroids in place in the orbit of Jupiter for quite long periods of time; and the eliptic integrals serve the needs of ellipse circumnavigators.

    Then there is Earshaw’s Theorem that says there is no point of static equilibrium for a point charge in an electrostatic field; or words to that effect. That doesn’t stop one from controlling charges dynamically.

    But back to your original assertion that there is no valid model of planetary atmospheric processes; we know that isn’t true, because Gaia has just such a model operating right here on planet Earth. There’s a difference between existence, and our complete knowledge of same.

  136. This paper was based on temperature reconstructions. Therefore its conclusions are only valid for those reconstructions. Since the reconstructions used were mainly prime hockey sticks, any conclusions drawn from their computer jiggery-pokery are completly useless.

  137. I thought all studies which include the now discredited cru which links to all other similar data must be considered garbage.

  138. I thought all studies which include the now discredited cru data which links to all other similar data sets must be considered garbage.

  139. P Solar (03:58:26) :

    As I many times tried to explain: the amount of human CO2 in the atmosphere indeed is only a few %, as about 20% of all CO2 in the atmosphere is replaced by CO2 from vegetation and oceans, due to seasonal exchanges. Even so, that doesn’t explain the increase, as a mere exchange doesn’t change the total quantity in the atmosphere. And there it is: humans have added over 200 ppmv of CO2 in the past 160 years, and that is the cause of the bulk of the increase of over 100 ppmv. According to the article, the increase in temperature since the LIA of about 1 C is good for only 8 ppmv of the 100+ ppmv increase. Thus even if only 4 % of the current CO2 molecules in the atmosphere is from human origin, over 92% of the increase in total quantity is due to human emissions.

    That doesn’t influence the sensitivity of temperature for CO2, it only reduces the expected increase in temperature, as less CO2 is fed back due to higher temperatures.

  140. E.M.Smith (20:12:11) :

    Isn’t Hawaii under that yellow band in the Pacific Ocean? Doesn’t that mean that the Hawaii record is NOT representative of the planet (since there is all that blue…)? Doesn’t the picture state clearly that CO2 is “not well mixed” in the air? Isn’t that a fundamental assumption in a lot of the modeling being done?…

    The figure is only a one-month average. And one need to look at the scales: the seasonal changes, mainly by vegetation and mainly in the NH give a cycle of +/- 8 ppmv at Barrow, +/- 5 ppmv at Mauna Loa and +/- 1 ppmv at the South Pole. For yearly averages, the differences within the NH are within 1 ppmv and between the NH and the SH less than 4 ppmv, with near equal trends. That is because 90% of the emissions are in the NH and the ITCZ slows down the exchanges of air (and CO2) between the hemispheres. See:

  141. re John Finn (15:00:45)
    “This isn’t the the main “feedback” effect. That comes in the form of increased atmospheric water vapour, i.e. CO2 warms atmosphere -> warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture. A result from the Climate models is that relative humidity remains constant. If correct concentration of IR absorbing water vapour in the atmosphere will increase.”

    “… a result of the Climate models is that relative humidity remains constant”

    You have stated that part backwards about humidity in Climate models. The models ASSUME constant relative humidity.

    What seems like a simple assumption is actually a strong (but false) forcing factor in the models. As you noted above, warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture. The models – to maintain the requirement of constant relative humidity – then FORCE water vapor into the model’s atmosphere.

    Actual measurements show that atmospheric humidity has actually trended DOWN over the past few decades. That to me is one of the stronger arguments against the Climate models.
    Dave

  142. >>
    stephen richards (04:25:49) :

    I’m sorry, but this paper is no more acceptable than some of the work carried out by the ‘team’. There is still an awful lot of arm waving and very little empirical evidence.
    <<

    Your first clue should be that Nature published the paper. The paper must be in the AGW camp for that to happen. Your second clue is that the paper assumes CO2 controls temperature. I think many here believe the paper is based on a false premise.

    Jim

  143. davidmhoffer (19:37:13) :
    an LWIR ray is absorbed after 10m or so if it is in the absorption band of CO2.>

    sorry Dirk, misunderstood your point. I may be getting in over my head here, but… if an LWIR hits a CO2 molecule, the temperature of the CO2 molecule goes up. Now the CO2 molecule starts radiating energy because it is hotter than was before. The energy it radiates has two options. It can go downward, in which case it hits either another molecule in the atmosphere or else earth’s surface. The second option is that it goes sideways or up, in which case it will either hit another molecule or escape into space. If it hits another molecule…

    A molecule has three temperatures, translational (the ‘normal’ T), rotational and vibrational, under normal atmospheric conditions they are all the same. When a molecule such as CO2 absorbs a photon its vibrational and rotational temperatures are elevated, left to its own devices the molecule would radiate away that excess energy and all three temperatures would again be the same. However the molecule in the lower atmosphere experiences about 10 billion collisions/sec with other molecules so that the excess energy is lost before the molecule has time to radiate it away. It is only in the upper atmosphere where the collision rate is much lower that radiation starts to become the primary mode of energy loss.

  144. steven mosher (13:46:43) :

    before everybody gets all hot and bothered read the SI

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7280/extref/nature08769-s1.pdf

    When we get the whole paper we’ll have to see what role the previous studies
    jones98, briffa, mann03, mann08, and others had in final answer

    It is quite simple: There was a drop of about 6 ppmv of CO2 in the highest resolution ice cores (Law Dome) for the MWP-LIA drop in temperature.

    If you take Mann’s 1998/99 hockeystick, the temperature drop MWP-LIA is about 0.2°C, thus the influence of temperature on (pre-industrial) CO2 levels is about 40 ppmv/°C. But we all know the validity of Mann’s hockeystick…

    If you take Moberg’s “bathtube”, where treerings have less influence, the temperature drop MWP-LIA is about 0.8°C, which gives about 7.5 ppmv/°C

    The very long term influence of temperature on CO2 levels is about 8 ppmv/°C, according to the Vostok ice core (420,000 years):

    And the short term influence is about 4 ppmv/°C, as can be seen in the variability of the CO2 uptake around the trend (1992 Pinatubo, 1998 El Niño).

  145. Leo G (19:50:23) :
    Deech, are you saying that if we started at 1 ppm, doubling that would add approx. 1C warmth to the globe?

    So by the time we got to 356 ppm about 9C of our average temp of 15C would be solely from CO2?

    This doesn’t seem right to me.

    Or is that added to the 15C? then we should be on average about 24C.

    Arrgghh, this is why I refuse to get off the fence! I don’t understand this logic!

    there has to be a starting point. Gavin suggested maybe the first 50 ppm raised the temp 1C, then the doubling starts, but again, where is the research on this? How can we say how much effect a doubling of CO2 will have on this planet if we don’t know where the starting point is???

    For a dilute sample of CO2 the absorption is linear i.e. follows Beer’s Law, as the concentration increases the effects of broadening occur which leads to a logarithmic response. The difference shows up as follows:
    Say you start at 1ppm an increase to 2ppm would double absorption whereas in the log regime it would only increase by 30%. So the first few ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere have a stronger effect than those added now, I don’t the transition point for CO2 but Gavin’s suggestion of ~50ppm sounds reasonable. Note that this is not special to CO2, this can happen with any gas, an example of ones which are still in the linear phase are the freons (which is why their contribution to Hansen’s Scenario A is so strong).

  146. P Gosselin points to an interesting issue. New York Times is heralding the Solomon, et al., paper with this headline:

    Less Water Vapor May Slow Warming Trends

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/science/earth/29vapor.html?hpw

    On the surface, the premise that water vapor changes in recent years may be responsible for the “apparent” plateau in temps since [pick a year from 1998 on] would seem to tie in well to the AGW theory that CO2 itself largely drives water vapor changes which do most of the “damage” (in terms of atmospheric temperature increase). But I still have doubts that it’s really that simple. Frankly I’m also not sure how the CO2 numbers have tracked. In any case, I have not read the actual article by Solomon, et al., but would like to.

    My initial questions follow:
    * Is there contrary evidence? Not?
    * Is there a statistically meaningful correlation in observed data?
    * Are the data available?
    * Do the data appear to provide both a correlation and evidence of causation?
    * If CO2 concentrations have changed, have they changed in a manner and on a timeline that would seem to discount or confirm the assertions by Solomon, et al.

    Also, something I’ve always wondered about the GCMs: Does the modeled system of CO2 leading to water vapor changes lead inevitably to a level of water vapor that would be unrealistic in the atmosphere?

  147. The Solomon et al. paper is talking only about stratospheric H2O. Ordinarily H2O is prevented from passing from the troposphere to the stratosphere by the temperature at the tropopause being so cold that water just drops to such a low vapor pressure that the stratosphere is extremely dry. As I recall the main bypass to the tropopause is very large tropical storms breaking through. I recall a paper several years ago which pointed to methane increases in the troposphere becoming a major source of water in the stratos. (it’s stable enough to make it through the tropopause but once there breaks down to CO2 and H2O). The paper’s results would suggest that leakage of H2O to the stratos. by whichever route has reduced recently.

  148. Gene L. (10:34:48) :

    P Gosselin points to an interesting issue. New York Times is heralding the Solomon, et al., paper with this headline:

    Less Water Vapor May Slow Warming Trends

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/science/earth/29vapor.html?hpw

    It seems that stratospheric water vapor is acting independently from greenhouse gases: CO2 stays on increasing and while methane is about stable in the past decade, it still is at high levels, thus can’t be responsible for the decline in water vapor of the stratosphere.

    Thus something natural is at work, maybe connected to the PDO or other ocean/atmosphere cycles. And maybe correlated to “global dimming”, which is not related to aerosols (as the “warmers” suspect) but more probable to water vapor.

    Anyway, if this is right, that decreases the influence of CO2 as part of the warming 1975-2000 and thus any future “projections” based on increased CO2…

  149. “Gene L. (10:34:48) :
    [...]
    Also, something I’ve always wondered about the GCMs: Does the modeled system of CO2 leading to water vapor changes lead inevitably to a level of water vapor that would be unrealistic in the atmosphere”

    They don’t compute that. They SET the humidity to a constant, assumed, chosen value. Usually called “parameterization” or so, leading to different scenarios. They then run a number of simulations with different setting and make an average to get a more robust result. Really. Don’t laugh. It’s like asking 3 soothsayers instead of one.

    BTW they also don’t do clouds. They set the cloud cover to a fixed value. Research is ongoing into how cloud formation can be simulated. Ok, you can stop giggling now.

  150. Phil…
    However the molecule in the lower atmosphere experiences about 10 billion collisions/sec with other molecules so that the excess energy is lost before the molecule has time to radiate it away.>

    OK. Instead of losing it via radiance it loses it by conductance. We agree that it does lose it though. saturated or not. and when it loses it, the energy can go in any possible direction. so as it propogates through the system… some heats the earth, some heats the atmosphere and some escapes into space. point being that saturation or no…some energy escapes into space.

  151. Phil. (07:35:32) :

    davidmhoffer (19:37:13) :
    an LWIR ray is absorbed after 10m or so if it is in the absorption band of CO2.

    A molecule has three temperatures,

    A molecule has no temperature. Temperature is a macroscopic concept and requires an aggregate for which to determine an energy distribution or a mean value–then you can speak of temperature.

  152. The earlier post was unclear because blockquote didn’t work as I intended.

    Phil. (07:35:32) :

    davidmhoffer (19:37:13) :
    an LWIR ray is absorbed after 10m or so if it is in the absorption band of CO2.

    sorry Dirk, misunderstood your point. I may be getting in over my head here, but… if an LWIR hits a CO2 molecule, the temperature of the CO2 molecule goes up. Now the CO2 molecule starts radiating energy because it is hotter than was before. The energy it radiates has two options. It can go downward, in which case it hits either another molecule in the atmosphere or else earth’s surface. The second option is that it goes sideways or up, in which case it will either hit another molecule or escape into space. If it hits another molecule…

    A molecule has three temperatures,,

    A molecule has no temperature. Temperature is a macroscopic concept and requires an aggregate for which to determine an energy distribution or a mean value–then you can speak of temperature.

  153. Richard (15:41:18) :

    Talking about warming being exaggerated, we have fog in Wellington that has grounded planes and this is the second time it has happened in a week. Now fog in Wellington may not be unusual, but fog in Wellington at the end of Jan, when we are in the height of our summer? – I would imagine that is unusual.

    There are many posts to this site, on every other thread it seems, about the unusual summer in New Zealand, and everyone of these, I think, is explainable by the large mass of anomalously cold water parked near NZ right now.

  154. George E. Smith (17:14:39) :

    …And as we all remember, a recent bunch of rocket scientists blowing gigantic holes in Antarctic floating ice, (using hot water or steam to burn the holes), to measure the water temperature; made the remarkable new discovery, that the water temperature adjacent to the ice was very close to the freezing temperature of salt water; who would ever have imagined that could be so.

    And they likely discovered that with help from a government grant , ultimately coming out of my tax dollars; or yours even

    That was astounding. Don’t you think it would have been more interesting the look at the temperature gradient within the ice so that one could quantify heat flow magnitude and direction?

  155. UJ walsh (14:17:57) :

    Atmospheric Dry Spell Eases Global Warming

    This is the article at NPR…..go there if you would like to post!

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123075836

    So it seems possible that some influence which humidifies the atmosphere, even in the absense of any CO2 generated warming, could also warm the planet, say something like El Nino, and this is quite beyond our control.

  156. Dave in Delaware (07:08:41) :

    “… a result of the Climate models is that relative humidity remains constant”

    You have stated that part backwards about humidity in Climate models. The models ASSUME constant relative humidity.

    I worded my comment very carefully. The reason being I raised this very question some time ago and was assured by a climate modeller that constant relative humidity was a result of the models, i.e. it was NOT assumed by the models.

    If you have proof that this is not the case then I am happy to be corrected.

  157. stephen richards (04:30:08) :

    John Finn (02:59:43)

    John, what you premise here does not sound unreasonable but I do wonder how the el niño waters at 2°C and above affect these emissions of CO². Remember that most outgassing will be from the oceans and not the land, I am somewhat in the dark as to how ‘global temp anomoly’ can be used to define the rate and quatity of outgassing. What do you think ?

    I think there is evidence that there is less CO2 uptake in El Nino years and more in La Nina years. If you look at Henry Galt’s post above (Henry Galt (04:23:47) : ) there was an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration of 2.93 ppm in 1998 (the big El Nino year). The increase in 1999, a La Nina year, was only 0.94 ppm.

    But there is always an increase.

  158. DirkH (11:49:00) :
    “Gene L. (10:34:48) :
    [...]
    Also, something I’ve always wondered about the GCMs: Does the modeled system of CO2 leading to water vapor changes lead inevitably to a level of water vapor that would be unrealistic in the atmosphere”

    They don’t compute that. They SET the humidity to a constant, assumed, chosen value. Usually called “parameterization” or so, leading to different scenarios. They then run a number of simulations with different setting and make an average to get a more robust result. Really. Don’t laugh. It’s like asking 3 soothsayers instead of one.

    BTW they also don’t do clouds. They set the cloud cover to a fixed value. Research is ongoing into how cloud formation can be simulated. Ok, you can stop giggling now.

    And you should stop making it up!

  159. if feedback is much smaller than expected, but still positive, wouldn’t that mean oceans are outgassing more co2 than they receive from the atmosphere plus what the biosphere absorbs through increased plant growth ?

    then, if co2 solved in oceans is reduced by warming. how can the theory of so-called ocean acidification through global warming still exist ?

  160. Manfred (22:59:59) :

    if feedback is much smaller than expected, but still positive, wouldn’t that mean oceans are outgassing more co2 than they receive from the atmosphere plus what the biosphere absorbs through increased plant growth ?

    then, if co2 solved in oceans is reduced by warming. how can the theory of so-called ocean acidification through global warming still exist ?

    In all cases, the oceans are absorbing more CO2 than that they emit. The increase in CO2 over time is about 55% of human emissions. A small addition from increasing ocean temperatures is included in the trend, hardly distinguishable in the total increase, but readily visible in the year by year variability of the absorption rate.

    For the partitioning of CO2 sinks between oceans and vegetation see:
    http://www.agu.org/journals/gb/gb0504/2004GB002410/2004GB002410.pdf Bender e.a. and
    http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf until 2002

  161. George E. Smith (17:32:15)

    “We have since the precambrian some 600 million years ago, some sort of proxy data for CO2 in the atmosphere covering a range from around 7000 ppm to a low of well below the recent 280 ppm which is considered sacrosanct. That is maybe five octaves of CO2 doubling, so that should yield a wing ding logarithmic graph versus temperature.

    So please SOMEBODY show us a plot of any such logarithmic relationship, ever having been observed.”

    You are forgetting that the world was created in 1850. You just don’t discuss climate before this date. I have posted several times on the Ordovician era (just after Cambrian) having 8-20 x higher CO2 than now but ending not in runaway warming but in a snowball earth ice age (glaciers in Sahara) but stony silence the only response. Also, amusingly, corals which are supposed to be killed off by CO2-induced ocean acidification, did the opposite in the Ordovician – they evolved! It was a good era generally for calcified marine life.

    If we hypothesise that the climate posesses nonlinear / chaotic behaviour, then positive feedback will not cause runaway change, but instead it will establish oscillation – see the following paper by Kim et al 2001:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/292/5520/1357

    The last 2 sentences in the abstract are key:

    “The global feedback further led to the development of cluster patterns and standing waves and to the stabilization of uniform oscillations. These findings are reproduced by theoretical simulations.”

  162. Reference my paper at

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.pdf

    The spreadsheet is at

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRaeFig5b.xls

    There is strong correlation between Lower Troposphere Temperature (“LT”) and the rate of change with time of atmospheric CO2 concentration (“dCO2/dt”). These AVERAGES correlate with very little lead or lag time.

    The integral of dCO2/dt is the atmospheric concentration of CO2 (“CO2″), and CO2 lags dCO2/dt and LT by about 9 months.

    So it may be that the Nature study has the numbers approximately right, but not the science.

    CO2 does not correlate best with temperature; dCO2/dt correlates best with temperature, and CO2 correlates less well, with a 9 month lag.

  163. Ferdinand Engelbeen;
    The main thing to remember is that the ice-cores do not allow direct measuring of historic CO2 levels. They are telling us the CO2 concentration of the ice-core today. Consequently they are nothing but a proxy.
    I find it hard to believe the CO2 will not interact with the ice since CO2 so easily dissolves i water.
    In addition, my engineering experience is that if you wish to contain a gas you must use metal as a barrier. “All” other materials are permeable to some degree. Re. the ice, we are talking about hundreds of years or more.
    As mr. Beck points out, the ice is not a sterile environment and there will be bacteria present; some consuming CO2, some expelling CO2.
    How these factors affect the CO2 concentration is as far as I have been able to see unknown.
    Therefore, one should treat the ice-core data with caution.

  164. I think its fair to say that the AGW argument for catastrophic climate change has been ‘sexed up’. We just had this with Iraq, they all ferverently believe some narrative and it ends up biting everyone.

    The IPCC and career climate scientists have sexed up the evidence for political advantage.

    No conspiracy required, just a general lack of moral fibre.

  165. I know what this means!

    Science will be totally surprised when its gonna turn out that the CO2 levels will decrease when temperatures falls.And that will confirm what I suspected all along.You have yo be certain on basics BEFORE you run ahead.If you cant explain the history.Your an idiot if you think you can explain the future.
    What “drives” temperature change? I can tell you for sure…it aint CO2!!
    Now by studies like this and with Roy Spencers we will “backwards” step by step until every scientist realizes the total neglible climate “drive factor” of CO2.But still the mainstream climatologists are hanging on thier mantra.so I think the final definite end to this junkscience and alarmism will be when we have 5 years of coooling!

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